Monday, September 26, 2011

The Parenting Files: Soccer Mom

When I've lost count of the different teams, colors and seasons of my 8 year old's soccer career
When I hear myself shouting from the sidelines and not just for my own child
When I can sort of keep track of who is slacking and who has improved their skills
When my child asks me how she's doing and I give her an honest critique and tell her what she needs to improve
When we're buying more soccer shoes than dresses
When I tell my 5 year old to suck it up, quick crying like a baby and kick the ball
When I find myself pressuring my husband to make sure to sign her up for the next season and then directly follow it up with another one
When I sort of stopped caring that our weekends have become about soccer because I like watching her on the field- because well the Girl has game
When we even sort of consider having her try out for a select team when it means twice a week practice, more money, more travel and a big commitment
I finally realize I might just be a soccer mom.

Now if we could only figure out what Little Guy's thing is.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Where I'm From

Where I'm From

I am from burnt crayon wax, from Coke a Cola and the slightly acrid smell of frying fish.

I am from a windowless room on a dead end. Crocheted Throws. Wet Fall Leaves. A small town built like an afterthought.

I am from the forsythia bush, potted violet, the smooth worn river rock.

I am from sassafras tea and silliness, from O'Fannon and then Fannon and Miller.

I am from guilt trips and humility.

From we can't have a damn thing and shut the door.

I am from lazy Southern Baptists. And worshipping from the side of the fishing boat on Sunday morning.

I’m from a small town and a smaller Maries County, beans and cornbread.

From the Navy hopes dashed Father with hearing loss from childhood neglect, the Uncle who volunteered for two Vietnam tours, and the Uncle who died at 19 while storming the beach.

I am from the box under my mom's bed, the scattered collection of headstones barely even a mile from that. The memories that are lost and the memories to which a shrinking family cling.

If you want to build your own Where I'm From poem, Go Here.

See- I Cleaned Something

I cleaned everything off and dusted. I sorted and reshelved. I filled three boxes with books to get rid of and move to other locations. And I resolved not to buy anymore books. It's still over filled but it looks much better.
My Husband got out the steam cleaner and I have a nice floor again. So I'm resolved to keep it clear of toys and clutter. And to limit drinks to the kitchen.

There's always more to do but this still makes me happy.

The Parenting Files: Where'd My Baby Go?

Today my eight year old daughter asked me for a cell phone because many other kids in her class already have them. And she is starting to worry that she's not as cool as the other kids -all the time. She has become an anxious kid, a worrier.

No longer the happy go-lucky munchkin who was content to play with my old dishcloth while I prettied up her hair.

She's no longer as content with the little things in life like a nap on the floor while Elmo entertains.

And this little boy is now facing the problem of being the weird meltdown kid on the soccer field and almost incapable of playing with others and following directions. We worry about his future and if he'll always be the odd one out. Will he ever be able to go with the flow?
He's still a snuggler. But, I wonder if anyone else besides our family will ever be able to appreciate his sweetness and his creativity. Will anyone besides his family ever get him to take turns or play nicely?

This part is much harder than being sleep deprived or potty training.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Stink of the Matter Plus A Craft!

The cat not using the litter box is once again causing a major stink in our house both literally and figuratively. I'm at a loss for what to do because having a messy house is one thing. Having a house that smells like cat urine is completely unacceptable to me. I hate it.
I really want to keep Sarah because she's such a good cat. She's great with the kids and super snuggly. But, I just can't stand the pee and the poop.

So, I've been doing some research online and I think I'm going to try Precious Cat litter and a Feliway Plug In before I either put a collar on her and toss her outside or give her back to the Rescue. I want to try to keep her. It's just going to cost a lot of money.
I love cats but I am absolutely done with having them once these two are gone.

On a happier note, I was excited to see today's Motherload post on reupholstering a dining chair.
I bought Big Girl a wooden desk chair awhile ago to fit her thrifted desk. It is serviceable and fits her needs well but it has a dingy old mauve covering on the seat. I also happen to have a few fabric scraps leftover from my Grandma's stash. The only tool I'll need to get is an upholstery staple gun and some staples. I might even sand the chair down and repaint it white if Big girls wants it that way. This is a craft I feel I am absolutely capable of since it doesn't require any sewing.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

My Virtual Book Shelf is Loaded

I finally got around to cleaning the giant mess of a bookshelf today. What a dusty long trip down memory lane. Not all of it pleasing.

But, I have another box of books to donate. And a fresh pile that were just added to my bookshelf for trade.

I dedicated one whole shelf to books that I want to read. No more trips to the library or thrift store to get fresh books. Now I'm all ready whenever I get a craving for a new book. Right now I'm tackling, "It's All Too Much" by Peter Walsh.

Oh, and I cleaned the mantle off and did a little fall decorating too. ; ) Here's to organization and decluttering.

Charitable Panicking

I have several visitors coming in the next few weeks. So, getting my house nice and clean is starting to be a pressing need.

Last week I promised the kids each one new toy from Goodwill if they each donated five toys to the donate bag. I'd been wanting to go to the thrift store to look for some new soccer cleats for Big Girl anyway since she'd outgrown hers. And also I am starting to casually look for a tin bread box as the big bowl I'm using for bread is taking up way too much space in the kitchen. (The prices on ebay and etsy are higher than I want to pay.)
Anway, I didn't allow myself to go thrifting until I had a bag full to donate first. I filled the bag with books, a new pair of Levis I'd been saving to ebay, the kid's toys and other stuff. On the way through the garage I grabbed a bag full of packaged rolls of wallpaper border that I was never going to use. I drove Hubby's car which for months has housed a full box of old vegetarian cookbooks that we were planning on selling at a bookstore downtown. I made a last minute decision to just donate the box and get it out of his car. I know I could and probably should make money from our old cast offs. But, I need it gone now more than I need to try to sell it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

IKEA Schmea- Where's my Hefties?

