Monday, September 29, 2008
But I guess first things first....
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I will be doing highlighting some stories and highlighting some companies that support Breast Cancer Awareness.
I am offering a challenge to all the bloggers out there. Post at least one day about Breast Cancer Awareness. I am sure you know someone that has been touched in some way by Breast Cancer. So.... If you plan to post, let me know.
I also have at least one product review to post and will very, very soon! I think it is a good product and I hope you like it.
Thanks for sticking with me as I get back to normal. There are many, many of my neighbors, friends, family, and just fellow Texans who are not back to normal yet. I just want to keep them in my thoughts and hope that they are able to find some sort of normal....
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
I am not very word for word but basically I was saying I needed to swing by the store to pick up hot dogs, buns and Fritos.... I was making chili. I said the boys could eat hot dogs, K would have chili and I would have chili dogs. He said my meals were too complicated. Well we discussed and fine. I then mentioned that my ex used not like me to cut up/add onion and peppers or anything to spaghetti sauce. It had to be out of a can or jar.... nothing else.... Now I found out he eats it with stuff added. Goofball's reasoning "New wife".... Yes probably. He has changed a lot and that's fine. He is allowed, I guess....
But I honestly don't remember what it was that he said but it was basically that I didn't push to make them all eat the way I want them to..... as in, I want chili dogs, we are having chili dogs. Why should I do that when I can separate the ingredients and everyone is happy.
Does this make me a bad person? I mean I know my kids are picky eaters.... they are getting better but still not nearly to the point I want them at but I don't push them. I am too sensitive to eating disorders which they already have signs of (emotional eating) and I hate that.
Ya know when they were babies I did all the "right" things. I offered a variety of foods, veggies and fruits. They ate everything for the most part. H didn't eat spinach but that wasn't a big deal to me..... More for me! But this was really the only restriction.... Then suddenly around age 4, they both stopped eating like the used to. They became picky. They got to the point that they wouldn't eat at all... Just refuse. So I started just adapting my menu. So spaghetti became either with sauce or mac-n-chz. (Noodles with cheese on them). Chili dogs became choices.... but basically the same meal, just changed a bit.
L offered a new challenge for me. I made all his baby food. I didn't buy one jar of food for him. With K, I ONLY feed her baby food. I followed the book to the letter.... What can I say? I was young. With H, he was hard to get full so I started feeding him pretty much straight from the table around 6 months. But with L, I thought, "I can totally make all his food!" See my thing was I had a really hard time breastfeeding. I wanted to but I always seemed to fail. I didn't realize all the great resources that could have helped me or I would have tried anything. So when I heard how easy it really was to make baby food (easy peezy!!! I swear), I did it. I worked every Sunday making sweet potatoes, butternut squash, pears and apple sauce.... etc... It was so much fun and he ate so well! His fave was avocado and banana. Turns out avocados are a great first food, then added with banana makes a great "second stage" food. It was great. He was not picky until...... age 2..... He has been my worst one of them all. He often doesn't even eat the adapted meals I make. I can't get this kid to eat period. So I adjust.... I'm easy.
But I often feel like I am a terrible parent for not pushing this. I decided a long time ago that I would pick my battles. If this doesn't bother me, why push the issue? Like I said it is easier for me to just cook what they like rather than what they don't. And now nobody else put the four of us live here so why not. Oh and trust me it was worse with their dad here.... He was King of the Picky eaters. I figured it was my punishment for being picky as a child..... but I learned that I am not a picky eater.... Oh don't get me wrong there are things I would prefer not to eat (why waste calories) but my mom has said that I wasn't picky. She said if I didn't like say the onions in something, I would just push them to the side a little and not say a word. Then when I cleared my plate, I threw them out.
At any rate, I am always questioning my decisions, especially now.... It is almost 100% on me to make decisions for them, 100% for the day to day things, only like 80-90% on bigger things. So I question and second guess everything. But I have to just say this, I am not sorry that I have adapted my cooking and menu to fit their tastes. I picked my battles and this is not worth my time. I do feel like I put my foot down when it counts. (Like just a minute ago with the dishes)
So I guess what I am saying is that I am just doing the best I can and hoping they turn out okay. What more can I ask for?
