parenting ain’t easy.

c9579d13b4d68148f452ece83e014311Even when your kid is an adult (legally, that is.)

I’ve always encouraged my kids to find themselves. To find a dream and pursue it and most of all, to find happiness and keep it.

The key to happiness is always going to be from within, so for me, the most important life lesson I can teach them is to be happy. I’ve often said I don’t care how you get there, or when you get there, just get there. I remember as a teen, not knowing what I wanted to be as an adult, and feeling caught between two worlds. The world where I couldn’t disappoint my parents and the world where I couldn’t find my footing for fear of disappointing my parents.

So I did everything in my power to fulfill my parents desires. I went to school. (failed my first year of college, went to another school, graduated summa cum laude) then went back to my original school and did the same. Graduated with honors.

And I was miserable for the next 10 years because I didn’t have focus, or drive, or any idea what I wanted to be now that I was an adult.

I don’t wish that on anyone. Especially my children.

We’re at a crossroads with my oldest. He’s not working, and he needs to be. He is looking–and he’s looking hard. I’ve been helping him for months. He’s a teenager–so he makes stupid decisions sometimes. Didn’t we all? I talk to him every day. I don’t nag him or yell at him because he responds negatively to that and shuts down. He’s just oppositional enough that he will do exactly the opposite of what you want if you bark at him and chastise him. I’ve learned over the years to talk to him like an adult and try to give him the room to make mistakes and learn from them. I’ve supported him financially and emotionally. And I will continue to do so for a little while longer.

I may be making a mistake by parenting him this way, but threats don’t work. They never have! I used to call him a chameleon child. It didn’t matter the punishment you doled out, he adapted to it. We took EVERYTHING out of his room one time–he played with pennies he found in the corner. We offered to pay him for his grades; that wasn’t motivating. We yelled, spanked, tore our hair out…he didn’t change anything. He’s adaptable. He needs to do things himself. So I’m trying so hard to let him.

But damn, I sometimes just want to scream at him. Luckily for both of us, I’m smarter than that. I learned a long time ago that doesn’t work. That I had to adapt my parenting style to accommodate his personality and learning style. (I just wish others could do the same…)

He and I have a great relationship. When we talk, he’s honest as am I. He needs to get his shit together, and he knows it. He’s working on it…on his time. And I’m fighting with everything in my being to allow him to do that, because I remember being that kid. Stuck between childhood and adulthood, wanting to please my parents…wanting to do what was right…and losing myself in the end. But if I allow him to do this himself, he’ll be a better man for it.

Ugh.

Parenting ain’t easy.

Ruby Tuesday!

Welcome to Tuesday! Where I will, from now on, feature a new pitiful picture of my pug RUBY.

WHY SO SAD RUBY? Oh never mind, you just caught up on the Red Wedding, didn't you?

WHY SO SAD RUBY? Oh never mind, you just caught up on the Red Wedding, didn’t you?

Oh, Ruby. It’s so hard being you.

Sunday morning, I finally tried to pull myself out of bed and was all “It’s time to get out of bed, Ruby.” And this was her response:

pitifully shuffle on her belly to my leg, and “flump” her head down with a giant sigh, in the crook of my knee while staring at me with such a wretched stare, that I had to lie back to overcome the sadness.

the sadness--it overtakes you.

the sadness–it overtakes you.

I read this article today about a large-breasted teen who was denied entry to her prom because her boobs were too big. She was told to wear a wrap around her shoulders or she wouldn’t be allowed entrance.

I feel your pain, sister. Your back pain, that is...

I feel your pain, sister. Your back pain, that is…

Her parents are asking for a public apology because they don’t feel the “no cleavage” rule was actually being fairly enforced. As her mother said “All women are not created equal, and you can not compare a golf ball to a grapefruit. It ain’t gonna happen.”

Damn right.

That dress is very age appropriate and lovely. Shame on that school for shaming her for what she comes by naturally.

