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Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

Very Friendly Butterfly!

They say if a butterfly lands on you it means good luck! I think it’s just plain cute!

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I always tell my daughters, “You probably should be nicer to each other, one of these days you may wake up and discover that each other is all you have”. Of course, it goes on deaf ears. Just like I’m sure it did when I was younger and I was irritated with one of my 3 sisters. Raising two girls sure has made me appreciate my mother, who raised 4. Every time I tell my parents stories of the trials and tribulations of raising 2 girls, they just smile and I know they are thinking “Payback’s a bitch”!! Well, probably without the bitch part, since I definitely didn’t learn my cussing from my parents! LOL!

So, a while back, my mom gave the 4 of us girls this USB filled with pictures. She took and scanned in pictures of us growing up, categorized them by daughter and then saved them to a USB for each of us. Then, when realizing she had so much room on the USB, she saved each individual ones, to each others…so basically, we all have each others pictures. My mother is amazing and I don’t want to even get started on that, because this post is supposed to be about my sisters, and I could write about my amazing mother for days. So anyways…the recent family camping trip reminded me about my USB and so I looked through the pictures again last night. They make me laugh…they make me think, what the hell were we wearing…they make me cry, wishing I lived right next door to all of them…and they make me realize…hey, did I ever get new stuff? I mean, I know I’m the youngest…but did I only get hand me downs? LOL! I might file a formal complaint!

What I’ve learned as an adult, and which I try to tell my girls, even though they don’t listen, is that I do remember cat fights at my house. I do remember wishing I was an only child. I do remember wishing I had my own room or I didn’t have to wear hand me downs. But now, those things are just stories and pictures, that we laugh about. Now, I am so grateful to have my sisters in my life. We’ve had a few “girls trips” over the years and boy, the laughter that still comes from thinking about those nights…Paula blowing the power at the casita…Laura falling down the stairs…Kathy and I having a few too many tequila shots and losing the car and our credit cards! I can’t imagine my life without my sisters…and yet 30 years ago, I would have traded any of them for a puppy in a heart beat! LOL!

The Four of Us

My mother used to dress us alike. My dad used to say it’s because she made our clothes from the old curtains! LOL! But seriously, she did make all of our clothes. She and my aunts would get together and they would sew clothes for all of us kids. (Who does that? Do any mom’s do that anymore?) And unfortunately they were always matching!

It's like a freak show with all the matching! LOL!

We would have the same material, but they would be different patterns. That was great for Laura, the oldest, because she only had to wear it once…but me, yeah, hand me downs, so basically it looked like I wore the same thing for like 4 years…because I had to wear everyone else’s clothes! Haha, I have proof Mom, don’t think you’re getting away with this!

Notice the red and blue dresses!

And then…

Notice the red and blue dresses now!!

I talked about my family a little in my post about our family camping trip and I might have concentrated then on how crazy funny my family is. But I think when I look back through all these pictures of me and my sisters I can’t help but think about how amazing my parents were at raising us to actually “be sisters”. Yes, maybe they had to force us to spend time together then, and hell, they even force us to spend time together now (couple years ago they paid for us all to go on a cruise for their 50th anniversary and of course, there is the annual family camping trip) but they taught us how important it is to be a family…and I hope it’s something that I can show my girls as well. It’s hard for me, with a broken family. I worry about whether I can instill that in them as my parents did us…but a family doesn’t mean you have to be a dad, mom and 2.5 kids living in a big house with a white picket fence. A family means you have to love each other, tolerate each other and support each other. The tolerate thing I’m still trying to teach my girls. LOL! I guess that will come in time! Hmmm, I wonder if my sisters are still just tolerating me? 🙂

Vacationing in San Diego!

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This past weekend my entire family went on our annual camping trip. Yes, there were a few members missing but I believe we still had about 25 people there. All in one cabin. Yep, I’m going to say that again. ALL. IN. ONE. CABIN!!!! Haha, you can already imagine the fun, can’t you? But seriously, my family is fun. I wonder if most people can say that? I always tend to get sort of lost in my own little bubble and feel like I’m so normal, but the more I look around, the more I see that I’m the different one. So maybe everyone doesn’t vacation annually with their entire family in one cabin. I guess it’s their loss. Because it truly is a very fun time for all of us.

