Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

Apple Hill, CA

Wordless Wednesday here, here, here, and here.

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The Traumatic Child

I am screwing up my kids.

BK has been getting in trouble at school every day. And not just a little bit of trouble. I'm talking about the principal has me on speed dial kind of trouble. Spitting in a kid's ear. Stealing from the book fair. Pushing a girl to the ground. Throwing all the playground equipment over the fence.

He's only 5. This is not who we are. This is not who HE is.

I have tried every punishment I can think of.  I've spanked. I've not spanked. I've taken away toys. I've taken away weekend fun. I've pretended like it didn't bother me. I don't know what else to do.

I recently read this article about children who were adopted. The article says that adopted children, even those who were adopted from birth, suffered a trauma that most people cannot possibly understand. And although the article was a little hippie crunchy for me, the article made sense. No, BK didn't go through any trauma after birth. But when you spend 9 months attached to someone, being a part of someone, and then you're separated from that person at birth and you never see her again, that's got to be traumatic.

So now, whenever there's a stressful situation, these traumatic feelings come back subconsciously, so the child reacts however he can, usually violently.

The question is, how do you deal with that? The article recommends the 10-20-10 rule: 10 minutes of quality time in the morning, 20 minutes of quality time in the afternoon, and 10 minutes of quality time in the evening. The idea is that children who suffered a trauma need to know that the people who love them  will always be there for them.

So, I'm going to try this. The 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes at night will be easy, but I'm wondering how I'm going to do the 20 minutes in the afternoon. I was thinking maybe I could get his teacher involved? Maybe have him spend 20 minutes after school just one on one with the teacher, before he goes to his after school program?

I don't know. I'm really just guessing here. Dang kids don't come with instructions. Maybe he'll grow out of it? Again, he's only 5. And Bug had behavioral problems when she was in kindergarten, too.

What do you think? Is there any hope for us?

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Weekend update

We did a lot of stuff this weekend but now I'm feeling lazy and I don't know if I'll be able to write it all out.

I found out this week that I am getting passed up for yet another promotion, making it painfully clear that I suck at my job. The good news is that since everyone else is getting promoted, I'm gaining seniority in my current job! At this rate, I'm going to be able to get Christmas off next year!

Anyway, I decided I needed to take a mental health day, so while The Agent was at work and the kids were at school, I went and had my hair done. Ahhh... a day is always better after you have pretty hair!

This is mid-way through.... not  quite pretty yet. 

BK got in trouble at school yet again, so Friday evening was spent lecturing him on good choices and bad  choices. Poor kid just doesn't get it. He had to go to bed early with no movie and no fun stuff after dinner.

On Saturday, we got up and went to have pictures taken that will go on our Christmas cards. I don't know how The Agent and I looked, but our kids were so super cute! They may be naughty, but at least they're photogenic! I wanted to take pictures with my phone behind the photographer, but I didn't want to be that girl. I took pictures of them at the grocery store instead: 

After the photo shoot and after buying some groceries, I gave myself a Jamicure.

 I do enjoy my Jamberry, but this manicure didn't last as long as my last one. It's really cute, but I'm looking at my nails now and I see that they're already starting to chip a bit. Bummer!

On Saturday night, we went to The Agent's uncle's house for a game night. There were about a dozen adults and five kids, and good times were had by all, We took the trailer so that we could drink and then just stay the night without having to worry about getting home. It was nice to be able to put the kids to bed whenever they got tired and cranky, although I would have much preferred to have slept in my bed at night.

We woke up early on Sunday and drove home. Ah, home sweet home! Except we came home to a house that was a straight disaster. I spent maybe 30 minutes cleaning before exhaustion (or maybe laziness) took over and I plopped down on the couch. I had grand plans for the day-- getting the house clean, returning some clothes that I had bought for BK-- but all that went out the window once I sat down! I spent the afternoon making my blog Christmasy. Can you see the difference?

Looking for Luck, Love, and...

These weekends aren't very exciting once I type them out. Hope your weekends are more exciting!

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Friday, November 14, 2014

The Stores that WON'T be open on Thanksgiving

I've talked before about my extreme love for Black Friday. Two weeks from today, I will pushing through the crowds, getting the best deals I can!

