Friday, January 31, 2014

Finish The Sentence Friday: A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To....

Finish the Sentence Friday

A funny thing happened on the way to...

A funny thing happened on the way to my "dream life."  As a kid, I dreamed of being a teacher, wife and mother. As an adult, I accomplished all of that, but it wasn't quite as ideal as I imagined it would be.

I expected to graduate from college, start working, and continue to work while being a wife and mother. Instead, due to issues that my kids were having which I felt required my full attention, I quit teaching when my youngest was in kindergarten (when a lot of moms START working, or go back to work).

I expected to get married, have two children and stay married to that one man for the rest of my life. I was married at 24, had two children, and was divorced at 29. Then I married again at 31, had a second daughter, and divorced again at 40.  Married again at 41, and FINALLY found the life I had always dreamed of having....raising my three kids, seeing them grow to amazing adults, and sharing my life with the most wonderful man I could ever hope to find.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Throwback Thursday--I Am

A post from 2012 that still holds true.

I Am
I am compassionate and loving
I wonder how the world really sees me
I hear the whispers in the wind
I see a rainbow in the sky
I want to be more courageous
I am compassionate and loving

I pretend that everything is fine
I feel the sand beneath my toes
I touch the hearts and minds of others
I worry about my children and my husband
I cry about the people that I miss
I am compassionate and loving

I understand that life is short
I say live every day to its fullest
I dream of what could have been
I try to make others happy
I hope that I'll be remembered fondly.
I am compassionate and loving
© 2012 Teresa Kander

My Fears

Fears....we all have them at some point. Some stick with us, some come and go. This is a list of some of the fears I've dealt with in my life.

The first fear I remember having, sadly, is of my parents....more accurately, of them hitting me. I was spanked with a belt, a switch or their hands, hit with a hairbrush, a wooden spoon, a yardstick---whatever was handy at the time. I was afraid, I was angry, I had an entire range of negative emotions toward that sort of "discipline," because I was and still am a very sensitive, emotional person.

From about the age of five, I developed a fear that still persists to this day. I was on vacation with my parents in Florida, and we stopped at a place called Serpentarium. That night I had horrible nightmares about snakes, and I've been nearly phobic about them ever since.  I made the mistake of watching "Snakes On A Plane" with Barry and Amy, and I was hallucinating snakes in our living room before it was over....NOT a fun evening for dear old Mom!!

The next fear I remember is of bridges.  When I was in first grade, a bridge in our community collapsed, killing 46 people, including my best friend's mother. From that point on, until I was in my twenties, I was terrified to cross a bridge. I would close my eyes, hold my breath, and grab tightly to the door handle. Needless to say, until I got over that fear, there was no way I could ever drive over a bridge.

Every time I was pregnant, I had a fear of something being wrong with the baby.....thankfully, those fears were all unfounded and I gave birth to three healthy children. I also had a fear of the pain of childbirth all three times, and yet I made an informed choice to have all three babies drug free...just call me crazy!  :)

This past spring/summer, I encountered a whole new fear....the fear of leaving my husband a widower, and my children motherless, one of them an orphan. I started planning my memorial service at one point, as well as making a list of people I wanted to say goodbye to before it was too late. It was a scary, scary time, and I'm just glad to be past it. I may have to go down that road again, but if I do, it won't be with fear, but with strength and courage.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tuesday Ten: Things I Should Say More Often

The Golden Spoons

Based on this video:

1) I love you: Even though I say it quite often, I don't think you can ever say it TOO often to your family and friends.

2&3) Thank you/I appreciate you: These two go together, in that I sometimes take for granted the things that those who live here do for me. I need to work on showing them the same gratitude I would to others.

4) I'm proud of you: I rarely heard this from my parents, and I've tried to do better with my own children, especially now that they are all adults. I am so proud of the way they've turned out, and I want to make sure they know it.

5) I don't agree with your opinion, but I'll support your right to express it: We're a family of diverse opinions, and we're not afraid to express them. Sometimes our discussions can get a bit heated, and this simple statement could remove some of that heat.

6) I need your help: I'm a fairly independent person, and I hate to have to ask others for help, even if those others are my husband and/or children. Getting through chemo and radiation would NOT have been possible without help around the house, for sure.

