And I thought boys were bad...

All the dirt of boys, plus the attitude...

Friday, December 30, 2011

Flashback Fridays ep. 2

Hey all!  I know it's a little late in the day for a blog post, but I figured I would actually do this Flashback Fridays thing I started a couple weeks ago.  I missed last Friday and just didn't feel right missing 2 weeks in a row on something I just started.

This past few days I have been Corpus Christi with my girlies(See Day 1 and Day 2).  I was born there, but moved when I was only a year and a half old so it's not like I have a bunch of memories.  I did go back when I was 11 to visit(read: meet) family and see my father's grave(he died when I was 10).  It was kind of weird, though.  It all felt so familiar.  We went down there a few months ago, before school started, and even then it just felt, well, familiar.  I didn't know where I was half the time but I never felt lost.

Anyway, we got to spend time in the place of my birth over the last few days and it got me thinking about a lot of things.  Mainly, spending time with my sister got me to thinking about how little I know about my dad.  He was only 40 years old when he died.  (Heart attack from years of running around making bad decisions.)  I know that he cleaned up for the last six months or so of his life and spent every weekend with his nieces and nephews.  I know that he used to take my aunt's sister and friends into Flour Bluff for ice cream.  I know that he either worked for a tow company or had a tow company...but, really, I don't know much.

I think that is why it has been so important to me to answer my oldest daughter's questions about her father.  I want her to know about him.  The good and the bad.  He hasn't always made the best choices and I don't know what he is doing now, but I think that she should know as much as I do.

I think it's very important to tell children about their absent parent.  Obviously, don't use your kid's ear for a sounding board about all the horrible things you think, but definitely don't lie.  A child should know who their parents are, even if they are not in their life.  Age appropriate honesty is key when raising children.  It's important in all things, but especially regarding their parents.  A child needs to know where they come from and where they come from is their parents.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Road Trip Day 2

Today was absolutely fantastic!!  We started the day hanging out in the hotel, having the complimentary breakfast of muffins and coffee for me.

We went to Lakeview Park in Corpus Christi after breakfast and had a BLAST!!  We got to meet my SISTER and NIECE and NEPHEW!!!  It was SO awesome!!  We hung out and fed ducks, played on the playground, and watched some turtles doing their turtle things.  lol

Meeting my sister was really cool!!  I loved being able to hang out and spend time with her and her kids!  I can't wait to come back and visit them again!  Maybe even "steal" the kids for a weekend!  =)

After we visited for a while, the girls and I headed to the beach.  That's right, the BEACH in DECEMBER!!  That's what you get to do in Corpus Christi!  I love it!  It was about 70 degrees and absolutely beautiful!  We have really enjoyed our trip!

Tomorrow we are hoping to visit my father's grave and see some more family before heading back home.  Thank you for joining us on our trip!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Road Trip Day 1

My girlies and I are in Corpus Christi for a few days and are LOVING it so far!  We drove down here this morning and, though it was a long drive, we had a pretty good time in the car.

We went to Funtrackers this afternoon and played a round of miniature golf.  CC was pretty funny.  She doesn't really have the hand-eye co-ordination to swing a golf club so she was a blast to watch!  Miss A did pretty well.  She even beat me on a few holes.  =)  She had some issues when she didn't do well on a hole.  It got annoying and I made her skip a couple.  She shaped up, though and we ended up having fun.

Miss A got to drive a Go Kart and didn't hit anything!  I was impressed!  Of course now she is going to be convinced that she can

CC played some games inside and had fun.  She had her heart set on getting this Barbie that was over 1000 tickets.  She didn't get nearly enough and ended up having a melt down because of it.  Ugh!  She was immediately taken to the car to throw her little fit away from others.  It took her a few minutes to calm down, but after she did it was much better.

We are chilling in the hotel now, watching a movie.  Better sign off for now!  Can't wait for tomorrow...I get to meet my sister, my niece, and my nephew!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Expanding Familiy!

My family has expanded quite a bit recently.  See, my mom and bio-dad were only together for a very short while.  After they split up, my mom moved me out to California and I had little/no contact with my bio-dad, Charlie.  Apparently, though, my dad kept busy.  =)

About 4 1/2 years ago, I got a call from a cousin on my father's side saying that I have a younger brother.  WHAT??  REALLY??  I had always thought that might be the case, and even looked for siblings at one point, but my search had come up with nothing.  Nada.  Zilch.  But here I was with a younger brother out of nowhere!  It was pretty cool.  My younger brother ended up coming out to visit my family in Cali for a few days.  It was nice to meet him and to have my girlies meet their uncle.  =)

Now, last month, after moving to Texas, my brother came to visit us and his mom came too.  When they got here, they informed me that I also had a younger sister and an older brother that were from a different mom.  Same shock:  WHAT?? REALLY??  So cool!

Of course, I began a search.  One of my cousins helped a bit and we located my younger sister via Facebook, yeah, go  Anyway, I messaged her and we had a long conversation where we figured out that we ARE sisters!  She is planning to tell, or have her mom tell, her brother that he has a sister.  I guess he doesn't know yet.  I hope they tell him soon 'cause I really want to get to know BOTH of my new siblings!

My girlies and I are heading down to my birth town this week and we will get to meet my younger sister and her kids!!  Yay!!!  I am so super-de-duper excited!!! Yes, I just used a totally dorky word.   Oh, well.  Excitement knows no "dorkishness"

I'll let you all know how the visit goes!  Stay tuned!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The 12 Days of Christmas...Mommy Style!!

On the 12 days of Christmas my children gave to me:

12          “I love you Mommy”'s

11           Big fat kisses

10           Sticky fingers

9             “I don't wanna”'s

8             “I want chocolate”'s

7             Handmade ornaments

6             Sibling arguments

5             Big bear hugs

4             Silly faces

3             Quiet minutes

2             Great big fits

And a giant mess for me to clean up. =)


Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Boy Issues at 10??????

I feel like I need to preface this post by telling all of you that I love love love my kids with all of my heart and soul.  Ok, now that that is completely clear....


These kids are driving me nuts!!  I know it's all normal kid stuff, but MAN!  Whole, full days of this normal kid stuff is ridiculous!!!  =)

Okay, it's not that bad.  They have been arguing more than normal, but that's because they are spending way more time together than normal.  I guess what has really been bugging me more than anything, is that Miss A has this wonderful little tween attitude lately over something that happened, and it's totally driving me insane!  Here's the deal:

So, we do not allow boyfriends at the age of 10.  Call me a prude, but I just don't think it's appropriate, nor is she ready for that type of relationship or responsibility.  She is still forming the core of who she is.  She does NOT need to be worrying about who some stupid boy is.  She is still learning the right way to have a friendship and does not need to concern herself with anything more than that.  Still don't agree?  Read on.  I'll even make my case for you using what happened.

Exhibit A: Boys are dumb.  They get less dumb as they get older...well, I think they do anyway...but they are definitely not date-worthy in the 5th grade!

