December 29, 2007

Almost back to normal

Well, my oldest son left yesterday. I miss him terribly already. While he was growing up we didnt see eye to eye most of the time, which is pretty common between parents and teenagers. I didnt agree with many of the things he did but I always loved his sense of humor. That kid could always make me laugh, heck, he still can. It was a little harder to shut his bedroom door this time. Maybe its because this was the most time I have spent with him in quite a while. I was fortunate enough to take vacation the same time he did so we had some alone time together. I really like the man that he has become. I still dont approve of everything that he does but I think that he is going to be OK. He has an unrelenting drive to succeed (just like his mama). No more empty water bottles to pick up, the laundry pile has gone down considerably, and my food bill will be cut in half. Still, I wouldnt have had it any other way. I wish the best for both of my boys, and as a single mother, I think Ive done a pretty good job!

December 27, 2007

A wonderful recipe for your slow cooker

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Slow cooked chicken & stuffing

2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup butter, cubed
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 (4 ounce) can mushroom stems and pieces, drained
1/4 cup dried parsley flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons rubbed sage
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups day-old bread cubes (1/2-inch pieces)
2 eggs
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
5 cups cubed cooked chicken

Cooking Directions
1. In a large saucepan, combine the first 10 ingredients. Simmer for 10 minutes; remove from the heat. Place bread cubes in a large bowl. Combine eggs and soup; stir into broth mixture until smooth. Pour over bread and toss well.

2. In a 5-qt. slow cooker, layer half of the stuffing and chicken; repeat layers. Cover and cook on low for 4-1/2 to 5 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into the stuffing reads 160 degrees F.

TT #43

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13 things I got for Christmas

1. I got to spend 11 days of quality time with my oldest son.

2. I spent 5 glorious days with the man I love.

3. I was surrounded by people who love and care about me.

4. I got a new computer chair to make my blogging world a little more comfortable.

5. A new watch from my employers at
Divorce360 (well, a gift card that I turned into a watch).

6. New windshield wiper blades from Santa (much needed).

7. Wonderful lotions and body wash to keep me smelling fresh.

8. A new coffee cup and cocoa along with gift card from Starbucks.

9. A wonderful Mothers plaque that made me cry.

10.Some gift cards to spend on ONLY me!!

11. A heated mattress pad cover for those nights when it gets in the 30's.

12. Money, which is always good.

13. An awesome Prime Rib dinner that I didnt have to cook!!

December 24, 2007

Home for the Holidays

Well, as you all know, my oldest son came home for the holidays. This is the child that, until he signed up for the military, did nothing but take years off of my life with worry. He hung out with the wrong kids, made many stupid decisions, and became a really good liar by the time he was 16. So, last night, he takes my youngest son with him to a friends house. I never worry about my Brad because he has a pretty good head on his shoulders...or so I thought. I went to bed without a worry on my mind knowing that my children would be home at a reasonable hour and, that if anything happened, they would call. That was about 11:30. As I was peacefully sleeping, the thoughts of sugar plums dancing in my head, I was woken up by a noise. Then I noticed the light was on in my bedroom. I was a bit disoriented but managed to raise my head to look towards my bathroom as I heard, what I thought was, running water. At that point, I see my youngest son standing in the doorway. I get up to ask him what he was doing and noticed he was peeing all over the floor, mainly my rug. I asked him, "What in the hell are you doing?" his reply, "I'm going to the bathroom", at which I had to respond, "You're pissing all over my floor!" He looked at me with shock and then I smelled the slight stench of alcohol in the air. I asked him if he had been drinking, he didn't reply (I believe a bit disoriented himself) but simply walked past me saying good night and went to bed. In the morning, the story was that his brother let him have "One" supervised beer and he ended up drinking a 6 pack without his brothers approval (or so Steven says). So, my question is, who do you get mad at for something like this?? My oldest son, who knew better but let him drink or my youngest for knowing better and drinking anyway?? Either way, his drivers license has just been put on hold for the next 6 months. If I cant trust him to make the right decision, he doesn't need to drive. However, how do you handle the oldest child that is only home for the Holidays and will be leaving in 3 days?? At 19, he is considered an adult...what's a mother to do?
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He chose the new woman over the kids

I left my ex husband 14 years ago. My oldest was 4 soon to be 5, and my youngest was almost 2. We had some marital issues and I felt that was the best decision. We agreed he would give me money until we decided to file for divorce. It was pretty simple. He had a funky work schedule but spent time with the kids when he could. Then, he got involved with a woman I didn’t care for at all. She didn’t work, she had 3 kids, and she was a drug addict. The guy had no backbone and she was quick to jump on that. She convinced him not to give me child support but rather, wait until I took him to court. So, I filed an “Order to show cause” and got him in to court PDQ (pretty dam quick). He was giving me $700 willingly, until she (the devil woman) talked him out of it. When we went in front of the judge, he was ordered to pay $1250. That was a blessing but the issues were just beginning. He stopped coming around his kids. He would call, make phony promises, and left me to clean up the mess and broken hearts. My oldest son would sit by the window begging him to show up, and he didnt most of the time.They ended up getting married. She lost custody of her kids due to the drug use and instability in her life. My ex lost his job and my whole world took a change for the worse. He remained unemployed for years. They would find a place to live, get evicted and wind up in jail for domestic abuse or drugs. I even had Southern California Edison try to attach his unpaid electric bill to my account. I had to show proof of our divorce. After years of this, his wife decided she needed to clean up her act. She left the state. He followed not long afterwards. Never considering his children. He didnt even say good-bye. They went a year without hearing from him. What I don’t understand (and maybe its because I’m a mother), how could you ever choose someone over your children? He still lives in Tennessee today. They have been unhappily married for 12 or 13 years. He cries the blues now about the mistakes he’s made but its too late. It seems that its easier for a man to pick up and start over, leaving the kids behind, than it is for the woman. It’s a shame. It seems to hurt everyone involved. I guess in the end, we reap what we sew, don’t we?

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December 21, 2007

Holiday's for singles

My blogger friend Danielle came up with some wonderful ideas for singles during the holidays and I wanted to share them with you. I know Christmas is just around the corner but its never too late to get in the spirit!!

Accept the party invitation you were considering, even if you don't have a date. Mingle and have fun. Don't forget a holiday gift basket for your host!

Make hot cocoa and popcorn and invite a few close friends to watch your favorite holiday movies with you one evening.

Throw your own holiday party. It may be a little late this year to plan anything elaborate, but you can still host a small gathering. Check out these Christmas games to keep your party interesting.

Volunteering is an opportunity to be a part of the holiday cheer. Look for local opportunities that relate to your interests. You may even get a Santa Suit and help out at an area toy drive!

Treat yourself. Plan a vacation, a trip to the spa, or take yourself on a mini shopping spree.

Decorate for the holidays. A festive home is the best way to enjoy your own holiday cheer.

Enjoy one of your personal interests during the season. Join a craft class and create a special gift or frequent your religious organization.

Tis the season to give. Make a point to donate to a charity, shop for a needy child, or even help sponsor a charity drive this holiday.

If you're a single parent, consider getting creative and making simple gifts for family and friends together.

Celebrate a holiday tradition from your childhood. Look at lights through your town, watch fireworks, or listen to carols while drinking cocoa.

Visit a friend you haven't seen in a long time or a distanced family member you've been out of touch with.

Organize a gift exchange or Secret Santa party at the office and include all your co-workers.

If you're single and looking, check out A Better Way to Date by Michael Webb for the best tips for singles available.

December 20, 2007

TT #42

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13 "Come On" lines that most women have heard at least once in their lifetime.

