Tuesday, January 19, 2010


i have a new blog. and i haven't decided if i'm going to continue spewing all over this one as well or not. but the new blog is sure to delight as much as this one. i hope.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

life's most pressing questions, part 1

what does it mean when i get winded from walking up 14 stairs? when my arm tires from being lifted while i take on the most difficult challenge of putting on mascara? when i can only run about 6 circles around the house with my children before i say, "i need a break, kids"?

it means i need to get my ass to the gym.

preferably in this sweet get-up.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

my name is raina and i am a recovering yellaholic

i would like to begin this post by telling you all that i truly am a genius. i don't really know when or how it happened, it just did. after my last "rant" of me confessing my sin of being a total yeller, i decided to try a reward/consequence jar with my daughters. it has worked miracles. i s.u.n. (translates to: i shit you not).

completed accurately, the following just may turn you into a genius as well. i bought two cute glass jars from a craft store, brought them home and labeled them: consequence jar (draw a frown face) and reward jar (draw a smiley face). next, you sit with your prospective clients and everyone, together, decides what their fate will be. write down your ideas on strips of paper & put them in the jar. some rewards our family decided on include stay up 15 extra minutes, go out for ice cream with just mom or dad, choose a prize from the prize box (which is a buttload of crap i picked up in the dollar section of none other than, my fave, target-the girls eat that stuff up), go to a dollar movie with just mom or dad, etc. as for consequences, we came up with, write x amount of sentences, scrub a wall, mom's choice, organize a drawer, clean the toilet, etc. simple enough, right? wrong. it won't work if you don't follow through. sometimes it's not convenient to have them do their consequence right then, cause you do have a life so you have to post it on the fridge until it is done. correctly. same goes with the rewards. DON'T PUT IT BACK IN THE JAR UNTIL IT HAS BEEN COMPLETED. **YOU WILL FORGET. are we done yet? not quite. you can't just bark out, "ok! that's it! you get a consequence!" i remind my kids ONCE, "if you don't do this, you will have to choose a consequence" or "if you don't stop fighting, you will have to choose a consequence." what we did so we don't constantly have to remind what they receive rewards/consequences for was make a list. on the left side we wrote what they earn rewards for (serving others, doing something without complaining, helping mom around the house without being asked, etc) and on the right, how consequences will be given (name calling, complaining, hitting, being sassy, etc.). the list is posted in our kitchen, on the wall, next to the jars.

i must admit, however, this can possibly turn into a game for the kids. when we first started, my kids nearly died from the anticipation of it all. even for the consequences. what is it going to be?! i hope i get something good! i hope (other sibling) gets something worse! but it really works. it works because a. they helped come up with the ideas so they know what to expect, b. the jars are kept in a main area of the home so i remember to use them instead of reverting to yelling, and c. they have a clear list of rules of what is expected and is not allowed in our home.

my kids get things done! fo real. they are little angels (mostly). and i no longer need to yell, except for, you know, when scarlett drops the baby, or they're annoying the hell out of me; catastrophic things like that.

Friday, December 11, 2009

is there anybody listening?

i have a dilema that i know is part of normal parenting. my kids suck at listening. for real. well, at least i thought it was part of normal parenting. it seems whenever i ask other kids to do stuff or i am around to hear their parents ask them to get something done, i hear a resounding, "yes". it may take the parents asking a few times but it gets done, without yelling; this i perceive as normal.

when it comes to my kids, however, i have to ask 50 times, count, yell, threat, repeat & repeat some more. i get responses such as, "hold on", " i will", "i don't want to", "why do i have to?", or a blatant stomp around the house. i feel like i (have to) follow them around, bark out orders, specific orders, mind you, & breathe down their necks or it doesn't get done. or it gets done half-assed. i know that if i don' t hound, it really will not get done. i know that "all parents" say they "yell" but i really don't believe most people "yell" in the same way as myself. i am...loud, on occasion.

i used to think, in my years of parenting naivity, that yelling accomplished nothing. now, maybe when they're younger it doesn't. but i am finding that if i don't raise my voice, nothing gets done. it's a sad, sad fact. and by fact, i mean in my opinion, of course.

i realize i am partly to blame- i am an impatient person by nature. ok, not by nature but i've been conditioned to be this way. impatience is a condition that gets me where i need to be on time, almost always, but it also gets me angry & riled up. often. i hate to wait. i have tried numerous times to be patient with my children when asking them to do chores. fail. i have tried to count, patiently, to get them to hurry/finish jobs. fail. i have tried asking them once to do something & see waht happens, only to find they've started playing instead. fail. i don't know what else to do.

i'm thinking of starting a "consequence jar" which is, a jar containing strips of paper that each have a job/consequence listed such as "clean a toilet", "wash the bathroom mirror", "clean the sink" "hug your sister, kindly, for one whole minute". you get the idea. anytime they complain, disobey, or in place of when i would begin counting, i remind them once of the jar & if they need to be reminded again i whip that jar out faster than they can say "poopy diaper" and bam! they get a consequence. i think i could be onto something here. i don't know. is this too tough & mean? my daughters are only 5 & 8. is this age-appropriate? what kinds of things do you do to get your children to obey? and please don't tell me you "yell" cause i think i will vomit. it isn't true. you don't yell.

i guess, if you really look at it, this post is basically me trying to get the ok from you to yell at my kids, for you to tell me that it's not so bad. hmm. how devious of me.

