Mystery Blogger Award

Thank you A Momma’s View for this award nomination. I’m honored. I’m flattered. I’m a mystery.

A big shout out goes to the creator of this award, Okoto Enigma, who came up with a really nice way of showing appreciation to other bloggers.

So let’s tackle it 😉

The rules:

  • Display award on blog
  • List rules
  • Mention creator of the award & provide link
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link
  • Say three things about yourself
  • Nominate 10 to 20 other bloggers
  • Notify nominees by commenting on their blog
  • Answer five questions from your nominee
  • Write five questions for your nominees to answer
  • Share your best post

Three things about me:

I’m stronger than I look. I’m faster than I look. I’m almost as smart as I look.

The bloggers I would like to nominate are:

Ah Dad

Coach Daddy

Grubbs n Critters

That’s What Anxious Mom Said

Green Grapes

Dramatic Momologue

Who’s My Favorite Today?

I know that I have not nominated 10 bloggers or more but those are who easily came to mind. Please pay them a visit and check them out. They are sure worth it 

5 questions for me:

  • What is the dream you most want to achieve?

Survive my kids and grow old with DW. 

  • If you’ve ever been in love, what was it like? If you’ve had your first kiss, what was it like? If not, what is your favorite dessert?

Being in love is like eating your favorite food while watching your favorite movie and washing it down with your favorite drink. My first kiss with DW was like that first piece of candy cane white chocolate Lindor truffle at Christmas time. My favorite dessert is pumpkin pie with a bucket of Cool Whip on top.

  • What do you do when no one’s watching? 

I play the boys’ Nintendo DS (Mario Maker or Mario Kart 7). I sneak chocolate. I might pick my nose and scratch my butt.

  • What is a really embarrassing moment you’ve had?

I can’t list just one as they’re have been many. I got my head stuck in a cinder block when I was two. Though that’s more embarrassing today than it was 38 years ago. My car started acting funny. I barely got it home and told my dad. He took a look at it and told me I ran out of gas.

  • What book that was assigned to you to read by a teacher did you most enjoy reading?

Flowers for Algernon. I read it in high school and enjoyed it. I read it again a couple years ago and enjoyed it even more. 

I actually liked the questions and would love for my nominees to answer the same questions as well.

My favorite post to write was Life Before and After Kids. My most viewed post is The Value of A Teacher.

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One of Those…

Ever had one of those moments…

Perhaps it was just a moment
perhaps it lasted all day

or all week
or all month…

I realized this morning that my Taboo Word Challenge list is backwards. I didn’t mean to start the month the hardest word. I got my head in the game now and got it fixed. Check it out… The image is also on my sidebar. Feel free to add it to yours, too.

On another note…

If I’m not entertaining the boys then they are trying to kill each other
by annoying each other to death.

That’s not an understatement either.

Just this morning, after we dropped DW off at work we went and paid for the truck’s license plate registration. The boys were good as gold at the “DMV”.

The minute we walk in the door the little one is jumping on the big one.
The big one is making annoying sounds to make the little one scream.
The little one is screaming because he’s trying to get the big one in trouble
(and laughing when it works).

So I hollered at them…

Told them to get sock and shoes on because we were going to the beach. That quieted them because they were confused.
“Why do we need socks and shoes for the beach instead of Crocks?” they asked.
Then they got in the truck to go, and I hauled them out. I told them we were walking. Confusion set in again.

But at least they weren’t annoying and killing each other.

They eventually clued in that we were going to the across the street beach.
I know what you’re thinking,
“You have a beach across the street? How awesome!”
You can stop thinking it, now. It’s probably not the kind of beach you think it is.

There is no sand, just rocks.
The water is bordered by a dozen industries – NS Power which burns coal, a paper mill, a gypsum plant, a pipeline and terminal for oil and gas which, of course, brings the giant tanker ships.
So it’s not a beach for swimming and tanning and sandcastle building.

But it is ideal for beach glass hunting and metal detectoring. On a previous hunt we found 5 rusty bottle caps and a dime.

