Parenting

My 100th Post! How did that happen?

I can’t believe this is the 100th post on my blog.

The fact that I’ve had enough to say about something 100 times is pretty crazy, but also pretty cool.

As my blog states, You can’t argue with crazy is about how ‘Migraines suck, and other tidbits of my life!’

Well, as I look back through these 100 posts, I’ve written a lot about the other tidbits…

Here’s a few of those tidbits from along the way to 100.  They make me laugh and smile.  So, hopefully when you click on them and read them, they make you laugh and smile too!

Take for instance, posts about bugs:

Or animals:

My husband:  

My Recreation Therapy profession:  

My kids/parenting:

Random no real category posts:

And of course, migraines:

There is one thing about this whole blog experience that leaves me puzzled.  How in the world people find my blog from some of the things they search!

Here are some search terms that led people to my blog.  I can’t make this stuff up:

  • how can someone be so drunk that they do abnormal things like peeling wallpaper
  • when moms argue because kids friends argue
  • can fruit fly follow you

and, the one web search that got them to my site, that is just nuts:

  • i promise. I will kill you soon.

That one just makes me nervous!  What the heck?  How did that lead to my blog about migraines?  The internet is weird.  Maybe they got my anti-migraine smoothie recipe and all is good now.  Hope so!

Anyway, 100 is a lot!  And I have my sister in law to thank for this very first post to You can’t argue with crazy:

‘Winning’ (Charlie Sheen reference of course) the endless game of migraines (for this quarter at least)

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If I were to talk to middle schoolers…

Middle school sucks.  Not the school in particular, the years of middle school life.  I know because I’ve been through middle school, watched one of my children go through it, and currently have one in middle school.  Kids are trying to figure out who they are.  Many start to make bad choices.  Others struggle with trying to keep on the right path.  Socially, emotionally, hormonally, things are on warp speed.  We’ve had our share of incidents through these years.  The incident I refer to below probably won’t be the last.  All is fine now, and my daughter does not know I’m writing about this, so if you my family, please don’t mention it to her.  Because of the stellar attention and actions from the administration at my child’s school, it was able to be determined that the student’s intention was not to threaten my child.  This incident in fact, opened a door to the student that may have never been opened in order to get some attention and assistance that was needed.  

If I were to talk in front of middle schoolers today, this is what I’d say:

My daughter was threatened by another middle school student last week.  I’m not going to go into the details about it.  The reason is because some of you may be scared hearing about what happened, and others of you may think ‘what’s the big deal about that?’  So, I’ll let you use your imagination.  Unfortunately, some of you may have your own experience with being threatened that you can relate to.

I feel that negative experiences at times are perfect opportunities to realize some positives.  So, I’m going to focus on some positives.  Some of these are general, some are specific.

Thank you to the student, who each day, walks up to my child and tells her something nice to make her smile.  Each and every day.  We should all be so lucky to have someone think of us and want to make us smile everyday.  You know who you are.  Thank you for your attention, and for making her smile.

Thank you to my child’s friends.  Both old and new.  Thank you for the laughter, the good times shared, or just sitting next to each other at lunchtime, those moments are important.  Friends are an extension of family, people my child can depend on.  Thank you.

Thank you to my child’s teammates.  No matter which sport, thank you for pushing my child, for picking them up, for constantly confirming what it means to be a team.  Being part of a team allows for a sense of belonging.  That is so important in life.

All of you here are a community. Your community became larger coming into middle school from elementary school.  Being in a community brings a feeling of needing to protect it.  When someone threatens a part of your community, you need to work together to make sure everyone is safe.  When you hear students talking about other students, and hurting them, or hurting themselves, that’s a warning sign. Even if you are hoping they are joking, it’s not something to take lightly.   It’s not your responsibility to decide whether something is or isn’t a ‘real’ threat to your community.  Parents, teachers, principals, counselors, those are the people you go to when you feel that your community needs to be protected from something.

YOU MATTER. Everyone matters. The person who is making the threat, they matter too.  Be proud of your community, and work to do your part to keep it safe.  You don’t ever need to feel embarrassed about something that you feel scared or uncomfortable about.  If you are not feeling safe, or feel someone else is not safe, those are real feelings, and always worthy of attention.  Your feelings do not have to match others.  If you are uncomfortable with something, tell someone.  YOU MATTER.

*You Matter is one of three essential messages used in the aMasongrace project @ amasongraceproject.com. 

Part 4: Our children’s reality, uncomfortably numb.

I read this article just a few minutes ago.  It hit me right in the gut.  It’s so similar to my exact feelings.

“Not a single morning goes by that I don’t drop my son and daughter at school and wonder for a split second — that’s all I allow myself — whether they will be murdered by a gunman that day.”

