How To Drive Someone Crazy

I am a pretty laid-back, easy going person. I let things roll off my back, turn the other cheek, always have a smile on my face…I’m pretty even keel.

But right now? Right now I am about to lose my shit because beep.

By “beep” I mean a constant “beep…..beep…..beep….beep….beep” of an alarmed door that clearly has it in for me.

I’ve posted on Facebook how the alarmed door near my office was on the fritz last week and the intermittent “beep” was about to send me off the deep end.

It’s still going. Doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.

How do I feel? You know that guy from “The Shining”?

I feel sorta like that.

You know what I feel like doing to this wacked out door?

Ever watched Office Space? Where they take the copier out to a field and give it what for?

Or that time in Modern Family when they can’t find where the beep is coming from?

Ty Burrell made it funny. This is not so funny. Even less funny is the fact that yesterday that scene actually played itself out at my house. A smoke detector had a low battery but instead of fixing it, my husband put it in the garage so he couldn’t hear it.

WTF??

Then he was out running errands and I was tearing my hair out trying to find the damn beep. I just can’t get away from it. All beeps and no silence makes Christie a cranky momma.

Please someone, send help. With a crowbar and a baseball bat.

Have a great crazy day!

 

Adventures with Mom and the Harley Riders

Originally posted on My Special Kind of Crazy:

My mom and I are close. We are go out to lunch and gossip close, call each other 5 times a day close, finish each others sentences close. We are take-vacations-together close.

We are drive-cross-country-and-back-yes-that-is-7,800 miles- close.

I kid you not. One of my favorite vacations EV.AH was when I drove cross-country with my mom. I had just bought a new car- like BRAND SPANKING new, not already has 45,000 miles on it new. And one evening, late, after Christmas Eve dinner and possibly a couple bottles glasses of wine, I told mom we should TOTALLY drive cross-country together.

She was totally on board.

We spent the next several months planning our Northern-route there and Southern-route back. We would be stopping in Manhattan Beach, CA visiting my brother and his wife. My dad would fly out and meet us there. This was like a family bonanza vacation.

Doing a little bit of…

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How I Am Preparing For My Kids To Make A Beautiful Mess.

One of the best parts of being a kid is how awesome everything is. You’ve never tried most of the things you are doing and when you do…walk for the first time, eat your first piece of cake, ride a bike, jump in a pool, draw your first masterpiece, WOW! How much fun is all that!?

And when you draw a “masterpiece” your mom hangs it up! So everyone can see how awesome it is!

Of course ALL of your kids art is worthy of being called a masterpiece by….your kids. They want every single thing they have ever drawn to be up on the refrigerator and displayed for all time.

One time my daughter was putting a can in the recycling bin and I heard her gasp and she goes, “someone accidentally put my beautiful drawings in the recycling!” Out they came, and back up on the wall they went.

I’ve never been the best artist. I think there is one particular piece my parents hung on to, though I do not think they kept it because it was a work of art. It was a wonderful rendition of a dog taking a poop. I was obsessed with that for a while, I think there may have been a whole series.

Anyways, even though I am no artist, I definitely want to tap into my kids creative side, beyond coloring in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle coloring book pages (when I balked at hanging up those particular “pieces of art” Mahlie stated that they were scary pictures to scare away the mosquitoes, and now we have them hanging up all over our outside patio).

These day, fortunately, there is a wide and wonderful variety of art supplies for kids to explore and experience and track all over your new carpets. From craft kits that include pom-poms your youngest will eat and glitter you will find in every crevice of your house to craft tables that give the presidential desk a run for it’s money.

Fortunately you don’t need to break the bank to give your kids space for art. I mean, really, all you need is some water and paint and you’re good to go. Just be warned, you need to celebrate the mess.

Art Mess

I always wanted to give my girls their own space for art, and now that we’ve moved I am trying to make that happen. I’ve consulted tons of kids art sites and books, but my absolute favorite is The Artful Parent by Jean Van’t Hul.

I have her book and follow her website and love all her ideas. This weekend I prepared to get my girls’ art space together.

The first thing I needed to do was set up a space. While all you need is a kid size table, and you can find them anywhere really, I looked for one that also gave me space to store supplies.

It also fits in nicely with the other furnishings in the family room, without any of those bright plastic primary colored pieces. The bin underneath for supplies is a nice addition.

While I have a slew of art supplies already on hand, Discount School Supply has loads of art supplies at a great price. I’ve stocked up on tempura paints because I really enjoy cleaning and doing extra loads of laundry.

While I have a slew of supplies, I have been pretty low on the organization of said supplies and Mahlie tends to just spill everything out onto the table, which most likely end up on the floor and in Sarah’s mouth.

In order to curtail the amount of art carnage before she even start’s, I ordered these:

Art trays are great for containing supplies and can be portable, so when your kid wants to bring their masterpiece over to show you, the dripping paint and glitter will wreck minimal damage to your floors. It can also help in defining their “art space”. I have often found that when you just spread things out on the table young kids have a hard time organizing themselves.

