Ugh! Calgon Take Me Away!

Ever have a day, a week, a year where you just want a do-over? Or maybe just hit the delete button for so many things that have happened? This year has been it for sure and although I’m not feeling like hitting the delete button today, I could sure use a bubble bath, candles, some expensive chocolates, wine, a vacation lodge in the bahamas. 

Oops, sorry, I meandered off for a moment. The point being that we all have those times where we need to destress! 

I’m not sure about you, but my life is hectic enough with just my 2 remaining kids at home, working and the house. But so much more is added on to us nowadays it seems. There’s carting everyone around and work and… homework.

Homework takes up my evenings with the boy. It just never seems to be finished. It isn’t for lack of trying either. I seem to lose him just when it’s time to pick up the other kid! Grrr. Getting him back to task is nearly impossible!

On days there’s lots of homework it makes getting dinner nearly impossible! Did I mention the ADHD issue? Today is one of those days and somehow homework is relegated to me because I have better luck with him, but not when there is this much.

I’m not sure how my mom did this, but I do know that my brother and I were independent. We did our own homework. When did this change for kids? When did it change that husband and wife couldn’t spend any time together because of homework? Calgon please take me away! I need a vacation and it’s only the second week of school!

ADHD and Homework

Every kid struggles with homework at some time or another but kids with ADHD suffer every day just to get work done. How do I know this? My son has ADHD and I know this nasty beast for all that it is. Now. I will tell you, unlike many others with this diagnosis, my son does not have behavioral issues. In fact, at school he’s an angel according to his teachers (can they come home with him), but home is another matter with behavior. Hubs and I see a child that can be defiant at times despite some of the consequences but normally they do the trick. 

School is the biggest hurdle we have. I love my son dearly, but there are times that he and I could go rounds in a rink when it comes to getting his homework done. This evening was no exception. I met with his teacher, known for being a “hard” teacher but an excellent teacher for him. She has gone of experience teaching 4th grade. Her biggest input? The boy is disorganized and already behind. Not what I wanted to hear, but we have a plan.

The assignment notebook is the key. The big thing is basically beating it into boy’s head that this is his school bible and every little thing must be in here. His teacher and I are going to write notes back and forth to make certain work is being done. She’s going to make sure things are sent home too, at least for now. She are going to whip this boy into educational shape.

Step two? Medication. Yes, I tried to see if we could get away without it, but after today’s conference I feel that is a no brainer. Boy needs it to focus on the task at hand and what kind of mother would I be if I didn’t provide him with medication that will help him. Would you not take medicine for your high blood pressure? Exactly. If there was ever a boy that needed help focusing. This is the one. 

This is not easy for him or for us as parents. It is painful every day to watch your child go through such a struggle. I’ve always believed that God only gives us the crosses we can bear, so somehow we will all bear this one. It breaks my heart though to think of him struggling when others get the work done so easily. Be is very bright but it is locked away in a disorganized brain. If only I had the key.

Time for Coffee

Oh how I’ve missed having coffee with you! Let’s get a quick bite to eat and catch up.I’ve made some homemade oatmeal chocolate chip butterscotch cookies or there’s strawberries and angel food cake of you would prefer that.most of all, I’ve been looking forward to your company.

The kids are back at school now and life is back to it’s normal school year routine. Hard to believe I sent my second one off to college but she’s working hard and having a blast. What did we do before cell phones? She texts me and snap chats me almost every day. She’s gone to a Cardninals baseball game, done some Zumba and salsa to boot! Don’t worry, she has always studied and is doing that too. 

Number 3 is transitioning to  sophomore year as well. He so far has all A’s so what’s not to love there. I have a feeling that this will be a big year for him. He’s been going through a lot of changes lately but knowing that he has the love and support of his family will be the strength he needs throughout his life. He’s challenged by teachers to be his best, including his art teacher. I think she won’t be disappointed knowing my baby’s mad art skills! But when that teacher seems to single you out and speak directly to you in front of the class? Well, you just go do your thing! Go shine!

The little man seems to be adjusting to 4th grade fairly well. Granted it’s just a week so far, but homework is getting done, bedtime is being met and chores are mostly getting done. Work in progress! I’ll be talking to his teacher on Monday to see about behavior and work to see what improvements can be made. Pray for him and for me! I’m trying to be the proactive parent this year and working less means more time helping him stay on task.

Lastly, I’m back at work. I wish I could say I’m loving it, but it is work after all. I’m slow but learning and getting there. I finally have great teachers. I’ll get there and I sure felt better coming home Thursday than I did on Tuesday! Next week is the same but longer days. I’ll get there. I’ll get to know the job and the people and I’ll be just fine. Then, and only then, will I be able to say I love my job.

So, how was your week? I’m dying to hear about it! I hope it was wonderful just like you!

