Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Just put those big girl panties on and deal with it!

Ok....Parenthood is not for sissies! No way no how no where does it say parenthood is going to be easy! I always remember my mom telling my sister and I when we were kids to " put on our big girl panties and deal with it". My sister and I would look at each other (give the cuckoo sign) and go on.......I never understood that comment fully until I had children of my own. I have a boy and a girl and my husband has 2 girls and a boy. The boys are relatively easy but the girls....... Oh, the lord could not give me stepford since that would be way too easy but instead GIRLS who are very diverse!!!

Girls are stubborn, opinionated, bossy, messy and when they become teenagers, they are downright MEAN to each other.....We have 3 in our household. They are 14, 12 and 10. Mal Mal who is the 14 year old is going to be my challenge! She is very much her own person with an attitude to match. She loves the drama and has to be in charge of everything...Then we have Gabby who is sweet, passive and very unsure of herself and just how incredibly beautiful she really is. Anna Banana comes next and she is a funny, silly girl who so badly wants to be as grown as the other two.

The 2 oldest girls share a large bedroom in our house which according to Gabby " is just not fair"...........This said with an eye roll and a foot stomp to emphasize her point....I look at her and calmly say "just put your big girl panties on and deal with it". Oh, no did I just say that???? I sound like my mother!!!!!!! I bet when I turned my back she made the cuckoo sign and went on about her day.....She does not understand how lucky she is to have these other girls in her life but hopefully one day she will. She wants so badly to be grown up and she is not ready for that yet. I really want my 12 year old to stay a tween and not try to act like she is 16 years old. Really, someone please tell me that I am not the only one who feels this way.
I really do like to keep open communication with the girls as I feel that it makes you a better parent. But seriously, are some of these moms living on Mars? Mom, so and so just got her cartilidge pierced can I? No absolutely not....You have 2 holes in your ears and that is all that is allowed in this house....Well, when I turn 18 then I will....My reply, no when you are living on your own and paying all your own bills then you can do whatever you would like....UHHHHHHH!!! That is so cool and you are so mean...Yep that is me...The meanest person you ever met. I deprive you of so much don't I? Mom, Mallory said that she is getting her hair streaked with hot pink this weekend.....Not living in my house she won't. Mal if you return with that in your hair, I will personally take you to the drug store and dye that stuff back blonde the way it is supposed to be. Now, I do not have a problem with highlights in the hair. I am not a prude but really? Number one you can't wear that to school and number two why on earth would you cant to do that to your hair? She has the most beautiful blonde hair that most women would pay big money to have. It just drives me insane when they want to do these crazy things to themselves. I work very hard to build up their self-esteem every day and it just seems to me that some girl at school can erase everything I have worked toward.
Mal Mal recently decided to buy a dress with her mom for the 8th grade banquet and showed it to me via her cell phone. Really, now I am a 42 year old woman with a pretty dang good figure and I would not wear this dress. OMG!! What is her mom thinking? It looks like hoochie mama central (for those not living in the south, that is the same as trashy, slutty etc). She then tells me this morning that she wants to wear it with blue tights to the banquet. What the heck???? Blue tights under a hoochie mama dress. Can you say hoochie to the tenth degree. I suggested that Mal bring the dress back from her mom's house and show it to her dad. I mean really, do I always have to be the bad guy? No way...I can't wait to see that. I am going to get a glass of wine, sit on the couch and watch the fireworks go off. I know that it is not going to be easy but I just really want young women who are contemplating children to stop and think before embarking upon this journey........Girls are tough! I don't know how my mother did it! So, parents of girls and those contemplating it, I just have one thing to say "put on your big girl panties and deal with it!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Let your Flower Bloom!!!

