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Monday, January 31, 2011

Outside the Box

(my graphic)
Sometimes you just have to step "outside of the box".  I think that it is easy for us to get caught up in the routines and the normalcy of life.  We do the same thing everyday.  We drive the same way to work, eat at the same places, cook the same dinners, hang out with the same friends, watch the same tv shows, wear the same clothes...make-up... jewelry, etc.

Why do we do this?  I believe for myself, it's because of the "comfort zone".  It's EASY, we know it works, you don't even have to think about it.  

Recently, I have made some moves to step out of my "comfort zone".  

I've gone "outside the box" so to speak.  

And I think I like it.  :)

What kinds of things do you do to step "outside the box"? 

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Kids or Secrets?

(my graphic)

My parents kept my kids for a little while last night.  When we got there to pick up the kids, my mom says, "you know you can either have kids or you can have secrets, you can't have both".  

Hmmmm, I'm thinking...why is she saying this.... mom proceeds to tell us, "Julz told me tonite that Daddy doesn't wear underwear", lol!!!  I thought I was going to die!  my husband says, "that's not something I wanted my mother-in-law to know". (my daughter is almost three)

It's true though....the kids/secret part.  I've worked with children (elementary age) for 17 years.  One thing I've learned is they will tell you anything and everything.  They will tell you things you know their parents would not want being told.  

Makes me wonder what mine say at daycare, lol!

Have your kids ever told any secrets on you??

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

TV Time or Not?

(free clip-art, color change by me)
When I was younger working in a daycare, I can remember parents complaining about how often their children were being allowed to watch tv/movies while in daycare.  I thought....what's the big deal.  I thought they were really picky parents.

Now, I'm that parent.  

The other day a friend on facebook mentioned how horrible the shows are on a certain tv channel for children....I won't name the channel....but initials are can guess which channel that is.  When my kids were very little I didn't let them watch tv at all.  As they got a bit older I allowed a short period of time everyday.  I had come across the channel PBS Sprout.  And that is the channel my children still watch.  

We don't watch some of the others, because I feel like some of the shows are just so overly "commercialized".  I don't need my kids begging for a certain character every time they walk through the toy aisle.  I don't want to buy a toy or a book or a piece of clothing just because it has a character on it.  I will admit I'm not as stringent about this as I used to be....Jake likes Cars stuff and Julz likes Tinkerbell, but I still don't want to pay double for something just because it has a character on it that my kids see on a tv show.  I avoid these toys and clothes.

My kids favorite show is Caillou which I think is such a sweet little show.  Of course there are characters on PBS that are placed all over toys/clothes as well....Thomas, Elmo, etc.  (By the way....I hate Elmo.  Really.  I can't stand his annoying high pitched voice.  Am I the only mom that feels this way?)

I have read many studies over the past few years that bring me to the conclusion that tv isn't such a great thing for my kids.  So I limit it.  PBS Sprout, maybe some Nat Geo Wild and movies occasionally.  

Will I always be this picky about tv?  Probably to some extent.  Even when our teen was growing up....we limited tv time/computer/video games.  (oh, and video kids don't have any yet.  I do sometimes bring home ipods to let them play on, but they only have educational games on them.)

This comment might not sit well with some people, but I think that tv is used as a babysitter with a lot of children.  I can see where this would happen, it sure is easier for me to run to the basement to flip the laundry when the kids are glued to the tv, easier to clean the house, easier to get dinner fixed, etc.  But, I would rather my kids sit in the floor and play with their Hotwheels and race track, build with their Lincoln Logs and Tinker Toys, play their musical instruments (wait....why did Santa think a drum was a good idea? lol), pretend to be mom & dad with baby dolls, "cook" and serve food at their kitchen/diner, read a book, etc.  

How do you feel about tv for kids?  toys/clothes with characters?  anyone else an Elmo-hater??  lol

Monday, January 17, 2011

Little Boy Shoes

(my photos)

How is it that I look at my son on a daily basis and hadn't noticed it.  4 years, 8 months, 10 days. He's no baby anymore.  But, he will always be my baby.  My first baby.  Shoes, that's what it was.  Shoes.  I just happened to walk by and glance down at them.  Empty.  Not wrapped around my son's little piggies.  Not little shoes.  It just hit me.  These are the shoes of a boy.  Not a baby.  Not a toddler.  w.o.w.  Such a simple little thing, but it just jumped up at me.  Where has the time gone.  I will be sending my baby to kindergarten in eight months.  Blows my mind.  I will cherish every kiss, every cuddle and every "I love you, Mommy".  Especially the cuddles.  :)
Where it all started,
 his sweet little baby toes.

Was there ever a moment where you just realized your kiddos weren't babes any longer?


     New obsession?  I could spend hours perusing the internet looking at other peoples ink.  Tattoos.  I love them.  I'm curious to why people permanently have certain images on their body.  I love when people post a description of their tattoo and why they got it. One of my fav sites to look at is Check Out my Ink, people are uploading new pics every day.
     I only have two tats, so far.  My first one I got when I was 19.  I went with my exboyfriend.  I wanted one, but I didn't want it to mean anything.  I was young and didn't know what would be meaningful to me when I was older, so I just went with meaningless.  I decided to get colorful bubbles, on my ankle.  I drew them on and walked around with them for a day or two to be sure I liked them.  Oh my, it hurt!!  Not to mention the tattoo artist who was very well known in the area, was an ass to me.  (The night before when Tony got his tattoo, I watched this man have about five to six people hanging out in his space while he was tattooing.  When he did mine, he wouldn't let Tony or Rocky come back with me.  He said there wasn't enough room. Until I almost passed out, then he let them come be with me.  He also mentioned that I'd apparently never given birth or the tattoo wouldn't be pain to me.  Like he had any idea what childbirth felt like.  Ass.) 
Almost 20 years later, I decided on another piece, that actually meant something to me.  I'd also been through natural childbirth twice (no drugs).  And the tattoo was still painful.  But, I handled it much better this time.  I chose to have my new tat on my  back.  When you work in a school, you have to be careful where you put stuff like that!  I had an idea in my head of what I wanted, took several pics with me to the tattoo artist  at Asylum and she drew up a design for me.  After that I tweaked it a bit to my liking, decided on colors and placement then we made our appointment.
Drawing done by tattoo artist

Design after I added some more limbs, leaves and a circle

still smiling!

 I chose a tree of life pattern to represent family, family tree, roots, mothering & sheltering your family.  I decided to only use color in this tat, since most all tats have black outlines, I just wanted something different.  Lots of pink since that's my fav color, and the initials JAF to represent my babies, see my other post about their names.
DONE!!  woohoo!  I love it!

We actually made it a family affair, lol.  My stepson, Joey was turning 18 and we had promised him that he could get a tat when he was 18.  So the three of us went together as well as Joey's girlfriend, two other friends and my bff. We took over the tattoo studio, lol!  (that was good for me, comfort zone)  There was a minor snag in the event, the tattoo artist I had been talking with was unable to do my tattoo, she had gotten behind and it would be very late if I waited for her to be done, so I lucked out and the owner, Daniel Jones, of the shop was able to do my tat!  
Joey's  new tat (verse from Bible)

Lee's new tat, also has JAF in it, can you see it?  Tattoo designed by Joey.

    Do you have any tattoos?  what kind?  any special meanings?