Friday, October 19, 2012

Mommy Insecurities

Listen, I don't want to be your BFF. I don't need to exchange recipes or shop together or giggle about our droopy boobs and over-burdened bladders. I only want my son to have a play date with your kids. I've left three messages over the last three weeks.

My super-eager son, who is smitten with your children/his classmates asks me EVERY day " when are the sisters coming to play?". My heart breaks. I sugar-coat my answer with tenderness and humor. "Oh Baby Boy! Their mom is SO busy, I'm sure she just forgot to call us back!" "Call her again Mom!" he encourages me with the same perseverance that I attempt to instill in him. Thoughts of being pegged as Phone Stalker Mom come to mind. I try to change the subject.

This waiting and wondering is STRESSING me out. My own insecurities seep into my brain like black slime, the SAME slime that plagued me as a teenager in this SAME small town. I know you were a cheerleader, popular and beautiful and I wasn't. You lived in one of the fancy houses up on the hill. I didn't live on the hill. I get it.

I like to think that I've evolved beyond this... but clearly, I haven't. This whole thing makes me feel really, really crappy. My greatest hopes for my sons are high self-esteems, positive thinking, limitless dreams and goals, bottomless hearts, creative wonder, and the ability to push past social barriers and stereotypes. This is what makes me tick as a mother. Could you try to overlook that my kitchen floor is sticky, that I'm overweight and out of shape and that I'm still not "popular"?

So here I sit and type. My heart races and I want to cry. Our kids attend the same school. There are less than 110 students! I am confident that I will be face to face with you too soon. I may have to hear your excuses if you're so inclined to even acknowledge my calls. The worst part... the VERY worst part... what should I tell my baby boy without breaking his spirit and his heart?

My Baby Boy!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Halloween Creepies!

 Okay, I am a holiday decorating FREAK! Not going to try to hide it. It always gets my creative juices flowing, puts me in the mood and I have such a blast with it. It's really therapeutic for me! LOL Unfortunately, with my creative decorating mania, I've created quite the holiday buffs with my sons. As soon as the stores start putting out their holiday wares, my boys think it's time for me to do the same. And as ALL OF YOU KNOW... the stores do it WAAAAAAAY too early! LOL I am not a professional or trained decorator, just come from a long line of women who have a knack. The trick to success is to HAVE FUN. There are a couple of rules that I've learned along the way as far as balance... always use an odd number of "objects" in a vignette, vary the heights of objects, use items that can you can use over and over again for various holidays and seasons, even if something seems unconventional... USE IT. That's the stuff that will have "YOU" written all over it and make it personal. It's always a challenge to come up with holiday decorations and not spend a small fortune doing so. I often shop at dollar stores, Goodwill and Salvation Army type stores. And I ALWAYS hit up my favorite stores AFTER the holidays. You will save tons and tons of money, I promise! Then each year when you open up your various boxes of decorations, it will be a total surprise finding all of your cheapo treasures purchased from the previous year. I always buy my paper products for the next year that way too! So here is a peek inside my Witch's Dining Room/Apothecary.

The piano is all decked out with creepy cloth from the dollar store and my collection of  "witchy" things!
Close-up pic of a bird's nest with gumball eye "eggs" nestled inside old tarnished bed spring. I use these
springs at Christmas time for ornaments and pine boughs tucked inside, at Easter for more nests and eggs and even the Fourth of July for propping up flags.
Witch shoe, hat and old rusty spring with eyeball candy!
And her apothecary!!!
Creepy cloth from a dollar store with fake roaches entangled in it.
HUGE IMPACT for A DOLLAR a piece!!! I have these hanging EVERYWHERE!

Love my Matilda witch doll from Hallmark that I treated myself to many moons
ago! I used to get incredible coupons to use during my birthday month and
bought her for a song!!! Notice the pet spider in her lap? A little detail that tells a story!

All kinds of gross things to amuse the eye!

Notice my use of different textures? The old "silver" adds bling and shine.The brown bottles whisper "Poison" even without spooky labels. The wooden bowl with the mossy rocks (also from the dollar store) conjure images of a witch hiding in the woods with her Black Magic.

I like to use cheap plastic mice and spiders tucked in here and there. If you show their tails and not their usually sloppily painted and unrealistic faces, you create a bit of mystery. After all, the animals wouldn't pose for you... they would scatter!!!

A close-up pic of the mossy rocks and more springs!

Notice the varying heights... and crooked candle!!! OOPS!

Again... dollar store "grow-your-own animals" that increase in size when you place them in water. I recycle food jars and add pebbles, pine needles, food coloring and coffee grounds for CREEP factor! When Halloween is over... dump the jars, rinse them out... let them dry then reuse the following year!

