Family - it's where your story begins.

Monday, November 8, 2010

What causes stress?

I'm sitting here at my desk, working away, thinking about something I saw on J's dresser. About an hour ago I decided to check his online grades and saw that he got an F on an assignment for his Health class. I had gone upstairs afterwards to see if I could find the assignment in his room. I looked on top of his dresser because there were papers piled on it and if an assignment was anywhere in his room, it would be on top of his dresser.

There was a green folder on top of the dresser, and this I knew was his Health folder. I decided to take a peek and look for the assignment. That kid has no sense of organization - I found a History assignment! I also found a different Health assignment covering the topic of Stress. Glancing through, I learned that my husband and I are #3 on J's list of stress causers (is that a word??). Now, how can parents cause stress? Really. Think about it. We want our children to do their best in school. We try to teach responsibility by doling out chores to the kids. Is it our fault that our child chooses not to do his best in anything? Is it our fault he is getting bad grades? I don't think so. I think it's his problem because he has decided to just skate by and do the least amount of work. Is it our fault that we want him to learn what it means to be accountable for his actions? I don't think so. How are parents causing stress on their kids? Maybe someone needs to enlighten me.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

What is worth $10?

The bus for the middle school came and went. I heard it from my office downstairs. I knew J was still asleep. Here we go again. I called the school and talked to the attendance-line voicemail and said that J overslept and missed the bus AGAIN and would be walking this time. I said that I didn't know when he would get there.

At 7:15 a.m., I went upstairs to make a cup of tea and noticed that K had woken himself up and was in the bathroom. I opened J's door and said, "Are you planning on going to school today?" He seemed somewhat awake but not really, and said rather groggily, "Yeah." I said, "Well, you've missed your bus and you're walkin'!" The anguished cry that came out of his mouth was almost heartbreaking, but I had to stand firm and hold my ground. He cried, "NO!!!!!!" but I walked away and went back downstairs.

A little bit later, K hollered down the stairs, "I guess J didn't have a poptart today." I yelled back, "No, that's because he didn't wake up. He's in his room crying because he missed the bus." Maybe I shouldn't have said that, but it was the truth.

Around 7:45 I heard the front door open and close and I ran upstairs, knowing it was J going off to school. I knew he didn't take his meds, so I opened the door and found him on the porch. I asked him if he took his meds and he said he hadn't. I said, "You need to take those." He came back inside, took them, and went back out the door. I said to him, "Run."

You may be asking yourself, 'what does the subject line of this post have to do with being late for school?' Earlier in the week, J missed the bus and had to pay his dad $5 for a ride. I told J that I would take him if he paid me $10. Yes, $10. I work and driving him to school would take 30 minutes out of my day and I figure that's a good rate for me missing work. So, the way I figure it, either J didn't want to part with his remaining $10 in his wallet or he just forgot about that offer. He didn't bother trying to coax me into driving him. I think he knew he had blown it by turning off his alarm and going back to sleep. Maybe he'll learn a lesson.

Monday, October 25, 2010


We are teaching our 13 y.o. about responsibility. In fact, he is "learning" about it in his Health class, but I don't think he really knows what the word "responsibility" means.

Last night, before bedtime, we were discussing a Parent Gram that comes home each week from the Health teacher. This discussion took place between my husband, our son and I. The Parent Gram is a sheet of paper that tells what is being taught in the current lesson. There are questions the parent can ask the child that pertain to the lesson. One of these was, "What does responsibility mean to you?" When our son was asked this question last night, his answer was, "Knowing you have to get stuff done and you do it." He's 13. I guess that's what he thinks it means.

This morning, as I type this, it is just about 7 a.m. My son should be on the school bus. Instead, he is asleep. He has yet to wake up. I reckon he'll awake suddenly, look at the clock on his nightstand, burst into tears and run downstairs to tell me he just woke up. I know this will happen because it has happened before. Usually my husband is home and is able to take J to school if he misses the bus, but today I am here with just two sleeping children.

My husband and I once decided to make J walk to school if he missed the bus. First of all, the school is several miles away and the road to the school is not safe during commuter hours. There are no street lights. There is no sidewalk. We then decided that if J missed the bus, my husband would drive him IF J would fork over $5 to cover gas, time, etc. I thought that would end the missed-bus scenarios, but no. Here we are again, today.

So, you see, we are teaching responsibility to my teenager. I cannot wait until I can explain to him that being responsible means waking up on time and getting to your bus stop on time. It means not being dependant on other people to get you where you need to go.

In ten minutes, I need to wake my other child if he does not wake up on his own. He is eight and in third grade and has the exact same alarm clock as his brother and, guess what? It DOES work and it DOES get set and my little man wakes up most days on his own because he had the forethought to set the alarm the night before! Now, if only his big brother would think like that!

