And I thought boys were bad...

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

Friday, May 25, 2012

Summer Activities For Kids

To All Parents and Caregivers of Children:

We all know summer is coming.  It's that dreaded time of year where we just know that 2 weeks in we will be bombarded with "I'm bored!" and "There's nothing to do!"  I know, I've been there every summer since my kids started school.  In my opinion, it's always best to have a plan.  That's what I have done this year and I am hoping it will save me from some of the whining.  We are going to make up a calender so that my girls know what to expect each day. 

I know it's hard to find things for kids to do during the summer that don't cost an arm and a leg so I figured I'd share the things we are planning to do to give you ideas!

1) Library Day- Our local library has a summer reading program.  Most do.  Ours is giving away free tickets to the circus and a free book from Barnes and Noble as prizes for reading a certain amount of books!  I love this kind of thing because it's totally free and it keeps the kids learning over the summer.

2) Cheap Summer Movies- Our local Cinemark theater is offering 10 movies this summer for $1 per ticket!  These programs usually have movies shown early in the day on weekdays, but if you need to get the kids out of the house it's a great deal!  Remember to get there early and expect a crowd.  Here is one link that has some info on theaters offering this program this summer.
  
3) Free Bowling- I just registered my girls to receive 2 free games of bowling each week on KidsFreeBowl.com!!  There is a parent pass available for around $30.  There are locations all over the country so click the link and select the city closest to you or where you want to bowl.  It's free to sign up and if you share the link with others they can enter your email address as a referral and your kids can win prizes!

4) Cheap Half-Day Camps- I have found, at least around here, that if you check with your local churches you can usually find a cheap half day summer program.  They usually only last for a few days and are subject specific.  We have some for cooking, art, and of course vacation bible school.  You don't have to be of that religion or a member of the church to enjoy the camps.  Unless you choose a vacation bible school they usually won't bring their beliefs into it a whole lot.  Keep in mind that their goal is to keep the kids and parents happy so they can continue their camps.


What are you doing with your kids this summer?  Do you have any free/cheap ideas to  add to this list?  I'd love to hear them!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Happy Chaos

Man!  This past week has been freaking busy!!!  It's the beginning of the end of the school year for my girls, it's the end of softball for CC, it's the VERY beginning of cheer madness...It's been insane!

Let's start at the beginning.  On Monday CC had her second to last softball game and....THEY WON!!  Yay!!  They even got 3 outs in one innings without giving up a run!  =)  Super proud Mama here.  After the game, though, there was some fun stuff to deal with.  See, we have been having some of our girls roll the ball sometimes.  Now, we only have them do that if they are at pitcher or second and getting the ball to first.  Reason?  These are 6 year olds...we don't want anyone getting hit in the head.  It seemed like an unnecessary risk.  Problem?  Apparently it's considered against the rules.  Well, only to some.  We have been doing this all season and no one had an issue till that game.  I'd like to point out again, though, that it's kids' softball...

Tuesday, we have a grown up outing.  The kids stay with a sitter and Mom and Dad get be adults for a little while.  It was nice.

Wednesday, we were supposed to have our final practice, but it turned out that the baseball kids had some games to make up.  They needed our field so we cancelled practice.  Turned out nice since it was the only real day off during the week.

Thursday was absolutely insane.  CC had her final softball game(against the team who brought up the rolling the ball thing).  We had talked to the girls and informed them that we could not roll the ball anymore.  We had a few times where the girls forgot, but we just kept reminding them.  They got the hang of it pretty quick.  Remember, we did not have a practice in between these two games to go over it in depth and break the habit.  The girls played a great game and WON despite the change in the way they needed to play!!  They put up 3 outs in one inning to end it.  =)

The thing with Thursday, though, was that Miss A had a choir performance that she needed to be at...DURING CC's game.  Dad went with her and CC and I were supposed to meet them there as soon as the game was over.  Problem?  Dad took the car keys with him.  lol  Simple mistake, but I was sad that I wouldn't be able to see Miss A perform that night.

Friday was Miss A's last school dance.  She had earned back 2 of her 4 electronics so we decided that she could go.  I'm glad.  I really didn't want her to miss that.  I also experimented with chilli on Friday.  Let me just say: It was pretty damn tasty!

