Self Diagnosis

I’m usually a cheerful upbeat type of person.  I’m more likely to be smiling than frowning and my ‘glass’ is almost always half full.

This week though, I’ve been down in the dumps a bit.  I’ve even been feeling a level of anxiety that is very rare.  I couldn’t pinpoint what I was anxious about, but something was bugging me and making me sad.

I felt like this:


The thing was, I couldn’t figure out what was causing the change in my emotional well being.  I’m not sick.  I’m getting enough sleep.  They boys and my Hubby are as awesome as ever.  I’ve been eating healthier and drinking a ton of water every day.  I should be feeling a lot better – certainly not worse.

This morning it dawned on me.  I’ve been drinking a lot of water (a lot!), and in so doing, have skipped the coffee/tee/diet soda that might usually be a part of my day.  On a whim, I had a caffeinated beverage this morning with my breakfast.  It took maybe twenty minutes, but VOILA!

Now I feel like this:

Am I addicted to caffeine?  Yes, evidently.  Am I okay with that?  Yes.  Yes I am.


Little Artist

Little Guy has discovered a love for painting.  His favorite media is acrylic on paper.  His favorite subject matter is transportation, and we have a 'gallery' of tractor/train/fire truck pictures to prove it!  I love that he's embracing this new artistic side of his, even if it's only a passing fad.

"When I was a child, my mother said to  me, 'If you become a soldier, you'll be a general.  If you become a monk you'll end up as the pope.'  Instead I became a painter, and wound up as Picasso."  -Pablo Picasso


March Madness & Random Pictures

Miss me lately?  Sorry I've been absent from the blogosphere.  It's just been a very busy few weeks.  So, what have I been up to?  Well, since you asked...
Little Guy had another ear infection and we've been rounding the final corner of potty training (hurrah!)

Baby Boy isn't yet crawling (though he's very close).  He does manage to get wherever he wants to be via rolling and a weird little backwards scoot.

We had the boys professional pictures taken, and they turned out great.  We went to the local St Patrick's Day parade, and Little Guy had a play date with a good friend.

We usually put any/all tax return dollars into savings/bills, but this year decided to split a little chunk and get some wish list items.  Mine?  A new camera and a pressure canner.  I'm very excited about both!

I've been working on some Christmas projects (Yes, I'm starting early this year), and also just finished a commissioned sewing project - a blanket - for a good friend.

Also we've been doing a lot yard work and spending time at the park - enjoying this lovely Spring weather.

The day job has been a little draining too.  Luckily this level of intensity comes in spurts, and soon things will slow down again.  I just don't feel very motivated to spend time on the computer in the evenings when I've made it through a hectic day.

I hope that your March is both busy and fun.  :)


I Don’t Know Where He Gets It From

After work last Thursday, I came home to a pint-sized welcome committee.  Little Guy had been waiting for me and had a lot to tell me about his day at school.  He had studied the sounds that the letters “S” and “H” make when put together.  He had examples: Ship, Shamrock, and Shirt.  He and his friends had eaten apples for a snack and his friend Reggie* had been taken to the hospital via ambulance.

“WHAT?” I ask in shock.  “What happened?”

“He jumped on a Lego and cut his foot real bad," he frowns sadly.

“Oh no,” I respond, giving my sweetie a big hug.

“The ambulance took him to the hospital to make him better,” he says in a somber tone.

I'm worried about this little boy, but also very glad it wasn't my child who was hurt, and then suddenly it dawns on me that this may be just a big story.  I do have a creative child after all, and maybe he’s making this up.  I yell into the other room where I can hear Hubby playing with Baby Boy, “Did the teacher say anything about an ambulance coming today?”

“Nope,” is his yelled response.  Hmmm.  I am looking at my little boy, and he is all innocence and rosy cheeks and sincerity as he gives me more details.  I think the teacher might have mentioned something like this, but then her day might have been so crazy that she forgot.

“Are you using your imagination?” I ask, squatting down at his level and looking him in the eye.

“No,” he says simply.

“Why didn’t your teacher take him to the hospital herself?”

“Because she couldn’t leave us all alone!” he’s shocked that I’d even suggest it.  “We’re too little!”

This is actually quite reasonable.  Little Guy goes to an in-home daycare/pre-school, and he’s right.  The teacher wouldn’t be able to leave the other kids alone.  Besides, I don’t know how one woman could take seven little boys to the emergency room without going stark raving mad.  I’d call for an ambulance too.  I begin to wonder if maybe he’s telling the truth after all.  The pieces add up – at least mostly.  I decide to ask him some more questions and see if I can catch him in a fib.

