Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Building Character...One embarrassing moment at a time

I'm a firm believer in teaching my children how to laugh at themselves.  Although Beelay would totally disagree, I don't go out of  my way to embarrass them.  Even though they often make it sooooo easy, I do sometimes let the opportunity pass without bringing attention to their sporadic lack of common sense.  However, when a Kodak Moment happens...I just can't help myself.  Obviously, one is more cooperative than the other when it comes to snapping a picture of their dumb dumb moments.  She's also the one that has mastered laughing at herself...or maybe she just happens to find herself in tighter situations and can't run away from the camera.  Slou LOVES to be silly and make other people laugh, but only if it's on purpose.  Otherwise, she's much happier laughing at her sister than at herself...but we're not giving up on her yet.

It's also my opinion that sports/athletics and other extracurricular activities build character.  Actually I think my exact words this weekend were "Losing builds character...".  I try to keep both of my kids active.  Even though it gets EXPENSIVE and it runs me ragged...in the end I hope I'm right in thinking that it's all gonna pay off.  Winning builds confidence and losing builds character.  That saying about idle hands being the Devil's play things or an idle mind is the Devil's playground...or however it goes is TRUE!!!  I found plenty of trouble when I was growing up...because I wasn't all that active.  My goal is to keep them active and out of trouble.  Wish me luck and maybe say a little prayer every now and then that we all survive the emotional and hormonal HELL that we're headed towards.

I'm always trying to think of  new ways to build character in my children.  Some of my other theories include making them earn things, saying no sometimes (just to remind them that I can).  Compliment a job well-done, encourage them to do the same (to each other and others).  Admit when they're wrong.  Stick up for themselves and others.  Recognize their own mistakes and others...and learn from them.  The list could go on and on...but in general, I just try to set a good example.

I left out the part where I'm an embarrassing stalker mom too.  The #1 rule when I agreed to let Beelay have a Facebook, was she had to be "friends" with me and I had to have her password.  I of course had the best intentions of logging on and checking her FB daily, but in all honesty I forgot her password a long time ago.  I do still FB stalk her and her friends on the regular though.  I also follow them on Instagram.  I want them to know that I can see everything they post, so maybe they'll think twice about posting things they shouldn't.  I want to know what is going on with my kids.  Up until very recently there have never really been any secrets between us...until I realized Facebook is no longer the place to be if you're a cool kid (my 13 year old).  I noticed that she was rarely posting things on Facebook anymore and it dawned on me...like the whole light bulb thing going off and bells ringing in my ears!!  She's on TWITTER!!!  Apparently the rule about asking permission about social networking sites flew out the window shortly after giving her mom kisses became "uncool".  So me being the HORRIBLY EMBARRASSING mom that I am, I joined Twitter.  I always swore that I'd never tweet...seriously, I have a hard enough time coming up with original material for my Facebook and my blog.  I don't need the Twitter pressure too!!  But a mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do.

I read through her tweets.  Surprisingly there weren't that many.  But there were some that didn't exactly make me proud to call her my daughter.  They were just silly middle school drama tweets, but they had that "mean girl" air to them.  The next day we were all spending our quality family time in the den...me on the love seat playing on my phone, Slou laying on the couch watching an episode of "Shake it up" and Beelay laying in the floor playing on her iTouch.  I can't even describe the emotion in her voice when she said "When did you join Twitter?".  It was somewhere between "maybe she's dumb and hasn't actually figured out how to read my tweets" and "OH SHIT!!!"  I just answered her calmly with "last night".  

She then sweetly told me she just blocked me.  You can use your imagination on my reaction to that one...but to put it nicely, she unblocked me in order to keep her Twitter account.  But  her main argument was that Twitter was where she vented and said what she wanted and sometimes cussed.  HA!!!  My response: "My point EXACTLY!!  You're 13 and don't need to be sometimes cussing on ANY form of social networking site.  Anybody can see the things you post and they will often come back to bite you in the butt."

Her first tweet after realizing I was following her: That awkward moment when you find out your mom has twitter and has been stalking you. #leavemealone #annoying

I don't understand how this is surprise to her.  I've always been very consistent in my stalking.  It's what I do.  It's what every mom should do.  The more involved and aware you are of your kids and their friends, the more likely they'll make good decisions when it comes to who they're friends with and what they're broadcasting for the world to see.

