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Posts Tagged ‘teenager’

I love my job…

Posted by Sandra on September 29, 2009

Senior Pictures

Senior Pictures


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I Blinked…

Posted by Sandra on August 10, 2009

I wanted you so badly,  I couldn’t stop thinking about being a mom.

Then I blinked, and the pregnancy test said yes!  My hopes and dreams for you began right away.

And then I blinked, and you were in my arms.  I remember holding you that first day, when we had to go home alone.  We laid together in bed and I just stared into your blue eyes, and thanked God for giving me such a perfect gift.

And then I blinked, and it was your first day in school.  I remember walking behind you because you wanted to be a big boy, but you still snuck me a big kiss on my cheek before I snapped your picture and left you to your first teachers.

And then I blinked, and I was in the stands in the school gymnasium, listening to you play the saxophone so beautifully, watching your eyes as you made such stunning music.

And then I blinked, and you turned 16.  This weekend we celebrated this milestone with friends and family, we laughed and loved.  You’re driving, you’re growing, you’ve become such an amazing young man.  I’m so proud of you.

And I’m afraid to close my eyes.

The next time I blink, you will be off to college and a career, off to having your own family, off to making adult decisions and living your adult life.  How I cherish the moments between blinks, and how I wish they could last forever.

I love you, Brett.  Happy 16th Birthday.

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17 months…

Posted by Sandra on June 3, 2009


I forgot to post this on the 1st… but we’re still going strong!

Let’s see… I haven’t talked about Ayla’s achievements this year, now that I think about it.  Some of Ayla’s milestones over the past few months… she can now get up on the trampoline by herself!  She can get on the counter to get snacks like her big sister, too.  She has almost mastered her tricycle – she needs just a little more encouragement to keep her feet on the pedals.    She can scale the ladder to her slide, navigate the stairs almost the whole way, standing up; she of course has mastered the spoon and fork and eats anything and everything like a champ.  She is “behind” Autumn in talking, but “ahead” of where Autumn was in regards to her physical abilities.  No worries, it all will balance out in the end!

Autumn’s now writing all of her numbers and letters beautifully, writing her name easily and quite legibly, without help.  She will start Kindergarten in the fall of 2010, and I think she’ll be right on track with her skills.  She’s going to do great, I just know it.

Justus’ new medication dose has changed his life.  He is now a social butterfly!  He’s rarely here anymore, the phone rings until all hours of the night, and he has a girlfriend, Sarah!  Compared to last year, when he only had one friend (who is a carbon copy of him!), this is a welcome change.  I think he may be busier than Brett is!  Now he’s hounding me for a cell phone, which, depending on how often he’s gone, he may just get.  He sometimes leaves in the morning and I won’t see him for 5 or 6 hours or more, as he visits and travels the neighborhood and the neighborhood next to us.  I’m so happy for him, so proud of him, and so thrilled that he’s making so many good friends.  This will make the transition to the new 6th grade school so much easier – and there will be more new friends there to make too!

Brett finished the year on the honor roll – he was on it for every grading period.  I couldn’t be more proud.  He’s enrolled in some college prep courses next year to prepare him for medical school.  He still thinks he wants to be a GP – I hope he keeps that dream alive.  He has been hesitant to study for his temporary license though – I think he’s more nervous than he originally let on.  I’m glad – he SHOULD be nervous, taking control of a 4,000 piece of metal!  The insurance to add him is nominal, I told him I’d meet him halfway on that and he would have to pay for his own gas.  He’s cool with it.  He’ll be driving my van until he saves enough money to go in on a car.  I think he’ll do fine.

And that’s a brief summary of the kids.  All healthy, all happy, all doing well.  Have a great day!

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I think my tongue bled,

Posted by Sandra on May 26, 2009

I was biting it so hard this past weekend.


Okay, you were very warned.

So a gentleman came by to purchase some baby items we had for sale.  He had a new 7 week old baby at home, a precious little girl.  His first.   New parents are just the cutest things, aren’t they??

As this very nice gentleman started regaling us with the stories of his wife’s pregnancy, childbirth, and the baby’s first few weeks of life, as well as his observations of other parents and their children now that he is a daddy, I glanced over and watched my husband prepare… waiting for me to start correcting and educating this poor unsuspecting man.  I found it funny – my hubby knows me all too well.  And I behaved and didn’t say a word.  Rather proud of myself, and if I could, I would pat my own back.

