My Interesting And Fun Workout With My Toddler

On Sunday I started my “New Year New Me-Getting More Active” plan. Oh dear lord in merciful heavens do I hurt today. But that’s a good thing. With an active toddler doing a full workout is impossible, so I decided to start with one of those 10-minute all over body weight plans with some added resistance band exercises. The goal had been to add yoga at night, but last night I wasn’t really into it, tonight though.

Why do I hurt today you ask?

Well, as it turns out exercising while your toddler is awake and paying attention to you is probably not a good thing. Yesterday he kept pulling on the resistance bands adding his weight to the mix. Today he decided that while mommy was trying to do crunches and pelvic lifts he’d sit on her stomach. He’s twenty-five pounds!!! My abs are burning and my shoulder muscles ache. I’m not a tiny woman, I weigh more than I did the day I gave birth to him (not by much but still). That’s a lot of weight to be working with when you add his to it.

I’m glad I did it though. I’m glad that he decided sitting on my stomach was fun, because I got kisses for crunches. I got to see his face light up when mommy lifted him into the air when she lifted her pelvis off the floor. It was like riding a bucking horse to him. Just as an aside, when I do the Cobra Pose he likes to sit on my back/butt.

I kept thinking of the adage “No Pain, No Gain” and while I will be soaking in a hot tub tonight I’m glad my muscles ache from the exertion. And I’m glad I get to make these memories with my son. After all, he’s one of the reasons why I’m trying to better myself.

Peace and Love

Few Things Stick In My Craw Like Ignorance

Do you know what gets me? What really sticks in my craw?

Ignorance…and ignorant people.

I despise ignorant people. And I’m not talking about the fools who can’t spell, who think “wit” is a word. I’m not talking about the poor misguided people you see in all the “fail” pics on social media sites. These people may be uneducated, I’ll talk about my problems with education later, but they aren’t the ignorant I speak of.

I’m talking about the arrogant, bigots and hypocrites of the world. I’m talking about the people who hate for no other reason than to hate because of a difference. The people who hate because they don’t understand something or someone.

These are the people who grasp at straws when they try to justify their actions. They reach for the media outlets to tell them what to say. They reach for the Bible and they bend and twist the words to suit themselves. Some even create reasons out of thin air. They’re afraid so they fight it with hate. They spew angry, vile, lava filled filth from their mouths. Words that scar (and on occasion kill) those in its path.

That childhood adage “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” is wrong. Words CAN hurt. They hurt hundreds of thousands of people every day. If they didn’t hurt there wouldn’t be bullies. The words they yell represent themselves in some way, they see themselves or someone they know in the person they bully. The fear is real for them, and if they make fun of you, or hurt you, they don’t have to deal with how it makes them feel. Lashing out makes the problem yours, and that’s okay to them.

Being the passionate person that I am, when I see these people I get angry. I don’t mean normal angry either, I mean Hulk smash angry. I want to punch people in the face. Of course that won’t really solve anything will it? I’ve learned recently how to fight them with facts. For every erroneous fact they give me I try to give them two accurate ones. It doesn’t mean they’re going to change their minds, in fact I can almost guarantee they won’t, but if ONE person overhears the conversation or reads it on social media and gets all the facts then I have won the argument.

I choose to fight Ignorance with EDUCATION! I can educate the snot right out of them. And it makes me feel good to know that by choosing to educate I’m taking the high road. I don’t have to hurt with words, I don’t have to use force, I don’t have to manipulate someone to bring them to my way of thinking. And that makes me a better person. I may lose an occasional friend/acquaintance/family member but that’s okay, because I will usually gain a couple more.

Please don’t spread ignorance around. Be passionate about your beliefs, we don’t all have to have the same ones after all. Just be educated about what you believe in. Give facts, not bias. Sometimes you don’t like something because you just don’t, I get that (I don’t like Brussels Sprouts and I’ve never eaten one), just don’t quote someone or something you don’t understand as a way to justify it. For the record I don’t like Brussels Sprouts because they freak me out to look at, plus I’m not a huge cabbage fan.

Educate yourselves my friends. Education is the most powerful weapon you can have.

Peace and Love.

Being The Mother of A Boy Is Interesting

I have two nephews but not even that prepared me for being the mother of a boy. The Monkey is only 21 months, almost 22 and I can’t believe how the time has flown. So far it’s been very interesting.