The full article can be found here:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/ct-oregon-shooting-school-lockdowns-balancing-1002-20151002-column.html

Every single night, I pray that my kids, and all kids, and schools will be safe the following day.  I will continue this.  But I just don’t know what else to do.

I get so mad, and I question so much when these school shootings happen.

Do I homeschool?  That keeps them safe from school shootings, but not movie theaters…

I told my husband this morning that I am starting to wonder what my little piece of political power, my one vote, holds.  That is something that I need to keep looking into, and in the end it may change how I’ve voted in the past, it may not.

This post is Part 4, because I’ve written about my children’s school drills three previous times.

Our children’s reality, uncomfortably numb. (Part 1)  My kids take on what a ‘cool’ lockdown drill is.

Our children’s reality, uncomfortably numb. (Part 2)  My first lock down experience while my child was at school.

Part 3: Our children’s reality, uncomfortably numb.  My children’s conversations in the car about the recent changes in an active shooter drill, and their nonchalant comments about the probability of being shot.  All while I am about to pass out at the wheel while listening to them!

Again, as I have said often, I fully support my children’s school and they are doing their very best to keep my kids safe.

But I wonder, big picture wonder, what the hell is enough to keep them safe anymore?

Just keeping it real…

While shopping at Target for the second time in 3 days one recent morning, after getting all 3 of my kids off to their 3 separate schools, I saw a sign that read:

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I wanted to tell it to shut up, and then maybe give it a little shove to knock it over.

This particular recent morning, prior to my Target outing, had been a rough one in our household. Therefore, a more appropriate and accurate sign to be hung in my house would have read something like this:

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And while thankfully the majority of the time I could accurately display the love and laughter sign from Target, my own sign of attitudes, fits, temper tantrums and yelling is definitely an accurate portrayal of my home during certain moments.

(Disclaimer: moments where my ATTITUDE sign can be displayed may be getting more and more frequent as the number of teenagers in my house increases.)

Just keeping it real.

Part 3: Our children’s reality, uncomfortably numb.

I was planning on publishing this in a couple of days, a recap of a conversation with my kids from last week.  But today, I subbed at my youngest’s elementary school, and participated in an ‘Active Shooter Drill’.  Laying flat, listening to the alarm, having administration bang on the doors to check that they are locked, all while meeting the eyes of little ones who some are nervous, some are still chatty, it’s hard to not get a little emotional that this is our reality.  I likened it to military, where God forbid anything like this ever happens for real, kids and staff would go on auto pilot and do what they have practiced, and practiced well.  So, I thought today was appropriate for the following post.

The actual conversation in the car after I picked up my children from school:

My 4th grade daughter:  We have a new way to act if we are on the playground for the stranger drill.

Me: Oh?

4th grader:  Ya, you don’t lay on the ground anymore, you run zig zag around the playground, or to the school to see if a class is open.  It makes it harder for someone to shoot you.

Me: Um, ok.

4th grader:  And someone asked a silly question, they asked what if the bad guy broke the window in the door and then just reached in and opened the door?

Me: Oh, I don’t think you need to worry about..

10th grader son interrupts:  Oh, that can totally happen, he could break the window with his gun and then just come in and start shooting then.

Me (in cold sweats, and clearly the only one in the car uncomfortable with the conversation):  Stop this conversation now please!

4th grader (totally nonchalant, with absolutely no emotion):  I totally think the old way was better.  You just lay down.

Me (calming down a bit thinking that I liked the old way too)

4th grader:  Because then you’re laying down and they just shoot you and it’s over.

Me:  Ok, that is it, no more of this talk, I can’t do it.

10th grade son and 7th grade daughter:  Snickering.

Me to my 10th grader:  Do you have drills?

10th grader:  Um, no.  Maybe we had a fire one last year?

What is going on?!!!

All 3 of my kids are in the car, chatting away like we’re talking about a recent movie seen, or what type of toppings they would order on frozen yogurt, and with each sentence stated by one of my kids in their calm, matter of fact voice, this is me:

And I could not make up this next part if I tried…  Playing outside later that night, my 9 year old says ‘hey mom, this is how we are supposed to run if there is a stranger on campus drill at school.’  And she proceeded to run across the grass, pretty much having fun, in a zig zag pattern.  She then wanted me to try.  As I had to almost laugh that I was going to run the ‘stranger zig zag pattern’, I rationalized that I was playing with my kid, so that’s good right?  After my zig zag debut, my 9 year old gave me a look like ‘ya, you’re a goner if it ever happens.’  So, I lost in the game of zig zag pattern stranger running?  I have no words…

Maybe it’s good that they are so matter of fact with all of this.  But it blows my mind still.  Again, glad that there are procedures in place to make our kids safe, and so thankful for my kids schools and their teachers.  But I have to almost laugh at the panic it creates in me, while my 3 kids are in an almost zen place when discussing this topic.

