Being Thankful

As I was thinking about writing a being thankful type of post a lot of various emotions came up. First of all, although I think instinctively most of us know there is always much to be thankful for, in a world today with so much negative going on, particularly the economy, we might have to look a little harder. Of course the biggest things are obvious. To me (and I’m sure many others) its family; no question about it my spouse and children are the biggest things I’m thankful for.

As far as the rest of the list, I’ve had to learn to take a different look at things. This actually ties in with something I’ve been thinking of a lot lately. I think a lot of people tend to look toward the things they wished they had and look right past the things they already have. I know this is something I do and I’ve been trying to be much more conscious of this and modify my thinking. It’s easy to make a mental list of the things we want and do that old “I’ll be happy when I have this” thing. I’m not simply talking of material things here, but events occurring and other intangibles; “I’ll be happy when this finally happens”, etc. I’m incredibly guilty of this, I fully admit it.

With this economy there is a general decrease and downgrading in pretty much everything across the board within our family and of course many others out there. It becomes even harder to deal with this when you realize that not everyone is taking a similar hit. I have a hard time when I see all around me folks who are, for example, still able to take vacations. We haven’t had one of those since before the baby was born and even then the last one did not qualify (Let’s just says when you’re 8 months+ pregnant in the heat of the summer almost nothing qualifies as a vacation unless it involves significant pampering and a pool. And the pool was closed. I don’t think I need to say more.) Yes, we wish some things were different. We’d like to be able to take a vacation. We wish things were different with our extended families and that there was more of a connection and closeness. I wish I did not have to squeeze through the laundry room on the way to the garage like a gopher trying to get out of his hole. And we could really use a new refrigerator. On top of that I’m bemoaning the incredibly unfortunate timing of a year of decreased income and two cars that both need tires. Right before Christmas.

But I need to get back to my point; that whole being thankful thing.

As much as I look at others who are doing better and wish for things we do not have and perhaps never will have I’m strongly reminded that of course there are those that are doing worse than we are and do not have the things we have and perhaps never will.

I guess it comes down to a balance between it could be better and it could be worse.

And just being thankful.

Though I still struggle to lose, I am thankful that I have managed to maintain my weight. Because I could be even bigger if I wasn’t watching it.

Though we wish for many things to be different or better about our home, I am so thankful to have it. Also, the new pantry helps a lot and I am extremely thankful for that! I am also thankful for the food in it.

Even though it’s really a stretch financially, I am thankful for being a SAHM even with all its sacrifices and struggles.

Though I may be less than thrilled with this whole getting older thing; I am thankful for the wisdom and experience my forty-one years have brought me. I would not trade my forty-something mind even for my twenty-something body. (Well, on most days anyway.)

I am thankful for friends who truly care.

And this list is clearly not in order as I’ve saved the most important for last:

I am thankful for a husband who is truly my Prince Charming.

I am thankful for my miracle baby who has rounded out my life and brought excitement and joy into everyday living.

I am thankful for my firstborn son who has grown into such a fantastic young man who makes me so proud.

Happy Thanksgiving.


This week, my firstborn turned 17. It would be an understatement to say “where has the time gone?” Just the other day I was excavating various items from the room formerly known as our office and ran across my old 35mm camera. This camera was first purchased when I was pregnant with Teenager and used up until I finally went digital. It still had film in it and I was excited/worried to see what might be on that film if it was even still good. So, the other day we got the pictures developed and there was my little boy at his sixth grade graduation. That was nearly five years ago. He was a lot shorter, had a much rounder face and a "little boy" look to him. That look is gone now. Replaced with acne, an occasionally shaved face and a whole lot of TT (teen ‘tude). I’ve already waxed poetic on my Teenager in Reflections on Diapers and Driver’s Licenses but let me expand on that a little. Without going into too many specifics, this kid has been through numerous absurd custody battles on top of parental neglect and mistreatment. He’s managed to come through it all pretty well-adjusted. He’s a really good kid; so much so that I frequently get compliments from other parents as to how polite, well mannered and sweet he is. Despite the inevitable TT he still manages to do his chores and make us proud with good grades. He’s a source of entertainment with his random parody skits of his parent’s quirks and humorous behavior. And I can’t forget to mention that he’s such a good (& proud!) big brother to the little guy. Little guy just adores his “buh buh” (as he calls him) and really looks up to him. Little guy is fortunate to have such a great role model to look up to and I know these boys will continue to be close throughout their lives. Of course I can imagine when little guy is twenty-something and Teenager is thirty-something I’ll still be calling Teenager and saying; “are you watching out for your little brother?” and I have no doubt he still will be. Happy Birthday. We love you, son.
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Conversations with Little Guy

In the pre-dawn hours of this morning, little guy got into bed with us for snuggling before we had to get going for the day.  The following dialogue took place:

LG:         Daddy, I scared!

