Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Truth About Santa

I can't tell you why I decided today would be the day. I have been wanting to drop this bomb for a while now and these last few days the urge has come to a head. I think it's in part because B  is in middle school and actually hangs out with High School kids now at her new school. Don't get me wrong, I am in no way saying that me being over the whole sneaking around my house in the middle of the night to hide or set up gifts and stuff had nothing to do with it. I still have to put up with the charade for D but since A who is 10 figured it out 4 years ago I figured B  at 12 was due some truth.

I had thought about video taping the talk but knowing that I wouldn't be able to resist posting it for the world to see I decided against it. This afternoon I sat her down  and told her there was no such thing as Santa. I'll be honest, I thought she may have had an inkling about this but she didn't. She was shocked. It wasn't as amusing as I thought it might be and thankfully she didn't cry or anything too dramatic. She did however want details about who ate the cookies, how the gifts got there and why the heck we fed non existent reindeer every Christmas eve.

After she called the Santa thing a "sick joke" I asked if she liked seeing him at the mall, writing letters and thinking he was real. She said yes and I told her that is why parents do it. It's not a joke or a way to make fun of the kids but it makes the Holidays even more magical. Once she understood that I went ahead and did the big reveal on the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy. She again was confused and wanted to know all the hows and whys.

I explained I was telling her now because I didn't want her to find out in a way that was hurtful, like a friend or classmate telling her and picking on her for believing or finding it out in a movie and thinking we lied to her for 12 years. I also added that she can help keep Santa and the rest of the imaginary crew alive for her sister and even though she knows the truth she should keep it to herself.

All in all it went very well. But now I feel like crap. Maybe I should have let her believe for a while longer. I mean she's only at a 7 year maturity level so would it have hurt to keep the secret for a few more years? But what if she found out at school? Would that be worse? And today seemed like a good day for it. Every other time I considered telling her it was around a holiday or she was losing a tooth and how much would that suck? Yeah, I know you just colored Easter Eggs but... Or Thanks for the letter to Santa, by the way I save them since he doesn't exist... About that tooth under your pillow, well just go ahead and hand it to me. So since no major event was going on that could traumatize her I spilled the beans. It's sad, I feel like she lost a small piece of childhood but it had to be done at some point right?  And though I feel like crap I guess I'm glad it's over with now. It's not like I am off the hook from all of it since D is only 2. I will have to go through the motions for years to come but maybe it won't be so bad with B to help now.  (And A can stop laughing at her finally.)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

First Day of School

So today was the first day of school. I'll be honest, things didn't go exactly as I planned.

For starters James took B  and though I asked them to wake me, they didn't. Now I know they were being nice trying to let me sleep in but I wanted to see her off on the first day. No biggie, I could at least look at the picture I told James to be sure to take.

Once I finally got up I dressed for yoga. That's right! I'm going back to the old routine. So I was all ready when James said the mechanic wanted me to bring my car in. Ok, well... I did have brunch planned before yoga and since we had to drop off the car at noon, which is in the middle of the class it looks like my work out would have to wait until another day. But at least I could still have brunch!

Brunch was actually very nice up until D  had a wet fart. Yummy! I didn't realize it until I took her to potty but once I discovered her little Hershey kiss I took off her underwear, rinsed them and wrapped them up. D  was going commando but as long as she was discreet no biggie right? Well if you know my kid you are laughing right now because you know D  and discreet have nothing in common except a first initial. She didn't show everyone her va-jay-jay but on the way to the table she did tell everyone that she passed that she wasn't wearing undies. And when we got back to the table she flashed my friend by lifting her dress up to her eyebrows. Ok, that's my cue to leave.

So I then dropped off the car and came home to convert a corner of my house into a school for D . Once that was done we braved an hour long adventure to pick up B  who said she had a great day. She was so excited I barely understood a word of what she said as she told me every detail about her first day of middle school. We then took D  to gymnastics and picked up daddy. We picked up my car and went to eat with a friend. But during dinner B bit my friends son.

Here's the deal, I realize when stressed she can act erratically, and I know she can't always verbalize what she wants to but she knows not to bite!!! Basically they were playing and he wouldn't get off her and she bit him to get him off her. I asked if she felt threatened, in danger, confused, scared or even angry. She said no, she just wanted him to get up. I was so mad and embarrassed. I mean, she's 12 and he's 7. I sear with this girl sometimes it's like 1 step forward and 5 steps back. Well, she is grounded now over it but I am still in shock.

