And I thought boys were bad...

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

Monday, January 30, 2012

Sisters, Science, and...Feathers??

You know, since I started school again, I have been dreading Mondays!  Imagine that!  As soon as I have something that requires me to get up, get ready, and be out of the house at a decent hour...I begin to hate Mondays...hmmmmm...lol  No, really I don't hate Mondays.  They're just kind of a mild, but consistent, annoyance.  Like that person on the bus or in the office or classroom that hums quietly to themselves.  It's not loud enough to make you feel justified in your anger so you tone it back to mild annoyance, but it never quite goes away...lol What a great analogy to start this post with.  Don't judge me.  =P


Anyway!  This weekend was pretty awesome!  No, we didn't do anything.  We stayed home.  BUT...are you ready for it?  Drum roll please!!

MISS A FINISHED HER SCIENCE PROJECT!!!!
pictures to come after it's entered in the science fair...

 Right??  How exciting!!  No more having to go through the "but why do I have to do it" and "I hate this!" and all the other wonderful negative phrases Miss A has come to say whenever she works on her project.  But you know what?  It looks damn good!  She has done a great job with her project and I am so very proud of her.  It was definitely worth all the nonsense it took to get here.  Don't get me wrong, I'm glad it's over, but the end product pretty much makes up for the crap we had to wade through to get here.

CC has just been a doll!  She has been pretty tolerant this weekend, what with all the attention being mostly on Miss A and her science project.  She watched and took part where she could and was really great about finding something else to do when she got bored.  I mean, I'm not gonna lie, there were times where I thought I might snap if she didn't find something to do, but those were few and far between and it all ended up good!



We all sat down yesterday, after the completion of the infamous science project, and made some jewelry!  I have beads.  I make jewelry.  I try to sell jewelry...well, kinda.  I don't put a whole lot of effort into marketing.  Oh, well.  So the girlies made their necklaces(CC made a bracelet) and I made something new!  Something my girlies have been wanting to buy.  Something so super trendy!  lol  I made...

FEATHER EARRINGS!!






HA!!  How cool is that???

Anyway, good weekend!  Lot's of fun, made some jewelry, had some laughs, AND we got a project completed!  That's how we roll!  lol


Shameless plug: If you do want to check out the jewelry I make, go to my Facebook fan page!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Flashback Fridays ep. 6

As you know, I started back to school recently.  It's been absolutely great to be in a classroom again.  Yes, I love school.  I'm a nerd.  Oh. Friggin. Well.  =P  Being back in school has made me more aware of other people talking about going back to school, and believe me I have heard a LOT about it.  Mostly from other moms.  The biggest reason that I hear for moms not going back to school is that they feel like that would be taking too much time away from their kids.  Another is that it is too expensive.  Well, I figured that I'd try to motivate some of you by telling you my experience with going back to school.  It hasn't always been easy, but it has ALWAYS been worth it.

It all started about four years ago.  I, literally, woke up on a Wednesday and decided that I was going to go to school.  I called my husband and told him of my plans.  He kind of laughed and said, "okay."  He tells me, now, that he really thought this was just some idea that I had and that I might try it and then decide not to continue, but he did not say any of that at the time.  I have to admit that I was that kind of person, and still am sometimes.  I come up with these ideas and aspirations and then don't really do anything about it, but not that time.  I was serious.

I spent that Wednesday morning applying to every community college I could find in the area that had a program for what I wanted to do.  I wanted to be a drug counselor.  That's it.  Just get my certificate, not even my degree at that point, and help people get off of drugs.  Now, I said that I applied to every community college around...I had no idea that if you graduated from high school or got a GED(or even not in some cases) they have to let you in.  Really, I was completely clueless.

I chose to go to a school about 30 minutes away because that was where I knew the most people.  I figured it would be easier to do this if I knew some of my classmates right off the bat.  The next Monday I was in school.  Yes, 5 days later.  I had not enrolled in classes.  The plan was to go to the classes and add in.  It worked and I started out with 3 evening classes.  It worked out well because the hubby worked during the day and was home in time for me to leave for school.  Yay for no childcare costs!

