...my child sold your honor student the answers to the test...

Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Family Addition

Xmas day was a magical day this year. It's always a magical time of year, but for 2012, it was even more so. If I were religious, I would say God had a hand in it. But instead I will just say that as the events of the day unfolded, it felt like it was meant to be.

After Xavier lost his dog, Grunther, in a tragic way, the boy was devastated. While Grunther lived at my mom's house, we still visited him often and he was a part of the family. It affected us all and left a pall around the house for weeks. The event made J and I think about Xavier, how much he has matured, and how in the next few months his life will alter as he joins the ranks of middle school. A terrifying thought on its own, but even more terrifying as the schools change constantly here, and its hard enough for Xavier to make friends. We thought long and hard and ultimately made the decision that he needed a companion, a constant friend in the midst of future chaos. Dogs are too much work for us as a family of five, so we nixed that off our list, But cats... ahh cats. They are self sufficient, easier to care for, and if you find the right one, quite affectionate. After a lot of discussions and hashing out the details on how we would work this, J and I decided that Xaviers big gift year would be for him to choose a kitten.

Well thoughts are well and good, but when it comes down to the actual event, it became more difficult than I expected. For a month before the holiday I researched constantly at adoption centers, stores, and craigslist, looking for a kitten. You would think they would be everywhere, but no. There were zero kittens in our county. Oh sure, there were 8 month old kittens. There were one year old cats. But no little kittens that could more easily adapt to a crazy household like ours. And I was adamant that we found the right one. I wouldn't settle for less.

Xmas morning came along and still no signs of kittens. Santa left Xavier all of the basics for kitten care with a note that said after that day we parental units would help him search for his new BFF. The look of awe and joy on his face is indescribable. But I worried, knowing there was no BFF out there at the time.

Usually we stay at home Xmas day and the grandparents come down to visit. But this year, my brother Brad was home from deployment, and we trekked up to his house to spend the holiday with family. While there, I mentioned the difficulty in searching for a kitten. Brad mentioned that there was a local website like craigslist, but better, and because of the amount of marines coming and going at all times, there were usually plenty of animals looking for a good home. So we popped online to look, And where in my area of the state there were no kittens to be found, in Brads area there were at least 30 seeking family.

We found a couple of promising kittens, and despite it being a holiday I took a chance and texted two people: one about a black and white tuxedo male, and another that had no photo, but advertised a gray and white female kitten. Within two minutes of texting, my phone rang. It was the owner of the female kitten.

The story goes that his family rescued a cat and then found out she was pregnant. She had five kittens. They kept two, found two others good homes, but had one more who needed a family. He would have kept her himself but they also had kids and a dog and it was too much. At 9.5 weeks, she was already litter trained, sweet as could be, great with kids and dogs, and just what we were looking for from the sound of it. Even though it was a holiday, he was willing for us to meet up as we were close by. So Brad, Xavier, and I popped into the van and headed out.

She was beautiful! Gray mask blending with white, four white socks, and dainty. The man took her out of the carrier to hand to me and she went limp, purring in my arms. The three of us immediately fell in love. And then.... she jumped.

Out of my arms she took off from 0-60 in a nanosecond, racing down a field. Brad, who was just recovering from injuries of his own, took off without a thought, racing after her. The rest of us stood there in utter shock, my heart dropping as I thought there was no way in hell he could catch her she was so damn fast. But luck was on our side as I watched both the kitten and Brad drop out of sight. There was a creek that neither of them noticed. Both fell in. While Brad was able to gain his footing, the kitten stopped dead in the water. He quickly threw his shirt over her and lunged, coming back up with a bedraggled and confused kitten.

After a lot of nervous laughter, and making sure she got into and STAYED into the box we brought, we gave our thanks for the amazing gift and went back to Brads house. The kitten hid for an hour under the couch, but soon enough was stalking around, sniffing things, and eventually allowing us to pet her. By the time we left for home, she was happily snuggled into Xavier's arms, purring away contentedly.

I've been a cat owner for most of my life. I know (and warned Xavier) that it can take days for cats to adjust and feel comfortable in their new surroundings. When J and I moved to Templeton, our two cats hid in the guest bedroom, under the covers for three days before they joined us. So we were in total awe when this tiny kitten sauntered into the house, checked the place out, and made herself cozy on the couch like she lived there her whole life.  Not only that, but by morning, she was already playing with Ashe and Soren, hiding under the Xmas tree and pouncing on them as they ran by laughing hysterically. She found her way to the TV and sits there, avidly watching the boys play video games, helping out in her own way by pawing the screen on where to go. And every night, Xavier takes her upstairs to his room when he goes to bed. Each time I have gone in to check on them, he would be passed out with her cuddled right up to him, purring away.

In honor of J's favorite cat commercial, the one that makes him giggle each time it plays, we named her Bax, a shortened version of Baxter. And it fits her purrfectly. She fits us purrfectly and has already become a solid part of our family. We all fawn over her. We laugh as she attacks her scratching post. We smile as we see her perched half way up the tree, watching the boys play. We listen for the jingle of the bell on her collar and look up eagerly as she waltzes into the room. And while we have dinner, she weaves her tiny body around the legs of the chairs, meowing at us, reminding us not to forget her for a moment. Like we could ever do that. Little lady, you have each of us wrapped around your little tail.

Welcome to the family, Bax. We already love you to the moon and back.

Friday, December 21, 2012

My 2012 Photo Album

Around this time every year, once the kids are passed out and I've placed a glass of wine beside me, I sit down at my computer, go through the past twelve months of photos and videos I have taken of the boys, and picked out my favorites. Then I Google for songs about kids growing up that don't include an abused home or a crappy parent, and pick one that I actually like or seems relevant. Once I have my chosen materials, I create my version of our annual photo album. I learned long ago that I suck at scrap booking, but I do love to make music videos. And this way, the boys will always be able to see their yearly album no matter where they are in the world.

This years music video was a collective work of art. Months ago J made me listen to his new favorite song, "I Have The Right" by Sonota Arctica. It's a sad, yet beautiful song of a man singing about his childhood with a neglectful parent, and claiming how children have the right to be loved, cherished, heard, and embraced. We really believed in the message of the song, but were not going to use it because the verses were very anti composers parent. Fortunately J had an idea, and with a little tinkering, was able to edit the song seamlessly.

Looking back on these photos and videos each year always reminds me of how much our family has grown. Like a flower, if you watch it all of the time, you may see tiny changes here and there, but when you watch it in time elapse it amazes you how fast such a tiny seed can change into its full glory. Creating and watching these videos is like the same thing to me.  This time last year, Soren was only talking in Sorenese. Today, he's a nonstop chatterbox and fully understandable to everyone, not just close friends. Ashe has embraced school and is living large in kindergarten. He can now say his L perfectly, something he couldn't do a year ago. Xavier has grown up into an amazing young person that I am honored to know. He has matured so much in the past six months, and I can glimpse more often than not, the young man he will become. In only half a year, a blink of an eye, he will enter Junior High, something I do not think I am nearly ready for. But he is.