You see, I grew up camping. Since before I can even remember, my family (including aunts, uncles, grandparents & cousins) has always spent the summertime camping in the White Mountains. Now when we were young, we camped in tents. You know, the type of camping where you can’t take showers and you pee behind a bush. Although, thank goodness my Dad has always been a camping freak and therefore always had the latest inventions…like porta-potties! LOL! I still am not good at the “pee behind a bush thing”. Definitely spoiled. So anyways, growing up…we spent most camping trips at the same campsite. No, I don’t mean at the same location in the White Mountains…I mean at the exact same campsite at that exact same location in the White Mountains. Dad – Camping Freak…remember?!!! I remember us getting there one time and someone was in our spot…yeah, that didn’t go over well. My Dad stalked those people until they left…then we moved camp into OUR spot. Haha, bet those people have never been camping since.

Me & my Mom and sisters, Kathy & Paula

But now, we are all older…and things like showers seem so much more important. Although, I will be the first to admit…I didn’t shower on this last trip. I’m still a believer in the “if you’re camping, you get dirty” thing. But, really with all those people, a cabin is really easier. Especially for feeding all of us. And boy, do we eat well. This year there was an entire table (and several buckets) dedicated to just the snack foods. I think I ate my weight in gummy bears! And Saturday morning breakfast…Egg McMuffins. Yep, and I am the Queen of making the round eggs for them. Maybe I could get a job at McDonalds? Wait…I think my niece suggested that. Thanks a lot Michelle!! LOL! Anyways, I digress, camping with my family is an experience that I will treasure for the rest of my life. This year I think was our 13th or 14th year. So my youngest has grown up doing this trip. This year, we had 3 of the 5 great grandkids with us. If you ask me, my parents are the most amazing people around…getting their whole family together like that every year…just so we can all make fun of each other!

If you're camping...you get dirty!

Dirt at its finest!

So of course, there are certain traditions that we do every year…like The Great Boodini, the biggest fish competition, the Sam Ting joke (yeah, its not really funny, but all my life I’ve never been able to say “same thing” without saying “Sam Ting”) and this year we started a new tradition…Minute to Win It games. Of course, there’s also the Abandoned Cabin walk. Yep, its just what it sounds like. We all go for a walk through all of the abandoned cabins and we talk about ghosts and finding dead bodies…and most times there is at least one “scary moment” when someone screams! Yeah, it sounds dumb…but it wouldn’t be a family camping trip without it.

The Great Boodini!!

So, The Great Boodini. That started so long ago. There are 4 girls in my family…yes I know, my poor Father…and amongst us we have 11 kids (my baby is the youngest of them at 13 now). Those 11 now have 5 kids amongst them. Geez, everytime I think about that I feel so old. Every camping trip, my Father would do magic tricks for the 11 kids. And every year he got better and spent more money on tricks. Eventually he became, The Great Boodini, and the box of tricks was made and I believe the kids even made him a cape and hat. Then, those 11 kids started to become teenagers…and those darn boys…they started to learn The Great Boodini’s tricks. And that pissed The Great Boodini off…so he went into retirement. LOL! But now, last year, he had a reappearance…and now he has a whole new audience to play too. And the little ones, they loved it! And The Great Boodini has learned to ignore the heckling from the crowd of obnoxious older kids (and their parents, LOL). Or maybe he’s just losing his hearing? Whatever, he is a true professional…and I look forward to more years of him!

So this year, we decided to add a night of Minute to Win It games to our schedule. My youngest looked up a bunch of games, made all the notes, bought all the supplies and ran the whole shebang! And it was a blast. We seperated into 2 teams…the Bad Asses and the Tight Asses (yep, I keep saying, my family is crazy). All I have to say is…it was HYSTERICAL. Yep…my family finds amusement in the silliest of things…mostly making fun of each other….so a night of stupid games where you’re putting panty hose over your head, yeah that is classic shit for us! Ahhh, the memories. And years of embarrassing stories to follow!