The brain, again is from the dollar store, placed on a bed of tissue paper "lettuce" and then topped with an upside down candle hurricane. The ear is eerily placed in an old salt cellar that I also use over and over again to tuck something cute and little into like sea shells. The teeth belong to my babies!!! LOL The Tooth Fairy has been a very busy girl for the last 19 years!!!

Maggots are placed in an old salt shaker. I found the cool old bottle for the
earthworms at my local Goodwill. I shop for these type of finds ALL YEAR and
NEVER pass up something really unusual. Speaking from experience, it WILL NOT be
 there if you change your mind and go back for it later. The worms are fishing lures.
They were quite expensive for my budget, but with all the money I saved on used items
and shopping at the Dollar Tree, I rationalized the purchase! LOL The label for the worms
came from the internet. You can find all kinds of free downloads if you look! Here are some
really neat labels!

Notice the black mouse tail???

My poor Shrunken Man! LOL You can buy six of these little skeletons for a dollar
 at the Dollar Tree. I used a lighter to melt his joints so that I could bend him into a sitting
position. The top of the jar is a rusty old biscuit cutter.

Notice I have the shrunken man propped up on a overturned silver bowl to give him the proper height.

The skeleton head was VERY expensive. He was $10 from Big Lots. (That's expensive for me!!!) I have
him on a silver egg plate that I use for different holidays all yearround. He's nestled into green moss with
bugs here and there. Oh, the mercury glass candle holder was also a HUGE splurge from Big Lots! $10!

For some humor I turned his gumball eye inward so he looks cross-eyed and silly.
Notice his other eye appears to have fallen out and landed in the moss below?
Another little story being told.
How can one girl have SO MUCH FUN at the dollar store!?!?!?!? LOL

I used an old wooden spool and round cooking racks to create varying heights.
Because they are covered up in the creepy cloth, you don't even think to look at what
the objects are stacked on. I use the wooden spool often in my decorating.

I hope you got a kick out of my super-cheap decorating ideas. For me, part of the
challenge is being able to AFFORD it do it. What fun is it if you feel guilty about the
money spent for decorations that will only enjoy for a short time each year?

Happy Halloween!!!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Where have I been?

It's been one of THOSE WEEKS! I haven't had one in a long time so I've conveniently forgotten how tremendous and awful they are and how they effect my WHOLE LIFE, including my Big Guy's and son's. I have Multiple Sclerosis and I'm flaring... BAD. I am dizzy and off-balance. I cling to walls to support myself. My head feels too heavy for my neck to support it and it feels like it could fall off, landing on the floor in a heavy thud beside me. I am constantly on a platform of great heights, fighting for balance, hovering over a long drop into the unknown. Any quick motion or slight breeze could send me reeling over the dangerous edge, but I remind myself that there is a chair underneath, saving me from a great fall. I have weird zaps that explode in my calves like the firing of a Fourth of July sparkler. Just as I could scream in agony... it dissipates and it's fizzles out. Relief. The tremors rip down my spine and send rhythmic bounces up and down. I look as if my entire upper body is nodding "Good Day". Clearly it is NOT a good day. I am plagued with extreme fatigue that can never be fully described. It is coma-like. The thought of walking the grueling ten miles to the bathroom down the hall is too overwhelming to contemplate. Do I really have to go THAT bad? I've endured two, very sick newborn babies. My first prince had Pyloric Stenosis and was slowly starving before being diagnosed and receiving needed surgery. My second prince had Impressive Reflux and was in tremendous pain. Neither newborn slept well. In Life's pissing contest of being tired, I can promise you that M.S. exhaustion isn't comparable.

So this week my blog was neglected. My classes fell behind. The laundry pile grew. My creative energy dulled. My husband had to pick up the slack. Kids needed to get their own snacks. My world was put on pause.

Now we get to play detective. Is my flaring of symptoms because of the recent weather changes? Is it because I haven't seen my beloved Chiropractor in awhile? Am I fighting an infection? My husband and I look for the clues to solve the puzzle... SOMETHING is going on inside my body. It's time to call the doctor with my vague list. He understands the disconnect that M.S. has caused between me and my body.

For now, my Big Guy and the boys, we push through. We still laugh and giggle. We sing. The three of them tip-toe around me because they know I am not strong right now. I think it scares them, my weakness. Most of the time, we quietly live with Multiple Sclerosis and it's no big deal. These are the times that it stares at us head on, taunting us with the "what ifs". Serious relapse? Wheelchair? Hospitalization? But again, for now, we push on through and do the best we can. So friends, bear with me... I'll pick up the pieces again soon. I promise.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Putting it out there...