Saturday we went swimming at home, where they girls got invited to a birthday party that was going on at the pool.  FUN!  Then, we had CC's end of the season pool party with her team.  After that, the girls headed off to their grandparents' house and Dad and I went to hang out with some friends.  Yes, grown up time is needed after a kid activity filled week(that was not over yet)!

Sunday was CC's awards ceremony.  It was fun.  The only issue I had was that they started with the oldest kids and worked their way down to the youngest.  I think this is a really crappy way of doing things.  I mean, have you ever tried to keep eight 6 year olds calm for an hour and a half while they are waiting to get trophies?  Not easy.  BUT our girls got first in their division!!!  Yay!!!  We spent the rest of the afternoon lounging around the house and watching STOMP LIVE.

All the while, the girls are doing a fundraiser to raise money for cheer.  I'm not sure I need to say this, but I will anyway.  I am really glad that last week is over.  I mean, it was fun, but it was SUPER busy. =)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Things No One Tells You When You're Pregnant

I have come up with a list of stuff I wish someone had told me when I was pregnant.  Please feel free to add to it with your own observations and knowledge.

1) The "glow" you get is from all the sweat from being too hot or throwing up all the time. With Miss A I threw up for the first 5 months and felt nauseous for the last 5.

2) Morning sickness isn't just in the morning.  I swear a man came up with this whole "morning sickness" name.  It is not just in the morning.  It's ALL FREAKING DAY and ALL FREAKING NIGHT.  Fair warning: if you can't be near a bathroom, keep a bowl close.

3) Actually "eating for two" WILL make you fat.  And there is no reason to do it.  I mean, sure splurging every once in a while and using the "I'm pregnant" thing is fun, but reality is that your baby will get all the nutrients it needs from the food that you eat.  Your body takes care of that baby first and you second.  As long as you are eating the right foods, there is no need to eat a ton.


4) There comes a point when you can no longer sleep on your stomach.  Now, this seems like a no brainer and maybe that's why no one mentions it, but if you are like me and LOVE LOVE LOVE to sleep on your stomach, this is information you need to know.  Practice sleeping another way so that when the time comes you are still able to sleep.

5) You are uncomfortable the majority of the time. Between the nausea, the throwing up, the growing around the mid-section, and the child moving inside(wedging his or her little foot into your ribs, back, and bladder) being pregnant is no picnic.

6) You get incredibly horny and then incredibly not.  The mood swings are something everyone talks about.  You know, happy and joyful one second and crying because you will never be a good enough mother the next.  No one tells you that throughout the day you will feel like you want to jump on your partner one second and then feel as though you are the most disgusting elephant-sized thing on the planet in the very next second.

7) Contractions don't stop just because the baby is out.  Contractions actually last for at least the first few days after you have your child.  This is your uterus getting back to the right size.  It's also a great way for your body to clear out all the extra blood and fluids that are built up to keep baby comfortable.

8) Your feet can grow up to one full shoe size.  This one may not be so bad...you get to go shoe shopping!


9) Picking a name can be really stressful! With Miss A I was the only one I needed to worry about pleasing with the name(well, and her of course), but with CC...it took forever!!  We went back and forth on 2 names for about a month before she was born!  I wanted one name, he wanted another.  The decision was finally made when I was in labor and in pain.  He looked at me, knowing there was nothing he could do to stop the pain and asked me if I really liked my choice of name.  I told him I did, and he said, "Then that's what her name will be."


10) It's not really 9 months!  Pregnancy lasts 40 weeks.  Count them.  Do the math.  40 weeks at about 4 weeks per month is actually 10 months.


11) You will, most likely, poop on your baby.  Yes, think about it.  When you are giving birth, you are pushing, right?  Pushing.  Most of the time, when you are pushing out that little bundle of joy, you are also pushing out a little bundle of crap.  Beware: You will poop in front of the doctor, nurses, your man(or woman), and anyone else who may be in the room.

12) You don't HAVE TO breast feed. Yes, breastfeeding is the most natural way to feed your child.  It is good for them.  The cholostrom helps to build up their digestive system and immune system and your breast milk has a TON of nutrients.  This is why I recommend TRYING it, but by NO means should you torture yourself to make it happen.  This is supposed to be a bonding experience for you and your child.  How much bonding are you going to be doing if you are crying when it's time to feed your child because it hurts too much?  If you have given it a good try, have gotten help from a nurse, and it still hurts and is not working, let it go.  They make formula for a reason.