7) I'm sorry: Apologizing when you hurt someone's feelings, intentionally or not, is always a good thing to do.

8) I was wrong: It's also good to be able to admit when you make a mistake, and be willing to do what you can to correct it.

9) I forgive you: The other side of admitting you were wrong, or saying you're sorry....being willing to forgive those who say those things to you, and not holding it against them.

10) Please: I have a bad habit of making requests sound like orders, because I often forget to include this one little word.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Random Thoughts On The Grammy Awards

First of all, just let me say that I am VERY grateful that not ONCE last night were the words "And the Grammy goes to...." followed by the name "Taylor Swift."  I appreciate all the girl has accomplished, but honestly, now that she's in her twenties, it's time to move on from writing all the teen angst "he broke up with me" songs. Try writing something a little more grown up, unless you are only looking for the teeny bopper fan base forever.

And while I'm writing about Taylor, may I just ask WHY? was she doing that whole tossing her head around, almost head banging sort of move during her song? It was very distracting, and felt out of place given that she was singing a ballad at the time.

The opening number by Beyonce and Jay-Z had me thinking that maybe I'm getting too old to watch the Grammy show. I'm sorry, but the lyrics to "Drunk In Love" are just nasty. I didn't want to hear about her riding his surfboard all night, I really, really didn't!!!   But, Jay-Z was able to redeem himself a little, later in the show, when he won his Grammy and said "Look, Blue, I got you a new gold sippy cup!"  That was just adorable!!!

Paul and Ringo performing together...Beatle fangirl dreams are made of this, I'm telling you.  That was AMAZING!  I just think it's totally unfair, however, that Ringo is aging so much more gracefully than Sir Paul, who was always my Beatle crush.  Ringo, who is two years older, still looks hot and sexy, while Paul has aged a great deal in the last couple of years. Watching him last night was almost painful, like watching your best friend's dad try to pretend that he's still cool and "with it."

And just because the two of them performed, did they have to then trot out Olivia Harrison and Yoko Ono to present an award?  Olivia is a wonderful woman, but Yoko is just, in my opinion, too socially awkward for that sort of situation. She couldn't even read her part off the prompter without it sounding like she was reading it off the prompter, for heaven's sake.  And yes, I am still bitter over things she's done in the past, and I always will be....that's just the way I am.

Absolutely loved the segment with Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard, and Blake Shelton. The four of them were obviously having a great time together, and they all sounded great. Makes me look forward to April and the ACM Awards, with Blake and Luke Bryan co-hosting--that will definitely be an eye candy night for me!!! The woman can sing, and she's quite the athlete. That was a real Cirque du Soleil worthy performance she did last night above the crowd, not to mention she was singing the entire time she was performing. I have a whole new respect for her after that.

And can I just say that while I genuinely like the Macklemore and Ryan Lewis song Same Love, and all it stands for, I thought the entire group wedding thing was over the top cheesy.  I would never do something like that, unless I'd already had a real, family and friends surrounding me, wedding ceremony somewhere else. Last night was just "Exchange rings" and "By the power vested in me by the State of California......" and it was over.  Way too quick and impersonal for my get more than that from a trip to the courthouse---just sayin'.

Which brings us to Madonna.  As a friend of mine said on Facebook last night: Madonna, Roy Rogers called and he wants his cowboy suit back! Girl, that was not the best outfit choice for you, for sure. I would have preferred the blue corset type thing they were showing her in whenever they showed her picture the million times they hyped the fact she was on the show.

Wow...this turned out longer than I thought it would, and a lot more negative, as well. Again, I think maybe I am just getting too old to watch, and should leave it to the young folk.  Naw, I'll probably be watching again next year, regardless.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunday Stealing: Ask Me Meme

Ask Me Meme

from "Just keep swimming." -Dorthy, Finding Nemo

1:What was the last argument you had about? 
It's been so long since I've had an argument with someone, I couldn't begin to tell you.

2:How long is your longest relationship? 
14 yrs.---the one I'm in currently,

3:What is something not many people know about you? 
That I was a guest on the Geraldo show in 1993.

