Just call me Jiji

…me, just pretending to be me ….now, where did I put that cape??

Archive for the tag “photos”

Gettin’ my Creative Juices Flowin’

I have often heard;

“you are so talented, you should start a business”.

That would be WONDERFUL, I’d love to do that.

The question is; how? I have no business sense and the coin purse is empty. And you know the old adage; it takes money to make money.

And then, there is the lack of confidence in my talents

It’s not that I do not believe that I have any talent, it’s just that I feel there are people out there that are so much more talented than myself.

It doesn’t stop me from enjoying the creative process though. And sometimes I even impress myself with the outcome 🙂

My creative talents have included:

Drawing – it’s been a while, I did a lot of drawing as a child and in my teens. I have only recently taken it up again. I even tried some creative drawing on the computer to make some matching t-shirts for our trip to Disney;

Trip Planning – YES I definitely consider trip planning a creative talent!! And I do it well, especially when traveling with a highly sensory child with ADHD/ODD. Accommodations for travel require quite a bit of creativity. Like the badge I made for him to wear that clearly outlined the rules with a visual prompt.

Badge that "MICKEY" sent to Leon

Event Planning – like my DIY wedding where I made everything from the centerpieces to the floral arch to the ring box to the 150 hand-painted Champaign glasses I made to give as wedding favors to each of my guests.

The wedding arch

Close up

One of my centerpieces and a set of hand-painted champaign glass favors

Enough people told me that I should go into business selling my Glass Painting that I decided to give it a try.  I successfully sold a few pieces but in the end I wasn’t making enough money to cover the time, effort, and money it took to not only paint each piece , but then to pack everything up and transport them to a little craft fair, where I paid $60 for a table, only to sell a couple of pieces that maybe made me $40, and then have to pack it all back up and bring it back home. It just didn’t pay.

I also have helped to plan a few showers, my sister’s wedding, and quite a few themed birthday parties for kids. I love doing it. Especially the themey stuff

I was very proud of the School Bus cake I made on Leon's 1st Day of School

Leon’s 2nd Thomas Birthday Party  – he didn’t know how much I put into this party but I had fun doing it

I made one cake for the adults and little individual ones for each child

Leon’s 5th Pirate Birthday Party – yes my spoiled little child had 3 parties and 3 cakes

I hand-painted this shark to use as a game, it was fun as a photo prop too!

Leon’s 8th Lego Birthday Party;- this was a really fun party!

Lego Mini Marshmellow heads - real easy to make

Kiera’s 1st Ladybug Birthday

Ladybug Themed tutu I made for Kiera's 1st birthday

If I knew how, I would love to make money as an event planner.

Photography  – …is another talent I have. More specifically I have an eye for. Ron, often tells people that I am a photographer, and it bugs me, because I am SO NOT a photographer. I WISH I was, but at best I am a photo enthusiast. The difference being that although I thoroughly enjoy photography, and have an eye for capturing great shots; I pretty much have no education in photography at all.

I can really relate to the guy in this Panasonic Lumix commercial:

..see it’s not me,  it’s my camera! (which btw is a Canon)

…plus some creative digital photo editing too.

Basically I am just winging it.

When Leon was born, my love for photography grew, and my need to share it grew too. I started showcasing my photos on my smugmug website for all my friends and family to see.

First time using a spoon

(btw -gardening is NOT one of my talents)

As a result I was asked by two different sets of friends to photograph their weddings. Of course I said yes, it was an honor to be asked. I never expected to be paid, but when one of the couples thanked me with $1000.oo check , it gave me the confidence to try to make some money doing what I loved.

I got a few jobs and made some money, but most of my jobs were for friends and I had a hard time charging them, so that didn’t last too long. I also  needed better equipment in order for my photography to live up to my own standards.

In general I don’t know that I am so much talented as I am creative and crafty

And recently I have been inspired to try a new craft;

I was honored when my sister -in-law asked me if I could make a few things for her wedding. She pointed me in the direction of Etsy.com where she had seen a few things she had really liked. I was already familiar with Etsy, but I had never really perused the wedding category. One of the things she had pointed out to me, started to get my creative juices flowin again. It was something that I have tried my hand at before, but I didn’t really feel that there was a big demand for it. But with the trend of weddings being a bit more green, the rustic look of woodburning seems to have become a bit more popular.

Woodburning – is now a talent I am trying to cultivate. And I am really enjoying it. And who knows maybe I can even sell a few pieces on Etsy….

