Thursday, August 27, 2009

I Have a Problem

If you've been around for awhile you might recall that I posted about my desire to eat healthier a few months ago. I had wonderful intentions, but things did not go as planned, which is why I haven't mentioned it again. I have a serious problem with food. If it's good for me, I won't eat it.

Honestly, you would think I was being purposefully self-destructive if you took note of what I consume on a daily basis. I feed Bug the healthy stuff and he gets occasional treats, but while he's having oatmeal and fruit I'm scarfing down a honey bun and hoping he doesn't notice. I eat candy ALL DAY LONG and wash it down with cola. I probably don't drink 5 ounces of water a day. It is ridiculous.

I've never had a problem with my weight, which removes a big incentive to healthy eating. I mean, if no one will know and that honey bun tastes so great, what difference does it make, right?

I do o.k. at dinner, but everything else is pretty much wasted calories. I know it would make sense to just stop, but sometimes it seems so much easier to open that honey bun than to peel a piece of fruit. Even if I do eat the piece of fruit, I still feel hungry and I crave a cake or candy bar right after, and I usually end up eating it.

I am not as dumb as this post makes me sound, I promise. I am going to be 31 in a couple of weeks and I am well aware that I am doing harm to myself. I just can't seem to muster the willpower to do any better. A few months ago I decided that the only way to break my bad habits was to just not have the food in the house. My first step was no soda. I actually panicked and left the checkout to go back and get some, I couldn't fathom living an entire week without my fix.

I know eating better would give me more energy (I could use that!), better focus, and most likely even let me hang around a little longer to annoy those I love. Being skinny doesn't protect you from heart disease, I realize that as well. So...I am trying again. My heart actually races at the thought (do you think I have a problem?!) but I am going to try. I'm off to work on the grocery list.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Is Being a Mommy and Writer Actually Possible for Me?

Sometimes I sit down at my desk and fantasize about what it might be like to have two hours of free time, two hours when I was absolutely certain no one would have a poop explosion, lose their firetruck, or become terrified by the sound of their brother popping bubble wrap. I have so much writing that I want to do. I want to author more blogs, build some websites, write for Ehow and Infobarrel, try my hand at a Squidoo lens, write some ebooks. I get excited just thinking about it.

Then there's the writing I feel that I should be doing. We could, without a doubt, use some extra money right now. I feel like I should be focusing on that instead of trying to squeeze in time to do the writing projects I enjoy. I am approved to write for several web content sites, but there are not words to describe how very much that I hate it. I can earn anywhere from $5 to $15 for the work. The topics are rarely about anything that I'm familiar with, which means at least a little research and for sites like Quality Gal you are required to find a ton of links. It all seems so tedious and time consuming, especially considering the fact that I have very little time to spare. Yet I feel lazy, like I should just suck it up and do the work because at least it's money, even it is coming five bucks at a time. Of course, throw in the deadlines that I am pretty likely to miss because a catastrophe is bound to occur, and it means I'm a stressed, tired, nerve wrecked mess and not at all the mama that I want to be.

I have written for print and online magazines in the past. I enjoyed getting to choose my own topics and interview interesting people, but the time between query acceptance, publication and being paid makes it a less than appealing option.

My husband does not want me to be try to meet deadlines, work on the writing I don't enjoy, etc. He tells me that the most important thing is the kids so if something is taking my attention away from them or making me too tired and cranky to enjoy the family, then I don't need to be doing it. But shouldn't I just suck it up and put on a happy face no matter how stressful it might be? I feel like a colossal failure because I can't.

The writing that I want to do definitely has earning potential, but it's not immediate. But if I never get off the fence and really start I will never know. I'm fairly certain this is going to drive me crazy. Every time I tell myself I will just focus on what I want to do I feel like I'm just not trying hard enough.

