Friday, July 31, 2015

Toddlers to Teens: Some things don't change

Now that I am a mother of older kids, I enjoy reading the blog posts and Tweets and Facebook statuses (stati?)  of younger mothers going through the trials and tribulations of parenting toddlers and young children.
Sometimes I laugh... because I remember those days so well.
Sometimes I sigh.... because I miss those days of cuteness.
Sometimes I marvel that I made it out alive with my sanity, which is still highly debateable, and that my KIDS made it out alive!
And sometimes I realize that things have really not changed that much.

Nope... now that the kids are 16 (as of next week), 17,  and 21 I realize that they may have gotten bigger, increased their vocabulary, and sleep more, but is all of that really better?

Let's do a comparison, shall we?

2 year olds: cry and throw fits when they don't get something they want.
Teens: stomp their feet, huff away, and slam their doors.
---- ok, so at least when they are in their rooms pouting and tweeting to the world what an awful parent you are, they are much quieter about it.   1 point for teens

2 year olds: picky eaters, wont eat what you give them. The girlchild once went an entire 3 days eating only cold hot dogs and grapes. Nothing else.
Teens: picky eaters- moan and groan that you never fix anything they like, and "EWWW how can you expect us to eat THAT with it's green things and why can't you just order pizza again, and you just don't care that I'm starving and there's nothing to eat." *cue more stomping, huffing off and door slams.
----- 1 point for toddlers who will not let themselves starve and try to make you feel guilty for it

2 year olds: upon seeing you eating something, will come up to you with their big puppy dog eyes and ask for a "bite?.. my wanna bite.."
Teens: upon seeing you eating something, will walk over to you, reach down, take food off your plate in front of you, and then proclaim, " do you even eat this stuff? Can't you just order us a pizza?" And stomp off.
------ 1 point for toddlers who at least have the decency to ask and look cute

2 year olds: will usually (notice I said "usually") wear whatever you put on them and not complain about how "dorky" they look in that adorable sailor outfit until 10 years later when they are going through old pictures for a school family tree project.
Teens: will not buy anything you purchase for them without their being there, and are not satisfied with clothes from Walmart or Target where you can purchase 3 outfits for the price of one at the trendy boutique all their friends shop at. Also... they are the ones thinking they look fashionable in their attire while you sit back and wonder why they would even WANT to go out of the house looking like that.
------ 1 point for toddlers and that cute ducky outfit from Aunt Bernice

2 year olds: don't care what YOU are wearing, or even IF you are wearing anything.
Teens: (mostly daughters) will notify you that you "cannot possibly even be THINKING about wearing that out of the house", because they are, yanno...fashionistas, and would be mortified to be seen with you in your mom jeans, Disneyworld tshirt and Walmart sneakers.
------ 1 point for toddlers who will just wipe their hands, boogers, faces on your shirt anyway so you might as well be wearing that t-shirt

and while we are on the subject of clothing:
2 year olds: go through no less than 4 outfits a day due to food spillage, potty accidents,  things that little hands touch and then wipe on their tummies, and baths.
Teens: go through no less than 4 outfits a day due to "that one doesn't fit right", and "omg you faded my favorite green shirt in the wash and now it doesn't match", or "Mom, that is so last month and I can't possibly wear it now!"
------ 1 point for teens however, because they CAN be taught to do their own laundry after those same clothes that were on their body for less than 20 seconds have laid in the floor for a week and a half getting stepped on and wrinkled because you know it's easier just to rewash them than to try and get a teen to iron anything.

and speaking of messes:
2 year olds: tend to pull out toy after toy, enjoying and then abandoning it after their 20 second attention span is finished with it, leaving a trail of legos and doll clothes and puzzle pieces scattered throughout the house.
Teens: don't even get me started on messy bedrooms that never seem to get cleaned up because, "Mom, it's MY space and it's not bothering me, so why should it bother you?"
------ no points here.... too tired from picking everything up. Again.