This is just a practice piece - but it gives you an idea of what I am going for

Besides what else is there for this SAHM to do?…uh, besides taking care of an ADHD child, managing my Fibro, keeping track of $800/month medicines, PTA volunteering, School Newspaper editor and author, caring for my 3 year old niece, plan playdates, etc.., etc…, etc…                            …oh yeah and maintain this blog.

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To All My Favorite M.O.M.M.’s

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all my favorite M.O.M.M.’s 

You are all; 

  • Makers
  • Of
  • Miracles and
  • Memories

You are all Super Women; who have touched me, taught me, inspired me, and helped to shape who I have been, who I am, and who I will become as a girl, a daughter, a woman, a friend, a wife, a mother and as a person! 

I dedicate this page to you; 

 

 

From SuburbanPediatrics.org : 

Attention “Super-Moms” It’s O.K. to…

 

Often, as parents we are tired! Frazzled by never-ending obligations, we sometimes neglect to fully engage with our kids. Try to enjoy the little parenting moments as they happen. 

  • It’s OK to have a messy house sometimes.
  • It’s OK to get a sitter and go out.
  • It’s OK to stay home with the kids — watch a movie or play a game!
  • It’s OK to make cookies this year from frozen Pillsbury dough instead of homemade.
  • It’s OK to sit in the warm car at the park while you watch your older kids go sledding.
  • It’s OK to re-gift — its green!
  • It’s OK to give your kids less gifts … they will appreciate them more.
  • It’s OK to say NO without giving a reason!
  • It’s OK to order pizza 3 times this week because life is busy — and the kids will actually eat it!
  • It’s OK to go to a party with baby spit-up on your shoulder and down your back.
  • It’s OK to let the kids have a little extra TV, computer or game time if it helps keep you sane.
  • It’s OK to let go of the parenting guilt! We all do our best.
  • It’s OK to not be perfect!

  

 

From The Unemployed Mom Blog

What Does A SAHM Do?

by The Unemployed Mom on 06/10/09 at 3:32 pm I find it amusing that some people think a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM) does nothing all day long. While we may not have a written job description, we do have a very important obligation which is taking care of our children. My blog title “The Unemployed Mom” is a complete oxymoron, which is typically why I receive laughs when people hear it. Anyway, I wanted to share a few thoughts about being a SAHM and let people know more about what we do. 

  1.  Being a SAHM doesn’t start at 8 am and end at 5 pm like a typical job. Our children dictate when our day begins and when it ends.
  2. Overtime occurs regularly, yet we do not get paid time and a half. We are compensated with hugs and kisses which is far more rewarding. Of course, we do receive our share of unpleasant compensation too (diaper blowouts, fussy kids, food spills, bathroom blunders, wet beds, tantrums, etc.).
  3. We do not receive vacation or sick time and must fulfill our duties 24/7, 365 days a year! No, we do not get weekends off either!
  4. We have a big responsibility which is trying to set the right example for our children and being the perfect role model. This can be challenging at times if we are frustrated or dealing with real world issues.
  5. A SAHM has mastered the art of multi-tasking! We are able to focus on many things at once but still keep our child’s safety and interests at the top of the list!
  6. We do not have one whining boss to answer to, we have our significant other AND our children!
  7. A SAHM is also a teacher, day care provider, guidance counselor, taxi driver, photographer, CEO, nutritionist, chef, laundry attendant, maid, accountant, janitor, entertainer, nurse, party planner, personal stylist, administrative assistant and a baker. Keep in mind, we are not compensated…but imagine what our salary SHOULD be with these responsibilities!
  8. We are extremely flexible! Our goal may be to complete our to-do list; however, our children dictate what our day actually consists of. Some days are extremely laid back while others are complete chaos. We must “go with the flow” and make the best of it, even if that means not accomplishing what we planned to.
  9. Being a SAHM is exhausting, there is never a dull moment! Some evenings, I am ready to fall asleep before my toddler goes to bed!
  10. We love our children dearly; however, staying home with a fussy or sick child can be draining! We do need a break once in a while, even if it is just to take a quiet walk alone to clear our minds. When our significant other arrives home, we do not need to hear “why do you need a break, you stay home all day”!  I challenge any person who asks this infuriating question to stay home alone with their child for just one day…I am pretty confident they will beg to return to their regular job!

I have held a variety of professional positions and being a SAHM is by far the job I am most proud of (and as mentioned above, it is one of the most exhausting)! My child is only little once and I feel blessed to share every single day with him. 

