Monday, September 10, 2012

I Demand a Recount!

My mind must be on politics lately. . .gee, I wonder why!?  I had a "giggle moment" today that reminded me of that oh-so-famous recount of years past that took place during a particular presidential election year, and I just had to share it.

For those of you who don't know, my 5 year old son is in MY Kindergarten class this year.  Yep.  I am voluntarily teaching my own kid. . .and yes my district/school/principal (and son) are all fine with it.  It's been a little challenging already, because as most of you know, my son has always been a little challenging. His biggest issue has always been that he just has to learn everything the hard way!

There have been many moments during his short little life, that I have been venting to my husband/friend/mom/the Internet, about something that he had done, or not done.  Sometimes I question things about him:  Can he see ok?  Can he hear ok?  Does he have something diagnosable, like ADHD?  Or DMMTDS (Driving My Mom to Drink Syndrome) ?  Sometimes we just want answers right?!

So last night, I got on the Internet and googled: How do I know if my son has ADHD?  Just checking it out...seeing what I can find.  Ultimately the results said:  Stop being neurotic, he's just a 5 year old boy.  Okay...check!

Then today the audiologists from our district came around testing all of our students.  One of the gals doing the testing has been coming to my current school, and my school before this one, at least as long as I've been a teacher and so we "know" each other.  She caught me in the hallway today and told me that she'd had the pleasure of meeting my son.  She asked me if I had talked to him yet.  He was in Reading with my colleague, so I hadn't seen him for about an hour or so.  She said that she had told him to be sure and tell his mom that he had passed his hearing test with flying colors!

"SERIOUSLY!"  That was my response with my jaw hanging open.  And my thought was "I demand a recount!"  LOL

So. . .let's get this straight.  He HEARS me when I tell him to put his things away.  And he HEARS me when I tell him to brush his teeth.  And he HEARS me when I tell him to stop doing something, or start doing something.  So the real problem is that he is not LISTENING!

Okay little man.  I've got your number now.  Game on!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Urban Wildlife

When we were looking for a new house 5+ years ago, we stumbled upon the perfect place to build.  A corner lot, in town, but surrounded by trees, wild grasses, and lots of wildlife signs.  Perfect for a young, growing family who really wanted to live outside of town, but couldn't quite afford it yet.  Plus, there was only one other lot touching ours, which cuts down on the potential to close (physically) neighbors.  (But thank God for our close (in relationship) neighbors!)

We have been blessed with all of the wildlife that we get to observe.  A few weeks ago, these interesting creatures were hanging out right in our yard!

Look out turkeys!  This little guy is ready to hunt you!

Too bad these guys can't just hunt in our backyard!

We also see a LOT of deer!  They are currently not my favorite animals because they have been eating my new apple trees.  Grrr.  Here is a young buck that we saw during lunch today:

He looks like he's thinking about jumping my fence to get my apple trees.  STAY AWAY!

Otherwise, the wildlife is why we built here, and I guess they can stay. :)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Rainy Day with Children

My first thought when I saw the rain coming down this morning was, "Ugh.  What am I gonna do with the kids all day?"  There's the usual, unoriginal, sit them in front of a movie.  They were done with that by 9:30.


So, I flipped on the creative switch in my head and came up with some great ideas.  I'm sure after reading this you will wish that you had known these ideas this morning, when it was raining, but now you can store them away in your brain for future rainy days!

Our first project was: COOKIES!  But not just ANY cookies. . .extremely colorful cookies.  I bought the cookie dough from a fifth grader at my school who was raising money for her dance troupe and have kept it in the freezer (and the idea in my back pocket) for a day just like this one.  Here are some pictures from our cookie-baking spree!

This is the cookie dough we used.  VERY colorful!  Sure glad I don't have to change diapers anymore!  LOL
Here are some of the items I let the kids use.  Lots of sprinkles, cookie cutters, rolling pins, etc.

Lauren's creations.

Braden working hard.

Braden's creations.

The cookies are ready to bake!

