Posts Tagged ‘daughters’


Happy April! What a gorgeous day today is. All of my girls are feeling well; it’s sunny and temperatures are supposed to reach 40*F; I’m finishing my first cup of coffee while wearing one of my favorite sweaters before getting ready for work.

I think it’s time to assess the things I’m grateful for, especially with Easter coming up this weekend.

Today, on April 1st 2015, I’m very grateful for:

  1. coffee
  2. very large coffee mugs
  3. like, coffee mugs that will fit three 12-oz servings of coffee to drink all at once and that’s like… oh sheesh, math… 36 oz in one mug!
  4. the fact that my family understands the importance of coffee in my life
  5. my husband
  6. my children
  7. seeing so much good in my daughters, with love reflected back to me and in everything they do
  8. my brothers
  9. all of my sisters-in-law
  10. all of my brothers-in-law
  11. my parents and my mother-in-law
  12. my very best friends, my chosen sisters
  13. the good health of my family and friends
  14. my job
  15. the fact that most days I can still function enough to go to work
  16. working toilets
  17. working heat
  18. blankets
  19. sweaters
  20. fluffy slippers
  21. my Kindle
  22. kitchen gadgets
  23. the fact that it hasn’t snowed in two whole days
  24. God answering my prayers in small ways that matter
  25. a working phone
  26. working clothes washer and dryer
  27. payday
  28. my invisible internet friends
  29. oh my gosh, my CATS of course
  30. and how did I not put chocolate on this list by now?
  31. and Girl Scout cookies?
  32. God, there’s something wrong with me today. I also forgot hot showers
  33. and paper towels
  34. and freshly washed warm bath towels
  35. being able to bake with my daughters
  36. family being appreciate (usually) of my cooking)
  37. a (kind of) working (kind of) reliable car
  38. getting X-Finity over frontier because frontier sucks donkey balls, let’s face it
  39. DVR
  40. oh my gosh, why isn’t my hairdresser further up this list? clearly great haircuts from my awesome stylist ought to be further up this list. Last but not least, saved the best for last, and all that, right?
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microwave dangerWe packed up the baby factory years ago.  My youngest is 9 years old going on 40.  I’m turning 40 next month.  Well… 30 with ten years experience.  Seeing babies and pregnant women often makes me want to have more of my own.  I miss the newborn and infant stages… all of the littleness stages.The practicality of it is obvious, I suppose, but the emotions of it aren’t gone so I need a new rundown of why it’s probably good that we’re done having babies.

  1. I’m not a spring chicken
  2. We can come and go from the house without having to pack up lots and lots of gear
  3. The children are mostly self-sufficient and independent
  4. I wouldn’t have to deal with morning sickness that lasts 24/7
  5. We don’t have to think up cutesy ways of telling people that “we” are pregnant
  6. We don’t have to decide if we want to wait or find out the sex of a baby and then answer endless questions about it
  7. I won’t have to hear old wives tales about how I’m carrying, eating, looking
  8. No more diaper changing or spit up unless I’m babysitting for someone else
  9. I won’t have to answer personal questions about pregnancy or jokes about how I got that way
  10. We don’t need to see people’s facial expressions when they hear name considerations that they dislike
  11. We don’t need to worry about agreeing on a name together for a brand new human
  12. We won’t have to rearrange bedrooms for a crib
  13. We won’t have to tip-toe around nap times or worry about getting a baby used to a noisy house
  14. We won’t have to answer questions on what style of parenting we’re going to use
  15. I won’t have to take 6 weeks maternity leave from work and then get so emotional that I have to quit my job to stay home because I just can’t leave my baby
  16. I can look at other pregnant women and feel a little jealous or envious, but the feeling passes
  17. I don’t have to argue for or against natural birth or epidurals or c-sections or hospital birth or home birth or magic wands
  18. I don’t have to share my opinion on “push presents”
  19. I can hold other babies and spend time with toddlers, but I get to go home with my own daughters
  20. I get to keep being the cool auntie to new babies
  21. I don’t have to worry about SIDS unless a newborn is sleeping over my house
  22. I baby-talk at the cats
  23. Toilet training is over
  24. We no longer watch Blue’s Clues and Dora the Explorer on endless loops
  25. I can no longer remember all of the names of each Wiggle
  26. I don’t have to worry about whether I have to defend breastfeeding or bottle feeding
  27. I don’t have to worry about whether I have to defend cloth diapering or disposable diapering
  28. Regarding 17, 18, 26 and 27… I don’t mind my brain to mouth filter quite as much as I used to in my old-ish age
  29. I really need the coffee and pregnancy would hinder that, and more children would increase my need for it
  30. I have a chronic pain disorder and let’s face it, pregnancy would exacerbate my Fibromyalgia
  31. Babies are expensive
  32. We would need all new baby gear and clothes
  33. We really need a new dishwasher
  34. And a new heater
  35. And a new hot water boiler
  36. We could also use some new windows
  37. Maybe some curtains too
  38. I’d also love a new living room set
  39. We also need to get the girls some new bedroom furniture
  40. And I really enjoy being able to get my hair done every few months
  41. We also enjoy buying groceries
  42. And affording coffee
  43. My memory is not what it used to be, and a new baby could end up on the middle school bus while my middle schooler is happily sleeping in a crib
  44. I need far more sleep than a newborn would give me
  45. Or a toddler for that matter
  46. I recently had a dream that I was still in high school and left my baby in the gymnasium because the bell rang and it was lunch time but when I went back the baby was gone
  47. My daughters are perfectly happy with our family dynamic
  48. My husband is perfectly happy with our family dynamic
  49. I’m pretty sure the cats are somewhat, sort of, maybe happy with our family dynamic
  50. My daughters are old enough to do chores and a new baby isn’t
  51. I threw away all of my old maternity clothes
  52. It would be really difficult pushing a stroller and using my cane at the same time
  53. Kitty litter is bad for pregnant women and babies
  54. The microwave oven at my work place… just saying
  55. I have already achieved perfection in the three daughters that I have