2 year olds: the cost of playthings--while it takes a lot of toys and baubles to appease a toddler (or at least we think it does according to all that stuff we cram down in the diaper bags and fill the minivan up with), you CAN shop smart because they don't care yet where you get their toys and can be just as happy with a wooden spoon and a pot as the high dollar set of drums from the music store.
Teens: ipods, ipads, iphones, macbooks, xbox 360, xbox 1, Playstation 4012 or whatever version is out now, Google play cards.... pricey pricey pricey.....
------ 1 point for toddlers and a trip to the Dollar Store

2 year olds: can get out of your sight in a store faster than you can blink.
Teens: have to at least find your keys and get out of the house before you know they are missing.
------- 1 point for teens and their noiselevel

2 year olds: sleep sporadic hours... early to bed, up for drinks, early to rise, but they do take a nap--hopefully
Teens: up half the night playing video games or texting the BFF, but sleep til noon allowing a well scheduled mom to also get a chance to sleep in should she want.
------ 1 point for teens who sleep

on the opposite side of that argument tho:
2 year olds can be picked up and moved when sleeping and usually not get too disturbed...
Teens: you have to wait for them to awaken to go anywhere because you sure don't want to deal with the wrath of Khan should you force them to get up before they are ready and do something they don't want to do.
---- 1 point for toddlers: mobility

2 year olds love lots of hugs and kisses 
Teens are finicky and only want them on their terms and not in front of their friends.  
--- 1sloppy sticky point for toddlers

2 year olds cannot fully express themselves and scream and cry and sometimes bite others because they do not have enough words yet.
Teens have more than enough words and will tell you exactly what is wrong with  you and whatever you are doing that does not suit them.
--- no points...noone wins here

2 year olds love to snuggle and cuddle in your lap
Teens want you to stay away from them, until they want you ...and then they still try to sit on you and smush you to death.
------points to both for being loving

2 year olds take your stuff and lose it
Teens take your stuff and don't give it back

2 year olds can only do minimal chores and bribed with a cookie or popsicle
Teens, when you can get then to do it, can do as many household chores as you let/make them, but usually want mega bucks for doing so

2 year olds and the endless repetitions of "Let it Go" or the Barney Song (yes, I'm that old)
Teens and the musical stylings that you cant even make sense of, and lyrics that you don't want your impressionable
precious angel hearing and having imbedded in their brain for ever and ever

2 year olds want to go everywhere with you
Teens don't want you to go anywhere with them

So in a quick wrap up... 
It appears that toddlers do have more points, on this grading scale... but the joys of teens are also great.
There really isn't a whole lot of difference in the ages as far as how crazy, tired, aggravated they can make you,  but then there also isn't a difference in how much you love them.. and how much they love you. They just show it differently.

I do love being the parent of teens/young adults. It allows more freedom.. but something tells me that in a couple more years, when they are all off to college or out on their own, all that freedom will leave me longing for the days when they ran around the house dumping out cheetoh bags and trying to "help you mama" while making bigger messes.
Because they were just so darn cute...and they were there with me.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Hot Blooded..check it and see...

Could someone please explain Hot Flashes to me?
I am a 48 year old Cold Natured woman.
I do not enjoy the cold at all.
I can handle anything down to about 75 degrees, but even then, if it’s night time, I still need a light jacket.
I freeze all summer long inside my own home where the air conditioning fluctuates between MY 78 degrees and HIS 72 degrees.
In church or other public buildings, I have to wear long sleeves.
I just cannot handle the cold.

So when I thought about my impending menopause, which could be starting at any time now in my life,  I almost welcomed my idea of “hot flashes”.
Now I know they are not fun. I’ve been told by many friends and relatives that it is a miserable time of life. Too hot to sleep, sweating through your clothes, can’t stand to be alive..
but being a person who is always cold, I was thinking it might be nice to occasionally “warm up”.

