Strong-Willed Child

I swear that my youngest child is going to be the death of me. Can someone please tell me how to handle a pre-teen, know-it-all, strong-willed child? Don’t tell me to read a book either, because I’ve tried it and it doesn’t work. Nothing works.  I really believe that her goal in life is to torture me, push every button I have, and fight me over any and everything. I am not sure I am going to make it through her teenage years.  I am not even sure I am going to make it through her pre-teen years.  I have to say that our relationship has come a long way over the last two years, but the relationship remains the most difficult challenge I have ever been faced with.  Nothing I do is ever right or good enough for her.  I swear she would argue to her death with me over something as silly as the sky being blue just because I said it was.  I feel like no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to win with her. I am really the only one she is combative with, too. It’s like she has this need to make me pay some debt she feels I owe her, or she wants me to feel more miserable than she feels at any given moment. It is so unbelievable to me how both girls came from my body but are so vastly different.  I have such a different relationship with the kid that actually is a hormonal teenager than I do with the pre-teen who hasn’t even entered the hormonal phase yet.  One actually talks to me and tells me things and listens to me (most of the time), while the other one can barely stand to be in the same room with me.  It is so frustrating and heartbreaking at the same time. I wish I knew where I went wrong and the secret for how to fix it. It keeps me up at night, and it consumes my days. It has been this way for as long as I can remember.  As I said, it was worse at one time, but things have improved to some extent, which I am grateful for.  It is just still so hard sometimes.  

I saw a graphic on Pinterest that listed the 10 signs that you have a strong-willed child.  I couldn’t find the source of the graphic but thought the list was pretty good. Below are the 10 characteristics of a strong will child according to that graphic I found. I can check off every single one of these as being a characteristic of my daughter. She is definitely a strong-willed child to the 10th degree.

  1. “They are fiercely stubborn and not afraid to say ‘no’”
  2. “They are bossy and very demanding.”
  3. “ They have strong likes and dislikes.”
  4. “They don’t forget anything and argue like pros.”
  5. “They are energetic and intense.”
  6. “They challenge boundaries.”
  7. “They learn by doing, ask ‘why’ questions.”
  8. “They are fast paced and impatient and don’t listen.”
  9. “They have a strong sense of right and wrong.”
  10. “They are short tempered.”

I know many of my friends would say that one of their kids is certainly more challenging than their other and that one is extremely difficult. We talk about it all the time, and one of us at least is venting about it almost every single day. There is always one kid that pushes us beyond belief. There is always one strong-willed child in the bunch.  Why is that? Why does it seem that we all have to be given one child that challenges us beyond what we think we can handle? That is a question I ask in my prayers a lot.  There has to be a reason, right? There has to be some lesson in it.  Sadly, I don’t think I have learned it yet.  I just keep fighting, keep pushing, and praying that one day things will change.  We all love our kids beyond measure despite how much suffering they put us through. We want what is best for them and want them to grow up to be strong, independent adults.  That is our greatest desire for them and the reason we continue to fight.  I know that I am doing my best to not let it break me, but I can assure you that there are those days when I am not so sure I can continue the fight.  Those are the days that I pray for strength.  I need God’s strength to get me through those difficult days or sometimes weeks, and he comes through every single time. I guess that is the answer to my question at the start of this post. I handle it through prayer. That’s the best defense I’ve got.

Anchored,

Who has Time for Hobbies?

Necklace

Does anyone else get wrapped up in all of the videos on social media showing how to make all these adorable Christmas crafts? This happens to me every year and it has turned me into a hoarder.  I see this cute idea. I go out and buy all of the stuff to make it.  Then life gets in the way and it never actually gets made. I have this whole pile of unfinished or never started crafts that are taking up space in my office.  They aren’t all Christmas stuff either.  Let’s not forget all the times I have seen something that is so cute that I could just buy, but I don’t spend the money on it because I think I can just make it myself and never do.  Another conundrum is when I go to the Target Dollar spot or a craft store and I see some cute thing that I think I can turn into something even cuter to give as a gift. I buy it and then never get around to doing that cute idea I had. I am a crafter at heart.  I love crafting, but I just never have the time to really devote to it.  I guess I come by it honest.  My mom is the same way, only about 1000 times worse.  We have teased her about being a hoarder for years.  We both hoard crafting stuff. It’s really sad.  I honestly do wish that I had the time to complete all of the ideas I have, but I just don’t.  Other things totally take priority.  The only time things really get made is if it is for someone other than myself or someone is paying me to make something.  The things I want for myself always get pushed to the back burner. 

