Browsing the archives for the Parenting category.

The kids and I are in love with one another – And Minecraft

Homeschooling, I am blessed, My kids, Parenting, Unschooling

I learned a new favorite saying from my friend and fellow veteran, unschooling/ homeschooling mom, Heidi:
“Cleaning and scrubbing can wait til tomorrow for babies grow up we’ve learned to our sorrow”

Along with “My hands are full but my heart is overflowing.” (thanks Maggie Mackay)

These two saying are basically my mothering style. I mess this up but this is the goal.

And yes, I’m feeling pretty emotional today because I’ve realized, my children have been at home with me 24/7 for 14 weeks and I have gotten over the hump. The only way I can explain what “hump” I mean is we’ve all had kids home all summer long and at the end of the summer you are so ready to be away from your kids. You are arguing, not getting along, etc. You are simply counting own the days to be separate from one another.  Well, with homeschooling, for me, I got to that point but didn’t send them to school and our relationships suffered, no learning was happening, and everyone was miserable.

This new approach to parenting and homeschooling has given me back my relationship with my kids. I don’t yell anymore! OK – I have a few times the last several weeks but this is a GREAT improvement to where we were.  They are not throwing fits. We are having fun together again. I am reveling in their joys, new explorations, hobbies and interests. They are my little BFF’s. I’m still their mother – make no mistake about that – but we are also happy to spend the day together.

Only if you walked this journey with me could you fully understand what I’m saying. Of course, I’ve always loved my children and they’ve always loved me.  I would have died for them at any stage of this process.  But, we have falling in love all over again with each other. I compare what happens to parents, (well what happened with ME, I can’t speak for others) is when you have that new baby it’s like a new boyfriend/girlfriend. You are so in love with them and find everything they do amazing. If they have a hobby or interest you learn to love it as well because if it brings your love joy, you love it.

Then you get married, the honeymoon phase is over, and you sort of get into a lull and your focus shifts just a bit. That football obsession you once thought was “cute” is now not quite so cool and gets in the way of the things you need him to do for YOU. You find yourself rolling your eyes when he excitedly talks about an amazing play he saw. Before long he no longer comes to you to share those moments because he feels you belittle it.

For my kids, this happened as well. Minecraft (right now) is their obsession. I didn’t know the first thing about this “silly” game.  I didn’t try to get it. But, after reading blogs, books, essays, and forums about unschooling/deschooling they ALL say the FIRST step is: “Just start enjoying life with your kids. If they are in to something GET INVOLVED IN IT WITH THEM. Don’t just allow them to play it, encourage it, play with them, help them find new information about this obsession, dive into it WITH THEM.” I took this to heart. I sat down with the kids one day as they were playing Minecraft and said, “Can I play with you guys?” They looked at me like I had grown three heads and then excitedly brought me a tablet and they talked over themselves trying to tell me what to do. We laughed together (well they laughed at me mostly 😉 ) and spent two hours on this “silly” game that I now LOVE! I get it now! And I didn’t play it with them with the “teacher” glasses. I just played it like a friend with them. OK, I can’t say I didn’t find myself every ONCE in a while thinking, “He just did math.” and then stopping myself. Just enjoy the game, the time, the laughter and the joy.

As soon as I post this blog I am going to join with my kids again. They are waiting patiently on either side of me laughing and talking and planning what they are doing. I can’t wait to join. The dishes are still in the sink and that’s so very OK with me.

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Some things change….

Funny crap, Mr. Tolerable, My life, Parenting, Politics

As I am rapidly approaching my 34th bday I am aware of several changes that have happened in and to me as I age:
1.) In the past year I have begun to not only eat but love potato salad, deviled eggs and turnip kraut. All things that as a youngster I thought were the most disgusting things known to the human pallet.

2.) I like Rod Stewart’s voice.  There I said it.  This happened today.  My entire life I have always said the likes of Michael Bolton, Rod Stewart and Bruce Springstein are tantamount to a sick cat with laryngitis   Today?  Something happened.  No idea…..Maybe it’s that whole when-you-get-old-you-go-deaf thing.  Gotta be it.

