Thursday, October 27, 2011


It is Thursday and you know that that means, the next entry in the Thursday blog project.  Today's topic is about failure.  It was my turn to pick the topic, and I selected it because it is both topical, given Steve Job's death and it is something I have been talking about a lot lately.

I have written about failure.  I wrote about Sam's soccer team and how they lost every single game during their winter season.  The parents were up in arms about it, and there was a lot of derisive behavior because the team was loosing.  One parent even said that their kid didn't want to play anymore because the team was loosing.  I wrote a blog post about this situation, and you can look back at it if you want.  (Link, but you can't come back so finish this first and then check it out.)

I have talked about how I came to be a stay at home mom.  That decision was driven by my failures as both a mother and a career-woman.  I was unable to really do either job well when I was doing both.

Failure.  It is something we all experience.  Sometimes the fails are big, and sometimes they are small.  I didn't post the topic for this weeks entry in a timely manner because I didn't realize that it was my turn.  That was a failure on my part.  Now I have my weeks flagged in my calender so I don't do it again.

Failure helps us learn and grow.  Einstein is credited with saying the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.  The reality is that failure helps us avoid insanity.  I try and teach my kids that if you are doing something over and over again and you keep failing, it is time to take a step back and understand why you are failing.  What is causing this to happen?  If you can understand the mode of the failure, you can correct it.  Sometimes it is impossible or to complex to understand the mode of the failure, but if you fail over and over again, it is time to try something different.

I deal with this reality a lot as I try and parent Mac.  Everyday I fail to get him to do what needs to be done.  Everyday I try and come up with something new. Everyday, I think maybe today is the day that something works.  Finally, after dealing with this long enough and thinking about what I said about insanity, I decided it was time to try the one thing I didn't want to try.  I didn't like that solution.  But, for all the resistance I had to it, it is the one that has worked the best.

This is another lesson on failure that I want to share with my kids, if there is something you just don't want to do, no matter how valid your reasons, maybe it should be reconsidered when all else has failed.

We evolve through failure.  Everyone fails.  Want to read about the other failures?  Check out the other ladies at Momarock, Merrylandgirl and Froggie.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


This it today's topic for our Thursday blog project.  The topic is Halloween. 

When I was a kid I loved Halloween.  The excitement of being something different than normal.  I would spend months dreaming up the perfect costume.  In all honesty, I don't remember what I wanted to be anymore, but I am confident I did not want to be a gypsy every year.  Every year my mother would dress me up as a gypsy.

I would wear a Foley skirt, a scarf in my hair and a bunch of my mom's costume jewelry.  While I don't remember what my dreams were, I do know that I was disappointed every year when I would ask my mom to make me a special costume, just like my friend's parents did.  I would have even settled for a store bought one.  (Funny, my kids would not be caught dead in a handmade costume now.)

One year, I was probably in 4th or 5th grade, I was sick and tired of having my costume dreams dashed, so I dreamt up a costume that I could make.  I was snoopy. Here was the plan, I would wear my white jeans.  (Never said I was a fashion diva.)  My mom said I could paint a black spot on the back of a white shirt.  I would use the white face makeup that my brother had from an old Halloween costume to paint my face white and use my mom's eyeliner for a black nose.  My hair in pigtails for the ears and a tail out of felt.  I worked all the details out, my mom could not say no.

This would be a good place to say my mom did say no, and that I had all sorts of childhood angst about this issue.  But, I really didn't have that sort of childhood.  She wasn't down with me using her eyeliner, so she bought me some black face makeup to use. 

I was over the moon excited that I finally had a cool costume.  I was so proud of the idea, the fact that I made it and it all came together.  I wish I had a picture. 

EVERY single house I went to, not one person had any idea what I was.  NO ONE.  Not a single freakin' person figured it out.  House after house after house, I explained what I was.  In the beginning I went through the whole story about how I concocted the idea.  By the end, I just answered the question, took my candy and moved on.

After that, I was a gypsy. 

Want to see what the other ladies have to say about Halloween?  Check them out at Froggie, Momarock, Merrylandgirl.

Monday, October 17, 2011


About 5 years ago, I was listening to some of my friends talk about running.  They were talking about running in a 5K race in May.  It was Octoberish at the time.  I indicated that I could never do something like that.  My CT Friend (CTF), told me that she thought I could, that there was plenty of time to train and do it.

CTF is one of those people that is super fit.  I thought, well, if she thinks I could do it, maybe I can.  She may have just been being polite, but it sure didn't seem that way.  So I started to train.  I got on the tread mill and ran for 2 mins.  I nearly collapsed in a heap of exhaustion and cardiac arrest.  I pressed on and eventually I could run for a whole 10 minutes.  I was all excited about this and I decided to go for a run outside.  This is where things went south for me.  I fell, hurt my foot and that set me back.  I stopped running and then life got me and I never ran in the Mothers Day Dash. 

We moved away, and I just decided that running was something I would never do.  I wasn't a runner, it wasn't going to happen.  But, CTF's belief that I could always sat in the back of my mind.  Enter T, and she said she was going to train for a 5K with another friend.  I was like, hey, I want to do that.  When her friend dropped out, I stepped up and said, let's do this.