4:Two truths and a lie. Go. 
I've been married three times.
I taught adult education.
I am a vegetarian.

5:Do you believe in fate/destiny? 
Depends on the day....I've never really made up my mind.

6:Where is somewhere you’ve always wanted to live? 
Somewhere in the South Pacific.

7:Has there ever been a song that made you cry? 
Several....but Christmas Shoes is probably the worst.

8:Do you jump/scare easily? 
Not usually

9:Which birthday has been your favorite? 
Don't know that I have really had one I can call a favorite.

10:Have you ever been pulled over? Arrested? 
Yes, and no.

11:Have you ever been to a fortune teller? 

12:What’s your favorite series of books? 
The Alex Cross series by James Patterson

13:Who is someone that you think knows the most about you outside of family? 
My best friend

14:What is the weirdest thing you’ve eaten? 
Weird to ME, nothing....weird to others, probably squirrel.

15:List one of your quirks. 
My favorite sandwich is peanut butter and pickles, and has been since I was about ten years old.

16:State 1 bad habit of yours. 
I'm a horrible procrastinator.

17:Has a scary movie ever given you nightmares? 
Yes....The Exorcist and The Entity

18:When was the last time you got your hair done in a salon? 
About a year ago, I'd say....I lost it all in June of last year,and it's still not long enough to do anything with yet. 

19:What was the last thing you did with your friends? 
Last week's Monday night Bible study.

20:What’s something that you like to do that others might see as weird? 
Spend most of my time at home with family.

21:What was the last trip you took? 
It's been so long I can't remember....I think it was when the husband and I spent the weekend in Cleveland for the Neil Diamond concert.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Saturday 9: I Will Always Love You

1) The Bodyguard is the best-selling movie soundtrack ever and this is the song most often associated with Whitney Houston. Is it on your iPod/mp3 player?
No, it's not.  It was so overplayed when it was popular that I tend to cringe when I hear it now.

 2) In the movie, Rachel (Whitney) sings "I Will Always Love You" after she realizes she can never see Frank (Kevin Costner) again. What song reminds you of a past love?

3) Despite the movie's and the song's overwhelming popularity, Whitney Houston was awarded a Razzie Award as the worst actress of 1992. What's the most recent criticism you received?Someone on a Facebook page told me that I was being passive aggressive in a debate, because I gave a simple answer at first, then expanded on it in further comments.

4) On the bright side, share the last compliment you received.
My husband complimented my hair last night. 

5) In the 1980s, when Whitney first burst onto the scene, a trendy woman wore big hair, big bows and big shoulder pads. Can you think of anything you wore that was fashionable at the time, but looking back, makes you cringe? (An embarrassing photo to accompany your answer would be nice!)
Turquoise parachute pants....and thankfully there is no photographic evidence of this disgrace!

6) When this song was popular, cell phones were uncommon and Facebook was unheard of. Which has had a bigger impact on your life -- smart phones or social networking? 
Social networking....have never had a smart phone, and have no intention of ever having one.

7) Whitney's marriage to Bobby Brown left many people shaking their heads. Whitney and Bobby's daughter recently married the young man who was raised as her brother. Have you ever been in a relationship your friends/family didn't approve of? first two marriages.

8) Whitney Houston's grave marker reads, "I Will Always Love You," so obviously her family is very proud of the success of this recording. How would you like to be remembered?
As a loving, caring person who always tried to help others.

9) Whitney was born in Newark, the largest city in New Jersey. It's a major air, rail and shipping hub, and it's in the Eastern Time zone. Have you ever been to Newark ... or any town in New Jersey?  

I have been in the airport in Newark several times, and I actually lived there for a couple of months in 1999.

Follow Friday Four Fill-In Fun

Feeling Beachie

The statements:
  • ____ always makes me ____
  • If one song represents how I feel right now it is ____________.
  • In 2013 my biggest challenge was __________ and made me __________
  • I feel ________ about making New Year’s resolutions.

My answers:

Gloomy days always make me depressed and tired.
If one song represents how I feel right now it is "I Will Survive."
In 2013 my biggest challenge was fighting breast cancer, and it made me rearrange my priorities.
I feel negatively about making New Year's resolutions (which is why I don't make them any more.)