All the time I read these glorious blog posts about the wonders of Ikea's storage systems, occasional free breakfasts, and their clean lined Scandinavian furniture at prices so low they make you want to slap yourself.
My closest IKEA is 300 miles away. And I'm not going to cry about that. Because you know what I don't need? More crap to put my crap in. Plus, I'm not a clean line kind of girl. I'm a vintage tin and thrift store basket kind of girl. (Although the state of my house right now would tell you I'm more of a hoarder with a dash of romance)

Right about now I think the only thing that would make my house prettier is a toss & burn and a quick vacuum.
On the agenda is:

The kitchen table- it was clean last week but you know what they say about flat surfaces.

The couches- more flatish surfaces covered with pillows, blankets, toys, grocery store circulars and a pile of kid's artwork to file.
The floors of the living areas- toys, papers, school stuff, Christmas stuff, Halloween stuff that I unearthed that never got put in the basement last year (I guess I'll get a head start on decorating the mantle), expired coupons, etc etc.
The bookshelf and the floor in front of it- full of books. Too many books. I think I'll paperback swap some and maybe ebay a few others so I can make money for the yearly goal I am woefully behind on.

Time to turn on some music, get out the shovel, and light a match.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Parenting Files: The Good Daddy

My Husband spent 45 minutes installing the light in this train toy by using a dremel tool and a the light from a McDonalds toy. The joy on our son's face was priceless as he flopped around the house telling me how cool his toy was going to be after his Daddy fixed it. Sometimes the smallest things are the biggest blessings to little people.

Two Slides Backward- One Slide Forward.

My house got away again.

Toys in the foyer. Shoes everywhere. Kid's school papers scattered. And a hamper full of dirty laundry.

Yesterday I didn't get much accomplished other than an oil change, a car wash, grocery shopping, dirty dish management, one bathroom wipe down and one load of laundry. Oh, and I sorted through the ginormous pile of papers on the kitchen table. That seems like more than it feels or looks like. Oh, and I also took the bag of sliced cinnamon apples that my kids kept turning their noses up to and made an apple oatmeal bread thing. It's a bit dry but if you microwave it and put peanut butter and honey on it. Well, I guess you could say that about anything. "Hey, here's a pile of rotten roadkill. Just put some peanut butter and honey on it and you won't even notice the decay you're biting into." Oops, tangent.

I've got a tote of kid's clothes to take to the consignment. I need to make another tote full of toys to sell. Which means finding decent toys, cleaning them and then finding an empty tote to put them in. And a pile of kid's clothes to sort through for thedup boxes. And I still haven't put away our summer school work books. And I just noticed the splash marks on the upstairs linen closet (why?) that need cleaning. The list is never ending. I guess I'd better quit whining and get started.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Parenting Files: Don't Tell Me Who I Am. I Don't Even Know That Yet.

You know those days from hell where you would give anything for a rewind button? Last Saturday was one of those for me. Lest I turn this into a whine fest I'll just say days of single parenting plus five hours on a train with a head cold, a cooped up and hyper 5 and 8 year old and less than friendly fellow passengers is not an ideal situation for me. It turns out being on a train with me and my two children was less than ideal for the jerk guy next to me too. With less than 20 minutes to go to our destination he decided to yell at my kids and talk loudly about us to the person behind him. I should have left well enough alone. I should have ignored him. But, I didn't. I know it's best to always turn the other cheek but doing that has never left me feeling good about myself. I confronted him and we got into an argument which left me quizzing him on his childish behavior and him telling me I was a bad parent. No one won. And I have been upset by it ever since.

Since I've been a Mom I've noticed that people love to critique how you're doing. Just off the top of my head I can think of three distinct times that complete strangers have either praised me or chastised me for my parenting. Really? Unless I'm beating my children in public, is it any of your business? And what makes you think that one moment in a particular day is the complete example of how my parenting is 24/7. I wonder what would happen if I were a man. I know all of my friends are amazed that my husband interacts with my kids, takes them places alone, and coaches their soccer teams. He's their parent and not a babysitter.

The bottom line is that if that man had actually talked to me and asked me to either move or try to keep them quieter I would have gladly done so and apologized. His inability to be polite to me and rude to my children brought out the worst in me. And neither one of us is the better for it.

As for being a bad or good parent, I guess it all depends on what your guidelines are. My children are well loved, well fed, and have plenty of what they need and more than enough of what they want. But, have you ever met anyone who didn't have some complaint about something their parents did wrong? This is child rearing. No one gets out unscathed.
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. Plato

Friday, September 2, 2011

Thankful for my Stockpile

Hubby's gone on business travel and I seem to have developed the first of many head colds of the new school year. I don't want this bit of yuckiness to hamper anything I need to get done so I raided my medicine cabinet to see what I could come up with.

I found:

A $2 bottle of Zicam chews that I picked up from the salvage store
A bottle of NeilMed Sinus Rinse that I got free from some deal at Walgreens
Generic cold tabs
Nature Made Chewable C tablets. I know I used a coupon and typed in my reward code.

So, while I'm trying not be be a stockpiler and a hoarder this is one instance where I'm glad I don't need to venture any further than my kitchen to get relief.
Maybe I should starting thinking about a soup, kleenex, and ginger ale supply for the flu season.