Ah Back to Work and Normality

This morning as I ventured out the door to make the trek to work, I felt as though I was never going to get this new job figured out. So many things to learn and relearn and I’m not getting any younger. It’s not that I’m beyond learning new things, it’s just that I seem to need such repetition to get the things I learn into my thick skull! Yes, that’s right, my thick skull. 

You see, I have done my former job for so long that I could do It in my sleep, except for the driving, but I knew how to do it so well. Now, I’m faced with new challenges everyday that take most people surely less time to conquer than it takes me! That’s what I’ve told myself anyway.

Overall, I like my new job. I enjoy the challenges immensely, but my brain hurts. I like computers but good grief there are at least 2 ways to do everything at my new job and sometimes I get so confused when one person shows me one way, then someone else comes along and insists I do the same thing a different way simply because it’s easier for them. Lord, please help me! I will get through it though. I know there will be an end to my training and I will be out on my own soon enough! God save us all!

At home, the youngest 2 kiddos are adjusting to life back in school. We have new rules in place and they are both in bed at 9. Yes, my 15 year old included. Homework is the priority but chores, too, must be done. It is a work in progress but hopefully will manifest itself by a successful school year. There will always be exceptions along the way. I know that. This isn’t my first bicycle race. 

I’m excited about the changes we’ve made and the best part to report is that Mr. 9 year old only had his homework fit once so far. He’s decided that it has to be done and the sooner it’s done the better! He also wants his teacher to be happy! I will continue to use this tool as much as I can. 

Working less is a blessing for me. I may have much less money but I will have happier kids. I think happier and more successful kids are the best goals I can achieve in my lifetime. 

There Are Days…

Have you ever had a day that you just didn’t want to come? I have and today was one of them. I’ve been off work for two and a half months.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy my job, it’s that I don’t know it that well. You see. I just started it about 6 weeks before I had to have major surgery and now I have to relearn the things I only barely learned in the first place!

Getting back into the swing of things for these first few days is hard enough when you know a job, but add to that the stresses of sending the kids back to school, the extra driver now away at college, and relearning or just learning things for the first time and it is exhausting. The good part is, I made it through my first day! Hallelujah!

I know things will get easier, but brain fatigue is a real thing, people. My brain felt as though it has run a marathon and read a 1000 page textbook on calculus today. Believe me, that would be pure torture for this soul!

To add to the mayhem of the foggy brain, coming home in was greeted by my son, my lovely 9 year old who hadn’t touched his homework. The kicker was the sheer amount of homework this 4th grader had this evening and the tears and gnashing of teeth it took to just get him to touch the books! Yikes! We never had anything like this when I was in 4th grade! He had 2 Social Studies pages, Reading, Science and Math! That is a lot for someone that age. 

Them there are the things that still need to be thought of like dinner. Hubs was great and made it tonight. That was so nice and much appreciated. Next up? Getting the boy ready for bed and things ready for tomorrow. Never a dull moment in this house. Just another day in the life! 

When Your Child Leaves for College

Just yesterday we got our second daughter settled into her dorm room at her chosen university. What a joy to see such an already accomplished young woman begin her transition into college life. Was it difficult as her mother to say goodbye to my precious baby girl? You betcha! But knowing she is just beginning her journey into a whole new world full of great new exciting experiences helped me get through it. Her joy kept me steady throughout the day, too.

Sending a child off to school for the first time is scary for both parent and child. It is important to remember that you aren’t losing your child, but instead you are helping them realize their dreams and aspirations. Sure the dynamics of your house will change. I’m down from four kids in the house to two, but when they all come home, it’s as if they never left. The love and laughter is there. The loudness is deafening but would we have it any other way? I think not!

Having two daughters who have gone through this experience of moving away to college I’ve learned a lot. Hopefully, my experiences will help others going through this. Just remember that each child is different and will experience it differently. That, I believe is key.

Having said that, I will tell you that even with my daughters’ roomates their experiences were different. One daughter was ready for us to leave once she was unpacked and we had gone out to eat. She also ended up wanting frequent visits from me. She wasn’t happy where she was and eventually changed majors and schools. The other daughter knew how she wanted everything to be, wanted to do it herself, but wasn’t in a hurry for us to leave. One roommate had parents that hovered, a lot. The other roommate had her parents leave and she took care of herself for her dinner on the first night. As I said, such individuality among the students.

For the students, let your mom hover a little bit. They need to feel useful because you are growing up and will be on your own for the first time. Mom wants to show you her love on move in day. Just this one last time. It’s important for her. 

Moms need to let their student set up the room as they want it. This is their space, not yours. They are needing their independence so let them assert it today. Don’t stand in their way. I had to learn this. I got it right with number 2. I am ever the work in progress.