He goes from sun up to sun down. Some days I wish for peace and quiet but when I get it it’s usually for one of two reasons: 1. He’s sick, which mommy doesn’t like at all or 2. He’s into something, and that just scares me. He loves making noise, whether it’s babbling or car/boat/animal sounds. Everything is a toy…boxes, his diaper bag, toilet paper rolls, the laundry basket. You name it and he will make it into a toy. Most nights I notice new bumps/bruises and wonder where he got them from. Of course he loves to fall down so there really is no telling.

He loves his mommy. I cherish these days as I know one day he’ll be all about his daddy. But for now if he’s sick he’s snuggling with me. If he’s tired, fussy, hurt he runs straight to me. I’ve gotten fairly good at trying to cook with one hand with him on my hip. He’s getting a little too big, but that doesn’t stop him from wanting me to hold him while I cook an entire meal.

I’ve had to say things I never thought I’d say. “Spit out the (insert toy name here.” While I make sure he can’t choke on his toys it doesn’t keep him from chewing on them. “Don’t tickle your winky.” He’s recently discovered tickling and thinks EVERYTHING needs to be tickled. “Get your hand out of the back of your diaper.” No idea why he does that. “Stop grabbing your winky, there’s no winky thief.” Seriously, why do boys do that? “Don’t pee in the bathtub.” Ok, so most kids do that.

His temper tantrums are adorable for the most part. I know that is probably going to change but for now I enjoy the giggle. He’s gentle when he flops down on the ground then he cries. And he only cries until he realizes we’re either not paying attention or laughing. The laughing usually stops him in his tracks. That isn’t the right kind of attention apparently.

I’m usually up and down during the day picking up after him, tending his booboos, and all the other mom duties I have and I wouldn’t change any of it. I look forward to more adventures with my sweet little man.

Well, I must be off. I can see he needs mommy’s help extracting him from the toy he’s trying to “ride.”

Peace and love.

Memories and Life Lessons From My Grandfather

Today is a special day. If he had lived my grandfather, and my son’s namesake, would have been 85. He’ll have been gone 15 years this September. He was an interesting and funny man, and I loved him with all of my heart. Some days I miss him so much it hurts. I look at my son and think about how much he would’ve loved him. I’m almost certain the angel kisses on my son’s eye came from him. Some days I’m so angry with him for leaving that it blurs my vision, but most days I’m okay.

You’re probably wondering why so many emotions for one person. You see my grandfather was my person. He was the person that I would have done anything for, and who would have done anything for me. He was that person who believed in me no matter what. The person who encouraged me to shoot for the moon. He loved me unconditionally and I him.

When I was around 9 or 10 I think he bought me a horse, he was drunk and at the auction house (his favorite weekend pastime). He got drunk the next weekend and sold it. He could, and would stay sober for months at a time, and then go on a bender. I once asked him when he started drinking and he said it was when he joined the Army. He wasn’t a career man, he just served his four years, or was it two, and that was that. He was a cook. According to my mom, and later confirmed by my grandmother, that “profession” led to the most interesting dinner they’d ever had. You see, my grandmother had gotten sick. She was so sick she couldn’t get out of bed. And for whatever reason, no one is quite certain, my mother couldn’t help with dinner. She was a kid after all. So my grandfather decided to cook, and his specialty was spaghetti. When he called everyone to dinner my mom said it looked like a bomb went off in the kitchen. There was food EVERYWHERE! And not only that but bless his heart, he had cooked enough to feed a platoon. That was the last time he was asked to cook, lol.

I have many wonderful memories of him, I would be hard pressed to say I had a favorite but here are two. The first is of giving him his neck massages. I’m very good at neck and back massages because of him by the way. He had this old BB in his neck that I could feel through his thin skin. It was weird to rub my thumb over it and feel it slide around. He got the pellet when his brother came home one day and kind of haphazardly sat, tossed, the BB gun in the corner and it fell. When it fell it discharged spraying everything with buckshot, and my grandfather happened to be standing in the way. Back then they didn’t see a reason to remove the pellet as it wasn’t hurting him.

My second is of his right index finger. Weird memory I know, but what for it. He had a faded blue tattoo of a “U” on his finger, although there are some who would say it was actually a horseshoe. Whenever I would ask him about the tattoo and why he had it he’d always point his finger at me, tattoo where I could read it, and say “For silly people like you who ask questions.” Then he’d wink at me and laugh. He loved to laugh.

I learned some valuable lessons from him about life, and here they are:

Laugh. Laugh often and laugh long. Laughter is good for the soul. It eases stress and relieves tension. No one can be angry when they’re laughing.

