Monday, September 26, 2011

Not me! Monday

Mckmama- Not Me Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckmamaYou can head over to to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

As for me....

I was not so desperate to clean house last week that I  bribed  my little ones with candy, telling them they could have candy ONLY IF they ate it out in the back yard and STAYED out in the backyard.  Oh, no...not me!   

And once I got them all out back with their candy, I did not lock the backdoor so that they could not come back in until I was ready for them to come back in.  Lock my kids outside? Oh, no...not me!

I did not leave the shopping cart  right smack in the middle of the parking lot  because I forgot and had already strapped Aria into her carseat and did not want to get her out again.    Nope, not me!

I did not throw my child's unwashed soccer uniform in the dryer with a dryer sheet to make it smell better 20 minutes before the game because I was behind on the laundry and forgot he had a game.  I did not!

I did not send my 8 year old to a baseball game wearing a clean but very, very damp almost wet uniform because, again, I forgot he had a game and remembered only when it was time to go and realized that his uniform was  still sitting in the washing machine.  Oh, no...not me!

I am not wearing the same jeans for the 4th day in a row today.  No, I am not!

I did not stay up until 2:00am last night just wasting time on the internet, looking at other blogs, when I could have either been sleeping or cleaning something.  Nope, not me!

Lately I do not look at newborns and babies and feel that I want another one.  No, I do not!

I did not stand up and yell at the referee last weekend because he failed to call an offsides that resulted in a goal for the other team while my kid was the goalie.  And I did not care that all the parents stopped to stare at me as I did so.  I did not forget that this isn't World Cup but just an 8 year old's soccer game.  Oh no, not me!

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

How I play with my 3-year-old when I'm too busy to play

"Mommy...will you play with me?"

As a mother, I adore hearing those sweet words come out of my three year old's mouth.  But as a busy mother who is trying to get everything she needs to get done in a day, those words always tug at my heart strings because as much as I'd love to, the fact is that there are many times in my day that I cannot stop what I'm doing to play.  

Lucky for me, Aria is very into playing "house" lately.  I can hear her playing house with her older sisters.  The scene always goes something like this:

ARIA:   Okay, I'm the baby and you're the mommy, kay?  And you are going shopping, kay?  And then you feed me, kay?  

And then after the scene is set, the dialog starts up between the "mommy" and the "baby" ... and the house play begins.  It's so darn cute.

So lately whenever Aria comes up to me and asks me to play with her  when I'm doing housework or making lunches or cooking dinner,  I've been telling her  "Yes, I can play with you.  Let's play house...and YOU'RE the mommy and I'M the daughter...and you tell me to do my chores or I can't go to the dance with the handsome prince, okay?"

And then a huge smile beams across her little face.  I've entered her world and she gets so excited about that.  

"Honey, do your work or you can't go to the dance..."  she says, in her best high-pitched mommy voice.

And I say, "Ugh.  Okay, mom!  I will.  Ugh!!"

And then I go about doing the laundry, vacuuming, washing dishes (whatever it is I'm doing) and every now and then I call out to her, "Mom?  Do I still have to clean?"  

And she answers, "Yes,'re not done yet.  Remember, you want to go to the dance."

And that is how I play with my three-year-old when I'm too busy to play!

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Monday, September 19, 2011

This is the BEST DAY EVER!

Yesterday I took the kids for a long bike ride, stopping at two different parks along the way. On our way home, the sun was starting to go down, and the air was getting cool, so we hurried back on the route home without stopping.  Aria, who was a passenger on my bike, sitting in the child seat behind me, suddenly yelled, "THIS IS THE BEST DAY EVER!"  and then reach up and hugged my back, squeezing tightly, and said, "I love you, mommy!"   I'm thinking that in her three-year-old mind, flying down the street with the wind in her face on the back of a bike being driven by her mommy was just about as good as it gets.  And she exclaimed her joy at the top of her lungs, because she felt like doing so.  Anyway, it just about melted my heart, hearing her suddenly shout that out.  A definite mommy-moment that I'll never forget.

I've been a Bad Blogger lately.  I can't believe how long it's been since I've put up a new post.  But I've got a few of excuses, and you bet I'm going to use them:

1)    It was our first FULL week of school last week, and I needed the time to adjust.
2)  It was our first FULL week of school last week, and I fell completely behind in the housework.
3)  It was our first full week of school last week, and at the end of the night when all kids went to sleep...I did, too!
3)  it was our first FULL week of school last week, and I tried to stay off the computer as much as possible.