Running has always been hard for me.  ALWAYS.  I have also had a lot of negative feedback when ever I have talked about trying it.  It always circled around, you are too fat to do that.  The only person who ever believed that I could was CTF. 

On Sunday, I ran in my first 5K.  I did not die, I actually ran the whole thing.  While my time was not amazing, it was respectable.  It was under 40 minutes, which was my goal.  I really wanted to write, Fat Chicks Can Do It Too on my shirt.  I wanted to prove that in spite of being over-weight, over-40, I did this.  I achieved this goal.

I am not sure why I succeeded this time, I had an injury this time as well.  But, for what ever reason, I was determined to not let this sideline me.  I pressed on.  When I woke up on Sunday, it was rainy and cold.  I thought, G-d really does not want me to do this.  We went.  We ran in the rain.  It wasn't so bad.  It was actually fun.  I think, this might make me a runner.  I am not totally sure.

Snowflake Shuffle anyone?  Shamrock Shuffle?  Warrior Dash?  All of the above?  Who knows what is next.  I do think that it would be poetic to run in the Mother's Day Dash with CTF.  Who knows, maybe some day I will.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Safety First

Lock the doors, bar the windows, here it Thursday's blog post.  Our topic is about safety.  Are we less safe than we were 30 years ago?  Specifically, are our children less safe.  We hear about children being abducted and killed, being kidnapped, are our children less safe? 

I do not think that the world is less safe than it was 30 years ago.  If you look at the FBI database about violent crime 2008 and actually reports violent crime at the levels of the 70's.  Which is a significant decline over the 90's.  The graph actually shows a peak in violent crime in the 90's.  Things are better now then they were 30 years ago.

If you look at crimes against children, they also reflect that trend of declining since the 90's.  Actually, when you look at child safety data, which includes all violent crimes, environmental factors, etc, our children's greatest risks are obesity and disorders that are generally caused by being over weight.  The only violence against children that has increased since the 70's is violence perpetrated by other children.

The data is great.  The reality is that we are more aware of the bad things that happen to our kids.  There are some great things that media as done for us.  It enables us to be closer to people that are far away.  That said it also gives us information that we might not have had 30 years ago.  It makes us afraid of things that are unlikely to happen.

Our brains are hardwired to be afraid of things that we don't understand and are novel.  We think nothing of putting our kids in a car, which is the most common reason children die.  We worry that someone will take our kids and harm them.  So we think we are protecting them by keeping them at home close to us.  Are we really?  Keeping them at home and near us, they aren't learning coping skills, the aren't feeling the trust and respect that they need from us to become functioning adults.  Also, we are dening them the greatness of being able to do something on their own.

We need to make wise choices.  We need to teach our children about the risks, give them tools to deal with things that might come up.  Then we need to trust them.  We need to let them go out in the world, to learn how to navigate.  I never want my children to limit their lives, their options and possibilities because they are afraid.

So, when you see a band of kids running around the 'hood, chances are they are mine.

Want to see what the other ladies have to say?  Check them out at Momarock, Froggie and Merrylandgirl.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The End

I have tried
I have cried
I have been passive/agressive
like you
I have been direct
like me
I have apologized
I have ignored
I have made changes

You still hate me
You are still mean
You still hurt me
You don't respond
You try and push me away
You want us gone
You win

I give up
I am done!
I loose

Or did you

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Walk a mile in my shoes

Thursday's blog project brings you the following topic:  "trying walking a mile in their shoes" is a saying peole use when someone is being judgment about life circumstances they've never experienced before. For our next topic talk about a time you finally experienced circumstances you never had before which helped you understand what someone else was going through. What effect did that experience have - Were you more sympathetic towards that person? More humbled? Or, did it not change your opinion at all?

I try VERY hard to never say never.  It seems when ever I say I would never do that, guess what I end up doing like five minutes later?  Yeah, what I said I wouldn't. 

I remember talking to a friend when my kids were really small she was criticizing her sister for giving her kids candy to get them to be quiet.  I, feeling very high and mighty, said I could never imagine doing that.  Enter Sam, he would cry all the time when he was a baby.  I would give him lollipops to get him to stop crying.  I would shove a sucker in my baby's mouth to have a few minutes of peace and quiet. 

Sam cried for most of the first 18 months of his life.  He was allergic to milk and the milk was eating his stomach.  He was in pain.  I didn't know.  I didn't know what to do.  I couldn't make him stop crying.  Some days I wanted to make him stop crying, and I would give him candy. 

I am the mother who does what she needs to do in the moment to make it to the next moment.  When I see other moms trying to make it through, I remember my high and mighty belief that I wouldn't make give my kid candy to make him shut up.  I try and stop, smile at them, and tell them that they are going to be ok.  That they are going to make it.  I have walked a mile in those shoes.

That moment sticks with me.  I try very hard to not judge what other people are doing.  I may not think it would be something I would do, but one never really knows what they will or won't do until they are in the situation.  I try and assume that everyone is doing the very best that they can do with the information and skills that they have at that moment.  That they too are just trying to make it to the next moment.  Well, I am done, Elvis says it best really...

Let's walk a mile in the other ladies shoes... momarock, froggie, merrylandgirl.