Once the kids were done, they decided on their own that they wanted to share their cookies with the neighbors.  They put some on plates and ran up and down the neighborhood delivering them. :)

The bakers!

While the cookies were baking, Lauren went off to do something in her room, but Braden chose to hang out with me and make: BANANA MUFFINS!

My little helper. Awwww!
Oh the smells coming out of my kitchen today!  Mmmmmmmmm!

All of the finished bakery items.
"Now what?" the kids wanted to know.  Hmmmm....ART PROJECTS!

First we painted designs onto coffee filters and let them dry.  This usually takes awhile, so I used a hairdryer to speed up the process!

Then we cut the coffee filters into flower shapes.  I had used some plain white paper to cut out some stencils of flowers.  The kids traced the flowers onto the back sides of the coffee filters and then cut them out.

Then we taped the flowers to the windows and started painting a scene.

Now I know what you are thinking:  YOU LET YOUR KIDS PAINT ON YOUR WINDOWS?!!

Yes.  :)

Simply mix a little bit of soap with acrylic paint and you are good to go.  It will wash off your windows, I promise. :)  Enjoy some pictures of the progress:

Finished front door!

Finished back door!

From start to finish, all of these projects took us roughly 6 hours...including clean up time.  Right now you're thinking that I managed to make a whole lot of cleaning work for myself today!

My sink FULL of dishes, paint brushes, cookie cutters, etc.
 And you would be correct.  I did a LOT of cleaning up today.  But was it worth it you ask?

Yes, THEY are. :)

My angels. :)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Guilty Pleasures

Mom guilt.

Ever had it?  C'mon....raise your hand...we've all been there.  And for those of you that know me well, Mom Guilt is my middle name. is.  I have Mom Guilt in every little situation where I put myself first for even one moment in time.  Where does it come from you ask?  Because I have chosen to work.

Now, let's define "work."  I mean that I have chosen to work outside of the home.  I am clarifying this because, as I have said before, I totally support, adore, and put on pedestals, stay-at-home-moms.  Could I do what you do?  Sure! But should I?  Ohhhhh no!  Not in a million years!  You might be asking yourself, why?  Two words:

Day-time Television.  (Or should that be three words?)

Seriously.  If being a stay-at-home-mom meant sitting on my butt in front of the T.V all day long, eating when I want, what I want, and showering (maybe). . .I'm in. 

My name is Jocelyn, and I am a televisionaholic.  (Hi Jocelyn.)

Most of you know that last week my children were gone.  (Cheering!)  They spent the whole week at my wonderful in-laws' farm where they had loads of fun.  I blogged about all the cleaning I got done during their absence.  But what I failed to mention was what else I did during that week.  (Dramatic pause. . .)

(Little known fact about me.)

I have a secret guilty pleasure.  It drives my husband nuts.  Eye-rolling nuts!

I LOVE teeny-bopper shows.  ANY show geared towards teens to early 20's, count me in!  Some of my current guilty pleasures that I watch EVERY time they are on (or DVR to watch later):
*Secret Life of the American Teenager
*Pretty Little Liars
*Bunheads (new show that just started)

So, last week I discovered that the channel SoapNet shows reruns of Beverly Hills 90210!  (Squeal!)  I know!  Awesome right?!  Right?!  No?  Well, I like it.  And I sat on my butt and watched it every single day of my kid less week.  And enjoyed every minute of it!

So THIS week, my kids are back and my guilty pleasure has to wait.  Or does it?  I have discovered that I can watch some of it if I am doing something else while the kids are playing.  I can get them started on something and go clean the kitchen while watching Brandon and Kelli ALMOST get married.  Then I can fold some laundry while Donna helps Noah get through ANOTHER crisis.  But ultimately a child will come into the room and I have to quickly click the off button before he or she gets an eye-full, and sweetly ask said child what they need.

