September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

I had all these light hearted, funny blog post ready to go last week and then I just couldn’t. The news that I have been dreading for months now finally came true. My oldest daughter came home shattered because her friend who is fighting neuroblastoma is terminal. My first post can be read here.  I knew it would come to this but I hoped and prayed that his future would be different than all of those before him.

I was already stressed out because my grandmother was in a car accident and I was awaiting her and the tow trucks arrival. But when I looked up and heard the single word Mommy, which she hasn’t called me in forever. I knew it wasn’t good. She cried and I held her. Later in the day, I explained that childhood cancer is what my Rockstar Ronan shirt stood for and I handed her some bracelets to pass out in support of the charity. I told her it sucks and it’s not fair, but that life will go on and that you need to honor him in some way. And I did that whole supportive mom thing but you know what it’s BULL SPIT!

These kids should not be dying with no known treatment, cure or even recognition of the disease. I can tell you that before Taylor Swift made a song and I read a blog, I had no idea that this many kids were dying from a disease that only adults get. I had blinders on. And it is sad. We have a huge to do for breast cancer which no child should lose their mom at a young age, but what about the kids who don’t have a chance to even live. If I had to choose between me getting cancer and my child getting cancer, sign me up. I have lived enough to be satisfied but these don’t have a chance from the minute of diagnosis.

All myself and thousands of other parents want is for there to be some awareness and some funding for future research.

Please check out Maya’s blog Rockstar Ronan. She is fighting with all her might to move mountains and get the funds that is needed to save these kids.

And if you can’t afford to financially help by spreading the word, wearing gold (childhood cancer color) or writing a blog post.

The 5 minutes my heart stopped

Two days ago I had the worse scare of my life. I felt like the safe sanctuary of my country life had been compromised. I was talking on the phone to my mom, when Brianna came running out of her room terrified. I mean completely terrified to the bone and yelling there is a guy with a gun. So I jump up and run to her bedroom window. And I see this strange guy casually walking with a gun hoisted on his shoulder between my front yard and my neighbors. I immediately tell my mom I got to go there’s a guy with a gun. The last thing I heard my mom say as I was hanging up was call the cops.

Now let me give some background. My mom lives 30-45 minutes away. My husband’s workshop is in my backyard. And him and my 2 oldest daughters were out there working.

So I try to call my hubby’s cell and got no answer. I told Brianna to watch her brother and lock the doors and I ran full force across my yard, shoes flying off to get to the shop. I yell there is a guy with a gun. My hubby yells WHAT?! Then I turn and realize my kids weren’t there. I yelled where are the kids. And we take off out of the shop to see them casually walking across the yard. We both yell get in the house~ there’s a gun. We all are running full force. Before any of us called 911 or my hubby grabbed his guns. He looks out the window and sees he is pumping it because it is a BB gun. We were all completely freaked out. But relieved!

Apparently he is our new neighbors boyfriend. And he was chasing their ducks because they were hungry or bored. I don’t know and I don’t care. That is just not what you want to be doing in a neighborhood in this day and age.

Now in the meantime, my mom has practically had a heart attack because she never got to the point of our conversation of where my hubby was that day in our shop or installing a job at a house somewhere. So she called my brother who has moved in with me, asking where he was and where was his brother in law and what was happening. He is flipping out and called me while driving. Which is awful because he has had his license for less than a month. I explain to him what happened and how we are fine.

I then called my mom and explained to her. And we both praised Brianna because even though it wasn’t a real gun, it was the right thing to do to warn us and get an adult. And that you can never be too careful. Then I realized that that 5 minutes knocked about 20 years off my life! And then I felt sad because this is the reality of the world that my children are growing up in. Shootings everywhere~ theaters, shopping malls and even our sacred schools.

But thank god it’s not in my neighborhood. I will take crazies with BB guns anyday. Well maybe not. I don’t think my heart can take it.

If only I was a more organized mom

I feel like I have a lot of missed opportunities when it comes to my kids. And sometimes (ok A LOT of times) I think if I was more organized then I wouldn’t miss them so much. I feel like we miss out on a lot of the fun aspects of homeschooling because I am so focus on finishing the books and saying we did it. I am definitely missing out on things with my son because of being so focused on the girls and not having a plan of attack. Sometimes he will ask to do school and then I have to scramble. And to me that sucks! I feel like it is half ass done then.

