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Posted in Nourishment for the Spirit » Kathy's Blog on Monday, December 20, 2010

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April 03, 2011
 
Separation Anxiety

As I continue to adjust to my new life as a single mother, the question I get asked the most is, "How are the kids?" "Amazingly well," I reply. Without being able to speak for the kids' themselves, I believe in my heart this to be true. I'm still coming to terms with the reality that I was the one to move out of the house. After the advice from our counselor that we keep the kids' home-life as routine as possible, it only made sense for their dad to continue to be with them in the morning and get them ready for school. Since I've already left for work when they wake up, we didn't feel comfortable hiring a nanny to be the person they're with each morning.

While I realized this would keep the 'routine' in their life, it was the single most difficult thing I have ever done. For the most part, this decision has kept their life routine. I continue to pick them up from school, help with homework, make dinner, drive them to various activities - but now it's three days a week instead of five, and I drive them home at bedtime. That still feels weird. But, the resiliency of children is astounding. In fact, their ability to adapt so well surprised me.

However, I look back when my parents got divorced and remember that, while it was upsetting to see my mom and dad separate, eventually I realized it was in our best interest as a family. There was much less stress in the house and mom seemed like a different person - a much happier person. And when mom is happy - well, you know the rest. 

I think my kids are beginning to understand that I am much happier now. Not to mention I'm spending more quality time with them and I'm much more patient. They're getting the same from Dad, as well. And it's not a 'competition' between us to get the kids to like one of us better. I think our separation is still too raw for us to go there. Don't get me wrong, I'm certain that 'competition' will get the best of us at some point down the road! (Although it did come close when Dad wanted to take them on a spring break vacation that was way out of our budget.)

Our divorce has opened our eyes to the importance of being 'in the moment' with the ones we love, especially our children. The kids and I talk more, laugh more and show more love than before. It seems a bit ironic but with the separation, we are closer now than we ever have been.


Posted by Kathy on April 03, 2011 at 4:47 PM   



 

March 29, 2011
 
The newest members of our family...Hanson

Hanson may take the reins from Sister Hazel for most appearances on our show. They were back in the studio promoting another song off their CD, "Shout It Out". It was like we were welcoming family back home. When they arrived out in the hallway, we didn't even acknowledge them.! LOL. They (and their roadies) knew what to do and where to go.

When they came in the studio for their soundcheck, instead of shaking hands like we did for their first couple of visits, I went in for the hug. Problem was - they didn't. Well, Isaac did. So, I assumed Zac and Taylor would do the same. When Zac walked in he reached out a hand, I grabbed it and then went in for the hug. He thought I was going in for the Hollywood hug/kiss which resulted in me kissing his hair. Awkward. We laughed and Zac said, "What was that exactly?" No handshake with Taylor - I just reached out and gave him a hug.

It felt even more like 'family' when Isaac referred to Zac as the 'resident a-hole' or something along those lines. Ahh, brotherly love. They seem to have different personalities, different opinions and different ways of handling things but because they're brothers, they just deal with it. If you have siblings, I'm sure you can relate!

They certainly differentiate themselves with their wardrobe selection. Isaac came in wearing a suit and tie! It was a light brown/camel color suit with shoes to match! Impressive! Zac wore the standard jeans, leather jacket and scarf and Taylor wore jeans with a denim shirt. That's more 'Tulsa' than 'rock star'!

That is one of the things that is so endearing about the Hanson Brothers. They are very down-to-earth, polite guys. When their performance was over, they took the time to talk to us about what's going on in our lives since they were last in the studio. I'm certain they didn't want to REALLY know what's been going on in my life, so we talked about Melissa being pregnant last time they were here. See what I mean about being polite? Who honestly wants to talk about babies and divorce? They were very cordial and on their way out were extremely appreciative. Hey, at least Melissa didn't pull out a baby picture. :)


Posted by Kathy on March 29, 2011 at 11:06 AM   



 

March 11, 2011
 
Happy Gotcha Day, Goomba!

