My Place

By Logan Adermatt

As I step into the family room of my childhood, I would return to when I was 17 years old and my Father was home for the longest he had ever been home with us. Unfortunately, the reason for his long stay was because he was diagnosed with brain cancer and had, had surgery. He was given a time frame to live and it wasn’t years, but barely a month or so.

You might be wondering why I would return to that time? You see, my father was a Doctor and as a Doctor; he never truly belonged to us. My father would arrive home late evening and be off before my sister and I were out of bed for school. Summer vacations were rarely taken together as Dad had to work and if he joined us, it would be for two weeks. Those two weeks would be spent not just with us but visiting all his family that lived in the Dominican Republic.

I remember the family room, it still looks about the same. The wood paneling with the dark, dark shag carpet. The furniture was also wood back then, and the sofa cushions looked like they were crocheted with the same dark tones found in the paneling. The sofa is gone, but the matching rocking chair is still there. The rocking chair that Dad used to sit in and watch baseball, which didn’t happen very often.

My last memory of him in the rocking chair was when I was cutting his fingernails, he lost some of his vision with the removal of most of the tumor; so I would take care of that for him. He would be so angry about having to have someone else do for him, he was a man use to his independence. It broke his heart that his own daughter had to take care of those little things we take for granted everyday.

As I cut his fingernails or read to him from his books, it was the first time I had felt like he didn’t see a curly haired little girl that he had nothing in common with but rather someone he could talk to about life and about what he liked. I knew baseball was important to him. I knew he had his own spiritual beliefs and that although he loved medicine; he felt that it owned him and his time and he didn’t want that for us.

My father and I were both the introverts in the family so a lot was not spoken between us, but understood. We would watch TV together and not talk about anything, just be. After the show was over, we would share our thoughts and continue with our day.

I would love to go back to that family room as the 40 year old Mom of two and show him pictures of his grandchildren. To let him know that I listened to him when he said find your calling and follow it as long as it makes you happy. Tell the ones you love, you love them. He had so much to think about at that time, and the 17 year old in front of him had no idea.

The family room defines that relationship to me, one that was cut short but made a lasting impression.

Acting Out Mama!

 

 

Smiling

It’s Monday, we all know what Mondays means to us. For me, it means I wake up at 6 AM, pop out of bed, brush my teeth and get down to making lunches for my two children. Mondays are peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, with portable yogurt, juice box, granola and some lightly salted crackers. As I prepare the lunch I mumble under my breath, how I wish that they would enjoy fresh cut fruit and veggies instead of lightly salted crackers. I remind myself to make more of an effort to change their eating habits this summer by having fruits and veggies readily available to them and laying off of the salty and sugary snacks that are easy to pack but not the best, health wise.

I watch the kiddies get on the bus  and feel a little excited, knowing that this is the last week of school and how I remember loving the last week of school at their age. I whisk away to have a little breakfast and prepare myself for grocery shopping. I usually stop at three different stores to get everything I need and recently we had a big box store open less than two miles from my house, so I am done with all of it in less than an hour. Do I like all the new traffic? No; but the optimist in me is quite happy that it has cut my shopping time in half.

As I walk into the stores, I smile at everyone I see and I say, “Good morning.” The introvert in me is trying to break out of my shell and now I find it interesting to see what kind of response I get from a smile radiating from a disheveled Mom of two with a loose bun of black curls. I chat up the cashiers and wish everyone a good day as I leave.

I sit back in my car and check my phone before starting up the engine. I can’t wait to rush home and start my blogging challenge. The day has started off quite well, I continue to smile as I put everything away and make sure to print out some uplifting posts for my dream board.

Yep, smiling is always a great way to start your day.

A smile to you,

Acting Out Mama!

The Mommy Drain

What is “The Mommy Drain?”

“The Mommy Drain,” is a phrase I have come up with to express a Mother’s ability to do everything for others until they inevitably burn out. Sometimes it is easy to see the root cause of the drain but other times it manifests itself into grouchiness, crying for no reason, or a physical, spiritual, and emotional exhaustion.

On Monday of this week I experienced “The Mommy Drain,” and it was the first time in a long time. I would like to state, that this was not a typical Monday, although always hectic; it is almost never this crazy.

* In the morning I took a long walk with a family member. We hosted a special event for my son and had family come in from out of town and stay with us for the weekend.

*At noon, I had a 1 hour training at my daughter’s school. Another Mom and I were asked to teach a special lesson in their class next week for 3 hours. Teaching a group of 4th graders for 3 hours (trust me, I know how hard it is being a teacher) gave me a little anxiety. The leader of the training thanked all of us and told us that the training normally lasts two hours but we were all going to be great (no pressure).

*Mid-afternoon, I attended a memorial service for a friend who had lost a parent, unexpectedly. The service was a beautiful homage to her and it wasn’t long before I felt like that 18 year old girl that lost her father and had to attend his service. The fog of grieving started to settle in but I ignored it because my day was not in anyway over.

*Late afternoon I ran home after grocery shopping to prepare a quick dinner. I also went over the children’s homework, signed planners and prepped everything for the next morning.

*In the evening, I attended a meeting for a group that supports local artists. They have quarterly meetings and in the whole time I have been registered with them, I have never been able to attend because of conflicts. I decided this would be the one time I could go, so I did. In retrospect, not the best idea, I was solemn from earlier and listening to all the items that needed to be done and what they hoped to accomplish made the feeling of being overwhelmed stronger.

Needless to say “The Mommy Drain,” completely set in on Tuesday Morning. I made the kids their lunches and got them on the bus. I was exhausted, and the morning had just started! I called my Mom, who has had a tough year after breaking her arm in January. I was choked up on the phone after thinking back on the service I attended. I wished her a good day and said, “I love you.”

