Wednesday, March 25, 2009

All It Takes

All it takes is a trip to Wal-Mart to remind me how hard it is to parent a girl.  My girl doesn't like clothes, looking cute or (Gosh forbid) dressing up.  When we are together, I want to buy her clothes, she doesn't want them or doesn't care and she for sure doesn't want to try them on.  Except when I ask her to try them on, she refuses and then when I get miffed and say that will require an extra trip for me to take them back if they don't fit she says, "See Mom, you really like to make people feel guilty."

After that comment, do you think she got candy or anything she wanted?  NO!!!

I guess on the other side of the coin, I am buying her something she really doesn't want or care about and asking her to do something for my convenience....

This kid is not the one to make me feel warm and least not at this stage in the game. 

Because I am feeling like this post is almost an attempt to get back at her for bad behavior or her personality issues, she and I have been attempting to bond more lately.  I guess I know that she might not feel that she needs it, but she DOES, and I need it too.  I didn't have a daughter to have her be a stranger.  So, there have been some ups as well as downs, like going together to get our toenails done, me laying in bed next to her praying for her, playing with her hair and blow-drying it, enjoying a good joke together, and reading all the little sheets from #2s tear-off calendar (Ripley's Believe It or Not) and getting grossed out at times.  

She is still the one who will chose other things over video games (unlike the boys) and will spend "girly-time" with me especially if there is something in it for her - {GRIN}!!

The Gym

My latest fun thing for me is going to the gym......seriously!  I finally figured out that walking and Wiifit wasn't going to do all I needed it to.  I found a friend who worked out and was a gym member and joined where she went (our town's recreation center).  She worked out with me for a couple weeks (we are getting back to that some day), but she had a few things come up and had to drop out for a while.  Amazingly, I kept going, often going more than my goal of 3 times a week.  When I was working out with my friend, we did a lot of stuff and often worked out for 2 hours.  

Now that I am in the driver's seat, I am not pushing myself as much.  Here is my schedule:  23 minutes of elliptical (trying to build the time slowly), ab work (painful), arm work or leg work (alternating), and another 15 or 20 minutes of cardio (typically a stationary bike).  I am increasing my endurance and slowly, very slowly losing weight, but other than that, not a lot of soreness (surprisingly) and not a lot of tightening up.  Right now, I see it as a time to build up and establish some consistency with the routine of it (not kill myself).  Eventually, I am sure without my friend to guide me, I will hire a personal trainer for some of my time at the gym, maybe once a week or so.  I feel better about myself doing this.  I also somehow feel decadent having this thing that is for no one else.....nothing else in my routine (except hair cuts and color) is purely for me.....not wrong, it just feels weird.  

The other part of my new fitness emphasis that I am almost afraid to mention is that I have started tennis lessons.  I am afraid to mention it since I am still soooo beginner and soooooo bad that it is still very embarassing to mention.  But, I am making progress.  My forehand is meeting the ball and kind of going where it is supposed to.  My backhand is NOT good!!!  I am enjoying practicing serves, except for picking up all the balls afterward.  

I initially envisioned all three of the younger kids taking with me and having a blast together and learning a new fun family thing.  No one would do it except #4 (well, even him I made participate) and he hated it.  He finished his lessons (only 6) this past Monday night and will do baseball (again enforced participation) for the spring.  I am hoping to get him back in tennis in the summer and really give him time to get better at it.  I am looking for baseball to be quite painful too as he is afraid of the ball and typically whiny.  But, on we plod, looking for something active for him to do that might actually turn out to be fun (fat chance).  

The other kids occasionally go with me or Kevin and I to the gym to work out.  They do some cardio.  I want #1 and #2 to begin doing some weights, but they are very resistant to it right now.  

This summer, I am hoping to tie the gaming stuff at our house to exercise.  They will get a one-on-one swap for the time they spend exercising with their video games.  And for #3, I will have to tie it to how much $$ I spend on her books or how much time I spend at the library with her.  That way, maybe she will get more active.  Ok, I know that sounds mean, but I am just brainstorming....

