Cyber Bullying

Of course you’ve heard about cyber bullying, it seems lately it’s ALL you hear about! I hadn’t thought about it much because it hasn’t really affected me (much) or anyone I know, but that’s not to say I’m not aware of it.
I’m in my mid thirties. When I was in high school it was a completely different time. There was no such thing as myspace, facebook, twitter, cell phones, texting, sexting…hell, there was hardly an internet! (The advances in technology over these past 15 years make me feel a lot older than I am by the way.) Sure kids did drugs, had sex at school, got into fights, and bullied other students, hasn’t that happened in every generation past? But it’s was nothing like it is now.

I’m not one to dumb down kids. Teenage hardships are a rite of passage, they mold you into the adult you’re going to be. There isn’t a single person in the world who hasn’t been put down or disliked by SOMEONE at some point in their life. Example, there was one time in high school when I was on the bus, some girl I didn’t know, had never talked to, threw little pieces of gum in my hair from the seat behind me. I never did find out why she hated me so much. Let us not forget the fact that I am blind in one eye which made for relentless name calling and teasing, especially before I had my wandering eye corrected in the 7th grade. Throughout Elementary school they called me “One Eyed Wille” (courtesy of the pirate from the Goonies and the fact that my last name was “Wille”. I hated it then, but I think it’s pretty clever now :)) Yeah it sucked sometimes, but like everyone else you grow a thicker layer of skin and you move on. It was easier back then though. If you got teased, if you got your ass beat, if you got caught doing something embarrassing, the news only spread as far as your school or neighborhood, and only mattered to the people who knew you. If you got a reputation for being a slut you dealt with it, either by continuing to sleep around or by waiting it out until someone else became the topic of discussion. Nowadays, EVERYTHING is instantly on the internet and you are powerless.

I first noticed how cruel cyber bullying can be on twitter. I follow some people from different shows that I watch, yes, a lot are from the shows Teen Mom and 16 & Pregnant.

Side Note: I know, it’s ridiculous that I’m so addicted to these shows obviously intended for a younger audience. I would totally blame being pregnant with Link when it came out because I was addicted to EVERY pregnancy show back then, but I like Jersey Shore too and I’ve never been a guidette from Jersey. Just chalk it up to my mind numbing TV addiction.

Some of them and/or their fans are down right ruthless! This one blogger, Heather that I follow for example, is also victim to a lot of internet hate which I just don’t get. I read her site, Teen Mom Talk, it entertains me, but like with any tabloid you have to know there are always different versions of the story. Obviously if it’s your blog you’re going to write about it from your standpoint, and if you’re friends or acquaintances with the subjects of your articles your opinion may even be biased, but who really cares? There are a dozen sites just like hers, if you don’t like it, read another one! This girl has several hate pages and sites dedicated to her. Some people accuse her of stalking the girls from the shows and claim that they (the castmates) all hate her, but only a few have blocked her, and I see her having conversations with them on twitter constantly. It doesn’t read like they hate her. I read the posts and just shake my head. I can’t believe the lengths and the lows people go to to cut someone down – especially someone they don’t even know.

Recently the Amber Cole video went viral. I haven’t seen it for obvious reasons, but I’ve read about it, and THAT’s the one that really freaks me out. If you don’t know, she’s the 14 year old girl who was video recorded by another student from his camera phone giving oral sex to a boy at school. I’m not about to make excuses for the girl, you’re responsible for your own actions, but I will admit that it’s harder for kids these days to make mistakes like this and move on. She did this thing but it wasn’t just her fellow students or neighbors who were judging her, it’s the whole world! This bystander uploaded the video and in no time at all she was infamous. I remember one incident when I was in high school when a student had a sexual relationship with a bus driver. That story made the local newspaper but it didn’t name the underaged student. These days, there’s no privacy, no human decency, no “names changed to protect the victim”. Nope, if you screw up and someone thinks it’s funny, you’re on the internet, have hate pages made about you, and are being ridiculed and harassed from anonymous people hiding behind the safety of their keyboards who don’t care about how you’re affected by what is being said. And they’re judging you based solely on this ONE thing.

I’m afraid for my kids, for ALL the kids! You could be in the locker room changing clothes, and someone who’s mad at you at that moment (or just thinks it’s funny) snaps a picture of you topless, sends it to a friend who sends it to 10 friends who send it to…well, you get the point. Adolescence is a time for making mistakes, leveling out your hormones, and figuring out all these changes going on in your bodies and minds. You’re supposed to do stupid stuff (not have sex at school, I mean come on, have some common sense at least!) but you shouldn’t have to have those mistakes follow you all of your life. It’s why juvenile records are sealed!

