Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Where Is Home?

"Someone suggested that there's an incomplete part of our chromosomes that gets repaired or found when we hit New Orleans. Some of us just belong here." ~ John Goodman 

I've been out of Louisiana since August 2010. I knew it wouldn't be easy when I left Louisiana. In fact, I knew it was going to be one of the hardest things I had ever done. I spent the first 30 years of my life in Virginia. In the place I was born. The place that was supposed to be "home" to me. For 30 years I pretended that I belonged there. Then I stepped foot in Louisiana in December 2008. And I found home, the place where I belonged. In less than 24 hours, I knew there was no other place I'd rather be. We were there for 2 weeks before we had to come back to Virginia for the holidays. I was sad, fearing that I'd never see my precious Louisiana again. But, on January 5, 2009 I was back home... And I knew 100% without a doubt that I never wanted to leave it again. In March (2009), I had the option of staying behind in Louisiana for a month and a half or going to Washington DC. I chose to stay behind. When my husband's job in Louisiana was done, I was faced with the biggest dilemma ever: Trying to figure out how to stay behind alone with the kids, or leave. I had to do the only thing that I could at the time. I packed up to leave. But, a few nights before we left, I was promised that I would be able to return back to Louisiana as soon as possible. I left and cried until somewhere in Mississippi. I spent a week away and then when Chris got laid off, we took our savings and he took me back to the place I loved so dearly.

It was in Louisiana that I found out I was pregnant again with my 7th child. A child that a doctor swore 2 years earlier that I could never successfully carry. I conceived that very same child in Louisiana. My son was born in Louisiana. During the year I was in Louisiana before leaving for Maryland, my feelings never changed. Louisiana will always be my home. Not just because that's where I'm connected to via my son, but because it's the place that has my heart.

Louisiana gives me a sense of peace. A sense of belonging. In all honesty, it gave me the sense of being CRYSTAL instead of just wife and mother. I was happy, cheerful, full of life... This point was further evidenced in February of 2012. After a year and a half, I went back to Louisiana for a two week vacation. I was happy. I was cheerful. I was even pleasant to be around for two weeks. It was confirmed. Louisiana is my home; where I belong. Soon, I will be back there for good. And I will finally be home...

"She is a New Orleans girl, and New Orleans girls never live anywhere else and even if they do, they always come back. That's just the way it is. This is where she belongs. End of discussion." ~ Chris Rose

Monday, April 29, 2013

A Blogger's Dilemma: Changes

But, they're good changes. I think. When I first started my blog, it was a place to write my randomness. Over time it came to include reviews, recipes, and link ups. I hadn't really blogged much since it came to all that. Just sporadic here and there. I was getting to the point that I didn't even want to blog because it was Tuesday and it was this linky day, etc. I just wanted to be me and talk (well, write) about what I was feeling or what spoke to me right then. Now, don't get me wrong. There are some link ups that I love. One is Pour Your Heart Out at Things I Can't Say. Another is Monthly Goals at My So-Called Chaos. I will still participate in these. Monthly goals is just once a month; no problem. And I'll participate in Pour Your Heart Out when my heart speaks to me to.

Another problem in my blogging world is my need to compartmentalize my life. It's hard to explain. I just like for my life to be contained in, I don't know how to explain it, but organized little compartments. I was getting anxiety every time I posted a recipe because it wasn't a part of what I had envisioned for this blog. I didn't want my home school stuff to be on this blog. I wouldn't subject you to my non-filtered mouth when it comes to sports. And so one. So, I began creating new blogs focused towards certain areas of my life. Do I write in each one every day? Nope. And I never intended to write in each one every day.

So, with that being said, this blog is going back to where I originally wanted it. Just my random thoughts at random times. I have about 10 drafts on my dashboard. I will complete them in the very near future. My recipes are being moved to In The Kitchen with Crystal. I will not be posting every day there. I will link that blog to various Tasty Tuesday link ups each week.

So, welcome to the slightly changed The Italian Bella Diaries.

{I am adding a page to the top listing all my blogs and their purpose.}

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A 'Lil About Me: The Don't Ask, Don't Tell Tag

This intro is going to be a continuation of sorts of yesterday's post, Why I Don't Vlog. While I do not vlog, I enjoy watching others' videos and learning about them. One particular vlog (she also has a blog), BabyBellyKelli, began the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" tag. While I think it is a good tag, I just do not vlog. But, I still wanted to participate. So, instead I am going to do it here on my blog.