3.)  I now believe the party is NOT worth the hangover.  Man, that took a while to learn but sometimes, like giving birth, I think nature blocks out the bad parts and you only remember the glorious moments.  Like when you simultaneously solved all the Earth’s problem, smoked the wrong side of a cigarette, and became a bartender at Coyote Ugly (in your friend’s basement).

4.)  Midnight is late.  For the past 3 years the “Twilight” movies have all come out on my birthday or within days of it.  Also for the past 3 years, I have gone to the midnight showing.  This year?  Going to the 7pm showing and hoping to be home and in bed before midnight.  Life’s just too damn short to miss out on a good night’s sleep under my electric blanket.

5.) I like cats….suddenly.  I have a black Tom cat that I worked for WEEKS to tame (living out in the country there are ferrel cats under every shed).  He is now my baby and I actually buy cat food for the thing.  And I cleaned out a litter box for the neighborhood cat who I kept in my garage while she was pregnant and with nursing kittens so I could take care of them and hopefully tame and adopt said kittens out.  Next I’ll be getting “Momma Mia” fixed (although it appears as if the whore is pregnant again but I digress).  If asked, I would still say I’m a dog person but, cats are pretty stinking cool.

6.) This one is something that’s just come full circle.  As a teenager and person in my early 20’s I could give a rat’s petunia about politics.  Then, as I entered into my late 20’s I became very interested and vested in belief’s and parties.  I took life so serious and had it all figured out.  Now?  Meh.  I have no clue and am very aware that neither do “they.”

7.) I really don’t give a shit what people think of me. OK, maybe a little bit.  I mean, no one wants to leave the legacy of being a bitch.  But I’ve come a long way from the girl/woman who’s every single word, act and belief was tinged with “What will people think?”  I try my best to be a good Christian; to be a good friend; to be a good daughter, wife, mother, niece, cousin, aunt.  Try as I may, there will still be those who judge, belittle or talk.  But, I am very happy with the number of people in my life who do love and accept me.  If I can add to that number, great!  But if not one single other person joins in that crowd…I’m hunky dorey.

Now, it’s not as if all things about me have changed and I tend to think these things will remain constant well into my golden years.

1.) An attractive, fit and confident man with a warm smile and nice ass is a sight to behold and a vision of which I will NEVER, EVER grow tired.  Blanche knew what was up….

2.)   My husband is #1

3.) The most important job I have in this whole world is to instill love, acceptance, independence, the belief of Christ and confidence in my two children. Period.  Everything else is subscript.

4.)  “Lumberjack” by Jackyl and “Black Betty” by Ram Jam still kick some serious ass.  Definitely a constant.

5.)  No one can make me honk like Brittany Freeman and Elizabeth Howard.  Those two together?  Faggetaboutit.

6.) On that note – I still hate my laugh.  But, it does seem to bring joy to those around me so it’s not all so bad 😉

On to the future.  May the next 34 years be full laughter, love and sexy men in Levi’s.


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The new and improved JACKS!

My kids, My life, Parenting

A while back I posted an entry called “That’s a terrible thing to say.” In it I vented about my frustration with my then 3 year old.   But, it’s been a year and WHAT  a year it’s been.

So much has happened that I would like to make sure I write about.  After the whole “getting kicked out of preschool” incident and the escalating anger and behavioral issues we decided we needed help.  Help learning how to parent this special boy.  So, through COUNTLESS hours of research and calling various doctors, child psychologists I found the perfect place for us to start.

Ball State University Psychoeducational Diagnostic Intervention Clinic.  There was a 6 month waiting list but because all our other options were going to cost thousands of dollars we went with this one.   Plus, this clinic does both IQ testing for giftedness AND behavioral testing as well.  The perfect fit. It was a weekend long testing, very thorough and Jackson had a blast.  It was just games to him.   They tested his IQ as well as for behavioral and emotional conditions. After the testing we had to wait another 3 weeks to get our results.