She found this boy that she likes/liked who will remain nameless.  Actually, let's call him D(not his initial, it's short for the parent-only nickname: Douche)

Exhibit B: We, as parents, are not ready to be okay with any boy and I don't like calling 5th graders douches.

Anyway, she "dated" him for a little bit, mind you after her friend had(Exhibit C, you don't date a guy your friend has dated).

D had been "cheating" on her friend with an older girl or another girl or something.  I'm still not totally clear.  He had done this with numerous other girls, too.  Miss A knew all this and still chose to be in a "relationship" with him. (Exhibit D, WTF was she thinking? She should know she deserves better than that!)  Dad and I have been talking about this and trying to make sure that we are showing her that she is better than that everyday.  It's up to us to teach her that, but that fact that she hasn't realized it yet makes this Exhibit D.

While Miss A was "dating" him, he asked out her BEST FRIEND!!! Proof of Exhibit A.

Miss A broke up with him(1 point for her right?  Kinda, let's give her 1/2 a point for now because I told her to do it and explained why).

NOW, she is trying to be best buddies with him and wants to talk on the phone and text him.  Um, NO!  Take the 1/2 point away.  She has not yet realized that he is a DOUCHE(ugh I did it again) and that she should have nothing to do with him.  I mean, do you go and hang out with a guy who cheated on you?  I would hope not.  And don't give me the whole, "maybe he is a better friend than boyfriend" nonsense.  If he is already pulling this shit at 10-11 years old, he is NOT a good person to hang out with.

So, you see.   Case made.  She is NOT ready for a boyfriend.

We have talked to her and explained our place.  We REALLY don't want to do the "I forbid you to talk to him" thing because we know that doesn't work.  She goes to school with him.  He is in her class.  I'm pretty sure they are partnered up in one class because she can help him when he doesn't get it.  That's all great.  I would love for her to be a positive example for him.  AT SCHOOL.  AS A CLASSMATE.  Not at home on the phone because she likes him even though he treated her like shit.

I am making a more concentrated effort to take every opportunity to tell her that she is a wonderful person.  I have always told her that and tried to show her how to allow others to treat her, but I am working to do it in a more intentional manner.  We have told her that we aren't going to forbid her talking to him, but that we are disappointed in the choice of friend she is making.  We are doing our best to show we her love her and not take her freedom, but guide her to where she needs to be.  Being a parent is freaking HARD!


Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Break-weekend 1

This weekend was the first weekend of Christmas break.  This is the LONGEST break of the whole school year.  It also happens to be my favorite time of year so I am hoping that the two will even each other out.

We spent Friday afternoon mostly just hanging around that house.  It was nice.  We all just got to chill for a while.  Miss A had a dance to go to so CC and I dropped her off there.  Mind you we had to get change for admission first so we stopped at the local mini-mart.  CC seems to be completely incapable of going into a store without asking for something so we of course got to have that battle...I swear that by the end of this break we will have broken the habit of fit throwing over EVERYTHING...

When it was time to pick up Miss A, CC and I had gotten there a little early.  We decided to drive around and look at all the pretty Christmas lights.  We found the coolest house!!!

The family who lives there is really nice and let CC take a picture in their Texas.  =D

Saturday morning I hung out with my girlies while Dad went to the gun show in the next town.  He brought back a bag of rocks for each girl and 6 Texas necklace charms for me!  I make necklaces and absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE new charms.  That afternoon, he took the girls Christmas shopping for...wait for it...ME!!!  Yay!!  lol  After that we all hung out and had a relaxing evening at home;  Of course there was the occasional fit from CC, and some arguments between sisters, but we had less than most nights, I think.

Sunday we went Christmas tree shopping!  Can you believe that there are NO, and I mean ZERO, Christmas tree lots around here????  WTF???  We had already seen that Walmart was seriously lacking in their selection, so we headed to Home Depot...nada...ugh.  All the trees were really crappy...lacking fullness, and not the right height at all.  Our next stop was Lowes...same story.  We got directions to what might have been a lot and were all set to go there when the hubby suggested hitting up the Home Depot in the next town just to see what they had, otherwise it would be at least a 30 minute drive to the other place.

So we headed out to the next town over.  Boy, are we glad that we went!!  We found the perfect tree!  It's full and HUGE!!

We got it home and inside with the help of the hubby's dad and brother.  Decorating it was interesting.  We found out that the lights we have had for the past 10 years, or so, had finally given out.  After we got the lights situation handled, and got it decorated we were all pleased!!  It and it looks GREAT!!!  I'm not a huge fan of all the "classy" Christmas tree decorations.  I think my tree should represent my family.  We are far from perfect and we definitely have character.  Our tree should too!

Anyway, we survived our first Christmas break weekend!!  Yay!!  I am totally looking forward to the rest of break!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Flashback Fridays ep.1

About a week and a half ago I was feeling rather nostalgic because my mom was here so I wrote a post about How I Became a Mom.  I have been thinking this week about how I can incorporate some of my motherhood and other past into this blog and I think I have it! I am going to do a segment each Friday called..............................................................................................




WHOO HOO!!!!!!!!!!! =D =D =D =D =D =D =D =D =D =D =D

I'm thinking that this will be good for a couple of reasons.

1) It will give me an opportunity to really introduce myself to you.

2) It will give you the opportunity to read about issues that have already been overcome.  You know, like those terrible twos, or other behavior issues that just aren't prevalent anymore because my kids are older.

I want to be very clear in saying that this is a trial thing right now and that if it doesn't work out, I will definitely be cutting it.


First up, this is something I have been thinking about a lot lately and it ties into past parenting exercises.

It's kind of a pet peeve of mine to hear parents say, "oh, it's just a phase." or "They'll grow out of it eventually..." and other such nonsense.  I was watching Supernanny yesterday and heard the dad on the episode say that his kid, who was hitting and screaming and peeing on himself(on purpose in public because he didn't get his way), would "grow out of it" and they were "not too worried" or some other such foolery.

When I was a new mom I heard people say that all the time.  "Don't worry, your child will go through lots of phases and they will all pass."  Well, at first I thought that was all there was to it.  That's the way that it's put off.  That your kid will have issues but that they are all phases and that these behaviors will pass of their own volition.


These behaviors are only a phase if they do pass and they will only pass if you teach your child that these behaviors are not okay.  Simply excusing them as an age: terrible twos, etc, does nothing but allow your kid to keep being rude and throwing fits and hitting or whatever it is that they do.

Miss A had an issue in Kindergarten though about second grade where she would hit when she was angry.  Mind you in Kindergarten it was a LOT worse.  As time went on the hitting got better to the point where she stopped altogether.  Did this happen on its own?  NO!  She got consequences for her actions(time outs, grounding, sentences, loss of privileges...).  If I had simply excused her hitting as a phase(like some people I knew at the time tried to suggest), she would have kept hitting.  People tried to say that there are natural consequences.  Well, yes.  Unfortunately(and fortunately I guess, depending on how you look at it) she didn't really suffer those very often.

