Thursday, July 29, 2010

The art of compliments

Many would think that compliments are simply saying nice words. Sounds easy, right? Not really. I am only bringing this up because it has been the topic of conversation lately in a number of situations. Not that I am an expert by any means, however, I think I can provide some very good guidelines to giving a proper compliment.
1) Make sure the comment is actually something that cannot be taken in any other way. I mentioned this way back when in another post about what NOT to say to a pregnant women (and if I didn't, I certainly meant to). Don't comment a woman on her belly size, no matter how you mean it. There's a good chance she'll take it the opposite. Be clear about what you are trying to say. Instead of "Your belly is so huge"(and you are meaning, wow that baby really is growing well), say "You just look so adorable/beautiful/whatever pregnant" Easy enough. Same goes for other situations.
2) On the same note, make sure the person understands slang. Example--my husband uses the word "sick" to mean incredible. If you don't know this and he were to say "Your outfit is SICK" you may not completely understand he means something good. Same thing when the word Fat/Phat was popular. Never ever should it have been a good thing to say "Girl, you look PHAT". Most normal women will only hear it as FAT.
3) Don't overcompliment. This is very very important. Complimenting too much just gets annoying and comes off fake. I know someone who is so complimentary that I feel like if she saw me wash my hands after going to the bathroom she would comment on how I am just a fabulous role model for my children...Compliments are nice, but when they are said at absolutely everything, you will get tuned out. Let me clarify--you can compliment all day if you want, just make sure it's different people and don't lay it on thick with just one. It comes off as stalkish and brown nosing.
4) Don't compliment only after someone has shown their insecurities. When you wait until someone says that they feel fat, feel ugly, hate what they are wearing....whatever, your compliment comes off as necessary, not honest. Random compliments work so much better.
and lastly,
5) Never use the word THAT in a compliment. I had a high school boyfriend say this to me and yeah, it just didn't mean that much: "You are not THAT ugly". Well thank you. You are not THAT much of a jerk. See?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My love/hate relationship with sports

I am a sports fanatic. Like, HUGE. It's very unbelieveable to many people how much I love sports and enjoy watching or playing. Correction--attempting to play. What do I love about them you ask?
Let me just count the ways:
1) I love competition--it's just exciting to watch 2 teams or 2 individuals go head to head
2) I am always in awe of the talent people can acquire or have naturally. I know many athletes are born, but I have seen a number of athletes develop and become amazing to watch. It's fascinating
3) I enjoy the mental aspects of sports--many people don't realize the strategy and amount of "pre-thinking" that goes into most.
4) They are just exciting to watch/play
5) I really enjoy the technical sports--gymnastics, diving....I am definitely most in awe of these types of sports.
6) I have a passion for exercise and activity so it's just a good fit
7) There are many life lessons that are taught in sports--discipline, teamwork, healthy living, strategy....
....I could go on but this gives you a good idea
However, I have huge problems with sports and tend to get disgusted by them at the same time. My biggest problem is the money--the money the pro athletes make and the amount of money you have to pay just to watch them. I know this goes hand in hand, but I don't know which came first here. Yes, athletes are very talented. Yes, athletics is entertaining. Yes, there is the audience that feeds it. However, just because you are very talented in a sport, I don't think you should be making more money then the man (or woman when the time comes) who runs the entire country. I don't think 200+million over 10 years is really a feasible amount, but hey that's just me. I have more problems too (I know, SURPRISE!). Do high school athletes need to practice/play 7 days a week. No way in the world. I don't even feel like they need to do something 6 days a week. What happened to days for rest? What happened to days a child could spend being with family or GASP, just being a child? When did sports at the young level almost become a job? I worked in athletics as an athletic trainer for years and saw this transition from being an extracurricular activity to being insane expectations on young athletes. I do wonder what we'll do when Troy and Will are old enough (if they follow in our footsteps and play a sport) and they are required to practice/play on weekends, Sundays especially. HMMMMM I will end with this last complaint. When did it become necessary to "specialize" in a sport. Why play one year round? Why not try different sports and see how aspects of one sport help in another? Why coaches don't want their athletes honing skills or learning skills that could benefit them in another way, I will never understand. Of course, they say they're afraid this athlete will get hurt, however when they don't have days to rest/recovery, this may be a moot point anyway due to the number of overuse injuries that occur anyway....
Yes, I definitely have a love/hate relationship.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

This should say it all

I said in my last post that the boys were exhausted after our trip. This is the game they decided to play Saturday night. Yep, no fire trucks, motorcycles, tractors after that trip. They wanted to play......

BEDTIME! They took turns covering each other up and saying Night Night. HMMMM, maybe we should go on vacation more often......