And the downside to her having to be "friends" with me on Facebook, she saw this post.  Her comment was "Mom, really those pictures???"  Guess blogging can go down as yet another thing I do to embarrass my children.  She told me this morning on the way to school that she really doesn't appreciate me writing about her and I told her that she needed to get over it because writing about her was how I kept from killing her :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Small Daily Dose Of Giggles

Yesterday was my mom's birthday.  This can be a test as to whether she actually reads my blog or not.  She swears she's too busy...I don't believe her :)

Back to the story at hand.  My mom just recently moved back to the Atlanta area.  This was her first birthday back home...so my sister, brother, Beelay and I made the hour-ish trip down to take her out to dinner last night.

As we're sitting in traffic, discussing our mother's habit of crying at the drop of a hat about the dumbest, most random things...and I know we should all be ashamed of ourselves for making fun of her on her birthday.  But we had a damn good giggle about it.

Beelay starts telling a story I've already heard, but I think it was new for Uncle.  A couple summers ago, my girls went on a wonderful vacation with my mom and her boyfriend.  While they were at the resort, mom asked Beelay where something was...I don't even remember what it was. But her response was "up your butt and around the corner"...I guess it was highly inappropriate for a then 11 year old to say to her grandmother, but it's a very accurate example of our family.  Well this hurt mom's feelings and she immediately started crying and told Beelay she couldn't go to the waterpark anymore...which made Beelay cry too...and in the end they hugged and cried together and probably ended up going to the waterpark anyway. 

Fast forward back to our car, as we're passing by Turner Field...Beelay then tells us that her sister's version of the saying is "Up your butt and around the corner...through a tube and out your boob."  All of us are just about crying from laughter.  Uncle says "I'm totally slipping that one in at dinner."...and we all laugh even harder.  We get to mom's and have a couple cocktails...totally taking advantage of Auntie being knocked up, so she has no choice but to be our DD!!!  We're sitting around my Gramma's house, when Uncle asks my mom where the restaurant is.  She tells him...and he says "That's not what Beelay said."  Mom: "What? Where did she say it was?"  At this point I already see it coming, but Auntie & Beelay are both blank.  He says "She said it's up your butt and around the corner."  At this point, I'm crying and about to pee my pants.  And mom is absolutely CLUELESS as to why we're all laughing so hard...but laughing right along with us.

All in all, it was a good dinner and a great evening.  Happy birthday Mom!!  We're glad you're back!!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Want Kids?

Before anyone decides to have children there are a lot of things they need to consider.  I'm going to discuss what I think you should know (or what I wish I'd known) before you get knocked up or before you knock someone up...and things you need to do in order to prepare for the arrival of your bundle of joy once you've already successfully done the dirty and procreated.

Before conception:
First and foremost, kids are EXPENSIVE!!!  Money doesn't grow on trees and baby furniture, clothes, diapers & formula don't just magically appear.  And there really isn't a stork that just drops them off on your doorstep either.  IF I was going to do it again and have another baby, I'd make sure I had zero debt...credit cards, medical bills, past due bills, etc.  Then I'd save as much as possible.  Ideally, I'd want to have at least 3 months salary in my savings account.

Research your health insurance.  Be educated on what they cover and what they don't.  Know what your deductible is and how much your max out of pocket is.  You don't want to be surprised when the hospital bills start showing up.   If your employer offers short term disability insurance, TAKE IT!!  Make sure you plan out how you're going to pay your bills while you're out on maternity leave.  Day cares will not take a baby before they are six weeks old...and you're truly not going to want to take them to day care EVER!!  So try to plan and save up so you're not forced back to work right away.

Expect the unexpected.  When I was pregnant with my first child, I was in 3 wrecks (only one was my fault) and my transmission went out on my truck...talk about unexpected expenses!!  With my second, I was high-risk and on bed rest for 6 weeks or so and then was only able to work part time after that...and then thought I was going into labor at work 2 weeks early.  Turned out it was only dehydration, but I scared my boss so badly he wouldn't let me come back til after I delivered...so my initial plan (if you really wanna call it a plan) was shot!!  I wasn't able to work and make anywhere near as much money as I'd expected...therefore barely able to pay our bills and no chance of saving up any more money.  So you just don't ever know what curve ball life/God is going to throw at you.