Please feel free to add to this list or debate my points.  I always welcome your input.  =)

Update: Input from friends:

Hot flashes!!
Leg cramps!!
Morning sickness COMES BACK in the last couple months!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Kids and Swearing

We have had a little problem with Miss A swearing lately.  Yes, my 10 year old thinks she is all "growed up" and that it's ok for her to swear...um, no.  We have been battling and I think we, the parents, are finally winning(ask me tomorrow, though...).  That's not what I want to write about here, though.  What I want to address is the responses I got when I either asked for help, or when people offered it unsolicited.

I got the usual, "put soap in her mouth" response which I haven't done and don't think I ever will.  It's fun to think about, but I remember the taste of soap and I really don't want to do that to my kid.  Yes, it stopped me from swearing around my parents, but it didn't teach me to respect them and it sure as hell didn't stop me from swearing when they couldn't hear me.  Also, apparently it's borderline abuse and I really don't want to have to defend my parenting to the state.  I also got the "take everything away" and "ground her little butt" which we did.  These suggestions are all well and good and were given with the idea that it is up to the individual parent to decide.

There was one suggestion, though, that kept popping up and was suggested so harshly that it really pissed me off.  I got it from a few different people and each of them pushed it with such veracity that it was seriously irritating.  The suggestion was for the adults in the house to stop swearing.

Before we get to my feelings on this, we need to go over a premise.  I do not believe that fuck, shit, ass, hell, damn, bitch, etc and all their variations are "bad words."  My belief is that they are adult words that have a time and a place to be used.  We don't use them at work.  We don't use them at school.  We don't use them in church or at a funeral(hopefully...lol).  We know when it is ok to use them and when it is not.  They are not "bad," they are simply adult.

That brings me to my belief regarding the adults not swearing so that the kids don't swear.  Now, I get the whole "setting a good example" thing and I'm down for that.  Here's the thing, though.  There are plenty of things that adults do that 10 year olds can't.  We drive, some of us drink alcohol, we vote, we watch R rated movies...etc.  There is a distinction, though, in all of those things.  They are for adults, not children.  Should I not drive because my 10 year old can't?  If I drank, should I not have a beer or 2 after work because my kid can't?  No.  That's silly.  We simply tell the kids that these things are not for them.

For me, it's the same with swearing.  This is just something that my kids are not allowed to do yet.  And why can't they do it yet?  Well, for the same reason that they can't drink yet.  They are not old enough to know how to do it responsibly.  I mean, there are other consequences for drinking(like death if you ingest too much), but I feel like they fall into the responsible part.  Responsible people don't drink and drive.  Responsible people don't swear at work.  Responsible people don't die of alcohol poisoning because they know when to stop.  Responsible people don't get in trouble for swearing at school.

My beliefs about swearing fit into my larger scope of parenting theories.  I think I would be doing my kids a disservice if I shielded them from swear words.  They need to see when it's appropriate to use these words and when it's not.  Otherwise they will have to learn as an adult when they get fired for telling a customer or their boss to "fuck off."  I am not raising obedient children.  My kids are going to break the rules.  They are going to get in trouble.  I want them to learn ALL this stuff before they get to be adults in the real world and have to deal with real world consequences.  They can make these mistakes with the parental safety net and learn from them.

What are your beliefs on this topic?  Please remember that beliefs are OPINIONS and that opinions, by definition, are not right or wrong.  They are simply opinions and it is up to each individual parent on how they get to raise their kids because, well, they're THEIR kids.

Friday, May 11, 2012

It's The Little Stuff

Just when I think that I have entered the world of having a preteen girl and all the hell that comes with, Miss A surprises me.  This morning she got all ready for school.  It was time to head out to the bus stop and she ran, like she always does to meet up with her friend.  This time though, she yelled "I love you, Mommy!" as she crossed the street.  That was awesome!  I mean her friend is right there and she called me Mommy.  =)  That, right there, is so cool.

That wasn't it though.  I few minutes later she came running back across the street.  I'm thinking she forgot something.  I asked her if she forgot her lunch.  She says "no" and full force hugs me and says, "I'll see you after school!"

What an awesome kid!  As soon as I am ready to throw in the towel on the "little girl who loves her mommy" years, she surprises me with a show of public affection.  She gives me such hope for the future of our relationship, which I am absolutely terrified will  be like every horror story you hear about moms and teenage daughters.  She makes me think it might not be that bad.