I realize that this is rambling and whiny. I'm just trying to figure it out. I've been praying about it, but I'm great at asking, then moving right ahead with my plan to solve my problems on my own. I know what I feel the answer is, but how do I know for sure? Wouldn't everything be a lot easier if God just gave us a to-do list?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Blog Award

Kelli over at A Mountain Mama was sweet enough to give me the Kreativ Blogger Award. Since I love her blog, I was really touched that she enjoys mine enough to give me this award.

Here are the rules:

1. List 7 things that I love
2. Link back to the blog that awarded it to me
3. Choose 7 blogs to award as ‘Kreativ Bloggers
4. Comment at each blog to let them know they’ve been chosen

7 Things That I Love:

1. Jesus, who is everything and has blessed me with more than I could deserve in ten lifetimes.

2. My husband, who is also my best friend and the unfortunate soul who gets to hear every detail of my life, feelings, annoyances, the list goes on...

3. My boys, they are beautiful, perfect (I'm their mama so I can say that) and everything to me.

4. My family, they are insane but they love me and they are always there.

5. My cat Dynamo, she was the fattest cat I have ever known. She passed away in July 2007 of cancer, I still miss her every single day.

6. Good books.

7. The freedom to write whatever I want and the potential to actually earn money doing it!

Here are the blogs that I have chosen:

1. Want What You Have
2. Mama Notes
3. Momma Molly
4. The Mom Mayhem
5. My Not So Hurried Life
6. The Preschool Homeschool
7. Replay Today

That's it for now. I have to go grocery shopping and let me tell you, I would rather wash ten loads of laundry and actually put it away than venture out of the house today. But my little ones (and my big one, too) must have food so off I will go. Dragging my feet, kicking and screaming, you get the picture. Have a great Saturday!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Just Some Quick Stuff

Here are some random links that I am finding useful, maybe you will too:

I found this and it has some great tips for getting your house clean all at once instead of a little at a time. I would love, love, love I tell you to be able to do this. In fact, I'm going to try to do it today. We'll see how it goes.

I have been looking for a simple, free, Bible based preschool curriculum and I seem to have found one here. I also enjoy The Preschool Homeschool, it has some great tips and suggestions that are especially helpful to those of us who are craft challenged.

I have also been using Swagbucks lately and loving it. You just use their search and earn Swagbucks which can be redeemed for things like merchandise and gift cards. I used my first 45 Swagbucks to get a $5 Amazon gift card and have purchased the boys a Bible story book this morning.

One more thing, my nephew Jason has a blog now. He is 18 years old, cute as can be and getting ready to enter mortuary school in about a week and a half so his life can be pretty (disturbing and weird) interesting . He is also hilarious and has more unfortunate and embarrassing incidents happen to him than anyone I know. You can check it out here.

Now I'm off to try and get a shower before the boys wake up and see if I can get the house clean in one day. That would be so nice,then all I would have to do is pick up the rest of the week. I'll let you know how it goes!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Strange in a Small Town

As it turns out, we're weird. We didn't have our boys circumcised, I (tried to) breastfeed, we often split their immunizations into two visits and we plan to homeschool. We aren't comfortable with the idea of daycare, Headstart, pre-school or public school, we limit junk food and offer fresh fruit as snacks, we have a set routine for our days that includes regular mealtimes, naps and bedtimes.

As I've mentioned before, we live in southeastern Kentucky. All of the stuff I mentioned above may sound like normal parenting if you're from another area, but here we are looked at as the equivalent of hippy freaks. Seriously. I actually had an acquaintance ask me if it took Bug long to fall asleep at night and when I replied, "Not usually, I help him brush his teeth, his Daddy tucks him in, then we read stories and he's usually out in about ten minutes.", she looked at me like I'd lost my mind. Sometimes I would rather take a beating than venture out into the world.

A lot of the flack, surprisingly, comes from medical professionals. I actually had a nurse practitioner scold me because I didn't have Bug circumcised, then roughly pull the skin back, something that his doctor had instructed me not to do. When I reported the incident to the doctor he apologized. I ended up stuck seeing her again and she tried to do the same thing to Grumpy. Needless to say, we will not be seeing her again and we are considering another practice a town over. I love our doctor, but when he's not available the other options are...questionable.