Honestly the two hobbies that bring me joy are crafting and reading, and I don’t spend enough time doing either.  It took forcing myself to choose a book to read to write about on the blog each month to get me to actually take the time to do it.  In reality, I should be reading 3-4 books a month instead of just one. Maybe if I turn one day of the month into craft day on the blog, some of these projects will get done.  It’s a thought that maybe I will consider.  Let’s be real though.  It’s probably not going to happen.  It takes time to craft, and I just don’t have that kind of time.  Maybe one day when my kids are grown and gone, I will get around to doing the things that I love.  

I feel like most moms will say that they don’t have time for hobbies.  I know I have said it a million times myself.  No matter what your hobby is, I bet you don’t devote nearly enough time to it. We always put others before ourselves, especially our kids.  It is just in our nature as women.  While I am sure that caring for your children brings you joy, it isn’t the same kind of joy that you get from a hobby.   I think it is important that we do try to make time for ourselves to do the things that we love.  Even if it is only one time a month, it is better than not at all.  We have to take the time to fill our cups with joy.  It is ok to be selfish every now and then, because it will make you a better mom and spouse in the long run. I feel like it is important to our mental health.  I don’t know about you, but when I am actually engaged in one of my hobbies like reading or crafting, it is like an escape.  It gives me a chance to focus on something fun and easy and not on the day-to-day hustle and bustle.  It gives my brain a break, and that is a break that we need sometimes to stay sane.  It can’t always be about others.  We have to focus on ourselves sometimes. I know for some of you it may have been a really long time since you even thought about what your hobbies are or what things you enjoy doing outside of everyday life.  I encourage you to think about it and then take the time to do it one day this month.  I know that I need to take my own advice and take the time to read and craft. I know that it will be hard to do, but I am going to make a promise to myself to do better. I am going to carve out time that is designated for doing one of my hobbies because I know that I need it.  You need it too. I can guarantee it!   

Anchored and Rambling,

Goodbye Halloween! Hello Christmas Season!

I’m going as “Best Dressed” again!

Happy Halloween!!! I will admit that this isn’t one of my favorite days.  I guess I loved Halloween as a kid but not so much as an adult.  I don’t like scary stuff and I am not a huge candy person.  Let me make it clear, though. I will eat candy if it is there, but I don’t seek it out. As a teacher, this day was always insane and it was pointless to try to teach on Halloween or the day after it.  The kids were just crazy talking about their costumes and their anticipation of all the candy they were going to eat. Then the day after everyone is tired and coming off of a sugar high. I really feel for teachers today and tomorrow.  I totally agree with everyone that is pushing to have Halloween moved to the last Friday in October. That would make this day so much easier for everyone.  My husband will tell you that Halloween is his favorite because he loves all of the scary movies.  Sadly, we disagree on this topic.   I don’t even really decorate that much for Halloween. In fact this year, I had not decorated at all until Monday of this week when my youngest insisted on putting some pumpkins on the porch and a sign on the door.  There are people in our community that have gone all out with decorations, though. There is one house that even has a giant pirate ship in their yard. It is crazy! On top of it all, it is a very rainy and gloomy day here today.  I think it is going to be like this all day and night.  Trick or Treating is going to be miserable because everyone is going to be wet and cold.  I know that I sound like Scrooge right now, but I really don’t mean too. Halloween is just not my thing.  I do hope that everyone has a fun and safe night filled with laughs and tons of candy. I will just enjoy it from the comfort of my home passing out candy AND allergy friendly treats to all the kids in their cute costumes.