I also feel like if I was more organized then we could do the experiments and the art that my kids thrive on. We could take the field trips that they drive me crazy about.

For example, this past Monday I thought I was having oral surgery done. And I had nothing planned for the kids to work on while I was recovering. I had barely any menu planned that wasn’t microwavable and processed. I felt terrible. Luckily the surgery didn’t happen and I am feel to live about my life without stitches in my mouth and with yummy solid food in my belly. But then yesterday, reality hit that I have no meal plan, no grocery list made, no homeschool plan, coupons from the last month that needs organizing and a huge TO DO pile that has deadlines.

So I am determined to get more organized this year (what’s left of it). I want to make my life easier. I want to have time to myself because right now all I do is cook, clean and try to get organize. I have no hobby or anything for me. And I realized that I need that, no crave that me time.

First things first, the present task at hand. We have to eat, so bring on the meal plan. I usually try to make a months worth of menus but decided a week was good considering everything going on.

Then grocery list!

Homeschool plan is very vague and non detailed but gives me an idea of what to accomplish so done there.

Work on coupons with the kids.

And I want my To Do list done by Friday.

So that leaves the weekend open to think of more ways to organize and make my world simpler.

Monster Jam 2013

For Christmas, Hubby got the family tickets to Monser Jam. As many of you know I was fighting some kind of depression/anxiety so the idea of going out into a HUGE crowd was a little nerve racking. But I got to say that I think this was a massive turning point. But more on that later. On to the fun….

Lucky for us, Hubby got some amazing seats. We were covered over head in case any Florida snow (rain) popped up and had a view of everything. Plus we were by the really nice food stands and the really nice bathrooms. Which was wonderful because with 4 kids, I think I spent 75% of the time in there.

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Why I homeschool?

10 years ago I would have never thought I would be a homeschooling mom.

But now 6 years into this journey, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Let me paint you a picture of my former life.

I was a normal suburban mom. I got the kids up in the morning, fed them breakfast and off to school we went. Some days I would stay and volunteer all morning. Other days I did grocery shopping or leisurely shopping. I made lunch dates. Then I would go back and pick my kids up and go home to homework, dinner and bath time. And always couldn’t wait until bedtime. OH MY bedtime couldn’t come fast enough. One year I was even a PTA board member. Voted as volunteer of the year in our school! Homeschooling never even crossed my mind. I loved being away from my kids.

So how in the world did I become a homeschooling mom?

We moved out to the country. And people weren’t as nice as they were in our old neighborhood. I wasn’t embraced by the school, teachers or PTA and neither were my kids. We came in the middle of the year and that made us different. Why I am not sure? Tons of people move schools in the middle of a school year. Out here it made us outcast. I had a daughter who was brilliant and they couldn’t see it. And a daughter that would freeze and have a panic attack at the mention of a test and they didn’t care.

Down here in Florida we have an annual test called the FCAT. Like a standardize test, but Florida thought it would be fun to say if you don’t pass this test in 3rd or 12th grade, you don’t pass or get a diploma. So the teachers were under pressure and they put their students under pressure. This wasn’t a good situation for someone with a test anxiety. So I talked to the teachers. The results were deal with it because the State of Florida says this is the way it is. Let me tell you, I tried to walk away from this teacher without an argument. But she followed me out into the hallway and confronted me. After a huge argument which got me labeled as the Bitch mom. I walked away and decided no one was going to tell me to deal with it. This was the day we decided to homeschool.

At first it started with just my oldest two children. But half-way through the year, my youngest joined. Over the years, my kids have chosen home or school. I think we finally got it right with my oldest in a regular public school and my 3 youngest homeschooling. It fits everyone’s personalities and makes everyone happy.

It isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. And there are days when I am like what was I thinking!?! But to see my test anxiety child, who hated reading and took 3 hours to write spelling sentences, pick up a book on her own and fall in love with the characters and stories was amazing. To see her read a 700 page book with joy, unbelievable. And now I am experiencing it with my special needs child. Who always felt safer to stick with the easy reader books, branch out and found, not 1 but 2 series that has her excited for our library trips. There were tears, fights, judgement and criticism. Still is.

But I have seen so much and learned so much through homeschooling and my kids.

I realized I love them more everyday! And being with them to watch them grow is a blessing.

Windy day fun, FINALLY!!!!!!

Our yard has finally dried up and is somewhat back to normal. And it happened just in time. We have had some BEAUTIFUL weather lately. The kids and I had to take advantage of it. With all the rain and mud, cabin fever was beginning to set in. Not a pretty site with 4 kids and 3 dogs.

