Thursday, February 28, 2008

Love Thursday again? already?

Already? Where did Friday through Wednesday go? Oh yeah! It went to spending time with my Super Sister and my new Niece! We have had such a blast this week spending a few days with them. I can't think of a better sex talk to have with Mr 18 then having him spend time in the same house with a 2 month old baby! Heh! I think we made our point on that one.
Super Sister and Niece have been here since Saturday evening. I have gotten to rock Niece time and time again, it has been amazing. I love the snuggling, the beautiful baby smell, the coos, gurgles, startles and stares. But one of the best parts is that I can hand her over to Super Sister when she needs to be fed, and although I changed a few for her, when she has a really smelly diaper.
But my Love Thursday post is about a few moments from yesterday. Little Brother, Super SisterinLaw and Nephew were over to have supper with all of us. When dishes were done we all relaxed for a few brief moments in the living room with the babies. The feeling was amazing. We were all together, there were little ones there and we visited and joked and laughed at the kids. Miss 14 and Miss 9 entertained the babies and had fun watching their antics. Then when both babies started wailing at the same time, I looked over and said, "Miss 14, I love you!" It was an awesome night, and though I know it will never be possible again it is my Love Thursday moment. I loved it, every moment! Thanks for sharing a few hours with me guys!

Friday, February 22, 2008

More Fabulous Friday

My Fabulous Friday post for the week. This may require some thought.
It is fabulous that Mr 18 has been in swimming since the fourth grade and has had success. But, (you knew there would be a but, right?) it's not so fabulous that he has to end his final year of swim with an almost recovery from tendinitis in his shoulders. He has his final meets of the year this weekend and next and he hasn't been swimming full time for an entire month yet. Yes, he's been at swim practice, but unable to do the full workout until the last 3 weeks. His legs are in great shape from kick sets though! Still, it is fabulous that in such a short amount of time he was able to qualify for State in at least 2 events.

It is fabulous that Miss 14 works so hard at school. I love that I never have to stress about her grades, or worry that she isn't getting her work done, or that she just doesn't care. It is fabulous that she genuinely cares about the kids she is coaching.

It is fabulous that Miss 9 has started to enjoy reading on her own. It has taken years to get to this point, and I am so happy about it.

It is fabulous that tomorrow I get to meet my new niece! She was born on Christmas Day and I finally get to meet her. I am so excited!

It is fabulous that I am getting seed catalogs in the mail. Why you ask. Because when the seed and plant catalogs start arriving, spring isn't far behind, and that means winter is nearly over. That alone is worth a Fabulous Friday post!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Love Thursday

Another blog I read decided to go with the Love Thursday theme. Apparently it's actually not a new thing. That's me, always behind the times. Since I haven't done one before... (that I remember anyway, my memory is awful!) I'll start with a list:
1. The smell of toast and coffee in the morning
2. Drinking coffee in the morning (do you sense a theme?)
3. Miss 9 when she stumbles out of her room all bleary eyed and asks for coffee in the morning. (Yup, started her early. She takes 3 Tbsp. of creamer for 2 Tbsp. of coffee, no sugar and ONLY on the weekend if I've had my fill of coffee first!)
4. Miss 14's wonderful innocence to things we just expect her to know. (Yes, you could call her dingy sometimes, I was trying to be nice!)
5. Hubby dropping me off at the door of our location just so I don't have to walk outside when it's freezing!
6. Sunscreen on my kids when it's hot outside, the smell says summer.
7. The 5 minutes I have alone with Hubby before we fall asleep. (On this point he would disagree, he says I fall asleep in less than 2 minutes once we go to bed)
8. When Miss 9 sees me somewhere she wasn't quite expecting me and her eyes light up. It doesn't happen anymore with the other two, so this is a big deal.
9. Time to read a book or a magazine
10. The moment we stepped into Disneyland with the kids. They expected to hate it, they were too old for it, etc. The look on their faces was worth every cent we paid to get them there.

