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Archive for the ‘Kids’ Category

I have sticker envy.  We’ve all seen them.  The little families on the backs of cars.  A mom and a dad, a boy sticker, a girl sticker, and don’t forget Fido.  They are pretty dang cute.  I’d love to put these on my car, but it’s just too much for me to figure out.  A little help would be appreciated.  So if anyone reading this can help me figure this out, I’d really appreciate it.

There are practical realities when you have a big family.   Like how many can you fit on the back of one window?  When you put one mommy, one daddy, 5 boys, 2 girls and 3 dogs can you actually see out of the back window?

And what about sticker etiquette?  Do you add a daughter in law?  A grandson?  The grand-dogs?  The grand-cat?  So that’s 2 adults, 10 kids, 5 dogs and one cat for my window.

Maybe you swap out the kid stickers for adult stickers when they turn 18?  Now that’s 9 adults, 3 kids and 5 dogs and 1 cat. But then how will anyone know who the parents are?

I have 7 kids, I wonder how many grandchildren I will eventually end up with?  And just how many of them I should put on my car?

Or do you scrape them off as they grow up and move out?  Does that mean they aren’t family anymore?  I would hate to be forced to disown my children. Then I am down to 2 adults, 2 kids, 3 dogs but not for long because the 17 yr old will be off to college in short order and I will have a gaping hole in my window stickers. And what would that look like?

All this sticker etiquette is just too much for me to bear.  I am soooooo confused.

I finally saw it.  A cargo van with two parents, eight kids, a dog and a cat.  Now that’s my kind of window!!  Maybe?  Nahhhhhh…. I think I will just have to enjoy these from afar.  It’s just too much to try to figure out.

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College Selection and Financing

Picking the perfect college with your child is an overwhelming task.  Not only do you have to choose a school you like in a location that works with the degree your child wants, but it has to fit your budget.  So here we are with the 17 yr old, making long-term decisions for a child that is hell-bent on becoming a Cardiologist.  He is a good kid, in fact, he is a great kid.  And if any of my kids has the determination to become a doctor combined with the follow through, it’s this one.  But we also have a long family history of military service in our family, and he is pretty sure he can combine the two and come out with his doctorate debt free.

Most of the services have programs for this, and they are very similar, but the devil is in the details.  And this is becoming more and more apparent as we spend more time talking to each branch.  In fact, it has become so overwhelming I am approaching this the same way I approached choosing an adoption agency.  I spreadsheet full of questions with a column for each branch.  The pros and cons for each are pretty amazing.

Each branch has a list of schools for his bachelors degree.  The US Army has more colleges to choose from, yes, it includes the University of Miami, but not as much money.  The Navy seems to pay for more education and is more aware of the daily lives of each student in their program.  The Air Force also has University of Miami on their list (never guess which school mom is dreaming of), but rumors are it is a very long wait to get into their programs.

Cross your fingers as we get started on this crazy journey.  It’s going to be interesting!

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Shopping with boys can be a challenge.  But now I have a daughter, and she loves to shop.  At least that’s what I thought.  Turns out that she loves the indoor playground at the mall.  Shopping is a total loss on this one too.  But it took me a while to catch on.  In fact, I found out when we were bra shopping.

No woman wants to shop for a new bra, really, it’s a chore.  But from time to time it’s a serious necessity and you have to do what you have to do.  I was there.  It was time.  SO I asked my little pixie if she wanted to go shopping with me.

“ALRIGHT!!!  Can I wear my new shoes?”

She was so excited, I was thrilled.  I finally got a beautiful little angel that liked to do things I like to do, like baking cookies, getting your nails done and of course shopping.  LIFE IS GOOD!

We get to the first store and I am ready to do the chore of trying on 500 bras looking for one that fits.  She looks a little dismayed, “Mommy, this isn’t the mall.”

“No honey, we are looking for a bra.  You don’t need a mall for that.”

“Oh.”

I dig around, looking for my size while she ducks under the clothes and peeks out from between hangars and night gowns.  Finally it’s time, we’re off to the dressing room.  I tried on a bunch, decided none of them would do and we go back to the racks.  “Mommy, I want to go to the mall.”  I am in the zone now, on the hunt, hell-bent I’m going to get the perfect fitting bra, and my chest will finally look like I am a perfect model shaped woman, magazine ready.

“Sweetheart, we are bra shopping.  Maybe we can go to the mall later.”

“Oh.”

With the first and second stack of bras discarded, I find a third stack and head back to the dressing room yet again.  THE one has to be in here somewhere!  We go in the dressing room and I quickly toss my shirt on the chair and try on bra after bra.  All the while the pixie is now laying on the floor with her foot in the air, swinging it around and looking unbelievably bored, saying things like “When are we headed to the mall?”, “You know this isn’t a mall, right?”, “How far is the mall from here?”, “I bet daddy would like the mall better than this.”

I can hear other women snickering and giggling and one even piped in and said, “Yeah, the mall would be better than this.  That’s for sure.”

“Look honey, I think I found it.  What do you think?”  My eureka moment, I am a champion bra hunter, and everything is going to be just fine.

NEVER EVER EVER ask a bored child what they think.  Especially a smart one.