The title for this post is a little interesting due to the fact that it is a standing joke between me and several of my girlfriends. We call ourselves the "clematis club" and yes there are multiple jokes related to that name and we get them all. We even have a little ceremony and jokes about by-laws and sub clubs of the club etc....We are a very diverse group of women who really enjoy each other. We applaud each other's strengths and that is what makes us such close friends. I want to talk about my girlfriends individually so you can get to know and love them like I do. The first one I am going to talk about is "Hi-Mae". She comes by this name honestly and lives up to it to the fullest extent allowable. She is not high maintenance in the way that most people think. She does not spend great deals of money on herself or demand that everything be her way. She is high maintenance in the way that you should be. She has very strong views on marriage, religion and parenting and will let you know in no uncertain terms how she feels. She has a beautiful family and is one of the most organized souls I know. She makes me laugh and has a way with smoothing things over amongst the group that makes her the ultimate diplomat in most situations. She has a way with words and can tell a story that will make you laugh!!! She is an amazing woman and I am honored to call her my friend.
Next comes Leigh-La or for those of you who blog she is tales from bloggeritaville. She has the most amazing spirit and zest for life of anyone I have ever met. She has the most generous and beautiful soul and is always there with a kind word or deed for anyone/anytime. She is an amazing photographer, mother and friend. I often have to tell her how wonderful she is due to the fact that she doubts herself quite often. She feels that she sometimes invokes drama due to the fact that she always tries to do the right thing. I tell her on a regular basis that not everyone in life can handle the right thing and she becomes that persons scapegoat in order to make themselves feel better. She lives life to the fullest and is always doing something fun, eating somewhere cool and she takes the coolest pictures. She is such a wonderful person and friend that I feel blessed to have her in my life.
Then there is Sweetness. She is one of the kindest, gentlest people I have ever met. I met her through another friend of ours and I am a better person for knowing her. She always has a kind word for everyone and a smile on her face. She also has a wonderful family and I often describe her as "home and hearth". She too is another blessing in my life.
Then there is "Diva". Hmmmmm where to begin with Diva....She is a sassy, beautiful, funny person who knows her mind and is not afraid to speak it. She has the unique ability to laugh at herself as well as others. She has faced some struggles lately but always is able to rise to the top. She is the hostess with the mostest and I can't imagine our group without Diva. She is generous to a fault and will make you laugh out loud anytime you are near her.
Oh now it is on to "Happy Hour". She is beautiful and has a smile that can light up the room. She is the type of person who always has a smile for you and will lend a hand whenever one is needed. I salute her commitment to her family and the way she will always champion an animal in need. She is a wonderful person who makes me smile.
Then there is "T". She is my neighbor and friend. As we became closer friends I introduced her to the group and she has blossomed from there. She looks like Beverly D'Angelo and is very reserved with her love. Once she gets to know and like you, she is as loyal as they come. She is a beautiful person and wonderful mother and wife and a phenomenal friend. I often say about "T', that still waters run deep. Our friendship is a treasure and she has been there for me at some of my worst moments.
One of the newer members of our group is "Thriller". I have known her for a while but it was not until the past year that I could truly call her a friend. She is funny, beautiful and a committed friend who will stand up with you in times of need or when you just need to let your hair down and have a good time. She often thanks us for our friendship, but it should be the other way around. She is one of the most kind hearted people I know and a rare gem as a friend.
And last but not least is "Luda". Now "Luda" and I have a different relationship than most as we also work together as well as being friends. She is like my sister from another mother and we often laugh at each other. She is as anal retentive as they come and I know if I need the truth about something I can go to her. She will let me know in no uncertain terms whether I am right or wrong and I love her for that. It is a rare person who will give it to you straight and love you despite being "difficult" (that is what she calls me). She is an absolutely amazing mother, wife, daughter, grand-daughter and friend. She is the one you want to have your back in any situation. What a gift I was given when she came into my life.
We as a group have been together for the death of parents and siblings, divorce, graduation of a child, weddings and just about any other crisis you can imagine. Always there for each other in the good times and bad. We share a bond that surpasses economic class, religion, politics, generation and upbringing. It is those differences that make our friendships strong. We all have certain strengths and talents that are called upon at any given time. I remember something that I read one time about a mother telling her daughter not to let her friends go during her lifetime. She said that there are times in our lives where nothing else will do but a good girlfriend. So, now you can see how blessed I am, and I hope that you take the time to feel blessed too! Call your girlfriends, make GNO plans and let them know what blessings they are in your life...I just did!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Be Nice Boss!

