Wednesday, January 28, 2009

So Addicted.

My name is Indy and I am a Facebookaholic.

There I said it. I love to check my Facebook throughout the day whenever I get time. On Facebook, people have tagged me to write 25 random things about myself. I thought I would get double credit and put it up here too.

1. I am not sure I know what I want to be when I grow up. I went to graduate school to work in administration at a college. I think I have a calling but I just haven't been called yet.

2. I am addicted to Coca-Cola. I would weigh 110 lbs if I could not drink it. I love it and don't want to live my life without it. So, I will own these curves and get over it.

3. I didn't want children until I got married.

4. Speaking of marriage, my husband and I went on one date and then didn't go on another for two years. Luckily, we ended up in the same class right before I graduated from Mount Union.

5. I met Oprah once. I could barely speak and I asked to shake her hand. I am still shocked that I was so in awe that I couldn't function. A member of her staff took our picture but I never received a copy of it. Bummer.

6. In high school, I didn't really fit into a group. I played the piano, violin, was in the orchestra, musicals and I was a cheerleader. No clique for people like me.

7. My Dad calls me Doobie. He thinks it is from Scooby-Doo (Doobie, Doobie Doo). None of my friends believe him. He barely drinks let alone smokes anything so I am sure it is innocent. He doesn't even get the Mary Jane comments.

8. I read a lot. This week I finished Jennifer Weiner's Certain Girls. I really liked it and could barely put it down. Last week, I read the Reader by Bernard Schlink. I know it won awards and people loved it. I didn't care for it at all.

9. I sing and dance in the car a lot. I give amazing performances. My poor children. My favorite tunes include Prince, U2, Justin Timberlake, Beyonce and anything else funky on the radio. No kids music in my van!

10. I am a poor swimmer. I cried through lessons as a child and then my parents let me drop out. I was then thrown in a pool in 5th grade and a friend saved me. I have taken lessons as an adult and I am still a weak swimmer. Maybe someday it will come...

11. I love all things Irish and Northern Irish. I was in the Ulster Project and then I studied abroad in Belfast, Northern Ireland. I still keep in contact with the "Irish teen" that was assigned to me in 1988. Hi Emma!

12. I talk too much in class and at meetings.

13. I love Las Vegas and thank goodness my husband does too. When things are going well financially, we go as often as we can beg relatives to watch the kids. We aren't the biggest gamblers. We just love the restaurants, lounges, pools and hotels.

14. I am afraid of new people and social situations. Really. I am. I swear.

15. I like crummy TV. You'll find me watching American Idol, Real Housewives of any County and the Bachelor. I like to escape. I also watch a lot of news. My favorite is the World News with Charlie Gibson while I make dinner. I also love Anderson Cooper on CNN.

16. I love to take cruises and wish I could go on one yearly. My parents spoiled us as children by taking us on two and now I am constantly trying to plan my next trip. I have been on five so far. I can't wait to retire!

17. I cannot stand beer. I loooooove red wine and cannot wait to have a glass of wine once I have this baby! I only have about 175 days. Who's counting?

18. Being a mom is harder than I ever expected.

19. Being married is easier than I ever expected.

20. My parents, sisters and I were lucky enough to have our two aunts live with us growing up. Five girls under 20! My poor Dad.

21. I love pets. We have the best dog ever, Gracie. The Queen of the house is KiKi. Each boy has two bettas and an aquatic frog in their room. We have a huge aquarium full of fish in our basement and we have three hermit crabs, too.

22. I don't like to call people. I don't mind if they call me but I have a little fear about calling. I don't even like to order pizza.

23. I am a night owl. My husband makes me go to bed at a decent time. When he travels or is out, I stay up really, really late.

24. I don't like to take baths.

25. I wish I could volunteer more or find my volunteer calling.

Scent of a Mother

For the picky Parfum wearers and readers, the word perfume will be used throughout this post and there will be no distinction between cologne, eau de parfum, eau de toilette etc.

