Sunday, January 31, 2010

"Leaving on a Jet Plane"

It seems too soon to say goodbye...even though it has been two weeks, but my wonderful sister Amy and my sweet niece Vivienne left yesterday morning. They had an early flight and for some reason the traffic was crazy that we literally pulled up with 6 minutes for her to run upstairs to board the plane. Now this was not how I had planned for us to say least there wasn't any time for tears. I am the worst at saying goodbyes, I actually ball like a baby. We try our best to just say, "see you later on IChat". Do you guys know about IChat? It is a feature where you can see and talk to the person at the same time. Where on earth would we be without this magical device? If some of you don't have it get it now! It is truly the best invention. Now remember she is in California and I am in Iowa so sometimes I need a green grass moment, so Amy walks me outside because she has a laptop and its almost like I can feel the palm trees swaying in the breeze. I will have gone shopping and bought some shoes and ping her so she can see them, so she "pops" into my LR and I give her a 360 and a laugh. My sister often walks me around her house so I can see Vivienne's room or some project she is working on. I swear it feels like I am just walking along side her at her house. I tell ya it is just the best!

It is amazing how much fun we have when we are together and how productive we are when she is here. We are a couple of "get her done" kind of gals. We write a list at the beginning of her stay of all the things we want to accomplish and we cross them off as we go. I tell you it is like therapy when you get into a rhythm of throwing crap away but more so when someone that loves you tells you, "What the hell are you keeping that for?" And then we laugh because God only knows why you hold onto stuff for so long, or even remember that you had it in the first place. I truly love how she and I can just laugh while we are cleaning a closet or sit and fold laundry while watching the Bachelor, and yes I will admit we totally rip on the girls and all the drama they bring. Can you believe they really cry when they leave. How on earth can they say "Jake is going to regret not keeping me here, I thought we had such a connection!" Too funny!

My sister and I have this secret language that only she and I know. I've tried to teach my husband but he looks at me like I am crazy. He has known of our secret language because he has been witness to it for years but when my son heard us, he said, "Oh no, you do it too?" It is a language where we don't want to say the words outright but we say them under our breath but with a sing song voice that we just so know what each other is talking about. If you could only see the horror on my husband's face and son's face, really it was priceless!

What a test it was for my kids to try to be quiet when Vivienne was asleep. Wow, my family is loud and I guess I didn't realize it until we had to whisper, or close doors and cabinets quietly and just plain talk at a softer level. My children love to talk non stop. They should be in the world record book for how much they talk without coming up for air. My sister was exhausted from watching them. She said she felt like she was watching a ping pong game. I found myself shushing the creatures again last night and my kids had to remind me that Vivienne wasn't here anymore. I guess it was just habit but it did make me sad.

I think my sister might have withdrawal from all the commotion she has been enduring and I'll bet her husband will be shocked when he notices how much she talks when she gets home!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

"Toxic People"

Have you ever spent time with a person, whether having a quick cup of coffee or lunch and wondered how you felt at the end of that? Were you more energized or less energized? Were you tired or exhilarated? Well, if you were more tired and just plain drained then you have been poisoned, and if you had more energy than you had before you went, then you have been nourished.

Toxic People are toxic because of their own issues, and their behavior has nothing to do with you. They like to make you feel bad, guilty, and feel like you are at fault. Realize that the issues they are dealing with corrupt them and cannot be fixed by you. If you realize this now you can take back your power.

I have been having a hard time lately dealing with a toxic person in my life. I have been "Friends" with this person for a couple of years and I have started to realize what this person does to my soul. A friend should never drag you down, make you feel angry, worn out, deflated, belittled or confused, but this "friend" does all of these things.

I cannot believe how confident I am as a person, but whenever I get around this so called "friend" I feel like I am back in junior high and she is the leader and I am her peon. After I have been with this person the rest of the day I start to question everything I have done and wonder about the things that were said. Could I have said or done something differently? For cryin' out loud I am a 38 year old woman with 2 kids, a small petting zoo, (lol), and married to a great guy for 17 years, why am I letting someone out there make me feel like I am a 14 year old, with no confidence?

