Saturday, November 29, 2008

7 Quick Takes Friday, late once again

We are praying for the family of one my husband's co-workers. The man was driving home from work on the 3-mile bridge (a bridge my husband travels twice daily) when he was struck head on by a drunk driver going the wrong way. He leaves behind a wife and three boys under the age of 10, the oldest of whom is autistic. I'm sure they could use all the prayers they can get, if you think about it.

People love a fat baby. People love to feed a fat baby. My mother-in-law says all the time, in her lyrical southern-cajun accent, "I love a good eatin' baby". And Bubba is, to say the least, a very good eatin' baby. And does not know when to say enough - can't say enough, so he just eats and eats. And I'm sure everyone knows where this is going - Bubba ate and ate and ate yesterday. Everybody snuck him food before we ate, he ate while the rest of us ate, then people snuck him food after we ate. Then we went to my mother-in-law's house and he ate again there. And last night he had a bellyache and diapers that were breathtaking in a myriad of ways. He couldn't sleep, was doubled over with gas was a horribly long night, for both of us. And I have to say, when he passed gas, it was horrible. I'm talking eye-watering bad. I know it's very juvenile to talk about, but I was literally astonished, more than once, by how very bad he smelled.

Alas, Bubba has fallen ill. And nothing is worse than a baby who can't breathe through their nose and doesn't yet realize that it is possible to breath through his mouth. I was awake for the better part of last night. He would sleep in 20-30 minute bursts, sitting up in his car seat with the vaporizer right beside him. Then he would wake up, wiggle around, cry, and require immediate picking up. Then he would sleep on me (while I was sitting up) until I would try and put him down, where he would sleep for a little while before waking up and starting the whole process again. The only break in this routine took place when I had to use the restroom, and Bubba was mightily offended. Looooooooong night.

If anyone is looking for service project ideas, we are making cards and little gifts for some children on the Make a Child Smile list. This is a great organization on a wonderful mission - they post information about children of all ages, from babies to teenagers, who are ill in one way or another and could use some cheering up. You can get the child's address and a list of their interests (and even their siblings interests) and can send them cards, gifts, whatever. Bella likes sending things to girls her age. We also do this with my scout troop - this year we found a girl who is also a scout, so that should be neat.

Thanksgiving went well. It was nice to spend time with my family, even if we are a large, loud and rowdy bunch. My stepmother was even on her best behavior, for the most part, so that was a pleasant surprise. The food was good, and the company was even better. On to Advent and Christmas! I still have not managed to get candles for our advent wreath yet, and our Jesse tree is still nothing but an untouched piece of poster board. But hopefully I can take care of all that tonight. Hopefully. I'm not going to stress about it, though, because that would be completely contrary to what those things are all about.

My older sister got a pretty cool new tattoo, which means that now all three of us sisters are tattooed and pierced in various and assorted places. Who would have thought that I would turn out to be the mild one, with my single tattoo that is usually not visible and no piercings (except my ears). Maybe now I can pass on that title of the worst behaved child to one of them.

I can't come up with a seventh right now, so I'll just say that I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and to wish you all a safe a wonderful weekend!

Monday, November 24, 2008

I'm having a bad day

This morning I woke up, looked at the clock and realized three things: 1.) The alarm was set for 6:30PM, not AM, and therefore did not go off, 2.) It is now almost 7AM and I normally leave for school in 20 minutes, and 3.) my nine-month old alarm clock, who is normally up by 5AM every day, chose THIS VERY DAY to sleep in. Crap.

I went into the kid's room to rouse my sleeping angels. Bella was grouchy and wouldn't get out of bed, and Bubba and everything around him was soaked in pee. Lovely.

I changed Bubba and made breakfast for Bella. I took that moment to attempt to make a pot of coffee, and in my hurry I somehow managed to fling a heaping tablespoon of coffee grounds all over the kitchen. It was so bad that I actually had to pause and marvel at how very aerodynamic coffee grounds are, because they went everywhere. Even though I knew it was only a tablespoon, it looked like more like a good solid cup. And of course, in the thirty seconds it took me to get the broom, Bubba found them and wallowed in them, so I had to sweep the floor and dust him off.