Before the internet, if you had something negative to say about someone, you said it to their face. At the very least you said it someone who told someone else and it got back to that person who then confronted you, but the end result was the same, you either argued it out or you fought it out. If you were scared you were going to get your ass beat, you probably didn’t say anything! It’s too easy to sit in front of a computer screen and spew a bunch of hate and then go play YoVille without another thought or concern for the consequences. There are kids who are killing themselves because they can’t take the abuse, that’s not your average, back in the day bullying, that’s serious. And instead of making people think before they type, it seems to be fueling the fire, like a “that was fun, who’s next” type thing. That’s scary.

I’d love to tell people “it will all go away if you just ignore it” but that’s not really true is it? One time I posted a video to youtube of my preschooler doing her letter sounds while her older sister held up the cards. Because I know my daughters’ love for aggravating each other, it was obvious to me that when she kept holding the cards out of her sister’s sight it was intentional, but some stranger on the web who came across it accused me of favoring my youngest and suggested that my oldest was “scared” of me. Of course after one person says something someone else reads it and watches the video with a slightly skewed perception and then they agree via comment which encourages others to jump on the bandwagon. I watched the video with their opinions in mind and thought “I can see how you would think that if you didn’t know us” and even apologized to my older daughter if she felt that way. But it still eats at me. That some strangers on the internet could make me feel like I show favoritism with my kids considering that they don’t even know me, when I only posted that video with my family (who also know my kids) in mind. So sure, ignore it, don’t respond, eventually the haters will know they aren’t going to get a reaction out of you and they’ll move on, but yes, it does hurt to be unfairly judged when people only see a small moment of your life and assume that’s how it is all the time. It has to be especially hard for reality stars whose stories are edited for maximum ratings.

In the end, we are constantly in a state of evolution, and times are getting tougher. No doubt being a kid isn’t as easy as it was generations ago, but the one thing that should never change is simple human decency. That good ole Golden Rule “One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself” should continue to be true no matter what generation you’re born into.

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Risky Business

After 3 years at a job that was, for lack of a better phrase, eating his soul, my husband’s birthday present to himself this year was to finally put in his notice and begin his own web design business. His idea is for us to create the business together as a husband and wife team with him doing the majority of the work while my artistic abilities (which for the last 10 plus years I’ve primarily used to entertain the children) will be my main contribution.

Since putting in his notice at his current job, I’m starting to see the old Chris coming back. The fun loving, less annoyed looking, more involved, family man that I fell in love with. Sure he’s still cynical and unimpressed but that too is the man that I love. It’s nice to not only hear him say that a weight has been lifted from his shoulders but to actually see it as well.

Meanwhile, I seem to be coming more unglued. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t terrified at the idea of him quitting his job. Obviously my main concern is stability. In an economy where everyone is lucky just to have a job, he’s quitting his and we’re starting a whole new business…together. I know NOTHING about running a business, unless you count this household and believe me, I’m sure there are days that if my family were actually my employess they’d have quit without notice a long time ago!

Years ago I’d come to the conclusion that I will probably never be “wealthy”, and that’s fine. I’m fine with the idea of working for someone else, knowing that there’s a steady pay check coming, benefits, insurance, paid holidays, and set days off. As long as the bills are paid, we live in a modest house with plenty of food in the fridge, and a car (or van in our case) that’s running (and at least born in this century) in the garage then I’m good to go. Add a little extra cash to buy wine, the kids a new toy once in a while, and go out to dinner on occasion, you could even call me “happy”. So yes, the idea that those things are no longer “guaranteed”, is causing me to panic a little bit.

The end of the job he quit means the end of our health insurance, life insurance, and paid holidays. It means knowing that those steady paychecks WON’T be desposited in our account every other week. That means paying for private insurance which is expensive, and tightening our belts financially (something we’ve never been really good at).

But…

It also means no more 2am phone calls because his company’s over seas affiliates can’t seem to comprehend time zones! It also means, no more business trips (that always seemed to come up on or around my birthday and our anniversary), no more work calls on family outings, or pulling all nighters to meet ridiculous deadlines or “urgent” last minute changes. There were no defined days off, “vacations” were more of a legal term than what it actually implied. Seriously, the man worked the morning of our wedding! He was also pulling 70 hour work weeks for the 3 months right before our son was born, building a web site from the ground up. A job usually completed by a team of people, he was doing alone while also expected to complete his daily tasks as well. Do you think he was financially compensated for that? The answer is no.