What we suspected was confirmed to us:  He’s a genius and he has ADHD.  Well, at least we had someone impartial and professional telling us so.  We were given parenting tips, diet changes and also suggestions for medication.  We researched, prayed, talked with our pediatrician (who we love and trust) and decided that to give Jackson all the chances he can in life to succeed he needed a little help.

I’m sure there will be those who are so anti-medication who are also equally uneducated but who have hearts of gold who will say we are just doping him up and that’s why he’s “good.”  That’s fine, you can say those things.  And then go back to your home and do what you see fit with your family.  As for me and my family, we will do the same.

Fast forward to today (a year and a half later).  Jackson is a pleasure to be around.  Learning new things in leaps and bounds.  Reading at a 1st grade level.  He’s in a new preschool and doing wonderfully!!!  At our first PTO meeting with Jackson’s teacher (who we told NOTHING to about his previous preschool experience, his IQ, nor his diagnosis or meds) she had nothing but glowing things to say about him.  Jim and I just sat there close to tears as we let her go on and explain how he is polite, highly intelligent, and fun he is.  A pleasure to have in her class!  Then, like a bubble about to burst, we let her know how excited we were by what she was telling us and why.  Poor woman, she must have thought we were nuts b/c Jim and I  talked over each other; explained where we had come from, what we had been through and what the testing had told us.

Just a few months ago he got an award.  I think the picture says it all:



This is the little boy that Jackson was all along.  He was just unable to let him out b/c he had so much going on in that big ol’ brain of his he didn’t know what to do with himself.  He is not a zombie on his medicine, he is himself.  The way he WANTS TO BE.  Able to focus, able to think, able to communicate his thoughts and feelings and, able to listen and control himself.

He loves school and can’t wait for kindergarten.  We haven’t totally ruled out homeschooling but for now it’s just on the shelf.  Let things develop and see what happens.  I, for one, am THRILLED to see!

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Plan to work and work the plan

Homeschooling, Just my opinion, Mr. Tolerable, My kids, My life, Parenting, Uncategorized

Before Jim and I had children we talked hours and hours about our philosophies on every aspect of parenting to discipline, to sleeping arrangements, to how to have the “bird and the bees” talk.  We both were adamant, we did not want our children in our bed with us.  This is a topic that has been debated so thoroughly that I could scream but that is not what I am hoping to spark with this.  I am simply saying, for me and my family it is the way it is and the way it works.  Each child goes to bed in his or her bed and Jim and i sleep together in our bed.  It was something that was a bit difficult to establish, especially when I was nursing and getting up every 2-4 hours but we stuck to our plan and it has paid off.

Another thing we spoke about thoroughly and agreed on was to maintain our marriage; to cultivate it like a good gardener cultivates his crop.  We purposely take time away from our children to spend eye to eye in conversations and in love.  I want to show my kids what a marriage is supposed to be like.  I want to model a good relationship so that when they are searching for their spouse they do not settle on good enough.  My mother and father have been married for 43 years but I really never felt they were in love with one another.  I remember seeing them hug a few times but there was no real emotion there.  Every child wants their Mom and Dad to be in love (even if you do not want to think about it – yuck!)  I almost settled on good enough before I met my husband.  I thought the love that you read about, the love that is all encompassing, the love that is so strong it can bring you to tears was simply a fantasy.  I am so blessed that I found my husband and the love of my life and know for a fact that that love does indeed exist.  I want…..need….my children to know that.

Our biggest agreement was that we wanted them to know we would die for them.  That they were the most precious, loved and important people in our life.  But, that the world does not revolve around them nor do we.  These parents who run themselves literally ragged because each child is in 3 different extracurricular activities is an example of what I am talking about.  If there is a show on that we want to watch, we will watch it and if the kids want to watch something else, tough.  You either watch it with us (if appropriate) or go down stairs and watch something else.  They are not at the helm of this ship and I know later in life this lesson will serve them well.  They will not enter this world thinking they are owed something from society or the world.  They must earn it.