Yesterday was a time where I felt especially guilty with Mom Guilt.  I was caught by my son with the kitchen spotless, sitting at the table with my coffee, and watching while the whole crew threw Brandon a going away party.  My youngest looked at me with the sweetest of faces and asked: "Mommy?  Will you read me one of my library books?"  Oh no....what do I do now?  My show was at a very pivotal moment!  I was about to see if Brandon actually leaves Beverly Hills to go to Washington, D.C. to work at their prestigious paper! And Donna and Noah were on the verge of breaking up....again!  And Valerie. . .well, don't even get me started on that one!

I would never get this moment back!

Best library book I ever read. :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


This post is for those of you that read my blog to feel better about your own parenting skills and children.  Yesterday I blogged about my kids not listening to me or following my rules.  Well, today the chaos continues.

We live on a pretty quiet street.  There is not much traffic, and we live on a corner that has a stop sign.  So, yes, I am one of those mother's who lets their kids play outside in the front yard without too much supervision.  But, we have rules.  If I am not out there, they are not allowed to cross the street, or ride their bikes in the street.

Lauren "forgot" these rules today.  So, I gently reminded her of them.  She came inside a little while later and asked if she could go to the neighbor's house across the street to our corner and see if their granddaughter could come over to play.  I said sure, but that she needed to walk over there, NOT ride her bike.

And then I stood at the window and watched her RIDE HER BIKE to the neighbor's house! 

Can you see the steam that came out of my ears?

I waited patiently until she came back and called her inside.  Taking the advice of my sister, I handed her a box of Clorox wipes and told her to make her bathroom spotless.  She, of course, asked why.  When I told her that I had been watching her break two rules (riding in the street, and riding her bike to the neighbor's when I had explicitly told her not to), she made no excuses, didn't whine, she just grabbed the wipes and headed to the bathroom.

She came out a few minutes later and said she was done.  I half-smiled and said, "The toilet too."

She shares a bathroom with her 5 year old brother who has terrible aim.  She will learn a good lesson today! LOL

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Real Kids vs Robots

Why is it that kids won't listen?!  I mean, really.  How hard is it to listen to what their parents are telling them, and then to (gasp) do it?!  This is what I am currently struggling with.

I am a teacher.  All day long I get paid to tell kids what to do, and they listen to me.  I can command a whole gymnasium full of elementary school aged kids, but my own children act like they don't hear me.

Now, we may not have this whole parenting thing figured out, but we are at least consistent.  If we say we are going to do something, we do it.  If we talk about a consequence that will happen, it gets enforced.  So why is it that my children continually defy me?

Take today, for example.  We were shopping at Target for a birthday present for one of my daughter's friends, and some Father's Day cards.  The kids were being pretty well behaved.  My son wanted to sit in the cart.  Then he wanted out of the cart.  Then he wanted in the cart again.  I told him that if he got inside the cart, he wasn't getting back out.  So what happens?  Of course, he wants out again.  And now he's whining, and trying to embarrass me into letting him out. Nothing doing.  Then I turn my back to read a card, and his sneaky sister helps him get out!  Grrrr.  Then she says that she is getting in the cart.  I said, no, you are too old to be riding in a shopping cart and you'll smoosh the items in the back.  Once again, I'm distracted by something, and in the cart she climbs.  So now she has earned herself a time out for not listening to me.

Now she's mad, so she's going to make my life miserable in the checkout lane.  She opens up the pop cooler and takes out a bottled water.  I say, no, put it back and close the cooler.  Immediately her little brother puts his hand on the cooler door to open it.  I say, "B, if you open that you will have a time out too.  I just told your sister not to touch it."  So, he opens it when he thinks I'm not looking and then tries to deny it.  So now HE also has earned a time out.  And he proceeds to throw a fit about it.  In the middle of Target.  Lovely.
Right about now I'm starting to think that military school sounds pretty good.

On the ride home all I keep hearing from the peanut gallery is "Why do we have to sit in time out?"  I'm thinking DUH!  But I calmly explain that they made the choice to not listen to what I told them to do, or not to do.  It was their choice to have a consequence, not mine.  I explained that when I ask them to do something, or not to do something, I am merely trying to keep them safe and healthy and that by defying me they are putting themselves in danger.  The whining continues, because of course they are not really listening to me.  I go into "ignore mode."