You see, Miss A is a very charming child.  She is beautiful and there is something about her that draws people in.  No matter what she did to the children in her Kindergarten class, they still wanted to be her best friend.  They still followed her around and took whatever it was that she was handing out.  For her, natural consequences didn't really take place very often.

What changed her behavior were the consequences at home from us, and at school from her teacher.  It was only a phase because we did something to stop it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

One of my Favorite Recipes

Hey there!  I thought it might be nice to share one of my favorite recipes that I came up with all on my own!  
First, though, I should tell you how this idea came about.  See, my dad had come to visit my family and I while we were still in California.  While he was there, Miss A mentioned to him that she wanted a pineapple.  Like, a whole one.  About a week after our visit, my dad sent a Safeway delivery to our house which included...yep! a pineapple!!  A whole, ripe, uncut, scary looking pineapple.  I say scary looking because I had never in my whole life, even begun to THINK about how to cut a pineapple.  It's all prickly and has stuff coming out of the top of it...I really had no idea where to begin.

I let the pineapple sit for about a day, looking at it every so often to see if I could figure it out.  You know, where the weak spot was, so to speak.  It was me and the pineapple.  The pineapple and me.  Then came dinner time.

Miss A came into the kitchen as I was figuring out what to make, she was about 5 or 6 at the time, and asked if we could have the pineapple with some chicken.  Aha!  That sounded like a great idea...but I still had no idea how to cut the dang thing!!  I figured what the hell, I'll just begin.  I mean, there is fruit under that armor somewhere...and I was going to find it.

I began with the top.  I couldn't see past those scary looking leaves so I figured I'd just cut 'em off.  I cut about an inch or so below the top of the prickly armor.  I saw FRUIT!  HA!  Then I figured I'd just slice down the sides to remove the rest of this not-so-tough-anymore skin.  It worked!  I think I made 5 or 6 cuts all the way around.  I seemed to remember that canned pineapple has a hole in the middle so I kind of hollowed out the center of the fruit so that it looked close to what I was used to.  Then it was just a matter of slicing!  I had done it!

Now it was time to cook what became known as:

Kristen's Honey Glazed Pineapple Chicken!
(I should state here that the kids and I love it.  My hubby is not a huge fan, but I have gotten good reviews from others outside my family, so really it's up to you.)

2 chicken breasts(butterflied)
One pineapple(conquered or canned)
Honey(around 4 tablespoons by the time you are done.  About 2 at a time.)

Preheat oven to 400*.  Lay out some pineapple pieces on the bottom of a casserole dish, just enough so that when you put the chicken on top of them the chicken won't touch the glass. Next, place the butterflied chicken breasts atop the pineapple.  Then layer the rest of the pineapple over the chicken.  Squeeze some honey over the top(kind of in a zig zag motion).  You are not covering the chicken or the pineapple, just kind of adding it to the dish.  Cook in oven for 30-35 minutes(or until chicken is done).  Make sure that, about halfway through the cook time you do the zig zag honey thing again over the top(keep in mind that I have not given you a hard and fast measurement for the honey because everyone has different preferences).  After you have verified that the chicken is cooked thoroughly, allow it to cool for about a minute or two and serve.  I like to serve it with green beans and a roll.  Bon appetite!

Let me know if you try it.  I'd love to hear what you think.  Constructive criticism is always appreciated.  =)

*cooking times will vary from oven to oven.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Best Place to Visit Santa!!!

This past Friday I took my little angels to go see Santa. This is a dreaded affair every year. The lines, the massive amounts of people, parking, the mall with all of its temptations, and the expense!! Really, just to touch on the expense thing for a minute, who is the world thought “hey, I know! Let's take advantage of all the parents in the world by charging ridiculous amounts of money for kids to take pictures with Santa!” Whoever that was is a jackass.  Anyway, the point is that the whole idea of going to see Santa has been tainted for me. 

This year, though, we are living in a small town. This year, I heard about a place here in town that Santa is visiting every Friday and Saturday until Christmas. This year we went to Pink Penguin Frozen Yogurt. This is already I great place, totally small-towned-out! They have the local mascot gear and photos up from people who have eaten massive amounts of frozen yogurt!!

The owner of this establishment is our wonderful Santa. He takes time to dress up and bring joy to the local kids. And guess what?? It's FREE! He takes a picture of your kid(or if you are me, you) with Santa and they email it to you for free! There are no massive lines because it's a small town thing. Santa was awesome and played with the kids while they were eating their frozen yogurt. The whole place has a really homey vibe that was only made better by the presence of Saint Nick.

I worry at large malls about keeping my kids by my side at all times because there are so many people and, let's face it, that is prime placement for a kidnapper. At Pink Penguin Frozen Yogurt, I didn't have to worry about that at all. My kids were totally safe. I was able to enjoy my frozen yogurt with my friend while our kids conversed and played with good ol' Kris Kringle.

The entire atmosphere was friendly and warm. I don't usually gush this much about any place I have been to, let alone a business establishment, but this place is awesome! If you are in the Round Rock/Austin area it's totally worth the short drive to Hutto to visit one of the majestic symbols of the season. I highly recommend taking your kids to see Santa at The PinkPenguin in Hutto. And if you are not a fan of Santa, the frozen yogurt is pretty awesome, too!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

How I Became A Mom

With my mom here this week, I have been feeling a little nostalgic.  It's nice.  I figured I would tell you all a little about how I came to be a mom in the first place.  You know, aside from the whole "when two people love each other very much..." nonsense...

When I was 17, I came to the conclusion that my life was incomplete.  I felt empty.  I had been drinking and smoking weed for a couple/few years and that just wasn't doing it for me anymore.  I made a conscious decision to seek out something better.  Something harder.  Little did I know that that something was across the street.  It only took a few days but I found what would become my drug of choice.  I began to use meth.  From the first time that I used it, I thought "this is it.  I have found the thing that has been missing from my life.  Now I am complete."  It all seems a little stupid to me now.  How could I have possibly thought that any drug could complete me or make me better?  But I did.  I stayed high for about 9-10 months.  In this time, I met a boy(who will remain nameless).  This boy was nice.  He treated me right, most of the time.  He was never violent or anything like that, but he lied.  A lot.  I didn't find out how much until after we broke up, but that is neither here nor there.  He was good enough for me to sleep with and I did.

Now, I had heard all the talks.  You know, all the "if you are going to have sex, make sure to use birth control and a condom" stuff.  Somehow, though, I never connected that with myself and what I was doing.  It never occurred to me that I could get pregnant.  I guess that was my own childishness mixed with the invincible feeling I had while I was high.  So, shortly after I began sleeping with my at the time boyfriend, I was pregnant.  I didn't know for a while and so I continued using.  Then, I did know and my selfishness and feeling of invincibility allowed me to think that nothing bad would happen if I continued to use.  Oh!  I forgot to say that shortly after I got pregnant, but before I knew, I moved out of my house and into a friend's, then to a motel.  I lived out of my house for about 1-2 months.  I dropped out of school for about a month during that time.