Monday, December 7, 2009

my new year's resolutions (that will most likely be broken before january's over)

i know it's a bit early (by my usual standards) but i need to begin thinking about this. i always wait too long and then i don't have a plan and then i fail. everytime. every. single. time.

1. lose weight-now, this is almost everyone's resolution but its mine every year. cause i fail every year. but jessica simpson's dukes of hazard body will do.

2. be a bit less sacreligious. confession: sometimes when i say the word "sufficient" a certain part in a certain movie pops into my mind. not so bad, right? only if you're me, you finish that phrase. out loud.

3. eat more veggies: gotta find that zucchini bread recipe.

4. complete projects i start: 1 scarf (fresh outta style now, i'm sure) from about 6 years ago, 1 quilt (more like a blanket with batting but quilt sounds more difficult & fancy) from when london was a newborn, and 1 quilt from about 3 years ago. and a whole slew of other things, i'm sure.

5. exercise. a buttload. just cause i have 3 subscriptions to health & fitness mags certainly doesn't mean i actually heed their advice.

6. kim kardashian. i don't really see how she can be a new year's resolution. just thought i'd throw her in there.

7. be a better mother: find more creative ways of yelling at the children.

8. be a better wife: shop with the credit card instead of using up our savings.

9. budget better: buy more things for others instead of myself, up the limits in the following categories: shopping & date night/entertainment, and add the category, "all things raina", followed by a generous amount, of course.

10. read more BOOKS: magazines are all beginning to sound the same.

11. stop being so selfish: oh, who am i kidding?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

it's christmastime in minneapolis, st. paul's slutty sister

as my title reads, the people of minnesota/st. paul really do refer to minneapolis as the "slutty sister". i guess because it's younger, more hip, and well, let's face it, probably filled with the hyper-promiscuous type.

the reason for this post, however, is not to call names but to visit some of the memories & things i miss having lived there during two christmases/winters. i really, truly miss it and would move back in a heartbeat.

1. the beautifully decorated displays held at downtown macy's, 8th floor

2. ice-skating everywhere you look. all of the local parks ice parts of the grass so you may skate & play hockey as your heart so desires. our kids loved this!

3. also, you can ice skate on the lakes, because, well, yeah, it's about that cold. we never did this because i have quite the wild imagination in which i foresaw the four of us going under. sounds fun. sure it would have been a great memory.

4. the macy's holidazzle parade. this was fun for a few reasons. the first being that because minneapolis reaches arctic temps, they wised up a bit and built a skyway where you can walk from building to building around downtown and not freeze your appendages off soooo needless to say, we would stand in the skyway and watch the parade from above. spectacular fun. the second reason for it's fun-factor was that the girls were so excited. we would usually eat out for dinner first, find our little spot to watch the parade then go find those crazy folks who stood outside selling $5 lightsticks/wands/sabers, etc. the third reason this was fun was because it brought out the crazies.

5. our ward. i can honestly say that the Lake Nokomis ward has been my favorite of the 6 wards we have lived in. it is an inner-city ward where you can be greeted by all kinds of people, in all types of situations, and the love that exudes from each of them lifts your spirit tremendously. the talks, the testimonies, the bishopric, the presidencies, all are amazing and inspiring.

6. the funny outfits people wear just to get around outside.

7. the one-inch thick ice that would form on the windshield of my car. now this isn't something i miss, just a memory i have. :) mine did not ever come close to this but had we lived up north, i'm sure it would have.

8. lee's fogged up glasses when he would get home from riding his bike to work, then to school, then home. yes, in the winter.

9. st. paul winter carnival/ice sculpture festival. cold, but fun.

10. the hustle and bustle that surrounds the Mall of America. christmas time or not. it was the closest mall to our home (7 minute car ride), with all the best stores. so i went there, oft. naturally. it was always exciting.

11. and most of all, i love how minnesotans embrace winter instead of closing themselves indoors, away from the world. this, i believe, is what got me through two of the most frigid winters of my life. but honestly, two of the best.

Friday, November 13, 2009

brassieres & jockstraps

in cleaning out my girls room for the move today, my 5yr old nephew was getting stuff from under the bed. all of a sudden he starts yelling, "ew. gross. disgusting! i can't believe i touched that!" and i said, "what? what is it?" "a BRA!" so i look over to see what it is, "oh that? nah, that's just a jock strap". yes, there was an actual jockstrap under the bed.

i, of course, went on to explain what it was to him. and scarlett, of course, already knew what it was for. i can thank lee for having that discussion with my daughters. they now are fully equipped with protecting their privates.

you're probably asking yourself, why would there be a jockstrap under the girls bed anyway? well, while living with my in-laws, the girls have been sleeping in my brother-in-laws room, who is away at college. he used to play football.

let's just say it'll be nice not having a teenage boy for a few years. but i sure do love you, ryan!