Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sacrifice or Selfishness?

Okay Blog family, I need some advice from you. A dear friend of mine asked me at what point does a mother put her careers goals and desires on hold for your children?
Background info: The friend is a single mother of two children ages 8 and 6. She does receive financial support from the father but could still use additional financial resources. She was offered a great opportunity with a part-time job, that will really help develop her career. The problem is this part-time job will interfere with her son's football schedule. Her son has not started the football season yet but he is really hoping that he can play in this particular league. She does have a great support system of family and friends that help with the children, but none of them are able to commit to getting him to the many practices and games, and the father lives in a different city. She is really torn about what to do. Is she being selfish by taking the job and not allowing him to play in the league? Mothers naturally give and sacrifice but at what point should a mother say, its time for the family to make a few sacrifices for me? Should she accept the part-time job and explain to her son that he will not be able to play in that league this year? Or should she turn down the part-time job and allow her son to play in the league?

What do you think?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Vacation Pics

read more about Pedro and his gunshot wounds here.

Random Ramblings

As promised, I am going to post pictures of our wonderful couple of days at the beach, in a minute. I have so many random thoughts floating through my head that I must put them down.

*First of all I am torn up about the death of MJ. I won't say much more but I am enjoying watching my kids dance to his videos. I would have never guessed that I would be sitting here watching my kids get excited over the same songs that I enjoyed 25 years ago.

*I wonder how much damage I would do if I just took my kitchen chairs out to the deck and hosed them down. For the life of me, I cannot figure out how these chairs have accumulated sooo much food and debris, I mean I wipe them down at least once a.....I almost typed week but I wouldn't tell you, my bloggy friends, untruth, besides you are probably the only ones in the world that understand how busy I am and the food that clings to the chairs just doesn't cross my mind until I plop down in a chair that is so sticky it makes me feel like I need a bath.

*If I cleaned up last week, why must I clean up again this week? How does stuff collect in rooms that no one uses? And why do we have such an over-abundance of misc. paper in our house? Who brings all of this stuff into our house and can I require them to take it back?

*Is it child/hubby neglect if I veg-out in front of the TV, with a blanket, a good book, and my laptop for blog reading for a couple of hours?

*Must I keep every piece of paper, crayon drawing, art and craft project that all 3 of my schoolers brought home the last week of school?

*Is it Friday already?

*Oh, I almost forgot. I have lost 5.2lbs. over the first 2 weeks of my diet. Who knew that pushing back from the table and becoming more active would really work?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sound Probation

I was traveling in the truck with 6 anxious children and one tired husband. All the windows were rolled up and all the doors were closed. At times there seemed to be so much noise that it felt like every square inch of space in the truck was filled with some type of sound that I swear I could see. It was like "shut up", "don't touch me", "move over", "stop", "are we almost there yet", "I gotta use the bathroom", and tons of other words were just floating around. My ears had maxxed out on the amount of noise they could process so, my eyes had begun to see the words. I felt dizzy. What possessed us to pack up all of these people and put them in one vehicle and drive 3 hours? What were we thinking? Were we sane when we decided this? Oh, yeah, I remember, I wanted to vacation without them. I was thinking of sending these little people to their real parents, but my husband who maintains that we are their real parents, insisted on taking them with us. He has this thing about never leaving them, he loves the feeling of noise crowding out your existence. And just when I thought I would lose it, he came up with the most beautiful idea. SOUND PROBATION! When one of my children says something inappropriate, whether is calling their sibling a doo doo head, playing with the whoopie cushion, or using a ugly tone to communicate, he places them on sound probation. Quite simply they are not allowed to make another sound, or they can expect Mt. Daddy to erupt. Its such a beautiful thing. I think the words alone create some type of fear in them. I just love the way it sounds.......SOUND PROBATION........lovely silence. Do you have creative ways to achieve silence?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I'm back!

