School’s Back In Session!

lego schoolHave I mentioned that school is back in session? YAY for the kids becoming engaged in society again after a three-month hiatus!

Earlier this week I went to meet the kids’ teachers. They are in 7th and 8th grade this year. Somehow they ended up with a bevy of teachers who are anti-homework, or at least anti-homework every night.

CootieBoy ended up having all of the teachers CootieGirl had last year, save one. He was happy about that because he knew all his teachers would be nice thanks to CG’s gushing over them last year. CG didn’t recognize any of the teachers on her list, but came home the first day gushing about her math teacher ("he’s hilarious!") and one other teacher ("she’s funny but … continue on, dear reader!

What To Do With No Electronics

CootieGirl has been struggling with her grades this quarter, and the result is that for about a month now she’s had no access to her laptop or phone. At first she was very upset, but I think now she’s used to it, because we find ways to occupy her time. She still has access to TV, so we’ve been watching a lot of movies together and bonding over our girl time.

Last night she wanted to watch a movie with me, but since I was busy with something she opted to hit up the Bored Box instead. Have you heard of a Bored Box? Sometimes it’s called a Bored Jar, but we didn’t have a jar so I pulled out my Doctor Who lunchbox and … continue on, dear reader!

Facebook Fast About To Begin!

My latest Facebook Fast begins later this week. It’ll go until my birthday in mid-June. I think that’s my longest one yet! As such, I suspect you will see me posting here much more often during that timeframe.

First up, my daughter. CootieGirl turned 13 years old this past weekend, y’all. THIRTEEN. How is that possible? She asked me to wake her up at the time she was born, which all these years I thought was 3:21 a.m. But on Sunday morning (a few hours after waking her at 3:21 a.m. to wish her a happy birthday), I pulled out her birth certificate, only to see her birthtime listed as 2:58 a.m. Oh well. I was close. We had a low-key day – no parties … continue on, dear reader!

On Growing Up

The kids are officially done with school as of this past Thursday afternoon. I now have TWO middle-schoolers in the house. How on earth has time passed so quickly? I still remember cuddling with a 2 month old CootieGirl, or driving around in the car all night to get CootieBoy to sleep in his carseat because he hated the crib. Surely that was just yesterday???

Alas, it wasn’t. And so instead I have an about-to-start 7th grade daughter. I’ve decided she’s allowed to get a cellphone now. She did really well with becoming more responsible over the past year – she’s leaps and bounds ahead of where she was at the beginning of the school year. When she messes up, she takes ownership and accepts … continue on, dear reader!

So…How’ve You Been?

And I was doing so well there for a while, posting every few days.

Fox Theater - this picture does NOT do it justice.
Fox Theater – this picture does NOT do it justice.
We went to Atlanta for a weekend with the kids. We surprised them with tickets to see Brian Regan at Fox Theater. CootieGirl balked at first (when she saw how much CootieBoy loved BR, she decided she was not a fan anymore), but ended up having a great time. It helped that our seats were in the 2nd or 3rd row. And Fox Theater? GORGEOUS. What an amazingly beautiful venue. The trip was really just an overnight. We once again went to the Aquarium which turned out to be a big old bust. way too much money for not a lot … continue on, dear reader!

On Daughters and Homework

20150117_131027This is a post about CootieGirl.

First let me say, she’s awesome in so many ways. She is silly and sweet. She makes me laugh all the time. She gives great hugs and her love language is definitely physical touch. She is almost as tall as me (scary) and she can wear my shoes now (also scary). After struggling in her early elementary school years she is now a solid B/B+ student. She loves to dance and sing even if sometimes she takes a faulty step or sings a wobbly note. She is curious about many things and always asks questions to learn more. When we need to have a serious conversation she sits and listens and provides feedback that is very helpful.

I love … continue on, dear reader!

CootieGirl is Makin’ a Fuss (she told me to say that)

“I had a dream last night, I was eating a ten pound marshmallow. I woke up this morning and the pillow was gone.”So CootieGirl wants to be a YouTube star. Even though she is two years shy of their required age limit. She decided a few days ago that her claim to fame will be DIY (do it yourself) projects. This coming from a girl who HATES arts& crafts (she swears she LOVES arts & crafts, no wait “Okay, I LIKE arts & crafts.”).

This weekend we have been working on filming her inaugural video that shall not be posted to YouTube for at least 2 more years. Uh…she just found out that she won’t be able to upload it for 2 more years and she got REALLY upset (“I might as well not even be MAKING videos!” she wailed).

Here’s the thing. I don’t mind if … continue on, dear reader!

Schoolin’ and Such

As for the kids, they are doing well. CootieGirl is in middle school this year and while I had a major panic attack at the idea of it being a whole new ballgame, it appears that I had nothing to worry about. She misses having her best friend around (the girl is a year younger), but has adjusted very well. Not only that, but she is doing well academically, too. Many long-time readers know that CootieGirl has struggled with school – specifically her reading abilities. She does not have dyslexia or anything, but learned how to read in kindergarten strictly using sight words, and it ended up removing her ability to learn phonetics. She would see a word that started with “th” and just start … continue on, dear reader!