Well, now that I have these awesome trays and some supplies, I need the ideas. That is when I hit up Pinterest! And found these awesome “art prompts”. Amy, you are just going to be so proud of me!

Montessori Art Activities for 2 Years

Over at How We Montessori they give tips and ideas on how to provide “art prompts”. One of the problems I have had is that even though she has TONS of options for art activities, she needs a little “push” to be able to engage in an art activity on her own. Otherwise I hear, “but I don’t know how!” or “I don’t know what to do!” of “you draw it for me!”

That defeats the whole point of drawing out a kids creativity. These prompts are simple and awesome.

Now that we’ve got them all set up with space, supplies, ideas…what will we do with all that art work?? There is only so much fridge space to be had!

I have started taking pictures of Mahlie’s art work and saving them in an album on Shutterfly, and most other online photo sites have similar options, to be made into photo books. I also found MixBook which shows a variety of kids art books.

This way we’ll be able to appreciate them all the way up until her wedding day, when I can only hope that there is a picture of a dog taking a poop to show everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

Say What?! Conversations With My Daughter

conversations with my daughter2
It’s the beginning of the school year and there have been a lot of articles on how to get your kid to talk to you about their day. They give you strategies on how to ask them about their day because the question, “How was your day?” doesn’t cut it if you want to find out how their day was.

I’ve tried all the strategies they have given, such as “tell me one thing you learned today” and “what is the name of a friend you ate lunch with”, etc. I still get responses such as, “nothing” and “no one” or “we did a butt-butt dance” and “no, seriously, her name is doo-doo head”.

Really I’m not too concerned with how her day went because if she comes home without a call from the school saying she needs stitches or she took all her clothes off in the middle of morning circle then I am assuming it went pretty well.

What I need is strategies on how to respond to out of the blue questions at unpredictable times.

Those questions that are asked that are completely unrelated to anything you are discussing and have nothing to do with where you are or what you are doing. Or just questions that have you opening and closing your mouth like a puffer fish because you aren’t quite sure what to say.

Here is an example of some of my recent conversations with my daughter:

#1 In the vet office

Mahlie: “Mommy, is Mira going to be okay?”

Me: “Yes, she just needs some medicine”

Mahlie: “Oh, good. Did it hurt when I came out of your belly?”

#2 Middle of the night

I walk by the bathroom and the door is open, and Mahlie is on the potty. She looks up at me, all sleepy eyed and flyaway hair:

Mahlie: “So, does everyone have a daughter?”

Me, half asleep myself: “What? Um, no- some people have sons. Or no children at all.”

Mahlie: “Why do they have a son?”

Me: “Because sometimes babies are girls, and sometimes they are boys.”

Mahlie: “So does the penis decide that?”

Me: “I’m going back to bed….”

#3 During Nighttime Cuddle

Mahlie: “So Mommy, tell me about God.”

[note: we have not introduced religion to our daughters and have not discussed God. well, until now]

Me: “Well, many believe that he created Earth and everything on it. He wants everyone to be kind and generous and follow the rules so that everyone has a good life.”

Mahlie: “Oh, so he’s like the law guy?”

#4 While having snack

Pi: “oh, by the way Sarah has a bit of diaper rash; it is bleeding in a spot.”

Mahlie: “Uh-oh! Better put a tampon in her butt so she doesn’t have a baby!”

Me and Pi: stare at each other, waiting for the other one to say something….

Have you had any interesting conversations with your kids lately?

 

Have a great crazy day!

 

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month: Joy In A Jar

This weekend I was spreading around my post on Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. I added my post to one “link-up” which asked for your favorite post of the week.

I was then supposed to read and comment on at least 3 other posts. Sometimes you can tell by the thumbnail photo what the topic will be. Other’s are more ambiguous. They have posts on DIY projects, recipes, funny stories, crafts, etc.

This particular link-up had over 200 posts and I clicked on the first one based on the fact that the cute girl in the photo looked like my daughter and I didn’t really feel like reading a post about a DIY project I would never start or a craft I would never do with my kids.

I opened it up and immediately had a few little leaks under my eyelids.

It was a story about Jessie, a 12 year old girl diagnosed with DIPG.

The same cancer as my cousin. The same topic as the post I had just added.

I realize that it is Childhood Cancer Awareness month so the chances of happening upon a post like this is more likely. But for me it is just a sign; that all my posts on childhood cancer are important, that making people aware of the need for additional funding and support is necessary.

The story of Jessie is amazing because while she was going through treatment FOR TERMINAL CANCER, she was more concerned about the other kids that were in the hospital that were unable to go home at the end of the day.

While fighting TERMINAL CANCER, she asked her parents what she could do to help the other kids.

How can you not get a little weepy over that?

Jessie lost her fight after 10 months and 2 days, but during that time she started something amazing, which her family continues today.

She started “Joy Jars”- jars with treats and toys for kids that are fighting cancer and are in the hospital.

To date over 80,000 Joy Jars have been sent to kids in the hospital, and she personally sent 3,000 before she passed away.