So without further ado, here is my annual scrapbook for the year 2012 of the boys. I hope that your year was as amazing as ours has been.

Monday, December 17, 2012


A few weeks ago our family dealt with a loss that devastated the boys, most especially Xavier. Our pug, Grunther, passed away unexpectedly and tragically, after being attacked by my brothers dog. Grunther was Xavier's dog, which we got him when he was two and he asked for a little brother. They were the best of buddies for years, until one fateful day, after being sick, Grunther bit baby Ashe on the cheek. I have a no bite rule in the house, and we were forced to remove him from our home for the safety of the baby (despite it being a one time deal and Grunther had been an amazing dog prior I wasn't taking chances), but my mom offered to take him in so that the kids could still see him when we went to visit.

Grunther lived a long and happy life, and was cherished by the boys and us adults. His death seemed like major karma in how he went, as my brothers dog is also sweet and never bit anyone until that one day.

They day I found out, I waited in dread for the school bus to drop Xavier off because I know he was going to take the news hard. And he did. We spent hours in his room as I held him while he sobbed until he passed out exhausted. It took him weeks to recover back to his normal happy self, and even now, a month later, a shadow of mourning will cross his face, and he will grow pensive as he remembers his faithful puppy.

Which got me thinking:

With ADHD, Xavier sometimes has a hard time developing lasting friendships outside of the gaming world. He has a couple of friends, one who has been his best friend for three years, but even then, they rarely hang out outside of school. Maybe it's due to his friends having crazy tiger mom schedules where they are doing seven different activities a week. Maybe not. I don't know. But I do know that for a kid like Xavier, he needs someone (aside from us family members) who will always be there for him and love him unconditionally. And with middle school right around the corner, where kids can be assholes to the nth degree, and I worry about him fitting in, that need will be even more evident.

While J and I are not dog people, we talked about these issues and agreed that Xavier would really benefit from some sort of relationship with a pet. We just needed time to think. So we did.

With Christmas around the corner, the boys are excited about Santa (yes, my kids still strongly believe and I intend to keep it that way for as long as possible). Ashe and Soren have teamed up together to ask Santa for a Wii U. Xavier has asked for a $300 nerf gun, which I promptly told him that even Santa can't always work those kind of miracles. Fortunately we have taught our kids that Santa does not always bring you what you ask for. He gives each gift great thought before giving the "perfect" gift for each child.

And with that in mind, "Santa" has finally figured out the perfect gift for Xavier. J and I have decided that, under the tree will be a kitty carrier with a stuffed kitten and a note, explaining that Santa and parental units have been in touch, and we all agreed that it is time for Xavier to find a companion, a kitten, to love and cherish and take care of. We'll spend the following week searching stores, shelters, etc, and let Xavier choose.

While we mourn the loss and love of our Grunther, I think this will be a way for Xavier's heart to begin to heal, while also giving him a companion that is not mom and dad, whom he can spill his heart to without reservation in the years to come.

I think this will be a wonderful Christmas for the boys. And for us.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Happy Sixth, Ashe!

In less than one hour, six years ago, my second child Ashe, came racing into this world. And when I say racing, I'm not dicking around or using hyperbole. That kid wanted to join the world so bad that he was almost born in the car in a five minute drive from home to the hospital. Because of him, I decided that Soren would be home birthed. I did not fancy the idea of keeping a newborns head warm with a McDonald's cup or try to tie off the umbilical cord with a shoe string.

Fast forward to now and my boy is still going fast. We've yet to establish into his brain what a "normal" voice volume is. Everything he says is at volume 11. On the flip side, he is racing through school, feasting on all of the knowledge his teacher can throw at him. He is acing math and reading. After years of worrying about his inability to produce the sounds L and R, he is enunciating them clearly, a feat of which I am so proud for him. And as a gamer family, he is coming into his own and kicking arse on any game you put into his hands.

Ashe has grown up so much over the past year. While he is still a child that has nightmares about missing Lego's (like last night), or cries uncontrollably when he gets a skinned knee, he has blossomed so much into an amazing youth full of life, personality, and love of all things. I am so excited to see what he jumps into over the next year. I just hope that this year he will learn what an indoor voice is.
Happy birthday love!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Diet Diary: Week One


Like the multitude of ants I kill trying to infiltrate my house for sustenance, I find myself constantly trying to find a solution to my weight. Now knowing that I have hypothyroidism, I at least have a sense of peace as to why I gained so much weight so quickly. That does not mean I have to lie down and accept that my pant size has grown by three sizes. Oh hell no, I refuse to go down ( or up ) without a fight.

I've tried cutting calories. No go. I've tried a liquid diet. Nothing. I've tried intense workouts five times a week. While my stamina is much better and I can Zumba anyones pants off, my scale still laughs at me. Bastard. I've tried a bunch of things that haven't worked, even with my new thyroid medicine ( granted its still new and I'm sure will need adjusting at some level, but I'm an impatient bitch).

But recently I found something new that actually seems medically logical to work. I'm not here to advertise it, so if you want more info, you can email me. But the logic behind this plan seems, well, logical. It's a plan that combines a lot of things both J and I have heard over the years to help with healthy weight loss and a healthy lifestyle all wrapped into one.

Essentially, it states that most of the food we eat nowadays is filled with high fructose corn syrup, and other fatty things, that are hard for your liver and colon to digest. Because of this, over time, your body stores a lot of fat that it can't deal with, because the liver and colon start to get clogged and can't keep up. Or something like that. Bear with me, I'm working on the barest of caffeine here.

So in order to effectively lose weight and get healthy, you have to clean out your liver and colon first.  Once that is done, you then work on eating organic foods, or foods without the additives, with cheat days built in so you can still eat yummy, fat inducing foods once in awhile.

There are three phases: raw diet, cleanse, and undiet. Phase one takes two weeks. Phase two will take three days, and phase three is for six months, or however longer you wish to continue.

This is a seriously hardcore, life changing thing to try, so J was kind enough to do it with me. Without him, I probably would have fallen off the bandwagon after day one. It involves multiple trips to the health food stores, trying new things, and being mentally strong enough to not nibble at the boys hamburgers while we sit there and crunch on radishes.

I waited to blog about this until we had gotten halfway through Phase One to see if it was something we could stick with, and if it was even worth blogging about. We hit our halfway mark this morning with decent results ( and no cheating!!!) so here is what we've been doing.