Since then he’d threatened to quit nearly every day. He has a computer file of at least 8 different resignation letters he swore he was going to send to his boss one day or another. Of course, something would always happen, be it familial obligation, his boss’s appeasement, or my obvious reluctance, and ultimately he’d just file it away for a later date. Until at last he’d finally had enough.

For the record, I have complete confidence in my husband. He is great at what he does, and when he’s good at something he gives it his all. Do I believe he can run a successful business and provide for his family? Yes. Am I 100% confident that he possess all the necessary characteristics to do so? No. I want to be, believe me. I’m trying. It’s not his ability I worry about, it’s just the salesman aspect of it. Give Chris a task and you’ll be more than pleased with the results. However, make him ask you to give him the task….ehhh, not so much. So in an economy where people want everything for nothing and want to spend as much to get it, I worry he won’t be convincing or confident enough to sell himself for what he’s worth (a habit he’s possessed for years), and I know I am definitely NO salesman!

Still, I could never ask him to stay at a job he obviously hates just for the sake of security. I also can’t tell him not to pursue something he’s so sure he can make successful because I question his qualifications, who am I to say what he can or can’t do? He would resent me in the long run which would ultimately ruin “us”, and for me, I’d rather weather a rough patch financially than damage the relationship with the man I adore.

Pessimism aside, I see how confident he is in the whole endeavor and I can’t help but get excited too. I got my Photoshop for Dummies book (because it seems to be the only technical language I speak) in the mail today, and am anxious to dive in, learn all the ins and outs, and become more of an asset to the team and the business. He ordered business cards the other day and when I had an opinion about the slogan he chose he actually considered what I said instead of treating me like a subordinate, and that meant a lot to me.

The truth is, I hope this business is all we’ve dreamed of. Him being his own boss, having time for the family where his mind is there WITH his body, and isn’t frazzled and annoyed. I’m excited to have my husband around, doing something he enjoys, while also able to support our family at the same time. Wish us luck friends. We may see some rough seas ahead (we may not), but we agree we’ve always been the luckiest when it comes to timing, so at the end of the day, I KNOW this will work out no matter what happens.

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Can I Please Poo in Peace?!

As a mother of three I’ve conceded to the idea that there may as well be a revolving door on our bathroom when I am in it. I take it as my karma for all the times I cornered my own mom while she was in the can and therefore accept my fate gracefully. However, the company of my youngest child lately seems like more of a punishment than I deserve. Lately he finds it necessary to unroll the toilet paper until I scold him no less than three times. Next he tries to grab the toilet brush and or plunger depending on how well I’m paying attention, often pretending he’s just looking in the shower to distract me. When he fails at those attempts he has taken to inventorying the cabinet by removing all the contents from it and the drawers underneath, including unwrapping new tampons, brushing his teeth with whomever’s toothbrush he finds, putting on head bands, and using my make-up brushes to sweep the floors. Since my bathroom time is really the only time I have reserved for reading (read: catching up on celebrity gossip via tabloids) this is quite frustrating as you can imagine. Eventually I kick him out, but before deciding to do so several consequences must be weighed. He will either…
a) scream and bang on said door screaming “mommy, pwease!!” as if he’s being eaten by rabid wolves on the other side
b) he will leave quietly…too quietly and as I exit the bathroom I will find that he has either…

  • discovered a coloring utensil and decorated my walls,
  • gotten into one of his sisters rooms where he will unknowingly torture their guinea pigs with his squeals of delight
  • climbed the stools if I forgot to flip them upside down (yes, the ones he flipped over and gave himself a black eye for the record books just in time for his second birthday)

c) go play quietly until mom is done. (for the record, “C” never happens),
or…
d) I just let him stay in there with me and clean up the mess afterward.

This is way too much to contemplate just to empty the bowels, and I realize it’s a bit too much information than you needed to know about me, but hey, everybody poos, even dinosaurs! It’s just a reminder that a mother rarely get a break, bathroom breaks included.

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Pregnant Again?

Recently my husband and I had a bit of a pregnancy scare. No, it was not planned, if anything it would have been complete birth control failure. The likelihood of me actually being pregnant was slim to none considering I’ve been using the Nuva Ring off and on for about 8 years. It’s my favorite form of birth control and had always been reliable. So why did I think I was pregnant? I admit there have been times that instead of putting it in on Sunday I would forget until Monday or Tuesday. I didn’t think much of it, following the proper instructions if that should occur, but for two weeks I was so nauseous I couldn’t stand it, and I rarely get sick, especially for any length of time. I had avoided foods that were too heavy and just felt sluggish and miserable. I felt…pregnant! I’m not one of those women who knows when she’s pregnant. I know women who say they can tell right away, but not me. The three times I’ve carried babies I had to be told by someone else that I was pregnant. So when I was near crying because I wasn’t feeling well my husband asked when my period was due and we both got that look, you know the one. Me saying “no way” him saying “I don’t know…” A few days later I got my period. We both were relieved, but also a little disappointed too.