While Bella was finishing her breakfast I went to the dryer to get her uniform out and discovered that the clothes were still damp. It was now 7:10. Crap. I turned the dryer on and hoped for the best. We got everything else done that we could (tooth brushing, hair-fixing, backpack packing) so that all she would have to do is hop into her clothes and we could leave.

While we were waiting for the clothes to dry, I was instructing Bella on her lunch money. Lunch is $3, and there was a $1 fee due this morning for glow sticks for the Christmas program finale (I know, I can't wait). All I had was a $10 bill. So I said, "I'm giving you $10. When you get your change back from lunch, put $1 in this envelope and give it to your teacher, and bring the rest of the change home". Bella paused for a moment and then said, "Why am I giving my teacher a dollar?". Sigh. "I'm giving you a $10 bill for lunch. Hot lunch costs $3. How much change will you get back?". Bella considered this for a moment. "Three dollars?" She guessed. Sigh again. Me: "What is ten minus three?". Bella: "Three, I just told you". Great. "When you get your change back, just put a dollar in this envelope and give it to your teacher". She agreed, but reluctantly.

Her uniform was dry by about 7:30, so she hastily dressed and we ran to the car. I was weaving my way through our narrow little apartment complex road when in front of me, there were three ducks crossing the road. Slowly. Painfully slowly. And a car was parked in front of the building in front of them, blocking me from veering around them. So I had to stop and wait, and I tell you: in my impatience, it was agony. Time was ticking away, and these ducks were leisurely sauntering across the road. One stopped and sniffed at something, the other two paused for some other reason, maybe conversation, who knows. After what seemed like an eternity, they were finally out of harm's way and I zipped past them. Stupid ducks.

Bella's school is about 3-1/2 miles from our house. There are eight traffic lights in those 3-1/2 miles, and without exaggeration, every single one of those lights was red when we got to it. Bella even noticed and commented on that fact, in between bemoaning our lateness. "I'll bet they're saying morning prayer right now, mom, and I'm missing it". And this jewel from about two miles away: "I think I just heard the bell from here, mom". No, I don't think so.

I got Bella safely to school (on time, too, so ha!) and was navigating traffic on my way home when I noticed an odd smell. A glance at my dash told me why: the car was overheating. Looooovely. We made it home without exploding - well, the car didn't explode, but my temper was on the verge. I decided to let the car (and my attitude) cool down before messing with it.

We got inside and I started trying to get everything together to get Bubba ready to go to my MIL's and myself ready to go to work. And nothing was going my way - I knocked a half gallon of milk onto the floor, and the dishwasher leaked everywhere (it was a bad day for my kitchen floor), a fact I discovered when I slipped and fell in the puddle it left. It was not my morning.

I managed to shower and get ready for work, and bustled myself and Bubba out to the car when I remembered the whole overheating situation. I put Bubba in his seat, rolled the window down a bit and popped the hood so I could add some more coolant (I have a leak). I gathered up my coolant and my water and looked down at the engine and.....couldn't immediately recognize where the coolant went. And I got very mad at myself.

In my defense, it is a new (to me) car, and I had not monkeyed around with the engine at all up to this point. I had a basic idea of where the coolant would go, but I wasn't 100% positive, and I don't play around with stuff like engine fluid. With my luck I would have added coolant to the brake fluid reservoir and slammed into a tree later when I tried to stop. So I tried calling my husband, who is in Panama City Beach visiting and playing golf with his old roommate, and of course he didn't answer his phone.

I ended up calling a friend who, after a brief description of where I thought it might go, assured me that I was most likely putting the coolant in the right place. The whole time I was dealing with that, Bubba was in the car screaming his head off, which made me rush, which caused me to spill coolant everywhere (including on myself), which made my mood even darker than it was before. So I was pretty irritated by the time I dropped Bubba off. I was bringing him in to my MIL at 9AM, which is the very time I was supposed to be at work for a meeting.