Anyway we then came home and after the nightly fight to get D asleep I asked James for B's first day of school photo to post but... he forgot! I feel like 8 years of work is gone. Sure he'll snap one tomorrow but it's not the same. At least it may make for an interesting note in the scrapbook so I am trying to not be too upset. So here I am blogging. Things didn't go as planned today. Pretty far from it but I feel like I am getting better at these curve balls life keeps throwing at me. No one plans to have to take the car in, no one plans to have their kid bit a friends kid but I am trying to stay calm and just keep on going and today I did ok. Tomorrow hopefully I'll do the same if not better but you never know!

Sine I don't have a photo of B on her first day of school here is a photo of D on her first day in her "School Corner". Unfortunately she prefers being under the desk rather than sitting at it but at least she is still doing her work. And by the time she's in school she'll be a pro at the tornado drill. What a weirdo.

Dance Bag

D is taking dance class this year and needs a bad to hold her ballet and tap shoes. I decided not to spend the $20 buck on a store bought bag so I made her a bag. I went a little crazy on the embellishments so the bag actually ended up costing the same as if I had bought it at a store but that's ok. It was fun to do and looks awesome. The pictures actually just don't do it justice.

I would normally give directions but it's so easy you wouldn't need them. It's just iron-on appliques from the craft store, a blank canvas bag and tulle. I used fabric glue because I was too lazy to sew. You just set them where you want on your bag (or whatever item  you are creating like an apron, shirt, etc.) and lay a thing cotton piece of material (you can buy these, but I just use old cloth diapers) and iron according to the directions on your iron-ons. Super easy right?

But if you want a bag (apron, hat or anything) and don't want to make it yourself, contact me to order one. They can be customized in anyway for any activity or interest.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Auto Drama

What a day! (And it's not even over yet!)

So with the big kids going back to school tomorrow, today was the official start of "D and Mommy Days". Since the big kids are home today they got to hang with us.

D started the morning with circle time (which was her sitting on a mat in front of me) followed by doing workbook pages. I'm taking it easy with things this week since I figured we'd have to adjust to new schedules and such. So I decided to have her work on colors, shapes and basic writing. She was quick to tell me she already knew all these things so I tried to explain the concept of practicing but it didn't work. Bribing with stickers did however.

After that we went to story time at the library and she really enjoyed it. We checked out books and had fun! Then on to last minute uniform shopping. B  no longer fits into the shorts I bought her not even a month ago and they had no more of the next size up so I had to order them. This means she has no shorts for school and will have to wear long pants. Poor kid is going to be so hot.

On the way home my air conditioning on my car went out.  Hello?!?!? Florida!!! It was a miserable drive home. Here is the deal with the car... I bought my 2002 SUV about 6 years ago. Before the 2 year mark the engine went out and we paid $5000 to replace it. Yes, you read right, 5k! In the last 3 years we have had an annual repair of some sort for an average of $800.

Last month, four months after the last $800 repair, I finally paid this puppy off. I had the idea of putting the monthly payment aside and save it for a down payment on a new car once the hubsters car was paid off.

If it lasted a year I'd be ok, 2 I'd be happy, 3 I'd grow wings and fly! But not even a month after I sent in my final payment my ac went out. There's another $900 repair. The place fixed what they thought was wrong but it keeps going out! Today was the 5th time. They said last time we took it in if it happens again we may need to replace the compressor which will cost about $1500.

So now I am home, blogging my frustrations instead of doing one of about 20 things I need to get done by tomorrow because I can't stand to see my kids dripping sweat in the back seat.

Now I have to decide if I want to just get a new car and keep having two car payments (and gas, and insurance, etc) or share hubby's (which I absolutely hate) or just roll around in a hotbox and see if my kids can actually melt. If it were winter I could make it another few months since heat seems fine but this is Florida. It won't start to get cold for at least 3 months and what am I supposed to do until then?

No matter what, we have to figure ou some solution, be it temporary or not, by tomorrow because school starts, James has work, A has football practice, D has gymnastics, I still have errands to run and that's not even the entire to list. Grrr!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Walmart = Retail Cesspool

What is it about Walmart that makes it the culmination of society's nastiest and most ignorant people? It's like a Retail Cesspool.

Seriously! I don't think there is anyone in America that hasn't been in a Walmart. And why would there be? There is a Wally World or ten in every city. They are not only convenient but also one of the cheapest places to buy anything, (not just in price but in quality as well). And the fact that you can get school uniforms, toilet paper, hardware and mulch all in one trip has it's benefits. But in spite of the one-stop shopping and rock bottom prices I loathe the place.

