Happy Single Parent’s Day!

I completely missed that this was a holiday! (Probably too busy being a single parent) ūüėČ So in honor of today I am reposting my top 18 list of awesome things about being a single mom.

A heavy burden, and that much more impressive when you hold it...

A heavy burden, and that much more impressive when you hold it…

For the full article click here.

  1. I decide what we have for supper. No one (who gets a vote) tells me “that’s not healthy enough” or, “what do you mean you’re too tired? What did you do today?” or my favorite “no, I’m just not in the mood for that”.¬† Side note, I also get to decide when! ūüôā
  2. I choose haircuts & if I want my little boy to have longish hair, no one tells me no. Or if I want bangs, I’m not disappointing anyone.
  3. I do not have to shave in the winter, unless I want to.
  4. No one has more authority than I do in my house.
  5. I don’t have to share the remote after 9pm‚Ķ EVER
  6. My parenting philosophy is LAW, no one to compromise with.
  7. My house is as clean/dirty as I damn well want it to be.
  8. If I want to blow money on something, I don’t have to discuss it with anyone.
  9. I can leave clean laundry in a basket unfolded for weeks!
  10. Merchants have to talk to me, not “don’t you want me to just explain it to your husband, dear?”
  11. My bank account is the exact balance I left it at, always.
  12. If I decide we should not get dressed all weekend and watch movies and eat pizza in the living room cause it’s raining, no one judges me.
  13. There is no “I’m telling Dad”.
  14. If I get the opportunity to move for a promotion there is no one else’s career to consider.
  15. I don’t have to be nice to/pretend to like anyone’s lame, annoying friends. (Only my lame, annoying friends show up at my door. Love you guys, lol!)
  16. My stuff is always where I left it and organised the way I want it to be.
  17. I can decorate however the hell I want to. (there is a pink wall coming, I’ll tell you about that later lol)
  18. I get to be proud of what I am doing with no qualifiers, it’s just me, and I AM doing it, thank you.

I also found these cool little bits as well:

20 Reasons to Appreciate Single Parents

10 Single Mom Secrets

30 Reasons All Moms Deserve a Paycheck

So, if you are a single parent, congrats! It’s your day! If you know someone who is doing it alone, take a minute today to tell them what a great job they are doing. I can promise you, having an adult say, “You are doing great, I am proud of you.” means sooo much to those of us who don’t have a partner to say it to us ever.

Oh, and maybe offer to babysit? ūüėČ

However you celebrate, make sure you do. Have a great day all!

Advertisements

Here’s to You on Valentine’s Day: A Toast to My Fellow Singles

I have 3 Valentines, I gave birth to them , so they aren’t exactly romantic Valentines, but we totally exchange gifts, and I love them. If you, like me, are single this Valentine’s Day, don’t sit around being sad about it, there are tons of things great about being single, there are also tons of reasons to enjoy Valentines Day with the people you love (and who love you too) and just enjoy the day. It’s a holiday, for cripes sake! Why not love a holiday?! Now that I have offended weeded out all the VDay haters…

The real reason for this post?¬†Beverages that are Valentine’s Day themed to have with your platonic friends (or alone, no judging here) on Thursday, or this weekend, or hell, anytime you need a froufrou beverage.

*Small disclaimer here: I will not be drinking these with my “little” Valentines. Duh, no need to call CPS, jeez. *

girlfriends sharing a beverage (or 2)

girlfriends sharing a beverage (or 2)

Cheers my friends!

The Red Queen: (Named for its similarity to a Royal Flush)

Mix in shaker: 1 part Crown Royal, 1 part raspberry Liqueur, 2 parts Cranberry Juice.

Serve over ice.

Rx Love

Pour over ice: 2 oz Vanilla Rum (I really like Cruzan, as I said before), Splash Grenadine (Optional, but makes a nice red tint), 1 can Diet Dr Pepper. Stir. Mmmmmm

Little Red Dress

Mix in shaker w/ ice: 1 1/2 oz Mixed Berry Vodka, 1/2 oz Strawberry Pucker, 1/2 oz Granadine. Shake. Strain into Martini glass.

