The End

This is my last post of the NaBloPoMo Challenge and I am proud to say I DID IT.  I posted everyday for 30 days.  Sometimes I wrote something valuable and sometimes I just posted a picture or recycled a poem but I posted everyday…and it was fun.  I do like to write and having an outlet has been awesome.  I am on the fence as to whether or not I will continue blogging but am guessing I will…just not daily.

I have at least one more post left as I must summarize my NaBloPoMoW8Lo challenge.  That will have to wait for Monday.  As of Thanksgiving morning I was down 8 pds but I have a very bad feeling that after Thanksgiving, the day after Thanksgiving and today’s 12 hour drive from Chicago back to Atlanta (which included a stop at Sugar’s BBQ in Chattanooga and a giant bag of Chicago Mixed popcorn) that 8pd loss so going to be a Thanksgiving memory.  I am going to cut myself a little slack and do the “official” weigh-in Monday morning.

Thanks for helping me accomplish this challenge!  Now, I’m off to go look at realtor.com and search for my house…the chickens need a home!

 

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To the Unsolicited Parenting Advice Giver

Someone with only one child who is under 10 and who has no special needs, recently suggested that I alter my parenting approach.  Apparently, this unsolicited advice giver felt that if I just took a moment to understand where my child was coming from and didn’t judge his behavior so negatively, things would be much more copacetic in my world.  I managed to stifle my laughter long enough to say something like “I’ll give that some thought.”  Later I called one of my good friends who like me, has 4 kids some with special needs, and the two of us laughed so hard that I almost peed on myself.

I too was a parenting expert when I only had one child.  I read the books and bought into all the parenting advice in People Magazine.  But now, three children later, I am much less of an expert and more of a survivor.  Some days, the house looks like a war zone and it is all I can do to make sure the kids are fed something edible and get to school.  Don’t ask me to try to provide psychoanalysis as well.

To be quite frank, many times I don’t give a rat’s ass where my children are coming from.  I used to, but now who has the time? When I ask you to empty the dishwasher, empty the damn dishwasher.  It’s not rocket science.   If you had a bad day or are not feeling heard, I’m sorry.  That sucks for you.  But the dishwasher still has to be emptied and I’m not doing it.  I already do enough around the house.

I am happy to sit down with my children and have a loving exchange about feelings but not until the frickin’ dishwasher is empty.  I am really tired of the idea that our children always have to be happy.  Life is hard.  We all have to do things we don’t want to or don’t like. Sometimes your team loses…even if they lose by 100 points, the other team doesn’t owe you a pass.  Put on your big girl/boy pants and suck it up.

Let me add that not all children are the same and do not respond the same way to the same approach.   Some children are more difficult than others.  It is what it is. Please don’t assume because I don’t do the feelings nonsense now, it is not something I didn’t try in the past with no success.  It didn’t work with any of my children.

But I know my children and I know what does work.  I can just look funny at one child, and tears will follow.  Another one of my kids not only won’t respond to a look, he won’t respond to screaming, crying or the taking away of his electronics.  You know what makes the biggest impact on him when he’s in trouble?  Being sent to his room.  He hates being alone.  One of my kids loves being sent to her room.  “I’ll gladly go to my room, I can read for hours there uninterrupted.”  She however, can’t stand to lose her laptop because not being able to play Minecraft while Skyping with her bestie would cause her to have multiple seizures.

I have tried all kinds of parenting tactics.  I have seen what does and what doesn’t work.  I know my children well.  I assure you I know them better than the unsolicited advice giver does.  And to the unsolicited advice giver I say, if you want to have a debate about who’s turn it is to empty the dishwasher every time you ask, be my guest.  I won’t judge you.  My dishwasher is empty.

P.S. NaBloPoMoW8Lo Stalled at the scale this morning but I did lose a pound yesterday so I will not be negative.  Rome wasn’t built in a day and my weight loss won’t be either.

Homework Sucks!

I mentioned in a past post that I don’t fight about homework.  Honestly I don’t believe in it.   HOMEWORK SUCKS and not just for the kids that are forced to do it after a 7 hour school day.

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It’s no picnic for us parents either.