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Vacation is over :( Why is it that you need a vacation to recover from your vacation? We are all exhausted and for good reason. Let's just give you a general idea of what the last week had in store. shall we....
Saturday night--leave at 9:00PM and arrive in the Thousand Islands at 5:30AM. Yep, absolutely great trip, very little problems, but NO ONE IS AWAKE! Have to entertain the boys for a few hours but that isn't that hard really. We did this with a kayak ride, playing in the sand, fishing, and breakfast...all before 9AM. Luckily the house was quiet and we were able to take naps and recover before the rest of the family came in.
Monday-Friday--these days were filled with tons of fun. Boat rides, kayak rides, fishing, jetski rides, 4wheeling, Gator rides, playing in the water and sand, playing with the cousins, going to the playground, going out for ice cream, running through the house, going to bed way too late, getting up way too early....and that was just the adults LOL. As you can see, there was never a dull moment. Unfortunately, Troy came down with a pretty good fever but we decided to leave Friday night and hope that the drive home was just as good as the drive there. Not so much. It started off wonderfully. I drove for 3 hours in peace and quiet. Then all hell broke loose. We made the pit stop and got back on the road. About 30 minutes in, Troy's screaming and threw up everywhere. Yep, it's 1AM and we are on the side of I81 cleaning up puke. YAY! Luckily we took an extra car seat so we just switched out, changed Troy's clothes and started back on the road. Between 1 and 2:30AM there was lots of crying, whining, complaining, and yes, another stop to throw up :( Finally, there was some quiet for a short bit. Then at 5:00AM, the whining, crying and complaining started again. We finally made it home around 7AM and we were all ready to be out of that van. We loved vacation, we loved our time with our family and in the Islands, but WHEW! There's a reason why we only do this once a year.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Vacation time is near!!!

And much needed I might add! We are all very excited and ready to see Jay's family (well, Will really doesn't have a clue, but when we're excited, he acts excited too as well). We only see most of them once a year so it's always a fun and exhausting vacation. We're attempting the drive through the night in hopes that the boys will sleep most of the way and it will be easier. I am a little skeptical, but hey, it's worth the try, right? If it's not working, we're just going to stop and find a hotel and pray that we can all get some sleep. The boys have never slept in the same room so it could be interesting. Honestly, I don't care how if goes on the way up. I am just so ready to see all of my sister and brother in laws and nieces and enjoy a week of catching up and laughing. If there's one thing I can say about our previous visits--there's A LOT of laughing. Plus, we'll be on the water, there's no major responsibilities outside of cooking and just watching the kids so this will be a wonderful week. It's also one of the most beautiful places we go. Here's just a few pictures of where we go. Oh and if you are interested, it's the Thousand Islands in NY.

And this is Troy a couple years ago on "The Rock" at my Sister in laws house
My Sister in law and nieces

Monday, July 12, 2010

I just don't get it?

I try very hard not to get on my soapbox, but sometimes I just can't help it. One thing that always gets me extremely fired up is hearing about kids and their lack of activity and parents complaining about the time their kids play video games. Uh, is it just me or is there an obvious solution? TAKE THE THINGS AWAY, kick their little butts outside and play. More so, show them how much fun it can be to be active and join them. Sometimes this can be hard depending on schedules, but if you can't get out, throw on the music and dance! Have a little fun.
Now, here's another thing that really annoys me. Every time you turn on the tv, pick up a magazine or newspaper, you hear/read about obesity, especially children's obesity. Here's the question I have. If there is such a concern about activity levels, why in the world are they getting rid of PE in schools? This is an incredibly easy way to get children out and make them active. And PE teachers (the good ones anyway) know games and activities that ALL children can do so that there is no one left out. PE is an awesome way to get children moving, help them to get rid of the excess energy to allow better focus, and teach them life long habits. I know I know, there are horrible PE teachers out there who make PE a miserable experience. This is where you as parents come in and help. You can complain to the school for a better PE teacher or simply be a good example of this. And my honest opinion is that an activity class should be required all throughout school--dance, weight training, martial arts, yoga...whatever....I know academics are important but there is a lot to be said for a healthier population. Okay, I am off my soap box now.
Here's the question I have--for those with school age children, what is the PE situation for them? Once a week, twice a week, daily, a block on, then off for weeks??? I am very curious to see what has happened to it.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

It's a Mom Thing

There are so many things that we do as Moms that others just don't understand--particularly dads. Of course, there are lots of things that Dads do that we as moms will never get. Like the throwing the child in the air?? What is that about anyway? I do it a tad only because Will absolutely loves it, but it's nothing compared to what Daddy can do. Anyway, my mind is wandering again. Back on track now. My cousin has a 6 week old and reading her blog and status updates on Facebook really bring back the memories of my boys as newborns. It's such a tough time when you are just really trying to figure it all out while you are so tired and overwhelmed. But there are things that we do as mom's that are odd, but it starts immediately and many times, doesn't stop! It's definitely a mom thing.

Raise your hand if you have done this (or still do):
*Check on your child/ren when they are sleeping? I check Will at nap and on both boys at bed. If I don't, I just can't sleep. I just need to see them one more time! And when they were infants? Man, I was in there ALL the time checking breathing--it was almost obsessive! And if they are actually napping well---well, that definitely needs a checking on, right?

