Tag Archives: parenting

Becoming a Young Lady: How I Handled My Daughter’s Transformation

5 Jul

It’s been several years since my last post.  Various events in my life have led me to have little to virtually no time for myself, all of which I could have blogged about and they would have been great stories, however, I’ve tried dedicating what little time I do have to my children.  With that being said, my comeback post relates to my now 11 year old daughter and the dreaded step closer to becoming a woman.girls-on-their-period_o_2073325

Yes, you read correctly, how can I say it more clearly without causing alarm, MY 11 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER got her period.  I never thought the day would come and yet, like a freak hurricane, IT arrived in full force.  She freaked out, I freaked out and more than anything, my son freaked out. My 8 year old daughter thought it was cute and adorable, I found that a bit disturbing.  She obviously has no idea what monster she’s got coming to her.  Nonetheless, after running around like a crazy lady and “confirming” several times that she had actually started her period, we got dressed and prepared to make our trek to the store to “shop” for her items.  Upon arriving at our local supermarket we made our way to the “feminine products” aisle where I was faced with a plethora of choices for her.  I was lost.  I had no idea what to choose for her.    I know you’re asking yourselves how this is possible since I’m a woman too.  Well, I’m 34 and for the last 20 odd years or so, I have been going to the exact same spot at the supermarket picking out the exact same feminine product, not once paying any mind to the endless other choices.

Anyways, while standing in the aisle scoping out our options, my daughter begins to have a breakdown.  Tears start streaming down her face and she is absolutely mortified at the thought of having to pick out something that is absolutely normal.  Meanwhile, my 8 year old screams out at the top of her lungs, “Mom is that going to happen to me too!”  My poor 11 year old had the most upsetting look on her face.   Of course, I’m not helping the situation by giggling at each option I look at and trying to explain the different pros and cons of each product.  Finally, my sympathy for her kicks in and I help her choose one pack that looks like it is geared towards “preteens”.  My daughter, rightly so, makes me carry the box to the register and she stands as far away from me as possible, as if I’m holding something that presents imminent danger to her life.  So I pay and we walk out of the store and head on home.  In my head, I’m trying to go over HOW I’m going to show her how to use these things, these “feminine pads” and I’m dreading every bit of it.  We arrive at home and my daughter rushes to the restroom, me following behind.  I begin the exhausting process of explaining exactly how this product is to be used and the normality of it all.  I have “the” talk with my daughter about the importance of crossing the little girl to young lady threshold and I stress the importance of being careful in any situation she may be presented with.  I have to remind myself several times that, regardless of her age, her young mindset, HER body has began to transform itself to that of a young lady.

I can’t help but shed a few tears, my little girl is growing up, and dammit I think I handled it pretty damn well.

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I Need To Lose Weight and My Daughter is Brutally Honest

13 Jul

fat lady

I love to say that I have the best kids in the world, and I do, but sometimes they can seriously be brutally honest, and many times it is in the most unexpected places or at unimagined times.  Parents, I’m sure  you know what I’m talking about, when your kids blurt out in public that you farted, or say something awkward at family gatherings.  Sometimes though, it is in the comfort of your own home, yes, comfort, but your little terrors turn it into anything but comfort.  Most recently my 5 year old enlightened me on two different facts.  Here is what I am referring to.

This past week I had my younger sister staying with me so that my kids can stay home in place of going to daycare.  Being the great hostess that I am I offered my little sister my bedroom to sleep in, which meant I had to sleep on a small, rather unforgiving twin bed, while my sister enjoyed my plush, memory foam, queen-sized bed.  Our little house was built many years ago so the floor plan is a little odd.  The only restroom in our house is situated next to my daughters’ bedroom so that you have to go through my bedroom, then my daughters’ bedroom in order to get to the bathroom-I have a point, I promise.  Okay, so earlier this week I had just finished taking a wonderful and steamy shower, getting ready to go to hell (this is in reference to my job) and I stepped out into my daughters’ room to get dressed (I hate getting dressed in the restroom, it’s too hot and sticky in there).   I was going on about my business, fully naked, beginning to dress myself, when out of nowhere I heard a rather deep and raspy, yet sweetly innocent voice say, “Remember mommy, you have two bellies”.  After recovering from a slight heart attack due to an unsuspecting voice too early in the morning, I turned to my 5 year old, and saw two small, stubby fingers being held up.  She re-uttered, “Two bellies mommy, two”.  Even though I felt a slight pang in my heart I mustered up the strength to laugh and try to argue in my defense that I had one belly shaped in two.  Nope, this eerily smart 5 year old was not buying it.  I was defeated.  Hence I learned two things that day…I have an extremely honest and blunt 5 year old, and I seriously need to lose weight if my 5 year old is able to see in darkness the shape of her mother.  I am now currently in the market for an elliptical and a great exercise video.