Thursday, September 9, 2010


You've heard of kids having imaginary friends, right? Well, my son has an imaginary pet. My son is 8 and in third grade. He brought this "pet" into our home a couple days ago and it is a dog. When J asked K what kind of dog, K simply said "Brown."

Roger, the imaginary pet, is quite the little trooper. He likes to come out and play and ... he looks just like K! Imagine that! K said that he likes to dress Roger up in his own clothes because it's fun. This is the only way that I have ever seen Roger. And guess what else? No one else has seen Roger in K's clothes (if at all) but me. Wheee! Lucky little me!

After dinner tonight, Roger came out of hiding (yes, he likes to hide in K's room) and decided to play in the kitchen while I cleaned up. I did mention to Roger (or anyone else that wanted to hear) that K needed to take a shower, and I went about my duties in the kitchen. Not a whole minute later, K came into the kitchen to say that Roger would play with me when I was done cleaning up. Wow, how polite of Roger!

Right now, as I type this, K is in the shower. I asked him several times to take a shower but gee, Roger kept coming along to play. Hmm... oh, and totally off topic - I hear K messing with the bath drain. Why would he need to do that? He took a shower, not a bath. And it's getting downright annoying hearing the bath drain go up and down. Oh. I heard the shower curtain move (thanks to the metal hook roller things) and now he is singing and toweling off. I don't want K to get out of the bathroom and come to read what I'm typing, because he is classic at doing that. Oh for the days before he could read!

So I must end this abruptly. Oh, but wait. I just heard what sounded like a dog bark coming from the bathroom. Did K take Roger in there with him?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I am starving! It's almost 10 a.m. and I haven't had breakfast yet. I've had two cups of coffee (yes, I decided on coffee today instead of tea) but no breakfast. A couple minutes ago, I went upstairs to fix my hair and put on a little makeup and who did I find in the kitchen but J, holding a practically empty bag of Raisin Bran Crunch. He said, "There's just a little bit left but not enough for another bowl." Knowing that he can't stand raisins, I asked, "What are you going to do with the raisins? Eat them?" He answered, "Pick them out." I said, "It's Raisin Bran. There are lots of raisins. Get real." I then took the bag from him and his bowl and poured the cereal from the bowl back into the bag. He doesn't use milk in his cereal, so I didn't have to worry about it being wet. He says milk "ruins it and takes out the sweetness" but Raisin Bran isn't much sweet to start out with. The only reason he chose that cereal was because there wasn't anything else. I decided to go downstairs and get a box of Apple Cinnamon Cheerios out of the locked pantry. Locked, yes, that's what I said. J once had a problem of hoarding food, so we have to lock the pantry.

Meanwhile, I am still starving. I chose not to eat with J because he isn't much fun to be around right when he wakes up. I could bring something downstairs to eat, but it's hard to eat cereal and type at the same time!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

K is 8 today!

Yes, it's true. My baby is eight years old today. I can't believe that he is the same age as his brother was when they came to us. He doesn't like being referred to as the baby of the family, but I still call him my baby. He was three years old when he joined this family, and the lady that was his foster mom at the time had called him a baby. Um, hello, a three-year-old child is not a baby!

Anyway, we have a nice little day planned for K. My husband and J have some errands to run (J had neglected to get anything for K) and they have to pick up the birthday cake as well. I plan on taking K to McDonald's for lunch - this is a big deal as we rarely go there. I highly doubt J will be back from the errands by lunch time, so it'll be a sad day for him when he realizes he missed out on McD food.

We will open presents later this afternoon, followed by dinner out. Oh - and all the little toys and things that we had taken away over the past year will be given back to K today. These are all the things that he left out (outside or in other areas of the house) instead of putting them away, which is the rule. Things got taken away and put aside for this particular day. I thought it would be funny to wrap them, but then again, why? How do you wrap a scooter?


This morning, my husband was online trying to create an e-card for his parents' wedding anniversary which is today. He was having difficulty getting a font to cooperate and was getting frustrated. I happened to be in earshot and heard him muttering to himself, and I walked over and suggested he copy the text and put it into a Wordpad or Notepad document so he wouldn't lose it, and start over with the card. Our oldest son J was nearby and said, "I'll get a notepad."

My husband copied the text into Word and then restarted with the card. Just as the card disappeared from the screen, J said, "Oh no! I wasn't done copying it down!" I looked at him and said, "J. This is the information age. Dad is sitting at a computer. He can copy/paste text." J just said, "Oh." He knows this stuff. I think it was just too early in the morning for him to comprehend.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

It's a sad day when...

1. You admit that you know your way around the Emergency Room at the hospital because you've been there often.

2. You admit that croutons are a delicacy. You say this because they are mighty tasty and you can't afford really good crackers.