Then there are the vaccinations. We don't really delay, we just prefer to split the shots into two visits. We receive WIC and the ladies at our local health department insist that vaxes must be up to date before you can receive benefits. When Bug was a baby they made me wait for two hours for a fax from his doctor's office to prove that his shots weren't behind. I asked them if we could go ahead and get the vouchers that day and come back for the shots, but no, they weren't allowed to give the vouchers if his shots weren't up to date. He ended up with four shots and a finger poke that day. I still feel like a terrible mama because I didn't stop them. Now I know they aren't allowed to deny benefits, but at the time I was clueless and we needed the formula.

I really think that these women have never heard of parents choosing to delay or not vax at all. My poor niece actually had them tell her she was a neglectful mother and threaten to call social services last month because she wouldn't agree to four immunizations in one visit. She is a single mom trying to get by and it infuriates me that they treated her this way when she was trying to get the care that her daughter needs.

Wow, this seems to have turned into a rant about our local health department. I just feel like an outcast a lot of the time. I am not comfortable bringing attention to myself, all I've ever wanted is to blend in and be left alone. But I can't do that at the expense of my kids and I hate that our parenting choices, which seem perfectly reasonable to me, cause us to stand out.

I can only imagine what it's going to be like when Bug is old enough for school. I truly expect CPS to be called at some point, all jokes aside. It will probably be the women at the health department that do it. Sometimes I wish we could just be "normal". If I didn't have the knowledge that I do (thanks mom) maybe I could make all the mainstream choices that others here make and I wouldn't feel bad, I wouldn't know any better. Of course, I want the best for my kids so I don't really mean that. I just get so frustrated sometimes.

I do want to say, the parents here are not horrible. Just like anywhere else, most of them love their kids and are doing the best they can with the knowledge they have. It just seems to take our area a little longer to catch up with the rest of the world, which is a great thing in some ways. Just not this one. I'm thinking instead of wasting time feeling bad maybe I should start harassing other moms with my weird ways, pull a few over to the dark's food for thought anyway!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ok, I Give

Bug did not sleep until 11:30. Grumpy has been up since 3:00. No one is sick, they are just really excited about life. I wave the white flag of surrender. That's all for now.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Homeschooling...Here We Go

My husband and I decided a couple of years ago that we wanted to homeschool our kids. We live in the hills of southeastern Kentucky and homeschooling is not very common here, except for special circumstances such as illness or an occasional teen mom who chooses to finish school from home. Even then, a home based teacher is usually brought in. When we made this decision we knew that people were not going to be 100% supportive, but it seemed like it would be forever before we'd actually have to share our decision with people other than family, so I didn't let it get to me too much.

Now Bug is three and he's finally eligible to attend pre-school. The questions have started and one well-meaning educator I've known since childhood actually called the house to try and get me to send him. I feel like I've been shoved under a spotlight against my will. We're not doing this to be different or because we think our kids are better. We just want the best for our boys and as parents who have attended public school for almost 25 years (combined of course, we didn't fail each grade twice or anything) we feel safe in saying public school isn't the best for our kids.

I was a straight A, teacher's pet, never in any trouble type of gal. My hubby was well...different. We attended the same schools (we never knew each other because he's six years older and obviously a moldy oldy) and he was mischievous, always in trouble, and not exactly an ideal student. We both recall teachers who were unpleasant, unkind, out of the room more than they were in it, the list goes on. The students with money and "important" parents were always favored and most of the teachers simply did not care whether we learned anything or not, until it was time for testing at the end of the year. More than one time I've had teachers instruct me to sit with the "dumb" kids to make sure that their answers were correct on these tests so that said teacher wouldn't look bad when half of the kids in that class failed.