1. Baby, your legs must be tired cause you have been running through my mind all night.

2. I may not be Fred Flinstone, baby, but I can still make your bed rock.

3. Havent we met somewhere before?

4. I’m not like all the other guys.

5. Can I have your picture so I can show Santa what I want for Christmas?

6. Baby, you remind me of a parking ticket because you have "fine" written all over your face.

7. What’s a nice girl like you doing in a dirty mind like mine?

8. OK, I’m here, what’s your next wish?

9. You’re so sweet, you give me a toothache.

10. My friend wants to know if you think I’m cute.

11. Is it hot in here, or is it just you?

12. Hi, I’m Mr. Right--I heard you were looking for me.

13. If I had a nickel for every time I saw a woman as beautiful as you, I’d have five cents.

December 17, 2007

Single mothers by choice

I was doing some research online when I came across a website for single mothers who choose to have children without the help of a man. Several thousand single women, predominantly in their thirties and forties, have joined Single Mothers by Choice. I am all for women’s rights and I know a lot of us wait until later in life to have kids, with or without a spouse/partner, but I’m here to tell you, it isn’t easy. I think in a perfect world, children should be raised by both parents but in today’s society, that just isn’t a reality (most of the time). However, had I known when I got married that I would end up raising my children on my own, I probably would have decided not to have children. I love them, please don’t get me wrong, but doing it on your own is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Kids are demanding and your responsibility 24/7. When Mom is sick, no one takes care of her. If she doesn’t have sick time at work, guess who gets up anyway because she has 2 mouths depending on her to feed them? I’m sure that later in life you are more responsible than in your 20’s, probably ready to take on a task as grand as this, but I believe childbirth should be a shared experience. I’m sure there is nothing lonelier that delivering a baby on your own. People that have no children don’t understand the awesome responsibility that they really are. I wish there was a way to teach teens this as well. It is just something you cant put into words or describe in detail, it’s an experience that you have to live to understand. My children have brought me many years of joy, and still do, but it has never been easy. It’s always been a struggle, mostly financially. And as they turn into teenagers, definitely mentally. I’m not one to knock a woman’s right to choose, that’s none of my business, as it’s not my life. I’m just stating that before you rush off and have a child by yourself because your biological clock is ticking, really give it a lot of thought. Children are forever and once its done, there’s no going back.

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December 16, 2007

Should you keep the ring?

Life is wonderful, Love is awesome and you’ve found someone you want to spend the rest of your life with. He gets down on one knee to propose, everything is perfect and you accept. Life couldn’t get any better. You begin to make plans for your life together. The church has been chosen, that caterers have been scheduled, and the guest list is complete. Then, something happens. You start to argue about everything and anything. Nothing seems to mesh anymore. You think it’s just a phase, maybe “cold feet”, but you can’t seem to shake it. Finally, you decide that maybe it was a mistake and your futures together just wasn’t meant to be. Do you give the ring back? After all, it was a gift. Although, there was a meaning behind the gift. A promise to marry that person and stay with them “until death do us part.” My own personal opinion is, if you’re married to the person and decided to get divorced, you get to keep the ring. However, if you never made it to the alter because you had a change of heart, you should give it back. What do you think?

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December 14, 2007

Baby proofing your home

When my children were born, I worried about a lot of things. It wasn’t until they started to crawl that I thought about baby proofing. My mother said you should never baby proof a house, that children should learn what they can and cannot touch. I agree with her to a point. However, I had a very active second child and I got really tired of getting up constantly to take things out of his hands. I think safety plugs in outlets are a great idea and locks on cupboards too. However, how far do you go? My youngest son would get up after I went to bed, turn on all the lights, open the fridge, turn on the TV, and if I hadn’t put a latch on the front door taller than he could reach with a chair, he would have been gone in a heart beat. He flushed weird things down the toilet, locked a cat in the freezer, ruined a good pair of boots by filling them with water, and tried to iron the carpet. All of this before the age of 2. I thought it was wonderful that he was walking at 8 months until I realized he wasn’t going to stop. My sister bought those gates to put across the bottom of her daughters door. She was just as active as my Brad. I think that is a wonderful idea. For all of those mothers out there that are actively anticipating their children’s first step, I say to you, wait…don’t rush it. Enjoy your freedom of leaving them in one place and being able to find them when you go back. I think the bottom line on baby proofing is, it all depends on the child. Some kids have way more energy than others. I would always cover up the plugs and cords but rearranging your house might be a little too much. Children really do need to learn the meaning of the word “No”. Even though you will get really tired of saying it.

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December 13, 2007

TT #41

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13 things newly single Dad’s should know

1. Babies are a lot tougher than you think, so be gentle.

2. Toddlers will not listen to you, pick your battles.

3. Take pride in how your children look. Clean, well fitting, color coordinated clothing is key. Keep it simple. (Gently used is okay…honest)

4. When feeding children 0 to 6 years of age, keep it simple, real simple.

5. Little children have accidents, get over it, learn to clean it up and wait on the next oops…it will happen.

6. Teach your children that cleanliness is next to….well, you know….BATHE from head to toe.

7. Never leave small children alone in the bathtub.

8. Never leave the house without sending everyone to the bathroom first.

9. Always have a first aid kit. Keep one in the house, in the car and at your place of employment.

10. Take photos of special events and everyday activities.

11. Tell your daughters the truth about how boys really think.

12. Learn to let go of your children and let them fail. It really does build character.

13. Teenagers are all knowing and all doing, always go behind them, under them, around them, and through them. Check everything they say and do.

December 12, 2007

Today is my DBF Michaels 39th Birthday!!

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See you soon. I love you!!

Wordless Wednesday

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Only in California can you have snow and Palm Trees!!

December 10, 2007

Beware of online shopping!!

Robbed...right out from under my nose. I got an e-mail this morning from my bank stating that they wanted me to call them because there were some charges on my account that didn't look right. So I called. It seems that on Friday, 4 charges were made using my debit MasterCard # (which I have used to shop online recently and is linked directly to my account) to Walmart totaling $1083.85. I'm a single mother who just got paid on Friday and they left me with practically nothing and lets not forget the checks I already have outstanding. Fortunately, my bank (Citibank) had their act together and contacted me right away. I was always cautious about shopping online, but its become so popular I figured, WHAT THE HECK!! Funny thing is, I bought a few things from over the past couple weeks and all of those charges are for Walmart. Coincidence?? Inside job maybe?? Now, I have to wait until they actually post (the bank is holding the money like its a debit charge) and then send something in writing to the Fraud Department. It will take an additional 10 days to investigate and for them to give me my money back. Lets see, Christmas is 2 weeks from tomorrow....I guess that means I will be doing the remainder of my shopping Christmas Eve because some sorry, sick, thief decided to drain my account so that he/she can buy presents for themselves and/or their family this year. I just want you all to be warned, don't shop online. I don't care if there is a safety lock in the corner, obviously that means nothing!!! All I can say is, we reap what we sew. Karma comes back ten fold and I hope those people get what they deserve.

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December 9, 2007

Holiday Memories

A lot of people have a hard time with the holidays because of old memories. We may have moved on with new people and new lives but there is always something to remind us of our past. A smell, a sound, old pictures, or a song that can trigger those memories. Some of them can be pleasant, which may bring you pain if you are no longer with the person or some of them can be horrible, which may bring you relief that you left that relationship. Either way, it seems that the holidays are the most popular time of year for remembrance. Life goes on and people change. What once was is no longer for a reason. People grow together and they grow apart, that’s just a part of life. If you find yourself feeling sad because of Christmas past, get out and do something for yourself. Go to the show, go shopping, take a walk, or call a friend. Don’t live your life in the past and don’t think of what shoulda, coulda, woulda happened if you only did this or they only did that. It’s a waste of time. Things happen for a reason. If you consume yourself with anger and hate, how does that help you now?? It doesn’t change anything. You end up trapped in the past and that makes it harder to move forward. Is it really worth all of that energy when we only have one life to live? Live your life for now and for your future. The past is in the past for a reason….leave it there.

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December 7, 2007

The Constant Homework Battle

Last night, my son and I had our weekly talk about homework. It went something like this- Me: Do you have any homework? Him: No Mom, I do it in school. Me: Well, Brad, if you come home with any F’s on your report card, you’re going to be in trouble. Him: I told you, I’m doing all my homework in school. Don’t worry. Fine, sounds like he has it under control,(I said to myself). I go on with my nightly routine and as I am walking back thru the house, notice my 16 year old is sitting in front of the TV doing homework. Huh?? Wait..I thought he had no homework because he does it in school. I say to him, “Brad, did you lie to me about your homework?” His reply, “I forgot I had THIS homework to do.” All of his life, I have had to push him thru school. It’s always been a battle and the war will not be won until that kid gets his diploma in 2009. Until then, this conversation will be a regular occurrence in my house. I don’t get it. I’ve tried so hard to teach him responsibility, and he is a really smart kid, but MAN is he lazy. I worry about him in the outside world. He just doesn’t have the drive it takes to do things without being told. I’m not giving up hope that some day soon the light bulb will come on and he will miraculously become a responsible adult. However, if you break this down into weeks, I’ve had to ask 495 times about his homework since he started school. Sometimes I feel more like a warden than a mother. Any suggestions? Do you let the child fail and end up in summer school or do you continue to push and drive you both crazy?

