Once Upon a Time, I had a blog. . . . . when my kids were still in preschool, kindergarten & elementary school. These are "diary entries" from then. I'm so happy that I documented along the way. These memories and thoughts are precious to me. They'll be mixed in with modern day musings as well. I hope it helps you know that all mothers are both perfect & imperfect in their own ways. . . . . and we're all just doing our best and trying to raise productive, happy humans.

Kids, Creativity and Patience

Dear Diary,
March 26, 2011

I let Future Fashionista play with paint yesterday and decided that my Sunday Scripture for this week would be about kids, creativity (hers) and patience (mine). 

  I found it rather hard to find a scripture that I like for the "creativity" part.  But, I did find this scripture verse and for some reason it spoke to me.

“Ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.”--Job 12:7-10 (NIV)

"Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged."—Colossians 3:21(NIV)

FF's apples she made!

"May the God Who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. "--Romans 15: 5(NIV)

Dear Diary ~ That Time I Thought My Kindergartener Was Being Bullied

Dear Diary,
March 21, 2011

Well, my son is in Kindergarten and the bullying has already begun.  About a month and a half ago, the teacher called me in to tell me that my son wasn't focusing in school and asked if anything had happened at home.  Dog die?  Anything?  I said I couldn't think of anything. 

Fast forward to last Friday night.  My son and I were up watching Ghost Busters and during a commercial he confided in me that some kids were being mean to him at school.  He actually said "so & so" (I'm not going to name names) had been mean to him since the child's birthday party.  I immediately had an idea of what had happened.  I was at the party, so I saw everything that was going on.  My son, being an oldest child, is usually a leader.  He had all of his friends running around playing army guys and he was the leader.  I think that the child became jealous.  And he has been mean to my son ever since.  Although I just found out about it last Friday night.  My husband took my son out hiking and to breakfast Sunday morning and talked to him some more.  And apparently the boys have been pushing him on the playground also. 

So, how do we deal with this?  I of course told him to pray for the boys.  Obviously there are reasons that they feel the need to push other people around.  And I also told him why people are usually bullies.  I told him that people sometimes don't like themselves and that they have to push other people around and "tear other people down" to build themselves up.  That is such a hard concept for a 6 year old to understand. 

My husband of course, being a man, told him that if they touch him again, to punch them in the nose as hard as he can and they will never bother him again.  I told my husband that although I love him and respect him, I did not agree with him.  But, I've been doing a little research online and there is a whole group of people out there that believe in this approach.  So, maybe. . .
I should say that I do want my son to defend himself if nothing else works. 

I asked him this morning to show me how the kids push him.  I wanted to see how hard, etc.  I wanted to see what my son considered "pushing".  I told him that if they pushed him again to use one of his Karate blocks to avert their "pushes" and to assert himself and tell them really loudly that it is unacceptable to push him. 

The most disturbing part of all of this to me is the psychological issues that come with the bullying.  He used to be joyful.  He loved life and loved and lived every moment.  Mike and I had noticed that he was becoming quieter and moodier.  Now, I think we know why.  Maybe it's a good thing that this is starting in Kindergarten so that we can teach him how to deal with it now.  Hopefully, we can nip it in the bud and help bolster his self-esteem now so that we don't have issues later.

In my research online, I've come across several interesting sites.  I have the links below.

Here's a great article on bullying in Kindergarten, including different types of children ,etc.  I believe my son falls into the "Passive Victim" category.  It says that teachers say these kind of victims are usually very kind children and have trouble asserting themselves.  I think this is what he is because he doesn't want anyone to not like him.  He wants to be everyone's friend.  Here's the link:


Mayo Clinics guide to bullying:

An article from a therapist on how to deal with bullying that actually has personal experience and a twist(They agree with my husbands point of view): http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/How_to_Deal_With_Bullying.html

