Monday, March 30, 2015

Picking my battles

I want to say, first and foremost, that this blog post is not me judging ANYONE.  People who know me, know that the "mommy wars" regarding "My way is the best way, and your way is wrong," is one of my biggest pet peeves.  I say, do what is best for YOUR family, and I will do what is best for mine, and as long as everyone has happy, healthy, well-adjusted kids, there is no one "right" way to parent.  This blog post is SIMPLY my observations in my almost 16 years as a parent, and includes my personal beliefs.  

As a mom of a 15 (almost 16!!!!) year old boy, a 13 year old boy, and a very, VERY strong-willed 11 year old girl, I have learned one VERY important lesson: Pick your battles.  Yep, I know, we hear this over and over and over and over again, but for real, parents: Pick. your. battles.

My 11 year old daughter is, in many ways, a mini-me.  She looks pretty much exactly like I did when I was 11.  Put us side-by-side, and people comment on how "freakishly similar" our looks are.  I'm sure I was very opinionated when I was 11.  And now, I have a very opinionated, VERY strong-willed girl.  Strong as in iron-clad strong.  And I've learned that some things I need to just let go.  She went to school this morning totally not matching.  As in, pink plaid pants with a top with an intricate design on it not matching.  I didn't care.  Because, they're just clothes, and it isn't worth getting into an argument over, stressing us BOTH out for the rest of the day.  When she had her cheerleading pictures taken, she wanted her hair in pigtails.  In the past, I fixed her hair up all nice and pretty, and she looked adorable.  But, she wanted pigtails this time around.  And I let her.  Because it shows who she REALLY is, what hairstyle she REALLY likes, and, in 20 years, I'll probably think it's adorable.  (Which, I DID think was adorable-I just LOVE fixing her hair).  These things aren't worth arguing over to me.  When she's 16, I'm sure we'll have many, MANY battles that outweigh her mismatched outfit, or a hairstyle that isn't a big deal.  And, when we go through these colossal battles, I don't want her to have to say, "You try to tell me what to do ALL THE TIME!" I think it's important for my kids to be able to dress in the clothes they like, and wear their hair the way they like it, even if it's not my favorite look, because they have more say in their appearance than I do.  To them, it's an expression of their personality.  It's one of the few things they, as children, have major control over.  It's something they can decide on for themselves.  As long as clothing is appropriate (no murder-y t-shirts, short shorts, or revealing clothing), I really don't care.  It's not a battle worth starting.

The battles I am willing to create and sustain, for the foreseeable future, is the monitoring of what my kids listen to and watch.  Now, I want to remind my blog readers (how many do I have? 3? 4?) that I am in no way judging parents who allow their children to do the following things.  It's my decision as the parent of MY children to not allow it.  My daughter tells me that her friends are allowed to watch this tv show, and listen to this music, and see this movie, and have SnapChat accounts, and YouTube accounts..."so whyyyy can't I? It's not fair! You're too overprotective of me! My friends can do so and so" ...

The thing is, my children live in a Christian home.  And I try to protect them from things that I feel they are too young to be exposed to.  Songs with sexual innuendos and cursing, inappropriate tv shows (I don't even let my 15 year old watch 'The Big Bang Theory' unless it's an episode I have seen and feel is appropriate for a person his age), movies with content I feel they don't need to be exposed to...And yet, people argue that I'm sheltering them, and when they go into the real world, it will be "shell shock" for them.  Not really.  See, my son is in high school.  Public high school. He hears foul language every day.  It makes him uncomfortable, because we don't curse in my house.  We don't listen to music with cursing in it.  We don't listen to the radio most of the time, unless it's, like, WROV (mostly classic rock), and I still change the station if a song comes on that I don't want them to listen to.  My son is exposed to this every day, and he has made the conscious decision that he does not like cursing.  

When they are older, and in the real world, and have been exposed to grown-up situations, I hope that the influences they had at home will help them to make wise and mature decisions that will please God.  For now, they are children, and they don't need to be exposed to the "reality" of the real world yet.  They are too young and not emotionally mature enough to deal with these situations yet, and this is one particular battle I have chosen to fight for.


Friday, November 7, 2014

Talk to Text Epic Fail

My daughter has a kind of unique name.  Her name is Arissa. *Not* MArissa, not CLArissa, not Melissa, but Arissa.  Yes, it's different.  And my talk to text doesn't want to recognize her name.  It fights her name with every fiber of its being. 

One time, I was texting with Scott (my husband, for readers who don't know that), and I told him, "Well, Arissa is in the tub."  It translated it to, "A wrestler is in the tub."  Needless to say, all my husband could respond with was, "?????? WHAT is in the tub????"  I had to reiterate, "Your daughter...NOT a wrestler."

Some other talk-to-text fails with her name:

-Reza (I don't know what that is?!?!)