December 6, 2007

TT #40

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13 ways to spot a liar (this is good for use with teens & cheating spouses)

1. Avoiding direct answers - Liars sometimes imply answers instead of denying something directly. This allows them to avoid lying by not making admissive statements.

2. Defensive - Guilty people usually get defensive at the first indication of an accusation whereas honest people will get offensive.

3. Eye movement - The eyes of dishonest people will tend to move around a lot to avoid meeting your gaze. However, staring at your eyes for prolonged periods is also an indicator of a lie.

4. Pupils - Pupils will dilate when a lie is told; this is due to the adrenalin being pumped into the body. This factor will also depend on the severity of the lie. Small white lies may not dilate the pupils.

5. Stance - Liars often feel uncomfortable standing directly in front of an accuser and may avoid standing with their shoulders squared to yours. Instead, they might stand slightly to the side or with their shoulders offset.

6. Expressions - Expressions are limited to the mouth, e.g. if a liar fakes a smile, he will only use selected muscles whereas a natural smile utilizes muscles over the whole face.

7. Palms - Liars often try to hide the palms of their hands. This is also instinctive. Hands behind the back or in the pockets are also positive indicators.

8. Objects - Liars will play with objects in their possession such as a handbag, bracelet, mobile phone or hair. They may also put an obstruction between themselves and the other person, often something as simple as a coffee cup. This is a subconscious way of attempting to ‘barricade' themselves to relieve the tension of lying.

9. Tone - A liar's tone of voice is often not consistent with his/her gestures or statements.

10. Sarcasm - Dishonest people will often use sarcasm when answering accusations.

11. Answers to questions - A liar uses your words to answer questions, e.g. Q: "Did you have sexual relations with this woman?" A: "I did not have sexual relations with that woman."

12. Too many details - Dishonest people will add unnecessary detail to the conversation; this is an attempt to comfort the other person.

13. Nonsensical - Often liars' words won't make sense and their grammar may be incorrect. This is because a liar's mind is racing in search of a convincing answer and the signals to the mouth are sent incorrectly.

December 5, 2007


I just wanted to give all of of my blogger friends a heads up about the new website that I am a part of. There is a direct link in my sidebar. Its called Divorce360. I know alot of you are happily married, but some of you arent. This website is designed to help you make a decision and then get you thru the process. If you know anyone out there that is seeking help, please feel free to refer them. You can ask advise with any problem and you will get an answer from someone thats been there. We all have different talents and expertise in the fields of divorce, being a single parent, dating, you name it! If you or anyone you know has any questions, you can also ask me directly. Come and check it out.

Wordless Wednesday

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December 4, 2007

Don’t put your kids in the middle of your divorce

Divorce is hard enough to deal with on your own but think about how it is for the kids. There are a few things I have learned along the way that I wanted to share. I believe that you should never talk hatefully about the other parent. I know this can be extremely hard. There was a point in time that I absolutely hated my ex husband (like when he left the state without telling his kids and didn’t talk to them for a year or the fact that I didn’t get child support for 8 years). However, if you constantly badmouth the other parent, it may encourage the child's support for them and increase your child's contempt for the things you say. In the end, it can earn disrespect for you. Attempting to get your child to take your side puts them in the painful middle. This can cause him/her/them to fight your attempts and encourage them to take your "ex's" side. Also, fighting with your "ex" in front of your child can cause the pain to deepen and it fuels your child's anger that they are already experiencing because of the situation. It can also increase insecurity and loneliness. Try seeing things from their viewpoint. Hold your tongue in front of your child and work on building your own character. Remember, half of your child's genes come from your former partner. Building character needs a balanced approach. Let go of talking hatefully or putting your child in the middle. Don’t fight in front of them no matter how bad you want to pick up a shoe (among other things) and throw it at your ex. You'll earn your child's respect and trust, which teaches them about being a responsible adult. I came to a point of realization that Kevin (my ex) was digging his own grave with my children. I didn’t have to say anything because actions speak louder than words. My kids are grown now. My oldest has chosen to have a relationship with his father and my youngest wont give him the time of day. I came to the conclusion a long time ago that it was their decision. I forced nothing on them. Kevin hurts now because of the things he did but you cant ever regain what he has lost. I told him he would never be able to take what he did back and the fact that he wasn’t there for my boys while they were growing up. Im just thankful that I got to enjoy my children and that they will always remember their Mom was there for them thru the good and the bad. You just need to make sure your conscience is clean. Karma has a way of dealing with life in general. As long as you did the right thing, everything will work out the way it should.

December 3, 2007


It really sucks to be a woman sometimes but in the same aspect, its tough to be a man and have to deal with women too. Especially when a woman is premenstrual. I looked up the definition for this God awful aliment and this is what it said:

PMS is a disorder characterized by a set of hormonal changes that trigger disruptive symptoms in a significant number of women for up to two weeks prior to menstruation. Of the estimated 40 million suffers, more than 5 million require medical treatment for marked mood and behavioral changes. Often symptoms tend to taper off with menstruation and women remain symptom-free until the two weeks or so prior to the next menstrual period. These regularly recurring symptoms from ovulation until menses typify PMS, premenstrual syndrome.

So, the bottom line is, we only feel normal for 2 weeks out of the month. It seems that all of the problems in the word seem to hit during this time as everything is intensified by a thousand. Did you ever think about what its like to deal with us? I'm not the easiest person in the world to figure out sometimes, but add PMS to the mix, and it isn't pretty. What I have a hard time figuring out is why, if this same thing happens every month during the same time, do men appear shocked that they are now living with (or dealing with) a nut case rather than the wonderful woman they fell in love with? I bet more divorces and break ups acquire when the hormones are on the rise. I wonder if anyone has ever done a statistic on that? I think if you have PMS (and you know you have it rather than being in denial like some of us are, its much easier to blame the man) you should avoid as much people contact as possible and definitely refrain from making any life altering decisions. Women, lets face it, we may be wonderful mothers, wife's, girlfriends, daughters, and friends...but for 2 weeks out of the month, we can be a little hard to deal with.

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The value of a buck

I wanted to share with you what I did to teach my children the value of a buck in hopes that this may help a few of you out there, even if you aren’t a single parent, to give your children a reality check. As a single mother (which is my reality), life on a day-to-day basis is usually about survival. Having the money to pay bills, buy food, keep gas in the car, and paying for day care can be overwhelming to say the least. Add Christmas to the mix and it could be enough to throw you over the edge. A lot of us feel guilty because we can’t give our children everything they want. I’m telling you now, don’t!! When “give me” and “I want” are the only thing that comes out of their mouth in regards to their Christmas list or birthdays for that matter, you need to nip it in the butt. I was beside myself one year with worry (wait, every year) wondering what in the heck I was going to do to make ends meet and have something left over to buy presents for the kids. I decided to set both of them down, with a stack of bills, and show them where ALL of my money went. The only realization some kids have is that if you have checks, you MUST have money. Let them watch you write out your bills and then show them what you have left over to live off of until you get paid again. Ask for suggestions. For example, “I have $20 dollars left over after paying all of these bills and the present you wants costs $200. How can Mommy pay for this? What do you suggest Mommy do?” After I did that, the Christmas list was modified to one thing that they really wanted and I was told that even if they didn’t get it, that was OK. This came from both of them. You have to be honest with your kids. We have enough to worry about but living a life of make believe doesn’t teach them anything. My kids have done without a lot of things they really wanted. They were taught that if what they wanted was something they couldn’t live without, they had to earn money to buy it themselves. That teaches them responsibility and the way the world really works. If you give a child everything they want, they will expect it all the time. Children are visual, they need proof so give it to them. Stop feeling guilty. It doesn’t make you a bad parent, it makes you human.