No matter how prepared you think you are, Wal-Mart and Target are your friends. You will need a trip there for those things you didbt think of. Things like a scissors, ice cube trays, command strips, a broom or a clock to put on the wall. 

Go out to eat as a family when it is all done. Make it special. Yes, you’ve spent all this money on college and the supplies needed to get them there, but even if it is just McDonald’s or a pizza, spend that time together, exhausted as you will be. It is totally worth the effort. It is a memory you will treasure forever. That’s what family is all about.

So, this fall, as the kids go back to school, I have 2 daughters now in college, 1 son in high school and a son in 4th grade. Where does the time go? Out babies grow up and chase their dreams whether we want them to or not. Some of us are lucky enough to be able to let our babies soar to new heights, where other parents will keep their babies safely tucked under their wings because their babies won’t be able to fly like mine can. I consider myself blessed. Someday I will have an empty nest and will have to remind myself that that, too is a blessing. Until then though, I’ll continue to raise my little chicks and do my best to raise them the best I know how to. I will count my blessings to see my older chicks soar to new heights and look forward to all their new stories when they come home.  T

Blessings of Friendship

I haven’t been writing lately. Life has done that thing where it simply gets in the way. Life does that sometimes and thank God it does. What a joy to behold when we become so enthralled with family and friends, that we suddenly realize it has been a long time since we wrote anything. It’s been a while since I checked my overflowing email. What a shame I have no guilt about not checking my email. 

After such a summer as I have had. I suppose I’m making up for lost time. I’m spending time with my husband, when he isn’t tired from working, my kids, when they aren’t with their friends out somewhere or with my wonderful friends. 

I have to say that these friendships are the ones I treasure more than anything. My friendships are golden, as these friendships have lasted the rest of time. I suppose I’m particular in letting people get too close to me. Some of my friendships have lasted nearly 40 years and others 30 years. 

My dearest friends, and they know who they are, I don’t think I could live without. Even though we may go without talking for sometime, we simply pick up where we left off. We finish each other’s sentences and thoughts. We really can look at something and know what the other person is thinking. There may be a look between us or we may burst into hysterical laughter, but it is an unspoken and heartfelt understanding. 

Just over the weekend I was so blessed to see a dear friend I hadn’t seen in 30 years. Our time was too fleeting together, but the bonds that tied our hearts of friendship together remain all these years later. What an amazing and special coffeetime we had this weekend. We talked about so many things and the time just passed to quickly. If only he lived closer with his family. Another treasure for my heart to hold onto until we meet again.

My sweet overgrown”little brother”, a dear friend since childhood and his lovely wife and son were visiting this weekend, too. As kids, we played together outside every day. We would ride our rocket from his front porch to Jupiter. We had our own air guitar band as a tribute to the Beatles. I always win at basketball but He kicked my butt at baseball. He is a writer and a darned good one. He is working on another book. His dad was a journalist and second dad to me growing up. How blessed I am. 

So, between baking, caring for family and animals, creating BBQ sauces, and preparing myself for my second child leaving the nest, I’ve spent quality time catching up with wonderful friends.who could ask for any greater blessing!

Many Blessings

It is so easy to look around and see what is wrong with our life but this week I choose to focus on my blessings. I’m surrounded by blessings. Sometimes the things that seem most unlike a blessing brings the greatest joy to our otherwise mundane life.

Sure, not everything in life is the way I would like it to be, but usually that seems to be God’s uncanny way of answering prayers or getting me to be more tolerant of how things will be. It’s sort of how my relationship is with God. He opens my eyes in His way and I obediently say, “oh, now I get it”! I’m rather thick headed at times and so stubborn.

Ah, but I digress. My blessings. I have a husband that loves me and cares for me. No, our marriage is not a perfect marriage, but we are always working on it. We have come a long way from the kids we were and from the newlyweds we were. 

Marriage is hard work, make no mistake. My mother always told me that. She said “you can never change a person… they must want to change.” I’ve changed so much over the years. I’ve grown up, not completely but in the important ways. It makes marriage better. I am blessed.

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My children are such a blessing to me. Children are God’s way of making your life both much more complicated when your children become teenagers, esoecially, and filling your heart full of a love you could never imagine having. It is a love that empowers you to do great and powerful things. 

Before I had children, I wouldn’t dare think of confronting others over feeling that I had been wronged but when and if someone messes with my child, my mama bear comes out and I will hunt you down and eat you alive after clawing your face. Its an instinct. 

Sound a bit harsh? You don’t have children. Talk to a mother who has a child that has been picked on unbidden. She will go to great lengths to protect and defend that child. I love my children with every fiber of my being. I may not like their views or choices at times, but I LOVE them and I will fight anyone that get a in the way of their happiness.