Now, I have to say, we are in the infancy of this young family and we have passed several of the tests we knew would come.  I obviously do not have all the answers.  If in 25 years I have one in prison and one still living at home I will say “I WAS WRONG” but at least we have a plan.  It is the most important task God has ever give us, or any person, which is to raise these little beings into productive, happy, healthy and independent people.  Without a plan, I fear we would lose course and make bad decisions.  Do not make life altering decisions by the seat of your pants.  Make a plan and stick to it. Now, if I can only head my own suggestions.

We may be screwing our kids up by the methods we have decided to utilize.  If that is true, we will be ROYALLY messing them up since we plan to homeschool.  Those poor poor kids…

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Turning 30 and proud

I am blessed, Infertility, Mr. Tolerable, My kids, My life, Parenting

The 18th of this month will mark the anniversary of my entrance into this world.  I remember every year on my birthday Mom telling me the story of my birth and the exciting happenings that soon followed.  If she forgot, I would be sure to remind her.  I am the youngest and the only girl.  The gap between my closest brother and myself is 7 years.  I think you know where I am going with this….I was spoiled beyond measure or reason.  I had a happy-go-lucky childhood.  I had the best Mom in the world and it is because of her I am the mother I am today.  I had the best roll model anyone could have.  From birth to about 18 I was a happy girl who knew what she wanted in and out of life.  My how things can change.

I remember being a youthfully stupid 20 year old and thinking how far away 30 seemed.  I would look at “grown ups” around me and think, “30 year old people are just so…..old.”  They had mortgages, jobs, kids, responsibilities and took everything seriously.  I didn’t want to be that way when I turned 30.  I think I did ALL of them except maybe the last.  But, honestly, if this past year is any indication of what my 30’s are going to be like this is the most awesome time of my life.  These are the good ol’ days.

When I was turning 20 I was dating Mr. Good Guy and confused about where my path would lead me.  I was lost, confused, sad and empty.  College was just something to pass the time.  I look at it now as 4 expensive years of extended high school.  Of course, when looking at pictures of my 135 lbs self and can’t help but think, “That would be nice.”  The body is really the only thing I would like to go back to.  But, I know I have “spread out” as my dad would say, due to carrying two beautiful children for 9 months.  The stretch marks, saggy boobs, and big butt are just a few of the rights of passage of being what I am today; a mom.  My dream.  I know some of the Gloria Steinem’s out there say that I am not living to my full potential.  That women for centuries have been fighting so I would not have to “lesson” myself and stay home barefoot and pregnant.  I agree with part of that.  Women have been fighting so that all women have the choice of what they want to do with their lives.  I choose, and relish, being a stay-at-home mother and wife. It’s a little out-of-date.  Probably not hip or cool.  But, I love it.  And, just to toot my own horn a bit, I’m pretty durn good at it.  My husband often tells me I am the most natural mother he’s ever seen.  To that I answer, “nothing I’ve ever done has ever felt so right.”  It’s like breathing.

And to think that there were several years when I did not know if I would ever to realize my dream.  It took over my every thought and prayer.  A commercial, a song, a pregnant lady at the grocery store were all reminders of what I did not have.  My mid 20’s were full of doubt, anger, frustration and sadness because of the infertility.  I was so happy to have found my soul mate.  Until I met Mr. Tolerable I thought the love that songs are written about and movies portray was something made up.  As soon as I meet my soul mate I understood what love was.  But, there was a big piece of the puzzle missing; a family.  It was a depressing and lonely time but I learned so much about myself and what was really important that I know I am blessed for the struggles we faced.

If there was one thing I would like to go back to during that time it would be the quiet times with just Mr. Tolerable and I.  The trips we went on.  The laughter we had as a young couple with no children to chase after, keep us awake at night, or discipline.

