Mom-isms and Musings

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Amazing baking soda November 8, 2010

Filed under: Housewife Stuff — paintingmama @ 7:20 am

I’ve written before about how amazing baking soda is around the house and this morning I saw this video on yahoo while checking my email. Even I was impressed and learned something new.

http://www.rd.com/video/5-extraordinary-uses-for-baking-soda/video186463.html

 

If Momma Ain’t Happy… October 11, 2010

Filed under: girly stuff,Housewife Stuff,parenting — paintingmama @ 1:19 am

Last Wednesday morning, after waking up to yet another tooth ache, I decided to finally make a dentist appointment and have the situation checked out. I knew that my wisdom teeth needed to be removed years ago and that another molar had a relatively decent cavity. Getting married at a young age, being a young mom and being broke for years with no or terrible health insurance kept me from taking care of myself the way I should have. I wore the mother’s badge of honor that said “I put my children’s needs first”. After all, who cares if your tooth is better if you didn’t manage to keep the lights on  in the house.

I went to the dentist appointment expecting to have an appointment scheduled in a week or two to have my wisdom teeth removed, only to be told that the molar with the cavity was being compounded by the wisdom tooth pressing down on it. The result was an infection that spread all the way through the root of the tooth into the sinus cavity causing a massive infection. He told me if I had ignored this situation for another year, it was very likely the infection could have become life threatening being that it was only a stair step away from the fluids surrounding the brain. The teeth needed to be removed immediately, as in RIGHT NOW. The anesthesiologist was not on duty so this was going to have to be done with only Novocaine.

I returned home looking like a beat up chipmunk, but as I saw on the couch the gravity of the situation began to hit me. Something I had ignored for years as a minor irritation could have taken my life. I thought I had worn the badge of unselfishness by putting my family first financially, only leaving me to question if my actions had really indeed been unselfish. Thinking about the possible sickness I would have faced and God forbid, my passing… I realize that if I am not taking care of myself, I am not taking care of my family. I have preached in previous blogs about the importance of “me time” for Moms, but wasn’t fully adhering to my own advice.  Lesson learned. My health is important to me, but more important to my family.

October is Cancer Awareness month. I realize that with both of my Grandmothers having been diagnosed with breast cancer, that this is also something I need to be aware of. I am only thirty years old, but I am hearing more and more of younger women getting this form of cancer. Take care of yourselves. Hit the dentist and the doctor’s offices.

 

Welfare recipients you didn’t know you knew. August 16, 2010

Lately on Facebook, I’ve noticed several posts and likes to pages such as “Make drug testing mandatory for welfare recipients”. I understand the frustrations and sentiments of people who, in times such as these, do not wish to see their tax dollars used in frivolous ways. I also understand that many people who make these claims or like these pages are unaware who exactly these welfare recipients are. Well, let me introduce myself. My name is Mandy and I have food stamps. This used to be a supremely humiliating statement to make and when I would hear or see people make comments towards those in need of the welfare system, I would find myself dying of embarrassment on the inside.

Before you stop reading, please allow me to further explain my “use of your tax dollars”.  As a young teenage  parent, I was first introduced to the welfare system by my OBGYN. After a couple of years of struggling financially, I was proudly and finally able to get off of welfare. Ben and I were on the other side of the fence, paying into the system. Finances were rocky, but there was food in the fridge and insurance for the family. Well, what happened?

In November of last year, I lost my job. We moved into an apartment to save money, which allowed me to stay home with the kids and go to school while we waited out the bad economy. Finances were a little tight, but we were doing OK on Ben’s income.  In January of this year, the kids and I became extremely ill with a virus in our lungs. A 4am trip to the ER due to labored breathing  for the three of us cost us $300 in co-pays and I had to ask my parents for help with the co-pays for our prescriptions. Ben took care of the three of us, causing him to become ill himself. Unable to afford another $100 dollar co-pay, Ben took my prescriptions (rather than paying still more money for his own) and called his work. He was a well liked employee and never had an attendance problem in over 5 years with this employer. Thinking all was well, he returned to work only to find out two days later he was being  fired for what? NOT HAVING A DOCTOR’S NOTE! Now if we could have afforded his employer’s medical co-pays, we would have had one!