Boobs! A 5 Year Old’s Wish, A Mom’s Displeasure

6 Jul

Gran

Boobs.  It’s a simple word when used in the right context, hilarious when it comes out of the mouth of a 5 year old.  That’s right.  My silly 5 year old is now completely aware of the word boobs and she knows exactly when to say the word.

The other day I came home from work in a rush in order to get ready for a family outing.  I think every parent out there, mainly moms, know that once you have kids your privacy has pretty much gone extinct.  Seriously, I can’t pee or poop, (yes I said the word poop), without having both my daughters staring at me sitting on a very restful and comforting toilet, and they stand there carrying on conversations with me while I stare back at them thinking, “please just let me get this 2 or 3 minutes of peace”.  Nope, not going to happen.  Anyways, so I was in my room changing from my horrid, smelly work uniform into a more appealing evening blouse when my 5 year old walks in and catches me in mid-shirt removal.  She stares at me with her big, beautiful, brown eyes and utters “mom I wish I had boobs like you”.   I stared down at her and let out a hysterical laugh and told her “No you don’t, they are not as fun as you think they are”.   Us top-heavy moms know exactly what I’m talking about with that statement right?  The evil looks and remarks from women who are not as “blessed”, the horrible backaches while washing dishes and not to mention the expensive maintenance they require (those damn $40 bras that I can’t even buy at Victoria’s Secret because they don’t carry my size).   Not fun at all when I am subjected to buying bras at a different store or online because they are considered “special” sizes.

I’m not sure how any of you moms handle a situation such as this?  Do you laugh it off? Do you ignore it?  Do you actually take time to explain to your 5 year the UNIMPORTANCE of boobs at their age?  I seriously want to educate mine on their displeasure, but I think I will wait a few more years for that.  For now I will have to find a way to deal with the lack in privacy and the onslaught of other questions that are to come from a very inquisitive 5 year old.

Playing With Teeth and Acting Like Dogs

2 Jul

teeth

I love being a mom, a single one at that.  There is rarely a dull moment in my life when it comes to my children.  Every day is always an adventure, a memory, a story of some sort.  Today it just happened to be playing with teeth and acting like dogs.  The following was a quick conversation between my son and I:

Son:  Mom, did you see where I put my tooth?

Me:  Your sister was playing with it. (In a nonchalant voice)

Short and simple right?  But in retrospect this is actually quite hilarious, and gross if you are pretty sensitive to certain things.  I mean seriously, who plays with teeth?  The funny thing is that these are normal conversations in my household.  I am never bored, not always happy, but never bored.

dog on leash

In other news, as I’m getting ready for bed I get on my computer and begin this post, my 5 year old has a makeshift leash (a belt) tied around my 8 year olds jeans and is dragging her around, while my 8 year old barks like a dog.  Do I even turn to acknowledge what they are doing?  Do I tell them to stop because it’s not right to be crawling around acting like dogs and being dragged?  Not one bit.  My 5 year old can’t do that much damage and if it keeps them from bugging me for a few minutes so that I can work on this post then I welcome dog behavior any day.   This leaves me to wonder what’s in store for tomorrow.  Good night everyone.

Strong Words To Live By

29 Jun

Many of seem to dwell on the past, to the point where it almost consumes us entirely.  A weekly dose of these strong words may help in remembering to let go of the past and look to the future!