But the 30’s, so far, seem so wonderful I just want to press the pause button on the dial of life.  My children are old enough to not need me 24 hours a day but young enough to need me most of the time.  My best friend and husband is working from home and spending so much more time with us.  We have a cute house by the park in a nice little town.  I have great friends, a wonderful family, and an ever growing faith in Jesus.

I am in the process of getting back that 135 lbs body from my 20’s so there will be nothing from that time I want to go back to.  I am about 3 weeks into “Project: Bringing Sexy Back.”  Here is my semi before picture.  Wish me luck!  Happy Birthday and Life to me!


National Lampoons Camping Trip

My kids, My life, Parenting

Never before have I had more of a respect for Clark W. Griswald as I did this past weekend.  I am always trying to make sure my family and I have a good time but sometimes life gets in the way.

The husband, kids and I packed up the camper/travel trailer, the SUV and our expectations for fun and headed north to Speedway, Indiana.  The racing capital of the world?  Where they race the Indy 500?  So, you’ve heard of it?  Good.  This Sunday was the first motorcycle race at the legendary speedway in almost 100 years.  Since my husband would watch ostriches race at the IMS we had to go.  Being the sport I am I looked at it as a time that the family can get away, maybe hit the zoo or Children’s Museum and have the picturesque camping adventure as seen only in the RV brochures.

PASHA!  The first two days were the closest to hell I think I have experienced.  First off, it was humid, hot and oh yea, OUR GENERATOR DOESN’T WORK.  This is not that big of a deal except it rained and rained and RAINED (thanks to hurricane Ike).  Imagine being stuck inside a hot camper where you can’t open the windows due to the rain, no TV, no microwave, and toddlers who seem as if their shoes have springs.  Not my idea of a good time.  Jim, being the dutiful husband and father headed out in the rain and bought another generator!  I hated the idea of spending the money but I have to admit, I was beyond happy when the air conditioning hit my face and I heard the theme song from “Word World.”

Second day, more rain but that’s ok.  Jim is going over to the track to watch practice and I am taking the kids and meeting a friend and her son at the Children’s Museum.  What a great day this will be.  When I arrived at the museum I turned into a parking lot that was only for school buses and handicapped vehicles.  As I am attempting to leave said parking lot a woman who obviously takes her job as security very serious flags me down.  I roll down my window and she says,

“You are going to cause a WRECK!  You went the wrong way all the way through this parking lot!”

Playing a sheepish stupid girl I say, “Oh, I’m sorry – I’m just trying to get out of here and over to the parking garage.”

Angry rent-a-cop: “Well, back up, go down THIS aisle and exit THAT exit.  Cross the street and you will find the entrance to the garage.”

Me:  “Oh, OK.”

Rent-a-cop:  “Be careful and don’t cause a wreck!”

I back my big ol’ Excursion up and try to do the right thing.  Evidently I didn’t see the curb and ran right over it as I went down “that” aisle.  I didn’t even look back at the evil woman and I felt my face flush in embarrassment.  I can only imagine I looked like Big Foot crawling over cars as my head just about hit the ceiling as I bounced around inside.  I should have seen this as a omen of things to come…..

Once inside the museum, Val and I watched the boys run around the Dynosphere looking at the skeletal remains of a T-rex.  Sam was showing Jackson all the cool cubby holes and hidden treats.  About 40 minutes into this dreamlike outing I turn to get the stroller (where Alex was) to head to the train exhibit and Jackson has disappeared.  My heart stopped.  I just knew this was not good.  That kid is the fastest thing this side of the Ohio.  I was right.  Frantic searching by both me and Val yielded nothing.  As each second went by I could feel my level of anxiety rising.  Val says, “Follow me.” and I’m try my best to do just that.  But, let me qualify this by saying Val is one of those sick people who actually run for “pleasure” so the speed at which she twisted through the Egyptian catacombs exhibit left me panting behind her and trying to just catch a glimpse of her shadow so I didn’t lose her trail.  She leads me to a security officer who has the bright idea to help me search for him.  At that moment I wanted her to call the head of security, have all the doors locked, and have every single person in that place look for the “little boy with a grey shirt that says ‘my Dad rocks.'”  But, we searched the floor AGAIN and she finally called head of security.  Now this is where my memory gets a little foggy – maybe I was in panic, shock, whatever.  But, the head of security who has an ear piece in his ear says, “There is a code Adam matching this description.  I’m with the mother.”  Silence as he listens to the other end.