Somewhere between baby #1 and baby #2, I stopped wearing perfume. I would just skip it because it seemed a little silly being at home with babies to be wearing it. If my husband and I went out, I would try to remember to put it on. It somehow made the date seem a little more special.
The night after my mom passed away, I was trying to sleep on my parents couch. There are so many emotions that you go through the first night. I tossed and turned and barely slept at all. As I tried to get comfortable, I noticed that on the couch I could smell the the scent of my mother. I could smell her all around the house especially where she used to sit. I never noticed it before but once she was gone, I couldn't get away from it at my parents house that first week. I have been back many times since December and the scent has faded. But, now and then, it will hit you and you will remember how she was and it will seem like she is right there.

My mom was a girly girl. She never wore pants and I only saw her in jeans a couple of times in my life (Can you believe I had a mother that never wore pants?). Her make-up was always perfect and she always wore heels, jewelry and perfume. She loved perfume and always tried different ones through the years.

In the 70's, it was Estee Lauder Beautiful. I remember the 80's and the perfume Opium by Yves Saint Laurent. In the 90's, I was away at college and grad school so I have no idea what she wore. And this past year, it must have been Journey or Belara by Mark Kay.

So, in the days after my mom passed away, I got out my old bottle of Romance by Ralph Lauren. That is what I am wearing now. I put it on as a little tribute to my mom and hope that my children will someday catch the scent of a lady and think of me.
In my perfume history, there was Love's Baby Soft, Gloria Vanderbilt, Liz Claiborne, Benetton, Chanel No 5, Sunflowers, Beautiful and so many more. What did you used to wear?
What perfume do you wear now? Do save it for a special day or is every day special enough to smell pretty or handsome? Is it something you picked out or can you wear what someone picks out for you?

And for all of the preschool moms I see in the morning, I apologize if my perfume is a little strong. I try to only put on a little spritz and run through it. Some days it goes a little better than others. I always hope that no one notices which mom put on a little too much perfume that day.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Recession Retail Therapy

Retail therapy is hard to come by in a recession. You have to count going to the grocery store as retail therapy. Today I was in the mood to shop. Being pregnant, there isn't much you can buy to wear. I have been given a zillion clothes so I am all set in the maternity clothing department. So, I did what most pregnant ladies do. I checked out the food section, shoes and cosmetics. Food wasn't thrilling me so I made my way to the make-up department. At Target, retail therapy can come pretty cheap especially in a recession. Check out the deals on clearance I found today:

I found New York Color Long Wearing Nail Enamel and New York Color Nail Glossies. Even if this is the worst fingernail polish known to man, I still got a thill because the Nail Glosses was only .23 and I love the color. It is perfect for my fair skin tone. I can't wait to try it!

I went to Target to buy more foundation so this planned purchase really saved me money. The foundation is my exact color and it is for oily, acne prone skin. Just what I have. Perfect. I have worn this Neutrogena foundation before and it works perfectly for my skin. And a bottle for only $2.57. Amazing. It regularly sells for $10.29.

And my favorite purchase that even shocked Ryan, my six year-old was a cute pair of black patent leather shoes I have been watching all season. Ryan said "Six dollars? They sell shoes for only six dollars?" LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them. They were $6.24. Yes, only $6.24.

So, if you only have $11.00, get yourself to Target and do some much needed retail therapy shopping. You will walk away feeling good with new products to try. There was so much to choose from and so many different shades. Look at every company of make-up and at the end of each of the ailes. Some people brag when they spend a lot. I love to brag when I get a deal. What fun!

A quick note about my last post. I do not want anyone to think that I was threatening to quit for attention. There was no threat and it is only an internal struggle. I would never leave it up to anyone but myself. I truly struggle whether I should take the time out of my life to write. It is a real struggle of mine and if so many bloggers write about this, it is problably real to them too. Just saying...


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Why Bother?

I quit writing this blog about three times a week. Seriously. Then something happens or someone relates to something that I wrote and I go back to my computer and write.

I find it hard to believe that anyone even cares to read this blog. That is the most surprising thing to me. This Christmas, I was at a party when an in-law cousin came up to me and said she was reading this blog. Really? I was shocked. She found the link on my Facebook page. She said that she calls her friend and they laugh at what I have written. Really? Shocking. Her favorite post? Blondes Build a Better Mousetrap.

