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Monday, August 27, 2018

Financial Struggling and Those Surviving It

When people think of struggling, poor people, I think that the most common image that comes to mind is either a picture of a homeless man who is sleeping on the streets in a worn out sleeping bag or someone who is abusing the government system for hand outs. According to this website at Center for Poverty Research at the University of California,

The official poverty rate is 12.7 percent, based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2016 estimates. That year, an estimated 43.1 million Americans lived in poverty according to the official measure. According to supplemental poverty measure, the poverty rate was 14.0 percent.  
I wasn't able to find any information for this year, but 43.1 million Americans living in poverty is  43.1 million too many. This information is just for America, I can't imagine what it is like for other countries as well.

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links which means that I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you should you purchase from one of these links.

Unfortunately, there are many common misconceptions about poverty and welfare. There was a time when my husband and I had food stamps and medical care for my own family. For a long time, I was embarrassed to participate in WIC which is for women and children. It is essentially a food stamps program for certain items. I don't know how much it has changed, but with WIC, I was able to buy bread, milk, fruits and veggies, and cereal, to name a few. It had helped us immensely.

When my husband and I graduated from college, we weren't able to get jobs right away. I was pregnant, so I think that hurt my chances of getting hired and the jobs that we were able to take, didn't pay well. It was a scary time and by the time we had our third child and had bought our very own house we determined it was better for me to stay home than work because most of my paychecks would have gone towards childcare.

" His promotion was like a demotion "
My husband was just making enough that we didn't qualify for food stamps anymore. His promotion was like a demotion in ways because it felt like we had to struggle even more to pay for food that we otherwise had help for. It was tempting to tell him, "Maybe you don't need a raise because if you do, we'll lose out on getting "X amount" towards food." However, our pride told us that we couldn't do that because we would just be moving backwards instead of forward.

I knew that I couldn't be the only one who had ever felt this way, so I searched for volunteers to see if anyone would share their story. I honestly didn't thing that I would find anyone, but as it turns out, people like to share their stories and their success stories.

Interviews with Others Who Struggled Financially

I had some very special people answer some private, intrusive questions and they agreed to answer them. This is what they had to say.

Betty Anonymous-

Can you explain your situation now? Currently I’m 58, medically retired, a home owner, and debt free however that doesn’t tell my story!
Do you or have you ever used government assistance? Yes, for a brief time when I was first medically retired my son qualified for the school lunch program and we took advantage of it. In the far distant past, when food stamps were actual books of stamps, people would offer to sell their stamps for 0.50 for a $1.00 worth of stamps. I may have taken advantage of that (not incriminating myself here.)
 Did you try to make more money? Yes. I sold Mary Kay. I worked both a full time and part time jobs. I made & sold my own soaps and lotions (still do). I grew vegetables and sold them at Farmer’s Markets.