“How many emergency people came in the ambulance?”

“Two.”  There is no hesitation.  He doesn’t even blink.

“Were they men or women?” I ask.

“Both,” is his quick reply.  “There was one man and one woman.  They took Reggie in the back of their ambulance to make him better.”

“Did Roddie* go too?”  Roddie is Reggie’s little brother and usually the two would come and go together.

Little Guy looks at me strangely and shakes his head.  “Of course not,” he says.  “Roddie didn’t get hurt.  Only Reggie did.”

I ponder his answers.  It all seems logical to me.  If Reggie truly had been hurt badly enough to go to the hospital, this is probably how it would have went.  Is my three year old clever enough to make this up?  I am honestly not sure.

“Was Reggie’s foot bleeding a lot?”

“Oh yes it was!” he says, scrunching up his little nose in distaste.  “Teacher said he wasn’t being very careful, but that we’d better be careful so we don’t get our feet cut up like Reggie did.”

This sounds like something a teacher would warn kids about.  I’m almost convinced.

“Did Reggie come back to school at all?” 

“Nope.”  His Dad came to pick up Roddie, but Reggie was still at the hospital.” 

Not once during this discussion has he changed his story or waffled on any details.  He relays it all to me as if he’s telling me about any other part of his day, and I realize he is telling the truth.  I am so proud of him.  What a wonderful little boy.  He witnessed something that some children might find traumatic (seeing a friend carted away in an ambulance), and he’s handling it wonderfully. 

I drop the subject as there are still fifty other things he needs to tell me about his day.  We continue on with a wonderful evening and I forget about the whole thing.

Friday morning comes and as I pull into the driveway at Little Guy’s school, a small boy goes running past our car toward the door.  I recognize the small running boy, “Hey look, It’s Reggie.”  I say.  There is no response from the back seat, and then it hits me.  This boy was just yesterday being taken to the hospital because his foot was hurt very badly, but here he is this morning running as if nothing happened. 

Quite the recovery, I think to myself.

I’m helping him out of his car seat when I say, “I thought you said Reggie hurt his foot?”

He grins at me then – all teeth and eye sparkles and personality.  “Maybe I used my imagination a little bit,” he says holding up two fingers as if measuring an inch in the air. 

I’d been had!  He was so cute though, that I decided I'd wait till after school to have a little talk about telling stories vs. telling stories and pretending they are true.  I gave my clever little fella a big hug and we said goodbye before I continued on to work. 

Later, I called my parents to tell them all about what had happened, and strangely they said it reminded them of someone they once knew.  For the life of me, I can’t remember who they said it was that this story reminded them of… but in my defense – while we were talking on the phone, I stepped on a Lego and cut my foot.  By the time the ambulance had arrived, that whole phone conversation had completely slipped my mind….

*Not his real name


Happy Birthday to ME

Yep, today is my birthday, and I must say it has been a wonderful one indeed! Over the last few days I've been receiving wonderful cards and letters in the mail.  Today I had quite a lot of birthday greetings on my Facebook wall.  I've been showered with gifts from my Husband, boys, parents, in-laws, friends etc.

I'm so very blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life.

Today I'm 38, and proud of every one of those years.  For as long as I can remember, my birthday has been a big deal to me.  It still is, and I can't imagine that will ever change.  Today my parents and little brother came to visit us.  We had a wonderful day filled with hugs and laughter and stories and playtime with little boys.  Hubby fixed us a lovely lunch and baked me the cake I'd requested (more a cobbler than a traditional cake...absolutely yummy!).  Everything was perfect and I just couldn't be happier!

Thanks to every one who has made my special day even more special!  :)

Me (and my little friends)30 years ago today.... 
I've posted this picture on birthdays past, but have
to do so again.  This was probably my fondest childhood memory. 


There Was a Little Girl...

Words matter.

We live in a world that is fueled by clever one-line Facebook status updates and 140 character tweets.  We send multiple text messages and emails every day.  We use words all the time, but it seems to me that we are sometimes forgetful of the impact that choosing those words can have on those around us. 

Maybe this isn’t an issue for you at all, but it’s something I struggle with on occasion.