Monday, September 22, 2008
I have noticed that I am mildly depressed. Is it post-storm related or is it just my "normal" cycle with depression. I do not know. But I noticed I am not able to make eye contact as much as normal. I am withdrawing from people, withdrawing from my interests and just in general feeling blah.
Anyway, that is not exactly what this is about! This is about me and Hurricane Ike.
Pre-storm I was so nervous. Could I be strong enough for the children? Could I stay calm even though I was scared out of my mind at what was going to happen? I mean you just don't know what these storms will do or what they will be like. So back to my questions in my mind..... Was I prepared enough? Did I have enough supplies? Oh yes, there were more questions but I will spare you.
At any rate, I was strong enough, I was calm, I was prepared and I got us through it all. I am so proud. Now granted we were also EXTREMELY lucky!! Very little damage. Got power on rather quickly, etc.
But despite how easy it was for us, I also feel good that I was able to get us through the days I did. I calmed fears enough though I was scared too and needed the comfort. I know if this were to happen again, I could do it and I know I will be prepared. I will be more trusting of my own ability.
I do have to brag a little.... Goofball was a good support and an inspiration (via phone mostly). He still doesn't have power, so send him some "electric" vibes! I miss him terribly! It was almost 2 weeks from when I saw him last until I did get to see him again..... and I did get to see him a few days since. But right now it is ifie on when I will see him again.... Hopefully this weekend.
Anyway, that is how I learned just a little more about myself.... Everyday I find myself a little more!
Saturday, September 20, 2008
This is pretty much the only damage I had to my house.... and this isn't even the house. I feel lucky. I have power, Internet, hot water. I have a frig full again with food.
We are getting back to normal but many of our neighbors, friends and family are not. Goofball, for one, has no power and no good sign of it coming on... At this point it sounds like he won't have it until next Friday.
I have a co-worker/friend that was in one of the hardest hit areas (Seabrook) and she will have a long recovery time.
Then I have family that live in Galveston (we are all from there originally!). My cousin lost his year old washer and dryer. They had some other damage in their house but last time I talked to them, they hadn't been able to get in.
I still don't know for sure about going back to work or the kids back to school. Right now I am planning to be back at work on Monday but they will have an update Sunday evening. The kids are suppose to go back either Tuesday or Wednesday. I have no idea. They said update on Sunday or Monday.
So that is an update from us. Please keep everyone in your thoughts!
Soon more normal Single Mom Finding Herself content! Promise!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
But we are good. We were some of the lucky ones and I feel blessed for that.
I will check back in soon and I will visit all the blogs I love but for now, I just want to keep those in our thoughts who are still trying to get back to normal..... I hope soon.
Friday, September 12, 2008
We are ready!
We are waiting!
We are driving each other CRAZY!
Or maybe that is just the boys driving me crazy.
Anyway, will check in when I can. Keep us in your thoughts. It will be over soon, I hope! (maybe nearing the end this time tomorrow??)
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
I could not agree more with this list. I am not completely on board with 2, maybe I just haven't been screwed over and no that isn't an invitation to but still. and yeah I do agree with it a bit, not completely. And, that is not a slam to others who have. I just have gotten lucky!
Then numbers 3, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 13! Yes, yes, yes. Ladies, don't nag them, criticize them and don't expect mind reading. Sometimes they get lucky and do what we were thinking, but it isn't mind reading at all. Words are nice but actions are what counts.
At any rate, go over and visit her. Great list!
** Rewritten since this morning. I was half asleep and didn't have my "eyes" on yet. (read: no glasses or contacts)
I still miss that life and it has been 16 yrs since I left for Boot Camp. There are so many things I still remember from those days. (giggle, giggle....)
But this year there is a twist, ya see the stepmom's birthday is today too. She knows it is "my" day too.... in a way. We actually laughed about it when I found out.
I sent her a card. The kids will probably call to wish her happy birthday.
I know some people think it is weird that I have this relationship with her but honestly it works for us and like I told my friend today (who questioned me on it), "It is better than fighting." I do it for the kids. And in another time and another place, she and I might be friends so why let a little thing like an ex-husband stand in the way.
And next year, 09-09-09!