Chocolate Covered Cherry

Mix in shaker: 2 oz Creme de Cocao liqueur, 2 oz Whipped Vodka, 1 oz Black Cherry Rum.¬†¬†Pour 1/4 oz (just enough to see) Grenadine in the bottom of the glass. Fill glass with ice. Slide 2 oz half n half on top.¬† Slide mix on the very top for your 3rd layer. (This looks cool all layered, but I would recommend stirring before drinking. You can also eliminate the ice, reduce the half n half to a 1/4 oz and create a shot it you want to go truly crazy…)

Do you have any VDay themed drink suggestions? It’s gotta be something you actually tried and liked, but let me know, preferably before 9 tomarrow when the ABC store closes… ūüėČ

And some other Valentines to make you smile…

Texting and the Single Mom

You all know that I am having a love affair with my phone. What you don’t realize is that it’s only the second cellphone I’ve ever had. I was totally one of those people, the people who are all “I don’t want everyone to be able to get up with me all the time” or even more so for me “I’m never anywhere but work, home, grocery store, or driving between the three. Why do I need another way to be contacted?” Obviously, I changed my mind (although I still don’t answer the phone if I’m driving, you will have to be patient), I think a lot of that change had to do with the kids getting older and therefor actually going places without me (other than school). I have also discovered I would rather text than make a phone call, I would rather get a text than a call as well. I was about 16 or 17 the last time I was excited to talk on the phone, but I can text while I’m doing the nine thousand things per day that I do and still actually get them done. (If you are a Mom you know that the moment you put a phone to your ear children you didn’t even know you have will suddenly be dying of malnurisment or some other such emergency and you cannot actually have a conversation with any children present and conscious)

I have also previously shared that I have been on a relationship hideous since 2009. I have spent the last couple of years recovering from a relationship, getting to know me, raising my kids, accomplishing personal goals, blah, blah self-affirming psychobabble here. (I really have been doing those things, but I am as always, aware of what it sounds like when I say it out loud)In the last month or so I have begun to consider (not the gun-shy indecision) pursuing or being pursued by members of the opposite sex. I have obviously not fully committed to that idea yet, but I have started noticing male people and how attractive/unattractive they are, so that’s a start, right? Right.

Now, you are wondering what the f-ing h those two paragraphs above have in common, aren’t you? Well, I stumbled across an article today that immediately struck me as something that I wasn’t even aware of text flirting etiquette. Who knew? Apparently there are rules. As I have never flirted with anyone via text, I assumed the post was referring to a younger crowd until I read this:

“…You hated on our generation at first (no hard feelings) because you thought texting was taking away from human interaction and ruining our lives as we know it. Even as everyone around you started getting qwerty keyboards for easier texting, you stood your ground, preferred phone calls, and ignored SMS like the swine flu.

But look at you now. Today you stand white flag in hand, cell in the other, singing a different tune. You send over ten texts a day, pass on leaving voice mails, and have even accepted a date invite over text. If you’re single, you’ve definitely sent a LNBT (Late Night Booty Text) a time or dozen — not realizing there was a term for it. We’re so glad you finally came around, and hope you’re enjoying the endless benefits of easy, accessible and fast, communication 24/7…”

*For the record I have never sent a “LNBT”, but if I did I will certainly now know the name for it.*

That’s when I realized, oh this is intended for me. Hmm, sure I’m game, what are these text flirting rules? Apparently there’s a whole Facebook page dedicated to this. Here are some of the ones it listed:

For the record I knew about tweeting, but does that mean people are flirt tweeting too? See, now I was starting to feel overwhelmed. Part of me thinks, sure I could have figured all that out, had it occurred to me to flirt via text, but it just hadn’t (yet). I read the rest of the post where it came off as a bit snotty, but for the most part made me think, maybe I’m still not ready for all this. *reconsidering nun habit* But I did think it was interesting enough to share with all of you.

If you were going to add to this list, what would you add? Are you as overwhelmed with the simple idea of possibly dating again too? As always, let me know…

Mom of Teen Daughter Seeks Advice

This week I am preparing to go to 3 Open Houses next week. 1 at the elementary school where BC II is entering the 3rd grade, or as any of you who are in the know would say, Big Kid Elementary School (Caps denote the somberness¬†that must be applied to this statement-just ask him). No more recess 3 days a week, it’ll be 2 days but I promise that makes a difference, and honestly I wish they had recess 5 days a week all through elementary school, but no one asked me for a vote. We will go to Open House all bright eyed¬†with the thrill of being a “big kid” firmly implanted in our brains. 1 Open House will be at the middle school as BC I is starting the 6th grade. (Have I mentioned how terrified I am of this?) I have the packets of information regarding what SPD is, reference book lists (with the mention that I own several of them and would loan them to any teacher would wanted to borrow them), his IEP, his medication list with side effects to watch for, and contact info for therapists, psychiatrists, and last year’s school councilor ready to print out. This year I am making 8 copies, since he will have 6 instead of 2 or 3 teachers. We will go to that one with me still faking enthusiasm and confidence, still building up how cool it will be to have lots of teachers, make lots of friends, and have your very own locker (he is most excited about having a place to put his stuff that no one else can even look at, much less touch), and BC I with sparkles in his eyes over finally not being in elementary school where everyone is “so immature”. See why I’m scared? On the same night I go to the Open House for the elementary school I will somehow also go to the one at the high school. (You see, the public school system, having absolute faith in my abilities as a superhero who can time travel, has double booked me that night) I hate it when this happens, and it happens all the time. Just another thing about this time of year, right? I mean, if I were planning an open house at any school in a public school system, I would make sure that the night I picked wasn’t already picked by any feeder schools nor any school that my school was a feeder school to. I mean, there are 3 high schools, for our part of the district, 4 middle schools, and about 7 elementary schools. Wouldn’t it make since¬†to have say¬†Monday and Tuesday nights are all elementary school open houses, Wednesday night be middle school open houses and Thursday night for the high schools? In my area, at least, you can’t have 2 kids at 2 different elem/middle/high schools in the same family, so wouldn’t this solve the issue? But I digress, that wasn’t even what I wanted to write about (sorry I did warn everyone I hate this time of year, I promise to return to sunny optimism and the like soon).