Three years ago today, I was blessed with an addition to our family. Baby Allen had spent his first three months spending time with his birth mother, in a hospital, and at the Cradle. March 10, 2009 he finally found a home. Bert and I had been in the adoption process for almost three years before Allen came to us. I've mentioned in the past how adoption was always in my 'life story'. Since I was a little girl, I had dreams of adopting a baby.

With Allen in our family, we've learned so much. We've witnessed traits in my 11 year old son that I hadn't seen before. Xander is caring, tender, and compassionate. (Yeah, I said that!) My 9 year old, Annika, has practically become the matriarch of the family, acting so mature now that she's not the baby anymore! Not only does Allen bring out the best in each of us, he makes us laugh..... all the time. Other times, he fulfills the responsibility of all children in embarrassing his family in public. We were at church this week for Ash Wednesday service and he was a bit restless. I put him on my lap in hopes of getting him to sit still. Unfortunately, my efforts to restrain him in my lap came at the absolute quietest time during the service. "You're a BAD mommy!!", he screamed out. To which he followed up with, "I'm not your friend anymore!!" Awesome. Great. That wasn't TOO embarrassing.

He has definitely picked up Mommy's love of cars and driving. He loves nothing more than sitting in the driver's seat, playing with the steering wheel and honking the horn....the neighbors love this. :) The other day I was driving to Walgreens and from the backseat I hear, "Mommy, I want to drive". I explain that he can't drive while the car is moving. At a red light, he asked again. I explained he can't drive because he doesn't have his driver's license. Not good enough. "Mommy, I want to drive, PLEASE"!! Sorry, Mario.

He also lets it be known his favorite songs on the radio. If it's not Katy Perry or Lady Gaga on the radio, he asks me to 'find Lady Gaga'. ... and to think I had to worry about my older kids' choice of music! I could go on and on about what a true blessing Allen has been and tell you more stories that only parents and grandparents find entertaining but I'll spare you.

While I may not have given Allen that happily-ever-after, white-picket-fence life, I have filled him with love from my heart, my soul, my core. I've given him the same unconditional love he so freely gives to me. And I truly believe he was meant for us. I love you, Goomba! Happy 3rd Gotcha Day!!

 

 
Do you REALLY want to read this?

I was torn on whether I was going to do a blog about the tribulations and jubilations of potty-training. Do people REALLY want to read about my 3 year old's successes and failures with going #1 and #2?

But this afternoon, during one of our 'sessions' in a public bathroom, something happened that I feel like I have to talk about. If I don't talk about it, I feel like I won't be able to cleanse myself of the experience.

Every potty-training parent has dealt with 'accidents' while out in public. One time I was out running errands longer than expected, all the while Allen was going commando. I was at my last stop...picking up a couple of burrito bowls at Chipotle, when Allen told me his pants were wet. And I had no back-up pants in the car.

Another typical story is when Mom takes advantage of being in the bathroom and has a 'seat' herself. During that brief moment, your child heads straight for the most germ-filled thing he can touch. Allen decided to explore the receptacle for sanitary products and dove in with both hands. Gross, yes, but not the experience I need to release.

While on a day-long excursion, I decided to keep a diaper on Allen because accidents would not be conducive to the 'duties' of the day. He ended up doing a #2 in his diaper. Instead of throwing a stinky diaper in the public restroom garbage, I dropped the deuce out of the diaper and into the toilet.

Now, keep in mind, I'm fully aware of the physics involved with dropping a heavy, solid object into water. While dropping the deuce, I was prepared to step back to avoid any splash headed my way. As the deuce was on it's way, I took my step back....right into Allen. I wasn't able to lean back as much as I felt was necessary to avoid the splash. Oh God - here it comes. That inevitable splash was headed directly for me. It was just a matter of where it would land.

The lucky spot? Just above my lip. Yes, when I plopped in the poop from the diaper, the toilet water splashed right on my upper lip. D. Scust. Ing. There's not a chemical peel in the world that will make me feel clean again! As I walked out of the bathroom and back into the store, I felt like my upper lip was glowing neon....TOILET WATER on this lip!!!

