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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Too many rules and a strong willed child

OK, if you are not interested in hearing me rant and rave for the next few minutes then just move on to the the next blog. I am hopping mad right now and have spent my day crying my eyes out. I seem to live in a country that is no longer the country I remember growing up in and I don't think I like it anymore. Our country has become a country of so many rules and regulations that our children are not allowed to be children. While at it lets just drug them up because that is easier too because no one wants to be bothered by them. Let's just create more rules and regulations not using common sense because heck we need to cover our backs because Americans are allowed to sue for just about everything. Maybe you disagree and that is OK, and maybe I am just over reacting because well as you know I am pregnant and the hormones are flying. It doesn't help that I have very strong willed children. Maybe it is the Irish in them. Maybe it is the German in them or who knows. I was a pretty compliant child. I did what I was told. I was too scared to do otherwise because I knew if I didn't I would get a spanking. I don't believe in spanking anymore. I did earlier on in my parenting, but now believe that all it does is teach your children to be scared of you, but doesn't correct the behavior. You might disagree on me on this too, and that is OK because what ever works for you and your children is fine by me. It just didn't work for my children. So, what am I mad about. Well, we moved to a new area. My middle child has to get on the bus at a crazy hour in the morning. Try 6:40 am and rides 20 minutes on the bus to go 1 mile from our house. He then sits at school for 40 minutes in the morning doing busy work like cross word puzzles, word searches, because they are not allowed to go outside and play, and this is all before school has actually even started. It is nuts! They go so early because the buses have to race back to pick up the high school kids at 7:20 am and then make a third trip back to pick up the middle school children at 8:15 a.m. Anyway, my son seems to have gotten a bus driver who is very rigid. The children are expected to sit on their bottoms with their backs against the seats with hand on their laps holding their backpacks not talking to students across from them let alone behind them. The rules of do nots are about 30 rules long. My son got in trouble the very first week because he didn't know that he wasn't allowed to get off on the other stop which is about 6 houses down from the stop closest to our home. He just wanted to get off and on where his friend from his class got off. It didn't make a difference to us, but I guess there are rules to be followed. Then a few days later he was punished because another student was trying to take his backpack, and when the student would not stop my son pushed him away. My son was punished and made to sit with the younger children at the front of the bus. No action was taken against the other child. My son tried to explain to the bus driver what was going on but he would not listen. We spoke to the bus driver and he did not care. Now he claims he doesn't know anything about the situation even though he wrote my son up on that situation. A couple days later he wrote my son up because he was chewing gum that was given to him by his teacher for a prize for good behavior. Today, the bus driver refused to leave the bus stop because my son was not looking forward though sitting on his bottom. I was not there, but my husband said that the bus driver raised his voice and stuck his finger in my sons face telling him that until he looked forward he would not take off. Mean while you have other students on the bus who are not sitting down at all in their seats, but that does not seem to matter. My husband should have pulled him off the bus then, but he had to leave for work and did not have time to drive him to school himself. When my husband spoke with the school officials about the bus driver and his behavior the school did not seem to care. They said the bus driver was within his rights. I do not think it is an easy job being a bus driver. I also believe that safety should be a concern; however, I think it is taking it a little too far when a child is expected to look straight forward for 21 minutes. My son was so upset by the whole situation this morning that when he got to school he could not do his work. The school had to call me to have me bring him home. I will now be driving my son to school from this point on though I hate to do this because it will add an additional 45 minutes of driving time for me on top of the 3 hours I spend in the car every day all ready. I want the America back of my childhood. I want my children to be able to play outside without the fear of being kidnapped. I want them to be able to roam the neighborhood like free range chickens and not be made out to be a bad mother because I don't keep them under house arrest like all the other children here in America. I am tired of people who want us to drug up our children with medications because they must have ADD or ADHD because they fidget in class. Well, if you take away their P.E. and their recesses they are going to fidget. They are not adults. Maybe, if the school system wouldn't have 3 month summer breaks they would not have to spend a whole month of reviewing everything they learned the previous year. Maybe, we should be more concerned about the overall development of the child as opposed to how well the score on performance test. I guess this is a whole different issue and almost an argument for homeschooling. I just don't know what to do at this moment. While I am not a prefect mother. I feel that my husband and I give our children plenty of attention and affection. We expect certain things out of them and teach them how to behave. We discipline them when the don't behave. While they are very privileged we try not to over indulge them. They have to work for things they want and safe their money to buy those items. Maybe, I should become like the Tiger mother who has been written about so much these days and take all my children's toys away and drop them off at the Salvation Army so that they can be perfectly well behaved children that can sit on the bus without so much as blinking an eye. OK enough! Sorry if you have followed me through the end of this rant and rave but I am frustrated and it feels good to get it out.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Reflection "Cornerview"