So, eventually there came a night when we didn't have enough money for a hotel and nowhere to stay.  It was a scary night for me.  I was pretty spoiled growing up.  I had everything I wanted, mostly, and never had to worry about a roof over my head.  So one night without this basic necessity and I was done.  We had snuck into a friend's garage and slept there.  We were not really welcome there at that time, so when we woke up it was not a happy thing.  I think that morning was the morning when a girl actually put a knife to my throat.  I was terrified but at the same time I was kind of wishing she would kill me because I was so lost and had no idea what I was going to do.  That whole experience ended up being exactly what I needed to get me back home.

I walked strait across the street(to my house), once I realized that I wasn't going to die that day, and asked to move back in.  My parents welcomed me, with a few conditions of course.  I had to stop using drugs and go to an outpatient teen drug rehab.  I agreed, out loud.  I continued to use drugs for a few weeks after moving home, though.  I was still not able to accept that I was pregnant, but using drugs didn't make me feel the same anymore.  I went to the outpatient rehab thing and listened, but didn't really think any of what they were saying applied to me.  The day came where I had to submit to a random drug test.  I knew I would some up dirty and I broke down.  My parents would have kicked me out if they knew that was still using and I was feeling horrible about the using while I knew I was pregnant.  I had known for about 3 weeks at this point.  I know, it's horrible.  I tell you this because I know that there are other people who have done the same thing or are doing the same thing right now.  If I truly thought I was the only one who had ever done this I couldn't bring myself to say it out loud, let alone write it down.  As it is, the only way I have been able to come to terms with it, is to hear that someone else made the same selfish choices that I did, before me.

Anyway, when I broke down, the counselor talked to me.  I don't remember all of what he said, just one thing.  He told me that I was too far along to miscarry, and that at this point I was just hurting my child.  I had never told him that I was pregnant, but as a counselor of troubled teens, he apparently read the signs. He told me that my child would be born with disabilities and that I would look at him or her everyday and know that I had caused him or her to suffer because I was selfish.  That hit me.  That I remember.  The test ended up coming up clean and my parents didn't kick me out, but what he said stuck with me.

I used one time after that conversation and I didn't even get high.  It was horrible.  All I could hear was his voice in my head.  That day I told me at the time boyfriend that I was going to quit and that he should, too.  He laughed.  He told me that I was a dope fiend and that I could never quit.  Thank you, sir!  That was the last push that I needed.  I broke up with him then and there.  I stayed clean for the remainder of my pregnancy.  Eventually, I told my parents that I was pregnant and my mom got me the prenatal care that I needed.  I ended up getting back together with an old boyfriend a couple months later(read: my now husband).  My daughter was born perfectly healthy, thank God.  I know that was not from my doing.

Oh!  I forgot!  I went back to school within a week of moving back in with my parents(that was another condition) and ended up finishing my credits about 3-4 months early.  I walked across the stage to graduate, nine months pregnant(well, really almost 10, cause I was due a week later).  My principle joked that he would have an ambulance on stand-by just in case I went into labor during the ceremony.  I had my daughter 2 weeks after graduating.

Anyway, I just thought that I would share.  I'm sorry if you don't like what I wrote.  I'm sorry if it makes you uncomfortable.  That is just my story of becoming a mom.  Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

10 Best Things About Being a Mom

In an effort to continue to surprise my readers, you, I have decided to do another TOP TEN LIST!!  My last one worked out pretty well and I enjoyed doing it so here is another one for your reading pleasure.

This idea comes from a very dear friend at The Cherry On Top Events, Tory Bright!  Tory and I have known each other for about 16 years! Man that makes me feel old...

Anyway, here is the latest Top Ten:

The Ten Best Things About Being A Mom(in no particular order)

1) Hugs- You know you love them!  Little tiny arms squeezing you with all of their might are definitely one of the best things about being a mom!

2) Kisses- Yes, even the slobbery baby ones...It's the most amazing thing when my girls love on me.  Especially when Miss A, my 10 year old, asks me for a goodnight kiss!  It makes me feel great that, even though she is getting older, she still needs the Mom Stuff sometimes.

3) Screwing with them- Don't lie.  We all mess with our kids sometimes.  At one point, for about a week, we had Miss A convinced that peperoni came from an animal called a Pep.  Peps live in Australia and come in all sorts of different colors, even PURPLE!  Mean?  A little.  Funny?  FOR SURE!  She's a good sport though and laughs about it now.

4) Watching them excel- Watching my girls do something and do it well is AMAZING!!  I loved seeing CC do well with cheer!  Miss A was awesome to watch as she got better and better at gymnastics!  I, of course, love to watch them excel in school as well!  Both of my girls are amazing little readers and fantastic mathematicians!!

5) Watching them pick themselves back up- I think this may even be better than watching them excel.  Miss A had been having a hard time with math for a while before we moved, but she never gave up.  This year, she is doing MUCH better and is learning that, now that she likes it, she actually has a knack for numbers!  CC is great for this.  She will sometimes have a hard time with a word and put the book down and get upset. (My kids don't have to try hard at much, so when they do it can be frustrating for them) I absolutely love watching her get over her frustration and pick that book up and try again, usually getting it within a few seconds.

6) Watching them try new foods- Have you ever given a baby a lemon?  The look on their faces when they try something new is GREAT!!

7) Teaching them new things- From riding a bike to driving a car, it's a challenge but it's totally worth it to help them expand their horizons!

8) Pictures- I absolutely love to take their pictures and show them off!  I also love being able to look back on how much they have grown!

9) Sleepless nights- Now, you might be thinking "What the hell are you talking about?!?", but really.  Think about it, did you ever think that you would be able to survive on less than 4 hours sleep a night for months at a time?  I know I didn' least not without some sort of outside illegal stimuli...But I did!  Those sleepless nights that we all complain about so much really show us what we are made of and what we can accomplish.

10) Life Lessons- The saying, "from the mouths of babes" says it all.  These little mouths can teach us the most profound and most needed lessons in life.  Everything is so innocent to them.  So cut and dry.  They view the world from a place much simpler than we do and sometimes that helps them to see things a lot clearer than we do.  Remember not to dismiss your children's opinions simply because they are small.  The small ones usually have the clearest insight to a problem.

Again, a giant THANK YOU to Tory Bright at The Cherry On Top Events for the wonderful idea!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Dreaded Thanksgiving Break

As some of you may know, I was really concerned about this Thanksgiving break my kids are finishing up(Really, I dread every long break...just like the one they have in 3 weeks that is 2 weeks long...).  CC has had this way of throwing wonderfully crafted and perfectly annoying fits whenever she doesn't get her way and Miss A has developed this amazing teen-attitude that is just such a pleasure to be around.  Needless to say, I was genuinely worried that this break would be full of time-outs, early bedtimes, and grounding.