A hundred years ago, I did fight about homework.  Typically, a then 7 year old Jack would stare blankly into the chandelier while I danced in front of him counting cheerios, begging him to pay attention and sometimes dare I say it…YELLING.  I yelled over addition and subtraction.    I screamed over spelling words and often one of us ended the session in tears…usually me.  At 15, I’m proud to say Jack can both add and subtract (although  his spelling leaves something to be desired) but I can’t believe these homework sessions were good for either one of us.   They certainly didn’t do much to encourage a love of learning.

Jack was tired after a long day of school.  He wanted to play.  That’s right I said it. PLAY.  Little kids are supposed to play.  They should be running around outside like little hooligans, climbing trees, getting dirty, playing pick up games of basketball.  You know what they don’t need to do more of after a long day of school? Sit for another 3 hours on their ever expanding asses.

Don’t believe me…I actually have some science to back me up. (This is a rare occurrence so I am gloating just a little)

“There is also a growing body of literature suggesting that physical activity has beneficial effects on several mental health outcomes, including health-related quality of life and better mood states.

In addition… there is a strong belief that regular participation in physical activity is linked to enhancement of brain function and cognition, thereby positively influencing academic performance.”

http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2012/01/20/physically-active-children-perform-better-academically.aspx

See?  Moving that little body actually helps those little brains develop into bigger brains.  I have nothing against 45 minutes to an hour or so of homework for middle schoolers but when each class gives 1/2 hour of homework – that adds up…often to over 2 hours ! Crazy.  What about music lessons or art classes or a sports team or heaven forbid…down time to just read a book for pleasure?  Maybe 1-2 hours  at MOST once they’re in high school.  In elementary school, no homework EVER.  If they can’t learn it in the 7 hour school day, screw it, they can try again tomorrow.

Our kids will be kids for only so long and then they will HAVE to work 8 or more hours a day.  I know enough adults that still act like children. Maybe if we let our children act like children when they are children, they would stop acting like children when they grow up.  Just sayin’.

P.S. NaBloPoMow8Lo – YAHOO!!! The potluck pound is gone.  I am still not close to my 10 pd goal and am starting to think I may have to admit defeat but honestly, if at the end of the month I weigh less then I did at the beginning of the month it will be a semblance of a win.  Yes, I will have to admit failure at my initial challenge but I will at least be a few pounds closer to my goal.  Maybe I’ll have to continue blogging after the NaBloPoMo ends.  I can write about weightloss just to keep me honest…I know!  I’ll change my blog name to Heck of Hlava WeightLoss…hee hee.

 

 

The Stalker Bidder Must Die

Dear whoever is following me around bidding on every house I like before I can make an offer…I hate you.

Please, please, please stop!  Stop stalking me.  Stop finding me excitedly jumping up and down in front of a house with a for sale sign on the front lawn.  Stop bidding on houses just hours before I am about to  make an offer. STOP IT!  It is just  not nice. In fact, I will go so far as to say, it is down right rude.  Didn’t anyone ever tell you it is impolite to take things that aren’t yours?  You keep taking my houses and I do not like it.

I realize I have a good life, a great life.  I have a wonderful husband, healthy, relatively happy and developmentally appropriate children, a job.  I get it.  I have tons to be thankful for and I am thankful for it all.  But I want more.  I want fucking acreage and some godforsaken chickens…is that SO WRONG??

Curse you Stalker Bidder and the horse you rode in on!

Perhaps it is time  I give up on my dream of chickens.  I hear they stink anyway….

HUMPH!

P.S.NaBloPoMoW9Lo – No change.  But I was too stressed to eat much today so I am hopeful I will see some results tomorrow.  At least get rid of the potluck pound!

Turkey Tetrazzini NaBloPoMoW8Lo Style

I like to cook.  But I HATE thinking about it. I should just make a list of 2 weeks worth of meals and rotate through them.  I’ll add that to my to-do list right after lose 30 pounds and clean out my garage.

In the meantime, each day at about 4pm I start to think about what I am going to feed the maniacs and panic.  I probably open and shut the fridge 100 times and walk in and out of the pantry just as many in an effort to figure out what remotely health meal I can present at dinner time.

