And I thought boys were bad...

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

Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy 2013!!!!

Happy New Year's Eve!!!

This is the time of year when everyone makes all these promises to themselves about all the things they are going to do differently next year.  This is the time of year where everyone reflects back on the last year in an effort to find out more about themselves.  I'm not really doing that.  Today is a day like any other.  Tomorrow will be, too.

Don't get me wrong, I have as much fun changing calendars as the next person, but I just don't see the need to dissect my life and make false promises to myself.  Now, there are people who make awesome changes because of the new year.  Go for it!  I'm not telling anyone else what to do.  I just prefer not to participate.

Sure, I'd like to lose weight.  I'm working on it already.

Sure, quitting smoking would be beneficial to my health.  I'm just not interested yet.

Sure, there are a bunch of things I can work on about myself.  I simply prefer not to make new year's promises.

Ok, I sound really jaded.  I'm not.  I have a bad habit of failing when it comes to New Year's resolutions.  Because of that, I don't make them anymore.  For me, it works out better to just do things all year long.

I spend a good amount of time at least 3 times a week thinking about what I can do differently.  I am constantly thinking about how to be better.  Ok, not constantly, but enough.  I strive to be the best I can everyday.  A better mother, wife, friend, employee...etc.

Regardless of what I do this New Years, I hope that you do what's right for you as well. 

Make your promises, but keep them. 

Party your hardest, but don't drive home. 

Stay up till midnight, hang with your kids, call a friend...do what you do and do it well.

It's your new year....do something great with it!

Happy New Year!!!!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Last Christmas Post, I Promise

Christmas was awesome!  Watching my girls open up their presents was well worth all the preparation!

Our big gifts to them this year were tablets.  Yep, tablets.  Miss A literally cried when she opened hers.  This was something that neither girl had asked for.  I don't think they even thought to ask for it...

I need to stop here and say that I never EVER thought that I would buy my child a tablet.  I don't even own a tablet, but here hubby and I were sitting on the couch looking, looking at the online sales Thanksgiving night...yep!  It was a deal we could not refuse.

Oh well, the girls are happy.  We made sure to go through the tablets before we wrapped them.  We laid down the ground rules before the girls turned them on:

Ask before you go on the GooglePlay app.

Ask again before you download anything.

They are pretty smart girls.  They also really like their tablets so I don't think they will be trying to lose them anytime soon.

We shall see...muahahahahaha...or some other evil parent laugh...

What was the best part of your Christmas?

Monday, December 24, 2012

Claw Machines and Happiness

Seeing that it's Christmas Eve and all, I figured I would tell you about something I like to do for others.  I mean, that's really what this time of year is about.

See, my family knows that I absolutely love love love playing the claw machine game.  Any claw machine game.  Anywhere we are.  I'm seriously like a little kid.  Digging through my wallet and purse for quarters, asking the hubby if he has any...I think I'm passing this obsession on to my little ones...lol

What not many people know, though, is that I don't usually keep the toys I win.  I'm not a huge fan of stuffed animals or plastic rings, necklaces, or bracelets.  If my kids are with me, I usually give the prizes to them.  Well, when there is an even number.

My favorite thing is when I play the claw machine and I'm at the store by myself.  My kids aren't there wanting whatever it is that I won.  What I love to do when that happens, is find a child on my way out of the store and give it to them.

This past week I won a Santa stuffy from a claw machine here in town.  As I was walking out, there was a woman collecting monetary donations for the Salvation Army.  I had seen her there every time I had gone to the store for the past couple weeks or so.  As I walked out and placed some money in the donation basket, she joked and said(in reference to the Santa stuffy), "aw, I need to have that baby."  Aha!  This is the person who needs the stuffy right now.  So, of course, I gave it to her.  I mean, she is out there everyday trying to help others.  She needs someone to care about her, too.

I don't tell you this because I want a pat on the back.  Actually, I would prefer if you didn't say anything nice about what I did.  I didn't do it for that reason.  I did it because someone needed some happy in their life and it was the right thing to do.  I did it because I want my girls to do that for others.  If I don't set that example for them, who will?

What do you do for others?  What have you done to get outside of yourself this holiday season?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Helping


Every year, around this time, I have talked about volunteering at a soup kitchen or making some effort to physically helping those in need. 

Every year I say how important it is for my kids to learn the lessons that come from helping others. 

Every year I think about and plan how I am going to get this done. 

Every year I fail at actually getting out and helping people.



THIS year was different. 

This year my family and I got to join a group of wonderful volunteers to help give Christmas to those who might now have it otherwise.  It was awesome.  I love seeing the love that people can have for each other.  I love that we had a line of volunteers waiting to help people as they showed up.  Mostly, I love that we were able to be a part of such a wonderful group who does things like this all the time.

I am always looking for new ways to be of service to people.  What have you done to help others this year? 

Monday, December 17, 2012

I Have Nothing To Say

I have heard, just as you all have, about the horrific shootings in Connecticut.  I am saddened and appalled that I live in a world where this is even possible.  Even though I feel this way, I have kept silent on my social media outlets about it.  I have not "liked" or "shared" or "tweeted" a single post about this tragedy.

Why?

Because there is nothing to say. 

No words can help.

Sure, I could use this as a platform to spout about gun control.  What good does that do the 27 dead people?  What good does that do their friends and their families?

There is nothing to say.

No words can help.

Yes, I could use this as a platform for a speech about mental health services or healthcare in general in this country.  What good does that do the 27 dead people?  What good does that do their friends and their families?

What good do those conversations do for the children who are scared to go to school?

What good does that do the parents who are afraid to send them?

What good does that do anyone?

There is nothing to say.

No words can help.

I could even pass on the stories about the teachers who died protecting their students.

What good does that do?  Will that bring them back?  Does that really make their families' pain soften?

No words can help.

Nothing will bring them back.

Nothing will ease this pain except time.

There is nothing to say.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas Craze

You know, I absolutely love love love Christmas time!  Everything feels so fresh and wonderful!  The music makes me fill up with twinkles!  Yep, twinkles.  It makes sense, trust me.

I mean, I absolutely hate the cold.  I really am kind of a wimp when it comes to being cold.  Seriously.  When it hits 70 degrees outside, I am all about a jacket.  It hits 60 degrees and I want my parka.  But, this time of year it's almost worth it.  There's ice all over everything in the mornings and, yeah, it's a pain in the ass and it makes me late to work, but it's pretty too.

I also LOVE spending money!!  We all know we get to do a LOT of that this time of year.  =)  I get to buy things for people in my life and make them smile!

Anyway, I just wanted to share how I am feeling this morning.  I am full of wonder and excitement, kind of like a kid.  It's good.  I like it.

How are you today?  Do you like Christmas time?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Effects of Teen Parenting, pt 2

Friday's post was about how my being a teen parent has affected Miss A...

I want to make clear that I am trying to be friendly with these moms.  I am really trying.  It just always feels so forced.

Now, I am not saying that every single one of them is doing mental math to figure out how old I was when I had her and then judging me for it.  Some have.  I've seen the little math wheels turning and the judging begin.

Normally, though, it's just that we don't have a whole lot in common.  I am still in school and trying to juggle that with everything else.  They finished school 15 years ago, at least, and are living a relaxed life.  I'm not jealous.  Really.  I love my life.  Busy is good.  It's just that my life and their lives don't mix.  And even if they did, I'm not sure I have time for more friends.

Anyway, all this is not to say poor me, I wish people liked me because, really, when it comes to me I don't care.  My issue is that this is affecting my kid.  She is feeling left out because of this.

I guess I'll have to figure something out.


Any tips?

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Effects Of Teen Parenting...on my kid

I have noticed some differences in my interactions with the parents of each of my girls' friends.  Like, with CC I have made friends with plenty of her parents. 

With Miss A, though, it's a little harder.  I never quite feel like I belong in that group of people.  I mean, it's hard to get into their conversations and anytime I attempt to build a friendship, it feels forced.  Don't get me wrong, because really?  I don't care.  I have plenty of friends and I really don't have much time in my life for any more.  The issue isn't that I don't feel like I belong.  It's the impact that my not belonging is having on my daughter.