Guess how many "hits" I get a day? I average about 40. It isn't many for the big time bloggers. But for Indy, I just can't believe that 40 people check out my site every day. I average about 10 comments per post. Comments make me happy!

Why did I start this? As a stay at home mom, I don't do many things for money. But in all honesty, I started this to make a little extra money. One of my friends told me how much she made blogging and I thought that even if I only had a little advertising on my site, I'd be happy with any amount of extra money. I don't make a ton of money from my blog but I think it may keep me from spending money. It is a great hobby and it is cheaper than shopping or therapy.

My husband has been great about this blog. I try not to really talk about him or his work. Sometimes that can be a killer. But, he has been great about letting me write. He even reads it now and then. What more can a wife ask?

Someone people wonder where I find the time. I don't spend a lot of time writing. I would guess that maybe I spend about 1/2 an hour at the most. Reading and posting on other people's blogs takes a lot more of my time. I have found it harder and harder to get to other people's blogs. I am doing that a lot less than I used to.

I have found that blogging is a great outlet for me. I certainly don't do it for the money anymore. I don't make hardly anything at all from advertising but I receive so much more back in support. It has become a journal of my life. I have also made some very cool friends and I can always use more friends. So thank you for coming back day after day. Some days I have no idea what I will write or if I will have anything worthy to say. But, I will keep putting myself out there. I will quit and I will be back many times a week. I hope you'll be here too.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Good People.

When you know better, you do better. -Maya Angelou

When we had Ryan six years ago, I remember being blown away by all of the presents when he was born. People sent flowers, stuffed animals and outfits. Really? We are supposed to do this when people have babies? I had no idea. I just usually sent a card, if they were lucky.

So when my Mom passed away last month, I again was blown away by people. Really? That's what people do? Really? Wow. People are so good. We kept saying it again and again. People are so good.

When Mom first died and we sat in shock that first day, we were lucky enough to be interrupted by the door bell ringing. At the front door were flowers. To get them at my parents house right away made us smile, cry and feel a little better. The door bell continued to ring for the next few days. Next came the visitors. We are Presbyterian not Jewish sitting Shiva and I was surprised by people that came by to express their condolences. Some were not even close friends. And because all we wanted to do was sit, cry, eat and talk, it was wonderful to have people around. Next came the food. Boy did we have food! People brought by casseroles, meat trays and soup. Even though we had trouble eating, it was good to have food there to offer people and make ourselves eat a sandwich now and then. Our favorite thing that a friend of my sister brought us was the largest container of Starbucks I have ever seen and delicious cookies. Perfection! She brought it over and sat with us for the night.

Another thing that surprised us was that someone people sent a card (immediately) and also attended the calling hours or funeral. Some even sent flowers in addition to the card and coming to the calling hours. I didn't realize people sometimes do all three. Good people.

When my Dad's pastor met with us, he said that some people may be uncomfortable at the calling hours. His advice was to just let their presence be enough. It was so true. Words are so unimportant at calling hours. By simply being there, comfort was given and condolences were felt. Don't struggle with the right words to say. A hug and your presence is enough. It really is.

Something I also didn't realize is that you appreciate the cards that come late. You know the one that you never get around to sending and is on your "to do list." As the world goes on, you are still grieving. To receive a late card or flowers helps so much. You are not alone in your grief.

However you express you sympathy the important thing is to acknowledge the person and their family. There is no right way or wrong way. We all have different styles. But one thing that we learned is that every card, dinner, flower and presence means so much. Each one. Without them, it would be nearly impossible to get through the grief.

So next time you think it may be too late to send a card to someone remember that grief doesn't end when the casket is closed and the family leaves the cemetery. For many, it is just beginning. Send the card and tell them you care. They will truly appreciate that you took the time and that they matter. We are so lucky to be in the company of good people.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Recession Lessons from the 1970's

My Dad was surprised that I don't remember eating lunches in our borrowed van at Disney World as a kid. We did it to save money. I only remember eating at the nice restaurants at Epcot for our dinners. We were lucky enough to take fantastic trips as children. It was all part of the adventure.