My question is, when I go to the high school Open House (time machine or no) my daughter, who is 14 will cling to my side, insisting that I stay within her sights (while she talks with her friends) and continue to call me Mommy. Right in front of anyone who happens to be around. Now, it’s not that I can’t be called Mommy ( I’m pretty well acquainted with the title at this point), my concern is that when I was going into high school as a freshman I would have actually died before I called my mom Mommy. Anywhere, in private or in public. Now, I’m from the south, we call our dads Daddy for way longer than is normal anywhere else in the country it seems (guys too, it’s not a girl thing). But Mommy? No most of us have been calling her Mom, Mama, or Mother since about the 2nd grade. In fact GC is the only one of my kids still calling me Mommy. This probably sounds like the most insane thing to be worried about, but well, I’m a Mom, I’m supposed to be worried about insane things right? And I am concerned about a pattern I am seeing.

In addition to calling me Mommy, my child (whose first phrase at the age of 1 1/2 was “get offa¬†me” when I tried to hug her goodbye at daycare drop off, I was interfering with her getting to her friends to play with them) constantly wants to sit right next to me (you know in that share your skin way that they usually do at about age 2 to say 5ish?) something she wasn’t interested in prior to this year. She constantly wants to “hang out” with me, if I have a friend around she wants to hang out with us, getting upset when I nudge her off to do her own thing. This all seems so strange to me. When I was 14 I would have counted the ridges in the popcorn ceiling in my bedroom before I voluntarily “hung out” with my mother. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind that we spend time together, I encourage it. But it’s as though she has decided we should be friends. I am not sure where she got this idea. We do have fun together, but I have never (at least intentionally) given the impression that I was her friend. Mom, nurse, chaperone, chauffeur, costume/wardrobe designer, chef, groundskeeper, disciplinarian, teacher, yes to all of those; but friend? No. I actually went so far as to tell her a few weeks ago, that while I look forward to being friends with her when she is in her twenties, I am not desirous to be friends with any 14-year-old, no matter how much I love said 14-year-old. She acted as though I had kicked her puppy (or maybe her). I know that it’s a thing now, parents who befriend their children, but I don’t think it’s right. She should have friends her age, I should be her mom, that’s how I have always believed. I have been raising this once independent girl for 14 years, I don’t consider myself done, and suddenly she has changed (in addition to the crazy hormonal changes that I had at least steeled myself for), she still seems very sure of herself and confident, but at the same time constantly wants Mommy around, like physically right there. I wonder is this a normal part of adolescence, that I myself skipped?

¬†I¬†do want her to talk to me, to continue to tell be about her friends, her day, boys she likes, things she is considering doing with those boys. Maybe I would feel more normal if she didn’t volunteer all of those things, if I had to ask in that pulling teeth way I have to get information from BC I. I just don’t want to be her friend; I want to listen, help her learn to make good choices, guide her when she needs it(you know, be the Mom of the teenager). What should I do to encourage the continued sharing without encouraging this my mom is my friend thing? I would welcome any advice any of you have. Thanks & I hope you are all enjoying the last few weeks of summer.

They are all Liars! Or Just Flip the Box…

Here lately it seems a girl can’t turn around without someone putting

Balance & education are key

in their two cents regarding how we should all be feeding our kids and how anything less than that is tantamount to child abuse.

 If you are looking for an article like that, STOP, boy have you fallen down the wrong internet rabbit hole. There are no such instructions on this entire blog.

