Thursday, December 31, 2009

Hints for Marriage and Relationships in the New Year

No one wants to start the New Year on a bad note. If you are in a relationship or married you definitely want things to be happy and go smoothly. So here's a few hints for those in relationships for the New Year that correlate with our new techie lifestyles:

1. Put down the computer! - How much time do you spend on the computer? Play games? Watch movies? Blog? Chat? Get on facebook and myspace? Take time away from the computer and spend some time EVERY DAY with your partner. Even if you just snuggle on the couch and hold each other while a bad rerun is playing it's better than keeping your hands on the keyboard and chit chatting with them. Take an hour or thirty minutes and give each other attention. Having a computer in the bedroom is just as bad as having a television in the bedroom. It's better to read a book and snuggle than it is to hold a large piece of plastic in your lap and read. That large piece of plastic makes it harder for your partner to get near you.

2. Don't air your dirty laundry on sites! - Okay, it's addicting and fun, but seriously. You don't have to air all your dirty laundry about your spouse online. Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter are not the best places to talk crap about people. Once there the words never go away but are forever available for the world to see in cyberspace... even after kisses and forgiveness has been done.

3. Quit hooking up with people on websites! - Online chatting and dating are becoming real problems. It takes us back to number 1 too. Why are you spending time flirting and having online sex talks with people when you have a real person right there in your home? Hello? Maybe this is one reason you are having problems, genius. And you think you're being sneaky? Think again. Did you know that around 25% of divorces today have named facebook as a reason for being divorced? You will be found out. So, instead of spending time having pretend sex with a person online, try the real thing with a real person that lives with you. Actually talking to them and having relations with them might fix some of your problems.

4. Make a date night at least once per month! - Yes, I do realize that things get busy, but with all the new time you are making by putting down the computer and actually looking at the life you have around you you can make time to actually take out your siggie. (*siggie = significant other) It's great to reconnect and help develop some of that waning romance. Take turns picking out the date and don't be afraid to be creative and try new things.

5. Go to bed at the same time! - Don't let your partner go to bed before or after you do. Make it a routine to go to bed together. Spend a few minutes sharing ideas for the new days or just sharing thoughts. You might be surprised to see what happens. It could be the very thing you need to revamp that sex life.

6. Don't lie to each other! - Even if it's little white lies it ain't good, Bucko. You can skim the truth but eventually it's going to come out. If you don't share what's wrong they can't help and vice versa. Part of being in a relationship is being able to share. If you have a crush on someone bring it out in the open and maybe it won't be such a problem because holding it in only romanticizes it. Bringing it out in the open may actually help you get over it.

7. Don't blow off the handle! - Especially if he/she is sharing with you. If they do have a secret crush and they are bringing it to your attention it means they trust you to be able to handle it. Take things in stride. Remember, once you lose your temper you've lost the argument. You can't have a conversation if you're yelling and anger only causes hurtful things to be said. Take some time to calm down and then discuss things. Be aware, be patient, and try to see the other person's point of view.

We'll stop at lucky number seven. Hope you all find that your love is grand in the coming year!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Surviving Thanksgiving

I truly must be a survivor. After going to Turkey and living through numerous taxi cab rides(in Turkey there are no speed limit signs, no one sees lane lines, stop light are not laws but merely recommendations, and traffic police are there only to collect money if they actually care about how you are driving, catching some kind of bug that my oldest daughter so kindly shared with me (thank you Sesame Street for "It's Nice to Share" idea that it gave to all my children growing up), and having five extra boys in the house and three extra girls in the house for our Thanksgiving holiday I realize I can survive almost anything. Even 2012.

My perplexity comes from our now 17 year old daughter whom decided that she didn't like having extra people in the house at all. She didn't even like having her paternal grandparents here. "It's not like they care at all about me," she said. My concern was that she spouted off with her grandfather standing directly in front of us.

Honestly I can understand how young boys might get on her nerves, not that they paid her much attention. They were loud and energetic, but that's how boys are supposed to be. However, I can't understand her disdain over her grandparents and her aunt. She was a bit miffed by the fact that her uncle couldn't remember her name, but hey, he's a guy. He's lucky to remember his own name at times, I'm sure.

I think what it boiled down to is that she wasn't the center of attention. She felt the boys were more important than she was. She also didn't like the fact that her grandmother brought up her natural mother and was talking about her. She hasn't acknowledged her in several years now and doesn't show signs of forgiving her for past transgressions yet. It's a very hard issue to come to terms with. I know several women that have "mother" problems that they never have gotten over.

I think it's tough being a teenage girl. You have all those hormones running rampant and no where to release them. You feel like you're lonely all the time even when people are in the house. No matter what you say you are misunderstood. You have to constantly watch what you wear and what you say. Boys, on the other hand, can pretty much wear whatever they want. If they don't shower and jump out of bed crumpled it's still cool. If a girl tries that they get snickered at all through the day and rumors start running rampant.

But after saving the cockatoo and giving him therapy after new boys came in and thought he was carnival shooting toy, the smaller dogs and the cat were relieved and came out of hiding, and finding dishes and food in very clever hiding places things are getting back to normal... or as normal as it ever gets here.

Honestly, I do miss Turkey. It was wonderful there. I miss the people, mostly. But I love being home with my family and friends. I enjoy being in a place where I can drive to the store at a reasonable speed and where I can mostly count on people stopping for a red light.

Now that the turkey has been downed, two birthdays are almost out of the way, and the kids are back to the school grind we can get ready for Christmas. (sigh) But at least we'll have most of our family together, and for me that's the bestest part of the holidays.

***Note: The picture is of our favorite taxi driver whom we fondly call Benjamin. His name is actually Ebu Bakir which I mistakenly heard as "Abel Baker." I told him he looked like a Benjamin and he said, "Okay. I'll be Benjamin." He's totally awesome... :) and can drive better than most race car drivers I've seen.