So we took a walk along the beach.
The boys walked together. They walked apart.
They walked with me and then they didn’t.
It didn’t matter. We were the only ones there.

Once we were back home though, all hell broke loose again. So I made them lunch and took them to play racquetball. They played for about a 1/2 hour when DW called to tell us she was done and ready for us to come pick her up.

The boys went up to her classroom and were back to killing each other again. This time they were fighting over who was going to get use the paper shredder.

Seriously?

I just now got my 45 minutes to sit and write because the little one is at the neighbor’s house playing with their daughter and the big one is at his grandparent’s for a sleepover.

Can I get an Amen? This adulting thing is frickin’ hard. I’m going to get some wine now…

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The Joys of the Chaos

Have you ever had so much to do at any given moment that you felt there was no way in hell it would get done? You know you had to leave at such and such to make it without being late. While scrambling to get it all done, you know there are only two options. Option A, leave without being properly prepared. Option B, slow down, don’t forget anything and accept the fact that you’re going to be late. Option C (an option you didn’t realize existed until it was too late) continue at the mad pace your on but ultimately forget something. Hopefully, not one of the kids. Or your spouse. Or worse yet, your lunch.

That’s what happened at house this morning. Anyone who has to get kids ready for school in the morning knows this struggle all to well. It is real. Last night’s snow didn’t help our situation. It was the most exciting two inches Crash and Bang had ever seen. The first “real” snow always is. Nevermind school, they couldn’t wait to get out to play in it. So excited that Crash made oatmeal for breakfast at 6 am, put in the freezer to cool off and forgot about it. I found it an hour and half later while getting ice for water bottles. Thank God, too. He would have been awful hungry come lunch time!

Fortunately, every on in our house is capable of dressing themselves now. Bang now gets himself dressed immediately after waking up. Knowing that I was substituting today, I got myself ready immediately after eating breakfast. Sorry, WordPress, you gotta wait until after school (or recess and lunch). Then it was down to pack three lunches – Crash’s, DW’s, and my own. Then chaos arrives and threw the proverbial wrench in my gears.

I’m all for the kids going out to play. I’m even more all for going out to play with them. What I’m not for is going out before school. Normally, Crash would help get ready – I’d pack his lunch, but he’d pack his backpack. This morning, he just couldn’t wait to go out and ride his snowboard down the hill in the fresh powder. Can’t blame him, I wanted to be out there, too. Unfortunately, he neglected his morning duties. Then Bang went out to play, too. This would have been all fine and dandy except that I had to stop the scramble and help him get on all his snow clothes.

They weren’t out long before traipsing back in. Lunches were being packed. Water bottles were being filled. We were nearly ready. Mostly. Bang needed his medicine (last of his antibiotic to heal his double ear infection). Bang needed his puffers. While DW administered those, I finished lunches. Finally, ready to head out the door, chaos tapped my on the shoulder and laughed.

Crash’s backpack still wasn’t packed like I asked him to do. He argued about wearing snow pants to school (his only argument was that it takes too long to put them on and he misses recess to which I told him to learn to dress faster. Duh). This required him to take off the boots and coat he had already put on. Bang was getting his coat on. I was getting my boots on. DW had started the truck so it could thaw and running like a blue arsed fly looking for her snow boots. I told her where to look in the basement, but she pulled a me and went looking and couldn’t find them fast enough. I ran down and got them. Came back up to pack Crash’s backpack. Meanwhile, the four year old is now the only one ready with hat, coat, mittens, and packed backpack standing outside waiting.

Finally, sitting in the truck, DW asks “Did you get my water bottle?”

“Nope.” And back into the house I go.

“It’s in the back of the truck,” she hollers into the house. That explains why I can’t find the damn thing. She forgot that she remembered to grab it.

Back in the truck she asks the second question, “Did you get my lunchbox?”

“Yes, but I forgot mine,” I respond with a growl and probably rolled my eyes so far back I could see myself think.

“I got it. It’s in the back of the truck.” And off we go, with a quick stop at Nanny’s to drop off the antibiotic because she will be picking Bang up from school. DW drops all three off at school (it’s great having the three of here at one time).

