Friday, December 19, 2014

Your child sees what I see

I am a social media junkie. This is no secret and anyone who knows me will say that about me. I used to have no filter and would say some outlandish things not only to people, but about people. Then one day it hit me. My kids not only see this as I post it, but will be able to see it in the future too. How can I tell them you can't post this or that and then do it myself. That was a few years ago and I actually find more enjoyment in my social media experience since using it for good instead of negativity. The issue is not all parents realize what I see them posting their child sees as well.

The sad fact is the rules of facebook are not followed and very young children are using social media. When an adult woman posts a provocative photo of herself her children will see it. I am so glad social media wasn't around when I was a teen. Something about my mom doing duck lips in a selfie would have made me want to move to Siberia. Sorry mom. Then you have the drunken or pot head mothers who post pictures of themselves doing whatever they do on weekends. Yeah, your kids see that! Not only your kids, but your kids friends parents. Trust me I see some things and I'm like yep, my kids never going over there. I'm not trying to be judgmental I just want to be sure my children are't exposed to such behaviors. Now not saying I don't have a beer now and then or even take a selfie, but come on people if you have kids have respect for yourself and for them DON'T POST IT!

The next thing that drives me absolutely insane on facebook is constantly belittling of children by their parents on social media. It's one thing to talk about a messy room now and then or even joke about something they have done. It is a whole other thing when you never say anything nice. Your kid sees that and thinks that is your opinion of them. Even if your child is still young one day they may look abck hoping to see cute little stories about themselves and what will they see? I hope my kids look back on my social media, smile, and say man, my mom really loved me.

I urge you now if you are guilty of one of the social media parenting problems I mentioned above for one week think before you post. Say to yourself what will my child think of me or this picture if I post this? Go back through your old stuff and see the message your sending your children. Are you setting a good example? If not change it. It's your job to teach your children right from wrong and if your not doing the right thing on social media I can guarantee they won't either.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The bare tree.

We used to have the most beautiful Christmas tree ever. USED TO! We used to go out and find the biggest, best smelling Christmas tree we could fit in our house. USED TO! Then we had kids. That changed everything.
We were still able to manage having a Christmas tree when we had 5 kids, even 6, but that 7th one did us in! No longer were ornaments beautiful, shiny, balls reflecting light off the branches. No, they were now weapons, and dodge balls, and even baseballs. The strings of lights we delicately placed as to not leave any bare spots were now sagging from being pulled on.
The water for the tree had become a baby doll bathtub for #4 so that was the first thing to go. We tried again a few years back, but Janelle was allergic so that ideas gone forever. That would have been oh about 2006 or so. Still we held on to those ornaments and just switched to all wood and plastic....plastic breaks too. We gave up ornaments 2 years ago. Thankfully they make prelit artificial trees or we wouldn't even have lights!
Now last year my friend who has triplets was a genus and surrounded her tree with baby gates. I was like THAT'S IT! We can have a real, beautiful, perfect, color coordinating tree again. A magazine worthy piece of art in our living room. Then Dave reminded me that this was our children we were talking about and they can find a way to get a bottle of nail polish off the top of the fridge to paint each other. Point taken our kids are monkeys.
This year however. I wanted something special. I told Dave I was going out to find the most beautiful tree topper I could find. Something that would make people stop and say WOW! Then no one would notice the lack or ornaments, garland, and ribbon...right? So we're at the fifth store we checked (walmart of course, should have checked there first) and there it is on the top shelf a big snowflake and I was like DAVE, do you want to build a snowman. All I could think of was Frozen and how much happiness that movie brings our five year old. SO instead of a beautiful, classy tree topper that would match my other decor I went home with the big, blue snowflake that clashed with everything else. I knew it would make her smile and it did.
It took forever to get that snowflake to sit right. The darn thing was so heavy, but Sara managed to get it up there and I heard Mathew proclaim it's perfect. Yeah buddy, it sure is. We don't need the ribbon, the tinsel, the ornaments. This is our tree and it reflects us perfectly. One day I'm sure I'll have a magazine worthy tree again, but right now I have the perfect one and it makes my kids smile. In the end that's what really matters.

