Sunday, October 3, 2010


A week ago, we experienced the hottest day in Los Angeles history, and this week has been a warm one. In the next few days, the temperature will drop significantly. Yes, I know it is autumn, but I always have trouble accepting the end of summer. I love the emotional "feel" of summer. I love halter tops, shorts and flip-flops. I love the longer days. I know I'll adjust, as I do every year, but I refuse to let go easily!
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Monday, June 7, 2010

Tough Love

I had to get tough shortly before bedtime tonight. First, Ryan and Keira were engaged in a not-so-friendly pillow fight. Ryan decided to get one more swing in after being told to stop, and whacked Keira right in her little glasses-wearing face. Then, he chose to argue when he was told to go to his room. I can't even remember everything that he said, but I ended up telling him he was going to bed without any ice cream.

The next thing I know, Luke is crying, and I know from his wail, that he's hurt. And, there goes Keira, running down the hall toward her room; a sure sign of guilt. Luke explained that Keira scratched his face with a comb. Apparently, she went straight from one altercation to the next. So, I go after her, snatch away the popsicle she was eating, and tell her that she is going straight to bed, too.

So, now, I've got two enraged and crying kids, and one who's still hurting. I would mention that their daddy was home, laying on his bed, ignoring the chaos, as he dozed and watched some totally inconsequential women's softball game, but I'd be digressing. Ryan wailed so much, I almost forgot I was dealing with a child who will be eight in a couple of months.

When the dust finally settled, I explained to Keira why I was upset with her, and reminded her that I love her very much. She had already forgotten about the stolen popsicle, so she cuddled right up to me. Ryan was a little trickier. He eventually came near me; I could tell he wanted his bedtime back scratch and "God Kisses", but didn't want to ask. I finally got him next to me, and told him how much I love him, even when I get upset with him. Just from his body language, I could tell he'd accepted his fate, and no longer resented me for inflicting such a horrific punishment on him.

Once Keira was asleep, I went back to check on the boys. Luke was fast asleep, but Ry was still awake. He lovingly told me goodnight and sweet dreams. A tiny voice inside of me suggested I let him get up and have something to eat. I'm proud to say I ignored that voice and stuck to the consequence I'd given him. Still, sometimes, it's hard to be the "bad cop". It hurts to hear the words, "I don't love you anymore!", even when you know they are coming from the uncensored mouth of a young child who feels like he's the injured party. I can only hope that the lessons from today will lead my kids to make better choices tomorrow.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I just finished reading Liza Palmer's Conversations With the Fat Girl. It was one of the most "real" books I've read lately. By real, I guess I mean that I could relate to a lot of the main character's emotions. Nothing has hit me so hard since Jane Porter's Mrs. Perfect. (Notice that I also blogged about that one.) Jotting down my thoughts helps me to sort them out and move on, in a sense.

In Conversations, Maggie is a twenty-something who has very little self-esteem and is afraid to step out into the world and take any chances. She's uncomfortable with her body and worries about what everyone else sees when they look at her. She is so incredibly hard on herself, and is constantly beating herself up. Ok, so I'm not in my 20's anymore, but I spent almost the entire decade treating myself just like Maggie did herself. Most people who know me, realize that I was not overwieght like the character of Maggie, but I sure did have body issues! Physically, I was more like the character of Olivia in the book, getting down to that (not so) magical size 2 (and beyond), even though no one who is 5'6" should ever wear those sizes. Yes, I graduated from college, bought a car, got a teaching position and had a successful year, but I didn't give myself much credit for those accomplishments. Instead, I focused on everything that I though was "wrong" with me and compared myself to everyone else who, for reasons I couldn't quite put my finger on, were so much more accomplished and deserving of happiness. I wrapped myself in this tight little cocoon and looked no one in the eye. Nobody could make me come out until I was ready; only I could decide when I had had enough of the life I was living. When I finally started taking little chances and putting myself out there, people didn't laugh in my face and nothing catastrophic happened.

Flash forward to today: Sometimes I forget to be nice to myself. Besides relating to the character, reading this book also reminded me to treat myself like I try to treat others, especially my friends. To focus on what is good in me, and what good I can bring to those I love. To let others be nice to me because, guess what, they may actually like the me they see. And, if they don't, oh well, it's not gonna ruin my day.

Thursday, March 25, 2010



To place under government or group ownership or control.

To make fit for companionship with others; make sociable.

To convert or adapt to the needs of society.

To take part in social activities.

Whenever someone wants to argue against homeschooling, they bring up the issue of "socialization". Do they really believe that a tradional school is the only place that children can become "socialized"? And which definition of "socialize" are they referring to? 1) Do my children need to be placed under group ownership or control? That would be a NO. 2) Do they need traditional school to be made "fit" for companionship with others? No, again. 3) I don't believe it is the purpose of school to force children to adapt to the needs of society. 4) Do my kids take part in social activities? Yes, they do. They are in karate, gymnastics, and dance classes. We regularly meet with friends at parks or other venues.

On Wednesdays, the kids and I meet at a park with a wonderful group of families that happen to home school. These kids get along so wonderfully. Sometimes there are little problems to work out, but, for the most part, the kids (who range in age from 2-11) are very respectful of each other. The older ones look out for the younger ones, and the younger ones look up to the older ones. The kids share their toys and their snacks. Next week we'll have an Easter egg hunt. We celebrate birthdays.

A few weeks ago, a boy from a local school was bullying a young child from our group. Ryan stood up to the boy and demanded that he return the younger child's toy. When he refused, Ryan took the toy and gave it back to it's rightful owner. Despite the incident, Ryan ended up playing with the boy who had taken the toy, trusting that the boy could play fair. Yesterday, this child appeared at the park again. Ryan was more than willing to play with the boy, that is, until the kid kicked him. Ryan did not strike back, but he sure told that boy what he thought of his behavior. He also told him he didn't want to play with him anymore. The boy seemed upset that Ryan and Luke wouldn't play with him, but he never apologized, not even when I told him it wasn't OK to kick other children.

Where was this boy's parent or caregiver at this time? I don't know, but whoever it was either didn't care or wasn't watching closely enough to realize what was going on. I feel sorry for the boy, because he seems to be looking for attention.

Who displayed the more socially acceptable behavior? The home school kid or the one from the brick and mortar school? There is so much more to behaving in a manner that is socially acceptable than what one learns in school. As a wise friend pointed out, our kids don't have to be at school to learn about socialization. There are experiences everywhere that they interact with other children and adults.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


I wish I didn't know now what I know now. A few days ago, my mom told me something about a member of our family. She felt it was best that I knew what was going on. The information was a complete shock. It's about someone I love very, very much. This person is hurting, and there is nothing I can do about it. It makes me sad to know that he has been dealing with this. The situation is unfortunate and affects more than just one person. As much as I wish I didn't know, I can see why my mom told me. I just don't know how to process this...