Category Archives: Family

Love In An Elevator

For 35 years I’ve cried at the end of each and every summer.  In my teenage years my parents would drive away from Chadwick Beach, New Jersey as I cried with sand still sticking to my toes.  This year, my 36th summer was far from any scene Norman Rockwell would have wanted to capture!  My kids seemed to take up sibling arguing as their summer hobby, my parent’s beach house at the Jersey Shore sat completely gutted and unusable thanks to last October’s hurricane, my son broke his arm, and as the lyrics of It’s a Small World say it best, our trip to Disney seemed to bring out “A world of tears” in my daughter!  TaNTrUmS, ScReAmInG,  and BrEaKdOwNs were everyday occurrences for my kids (and sometimes Mommy).  On our Disney vacation, the low-point was my daughter Abby while decked out head to toe in her Belle costume screaming at the top of her 4-year-old lungs, “You’re a mean Mommy!”  Why you might ask?  All because I wouldn’t let her walk on a ledge that she wanted to use as a balance beam!  MeAn MoMmY!!!  Where was this kid when her MeAn MoMmY was packing 3 princess dresses complete with tiaras and light up shoes, a Tinker Bell costume with light up wings and shoes that jingle, and countless other Disney “necessities”?!!!

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This is just so you can get an image of the Belle ensemble!

Then the high-point.  If you’ve ever been to Disney World’s Hollywood Studios you know you can’t top the experience of ridding the Aerosmith Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.  I LOVE roller coasters and this one is simply the best.  You ride in the dark and go 0 to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds while Aerosmith’s LoVe In An EleVaToR and WaLK THiS WaY blast in your ears!  Since my kids were way too little to go on this ride and we had no one to watch the kids while my husband and I went on the ride.  I did the only thing that made sense.  I WENT ON THE RIDE ALL BY MYSELF.  I walked up the single riders line and was on the ride within 5 minutes.  As like each time I’ve gone on the Rock ‘n’ Coaster before, my heart was pounding with anticipation as the limousine coaster pulled back and took off into darkness.  Turning upside down and sideways with Aerosmith screaming in my ears was exactly what I needed to recharge and refuel.  I walked off that ride like a little kid on Christmas morning.  OK, so the ride  only lasts 1 minute and 22 seconds, but it was 1 minute and 22 seconds ALL TO MYSELF!  There was no fighting over who was going to sit next to Mommy, no crying when “World of tears Abby” was too short to go on the ride when Nicholas made the cut, it was just me and around these parts that is a ReAlLy rare thing!  I think there may have been a little skip in my step when I met my husband and kids waiting for me and when the next little crisis broke out…this Mommy was ready to take it on!tumblr_m8il1io18v1rq4chmo1_500

I realize that I can’t jump on a roller coaster every time I need to get some perspective, but this entire experience made me realize that it is the smallest and silliest things that can turn your day or summer in my case around.  If you feel like you are overwhelmed with something whether it be your kids, family, work, etc. take a break and do something that makes you happy.  Get your nails done, go shopping, grab coffee with a girlfriend.  It might be just what you need!

*Or you can click on this YouTube video I found that someone made of the Aerosmith Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.  It pretty much details my entire ride except they had a different music selection…still great though!

Experience the Rock ‘n’ Coaster!

Great to be back!

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

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What Everybody Wants

Quotes from How to Win Friends & Influence People (Revised Edition) by Dale Carnegie:

Chapter:  What Everybody Wants.

Principle:  Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.

“Wouldn’t you like to have a magic phrase that would stop arguments, eliminate ill feeling, create good will, and make the other person listen attentively?  Yes?  All right.  Here it is:  ‘I don’t blame you one iota for feeling as you do.  If I were you I would undoubtedly feel just as you do.’  An answer like that will soften the most cantankerous old cuss alive.  And you can say that and be 100 percent sincere, because if you were the other person you, of course, would feel just as he does.”  (pg. 176)

“Three-fourths of the people you will ever meet are hungering and thirsting for sympathy.  Give it to them, and they will love you.”  (pg. 177)

Principle:  Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.

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A Formula That Will Work Wonders For You

Quotes from How to Win Friends & Influence People (Revised Edition) by Dale Carnegie:

Chapter:  A Formula That Will Work Wonders For You.

Principle:  Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.

“Remember that other people may be totally wrong.  But they don’t think so.  Don’t condemn them.  Any fool can do that.  Try to understand them.  Only wise-tolerant, exceptional people even try to do that.”  (pg. 170)

“Success in dealing with people depends on a sympathetic grasp of the other person’s viewpoint.”  (pg. 170)

“If, as a result of reading this book, you get only one thing – an increased tendency to think always in terms of the other person’s point of view, and see things from that person’s angle as well as your own – if you get only that one thing from this book, it may easily prove to be one of the stepping-stones of your career.”  (pg. 175)

Principle:  Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.

