Category Archives: opinions

Cha-cha-cha-cha-changes??

I’m feeling restless with this space and I’m considering moving. I’ve already set up a new blog, on *gasp* Blogger, but I’m not sure yet. There are things about Blogger that I really love. For one, I love that you can change the font on like everything without having to buy a Custom CSS package. My domain is also coming up for renewal, it’s only $15 for the year but I’m just not sure if I’m in love with this blog like I was last year.

So, the floor is yours.

The Bottle Chronicles

or…

Notes of Life & Love

Either way, it’s going to be me blogging about the same stuff I always blog about. 😉

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Blog Dare {1.25.11}

Today’s Blog Dare prompt: Reality Television.

I have a love/hate relationship with reality television – I love to hate it! Reality television is a guilty pleasure of mine, and my husband’s too! We both love to tune in to Jersey Shore and the 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom shows. Those are really the only ones we watch, but we do watch them rather religiously.

I used to hate watching reality TV, mainly because it’s so scripted and so not reality. But who doesn’t love to veg out and watch mindless, drama filled crap? The people on Jersey Shore crack me up with their dramas and their partying it up lifestyle. I used to hate Jersey Shore, but my husband got me into it. Yup, you heard me right…my husband. The whole point of this show {and reality TV for that matter} is that there is no point. You just can’t help but watch and laugh at them. As for the 16 and Pregnant shows and their spin offs, Teen Mom…I don’t really have an explanation. Those shows irritate me to know end: especially Teen Mom 2 right now. They are completely unrealistic and they don’t really focus on anything important. They don’t show the girls’ actually struggling with money. MTV would rather just focus on the foolish mistakes and the petty dramas. And dating. Which is all fine and dandy because it’s not an actual documentary, so obviously it doesn’t have to be 100% real. And most of it {custody battles, relationship problems, high school etc} are real, but obviously everything is exaggerated. I also like to watch how the girls’ grow as mothers, I like seeing how much they’ve changed {and if they’ve changed} from their 16 and Pregnant episodes.

In the case of Teen Mom {the first one}, I grew fond of the girls’ and their lives. I loved watching Maci and Bentley – Bentley is so adorable! And Farrah…oh Farrah. She may not have been the brightest one of them all, but she did grow a lot. I can’t say anything for Amber because I dislike her as much as you can dislike someone you’ve never met before, and watching Catelynn and Tyler’s relationship and lives develop after giving their baby up for adoption was interesting.

Jersey Shore night is always a riot. My sister’s and I Facebook each other saying “CABS HERE!” and “IT’S T-SHIRT TIME!”, and we laugh about the episode the entire time it’s on {anyone down for pulling a Snooki and getting crunk in broad daylight on the beach?! WEE!} It’s just fun!

At the same time…as much as I love watching those shows…reality TV does make me want to bang my head against the wall. Sometimes, it’s just so dramatic and overwhelming that I just can’t take it. On those days, I just don’t tune in!

So, do you love or hate reality TV? Tell me why!

Also, if you’re a Teen Mom 2 fan, read my thoughts on the season premiere!

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If I had an anonymous blog…

I’m now a member of Bloggy Moms, and I’ve got to tell ya it’s a really fun community! I’m especially interested in their Blog Dare, so I’ve decided to start doing it! 🙂

Today’s topic: If I had an anonymous blog

Truthfully? I have an anonymous blog. I don’t use it very often, because I much prefer this blog and the community I am apart of, but the anonymous blog is where I go to write about the heavy topics on my heart that I just feel are too big for this space. I know, some of you are wondering how in the hell I even have enough words and subjects to write about {since I post 2-3 times daily here}. There is a cloak of invisibility that comes with an anonymous blog that feels good, especially when you feel like you honestly can’t write about certain subjects {and don’t worry; these subjects have absolutely nothing to do with my marriage or even my parenting for that matter}. It’s like having all the curtains drawn, and sitting in the darkness with only your own thoughts and voice.

Obviously, that’s the downer part to having an anonymous {in my case, secret} blog. I don’t get the feedback I get from here, and I suppose I could if I sent everyone over to the anonymous/secret blog but that’s not what I created that space for. I created it so that I would have a retreat, if needed.

And trust me, I don’t write there often, so you really aren’t missing out on anything. In fact, I’ve cleaned up some posts and posted them here {password protected, of course}.