Phase One is a vegan raw diet, only we can not have grains of any kind. All we are allowed to eat for two weeks are organic veggies, fruits, nuts, and cooked beans from scratch. No dairy, no grains, nothing cooked ( except our beans ). No coffee, no alcohol, no salad dressing, unless we concoct our own using the only two oils allowed, extra virgin olive, and coconut oil.

We can eat as much as we want of these things, while drinking water and herbal tea. It sounds simple.  It is simple. But after the excitement of trying something new wears off, roughly five hours and your stomach is yelling at you, it gets boring. REALLY boring. Despite the plethora of fruits and veggies out there, there is only so much you can do with them without using your stove. I love love love asparagus on a regular day, but I refuse to eat them raw. And broccoli without dressing dip? Thanks, but I'm all set. For the last few days I've been living off clementines, walnuts, spinach leaves, and beans. Breakfast? Usually a cup of beans with a touch of garlic powder and pepper, a water bottle of filtered water, nuts, and a teeny tiny clementine. You know, the ones you feed to dolls when you play house.  Lunch is a salad with homemade dressing. Dinner is a handful of apricots, maybe some beans thrown in if I'm starving.

It's not pretty folks.

It's a war tactic to force your body into shock, while at the same time trying to rewire your brain into the belief that 14 bean soup is as yummy as your chocolate stash when you have Aunt Flo coming to visit in the next day or two. Waterboarding has nothing on this diet in regards to torture.

The first four days were excruciating. All I fantasized about was fried chicken, and I dreamt of cheeseburgers floating into my mouth, while fries danced on the sidelines, whipping their starched hair in fountains of soda. The headaches from lack of caffeine were killer, as was my mood. I had zero tolerance for rough housing mornings without my cup of coffee. But the worst was when we went to a Trunk or Treat and our favorite, mouth watering butcher shop was there, offering freebies of the steak tips my whole family would kill over. Right off the fucking grill. It was devastating to watch the boys down their juicy tender hunks of perfectly grilled meat and we couldn't even have a nibble. It took all the will power we parental units had to not cheat and quietly scarf that last piece of perfect beef that Soren decided he didn't want to finish.

However, I knew I hit a mental mile mark the other day, as I was cooking up Hamburger Helper for the boys. As I started browning the meat, I noticed my nose wrinkling at the smell wafting towards me. By the time I was stirring the faux cheese and milk into noodles and burger, I was quite nauseous. I came to the conclusion, as I stood there, arms out as far as I could go and still stir the concoction, that I would probably never view Hamburger Helper the same way again, let alone eat it. The situation reminded me of when I was pregnant and couldn't deal with certain odors.

And the other bonus was that I got to measure myself last night, after a week of food hell, and lost both an inch in my waist and chest, but also five pounds. Not too shabby for only a week. It was at least enough incentive for me to continue on this journey.

I'll keep an update going on my progress. I've got one more week on this raw diet before I do the next phase: The Cleanse.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Family Wedding Escapades

To all you bloggers it there: do you ever find yourself wishing for some new technology in which you could place a sensor on your temple that would record your thoughts and place them on a word document that you could retrieve later to help you write? I swear I get my best blogging tidbits when I'm heading to sleep, can write  some of the most humerous quotes ever (in my insomniac mind at least ) but wake up and can't remember shit.

You techies out there, chop chop.

J and I had quite the interesting weekend. We had a family wedding to go to in the freezing corner of the country ( also known as Michigan ). What made it SRM worthy of being titled interesting was a couple of factors. The first being that I was going to see family members I haven't seen since I was eight years old. I was very excited to see my cousin Michael, who was the first to teach me how to play Simon. The ORIGINAL Simon.

Oh yeah baby. My first intro to gaming.

Second, my brother and I were going to see our father, with whom we do not really get along with. Ok not quite accurate. If he wasn't our father, I think we'd get along with him pretty well. We all have a very similar and quirky sense of humor. But he was a craptastic father in every sense of the word. Still is. I haven't seen my father in over seven years, when my grandfather died, and one of my aunts insisted that I have three year old Xavier call my father Grampa. As far as I'm concerned, that's a title you earn, not automatically get by having unprotected sex. The kids have a grandfather thankyouverymuch.

 With that in mind, adding into the equation a lot of pent up anger on my brothers end, vast quantities of alcohol, and the fact we Barans (my maiden name) are all obnoxious, equated to the possibility of an interesting weekend.

Last, but definitely not least, was the fact that while J and I have been together for 16 years, married for 13, no one on my fathers side of the family, aside from my cousin getting married and her twin sister, have ever met J. If you know one thing about me by now it's that I say what I want to say. That rings true for everyone who has Baran blood. We're all loud, social, and say what's on our mind. Annnnd, if you know J by now through my blogs, you know that he is as anti social and introverted as you can get. He hates being the center of attention, he hates small talk, he hates being surrounded by strangers.

This was going to be fun. For me, at least.

Because so much happened over the weekend I'm going to streamline it and add fun photos so that you, my fine readers, don't fall asleep while reading. Ready? WAKE UP!!! Ok, now are we ready? Good. Here's the recap:

Friday Night:
After two 30 minute delays for our flights from Raleigh to Detroit (and by the way may I just say that I hate US Airs? I am so spoiled using Jet Blue for my travels) and stuck in stop and go traffic for a good hour, J and I arrive to our destination, the Bavarian Inn Lodge, located in Frankenmuth.

Think of a town that is modeled after mini Germany, and that's where we stayed. After dropping off luggage and freshening up, we headed to the Brewery where the rehearsal dinner was at for my first glimpse of the Baran family all together under one roof in over 20 years. 

As we walked in, we were surrounded by cousins, aunts, uncles, etc, whom many I have not seen since before I had braces (or went through puberty for that matter) and J never met at all. The most common comment we received was that it was good to see that J was in fact, a real live person. It made me wonder if anyone had ever tried to pass off a blow up doll as a spouse. In my family, I wouldn't have been surprised.

My father stayed off to the sidelines, but even surrounded by multitudes of people, J looked me in the eye after he caught sight of my paternal parental unit. I stopped by to introduce the two of them while stifling a giggle. 

My father was dressed as a pirate. 

Can't make this shit up folks.  Blowing blouse open down to mid chest with golden necklaces and black breeches, my father and husband finally met. A few drinks later, while tucked away in cozy quiet corner, J turned to me and whispered " I think I finally get you now." Thanks love. Kiss kiss.
Photo rendition of my father

Following the rehearsal dinner we headed up to someones room for an after party, which consisted of a lot of alcohol, my father pulling out a guitar and singing about vampires, and a lot of partying.


J and I hit Oma's Restaurant for home made German food for breakfast. While there, many of our family members wandered in looking bright and shiny eyed, with no traces of hang overs. I think I get that one particular trait from them, as it's rare I get a hang over. Yay! I found out that we left the after party a bit too soon, as my brother and father headed to the Fun Room, and proceeded to challenge one another in fighting a punching bag. From what I gathered, both of them lost. I would have paid mad money to see that happen.