Speaking of staying off the computer...

Do you ever feel like your kids sometimes take a back seat to the computer?  I do.  And I feel terribly guilty about that.  Lately I had been feeling as if I'm always sitting in front of the computer.  But I'm not just surf'n the net for fun. No No No.  Everything - and I mean EVERYTHING in my life is communicated through emails.  I have 5 kids in soccer.  Their schedules and games and weekly updates and practice changes are sent through the email.  I have one child in baseball, and the same goes for his team's communications. The kids' playdates are communicated through emails. The kids who are in school have class email updates. We are doing two refinances right now, and all communications for those are sent through email.  My banking.  My church group.  Rich's work.  I could name many more things, but you get the idea.  And when I'm on the computer, the kids come to me for my attention.....

Can you open this?
What does this word say?
I'm hungry.
I don't get my math.
She won't let me in our bedroom!
I'm hungry.
He's not sharing!
I can't find my soccer cleats.
You're always on the computer! (ouch!)
I need a Band Aid 
Are you taking me to practice?
I have to go potty.
I'm hungry.
Will you play with me?

It's the "will you play with me" that tugs at my heart strings.  Can't ever say NO to that,  because oh my gosh they aren't going to ask me to play with them much longer, you know?  My 16 year old never asks me to play with her anymore.  Just say'n.  This playing-with-mommy desire is a time-sensitive thing.  I need to enjoy it while I can.   The computer cannot and must not stand in the way of me playing with my kids!

So last week I sort of went unplugged as much as I could so that I could give my full attention to all those who call me mom.  And it was a good thing.  I had many "good mommy" moments last week.  It felt good.  I wish all days could be unplugged.

As much as I'd like to keep my days computer free, the fact remains that our lives sort of depend on the internet. I'm stuck now as to when I can make time for all my online things, including this blog, without it effecting my time with the kids.  No one takes naps anymore, so I get no break there.  They are aren't all in school, so no break in the day for me.  When the evening hour comes, it's dinner, bath and  to bed at about 8:30 or 9:00, and then I spend an hour or so cleaning up after the crazy-busy day.  When 10:00pm comes around, I'm too tired and just want to read and go to sleep.  I guess I could start waking up at 5:30am before the house wakes up.  That would give me an hour.

An hour?  Really?
There's just not enough time in my days.
Oh well.  Now you can understand why it might be a few days, even a week at times, before  new post comes out.  I'm working on a solution to this, because I do enjoy blogging very much.  But, truth be told,  I enjoy my kids more.  So they need to come first.


Last week me and my four Homeschooling Homies when to my favorite place....

Aria found things that she wanted on practically every shelf.  It's so hard to tell her, "No, put that back..."  because she is always so. darn. cute.

Aislynn and Andrew had fun picking out new pencils.

See, now I see this shelf and I get goosebumps of excitement.  New curriculum books!  So many to choose from!

I could spend hours in this store, I swear.  
I think I was meant to be a teacher.  Maybe that's why I like homeschooling so much.  It let's me play "teacher" to those I love the most.  

When I was younger, I was always playing "school" with my younger sister, teaching her on the chalk board all I had learned that day in Kindergarten and first, second grade.  My sister is  5 years younger than me, went to college and got her Master's.  I think my early schooling of her had something to do with that :)

A.J. wanted to get the globe.  "Please, Mom??"  he kept asking me.  But the last globe we had was used as a basketball.  It's so not happening again.  We can use the World Maps that we have on the wall, so  - No, put that back.

At the end of our  shopping spree, everyone got to take home a little something that made them happy.  

And now we are ready to start a new school year!

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

parking pass

Since Afton has her driver's license now, she and Audriana have been driving to school this year.  Although Audriana is the older sister, she cannot drive due to her brain injury.  She is a senior this year, and all seniors who have a driver's license get to park in the Senior Parking area of the school.  It's a senior's privilege.  I want Audriana to have this privilege, too.