That is.. until this summer. 
This summer, I am hot.
But not in flashes.
All the time.
In my own home, even when the temp is set on HIS 72.
I’ve even been known to crank it down to 68 when he’s not home!
I’m just hot.
When I get in the car, the MAX AIR gets turned right on me--gas mileage be danged.
I cannot get the studio to cool off when I go to the tv station to film shows.
Our classrooms at school are always miserable.. either too hot or too cold.. and guess how they are feeling now. That’s right HOT!

I’ve succumbed to lying naked on top of my own bed under the air vent AND ceiling fan.
Trying to cook dinner roasts ME!

I’ve never felt this way..and now I’m starting to get worried because I really don’t believe this IS menopause.
It’s not “flashing”.
It’s coming on and staying on.

So when I get to the point where the flashing starts… somebody better just follow behind me with a bucket or ice water at all times..

cuz I’m gonna need it.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Happy Days Housewives

I was reading this post on ScaryMommy about how the moms in the 1950s had it made.
(you can read it here-- 15 Reasons 1950s Moms had it made   .. it's pretty dead on in my opinion!)

Did you read it?
I'll give ya another minute...... .......... ............
Ok.. ya back?

So, yeh.. they had it easy back then.
I remember watching Happy Days and Bewitched, and thinking, "Man, Mrs. C had the life, didn't she?" "What an easy life Samantha had, as far as housekeeping goes I mean. (forget about all those witchcraftery problems and just follow me here....)

I don't think either one of them were drinking cocktails at 3:00 in the afternoon... at least not on camera, but they did seem to have it a lot easier than we do today.  And what about Carol Brady. Sure.. she was from the 60s, but she got to stay home and do social things with her ladies' organizations and the PTA and she didn't even have to cook or clean?  Now how fair is that?? 
I want an Alice!

Yeh... sometimes I want to return to those days.
The men worked and brought home the bacon. 
The women fried it up in the pan and served it to an adoring family who were thankful for it.
Then the kids did homework and played records while the parents had other couples over to play cards and drink cocktails.
Women could wear nice clothes all day.. no 3 day old yoga pants and a shirt that has more wrinkles than Cloris Leachman.

None of this working two jobs, throwing something in the microwave while flipping the laundry and googling how to make a baking soda volcano.  Having to feed your family in shifts because one child has to be at ball practice and another one at karate while the third has a dance recital.

Nice, calm, peaceful evenings in a nice clean home that you had all day to get ready.

I'm sure there were problems then, too... but life just seemed so much simpler then. 
It's such a hard juggling game these days to have the clean house, well groomed kids who have everything they need for every activity they participate in and get there on time and have eaten a well balanced meal from their immaculate kitchen, and still find time to get frisky on the sofa with your husband.   

I don't think I'd mind going back to those Happy Days at all sometimes... 
especially if the Fonz lived in the apartment over my ceiling!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Meal Planning--or as I like to call it: Wasting Time

I grew up in a single income family with a SAHM. (that's a "stay-at-home-mom" for those that might not know).  Money was always tight. Enough to pay the bills and cover everything we needed, but not a lot for luxuries like those Calvin Klein jeans all my friends were wearing, or an extra car, or even eating out much. It was always a treat when McDonald's ran their 29 cent hamburger specials twice a year because that meant that on Sunday, on our way home from church, which was on the same side of town as McDonald's, we'd get to go through the drive-thru and Daddy would order a dozen of those glorious morsels of yumminess and take them home for our dinner to have with a bag of chips and kool-aid.  #memories

As a SAHM, my mother learned to be great at planning things out. We had a chore list for each day of the week, we knew which days were laundry days and if we needed something washed in between times we had to learn to do it ourselves, and we knew what we'd be having for supper every night because there was a menu of sorts on the fridge (next to the chore list), and we better not eat anything out of the fridge or cabinets that would need to be used in the cooking of any of those meals! Mom and Daddy went to the grocery store once a week, usually on Friday night I seem to recall (#datenight) without us kids, and there was no going back during the week to get anything else. So planning a weekly menu was a must.

