I’m OK, You’re OK

Somedays that’s all we need to know

Ludye Mae Duncan Shields Moore aka Magic in Human Form. February 27, 2009

Filed under: family,ponderings,Uncategorized — meandmom @ 12:15 am
Tags: , ,

I can remember almost running to keep up with her long, quick stride as we swept down the busy sidewalk of Chicago. She was always impeccably presented with her raven black hair and distinctive red lipstick. Her neck was long and elegant, just like her gams. She was friendly and warm….a southern belle to the core. She lived on the 28th floor of a poshy apartment building in the city called Lake Point Towers with a wonderful view of the Lake. I loved spending the weekend with her there. We would regularly visit the animals in the zoo, especially in winter because nobody went in winter and the animals were surely cold and lonely.

There was a doorman, Mr. Gray. And a garage attendant, Mr. Peanut Butter sandwich. She would bring him sandwiches every time she got her car from him. Thus, his name. She drove a green towncar with seats that moved by pushing a button.

There was a huge koi pond that we would play by and a swimming pool. At night I loved to watch the lights off the cars as they came down the waterfront. One side of her apartment was huge windows above a radiator that she loaded up with baby cacti. In my room at her house was a fold out couch with a black and white houndstooth pattern. Black and White silhouette portraits of my sister and I hung on the wall.

She gave me my piano and a cat named Catten who only loved her and would scratch anyone else. She made wonderful Shingle Cookies…basically graham crackers coated with a soft version of peanut brittle. She always had a peice of Wrigley’s Spearmint gum to share….but only half a piece at a time.

When I was still in elementary school she moved back to her beloved south. Again, at the water’s edge in Myrtle Beach. She cut her hair short and let it go gray. She was still elegant in a casual, beachy way. She traded city sidewalks for sandy beaches yet her stride was still long, fast, and graceful.

She volunteered with Helping Hand and the American Heart Association. She was utterly devoted to her ailing husband. She was an equally devoted church goer and loved when we would stay for the summer and sing in her church’s choir.

I lost her 9 years ago. Alzheimers. I don’t know if she could ever keep in her memory that she had a great-granddaughter that was honored with her middle name. She would have loved her great-granddaughters so very much. Just liked she loved me.

I miss her.

-The Mom

 

Apple Pie in a Bag February 25, 2009

Filed under: health,helpful tidbits! — meandmom @ 5:08 pm
Tags: ,

I thought I’d share one of my favorite parenting tips with ya’ll today.  I threw that ya’ll in just for my Grandmother….I’ll talk about her tomorrow so make sure you come back!

This idea developed because for a long time anything food related that was wholesome and natural…you know like fruits or veggies…..were completely rejected by The Daughter.  Thankfully she’s grown out of that stage!  This little treat still comes in handy though because right now The Littlest either has a bunch of holes in her mouth or teeth that are ready to fall out to make new holes in her mouth.

For school lunches or snacks I take my apple corer/slicer thing-a-ma-jiggy (you know…the one that cuts the core and 8 wedges of apple) and pound it through slice the apple.  Then I stick it in a ziploc baggie and splash it with a few drops of lemon juice.  I sprinkle in some cinammon and a scant little bit of sugar (sometimes I eliminate that step but don’t tell the kids!).  Then I shake it all up.

By the time the kids eat it at snack or lunch, all the flavors have permeated the apple slices and they taste just like apple pie!

Bonus: The kids can’t tell if the apple slices have browned at all….which is a very good way to avoid fruit rejection.

Try it….you’ll like it!

-The Mom

 

How Much is Too Much? February 24, 2009

Filed under: politics,ponderings,Uncategorized — meandmom @ 7:09 pm
Tags: , ,

I was listening to the Today show play in the background on TV as I was getting ready for the day this morning.

The subject: Nadya Suleman and her mother. Apparently, the two of them had a televised conversation which became heated and uncomfortable. Nadya’s mother was trying to express to her daughter that having 8 babies at once on top of the 6 that are already at home, maybe wasn’t the best decision.

Nadya’s response to her mom was that she needed to “learn to let it go”. Wow. Really? Ummmm…..where are those first 6 children currently living? That would be At. Her. Mother’s House!