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iPhone Mommy

I admit it…I spend WaY ToO MuCh time on my phone.  It is a habit I have been saying I am going to stop for a long time, but have yet to accomplish.  It would be bad enough if I was taking time away from my kids by just talking on the phone, but we all know that is not what I am doing.  I hop around from email, to Facebook, to Pinterest, to Twitter and sometimes throw in a game of skee-ball.  The problem is…NoNe of this is more important than my kids!  If you are hooked  on your phone and have been trying to stop, this letter written by Tonya Ferguson on her blog 4 Little Fergusons might just be what you need to finally put it down.

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Dear mom on the iPhone,

I see you over there on the bench, messing on your iPhone. It feels good to relax a little while your kids have fun in the sunshine, doesn’t it? You are doing a great job with your kids: You work hard, you teach them manners, have them do their chores.

But Momma, let me tell you what you don’t see right now …

Your little girl is spinning round and round, making her dress twirl. She is such a little beauty queen already, the sun shining behind her long hair. She keeps glancing your way to see if you are watching her.

You aren’t.

Your little boy keeps shouting, “Mom, MOM watch this!” I see you acknowledge him, barely glancing his way.

He sees that too. His shoulders slump, but only for a moment, as he finds the next cool thing to do.

Now you are pushing your baby in the swing. She loves it! Cooing and smiling with every push. You don’t see her though, do you? Your head is bent, your eyes on your phone as you absently push her swing.

Talk to her. Tell her about the clouds, Mommy. The Creator who made them. Tickle her tummy when she comes near you, and enjoy that baby belly laugh that leaves far too quickly.

Put your eyes back on your prize: your kids.

Show them that they are the priority. Wherever you are, be ALL there. I am not saying it’s not OK to check in on your phone, but it’s a time-sucker: User beware!

Play time at the park will be over before you know it.

The childhood of your children will be gone before you know it.

They won’t always want to come to the park with you, Mommy. They won’t always spin and twirl to make their new dress swish. They won’t always call out, “WATCH ME!”

There will come a point when they stop trying, stop calling your name, stop bothering to interrupt your phone time.

Because they know …

You’ve shown them, all these moments, that the phone is more important than they are. They see you looking at it at while waiting to pick up brother from school, during playtime, at the dinner table, at bedtime.

I know that’s not true, Mommy.

I know your heart says differently.

But your kids can’t hear your words, Mommy. Your actions are screaming way too loudly.

May our eyes rest upon those we love, first and foremost, and may everything else fall away in the wonderful, noisy, sticky-fingered glory of it all.

*********************************************

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

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How To Get Cooperation

Quotes from How to Win Friends & Influence People (Revised Edition) by Dale Carnegie:

Chapter: How To Get Cooperation.

Principle:  Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.

“Don’t you have much more faith in ideas that you discover for yourself than in ideas that are handed to you on a silver platter?  If so, isn’t it bad judgment to try to ram your opinions down the throats of other people?  Isn’t it wiser to make suggestions – and let the other person think out the conclusion.”  (pg. 164)

“No one likes to feel that he or she is being sold something or told to do a thing.  We much prefer to feel that we are buying of our own accord or acting on our own ideas.  We like to be consulted about our wishes, our wants, our thoughts.”  (pg. 165)

Principle:  Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.

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The Safety Valve in Handling Complaints

Quotes from How to Win Friends & Influence People (Revised Edition) by Dale Carnegie:

Chapter: The Safety Valve in Handling Complaints.

Principle:  Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.

“Most people trying to win others to their way of thinking do too much talking themselves.  Let the other people talk themselves out.  They know more about their business and problems than you do.  So ask them questions.  Let them tell you a few things.”  (pg. 158)

“If you disagree with them you may be tempted to interrupt.  But don’t.  It is dangerous.  They won’t pay attention to you while they still have a lot of ideas of their own crying for expression.  So listen patiently and with an open mind.  Be sincere about it.  Encourage them to express their ideas fully.”  (pg. 158)

“La Rochefoucauld, the French philosopher, said:  ‘If you want enemies, excel your friends; but if you want friends, let your friends excel you.’  Why is that true?  Because when our friends excel us, they feel important; but when we excel them, they – or at least some of them – will feel inferior and envious.”  (pg. 162)

Principle:  Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.

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The Secret Of Socrates

Quotes from How to Win Friends & Influence People (Revised Edition) by Dale Carnegie:

Chapter: The Secret of Socrates.

Principle:  Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately.

“In talking with people, don’t begin by discussing the things on which you differ. Begin by emphasizing – and keep on emphasizing – the things on which you agree.”  (pg. 152)

“Hence it is of the very greatest importance that a person be started in the affirmative direction.  The skillful speaker gets, at the outset, a number of “Yes” responses.  This sets the psychological process of the listeners moving in the affirmative direction.”  (pg. 152)

“I finally learned that it doesn’t pay to argue, that it is much more profitable and much more interesting to look at things from the other person’s viewpoint and try to get that person saying “yes, yes.”  (pg. 156)

“Socrates, ‘the gadfly of Athens’ was one of the greatest philosophers the world has ever known. He did something that only a handful of men in all history have been able to do:  he sharply changed the whole course of human thought; and now, twenty-four centuries after his death, he is honored as one of the wisest persuaders who ever influenced this wrangling world.  His method?  Did he tell people they were wrong?  Oh no, not Socrates.  He was far too adroit for that…He asked questions with which his opponent would have to agree.  He kept on winning one admission after another until he had an armful of yeses.”  (pg. 157)

“The Chinese have a proverb pregnant with the age-old wisdom of the Orient:  ‘He who treads softly goes far.’”  (pg. 157)

Principle:  Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately.

