kids

Sorry, not sorry.

At the beginning of next school year, I’m going to implement an optional monthly mental health day for each of my children.

A day to recharge, rest, or catch up if they need it.

This will be a day that they can choose, and I will not question.  The same theory as when a child calls and needs a ride home because no one is sober, you pick them up, no questions asked.

A mental heath day in my opinion is about safety, just as is the call to pick them up, no questions asked.  It’s about promoting safety from stress, anxiety, and possible depression that can come from today’s school expectations.

I understand the other side of the  coin is schools not getting their ADA money on a day that I allow my kids to check out for a mental health day.  I’m sorry about that.  But I’m really not.  My kids give it their all, they put up amazing grade point averages.  I got straight A’s on one report card in 5th grade.  I don’t know where these three kids of mine came from, but they have a drive to succeed in school, and the numbers to back up allowing them to take one day a month if they need it.

I’ve read many articles recently about the anxiety and stress that school and homework can cause.  To be very clear, I fully support my kids teachers.  They have been amazing components in my children’s growth.  In no way are my feelings of frustration over the stress that school can induce directed at them.  I personally feel that the standards that are expected, and the workloads that come home are unrealistic and squeeze out many opportunities to live life outside of school.

So, in order to promote peace of mind in my children, I will give them a day in their back pocket to use if they are feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or just plain exhausted.

If one day can help to create a calm effect and a sense of support, I’m all in.

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Too soon T-Mobile fees lice ad, too soon!

This commercial came on the other night, and the whole family cringed:

 

It isn’t a coincidence that lice is a 4 letter word.  It is the worst non life threatening thing ever!

Please feel free to laugh at my full lice account from March of 2015:

Lice is Evil

Pokemon GO, you are exactly what I need!

Hi, my name is Jenni, and I’m a 45 year old adult who is pretty heavily addicted to Pokemon GO.

Now before you dismiss me for that, read on, because I feel my reasons for loving this game are pretty solid.

First of all, let me put it out there, that my new “hobby” of Pokemon GO may be the nerdiest thing I’ve even been involved in. And this is coming from someone who used to be thoroughly excited to clip coupons from the newspaper ads on Sunday mornings and organize them into my Dollar Store accordion coupon pouch.

A couple of weeks ago I was volunteering at my 5th graders school, putting together first day packets.  There were 4 moms there including me, and a couple of students.  I nonchalantly, and rather fishingly asked, “So, do any of your kids play Pokemon GO?”  And the response from two moms was “Yes, and so do I!” We talked Pokemon for the rest of the packet assembling with our Pokemon GO apps open on the tables.

Shut the front door.  I’ve found my tribe.

When the game first came out and my son began explaining it to me, I told him, “Wow, that is an absolute brilliant app.”

He showed me this a day later, and it was hilarious (truly no political agenda here, just funny), and oh so true to what my friends were posting on Facebook about their kids walking their dogs and getting out of the house for walks and bike rides daily:

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Then I started seeing seeing stories of the game’s therapeutic benefits, which as a Recreation Therapist, really spoke to me.  Getting kids in hospitals out of their rooms, getting high anxiety, or isolative kids and adults out walking in their community…amazing.

My son told me I should download the app, I did, then I got hooked.  Not sure why.  I’ve never been into any game other than my tried and true Words With Friends.  Our family does like to Geocache when camping, so maybe it’s because Pokemon GO is a bit similar to geocaching, in that you need to find things, and Pokemon GO has constant findings and rewards.

I have to admit there was a bit of nostalgia seeing all of the Pokemon names.  My son loved Pokemon cards when he was young.  I still vividly remember the time that he exclaimed, “Mom! I have coughing and wheezing!”  To which I of course replied “What?  Are you ok?  When did that start?” Turns out he had Koffing and Weezing Pokemon cards that he just got out of his new deck.

Back to present day, I don’t know about your house, but in mine, having two teenagers and one preteen, conversations can be sparse at times.  I have awesome kids, but sometimes, the dialogue can have constant splashes of attitude.  For now though, it’s not uncommon while playing Pokemon GO, to hear one sibling say to another “I just evolved my Caterpie into a Metapod, look at how cute and funny he is!”  A whole new non confrontational language and conversation piece.

