April 20, 2014

When Children Lie….What Do You Do?

why do children lie? what to do when children lie?My heart is hurting this morning.  Hurts.  Aches.  As a parent, there is little that hurts us more than to see our children in pain…especially when it feels like you are the cause.  Today one of my girls lied to me – about something small.  In fact, she’s been lying to me all week…and possibly for longer.

It’s not the first time and she’s not the first one of the girls to do it, so today it just went all over me.  I hate lies.  I will not tolerate lying.  I have said it over and over and over again (often rambling, I’m sure) – Jon & I simply will not accept anything but the truth.

I am always so shocked when they lie and they both do it …with frighteningly more frequency recently.  And it does hurt. It hurts when you catch them in a lie – it feels a little like a failure on your part as the parent.

We’ve been through it all before, they both know that it is inappropriate and not at all acceptable behavior.  They know they’ll get in less trouble telling the truth than if they lie.  And yet, here we are, still we are dealing with these issues.

It’s not even like they’re lying about big things (yet); it’s always small things like who sprayed the water on the mirror or if they took their medicine that day.  Today the girls and I had a discussion trust.  If I can’t trust them to tell me the truth on the small things, how can I trust them to tell me the truth on the big things or even be away from me afterschool?

 How do I get through to them?  How do I nip this in the bud?

Today the daughter that lied about her inhaler will miss out on her afterschool activity.  I explained that she can’t participate today due to her dishonesty and for her to be allowed to participate further she would need to show me she could be responsible and honest.

 So help me, what do you do when your kiddos lie?

Awards Night – Awarding Excellence and Improvement

One of my favorite things that our elementary school does is awards night, it gives the teachers an opportunity not only to recognize the children who are excelling in certain subjects, but also to make a point of encouraging the children who have been working hard to improve year round.

We have been to Awards night for the past three years and am always blown away by the community support that always turns out at these events and by the award KG brings home.  I will say that I surprised by the lack of parents in attendance from KG’s class this year, I don’t think a single child who received an Improvement Award in KG’s class was there.  Parental involvement in children’s education along with making it a point to show our children the importance  & value we put on education is key to fostering a love of learning and a life of academics.

This year KG received the Reading award for her classroom and honestly we weren’t terribly surprised, rarely do you see my child without a book in hand (unless I have stolen it first, like I did today).  I am so proud of the young lady my sweet girl is becoming – I swear there are days when I get glimpses of the young woman she will be one day and I get choked up. Where has my baby gone?  When was she replaced by this witty, mischievous, and brilliant girl?

Will You Join Me in Congratulating KG today?

Wordless Wednesday – Holidaze

Happy Wordless Wednesday everyone! My first since the holiday break started and I wanted to share a photo I snapped on Christmas Day of KG and her cousin Baby A (not such a baby any more though).  KG and Baby A have a special kind of relationship, one where A leads and KG follows. Both of my girls love Baby A as though she were their sister as well.  I hope that never ends. I love these girls. All three of them.

And Baby A’s mama too, I guess.

For more inspiring photos be sure to check out: Better in Bulk, From Dates to Diapers, Not Your Momblog, The Divine Miss Mommy, Colorado Moms, Rajean BlomquistBrainFoggles, The Centsible Life, Rachel Ferrucci, Lil Kid Things, Resourceful Mommy and Zensible Mama and don’t forget to link your own photo stories.

Thankful Year ‘Round

Tonight I’m thankful.

Yes, I said tonight. I’m not always thankful and I am ashamed to admit it.  Often I am stressed, frazzled and frayed, over-work, under-paid, and everything in between.

But not tonight.

Tonight I am thankful for my sweet husband who is so patient and kind.  A true partner in my life, a devoted and well-loved father, and a truly brilliant man.

Tonight I am thankful for my opinionated, strong-willed, kind-hearted, passionate small people.  Their light shines so brightly in my life.

Tonight I am thankful for parents who love me unconditionally, completely.

Tonight I am thankful that I have beautiful, bright, heroines for sisters.  Real strong women whom I am endlessly proud of and who have more heart than many people will ever experience.

 

Tonight I am thankful for cousins who ‘get’ me, however that may be.  Their irreverent humor and intense loyalty astounds me.

Tonight I am thankful for extended family far and wide and the love they bring into my life.

Tonight I am thankful for my friends, both on and offline.  As real and dear to me as family.