Then he says, “Is your little boy wearing a grey shirt, blue jean shorts and loves race cars?”

“Yes! Where is he???”

“They are going to bring him to the concierge desk.  Follow me.”

I get there and wait, wait……head of security again is obviously listening to someone talking in his hear and then he turns to me and says, “It seems they are having a hard time getting him to come with them.  I’ll just take you to him.”  I’m confused by what all this means but at this point all I want to do is see my son, hug him, smell his sweet hair and ring his little neck!  We go up to FLOOR 4. That’s right, the little monger got 3 floors away from me!  We step off the elevator and what do I see?  Jackson sitting inside an Indy car.  It seems he wouldn’t let any of the security take him out of “his” Indy car.  When he sees me he says with the utmost excitement, “Hi Bobby, I in a racing car….a Indy Car!!!”  So proud of himself.  I scoop his butt up out of that car hug him so tight and hold back the tears then through clinched teeth I say right in his ear, “Don’t you ever run away from Mommy again or I’ll spank your butt so hard your head will spin.”

After all of this it was hard for me to relax and enjoy this wonderful museum.  It was fun though.  I just had that adrenalin rush and such a rush is hard to come down from.  Val stayed with us for about another hour.  We saw the rest of the “kid friendly” parts of the museum.  Jackson saw it all from the safe haven of the stroller, much to his chagrin.  Then Val and Sam left when it became painfully obvious it was time for Sam’s nap. LOL.  I went ahead and stayed at the museum and saw the rest of the museum..another hour or so.

The trip back to the camper was uneventful – no curbs were harmed.  No rent-a-cops angered.  Kids all safely strapped into car seats.  I did get lost for a bit but a call to Jim got us headed in the right direction.  At the camper Jim and I realize we are about out of milk and other such staples.  He heads to the grocery store while I stay back with the kids to feed them.  While I am trying to microwave their chicken nuggets the NEW generator pops a breaker.  I head outside to flip the switch.  While I’m out there our neighbor comes over and says, “I thought no one was here so I turned your generator the other way – it’s just so damn loud.”  I explain how it was an “emergency” buy.  How our “quiet” generator went out and this was just the one they had at Lowe’s.  He was nice about it but made it clear that he didn’t like the noise.  I turn, flustered and embarrassed for the 3rd time today when my hand pops off the door handle.  It is LOCKED.  Jackson was able to reach the door from him high chair and just my luck, LOCKED ME OUT.  No keys, no cell phone, no patience.  I just sit down on the step and hold my head in my hands.  You would think I would just sit there and cry but all I could do was laugh.  I hang off the hand rail and do some sort of contortionist back bend to see into the trailer.  Jackson sees me and smiles, “Hi Bobby…what cha doin?”  “Unlock the door Jackson.  UNLOCK THE DOOR!”  He fiddles with it a bit until finally, success. I am inside.  When Jim got home he and I had one hell of a fight.  I cried, he apologized and we both agreed tomorrow would be (had to be) better.

It was.


The little train that could (homeschool).

Homeschooling, Mr. Tolerable, My kids, Parenting

I took the kids to the park yesterday for a much needed, much missed playdate with our friends.  They got so filthy that the bath tub still has a black ring around it.  The sure sign of a good time in the eyes of a 2 year old little boy.