3. Does there really need to be a #3 here?

Last night I had to take K, who turns 8 tomorrow, to the Emergency Room because he was screaming in his room with a really bad earache. My husband had tried calling the doctor for an appointment, but the pediatrician was unavailable. There are several branches of office and the one that could get us in was an hour away. Um.... no, ain't gonna happen. The nurse advised us to go to the ER since child was in so much pain.

It was decided that I take K to the hospital so my husband could take our other son to his martial arts lesson. I drove K, after giving him Jr. Tylenol to subside the pain, to the hospital. I knew exactly where to park, where to go, etc. I had been there a couple months ago when my husband fell ill and that's where we ended up going on doctor's orders. At least I was confident with K that I could find my way around last night. And we were only there a little over an hour, whereas with my husband we were there for nine!

So far, so good, on the ear issue. It is 6:39 a.m. and K is sound asleep. He'll get the elixir upon awakening if he has some pain. At least we all got a good night of rest without listening to him screaming/crying.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Pain in the ... ear?

Here I am again, twice in the same day even!

Someone please tell me why my child, who just came downstairs to explain this to me, put water in his ear because it was hurting and now he says it hurts worse? Why does he do things like this??

K came down to ask if he could watch t.v. and I noticed he was hanging his head to the side, over his shoulder. I asked what was wrong with his head and he said his ear was hurting, so he put water in it thinking that would help. It made it worse.

Earache, here we come!

Yes, I am still alive

Being a mother and a wife and a work-at-home employee is a challenge and it truly doesn't allow me the time to blog at the drop of a hat. I don't even remember what I last blogged about. Hmm... I do know that it is summer and the kids are at home and I am trying to work and my husband is trying to find a job. It's kind of difficult to keep the sanity when the kids are loud whilst the parents are sitting at computers and trying to concentrate.

Yesterday was quiet for me as my husband was out running errands, J was at a friend's house, and K was happily playing a board game in his room. I got a lot done at work, that's for sure!

This morning, J is outside washing the truck and I believe my husband is out there helping him. Oh wait, no, that is not the case as now the printer on my desk is going and out come a bunch of pages. Resume's. Well, hopefully J is able to use the 8-foot ladder by himself to reach the top of the truck. It's one of those land yachts - a Ford F350 crew cab with an 8-foot bed. It's rather tall, so that's why a ladder is needed to be able to reach the top [with a long-handled brush].

K is happily playing his Leapster but he finds it necessary to come down to my office to explain that he is getting a high score or that the game isn't working properly or some other thing. I hate to shoo him away, but I am trying to work!

Anyway, my plan is to update the blog more often so you don't go worrying about me! There's something new that happens each day in this house and it would make for great material!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The truth comes out

Last week I found out the real reason my little man cut his own hair. Sure, he may have wanted straight hair, but he told me at bedtime that some of his classmates had been calling him a girl because of his longish hair. Wow. I asked him why he didn't just tell me or dad that he wanted a hair cut and he just said, "I don't know." Hmm...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My 7-yr-old, the barber

I was happily working this morning when my son came into my home office with a baseball cap on his head. I said, "What is with your hair - you look like a girl." It looked as if he had pulled his hair up inside the cap. He took off the cap and proudly announced that he cut his hair. Now, let me tell you, I wish there were someone to take a picture of my expression because I know my mouth was wide open!

Yes, he cut his own hair. I asked why he did so and he said, "I wanted straight hair." This kid has (or had)the curliest hair and it's lovely but apparently he got sick of the curls. He said, "I like it." When I got a good look at his hair, I noticed that he has great clipping ability. However, there were long strands around his ears that just had to go.

I took him upstairs while telling him that he just needed to have some of it cleaned up a bit. I went into my bathroom to get my hair-cutting scissors and then back into his bathroom. I had him sit on the toilet and I wrapped a towel around him like they do at the barber shop. I only had to clip around the ears where the hair was still a bit long. While clipping, I asked him what scissors he used, and he said his school scissors. You know, the safety kind? Little-kid scissors? Yep, he used those.

After a bit of cutting, I decided it was good enough and told him that he'd be going to a barber after school today to get it so it looks more normal. I said, "If you wanted your hair cut, you should have told me or dad. We would have taken you to a professional who knows how to cut hair. Someplace like Trisha's." Trisha's is a barber shop up the road where he has gone before. K asked me, "Are you mad at me?" I said, "No, not really. I'm just surprised." He said, "I thought you'd be mad."

I couldn't pass up the chance to take pictures with my camera phone and post them on Facebook and e-mail my parents. I wanted to text my husband, who was not at home at the time, and attach a picture. I decided to wait until he got home to explain the whole scenario.