Looking nice Bill!

Alex & Taylor stacking dice!

I guess it’s hard to explain my family. I mean, to me I think we are just hilarious. From my Dad’s stupid jokes to our ability to make fun of each other on a non-stop basis…the rule growing up was, “whoever is not here is who we talk about”. But, since just about everyone is there at camping…we just make fun of my Dad. I mean, he really is an easy target. And if you can’t laugh at each other, who can you laugh at. Every year, of course, the guys spend most of their time fishing…while us girls sit up at the cabin and make fun of the guys. Hey, whoever’s not there, remember?!! But last year, my Dad brought up this singing fish. You know, that really annoying fish plaque that moves and sings. Yeah, funny…as long as you don’t have to listen to it for days on end. And so began a new tradition of whoever caught the largest fish had to take the fish plaque home (it has been, for some reason unbeknownst to me, named Frankie) and it must be displayed in the winner’s house for every one to see. Yep, and believe me, it is a rule that is enforced. My poor nephew won last year and I think he had just moved into his first apartment by himself. If that’s not a great way to turn women off, I don’t know what is. Sorry Christopher! LOL! So this year, not only was Frankie prominently displayed at the cabin all weekend but the winner also received a little poem my Dad wrote (yep, get the idea, he’s goofy) and for the rest of the year…the winner’s vote counts for 2 votes at any family decisions. Seriously, I can’t make this stuff up. My family really is that funny. Apparently we make family decisions…because I’ll tell you, that seemed to be an important part of winning. So, those boys set out to catch the largest fish…longing for Frankie (and the double vote power) and by Saturday afternoon, one of my nephews was in the lead with a 15 inch trout. And then Saturday evening came along…and along comes…GIRL POWER!!!! My nephew’s girlfriend (yep she’s family now) on her first shot at it, comes back with a 15 1/4 inch winner! Yah…we girls now have more power in the family decisions. Watch out boys! Next year we might just make you all watch Steel Magnolias!

Victoria's Winning Fish!!

Papa presenting Frankie!

I didn’t set out to write this long of a post. I guess it shows that when it comes to my family, I just can’t say enough. Some of my greatest memories of growing up are from camping…and I am so happy that my girls will be able to say the same thing when they are older. And hopefully we will still be getting together in the White Mountains every summer…for a weekend of laughter, bad jokes and a lifetime of embarrassing stories about each other!

The 2011 Summer Camping Crew!

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Dear Lord,

Today I’m asking that you give me just one moment of silence.

No, I don’t mean keep the kids quiet (although that would be nice too), no what I’m praying for is one day of silence from the turmoil in my head.

You know, the thoughts that keep me up at night.

Images of past experiences…the fear of what lies ahead, the struggle of just facing the next day.

The sad thoughts of failing as a mother.

The pressure from having to compensate for an absentee father.

The pain I feel for them for having an absentee father and the worry about the sad thoughts that must go through their heads when they think of him.

I know, that’s a lot God…but I think that I’ve done my share of good. At least I hope I’ve done my share of good.

If I haven’t, I promise I will try harder.

Just please…please give me a moment of silence.

Amen.

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About a year or so ago, I was diagnosed with this silly little thing called Eosinophilic Colitis. All the symptoms that led up to the diagnosis are not really fun to discuss but lets just say I got to a point where I was thinking maybe I should just skip eating and just get my nutrition from Dr Pepper being inserted via IV, since the wonderful DP seemed to be the only thing that didn’t bother me. Now I had no idea what this Eosino-whatever was, but after lots of goggling and many doctors appointments…I finally got some perspective. Try the Dr Pepper IV!! Haha! Actually, the truth is, the colitis is inflamed by allergens. So, apparently, after much work and eliminating and then reintroducing things into my diet, I discovered that I need to avoid; wheat (gluten), dairy, egg, soy, shellfish, fish, and peanuts. I also learned along the way that I’m allergic to pineapple and sugar substitutes.

