12th Day Of Christmas: The Donarski Clan

20141225_104706Today was Christmas Day – the 12th day of Christmas according to my blog. We stayed at my parents last night, watched The Interview via YouTube and my mom and I wrote a poem. Christmas morning was grand. Santa came with gifts which was a delightful surprise because we thought Christmas was over and done with on my side of the family and we decided to stay overnight just the day before. Santa’s definitely on top of his game this year.

Dad made breakfast. I ordered his classic fried egg sandwich. We were low on bread so he substituted a bagel. Delish! I don’t really do breakfast but I just can’t pass up my dad’s early morning cooking.

Early afternoon we headed over to Channing’s parents house. Soon after, his sisters and their kids came. Channing has two nieces and a nephew. They’re the light of the family. There is just something about kids that makes the world keep spinning and helps all your worries fade away.

Dinner was at 5ish followed by a couple drinks. Channing’s dad makes the best mashed potatoes around. I’m a total starch junkie so anything potato I always enjoy but something about these potatoes makes them my favorite.

Next up was gift time! It’s always so nice to have everyone together and watch the kids open their presents. Jayde is a veteran, she’s been doing this for years. She’s growing into such a young woman that it’s crazy. I came into her life just after she turned 5 years old and now she’s 11 going on 30! Make-up, purses, fashion, perfume!

Duane is at that age where when he knows there’s something for him, he wants it now! And it better be Thomas! He got Thomas all right. It was a healthy mix between Thomas gear and Cars fandom. He loved it!

And lastly there is Evy, oh little Evy. It was her very first Christmas. They put her down for a nap shortly before the gift opening but somehow, some way she knew it was Christmas and woke up just in time for the action. Her mom and dad opened her gifts. She’ll be good on books and toys for awhile that’s for sure!

After a game and a little more visiting we decided to part ways and head home. Thankfully the roads were clear. We avoided any forecasted snow so that’s always a plus. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas (or any other holiday you may celebrate) season!! If you’re not home yet, drive safe. When saying your goodbyes, hug a little tighter and don’t forget to say thank you for everything! Often times the hosts, cooks, and Santa’s don’t get the appropriate recognition.

Merry Christmas to all and all a good night!

 

 

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Willpower.

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I’ve recently tapped into my willpower energy and let me tell you; it’s damn difficult. Up until I became serious about losing the weight that I’ve accumulated over the last 24 or so years – I didn’t really view willpower as something that anyone could actually obtain. It’s not easy, that’s for sure..but it’s possible.

I’m still learning and I’m only in the beginning stages of making progress on my weight-loss journey but I wanted to summarize a conversation I had today about deprivation. Anyone will tell you not to deprive yourself and you shouldn’t I guess. But in my case, it almost feels like I need to in order to make real progress. So in reply to a gal noting that I should have a piece of cake that she made for a potluck today I said:

“I didn’t deprive myself for the last 24 years. I ate whatever, whenever I wanted. So I think it’s okay to deprive myself for one day with potluck food…”

And it’s true. This weight-loss journey that I’m trying to accomplish isn’t an easy feat and it shouldn’t be treated with food rewards. You wouldn’t tell an alcoholic in the process of sobriety to have “just one drink, it won’t hurt” would you?

That’s another thing I’ve recently accepted. Addiction. Even though I’ve heard it my entire life, I never really associated eating with addiction. And it’s one of the worst kinds too. You have to eat in order to survive. It’s everywhere.

There is no comparison but for a simple example…you can quit smoking. Get a prescription, use the patch, nicotine gum, ect. You don’t need it to survive. It seems much more practical to kick just about any addiction other than food. But maybe I’m just being biased because I’m dealing with my own addiction.

I’ll forever be addicted to food no matter what I’ll do. I know for a fact, that I’ll indulge at times. Hopefully it won’t be as often as my current once a week motto or in other words “free day.” I’m not quite to that step of willpower yet.

I don’t want to sound like a hypocrite but I hope to have a little control over my future children’s lives as far as health goes. Due to my weight I’ve limited myself more and more in so many things that I’d love to do out of fear of embarrassment and I don’t want anyone to have to go through that. I’m not going to deprive them of food but I pray that I can teach them healthy eating habits early on and not expose them to fast food for as long as motherly possible.