*Give the babysitters or family members full out details on EVERYTHING from what they should eat, how much, what time, how to handle crying, bedtime/naptime routine, what is snack...etc. I laughed at my sister because she had a detailed 4 page list for her babysitter, even down to how to make a bottle. I teased her and then realized one day that I pretty much do the same thing, I just didn't type it. It was handwritten. (For the record, I didn't put how to make a bottle, but considering the first person who watched Troy didn't realize that you put a liner in the Playtex nurser and proceeded to dump breast milk all over the counter....maybe it's not a bad idea)

*Not able to relinquish control? I still want to step in whenever Jay is with the boys and they are fussing or upset about something. He is so patient and will just keep trying and it always works out, but I really have to hold back from going in to save the day. I mean, Mom's just fix everything. There are certain things that I have finally become okay with, but I find myself just doing everything I can so that when he's in charge, there's not much to really do. I make dinners ahead of time, pick out pj's, fill cups, clean up, lay stuff out that needs to be taken care's pretty ridiculous and I swear that Jay is not a moron, I just feel the need to control as much as I can.

There is so much else that we as mom's do and the list could go on and on. I am not saying we should stop, I just wanted it to be clear that it's typical. It's a mom thing. Now, I have to go check on my boys before I go to bed.....

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Children are Amazing

Children never fail to amaze me. It seems you hear about children who are lazy, greedy, unappreciative....all the time. It can be frustrating to hear and deal with because of course, all children (all people really) can be like this every now and then. Some just more than others. I have seen many examples of children being more caring, compassionate and thoughtful and felt the need to share some.
My young cousin is a prime example of this. He is always thinking of others and is one of the most loved children at his school. Every year, he picks a cause and has a bake sale at a local pasture party and donates all proceeds. It's amazing because people will come out specifically looking to help him. How old is he? Under 10 (I can never keep up with exact--sorry) and it's all his idea and he's already been doing it for a few years.

There is a local child who sets up a lemonade stand and donates money for cancer research.

My nieces set up a lemonade stand to help those affected after Hurricane Katrina. They also will raise money by doing chores for others who may need help.

And of course, I have to put in a story about my own flesh and blood....
Troy and my niece Anaka are setting up a cookie and lemonade stand while my sister has a yard sale to raise money to give to our local animal shelter. That in itself amazes me since they are so young (Anaka will be 5 next week, and Troy is 4) but what's more amazing is how so many other children in the neighborhood want to help. None of them are asking for a dime to go into their own pockets. Yep, children have the biggest hearts for being so small ♥

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Mind vs. Body

My mind and body are in a major battle right now and I honestly have no clue which one will win??

My mind wants to work out and run more mileage.
My body doesn't agree. My knee is messed up again and doesn't want me to work out or run more.

My mind wants me to eat junk food.
My body says "Look at me, you don't want that...."

My mind says get off the computer and do something productive
My body refuses

My mind says get to bed early and get more rest
My body refuses

Do you see the pattern here? For the most part (minus the junk food), my mind should be winning, but for some reason the body is and that is frustrating. I posted that horrendous picture of me and was so motivated for a bit and was doing wonderfully and so proud of myself. Then, I have no clue what happened. I still am exercising well and would be more if it wasn't for the stupid knee issue, but my eating and lounging is out of control. I am working on the knee, but I need to get past all the other issues. Someone kick me in my arse.....PLEASE....tell me to be smarter. I know all this stuff but like I just said earlier--I simply don't practice what I preach.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Country living

I am from a very small town. Growing up, I hated it. I loved my family and friends, but was bored to tears. I just didn't enjoy hanging out at the 7-11 or at someone's house. I wanted to go out, have fun, do new things all the time and that just wasn't going to happen here. After college, I decided it was time to move, and move far away. I left VA and moved to TN--right outside of Nashville and loved it. It was hard being away from my family, but I loved being near a huge city. Then I ended up years later outside of Raleigh and was very happy. Not only because of the city, but it is where I met my husband. We didn't do a lot, but we had so much available to us--sporting events (our favorite), museums, concerts, tons of choices for shopping and eating, was awesome. However, there was one problem. There was no space, no privacy, no land....Both my husband and I loved what was available to us but we were so tired of waking up to our neighbors playing basketball or just talking. It was ridiculous how close they were but there just wasn't opportunity for land there so what did we do? We moved right back to the hometown I swore I would never live in again. I loved coming back to visit, but I never thought I would enjoy living here again. Man, was I wrong! There are some things thatstill frustrate me about our hometown (mainly there really is nothing for children here--with all this land you would think someone would create a park, but that's a whole different post) but overall, I wouldn't change it. We have a lot of family who surround us, a wonderful yard for the boys to enjoy, and neighbors that are close enough to be friendly, but not right by our windows. We have access to a small playground, a local farm where we can go feed the animals and a library. Really, what more do we need? I look back now and just don't understand why I wanted to leave so badly? I guess I needed to experience "city life" and to be on my own to finally appreciate my hometown. Plus, I have to say that after living in 4 beautiful states (VA, TN, KY, and NC), nowhere has been more beautiful than right here.
Just a few pictures to prove it:
Here is the view around my Mom's

This is the view from where we will be building someday

The entrance to my neighborhood

Our front yard