Posts about parenting.

Episode 32 – Our Favorite Apps

This week The Chicks chat about all of their favorite #apps! We talk about the Mint App as well as our other #favorite #financeapps and discuss #Debt and how we manage it.  The Chicks agree that they love #NavyFederalCreditUnion #NFCU as well as Dave Ramsey. #DaveRamsey has an #app also! #Snowball Oh and The Dave Ramsey Podcast. We move on to #CreditCardPerks – specifically #SouthwestVisa and the #BarclayCreditCard. We also love our #electric #cooperative #SmarthubApp…
For #music there is only one #Spotify and for #ChoreApps – #ChoreMonster is the best and their new #HoneyDo #Mothershp and #Landra apps.  #Paribus and #Ebates for #savingmoney and  for #livemusic – #ABandsInTown and #SeatGeekApp. We super love #Dropbox and the #Foursquareapp – Jennifer loves the #HappyCowApp for all things #vegan
#Canary camera

And if that’s not enough, bonus points if you can work one of these in:

#Denialist (is it a word?)


Check out this episode!

Let’s get to work.

Right now, there hasn’t been a day that has passed where I am not equally knocked on my ass and fired up by the insane shit happening under the Trump administration. I can’t stop and I can’t keep up. Something happens, I am appalled, I research and research and research so I can understand what the hell is going on and then I contact my representatives and before I can even take a breath, something else has happened.
It’s exhausting.
And it never lets up.
And beyond doing what I consider to be my duties as a citizen who wants my voice to be heard in my government, I have a handful of friends and family who post factually incorrect shit and I feel obligated to tell them it’s wrong and then there’s always some kind of ensuing conversation. The last of which was with a family member who told me we were “done communicating” when I answered his ridiculous question of whether or not I was ok living in America under Sharia law by saying I didn’t want that religion or any religion telling me what I can and cannot do with my body and life – including his.
A lot of the opinion pieces that are reposted by friends and family just cause me to use the little unfollow button facebook because some of these people are off limits for me. It was hard to choose which people those were and most of my “friends” didn’t make the list. But there are a handful of people, like the mother of my daughter’s best friend who is super religious and doesn’t believe in gay marriage and who is raising a daughter who has expressed to my daughter that she thinks she is gay. I can’t call this woman out because then I stop being a person who her daughter can turn to. And that is just more important.
I guess that is why I am driven to write this post. Because that same mother shared an article that I don’t even want to link to because it so awful. An article written by a woman to her baby daughter talking about all of the reasons she didn’t march for her. It’s such a compilation of bullshit that it has taken me several attempts to just read it. And while I really want to break down the entire post that this woman wrote in bullet points and refute it in its entirety, I won’t. I won’t because I don’t want to put you readers through pages and pages of arguing. I don’t want to waste the next few hours of my life fuming and researching and taking deep breaths so I can keep my temper in check. And, my god, this red-headed woman wants to let that temper fly and furiously hack away at this keyboard and eviscerate that post. The same way I want to write out paragraph after paragraph about how disappointed I am in Heather Armstrong over the last few weeks.
But I’m not going to.
Because these are all distractions from what I should be doing.
And while tearing that post apart or telling Heather that I think she was a total hypocrite will probably make me feel like I got it all off of my chest and maybe even feel a little better, like I’ve accomplished something – it will not change anything. It will not tell those who represent us that we are not ok with the cabinet choices, it will not tell them which policies matter the most to us, it will not help the government agencies that were silenced get their voices back.
It’s all a distraction to keep us from making changes happen.
And I want to make change happen.
So here is what I want to say to my own daughters, all four of them, and to my little granddaughter who will be here in a few short weeks, and to all of the daughters out there who can’t tell their mothers or fathers who they really are is this: I will keep marching for you. I will march for you to get to choose who you want to be in this world. I will march for your equality. I will march for the women in countries who have it far more difficult that I can even imagine. I will march for your choice to be a mother or not be a mother. I will march for your right to feel safe in all places. I will march for your right to choose who you marry. I will march for you. I will fight for you. I will be there for you. But you have to get up and do something, too. You have make those calls, write those letters and emails, show up to vote, and educate yourselves on what is going on. Don’t think because you have privilege that all women do. Take that privilege, like millions of people did a few weeks ago, and put it to good use to make the changes you want to see in this world.

