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Friday, December 10, 2010

Well, more than one note to self:

1. Pigging out on chocolate (or other sweets), even if you stay within a reasonable calorie range, makes you feel like CRAP!! Not just psychologically (being down on yourself for giving in to the unhealthy impulse), but also physically: it is NOT satisfying in any way, shape, or form, and only makes you want to eat a nice slab of meat (PROTEIN) which you should have been eating in the first place. AND it totally, literally makes you feel like you are going to BARF!! STUPID WHITE SUGAR! I don't know why I do it. I know how it makes me feel....

2. Eating good and right tastes good, AND feels good. So, stop being stupid, and stick to what you know is good! Good healthy home-cooking is so yummy, AND it makes you feel full after you eat it... unlike cookies or chocolate! You know this too!!

3. If you don't even really want chocolate, THEN DON'T EVEN TOUCH ONE PIECE, Darcy!! One piece ALWAYS leads to more! Wait until you really need some, and then let yourself have some within reason.... But why blow it when you are doing soooooooooo good, when you didn't even really crave chocolate to begin with?

Marathon training is no time to see what kind of "junk" you can get away with eating. Every bit (bite) should count for good fuel for your body. Besides, you totally avoid the sugar crash if you just eat right, Darcy.

So, wise up, Darcy. You and I both know you can make it through the holidays on top. But you must be careful and not let those bad habits creep in and take over!!

Ok, that was my little pep talk to myself after I wolfed down half a box of INEXPLICITLY DELICIOUS Lindt chocolates yesterday that my husband gave me!! And after I, again today, was careless and hungry, and wolfed down a bunch of stupid white flour, white sugar bland cookies when I went to go meet my friend at lunch time.... Blech. Those cookies weren't even worth it.....

But I will NOT let this derail me...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JILLIANPRNCSS 12/11/2010 8:10PM

    I know it is no excuse to eat everything in sight but I am amazed with how much you are running and staying on schedule. You do need to pat yourself on the back for that.

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SEEHOLZ 12/10/2010 1:46PM

    I need to be reminded of this myself a lot more than I want!

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DEEJACKSON 12/10/2010 12:56PM

    Was this a note to you? or ME? LOL

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FRANCLYN 12/10/2010 12:53PM

    You're right. It will not derail you. This is nothing a few days of good eating, high in fiber and good nutrients backed up with good amounts of water won't wash away.

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This is what it looks like....

Thursday, December 09, 2010

... outside my kitchen window right now.

I already blogged today, but couldn't resist.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARFISH619 12/9/2010 11:01AM

    Wow! I've never been in anything like that. Gorgeous and peaceful.

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-POLEDANCEGIRL- 12/9/2010 10:58AM

    That is so beautiful!!

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AOGOAE 12/9/2010 10:56AM

    aww, now I miss Germany!

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MLRGRL4 12/9/2010 10:50AM

    I want some! I want a white Christmas! Nothing better than waking up during Christmas break, sitting with my coffee and watching the snow fall. Beautiful!

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ELISAMLW 12/9/2010 8:28AM


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TWINSMOMMY607 12/9/2010 7:43AM

    I want some snow!!

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LIL_EZZY 12/9/2010 5:28AM

    That is soooo beautiful.

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I need a vacation: Part 2

Thursday, December 09, 2010

A vacation from my kids, that is!! From my life as a housewife, from all of this cooking, cleaning, and wiping little butts all day long.... So, my hubby and I had a long, much-needed discussion about all of this, and about all of my feelings. Really it comes down to this:

I am lonely. I was ALWAYS a VERY out-going person, love to be with friends and laugh and have a good time, I always find something to laugh or joke about. And being a SAHM, I just have NO social life, AT ALL. Being bogged down with all of my responsibilities at home makes me feel like I just have NO time to even make friends. (Being in Germany, it really takes a while for people to really open up to you too, which doesn't help me make friends easily.)

So, my husband is my sole source of adult social interaction. And when he left this past weekend, together with the fact that we have been super busy lately and haven't done anything "fun" together in a while, the loneliness and solitude really set in.