Ironically, it is the 29th of January and yesterday was the first time I had seen this gal since before Christmas. After spending a few hours with her and feeling completely dispirited, I decided I needed to pull a Jackie O and very gracefully remove myself from this relationship. Any ideas on how I do that? I would appreciate some advice from any or all of you because I want more for me in this new year and I know it isn't too late!

Monday, January 25, 2010

I Believe in Pink.....

Well, I thought today would be as good a day as any to tackle some of my paper piles. The snow was gently falling and the kids would leave for school at 7:35, right? Well, so I thought! No, I couldn't enjoy my cup of coffee and sit by the warm fire and purge away, because the kids had a 2 hour delay.
I saw the snow falling but thought hmm, "is there ice out there?" I guess the school was just being cautious, so I managed to put my dreams on hold and wait patiently for "me" time. Once the kids left for school I grabbed my coffee but found out that neither my sweet little niece that I posted about or my sister slept because Vivienne has a cold, poor I was on duty, and yet another delay.
The day started to fly by and before you knew it, at the same time I looked at the clock I heard a little knock at the door, surprise, my son said "school was let out early". I hadn't paid much attention to the weather but what do you know, school was let out....for we were having yet another snow storm!

Ok, so I will try not to whine too much about how almost everyday for the past week and a half we have been having a 2 hour delay or better yet NO SCHOOL!
Doesn't the school know January is my time to declutter this house?
Or do they have a contract with Mother Nature? When I finally did get around to cleaning out my huge pile of kids school work and all remember my dreaded paper filled table don't you?
Well the table has been cleaned off, yay, no, no need to celebrate just yet, I just moved the paper pile to the counter. Anyway I digress.

I came upon these quotes that I had jotted down and I thought I would share them with you. I realize I did not finish cleaning my piles of paper, nor the coat closet or even get much laundry done, but I did enjoy reading them again and I hope you find enjoyment in them too!

P.S. Please pray for school for my kids tomorrow, I so need to get something done!

~~”I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in PINK. I believe that loving is the best calorie burner. I believe in french kissing. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.” -Audrey Hepburn~

~~“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” -Audrey Hepburn~

~~"I don`t want to be alone, I want to be left alone."-Audrey Hepburn~

~~"In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different" -Coco Chanel~~

~~"A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous" -Coco Chanel~~

~~"Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman"- Coco Chanel~~

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Special Delivery!

Well, look who dropped in for a visit! My jet setter niece Vivienne, who just spent a month in Paris has now landed in Iowa.

"I'm sleepy, can someone take me to my bed?"

We couldn't be happier. Unfortunately, she and my sister are now experiencing the awful Iowa winter. This morning we woke up to freezing rains and school has been canceled, even the dogs are afraid of whats happening outside.
I think this day calls for making chocolate chip cookies and watching movies in front of the fire, sounds cozy!

Do any of you remember reading my 7 random things, where I said how much I hate to cook and would rather do laundry or toilets than cook? Well, yay me, because I don't have to do either.
This is my sister who loves to cook and I eat like the Queen I am when she is here, lol! All I have to do is play with the baby and she does the rest!
Ok, I do have to do the dishes, but no biggy! She made a wonderful vegetarian lasagna last night and my son said, "Wow Aunt Roo, you should be a chef!" I no longer think he is that mad for giving his room away while his Aunt is here, not if she can cook like that! My sister is the West Coast version of the Barefoot Contessa.
When she was in Paris she walked down the street where Ina Garten lives and ate at one of Ina's favorite restaurants.
My sister spent a month in Paris over Christmas...Hmmm, Paris, don't you hate her? Ok, of course I don't but I was a little jealous!

Isn't she a cutie? You should hear her giggle! When she was in Paris she had her first baguette and loved it!
Can you imagine "real French bread", not our version of French bread?
She also enjoyed her first Duck Confit .
Apparently she couldn't get enough. I tell you, this kid has done more in her 10 months than most of us get to do in 10 years! Now, my sister and her husband are thinking Rome or possibly Greece for Christmas next year!
"What!" Well I guess I'm going to have to do a lot of convincing for her to realize that Iowa is the place to be for Christmas!
I mean really, Rome or Iowa, hands down it has to be Iowa, the Queen is here, lol!