Ten minutes later I get paged to come to the office where the secretary tells me, “Your wife called. You forgot your lunch in the truck.”

Shit. Guess I’ll consider myself lucky if that’s the only thing I forgot.

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Giving credit where credit is due. 

 

Two Faced Kids

In the span of 30 seconds I can see four different moods in one kid. Laughter turns to frustration turns to screaming and stomping turns back to happy again. It happened just this morning over a pair of socks.

Bang woke up after a restless sleep (he’s not feeling well and has been running a low grade fever for four days now). He came downstairs to the kitchen to greet us then headed back upstairs to change out of his pajamas. He returned fully dressed then realized he had forgotten socks. He laughed about it then headed back up the stairs.529603

From the kitchen, and probably within a three mile radius, we suddenly heard him stomping and crying. Knowing he wasn’t hurt, I went up to see what was wrong. Any guesses? Did you guess he couldn’t find his grey socks? Yep. He had the basket of socks dumped all over the hallway floor looking for his grey socks. The black and red ones just wouldn’t do. This frustration prompted the stomping and crying complete with crocodile tears.

He turned the tears off upon my arrival. We’ve been trying to teach him to ask for help nicely instead of this stomping and crying. It’s a work in progress. Mostly work, not much progress. Anyway, after a quick look in the laundry basket (instead of the sock basket – we get a little lazy when it comes to putting socks away) I located his grey socks. He put them on himself (naturally inside out because that’s how he rolls) and the crises was averted.

Crash can do the same thing. Except, now that he’s eight he doesn’t use the tears anymore (usually). Like when it comes to chores he can growl and complain that he doesn’t want to do them. Hell, he’ll even go as far as ignoring me. This morning I asked him to round up the garbage cans from upstairs so we could take the garbage to the curb this morning. Instead he sat himself in the living room chair to watch TV with his brother. HA! Nice try chach (after reading this definition we realized it fit Crash and Bang perfectly).

So my kids are two faced. Not so much bipolar, because they can change their mood like a light switch. I know it’s mostly all for show. It’s how they put up their fight. It’s how they let us know that something is bothering them. Unfortunately, their form of communication leaves a bit to be desired.

I’ve explained to Crash, often several times a day, that he has to do chores. He needs to help out around the house. Yesterday, I went as far as telling him that any mess, any garbage, anything of his that I have to clean up, I’m going to put in his bed. I’ve explained to Bang that he needs to use his words, not his feet and scream, to let me know he needs help.  I’ve even praised him for doing so. Hence, it’s a work in progress.

Much like the soft clay of pottery needs to be shaped and fired so too do our kids. We form them with gentle hands to create gentle humans. We hold them in the figurative fire, temper them with strict rules to make them respectful humans. We drink heavily after they’re in bed.

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Teacher’s Kids

What’s it like having two teachers as parents? Kelly over at Bustle knows pretty well it’s like.

Crash and Bang have the advantage (curse?) of having not one teacher parent, but two.  It has its advantages – access to parts of the school other kids don’t get to see, get to be in school when there is no one else there, get to have mom or dad as a teacher (this is both a pro and a con). On the other hand, it also has some disadvantages – you get mom or dad as your teacher, every teacher in the school knows who you are, you have to stay after school when you’d rather go home, and expectations are set a bit higher.

So far Crash is still pretty excited to see me in school. Even as his substitute teacher. I’m hoping it stays this way, but I’m certainly not expecting it to.

Right now I’m only substituting. However, this still gives me access to the school as if I were a full time teacher. I use the teacher’s lounge. I can enter and exit through the staff doors. I am the first one in and last one out of the classroom. This means that Crash can do these things, too. Though, I keep him out of the staff room if there are other teachers in there. It’s not a place for sensitive ears. If I’m subbing for the gym teacher he gets to use the whole gym. To himself. Show me a kid who doesn’t want full run of a gymnasium and I’ll show you a kid who probably doesn’t like gym! This is true of the classroom, too. It’s something different for a kid to be in their teacher’s classroom all by themselves.  The quiet. The empty desks. The cleanliness.