The only positive of Halloween to me is that the end of Halloween marks the beginning of the Christmas season.  I love the holiday season, especially Christmas.  The magic that is in the air as soon as November 1 hits is just so incredible to me.  It brings a change in everyone, and I love it.  The question then comes of when to put up Christmas decorations.  My family’s rule has always been to decorate the Saturday or Sunday after Thanksgiving, but the older I get the more I want to decorate earlier.  My youngest keeps bringing up something she read or heard somewhere about how people who decorate early are happier.  It makes perfect sense to me.  I love Christmas decorations. I love seeing all the houses lit up each year and the beautiful trees in the windows.  Christmas decorations make me happy for sure, and I have a ton of them. I pretty much decorate every room on the main level of my house. I think part of the desire to decorate earlier comes with knowing that we spend much of December away from home, so we don’t get to fully enjoy our decorations.  December is when competition season starts for both of my girls and we are traveling most weekends.  In fact, we will even be spending time just before Christmas in the Bahamas this year for a gymnastics meet.  We also typically spend the week of Christmas in our hometown with family and not at home.  I think that since having kids, Santa has come to our house only once.  He usually comes to my parents’ house.  I wouldn’t want it any other way, but it does mean that we don’t get to enjoy our own decorations as much.  I wrote about this same topic last year of wanting to put my decorations up earlier but ended up not doing it.  We put them up right after Thanksgiving as usual.  This year, I really am seriously considering doing it earlier. I know my kids would love it. I just have to convince my husband.  I really can’t wait to get in the Christmas spirit. There really is nothing wrong with celebrating it as long as possible, right? Who is with me?

Anchored and Rambling,

Teal Pumpkin Project

I finally feel like I am back among the living.  I am certainly not back to 100%, but I am much better.  I am run down and tired still, but I can at least function now. If I could just get rid of this horrible cough, my life would be much more manageable.   It basically prevents me from talking or carrying on any conversation whatsoever. Whatever it is that I had has really kicked my butt.  I have been pretty useless for over a week.  I am super sad that I had to postpone lunch with one of my besties from college who I haven’t seen in years.  How sad is it that since I moved a little over a year ago, we have lived in the same county and have not seen each other once? Life gets in the way too much.  I know that I really need to work to make time for the people that I care about, but it sure it hard.  Anyway, being sick for over a week has really been miserable.  

Now on to the topic of the day! Today I am making my yearly PSA about Halloween.  It is just a week away and many of you are buying candy to pass out to all of the trick or treaters in your neighborhood.  I am urging you to consider also purchasing a few non-edible treats.  As the mom of a child who has had her diet severely restricted due to how her body reacts to certain foods, this is a topic that I am passionate about.  I always tell people about this whenever I can this time of year.  Unless you are living under a rock, you have seen story after story about the rise in food allergies among children.   I can’t tell you why more and more children are suffering from food allergies, but I know that it is happening at alarming rates.  I am here to tell you that it is serious.  It isn’t something to make light of, and it isn’t a bunch of moms overreacting.  Food allergies can literally be the cause of a child’s death. They are real, and they are scary.  Halloween is one of the scariest holidays for children with food allergies.  Some of you may say that a child should just stay home if their allergies are that bad. If you say that, then you can’t possibly have a heart.  Kids should not be punished for something they have no control over.  I firmly believe that it is our responsibility as adults to ensure the safety of ALL kids.  We have to do better at that job. 

Several years ago, the allergy community created the Teal Pumpkin Project.  Families that were willing to offer non-edible or allergy friendly treats were asked to place a teal pumpkin on their porch to let children with allergies know that it was safe to go to that house.  This allowed those children the chance to experience the joy of Halloween.  Thankfully this movement caught on and has now spread around the country. Hundreds of families now participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project, but it isn’t enough.  We have to continue to spread the word and urge others to also participate.  There are still so many communities that have never heard of the Teal Pumpkin Project. I have actually never seen a teal pumpkin at any other house besides my own. All you have to do is to purchase a few non-edible treats or trinkets that you keep in a separate bowl from your candy.  Then place a teal pumpkin on your porch to serve as a message to those with allergies that it is safe to visit your house.  You can paint your own teal pumpkin or you can purchase them now already painted at many retailers.  I am certainly not telling you that you can’t pass out candy.  I am simply asking that you also provide a safer alternative to candy. Give those kids who can’t eat the candy the chance to experience something that all kids look forward to each year. 