That is, if there are any deals left. For although I will be up and ready to go at 4 am, it is likely that most of the really good stuff will already be gone, because most of the shops will be open on Thanksgiving Day.

Macy's, Target, JCP, Sears, Toys R Us, and Wal Mart will all be open on Thanksgiving Day, opening at 6 pm or even earlier. It brings a tear to my eye that so many stores are doing this. What happened to supporting family values? The workers are now going to be away from their families in order to go to work, and the shoppers are going to be away from their families because they HAVE to get the best deals. And there are some people that are already camped in front of Best Buy. TWO WEEKS EARLY! And for what? For a big screen tv? And if you're able to spend two weeks camping in a parking lot, do you even have a job? So maybe a big screen tv shouldn't be on your list of must-haves?

Sigh. But I digress. And I shouldn't judge. I don't know their situation. Maybe they're millionaires and don't need to work. Or maybe they are seasonal workers and this is the off season. Moving on.

There are,  however, a few major stores that will remain closed on Thanksgiving. I encourage you to do your shopping at one of these retailers:

1. Dillards- There are only three Dillards in California, but I am lucky enough to have one close by. This is a fine retailer, comparable to Macy's. Dooney and Bourke purses will be up to 70% off!

2. Nordstrom- Another fine retailer that supports family values. I've had my eye on this cardigan for over a year. It's normally $90, so I'm hoping it will be on sale!

'Bamboo Chic' Drape Front Cardigan (Nordstrom Exclusive)

3. Barnes and Noble- With so many readers going digital now, I am actually surprised that Barnes and Noble didn't give in to the pressure to open their doors on Thanksgiving. My stepmother is a foodie, and I will be getting her two cookbooks that are in stock there.

4. REI- This is one of The Agent's favorite stores. He has his eye on a new set of thermals!

5. Costco- OK, I won't be shopping at Costco on Friday, although I will probably be there at some point during the weekend, buying toilet paper or coffee pods. But it's nice to know that they will be closed on Thanksgiving!

Are you a Black Friday shopper? Do you go out on Thanksgiving? Are you reading this on your tablet while you're camped out in front of Best Buy? Let's hear it!

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Lovely's Favorite Things

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens....

1. Fekkai shampoo for color treated hair

Fekkai Salon Professional Color Care Technician Shampoo - 8 fl oz

I am in LOVE with this shampoo lately! At $20 a bottle, it's a little expensive. But oh Lord! It makes my hair feel like silk. I asked for a bottle for Christmas!

2. Chipotle

They opened a Chipotle in the same shopping center as my office. This was a mistake. I go there several times a week. My favorite thing to order is a burrito bowl. So delicious!

3. Black Friday
I am SO excited about Black Friday! Not because there's any great deals out there. There's nothing that I've seen so far that I HAVE to have. But I love the fun of it. My dad, stepmother, and step-grandmother make a whole day of it, and I try to get as much of my Christmas shopping done as I can.

4. Black Licorice

Black licorice is one of my favorite treats. I think one of the main reasons I like it so much is because no one else does, so I get to enjoy it all myself! BK has also adopted my love for the licorice, so I occasionally have to share a piece with him, but for the most part it's mine, all mine!

5. The Walking Dead

This is the BEST show on television right now! Yeah, it's violent. Make sure the kids are in bed before you start watching it. But I love the character development, and the relationships that the characters have with each other. And oh yeah, there's zombies, too. But really, that's secondary.

6. These guys

They're so dang cute.

Mama’s Losin’ It

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52 in 52 update

As the year comes to an end, it seems that I'm seeing more red than green. That's frustrating, but it also gives me something to work on next year.

 Red means I'm not even close to meeting the goal. Blue means I'm kinda sorta making the goal. Green means it was a success! Thank goodness there's less red-- I'm making progress!

