Monday, April 20, 2009

Carrying the Weight of the World

Dear Juls,

What do you do when you can not do one more thing. I am trying hard to be here for who needs me but at the same time....ikes! No I can not drop doing what I need to for my friend--No way! But if one more thing happens....I will just explode!

-Atlas can not carry all this world

Dear Carrying the World,

As women, we want to be strong, nurturing and a forever present pillar of peace for those that we love. The thing that we often forget in the mix sometimes when we're so busy taking care of others is that we, too, need those things. It's okay to recognize that we can't be perfect, we can't be what everyone else needs all the time....

I am a firm believer, however that God will not give you more than you can handle. Your friends have been gifted with you, because you are a strong person, one that can carry the burdens of your friends ... and will drop everything and run when a friend is in need... You're a true blessing to others in many, many ways.

My advice is when the blessing that you are seems to be a burden that you cannot handle, do one of two things:

1. Take a break.... Lock yourself somewhere, go for a walk, breathe... relax & collect your thoughts. If only for a few minutes... for as long as you need to. Explain to others that you just need a "me moment...." Who can argue with that?

2. Find someone to "vent" to... lean on, and spill your troubles on that is outside of the current situation. Someone totally unrelated to the situation has a fresh set of ears, and is not already stressed out about the situation..and I find that I always feel better after just getting things off of my chest to someone who is willing to listen. In other words, let someone else be for you, what you often are for others.....

We are never in control of "What" will happen next, and when we're too our breaking point, it seems that bad events seem to domino, only bringing us closer to the edge. We are in control of how we handle situations... I believe things happen for a reason, all for the greater good...

I also find that prayer, meditation, or simple quiet time (which ever you are comfortable with) where you can clear your mind of your troubles and just concentrate on peaceful things helps when it seems like I'm at the very edge of my breaking point.

You are in my prayers,
Crazee Juls

Sharing Holidays, More Crazy Naked Neighbors

how do you deal with fitting everyone in around the holidays? Your family, your husband's family, your husband's step seems that everyone wants to see the kids. How do I make everyone happy and not loose my sanity?"


Dear Francesca,

My husband and I have 3 sets of in-laws (My mom & Dad, Greg's mom, and Greg's dad & step-mom) ..add to that a large family celebration with Greg's maternal grandmother.... and boy do joyous holiday celebrations turn into scheduling conflicts from hell...

Back when we first married, we would take "turns" at spending it one year with one of our sets of parents... Seems simple enough, right? Well, somehow someone always was offended because they wanted to spend actual "Christmas" day with us...or why were we spending Christmas at "so and so's" house when we just had Thanksgiving with them?

Here's our solution, which is not in anyway fool-proof, but has seemed to help with my sanity.

Christmas day (the four of us) house. The end. We will be home all day and anyone who wants to is welcome to stop by. I like my kids waking up in their beds, opening their presents in their home. Being able to enjoy and relax on this one day a year, has made things less hectic.

Do we ditch the grandparents competely on holidays? No way. We just plan Christmas with them on a day that is not Christmas. Greg's grandmother's Christmas is always the Saturday before Christmas...His mom's is usually the Saturday after Christmas, and my parents is on Christmas Eve. His dad-who lives in Phoenix? Well--he usually gets the short end of the stick. We usually plan a vacation to visit him once a year...and that is our Christmas, birthday, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Here we are enjoy holiday with him.

I used Christmas as an example--but this could be applied to any holiday really...

Holidays are hectic, and everyone is difficult to please--but I hope this helps you to maintain your sanity...

Happy future Holidays,
Crazee Juls
Hi Juls....
Okay, I have a question. I have crazy neighbors across the street. Amongst other things, they purposely built their home right in front of ours with the huge plain glass bathroom window right smack in the middle. Not every, but almost every morning, I have to be careful about opening my shades; otherwise we get an eyeful. How do I politely tell these neighbors to cover it up?


Dear Over-Exposed,
First of all, I have a question for you-- Are the goods worth looking at? I kid, I kid. This can be a royal pain. Especially when you have tiny eyes that you want to shield from such over-exposure. You can always talk to them, and bring the fact that their morning peep shows are putting a damper on your day...but some neighbors need a bigger wake-up call.

Try this:

Grab your camera. Gather your children, dogs, the front yard during prime viewing time. (Keep the kids backs to the house across the street-I don't want them scarred for life)...
Pose children for an "improtu" photo shoot with the unslightly view in frame... Snap the picture.... Print a copy of the picture, and share it with your neighbors, so they can oooh and ahhh over what a nice family you fast the kids are growing...and what?!?! how unattractive they look during their peep shows... Maybe then they will get the hint...?!?