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December 2, 2007

Selective Hearing

Is selective hearing a trait that you’re born with or is specific to males and children only? I have two boys that I noticed (from a very early age) only listen to things that they want to hear. In looking back at my past relationships, it seems as though some of the men in my life had the same trait. For example, when the trash needs to be taken out, how many times should you have to say it before something gets done? If the lawn needs to be mowed, how many reminders should you have to give in order for the task to be completed? It appears that the response time for some men is the same as the children. My youngest son challenges my patience on a daily basis. Just once I would like to ask him to do something and have it be done without any lip, excuses, or rolling of the eyes. Do girls have the same problem with this as the boys do?? Since I’ve never raised the female species, I’m anxious to hear if they have selective hearing as well. I remember as a child that Saturday was “clean the house” day. There was always a list of things that needed to be done before I could go anywhere. When I got home from school, that same list was waiting on the table to be completed before Mom came home from work. I didn’t get an allowance, it was just expected of me as a member of the family, to do my part. If I gave my mother half the excuses that my children give me (mainly my youngest), I would not be alive today. I don’t get it. When did children become so lazy and how come they don’t feel guilty when Mom is the one doing everything? Just once Id like to call his name and have him respond. What would really be awesome is if the response was, “Sure Mom, no problem” rather than, “In a minute”, “Why do I have to do it now? I just did it last week”, or the ever famous, “Can I do it tomorrow, pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease?” Heaven help that boy if he had to do everything I do on a daily basis. I cant wait to come to his house when he is an adult, be lazy, and let him take care of me. Oh yes, the time will has to!!Turn about is fair play in my book.

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How important is communication in any relationship? If one person tells all and the other tells nothing, how do you make it work? It seems, in looking at most of my friends and their relationships, the same thing kept coming up. The women talk, the men don’t. I wonder why that is and how you can have a healthy relationship when its one sided? Most women want men to open up, listen, and voice what they are feeling. They are not asking for answers or for them to fix all their woe’s, per say, but to definitely have input. Men, however, have a hard time doing this. Are they afraid of confrontation? Is it because they don’t want to appear vulnerable? Maybe they really don’t care, I don’t know, I am not a man. They say men are from Mars, and women from Venus. So how do you come to a happy medium where everyone feels satisfied both mentally, physically, and emotionally? They say one person usually gives more than the other. I am not sure if that is commitment to the relationship, emotions, or financially. I guess it can be all, one reason, or none of the above. There are people out there that have been married longer than the norm these days. How do they do it? It seems as though there is no such thing as “until death do us part” anymore. I believe that each relationship starts with a foundation and that’s built on trust and communication. You build from the ground up and hope that in the end, what you’ve built is sturdy enough to withstand the storms. Considering the longest relationship I’ve had was 8 years, I’m definitely not the expert on lasting relationships. So, what is the secret (if there is one) and how come no one is sharing it with the women?

December 1, 2007

Things to think about when getting ready for Christmas

The holiday season requires a lot of planning (and sometimes praying for the money tree to sprout). The first thing you need to do is make a wish list, a shopping list, and a baking list. I always had my kids (when they were little) make a list of things they wanted, and then things they really-really wanted. I would remind them that money doesn’t grow on trees and ask them to be reasonable and not ask for things that they knew I couldn’t afford. Then its time to decide up front how much money you can afford to spend on the holidays this year. Rethink the meaning of gift giving and consider some creative options that could save you lots of money, and make the holidays more enjoyable and less stressful for your entire family.

Examine Your Intentions
What is the point of gift giving? Is it to reciprocate the dollar amount of a gift that was given to us, or one that we think might be given to us in the future? No! The point is to acknowledge that other person's positive influence on your life.

Develop Your Own Gift Guidelines
There are lots of ways to temper the "gimmies" our kids can be so prone to during the holidays. Consider setting a specific dollar amount for each child, and sticking to it. Or decide that you'll limit the number of gifts to three items per child. Remember, there are always going to be people who will spend more on their kids, but attempting to "keep up with the Jones'" comes with a heavy price. Teach your children early that thoughtful gifts don't have to cost a lot of money, and what's most important is appreciating all that we've been given already.

Avoid Buying Holiday Gifts on Credit
When you buy a $20 gift on credit, you're basically telling the credit card company that you'll pay them back that $20, plus another 20% or so in interest - each month - until the balance is paid off. That means that unless you're able to pay off the balance of your credit card in full when the next bill arrives, you could still be paying for that $20 gift thirty years from now!

Keep Track of Your Spending
Use a worksheet to keep track of all the gifts you intend to buy or make, and record the amount of money you'll spend on each person. This can help you stay within your spending budget and actually enjoy the months that follow the holidays.

Consider Your Options
If you're on a limited budget, consider making gifts for everyone on your list. This can be a fun project for the kids, and it can really save you a lot of money. Homemade gifts like bread, cookies, candy, or fudge are delicious, thoughtful ways to convey a "Thank you" or let someone know how special they are to you.

Being creative and keeping your mind focused on the real meaning of gift giving will help you keep the culture's "buy more" influence at bay.

Anti-Depressants..... The new way to cope!

It seems that these days, the only way people are getting over heartache is from the help of anti-depressants. The wonder drug that makes all the pain go away and helps you cope with your day-to-day reality. What did people do 50 years ago when they didn’t have a crutch to lean on? I’m not knocking it, as I needed a little help 5 years ago when I was going thru a devastating break up, but I wonder why doctors are so quick to prescribe medications these days?? It’s just like anything else people use to numb themselves. From street drugs to alcohol, why is it any different because a doctor wrote it on a prescription pad?? I was on Effexor for about 6 months, and I can truly say, it worked for me. I didn’t have a care in the world. Nothing bothered me and it numbed all of my pain. The only real side effect was that I had no sex drive. I guess that is a good thing when you are going thru a break up. Although, sometimes having sex with someone else can help you get over the hump, but all in all it was some pretty good stuff. One day, I thought to myself – “Am I going to have to be on this forever to be happy?” I loved the way I felt but I didn’t want to have to rely on meds to get me thru life so I stopped cold turkey. Yikes!! I spent a week feeling really bad. I guess you’re suppose to wean yourself a little at a time. Oh well, I got thru it and haven’t gone back. Actually, I haven’t had a reason. I know a lot of people who are on some type of medication to alter their mind set these days. I guess, the bottom line is, whatever makes you happy, right?? I’m not one to judge but I know people have lived centuries without needing to sedate their way thru life. What’s wrong with our generation that we can only find happiness in a bottle? That’s pretty sad, isn’t it?

November 29, 2007

TT #39

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13 of my favorite movies

1. Shrek

2. Sleeping with the enemy

3. Urban Cowboy

4. What lies beneath

5. Amityville Horror (the remake and original)

6. Austin powers, all of them

7. Queen of the damned

8. Monsters, Inc.

9. Flatliners


11.The Grudge (1 & 2)

12.Ace Ventura, Pet Detective


November 28, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

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While we are home with our families during the holiday season, lets not forget to give thanks to our soldiers, who wish they were back home as well.

November 27, 2007

Tis’ the season

Working in a hospital, I get first hand contact with all kinds of yummy colds and flu’s. Its funny, I never really had issues with germs until I started working here. Now, I find myself touching doorknobs with napkins, going thru hand sanitizer by the gallon, and washing my hands endlessly. I wanted to give you all the inside scoop on something I know first hand works for the prevention of colds and/or to lesson their shelf life in your body. There are actually 2 products that I use but the main one that I start out with is Airborne. It was created by a teacher and is all-natural. If you have been exposed to someone that is sick, start using it right away. I usually take it in the morning with vitamins but if the cold has already started, you might want to take it 2 or 3 times throughout the day. Also, Zycam is what all the pediatric nurses swear by. They have different forms of Zycam, I use the nose spray. You can actually use these products together and it will give you twice the protection. It's made from Zinc so neither one makes you feel funky from the drugs. I hope this info helps. You can find them at any drugs store.