I spent my first semester taking an Abnormal Psych class, an internship class, and Health.  I had no books and no idea how I was going to pay for the classes I was taking.  I had no idea what financial aid and grants were until a month before the end of the semester(since then, I have gone to school practically for free).  I read my friends' books when I could, listened, and took notes in class.  That first semester was freaking HARD!  I managed to end the semester with an A, a B, and a C.  How? No clue.

Things got easier after that first semester.  I got a student ID and used the campus library.  I studied hard and actually had books.  Of course I missed my kids and my husband, but I knew that I was doing the right thing.  I have worked on and off through my schooling so far(currently unemployed, but actively looking for work).  I changed my educational goals around my 2nd or 3rd semester.  I am now going for at least a masters.  I got my AA and am getting through some extra units before I go to a university(whatever you take, PLEASE MAKE SURE IT TRANSFERS!!).  The most important thing, though, that has come out of my schooling so far, has nothing to do with my grades or my degree.

The most important thing that has come out of my schooling, so far, is that my girls have seen me go through this.  They have seen me study hard and get good grades.  They have seen me not go and hang out with my friends because I have a test coming up.  The have seen me graduate with my AA.  All of these things that I have mentioned have taught them to value education.  They both know that college is required.  Not 2 years.  Not even 4 years.  At LEAST a masters.  I am still working towards getting into a bachelors program, but they see that I am still at it.  The see that no matter what, failure is not an option.  They also know, because we have had conversations about it, that it will be a lot easier for them and will not take as long because they will NOT have kids before college.  I make sure that they know that I don't regret anything and I wouldn't change my life AT ALL, but that I want it to be easier for them.

Going back to school, if that's your desire, does not have to be unattainable.  Yes, you will miss time with your kids, but it's for a good cause.  They will see that.  Yes, it's hard work, but it's totally worth it and YOU will see that.  It took me 2 and a half years to get my AA and I have now been in school at least 1/2 time for 4 years.  I am hoping to go to a university in the fall and continue to my BA and eventually my masters.  It WILL happen.  I'm not giving up.  I can't afford to let my kids think that is an option.

Have you gone back to school?  Are you thinking about it?  What are your dilemmas or how have you overcome the struggles?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Hum-Drum Is Ok

Ok, so it's time for the Monday post again...hmmmm...nothing huge happened this weekend...Let's see...

Miss A went to a sleep over!  It's great to watch her making friends!  It's even better to see that the friends she is making have parents like hers.  =)  Turns out no one like D(see here to learn more about D).  I guess this friend that had a birthday got in trouble for having a boyfriend, too!  Ha!  We aren't the only mean parents in the state of Texas!  Nya-nya-nya-nya-nya...lol

CC has been reverting, lately, to the beginnings of fits...I say the beginnings because I don't let her get farther than that.  Usually it's straight to her room or immediate consequences.  I thought we were done with this...ugh.  It's anytime she hears the word, "no" which is weird because it's not like we never say it(yes double negative. Whatever. Figure it out.).  We say "no" all the time!  Well, not ALL the time, but you know what I mean.  She does not get everything she wants.  She does not rule the house.  She hears "no" on a regular basis and I am really tired of hearing the whining that ensues after it!  I guess it'll just take more time with us being consistent and not tolerating it.

Life is pretty normal for us right now.  I just started school again, as I mentioned before.  I'm learning to balance school, kids, kids' school, tutoring, tv(easier with no OLTL), hubby, and social stuff again.  Honestly, when I'm in school I turn into a super-nerd and only want to focus on that.  Like, for example, we went to my in-laws today to watch the 49er vs Giants game and I brought my textbook and my computer.  I read the chapter I needed to, took my quiz, did the 3 discussion posts that are required, and then sat there trying to think of a research topic...I mean, I'm not a huge football fan, but this is kind of a big game.  This is a Bay Area team(where we moved from) playing for the opportunity to go to the Super Bowl!  I'm interested and if I wasn't in school I probably would have watched it in full, but since I am in school, I'm all stuck in a book and my laptop...lol

Like a said, though, life is pretty normal for us.  Kind of hum-drum, but you know what?  It's nice to have the hum-drum sometimes.  It means things are stable and secure.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Tostadas!!

I recently subscribed to a new blog and have found some really cool stuff on it.  The name of this blog is Skinny Mom's Kitchen.  She had posted a recipe for homemade re-fried beans.  I thought this was pretty interesting and decided to use it as part of dinner.