**Update** 3:43 p.m.
After talking to his teacher, I feel a little better about the situation.  From everything that I know about her, she seems pretty observant and aware of what goes on in her classroom.  She said that she doesn't really see a pattern of bullying in the classroom and that most kids get into little spats with each other depending on the situation. For example, if 2 kids want to play with the same thing or do the same thing, then there will be words and that it happens between everyone, not just specific kids.  She also explained that the "pushing" on the playground might be when they're playing tag.  She said that she would separate my son and the boy in question next week when they change seats again to see if that would alleviate anything and that she would keep an eye on things.    I am just happy that he was able to come to us with his concerns and that he said anything at all.  I still want to be able to be sensitive to his feelings because I know in his mind he feels like he's being picked on.  And I want to make sure that he knows that his feelings are HIS feelings and that we understand how he feels.  And then hopefully we can help him deal with the feelings and come up with solutions for how to mend his relationship with the boy.  Thank you to everyone for your kind words and support.  I know that this will be okay and I will continue to keep my eyes open about it.  Oh!  And she also said that when the boy that she really does consider a bully picks on him he usually sticks up for himself.  So, that's good.  But, he considers this boy his good friend now, so maybe that's the difference in the feelings.  Man!  This being a "Mom" thing is complicated!!

I'm sure that there are a lot of you out there that have dealt with bullying before.  How old were your kids and were you able to stop it?  How did you deal with it?

Letting Kids be Kids

Dear Diary,

***I kind of remember this day.  And the girl, although not AS messy anymore, still likes her crafts & stuff. She's a total slime girl now, but whose isn't?  Eeegads!  The slime!  I hope that I was a good enough mother when she was 4.  Here's a memory from:

August 7, 2011
It is so hard to be a good parent and keep the house clean at the same time.  Or the children for that matter!  I have two children.  If you've been here before, you've probably caught onto that fact.  I have a little boy who loves LEGOs, Star Wars and does NOT love showers or brushing his teeth.  He loves to draw his own comic books based on movies he's seen.  And his Daddy loves those!  

And then I have a daughter.  Who is 4.  Who thinks that she rules the house.  And has never met a mess that she didn't like.  She is the child who got black ink on our carpet and new couches (thank goodness the couch seems to have some kind of supernatural finish on it) .  The child who got pink paint on the floor, by licking a painted salt dough ornament we made 2 years ago.  The child who wrote with pen on the new loft daddy built for her.  The daughter who would not look "normal" if she did not have some kind of stain on her clothes by the end of the day.  The same girl who drew on the princess castle paintings that I so lovingly made for her 3 year old princess party.  The girl who cut her own hair so short in 6 places that we had no choice but get her a pixie cut.  So, it should be no surprise that she ended up looking like this when we painted yesterday.  
Oh wait.  So far, so good!
Still okay, I guess.
Getting a little messy.
Whoa!  Wait a minute!  What happened?  Oh yeah.  Jaycee happened.
That's okay.  It came right off, in the sprinkler.

And because this quote is perfect for my kids and you and all of your kids (and I know you've probably heard it before)

"Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing up is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing."  ~Phyllis Diller

I've got to tell you, the dirty kids/clean house thing is a hard thing for me.  I can't keep the house clean to save my life.  And so, at which point do we just let our kids be kids and enjoy their childhood?  Without screaming about the messes and not wanting to hug them because of all of their gooeyness?   I wish I had it in me to just get out there, get dirty and muddy, make mud pies and not care about the house!  My kids are only going to be kids for so long.  Now, for the scripture:
"He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me."--Matthew 18:2-5 (NIV)

See, here's the thing.  Most of the messes are innocent.  The messes aren't being made to make me angry.  Or to make more work for me.  The kids are just being kids, having fun.  They're learning things.  They are innocent in  these actions (not all of their actions!).  They aren't thinking about the future.  They aren't worrying.  They're exploring the world that God made for them.  They have faith.  They believe.  So, they're a little messy.  It wouldn't hurt being a little more like them, a little more often.

How do you handle the innocent messes?  Do you sit down and get dirty yourself?

The ER, Spinach Rolls, and Who Knows What!

Dear Diary,

**I can't believe it's been almost 6 years since this happened! Her shoulder ended up being fine. And I don't even remember the spinach rolls at all. At. All. Good thing I document these things. 😁 She's still a tough cookie.  And oh yeah . . . . . I do NOT miss moving car seats back and forth!**

April 13, 2012

Well, I should have known that with my kids having my hubby's adventure genes, we wouldn't be able to stay out of the ER.  My hubby has had so many stitches, he does his own now.  As a joke, when I first moved up, he pointed out every hospital around in case I needed to take him.  Well, maybe it wasn't a joke.  Tonight, we got to make our first trip for Future Fashionista.  
And this is how my afternoon went. . . .