 

For each person that has touched my life this year, last year, or in any year forwards and backwards…

I am thankful for you.

May you be blessed.

May I remember to be thankful year ’round.

Today I am thankful.

I’m getting ready to run out to my Dad’s and put up some blinds before class (wow. Life has been crazy recently.) but I was just talking to the girls about the families that wouldn’t be able to afford a Thanksgiving dinner…and the soldiers who are far away from home…and the soldiers who have made it home, but now have no home…and I was struck with sudden thankfulness.  I am so thankful to have a warm home, two bright beautiful and healthy girls, a supportive husband w/a good job that brings him home every night, a stocked pantry, friends and family that are amazing, a church family that is literally a God-send, and more blessings than I can count.  There are days when I got for hours without being thankful and that’s shameful.  I am ashamed at my occasional discontent, boredom, and yes, even jealousy.  How dare I? Who am I to be ungrateful for the abundance that is my life?

Today-I am grateful.

Today-I remember what God has given me.

Today-I am hugging my girls tighter and pulling my husband close.

Today-I helped a family in need provide Thanksgiving dinner for their loved ones.

Today-I smiled at a stranger, just because.

Today-I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Overwhelmed.

I’m sorry it’s been so long since I have been on here, but right now I can’t go into why I’ve been gone for so long.  Right now I need to vent and at the risk of overloading my SMMom’s group with what’s going on and just the need to get it out, I’m bringing it here. This place that has always been a safe haven for me. A place where I stopped being accountable to everyone else and just wrote what was going on.

SO here it is. My paternal grandmother, the woman I lived with and depended on from the time I was 10, was hospitalized last Monday morning at 4am after a fall.  After some tests we were happy to discover that she had not broken any bones, however that happiness did not last.  Her blood pressure was 43/38, her heart rate was incredibly low, she is confused (and had to be restrained at one point), and they suspected she had internal bleeding; the doctors were worried.  Over the course of the last 5 days, we have learned that her cancer has spread rapidly from her scalp to her pelvis area and there isn’t much hope of successful treatment at this point.

Today she started thinking and telling everyone she was dead and I’m preparing to stay the night in the hospital.  Alone. And honestly, I’m scared to death.  I haven’t had anxiety attacks for the last four years and now they’re back with a vengeance. I’m having 3, maybe 4, a day now.  I told Jon I was having a little trouble with them, but I don’t want him to worry…so I won’t be sharing with him the extent.  Sometimes they’re so bad and I’m shaking so hard I can’t do anything…and it upsets me. I beat these things years ago without meds…and now they’re back and I don’t feel like we have enough help to take care of her.

Right now she’s 45 or so miles away and I’m driving down at least once a day, I miss my kids, and I’m falling behind in school.  Oh…and gas is way expensive.  There are only 4 of us (not including our spouses) left in the family.

——————————————————————————————————————————–

I wrote the top of this post last week…but honestly, so little has changed that I decided to just continue from there.

Mommaw is home now, so it will be easier {theoretically} for us to stay with and take care of her.  The incredibly nice Hospice nurse came in yesterday to do her initial evaluation and shared with my Aunt that she did not believe my grandmother will live much more than two more weeks.  Honestly, it wasn’t a shock. You can look at her and know she isn’t going to last much longer.  She’s a shell of the powerful, headstrong, loving woman she was even two weeks ago.

In many ways, to me, she has reverted back to an almost childlike state. The innocent or spiteful expressions that she casts resemble a child so much…it’s almost heartbreaking.  There are times when you get a glimmer…but she’s not really there any more. And really…that’s for the best.  Mommaw would hate this. This dependency that has formed. The role reversal that has taken place. The not fighting….letting cancer win.

In her case, cancer will win.  It will take away one of my girls’ favorite people, a much loved and adored great-grandmother…cancer will rob my cousin’s little girl Baby A of ever knowing this woman who so shaped the women we have become.  It will take away a second mother to me, and a grandmother, a confidant, and friend. We will lose so much. And yet, she will gain eternity in Heaven with God and Poppie.

I’m sad. And yet, not. We’ve been fighting this battle for 3 years.  I’ve watched the stress nearly kill my Aunt and the cancer succeed now in killing my grandmother.  We’re tired. All of us. What will we do without her here? Who will boss us? And guilt us, the way only she knows how, into doing what’s right? I guess now it’s up to us to use what she’s taught us.