Anyway, K was ready to get outside and get on the bus and he said, "I hope they don't laugh at me." I said, "You like your hair, don't you? You said you liked it." He said, "Yeah, but I don't like people laughing at me." I said, "They may laugh, but maybe you could ask them if they have ever cut their hair. They probably haven't. You could say something like 'I wanted to try straight hair so I cut off my curls. I did it all by myself!' or something." I also didn't want his classmates to get the idea to do the same thing at home. OH! I should have taped a note to his hair that said "Don't try this at home." HA!!!

After K got off to school, I went back into the house and made a cup of coffee. Hubby came in and I said, "We had quite the morning already. Do you want to check your e-mail or Facebook? Or should I just tell you now?" He said, "Which kid?" I said, "K." He said, "Tell me now." So I went into every little detail about the hair and then a thought struck me - where were the curls??? We ran into K's room to see if we could find the cut hair. I checked the bathroom wastebasket but only saw the few bits that I trimmed off. Back into his bedroom - we checked the bed, the drawers, everywhere, but no hair. Back into the bathroom I went and dug deep into the wastebasket. I found a blob of curls down at the bottom. It was like he was trying to hide them. The blob resembled a dead animal. It appeared that K had tried to roll it all up into a ball or something.

I showed the pictures from my phone to hubby and all he said was, "Oh no. Oh no." He then said, "Guess I need to take him to a barber today. He's going to get pigshaved. That's what he gets for doing this." Actually, K's hair will get cleaned up a bit to make it look more uniform. At least he'll have a nice cut before my parents arrive next month. I was going to let him grow it out for a while and he had been fine with that. He must have just got tired of curly hair. I don't know. I'll never know. I now can totally say that kids are full of surprises.

Friday, April 16, 2010

"This is the worst afternoon ever," he said

When J came home from school today, as soon as he walked in the door he said, "This is the worst afternoon ever." I looked at him (he was wearing a hoodie with the hood up) and asked what happened, and he said he had to cut gum out of his hair with scissors. Ok, my first thought was "oh gosh, it probably looks like a hack job on the back of his head." I said, "You should have waited until you got home so dad or I could get it out. You don't have to cut it off; you can use peanut butter." He looked suprised and asked how, and I said, "You put a blob of peanut butter on it and rub it around the gum and it dissolves." He simply said, "Oh." Anyway, I asked when this happened and he said, "On the bus." I asked if it was just now, on the way home, and he said it was. I asked what happened. Here is his story.

J was happily sitting on the bus, not bothering anybody (or so he says). W and some other kid were sitting in back of him and one of them put gum in his hair. J didn't realize it was gum, but felt something heavyish on his head. He put his hand up and felt the gum. He asked someone for scissors and cut the gum out.

Now... if it were YOU who had gum in your hair and you figured it came from someone behind you, wouldn't you get mad and turn around and say something??? I asked J if he got mad and if he said anything to the kids sitting in back of him and he said no. Hmm... I asked if they sat in back of him a lot. He said they did. He went on to say that they had been touching his hair for a few days. I said, "And you let them?? Why? I wouldn't let someone touch my hair all the time." He didn't say anything. I asked if this W person is the same W as is on his soccer team and he said yes.

Meanwhile, husband was sitting nearby using his computer, and he decided to give his two cents. He stated that he would have beat the crap out of the two kids who sat in back of J today. J didn't respond. What could he say? "Sure dad, next time I'll beat them up." Nah, that ain't gonna happen. J is a smaller dude than a lot of guys his age. So he's getting picked on because he's small and he doesn't fight back. He's letting these guys do things to him. So... husband and I both told J that these kids are going to keep messing with him because he doesn't do anything. J said he told the bus driver but apparently nothing happened with that.

I looked at the area where J cut the gum out of his hair and I am pleased to say that that kid really has snipping skills! I'd never have known there was gum in that spot.

Husband said to J, "On Monday, throw gum back at them." J said, "I can't do that." I agreed. I said, "He can't. He has braces and can't chew gum." Husband said, "Then take raisins and throw them at them." Raisins. HAHA!! We do have a box of Sun-Maid raisins that aren't being eaten...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Immature 13

Ok, I don't know if it's because he's an ADD child, an adopted child, or what, but J's babyish talk has got to stop. This morning he said in a very high-pitched and childlike voice, "Hi mommy." My husband, who was sitting in the living room and in earshot, said something like, "He's being three." I asked J, who is 13, why he talked like that. He said, "Because it's silly." I said, "No, it's not silly, it sounds ridiculous coming from a teenager. You need to stop it. Now." He just said 'okay' and moved on.

He's a tiring kid sometimes. I had a long talk with husband about it yesterday and I said I thought J was regressing. Husband thinks J is trying to compete with K (7) for our attention. We share the love - we don't play favorites between the kids.