To be a big anonymous blogger would be different than being a secret anonymous blogger, I think. I think that being a big anonymous blogger – like Gossip Girl or something – would be kind of fun, especially if everyone around you knew and read your big anonymous blog and thought the creator {aka you} was way cooler than Dooce {wait, she’s still cool and big right? I haven’t missed anything, have I? God I need to pay more attention to the “big bloggers” out there 😉 hehe. And Heather, if you’re reading this…I really do think you’re awesome, and I’m totally jealous}.

So, in conclusion, I have an anonymous {secret} blog and sometimes it feels really good to type out some frustration without the fear that someone is going to find it and be mad at me. You can definitely “let loose” and “be free”. But, I love this blog, I love this space, and I love not being anonymous {for the most part}. I can honestly say that I write truthfully about every other aspect of my life, and the only reason why I don’t write openly about that subject is because I’m just not ready. I have written some posts about it, lacking details and explanations and focusing strictly on my feelings and emotions at the time, but that’s all I’m ready to share right now.

There you have it, my first blog post for the Bloggy Moms blog dare 😉

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Young Motherhood vs. Not So Young Motherhood?

Someone once told me I would have more patience and be less emotional if I had waited to have children. This person {who will remain nameless} told me that I would be a better parent if I had waited until my 30s to have kids.

I think that’s a load of crap. I don’t think I’m going to be any more patient 9 years from now than I am today. I don’t think I’m going to be any less emotional, either. I have ALWAYS been emotional. I have ALWAYS worn my heart on my sleeve and never feared showing any emotion that I had. I have ALWAYS been sensitive and quick to go off – but I’ve also always been quick to calm down {after I’ve stomped my feet and pouted a lot}.

I don’t understand why people say that: you’d be a better parent if you had waited until your 30s. Women in their 30s make great moms. Do you agree with that? Mothers in your 30s, do YOU agree with that? I’m curious. I really do want to know if being 30 instantly makes you “SuperMom” just like that person said. I’m not saying that women in their 30s aren’t great moms, but why is 30 so different from 20?

Personally, I think at any age, we will make mistakes; both as parents and as people. I don’t think hitting the golden age of 30 will suddenly cure any bad decisions or fleeting moments of no patience. I honestly couldn’t tell you when the “right age” to become a parent is because I don’t think it matters.

I think that if you love your children, you’re doing a great job. If you feed them, clothe them, educate them and help them grow – you’re doing a good job. If you make them feel cherished and loved and safe, you’re doing a great job – regardless of age.

Young motherhood – young parenthood for that matter – gets such a shit review from the very small percentage of moms & dads who shrug off their responsibilities {much like that of Jenelle from Teen Mom 2} in order to “enjoy being a teen”. But what we don’t often hear about are the “older” mothers who do the exact same thing. That’s kind of a taboo subject though, in a way. The media is quick to portray young mothers as irresponsible, yet the mother who is in her 30s and displays the same behavior as those few young moms like Jenelle never gets any notice.

Why can’t it just be said that some women are irresponsible? Some women don’t make good parents? Not everyone makes a good mom. Not everyone is up to the 24/7 job of parenting. Not all those mothers are young moms though.

It sort of gets my hackles up when someone makes a comment about young mothers and then remembers that I am a young mother and says “well I didn’t mean ALL young mothers”, as if that makes it any less hurtful on this young mother. Its a generalization, a stereotype. Its like saying something completely racist and then following it up with “but not ALL of them”. It’s really just not cool on so many levels.

I’m really tired of being told that if I had waited until I was 30, I wouldn’t be this emotional or whatever other not so great personality trait. This is my personality, its here to stay – regardless of whether or not I’m 21 or 30. I’m also tired of hearing that my marriage is going to fail because “we’re young”.

Age doesn’t have all the answers.

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50s Housewife Beliefs

I never thought in a million years that I would be a domestic goddess. When I was a kid, I hated doing chores. I hid from my chores and made up excuses to get out of doing stuff that I didn’t want to do. They called me “Messy Jessie” for a reason.

But, since becoming a mom and living with Matt…since marrying Matt…I’ve changed.