After a nice bath in dirt water, Sissy took a nap and the boy and I headed to the library.  We had John Scieszka books that needed returning.  Jackson is a bit young to “get” Scieszka’s humor but I hope when he is older he will find them as uniquely hilarious as I do.  I caught myself reading them long after Jackson lost interest and went to find a car to shove in his sister’s mouth.  I would laugh out loud and then read the portion I found exceptionally funny to Mr. Tolerable.   If you don’t know of any of his books and have 4-6 year old children, I highly recommend these books.  OK, there’s my pitch – wish I was getting paid for that.

When back from the library I read some of the “better” books Jackson picked out – I have grown so tired of reading about race cars and rocket ships I could scream.  But, in the interest of instilling a love of reading, I wade through them.  Mr. Tolerable was down in the office in the basement cleaning it out and trying to prepare himself for a life of employment.  In his de-cluttering extravaganza he brought up a world map and told me Jackson could play with it.  I taped it to the wall and told Jackson where we lived.  Jackson calls it “Merica.”  Pretty good.

I got the idea to find pictures of some of Jackson’s favorite television characters from other countries, print them, cut them out, and put double sided tape on the backside.  I let him stick The Wiggles on Australia.  He asks, “Wiggle House here?”  We put Diego and Dora in Mexico, Kai Lan in China, Arton Senna in Brazil, and a picture of Jackson and Alex in the U.S. of A.  I let him put them in the areas that I pointed to.  Explaining which country it is and what language they speak.  I didn’t get into the specifics how in Brazil’s official national language is Portuguese but that there are hundreds of dialects throughout the country.  I figure that can wait until he is 3.  That is sarcasm for those of you who did not recognize it.  The whole time I am sitting on the floor pointing at the map, I am not really thinking about the fact that I’m teaching anything…more like playing and trying to keep Jackson occupied.  Mr. T came up the stairs as we were placing Kai Lan on China and smiled and returned to his down stairs lair.

Later he came up after our little play session was over and said,

“You know you are already homeschooling right?”

I said, “What?”

“That whole map on the wall thing with the characters on it.  That is homeschooling.”

It never really occurred to me as such.  I was just being a Mother and trying to challenge Jackson, keeping him from driving me crazy and putting to use the “useless” map that his Dad was about to discard.  I sat up a little straighter and had a wave of pride sweep over me.  It also made me think, “Maybe I can do this homeschooling thing.”  I don’t know anyone who goes about the task of homeschooling without having thought it all out, researched, and weighed the pros and con.  Even still we (homeschoolers) ask ourselves, “What if I can’t do this?”

I think I can.  I think I can.

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Hello, my name is Me

Just my opinion, Mr. Tolerable, My life, Parenting, Random Stuff

I have been at my Mother and Father’s house for about a week along with Mr. Tolerable and the kiddos.  It was sort of like an extended vacation since the hubby is sans employment at the moment.  We have never really had the opportunity to join in on the weekly Friday night bon fire parties that spontaneously ignite when the fire does.  It would drive Jim crazy to hear about all the fun that was had in his absence since he was the sucka who had to get up and go to work every stinking Saturday and Sunday.  Well, he now is even more pissed about it because we had so much fun these past few weekends.  I laughed so hard one night I think I counted 3 times I had to use my inhaler (the measure by which I decide how good of a time I had).  My brother cooked a brisket and we ate Aces High Corn on the cob.   Then we all stood around as my brother cooked up his second try at home-brewed beer.  It’s so neat to see everything that goes into it – the levels have to be just right.  Add the hops “NOW”. Check the temp often then make sure you get the temperature down FAST so it doesn’t get an infection.  I learned so much just standing there and the men just seemed mesmerized by the whole process.  I lost interest and found my way to where the women were collected but once someone brought up menopause I found myself back at the beer garden with the men.