Inspiration

Forced Smiles

20 Jun

Forced Smiles

Forced Smiles

We all have these, especially single moms struggling in this heart-wrenching economy.  Lately it’s as if I have had nothing but forced smiles.  For a while it seemed like so many things were going right in my life, and at the snap of some fingers my life seems to have begun going in the wrong direction.  As much as I am trying not to let this deter me, it has taken all my strength to not only put on this forced smile but to keep it on.  And it’s never ending.  I have to put on a forced smile at work or I could be reprimanded for allowing my personal problems affect my job performance.  I have to put on a forced smile around family members or I face an entourage with their onslaught of never-ending questions.  Forced smiles are automatically required at home simply because my children are too young to be subjected to my personal problems, problems that are only getting worse by the minute.  Car accident, work stress, family issues, money issues and the worst yet, the person responsible for my accident had no insurance, which means he basically totaled my vehicle, left me without a car, left me fending for myself and scraping nickels and dimes to try and buy another vehicle in the near future.  This person altered my life in a huge way and he gets to go on about his merry way, while I, a single mom of three struggles once again meanwhile being set back to square one.  I shouldn’t be selfish for things could have been worse, but I am extremely upset and bitter at the moment, mainly at how something like this can happen and no one is held responsible.  Nevertheless, I am maintaining this forced smile for the time being until I am able to get my life back on track, until this forced smile can become a genuine smile.

Uprooting Your Kids May Not Always Be A Good Thing

18 Jun

faith

I know I had promised to write about my struggles as a single mom and it seems as though I haven’t been doing that all.  In fact, I have been doing quite the opposite in writing poems and sharing some photography instead.  But I divert to writing my first blog about a rather recent struggle I had as a single mom and I hope to inspire other women (men) who have gone or are currently going through a situation similar to mine.

So about 3 long years ago I was blessed to have been offered the job I currently have.  I was hired as an AP Clerk at a medium sized car dealership with limited accounting experience, but the person who hired me did so with the intentions of training me into becoming her, a Financial Controller.  During those 3 years there were many ups and down, some write ups for doing a few things incorrectly, some scolding and lectures, and last year leading into the early part of this year was in all honesty the worst.  In November of 2012, after several months of being bashed by my boss and having made a huge mistake at work I decided to quit.  I gave my two week notice, however, because of cash handling I was let go that same day.  Several days later right before Thanksgiving I decided to email my ex-boss and let her know the reason I quit.  Not even a few minutes later my phone rang and my heart literally stopped beating, at least it felt like it did.  It was my boss.  I reluctantly answered the phone and she proceeded to ask me why I quit and if I had thought my decision through.  Well after a few minutes she asked me to go in and meet with her the following day to see about getting my job back.  The following day I went in and was offered my job back, hoping that my boss’s attitude had changed as others had informed me it had.  This was short-lived, for she became her old self within a month and in January 2013 I quit again.  This time there was no two week notice.  I just walked out and never looked back…until a month later, but we will get to that in a bit.

When I quit in January I realized how selfish it was of me.  I found myself with no job in a struggling economy and 3 kids to support.  I unfortunately did what most adults despise doing, I called my mom who lived a couple of hours away and asked if I could stay with her.  So a few weeks later in late January I moved with my mother.  I uprooted my kids, not paying attention to how they would be affected, and moved them to another school.  This was by far the worst decision I made.  Not because I didn’t want to live with my mom, quite the opposite, I love my mother very much.  Actually, the minute my kids started this new school they began to get into trouble.  My youngest was getting SUSPENDED from school!  How does a 5 year manage to get suspended? Did she attack someone with a crayon or some glue??  Nonetheless, my baby girl was kicked out for a day almost every other day.  My son got into his first scuffle ever with another kid.  I have to biased here and mention that my son has NEVER been the type to fight with anyone.  My 8 year old seemed to show no remorse when they had a couple of lock-down situations at the school.  I would need to borrow your hands and feet to count how many times I received phone calls to go pick up my children.  I was at my wits ends.  I would cry on my way to the school and it became downright embarrassing.  All the while I couldn’t find a job and because of having to go to the school constantly I missed several great job interviews.  I had many great prospects all with the same response, “You seem very qualified we will let you know once we interview the other candidates”, and then, no phone call.  This went on for a whole month and when it seemed like I would never find anything the weirdest thing happened, I was offered a great position in that same city, and I received a phone call from my old boss in which I was offered a position to return.  This was by far one of the most difficult decisions I had to make and I literally had to weigh out the pros and cons.  They both pretty much offered the same starting pay, but what swayed my decision was the fact that my kids were not happy with the move to this new city.  They were not comfortable in this new environment, and although I wanted to stay a bit longer with my mom and siblings I knew right away that my kids came first.  So with a heartbreaking decision, I packed up our stuff and moved myself and my children back to my hometown.  With the help of my boss I was able to find a house to rent and she provided me with a sign on bonus that helped with having some startup cash.  I immediately enrolled my kids in school and daycare, which I knew was difficult because this was already their 3rd school in a couple of months.  But, they finished their school year off with awesome grades and no misbehaviors reported.  We were home.