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My Sweet Girl doesn’t like talking on the phone.  Clarifying:  the boring land line which all you can do with is talk on it; the android, which you could speak into in order to have conversations except for the fact that she hates doing that.  She doesn’t like pleasantries, conversations of a fun or serious nature, and doesn’t “get” what’s so great about the entire vocalizing conversations thing.

She much prefers my android and the fun things the phone actually does.  Youtube, Kindle books, Angry Birds.  She looks forward to having her own one day so that she can have Youtube, Kindle books, and Angry Birds and text all of the friends and family that she doesn’t want to speak with.

During the second PPT of the school year I asked her team to build into the social therapies “telephone speaking skills.”  At 11 years old she doesn’t know, or care to know, how to make a phone call on the house phone or the android (or even her dad’s basic phone).  She doesn’t know, or care to know, how to answer any of the phones.  She does know how to view a text I’ve received.  She knows how to open any app that interests her.  She knows how to open up Chrome and do an internet search for My Little Ponies and Frozen and Angel Cat Sugar.  She knows how to do all of these things on my Kindle too.

I wasn’t sure how the social therapy regarding the phone skills was working because she’s still resistant to using the phone, and although I encourage her to take calls that come in for her, I don’t force her to do more than listen to the other person and be polite.  I also don’t force her to make a phone call, although I will have her listen to me make a phone call and watch what I do.  Her response every time is,

“I do not like the phone. I do not… know.”

I get it.  I do.  She has nonverbal learning disorder, and she has some anxiety regarding phone usage because, I’m guessing, telephone conversations generally don’t have an easily identifiable script.  There isn’t an expected beginning, middle, or end.  People say and ask unexpected things and since it’s not face to face, responding more quickly (as opposed to taking some time to respond) feels more urgent and anxiety inducing.

It’s ok.  But it’s still important that she knows how to do these things.  I want her to know how in case she NEEDS to make a call or respond to a call.  Emergencies could happen.  She needs to know emergency contact numbers too, but that’s been a very long difficult lesson that worries her.  We usually have a medical alert bracelet for her with ICE info on it, but the last one broke so it’s time to get a new one.  It helped her feel secure.

So you can imagine my surprise when my youngest princess called me today (as requested) with a grocery list I asked her to help me with.  I asked her if the Sweet Girl had helped make the list, offered suggestions, or anything.  She said no and then forced her sister on the phone.

I fully expected Sweet Girl to drop the phone and walk away.  She didn’t.  She didn’t because with forceful determination, my youngest daughter told her to speak up and tell Mom what she wanted for groceries.  I said “Hello” and asked her what she’d like when I went shopping after work.

Suddenly…

“Ummm… yes.  Tomato.”

“Ok. Tomato… sauce?”

“Yes.  But red soup.  Gramma calls it red soup.  It is red.”

“Great idea!”

“Mmm hmmm, yes.  Sauce.  Your sauce is better.  You need enough.”

“I need enough cans to make sauce AND soup?”

“Yes, you do.”

