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Thread: Secular Confessions

  1. #32551

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    Lydia - I actually reposted that Onion story on my wall today. That one hit home!

    Suja - I hope tomorrow is better for you.

    "Any idiot can face a crisis; it is this day-to-day living that wears you out." -Anton Chekhov


  2. #32552
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    Harmoly! It's like Mira singing about Buckle Bees, despite knowing perfectly well they're Bumble Bees.

    I really should do kick-a$$ yoga more often. Good for body and soul.

  3. #32553
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    L, your kids are so sweet!

    I solved a stinker of a problem that even the sys admin couldn't figure out. Before 8:00 a.m. Totally by accident, but still...this win is mine.

    Conner is staying overnight with me as Rich has to work. My town is having their annual Strawberry Festival so there will be lots to do...which is a good thing 'cause getting Conner home before 4 would be rather difficult. I may have Syd, my niece, and nephew as well but I'm not sure where they'll all sleep. I guess I could let the girls sleep in my bed, Brandon have the couch and I take Syd's bed. Rich's cousin is coming up from NC and they are all going out. I want to have Jamie's kids stay with me. I miss them.

    I don't like it when people get all judgmental about ads/funnies and look for PC things to get their panties in a wad about, but for some reason that Onion 'joke' is offensive to me. I guess I hate that we as a society idolize youth so much and that's just another small example of it. That said, I do think that even as we age we can maintain a youthful personality and I can't see myself ever getting that bent over a product that didn't ring up right. Oh-and 42 is hardly middle aged. ok, I'm done!

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


  4. #32554
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    Mmmmm strawberries. The kids could also sleep on the floor. I mean I wouldn't want to now but when you are under 20, floor is fair game. We did it all the time at slumber parties. Though maybe you don't have carpeted floors?

    I'm just sitting around waiting for the phone to ring today. Cosmo is having her teeth cleaned so is undergoing anesthesia. My mom is having the D&C today....not so much concerned about that but the anesthesia. She ended up feeling and being awake during a colonoscopy. She also ended up feeling it when she shouldn't have when they were doing local for a knee surgery. She is also one of those unlucky people that pain meds really don't do much for. But she did let the doctors know this and she has paperwork from the last procedure stating what was used and not to do that again on her....and this time is going under general.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  5. #32555
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    No, I don't have any carpeting.

    I hope Cosmo & your mom both have event-less procedures.

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


  6. #32556
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    Cosmo is getting picked up soon and they said it was all fine. Though probably not fine on my wallet!

    Also have talked to my mom and they finally were able to keep her sleeping through a surgery. Versad just doesn't do it for her.

    So I'm all ready for the weekend to start rocking!

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  7. #32557

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    Hi, ladies!! Jennifer, I hope your mom & Cosmo are both doing ok by now.

    LOVE Y'ALL!

  8. #32558

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    Hi, ladies!! Jennifer, I hope your mom & Cosmo are both doing ok by now.

    LOVE Y'ALL!

  9. #32559
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    I forgot to tell y'all about a conversation that I had with my mom the other day. Every time I think about it, I get a little teary-eyed. I've been that busy with school applications and just keeping the kids entertained that I've not even mentioned it to my DH or my MIL (my 2 confidants). I'm sure I've mentioned before that my mom wasn't the greatest parent growing up-she was drunk for a big part of it and caused quite a bit of embarrassment throughout the years. Any how, it's always kind of irked me that she never acknowledged that. Like, we'd talk about other people in the family and she'd say something about how good we were as kids and how we'd turned out to be good adults as if it was her parenting that made it all happen. I guess I've always held a little resentment that she wasn't ever there for us emotionally until we actually got married and moved far, far away. Any how, the other day, she was telling me about how she'd been at my granny's (her momma's). A lot of her brothers and sisters were there with her because my Granny was scheduled to have a pacemaker put in (she's had it and is fine now), so, she got to talking about parenting with them and she said to me something like this: "We were talking about raising kids and I said to J that I am ashamed that I was drunk for the most part of y'all growing up. I know I wasn't a good parent." It hit me really hard because it was like I'd waited for her to admit that, but hearing her say that made me so incredibly sad, so I was all like, "That was the past, momma; let's just look ahead to where we are now and what lies ahead." And I felt awful for having always held that resentment just waiting for her to admit it.....gosh, I hate emotional stuff. I am usually like a brick wall with my emotions, especially negative ones! In all honesty, though, having the childhood that I did, I've made sure that I am a much different parent to my own children, so I've not let it overshadow my life. I guess I'm just rambling now, but I thought I'd share that here since I've not actually talked to anyone about it in real life and you ladies are good therapy buddies.