Sometimes Jared's maturity level is way down. We know he was neglected in his birth home and he probably didn't get the nurturing he needed. A lot of times he acts like he is 3, 4 or 5 years old. He doesn't do the temper tantrum thing, but his voice goes to a higher pitch and babyish. Some days are better or worse than others. I hope he listened to me when I said 'you need to stop it' and stops it.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Last week of the quarter

My son J has until this Friday to get his act together and bring up all his grades. Friday is the last day of the term/quarter. He can try and make up any missed assignments and get them handed in. I hope he is able to manage this small task. If his next report card shows mostly A's and a couple B's, then he gets back all electronics that were taken away (cell phone, Nintendo DS and games, other handheld games, use of family Wii). You'd think that would make any 13 year old jump for joy. We'll see.

The other day I had checked online grades and saw that he was dinged 15 points on a Language Arts assignment. When he was asked why he didn't complete it, he said, "I didn't want to. I don't like doing it." Oh wow, what an awful lot of emotions that were going through me at that moment! I told him that in the working world, if you find something that you don't want to do and avoid it, you'd most likely get fired. He is so lazy and irresponsible and it annoys the heck out of me! There must be a way to get past this. There must be a book to tell us parents what to do besides throwing in the towel (which, by the way, I refuse to do because I believe in my child and I know he has the capability of doing better).

How do you get a young teen to realize his potential???

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Redo, redo, redo

Well, after my husband returned from conferences with J's teachers, it looks like J will be one busy boy today and through next week which is Spring break. J is able to redo assignments that got poor grades (F, D, C) and he's also able to retake two Math tests that he failed. YAY!

When hubby and I were speaking to J at lunch today, we stressed the importance (yet again) of bringing his grades up. J was upset about the Math assignments that he swore he handed in, but I asked him if maybe he just didn't hand them in because he didn't want to do them. He swore he handed them in. I asked J if he thought his study habits were a problem and he simply said, "No." I asked if he thought he had it all together and he said, "Yes." I said, "Then by all means, keep going the route you're going. If you think things are hard now, just wait until you get into high school. It's even worse there. But if you think you have it under control, by all means, keep doing what you're doing." Hubby agreed with me and reiterated what I said and put it into his own words.

If J can spend all the time in the world playing board games and card games, he apparently has a whole lot of extra time that he can spend studying. We ask him every day if he has homework and he says 'no.' Apparently his teachers say different. He should have something each and every day.

Oh, and get this - J has to rewrite some papers that he claimed to have handed in and/or that got poor grades, and he never saved them to his flash drive because he used the computers at school. I told him to get in the habit of saving everything no matter where it's typed up. Save, save, save!

Well, anyway, as is usually the case after hubby and I talk to J about school, he clams up. He's usually pretty silent and tends to tear up and cry. Today, he basically kept his mouth closed unless asked to say something. I asked him how he felt about his grades and what we want him to do (redo the assignments that were either missing or got low grades) and he said, "I don't know." I said, "Oh, I'm sure you know. You might say 'to heck with you' or something. I know you have something to say." He did go on to say he didn't understand why he got low grades in Math and we explained that it was during a time earlier this year when a substitute teacher was present. The actual teacher did state that he'd look over grades when he returned, and in this case, our child would be able to retake tests and redo assignments.

I just hope we are going in the right direction with J. He knows how we feel, but I don't know if it will actually sink in. Will he get his act together and actually try the next time? His dad and I both told him that we know how hard school is because we went through it also. We want him to do well. His teachers know he is capable of doing better. Why can't he just TRY????

Can he just get it together already??

You know, it is so hard raising a child who does not care one iota if his grades are poor. Hubby and I can talk to him until we are blue in the face and it doesn't faze him one bit. J turned 13 and his lazy attitude towards school is taking its toll on his dad and I.

J has three Honors classes this year, in 7th grade, and he's pretty much doing poorly in all of them. The only class he is getting an 'A' in is Computer Keyboarding. He has Math (which he claims is his favorite subject), Literacy/Reading (which I know he dislikes), World History (an Honors class), Language Arts (another Honors class), and Life Science (Honors, yet again). Before J started 7th grade, he had to be screened (he took a test at the school district's main office in town) along with a few dozen other kids. Only so many made it into the Honors program, and J was one of them. We did ask him, before he took the test, if he really and truly wanted to be in the program. His answer was, "Yes." In order to stay in the program, the grades for Honors classes can fall no lower than B-. He's averaging C's and D's.

What really gets me is that J doesn't give his all. He doesn't try. He'd rather do as little as he can to get by. This annoys the heck (for lack of a better word) out of me and my husband. I don't know if it's something that comes from his earlier childhood (before we brought him into our home) or what. He'd much rather play board games or torment his little brother than do any sort of school work.