Since 2011 over $3,000,000 has been raised for the Jessie Rees Foundation to help provide care for kids fighting cancer.

Their foundation is not raising money for a cure- they are leaving that to other organizations.

They are focused on caring for kids going through treatment NOW.

We are coming up on Thanksgiving and Christmas soon, and what a great way to teach kids about the power of giving. You can sign up to support Joy Jars in a lot of different ways. You can check out the Jessie Rees Foundation website HERE on how to do that.

If you would like to donate to an organization that is raising money for a cure for DIPG, go to http://www.evanscrew.org.

 

Have a great crazy day!

 

 

Friday’s Photo Finish: Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

cancer

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. I know that people don’t want to sit and think about all the adorable, wonderful, beautiful children that are in hospitals struggling and fighting against cancer.

Those aren’t fun thoughts to have. No one wants children to have cancer, no one wants to see children in pain. Or think of them dying.

They want kids to be running, playing, laughing and dancing.

But the truth of the matter is children ARE struggling with and fighting cancer. Children are in hospitals instead of on the playground. They are quarantined so they don’t get sick due to decreased immunity instead of sitting around the Thanksgiving dinner table with their family. They are getting a slew of medical tests instead of going to school with their friends.

Too many of them die. Harsh? Yes. Reality? Unfortunately, yes.

There is not enough funding for pediatric cancers- less than 4% of funding dollars are put towards pediatric cancer research.

Less than 4%. For children.

Pediatric cancers are rare. So rare, in fact, that if a cure was found for these childhood cancers it could be the cure for ALL cancers.

It would make sense to put big bucks towards these cancers, right?

The thing is, since they are so rare, many people aren’t aware of them, so they don’t know where to donate.

This is where I can steer you in the right direction.

My nephew died of DIPG- Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma. Basically it is an inoperable tumor on the brain stem.

Terminal upon diagnosis. Typical prognosis: 1year-18 months.

Evan died one year to the day of his diagnosis.

No one should ever need to hear those stats for their child.

Evan’s family is working hard to try and make sure that doesn’t happen to other families.

If you go to www.evanscrew.org, you can learn how to donate to the Evan T. Mandeville DIPG Research Foundation set up at Dana Farber’s Cancer Institute in Boston, MA.

100% of money raised by Evan’s Crew goes towards DIPG research.

Cancer sucks.

Happy, healthy kids are awesome.

Help make sure all kids have a happy, healthy childhood.

CLICK HERE to donate to Evan’s Crew and kick DIPG’s ass.

 

Have a great crazy day!

 

 

I Just Don’t Have That Feeling

first day of school

Yesterday was Mahlie’s first day of school. We did all the typical “back to school” stuff.

We went supply shopping.

We went back to school clothes shopping.

We made a list of everything she wanted packed in her lunch.

She was ready. I was ready. She had her first day of school outfit on and she looked beautiful.

We took the requisite “First Day of School!” photo.

Both her dad and I walked her to school.

She held my hand and skipped along by my side and talked about her friend that she already knew was in her class. Actually, the first thing she said when she woke up, all bed head and bleary eyed, was “Is my friend at school yet?”

At one point, when we were about to walk through the door and I tried to take my hand away, she grabbed onto it and held it closer to her.

I thought, here it is. Here is the shy girl that doesn’t want mommy to leave her.

We got to her class and she saw her friend and before I could turn to her and say, “have a great first day of Kindergarten!” and give her a kiss and hug, she had darted into the room yelling for her friend. There were big hugs alright, they just weren’t with me.

So after realizing we’d forgotten her lunch bag, I sent her dad home to get it and I went over to say bye to Mahlie.

She gave me a quick wave, gave me her cheek for a kiss, and turned to her friend. Mom forgotten.

And I walked out of the room.

Happy. Not sad. Excited, not anxious.

I’ve not been emotional over my daughter going off to her first day of school. Okay, I’ve had emotions, just not ones that come with lots of tears.

I used to think, “what is wrong with me??” I’ve never been upset dropping either of my girls off at daycare, preschool, camp, and now Kindergarten. Aren’t I supposed to be a weepy mess? Shouldn’t I be all forlorn about my baby growing up?

I’m just not. Maybe I’m missing that “kids go off to school and mom cries” gene.

I love my daughters and I want them to be safe and happy and I have done everything I can to make sure they are somewhere that I feel is safe, and I see that they come home happy.

Well, not Sarah because right now she is an alien from some weird planet which apparently doesn’t have “happy” in its repertoire but it certainly has high-pitched shrieking and flailing about on the floor yelling, “no, mommy, no!” But that is a story for another day.

Maybe my heart is saving it all up for high school graduation and dropping them off at college. Maybe then I will cry.

Or maybe I’ll just redecorate their rooms.

How was dropping your kids off at school for the first time??

first day of school 2

A more “true to self” first day of school picture

first day of school 3

Mahlie gets a personal escort to school. Yes, they are dressed alike, no judging.