Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Things I want to do with my parents

I'm going to be visiting my parents soon. I don't get to see them as often as I'd like. We live about a six hour drive from each other. Since our visits are only a few times a year I like to get the most out of them. I've put together a list of things I want to do with mom and dad. I plan to use it as a check list so I don't forget anything. We'll see how well I do.....
  • Stamp and create cards with my mom
  • Learn to crochet a granny square
  • Listen to and document stories of their past
  • Discuss life, religion, parenting, family (this one comes naturally and will be easy)
  • Discuss their finances (for the sake of of curiosity and understanding and not because I think they're in trouble or plan on asking for a loan)
  • Make a plan to celebrate my dad's 70th year of life milestone
  • Get an update on my mom's health and Parkinsons progression
  • Learn some traditional Mexican songs
  • Help my dad with figure out Facebook
  • Play board games
  • Be pleasant, cheerful company and not revert to the self-centered, whininess of my youth!
Time seems to be moving faster and faster so I trying to get the most out of life and live in the moment!

Monday, July 27, 2009

You want to be a parent? You have to pass a test.

Today I read about a horrible event. A woman who was clearly not of sound mind, did something unthinkable to her newborn infant. Something that should never be allowed to happen. I don't know where things fell apart.

Before I adopted my two children, I had to go through an adoption agency's program which included interviews, questionnaires, inspections of my home, etc. I didn't resent any of it because it's important to ascertain that people are qualified to be parents before any child is placed in their care. What I want to know, is why isn't this a requirement for EVERY parent? It should be. The standards don't even need to be that high. Just verify that the people living in the home are not clinically diagnosed with mental illness, that their home is not a death trap, that they have the funds to feed, clothe, care for a child. Just basic stuff.

The other sad thing is too many people are afraid to speak up when they see something that looks wrong. I myself have seen moms lose it in public places with their kids and thought it wasn't enough to say something. Who knows? It could've been just a bad moment but it could've been something that happens regularly. At least once a day I act in ways that I am not proud as a result of my children pushing my buttons. Nothing big, just little things like lowering myself to their childish level in an argument or digging my heels in about something that I could let go. It's so hard being a parent!

If there were free ongoing classes on how to manage through parenthood, I would so be there to learn more. I feel like I'm flying by the seat of my pants most of the time. How cool would it be require all parents to attend classes throughout their parenthood years to help us be the best we can be? Then you'd be able to catch all the whack-o's who are veering off track before bad, crazy things happen.

It's just part of my plan to make this world more perfect.......

Friday, July 10, 2009

A balanced life

In the frightening amount of time I spend on Facebook, I've noticed something. First of all, I have all types of friends; those who work, those who don't, those who are parents, those who aren't, left-wing, right-wing, those who are politically apathetic. I could go on and on.

What I've noticed, though, is what kind of statuses people post versus who they are. There are parents who post about their kids and parents who never even mention them. There are people who have definite political opinions and shout them from the rooftop and others who think they might alienate others if they profess what they believe. I think that you can tell something about how balanced a person's life is by the statuses they post. I, for example, do not put a lot of time and energy into my career. I like getting paid and I do a good job but I don't get any personal satisfaction out of it. You can tell on my statuses because I barely even mention that I have a job.

That got me to thinking about the pieces of a balanced life and how much weight should be given to each of them. I don't think there is a set answer for this but what I can say is if you dip too heavy into one area at the expense of another one, it's not good. Spending too much time on a career at the expense of your family or spending too much time having fun at the expense of taking care of yourself is not a good thing. That being said, here are the categories I've come up with for evaluating whether or not you live a balanced life.

Family - the time spent with your spouse, your kids, your parents, your pets, etc.

Friends - your support system who also help in the recreation area

Career - whatever job you have, whether you like it or not, and where you want to take it

Citizenship - your responsibilities to your community and the planet (includes volunteering, being green, social activism, etc.)

Recreation - Vacations & play fall in this catergory. It's important to allow yourself to do what you want to do sometimes!

Health & Fitness - taking care of yourself so that you are able to do everything you want to do (exercise and medical maintenance)

Spiritual Growth - I originally forgot to put this on the list which shows you the priority I give it. I DO believe it is important to a balanced life, though.

I think that I live a relatively balanced life. I suppose the career aspect would become more important, if I was the major bread winner (which I'm not). Health & Fitness is another area that I could do better at attending to. I could probably shift a little energy out of recreation to devote to that!

So how balanced is your life? Did I forget any categories? Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A story my mom used to tell me

Once upon a time in a very poor neighborhood in Mexico, there lived a very cute cockroach named Cucarachita Mundinga. She longed to get married very much, but she didn’t have any money for her dowry or anything. She was a very clean little cockroach. One day, while she was sweeping the sidewalk she found a coin. She was dancing with joy thinking, “What should I do with it?” If I buy meat, I’ll eat it and it’s all gone. If buy candy, I’ll get all sticky and it’ll be all gone. “I know!” she said. “I will buy a little red ribbon and I’ll put it on my head and sit in front of my house to watch the people pass by.”

A big bull walked in front of her and said, “MOOO, Cucarachita! How beautiful you are! Will you marry me?” Cucarachita said, “How would you call me?” The bull gave a loud bellow and said “MOOOOOOO!” “Aye, no, no, no!” said Cucarachita Mundga. “That scares me!”

A while later a donkey passed by and he had long, soft ears and sweet eyes. He said, “Oh cucarachita! You are so beautiful will you marry me?” She answered, “How would you call me?” “Heee haw! Heee haw!” He answered and almost knocked her down. “Aye, no, no, no! You frighten me!”

Then a dog passed by and looking at her red ribbon said, “Oh cucarachita! You are so beautiful will you marry me?” “How would you call me?” she asked. The dog filled up his lungs with air and said “WOOF! WOOF! WOOF!” so loud that he knocked the red ribbon out of her hair! “Ay no, no, no!” because you scare me!

The sun was setting when out came a little mouse named Ratoncito Perez. He said, “Oh! Cucarachita Mundinga! How beautiful you are! Will you marry me?” Cucarachita said, “How would you call me?” “Eeek, eeek, eeek, eek.” “Oh yes! Yes! Yes!” said Cucarachita Mundinga.

So they got married and had a very beautiful wedding with Cucarachita Mundinga wearing her beautiful red ribbon on her little head.

Ratoncito Perez didn’t like to get up early in the morning. One day Cucarchita was going to church as usual and she shook Ratoncito Perez. “Please Ratoncito, I let the pot of beans on the fire.” He said, “Uhuh uhuh.” “Would you please stir them so they don’t get burned?” asked Cucarachita. “Do not use the short spoon. Use the long spoon so you can reach the bottom.” “Uhuh,” said Ratoncito, who turned over and fell asleep again. Half and hour later Ratoncito sniffed the air. Something was burning in the kitchen! He jumped out of his bed and ran to the kitchen. Sure enough, the pot of beans was bubbling. So he stood there and thought, “Big spoon; little spoon; big spoon; little spoon.....” Finally he just grabbed the closest one to him which happened to be the little spoon. He stood on the edge of the pot but couldn’t reach the beans. So he creeped over a little bit more and still couldn’t’ reach the beans. He leaned forward a little bit more and kerplunk! When Cucarachita Mundiga came back from church, she called out, “Ratoncito! Ratoncito!” Then she smelled the beans burning, so grabbing the big spoon, she started to stir them. It was then that she found poor little Ratoncito cooked in the beans!

The end.