  10. #32560
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    Ash. I'm glad you had that conversation with her. It must feel good and depressing at the same time.

    I had a long talk with my sister the other day. Among other things, she mentioned that she felt our parents were physically and emotionally abusive to her - and emotionally abusive to me, but not physically. She said our father hit her and my brother with a belt when he was angry, but this stopped before I was born. I am really having a hard time with this. I would never in a million years have used the word abusive to describe my parents. My sister does have a lot of negativity towards my parents, and I share quite a bit of it and agree some of the way they brought us up was not ideal, but I can't help but think that we both had vastly different experiences of the same two parents and I just don't know what to make of it. I think my parents are really good people, although I do believe my dad has Asperger's (and my sister agrees with me on that point) and, due to that, he was never an emotionally or socially perceptive parent. He did yell a lot and I am certain he had no idea how that felt to us, but abusive? I am trying to figure out whether I'm just thicker skinned than my sister and dealt with the situation better than she did, or whether she is right and I am just in denial. It's kind of messing with my head.

    I've been wanting to share that with you guys, but haven't been able to type it out. Sorry for the dump.
    Last edited by Gwenn; 06-15-2012 at 03:04 PM.
    Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

  11. #32561
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwenn View Post
    I am trying to figure out whether I'm just thicker skinned than my sister and dealt with the situation better than she did, or whether she is right and I am just in denial. It's kind of messing with my head.

    I've been wanting to share that with you guys, but haven't been able to type it out. Sorry for the dump.
    Hugs to you too, Mandy! I quoted this part because that is exactly what my sister is like, too! I have always thought it was because of our different personalities. She is one to always be offended by something and is very touchy.

  12. #32562
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    One of the things my sister kept saying was that my parents spoke to her in ways that weren't understanding/respectful of her. I can't argue with that, because they did the same to me. But my parents were born in the 30's, and my dad was the youngest of 5 kids, with the last 3 all born during the depression. Their childhoods were very, very different and I think compared to how they grew up, the way they raised us was a walk in the park. While you might look at they way kids were raised then and disagree with it, can you really judge their parenting by today's standards? They did the best they knew how, I think. And I am grateful that I know different ways to raise my own kids. Or am I just making excuses?
    Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

  13. #32563
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    That's how I see it, too. I feel like my parents did what they could but like you said, they lived very rough lives compared to my own, and comparing my kids' lives to theirs, my kids are treated like royalty compared to what they got treated like back in the day.

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    I'm glad you agree with me. I just see my sister holding on to so much anger. She's 46, for Pete's sake! Seems to me by that age you've been an adult long enough to move past your childhood.
    Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

  15. #32565
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    How much older is your sister than you? It is possible that they did get different treatment based on being older and being the first.

    For example, I have great parents who were much better than their own parents were. I'm the older child, sister is 5 yrs younger. They did a lot to treat us fairly but I know that when I was a teen, my dad got control of the radio saying my music was crap (this coming from a guy who is generally into popular music and rock too). Cut to five years later and my sister gets control of the radio....same genre of music but now my dad's all into her stuff and they used to attend a bunch of concerts together (he loves My Chemical Romance and Gaga....says he's a little monster).
    When I moved out, it was like Yeah now my office isn't going to be in the basement anymore. My sister closes on her house in less than two weeks (and she's now 29!) and my parents are all sad about it and don't want to see her leave finally.

    Definitely some differences there based on being oldest and being the baby....but I don't think that either one is loved more.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

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    I'm 7.5 years younger, and she is the oldest. My brother is 22 months younger than she is.

    See, my parents were the same way about us moving out (when my brother moved out, my dad had started to move his bed out of the room to set up his office before the garage door had even finished closing). My sister would describe that as an example of his lack of respect for our emotions and call it abusive, I have no question. I do make fun of my dad for doing that, but I see it differently. He was just as happy to see me go as he was my brother, though! That certainly didn't change over time with him.
    Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

  17. #32567

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    I agree that how you perceive your upbringing is all relative, Mandy. I imagine there are all sorts of factors (birth order, IQ, temperament, whether you were one of the oldest/youngest among your peers, just to name a few) that make it so you and your sister can look at the same set of parents and see 2 different types of people.