The truth is, I would rather have a job, even if it's part-time, but I feel guilty about wanting to have a job, and putting my girls in day care. I just get so much enjoyment out of working a job, I always have. In addition to just doing something fulfilling (I DO NOT find cleaning fulfilling!!!), I would have contact with other adults on a regular basis, which to me, it a HUGE benefit. I was working a job up until last June, teaching English to kids: I ABSOLUTELY HATED IT!! Sounds fun, right? NO! It was total stress, I had to prepare all my lesson plans ahead of time, and there was ABSOLUTELY NO adult contact, which is what I REALLY longed for. PLUS, I had to put up with other people's bratty kids! I have my own kids, and I have enough stress with them. I don't want to deal with other people's. And I feel that if I had more social contact through a job, I would be less stressed with my kids when I am here at home. It would just be a matter of balancing my household duties and a job, plus my fitness lifestyle.... i.e. MARATHON TRAINING!

Last night, my sweet hubby even brainstormed for me, and wrote down a list of ideas to help me, while I was at the gym. Here is what we came up with:

1. We will look into day care for the kids - try to find the girls a spot and see how much it costs. It is not as easy finding a space in daycare here as it is in the US.

2. I will look for a job in an area of business that I REALLY want to work, not just anything. Preferrably at a gym, or fitness center, or a cafe.*** I will comment on this below. My husband has a couple of customers who actually own cafes, so he will be asking them about work. I'm currently checking into working for another cafe in my little tiny town, but they are only open on weekends. I have also talked to my gym about working there, but they don't have anything at the moment. There is another ladies gym in my area where I will ask too.

3. My hubby has a few customers who are marathon runners, or have done marathons in the past, and he will ask around about a running club, something I can get involved in, and meet other runners.

4. He will try to be there more for me, and will avoid weekend things like this as much as possible. He is even willing to take the kids and let me run off to go meet a friend if I want (I just have a HORRIBLE time leaving him on a Saturday, since he works such long hours and we hardly get time together as it is!!).

In addition to what he came up with, I have already talked to my neighbor girl (who is 20 and loves kids) about babysitting on a regular basis, and how much she wants per hour, so I know. And I am planning on using her every other week or so in the afternoon, so I can run off and go do something alone, or with a friend. She has watched my kids in the past, and she is absolutely SUPER! Plus, I have a good relationship with her and her family.

So, things are looking up for me. It felt so good to really talk things out with my husband and tell him how I really felt. He was super understanding, and came up with some great ideas!! I LOVE HIM!!

*** About the cafe, my dream is to have a whole-foods/organic cafe, focused on healthy eating, where I would like to provide information on my eating philosphy, and nutrition counseling for people who want to lose weight. I am currently doing a study program at a German school (something I have written about in past blogs) toward "Home Economics", if you translate it directly, but it involves working in a professional kitchen as well, so I am working toward the whole cafe-owning dream as we speak. I also want to couple this together, and become a personal trainer (something I have wanted to do for years.) I am currently waiting for my sister to send me my self-study materials from ACE Fitness, so I can get my certification as a personal trainer. I LOVE cooking, and I love fitness, and somehow, I want to couple it all together into one business. But I need the experience of working in a cafe, so that is why I would like to do that.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MUMMAMICHELLE 12/11/2010 8:53PM

    I just read your two I need a vacation blogs and I just feel like I can relate with you so much! I am an American who married an Australian and have been living in Australia for the last 5 years. I however do work PT and think I would be INSANE if I did not. As much as I love my kids I NEED to interact with people too. I LOVE my job as a nurse I just talk to people all day long and I get in my communication quota. I also feel like it's hard to make deep meaningful friendships even though I have several friends it's just different. The only neighbor that has made the first move to say hello to me, funny enough was also American.

And,even though my dh's family is warm and loving, MIL is a total neat freak too and when you wrote about keep up with cleaning and feeling pressure not to be the messy American I was like me too, me too! That is so me, I hate cleaning and wish it came naturally. I go to a playgroup with my kids once a week which is great but everyone is 10 years older than me too! Anywho, sorry about the novel!

