McBeal Moment 1,234,567

**Profanity warning.  I apologize.  I could not remove it, for fear of actually saying it out loud.*

Today began with the following Facebook post:

Mom Log 11.13.15
3:30am Child 2 wakes me up. He has a tummy ache.
3:40 Child 2 falls asleep.
3:41-4:29 I lay in bed thinking of all the reasons his tummy might hurt.
4:30 I get up and check to make sure he is soundly sleeping -he is.
4:31 I get out homework. Might as well be productive if my eyes are open
*Good Morning*

Now I am at school, working on homework in this little-used (or maybe just less-used as it is off the beaten path) nook for studying.

And I am annoyed because there are people talking.  I know, I know – take a pill, right?  But up until I opened this blog up – I WAS working.  Finally into the groove, powering through one assignment of a thousand.

I must be honest, the two talking are not the reason I opened up the Mom blog or the real reason I am annoyed.  It is the other student.  The blonde with perfect teeth (that her parents probably spent a fortune supplying braces for), hair sloppily thrown into a pony tail (because she has not a care in the world) , black rimmed glasses (once again… parents!), spotless Nike shoes with her matching sweatpants and hoody(dolla bills anyone?).  Ear buds are barely visible, but the new Iphone (money, money, money, $!) is placed on the table in front of her.  I would not have even lifted my head except the phone call she was on – she decided to share with A L L of us.  TALKING AND SIGHING INCREDIBLY LOUD.  To her Mother.

God Mom

I don’t know

I guess I’m fine.

I’m F I I I I N E.

What do you want me to say?

After five minutes of variations on the above sentences, I nearly lost my grip on reality.  In a complete McBeal Moment, I envisioned myself walking over and pulling the earbuds from her ears, then hissing

“THAT is the women who pushed you out of her VAGINA – have some fucking respect!”

Then walking away indignantly.

But in real life she probably has campus police on speed dial or can google it faster than my clumsy self could gather all my shit (especially since my entire bag is spread from one side of my table to the other).

Now I am sitting here, uncertain if I should be begging Karma to do her thing and kick that girl in the ass

>or<

just hope to God above my own daughters never talk to me that way.

(to all the Mother’s of older girls, please refrain from commenting – I would like to naively swim through the water sidewalks of my make-believe little world for a few more years before facing reality, thank you.)

I have a lump.