On top of it all, they let you return just about anything with a bar code! No receipt? No problem! They'll give you a store credit! This works out great for me since I always lose things but it also works great for the dirt bag that returned a toy after after stealing it and taking out some pieces (presumably to replace ones they themselves lost)  that Walmart re shelved and I just bought. Sure half of what I buy has been opened or returned for defects and then restocked or even just a piece of crap that breaks within one use. It was a great deal! Or so you think until you realize the trip cost you quadruple the price of the item in gas from having to come back to exchange it and lord only knows how much in therapy because some of the employees and many of the patrons have pushed you that much closer towards your future nervous breakdown.

I don't know why I keep going there. Oh yeah, it's because of all the things I've mentioned above and what seems to be a total disregard to my own well being! Are the "Roll Back Prices" really worth my sanity? Well after yet another trying attempt at shopping the answer is an emphatic NO!

It was my fault really. I know not to go into Walmart within a week of any major event. This includes holidays and in today's case... the start of school. But like the hard headed idiot I am I packed up the 3 kids and decided to brave the masses on a peak time during the weekend. (Maybe I have suicidal tendencies?)

Don't get me wrong. Not every person in Walmart (be it employee or customer) is an undereducated trashbag. But those who are negate the fact that there may actually be intelligent life in the building. After all stupid can be much more powerful than smart and when in Walmart this is ever apparent. Why? Because stupid is contagious!!! I caught it today when I got into and argument with these twins. Not only did they look like they just stumbled out of a crack house but they had bad attitudes to boot. And sure, everyone has a right to be ugly and gross but to have two of these schmucks walking around seems almost unfair to everyone else that has to see them.

People in Walmart fall into 3 categories. One is the generally nice pleasant and polite group that go in, share the aisles, smile and make being stuck in a line behind them completely bearable. But they are rarely the problems. The problems are the other two groups. These are the people that either walk like they are on a mission and all who cross there path will be torn asunder (or at least rammed with a cart). They have the look of some internal turmoil gleaming in their eye and the faint smell of someone looking for a fight. The others people meander slowly if not lethargically down the aisles coming to complete stops in the middle of intersections as they mull over some mindless thought that has managed to find it's way into their tiny little brain. The latter of these are annoying but pose no real threat to anything other than my patience. The former however was behind me in the check out line.

Needless to say after shopping and dealing with 3 kids (who weren't bad so much as just tired) I got into a check out line already worn out feeling defeated by the day. I began loading my things onto the belt and these two women squawk "You just cut us in line". Here's the thing...  How did I manage to get three kids, a cart and myself up to a check out and load six items on the belt if these two women were in line? Not likely but I rarely go looking for an argument so I turned around to see to identically ugly old trashy looking twins behind me. I was actually polite when I told them I didn't know they were in line.

I didn't have an attitude, in fact I honestly didn't care if they went ahead of me... until they began to curse in front of my kids, saying that they were looking at their coupons when I cut in front of them. Again, I wasn't looking for a problem and had they been of the same mind no one would have found one. But to mistake my manners and general easy going attitude as being weak is a mistake of epic proportions. So I said that it was uncalled for to cuss at me in front of my kids. They decided that because I said this calmly and politely I was meek and wouldn't do anything. WRONG!  No one cusses in front of my kids except me!!!

I proceeded to go into a 5 minute tirade of insults and profanities while the poor cashier and guy checking out in front of me starred on with open mouths and wide eyes. At first they tried to scream over me but I only raised my voice loud enough so I know they could hear it and basically gave them a verbal beat down ending with them shutting their mouths and not making eye contact with me again.

Again, I would rather not fight with anyone, especially with my kids present, but not wanting to argue or fight doesn't mean can't or won't. Once it was obvious that they were done and staying quiet I went back to loading my items, bought the kids a drink, made small talk with the cashier and loaded my bags in the cart. As I was leaving one of them decided to make another comment. I turned and smiled and said I hope they have a horrible day, and "Be careful leaving the store because it would be a shame if they walked out at the same time I drove by distracted." I then left and just for giggles waited taking my time loading and packing my car and returning the cart... just to see if they came right out after me. They didn't. They must have stayed inside for at least 10 minutes so after I couldn't reasonably stall any longer without the kids wondering why I left.

Now am I proud of how I acted? Not really. My kids hear me cuss and say things they know they shouldn't say but to watch me launch a verbal assault probably won't win me any "parent of the year" awards. But I am also glad that as this all went down they just kinda laughed or smiled. On the drive home I explained that I lost my temper but they both said they were embarrassed up until the point I said something back. I told them starting fights isn't a good thing but sticking up for yourself is but I also told them better ways to handle situations like that. Did they actually learn anything? Probably not (unless don't push mom too far was a lesson they needed to learn). But I learned something...

