Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It's spring break week here at the Case house. I had entertained ideas of fun activities, one on one time and lots of bonding. Kind of a much needed break for my kiddos and I and a chance to re-connect. Doesn't it just sound too good to be true? Exactly.
Prelude: Hannah has been a strong-willed, independent, keep-your-eyes on her every minute child from about 18 months and has not let up since then.

PROBLEM #1: Two weeks ago I get a call from hannah's principal. I'm about to die, since I have NEVER gotten a call from the principal for my kids. We'll just condense things to keep it moving: she had been stealing little boxes of cereal from the cafeteria after school to eat on the walk home. When confronted by principal she lied right to her face and said it was her second-grade friend. Principal questions friend, who said it was Hannah. Principal has to break out interrogation techniques to call hannah's bluff, who said her friend (our neighbor) had been 'making her do it". She get punishment from the school (no recess at lunch and cleans the lunch room),apologizes to lunch ladies, grounded from us, extra house chores given, she doesn't get to walk home or play with friend/neighbor and has to miss out on slumber party that weekend with friend.
We think we're behind it. Nope.

PROBLEM #2: Get a call from her teacher that Hannah stole a game piece during a class activity and she said she didn't do it and teacher had to line everyone up and pat pockets and it was in Hannah's pocket. WHAT?? Extra discipline, apology to teacher, #9 stern lecture about lying AND stealing. Lots of 'we're disappointed in you'. Teacher says "Hannah is such a smart little girl, I NEVER would have thought she would take it." By the way, we've had some class snacks missing.

PROBLEM #3: We really think we're done. Nope. She steals her cousins bunny and lies to her Grandma on the phone (who was asking if she had seen it) and her cousins. Has to apologize to all parties, give it back and LOTS of toys are taken out of her bedroom and grounding is longer.
It is at this point I say, spring break is about cancelled and you can't do any of the activities we had planned.

PROBLEM #4: I know this is ridiculous, right? Mike finds a huge barrel of animal crackers in her closet on Friday that she had STOLEN from her classroom (it was snacks the parents donate) and stuck in her backpack. We are in shock, angered and really sad at the choices our girl is making. We tell her that her room will now have daily inspections, as well as daily back-pack inspections and we wouldn't be surprised if she gets suspended from school.

So here we are spring break week. We have to wait a WEEK before talking to the school. I took Taylor bowling with the cousins yesterday and she had to stay at Grandma's and do worksheets. We are going to have to deal with her school on Monday. I'm ready to get a cop car out to my house and have an officer talk to her. Sometimes these kids of ours surprise you, but I think I like the good surprises, not this.

It's easy to think "I must have not parented her well." I'm not thinking that. I feel confident in knowing Mike and I have taught her right from wrong. Maybe I am in the minority but I am pretty pissed off at my kid right now and I have no problem letting her know that. I don't want to be around her and I am angry with her decisions. Maybe some would say that is childish, but if I filter all my emotions to her, how will she really understand or be able to show me her true emotions? So I am speechless, along with Mike, and we are just taking this one day at a time. We have been very careful to let her know all along the way that she is NOT a bad child, that her decisions and actions are what we are having the problem with. We really don't want her to feel ashamed at herself, but to know her choices are what has been wrong.

This blog is a good place to vent, so venting is done. I'll let you know what happens when we meet with her teacher and principal (and perhaps the police officer).

There is no way to candy coat it: parenting sometimes really sucks.

Look at that sweet little face!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

YEAH!! Dancing with the Stars is back and wow, did everyone suck or what? Pamela Anderson and Buzz need to go away. What is with the token old person every season? They get voted off first, can't dance and are really hard to watch. Not doubting their life accomplishments but really?

I am in desperate need of updating/overhauling my website. I found a couple companies that look good. I just hate giving out my website address when I haven't updated it for 4 years now. So now I have to figure out how I want it to look and that alone could take weeks.

I got a call from Hannah's principal and teacher in the last 3 days. Repeat offender. Now I just have to get to the real reason she is "acting" out. I tell ya, this parent thing is tough sometimes. Spring Break is next week and I am looking forward to time with the kids, just us and them and lots of fun. I think we all need to re-connect. They each get to pick one activity. Taylor's is ice-skating, I think that might take two adults.

Mike and I are pondering a trip to San Diego with the kids OR new hardwood floors. Tough decision. My frugal ways say blowing that much money in one week on a vacation is wasteful. Plus the driving. Oh the endless hours of driving. Don't know if I have that much stamina.

