Monday, November 28, 2011

Today’s thankful: Youngest is able to think outside the box a little

We were watching “60 Minutes” last night. There was a segment about homeless families in Florida. One of the families they talked to consisted of a dad, 15-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son. The dad used his last $1,000 and bought a panel truck, which the family had been living in for the past five months. Youngest watched with us, then during the commercial break turned to me and said, “that dad was really stupid to spend their last thousand dollars on a truck.” I asked her what else he should have done with the money. She said he should have spent the money on a hotel. When I pointed out that the money would have bought a few weeks in a hotel and they had been living in the truck for about 20 weeks, she decided that maybe he had made the best decision. She then paused a few moments and said, “you know what else they could do? They could go to the ocean and catch some fish. Then they could bury the fish and grow corn.” I’m not sure where she got the idea that corn grows from fish, but I like the way she thinks.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Today’s thankful: I didn’t trust my six-year-old to pack her own lunch

This morning when I asked Youngest if she wanted school lunch or packed lunch, she said, “You don’t need to worry about it. I packed my own lunch.” She had gotten up after I put her and I to bed and packed herself a lunch. I told her that I would check it just to be sure she had done a good job. I am SO glad I did. She had packed herself about a quarter cup of yogurt and six grapes. The good news is that she had filled her beverage container with water.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Today’s thankful: I caught her in time

My sister and I went to Barnes & Noble this afternoon after I picked Youngest up from school. As we usually do when the tiny person accompanies us to B&N, we got our beverages and headed to the children’s section. While we were sitting at the tiny table watching Youngest, she informed me that she had to go to the bathroom. I took her, because the one time I let her go to a public restroom by herself, she dropped a deuce. The deuce dropping incident wouldn’t have been a problem, but she is so tiny, the automatic toilet flushed early, which scared her, causing her to jump off the potty and let the last nugget of deuce hit the floor. Since I wasn’t in there with her, the nugget stayed on the floor for the custodians to clean up. I still feel badly about that.
Anyway, on our way to the restroom, there was a dark spot on the carpet at the entrance to the restroom hallway. I commented that it looked like someone had peed on the floor. Yeah. I can see now I shouldn’t have said it. Youngest didn’t seem to notice and ran on into the restroom and took care of business. As we were leaving the hall, though, she dropped to her hands and knees right next to the spot. Fortunately, I realized what she was doing quickly enough and yelled at her to stop. Upon rising, she said, “Oh, man! I didn’t even get to smell it.”

Friday, November 18, 2011

Today’s thankful: Punishment doesn’t have to be boring

In Wednesday’s agenda, the teacher had written that I should see the attached note. There was no note attached. When I mentioned the missing note to Youngest, she informed me that she had chased down and tackled a boy on the playground and got in trouble. I asked her why she did it and was told he made her mad. I asked what happened next and she said nothing. Apparently, she wasn’t actually punished for the tackle. I noted to the teacher that I didn’t get an attached note. I did, however, get a phone call after school today.
First, I feel it necessary to note that in Eldest and Middlest’s collective 23 years of school, I have NEVER received a phone call from a teacher. When Eldest figured out with whom I was speaking, she told Youngest to go hide and try to think of a way to save herself.
So the teacher informed me that she talked to Youngest about appropriate ways to express one’s anger. She then informed Youngest that there are many other ways besides notes for teachers to communicate with parents. Hence, the phone call.
I am now trying to come up with a good punishment. She is in her room worrying about the fact that I am going to discuss her misbehavior with Daddy before we make a decision as to her punishment. Yeah, that IS part of the punishment. Shh! Don’t tell.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Today’s thankful: My parenting skills aren’t under close scrutiny

I saw in the headlines today that Kate Gosselin, former reality television star, is under attack by parenting groups because one of her kids acted like a regular kid. Apparently, when Gosselin was picking up her kids after school, one of them crawled under the van WHILE IT WAS RUNNING! Yeah, okay. I really fail to see the big deal here. First, kids sometimes do stupid things. Second, she was firmly in the driver’s seat of said van, presumably in control of the vehicle. The parenting groups are saying she should have gotten out of the car to collect the kids. Whatever. In my humble opinion, she was just acting like a regular mom. The kids are big enough to get into the van under their own power, and she was allowing that to happen. I know how giddy I was each time one of my kids was able to get in the car without my assistance. Aren’t we trying to raise these tiny people to be independent adults? Well, you gotta start somewhere. I guess the bottom line for me is that I am not a perfect mother, but I do try my best to keep my kids safe. As for Kate Gosselin not getting out of her van to collect the kids, I don’t have enough information to get on her case. If she did, in fact, take a head count and make sure all eight of her babies were buckled in before she took off, there was no harm done. All eight of them could have crawled safely under the van if she counted before taking off. Without that critical bit of information, I am inclined to say give the girl a break. I am not a perfect parent and don’t expect anyone else to be, either.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Today’s thankful: My crockpot and its ability to make magic