People are always telling me to be nice. I wonder why that is? I am a nice person….I really am. Now I am not saying that I do not have an attitude as that would be a lie. I do have an attitude and know how to use it if the need arises. I often tell my daughter or her friends that I have more attitude in my little finger than they do in their whole body. However, I live by the motto; I am as nice to you as you are to me. In my opinion, that goes along with the bible verse “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. I always start out any interaction with someone in a nice and positive way. How that interaction turns out depends mostly on how that person treats me. I work with the public at a municipal building. We get lots of interesting and frustrated people who come in and out of here. I always try my best to assist them and have the interaction be a win-win for us. However, the types of people I deal with daily are not always the crème de la crème and have a tendency to lie. Now I have gotten very good at differentiating the liars, bitchers, whiners, charmers, cheaters and just plain jerks from the people who
need some assistance. I used to be able to say that most people are nice to deal with but lately I have found that nice people are the exception and not the rule. Everyone seems to have to have someone to blame for their problems/troubles and there is a tale of woe behind each one. Now, I know you are thinking, it can’t be that bad….Well come and spend a day with me.
I always try to be nice when dealing with people but it seems to be more and more difficult to do. I have written posts about accountability and this latest generation of young adults is not being made by their parents to be accountable for their actions. This has produced a generation of people who lack respect for the law and law enforcement. They come in and talk very profane (something I will not tolerate…I once told my boss that he does not pay me enough to put up with that) and expect us to fix it for them. Well, having children myself, I would be horrified if I ever heard one of my children speak to an adult like that and we have an eighteen year old living in our home. I have a rule in my house and tell it to my children often. Do not disrespect an adult …..ever…..If you are having a problem with an adult and feel that you need to speak up, then tell me what is going on and I will handle it for you. I am an adult and have earned that right. You have not!!! So, I say all this because I get told all the time to be nice “Boss” don’t be so difficult “Boss”. Just because I don’t usually take much crapola from people does not keep me from being nice. I have even had letters written to my boss about how nice I am. Of course there are also some letters in there that say I was not so nice. My girlfriend Leigh-La has a look that she gives me when she wants me to be nice. It is the sweetest look you have ever seen. She uses those beautiful eyes of hers and looks at me like I am about to kick a puppy. I usually will be nice after that. She is always nice…….let me repeat……..always nice……….once again always nice………Sometimes way too nice and will not stand up for herself. We are working on that aren’t we darlin? She actually recently let her inner “B” out and found that it felt good and changed some things for her. I tell her all the time that people will treat you the way you allow them to. So, if I ever have the opportunity to meet you in person, I will let you judge for yourself. If you feel that I was not as nice as I should have been, just lean over and say…Be nice Boss!

Fly on the wall

Ever wish you could be a fly on the wall? There are times I would love to be able to be one and be in on some of the conversations that I have heard re-told by my girlfriends. Recently, my girlfriend "Hi-Mae" had an issue with a local bakery in town. Now, you have to know Hi-Mae to truly appreciate this episode. She is one of the best story-tellers that I know and without being able to see the hand gestures you miss out the true "Hi-Mae' experience. Last night we were having a GNO and she was telling the story to everyone. She has a way with words and gestures that will about make you pee your pants. The story began with her telling us about the cake that she had ordered for her boys birthday party and how excited she was since her family was also in town for the event. The cake was due to be picked up on Saturday at noon and so "Hi-Mae" called her to check on the cake. She says that the lady told her that she was having a problem with another cake and was not able to get to hers today......What?????????@#, awkward silence......gulping breath...another awkward silence. Ummmm, my family is here and I ordered a cake and I do not care about your other cake issue. At this point I wish I could have been the fly on the wall to see the expression on her face and watch her husband attempting to calm her down. The bakery lady quickly told her that she could skip church and have it ready by Sunday morning. "Hi-Mae" hung the phone up and then was encouraged by her mom to call Publix. All went well and she was able to get a cake from Publix. By the time the story was over we were all laughing at the table because we all know her and love her. That is why I wish I could at times be a fly on the wall....She also blogs and her post on this "crazy cake escapade" was hilarious.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Planting the garden or growing the flower