This morning as hubby was looking in the boys' rooms for cleanliness (or lack thereof), he saw J's school notebook sitting in his room. Bad sign. J needs that book for all his classes. Since the notebook was here at home, we decided to look through it to see if J was following through on his promise to keep it organized - all papers in place and in their proper folders, sorted by subject. We found a Math assignment in the folder for Reading; graded papers which showed J's lack of knowledge and/or preparedness of the subject; scribbled pages; doodled papers. I know he has ADD, but he does take meds. He was recently re-evaluated and the meds do seem to be doing the trick as far as keeping him less hyper and loud, and he can stay on task when it's something he really enjoys.

The kids get out early all this week because of parent-teacher conferences. We already saw K's teacher, so today it's time to visit J's teachers. Sadly, I have to work and will be home when the kids get home, but hubby will go to the middle school and talk with all J's teachers and maybe get some advice or opinions on how to get J more focused on school.

Part of me wants to let J fail and fall deep into the pit he's been digging for himself. Part of me wants him to do that and then figure out how to get out. Another part of me wants to see him figure it out and turn himself around and be a good student. Sometimes I think a boot camp is the place for him. I don't know. Hubby and I have had numerous discussions on the topic of J's grades and lack of wanting to do well. We've taken away privileges (no Nintendo DS, no cell phone, no Wii playing) and it just doesn't seem to matter to J. We are at the point where we might put a lock on the game closet (where all the board games are), but that's not fair to K. It doesn't seem to matter to J that he doesn't have these things anymore. That's what is so irritating! What will it take for him to change his attitude? I have no idea.

Monday, March 1, 2010


Last night as I was driving K home from choir practice at church, I mentioned to him that next week his dad would have to take him to choir practice because I would not be able to. He asked why not, and I answered by saying that I would be out of town. He asked where I was going and I reminded him that I would be in Arizona. He sadly said, "Oh." He then asked, "How long are you gonna be gone?" I replied, "Just a few days." Again, he sounded so sad and he said, "Oh." I reassured him by saying, "I'm coming back. I am not leaving you forever. I will only be gone for about five days." He said, "Oh." I then told him that I would call him every day. His voice sounded surprised and he asked, "You can??" I said, "Sure I can! I can talk to you every day." He replied with a very happy "Ok!" The sadness he originally had in his voice broke my heart. I had to cheer him up. It was a total "aww" moment.

During choir practice, there were try-outs for various parts of the musical that the kids are putting on in June. K tried out for a couple parts and totally flubbed the first two tries on one part, but the third time he did it perfectly. I was so proud of him! However, when he came to sit down by me after he was finished, he was totally down in the dumps. He said, "I want to quit Praise & Company." I said, "Why? You have fun doing it, don't you?" He said, "Yeah, but I messed up and I feel stupid." I told him this: "This is your very first time trying out for something and it's normal to mess up. I am proud of you for even trying. You did just fine." He looked sad and miserable and said, "I just think I should quit." I said, "You won't know if you got any of the parts you tried out for if you just quit. Keep trying. You are doing just fine." I put my arm around him and he snuggled close and I kept telling him how proud I was of him. He seemed to forget his disappointment in himself and was able to go on with the choir practice when the try-outs were done.

This morning, hubby and I went to K's school to watch him get a Cougar Pride Certificate during an assembly. The certificates are awarded to students who have shown major improvement in school. Well, K got an award for listening to directions and basically being a good kid this past week and guess what? It has to do with him being on ADHD meds. He had his first full week of them last week and his good behavior got him an award. When the assembly was over, K came up to hubby and me and said, "This is weird. Every time you or dad come to the Cougar Pride assembly, I get an award. When you don't come, I don't get an award. You bring me good luck!" Cute!!!! The school mails out a letter to the parents in advance, letting them know their child will receive an award and informing them to attend the assembly. I'm not about to let K in on that secret!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The New Food Pyramid, Kid Style

The other day, J was in the kitchen while his dad and I prepared dinner. J said, "We should follow the food pyramid and make meals using food in it." I said, "WE?? Who's this WE you speak of? You never help with dinner." I don't recall what he said after that, but I added, "Dad and I always consider nutrition when we make all meals. You always have the right kinds of foods." J said something about the food pyramid again and how it had vegetables and things on it, and I reminded him that he gets those daily. I then said, "Well, if you are so set on abiding by the food pyramid, then we won't buy any more Pop Tarts and Fruit Loops and things like that." You should have heard the sound that came forth from his mouth!! He'll be 13 next month, but the high-pitched "NO!" that came out sounded quite girlish! He didn't really have anything else to say after that as I think he realized that whatever plan he was trying to devise had backfired on him.

This morning as I was working away, K came downstairs and asked if he could have breakfast at home and at school. He said he wanted a Pop Tart (at home) because he knew I wanted to get rid of them in order to follow the food pyramid. I told him that he shouldn't eat a Pop Tart "just because I wanted to get rid of them" and he didn't say anything - he just went back upstairs.