I was offered a higher title, I was finally offered my title of Financial Controller with a bit more pay with a potential for a raise in 3 months, in which I was reviewed and given another raise.  I feel that I am truly blessed even though I encountered several scary bumps along the way.  This is life though.  It will never be smooth sailing.  We just need to know how to stay strong and “keep on truckin” when the going gets bad.  I have learned a lot about myself.  I have learned to not make hasty decisions that will affect my children.  They are the most important people in my life and I am truly grateful for being given a 3rd opportunity to work for the company I do.  This is just another “trial or tribulation” that I can check off as “conquered”.

P.S. In case you are wondering why I haven’t quit a 3rd time, my boss with the crazy attitude quit about a week after I returned.  We have remained friends outside of work and she has become my confidant in many areas of my life.

Happy Father’s Day…..Single Moms Included!

16 Jun

fathers day

Happy Father’s Day!  How many of us take this day for granted?  How many people out in this large, vast world of ours do not have the privilege of saying these three heartfelt words?  Many of us say this with no real meaning behind it.  I for one have been guilty of this in the past for I have repeated these words just because it is the customary thing to do in America.  We have been trained, nurtured to call our fathers’ on this very day to utter these three words and yet we do not take the time to step back and be blessed at the fact that we can say it.  I have several friends who would love the opportunity to see their father at least one more time let alone be able to say these words to him.  Please do not take this day for granted.  When you call or visit your dad, don’t let these be empty words.

Today I took the time to step back and think about my fathers.  Yes, I have been blessed with having two dads, my birth father and my stepfather.  Although we do not see eye to eye on many things, I love them both equally.  Both of these wonderful men have played a huge part in shaping the person who I am today (and I think they did a pretty damn good job).  Unfortunately one lives out of town, so I was not able to spend time with him, but I made sure to call him and let him know that I consider him my father just the same as my birth father and I love him equally.   My birth father unfortunately has a very stressful job so I spent time with him yesterday in order for him to rest in preparation of an upcoming distressing Monday, but that did not stop me from calling and assuring that he knows I love him and was thinking about him today.

fathers day mom

But what else does Happy Father’s Day mean?  Well today I received a text message from my very beautiful and talented younger sister.  It read “Happy Father’s Day sis……love yaaa”!  Yes you can tell by the text that she is a teenager, but a rather smart one at that.  See, I stared at her text for a couple seconds, puzzled at her words, and then it donned on me, I am a single mother and I play the part of father as well as mother.  This is my day too!  Her text brought tears to my eyes, for she remembered and this meant a whole lot to me coming from a 19 year old college student.  So for all you single mothers out there doing double the work, this day is for you too!  Happy Father’s Day single moms!

Enjoy your special day fathers and single moms!  I know I will. 😀

Treasure Your Loved Ones…and Your Life

11 Jun

Life-is-precious

Life is precious but not eternal.  Today I was snapped back into reality for a brief amount of time reminding me that I need to treasure my life and my loved ones.  Earlier today I was involved in a car accident and the fact that it wasn’t minor but it wasn’t major was a rude awakening for me.  So many things went through my mind as I kept replaying the impact over and over again in my head.  What if my kids were with me?  What if the responsible party had been driving a little faster?  What if I would have just driven on the other lane instead of the one I was in?  So many what ifs that will probably haunt me for a while and will remain unanswered forever.  I know that I shouldn’t dwell on this and I will do anything I can to stay away from those thoughts.  For now I can only thank God that I was alone.  This is one “what if” that I know I won’t be able to let go of so soon.  See, we drive (drove) a minivan and my two younger daughters enjoyed sitting in the very back of the van where the groceries are placed.  I know, please scold me here, that my daughters were not supposed to sit back there.  Up until today I was one of those parents who kind of took life for granted and never thought an accident such as this would happen.  Had my girls been with me, there is about an 80% chance that they would have been sitting in the very back where the brunt of the accident occurred.  The rear end of my van was completely caved in and the back windshield had completely shattered.  It sickens me to my stomach to think of what could have transpired had my baby girls been with me today or my precious son who usually sits in the front with me.  He could have sustained whiplash just as bad as I did, or worse.  This is one rude awakening that I welcome with open arms.  It is exactly what I needed to remind me that life is precious but in the blink of an eye it can all come crashing down.   Parents please learn from this and if you happen to be one of those who also take life for granted, don’t.  Several hours after the accident and I am still crying over what happened and what could have happened.  I have learned from my foolish mistakes but I thank God for having kept my children out of harm’s way.