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Playing on Crab Island
My first attempt at getting a "beach" picture
When we rented the boat, we found this little private beach.  The kids were delighted to find LOTS of hermit crabs there.
#2 and his latest hat and pose
#3 when she actually let me take a picture of her (and she was smiling!)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Beach Vacation

Spring break this year was spent in Destin.  Two of the kids were saying they didn't want to go.  Who wouldn't want to go to the beach?!!  Anyway, we cut the trip down to less days and decided to go anyway.  They have had a good time once we got here.  The weird thing is that without "full" cable at home, their idea of a vacation is getting to watch TV all day long.  We had to bribe them to get them out of the house.  

We rented a "big enough" apartment with enough beds for everyone to sleep (although no one would sleep on the top bunk, so we had to use the couch).  Other than the TV thing, the bed thing, the sharing the bathroom thing, the food thing (everyone wanting to eat 24/7, including me - not good for weight loss efforts), the inactivity thing, the sunburn thing, the cold water thing, and the #1 being sick the last day thing, it was pretty good!  

The highlight was definitely renting a pontoon boat (always thought it was plontoon when I was a kid- but no matter) and going out to crab island for the day.  We had a great time!  The water was freezing, but we braved it and enjoyed the feel of a huge, crystal clean swimming pool with about 2 1/2 foot water in it.  I will share the pictures when we get back home. 

Every time we go to the beach, I attempt to take pictures and my kids are not very coolBulleted List with that.  They think I am the paparazzi.  I asked them to cooperate for my birthday or Mother's day or something.  They "kind of" cooperated and we did a very short photo shoot on the beach with the sun going down for the day.  I can't tell yet how they came out, but let's just say, cooperating is a relative term.....#4 was constantly telling me that I would have to photoshop out his tongue!  

Another thing, our teenagers lately, are a whole new breed, it seems....our #2 keeps saying things that he feels we should take no offense to, and we amazingly don't, but if anyone else said it, we would be totally offended......

It also seems that the hygiene concerns are unending and we are constantly bribing them to get the basics done....yes, there is a lot of bribing going on at our house.....I can hear their little minds saying, "What's in it for me?"  With my "super-nose" (very sensitive - very much a curse), I am constantly feeling overwhelmed with the smells of teens and preteens....

#2 is still having this weird thing about hats....I am fine with it, but I am thinking this might be a bit strange.  He looks very dapper, though, in the latest version.  Each day he seems to change a bit more.  Right now, he is growing some major "man legs" complete with thick muscles,  all of this with the same little 5 foot 1/2 inch body.  

Speaking of change, #1 is now officially taller than his dad!!  This is the child who took growth hormone for a couple of years....and his body continues to look like it is stretched out.......very long and thin.  He needs some of the weight of the rest of us!  

I feel very scattered in my post today....I am hoping that everyone isn't completely weirded out by the vastness of the topics.  And, I am hoping this won't be a post that my kids will be embarassed by later....but I am pretty sure it will be...

Tomorrow we head home and have a couple restful days before the kids head back to school.  I will miss them, I am sure.  I love having them home with me and of course, LOVE having "Honey" home with me.  I need routine, though....gym, diet, my stuff, my bed, my LIFE!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

In Over My Head

There is a constant feeling that I have.  It is that of being "in over my head".  With three teenagers (or technically two and one more in a month), I feel that whatever I do is not enough.  The kids can be kind, loving, and wonderful to parent, but they can also be mean, vindictive and difficult to parent.  I think that putting them in school at an older age is magnifying what would already happen.  They are experiencing garbage happen every day and they are bringing it home.  This is not cool!!!  They know this, but it still seems to happen.  I am trying to trust God that it will all come out o.k.  I know that God is there and he is helping me.  I can NOT do this without his help.  I pray often that he gives me wisdom.  Maybe that is what life's difficulties are about for the Christian.....learning to lean on him and his help.  I just had a discussion about the way we talk to each other with my #2.  The sum up of that discussion was to be teflon, not velcro.  

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Fixing the kids

We have found that one of the pitfalls of raising teens is that they are very adept at their attempts to divide mom and dad.  So, we figured out that this was going on in our family and we didn't like it, so what did we do?  We fixed them!!  We started doing more kissing and hugging in front of the children.  We started reminding them that we are in cahoots.  We started taking up for each other every time we had the opportunity!  Things get better and worse with the kids and better and worse and up and down, but with my honey and I, things are REALLY good right now.  He is my guy and I am his gal!!!  So, kids, you can't succeed in dividing us....AND you will be all the better for it!