Homework Hell

So, my 11yo daughter started middle school this year. I now find myself dreaming of the days she was in elementary school and the homework was fun and included colored pencils and a glue stick. Now, I would gag myself with a colored pencil if I could. No joke, she sits for 2-3 hours every night completing science, math, reading and language arts. Surprisingly, there is not much in Social Studies which is my jam! I mean, I loved that subject in school and I don’t even get to enjoy it again. Math however, we have a longstanding relationship and it’s not good.

homework hell

Math hates me and I hate math. It’s the way it has always been. But now there is new math! Where we take 12 extra steps to solve a simple multiplication problem and we draw boxes and number lines to get the answer. Can I jump on the “Save the Trees” bandwagon and protest all of this work because of all of the college ruled paper we are using? That’s another thing – college ruled paper. My kid has gone from her nice wide ruled world to a world where her letters don’t fit in the lines and I’m constantly telling her to erase and write it neater. My handwriting sucks so she is doomed!

Besides the written work, there is also math to be done on the computer. I sometimes sit with her while she does this because it is confusing. It’s a crazy guy with a weird robot who is always trying to solve a cooking problem using fractions. Quit trying so hard already and just go buy the damn pie at the store! I mean, when I have a recipe that I am doubling and it asks for 2/3 cup of something, I just fill up my cute little 2/3 measuring cup twice. I don’t try to figure out what 2/3 x 2 is. There are easier ways to do this!

Didn’t we, as parents already spend at least 12 years doing homework? Must we now be forced to do it again, but also relearn a new way to do it? Wine has become my best friend and the chick at the local beverage store automatically knows to just grab a case of my favorite when I stroll in at 9:00am. One of the greatest moments of my day is when the girl is finally in bed, the husband is content and settled and I can sit on my end of couch with a glass of red and stare at the T.V. not even caring what is on. As long as it’s not Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader.

Please tell me I’m not the only parent out here suffering through homework. Please tell me it gets better! How long does your kid spend staring at the ceiling doing homework every night?

Solidarity in numbers people…

This Mom

Pinterest Swap Meet

Last month, I was asked to come up with a Halloween themed craft for my daughter’s class.  I needed to have one completed to show and then have the materials and instructions for the kids.  I immediately went home and opened up a new bottle of wine.  I mean, you don’t tell the teacher no – you figure it out.

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So, I was thinking.  If only there was a Secret Swap Meet for Pinterest related crafts.  I would be happy to exchange cash or wine for a beautifully created finished product and enough materials for an entire class.  I could totally BS my way through the craft with a great set of instructions.

We, as the consumers, could rate the sellers using a wine bottle system instead of stars.  Like… “I rated Cathy Crafter 1 bottle of wine because that is all I needed after spending 45 minutes with my daughter’s class teaching them her amazing Spooky Spider craft.”  OR  ”I rated Barely Bonnie 3 bottles of wine because her instructions were total crap and I looked like an idiot in front of the teacher.  I drank 3 bottles to forget about it!”. This way, we would all know who to use!

Just think about the potential if you are a Super Crafter and can whip out projects with your eyes closed.  You could build a nice sized clientele who depend on your craftiness in exchange for things like Target gift cards, bags of coffee or cold hard cash.  We, the craftily inept, look like a Rock Star to the teacher and all of the kids will clap and chant our name as we walk down the hall.  It could happen…

As luck would have it, life got in the way and my father was scheduled for an emergency quadruple bypass.  I spent a week in the hospital with my mom and was able to sponge off the Halloween craft to another mom in the class.  I guess you could say it was a blessing in disguise.  My dad is doing great but I am now dreading the inevitable Holiday Party I will have to be in charge of for 34 4th graders.  Stocking up on my Pinot!

So, are you a Pinterest Rock Star or dreading classroom crafts like me?  Let’s open up a bottle together!

Solidarity in numbers people!

This Mom

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Don’t Be a Disney Dope!

We just spent a week in Disney World and I have made some pet peeve observations. I have assembled a list of helpful tips so that you don’t become a Disney Dope. I think some people just make it harder on themselves and other people by not following some simple directions.  I am a Disney Expert – don’t question it – just bask in my knowledge and you will be on your way to one Magical Day!