All the other moms hang out together and so their daughters do too.  The other moms go shopping together and so the daughters do to.  They get their nails done together...yep, and so their daughters do too.  Miss A is beginning to feel the separation from some of her peers because of my lack of fitting with their parents.

This is not for a lack of trying in most cases.  I try to start conversations and people are generally responsive.  I mean, who wouldn't be?  It's me...jk...  The thing is that it always feels completely forced. 

Now, like I said, this is not an issue with CC's friends' parents.  Only Miss A's.  Want to know the only difference?  CC's friend's parents are my age.  Miss A's friend's parents are, at minimum, about 10 years older than me.  That's it.  that's the only difference.

............................................more on Monday..................................................................

Monday, December 3, 2012

Just What I Needed

There are some times in life where the perfect thing happens at the perfect time.  Today, one of those things happened to me.

I went into Pink Penguin, a local frozen yogurt shop, to buy a Christmas present for a friend's baby boy.  They really have the cutest stuff.  I can't tell you what I bought because she reads this sometimes and I don't want to spoil the surprise.  =)

Anyway, so I went in and the owner was there.  Let me give some back story:

Last year I wrote a post about The Best Place To See Santa.  We had visited Santa there and had a wonderful experience.

So, when I went in today, he recognized me and asked if I was "the blogger" from last year.  It was pretty cool.  I mean, I get recognized as my kids' mom, the team mom from whatever sport, and even that lady who helped with the school thing, but this was the absolute first time that anyone had mentioned my blogging.

Yes, it was a blog about his store.  Yes, it's a very small thing.  It's exactly what I needed, though, to get back my motivation to write.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Maintenance

This blogger is currently under-going life maintenanceShe will return shortly.

This blog is expected to resume it's normal (if that's what you call it), schedule on Friday 11/30.

Thank you for your patience. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

First Week

Last week I told you all about how I started a new job and am striving to find balance between the things I used to do and what I have time for now.  I'm working on that and am hoping to find it real soon.  It's getting better.  That balance is very important to my life.

One of the worst possible "just started a new job" things happened last week.  So, when you start a new job, it's all about proving how up to it you are, right?  You show up early.  You make sure you pay complete attention.  You make sure you learn everything there is to know about this new job.  Well, at least that's what I do.  Last week, though, a wrench got thrown in there.

We were on our way home from grocery shopping on my second day of work.  All of a sudden my headlights dim, the car is making a whirring sound, and the battery light comes on.  I'm hoping it's ghosts. At least that way I can take the car to work in the morning.  Nope.  Turns out I have to take it to the shop instead.  Yes, on my third day of work, I had to call in because my freaking car broke. 

Now, we got it fixed that day and I was able to return to work the next.  I walked into work the next day absolutely certain that they were going to hand me a check for two days of work and say something like, "Thank you but we have decided we'd rather have an employee who shows up on all 3 of his/her first days."  Luckily, that is not what happened.  They were very understanding and I still have a job.


Friday, November 2, 2012

New Beginnings

This week has been so crazy.  I started a new job and am trying very hard to get my balance back.  I am going to let you read something I wrote last week as I was anticipating my new job placement.

************

I'm starting a new job next week and I am really nervous.  I think I might be more nervous than I should be.  I'm not so much nervous about the job, but rather how I will be able to manage working again.  I mean, I haven't had a full time job in about a year and a half. 

I won't be able to see my kids as often.  I know they will do great.  They have an awesome dad to do what I do in the afternoon.  They will be fine.  It's me that needs to adjust.

**************

After having my first week of work, or just about, I am feeling better about working.  I mean, I'm home around dinner time.  It's not like I never see my kids or anything.  I've done that one before.  School + Work = never really being around.  But I made it through that as well.

I just need to regain my balance with all the different things in my life.  That will take some time, but I know I'll get through.

What is starting a new job like in your house?  How do you find the balance between work and kids and all the other things you want or need to do?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Smarty Pants

Man, oh, man, oh, man...CC is one smart kid.  I know this.  The problem is that she thinks she is smarter than her parents, or at least me.  This kid always finds the loopholes to anything and everything I say.  I find myself carefully phrasing what I say so that she can't squeeze through some little crack!

This morning, for instance, we woke up late.  I helped her get her clothes picked out and made her breakfast.  Normal mom stuff.  She was being a little butt, though.  Every little thing that she didn't like was a battle.

I was helping with her clothes and asked what shoes she was going to wear.  She said, "sandals" so I proceed to look around for her sandals while she is putting her dress on.  She says, "They're right behind you."  Still, I don't see them.  "Ugh." she says and picks up her Hello Kitty slip on flats.  "These!"  Um, not sandals.  I tell her this and she responds with, "Well, that's what I call them."  O...K...and a "watch your tone" from me.

She forgot her lunchbox at school yesterday so I put her lunch in a plastic bag.  She doesn't like plastic bags and thinks she should be able to take an extra lunchbox to school.  No, I don't agree and well, I make the rules.  I'm not sending her with something else to forget.

She wants to have toast every morning.  Well, no.  We got up late so we don't have time for that.  How about some oatmeal?  She doesn't like that but deals with it, eventually.

This is all trivial stuff, though.  I mean, this is all because she woke up late.  Everything is a battle when you don't have time for battles.  lol

What got me was when I was needing to ask what kind of oatmeal she wanted.  I said, "Can you come here?"

No answer.

No response at all.

I walked out of the kitchen and said, "Excuse me, I said come here."

She says, "No, you asked and I don't want to go."

Oh.  Ok.  No more asking then.  I explained that I didn't ask because she had a choice, I asked because it is a nicer way of telling her to do something.  But that's ok.  I don't need to ask anymore.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Tween Behavior

I was perusing the interwebs this morning and came across a pretty complete article on parenting tweens.

I found the article to be very helpful for me.  I do most of the stuff in it already, but it was nice to see that I am not the only parent that goes through these kinds of issues with her tween.  I mean, I KNOW I'm not the only one who has issues with her tween being disrespectful and rude.  I have a friend whose son is also a tween and she goes through the same stuff.  It's just nice to see that there are enough people going through it that there is an article about it.

Miss A is a really good kid...most of the time.  The issue is that her crappy behavior is getting a bit worse.  I mean, it used to be that when she got upset she would stomp on the floor or something.  Now, she snaps at the person she is upset with(or who is near her when she gets upset).  Ugh...it's just so frustrating!  I mean, this is not the way that I have raised her to act, and yet....

Anyway,  if ou are a parent of a tween, or know one, you should really check out this article.

7 Ways To Fix Rude Tween Behavior

Friday, October 19, 2012

Visit From Nana!

Our decision to move to Texas was the perfect decision for our family.  We have had no regrets since moving here and absolutely love our lives!  That being said, there is one thing that I know my girls are missing out on.

When we lived in California we were able to see different family on a regular basis.  My girls got to see my mom and Hubby's mom almost weekly.  About a year before we moved, Hubby's mom moved out of state.  this was really hard on our girls.  My mom was already living about an hour and a half away from us, but we still managed to get together at least twice a month.

Since moving to Texas, we have tried to keep up with phone calls and online video chats, but life is very busy and we don't get to do those things as much as I'd like.

This past weekend, Hubby's mom came to visit!  It was great!  The girls got to see her and spend real time with her.  We all spent time together and she even took the girls to the zoo!  The girls had an absolutely fantastic time with their Nana this weekend!!



Saying goodbye was much less dramatic than it has been in the past when people have come to visit.  Maybe it was because we are hoping and planning to go visit Nana in a couple/few months.  Whatever the case, I can see that my girls had a blast with their Nana and, though they were sad to see her go, they know that it's not forever.

Special thanks to Nana for coming to visit!!!!!!!!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Things To Work On

A friend shared an article/blog post with me this week.  I thought it would be nice to share it with you.  It's called, "10 Great Ways to Be An Unhappy Mom."

I have to admit that I don't usually like articles like this because, well, I don't typically agree with the author.  This one, though, is spot on.  I also have to admit that I love the sarcastic title.  =)

Number 1 is something I definitely need to work on. I am still trying to get it through my head that I don't have to have it all now.  I am a pretty motivated person and it's hard for me to accept that sometimes things just need to wait.

Number 9 seems to have taken care of itself for me.  I mean, I used to think about what it would be like when my girls got older and how much easier it would be when they could wipe their own butts or really clean up after themselves.  Now, with one child on the verge of teenager-hood-dom, and the other one pretending she is, I am treasuring every moment I have before things really get out of control...

