And I thought boys were bad...

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

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...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Who Says Weekends Are For Resting??

Who says weekends are for resting?  Really.  I want to know.  I'd like to slap them for putting that hopeful thought in my head.  There should be some qualifications, "The weekend is for resting, IF YOU DON'T HAVE KIDS!"  My weekends aren't for resting...haven't been for a while.  Don't get me wrong, I love to be busy and I am being productive and a good parent, it's just that once in a while I'd like to spend a Saturday in my PJ's watching movies and munching on popcorn or something...  Not this weekend, though.

My weekend began bright and early Saturday morning with a football game in Austin.  My youngest cheers so every Saturday we have a game somewhere.  And, because she is in one of the youngest groups, we are usually the first or second game of the day.  This Saturday was no exception.  We had to be in Austin at 8:30am for our 9am game.  This meant we had to be up at 7am and out of the house by 7:45am because of course I forgot that had committed to get snack for halftime.  So, 7:45am we are out of the house and off to Walmart to find a halftime snack(and get donuts for breakfast because, really, leaving that early on a Saturday deserves a little treat).  After our Walmart adventure, which is always an adventure(I always have to say no to something which sparks my 6 year old's apparently impossible-to-fight urge to begin whining which leads to me having to discipline her which leads to more whining...), we headed out to the field.

Now the field was simple enough to find.  Right off the freeway, no crazy residential neighborhoods to navigate, but in the middle of what I have now been told is the beginning of Austin's ghetto.  I haven't heard anyone worry about locking their car or putting away their valuables since we have been here.  At the game I heard, and I am not exaggerating, EVERYONE make comments to that effect.  I was informed that a couple years ago there was a shooting.  I guess a guy shot his girlfriend at the high school that we were playing at.  At this point I felt pretty much obligated to inform these people that, where I am from, this would be more likely to have happened last week rather than a couple years ago so they really just needed to be grateful.

After the game we headed home.  Granted it was only 10am when the game ended so we still had a full day ahead of us.  It was time for Halloween costume and craft shopping!  Off to Party City to get the kids' costumes, the hubby's Guy Fawkes mask and the pieces I needed to make my Red Riding Hood costume super awesome.  =)  I am not a fan of ready made costumes so I piece stuff together to make sure that mine is all original.  The girls spent about half an hour deciding what they wanted to be...never mind that I had been asking them to think about it for the past month in the hopes of avoiding this nonsense...Finally it was decided that our youngest would be Ariel, in mermaid form, and our oldest would be a devil.  Can I just pause here and say that I think slutty costumes should start at Jr's sizes and not 10-12?!?!  I really don't like having to tell me 10 year old that the costume she has chosen is too revealing and then having a hard time finding something that isn't.

Next, we were off to our town's yearly festival.  Basically it's an arts and wine festival but instead of wine, there is beer.  Lots of fun stuff to see and buy.  There was a petting zoo(WITH PIGLETS!), pony rides, and they even had a longhorn there.  The girls got to sit in a Bumblebee look-a-like(right).  I have to admit that even though it was kinda hot and busy, it was pretty cool.

So after the festival(well, after we had spent all the money we wanted to) it was home to rest for a bit.  At that point I remembered that I had not found everything I needed for my costume, that Party City doesn't specialize in crafts and that I needed a slightly slutty shirt to wear to the bachelorette party I was going to it was back to Walmart for me...

And this was just Saturday!!  I'm tired just typing it!  Sunday was birthday shopping at Justice for my youngest princess(she got a gift card and some cash for her birthday), then a birthday party and painting my friend's toenails.  Is it any wonder that I was so exhausted Sunday night that the girls had cereal for dinner??  I know, not the most healthy of choices, but every once in a while is fine.  If you disagree, too bad.  =)

So, again, I wonder and ponder who in the HELL came up with this relaxing weekend idea??  Anyone?  Anyone?  Yeah, didn't think so.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Making Dreams Come True

As a mom, you know, a regular one without all kinds of super awesome connections, I get rare chances to truly make my daughters' dreams of meeting famous people come true. Last Friday was different.