I will start off by telling you that my family is a bunch of Disney Fanatics. I know way too much about the parks and we love every minute of being there. This is not true for everyone. Several of my friends don’t understand why we keep going back. I tell them that you either get it or you don’t. They don’t.

If you don’t understand what rope drop, FP, BTMRR, EMH, AP, DTD, MNSSHP or ToT mean….you may not get it either. That’s ok! This is the language I speak with a select few of my friends and family because they do get it.

Dopey 101

Here is a list of my major Disney Pet Peeves:

1. Do NOT under any circumstance approach the Fast Past entrance of a line without having your Fast Passes out and ready to show! Keep it moving people! Keep it moving!

2. If it says “No Stroller Parking” then that is exactly what it means. They really can’t say it any clearer. Yes, your stroller will be moved when you come back to look for it. Please don’t take it out on the Cast Member who is in charge of keeping the strollers organized.

3. Do NOT step off the bus at the park and immediately stop to open up your stroller. Did you not just hear the friendly recording say to step away from the bus and open your stroller? You are blocking the way!

4. If you are entering a row in a theater and the Cast Member says to keep moving and not stop in the middle of the row… wait for it…wait for it…you guessed it! Keep Moving and Don’t Stop in the Middle of the Row! You gotta time your entry…hang back and then enter after some people have gone ahead of you.  Think it through people!

5. Don’t hop the chains in a line to get ahead of people who are following directions and walking through the line. It just makes you look like an ass. Did you really buy that much more time by getting ahead of 1 family? No, you didn’t. Relax! They are not handing out money – it’s a ride!

6. If there is a clear line for families waiting to meet a character and take a picture, don’t shove your child in front of the character and pretend like you didn’t know. Lines work the same all over the world…you know what you just did. You know.

7. Don’t leave your trash on a table in a counter service restaurant when you are done. Disney has garbage cans every 15 feet! You are not leaving a tip so please throw that shiz away yourself.

8. Don’t purposefully block children from seeing a show or parade. I realize that you paid just as much money (or more) to see these things but you are taller. You can see over the child. Make the child’s day by letting them in front of you. Karma will reward you!

9. Don’t smoke outside of the designated smoking areas. If my child gets burned on your cigarette, you will experience your worst nightmare to the tenth power…and then some.

10. Finally, if being at the Happiest Place on Earth still leaves you with a Grumpy attitude…get some alcohol and drink until you are Happy. They now sell spirits in all 4 Disney parks – so drink up and enjoy!

These are just the major points.  What did I miss?  I would love to add them to my list.

Have a Magical Day!

This Mom

 

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Ready to Resign the Carpool Line!

School has been back in session for 6 weeks and I have been able to make some observations of the Car Pool Line (CPL). My daughter’s school is roughly 2 miles from our house so she (and me) get to sleep in later and take our time in the morning if she is a car rider. She (me) loves this luxury so much that I also pick her up in the afternoon.

There are several types of people that sit in the CPL during the afternoon. I put in some heavy duty volunteer hours at the school so I have been able to witness the myriad of parents that make up our CPL. Here are a few of them…

There is the mom that gets there one hour before school gets out every day so that she is the first in line. One hour! What is up with that? She must be such a Super Mom that she has finished all of her housework, errands and myriad of other things that need to be done and has the luxury of waiting for an hour. If you want an hour of peace and quiet then do it at home on your couch! Why would you want to sit in your car outside of the school?

Carpooling

There is the Crazy Mom that parks her car directly outside the front doors of the school. She gets there early enough so that she can secure her spot and she will not, under any circumstance, move up so that more cars can fit in behind her. There is a history with this mom, she is certifiable. (mental note for future blog material) She gets out of the car when the kids start filing out even though there are signs clearly asking you to “Please Remain in Your Car”. Remain in your car woman! She has a routine. She has to clap her hands (like a seal) while her kids are walking towards her, she spends a minute with them on the sidewalk and then she puts them in the car. Maybe the hand clapping is some weird behavior recognition system she has put into place. “Run towards Mommy children, pay attention to the clapping.” Just certifiable.

