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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I'm so proud of my Roman. He wants to bring all his quarters that he's earned from chores to school and donate to Haiti.

...last part of status update: ..."At 4 years old, he may not know why he's donating, but it begins somewhere..."

Status Update on 2/3/10
17 people "Like" this... oh wait, make it 18...

This morning, Roman found an envelope and got very excited about it. I thought it was a little strange, but I figured, "it's Roman..he's always doing strange things. " But then he started putting his quarters into the envelope. And just so you know, my husband and I would give Roman quarters for the chores that he does around the house. So this is money that he has earned on his own. While he was placing his earnings into the envelope, he tells me, "I need to give this to Mrs. A!" (not using the full name of his teacher for privacy). Huh? So I ask my son, "Why do you need to bring your money to school?"... "Because Mrs. A needs to buy toys!" Okay?, that doesn't make sense. In my haste of getting my morning routine going, I tell my son that he needs to put his money back or else he'll lose it. His response... "Awww man!" and stomps away to put his money away. Okay, done... so I thought.
It just so happened that today was my turn to be the parent volunteer at Roman's preschool. And in class, what happens? Mrs. A brings out a huge envelop and asks the children if anyone brought money for Haiti. O...M...G! My heart just about broke into hundreds of pieces. My 4-year-old was trying to bring money to school to donate to Haiti! ALL of his money. And without truly listening to my son, I told him to put it back. After school I apologized to my son and praised him for wanting to give his money to Mrs. A. And once we got home, we took an envelope and filled it with his quarters. I watched as my Roman counted all his quarters and placed them into the envelope. Without thinking twice, he gave it to me to seal up and place in his school bag. I can't begin to describe the pride I feel for my son today. One, because he was willing to donate all his hard earnings to something so huge... and two, he's doing it without truly understanding why he's giving his money away. He's simply doing it out of faith that it is supposed to be used for something good.

Life Lesson:..... I really don't think I need to put one down...

Oh... and make it 19 people who "Like" this status... and counting...

It's not an addiction, it's an obsession

"Wow, so is it true that tattoos are addicting?" This is another question that I get asked all the time. And at first, my response would be "YES, it is very, very addicting." But then people started asking "Why? What makes it addicting?" Um... because I like tattoos and they're pretty?... hmmm, I soon realized that my answers did not answer the question. So I really started to look at that initial question and analyze it. The first thing I did was look at the word "addicting."
When I think of the word "addiction," (without even looking at its true dictionary definition), I think of addictions to drugs, alcohol, food. And what these things have in common are the physical and psychological dependence on these objects. People's addictions affect their everyday lives. They need whatever it is they are addicted to every single day. They cannot go more than a few hours without it. If one were to take drugs away from a drug addict, there would be so much turmoil in that person's life. The withdrawals that this person has to go through physically and psychologically are tremendous. Without the drugs, their body craves it to the point where a person would steal just to get a small dosage., that is NOT how I feel about tattoos. So, lets actually look at the definition of addiction.
Addiction: being abnormally tolerant to and dependent on something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming.
Okay, I do not see myself dependent on needing to get tattoos. And I do not find it habit forming. If I go for months without getting tattooed, I don't go through psychological withdrawals. Yes, I do want more and more tattoos... but I can function everyday without getting inked up. So being addicted to tattoos is, for me, definitely the wrong term.
All I knew was that I really, really loved getting tattooed. I save my money, I don't spend money on anything other than necessities in order to save more, and I'm always on the search for new designs or ideas for my next tattoo. Then I started think of this in terms of other things people save their money for because they love it. I thought about women who love shoes, men who love cars, people who love designer clothes... all these things are obsessions. Yes, that's the word that totally describes what I feel about tattoos. Obsession.
For the sake of making my point, I'm going to use women's obsession with shoes as my example. I know many, many women who LOOOOVE shoes. They can spend hundreds of dollars on one pair of shoes without batting an eye. They look for the designer name, color, size, how it makes compliments their outfit, if it makes their ankles look skinny... There are women out there with wardrobes full of shoes (top to bottom) . Even though some people may find this crazy, it is accepted. So I wonder, why should my obsession of tattoos be any different?
I personally don't understand why on earth anyone would spend hundreds of dollars on a pair of shoes that go on your feet, will get dirty, and covers the lowest part of your body. I mean, when you great someone, they're first going to look at your face (or body), but definitely not your shoes. I honestly don't get it. And who cares who designed the shoe? Well, I guess only other people who are obsessed with shoes will.
But I realize that this is pretty much what other people think of when they think of me and my obsession with tattoos. "Why does she pay so much? Who cares about who does her tattoos? and on and on and on..." The only people who would truly understand where I am coming from are other people who are obsessed with tattoos... much like everyone who is obsessed with shoes understand each other... much like everyone who is obsessed with cars understand each other... People are willing to scrimp and save for their obsessions, they are willing to spend time researching their next purchase for their obsessions, they are willing to engage in heartfelt conversations with other people who share their obsessions... and most importantly, they are daydreaming about their newest addition to their obsession.
So when people say to me, "You are really addicted to tattoos, huh?" I've been responding, "It is not an addiction, it is an obsession. There is a huge difference." This usually gets people thinking, and I notice that this simple statement drives my point home.
One thing I will say about my obsession with tattoos versus other obsessions, is mine are permanent.. no one can steal them, they don't wear out, and I can show off every single one of my collection anytime I want. And I don't have to spend more money insuring my obsession in case they get damaged or stolen. Can you say that about shoes or cars?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

So what made you want to start getting tattoos?