"Oh, cookie, don't mind if I do!"

"Tired, who me, no , I've got cookies!"

"Help, mommy and Aunt Meggie are enjoying this dress-up thing a little too much!"

Well, I can't take it anymore, I need to go give her a squeeze and hear that giggle!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Have a laugh on me!

In light of recent developments in Haiti, I thought we were all due for a hearty laugh, enjoy!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I've been a little selfish!

I feel like I need to explain myself. I have been in an
"It's All About Moi" mode lately. I have this sign in my laundry room and its just a little silly thing to make me laugh, but if you read the words, why should I think its all about me?
While I have been scurrying around the house this week finishing a painting project, organizing my cabinets and tackling my paper pile, there are devastated and lost people in Haiti. How could I be living in my own little world here in Iowa when an earthquake has just devastated a country? Yesterday morning I didn't even know that this had happened. Where have I been? I started to watch the news last night and was just struck with shame that I have been worrying about what bins to use in the laundry room and how to organize the kids shoes when 100,000 people have just lost their lives.

I started to cry when I saw some of the pictures. I cannot even imagine what it would be like walking by bodies just lying in the streets. My heart is very heavy right now, knowing that those injured people waiting for medical care, will be waiting for a while, because their help isn't like ours around the corner. When help does get to them, will they still be there? Will their injuries end up killing them? How fortunate we are to have a hospital to go to and a doctor we can take our kids to when they have a bad cough. They don't have that luxury, they never did, will they ever?

I read an article of an American man who survived the earthquake. He said he was amazed that he didn't fall to the ground but stumbled around a bit just to get his bearings. He was in shock, but he knew he needed to start finding survivors. In the school that was nearby, he heard girls screaming for help. He realized he didn't have much to work with but found a small shovel and started digging. He tried his hardest but realized he wasn't strong enough. He told the girls he needed to leave to go find help. They screamed and yelled not to go but he told them to pray and that he would be back soon. The man walked 5 miles to get help, but when he got back to the girls he realized he had been gone too long, they both had passed away. The grief this man must have felt when he called out to them and they didn't answer. For one moment he was talking to them and the next they were gone. My prayers are with this man who tried all he could to save two people he didn't even know.

Did you know that 75% of the people in Haiti live off of less than $2.00 a day? Can you even imagine living off of $2.00 a day? Never in our wildest. Think about the coffee drinkers (I'm guilty of this), that spend about $5.00 a day on coffee, which is about $100.00 a month and over a course of a year that would mean about $1,200. Can you imagine what the people there could do with that money?

My prayers go out to all the people that were affected by this tragedy and to all the people that are on their way to help those in need.

If you want to help, you can text HAITI to 90999 to give $10 to the American Red Cross. I think I will donate my coffee money, I need to do something, won't you?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

From the Mouth of a 5 Year Old!

Tonight, as my daughter and I were driving home from gymnastics, jamming out to Hannah Montanna, Claire told me that we needed to take a trip!
I was still jamming to the music, yes, its true, I like Miley Cyrus!
I said, "uh, huh, so where do you want to go? She told me that we needed to visit Nonna...aka my mother.

Let me start by telling you that my mother is no longer living. She died in 2002 at the age of 58 of lung cancer, and my daughter was never able to meet her, so I guess whenever my children bring up my mother I tend to get a little weird. Claire proceeded to say "Mom, we need to go visit Nonna at her grave site." I thought to myself, why is she bringing this up all of a sudden? "Well, ok Claire we can go visit Nonna, but I don't know when.
My mother is buried in Nebraska and we live in Iowa. I said "honey, why do you want to see Nonna 's grave all of a sudden? Claire then said, "Nonna needs some red flowers and some lipstick and oh, some high heels!" I have to tell you I laughed at that one and knew my mother laughed also. Sorry mom, but it sounds a little like a street walker to me! I told Claire that flowers would be a wonderful idea, but that real ones wouldn't survive in this cold weather. Well, that didn't seem to bother her, she said we could get fake ones. Then she said, "Mom, when we get there, can I see Nonna in the box"? I truly almost swerved off the road, I was so shocked at that question. Dear God, what do I say to this child, who is asking to see my mother? Claire said, "Mom did you hear me?' I said, "yes honey, I heard you, but we don't need to do that?" Why not? comes the voice from the backseat. I told here that Nonna wasn't really in the box anymore, because she is up in Heaven with God.