The most horrible thing about being a parent…

…when you’re cut off from your child for whatever reason.

I’m the mother to a sixteen year old who recently decided to leave. And not just leave. He left and has decided he isn’t going to speak to me.

I haven’t spoken to my son for a month. He won’t text, email, call. And what’s worse is he’s cut off everyone in my entire family. The family that has been there every step of the way, when his own father refused to be.

He won’t tell us why either. I wish I could say it was because “something” happened. But nothing happened. Nothing more than the normal teenaged drama (I couldn’t possibly understand him, he should be able to skip school with impunity, he should have unlimited allowance). And then one day he didn’t come home from school. He disappeared. And when I tracked him down at close to 11pm he was at a friends house. When I called the house to ask the parents to send him home, the mother was aggressive and rude with me and told me he wasn’t coming home. He left a note the following day saying he was going to stay there for a few days. A few days later he shows up with his father and packs up some things and leaves.

That was 4 weeks ago.

Nothing since.

I’m sad. My heart is broken.




I’ve been sitting on this secret since July!
My oldest daughter, the one who has moved off to Connecticut with her Navy husband, is pregnant!
This is so wild to me. The idea that my baby is having a baby. I can’t even wrap my head around that. And I should be able to as this is my kid who has wanted to be mom pretty much since she was born.
I think part of the reason that it’s strange for me is that I had her when I was very young and so now, while she will be 20 when her little baby is born, I will only be 36! But also, I think because there was always such a stigma attached to my pregnancies, I get hyper defensive about her being pregnant. I had all three of my biological children by the time I was 22 and I never really had my shit together during that time. Back to back teenage pregnancies and then a relationship change, and not a good one, and another kid that was born after I had already left him. My pregnancies weren’t exciting nor celebrated in the way a traditional married couple’s might be. And that’s fine, I’m not all butthurt about it now – but I did realize how much it affected me when my daughter was about to announce her pregnancy. Like I was waiting for people to give her a hard time, because that was my experience. Luckily, it hasn’t been the case. And why should it be? She did all the stuff in the traditional sense. She dated, got married, got pregnant and when she posted on facebook that she was pregnant, she got congratulated and everyone is genuinely excited for her. Myself included.
And now it’s been a few days and everyone pretty much knows and I realized I had been holding my breath, waiting for there to be some kind of reaction that never came. And I’m so glad. I’m so very glad that she will never have to experience what it feels like to admit, rather than announce, a pregnancy to those closest to you and have them look at you with pity or fear rather than joy and excitement.
And so now we move onto the planning of the baby shower and the buying of teeny tiny clothes and I get to tell my daughter all the wonderful things about bringing her little baby into this world. About becoming a mother. As I am having these conversations with her, I imagine skipping forward another twenty years and seeing her having the same ones with her daughter. Twenty years is such a very long time, you learn so much, you change in so many ways… and yet, it happens in the blink of an eye.

micromanaging the homework like whoa

I will come right out and admit that I have not had to do this in the past. My oldest two kids handled their shit. Period. Once they started the sixth grade, I didn’t have to check on their homework or remind them to do it. They took responsibility for it and they knew that their grades were important for college so they did their best. My third kid was a little less enthused in middle school, but still kept her grades in the A-Cs and now that she is starting high school, she is all A/B and really working hard. Flash forward to my youngest kid and man, I am not enjoying the micromanaging that The GingerBeard Man and I are having to do in order to keep her on track.
I check the grades online daily. I email teachers about missing assignments and bad grades to ask for stuff she can work on at home to improve her knowledge of the subject matter. I am printing up and even creating worksheets for her to practice at home. I have subscribed to all of the classes Remind App notifications that are available. It’s ridiculous. Are other parents doing this? Is this normal? Like I am having to memorize where all the damn states are in order for her to? And the capitals? I don’t want to memorize the capitals again. Stahp.
And forget bribing this kid. Forget. It. Here’s the thing about my youngest daughter: she doesn’t care about losing privileges… she doesn’t care SO MUCH that it makes me think it might be related to the years of being in foster care and not having anything. Which then makes me feel terrible. But you can tell this girl that she will lose her electronics, her free time, her time with friends, sleepovers, fun trips places… she doesn’t care. She will hand it all over and dig her heels in. The look in her eyes is like two birds in your face. It’s super frustrating.
She is also Queen of The Excuses. My teacher didn’t show me that. I actually don’t have to do that homework. It’s not due until next week. Nevermind that I am showing her the email from her teacher that says something to the effect of ‘we covered this in class today, here is the homework for it, it’s due tomorrow.’ Her newest excuse is that she shouldn’t even be in middle school because she didn’t pass one of her standardized tests last year. Forget that the one she didn’t pass was math, which she has a 96 in right now and we are talking about science.
Now don’t get me wrong here, I feel her pain. Homework is absolute balls. But is also has to be done and I am not going to sit by while she flunks the sixth grade because she just doesn’t feel like doing anything. I just wish so much that she cared. Like I can get past the needing endless help if she actually cared about learning. Or cared about making good grades. She doesn’t care at all. She is just trying to check the box next to completed so she can move on with her day. Making good grades is just not important to her. It’s so effing frustrating.
I seriously sometimes have a little fantasy daydream that she is standing tall and poised on a stage as a young adult, wearing her cap and gown thanking her father and I for pushing her to do well in school. And I sit back in my seat and dab my eyes and think “it was all worth it.”