It all started about 4 weeks ago. My eldest came to me and said, "Mom, all I want for Christmas this year, is to meet R.L. Stine." I thought, "Wow, how the hell am I gonna make this happen??" I went online, did some searching and found Mr. Stine's fan page. I wrote a little note explaining what my daughter had said and asking if there was any way that we could make her dream come true. I didn't hear anything back for a few days. I had also just started a Twitter account and decided it would be remiss of me not to try to contact him with a "tweet"(I still don't really like saying that I "tweeted". It just sounds weird to me...). So I did. I "tweeted" him. The next day, HE "TWEETED" BACK!! He let me know that he would be in Texas soon and that we were welcome to come see him. He was going to be at a play that The Magik Theatre was doing of one of his books and then at the HEB for a signing.

So, last Friday was The Day. We got up, got ready, my youngest opened her presents(it was her birthday), and we left. I did not feel bad about them not going to school on one Friday because they were going to meet R.L. Stine. I mean, come on, how often does this actually happen? My oldest had to write a report about going to meet him that would help to offset some of the work that she would miss by being absent.

Anyway, we drive the 2 1/2 hours to San Antonio, find parking(about 2 blocks away), and head over to the theater. The show was awesome!! It was called "Who Let The Ghosts Out?" and was based on R.L. Stine's the first book of his new series called, "Mostly Ghostly". The actors were great! I actually forgot that we were watching adults playing children, and was wrapped up in the idea of there actually being kids on the stage. Really, I loved it.

After the play, there was a Q&A period with the actors, director, tech person, and of course Mr. Stine himself.

Oh! I have to tell you this: We were sitting in our seats(front row) waiting for the show to start. I looked over my left shoulder and see Mr. Stine sitting in the row behind us all the way on the end. I nudge my oldest and tell her to look. She looks back at me, totally confused. Laughing I point out that the man she came to see is sitting in the row behind us. She looks and turns back, "that's not him." We argue for a few minutes and I remember that I have a smart phone!! I go to pull up his picture, but of course the theater is one of those buildings that gets crappy internet coverage. I explained to my dear, sweet, very wrong daughter, that by the time my phone can pull up the picture, the show will have started and she will have missed her chance. She retorts that if it's not him she is going to look stupid. Needless to say, as soon as the show started, my phone loaded his picture and I was proved correct. Man! I wish you could have seen the look on her face! She got over it quick and shrugged, saying that we are going to meet him at HEB later.

So, yes, the show was great. Afterwards we walked down South Alamo and came upon The Alamo. Hey, if they are gonna miss school I might as well take them somewhere historic, right? They were way more interested in the squirrels than the shrine so we left. On the way back to the car we stopped for about 2 minutes at the Riverwalk, just so they could say they went. We will go back another day. Seriously, that is a day trip in itself. Next, we come upon the Occupy San Antonio crew! We hang out for a bit and talk, the girls get a soda each. It was nice to see people standing up and being active in democracy.

We finally make it back to the car and drive over to the HEB. It was easy enough to find. Lunch at Whataburger. When we got to HEB, about 2 hours before the signing, there were already people in line to meet the author. We hurried up and bought a book and got in line. We were in line for about an hour and a half waiting.

When Mr. Stine came in they held a press conference. The whole thing was in support of Texas's new literacy campaign. HEB has opened a children's book section and are encouraging parents to read to their children at least 3 times a week. They are also offering that parents can stop and read to their kids there, in the store. Good cause. Reading is important.

We get up to meet Mr. Stine and I explain the whole Twitter thing to him. He remembered the conversation and was pleased to meet my daughter. It was great.

Now, this whole time my youngest has been with us. Mostly, though, she is along for the ride. She picked our lunch destination and was set to pick our dinner spot. She liked the play, but isn't really old enough to know about R.L. Stine's books. She was WAY more excited that the cast of the play showed up at HEB! She was busy talking to them about how she "turned 6 today" and that she really liked watching them on stage and that she is a cheerleader They were really nice. I have a feeling they talk to a lot of kids like mine...