What has held you back from climbing out of debt? Nothing. It was a goal I set for myself, one debt at a time, and eventually achieved. 
If you’re in a better situation, how did you climb out? Ahhh! My story … I’ve been earning money since I was eleven, if you count babysitting jobs and detassling. I started working for companies when I was 14. That was used to pay for school, clothes and help put food on the table.
I made some unwise choices when selecting a life partner. We were in debt, living on credit (except rent and utilities), and paying the minimum on the cards. When we divorced, I took on all the family debt.
My income put us just above qualifying for assistance. I rarely received child support and had 3 children to place in child care while I worked a full time job. In other words, I was the working poor. Made too much to qualify for government assistance. Made too little to make ends meet. 
I cut up all credit cards (except one for emergencies, I think I used it once). I made a budget and stuck to it. With the budget, I removed all the extras. We had basic cable and one phone. I set aside our church tithe, money for savings, and then I tackled the bills; the mortgage, utilities, food, clothes allowance, children’s allowance and a small amount for ‘fun money’. I had several savings accounts … one for emergency savings, one for clothes allowance, one for Christmas & birthdays and one each for the children’s allowance and our ‘celebration savings’. All our clothes, except socks, shoes and underwear, were bought used. Christmas gifts were usually from the Dollar store, except for the books! All the utilities were set up on the budget plan so I was paying the same amount each month. 
We grew a garden to supplement our food. I canned the food we didn’t eat fresh. We ate a lot of rice, pasta, and hamburger (the hamburger was extended by grated potatoes or rice). 
As I paid off one credit card or loan (the one with the highest interest rate), I then applied that money towards the next debt with the highest interest rate. I continued this until all credit cards and loans were paid off, except for the mortgage. It took 3 long, difficult years. Was it hard? You bet, especially seeing my children going without things other kids had. We set a goal as a family though. Once all the debt was paid off, we planned on getting a new computer with all the current games and going on a 2 week vacation without worrying about what money we spent using the ‘celebration money’ we saved. It was the best vacation ever. 
If you had help to get out, would you/did you take it? What advice would you give someone seeking to get out of debt?Before I started on my own paying off my credit, I went to a credit counseling business. For $50 a month, I could turn my check over to them and they would pay all my bills for me, leaving me with no money at all, even for food, clothing or savings. In 5 years, I would be out of debt. I declined their offer.
In recent years, I’ve discovered David Ramsey and Financial Peace University ( I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this!!!
Blondie Anonymous- 
Can you explain your situation now? Its not now, but 10yrs ago.
I lived with Gertrude Anonymous and 8 others all in one house. Gertrude and I were the only ones with jobs. 
Did you use government assistance? 2 of the people had food stamps. Only, 1 shared for the house though, which was around $170 a month. 
Did you tried to make more money?Some of the others worked odd jobs, or they stole things and returned them for store money. Or, they just stole food in general. A few times we got prepackaged food from dumpsters.

What held you back? Hmmm..... I think we were just dumb. I was the 2nd oldest at 20, everyone else was 16-18. 
If you're in a better situation, how did you climb out 
After Gertrude left, and Spencer went to prison, a year later. I more or less lost control of the house and everyone kinda went nuts, so I called my brother. Him, my dad, and like 3 other people showed up at 4am and we left. 
If you had help to get out, would you take it?I did. 
Why your brother, why not your mom? How is your situation today? My brother lived the farthest away. 
What's your situation today? 
Now, I'm fine. I own my own house, car, able to pay my bills, (barely, cuz we're working poor) No govt assistance, which kinda sucks because we fall in the cracks, so its hard to do groceries sometimes and get babysitters, which is why I have Debby and Sarah here.

Red Anonymous

This interview is a little more informal because it was a discussion that I had with someone which sprouted my idea to write this blog.

 Yep. I'm probably quitting my job within the month to be available for *other job option.
That's exciting and scary

I know! I've never really quit a full time job.

I just heard the dog drinking out of the toilet. I walked in there and the toilet is filled with poop water.

That's disgusting! Hahahaha
He better not think about licking me, today.


What type of blog post would you enjoy reading. I want to also Target people who are not parents and a lot of mine I've been about parenting lately
Sorry for any spelling mistakes I'm using the microphone cuz I'm making pancakes.

Being poor
I can do that. Btw! Craig finally got a promotion.

Yay! I'm so happy!
Yes there's like three different levels of being poor there's being so poor you have food stamps and you might be able to get a little bit of money assistance and then you think should I get a job because at least I know that I have food coming from here. Then there's being just poor enough that you don't qualify for food stamps and you don't qualify for money assistance but you still qualify for medical care but Medical Care sucks. Enough money that you don't qualify for food stamps you don't qualify for extra income you don't qualify for health insurance so you have to pay for your own health insurance you have to pay for your own food and you worry every single day if you're going to be able to pay for your bills for your loans if you're going to make your credit crappy and it's scary and you're not sure you want to do it then you think maybe I don't need that job after all but then you're just backsliding you're not moving forward and it sucks.