I remember the day my mom and dad got married all those years ago. What is that you say? How is that possible? You should not have been there. Well, I was and I was 6 years old. My mom met my dad when I was about 4 and we lived in Columbus Georgia. She was his bookkeeper and he used to laugh and say that he took one look at her legs and knew he had to hire her! My parents got married and I got a dad, and three brothers at the same time. We were never ones who believed in the word step in our home. We were a family, kind of like the brady bunch. They married on a beautiful July day in front of a swimming pool with lots of friends and family. I remember this because I hated my hair (all curls and hairspray) and I had to wear a dress!!!! To the ultimate tom-boy that is agony. My mom looked like a flower child and my dad a polka player. They were so beautiful and in love! I give you all this information to talk about what it means to grow the flower. My dad was not my biological father. My biological father was killed in Vietnam 2 and a half weeks before I was born. I never got the chance to meet him and he was so young. Only 21 years old and killed in the line of duty. What a shame that such a young life was cut so tragically short. My dad adopted both my sister and I with the blessing of my Grandma Jean (my biological fathers mom). She adored my dad and approved of him for my sister and I. So, I have often said that it does not take a real man or woman to plant the seed but it does take one to grow the flower. I say that because making a child is the easy part; raising one is the hard part. My dad raised my sister and I in such a loving environment that I feel blessed to have had such a person in my life. In the society where blended families are the norm now days, it is important to take the time to tend those flowers. I recently listened to my husband talk about his step-dad who passed away this week and the things that he taught him in life. He speaks with great love and affection about one of the men in his life who tended that flower/garden. That is what it life is all about. So, remember to thank those in your life who not only planted the seed, but most importantly tended that flower!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Leave nothing unsaid

My thoughts today center around the important things in life. Faith, family and friends. There is nothing more important than remembering this in our day to day struggles. We, as a society are so caught up in the here and now and in some cases what I call "keeping up with the Jones'" that we forget what is the most important. God has a way of reminding us on a daily basis. He has a tendency to put things in perspective for us. I remember when my dad passed away. I had a restless night the night before worrying about bills, the kids etc, so I did not go to sleep until about one in the morning. It was about 2am when my cell phone rang with a wake-up call from one of HPD's finest. I work as a magistrate at the PD and have a good working relationship with my fellow police officers. This particular officer is one of my favorites and he was calling to let me know that he was on his way to my parent's house. Now, I am half asleep and thinking to myself, why is he going there? He said Kym, your dad had a heart attack and it does not look good. They are working on him and you might want to get there. I don't remember what I had on or even how I got to my parent's house. I do remember that my mom and I later joked that I had on house slippers and non-matching socks. At that point in my life, it did not matter how much money I had in the bank, how big my house was or how much I weighed. The only thing that mattered at this point was making sure my mom and dad were ok. Of course in the end my dad left us to be with God, but at least I was able to be there for my mom during her most difficult time. Life changed for me that night. I no longer sweat the small stuff like I once did and try to remember that " this too shall pass". The one thing in life that I became more concious of was making sure I left nothing unsaid. If I love you and you are important to me, I am going to let you know it. There are so many times in our lives when we look back and play the shoulda, coulda, woulda game. Please don't let your family and close friends be a shoulda, coulda, woulda in your life. Let them know how you feel about them each and every day. It is not just saying the words, it is living them. Small actions, a smile, a phone call a text. All these things become so important when you look back on life. The one thing I can say with my dad is that the last thing I told him before he died was that I loved him....How many people wish they had that chance again...................So, leave nothing unsaid.

"If we discovered that we only had five minutes left to say all that we wanted to say, every telephone would be occupied by people calling other people to stammer that they loved them".
-Christopher Morley

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sanity Savers

Two of my sanity buddies!

A better pic! Sanity buddy #1 and me!