If not, you could always buy them a housewarming gift-shades or blinds for their window-and even pay for installation....but I'm thinking the picture suggestion might do the trick...

Take a pic for me,
Crazee Juls

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Speakin' Your Mind...

Dear Crazee Juls,

How do you speak your mind without coming across as a b***h?

Dear Serenity,

Growing up, most of us often heard, "If you don't have something nice to say....don't say anything at all..." While, most of the time, I try to live by that philosophy even in my adult life, it's not very realistic is it??

We have opinions, we feel the need to be able to voice them.
And sometimes, they're just not very nice.

Here's when the trouble begins. People may get (gasp) offended by what we say. So, how do we speak our minds, without sounding like a raging lunatic or worst yet-- a bee-otch? Here's some help:

1. Body language-when speaking your "mind" hands on the hip, a stern face, or excessive hand gestures should be avoided. Try to keep your voice calm & cool...and even a smile on your face.

2. Stay on topic--speak about what it is that you really feel about the situation and avoid putting down people, even if their behavior is what you have a problem with.. Example. Let's say, you have a friend who is making a bad decision. When talking to her about it.... instead of saying, "Lucy, you're such an idiot, I can't believe you'd do that..!" Doesn't this sound so much better? "Lucy, you have so much potential. It hurts me to see you make such poor decisions, what can I do to help?" Deliver this with a smile on your face & follow with a hug...and who could get mad?????

What? What's that you say? This is ridiculous? You're not capable of being that nice all of the time? Well-- neither am I!

So, most of the time, I try to be nice...but I have my moments. Actually most people tell me that they never have to wonder what I'm thinking because I am that honest and up front. Do I get accused of the being the Big "B" ....yep. Often. But, what I've learned in life is that we do the best we can. We should feel like we can speak our mind, without the whole world against us. ...No one wants to be everyone's door mat of forever happiness & sweetness... So, when moments arise that we feel we should speak our mind--we should take a moment to gather our thoughts...and let her fly....

In this life, there are going to be people who like us...and then people who don't like us so matter what we do. While we don't want to be a bee-otch 24/7...I do believe it's perfectly acceptable to have a few not so nice...speaking our mind moments....

Good luck,

Crazee Juls

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Loser Brother-In-Law

If you would like for Crazee Juls to give you advice, Click here for more information.

Dear Crazee Juls,
In my family, we have this brother-in-law that everybody absolutely hates. We all try to be polite and cordial, and I never ever speak to him. When he comes to greet me and give me a hug, I just want to cringe and run for my life. Everybody, nobody is excluded except his own children, mother, and his wife. I really would like to open my sister's eyes and point her in his direction and say "you see?" but that would cause emotional damage to my already fragile sister. What would you suggest we do to get my sister to see what a horrible man she married?

-Bewildered in the Pacific Northwest

Dear Bewildered,

One of the most difficult things to deal with in our adult life is seeing someone who we think has so much more potential make what we feel is a poor decision in a life partner. We all want the very best for our siblings...and it really hurts when the one they've chosen to spend their life with just doesn't measure up...

You didn't mention exactly why it is that you dislike your brother-in-law, but I am assuming that it is for a just reason. Here's what I suggest you do:

Really think about the reason you all dislike him... Is he a jerk? Abusive to your sister, or her children? Is it just something about his personality? Does he have an addiction that is keeping him from functioning in a productive way on a daily basis? Does he need help?

After you pinpoint what exactly it is that bothers your family about this person (maybe you already have).... it's time for a heart to heart with your sister. Here comes my very most important advice ever:

The fastest way that you can cause hurt feelings is by telling a loved one that the one they love just doesn't measure up in your eyes. We tend to become very defensive when the subject concerns someone we love--especially if we do not see the person as other people see them. Really think about what you will say to your sister. Don't attack your brother-in-law as a person, but discuss the behavior that you have a problem with. It's NEVER a good idea to say,
"Hey sis, Why are you with that loser...."insert loser name here"...?? You could do so much better!"

Not only have you attacked her spouse, but have also attacked her judgement in men. That will probably not go over well...

I wish I could give you all of the right words to help your sister realize that her choice may not be the best thing for her... But the fact remains that she is with him because she chooses to be...
The best thing here might be to make a mental check list of what it is that bothers you, exactly...and decide when enough is enough and you need to step in....
Hang in there... maybe with time, his true colors will be revealed to your sister and she will come to her senses. Or, better yet-he will come to his senses and begin acting and treating people in a way that is a positive change for the whole family.