We stopped by the local village shops to find souvenirs for the boys, grabbed some coffee with Baily's from the Gift Shop ( all gift shops should offer coffee with Baily's) hung out with some cousins, then got ready for the wedding.

My cousin Michael (the one who taught me Simon) officiated over the wedding for my cousin Emily. He started out with the familiar marriage quote from Princess Bride:

Can I just offer props to him for getting that accent down absolutely perfect. I wondered how long it took him to practice in front of a mirror.

After asking the groom if he knew he was marrying a Baran and would entertain the crowd for a bit if he wished to reconsider this ultimate decision, and after Emily growled out through clenched teeth that she would "submit" to her husband, the two love birds were finally hitched and we celebrated.

Congratulations Emily and Kevin!

Try and imagine me, multiplied by 20, partying in a giant room ready to celebrate a very happy occasion. Try and imagine 20 of me, with loud music and a big dance floor. Try and imagine 20 of me surrounded by free alcohol.

Now you can get a clear idea of what the reception was like. Surrounded by spouses and other stranger people who do not share our genetics, my family ripped up the dance floor, turned the wet bar into a desert, and had a ball.  My father even dressed in a seventies tux, to which my brother and I asked if it was the same one he married our mother in. He couldn't recall. And we didn't stop partying when the reception was done. Oh no. We headed up to my brothers room to continue the party.

 I stole my brothers Marine hat. He kept leaving the damn thing on my chair.

J and I were headed there ourselves except we ran into a tiny snafu. While I went outside to have a quick smoke, J ran to our hotel room and somehow found himself locked in the bathroom. I got a phone call from him, asking to grab the hotel staff. Of course the first thing I ask is if he tried the door handle. because yes, we were THAT drunk. He had.

30 minutes later, we've got an impromptu party down in our room, drinking alcohol and cheering on the maintenance guy while he tries to rescue my husband. My brother, hosting the after party, left his party to come down and support J, while also trying to get the hotel staff to let us have the door knob as a souvenir. They politely declined, but once J was safe (huzzah!) they did give us a bottle of champagne. Which we took to the after party and celebrated until dawn. Or 3 am. I lost track of time.

And that, my friends, was our crazy family wedding weekend. 

One cool thing that came out of this crazy ass weekend was that we of the younger generation realized that seeing one another every few decades kind of sucks. We've only gotten together for weddings or funerals. unfortunately by now, everyone is hitched, and we'd rather not wait for someone to kick it. So instead of waiting for one of those occasions to happen, we proposed a family reunion. Since we all live scattered across the country, from San Fran, Denver, Detroit, Omaha, and here in Raleigh, we're setting it for 2014 so everyone can get their finances in order. It should be interesting to see if we actually get off our asses and do this. I'd love to sit on the beach surrounded by my crazy family, drinking margaritas while the kids bury my father under the sand.

Friday, October 12, 2012

SRM Promotion for ADHD Product

I don't normally do these types of blogs but today I am going to make an exception.  Two months ago, I was approached by Ben Caron, son of Dr. Caron, a psychologist who specializes in ADHD. Since I have blogged about Xavier and our issues with his ADHD, he asked if I would be interested in reviewing and discussing a product of theirs, which is an informational video that helps parents and children to understand ADHD, and offer tips to help out.

I couldn't refuse because ADHD is a big part of our daily life and I know how difficult it can be when raising a child with it, not to mention suffering it myself. I remember how many questions we had about ADHD, and how we still have hard days, even after working together as a team for over five years. So I agreed to check it out before I blogged about it.

Of course life takes over, and when raising three kids, it gets pushed back longer than you hope for. But. Now, with the two bus at school and things are starting to get back to "normal" I can sit down and tell you about this product.

 The only reason I am blogging about it is because frankly, I loved it. When it arrived in the mail and I saw the front, bearing Dr. Caron hanging out with a wooden marionette, I admit, I started second guessing this idea. I hate clowns and puppets. Hate them. They give me shivers and make me want to look over my shoulder. So realizing I was going to have to sit down and watch an hour long video with talking marionettes made me long for a bottle of wine to calm down my crawling skin.

So for me to say that I love this video, despite marionettes is saying a lot.

I would recommend this product to any family who is either already dealing with ADHD in their family, has just gotten the diagnosis, or even thinks that ADHD is a strong possibility. This video starts out by discussing exactly what ADHD is, clearing up a lot of popular misconceptions, with very clear examples to make it easy to understand. All done without feeling that you are being talked down to.

It goes through all of the different options to help your child live with ADHD, including the option of medication. I really appreciated how this articulate segment was written, as I know that one of the biggest hurdles we parents face when learning about options is whether or not to use medication as a way to help ADHD. I remember when that was brought up to me after learning about Xavier, and feeling like a failed parent. That was NOT the case as I now know, years later and more knowledgeable. But this video really helps to explain all of it to parents new to dealing with ADHD.

Aside from the information available to parents, this video talks to the children themselves. It has segments specifically for kids to watch, and they follow the story of Elwood, a nine year old marionette, who learns that he has ADHD. Kids can watch and relate to Elwood, as he and Dr. C. Learn about ADHD, and different tricks and tips to help Elwood deal with it both at school and at home. Using catchy songs, and word play, Dr. C. makes it easy for even young kids to learn along with Elwood.

Even as a parent who has been dealing with ADHD for years, I was still able to pick up some tricks that have worked when implemented with Xavier.

If you are a parent who is interested in this video, check the top of my blog for a link to the product. I will be promoting this video for the next six months.

Thank you Ben, and Dr. C. for bringing this informational video to my attention. We at the SRM household did appreciate it. Even with the dreaded marionettes. If you are interested in more information, check out the graphic link on the top right side of my blog.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Parental Crafting Emergency

As most of you know, Ashe is obsessed with the Legend Of Zelda. Halloween is fast approaching, and he has delighted me in choosing once again to be Link for that fabulous holiday. Well I was pleased, until Ashe accidentally left his Link hat at the hospital. Then I panicked.

It took me ages of searching for a Link outfit last year. It's not like they have them in the stores, and most of the ones I found on eBay were made for cosplaying adults that cost hundreds of dollars.  So to lose a vital piece of his outfit is a huge huge deal.

We all know I suck at crafts, but lately I have been on a Pintrest binge, ever since J mentioned that we might, just might, be able to look at purchasing a real honest to goodness home next year instead of renting. I nearly fainted with joy at that proclamation. And while I look for things I want to implement in our new future fantasy home, I also started looking at DIY crafts.  I even went out and purchased a bunch of craft things to make some crafts. So I may suck at them, but I am enjoying this new, domestic aspect I'm linking into.