I'm just hoping that will be my last potty-training 'experience' to talk about :)

 

 

 

January 11, 2011

 
The Virgin Detoxer

This was probably not the ideal time to start writing about my detox. I'm four days in and my body is making me fully aware that something is going on! I'm achy, cramping, and have symptoms of a cold. Apparently that's to be expected as years of toxins are exiting my body in some form or another.

I'm doing a 28-day physiocleanse and detoxification program. It's not the typical detox where you starve yourself with merely a liquid diet. I'm eating three meals a day with snacks, which will lead to replacing two of those meals with smoothies. However, those meals include no dairy (CHEESE!!), no gluten, no processed foods, no yeast, and, of course, no sugar (BOOZE and chocolate!!)

I can handle giving up all of these things with the exception of cheese. I had to remove all cheese from my refrigerator, and for that matter, from my mind. I had to convince myself cheese was the equivalent of sewage.

Changing my diet was a challenge but all the recipes and snack suggestions were provided so it was a matter of planning. However, anyone with a busy schedule knows 'planning' has to be scheduled!

Day three I was still feeling good, but ended up having a crappy day. It was one of those days you just want to grab a bottle of wine and call a girlfriend. I asked my trainer, "if someone were going to cheat, would it be better to have a glass of wine or a chunk of cheese?" She told me this detox is not just about eating healthy but changing your mindset. Stress will never go away so this program is designed to help you handle stress without resorting to food as therapy. Crap.

I suppose it's preferred that I take a bath or meditate or something that doesn't involve food?? "Yes", she said, "those are all good choices. You can call your girlfriend but just skip the wine."

So, I called my girlfriend, bitched about my day and took a bath. I woke up feeling much better and ..... with no headache. Bonus!

 

December 16, 2010

 
Kathy's Holiday Do's and Dont's........

Do - buy an extra pair of tights for your daughter's Christmas Dance recital for when she gets a big hole in them 30 minutes before her performance.

Don't - walk out of a store before making sure security tags are taken off clothing. Not a fun discovery as I was getting dressed for my office holiday party.

Do - make sure when you ask the clerk for gift boxes, that they actually put them in your bag before you leave the store.

Don't - think that your three kids will remember that candy-bribe-if-they-behave while you're perusing Crate and Barrel.

Do - believe your 10 year-old when he says he doesn't want to finish his taco dinner because he's not feeling well.... especially if it's before his school's annual Christmas concert. (At least he made it to the bathroom in time)

Don't - EVER do a self-checkout at the grocery store with a 2 year-old.

Do - practice your deep breathing while waiting in those long lines, instead of screaming at yourself for always being the 'line anchor'.

Don't - think for a second that after you found the PERFECT gift, they'll have it in the right size.

Do - HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!


Posted by Kathy on December 16, 2010 at 1:26 PM   


December 03, 2010

 
Whoa. I'm a 'single mom'.

I was planning on doing a blog about the 'adventures of December'... holiday shopping/planning/decorating, etc. However, I just came back from getting my nails done (for Miracle on State Street) and a conversation I overheard really struck a nerve.

"Why doesn't anyone stay together anymore?"
"Marriage seems so disposable nowadays."
"It's all about sex."

I have to admit there were times during my separation I felt like a big fat quitter. My parent's generation was programmed to stick it out no matter what the circumstances were at home. I had one family member tell me they lost all respect for me...that I should've tried harder.

I've also heard from people who felt I made the right decision. Some had made the same decision and assured me the kids would adjust and be just fine. Others were people who grew up in homes with parents who showed no love or affection towards each other and they wished their parents WOULD have split.

While I believe in my heart that this was the right decision for my family, there are days this decision is a tough one to swallow. I have a digital picture frame in my office and frequently see our vacation pictures. The reality that we will likely never vacation as a family hit me like a sucker punch. I started to cry. Just then Swany, our producer, walked in to say I had to record some public service announcements as soon as possible. No time for crying now.