This stupid head cold of mine is trying to kick my ass. And now, I’ve spread my germs to Jefe. We are THE HOUSE OF THE INFECTED. Enter at your own risk.

My mom called from Down Under yesterday. She’s having a great time! They were just at The Ayers Rock and were heading to Queensland. She’s going to New Zealand soon. All-in-all she will be Down Under for almost a month! I’m so happy that she’s fulfilling her dream! Let’s hope that when I’m 74, I’ll be able to rock life like she does. IF THIS STUPID COLD LET’S ME LIVE THAT LONG.

 

let me catch you up on very important things

1.  I haven’t felt well off and on for a month of so. Tired. Neck pain. Headaches. I blamed the pollen and I just picked myself up by the bootstraps and marched on.

Until this week when I was taken down by dizziness and stiff neck and headaches…powerful, yucky, no fun, headaches. And there was a knot on my face by my ear. And the right side of my face was swollen.

Guess who has an ear infection? This girl.

And it looks like it’s been going on a while. So I’m on loads of antibiotics for 10 days. Yippee.

 2.  Speaking of antibiotics…Walgreens is this [] close to losing my business. I waited in line for 25 minutes just to drop off the prescription… and only 1 person moved in the line. So I came back an hour later. The drive through was stacked 3 cars deep on each side. I went in…and waited 10 minutes just to drop it off…they said they would text me…it should be 20 minutes. An hour and a half later, at 8:59 pm, I got the text that my prescription was ready. The pharmacy closes at 9:00…so who didn’t get to start her medicine this morning? This girl.

Not cool, Walgreens. And this is not the first time this has happened. Jefe waited for an hour for his prescription that was only going to take a ‘few minutes.’ (hint: 60 minutes is way more than a few minutes.)

3.  In the world of AWESOME news…BITE ME! and LOVE SUCKS! will be featured in the Scholastic e-book club starting in August! Yay! This is huge news and could be a big boost for the books. So gang, tell your friends to buy my books when they get their book club order forms!

4.  My father-in-law, Poppy, is back in the hospital due to complications from his recent gall-bladder surgery. Any love, prayers or healing thoughts you can send his way will be much appreciated.

I’m meeting some friends from high school tonight. Even though I have an alien baby growing inside my face, I’m gonna tough it out for a margarita. I’m hoping the antibiotic will kick in and immediately start shrinking Susie (the knot, er, I mean, the alien baby). Also, I think the margarita will help me feel less dizzy.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

weekend wrap up

El Jefe and I spent Friday afternoon at Pinnacle mountain walking the dogs and having a generally fantastic day.

Saturday, we met my friend from Oxford, Rhonda, and her pals for breakfast in the Rivermarket, then the rest of the day was spent mowing and moving dead limbs.

Ruby wants to steal my boyfriend away. Sorry Rubes. John Deere loves me more.

Sunday was Funday. Brunch with the boys and Lynne. We had the most difficult time finding a place to eat, so we finally wound up on the patio at Big Whiskeys.

Rader and Laken hung out like big buds the whole time. There was even a dance-off at one point. I think Laken was the winner, but don’t tell Rader. He’s sensitive about that stuff.

After lunch, Rader had his first driving lesson. He did a great job! Then Ian drove me to US Pizza where we sat on the patio again, while Rader played some pickup soccer.

All in all it was a fantabulous weekend. The pollen has decided to invade my sinus cavities, but it’s not too bad, yet. I just need to take a little claritin and move on.

Hope your weekend was as amazing as mine!

A weekend of sunshine and awesome.

I posted my Week 1 of 12 update at FCR this morning. Also there’s a fantastic baked or grilled salmon recipe included. Go forth and enjoy.

What a lovely weekend. I managed to mow for a couple of hours on Saturday, after walking 4 miles with Robyn. I also drove topless all weekend long.

The TreeFrog and his friend came over to do some yard work and enjoy foods that only his momma can fix.