Her rules for the tag were:

1) Disable ratings. (We don't have that here for blogs)
2) Disable comments. (I will do that. This is to see what my feelings are on issues not to spark a debate)
3) Not to explain or try to persuade viewers (readers).

So, with that being said, here we go....

1) Are you a democrat or a republican? I guess republican. I think I would be considered more of a constitutionalist. 

2) Be honest: Did you vote and who for? No. I was not registered in my new state yet.

3) Pro - gay or anti - gay? I am pro-love whoever you want. I believe they should have rights like any other couple. However, I believe it should be called a civil union and leave the term marriage for religious ceremonies.

4) Pro - life or pro - choice? Pro - life unless for health reasons.

5) For or against vaccinations? We do not vaccinate. Your choice may be different and I respect that.

6) Sugar before the age of 1? In certain things, I guess so (although I can't really think of anything).

7) TV before the age of 1? It has always been on, but the kids never sat there and stared at it. Still don't.

8) Cloth diapers/disposable diapers/both? I have always only used disposable. 

9) For or against circumcision? I did not circumcise my son.

10) Home School/public school/private school? We home school.

11) Spanking or no spanking? No.

12) Cursing in front of children: Good or Bad? Bad but it happens sometimes.

13) Do you believe in God? yes

14) Cry It Out or No? No

15) Organic or Non Organic? Right now non organic. I really want to start on organic. I have been cutting out gluten though.

16) Fast Food for Kids? They get it once a week as a treat (AKA Mom's night off in the kitchen)

17) Co sleeping? Yes

18) Breast or Formula? I tried with all of my kids to breast feed. I had a lack of support for the first 6 (not from husband but from the medical community, etc). I ended up formula feeding. For the first 6, they did get breast fed for 2 - 4 weeks.

19) Natural or Epidural? I had epidural with the first 2. With my first set of twins, I had it put in but they came before they could get the meds in me. Last two pregnancies were c-section. 

20) Rearfacing until 1 or 2? All of my kids are over 2 now. The norm was forward facing after 1 and 20 lbs. and I hadn't heard about Extended Rear Facing until my youngest was 18 months old. 

21) Brand Name or Off Brand? I am a brand name snob on certain things. But, mostly we buy off-brand.

22) Hand Me Downs or Brand New? Hand Me downs are fine. I do like to buy them brand new outfits for special occasions.

23) Pop or water for you and kids? I drink water. I get a lemonade or diet soda once a week. Kids drink sweet tea.

24) Ok Dating Age? My oldest is almost 15 and has not had a date. Maybe it's time for me to really think about this question. We always told her 30 but I guess that's not a legit answer. It really depends on maturity not age.

25) Do you consume alcohol? If so, how much? Yes but not regularly. Since June of 2009 (right before I got pregnant with my son), I have had maybe a beer. And that is it.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Why I don't Vlog

There have been several changes in the social media world. And I don't just mean Myspace and Facebook. When I first entered the online community in 2001, the craze was websites. We spent hours personalizing our websites. I remember mine was HUGE. This was back when Yahoo offered Geocities free. Slowly, I noticed websites phasing out. The new thing was Xanga, which was like present day blogging. It was just more simple. I noticed that Xanga still exists, but I can't remember my login information for anything. After that Myspace and then Facebook took over. Then, it was the great blogging evolution. Blogger and WordPress became common terms. Obviously, I entered the blogging evolution. But, the newest thing out there is vlogging - video blogging. Now, why haven't I entered this craze? Well, I have my reasons. 

First, I hate my voice! It's awful. So, why would I subject people to have to listen to it frequently? I wouldn't. Second, I think my life is too boring to video for the world. Trust me, it is. Third, I never have the time to video anything that doesn't involve kids running around me like wild animals. Seriously. Fourth, I have absolutely no idea how to edit. And there would have to be some major editing done on my videos. 

I love watching other people's vlogs. It's just like an extension of the list of blogs I read. But, I honestly don't think vlogging is for me. I have made some videos. Nothing spectacular. But, I have never published them. Honestly, I probably won't. I think I'll consider myself happy here in blogger world.