Florida and my Ficus

A person is a person no matter how BIG

I'm pretty sure that I could smell salt and suntan lotion in the air today, and I'm equally sure that I saw cellulite dimples on my calves. But not to worry.  Tomorrow like so many tomorrows before it,  my diet will begin.  I refuse to be held captive by my sarong this summer. So what is my game plan? 1.) cut back on sugar and carbs 2.) drink more water 3.) eat more fruits and veggies 4.) move more.

The difference between the diet that I will begin tomorrow and diets that I have tried in the past is that I am not doing it alone.  And there is money involved.  April 1st will be the last weigh in and on that day the winner will be presented with a wad of cash.  Obiviously my internal motivation is lacking, so maybe a little external motivation is just what I need.  I may decide to use this blog to journal some of my dieting struggles over the next few months, but I'm not sure yet.  We shall see...

Fate vs Freewill

My favorite line of this entire song- If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

 I choose to believe in both fate and freewill. I also choose to turn up the volume when listening to Rush.  


Update:  The recycling bins made it to the curb two Wednesdays ago.  Both bins are currently filled to capacity with plastic, aluminum, and paper.  This Wednesday is our recycling day, and we intend on both bins being placed at the curb for a second emptying. 

It is official- the longest book my eight year old has ever read, is also the longest book that I have ever read.

You should have seen the happy dance Hayden did when he finished  reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix- priceless!
My week was suckalicious, but yesterday made up for it.  The kids enjoyed a trip to the Dollar Tree and later played outside on their scooters, skateboards, and bikes.   I did nearly kill myself riding Hayden's skateboard with my mud boots on.  Luckily, my backside has lots of padding, so I am okay.  Matt made chicken mole for dinner and we all cleaned our plates.  We even continued with the recycling theme and took some used oil to the dump to be recycled.  All and all, a fun-filled day!

We have been trying to get Florida and Baby acquainted.  Both are a little skittish around each other, but in time I do believe they will become the best of friends.
I don't even know what to say about this.

Keeping It Clean

I'm feeling slightly resentful that Matt fell asleep tonight at 7:00 and left tucking in duties to me.  I won't be too hard on him though because I'm pretty sure that this week chewed him up and spit him out.  Luckily he landed on our bed, work clothes and all.  I guess I'll leave him that way.  He looks pretty darn comfortable.  My week on the other hand, chewed me up and swallowed.  I think I tasted too delicious.  Meanwhile, I am still stuck here in the digestive track of this week- waiting, waiting, waiting.  What a stupid, constipated week!  When I first started writing this blog a few years ago, I made a promise to myself that I would not talk about work, politics, or religion.  I've also tried hard to "keep it clean," and I do hope that you have appreciated the effort I have put into guarding this blog from my own indecency.  But let me tell you friends, it is difficult to say the least.  Sometimes I just want to let my complaints and opinions flow through my fingertips and let my written words tell the story of who I am and what I feel.  But then you wouldn't like me, and I would be sad.  I've always been wary of paper thin walls and in the blogging world there are none.  No matter how quietly I type, my words will be read loud and clear- typos and all.

A Mother's Essay

How Do You Plead?
by Katy Bergen

At the age of five, I adopted my first child, Andre Dick.  He was a Cabbage Patch Kid, and I loved every sweet smelling inch of him.  Andre was an easy-going child.  If I left him outside on the lawn chair for two days, he didn’t shed a tear.  If I forgot to feed Andre breakfast, no problem, he wasn’t hungry anyhow.  Parenting was so easy when I created the reality.  When I was playing mommy, I felt only one emotion, joy.  Then I became a mommy, and I was surprised to find that the joy of parenting was often overshadowed by the guilt of parenting.
At 31 weeks pregnant, I began experiencing signs of premature labor.  That is also when I began experiencing the first signs of guilt (chest pain and looping thoughts).  Was I to blame?  Had my excessive intake of caffeine and Snickers bars brought on the early contractions and eventually a placental abruption?   Probably not, but you couldn’t have told me that.  A few weeks after baby number one’s arrival, I developed thrush and decided to stop nursing.  The guilt I felt was almost unbearable.  I knew I would be tired and hormonal during those first few months, but I could not recall anyone telling me that I would feel guilty about pretty much everything.  I began to question all my motherly instincts, and I longed for the guilt free days when I was a mom to Andre Dick. 
Not long after the birth of my first child, I had a second, and then a third.  This upped the guilt ante tenfold.  In the beginning, most of my parental decisions were made out of fear of doing something that would harm my children's psyche.  Believe it or not, life has a funny way of taking over, and soon my fear was replaced with coping.  Needless to say,  I’ve become quite good at managing my guilt during daylight hours, but at night as I lay in the silence of my own thoughts, the guilt hits me like a 2 x 4 to the gut.  My chest tightens and my breath becomes shallow.  Replays of the day’s events unfold in my mind.  They are haunting, and they are real.  Watching the slow motion snippets of missed opportunities to teach, learn, praise, and love my children tug at my heartstrings.  Suddenly, the urge to press my lips against their cold, buttery cheeks becomes so overwhelming that I leap from my bed and race to their sides.  I inhale their sweetness, whisper “I love you,” and make a vow to live the next day with an enhanced sense of the present.  Because only then will I truly value the joy they bring to my life. 
A new day dawns, and my vow holds true for all of thirty minutes.  
 “We don’t want cereal,” stomp my three children, “We want pancakes!” 
“I’m sorry, but we can’t make pancakes this morning.  Would you like a bagel instead?”  I ask.
“Boom.  Stomp.  Slam. Pout.  Stomp.  Flop.  Moan.  Shout.”
“I’ll take that as a no,” I mumble.
It’s tough to live in the present when everyone around you is having a mental breakdown because there is not enough milk to make pancakes.  I search for the joy.  I reach for the joy.  I beg for the joy, but the joy is not there.  So I throw my hands up to God, and briefly contemplate sending them all to school on an empty belly, but instead I toast the children waffles because of their similarity to pancakes and because I know that the smell of syrup will snap my children out of their funk.  I know, I know.  I’ve just reinforced bad behavior.  Nowhere in any parenting book does it say: If your children are acting like buttheads, give them what they want or something that closely resembles it.  As I plate their waffles, I begin to realize that my immediate need to extinguish the whining has robbed my children of an important life lesson. When pancakes are not a breakfast option, falling on the floor and wailing like a banshee is not acceptable behavior.  And I feel guilty about that. 
Guilt is a heavy load to bear, and it doesn’t seem to be getting any lighter.  Each day my intentions are good: listen to my children as they speak to me, watch them as they dance (even if it is directly in front of the television), model patience and kindness, and PLAY.  But everyday real life gets in the way, and I find myself struggling to keep my head above water. You’re a working mom, I remind myself.  Being a mom is hard work.  You’re doing the best you can.  Sometimes the self-talk helps, but sometimes the self-talk turns grim, and I think, I wonder if I’ll ever have the patience, discipline, and enthusiasm that my mom had. My children deserve so much better.  Will parenting ever get easier?  I’m just so tired.  I know what you are thinking: Would you like some cheese with that whine?  No thanks.  I’m lactose intolerant,  and anyhow, I don’t need cheese because  I take comfort in knowing that I’m not the only mom who’s had those same dark thoughts.  I’m sure if Claire Huckstable and Carol Brady were real moms and not just television moms, they, too, would have those thoughts.
I never imagined that I’d be a guilt ridden mother, but I also never imagined that it was possible to love something as much as I love my children, not even Andre Dick.   Motherhood is full of the unexpected, and for me it was that gnawing emotion called guilt.  It festers and boils and shows its ugly little head late at night when the world is quiet.  The only remedy is to let the guilt serve a purpose, and for me it is the motivation I need to change the things that weigh heavily on my heart because that is where the joy lives. 