1. Go to the gym 300 days. I've totally lost count. But I did really well in October
2. Lose 30 pounds. I'm afraid to get on the scale
3. Log everything I eat least three times a week. this was a big fail this month
4. Drink at least 80 ounces of water a day. Success!
5. Be able to button all my "skinny girl" jeans getting closer-- I can fit in to all but two pairs.
6. Take a picture at least 10 days a month  Success! 
7. Donate 40 bags of stuff for Lent Lent is over, but I am still working on purging. Donated another big bag in october!
8. Spend 1 day a month organizing the house. not this month
9. Yell less. I'm trying. 
10. Read 31 books. 19/31-- It doesn't look like I'm going to make this!
11. Fix the utility closet. Success!
12. Donate to Good Will. Done!
13. Fly a kiteDone! 
14. Teach Bug to ride a bike. We've gone out twice, but she was really shaky, so I'm not quite ready to call this a success. 
15. Wear a bikini in public. no 
16. Take BK to Chuck E. Cheese. Done!
17. Get a raise. Success!
18. Get a promotion. I really don't see this happening... but I did get a second raise, which is very unusual.
19. Plant flowers in the whiskey barrels. Done! 
20. Keep flowers alive until December. Come see me in December... but they're alive now!
21. Cut and color hair in April, August, and December. I went in February, and July, and I have an appt for this month
22. Get a pedicure every month from May through September. I did this in May - July. I missed August and September. 
23. Do something special for our tenth anniversary. No. Bummer.
24. Get a massage for Mother's Day. no
25. Host an adult party. not yet
26. Throw a birthday party for Bug. Success!
27. Throw a birthday party for BK. Success!
28. Clean the back door. Success!
29. Teach the Dumb Dog to use a leash. no
30. Teach BK to swim no 
31. Sign Bug up for the swim team Done!
32.  Hang pictures on the walls. Whoo hoo! We have officially hung not one, not two, but THREE pictures! It only took us three years... 
33. Have a blast on a cruise Success! 
34. Write one fictional piece at least once a month. 4/12 Super slacking on this. 
35. Clean the ashes out of the fire place. No
36.  Make an apron for Bug. No
37. Turn our backyard into a place I want to be. No
38. Work on having the house "popover guest" ready at all times. Success for this month!
39. Take the children to The City. Done!
40. Put a fire pit in the back yard. Done!
41. Take BK on a date. Done!
42. Take Bug on a date. Done! 
43. Take the children to the snow. Success!
44. Seriously organize the master bedroom. My laundry is hiding in here. 
45. Turn the second master closet into.... something better. On the list of things to do
46.  Turn our bedroom into a sexy oasis. Not really
47.  Enforce a chore system with the children Got one in place for Bug! 
48.  Open a bank account for Bug. no
49.  Give the children an allowance every week. We've been paying Bug every Sunday! I need to keep more cash on hand... 
50. Make the children start buying their own presents for friends out of allowance money no... The Agent and I are in disagreement over this. 
51. Make the children pick out and pay for a present for each other at birthdays and Christmas. Done for both! 
52. Write a new list of 52 things

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Monday, November 10, 2014

Weekend Update

Happy Monday!

My sweet husband was on the road all last week, and finally came home on Friday. Welcome home, Daddy! I picked him up, and then we went to get the kids. The Agent thought it would be funny to hide in the back of the car and then jump out  and scare the kids once they got into the car when I picked them up from school. It's too dark to see the video, but this is the audio. Little punk kids! They weren't scared at all! I told them if there's ever a guy hiding in the back of our car, you need to scream your head off!

This is not working because I suck at uploading video.

We went home and watched Maleficent while The Agent slept on the couch. I was a little worried that it would be too violent for the kids, but they seemed fine. They loved the idea that the villain is actually the hero. I told them that there's always two sides to a story.

On Saturday, we went out to breakfast and then ran a bunch of errands. One of the errands was to replace the batteries in our watches. Neither one of us had worn our watches for years because the batteries had been dead. I don't think The Agent has worn his dress watch since before Bug was born, and it's probably been almost as long for me. Some of  us had lost a bit of weight since we had last worn them:

And some of us  had perhaps gained a few pounds:

The Agent has now added a dress watch to his Christmas list.

 On Sunday, Bug and I went shopping. We're having family photos taken next weekend and I wanted us all to color coordinate. We're going with blues and oranges-- I hope they look ok! One of these photos will be our Christmas card next month!

While the girls were shopping, the boys stayed home and put up these shelves for me:

The Agent had been smoking ribs all day, so we enjoyed delicious ribs for dinner. Then we sent the kids to bed and watched Walking Dead. We love that show-- it's so good! Does anyone else watch it?What's going to happen to Beth? Is Daryl going to save her? Is there a love triangle between Daryl, Beth, and Carol?That's my favorite story line!

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