We all have people in our lives that drive us crazy right? I mean I know I am not the only difficult person in this world who interacts with crazy people. There is just no way that I am the only person who could possibly feel this way. Whether it is people we work with, family members, church members or neighbors...There is always those select few who drive us insane. I mean ready to crack open a big bottle of wine and down it in one gulp kind of crazy. Well, for those of you who get along and love everyone you meet, this post is not for you....because you are either God or Jesus and you do not need to go on reading this any more. Now that those people who are in denial are gone us sinners in life can talk turkey. I have come up with some tips to help you maintain your sanity when dealing with these challenging people. Now, I am going to preface this with I get that I might make someone insane as well. Well, if I do, just use these tips and I am sure you will be calm, cool and collected in the end. If not, then just stay away from me if possible and I won't drive you crazy in the end. So, here goes with my top ten sanity savers in life:
1. MEDICATION-If this is your sanity saver then you won't really care that the person is driving you nuts and will probably be smiling the entire time they are talking to you.
2. COPIOUS AMOUNTS OF ALCOHOL-This is a sure fire way to either dull your senses or make you un-inhibited enough to tell the person how you really feel. Either way you might not remember it later and life will be good for you.
3. IMAGERY-You can pretend that you are doing any number of things to this person or can go away to another universe where they do not exist! This works well. I have tried this on many occasions.
4. CALLING IN SICK- Now understand this works well for a day or two and then you will have to resort to 1-3 in order to keep your job.
5. REGURGITATION- This works really well if you really want the person you are talking to/dealing to think you are sick. You might not even have to fake this! If that is the case then opt for #4 and it gives you a little more time to recuperate.
6. MEDITATION-Light a candle, read a devotional, burn some incense, and take yourself away to another realm, universe or destination. Please remember to do this in private as some people might think you are nuts. It you are still in danger of losing your sanity, please refer to #'s 1 & 2.
7. USE AN EXCUSE-PMS, bipolar, irritable bowel syndrome, etc. This will give you a little bit of leeway when you get "snippy" or "pissy" with that person. It will also give you a chance to possibly use # 4 if you work with that person. Please remember that the repeated use of # 4 could result in unemployment and/or homelessness. This could also impact your ability to afford #'s 1 and 2 which could possibly prove fatal for you.
8. HONESTY-Now please remember that this is just a suggestion to you. If you feel the need to lay all your cards on the table with this person, remember one thing. This person drives you crazy!!! So, make sure that you use this approach in front of numerous witnesses, as it might result in what we southern girls call a "hissy fit". The reason for the audience is that if witnesses are needed in court to attest to your insanity defense.....You are all set. Please remember that if honesty is not your policy or you do not want to hurt the others feelings then please resort to #'s 1 & 2.
9. SANITY BUDDY-This can be a very important person in your life. Make sure that you put him/her on your speed dial so they can be contacted at a moment's notice. However, make sure that your sanity buddy is not as crazy as the person who you are calling about or you will have defeated the purpose. A true sanity buddy will participate in any of the above mentioned sanity savers and bail you out of jail if you require those services. I have several of these!
10. Now that you are at the end of the list # 10 encompasses all of the afore mentioned sanity savers. It is clearly written in the sanity saver by-laws that you may use them all at once or any combination thereof. Please be aware that if you do this, there is the slight possibility of a complete and total breakdown. That being the case the person who drove you to implement any or all of these savers, will tell are her friends well "bless her heart". We as southern women know exactly what that means and realize that is never a phrase we want attached to our names.
I hope that my sanity savers help you out today, tomorrow or any time in the near future. If not, I hope it makes you laugh today!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Cherish the time you have