I'm back from our mini-vacation.  I could hardly wait to get back to tapping away at my computer.  With every experience I found myself thinking, I've got to share this with my bloggy friends.  I have so many random thoughts to share.  I really enjoyed sitting in the sun and playing on the beach.  I can't remember the last time my hubby and I just planned to do nothing but enjoy time with the kids.  You know, work and living a hectic life is really over-rated.  Everyone needs time when they sit down and truly enjoy the many blessings they have.  With all that has happened in the past year with Drew Drew and the cholesteatoma, and surgery, it was time to take moments away from our hectic lives and enjoy simple realities.  Now that I have gotten all the mushy emotional thoughts out of the way I can move to the more pressing thoughts in my mind.  On our little trip to the beach we passed the hundreds of signs that are designed to lure little children to South of the Border.  I remember stopping at South of the Border as a child and it wasn't much to look at then, but thats been many moons ago, so I'm thinking, maybe things are different.  Boy was I wrong!  I have this friend who itches in places that look or feel nasty.  From the minute we pulled up I began to feel a little "itchy".  We let the kids take a few pictures in front of the very same animals, minus a few coats of paint, plus a few bullet holes, but still the very same animals that I took pictures of 20 years ago!  And the restrooms............the restrooms had a very distinct school antiseptic smell that took me back to days of classmates getting sick after school lunch, and the janitor trying to cover up the smell with that horrible spray.  After 3 minutes at South of the Border I was convinced the Pedro should spend less money in marketing and more money in renovations and upgrades!  On the brighter side, there is nothing like the freedom of walking around in a swim suit all day.  There is no other time that is socially acceptable for a overweight mom of six to walk around without the restrictive undergarments that are necessary to hold all of this together.  Ahhh, the Freedom!!! Oh, before I forget I will post pics of our trip later this week.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Mommy of many, hubby, and the many are vacationing at the beach!  We'll talk when I get back!

Friday, June 19, 2009


This week has been a busy week around the Artis household. First the birthday of Sister-Girl, which we have celebrated MANY days, and now its time to add the Twins to the celebration. On this day 3 years ago, I was having hot flashes, and temper tantrums because I was so very tired of sitting in a hospital bed, big and pregnant. I stayed in the hospital for pre-term labor, almost a week prior to delivering the twins. Finally, on June 19, I said, "If these little ones try to make their entrance today, I'm having these babies, TODAY!" They must have heard me because shortly after that strong, regular contractions started. After a few hours of labor, some great breathing techniques, an awesome birthing partner (my hubby), and several doctors insisting that I would need a C-section because twin B was breech, I delivered 2 healthy screaming, squirming little babies. Did I mention that breech, Twin B, was delivered the old fashioned way also. Little Miss SaySay was born first, and Little Master DrewDrew tried his best to stay in. He protested being born. I think SaySay was ready to see the world, she was probably scared that she was going to miss too much if she stayed in the womb any longer, and DrewDrew, who is still a lap baby, wanted to stay anywhere he could be held and cuddled. Boy, I had no idea how much these two little ones would change my world. I have included a list of things that only the twins have accomplished in 5 min. or less:
1. Given their siblings customized body art with markers and fingernail polish, in the middle of the night.
2. Tried to trap the cat in the dryer, as you can imagine she now stays out of their reach.
3. Covered my bathroom walls and toilet with hair glue.
4. Stopped up the bathroom sink with tissue, turned on the water, walked out, closed the door, flooded the bathroom and entryway!
5. Put several bars of bath soap in dishwasher and turned it on, resulting in a flooded kitchen.
6. The twins routinely get up at night together, come downstairs and use a chair to get a midnight snack.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wednesday's Word of the Day

Every parent has memory of words that their little one "created."  My little ones are notorious for mis-pronouncing words and creating their own.  Today I would like to feature one of those famous words.

snish - the fluids that fly out of a toddler mouth when they sneeze and do not cover their     mouth;  combination of sneeze and spish (spit); created by Little Miss SaySay (Sarah, age 2); used to describe what happened when her twin brother sneezed on her hand; used in a sentence:  "Mama, I need to wash DrewDrew's snish off my hand."

What are some of your little one's word creations?  

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Sister-Girl!