There is the “I don’t care that I am parked sideways on this curb” mom. She can not pull alongside the curb to save her life. It is almost as if she pulls directly towards the curb and then cuts the wheel sharply to the left. I have seen her do this several times. Her car is always sticking out far enough that cars are not able to easily pass her if there is a car coming in the opposite direction. I don’t get it. I curse at her under my breath. She completely ignores the cars trying to snake their way around her and always has her nose in a book. Hence, proof that just because you read a lot does not make you smarter.

There are a few moms who buck the CPL all together and park their car someplace else. They walk over to the school, pick their little ones out of line and walk back to their car. I have decided they are not willing to wait for the buses to pull out and prefer the “Get In and Get Out” method of pickup.

The smart parents pull into the school after the buses have left and the CPL is flowing smoothly out of the lot. They pull in, pick up their kids and leave. Very efficient.

My favorite are the dads who come screeching into the school towards the end of car pool, windows down and waving their child’s pick-up paper out the window. “I’m here! I need to pick up Johnny! I made it!” Poor Johnny is one of the last kids sitting on the bench waiting to be picked up. The teachers that help with CPL are giving this dad looks of, “seriously dude?” but he does not care, he made it!

I have also witnessed some odd behavior from some of the parents. Sometimes, one mom gets her little dog out of the car and lets it go to the bathroom in the grass. She does not pick up after her dog…an entirely new blog on another day. Another dad pours his soda out onto the pavement while he is waiting in line. That shiz is sticky dude! There is a mom who rolls her windows down and talks loudly on her phone. Does she not realize we can all hear her? I almost feel like Harriet the Spy, slyly observing everyone and taking mental notes to rehash later with my friend. If I’m lucky, we pull into the CPL around the same time and get 5 minutes of a Rehash Session before the kids come out.

But don’t worry, I’m the mom blaring 80’s music with my windows up waiting for my girl to come out so we can get the bleep out of there and head home. I’m slowly convincing her to ride the bus…

What do you do to pass the time if you are sitting in the CPL?

This Mom

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My Life Is In Piles…

Today I realized something. My life consists of piles. Everywhere I look, there are piles of something that need to be dealt with. I am scared of some of the piles so they keep growing and will eventually consume all traces of air around me and will slowly close me in.

There are the typical piles that are probably seen in every home. The piles of laundry that need to be cleaned. The piles of clean laundry that need to be put away. I have piles of magazines that I swear I will read. (I’m an idiot, who am I kidding?) I will eventually have so many new magazines that have arrived in the mail that I will nonchalantly throw some of the cartoon-about-houseworkolder ones in the recycle bin and feel a little bit better about that pile. There are piles of books that my 9 year old swears she is reading and they are all her favorite. I don’t have the heart to get rid of books so those piles never go away.

There are piles of bills that need to be sorted, paid and filed away. There are piles of schoolwork that has already returned with their grades in blazing red pen and a few projects that I just can’t throw in the garbage. In my mind, I see myself going over this schoolwork with my daughter because I’m the super best mom ever! There’s just too much of it already and I figure she has enough homework so why punish her?

There are already piles of forms from the school selling this or that, PTA forms and papers from the teacher that need to be filled out, checks written and sent back in. This is pretty much the only thing I write checks for. It’s unbelievable, every dang entry is to the school or the PTA. I should just give them direct access to my account.

There are piles of toys that get dragged out of their hiding places and never quite put away. They are just shoved to the side, quietly discarded until I put my foot down and make her put them away or do it myself. (Side note: Doing it yourself is a great time to throw some of that crap away! Victory!)

The most dreaded piles are when we get a wild hair and decide to clean out a closet and things we aren’t quite sure what to do with get piled up in a spare bedroom. Closing the door to this room may make you forget about those piles for a while but I assure you they are always there waiting for you.

Then there are the piles that no one but you can see. These are the mental piles. The running list in your head of errands that need to be ran or items that need to be picked up. Your friends are even stacked up in piles. They get shifted in their pile according to who needs you right then and who you may have neglected for a while. Let’s face it, sometimes it’s easy to weed through that pile and discard the contaminators. Unless they are your neighbors and the only option you have left is: open garage door, pull in, shut garage door and never go outside again.

My feelings are even in piles. I have piles of guilt for not being able to keep the perfect house or make the perfect chocolate chip cookie. I’m running under the “A house is supposed to look lived in!” theory and depending on the neighborhood bakery to make me look like a rock star.