So when Ashe lost his hat, instead of frantically searching yet again on eBay for one that would fit him, I decided to try to make him one myself. Even though I don't own a sewing machine. Even though the last lesson I had in sewing was in first grade. Even though I still have clear memories of trying to make the kids stuffed animals by hand.

Call me optimistic. Delusional fits too.

With Ashes costume in hand, we headed to the local fabric store in search of the perfect green material. We were fortunate to find a near identical match that didn't break the bank. At home, I measured Ashes head with tape. I know some of you crafty parental units are sucking in their breath right now thinking "oh no she didn't!" Oh yes, I did. Phbhbhbhbhbhbhbt.

I free handed the pattern (OH YES I DID!!!) with a sharpie and cut out the two pieces. And with thread and needle, I got down to business.  I stitched that thing to the best of my six year old knowledge and it took a total of three hours. And you know what? It looked awesome!

My leet hand sewing skills

It was tight stitched with no gaps, and looked just like his old hat. I was so impressed while also realizing that if I knew how to use a sewing machine it would have taken me five minutes instead of three hours that I am contemplating the purchase of one. Not that I know how to use one. But I could maybe learn?

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Sarcastic Saturday

With my favorite holiday approaching, I am dedicating all of this months Sarcastic Saturdays to Halloween. Mainly funny costumes, both for adults and kids. Some this month may be NSFW so open at your own discretion this month. Hopefully most of you don't work on Saturdays anyways. If for some reason you do, that sucks. Tell your boss I said to bite me. S/he can come here to bitch at me if they feel the desire to. It will amuse me =)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Bet

I'm not one to normally egg on people to bet, especially my kids, but we had a situation occur the other week, in which I think I taught my kids that betting was cool. I'm not sure if I am going to regret this in the future or not. However, it was just too good to pass up.

It was the boys first day of track out, and we decided to hop in the car and drive to Grammys house for the day.  It was a gorgeous day and I did something that pissed the kids off. I forced them to play outside all day. 

After a bit of bickering, Ashe and Soren set themselves up in the mini pool, and we adults pulled up lawn chairs in the backyard. Xavier, feeling too old for the kiddie pool, moodily joined the adults, which included myself, my mom, her husband, and my brother, fondly known as Uncle Brad.

Uncle Brad is in the marines and its a rare treat to have him home on a weekday where the kids can see him. He took the boys on lawn mower rides, and while the younger boys were "swimming" started up a conversation with Xavier about games. 

I sat there with my eyes closed, enjoying the feel of sun on my skin, when I realized that the conversation started to sound a little heated. I perked up to listen in. 

Now you have to understand that the gene of stubbornness runs rampant in my family. I blame my paternal grandfather who was the most stubborn asshole to ever live on this earth. He was an amazing man, but definitely a stubborn asshole. My brother and I received this gene, along with many aunts, uncles, and cousins. I of course, passed this gene down to my boys. All of them.

So when I started paying attention to the conversation, it came down to the fact that Xavier was insistent that his favorite online game, Minecraft, has only been out since the year 2010, whereas my stubborn brother insisted that he played Minecraft when he was Xavier's age. Neither was willing to give in.

With the absolute belief he was totally in the right, Uncle Brad, in a pique of inspiration blurted out "Fine! Lets make a bet. If I am right, you have to give me back my lawn chair (which Xavier had stolen because it was the best chair out there when Uncle Brad went to get a refill on his drink.) and if you win, I will give you my change bag."

Uncle Brads change bag is no laughing matter. Every night he cleans out his pockets and puts all of his change into a Crown Royal bag. It hasn't been cleared up in months. That sucker must have weighed a good five pounds. Knowing this bet was going to go down whether I approved or not, I decided to be Xavier's mentor in this matter.
"Take the bet, Zavi."
"But that's not a good deal!"
"Trust me, kid, it's a great deal. Take the bet."

So he did. And thank goodness for phones with Internet service because I quickly googled for the answer, and waited patiently until everyone was satisfied with the terms of the bet. Once everyone was happy and waiting for the answer I read it out loud.

The creator of Minecraft started it in the year 2009 and it was released in 2010.

"BOOYAH!" Xavier yelled, and jumped up to do the happy dance. Brad looked flabbergasted as he looked at me and said "I swear I played that game when I was a kid."
I looked at him and asked "Did you maybe mean the game Minesweeper?" And a look of horror passed over his face as Brad realized his mistake.

But he was a good sportsman, and the two of the trooped into the house to get Xavier's prize.

We still haven't finished counting out all of the coins, but we do know that there is at least $25 in quarters alone. I keep telling Xavier we should take the money to Coin Star and take a photo of him and the final tally and send it to Uncle Brad.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Magnet Chores

Having a family of five means that, no matter how hard you try, it is improbable to keep your house looking spiffy all of the time. In fact, I don't recommend even trying. You would miss out on too many things where your family is concerned.

Having three kids also means that you, the parental unit, are constantly trying to teach your kids RESPONSIBILITY. This is a life lesson that is continuous, never ending, and from a teachers perspective, sucks to teach. Because let's face it folks, kids in general would rather learn about cool shit like how storms are formed, how ice turns to water and back again, how Darth Vader could really be Luke Skywalkers father and did he pay child support. They don't want to learn that money does not grow on a tree, therefore they cannot get whatever fancy toy floats by their dilated pupils. I have even thought of planting a dead tree outside with pennies glued to the branches, just to prove this point.

However, I came across a cool idea that I decided to try and implement with my kids starting this week. It involved magnets, chores, and money. I called it Magnetic Chores.

After hitting the local craft store and purchasing magnets and little wooden circles, I sat down and brainstormed all of the different random chores around the house that are not already a part of the kids "family duties". I thought of chores that could be done throughout the week, chores that the two older boys could do. And then, J and I picked a monetary value for each chore completion.

Once finalized, I wrote up each chore and corresponding monetary value on a wooden circle, then stuck a magnet on the back. Then, I popped them onto the fridge.

My Magnetic Chores

Knowing my kids, and how they will misinterpret any direction given unless written out and copied in triplicate, I sat down to write out very detailed instructions on the following:

  • What is expected to complete each chore
  • When the chores are available
  • What happens if a chore is not completed
  • What happens if the kids suck up something into the vacuum and break my precious Dyson

The pages were stapled together, put in a folder, and into a drawer near the fridge so that the kids can read what is expected for the chore they decide to choose.