So as soon as we could we took our learning outside.

And then the wind started blowing and what does a kid always want to do on a windy day……

Fly kites!

I was lucky to have found some clearance kites at the end of summer at Walmart. And the kids were itching to get them out and in the sky.

Lil man did fantastic!

Tadpoles

One fun thing did come from all that rain and standing water in our yard. TADPOLES!!

I have never seen tadpoles before. Yes I know I am deprived. But ya know I was a city girl!

So when the kids told me they saw a ton of tadpoles, I had to see for myself.

And then we had to catch some.

Luckily,I had a tank leftover from our pet turtle that we released in our pond last summer.

We kept them for a week or so and then released them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parenting 10 years apart

When I first became a mom, I was 17 and alone, meaning the father hit the road. I was lucky to have family around me. But it was still crazy, hard and a huge responsibility. I’d like to think I handled it better than most, but you know opinions vary, I guess.

Unlike statistics, that say 1 in so many teen moms will have a second child within so many years, I didn’t have another child for another 10 years.

Yes I had 3 girls. But 2 I didn’t physically give birth too. When I gave birth to my son it was exactly 10 years and 6 days after the birth of my daughter.

Now that my son is 3. I see some changes that I have made as far as appreciating the little things that a baby/child does.

Looking back I see where I was in hurry for my daughter to reach and hit milestones. I wanted her to potty train sooner than most. I was excited when she could spell her name at 2 1/2. I moved her into a twin size bed at 2. I think I wanted her to hurry up and grow to that “fun stage”. And now it makes me sad that I didn’t really enjoy it. Meaning I was too young and naive and self absorbed (I’m not afraid to admit it) to see how incredibly special that time was and how fast they grow. And I am not saying it was just my biological daughter. I think I did it with all 3 girls. I mean I had to adjust to being mom to 3, while planning a wedding, while in the I can’t get enough of you love phase, then becoming a newlywed/wife and then buying my first house. I think I was just too busy, unfortunately.

Now when I had my son. I LOVED the whole baby stage. I loved waking up at night. I loved changing the dirty diapers. The one regret I do have is not breast feeding longer (which was not even an option in my mind when I had my daughter). I wait until the last possible moment to push him to move to the next stage of his life.

I left him in a crib until about 6 months ago. My mom was hounding me about getting him a big boy bed. But I just wanted to wait until I knew he was ready and me for that matter. And when I did switch him I didn’t have the fighting at night and the up and down with him. From day one, he has slept in his bed all night. In fact, in the morning and nap time, he doesn’t get up and come out. He lays in there and calls my name. But I think it’s because he likes me to cuddle with him.

I just switched him to pull-ups about 5 months ago or so.

I just started potty training off and on about 2 weeks ago. Getting more consistent with it every week. Of course I talked to him about it, I just didn’t force the issue. And I have to admit seeing all the friends on Facebook saying how their kids, that are younger than him, are potty trained did give me a moment of am I a terrible parent. But then I brushed it off and went to change his pull-up (HAHA).

I didn’t push him to learn the alphabet or his name. He has chosen to sit down and do school with his sisters. But I also don’t force it everyday. If he sits at the table I am prepared, if he doesn’t no big deal.

I take the time to lay in bed and cuddle with him every morning. And we have begun storytime before bed every night.

I just realized how much easier it is as a 30 yr old than as the young mom. And yes I am sure some of it has to do with the fact that he is number 4. But I feel like a lot of it is me. Waiting and wanting another for so long and now having it and appreciating it.

I realized how much of a gift it is to be someone’s mom.

Letter A week~preschool

When we started back to school this year, I was excited to find I have a very eager 3 year old wanting to participate too. This is both a blessing and a pain in my butt. But I have 4 kids so adding to my craziness is not hard. Last year he would sporadically do school. But now he wants more structure and more learning. He wants paint, glue, pencils and books. He even had to have his own backpack. And he specifically asked for his ABC’s.

Letter A~

For the most part we are sticking to the letters and just recognizing them. But I also throw in some shapes and colors once in a while because he knows those. And we have a monthly number we learn.

This was letter A. We colored alligators and practice tracing lines.

We painted a red apple.

And we traced his hand and arm to make a tree. Then glued red pom-poms for apples.

This was a slow week for us.

Wait until you see letter B.