I have piles of sadness that has come from losing my sister to cancer and not wanting to deal with it. That pile will never go away. There are piles of frustration because I just can’t understand why some people are morons and why can’t they just be witty and laugh at themselves. Stop taking everything so seriously people!

The biggest pile I have (here’s where it gets sappy) is the pile of love I have for my daughter and husband. It is the biggest pile and the biggest reason why many of those other piles really are not a big deal. They will get dealt with, but I hope this pile of love and memories gets bigger and bigger and consumes all traces of air around me and slowly closes me in.

What is the biggest pile you have in your life today?

This Mom

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She likes me, she really likes me!

I am so thankful and honored that Frantic Mama has nominated my blog to receive the Liebster Award! If you are new to blogging like me, I quickly googled and learned that the Liebster Award is for bloggers with less than 200 followers. It is a way to pay it forward as each nominee must nominate others in turn. Think of it as a way to discover new blogs.

I raise my glass and thank you Frantic Mama for being a great fellow mommy blogger friend. Please make sure you head over to her blog and also follow her on twitter.

LiebsterAward_3lilapples

There are a few rules which apply to those nominated:
1. Thank the person who nominated you and link back up to their blog.
2. Answer the 10 questions given to you by the nominator.
3. Nominate 10 other bloggers with less than 200 followers for the award.
4. Create 10 questions for your nominees to answer.
5. Let the nominees know they have been nominated by notifying them on their blog.

 

Here are the 10 questions that Frantic Mama asked me:

1. What’s your favorite t.v. show or movie? My all time favorite movie Gone With the Wind.  I can pretty much quote the entire thing.   My favorite show is True Blood. There is just something about those vampires…

2. What’s your biggest guilty pleasure? It has to be watching The Bachelor/Bachelorette on TV. I get so sucked in!

3. If you could meet anyone, who would it be and why? I would have to go back in time and meet Marie Antoinette. I am slightly infatuated with her and can’t read or watch enough about her.  Plus, she had an amazing collection of shoes.

4. What’s your trick for getting through one of those days when you feel like you might just lose it? I am addicted to Wintogreen Lifesavers. I chew them feverishly if I am stressed out and tell myself it will all be over with soon. Plus, there is always wine at the end of the day…

5. Are you a cat person or a dog person? I like other peoples dogs or cats but not for me.

6. If you could have (for free): a personal chef, full-time cleaning person, or a private chauffer, which would you choose and why? I will take the full-time cleaning person! Do I win this with the award?  I actually enjoy cooking and I’m a horrible back seat driver.

7. Where is your dream vacation going to be (someday!!)? I am going to go on a tour through England, France and Italy. I have all of the cities already mapped out.  I have also planned which wine or port I am buying in each location.

8. Coffee or tea (or neither?!)? COFFEE!!! Every morning or I am a nightmare!

9. What is your must-have beauty product? Lancome Bifacil eye makeup remover. It is the only thing that gets it all every time!  I would also say low lighting can work wonders!

10. What is the cutest thing your kid(s) has ever said to you? She has said so many things but I will go with the time she told me she was so devastated because of the giant salami that hit Japan and caused so much water damage.

I would now like to pay it forward and recognize (in no particular order) these fellow bloggers. They have inspired me, made me laugh and made me think. Many of them are not new to blogging but they are new to me! If you already have the Liebster Award – you deserve it twice! I may not always get to comment when I want to on your blogs but I pinky promise to be better.
(I am basing the 200 followers on Bloglovin’ or twitter)

1. Lizzi at Considerings
2. Kelly at My Twice Baked Potato
3. Dyanne at I Want Backsies
4. Martha and Ruth at Walk a Mile in My Issues
5. Shannon at Trashcan Muffin
6. Sarah at Betty Cupcakes
7. Chris at The Mom Cafe
8. Lauren at Not a Perfect Mom
9. Katie at Mumz the Word Blog
10. t at Happy Soul Project

Here are your 10 questions:

1. Why did you start blogging?
2. Where is your happy place?
3. What one place would you like to visit and why?
4. Are you a photographer or mental memory keeper?
5. What is your favorite family activity?
6. Red or White Wine?
7. Who is your favorite Disney character and why?
8. What movie can you watch over and over again?
9. Sweet or salty?
10. What three words would sum up today?