When I opened the fridge at 4pm today, I saw we had some left over turkey from last nights potluck.  Which only meant one thing…. Turkey Tetrazzini was on the menu for dinner tonight.   Due to the NaBloPoMoW8Lo, I needed to make a low cal version.  Which I did and I have to say I did it quite well……even my picky eaters had seconds.  Of course, I am not a test kitchen and I have no idea what the actual calorie count is on this recipe but I have to believe that since I used low fat everything it has to be better than a regular version.  If you do end up giving this recipe a go, let me know what you think.

Turkey Tetrazzini – NaBloPoMoW8Lo Style

  • 1 box spaghetti
  • chopped up leftover turkey – i used approx 2-3 cups
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 1/2 bag frozen green peas
  • 3/4 cup low fat milk
  • 2/3 cup fat-free sour cream
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 can reduced-fat cream of chicken soup (I bet cream of mushroom would work too)
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted

Cook the pasta according to the package directions.  While the pasta is cooking, mix together in a large bowl the sherry, milk, sour cream, Parmesan, and soup.  Once it’s all blended, add the peas and turkey.  Spray 9 X 13 pan with cooking spray.  When pasta is done and drained, add that to the other stuff.  Spread in the pan.  Melt the butter in the microwave and then mix in the breadcrumbs.  Put the buttered breadcrumbs on the top and then bake it all in a 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.  YUM!

I made so much we will be eating this all week.  Now, I don’t have to think about dinnertime for days.

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P.S. NaBloPoMoW8Lo challenge….I don’t want to talk about it.  Let’s just say the potluck rocked but I will be making up for it the rest of the week.  And that’s all I have to say about that.

A Thanksgiving Tree

We had a few folks over for dinner tonight; a sort of pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving if you will.  It was a potluck and I have to say, my friends can cook.  I made a fabulous turkey – I have decided it is all about the brining.  My NaBloPoMoW8Lo tomorrow is not going to be pretty.

As each family came in the door, I handed them a leaf and a sharpie and asked them to write down what they were thankful for.  Earlier in the day I sent CJ outside to find a branch, which of course he did quite enthusiastically.  I had to send him back out a few times as he, like most men, was stuck on the idea that bigger is better.  Eventually, he found a perfect branch and we put it in a vase.  The leaves, that I found at the Dollar Store FYI,  conveniently had a bendy thing on the end so we could easily attach them to the branch.

Viola!  We  made a Thanksgiving Tree.

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I truly enjoyed reading everyone’s thanksfuls.  There were the typical; family, friends, health.  And the not so typical; a sixteen year old male proclaimed “Girls.” At least I now know what to get him for Christmas – a Costco size box of condoms.   Then there was 7 year old Kylie’s – “I am thankful for life on this Earth.” You know as opposed to life on some other planet.  Perhaps she, like CJ,  has been watching too much Ancient Aliens.

Leaves-  The Dollar Store $1
Branch – Free from my back yard $0
One of a Kind Center Piece/Proof I need to change the channel – Priceless

tree

P.S. NaBloPoMoW8Lo Challenge – No movement on the scale this morning but I did  end up on a 4+ mile walk in the rain today thanks to a comedy of errors that resulted in me having to double back to see if the dog training zapper thing was left on the table in front of the Publix (don’t ask).  I drank gallons of water but the potluck did not help  my cause.  I am just hopeful the scale does not go in the wrong direction tomorrow.  Fingers crossed.

“Let Them Wear Shorts!” says Kate Antoinette

When Jack was 3, he and I had a battle of wills. I insisted he stay at the table until he finished one baby carrot. He did not want to eat his baby carrot. He sat at that damn table for over 45 minutes taking miniscule “bites” of that pathetic baby carrot. I left the table and put baby Quinn to bed. Jeff left the table and did the dinner dishes (not really but that’s how I’d like to remember it). Jack sat. He did not cry. He did not fuss. Nor did he chew. He sat. Eventually, he ate ½ of the baby carrot (or fed it to the dog, I can’t be sure) and I let him off the hook because honestly I was sick of both Jack and the baby carrot.

At a later pediatrician appointment, I mentioned this event to the doctor. She looked at me condescendingly and asked, “Do you think the nutrition he got from that one half of baby carrot was worth that fight? With children, you really need to pick your battles wisely.”