This is the point at which I start to wish that I had more obedient children.  But then again, I'm torn.  Do I really want to raise robots?  Robots that do what I say when I say it and don't question anything?  At times, yes! But I also want my children to learn to question things and to make up their own minds about things.   But we don't get to pick and choose when our kids get to question and when they don't.  I guess the best we can hope for is that when it really matters they will listen.  And until then we will wear out the kitchen timer with our time outs.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Party Time!

Each summer since my youngest was about 15 months old, my wonderful in-laws have taken the kids for a week.  I absolutely live for this week each year.  It gives me a chance to relax, read, and ready myself for a summer being a stay at home mom.  However...I have never really learned how to relax during this week off.  I always seem to have projects in mind that I want to get done.  This summer's project was cleaning and organizing the kids' rooms.  And getting rid of about half of their "stuff." 

Now, I'm not saying that ALL I did was clean and organize!  I also mowed the lawn, went to the gym, did some things for next school year, and rearranged the furniture.  I know, I know.  I really know how to party right?  LOL

I did manage to sleep in, stay in my PJ's until about noon each day, and get my hubby to take me out to eat each night.  See?  I DO know how to relax!

For your viewing pleasure, here are some before and after pictures of the kids' closets:
Lauren's closet "after."
Lauren's closet "before."

Braden's closet "before."
Braden's closet "after."

Yes, their rooms were a PIT!  As was the play room.  I didn't take any pictures of the play room, before or after, because, well, I forgot.  But, I DO have pictures of all the "stuff" I am getting rid of!

This is the "stuff" that I am giving to the church rummage sale.  No, NOT the wine....THAT is for me thankyouverymuch!!

This is the "stuff" that we are taking to our niece.  I am sure that she is going to love every bit of it.  I'm just not so sure that her mom and dad will ever forgive me!!!

Not only did I get rid of the kids' things, I am also taking about 7 garbage bags full of MY "stuff" to the Good Will.  It's mostly clothes I don't wear and old towels that we don't use.  Nothing too exciting, but I am so thrilled to get rid of it all!

It's very therapeutic to get rid of clutter.  And I get positively giddy about closet organizers!  Silly right?  Ah well, whatever makes you happy, right?  I have found a lot of organization ideas on Pinterest .  I also read a lot of other mom's blogs.  One of my favorites, besides my sister's wonderful blog, is this one written by another mom who is fabulous with organization.  She has become my inspiration, mostly because she seems to have it all together.  Although, being a mom, I know that this is not true and that makes me happy because I know that I can also appear to have it all together!

Well, it is now almost 12:30 and I am still in my lounge wear.  Time to get dressed and do something with my life on my last day sans kids.  Maybe I'll go clean something else?! LOL

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Nothing, and I mean nothing, can prepare you for parenthood. 

Recently a coworker announced that she was expecting.  And all the women in the room, mostly moms, said cute things like, "wow, how exciting," and "Oh! Yay!"  Why is it that all us other moms, us more-experienced moms, don't clue the new mom in on what to really expect?  Is it because we think that they should just figure it out like we had to?  Is it because, well, they're already expecting so now they're stuck learning all of those little "lessons" anyway?  No one asks other moms before they're expecting how parenthood really goes.  And come to think of it....if we really knew, and I mean, REALLY knew....would we still do it???

My answer?  Yes.  Absolutely.

I remember bringing Lauren home for the first time.  We had just spent three days in the hospital after her birth where you have all these nurses, doctors, and aides talking you through every little thing that happens.  They tell you when to feed her, how to feed her, how to change her, how to bathe her, how to dress her, how she should sleep, etc.  Then they wheeled us outside, helped us get into the car and wished us luck.  Jason and I seriously looked at each other as we pulled away from the hospital and said, "So, I guess we just leave then?"  We were on our own with this little person, and no doctors, nurses, or aides to talk us through the ins and outs of our days with her!  It was the most bizarre feeling to be suddenly on our own and totally responsible for another life.

