And I thought boys were bad...

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

Monday, April 30, 2012

Hubbys Have Birthdays Too

I am a huge fan of birthdays.  Well, I am a huge fan of MY birthday.  I love to make my birthday into a week long festival.  What?  Your birthday isn't a week long?  I'm sorry.  Maybe I was told I was special too often as a kid, I don't know.  All I know is that since my birthday is special, my family's birthdays should be, too.  This has been hard with Hubby because he is pretty much the hardest person to shop for ever!  I mean, it's all I can do to get him to name one thing he wants.  lol  I guess that's good.  He says he is happy with his life and doesn't want much.  I mean, yay, but how in the hell am I supposed to shop for that?  lol

I bring this up because this past weekend we got to celebrate my hubby's birthday!!

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday dear Hubby,
Happy birthday to you!

Hubby has recently become an assistant coach for CC's softball team.  They had a game this weekend, on Hubby's birthday in fact, and they WON!!  We were so happy and proud!  I mean, we are always proud when they try hard and do their best, but this was perfect!  They really took the information they had learned in practices and applied it.  =)  After the game, all the girls sang to Hubby.  It was so sweet!

After the game, Hubby got to go and race grown up go-karts and have a guys' lunch.  =)

I took the family out to dinner at Hubby's favorite restaurant, where I had never eaten before.  It was good food, I'm just not a huge BBQ fan.  I know, blasphemy.  I live in Texas and am not incredibly fond of BBQ...oh well.  I mean, it was good, just not what I would choose.  HE likes it though, and that was the point.  It made him happy on his day.



After dinner we went back to my in-laws' house and ate some of the wonderful cake that my MIL made.

We hung out with some friends after that and had a blast!

I'm really glad that we were able to make Hubby's birthday special.  I <3 him.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Reality TV = Ego Boost

The other night I found myself wanting to watch this horrible reality TV show.  You know the kind, where everyone sucks and lives in outer space as opposed to on Earth with real life issues...The hubby asked me why in the world I wanted to watch it and that got me thinking.  Why did I want to watch it?

I came up with this: To feel better about me.  LOL  I think we all do this(or at least I hope the majority of us do, otherwise I am truly f-ed up).  I think we all need a reality check sometimes.  You know, something to remind us that no matter how bad our lives seem or how crappy our kids act, there are people out there who are worse.  Have worse problems, worse kids, or are just horrible people.  I think sometimes we all need that time to say, "Thank goodness I am not that person!"  And we can't do that by watching the news because we feel insensitive and like horrible people, that would defeat the purpose.

I mean, you can't hear about some mother killing her kids and then think, "well at least I'm not her."  That's messed up cause you have to think about the kids and how awful it must have been for them.  Plus there's the anger and all the other emotions that come up.  It's just not right.

That's where reality TV comes in.  It's ok to sit and watch THOSE idiots be idiots and be grateful you are not them.  It's ok to see someone else's kids act a fool and think to yourself, "man!  I am so glad my kids aren't like that" or "I'm glad I am a better parent than that."

So here is a list of shows I watch simply to make me feel better about myself:

SuperNanny


Wife Swap


The Bachelor


The Bachelorette


Any of the Kardashian shows

and the one I was watching when this whole thing came up...

Toddlers and Tiaras

Do you watch any of these?  What shows do you watch when you need to feel a little superior?  Or am I just a really, really, bad person?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Creative Parenting

I am a huge fan of creative parenting.  I use this with my kids all the time.  Let me explain.  There are the normal parenting consequences, the go-to stuff, like grounding, taking stuff away, time-out, etc.  Now, while I use these, I much prefer to use methods that are unexpected and relate to the infraction(and the motivation) in a creative way.

See, I have worked with kids that have a hard time with consequences.  Kids that consequences really don't do much for.  It's important in those situations to be creative with the way you address a problem.  Instead of sending a kid to his/her room for a time-out, they can write a few paragraphs about what they did, how they felt, why their actions were wrong, and how they will do it differently next time that feeling comes up.  I try to apply these same tactics with my kids.

I feel like I need to define somethings first: consequence and punishment.  A consequence is something that directly relates to the infraction and allows for a learning experience.  A punishment is punitive in nature and does not foster learning, only cause and effect.  In my experience, punishments tend to make children more sneaky.  This is not to say that I do not get tired and just hand out punishments, sometimes I do.  Sometimes it's all I can do.  I'm not perfect and that's okay.  Mostly, though, I try to make the consequence mean something.