It was 10 years ago on this very day that I gave birth to my oldest daughter, Sister-Girl, that's what her grand-ma calls her. It seems like it was just yesterday (sniff, sniff). She informed me that she is hitting the "double digits" now. Sister-Girl is my one child that truly believes she was meant to be an only child. She loves for all the attention and focus to be on her. I think she was born to be a star. I fully expect to one day look up and see her on TV. She has that sparkle that deserves to be in lights and did I mention she absolutely LOVES to have her picture taken. Since we're talking about how much she loves attention, I think this would be the prime time to mention that Ms. Sister-Girl has requested to be my guest blogger for the day. And so before I get too caught up blogging myself, I would like to present to you Ms. Sister-Girl!

Hello Everyone! It's my birthday today, 1 whole decade. It feels good. I always wanted to be in the double digits. What I completely forgot about was BIRTHDAY LICKS! Ouch! So my older brother Tyler has tried to give me birthday licks for everybody. WOW! Thanks everyone for all of your attention today.

Monday, June 15, 2009

I Started!

I did it! I actually started on my weight loss journey, well I guess I started mentally a while back. For months, maybe years I have been thinking about losing weight. After just thinking about it, I moved to the next step of dreaming about losing weight, and then talking about losing weight. Through all of these stages I have had some successful moments when I would lose maybe 5 - 10 pounds but then I would relapse and eat a large fry (McDonalds's, Lord help me!) or a few slices of cheesecake and I would be right back where I started. You know that commercial that said no one could eat just one, that's how I feel about french fries and pasta and cheesecake ooooooh and hush puppies. I'm a carb-a-holic. Well, after the scenario with Sarah and my shorts, scroll down and read about that in "Its Official!" I decided that my thoughts at some point really do have to become actions. Thoughts, dreams, and words would have to connect with action for me to really lose the weight. So this morning, bright and early 6:30am, I got up and dragged myself out to exercise. Yes, I actually walked, jogged, and practically crawled for a full 45min. I will be tracking my exercise and weight loss journey on www.sparkpeople.com. If you are not familiar with sparkpeople, check it out. It is an awesome FREE tool for anyone trying to lose weight. So, come on, join me! I would love to have some blogging buddies to help push and motivate me through this journey. According to my Dr. I need to drop a full............55lbs! This is gonna require much pushing, shoving, pulling, and motivation. So feel free to post your weight loss stories and tricks. If you've found success with this thing, let me know. I'm gonna need all the help I can get!

Friday, June 12, 2009

My Very First Blog Award!!

I received my very first blog award. I am so excited!! My blog is only a few months old so while I have been hoping to receive one, I never imagined I would get one so soon. So you can only imagine how excited I was when I opened my email today. My blogger friend Teresha over at Little Freckle Baby has given little ole me an award. You should stop by to see her, she's expecting and using her awesome blog to journal the pregnancy. Like every other mommy or mommy-to-be blogger she loves comments, so show her some love. So I am now passing this award on to
1. Tabitha @ I Choose Bliss
2. Wifey @ Ask Wifey
3. Shannon @Creative Parties and Showers
4. Tara @ For The Love of Scrap
5. The Justices @ Mama Law
6. RBARAKAT @ Lets Embellish
7. Lee @ I Want to Make That
8. Cher @ Love Actually
9. Mama Shujaa @ Mama Shujaa
10. Wanda @ Wanda Writes
11. The Young Mommy @ The Young Mommy Life
12. TanishaRenee @ Tanisha Renee
13. Sheena @ Mommy Daddy Blog
14. Denene @ My Brown Baby
15. Michelle @ Sweet Life Magazine

What next? Follow these rules and pay it forward:
1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of his or her blog and the link.
2. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you have newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Its Official!