I am happy to report that, though we did have some of that stuff, it was no where near what I was predicting!!


On Wednesday, the girls and I spent the majority of the day outside the house.  Dad works from home and did not have Wednesday off.  CC and II went grocery shopping in the morning(um...I do NOT recommend grocery shopping the day before Thanksgiving...).  CC did not throw any kind of fit or even whine a little bit while we were in the store.  We talked before we went about how we were only getting things that were on the list and I got her to help me get stuff off the shelves.  We made it home in time for lunch and my long time addiction, OLTL.  After lunch Miss A, CC, and I went to see The Lion King at the dollar theater.  Hey, I'm not poor but taking the 3 of us to a movie is around $30 just to get in the door!  This way we were able to get in the door for $3.75 and then spend that $30 on snacks.  =)

Thursday was amazing!  The girlies and I made maple mousse!!  It's a really simple recipe and it was fun to do it together.  We had Thanksgiving dinner at a friend's house with family and friends alike.  The kids had a great time running around on their property and jumping on the trampoline.  There were no fits and only a few moments of attitude that were quickly reigned in.  The girls ate all their food and didn't object much when it was time to cut off the sweets and soda.

Friday Miss A spent the majority of the day at her friend's house and CC, Dad, and I decorated the house for Christmas!!  I need to say here that having a house to decorate for Christmas is WONDERFUL!!

Saturday was spent lounging around for the most part.  Dad took the car and did some stuff out at Occupy Austin so my girlies and I watched Ghost Whisperer and hung out.  CC has been obsessed with My Little Pony games online so she spent most of the morning doing that.  We did  have a few bouts of attitude and Miss A and I ended up having a LONG talk about how lying leads to a lack of trust.  We have those talks often...this one ended really well and I think she really understood what I was saying.

Today is Sunday.  The last day of vacation.  I am happy to still have two living children and a weekend that I can look back on fondly.  Miss A is out with Dad seeing The Muppet Movie.  She wrote a "persuasive paper" in school to try to convince someone to do something for her or take her somewhere.  She gets credit if it actually happens.  PLUS she gets to spend some quality time with Dad.  That's like a win, win, win situation!!  CC is upstairs playing on the computer again and I doing this while watching Erin Brockovich.  Please know that she is limited on her time on the computer, but I think that she is also learning a valuable skill in the process.  The whole world runs on computers and she is going to live her life here.  She should know how to use it.

Anyway, life is good here!  We made it through the 5 day weekend and everyone is still alive and happy.  I couldn't ask for anything more.  =D

How was yours?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Gratitude and movie tips

Hello All and Happy Thanksgiving!!!  Today I am grateful for my family(kids included), my friends, and of course you! Really, I am super-grateful!!

Ok, now that that is out of the way, I have something to say.  I took my darling children to see The Lion King at the dollar theater yesterday(still spent $30 on snacks...ugh) and was appalled at the lack of parental responsibility that I saw! Seriously people!!  It was ridiculous!

First off, I realize that you paid for your ticket, but I paid for mine too.  If your kid is crying, PLEASE take them OUT of the theater!  The rest of the people in the theater are not interested in viewing or hearing your warnings about "if you don't stop crying, we are going to leave" 50 times.  Take them out and tell them that.  Outside.  Where you are no longer disrupting the movie.  

I know that you think that your kids are the center of the universe.  That's great, they should be the center of your for a while,  but your children are NOT more important than the rest of the kids in there!  Everyone paid to see the movie and everyone wants their kids to enjoy it.

Also, just on a side note because I went to see Breaking Dawn Part 1 with my wonderful hubby last weekend, PLEASE look at and respect the ratings that are assigned to any given movie!  That movie is rated PG-13 for a REASON!  Your 5 year old and 10 year old should NOT be watching the sex or birth scenes!  People are PAID to rate movies.  That's their job.  They have a set system for how to do it.  You may be the expert on your kid, but you are not the expert on the movie rating system.  

Like I said, I went with my HUSBAND.  My kids stayed with my in-laws.  I may be luckier than most to have people who will watch my kids when I want to go out, but if I didn't I would NOT go.  Your wants SHOULD NOT come before the mental and emotional well-being of your children!

So, now that I have gotten that out, I want to remind you all to be grateful.  Not just today, but everyday.  Life is full of things to be grateful for.  From the clothes on your back and the roof over your head, to the new car and big screen TV in your living room.  From the most material to the most spiritual.  Taking time out to complain is fine, as long as you take time to be grateful as well.  My general rule of thumb is to try to be grateful at least twice as often as I am ungrateful.  That's the minimum.  

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Ten Best Things About Moving To Another State

I had recently decided that I wanted to do a Top Ten list, but I just couldn't think of what to do it on!!  I asked some friends for suggestions and my wonderful, amazing, friend Cat came up with this idea!  So, I would like to take this opportunity to give Cat a giant "THANKS!!!!!" for her help!!  Please check out her website, she makes the BEST  and most  AMAZING cakes!!!!

Without further ado, here is the Top Ten List inspired by Cat Harper

The 10 Best Things About Moving To Another State:  

1)  Better schools: Well, at least if you move from CA to TX...We moved and found that there are entire schools FULL of teachers who care about their students!!  Who knew??

2)   Family bonding: Our family is so much closer since we moved.  We spent 3 days in the car/moving truck together just talking and laughing.  We even had a dvd player and TONS of games for the kids to play on the trip...they didn't use them until we got to our new home!!

3)   Making new friends: Making new friends is ALWAYS fun!  Between cheer and gymnastics and school, we got to totally immerse ourselves in this new environment!

4)   Better standard of living: Well, let's hope that if you are moving from state to state, you are doing it to improve your life.  Everything is more affordable out here.  We have moved from a tiny 2 bedroom apartment to a big 3 bedroom 2 bathroom house and are paying less!

5)   Finding out who your friends are: Now, originally I thought this was a curse.  I lost some friends that I thought were friends for life.  I have since realized that this is a blessing.  These people were going to leave anyway.  I'm glad I got to figure this lesson out now, rather than years from now. =)

6)   New Food: Every state has different foods that are popular.  California has a lot of health food(which I love and miss) but Texas has a TON of BBQ and TexMex.  I am not a huge fan of the BBQ, but the rest of my family LOVES it and I have to say that the TexMex is pretty darn good.

7)   Finding where you fit: This only works if you are moving TO somewhere and not AWAY FROM something.  Otherwise you are just taking the problem with you.  We made this decision to move in a totally healthy way with tons of planning and saving and have benefited greatly from it!