Live. Don’t plan your life, live it. Do whatever you want to do, because if you don’t you’ll have regrets down the road. Go bungee jumping, visit Machu Picchu, visit Iceland, whatever it is that you’ve always wanted to do…do it.

Do what you love, and the money will come. If you love your job you’ll never work a day in your life. You may not be house in the Hamptons rich, but if you’re doing what you love you’ll find that you will get by. If you’re just working for the money you’re living a sad life.

Don’t apologize. My grandfather was an alcoholic, and dare I say a bad one. And crazy though life was, all the sleepless worried nights; all the late night calls to come pick him up from God knows where one thing never happened. He never apologized. He was who he was. He didn’t need, or want, anyone’s validation. We should all be that way. Never apologize for being beautifully and wonderfully made. Unique is a wonderful thing to be.

My grandfather was, for the most part, a happy man. Happy with his life. There were very few times I saw him truly sad. He was always in bed by the 10 o’clock news, frequently got up in the middle of the night for sweets (he was a diabetic because of the alcoholism and knew better, but he did it anyway), loved Cinnamon Certs, listened to George Jones and Johnny Cash, and used more hairspray than most women. I guess you could say he was my first love. I was his girl, the first daughter of the first daughter.

He decided almost 15 years ago that 70 years was a good life, and after briefly leaving my grandmother for one last hoorah (for lack of a better term) he came home to die. I went to see him on a Saturday, it was to be our last together. He was in the bed, and he wasn’t eating, all he wanted was to drink his Ensure. I laid there beside him with my head on his shoulder and watched tv with him for a good portion of the day. He gave me his little tidbits for a wonderful life and told me he loved me a few times. Before leaving I cried, hugging him I begged him not to leave me. I told him I couldn’t handle a world without him in it. He kissed me, then hugging me tightly did something he had never done to me before…he lied to me. He said he wouldn’t leave me. He died the following Wednesday. I was devastated. Heartbroken, I cried for a week. And then I was angry. I was angry that he lied to me.

Looking back now, I see that he didn’t lie but he didn’t exactly tell me the truth. Physically he did leave me, but he is always with me. He can never leave me. He is in my heart, and in my soul. He’s in every George Jones song I hear. He’s with me when I look at my son and see his mini-me. My heart warms when I see John Deere green, because I know he’s somewhere looking down on my saying “That’s my girl! She’s my person.”

I love you D.A.V., now and forever, to the moon and back, infinity and beyond. xoxo

The Winter I Was Nine

No, we didn’t get more snow. As a matter of fact all that remains of Snow Days 2015 are a few wayward snowmen. However, all the snow has brought up talk of The Great Snow of 83.

My hometown borders the Red River, a solid, sturdy staple of my childhood. The river has always been good at letting you know when it needs to rain, or rained too much. But never has the cold been like it was that December. For a week it was cold, super cold for Louisiana. We’re not exactly Florida for heat, but it does stay fairly warm across the state. Most winters all you need is a long sleeve shirt and light jacket, and sometimes you don’t even need the jacket. But that year it was COLD. So cold a river froze.

All these years later and that still amazes me. On top of the ice we also got snow…lots and lots of snow. I was nine that year and my brother had just turned five. I can remember my dad making a homemade sled with a large piece of plywood, a 2×4, and some rope. There were lots of homemade sleds that year. My mom made apple cider in the crock pot. I can’t remember a time having more fun. My parents have said that there were people actually out ice skating on the river. That still blows my mind.

Since then, the river has not frozen over again. We’ve had a couple of really good ice storms and even a couple of good snow storms but I don’t know that we’ll ever have a winter where the river freezes again. If we do I kind of hope it’s while my son and my nephews are young. There’s nothing quite like making homemade sleds and building snowmen that don’t use all the snow from your yard and the neighbor’s.

Stay warm everyone.

Peace.

SNOW!

Well, I got sick after the hubs then by the time I got better a miraculous thing happened. It snowed in Northwest Louisiana! On Monday we had ice, sleet and some nice sweet little snowflakes. Tuesday was just cold, and then Wednesday it was beautiful. We had huge, fat, fluffy flakes. The Monkey and I went out for a few minutes and he lobbed a snowball, but then was like “I’m done mom. It’s cold.” When I asked if he was ready to go inside he all but ran to the door. lol Today it’s all gone.