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A Drop Of Honey

Quotes from How to Win Friends & Influence People (Revised Edition) by Dale Carnegie:

Chapter: A Drop Of Honey.

Principle:  Begin in a friendly way.

“‘If you come at me with your fists double,” said Woodrow Wilson, ” I think I can promise you that mine will double as fast as yours; but if you come to me and say, ‘Let us sit down and take counsel together, and, if we differ from each other, understand why it is that we differ, just what the points at issue are,’ we will presently find that we are not so far apart after all, that the points on which we differ are few and the points on which we agree are many, and that if we only have the patience and the candor and the desire to get together, we will get together.’”  (pg. 143)

“If a man’s heart is rankling with discord and ill feeling toward you, you can’t win him to your way of thinking with all the logic in Christendom.  Scolding parents and domineering bosses and husbands and nagging wives ought to realize that people don’t want to change their minds.  They can’t be forced or driven to agree with you or me.  But they may possibly be led to, if we are gentle and friendly, ever so gentle and ever so friendly’”  (pg. 145)

“It is an old and true maxim that ‘a drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall.’  So with men, if you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend.  Therein is a drop of honey that catches his heart; which, say what you will, is the great high road to his reason.”  (pg. 146)

“Daniel Webster… one of the most successful advocates who ever pleaded a case; yet he ushered in his most powerful arguments with such friendly remarks as:  ‘It will be for the jury to consider,’  ‘This may perhaps, be worth thinking of, ‘  ‘Here are some facts that I trust you will not lose sight of,’  or ‘You, with your knowledge of human nature, will easily see the significance of these facts.’  No bulldozing.  No high-pressure methods.  No attempt to force his opinions on others.  Webster used the soft-spoken, quiet, friendly approach, and it helped to make him famous.”‘  (pg. 146-147)

Principle:  Begin in a friendly way.

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When You Know Your Family is Complete

I’ve had friends tell me “You’ll just know when you are finished wanting to have more babies.”  It seemed some vague to me…you’ll just know.  How will I know?  Will the two kids I already have drive me to the point of insanity one day and the image of a newborn swaddled in a receiving blanket will no longer seem appealing to me?  Or will I wake up one day and realize the indecisiveness over wanting a third child just isn’t there any more and I can finally get rid of all of the baby stuff that is piled to the ceiling in my basement?  I’ve wondered this since the birth of my daughter for over 3 years and can finally say I understand the “You’ll just know” feeling.

My Baby Boy Nicholas

My Baby Boy Nicholas

This past month has been swamped with baby news.  Friends have been giving birth left and right and pregnancy announcements have been popping up all over the place.  All of this baby news of course made me think, “Maybe we should try for a 3rd.”  I went back and forth with it in my head for days even though my husband had put the idea of a 3rd to rest long ago but I just couldn’t come to peace with it.  Then it hit me, as I was daydreaming about the possibilities of expanding our family, the black cloud of postpartum depression loomed over me.  I suffered from severe postpartum depression after the birth of both of my babies. (Click here to read my postpartum story, Baby Blues to Baby Bliss).  It was to date the most difficult thing I have had to face.  I started to feel the tightening in my chest and the ache in my heart.  I thought of the two beautiful and  healthy children that I was lucky enough to give birth to and how I would never want them to see me go through that nightmare again.  At that moment I JuSt KnEw that I was done having babies and that my family was complete.

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My Baby Girl Abby

I am sure the “You just know” moment is different for every woman.  Whether it is the decision to not have children at all, or to not add any more children to the family you already have.  I suddenly feel a sense of peace knowing that my decision is made and will live each day loving my family of 4.

Please share your “I just knew” moments in the comments section!

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

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If You’re Wrong, Admit It

Quotes from How to Win Friends & Influence People (Revised Edition) by Dale Carnegie:

Chapter: If You’re Wrong, Admit It.

Principle:  If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.

“If we know we are going to be rebuked anyhow, isn’t it far better to beat the other person to it and do it ourselves?  Isn’t it much easier to listen to self-criticism than to bear condemnation from alien lips?   Say about yourself all the derogatory things you know the other person is thinking or wants to say or intends to say – and say them before that person has a chance to say them.  The chances are a hundred to one that a generous, forgiving attitude will be taken and your mistakes will be minimized.”  (pg. 137)

“There is a certain degree of satisfaction in having the  courage to admit one’s errors.  It not only clears the air of guilt and defensiveness, but often helps solve the problem created by the error.’”  (pg. 138)

“Any fool can try to defend his or her mistakes  – and most fools do – but it raises one above the herd and gives one a feeling of nobility and exultation to admit one’s mistakes.”  (pg. 139)

“Remember the old proverb:  “By fighting you never get enough, but by yielding you get more than you expected.”‘  (pg. 142)

Principle:  If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.

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