Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Reverse Blessings

Sometimes I'm quick to learn a lesson. But usually it's weeks, months, or years before I manage to catch on.
Tonight I was cleaning the kitchen, and trying to rearrange some things in my tea cabinet. Yes, I have a whole cabinet just for tea and tea treats! Anyway....
While I was putting everything away, I realized it's been a few weeks since I had someone over for tea, and thought back to the friend that I brewed the last pot for.

She had come over to help me with something that I just didn't know how to do for myself, in the midst of her crazy, busy day. After the work was done, we sat and had a simple tea party. I brewed two of my favorite teas for her and her sweet little girl, and put out a few cookies and fruit. The scones I'd frozen ahead of time didn't bake up well, so there was nothing special I'd put out, and I'd been wishing that I had something nicer for her. We chatted and relaxed, and she said "Really, you didn't have to go to all this trouble!"
"Oh no," I protested. "I love to do it!"
"I know,"  she smiled. "That's why I let you."

I have no idea why that didn't resonate with me the second she said it. But the more I reflect on that simple, gracious statement, the more I appreciate it.

I was trying to do something nice for her because I appreciate her. But she did something nice for me, by letting me.

What a great, simple lesson - Bless someone else by allowing them to bless you!

So, this has got me thinkin', (oh, no!) about some stuff that I need to change.
I'm not one to readily accept help. I tend to live by the "put on your big girl panties and deal with it yourself" motto. There's a time and a place for this, but it's not ALL the time. I enjoy helping others, so why shouldn't I give my friends an opportunity to do the same?

How about you? Do you allow people to be a blessing in your life? Do you accept help? Do you have friends that let you do things for them, because they know you will enjoy it?

Well, that's what I've learned this week. To read more of "What I learned This Week," visit Musings of a Housewife!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Beginning of the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I started Christmas shopping today.


I tried  to find a cute sweater for John for picture day, since the boy has grown out of everything he owns. But I ended up in Aeropostale. John pulled tags off of shirts, harrassed customers, dumped a dozen pairs of sweatpants on the floor, and misplaced all the sale signs. I went hog wild bought Christmas gifts for Emma. Can you beat $5.99 t-shirts?

When Emma was a toddler, and Clara just a baby, I felt like all the Christmas gits were getting out of control. So for many years, (until last year, actually) we had a three gift limit. Santa Claus would leave one big gift, and Mommy and Daddy would give each child three gifts - one for each of the three gifts that the wise men brought to baby Jesus.

In the beginning, it was tough. I had to get over the nagging feeling that giving my kids only three gifts (technically 4, since Saint Nick has yet to actually pay for something out of his own pocket) was mean. I was almost embarassed to tell anyone what we did. But you know what? It made things so much easier! They still got little prizes in their stockings from Santa. But it forced me to really think things through before making a purchase. The kids had happier Christmas mornings. They loved what they were given, and they weren't crabby or exhausted from opening too many gifts. Ryan and I felt content too, knowing we hadn't gone overboard.

Since the girls have gotten older, I did away with the three gift tradition last year. Emma only wanted clothes and music, and I couldn't see giving her only 3 shirts. I still stuck to a budget, but the shopping was actually harder for me!

Now I'm sitting here, looking at the purchases I made today for Emma. So far, three t-shirts and a zip-up hoodie. I don't even know what else I'll be purchasing for her, but I DO know that I miss the three gift limit. I guess it makes me feel like I'm falling into the trap of excessiveness again.

The excessiveness at Christmas frustrates me. It seems almost everyone I know goes nuts with the amount of stuff they buy their kids. Electric scooters, game systems, cell phones - you name it. (Don't EVEN get me started on the "kids with cell phones" thing!)

So I wonder, when does it stop? What's next??

For the 11 year old with the iPhone - what's expected next? And what happens when these kids are in the "real world" one day. What exactly is it that they'll think they're intitled to? And what is it teaching them, to surround them with hundreds and hundreds of dollars of gifts, when there might be a child in their class that doesn't have a warm coat? Now I'm rambling....

SO. How about you? Do you find ourself going "overboard" with your kids at Christmas? If not, how do you keep yourself from buying too much "stuff"? I'd love to hear about it!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Wowee Zowee Gotta Have It

This week I learned that it might be possible for me to enjoy mopping my floors.

I know, sick and twisted isn't it?

See, my kidlets are piglets. With a capital P.  The stuff I sweep up each day boggles the mind. And the yucky, crusty stuff all over the wood floors? Let's not mention that.

This weekend I borrowed a steam mop from my neighbor, and went to town tackling the kitchen floor. Holy this-mop-pad-is-solid-black-from-the-filth cleaning job!!

Must. Get. This. Mop.

It's this bad boy, right here.

This baby can CLEAN!
All you do is fill it with a cup of water. Plug it in, and wait less than 1 minute. Push, and steam comes out. It cleans everything way better than the Orange Glo I usually use. It even gets up the unmentionable crusty stuff. No chemicals involved, no running out to the store when you're out of cleaner.
I think I might have even giggled a little bit when I looked at the cloth cover and saw all the filth.
Who knew a mop could change my life???
Run and get one for yourself - right now!!!