And then they grow up.  They grow up and learn new things and go through new stages, and at each step you are asking yourself if you are doing this right.  Am I feeding them the right foods, are we reading the right books, is my discipline strategy working the way I want it to?  And just when you think you've got it figured out....BAM!  Their teacher calls you in the middle of the day and you are right back at square one!


Your children are going to disappoint you.  They are going to anger you.  They are going to make you cry.  They are going to make you say things in your mind that you NEVER thought you'd say.  And sometimes you are going to handle these little setbacks correctly, and sometimes you are going to yell.

But, your children are also going to make you proud.  They are going to make you smile.  They are going to make you laugh.  They are going to make you cry happy tears.  They are going to do something that makes you realize that all of your hard work is actually paying off.

Those are the moments that we are thinking about when we tell that new mom "congratulations."  We know that she is going to be ok, because WE are ok.  We don't have to tell her about all the not-so-fun stuff that comes with parenting.  We just need to be there for her when she's going through it.  If for nothing else, but to tell her a story that makes her current situation seem less awful.

Saturday, April 28, 2012


I am NOT Superwoman, or Supermom or anything "super" for that matter.  But, I try to do my best to balance my life on the weekends.  It's a difficult job to be "mom," "housekeeper," "entertainer," and SANE!  My weekends are so full, mostly because I have chosen to be a working mom.

On Saturdays we have to play catch up from our work week.  There is laundry to do, bathrooms to clean, floors to be vacuumed and scrubbed, and grocery shopping to be planned for and completed.  This long list of time-consuming tasks are only made more difficult to finish when one parent is absent.

Jason has a play date with one of his buddies today.  They are currently fishing on a little lake with their bows and arrows trying to win a fishing tournament.  Don't ask me why this is fun, I will never understand it.  They are fishing for large carp-like fish that are not native to our area, but were introduced to our lakes and rivers after the Missouri flooded our area last summer.  I'm not sure if the contest is decided by the amount of fish they catch or by the weight of the fish, but either way these are not fish that this family will be eating. ;)

At any rate, since Jason is off having, what he calls, "fun" with his friend, I am tasked with completing our Saturday "to-do lists" by myself.  Well, not really.  I have two "helpers" to involve as well.  Ha!  So this is how our Saturday is going at this point:

  • "Sleep in."  Check.  (If your idea of sleeping in is having two kids in your bed watching Phineas and Ferb while you try to snooze through their giggling.)
  • Get up, throw on some clothes and go get donuts and COFFEE!  Check.  Awesome donuts by Jitters, and a large coffee later I am more prepared to take on my day of single parenting.
  • Come home and play on the Internet.  What?!  I had to check out the worlds of Facebook, Pinterest, Zulily, Crazy 8, other blogs I follow, and then updating my own.  I swear that this is how Saturdays are supposed to go....really!
  • Help Lauren clean up the finger nail polish remover she spilled all over the kitchen floor....check.  Shhhh.....don't tell Jason!  He would ban all girly products from the house for sure!!!  If the wood floor starts looking a little lighter in that area I will blame it on all of the sun that comes through our kitchen windows and maybe, finally, get the new flooring I want anyway!  LOL
  • Explain to Braden that he is not, in fact, a lion tamer and that Sadie (our dog) is not, in fact, a lion and that if he actually hits her with that leash then I get to play the part of the tamer and HE gets to be the lion!  (Don't call DHS, I won't actually hit him with the leash, but HE doesn't know that so this comment works for getting him to take a step back from the dog.  Hey, don't judge me, SHE was my FIRST child, so naturally my favorite!  LOL)
  • Now, on to the rest of my day.  This is what we have in store:
    • Laundry - What this consists of at our house is getting it all clean, piling it up on our chair in the living room, and folding it a few days in the future.  Then a few days after that we will actually put away the piles that are left, and refold the piles that we have been rifling through for days on end looking for clean clothes to wear to work and school.
    • Vacuum and Clean Floors - Sounds pretty straight-forward right?  I should mention that I hate vacuuming stairs so I pay my 5 year old $1 to do it for me. LOL  And I am too lazy to sweep the kitchen and bathroom floors, so those get vacuumed too.  And maybe not mopped today....we will see how things go.
    • Dusting....hahahahahahaha!  Yeah right!
    • 1:15 movie of Chimpanzee.  This has been requested by my slaves children for a nice break in our day.  I am thinking that I will not eat lunch today so that I can eat a whole bunch of movie theatre popcorn with out all of the guilt. :)
    • After the movie we need to kick our cleaning into high gear before the man of the house returns and asks, "Huh...sooooo, what did you guys DO today?" as he looks around the house that really isn't much cleaner than when he left.  
And if he were to actually say that, then HE would get to enjoy a weekend of single-parent activities very soon!!