    My sister has a completely different outlook on how we were parented too, and in our case, I'm not surprised. We're only 2 years apart, but were parented very differently. My sister was far more strictly parented from the beginning since she was their first child, so she rebelled way more, which only made my parents tighten their restrictions on her. Which only made my parents too fatigued to be strict with me. In the early years, my sister bore the brunt of the rough time they had transitioning as immigrants, while I was a) left in the old country the first 9 months they lived in the U.S. so I missed a lot of it, and b) had my great-aunt to coddle me day-after-day from infancy to age 5 even while my parents were initially struggling to integrate and establish themselves in this country.

    So, yeah, she has harsher words for them than I do, although I don't think either of us would use the term "abusive". And we did get the belt when we acted up. I too chalk their shortcomings up to the generational/cultural gap and imperfect knowledge, and think mom & dad did the best they could. Speaking of imperfect knowledge, I can just imagine what sort of parenting innovations will come into being by the time Bodhi is a parent, and who know what his opinion will be when he looks at my parenting in the rearview mirror.

    Ash, I felt pretty choked up when I read your mom finally acknowledging her drinking. :Hugs: You were very gracious to her. I'm so glad she gave you that. I would have marked my calendar in your shoes. I know this is quite different, but that kind of reminds me of when I finally got around to asking my mom if she missed me when she left me in the "old country" as a 6 month old. I was already in my 20s. She was like, "Oh my god, are you kidding me?!?!? That was the hardest thing I've had to do as a parent!" I don't know why I'd ever thought otherwise. I know that, in general, immigration can really fracture families, but I wasn't sure if it was just part of her old culture to take our separation in stride. I mist up when I think of how hard that must have been on my mom. There's no way I'd be able to do that, but she did it to give both her kids a better life.
    Last edited by demigraf; 06-15-2012 at 11:27 PM.

  18. #32568
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    That must have been incredibly difficult for your mom, Myles, and really it's a testament to how much she loves you that she did do it to give you a better life. I'm glad you talked with her about it. I can't imagine, either.

    On the subject of belting, you and I are the same age and I don't think it was that unusual in those days or the 5-7 years before that to "discipline" your kids that way. I would consider that abuse now, but I don't think it was perceived that way then. I was spanked, and my dad did spank me when he was angry, but he never beat or hit me excessively in any way and I can't imagine he did that to my sister and brother, either. He used to threaten me with his belt but he never went through with it - I am assuming my mother must have asked him not to do that. In some ways, my dad took more of an interest in raising me than he did the older two. I know my mom said he was with her in labor and got to see me born (which he didn't with the first two), and he changed my diapers and fed me, etc. which again, he left all to my mother with the first two kids. I see that as a difference between the 60's, when they were born, and the 70's, when I was born, and that they were beginning to pick up on parenting differences. But that doesn't make their choices in the 60's abusive - just more old-fashioned. Lots of people now would look at a father who didn't change his own child's diapers with horror but few dads did that in the 60's.
    Last edited by Gwenn; 06-15-2012 at 05:45 PM.
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  19. #32569

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    I do think I'm more thicker skinned in regards to the way my parents were as well. But they were really young and I recognized that even when I was a kid. I remember feeling sorry for them, but loving them a lot and trying to protect them, also that I didn't belong with them. My parents used to fight a lot when they were together, like physically fight each other. The last one I remember I was about 6 and Mom and Dad were rolling around our front lawn fighting, punching and slapping and yelling and just being ridiculous and I so remember sighing and thinking "I am not supposed to be with these people." I even told my mom that later that night and she broke out in tears and agreed with me. Then I felt bad for telling her that.

    My brother, who is 11 months older doesn't really view anything the way I do. He also thinks I got preferential treatment by our parents. I honestly don't know why he thought this, mostly it has to do with I had my own room, but I was the only girl and he and I shared a room for 10 years. So I don't get it. He also has way more hangups than I do even though he was not sexually abused like I was. He thinks our mom favors me because we talk all the time, but he lives about 2 miles from her and could easily talk to her more than I do. He thinks she is and always has been cold to him and his feelings, I can see how he would think that but both my mom and my grandma (her mom) even my great grandma were very... I'll say curt and usually spoke pretty harshly. Though I am not as harsh as they were, I am similar in that I am very blunt (he says I'm mean, my brother, especially to his girlfriend) I do try to take other people's feelings into consideration though, something grandma and great grandma never did while they were alive. Mom has always been sensitive though and she has a tough exterior but is sugar on the inside and I just can't see how he doesn't see her like that. I tell him he should get to know her better and that she did the best she could do. She was very young when she had him and even though she made a lot of mistakes, he should realize that she's a regular person and all people make mistakes.