I always remember a story that someone told me one time and the quote at the end is "Life is what happens while you are busy making plans". This is so true for all of us in life. We are so focused on the present, raising kids, taking care of our families, working etc, that we sometimes forget to stop and enjoy life. I am a huge homebody and am most relaxed sitting at home watching a movie, reading a book or just spending some quality time with my family. I am not a roamer by nature and while traveling is nice from time to time, I like to be in my home with my people. As I said in an earlier post, I enjoy unwinding with my gal pals. They make me laugh and allow me to be who I am. That being said I want to let you know about one of the most precious gifts I have ever been given in my life. The love of my family. My sister is the first one I am going to talk about. She is a wonderful woman in so many ways. She is a good mother, wife, sister, and granddaughter. Having said that she is also a fantastic person....She tends to sometimes forget that she is not just the things I mentioned but a beautiful person from the inside out. Now, when we were growing up, we fought like cats and dogs. She and I have very different personalities and are total opposites in almost every way. We did the typical I can't stand you for most of our childhood and teenage years. It was not until we grew up and had children that we learned to appreciate each other for the women that we have become. I love her for the person that she is and embrace the differences between us. She is so much more amazing than she realizes and I love her very much.
Then there is my mom. I have often told her that she is the strongest woman that I know. She has faced more adversity in her lifetime than most people ever think about. She has faced the death of a child, parent and spouse. She has done all this and has managed to maintain a wonderful outlook on life and love. She is a survivor in so many ways. I attribute alot of my parenting skills to my mom. She taught me alot about lessons in life and how to handle just about any situation. One of the things she taught me in life that stick with me is that people will treat you the way you allow them too. This is so true. I have made my share of mistakes and looking back on them I realize that she was right. I allowed alot of what happened to me happen by not standing up and saying " no, you are not going to treat me this way!
I have already talked in a previous post about my grandmother and the type of person that she is. I am so blessed to have been able to spend so much time with her over the past few years and hope to continue to do so. Growing up, I did not get to spend much time with my grandmother as I did not see her very often. She lived in Pennsylvania and was still raising kids herself. It was not until I became an adult that my grandmother and I became friends. She is a wonderful, funny, amazing woman that I hope to continue to be able to share time with.
Now, I am going to talk about my dad. What a wonderful man! I have always said that he was greatest man I ever knew and that is so true. He was the most loving, giving person I have ever known. He was my biggest cheerleader and my soft place to fall when life was getting me down. He faced alot of adversity in his life and stayed smiling until the day he died. He was a rare breed of man who never judged me but always told me the truth if I asked for it. He and I used to talk every Sunday morning on the telephone. Now understand that my dad did not talk on the phone....He was not one for idle chit chat. But, every Sunday morning we spent about an hour talking about life and everything in it. We would discuss kids, football the weather, politics, religion and so on. The one thing he would always tell me is "life is a gift". Each and every day I have here is a blessing. You know I should not be here but I am. He would always tell me that he was not ready to go today but if it was his time to go then he would and would have no regrets. He told me every time I saw or talked to him that he loved me and was proud of the woman I had become. My dad has been gone a year now and I miss him each and every day. However, I cherished the time that I had with him and know that we never left the most important saying in life unsaid. " I love you" is the most important gift you can give your family and friends. Not just saying it but showing it in each and every way. I know that my dad is smiling down on me each day saying....there you go baby. I am so proud of you and I love you. So, cherish the time you have with your greatest gifts in life....your family and friends......A valuable lesson I learned from my family and friends.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Give me a break!

I am constantly amazed at the speed in which our children grow up now days. I think our society puts too much pressure on young girls to be sexy and grown up without truly thinking about the consequences it has on these young ladies. Everyone seems so blase' about the clothing, TV shows and music that our children are listening to. My 12 year old daughter came to me the other day and was telling me about a pair of boots that she wanted. They are converse boots that lace up and she wants to wear them with shorts......What???? She said that another girl had them on at school and everyone thought they were are twelve and have no concept of what sexy really is. These are words that are thrown around middle school all the time. Sexy, hot, provocative and the list goes on!!! I remember the words cute and fine being used in middle school and then the same went on in high school.
I remember a time when cheerleaders looked like wholesome all american girls and not hoochie mama's in midriff showing tops. It was very daring to wear a top that showed a peek of your stomach in college and now they make these shirts for six year olds.....REALLY!!! And we wonder why there is so much more pressure on our kids than ever. Listen to the way they talk and interact now days. Well, if you call texting at the rate of 200 or so texts a day talking to each other. What happened to a good old fashioned phone call to someone or even passing a note back and forth. Those were the days when communication was done face to face and people usually had to face you to break up with you or at least call you on the phone. Now it can be done with the click, click of a keyboard. To me it kind of takes alot the the responsibility and accountability away from people in a relationship.
I really worry about my children and the future that they face. I always make a point to stress accountability for their actions and that for every action there is a consequence that must be faced. I sometimes feel like the meanest mother in the world because I tell my kids all the time that "I was not put here to be your have enough of those. I am your mom". I feel that it is my job to give my children the tools to be good people and make smart decisions in life. It is a much more difficult task given that many other parents want to be buddies with their children and spend entirely too much time giving their children what they want, instead of what they need. We as a society really need to re-evaluate our priorities or we will end up with a future generation that does not have good morals and values. This is scary as these children are our future leaders........WAKE UP! and lets teach our kids the true values that are important in life! Someday they will grow up and be out on their own. I hope that my kids will raise their children they way my parents raised me!