That may be the best piece of parenting advice I have ever received. It is easy to get hung up on stupid battles with our stupid children. And boy, my children can be soooooooooooooo stupid.

Imagine if you will an 11 year old boy choosing to wear shorts to school when it is 40 degrees out even though he has drawers full of pants that would keep him warm. I don’t know why any child would do that. But Jack does. He did it from 6th through 8th grade. I thought about fighting that battle. But I didn’t. If he wanted to freeze, let him freeze. Heck, as long as I was warm why should I care. Let him wear shorts! Just call me Kate Antoinette.

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When Quinn sported an ensemble that made Salvador Dali roll over in his grave, did I freak out and think OMG everyone is going to think that I don’t buy my daughter clothes that match? No I did not. I took a deep breath and wished we didn’t look so much alike so I could deny any relation. If she wanted to look like a box of crayolas threw up, let her look like Crayola vomit. Just call me Kate Antoinette.

When at age 6, CJ had a thing for tutus, did I put my foot down and refuse to let him leave the house looking like a prima ballerina? No, I did not. Instead, I proudly held my head high and thought, I am a mom who knows what battles to pick, as we wandered through Target to the chorus of snickers and giggles. Let him look silly. Just call me Kate Antoinette. Jeff however would never go anywhere with CJ in a tutu so he has not earned the name Jeff Antoinette.

Homework is another battle I refuse to have. Do it, don’t do it, I don’t care. That fight is between you and your teacher. Don’t get me wrong, I nag, I remind, I pester but I won’t fight about it. I will always provide help if I am asked and I will reach out to the teacher on my child’s behalf if something goes terribly wrong or if they need more time, but I do not fight with my kids about it. After all, I have graduated elementary/middle/high school. I did my homework and almost always turned it in on time….almost. Let them fail school. Just call me Kate Antoinette.

I also refuse to fight about food. If you don’t like what we’re having for dinner, I honestly don’t care. Don’t eat it. You won’t starve if you miss one stinking meal. My kitchen is not a restaurant and I am not making 6 different entrees. Bon fuckin’ appetit. Just call me Kate Antoinette.

Refusing to engage in some of these battles used to require remarkable restraint on my part. Honestly, I did find myself upset about the fact that my kids walked out of the house looking like idiots, weren’t eating their vegetables and went to school without completed homework. Then, I sat down and thought long and hard about why. I realized that I was worried what other people would think. After all what kind of mom lets her child out in 40 degree weather in shorts?? Years ago, I would have judged that mom. I would have said bad things about her to other moms. I would have thought about calling DCFS. Now I realize that mom is the smart mom; the mom that chooses her battles wisely. Once, I realized that and let it go, parenting became much, much easier.

That’s not to say that I don’t fight any battles. Clearly, I refuse to fight about clothing…unless it is something I have seen you wear for the past few days and it stinks or we are going to a dressy function. In that case you can call me Mean Mom.

If there is one thing I can’t stand it’s a rude child. The manner battle is a battle I will fight to the death…and I will not be the one dying I assure you. If you want something from me, I expect a please and thank you. I hold visiting children to that standard as well, no matter how badly this embarrases my own. Any kid that walks into my kitchen and tells me they “want milk,” hears, “Really, I want polite visitors, guess neither of us is getting what we want.” Just call me Mean Mom

I also expect to be spoken to respectfully. I will not be yelled at or spoken to rudely by anyone other than my own mother. If you can’t treat me with respect, I can’t feed, cloth or take you anywhere you want to go….and if you really piss me off, I may just keep your allowance. Mean Mom has spoken.

P.S. NabloPoMoW8Lo Challenge – I woke up this morning to the dogs barking up a storm. A friend was dropping off her 2 young daughters for the day as her husband is out of town and she is way behind on her work. I overslept and welcomed them into my home while clad in pjs and hair sticking straight up…I got the girls settled, made myself some coffee and tried to get my day going. It wasn’t until this afternoon that I realized I DIDN’T WEIGH MYSELF. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t get right on the scale in the morning. So today I have nothing to report. HUMPH.