The point of this story is that I am increasingly shocked at the poor information out there.  This man said his wife was a doctor.  Now, he didn’t say what KIND of doctor, and I didn’t ask.  So she could’ve been a veterinarian for all I know.  But he began by saying that when her water broke, she knew, as a doctor and based on her doctor’s instructions, they must Immediately Rush, Without Hesitation, Without Finishing Packing The Bag, To The Hospital… because it’s absolutely urgent that she lay down in bed right that second and start being monitored.  Just because her water broke.

I hate this myth.  But I hate it more because this is coming from a doctor.  This was her first baby, she probably could’ve labored at home for hours and hours and hours before she went to the hospital and started letting doctors interfere with nature.

But I forget – she IS a doctor, so she is going to believe 100% of everything her doctors tell her, no questions asked.

And I didn’t utter a word.  I’m still beaming with pride that I didn’t let a rant go right then and there.  Of course, I didn’t have his money in my hands yet, I wasn’t about to blow a $100.00 sale because I wanted to scream that his wife and her lousy doctors were WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG!

I didn’t even rant at the woman who called me and asked if I had a child leash for sale.  Well, lady, I have some for my dogs, because dogs belong on leashes… but that’s another blog altogether, isn’t it???

But then he made a comment about driving through a neighborhood and seeing children playing in their front yards alone.  ALONE??? GASP!!  THE HORROR, I was thinking!  He just couldn’t understand how any responsible parent could possibly let their children play outside without being within 32 inches of them At All Times!  I mean, if it happens on CSI Every Single Week, it must happen in your suburban neighborhood every single week too!!!

People really need to quit living in the land of make believe when it comes to their children and their safety.  I asked my husband how many scaremongering news stories we’ve heard in the past year or so about a child abduction that wasn’t committed by a mom or dad or their Uncle Bob.  We could only think of one off the top of our heads (and I’m not interested in being corrected – there hasn’t been hundreds or even dozens or even tens) and one we weren’t sure of the result of.  And the one we could think of was actually the child’s teacher or someone she knew, so still not a real stranger abduction.  But since two or three happen Every Night in prime time, people really get the lines blurred between reality and complete fiction.

I was even getting well-meaning but very ill-informed advice in another blog post about letting my children eat raw cookie and cake dough.  The chance of my kids killing themselves in a bathtub is about 60 times higher than dying from raw eggs.  More people die from venomous spider bites than eating cookie dough.  Licking the beaters is a rite of childhood, in my opinion.  Since walking across the floor and falling to their death has about a 1 in 6,000 risk, I’m not going to fret a 1 in 50,000,000 risk.  Yes, 50 million.  You’ve not even looked into the stats, or really researched the odds, have you?  Even without looking it up, I knew the odds were pathetically low and I was always a-okay with my choice.

But the naysayers are shaking their heads and shrugging “no no no – kids get killed daily by strangers and men in vans take girls from the schools weekly and it’s a bad dangerous terrible world out there”.  They look at their neighborhood map online with the sexual predators – so many then-18 year olds having sex with their 17 year old girlfriends and being on the list forever, to name a few things that totally discredit that list, IMO.  And of course, if it’s an old man, he’s waiting on his front porch with a bowl of candy, waiting to lure your children into the bowels of his vinyl siding home to do God-Knows-What to.  NO HE’S NOT!  It’s NOT a bad world!  You’re doing a horrible disservice to your kids sheltering them so.  They won’t know how to prepare for the world, because you won’t be there hovering over them.

You have to let them go.  You have to let them have their childhoods.  It’s not fair to them or you, it’s not beneficial, and it’s sad when I hear about a friend of my 11 year old son that doesn’t know how to navigate the neighborhood on his bike – he should’ve been riding in that neighborhood for years by now!  I’m so glad our kids are so safe in today’s world.

I warned you it was a rant.  I feel much better now!

Posted in **My Family Life** | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

My new mantle art –

Posted by Sandra on April 23, 2009

Five Faces of Four

Five Faces of Four

sans mantle.  I don’t know why I don’t have a mantle.  I built the house and didn’t include one.  11 years later I still don’t have one.  I don’t know why.  I guess the benefit is it’s one less thing to dust.  But I digress…

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It is time.

Posted by Sandra on April 7, 2009

(insert ominous music).