I always share the story of my daughter from a couple of years ago on Halloween.  She went out and got a bucket full of candy (she can come into contact with her allergen but just can’t ingest it).  She came home and dumped out the bucket and began sorting through what she could eat and what she couldn’t.  The pile of things that she could not have was huge and the pile she could have consisted of less than 10 pieces of candy.  I watched as she sat there with tears rolling down her face thinking how unfair it was, and my heart broke.  Not one of the houses that we went to had allergy friendly treats.  In fact, we were the only house in the entire community we lived in that had a Teal Pumpkin out.  There are hundreds of children just like my daughter that want so badly to fit in and do the things their peers do.  Many of them are even worse than my daughter and cannot even come into contact with their allergen.  I am begging you for the sake of all of those children to please take part in the Teal Pumpkin Project.  Ask the kids when they come to your door in their cute or scary costumes if they have any allergies, and please offer them an alternative.  I can promise you, it will make their night and it will give all of us worried moms a huge sigh of relief.  You could literally save a child’s life and make their day a little brighter.  

Getting allergy friendly treats is as simple as buying one less bag of candy and instead buying a few inexpensive trinkets.  Often these things are less expensive than candy.  Below is a list of ideas of allergy friendly treats with links to purchase them in bulk. You can also purchase assortment packs from Amazon like this or this. The good news is that these don’t go bad so you can save whatever is left year after year. 

Anchored,

*This post contains commissioned links. Should you choose to purchase items through these links, I may earn a small commission.

Starting Over, AGAIN!

This morning I went to a new hair salon to see a new stylist.  This is the third one that I have gone to since moving here a little over a year ago.  The first place I tried here ended up being a disaster as it turned out that I was allergic to something they use there that we could never figure out.  It was happening when I got color and when I didn’t get color. Then it happened when she didn’t use any product at all.  It was so bizarre. You can read more about it here.  After going there several times (I really did like her.) and having an allergic reaction every single time, I decided I needed to just go somewhere else since we couldn’t pin point what I was allergic to.  The second place I tried was ok.  I didn’t have an allergic reaction there, but I just didn’t love my stylist or the salon.  I really had a hard time understanding her as English was her second language.  Plus, I just didn’t love the atmosphere of the salon or how she cut my hair. One time I was there, they had not turned on the air conditioning all day, and it was boiling hot in there.  They finally turned it on, but it was already late afternoon in the heat of the day so it didn’t really make a difference.  I gave the girl the benefit of the doubt and went there a couple of times, but I just wasn’t feeling it.  It wasn’t a positive experience for me. Needless to say, I have delayed getting my hair done because I have been nervous to try someone else since I still don’t know what I am allergic too.  It’s also really hard to trust someone that you know nothing about to not screw up your hair.   I am in a Facebook group for the community we live in, and people are always asking for recommendations in there.  I have seen several posts of people asking for stylists and have just been watching them for a while.  I noticed that this one girl’s name kept coming up.  People were raving about her.  She works at a brand new salon that just opened back in the spring.  Of course, I Facebook and Instagram stalked her to check out some of her work and was impressed, but I was still hesitant. I got to the point that I couldn’t stand my hair anymore, so I decided to go ahead and book an appointment with her. 

I headed there this morning with a little bit of nervousness just not knowing what to expect, but I really needed a haircut and needed to get rid of some of the grey.  I had to do it.  I will start by telling you that it was a great experience, and I will be going back to her.  She made me feel super comfortable right off the bat, and she really listened to my hair struggles.  Of course, the salon was nice as it is brand new.  Since this was my first time there, I only did a single color on the roots to cover the grey.  Next time we will likely play more with highlights and/or lowlights now that I know that I like her.  The grey is gone, which is really what I care about, though. So far, I’m not reacting to anything, and I really don’t think I will since I have used Redkin products many times before with no problems.  She did an amazing job with the cut, too. I will say that I was a little conservative in how much I told her to cut just to be sure I like what she did.  My hair is super thick and has a mind of its own, so you have to really understand hair to cut mine.  Next time, I will definitely go shorter. (Sorry husband!)  My hair feels lighter and more airy and the back actually has shape to it now.  I really couldn’t be happier.  I think I have finally found the right person in the right salon! It has been a long, hard road to this happiness! Who knew that getting your hair done could be so stressful and traumatic?!?!?  I am just so happy to have had a positive experience, no reaction, and a great haircut! 

