Archive for the ‘mom duties’ Category

I grew up without exposure to a lot of things: books, music (other than the mariachi music my parents listened to), art, theater, etc.    Until college, I had never been to the symphony, other than a field trip to the Young People’s Symphony when I was in sixth grade.  I had never been to any plays other than school plays.  I had never been to a concert of any kind.  I had never been to the ballet.

When I had my own kids, I wanted to expose them to as much culture as I could.  However, this proved to be difficult with three kids spread eight years apart.  I didn’t have a babysitter for them and their dad worked late almost every night.  He wasn’t one to go to plays or the theater so we couldn’t do it as a family.  I actually took the kids to a lot more cultural activities  after my divorce than I did before.

When my oldest daughter was about twelve, she wanted to go to see The Nutcracker.  I thought it was a good idea and so I got tickets for the three kids and myself to go.  Once I had the tickets, the other two kids didn’t want to go and Tina wanted to take a friend.  She picked one of my friends, Lori, to go with us.

After weeks of excitement, the night arrived and off we went to the Pasadena Civic Auditorium to see the Bolshoi  Ballet perform The Nutcracker.  It was cold and wet and dark as we headed south on the Glendale Freeway and merged onto the 134 East.  That’s when it happened.  My tire blew.  I managed to keep control of the car while on the bridge connected the two freeways but I had to bring the car to a stop and the only place to do so safely, because of my reduced speed, was  ON and island between lanes of traffic merging from the north bound Glendale Freeway to the East bound 134 and the lanes of the 134.  I couldn’t stop any place else.  I had to cross two lanes of traffic to get to the call box as those were the days before most of us regular people had cell phones.  Once the CHP dispatched AAA to the scene, I had to go back across those lanes of traffic to get to the rest of us.  Remember, it was raining so I couldn’t stand out in the rain.  Twenty minutes later, the tow arrived, changed my tire, and we were on our way.

Of course, we were late so we had to sit in the back row until the intermission when we were seated in out third row seats!  I’m not sure how much of the performance I was even aware of as I was still in a bit of shock from our little emergency but I do know that the girls had a great time.  After the ballet, we went to dinner then we were finally able to head home where I could wind down.  It was all worth it though.  I had succeeded in taking the girls out to a cultural event that they really enjoyed.

The things we go through for our kids!

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While commenting on a blog post the other week, I was reminded of the time my daughter would not cooperate with the dentist.  She was about five.  It was the year she began kindergarten.  I had taken her and her brother, who was about 8, to the dentist for a check up.  Tony cooperated beautifully.  Tina not so much.  It took a second then a third visit to get the x-ray film in her mouth.  On the third visit, I was the one that held the film in her mouth.  The technician gave me the little button to depress to take the picture because by then we had all figured out that she would only let me anywhere near her mouth.

The x-ray revealed that Tina had two cavities.  Her brother had one cavity and did a great job of letting the dentist work on his mouth.  We figured that would help to get Tina to cooperate.  We all made a big deal about Tony being so brave and he got a special treat (a trip to the toy store to pick out a much wanted toy) after the visit.

Then it came time for Tina’s appointment.  She went.  We sat in the waiting room and then were ushered back to the treatment room.  As soon as the dentist walked in, Tina curled up, sticking her head deep against her chest.  Nothing either then dentist or I did could get her to uncurl so he could work on her mouth.  The dentist let her play with his instruments and ask questions and brought toys in to the room for her.  Nothing worked.  Thirty minutes later, we left with no work having been done.  I made another appointment.  This time, the dentist gave me a prescription for a sedative to give to Tina when we left the house for the dentist’s office.  This sedative would take effect by the time of her appointment and the doctor would be able to fill her two cavities. Perfect plan.

The morning arrived.  Tina was very cooperative.  She took the cherry flavored sedative and we left the house for the dentist’s office.  When we got there, she was so sedated that she could not walk.  I had to carry her in, which was no easy feat.  Although she was only five, she weighed  about 65 pounds!  The doctor was ready and they took her in right away.  She was so out of it that it was funny.   She was half asleep.  The doctor and I looked at each other, relieved.  She would finally get her fillings done.  Tina was all sleepy and then smiley and happy and sleepy again.  As soon as the doctor pulled her cheek and raised the hypodermic to put her mouth to sleep, Tina slapped his hand and he ended up injecting his own hand, instantly numbing it.  So much for that visit.  He couldn’t do anything with a numb hand and was forced to cancel his next appointment, too.