Monday, September 08, 2008
Second my only other choice was to meet people are work. Hmmm, yeah, soo not going to happen. It is almost ALWAYS a bad idea to date someone at work. Been there, done that.
I also went to school online and I have friends online. To me it just made sense that I find someone online.
So online I went. With my mind open and not to take everyone for who they put out there.
When writing your profile, think about the words you use. If you say, "I want someone who is affectionate." Guys might read it as you are easy. Instead say exactly what you mean, "I like to hold hands." Some single parents wonder is it okay to say I have kids, YES! Do not surprise someone with this fact later. Honesty is the best policy. Do you really want to be with someone who doesn't like kids? Also give just enough information about yourself to get some one's attention, but not too much that they have nothing left to find out about you.
Then when you put pics of yourself up, ladies, if you put a shot of cleavage, who do you think will be looking at your profile? Guys looking for someone easy. Think about it? You may have great boobs but let that not be your opener. Do put updated pics of yourself. Do put normal pics of yourself on there. It is up to you whether these pics include your children or not, but I didn't include mine. I wasn't looking for another father for them, just a friend for me! So why should I have their pictures up there?
Then as you start to browse and receive emails, keep an open mind but also stick to your instincts. If there seemed to be a red flag in their story, I took it serious. Also Google is your friend. Find out as much about the person (or people) you are talking to. And if you can or have a friend that can do a background check, do it! I know it sounds bad but you have to protect yourself and if you are a single parent like me, you have to protect your kids. Do your homework.
Then take your time getting to know this person and when it is time to meet him (or her), meet at a public place and let other people know where you are going and what you are doing. Then call as soon as you have left. If it doesn't work, there are tons of others out there.
Another tip, try different sites. There are tons of them out there. Be on more than one at a time. Makes sense, huh? Don't get frustrated or discouraged. It does take some time to find someone worth the time. There are just so many people out there that you can find someone that will like you and you will like.
Anyway, I know online dating isn't for everyone. But it can be fun.
Sunday, September 07, 2008
**** NOTE: This advice can go for men or women but I am writing it as if I am talking to women about men.****
And I have given out a lot of advice (only when asked for it) but not many people seem to have taken it. They ask me because what they have been doing isn't working and then ask me, and then don't take my advice.... and so the relationship doesn't seem to work. Not saying it would have worked but ya know, your way isn't working.
Seems weird to ask a Single/Divorced mom about relationships too, doesn't it? I didn't date much before getting married. Enough but just a lot of casual sex.... Yeah I admit it. Then I was married for nearly 13 yrs and I really didn't date a whole lot after. I mean I meet Goofball (yeah he needs a new name) pretty soon after we filed for divorce. I did date though.
I guess what I know about my style of dating was I was doing it for fun and to have a grown up and a male to talk to. I went out with goals and an idea of what/who I wanted. I also really understood myself, though that does change over time, I am still finding pieces here and there of myself. I knew what I would put up with and what I just wouldn't. I wasn't going to settle.
Top on my list was respect. If you do not respect me, then see ya. I am not sure I can explain what respect is like for me, but I think it is little things like not asking me to change who I am to be who you think I should be.... Okay maybe that is a big thing. But, oh, oh what about opening doors for me. It doesn't have to be all the time, sometimes I get to the door first or am in a better position to open it, no bigs, but most of the time.... Awesome. Not walking in front of me like you "own" me. Again sometimes it will happen that I will just be behind but ya know, there is a difference.
Then there is affection, like hand holding, touching, little kisses. Even just telling me I am beautiful or sexy. Awesome. Yes words can be considered affection too.
And for activities and beliefs, well those don't have to jive completely but I want someone that likes music, likes kids and animals, that can be happy sitting around playing video games as he is going for a walk or to the zoo or to play tennis or bowling.
Really that is about it. Respect though is a big one.
So when I was ready to date I decided to do online dating. I do just about everything online as it is so it made sense to me. I also made up my mind not to get frustrated by it. If I found someone, cool and if I didn't, cool. Nothing serious either, I wasn't looking for a husband.
Then as I started to email with people, I wasn't pushy and if they stopped talking to me, well fine. I wasn't going to chase someone.