I have awesome kids.  =D  Proud Mama here!  It really is the little stuff that makes it all worth it.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Internet Kids

WARNING: THIS POST IS GOING TO BE FULL OF JUDGEMENT.  NO MATTER HOW I PHRASE IT, THOUGH, IT'S STILL JUST MY OPINION.  YOU DON'T HAVE TO AGREE AND I'D LIKE TO HEAR YOUR OPINION, EVEN IF YOU DON'T.

I have noticed a serious upswing in the amount of kids I see with Facebook pages.  This seems so freaking ridiculous to me!  I mean, really, with all the crap that kids have to deal with today why do parents think that giving them access to every person in the whole wide world is a good idea?  That's what it is.  Access to every person in the whole wide world.  More than that, though, it's giving everyone is the whole wide world access to YOUR KID.  Perverts, kidnappers...etc.  Why, with all the trouble you go through to protect them from the crap that goes on, would you then say, "kid meet world, world meet kid."

No, my kids do not have Facebook, Myspace, Friendster, Twitter, Pinterest, or any kind of accounts.  Seriously, it's stupid.  Adults are taken advantage of on the internet.  Adults, with their much higher knowledge of how the world works.  Why, oh why, are there kids on Facebook?  Also, let me just put this out there: Facebook has an age requirement.  I am pretty sure if you are under 13 you cannot even GET a Facebook account(I may be wrong).  If this is true, then all you parents who are allowing your 10, 11, and 12 year olds to have profiles are LYING about their age.  Is this something you want to teach your kid?  To lie about his or her age?  I mean, that's going to be a problem anyway.  14 year old girls pretend to be 16 all the friggin time.  I know I did.  And when I was 16 I was pretending to be 21.  And I didn't even have parents who lied about my age to allow me access to every pervert in the whole wide world.

I mean, they have enough to worry about in school and after school in their own town.  My concern here, because I have daughters is mostly about girls(I know there are issues with boys, too, but I don't know those).  Girls are freaking mean in middle school and high school.  I know, I was a mean girl in middle school and high school.  These kids have enough on their plate without having to deal with online bullying, too.

Seriously people.  Get a freaking grip.  Kids do not belong on social networks that are meant for adults!  Anyone can pretend to be anyone on the internet.  Watch the film Catfish if you don't believe me.  This was a full grown man who was tricked.  You think your 11 year old is smarter than him?

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Drama Of Getting Ready Too Early

Getting ready to leave the house is tricky as hell.  It has been for me my whole life.  If I get ready too soon, I scrutinize what I am wearing, my make-up, my hair, etc, change and re-do everything then am not satisfied with that and end up leaving the house feeling like I should have left myself alone after I originally got ready.  If I get ready too late then I am rushed and feel like I forgot something, and I'm usually right.  I have worked on this as an adult and have learned that if I simply don't stand in front of a mirror I won't find things to scrutinize.  I have developed quite a bit more self esteem and don't feel the need to scrutinize much anymore.  It's also died down quite a bit since I have had kids to get ready in the morning or whenever we are leaving the house.  I don't have quite as much time to focus on me(it's a good thing in this instance...lol).

What I have noticed, though, is that I am having a hard time with CC and timing her getting ready to leave the house.  I mean, she doesn't do the whole, "I don't like what I am wearing so I need to change or fix my hair..." stuff.  What she does, though, I'd almost welcome that other battle...

She gets ready and if it's not within about 10 minutes before we leave the house, she begins to get in a foul-ass mood.  She wants to start projects(big, long ones) when we have 15 minutes till go-time.  I have to say no and then she gets all upset because she "never gets to do anything!"  Then she doesn't want to do whatever it is that we need to do.  Last night it was softball...ugh.  She wanted to quit.  She all of a sudden hated softball.  It was the worst thing we have ever "made" her do.

Of course, we didn't make her sign up.  She wanted to.  And if she was being honest with herself, she would know that she LOVES it.  lol  She is always super excited before during and after a game.  This was just one time when she was ready to go too soon.

So, I guess I need to time her getting ready better.  You know, not have her get dressed until she absolutely needs to.  Or maybe we can sit down and make a list of appropriate activities for the time she has left over.