I actually enjoy cleaning, and cooking. I actually enjoy doing laundry. Sure, there are days when I hide from my chores, but for the most part I clean every single day. Our house is always clean. It may not always be organized but it’s always clean.

My granny once said:

After working all day, a man likes to come home to a home-cooked meal, or at least smell it cooking in the oven, and a clean house. He likes to fall asleep in clean sheets and have clean clothes for the next day.

And it’s true. If anyone knows about a successful marriage, it’s my granny. She’s been married for nearly 60 years {I think, I know she’s been married for well over 50, & I’m pretty sure we threw her a 50th wedding anniversary party 10 years ago so yeah}.

I do these things…cooking, cleaning, laundry…to show Matt my appreciation for all that he does. He’s in school full-time right now, taking a welder/pipe fitter program, and working part-time fusion-welding. He’s working so hard to ensure stability in our future, he’s working so hard to bring us up in the world. The least I can do is cook a couple home-cooked meals a week for him, make his lunch and keep our home clean. He doesn’t believe that I need to do all of it by myself, and he does help out a lot and he gives me breaks. But I like having it all done for him when he gets home.

I enjoy doing all those things too. I enjoy having a yummy, home-cooked meal with my family every night. I enjoy relaxing in a clean house. I enjoy having clean clothes for everyone. I enjoy when things are put away and tidy. When my environment is chaotic, I am chaotic.

Someone once told me that I was doing too much for him, that he should do more around the house. I looked at her, this person, as if she had eight heads. This was during the summer, when Matt was working full-time as a laborer. He was exhausted when he got home and barely had the energy to play with Nolan, but he did anyway. The last thing I was going to do was force him to do a bunch of chores around the house, a bunch of chores that I was fully capable of doing by myself.

This same person is divorced now, so that just proves…what, exactly?

Perhaps that when you’re both working full-time, it makes more sense to divide up the chores and all that. But I’m a stay-at-home-mom, I’m here all the time.

Honestly, I’m all for equal rights…but when you’re a stay at home parent, why the hell not be “housewifey” like that? Why not keep the house clean and keep the evenings for just the two of you, after the kiddos are in bed?

That’s what I do. I keep the evenings free of all the “chores”, because I’d much rather snuggle with him on the couch and just relax. I do everything during the day, so we have those evenings together.

Sure, I have lazy days…who doesn’t? I’m not perfect. There are some days when Nolan makes it a little difficult to get everything done I need to in the day, as I’m focused on playing with him and making sure he’s learning and growing. But for the most part, I stay on top of everything. I use naptime to heavy duty clean. Cleaning relaxes me. Having a clean home makes me happy. Me being happy makes Matt happy.

I think that most marriages don’t last because a lot of people are in it for self-benefit. Like, they do nice things for each other so that the other person does nice things back, you know? I love doing nice things for Matt because I love to make him happy, making him happy makes me happy. I think that most marriages {and relationships} don’t last for these reasons. There just seems to be so much negativity in the world, and we’re forgetting about the little things. I see so many people who forget to appreciate each other.

So yeah, I sort of buy into the 50 housewife beliefs {some of them, anyway}, what of it?

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In Which I Have An Opinion: Teen Mom 2

***caution: spoilers ahead***

Holy smokes.

Honestly? I don’t even know where to begin with that whole charade. Last night’s episode was more drama filled than the season premiere of Jersey Shore, only that’s not a good thing, not in my opinion, not when these girls are mothers and they have babies that need stable environments.

Let’s start out with…Jenelle, shall we? The one that pissed me off the most. I’m sorry, but I have to side with your mom. Yes, it is important for a mom at any age to have a night out every once in a while to recharge and have some fun. But fun? Is not riding a mechanical bull and clubbing 4 nights a week. So what if you put your son to bed and feed him dinner, you’re still dumping responsibilities off on your mom so you can “go be a teenager” and that just isn’t cool. Plus, she has absolutely no respect for her mom, despite all the help her mom gives her. Yeah, I’m annoyed by her mom too – her voice is grating and she nags a lot. But in Jenelle’s mom’s defense, she needs to nag. She has to remind this girl constantly that she’s a mother and needs to start acting like it. If Jenelle acted like a mom, I bet the nagging would stop.