It really is hard to move to a new place and start all over with new people.  Finding doctors, dentists, hair stylist and more is nerve wracking.  I always find those for the girls right off the bat because they are the most important. It tends to take me longer to find people for myself.  I really like to do my research before I try someone new no matter what the profession is. I go on recommendations by trusted people, but sometimes that takes time because you don’t know a lot of people that you trust yet.  I finally went to a doctor on a recommendation from a new friend a few months after we moved, and I really liked her a lot.  I recently learned that she left the practice after having a bad car accident, and I now have to start all over again. I have no idea who to go to now. I guess I will have to stalk the community Facebook group again to find someone.  Hey, it worked for the stylist!  It is just so hard to find someone you like and can trust.  That really is one of the toughest things about moving.  It will take some time for me to work up the courage to find someone new, but I know it will happen eventually just like it did today with the stylist. I just have to be patient and do my research. 

Anchored, 

Embrace the Chaos

Embrace the chaos! I have seen this on shirts and heard many people say it, but it sure is hard to do. I am really trying today, though. I have one of those hectic days that seem to be becoming more and more frequent lately.  Things just keep getting piled on my list of things to do. I feel like I cross one thing off and then add 3 more.  I started feeling the stress of everything I have to do today about midday yesterday.  Then, I got a text from my daughter at around 8:00 PM stating that I need to make an orthodontist appointment for today because one of her brackets came off.  You can imagine that the thought of adding one more thing to an already crammed day about sent me over the edge. Why is it that when you have a lot of things going on, that is when disaster strikes? It is like disaster after disaster keeps happening.  Some are only minor disasters, but when you are already feeling stressed, those minor things become huge.  It’s the little things like running out of ink in my printer when I have a million things to print that that just add more chaos to an already chaotic day.  I won’t bore you with all of the many details of small to large disasters or my long list of things to do today. The point is that I guess am really not good at embracing chaos.  

My husband will tell you that I don’t handle stress well, and my kids would probably agree. My friends and outsiders, though, would tell you that I am great under pressure and that I handle stress really well. I guess that I would say that I am somewhere in the middle of the two extremes and that it depends on the circumstances.  I am really good at hiding my feelings and stress from most people.  It is the ones closest to me (husband and kids) who tend to get the real brunt of my stress. Those are the people that you let in and that you are free to show your ugly to.  They are part of your comfort zone, and you feel safe letting it all show to them. When you are around other people outside of your safe space, you feel the need to keep it together and not show how crazy you really are.  I assume it is that way for most people.   I would also say that stress in general doesn’t bother me as much as the stress of a time crunch.  For example, when I have to be somewhere at a certain time and things keep happening that make me feel crunched for time like today, I become really anxious and more stressed.  I don’t like to be late or miss things.  Those are the times when I become, as my husband would say, neurotic.  The hour before we have to be at a competition or we have to be somewhere important is typically pretty stressful for me.  That is really when my anxiety ramps up.  I get so consumed by the thought of being late or forgetting something, that I get flustered and I start yelling at everyone within ear shot.  We are very rarely actually late for things, but just the thought of the possibility makes me crazy. I don’t know why, and I so wish I could control it better in those instances.  I just can’t.  I swear that my husband will do things, like waiting to take a shower until 5 minutes before we have to leave, that make me feel like we are going to be late just to set me off.  He says it is his way of trying to teach me to chill out.  Well, he has been doing it for almost 20 years now, and I haven’t learned that lesson yet! I do think that maybe part of it is that I am really wrapped up in other people’s opinion of me. That goes back to my need for perfection. I have this warped thinking, and I don’t want people to have a bad impression of me. Being late gives people a negative impression. I know it is messed up and that 99% of people could care less, but it is how my brain works.

I really don’t think that there is any magic cure that is going to make me stop from freaking out and stressing over things like I am doing today. Everything today seems to be setting me off, too. That’s what happens when I am stressed. I am just a really high strung person who gets wound up easily, worries about other people’s impression, and has a hard time “going with the flow.”  I have just accepted that is who I am.  It doesn’t mean that I am not going to continue to look for ways to keep my stress levels down or that I am not going to at least try to embrace the chaos.  I really do want to chill out.  I don’t want to be wound so tight.  It’s not good for me, and it certainly isn’t good for my health or my family.  Honestly, I am not really sure what embracing the chaos even really looks like, but it has to be better than the anxiety and stress that I constantly feel whether I show it or not. If anyone has any tips, I am all ears! Maybe if I make myself a shirt that says “Embrace the Chaos,” I’ll actually start to do it. Wishful thinking, right?