I think your idea for a cafe is awesome! Don't lose sight of your dreams! Hope yours and dh's plan help you feel better :)

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AOGOAE 12/9/2010 10:56AM

    Don't feel guilty about wanting a job! Adults NEED adult interaction, and you need goals and responsibilities outside the home to feel fulfilled. That's ok! It's what modern women do! We are not our grandmothers (or great-grandmothers). You CAN have it all, and you will :)

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RUNTRILAUGH 12/9/2010 10:56AM

    Sounds like an awesome cafe! I totally agree with needing adult interaction. You'll be a much happier wife, mom and YOU after all this falls into place!

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SEEHOLZ 12/9/2010 10:25AM

    Sounds like a great action plan to me! You know what you want and you are putting things in place ot get it!

As for opening up- it might take longer, but the relationships are deeper. I dislike that about people here-- the word "friend" is used to describe any kind of "acquaintance". I've lived here for a long time, so I'm used to it, but I don't understand it-LOL.

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FRANCLYN 12/9/2010 9:25AM

    Wonderful to have a positive follow up. Was worried about you. Glad you have options you're looking into that will allow you to get the interaction you need balanced with the family life you love. Every once in a while our husbands really come through and amaze us again with how understanding they can be.

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TWINSMOMMY607 12/9/2010 7:45AM

    It sounds like you guys have a plan in place. Good for you!!

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JILLIANPRNCSS 12/9/2010 6:33AM

    Oh I feel your pain. As I read your blog it brought back all those same feelings I had when we lived in Germany. You are on the right path with talking to your husband and brainstorming. Is there any base close by to you because they would have activities for Moms and playgrounps? We all get through it and you will too.

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Rachel_Mac's Photos Thingy... EEEEK!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Unfortunately, I do not have a suitable bathing suit, so I am posting pictures in my..... underwear!! AAAAHHHH! Please don't laugh.

Finding a camera was a bit of a pain, so these were taken with my iPhone. I used an older dig-cam this weekend to take pics, but for the life of me, cannot find the cable to hook it up to the computer and download the pics. And our "real" camera, our Nikon DSLR, has an MIA battery at the moment... Hmmm.... Hubby's tech-mayhem!!

So, here goes:

Just for fun, I included a picture of my guns. emoticon My goals with this are really to work on toning up my tummy and butt more. I have very muscular arms, really without trying very much, and shoulders too. They are almost too skinny. But my tummy has still a lot of loose skin. It was massively stretched out in my pregnancy with my twins. I have this stubborn pooch that doesn't want to leave, even though I am at my lowest weight ever as an adult, and didn't have that before... Ugghhh.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHUBBYSISTER1 12/12/2010 4:37PM

    OMG!!! You look so amazing. You look like the women on the cover of fitness magazine! You look so lean and so strong. Wow!! You are such an inspiration!!! Thanks for sharing!!

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SLEEPYDEAN 12/10/2010 12:22AM

    I am just like you with my arms - I do a couple of pushups here and there and then bam all of a sudden they are so muscular. Wish my legs and abs were the same way!

I'm sure you'll see some great results with your regimen of running, biking and Les Mills classes.

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LIL_EZZY 12/9/2010 5:29AM

    You are really little. You look great and look at those guns.....

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ROCKANDRUN1 12/8/2010 12:52AM

    You look awesome!!!!!

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SQUINKLY 12/7/2010 10:44PM

    You've had twins!!! You're a superstar! So lean.

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SEEHOLZ 12/7/2010 1:50PM

    I hope you're happy with that body- you look amazing!

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KIMJEWKES 12/7/2010 1:31PM

    I think you look awesome =) Your arms are TO DIE for and you have very nice legs and I can definitely see some abs coming through!!

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MELLYBEANS0919 12/7/2010 1:03PM

    Fabulous body girl!

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FRANCLYN 12/7/2010 12:34PM

    Wow! I wish I looked that good in my underwear! I need to take new pictures myself.

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LEASH119 12/7/2010 11:32AM

    you look awesome can't wait to see your progress!