The whole thing got us thinking, “what would it be like to have another one?” I mean, who doesn’t love babies? They’re so tiny, and soft, and sweet, and smell like baby soap. My heart just melts when I’m near a new baby. I also love being pregnant. Sure the first trimester is exhausting and boring, but once the second one hits you’ve got some extra energy and a cute little baby bump popping out, and you can feel baby flip flopping around in there practicing those martial arts moves that will one day surely make them a grand master. Plus, my husband was a gem! If I had a craving, that’s what we ate, even if it was Wendy’s Spicey Chicken sandwiches twice a day. He never got annoyed with me, he was always patient and tolerent. He was ideal! And when our son was a newborn, you never saw a man so delicate and paranoid and happy. He’s a great father, he’s what I always imagined the father of my kids would be.

I have three kids. Two from a previous relationship and now my son with my husband. For as long as I can remember I always wanted three, and I had always hoped the first two would be the same sex and the last the opposite. I had everything I ever wanted! All three of my kids even have the same initals L,M,R (not in that order, but those three letters). My husband however, while he is an amazing step father to my daughters and loves them as if they were his own, he still only has one biological child. It makes me wonder, does he wants another one? Would I have another one if he wanted to? Is it right for either of us to give up what we want because it’s not what the other wants? Is it wrong to?

My mind says “no more kids!” The only real reason I say that is because of money. That’s another birthday every year, another kid at Christmas to buy for, another child in school eventually. It means the terrible two’s again, breastfeeding again! Do I want to do that all over again? I haven’t even got Link weaned yet and he’s certainly not sleeping in his own bed yet, so could I do that with two?! And the weight! I have the hardest time losing the baby weight. It usually takes me about two years, and with my last child it took dieting too. I’m getting older, my body is recovering a lot differently than it did before.

But…

Those days don’t last forever. Eventually the weight does come off, they are weaned, they do sleep in their own beds, and they do grow up. It’s certainly not all bad either. Nothing beats the first time you hear “momma”, nothing beats those open mouth kisses, or when they fall asleep on your chest (back when they FIT on your chest). The feeling you get when they first roll over, sit up, crawl, or walk. The way they turn their heads to watch you walk around the room. The way they smile only for you (their parents). There’s nothing else in the world that compares to it.

No doubt babies are great, and if the next one was anything like Link, toddlers are pretty neat too, and so far the girls aren’t too tough to handle (most days). So would I have another one?

In the end we’ve talked about it. We’ve agreed if by some divine intervention it happened (which we are still protecting against for the family members with dropped jaws right now) it wouldn’t be a bad thing (we even have names picked that go with our naming convention), and if it doesn’t happen…well, then we have a pretty great family as it is and there’s no need to change that. I just worry, if it’s important to him and he’s just not telling me because he thinks I’m dead set against it then that would be sad. If so, he’d better let me know because I’m about to hit mid thirties and I’m not about to be considered a “gereatric pregnancy”! These kids already make me feel old enough as it is! 🙂

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First day Back

Today was the day of getting back to our routine. Not only for the kids, but for us parents, and little ones too. It truly is a magical time of year.

First of all, the kids went back to school today *que “hallelujah” music*. I was relieved to hear that they were both excited. The first week back was always exciting, even when I was a kid. The girls were with their dad last night so I met up with them this morning. I had to drop off their school paperwork and last minute school supplies anyway, and of course, take pictures. “Dad” had to do his obligatory “make sure you filled out all the paperwork right” check like I haven’t been doing it correctly since Pre K! I’ve never left him off it (read: pretended he doesn’t exist which is what he accuses me of without proper cause), but nonetheless he feels the need to go over it (even though I need to explain what it all is and then give him what he needs and explain that to him too). As usual, it’s all correct, so I just roll my eyes and let him play the part knowing this is probably the last school related event I’ll have to deal with him for the year.
I came with my sister and nephews today because she hadn’t been able to go to the Open House on Friday and since we arranged it so that our kids would be in the same classes it was easy for me to show her where to go. Everyone was very civil and the main focus was on the kids which is where it always should be. We even laughed and joked about how embarassing all us parents were for taking pictures, teasing them that we’d still be doing it in High School (no not really…probably). Finally we left (I think the kids were relieved) and came home where we’ll wait to hear all about their first day back. Unfortunately, I won’t see the girls again until Tuesday after school. Monday nights are “Dad’s Day” so I’ll have to call them to hear about it.

