Today I am up early, sitting here in the cold which is silly because I'm the one who turned the heat down. Last night I saw a Twitter friend I hadn't talked to recently so I said hi and asked how things were going. This friend has a pretty cool job, but it's not as cool as it could be. The last time we had talked about his mom and some of her health issues. She's had a series of strokes and her physicians are puzzled as to why. She's not very old, but her quality of life has been diminished by these events which she takes in stride. It's funny to me how people can seem to be in a certain mood online and be in a very different one behind the scenes. My friend has been traveling quite a bit and he didn't say a lot about his trips other than to say that the crew he was working with was difficult and he was resolved to be kinder to everyone as a result.

Yesterday I finished my ironing. There's something very soothing and therapeutic about ironing that I just love. The part I feel badly about is having told my family that I wanted to go shopping that afternoon. My aunt called, she had gotten a party date wrong and we ended up chatting for quite a while. I love talking to her, we had some catching up to do, but I should have told her that while I was enjoying hearing what she had to say, I needed to postpone the conversation so I could run errands with the rest of my family. I laid down for a while when I was finished ironing. Nobody in my family understands why I feel the need to iron the towels. I tried explaining that the labels state that the towels may require light ironing, to them it's a waste of time and not appreciated, but I like the way that it looks and how ironing makes me feel when I'm done.

I noticed that someone had broken part of my iron off. There was a couple of reddish spots on the bottom of my iron that I had to scrape off. I'm not sure who used it for what, or how they broke it, but an apology and an explanation would have been nice. Things like that make me sad. The last time I talked to my sister about something that the girls hadn't told me she asked me to consider why they weren't telling me things. I have a temper and I'm sure part of it is the fact that they're afraid I'm going to snap at them like I did when my niece was over and someone got chocolate on a quilt I had just bought for the girls. People aren't supposed to be eating in the bedrooms and I was very upset that they let the stain set.

The girls tried blaming my niece who wasn't there to defend herself, maybe she did eat a chocolate bar at drop some on their bedding. They're still responsible for their possessions. I didn't handle the situation right, I can see that now, I hated how my parents would get irrationally angry and I find myself either yelling at them or repressing how I feel so it comes out in strange ways later. My daughter wants to have a party, but so far she hasn't been very cooperative when I've asked her for what I consider minimal help and that's frustrating too. Last night I went out to see if I could find a shower curtain that went better than the one I had to return because the stripes were too bold and dark. I went to K-Mart, Target, Wal-Mart, and Goodwill without spending anything which is probably a personal best for me.

It was nice being out by myself. I listened to the Brewers game. That was an exercise in frustration, but at least no one was interrupting me. There were things I could have bought. I found bedding I liked at Target and wondered why duvet covers are just as much as regular comforters and quilts. I should have gone to bed when I got home. The girls were doing the dishes, I wish we would get to bed earlier and wake up earlier, but it's not a battle I'm willing to take on anytime soon. I'm really frustrated with a lot of things, but there's a lot of good in my life too. I found a shower curtain that I think will go well and it's on sale which is a bonus. I still want to go through pictures. I'm annoyed that someone else dumped them in a box and now they've become my responsibility, but that's life and I know I can tackle that project and do it well.

Another thing that my friend and I talked about was the value of having friends to talk about whatever with. I have a tendency to get wrapped up in my own little world here at home and forget about the things that other people are going through that I don't know about. Even my kids have problems of their own and it's upsetting as a parent to know that your child is sad, mad, or hurt when they won't tell you what's bothering them. There's still time to repair these relationships and I'm grateful that we have better relationships than we did in the past. I don't want to be a parent who fears the world that my children will enter as job seekers, but there are things that concern me and challenges that they will have to face. We can only do so much as parents and they'll have to make mistakes of their own the way everyone else does.