If I overcome this lifelong journey, I want to spread awareness. I used to think it was stupid – seeing obesity commercials on TV, the radio, in newspaper ads, but it’s not. I hope I have enough willpower to become a survivor.

What Do You Do When Dreams Don’t Come True?

When is everything going to seem real? I’ve dreamt about getting married and starting a family of my own for as long as I can remember but it hasn’t happened to me yet. Everyone around me, old classmates, extended family, ect. – They are making and starting their own personal, self-contained lives. Starting futures with each other, raising babies, graduating with their masters degrees. But not me.

It’s funny because even though I “want” it so bad it seems like there’s a reason that my turn per se, hasn’t come around on the merry go round of life. It’s weird. I want to be a wife but what does a wife do that I don’t already do? I want to be a mom but I can’t picture a baby in my tummy or arms yet. I want to own a beautiful house with a giant yard and a big shaggy dog but I don’t see that dream as a reality financially. It’s like my dream life is just that; a dream. As if there’s no possibility of it being real because I can’t “feel” it happening.

When everyone else around me is planning their weddings, bachelorette parties, baby showers, and Caribbean cruises; I wonder what they are feeling. Do they feel like it isn’t real? Or was it just on their docket of life goals and they are checking them off?

In turn, I’ve also heard my whole life that..as much as you absolutely “want” something, it’ll never happen until you stop focusing on it. A woman wanting a baby, doesn’t get pregnant. It causes martial problems or divorce. She starts a new fresh life in a new city. She focuses on herself. She’s happy with the cards that she was dealt but then gets knocked up after a one night stand. And that once desired life dream is now an “oopsie.”

Obviously, that’s a drastic example but that’s how it feels to me. The people that I used to know or have many memories with lead totally different lives today. And although I have a wonderful job, loving boyfriend, and a semi-decent bank account – it still feels like I’m living the same life I was 10 years ago.

I’m nowhere near owning a house, let alone knowing which area I want to raise my future family in. The marriage wheel has been on a plateau for years and even though I want to go back to school, what the hell would I go for so that it financially pays off? That white-picket fence and children laughing while running through the sprinkler truly does feel like a dream. Just a dream.

So let me ask you, life-livers: When the big life moments do happen, does it feel real? Was your wedding the most special day of your life pre-children? Do you second guess the money it is going to cost you when you vacation out of country? Have you ever felt truly stuck or does life just magically happen to you?

Or am I the ugly duckling here? It’s as if I’m standing still, I’m the core. While the rest of the world is moving and evolving around me a million miles a minute.

Bullies.

If we can’t teach our children to stick up for themselves than we are going to raise a submissive generation of pity induced robots.

My brother posted a Facebook status about a video that went viral locally. It was of a girl crying and her brother telling the camera that his sister had been being bullied.

I saw it on the news. It was sad to see. I had mixed emotions when it was publicly broadcasted on the 6 o’clock and 10 o’clock news because I ran threw both sides of the story in my head.

For one, I think it is horrible that her mom had the damn balls to film her daughter balling her eyes out from being bullied and then publicly posted it. I’ve said it a million times, I’m not a mom but that doesn’t exclude me from having a very just opinion about something because one day I will be a mom and I’ll still have an opinion and still be entitled to it. I felt like I had to clarify for the “but you’re not a mom so you can’t have an opinion” speech.

Anyways, I’m sure that the mothers intentions were to spread awareness that bullyng is real and in our community. We already know this. In my opinion, video taping your daughter clearly upset and Facebooking the world is so far from comforting; it’s ridiculous. That alone isn’t only being a bully yourself but it’s going to encourage people to poke more fun. Kids are going to watch the news with their parents and see the video. Then they will bully the poor kid even more for being a cry baby and a tattle tale. Do you not think it’d be absolutely humiliating to see yourself clearly distraught on television? A round of applause for the “Inconsiderate Mother Of The Year” award everyone.