Chris is happy to have peace in the house again so that he can get work done. Ahhh, working from home, “a blessing and a curse” he would say. Aside from our toddler the house stays pretty quiet during school hours so it’s nice to have that again.

As for me, back to my diet and workouts! I busted out the stroller and Link and I went for our two mile walk. Let me tell you, even at 10am, the heat and humidity in Florida is ridiculous! I was panting like a pup, and those hills were not playing around today! I realize I haven’t worked out in a month practically so that certainly didn’t help. As hot as it is though, it makes for a more productive feeling workout. Some days when I walk I hardly sweat so I feel like I’m not doing much, on days like these I feel like my body worked hard! That humidity has to add some type of resistance and if you add to that pushing a stroller carrying a 30 pound child up hills, you’ve got a pretty solid workout for any stay home mom anchored by a toddler. “No gym, no excuse!”, I’ve seen my body change for the better simply by walking so why bother paying a gym membership you’ll no doubt lose interest in when you can’t get a friend to agree to be your work out buddy (or is that just me)?Besides, toddlers make decent walking partners. You can point out trees, squirrels, birds, houses, street signs, whatever! It’s all exciting to them, even still by the 23rd mailbox. Admittedly, there are days when I wish I had a tread mill, like rainy days or when it’s cold. At the time it might feel like a God sent break from working out, but I hate getting off routine. It’s that much harder to start up again which is what I’m experiencing now.

So that’s about it. Since I worked out I’m feeling lazy now and am just sitting here even though laundry needs to be done. I look forward to getting back to where working out GIVES me energy (I hear it does that, hasn’t been my experience too often). I hope all the kids (mine and yours) enjoy their first day back, even if it’s not today, and I hope all you parents enjoy it too.

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Moments

I am often told how one day my kids will be grown and move out and I’ll miss them, and so on and so forth. Probably because my kids exhaust me and I vent my frustration via whatever social networking medium I happen to be on at the moment. So yes, I realize that I am inviting those types of comments. I know that one day I’ll be sitting in my empty nest reminiscing on the days when I heard the sound of children’s laughter and warm little arms hugging me tight and sweet “I love you”s coming from their lips, and I know my heart will ache and I’ll miss that.

However, it is NOT that time. I’m in the NOW, and NOW that laughter I hear isn’t a faint memory, it’s usually bellowing at the expense of a sibling. The warm arms hugging me tight are usually an over zealous child playing too rough with their arms wrapped around my neck choking the life out of me, and the I love you’s are said in a teasing manner like when they’ve been busted doing something they weren’t supposed to be doing in the first place. People in general tend to romanticize relationships (or times in their life) that are over (or have since passed). It’s easy to forget the hard times when all you WANT to do is remember the good. I know when they’re grown I won’t be sitting in my rocker thinking fondly of the days when I had to ground my kids or send them to bed crying because of whatever they did. Who would?!

Parenting is HARD work. It’s hard already and I’m not even in the teen years yet! I think the generations before the one with small children at home forget that sometimes. Do you know why they forget? Because we gave them sweet little grandchildren to play with and love and spoil rotten and then send home at the end of the day. Sure, kids are GREAT in small doses. They make you laugh, they make you feel young (sometimes), they remind you of happy moments in your past (perhaps with your own kids), but you have to admit too, when they go home and you have your quiet house back, you let out a nice little sigh of relief as you survey the damage they left behind. It’s okay to admit it 🙂 It’s because when you know your grandkids are coming over you make time for them. You don’t save your laundry to do for when they’re there. You don’t decide THEN would be a good time to pay bills or mop floors, forget making a phone call for some adult interaction! As full time parents, we don’t get that luxury and I think THAT’s the biggest thing that gets forgotten. As great as they are, we CAN’T play with them as much as they’d like, we CAN’T give them as much attention as they demand, we CAN’T ignore the things that need to be done around the house because we HAVE to take care of them. We NEED to make dinner even though they won’t eat it. We HAVE to wash their clothes so they have a variety of stuff to say they can’t/won’t wear. We MUST make them do the homework they swear the teacher didn’t explain even though we know that is not true, and we are REQUIRED to make them brush their teeth, smell their breath and despite their argueing, INSIST that they go back in there and use toothpaste this time! YOU have time to THINK so you spend it thinking about your kids (ironic isn’t it? Can’t wait for the kids to grow up so you can spend you golden years thinking about them as kids).