But the "rules" state that unless the senior has a driver's license, they cannot have a senior parking pass.  I think that it shouldn't matter WHO drives the senior to school, that the parking pass should be assigned to the senior whether she is the one driving the car or not.  The school doesn't agree with that.  I think in Audriana's case they should make an exception.  Just because she has a handicap and cannot drive, she should not be denied a spot in the senior parking lot, when in fact she gets driven to school each day by a driver who parks and leaves the car at school.  It shouldn't matter if Afton drives the car or if Audriana drives the car - she should have a senior spot.  She is a senior, after all.  

So I asked Audriana if she wants me to fight it.  I told her that I can and I will fight this rule.   So far the only person I've spoken to is the woman behind the attendance counter, and she  just states the "rules" but has no authority to change anything or make exceptions.  If I want to go further with this, I need to speak with the Vice Principal, and if she says no, then the Principal...and if we are denied again, the next step would be the School District.  I'm pretty sure all I'd have to do is drop the "discrimination" word and they'd let her have the pass. 

However, Audriana does not want me to take this any further.  She doesn't want to use her disability as an excuse.  She tells me that there are plenty of seniors who do not have a parking pass because they don't drive a car, and she is just another one of them.  She doesn't want me to make a big deal about it.  The last thing she wants is to draw attention to herself, to her disability.  She's afraid that if they make this exception, they will also designate a handicapped parking spot to her as well.  She would rather skip school than have that happened. much as I want her to have the privilege of senior parking, I think I'm just going to respect what she wants and let it go.  I have to remind myself that is about her; her life, her senior year...not my feelings.  And if it doesn't bother her that she doesn't get to use the senior parking lot, then it shouldn't be a big deal to me, either.

Rich disagrees.  He wants her to have that space.  He feels she deserves it just as much as any senior.  He wants to fight this "rule".  He does not want to let it go.  I agree with him, but yet I also don't want to go against Audriana's wishes.  (I do know that if she were to get the senior parking pass, she would be very happy.  She just doesn't want it to become this HUGE deal where unnecessary attention is drawn to her.)

So what should I do?  

Placing one foot in front of the other 
I've climbed to higher lengths.
Reaching beyond my own limitations
to show my inner strength. 
No obstacle too hard for this warrior to overcome. 
I'm just a girl on a mission to prove 
my disability hasn't won. 
~Robert M. Hansel

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Friday, September 9, 2011

Back to School

Yesterday the power went out in our area.  It was about 3:00 in the afternoon when the outage hit.    We prepared for an evening without power, getting all the candles and flashlights out.  And then just before darkness came, the power came back on. To be quite honest, I was actually a little disappointed.  I was looking forward to an evening of being "unplugged".   Once the power turned on, the kids went back to doing homework, laptops were turned on and the usual hum of the household returned.

We have four bathrooms in this house and nine lazy kids.  Every single time I go into a bathroom, this is what I find:

What is the DEAL with this?  They all know how to change the toilet paper roll.  But they don't do it.  They would rather just set up the new roll on top of the old one.


But I shouldn't talk.  I remember doing the same exact thing when I was a kid. (shhhh...don't tell my kids that!)

So this week we went back to school, and what a crazy-busy week it's been with all that goes along with that.  The kids were all excited to be starting a new school year.

I have two in high school

I can't believe these two are so grown up already!

one in her last year of elementary school

one in his first year of middle school

and three are homeschooling in the elementary grades

These three are going to give me a run for my money this year.  When they are together, mischief usually breaks out if I'm not watching carefully.  If they are left in the room alone for just a minute or two, they start playing "grab-butt"  (which is what we call horsing around) and all school work and concentration comes to a halt.  They need a lot of "breaks" during their school hours.

And so do I.

I can already tell that I am going to need an extra set of patience this school year!

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Saturday, September 3, 2011

KEEP'N COOL without a pool

I've been thinking more and more about getting a pool in our backyard.  Maybe not today, but someday in the near future.  I think we would use the heck out of a backyard pool.  

As it was today, Rich and I had just too much to do around the house to take the kids to our community pools.  So the kids got creative, hung a hose up on a ladder, and had fun playing in the water in our front yard.

Okay, so maybe a pool would be much more refined.  But when a pool is not available to  them, my kids go to the nearest water source and make do, much like the east coast city kids will tap into their neighborhood fire hydrant and run around in the spray.  

Kids will do things like that because they are resourceful.  And they really don't care  how they look, just so long as they are cooling off!  Kids are neat like that.  Rich and I would die of heat stroke inside a sweltering house before we'd go out to the front yard and do something like this.  Because we are too cool to cool off in this uncool way.  

