Coming in for a landing

Hello, my name is Kerry and I have broken one of my own golden rules of parenting.  I have been secretly boarding my helicopter and flying circles around by kiddos homework.

I have always prided myself on not being a helicopter parent.  I don’t hover over them when play outside or chase them around a playground.  I let them solve their own friendship quarrels and ignore their tattle tales.  I’m always here for them for advice and support, but I’d rather let them trip up and teach them how to fix their mistakes than solve all their problems for them and give them the wrong sense of how the world works.

And then came homework.

How did school go from this place kids go to learn to this ultra-competative, stress-factory where every grade determines your child’s future success in life, and is therefore a reflection of good of a parent you are.  I blame those damn bumper stickers.  “My kid’s on honor roll” is somehow a guarantee you won’t have a 28-year-old living in your basement playing an online shooter games, screaming up at you to refill his chips.

I so wanted to be that parent who just let the kids do their homework, turn it in and let the grades fall where they may.  I know, in my heart, that the only way for them to truly have ownership over their grades is for them to receive what they earned through their own accomplishments.  But somehow, letting them take a hit academically was so much harder for me to let happen.  In my own defense, I am one of those people who always obsessed about getting a good grade, actually beating myself up if I missed one problem on a test.

It started innocently enough.  They would do their work, and I would look it over.  “Hey, number 2 and 4 are wrong.”  “You’re missing part of the information on number 7.”  My kids work was usually ok, but there were things here and there that could be tweaked to make the assignments better, the answers a little more in-depth.  My good ol’ perfectionist tendencies kicked in, and I went a little crazy.  I found myself saying things like, “What do we have for homework tonight,” and nagging about effort and grades.  On top of that, I began dreading coming home to the homework, the battles, and the ensuing lectures.

That’s when the epiphany happened.  I realized that the more time and energy I spent ‘helping’ my kids with their homework, the worse their attempts at the homework got.  It’s like they knew that mom was going to strap on her cape after school and fix everything for them, so they stopped making a good first effort.

My attempt to ‘rescue’ them from failing, taught them stop giving it their all.

Message received loud and clear.  Today I turned in my helicopter keys and exited aircraft.  I love my children and I know that they are capable of doing their own work.  I know that my value and ability as a parent is not tied to a math assignment and the best thing I can do for them is to let them succeed or fail on their own merit, standing beside them to support them along the way.

 

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Butter Ball

After braving the stores for some early morning shopping, I stopped at home to eat lunch, watch my Nebraska Huskers beat those stinky Iowa Hawkeyes, and check out some prices on the web, searching for more deals.  Once I was properly re-fueled and re-hydrated, I decided to venture out back out into the crowds.  As I was getting ready to leave, I asked my mini-me if she wanted to join me this time.  My fashionista jumped at the opportunity.

As we were walking in the first store, I noticed this on the back of my Paige’s jeans.

“Hey Paige.  The back of your pants are wet.”

“No, I sat in butter at Grandma and Grandpa’s house last night.”

“Before we left the house, I asked you for any dirty clothes because I was starting a load.”

“I know.  I gave you my dirty clothes.”

“YOU’RE WEARING PANTS WITH BUTTER ON YOUR BUTT.”

“I know, but they’re clean.”

No, Paige, no they’re not…  Man I see there are a few life skills lessons that we need to go back over again.

 

Dead Men Tell No Tales

This is my husband Peter.

These are his keys, wallet, and phone.

This is my truck.

This is where my husband, Peter, set his keys, wallet, and phone when he got home from running an errand.

This is my neighbor Jenni.

Her brother-in-law found Peter’s keys, wallet, and phone laying in the middle of a street in our neighborhood after I left in my truck to run an errand.

This man is now my Christmas angel.  He also, unknowingly, saved my husband’s life, because if I would have had to cancel the credit and debit card two days before Black Friday, I wouldn’t have to worry about what Peter wanted to Christmas…dead men don’t need new socks!

Splish, splash

She was taking a bath, and then so did our basement……

I get up every morning at 5 am to workout before I wake up the beasts… er… ummm, I mean, the family.  I like to get it done and off the list (Yes, I’m OCD), so that I don’t have to think about it the rest of the day.

The other morning, I stumbled downstairs, blurry eyed, willing myself to just get on that machine and get started.  If I can get going, I will stop trying to talk myself back into bed.  I rounded the corner, reaching for the light switch, when…. SQUISH.