Yes, I'm the daughter of an organizer. Traits that I've tried to mimic and model to my own offspring.  Keyword there being TRY!   When I was married the first time, it worked out pretty well. I'd plan out a weekly menu, shop for those things...and most times it worked. We might change our minds, decide to grab a fast meal from a drive-thru or go out with friends sometimes, but for the most part, it worked.

Then I was a single mom of 3 kids. I HAD to plan. Luckily, the kids only ate about 3 things so we stayed stocked up on fish sticks, hot dogs, and macaroni and cheese, and it still was not that hard.
There would be the occasional happy meal sharing program.. 2 meals split 4 ways.. or a 20 piece nugget meal with a large fry split among the 3 kids when we'd be on the road... but we made allowance. It still worked pretty good. 

And then.. then I married the hubs.  When we met, he told me he knew how to fix 3 things for supper for himself and his son... hamburger helper, bacon sandwiches, and pizza from Pizza Hut.
And that was a pretty accurate statement.
I quickly found out that he is not a planner.  He is more of a "I don't know what I'll be hungry for tonight, much less 3 days from now."
Many are the days I find myself running to the store at 6pm on the way home from work to get ingredients for whatever sounds good for supper that night. 
Oh.. I try to plan.. I go shopping and fill the freezer with chicken and pork chops and roasts and fish.... I make a list of possible meal plans for each night, especially now that we are also cooking for his mother and taking it to her every night.  But then there are left overs to take into account, and whose kids are gonna be here when, and "I really don't feel like eating 'that' tonight..why don't we do this instead."  So plans go by the wayside sometimes.  

And after 10 years of being with this man (5 of them married), I'm finally at a place where I do not have a brain aneurism every time he suggests we just "go grab a burger" or  "call an order into Juan's" rather than eat the meal I've planned on making and have marinating in the fridge.

Don't get me wrong.. I still make mental plans, sometimes putting them on paper even.. but scrapping them to go with the flow has become a pretty regular way of life now.  And I'm pretty much ok with that now.
Not that it would matter, mind you...

Or.. more likely, I have this great meal planned out in my mind, I start to get things out to prepare it.. and find that I'm missing one (or more) of the ingredients because either someone has eaten it without telling me, used the last of it and not let me know to put it on the list, or as more the norm.. I've just forgotten to get it.

With teens, meals are not as easy as when they are little and you can tell them "that's all we have".
No..  now it's, "MOM! What's for dinner?... oh yuck! Why that?" and they go fix a bowl of ramen noodles or (my favorite) just slam the door and sulk that "nobody cares if I starve cuz all you want to feed me is gross stuff."
Luckily, she'll be able to drive soon, and Sonic, McD's, and Taco Bell are just a couple miles away... 

#letitgo #recoveringcontrolfreak #moreimportantthings 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Just Who IS The Queen of Quite A Lot? -- let me introduce myself

I was looking at the "data" page on this blog site the other day and saw that several people are actually maybe reading my drivel and I do already know who a few of you are.. but some of you might be new to me, so I thought I'd introduce myself properly.  (I'm all about the manners, yanno!)

The Queen.. in a nutshell:
~I am an approaching 50 mom and stepmom of four teen/young adult children. 
   There's Son#1... he's 21 and starting his senior year in college.
   There's the boychild... he is 17, stands 6'5", and will be a senior in high school this fall.
   And there's the girlchild.  She is about to be 16 in a couple more weeks, will be a junior in high school this fall, stands taller than her dear old mom, and thinks that SHE is the queen of it all. (Which we know is not true, since I am!)
   They will be the topic of many stories here, I'm sure.  I also have a 25 year old stepson who comes to our house on the weekends. He's quiet, doesn't do much.. not much food for fodder there, but ya never know!