Twas the week before Christmas and all through our house
Mommy was sick and no time to lay down
There were parties to ready, so many teens will be there
And little ones ready to see Santa come near

Ahh yes, the week before Christmas. It's a crazy time for all families but with a mega family things can get out of hand quick. I sit here now in front of my computer just getting over strep (thanks germ infested children) enjoying my last day of relaxation. Tomorrow myself and the teens will start baking for the teen party at church we're hosting. I can't tell you how excited I am to spend a fun filled evening making sure all these hormonal teens stay in line. Thankfully a few strays will be helping out with preparations since it is their party (which comes down to they say they are doing it, they tell me what they want, and I do all the work). I'm exaggerating I'm sure they'll help make some cookies. I better slow down though or I could make this whole post about what has to be done for that party alone.

Wend.- Baby has 6 month check up, some baking for the party, finish wrapping a few bags of gifts.

Thursday- Phone appt about Janelle, 2 eye doctor appt's one for Mathew, one for Sweet Tee, mad rush to bake 10 dozen different kinds of cookies

Friday- Get everything ready for the party, hit the dollar store for prizes, get to the church to set up the teen room and the hot cocoa bar. After the party bring all the girls back here for a big old slumber party (even now my excitement about that is overwhelming)

Sat.- Try to get some shopping done before going to a big holiday festival at the fairgrounds an hour away by 5.

Sunday- Church to do a small party with my preschool class and then more shopping!

Monday- Hey, that's next week I don't want to think about that yet!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Your assumptions about my large family make my expectations higher.

Yesterday the school principle told me that if she had a daughter she'd want her to be just like Emma. A smile spread across my face and I beamed with pride. I didn't bother to mention that at home Emma can be a typical moody pre-teen. I left out the part that just before we'd gone to the school concert Emma gave me a huge attitude for something that wasn't even my fault. Nope I just smiled and said thank you. You see, sometimes I feel like I need to have higher expectations of my kids than a normal sized family and I take these compliments as proof that the facade of our perfect family is working. We're not perfect, but I want you to believe we are and this is why:

1. People assume I am so organized and who am I to ruin that fantasy. I am in fact scatterbrained and would lose my head if it wasn't connected to my neck. I forget things all the time and sometimes never remember what I was trying to think of ever again. Then again if I did think of it later I probably forgot I was ever trying to think of it to begin with. I do not have all my crap together just because I have more kids. I am just as irresponsible as most other mothers.

2. We are more judged by our kids behavior and I make a point of teaching my kids that. People feel like when you have so many kids they should be perfect and well behaved or else what right do we have to keep bringing kids into this world. What are we trying to do populated the world with unruly monsters? It's other peoples opinions that make me remind my children often of their manners in public, but man do they let loose in private. In public we are quiet and smile. In private if someone calls they probably think they called a war zone. Our house is LOUD!!!!!!! 

3. If anybody asks we only watch an hour of TV a day. People already assume children in small families are babysat by the TV. Can you image what they think we do to keep our kids occupied? I have been known to leave Nick Jr. running all day. I'm not ashamed. We have a lot of laundry and dishes to keep up on. 

4. People assume our older kids raise the younger ones. Yes, our older children are expected to help out when they're home, which isn't often. They have lives outside our home and those lives are really busy and they have no problem telling me that. Even if they are just texting I'm told how important these texts are for their social lives and what I need will have to wait. Yeah, for the record I never wait

5. You think we have our hands full and guess what we do. There are days I sit back and think how am I going to do this. When 5 kids have the stomach flu at once I feel like a zombie going through the motions. When the kids are fighting I want to bang their heads together, but I know these bad times pass quickly. I blinked and my oldest is almost 17 and now I dread the day he moves on. I am scared to death of the day my hands our empty.

In the end there is nothing I can do to take away peoples assumptions about us or ease the high expectations I have because of them, but I can say thanks. Thanks for making me work harder to raise kids who know how to act in public and how to treat people. Thanks for the fact my kids know how to treat others and do well socially. In the end your expectations make me a better mother.  

It's booger season Mucinex Review

Recently I was able to try Mucinex Multi-symptom cold medicine. My sample came at just the right time as cold season has hit our house hard. I had three miserable children all at one time. No one could sleep well and they were just overall mean little beings transformed by the dreaded cold virus.