Solid point. I don't qualify for anything and yet I feel poorest of all.
But if you don't move forward you don't try to do better and you miss out on the pride that you could have had knowing that you made it because you worked your butt off. It's worse if you're single and you don't know is there going to be able to make this rent you're liable only to yourself you have no one to help you you're too prideful to ask for help and so life is more stressful you start smoking you start drinking and then you add to your cost of living you get even more poor because you have these things that you do to keep you on stress and get your adding more to the problem and it's never ending Loop cycle until you are able to move forward you're able to get that promotion you're able to do things to better yourself and then it sucks when you see somebody else who seems to have it better than you do because they're too lazy to work there too lazy to put the effort in and they are relying on people like you. Is there anything else you would add?

I collect jobs because I'm afraid to lose money. I'm paralyzed in dead end jobs because I can't handle the thought of letting go of money. I work long hours, bring work home, don't take care of myself
I don't even want children because of it. I struggle just to provide for myself and I'm miserable. I know children would be next to impossible to have and not resent them deep down because I'm even poorer than I was before.
I'm in a donut hole. Not poor enough to get help. Not rich enough to save money aside. I'm always an emergency away from destitution.
Someone I know just started paying for one of their school loans and it has raised to $350 a month or maybe for every like every other month, but it's more than a car payment.

Mine is currently 250 every month
And that education was supposed to get you a job with big bucks. I've never had to use my degree and I'm paying for something I don't use. I can't sell it back.

I regret going to college at Anonymous
I don't regret going because I had amazing friends and met a spouse there, but it sucks paying.

Finally, there's this interview from

Trudy Anonymous:
Can you explain your situation now? So currently, my husband and I live above the poverty line as a middle class American income. I work 2 part time jobs, and my husband works a full time job with some forced overtime. Both Jerry Anonymous and I grew up under the poverty line. Our circumstances are different by the way that our parents dealt with the financial strain. My family was hyper focused on money. Every decision revolves around the cost, such as “turn the shower off between shampoo and conditioning your hair” or standing at the cash register at the grocery store, with my mom holding out her cash calculating what we had to put back that week. My earliest memories are riding the city bus with my dad, going to the food pantry. I vividly remember my dad letting me pick which fruit we got and the big deal was that my dad would let me pick out the bread from the selection. I always picked cinnamon bread when it was there because it was such a special treat. 
Did you use any government assistance? My family used food stamps for the first few years after I was born but refuses them after I was 3 years old even though they qualified, and they still qualify to this day. My dad qualifies for social security disability due to a traumatic brain injury. 
What is holding you back from making more money? The biggest barrier keeping my family in poverty was the lack of driver’s license for my dad and his inability to keep a job. These both have to do with a traumatic brain injury my dad attained when he was a teenager. He was constantly struggling finding a job that would give him enough hours to survive for the week but not too many hours or he would lose his government assistance, meaning our family would go without. 
How did you manage life? My mom was in charge of our family’s finances. She budgeted every dollar. We weren’t that stereotypical family that got paid and went on a big spending splurge, even though it was tempting. We lived in a mobile home. We had a single car for a family of 4, living off less than $17k a year. We didn’t have vacations or decent cars. We shopped at thrift stores. I think not having a dependable car crushed my family’s ability to get out of debt. Every time we got some money saved, we’d have to debate between getting a different car and fixing our current vehicle. It impacted our ability to be able to participate in extra curricular activities and for my parents to get to work regularly. Jerry's family never talked about their money struggles with the family. They lived within their means and used food stamps until they could sustain the family without. 
What actions did you take as an adult living on her own? I remember the first time I got a pay check from a full time career job. My first thought was “I’m no longer living in poverty.” To get out of poverty, I first followed God’s will for my life, including living with 4 different families to get me through my undergraduate degree, study abroad, master’s degree, and until I found my first career job. I continue to budget and live in fear of losing a job, taking me back to pinching pennies. My husband and I have taken Financial Peace University, a scriptural approach to money management. I know that I am telling my money where to go instead of my money telling me where I can go. 
What advice would you give to someone who wants to get out of debt?My advice for people going through money struggles is surrender your finances, praying with passion that God will be faithful and promising that you’ll praise Him for providing. Reach out and accept help. That’s why it’s there. People feel good about themselves when they can help others. Allow others to have that feeling by helping you. Also, see scripture’s view on money. Scripture is very clear about it. Money can be a sense of security and pride; money shows where your heart is.
For anyone who is married, talk about finances regularly and be transparent. Schedule budget meetings. We know money issues are the number one cause of divorce. So be open and be honest. It’s not easy but it’s worth it to have a fulfilling relationship. Other assistance: One year we were the family that a local McDonald’s adopted to buy Christmas presents for. It changed my life. Even as a kid, I knew the sacrifice and love we had from complete strangers.