Once at home, Tina’s dad and I had a long talk with her.  She promised she would let the dentist work on her mouth.    So we tried again.  This time, before we even left for the appointment, she refused to get in the car.  I didn’t want to waste the doctor’s time again so I called and rescheduled.  Then I issued an ultimatum.  Either she cooperated with the dentist to get her cavities filled or she would not be allowed to go trick-or-treating the following week.  She agreed.  When we got to the dentist for the next appointment, again she refused to open her mouth.  I reminded her about the trick-or-treating.  She said she would open her mouth.  She did but only long enough to bite down hard on the dentist’s hand!

That was the year that Tina missed trick-or-treating.  I tried and tried to give her another chance before Halloween.  The dentist even helped out saying that he would squeeze her in for an appointment if she agreed so she could get the work done before trick-or-treating.  Tina didn’t budge.   In the end, she just flat out refused and we were pretty tired of the whole thing so I followed through and she did not go trick-or-treating when her brother went.  She stayed home.

Eventually, once she turned 6 in January, she sort of grew up and agreed to let the dentist work on her mouth and she got the cavities filled.

Keeping her from trick-or-treating was one of the most difficult things I had done as a parent, to that point, but it had to be done.

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ISO Shamrock Shakes!

When my kids were little, they would eagerly await the arrival of shamrock shakes at the local McDonald’s.   When they arrived, we’d go down and get one right away.  They never lasted long so we had to get it right away or they’d sell out.  We’d go every day until they were gone, which was sometimes only two days sometimes only once.

When they got older, the word of the first shamrock shake sighting would spread like wildfire.  It was a big deal and before I knew it, I’d be driving the kids by their friend’s houses to pick them up and proceeding to McDonald’s with a car load of excited kids!

What can I say?  It’s a tradition.  In recent years, it has been increasingly difficult to find shamrock shakes but the past two or three years we found them in Santa Rosa where I was living at the time.  This year, we haven’t found them yet.  So I’ve been surfing the web for locations (McDonald’s) that are serving them this year.  I find it interesting that there are several websites dedicated to reporting which locations have them so I guess my family is not the only crazy one!

Well, so far, I’m sad to say that I haven’t found any here but that does not mean that I have given up!  I’m still looking!

Ten brownie points for anyone that can tell me where in the Portland (OR) Metro I can find one!

Okay, back to my hunt!

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While reading a friend’s blog yesterday, I was reminded of a hurtful incident a long, long time ago.

It was sometime before 1990.  I had been depressed because I had suffered a miscarriage a couple of months before.  My then husband and I were discussing my depression and he said he would like it if I would put on make up and dress up more often.  I thought about it and figured that was something I could do for myself and for the kids and for him.  As a busy mom of two kids who were about 7 and 4 at the time, I rarely wore any make up (except eyeliner…I ALWAYS wore eyeliner) unless we were going out some place other than to school or the grocery store or to AYSO soccer games.

The next day, I remembered what he had said and when he called to say he was on his way home, I went into the bathroom and put make up on.  Now you must realize that I have never been one to wear a lot of make up.  Although I did wear foundation, blush, eyeliner,  mascara and lipstick, it was all put on in great moderation.  Some people had previously commented that they could barely tell I had any make up on.  So that day I put on fresh make up and changed into something that wasn’t dirty from the day’s wear.

When I heard the car come in the driveway, I was glad that I was all ready for him and that he’d see I was making an effort to look good and hopefully feel better than I had been feeling.  The kids ran to the door to meet their dad and I was behind them.  He walked in, picked the kids up in his arms, took one look at me and laughed.  Then he told my son to ask me if I was going to the circus because I sure looked like a clown!

Needless to say, that was one of the last times I put make up on just to wear it around the house.  I figured I was damned if I didn’t and damned if I did!  And, I was really, really hurt.

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Works For Me

I’ve been searching for blog memes for each day of the week so I can get some blogging ideas. It’s that time of the year when I am preparing for NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo at the same time. I thought I would write some blog posts ahead of time and save them so I can post them in November. There are so many day of the week memes out there! Some are really interesting but they’re not really leading to things I’d like to write for my blog. So I will keep on looking.

One site I came upon lists memes for every day of the week. It’s called Heart of Wisdom. I suggest you take a look if you are stuck for blog post ideas. You should find something there.

One thing I’ve been meaning to write about as a tip for other mothers, actually fits in with one of the Wednesday blog memes, Works For Me Wednesday (I actually ended up with a dead link so I haven’t looked at that site). I have a whole bunch of tips. At one time I actually considered putting them all together in a book and selling them but I’ve not done it. Perhaps it’s because I don’t want to ever come across as the Know-It-All (or thinks she knows it all) on any subject!