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November 26, 2007

Beep Beep Bon Appetit'

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Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

7 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Line two baking sheets with parchment. Chop chocolate into 1/4-inch chunks; set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cocoa.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and grated ginger until whitened, about 4 minutes. Add brown sugar; beat until combined. Add molasses; beat until combined.

In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in 1 1/2 teaspoons boiling water. Beat half of flour mixture into butter mixture. Beat in baking-soda mixture, then remaining half of flour mixture. Mix in chocolate; turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Pat dough out to about 1 inch thick; seal with wrap; refrigerate until firm, 2 hours or more.

Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Roll dough into 1 1/2- inch balls; place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Refrigerate 20 minutes. Roll in granulated sugar. Bake until the surfaces crack slightly, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

12 servings

November 25, 2007

Solo Vacations

Have you ever thought about going on vacation alone?? Is being single stopping you from seeing all the things you've always wanted to see? I came across a website dedicated to single people who want to take a vacation and flying solo (being single) isnt a problem, that's their specialty. Meet Market Adventures offer great weekly activities, weekend getaways and a full calendar of international vacation tours for singles. I know that the majority of travel agents offer a payment plan for vacations, maybe thats an option for this company as well. I know as a single parent saving money to do anything for yourself is impossible but sometimes you just have to do it. Make the decision that this is something you want to do for yourself and then follow thru. They also offer vacations for women only. If you just need a break and arent ready to get back out on the dating scene yet, what a great way to make new friends. Its always nice to meet people that are in the same situation as you. It always nice to swap stories and experiences. It makes you feel like you're not all alone. Check it out. What do you have to lose?

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November 22, 2007

TT #38

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13 things I am giving thanks for this year

1. My children are alive and healthy.

2. My mother is in full remission from her cancer.

3. My DBF Michael, who takes good care of me.

4. Our wonderful soldiers over in Iraq.

5. I have a roof over my head.

6. There is food in the fridge and in the cupboard.

7. My Dad is here one more year to celebrate the holidays.

8. My loving family and friends that are always there for me.

9. My job.

10.That I live in the US and not someplace where I live with danger every day.

11.Celebrating Thanksgiving 3 times instead of 1…woohoo, I love Turkey.

12.My oldest is coming home for Christmas. He is in the military.

13.My blogger friends all over the world.

November 19, 2007

Hobbies for Singles

Scrap booking is great. If you have a few pictures, or boxes of them, scrap booking can be a great hobby. It combines art with family photos that you will treasure forever. It also makes a great gift for any holiday.

Maintain a fish tank. Watching aquarium fish has proven health benefits, including reducing blood pressure and relieving stress. There are so many cool fish out there. You can create your own underwater world. I’ve heard salt-water fish are a little harder to maintain but puffer fish are great. I think it’s a Finding Nemo thing.

Gardening can be a great stress reliever for many reasons, including getting you into the sunshine and fresh air and creating more beautiful surroundings to come home to each day can actually reduce your stress level. I’m not a big fan of pulling weeds but I really like to weed eat.

Photography is entertaining. My family calls me a shutterbug because I’m always the one taking the pictures at the family functions. It can be really fun though, find your style and go for it. Experiment, its all in fun anyway. Who knows, it may be a new career you never thought of.

Puzzles, Crosswords, or Word Searches are fun. Engaging your mind in a puzzle can take your focus off of what’s stressing you, and develop your brainpower at the same time. I use to do word searches and time myself to see how long it took me.

Painting and drawing can be fun. Take an art class. My Aunt had no idea she was so talented until she started painting. Now, she teaches classes.

Knitting, aside from helping you create beautiful gifts for yourself and others, it also provides you an opportunity to relieve stress. The repetitive motion can get you into an experience of being content or at least provide an outlet for nervous energy.

November 17, 2007


I first became a blogger to let the world know about Supportkids, which is a company I hired to help me get child support. I stated that I wanted every single parent out there, in search of child support, to be very wary of the company you chose to help you get your money. 5 years ago I was desperate. My ex husband left the state and the DA's office wasn’t doing anything to help me get child support. I seen an advertisement on the TV for a place called Supportkids, that are based out of Texas. I didn’t read the fine print and have been paying them ever since. He owed me 45,000 at the time. When I signed the contract, I didn’t know they were going to continue to take 34% of my child support until 45,000 had been collected. I hired them in November of 2002 and they are still collecting. I recently requested a print out of how much still owed on my contract and I just received the information. According to them, they still need to receive over 12,000 of my child support to fulfill their contract. So, they have been collecting 34% of my child support since 2002 and, because of the amount I receive, they will continue to collect it until my youngest is 18. They now have direct deposit and I am getting my support in a timely manner (which was a major issue before) but good grief, the amount of money they have collected from me alone is over 33,000 dollars. I could send my son to college for that amount of money. I don’t know if there is any type of guideline for these agencies but there should be. Kudos to them for finding the deadbeat Dad's but its not for the sake of the children, its for their own profit. If you’re having problem collecting child support, think twice before you sign any contract. Don’t end up like me, 5 years later and 12,000 dollars in debt to a company that I hired to help me. Go to the DA’s office, look into other agencies, and ALWAYS read the fine print. Unfortunately, a lot of us are so desperate we will do anything. Hindsight is 20/20 they say, and looking back, I would have chosen another alternative. Supportkids has done nothing besides the initial contacting of his employer with the garnishment almost 6 years ago. Since then, they get my check, take out their chunk and forward me the remaining. Maybe it’s worth it to some, but it really pisses me off.

November 16, 2007

Is grief just for death?

Grief can definitely have an effect on the type of person you choose for a relationship while you are still actively grieving the loss of a previous relationship. Many people do not realize they are grieving when a relationship ends, which actually places them at risk of choosing dangerously while being impaired by their grief. Some people assume that grief is related only if your partner has recently died and if you are currently still saddened by the loss. But actually grieving occurs when any relationship ends—whether it is anticipated, desired, prepared for, or not. The longer the relationship existed, the longer the grief normally takes. Some people should seek counseling because they are not sure what happened, what will happen, and what’s next. When you are coming out of a relationship, you are in pain even if you aren’t acknowledging it or if you were the one that planned for it to end. When you are hurting, that is not the best state of mind for decision making. When issues of the previous relationship are not resolved, many people go on to choose someone just like the person in the relationship they ended. Subconsciously they are trying to work out those relationship issues but with a new person, instead of the one they just left. Many people jump from one relationship to the next to avoid being alone. Alone does not necessarily have to mean loneliness. Some people don’t really care about the quality of the next relationship they only desire to avoid the feelings of the lost relationship. These are issues for the person to work out with a counselor because people who cannot be alone are at a significant risk of choosing anyone to avoid being alone. The baggage we carry from the last relationship has the ability to impact current and future relationships. Ideally, none of us want to hurt new relationships with our old relationship issues that are unresolved. That’s why time off can help us get some distance so we can assess the good and bad things of the relationship, our part in it, the types of people who we tend to select and whether we need to make some changes. These insights do not happen overnight or even within a few weeks. You might need a few counseling sessions to work out your anger, fear, or look deeper at your selection patterns. In other words, the type of men you are attracted to. The longer you wait, the more you can work on yourself in between relationships, the better chances you have of bringing a more healthy self to the next relationship and be able to spot potential bad dating choices.

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November 15, 2007

TT #37

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13 inspirational quotes

1. "It matters not Who you love, Where you love, Why you love, When you love, Or how you love, It matters only that you love." John Lennon.

2. "Why not go out on a limb? Isn't that where the fruit is?" Frank Scully.

3. "Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength while loving someone deeply gives you courage." Lao Tzu.

4. "Many people think that by hoarding money they are gaining safety for themselves. If money is your ONLY hope for independence, you will never have it.The only real security that a person can have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience, and ability. Without these qualities, money is practically useless." Henry Ford.

5. "One has to abandon altogether the search for security, and reach out to the risk of living with both arms. One has to court doubt and darkness as the cost of knowing." Morris L. West.

6. "One thing we can do is make the choice to view the world in a healthy way.We can choose to see the world as safe with only moments of danger rather than seeing the world as dangerous with only moments of safety." Deepak Chopra.

7. "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I... I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." Robert Frost.

8. "Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow." Ronald E. Osborn.