So I take off from my MIL's house and head for work and get stuck behind a school bus that is stopping EVERY SINGLE BLOCK for roughly eight blocks. And at each stop about 8 kids had to file onto the bus then sit down. It was like the duck situation, only it took longer. I actually developed a little bit of heartburn sitting behind that stupid school bus.

BUT....despite all that, we all got where we needed to go, mostly on time, and we were safe (except that one little slip and fall in the kitchen), so it could have been worse. And if I keep telling myself that, maybe I can get out of the funky mood I've been in.

Here's hoping.


I stopped by Jennifer's blog - The Conversion Diary - and after reading the post there, I feel really small and petty. I whined incessantly for paragraphs and paragraphs about what a rough morning I had, and then you have someone dealing with something like this mother dealt with. I have been thoroughly chastened.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

7 Quick Takes - with photos!

A day late, and a week after I started the post, here are my 7 quick takes, a brilliant idea from Jennifer at the Conversion Diary. So here we go:


Bubba took his first steps last week, and has been taking more and more steps since then. People without children are excited. People with children say things like, "Well, it's all over now, isn't it?". Yes, yes it is. It's terribly cute to watch, though, even though I know the math - increased Bubba mobility equals increased chances of Bubba trouble and/or trauma of some sort. Big days!


Two words: Greek festival. Here is a picture of my dad's dessert plate:

That delectable looking chocolate dessert at the top of the picture is called a kok, specifically a chocolate kok, and let me just tell you, people: it was delicious. If you don't believe me, here's Bella to back me up:

That is pure, unbridled chocolate feasting right there. We couldn't finish it, but it wasn't for lack of trying. Yum. Bubba ate his fill, too, between sharing a kok with my dad and then his lunch of yogurt and bananas. He was very, very full. Bella wanted him to dance with her, but I discouraged any jostling of Bubba as the results could be disastrous, in a pukey-chocolate-yogurt-banana kind of way. Good food, good company, lots of fun.


After the Greek Festival, we loaded up and headed to the navy base for a visit to Fort Barrancas. That was also very enjoyable. Some pictures:

Bella and her cousin Mac astride a very old cannon.

And the view from the fort:

Bubba, Bella and Mac behind bars:

Bella and Mac inside the fort, apparently posing as two of Charlie's underage angels:

Sunday was a very good day. I feel very fortunate to live in the same town as so much of my family.


Last Friday I was driving Bella to school when I found myself being tailgated by a very aggressive driver. I mean very aggressive - not only was he following dangerously close to my back bumper, he was doing that thing where he would accelerate and get really really close before backing off for a second, then doing it all over again. And this guy was driving a HUGE Lincoln SUV - no match for my little Honda, that's for sure. He made all these dramatic arm gestures at me, and I was a little nervous about the whole situation. I was boxed in - cars in front of me and to my left, so I couldn't go anywhere, short of pulling over onto the shoulder so the guy could move up one whole car length to where I was, but I had somewhere to be, too, so I wasn't going to pull over.

We finally reached the light, and the guy pulled up beside me, rolled his passenger side window down and started shouting at me. I rolled my window down a little bit (I shouldn't have, but I was mad and not thinking clearly) and before I could say anything in response Bella shouted out from the backseat, "There are CHILDREN in this car!". Ha! I laughed (again, not thinking clearly) and rolled my window up, then explained to Bella how inappropriate the whole situation was, including my response to it, and how you should never provoke anyone like that, or take yourself down to someone's level when being provoked. But boy, that was funny. She told him.