So, yes. We had a great day and I helped to make my oldest daughter's dream of meeting R.L. Stine come true!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Party planning and notes...

Yesterday was fun. The morning started like it always does, with my 5 year old fully dressed and curled up on the couch with the dog and a blanket, asleep. I woke her up and got her some breakfast. Don't ask me why she does this every morning. I have no clue. She goes to bed at 8pm and wakes up at 6am. I think she is a lot like me in that she loves her sleep.

Anyway, then my 10 year old comes downstairs ready for breakfast and awake. Lately, we have been having issues with the morning. Just little stuff that gets bigger for no friggin reason whatsoever. Like, earlier this week, we had an issue over bread. Bread! There were four pieces of bread left and the eldest wanted toast for breakfast. Well, that doesn't work because I have lunches to make. I explained this and, really, that should have been the end of it. Nope. Apparently in my explaining, I said something along the lines of "you can't have toast for breakfast everyday because then we go through the bread too fast and you need some variety in your breakfast choices." Instead of hearing the part about variety and that we need to make sure we have bread for sandwiches, because I don't like to hit the grocery store more than once a week(I usually end up doing it more anyway), she hears "you have toast everyday." Period. She's offended because she doesn't have toast everyday and I'm annoyed because that is clearly not what I said. She has been more and more literal recently and, honestly? It's getting on my damn nerves. Big thing, no reason.

Anyway, yesterday there were no such issues so the morning ran smoothly and I was ever so grateful. The girls got out to their bus on time. Easy-peasy.

So, with the girls off to school I was free to begin my day of preparing for Little Princess's birthday party. I get ready, pick up my mother-in-law and we head out to Walmart, Home Depot, and Hobby Lobby. She is making this fantastic cake and I am sooooooo excited to see what it will look like when she's done!!!

We go to Walmart where I promptly spend over half of our party budget. I got some really cute stuff for the goodie bags, but my original plan was to do my shopping after I took her because I have a tendency to get distracted and spend more when I'm with someone else. Personal challenge. =) So, after spending more than I had originally planned on goodie bags and such I vowed to absolutely not buy anything at Hobby Lobby. Home Depot is not really a big temptation for me.

So we are walking around Hobby Lobby and what do I see? The CUTEST pinata EVER!!!

I mean, really!! Who could pass that up?!? It was only $13 AND I had a 40% off thingy!! Yes, my vow to not buy anything went right out the proverbial window at that point. Oh, well. It's hella cute. I feel no guilt.

So then, I drop my MIL off and continue on my shopping adventure. This includes the Dollar Tree, and another trip to Walmart(where I completely forgot about getting cupcakes for school and cheer so I had to go back later...). I get home, assemble the goodie bags, fill the pinata, and wrap her presents just in time to get them upstairs before she walks in the door from school. Bleagh! <--- that is the sound that you make when you are soooo friggin tired and you know your day is not over yet.

My little one comes in from school and hands me a note from her teacher saying that my little angel will be eating lunch alone tomorrow because she has been calling people "stinky" and telling them they can't come to her birthday party and making kids cry. I'm wondering if she kicked any puppies while she was at it. Yes, I spend my whole day preparing for her birthday party and she is busy making kids cry...hmmmm...something is wrong here. I know it's not personal, but sometimes it really feels like it. =) We talk, finally. Mind you, this talk is interrupted about 7 times with her being so upset because she doesn't want to admit that she has done anything wrong that she runs out of the room or covers he ears we then have to stop and deal with that behavior. It's friggin exhausting sometimes. So, yes, FINALLY we get through talking about what happened and get to the consequence. Dad and I decide that she will write apology notes to the kids she has been mean to and make sure to pass them out at school. I love this idea because it forces her to admit that she has done something that is not okay, not just to me and the kids, but also to herself and it's cemented in by the act of writing it down. Then she gets to confront it again when she hands the note to the kid.