Hope this helps,
Crazee Juls

In-laws & Mommy Vacation

Dear Crazee Juls,

My mom and dad are taking my youngest son with them to the beach next week..they will be gone for two whole weeks (if my son can stay away that long) I need some advice on what to do with all that free time I will have for those two weeks?


Dear Carrie,

The possibilities are endless. Two weeks without your son might seem like agonizing torture....but it may just be the greatest gift your parents have given you since they gave you the gift of life...
I'm really excited for are some things I definitely suggest be on your "to do while the son is away..." list.

#1. A very long bubble bath

#2. Read a book (here's a good one: The Shack)

#3. Enjoy time with the other kid(s) while the youngest is away

#4. Music-music-dance, dance--to something other than kiddie tunes

#5. Jot a note down every day to your son who is away, so when he returns you can show him just how much you missed him.

#6. Take yourself out for a special treat (coffee, ice cream, etc..)

#7. Another very long bubble bath

#8. Go to the movies, or rent a movie you've been dying to see...

#9. Get a pedicure..this is very important!

#10. Thank God for great parents who enjoy spending time with your children.

Here are some things you should definitely NOT do:

#1. Tons of housework

#2. Worry about him-he'll have a blast

Hope this helps occupy your week! :) Wishing him a happy trip, and you some fun "me" times.

Crazee Juls


Dear Juls,

What do you do when your in-laws are completely insensitive, rude, nincompoops??


Dear Yaya,

In-laws...the part of our spouse's family that we DIDN'T marry....yet have to put up with spend time with on a regular basis. I have heard that there are some people who are blessed in the in-law department.... and then, there's the rest of us.
Insensitive, rude nincompoops of people can really put a thorn in your side. Especially when those people are supposed to be the ones who love and support you most being that they're family. I myself have had my fair share of "real buttheads" for in-laws...who seem to gain their own personal joy in bringing me down. I've tried several tactics in this inlaw/outlaw combat.... Most didn't work:
  • Playing on their level, you know returning rudeness & insensitivity ...when they were rude & insensitive. This only made me angry..and a hateful person, and fueled their unending irrational asinine behavior.... STRIKE ONE
  • Confronting them, and pointing out their rudeness. This too, somehow made me wind up looking like the bad guy. STRIKE TWO

With two strikes.... I was wondering if we would ever be able to co-exist without the constant strife between us.... The chances were not looking very promising. That is when I had a revelation. I'm a little afraid to share it with you...because it's just so awesome... and simple.

Kindness--I kill them with it. No matter how they act, I am ssssssssoooooo kind to them. No matter what they come at me with...I no longer let them see me upset, make me cry, want to divorce my husband because of his crazee family... Nope, now I have so much happiness exuding from me when I am around them-- I'm really surprised that Rainbows & Sunshine are not coming out of my..well, you know. Do things still bother me?? Yep. Do I still think they're rude & insensitive-Yep. Do they know this? Nope. And it really has helped. And they have actually become a little more tolerable...because they know they're not going to get to me. I promise--this is tried & true... Although I wish I could change their idiotic, simple minded, butthole inconsiderate ways... I can't. What I can change is how I respond to them... so that's my advice...

Oh yeah, and just because I'm such a great person, I give almost everyone I know a nick name... I find it really strengthens my bond with a person. So, in light of my new attitude toward my family, I even have come up with nicknames for my cutsie little in-laws who used to give me so much trouble... Bob & Fab. They were really a hit... I wonder if they'd like they're new nicknames as much if they knew what they stood for...?!? Bob (Big Ol' B#*$@) and Fab (Fake A$$ B#*$@).... Oh yeah, and Bob & Fab--if you're reading this, I'm not talking about you...I'm talking about the other SIL's I refer to by those nicknames. :)

Good luck,

Crazee Juls

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Playing the Bill Lottery and Mommy Potty Breaks

Dear Juls:
What do you do when you need to tune out your barking dog, screaming child and whining husband?


Dear Rambler,

Barking dogs, screaming children & husbands who whine? Sure ways to ruin a completely hip, cool mom's day... So, what has truly saved my sanity on more than one occassion?!?

"All by myself" potty breaks...


Bathroom door that locks

Bathroom door that does not have a large enough gap between the bottom of the door and the floor for any person or canine in your family to slide any of their body parts under...(I'll leave that at that..)

Or even more important, the gap shouldn't be large enough to allow the passing of mommy potty break contraband (report cards that need to be signed, broken toys that need repairing, bills that need to be paid, doggy dishes that need filling)

Feel free to use some sort of "blocking device" to cover the gap..

