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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

To Capri or Not to Capri

Dear Sadie,

I would like to get other women's advice/opinions about this issue. I've heard that you need to be a certain height in order to wear capris - is that true? I love them, but I am shorter. Any help?

Great question because I want to know the answer to this one. I have also heard that if you are less than 5'5" you should not wear capris. The past few days my daughter and I have been shopping and when I try on bermudas or capris, she will immediately say "too long"!! I thought they looked fine but I am believing my stylish 13 year old.

So...I just did a little research and here are a couple things I will pass on to you. Besides the fact that everyone has their own opinion.

Capris should not be tapered (you will look an ice cream cone)
The right length for capris is mid-calf.
Do not wear skinny capris unless you are very tall and slim.

I have a friend who wears "manpris".....NOT GOOD!!

What do the rest of you think??

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Teen's Self Esteem

Hi Sadie,I was wondering if you have any thoughts on how to help a teenager build self-confidence? Are there any christian books that you are aware of that a young teen would benefit from?

I have a daughter in her early teens and she is struggling right now. She has been exceptionally quiet for weeks, if not months now, and finally tonight, she broke down. The situation is far too complicated to write out on here, but I do believe it all comes down to a low self-esteem and a fear of failing. Her dad and I are at a loss on how to help her. We have told her repeatedly that she can always talk to us, but I'm not sure what we say is of help. I know middle school is hard for so many, but it breaks my heart to see so much hurt in her.

What can I do as a parent to help her? Thanks for any advice you may have.

YUCK, I did not like middle school!!

Okay, now that that is out of the way...your daughter is so blessed to have you and your husband to talk with. Although, as you say, you're not sure that what you say really helps. Kids usually think that we "have" to say nice things 'cuz we are the parents. In her head, all the things that you say to her would sure sound better coming from one of her peers.

Low self esteem is at the root of so many issues for teens. Does she feel like she excels at anything? Is there something that you can encourage her to put her energy into? You don't say if she has close friends, but even having just one really good buddy can make all the difference in the world. I am sure you do this already - but encourage her to have friends over and encourage this often. Maybe she is afraid to invite anyone for fear that she will be turned down. It's likely to happen, but not EVERY time. (Shoot I am still afraid that my friends will turn me down.)

I have said this before about other subjects, but try talking when there aren't any "issues". In other words - not when she is having a break down. See if you can weave discussions about what is going well, what she enjoys, friendships, self esteem, etc into your normal talk time. And keep these discussions short and sweet!

Because I am a Christian, I always want to tell others to pray. Sometimes we use prayer as a last resort, but where our children are concerned we should be on our knees daily. These are tough years for them! I am also a firm believer in good, solid counseling!!

I wish I knew of some books to recommend. I also wish I really had some real wisdom to share. Hopefully there are others out there that can share what has worked for them. Keep lovin' on your daughter. She has great value, she just needs to be able to believe that for herself.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

My Mother-in-Law Calls My Daughter "Fat Girl"

My mother-in-law (who is heavy herself) has this thing about calling the girls in the family nicknames that have to do w/fat. It infuriates me. My daughter is FOUR years old! A few weeks ago she called her fatty. I was FURIOUS & only b/c my husband had just had surgery & we were at the hospital did I not say anything. For starters, I am heavy & she has NEVER said anything like that to me, I assume b/c of respect. My daughter weighs 40 lbs. She's in the 25th percentile for her height & 50th for her weight. The Dr said it's a perfect mix b/c she's big boned so weighing anything less would make her look sickly and to be perfectly honest, she looks fine, she's 4. B/c of my weight, I'm very careful about what we bring home & what she eats only b/c if she makes the right choices now, hopefully she will as she gets older.Anyway, today my mil called her fat girl. I gritted my teeth & waited for my husband to get back in from taking the trash & said, we need to get going so we can get to the park. I asked him the last time to say something, I don't think I should have to b/c it's his mom. He of course doesn't want to upset her but agrees that is no way for his mom to talk to her.He has nieces that are now 17 & 13 & when they were younger, she did the same thing. I can remember when the oldest was 8 & came to stay the weekend w/us & I bought ice cream & pop corn & she said, I'm on a diet & I can't eat that. I thought OMG, her Dr put her on a diet..she was about 30 lbs over weight. So I said, oh I'm sorry, I didn't know that. She said, well Grandma & my mom keep telling me I need to lose weight & Uncle Tim calls me fat girl & I hate it. When I told my husband, he confronted his mom, sister & brother & their reply was - she knows we're only kidding. I do NOT want this to be daughter in 4 yrs, but I know my husband & his mom already have a rocky relationship - how do we talk to her w/o upsetting her?!