Then there’s being your kid’s teacher. I’m not sure exactly how he feels when hears his classmates tell him “Your dad is our teacher!” He knew this before he even got to school. Now he has to hear it over and over as each classmate realizes this. Over and over. And Over.saint

Then there are the expectations. Stereotypical teacher’s kids are held to slightly higher standards than the general population of the school. Being teachers, we know how students should behave in school and we therefore start teaching this to our own kids at birth. Also, as teachers who love to teach, we begin teaching our own kids while still in the womb. I know I was reading to DW’s baby belly for both of our sons. So teacher’s kids are not only expected to behave, but also be smart.

Every teacher in the school knows who Crash is. Or at least every teacher who knows me and DW (also a teacher). Therefore, there are eyes on him at all times. I know about things he’s done before he knows I know about them. One day he’ll tell me I was always spying on it. S’okay, though, it’s for his own good. And I do spy, by the way. If I’m subbing at his school I will, at least once, peek through his classroom door at him to see what he’s up to.

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It’s not so bad being a teacher’s kid. Except, this evening, Crash was complaining about having to practice math. “I have to do math for like two hours in school. Then, I come home and have to do it for 15 more!” Sorry kiddo. Not everyone gets to have a teacher mom and dad. But you do. So lets get ‘er done and make ya fast at addition and subtraction so we can do some multiplication! HA!

Good Enough

So I’ve been thinking lately, how good is good enough? How much is too much? How much is not enough? What’s “just right”? Is there even such a thing as just right? How do I know when I’ve crossed any of these lines?

Parenting is a tough task. There are manuals and instruction books. There are internet articles describing personal opinions. There are some scientific studies. There are guidelines. But really, is there any one right answer?

There are books about how to get your baby to sleep. Guidelines about what and how much your kid should be eating and drinking. There are recommendations about exercise and screen time and time spent reading. There are suggestions about potty training and breast feeding and what to pack for their school lunch. There are also some pretty strong opinions about what not to feed your kids. But how do we know what’s right?

Some say there is no such thing as perfect. There is no perfect parent. I beg to differ. I say if you’re kids are happy, healthy, and educated, you are the perfect parent. Here’s how to tell what’s right for your kid. You take all of those of opinions, guidelines, suggestions, studies, and recommendations and toss them right out the window. On a busy highway. With lots of transfer trucks. Or you could drown those ideologies in the ocean. Or burn them in wood stove. Or an active volcano.

There really is no exact right. There is no one size fits all. Especially in parenting. There certainly is a wrong, of course. But perfect is whatever works for your kid. How we got our kids to sleep all night will be different from what others do. How could one book instruct us all? How we got our sons potty trained is different from how others will do it. And I’m not even going to get started on that lactation consultant who attempted to help DW in hospital.

So how much is too much? How much is not enough?

How do I know we’re perfect parents? Because we doubt ourselves nearly every step of the way. We question ourselves… What the hell are we doing wrong? We question the kids… What the hell is wrong with them?

So, how good is good enough? How much is too much? How much is not enough? What’s “just right”? Is there even such a thing as just right? How do I know when I’ve crossed any of these lines? That’s for us to decide for ourselves. We have put aside what the “experts” say because they are not experts on our kids. We are. We live with the heathens which makes us the experts on our kids. No one knows them like we do.  We have discovered “too much” and it ain’t pretty. We have found “not enough” and it’s uglier than a blobfish. We found our perfect and it works, well… perfectly.


Did I write this just to make myself feel adequate? Most likely. Are we perfect parents? Damn straight we are.

Gaining Rank in Parenting

I’ve finally been promoted. After eight years (12 with their combined age) I’ve gained the rank of “Mean Dad”. Crash promoted me a few days ago when I wouldn’t let him walk to McDonald’s with the neighbors kids (as it turns out, the neighbors kids weren’t allowed to go either). He desperately wants to be independent and on his own and away from us parent types. However, he hasn’t quite grasped the concept of responsibility. Continue reading