Saying Goodbye to Elementary School

Today was a BIG day in our family. My oldest, SJ, has completed 6th grade in Elementary School and was promoted onto Middle School. 

We celebrated with her at school, where she received a promotion certificate and a Citizen of the Quarter award. I’m proud of her, mostly because she has dreaded 6th grade, was barely passing her math class and finally brought that grade up! She worked hard, with lots of tears, frustrated attitudes and regular tween attitude.

SJ also had a huge life change middle of the year, she lost the title of “only child” in January and then soon after that found out she was going to be getting another sibling on her dad’s side of the family. Followed by her stepdad (my husband), transferring jobs which is resulting into another move this summer. But she has handled it all like a champ. 

I’m so excited for her to trek new grounds but nervous for her as well. She doesn’t make friends the easiest, has reservations about approaching others  but I hope she blooms. I hope she shines in the next couple years of middle school. We hope the 2017/2018 school year will be great! 

Simple Holiday Shopping

‘Tis the season to shop til you drop! This is the last “shopping weekend” before Christmas. Are you panicked yet?

We celebrate Christmas in our home, and I do enjoy shopping and wrapping gifts for my daughter, husband and other family members. Sometimes it is hard to afford the gifts that everyone asks for. So I’ve learned to ask, take note and carry on.

I don’t get everything on my daughters wish list…

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Number 10 and 11 are outta my hands. Number 1, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 8 aren’t happening this year. Number 1,3 and 4 will probably never happen in the near future.
I narrowed it down to a few items, even chose things she didn’t ask for.
My idea is to keep it simple. Get one thing you can afford, don’t mind your kids having and the if you do more than one gift, buy what they need or will use. I don’t buy “filler” presents. Those presents that will be broken, forgotten about or just because I want a certain amount of items for each person. Nope. Not happening in this house. Of course I buy things she can use, like socks underwear and slippers. I try to purchase unique ones, cutesy and whatever to make it seem a bit more special. But she really does need these, this time of year.

As for my husband, I ask him a million times what he wants, I try my best to get something he wants, along with something unique too. He doesn’t buy himself a lot, he is a simple person, pretty basic really. So I like to go above and beyond for him.

When shopping for family, I always love getting them something they wouldn’t buy themselves. I keep things simple though, our wallets are only so deep.

So, when you rush around this weekend, buying last minute toys and gifts, just keep it simple. Don’t try to get everything on their wish list.

Smile, drink coffee and enjoy the season.

Merry Christmas!

❤ Kristi

Top 10 Halloween movies for a Tween

Tween girls love what they love one day and maybe not the next. So far this list has lasted a few days from my tween daughter. These are just the top 10 of her favorite Halloween movies, ones we seem to watch year after year and a few that are new to her. No movie is complete without her favorite bowl of homemade popcorn and a comfy blanket.

1.) The Addams Family (1991)

2.) The Addams Family Values (1993)

3.) Casper (1995 version)

4.) Hocus Pocus (1993) *My favorite*

5.) The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

6.) Spooky Buddies (2011)

7.) Scooby Doo (Any episode)

8.) Hotel Transylvania (2012)

9.) ParaNorman (2012)

10.) It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)

Traveling with my Tween

Fall break means time to do things you don’t have time for during the school year, right? Well kiddo and I decided to drive to grandma’s house, across the southern part of Arizona. Lucky me, traveling with two of our three dogs and a tween, during the early hours on a Friday, towards the end of Fall break.

As we are rushing out the door to get on the road, since a 5 hour drive with a few stops is going to take FOREVER, I ask her to grab a book to read. The response was “I don’t have any!” Excuse me? Did I not just spend twenty bucks at the book fair on a couple books? Did I not buy you books over the summer I know you haven’t read? “Whatever, get in the car” I replied. No sooner we are an hour out I hear “I’m bored!” What the hell did you just say? I’m thinking. “What do you mean?” I actually ask. “My iPod is boring, the earbuds suck and my tablet is in the trunk.” I just bought those stinking earbuds and she loved them. The iPod is boring when you thumb through every god damn song I just spent a small fortune on and who’s fault is it that the tablet is in the friggen trunk. I replied with “Guess you should have brought a book to read”. Let the eyes roll so hard they may fall out of her head. So of course I just start talking uncontrollably over whatever pops in my head, because this is going to be a pleasant trip damn it!!