Finish The Sentence Friday: Traditional Or Non-Traditional?

Finish the Sentence Friday

We can either be traditional or non-traditional in the way we do things, I... 

I like to think of myself as a fairly balanced mix of the traditional and the non-traditional. However, when it came to my parenting style, I was definitely more on the non-traditional side.

It started with the birth experience....I refused all drugs, all three times. By the time I was far enough along that it was time to push, I was really wishing I'd made another choice (all three times!), but I knew from all of my research that if I could hold out it was what was best for the baby.

I was also a breastfeeding mom, at approximately 18 months for each child, and exclusive breastfeeding for the first year. With people all around me starting their kids on cereal or baby food at 4 to 6 months, I got a LOT of flack over that choice. My kids were going to be sickly, they weren't going to grow properly, etc. Funny how they stayed in the 95th percentile for weight, and had great health, until they STOPPED breastfeeding.  :)

Sleeping arrangements were another non-traditional choice. Each of the kids bed-shared from the day they came home from the hospital, until they were somewhere between two and three years old. When they moved to their own bed in their own room was THEIR choice, which made the transition quick and easy. Once they made the choice, the only time we saw them in our room at night was when they had a nightmare, or when they didn't feel well.

I chose not to rush any of them out of diapers, either. I waited until they let me know they were ready to be a "big kid," at which point we went out and bought them a couple of packages of underwear, which they wore 24/7...and in a week, they were accident free, without a lot of stress on either them or me. For my son, that time came at 3 1/2, and for my girls, between 2 1/2 and 3.

Discipline was yet another big non-traditional area for me. I was spanked/hit for just about every infraction, big or small, and I knew I didn't want to subject any child of mine to that. In fact, that was a decision I made from the age of twelve. So, when I was pregnant with my first, I started researching alternative methods of discipline (with no internet back then, I spent a lot of time at the library, checking out every book I could get my hands on, and then doing some major reading). Eventually, I decided that natural/logical consequences were the best fit for me...a way to teach children right from wrong, where their consequences were directly related to their behavior. Sometimes it took time and creative thinking to come up with a consequence, but I honestly believe that it was worth it.

Funny thing is, looking back at this list, even though my choices weren't considered traditional at the time I made them, or even today, there was a time when most of them were the majority point of view----so maybe I'm more traditional than I thought, in a VERY old-fashioned sense of the word.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Fears Of My Children

Even though all three of my children are now adults, they each have something that scares them, frightens them, creeps them out--however you want to describe it.  Today I am going to embarrass each and every one of them by sharing with you those fears.

Brian, my oldest child and only son:  For reasons I have never fully been able to understand, Brian is creeped out by sock monkeys. He can't stand to look at them, and as a child he was always VERY vocal about not wanting one, ever.

So, of course, when I saw this shirt a few weeks ago, I just HAD to buy it, and make sure I posted a picture of myself wearing it on Facebook.

Samantha, my oldest daughter has a fear of clowns.  In her case, I know where the fear came from: when she was a very young child, her father allowed her to watch the movie IT. Now she can't look at pictures of clowns, and seeing them on tv, in a movie, or at the circus is also traumatic for her.

For some reason, however, she has discovered that female clowns don't have the same effect on her. When we went to Ringling Brothers, and she and her sister were meeting some of the performers, she had no problem approaching female clowns, talking to them, and getting their autographs---but she stayed well away from the male clowns.

My youngest daughter, Amy, is terrified by spiders. As she herself will admit, it is a completely irrational fear. I tend to think that it started with her wanting to be as much like her father as possible--and he was PETRIFIED of spiders, which required me to be the designated spider killer in the house.

At one point, Amy thought that educating herself about spiders would be the best way to get over her fear. Unfortunately, that plan backfired on her...she found information on this thing, the Goliath bird-eating spider, among others, and they scared her even more. These days, she keeps a can of spider spray close when she thinks she is in a situation where she might see one, and sprays anything that even looks like it MIGHT be a spider. And if she happens to be without her spray, she still yells for Mom to come kill it for her.  It's SO nice to be needed!  LOL

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