Anchored,

Bring on the Insanity

The month of October is really the start of craziness in my house.  We have so many things going on between now and the end of spring that life gets messy.  It is when practices ramp up in preparation for competition season to start in December, school is in the thick of things, holiday activities get planned and added to the calendar, and it is the biggest season for my businesses and for my husband at work. I actually woke up with a migraine yesterday because I didn’t sleep well with all the things running around in my head that I needed to remember to do.  Then I couldn’t fall asleep last night and woke up at 4:00 AM this morning for the same reason.  Too much is rolling around in my brain.  It can all be a little overwhelming and super exhausting.  I have been hearing all of my friends saying the same things about their lives right now. It is so hard to keep up with everything, and sometimes you get that feeling that you are drowning.  The biggest thing that consumes most of our time is the girls’ sports, and I know my friends would agree.  They way kids’ sports are these days is pretty intense.   If you are really serious about the sport, it requires a million hours of practice and tons of games or competitions.  The world is so much more competitive now than when I was a child.  I was a dancer for much of my childhood, but I didn’t do competitions. We just had a yearly recital.  I am pretty sure I practiced no more than twice a week for an hour or two at the most. Then I quit dance so that I could play basketball and cheer in middle and high school.  I didn’t do basketball or cheer outside of school either.  We practiced for a couple of hours right after school, and it wasn’t nearly as intense as club sports are now.  I guess there were club sports when I was a kid, but I don’t recall anyone that I knew that did a sport outside of school.  It is the total opposite now.  Everyone we know is doing some kind of club sport outside of school sports and also tries to fit in the same sport or more through school.  It is insane.  My oldest practices 5 days a week for 3-4 hours at a time for gymnastics, and my youngest practices 3 times a week for 1-3 hours at a time for cheer.  It is a lot to keep up with because every day is different times and every day is a different carpool.  Then my oldest is also on the gymnastics team for her high school, which adds additional hours of practice after the club practice.  It really is insane. Trying to keep up with who goes where and when and who is driving who and when is nearly impossible.  Let’s not forget to throw in the fact that both my husband and I have jobs to do, the girls have schoolwork to do, and we all also have other outside responsibilities (like being the Vice President of the gymnastics parents’ club and helping to make all of the cheer gifts and spirit wear). It seems to never end.

Don’t get me wrong. All of these are things that we happily do and want our kids to do because they love it so much, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t get to be too much sometimes.    It doesn’t mean that we don’t mess up and forget things occasionally, and it certainly doesn’t mean that we aren’t all totally exhausted all the time.  It is a sacrifice that we choose to make, but it is a sacrifice nonetheless.  I am telling you all this just to say that I am tired and it has only just begun.  Forgive me for grammar and spelling mistakes over the next several months, as my brain may not be functioning at full capacity.  Wait, who am I kidding? I make mistakes even when I am 100%.  LOL! Seriously, though, I am asking for grace…grace for me, grace for all those other moms and dads who are in the same boat, and grace for all of these kids who are doing way more than most of us ever even thought of doing at their age. When you see that mom or dad with the dark circles and bags under their eyes, don’t judge them. Instead, give them a pat on the back and tell them they are doing a great job.  Tell them that you know how they feel and that it’s okay.  I promise you, they will appreciate it. Then, to all of you parents who know what I am talking about, hang in there.  Enjoy the little moments because they will be over before you know it, and you will miss the chaos.  Just hold on tight and bring it all on.  You can handle it.  This is what you were made for. 

Anchored,

Sparkalaphobia

I woke up this morning and one of my friends had sent me this meme about glitter.  It is probably the 10th time someone has sent it to me, and I have gotten many others just like it a million times.  I even get videos of people opening glitter bombs or of glitter paint on walls sent to me by my friends.  Whenever there is something on Facebook about glitter, people tag me in it.  Why would I get so many things sent to me about glitter you ask? Well, I absolutely HATE glitter. Yes, I am a female. Yes, I have two daughters. Yes, I was an elementary teacher. Yes, I love crafting. I should love glitter, right? Wrong! I cannot stand it. I hate how it gets everywhere and you can’t get rid of it. It stays around for months and appears out of nowhere at random times.  It is awful. Now I could say that many people would make those comments about not liking how it gets everywhere and it’s impossible to get rid of, but they would still use it and actually like glittery things. My dislike, though, goes much more extreme than that.  I really don’t like it and avoid it at all cost.  Maybe it is my type A personality or my OCD tendencies, but it just makes me crazy when I see glitter.  Maybe I have a glitter phobia.  Is that even a thing? I did see something once about sparkalaphobia.  If it is real, I definitely have it. Another part of my dislike comes from having hyperhidrosis, which is a sweating disorder that I was born with.  My hands and feet sweat constantly to the point of sweat dripping from them. It’s gross.  For most of my life it went uncontrolled and my hands were always soaking wet.  As you can imagine, that made glitter stick to me even worse than it does on dry hands.  Maybe that is where my dislike stems from.  Maybe there was a traumatic incident from my childhood that I blocked out. I don’t really know. I just know that I HATE it!