Yesterday was almost an ordinary day. I woke up and got the kids ready with the help of my husband. We stood outside under umbrellas waiting for the bus. We waved good-bye to little hands fluttering like butterflies at the light in the bus windows. We kissed and went our separate ways – him to work and me to the town over for school. I worked on a paper or tried to. I attended class where we discussed edTPA. I rushed home to pick up the kids from school. We sat down and did homework and reading and while I flittered among them checking on progress I managed to start supper. When everything was completed,signed off on and packed away into backpacks I transferred supper to the table and pencils were replaced with forks. We forgot our dinner prayer. The kids had just a bit of time to play. Dad came home from work. Dad went back to work. I had a paper up on my laptop. I was really hoping the words would just fall into place as I completed my household chores for the night, but when I sat down it was all still there just as I left it.
Teeth were brushed, pj’s on, tucks and hugs and kisses disbursed. Nightlights were set aglow. “Love you”s were delivered all the way from the moon, stars, sun and back.
I sat down to type. Three paragraphs later (mind you I need 5 pages) my sister called and we talked for nearly two hours catching each other up on daily life. It was at some point during this conversation I vaguely noticed an irritation under my armpit. I briefly thought, “razor-burn?” but the thought evaporated as the conversation wrapped up and I realized I had so much to do.
Now I am a master procrastinator. I don’t know why. I do good work under pressure, sometimes great work. I am waiting for the day I don’t make the deadline because I pushed off too long. I sit down to do the work early, but it is like my brain rebels from thinking about it until the last possible moment. Then the clouds lift, the angels sing and the assignment gets done. But I am really struggling with this. Ugh, there is something wrong with my friggin’ armpit! I maneuver through the mass clothes that is Autumn in Wisconsin, a layer here and there and everywhere until I find the stubble that is my Fall armpit (it is quite true for me anyway that the season brings a vacation to the pink razor in the bathroom – I am quite certain it deserves it for all it’s been through the previous summer.) There in the center of the stubble is something. It almost feels like a wad of Orbits. It is only the size of my fingertip but it is hard like the gum under the restaurant table that has been there surely no less than a hundred years.
I panic.
The paper I was working on has crumbled and turned to digital dust. I hold myself in my most favorite brown warm sweater. Do you know how often in your mind you can see the perfect clothes for yourself, but you never find them? That is this brown sweater. I look up at the wall of books my husband and I finally created after decades of me knowing this was what I wanted to look up and see in my living room. I look at the boots that are so perfect for me – I just found them. I stand.
I walk upstairs to the perfectly organized bedroom my itta-bits are soundly sleeping in. They are so just perfect. Perfect in their little snores and sighs. I can hear the music from my oldest’s headphones as I peek in her room. As a pre-teen, she has no idea how perfect she is. Her talent knows little boundaries. She has brought pride tears to my eyes more than I – in my whole life – ever experienced sad tears. Watching these children, talking with them, learning with them and from them is my fountain of youth, my soul soothing medicine. Have I done enough that even the littlest one will always carry with her an impression of a Mother who couldn’t have loved them any more than I did?
In sheer panic I call nurse direct. They recommend in sweet voices a cold compress, ib and Urgent Care right away in the morning.
More sheer panic ensues.
It is this I think of all through the night. At some point I convince myself that IB is cause for most of the ills of the world, including Autism. I know. Sleep exhaustion does funny things.
So this morning I was off to Urgent Care with my unshowered, unshaven, lumped armpit. I tore off my shirt almost the minute the Doctor walked in the room and before his very human brain could begin to contemplate the entertaining story this patient’s entrance would make I lifted my arm – chicken wing style and exposed the Armpit.
Now the funny is coming out because after 12 hours of hell it took 20 seconds to deduce that the lump was indeed a cyst. It took 10 seconds to zip off a prescription to the local pharmacy. So I was, including wait time, and drive time, only there for 25 minutes.
I am writing this because too often what we say after moments like this is “Thank God, I need to get things in order after this.” and you know what gets done? Nothing.
So I pledge in the next three months to make a plan. Lawyer it out. Then throw it at a few people – like my hubby, mom and a sibling or two or three… to make sure everyone knows the plan. I pledge to hold my kids a little tighter and continue my quest to make sure they know they couldn’t be loved more anywhere else in the world. (not that that means I will let them get away with shit – you understand)

Live each Day.
~J.Lyn

Tips from the Classroom for HOME MANAGEMENT

Winds are blowing… as they always do.  At this time in Education there is negativity that is associated with “discipline in the classroom” and instead the emphasis is on Classroom Management.

This led me to spend some time thinking about Home Management.  Before we delve in, I want to make something perfectly clear:

If you are a parent who is searching for help and feeling like a failure or feeling like your methods are failing, please take a moment to remind yourself that there is no such thing as perfect and as long as you are seeking answers and asking questions – you are on the right track!

It is so important I am going to say it again, but this time pay attention:  There is no such thing as perfect and I hope you are not expecting that of yourself OR your child(ren)!

Now that we have that clear, let’s talk about this negativity surrounding “discipline”  because as a Mom – at first I was like… “say what?? Sometimes there is no other way!”

But then I thought about it.  Is taking away privileges a form of discipline or is it management?  Is doling out a consequences- management or discipline?  First I had to think about what I considered consequences.  In our house, we have a system  (that I am getting to) that makes consequences really easy – the bottom line is no electronics.  Yep – all. of. it. There is no “step 1: take away the ipod.  step 2 take away tv.” (I tried it – it didn’t work for us because I flat out couldn’t remember if all of them had been good and if not at what level had they had something taken away >insert headache here<.  So back to it – simple rule=no electronics and despite the clarity in which I described to my children the consequence of  no electronics – they always seem surprised and always ask, “Is that the __<insert tv, wii, ipod, etc)___too?”  You have noticed by now (most likely) my use of the word – “consequence” versus “punishment” – I know awfully picky right?  When I was growing up they were one and the same.  But times have changed and after I thought about it – they are completely different words.  Punishments are a form of Discipline. Punishment is spankings, belts, rulers, kneeling by the fridge, going to bed without dinner (which was sometimes really a reward).   A consequence is a result of action or behavior.  It teaches kids for every action there is a reaction.  Good or bad.  But –  you kind of want to steer for the good because it makes life easier and more fun!