Bullying does happen. I’ve been the victim of it for many different things over many many years. From 1st grade to 5th. As a pre-teen and a post-driver. And even as a college student and full grown working adult. It’s everywhere. It’s unavoidable in the disgusting, soul grabbing world we live in. It sucks and it hurts but stand up and fight for your damn self.

Kids are assholes but so are the grown ups. If we can’t teach our children to stick up for themselves than we are going to raise a submissive generation of pity induced robots. And I’m not saying that bullies should get away with being bullies. They shouldn’t.

The adults around should address the issue not only in general but when they witness bullying. They should be punished just as if they were late to class or caught smoking in the bathroom. If it is off school grounds, there are still opportunities to educate the bullies. Teach them about karma or even the golden rule. Teach them to be kind.

My brother would tell you to teach them to fight. Throw punches. Show them you’re tough. I get it. Heck, if my kid were being bullied; I’d want to punch the bully square in the face too but I don’t want to raise my kids knowing that violence is okay.

I want them to be physically strong but not to use it as a means to end bullying. I’m sure this is all easier said then done. If I had punched any of my bullies. I really don’t think it would have changed anything. I’d probably have been perceived as the mean kid. Not the bullied kid who took a stand.

Teach your children to stand up for themselves through proving the bully wrong. Teach them to do what they love no matter what anyone says. Teach them to kill with kindness and excel. Fight back with words instead of fists. And don’t fight back with hatred in your voice but with confidence.

If you guide them down the path of being strong and standing up for themselves, they will be fully capable to handle the real world because elementary is just the prologue to life.

So stop sheltering. Stop promoting a passive attitude. Stop treating your children like babies. They are going to be exposed to the world sooner or later, wouldn’t you want them to have as much experience with it as possible?

How Long Is Too Long?

I’ve noticed more and more women of the last few generations including mine are deciding to be stay-at-home moms. Heck, if I had the opportunity, I would probably opt to be a stay-at-home mom myself. In saying that, I mean it in the sense that if I had children and if my significant other made enough for my family to be content and well off without extra income I’d do it too.

Up until recently, I thought that’s what a stay-at-home mom was. She stay at home with the children. But how can you claim to be a stay-at-home mom when all your kids are in school? Literal terminology I guess. Or laziness. Or talentless.

Don’t shit your pants. I know you’re not lazy or talentless. You clean the house, you cook the food, you plan the vacations and activities, you help with homework, buy groceries, you do it all. You’re Wonder Woman but so is every other mom.

What’s the point of staying at home when your kids are absent from the home during the hours of 7:30 – 4:00? So you can what? See them off to school and pick them up after? What do you do in between? Watch soap operas and do a load of clothes? Bullshit.

MjAxMy01MmU5NDI2ZmYzNTU1MGRjI’m not hating on the stereotype because like I said, if I were in the position to stay at home with my babies, I would jump all over that shit but that’s not ever going to happen for one. And two, I wouldn’t abuse it like drunks abuse welfare. I’ve simply seen a rise in stay-at-home moms beyond the age of 5 or 6 and in the most simple sense, don’t get it.

The daycare costs alone are what I’m assuming is the most alluring point of interest into making that kind of decision. Great way of thinking, I agree. Getting to spend time with your children, teaching them the way you want them to be taught, ensuring that they are in good care, breathing while they nap, ect. All great points.

The biggest downfall I think we run into with the stay-at-home mom force is interaction with other children. I worked in a daycare for about a year and a half and interaction in the infant to toddler age range is crucial for social development. As long as you make it a necessity to have play dates with other children and/or enroll them in similar programs (mommy & me, gymnastics, water park, ect) your choice in staying at home will prove to be triumphant.

But we’re getting off track as to where this was going. Beyond the wonder years, beyond the first. We know all the positives and negatives about staying at home, raising them yourself. I’ve done research on some of it and I’ve concluded that if it’s for you and you can afford it, go for it. More power to you.

But there should be a line. And that line is kindergarten. Once your child(ren) gets enrolled into some kind of educational system that is set to a consistent 6.5 to 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. It’s time for you to move on and do something with your life.