When I went upstairs to get a refill of coffee, I saw K sitting at the table, eating a Pop Tart. I said, "Oh, I see you decided to have one anyway." He simply said, "Yep." I said, "Okay then, there won't be anymore after this box is empty. Since J wants to go by the food pyramid, I'm not buying that stuff anymore." He said, "That's okay, because we'll use the other side of the pyramid that has the candy and stuff." HAHAHA!!! I said, "Sorry, kid, there is no such thing!"

Friday, February 12, 2010

Let's see if they can behave

This is a test. This is a test of the children-upstairs-with-no-adult-around system.

Husband is out getting a cup of coffee. I am downstairs in my home office, working. Yes, I'm typing on my blog, but that's only because my work PC is dragging today for some reason. So, here I type.

Upstairs, I hear complete mayhem. I have two boys up there who have awoken from their deep slumbers (oh how I wish they were still slumbering!) and are running amok upstairs. The younger one came down about an hour ago and asked if he could have his candy for breakfast. Like he thought I might miraculously say "Yes" ???? Of course not! He asked if he could watch t.v. and I said he could. Now I hear the older one, who obviously has not taken his meds, and he is VERY loud and I hear thumping and running.

Those kids know, at least I have told them many times, that when I am downstairs at work they should be quiet. This is not happening. They are noisy. I can be mean and tell them to go to their rooms, but why disrupt my own work time? Well, actually, it's disrupted already because I'm telling YOU about it!

J is 12, almost 13, and his dad has told him he is old enough to administer his own meds for his ADD. It is apparent that J has not taken his meds this morning.

THUD! I am totally amazed the ceiling isn't caving in now and a child isn't falling through it. I guess it's time I go see what is going on. So much for a quiet morning at work.

Lollipop, lollipop, oh lolli lolli pop

Yesterday at school, 7-year-old K's 2nd-grade class had their Valentine's Day party. K had made his own Valentines the night before. He cut out hearts from pink and red sheets of construction paper and wrote little messages for each classmate. Some of the hearts resembled blobs, however, and he did get a little irritated and flustered so I offered to help. I was happy that he started the project on his own though.

When K came home from school, he asked if he could have some candy from the party. I said yes as he could use that as his after-school snack. He went to the dining room table and I went downstairs to finish work up for the day. When I went back upstairs, I heard a noise coming from the table that sounded like CRACK, CRUNCH, and possibly teeth breaking, but it was K who had bit right into the middle of a Blow Pop. I walked over and looked at what he was holding in his hand. The Blow Pop was severed in two - one giant chunk in his mouth and the remainder on the stick. I told him that to eat a Blow Pop means to suck it or lick it - not to just bite right on into it! I had him spit into my hand what was in his mouth (the gum!!!) and I took the stick and what was on it away and pitched it all into the trash.

I actually told K that he doesn't have proper candy etiquette. Oh dear... yes, I actually said that! Like he knew what that meant. Well, I went on to explain that suckers, lollipops, Tootsie Pops, Dum Dums, Blow Pops, and candy on a stick like that are meant to be sucked or licked. You suck and lick and then when the thing in the middle appears, be it a gum blob or a tootsie roll blob, THEN you can bite into it and get it off the stick. I told him that with a Blow Pop, especially, you suck it and lick it and THEN you get to the gum which is kind of like the prize. You then can bite the gum off the stick and chew it a while.

With K, gum is candy. You unwrap it, chew it, throw it out. The real problem is when there is a lot of it, such as a pack of gum or a bowl of Halloween candy with a large amount of individually-wrapped bubble gum pieces. He gets over-excited at the sight of it all and in his head, the gum will be eaten just like candy. He unwraps a piece, puts it in his mouth, chews it for maybe 60 seconds, spits it out, unwraps a piece, puts it in his mouth, chew it for maybe 60 seconds, spits it out, unwraps a piece, you get the idea. If I let this go on, I would buy stock in the Wrigley Corporation!

The Blow Pop never had a chance. In fact, there is one left that I took away yesterday. K asked if he could have it back and I said, "If you eat it the right way." I think yesterday, when he was eating the other one, that he was in 'the zone' of candy eating and just didn't think far enough in advance as to what he would do with a mouth full of gum when he still had half a Blow Pop in his hand.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The door has returned

I certainly thought the door would be gone a while because K actually said he didn't mind it being gone, and hubby liked it gone so that K would sleep through the night instead of playing. Hubby decided to put the door back on after a fight over K'nex toys between both boys.

Yesterday afternoon, K was happily playing with his K'nex and was building what looked like the Mars rover/lander/whatever that car-thing was on Mars. J happened to be bored with whatever he was doing in his own room and walked right on into K's room and started building something with the K'nex. Apparently he had taken a piece that K wanted and they started arguing. K came out to the living room where hubby and I were and explained the situation. I just didn't really have any good advice as I was burnt out from a full day of work. I just looked at him and said, "I can just as easily take all the K'nex away and then you won't be able to play with them. You two should be able to work this out for yourselves." Hmm...