Now, when I say allergy…its more like an intolerance (except with a few items), the point being…if I eat one or more of the items, I won’t necessarily die. However, there are times I felt like that would feel better! LOL! Seriously, in the beginning, it was easy to avoid these things. I mean, the very first day without those things in my diet I felt amazing. I had more energy, my stomach didn’t feel bloated and painful. My sinuses were better and my eyes were less itchy. And I definitely spent more time out and about and less time in the bathroom (TMI?). And in the first month, I dropped 20 lbs. Hell yeah, that felt good (although honestly, I didn’t really need to lose that much, but it did feel good). And I’ve noticed, the longer I avoid these things…the stronger the reaction seems to be when I do eat them. How do I know that? Well, now a year or more later…my brain says…eat a muffin…it won’t kill you…remember? Ugh!

So, the truth is. On occassion…and believe me, there are better days than others and there are definitely things that trigger it…I cheat. I said it…I CHEAT!!! Now there are a couple of things that really aid in the cheating. (Right now I’m going to pull the old politician or athlete trick and blame someone or something else for my cheating problems, like Tiger and Weiner)! First, the fact that I know if I eat a piece of bread my throat isn’t going to close up and I’m not going to die, definitely starts to weaken my willpower. I mean, if I knew it was going to kill me, I would avoid it. That’s a no brainer. Second, I’m a stress eater. And eating a salad with balsamic vinegar and olive oil on it when you’re stressed just doesn’t quite frickin do it for me. Am I right? Any stress eaters out there right now agreeing with me? Yeah you know what I’m talking about…when you’re stressed, you eat chocolate cake. Or a Big Mac. Or chocolate cake with a Big Mac, as an appetizer. Yeah, that makes me feel better…until about an hour later, but whatever!

Third, here’s the biggest reason for cheating (and no, its not because there is so much access because I’m rich and famous and Twitter is so much fun, that was Tiger’s and Weiner’s excuses) it is so DAMN EXPENSIVE to eat healthy. Seriously, why does the economy or whoever is in charge of pricing the fricking groceries make it so much more expensive to eat fruit and vegetables than frozen pizza’s and burritos? Seriously. That. Is. A. Huge. Issue!!! No wonder we have so many obese children out there…are you reading this Michelle Obama…it is a hell of a lot cheaper for a mom to go buy her kid two 69 cent tacos from Taco Bell then to make them chicken, rice and steamed vegetables at home. That is a big problem. And in these times, when money is tight for everyone, its scary to think of the health disasters we are creating for future generations by making healthy eating so inaccessible. Sad. It’s very sad.

I’m struggling financially a little bit myself right now. I’m single. No support from anyone but myself to raise these 2 teenage girls. I’m trying to get my own business going and its tough. Really tough. But I’m lucky. See my parents come up once a month and take me and the girls to Costco and stock up on groceries for us. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to have such amazing, understanding and helpful parents. Without them, the girls and I would be like so many others…struggling to eat a decent meal every day…especially a healthy meal. But, even so, even with this food…it is still hard to eat healthy. Why? Because someone thinks muffins should be cheaper than fruit. And really, why can you buy a 2 quart tub of butter for less than you can buy an 8 ounce tub of vegan butter? Yes, I said it, Vegan Butter. And if you haven’t tried it, you shouldn’t knock it. See, its the only butter I can have…so it is yummy! But Costco doesn’t sell vegan butter. Or gluten free waffles. So, I have someone buying me groceries to help me out. What am I supposed to do? Say no thank you because I can’t eat that. Hell no. I take it and I love it and I’m grateful for it. And then I eat a damn muffin for breakfast!

Yeah. That’s what I had for breakfast this morning. Yep. I’m still hurting. And it’s 3pm. I know. We also bought bell peppers, mushrooms, romaine lettuce, and grapes at Costco and I could have made myself something. But that muffin sure was easier and it was so frickin yummy! And that comes to my final point. To eat healthy…you have to make everything yourself. Healthy food doesn’t come in a can or plastic container (at least not usually). So you have to cook. You have to prepare and cook everything. And then that means I have to do dishes. Even worse, I have to listen to kids say, when is dinner going to be ready, I’m starving! Ugh, impatient little buggers! Anyways, it seriously is a lot of work to prepare healthy food for yourself and your kids…and I’m thinking somehow, somewhere, someone has got to make healthy eating easier and more affordable. Or at least get me a dishwasher!