Since my hubby was going to be home tonight, I decided to go ahead and cook one of the recipes from the book I chose for my "50 before Fifty" list (#24).  I told you guys it was probably going to be something from Giada.  Love her!  I chose her Giada's Family Dinners book.  And today's recipe that I was using is "Lasagna Rolls".  I was looking for a recipe with spinach, because I had some organic baby spinach I needed to use.  

I cooked my spinach (she uses frozen).  I was boiling my noodles.  And THEN, I see Mike motioning me from inside the addition.  He said, "Put FF's carseat in the van.  We're going to the hospital."  Okie-dokie.  There was blood all over her.  It was down the front of her and on her back and he was holding a towel around her head.  So, I went and transferred all of the booster seats and turned my noodles off.  I made sure everything else was turned off.  And we all got in the van.  I sat next to her on the floor and Mike drove.  

The kids had been riding their ATVs and FF rolled hers.  Mike said he had never seen an ATV completely flipped before.  Leave it to her to do it.  She was wearing a helmet, but it must have come off when she flipped.  

We got to the ER and the guy looked at her and said it was "vascular"(bleeds a lot???).  Then he asked if she had been wearing her dress when she flipped the ATV. Yes. She had a fancy satin dress on. On the ATV.

By the time we got back into the room, her head had quit bleeding.  They shaved her head a little so that they could see what was going on.  And that little bleeding spot was not a cut at all.  They couldn't get it to open when they pulled it apart.  So, she didn't even need stitches after all.  She seemed fine to them and they're pretty sure she doesn't have a concussion.  They did put glue on it, just in case.

She was complaining about her shoulder hurting, so they did an Xray.  She has a buckle fracture on her collar bone, but I'm pretty sure that was from when she was born.  She couldn't nurse on her left side for the first month.  That's what happens when you're 10 pounds, born naturally and have my hubby's family's shoulders (wide. . . very, very wide--I work out just so that I can have her shoulders).  Mike and I think that it's really the road rash she has on the back of her shoulder that's hurting her.  But, they gave her a sling and a referral to a pediatric surgeon.  I don't think her collar-bone is actually hurting her.  We'll see how the next couple days go.

We got home from the ER and my noodles were all stuck together and very hard to get apart.  I salvaged what I could and made my Lasagna rolls.  And they got put in the oven at 9:00 P.M.  The show must go on, right?  

Now, the hubby and kids are out back having a bonfire, roasting marshmallows, telling scary stories and waiting for me to come out.  I'm waiting for the Lasagna Rolls!!! 

Who knows what the night will hold for us from here!

That girl! . . . . she's always been one tough cookie.  And she has proven once again, that she's one of the toughest people I know.  And the Builder was a champ.  Daddy asked him for help and he did wonderfully.  No one panicked.  Not even me!  And I didn't once tell any of them that I never wanted the kids on an ATV in the first place.  I was good.  

How many times have you had to go to the ER?

What if Tomorrow Is a Sn. . . .YOU are NOT Having another Snow Day!

Dear Diary,  January 15, 2018

About 15 minutes ago, my daughter and I  had this conversation. . . . .

Daughter:  What if we had another snow day tomorrow?  The snowday calculator is saying there's a 42% chance right now.

Me:  You're not having a snow day tomorrow.

Daughter:  Yeah, but what if we have another snow day tomorrow?

Me:  I'm telling you. . . . . you're not having a snow day tomorrow.

Daughter:  But, what if. . . . . . . . . .

Me: You are NOT having a snow day tomorrow  (walks to computer to check weather.com)

Still Me:  See, there's only supposed to be a 5% chance of snow at 7:00 a.m.  AND it's going to be sunny by 10 a.m. when I have to pick your brother up. See?  No snow day.  Now. . . . .say the words SNOW DAY to me one more time.   Come on. . . .say it!  Please don't say it.  I'm just kidding.

To fully understand this conversation, you need to know that my kids have only been in school 4 days since December 21st.  Their first day back to school was supposed to be January 3rd.  They DID in fact go back to school on January 3rd and then they went to their very first ski club that night.  While they were at ski club, we got notification from school that Thursday and Friday would be off school due to weather.  When the weather becomes to cold (dangerous) for the kids who stand at bus stops, then school is canceled.

That meant that the kids got a 4 day weekend, except that when Sunday night/ Monday morning rolled around, there was another snow day, which extended their "weekend" to 5 days.