8)   Getting rid of stuff you don't need: Let's face it, we all keep stuff that we just don't need.  One of the best parts about moving to another state is that you get the opportunity to really evaluate what you want to take and what you want to leave, or throw away.  Now, you don't have to move to another state to be able to do this, but the idea of trekking this shit halfway across the country only to unpack and find a place for it, is a GREAT motivator to get rid of some junk.

9)   Reacquainting with family, or finding more: Now this may only apply to me and others with not-so-functional family situations, but since we have moved out here, I have gotten a hold of and met more family than I ever dreamed I had!  Actually, in the past week I have gained a sister, a brother, a sister-in-law, 3 nephews, a niece!!! NICE!! (More on this at a later date, when everything is sorted out)

And the number 10 Best Thing About Moving To Another State(at least for us)..............Visitors!!!
My mom is coming to visit soon, and it is just about the most exciting thing ever!  We get to show her around and welcome her into our new home!  I am really loving this whole sharing-my-life-with-others thing that we have going on!

Have you recently, or ever, moved to a new state or a new place? If so, please share your favorite thing about moving in the comments below!

Monday, November 14, 2011

To Take Or Not To Take...

    So I was just watching an episode of  8 Simple Rules For Dating My Teenage Daughter.  You remember that show, it’s the one where John Ritter was playing the dad at the time of his death and David Spade and James Garner came on as the nephew and grandfather.  I love that show!

  It was the one where Rory(Martin Spanjers) takes the van without asking and ends up hitting something.  Then of COURSE mom, Katey Sagal, blames Kerry(Amy Davidson) and/or Bridgette(Kaley Cuoco) for the damage and Rory doesn’t fess up until the last minute.  Typical after school special stuff right? 

    I’ve seen the episode before, PLENTY of times, but THIS time it got me thinking.  See, when the mom, Kate I think, still thinks that either Kerry or Bridgette damaged the van she takes away their Outkast tickets and gives them to Rory.

   Now, I don’t know if they bought the tickets themselves from money they earned at work or if mom gave them the money, but let’s say for arguments sake that Kerry and Bridgette bought the tickets with money they earned that did not come from their mom.  Here is my question: Did mom have a right to take the tickets?

    Now, I am going to have teenagers someday…I researched how to avoid this but apparently I am too late.  The only way to stop their growth is HIGHLY illegal and extremely immoral.  I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I will, someday soon, have teenagers… yikes! 

    Anyway, my immediate reaction to what Kate did is that HELL YEASH she can take those tickets away(mind you it was for no reason, but let’s stick with the idea that it’s an earned consequence) because they are her kids and she is in charge.  Probably the same reaction many of you had when I first asked the question…BUT then I got to thinking…

    We are going on the idea that these kids bought their own tickets with their own money.  Does mom really have a right to take them?  I mean, they worked for that money and decided what to do with it.  Maybe grounding them on the night of the concert, sure.  But taking the tickets?  I don’t know…What do you think?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Ghosties Conquer Bickering

Last night, the hubby and I hit up Trivia again(I won first place and left the kids with the sitter at home.  We hadn't gone to trivia in a couple weeks and felt that we needed some time out of the house with no children...even if it is time spent down the street from our house. (Small town = everything is super close.)  I mean, come on, even the best parents get tired of their kids and need some time out.  No need to justify. =)

Anyways, so we go to trivia.  The kids have been bickering and tattling for about 4 days non-stop: "she took my crayon" "she looked at me mean" "she stuck her tongue out at me" "she said I smell like cheese" and on and on and on...It was time to get the hell out.  I made sure to let them know that if they were not good for the sitter there would be a problem and they would not like my solution.  Nice, general, mom-threat.  Nothing too specific cause I really didn't have a plan just yet for what would happen.

As far as I know, they were pretty good.  BUT I get a text from the sitter's mom about 20 minutes before we were set to leave trivia, saying that she is on her way to my house because my girls(and hers) got freaked out by something.

Turns out that when Miss A was letting the dog out to use the backyard, she was doing the normal "time to go potty" command that we have trained our puppy to follow, she heard her words echoed back to her.  She was a little weirded out so she looked around the backyard.  That's when she sees it.  She says she saw a little girl wearing a white dress standing in our backyard!  She said that when she saw the little girl, the little girl turned, looked at Miss A and then darted out of the backyard over the fence into the CORNFIELD that is right behind our house.  Uh, yeah...that's just freaky.  For her, terrifying!

                                                 (Not an actual picture...just for theatrics)

So the sitter's mom comes and hangs out with them till we get home.  After this text exchange though, which I relayed to the friends that we were hanging out with, we got into a discussion about the history of the town that we live in.  Turns out that there was a VERY early settlement, pretty much RIGHT WHERE WE LIVE, and that about 80 children died in a span of about 4 years.  Our friend told us about a cemetery that is pretty close, yes we are going to visit(no we are not weird, well maybe we are, but whatever), and it has tons of child graves.

This isn't even to mention the time that the hubby saw a little girl standing in the middle of the highway who darted into a field on the other side of us and disappeared.  Or the time that the dog was going nuts and we all felt something was in the house.  OR just the other day when I was out and there was no one, not even one of our animals, upstairs and the hubby heard footsteps in our room.  There are a million stories about this area and people seeing or experiencing the supernatural.  I'm thinking we are definitely haunted...not in a bad way.  Just in a sort of nonchalant huh, we have ghosties kind of way...

Back to the kiddos...CC was sound asleep when we got home.  We spoke this morning and I asked her what she thought.  She said, "It was either a person or a ghost."  I replied that it was not a person.  "Then it was a ghost. But, ghosts aren't real..."  I replied that no one knows for sure and that even if it was a ghost it was not going to hurt them.  CC: "Ok, that's fine."  Big smile.  Miss A was awake when we got home and still a little freaked out.  I assured her the same as I did for CC.  "Ghosts are not going to hurt you."  She stated that it was scary because it startled her, but that it didn't "feel" bad.

So, yeah, we are haunted. Cool.  Glad my kids are good with that cause we are not  AND the kids didn't fight last night!!!  Guess it takes a ghostie to bring them together. =)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

And a Sick Husband...

Omg having a sick husband is worse than having sick kids!  It is more entertaining though...

So, my dear hubby is sick...24 hour stomach flu thing.  CC and I just had it yesterday.  Yes, yesterday, on Halloween.  Not so fun.  The husband ended up taking the kids trick-or-treating while I stayed home praying no neighborhood kids came to the door while I was in the bathroom trying not to throw up.  CC ended up coming home from school today(and was better within an hour of being home...argh).

Anywho, now the hubby is sick.  I don't know if any of you have ever had a sick male significant other, but seriously??  They are like babies!  He is all up in the bedroom talking about how it's the Zombie Apocalypse starting and that I should prepare myself to shoot him before dawn so he doesn't eat us...and how he needs the plastic syringe thing that we have for antibiotics and the pin from the bicycle pump so he can give himself a sugar water IV(ok, MacGyver)...drama queen...