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I am so blessed by my dearest friends. I have a small circle of the very best friends a girl could ever have. All I had to say is, “I’m feeling so down and need some girl time”, and my best friend and I spent the day together. We didn’t do that much but we were together chatting like we always have for the last 29 years. My other best friend lives right near door and I just have to call her or knock on her door and she is always there for me too. Then there are my  old friends that I can call or text at a moment’s notice and they are simply there. 

Recently, one of my old friends that I hadn’t seen or heard from in many years found me after many years apart. What a glorious gift. Time vanishes and I return to feeling like that teenager again full of life and silliness once more. What a beautiful blessing I could never have imagined having been given. I cherish this gift tremendously.

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The gift of music. My house seems to always have music whether I want it or not. My third child plays piano so awesomely and by ear for the most part because sheet music is for sissies and requires one to read it. He doesn’t want to read it and we don’t have any up to date, cool music. He plays everyday, eberthing from video game music to popular music. Just don’t expect any Mozart! 

I sat at the piano last night and was reading some of my old sheet music because I actually can and do read it. I was classically trained but am so out of practice these days. I wasn’t so bad that I should never sit there again, but music is such a gift.

I love when my child plays and his sisters sing together, when everyone is home. They think I’m corny for mentioning this I’m sure, but it is such a blessing to me. I love when they sing “Hallelujah”. Granted, they’re stuck with me joining with them on that one. I only join in on the ones I know and half the time they don’t know because I’m not even out there with them. 

Having the gift of music is such a blessing. I know that I was given this gift but to see that all of my children were blessed by music as well in their own way has blessed me once again.

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This has been a FTSF post. This week was on blessings! Please visit www.findingninee.com for more posts. 

Where Did the Summer Go?

Each year as August rolls around, I ask myself this question. It always seems that once we celebrate the Fourth of July in all its glory, the summer flies by. This year is no exception as time marches forward in spite of our wish for it to slow down ever so slightly. 

In just a couple short weeks the college kids will be heading off to school, my second daughter among those headed away for the first time. Just after that, school starts anew for the rest of them and summer 2016 will be one more in the memory books. 

I have to say that for my kids, my husband, and myself, this has not been a great summer. Most of June I spent in and out of the hospital and the month of July was spent still recouperating from my surgery and complications. We didn’t do anything fun or exciting. We didn’t go anywhere or explore any new fun adventures. We stayed home. We bonded, at times, a little too much, but usually just The right amount! The best part was that most of us were together and grew out family bond. That is worth it’s weight in gold, however. 

If it weren’t for my family, I certainly don’t know how I could have managed. My dad, God bless him, even made me an Apple pie, from scratch! I taught him how to make it several months ago and he’s perfected it now. My beloved aunts have sent notes, recipes and even a piece of apple pie back with my dad, just for me. My cousins and one of my aunts came to visit me. I truly am blessed to have such a loving, caring and wonderful family near and far. It’s their love, actions and prayers that have helped me recover from this wretched surgery and infection. 

This is not to say my friends haven’t been there because they have been. But this is to remind us all just how important family is. The apple pie from my aunt was made by my 93 year old aunt. She lives 90 miles away and sent it home with my brother and my 85 year old dad. Family and love conquers all of given a chance. Respecting the elders in my family and caring for them means that even though my mom may no longer be with us, my family picks up the pieces and holds me in their hearts to care for me like she would have when I need her most. This summer I needed her like I’ve never needed her before. Having my aunts call and write to me has meant more than they will ever know. Their love has carried me through when I was missing my mom the most.

I’m doing much better and I have no doubt that I’m the next few weeks I’ll be fully recovered, but I’m still weak and I still have pain. I’ll get there though. Now most days are good days. Now, it’s time to put this summer and this chapter behind me and look forward to brighter days. I will never forget those who have been so kind to me throughout this summer though. It is through God’s grace, family and friend’s care and support that I am recovering and doing so well. It has been a journey I hope never to revisit. My mother always said when you have your health, you have it all. She was so right. 

Now it is time to look forward to one daughter pursuing her dream to become a nurse, one daughter going aeaybfir the first time to study pre-med and sociology then my youngest kids will be starting the school year at home. Number 3, my amazing artist and hilarious child will begin driving this fall, Lord help us! The youngest child, my beard devil, will be in 4th grade already. As we all day as adults, “just where did the time go”? Wasn’t my 20 year old just in preschool last year? 

Time is a strange thing. Not only does it stop for no one, but it also will heal wounds. Just look at me! I’m much better than I was 2 months ago. I bet you thought I was going to say it heals wounds of the heart. That’s a subject for another day. For now, I will look forward to what is left of this summer and the beginning of a brand new school year with brand new adventures to be had. There’s still a little bit of summer left for me to enjoy!