Number 10 is me all over...I am always busy.  I mean, when someone asks me I usually get out an "I'm good" before the "just really busy" slips out, but most of the time I need to remember to relax.  My hubby reminds me of this almost daily.


Which of these are challenges for you?  Have you overcome any of the ones I am working on?  How did you do it?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Drawing The Line

Deciding when to let your children fail and suffer their own consequences is hard. 

I am making that decision with Miss A right now.  We have had just over six weeks of school this year and she has forgotten things, either at home or at school, six times.  I have saved her little butt every time.  Including this morning.  Today she forgot her lunch...again.  She has forgotten her binder at school and at home several times.  Once I took her to get it because she needed it for homework.

I can't, in good conscience, keep saving her like that.  I am going to start working soon and I won't be able to bring it to her anymore.  I have always used that as the reason to bring her the things she forgets.  You know, the whole, "Well, I'm home and we live right near the school..." but I just can't anymore.  She knows she has me to bring her the things she forgets, so why bother to remember?

At this point, I have to draw the line.  She needs to learn some personal responsibility.  She needs to learn how to be prepared for her day, on her own. 

This is hard for me.  I don't want her to have consequences for forgetting things.  I don't want her to fail an assignment because she forgot her binder at home, but how will she ever learn if she never has to go through the consequences?

The good news is that the school will provide a lunch (not a yummy one, but a lunch) if she doesn't have hers.  I verified that this morning.  Maybe eating food she doesn't like will do it.

Actually, if I'm being honest, my real hope is that the statement that I will no longer be bringing her the things she forgets will incite some kind of responsibility.  I'm hoping that she will not want to find out what happens.

Fingers crossed...she will probably end up forgetting something and I will have to stick by this commitment.  It'll be hard, but it has to be done.


What do you think?  Do you take things to your kid when they forget them at home?  Have you drawn the line I'm drawing?  How did it work out for you?

Monday, October 8, 2012

A Birthday Letter



Dear CC,

You're seven now.  I want to take this time to tell you that you are an amazing child.  I know I tell you every day that you are special and precious to me, but I'm telling you again now because it's true.  I want you to always know that I am grateful to have you in my life.

You have grown so much this year.  You are in the second grade now!  I know you were worried about starting the second grade because you thought it would be so much harder than the first.  I told you you could do it, but I'm not sure you believed me.  I hope you see now that yo are doing it.  You are doing it well!

We have had some struggles this year, you and I.  You have had a hard time accepting the word 'no,' but you have grown through that.  You have made me so proud this year.  You have taken the things that your daddy and I have taught you and stretched them into new ideas that we never even thought of.  Your mind is so powerful.  I hope you know that.

You are smart and beautiful and talented.  You are an amazing student and a wonderful cheerleader.  You are an awesome little sister to Miss A and the best youngest daughter I could ever hope for.


I love you.

Happy birthday!!

Love,
Mom

Friday, October 5, 2012

A Poem

This is a little something I wrote this week.  Hope you like it.




Each day I'm amazed,
Humbled by the view before me,
Constantly changing,
Ever beautiful,
The sky is so much bigger here,
Whether I feel too important,
Or insignificant,
This sight reminds me of my place,
I am a person,
On the Earth,
Under the vast and awesome sky

By Kristen 10/01/12

Monday, October 1, 2012

Important Lessons: Hard To Teach

This past Saturday morning presented an opportunity to teach a very important life lesson to CC.  She had a football game she needed to be cheering at, but it was early and an hour away, AND it was raining.  Waking this child up at 7am was no fun.

She started with simply refusing to get up and proceeded to throw a gigantic fit for the next hour while I forced her to get ready.  We had battles over putting on her uniform, putting on socks, finding and wearing the correct pair of spanx, breakfast, hair, and plenty in the middle.

At one point I asked why in the world she was being so obstinate.  Her response?  "How can I be that?  I don't even know what it is!"  To which I replied, "Well, you're doing it perfectly."

Yes, I understand she did not want to get up early on a Saturday morning and drive an hour to a game where she would be standing in the rain for up to 2 hours. 

Newsflash: I didn't want to be doing it either. 

Reality: We both made a commitment to the team and it's important to show up anyway.

This is the lesson:  When you make a commitment, you show up.  No matter how uncomfortable.  No matter how much you don't want to.  You show up and you do it with a good attitude.

Now, after we were ready and literally picking up our stuff to walk out the door, I received an email saying that the game was cancelled due to field conditions.  Awesome.  No biggie.  The point is that she was required to show up, no matter what, until she wasn't required to show up anymore.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Argument vs Debate

There is something that has been on my mind a lot lately.  I'm thinking about it more and more as elections come closer and people get more and more passionate about their ideas and ideals.  I have seen/heard/read a lot of arguments that end in ways that the people having them probably won't ever speak to each other again.

See, all my life I wondered what the difference between an argument and a debate was.  I'm thinking I might have finally figured it out.

Let's start with definitions.

The definition of argument is: 1) An exchange of diverging or opposite views, typically a heated or angry one. OR 2) A reason or set of reasons given with the aim of persuading others that an action or idea is right or wrong. (source)

The definition of debate is: A formal discussion on a particular topic in a public meeting or legislative assembly, in which opposing arguments are put forward. (source)

I am starting to realize that all my life I have been confusing things.  All this time I thought people were debating issues when really they were arguing.  The goal is to change the other person's mind.

See, but that's a problem.  Why can't it be enough to simply put our ideas out there?  Why can't it be enough to simply be heard?

I think we would all get along better if we could debate issues instead of argue them.  If it was ok to disagree.  I mean, really, most of the things people argue about are not hard and fast facts.  They are opinions.  Why not just present yours and leave it at that?

That's what I am trying to teach my girls.  Debate rather than argue.

What do you think?

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Value Of Education

With all the things I have been involved in over the last year, I have had the opportunity to observe many different sets of parents and children.  I get to see what others are doing, decide if it's something I want to try with my own, and see if it works.  It's actually pretty cool to be in this position.  I get to take tips by observing other families and see if they work with mine.

I mean, let's be honest here.  No one absolutely knows how to parent when they become one.  I don't think anyone really knows what they are doing the whole time they are raising their kids.  We do our best with the information and experience we have and hope that what we did was good enough.  We try to instill the values that we think are important and hope that those values will, not only stick, but be helpful to our children as they grow and join the adult world.

One of the values that I try to instill in my kids is an appreciation for education.  I want them to know that school is important.  Both my girls are aware that education does not stop at high school.  College is a requirement, not an option.  But how do you make sure that they think education is important?  How do you really teach them that education comes first and everything else is secondary?

Easy, well, not really...simple.  You make education a priority for YOU.  When it comes time to do homework, sit down with your child and be there to do it with them.  When there is a school function, make sure you are there.  If there is an option between some adult get together that your kid can't go to or a school family night...do the family night.  Email the teachers.  Pay attention to grades.  You have to make education a priority if you want your kids to.

All too often I hear parents complain that their kid is not doing well in school, but then when an opportunity presents itself to show their kid that education is important...they fail.  They don't do it.  There are some things we can tell our kids and hope they stick.  That education is important is NOT one of them.  Our kids need to see that we value their education if we want them to.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Wonders Never Cease

Man, sometimes it's so hard to be a parent.  Other times, it's freaking amazing.  I have had both of those feelings this weekend...

My girls have been little butt-heads lately.  Yes, I said "butt-heads."  Trust me, it's the nicest word I could think of, and the only one I thought of that I would post online.  lol  Really, though.  They have been fighting with each other, arguing with me, breaking every rule we have (and we don't have many), and their section of the house has continued to look like a freaking pigsty no matter how many times I tell them to clean it.

It all came to a head Saturday night.  We were at a friend's house and they were just horrible!  I mean, it's one thing to argue with each other and be little butt-heads IN the house, but OUT?  That's just ridiculous.  There is no room to send them to.  There isn't much to do in the way of time out.  I'm pretty limited in my consequences when we're out.  Usually it's a lecture and some consequences dolled out for when we get home.

