Yes, it is!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

I Will Honor Thy Father and Mother

Both of the kids have been very challenging lately.  Especially Jackie with her sassy attitude.  As most of my friends know (or perhaps not), Jackie has been the ultimate drama queen from the moment she was born.  So, it's no surprise that she is becoming the ultimate queen of sass lately.  Sometimes, I get very frustrated with her and other times I do a fairly good job of ignoring her or talking calmly to her.  But then there is the rare occasional moment when I find her drama to be quite humorous.
For example, this past Friday, Jackie was whiny and just downright sassy from the moment she walked in the door from school.  She didn't like what I was cooking for dinner,  she didn't want to clean up her room, she didn't want to put her coat and shoes in her room, and on and on.  I asked Jackie what happened at school to make her so moody.  "Nothing!" she said.  When dinner was ready, both of the kids started to fight over who was going to hold my hand v. Daddy's hand for the blessing.  Nothing was working out to make Jackie happy this night.  She continued to whine during dinnertime.  She demanded that I give her a drink.  "Well, little miss, you can get it yourself because you know where the cups are and you can easily dispense the water from the refrigerator."  Of course, this only agitated Jackie even more.  Jackie just kept on until Tim and I told her to go to her room.  Jackie refused and continued to whine and cry and began to do an annoying thing with her plate.  Then Tim took away Jackie's plate and told her to stop crying and go to her room.  Jackie started to scream that she was hungry and that she wanted her plate back. Tim just picked up Jackie and put her in her room.  Jackie slammed her door behind her and started to scream at the top of her lungs.  Then suddenly, her door flung open, Jackie stepped out, then started to scream "I want my plate.  Give me my plate.  I'm hungry", a scream unlike what I've ever heard from her before.  For some reason, I found this to be funny and just started to laugh. Then Tim started laughing and then Ben joined in.  This only made Jackie more angry and she slammed the door again.  Hard. Then she stepped out again and began screaming.  Again.  At the top of her lungs.  I looked at Tim and told him that I'm getting my own apartment before Jackie starts into puberty.
We just calmly told Jackie that as soon as she stops her crying and screaming, then she can come join us and get her plate back.  Within a few moments, Jackie did stop crying enough to get her plate back.  But whew!  I do NOT look forward to her adolescent years.  Even my own mother says I wasn't that bad.  Folks, I'm going to needs lots, LOTS, of prayers in the coming years.
I won't even go into how Jackie helped to make my birthday weekend one of the worst weekends ever.  I mean the ENTIRE weekend, Friday through Sunday.   Happy Birthday to me!
As I said, the kids' behavior has been very challenging lately and today was no exception.  I was gone for most of the day as I attended my very first Zumba Jam session where I went to learn several new routines to add to my repertoire for my future Zumba classes.  Tim was left on his own to manage the kids.  I had faith in him, though, that he could manage on his own.  And you know what?  He did a fine job.  It seems that even in my absence, the kids just cannot seem to behave for even one morning or afternoon.  Both of the kids got in trouble before they even left church.  Jackie, being the sassy girl that she has become lately, declared loudly (in church!) that she was not going to stand up along with everyone else if she doesn't feel like it.  Ow!  Good thing I wasn't there.  Then after church was dismissed, Tim went to get Ben out of his class.  He was told to help pick up the toys but Ben refused to help.  So, he got in trouble, too.  Tim sent both kids into their rooms as soon as they arrived home.  Apparently, Jackie cried for nearly the entire 2 hours that she was confined to her room.  Ben, however, was able to get early release since he took the discipline in such a manly manner.  (Way to go, Ben!  Why can't you do that for me?)  Anyway, when Jackie finally was released, she was ordered by her daddy to write a page full of sentences stating "I will honor thy father and mother."  Notice the hearts and smiley faces. When I came home to discover this, I could not help but nearly roll over in laughter.  I'm so proud of Tim for the way he handled this very difficult day.  Now I just have a huge mess to clean up.  Nah, I'll just close all the doors and shove the rest in closets and deal with it another day.
 I found this almost as humorous as the card that Jackie made me last year declaring that she loves me but... not everyday.  Here it is:

As you can see, I have a very talented little diva on my hands.


Friday, February 24, 2012

A New Twist On Baked Potatoes

I tried a new "recipe" tonight.  I found it on Pinterest, the latest and greatest social networking site.  It really is a great site for craft/sewing ideas, recipes, style, home ideas, etc, etc, etc. 
This recipe is very simple.  And very tasty.  Take red potatoes (I'm sure you could probably use another type such as yukon gold) and boil them in salted water until tender.  Then warm the oven at 450 degrees and drizzle olive oil on a baking sheet.  Place the boiled potatoes on the baking sheet.

Then take a potato masher and gently smash the potatoes down.  Drizzle olive oil on top of the potatoes and then top them with salt, fresh ground pepper, and rosemary or chives.  You can also use Thyme.  Tonight, I used Rosemary except for a couple of the potatoes which I topped with dried fresh chives.  Then I sprinkled a little bit of parsley on all of the potatoes.  In case you notice the potatoes that are not smashed, that is courtesy for my daughter who insisted that these "new" type of baked potatoes couldn't possibly be as good as regular, o' baked potatoes. 