807a68b1596840bbbcfa7f8e0f08e0b960Why in the hell would you want to stay at home every day to do nothing? The ONLY downfall of going back to work would be not being home right when they get off the bus. But in the age that we are in, there are after school programs, and an hour in daycare (if needed) isn’t going to kill them or your pocketbook.

You can join the rest of us and do you laundry while you’re waiting for supper in the oven. Or better yet, teach your children how to do the dishes and sweep the floors. Give them work to do or they’ll be helpless by age 18. The earlier you instill little chores, the less likely they will resist. Make it fun, don’t bribe them to do it. Teach the importance of it.

Staying at home during the primary grades and beyond is just an excuse. It’s an excuse to close your mind to the world. It’s an excuse to avoid social situations and most of all it’s showing your little girls (if you are blessed to have one) that they don’t have a role model to look up to because you’re just a housewife.

I’m not just being some crazy jealous “I want to be a stay-at-home mom” women here. If I were in your position and my children were off at school. I’d focus on what I love to do. I’d pursue photography. Work my way into circles of graduating seniors or other families I know to build a clientele. With the arrival of Pintrest into our world wide web of ideas, I’d love to live my life antiquing and making projects out of my finds to sell on etsy and eBay. I’d work or volunteer a few hours here and there at a local craft shop, art gallery, or humane society in town.

I’d be a “work-at-home-do-anything-and-everything” mom. What about you?

We Are Pioneers.

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Did I mention that Channing and I went to a concert on Sunday? The Band Perry? Must have slipped my mind. I’m not busy or anything. Did you sense the sarcasm? Probably not since we’re all sucked into our computers. Normal human emotion will be nonexistent in 30 years. Maybe less, but who’s counting down the days?

It almost makes me worry about starting a family with the speed of the growing digital age. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t wait to be a mother. I’m slowly accepting the fact that maybe I need to live a little more and dive into a greater chunk of life experiences before finally settling down and popping out some sweet babies but don’t you ever think about it?

When I was 12, I had a crush or two. We’d giggle and gawk over the boys in the halls. We’d act as immature as ever and still make snow forts during recess. Hell, we still had recess. Now, the couple 12 year olds that I’ve come across are glued to their phones just like us 20-somethings. Do they even have recess anymore? Do they know what Double-Dutch is?

I had my first boyfriend when I was in 8th grade and go figure that only lasted a month. It wasn’t even a comfortable relationship. Even at that age, I knew it didn’t feel right and I wasn’t “old” enough. Let the kids grow up and stop throwing around the word love so much. Where did this nonchalant dating thing come from? I bet it was Snapchat.

But how can we slow down kids acting older than they are? If we’re truly being honest with ourselves; a kid without a phone these days would be an outcast. It wouldn’t be the equivalent of me getting the four stripped sneakers from Pamida instead of the Adidas that were in style. It would be catastrophic. “No phone? But I’m 12, you can’t do that!” I can just hear it now. Poor parents.

It doesn’t even begin there. We went to Olive Garden for dinner tonight and a little girl – she couldn’t have been anymore than a year and a half – was sitting in her high chair holding, who I’m assuming is her father, his smartphone watching some cartoon. Really, guy? Really? Before you jump off the deep end, trust me, I’ll probably be that same guy I’m complaining about when we finally get ready to have babies but it’s just crazy to think that kids are so much “older” at the same age that we think they should be.

The biggest benefit in this is hoping on the future that the introduction to all these gadgets and advancement at an early age will increase brain activity and produce a more intelligent generation but what else will it bring? Social disfunction? Of course it will. Being a 20-something now, I’ve already been exposed to the digital age at the slow pace from about age 11 to present time but that was one thing after another, we had time to balance real life with the outside world floating in thin air. Now it’s right there, it’s the first thing parents jump to to keep the kids quiet. It’s the first thing dad shoves in your face when you’re being noisy at supper. It’s the first bribe your given when you won’t clean your room.

Is there really a right way to do it anymore? Who knows. I could only hope that we as a generation don’t forget to teach our open hearted children to be kids. Teach them to live and to explore. Teach them to communicate not just to talk. Teach them to grow.  Good luck, we’ll need it.