Okay, back to the rest of us is this Village where we educate ourselves, swap advice, info, and also silliness. As many of you know one of my (many) pet peeves is people with holier than thou attitudes (and little other qualifiers, often) telling me what to do with my kids. I am going to leave that statement right there, standing on its own because it is probably the opening line for a whole different post I will write later (probably when angry at one of those people). I get really tired of the constant nutrition-based craziness I hear/read/etc all the time it feels like. There are the parents whining that McDonald’s¬†is bad for their kids but advertising to them and how the government should step in and stop them, which I think should now be known as anti-parenting (defining statement of such a character: I, as the person claiming to be the parent of this child, am not able to care for them and/or set reasonable limits, and therefore choose to demand that my government/doctors/the school¬† system/corporate America do the parenting for me. )There are the celebrities, with no medical training, who are offering Nutrition Guidelines. There are idiots wandering around wanting to make blanket laws/policies regarding what Americans can buy in a grocery store. There are Faux Scientists (these are the ones getting paid by corporations to attach their name and it’s credentials to skewed studies) trying to scare the hell out of us, or conversely, sweeping dangerous shit under big corporate rugs. So what should we do? As parents, what can we do? Educate ourselves, do the research, check the research, talk to your Pediatrician about your unique children. A lot of parents I know do that, but then we forget the next step. Teach your kids. I have said it before, I feel like a big part of my job as a mom is to raise my kids, you know, out of babyhood, through childhood and teen years and on to be happy self-sufficient adults. Adults who need to understand nutrition basics. We all talk about this epidemic of childhood & adult obesity (and I have seen the children and adults) but here’s the thing; not all of our kids are obese, some of them are underweight. I’m not referring to children whose parents¬†cannot feed them regular meals. I have a child whose pediatrician has him on a diet that includes suggestions like “if you can add peanut butter, butter, or dressing to it, do that”. He is the thinnest child in my house. He still drinks (brace yourself for it) 2% milk (the rest of us drink skim, we are not underweight, but no one in my house has ever been close to overweight either), he’s 12. He has been on this diet (using the dictionary definition of the word here) since he was 2, under the monitoring of his pediatrician. He is the reason that I know, for sure, that one meal plan for all can’t work, shouldn’t work.

Every Saturday RedBird, K-man, BoyChild II, and I run errands. We go to roughly 2 different grocery stores each Saturday. We spend a lot of time discussing, debating, and reading labels. The boys (particularly BoyChild II) ask questions about what we are doing, so we explain it to them. We call it Flipping the Box. It goes something like this:

Mom, can I have this? (holding up some brightly colored box of cereal)

I don’t know, Flip the Box and see.

(Turning box) Well, it has 12 grams of protein per serving‚Ķ ohh, (face falls)¬†I see sugar and 3 “oses” in the list. (Puts box back on shelf) Maybe this one? (moved on to another box)

That’s kinda my point, no tantrum, no whining, he understands what he read (sugars end in ose most of the time– he calls them sneaky sugars, & he’s right) and why that was too much. He is seven and knows that an occasional cookie or whatever is fine, but not for breakfast. He asks for help, cause he’s seven, but he has been given the tools to figure it out himself. Now am I telling you he doesn’t pick up the box of Froot¬†Loops “Just to check”, like maybe that sugary, food dyed, candy masquerading as breakfast got all healthy on us since last Saturday? (it hasn’t) He is seven, after all, he also buys in to the marketing schemes, which brings us full circle. He gets confused, “but it says whole-grains. Those are good, right?” or “They said balanced breakfast. Aren’t we supposed to eat balanced all day?” and so on. This does not, however make me mad at the commercial, it’s an opportunity to teach him how to understand what they are and aren’t saying. To teach him what the hell all of those health food catch phrases really mean. I found a great article here that lists the biggies and explains them really well. He can learn it, not cause his mom is some sort of super smart nutrition guru, or because he’s so exceptionally bright (no that he’s not a smart kid, calm down), he learned just like his SN brother and his sister did (and continue to do so) I take the time to learn the facts and then to teach them. Going to the grocery store is something that becomes a hugely important learning tool. I know I learn better by doing, my kids do too. If you would like some handy resources check out the links I have attached below.

 Pocket Guide for Portion Sizing

 How to Read Nutrition Labels

 16 Misleading Food Phrases

 12 Confusing Foods

 Another Article about Evil Parents, not Evil Junk Food

Learn it, love it, explain it.

So go shopping with the kids, drag them into the kitchen for a lesson in meal planning or just a lesson in what all that stuff on the box means. As always, talk to your doctor, do the research, and don’t blindly follow this week’s trends with your kid’s bodies.

*A note of warning: Following this advise can have the side effect of your children being VERY judgey when they catch you eating out of your junk food stash at 11pm when you think they are asleep. (don’t act all innocent, like I’m the only one) ūüėČ *