And I thought boys were bad...

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

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