I’m getting ready to head over to L’s house for a while and sit with Mommaw for a few hours.  She doesn’t say much anymore and I wonder if she knows what is really going on…somewhere deep inside I’m certain she does.  Tomorrow we will take the girls to visit…perhaps for the last time.

Please pray for our family. Pray for my girls who will miss really knowing this woman who so shaped me.

Has your family experienced a loss that is devastating to your small people?  How did you explain it to them?  How much did you tell them?

Guest Post: Confessions Of A Former Mom Blogger

Once upon a time, I was a mom blogger. If you knew me back then, you knew how insane passionate I was about my “mom blog.” I started it back in 2004 and quickly became addicted.  I was a blogaholic. No… seriously. My face was always glued to the back end of my blog. I was obsessed over getting comments, promoting my blog and being a top mommy blogger.  I had amazing traffic, a devoted following and was even able to monetize. After posting about family disputes and other subjects that made my stats soar, I started to receive requests from people I knew not to blog about them. My friends and family were always asking if their antics, conversations etc, would be made public for the sake of my traffic. I waved them off and thought that they were just jealous of my bloggy awesomeness.  Blogging was my life and everything was blog fodder. To take a hiatus from blogging was rare. Blogging was like crack cocaine and I had become a crack whore. Then God allowed a few reminders of what I had forgotten in my blog lust. I can recall three instances when I had to step away from blogging for awhile in order to deal with these unexpected circumstances. The following occurrences happened over the course of approximately one year and were pivotal in my life and my blogging.

My grandfather passed away In February of 2007. He was a father to me. He walked me down the aisle, taught me everything I hold dear and was my favorite person in the world. The week after his passing, I had to stay with my grandma and get the funeral arranged. All the while though, I was stressing about my lack of content and possible decline in traffic. I was supposed to spend a weekend with my grandfather the month before he died, but I was far too busy….blogging.

My oldest son had to be hospitalized for post traumatic stress and attempted suicide in July of that same year. He was only eight years old at the time. It was a five day period of utter hell. I got someone to take care of my blog while I was away, so I didn’t have to worry about that on top of my family emergency. (Why was that even a thought in my head at the time? I could kick my own butt when I think back on my skewed mentality.)

By December, my extended family started to despise me. I have a lot of in-laws…26 to be precise. I had to choose between holding onto the respect of my husband’s family, or having my successful blog. It is a long story and I won’t bore you with the details,  but in the end, I chose the former.

The story didn’t end there, in fact, it was just the beginning. I had to step back and take a good hard look at my life. I was forced to reevaluate what my priorities were. Obviously, my blogging obsession had begun to cost me more than any amount of money could make up for. It took me months of rehabilitation. I know the idea of blog addiction rehab is sort of silly, but it was brutal. I went through withdrawals like a crack head would. I had to delete my Twitter account, get off of the internet and seek out ways to create inner peace and balance. I’m still trying to repair the relationships that I so badly damaged. Recovery is not a short, smooth road, but I’m so fortunate to be walking it anyway. My once glorious mom blog sits abandoned to this day and although I miss blogging about my funny motherhood moments, I don’t regret my choice.

I still blog on occasion, but never again on that blog. I host Tweetups, am involved in online community and broadcast a web show. I love social media.  However, I come at all of it from a new perspective. Had the three incidences above not happened, I may not be able to look at life the way I do now. Yes, they were hard to live through, but they taught me an invaluable lesson. The lesson was this:

We are bloggers. We blog about our lives, but our lives are not our blogs.

I learned this lesson the difficult way and I believe that it was for a greater purpose than just turning my own life around. My story will serve as a lesson to many others who are trapped in the place I was once in. Take it from me, having the most popular blog,  most comments, most awards is not what life is about. Life is about making each moment memorable and mom blogging is about recording those memories for posterity. Let’s keep it that way.

Blessings,

Kadi Prescott

Finding a New Balance Between Work and Home

You know how it is, once you find your rhythm…your balance, something changes…evolves, and causes that rhythm to stray.  It causes you to take a step back and reevaluate that balance you had before {or thought you had}.  Monday was my first “official” day taking on a new marketing position with a local home-building/home remodeling company from home while continuing on with Parentella {and going to school}. First let me say, I am thrilled to be working with this amazing company!! However, as I have been learning this week, working from home can be a struggle. A struggle that makes finding a new balance between working at home and “being” at home imperative and ever elusive.