In case you missed it, here is why this post is labeled as number 3:

  1. Our children’s reality, uncomfortably numb (1)
  2. Our children’s reality, uncomfortably numb (2)

3 tough questions my kids asked me over the weekend.

  1. Is Santa real?  (9 year old)
  2. How did Robin Williams die?  (9 year old)
  3. What exactly is cancer?  (12 year old)

Amazingly, of these three questions, number 1 was the easiest and most direct to answer.

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She had asked me the ‘Is Santa real?’ question earlier in the week when everything was crazy busy and I was able to Jedi mind trick her with ‘let’s talk about that when we have time to really have a good talk.’  Then, a few days later, she cornered me in the backyard as I was watering the plants.  She just needed to know.  No emotion, just needed affirmation.  We talked, she was cool, and on she went to ride her Ripstick in the front yard.  Three kids, three different reactions to that question.  My 15 year old still has never asked me that question.  My 12 year old was extremely emotional during our conversation.  And I think I need to investigate why my husband has been away for a night when this question has been asked….

Question number 2 happened in the car while driving with all three of my kids.  This question I did not answer as directly as question number 1.  The movie ‘RV’ is our family go to movie.  All five of us love it, and consistently laugh each time we watch it (which is usually at least twice a year).

We, as many did, felt that we almost knew Robin Williams personally, so our family was very sad when he died.  Why my youngest wondered how he died while driving in the car yesterday, I do not know.  I wasn’t sure how honest I needed to be about his death, which isn’t really something I know too much about anyways.  We instead talked about that he had been married, and had adult children.  They were amazed when I told them I thought he was about 60 when he died (turns out he was 63).  My son said ‘but how did he look about 40 then?’  One thing I did say was that I had read that he had been sad at times during his life and making people laugh probably made him feel good.  I have talked to my kids about suicide, and learned to use language such as ‘you matter’, and ‘moments pass’ due to a mother’s extremely heartbreaking true story which has allowed me to learn how to help educate my kids http://amasongraceproject.com/about-the-project/.  And although suicide is something I have talked about with my kids, I wasn’t confident in going there and using that term yesterday with the Robin Williams talk.  I’m not sure why.  Maybe it’s something I will revisit.

Question 3 happened out of the blue in the kitchen.  I tried to explain cancer as it happens in a persons body the best I could.  I tried to ‘answer only what is asked’ as I have in the past.  The follow up questions were ‘does it hurt?’  Then specifically about breast cancer and how ‘sometimes women just get them cut off?’

It’s these types of conversations that make me feel like such an amateur in this parenting thing.  But, I just keep doing my best at being honest while trying to keep in mind the maturity level of my kids.  Having Google implanted in my brain so I can reference it in the middle of these talks seems like a good idea to me.

Our children’s reality, uncomfortably numb.

Today, day 3 of the new school year, I experienced my first real ‘lock down’ of a school my child was inside of. There were no children walking out of the school during pick up time, which was strange. My friend who’s daughter I drive home along with mine texted me to ask if there was a lock down at their school. What? As a matter of fact, there were 4 police cars down the road I was parked on. I called the police department after it had been 10 minutes since my daughter and her friend should have been in the car, and they stated that the lock down had just lifted. The lock down was due to police activity near the school. I am very thankful for the quick and proper response the school gave, yet it was still unnerving to say the least. As every day, I am thankful for the schools my children attend, and the wonderful teachers that are with them each day. Still wish this wasn’t their reality though…

You can't argue with crazy

On the way home in the car just now, my 3rd grader talked for 15 minutes about the lock out drill they had at school today.  She said they have a new code word, and that today, one of her friends was in the bathroom when the drill (so, so, thankful it was a drill) occurred.  If you’re in the bathroom, she told me, you stand up on the toilet and stay quiet.  There’s a whole different protocol if you are outside on the playground, or in the hallways.  She must have said 9 times how sorry she was for the friend who was in the bathroom when the drill happened.

Ok, a couple of things:

  1. I am numb that this is our reality.
  2. My freshman son asked why in the world they have those drills, I explained they have to be prepared, because this type of thing has happened…

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It’s all going to be ok, Back to School edition…

I find myself telling my kids as they are getting older things that my friends and I have been telling each other for years.  As they are facing challenges and disappointments that come with an increasing age, I have found myself giving them the tools of ‘it will be better in 5 minutes’, and ‘the first day is the hardest, it will get a bit easier every day after.’