Its official.......(drum roll please), I am going on a diet. I am fully convinced that I am too squishy for my own good. Yesterday, was a pretty hot day, so I decided it was time to pull out a pair of shorts from last year. I took much time and care trying on several pairs and I finally decided on a cute little, well maybe not so little, pair of denim shorts. I put them on, turned to several angles while looking in the mirror and decided they looked pretty nice. They are made out of the stretchy denim material so they even seemed to be holding me together a little. Feeling confident in my choice I walked downstairs. My oldest daughter immediately noticed that I was wearing shorts and joyfully says, "Oh mom, u look C-UTE!" I quickly responded with, "Thanks Baby!" I usually only wear shorts on vacation in extremely hot weather, and even then capri pants are going to be my first choice. So, OK, I was really feeling confident, when she (meaning my 3 year old, who talks entirely too much, always asking the questions you don't want to answer, never lying, but the one who always knowing everything) she, said, "Mommy, oh my God, what happened to your legs right there?"
me: "Where baby? What are you talking about?"
she: "Right there, does it hurt? Did you hurt it?"
I was horrified. Is she pointing to my cellulite? Yes, she is pointing to the cellulite on my thighs that is no doubt the product of having so many babies, and the love of cheesecake, and the dislike of exercise contributed to!
me: "There is nothing wrong with mommy's leg. It doesn't hurt."
she: with a smile, "Oh, Ok. I like your shorts mommy."
me: turning to go upstairs and change, "thanks baby."

So back to my initial statement, Its official I am on a diet! Any suggestions? What diets have you found work the best?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

At some point, every mother can appreciate her own little place surrounded in silence.......................

Monday, June 8, 2009

Blend Together!

A dear friend of mine called with advice for managing a blended family. Most people who know me don't realize that my oldest son is from a previous marriage. We have successfully managed to smooth out things to the point where there is no difference and no separation. We are one family, the Artis Clan

1. Respect is a must! There is no compromising when it comes to this. It was never an option for my son to disrespect my husband or my husband to disrespect my son.

2. Establish roles. Because I was bringing a son into the marriage it was important for me to establish with my son that my husband is the head of the household. I got alot of grief on this issue. Women have a tendency to feel like we're being forced to choose either our husbands or our children. If you are in a relationship that is healthy for both you and your child then there is no reason to choose. While it is very important to make sure your child understands and feels the love that you have for them as their mother, It is also important to help your child understand that you are married to your husband. Help your child understand that you have enough love to have a child and a husband. I think sometimes it is hard for a child to adjust to the changes because we don't always establish clear roles when we are single mothers. At times we may allow those children to also fill the role of friend and take active roles in making decisions. But now that you are a married, you and your husband will make the decisions best for the family. In our household this includes decisions about my son. My husband and I make decisions together about my son, which brings up another important area that must be addressed.

3. Your spouse is first. I had to establish with my son's father that my husband is the head of my household and we make decisions on what takes place in our house. My son's father has no authority or dominion when it comes to my house. He understands and respects this. Now it hasn't always been this easy. There were times when my son would talk to his father and make plans then come and tell my husband and I what the plans were. At first I did not realize what he was doing, because it didn't interfere with any plans I had already made. But eventually I saw what was taking place. My husband and I made it clear to my son that he needs to discuss with us plans before making them. Since my son is older now things are simpler. Early on, my son's father and I could not communicate with one another responsibly , which brings me to my next point.

4. Don't be afraid to bring in third parties for communication reasons. My son's father and I agreed to communicate through my father and his mother. In the beginning there was alot of anger and frustration between us. Until we could agree to let go of the anger and move past the wrongs we had committed against one another, I would drop my son off with my father or his mother and he would then visit him or pick him up from there. In the ideal situation, adults would just be adults and let go of their differences, but that is rarely the reality in these situations. Understand what your triggers are and find a civil way to deal with one another. This will also reduce the amount of tension between the ex-spouse and the current spouse.

5. Your spouse should love and care for all children in the family the same. I think the key component in all of this was the way my wonderful, wonderful husband accepted and loved my son as his own. Even during the times when my son acted in ways that made me want to disown him, my husband never did. He loves him, supports him financially and emotionally, corrects him, jokes and plays with him just like he does the children that are his biological children. He has never referred to him as his step-son but always his son. From the angle that I am viewing things, he is his son. This wonderful attitude from my husband has also gained the respect of my son's father. It is not uncommon for all of us to be at one of my son's sporting events both fathers and grandfather. There is no tension because we all want what is best for our son. Not too long ago I heard my son telling one of his friends that its almost like he has 3 dads because he has Derreck (his biological father), Daddy Isaac (my husband), and Papa (my father). I think this learning process has helped them all grow closer to my son. It is very true that it takes much more than genetics to create a parent/child bond and we are living proof of this. We are a well-blended family.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Its All Apart of the Job.........