This week is Fall Break here so rather than one child home with me all day I have two.  Though truthfully, I love having her home and having KG here while I work makes things easier for me.  She is such an enormous help with her sister.  Putting on a movie, playing {mostly} nicely with KJ, and supplying themselves with easy to reach snacks….KG is a great big sister.  But I feel guilty, it isn’t up to KG to take care of KJ…it’s my responsibility.  I know the first week with a new company on any job is always the most difficult and that I feel so lucky that KG is here to help me.  But I want her to enjoy her week off from school too.

So Tuesday, while Jon & I went to see Clutch in concert, KG spent the night at LA’s house and KJ went to Lisa’s. Both of the girls were so thrilled at the prospect of going anywhere without the other they were almost shaking with anticipation by the time I dropped them off.  Yesterday it was the same routine {which by the way will change next week when KG goes back to school} and I was feeling weighed down with guilt again.  This morning I woke up at 5am, got all of my “work” done and declared today Kid Day.

The girls worked together to explore some new online educational games, made me deliciously multi-colored dinners from Play-Doh, soaked up the Indian Summer sun, and baked Halloween confetti cupcakes to take with them tomorrow.

And while this is a temporary band-aide, sometime next week {the earlier the better} I will have to start working on a schedule, probably the 5am-midnight gig again, that works for me and my family. Because the entire purpose of my working from home was that I wouldn’t miss these amazing moments with my girls.

Do you have a secret to maintaining balance? Share your tips and advice {or struggles} with us!

Energy Saving Refrigerator Tips

Now that school is out and the kids are relegated to your home for hours on end during the day you may find that your refrigerator does more cooling your house than cooling food. I can remember as a child/teenager getting the old “know what you want before you open the refrigerator door” speech more times than I care to count and not I’m giving to my kids. I mean it’s not like they don’t know what’s in there already. The selection probably hasn’t changed much since yesterday…or 5 years ago. :) So, if you’re like me..or my kids…you may be trying to think of other ways you can save energy on your refrigerator.

Here are a few tips to help you save energy on your refrigerator:

  • *Keep your refrigerator & freezer full.  I know this isn’t always possible, at least not for me. By the time Friday rolls around my fridge and freezer are getting pretty bare. But the idea is the more full they are the less hard your unit’s motor will have to work to keep everything cool.
  • *Check your refrigerator’s settings and, if needed, adjust them to between 37 and 40 degrees.
  • *Inspect your refrigerator’s doors and seals to be sure you are cooling as efficiently as possible, replace them if necessary.
  • *Clean your condenser coils at least once a year {unless you’re like me and they’re contained.}
  • *Try condensing your trips to the fridge into as few as possible. You can make up for some of that energy lost when the kids leave the door open just by not opening it often yourself.
  • *If your current refrigerator has seen better days and is sucking more energy than the Energy Monster, consider upgrading to a newer Energy Star labeled version and be sure to consider cost of operation before purchase!

And while you’re at it, try putting out a sign on the fridge reminding your hungry little helpers to know what they want before opening the door. OR you could always put a lock on it :)

Please share your tips for energy savings this summer!

Sing it with me now…It’s the last day of the 1st grade

Yes, yesterday was KG’s last day of 1st Grade. Thank. God. I am so ready for summer.

Today is the first day of summer break and do you know what I have planned?

Nothing.

I am taking the next two days to do absolutely nothing. Nothing that is but take pictures, get some sun (with sunscreen on of course), and relax. This weekend we find ourselves with an over abundance of activities (as usual), between C-burg Day, the start of the summer reading program at our local library, AND Jon’s sister’s graduation (3hours from here) – and all on Saturday – our summer gets off to a crazy busy start.

In the month of June alone the girls have basketball camp, tball, birthday parties, and library activities…not to mention a family wedding, Father’s Day, and KG’s birthday. We don’t have a single weekend in June free. That’s just crazy.

I spent the last two weeks brainstorming ideas of how to entertain & teach the girls this summer and do you know what I came up with?

We already have too much planned.

I want to catch lightening bugs and butterflies.

Ride our bikes and go for hikes in the woods.

I want to plant trees and work in our garden.

Have picnics and go camping.

I’m looking forward to summer nights & “in-the-dark hide-and-seek”.

Late nights and later mornings.

What I’m looking most forward to this summer is…

relaxing and just being “quiet” with my kids

What are you looking most forward to?