If Nadya was going to expect her mother and father to help raise her children….shouldn’t she have felt it necessary to request the option of adding 8 more? 1 more even?

Truthfully, I’m not sure who holds the original responsibility in this situation. Some are pointing fingers at the doctor that planted the maximum legally allowed embryos. I can understand that, to an extent. Some are pointing their fingers at Nadya. I can understand that completely! Personally, however, I’m kinda wondering what parent allows this kind of dependency to develop between them and their children in the first place?

Isn’t it our responsibility as parents to raise our children to be independent, contributing adults? Clearly there is an environment that has been nurtured in this situation that allowed Nadya to believe it would be okay to impose upon her parents in such an amazingly intrusive and overwhelmingly life changing capacity.

I look at today’s society and I see parents that love their children and want to give them what was not available during their own upbringings. We want our kids to play on Select Soccer teams and compete at state wide gymnastics in a way that was nonexistent 15 years ago. I know girls that The Daughter attended elementary school with who in 4th and 5th grade were taking vocal coaching because they like to sing. Uh….whatever happened to school/church choir?

I see 10 year olds with iPhones and Seven jeans. There are TVs and video game consoles in their bedrooms. Ski trips in February and Hawaii in spring.

I guess it’s all wonderful if you are affluent and can give that to your kids, but I wonder if we are teaching a level of expectancy that is unreasonable and unhealthy.

Somewhere along the way, spanking became horrific….it never was utilized much in my household, but boy oh boy….knowing that was a possibility kept us kids in line! (most of the time) It was a consequence. Oh, and things had to be earned. And big-time vacations were usually for mom and dad only….when the family took a vacation it was in a tent!

I think we need to really think about what we are teaching our children about their contributions to society and about their own responsibility.

Now, I’m not saying that there are no kids out there that are appreciative or responsible. The Nadya Suleman case is clearly the extreme. I just wonder what the generations that are currently coming of age will understand their legacy to be. So far, I don’t know that my generation is showing them the best example of how to do that.

Stepping off soapbox in 3…2….1

-The Mom

 

Make Me Laugh Monday February 23, 2009

Filed under: silliness,Uncategorized — meandmom @ 6:10 pm
Tags: , ,

I never get tired of these two. Jemaine and Bret are two comedic folk singers from New Zealand (I think that’s how they describe themselves). They are hysterical….plus this song has my favorite name it in!

Enjoy the video and have a happy Monday. Oh….and when you are done watching this…head over to Jenny on the Spot for more Monday silliness.

-The Mom

 

Oh The Tangled Web We Weave February 20, 2009

Filed under: ponderings — meandmom @ 5:29 pm
Tags: ,

One of my favorite sights in spring is a spider web covered in dew in the morning time.  It sparkles like a pretty diamond necklace.  When they look like that they belie the hard work of the spider to spin that piece of intricate lace.  The hard work that holds the spider’s home together.

Life is much like that spider’s web.  We try and keep it pretty like the dewdrops in the spring sun.  We try to hide that it is hard work to keep up that pretty front.

It is a fragile thing that spider’s web.  As life too is fragile.  We never know when someone is going to walk right through it and break it all apart.

-The Mom

 

A New Day February 18, 2009

Filed under: family,ponderings — meandmom @ 6:56 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Well now, after the heaviness of my last post, I need to take in a deep breath and just have a big ole belly laugh!   BWAAHHHBWAAAHH!

Much better!  I told you….there are some heavy thoughts running circles in my little pea brain (not much room in there I guess).  When I started this blog it was for my daughter and I to communicate some of those things that divorced families go through.  We haven’t done a TON of that because, although I think it is good for us to do, The Daughter and I are still careful about what we share.  FYI….anything I share here is something that she and I have already discussed in some fashion.

There are tons of families out there that face the hardships of making a new identity for themselves after a divorce.  I would like this to be a place where kids or moms or dads could know that they are not suffering through their process by themselves. And that everyone in the family has their own perspective and their own hurts, worries, concerns.