Daddy:   Why little guy? There's nothing to be scared of.

LG:         Yes! Ober dere....see?

Daddy:   What? What do you see?

LG:          A bat! I scared!

Daddy:    There's no bat in here! There's nothing to be scared of.

LG:          *pointing to my black bra dangling from the dresser knob*  

                   See!  A bat!

Daddy:     *laughing*  Oh! That's not a bat, that's just mommy's bra.

LG:            Oh! Ok. Mommy's bat bra.

There you have it folks, my secret identity revealed.  Now if you'll excuse me, I just saw the bat signal and I need to go fight crime.

29 Steps

My regular readers are aware of my quest for weight loss and shaping up; something I've referred to as Operation Fit [back into my pants]. In recent months it has not been going real well. Not only do I have a hard time sticking to the way I should be eating (watching calories and primarily following the Weight Watcher's system) but a lack of strenuous enough exercise has also been an issue. Recently, I've decided to take things more seriously and so the last couple weeks have been an improvement. I've done much better at following the WW plan and I finally did have a loss this last week, so I am proud  of that. The hubby and I have managed to make it out 3 days a week for our approximate 2 mile walk at 5:45 am, so that's fairly good, but really not enough. I've been going over the options as to what else I could do to amp up my workouts. I've never been the "join a gym" type. I know too many people roped into huge contracts paying $$ per month that rarely if ever go and I feared I would just be one of them. Plus, paying anything  additional at this time does not seem feasible. I like the idea of a home workout with a personal trainer, but that costs more than a gym and just isn't in the cards financially. So, I decided to "use what I have".  Behold the 29 steps:
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These things go up our very steep hillside and were created one summer by the Hubby and his father as a way for Teenager to walk out the back and on to school. It's been suggested that this could be a great work out. So, this morning, being a school holiday, I left little guy and Teenager playing while I headed out the back to attempt my new workout. It's amazing how a person can find ways to procrastinate. First, there was the casual stroll up the hill to check out the garden 034

(the pumpkins are still the size of oranges!)033                                                               

Next I tried the walkie-talkie set up to keep in touch with Teenager. Then I discovered to my dismay an assortment of trash that had been littered just outside our fence. After I was finished with my trash pick up duties, I got a call on the walkie from the little guy, who adorably stated he missed me and could he please watch some TV? Then I decided it was time to get down to business. I cleverly devised a rock counting plan to keep track of my laps by placing a rock in a line for each total trip up and down the steps. In my head I was wondering how many trips to take for this first time out. Should I try 3? No, that's not very many. How about 10? Probably couldn't make it without passing out. Ultimately I decided 5 was a good number to shoot for 027but I actually made it to 8! 

Here's a view from the top:
Note the four-legged welcoming committee waiting at the bottom.
I really, really hope I can keep this up and eventually have my thighs thank me. And by thank me I mean get smaller. Because right now they are "thanking me" with muscle spasms.


Last year was little guy’s first walking Halloween (he learned to walk in November of the previous year so he just missed it!) However, last year he could not say Trick or Treat or even a reasonable facsimile. This year, he said Trick or Treat clear as a bell and followed up his being treated with a Thank You and then….wait for it folks.... this little boy who’s been very speech delayed for so long, said so people could understand, “Happy Halloween”. This is BIG! I mean, it was such a huge moment when we heard him say it and it was so totally unexpected. As I was beaming with pride I nearly wanted to shout; “Look, you don’t understand, this little boy could not say a handful of intelligible words a very short time ago!" Of course, he added his usual touch of hilarity by also stating; “Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas!” because he seems to be a bit holiday-confused.

To add to the amusement of the evening, he walked up to a teenager, dressed in all his gory best and seated by his front door handing out candy and asks him; “Are you a scary guy?” Then upon seeing a mom dressed as a witch he stated very clearly; “You are scary!” And speaking of scary, this might also be a good time to share with you all the fact that just a few short weeks ago little guy could not clearly articulate the word “scary”. He was fascinated with the life-size animated figures at the Halloween stores; aka “scary guys” which since he was unable to pronounce "scary guys" came out as “gay guys”…so for the last month leading up to Halloween he would constantly say “Let’s go see the gay guys”. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Here’s a couple Halloween photos of the Teenager and little guy.



This just in.....

So, it's a regular old Monday afternoon. Hubby arrives home from work and is playing with little guy who's been just dying to see his daddy. I hear chatter in the back ground as I'm busily typing away working on some writing projects. I think of something I need to share with the Hubby and look up from my computer to see this:





I think I've made my point.