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I Need Some Advice

10 Sep

There is a delicate balance between good and bad at our house in the mornings.  Well, school mornings.

I consider myself a morning person.  Now, I don’t get up the first time the alarm goes off, generally I “snooze” twice (or should I say my husband “snoozes” twice since the alarm is on his side of the bed).  The alarm is set for 5:30 and I am up at 5:44.  Once I am up, I’m up for the day.

My oldest daughter, Shelby, is like me.  When I wake her up in the morning she doesn’t hop right out of bed, but she usually gets up the second time I go in to get her.  Then her first order of business is food.  After that she is very chatty, which annoys Maggie, my middle child.  I have learned over the years that speaking to Maggie in the morning is not a good idea so  I indirectly wake her up.  How does someone “indirectly” wake someone?  Well, the girls share a room so when I wake Shelby up Maggie gets woken up by default.  I make an effort not to speak to Maggie until spoken to.  This is an unspoken (no pun intended) agreement we have.

I know you are all wondering why am I still waking my high school students in the mornings.  We have tried the alarm clock thing but both of the girls just sleep through it.  I am doing them a disservice, of this I am fully aware.

Anyway, my son is a whole other breed of morning person.  Or should I say non-morning person.

This is my son’s motto in the mornings.

I have attempted all manners of waking him up.  I have been all sweet and lovey and huggy kissy.  I have offered up rewards for getting out of bed.  I have handed down punishment for not getting out of bed.  I have tried putting in an alarm clock, which he sleeps through.  For the most part I go in and gently shake him and tell him it’s time to get up.  He groans.  I tell him his choices for breakfast and he always chooses what I don’t have.  He groans.  I start breakfast then go back in to tell him a little bit firmer (and louder) that it is time to get up.  He groans.

By the time I finally get him out of bed he is running late and is mad at the world.  He is mad about picking out his clothes, he is mad about eating breakfast, he is mad because his sisters are in the bathroom (unfortunately the three of them share), he doesn’t want to go to school, he doesn’t want to ride the bus, he doesn’t want to do anything but put his head back under the covers.  Every morning he leaves the house with scowl on his face and thoroughly angry at me.

There are some mornings that I feel like I’m on the verge of snapping but at the same time I feel bad for my son and I hate the thought of him going to school in such a bad mood.  It can’t make for a very productive day.  Some mornings I am certain that I would be shouting at him at the top of my lungs if my husband wasn’t still sleeping (he’s not a morning person either and feels for the little guy).

Today he didn’t even tell me goodbye and almost missed the bus.  I have reached the end of my rope.  I don’t know what else to do.  It doesn’t matter what time he goes to bed, if I have to wake him, he is pissed.  I need some advice.  How do you get your kids out of bed in the morning?  There has to be some trick that I am missing out on.

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Where’s My Mom?

2 Jul

Image

These are my parents.  Isn’t my Mom lovely?  Those glasses are so 1960’s, aren’t they?  My Dad was so handsome, my son looks just like him.

I have only a few vivid childhood memories of my Mom.

I remember begging to sit by her while she was working on the sewing machine and then proceeding to barf grape juice in our laps (I still do not drink purple grape juice).

I remember getting caught sticking my tongue out at cars that drove by my grandparents house and getting my bottom swatted.

I remember telling my Mom that my favorite toy, a wooden cow that mooed when you pulled it, was broken on one particular April Fool’s Day.

I remember showing her how I could do a cartwheel in the living room.

I remember her playing the piano at church.

I remember when she got sick.

I remember almost everything about the day when my Dad told me she had died.  I was 5.

I’m 43, I should be done grieving, right?  Mostly I am.  But, damn-it, there are some days that I just want my Mom!  I just know that if she was still here that I could pick up the phone and share with her how crazy the kids are making me today, or ask for a recipe, or plan to meet her for lunch and shopping, or ask her to come take care of me because I don’t feel well, or just talk about nothing at all.

Now, my Dad remarried and I was raised by a “Mom” and a Dad along with 2 sisters.  But it’s not the same, she was not my Mom.

I don’t want you to feel sorry for me, that’s not why I am sharing this with you.  Once I became an adult, there were many times I was very angry about losing my Mom at such a young age and I felt sorry for myself.  As I have matured, it has become clear to me that it has made me a better Mother.

Why? You ask.  Well, I will share one reason with you…….

My Step-Mother was not a “huggy-kissy” kind of mother.  And not just with me, she was never that way with my step-sisters either.  She is not a huggy-kissy Grandmother.  Me, I am a huggy-kissy kind of mother and I am sure when I have grandkids I will be a huggy-kissy Grandmother too.  This was something that I missed as a child.  All my friends had huggy-kissy Mom’s so I vowed to show that love to my kids when they came along.

My children know that I love them.  My 18 year old daughter still kisses me good-bye (and goodnight), we all tell each other “I love you”, we are very close.  I try to treat my children how I am sure my own mother would have treated me.

Sometimes I wonder if we would have even gotten along.  Would we have fought like cats during my teen-age years?  Would I have done the opposite of everything she said?  Maybe, maybe not.

I guess today I was just missing my Mom.  No reason.  I think about her every day.  I hope that she is proud of the woman I have become.  I know that she is up there watching over me and my family.  One day she will get to meet my wonderful husband, she will get to hug her grand-children, and sit down with me for that lunch.  Hopefully she loves sweet tea just as much as I do!