That's not the only time my talk to text has epically failed.  At my former job as a preschool teacher, I was texting my assistant, who was subbing for me that day.  I was informing her that we were reviewing the letters "L M N O," but instead, it said, "L I am in Ohio."  Now, I was on the way to my grandmother's funeral, and she was kind of confused when she got a text saying I was in Ohio.

My son has a phone that sometimes likes to push all kinds of keys he didn't touch on the touch screen QWERTY keyboard when he types a text.  One time, he texted me and it said:

L Pllmyll PPS Lil roll 

LplplLll no lull poop LLD lpall
MP3 all
My phone is possessed (but he typed that last line himself)

I laughed that his phone said 'poop'.
He said it almost said "Llama lollipop"

Technology has come very far, but still makes me scratch my head...

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Moms with young 'uns at home, this is for you.

Call centers that use the voice-operated menu instead of a menu where you push the number of your selection should have an option for moms with young kids at home that says something like, "If you are calling about your account, please say your account number now.  If you have small children at home, please hold the phone up to the loud noise in the background now, and you will be transferred the the next available representative."

Seriously, why do companies have menus where you have to speak to a computer in order to get through to a live person, and when you try pressing 0, "We did not recognize your selection," and BAM, they hang up on you?? Have these companies never heard the noises small children make??

"Please say your account number now."  "Two..."  "MOOOOOM!! The baby is eating a crayon!!"  -Pots banging in background-  -crashing noise-  "We're sorry, we did not recognize your response.  Please try again."  And forget shutting yourself in a room.  The "voice sensor"  WILL PICK UP the sound of the children banging on the door of the room you shut yourself in.  "Mama! What'cha doing, mama? You going potty? I want a snack! Mama?" Meanwhile, the other child is letting out blood-curling screams, because any time your face isn't visible, you've clearly disappeared off the face of the Earth.  Eventually, the automated system gives up and says, "Please try your call again later."  Sure, sure.  Maybe when they're in college and the house is quiet?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Serious matters to ponder

My oldest son, Hunter, and I, we like to ponder things together-but usually, we ponder the most random things that "normal" people don't think about.

One day, we started talking about the movie, Gremlins.  It probably came up because my kids' Furbies look a lot like the extremely adorable Gizmo, the Mogwai in the movie.  He's so cute, with his adorable little voice, and when he sings in his cute little language.

If you've ever seen Gremlins, then you know the #1 rule: NEVER, EVER FEED A MOGWAI AFTER MIDNIGHT! If you do...GREMLINS!!

Somehow, Hunter and I started to wonder...let's say you live on the East Coast (like I do), and you take your Mogwai with you on a vacation to, say, California, on the West Coast, which obviously is in a different time zone.  To follow the, "no feeding after midnight," rule, do you go by when it's midnight in the time zone you're in right now, or the time zone you live in? Does the Mogwai have some sort of internal clock mechanism so it can determine when it's midnight where it is? Does one need to stick to the, "no food after midnight" rule according to location, or according to home base??

And another thing...what time does that rule expire? If you really think about it...9:00 a.m. is still after midnight.  3:00 p.m. is still "technically" after midnight.  I mean, Mogwai has to eat sometime, right? So, how does one know when it's safe to feed it without fear of spawning a plethora of Gremlins??

My husband thinks Hunter and I are weird for even thinking about this in the first place, and he said we probably have too much time on our hands if we are capable of even thinking about it.  But really, these are important questions, and it's probably a good thing we thought about it, for the sake of Mogwai owners everywhere.  I mean, if SOMEONE doesn't think of these things, there really could be some serious consequences.  Do YOU want a Gremlin in YOUR house? Didn't think so.  You're welcome.

Monday, August 5, 2013

What NOT to tell a woman who wants chocolate

Eating healthy is something that is important to me. Obviously, in order to live a long and healthy life, fruits and vegetables are the choice foods to achieve that goal. Whatever the My Plate by USDA recommends. I love fruits and veggies-I was the only kid in my family who ate them. My grandma use to fuss at me for going into her garden and getting into her carrots and cucumbers. 

 But, lemme tell ya something, folks. When a woman is craving chocolate, and apple or a handful of baby carrots JUST DON'T CUT IT. Carrots don't taste like chocolate. Neither does an apple. If I were blindfolded and given a taste test, with a chocolate bar as item A, and a carrot as item B, I guarantee I can tell you which one is the chocolate. They do NOT taste the same, people!! And, I don't care what health nut gurus say: eating fruit is NOT THE SAME AS EATING CHOCOLATE. And, and, a carrot won't make my craving for chocolate magically disappear. I want a Hershey bar, not a flippin' carrot. Carrots do not have any milk chocolate-y goodness to them. Carrots are great-don't get me wrong. But, when hormones turn us ladies into moody, homicidal maniacs, the smartest/safest thing to say is, "What type of chocolate would you like? You look great, by the way." The DUMBEST thing you could say goes along the lines of, "Don't you think a nice apple would be better than that fattening chocolate bar? It'll make you gain weight." Because, I will throw the apple at your head and retreat into my corner with my chocolate bar, while mumbling, "My preeeeecioussssss."