Anyone that is close to me knows how much I dislike glitter. It is certainly no secret.  As a teacher I avoided anything that had to do with glitter. Of course all of my assistants over the years were big glitter fans and seemed to always find ways to work it into some kind of project.  People even love to give me cards covered in glitter or gifts with glitter.  They think it is a fun joke, but it is not funny to me.  I’m serious. You may think that I just can’t take a joke, but that isn’t true.  I can joke with the best of them.  Glitter is just not one of those things I joke about, though. Thankfully my oldest daughter could care less about glitter so it was never an issue with her.  My youngest, on the other hand, is the girliest of girls and loves all things glittery. She especially loves glitter slime (let’s not even get into my similar dislike of slime).  I have tried many times over the years to avoid glitter in the house.  It has not been easy and it does make its way in every now and then.  I am like a maniac though and have strict guidelines on using it in the house.  Some may say that makes me a bad mom because I am squashing her fun or her creativity. Maybe I am. Maybe I am crazy. I just can’t help it.  I don’t like the stuff. Period! I know that I will continue to get picked on and tortured about glitter the rest of my life.  I will deal with it, but I don’t foresee anyone changing my mind. EVER. 

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A “She Shed” on Wheels

Necklace/Earrings/Kimono

I posted this not so great picture of me in the car last night on my personal Facebook page with the following caption, “I really should tally up the number of hours per week I spend just sitting in my car.  I’m always just sitting and waiting on one kid or the other. It’s really sad! If only I could turn my car into a luxurious ‘she shed,’ it would be much more bearable. “ It is totally true.  I swear I spend more time just sitting and waiting in my car than anything else in a day. People always talk about the number of hours spent in the car driving their kids to and fro.  While I do a lot of that too, I think I spend more time just sitting in park.  I have to get in my middle schooler’s school carpool line at least 30 minutes before school gets out just to get somewhere in the front of the line.  Why do I need to be in the front you may ask? Well, I do that so that I can quickly get out and get to my high schooler’s carpool line at least 30 minutes before school gets out for her to also be near the front of that line. If you are counting, that is at least an hour just sitting in carpool lines.  I have to be in the front of the second line, so that I can quickly get out of the parking lot to get her to gymnastics on time with no time to spare whatsoever.  I’m not kidding when I say people start getting in these dumb lines up to an hour before school gets out.  It’s insane.  It forces me to play along and be one of those dummies too.  Otherwise, I get stuck in the back of the line, which takes at least 30 minutes longer to get through making her late for practice. It is so crazy. 

I then spend on average anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour at night waiting on one of them to get out of gymnastics or cheer practice.  My OCD self always has to get there 15 minutes early and then they are inevitably late getting out so I just sit and wait some more.  Sometimes, like last night, I sit there for an hour because it is only an hour-long class.  With the crazy traffic around here, it is not worth fighting my way back home only to turn right around and fight it on the way back.  I just sit and wait.  I HATE sitting in either hot, smelly gym watching them practice.  I would much rather stay in the parking lot in my car than sit in there.   It is just a never ending cycle of me sitting in the car.  

I do really wish I could somehow turn my car into a “she shed” like Sheryl had before hers burned down. Ha ha! If I could figure out how to do it and have a enough space to park it at school and both of their gyms, I think I really would.  It could be one of those tiny houses on wheels.  Wouldn’t that be nice? Maybe then I could actually get something done while I wait.  Maybe I am on to something! Maybe I should invent the miniature “she shed” on wheels! Ha ha! My kids would be mortified and likely refuse to ride in it.  I would love to see their faces if I ever pulled up in one.  A girl can dream, right? 