Sunday was consequence day.  They were sentenced to a day of cleaning.  Miss A had to do the toilets and CC the floors in the bathrooms.  On top of that, they both had to deep clean their rooms and make sure their hallway was spotless.  Their hallway always seems to have little pieces of garbage in it.  It doesn't matter how many times I clean it, it's always there.

I really expected them to give me a load of crap when it was time to do their consequences.  I mean, cleaning toilets and floors is really the ickiest consequence we have ever given them.  I would throw a fit if I were them...but nope.  No fits.  No arguments.  No nothing.  I got, "yes, ma'am" and "ok, mom" all day long.  It was great.

Of course I helped CC clean her room.  She's 6 and a deep clean isn't really something she can do on her own after a month of half-assed cleaning.  Miss A did a wonderful job on her room all by her self.  =) 

I'm a pretty happy mama right now.  My kids accepted their consequences with no problems.  They both expressed that it was gross and that this was, "the worst consequence ever" without attitude.  They seemed to really get that they should take it seriously.  We even had a talk at dinner about how their attitudes have been pretty crappy lately, or messy, and that they need to clean them up, just like they did with the house.  As I've said before, I feel it's really important to make the consequence relate to the behavior so that it actually means something and the kids can learn from it.  All in all, it was a pretty awesome day.

Have you ever assigned manual labor as a consequence?  What kind of reaction did you get?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Parents of Adult Children

Dear Parents of Adult Children,

I want to tell you something.  Before I do, I want you to know that I respect you for raising children that grew into adulthood.  No matter how many times your child(ren) fought you, broke the rules, challenged you, and made you think you were going to be locked up in a looney bin, you didn't kill them.  You got through it and you made it out the other side.

Guess what?  You are done.  You get to sit back and only step in if and when they ask, IF you choose to!  You don't have to oversee their every decision.  You don't have to pass judgement on every facet of their lives.  You get to be a real live post-children-grown-up!

I say this because I have heard a lot of talk, lately, from a lot of different people about the decisions they don't approve of that their kids have made.  I've heard about adult children complaining because mom and dad are still trying to do everything for them.  I am lucky.  My parents have long ago realized that I am a full grown adult and that I make my own decisions.  I have children that are raised by mine and my husband's standards and no one else's, because, well, their our kids.

Parents of adult children, you get to take this part of your life and relax.  You raised your children.  They are living their own lives right now.  Have some confidence in your parenting over the last 18+ years and LET GO.

Monday, September 10, 2012

There Is A Gecko In My House

Yes, you read that right.

"Why haven't you gotten it out yet?" you might ask.  That's a great question, but first you need the story of how it got in...

A couple of nights ago, after coming home late, Hubby took the dog out back.  While he was out there, he saw a baby gecko hanging out in the grass.  Cool, right?  Sure!  Geckos are awesome!  I love that they are all over the place out here.  We even have a family of them living in our garage.

I don't mind them.  They eat other bugs like spiders, and we all know how terrified I am of those f-ers...

So what does Hubby do?  He picks the gecko up and...wait for it...BRINGS IT INSIDE...

Hubby: "Look, babe!  A baby gecko!"

Me: "Where? Do you have it in the house?"

Hubby: "Yup! Get a picture!"

Me: "Why the hell do you have a gecko in the house?  Get it out of here.  They live outside!"

Hubby: "Just take the picture."

I get my phone and am opening the camera as Hubby is opening his hand and...wait for it...the gecko jumps out of his hand and takes off under the table.  Hubby tries to grab it just as it disappears under the couch...

Now, this guy is tiny and moving the couch is not going to help find it.

So, yeah, he's still here somewhere...that is if my cat hasn't eaten him yet...

The girls love that he's hiding in here somewhere and are each hoping to be the one to find him.

Hopefully we will find him on a wall somewhere and not in pieces on the floor.

UPDATE:

                I found the little guy this morning.  He was hanging out in the kitchen.  He is now free and outside.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Hard Work Pays Off

About a month and a half ago, I shared with you some solutions I had come up with to a problem with my town's education system.  Basically, the school was going through I really hard time due to a BUNCH of state cuts.  They were going to have to resort to charging kids to ride the bus to school, raising activity fees, cutting the art and music programs in half, and a bunch of cuts that would have a detrimental effect on the kids and their education.  Hubby and I were not happy with this and decided to help.

We got involved with a community group that was just starting up.  The group's first goal was to pass something called a Tax Ratification Election for the school district.  The short explanation is that for about $14 a month for the average home owner in our city, our district would be fully funded for the next 4-5 years.  Sounds like a no brainer to me.

We had some opposition in town.  There are always people who are against taxes simply because they are taxes.  That's fine.  I can respect that.  The cool thing, though, is that we had a LOT of support in our town as well!

Well, the election was this last weekend and the proposition PASSED!!!!

We are so happy!!

My girls helped with this: making signs, going to meetings with us, behaving while we did other things...It's awesome to be able to show them that hard work pays off!  This is the best kind of lesson that they can be taught: that they have a voice.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Mommy Trials...

I mentioned in my last post that I needed a break because I had a lot going on.  The deal is that I needed a break to gather my thoughts about what was going on.

A few days before my last post I found out that I would not be able to attend my university of choice.  The reason?  I have to work and my university doesn't offer the online classes that I would need.  It's frustrating for me because now I am back in community college taking two classes that I may or may not need for my degree.  I have worked so very hard to get to a place where I could attend a university and now I can't do it.

I applied to this university just before we moved to Texas.  I was admitted, but could not attend because out of state tuition is over three times as much as resident tuition.  I decided to take the year needed to become a resident and wait.  I took a couple classes at a local community college.  You know, just to get through requirements.  Then, last February I reapplied.

I was terrified that I wouldn't get in simply because I had turned down my acceptance from the year before.  I got in, though.  I was pretty excited.  I was also really nervous that I wouldn't be able to do it.  That somehow I would end up being the stupidest person in the class and that I would fail everything.  Now, this is completely irrational.  I am pretty dang smart and I have never failed anything I haven't tried to fail (that's a different story).

So I had finally pretty much gotten over my fear of the university when I realized that I wouldn't be able to go.  It hit me hard.  I tried not to pay attention to the sadness that I was feeling.  I tried to just move on.  That wasn't a good idea, though.  I ended up feeling even worse from trying to hide the fact that I was feeling bad.  Ugh.

Anyway, I am better about it now.  I realize that my family's needs do need to come first.  If that means it takes another year to get past community college, that's okay.  If I end up needing to go to a state school instead of a university because the classes fit my schedule better, that's okay too.  The important part is that I don't give up.  I am setting an example for my girls.  I am teaching them lessons with my actions.  The last thing I would ever want to teach them is to give up.

So, that's what has been going on with me.  How have you been?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Need a Break

With everything that has been going on lately: kid stuff, school for me and the kids, community stuff, etc, I need a little break from writing.

Things have been so busy and they are going to continue that way for a little while.  I need to get back into the swing of school and find a job.  I need to figure out the girls' schedule with cheer and school.  I really just need to focus my time on my family for a bit.

I'll explain when I return.  I know you all understand. 

I'll miss you, but don't worry...I'll be back. =)

I will be back on September 3rd with a new post.


Have a great week!!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Things Kids Say

So a couple weeks ago, CC and I were talking about what she wants to be when she grows up.  Miss A has had her career planned out since she was 5, obviously subject to change but it hasn't yet.  CC is almost 7 and, though I don't push her for an answer, she has been really thinking about it.  CC hears Miss A talk about her life goals and has started ot come up with her own.

So, CC tells me that she wants to be a doctor, but not the kind that deals with blood because, "blood is gross!"  lol  I suggest she could be a dermatologist.  I explain what that is and she seemed pretty pleased.  Then she asked me if doctors make a lot of money.

The answer is that yes, doctors tend to make more money than other people, but the goal of any profession should be to do something you love and are passionate about.  Obviously the bulls need  to get paid, but why waste your life on something that makes you unhappy?

CC tells me that she wants to make a lot of money because she wants to buy a mansion when she grows up.  Ooooooohhhhh...a mansion?  lol  I ask if Dad and I can live with her when we get older.  "Of course!" is the first response I get.


Then, a few seconds later...

"Well, I don't know...I don't really want my mansion to smell like old people."


WTH? lol!!