The way I figure, the kids are constantly asking for new things, and each weekend we hear whining on how they want a raise on their allowance. Our household rule is half their age in monetary pin money per week. But, it's like herding wet cats to get them to help around the house unless there is something in it for them. Now, they have family duties that are expected no matter what and they don't count for money. Things like cleaning their rooms, bringing down their dirty laundry, cleaning off the table both before and after meals, picking up the living room. But the chores I chose to offer are choice only with incentives to choose. My choice of chore and monetary value may differ from yours. I live on a three story town house where the laundry room is on floor one, and our bedrooms are on floor three. I'll happily pay a little extra cash than the average mom if the boys are willing to lug the clothes all the way upstairs for me. Or why I offer $2 to vacuum or sweep the stairs. It's a pain in the ass to do two sets of stairs.

So here is what I offered, with the understanding that homework and family duties need to be completed before these are available:

  • Dishes $1
  • Clean kitchen counters $.75 
  • Wipe kitchen appliances $.25 
  • Wipe windows $1 
  • Dust middle floor $.50 
  • Bring up laundry $.50 
  • Sort laundry $2 
  • Vacuum upper floor $.75
  •  Vacuum middle floor $.50
  •  Sweep lower floor $.50 
  • Vacuum stairs $2 
  • Middle bathroom $.50 
  • Kids bathroom $1
  •  Parents bathroom $1 
  • Office bathroom $1
 ***note that tubs are not included in price, but there is an option to earn an extra dollar per tub they clean*** 

I also added two "Wild Card" additions, to be used by parental units discretion only. They can be used for any random chore that may need to be done at that point in time.

In total, including the addition of tub cleaning, it is conceivable that the kids can earn more than an extra $15 per week on top of their regular allowance.

When the boys arrived home from school they immediately noticed the magnets and the mason jars on display as their piggy banks. After going through all of the rules, the boys excitedly started making plans on who would get which chore. Ashe has already earned a quarter and my kitchen appliances look awesome. Soren even earned a nickel through the Wild Card system, by bringing down a box of Bounce to the Laundry Room.

Yeah, I think this is going to work out just fine. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Track In

My apologies for the lack of blogging lately. As the kids are in year round school, we just finished up  three weeks of all boys home terrorizing their parental units. Needless to say it was pretty impossible to blog at regular intervals (see the definition of ever) when I had three rambunctious and crazy XY chromosome children running around.

It was a pretty crazy track out. We had an asthma attack that brought Ashe to the hospital for a day. We had Ashe fall into a lake from a paddle boat. We had J leave for a business trip. We had ice cream dinners and a Plants vs. Zombies marathon (Xavier finished the game). We had lawn mower lessons, park picnics, and regular lazy days.

But they are over now. School is back in session until December. And while I now have to chug my morning cup of coffee in order to make carpool, I am enjoying the fact that my kids are off somewhere having knowledge crammed into their tiny pink brains. And the quiet at home. Oh, how I love the quiet.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Ashe and his Asthma

This was a pretty sucky weekend to say the least. We are all still reeling from the effects.

Ashe was diagnosed with juvenile asthmatic when he was two, after a few emergency landings in the ER. However, the past couple of years, he has not had any severe attacks, and not any attacks for the past year. We were all hoping that Ashe had finally outgrown it.

Unfortunately that didn't turn out to be the case.

Two weeks ago we had a cold run through our family. Nothing major but it kept the boys home from school for a day. When Ashe caught the cold he developed a wicked cough, which we realized was his asthma acting up. His teacher asked if we could get him an inhaler for school just in case. I agreed, and planned on calling the doctor, but then life happened, the kids tracked out of school, and I forgot.

Last week another cold ran through our family. It was a 48 hour cold that wasn't anything to write home about. But Ashe started coughing again, which reminded me to call the doctor about getting an extra inhaler. Since it had been so long since he had needed any asthma medication, they asked us to come in so they could check him out and update the medicine.

We walked in expecting to be there for fifteen minutes. Instead, they checked his level of oxygen and he was below 90%. Under law, they cant release him unless his oxygen is at 96 or above. It took him two treatments before he got there and they sent us home.

His medicine is albuterol, and we can only use it every four hours. However, after the doctor visit, he couldn't get through three, than two hours, before his cough returned. By midnight his asthma medicine wasn't working at all and Ashe couldn't breathe. Realizing we were facing more than a regular asthma attack, we made the decision to rush Ashe to the ER. Since we have one working car, J took him while I stayed home with the other two sleeping boys. I helped pack Ashe into the car, handing him his blankie and Link hat, gave him a hug, and watched them drive away.

Of course we were NOT expecting an ER visit in the middle of the night, so Js cell phone was not charged. He told me he'd call with updates but otherwise he would keep his phone off. So not only was I stuck at home, but I had to rely on my husbands ability to call me at regular intervals. Which of course, did not happen. I got one phone call at two in the morning to let me know they were transferring Ashe from ER to the Big hospital in downtown Raleigh. I got another call at 7am to let me know that he was doing much better and they hoped to be home by lunch time. When lunch time came and went with no call or no family members returning home I started to panic. What if there was a relapse? What if a team of doctors were frantically hovering over him unable to make him better? Why won't anyone call me? Even the boys at home were getting worried, asking if I had talked to Dad, and when would their brother return home?

Finally at 3pm J realized that there was a phone in the room (after 12 hours of hanging out in said room) and called to let me know that they were on their way home. Neither of us were happy, me from being worried sick thinking of all worst case scenarios and he from only catching two hours of sleep.

But finally the boy and his father returned home to much rejoicing. The boys made Ashe a card, we walked down to the local gas station to grab him a treat, and huhs were passed all around.

So what does this mean for us? It means that Ashe is now on preventive asthma medicine twice a day until the summer. It means that we have been ordered to medicate the poor kid like crazy with asthma medicine the MOMENT he has a sniffle. It means that we have been told to wash his face and arms every day after school to try and keep viruses from infecting his nostrils when he inadvertently picks his nose.

We're used to daily meds for Xavier so it wont be much of a difference. But holy hell, our insurance deductible had better be paid for because I have no clue how we're going to pay for an ER trip, a $400 trip in an ambulance, plus a days stay at Big Wake.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pullen Park

After two weeks of the boys on school vacation (hence why there have been no new blogs as of late since I have zero time to blog while wrangling three kids at home) and a very crazy weekend which ended up with Ashe in the hospital (I will blog about that next) I decided that today we had to get the hell out of the house. I could not stand another day of the four of us stuck indoors when the weather is so perfect. Ashe was finally feeling good enough for an outdoor romp, so I packed the kids and snack into the van and off we went.

Despite the fact that the last time I was at this park Soren was scarred for life when I forced him to do the carousel, I chose to spend our day at Pullen Park, a local hangout that has not only three playgrounds, but the fore mentioned indoor carousel, a train ride, paddle boats, and good food. We went once when we first moved here. The two older boys don't remember it. It's been closed for the past two years for renovations, and it was worth the wait.