That night, I baked some asparagus stuffed chicken breasts and made rice pilaf…mmmmm. And let met tell ya something, I threw some of the leftovers into a tortilla and added a little sour cream and avocado yesterday and it was one of the yummiest wraps I’ve ever tasted.

I don’t know if you’ve figured it out or not, but I’m kind of a big deal in the kitchen. (true story)

Jefe and I took the girls for their first swim of the season this weekend. Well, Trinity swam, Ruby waded and played but didn’t venture out very far. She sinks without her life jacket anyway, so probably it was for the best.

This was a lovely weekend. First one in a while that was sunshiny and warm. I even have a little color on my face and arms now! YAY! I hope y’all enjoyed the hell out of your weekend, and that you’re sparkling extra brightly today…even though it’s a Monday!

Oh, and BTW, my Father-in-Law’s surgery was successful and he’s home safe and sound. Thanks for the love and healing thoughts!

happy friday…and finally we have some sun!!

Hey gang! Yay for FRIDAY!

And Yay for SUNSHINE!

There will be lots of yard work this weekend, me and ol’ John Deere are going to start seeing each other on a regular basis again. (Don’t tell Jefe. He gets really jealous) I need to walk tomorrow as well. Gotta keep my streak going!

In other news, my sweet father-in-law is having surgery for the second time this week. If you could please send some healing thoughts his way, I’d really appreciate it. Here’s a pic of him at Rader’s 8th grade graduation…

And here are both of my in-laws* with Robyn (their god-daughter)

If you could send some love their way, I’d appreciate it!

Hope y’all have a beautiful weekend. You deserve it!

*legally they are my “ex” in-laws, but in reality they are always going to be family.

Made it home.

We had an unexpected death in the family, so El Jefe and I headed off to Georgia for a few days of sadness and celebration.

I enjoyed meeting new members of his family. There were some laughter and good times, despite the very sad circumstances.

I also got to spend some quality time with these fellows every morning…

We returned last night…spent an hour stuck in traffic thanks to construction and morons who can’t drive. Sally Sparkle proved herself to be an excellent road trip car. I foresee more trips for much more fun reasons in the future.

Apparently we’re supposed to get “snow and sleet” today. So far, it’s just cold and rainy, though my favorite local weatherman has promised:

Team coverage of the approaching winter storm on Channel 7 News Midday Arkansas starting at 11:30 #arwx” 

By golly, if Todd Yakoubian says it’s a ‘winter storm’, I’m gonna go buy my bread and booze!

Okay, maybe not. It’s supposed be almost 50 degrees tomorrow. It’s not like this is a real winter storm. Hmph.

Happy Wine Wednesday!

wooohoo!

Last night I had two different Girls Nights Out. I haven’t been able to play much in the past few months due to working all the time and spending what time I have off with my kids…so last night I made up for it!

My first Happy Hour was @ US Pizza with my Sister-in-Law GiGi, and two of my dearest and best friends, Robyn and Lynne. We had some beverages, I ate salad and breadsticks and we laughed a lot.

Then it was time to head to Cantina with my regular Thursday girls. No margarita for me though…I’m trying to watch my calories! So I had a beer, and then decided to celebrate my saved calories by ordering the apple pie. I shared it… don’t worry.

In other fun and glorious news… we are exactly 3 weeks from the Month of Mel! Are you guys ready for the awesome?

You’ve got 3 weeks to prepare. Is there anything you’d like to see happen during the Month of Mel? Maybe I should film a Mel-ocumentary…hmmmm.

Peace and love and all that jazz. Y’all have a great weekend and be sure to kiss someone you love!

2013: Day the 3rd

I kinda like this and will work on applying it to my life. Especially #5. Haha. I think WAY too much. I need medication to help me think less. I think the one I’ve heard the most about is called cannabis, sadly it’s not legal here. hahahaha

How was your New Year? Mine was absolutely wonderful. There was lots of laughter, champagne, and more laughter. My kid and my Domestic Partner crack me up. (yes, I’ve decided to call Jefe my DP from now on. It’s awesome.)