Our first stop, 2 hours out, we run in to the gas station to go the bathroom and she tries to con me into buying skittles. Hell no. It is too early for candy. (Bad mommy! whatever) We let the dogs out and my daughter is like a drill sergeant with her pup. “Candy Cane go the bathroom!” I reply to her “Dude, let her chill, she needs to walk around, stretch and then she will go.”  Once the dog’s relieve themselves we head back to the car and get back on the road.

The remaining drive, we stopped just once more before making it to grandma’s house. That stopped cost me $8, for bad bag of almonds and chocolate that was going to melt, because it is Southern Arizona. Back to the car, as quick as we can possibly go, we take the dogs out to relieve themselves once again, try to make them drink water, walk around and all that jazz. Once we think they are done, we head back to the car. Of course the dog’s decide to bark and whine because people are all around us. My daughter yells “Shut up Candy Cane!” (Can you tell what month we adopted her?!) Candy cane aka CC, tries to make a dart towards someone, only to get snagged by her leash. Once I manage to get Elvis into his crate, CC comes to a halt, refusing to get into her crate. We try pushing her in gently, then coaxing with a treat. NOTHING is working, I then take her bedding out and realize she barfed all over it. ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS!? Like, seriously right now?! It is hot and we have barf, in the crate, in my car and still have around an hour more to drive. UGH! My kiddo takes the “sick dog” into her arms, the dog literally tries to jump out of her arms and onto the flipping pavement. (Seriously CC!! YOU ARE KILLING ME TODAY). I tried to flip the barf ridden pillow carefully and cover it up with a blanket, we only have 1 hour till we are about there, she can handle it, right? NOPE! Again, the dog refuses to get in, using her paws to stop her from entering the damn crate so I close up the crate, praying barf doesn’t get on my car or that the other dog barfs. Hand my daughter a clean blanket and tell her she is going to hold the dog the rest of the way.

We carried on to grandma’s…

FINALLY! We made it! We are at Grandma’s and OMG it is HOT for October! My daughter start’s saying how much she loves it and how much she want’s to move back. The only thing I could think about is how much I want to be home, where it is cooler and the rain is coming. WAHHHH!!

On the bright note, I survived a 5 hour drive with my tween and two attention loving dogs. We had a beautiful time with her grandparents, uncle and cousin. We even ran into some friends and got to have lunch with them. We turned around on Sunday, drove back with a bit less chaos as before (thank god!) and I kept most of my sanity!

Note to self, simplify life, stay home and invite grandma here.

We have entered a new phase…

“I’m not a baby anymore!” My 10 year old yelled at a local steakhouse, in response to being asked if we need a Children’s Menu and me agreeing we do. Really? You are going to do this now? This had already been a disappointing night out, with a 45 minute wait and we are all crabby from a very long week of school, work and new routines. When we sat down at our table, it was loud from other diners and then the attitude from the kid, my head started pounding and all I could focus on was her whiney voice over the children’s menu and blah blah blah. Trying to be nice about the whole situation, I ask her to look it over and if she doesn’t see anything she would like to eat, we can look at the adult menu together. Well, that wasn’t good enough for her so she was short and huffing and puffing over it. I look over the children’s menu and was thinking these are the portions (prices too) that I want. I give her my menu, because at this point I have lost my cool, threatened to walk the fuck out of the restaurant, and was about to scream at the rude teenagers behind us. Everyone can eat cereal at home for all I care if the attitude doesn’t change. Kiddo looks over my menu and finds the steak she wants and the sides she wants to eat with. Husband and I settle on ordering a drink at this point and placing our dinner order. Food and drinks come, everyone seems to settle the fuck down and we have a better evening followed by some shopping.

So this is it??? Attitudes, snarky remarks, eyes rolling and crying. She isn’t a child but she isn’t a teen, so what the hell? We are officially in the dreaded TWEEN years. Give me the terrible twos again, please, I beg you!!!

Some mornings are fun and cheerful, like when she was younger and easy to get up because we had pancakes and singing! Other mornings, I’m ready to crawl back into bed just hide from her. Her mood swings are worse than me, when I’m PMSing. I don’t know what to say some days, so I stay quite as long as possible. My husband, well he seems to keep more to himself. We try not to harp on the chores and things, but at the same time we don’t want her to think we are doing everything for her. Some day’s she is so helpful and sweet and caring (I love those days) other days, we all need our space.

So this is our life for now, maybe forever or maybe just for a few years. I still love every moment I get to spend with her, she is just more pleasant some days rather than others while she finds herself. I will do whatever I can as her momma, to make sure she is happy and able to experience a good life throughout all these FUN changes. Thank god we have wine. I mean seriously…thank god.

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