I know that my parents had food stamps and so did my husband's. The assistance was only meant to be temporary because our parents would move forward and they did! I know that there are people who abuse government assistance and it really gives the half of America who don't use it a bad taste in their mouth. For those people, I'd like to have them know that government assistance could mean the difference between eating or starving. It could mean that someone who needs healthcare can receive it. For those who abuse it, I'd like to say, there are people who really need this help. If you don't think that you can live without it, then you don't really believe in yourself and you should.

I know that struggling can stop you from wanting to move forward, but all things are possible through God, who gives you strength. You can obtain financial freedom if you try. If there is something that is debilitating you in a way that makes it hard for you to get out of debt and moving forward, ask for help. There are resources out there to help you to live in a more comfortable way. Start with your local food pantry or DHS office. They will be able to give you assistance on figuring out how to get what you need without abusing the system for others.

I know that it sounds counter intuitive to buy a book about saving money, but this book by Dave Ramsey has been a great help for me.
I was able to obtain the book from church at no cost to me because they had like an 8 week study on this book. It had many helpful ideas to get out of debt and also how to start saving and be able to have extra money to spend without hurting you financially. If you find yourself living paycheck to paycheck, this may be a book for you.

Have you ever struggled financially?
How were you able to get out of it?
 Are you still climbing?

Please leave a comment! I'd love to comment back and even pray for you if you need or want it.

Friday, August 24, 2018

This is What a Procrasting Stay-At-Home Mom Looks Like

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I just wanted to take a few moments and be real with you. We all know how to take pictures that are flattering and make us look nice, but in reality, some of us never look like that all of the time. Since staying home with my kids, I don't always get in a shower every day or my shower waits until later, so most days, I just look like a hot mess. I think that I can also say, that I'm not the only one.

    Two days ago, my kids had their back-to-school night. I was going to make that day about sorting out their school supplies and putting them nice and neatly into their book bags. I was going to have all of them take a bath and make sure they were all ready by 5. That did not happen. Instead, I spent the morning working on my blog and writing and this is what it really looked like.

      Hope, however was not lost, because as a person who has informally been diagnosed with ADHD by my son's ADHD doctor and as a person who has grown up always procrastinating, I've learned how to adapt and get things done in a rush. This is what it looked like.

    I was super excited. Things were going so well and I looked nice-ish with my make up on. I was going to wear a nicer shirt, but the shirt that I had washed that wasn't long sleeved that still fit me at the end of the summer, ended up with an oil stain or something that didn't wash out so I had to find the next best thing which was an old t-shirt from the college I worked at four years ago.  Then some unexpected things happened.

     When it comes to my kid's school, I try to stay organized and this time, the school failed me by not sending notification, but I was told that all of the preschools were given a grant last minute so even they didn't know what was happening after they had condensed schools.

     I didn't get a video of the kids first day of school. I was sort of looking ok. My hair wasn't greasy and weird and I was sporting a tie dyed shirt (I LOVE tie dye) and I was on top of it. My mother would have been impressed is she saw me. I did get compliments about how impressive my day was... haha. Today, however, I did get a video of me taking my youngest to school. I had already dropped off his siblings.