We had a FRINGE marathon New Year’s Day. I got to start the show from the beginning and now I’m hooked. Two things I’ve taken from this show that are awesome:

“Excellent! Now let’s go make some LSD!”

“Peter. This is me, Walter Bishop. Your father.”

From now on when I call Jefe, this is how it’s gonna go. “Jeffery. This is me, Melissa Francis. Your domestic partner.”

I may have to call him every single day just to say that. And of course, when the conversation is over, I will be sure to mention making LSD.

Wow. I’ve mentioned 2 illegal drugs in this blog…that has to be a first. Whatever will you think of me? What do I care? It’s funny.

Ian is having his wisdom teeth removed today, so I’ll be at home this afternoon to take care of him. My mother-in-law had surgery last week, and I’m taking her and Poppy some soup at lunch. I gotta take care of the people I love, doncha know?

Okay folks, any resolutions this year? Any revolutions this year? Or revelations?

*chin fist* tell me about them…

2012 Day the Last

This has been a helluva year. Before I recap the good and the bad, let me share my holiday break with you…

Christmas day… We had a great holiday. The boys arrived home from their dad’s around noon. We opened gifts, enjoyed the day…then headed to nonnie’s house for Chili and more gifts.

My niece, Double A, tried to steal my sparkle! Can you believe that?

 All the boys (including El Jefe) received Wife Beaters in their stockings… Yes, we were dreaming of a white trash Christmas…

 Next year’s Christmas card, maybe?

I’m not sure which Rader liked more, his iPhone or his Hulk Hands. haha.

Christmas night, the sleet an snow came down with a vengeance. We lost several trees and the eerie sound of limbs crashing to the ground all night was really creepy. It was beautiful, but I was over it after about 15 hours.  18 of those we were without power, and we were very lucky. The boys’ dad was without power from Tuesday – Sunday. No thank you.

Now…let’s talk about 2012 and why I’m glad it’s over…

What I loved about the year:

  1. My friends. The people who love me and care about me no matter what. They have supported me through a very tough time. They knew I was trying to hold it together, and when I pulled away, they pulled me back. I am very lucky. So very lucky to have them in my life. 
  2. My love. We have been through a very rough year financially. It could have killed our relationship, but we are stronger than ever. And 2013 is looking fantastic. I’m very lucky to have this man in my life.
  3. My boys. I’ve never been closer to them. They are the one thing I’ve done right in my life. Maybe even the only thing.  I am so proud of the young men they are becoming. And I can’t wait to see what 2013 brings to them.

Why I’m ready to kick the door closed on 2012:

  1. Being a one income family. It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t fun. I fought depression…I adopted the mantra “Fake it til you make it” and I’m ready to stop faking it. I don’t do fake very well. 
  2. My health.  I had complications from a procedure last February that lasted all year. We finally figured the problem out in October, and it looks like it’s finally getting better. Of course, as a result of this issue, I’ve gained weight. I’ve been sad. I’ve stopped exercising. That is all changing. 
  3. Loss. I’ve lost friends this year. I have always been the one who reaches out to people. I’m the fun one, the sparkler, bright and shiny and happy. And for a few months last year, I couldn’t be that person anymore. And the people who know me and want me in their life reached out to me. And there are a few who didn’t. Who took my absence as a reflection on them not on me. And I’m so sad. I miss them terribly, but I was trying to patch my life together and I didn’t have the energy or the life left to reach out and mend the tatters. I just couldn’t do it. Maybe this year I’ll find the strength to recover the loss, because I do feel the emptiness without them in my life.

2013 is looking bright. We are a double income family again. We are lucky to have the support of our family and friends. And I’m very much looking forward to what this year has to offer. Bring 13. Bring it hard.

Sparkle on, my pretties. Have a fantastic New Year’s Eve and please be safe. If it doesn’t rain, I plan on lighting up the firepit and ringing in 2013 with my family. It’s gonna be a good night. Cheers!