 The next time someone says a SAHM doesn’t do much, please direct them to this blog! 

FROM Mom.Salary.com 

If paid, the typical Stay-at-Home Mom in Hicksville, NY would earn the pay shown below for her work as a mother.

 Earning Statement  
For the year ending: May 2010
Job title Hourly Rate Hours worked
Housekeeper $11.10 728
Cook $14.73 364
Day Care Center Teacher $14.73 1,040
Facilities Manager $35.13 520
Computer Operator $17.15 624
Van Driver $16.72 364
Psychologist $42.12 624
Janitor $10.89 416
Laundry Machine Operator $11.16 0
Chief Executive Officer $56.63 260
Staff Nurse – RN $31.66 208
Event Planner $29.30 312
Nutritionist $25.95 208
Logistics Analyst $24.85 364
Interior Designer $20.78 156
Bookkeeper $18.91 104
Administrative Assistant $18.52 208
Plumber $18.19 0
General Maintenance Worker $15.56 208
Groundskeeper $13.86 52
Total Value
Regular Hourly Rate $22.56 2,080 $46,934
Over Time Rate $33.85 4,680 $158,402

$205,336

WHAT I OWE MY MOTHER
(Momisms)

My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE.If you’re going to kill each other, do it  outside.  I just finished cleaning.” 

My mother  taught me RELIGION. 
You better pray that will come out of the carpet.”

 My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL. “If you don’t straighten up, I’m going to knock you into the middle of next week!”

My  mother taught me LOGIC.  
Because I said so, that’s  why.”

My mother taught me MORE  LOGIC. 
If you fall out of that swing and break your  neck, you’re not going to the store with me.”

My mother taught me FORESIGHT.  
Make sure you wear clean underwear in case you’re in an accident.”

My  mother taught me IRONY.  
Keep crying, and I’ll give you something to cry about.”

My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS.  
Shut your mouth and eat your supper.”

My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM.  
Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!”

My mother taught me about STAMINA.    
You’ll sit there until all that spinach is gone.”

My mother taught me about WEATHER.    
This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it.”

My mother taught me about  HYPOCRISY.   
 “If I told you once, I’ve told you a million times. Don’t exaggerate!”

My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE. 
“I brought you into this world, and I can take you out.”

My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION. 
Just wait until we get home.”

My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE. 
If you don’t stop crossing  your eyes, they are going to freeze that way.”

My mother taught me HUMOR. 
When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don’t come running to me.”

My mother taught me GENETICS. 
You’re just like your father.”

My mother taught me about my ROOTS. 
Shut  that door behind you.  Do you think you were born in a barn?”

My mother taught me WISDOM. 
When you get to be my age, you’ll understand.”

My Mother taught me ESP. 
“Put your sweater on; don’t you think that I know when you’re cold?”

My Mother taught me TO MEET A CHALLENGE. 
“What were you thinking?  Answer me when I talk to you… Don’t talk back to me!”

MY Mother taught me PATIENCE.  
“Sure, you can do that. As soon as you’re 21 and leave the house!”

My Mother taught me DIPLOMACY. 
“I don’t want to hear who started it, It takes two to fight.”

My Mother taught me SHARING. 
“Play nicely with that or I’ll just take it away from both of you.”

My Mother taught me ETIQUETTE.  
“Use your fork! If I see that hand on the table again, I’ll slap it!”

My mother taught me about ENVY.
“There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don’t have wonderful parents like you do.”

My mother taught me about RECEIVING.
“You are going to get it when you get home!”

My mother taught me TO THINK AHEAD. 
“If you don’t pass your spelling test, you’ll never get a good job!”

My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT.
“If you don’t eat your vegetables, you’ll never grow up.”

My mother taught  me about JUSTICE. 
One day you’ll have kids and I hope they turn out just like you!”

But most of all, my mother taught me LOVE. 
“You know that whatever you do or whatever happens, I’ll always stand behind you, no matter what; because I love you.”

-Unknown

Dedicated to; Erika Fitzgerald, Jeanette Fitzgerald, Kathi Buss, Celia Vera, Jennifer Fitzgerald, Sheila Streng, Anne Oldfield,  Heather Hodkinson, Ana Thompson, Donna Ganiaris, Gerri Lima, Allison Schaefer, Kim Baitz, Angela Kobetitsch, Lynne Wiltse, Penny Williams, and so many other moms who have touched my life in one way or another.