     I look awful. I had enough time to get the kids their breakfasts and get them dressed for school and then got myself changed. The outfit is a nice outfit, but it doesn't really go well with my puffy, needs hydrated face and pulled back, unwashed hair. I ran out of dry shampoo and keep forgetting to buy some more. I'm not even sure make-up would have helped without taking a shower first.

    I'm a mom. If I want to look nice and put together, I'm going to have to wake up at least a half hour before my kids do and PRAY that my youngest doesn't wake up when he hears my alarm in the next room over. Have you ever tried to shower with a kid who has just woken up, is cranky, and just wants his mama? It's very difficult. For one thing, the bathroom door gets left wide open, the shower curtain gets pulled back several times, and a million questions get asked. I could shower the night before, but my hair won't look as great unless I fancy curl it. No straightener could fix it... and if there is one out there that can, I'd be very willing to try it out and review it for you!

     I know that there are women who do wake up EVERY single morning and do their morning routines. I don't know how you do it. I need eight hours of sleep or I'm super cranky. That means I'm already going to bed early. If I wake up any earlier, I'm going to have to go to bed right around the time my kids do. That, is sad, my friends.

     As you can see, I'm a regular person. I have messy hair about 70% of the time, and with the humidity this summer, even nice hair gets poufy. In one of the videos, you can see that I don't have designer decorations. I have artwork that my children gave to me hanging up on my cabinets. I also, obviously, don't have much style. I'd like to be more stylish, but sometimes its difficult when you're overweight and there isn't much of a point to be stylish when you don't really go anywhere.

    Are there other moms out there like me? Raise you hands! Comment! Show me your daily looks!

    And by the way, dads. You don't know how lucky you are. After I made that last video, I noticed that so many dads look so great! I bet they had time to shower. If they didn't shower this morning, do you know how lucky you are if you have short hair? You don't even have to apply make up. How wonderful is that!?!?!

My kids are better groomed than I am. 

Monday, August 20, 2018

Why You Should Get Amazon Prime If You Haven't Already


     Ever since my husband and I got married ten years ago, we have only paid for cable twice and it was the basic cable that only shows like maybe twenty different channels. The second time we got cable, most of the channels we had were all in Spanish and well, we don't speak Spanish, so it would have mostly been a waste of our money, except it was in a cheaper bundle with our internet.

     After that internet promotion ran its course, we only had Netflix to watch. While Netflix is fine and all, it doesn't offer you all the shows that you want and the movies are ok.

     Four years ago, I decided to stay home from working. I had three kids and the oldest was still in pre-school, so, as a way to make up for not having a job, I began looking for ways to make a little extra cash or get free things to try out by giving an honest review. One of those apps that would give me free things was only beneficial if I had free shipping and handling. A friend of mine, who recommended the app,told me that it works really well with Amazon Prime because you get 2 day free shipping and handling on many of the products it has to offer.

     I was very hesitant at first. I didn't want to pay $99 for something that I didn't know if I liked, so I tried the risk free trial and just forgot to cancel it, so my membership started. I've been very glad it did!

     You see, Amazon Prime is more than just free shipping and handling. Amazon Prime offers you a way to send your loved ones who live away from you a gift that you were too hesitant to send because the heavier the gift, the more expensive it is to ship. Not only that, my husband and I love Amazon Prime Video. They are always constantly moving around their movies and which ones you can view which offers you more of a variety. If a show season isn't on Netflix, it very well might be on Amazon Prime. They also offer you channels that you can purchase and it still beats what you would pay for cable.

Ex: Even if the lowest that you would pay for basic cable was $15 a month, 15x12= $180 a year. $99 doesn't sound too bad, does it?