“Good idea.  What’s next?”

“I need hummus chips.  They are healthy.  I do not like hummus.  Hummus chips are good.”

“Uh, yeah.”

“I need black bean chips.  I do not like black beans.  I do not like texture.  Black bean hummus chips are good.”

“On the list.  Thanks, honey.”

“Chocolate pretzels… uhhh… Special K.  They have the chocolate pretzels I like.”

“Ok, thank you.  Anything else?”

“Yes. Apples.  Strawberries are good.  I do not like bananas.  Anna and Daddy like bananas, I do not like them.  You should buy them.”

“Great, I almost forgot those on the list.”

“Mmm hmmm, yes.  My pretzels, the ones I like.”

“Mustard?”

“Yes, mustard pretzels.”

“Well, should we get veggies? I think those would be healthy.”

“Yes, get veggies.”

I fully expected her to remind me that she doesn’t eat veggies or meat, only fruit and carbs and cheese, so this surprised me.  🙂

“Oh! Well what veggies would you like?”

“Rhubarb.  I miss rhu…rhubarb.  I like cauliflower.  You have to get cheesy, um, the giant one.”

“Sure! We did run out of the cauliflower.”

“We ran out of rhubarb.  Last summer.”

“That too, I hope I can find it.”

“Hmmm, yes.  You should get my fruit bars.  They are frozen.  I like strawberry.  I like lemon.  I want coconut.”

“But the coconut has milk in it.”

“Yes, you say that.  I like strawberry.”

“Do you miss yogurt?”

“I like yogurt.  Get one with chocolate.”

“You’re such a big help on this list honey.”

“Yes.  I need allergy medicine.  And nut clust… clusters.  I runned out of Lactaid.  I need chocolate Chex.”

“We ran out of a lot.  Are you hungry?”

“I don’t know.”

“Do you think the list is done?”

…..

…..

“Hi Mommy, Gracie just dropped the phone.”

 

Oh! My! Gosh! That girl kept me on the phone for 15 minutes! I complimented her when I got home from grocery shopping, and made sure she saw the healthy foods she added to the list.  She may not eat the majority of the food she PUT on that list, but she created a grocery list! Over the phone! For 15 minutes!

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I realize that some people want a little backstory on the bullying post I made last night.  Names of the kids involved have been changed to protect their privacy, and I’ve deleted the most personally identifying information and stuff that I don’t believe my daughter would want the world to know (especially as what I’ll be excluding won’t be relevant to the situation).

This is from an e-mail I sent to the Vice Principal to notify him of the situation as my daughter, J, described it.  Please remember that these children are only 11 years old.  I’ve written about bullying issues in the past, although not about this boy in particular even though he’s been a problem.

Hello Mr. VP Blahbitty Blah,

Snippity snip niceties follow… snip snip

After she came home from homework club today she told me about an incident with “Stuart Finklehopper” that seems to be an ongoing situation. They were both at ELEMENTARY SCHOOL and had their three last years there in the same class. During that time, although Jules had no personal problem with “Stuart”, I noticed that he grew increasingly annoyed by her as each school year passed. It was normal boy/girl annoyance that he took to a personal level. She pretty much has left him alone but when they come into contact for projects or in classes together, he’s been gradually more and more rude and insulting to her. There’s never a reason given. So that’s the background.

They haven’t had class together here at MIDDLE SCHOOL until this new quarter of tech started; right now it’s wood shop 6th period with Mr. TECHIE TEACHER. It’s been more of the same since the quarter started but today was the worst.

She says that when she first came into contact with “Stuart” today, he started to say physically threatening and intimidating things, such as “I can beat you up without even trying” and “I’ll kick you across the room” and she was feeling intimidated and unsafe. She stood up for herself and when she did that he called her names, including calling her a bitch. This occurred near the water fountain in the work area in the classroom. He then started calling her ugly, telling her that she’s so ugly she could stare into a mirror and break it. He has said other similar things to her, but this seems to be escalating. She’s crying, and she’s so upset that she’s dreading having to be around him because she doesn’t feel safe around him. She’s genuinely afraid that he’ll hurt her.

Other kids that witnessed this were “Barnaby Finklehopper” and maybe “Mugby Bushbeans.” Jules reported this incident to Mr. TECHIE TEACHER but he didn’t address this during the class; instead he told Jules that he would address it “later” or “tomorrow.” I’m not satisfied with that response, and am hoping that Mr. TECHIE TEACHER has reported this to you. She says Mr. TECHIE TEACHER assured her that he would be keeping “Stuart” under close watch.” But she also says that she didn’t go into so much detail with Mr. TECHIE TEACHER. And of course Mr. TECHIE TEACHER wouldn’t be aware of the past history going on.

