The Good, The Bad, and The Hilarious of Parenting

Women Must Take The Time To Care For Themselves

Lucille Ball said, “Love yourself first and everything else falls into line.  You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”  How quickly we women forget this.  We put our husbands or boyfriends first.  Then the children come and of course, they come before everyone and everything.  We put everyone and everything else before ourselves giving up sleep, eating properly, exercising, and developing our own interest.  We can quickly think of reason after reason for why we don’t have time for ourselves. I mean goodness moms can barely go to the bathroom alone much less carve out time to exercise or develop our own interest.

As moms, we never get to go to the bathroom alone!

As moms, we never get to go to the bathroom alone!

I know because I was one of those moms — take a moment and think about the consequences of not taking care of ourselves.  You can have an increased risk for depression.  There is an increase risk of excessive use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.  You may become resentful towards the very people who you are trying to care for.  You can develop illnesses such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and other more serious illnesses.  I know because I reached this point.

When we make time for ourselves, bettering our own life and our health, we become better people.  We develop more zest and energy for the responsibilities that we face.  We learn to respect ourself and treat ourself as valuable and this can be an important lesson to teach others. We can be a powerful model to those that are watching us.  We can teach our children that it is important to respect and to take good care of themselves as well.   When we respect ourselves, others will respect us as well.  Our ideas and vision become important.  We will stand taller, play bigger, think broader and will be more successful.  We will have more energy, focus, and clarity.

Challenge yourself — what do you need? Can you communicate your needs to those around you?  What is one thing you can do to take better care of yourself today?

Me time -- make an appointment with yourself and keep it.

Me time — make an appointment with yourself and keep it.


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The Second Annual Summer Bucket List

Last summer I created a bucket list in an effort to make myself enjoy my summer more.  It isn’t that I am about to kick the bucket or anything, but I often allow myself to get so caught up in the details of day-to-day life I don’t allow myself to enjoy life.  It is easy for us to think, “Oh I will do that someday.” Well, I decided to change the way I think because if we don’t do it now “someday” may become “never”.  I don’t want to look back on my life wishing I had done_______________________ (fill in the blank).

I heard about an 82-year-old woman who traveled cross-country in an 18-wheeler just because she always wanted to do it.  While it took several years to organize and pull off, she still made it happen at an age when most of us would have thought it was not reasonable.

I have this picture on my bucket list board on pinterest (which you should follow!)

To celebrate her 103rd birthday this lady gets a tattoo

To celebrate her 103rd birthday this lady gets a tattoo

I love this picture, and it motivates me to live life to the fullest.  I am not talking about being reckless.  I am talking about being full of life.  I look at people I love, and I see how life has kind of passed them by because they were too busy living day-to-day or by this imaginary set of rules that they think makes them happy, but on the flip side, I often hear them say “I wish…” So, what are you putting off?  Is it a conversation with a friend you haven’t seen in years?  Is it a trip that you have always wanted to take?  Is it that book you’ve always wanted to write?

I am starting my summer bucket list a bit early this year, but that is ok right? Here it is…

1) Camp out (didn’t get to this one last summer) — I use to love camping, but as I have gotten older I have grown to love indoor plumbing; however, I want my children to experience the joy of sleeping outdoors.  I think a backyard tent will be perfect.

2) Learn How To Make Ice Cream —yummy!!  I love ice cream.  My girls love ice cream.  This summer I want to make homemade ice cream and sit out in the yard at dusk with my family and enjoy it! (I didn’t get to this one either but we did make snow cream a few times this year.)

3) Catch Fire FliesI remember how much fun it was to run around in the big field in front of my Aunt Brenda and Uncle Buck’s house with my cousin Tonya catching fire flies.  I want to do it again!!

4) Go To A Drive In MovieIt is just something you want to do in case they disappear forever.

5) Hang out with the coolest people I know my niece and nephew — I want to spend more time with those amazing kids.  My Fa loves to be with them, and we spend so much time laughing together that I don’t want this summer to pass me by without seeing them at least once a week.  I will record this with some great pictures.  You know the kids grow up so fast!

6) Get out!! Sounds weak but what I mean is that I want to be out living and not sitting in my house.  I want to take part in cultural events.  I want to go swimming.  I want to experience what my town has to offer.  The cleaning can wait!