My husband is from Arkansas, and I lived there for three winters. That was long enough for me to get irritated with the snow. Little Rock snow is nothing like the Northeast, not by a long shot. But it is single digit cold, and you usually get ice first, then snow. My second winter there I was five months pregnant and our apartment was at the bottom of a hill. First I got trapped here in Louisiana on Christmas Day because I was visiting my parents, he didn’t have the time off to come with, and it snowed in Little Rock. The day after I had to be at work (they hadn’t cancelled it yet and I had to be at work for 2 pm) so I left at 7am (for a 4 hour max drive). It took me 7 hours to make it to our apartment. And our power was out!! A tree fell across the power lines, and our front walkway. We had to walk under the tree to get to our front door. It was kind of like living in a hobbit hole. The only plus. We ended up making the drive to my inlaws for a few days until the power was turned back on. I was sick of snow by then. It snowed again in February. In 2014 we got snow and ice in January, February AND March. I was so glad to be moving back to my hometown where we rarely get snow.

Now I told that to say this. No matter how sick of snow I get, this Louisiana girl always gets giddy when it snows. Whether it’s here (especially here) or Arkansas, when the flakes start falling I’m in awe. Yesterday looking out of our front windows made me feel like we were living in a snow globe. There is something about the first flakes/day of snow that is beautiful and magical. If you’re lucky enough to wake up before anyone else, the world is so quiet and calm. And there’s a crisp, clean smell to the air. I can honestly say that no matter how old I get, or where I live, the first snowfall will always make me giddy.

If you’re one of the unfortunate ones trapped with all the snow I’m so sorry. It sucks. I can totally empathize. Please stay safe, travel slowly and carefully and bundle up. If you’re one of the lucky ones in a sunny state, enjoy the sun and warmth.

Peace!

The Sleep Deprived Mom

I fully intended to wake up this morning, pop on here and write a beautifully stunning piece of work. About what I hadn’t decided, but I knew it was going to be magnificent. What happened instead was a fussy 21 month old who woke up at 1:30 am (after only sleeping a brief 5 hours) and thought it was time to play. After trying everything I knew to get him to go back to sleep we finally fell asleep at 5:30 am on the air mattress in his bedroom. Just an FYI the air mattress is in there because my husband has a head cold and was running fever on Tuesday so that’s where we slept so as not to get the Hubs’ cooties.

We slept for 3 hours.

It was not enough for the mommy who had only been asleep for 2 hours before he woke up. He took a short (too short) nap around noon after lunch. I’ve survived the day on coffee, strong black tea, and chocolate. For the record I’m giving up chocolate tomorrow for lent. Should have already done it, but you know…lack of sleep and all that, lol.

Currently I am sitting in the bed with a sweet, sleeping, but restless (yet again) Monkey by my side. I am only waiting until it’s time to give him another dose of Motrin. Lucky for me I don’t actually have to wake him to get him to take medicine. I really would like to kiss the person that created the medicine droppers. It would seem that his back molars (the last of his baby teeth to come in) are bothering him. I found this out when I picked him up around 3 this afternoon and when he laid his head on my shoulder I felt the heat from his jaw. Poor baby’s mouth was on fire.

Tomorrow I promise to write a spectacular post about something. Until then any suggestions?

Peace and blessings.

Why There Will Be No 50 Shades of Grey In My House

Before the movie was a thought I started reading 50 Shades of Grey. Started…never finished. It was the thing to read. The IT book. Everyone was reading it. Women the world over were ready, and unfortunately still are, to drop their panties for the elusive Christian Grey. I deleted the ebook and ranted to my husband (then boyfriend). The book disgusted me and here’s why.

Anastasia is a self-conscious, insecure woman that reminded me entirely too much of Bella Swan. She was indecisive and let people push her around. She has no voice. Enter Christian Grey. Christian creeped me out. He is narcissistic, arrogant, too good looking, too perfect. As all my friends have said…”He’s the perfect man. I mean he wants her to eat and not be skinny.” Seriously! More than one woman told me that. The fault in their logic started when they said he was perfect. There is no perfect…perfection isn’t an attainable goal unless you wish to go insane. Christian is a controlling, emotionally abusive, stalker. He is the WORST possible type of guy to be with. Why in the name of God would anyone consent to be with him?? Oh, right…BDSM. Hot, kinky, sex.

I’m going to stop right here and say I didn’t get to the sex part of the book. I got too worked up before then. Also, I didn’t need this book to liberate me sexually, my husband and I do pretty good without it. And yes we go for the more non-traditional aspects at times. I had a friend who was very into the BDSM scene. Dare I say hardcore. I’m not a prude by any means, but the things I heard made me blush. My friend was fairly dominant in his day to day activities but at night he wanted to be submissive (he said he tried the dominant but it wasn’t his thing.) The things he wanted done to him and allowed to be done to him bordered on the, well it made me speechless. I also said “WTF” more than a few times. I doubt very seriously ANY part of this book could compare to what BDSM is actually about. And don’t even get me started on the damn contract.