Enjoy your weekends everyone.  Take some time to be silly with your kids, make a few messes, make a few memories, and maybe get your laundry put away. :)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Short-Order Cook

With the birth of our daughter, Lauren, we became first time parents.  As first time parents we made lots of mistakes and learned lots of lessons.  Seeing as how that was over 7 years ago, and both of our children are happy and healthy, I think we're doing an ok job.

Lauren was an exceptionally easy baby/toddler/little girl, and still to this day she doesn't stress us out too much.  But one "phase" she did go through, which I believe to be very common with kids, is a picky-eater phase.  There was a time, when she was eating solid foods pretty well, that she would only eat certain things.  She went through a phase where I swear the only thing keeping her alive was crackers.  Then there was the hot dog phase.  And finally, the chicken nuggets phase.  Just about the time that I considered saying something to her doctor about it, she would get over that particular phase and move on to something else.

Now, being a relatively new mom, I got a little tired of unsolicited advice, so when my child was going through something that I knew wouldn't kill her, I didn't say much about it to anyone.  Looking back, that was stupid.

I remember having a conversation with one of the smartest moms I know (my sister!).  I happened to offhandedly mention that I was tired of Lauren's phase she was in at that time, probably the chicken nugget phase.  My sister, who has always been great about not judging my parenting skills, managed to slip in a comment that didn't offend me, it actually made a light bulb go on in my head.  She said something to the effect that her kids have had to learn that she is NOT a short-order cook and if they don't eat what she has made for supper, they go to bed hungry.  Wow.  Now that was awe-inspiring!

I remember putting that theory to the test not long after that conversation.  Lauren was probably about 3 at the time and most likely made some disparaging comments, or bawled about what was for supper.  So instead of making her something that she would eat, I calmly put her to bed.  Lesson learned in ONE night.  She has never had to go to bed hungry again, and I can cook ONE meal each night.

Enter little brother Braden.

He has never been an easy child.  And he is a bit of a picky eater.  Over the years I have done a pretty good job of making meals that everyone likes, or that contain at least one healthy element that everyone likes.  Braden has heard the story a couple of times about when his sister had to go to bed hungry.  We have used it as motivation for eating his meal.  It has worked every time.

Braden's problem is different.  He will take one look at the meal that I, or my husband, have prepared and deem it gross, or "bisgusting" and tell us that he is not going to eat it.  But more times than not, he ends up eating enough of the meal that we are happy.  Tonight started out feeling a LOT like the night we sent Lauren to bed hungry.

I tried a new recipe (very rarely is this a good idea with small children).  Both of my kids made the "disgusting" face just looking at it. Lauren was easy to convince to eat it after I explained that all that was in it was chicken, veggies, and stuffing.  Braden still refused to eat it.  So, we recounted the story about Lauren getting sent to bed hungry.  He still refused to eat it.  We took the "ignore" approach.  Meaning, we ignored his whining and just ate our meal.  When he realized that no one cared that he wasn't eating, he poked a piece of chicken and put it in his mouth.  Then he says:

"Huh....Mom!  You're right!  This IS good!"

Seriously!?  And THAT was worth the 30 minute fit and refusing to eat?  Good grief.