Oh shit!  No, no, no, no, no!  Please, do not let this be what I think it is.  Please, please let this puppy pee.  I’ve never wanted to step in puppy pee so badly in my whole life.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t puppy pee, it was a back-up of the main sewer line to our house.  The basement that we completely finished and carpeted just last year, was soaking in gallons of water that did not drain out to the street after my daughter bath last night, but instead backed up into our basement.

Oh joy!  Drop the running shoes and grab the towels and fans.  Somehow, I don’t think I ‘m getting to the run today.

5 am run…. 5 am Shop Vac-ing.   5 am run…. 5 am Shop Vac-ing.  I may never complain about a morning workout again!

Ice, ice baby

For a while now, we haven’t had a lot to complain about in Nebraska in regards to the weather.  We had a very mild winter last year.  Not a single snow day used, which is a sin when you work in a school.  A very pleasant spring, not a lot of the severe weather and thunderstorms we are used to.  Sure the summer was hot and dry and we could have used more rain, but with all the rain we received the summer before, everyone seemed ok with it.

And this fall….well this fall has been glorious!  Most days have been in the 60s, warm, with beaming sunshine.  Just this last week, it was 75 degrees on Saturday.  Kids running in T-Shirts at the parks, trails full of joggers in shorts, the sounds of lawns still being mowed.  Then Sunday hit.

The first hard freeze of the season.  Lows in the teens overnight.  Waking up in a panic, hoping you remembered to disconnect your hoses from your house.  I got up that morning and instantly felt the chill of the weather change.  Man, I glad I crashed out in the sweats last night.

As I was making the bed, I touched the wall, damn that’s cold.  I was making a comment to my husband about the lack of insulation in our house, when he sheepishly walked over to the window, pulled back the curtains, and I saw the real culprit.

Yes you are seeing that correctly.  In his euphoria from enjoying the beautiful fall weather, my husband had forgotten to close the window and it was now frozen…open.

“What!,” he says to me.  “It was unfreeze later in the day…   :/

 

Shopping….not his bag

This is how you normally will find my son.

Any chance to show off.

Or steal the spotlight.

He’s there…. He’s just got be the center of attention.

I found out yesterday, that all changes when you take him shopping.

Tis the season when I spend time on the weekend out looking for Christmas ideas and hunting for deals.  I want to find the best price and the perfect present, so it takes time.  It’s not always fun.  Trystan now knows how true that is.

Dad and daughter were having movie day out to see the newest Bourne movie at the cheap theater.  (Him because he’s a Bourne freak.  Her because she thought the guy in it was dreamy.)  So I told the boy we were going to go shopping.  About the times October hits, I try to not just buy things for the kiddos just for no reason. In his defense, he believes that when he goes to the store, he gets something.  He’s used to being spoiled.

After sulking around Kohl’s and being told “no” or “put in on your list” about everything he touched, he…

stomped out of the store,

and pouted in the car.

That was fun.  On to the next store.

Sidebar—When did these become oldies????

Seriously, John Cougar Mellencamp and Red Hot Chili Peppers in the cheap-o bin.  I’m sad.

More shopping.  More “No’s.”

I did find a him this though.  What do you think?

Yup, that’s perfect.

 

So apparently I’ve lost it

You ever had one of those times where you just look at yourself, what you’ve just done, and burst out into hysterics?  Well today was my day.

I had, what felt like, a week of stress and tension that grew exponentially by the day.  I kept looking around for the license plate of the truck that hit me, but it was never to be found.

Then the weekend arrived.  The glorious weekend.  Those two days that you get to sleep in, relax and rejuvenate yourself.  Wait…what, that doesn’t happen in your life?!?!  Me neither.

My weekends are spent running to and from kids sporting activities, games, practices, and then squeezing in parties, errands, and cleaning.  All the while, passing my empty couch, staring longingly at its cushy, plushness.

After getting through my morning cleaning, getting the boy to baseball, attending a fun baby shower with friends, and running my daughter to the mall for a “must-have, can’t-live-without” One Direction T-Shirt (maybe now I’ll get my NKOTB jacket back), I was starting to feel a little giddy.  I was on my way home!  I was going to get to put on my sweats and lounge on my couch to watch my Huskers!

I pulled up to a red light, my leg bouncing with excitement.  Change light, change!  I started to do the creep forward trick to trip the sensor.  Opps!  I realized I had crept up too far, so I crept back in reverse.  Seriously, how long is this light?  Then the light changed.  I stepped on the gas and my truck went….no where.

What the hell?!?!   I can not be having car trouble, no, no, no!  I’m almost home.  I can feel my couch!  This can not be happening.

Then I looked down and saw this.

Apparently you can not drive a vehicle while it is in park.

D = Drive.  Got it.