So, have I bitched enough yet? Maybe, but I think that what I’d really like to do is start sharing recipes and money saving grocery tips with all my friends and fellow mom bloggers and tweeps (Can we say Extreme Couponing). Also, more importantly, share healthy meals that kids will eat and enjoy. My kids complained a lot in the beginning of the changes. But what I’ve learned is that if they don’t see me add Rice Milk and Vegan butter into a recipe…they have no idea. As they say, what they don’t know, can’t hurt them!

So, I’m going to create a page for healthy, quick recipes and healthy eating/cooking tips. And I would love to get suggestions from all of you! So let me know what you’re eating…and I’ll add it to the page! (Email me your ideas and recipes at functioningdysfunctional@gmail.com and make sure to include your blog/twitter name).

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I’m sort of embarrased when I see that my last post was on May 26th. Seriously? What the hell have I been doing? I mean, its not like I’m out there making the big bucks…so really, what have I been doing? Raising 2 teenagers…check. Taking care of 3 dogs…check. Making sure 2 birds and 2 hamsters have water and food…check. Making meals…check. Doing laundry…check. Cleaning house…check. Working some lame ass part time worthless piece of shit job…check. Drinking…NOT ENOUGH!

Okay. So I’ve been a little busy with every day life. But really. Blogging is the best relief for my everyday, sorry ass, life…so what the hell have I been doing? For days I’ve been saying that I’m going to write and yet, I find myself never doing it. I have a problem with that. When my life gets crazy and things are not really going well…I sort of hide. I become a recluse. I stop talking to people. I stop doing things that make me happy…because then reality sets in and it just makes me miserable again. Ugh…IS IT EVER GOING TO BE MY TURN? I’m being serious here. Whoever is in charge of this fucking thing…when do I get a break!

Okay. I vented. I feel a little better. I find that when you’re feeling shitty about yourself or your life or job or whatever, it helps to look around and see that others have it shittier than you. So you should probably just stop your whining. So, today I looked at my searches. You know. The things people search that bring them to my blog. Haha and yep…suddenly my life did not seem that flippin bad. Since tomorrow is my 6 month anniversary of when I started my blog, I thought it would be fun to see some of the sorry ass people that have gotten sent my way.

I don’t want kids, is that why I’m single” – If you’re a man(and lets face it, a man typed in this search)…yes…that and you’re probably just an idiot.

Teenager rule book” – If I had that, these effen teenagers wouldn’t be running the show over here. In fact, I think I’m going to go search that one myself!

What do I do if I’m dating a disfunctional man” – First. Learn to spell. That will help you attract better men. Second, I can spell and I attract the biggest losers around. So don’t come looking for your answers here people!!

I am looking for a mickey mouse t-shirt that says – your not the boss of me” – Hahahaha really? What the hell? How did that get you here? And who would wear that? I hope its for your kid and not yourself, weirdo. And it’s you’re not your. Geez what is wrong with people!

Picture of a night mask with a monkey face” – LOL! This is so funny. Because I have one. And I have a picture posted. Here. See, I’m an idiot and that’s why I’m single. Hey, whoever searched this…I stole it from my daughter…I would not buy one for myself. It’s a joke. A joke!!!

Givers and takers” – I think my dad must be learning how to use the computer! Dad – do not read my blog. You will not like it!!! Just saying!

Friends who are disfunctional around birthdays” – Does anyone know how to spell these days? Seriously? It’s dysfunctional people! I would know…I am as dysfunctional as they come. And to whoever searched this…if they’re dysfunctional around your birthday…they are dysfunctional all the time…run! Find better friends! (Note to self: take your own advice)!

And my very favorite one – “arnold schwarzenegger soundboard and its not a tumor” – Bwaaahaaaaaa! Tears in the eyes funny! I bet you were a little disappointed when your search led you here…to a post about my weird conversations with my children and the childish ways I behave while “parenting” them. Haha…that one really makes me laugh. And why, really why was someone searching for that?