Brett wants his temporary license.

He could’ve had it February 8, but he got in trouble, and delaying his temps two months was the hugest punishment I could come up with, being the mean mom that I am.  Killed him, I tell you.

But I asked him what the Easter Bunny should bring him this weekend, and he said, “My temps”.

… and so it will be so.

616444_car_keysI will take him later this week to pick up his testing package and pay the fees.  I’ll have to help him study then take him down for his vision and written test.

And then it happens.  I have to give him 50 hours of my time, driving my van.  I don’t even let my husband drive.  I’m too much of a control freak.  I would’ve driven to the hospital when I was in labor but he won that battle.  I’m serious.

I’m not sure why I’m scared, he seems like he’ll be fine.





I guess I’m more scared that my first baby, my number one miracle, the little redheaded boy that I cuddled for years, is about to be driving.


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New Art Project

Posted by Sandra on April 1, 2009

I got a neat idea the other day, and realized how simple and inexpensive it actually will turn out to be.  I probably should wait until I’ve actually completed it to blog about it, but I wanted to show off pics so I’m posting prematurely. 😀

Anyways, I picked up a couple of packages of teeny magnets (about 1/4″ diameter round) at Michael’s Craft Store the other day.  They came in packages of 6 for about $2.00.  Then I picked up some heavy gauge jewelry wire for about another dollar.  The magnets are much more powerful than they seem, and they stick to the wire like, well, a magnet. 

So I did a shoot last night with my four kids, and wanted to get a series of five shots of each of them with different expressions and looks.  Now I’m going to print the pics up as 5″x5″ squares, laminate them, and attach them to the wires with the magnets.  I’ll string the wire taut vertically, one right above the other, with about a 7″ gap.  It should make for a very interesting “work of art” and conversation piece, especially with the fun pics!  So I wanted to share the pics, and as soon as the project is done I’ll be sure to post the final result.  I’m very excited to get started.

I’ve posted my favorites, the ones that show the personality the most, in “large” format.  I put the other in a gallery, if you’re interested in looking! 😀









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One of the best gifts a mom can get…

Posted by Sandra on March 20, 2009

from her teenage son – especially when it’s the third time in a row:

Honor Roll - Again!!

Honor Roll - Again!!

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What does a bored 15 year old do…

Posted by Sandra on January 14, 2009

When he’s home sick, with nothing to do, but easy access to his mom’s hairclip supplies???
Boredom sets in...

Yeah.  He's happy I took this pic.

I love my kids.  They make me laugh.  😀

Posted in **My Family Life** | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

I’m a Free Range Mom!!!

Posted by Sandra on September 30, 2008

I have a new “name”!

I always have been, always will be – just didn’t know there was a name for it. 

Just like when I had my first baby, I didn’t know that the term “Attachment Parent” defined what I naturally, lovingly did, until now I didn’t know “Free Range Mom” defined what I do either… I love it.

I’ve blogged before about Helicopter Parents, Bullshit Stranger Danger (and BS means both the show and the danger, cuz it is BS), and the lady that let her 9 year old ride the NYC subway.  I know that the world is as safe, if not safer, than it was 30 years ago, a molester isn’t behind every bush, and yup, your kids can walk outside and be just fine without the Secret Service watching their every movement.  I hope to perpetuate her information, and help other parents let their children be, well, children.  Since the odds are higher that my doctor or my car will kill my child, I happily, confidently let them “roam” free, knowing – KNOWING – they’re going to be just fine!

I love this blog… check it out here!

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Posted by Sandra on August 29, 2008


Gotta love ’em, yeah?

I was pleased with how my photo shoot turned out with my 15 year old… he grumbed and mumbled and groaned the whole time I was telling him to “work it, work it babeeeeee”, but after he saw the final results, he was okay with his mother dragging him down the street and to different places.  Like, it’s so totally uncool, dude.

And heaven knows the teenager must be pleased, or the whole house pays for it.


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Interesting class assignment…

Posted by Sandra on August 21, 2008

Brett came home yesterday to show me an interesting assignment on one of his teacher’s classroom web pages.  I opened her page to find a picture of her and Obama (I will withhold comments on this), which is fine, more power to you… but I went on to read her assignments for the students this week and was a little shocked to see that her students are to listen to this amateur politician’s speech and write about it.