Dude, Where’s My Soap?

There comes a time in every child’s life where he or she inevitably says something objectionable within his or her mother’s earshot, and it requires the use of soap to wash out the offense from said child’s mouth.

When I was a child, my mother washed my mouth out with soap exactly one time. For the longest time I thought I remembered the word I used, but the word I thought it was I actually remember saying when we lived in Washington state during dinnertime, and my mouth definitely got washed out when we lived in California, so I honestly cannot remember the offending word, but upon saying it my mother proceeded to march me to the bathroom and wash my mouth out with soap. … continue on, dear reader!

Turns Out, Girls Really CAN Turn on a Dime


Let’s talk about raising girls for a moment.

Specifically, let’s talk about girls who are pre-teens whose hormones are already out of whack enough that they lose their temper.

Even more specifically, let’s talk about girls who are pre-teens whose hormones are already out of whack enough that they lose their temper if their younger brother offers to do something nice.

Raise your hand if just such a girl currently lives in your house!

*Jaynee raises her hand*

I taught CootieBoy an important lesson last night. The lesson was this:

If you are talking to a girl and she suddenly turns on you and begins yelling at you even though you’ve done nothing wrong, just turn and walk away until she calms down. Don’t

continue on, dear reader!

My Li’l Non-Hoarder

This past weekend CootieGirl and I were watching an episode of “Hoarders.” She was fascinated at the state of the person’s house and shocked that people could live that way. I told her that a LOT of people lived that way – possibly even kids she went to school with. After the episode ended, CG was thrilled at the progress that the man had made in his house, even if it wasn’t a total overhaul (the end result was that he at least had PATHWAYS in his house – which he didn’t have before).

I then turned on an old episode of “Clean House,” which features families with much less debilitating hoarding tendencies. On the show she and her crew would help them empty the … continue on, dear reader!

Checking In

See, construction ends and the posts come to a dead stop. Sorry about that. Life has been VERY busy.

The new barstools
The new kitchen is great. There are minor quirks that we’re figuring out – but for the most part we are unpacked and back to normal. Today we ordered the barstools for the raised bar, as well as the protective runners for the stove and sink area to keep from getting grease or water spilled on the bamboo floors. The last thing to get in place are the shutters for the back windows – hopefully we can get those ordered and in place by Thanksgiving.

As for the quirks, they are small things. For instance, Denis realized this morning that he can’t just … continue on, dear reader!

As Time Goes By

It’s hard to believe that nine years ago right now, I was going through this. It seems like only yesterday. I can certainly remember it like it was yesterday. And now, in less than four hours from now, my daughter will officially be nine years old.

My daughter is bordering on being a pre-teen. A tween. That’s scary. But as scary as that is, I know that my daughter is kind (to everyone but her brother – but that will change as they get older, as it did for my sister and me), my daughter is loving, my daughter is creative, my daughter is imaginative.

She is also stubborn, emotional, and tends to avoid homework at all costs. But when she does well, … continue on, dear reader!

Our Soccer Sensation

CootieGirl enjoyed her first soccer match this past weekend. This is momentous because in the past we’ve tried other activities and she’s disliked them all. However, given what happened this weekend in her first game, I’d say she’s hooked for life.

Until three weeks ago she’d never played the game in her life. Oh, she knew that it involved kicking a ball, and a cute uniform, but other than that she knows NOTHING about soccer. Going into Saturday’s game, she had only had TWO practices. Two.

Not exactly enough time to learn the intricacies of the game.

But she attacked it with gusto. Her team of misfits (only two of eight girls have played in prior seasons with this league) hit the field as parents … continue on, dear reader!

My Little Bookworms

We’ve always known that CootieBoy loves books – during Kindergarden when asked what he wanted to be, he said “Librarian,” which is awesome.  CootieGirl, on the other hand, has hated reading ever since being forced to learn how.  She struggled and for a while we thought she might be dyslexic.  But patience and perserverance, with a dose of tutoring and hard work, has resulted in my daughter slowly but surely gaining confidence with her reading.

The result? Since Thursday she has been carrying a book with her everywhere she goes.

Thursday night I broke up the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” books at their request (I bought them last year thinking they’d read them in the 4th grade). They each grabbed one and started reading. … continue on, dear reader!

CG’s Teacher Conference

Last night I attended CootieGirl’s teacher conference. I’m so happy about the teachers my kids got this year – they are awesome teachers who are really gung-ho about making sure their kids are learning, and learning at a pace that won’t let them fall behind and struggle.

CG’s teacher, like CB’s teacher, comes from a background doing 3rd grade. So she has high expectations for her students in 2nd grade. She assigns a fair amount of homework and expects it to be done correctly and on time. We don’t always accomplish that (CG HATES homework), but we try.

Her reading has come a long way. She tested at a 1.1 on some test a couple months ago, but her teacher chalked it up to … continue on, dear reader!