We made tostadas!!

It's really a very simple meal to make and it was absolutely wonderful!  The beans really went well.  I added cumin to the beans and skipped the step about using a hand mixer to get rid of the whole beans altogether.  I like to have a little texture in my beans so it worked out well.

I took tostada shells and spread the beans over one side
Added taco seasoned meat(used a seasoning packet from the store)
Put some shredded lettuce and tomatoes
And a final layer of shredded cheese



Really, a VERY simple meal, but in the words of my husband, "absolutely bitchin'"

Friday, January 20, 2012

Flashback Fridays ep. 5

First off I would like to apologize for not paying as much attention to this blog lately as I have in the past.  I started school this week and I am in the process of finding balance...I'm a bit obsessive when it comes to school.


Today is FLASHBACK FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!!!! 
Whoo hooo!!!  YEAH!!!!!!!!

Let's get it started!!  Despite my previous outburst up there, this is actually quite serious.  Last week I was in Target and I saw this guy playing with his kid.  The kid was about 2 years old and adorable.  He was swinging the kid around.  It was real sweet and, to the untrained eye, there was nothing wring with this picture.

                                            This is a dramatization.  Not an actual picture.  =)

To me, though, I noticed one small problem.  Do you see(in my clever representation, you know you love it) where he is holding his kid while he swings?  The hands.  THIS is the problem.  Let me tell you why.

When CC was about 3 years old, Miss A, CC, and I were at a Super Bowl party.  We were having a ton of fun!  The girls were running around and looking in the pond that my friends had in their backyard.  You know, gazing at the fishes.  Miss A was attempting basketball occasionally, and I was playing spades with some friends.  CC got bored so we began to play together.  I began spinning her around.  Holding her by the hands.

It was all well and good.  She was laughing, I was getting super dizzy.  When I mentioned that it was time to stop she gave me the cute little 3 year old look and asked if we could do it "one more time."  Famous last words, right?  I sighed and agreed.  Yes, I remember ALL of this.  You'll see why in a minute, it was pretty freaking traumatic.  So we spin one more time.

All of a sudden a heard and felt this "pop" sound.  It's hard to describe what this sound was other than "pop", but it made my teeth hurt.  Like a nails on a chalk board kind of thing.  I knew something was wrong even before CC started crying.  Immediately, I set her down and checked her over.  She seemed fine, except for her elbow.  If she didn't move it, it didn't hurt, but when she did move it, she screamed bloody murder.  Something was definitely wrong.

I mumbled, I don't know how intelligibly, to the people around me that we were going to the emergency room and we left.  Getting CC in her car seat was hell.  Poor baby!  In order to get a kid in a car seat you have to move their arms around and stuff.

We finally got to the hospital and I filled out all the paperwork.  The whole time I am thinking that they are going to call CPS and I am going to have my kids taken away.  That I am a horrible parent and maybe that is what I deserve.  I broke my child.  I'm doing everything I can to fight the tears and pretend that it's going to be okay.  I'm pretending at this point, because I don't believe it.  It was absolutely terrifying.  Mind you, while I am freaking out, Miss A is making CC laugh and CC is no longer crying because of course she is not moving her arm.

Our name is called and we move to into the ER treatment area.  I explain what happened to the nurse(I think I was green by this time) and she smiles.  She SMILED!  I was like, "what the hell?!?!"  Then she explained that this is a very common injury for small children.  It's call a "nursemaid's elbow".  The name is derived from when nursemaids would just yank small children around by the arm.  Basically, it's a dislocated elbow.  She explained that it really is no big deal to fix, and asks me to hold CC.  I do.  Neither CC nor I looked at how the nurse did what she did.  All I know is that CC screamed and then it was over.  She was fine.  We were discharged and we left.

Now, I am still a little ashamed of this whole situation because, well, I broke my kid.  It wasn't permanent, but she was broken for about an hour or so and it was my fault.  So, you can see why I cringed when that man was swinging his kid around.  It was all I could do to not walk over there and tell him this whole story in the hopes of saving him from going through the same thing.

I'm thinking that a lot of parents don't realize that this can happen.  We have sayings like, "little kids are made of rubber" and we totally believe them.  It's pretty much true, but the reason that they can do things like fall down a flight of stairs, laugh, and ask to do it again, is because they are not fully developed.  Their little bones are not fully connected to each other yet.  This makes it very easy for them to be pulled out of socket.