So, the kids went back to school on Tuesday that week and managed to actually go to school 3 days in a row. . . . and then Friday was called off as a snow day, and BAM!  ~~ another 4 day weekend.

Now, that brings us to our current hour (Monday prevening). . . . . . in which I am saying~~ tomorrow won't be a snow day.

. . . . . . . . . as I go off to check the weather channels one more time. . . .

"Snapshot of Happiness"

Dear Diary,  March 1, 2011

(Note:  I DO still remember this day fondly.  And I need to, because now that's she a preteen, wowza!)

Sometimes in life, there are moments that inspire me and I want to remember them forever.

This morning, Future Fashionista had gymnastics, as she does every Tuesday morning.  We usually go directly from dropping off The Builder at school, which leaves us with a half hour to kill.
Today, I decided to go to a little coffee-house that's close to the gym.  As we were standing there, deciding on and then waiting for our order, I glanced around and noticed a table with a group of men.  I caught one of them looking at us.  And I thought about what he could possibly be thinking.  I tried to "picture" what he could be thinking.  I saw a glimpse of my life through someone else's eyes, even if it wasn't actually what he was picturing.

I saw an adorable little girl with pigtails, pajama pants, a long sleeved shirt under a Summer dress and her puffy winter coat, holding her favorite bunny, anticipating her yummy hot chocolate.  I saw a mommy looking at her little girl lovingly.  They both had smiles on their faces.  At that moment, that "snapshot" in time, they were both happy.  *We* were both happy. It was a simple moment.  A moment that was not extraordinary in any way.  But, we were both content and happy.

I want to hold on to those kinds of snapshots.  I want to be that loving, happy, fulfilled, stress-free mommy always.  Too many things get to me.  When I start to get stressed out and anxious about the housework, the kids' messy rooms,  what we're going to have for dinner, the dishes, paying bills, kids' homework, a cranky husband and everything else in life, I want to pull out that "snapshot" and remember the simplicity and happiness of it.   I want to remember the ease of just "being" for that brief moment in time.

A Look Back at Some Silly Facebook Posts

Dear Diary,  February 25, 2011

(Some of these are so funny to me. . . back when Facebook was fun!) 

Since I had to look way back through my Facebook posts to find the picture of my old (beautiful) kitchen yesterday, I re-read some of my posts.  Starting just over a year ago and going back to when we first bought the house, I found some posts to help you get to know me better. . . with commentary from now. The posts are color coded according to subject if you don't want to read all. Green is about mePink is about Future Fashionista. Blue is about The BuilderPurple is both kids Red is hubbyBrown is coffee, chocolate, food.

In February 2010, I "liked" the Florida Keys.  I'll be there a week and one day from now!  Woo Hoo!!
Feb.7, 2010--"FF said she wanted to keep me forever"
January 28, 2010--"FF ate a Red Crayon this morning"
January 24, 2010--"Just rescued a 1" Han Solo that has been trapped in a Thomas Saw Mill"

January 15, 2010--"Needs Earplugs.  They. Never. Shut. Up! 
Real life, yo!

January 9,2010--"Okay everyone.  Grab your Margaritas and your Daiquiries and sing with me. . . This mornin, I shot six holes in my freezer. I think I got cabin fever. Somebody sound the alarm. . .  (I am still singing this one now after the last couple days.  It's a pretty common theme in my head in January & February I guess)--Thank Goodness I'm gonna be in the Keys next week.  :-)

January 4, 2010--"Gonna try to make home-made pita pockets tonight.  Wish me luck!  I'm addicted to Pita chips!  --  Look!  We found the first time I ever made them!  If you'd like to try, the recipe is on my post here.

January 2, 2010--"Yo, Joe! He'll fight for freedom wherever there's trouble. GI Joe is there . . .GI Joe/Look through the window and who do we see? Kathy, friend Kathy, another friend for me!  When did my song repertoire become GI Joe and Barney?  It won't leave my head!-- To which someone responded, "Need a drink?"

December 29, 2009--"is short-tempered, tired, unmotivated and having a bad hair day.  And so far, chocolate is not working"
December 29, 2009--I learned my top used words on FB were 1. Kids   2. LOL  3. today   4. "The Builder"  5."Future Fashionista"   6. tonight     7.Hubby    8. off     9.House     10.  Done

December 17, 2009--"Just spilled coffee all over the place.  We were planning on re-upholstering the chairs anyway and the carpet--whatever!  But, what a waste of coffee!!