7) Exercise daily — I have ben making huge strides in my health and I want to continue to do that on a daily basis, but this summer I want to push myself even further and possibly lose another 20 lbs!  I specifically want to be able to run a mile easily.  Notice I said easily and not fast!

8) Put together a family cookbook — my grandmother use to tell me all the time, “Lawd Regina, you will never get you a man if you don’t put down those books and learn how to cook.”  Well, I did get me a man, but I never learned how to cook!  It is a standing joke with my family, but that is ok.  I have a family full of amazing cooks and I want to preserve some of this in a cookbook even if I am not able to cook!

9) Learn how to sew — a few years back I told my mom that I wanted to learn how to sew.  That Christmas she bought me a children’s sewing machine that has been in my closet since then.  I did try to thread it once and well, that was a bust.  This summer I will learn how to sew something very simple.

10) Grow something I can eat — I have had to learn to watch what I eat due to illness and I have been playing around with the idea of gardening or container gardening, but I haven’t taken that step yet.  So, this summer, I will try to grow just one thing.

What is on your bucket list?  Live life to the fullest.

What is on your bucket list? Live life to the fullest.


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Silly Saturday — Interview With A One Year Old

This is some funny stuff!  You will have to watch it more than once!


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Why Dogs Leave The Earth First?

Have you ever wondered why dogs live such a short life?  I mean they are man’s best friend, and if you are anything like us, our dogs are actually more like family than just dogs.

Fa and Booda settling down for a nap.

Fa and Booda settling down for a nap.

I first saw this post on my Facebook page about why dogs leave the earth first, and it made me smile in a sad kinda way.  I then found it again on Pinterest.  So, I thought I would share since I am focusing on simply living our life to the fullest in 2013, and who better to teach us adults how to live than children and dogs!

A Dog’s Purpose?  (from a 6-year-old)

  • Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker.  The dog’s owners, Ron, his wife Lisa , and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.  I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer.  I told the family we couldn’t do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure.  They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker ‘s family surrounded him.  Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.The little boy seemed to accept Belker’s transition without any difficulty or confusion.  We sat together for a while after Belker’s Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.
    Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, ”I know why.”Startled, we all turned to him.  What came out of his mouth next stunned me.  I’d never heard a more comforting explanation.  It has changed the way I try to live.

    He said,”People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life — like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?”

    The Six-year-old continued, ”Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”

    Live simply.

    Love generously.

    Care deeply.

    Speak kindly.

    Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

    When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

    Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

    Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.

    Take naps.

    Stretch before rising.

    Run, romp, and play daily.

    Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

    Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

    On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

    On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

    When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

    Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

    Be loyal.

    Never pretend to be something you’re not.

    If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

    When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

    Man's best friend.

    Man’s best friend.

    There comes a time in life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh, forget the bad, and focus on the good. So, love the people who treat you right. Think good thoughts for the ones who don’t. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is part of LIFE…Getting back up is LIVING…

    Have a great life.

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Hanging on the back of the bathroom door where I teach is this poster for our reading enjoyment, and I felt that it goes perfectly with my post about not making New Year’s resolutions.  Enjoy!



Do what you love and do it often.

If you don’t like something, change it.

If you don’t like your job, quit.

If you don’t have enough time, stop watching TV.

If you are looking for the love of your life, stop;

They will be waiting for you when you start doing things you love.

Stop over analyzing, LIFE IS SIMPLE.

All emotions are beautiful.

When you eat, appreciate every last bite.

Open your mind, arms, and heart to new things and people,

we are united in our differences.

Ask the next person you see what their passion is

and share your inspiring dream with them.


getting lost will help you find yourself.

Some opportunities only come once, SEIZE THEM.

Life is about the people you meet, and the things you create with them

so go out and start creating.



May the year 2013 be the most amazing year for each and every one of you!

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2013 New Year’s Resolution — Not!

Making 2013 The Best Yet!

Making 2013 The Best Yet!