Here is some info on Nursemaid's Elbow:

Wikipedia
WebMD
KidsHealth

I'm sorry that this post is so long, but if it stops even ONE parent from having to rush their kid to the ER, it's totally worth it.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Kids and Migraines

It's Monday again. The girlies are home from school today and we are just lounging around. We had a pretty good weekend. Both Miss A and CC had sleep overs on Saturday!! Yay!!! Parents' night out!

We watched the 49er game, hung out with friends, had dinner, then watched a movie at home. No giant plans or anything, it was just nice to have some time sans kiddos.

On Friday, though, I got a call from Miss A's school nurse saying that they weren't comfortable giving her her migraine meds because she had gotten them every day this week. Wait, did I ever tell you that Miss A gets migraines? No, I don't think so. Okay, let's start at the beginning.

Miss A has been having migraines since she was about 5 years old. Sucks, right? At first we had no idea what they were. They always happened after she came in from paying and we told her to clean her room or something, so we didn't really put too much stock in her complaints. Kids do that shit all the time, play outside for hours and then complain of something being wrong when you ask them to do something. We figured it was just the normal kid crap. It wasn't until she got a little older and was able to really tell us what was going on and what it felt like that I took her seriously.

It still didn't immediately register as migraines though. She didn't get them in her head like I do. She complained of a pressure behind her left eye. Like, pain and pressure. I made her an appointment with the doctor. Before the appointment, though, she had gotten another one. We had been giving her children's Tylonal and it really hadn't helped at all. On this particular occasion, she mentioned that the light bothered her and everything sounded really loud. Aha! THAT sounded like a migraine...still only in her eye though. So she went to the doctor, ended up getting an MRI to confirm, got meds...etc. Now she has meds at school(we sent Ibuprofen to school because the meds have to be split and I didn't want to go through all that with the school). She takes an adult dose of the Ibuprofen.

We are pretty sure that her migraines are hormone related. They come in a spurt within about 7 days of each other approximately ever 28-30 days and line right up with my cycle(TMI? lol).

Anyway, the nurse said she was not wanting to give Miss A the meds because she had been in the office to get them every day last week. My response: GIVE HER HER MEDS! Of course they are getting to be more often. She's 10 and her body is starting to go through the changes of pre-puberty(or puberty, damn hormone-laden milk!). This all makes sense to me. I explained it to the nurse, though, and hopefully it won't happen again.

Having a kid with migraines is a lot like having a kid with an allergy. Dealing with the bureaucracy of the schools is no fun. Here's hoping that we don't have to do it again anytime soon.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Stuffed Tomatos!!

The other night I was laying in bed half watching Food Network, half falling asleep.  I caught a glimpse of one of the commercials that showed someone stuffing a tomato with something.  That was all it took!  I was no longer tired and began thinking of what in the world I could stuff a tomato with!  It only took a few minutes and I came up with the idea to stuff a tomato with potatoes, Ricotta, and spinach.  When I told the hubby, he was not impressed with the idea.  Oh well.  I was on a mission!

Well, I did it!  It turned out really good!!  There were a couple of things I would do differently next time, but all in all I was very happy with the results!  Even the hubby(who was skeptical up until the first bite) said it was great!  =)  Anyway, here is the recipe:

(Note: The measurements for the potato and the Ricotta have been cut in half because it made WAY too much!)

What you need-
4 On The Vine Tomatoes
1 Potato, skinned and chopped into similar sized pieces
3/4 cup Ricotta
2 cups Spinach
Salt and Pepper to taste(at least a tsp of each)

Directions-
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Boil potato until soft enough that you cannot pick them up by poking them with a fork(10 minutes or so)
While the potato is boiling, chop the tops off your tomatoes and hollow them out, set aside



Take potato out of water and mash it in a separate(medium) mixing bowl
Blanch your spinach
While spinach is blanching, add Ricotta to the mixing bowl
After blanching spinach, chop it and mix it into the potato and Ricotta mixture
Make sure everything is mixed and you can see spinach throughout the mixture
Spoon mixture into your hollowed tomatoes until full



Place tomatoes in oven for about 10 minutes(cooking times may vary depending on oven)
Remove and serve with your meal

We had our stuffed tomatoes with steak and crescent rolls.  Mmmmmmm... Doesn't that sound great?  It was!  lol  The kids liked it too!!