WHOA! What a touchy subject. My first reaction is that I would like to have a few words with your mother-in-law, but obviously that's not going to happen. You are wise in knowing that it should be your husband that speaks to her. I think you should be present so that you can hear all that is said.

It's important that she (your mil) understands you are not attacking her. You know that she loves her family and her grandchildren and maybe she isn't aware of the words she is using. Let her know how important it is that she is using words that build up your daughter.

If it's possible bring up the example of your niece and let your mil know that even though they might have been "kidding", your niece took it to heart. Obviously she does not want to be damaging her grandchild's self-esteem, but those words are doing just that.

Even though you didn't ask this question, I would like to say something else. It is very likely that your mother-in-law will not stop using this kind of talk around your daughter. That makes it even that much more important for you to help her have a good body image. Discussing weight (yours or anyone else's) is never a good idea. Kids need to be kids and not learning at an early age that their appearance defines them. It seems as if she is perfectly healthy and that you are helping by bringing good food choices into the home.

Your daughter is blessed to have you for a mom. As hard as it may be, don't let this put a wedge in your relationship with your mother-in-law. You and your husband have the greatest influence on your daughter right now - keep pouring into her!!

Okay, that's my two cents - does anyone else have any advice to offer??

Monday, May 11, 2009

Need My Husband's Help

Ok, so I am asking a question….more for 3 more entries for the giveaway, but also, would like someone else's opinion, who doesn't know me or my husband.

We recently welcomed our third baby…we have two older kids in school, and I work full-time outside of the home. My husband also works, but is technically laid off right now. He is doing some work here and there to make up the income.

Yes, he works in construction and has a labor intensive job, so he's usually tired when he comes home, plus, he's 41, so he thinks he's falling apart. The thing is, though, that's all he does when he gets home. Ok, well, he does cook dinner, but I usually end up cleaning up afterwards. I do all the laundry (for 5 people, washing, drying, folding AND putting it away), I do ALL the cleaning (dusting, vacuuming, scrubbing bathrooms/ kitchen counters, etc., organizing, putting things away, cleaning out the mail, etc). I feel that I do more than my share of any house work and that I have to ask him to do something. I have to remind him on garbage days, I have to ask him to give the kids a bath if I'm feeding the baby, etc. On top of all that, I am nursing, so right now, besides having to take the time to pump just so he can feed him, I am the only one feeding the baby and getting up in the middle of the night. I am so exhausted and just feel like he's taking advantage of me. I hate having to ask him to do anything, I shouldn't have to ask, but if I don't, he doesn't do a thing. Can't he see that there is dog hair all over the dining room floor? Can't he see that there are two laundry baskets of clean clothes that are already folded and need to be put away? He doesn't ever act like the mess and chaos bothers him, so if I leave it, it doesn't stress him out like it does me. Now, he's all over me because he wants to bring the intimacy back into our lives; always saying and doing things to try to let me know that he's ready. BUT, after all of this, I'm so exhausted, angry, fed-up, stressed out, that sex is the very last thing on my mind. I do everything I can to avoid having sex with him because of all these emotions I'm feeling. When I tell him I'm just too tired, he acts like I'm the worst person in the world because I'm too tired to be with him. But, if I tell him what's really bothering me he acts like I just said "I'm the only person who works around here" and then gets defensive because he works all day, and does more physical work in one day than I do in one week….but, just because I sit at a desk all day, doesn't mean that I'm not totally exhausted (mentally) at the end of the day.

Ok, so I guess, I don't have a question here, but need some advice as to how to work this into the conversation and discuss it rationally with my husband, of 9 years….
There you have it… Thanks.

You certainly have your hands full!! First of all, I commend you for recognizing there is an issue and wanting to know how to address it with him. So many wives just "go after" their husbands, telling them all that they are doing wrong. That is NOT the way to communicate. I need to tell you that much of what you describe would be pretty typical of men. (that is NOT bashing men) They don't read minds and really do want to and need to be told what you expect.