This has been a new activity that I can share with my kids.  We all enjoy it, and are all super interested in it.  Most days after I pick them up from their schools (an hour event to get all 3 from 3 separate schools), we head somewhere for about 1/2 hour to an hour to play Pokemon GO together, usually enjoying a smoothie along the way rather than just heading home eventually ending up in our separate activities or interests after recapping our days.  Recently, when we go somewhere new, or out of town, we talk about being excited for what Pokemon may be there.  (I know, nerdy, but hey, I’m good with nerdiness.)  Being able to have fun doing something together with my 16 year old son, my 13 year old daughter, and my 10 year old daughter is truly awesome.  I don’t know how long the thrill of this game is going to last for all of us, but I’m going to enjoy it while it’s here.

I posted the following on my Facebook page a few weeks back:

I totally thought this was funny when I read it. Then I started thinking about it, running around finding ‪#Pokemon‬ is a break from the crazy that is needed for a moment.”

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Honestly, life gets hard.  Scary stuff happens, and things get stressful and hard to handle.  A check out from reality is needed and welcome sometimes.  This app allows me to decompress, to mindlessly look for cartoon characters to pop up, and get excited about new ones I haven’t caught before.  In all honesty, it combats my stress and anxiety at times by being able to go on auto pilot for a bit.

Last night, my husband was out of town, and I took my 3 kids out to dinner downtown, where we were all excited to go because there’s a lot of Pokemon GO action!  As we were leaving the restaurant, a couple who was sitting outside watched us as we walked by and judgmentally said, “they are all looking at their phones.”  These are the times where I believe I need a shirt made with the motto that I tell my kids sometimes when they get concerned about others, “You Do You.”  Basically, mind your own business, worry about yourself, you don’t know what other people are going through.

Frankly, if catching a Squirtle, Leveling Up, or having three of the four of us in a frenzy while in the car taking turns to try and catch an Arcanine that has ??? as the CP value brings me or my family joy, I’m all in.

The glory of being 45 and having this hobby, I honestly don’t care what anyone else thinks.  Although, let’s be truthful, I’m not going to put a Poke ball on my purse or anything, it’s just that I can’t care about what people don’t understand.

Poke on friends!!

For my tribe, you get me:

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Pop tarts to the rescue again.

Went to Target this morning, and while checking out, started explaining my purchases to the cashier.

“I never would have thought I’d be buying Pop tarts for my kids’ before school breakfasts!  But if it helps them to get up for these last three weeks of school, I’m in.”

The cashier went on to tell me she gets up early to make eggs and home made stuff for her kids each morning.  That’s nice.  It really is.  Thankfully, she told me her kids are 5 and under.  I made a mental note to check in with her in 10 years and see if the egg thing was still working out for her.  If it is, I’ll allow myself to feel like a loser mom then, not now.  I’m in survival mode.

No one wants to get up for school anymore.  They’ve been doing it for just. too. long.  I’ve heard so many arguments such as “They (teachers) want us to get our sleep, so why do we have to get up so early?”  We even get to the point of “Why do we even need school,” as they walk past me in zombie like fashion.

So, in comes Pop tarts.  If these morsels of sugar can assist in my lovely children getting out of bed without me putting on a one person circus, I’m in.

Deal is, out of bed by specified time, you get Pop tarts for breakfast before school.

I wrote about this epic parenting technique last year, you can find it here:

Pop tarts for the win!

Hoping for a peaceful last three weeks of school, and minimal health damage!

Don’t judge. Whatever works man. ‪#‎poptarts‬

Migraines just reached a new level of suck.

I’m on day 135 migraine free, which is awesome.

What’s not awesome?  I watched one of my kids get a migraine tonight.

“Mom, I think I’m getting a migraine.  I have spots all over my eyes, and I feel dizzy.”  About 1/2 hour later, killer headache.

This sucks worse than when I get one.

It’s happened about twice over the last 8 years or so that one of my kids has gotten a migraine.  Good odds actually.  But really?  Why is that something that I need to pass down?  Hey, here ya go kid, a big batch of crap, with the name migraine, all for you!

Ironically, I’m happy that I do know what a migraine is and how disabling one can be sometimes.  I’m happy that if tomorrow is a day that my kid tells me they need to stay home because their head is killing them, that I can totally understand and not second guess them.

I hope that migraines do not become a regular occurrence with my kids.  I hope that if they do get one though, that their teachers and coaches can somehow understand that this is not a made up thing to get out of a responsibility, yet a temporary, painful pause button on life as you want it.

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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)

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.