No, I won’t look back on these past 11 years (so far) fondly. I know they aren’t all peaches and gravy (is that a real saying? Who eats that?!). What I WILL be thinking about as I’m sitting in that rocker on my front porch are the moments that got me through these years. Like when Riley wasn’t quite 3 but was so protective of her newborn baby sister, like when Milla made her pillow fort at midnight and told me to “wook at my face, I’m not tiewd”, or when Link ran around the house singing “go koko, go koko”. I’ll remember the things they used to say (easier to do with Link since I post most of them, I wish social media was around when the girls were little) and the cute “baby” voices they would say them in. I’ll remember when I would nurse them and they would make eye contact with me and just smile up at me. I KNOW that’s what I’ll remember then because it’s what I think of to get me through the hard times now.

I know my kids are great, I think I say that in every blog I write. They may not be great ALL the time, but for the most part. I guess what I mean to say is I don’t think we’re meant to treasure every moment with our children. We’re suppose to give all the blood, sweat, and tears required to raise strong, independent future adults, and if we’ve done our job right then we will miss them when they’re gone. Maybe one day this blog will still be around when Riley has kids and is frustrated beyond belief, she’ll read this and know that I was there one day too and it passed, and when I tell her to cherish these moments because they go by so fast she can belt out “MOM!” they way she used to when frustrated with me and I’ll remember why I shouldn’t say that.

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Sometimes being the mom SUCKS!

In the past two days I have heard “you love him more than me!” followed by a door slam, and “I’m always the one getting punished because I’m older!” followed by a door slam. At this rate our doors aren’t going to last.

Kids are exhausting! They forget there are three of them but only one of me. I can’t referee every fight, I don’t always know who did it, and sometimes it’s NOT fair. I wish once in a while they could remember I’m human too.

Yesterday Milla came into Riley’s room (without knocking of course) and when I told her to get out she got pissed off and stormed out, accidently knocking her little brother over making him hit his head against the wall. Not hard, but hard enough, and she did genuinely feel bad so I kind of felt bad when I smacked her on the butt for doing it, but she does it a lot so I had to punish her. That was the “you love him more…” cry fest, which obviously is not true.

A little while ago Riley was playing SIMS on the xbox. Milla wanted to watch from the couch. I don’t know why this bothers Riley so much. Like I said, I don’t stand over them every time they’re in the same room together so I don’t know if Milla is bugging her, talking, humming, just being annoying for the sake of being annoying (which she does) so Ri started yelling at her to get out. I was on the couch with Link who I thought I almost had asleep so I didn’t run in there to prevent the fight about to come, instead, I calmly asked Milla to come into the living room with me. When she ignored me I got louder and more demanding, she continued to ignore me and, according to Riley, tried to punch her sister in “the stomach and the throat” which led to the smack across the face that I heard clearly from the other room, followed of course by the wails of pain from Milla. So I had to send Riley to her room for the smack which led to the “I’m always the one in trouble…” which obviously isn’t true. I had to explain that had she told me Milla was hitting her MILLA would be the one in trouble but since Riley decided to handle it herself she got herself in trouble. I assume all she heard was “blah blah blah go to your room”.

Like any parent, I love all three of my kids equally. Maybe in different ways but the same amount nonetheless. Riley is my dependable one. I can trust her to remember things (except not to hit her sister), help with her brother, and entertain herself. Milla is my little people pleaser. She tries so hard to make everyone happy, she helps me around the house, plays with Link (when she isn’t bulldozing him), and gives the sweetest hugs. Link is the baby so his only job is to fill the cuteness meter, which he does above and beyond, to NOT hit mommy in the head with a wood plank!! (which he just did…ouch) and to PLEASE for the love of God STOP taking his train track apart!. Oh believe me, there are times when it’s definitely EASIER to love one over the other, but it does hurt me that, even for a moment, they might truly believe I love one MORE than the other. My kids are literally my life, without them every day, life would be boring. It’s true I appreciate the boring days now because I have the kids, but I wouldn’t want it every day.

Okay, I need to wrap this up. Milla wants ravioli and Link wants strawberries (at the same time of course), and you can bet as soon as I get everything cleaned up Riley will want me to make her some mac-n-cheese. Today would be good time for one of those “boring days” *sigh* Until then, time to slip into my Super Mom suit and make everyone happy! First order of business, trying to explain to a toddler that the strawberries he sees on the box of Ziploc bags aren’t actually in the box…I may need back up.

