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Don’t lose hope. Don’t give up on your kids.

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It’s been a little longer than 7 hours and 15 days (Sinead O’Conner anyone?  Anyone?), since I have added any new posts.  But, I went back and read some of my old posts and something pretty incredible happened. Because I had stepped away from the blog for years and came back to read the entries it was almost as if reading someone else’s posts.  And during that time I had to admit that I was pleasantly entertained and impressed with some SOME of the writing and witty tales I told.  It is in light of this little event that I want to try to start writing again.  Many life events have happened since my last post.  The most life changing was the sudden death of my Dad on December 16, 2014 but I will save those entries for a day when I think those words would flow.  Today is not that day.

Today I just want to take a minute to talk to any mom out there who has a child(ren) who, despite all your hard word, dedication and discipline, seems destined to be “that kid.”  To be the kid who when people see coming they are less than happy.  The kid who causes the phone calls, meetings and conversations with school officials, teachers and principals.  You are fighting tooth and nail to raise this little monster into well rounded, happy, polite, kind and responsible citizens of the world yet you go to bed every night with visions of them grown and talking to you through a 3 inch thick sheet of glass and a telephone to each of your ears.  To you I say, do not ever, ever give up.  Some kids, it appears, are born with this natural need to behave, keep people happy, and do as they are told.  I have one of those too.  I did not raise either of my two differently but as they continue to grow, it is obvious they are two very different people.  And, I am finally getting to that point that I can SEE the results of all the countless tears, hard word, determination, and most of all LOVE we have poured into Action Jackson.  He is succeeding with flying colors in the gifted class he was invited to join this year.  His grades have all been A’s and B’s (with 1 C and he did NOT like that) but most impressive and awesome to me is he received his first EVER “S” for “Satisfactory” in conduct.  He does have an IEP (Individual Education Plan) that is WORKING.  I am such a believer in these.  At first it was hard for me to admit my child needed extra help.  That he was outside the norm and couldn’t handle some situations like the everyday 10 year old.  But once I swallowed my pride and let the process do it’s thing I not only believed in it, I advocated for it.  I have talked to several of my friends who are going through similar situations and I am always saying, “Get an IEP!”  I know our IEP, the fact that he is being challenged at an academic level for the first time in his life, and the availability of the resource classroom and teacher if things get overwhelming have changed.our.lives.

I am not going to espouse all this without admitting that things are still not, nor will they every be, perfect but when I go back and read some of my posts from my pasts career as a Mom and think about where we are today I can’t help but realize just how far we’ve all come.

So, frazzled mom with the tears in your eyes, just hold on hun.  If you keep fighting for him (or her) and love your child in SPITE of their actions, there will come a time when you start to see light at the end of that dark tunnel.

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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!

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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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  • 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.