Also, he is thinking, and I am in total agreement, that he needs a Life Alert bracelet.  He was standing in the bathtub upstairs to close the window and somehow ended up on the floor on his back.  I was downstairs tutoring and I heard this huge BANG!!!  It took me a split second to realize that it was my husband falling and get my ass in gear to go up and see if he was okay.  I get upstairs and and the sight before me was absolutely priceless...He was laying on the floor, on his back, almost in tears from laughing, or pain...or both...  Of course I asked all the appropriate questions, you know: are you okay? did you hit your head? does anything hurt?  He's fine, he did hit his head on the closet doorknob on the way down(I'm making sure there is no sleeping for a while), and his back is sore but that's it.

Mind you, before he went to close the bathroom window, he had texted me that he was feeling shaky and that he needed some Gatorade or something with sugar since he has not eaten yet today.  I sent up some Gatorade with one of the kids, but really, that last thing I would be doing when I felt shaky while laying down, is stand up and attempt to close something up high...

Also, let me remind you(before you label me completely insensitive) that both CC and I had this same thing yesterday.  Neither of us turned into zombies and neither of us died.  I did not fall down.  We made it through.  Yes, he had to do the trick-or-treating and take care of dinner, but I managed to make it through without completely falling apart.  If you have ever had a sick male significant other, you know what I'm talking about.

So what do i do?  I am absolutely taking care of him, but I am also having fun.  I took some pictures of his pathetic-ness to show to the world...

You may think that's mean, but that's just how we roll.  Anyway, I have to entertain myself somehow while he is up there being hella drama-filled, right?

Monday, October 31, 2011

A Message To Parents(mostly single, but anyone can benefit here)

Dear Single Parents Out There(mostly, but anyone can benefit):

I want to take a minute and address you.  I want to say that I admire your efforts and your energy in raising your child(ren) alone.  That being said, I have a few pointers.  Please keep in mind that this does not apply to all of you and I don't even know if it will apply to anyone who reads this.

In my daily interactions with single parents around me, I have noticed a few different(but equally common) behaviors.

1) Allowing your(general "your") child to walk all over you. -

I can only imagine that this comes from some sort of guilt over not having both parents around.  Allowing your child to do whatever they want does not, I repeat does NOT, make up for a missing parent.  This behavior on your part is actually very damaging to your child.  Do you think that the rest of the world is going to give them special treatment because their mom or dad wasn't around when they were young?  No.  They need to be prepared for the world that is in front of them.  Saying "no" is not a crime.  Sure they will be mad at you and might even slip in a few comments here and there, but ultimately you are doing them a disservice by giving them everything.  It's time to let the guilt go.  It is not your fault that the other parent is not there.  Even if it is, it's not.  The absent parent made their choice.  It's on you to make sure that your child becomes a good grown up.  It's not fair, but it is what it is.  Journal about it, get therapy, talk to a friend, blog it, but do not allow your guilt ruin your child.

2) Comparing your child to the absent parent in a negative light. -

Your child loves you.  He/she wants to hear that you love them too.  If they hear you talking crap about their absent parent(or weekend one) and then you say something like "you're just like your father/mother" it hurts them. A LOT!  This does not encourage them to do things differently.  This just reinforces the belief that they will take after that one person you apparently hate.  Ergo, you hate them too.  Please try to remember that you had sex with this individual.  Whether in a relationship or not, sober or not, you saw something in them.  They were good enough to f*** at one point, and really, you got an awesome kid out of it so it couldn't have been that bad.

3) Making so-called "innocent" comments(mostly to little girls) regarding "chubby thighs" or "buddah belly" or other such nonsense.(And really this is for ALL parents, but I recently heard a single parent do it so it's on my mind.) -

Your child takes this to heart.  You may not see an issue when they are 5 or 6, but trust me when I say that if you continue, your little girl WILL be throwing up or starving herself by the time she is 14.  Really, everything you say to your child is ingrained.  You may not think so because they don't keep their room clean or wash their hands every time they go to the bathroom or they lie to you about the frosting the snuck out of the fridge, but it is.  You can VERY easily give them an "I'm fat" complex that will haunt them for the rest of their life.

Anyway, I am off of my soapbox now.  I just really needed to get that out.  If this hit a nerve, look at it.  If not, yay for you!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Growing Pains...

Hey there!  I may need some pointers here.  I'm not very experienced with the whole "being a younger sister" thing.  Actually, I'm not experienced with that at ALL, being the oldest of four girls.  And I don't remember ever having this problem with my little sisters(mostly because I was a very self-centered child...).  Here's the situation:

Miss A is 10.  CC is 6.  These are very different times in life.  Miss A wants nothing more than to hang out with her friends and do ten year old stuff.  Rightly so.  She's 10.  Makes sense.  She wants to do this ten-year-old stuff without her little sister tagging along and being a part of everything.  Again, rightly so.  Makes sense to me.

CC does not think that Miss A should be doing all of this ten-year-old stuff without her.  She thinks it is completely unfair when Miss A gets to go to her friends' houses and she has to stay home.  Mind you, CC does have her own friends and she gets to go to their houses as well.  The problems arise when Miss A's friends are home to play and CC's are not.  Interestingly enough, this happens wouldn't think that life would be so cruel, but it is. Just kidding...kind of.

I try to give CC things to do while Miss A is out.  We do projects, watch movies, read, talk, etc.  Recently, though, it is getting harder and harder to avoid/circumvent/distract from the fit that comes with not being able to do the same thing her sister is doing.  I have also had the conversations(emphasis on the S) about how "life isn't fair", "fair doesn't mean equal", "your sister is going to be doing lots of things without you but she still includes you a lot, too", "throwing fits like that makes you look like you are 2, not 6"(ok the last one begins more as a frustrated moment, but usually evolves into something productive)...etc.  I require Miss A to spend time with CC even if she doesn't want to(usually that's not a problem, though).  I call it "sister time" and it seems to work in the moment.  But nothing, and I mean NOTHING has put a stop to, or comforted, this unbelievable sadness that hits CC when Miss A is doing her own thing.  I know that it is to be expected sometimes, but EVERYTIME??  HELP!

If you are a parent of more than one child- Did you go through this?  How did you deal?
If you are an older sibling- Do you remember how your parents dealt with this, if it happened?
If you are a younger sibling who had these feelings- What would have, or did help you deal with those feelings of being left out?
If you are anyone else- HELP!!!!  =)

Thanks so much!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Minors and Marches

This past weekend, our whole family went out to Occupy Austin to participate in a solidarity march with the AFL-CIO.  I love taking my kids to do things like this.  I love getting them involved with the things that are going on in the world!!

We have lots of conversations, especially with Miss A, about politics and current events.  She is very inquisitive and super smart!  Miss A has a wonderfully abstract way of looking at the world around her.  She has the innocence of a child mixed with the intelligence of a girl much past her years.  She makes me proud.