One of the things I worried about when I was pregnant with my children was that I would cease to be and I would totally and wholly become a Mother – forgetting all the things I previously enjoyed.  Turning into those cliche over sized SUV-with-the-little-stick-family-on-the-back-window-driving Mommies.  It seems that I have successfully done both!  I have little problem leaving my kids with my Mother for several days while I go and get my redneck groove on camping at a Nascar event.  I love the feeling of getting my kiddos fed, bathed and safely tucked in bed.  Then turn the monitor on to go out back and sit around a fire-drinking, laughing and cutting up until as late as midnight (aren’t you impressed?) LOL.  But, on a regular Monday morning if you were behind me on the road as I make my trek to my normal playdate you would see this picture on the back glass of my Excursion.  So, any of you preggos out there reading this, or those unfortunate women out there who have let themselves be engulfed by the wonderful envelope known as children, I am proof that it can be done.  You can still be a sexy woman with a good social life, great sex life, AND a fantastic mother.  Don’t buy into the lie that in order to be a good Mom you have you stop all things about you.  You are still your husband’s woman and lover.  Your bed should be the location for risque acts of love not only a social landing point for everyone in the house.  You are still your friend’s choice for a dinner, coffee, or a good laugh.  You are still you.  And thank God, I am still me.


Sometimes I’m good…sometimes, not so much.

My kids, My life, Parenting

Am I the only one that feels on some days I have this whole mothering thing figured out and on other ones I am thinking “I suck at this” ?  Today is a good day.  Kids didn’t watch “too much” television.  They ate decent breakfasts and were changed and dressed by 10am.  We went out to eat at a local Mexican restaurant and the kids were angles.  We even got praise from an older couple sitting a booth over about how well mannered our two were (never happened before!!)  Then we went to the library where I let Jackson and Alex pick out some books to read and picked up a book on CD for myself.  (Just as a side note and because I think it’s a cool idea – I am ripping that CD to my computer and then putting it on my iPod so I have that to listen to as I clean house).  The kids and the husband are all napping right now and I am about to commence at folding the baskets of CLEAN laundry I have waiting for me.  Then we are headed to the park for the “Back to School Bash” where there will be firetrucks for Jackson to climb on and in, games and fun to be had.  I’m sounding like a good Mom at this point right?

Yesterday…..(Let me qualify the following paragraph by saying we just returned from vacation and I had a ton of laundry, cleaning and dishes to do to make this house livable again – when I work I have ear buds in my ears at all times).  The kids never did get out of their pajamas and that’s what they slept in again last night.  For breakfast Jackson had pretzels and juice.  Alex, a more sensible meal of butter cookies.  They watched TV for approximately 4 hours throughout the day while I was cleaning and either on the phone or listening to podcasts.  We didn’t go outside.  We didn’t really play together much and the kids were left to fend for themselves in the way of entertainment all day long  except for a break where I let the kids finger paint.  In order for me to sweep and mop our upstairs hard wood floor I had to lock them in Jackson’s room for about 30 minutes (checking often).  What was for lunch?  Um…..Jackson took it upon to make a “sammich.”  It consisted of a hamburger bun, and well…nothing else.  Alex begged off of him.  Sippies all around though!  I then fixed hamburgers and mac ‘n’ cheese for supper but all Jackson wanted was pickles.  Alex did eat part of a hot dog.  At the end of the night I didn’t give them a bath as is customary but I figured they hadn’t DONE anything to get dirty so why bother.  (Oddly enough they both fell asleep better and faster than ever before!)

So, am I the only one who feels like a shinning star on one day and like the worse mother on the planet the next?


  • Why I Write this Stuff

    My children called me Bobby when they were toddlers due to not being able to prounounce "Mommy." They are now 7 and 8 years old and I am Mommy. But my real name is Mandy. I just do this so I can keep in touch with the REAL me. Being a Bobby is a dream I thought I may never realize and I do not take it for granted. I homeschool (more specifically unschool) my two children and it's easy to lose yourself in the tasts of the day. I just want to make sure that after 19 or so years have passed,and my kids have moved out, I'm not stuck looking in the mirror and squinting in hopes of seeing Mandy again.