People sometimes raise their eyebrows at me over the fact that I include The Daughter in this discussion.  Here’s the thing, when I was 14 my parents divorced.  My mom and dad were very tight lipped about everything, just like they were told to be.  I understand the need for a lot of that, I do.  However, It was also very confusing to us kids as to why there was so much tension and frustration and why our parents couldn’t even tolerate being in the same room anymore and on and on and on.

I’ve chosen a more open, but careful, dialogue with The Daughter.  Part of that is based on my experience, part of that is based on her overly mature personality.  It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it is working for us.  It’s important for kids to understand that their parents are people too.  And you know what?  Divorce hurts.  It hurts everyone.  Even Mommy.  Even Daddy.  And you know what?  It’s okay to hurt.  It’s not fun, but it’s part of life and we need to learn how to get through it.  It would have been helpful to me to understand that when I was going through it as a kid.

That being said…part of being ok is not dwelling on the tough stuff all the time.  So sometimes I want this to be a space just to talk about life, show pictures and silly videos,  and meet and communicate with new friends.

In that vain…..

The other day I finished my taxes and got them filed….yeah for me and for tax returns!  My own little economic stimulus package!  I also filed away all of the end of the year paperwork.  There is something very satisfying for me in that.  I love tidy little piles and things buttoned up tight and clean.  I feel that the hardships of 2008 are behind me and the goodness of 2009 is only waiting to happen.

Enjoy the DAY!

-The Mom

 

He’s Just Not That Into You February 17, 2009

Filed under: family,love,ponderings — meandmom @ 9:00 pm
Tags: , , , ,

I loved having an extra day tagged onto the weekend for President’s Day…Thanks Abe and George!  The S.O. and I decided to go to the movies with the Drama Queen.  Guess what we saw?  I was totally expecting a fun chick flick.  Oh, and by the way, can I just say the chemistry between Jen and Ben….not so much.  What I did not expect was how emotional I would get during this movie.

I mean, you don’t go to a movie like that thinking you are going to be exposed to the feelings that you rather not think about.  The first thing that caught me off guard was how marriage was introduced between Jen and Ben.  I’m sitting in a similar place….long term relationship….not a ton of talk of the future.  It’s not that the deep commitment isn’t there, we just don’t talk about it.  Most of the time I’m ok with that…..sometimes though I really, really want that life long commitment that is announced to the world, not just understood by the two parties involved.  There are complications in my situation that heavily influence what happens next for us.  Anyway, I didn’t expect that part of the movie and it really struck a touchy chord for me.

Second was the guy that was cheating.  I don’t want to give anything away, but this part of the movie really bothered me.  My ex didn’t cheat on me with another woman but he did give his heart to something other than me.  I denied it and allowed excuses I knew better than to allow.  Watching a bit of that on screen….bigger than life….was a painful mirror to look into.

There were tons of funny parts to this show and I highly recommend it.  I just didn’t expect to loose myself in a sea of tears.  I definitely would not go see this on a date in a new relationship or in a troubled one or one where there were any questions about the future.  It was a little uncomfortable for me sitting next to S.O. as it was the subject of a recent conversation.

The hard part for me is this…..the thing I hate most about my divorce is not grieving the loss of love.  It is grieving the loss of family.  It is very hard the second time around to establish that kind of feeling.  At the end of the day, my kids have a dad that they see on a regular basis.  So, S.O. is very careful about his involvement with my girls.  It is hard for him as a man to know how to go about connecting with them in a way that feels comfortable for all of them.  Plus, he is very reserved with things like hugs and playful physicality.  We have taken their relationship very, very, very slowly.  I’m proud of us for that.  It’s just hard having the knowledge that it is always disjointed.  It is not ever quite the same feeling of parenting and family unit as existed in my marriage.  A good friend of mine that has been remarried for almost the entire life of one of her children, advised me that it will never be the same as the original family.  Ouch.

What I’m realizing is that I do really, really want to be married again.  I want that fortified commitment that comes with a ring and a ceremony.  I want to feel blessed by God and supported by family in my relationship.  I want that blessing and support to be formalized and public.  I’m worried that the complications that exist…which I can’t discuss here….will prevent marriage from happening.  Then I need to ask myself….should I expect him to marry me anyway?  Or, should I pay attention to the message of the movie?

It will be a telling year…….

-The Mom