 

Where the rules stem from:

Well you see, when my first child was delivered by the stork out of the sky dropped a “How to” book for raising children.  HA!

Seriously, when my children started Preschool I asked about the four signs they seemed to have everywhere.  These signs read: “walking feet, ” “inside voices,” “teachers touch the door,” and ” listening ears.”

Now I guess that has blossomed into 7 taught in the classroom:  “hands to self,” “inside voice,” “walking feet,” “working hard,” “quiet hand up,” “eyes on teacher”, and “listening ears.”

Makes sense right?  That is rhetorical people -Right. My initial intention was that if we had similar rules at home – my kids would be used to the expectations at school and do better… or at least stay out of trouble.  It worked!

My System:

The rules of our household follow closely the Classroom Management Basic Rules and the PBIS -Positive Behavior Interventions and Support.  The may seem vague at first – but just wait!

#1.  Be safe.  This covers a lot of ground right?  No running, no pushing, no fighting, no horsing around, don’t leave the house alone, don’t talk to strangers, and on and on and on!  When your children are doing something, just ask, “Is that safe?  It isn’t “No this” and “No that” or “You are breaking the rules!!”  It is a simple question they must learn to ask themselves!! I have enclosed the printout I made – together we sat down and went into further detail -that is why the clouds are so big!  I asked, “So what does being safe mean?”  They answered, “no running, no fighting,” etc – and we wrote these responses into the extra space of the cloud.

#2. Be helpful.  Again covering a ton of ground: clean up after yourself, etc.  All of my children since age 4 have put there dishes in the dishwasher after a meal.  After age 11 they do their own laundry.  They always are responsible to keep toys picked up and they have to put their dirty clothes in the hamper (not on the floor).  After being in the bathroom for a shower or to get ready they must make sure they clean up after themselves.   This is all part of being helpful.

#3. Be Kind.  This means no fighting, no racing, please hold doors open, and maybe say nice things to each other, and yes, share your toys.  As they get older it means no bullying, stand up for others, do not take friendship for granted – make sure friends know they are cared for and family knows they are loved.  An unexpected place this helped us out was at the dinner table.  We always affirmed just trying things.  No forced , “Finish your plate!” but still we encountered resistance based on appearance or newness.  One night after an exhausting battle,  “just try a mushroom – you might like it!” *epic fail* my littlest one piped up and said, “it’s not nice to not try what Mom made.”  Genius!  At the thought of not having electronics all over a bite of mushroom the child caved.  No food favorite was developed- he still hated mushrooms.  He made a hysterical face that had everyone in peels of laughter.  And food trials were no longer a trial here.

So – here is the blank template:

House Rules

After the first month of having it titled “Our House Rules” – I decided it applied to life – so I changed it “Our Life Rules.”

 

Now – how do you track their behavior??  How do you remember if they have been naughty or nice?  Well – remember “KISS”?

Keep

It

Simple

Silly!

We follow that.

Here is the calendar that hangs in our house.  It is right next to the rules.  If all of them have followed the rules – they get a smiley face.  If ANY of them broke a rule – they get a frown face.  (I caution you against using “warnings” – these are simple life rules.  They will catch on quick!!  My kids help each other to keep the smile faces going!)  The calendar tracks the day and they must have 5 smiley faces in a row in order to have electronics!  So if they break a rule – it is 5 days no electronics if they correct the behavior and keep on top of the others.  So when one is naughty they all get punished???  That isn’t fair?!  Life isn’t fair.  We are family – we stick together and help each other make life easier.  At first the other kids got upset, but since they have all been at fault they are not (as) hard on each other.  Instead, there has been this really great self dedication to family helping family!  Which is another great life lesson.