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Surviving the Tween Years

For a coupke years now I’ve been mentally preparing myself for the time my girls will finally hit their teens, but no one bothered to warn me about the TWEEN years! WTF?! I honestly don’t know who is worse, my 10 year old or my 7 year old. The mood swings, the fighting, the attitudes, the “diva” like behavior…I don’t know if I’ll survive!

While getting ready this morning Riley informed me she has “nothing to wear” because she only has 4 shirts (that she likes), 2 (or 3) pairs of jeans, and a few pairs of shorts. Well congratulations sweetheart! I’m still squeezing into clothes I had before I was pregnant because we spend our entire clothing budget on you kids! Part of the reason I’m dieting is because I can’t afford to buy new clothes if I get too big for my old ones!

That was the first thing…then…

Milla needed new flip flops so I took her to get some today. We got into our first real “fashion” argument right there in the store. Me, apparently being the ever practical and obviously oblivious mother, was searching for cheap, rubber/plastic shoes she could wear to the water park and that should say, oh, I don’t know, her dad’s dog eats them (again) I won’t flip out! She on the other hand was looking for super cute, strappy sandles that she could wear anywhere BUT in water, and certainly not in the price range I warned her about ahead of time. At one point I threatened to leave the store telling her since she wasn’t willing to compromise then we weren’t getting anything, but in her sweet and sincere, 7 year old, voice she replied, “what’s ‘compromise’?” I felt bad, I felt worse when the sales lady guessed her age and said “yep mom, she’s at that age where she wants to look grown up.” I actually felt old!

No bribes or threats work anymore, they know we’re too overwhelmed. Every few minutes is an enormous ordeal. One is copying the other, poking the other, in her sister’s room, or just plain annoying her (and me in the process). I haven’t such seen deliberate aggravation since…well, since I was with their dad.

Then they’ll turn right around and disappear in one of their rooms and play so nicely together for hours, even ask if the one can sleep in her sister’s room that night.

Most of the time though Riley’s my life saver. Link sees her as a mini mommy. She’s excellent with him, always has been. She changes (pee) diapers, helps clean him up after he eats, comforts him if he’s sad, and plays with him longer than she cares to. She’s great. Too great sometimes! There are moments when I need to remind her who the mom is and that not only am I HIS mom, but HERS too, and that she’s still alive so I must not have done too bad a job.
Milla’s biggest contribution to my sanity is helping me clean. She will randomly come up and ask if I’d like her to clean the kitchen, or playroom , or wherever…”uh, yeah!” I have to get on her about her room sometimes though, I think she cleans for approval but with her room it’s expected. I came to this conclusion when I discovered her way of cleaning it was shoving everything in her closet. One day soon it’s going to be like out of one of those comedy scenes where I open the door and an unimaginable amount of crap buries me alive. She’s good with Link too don’t get me wrong, just in a different way. When the two of them get together they’re more like partners in crime. She brings out the wild child in him, with little effort even. Once he sees her it’s all play! Running, screaming, climbing up and jumping off things. It’s non stop insanity for as long as we allow, but they love it and he just adores them. You should see his torment when they leave. On the days their dad picks them up he freaks out. Crying, screaming, banging on the window, and watching them leave. It breaks your heart. You can’t wait for them to get home so that we get to see the squeels of joy when he sees them.

They’re growing up so fast. Ri will be 11 this year and Milla 8 and they’ve made it perfectly clear that they are no longer babies! I may be sweating the tween years now, but at least they still give me random hugs and kisses (even infront of their friends), they still tell me they love me, they’re still trying to make me happy more than they’re trying to make me nuts, so I KNOW I’m still in a good spot and that I have every reason to focus my worry on those golden teen years! I just want to prep you mom’s out there with young girls, there is an age of craziness that comes before 14, but don’t worry, it comes with a few advantages too.

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Why am I not sleeping?

I really should be asleep, or attempting to be anyway, but today marked 4 in a row that Link has not been able to take a nap and the boy was DELRIOUS for most of the evening. I’m so grateful that he’s finally in a deep sleep that I want a few conscious moments to enjoy it. Downside is I’m kinda bored, so why not share that with my adoring public…and you guys too.