I am in serious nesting mode right now though I have another couple months before Addy arrives; however, this is a post for another day. I promise to show you her nursery. It is coming along very nicely. One hint her room has pink in it and Paris. Anyway, I have been working on my family genealogy inspired by the television show Who do You Think You Are? I know I won't have a chance to work on it for a while once the baby has arrived. Thankfully, my mother is working on it too! She has done most of the work for her side of the family has gone back about 700 years. Her family arrived in America on the Mayflower.  I have been working on my dad's side. I haven't gotten very far. I am waiting for a confirmation on a few dates before I can order records from Ireland. On both sides of my dad's family they have very similar stories. After the Potato Famine of 1845 many families if they were lucky made it to either America or England. Mine headed for England. Each family stayed about 25 years before heading for Massachusetts where they worked in the Textiles Mills. Working on their genealogy has had me reflecting on their stories. My Great Grandfather Ben came to America when he was 7 after losing his father who was not even 50 years old. I can't imagine how scared my great-grandmother must have been traveling alone with her small children. Leaving half of her older children behind. She didn't live very long either. I wonder if some of my great aunts and uncles choose not to get married because of the starvation and uncertainty the faced. My mothers side didn't have it much easier. My grandfather's family left Oklahoma for California during the Dust Bowl era. I am grateful for their dreams of wanting a better life and sacrifice. I wonder if my children will ever fully appreciate the sacrifices made for them. They have no idea what it means to struggle. Their idea of struggling is me not purchasing the newest DS or XBOX game for them. They have no idea what it means to eat pancakes for three months to be able to pay for college tuition (me). This is what I have been reflecting on lately. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Twelve


I can't believe this little guy is 12 years old. How did it happen? How did I become a mother of a 12 year old. It seems like yesterday I was wondering if I would ever get married. Then I had a little bundle called a baby in my arms. You were the cutest thing. I never thought I would survive the first year. You cried all the time. You made it and we made it amazingly. Now you are 12 and you pass the sacrament at church. We are so proud of you! You have such a desire to learn. Your hero is Michio Kaku and I couldn't be prouder. I love that you still tell me you love me as you leave the car each day for school and you are not embarrassed to say it. I love that you are friends with everyone and everyone loves you. Your best friends right now are Sam, Robert, Austin, Corbin, and Jonathan. I love that you still play with Lego's. Happy Belated Birthday my sweet boy! Thanks for being my son.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Happy Weekend!

Hi! I hope you have a happy weekend. I am excited! This weekend it is going to be 80 degrees here in Atlanta. I love when I don't have to wear a coat. Did you have a Happy St. Patrick's Day! Mine sucked! My favorite Irish restaurant decided that in order to keep up with the busy crowds they were going to cut back on their menu. What do chicken fingers, terriaki chicken wings, and hot dogs wrapped in bacon have anything to do with St. Patrick's day? They did offer corn beef and cabbage, but it was served in a lump in a small paper bowl. Frustrated and disappointed I sent it back to the kitchen and said no thanks. I went home and made mac and cheese with Dublin cheddar. Seriously yummy! Well, it is off to fold my laundry which I have neglected this past week. Then off to see Mars needs Moms when the boys get home from school. I have been enjoying this sweet song. Hope you like it too! Happy Weekend!





Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Chinese


Do you ever get in a cooking rut. I feel like I have been in one for a long time. Sticking to recipes I know my kids will like, and making the same things over and over. The only problem is that I like variety and cooking the same thing is kind of boring. Leaving me often dissatisfied when walking away from the dinner table despite the food being good. Anyway, I am on a mission to try at least one new recipe a week even if my children don't like it. Tough Luck! This week I made General Tso's Chicken. I found a lighter version of it in Martha Stewart's magazine. So yummy, but not a hit with my children because they don't like snow peas. The recipe is pretty simple too.
General Tso's Chicken: 1 1/4 cups of brown rice or white rice whatever you like best. 1 table spoon of cornstarch. 1 pound of snow peas trimmed. 4 garlic cloves, sliced. 2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger. 3 Tablespoons of light brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of soy sauce. 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes and 2 large egg whites. Salt and pepper. 1 pound of boneless chicken cut into 1 inch pieces. 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Cook rice according to the directions. Then in a large bowl mix cornstarch and 1/2 cup water stir until smooth. Add garlic, snow peas, ginger, and soy along with red pepper flakes. Set to the side. In another bowl, whisk together egg whites with the remaining 3 Tablespoons of cornstarch and add chicken. Heat a large nonstick skillet with 1 tablespoon of oil. Add 1/2 the chicken and cook for about 6-8 minutes. Then remove and add the remaining chicken and do the same. To the pan add snow pea mixture and cook for about 3-5 minutes until snow peas are tender. Return chicken to pan and stir coating chicken in the juices. What I think is really key to this recipe is that you cut the pieces small and only cook for the allotted time. The chicken was super soft not dry. I hope you enjoy this recipe.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Ruby Falls with Oma and Opa

Harris with Oma and Opa
Winston and Roman
Ruby Falls
Who can get there first?

Charlemagne's Kingdom
Hi! How are you? I hope you are enjoying your weekend. We have had beautiful weather. It couldn't get any better. Yesterday, we took a break from unpacking boxes and enjoyed the beautiful sunny day by going up to Helen, Georgia. First we took Opa to Charlemagne's Kingdom. A miniature train collection depicting the North Sea, German Mountains, Oktoberfest, and Holland. Opa was in heaven. He must have taken a 100 photos. It gave him some good ideas for his own train collection. Then we grabbed some pretzels from the bakery and headed over to Ruby Falls. It was just what the boys needed to burn off some energy. We finished the day off with with burgers from Five Guys! Can you say Yummo! It was a perfect day. What did you do this weekend?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Corner View "Wood"

I tried living in the dessert for a year, but it was not for me. I need the Woods. I love sitting by a crackling fire in winter. I am so glad that where I live I am surrounded by the forest.




Out of the mid-wood's twilight
Into the meadow's dawn,
Ivory limbed and brown-eyed,
Flashes my Faun!

He skips through the copses singing,
And his shadow dances along,
And I know not which I should follow,
Shadow or song!

O Hunter, snare me his shadow!
O Nightingale, catch me his strain!
Else moonstruck with music and madness
I track him in vain!

Oscar Wilde

Update!

It too late for me to be up, but I can't seem to find a free minute during the day these past few weeks. I feel like I am hanging on with a weak grip to this hurricane called moving. So much to do and not enough hours in the days to do them. Thank goodness for my in-laws. I don't know how I would have gotten through all this without their help. They have worked so hard these past couple of weeks helping us install fixtures in the bathrooms, put together furniture, cook meals, do our laundry, and watch the children, and fix our Internet problem. They have been amazing! I have to say that we have the best neighbors. They have been so welcoming. I am sure the scale will depict their generosity from all the bake goods they brought to say hello and welcome us to the neighborhood. This past weekend the boys celebrated Fashing or Carnival at German School. Roman surprised me by wearing the Wolverine costume that I bought him for Halloween then never wore. Monday I had my 20 week ultrasound appointment. We are thrilled to get the news that all is well with this baby and that they do not see any signs of a heart condition. I am been holding my breath for the last several years with the thought that we had a chance of having another child with a heart condition. They will do another ultrasound in 5 weeks just to make sure. While I felt her kick a couple of weeks ago for the first time, her kicks are beginning to get more stronger. This has to be my favorite part of being pregnant.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Moving Day! Corner View Kitchen Countertop


Yesterday was moving day. It went rather smoothly! The only hiccup was a small hairline scratch on the wood floors caused by the delivery and installation of our refrigerator. Now we are swimming in a sea of boxes. I think it is going to be a couple of weeks before we see the end of the boxes. As you can see my kitchen island is covered in stuff. Some of which I just don't know where to put. I seriously need to find my tennis shoes. My feet are so sore after two days straight on my feet. We were a little sad to leave our old home, but after being in our new home two days we are so happy that we made the decision to move. We are so excited for what it means for our family. Did I mention that I was lucky enough to escape for an evening last week so that I could go see Celtic Woman at the Fox theater. Their performance was much better than I anticipated. The violinist was fantastic and had me bouncing in my seat.