- 5 -

I drove Bella to school this morning. The older classes are assigned to dropoff duty, opening doors for other kids, helping the smaller kids out, holding their hands and walking them to the cafeteria, etc. When we pulled into the dropoff lane and stopped, a little blond boy rushed over to the car and opened the door. "Hey, Bella!" he literally exclaimed. "Hi, Carson" Bella replied, holding her hand out for him to help her out. And this wasn't just a casual "Hi", this was a flirty "Hiiiiiiii". The tone of her voice actually made me turn around and look at her funny, but she was already halfway out of the car. As she was climbing out another little boy rushed over and said, "I knew Carson wanted to open your door but I wanted to walk with you, too". The second boy closed the car door and the three of them walked towards the cafeteria.

Carson was holding Bella's hand, and the second little boy had his arm around her. And I swear to you, as a mother who can recognize motive and meaning in even the most subtle of body language, Bella was flirting. She was tilting her head, and had her shoulders scrunched up, and I could hear her laughing. I was watching them walk away, slightly slack-jawed at the sight of my daughter simpering and batting her eyes for these older boys, when I heard laughing. I looked to my left and there was the school librarian, who had watched the whole thing (and my reaction to it) and was doubled over, pointing at me and laughing (in a nice way - she's a friend).

I get that this was just friendly conversation between kids who see each other on the playground. Her school encourages interaction between older grades and younger in a myriad of ways, so it's not surprising that they knew her and vice versa. But the way she was acting! I immediately called my husband and told him about it, and his response was that she must have inherited his animal magnetism. Yeah, that must be it.

- 6 -

Bella is, as we speak, on her first non-family sleepover. Her friend from school, whom I shall call E, invited her over to stay the night, and I dropped her off there after I picked her up from school yesterday. And I have not heard a peep from her. I slept by the house phone and the cell phone, just in case I got the late night, "Mommy, come pick me up" call, but it never came. They are going to keep her until I get off work at 5PM, unless she gets bored before then, in which case they will drop her off at my sister's house. I hope it's going well and she's behaving.

Bella is notoriously picky eater - she thinks that the food groups are pizza (pizza rolls and pizza flavored snacks fall into this category, as well), sandwiches (peanut butter & jelly, bologna and grilled cheese) and anything from McDonald's. She will eat food outside of those food groups, but those are definitely her favorite. Last night before I left her friend's house, the mom asked if Bella eats rice (E's mom is from Japan). Ha! Bella does eat rice, but Bella was hoping for pizza. All the moms who do lunch duty at school are always talking about the amazing lunches that E's mom prepares for her - sushi, and so on, so I have been just dying to know what they served for dinner and Bella's response to it. I guess I'll find out later.

- 7-

We are decorating the house for Christmas this weekend. I have to help my MIL next weekend, and if I wait until after that I'll never get it done. And I have vowed to enjoy this year's Advent and Christmas more, since last year I was so very Scrooge-y about the whole season. In my defense I was pregnant, moving into a new place, working full time and doing scouts, so I was exhausted the whole time, but I felt bad that I couldn't enjoy it more for Bella's sake. This year is going to be different. For one, we have a new and lovely 7' tree to put up. Last year we had a Charlie Brown-ish 3' tree that was downright pitiful.

Last year, because of everything that was going on, we couldn't really afford gifts for a lot of people. I know that isn't what it's all about, but I still felt bad, because I enjoy giving gifts. This year, I have almost all of the Christmas shopping finished already. Hooray!

And this year I'm going to do more for Advent. This whole Advent thing is still new to me, since this is only my second one as an official Catholic. We are going to attempt an Advent wreath and a Jesse tree. And we are going to do a couple of service-type projects. I'm planning on attempting those things but I'm not going to beat myself up if we don't get them done. I want to really enjoy this time of year, and just spend time with my kids and my family.

Happy weekend to all!

Friday, November 14, 2008

The conference and the rule

I wrote a terribly angry post yesterday (that had nothing to do with the topic of this post and could be another post entirely but I don't need to go there). I did not get to finish it, so when I pulled it up this morning and read it over I decided to delete it. Time and sleep (not a lot of sleep, but apparently enough) will do wonders for attitude and outlook.