Here is the calendar (basic template available in Word – snazz it up all you want!):

kids behavior calendar

DISCLAIMER:  This is not going to work for everyone!   I had rule sheets upon rule sheets before deriving this set up and who knows? in a year it might not work for us any longer!  You have to be able to adjust.  You have to be able to change (another GREAT life lesson!) and TALK to your kids!!! about it.  “”Boy, that really didn’t work for us – did it?  Let’s think of something that might work better…”   Golden TIP:  Ask a teacher!!  There is NO ONE that understands the lack of guidebook better than a teacher!!  They might have something that will work for you and yours!

This also teaches kids you don’t just give up if something doesn’t work – you find something else and ask for help!

There was a week for me that sh!t hit the fan and I knew my kids had broken the rules – but I couldn’t remember when or what.  I sat them down and said, “Hmmm.  Things have been really crazy haven’t they?  We lost track of our days and sometimes our rules haven’t we?   How about we start with today and see how things go?”  Their behavior back on track, smiley faces abound – we recovered.   Life happens people!  Teach kids how to move on from it!

This also prevents the hanging on of past mistakes.   Every month a new clean slate is printed and posted.  Focus is on the desired behavior.  Responsibility is theirs.  They are their own people – it is my job to make sure they are good people.

Also – no frowny face for behavior issues at school.  The school has their own consequences.  No doubling up! Now my daughter once fibbed about having homework done.  The next day I got an email from her teacher who was concerned that said homework was not done.  When talking to her she said she thought she could get it done in her morning study hall so “no big deal” but then she forgot about it.  We explained, it is not kind, safe or helpful to lie to parent(s) = frown face.  She individually got an extra 5 days of no electronics because we wanted the message to be loud and clear – lie not to your parents, ever.

Another note – it puts electronic devices where they belong too – a benefit. A desire.  NOT a NEED.  The days my kids CAN play electronics – they often don’t.  They are too busy outside or playing playdoh or drawing or singing, etc.  But the consequence still works because what if they want to play it and they can’t?!   >gasp!< also – when starting out make them earn electronics!!  Five straight days of smiley faces!!  Remember it is a privilege not a right!!  This is how you redefine it for your kids. (and when we lost our place – we began again as well.)

I, like you, I’m just doing the best I can.  Like most things in life  -things improve faster if you put your heads together – so if you have ideas please share!!

~J.Lyn

 

 

Education and Life-Readiness

There is a time to learn, study, question, think.  Then there is a time to get up off your arse and do something – Act.

 

If you’ve been around here awhile you know I am a Mom of three going back to school in my… we will call it mid-thirties.

The question I field the most is “Why?”

There are the reasons that echo others, such as “I love kids” with an added punch of “I don’t always love kids, but I always believe in their ability to do better and more than we have.”

I love the unpredictable nature of the classroom.

I love being organized and I love preparing.  I love it even more when something unexpected happens!

However

There are two  reasons I am studying Education that haven’t even remotely crossed the minds of most of my classmates.

Reason 1.  If you don’t want to do – I will.

I am tired of teachers threatening (with their educated mouths) to walk away (in their perfectly matched outfit) or drive away (in their shiny, nice cars) from students who are supposedly their “main priority”.  Now before you get your panties in a bundle = I am NOT saying that Teachers don’t deserve these things and more – they DO!!  But teachers are walking around asking, “Why is the public so against teachers?”  The public isn’t.  But while you have been complaining about not getting a raise, the “public” lost their house, their job, or/AND their benefits – COMPLETELY.  Yet you are so focused on you & the 1% of your community rolling in money that you are not seeing everyone else.  You complain that Johnny’s parents are not supporting his academics by sitting down with him and doing his homework at night, but you fail to understand that his parents were trying to figure out where to get the money to pay the bill collectors they never thought would be calling them.   There is no one to stop it from coming out of their FOOD budget, because you see  – they want to do right.  They just don’t know have the funds to cover it all.  You stand and talk about Bob’s or Jane’s “chances” because of what the parents aren’t doing – but you are not taking responsibility for being the one who knows WHAT IT TAKES for that child to be successful and doing NOTHING but pointing out who is not doing what for them.

Reason 2. I like being a villager.