December 16,2009--"You know you've been together a long time when you walk around with hair color on your hair and hairy legs. LOL Sorry.  Most married folks understand"

December 14,2009--"Thank you God.  I have been truly blessed"

December 10, 2009--"is about to pick up this D**N sewing machine and throw it out the window"

December 2, 2009--"was supposed to marry lawyer or accountant who sails . . . NOT man who sets himself on fire at work and jumps off bridges and cliffs for fun.  How did this happen?!?!

November 12, 2009--"Me--Mommy just wants a little sanity, is that okay?,  FF--No mom, that's inappropriate.   Alright then."

November 6, 2009--"is doing the happy dance!  Daddy's on the way home!  Daddy's on the way home!  Lalalalalalalalala!  ---apparently this was a time when he was working out of town for weeks at a time.
November 1, 2009--"My husband is smoking hot" --  Like many other women, I had been hacked.

October 31, 2009--"If you can't be shiny and blonde on Halloween, then when can you?"

October 29, 2009--"Just asked The Builder if he thought the leaves say "3-2-1, See ya!" before jumping off the branches.  I think I've been living with a BASE jumper too long."

September 24, 2009--"Was trying to get the kids down and have my shower by 8:00 so that I an get ready for Grey's.  Then The Builder asked me if I could tell him "more Jesus stories".  Yes, yes I can"

September 10, 2009--"Needs a dishwasher.  Preferably one who is tall, dark and handsome.  Or a short, muscular, bald Irish guy.  Whatever."

September 8, 2009--"FF is driving me crazy with this pooping on the floor business!! Third time in the last week" --  I don't even remember this.  So, for those moms out there going through potty-training horrors, it does get better.  And you even forget about it.

September 2, 2009--"thinks surely the laundry and the dirty dishes multiply on their own.  My family is either gonna have to stop eating or start goin' nekkid"

August 28, 2009--"ran out of coffee filters!  Yikes.-- This is when I learned from a friend you could use a paper towel.  

August 26, 2009  3:45 p.m.--"is sneaking a peek at the kids in the back yard.  They are walking around the perimeter of the yard trying to find a tree to climb!  LOL  OMG I love those kids"
August 26, 2009  3:45:55 p.m.--Aaaaaaaaaaand now they're driving me crazy again!  Thank goodness I have a Dr. appt. today.  LOL  I'll be freeeeeee!  Kind of.  --Actually posted about this subject in this post:  "Going to the Doctor=Breaktime for Mommy"

June 22, 2009--"wonders why she would EVER leave FF alone in the bathroom after some of the stuff she's done.  Seriously, WHY?  This time I went back in and she had toothpaste all over her forehead and in her hair.  It was pretty and sparkly at least!

May 18, 2009--"left FF alone for a couple minutes to brush her teeth in the bathroom and went back to find her sitting in the sink washing her legs and feet.  LOL

May 10, 2009--"Wonders if people who live by themselves still look over their shoulders to see if anyone is going to "catch" them sneaking frosted brownies with a fork, right out of the pan.  LOL"

 May 6, 2009--"Loves her kids"

May 2, 2009--"Thinks the bonfire is waaaay too far back in the yard and her toes are frozen and doesn't understand why FF can't pee with her shirt on.  Happy Saturday"

April 29, 2009--"is going to go watch LOST and hope it takes my mind off this horrible house.  LOL It won't last forever.  It won't last forever.  It won't last forever."--It might not last forever, but we still haven't expanded.  But, I think we're more adjusted to it now.  Thank goodness.

April 11, 2009--"Spent last night in the new house.  Have discovered that the odd smell is apparently cat pee.  Any suggestions? The house has been closed up for 2 years.  We WILL be ripping the carpet out asap."-- Um, the carpet is still in.  And if you get really close, it still smells like pee.  Although, we're not sure it's from a cat.

April 9, 2009--"is eating chocolate frosting out of a can with The Builder.  Hey, I have to clean out the fridge, right?"

April 5, 2009--"Funny story.  Hubby is stuck in the mud in the back yard right now.  All the new neighbors are trying to get him unstuck.  Except for the ones who are pointing and laughing."

And there you go!  A glimpse of me the first 10 months in our "Little House that was meant to be"