Put the potatoes in the oven for 20-25 minutes.  I was very pleased with how these turned out.  They were crispy on the outside and the texture was perfect on the inside. .  I think next time, I need to add just a tad more salt.  In fact, I'm going to try kosher salt next time.  They were very good and Tim totally approved as well.  The kids?  Well, they refused to try them.   Too bad because they are a hit with Tim and me and I will be preparing them again very soon.  Here is the finished product:

Family Update

This update is long overdue, I know.  I want to give a brief update to what has been going on  here during these last few months.  Some of my bloggy friends may remember this.  Things are still going well here in my family.  Hubby and I still have some work to do in regard to our marriage but I am pleased with the way things have been going here, for the most part. 
Before that debacle occurred, I was at a point in my marriage that I was seriously considering a separation.  I did not want to harm my children but I also did not want to subject them to some of the same stresses that I experienced as a child growing up in a somewhat volatile environment.  Thankfully, I was never physically harmed by T.  In fact, he had no clue how I was feeling although he knew something was going on by the emotional distance that had grown between us.  There were times that I did attempt to talk with Tim about how I was feeling but it only left both of us exasperated with the other.  I felt very much taken for granted.  I felt unprotected and as if T didn't care about my needs.  I felt that he cared only about his needs most of the time.  I was running myself ragged trying to care for my children's needs with very little help from T.  I pretty much felt like a single parent.  In fact, if there was conflict between my children and neighbor children, T would call me out to take care of it.  He just didn't want to deal with any of that.  And neither did I, really.  I felt abandoned and alone.  I would occasionally talk to a very good friend about all of this and even discuss leaving T.  My friend basically begged me to reconsider as she did not want my children to struggle like her own children have struggled with their blended family.  Lisa always brought me back to my senses whenever she shared her family's struggles.  And for that, I am so thankful. 
Speaking of Lisa, there is one thing that I am even more grateful about.  Recall that I left for a couple of days back in November.  At that time, I was just so fed up with all of the stress, no only within my own family, but the stress of dealing with the neighbor issue and another issue completely separate from these other stressors.  I desperately needed some space from it all.  During this time that I was away, Lisa took it upon herself to have a heart-to-heart talk with Tim about the way I had been feeling about everything lately.  Any other time, I would have been angry that my very good friend did this.  But this time, I was so thankful that Lisa cared for and loved us enough to help rescue my marriage.  She truly cares and I know it would pain her to see my children struggled in the same way her own children have struggled.   Come to find out, T was afraid that I was going to leave and take our children with me.  He was scared and ready for change. 
When I returned home, I agreed to a medical treatment to help me deal with those current stresses.  I soon felt relief and even felt like I was gaining more patience in dealing with my high maintenance children (and husband, well sometimes).  Thank God for happy pills. There, I admit it, I take happy pills now.  I was resistant at first but I'm so thankful for happy pills.  It has even helped some with my anxiety/panic disorder.  So, I am still on a low dose of happy pills and will probably continue for at least a few more months.   I realize there is a stigma associated with happy pills but at this point, I don't even care what people think. 
Now that T is finished with his MBA, life with T has improved even more.  He has been trying to spend more time with the kids and me.   He has even been able to help with a handful of the children's therapy appointments. 
We spent this past Christmas back home with family in Florida for the first time since moving here over 7 years ago.  It was such a nice time and T and I were even able to have a couple of date nights while the kids stayed with grandparents.  I really enjoyed our time together during that time. 
I am more optimistic about my marriage now.  T and I have discussed different options for change.  We've been working on some minor repairs and other stuff on our house to get it ready for sale.  I was hoping that by now we would be able to move closer to family but as of now, that is not an option with T's current job.  So, since we're "stuck" here in Illinois for awhile longer, we are hoping to buy a larger home with a 3-car garage for all of T's toys. 
I am excited about this year of change for our family.  Quality family time.  Possibly a new home.  Last week, we had a family movie night at home.  With all 4 of us together in one room watching on one TV!  It was such a good feeling to have my family together, even when Jackie kept complaining that the movie was too long.  (I think she just didn't like the movie).  Perhaps I'll let her pick out the movie next time (unless it's Dora or Barbie, blech).  I'm looking forward to family game nights in the near future.  I want so badly for my children to experience quality family time, unlike what I experienced as a child.  I'm looking forward to a closer family unit. 
I'm also considering resuming my graduate studies.  (That's for another post as there are some very special children who have recently inspired me thus reigniting my desire to work with special needs children).  So, as you can see, I am looking forward to many positive changes this year.
I realize this isn't as brief as I said it would be.  So, if you read all of this, bless you.  I'm just feeling encouraged about the positive changes that I am determined to see this year.
Oh, and Neighbor Girl, if you're still policing my blog, make sure you share with your parents, too.  Okay?  

Sunday, February 5, 2012

I'm Special

At least, that's what my daughter thinks today.  We'll see what she says tomorrow.  But her sweet comment today sure made me feel good.  I love her so much.  Sass and all.  I asked Jackie why she thinks I'm special today.  She said it's because God made me special.  Hmm.  Well, I think my Jackie is pretty special, too. 
Ben has been telling me a lot, lately, that I'm nice. "You nice, Mommy" he says. 
Speaking of Ben, today he pointed to my chest(more like patted my, um, breast) and asked "what is that".  (By the way, I was fully clothed).  Being that he's just 4 years old, at first I wasn't too sure how to answer him.  After thinking for a brief moment, I just flat out told him that it is called a breast.  "Bwest?" Yes, Ben.  Then he proceeded to lift up his shirt and point to his little nipple and asked "bwest?".  Um, no, boys have chests.  Ben's curiosity today made me realize that Jackie, at age 7, still has not asked questions about body parts, where babies come from, etc.  I'm not sure if I should be concerned or just let it be.  I have, however, explained to her the difference between "bad" touch and "good" touch. 
This is off topic, but I had an incredible time tonight at the annual Zumbathon at our local YMCA.  Three hours worth.  I love hanging with my Zumba friends. 
I have not been blogging much lately but I promise to get back into it soon.  A lot has happened, mostly positive, in the last couple of months with more positive things to come.   I promise to update my bloggy friends soon.