You know that saying – it takes a village???  Well besides parents – it is TEACHERS who make up that village.  So when a child isn’t successful or prepared it is truth that has part of the blame at the school’s door.   I have explored several fields in my time.  What I have learned is that everyone works hard (okay, okay, not everyone.  But what we too easily forget is that those people are the minority. We have to stop changing things because of the 0.0025% of the population that might take advantage. Believe me – most do not want to live on government assistance.)  So most work hard.  Working hard is life.  Enjoying working hard and enjoying what working hard gets you is life.  It is the lesson our kids are failing to get.

 

So let’s talk about the two sides of the “Education” coin.

*On one side there is everything we can see that has changed in Education since we (adults) were there last.  No more penmanship class.  No more daily music, phy ed, or art class.  All eyes on STEM.  Foreign languages are optional later – even though we know how much easier it is when they are young.  And who needs English?  Reading all those really old books?  Speech class?  Writing?  Please.

*On the other side is everything we are being asked of as parents, that we damned well know our parents were not asked of.  Like doing up to two hrs of homework and reading PER CHILD each night.  That on top of school supplies at the beginning of the year – we are asked to pay fees for additional supplies, art costs, t-shirt costs, field trip costs, sports fees, etc.  We as children enjoyed most of these things, but our parents did not pay out of pocket for them.  Where did the money come from before?

Then there are the statistics that speak volumes for both sides of the coin we are currently tossing about.   Less than, let me repeat, LESS THAN 40% of High School Grads are ready for college:  http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Education/2014/0514/Less-than-40-percent-of-12th-graders-ready-for-college-analysis-finds   — What are they ready for then?

How is that even possible??  We have middle-schoolers studying things I didn’t hear about until I was in late High School.  We have K and 1st graders studying math equations and analyzing the different parts of a story.  Hell, they are supposed to know their alphabet and how to spell their name, as well as knowing their address before Preschool.  Are we really confused about why our kids are crashing and burning at seventeen or younger???

When are we going to realize that our children deserve BETTER than we had – not just DIFFERENT than we had???  Why does it always seem we as a people go from one extreme to the other?  Why can’t we look at what is working and just focus on that which can be done better instead of trying to change the whole blasted system?!   It is a pyramid people – not a pendulum – that lasts through time.

So here is the get up off my arse and do something about it:

You can not improve something if you do not understand how it functions currently, right? (This is a no brainer for most people, but for some of you politicians out there I know it may be a shock).  So I am in Education, learning about what is currently happening.  I plan to teach because I know it is more than just learning about how something is supposed to work – I need first hand knowledge of what is happening.  Plus it is about damn time kids realize there are those of us who will NOT give up.  There are those of us who KNOW you are capable of GREAT things.  Let me be perfectly clear: I am not the lone person standing and caring – I am the voice saying “LOOK  in your classrooms RIGHT NOW, regardless of how tired or unhappy they may seem – THOSE people = teachers = they KNOW you are AMAZING!  Parents – regardless of how tired or unhappy they may seem – they ONLY want what is best for you.

I don’t mean to sound snarky or as if I know it all.  Never in my life have I ever claimed to know it all.  In fact – my soap box is that none of us are designed to know it ALL.   The focus should not be on who can memorize the most historical data.  It should not be who can recite the presidents of the US.  The focus should be on:

HOW to learn

HOW to take notes

HOW to study

HOW to question

HOW to THINK

Math, Science, Social Studies, Engineering, Technology, even Music, art, phy ed, language, writing and speech – these are not SUBjects to study – they are avenues we travel once we have a base understanding of how these “HOW”s work!  They are the transportation we take in order to grow learning, taking notes, studying, questioning and thinking!!!    When we graduated high school and we stepped into real life -we used THESE skills to explore different life paths.  Some paths for some of us were paths we stayed on to this day.  For others – hopping paths helped achieve happiness.  But one thing is the same – we had the ability to make the best of what we had and focus on the things we wanted. We had the tools – we knew the “How” of what to learn and how to learn to get where we wanted to be.   THAT is what we were armed with.  That is how we felt READY to take on the world.

School is the place where you learn to read.  You learn to research.  You learn to think.

Then you get up off your arse and DO something with what you know.

THAT is life.