So, there's my list of ten. What do you love?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

There is hope

Mr 18 and Miss 14 rarely speak. When I say rarely I don't mean that in some random, oh they talk only 5 times a day sort of way. I mean sometimes, if we are lucky they speak once a week. Mr 18 takes her to school every day, but Miss 14 said he never says a word. The other day she slipped on ice in front of the car as she was getting in and banged her knee. This caused her heart to act up, so she was in tears on the way to school. I asked her how that went and she said "he patted my shoulder, said it would be ok, and let me sit in the car until my heart calmed down. It was the nicest thing he's ever done for me!" What a sad reflection on their relationship.

Recently (knock on wood) Hubby and I have noticed a few steps in a more positive direction. Sometimes at supper when Miss 14 says something humorous about her day, Mr 18 actually cracks a smile. He doesn't call her "Newb" as often, and he doesn't tell her to "shut up stupid" (No, I don't tolerate that... he gets chewed out, etc. It just didn't change anything) He asks questions to her once in a while. But the biggest step of all came the other night when we saw caught them playing Wii together. Granted they were trying to whip each other in all the new games on Mario and Sonic's Olympic Games. It made for some really intense battles, with Miss 14 putting on shorts and a t-shirt and Mr 18 taking off socks and sweatshirts, but it was nice to see them in the same room~not fighting.

I hope as Mr 18 leaves for college next year this relationship will improve. I'm hoping that in some way they'll stay in touch, and even keep secrets from me. Even if it's only short computer notes on their myspace pages, or quick texts on their phones. (That's if we EVER get Miss 14 a phone, because she is the only person in her entire high school who doesn't have a cell phone, it's so embarrassing!! Eye roll, eye roll, heavy sigh!)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

We Wii!

Why yes, We Wii. Do you Wii? Heh, such genius!
Yesterday Hubby and I went out and bought the girls this
game. Actually the girls paid for it, Hubby and I just had to make the drive to the every exciting super center to get it for them. Neither one of them wanted to go along, because they hadn't done their hair yet. What's up with that? Anyway, we have had a blast playing the game over the last 24 hours. No, not 24 hours straight. The girls started playing yesterday. Hubby and I had a few drinks and played some last night. That was most interesting. The game is quite the work out for your arms. My forearms are exhausted! The girls have unlocked numerous new games that are a blast. They love to practice them, and then challenge Hubby or I to one of them; hardly fair since we haven't played at all yet! But, overall it's been lots of fun and lots of laughing. We throw in some panting now and then too. Some of those games are tough! I would love to post a picture of their faces playing this game, but they are both making hideous, intense, eyeballs-popping-out-of-their-sockets, tongue wagging faces and I think you would be very, very scared!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

One problem managed

On top of homework last night Miss 9 also had to fill out all her Valentine's. Normally this is something that I don't help her with other than to make sure she didn't forget anyone. This year she chose High School the Musical valentines. While she was tearing them apart and looking at the (oh my gosh!) tattoos that came with them, she decided that the boys really wouldn't like them. No problem says I; and I take out another box of valentine's from a previous year! Yay says she, and delves into the box, which also (oh my gosh!) has tattoos included.

Previously I had asked Miss 9 to do this at her desk in her room because I had already set the table for supper. No, she could do it at the table; it wouldn't take up much room. Ahem.... There on the table with 5 plates, 5 glasses, 5 forks, a giant bowl of grapes, 5 napkins, etc. sits piles of valentines, envelopes, tattoos, a pen, a pencil, a list, 2 boxes and beside that sits a very befuddled Miss 9. I was still finishing up our supper, but I watched her out of the corner of my eye. She stared at her mess for a while. I saw her posture slouch; and her hands fall to her lap. She looked at the floor, licked her lips and stared some more. As I watch I realize she is completely lost as to where she should start with this mess she has now made. She picks up the pen, sets it down, picks up the pencil, sets it down, then she looks at me.

"Maybe you should w.."

She suddenly grabs all the various valentine paraphernalia piles it in one big heap and announced, "I think I'll do this later," and sets it on the floor and runs out.