I am sure by now everyone has had a week to get started on that New Year’s resolution and to already give up on it.  It is a scientific fact (not really but it sounded good) that we as humans can not keep a New Year’s resolution more than a week before we throw up our hands and say, “To hell with it!”  Yes, I would love to lose weight, to eat healthy, to exercise more, to be nicer, to…. Well, you get the picture, but just like everyone else, I start with good intentions and then I realize it is too damn hard, and I give up.  For example, I resolved to start blogging more regularly and I am already 6 days behind — So, where am I going with this?

I am encouraging everyone to go ahead and abandon your New Year’s resolution and try a new idea, a paradigm shift of sorts.  Instead of a New Year’s resolution, let’s start 2013 off by taking control and following our dreams.  I found a quote that I am using as my focus this year instead of a resolution: “You know all those things you’ve always wanted to do?  YOU SHOULD DO THEM!”  Yes, I am screaming that because I believe that if we simply live our life to the fullest each and everyday we will be happier people and then those other resolutions that we always fail at achieving will happen naturally!  Does that make sense to anyone else?

I don’t know maybe I am just getting old, and I realize that “time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into the future,” and I don’t want my time to slip right on by me and I miss the life that I was supposed to live because I was too busy trying to keep meaningless New Year’s resolutions.  By simply changing the way I think, I have already experienced a positive shift in the way I live each day!

Changing the way we think

Changing the way we think.

Examples of positive changes I have already experienced are:

1) I hit the gym almost daily and I love it!

2) I make time to do “stuff” that before I always told myself I was too busy to do — watching a movie with the family, reading books, taking trips!

3) I am less stressed and more happy in general.

4) I spend more times with my friends — going out to dinner, taking in a movie, socializing more

5) I am more willing to step out of my comfort zone and try new things!

Like the Nike logo says, “Just Do It!” And this is the year that I will DO IT!  I had a bucket list this summer that I throughly enjoyed tackling even though I didn’t accomplish everything on it. I did somethings that I may never have done if I hadn’t of written that bucket list such as getting my Faith tattoo, having a nice big family cookout, and doing something for myself (because I matter!).  My goal is to create a bucket list for each season as well as my overall life bucket list (which you can follow on my pinterest site http://pinterest.com/teach4ever2001/bucket-list/).  I already have a trip to New York planned for later this month with my oldest daughter, as well as, a family vacation to the beach including my brother and his crew and my mom and stepfather.  We have never taken a vacation together.  There is probably a good reason for that, but I am going to give it a try.  Life is about the memories — you have to agree with that!  Everytime we get together with old friends or even our family those old stories (memories) come up!  For example, Thanksgiving day, I spent almost 3 hours watching old family videos with my daughter and sister-in-law.  It was great.  I want to be a memory-maker with my children, and I can only do that by living each day to the fullest!

I would love to hear how you will make 2013 your best year ever, but I don’t want to hear about any resolutions.



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Cutest Dogs Ever from AFV

I love doggies!!  This video has some of the cutest and if it doesn’t make you smile, then you need to see a doctor.


I Won The Versatile Blogger Award

In my absence from my blog, I come back to find that two of my favorite blogs, All That Makes You and The Good, The Bad, and The Saggy, nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award.  This means the world to me because I love to read their blogs, and it means a lot to be recognized by amazing people!  It is really an honor to know that people are reading my blog and actually enjoying it!!  Thank you both!  A BIG Thank You to everyone that reads my blog and takes the time to comment.  Each of you have helped me along on this journey!

The Versatile Blogger Award

The Versatile Blogger Award (Photo credit: nhighberg)

The rules for accepting this award are as follows:

1. Thank the award-givers and link back to them in your post.

2. Share 7 things about yourself.

3. Pass this award along to 15 or 20.(or as many as I can think of…)

4. Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know about the award.

Seven strange and unusual things about me….

1. My parents wanted to give me the first name April because I was born on April 1st and the middle name May after my grandmother — get it April May…. Thank goodness someone came to their senses because I would have been picked on my entire life and called April May June!!

2. I will only use a certain fork when we eat at home because I like the way it feels in my hand.  I can not eat with any other fork.  My husband has offered to get me therapy.

3. I can not eat what I cook especially if it is meat and NO, this has nothing to do with the fact that I am a horrible cook!!