This is one of the questions I get asked a lot. And honestly, it's a fairly simple answer: Because I think they're beautiful..and behind every tattoo, I know there's a story. Ever since I was a little girl, I've been intrigued by tattoos. I also think growing up with two older brothers who were into Heavy Metal and Rock and Roll, and seeing album (yes, actual LP album) covers and rock stars covered with tattoos added to my fascination. I always wondered: why people got tattoos?, what was the story behind it?, is there a story behind it? Anytime I met someone with a tattoo, I would ask them about it, and I find that I could listen to them and not lose interest in their story.

It wasn't until I was about 21 and I went to Florida with my friends that I decided to get my first tattoo. My friend and I decided, "Yeah, we're in Florida! Let's get a tattoo!" SURE!!! why not? Our search for a tattoo shop was easy because there were so many to choose from. It was a really fun experience.. Quick and very little pain. I had one of my friends draw a "Goddess Symbol" and I got it on the back of my right hip. I remember being so excited and feeling like a "rebel" getting my first tattoo. Once it was done, I felt like such a bad ass! It was great. I remember from that day on, always wanting to wear cute little midriffs to show off my tattoo. I seriously thought I was part of the, what I call, the "tattooed world." But really, what I ended up getting was my "I'm on vacation.. WOO-HOO!" tattoo. I like to call those the "Spring Break" tattoos. Anyways, that'll be a different blog post.

I always knew I wanted more... but I didn't want to just get any old tattoo. I wanted them to be meaningful, and this time I wanted them in a place that can really be seen. It wasn't until 10 years later that I finally knew what I wanted. Having 2 kids, I knew i wanted to get something that represented them. I searched and searched, until I found a Celtic Knot that represented Motherhood. I immediately fell in love with it and had it placed on my left shoulder. I think it was after this second tattoo that my true love for getting tattoos started. And because I'm older and am really knowing who I am as a person, my tattoos are very meaningful, and I put a lot of thought into each one I've had done, and to each one I have yet to get done.

So begins my many stories and thoughts about tattoos... and I have many.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The way I see it, if you don't take care of yourself, how can you possibly take care of the people you love?

Status Update on 1/24/10
10 people "Like" this
11 people made a "Comment" on this

I've always been a pretty active and fairly healthy person. All started when I was 7 years old, when my mom decided to put me in gymnastics. Which switched to ice skating, which switched to dancing. Dancing stuck. So I truly thank my mom for putting me in different activities. I know she only did it so that I would have something to do after school. But I don't think she realized that because she put me in so many different activities, now as an adult, I want to lead a healthy and active life.

I know as a working mom and wife, it can get difficult to make exercise and eating right a priority. Who has time to exercise when you have a house to clean, kids to drive places, meals to cook... and don't let me get started on meals. Seriously??, a delicious AND healthy meal... yeah right... maybe if I had a personal Chef!!!

But then perspective hits me... I have a family I need to take care of... I have friends who love me...If I were gone, who'd take my place in their lives? I understand that we don't have control over what fate has in store for us. However, if there is anything I can do to help me stay just a little bit longer on this earth to watch my sons grow up into men... then I'll do it.

That's exactly why I make taking care of myself a priority. And I don't mean selfish shit like buying myself new clothes or shoes.. but I mean taking care of my body, my soul, my overall well-being. I truly believe that when you take care of these things first, your overall attitude and the way you deal with people automatically changes... am I right? Think about it... after eating a cheeseburger with fries and a soda, don't you feel like crap afterwards? You feel sluggish, bloated and sleepy. Yes, a value meal is easy, cheap, and convenient... but is it worth it? Seriously, how am I supposed to keep up with my two boys when I'm too bloated to get up and chase after them. Or if I'm sluggish, how can I roll around and play with them.. and how can I possibly teach them right from wrong if I'm too sleepy to even think straight? And of course, if I'm eating this stuff, that means my kids are eating this stuff too... and if I feel like crap afterwards, imagine how their little bodies feel afterwards.