All Dolled Up

Little Miss Florida
The kiddos got some new kicks this weekend.  Lucas loves that he and Hayden have matching shoes.  Hayden, not so much.  This photo was a little forced.  Can you tell?  Next weekend, haircuts. 


This is Flora, aka Florida.  We got her from the Humane Society over the holidays.  She is 3 months old.  The kids love her, and she is extremely tolerant.  Poor Florida gets tossed around like a rag doll, but most of the time she doesn't seem to mind.  Did you notice her extra front paws?
This is Matt, aka Babe.  Famous Matty quotes- "If you don't use flushable moist wipes, you're not my friend."  "Couponing is such a rush."

This is my recycling bin, aka PROOF.  Now it just needs to be placed at the curb on Wednesday.  Only then will we be able to claim that WE are RECYCLERS.  I've written about my family's failure to recycle before.  This will be like the billionth time we've attempted recycling. One thing is for sure- Bergens are not quitters. 

No She Didn't

My brain is swimming with a million thoughts and images.  I can't seem to focus on any one topic for discussion, but because my posts have been lacking oomph lately, I feel compelled to at least try.  This post may just become one big dumping ground for all my woohoos, boohoos, and anyhoos, so I apologize in advance.  Let me start by saying that Christmas was amazing.  Everybody's mood was cheerful and relaxed.  Even the kids held it together for a full 24 hours and the time we spent with family and friends was not rushed or superficial.  The day after Christmas we took off to North Georgia for a family vacation.  Fifteen Perrys/Sheffields/Bergens buried in the snow.  It was glorious.  The kids made snowballs, built snowmen, made snow angels, rode four-wheelers, and tubed down snow covered hills.  Matt repeated the phrase "fresh powder" a good 500 times while we were there, and my mom couldn't stop taking pictures of the snow covered trees.  The snow made us all giddy and spirited.  I Loved It!
In other news, I decided to give myself a Christmas present this year.  A "big" one.  Actually, a "big" two.  Thanks to Dr. John Tyrone I am now a proud owner of a significantly larger chest area.  I had the surgery five days before Christmas, so the majority of my vacation was spent in pain.  The first few days weren't too bad.  In fact, I even bragged a little about how minimal the pain was.  Then I ran out of painkillers.  HELLO Mama Pain! I was not prepared for the radiating/throbbing pain that worked itself across each breast every 2-5 minutes.  After two full weeks of chest labor, I gave birth to two perfect baby girls.  Twins!  Although they feel completely fake, which like the pain, I was not prepared for, I am completely thrilled that I went through with the surgery.  I'm suddenly feeling a bit more Sandra Lee, and a lot less Rachel Ray.  I think that was enough oomph for one post.

Happy New Year

Should old acquaintance be forgot,

and never brought to mind ?

Should old acquaintance be forgot,

and old lang syne ?


For auld lang syne, my dear,

for auld lang syne,

we'll take a cup of kindness yet,

for auld lang syne.

And surely you’ll buy your pint cup !

and surely I’ll buy mine !

And we'll take a cup o’ kindness yet,

for auld lang syne.


We two have run about the slopes,

and picked the daisies fine ;

But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,

since auld lang syne.


We two have paddled in the stream,

from morning sun till dine† ;

But seas between us broad have roared

since auld lang syne.


And there’s a hand my trusty friend !

And give us a hand o’ thine !

And we’ll take a right good-will draught,

for auld lang syne.