We need to stop this focus on individual courses of study – – Now, now – – no pendulum here!!!  We are not getting rid of these things!!!  These are the avenues that we let our children explore – to help them identify the things they LOVE, the people they want to BECOME!  Our focus as EDUCATORS (be it teachers or parents) – is to return focus to the HOW

Learn

Study

Question

Think

Do

It doesn’t form a pretty acronym.  It doesn’t focus on college-readiness, career-readiness or community-readiness individually.  It’s whole focus is LIFE-readiness.

I think education needs to return to the basics.

 Address the “How” and let the kids answer.

 

 

 

 

Don’t be too surprised if in the future – I open….

A  learn, study, question, think, act  Academy.

maybe A2A Academy?  Life-Readiness School?  Hmmm…it may require *gasp* thought.  Anyway –

We will teach penmanship.  We will teach manners.  We will teach respect.  We will teach creativity.  We will teach Reading, Writing, Math, Music, Art, Languages and Science.  It will bloom into more specific fields of study!  But the focus will remain on learning to learn.

 

You can voice your disagreement, your contradictions, your thoughts!  Please do!!

I learned a long time ago that discomfort is the path to growth ( yep – being female I had that nailed down before my teens).  Seriously – we can NOT expect to solve or resolve anything if we can not respect others enough to hear them out.  To really listen. You can not challenge a thought if you haven’t listened to the whole of it!

Time Management

I have this idea… It’s definitely unique. I want to take one wall in each of my kid’s room and paints it whatever color. Then I want to paint a white rectangle in landscape orientation. Then I am going to screw plexiglass to that white area. I want to make that their weekly time management schedule. Along the top row I will have the days of the week and down the first column will be time frames 8 AM 9 AM 10 AM and so on. Using dry erase markers we can write in their school schedule, sports practices and other scheduled events.
At the end of the day we can recap what else happened and write it in to give them a sense of how they spend their time!
What are your thoughts? What are your ideas? How do you get time management across to your children?

Pre-K Mean Girls on ABC…. but, but, but…

Young Girl

So I am watching ABC and they are acting as if Mean Girls as young as Preschool and Kindergarten are something new.  They have even mentioned that perhaps blame should be placed on technology, something about the lack of interaction…..  And here are a few more quick quotes:

“We are seeing it more and more”

“cultural materialism”

“weird perfect storm”

 

I cry bullshit.

Little Mean Girls are not a new phenom.  It isn’t happening any more than it used to.  People are calling attention to it more using forums like Facebook and Twitter.  It is harder for the Prom queen to get away treating everyone like crap because it is easier for kids to rally together against it.  But walk into any small town – any classroom in that town – and you can talk to the kids about the classroom hierarchy.  One that is based off of the hierarchy the adults have exampled for the children their whole life.  If you are shaking your head “no” then you are part of the shitty hierarchy the children follow.

If we as a society had ANY desire to change it we would stand in front of the mirror and make the changes there.

But I digress, ABC hosts practically sang the words “Teach them to be kind… yes, yes, be kind!”  Like the wrapping up of the Disney story.

Don’t get me wrong I think most people have the best intention to teach their children to be kind, but then there are the “but”s.

“But you are strong and independent and that you shouldn’t change.”

“But you shouldn’t be ashamed that people like you and not her.”

The one that I believe is used MOST often:     “But kids will be kids”

If you have said these things – there is a very good chance not only is your child the Mean Kid, but YOU are probably the Mean Adult.

So I bring this up, not because I am going to tell you how we should be or what we should do, but because I think often we don’t face the reality of situations.  It comes in handy to blame technology because then the newscasters could not possibly have been mean kids.  (Though I bet of the four that were onscreen,  at least 3 of them were.)  It comes in handy because then we don’t have to analyze the history or the responsibility WE carry – we can just sweep reality under the carpet and act as if these are NEW problems.

And this is why I am frustrated enough to write about it.

There is nothing new here.  This has been going on since the first classroom, no, from the first settlement probably.  Well – as much as I like the sarcasm of that statement – I can only vouch for the 90’s and on.  When I was in grade school, I remember overhearing a teacher tell a student, “All this will be nothing as soon as you get to high school.  That is where kids start growing up and maturing,  The childish name calling will stop.”