My 10 year old? She had a great day and was more than happy to tell us all about it. She didn't get in trouble at lunch time(which apparently has been the norm...) and even though her friends got reprimanded about not focusing in class, she managed to stay concentrated on her work. LOVE it!

Here's hoping that I get no notes today!!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

A little intro to start

I am 28 years old and have 2 daughters, 5(almost 6) and 10.  Yes, that means I started early.  I'll do the math for you; I became a mom at 18.  Our day in and day out life is pretty normal.  School, homework, some type of after school activity(some days), dinner and bed.  Now, that is the basic format of our days.  That is not by any means all that our days consist of.

For starters, the whole "getting ready for school" thing has become quite the battle.  My first grader seems to think that as long as her bottoms have one of the same colors as her top does that she matches.  Don't get me wrong, I am all for creativity and allowing her to express herself, but really??  Flowers and stripes will NEVER go together.  At least not until she is on some Disney show and then someone else will be buying that outfit and taking responsibility for the way that she looks.  Seeing as how that is not likely to happen(not a goal for either her or I), she has some parameters that her clothing choices need to fit into.  Lately, being that we are in Texas, she is all about shorts and cute little dresses and skirts.  The "jeans fight" is imminent with Fall quickly approaching.  Let me just tell you, I cannot wait.

My 5 year old, who will be 6 in just 4 short days, also does cheer leading.   Now, on top of the normal getting dressed for school battles we also get to battle over her hair on practice and games days.  Fun stuff.  She has taken to, instead of crying at the slightest pull of the brush, maniacal laughter.  It's a little eerie, but I guess it works.  I think anything is better than the fake-shrill-I-hate-it-when-anyone-touches-my-hair crying.  Dad is not too great with the hair, sister is good with creative, fun, weekend hairstyles, and the five year old does not quite grasp the idea of the high-ponytail just yet, so it's up to me.  Me and her maniacal laughter.

My 5th grader is very quickly becoming a young lady, and I need to say here that I am just NOT READY!  She is very pretty and smart and has all of the boys' attention already.  She had her first middle school dance last Friday.  Yes, middle school starts in 5th grade here.  Thursday she comes home talking about how she wants to go with a boy and a couple had asked her, but because of our "absolutely NO BOYS" rule, she had to say "no."  Her father and I decided that, partly because of her responsibility in following the rules, she could go "with" a boy as a FRIEND.  Now, you remember middle school, right?  Boys on one side of the room and girls on the other.  You kinda mumble something vaguely resembling 'hello' to your "date" on your way in the door.  This is not a big risk.  Also, we figured that with one day to find said "date" she would come home empty handed and go with some of her girl friends.  No such luck.  She comes home with one boy who asked her if she would be his date if he could make it AND a back-up date in case he couldn't!!  WTF???

Later(and I mean, like 4:30pm) we dropped her off at the dance(only went till 6:30pm).  I had her little sister and the girl I tutor after school in the car.  My 10 year old, as we pull into the parking lot, says, "it's ok, Mom.  You can drop me off here and I can walk."  HA!  My response?  "No, that's ok hun, I don't mind taking you all the way to the front of the school so you can meet up with your friends...oh, and just to make it clear: I'm dropping you off here, and I'm picking you up here, so I expect you to stay here the whole time."  She is a great kid and that last comment was more for me than for her(plus, her school is in the middle of a field and any kid would have to be crazy to trek through with all the rattlesnakes and whatnot).  Now, we have a lot of fun in our family and so I decided that now would be a good time to insert some of the aforementioned fun.  As my she got out of the car I yelled, "I love you sweetie!!!   Have a great time!!!"  Her face turned a little red and she shook her head, I think she knew this was coming.  Then, the girl I tutor(genius for this, BTW) yells out, "Have fun!!!  MAKE GOOD CHOICES!!!!"  My daughter covered her ears and booked to the front of the school as fast as her little platform sandals would allow her...

I really do love my family and this is just a mild case of the fun and battles we have on a daily basis amidst all of our running around.  Stay tuned for more.