What is the funniest thing your kid has said to you?

Monday, August 20, 2012

It's Just Life

Today marks the first day of the last week of summer vacation.  I'm really mixed about it.  I mean, don't get me wrong.  I have the same feeling of relief that every parent has at the end of summer break.  I am definitely happy that my girls will be heading back to school and not be stuck at home all day anymore.

We did a lot of stuff this summer, and we are not done.  It's going to be nice, though, to have that school schedule again for them.  They do well in school.  They have the time apart they need to not drive me nuts while driving each other nuts at home.  The end of summer always brings more arguments between them and it'll be nice to have some more peace during the day.

My mixed feelings come, mostly, from the fact that I will also be starting school and work in about a week.  I got admitted into the university that I wanted and so I'll be starting classes.  I also need to look harder for work now that the kids will be out of the house during the day.  I'm super nervous.

I have worked and gone to school and raised kids and been a wife and attempted to have a social life before.  It worked out okay.  It was hard, though.  My life has been pretty easy since we moved here and it's about to get quite a bit harder.

I know I'll be okay.  I know I'll find time for my kids and my husband.  I know I'll have my "me time."  I also know that I will be very busy.  It's mostly anxiousness because none of it has actually started yet.  I know once it does that it'll be fine.  I'll be fine.  My kids will be fine.

This is just one of those times where things are up in the air for a minute and I am just waiting for them to fall into place.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Sympathy vs Empathy

My girls have recently made a new friend.  Well, really Miss A has, but CC considers everyone to be her friend, so...Anyway, this new friend has got me thinking about something I never considered teaching my girls before.  It's the difference between sympathy and empathy.

I always took it for granted that I just knew that and, I guess, that they would as well.  I'm seeing now that this was something I was taught somewhere along the way.  Now I am trying to figure out how to teach it to my girls.

See, sympathy is that feeling you get when you see something bad happen to someone and you feel pity for them.  You feel bad for them.  This is not helpful to anyone.

Empathy is when you see someone's situation and you try to put yourself in their place so you can understand them better.  Sometimes you do this to help someone, and sometimes just so that you can understand their choices better.

The friend that my girls have made is having a hard time right now.  Her father just got hired at a new job and I can only assume that he was without one for a while.  The girl tells about how he would sleep in the parking lot at a local store and about how she only eats dinner right now.  It's hard not to feel bad for her, but that is not going to help.  Not on it's own.

We, of course, have invited the girl over while dad works so she can hang out.  Of course while she is here she eats with my girls.  That's just the human thing to do.

The lesson here is trying to teach my girls that they can be friends with this girl and help out without feeling pity for her.  That they can try to understand, to the best of their ability, how she is feeling but not feel bad for her.  That they can help without placing themselves in a place where they are above her.

I guess that is the biggest difference between sympathy and empathy.  Sympathy infers that you are better than the person you hold sympathy for.  Empathy means that you recognize you are equal.

Anyway, that is the message I am trying to get across to my kids right now.

Any suggestions?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sometimes "Try" Is All You Can Do

Today has been one of those days I hate to admit I have.  I am tired of my kids.  I know, that sounds horrible.  I love them.  I do.  I just don't want to be around them right now.  Everything they are doing is bothering the crap out of me.

Like, as I type, CC is running back and forth across the living room getting the dog to chase her.  This is not out of character.  Yes, I normally tell her to quit it or take it outside, but right now I am letting it go because if I don't, I'll probably yell.  I don't want to yell.

It's not their fault that I feel so "done" today.  It's really not.  I have been doing SO much lately that I haven't really had time to breathe.  I keep thinking that summer is almost over and the kids will be going into school soon, but then I remember the end of summer also means that I will be working and going to school, too!

It's just a lot right now.

What I can take from this, though, is that every mom has off days.  Every mom has days where all they can do is try.  Try not to yell.  Try to seem interested.  Try to be a parent.  Today was not perfect, but it was a day.

My girls are in tact.  They are happy and healthy.  Thankfully I have my wonderful hubby who works from home.  I was able to take a few hours this afternoon and just "be," by myself, in my room.  No, "Mommy...."  No needs to be met except for my own need for solitude.

All parents need that break.  I forget sometimes and think I am Superwoman or something.  Life has a way of reminding me that is not so.

Have you ever had a day where all you can do is try?  What do you do when you need a break?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Deal Or No Deal

Miss A and CC are constantly making deals with each other.  Things like: If you play Barbies with me now, I'll give you a back massage later, or If you watch this show with me right now, I'll play Littlest Pet Shops with you after...This would be fine, except, well, we always have one or the other of them that doesn't follow through.

We end up with CC coming downstairs, crying, tell us that Miss A broke a deal with her and that she is upset and can we please make her follow through.


We have situations where Miss A comes down and tells us that she gave CC her part of the bargain first and then CC backed out of the second part and can we please do something.

We have tried to make the deal-breaker follow through, but it always ends up worse because the deal-breaker has a crappy attitude and the offended party is hurt further.

Dad came up with the idea that whoever breaks the deal has to pay the other one a dollar.  That sounded like it could work, in theory, but it really just led to the girls making stuff up so they could get money from the other one.

My solution, as of late, has been to tell them to not make deals.  Just don't make deals.  If you do make a deal and you don't get the part promised to you, it is your fault for agreeing to the deal anyway.  "You are not supposed to be making deals anyway, so the natural consequence is that your sister flakes."

I mean, they know it's going to happen!  They have GOT to know by now that neither one of them is trustworthy when it comes to this crap.

Yes, of course they get the talk about how they are sisters and that is a lifelong relationship.  That instead of taking advantage of each other they should cherish their relationship.  Reality, though, is that they are sisters.  They are going to do stupid crap to each other and hopefully they won't do anything so stupid that the other one can't forgive it.

I just get so frustrated with the deals.  I mean, come on, if someone kept telling you they would do something for you if only you did something for them first, and then they never followed through, you'd stop making deals with them, right??  I know I would.  And it wouldn't take nearly as many times as it has for my girls so far.

Have you ever dealt with this?  Do you have a solution we haven't tried?  Is this something they will simply grow out of?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Kids and Pets

One of my favorite things to see is my girls playing with our dog.  I've always known that it's important for kids to have pets.  I had cats all my life and got my first dog(followed closely by a second one) in high school.  Pets teach kids much needed lessons about life, responsibility, loss, and friendship.  Having a pet teaches these lessons in a way that no parent could ever do.

Up until we moved to Texas, we have had cats.  We lived in apartments and dogs were simply not an option.  We have rescued kittens who were abandoned by their mother.  We have nursed them and adopted them out.  We have adopted them from friends and shelters.  Mind you, I am NOT a crazy cat lady.  The most we had at one time was five.  The only reason we had that many was because they were abandoned at about 3 days old and we nursed them and got them ready to be adopted out.

Now that we are in Texas, in a house, we are able to have a dog.  A year ago we adopted our lab/hound mix and named her Rosalie. 

My kids have done nothing but benefit from Rosalie's presence in our home.  She has taught the girls that they need to put their stuff away...otherwise Rosalie will eat it(she's still a puppy and will be until she is about 3years old).  She has taught them about compassion.  When they are not feeling well, Rosalie will lay with them and love them until they are better. 

I love to watch my girls play with her.  Just this morning they were all running around the backyard.  Miss A and CC chasing Rosalie and Rosalie happily evading their grasps.  Every once in a while they would come upon a situation where one girl or the other was running straight at Rosalie and she was running straight at them, kind of like a game of chicken.  Rosalie always turned.  Never wanting to harm the kids(I am well aware that, if she so chose, she could run straight through either child).

Our puppy has taught my girls so much in this last year.  I wouldn't trade her for anything.  She is a member of our family and we love her.

Do your kids have a pet?  If so, what lessons have your children learned as a result of caring for an animal? 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Kid Answers For Adult Questions

Have you ever answered a question your kid asked, knowing that the answer didn't really explain anything, but knowing that you can't give them more because they are just not ready for it yet?  I did that today...