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    You look SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO freekin' lean and amazing. ROCK on girl. I'm not sure what your gonna do to look better, but I got our back [or I WISH I HAD your back]!!!

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TRAINER_T 12/7/2010 10:10AM

    OMG I totally want your body now your HAWT!
Love your abs popping and your arms are fabulous too.......

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PROUDLY_HIS 12/7/2010 9:37AM

    as a mom of twins im just happy to see that the tummy gets as small as yours has. im a bit concerned mine wont. What kind of exercises are you doing for it?

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JLEMUS1 12/7/2010 9:29AM

    You look emoticon Thanks for taking the pics it really shows all the hard work, you have put in already!! Oh awesome guns!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NICOLE12-01 12/7/2010 9:19AM

    You look great already! You're waist is so teeny-tiny! And those guns!!! WOW! I can't wait to follow your progress! the undies!

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    You look fabulous!! Great arms and shoulders. I can't wait to see your progress. Good luck!

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I need a vacation... (a vent, I'm sorry)

Monday, December 06, 2010

It ain't gonna be pretty or positive... just so ya know. I really hesitate writing this blog, because I know some people will read this, and think, "why is she whining? she has so much to be thankful for!" That is true, I know.

Here's the deal: I am a SAHM of 4 kids. I always wanted to be a mom, and stay at home. I love my kids, I do. But I hate staying home all the time. I loathe cleaning, and constantly picking up the same messes over and over. It's like I am caught in the endless cycle of doing the same menial tasks over and over and over.... and over... But I can clean, even though it isn't my favorite. I always try to do my best, and keep things up.

Let me just add a little side note here: I moved to Germany with my German husband 4 years ago. His mom, a typical middle-aged German lady, i.e. CLEAN FREAK, criticized my house cleaning to my husband for the first several months we were here (which then blew up into this huge situation... yeah, that's a whole different story). This was a long time ago, and she doesn't do this anymore, but as much as I try to tell myself that it really shouldn't matter what she thinks, IT HAS SCARRED ME FOR LIFE! And I am CONSTANTLY on edge about how my house looks. I put a lot of pressure on myself to meet the German standard, and not be the dirty American who can't keep her house straight.

Ok, so really, I can live with the cleaning-everyday bit. But what bothers me most of all, is being strapped to the house. When my twins arrived 2 years ago, I felt like it was impossible to leave the house. I seriously didn't go ANYWHERE with my infants twins until they were more than 2 months old. Aiden, my special-needs son, was only 2 at the time, and still very dependent on us. Even though he's 4, he STILL doesn't like to walk through stores. He is totally out of his comfort zone when he is not in the cart, and goes into screaming fits sometimes. When the girls were babies, that meant, I had to have their MAMMOTH-SIZED infant twin stroller, plus a shopping cart for Aiden... Can you just see me trying to get through the store? Now, Aiden goes to a wonderful kindergarten for special-needs kids, which is just GREAT for him, plus it gives me a little bit of a break. But when I go shopping with just the girls, and have to buy a lot of stuff, I STILL have to get 2 shopping carts!

So, even now, with just the girls, going anywhere is a hassle for me. The getting everyone out of the car, and packing all the stuff along with.... to the packing everyone back into the car, and dealing with tired, cranky, hungry girls (no matter how many snacks I pack).... It just isn't worth it.

So, I don't go. I go once a week to go grocery shopping - I make a weekly meal plan, and grocery list of all the things I need. Everything is well-planned. I get in, get out. Done. I do NOT go luxury shopping. First of all we have NO money, and secondly, I have NO time or patience. If I do go somewhere to buy something that isn't a necessity, I ALWAYS have a guilty conscience that I am leaving behind unfinished work at home, that I am not working on one of the projects on my never-ending list of projects that NEVER get done...

But I look forward to the weekends when I get a little bit of help from the hubby. Usually we try to do something fun, and go somewhere, go "fun" shopping (which still doesn't get me far, because we have NO money!!). But at least getting out is fun.