I Shouldn’t Have Blinked

20 May

I don’t know what happened!  I swear just last week I was changing diapers, holding their hand while they took their first steps and then putting them down for an afternoon nap.  Where did the time go?  Just a few days ago I was begged to play “house” with 5 baby dolls all named Sarah.  Paint tiny fingernails with “pol nailish”, look at “mazagines” while they took each other for a drive in their Barbie Jeep, trip over little feet while I “ekercized” and watch Blues Clues for the forty-seventh time.

Now they are doing things like going to their first prom, driving, playing high school sports, dating, painting their own nails (most of the time), singing in the choir, acting in the school play and one of them even has a job.

My Niece took this picture.  I don’t remember what we were talking about, but the look on the girls’ faces just melts my heart.  They may not be my little girls anymore, but I couldn’t be more proud of the young ladies they have become.

I love you girls!

My Poor Daughter-In-Law

12 Apr

When in comes to meal prep, I prefer to follow a recipe.  I am not brave enough to come up with my own new recipe that is sure to be the next best thing.  With that being said, I have alot of recipes that I have collected over the years.  The collection has grown so much that I switched from a pocket folder (that was busting) to a three-ring binder.

When I started putting my 3-ring binder together my son asked if I could make him one too.  Of course I told him I would be happy to, in fact I would make one for each of the kids.  He wanted to know when he could have his.  I explained that it might be a good idea to let me work on it for a few more years then when it got closer to the time he would be leaving the nest I would give it to him.

My son, bless his heart, likes about 95% of what I make.  He will try anything once and if he does not like it he will tell me.  If he really likes something he will ask, “is this recipe going to be in my binder?”  The boy likes food!

One day he was asking about something I was making and announced the following, “When I get married I am going to give my wife my binder so she can make everything I like.”  Oh my.  I hope his wife likes to cook and can make it “just like Mom”.  Am I creating a monster?

Tonight I made a chicken pot pie recipe I stumbled upon a few weeks ago on a food blog that I follow.  It’s a hit in our house, my Husband even likes it and he doesn’t like chicken pot pie!  My son was helping me and of course he started talking about the binder.  Well he has now decided that he is going to keep the binder for himself and his wife can help him cook!  That poor girl (or lucky girl if she doesn’t like to cook).

“Why don’t you go to culinary school and become a chef?” I asked.  “I might do that.  I haven’t decided what I want to do yet, I want to cook or be a BMX rider.”  He’s eleven, what can I say?

Happy April Fool’s Day

1 Apr

My 14 year old daughter had a friend spend the night last night.  This is what I found in my kitchen this morning……….

Every cabinet door, door handle, the junk mail, empty ice cube trays, liquid cold medicine dosage cup, the dog treats, even an empty jug of Hawaiian Punch.  Amidst all the sticky-notes was one little note that said “Happy April Fool’s Day”.

Clever, clever girls!

Let It Go!

27 Mar

“Let it go!”  That is my favorite expression these days.  Well, not my favorite, but the most used.  We have three children and for the most part they are pretty well behaved.  I have actually gotten compliments from other parents or family members praising the kids on their good behavior.  What?  My kids?  I am convinced that kids save all, and I mean all, of their bad behavior for their Mothers.

When the children were little there was alot of pushing, hitting, crying, and exclamations of “Mine”.  We would break up the fight, they would cry for about 30 seconds and then continue playing as if nothing ever happened.  Now that they have reached the teen and pre-teen age their attitude has taken a sharp turn to the south, or should I say “mouth”.  Now there is lots of foot stomping, door slamming and alot of the following phrases:

“Don’t give me dirty looks”

“Don’t look at me”

“You never listen”

“Stop wearing MY clothes”

“Whatever”

“Don’t give me attitude”

“You gave me attitude first”

“I call shot-gun”

“You’re not in this” (meaning ‘not in this conversation’)

“No one is talking to you”

“Stop”

“We always get to do what *insert name* wants to do”

“Mom, did you just hear what she said to me?”

“Get away from me”

This is just the tip of the iceberg.  My kids will argue over absolutely everything.  When it starts I just stand there and repeat “just let it go”, “ignore it”, “stop arguing”.  It gets to be so ridiculous and petty.  We tease them and say things like “you would probably argue over the air you breathe”.  And seriously, they would.

Today I realized that I will never be able to stop the bickering.  I thought I had solved the “I call shot-gun” delimma, but I was proved wrong.  I made the rule that the person sitting in the back seat gets to control song choices on the MP3 player.  This worked well for about a week.  Now the person sitting in the front seat complains about the song choices, the volume, and things like “he switches the song right in the middle of another song” (I agree that this is very annoying). 

How does the saying go?  “I hope when you have kids that they act just like you do!”  My goodness, were my sisters and I that bad?  I do remember one time my little sister bothering me so much I threw a potato at her head (I missed by the way).  My middle child tells me all the time that she is not having kids because she is afraid that they will act just like her brother. 

The cold weather has finally gotten to all of us and the kids seem to be fighting more than usual over the most petty things.  Makes me nuts!

We are now on Spring Break and the only place we are headed is straight to Crazy Town!  I heard that there are only one-way tickets available.

Go Shamrocks!

15 Mar

Despite the title, this is not a St. Patrick’s Day post.  Maggie is currently playing CYO Volleyball and her team is call The Shamrocks.

This post is for Maggie……

We are so proud of you and your teammates.  You had a fantastic 6-1 season.  Congratulations on your win in the first round of tournament play, it was an awesome game.  We are looking forward to seeing you play in round two tomorrow night.

Maggie, every time you play we can see the determination in your eyes and the enjoyment on your face.  Keep that attitude.

Good luck tomorrow, and GO SHAMROCKS!

Family and Friends….if you want to send Maggie well wishes please leave a comment and I will make sure she sees them!

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