She also does a HUGE no-no: leaving her 1 year old in a bath tub while she runs to get something. UM, what?! I’m sorry, I’m not being self righteous here but I would never leave Nolan in the tub to “go get a towel”. You have the stuff you need there with you before you put the child in a tub, and if you’ve forgotten something you either take him with you OR call for help {if anyone is home}. That is such a no-brainer, children drown in tubs all the time because they slip and fall.

Then her mom serves her with custody papers. Jenelle’s reaction? Get violent, of course! Because that’s the best way to behave to ensure that you win a custody battle, am I right?! I suppose she doesn’t care though, because she’s making big bucks with this show.

Ugh.

Moving on.

Chelsea. Oh Chelsea. I see a lot of potential with Chelsea, but I find her situation unrealistic. She moves out, and her father continues to pay rent. She does have to continue doing well in school, but he pays the rent. In reality, in most cases, the young mom would have to find a living situation and pay for it with a part-time job while continuing to go to school because most parents of young mom’s wouldn’t pay or wouldn’t be able to afford paying for rent. She also seems too focused on finding Prince Charming. Aside from that, there’s nothing more I can say about her.

Kailyn. Kailyn irritated me almost as much as Jenelle did, and so did her boyfriend “Jo” {which is totally the chick’s way of spelling Jo by the way, real men spell it with an e at the end LOL!}. First of all…Jo seemed to desperately be searching for a way out. Complaining about mileage put on his car? Really? Insignificant things like that are what breaks couples. Not to mention, he totally can’t complain about her visiting her friend Kim because he was basically gone every night when she was pregnant. Then he breaks up with her and expects her to find her own way, and gets pissed off when she moves into the basement. He’s never seemed to understand her situation ~ that her mother is an award winning dipwad and she has nowhere else to go. Jo’s parents’ both seem to be the ones that understand and support Kailyn. I sort of expected their relationship to dissipate from the very first time I watched their 16 and Pregnant episode. And Kailyn herself irritates me because she’s so dependent on everyone else. Girl’s gotta realize that not everyone can take care of her and the baby forever. If I were in that situation, I would have somehow found my own place, even if it meant going through welfare or affordable housing. Because really, that situation can not be good on her mental health. Jo doesn’t want her there and makes it very clear.

At least after the first season of Teen Mom 2, Kailyn will be able to afford her own place with the baby.

On to Leah. I honestly didn’t really like her at all on 16 and Pregnant, she made a lot of stupid decisions regarding her relationship with Corey. But, she’s trying to make amends, and from what I can tell she’s a pretty great mom. She’s got double the responsibilities and she handles them pretty damn well. I’m hoping that Leah and Corey can make their relationship work, because they have it if they want to work on it.

The previews for next week’s episode {the season itself?} totally had me grinding my teeth. So much stinking drama. I’m honestly not going to enjoy watching it. I’ll watch it because I have to now, I have to see how all their stories pan out, but honestly I just wish they had thrown in Ebony or Lizzie. I liked those girls. They were doing great, and so were their partners.

I’m just…blown away. I really wish Jenelle hadn’t gotten a spot on the show. She alone gives teen moms such a horrible name.

I feel like MTV picked these girls {note; Jenelle} basically for their stupidity and drama. I know that drama sells, but it makes me sick to my stomach watching it. I know that the simple solution is don’t watch it, but I feel like I have to or something.

I also think that Whitney should have made it onto one of the Teen Mom shows. For one; she’s not just dealing with being a teen mom, she’s dealing with having a child with a disability. Baby Weston’s condition, Alpha 1-antitrypsin is pretty unpredictable too. It would have been interesting for them to show what Whitney goes through, the worries on top of regular mom worries, the expenses, etc etc.

MTV needs to focus less on drama and more on reality.

They also need to stop paying the dumb ones {Jenelle, Amber} so much money and get them actual help. In the first Teen Mom, you don’t actually see Amber getting help. You don’t actually see the reality of her losing custody and going through the process of trying to get her daughter back. THAT is a reality that some teen mom’s need to see, the ones who go out partying like Jenelle all the time. Babies aren’t toys, they’re people. You can’t just be a mom when you want to be. Maybe Teen Mom 2 will be a little more real when showing the reality of Jenelle’s actions. I sure hope so.

Did you watch last night’s Teen Mom 2? What are your thoughts?