Signs of spring are popping up everywhere and we broke out the BBQ on Sunday for some hamburgers. I won't eat ground beef at fast food or restaurants anymore. Not after watching Food Inc. So I have to make them at home if I want them.

Taylor's class has a reading incentive: a free ticket to the waterpark if he reads 600 minutes. He has until April 9th and he's already at 900. Mike and I are throwing in an extra prize if he makes it to 1,000. He is loving the Warriors series right now. He reads at night and if we don't pay attention, he'll stay up until 11 reading in bed. Reminds me of me when I was young.

Now I can say I updated this blog.

PS. Albertsons had a huge cereal sale and we now have 50 boxes of it in our pantry. Like a little squirrel, I am. It is our favorite kind.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I haven't had time lately to do any major coupon shopping, plus there haven't been any deals that are really exciting to drag me to Albertsons on a Wednesday morning. I've just been getting by with weekly store deals. So when Albertson's rolled out three deals WITH catalinas today, I just couldn't resist. The store I went to was well-stocked and I got all my catalinas.

Here is what I bought for about $38-it could have been closer to $32 but I forgot to use two doublers and forgot a coupon. Oh, well-I have learned not to obsess over that kind of stuff, I got what I wanted at a good price. Also I have another $15.50 in catalinas to use on my next trip. I love that store!!

I don't normally buy fruit snacks, in fact, I haven't bought them for about 3 years, but again for .10 each box, I couldn't resist. I got 20 boxes, and I will treat them like candy for my kids-only occasional treats as there is not much "fruit" in them. I also don't normally buy frozen juice but for .50 each, they are good to have on hand. This is the benefit of having a well stocked freezer and pantry. I didn't need anything I bought (except the creamer), but I used my money for the week on things we will use in the future, at rock bottom prices.

We are ready to cook!
(My husband always takes blurry pictures)

My sister and I were completely out of all of our freezer food from the fall and kept meaning to have another cooking day, but life has been a little hectic for both of us. We finally came together on Saturday and stocked our freezer. Each time we learn a little more and this time I even put together a menu and shopping list to keep on my computer, thinking if we do about 4 rounds of menus and shopping lists, we can rotate and then we don't have to figure out the food (that takes a while and accuracy isn't 100%). Since our Mom has taught us "army cooking" as we call it, we did end up with 6 pounds of spaghetti sauce and 12 pounds of shredded beef--um seriously? So we took notes of CORRECT quantities next time we shop.

Counter of food
This wasn't everything, I still had stuff already in my freezer!

So 5 hours of cooking we each got:
  • 4 pans lasagna
  • 2 batches of chicken pot pie filling
  • 2 stromboli's (like big calzones)
  • 6 huge chicken cordon bleu (ready to bake)
  • 3 pans shredded beef enchiladas (+ extra meat to make more)
  • 10 lunch bag burritos
  • 50 meatballs (good for about 2 dinners or more)
+dinner that night of spaghetti and really good cheesy bread with left over pizza dough for our families

Usually I use about 3 dishes a week and fill in with the rest (sandwich night, go out to eat night, and Sunday dinner with the family)-so this will last a month and when I am stuck in front of the computer on a deadline for 10 hours, our family can have real food. I think it is totally worth our time. I do want to find some easier dishes to make. The burritos and lasagna seem to be staples.

A new recipe called stromboli, I think it took too much work and was hard to handle.

Party time-we always decorate a little for parties-the kids enjoy it

What? I have a ten year old?? I can't believe my baby boy is just a few short years away from becoming a teenager and getting ready to flock the nest. Okay, I'm getting too carried away but still!!

We had a small family party for him this year (we try and alternate from friend and family parties so I don't go crazy). He really wanted a 799 piece Lego set and he sat and built that thing for the next day and a half. I can't believe how well he builds things.

We had pizza, a chocolate cake with white frosting and strawberry filling (all his choice) and he got another Lego set from his cousins and LOTS of cash from grandparents. I scored a sweet deal on Heelies (those shoes with wheels in them) and he has been practicing those.
The boys were great at helping him assemble.

We also decided to get him a desk. It wasn't really a birthday present, he just needed one to do his homework on and have some space to work in his room. Him and Mike got it all put together by the end of the day.
There's my big 10-year old with his new desk. That night he organized his room and had the desk filled up with his stuff. He is really careful about his things and how his room is. It cracks me up.