But I will admit here that when I started emailing Goofball, there was a time when I didn't hear from him for about 24 hours and given the days (or the week) before, he had emailed me much more regularly. So I did end up sending him something that said, "What would you do if you were emailing with someone and they suddenly stopped?" I think there was more but I really can't remember that was the jest of it though. I know that sounds like a hypocrite but I honestly wanted a guy to answer me that question. If he wasn't into me, fine, just answer that question. Do I move on and just assume he found someone else? Was he the person that just got in a massive wreck on the interstate? I just don't know. I just had gotten the impression that this guy was the right one to ask that question too. He wrote back and the rest was history.
I also fully believe in the "He is just not that into you" theory of thinking. Don't chase a "dead" relationship. If he isn't writing you back, calling and making time for you, and only seems to come around for sex, he isn't into you. Move on! There is someone out there who will be into you! You rock. You shouldn't settle (Okay serious not talking to anyone specific).
Be yourself but don't be pushy. Do not email him 50x a day when he doesn't reply. This is being pushy.
Again, I will admit that I sometimes would email Goofball a few times in a row (still do). But I really tried to control myself and not be that girl. I have really tried hard to be the laid back, cool chic that I know I am but sometimes in a relationship I can go ape-crazy and be all needy. I have admitted to him when I have a weak moment or need some reassurance. It seems to work out because I just have my moment and he gives me what I am looking for, I move on. All happy.
I could go on and on but I will just say this one last thing. Do not ask other people to change for you. If he likes to watch football on Monday night, then just say, "Cool. I'll see you on Tuesday." Or whatever. This is who he was before you and do not expect him to change. NOW, if he likes to watch Monday night football and he wants to include you or misses it for you from time to time. Awesome but do not expect this to be the norm or that he is changing for you. He is adjusting to the relationship, he wants to spend some time with you and show you a different side of himself. It is an enjoy the moment type of situation. So enjoy it!
Have high standards but low or no expectations.
Enjoy the moments.
And bottom line love yourself and understand who you are.
Friday, September 05, 2008
We live about 20-25 miles apart. So after the great night, I am sleepy and then had to drive home, well my brain is shut down and after great, mind-numbing sex what can I say? I have no other words. Just enjoying the moments and wishing things that can't be.
So for now, I have nothing to say for Saturday. I hope you understand! :) But I will be live and loud on Sunday!
Welcome back to the final day of the blog trip!!! I hope you have enjoyed yourself and I really hope you will come back after the trip is over. I have learned a lot and meet a lot of great people! I definitely found some people that I will keep on readin'.
Anyway on to my town.
This really isn't a sightseeing type of town. Other than the new mall and the soon-to-be .... hmm mall? There isn't too much. Some movie theaters, a bowling alley, a place called Pitch-Putt-n-Play and a skating rink. That's pretty much it. We do have some good parks, one near my house has a great dog park and a sprinkler park for the kids. Awesome.
But, we do live in the shadow of Houston. There is a ton to do in the city. Museums, the zoo, Reliant Stadium and Minute Maid Park. There is the Toyota Center. And these are just a few things.
Then you could always head south to Galveston. This is my real hometown. I was born and raised there.... more or less.... So in Galveston you can visit the Strand, the beach, the Railroad Museum, Moody Gardens and Schlitterbahn. Just to name a few things. Check out that first link to find all the things there are to do!
The Johnson Space Center and Space Center Houston, Kemah Boardwalk and just something in every direction little things here and there to do and see.
So if you ever make your way to my little dot on the map, I will make sure you are fed well, get in some good shopping and get you enough life experiences to last a life time!
And that, my friends, concludes a fun, busy, exciting yet exhausting blog trip. I do hope you will come back to Single Mom Finding Herself again.
Thursday, September 04, 2008
So it is day four! This Blog Trip is fun! (exhausting) but FUN! I know I have found some new blogs I will definitely be reading! and hope I have some new readers. For my regularly, we will be back from the trip soon and back to normal.
My town has some new shopping. It didn't have much of anything before that. We had to drive into Houston or over to Baybrook Mall (this is where I grew up shopping). But there were a few places around. Hidden Treasures for antiques. I have been in their old store in Pearland but not since they moved.