9. "It’s best not to get too excited or too depressed by the ups and downs of life." Dalai Lama.

10. "He who would be serene and pure needs but one thing, detachment." Meister Eckhart.

11. "The bird of paradise alights only on the hand that does not grasp." John Berry.

12. "Mastery does not come from dabbling. We have to be prepared to pay the price. We need to have the sustained enthusiasm that motivates us to give our best." Eknath Easwaran.

13. Genius is only the power of making continuous efforts." Elbert Hubbard.

November 14, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

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Dont let the Holidays get you down

In my opinion, if you ask any woman married, single or divorced about the holidays, you may find most women want to ‘divorce’ themselves from the madness, the stress, family drama, shopping and the preparation that goes with it. For divorced women, the holiday season can be even more of a headache with heartache included due to awkward family situations. It’s always harder the first year after a divorce. There is more often than not a sense of loss, especially if you have been married for any length of time and the “norm” was to go to HIS family’s house for Thanksgiving, Christmas Breakfast, or News Years Eve. The kids generally keep the same tradition, maybe some modifications if you have moved or if court orders specify something different, but usually they follow thru with the other parents family and there is no need for adapting to anything different other than one parent is missing. If divorced women are alone without family and friends, they should get out of the house and volunteer to help others that are less fortunate. By giving a little of yourself, it may help clear your mind and offer some perspective on your situation. Don’t shy away from invitations from friends and married couples. The important thing is to avoid being alone, which may lead to depression. If an opportunity presents itself to hop on a plane or get in the car to visit someone, do it. While it might not be a traditional way to spend the holidays, there is nothing wrong with change. Think of it as a new adventure and make the most of newly acquired free time. You can get thru this next month and a half, just have the right attitude and don’t let things get you down. I found that wrapping presents is a great way to relieve stress and help you get into the spirit of things. Even if its hard, try staying positive for the kids. It’s not their fault that we got divorced and all kids love Christmas. You’re only human, I know, but remember happiness is a state of mind. Think positive and do your best to make the most of any situation.

November 12, 2007

Something to experience with your kids

My DBF Michael and I took my 16 year old son to his first concert this weekend. We went to the Greek theater in Hollywood to see Evanescence. I may have cheated a little bit because I really wanted to see them too! It was a great show even though it was outside and 50 degrees. I didn't wear warm enough clothes as the concerts I remember from back in the day were completely different. What I recall were a bunch of hot, sweaty people with their shirts off, pushing to get to the stage and people passed out on the ground or loaded out of their mind. I went to my first concert at age 12. We went to see Blue Oyster Colt. My mother allowed me to go with my cousin and that was a mistake. He was a terrible role model, which is probably why I was adamant about being there the first time with my boys. However, times have changed a bit since then. There were no tailgate parties, no one selling knock-off jerseys in the parking lot, no people carrying signs for LSD, PCP, or Uppers. Heck, they didnt even allow smoking except in designated areas. There was only the faint hint of marijuana in the air a couple times but all in all, it went smooth and uneventful. I think, just from my point of view, its better to be with your child the first time they experience something like that. I took my oldest son to Ozzfest for his 13th birthday. Thinking back, that may have been a bit young to expose him to such an event but I was glad he was there with me instead of someone careless. I don't necessarily like the music they listen to all the time but they need to have the freedom to express themselves. Although, my oldest listened to some pretty intense rap junk that had degrading lyrics so he wasn't aloud to listen to that in my presence but we cant shelter our children from all the evils of the world. All we can do is educate them and hope they make the right decisions. Kids today are faced with so much more than we were as kids (to a point), but its nice to know that my kids didn't feel embarrassed to be at their first rock concert with their mother. That says something. I may be a single mother, but I ROCK! Dont let the complications of your life overtake your need to live. As someone once said, life is a journey, not a destination. You might even have fun.

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If it was mean't to be, it will be

Are you resisting the possibility that there may be an end to your relationship because you’re afraid of what will happen? Hanging on to something that you really need to let go of? Being worried about something that might happen is a waste of energy. The more you resist the end of the relationship, the greater your fear can become. The more your fear increases, so does the chance of your nightmare coming true (or so they say). Almost like pushing it to the edge simply by predicting it. You become threatened and hang on even more, hoping and praying that what you're thinking wont come true. This in turn can push your partner further away. The fear that is holding on to you needs to be fed in order to create more power and control in your life so you need to do the opposite of resisting. You don’t want to be perceived as needy. “What will be, will be” as my mother always said, along with “This too shall pass”. You don't have to like it, and you don't have to sit around and do nothing. You just have to be willing to accept it. Letting go is strictly a state of mind. I know your heart is involved but you need to listen to your head too. The right state of mind can remove the anxiety and fear so that you can see what is going on and what needs to be done. Sometimes diversion thru hobbies, work, sports (whatever makes you happy), will keep your mind busy and help you to separate yourself enough to deal with what’s happening a little at a time and to sort thru it all. Take it one day at a time but be real with yourself. What is the worst thing that could happen? Why have you become so dependent on someone else that the fear of being alone is controlling your life? In your heart, be willing to lose your spouse. However, in your actions, do things to create an environment where he or she will think twice about leaving, if that’s what you really want. The moment you accept the situation and are willing to lose your partner, fear loses its power. The tunnel vision disappears and you become able to interact in a way that creates a loving and livable environment. To let go of your resistance and to restore your peace of mind, be willing for your life to be however it is and however it may become. Let go of your demands and expectations for how your life should be and make peace with the way your life is. Set yourself free inside. Then take whatever action you need to make yourself happy. If you and your partner want to work things out, that’s great, if it doesn’t work out that way, know that you will survive. I believe in fate, and truly, what was meant to be will be.

November 11, 2007

November 10, 2007

From Zero to fight in 60 seconds

It can happen in an instant, you’re talking about something and it turns into an argument. It is often so quick and the reaction so intense that you both can lose sight of what happened and how it happened. And yet, conflict can and does erupt when differences between people in a relationship are ignored, not accepted, or resolved without mutual respect. Under these circumstances, one or both people may believe the difference or the conflict discredits personal integrity. Women are usually the ones that like to talk things thru and resolve them whereas men will turn themselves off or walk away. That can send the message that you don’t care enough to work thru the problem. Men are more likely to walk away because of the confrontation factor but sometimes its better to stand your ground and vocalize your side of the story, so to speak. When it gets heated or you become upset quickly, that may be a sign that you are not prepared to discuss your differences in a rational way. It’s better if things are escalating fast to find a way to stop the arguing until you both have calmed down. Agree on a signal beforehand or intervene by saying something like, “I cant talk to you about this right now. I’m pretty mad and may say something that I don’t mean.” I have the tendency to get really quiet when I am upset. I use to be a lose cannon that would go off on a rant when something made me mad. If I’ve learned nothing from the failed relationships in my past, I have learned its better to take a time out and evaluate the situation. I will usually avoid the discussion until I am ready to discuss it and then I try to talk about it in a rational manner. However, I am female and our rationale doesn’t always prove to be the best, depending on the topic and the time of the month. Sometimes if you find a quiet place, preferably another space, to focus on calming down, it can make all the difference in the world. Resolution of the situation begins with each person recognizing that there is a problem and they agree, at some point, to either agree or disagree. A little conflict is good for any relationship. Although, some differences are an ongoing threat to the relationship and require one or both people to change behavior before any effective work on the relationship can be accomplished. Physical and sexual abuse, substance dependence, and lying, are conditions that can make it dangerous, if not impossible, for each person to enter into and improve their relationship because they need to be willing to participate in the resolution. Communication is a key thing in any relationship, without it, things can go from great to bad very quickly. If you love the person, do what it takes to make them feel at peace. Walking away without things being resolved does more damage than good.

November 9, 2007

Divorce…did you know?

No matter what the circumstances are, receiving a Petition for Divorce (or dissolution) is no laughing matter. From this point going forward the legal process of your divorce has begun. As the non-filing spouse (respondent or defendant) in your case you are required, by law, to formally respond to the Petition within a specified amount of time (which is clearly stated on the summons). Should you fail to or elect not to formally respond, you will be in default, which means the court may proceed with the divorce without your participation and consent. If you are contemplating not responding, think twice, because you typically do not get a second chance.