At that moment, something told me that I needed to take some me time. I had a nice breakfast and then walked into my bedroom. The room was still dark because I hadn’t opened the blinds and I felt a kind of peace. All my senses were dull and I think that is exactly what I needed. I took a 2 hour nap and looking back, I realized that I really hadn’t slept much in the past three days. As I laid there after the nap, I really didn’t want to get up, but remembered I needed to do things and thought of a blog post I had read recently.

In Ever Upward, a post resonated with me the week before titled The Overwhelming Unknown. In the post, Justine Froelker talks about being overwhelmed and how going back to the basics can help you come back to being and feeling yourself again.

I popped out of bed and started making all the phone calls I needed to make, completed the day to day chores that keep our home running smoothly and even took a little time to catch up on my reading for the week.

Taking time to take care of yourself is so vital. I sometimes forget the value of what I do because I don’t get a paycheck at the end of the week and I definitely don’t get a quarterly review. But then I look back at how my Husband totally panics if I am not feeling well, or my kids come home with good grades and hugs to remind me of why spending that extra time doing homework and making sure they are fed and nurtured, are important.

Enjoy your Mothers day this year. Let your family spoil you and always take time for yourself.

Acting Out Mama!

By SCHICKA

An Ode to Whirley Pop

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An Ode to Whirley Pop

Oh Whirley Pop, you came into my life when my Air Popper died,

Popcorn is my favorite snack, and you of course know, I have never lied.

I was hesitant to buy you because you seemed so contrite,

But after filling you with corn and a bit of coconut oil, it was love at first bite.

Yes, it is work to crank for three minutes and to wait for the corn to pop,

But the payoff is crunchy big popcorn with no microwave bag residuals and the taste is top!

Start your love affair with Whirley Pop!

Acting Out Mama!

HMDX Neutron – Rocks!

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HMDX Neutron

In the last couple of months, my children (8 and 10 years old) have become music fanatics.

Their passion for music led to MP3 players and for Easter this year they received the best gift ever: Bluetooth Wireless Suction Speakers by HMDX called Neutron. Below I will explain why we love them so much.

Wireless and AUX line

Fortunately for us, the MP3s we own have Bluetooth so we took less than 2 minutes to pair the device to the speaker. It was super easy and of course, we do not need to pair it every time we use them because the device and speaker find each other.

We still have devices that do not have Bluetooth capability so the AUX line is a wonderful backup. AUX cord is not included, you are going to have to spring for one if you don’t have one hanging around the house.

The best part and I think the major reason the Easter Bunny gave the kiddies these speakers is its capability of working wireless for up to 30 feet. This way, the kids leave their MP3 player in their rooms and just carry the speaker into the bathroom for shower time. Most MP3s are not waterproof so the fact that they remain away from any wet areas means less, “Whoops, I dropped water on my MP3, Mommy.”

Suction Cup Speaker

So much fun and here is why:

This definitely is the toy like feature that the kiddies enjoy.

Speakerphone

I admit, this function will not be used much since my children do not have smartphones. Basically, if a call comes in while you are listening to music through the speaker, the music will pause and the Neutron becomes a hands free speaker.

Splash Friendly

Please understand, “splash friendly” does not mean you can take this puppy for a swim. Avoid submerging.

Micro – USB Charging

The speaker includes a cord with a Micro USB on one side and USB on the other for charging with your computer. Wall adapter is not included so you would have to purchase one if you don’t have one around. Because so many devices use Micro USBs, we have plenty of extras at home. This comes in super handy when the children are like, “Mommy I can’t find my cord to charge my speaker,” or, “What cord?”

One charge will give you 4 hours of play time wirelessly or 12 hours with your aux cord.

Where to Buy

You can buy the HMDX Neutron at Bed Bath and Beyond and just recently, I have also found them on Amazon.

Hope you enjoy your speaker as much as we have enjoyed ours.

BTW, I found the sound to be impressive from such a small device.

Acting Out Mama!

Little Girl Growing Up

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First things first, my daughter is 10 years old and I am in absolute denial. I have a severe case of wanting her to be 6 years old again and it didn’t become evident until we went Halloween costume shopping last year.

As we walked into the store, her eyes were drawn to the costumes where the girls were young but standing with one hand on their hip and looking very mature. I had to put my foot down on some of her choices and really was quite flabbergasted by what people consider okay for a child to wear. I tried really hard for her to turn her attention towards the cute costumes that were much too young for her. A Mother behind me with much older kids was watching me and when we made eye contact she said, “Oh boy, you are in serious denial.” She was right, but I am happy to say that my daughter and I compromised and I was quite okay with the final costume: age appropriate but not adult looking. I never forgot what that Mom said and continued to think about it for awhile.

At  my daughter’s 10 year Wellness visit the Pediatrician asked me if I had, had the talk with her about her changing body and getting her period. I was floored and admitted right away that I hadn’t done that yet. She told me that girls are developing earlier and recommended a book that discussed puberty and did it really well. She couldn’t remember the name but said it was by American Girl. That evening I immediately got to searching for it on Amazon and ordered it.

When I got the book, I absolutely loved it. It is wonderfully written and very informative. I decided that three times a week I would read a chapter with her before bedtime and that way she could ask questions.

The book not only discusses the changes that the entire body goes through during puberty but also educates them about how and why you should take care during these trying times.

I can’t believe I am admitting this, but even I learned some things along the way.

So, does that mean that I am no longer in denial? No way, but hopefully the book and  my own daughter, will help me accept it with time.

Acting Out Mama!

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