~I am the wife of a business man. We've been married 10 years now. I'll have to share the story of how we met sometime, it's kinda cool.  He owns the local tv station in our area. He puts in a lot of hours and can't get away from it much. I'll probably not talk about him a whole lot on here, respecting his privacy and all since some of you know him, but just want to add that he is a good man... a great husband. He takes care of me, supports me, nurtures me.. and provides me with more laughs in a day's time than I ever thought possible.  (and gives the best foot rubs on the planet.. without my asking!)

~I am the daughter of 2 in-not-so-good health parents who live 75 miles away, and the daughter-in-law of an alzheimerish yet not quite come to terms with it mother of an only child. #stressofanewkind

~I am a school teacher. Been molding the minds of littles for 26 years now.  19 of those years have been in 1st grade, but I've also taught Kindergarten and preschool, and took a year and a half off to sub pretty much full time when Son#1 was born. (that's a story for another day, too!)

~I am a TV Talk Show Host. The tv station my husband owns has a daily talk show, featuring a new show everyday Monday-Friday. For several years it had a host, then it had another host.  Then the job kinda fell in my lap. (again.. a story for another time!.. wow, I'm racking up future entries here!) 
I've been getting to meet, "interview" (and I use that term lightly)  and share people's goals, achievements, and passions for about two and a half years now.   And I LOVE IT!  I've found my second career for when I retire from the teaching field.

~I enjoy fast food (why of course I want fries with that!  Did someone say "run for the border?") slow food, ...heck! who am I kidding? I enjoy most all food as long as the meat ain't raw... and the occasional fruity libation. I love to shop, but not always buy things... go to movies.. spend time with friends... and sing and dance. Preferably in the car. With the girlchild. Which embarrasses her. #funforme #notforher

~I am a Southern girl... born and raised. I was born in Oklahoma, but for all except one year spent in northern California, (wow.. yet another story for another day), I have been an Arkansas girl.  I love my Razorback Football team,  sweet tea, southern accent, and conservative views and I wouldn't change a thing about that.  

~I am a Christian. I love the Lord, I have a relationship with Jesus, but I'm not preachy. I know what I believe, put I don't push my beliefs on anyone. I will gladly discuss my conservative opinions and thoughts with anyone who asks, but this will not be a politics filled, opinionated type blog.

~I am also a procrastinator... a taker on-er of too much at once... a can't say no (but trying to learn how) girl... an over user of the ellipse.... (as you can see).. I type like I talk (which is why there are so many ellipses and parenthesis) and I love a good hashtag (not to link to anything necessarily, just to show the underthoughts or mumblings of my mind after I've said something.) I always have the best intentions, yet somehow the majority of them are never seen to fruition. It's not that I don't care enough, I just seem to have stuff come up a lot that takes priority over whatever good deed/idea I want to do. And I forget... a lot. #shorttermmemoryproblems

~I'm here to have fun. I've been reading some great blogs by some wonderful ladies lately, making friends with some of them, and they (along with real life friends) have encouraged me to start my own blog.  "You're so funny on Facebook, you should start a blog!"  I've heard that often enough over the past few years that I thought,  "ok, why not?"  So... here I am.   This is a new experience for me.

~I am open (sometimes too much of an oversharer), honest,  and love to laugh.  
I also love feedback! So please comment here or on the Facebook page I set up to support this thing.

I am writing to share my thoughts. I hope you can relate, can laugh with me, or sometimes at me, and can sympathize alongside me sometimes.  

This is who I am.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Traveling with teens is very eye opening

Things I learned about my teens while traveling with them.

Now don't get me wrong. I know my kids. I've been living with them their whole lives. I can tell you about their likes, dislikes, personalities, friends, how they do in school...  
but when you are trapped  driving in a car with them for the better part of 9 hours each way and staying in a motel while on vacation, you find out a lot more!
(and don't worry... there really aren't 10. I know you don't have all time to sit here and read my insights, so I've kept it down to a shorter list!)