Because our family just finished a really crappy weekend I decided to splurge and buy tickets to do all the extra activities for the boys. First we hit the carousel, which thank goodness, had turned the volume of the music down so it didn't scare the shit out of Soren this time. Still, he chose to drape himself all over my person in the carriage we sat in, just in case. Which kind of sucks, because this carousel has got some of the coolest animal choices to ride. Aside from the regular ponies, there are tigers, giraffes, bunnies, pigs, and even ostriches. I know when J joins us one day his choice will be the ostriches. Ashe chose a donkey, which he quickly named Epona after Links horse in Zelda. Xavier chose a pig. This thing goes super fast and the boys whooped it up as we twirled around getting dizzy.


Next we hit the park, where the boys raced around with their excess energy for over an hour. I got tired just trying to keep an eye on who was where. We grabbed lunch at the local cafe and headed to an island near the paddle boats to picnic in the sunshine. After gorging themselves on hot dogs, tacos, and lemonade, the kids chased each other around the island while I soaked up the sun and took photos.

And then we hit the paddle boats.


Now, the kids are used to kayaking. We've done it a few times over the past couple months and the boys know the rules when sitting in a boat. HOWEVER, I need to remember to take into account Ashe and his ability to find himself in situations that most normal boys would not be in. Ashe has apraxia, which makes it difficult for him to pronounce certain sounds. Recently J was dong some research on it and found out that apraxia can also cause the muscles to not work properly, causing a child with apraxia to sometimes seem clumsy. In fact, an older diagnosis for apraxia used to be Clumsy Child Syndrome. If you know Ashe, you know this labels him perfectly. When J read that out loud to me, we both looked at each other for a moment and burst out laughing.

So, take one child with Clumsy Child Syndrome, one paddle boat with barely a lip to keep people on, and our bad luck dribbling in from the weekend and you get.....

Ashe falling out of the boat.

Yes, yes he did. And I saw it happen in slow motion. He was sitting in the back and leaned forward to get a better view of the ducks. He leaned just a little too far and tumbled forward. I tried, in vain, to grab his pants to pull him back up, but my hand slipped and PLOP! Down he went. People, this is why if you ever go on a boat you wear a life vest. Because that bothersome life vest made him pop right back up, and I was able to haul his wet little ass back into the boat. Fortunately he didn't lose his glasses or else I would not be sitting here still giggling as I write this.

After dragging his soaking wet, 42 pound behind back into the boat we sat there gaping at each other for a long, quiet moment. He looked at me with wide eyes, mouth opening and closing like a gasping fish for a moment, cleared his throat and shakily said "I think I leaned too far forward Mom." To which I replied "Yes hon, I think you did." And then I sat there laughing my ass off for the next fifteen minutes. I wish I could tell you that I took a photo of my soaking wet bedraggled five year old. I wish I could show you the aftermath of this crazy event. I even pulled out the camera as I giggled to snapshot this moment that no one will ever forget. But Ashe looked at me in such abject misery and asked me in a beseeching voice not to. And for once, I didn't have the heart to make him feel more worse than he did at that moment. Even though it would have been an award winning photo. Instead, we pretended to ignore that Ashe was soaking wet and walking with his arms out a bit to mimic the Frankenstein stride, and we finished up our trip to the park with a train ride. We spent almost four hours at the park today. You would think that after all that we did, the boys would happily sit for quiet time and watch a movie. But no, they are currently upstairs raising hell and shaking the walls with their shrieks of delight. But that's fine. I surreptitiously snagged the iPad so that I could blog a bit before they noticed.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Weighty Validation

After a year of painful frustration dealing with rapid weight gain for no reason, today I finally received validation.

If you remember, I blogged awhile ago on how very quickly, with no change in diet or exercise, I gained 30 pounds in three months. I blogged on how I went to the doctor in a panic, and after a few blood tests he determined that I just had a "fat gene" and there was nothing I could do. I tried his weight loss pills to no effect. I started working out like crazy to no effect. I cut my calories and carbs down like crazy. To no effect. I even tried a pure liquid diet which worked for two weeks. Then I stopped losing weight. I tried thermogenics pills, best on the market, to no effect. I drank shit tons of water every day, staying close to bathrooms due to my new superpower ability to pee at a  moments notice. To no effect.

Finally, after trying everything under the sun, I returned to my doctor and demanded that he send me to an endocrinologist now. One week later I was having 15 vials of blood drawn while doing a glucose test. Today I got the results.

I don't have a fat gene. No, I have hypothyroidism and I'm pre diabetic. And I only found out because I refused to stop fighting for an answer. I knew I wasn't lazy. I have three kids to raise, plus I work out five times a week. I knew I wasn't stuffing my face, because I've kept my calorie intake very low. I knew something was wrong and a year later I got my answer. Not only do I have a answer but I understand what is going on with my body too.

My thyroid numbers came back on the "normal" side, but just barely. I also had every other symptom that pointed to hypothyroidism; rapid weight gain, exhaustion, dry skin, brittle nails, history of anemia, etc. On top of that, it was discovered that my body simply cannot break down glucose. In trying to combat this issue, my body produces ten times more insulin than the normal body, trying to break it down, with no success. My doctor explained this is why no matter what I do, I can't lose weight. It's not my fault. Its something I can't help on my own.

Starting tomorrow I am taking a low dosage of medication for hypothyroidism. My doctor says I should start to see the weight come off. I go back in three months, where we will determine if I get a higher dosage or add more medication on. I finally have a plan, a way forward, and medical help I have been crying for for a year.

So, douchebag doctor who said I had a fat gene, how bout them apples? Effective immediately, you're fired.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Soren's Bum Woes

The other day, after returning home from a doctors appointment, Soren and I were hanging out in the living room. I was reading a book while he poured over youtube videos of Agry Birds. Suddenly he turns to me.
"Mom, my bum hurts."
"Your bum hurts, huh? What kind of hurt?"
He starts to scratch his arse. "It's itchy."
"Ahh," I say as  I hop off the couch and head over to him. "I think we can fix that. Let's go wipe your bum and see if that helps."
"No Mom," he says "that won't help. I think I need to go to a bum doctor."

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Sarcastic Saturday

For the Dads out there:

If you want to see more fun memes, check out my Pintrest boards by clicking here

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Left Alone

Today is a serious blog, discussing an event that happened to me a few days ago, and one I am still having a rough time wrapping my head around. This really did happen and the opinions are mine and mine alone. Normally I am not judgemental of other parents, but this is one time I feel like I could smack around the parents until my arm was tired.

The other day, after dropping the two older boys off at school and sweating my ass off on the exercise bike, Soren and I decided that it was too beautiful to spend the day inside. So we decided to hit a local park and enjoy the non boiling weather.