I promise not to write about what I ate today. I admit, it was boring 🙂 I only did it for anyone who was interested in following the menu to give them an idea of what works, but I agree, after the third day you got the gist. Obviously I’m not a big variety person. I WILL say the diet is paying off. I lost 8.4lbs this week! That’s amazing! Only a few more pounds to go and I’ll be back where I started before I began cheating. Since I did do so well I’m having this internal battle with myself over whether or not I should let myself have a celebratory glass (or glasses) of wine with my family tomorrow while at my dad’s for Father’s Day? So far the “don’t do it” side is winning, but she can easily be beaten into submission if necessary. We shall see…

What a day! I am exhausted but in a good way. Lots of check ins on my foursquare account I’m happy to report (because yes, I’m addicted to that too). First stop was at Aaron’s Rent To Own. Now I know what you’re thinking, but they aren’t so bad if you opt for the “120 days same as cash” payment plan. We bought our couch that way and it’s a great piece of furniture and I feel like we got it for a good price. Today my husband surprised me by letting me order the dining table I had been wanting. He knew how bad I wanted it by the subtle hint I left by hanging the picture of it on the ‘fridge door (it’s how I got my couch too ;)). I’m really excited about it and the order serves a duel purpose since we’ll give the 4 seater table we have now to Chris’ mom once she has her own place.
The next stop was Best Buy to get my dad’s Father’s Day gift, then to Toys “R” Us to buy my nephew’s birthday gift. Funny thing about T”R”U is that it’s 30 minutes away from our house so when we went there and COMPLETELY forgot to buy his gift you can imagine how stupid we felt. The reason for our temporary memory loss was distraction. The train table we had wanted to buy Link for his birthday but was $170 was now on sale for $99.00! So we were in total train mode, plus planning our exit strategy, which is a must when leaving there because Link is obsessed with their assembled train table. It is literally a kicking and screaming ordeal. So yes, we forget all about the gift and headed home. An hour later we realized our screw up and decided to see if Target had what we wanted. I’m all for getting out of the house and adding points to my foursquare, like I said, addicted! So we get to Target, find very little from our list and leave…once again COMPLETELY forgetting about the freakin’ gift! What the hell is wrong with us?! So we try Walmart which doesn’t have it (but I did find my deviled egg tray I wanted) so Chris suggests we go back to Toys “R” Us and I happily agree. See, it’s rare Chris isn’t rushing me out of stores, either because I’m spending too much money or he has to get back to work, so for him to volunteer another hour drive I did not refuse! FINALLY, we got the gift…my nephew has better LOVE it! 😉

Part of Link’s refusal to sleep today was this train table, which thanks to my dad and Chris is assembled and in the playroom. It was cuteness overload when we brought the box in the house. Even though it seemed he couldn’t care less when we were paying for it in the store, when we carried it in he started jumping up and down, clapping, and saying “TRAIN!” with the biggest smile. It was an awesome moment indeed! Totally worth every cent.

That’s about it I guess. My Streak’s battery is about to die and I really should try to sleep. I swear I’d make these blog’s more interesting if my life was more interesting. For now, this is what you get, mommieisms and venting and dragging on about my busy day toy shopping. It may not be the most exciting life, but I wouldn’t change it for anything!

Good night!

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“Where is the fricken remote?!” The Great Search

For a family of couch potatoes, there are few things less irritating than misplacing the remote control. So when we lost it last night I was less than thrilled. It may sound like a little thing, but after a day with 4 kids (2 of which weren’t mine) and one being a toddler who refused to nap because he was excited to play with the “big kids”, all I wanted was my stupid fudge pop and to watch mindless television until I fell asleep, BUT where was the remote? Retracing our steps all over the house, cleaning the playroom, scooting my (finally) sleeping toddler all around the couch trying to search between cushions and under sections, checking rooms again and again, we finally gave up for the night.

The next morning we began the search again. I even tried to bribe the older kids, but apparently $2 isn’t worthy of putting down Lego Pirates and helping out. They said they would for $5 (damn kids ;))

When I say “the great search” I mean just that! We searched dresser drawers, and laundry baskets, the refrigerator and dishwasher, every available cabinet, every room at least twice, the car, even the TRASH! We flipped the couch on it’s side, checked between cushions (again), behind furniture (again), in shoes (again)…it was ridiculous that we could not find this thing.

We had just about given up when Chris walked past his hat, sitting in the middle of the walkway into the living room, plain as day, and underneath it, the remote. Are you freakin’ serious?! We MOVED furniture, worse, my mother in law dug through the trash, (bless you for that Gloria :)) yet we didn’t LIFT a hat that was laying in the middle of the floor?! I have two theories. Either it was just too obvious that we didn’t even consider it, OR (and the more likely), Link figured we were getting too close to finding his secret stash (the portal in the house only he knows about that seems to transport toys, trains, socks, remote controls, and other various items he feels like hidding, to an alternate dimension until HE wants them again), so he came in while we were distracted looking elsewhere, and hid it under the hat. You may think I’m nuts but he’s a crafty little tyke, wise beyond his years. I wouldn’t doubt it.

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