To my fellow nominees, if this is too overwhelming for you or you if you feel like it is a creepy chain letter – no biggie!  Just consider it as me giving props to you and your blogs.  If you choose to accept this fine award, please follow through and I can’t wait to read your answers!

Once again, thank you Frantic Mama.  Thank you for being there and appreciating my sarcastic sense of humor.

This Mom

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The Inappropriate Police

“Mom! Her skirt is WAY too short! You can almost see her rear end!” This was loudly proclaimed by my 9 year old daughter in reference to a 20 something girl who was also waiting for a table at the restaurant. She was standing right next to us. I quickly grabbed my daughter’s hand, started laughing and said, “what are you talking about?” as I bee-lined it for the opposite wall. This is why I have dubbed my daughter The Inappropriate Police.

Woop-woop, that’s the sound of da police…

police lights

My go to line when there are clothes she can’t wear, shows she can’t watch or music she can’t listen to is, “It’s not appropriate.” She learned this word at a young age and now relishes in pointing out every other thing that is inappropriate. I have told her numerous times that it is not polite to point out these things but to think them quietly in her head. Unfortunately, she inherited the inability to keep things to herself from me.

She doesn’t stop at clothing. She also likes to point out smokers. “Mom! They should not be smoking and that mom is killing her children.” This was a gem. No way to recover from this one. I quietly accepted the dirty look and told her once we were safely inside the car that although not healthy some adults will still smoke. The inner me was high-fiving her and hoping something registered with the young mom who was blowing smoke into her baby’s face. Shaming from a child can be quite effective.

She has also been known to inform me (and the offender) if someone has too much makeup on, if their boobs are showing or if adults are not holding their kid’s hands in a parking lot. You see, if it is against what she has been taught, it is inappropriate.

So if you want brutal honesty about anything going on in your life, just call me up. I’ll send my daughter over and you’ll be feeling horrible about yourself in no time at all. Compliments of The Inappropriate Police.

Please tell me my kid is not the only one on the force, right?

This Mom

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The Time I Was Incarcerated…

If you do the crime, you must do the time. I sarcastically rattle this off to my child when she is placed on the Naughty Step (thanks Supernanny) for her various indiscretions. Perhaps she has had a smart mouth or did not do as she was told after being asked more than once. In our house, the amount of time you sit in time out is based on how many years you are. Nine years old = 9 minutes. It’s not Rocket Science. The Naughty Step is the bottom step of the staircase that leads to the second floor and you can not see the TV from it. Perfect spot, right?

One thing I have been drilling into my girl lately is not saying phrases that sound like something else. Such as “what the heck” or “no freaking way”. I tell her that saying those things are just like saying the bad version of them and we need to steer clear. Now don’t get me wrong. When she is not around, I am TOTALLY guilty of saying the bad versions of these phrases, but I am very good at not slipping up around her. Until this week…

While we were going over her math homework the other day, I was learning a lesson in patience. Let me preface this by saying that I HATE doing homework with her but it must be done so I suck it up. I want her to succeed and feel good about her accomplishments, I just don’t want to take the hour it does to get this done. I was pretty much a straight A student and never had to take my math finals because I had aced every test leading up to them. (Here is where I blame my husband for my wonderful average student.) I am perfectly happy with her grades and would never push her to be perfect. But I digress…

Ever been here?

Homework Hell

I had gone over the same problem with her at least 50 4 times and it was wrong, yet again. So, in my moment of frustration I said, “There is no freaking way you got this wrong again.” Yep, there it is. The exact phrase she is not allowed to say.

“Mom! You are in time out on the Naughty Step!” Ummm…what do I do here? Tell her that Mom sometimes makes mistakes and move along? Apologize and tell her that this looming math problem is a bigger issue we need to tackle? That is the complete opposite of what I am trying to teach her. The bigger issue here is being a good example.

I told her she was right, but told her that grownups don’t fit on the step so I would do my time on the couch. Do you get what I am saying here people??? I got to sit. On the couch. All alone. For 38 minutes!!!

I will NOT be using this to get out of Mommy Jail!