    Ash, that is a conversation that sounds like uncomfortable emotions would be brought to the surface. The first time my mom apologized to me in regards to my abuse it was a surprise and I didn't know what to think about it for a while. But like you, I felt that it was in the past and even though it bothered me I was happy she did that because it made me close that chapter of my life. She still brings it up though and tries to apologize now but I stop her and tell her she has apologized enough. She even tells me she thinks God cursed her due to her treatment of me and my older brother. She was a much different mother to my younger brothers and I was happy she was and harbored no ill will or jealousy toward them due to it.

    Erin

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    Ash & Mandy.

    All this talk about our parent's childhood compared with ours and how we raise our own kids is really making me sad. I know I did better with my girls than how I was raised. Not just because things were done differently in the 70's (although of course that's part of it) but because my mom was really nuts and went psychotic a lot. So it wasn't hard to do better than that...but I really read up on parenting and in particular childhood development. I wanted to do the best for my kids that I possibly could. And Jesi's left home at 17. And Bobbie has flat out told me I was an awful mother. She couldn't have said anything worse because I gave her my all.

    And yeah, there is a difference in how you treat your oldest, because you're still learning. No one is born knowing how to parent and every one of us had ideals when we planned our families that changed as reality struck. That's part of life. I agree that once you become an adult though you just let go of childhood hurts. What happened happened and hanging onto that negativity won't do one **** bit of good for anyone.

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


  21. #32571

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    Goodness. Y'all are breaking my heart! I feel luckyy tp know such an incredible group of women.

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    Chrissy (or Erin), I'd really love to see either of you call up my sister and ask her honestly if she can really feel sorry for herself when you think about what other people go through. Both of you have really been through a lot and you are survivors. I'm sure so much of it comes down to personality, though, and how we react to what life throws at us.
    Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bridget View Post
    Goodness. Y'all are breaking my heart! I feel luckyy tp know such an incredible group of women.
    I know. Me, too.
    Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

  24. #32574
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    It seems we've all overcome things. I may be biased, but I can't visualize a better group of women.

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


  25. #32575

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    Big hugs for my girls. These are tough things.

    "Any idiot can face a crisis; it is this day-to-day living that wears you out." -Anton Chekhov


  26. #32576

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    It is strange to me because I really don't think I've been through a whole lot. I guess because I read so much as a child, both fiction and non-fiction and so many other kids had it worse than I did. My parents were pretty dysfunctional but honestly I think most parents are sort of dysfunctional. I had the abuse, but it was not nearly to the extent that I know other children or even adults experience. I don't like to diminish it because it did make a huge impact on my life but I know I did not have it as bad as others and I think that is the reasons why I don't harbor any ill will.

    Hopefully your sister will get there someday Mandy. I never really understand the perpetual hangups people have over their childhood. I can understand a bit when they are younger, like teens through twenties, I'd even give them, but 30+ there is way too much life to live IMO and there is not time for "shoulda, coulda, wouldas" or "woe is me's."

    But I do come from a long line of no-nonsense ladies and we get over things and made do. My brother always says he wishes he could be like me and just get over it. I just tell him to decide to get over it and get over it. For him it is hard. I think some people like to have a victimhood complex or something and want some pity and I feel it is due to the fact that they have regrets about their own decisions and want people to feel bad for them, that the pity is somewhat comforting. That is just a guess of mine about my brother.

    I know my kids will probably say something horrible about my mothering. I ask Ky now if he thinks I am doing something wrong with him. He has gotten pretty quiet though and doesn't like to talk as much as he used to so maybe he is having some sort of hang ups with me. I wouldn't know what they were, but you never know what other people are thinking or feeling. I just try to remind him no matter what I love him and that if he ever thinks I don't he is dead wrong and should push that thought out of his mind. Even though my mom put me through a ringer, I never doubted that she loved me. I even remember contemplating suicide before and not doing it because I knew it would break her to pieces. To this day if something happened to me, I think she would have a nervous breakdown.

  27. #32577
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    Aw, sweeties.

    I know that I think my mom is the best mom ever, but when I was a teenager I did not think so at all. And I never doubted that she loved me, but she turned my room into an office right after I moved out.

    My sister and I have vastly different memories of our childhoods, despite being only 20 months apart. So much so that you'd think we were raised in different families. She contradicts me when I talk about memories I have of my youth. "No, that never happened!" Like she was there and remembers better than I did. Well, she was there, but she remembers completely differently. She is mostly in complete denial about how poor we were. I think I've mentioned this before. We were living on food stamps for a long time when we were growing up, and sleeping in friends' attics, and living in houses without running water or indoor toilets, and the house in El Paso had no air conditioning and was infested with roaches and black widow spiders. I didn't get my first store-bought dress until 7th grade. I was teased about my high-water pants from the thrift store. Even in my jr. year in high school, when I was invited to prom, my mom said she'd sew me a dress and I decided I didn't need to go that badly.