I realize that our bad experiences 20 years ago shouldn't be the only factor in such an important decision, so here are a few more reasons that we've decided to keep our boys home:

1. We would have to send them when they are four years old and that's just too young. If I were to send them to public school I feel like they would need to get used to being away from me before they faced all day school. This means I would have to send them to pre-school at four years old. I can't fathom waking my little guys that early, putting them on a bus and turning them over to people I don't know for several hours a day.

2. Religion is gone from the classroom. We are Christian and the Bible tells us that it's our job to teach our children about God. How can I do that if I willingly place them in an environment 40 hours a week where they are instructed that He doesn't exist?

3. Teachers, no matter how many hours of training that they may have, will never care about my kids' education as much as I do. I know that there are good teachers out there, but at the end of the day it's still a job.

4. I believe kids learn best in a safe, loving environment. The classroom of a public school is neither.

5. Smart boys are geeks. No, I don't feel that way, but I remember what school was like. You could be a super intelligent, straight A female student and do just fine, but if a boy had the same grades he was a "dork". I don't want my boys to lose their love of learning just to fit in or feel like they belong.

6. I don't want my kids to spend hours a day on busy work. I want them actively learning all day long, not just sitting at a desk. Everything in the world can be a learning experience for them and the potential is just so exciting!

7. They are mine. They grew inside me, I gave birth to them, and I know them better than anyone else does. I will know how each one learns best, I will have the desire to put in whatever amount of time and patience it takes to make sure that they stay on track.

8. I can get help if I need it. If there is a subject that I truly don't feel that I can do a good job teaching my boys, we can hire a helper to come to our home or they can take the class online.

I realize that I haven't addressed the big S, socialization. Bug is already plenty social. He will talk to anyone and is very well behaved. He loves grown-ups, loves other kids and is always ready to play. My boys have two (soon to be three!) cousins who will also be homeschooled, not to mention all of the other friends and family that they see regularly. We hope to get involved with some other homeschooling families as well. Add that to things like church, the grocery, the library, etc. and I am not concerned that my kids won't know what to do with themselves in a social situation.

I am not implying that people who send their kids to school are wrong or bad. If there was a good Christian school in our area I would send my boys in a heartbeat (not at four years old though!), but there isn't. I have had people react as if our decision was insulting to them, but we aren't doing this because we think our kids are better or that we are better parents. We mess up regularly and are well aware of it.

I also realize that homeschooling sometimes alarms teachers and school systems. I realize that my kids not being there means they will lose money. Maybe if more parents choose to teach at home they will be inspired to do a better job.

We are going to start some pre-school activities this year and I am sure that Bug is going to enjoy it. I'm also trying to figure out what our homeschooling style will be, what type of curriculum to use when they get a little older, etc. I am amazed at the choices and can't wait to get started!

Friday, August 7, 2009

I Think I've Got This Figured Out

I realize I said that I wouldn't be back, and yet, here I am. I am not insane, I promise but over the past month I've missed this blogging thing, so I've given it quite a bit of thought and here's what I've decided...

1. I am pretty unpredictable and have problems making my mind up about things. Probably need to work on that.

2. I really truly am not ok with putting pictures of my boys online. I won't be doing that anymore.

3. I can still offer something to other moms who are struggling, even if it's just the knowledge that someone else is more of a mess than they are.

Even though I've been writing since I was a little girl and have been published several times in print and online, I cannot seem to believe that what I write is worth reading. I love to write and I dream of making a little money this way t to help my family, but I struggle so much with really seeing myself as a writer. If I ever want to get anywhere with this, I'm going to have to shake that feeling. I can't do that if I'm not writing and I'll be honest with you, I haven't written anything since my last post here. I think this blog is one way to get over that feeling, plus I have to write or everyone will think I'm dead.

Now for an update on us...we're all doing great. We did move and while I was terrified of the change, we are loving it and I'm so glad that I trusted God with that decision! The kids still don't sleep so I'm still tired, but hey, at least I'm not wasting time lounging around in bed until 7:00.

I hope that you will keep stopping by, I really enjoy reading your comments. I promise not to spaz again. No, really, I won't. Hope to see you back here soon!


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