Recently, Miss A has been having a hard time with some rules.  She swore once at home and once in class, she decided it would be a good idea to skip her after school activity and not tell anyone(or lie about what really happened), and she thought it would be appropriate to write a letter to a boy about how much she "misses" him and whatnot.  Mind you this is a boy who has been mean to her in the past.  All of these things are outside the acceptable behavior for a 10 year old, in our opinion.  Hubby actually came up with these and I absolutely love them(and they are working out nicely!

Consequences: Loss of TV, Radio, Phone, and DS                   

Relation to Behavior: She watches TV shows that hint at swearing, listens to light hip-hop music, should not be communicating in an unobserved fashion if she is going to abuse it, and should spend this time thinking about her behavior rather than playing video games.

Motivation for behavior: low self esteem(and defiance, which has already been addressed above).

How Consequences Foster More Self Esteem: Miss A can earn one of the 4 items she lost back each week with good behavior and showing respect for herself(She gets rewarded for good behavior).  Being that her allowance in behavior based and she is already earning back her things with good behavior, we cannot also pay her for it, so she will earn allowance during these 4 weeks, but she will not receive it.  At the end of the 4 weeks she will be able to choose a charity to donate her allowance to so that she can do something good for someone else(the best way to build self esteem is to do esteem-able things.  Helping someone else is a great way to do that).

I also attended school with her for a few hours one day.  This was meant to show her that home and school are not as separate as she would like to think and that school is a freedom.  If she cannot be trusted to use that freedom wisely to follow our rules, we can attend and remind her of them.  This did not get the desired effect.  She liked having me there and one of her teachers used this time to show me what a great student she is most of the time.  I am very glad that my kid is not embarrassed by me, because I know it's coming, and that she is such a good student most of the time.  I think this part showed me that I have a pretty good kid who made some mistakes.  So this one ended up being a learning experience for me. =)

Do you come up with creative consequences?  What have you done?  I can always use new ideas. =)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Giving It All Up For Parenthood?

I recently read an article called, "15 Things You Should Give Up To Be A Happy Parent" and honestly, I was more than a little upset by it.  There were some good suggestions on there, like smoking and being less careful.  Of course, you need to take better care of yourself after you become a parent.  Hypocrite alert: I smoke.  Ok, now to return you to your regularly scheduled reading.

I could talk about how right on this article was on some issues, but you can read it for yourself and decide what you personally agree with.  Right now, I want to rebut a few things.

First, "Personal Space": I don't know about you, but as a parent, if I don't have my personal space I will go nuts!  I did not give up my personal space when I became a parent.  This is a lesson you teach your kids.  That people do not like to have other people on top of them all the time.  If you are not teaching your kids that, I pity their classmates.

Next, we have "Being Alone In The Bathroom": I don't know about you, but I don't allow my kids to come into the bathroom with me.  The only time this happened, was when the were under 5 and we were in public.  Bathroom = no visitors. Period.

"Free Time": Seriously???  I make sure I have my free time.  As a parent, you have to!  Without free time, you don't get to express the adult in you!  It's a very important part of being a good parent.  You have to take time to take care of yourself.  That is an important lesson to instill in your kids.

"Vanity": Ok, I think that this one is just ridiculous.  Of course I am not as vain as I was before I had kids, but really?  I take that 10 minutes to put on some make-up before I leave the house.  It feels good.  This is the image you are projecting to the world and it does matter.

"Staying on Schedule":  This is one that really bothers me.  I hate it when parents use their kids as an excuse to be late to things.  Here's a tip, START EARLIER.

Now, you may agree with me here or you may think that I am a horrible parent for not giving these things up.  Whatever.  It works for me.  I am a happy parent.  Yes, there are those days that suck, that's part of life.  Get over it.  My kids are happy and healthy.  Personally, I feel like I am teaching them important and valuable lessons in life by not giving these things up.

People have this idea that when you become a parent, your life stops.  That's just not true.  It changes.  You don't have to give up the things you love.  It's about moderation and balance.  In my opinion, giving these things up will make you very unhappy.  At least it would for me.

What do you think?  Have you given it all up to be a parent?  How is that working for you?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Family Adventures

This past weekend I got to do something amazing! I got meet my brother! I am 29 years old and I got to meet a brother I just found out I had! How awesome is that? I mean, it's a little Jerry Springer, but mostly it's pretty awesome.

We went to this cool little pizza joint in the city and hung out for a few hours. Let me just tell you, pesto chicken pizza = delicious!! Anyway, it was me and my family, him and his family, and our sister and her family. It was so great to be able to spend time with all this family I didn't even know that I had until a few months ago.