Now that was just for basic channels. Many people pay more than that, some closer to $200 to watch the same shows that they could get for less a month. I like watching the Hallmark Channel and in order to watch everything that isn't included on free prime, I could subscribe to that channel for $5.99 a month. So 12x5.99=71.88+$99= $170 for the whole year. That's still a ton less than $200 a month for $2400, a year.

     What has been a great and useful deciding factor for me is that I can password protect my account. Before I knew that, my children kept ordering PBS to watch The Wild Kratts seasons which weren't available to watch. Once I explained to Amazon what had happened, I was refunded for the amount and they helped me set up a password. That's great because now they can't order things without the password and I made it one that even I forget sometimes, so they won't remember it.

If I have interested you at all about stopping cable or at least adding Amazon Prime, Click the link above to start your free 30 day trial! Here's what you will get!

30-Day Free Trials

Our membership program offers special benefits for just $99 per year: *Unlimited instant streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows *FREE Two-Day Shipping on millions of items *Unlimited, ad-free streaming of over a million songs and more Prime benefits
Disclaimer: I will receive a bounty for those who sign up using my link above, but the opinions are all my own and are true.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Thistle and Lace

  Every teenager who loves music has probably thought about becoming a rock star or some sort of musician in their life. I've always wanted to go out and sing, but life took me in a different direction. My sister, however, has gone out and done what I've always wanted to do. She and Thistle and Lace is helping every person relive the past through their renditions of hit songs throughout the years.

About the Band

     Thistle and Lace consists of a husband and wife duo (Jon and Ashley) from Dixon, IL (the hometown of President Ronald Reagan) who formed the acoustic group in 2016. Ashley wows us all with her sweet and soulful voice that effortlessly hits all the high notes that us altos have always dreamed of reaching while Jon smoothly sings to us with his bluesy/grunge/folksy/alternative rock voice as he picks away at his guitar, sending all the women into a swoon and making men wish they were him. A year after they started, Natilee (my sissy!)  was invited to join the band offering her rock/gospel "Melissa Ethridge" like voice, complimenting the other two voices, which created an unstoppable,  harmonious force that pleases the listener's ear. 

      The group offers all the fun hits and are fun to watch with their easy, comedic banter. It's hard not to dance and sing along as they perform. Thistle and Lace, while providing a fun time for all is also very family friendly, too. My kids enjoy listening to their cd when we're driving along in our car. Their favorites are River Deep, Mountain High (Ike and Tina Turner), Have You Ever Seen The Rain (Creedence Clearwater Revival), and Listen to the Music (The Doobie Brothers). Every song is clean and full of energy and are hits that never get old. But why listen to me? I may be a little biased because I have a sister in the band. Here are some great testimonials from others:

"From the initial contact to the night of the event, the trio went above and beyond for our needs. We requested 70's music for our 70's theme. I know for a fact some of the songs performed were new in their repertoire just for us. Most importantly, the crowd had a blast!"
-Knoxville Hospital and Clinics Foundation

"We were SO pleased with Thistle and Lace!!! They were absolutely fantastic and did such a great job! Very professional and wonderful music was perfect for our event! We received many nice compliments from our employees. I would highly recommend them to anyone!"
-UPM Raflatac

“Best National Anthem we’ve ever heard! THISTLE & LACE was fantastic!”

First time I heard them was at the Hummel Annual Pig Roast. I was mesmerized by how good they were. Beautiful clean and clear voices, and absolutly wonderful guitar, never missed a beat. I only hope I get a chance to hear them again.

Follow Their Facebook Page

     The group loves to keep us all up-to-date with their Facebook Page at . The page shows all of their updates, new song,  things that had happened to them that day, as well as asking for song suggestions. You feel like family and like you've been friends as long as you can remember. It's always interesting to see what they will post next. Will it be something silly? Serious? Or will you be able to enjoy watching the mini concert that they performed just for you?

How about this mini concert?