Cleaning my plate – part 3 ~Chaos!~

….continued from Cleaning my plate – part 2 

I have another appointment with my doctor in two weeks to discuss how things are going with the Lyrica. Hopefully all will be well and I can go ahead with my next concern, which is Adult ADHD. I really want to get a handle on it. I think the combo of ADHD and Fibro is really throwing me for a loop. And the fact that I am getting older isn’t helping either. It was pointed out to me by someone who has been diagnosed and is in treatment for Adult ADHD that, as women age, our hormone levels start to change and it effects our brain chemistry in such a way that the coping mechanisms that we’d developed through the years to help us adjust to life with ADD start to fail.

That was like another A-HA moment for me.

Given the bad winter and the constant fibro flare-ups I put a lot of blame in that direction, but the facts just maybe that ADHD is also to blame for these feelings of being broken and life falling apart on me all the time. I feel like this whole clean your plate thing is my way of getting my life back in order.

I am not the type of person who thinks a pill can solve every problem. But I’ve had to come to rely on medication for so much. I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly side of medication in both myself and in my son. And when it comes to medication for ADHD, I’ve seen it work wonders for Leon. So that is the direction I want to take in treating my (so far self-diagnosed) ADHD.

 
 
Took a quiz and this was my result:
Serious ADHD Likely!
 

Of course I have developed a coping system over the years but lately I feel that it has broken down, so maybe there is something to the whole changing hormones/brain chemistry thing. 

In the meantime though, as I said I am looking to find new ways of dealing with what life throws at me so that I can make, not just my life: but my family’s (Leon’s in particular) lives more manageable and organized.

Structure is key for people with ADHD, I know I function much better with structure in my life, and so does Leon. I haven’t been able to give that to Leon lately, because I haven’t had it myself as of late.

Some of the things that need working on include:

Getting rid of the C.H.A.O.S …..aka Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome (cute huh – I borrowed that from Flylady.net). My house is always such a complete disaster that I am too embarrassed to ever have anyone over. And that includes playdates for Leon.

When he asks for a playdate, I really hate to say no, especially since it is pretty much a basic necessity for him given his need to improve his social skills. I hate it even more that my reason for saying no is because the house is a mess.

Clutter is a major cause of all the chaos in the house. We just have too much “stuff”. A lot of it we don’t need or even have room for.

I am always behind on paperwork, there is piles of it all over the place; a lot of which are projects I intend to get to,but don’t have the time for. Like scrap-booking my last 3 Disney vacations, digitally; or the plans I have to make a behavioral chart for Leon; or the binder of Leon’s ADHD/ODD Medical and Behavioral History. Much of this stuff ends up getting moved to boxes, that I refuse to put in the basement for fear I will forget about them.

I am also suffering from packus-ratus, I save EVERYTHING! Like memorabilia, collectors items, Tchotchkes, sentimental items, even empty boxes 😕 . unfortunately it is a trait that I have passed on to Leon. He has a collection of collections. They include; Thomas trains, Pixar CARS, Pokémon cards, Club Penguin Cards, Silly Bandz, Bakugan, Rocks, Snapple Caps, Magazines, Stitch toys, Tags, Gift Cards, Star Wars Lego’s, and yes, he also collects empty boxes and containers.

Then there’s the fact that it looks like a whole daycare center threw up all over my house.  All the baby items, (from clothes, to high chair, to bouncers and toys) that I had packed neatly away in the hopes of having a second child, can now be found in nearly every room in the house for use with my niece Kiera and my girlfriend’s baby, Nico; whom I babysit everyday.

I am sure I’ve said it before, but after a whole day of keeping the kids happy and busy while cleaning up after them all day, I am just way too exhausted by the end of the day to get everything picked up and put away properly. The end of my day is around 4pm when, all at once my son gets off the bus, yelling something about wanting a playdate, as he dashes by me to get his homework over with so he can move on to better things; while both my sister and my friend come simultaneously to gather up their kids and all that goes with them. I’ve got people coming and I’ve got people going and for some bizarre reason it is also the time of day that I get phone calls, usually from someone whose just wanting to chat (RON!). It is a very chaotic time of day. I just get soooo frazzled.

I just hate that feeling, and I am sure I am failing at trying to keep my composure for Leon, who should and needs to be able to come home to a calm, clutter-free, organized enviroment for him to be able to concentrate and complete his homework and shed the stress of always having to be “on” at school. 

My goal is to get rid of all the unnecessary stuff. And I’ve already started…

….more coming in Cleaning my plate – part 4

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