The kids all played together. =) Oh, and apparently, I have a 16 year old nephew(along with 2 other nephews and a niece). But, a SIXTEEN year old nephew? Wow! I mean, that's over half my age! I feel like I have missed out on so much, but at the same time I am so excited to be able to be around for the rest.

Seriously, I love my life.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Siblings Galore =)

This weekend is going to be a great one!  I told you all before about how my family was expanding a bit.  A while back, I found out that I have a sister and a brother.  I met my sister over Christmas Break with the girlies.  This weekend, though, I get to meet my brother!!

How exciting!!!!  When I was younger, I always dreamed and wished that I had an older brother, and now I do!  I was even so convinced at one point that i went looking for him online.  I had a name that I had heard at some point and searched under that.  There was one person with the first name that I thought he had and my last name, so I emailed him.  I got an email back saying that he was not the right person, but that he hoped I found my brother.  After that I had no other real leads so I pretty much gave up.

When I was about 24, I was contacted by my cousin to tell me that I had a younger brother that was named what I thought the older brother was named, so I just attributed it to that.  It was really awesome to find out that I had a younger brother!!  He ended up coming out to California and spending the weekend with us.  It wasn't a great time in my life and I am really glad that he hasn't held that weekend against me...lol

Then a few months ago, when my younger brother came to visit, he told me that he had just found out that we have 2 other siblings!  That led me to contact my sister first and we met up.  The thing is, though, they didn't know that my father was our father until I brought it up.  It was pretty awkward, but as far as I can tell, they have been really accepting about it all.  I mean, there is no reason for them to meet me.  We didn't grow up together, and the only thing that makes us family is blood, but they have been so awesome in wanting to meet me and my family!!

I am so grateful that I get to have them in my life, all 3 of them.  It's weird.  A lot of people have told me that they don't know if they would have the same reaction and other have told me that they have had similar situations where the other siblings didn't want to meet.  Me?  I am super grateful that my/our father was a busy guy.  He has left lots of surprises behind for me to find as an adult.  With each one I feel like I am getting to know him better.  I also get to gain awesome family members, and so do my girlies!  What's there not to be grateful for?  =)  Eventually, we will have to have some kind of serious family get together or something, but for now, I am super happy with the way things are!!  I am super excited for this weekend!!

Monday, April 9, 2012

I'm Kind Of Insane

Confession: I am terrified of spiders.

I have been terrified of spiders as long as I can remember.  It's always been this, kind of, background thing.  I have never really had to deal with it at all.  If there is a spider, there is always someone else who can come and kill it for me.  It's never really interfered with my life in any way.

Since moving to Texas, though...Oh. My. God. It's been ridiculous!  Do you know there are spiders here that are the size of freaking baseballs?  Softballs?  Maybe even soccer balls?!?!  Okay, that last one might be a tiny exaggeration, but it also might not be.  These fuckers are HUGE!

So, where we live our backyard borders a field.  Lots of animals and mice and snakes and bugs and SPIDERS live in the field.  The problem is that the fence between my yard and the field is not a barrier to these spiders!  They live underground and have decided to take up residence in my backyard.  Ok, to be fair, they were probably here before we moved in, but it's my backyard now so they should leave, right?

Now, spiders outside = avoidable.  I just don't have to go outside at night, which is when those creepy little fuckers come out.  I've done that and had problems, so it's something I avoid.  One time, I was here and Hubby was at his dad's house.  The kids were here with me.  Our puppy needed to go potty(yes, I'm really a mom. I use the word potty) so I opened the back door to let her out.  There, on the door jamb, at eye level, was the biggest freaking spider I have ever seen in my entire life!!  I slammed the door(with the dog outside) and ran to the opposite end of the house, freaking out.  I called the Hubby and told him what happened and that the dog was trapped outside because there was no way in hell I was opening that door again.  He suggested I go around the side of the house and get the dog through the side gate.  Um, that giant spider could be running around the backyard now and there would be no way of me knowing where it was.  Not a option.

Miss A and her friend(who was staying the night) went outside, looked for the spider, and let the dog in.  I wouldn't go near the dog until she had been thoroughly checked for spiders.  I wouldn't hug Miss A because it might have climbed on her...etc(yes, bad mom, whatever).  Mind you, I had a friend on the phone for most of this and she thought it was hilarious...Hubby came home, found the spider outside and shot it to smithereens with his airsoft pistol.  My hero.

So, ok, no backyard after dark, easy enough.  The weather got colder, winter came and the spiders went into hiding.  My guard went down.  Now it's Spring.  They're back.