So, I'm on the way home from the store with CC and she tells me that she never wants to have a baby.  Now, we have talked about this before.  I am well aware that she has no interest in having a baby in her "tummy."  She has no interest in having a baby come out of her in any way.  She says, "It will hurt and I don't want that."  She has told us time and again that she wants to adopt a child.  Not even adopt a baby.  She wants a kid that has already been through "all the crying and diapers and stuff."  I have told her that whatever she decides, when it's time, is perfectly fine by me and Dad.  Not a problem.  I have also told her that whether she chooses to adopt, chooses to have her own child, or even if she decides to never raise a child we will be proud of her.  Mainly though, I have told her that she has no need to make this decision at 6 years old.

So back to today.  She tells me, again, that she never wants to have a baby.  Then she asks, "Mom, is there a shot that you can get that makes it so you don't have a baby?"  Well, yes.  Kind of, I tell her.  I tell her there is a shot that you can get every 3 months that makes it so you can't have a baby.

She asks if there is one that she can get that will never let her have a baby.-----No, not yet.

She says, "Hmmmmmm well, then I guess I have to get the one every 3 months or else I'll have a baby."

I explain that you don't just wake up pregnant one day.  I tell her that there are "other things that have to happen first."

"Like what?"  She asks.----Uh, oh...I tell her "kissing and stuff"  Ugh, what am I supposed to say?  She is SIX...Of course, then she asks, "what other stuff?"

At this point, I am thinking, "What the hell, kid?  Really?  Now?"  I say, "I don't think I should explain this to you now.  Can you wait until you are older?"

Her response, "Like when I'm 11?  Will you tell me when I'm 11?"

"Sure, kid, sure.  When you're 11 I'll tell you."

She left it alone at that point(well, after making me promise to tell her when she turns 11), but I felt like crap.  I have always been of the school of thought that if she asks the question she should get an age appropriate answer.  I think I gave her that, but I feel like I could have done better...I was just caught completely off guard.  lol

What would you have said?

Monday, July 30, 2012

This Is My Kid

The girls started cheer this past week.  It has been so eye opening for me.  Mostly with Miss A.  CC is still little and I know she is good with this stuff because of her previous sports experience.  It's Miss A that's really wowing me right now.

I just can't believe how grown up she is already!  I mean, it seems like just yesterday she was running around the house in diapers and asking me to solve all her problems.  Now, though, she is like a mini-grown up.  Don't tell her I said that.  She already has enough issues with thinking she is older than she is.  It's weird.  Over the past few weeks, or really since summer started, she has just blossomed into this young lady.

It's hard to watch her grow like that.  I still want to think of her as the little girl that wanted Mommy around all the time.  She's not pushing me away or anything like that, she just doesn't need me as much anymore.  She has a life outside of our house.  She has friends who she wants to hang out with.  Other girls she can text with.  It's the little stuff like that.

Anyway, just watching her do her own thing in cheer this past week has really opened my eyes to who she is and who she is becoming.  I have to say, I am pretty damn proud of her.  She isn't embarrassed by us, yet.  She still wants us to watch her perform, for now.  She has good friends and she is really liking being part of a team.  She is taking constructive criticism in stride and working to better herself. 

I know I am gushing, but I feel like I don't know this kid very well anymore.  I feel like she is such a great person and I am proud to know her.  Then I remember that I raised her.  It's a weird feeling.

Have you gone through this with your kid?  Have you ever just woken up and been absolutely shocked by who your kid is(in a good way)?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Top Ten Things Parents Should Remember While At A Show With Their Kids

Pretty much every Friday, this summer, I have been taking my girls to shows that our local library has been putting on.  Things like musicians, puppeteers, and even a reptile exhibit.  It's been great.  There are some things that I have noticed, though, with other kids and other parents.  These things can really make or break a person's experience at a show.  So without further ado, here is my Top Ten Things Parents Should Remember While At A Show With Their Kids.

1) Set your expectations before you arrive.  Kids respond to rules much better when you go over them before they need to follow them.  Even if you have told your kids a hundred times before, go over them again in the car on your way.  Even better is having your kids tell you the rules.  Then, you can be sure they know.


2) Keep your kids in their seats.  And not, on their seat turned around staring at the fellow show-goers.  Chairs are not jungle gyms.  The focus should be on the show.  If they are not interested, why are you there?


3) Invite your child not to yell or invite them outside.  The rest of us would like to hear the show.  Really, it's not a silent movie.  There are no subtitles.  What the person on stage is saying/singing is part of it.


4) ^^This goes for crying, too.  I understand that kids get upset.  I get that younger kids cry more often.  Ok, that's fine.  But if your kid is crying, kindly take them out of the room so that the rest of us don't have to listen to you shush your child while their wails take over the entire performance.


5) If your child needs to use the bathroom, take them!  This one shocked the hell out of me.  I actually heard a 2 year old behind me telling her mother that she needed to "potty" and mom saying, "just wait."  Um, I'm sorry, at 2 there really isn't any "waiting."  When they have to go, they have to go.  Also, when they actually voice that they can't wait, please don't get angry at them for not being able to hold it.  That's just ridiculous.


6) Don't hold up the show to take pictures.  I seriously witnessed a woman, during the reptile exhibit, stand up in front of the man who was walking around with the animals and block his path so that she could take FIVE photographs.  Yes, we all want to remember the show.  But, part of remembering it is actually SEEING it.  The rest of us would like to get a look at the animals as well.


7) Letting your child kick the seat in front of them is rude.  And annoying.  And distracting to the person in that seat.


8) Kicking the seat in front of you is also rude.  Now I know where your kid gets it.


9) Help your child understand that if they are quiet, their questions will typically be answered.  Yes, we all have questions when watching a show.  There are always things we wish were explained.  The thing is it's important to teach your kid that questions come at the end.  Usually, when you teach them to stop and listen their questions are answered by the person on stage.


And finally...


10) If you are not sitting in the very back row, against the wall, standing up blocks the view of the person in front of you.  I know, I know, novel concept, but it does.  Neither me, nor my children have "go-go-gadget" necks so we cannot see over you.  Also, you are not transparent so we cannot see through you.  Please remain seated.  If we all do this, everyone can see just fine.


Please don't think me intolerant.  I mean, some of these things happening some of the time is just a part of having kids.  I know this.  I have them.  The issue is when you see ALL the kids doing this EVERY week.  And before you say, "well, maybe you shouldn't go to those shows," know that we have skipped a few just because of these reasons.  Even my kids were irritated enough not to go.  The shows we have gone to are the ones we REALLY wanted to see.  Also, we did enjoy ourselves most of the time, it's just the little stuff that grates on my nerves after a while.

What tips do you have for people attending a show with kids?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Solutions

Since becoming an adult, I have been told time and again that when I come out with a problem I also need to share the solution when I find it.  Well, a few months ago I wrote a post called Kids Are Our Future, Educate Them. In this post I outlined the problems that my community was/is going through and what my feelings were/are.  I asked for help here and other places.  I got plenty of responses:

-Start talking to my neighbors
-Invite people over for coffee and discuss what we as a community can do
-Contact outside groups and see what they have done
-Contact the school district and see what they are doing and how I could get involved

I did most of these, but the last one was the most helpful.  I was given the name of a woman who was in the process of starting an organization to help.  It turns out that the new proposition will be on the ballot September 1st and the goal of this non-profit organization is to spread awareness about the election so that people will vote.

Only 742 people out of over 10,000 voted last fall.  The proposition failed by a measly 85 votes.  That's absurd!  85 people decided the future of our children's education?  85 people decided that $11/month was more important than the future of out town/state/country?  That's just not right.

Now I am part of an all volunteer organization called Hippos United.  We are focused on spreading awareness about the upcoming election.  We want people to know that the tax increase would only cost the average homeowner here about $11 per month.  We want the parents to know that $11 a month is much better than $400-$600 a year if your child rides the bus and wants to participate in band, sports, choir...etc.  It's important for people to know that the local Chamber of Commerce has given us their endorsement.  It's important for people to know that even though they see the words "tax increase," and those can be scary words, they should think "responsibility to educate our future," because that is what this is really about.

This is what it looks like to get involved in the community.  This is what it looks like to see a problem and help to address it.  This is what it looks like to be a citizen.  Now, I am not giving myself a bunch of props here.  There are many other people involved in this organization and they do a lot more than I do.  They are what it looks like to be involved, see a problem and address it, and be a citizen, too.

I just want people to know that no matter how big the problem is, no matter how helpless you feel, you can always do something.  You can always help.