Lies! Lies, I tell ya!

It didn’t stop – it just reflected the image of society better.  You had the smokers, the jocks, the preppies, the priss- I mean princesses.  You had the nerds, which were different than the smart/rich/good-looking kids who would just be termed “Academics”  For every Homecoming or Prom court – no matter how big or small – minus off ONE and only one child, the rest of them = mean kids.  There is always one refreshing NICE kid that got voted in because he or she is just KIND. But I would say that’s probably it.

Perhaps before the 90’s – there was a transformation in high school.  Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm…………..  Can anyone lead credence to this?  Please comment!

But to continue:

The question we have to ask is – do we have any real desire to change it or do we admit that this is how our society and yes how our classrooms function and put the focus on giving our children the tools to deal with it?

How do you deal with the mean kids? the bullies?  – – -Don’t pretend they are not out there.  They are.

What are your thoughts?  I would love to round table this…. without the blinders on.  Schools, taxpayers pay thousands of dollars on “Anti-Bullying” campaigns.  Are we in the right mind set for any campaign to be effective?  Share away!

 

 

Top 10 Signs You Need More Sleep

Sleeping

So my littlest has been sick.

This is the 3rd day.

 Two full nights with just some really long blinks to sustain me.

What parent hasn’t been there????

Perhaps, when I look back on this it will not be very funny, but right now  the list being compiled in my brain is FANTASTICly true and therefore funny (or extremely sad depending on your stage of sleep deprivation)!

So here we go …………..

10.   There are only 4 new items in your newfeed since the last time you looked.

9.   You have managed to blink so long that when you open your eyes your mind is convinced it is the next day…. until you look at the clock and realize it has only been 10 minutes.

8.   You regularly call your children the wrong name “Sarah, Anna, Megan, WHICHEVER YOU ARE GET OVER HERE!!”  But you now just stare at them blankly not being able to recall any word associated to them.

7.  The same is (almost)  true for your spouse who has not participated in the up all night game…. for that person… there are names at the ready – but none that you can utter in front of your PG audience.

6. You are certain you are suffering permanently in a time warp, because you have made so many pots of coffee you lost count, You have poured endless cups of coffee, but you still do not feel the affects of caffeine.

5.  You have reached a new level of sleep deprivation when you have completed your business on the toilet, you can not remember whether you’ve properly concluded your business so you reach over for the toilet paper only to discover it is empty.  Wasn’t there a full roll when you sat down?

4.  You travel to the store for medicine in your pajamas, without combing your hair, no bra, possibly no panties because  r e a l l y, you are not going to remember being there anyway.   And later when someone says, “I thought I saw you at……”  You can either say, “Hmmmm… nope.  I don’t remember being there.” (no lie) or… if it is another parent.. you can just say, “Yes, my littlest was sick.”  No further explanation needed.

3.  You find yourself dressed up, hair combed sitting at a bar with a very large glass of wine in front of you.  The bartender asks, “Are you waiting for a friend?”  You don’t even bother to look up.  You reach for your glass.  Lift it in toast and say, “Nope, she is right here.” tilt and swallow.  Then you open your eyes  to discover it’s really medicine as you have caught whatever your child has.

2.  You have no idea how you came to be staring longingly out the window at the outside world or how long you have been standing there, but you are reasonably satisfied with the knowledge that  you can sleep standing up.

1. You can not fathom why the toilet is plugged up ~or~ why it looks like you hosted a coffee talk, but no one drank any of the coffee….

Icy Skeptic

You know… being raised listening to others spout, “don’t believe everything you read”  has made me a skeptic.  So I am reading updates on facebook and came across the following:

“For icy steps and sidewalks in freezing temperatures, mix 1 teaspoon of Dawn dish washing liquid, 1 tablespoon of rubbing alcohol, and 1/2 gallon hot/warm water and pour over walkways. They won’t refreeze. No more salt eating at the concrete in your sidewalks”

Really?  Could it be that simple?

I intend to find out and I will let you know what happens!!