Don't you wonder what our kids will remember? A lot of it they won't. But, they will learn life lessons from everything we do.

Here is some of what I learned as a child in the 70's about how to live on less:

I can save calories and money at restaurants and skip the appetizer because we often did when we were kids. I don't ever remember ordering appetizers. But, we ate out a lot as kids. My mom was a nurse and worked the afternoon shift. That left my Dad to watch us. My dad's favorite restaurant was L & K. They had an all you can eat fish special. Kids ate free on the night we went. We brought neighbor kids weekly. Poor waitress!

I can be just as happy at Eat'n Park as I am at Mallorca. OK. I lied there. Almost as happy.

I can go months without buying new clothes because it is a little scary in a recession. I haven't bought anything new in so long! We did it as kids when my Dad worked for GM and was laid off for a really long time.

I can have soup and sandwiches for dinner to stretch the budget because I learned that sometimes nothing tastes better than Campbell's tomato soup and a grilled cheese made with love. We even received government cheese in the 70's when my Dad was laid off. We thought it tasted great.

I remember to turn lights off and put a sweater on because I heard it a million times as a child.

I learned to love reading and the public library system. We had so many library fines that my Dad swore we paid for the West wing of the library.

We learned to be good shoppers. My Dad taught us to make sure we were getting the best deal when shopping. He also taught us to talk to people around us while shopping and to be friendly. He taught us that cashiers were people to know and treat as friends.

My husband and I have decided to skip our traditional family vacation this year due to the recession and pay some bills instead. It was a a tough choice but one that felt right. We will take a week and do some local family bonding. But, we will skip the sun and beach that has been calling our names in the last snowy month. When I ask my boys where they want to go, they scream Kalahari not Atlantis. Sometimes it is so hard to do the right thing. But, it has been decided. We'll make it to Atlantis in the near future. I know we will. But for now, we'll create some wonderful memories in the great state of Ohio and hope that the kids won't notice the difference.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

New Eyes

Ryan walked into my office and asked who Martin Luther King Jr. was. Wow! I couldn't wait to explain it to him. But to get to who MLK Jr. was there is so much to explain about our country. How do you explain "race relations" to a child who hasn't really paid attention to race? His teacher is African American and he has never once mentioned it. One of the little girls in her class wears beads in her hair. He thought it was cool. He thought our cousin was African American because she has olive skin. So hard to explain.

From MLK Jr., Lincoln and to our present day, Ryan's question provided a great teachable moment. With the Internet, I could pull up pictures and even recordings to show him who people were and what they stood for. The discussion of Martin Luther King Jr. eventually led to Barack Obama and his inauguration.

Tuesday is a very big day in our country. I am so excited for the children of our country to see OUR president, Barack Obama sworn in. I really think this changes everything. My son will never even question that a black man can be president. He thinks women can be president too and I love that. Ryan's world will be so different that mine. I can't wait to record it all on Tuesday and show it to him. I hope they show it in school and discuss it. There is so much to learn for all of us.

I have heard that Obama is encouraging people to volunteer on Monday. I love that idea and I am racking my brain to find an appropriate way to do this with my children. If you have any ideas, feel free to suggest them. I found a website (click here) that lists opportunities and encourages people to list them for others.

The conversation with Ryan will continue as it will for the people of our country. There is so much to learn about each other and race relations. It is a new day in our country and for all people in the world.

Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'
-Martin Luther King Jr.

~ The true test of the American ideal is whether we’re able to recognize our failings and then rise together to meet the challenges of our time. Whether we allow ourselves to be shaped by events and history, or whether we act to shape them. Whether chance of birth or circumstance decides life’s big winners and losers, or whether we build a community where, at the very least, everyone has a chance to work hard, get ahead, and reach their dreams.
-Barack Obama

Monday, January 12, 2009

Cement Boots

I have received a little flak because I haven't written much lately. I know it is all in good fun. But I'd like to explain what is going on. You should see all of the other stuff I am not getting to in my real life. I have tried to write some lighter posts but I just can't get into them let alone publish them.