Check out Hippos United:
www.facebook.com/hipposunited
@HipposUnited

You can donate to the cause here: https://www.wepay.com/donations/hippos-united

Friday, July 20, 2012

Bedside Manner

A couple weeks ago I posted a list of Things Not To Do after you hurt your back bowling.  I did this because, well, I hurt my back bowling and then did ALL of those things.  What I didn't tell you is that I went to the doctor for my pain and what happened after.

So, I hurt my back the first Monday of summer vacation because I used a ball that was much to heavy for me.  I waited a couple weeks, a couple agonizing weeks, before going to the doctor.  I finally went because my pain was affecting everyone in my house.  I mean, I was still doing what I needed to do and having fun with my kids, but because I was in pain it was harder than it should have been.

When I finally went to the doctor I was treated like absolute crap.  The woman immediately branded me as a drug-seeking-mental-case and was incredibly hostile.  At one point, after I had told her that I was doing all the things she wanted me to do: stretching, exercising, moving around, drinking a TON of water, taking the meds that I had available...she actually sat down in front of me, leaned in, opened her eyes wide, threw up her hands, and said, "what is it that you want me to do for you? What do you want?!"  My response? Um, to be treated for my pain.

I couldn't sleep more than 4 hours at a time because the pain would wake me up.  That is, if I could even get to sleep at all.  I was in the worst pain of my life at all times and then sometimes the pain would shoot to levels I didn't even know were possible.  Yes, I have had 2 children and it really was that bad.

She tried to prescribe me a medication that doubles as a mood stabilizer.  I can't take that shit.  I am mildly bi-polar and taking that crap without an anti-depressant makes me want to kill myself.  Also, I am not so bipolar that I need meds(as per my doctor in California).  So no, that is not an option.  Her response?  "I'll give you a referral to behavioral health, but that's all I am willing to do for you.  I am at the end of my education."  Maybe it's time to go back to school, and while you are there you could take a course in bedside manner.

Of course, because I do not take crap from people(especially people I am paying for a service), I called the patient advocate center.  The lady seemed nice and listened to my story.  She said she would get back to me within 3 days.  After 5 days I called her back.  At that point she told me that she would not be helping me because the doctor gave me a medication that I "refused" because I "wanted something else."  No, the doctor gave me a medication that I couldn't take so I refused it in favor of not killing myself.  At this point I said f-it, just give me my co-pay back.  If I wanted to be treated like crap I could go hang out with someone that doesn't like me and I wouldn't have to pay them for it.

The billing department called me back and again stated that "services were rendered" and that I was simply "not happy with the outcome."  Again, I explained the situation in depth.  I was told that this person would look into it and get back to me.  No call back.  I called the billing department back about a week later and was told there was no record of my previous phone call.  Ugh.  I explained everything yet again.  This lady said she would call me back in 2 days....and she DID!  Well, kind of.  The woman who called me back, we will call her V, was a different person, but she was from the billing department.

V explained the same things that others had explained and added that the RN or NP or whatever she was(the doctor-ish person) would be having to take training courses and that her file had been noted.  She said that this situation was not being taken lightly, but that there was no way to issue me a refund.  Ok, so how about another appointment at no cost to me?  Well, I don't think that is an option because "services were rendered...blah blah blah..."  I went through the situation one more time.  V was appalled that one of their practitioners would treat a patient that way.  Yay!

Eventually, after a few more calls with V and her working some serious angles on her end, I got a new appointment(with the same bi-otch) at no cost to me!  Yes, I wrote a serious letter of appreciation to V's boss after thanking her profusely over the phone.  I might even send her flowers.  Who knows?

Now, let me explain something, during this 3 week process of trying to be treated for pain, my pain lessened.  Considerably.  I went to see the bi-otch today and guess what?  She was incredibly professional.

She actually asked me questions this time.  She checked my back and made sure that I hadn't lost any muscle strength in my leg.  She explained that she thinks I pinched my sciatic nerve and gave me some great exercises to do to help loosen everything up some more.  No, I didn't get any pain medication.  I don't need it now.  I needed it 3 weeks ago.

So, yes, everything ended up working out semi-okay, but I cannot believe that it took this long to get a practitioner to treat me like a human being who is in pain.  Ugh!


^^^This is me waiting 40 minutes for the "doctor" to come in.

Monday, July 16, 2012

My First Weather Crisis

All the rain we have been having this week has reminded me of my very first weather crisis after moving to Texas.  See, where I grew up, weather was easy. 

You look out the window and if it's sunny you don't need a jacket. 

If it's sunny and windy, you probably want a light jacket. 

If it's cloudy, you want a jacket. 

If it's raining, you want a jacket with a hood. 

After September or October you need a jacket. 

Very simple.

Here, though?  Not as simple.   Well, I guess it may be simple, but it took some getting used to.

The first time it rained after we moved here last June, so it was probably October or something, I went to grab a jacket.  Like my mom had always told me growing up.  "It's raining. Get a jacket."  Like I had always told my kids up until that point, "It's raining. Get a jacket."  Like every other family I had ever known had done, "It's raining. Get a jacket."

So I went to get a jacket, but then I stopped.  Yes, it was raining, but it was also 95 degrees outside...if I got a jacket I would be hot.  If I didn't get a jacket my clothes would get all wet.  What the hell was I supposed to do?  What should I tell my kids?  Should we get jackets?  Should we burn up or let our clothes get wet?

It sounds pretty simple, now, after living here for over a year.  I feel silly, now, after it raining for the past few days.  At the time, though, this was a personal weather crisis the likes of which I had never before faced.

I don't want you to think that I stood in front of the closet for hours or anything.  Really, it took only a few seconds, but for that few seconds I was totally, completely, and utterly befuddled(yes, I just used a thesaurus to come up with that word.  Confused wasn't nearly descriptive enough). 

In the end I decided that clothes will dry and there is absolutely no sense in being hotter simply because it's raining.  I have not looked back from this decision since.  Jackets are just not necessary attire here between February/March and December.

Have you ever had a weather crisis in a new place?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Sister Time

A couple weeks ago I shared some exciting news!  My little sister was coming to visit from California!  Well, it happened.  She came.  It was awesome!

We didn't really do much while she was here, but that so wasn't the point.  The point was to be able to see my baby-sister!  For my girls to see their aunt!  We hung out at the pool and played marco-polo for a while.  We talked.  We ate leftover BBQ from the day before.  It was great!

Here is a pic of us at the pool:



Then, after we got the girlies dinner, we dropped the kids at the grandparents' and the adults went to have some adult time.  Yes, in a small town the local hangout is absolutely a bar.  No, I don't drink, but it's a fun place to hang out.  It was at this bar that my sister and I took the best picture we have ever taken together.


After a bit of grown-up time we picked up the kids and headed home.  Then we said our good-byes.  CC cried so hard!  I really didn't expect that.  My girls ended up having a sleepover in CC's room and I had to promise to track Auntie's trip around the country and print out pictures so the girls could put them up before CC could calm down.  I don't normally give in like that, but I really don't see the harm this time.  They miss their Auntie and this would make them feel better about her leaving.

Anyway, it was a great visit and I really can't wait until we see her again and hear about the rest of her trip across country!!

Oh, yeah, HAPPY FRIDAY THE 13TH!!!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Big News On Facebook

We live in a world where we share everything on the internet.  We live in a world where that's okay because we have friends that are so spread out that it's just not feasible to tell everyone everything in person.  I do that all the time.  I share plenty of things on the internet.  It happens.  No big deal.

The thing is, though, that when something important happens, it's nice to get a phone call.  You know, things like: new child, pregnancy, engagements...etc...  These things are good to share on the phone or in person with the people close to you.  Your family.  I know when I have some big news I always keep it off the social network until I have shared it with my closest friends and family.  THEN the rest of the world gets to know.

It's actually kind of insulting to read something life changing on FB about someone you are supposed to be close to.  Just keep that in mind.  A phone call or even a text message is WAY better.

That is all.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Distracted Parents Kill Kids

I am beyond appalled right now.  I just read an article about yet another child "forgotten" in the car in the heat.  What the hell?!?!  You don't forget your kids!