I grabbed my bottle of Mucinex Multi-symptom and lined the kids up. All three went to bed and ended up sleeping better than they had in days. The Mucinex brought almost instant relief. I was sad that I couldn't give it to my three year old, but it's for children six and up and it's always best to never give a young child medicine that is not recommended for their age group.

I am so happy with Mucinex that it is our new brand. I went out and picked up another bottle just to be sure I had some on hand all winter long. I used the $2 off coupon I got here:

I received a free sample from Smiley360, but my opinions are my own.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Give them the gift of respect

Oh the life of large families. This week has been crazy to say the least. Two of the kids have Christmas concerts while hubby is on overtime and we get a snow storm. On the plus side we survived! The teens behind us at the concert almost didn't though. No matter how many dirty looks I gave the mother those girls just giggled and talked so loudly I couldn't even hear the singers. Then maybe a bit loudly I announced to my husband I thought they needed to up my meds because I was feeling a strong need to yell at other peoples kids.
Parents I get it I have teens and they are a pain. I get that they don't always listen, but come on, they aren't 5 year old's. If they are being rude in public and disrupting others do something about it. Sometimes I seriously think their are parents who are afraid of their teens. That makes me sad to think our society has come to a point where kids run the roost.Give them the gift of respect!
It's really simple if they are being disrespectful tell them so. Are you worried about embarrassing them? Too bad, trust me the way they are acting is embarrassing you. They are still at an age they need guidance. If you don't give it to them guess what, they guide themselves. Think bad to when you were a teen. Would you have been able to guide yourself down the right path?
Everyday I meet teens who have parents who haven't taught them any respect. They are rude to adults, don't care who they disrupt, and only care about themselves. And we wonder why kids think it's acceptable to sit on a phone while their parents are talking to them or at a dinner table. I told my teen once if she didn't put her phone away at the table I  was going to smash it and she knew I meant it.
So seriously, if you want to give your kids a gift that will last a lifetime and will benefit them in years to come give them the gift of respect! And best of all it doesn't cost a dime, unlike that stupid cell phone glued to their face.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Teens teens everywhere!!!!

We are that house. The one that all the teens want to hang out at. We have all the things that attract them. We have other teens, multiple TV's, a porch, and most important food. They have been known to appear in packs and stay for days on end. Sometimes I think they forget where they live or the fact that they are in fact not one of my children. They all refer to me as mom and I call them my strays. We once counted and at that time I had 17 strays all of whom I love dearly.

These teen come from different types of homes and backgrounds, some with better home lives than others. I have been known to stay up late into the night talking with any one of them when they are having a hard time. My heart aches for them sometimes and other times I have to tell them when they are wrong themselves. I guess when you spend so much time with so many kids you begin to realize how bad some of them really have it and how hard the thing they have to over come will be. I just do my best to be a kind, nonjudgmental ear and a warm hug. Maybe in the end that's really why they keep coming back.

I just want to encourage everyone to take time to get to know your children's friends. Make your house the one they want to be at. Be the mother that when in a group someone yells mom and no matter who it is you look. These strays can make you feel as loved and needed as your own kids do. You'll find yourself thinking of them as your own children. And sometimes they tell you they wish they were your children.

I can not express to you the pain you'll feel from time to time when you hold one of these strays in your arms as they cry. When they tell you about their pain or horrible things that have happened to them. Your heart will break and you'll search for the right words and sometimes you won't find them so you just keep hanging on. I'll tell you what though, in that moment you are giving that child exactly what they need.

Then one day out of the blue you'll get a Facebook message saying thank you for being there. Thank you for listening and telling you you're love. that's the moment you realize you made a difference. That in years to come you will have impacted this child's life and they will look back fondly on the things you've told them and pass that onto their children.

This Christmas take a minute to really think about your children's friends. Do you know them? Do you know their back story and their parents? Do you know if they'll have a meal waiting for them when they get home or will they go hungry again? Can you make room at your table for a few more. There are days I have fed 17 or 18 kids. Mind you nine of them are mine.

Be the difference this year. It's really simple. Just take in a few strays!