I've tried to stay away from anything too sad and depressing here. I want people to want to stop by and feel better when they leave my blog. I don't want you to hate coming because you know it will be such a downer that you can't stand to come anymore. But, if you know anything about Indy, you will say that I am an honest person and writer. What you see on my blog is what you get. Unless it will interfere with someone's life (or my husband will throw a fit), I will be honest as I can be about it.

So I haven't written in the past few weeks because I can't make myself do much of anything. And I am OK with that. I know it is normal and I am going through the grieving process. I am just taking each day and doing what needs to be done. Whether that's new boots for Ryan for school, clean underwear for me or food for the dog, I am just doing what I have to do. I try not to worry about everything else on my list and just take care of what I have to do. What I can do.

I cry. I cry a lot. It's normal and that's what I am going to do. I cry alone. My husband has only seen me cry a few times in my life. He knows that's how I am and we're both OK with that. Some days I cry a little. And some days I cry a little more. I know that eventually I won't cry so often.

The weirdest part of the grieving process for me is that sometimes I forget that she has passed away. I will pull out a shirt to wear and think "Mom would like me in this" and then I remember. I turn on Oprah and think "I wonder if Mom and Dad are watching Oprah too." Bam. I am reading a book she was reading right now. I wonder how far she got in her book. I wish I could talk to her about the Barbara Walter's book. I forget and remember so many times a day.

I told my sister today that it feels like I am swimming with cement boots on. I have to swim to stay alive but I am not going anywhere. So many of you have asked how I am doing. This is how I am doing. I have trouble verbalizing it and you know I don't want to cry in front of you or anyone else. I am here and I am just getting through it. As Dory told Nemo in Finding Nemo, I am going to "just keep swimming."

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

My Dear John Letter

Dear Computer,

You have been with me through the good and bad. But, things change. Well, I change. It is you not me. I can't be myself if I am forced to be with you always. I must at least cut you out of my life in one area. You have me for blogging, Facebook, email and countless searches on Google. I must go back to my old address book.


An old fashioned girl from Ohio

This Christmas, I decided that I had it. I am done. Done with being confused about whether my friends live on Mesquite or Teleford in Southern Ohio. They moved in the same city but which house is their current house? I have no clue. I thought printing labels at Christmas would be easier. It is isn't for me. Works for other people but not this girl.

So today I went to Borders. I brought my 40% off coupon and bought a brand new address book. I am so excited to take all of the saved envelopes and put everyone's address in my new book. I might get a little crazy and use a pen. You know you are a bored housewife when....

Doesn't it feel good to crack open a new address book or calendar? It is one of my favorite things about January. I love to write everything in my new calendar and at least feel I have control in one area of my life.

Here's to a new year, making changes in our lives and doing what works.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

My House is Trashed.

My house is trashed. Really. We're not talking just a little messy. We are talking kiddos are out of clothes and we are out of laundry detergent. We are talking we are out of room on the counter tops. We are talking can't walk down the hall without tripping. I would take pictures of the mess but I can't find the camera. Really.

Now you are saying that it is because of the holidays and all houses get a little messy because of the disruption of schedules, parties, kids home and spouses not at work. Yep. We have that and because a few other issues I will not discuss here. (Feel free to click on link to catch up).

So, in my effort to start getting Indyworld back to normal, I couldn't wait to send Ryan back to school tomorrow. Thank goodness my sister asked when they went back to school last week on the phone. I checked our public school schedule and couldn't believe my eyes. Not until TUESDAY. What? Who does that? Definitely not a mom. Nope. Had to be a man that make that decision.

So now, the laundry will wait. The decorations will be 1/2 put away. I won't get to my thank you notes and their names will stay on my list. I will find socks for tomorrow for the kids. Clean underwear must be somewhere. I will try to stay sane one more day. I may medicate with chocolate and Coca-Cola. But, I will make it one more day. Man.

I'm Not Talking About It, I'm Just Saying...