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?