Changes for next time would be simple stuff like adding buttered bread crumbs to the top before baking to add a little bit of a different texture in there, or using more salt.  These are personal preferences.

Let me know if you try this!  I'd love to hear what you thought!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Flashback Fridays ep. 4

Welcome to Flashback Fridays, episode 4!!!  I'm glad you could join me this morning, afternoon, or evening!!

The reason that I do these Flashback Fridays is because I am very grateful for my life today and it is important to remember where I came from.  Things have not always been fantastic, but everything I, and my family, has gone through has brought us to where we are today.  Today I am thinking about how grateful I am to live where I live.  I mean, this is the first house we have ever lived in as a family!  We don't own it, but it's awesome just to have the room to move.

We have always lived in apartments.  Before that(after we moved from my dad's house), Miss A and I lived in rooms.  We lived with other people.  Don't get me wrong, I am truly grateful to those people for allowing us to live with them, but it was not the best time of my life.  Living with friends can be tricky.  I have found that if I want to preserve friendships, I shouldn't live with friends.  lol  I'm not a very tolerant individual...

When the hubby, Miss A, and I first moved in together(before we were married) it was nothing like where we live now.  I had basically overstayed my welcome in the place that Miss A and I were living.  And to be honest, I didn't want to be there anymore either.  At that point, it was either try to find someone else to live with, or get our own place.  Hubby and I had been together for almost 2 years at that point and decided the best thing would be to just move in together.

We found this crappy little one bedroom apartment in Fremont, CA.  Really, it was freaking ghetto!  Not quite as bad as the ones down the street, but not ideal either.  But it was OUR crappy little one bedroom apartment and it was home for a while.  We put Miss A in the bedroom and set up our bed in the living room.  It was definitely cozy(read: cramped).  We had a chair set up near the bed, but mostly, if people came over it was sit on the bed or on the floor.  There wasn't much room for personal space.

We had some good times there, though.  In fact, I remember one occasion where Miss A was particularly amusing.  She was about a year and a half old.  Not really talking, but definitely trying.  She had done something, or was about to do something that wasn't okay(touching something breakable or not listening).  Whatever it was, Hubby told her that it wasn't ok for her to be doing that.

She immediately balled up her little hands into fists, stuck them straight down and behind her, leaned forward, and yelled, "babababadadadaDA!"

Hubby responded with a hearty, "Go to your room!"

It looked a little something like this(but way better cause I didn't create it on paint...lol):



With that she turned around and stomped off to her room, obviously very upset that we were not appreciating her speaking her mind.  I looked at him with kind of a questioning look and he responded with, "I don't know what she said, but it was NOT nice!"  Oh. My. God.  We about died laughing after she left the room!  It was freaking great!

Anyway, we have always managed to turn whatever place we live into a home, but it's really nice to not have to try quite as hard.  I am very grateful for where I live and the family and friends that surround me both physically and in spirit.

I hope you enjoyed this week's Flashback Friday!!!  Tune in next week for a brand new episode!

If you missed the previous Flashback Fridays, find them here:
F. F. ep. 3
F. F. ep. 2
F. F. ep. 1

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Fail

Hey all.  I really don't feel like posting today.  We did do a pretty great meal last night, but it was nothing new.  Chicken "nuggets" from scratch(batter with egg and flour) with french fries(from a bag).  Really, I'm kind of disappointed in myself right now.  I have been doing things this past week to eat better and move more and was hoping to post about my success today.  Not gonna happen.  Basically, because the scale did not reflect any of the changes that I made.

I have been drinking more water.  Okay, drinking water period, but a lot of it.  I have cut WAY back on my soda intake(yay me).  I have been making it a point to move more by doing counter push ups(they are just what they sound like), planking(not the trendy YouTube shit, real ones), and stair stepping or walking around instead of standing still while I smoke.  I have been eating breakfast at a reasonable time so as not to torture my body and make it wait hours for sustenance, and making smarter choices about what to eat(with the exception of my ice cream, that will fade a bit ater Friday when OLTL goes off the air). Sadly, though, I have no change on the scale to show for it.  I will continue in the battle and kick it up a notch because, let's face it, I'm no quitter.  It's just a little disheartening.