NEVER GO BACK TO WALMART. They money I save may have to be used to bail me out of jail.

(Apologies to any Walmart customers or employees who are not brainless pieces of garbage,this is not a slight at you, just me venting. And thank you for not being a blight of the retail world.)

And if you want a good laugh at the "Retail Giant" and some of it's customers, check out:

Friday, August 19, 2011

The New School!!!

Today was so awesome. We went to B's open house. And while that probably isn't so exciting to a lot of people I was thrilled. This will be her first year at Pepin. Pepin is a school for children with special needs. I have been excited for Bria to go there but after meeting her teachers today and talking to other parents I am on cloud nine.

The teachers took time to speak to every single parent and child. They were so kind and welcoming and seemed truly happy to be there. B got so excited at one point she actually cried, and the teacher was just so cool about it. She laughed and smiled and told her they always have lots of tissues. B didn't even get self conscious about it (which she normally does thus leading to more tears derived of embarrassment).

The students stopped her to ask her name and introduce themselves and showed her around. It's the first time in a long time that I haven't been worried about her being accepted.

I also got to meet other parents and volunteers and of course I signed up for several activities. The school requires each parent to volunteer 20 hours. I don't see this being a problem for me since I can't wait to get to know some of these people and help out with any and everything I can.

I have been wanting to be around parents that understand having a special needs child for so long and I feel like finally I may get that chance. I'm probably just as excited as B is. I mean, this kids schedule includes a period for TV Production and for Drama. I don't think she could have gotten better electives. And of course she signed up for cheerleading. I finally feel like we are at a school where we will fit. It's a nice feeling.

I don't have to give a hundred warnings and disclaimers about not letting her wander or her speech issues. They already are prepared and completely capable of dealing with it. I couldn't be happier and more importantly I don't think B could be either.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

An extra year.

My toddler is amazing. Not only is she super smart but she LOVES to learn. She's been begging to go to school but I don't work so it doesn't make sense to have her in a preschool or daycare full time. So I am doing lessons with her each day and looked into a morning program or a class that's a few days a week.

I found several, but here's my pickle... they all have a cut off based on your age as of September 1st (just like schools do). The reason this is an issue is that puts her about a year behind because of her September 4th birthday!

I'm do not have delusions of Ds educations grandeur but the kid is sharp. She learns easy and fast and to put her in a class where they are learning shapes and colors seems silly when she's writing and knows the difference between horizontal, vertical, diagonal and curved lines. This is a kid who's starting to read and already know some sight words. She doesn't need to learn her ABCs, we covered that.

So even though she's not going to be 3 by the cut off I just don't want to put her in a class that's below her level developmentally. I don't want her to get bored and I don't want her to feel like she's held back because it could ruin this time that learning is so amazing and new and fun for her.

So this makes me worry about the future when she is in real school. I love that she will be a year older, wiser and more mature (hopefully) than her classmates. I love that she will start high school and subsequently Drivers Ed a year later. I love that she will graduate and move out for an extra year. Maybe she won't always be as ahead of the educational game as she is now but if she is we already have decided that we would prefer gifted classes as opposed to skipping a grade (optimistic parenting right?).

But knowing that most of her friends will start school a year ahead of her stinks. I realize the pals you make at playgroup when your 1 don't always withstand the test of time but I was looking forward to sharing some Homeroom Mom responsibilities with a friend I already knew (and therefore could stand).

So the age thing isn't a huge deal but it comes with some issues, a few good features and a few bad. But what can I do? The kid refused to be born any earlier and I distinctly remember laying in bed with a 9 month belly begging her to "get out already". I guess the silver lining to it all is because of how her birthday falls I get an extra year with her at home and after all that's pretty cool. I mean I love staying home with her. I don't know what I'll do once she's in school all day. Oh great, now I can start worrying about that... but I'll try to put it off till that extra year I have coming.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I can see the end of Summer from here!

It's not like I didn't expect this. I always look at Summer as this exciting chance to really do something. Sometimes it's getting things I want to get done finished, sometimes it's doing all these new and fun things with the kids. I think a lot of people feel the same way.

The approach of summer is so closely tied to our own adolescent anticipation for vacation that we don't always outgrow it. I get it, after about 18 years of conditioning ourselves to look forward to summer as the end all of the year, the chance to let lose and have a ball, it's hard to look at the three month span as what it is... and what it is is pretty much no different from the rest of the year except I get worn out faster during these three months than I do for the other nine.