To my children…

I have to say this:

To my Sweetest Treasures of all time,

You each have my heart with you always.  You each make me so proud every day.  Someday, when you look your own child in the eye you will understand that even in the moments where I must correct your behavior or your attitude or your grammar, I couldn’t be more proud of you!  I love each of you with everything in me.  My only wish is that I am here to be with you in your journey as long as possible, but if I am not physically present, know (and I mean KNOW) that nothing, NOTHING will keep my spirit from checking in with all three of you always and forever.

Be confident in who you are because you are absolutely amazing!

Your smiles provide me with such a deep sense of happiness and desire to be better for you.  To be more for you.

Through all the years, I know that I have made many mistakes and I know I will make many more.  But know that in every day I tried as hard as I could to show you how much you mean to me – all three of you – how much I love each of you – how much you give purpose to each breath I take, how you fill my heart with everlasting gratitude to God, how you fill my eyes with the invisible Mom tears of pride.

Above all – know that every moment whatever you do as long as you smile – I am proud of you!  Smile and laughter is fuel to life.

You each are part of me and I am forever a part of you.  I love you to the Moon, the Stars, The Sun and Back (and so much more than you love me- but keep trying forever).

hugs and kisses,

❤ Mama

 

 

Miley Cyrus and the Ultimate Mash Up

I’m certain you are getting sick of it.  People are spewing judgement all over facebook and in the harsher cases straight up hatred.

Am I the only one left shaking my head??

First point – and I want to be clear here – this isn’t being written from a parent standpoint.  I don’t let my children stay up past 8pm.  They are not allowed to watch Spongebob much less the VMA’s.    Why?  Because as a parent I long ago made the decision that I am in control of the almighty remote and there are certain (many) shows I do not believe are appropriate for children.

So here I am shaking my head.  Not at Miley, but at everyone else.  

That PERFORMANCE was nothing more than a mash up of the following:

bears         +                 KISS                +

and add in the next step of raunchy female “shock me, shock me, shock me” dancing and undressing (the list is really so long from Madonna to Pink to Brittany to Rihanna to Lady Gaga, I mean really we don’t have time to list them all.But one thing is perfectly clear – we supported them all – the more raunchy they got the more money they made – a fact that Miley Cyrus who has been in the industry for over 8 years is probably very aware of.)   Anywho, add this all up and it

equals   =

Miley Cyrus, MTV Video Music Awards

Don’t you see??  If you are gearing up to point a finger – better find a mirror!!!  We are all to blame for approving of things all the way.  This is the lifestyle mainstream public not only demanded but paid for.

Now as for Miley’s actions… I want you to take a minute.  Think about yourself at 20.  Now, imagine you had money coming out of your ears.  Cameras follow you day and night waiting for you to make a mistake, trip, pick your nose….  and they have been at it for 8 years.

I don’t approve of Miley’s actions, but there are a few things it seems that have slipped our collective minds.

1. What happens on the stage is not real.  It is a production.  It is choreographed for shock value.   (So all of you gasping at the audacity of a young woman dancing up on a married man – Pah lease!!  As if he wasn’t part of setting THAT up!)

2.  I doubt any of us would make much better decisions if plopped into that lifestyle at that age.  

3.  It is the culmination of everything we paid for in the past.

And as all the adults “tsk, tsk”  – all the kids (that the adults are not talking to about this newsworthy feat) are taking note of all the attention paid to that behavior.

One final note,

>>This one is being said in my best Mom voice<<

as I tell my own children:

You are right –  at 18 you are responsible legally for your actions, but that doesn’t mean you stop being responsible to this family for your actions – it just means you answer to both.  I am your Mother forever – not just until society dictates you can answer for yourself.  Parenting is the one job you can not be fired from.   I have 18 years to make you strong enough and smart enough to know that every word you say and every action you take represents this family, this city, this state and this Nation.

I do realize that none of my kids are stars……

yet,

but that wouldn’t change my voice on this issue.

~J.Lyn       😉

 

P.S.  Looking for some Funny??   Click here:

https://creatingjlyn.wordpress.com/2013/07/11/beware-the-shooting-sharks-theyll-leave-you-rant-less/

or here:

https://creatingjlyn.wordpress.com/2013/07/16/16-reasons-not-to-have-sex-daily/