My kids know that Nonna died of lung cancer caused by many years of smoking. When my son was little, he would point at people smoking and say, "don't they know they are going to die? He would then tell us he will never ever smoke! But Claire doesn't always get it. She then said, "Mom, if I smoke then I can go and be with Nonna, right?" Ugh, it just kept getting worse, when will we be home so I can get away from these questions? "No Claire, that is not true, nor what Nonna would want you to do. When God feels it is our time to be with him, he will let us know and then you will see Nonna!"
As I pull into the garage my husband greets us at the door. He could tell that we were having a serious discussion by the looks on both of our faces, and asked Claire if she was ok. She told him how she misses Nonna and that she just wanted to give her a big hug. At that point I had to leave the room to get myself together. As I was leaving the room, my husband gave Claire a hug and said "this hug is from Nonna, now give me a hug for her!"

Husbands, what life savers they can be!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Did you hear the News?

Happy Monday everyone! I am sitting here quite dumbfounded. I opened my email to find out, that my friend Darlene from Music to My Ears has just nominated moi for the Beautiful Blogger Award. No way, are you kidding me?
I am just tickled pink, flattered, pleased, delighted, honored and so touched that she would think to nominate me for this award!
Ah, Darlene, "You really like me"!

I am told I need to list 7 random things about me and then nominate 7 other wonderful blogs for this amazing award, well, I guess we should get started:

1. I always sleep with one leg out of the covers. I hate the feeling of being trapped.

2. I have been coloring my hair since the 6Th grade and it hasn't fallen out yet! Knock on wood!

3. I love lipstick, or lip gloss. If I were stranded on a desert island and only left one piece of makeup,
it would be lipstick!

4. When I was a kid I loved Garfield...I know a little weird, but hey I was a kid.
I wrote to Jim Davis the creator of Garfield and got an autograph and a handwritten note from him.

5. I "detest" cooking! I would rather do laundry, dishes, shovel snow, or clean toilets than cook!
I beg my sister who lives in California to come visit every month,
because she is an excellent cook and we eat really well when she visits!
I am really not kidding here folks!

6. I get giddy over a new box of 64 count Crayola Crayons!
I know, I know, I am 38 and that yellow and green box can still make me smile!
P.S. Magenta has always been my favorite.

7. I "hate it" when I walk into the kitchen and step in a puddle of water with my socks on....
because whomever, "Jim or James" walked in with their wet boots on and didn't clean up the puddle!
It truly makes me bonkers....I laugh as I type because my 5 year old is following suit and just yelled
"Ugh I have to change my tights, who dropped water on the floor"? Oh, no, its mini me!

So, now it is time for me to nominate 7 blogs I deem to be honorable for such an award. There are so many wonderful blogs out there, that have truly inspired me to blog myself, that picking seven will be very hard to do! If I could nominate you all I would, but here are seven in no particular order that have triggered something in me that I would like to share with the world, so they are:

I am so excited to nominate these ladies and look forward to reading their accomplishments, circumstances, goods, episodes, details, facts, situations or pieces of themselves that make them who they are!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Help, I'm drowning!

Ok, I can't believe I am going to be this honest, but it is the new year and one of my resolutions, so here goes: I am not an organized person. Whew! there you have it, boy that feels good to get it off my chest. I think I use to be, no, I know I was but as I get older and a little crazier I just can't seem to get it! I am desperately going to try to get organized this year and the bain of my existence has always been paper. I hate paper, I loathe paper, I detest paper....but teachers love paper and so does my 5 year old. Why is it every time I think the pile of paper has decreased or is somewhat manageable, the next minute its like the Leaning Tower of Pisa! And please don't get me started on mail, ugh! Our mailman hates me because I don't get the mail but once a week if he is lucky. We live in a newer development where the mailboxes are all housed together and mine is around the corner. When you live in the Midwest and the weather is -25 you have no desire to get your gear on and trek around the corner just for some more junk mail.