Here are a few reasons you should thing about in regards to filing a response:

1. You must file a response to participate in your divorce
2. If you do not file a response, the judge may award your spouse all of his or her requests in the Petition.
3. Your response will let the court know what you agree and disagree with.
4. Your response will let your spouse know what you agree and disagree with.
5. Your response will set the stage for negotiation and hopefully lead to settlement.

My ex husband did not show up for the divorce hearing. He couldn’t get the day off work. I got everything I wanted and then some. I requested a specific amount for child support and the judge actually rose what I was requesting. He also wanted to give me alimony but I declined. We didn’t hire lawyers because together we really didn’t have much accept our kids and he wasn’t fighting for custody so it went really smoothly and in my favor. Not responding is the worst thing you can do. You can’t stop a person from wanting a divorce by not signing, you do nothing but hurt yourself. If you have any questions, there are paralegal services that can help or legal aide in some states that charge by your income. Legal mumbo-jumbo can be confusing. Know your rights.

November 7, 2007

TT #36

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13 things that I loved about my birthday

1. My new IPOD that my DBF Michael got me.

2. Having sex.

3. The gift certificate my Mom got me.

4. Having the people I love sing Happy Birthday to me.

5. Eggs Laguna for Sunday brunch.

6. Knowing how many people love me.

7. 2 birthday cakes that were yellow with chocolate frosting.

8. Tacos

9. Getting birthday wishes from all of my blogger friends.

10. Knowing that Thanksgiving is only 3 weeks away and that means 4 days off.

11. That my mother got to share it with me and is in complete remission from her cancer.

12. Getting a massage.

13. My new outfit that fits perfect, how does my Mom do it without knowing the size??

November 6, 2007

Blog of the month award.

My very good friend emmyrose gave me the blog of the month award.

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Thank you so much for not only reading my blog, but chosing it for such an honored award. I am deeply touched.

Wordless Wednesday

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Did you fall in love with a cheater?

A cheating person can only hide their cheating ways for so long before the lies get out of control and they get caught. The longer a person cheats, the higher probability their partner will find out. In this busy day and age, it is difficult to carry on more than one relationship. However, with inventions like the Internet, accessibility to willing partners has become easier than ever. There are various ways to tell if your partner is cheating. If they exhibit any of the following signs, it may be time to take a closer look:

He/she spends less time with you. They usually, but not always, use the excuse of working long hours, extra meetings and dinners or other unexplained functions so he/she will have time with the “other” person.

He/she isn’t as affectionate as they use to be. Your sex life is almost non-existent because of their other commitments. They dont want to cuddle, watch a movie, hold hands or do many of the touchy things he/she used to. I know, with the father of my children(my second husband), our sex life went from daily to weekly overnight. We were together for 7 years. Of course, I didn’t find out about what he was doing until well after I left him. In hindsight, it was pretty clear. I knew something was wrong but couldn’t put my finger on it.

He/she changes their physical appearance. They may start buying new clothes, get their hair cut in a new hairstyle or begin working out because he/she wants to be attractive to the other person in their life.

Changes in their car. The passenger seat in the car has been moved or there is an unknown hair on the car seat. Perhaps the radio station is on an irregular station because that’s what the other person likes.

A cheater may become more short-tempered because of the guilty feelings as a result of the infidelity. Things that usually did not bother him/her suddenly start bothering them. They can frequently become defensive when questioned about their whereabouts. They may turn it around to accuse you of being insecure, possessive or snoopy.

He/she may smell of perfume, smoke or alcohol, especially if he/she hasn’t had time to change after meeting with the other person. I know this sounds cliché but its true.

Cell phone changes. He/she wont leave their telephone turned on when he/she is with you because his/her other woman may call them. He/she may leave the room to have a telephone conversation or say strange things after he/she picks up a message from their lover. Watch for calls in the middle of the night. If you have access to their telephone bill, check it closely. Look for repeated unknown numbers, times and durations.

Computer usage changes. He/she may utilize a computer to seek out partners or communicate with them. If your partner is on the computer for long periods of time at night and then closes the door so you won’t see them, he/she may be communicating or chatting with their love interest.

He may also have changes in spending habits. You can tell if your partner is cheating if he is suddenly always broke. It's because he is spending all of their money on the other person. This is more common with men, which is why I left out the "SHE" factor. Watch whether he is paying with cash and making more frequent ATM withdrawals to cover his paper trail. Check any receipts, bill’s or stubs that you may have access to.

Once you know if your partner is cheating or not, make sure you have a plan of action that you will take after you accuse them. You need to decide whether it’s time for you to move on or whether this relationship may be worth a second chance. Without evidence, they are just idol threats and accusations. He/she can turn it around to try and make you look like a fool...don't fall for it. Go into battle armed!

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November 5, 2007

The hardest thing about dating….

I would have to say, the hardest thing about dating is breaking the ice. When you go thru dating sites, which I recommend, it makes it a little easier but it can be tedious. You ask the same questions and answer the same questions over and over again. However, you get very good and creative with your screening process. If you put enough info on your profile, like what you are looking for and what you don’t like, that weeds out the riff-raff. Usually, but not always. Sometimes you wonder if they even read the small print or if they look at the pics and just respond. Considering men are more visual than anything, that might be the case a lot of time. You can also take into consideration that maybe he doesn’t know how to read (I'm kidding) and just move on from there. If the guy doesnt take the time to find out what you want, that can also tell you that he may be self centered. Some guys have a sick sense of humor or are just perverts that are looking for sex. You can usually spot them in the first couple of sentences. I would delete them and report them to the website if their response to your profile was really bad (sick and twisted). Ignoring them works sometimes, but if he is a persistent pervert, you may need to take the next step. Then there is the first date. If you have been talking via e-mail or phone, it makes it a lot easier because you have something to talk about. You know a little about their world and they know a little about you. If you have never talked, that can be a little more challenging but doable. Dating can be fun. You meet a lot of different people and sometimes try new things. I know after a break up or divorce, you tend to be a little gun shy. My suggestion to you is, don’t be. It’s just like riding a bike and if nothing else, you can make a new friend if the there is no sexual connection. Dating can make you feel sexy and desirable so put yourself out there. It also gives you a good excuse to hit the sales rack at the mall for a new outfit. Ladies (and guys), Mr. and/or Mrs. Right is not going to come knocking on your door. Just do it and have fun!!

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November 4, 2007

Crockpots…a single parents best friend

I have never been a fan of cooking. Not now or ever. I have scrambled home after a hard day at work and did my best to throw together a nutritional dinner for my kids with little to no effort but it always turned in to a bigger presentation than I really had the energy for. UNTIL, I mastered the Crockpot. My mother bought one for me when I first went out on my own but I never appreciated it until I had 2 little mouths depending on me to feed them the minute I walked thru the door. Heck, my kids still ask me what’s for dinner and when. Although, my youngest son is a little more independent that my oldest son (who is now out on his own) but when he comes home for holidays, that’s the first thing out of his mouth. My mother instructed me to buy a timer and just plug the Crockpot in to that before I leave for work..Easy!! I put frozen meat in the pot along with water, salsa, BBQ sauce (depending on what I am making), the veggies on the bottom and VOILA!! As soon as you walk in the door, it smells like dinner is ready. If you are having something on the side, it’s a piece of cake to whip it up because the main course is already done. They have a few Crockpot recipe books out there with wonderful ideas, but I’m telling you as the voice of experience, you need to invest in one of these wonderful easy to use gadgets. They are a single mothers best friend and cost little to nothing. You can even freeze what you don’t use. I make everything from chili verde, ham hawks and beans, stew, shredded beef for burritos and salsa chicken in mine. You can make spaghetti sauce and regular chili too. If you have never experienced one of these fabulous machines, I suggest you go to your local Walmart and purchase yourself one as an early Christmas present. You wont be sorry.

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November 3, 2007

Which age child is the hardest to raise??