I really don't like failing and I especially don't like letting people know that I have failed.  I guess I can try to look for some positives, though.  I have been eating better and that alone is a success, right?  Hydrating my body is never a bad thing and moving around more is good for me too.  Ok, there are some positives.  I'm gonna keep going.  We will see what happens.  If nothing else, I am setting a good example for the girlies with making better food choices.  Yeah, that's it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Fixing Dinner Boredom

Lately, I have been so freaking BORED with my dinner making options!  We have a handful of things we cook for dinner and I am tired of making them!  Burritos, enchiladas, pasta, Hamburger Helper(I really don't like Hamburger Helper), hot dogs, etc...It's the same every week...So, this week the hubby and I decided that we are going to make 5 new things and 2 things we don't make very often.

We went shopping yesterday and got the ingredients for the week.  I am so excited!!  I'll be sharing on here.

Last night, Hubby made HOMEMADE RAVIOLIS!!!!!  That's right!  Well, we don't have a pasta maker so it's not as homemade as it could have been, but it was GREAT!  He used wonton wrappers for the outside.  Inside he used ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, salt, pepper, and spinach!  Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!!

                                                                             Ravioli!!!

For a sauce, since I was beyond bored with regular tomato pasta sauce(we usually get Prego and then Hubby changes it to fit our palates), we decided to do an Alfredo.  Now, Alfredo is tricky and he was already going to be hand making the raviolis, so we figured we could get a jarred Alfredo and mess with it a little.  We added sun dried tomatoes that had been soaked in olive oil and had some garlic bread to go with the meal.  It was SOOOOOOOOO good!!!!!

Anyway, that was our first dinner experiment and it went over really well!!  The whole family loved it!!  I can't wait for the rest of the week!!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Guns and Science!!

This weekend was pretty great!  Miss A was on some restriction(no TV or cellphone and limited access to friends, click here to learn why), but she handled it really well.  She kept a good attitude and we all had fun.

On Saturday, Dad and I took Miss A shooting!!  CC is not old enough or calm enough to be at the shooting range so she went to a friend's house.  I'm sure she would have liked that better anyway, seeing as how she is not a fan of anything loud(except herself...lol).  So, we went shooting.  There is an outdoor range about 40 minutes from our house that Dad and I really like, so we took her there.


She did really well!  She got to shoot Dad's .22 rifle and was a pretty good shot considering it was her first time!


We wanted to let her shoot my pistol(it's a .22 PINK sig!!) but, sigh, there were a TON of people there and we weren't able to get a lane.  Next time!

On Sunday, I was able to help Miss A run the first test for her science experiment!!  It took about 3 hours and we get to do it 2 more times(have to make sure that the results are consistent, don't-cha know...).  It was pretty fun and she kept an AWESOME attitude for the whole thing!!  I can't say much about it(classified, you know) but it was super cool to see Miss A scientifically testing something to answer a question.  =)

When we had down time, we were shooting airsoft guns in the backyard.  Yay!  CC got to shoot too!  Of course, my hand was on the gun with hers the whole time...there is not much kick to an airsoft pistol(I have a Beretta), but to a six year old who has never shot before, ANY kick is a lot...lol.  Miss A labeled her target with the names of the stupid boys from school(okay, most of them are not stupid, but whatever) and was a pretty good shot!  She hit the target almost every time!  CC managed to hit her target about half the time, even though she was really sure how to aim!  I am pretty impressed with my girlies and their first times with guns this weekend!

Miss A got her TV back late Sunday evening.  I explained that she was getting it back because she had shown a LOT of improvement in her attitude and her ability to be trusted over the weekend.  She is still aware that one false step will get her a mommy chaperone at school for a day, but I think she may have gotten the message, at least for now.

Anyway, we had an awesome weekend!!  How was yours?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Flashback Fridays ep. 3

I recently wrote a post called, How I Became A Mom and I feel as though I may have inadvertently mislead you.  I stopped the story when I had Miss A.  The reality is that the story continues beyond that.  I was not a perfect mother after I had Miss A.  After I stopped breastfeeding, I continued to party.  It was not to the extent that I had before, but it was still irresponsible.  I held a job and paid the bills, but I was not an active mother.  I left her with my parents a lot and had friends over when I couldn't go out.  This continued until I got pregnant with CC.