Promotional Video

      There's also some good news! Thistle and Lace will travel to sing for you or any event that you will hold. Here's their promotional video, see what they can offer you! (Thistle and Lace will bring all necessary equipment including lights, instruments, speakers, and of course vocal talent)

      Since the making of this video, Thistle and Lace has only gotten better, perfecting their harmonies and show presence. To view prices and booking dates, visit THIS website.
    There's some more good news! If I haven't convinced you that this band is great, their music speaks for itself.

     If you loved that (how could you not), you can purchase their CD HERE.

     If you love music and you love the classics and hits of today, you'll love Thistle and Lace. Don't forget to join their Facebook page for upcoming events, to book a gig, follow news, and to purchase band merchandise to show that you're a fan! Also, please show some love in the comments and share with someone who you think will enjoy this fun eclectic band!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

I Love You. Goodnight, My Sweet Baby Boy



Generally speaking, I don't really write poetry except for when I'm writing children's stories. I feel like I'm putting myself out here by sharing this, although, I suppose that I put myself out there everyday with every blog post that I publish, but poetry is something different. 

      Here is something I wrote, tonight. It came to me when I was praying and asking for inspiration for a blog post. Before I said, "Amen" his incident I had with my youngest came to mind and verses were written. I hope you all enjoy it and feel free to share if it inspires you!

I Love You, Goodnight, My Sweet Baby Boy

It’s time to tuck you in and prayers are said.
You snuggle close and tight, as I kiss you goodnight.
“Don’t go mommy! Please stay a while.
“I’ve got to go!” I say and give him a smile.
I close the door and head to my room.
Netflix comes on and through it I zoom.
I zoom through the shows and pick one I’ve already seen.
I watch Grey’s once again and ignore the clothes that need cleaned.
Slowly the door creeks open and I let out a groan.
“What are you doing in here?” I check the time on my phone
“I can’t sleep without you. Can I sleep in your bed?”
“Fine, come on up here and lay still,” I patted his head.
He snuggles close and tight into the crook of my arm
He says to me, “I love you, mommy. Wow, you’re really warm.”
The show resumes and a stuffed pterodactyl lands on my chest.
I give it back to him and say, “Don’t you need him to rest?”
“No, mommy, I don’t. He was giving you a hug.”
He put him back where he was, my heart strings were tugged.
Thank you baby! That was really sweet. I’ll hold on to your toy.
I love you. Goodnight, my sweet baby boy.

I hope that you enjoyed this poem. Here is the link if you'd like to share it from a more direct source. I Love You. Goodnight, My Sweet Baby Boy

Monday, August 13, 2018

Making Mom Friends

  I know that this is a topic that gets talked about a lot, so I'm hoping to put another perspective on it so it's not your typical, "How To Make Mom Friends" type post.
      A little over a year ago, I was one mom in a small group of moms for a mom's group Bible study. Some of us had kids in the same age range, while others had kids who were younger or older. We met up once a week and then changed it to every other week, and then to whenever we could meet. After all, we're all moms and moms tend to be busy. We usually met without our kids and even though we, ourselves, varied in ages, we still had a common ground, which was our kids.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Middle Child Syndrome


The other day I asked my husband and in-laws what I should blog about for my next post. After writing about my oldest a few times from having ADHD to not wanting me anymore, I decided to write about my daughter, the middle child. My husband said, "What if you write about her eye surgery or about what it's like being the only girl in the midst of two brothers?" I decided that for this one, I would write about her being a girl in a boys world or just being the middle child. To do this, I interviewed her.

The Interview

I wanted to start off with easy questions and this is how it went.

M: What’s your favorite food?
K: Ice cream and cupcakes 
M: What’s your favorite color?
K: Pink, red, purple- I can’t help it with those colors
M: What do you want to be when you grow up?
K: A mommy

These were pretty standard questions, ones I knew the answers to. By this time, she has moved to the other side of the table and is playing with her Barbie laptop with a musical keyboard. She seems happy to be answering the questions, but also a little bored. I started asking some more difficult questions and she gave me answers that I sometimes knew but also changed from time to time. 
M: How old will you be when you get married?
K: I don’t know. 19? Is that a good age? M: Will you marry your high school sweetheart? K: I don't know. M: I was 21 when I got married, that's two years older than what you said. K: Ok
M: How many kids do you want?
K: I want 10. Five boys and five girls.

