Wednesday, March 7, 2012

New Blog

Please follow me on my new blog  The Dessert Mom; take a delicious dive into my life as a wife, mother, entrepreneur, writer & baker.

Thank you so much!

Monday, March 5, 2012

I Want to be Uncomfortable

The one thing I've noticed about children is that they are resilient.  Most of them adapt easily to new situations, they try new things and they make friends very quickly.  You could drop me off at a meeting with a dozen people I've never met before and I'm going to be a bit shy.  Not kids, they will have made five friends by the end of the day, and I wouldn't have even spoken to one person. Okay that might not be entirely true, I would strike up a conversation with at least one person. 

As we age we get very comfortable with our lives, our jobs and our friends.  Which is not a bad thing, however, when we aren't challenging ourselves than we are no longer growing as individuals.  I'll be honest, I was not crazy about moving to a new state or having to make new friends.  I already had a home and I already had friends.  I was very comfortable where I was at.  Moving was hard at first but then I realized that I was just given the opportunity to learn and grow as person.  This was another adventure and I was going to make the most of it and I have.  I've only been here for less than six months, but I've meet some really great people, I've got an awesome freelance writing gig lined up for this summer and my business is growing.  I've met some very ambitious people who have inspired me to step outside of my comfort zone and live life.  I've got a lot of goals I want to accomplish in this lifetime and I'm not going to accomplish them by being comfortable.

Just for a day try something you normally wouldn't.  Talk to a new person, apply for a job you'd love to have but don't think you can get, try a crazy new recipe or chop off your hair.  It doesn't have to be big just something different, something that makes you a little bit uncomfortable.

"A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. You must break out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the unfamiliar and the unknown.”  Denis Waitley

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

It's A Girl!

Twelve years ago today, I woke up at 2:00 a.m. in immense pain.  I waddled down the stairs to our living room, and sat in a recliner for an hour and a half just to make sure those pains were real.  By 3:30 a.m. I decided they were real so I got cleaned up, grabbed my overnight bag and woke my husband, Ben.  He got up, got dressed and called his parents.  The plan was for Ben to drive us the ten miles to his parents house, and then they were going to drive us the hour or so to the hospital.  We walked out to the car and thats when I noticed a sudden change in Ben's face.  Uh oh, I thought, he finally realized what was happening.  We were having a baby and the reality of it was sinking in, all the color had drained from his face and he started throwing up in the driveway.  "Are you okay?" I asked.  "I'm fine, but do you think you can drive to my parents?"  he asked.  "You are kidding, right?  I'm nine months pregnant and in labor with our first child, and you want me to drive to your parents?"

I'm tougher than I look so I drove  my sick husband to his parents.  I don't really remember it, but I do remember the drive to the hospital.  Ben and I sat in the back and his parents were in the front.  I've always had a pretty high tolerance for pain, and I remember at one point Ben's dad leaned into his mom and said, "I'm not so sure she's really in labor."  Once we got to the hospital and got a room, the nurses confirmed that I was in fact in labor, and that I was going to have a baby that day.  I was a bit relieved because it was February 28th on a leap year and I didn't want my baby born on the 29th if I could avoid it.  It's just one of those weird things, some people don't want their kids born on Friday the 13th or on an odd number or on the same day as someone else's birthday.  However, most times we can't avoid this.

After several more hours of walking, soaking in a warm bath and a great deal of pain our baby girl was born at 2:28 p.m.  She wasn't breathing very well and neither was I.  They gave me oxygen immediately, and I watched the nurses rubbing my baby roughly trying to get her to breath.  Finally we were both breathing normally and I was able to hold her.  She seamed so tiny at 7 lbs 7 oz and 19 inches long.  She had a mop of dark hair, and she was the most adorable thing I had ever seen.  In an instance my husband and I were wrapped around this tiny girl's tiny little finger and now today she's 12!

Where has the time gone?  So much has happened in the past 12 years, Montana's gained not one but two little brothers.  We've moved a few times, changed jobs, purchased different homes and different vehicles. It's amazing how much as happened in 12 years and how fast it has gone!  It is true what they say, the older you get the faster time flies so enjoy every moment.

I've come to the realization that I have one year left of having a teen-free home, so I'd better enjoy this year as much as I can!  LOL!  But the reality is, before I know it I'll have a child-free home.  I really do stress to my children to take every opportunity they can and to know their limits.  You can't do everything but do the things you love and enjoy.  I also encourage them to challenge themselves so they constantly grow and learn.  This is easier for children than adults, adults tend to get comfortable but if you are too comfortable then you are no longer growing.  My next blog post will be about forcing yourself oustide your comfort zone.  Well as usual I've managed to ramble on so I must close for now.

Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~Elizabeth Stone

Thursday, February 23, 2012

What do YOU want?

Have you ever stopped and asked yourself, what do I want? I find most moms are busy worrying about making sure their kids are fed, clothed and happy. And then there are doctors appointments, extra ciricular activities and school work.  It seems that someone always needs right this minute Boone wants to play war (card game), Montana wants me to take a picture of her birthday gifts, now Boone wants a snack and Cody wants me to give him the password to his ipod so he can get a FREE app.  UGH....In your family it might be Sally needs new shoes, Billy's got a school project and Maggie has to take snack to school.  Anyway I think you catch my drift.  Most of us are so exhausted at the end of the day we want to sit in total silence for just a few minutes.  If you are lucky enough to have total silence, take a moment to think about what YOU want.