4. I am an English teacher and a horrible speller!

5. I actually enjoy watching some of those awful tween shows such as Icarly and Shake It Up.

6. My mom is my best friend for real!

7. I want a pet goat!

Now to pass this award on to some other amazing bloggers that you should check out (in no particular order):

First — Daddy Ran Man – this blogger cracks me up with a unique look at parenting from a daddy’s perspective.

Second — 4 Little Fergusons  — this blog is sweet and kind and funny and just a great positive blog to read daily

Third — The Adventures of Supermom — I fell in love immediately with this blog when I read her post about her child sticking something up their nose!!  I could totally relate!

Check out these blogs and spread the love.  And if you have any other great blogs I should check out, please let me know.
Thanks again!!

The New Blogging Diet

OHH how I have missed my blog.  I guess it has been about 2 weeks since I posted.  I read somewhere to blog ahead, and for a while that worked well for me.  I was able to get about two weeks ahead of myself, but then life caught up with me, and I didn’t post.  Therefore, I haven’t blogged in a while, but during that “off” time I learned a lot about why I like to blog.

Originally, I started blogging to share funny stores about my family, but as time went on, I found other things to write about.  I read a lot more and explored new ideas and concepts.  I tell you it was fun.  I have always liked to write, and I realize that I will never be a professional writer, but writing is my creative release, and we all need one.

Well, around the beginning of March, I started getting random compliments from my friends and colleagues.  I was at the copier one day when a substitute teacher that I know pretty well sidled up next to me and said, “I don’t know what you are doing, but you look great!”  I kinda looked around to make sure she was talking to me.  Once I realized I was the only other person in the room, I thanked her and hurried to the bathroom to see what I had done with my makeup.

A few days later as I sat in a room with some of my great colleagues a discussion about weight came up.  I made some self-deprecating remark about my rather large rear end.  Very quickly one of my colleagues said very seriously, “What are you talking about!!!  You have lost a ton of weight.”  I turned around quickly to try and find it since I didn’t know I had lost it!!

Then one morning another colleague caught me going in my classroom and said, “How much weight have you lost and how are you doing it?”  Needless to say, I looked around again to make sure she was talking to me, but I was the only one in the room.  I responded very confidently this time and said, “I don’t know I haven’t weighed myself in 6 months, and I have no idea what I am doing?” Because to be honest, I didn’t!!

After all of that, I had to reflect for a while to see if I was doing anything.  First, I weighed myself to make sure I hadn’t lost any weight, and sure enough, it was all right there.  Then I thought about what I was doing differently and the only thing I could come up with was that I had been blogging for a month!!  That was it — my silly little blog had caused me to lose weight.  Well, not really, but the outlet from my writing had caused me to do something I enjoyed.  I caused me to laugh more; it had caused me to enjoy my blessings; it had caused me to talk about ideas that scared me; it had lightened my mental and spiritual load and made me look happier which resulted in people thinking I had done something drastic such as losing weight.

My compliments have dwindled since I stopped writing, but I am BACK!!  Back on the blog diet!!  I encourage everyone to find something that you enjoy and that makes you happy and JUST DO IT!!


What Blessing May You Miss?

How many of you still like to write and draw on the condensation that appears on the car windows early in the morning?  My oldest daughter does it almost daily.  She will write her name, good morning, or draw a smiley face.  I know that some adults fuss because they don’t want smudges or fingerprints on the glass, but it always makes me smile, and I would never tell her to stop!! 

Condensation on a Window in Wexford, Ireland F...

Condensation on a Window in Wexford, Ireland Français : de la condensation sur une vitre en Irlande. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This morning my husband took Fa to school, and they left before I did.  I got in my car and started backing up.  I looked to my right out of the passenger window and there I saw a note that said “I like you Mom.”  Fa had followed in her Sissy’s footsteps and wrote in the condensation on my car, and it made me laugh and cry all at the same time!  It really filled my bucket!

First, it made me laugh because she said like and not love.  I am telling myself that she doesn’t know how to spell love yet! 

Second, it made me cry because she likes me!!!!  That means a lot to me!!

Now what if I had been one of those people that always fussed at K for writing in the condensation?  Fa would never had learned that nifty little trick, and I would have never received such a great gift early this morning.  So, before you fuss at your kids (or someone else’s) over something so trival as leaving a note in the condensation, think about the blessing you may miss!