Any mom or dad feels like taking their child’s pain and fear away when they’re hurt. The pain will eventually go away but the fear drives the pain and the panic. When a child gets hurt and sees their own blood, they panic and start to cry and scream. When they have a bIoody nose, they truly panic and it adds to the fear everyone has at the time. How do you deal with the fear from the child seeing their own blood? Buy RED wash cloths. That way, when you need to clean up their scratches or cuts, the blood will blend in with the color of the wash cloth and the child won’t see it and won’t panic! Make sense? Yup! And it works, too. I read this tip when my oldest was about six or seven and we had already gone through many bloody cuts and scrapes and nose bleeds with lots of fear and tears. I went out and bought a half a dozen red wash cloths and started using them when the kids were hurt. It worked! Gone were the tears and the panic!

So, if you ever have young ones in your house run out and buy some red wash cloths and have them on hand for the next time they’re hurt. You won’t be sorry!

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I am way behind in my NaNoWriMo word count and am feeling under pressure. It seems like just as I think I am going to have a block of time to write, one of the girls needs something from me or an errand has to be run right now; not later; not tomorrow, but right now! I swear I feel like a taxi driver. I’ve not had time to work on my novel or to rest or take a nap or watch a movie or just about anything.

I should go on strike til I finish my nano novel. If I could work on it for just a couple of hours a day I would easily hit my 50K word count in time. I am so, so tired.

So for my fellow bloggers, if I don’t get to comment on your blogs, rest assured I will be by to catch up once I get past the 50 thousand word count!

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[This story is about something that happened several years ago. It’s true. It’s proof that even I make mistakes. Just don’t tell my kids! ]

It started as one of those absolutely marvelous days, only to turn quite bad!

After a delicious morning of incredibly well-behaved and productive students, at lunch time the Principal complimented me on the day’s writing lesson which she and the Superintendent had observed. Everyone in the faculty room heard her compliments and they gave me a thumbs up! I was feeling very successful, even blissful. After lunch my students brought me sweet notes and pictures they had made for me, along with the healthy parts of their lunches they hadn’t eaten. At dismissal, I let them all go and had a short parent conference then packed my bag with the papers I would have to correct that night. Watching the clock, I headed for my car. (more…)

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As a parent, we cry many tears.If we’re lucky, most of those tears are the joyous kind; the kind that come when they take their first step or the day you leave them at the door to the kindergarten room.

As a parent, we often think it is a thankless job.If we’re like most other parents, we don’t get that “Thank you, Mom” or the “I love you” very often.It often makes us think that they don’t care; they don’t need us; they wouldn’t even notice if we dropped off the face of the earth. (more…)

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Barking Dogs

I don’t know how it happened but today I found myself sitting on a stranger’s couch, babysitting three dogs.  Let me take a moment here to tell you that I do not like dogs.  I never have.  I have always been scared of dogs.  I had one dog,  when I was a teenager, that I loved.  I named him Bambi because he looked like a little deer.  He was a miniature Chihuahua.  That’s the only dog I’ve ever liked and the only one I’ve not been afraid of.  Back to today.  My daughter is moving out of one apartment to a house.  She’ll be sharing a three-bedroom house with three other people.  Two of the people are a couple so my daughter gets her own room.  This afternoon, she called me and asked if I would take a carload of boxes to the house.  She and her friend were each taking their cars full of boxes.  My car would make three carloads which would make a significant dent in what she had to move.  I agreed.  When we got to the house, we were greeted by excessive barking  . . .  from inside the house my daughter is moving into.

As the girls unloaded the three cars and brought them into the house, I got to sit it all out because I have a bad back and my daughter didn’t want me to get hurt so she asked me to just sit and wait for them.  I did.  However, in order to make things quicker, they had to leave the front screen door open as they made trips to and from the cars.  That meant that the three dogs would wander out if they weren’t watched.  I was elected to watch them.  So for about a half hour, I had to entertain a Shih Tzu named Taylor, some kind of spaniel named Blackie, and a dachshund named Nitro.  It took some work to keep them away from the door but then they decided they were interested in their new friend, me.  They began to vie for my attention.  Nitro would sneak under my elbow and quite forcefully push it up so his head would be on my lap and Taylor stayed at my feet jumping up and down and yelping (well they weren’t really yelps but his bark is a lot like a yelp).  Blackie was the best behaved doggie.  He just sat next to me and sniffed my legs and put his head on my knee.

I entertained them and I kept them from running out the front door into traffic.  However, I did not overcome my fear of dogs, barking or not.

I guess this means I won’t be visiting my daughter very often.

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