For clothes there is and has been for almost as long as I can remember a Palais Royal. I had never actually been there until a few months ago though. I don't know why. But they do have cute clothes!
We also have a new mall, just opened. It is an outdoor place and in the Texas heat, I am not sure what the developer was thinking but it is laid out nicely and has nice landscaping. There are great stores there too. I know that I will be spending some cash there come Christmas time! and I am always on the look out for great shoes.... okay great to me.
There is so much development that there will be tons of shopping! Something for everyone. So if you come on for a visit, I will take you shopping until you drop!
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Welcome back to day 3! I hope you are enjoying your trip.
One thing we do here is eat. There is no lack of a place to go. The only problem you may have is just making a decision. I know the guidelines were to just name a one or two of our faves but.... Well you will see!
We have everything from fast food to need a reservation to get in. Among the typicals, McDs, Burger King, Sonic, Whataburger, Subway, Quiznos.... I could go on with quick places like this.
But of the faster places, I would recommend though Panera's Bread for breakfast or lunch. If you don't know what it is, it is not a fast food in the sense of having a drive-thru but it is fast service usually. If you want something quick and simple for breakfast, it is a good place for some coffee and a muffin or good breakfast bread. Then for lunch you can't beat a half a sandwich with some soup.
We have a lot of Mexican or Tex-Mex places too. I like Juanito's which you will find on Walnut, just over Highway 35. It is good food, family owned and I like it! There is also Don Pico's, not great service but pretty good food. And then a newer place for us out here, Los Cucos. It is pretty good. I took Goofball here for his Bday not too long ago. There are more, several more but those are the ones I have been to.
Then we have Saltgrass Steakhouse, Joe's Crabshack, Fuddruckers, Jake's Grill, Olive Garden, Chili's, Red Lobster, TGIFridays, On the Border, Red Robin and BJ's Brewhouse.
We have an Ihop and soon we will have a Denny's. But for a good breakfast try, Busy Bee near the railroad track on 35. The reviews online aren't great but I have been eating there for years and years..... and years!!! It is good but the service changes with the times, sometimes slow, sometimes great. Food is always good, I have never had bad food there.
We are getting a Cracker Barrel too. My kids like that place, but I think it is mostly for the country store.
For a really nice dinner, go to Killen's Steakhouse. Call for a reservation because it is a small place! and if you didn't know and were just driving by, you probably wouldn't expect what you find when you eat there. It is the best food I think I have ever had. I have only been lucky enough to go once but OH.MY.GOSH! Goood.
For dessert, try Marble Slab. There are now a few locations. But my now favorite one is at Pearland Towncenter. They have cinnamon ice cream at that one! Yum! We also have Cold Stone Creamery and Baskins Robbins. Not my faves but we have them. There are also two places now that serve gelato. One is new and I haven't been there. It is at the new Pearland Towncenter and is called Paciugo Gelato. I can't find the other so I can't tell you the name.... It is near Jake's Grill so if you eat a great burger at Jake's then walk down a few stores to it, it isn't bad.
These are just a few of the places you would find if you came to visit me here in Pearland, Texas. Seriously just a few!!! And then if we head in any direction from here, there are tons and tons of other great places to eat. It is overwhelming to say the least. No wonder I can't make a decision.
I hope that fills you up, you have no excuse to leave here hungry but I hope you didn't overeat too much!
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
So welcome to Blog Trip day two! This post is about the price of gas.
Well with a hurricane in the Gulf this week (yesterday) and Labor Day just ending, gas has been a varying thing. But it is far lower than it has been this Summer.
Lately it has been between $3.30 and $3.60.... I know $.30 difference but what can I say. I live out in what used to be country and I drive into the big city often. Price can be hugely different street to street, corner to corner around here.
On every one's mind is how to save on gas. Well sadly I don't have a strategy for this. This summer I lost my mind so that helped because I wasn't driving as much. But, typically no strategy.
Our town isn't really set up well for walking or biking anywhere, no sidewalks or shoulders to do this. I would have to walk in the ditch or on the very overcrowded roads to do it. I would love to see this change as they start to work on the roads in the area. Even to walk to our neighborhood park, the sidewalk ends before you get there so kids, dogs and grown-ups are forced to walk on the road. Not such a bad thing unless you are walking said road and the idiots that don't realize that it is a neighborhood not Daytona International Speedway go speeding by. Or when you are driving the people that think they can walk 3-4 wide on the street so that cars can't drive by.... Well it just isn't made for foot traffic and motor vehicles to travel together. But I digress.