As we all have noticed, this economy is a terrible time to have to job hunt. I knew it might be a while until Ben found another job and I also knew I had to keep the kids fed and medical needs met in the meantime. So, pride pushed aside… off to the welfare office I went. While I was there, I noticed a different crowd of people than I had several years before hand. There were many obvious first timers, having recently suffered from economic blows and pulling on the last strings they knew. Many had the look of humiliation and failure, while they knew they were only there to help their families. These were people who never thought in a million years they would find themselves sitting right in the middle of those they had, themselves, criticized for “milking the system”. I found myself walking a couple of people through the lengthy application and explained all of the documentation they would need to provide for assistance.

It began to dawn on me that many of their friends and family or mine, for that matter, would ever know what it’s like to be put in that position. It also occurred to me that I had nothing to  be ashamed of. I am keeping my children well fed and medical needs met. With all of Kaitlyn’s medical issues over the last year (Neurologist, EEG, sleep studies… and we aren’t even finished) I would never have been able to afford the co-pays on Ben’s previous employer’s medical plan.

So there you have it. Here is a face to go with the comments. I thank you for paying your taxes, for paying into the welfare system, for making sure that children like mine in times like these have food on the table and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing Kaitlyn to receive the medical attention I wouldn’t have been able to provide for her if I was still standing on the other side of that fence. I also encourage you to be kind with your words and statements. These times are tough and people are doing the best they know how. The people you make statements about may be sitting right next to you in church or at work and they too might be dying of embarrassment on the inside when they hear you say them.

 

Pamper Yourself! August 5, 2010

Filed under: girly stuff,Housewife Stuff,parenting — paintingmama @ 1:13 pm

Moms these days spend so much time taking care of others. Between driving kids to soccer practices and games, chaperoning play dates and field trips, helping the kids with homework and book reports and wrapping up all of that by making dinner and packing lunches… we forget or don’t have the energy to take time for ourselves. We forget how important it is to refresh our body and spirit. This is especially true for new moms. This past year, I have taken into account how 30 minutes to an hour of “me” time changes my attitude and raises my patience level.

This is my favorite me time routine. After Kaitlyn is off to school and Brandyn is down for a nap or after they have both gone to bed for the night, I set the laptop on my nifty little MyPlace computer table on the floor near the tub full of bubbles (not near enough to get electrocuted, calm down), if it’s after bedtime for the kids… a glass of wine, maybe some chocolate… maybe not if I’m watching calories, a homemade face mask (check past posts for recipes) and watch a marathon of my favorite TV shows online (True Blood, The Tudors, etc). If time permits before my son or hubby come to see where I have disappeared to, I like to mani/ pedi it up.

So what’s your routine? Leave a comment and let us know.

 

Flylady.net August 4, 2010

Filed under: Housewife Stuff — paintingmama @ 10:31 pm

I wanted to share a website that has helped me out tremendously as a stay home mom. I have learned that I occasionally suffer from what this website calls C.H.A.O.S. (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome). The symptoms are characterized by my house continuously exploding toys and other child paraphernalia. After venting some frustration to a friend, she told me about Flylady.net. (I hope this website doesn’ t mind me passing along lessons I have learned from it. Please check them out for yourself.)

The first thing I learned from this website is that I am not the only Mom on the planet with my house in constant upheaval.  Lesson number two was that, your house didn’t get destroyed in one day so don’t expect it to be spotless in one day. Lesson number three, you will regain control, 15 minutes at a time. So, I have decided over some postings in this category to share the lessons I have learned from this website and the tips and trick that have worked for me.

Have you ever noticed that when you spend a good solid hour cleaning, let’s say the kitchen, from top to bottom… you look around at how nice and spotless everything is and feel accomplished, how ever exhausted? You then walk into your living room or bedroom and see what disasters are waiting there and collapse on the couch in surrender. The solution to this lies in my favorite Flylady tip.

She says to set a timer for 15 minutes. Clean as much as you can in 15 minutes, that’s it. You’d be amazed what a difference 15 minutes can make. Then set the timer for 15 minutes again. Pick a different room and hit it until the timer goes off. Keep doing this everyday for as many rounds of 15 minutes you want and see what a difference it will make.