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On Independent Play

Happy Saturday morning folks! I love Saturday mornings, even though this one is a little bit different from our regular Saturday mornings. I like to try to take Nolan to the Early Years Center during the morning, but the exhaust on our car needs to be fixed so Matt doesn’t want me to drive {with Nolan} until he can fix it. Apparently, it’s so loud it’s illegal! Also, we usually have pancakes on Saturday morning, made by Matt, but this morning I decided to sneak out of our bedroom and leave him sleeping. Nolan had a rough night last night, and Matt was up dealing with it because I was out cold and he didn’t wake me. Nor did the monitor, because Matt had turned it way down so I didn’t hear a thing.

So my gift to him this morning was to let him sleep in. Nice huh? And since I can’t make pancakes worth crap, Nolan and I had cream cheese toast. I was going to make eggs, but the attention my kitchen needed sort of killed that drive. I guess last night I got into one of my rare “lazy modes”. Usually, I clean the kitchen every night directly after dinner. I hate waking up to a messy kitchen, it usually throws my whole day off. Usually. Not today though, I sort of expected it and had only myself to blame {since Matt had cooked dinner}. So I cleaned up while Nolan ate.

Then I plunked Nolan down in the livingroom so I could recharge and wake up in the kitchen, and here I sit having my morning tea and stealing a moment or two to blog. I don’t feel guilty for letting him entertain himself for a little bit during the mornings, because I believe a child absolutely has to know how to entertain themselves. He’s really good about it too. Of course, I always get nervous when I hear him giggling like a mad-man since usually that means he is spinning around, whilst standing on the couch. But today, he was just attacking his Cat in the Hat toy.

And it was hilarious to watch, especially the beginning where he tackled the Cat in the Hat. All the while, Nolan had no idea I was watching him.

I really do believe that independent play is important. I do believe that interacting with your child is also equally as important, but together they go hand in hand. You can’t always be there to entertain your child. I know I have a growing list of chores to do this morning – laundry, cleaning, etc – and it’s very difficult to finish my housework when Nolan is carrying on for attention.

From day one, we’ve made sure that Nolan has his own independent play time. It’s not scheduled, and he doesn’t have to do any one activity or another. I’m a firm believer in unstructured playtime. I can’t imagine structuring every single aspect of Nolan’s day. Yes, I believe that routines are good {in fact, we have one!}, but I also believe that playing however you want to play is more fun. I watch him while he plays by himself, and I gotta tell you, he’s shaping into a fantastic, independent child. And he’s smart too, although there was no question about that…after all, he does have me for a mother 😉 But in all reality, it’s great for us both. I can get a little bit of “me time” during the day while he plays. I can get stuff that I want to get done, like housework. It’s awesome! I think we are so successful with independent playtime because we have a hell of a lot of interactive playtime too. So Nolan knows that when he’s playing by himself, Mommy is cleaning or taking a moment or two, and he’s incredibly good about it. When he gets bored with entertaining himself, I take a break and we go play with Mega Blocks together.

This morning, I watched Nolan open the books we had left out on the table after last night’s story-time. He opened one of them and started looking at the pictures, pointing to things and saying what they were. Most of the time, he was using his “baby language” – but he did point out “car”, “ball”, “dog” and “cat”.

It honestly filled me with such pride to watch him “reading” on his own. Nolan loves to “read” to us, he’ll bring books over and flip through the pages while chattering away. He copies my reading style, making different voices and then he’ll point out things in the book.

Nolan has always loved books, and I make it a point to read to him every single time he brings a book over to me. He does it a lot, and his favourite book right now is When Stella Was Very, Very Small by Marie-Louise Gay. He loves Stella, and always points her out. He can almost say her name, too. I definitely need to pick up more books out of the series, because I love them too! Unfortunately, I’ve had absolutely no luck trying to find other books in the series in our local bookstores. Sigh.

So, yes, where I was? We make it a point to read to Nolan every single time he wants to read. Nolan would rather read than watch TV, or play with Mega Blocks. I want to encourage healthy reading habits early on, so that’s why I’m constantly

Honestly? I love how much Nolan loves to read. I love our story-time cuddles. I love how he points out things in the book and tells me, correctly, what they are.

And I love that he can entertain himself if I’m busy.

Post Summary: my kid is quite amazing, and independent play is essential for a mama’s sanity.

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