I have lived in areas that I walked everywhere. I walked to work. I walked to the store. I walked to the park. I walked. I walked. I walked. Now I don't live close enough to work to do that. The stores aren't close enough and like I said, no good infrastructure to do it either. And frankly I have gotten lazy too.... :) There I admit it!
There is no public transportation out of here that I can catch either, though up in the Big City there is so just getting up that way, you can park and catch rides to other destinations around the city. These are all things are little town gone big town is working on but I think they are spending too much time talking and less time doing. There was a huge population explosion over the past 10 yrs and development is out of control, people are struggling to catch up and get their minds wrapped around the change. Change happens people, get on board or get out of the way. (Did I say that out loud?)
Goofball wanted me to mention that we live about 22 miles apart so gas prices have an impact on seeing each other. I really thought it was more schedules and kids and stuff like that but yep, now that he mentions it, gas prices too. I think he said it costs like $7-ish each way. Not sure because I never thought about it. But I trust him..... :)
At any rate, that is the gas situation here in my town. I hope the lack of infrastructure doesn't deter you from visiting us. As you will see during the rest of this trip, there is a lot to see here!
Monday, September 01, 2008
Today is day one of the blog trip. I hope you are here for it, or join in!! Day one is kind of an intro to who I am and what I am here for or really any thing I want to share about myself. Me, I think I will share my story.... I think I am also suppose to talk about my town but I am sorry, this is all about me!
Soooo me! 35 and a half (remember when the half used to be so important?).... I am a single mom to three lovely wonderful monsters that I love so much! K is 14 and just started high school.... 9th grade! H is 12 and is in 7th grade this year. L is my youngest at 6 yrs old (yes he has the same father as the older two... nature is a funny thing).... He is starting 1st grade.
We live just south of Houston, TX and have for 3 yrs. I am from here, joined the Navy, had my first two in Florida, moved to Virginia, move back to Texas and then to North Dakota and now back here. Shwooo, that is exhausting just thinking about.... 8 total places we lived in between all those states and that is counting from our first move from FL to VA in 1996 to our last move in 2005 from ND to TX. I hate moving but I am good at it.
I have been divorced for 2 yrs, separated for 3... Was married in total just short of 13 yrs. We both would tell you that it went on far longer than it should have. For me, I had my moment in 1998 but people tell you things like:
Marriage is hard. It takes work. Never give up. Keep trying. Everyone goes through phases like this.But when is it okay to give up? Say I have tried enough, we just aren't good for each other. We do not make each other happy, etc? It was when I actually felt this way that I was able to say enough is enough. A good friend of mine (one of my PIMs) asked me something like, "If you are so unhappy, why do you stay?" or something like that.... I am not good with the word for word. It was then I said, "Enough." We were living in Fargo, ND at the time.
His story is I left for vacation and never came back. He says I called and just told him I wasn't coming back.... or something like that.
My story is that I was coming home for vacation AND to look for a job, if I found one, I wasn't coming home and we would all move back here.
The truth is somewhere in between that.... (three sides to every story afterall)
But he DID know I wasn't planning to come back when he said good bye the morning I hopped in the car with the three kids and as much as I could pack into it.
Then he moved here a few weeks after we moved in to this house. The plan was for him to find another place to live. 2 mths later, he was still here but hadn't unpacked. So one night I asked him, "Are you going to unpack here or move out like we planned?" He moved out.... Good boy.
The rest of the story goes really quickly.... He lived here, as in Houston, for another 7 mths. He then moved to Dallas/Ft. Worth area. He started dating someone as was I, he moved in with her and then almost immediately broke up.... He then meet a new girl and is now married to her.
I have been seeing the same guy for a very enjoyable 2-ish yrs.... Not sure where it is going and most of the time I don't care.... because I just enjoy him. Some of my best days are with him. I can't imagine life now without him. He is great and I am crazy about that man.
Well this is me. Single mom finding herself....