"I just don't have the time, I don't have the energy, Who'll watch the kids?"... ALL CRAPPY EXCUSES!!!! I'm sorry, but I want to be around and alert and present while I'm raising my kids and taking care of my husband. I MAKE IT A POINT to do things like exercise at least 30 minutes a day, throw in some veggies with my meal, take some time to meditate. Because by doing these things for myself, I am a much better mother, wife, and friend. And if I can do it, you sure as hell can do it too!

I really can't stand when people, especially women, use family as an excuse to not take care of themselves and to let themselves go. Women used to make it a priority to take care of themselves before they had a family... why stop once you had your family? Isn't that when it's the most important? Think about it. I get asked all the time, "What's your secret?" Secret? Really?

Okay, here's my secret: DIET, EXERCISE, TAKE TIME TO RELAX and DO ONE THING YOU LOVE DOING..... oooooooo... big secret there!

Now, of course I know it's hard... there are definitely days where I bring home a bunch of value meals because I'm too tired to cook, and there are many nights I just veg out in front of the TV instead of exercising because I'm just too damn tired... but I always go back to: "If I don't take care of myself, how can I possibly take care of my loved ones?" That alone gets me off my butt the next day and I try again....and I try again....and I try AGAIN. I don't stop trying. Because my family is worth it. They are worth me sticking around for as long as I can. They are worth having me happy and alert and ready to take care of them.

LIFE LESSON: If your family, friends, and loved ones are worth it, don't make excuses that keep you from taking care of yourself. Make YOURSELF a priority, and everyone else around you will feel like you're putting them first.

Shoot, why not blog about my tattoos?

It's no big surprise that I like... no LOVE tattoos. Everyone who knows me, knows that I get excited when talking about tattoos, getting tattoos, thinking about what to get for my next tattoo...

So, why not blog about it.. This is a way for people, especially non-tattooed people to understand the mindset of why a person likes to get tattooed. People ask me all the time: "What made you start?" "What do your tattoos mean?" "Is it true they're addicting?"

Well, here we go...

Monday, January 25, 2010

No matter how terrible and wild my boys act... I KNOW i'm doing something right when they say, "I Love You" (on their own) when I tuck them in at nigh

Status Update on 1/25/10
9 people "Like" this
2 people made a "Comment" on this

As a mom of two extremely active boys, there are many moments that I want to pull out my hair and scream... All us moms go through these moments of insanity. Nothing new. Those moments where you wonder why the heck you had kids in the first place. Where your mind goes back to those days when you were free of responsibility, free of worries... and you could just pick up and go out at a moments notice. Remember those days? But now, if a friend calls you to go to happy hour, you're running through the checklist in your mind: "Will my husband be home in time for me to go out?" "Do I have something presentable, besides yoga pants and a tank top to wear?" "Will I be home in time to do homework with the boys?"... all these things go through your head, and add in screaming, fighting, toy throwing little boys into the mix... and you're thinking, "Yeah, Happy Hour? You're kidding me, right?"

BUT... one thing that has always been a MUST in my house.. is no matter how bad my day was, or how terrible the boys acted that day... I will always, ALWAYS tuck them in at night and say, "I Love You. Good Night." Always. And when I look at them, I realize, "They're BOYS... they're 4 and 5 year old'll always be rough" And when they say, "I love you mommy" and pull me in for a hug... it makes everything that I thought I missed out on go away. Who cares about happy hours, shopping sprees, a carefree life? I got these two lives that the higher being above have given me and I need to raise these boys to be men. Men who aren't afraid to say, "I Love You" to their mommy.

LIFE LESSON: At the end of the day, no matter how rough it was, if you have someone to come home to who says, I Love You... you're living a pretty damn good life.

Apparently, I've been told my Facebook Statuses are interesting... so, I decided to BLOG

So, I've been on Facebook for about a year. I really love how I've reconnected with so many wonderful people from my past. And through my "status updates" I get to tell people how I'm doing without having to take huge chunks out of my day to do it. Having two very, VERY, active boys has left me with little to no time to socialize... Facebook has allowed me to have a social life, while still lying in bed in my pj's.

But one thing I've discovered about my status updates is that people actually like reading them! What?... all I'm doing is talking about my boys, my struggles, my observations... but apparently, the way I say things amuses people. Even though people don't "comment" on what I type, I'll run into someone and they'll say, "... oh, by the way, I really like reading your status updates." or "...your status updates are hilarious!" I've been called "quirky, funny, insightful"... insightful? Really? And this is coming from different people from different areas of my life! Wow, little did I know...

Another thing I've noticed about typing my status updates is that I'm blunt, I'm honest, I put myself on the chopping block a lot... and I get to really look at who I am as a person, and I learn so much about myself... I know, sounds too deep for just status updates. But honestly, I have learned so much from these simple updates....and I don't want to forget a thing.

So HENCE... my blog. This is a way for me to expand from my one sentence "Status Updates" and to keep track of what I've learned from them. So that's what I'll be doing... writing my updates on Facebook, and then writing what it means to me. Anyways... here we go!