“Sure, it works.  Blue is pretty.  But daddy’s boobs are bigger than yours.”  All the snickers stopped.  Dead silence.

Now I am an experienced parent.  I know how to handle kids.  She is the youngest of 7 after all.  I should know what I’m doing by now.  I open my mouth and what fell out?  “No way!  My boobs are way bigger than his!”

After a few shocked seconds of silence, the entire dressing room erupted in laughter.  Oh crap, that really did come out of my mouth?  What have I done?  Sometimes in life, there are things that just can’t be unsaid.

“Ok sweetheart, let me just pay for this and we will go to the mall.”

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Leaving your kid in the car

I went to the supply store for fun things for my shop.  The difference is today is a holiday, so moms are out with their kids instead of alone.  When I got there, I saw a car with two small kids strapped in their car seats in the parking lot.  Now, this isn’t about heat and cars… that is a separate issue.  This is when a parent or caregiver intentionally leaves their kids in the car while they shop because their kids are too much trouble.  This is not only illegal, but monumentally stupid!!!  In Texas it’s a Class C Misdemeanor.

I didn’t grow up in the nicest neighborhood.  There was a series of car thefts including cars with kids in them.  The thieves were just grabbing cars as fast as they could.  I had my kids in the car, the two boys were 3 years old at the time.  I ran into the gas station to pay for my gas and when I walked out the door, this plain guy was reaching for my car.  Fortunately my yellow lab was in the car with the boys, she had been sleeping and went unnoticed by the would be thief and went into instant vicious guard dog mode when she realized he was headed for them.   I started screaming and two men chased him until they figured there was no way they would catch him.

A week later a woman had something called “The Club” in her car.  When the would be thief tried to grab her car with a 4 month old baby in the back, she beat him with it, hard enough he ended up getting caught.  This was 22 years ago, and I’m working from a faulty memory, so if the woman’s child was a different age, please forgive me.   Kids can accidentally put the car in gear and get hurt, or any number of unknown issues can happen.   And of course there is always the pesky heat issue.  Just take the munchkins with you, please.  This is one case where it is ALWAYS better to be safe than sorry.

The reality is it is NEVER safe to leave your child in the car alone.  Not for any reason.  Be a responsible parent.  Take the extra few minutes to take them with you.

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I hate socks

I often have this beautiful fantasy, we will pack all our belongings, and move to a tropical beach somewhere.  A beautiful place that’s warm all year round, and, where we can all wear nothing but sandals, flip-flops or even just go barefooted all the time.  What a glorious day it will be!  When that happens, I will “generously” dump donate all my unneeded socks on some poor unsuspecting charity, who will foolishly think they have gained some crazy wealth of socks.

I have 5 boys and 2 girls, who are the bookends.  The biggest fights in my house are over girls and socks.  The girls argue about girls, the boys argue about girls too, but for different reasons.  But they all argue over socks in the same way.  The fact that the dryer eats socks is a fact that is lost on the masses.  The fact that he/she is “stealing” my socks on the other hand is HUGE.  If you’ve ever raised a teenager, you know they buy their own stuff from time to time because “it’s the best”.  So of course, it’s theirs and theirs alone.  Heaven forbid anyone else should look at it cross-eyed.  But if it’s a pair of socks, all hell will break loose.

In my house, everyone gets a laundry basket with their name on it, I shove their laundry in their basket, and they put it away.  If I accidentally put the wrong shirt in the wrong basket, they would give it to the rightful owner, no harm, no foul.  But if I put the wrong socks in their basket all hell breaks loose.  It’s gotten so ridiculous my youngest, who is entirely too small to wear anyone else’s socks, puts them on and pulls them up to her thighs just to hear the boys freak out. I got so disgusted, I came up with a plan.  Yeah, yeah, I know, what was I thinking?  To keep me from being wrong and starting so many fights, I stopped sorting socks.  I just put all the socks in one basket.  Let them go find their own.  Problem solved, right?  WRONG!

I was woken up one morning by a massive growling fight in the living room, which was foolishly located next to my bedroom.  When I walked in the living room, I found 3 teenage boys beating on each other in a heap on the floor.  Of course they are all bigger than me by this point in their lives, so when I tried to break it up, one of them got out of the heap, picked me up, moved me to a safe distance and jumped back in the fray.  I don’t think I’ve ever been so angry with my kids, not that they didn’t deserve it, but that was just insulting.

I finally figured out that this whole mess was over one pair of socks, and out of sheer frustration I formed a grand plan.  I grabbed all the socks in the living room and threw them in the trash.  By now I was livid, and in the zone, I didn’t realize they weren’t fighting anymore, but, according to honey, they were all silently staring at me.  I pulled out every sock I could find from the laundry room, bedroom dressers, hampers and laundry baskets and was furiously throwing them in the trash.  One of them finally asked me, very gently, what I was doing.  I remember saying “Socks five or six months, brothers forever.  The socks gotta go.”  None of them was foolish enough to try to stop me, not even their dad.  They knew I was done.

I did eventually buy them all new socks, but I made them all go without for a week.  They just quietly buy more when they want socks now without fighting, and without discussing it with me.

I still hate socks.

If someone can give me the name of a really warm place to live where socks aren’t a necessity, please let me know.  I would love to live out my fantasy, sock free of course.

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