As my middle child went to middle school for her intro half day last week, she was nervous of course.  My words to her were, ‘focus on 12:08 when the school day is over, at that time, it will no longer be new, and no longer be as scary.’

And after the conversations with my children are done, I then start telling myself the same things.  Man, this worrying about your kids thing just gets harder and harder with some of the things growing older presents.

There were times in my life that I couldn’t see around the moment I was in in order to see the possibilities of the future.  And only through living life have I learned, that it really is better in 5 minutes, and the second day is usually easier than the first.

So, I will continue to tell my kids, and I mean it when I say ‘it will all be ok, I promise.’

As school starts tomorrow, and I look into my crystal ball and see myself waking up repeatedly throughout tonights sleep, I will tell myself as I often do in the middle of the night ‘everything is ok’ and allow myself to go back to sleep.

I hope the little things I say (mantras?) that help me move on and not get too tripped up on things actually help my kids rather than make me resemble Bob Wiley more and more.  They humor me at least making me feel as though they do help!  🙂

With the first day of school comes the enjoyment of a routine (and a quiet house), which will only too soon be replaced with  missing the kids and wishing for summer to return quickly!

Here’s to a safe school year, and strength to all of the wonderful teachers that spend each day teaching our kids!

I’m at the bottom of the bed hierarchy…

12:01 am, I wake up to my crying 9 year old standing next to my bed.  I’m trying to come to life and recognize where I am, why there is crying, and what needs to be done.  I’m sure I asked strange questions as I acclimated to the situation.  Our previous day came rushing back to me, doctors appointment confirming swimmers ear.  Ok, now I’m on board.  My comatose husband who had found my hiding spot for the peanuts and had secretly been back and forth to them through the night mumbled something nice and comforting towards the crying, as I began the ear infection protocol (one that I know too well…)

  1. Kid into my bed, propped up high on pillows.
  2. Go into kitchen for ibuprofen and water, give to kid who is in my bed.
  3. Back into kitchen to warm up wet washcloth and put into ziploc for her to apply to her ear.
  4. Ask myself why in the !&*# I didn’t suck it up and go back to Walgreens last night to get the ear numbing prescription to accompany her drops, even though she had been feeling awesome when I knew the middle of the night would bring this?
  5. Find somewhere to sleep since she now has my spot.

Can’t go to the couch, because she has her friend over for a sleep over and that’s where they were camped out.  It would be weird for her friend, even though I’ve known her her whole life to wake up and find her friend’s mom next to her, not her BFF.

Can’t go to her bunk bed.  I’m totally afraid that I will fall down that ladder and truly break my neck.  Let alone, it has got to be at least 10 degrees hotter up there.

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Looks like the window seat is my spot.  4′ x 3′ area with 2″ padding.  I’m a little over 5’9″, but it will work.

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I love my cat Kiki so much, and she obviously loves me right back, so that is why she felt that she needed to join me on my pillow on the window seat so I wasn’t lonely.  5’9″ me, and my large cat on the 4′ x 3′ window seat.  I’m thinking Mom Award.

Settling in for a great sleep now…

Why at 12:51 am is there a bird outside auditioning for number one song bird in America?!!!?  It’s DARK!  It’s one thing when you’re sitting outside in the evening and you hear this particular bird  sing all it’s songs, but going through all of it’s greatest hits when you should be sleeping is not as captivating to say the least.

And WHAT is that neighborhood dog barking about for 44 minutes straight?  I’m serious, what could it be?

1:00 am, littlest is back up, smaller cries, asking for me to rewarm the compress.  After rewarming, she is coerced back to the couch.

From 1:09 until 1:13, the number one song bird in America took a short snooze, and is now back at it.

Here it is 1:29, bird going for it hard core, neighborhood dog has even stopped, I’m back in my spot in my own bed, although obviously not sleeping….

But still being taken care of:

Image 2 I love Kiki.  It’s hilarious she now sleeps on my pillow.

Sleep is not in my near future.  As I am writing this at 1:44, the neighborhood dog is back at it.  Good grief people, you may want to check at what it is barking at now.  Or at least bring it the heck indoors.  Bird, still full force at it.  But, a sleeping 9 year old, which makes it all good.

Squeaky Wheel

I have found that I have no problem being the squeaky wheel when it comes to the safety and protection of my children and family. Other times, I often sit back, and let others be the squeaky wheel in circumstances where it is more of a matter of opinion or personal preference.

I have learned to make sure the situation is one of which I want to be tied to as stepping up for, and then I’ll go for it.

Knowing I don’t have to voice everything that can be voiced is a learned comfort that allows me to really choose to when to speak up.

The situations that matter most to me, where I feel I would regret not speaking up, is when I have no problem at all being the squeaky wheel.

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