Also helpful in ensuring tuning out of said family members:

An IPod.... but make sure it's not one you've loaded with your child's favorite cartoon show songs...(who wants to relax to the theme of "Dora the Explorer"?!?) .. but relaxing, old school, momma music-- You know, from back in your glory days?

Yep.... after an hour a few minutes of solitude... relaxing on your porcelain throne... reliving the glory days with the help of "Bon Jovi"... You will be a refreshed mommy/wife...ready to spend time with your chaotic brood loving family once again.

Best Wishes,

Crazee Juls

Dear Crazee Juls,
How can I pay the bills with less money then they add up to?

-Mo Money, Mo Bills

Dear Mo Money,

Money? Hmm--ahhh, yes. I have heard of this...and have even had a dollar or two a time in my life. No matter how many dollars or two I seems that I could always use more. So, you can see that I've definitely been in your shoes before. Here's the answer that will solve all of your problems...
A little something I like to call "Bill Lottery." Here's how bill lottery works:

Make a list of all of your monthly bills... Prioritize that list...
Things that are necessary for day to day life such as: paying the mortgage, car payments, utilities, groceries and oh yeah...internet service bill make those top priority. Pay them first!!
Label these: "Must have to live"
Next, list your other monthly bills in a separate section titled: "Bill Lottery"
Things in this list could include but are not limited to:
Phone bills, medical bills, paying friends back, cable or satellite bills...
If after all of your "Must Have to Live" bills are paid, you have extra cash flowage...this is when the fun begins!
Spread all of your "Lottery" bills on the table...blind fold yourself...and choose a lucky winner of the month...For extra fun, have family members take turns chosing the lottery bill that is lucky enough to be paid this month...
(this doubles as family entertainment, you see, thus saving more money..)
Although it is a sad day for those bills who are not chosen.... luckily chances are friend you owe money, or those pesky Dr's offices won't be able to call you...that is unless, of course, phone bill won the bill lottery this month. When after a few months, your friend you owe money does win the bill lottery....what a happy reunion that will be:
"CONGRATULATIONS Bob! You won the bill lottery...!"
or if you happen to get a phone call *(because pesky telephone bill won the lottery)... You can always just sadly tell the caller, "I'm so sorry, you didn't win Bill Lottery this time...but you're already in the drawing for next time... Good luck next month...."

Happy Spending,
Crazee Juls

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Crazy in-laws, Elderly Drivers

Officially the very first addition of "Ask Crazee Juls" is here. I can feel the excitement in the air. Thank you to all who have submitted a question, I will try my best to get to all of them in an orderly fashion. Haven't asked your question yet? Click here to learn how you could get the expert crazee to answer your question.

Dear Juls:
So how do you overcome crazy in-laws that are in your business?


Dearest Always,

In-laws can be quite frustrating to say the least. Crazy in-laws that are all "up in 'yo bit'ness"... are the worst. Don't despair. There is hope! . First of all, open communication lines are important. Making your in-laws feel important and a part of your lives is helpful. But, when it comes to your business...make it clear that you have it under control! Plan a family meeting (meal, over coffee, etc.), where you explain to your in-laws that while they are important to you, you need your own privacy, and can make your own decisions... and if you haven't asked for their help or advice, you do have it under control. Of course, overly sensitive in-laws might not take too kindly to being asked to butt out, even in the politest of ways. So, to save your peace of mind... when in-laws get in your business, put the biggest ever smile on your pretty little face, and nod politely.... pretending to soak up all of their overly helpful goodness. Make them believe they've made a positive impact, and keep on keeping on in the same manner you have been. Maybe sooner or later, they'll get the hint that you're not going to march to the beat of THEIR drummer, but your own.

Best Wishes,

Crazee Juls

Hey Juls!

How do you overcome a fear of the elderly driving around you?


Elderly people driving scare me!

Dear Elderly Scared,

Oh my, that is quite a fear you have there. But, once again...I'm here to help. Experts say the best way to overcome a fear is to face it head on. And I would have to agree. How do you meet this fear head on? You guessed it. Go to your local car rental place and rent the largest passenger van available (preferably handi-cap accessible). After you have the keys to the van, drive yourself over to the nearest nursing home. Pick up the first 8 or 10 willing participants...and hit the road. Ride shot gun as you let your new friends take turns chauffering you around. I guarantee that after spending a day immersed in geriatric driving... you will no longer fear driving around the elderly... In fact, you will feel quite happy to be driving around them and not riding with them.

Best Wishes,

Crazee Juls