On a different note, I bought some garbage cans a while back and forgot to pick up the lids before I went through the checkout line. I'd like the lids so I'm hoping that the store will let me stop by and pick them up. I hate forgetting stupid things like that. It makes me feel irresposible and old, like my memory is failing me to the point where I can't remember that garbage cans have lids, but I can't be too hard on myself either. Sometimes I get very scared, last night my friend told me that action is more effective than worry which is true and words of advice that I need to remember. 

Today's lesson in my Push-Ups for People book was on becoming a better listener. I used to mistakenly think that I was a good listener because I had a good memory for what people were saying. Now I realize that hearing someone is not listening to them and I'm especially guilty of being a distracted listener when my children are talking. Yesterday my oldest asked if I would snuggle with her. I was having a snack at the time and then my aunt called and pretty soon hours had gone by before I was ready to snuggle. By then she was no longer interested and she's not my cuddler so I was really annoyed with myself for not making spending time with her a higher priority.

Before she went to bed she asked if we could snuggle so I got the time in anyways, but I'm going to handle things differently from here on out. Basic communication is a skill I need to work on since I didn't learn how to communicate effectively when I was younger. I went from living with my parents who didn't communicate where they were going or when they were going to be home to living with my husband who would get mad when I would leave and not tell him I had planned to be out. Now I can see how frustrating that must have been.

I really want my kids to get iPhones. I know that this is an additional expense. I know this is another electronic gadget that they don't really need, but I want them to have them anyways since that's a way for me to communicate with them. I'm tired of my daughter's friends texting my phone, and I think that having phones would be good for them in the sense that I want to be able to call and text them. This is another area where my husband and I disagree and I can see that his points are valid without backing down from my position. I want what I want and I don't want someone else to tell me no.

I don't feel like I ask for a lot of things. Perhaps I'm mistaken there. Marriage is about compromise, any relationship is and neither of us are very good in that area either. He wants one thing, I want another and we go into a stalemate where nothing gets decided and there are a lot of hurt feelings, silence, tension, or fights as a result. We don't spend a lot of time together as a family and part of that is my fault and on me. I don't trust him and that doesn't make for a particularly comforting atmosphere at home.

My sister and I were talking about this the other day. There are a lot of people I don't trust mainly because they've let me down repeatedly in the past. My parents lied to me, now my spouse and children do. Sometimes I find out, other times they escape, but they're not really hurting me so much as they are damaging themselves. My sister says that she lies about dumb things because she doesn't feel like she can tell people the truth. I read an article yesterday about poor kids who had full rides to Ivy League schools and how out of place they felt there.

Growing up we didn't have a lot of money and we felt that keenly. Maybe my children feel that too, I don't really know, but lying is unacceptable behavior although right now I can forgive them for the lies because we are all human and make mistakes. The pattern is very worrisome though. I find things out and I wonder what else I don't know. That's really not conducive to a better relationship. I deserve the truth. I need people to be honest with me. I have a hard time dealing with people who have lied to me in the past even though I can move past a lie, the memory lingers and erodes the foundation of a relationship.

It greatly disturbs me that my children are pathological liars. To lie about things like having brushed their teeth or other things that I'm likely to discover on my own is unwise and says a lot about their moral fiber and character. When my step-daughter lived here she set a very poor example for the girls. In the past my husband and others in my family have taken the girls out behind my back to let them have food that they shouldn't be eating and that sent the message that sneaking around is okay and condoned if your mom is perceived as unreasonable or won't let you want what you have.

Not only am I owed apologies for the lies. I'm owed better behavior and higher standards. I'm not going to say I've never lied about anything. That would be untrue. I can't remember the circumstances, but there was a time not long ago where I wasn't fully honest and up front about something and I felt horribly guilty after that. It wasn't a good feeling and I pride myself on being honest and up front when maybe I'm really not as upright as I would like to believe. It's another thing on my list to work on, but I know I'll feel better if I don't have to go through feeling like that ever again. It's just not worth the mental anguish I purposely put myself through. 

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