What have YOU learned this week? To read more, visit Musings of a Housewife.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Best Medicine

After I wrote yesterday's post, which included my weepy story about having glass dug out of my foot, I spent the rest of the day on the couch, with my foot in the air.

When Clara came home, she felt terribly sorry for me. She asked me over and over if it hurt, and became angry at the doctor for hurting me and giving me a shot. After snuggling with me for a few minutes, she disappeared upstairs for a while.

When she came back down, she gave me a big smile, and handed me this.

The picture of course is me, shopping at Marshall's with a hurt foot. (Which is why she says I am sticking my foot out in the picture.) The girl knows that nothing would make me happier than Marshalls.

The other side of the page had this:

Apparantly, I rock! And I fix mistakes, and I love marshmallows. Oh, and also - I'm the best!

That kid loves me. I love her so much.
Isn't that the best medicine of all?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What I Leaned - Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!

Let's see. What Have I Learned This Week?

Last week, my goal was to make it all the way to Washington DC and back on our family trip, without a vomiting incident from little John. I took him to the Dr. on Friday, just to make sure there was nothing else wrong with him. Zilch. Nada. Nothin'. The Dr. gave us Zofran. I faithfully administered it to him during our trip this weekend, and our entire weekend was carsickness and vomit-free. Oh Zofran, how I love thee.  I was almost sent home from the Dr. without anything at all. What I learned was to be a little pushy with the doctors if I feel I need something. I'm glad I did.

Have you ever broken a glass, and then freaked out about no one walking near the pieces or stepping in it? Uh, yeah. I personally found out why it's such a big deal. I stepped on a little shard of glass Saturday night. It hurt like crazy, but I couldn't see a piece of it. It killed to walk on my foot. I hobbled around for 3 more days, even walking up a mountain to pick apples on Sunday. I finally gave in and went to an urgent care today. An x-ray showed glass in my foot, and I had to have it dug out. I'm grimacing just thinking about it. So I'm sitting here with my foot elevated, wishing I'd just gone and had it taken care of right away. Lesson Learned.

One other bit of randomness. While in DC, we went into the Smithsonian American History museum. I got to see the real Star Spangled Banner - the flag that inspired our nation anthem. Did you know that flag is over 40 feet wide? Crazy!! It was amazing to see it in person. Sorry, no pics - it wasn't allowed.

And for my final lesson. We stayed with my cousin this weekend at her home near DC. I haven't spent time with her for 20 years. I'd never met her kids. My huband had only met them once. But as soon as we arrived, we fit right in. We laughed and talked and joked about old memories. I wished I hadn't waited so long to catch up with them. I learned that I shouldn't put off seeing people I love. And I also learned that for the people who matter, it's never really too late.

So how about you? What have you learned this week?
To read more, visit Jo-lynne at Musings of a Housewife!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Made My Day

And they say customer service is dead...

Yesterday I stopped by the Whole Paycheck Whole Foods store for a few things.
After last week's shopping trip there, I was hesitant to go back. I brought home rotten strawberries, and stale tortilla chips.
I didn't get a chance to go back the following day, and had thrown out my receipt. I decided yesterday that I'd mention something to the manager, just in case I could get the items replaced.

The manager didn't care that I lost the receipt. She said she wanted to take care of me right away. She gave me an extra bag of chips, and gave me a gift card with double the amount I'd paid for the strawberries. I thanked her for doing so much. She said "It's not too much - it's how we always do things."

Well. Just pick. me. up. off. the .floor.
Maybe shopping there does take almost an entire paycheck.
But I'll hand it over for some good, old-fashioned customer service.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Come and Find Me!

Come and Find Me!

I'm blogging at Chic Critique today. Come on over and leave me some comment love!

Just click right HERE!

Not The Skills I Enjoy Practicing

I'm not the world's greatest picker-upper. Or the greatest cleaner-upper. Not that I mind.
But someone seems to think I need more practice.

And I'm not thinkin' it's so funny anymore.

Why? Well, because it keeps involving v.o.m.i.t.
(I had to spell it because I can't even say the word anymore.)

My little guy has been getting carsick. Sometimes he'll start crying, and I have to quickly pull over and let him throw up. (Like what happened here.)

That happened last week.
Then, he actually got the stomach flu. He got sick 5 times.

Yesterday, I went to deliver a contract to another Realtor's office, and I had John with me. 5 minutes into our car ride, he started whining about his tummy. Inside the other agent's office, I found her cleaning a huge soda explosion in her fridge. I laughed and said, "Oh, I'm an expert at cleaning up explosions. I have three kids."

Well thank goodness she didn't take me up on my offer of help. 30 seconds after pulling out of the parking lot, John threw up. ALL. over. the. inside. of. my. van.
And I  freaked out and almost swerved off the road from the smell  remained calm.

Let me just officially say right here that I am so sick and tired of vomit!!!!!!!!
I mean, come on! 7 times in less than 2 weeks?  I think I've proven my vomit cleaning skills are second to none. Can we just move on to bandaging wounds, or something???

I shouldn't have said that. That guy Murphy, with his silly law,  is probably listening, And I don't like him one bit.