So far, we have had 3-4 spiders in our house, at least one of which was a wolf spider, the kind that get to be the size of a softball.  I check rooms before I go in them, I have a hard time going to sleep because there might be one I don't see.  Every little skin twitch sends me out of my almost-sleep status to wide awake and I have to check to make sure they are not on me.  I see them when I close my eyes to go to sleep...it's bad.

Miss A has offered to nominate me for that show called, "My Extreme Animal Phobia."  They do immersion therapy.  Um, no thanks.  I'm usually pretty good about keeping my unrealistic fears to myself, you know the parts about things crawling on me and seeing them when I am trying to sleep but, seriously...this shit is getting out of hand.

Yes, I'm kind of insane...

Friday, April 6, 2012

It's KIDS' Sports

I feel like I need to say something before I really get into my post here.  I think sports are an important part of a child's life.  I think that sports teach them so many wonderful and needed lessons about life in general.  They get taught how to stick it out when they don't feel like it because they made a commitment and need to follow through.  They learn how it feels to complete something.  They learn what it's like to have other people depend on them and what it's like to depend on other people.  They are taught how to win graciously and how to lose with dignity.  They are taught how to work together and still strive for individual excellence.  These are all valuable lessons.

That being said, since CC has been playing softball I have seen just how seriously some of these parents take kids' sports and I find it to be appalling.  Calling every little mistake that any of these girls make, yelling at umpires and coaches, etc...it all seems like a bit much to me.  I mean, setting the girls up to take extra bags in the hopes that the umpire won't call it is a little ridiculous, if you ask me.

Call me weird, but I think the girls should be taught the fundamentals and then be allowed to play the game within the rules that have been laid out.  They don't need to learn how to get away with taking extra bags.  They don't need to learn how to stand in the baseline to make the runner go out of their way to avoid them.  They don't need to learn all the tricky crap yet.  They need to learn the game.

And, by the way, IT'S A GAME.  More than that, IT'S A KIDS' GAME.  These are six year old girls, for pete's sake!  Let 'em have fun.  Why do we need to make the game MORE competitive?  One team will win and one team will lose.  That's competition.  We don't need to introduce all the tricky crap that older kids and grown ups pull.

Also, let me just say here that as an adult, poking fun at a six year old is disgusting.  I have seen a couple coaches having a good old laugh at kids when they fall down or don't hit the ball.  Now, this is not the adult laughter that often happens when a child makes a mistake.  I laugh when my kids do something like that, too.  This is the mean laughter that bullies express when someone they dislike is hurt.  It's not okay.  I think the adults need to take a chill pill and relax. 

As for me?  I'm just going to sit back and watch these silly adults lose it over a game.  I know my kid is doing her best and that she has a great team with awesome coaches.

It is KIDS' sports after all!  =)


Monday, April 2, 2012

6 Months!! Wow!!

Ya know, when I started this blog I was having a lot of trouble with parenting my kids through certain situations.  I had Miss A and her boy dramas.  I had CC and her fit throwing.  I had my own patience issues that I was trying desperately to deal with, and my own crow to eat.  I started this blog 6 months ago, and I find that when it comes to writing about what is going on in my life, I have a much more positive slant.

I started this blog to keep friends and family updated as to how life is going for us.  After moving halfway across the country, I needed some way to stay in touch.  Now, though that is still a main goal(as evident by my usual Monday posts about our weekends), it's not the only one.  When I have issues with parenting, I have people I can ask.  When I need a place to vent, I have it.  When I feel like there is a larger issue that I want to speak my mind on and inform people about, I have a place to do it.

Blogging has allowed me a real medium for working through things on a personal basis.  I was always told to write a journal and I did, as a teenager.  I tell my kids to write in a diary if there is something they don't think they can talk about or something that they need to bounce around in their head for a minute before saying out loud.  The problem is that, like most advice I give, it's a lot easier to tell someone else to do it than to do it myself.  This blog has given me a way to be accountable for things.  I write 2x a week, minimum.  It's a way to stay grounded.  When I write my feet are on the ground and I get to see what is going on in my mind in black and white.  I get to read it back and say, "hey, now.  You are doing a little too much there" or "you need to do more."

I am so grateful to all of you who have been reading and sharing in my journey thus far.  I don't know if I would have continued if I knew no one was on the other end.  You hold me accountable.  I feel icky if I don't post.  I feel good when I do.  Thank you for being here and celebrating my life with me.


Happy 6 Month Blogaversary to you and to me!!