What it's like being the only girl child

OK, so I'm going to be the grandma of at least ten grandchildren. This isn't including the kids that my sons will have someday. My husband and I are going to have to really build up our retirement fund so we can live comfortably in our old age after spoiling all of our grandkids. 
After this, I started asking her questions that were going to be emotional. I had a box of tissues ready for any emotional outbursts of crying. I hoped we wouldn't need them.
M: What’s it like being the only girl in the family?
K: I don’t like that I don’t have a sister. I’d like to have a sister so we can torture my brothers.
M: How do you feel about being the middle child? (I held my breath, expecting to hear about the injustice of it.)
K: I feel good about being a middle child.
I tried to bait her some more. Her responses weren't what I expected. After all, my middle sister was an emotional fountain, I expected something similar.
M: What do you think of your older brother?
K:  think he’s the best brother ever!
M: What do you think of your younger brother?
K: I don’t know, yet. I know that he drives me crazy every. Single. Day.
M: But you guys like to play together, right?
K: I like to dress him up like a girl because he doesn’t drive me crazy, then. He plays nicely. Otherwise, he gives me a headache with everything he does.

I knew that it was true. The other day, it had been quiet. I brought up a load of folded laundry for the kids to help put away and I called to K. Suddenly, I heard loud whispers and scurrying around. I looked inside K's room and found it empty, but I could see the light from the closet coming out from under the door. I opened it up, and there stood K in a pretty Princess Sofia dress and her little brother in one of her dresses that had a black velvet torso with a black, blue, and gray striped skirt. He reminded me of the part in The Little Rascals when Alfalfa and Spanky dressed in leotards at a ballet recital to hide from the bullies. I had to muffle my laughter. 

Bring on the difficult questions 

At this point, K still hadn't reached the emotional state that I thought would happen when talking about being a middle child, so I continued with some questions that I thought would open her up.
M: Do you feel left out sometimes?
K: Yeah, only when I have no one to play with.
M: Why don’t you have anyone to play with?

K: I don’t know. Sometimes I don’t know why. 

M: Does it make you sad?

K: No, because then I can play with you!

So, instead of my daughter feeling emotional and upset about the injustice of being a middle child and the only sister with two brothers, she had me tearing up. I took a moment to gather myself and finished her interview.

M: How old are you?
K: I am 6 yrs old.
M: Are you looking forward to 1st grade?
K: Uh huh! I think it will be fun. I hope I can go to Mr. B’s class just like my big brother. I am glad to see my friends, except Isabella when she doesn’t listen.
M: What is something you’d like to do today?
K: I want to play outside and maybe hang out with grandma for a while and go to Old McDonalds had a farm (as she plays on her piano toy) what? I thought it was funny!


So there you have it. I tried my best to prove that there is a Middle Child Syndrome that affects all middle children. I wanted to prove that maybe they felt mistreated or more frustrated because they were the middle child, but my middle child told me that she's actually pretty happy and likes her life. So, in conclusion: There is no such thing as middle child syndrome. There is, however, First Child Syndrome, which I have experienced first hand as the oldest child. Don't believe me, ask a first child what it was like growing up as one and I'm sure you'll get a huge list of why it sucked being the first child.

Are you a middle child? Did you have a syndrome? Tell me about it in the comments!

About Me

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Hello! My name is Brittany and I'm a writer, obviously. As a stay-at-home mom, there are many things that I have to figure out in order to run a house that appears to be more sane than insane. It's not easy to be a parent and I hope that this blog is able to encourage other moms out there to live life happily and to understand that there can be mishaps along the way, but those mishaps don't define you and anything can be overcome with perseverance and will.

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