When we got to one of the smaller parks near our house we were the only ones around. Soren played on the slides, the swing, the rock wall, and had a ball. I watched him, cheered him on, and checked up on my email on my phone. And then suddenly we weren't alone. In front of me was a little boy smiling, holding a basketball. I looked around for the parents, happy that there was another child for Soren to play with, and to say hi. but as I looked around, I realized that there was no one else here. Just me, Soren, and this little boy.

This little boy was the FRIENDLIEST little kid you have ever met. He sat right down next to me and started talking like we had known each other all of our lives instead of 2.5 seconds. While he kept talking, I continued to scan the area looking for someone who had to have been there with him.

Nothing. No one. Not even a glimpse. My super awesome rebel parent powers kicked into gear. Something wasn't right.

So I asked the kid how old he was. He was five, Ashe's age. And then I asked him where his parents were. He told me they dropped him off at the park while they went to a few stores. What stores, I asked? He didn't know. Did he live nearby? Maybe somewhere you could see from the park? He lived within walking distance, but you had to walk down a lot of streets to get there.

This kid was all alone in the middle of downtown with no supervision. Fuck.

So I waited around for a good 30 minutes, hoping that SOMEONE would show up for this kid, but no one did. So finally, after a lot of "WWSRMD"? SRM decided to call the police.  The police were happy that I called, because like me, they thought five was waaaaay too young to be by themselves at a park with no supervision.

They came by, got the same story from the kid, looked around the park and came to the same conclusion that I did (the kid was definitely by himself). By this time no parents had shown up, and it had been over an hour that this little boy was on his own. When the police finally told me I could leave they had gotten Child Protection Services on the case. I went home quietly with Soren, all sorts of fucked up. Why? because I have a kid this boys age and I could never, EVER imagine him by himself for so long. Images of "What if's" ran through my head for hours:

  • what if the kid ran into the road to chase his ball?
  • what if the kid fell off the playground and got hurt?
  • what if the kid talked to a stranger who WASN'T a mom?
  • what if the kid left the park and got lost?
  • what if he was kidnapped, or worse yet, killed?
  • what if it was my child?

When the boys got home from school we had a very serious talk about this incident. We talked about stranger danger. We talked about what to do if they got lost. We talked about how it's never ok to go off by yourself without telling your parents. we talked about how it's not ok for parents to leave you alone. We've had these talks before, but it really hit home for all of us when faced with this real incident. Even Ashe knew right off the bat that it was never ok for him to be at a playground or anywhere without an adult.

The next day CPS called me to recheck my story and to fill me in. Supposedly both parents were home, and the little boy had been over at the neighbors house. When the kids went inside the house, instead of going in with them or going home, the little boy headed to the park without telling anyone. Supposedly the parents thought he was at the neighbors house. Supposedly when the kid didn't come home they started to get frantic. Supposedly they were worried sick until the police showed up.

So here is my opinion. Supposed my ass. Why? Because of the line that both parents were home, and frantic. I smell bullshit. If our son was missing, J and I both agreed wholeheartedly that one of us would be out pounding the pavement, screaming our kids name at the top of our lungs, and stopping every single person we passed asking if they saw our boy. The other parent would be home, on the phone with the police, news stations, and friends setting up a search party. No way in hell would we both be home, wringing our hands without having at least called the police.

While it is out of my hands now and the kid is home and hopefully safe, this is still bothering the hell out of me. I'm not usually a judgemental parent. But on this case, I judge. And all I can hope is that the parents learned how NOT OK this kind of parenting is, and that they were BEYOND lucky another parent was concerned enough to call for help, instead of a pedophile finding their child. They were BEYOND lucky this kid didn't get hurt and break his neck on the playground. They were BEYOND lucky to get their kid back. And I hope that with the police showing up on the doorstep and with CPS involved,that they realize how serious this was and they get their act together. When you have kids you have a responsibility to feed them, clothe them, house them, love them, and KEEP THEM SAFE.

And I swear to Bob, if I see that kid on the playground again by himself, there will be SRM hell to pay. So keep that kid safe and watched over. Or I will come beat your ass for shitty parenting.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

DIY Sidewalk Paint

If I can do this, ANYONE can do it. You all know how I suck at crafts. But I saw this cool idea on Pintrest, and just had to try it out. By the way, if you haven't noticed yet, I created an account for SRM on Pintrest. I've been posting some pretty cool crafts that an idiot can do (which means I can do them) but I have also been having a ton of fun finding humorous memes about parenting. So if you have an account, you can follow me by clicking the Pintrest button on the right side of the blog. Or you can find me by clicking here.

Ok so back to crafting shit.

Every day while we wait for the boys to come home from school, Soren and I hang out on our front porch. I have to keep him occupied and happy. Usually we bring out the sidewalk chalk or bubbles and this will keep him from growing bored and not try to run out in the middle of the street. But often times he loses interest after 15 minutes.

Soren looooooves to paint. If he had his way, he would paint all day long. He will paint anything you put in front of him: paper, crafts, boxes, the kitchen counter if you're not fast enough.....

so while I was perusing Pintrest, I cam across this cool DIY craft that made sidewalk chalk paint. It was so freaking simple to make, I figured it had to be SRM proof. So I bought the ingredients and tried it out.

This craft was originally blogged by Jenny at Creativity Blooming. Jenny, thank you so much for such a kick ass craft.

So what you need to make the paint:

  • 1.5 cups of corn starch
  • 1.5 cups of water
  • food coloring
  • muffin tin

Mix the corn starch and water together, pour into a muffin tin, then add food dye. The blog suggested two drops of color per, but I went for four and recommend it. We made red, blue, green, yellow, orange, and purple.

We grabbed a couple of brushes, a bowl of water, and headed out on our front porch to play. The paint lasted us for over an hour of fun. While it went on very light, when it dried it was quite bright. This does wash off in raid, and will not dye your clothing.

Soren painting his heart out

The boys loved having their names painted on our front steps

Multiple psychedelic seahorses?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Sarcastic Saturday

If you want to see more fun memes, check out my Pintrest boards by clicking here

Thursday, August 23, 2012


The kids go absolutely crazy whenever a package arrives on our doorstep. It doesn't matter if it's not for them. If the door knocks and the postman leaves a box on our doorstep, the boys will circle it like sharks coming in for a kill until someone finally opens it.

My mother in law loves to send packages to the boys every few weeks. She sends us our favorite Portuguese sweet bread since we can't get it here in NC. She sends the boys clothing. And sometimes she sends a little gift. It really doesn't matter what she sends, the boys adore packages.

I snapped two photos of the boys last time a package arrived. I apologize for the fuzziness, but it was on my phone, and the boys kept moving around. Like I said, they circle the package like a bunch of starving sharks.

After receiving permission, the boys go in for the kill.

He may be the smallest, but he won the battle of the package.
Notice the middle child down for the count in the background.