There are other days I feel guilty for being happy and in a good mood. "You should be mourning your marriage", I was told. But I love my "happy days"! I finally have "me-time" to go out and enjoy concerts, Blackhawks games, and being with friends. Should I not be having some fun?

I want to show my kids that while this was an extremely difficult decision, and we will all go through an adjustment period, it's important for us to be happy. We are given only one life and I believe we should make every effort to live a happy life....not live the life someone else expects us to live. And not live the life you're 'supposed' to live based on other people's opinions or beliefs. Live the life that, in your heart, you know is the right life for YOU.


Posted by Kathy on December 03, 2010 at 3:28 PM   


November 15, 2010

 
WHAT did you do on Saturday night?

It's been over a month since Bert and I have been living apart. After living with someone for almost 20 years, it's quite an adjustment...mostly the new schedule with the kids. I now have a few nights a week with no commitments! It's quite strange. On a recent Saturday night, a friend and I planned to do dinner and a movie. At the last minute she called and said she didn't feel like going out. Great. Saturday night, alone. Wait....is that so bad? When is the last time I had a Saturday night alone?

The Blackhawks game is on. Cool! I had enough food in the frig to make a stir-fry....for one. Again....weird. I'm cooking for one. As I ate my dinner on the couch (because the kids would never know), I realized it's been months since I balanced my checking account. After I was done eating, I grabbed my bank statement, checkbook, and a calculator and got comfortable again on the couch. Crap. The Blackhawks game isn't on yet. Hit "Guide". Jackass: The Making of the TV Show. Excellent!

During the Blackhawks game I remembered I really wanted to see "Due Date" w/ Robert Downey, Jr and that Zach Galifinakis dude. Hmmm. I could call a friend WAY last minute or just suck it up and go alone. I went alone. It's not the first time I had gone to a movie alone but it's the first time I had gone to a movie alone since being separated. It felt a little different...a little more embarrassing. Whatever....I'll hide in the back, eat my popcorn and enjoy a funny movie (or so I thought....not such a funny movie).

When I got home, I didn't quite feel like going to bed yet and didn't want to watch TV. I took a bath. I tried reading a book but it was SO quiet I couldn't concentrate. This 'being on my own' for a night here and there is definitely going to take some getting used to. However, I have to admit I kinda liked it! The next morning when I woke up, I didn't feel like the loser I thought I would...having spent my Saturday night balancing my checkbook, eating on the couch, and taking a bath. Next time a friend blows me off at the last minute, I'll be ready!

 

October 22, 2010

 
Love and Marriage

"I have shared and been open with you during all of my life's ups & downs. As difficult as this is, I feel it's important to let everyone know what's going on in my life right now. As odd as it seems to make a public announcement with something so personal, you guys feel like an extended family so it just feels right.

Bert and I have decided to separate. It's the typical "we grew apart" story. We are still great friends and we love each other very much but in the interest of doing what's best for us as a family, we agreed this was the best option. We are wholeheartedly committed to raising our kids in what we feel as responsible, loving parents, will be the most positive environment for them.
As any family who has gone through this knows, it's a challenging time and we hope for kindness and understanding from those who love and care for us."

This was the announcement I made on the air today. To expand on the 'we grew apart', we made the mistake of not making time for each other, focusing on our kids and careers. We just assumed that we would always be there for each other. And we were there for each other. But not as a husband as wife, more like best friends and roommates.

We have gone to counseling and it was very helpful, albeit, too late. If you find yourself in a similar situation in your relationship, I'd like to offer you some advice. Don't wait for the kids to be out of the house. Don't wait to communicate your feelings. Be VERY specific with what you need in your relationship. Don't let the passion slip away.

As for the kids, they have been incredibly strong throughout.this. They understand our decision and are happy that Bert and I are still friends, hug and say "I love you".

The support of family, friends has been a true blessing for me at this time. ~God never gives you more than you can handle~

Our counselor recommended a book that has been a tremendous help in getting us to understand how we got to this place in our relationship.... "The 5 Love Languages" by Gary Chapman


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