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Valentine's Day Traditions

It's Valentine's Day once again...some people love it, other's hate it, or there are those of us that are more neutral to the holiday. I fall into the neutral column. I can't get over the inflated prices, and the flood of hearts, candy and stuffed animals everywhere. It's a little much for me. I also don't understand why you need a special day to declare your love, I'm more of a show it every day kinda gal. Oh well, just my two cents. My kids L O V E it, so I celebrate a little bit for them. I always get them a small gift, some candy and a card. This year was small stuffed pillow things, some chocolates and silly cards. I have sent them flowers in the past, but that doesn't happen very much. #2 thinks it's weird to get flowers from his mom.
The kids all have their school parties today and carted bags of valentines to give to their friends and teachers. We've been so busy that I put the kids valentine's together for them yesterday. We used to…
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Dear Older Girl

Dear Older Girl,

You, the older teenage girl...you see that little ten year old girl over there? Yeah, she's a loud, moody, silly preteen girl. She's gangly, and doesn't know what to do with all the big emotions she's starting to feel. This is the time she needs you. She's not as baby cute as she was when she was four or five. It is easier to overlook her now, but please don't. She's watching you. She's wanted to be you for longer than you probably know.
Try to remember six or seven years ago when you were her age. Remember how excited you felt when the older girls paid attention to you? That's where she is right now. She's stuck somewhere between a child and a teenager, in her own little purgatory. She's discovering her likes and dislikes, and getting more freedoms in the world, which can be a little scary. She needs a role model, and you're who she is watching.
I'm not asking you to be her best friend, big sister, or spend every fr…

Sickies: Young vs. Old

We've have the flu in our house recently. Yuck. One thing that always remains consistent is that having sick kids is the worst. I have never felt more helpless as I do when my kids are sick. They don't feel good, they are cranky, there isn't much you can do for them, and anything you had hoped to accomplish for the day has gone out the window. You spend your day snuggled up, or fighting a cranky alligator. There is no in between.
When your kids are little a lot of times they are unable to tell you what doesn't feel good. They cannot tell you their head hurts, their tummy hurts, or their throat hurts. They cry, whine and drive you to the brink of insanity before you figure out they are running a 102 degree temperature. Then when you discover they are sick there aren't many medications you can give them. If they are old enough you can give them Tylenol and Ibuprofen for their fever. You can go to the doctor and get a prescription if appropriate. But, if they are suff…

Uncle Ryan

We have an Uncle Ryan. He's really a cousin, but all my kids call him Uncle Ryan, and it fits. He's fun, gregarious and the kids L O V E him. But #2 really loves his Uncle Ryan. Even before Uncle Ryan and Aunt Elizabeth moved to Oklahoma, #2's first question anytime there was a family get together was "Is Uncle Ryan going to be there?" Uncle Ryan speaks #2 extremely well. He builds robots and boats with #2, and they have long discussions about how the world works, and I am sure that one day they will solve some major world problem. #2 takes everything Uncle Ryan tells him as  true and absolute. #2 is also a concrete thinker, so sometimes this is problematic.
Recently Uncle Ryan casually told #2 that if he blotted his pizza with his napkin it would soak up the extra grease. We went out for pizza one night recently. This restaurant had cloth napkins, which is a novelty to my feral children, by my own failure. Our pizza arrived and I gave everyone a slice. We all st…

Doing Less

I am a habitual over-doer. I have always been that way. In years of observation I have learned I come from a family of over-doers. It used to drive me insane that my mother was never able to just sit down and chill out with the rest of the family, until I looked in the mirror one day and realized I was the exact same way. I was driving myself, and Mr. Mayer, to the brink of insanity. Last year I made a resolution to myself to do less. I was worn out, my anxiety was out of control and I didn't feel like any aspect of my life was getting the attention it deserved because I was stretched thin. It was difficult at first because I was used to having an over scheduled life that if I had free time I felt like I was missing something.
The first part of the year started by me saying no to requests for parties at my house and not scheduling "get together's" or "fun activities" every weekend. The kids rebelled at first. I had created little monsters that thought we sh…

Just Keep Swimming...

Somewhere around my third phone conversation with my insurance company today I hit my wall, hard. I'm not fit for human contact today. I have cried with my dog, I have cried in the lobby of my kids school, through doctors appointments, and in the car. I will probably cry again before I go to bed tonight. My coping mechanisms are crying and chocolate. We are currently out of chocolate.
This weekend was epically bad. #1 and went to a cheer competition in Dallas, Texas for the weekend. We were just there last month, staying in the same hotel. Saturday was day one of the competition and a long day. We left our hotel early and came back around 8:30. We were exhausted and showers and bed were needed. #1 and I were both in bed asleep by 9:30. Around 11:40 a cheer mom calls my cell phone and asks me to come down to the lobby. I get a sweatshirt and pants on and start making my way downstairs before I even thought about it. It was an automatic response. Halfway down I decided to look at my…

#MeToo

The news over the last week has been hard to ignore. A powerful man has been dominating the headlines for his misconduct against women. Over the past day the words "me too" have been trending. The actress, Alyssa Milano, tweeted out yesterday encouraging people to post "me too" if they have been a victim of sexual harassment and assault in an effort to shine a light on how prevalent it is in our society.  I'm going to jump on this bandwagon and say #MeToo. In 2004 I was 23 and working for CPS in a small county about 30 minutes from where I lived. This particular day I had a court hearing. I had recommended the parental rights of one of my clients be terminated. I was sitting in the judge's chambers with the District Attorney, my client's attorney, the Assistant District Attorney and the children's attorney. We were all discussing what led to my decision and the ADA and children's attorney were explaining why they supported my recommendation. It …