When I got pregnant with CC, I immediately stopped all the partying.  We had been trying to get pregnant and so I was prepared.  The pregnancy with CC was pretty uneventful in regards to this line of history telling.  It was after I had her that things got crappy again.

Somewhere along the line I had grown discontent with my life.  Now, we all do that from time to time and I realize that now, but at the time I had no idea how to handle that.  I slipped into the old behaviors that I had before I got pregnant with Miss A.  I began to use meth again.  I know, stupid choice.  Things got out of control pretty quickly.  I was absent from my kids' lives even when I was present.  I lost who I was, who I was supposed to be.  There was little and then no tolerance from my husband and I rapidly found myself on the verge of losing everything.

Luckily, I had run into some people right about the same time as everything went to shit, that said they could help me get my life back together.  I took them up on their offer.  I was 24 by now and needed to grow up.  I needed to be a mother to my children and a wife to my husband.  I needed to be who I was meant to be in life, a good person.

It took a LOT of work, but I got my shit together.  I hung out with different people in difference places and did different things.  I started my life over.  I became a better mother.  I became a better wife.  I became the person that I wanted to be.  I went back to school and got my AA.  I took and take an active part in my children's lives and in my life.  The road for me has not been super easy, and honestly I don't think I would appreciate it as much if it had been.  I know that I am fully capable of screwing everything up really fast, but I also know, now, that I am fully capable of dealing with everything that life has to offer, both good and bad.

I take an active role in my daughters' lives.  I am FAR from perfect, but as long as I try my hardest everyday, and always remember where I came from and how I got to where I am, things will be okay.

If you missed the previous Flashback Fridays, find them here:

Flashback Fridays ep. 1
Flashback Fridays ep. 2

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Middle Schoolers Suck

I recently posted this as my Facebook status:

"Kids are stupid, blog post coming to explain...ugh"

Well, here is the explanation:

Miss A did something that got her phone taken away for the moment.  I'm not sure exactly what it was, but when I got involved her phone was in Dad's pocket.  I guess Dad had read her recent text messages(as is our right and responsibility as parents) and found one that a boy(guess who? That's right, D) had sent her. (If you don't know who D is, read about it here.)  It was asking if she had broken up with a boy we will call M, yet.  Um, excuse me?  I could have sworn that we had said NO DATING...  So Dad asks the obvious first question: Who is M?

Miss A immediately says she has no idea who that person is.  Now, I remember that name from previous talks, so I am not quite sure what she hoped to accomplish there.  Of course I called her out on it.  By this time I have looked at the text message in question.  She admits that he is a boy in another class and that she does know him, but has NO idea why D would be asking her that.

Dad and I break it down for her:  There is no reason for D to be asking her if she broke up with M unless she is or was recently going out with him.  ALSO, the only reason that D is interested in whether or not she broke up with M is because he wants to get back together and something she has said has led him to the conclusion that she will.  Our guess was that she began dating M right before Christmas Break and that her and D had talked over break about her breaking up with him.  This was the first day back at school and so D wanted to know if she had made good on her word.

Obviously, Miss A denies it ALL.  Bullshit.  We continue to ask and let her know that we know that she is lying.  She's not giving it up.  We explain that we can indiscriminately start handing down consequences until she tells the truth.  We can call the teacher and figure it out.  We can do a number of things to find the truth, but we would rather hear it from her.  She still denies everything.  So I send her to do her school project so Dad and I can talk.

Now, I'm holding her phone in my hand.  What is the easiest way to get to the root of a problem?  Go straight to the source.  If the source won't open up, you go to the person who notified you of the problem in the first place.  Yes, I did it.  I texted back to D as Miss A.  I know, very, well, middle school...BUT it can also be classified as "creative parenting" or "investigative parenting".  I prefer the latter 2.  Whatever.  It worked.

I found out everything I wanted to know.  And not in some sneaky tricky way(for the most part).  I did purport myself to be Miss A, but I spelled shit right and I asked COMPLETELY OBVIOUS questions.  Things like:
Who told you I was going out with M?
Did I ever tell you I was going out with M?
Did I say I was going to break up with M?
When did I say that?