Messages. Messages? Messages! Email, the answering machine, okay I'm old school... we STILL use a landline WITH an answering machine!!!, facebook, post-its, etc. We are bombarded with MESSAGES every minute of the awakened part of our day. Even subliminally, we see the messages. For me it's the pile of dishes and laundry confiscating my self-worth, whispering to me what a disaster I am. It's the jewelry tree on my dresser filled with beautiful bling that I never wear because I haven't lost enough weight, my hair needs cut and who really cares what I look like? The pile of the kids school work and papers send me messages that I should be more organized and that I should head over to Pinterest and find unique and wonderful ways to memorialize my kid's childhood. My self-talk, the messages that I send to myself, need to improve. I've got to re-write them. Instead I need to think BELIEVE that "We had a healthy dinner and ate together as a family last night."  Warm fuzzies!!! "Girl... put that necklace on with those sweatpants! You look FABULOUS whatever you wear!" and smile at myself in the mirror. As for all those papers, "Before long the boys will be grown and I will have NO IDEA what is going on in their lives. I will covet this connection I have with them for right now, piles and all!"

The recent artwork that I've been working on has taken a fun new twist for me. It's happy and bright and playful, filled with vintage toys and positive messages like "Dream Big" and "Enjoy Life Sip by Sip Not Gulp by Gulp" and "All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy". I am putting joy and good, clean fun out into the universe and I am finding myself engulfed in the process. The sanding, the painting, the cutting, the trimming, the gluing. Each step is infused with my well-wishes for the world. I dream of the new owner opening up their package filled with my art and smiling at it. It feels like MY ART is putting good into the world and hopefully negating maybe a tiny bit of those negative messages hanging out there, dragging us all down. It calms me and soothes me and makes me feel even more creative and more positive. My heart is opening and I'm learning to forgive myself a little more. Could my art do this for someone else? What a gift. For me. For them. It's a win/win. So today, I'm quieting the messages and being gentle with myself. I'm working hard and doing my best. I'm stopping to be grateful. I'm mindful of the messages I am sending MYSELF. For right now, at this moment, here with you, I am witty and fun and spunky and I am making you smile, because I'm smiling!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

On Farting...

Despite growing up in a house with 3 brothers, I wasn't much of a tomboy. Sure, I'd play outside. I just didn't get dirty. Riding bikes? Make mine PINK please!  I was the oldest and only daughter and I liked girl things like earrings, Barbies and my Smaller Homes dollhouse. I was the Princess! I was allotted lovely little privileges like my own room with floral wallpaper of course! My bed linens and clothing were washed with Lavender Sachet fabric softener Yes! My mother washed my clothing and linens separate from the rest of the family members'. I never had to wear a hand-me-down prom dress. For the most part, I enjoyed my family status. I liked being a girl!

Here's where the problem lied... farting!  (Yes! I call it FARTING!) See, my dad, God love him... he was an avid farter, still is. He never held back. When it came to his digestive tract, my dad had gusto! Dad was a proud farter often basking in his "sweet smell of success".  My little brothers followed Dad's lead. As in any etiquette-driven  home (insert eye roll) I can lovingly recall many "farting parties" that took place between my Dad and brothers. They would giggle their asses off (no pun intended) while reveling in their flatulence. Good times. Good times. So watching all of this fun unfold before me, I was a little envious. Being the Princess and all, I couldn't partake in such indulgences. Or could I?

My wild ideas where reigned in (or at least she tried) by my very prim and proper Mother (whom I've heard fart only ONCE in my 41 plus years of life). She would gently remind me that ladies don't "fart". We "fluffy" and we do it discreetly and privately. Um, WHAT?!?!?! I had a pioneer moment and thought "If they can do it... I CAN TOO". Was it the years of suppressing all of that fearless childhood energy? Had I not served myself well by being so "girly"?  From then on... I boldly and zestfully went where no princesses before me went... and I, like the men in my home, learned the joy of sharing a good "fluffy" once in awhile, giggling beside them.

As the years rolled on, I evolved a bit. By the time my husband found me in life, I had found my inner Princess again and was content to fulfill my civic duties with lady-like grace. I suppressed those "fluffies", indulging only in private. As for him, my Prince Charming, he practiced self-control and was a seemingly perfect gentleman until our SECOND date. Instead of horror or disgust, I was pleased with his wild and unabashed abandonment of social graces. Here before me was this handsome, funny, sweet and seemingly put together man who felt comfortable enough WITH ME to let go... to be himself, to relax, to feel non-judged. It took awhile but eventually I was brave enough and bestowed him with "fluffies" of my own, after all I didn't think that THAT was part of my dowry. Fifteen years later, it is still a match made in heaven and every once in awhile this QUEEN can be found giggling and partaking in farting parties with her three little princes.

Little Brothers!