I had a conference with Bella's teacher Wednesday afternoon. These were the major points:
  • Bella was good as gold when the school year started, and then out of nowhere became the biggest talker in the class (although this week has been much better, she noted).

  • When I asked who she was talking to, the teacher answered that she is mostly talking to herself. She is seated between two non-talkers, so she just sits and chatters to herself, hums and sings and apparently doesn't internalize anything - the girl has no inner monologue, it's all out there.

  • When I noted that Bella went on a destructive bent at home, the teacher noted that she has been breaking pencils. Intentionally breaking pencils, but they have all been her pencils so it wasn't a huge problem. I asked if we could arrange for her to speak with the guidance counselor, to see if there's something bigger going on.

So there you go. And when I mentioned the issues I have with homework - how every night there is homework confusion and mix-ups, she said that starting that very day she was having them copy their homework from the board and into homework journals (up to this point the homework has only been available on the classroom web page). And the difference has been just amazing. Instead of being completely removed from the process and never having any idea of what she is supposed to do, she sits down and follows the instructions in her notebook and gets her homework done pretty much on her own. It's wonderful. Homework time has literally been cut in half, and neither Bella or myself are complaining nearly as much. Hooray!

The talking problem seems to be getting better, too. We have tried everything over the last month or so. There was a two-week stretch in which Bella couldn't really do anything fun - she couldn't play outside or watch TV or play video games and had to go to bed early and that did nothing, had no impact on her behavior at all. So what did we find that worked? We made Bella's rule, a rule that is based on the idea that there are times at school in which it is OK to talk (recess, lunch, etc.) and then there are times that you are not supposed to talk.

So now every morning before school she recites her rule for me: "If it is not time to talk, I will not talk to anyone except the teacher if she calls on me, and I will always raise my hand before I talk to the teacher." After the conference we amended the rule to include talking to herself. And since we started the rule and its' recitation, incredibly enough her talking issues have improved considerably. Her teacher actually started sending home a daily behavior reports when things got really bad, and the first couple of weeks she alternated between "I had an OK day" and "I had a bad day but will do better tomorrow". This week she has received all "Excellent Day!" notices. I'm amazed.

It just goes to show me that, in the world of parenting, what you think will work doesn't necessarily do so, and what seems to be the long shot is worth a try. Lesson learned. I'm proud of Bella and very relieved that it worked out. Whew.

Friday, November 07, 2008

A story that must be told

The story below is quite sad, in a pathetic kind of way.

Last night, while shopping at the 6th retail establishment I had been to with my MIL all in the same day, I picked up some Mission-brand tortilla strips. I love those things. Soooo good.

I was driving home with the kids when I had a light bulb moment, and several facts occurred to me simultaneously.

  • My husband was about to wake up to get ready for work and would be hungry and ready for dinner, of which there was none immediately available.

  • When he saw the yummy chips, he would want to eat them and the little bit of salsa left in the fridge, (here's the important part people) leaving no salsa for me to munch on with said yummy chips later.

That would not do. So how did I solve the problem? I rushed into the house, hustled into the kitchen and started looking around for a hiding place for the chips, thinking to myself, where can I put these where Brian won't find them?

The dishwasher. Yes, I opened the mostly-empty dishwasher, tucked the chips in and quickly closed and locked the door, thinking as I did it that he would never look there for dishes, much less chips. And I was right - the chips went unseen, the precious salsa was safe, and I happily munched on them after I finished my housework for the night.

Hey, I'm not proud. Obviously.

Post-post note:

My older sister asked, upon hearing this story, why I hid the chips and not the salsa, since the salsa is what I was so concerned about. That is a fine point that I never even considered. Duh.

Stuff I like (and of course, some stuff I don't)

Yesterday my MIL bought this outfit for Bubba for Christmas (at Sears, on sale for like $20). The tie is about 4 inches long. It is possibly one of the cutest things I have ever seen. He will hate wearing it, and will somehow damage it while wearing it, but that's OK, I'll just be quick to take pictures.