Come on, son!  That is so obviously a parent.  At the very least, it's NOT Miss A.

Anyway, after I get all the info I call Miss A into the room(mind you, we have come inside at this point and she has been hearing her phone go off for 10 minutes or so.  I'm sure she was freaking out while doing her project).  I let her know that she has one more chance to tell me "the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you, God."  Yes, sometimes I have to entertain myself while I am parenting, otherwise I might go nuts.  She FINALLY confesses and says that everything we said was true.

Phone? Gone.  TV? Gone. 15 minute lecture? You bet your ass.

I also explained that if she cannot be trusted with time away from her parents at school, then I can go ahead and sit in school with her.  I'm not working right now.  I have nothing but time. One more screw up and I'm there.  Right next to her.  All freaking day.

Funniest part though was what she said after it was all over: "It scared me so much when Dad knew everything that had happened."  lmfao  We know everything!  Between Dad and I, we have done every single thing that either of our kids could ever think of to do and we will use that to our advantage.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Remembering Why I'm Here

The girlies are off to school this morning and it's kind of bittersweet.  We had kind of a rough start to the vacation, but we finished up real nice and, as much as I enjoy my alone time, I'm gonna miss having them around during the day.

We started the vacation with crappy attitudes and disrespect.  I think they had a hard time not having the normal schedule to abide by.  Last week I went to our usual Tuesday night activity.  Well, the parents' usual Tuesday night activity.  The kids go to a sitter.  Anyway, Dad and I go to a local hangout for trivia on Tuesdays.  It's nice.  It gives us the opportunity to just be adults.  It's at a bar, but neither Dad nor I drink so it's a nice hangout time with our friends.

So, last Tuesday I was so amazingly super uber-frustrated with my girls.  Seriously, they were completely disrespectful and ungrateful and, well, just plain horrible!  I bitched and moaned and complained to a good friend and she gave me the best advice ever(you ready for this?):     

It's ok to be a bitch!

I have spent so much time explaining things and reasoning with my kids that I somehow lost the "I'm the mom and I said so" idea.  I forgot that I am the parent and so I win.  Hands down.  Every time.  I was so worried about whether or not my kids "liked" me that I wasn't being a good parent.  The reality is that if my kids don't hate me sometimes, I am probably not doing it right.

What sparked all this was a dinner outing.  We were all out to eat with Dad's parents.  It was nice, but CC managed to not eat her food, crawl around on the floor, and outright defy me when I told her she needed to sit down and be quiet because there are other people in the restaurant that do NOT want to hear or see her acting like that.  I was simply appalled at her behavior.  Miss A's was more subtle, but it was full of teenage attitude.  Ugh!

After my talk with my good friend, I realized that I need to be a little harder on my kids.  Sometimes the answer IS "because I said so."  It's ok for my kids to go up to their rooms and stay there till their attitudes improve, even if it takes a long time.  They need to understand that I am to be listened to and respected, and I need to tolerate nothing less.

Don't get me wrong, there is a LOT of love there, too.  All of it is done with love, but it needs to be done.  My job as a parent is not to make sure that my kids are happy every second of the day, or to see to it that they get everything they want.  My job, my primary purpose as a parent, is to make sure that my girls grow up into good grown ups!

I think a lot of parents forget that and try so hard to make sure that the kids are happy all the time.  God forbid they get their feelings hurt sometimes.  I mean, everything, from winner-less sports to letting them "co-sleep" as long as they want.  I hate that term by the way, "co-sleep".  Do you have any idea how much damage that does to a kid?!?!?!  Yeah, it may keep them from crying in the short run, but the separation anxiety in the long run is SO not worth it, unless you have hundreds of thousands of dollars to throw away on therapy, that is.  <------That is SO completely another post for another time.

My point is that all this supposed "protecting" we do for our kids sure does keep them happy and quiet for now, but it absolutely, positively, will NOT turn them into good grown ups.  And that's OUR responsibility.  We have to teach them NOW how to function later.  I'm correcting my mistakes.  Actually, by a few days later, my girls were all about respect and CC has almost completely stopped throwing fits.  Miss A has switched her attitude up and when she falters she knows that it's straight to her room until she can correct it.  Zero tolerance, but with a TON of love.

This is just my opinion and how I raise my kids.  How do you deal with your kids' attitude problems?