We don't do a vacation, but I still make all these plans and have all these hopes for this amazing time with the kids but come the fall I can't wait to send them back to school. Plus to be honest, I miss my time alone with D. It's so sad my toddler is like my best friend but other then my hubby she has the personality closest to mine. We fight, and argue and hug and make up. But even though she wears me out, I miss the me and her time.

Don't get me wrong, I love having the kids around 24/7 but it's like what they say about having too much of a good thing. The first couple weeks are action packed fun but now I'm beat! A's already staying with his mom so I already miss him but it has helped me adjust to how things will be during the school year. I guess it was better he went home a few weeks early rather then right before school. I imagine with him going back to the other mothers house and B being gone at school all day I may have gotten a case of "empty nest blues" but since it's all happening gradually I'm pretty good with it.

Besides B is exhausting. People just have no clue. I sometimes wish I could video tape our day so when people ask "Why are you so stressed" or "What could she be doing that's so difficult" I could just play them a snippet of my day. Like yesterday when she put her hands in the toilet (don't even ask) or when I told her not to use a particular perfume because when she puts it on it makes me sick with asthma and hives so she gives it to D to spray because she thinks that it won't have the same effect since I only told her "when you spray it I get sick". I can almost see the confusion but after so many occurrences each day it's tough so it will be nice to have a teacher bear some of that burden during the day. Plus I'll miss her not being around so when I'll be more tolerant and not so short fused.

Basically I'm over summer. I know I said I was excited for it but I also said I'd probably change my tune shortly into the vacation so you can't fault me, I was being honest. Now I can't wait for school to start... but give it a week or so and I'll miss having all the kids all day I'll be counting down to winter break. And the cycle will continue....

Monday, August 1, 2011

Watch Your Kids... Online!

I know I haven't posted much this summer. With all 3 kids home and lessons each day I'm been swamped so I haven't blogged much. But at the risk of being accused of only blogging to bitch about something I have to get something off my chest.

Now this would bother the heck out of me normally but lately I have been considering letting B go on Facebook to chat with her grandmother and grandfather. My son has also been begging for a page. Now with B  being 12 and A  10 I would have to fib just to get them on since facebooks only for ages 14 and up but since I will be heavily monitoring everything they do we are leaning towards letting them have a page. But on whim yesterday with this in mind I started snooping on facebook.

I was looking at a friends kids facebook page and was amazed at how much this kid was cursing! So I blocked her and sent her mom a message. Her mother said in response to my FYI about her 15 year olds potty mouth "That's how kids talk when their parents aren't around". To me this isn't ok. First of all you are around! She is doing it online and most likely while in your house! I realize kids may talk "big" when out alone but this isn't a case where they should be alone.

So this made me wonder what my own cousins would have on their facebook pages. It was soooo much worse!

1. First of all a 14 year old girl shouldn't have 295 friends. She doesn't know that many people in real life so she shouldn't have contact with that many people online.

2. Her settings were set to "Everyone" so anyone who finds her page can see her email, IM address, phone #, home info and pictures of her.

3. Speaking of picture, it was eye candy for pedophiles. They were taken mostly by her in front of a bathroom mirror on her cell phone trying to show cleavage and look sexy. Lots were labeled as "Sexy Bitch" "Fine Ass" and "You know you want to hit this". At 14?!?!?

4. Language. Her photos, updates and everything were laced with the foulest language. Those of you who know me know I have a potty mouth but what she was saying made me cringe.

5. Her hobbies and interests consisted of "Partying", "Smoking", "Sleeping it Off" "Being Sexy" and the pages she liked were "Pot" "and a variety of alcoholic beverages.

I was repulsed and disgusted and so ashamed of her and her parents who are either grossly negligent due to an abundance of ignorance or laziness. She is the type of gal criminals go online to seek out and they are doing nothing to protect her from herself!
I told my dad to tell his siblings about this because I don't think they have a clue... but why don't they?

You would never drop your child off at a party where you knew drug users and pedophiles may hang out so why would you let them surf the web without taking basic precautions like checking their online activities. It's not like this kid is hiding her info, after all she sent me a friend request!

If you don't do all you can to protect your children then don't complain when they use drugs, get pregnant, hurt or worse. Being a parent is a full time job and isn't limited to real life, internet, at home or away. You have to be a parent always or else you are failing in the most important job you will ever have. And I know parents can't stop everything and great parents sometimes go through hell with kids who act out and get in trouble but as long as you are doing everything you can and you know that, then you are a good parent. .