1. Boys are stinky.
Of course I already knew this. The boychild is the younger of my two sons. I've raised boys. I know they are not the most hygienic creatures on the earth.  They fart, they burp, they forget deodorant and tooth brushing sometimes.  But really.... you never know how stinky boys are until you are cooped up with them in a confined space for an extended period of time.  There's an odor that emits from their pores. And it's not just foot odor, it's all over odor.  Where does that come from? Is it pheromones? If that is what they emit to draw in the opposite sex, it looks like the boychild will be a monk for the rest of his life.

2. Girls are stinky, too.
Forget that "sugar and spice and everything nice" crap.
Girls fart and burp, too. Sometimes in competition with their brothers. Despite pleas from the parental unit to "knock it off now or I'll pull this car over so help me!"
And the additional odors they put onto themselves on purpose....
sometimes that body wash, hair gel, body lotion, hairspray, and whatever else comes out of those dozen little bottles you brought with you don't always exist cohesively together. #pickonefragranceatatimeplease.

3. The girlchild is a slob.
I mean, I already knew she was messy. I've seen her room. There's no way I could ever live in there, but it's her space and as long as I can close the door and not have to pass by it and fight the urge to burn it down and start all over every time I go down the hallway, I'm ok with it.
But Oh-em-geeeee...  I did not realize just HOW slobby she was until this trip with the motel stay.
It's like she has this "release and drop" policy. For everything.
**Changing clothes?... let the old ones just fall to the floor and stay there. Wherever you happen to be standing when you change. No sense picking them up and putting them with other dirty clothes, or hanging them up/putting them back in the suitcase if you only wore them an hour or so, like you do most outfits.... that would just mean less laundry later and we all know it's much easier just to rewash things than to put them away.
**Eating a snack?...the world is her trashbin. Cheez-It box between the bed and the wall; Empty Dr. Pepper cans on every table in the room. That poptart she just had to have from the vending machine... half eaten, lying on the tv with crumbs scattered in a trail marking where she walked while eating.
** and let's not forget the vanity in the bathroom where EVERY.SINGLE.THING she stuffed into those 3 makeup bags lies strewn about, scattered from one end to the other, leaving no room for anyone else's toothpaste or hairbrush.  Seriously? 64 bobby pins, 3 kinds of hair gel, 4 facial cleansing products, hair straightener, hair curler, the BIG bottle of hairspray.... I could slap price tags on everything and have enough to open our own beauty supply store. 

4. My taste in music is apparently not as bad as they like to make me think it is.
Case in point... while flipping through the XM radio stations I have preset (classic vinyl, 80s on 8, 70s on 7, the Blend, Hair Nation, etc...) not only did they know a lot of the songs we heard playing, but they could sing EVERY WORD to A-Ha's "Take On Me".  (Youtube video in that link)
Yeh.. BUSTED!!  #stoptellingmemymusicsux

5. Moms are great to hang out with when there are too many relatives you do not know and you are feeling insecure.
Most of the time they just want to be left alone, right? They go in their rooms, shut the door, IM their friends about all the things they "heart" and play video games all night long.  But when in a social setting, where there are people so excited to see them and tell them how much they've grown in 5 years, and hug them and feed them and show them off to each other.... Mom is not so bad a pal to have around. 
#security #canwegohomenow

So while ya gotta love 'em, because they are your kids, and that's the rule,  you don't always have to like being around them. Well, except for those last 2 points. Knowing I'm right about something and knowing I'm needed does kinda make a mom feel good. We don't get that too often during these teenage years.  I guess I can put up with the stenches and the messiness for a few more years...although I'm not sure those are any of the things I'm "gonna miss when they're gone!"

And oh yeh.. one more thing I learned on my own...without the help of the children...
ALWAYS pack your own toilet paper for a road trip.
Those gas station and McDonald's bathrooms use the cheap stuff that either scratches, tears, or both.
#ohmyachingbum #Charminwhereareyou