Miss 9, as I've written is a bit ADHD. She's not so much in the hyperactivity camp as she is in the anxiety camp. She could not see past the mess she had made and move on to the work part, even though she loves to do her valentine's. I felt for her at that moment, knowing that to her something was keeping her from working on something she enjoys, but also knowing that she had no idea what that something (the mess) might be. Very shortly she came back in the kitchen for a hug and I told her I'd be glad to help her with her valentine's after the table was cleared and she was done with homework.
Great! She was all for that idea.

We did homework, with only couple of dozen stops and starts instead of 100's. While she put her homework in her backpack I picked up the valentine pile and sorted it into several smaller piles: High School the Musical valentines, HSM tattoos, other valentines, other tattoos and envelopes. I put a bag of the suckers she was sharing with her friends beside those, and set a pen and pencil and her list of valentine friends at her spot at the table. Viola... organization!
Miss 9 came in, checked out the piles and promptly got to work on her valentines. As the process got running later, I stepped in and stuffed envelopes for her and put them all in one big bag. But, because things were organized and ready to go, this time Miss 9 wasn't frustrated or anxious. She got busy and completed her task.

This was a lesson for both of us in how her mind works.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Lenten Sacrifice

I have decided that I don't need to give anything up for Lent this year (seriously, just kidding, but for these purposes bear with me!) Miss 9 has decided to give up television. She doesn't watch all that much to start with, I keep her busy with her activities, homework, etc. But, Miss 9 is ADHD. TV is the only time that she actually sits still and I get half an hour of work done. After yesterday, remembering that was day 1 of Lent, I decided that her sacrifice, is now my sacrifice. I am not allowed a moment without her asking questions, or just hopping around me, to make supper or clear the dishes, or wash the dishes. She is a non stop rapid fire, "guess what, watch this, can you come here for a minute, wanna play a game, what should I do now?" It's exhausting! How does she do it?
I think I will make a list of activities to hand to her when she's bored. Usually she watches a show after swim practice. That's the time I get to cook~ 1 show; now I think my cooking time has gotten a little invaded. Oh well, it will all work out, work being the key word I think.
For Miss 9 giving up her down time watching television is a big sacrifice. It will be very, very hard for her. I'm so proud that she thought this out, and is already working hard to follow through.

Monday, February 4, 2008

First I whine, then I drink

Not so much of the drinking, but the title sounds good, right? Mr 18 got to start swimming again. He had his first meet of the year this weekend after a long run of physical therapy. He didn't win his events, or even qualify for State. But in your senior year, just swimming is a big deal.

Miss 9 had quite the weekend. She has decided to become Miss Defiant. Before mass on Saturday I endured a major meltdown paired with a dose of disrespect and a teaspoon of not listening. It was an interesting afternoon. I'm not proud to admit that I did lose my temper as well. In the end, after we both cooled down and went to mass, we discussed it. I like to think it is just her age, but we'll see. Sunday evening came a dose of the same thing with her after a mishap with juice and the kitchen floor. She wasn't in trouble for spilling. She was in trouble for the defiance that followed when we asked her to please not walk it all over the house. It wasn't much fun washing floors when what we wanted to do was watch the Super Bowl, but that's life with kids.

It has been a hard few weeks with Mr 18, and these last few days have made me question my parenting skills. I know I have the right thought process, but I'm beginning to doubt my own ability to pull it off. Some days between the two of them, it is nearly impossible to keep my cool. Yet I know if I yell, it's not solving a thing. I'm looking for a better idea for a response when Miss 9 decides not to listen. By response I guess I mean consequence. Taking away the tv, or play time used to work, but I think she is past that now. We need something immediate and meaningful to her. I'm still searching.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Fabulous Friday

A new idea: How about Fabulous Friday. Name one thing about your Friday that was fabulous.
Today mine is this. In spite of Miss 9 being so excited for their afternoon of "play" at school, she still managed to kiss me in front of everyone at the family lunch at school. I got a big hug around the neck, a kiss on the cheek and "Iloveyoumomthanksforcomingseeyoulater!" Before she ran off to get ready for ice skating. I didn't ask for it, or start it, so I'll take it as my Fabulous Friday moment! I love that girl!