I want to make sure that you understand that we do not force our opinion on her.  We present her with facts and allow her to draw her own conclusions.  In fact, there are many subjects on which her dad and I do not agree.  It's never a battle to see who she agrees with or making her choose sides.  Actually, her dad and I having different opinions helps her to see both sides of an issue and form an educated opinion.

Anyway, we went out to Austin on Sunday morning around 10:45 or so.  We parked by City Hall, where the occupation has been for over 17 days, and walked the 10 or so blocks to the AFL-CIO headquarters.  There we met up with the other 200(my best guess) people that had come out to support and join in on the march.  We marched down Lavaca from 11th street back to City Hall, around the block that City Hall is on and then over to the Wells Fargo a couple blocks away for a rally.

For those parents out there who think, "a protest is no place for a child", ask yourself this: Where else should they be??  This country is going to be theirs sooner rather than later.  Shouldn't they know how it works?  Shouldn't they be a part of what goes on here?  Shouldn't they be able to make educated choices?

I remember turning 18 and having NO CLUE who to vote for or what I stood for.  I remember suddenly being an adult and not having any idea how this country worked or how I fit in.  Did my vote count?  Did my opinion matter?  Now, I am not knocking my parents at all.  Neither of them was politically active and I am sure that they tried to give me room to make up my own mind.  I was just never exposed.  It could also have something to do with the fact that I thought my time was better spent hanging out and smoking cigarettes(among other things...whatever, I'm sure you tried some stuff too...).  Whatever.  I am not blaming my parents for anything.  I love them dearly and I am totally getting off topic...

What I am trying to say is that it is important to me that my girls are prepared for adulthood in every way possible and I will do everything in my power to make sure that that happens.  Both my girls chanted and made signs.  Both my girls had a blast, and both of them could tell you why we were there(to some extent and Miss A more so than CC).  We participated as a family and hopefully, they can tell their kids and grand kids that they were around when our country was changing AND that they got to be a part of it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I Hate Being Wrong...

I was wrong...I hate being wrong.  I mean, I dislike this being wrong less than I dislike others, but it still sucks.

When the girls got home today, we sat them down and talked to them about what happened last night.  We explained that we already pretty much knew what had happened and that they should be honest(such a great parent trick).  Both girls had the same story.  Miss A(oldest) went to bed after she convinced the sitter to call with no TV.  CC(youngest) went to bed at the right time and the sitter stayed up in her room for a bit to read to her and watch a little of the Barbie movie.

Don't think that we believed them immediately, cause we didn't.  We asked round about questions and phrased things differently and pulled every trick we would think of to trip them up.  It didn't work.  They stuck to their story.  They didn't give any of their tells and we are confident that they were being honest.  We explained what we thought had happened and that we are happy to be incorrect.

Now, Miss A still has consequences for trying to get the sitter to disregard her consequences and not being in bed on-time.  She has to serve her consequence in full tonight.  CC has no consequences because she did not lie about anything.  The sitter(boy am I glad I didn't talk to her.  I'd feel REALLY bad...) is off the hook completely and I informed her mom that I was totally wrong about the whole situation.

Again, I hate being wrong, but I love finding out that my kids are being honest with me and that they can be trusted.  I'd say it's a pretty fair trade.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


On Tuesday nights, my husband and I go to a local hang out for a trivia game thing.  We have enlisted the girl that I tutor to babysit for the couple hours that we are gone.  Normally things go off without a hitch.  We leave around 6:30pm, the girls are in bed at 8pm and we are home by 8:30pm.  No issue.

Today, though, we got a phone call from our 10 year old's school telling us that she had not turned in an assignment that was due today.  This is completely unacceptable.  Now, she has gotten one of these phone calls home before and we let it slide because it was the first one.  THIS one though, is the second and we do not let things go twice.  I gave her the option of choosing her consequence, kids usually make up better consequences for themselves than parents ever will.  She chose 1 hour off her bedtime with no TV.  Dad and I saw this as fitting and agreed.

Before we left for trivia we explained, to both our daughter and to the sitter, that her bedtime was to be at 7:30pm(she is usually allowed 1/2 an hour in her room with lights on after bedtime) and that she was not be watch television at bedtime.  We also explained that it was our daughter's responsibility to make sure that she was in bed on time(a stab at personal responsibility) but that the sitter was not to grant her any leniency.

So off we go to trivia with a quick stop at a cheer meeting that I needed to attend beforehand.  At 7:35, I get a call.  It's the sitter asking if our 10 year old can stay up till 8 since she has been so well, NO.  I informed the sitter that she is already late for bed and that she is not allowed to stay up any later.  Sitter says, "ok" and we hang up.  Immediately, I get one of those gut "mom feelings" that my rules are not being followed.  We stay to the end of trivia and then come straight home, not staying to socialize at all.

The picture before me as I walk in the front door is as follows:  The sitter is coming down the stairs offering an unsolicited explanation that she thought she heard my youngest, my puppy(who cannot be downstairs alone due to her chewing) is locked in the backyard and the sitter is offering yet another unsolicited explanation that she had not yet heard her bark.  Hmmmm...

Now, I'm not dumb.  I have learned through-out the years to trust my gut feelings.  They have not steered me wrong, yet.  I don't let on, though.  I let my poor, cold, puppy in and state that I am going upstairs to change and that the sitter's mom will be here in a few minutes(just in time for my husband to walk in the door).  When I walk in the bedroom of my oldest, she is pretending to sleep.  I whisper that I know she is not asleep and she opens her eyes.  I ask if the sitter was up here with her and if she went to bed on time.  She answers that the sitter was not up there with her and that she was in bed on time.  Lies.  Next, I walk to my youngest's bedroom and see that she is also not visiting Dreamland yet.  As I walk into the room, she states(again, no solicitation) that the sitter was up in her room for 18 minutes and that she just left.  Lies.  I tell her that it is really important not to lie to Mommy no matter what anyone else says...she looks away and repeats her story.  More lies.

At this point, I am beyond pissed, but I decide that right then is not the time to handle it.  What I wanted to do is pull them both out of bed, right then, and demand the truth!  It is after bedtime, though, and they have school in the morning.  Their teachers didn't do anything, so why punish them with tired, grumpy children tomorrow?  The sitter's mom arrives before I make it back downstairs and I am oh, so grateful, but now I have no idea what to do.  I mean, obviously, we need to find a new babysitter.  I am just beside myself with the depth of these lies.  My BABY, my six year old is lying to me to protect her big sister and the sitter.  WTF?!?!

Dad and I talked and decided that I will call the ex-sitter's mom while she is at school tomorrow and see how she would like me to handle it.  I mean, I also tutor her(never mix shit!), so I need to handle it diplomatically.  As far as our girls go, we will confront them tomorrow right after school, before the girl I tutor gets here.  I really hope that they tell the truth.  Ugh...I hate this part of being a parent.

I'll keep you posted on what happens tomorrow...