This past weekend, however, my husband left on a "business" trip. His aunt, who he works for, and who is a total witch, planned the company Christmas party (no family is typically invited to these unless you work for the biz) OVERNIGHT on a SATURDAY NIGHT!! WTF!?!?! But to justify that everyone come, they were holding some kind of motivational seminar on Sunday morning... Yada, yada, blah, blah, blah. I am sorry, but I blew my top to begin with, with this stupid idea, and thought that was totally wrong that she plan something like that on the weekend! We have so precious, precious little family time to begin with!! My husband works like 70 hours a week, and is WWWWWAAAAAYYYYY underpaid by his stingy aunt and uncle. We are so far in the hole financially, I don't know if we will ever get out, and his aunt and uncle went on a CRUISE TO DUBAI this past year!!! Livin' the high life, while we struggle. And my poor husband works so hard, and RARELY even gets a pat on the back. All he deals with is criticism and beatings from them. They are the most horrible employers, seriously. That would never fly in the States. People would leave and go somewhere else to work.

Anyway, in spite of me being against it, my husband felt differently. He felt obligated to go... He is supposed to be the "heir" of the business, and supposed to take it over. But they said he would "take it over in 3-5 years" 4 years ago when we got here... And they are no where closer than they were 4 years ago to giving it over to him. That's fine, we are making other plans for our future already, and don't want to take that junk over anyway (car business.)

So, he went. And I was here, stuck at the house with the kids all weekend. The kids had all been sick with stuff last week - colds, stomach-bug type symptoms too, weird stuff. So, I decided not to go to church. Church is quite a drive for me (45 min- 1 hr, and sometimes longer on the way back if there's a traffic jam on the Autobahn), we had a bunch of new snow, sick kids, me not feeling well, me having to take my somewhat-sick-though-recovering kids to church all by myself... I felt it was better just to stay home.

But part of it, too, was that I was really down. Not only did I not get time with my husband, but he disregarded how I felt about that whole thing, and I felt angry. But not just that, I feel like I am stuck in this endless cycle of taking care of my kids and family, and I can never get off this thing. I never get a break. I never get time to just go out without the kids, except for VERY rare occasions. And to make it worse, I don't really have any real close friendships with anyone in my area. I have some good friends here in Germany, but they all live a little further away, not like I can visit them when my older 2 kids are at school, or anything. Germans tend to be quite closed-off often times, its part of their culture, which is ok. But its hard finding warm and friendly, open Germans. And I am the warm and friendly, very sociable type. And there is ALWAYS the financial stress hanging over our heads!

So, on top of the loneliness of not having close friends I can go out with regularly and talk girl talk, I haven't been home to the US in over 3 years to visit my family. We have NO money for that. I have no idea when I will be able to visit my family. My sister has come once, my mom has come 3 times, and my dad twice to visit. But they all have it tight financially too, which makes it tough for them to just come whenever. But whenever I do get to hang out with my sisters, it doesn't ever matter how long its been, there's never any weirdness or nervousness... It's always just like old times, and we talk for hours and laugh... I really miss that. I find it hard to even find the time to call my family, because of the time change, and how busy I am in the afternoons (which is when I would call them).

Anyway, I am just down about all of this... I feel like I am totally stuck. Stuck at home. Stuck in Germany. Stuck financially. Stuck not being able to help my family financially (i.e. getting a job... that's a whole other blog), Stuck in this rut with no social life outside of my home. Stuck. Stuck. Stuck.

I'm sorry, I don't mean to be so negative, but I'm just having a very hard time right now....

Afterthoughts and notes:
Just thought I would write a few additional things after thinking about this, and in regards to the first comment I received about integrating myself.
I LOVE Germany, and don't plan or wish to move from here. I am not complaining about being here. I really feel like this is a dream come true for me. I have always been very open to and fascinated by people from other countries and cultures! LOVE IT! Which is probably why I fell in love with my husband! And as far as speaking German, I speak fluently now. Not perfectly, but fluently. With my German friends who speak English too, I usually try to have a "German-Only" policy, so I practice my German. And I am going through a schooling program at a German trade school, with all other Germans in my class. I think I am doing pretty good at integrating myself, and welcoming the new culture and lifestyle.