I’d say that 99% of the time I am a nice person, and I generally try to be kind to everyone.  I am human though, and sometimes I fail (okay, more than sometimes).  I hurt someone recently with my words.  It wasn’t on purpose, but it happened.  It was one of those knee jerk moments when a ‘clever’ comment came flying into my head one millisecond before it went flying past my lips.  I immediately regretted this thing I said, and the pain it caused; but it was too late.  Once something like that is out there, it’s impossible to pull it back.

The whole scenario reminded of the following scene in the (fantastic) movie, “You’ve Got Mail”:

Joe Fox: [talking via email to "Shopgirl"] Do you ever feel you've become the worst version of yourself? That a Pandora's box of all the secret, hateful parts - your arrogance, your spite, your condescension - has sprung open? Someone upsets you and instead of smiling and moving on, you zing them? "Hello, it's Mr Nasty." I'm sure you have no idea what I'm talking about.
Kathleen Kelly: [talking via email to "NY152"] No, I know what you mean, and I'm completely jealous. What happens to me when I'm provoked is that I get tongue-tied and my mind goes blank. Then, then I spend all night tossing and turning trying to figure out what I should have said. What should I have said, for example, to a bottom dweller who recently belittled my existence?
[stops and thinks] Nothing. Even now, days later, I can't figure it out.
Joe Fox: [talking via email to "Shopgirl"] Wouldn't it be wonderful if I could pass all my zingers to you? And then I would never behave badly and you could behave badly all the time, and we'd both be happy. But then, on the other hand, I must warn you that when you finally have the pleasure of saying the thing you mean to say at the moment you mean to say it, remorse inevitably follows.

Sadly, I can sometimes relate to the Joe Fox character in this scene.  I too, have had moments when I said things that displayed the worst possible version of myself.  Among my faults (and believe me, there are many), this is the one I consider most regrettable.  I have no excuse.  I wasn’t raised to be mean.  In fact, when I was a child my parents always taught me to be kind and respectful of others.  They encouraged my brother and I to follow the Golden Rule.  They lived by example, and to this day I am hard pressed to recall a single instance in which one of them ever said an unkind word to the other or to anyone else.  (I know that will sound hard to believe – but I’m not exaggerating.)

However, in spite of a very positive and loving upbringing; I found at a fairly young age that I had a talent for doling out well timed zingers.  Now to be fair, I also feel that I have a talent for kindness (which I’ve inherited from my sweet Mama, and which over the last decade I’ve tried to embrace more fully).  Sometimes though, one of those not so nice comments slips through a crack in the niceness.  In moments like that I feel like one of those Twilight Zone characters who seems perfectly human and nice and normal…. until viewers catch just a glimpse of the alien lurking within.

So the other day, when I hurt the feelings of this person who I truly consider to be a friend, I made a decision.  I apologized of course, but I also decided once and for all it was time to be rid of my inner alien.

This isn’t to say that I sit around all day insulting those around me.  I don’t.  In fact, I’d say that over the years I’ve most certainly mellowed in this department.  But every now and then, one of these zingers slips passed, and I am reminded of just how important words are.  The comments I sometimes made (the come-backs the jabs-the zingers-whatever you want to call them) almost always got a laugh, and I’ll admit I sometimes found a certain thrill in that.  The trouble with the clever come-back however, is that though there may be a moment of satisfaction, it is all too often followed by crushing regret.

This brings me to today, and my decision to make a change.  Not only do I want to slice these “Ms. Nasty” comments from my dialogue, but I also want to ensure that I’m setting a good example for my boys, and being a person my loved ones can be proud to call wife, daughter or friend.  My goal is to think before I speak.  This may sound simple to you, but I’m afraid it may prove quite the battle for me.  No matter.  It will be worth every effort made. 

So, assuming I do take a moment to think before I say something questionable, what exactly will I be ‘thinking’ about?  The new criteria I’m setting for myself is pretty straight forward.  From now on, when one of those ‘clever’ comments pops into my head, I’m going to attempt to use the following internal filters before opening my big mouth (or typing that status update or tweeting or whatever):

  1. Does this comment add value to the conversation?
  2. Will this comment encourage?
  3. Is this comment something I would say if husband/children/parents etc could hear?
If the answer to any of the above questions is “No”, then even if it is terribly ‘clever’, it’s not worth saying.  I know that this will take some practice on my part, but it’s something I feel I need to address head on. 

Truthfully, I should have done it years ago.


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