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 drive...lol


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 figure...lol.  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"...lol

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. =)

Lol

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....

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaggggggggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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!

TTFN

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..............................................................................................
..............................................................................................................

ready?.....................................................................................................

..............................................................................................................

FLASHBACK FRIDAYS!!!

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.

REALITY CHECK!!

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.)

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

Directions:
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!