Home from Minnesota…

My daughter and I left Texas for Minnesota at 6am on Wednesday. After a brief layover at Midway (Chicago dogs for late breakfast for the win!), we arrived at the Minneapolis airport around 1pm. We lugged all the suitcases to the rental car kiosks and grabbed our rental car and hit the road. St. Peter is about an hour drive from the airport, but it was lovely… all fields and farms and silos. When we finally arrived in St. Peter, the picturesqueness seems to only continue. The town is beautiful. There are brick buildings from one end of Main Street to the other and all the little homes looked so cute. Seriously, the entire time we were there, I never saw a house in that town that was in any state of disrepair.
We got checked into our hotel and then headed out for a bite to eat. We ended up eating at the same restaurant three times while I was there because the food was so good. The restaurant was Patrick’s on 3rd. I think I ate my weight in fried cheese curds. Friday was Move In Day so we spend Wednesday and Thursday either toodling around St. Peter exploring the shops and restaurants or running pre-dorm errands. Having those days to just chill out with my daughter was super nice. We didn’t have any solid plans so we just got to spend time together and if we felt like driving somewhere, we jumped in the car and took off. If we wanted to walk around town and poke our heads into little stores, we did. But mostly, we wanted to explore the school campus which we did a lot of.
Friday morning, we got up and loaded all of the bags back into the car. We made the short drive from the hotel to the college campus and were greeted with a wall of enthusiastic college students. They were all dressed in yellow t-shirts and were waiting at each of the college entrances. They yelled things like “welcome home!” and “we’re so glad you’re here” and chanted a variety of the school’s cheers. Now, I don’t know if they do this at all colleges, but if they don’t – they should. It is so much fun to pull into your new school and experience this wave of positive energy. My throat tightened up as we drove past them all. A few minutes later we were parked in front of the dorm unloading suitcases into the grass for the football players to take upstairs. My daughter’s room was on the fifth floor so I was pretty pleased that we had help.
Once all of her stuff was in the dorm, we got busy unpacking and setting it all up. This is really the only part of the trip where I felt rushed. I knew the clock was ticking and I had a limited amount of time before I had to head back to the airport. I wanted to make sure we got everything done. We were unpacked in no time and took the opportunity to head out to Patrick’s for one last lunch. We stopped and grabbed a few things we hadn’t know she would need before running back to the campus. We headed over to the admissions office and got her ID and signed a few pieces of paperwork and then we were done. She laughed at me as I loaded an entire walmart bag with pinecones to bring home. Our goodbye was fast and thankfully tear free. She has never been a cryer and I am but I think this goes to show just how confident I am in the choice we made for her to go to school there. I am not afraid or even worried leaving her there. Similar to having left Connecticut a few months ago, I flew home knowing both of these girls are ok. I can worry that they won’t eat healthy or that they’ll be late or that they won’t change their socks or brush their teeth enough, but as far as just being all right? I know they will be all right. And as I drove out of St. Peter towards Minneapolis, I just felt so proud. This kid has worked so hard to get to exactly where she is and I know she is going to be so happy over the next four years as she lives there and starts her life and gets her degree.