That is a difficult question to answer. I became a single mother when I had a 1 and 4 year old. Not to mention, the 1 year old had ADHD. I couldn’t go to sleep unless he was already sleeping because he would get up, after I went to bed, and turn on all the lights, TV, and open the fridge. He even took my iron out and burned my carpet once. Then there was the fact that I couldn’t take them anywhere because it was always a big deal. They would fight, Brad wouldn’t sit still, having to take everything but the kitchen sink whenever you went anywhere. That was tough. My youngest didn’t sleep thru the night until he was 18 months old. From ages 5 to 12, I don’t remember any real significant problems except in school. I think all of Brads teachers had me on quick dial and I got calls on a regular basis but there wasn’t any problems at home. I took my kids everywhere,well almost everywhere, because babysitters were hard to come by. My oldest son was an angel. He never gave me guff, he always did what he was told, and he helped with his little brother without being told to do so. He was very protective of him. Then he turned 16. He always did exceptional in school. He started hanging out with the wrong kids and getting into drinking and drugs. I went thru lying, drugs, alcohol, sneaking out, getting arrested, suspension from school, and psycho girlfriends. Although, his grades never fell, which I thought was funny. My youngest just turned 16 this month and it, so far, has been a very different experience. It is a constant battle regarding his grades but everything else has been fairly easy. He doesn’t care what his peers think, he has no desire (so far) to experiment, he is home on Friday and Saturday nights, and he loves video and computer games. I guess, in looking back, my oldest was easier as a child/baby and my youngest has made the teen years a little more bearable. So, the answer to the question of which age is more difficult?? I would have to say the early years and the teen years. From 5 to 12 was a piece of cake. That’s 7 years out of 18 that were not as trying. It would have been easier having 2 people to deal with the issues rather than one but Im not complaining. I have great kids, not perfect but definitely human.

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November 2, 2007

Why do we stay?

Why do so many people stay in relationships that are either unhealthy or they aren’t happy?? We know its wrong, but we stay anyway. Some people will tell you it’s for the children. That is a theory I have never agreed with. I think children would be much happier with two parents living apart happily rather than together miserably. Infidelity, that word doesn’t even need anything else to accompany it in a sentence because it speaks for itself. How do you trust a man (or woman) after they have committed the ultimate crime against the relationship?? Believing them after that, to me, would be something that I could never do. And what if they do it over and over again?? A friend of mine stayed in a relationship with a man for almost 20 years and 3 children, when she knew he wasn’t loyal before they even got married. He was good looking and charming but why would you put yourself thru that?? When you’re with a man, you should feel safe and secure in your world. There should never be any doubt or mistrust when he tells you something, you should be able to believe him. And if he isn’t happy with what he has, why is he staying anyway?? Out of guilt?? How can you say you love someone and then have sex with someone else? A lot of people are blindsided, not even knowing there was a problem to begin with. And if he is the one that cheated, why would you beg him to take you back?? Do you have no self-esteem or self worth that you think this is what you deserve?? I know love is a very strong emotion. People do a lot of things in the name of love but is it worth it?? How can one person have so much control over your existence that you’re willing to do anything to have them in your world? Who are the biggest cheaters, men or women?? What you read and hear on TV always point the finger at the men. I think, women are just smarter and they don’t get caught. Men like to flaunt their triumphs, women do it for the satisfaction, not the notoriety. We like to feel desirable, and if the man you’re with doesn’t make you feel that way, it’s easy to stray to someone that does. Just my opinion, of course. Either way, I don’t justify or agree with straying outside a relationship. End it first than do what you want. It’s not fair to anyone involved if you stay married but have affairs on the side. If you ever loved the person you’re cheating on, show them the respect they deserve and do the right thing. Walk away. And if you’re the victim, you will survive. There are so many worthy people out there, to think that this is the end of your world is not reality. This too shall pass.

November 1, 2007

TT #35

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13 things single parents can do to take care of themselves

1. Take a long walk.

2. Check out a yoga video and make time to do it twice a week.

3. Read a short story that you can totally lose yourself in.

4. Daydream

5. Get a babysitter and go to a movie.

6. Smile

7. Read a magazine.

8. Sit outside and breathe fresh air.

9. Go to a park and sit on the swings with your kids.

10. Go to bed an hour early.

11. Surround yourself with pictures of the people you love and things you care about.

12. Say "Yes" to something you'd really like to do.

13. Get up fifteen minutes early so you can linger over a cup of coffee.

The Trust Factor

Trust is a hard thing to give and very easy to take away. People that think trust should just be given (teenagers are guilty of this but I am focusing on relationships) have not had the experience or have had very few experiences of trust being broken. When men ask women to simply “trust” them, it’s not that we can’t, we are just more vulnerable than men. If you want a woman to trust you, she needs something that will help develop that trust. Perhaps even a tool or gesture that she can “count on” until that trust with you is established. Thankfully this already exists and is known by every woman. What cultivates trust in a woman is a man who consistently keeps his word. Making a promise is meaningless if there is no follow through. Unfortunately, some women trust men too quickly and are stunned when their trust is broken. A woman needs to see her man fulfill his promises not just hear his pledge. Seeing is always more powerful than hearing. Over time what you see will replace most, if not all, of your concerns about their character. And to the men I say, when the woman you love sees your words lining up with your actions, trust will naturally follow. When you don’t keep your word it causes your wife/girlfriend to become fearful. From her perspective, she has entrusted you with her heart and she wants to trust you. She simply needs your help in giving you what you want. It really isn’t that complicated. Why do people make promises they cant keep?? Is it because they want to actually accomplish what they said they would or is it to temporarily fool the person they are with? Why do women believe men that have terrible track records? I think its because women are born romantics. They want to believe in the knight in shining armor theory. Who is more apt to lie, men or women?? Well, I guess we are both guilty of that. People in general should really think twice before you decide to lie to your significant other. Not only does that break the trust, it doesn’t show much for your character either. Wouldn’t it be easier to step up and tell the truth than to spin a web of lies that may later come back to bite you?? I guess that’s a question only the guilty can answer. The bottom line, trust is earned not given. If you are with someone you don’t trust, maybe you should reconsider your choice. We have the power to control our own destiny. We just have to use it.

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October 31, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

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Nope, those arent my hands in pumpkin guts...a big thanks goes to my DBF Michael for doing my dirty work.

October 30, 2007

Post Partum Depression

A lot of women these days will experience a form of depression known as the baby blues after delivering a baby. It is generally seen just days after the birth and can last anywhere from 2 weeks to a few months. The signs for this can be, but are not limited to: crying, irritability, anger, exhaustion, tension, restlessness, anxiety, and possibly insomnia. Hormones play a large part in this however, some are normal and should be expected after delivery, particularly considering the stress and strain of a new baby. Fewer women will have true postpartum depression. This is generally characterized by a worsening of the normal symptoms, possibly postpartum panic or mania, even obsessive-compulsive disorders (including repetitive thoughts that might be repulsive). Some women will even experience post traumatic stress disorders, particularly after a traumatic birth. Some risk factors for PPD are as follows: Single parents, history of depression, anxiety, panic, obsessive thoughts or behavior, mania. Family history, marital conflict, prior episode, low confidence as parent, baby's personality, health or disability, super woman syndrome, or hormonal risks (thyroid imbalance, PMS, infertility, etc.). I think being a single mother makes it harder especially if you have a baby with colic that refuses to sleep and does nothing but cry. You may feel like you have nowhere to turn and it may appear that there is no relief in site because the baby is your sole responsibility especially if the father is not involved. There are many things that you can do to help ease postpartum depression. First, remember to take care of yourself. Take breaks, accept help from others, and nurture yourself. We tend to forget ourselves and become very absorbed in the baby. It is important that mom is well cared for too. This makes caring for the baby easier. Be realistic. Avoid major life changes. It's too much to ask to find a new job, move across the country and find a house within a month before the baby is born or right afterwards. Develop a support system. When someone calls and offers support, except it. This is a good thing, especially if you have problems requesting help, it can keep you organized. Getting support from a professional is not a bad idea either. You need to ask for help when following self-help plan and symptoms last more than 2-3 weeks, when talking feelings out with people does not help or if there is great difficulty with daily living. Remember that postpartum depression is very treatable. Find some ongoing support, make some plans, and don’t feel guilty asking for help. Do what you need to do but don’t take it out on the baby. It’s not their fault.