Paying for daycare is like paying a second mortgage.  If you're not able to breast feed (which many woman aren't), formula and diapers are equivalent to paying an extra car payment.   Then you've got all of the other little things like clothes, shoes, toys...birthdays, sports, college...and it NEVER ends.  Ask your parents.

Parenthood isn't as simple as having sex, carrying a baby in your womb for 9 months and then popping it out and living happily ever after.  You are responsible for this little living, breathing, beautiful being for not just the next 18 years...but for the rest of your life.  Everything you do for the rest of your life is going to effect your baby. The choices you make and the example you set are so much more important than you'll realize any time soon.  It took me a while to understand the profound impact that I have on my girls.

If you think a baby will fix your marriage, you're WRONG!!!  It may feel like it for a little while, but in the end it very well could be the catalyst that sends it crumbling.  Often relationships are rocky due to money issues, trust issues or maybe because one feels like they do everything that has to be done while the other just does what they want.  Many people think that a baby will bring them closer.  What really happens is the finances get worse or the spouse that does everything gets a ton more responsibility dropped on their shoulders (taking care of the baby).

After conception:
So now you're hopefully living in a perfect world where you have tons of money in the bank and you're blissfully married to a person that is going to be a great teammate in the game of child rearing.  What now?

Well of course you go to the doctor and they take good care of you medically.  You'll go tour the hospital and hopefully take a prepared childbirth class.  You'll get to go register for lots of cute and nifty things for people to buy you for your shower.  You'll get to decorate a nursery and make it the perfect room for your sweet innocent baby.

But there are still a few things that people sometimes forget or don't realize they need to do.  Like check out day cares.  Go for tours, compare their ratios, their prices, their policies.  Once you have the car seat, you can go by any fire station and they'll make sure you have the base installed properly.  

Kiss good night's sleep goodbye at about 30 weeks or so.  If you're lucky enough to be able to get comfortable at all, you're definitely gonna have to pee before you even get good and asleep.  My mom told me it was my body getting me used to running on fumes.  You'll be up every couple hours (again if you're lucky) to pee...and then once you're home from the hospital, you'll be up for feedings.  I promise every second of lost sleep is worth it though!!  You don't know what love really is until you look at that precious life you brought into the world...and your heart melts!!!

Happily ever after:
Now that you've had your baby, everyone and their mother is going to have advice for you.  You're probably going to get an earful from the old lady in line behind you at the grocery store...just grin and bare it.  Parenting is mostly a learn as you go career.  Learn from your mistakes and your parent's mistakes, your sibling's mistakes and your friend's mistakes.  Of course this is when I give you my advice....the 3 most important things I think a parent should base their parenting on is this:

1. Keep your baby on a schedule.  If you keep their naps & feedings on a schedule it's so much easier to plan the rest of your life around it...

2. Discipline them early on.  Sure it may be cute when they slap you across the face the first time, but if you laugh and play along...they're going to keep doing it.  Your child isn't going to be perfect...and that's ok.  Be willing to hear constructive criticism. Teach them to be responsible for their actions and learn from their mistakes.

3. Don't plan on being your child's friend.  You're the parent...and they're not supposed to like you sometimes.  That means you're doing a good job.  It's not your job to make life easy for them...it's to teach and prepare them for real life.

All of this being said....GOOD LUCK!!!  It's worth every sleepless night, every heartache and every fight...I wouldn't trade my girls and every experience I've had as a mom for the world.

Friday, March 16, 2012

I must've been smoking crack...

When I agreed to this party, I must've been smoking crack.  Beelay wanted to throw her BFF a surprise party.  I should've said NO!!!  Don't get me wrong...I love her BFF.  She's like my 3rd child.  But some how what was originally supposed to be 12 kids...is now 16!!!

I'm chaperoning 16 7th graders...but it feels like I'm babysitting a bunch of 3 year olds.  I'm now sitting at the computer trying to tune them out while I blog and chug a glass of wine.  Thank GOD the BFF's mom was thoughtful enough to bring me a bottle of wine.  She apparently knew I'd lost my mind before I did.

How many times did I have to tell them not to throw food in the pool?  How about not to climb on the railing of the deck that is 2 stories up?  Or not to run around the pool?  Or not belly bump in the den right next to the glass coffee table?  OMG!!!  CHUG, CHUG, CHUG!!!!