This guy maintains that he drove to work and forgot that he had his 2 year old in the car and, therefore, forgot to drop the kid off at daycare. Um, I don't know of any 2 year old in the history of time that would allow you to forget their presence.  Mine sure as hell didn't.  Two year olds are loud and rambunctious.  Anyone ever heard of the "terrible twos"?  No?  Was that just me?

The above pic is of CC at 2 years old.  I heard her calling for help and walked in her room to find this mess and her sitting on top of her dresser.  Tell me I could have forgotten I had her in the car.  I dare you.
The article even goes so far as to suggest that parents download an app that reminds you that you are driving with your kids in the car.  Seriously?  Have we gotten so busy in this life that parents need to be reminded that they have their pride and joy in the car?

What are your reactions to this article?


Monday, July 2, 2012

Happy Birthday Miss A

Every year on my girls' birthdays I write them letters.  I usually end up losing them even though I always mean to get a binder for each so they can have them when they get older.  Sigh.  This year I figure I can write here and maybe, just maybe I won't lose it. =)

Dear Miss A,

You turned eleven yesterday and I just can't believe it.  You have grown so beautiful and wonderful over the past 11 years.  You make me smile daily.  You know, when I found out I was pregnant with you, I was so scared.  I was 17 and had no idea what I was going to do with my life.  You gave me a purpose.  You saved me.  You are my miracle.  My angel.


In the coming years we are destined to grow apart and battle for power.  That's what happens with mothers and teenage girls, but know this: I will always love you.  I will love you when I ground you.  I will love you when I say no.  I will love you when I lecture you for what seems like an eternity.  I will love you when I tell you that boy is no good.  I will love you every time you come home late, get in trouble, and even when you yell at me.  I will love you when you hate me.  And that's ok.

Being a mother means loving you through your teenage years.  Through all the hardships in life.  Through all the life or death drama that will seem so important at the time.  Being a mother means that no matter what happens I will be there for you.  There is no problem to big for us to solve together.  There is nothing you can't come to me about.  Even if I am upset, I will always be on your side.  We are a team and there is nothing that can tear us apart.

So, on this day,
my precious Miss A,
I want to wish you,
a happy 11th birthday!

Love,
Mom

Friday, June 29, 2012

Things Not To Do

I told you about the schedule that my girls and I made for the summer a while back.  One of the fun activities that we are doing is bowling!  We have gone a few times now and are really enjoying it.  We are getting better with every game.

The first week we went, though, I decided it would be a good idea to use a ball that was too heavy for me.  Ok, it wasn't a conscious decision, but I guess I didn't think the poundage all the way through.  I hurt my back around the fourth frame of the first game and just kept on trucking through.  Seriously, not good.  Then, I went home and proceeded to try to continue my life as normal.  You know, as though I never hurt my back in the first place.  I would really like for this exercise in stupidity to not be in vain.  I'd like others to learn from my mistakes otherwise I'm just a dumbass who hurt herself bowling.  lol

Here is a list of things NOT to do after you hurt yourself bowling:

- CONTINUE BOWLING

- DISHES You would think this wouldn't be a problem, but really, standing in front of the sink is taxing on a hurt back.  Don't do it.

- MAKE SMOOTHIES see above

- HELP MAKE DINNER see above

- STAND UP just stay put

- SIT DOWN again, just stay put

- SWIMMING well, swimming was ok.  It was nice to be in the water, but getting out was bitch!  It's that whole thing where in the water everything is lighter, but as soon as you get out all the weight(no matter what you weigh), or gravity or whatever, comes rushing back.  Have you ever tried to carry someone out of the pool(you know, other than a baby)?  Like that.

- CLIMB STAIRS if you are like me and your bedroom is upstairs you may think you have no choice.  You're wrong.  Sleep on the couch. lol

- LAUNDRY yeah, bending over and picking up clothes or folding them or anything having to do with laundry is no bueno.  No bueno at all.

- THROW KIDS IN THE POOL yes, no matter how awesome your back feels in the water, no matter how light those children feel in the pool, do not throw them.  It will hurt later.

- MOVE A 125LB SMOKER yep, even if you buy it for a Fathers' Day gift, do not move it from the trunk to the garage.  Ask a neighbor for help or give it to him early.

Ok, so I may not be the best patient in the world.  I may not be the best at taking care of myself, but..................ya know what?...Yeah, I got nothing.  I hope you learned something from this...lol

Monday, June 25, 2012

Some Exciting News!!

So even though I absolutely love, love, love living in Texas, there are a few people who I really, really miss.  I miss my mom, who came to visit last December.  I miss my best friend, who may be coming to visit sometime in the next year.  And I miss my sister.

I've talked about having an ever expanding family due to the fact that my biological father liked to sleep around, and apparently could never find a condom when he needed one.  I'm not knocking him, I am actually super grateful that he was so freaking promiscuous!  It has given me 3 siblings that I would not have otherwise had.  What I haven't talked about, though, is the sister I have had all her life.  The one sibling who shares a mother with me.

I love my little sister.  We don't talk nearly as much as either one of us likes, but neither one of us is very good at the phone thing.  It's alright, though, because when we do talk we catch up on all the stuff in between.  I think we would be able to do that if we talked all the time.

Anyway, my exciting news that I want to share with you today, is that my little baby sister is coming to visit us in just a couple short weeks!!  She will be traveling the country and has found a couple days to spend with her nieces, brother-in-law, and big sis!!  I am so happy!!!  Seriously, she is pretty freaking cool and I think we are going to have a blast while she is here.

My girls are totally looking forward to seeing their auntie!!  They really miss her and have told me all the things they want to tell her when she gets here.  I hope my sister is ready for these girlies to talk her ear off and hug her till she can't breath anymore. =)

I will definitely let you know how the visit goes!  I think this might be the most awesome thing that will happen all summer!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Has It Really Been A Year?

This past week marked one year since moving to Texas.  On one hand I can't believe it's been that long and on the other, it feels like I've been here my whole life.

We moved because we wanted a better life for our kids.  We wanted a better life for ourselves.  We moved because it was a dream we had been talking about for years and we finally decided to make it a reality.

It's funny, I often hear, and have experienced, that once a dream becomes a reality it's not as good as had been hoped.  That is just not the case here.  Moving to Texas really has been everything I hoped it would be.  Maybe it's because this time I had realistic expectations, maybe it's because Texas really is perfect.  I don't know.  All I know is that I haven't regretted moving here once.

We have made a TON of amazing friends.  The girls are doing so much better in school and have made the kinds of friends we always wanted them to have.  This is not to say that there haven't been trials since we have been here.  There have.  My car broke and we had to spend an ungodly amount of money on the rental and fixing it.  We have had issues with the kids.  Miss A and her boy dramaCC and her attitude.  Hubby and I have had our arguments like we always do.  The point, though, is that we got through it all.  The point is that even with all of these issues, normal everyday issues, there has been a lot less stress than there was living in California.

That was a lot of my reason for moving.  Life there was just too stressful for me.  It was too fast.  I always had a place to be and a time to be there.  I always needed to be on the go.  I didn't like it.  I have been able to relax since being here.  I have found time to write again.  I have found time to do me again and I'm a better person for it.

I want to thank all the people who supported us moving and all the people we have met since being here.  You are all amazing and we couldn't have been this successful without you.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Happy Fathers' Day!

With Fathers' Day happening yesterday, I wanted to take some time to thank my wonderful husband for being an awesome dad!

Dear Husband,

I want to take this opportunity to tell you how much I appreciate you.  I want to thank you for all the things you do for us, but there is no way I could list them all.  Here is a starter list:

Thank you for:

getting up and doing your job everyday, even the days that you don't want to, for us
loving our kids even when they misbehave
giving me strength to push forward when I feel like I can't
standing by me through school
listening when I need it and holding me when I don't
giving me the break I need when I feel as though I am going to snap
being the strength our family needs
your amazing cooking skills that keep us not only fed, but happy
the knowledge you share with us everyday
coaching softball this year
always believing in me and our children and helping to do our best
making sure the oil gets changed in the car, cause you know if it was up to me it would break
seeing through our kids' lies when I fall for them
and everyday doing your best to be the best husband and father that you can be.

Like I said, this is not an exhaustive list.  It's just some of the things I can think of right now.  We really do appreciate you, babe.  I love you!

Happy Fathers' Day!!!