I love my dryer balls. I was highly dubious when Brian first brought them home, but now I can't imagine running clothes through the dryer without them in there, banging around (for the first few minutes it does sound a bit like rocks, but then they soften up a little). It is AMAZING how well they can work - I can dry an inappropriately huge load of towels in 35-40 minutes. I highly recommend them.

Butterball now makes a sliced deep-fried turkey breast lunch meat that is THE BOMB. I got the Thanksgiving style, but the other flavors sound yummy as well. I love fried turkey. Maybe it's just a Southerner's appreciation of fried food, but that's good eating right there. And it's 97% fat free. Hooray!

I love this website for online shopping. You type in what you need, and it comes up with a ton of options, pictures, and prices, all on one page. The best shopping page I've found.

Stuff I don't like:

There was a PTA meeting last night, a meeting that was being billed as HUGELY IMPORTANT and YOU REALLY, REALLY WANT TO ATTEND. The did an automated phone reminder on Wednesday night, and all the teachers in morning dropoff were holding posters that said, "VERY IMPORTANT PTA MEETING TONIGHT - 7:00PM". I was considering going, but then I had a crazy, non-stop day yesterday between ferrying my MIL around town and girl scouts and then ferrying my MIL around some more. And Brian had to work and I didn't have a babysitter, so the thought of having to bring both kids to the meeting sealed it for me and I did not go.

I got the kids in bed and was puttering around the house when the phone started ringing at about 8:45PM. It was Bella's teacher, calling to re-schedule our conference that was scheduled for this afternoon. One of the first things out of her mouth was, "I thought you were going to be at the PTA meeting.". Oops. While I was wrapping up with her my cell phone started ringing, so I ended the call with the teacher and answered the cell phone. It was the first grade room mom, calling to say something about needing to give me something and how she had really been hoping I would be at the meeting and was disappointed that I wasn't. I didn't even try to offer an explanation - I just told her to send the item home in Bella's backpack. Geez. As soon as I hung up with her the house phone rang again, and it was yet another person asking why I wasn't at the meeting.

Now, prior to Bubba's arrival on the scene, I attended PTA meetings pretty faithfully, and I know for a fact that no matter the hype or buildup for one of these meetings, you might get about one-third of the parents attending. So surely I cannot be the only person who did not go. But you would have thought so, from the reactions. And the worst thing is, none of the people who called mentioned anything about these huge announcements that were supposed to be made. So I got all of the chiding with none of the pertinent information. Great, just great. I still have no idea what went down. I'm sure it wasn't the 'we are raising tuition meeting' - they usually save that for after Christmas, so I'm not sure what happened.

I could go on and on in the 'don't like' section, but I think the PTA grumbling is enough for one day. We shall see. Happy weekend to all!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

What's goin' on

Halloween went OK. Bella was an enthusiastic Barbie Mariposa, Bubba a reluctant and petulant monkey. I went as a grumpy mother who hung back at the curb and let my husband do all the door knocking with the kids. We were out waaaay too late - Bubba has a self-imposed 7:30 bedtime that he likes to stick to, and by the time I pulled up to the house at 9:30 he was a screaming, snotty mess. However, the mini Hershey bar that my husband had given Bubba kicked in around 2Am, when Bubba decided to wake up and play for three hours. He fell back asleep around 5AM, and I was miserable.

I worked all day Saturday on minimal sleep, then after work I took the kids and my MIL to the hayride where my FIL works. I was sick, tired, and very, very grumpy. The games and food were open for 15 minutes after we got there then promptly closed down. We got in line for the hayride and waited for an hour for our turn. And after the hour wait, with a fussy eight-month old, the kids hated it. Bella spent the time time with her head buried in my MIL's sweater, and Bubba screamed almost the whole time (the other people yelling and screaming scared him) and buried his face in my neck. I had done a wonderful job of not complaining up to that point - I did not want to be there but kept that to myself. However, when Bella was cowering under the sweater and Bubba was screaming into my neck I could take no more, and looked over at my MIL and said, "Boy, this was worth the hour wait, wasn't it?" She just kind of laughed and nodded.