Six little ones, one husband, 15 loads of laundry, potty training to overcome, hair to comb, carpet to vacuum, floors to sweep and mop, toys EVERYWHERE, the never ending cycle of "whys" that I must answer, parks to visit, practices to attend, and as if I didn't have enough things to do, I happily added school (I graduate next May..woo hoo), becoming a published author, and helping my dad with the family business to my list of things I must accomplish..........The joys, pains, task, and responsibilities that come along with being the Chief Operational Officer of the Artis Household never end. It is one of the most intense, emotionally inspiring and physically draining jobs in the world, and I wouldn't trade one moment of it, ok, I'm lying a would trade a few of those potty training moments for more successful ones, but besides the unsuccessful potty moments, and Oh, I might trade out a few of those laundry moments for shopping moments, well, let's just say I would keep 99% of the moments, because being a wife and mother has given me some of the most memorable and rewarding times of my life.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Kodak camera giveaway

I entered a great contest for a Kodak digital camera with Amanda over at http://www.mommymandy.com. Check her out!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Thoughtful Thursday: Thoughtful Nuggets

Being a mother can be challenging. Over the years I have discovered that I must be someone different for my sons than I am for my daughters. To my daughters I strive to be an example of who they someday will become. I strive to teach them the fundamentals of being a wife and mother, showing them the struggles while emphasizing its importance and rewards. I want them to know that it takes time, skill, and prayer to manage a family, build a career, and take care of a husband. I find myself telling my daughters that if a family were a band, the mother/wife would be the drummer. She is the one that determines the rhythm and environment for the family. Her role is so very important. She can build up a person in the family or tear them down with a few simple words. While she is not the leader of the band, the band could surely fill empty and dull without her constant taps of encouragement, or loud thunderous beats of praise, or her crashing sounds of discipline when necessary. Going against what is normally seen on television, I teach my daughters that it is not necessary to fuss, cuss, and manipulate to get your point across, and understand that you won't have your way in every situation. Be open to other perspectives.
For my sons I strive to be an example of the characteristics they will someday look for in a wife. I want them to see a strong woman who is a help-meet to her husband, able to hold down things when necessary, but also the only soft, tender place that a man has to turn to when facing the harsh reality of this world. It is my desire that they someday look for a woman who possesses Godly characteristics and a passion for loving them. I make attempts to show them how a wife is able to lovingly respect and submit to her husband without being controlled. I want them to know that being the head does not mean they are to dictate the actions of the family. It means when it is all said and done they are the responsible party for each member of that family. They see me honoring my husband and commitments to my family. I want them to know that a wife is the someone who should always have their back, ready at all times to jump in when needed. I often find myself jotting down what I call little nuggets of wisdom, that I someday plan to give to them.

Task I have yet to master: keeping a spotless house, putting away clean clothing, and ironing

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Thankful Tuesday

After a Monday that was full of excitement but rather stressful, I thought it would be important for me to remind myself of some of my many blessings.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Just one of those days

Today is one of those days when I wanna write, but words seem to escape my fingertips. There is so much I want to express but so few words that I really wanna type. It's one of those days where a look could communicate a thousand words. School is ending and the kids are losing it. There is something about hot weather that negatively effects the judgement of little minds. We've got household behavior fires poppin' up left and right. One little one decides that the TV is thirsty, another little one thinks that she should discipline him for feeding the TV. An older little one thinks that he is sneaky enough to have a myspace page even after my husband and I gave specific instructions against it. Needless to say, he got caught and his sister is just giddy with excitement as he gets in trouble. I guess its just one of those days! But I'm equipped to handle them. Well, I'm off to handle the Artis Fires!