Summer Break is Here! Oh no!

3 Jun

closedforsummer_color

Mondays are always hectic for me, and today was no exception.  In fact, if I had to rate my Monday it would rate a 15 on a scale from 1-10 with 10 being the highest!  Not only did I have to deal with accounting nightmares at work but it just happened to be the first full weekday in which my kids were out for summer break.  Walking in the door I was greeted with a houseful of clutter, as if tripping over toys in the morning when I’m half asleep isn’t enough, now I walk in and my laptop along with the charger are on the floor.  Shoes are all over the living room, my remotes are scattered across the living room, my kitchen looks like a category 5 hurricane overpowered it and the cat is whining at the top of it’s lungs.  Oh yes, summer is here in full effect and with brutal force.

 

So I immediately walk in and meticulously tip-toe through my living room as if there are hidden land mines and proceed to the kitchen to begin washing dishes.  As I’m washing the mount Everest of dishes that are in my sink I ask my kids what they would like to eat for dinner.  I had already taken out some pork chops earlier in the morning with the intent of making that with some mashed potatoes but my kids obviously had something else in mind.  They settled on hot dogs with fried potatoes.  I know I know, not very healthy is what you are thinking, but honestly I let them choose about once a week and the rest of the time they are subjected to my horrible cooking.   I chose to  make them happy today.  Anyways, so as I was done washing the dishes I went ahead and prepared “dinner” and made what I thought were going to be fried potatoes but they came out rather mushy (too much oil I guess).   I served dinner and proceeded to give each of my kids their glass of juice.  If any of you have read in my “About Illiana” section you would know that my 8 year is somewhat of a hardcore tomboy.  So I went ahead and served her in a princess cup and she gave me the “are you serious” look.  My response to that look was “What? It’s not like they are going to jump out and grab you”, in which she proceeded to laugh hysterically.  Now my 8 year old being the outspoken thing that she is poked her potatoes around and said “what the heck kind of potatoes are these”?  Ahhh!!!! Can I catch a break??? She hates the cup, hates the potatoes…geez!  Well whatever, let’s just say she only ate the hotdog and the potatoes became a 2nd helping for me.

After dinner I settled down in time to start watching the Pacers/Heat game (which is actually still going on right now) and in the middle of it I decided to make some chocolate chip cookies.  So there I am along with my handsome and helpful son, preparing the cookie dough batter when we realize we have no baking soda or powder.  That question I asked earlier “can I catch a break”, seems not.  Ah, what the heck.  We decided to go ahead and make them anyway.  I mean shoot, dinner was already horrible might as well end dessert the same way right?  So cookies have baked and they aren’t the best cookies in the world.  They ended up looking like cookie balls instead.  Ooops.  They were sweet so we ate them anyway, you know, something to cleanse the palate.

I would like to mention that during this entire time our 4 week old kitten has been whining at the top of it’s lungs with somewhat of a pathetic look on it’s face.  Charlie, our kitten, is hungry but for reasons personal to himself he would rather starve.  Apparently he doesn’t like the fact that I have switched him from mushy (he would have loved the potatoes) to solid food.  So for the last two days he has been starving himself with only taking sips of milk and turning his nose up at the solid food in his bowl.  As much as my kids are pleading with me to give him something mushy I will not give in.  At last, this is something I can have some control over.  Sorry Charlie, literally.

So as my 5 year old walks away swinging Charlie around as if he was a baton I leave you with a thought, what kind of summer will  you have?  Will it be swinging, starving cats?  Children that hate your cooking?  Chocolate chip balls?  A daily cluttered house?  Whatever it is make the best of it for they are the best memories you will ever have of and with your children.

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