    My sister does not remember any of this. She accuses me of making it up, even when mom backs me up. I don't know if it's just the age difference, because by the time she was 13, we got our big house and dad was a doctor. At that time, she was getting a lot of new clothes. Part of it might have been that she didn't hesitate to ask for things, but I still remembered all the years of having to be so careful with money and I didn't ask. She also had our parents pay for her college and law school and her car insurance until she was 35 and other miscellaneous things like new tires and vacations, whereas I got student loans and paid my own way. My sister has always felt a lot differently about money, and I think she would feel weird about admitting that we were poor growing up. She was engaged to a guy named Rich a long time ago, and her favorite thing about it was that she got to say she was marrying rich.

    I don't resent the fact that we were poor. I actually value it, because I think it makes me appreciate experiences more than things. Despite the teasing I mentioned above, up until my later years, I never felt deprived. I was loved and never felt a lack of anything in my life.

    Anyway, different scenario, but it is possible for two siblings, even two close in age, to experience completely different childhoods in the same house. Even with parents who treat them pretty similarly.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Ky'sMom View Post
    I think some people like to have a victimhood complex or something and want some pity and I feel it is due to the fact that they have regrets about their own decisions and want people to feel bad for them, that the pity is somewhat comforting. That is just a guess of mine about my brother.
    I think that sums up my sister right there. I got the sense through the whole conversation, although she wasn't hostile to me in any way, that there was quite a bit of jealousy in my direction. She admitted she was jealous of the way I dress, which is unbelievably humorous to me as I have always been a step or two behind the curve, fashion-wise, and if I managed to develop any sense of style at all it was only through imitating her. And I know that continues through to the present with her being jealous of my career, although that is something entirely within her reach if only she had made different priorities. She chose instead to be a SAHM - a choice I would have made as well had I been married and had children at the age she did. Still, I'm not losing any sleep over the fact that she has a family and I don't. I'm happy for her.

    I suppose there are a lot of parallels with our situation and yours and your sister's, L. Funny since there is such a difference in age. I grew up very middle class, but after my sister left home and before I started high school, my dad took early retirement and began his second career as a college professor. He earned a full salary plus a full pension, and we moved into a very fancy house. So my parents had a lot more cash to spend on me and I had a lot of material things my sister never did. They've given her plenty, too, though.
    Last edited by Gwenn; 06-15-2012 at 11:31 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ky'sMom View Post
    I never really understand the perpetual hangups people have over their childhood. I can understand a bit when they are younger, like teens through twenties, I'd even give them, but 30+ there is way too much life to live IMO and there is not time for "shoulda, coulda, wouldas" or "woe is me's."
    This is exactly how I feel. I was over my mother trying to kill me a bunch of times by the time I was 21. Maybe even earlier than that-19. I figure if I can let go of that pain, anger and resentment, then anyone should be able to let go of their childhood hurts. If the person is that bad, don't talk to them. Even if they're a parent. Life is too short. But don't hang on to the bitterness. Maybe letting go is a secret to happiness that many people don't ever learn?

    Memory is very tricky. I remember reading about it in psychology classes and it totally ruined me! I used to remember people's faces & names, even their voices on the phone. I recalled details of all things-not just work related-very well. And then I took that course and learned about how fallible memory is!!
    Now I second guess everything I think I know. I hate it and even though historically my memories were accurate I still can't get over that, "Maybe I'm not remembering this right." I would back down from a "no, that never happened that way!" argument.

    That's one of my hangups I wish I could get over. Or unlearn that class.

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


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    Conner, Syd and Brianna stayed overnight last night. Conner had a good time and there were no tears! He even let me wash his hair without a fuss which is a first since we moved out of our 'big' house last August. There we had a large jet tub that was essentially Conner's 'cause he was the only one that used it. He tried telling us he wouldn't ever have a bath or wash his hair again until we moved back there. So every bath/hair washing event has been a battle.

    I'm so happy he had a good time. He still says he'd rather not stay overnight with me, but at least it's getting easier. He went out with the teenagers last night for the block party (am I nuts?!) and returned covered in shaving cream. They all were. I'm sure my face was priceless when they knocked on the door and I opened it to that sight. I was speechless!

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


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