So, back to what I was saying. Take ALL of the sex out. And I do mean ALL of it. What are you left with? You are left with a naive young woman who is a virgin, allowing a man that stalked her to take that most precious gift. Then she allows him to dictate EVERY moment of her life. Who she can talk to, when she can talk to them, how much sex, when, where, how deviant, what to eat, how to work out, when to work out, who to work out with, what doctor to see, when to see them. Did I mention that the people working out with her and her personal physician are to report back to HIM? I see serious legal ramifications here, but we’ll let those go because they aren’t AS important.

Now we’ve broken down the kind of person Christian Grey really is. Any takers? If his penis broke and there was NO SEX would you still want him? Is he still the man that gets you all hot and bothered? I’ve seen abusive relationships such as this first hand. No thank you. And there’s no way that as her friend I’d allow Anastasia to be in this relationship. Which just goes to show what kind of friends and family she actually has.

So no thank you Mr. Grey. You are NOT allowed in my life. You are NOT allowed in my house. And I’ll be damned if I let you near my family!

Opinions And The Occasional Controversy

I have written, and deleted, several blog posts in the past week. Why? Because they could be deemed controversial or may not be inline with someone else’s way of thinking. Being the “good daughter” that I am I try to keep my mouth shut and my opinions to myself. Why? Well, if you ask my mother, I tend to incite small riots. I’m a 40 year old, married mother of one and I kid you not people will still tattle on my to my parents! No joke. They can’t face me so they run to my parents, who are then faced with the daunting task of telling me not to upset the status quo. And until recently I’ve been the good girl. But you see, I married this man…this amazing and wonderful man, who routinely incites riots just to watch people hurt themselves by showing their idiocy. This amazing, and somewhat irksome, man has made me realize something important.

If I don’t speak up and speak out, who will? We all have a duty to speak for the little people. To speak for those without a voice. If no one speaks who will bring the atrocities to the forefront? I believe that everyone should voice their opinions, they should talk about the things that are important to them. That being said there’s a difference between discussing, and forcing one’s opinions on someone else. I have never attempted to force my opinions on anyone, and I will not. I simply say what I think and that’s that. If someone wants to make more of that then that is totally their prerogative.

This being said, you will from time to time find me talking about something that bothers me or is important to me. I may gain followers, or lose them, because of my opinions, but that doesn’t mean I will stop. I’m allowed my opinions, just as you are allowed yours. The wonderful thing about this crazy country we call America is that we are ALL entitled to our OWN opinions. And the wonderful thing about opinions is that, they are as unique as the people that possess them. I will respect you, if you respect me.

Until next time. Peace.

I Took A Single Step

For as far back as I can remember I’ve wanted to be a writer. I always knew I wanted to make a career of putting pen to paper to create amazing works of art. It started with making up stories for my stuffed animals when playing school, then quickly moved to writing fantastical stories in my notebook when I should have been paying attention in class.

The problem I have always had is even though people tell me my work is good when they read it, I don’t want them to read it because I don’t take criticism well. Every story is my baby. I put blood (seriously, paper cuts are murder on a writer), sweat (hey, you write year round and Louisiana summers are rough even with the ac on), and tears (I’ve made myself cry while writing scenes) into them and for someone to say something negative hurts my feelings. But to be a good writer you have to take the criticism.

Which is part of the reason why I researched a few websites that hire writers, in all stages, to compose blogs, articles, and other internet related writing. Once I narrowed it down to four legitimate sites I applied as a novice writer. I did this for several reasons. One is that while the money isn’t enough for me to forgo a regular job the money I make will be a nice supplement to my current income. Two a couple of the sites will actually use my byline for the articles I write and getting my name out there will help me find an agent when the time is right. And three is if I can handle the critiquing and criticism that will come when I submit these articles, then someone critiquing my books won’t be so bad.

All my writing samples were received well, and the only critiques I got back was for punctuation. I am quite free with the commas, lol. After mulling over the fact that I was accepted, and given a moderate rating (darn those commas), I bit the bullet and completed and submitted my first article. It was approved!!!! I am so excited. I am officially a writer! I am one step closer to my dreams. And as everyone knows, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

I took my step. It was small, and I’m still nervous, but I took it. Isn’t it time you took yours?

Until next time, peace and blessings.