But as far as having meaningful friendships with people, and contact with those people on a regular basis... that is lacking. The people I want to hang out with live long distances away (an hour at least), and the people in my community who I have reached out to and welcomed into my home, have never really returned the invite. But that is ok, I am not offended. Here's something that bites about the German culture: NONE of my son's friends' parents are my age. NONE. They are ALL at LEAST 10 years older than me. When I lived in the States, I had a HUGE circle of wonderful friends, we were all the same age, and had kids the same age, and we would get together at one couple's house almost every weekend with our kids, and hang out! PURE YOUNG FAMILY AWESOMENESS! But I don't have that here.

And the frustration with not getting more time with my husband. And dealing with his endless work hours. And dealing with his negativity that eeks from his job. And the lack of finances... always being strapped. Missing my family and my friends back home. And to be honest, I don't want time away ALONE, I want some SOCIAL time with other people (and/or with my husband).

I was so down about this, I cried myself to sleep last night (a very rare occurance), and also wrote this original blog through many tears....

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NAGLA929 12/9/2010 2:26PM

    I read your blog and I totally UNDERSTAND. Your life is sssssssssooooooooo similar to mine with some very few variations.

I also read part 2 of your blog and I see that things are looking up. emoticon

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HOPEFULSWEIGH 12/7/2010 9:22AM

    Middle Age. This is what I call this phase. Who knew that life can be so challenging? The one thing I have learned throughout my thirties is that we all go through it, we meaning moms, feeling lonely, feeling all we do is clean and care for our family, sometimes we feel like we have lost ourselves. The best thing you can do for yourself is what you just did, vent, get it out, realize how you are feeling and acknowledge that. Life is far from picture perfect for most families, but we chose how we are going to go through the journey. And just so you know I think you are doing a great job...your progress pictures are fabulous! What a journey you have been on. A new day may give you some new perspective. All the best on the RM challenge.

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JENN26POINT2 12/6/2010 4:25PM

    emoticon I'm sorry. I wish I had some advice for you. I can understand your feeling of being trapped. The worst part is the financial part because there's really nothing you can do in the short term to eleviate that stress. I really wish I had some advice for you or a solution for you but I don't. I hope a hug is enough...

However, if these feelings don't go away, it could be more than just general loneliness. It could be depression, and while depression in and of itself is a negative thing to bring up while trying to cheer you up (even if it's just a little), it's something that needs to be mentioned b/c it can be very devastating to a family. Just keep your head up, talk to whomever you feel like you can talk to about your feelings. I hope things perk up for you soon.

Comment edited on: 12/6/2010 4:28:17 PM

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FRANCLYN 12/6/2010 2:12PM

    You are completely entitled to a vent. You are doing your best and trying to focus on the things you like about your life, focusing on the blessings. However, no matter how much you appreciate the blessings and the "big picture," the little "curses" of daily life will occasionally accumulate and wear you down to this point. It will pass. You will continue on and enough things will pass that you will feel better about life. Hang in there. Chuckholes are expected on the road of life. Some of them feel like full-on sinkholes! Cling tight to the fact that you will pull out of it at some point and keep reaching out to your Spark friends and any other friends in whatever ways you can to help you get through the time until then. We're here.

BTW, thank you for making me feel less alone and less of a wimp when it comes to the incessant cleaning/living up to people's expectations of a SAHM. There are times I swear if I hear one more, "Well, you're home all day..." comment.....

Comment edited on: 12/6/2010 2:13:19 PM

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TWINSMOMMY607 12/6/2010 10:59AM

I don't think you sound whiny at all. I think you sound like a woman who is frustrated. Believe me we all get frustrated with our lives, even though it is just what we want. Take a deep breath!! Maybe work out a schedule with your hubby to have a little alone time to youself. I know a couple that has twins and an older son. Once a week the Mom goes to the library for an hour by herself to regain some of her sanity.

Hang in there!

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GRAMPIAN 12/6/2010 10:56AM

  You are having a hard time. It can be difficult integrating in a foreign country, but could you try to learn the language (there are lots of online home study courses available, which would allow you to mix a bit more? emoticon

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