I just love kids.   Love 'em!

So we are gearing up for yet another super busy weekend filled with soccer, soccer, and more soccer.  Then next week is our first week of school.  Summer will be ending soon, and that makes me sad.  I will miss the unscheduled days, the late nights, the late mornings of sleeping in until whenever our eyes open, and of course the pool and beach days.  This was my 42nd summer...and I have to say, it was a great one :)

Wishing everyone a FUN and SAFE Labor Day Weekend!
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Thursday, September 1, 2011

with my finger? really?

So I'm thinking I need to update my blog's look a bit.  The photo in the header is a year and a half old, and check out Aria - she doesn't even look like that anymore!  I mean, she was such a baby in that photo.  And to date, she is a BIG GIRL three year old.  Who, by the way, pooped in her "overnight" Pull-Up this morning.  I guess just for old time's sake.  I looked at her and said, "Aria...yuck!" and she smiled and said, "I sorry, Mommy!  It was a accident!"   

But it wasn't.  She so knew what she was doing.

  Alex adores his baby sister, poopy Pull-Up and all

It's been a busy week for me, preparing the kids for Back to School (which is next week!)  and taking them all school shopping.  Separately, I might add.  For some reason, they have all requested a personal shopping trip with JUST me.  No siblings.  Which is great for the one-on-one time and all that, but very difficult to pull off with each individual kid, as you can imagine.

So today was Afton's Day.  She and I headed out to the mall and hit all of her favorite stores.  We were buying a couple of shirts at Nordstrom, and while the salesgirl was ringing me up, I swiped my credit card (you know, through the credit/debit machine)  and the girl pushed this little hand-held device at me and asked me to sign with my finger.   I was like, "What?  Sign what with my finger?"  and she said, "The screen.  Just sign your name with your finger."  So I looked at what she was talking about, and it was this little tiny computer screen.  Instead of signing a piece of paper or signing in the little credit/debit machine, now we are signing our name WITH OUR FINGER on some little hand-held device that looks like an iPhone.

Crazy  times we are in!  The technology blows me away sometimes.  Honestly, I felt silly signing my name WITH MY FINGER!  I felt like a five-year-old ... finger painting in Kindergarten class. 

Anyway, for some reason my grandmother came to  mind, right about the time I was signing my name WITH MY FINGER.    And I tried to image how my grandmother would react, if she were still alive, if she were asked to sign her name with her finger as she tried to pay for something at Nordstroms.  I imagine the conversation going something like this:

salesgirl:  ...and just sign your name right here, with your finger. 

Then there would be silence as my gram's 83-year-old mind tried to make sense of what the girl just asked  her to do.    

gram:  I'm sorry...what? 
salesgirl:  Just sign your name right here, with your finger.
gram:  With my --  with my FINGER?  What do you mean, with my finger?
salesgirl:  Yea, you just sign it...right here...using your finger.

Then there would be more silence as my gram tried to figure out if the salesgirl was trying to be funny or not.

gram:  Oh come aren't serious.  You're joking with me.
salesgirl:  No, it's new.  Really.  You just sign it with your finger.
gram:  Oh, I've never heard of such a thing....
salesgirl:  Yea, it's new.
gram:  With my finger?  
salesgirl:  Yes.  Just sign right here, on the screen.

Then my gram would start to write her name on the tiny screen, using her finger and feeling slightly ridiculous...all the while expecting Alan Funt from Candid Camera to pop out from behind the counter and say, "Smile! You're on Candid Camera!"  (does anyone else remember that show from way back?  or did I just age myself?)

gram:  You mean right here?  Just like this?  Am I doing it right?
salesgirl:   Yes.
gram:  Well, this is silly. You mean to tell me this works?  I don't believe it.  Who ever heard of such a thing!

Anyway, it would've taken my gram about 5 or 10 minutes to sign that thing with her finger, because she would have talked it to death first.  I almost did, too, but I didn't want to embarrass Afton.  So I kept my comments and questions to myself.  But I shot Afton a quick look as I was signing my name WITH MY FINGER...and the look clearly said, "I can't believe I'm signing my name WITH MY FINGER!"

Has anyone recently been asked to sign their name with their finger?  Is this happening everywhere now, or only at Nordstroms?   

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