Bella has seemingly lost her mind. I am completely at a loss. She has not only kicked the general bad behavior into high gear, but she's also suddenly on a destructive binge - just over the last few days she has started breaking things. And she has never done anything like that before. She cut the pre-measured yarn for a needlepoint thing she is making into teeny-tiny pieces that are not usable for sewing, despite being told not to do it. And when I told her she wouldn't be able to use the yarn she just kind of shrugged and said, "Throw it away, I don't care". Yikes! She has broken multiple toys, the towel rack in her bathroom, the plastic kitchen colander.....I could go on, but I don't want to relive it.

I am alarmed. Something is brewing. I and don't know what is up. Her teacher sent home a note Monday with a circled frowny face and a note that said, "WILL NOT STOP TALKING". Yikes. I e-mailed her and asked her for a conference, because something is going on. Every bit of my maternal instinct is screaming with alarm. I don't know what is happening, but something is awry. I can't get Bella to talk to me, so I'm thinking at the conference Friday afternoon I might see if the guidance counselor at school will meet with her, and see if she can discern anything about what might be at the root of this sudden 360-degree behavior change.

Bella has never been an angel, understand, nor do I expect her to be. I don't expect perfection, but for the last month or so things have just gotten really, really bad. I have come up with a plan for around the house, I think - here are a few ideas that I have been kicking around:
  • To get into a routine that we will attempt to stick to as much as possible
  • Make rules for the house, that will be somewhere in plain sight and that everyone will have to follow - grown-ups included
  • Establish set consequences for rule-breaking
  • Make Bella more responsible for her own day-to-day care - making sure her bookbag is packed, making her own lunch, laying out her uniforms, etc
  • Actually make her do the chores on her chore list (gee, what a novel idea)
  • If we are home together, we eat dinner together - and no television
  • We are going to move ahead with the TV coupon idea - I think it's kind of lame but I also think it is necessary - the child has toys and games and anything else you could imagine to play with but all she wants to do is watch television
  • Sunday is going to be family day - it generally has been, unofficially, but now it's official
  • Bella is going to start getting an allowance, but bad behavior at home or at school and/or not completing her assigned tasks can cause the amount to drop

Those are just a few notions I've been considering. We'll see, but at this point I am willing to try anything. My sweet little girl has been replaced by this sullen, angry, belligerent, destructive child that I feel like I don't know, and I didn't expect that to happen at least until she was a pre-teen or so.

I think, in my heart of hearts, the place where you know the truth but don't want to admit it, that it is a matter of attention, or rather what she is perceiving as a lack of attention. The whole 'negative attention is still attention' school of thought, on her part. I don't think we are paying her enough attention, and I think she is acting out because of it. And my reaction to that thought is mixed - on the one hand, I feel horrible and guilty, but then on the other hand I just think, that's life. People have siblings, you have to share the attention, that's just how it is. I think I need to find balance between the two.

If anyone has a suggestion - teacher, parent, whom or whatever, I'm open to it. And eager to hear it, because I'm baffled and fresh out of ideas.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Oh, crap

I called my mother-in-law just now and said, in the least enthusiastic voice possible, "Did you still want to go to this Halloween thing tonight?". (My FIL works for a military MWR site, and they do a Halloween hayride for the kids). She was kind of hesitant in her answer, so I told her, "Well, I won't get off work until probably 5:30, and then I'll have to go pick up the kids from my sister's house, then go to my house and change clothes and pick up stuff I need for Bubba, then finally come to your house and then drive out to the hayride. Plus, Bubba doesn't need to be out late since he was out so late last night, and I think I'm getting a cold".

Then I paused, hoping she would change her mind, and waited anxiously for her reply.

And then she said: "Yeah, I still want to go. See you when you get here."