I will admit, I haven't even taken Christmas down because the paper must be my #1 focus!

Claire is 5 and in kindergarten and she brings papers home everyday. If I throw her papers out she goes and digs them right out of the garbage and cries, because she says, "That one is important to me, or "I made that for you"! I started keeping a folder for each kid on the counter and tucked their school work into them everynight, but now they are too full and exploding out the sides. I need help! Which papers do I really need to keep? Did my mother keep my papers as a kid? If she didn't, has it affected my adulthood? Hmmm, is that why I am a little crazy? Well, maybe it...oh, I digress. Maybe my craziness will have to wait for another post. Back to the subject at hand. Why is it so hard for me to throw it all away?

So this is what the kitchen table looks like presently. Piles of school papers, things to be shredded (my shredder burned out), little pieces of ripped in half paper with an important name and number on it... and so on and so on and so on. Help! How do I get started. I won't even show you the craft cupboard. In fact, I am afraid if I do then things might jump out on me. Ok, it really isn't that bad. Or is it? But back to my table. We couldn't even eat dinner at the table last night because I couldn't figure out what to do with all this. Now, my husband said, "Oh hell, just throw it all away. I just don't think men get it. They definitely are not as sentimental as we women are. I mean, could any of you really throw these away?

I need a fool proof plan on organizing my paper life and I want it NOW! Ok, that was a little harsh. Since honesty is currently my new policy I also need help with the family calendar. We have a stainless steel fridge so I can't hang anything on the front. I only have 1 side I can hang stuff on so I have made that my little "mom center" since I don't have a desk in the kitchen. The organizer on the table usually fits right at the side of the fridge under the microwave. Please pay as little attention as possible to the fingerprints on the fridge... the maid is on vacation.

But this is where I do have the family calendar. It is in the narrow hallway that leads into the garage. Doesn't that seem crazy to be that far away from my "mom center"? Now, one of my questions to all of you is... after you jot all your info down on your family calendar, do you then re-jot it down on a calendar you keep in your purse? Oh, so many questions, but wait there are more!

I can't say anything is working that well. My son is 10 now and I have asked him to write down assignments or hang notes for me under the calendar but does he, no, he is a boy. I then get blamed if something is forgotten. He will tell his teacher, "Oh my mom forgot", but the truth is, "no honey, you didn't tell me"! My kids come home through this door but they leave in the morning through the front door.. so sometimes library books or notes are forgotten. Not sure if any of it makes sense, ugh! And this is why I am drowning!

So my challenge to you wonderful ladies of the blog world, is to help a fellow blogger who is drowning in all her paperwork. I want to see your organized areas, your family calendars, your tips, your tricks, so that I may start my new year on the right paperless path! I have seen your wonderful blogs so I know you are the right women for the job, now, who is up for the challenge?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

How Quickly the Years Fly....

Tips for Girlfriends in the year 2010

1. Aspire to be Barbie - the bitch has everything.

2. If the shoe fits - buy one in every color.

3. Take life with a pinch of salt... a wedge of lime, and a shot of tequila.

4. In need of a support group? - Cocktail hour with the girls!

5. Go on the 30 day diet. (I'm on it and so far I've lost 15 days).

6. When life gets you down - just put on your big girl panties
and deal with it.

7. Let your greatest fear be that there is no PMS or Menopause and
this is just your personality.

8. I know I'm in my own little world, but it's ok. They know me here.

9. Lead me not into temptation, I can find it myself.

10. Don't get your thong in a knot, it solves nothing and makes you walk funny.

11. When life gives you lemons in 2010 - turn it into lemonade then
mix it with vodka.

12. Remember yesterday, dream about tomorrow, but live today.

Good friends are like stars.........You don't always see them, but you know they are always there!

Now, I'd like you to smile and come back often when you might be....suffering from a hangover, having a bad day, economy blues or just tired from work or the kids!

Hope to hear from you soon!

No Phone Call Is Worth It!