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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Facing Triggers

I talked about us going to see Beauty and the Beast.

Back in 2006, we had reservations to see Smokey Joe's at the Barn Dinner Theatre.  That morning we got a call from the nursing home to come over, that my grandmother was probably not going to make it much longer.  She took her breath about 15 minutes before we were suppose to leave.  My mom told us to go anyway, but of course we didn't, we wanted to be there for my mom.

In 2007, we decided to try it again. We went to see the show and that night I had this weird uneasy feeling all night and the next morning.  That next morning my mommy took her last breath.

It caused a trigger in me and thinking of the Barn Dinner Theatre made me think of death and here it is 8 years and 10 months later before I could tackle going.

After all, I try so hard to teach my child to work through her triggers, to not let things that remind her of bad times stand in her way of happiness, so I knew I had to tackle my own and lead by example.

We got home that night and the water wasn't working. The pressure pump on our well messed up.

The next day I got to thinking about kiddos situation when she was little. For years, she had no electricity or water in her home.  I worried not having water would trigger her.

She looked at me like I bumped my head when I asked if she was okay. She said it wasn't even similar at all.  Things break, we'd get it fixed quick. We went to a hotel to shower, we worked through it and didn't let the stress get to us.

Have I said lately how proud I am of this kid?

She's doing so amazing and I'm so excited to see how much she has progressed.

Even my friends are talking about how different she's seemed the last few times they've seen relaxed and happy she seems.

And high school....more on that later, but her adjustment to high school is going amazing!!

Beauty and the Beast

When kiddo was 12, we took her to a broadway show of Beauty and the Beast. It was awesome, really loved it. She was "princess-y" back then.  Is that a word?

The Barn Dinner Theater in NC had a showing of it this past weekend.

We decided it'd be fun to go. It's been years since I've been there (the weekend my mother passed away and I've avoided it all this time).  I forgot the unique style they have there.

We took her and her new BFF and all 4 of us laughed through the entire show.

It was sorta "spoof" like in a way, but the overall plot was the same so the little kids would enjoy it too.

^^This was the "dad" of Beauty. He was hysterical.  He was also a SHE.

They interacted with the audience and came over to our table and took hubs hat off and said "nope, not a rose, avoid the stink weed".  Tears, literal tears from laughter.

We'll do it again soon.

On another note, REALLY like the new BFF.

I think this one has potential to be as close as the one we ended up having drama over.

We shall see.

Monday, September 5, 2016


Kiddo is obsessed with the idea that she is right around the corner from being old enough to drive.

I use the word obsessed lightly. She's not even as bad as I was, but still, it's so hard to believe she's creeping on that age.  She's even said she wants a car for Christmas and fine with not getting her normal truckload of stuff for it.

So, she's been studying the drivers guide from the DMV on and off the last month or two and I'm letting her pull me out of the driveway on to our private road and ride back and forth on the private road with me in the car.

I'm working my butt off at work trying to make sure I can get a good bonus when bonus time comes in November. It's the last month of the quarter to make it count and I totally would love to get this for monkey butt.  (not necessarily convertible, but you get the idea, something cute and little like this that she will not go racing on)

She's not even eligible to try for her learners permit until late December, so it's kinda funny to think that we're even exploring this idea.

Why would we do that Christmas instead of waiting until after she's licensed and ready?

One--pure excitement, since drivers licenses aren't on the 16th birthday now. So, a cool gift on Christmas is the next best thing.  Plus, I remember my Christmas at 17 when  I got my cool car.

Two--our cars include my SUV (large), husbands pickup with a straight gear and our convertible play car, also a straight gear, but also rare and costly to fix problems when they occur.  So, we feel like we may have value in having an auto that would be suitable for a newly driving teen.

Our requirements include not having big engine, being safe, not over the top expensive and not a bunch of room in the car.  Some say that it's better to get her a bigger car, but I feel like with a smaller car, she'll be better able to refuse to others to tote them around.

I don't want her having a zillion kids in the car distracting her.  We do have the advantage of her not wanting a zillion kids in her car constantly. She does better one on one, although her friend circle has grown considerably.

She's showing responsibility and making us proud lately.

I hope we can make this happen for her.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Interim Progress Report--School

So, we're 3 1/2 weeks into the school year and the stress level seems way down from last year. We have a seemingly happy kid that isn't exhibiting unusual levels of stress.

We got the first interim progress report and this momma is stunned.


After years of her struggling and anxiety ruling, so far she has no grades less than a B+.

I know it's early, but ZERO grades less than B+.  She's doing amazing and adjusting so well to high school life.

So excited for things to come.

I'm hoping that things will continue down this calm path.

Oh, and on another note....she has earned her phone back.  More on that later.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Christmas Wish List

so.....Monkey Butt wants a car for Christmas.

Given that's probably a good time of the year to get a decent deal on a car, we are going to try to accomodate that request.

However, I've been wracking my brain trying to think of ways to make it even more fun and special than getting a car is anyway.

When I was 17, for Christmas, I had 5 packages under the tree.  My family had a tradition where we opened one gift on Christmas Eve and the rest on Christmas morning.  The "big" present was never allowed on Christmas Eve, of course.

The present I opened on Christmas Eve was a box of gravel with a note not to spin in the gravel.

The next morning, I was told the big box had to be last.

I opened up 3 boxes that had notes in them:  "new seat covers, new tires, new paint job".

My silly self thought that meant they were going to do all this to my Flintstone mobile.  That final box though.....had about 6 boxes inside of it. The final box was a set of keys.