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A Day to Remember

Yesterday, September 11, is a day that most of us will never forget. It is a day that is hard for many people.  It stirs up memories, what ifs, and fears.  It reminds us of how short life can be.  It is burned in the memory of all of those who were alive and old enough to know what was happening on that day.  My youngest daughter came home and said her teacher told them to ask their parents where they were and what they were doing when the events of September 11, 2001 occurred.  I vividly remember standing in my classroom in Georgia (only my second year as a teacher) when we were told over the loud speaker to not go outside.  No one knew why at first. Sometimes we would get told not to go outside because there was a big dog running around out there or something small like that.  At first, we really didn’t think much of it, but word quickly traveled down the hallway. We only had bits of information and were really confused by what we were hearing.  All of the teachers were all standing near our doors trying to find out more while also trying to do our job. I can remember one little boy in my class who was working on the computer close to the doorway.  He looked up at me with his sweet, innocent face and asked me if everything was ok. He had sensed that something was wrong.  I did my best to reassure him that everything was fine, not knowing myself if that was really the truth.  I swear his sweet little face will be forever in my mind and connected with that day. It was such a tragic, scary day.  

Yesterday was made scary for me yet again.  I think September 11 will always bring up fear in all of us, and the events that unfolded here yesterday were likely made worse just because of what day it was. As my oldest daughter was getting ready for school in the morning, she started to get messages from classmates about a Snapchat message that was floating around detailing an organized mass-shooting plot naming several area schools as targets.  The more she was seeing and reading, the more nervous she was getting.  She started telling me that she didn’t want to go to school and saying things like, “What if I die?” I immediately started looking into the threat and found mention of it on the county sheriffs’ page and the school district’s page.  It basically said that they were aware of the threat, that they had not found any credible evidence other than the Snapchat message to prove that it was a serious threat, and that there would be an increased police presence at all schools just in case.  We did not know if her school was one of the ones that was listed in the threat as the police and school officials were keeping that information confidential. I immediately called my husband at work asking his opinion about whether or not to keep her home from school. We both came to the conclusion that she should go to school based on the information I had.  It appeared that the parents of the students in the schools that were named had received an email from the school system the night before making them aware of the threat.  We had not gotten an email so we took that to mean that my daughter’s school wasn’t on the target list. I talked to my daughter about the threat, made sure she knew what to do in the event that something did happen, and tried to reassure her that it was likely a hoax.  When I dropped her off at school, she said to me, “I hope I’m not dead when you come to pick me up.” I know that she was half kidding and half serious, but it almost made me tell her to get back in the car and go home.  Instead, I drove off leaving her there and went home to worry.  I scoured social media and the news trying to get updates on the threat and it’s validity to try to reassure myself that I did the right thing by sending her to school. I did end up getting an email from the school system about 30 minutes after I dropped her off basically saying the same things that were posted online by the county sheriff’s office. However, I then started to worry that it meant that her school was included in the threat and my anxiety kicked into overdrive.  About an hour later, I got an automated call from one of the assistant principals at her school saying that there were rumors that there was an active shooter at the school, but they were false.  I guess some kids were texting from the school saying that there was a gunman in the building.  Talk about being scared! I spent the whole day second-guessing my decision to send her to school and texting her randomly just to make sure things were ok.  It was a long 7 hours until I picked her up. She said everyone was talking about it at school and everyone was nervous.  She even told me that one of her teachers told them that if there had been a shooter in the building, they would have all been dead. Seriously? Why would you tell them that? 

Would I have been as worried had it been any other day of the year that this happened? The answer is probably yes, but I do think that the fact that it was September 11 made it a little more intense than normal.  Will we always experience this day with fear? I don’t know about you, but I honestly think I will.  It is just like I will always worry about my kids. I am not writing this post to get into any kind of political debate or for any other reason other than to say that I was afraid. I was afraid for my beautiful girls who still have so much life to live. I was afraid for my husband as a member of our military and as someone who lost a classmate on that terrible day. I was afraid for my fellow teachers who are willing to risk their own lives to protect their students.  I was afraid of the unknown.  It was just a scary day. I pray that my girls never have to feel that fear like we did on that day 18 years ago or like I did yesterday when they send their own kids to school one day in the future. The police and school system have since reported that there is no threat to the schools and that the situation is under control. My fear has subsided and things are back to normal today, but I will never forget.

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