I want to spend my time coloring pages with words, but perhaps you want to sell baked goods out of your home, or knit scarves, or go back to college to become a lawyer.  Whatever it is you want, you should put it on paper.  Brainstorm ideas, map out a plan and put that plan into action.  I recently read a blog post my cousin forwarded me from Gypsy mom and it inspired me to write even more.  Writing is what I love, and I realized that you never know how doing what you love could affect others.  By doing what you love you could inspire someone, who inspires someone, who inspires someone and before you know it great things are happening and you would never know, they may have started with you.

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.
Harriet Tubman

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Note to Self

I was watching a news program this morning while I was eating my breakfast, and they had a segment called 'Note to Self' where Maya Angelou read a letter that she wrote to her fifteen-year-old self.  Now at eighty three, and the fact that she is Maya Angelou, the woman is pretty wise.  If you could write a letter to your younger self what advice would you give your self?  I've often talked to friends and family about this over the years and a few of the commonalities are as follows:

1) Find your passion - research career options a bit more and spend more time job shadowing.
2) Relax - you will get through things, sometimes the things we get so worked up about aren't big deals at all.
3) Be nice and tell people you appreciate them - sometimes our younger selves were snots!
4) Enjoy life - get outside, try new things, take advantage of great opportunities and have fun!

I've written about it before but what would your younger self write to your older self?

1) Be fearless
2) Dance in the rain
3) Stay active
4) Write down all the funny stuff in laugh that happens so your kids can read it later

Last night my four-year-old told me he was going to grow up, get married, live by the ocean and have two black labs.  That kid is so random about his future but it seems he thinks about it a lot, which I find strange for a child that young.  Right now my oldest wants to be a teacher when she grows up and my middle child wants to be an architect.  I think when I was their age I wanted to be an astronaut.  It's fun to watch their career choices change as they grow up.  Some of us still don't know what we want to be when we grow up...maybe I'll have to make my next post about finding your passion in life.

When work, commitment, and pleasure all become one and you reach that deep well where passion lives, nothing is impossible.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Parenting Tips from Other Cultures

I've been a mom for nearly twelve years and even though I feel like I've read every parenting book and magazine, I am still searching for answers.  I realize that being a parent is a constant learning game and what works for one child doesn't always work for another.  So with three children, who are all very different, I feel like this parenting thing is just one big experiment!

Since my move, I no longer have my Young Mothers Group to assure me that what I'm going through is normal and I needed a fresh persepective. I saw an article in a local paper about a woman who did some research on French parenting.  After settling in Paris she noticed that the children there were so well behaved.  Toddlers in restaurants would sit patiently, waiting for their meals and then they'd happily eat fish and veggies.  While at a park she'd notice that children played quietly, without tantrums, and without demanding the constant attention of their mothers.  She also found that most babies slept through the night by the age of 3 month and she decided she needed to get to the bottom of French parenting.

I have a love of parenting and a love of all things French so I was curious to learn more about this.  The main secret to French parenting success is that rather than structuring their lives around a new baby, French parents expect a baby to fit smoothly into the life they already have.  They set firm boundaries but allow great freedom within those boundaries.  They discipline using "big eyes" know the ones, I'm sure you've seen as a child or tried on your own children.  They also use "the pause" - where they take a moment, or a minute, before responding, to teach patience and restraint. 

I'm not saying that these tricks will magically cure all of your parenting problems but they might be worth looking into.  BRINGING UP BEBE by Pamela Druckerman explores French parenting and is said to be a fun read.  I'll be reading this book, hopefully next week, and will be sharing other helpful tips.

Reading the article about French parenting got me thinking about how other cultures parent their children and what works and what doesn't.  I plan on writing more about this and it should be a fun way to learn about other cultures and maybe walk away with a parenting trick or two.

“If you want your children to improve, let them overhear the nice things you say about them to others.”
- Haim Ginott

Thursday, February 16, 2012

My kid is a genius and other ramblings!

My four-year-old is a genius.  He want's to be a cop and a NFL football player when he grows up.  He also wants to learn to speak Mexican and he's pretty sure 18 o'clock is a real time.  He also hopes to get married and have six kids, and he's going to name one of them after his brother and another one after his friend down the street.

Children are so ambitious and they love to be busy, however, at times they are lazy about looking for things to do.  I don't like it when they say, "I'm bored."  In fact, my kids don't say that anymore because they've learned that if they do I'm going to put them to work.  I love it when the older kids help do chores which they do often and Boone loves to help.  Unfortunately sometimes his helping just creates a bigger mess like the time he decided to eat shredded cheese under the kitchen table then got the broom out to clean up his mess.  He pretty much just pushed the cheese all over the floor.

The cheese thing reminded me that my four-year-old likes weird snacks too.  He loves to snack on shredded cheese, chocolate chips, Saltines, olives, marshmallows and pepperonis.  I think it's because these items seem easily accesible to him.

This morning, for the second time this week, he decided to play with his S.W.A.T vehicles on the bathroom floor.  My master bathroom isn't that big and I got out of the shower and stepped on his hand and one of his vehicles.  We have an entire house he could play in but he chooses to play on the bathroom floor!  I suppose I should go grab him some lunch.  He just informed me that he'd like lunch, then a popsicle and then he'll lay down for a nap.  A nap?  Yeah, right, we'll see if that really happens!

"The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives."  Albert Einstein