That wasn't all though.

Dad was laughing his head off and said "now, to see how good you are.....the car isn't here, but it IS at a neighbors house.  Let's go outside and walk around the block and when you think you see a car that could be yours, go see if the keys will crank it"

No pressure, right?

I mean, it was Christmas.  Nearly every house on the street had extra cars there because of family visiting.

I went by several cars and didn't try them out.  He kept saying "Nothing striking your fancy, what if you don't like it?" I knew, just knew that I hadn't passed it yet.  Then I started REALLY squealing.

I got ready to jump in the car and dad said "are you sure you're not jumping in a neighbors family members car? Don't yell so loud, you don't want the neighbors to wake up and have you arrested for breaking in their car or something"

It was mine. I knew.

Yeah, I loved it, but as much as the car itself (and God knows as a teenager, having a cool car was amazing and fun without the other stuff) was the thought put into making getting it special and fun.

I want to do that for kiddo.

The stumbling blocks:  1) we go overboard on gifts so lack of gifts under tree will give it away  2) we don't live in a neighborhood, we're in the country and no neighbors that we could hide a car at 3) she knows my story, she'd totally suspect the whole "nesting boxes" as the presentation.

So, here it is.....shortly after midnight, all is quiet and all are asleep when I decided what to do.

I'll ask bestie if I can hide the car at her house until Christmas Eve and then park it behind the nearby church that I can walk to. In the middle of the night I'll walk to it and drive it home.

The keys will not be in a nesting box.  We'll go ahead and get her gifts, but majorly bargain shop so she doesn't suspect.  The gift DOES have to be the last one opened though. When it's not a big box, she'll assume it's not that.

Inside will be this jewelry box that she'll be getting for Christmas. She'll assume because it has the daughter stuff on it and mushy, that that's the reason we consider it the special wait til the end gift.

Inside will be this keychain with her new key on it.

Now, to find the car and not go broke.

Looking forward to the holidays once again this year.

She's so worth it.

I'm sorta leaning towards a "clue" in some of the other gifts.

1--a banana, whether fake or real and 2--a turtle

We've been teasing her that our big worry about her driving is her experience with Mario Kart.  She threatens to bring turtles and bananas to throw out the window on our way to school for idiot drivers that behave poorly.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Tech program at school

Last January, kiddo applied for and was accepted into B Tech.  (B Tech isn't the name, but the name for here)

B Tech is almost like a school within a school.  It's high school info but done like you're in college or in workplace.  They'll work in groups instead of lecture style from teachers, no worksheets, but project based. 

It allows teachers free reign over what they want to teach students and how they want to teach it. The teachers have total intellectual freedom. They combine subjects sometimes and instead of 6-8 classes a day, they only have 4.  It'll help her with her ADHD I think. Last year she struggled with bell assignments (the first 5-10 minutes of each class). I think it was the adjustment part that made that difficult, because the assignments were easier than what she did successfully, as far as material.

This will help her build soft skills, like confidence, time management, and communication, as opposed to learning how to retain a body of knowledge about topics studies show they quickly forget. While other schools teach students memorization tactics in order to score well on a test, B Tech will focus on learning citizenship-readiness. They encourage movement, noise, and activity in the classroom. (also good for her ADHD)

Each student works on a group project, the act of which encourages team building. Students at similar facilities in the county scored on average 10 percent higher on senior exit exams. Student also had a 98 percent acceptance rate into college.  

The critical thinking and using skills that actually get used after leaving schools had us sold on the idea.

So many are complaining about the program, but other than fear of the unknown, I don't see the downside yet.  

As time progresses, we shall see how this goes.  I hope kiddo will be happy with this choice because I want her to stay in it. She's only committed to 1 year, but I'd like this to continue going forward if successful.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Slumber Party

We let kiddo have a big back to school slumber pool party--11 am Saturday to 11 am Sunday.

Hotdogs for lunch, a ton of pool play, pizza for dinner, more pool play, a gaggle of girls laughing and watching movies at night and back in the pool first thing in the morning.

Kiddo is enrolled in a new program at her school and her bestie didn't enroll in it.

The program is more about creating a learning environment that matches real world experiences and helps with critical thinking. We thought it'd be good going into high school, knowing she wouldn't have classes with at least 2 of her besties for them to get together and bond, going to high school stronger than normal.

They were all great, but man, can they eat!

Who knew teen girls ate even more than the stereotype of teen boys.

It was a major success.

Some of the girls were crashing on the floats the next day, several were late leaving, some begged to stay.  One I'm concerned about. I think we'll invite her over very soon for a few visits. There is something nagging at me that something is wrong, and she needs to know she has a safe place to share and get help if needed.

Maybe we should find some cheaper food options next time though.  I know it was no less than 36 drinks and 40 mini-bags of chips for 5 girls? and I thought kiddo ate alot.  She has nothing on these girls.

The closeness she now has with some of these kids as gotten stronger and I think she's in for a fun freshman year.

I'm looking forward to seeing how she does in this new program. One of her friends mom told us she wanted to take her kid out of the program because she felt it would be so hard on her daughter.  I told her that I thought it would be hard initially, but they'd learn so much. She's afraid of bad grades. I'd rather her have bad grades and be learning than good grades and not get anything out of school though.

We shall see....we shall see....

Today she said she was really starting to get excited.

When we got to school though, getting out of the car was a different story. She said "I think I'll just stay in the car a few minutes, I'm nervous"

So proud though, no meltdown, no acting out, just "let me sit a minute" and went on with it happily.