SNIP SNIP …

She’s told me at home that she hates how she looks and “some kids” have called her ugly but she just admitted that it’s really just “Stuart.” There was a girl named “Jan’Iah Gorgonzola” who used to join in with “Stuart” calling her ugly and being rude and insulting, but she stopped a while ago at the beginning of the quarter. I’m not so sure she would “witness” for Jules, but I know that it affected her deeply and poorly. This has been an incredibly difficult transition year for her and this bullying has made it much, much more difficult than it ought to be. We have other issues we’ve been dealing with such as SNIP SNIP. She’s had issues in the past with bullies, and luckily has learned how to deal with them but being physically threatened to the point where she actually fears for her safety is new to her.

I’m going to be honest: Jules has requested that she completely separated from “Stuart.” She’s requested that he be moved out of the class and never put into any of her classes in the future. She loves the wood shop class and doesn’t want to move out of it. I understand, however, if school policy dictates something else. I do agree with my daughter, however, that these two kids need to be separated.

I look forward to speaking with you. Please feel free to call me at home. SNIP SNIP

Thank you for your attention in this matter. If it would be better to meet face to face I can meet at any time SNIP SNIP.

Obviously, more has  happened since then as this was sent a week ago today in the evening.  And last night’s blog entry was the follow up.  Part of my conversation with the VP over the phone was about separating the kids but that my daughter would have to be the one to move out of the class.  She’s not happy about that.  I can’t imagine that “Stuart” will leave the class unless his mother requests it, and ditto for “Jan’Iah.”

I’m completely disappointed and livid with the tech teacher for his response because whatever he supposedly did, he didn’t handle handle “Stuart” very well.  The behavior over the past week didn’t change at all until I followed up with the VP to see if he had received my e-mail (he hadn’t until I spoke with him and re-sent it).  The teacher never even reported it, let alone “kept an eye on” the kid.  Even after it being reported and supposedly being on my daughter’s side, he just let it go and ignored it.

This is a school system that up until now has shown me that teachers take the zero tolerance on bullying policy very seriously.  I’m relieved that as soon as the VP was made aware, things started to change, but now I’m anxious for an update.  I’m supposed to get a call before the end of the school day.

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Back To School “Victims”


After an eventful weekend fending off Hurricane Irene, camping out at a friend’s house as “lost electricity” refugees, and getting things slowly back to a semblance of normal, the girls all started school this past Tuesday.  It’s strange for me, since I’m still not working out of the home yet, and it’s the first time that all three of my girls are at school for a full day.  The house is strangely quiet.

Surprisingly, though, it’s not me that’s having trouble adjusting to the quiet and peace in the house.  It’s not me that’s wandering aimlessly around, staring out windows, standing at the door staring at the knob, running to the door when the buses come down the street for the kindergarteners at lunch time.

It’s the cats.

The sudden quiet seems to be unsettling to them.  I’m a bit surprised that they still remember Anna’s old kindergarten routine from last year when she would get on the bus at lunch time and come home in the afternoon.  Except this year she’s on the bus early in the morning when her older sisters get on the bus, so the furbabies are confused by the morning silence.  Yet they know the sound of the buses and think, “Ooh! The girl! She’s home for lunch!”

Except she’s not.

So they leap into the windows the instant they hear the buses, which is long before I can hear the buses coming.  When the buses pass the house they look confused.  A few minutes later they walk aimlessly around the house.  They won’t eat, but they nap in the girls’ beds.

The do seem to know when the girls are supposed to come home.  I pick up Jules from school, so when I walk in with her the cats are both sitting at the door waiting with their tails up.  Happy! A girl is home! An hour later there are buses all up and down the street again and they’re in the windows and hanging out at the door again.  Yesterday, Daisy even tried to open the front screen door.  It was like, “Where’s the girl! Where! Girl!”

Of course when the girls finally came home and walked through the doors with the cats both waiting there, they scattered as if to say, “Pish, what? Us? Wait for you? Crazy. We wait for no one.  Leave us alone.”  And yet they perked right up, started eating again and even “asked” the girls to feed them and for treats, plopped themselves in the girls’ laps for snuggles and scritchies, and slept on their heads at bedtime.

These are the victims of summer vacation that no one ever thinks about.  Or perhaps the victims of the new school year.  The family members that lose their playmates and have no idea where or why they’re going.  The pets.

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