Oh boy. That was kind of fun. I could go on. There really are some strange…yet sad, searches going on out there. Makes me wonder…what is the stupidest thing that I’ve searched? Hmmmm, that could be another post!!

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I went out tonight…had a drink with a friend…came home…went out had another drink with some friends…See, the youngest is on her 7th grade trip in Washington DC with her class this week. And my oldest, well the last thing she wants to do is hang out with me…so after getting off work, I found myself with some free time. So I took advantage of it and visited with friends for a little bit. Something I don’t get to do often unless they come to my house. I was home early, 8:30ish and so after doing the dishes and chatting with the oldest for a little bit, thought I would finally sit down and blog a little. I had every intention of talking about how sometimes I have these revelations of how dysfunctional I really am. And believe me, that’s a post I will get to eventually. BUT…I got on Twitter first, you know, just because I’m addicted, and low and behold…the beautiful Vivienne tweeted me that she awarded me the Stylish Blogger Award! Ha! Me. A Stylish Blogger! I wanted to run and call my parents. Ring up the sisters. Step outside and shout it out to the world! But then I realized…the only people that are really going to understand my excitement, are you beautiful bloggers…and my tweeps! Which of course, is what this award is about…us bloggers!

So, apparently, as Vivi wrote in her blog post…there are some rules that apply to receiving this award (and she might have said something about a check…I’ll have to go back and read again, lol). So here goes…cause I’m super excited about this so I don’t want to mess up (you know…like taking a month to actually respond to receiving the award or something…you know…hint, hint! LOL, I kid…REALLY)! So here it goes:

1. I must thank the person who awarded me and link back to her. Done and done again…and one more time, check Vivienne out at her blog here. Thank you so much…You are so beautiful and I always look forward to chatting with you on Twitter and reading your blog! You are very special and I’m so thankful to be recognized by you!!

2. Share 7 things about yourself. What? Really? 7 things? If I say something wrong can you take this award away from me? Do I have to say something stylish? Or can I just be stupid like normal? Okay, here goes: Hmmm, 7 things…this is hard….usually I like to talk about myself but the pressure…of 7 things…okay I’m ready;

1. I was a gymnast all my life…from about 3 or 4 until high school, which is when I gave up gymnastics to ride horses competitively.

2. I am deathly afraid of sharks. Will not even go in the ocean past about my ankles. I mean deathly afraid. And don’t tell me there’s no sharks there…it’s an ocean…there are sharks.

3. I am a co-dependent. (Yeah, you’ve probably all already figured that out, but I need 7 things)

4. My favorite food of all times is hotdogs. I would choose hotdogs over steak and artichokes or anything for that matter. And preferably with kraut!

5. I don’t like grill marks on my meat…but I love my meat grilled…yeah, and that’s why I’m single!!

6. I am addicted to Dr Pepper. And I don’t mean like, Oh I like DP, yummy…no I mean addicted…like don’t ask me to choose between DP and a child…might not turn out so good!

7. I am a horrible housekeeper. And again, that’s why I’m single! LOL!

Okay, I feel like those are the lamest 7 things…but I did it. So now onto step 3.

3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers. Now. This. Is. EASY! Well, actually, going to be hard to limit to 15…but here goes;

1. Conflicted Mean Girl – Not really newly discovered…but she’s the reason I’m even blogging in the first place…and her blog posts always crack me up! Love You!!

2. Shamrocks & Shenanigans

3. Carrie Fairy Thoughts

4. Marina Sleep’s Blog

5. B*tches in the Burbs

6. Life in the House that Asperger Built

7. Yeah. Good Times.

8. Little Things

9. Laundry Hurts My Feelings

10. Cici’s Theories

11. Bees With Honey

12. Carousel Ride

13. Lori Dyan

14. Living With Logan

15. Not Enough Patience & Never Enough Jewelry

Whew, that was easy…except attaching all of those links! But believe me, all of these blogs are worth it so please go check them out! And now onto rule #4.

4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award!

Well, you read the rule…so I have to go let these wonderful gals know how Stylish they are! Buh bye for now!!

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