Monday, July 8, 2013

This blog is a sad one...

I am currently mourning the loss of someone very near and dear to me, who passed away the day before Memorial Day.  I talked about her in one of my previous blog posts, so I'm not going to re-cap much of anything, except that her name was Pat, but I always called her Pat-o, and we lost her to cancer, and I'm taking things day by day and I'm trying to look at her loss from a Biblical perspective, but to say that I miss her is the understatement of the century, and to say my heart hurts is putting it mildly.  Here's a poem for you, Pat-o.  My special angel. 

Pat with (l-r) my sister, my brother and myself.  I was, oh, maybe 6 or 7 here.
                                           My Pat-o.

All we're left with are memories of you,
But what  I'm left with just won't suffice.
I miss you with every breath I take
Losing you has left a hole in my heart.
Sometimes I smile when I think of you,
Sometimes it's more than I can bear.
I know you would tell us to dry our tears,
Because you're OK,
But living every day without you
Makes me wonder when:
When will my heart no longer ache?
When will we say it's ok,
And finally rejoice
Instead of shedding more tears?
How do I finally accept
You're no longer here?
I miss your smile
I miss your voice
I miss you.
When will my heart no longer ache?
You were a rock people would lean on,
Your heart was open wide.
I'm not saying anyone is perfect,
But to everyone who lost you, it sometimes feels that way.
When will my heart no longer ache?

When will my tears subside?
When will your memory bring me joy
Instead of sorrow?
Time will lessen the sting
Until it no longer aches
When I think of you,
But right now
My broken heart doesn't know when.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Why my daughter will not have earrings until she is 18

The other week, I took Arissa out for a girl's day. I had to buy her a new bathing suit, so we headed to the mall. While we were there, she started a conversation we've had 100,000 times. "Mom, I REALLY want to get my ears pierced." I was 8 when I got my ears pierced, and Arissa knew this, so since she turned 8, she's begged me to let her get her ears pierced. I know my daughter. She has a VERY low tolerance for pain. She skins her knee and you would think an amputation is in the near future. I was very open with the fact that getting your ears pierced is no walk in the park-I mean, I have 7 ear piercings, so I kind of know what I'm talking about. I've told her that it WILL hurt when they pierce them, and they WILL hurt for a few days to a week after, and that she WILL have to clean them multiple times a day, which WILL NOT feel like a massage. I reiterated this, and she continued to beg me, promising me that she's a big girl and can handle the discomfort. I let her watch another girl get her ears pierced, and she still wanted to go through with it. I reminded her about caring for them, and how they'll hurt for a few days after, and that sleeping might be uncomfortable for a few days. She still wanted them, so I OK'd it. She bravely climbed up in the chair and sat there while they prepped their piercing equipment.

                           Arissa with Gilly, before piercing

 She asked me to hold her hand, so I complied. 1,2,3, and it was done. Her face afterwards should have been my first hint.

                       I daresay, this isn't the face of a happy child              

While I paid for her earrings, she complained that she felt sick to her stomach because she was in SO MUCH PAIN (which I reminded her about before the piercing commenced).  We had to go sit on the bench outside the store until she finally calmed down.  I went into one more store, and she told me that she'd feel a lot better if she had a cookie.  (That is one way I know she is my child).  We got the cookie, went home, and she immediately called her friends to tell them about her new earrings.  She even forgot that her ears hurt for a while, when we did some "Bad Furby" pictures. 

Then the time came to clean and turn her earrings.  I went ahead and popped a Xanax, because I knew this would be one of the most overdramatic moments of my day.  We put the cleaning solution on her ears, and she howled.  We tried to turn the earrings.  And by tried, I mean I chased her around the house while she screamed and begged me not to touch them.  I finally sat on her got her to sit beside me so I could turn the earring.  She told me they were too tight, so I tried to loosen the back of her earring, but all I did was look at it and she screamed that it hurt.  I told her that if we didn't do this, the earrings were coming out.  She finally sat sill for .03 seconds while I grasped the earring.  As soon as I touched her earring, she went into orbit and I pulled too hard, so the earring came allllll the way out.  I told her to stop moving so I could put it back in.  As soon as I put the earring up to her ear, she screamed at such high octaves, Mariah Carey would be green with envy.  I'm pretty sure her screams could second as a dog whistle.  She wouldn't let me put it back in.  She swore that the hole was already closed up.  I chased her around the house for another 10 minutes, telling her I would sit on her and cram it back in her ear that we had to get it back in, or it WOULD close.  Unfortunately, a 9 year old is much, MUCH faster than a 33 year old.  She won.  The earring didn't go back in, and she took the other one out.

I told her that we would re-consider getting her ears pierced again when she is 18 when she starts middle school.  Hopefully, I can convince her that she doesn't need them until she's in college.  I imagine holding down a 6th grader while turning newly-pierced earrings is a LOT harder than holding down a 60 lb. 9 year old girl.