Sure, we would like them to know our needs and just meet them - but it doesn't work like that. I've said this before, never have a conversation in the heat of an argument or when your emotions are running high. Sometime when you and your husband are just enjoying some quiet time (I know, dont' laugh) let him know how you are feeling and the importance of his contribution around the house.

Oh...about the "sex". Hate to tell ya but it really is necessary for the man to feel loved this way. The more loved he feels this way, the more likely he is to meet your needs. That is not manipulation, just the facts.

Women with children...please do not leave here without giving our sister some help!!

Thanks for writing in, I pray that you feel appreciated.

Friday, May 8, 2009

How to Help My Friend

Hi Sadie,

A close friend of my was recently diagnosed with cancer, I wanted to know if you know how I can start a fund for her to help her with the everyday bills and rent? I have no idea how to start this...any ideas?

First of all, I am so sorry to hear of your friend's diagnosis. I'm glad she has someone like you in her life who is wanting to reach out, help and DO something.

Unfortunately, I don't know specifically how you go about setting up a fund for someone. In the past I have been involved in raising funds for people and setting up a bank account for a family that went through a fire. We held various fundraisers, gathered donations, etc.

Sounds like you may want to do something a little more long term? If any of you reading this have any ideas to share...please do!

I pray that your friend gets all the help that she needs.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Tattle Tale

My question has to do with squabbling children. What's the best course of action to take when the tattling takes over? I get so tired of being the referee.

Tattling! Yuck! Always one of my pet-peeves.

In our home when the kids were younger this was the deal. Unless there is throw up or blood or someone is in danger, do not come running to tell mom and dad!

If they did come and tattle then they there were the one to receive the consequence. This way they knew it was to their advantage to try and work out the problem themselves. How many times a day can we hear that "Bobby took my toy", "She's touching me"!?

Moms and dads...what has worked in your homes?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Money Tips

What are some tips on saving money (other than coupons right now) during this “economic” situation? I mean right now we are living pay check to pay check and we really have never had to live that way. It’s just awful! Thanks for the advice!

I love this question because I am hoping many others will pipe in with their advice too. Times sure are tough for most people out there!

There are several things that we all should be doing just to make sure that we aren't paying too much for some of our necessities. Call your insurance companies and make sure you have the proper coverage for homeowners, rental, autos, etc. Often we are paying more than we need to.

Keep asking for the best deals from all utilities. You can get better deals if you are persistent. If you have credit cards - do the same thing with them. Often you can get a better rate.

Planning meals is key. The fewer times you have to go to the grocery store, the more money you will save. Obviously, it goes without saying that if money is tight the eating out should be very limited. I TRY to make multiples meals at one time. One for dinner and one to freeze. The last time at the store, I told my daughter that we would not put one thing in the cart unless it was on sale. We did it!

Sell things you don't need. There are several places online that you can sell and people will buy just about anything.

I do not assume that everyone that reads this blog shares the same faith as I do but I will say that for me the most important thing is for me to remember that the money is really from the Lord. Yes, it has been earned through a lot of hard work, but essentially it is God that is providing it. Be a good steward of what He has given.

Alright, there's my two cents, now it's time for you all to pipe in. Start piping...

Friday, May 1, 2009

Cloth or Disposable??

Cloth diapering? I have NO idea if I should do this, not do this & if I do, how to do this... I've seen a lot of people going this route..w/my first we did the disposable. I would love to be more 'green' (haha insert gross baby poo joke here) but I honestly don't know how you go about w/the cleaning of these things..I could see myself just throwing them away which would ruin the whole cloth diaper vs disposable debate. Any advice?

Oh my goodness, you are asking the wrong person here!! I tried cloth diapering with my first child for about 2 seconds! It was not gonna happen. I just couldn't do it.

I know it is the right thing to do for the environment and it's probably even better for the babies. There are so many women out there now who are cloth-diapering again. Maybe some of them read this and can help you out.

You said something that is exactly like me. "I could see myself throwing them away". I take the easy way out with lots of things and I have been known to throw out pans that sat in the fridge too long, rather then clean them. I am NOT the one to give advice on diapering.

Okay, girls....can you help her out with some real advice??