Get out of jail card

I happily did my time. You know what they say about repeat offenders? I think I may turn into one of those. She was also very proud of the fact that she “caught” me and could not wait to tell Daddy. I got the “raised eyebrows” from him that say “seriously?” Yep, you know what I always say? If you do the crime, you must do the time.

Alright, time to fess up. Come clean and share about a time you had to take a punishment from your kids. You will feel better for getting it off your conscience.

This Mom

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I Don't Like Mondays Blog Hop

The Day “The Quiet Mom” Turned Crazy

There is this mom, The Quiet Mom. That is the name I have given her. She sits quietly, week after week, waiting for her daughter to finish gymnastics. She walks in every week with a different Vera Bradley bag and fancy water bottle. Her hair is perfct. Always. She is never dressed in running shorts and a tank top. She is always completely perfect from tip to toe. We have tried to engage her in conversation but she resists. We have given up. Perhaps she is cataloguing all of her Vera Bradley bags in her mind and planning her outfit for the next day. She may think that we are The Crazy Moms who complain about mundane topics and how much crap our kids broke that day.

Sometimes, The Quiet Mom annoys me and other times I feel sympathy towards her. It really depends on my mood that day. I think to myself, why can’t she just be cordial? Is that too much to ask? or Poor thing, maybe she is shy and not used to us loud Crazy Moms.

Perhaps she is cataloguing all of her Vera Bradley bags in her mind…

keep-calm-and-love-vera-bradley-9

One day, it all changed. Practice had finished and we were packing up our little gymnasts and heading out to the parking lot. She quietly gathered up Vera and her child and walked out. We could hear the screaming before we rounded the corner. Her precious child was screaming at The Quiet Mom because she wanted to sit in a different seat than her booster was already in. Quiet Mom was calmly telling her to sit down and get buckled. Little Nadia Comanici was not having any of this. She kept screaming to sit in the other seat. And then it happened. The Quiet Mom opened up her mouth and loudly yelled, “Get in that seat right now! I MEAN IT!”

It. Was. Awesome. The Quiet Mom lost her cool in front of us Crazy Moms. She was one of us! We all passed quietly giving her smiles of encouragement as she buckled her child in the seat.

Do you know a Quiet Mom? What have you done to try and get her to open up and join the fun?

Don’t forget ladies, we all have our moments. They are even ok for others to witness from time to time. It just reminds us that deep down we are all human and will lose our minds at some point. So when that happens, just take a deep breath and remember you are not alone.

Solidarity in numbers people!

This Mom

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Mommy Monday Blog Hop

I Created This Snackin’ Mess!

Thermos filled with cold water? Check. Goldfish crackers or some other quick snack packed in a baggie? Check. Okay, I think we can leave now. This is crazy. We are only taking a 45 minute car ride to our friend’s house. We have created snack monsters. Children, who do not have the ability to be without drink or food for longer than 30 minutes. For some reason, we think we can’t leave the house without water and some sort of snack in our bags.

When I was younger and my family would go on car trips, I only had a snack or a drink when we stopped to eat. At mealtimes! Now, when we take the 8 hour trek to Florida, we have an entire bag and cooler filled with drinks and food to get us through the day. The worst part is that we end up coming home with the majority of the snacks still in bags, never opened. At what point did this start to happen? Were we as mothers scared that our children would complain if we didn’t have their every need and want met? Well, guess what? They are going to complain anyway!

I am all for bringing snacks for an extended road trip. I mean, we all know that a few goldfish will keep them quiet long enough to the next rest stop. But, no longer will I fill one of those huge 31 utility bags with enough snacks to feed the Duggars when it is just the three of us!

I vow not to create a Snack Monster!

dont-become-snack-monster1

So, today I am taking a stand. I will not overload my bag with snacks. Pretzels, goldfish and gummies will no longer be a staple for rides about town. You want your water? Carry it yourself! You’re feeling hungry? Get over it! We will be home soon. You can make it! I promise you will not starve or die of thirst. Say it with me moms! “I, neurotic mommy, promise not to overload my bag with snacks. I vow not to create a Snack Monster!” We can do this!

Please tell me I am not the only one who has fallen victim to this. Comment below and take a stand with me!

Solidarity in numbers people!

This Mom