Not five minutes later, hubby and I heard K yelling at J to get out of his room and that he wanted to play by himself. It was a constant thing, "Get out of my room!!" Obviously J couldn't care less and continued to play. K continued, more loudly this time, "GET.OUT.OF.MY.ROOM!" Still J continued to play. Hubby hollered down the hall, "J, get out of his room and go do something else." Suddenly, we heard K bawling (he was in full-out pain, obviously) and hubby hollered for J to come into the living room. J came along and said that K had stood up right where J was stepping and that he 'accidentally' kicked K. Hubby had J do a strong sit by the living room windows. J was trying to state he was innocent and it was an accident but we didn't believe him because of his track record with hurting K.

I got up off the couch and went into K's room to see if he was ok. He said that J had kicked him in the gut. Now, if J had just been casually walking out of K's room, how in the world would he have been able to kick K in the gut? Something's fishy here. He would have had to kick high. Maybe K was still on the ground, playing, when J kicked him. Their stories don't jive.

Anyway, the door is back on. J thinks he is in the clear and not in any bit of trouble, but the truth is that hubby is still very angry about the whole thing. K is only 7 and J is almost 13 with a slight anger-management problem. Whenever they have a disagreement, K gets hurt. Maybe it's just that way with boys. I don't know - I just have a sister and I don't remember acting that way.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The doorless wonder

K got his door taken away on Saturday night. I warned him that if he (or the neighbor kids who were there at the time) slammed the door or threw things at the door over and over (which had been happening) that the door would go away. Well, you guessed it - the door got removed and has not been returned.

This is not unusual in our house, you see, as we have done this before with both boys. They have learned that if they throw something at their door, shove something up against the door so no one can come in, or slam the door, the door will be taken off the hinges.

I thought maybe, by now, it would be time to put K's door back on, but my hubby thought it should stay off for a little bit longer. I asked why and he said that K had not been playing in his room at night. He tends to do that quite a bit. He has toys with a light source (Spy Gear binoculars and a light-bright thing for coloring) and he uses those to see and or to play with when he should be sleeping.

I guess we'll let it go for a little longer. I do wish his door was back in place so the poor kid could have privacy and also so he won't be hearing house noises (voices, t.v. volume) while he's supposed to be sleeping. We'll see how it goes.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Bicker Brothers are at it again

I gave my boys the group nickname "The Bicker Brothers." They argue a lot and pick on each other a lot. I don't know why they do it; you'd think they'd learn by now, but no. At least once a day I tell them to treat each other how they, individually, would want to be treated.

The other day at lunchtime, we were sitting at the table and the boys were fighting, calling each other names and carrying on. I told them to stop and try to say something nice about each other instead of fighting. The youngest thought of all sorts of things about his brother, starting with "I love you" and ending with "I like your hair." The oldest couldn't think of a single nice thing to say about his little brother. I was appalled!! How pathetic it was that J couldn't think of anything! I know J wishes K had never been born, and that he could trade in his little brother for a new model, but I felt horrible for K.

I think next time they argue, I'll have them whisper their argument. I'm sure it won't continue much longer and they may end up laughing instead.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Resolutions, anyone?

It's the start of a new year once again. We go through this same thing every 365 days. It's time we assess our lives and decide if we want to better ourselves or do things differently this year.

I asked my family if any of them had any New Year's resolutions. My husband said that he didn't make any and he never does. My youngest (7) said, "I am going to make lunch for mom once a week." Melted my heart, I tell you! My oldest couldn't think of anything, so I gave him one that I thought he would say (if he had thought about it long enough). I said, "I would imagine you saying something like 'I want to get a really good score on a Wii game'" and everyone thought that was a great idea and a good resolution. No one really asked me what my resolutions were or if I had any. Well, here is what I have come up with and they are in no particular order:

  • Organize my house
  • Finish all the books in the house that have been sitting, unread, for a long time
  • Cook more to give hubby a break, even though he enjoys cooking
  • Blog more often
  • Sew more
  • Lean to knit and crochet
  • Spend time alone with God more
  • Declutter
  • Scrapbook more

That's enough. That's almost so much that I want to run for the hills and never come back! Oh, but I'm an adult and can't do that... as tempting as it sounds. I need to reprioritize my life and get back to the things I used to enjoy. Nowadays, it's all workworkwork and help-the-kids-with-their-homework and help-with-dinner and get-the-kids-in-the-tub/shower and make-sure-the-kids-have-done-their-chores and on and on. I need to make time for myself and the things I want to accomplish in the coming year.

So here's to 2010. A new year, a new attitude - out with the old and in with the new.