Last week I decided to buy a brisket and cook it. I asked the butcher shop how to properly prepare a brisket, and happily hauled my 7.5 pound, $48 brisket home. I cooked it as they said, and we mostly enjoyed it. I had never heard anyone mention how much fat is in a brisket, though. The fat factor kind of grossed me out, but it was so expensive, I wasn’t about to throw the remainder out. I wrapped it and put it in the freezer until last night. After thawing overnight, I chopped off all of the fat I could find this morning and tossed it into the crockpot. I then dumped in the gravy that I had saved from the first round and let it cook all day. I think I am in love. I have always known I am in love with my crockpot, and now that bond is stronger. I’m not sure I will ever cook another one, but am happy to deem my first brisket a success.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Today’s thankful: CPS wasn’t contacted

We have a new cupcake store in town, and Youngest and I checked it out Friday after I picked her up from school. The shop owner was telling us what the flavors of the day were. She got to the last one, which was a cinnamon coffee cake with rum drizzle frosting. Youngest piped up and said, “You have to get the rum one.” I ignored her and said I was thinking the grasshopper cupcake sounded good. She then said, “But Mom. The way you love rum, you HAVE to get the rum frosting one.” So I did. And it was delicious.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Today’s thankful: A stranger accused me of being green

I went to JoAnn’s fabric and craft store on Sunday because they were having a sale on 100% cotton quilt batting. I grabbed a package of said batting, and as I was walking away from the area this woman stopped me and asked, “Are you buying that because you’re green?” I was kind of stunned that a stranger in the store would ask me that question, so I was just standing there kind of staring at her when she started trying to explain herself. I stopped her and said, “I get it, and yes, part of the reason I chose this type of batting is the green factor.” It wouldn’t have been as off putting had she been more enthusiastic about my choice, as in happy to see other people making green choices. She was kind of weird about it. As Eldest and I were walking away from the inquiring stranger, it occurred to me that I should be happy she called me green instead of something worse.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Today’s thankful: Vacation days

On Monday when I realized that the days were going to be cold and rainy, it occurred to me that if I had to sit at my desk for five days straight, I would probably have to slit my wrists. I opted instead of self-destruction to request a vacation day. It was granted, and I have had a glorious day at home reading, catching up on housework, cooking and writing. Now the family is home, the work is done, and all is right with the world. Let the relaxing begin!
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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Today’s thankful: A little perspective

Youngest and I were in The Walmart this afternoon and she wanted to cruise by the toy department. She kept asking for toys and I kept telling her to ask for them for Christmas. She asked why I wouldn’t buy one today, and I informed her that it was too close to Christmas for me to buy just because toys. At that point, she nearly wailed that Christmas was toooooo fffffaaaaaaarrrrrr awaaaaaaaaaay. Just two days ago I was freaking out a little when I learned there were only 53 days left until Christmas. Youngest’s complete certainty that 51 days is too long to wait for new toys made me stop and reconsider my freak out position. It isn’t as long as I had hoped, but 51 days until Christmas is doable.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Today’s thankful: Mom’s crazy family cookbook

My mom decided to create a cookbook for all of her children and grandchildren using family recipes. On the surface, a family cookbook seems like a good idea. It gets a little goofy, though, when you consider the fact that my mom was one of those throw in onions until it tastes right and cook it until it looks right kind of cooks. While compiling the tried and true family recipes, mom made an effort to actually measure and write down as she cooked our favorites. She then made copies and put them in plastic sheet protectors in binders for each of us. At first, I thought it was kind of a silly gift, but it has grown on me over the years. Tonight I used it to make one of Middlest’s favorite Grammy dishes, which we hadn’t had since Grammy passed away in May. As we were finishing our meal, Youngest looked skyward and thanked Grammy for the food.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Today’s thankful: Grace periods

I have this thing in my DNA that prevents me from returning a library book on time. I try, I really do. But I always end up missing my deadline. My ever helpful friends have suggested that I renew my books online or over the phone, but I can’t even manage to make that happen on time. I don’t mind paying the fines, though, because I figure I am contributing to the library and that is a good thing. Several weeks ago Youngest went to the library with her class. The books she checked out were due yesterday. She put them in her backpack so we could drive by the library after school. Sadly, by the end of the day, we had forgotten that plan. Today I made driving by the library a must do on my to do list. When I asked the librarian how much I owed for the fine, he informed me that they have a one-day grace period on fines. Yesssss!