Of course the apple doesn't fall far from the tree around here.  Beelay has already fallen down and drawn blood.  She managed to break the lid for the skimmer and slice her foot open and scraped several layers of skin off her knees.  One day she's going to learn to jump up and laugh it off.  Tonight she laid on the side of the pool and cried for her mommy...while laughing so hard she could've peed.

Now I'm being accused of being the meanest mom ever and nobody's ever gonna want to come back to our house AGAIN!!!  Huh?  Ok, that's fine by me.  Are they ready to go home now?  I'll be happy to give them all a ride home.  Oh wait, I'm glass #2 as we speak...probably not a good idea.  I'll call them each a cab...how about that?

Some of them are now running around with balloons in their shirts...pretending to be pregnant.  Of course we've all done this...and it would be HILARIOUS if they weren't screaming at a volume that could break glass!!!  They've asked if they can go play manhunt...my initial answer is "YES!!!  GO!!!" But then I thought of my poor unassuming neighbors.  They probably think there's some cat burglar in their backyards and then one of these devils might end up getting shot.  That definitely wouldn't be good.  Oh well, guess that's a risk I'm going to have to take...since they all just went out the front door and I'm not getting up to herd them all back inside.  I'm gonna sit here and pour another glass.  Ahhhh...SILENCE, well except the occassional scream that I can hear from outside. 

What the HELL was I thinking????  Guess I'll just sit here and drink...

And next time we will set a much smaller limit to the number of invites handed out....probably to the ones that I haven't had to get on to and scold like toddlers.  CHEERS!!!

UPDATE: Just to give you an idea of how much she's like me...this first pic is of my knee from a few weeks ago that I posted on my Facebook.  The second pic is of her knees that she posted on her Instagram on Saturday.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Super Tuesday...

Let me start with, I'm not a hugely politically active person.  I do follow politics and I do vote, but I don't usually preach my opinions.  I'll discuss them with those that are willing to discuss, not argue back and forth.  I HATE arguing politics!!!  I hate it mainly because so many people just believe what they hear on t.v. and every network spins everything to their benefit.  It is our responsibility as a nation to listen, research (independently) and make an educated choice when electing our presidents, mayors, governors, senators, congressmen, etc.  It's ignorance that elects inept leaders.

That being said, this post is solely my opinion.  Nobody has to agree with me...but I'm not looking for an argument.  I'm perfectly willing to listen to different opinions and see others point of views.  With many of my friendships, I've had to just agree to disagree when it comes to politics and religion...and that's how we're able to still be friends.

In a nutshell, I believe abortion is a personal choice, that should not be used as a form of birth control.  I work hard and don't look for hand outs.  If you're on welfare, you should be required to take drug tests.  I believe  government spending is WAY out of control. I believe in the death penalty.  I believe we need a real plan to eliminate our dependency on other countries for fuel...and that drilling HERE makes the most sense.  Creating new jobs and lowering the cost of gas will ABSOLUTELY help our economy.  I believe health care is important, that's why I have a job that offers it.  I don't think that it should be mandatory!!  There should be laws and plans that help bring the cost down in order to make it more affordable.  People kill people, not guns.  I'm all for gay marriage.  I don't like war, but it's often necessary.  I don't think illegal immigrants should be eligible for all of the same things as those that followed the rules and came here legitimately. 

When I woke up this morning, I was undecided about who I was going to vote for today.  I was on the fence between Gingrich and Romney, but after all of the research I've done today...Newt has my vote!!  I know a lot of people don't like him because of his infidelities and wandering eye, but I'm convinced that if we're basing our political choices on morals alone, we're screwed all the way around. In my opinion, it's the president's job to do what is best for our country as a whole. It is my job to set a good moral example to my children and teach them right from wrong. I'm not condoning cheating on spouses...but ultimately that's not what's gonna make or break our country.

Bottom line: It's important to vote!!!  If you don't vote, your voice isn't heard and you have no right to complain about the condition our country is in.  So, if you're not registered to vote...you can do so online at http://sos.georgia.gov/elections/vrinfo.htm. I found a great website that helps you compare each candidate's position on each issue.  Here's a link to compare Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney.   http://2012.candidate-comparison.org/?compare=Gingrich&vs=Romney.  You can change who you want to compare to Obama or whoever else you might be considering voting for.