I scanned and scanned and cannot find where they will be listening to the experienced, qualified politician McCain and writing about his speech.

Is this just an oversight, or the teacher pushing her uneducated political views on my child??? 

If a man can’t have a bible on his desk without being fired, doesn’t this cross a bigger line?  I mean, the teacher with the bible wasn’t telling his students about it or pushing his Christian values on them, it was there for his enjoyment during his breaks.  It was insignificant to anyone else.  If I have a book by Robin Cook on my desk, that doesn’t mean I think he writes the best books, everyone should read his books, blah blah blah…

But I digress.

So I emailed the teacher and politely asked if it was just oversight, a webpage malfunction, or if the assignment to listen to the great Republican candidate was coming up next week… because certainly we aren’t saying that we won’t be giving voice to the other side, right?

She emailed back and indicated that since this was a U.S. History class, they will be covering the good candidate (okay, I added the word “good”) as it gets closer to the election.

I will be watching to make sure.

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Lunch on the GPRWZIRTQ

Posted by Sandra on August 17, 2008

What was that again?

Yes, you read it right.  Lunch on the gprwzirtq.  This is apparently the language I speak sometimes, when talking to the boys.

Hubby was gone for a few hours so I was getting ready to make everyone lunch.  We were outside, playing some tetherball, splashing in the baby pool, jumping on the trampoline, so I thought a picnic in the backyard sounded fun.  So I asked the boys if they’d like me to make hamburgers on the gprwzirtq.

They looked at me, clearly confused as to what their dear, fragile, confused mother was saying.

In response to the blank stares, I said, again, do you want me to put some burgers on the gprwzirtq?????

They looked at each other and said, “Wha?  You know how to do that?”  While both were really thinking, Mom has finally lost her mind. 

The grill, people.  These two little people have apparently been victims of a horrible disservice done by their parents.  Stereotyping.  Since they’ve never seen me grill, they clearly thought I couldn’t possibly know how to use it.  I mean, I’m a GIRL, after all!!!  This is a big scary Complex Piece of Outdoor Equipment, designed for manly men (said with a gutteral growl and lots of Tim-Allen-esque “oh oh oh oh’s”)!


This might explain why they think Daddy doesn’t know how to use the Hoover, eh?  😉

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And the party’s over… and more.

Posted by Sandra on August 12, 2008

Ah.  Listen.  The sound of… nothing.  My son had three teenage friends over for four days to celebrate his 15th birthday.  Teenage boys.  That equates to at least 1.34 elephants, on the “how much can they eat” scale.

Our normal six-person family breakfast on the weekends is bad enough (a loaf of bread, package of bacon, dozen eggs, package of cheese, half gallon of milk, for example) but add three more 150 pound little men into the mix and this mama spent a LOT of time on food duty! 😀  The boys did enjoy some dogs over the open pit fire, and some burgers on the grill, but dogs and burgers doth not sustain the growing boy.  Wowza.

I had my physical yesterday – EKG and other data looked good, they took enough blood to give Dracula a nice meal, and we discussed the ultrasound on my foot this Thursday.  And dang it, I still haven’t gotten out to get my shoes, my kid’s plans interfered!

I took some time off the computer this weekend and yesterday, and I must say it was liberating.  Sadly, I’ve gotten myself wrapped up in some message boards that aren’t healthy for me, and I think I have to take a vacation from the negativity and drama.  I just think I might be too old to have the cliques and arguments and things that are reminiscent of the high school I graduated from 25 years ago.

I just need to continue maintain my relationships only with those groups that are more like me – less mainstream, more AP, more “I parent with common sense and just because a book (or website, or doctor, or friend, or grandma, or stranger on the internet) says *this* doesn’t make it right” people…   In my valiant efforts to teach those that are possibly unteachable (or simply unwilling), I’ve only succeeded in frustrating myself.  So, I feel freed, much more at peace, and less concerned with trying to help new (and veteran) moms find a way that might be a little different (and probably easier, cheaper, less stressful, more fun, and on and on and on) than the “WTEWYE Mentality” – it’s apparent a lot don’t want to do it any other way, and that’s fantastic… hopefully they’ll seek out help when they need it, and get good, valid, up-to-date information wherever they look.  Everyone is trying to be the best mom possible, I just hope my 15+ years experience, extreme confidence, and good knowledge helped one or two along the way!

That’s my Tuesday musings for the time being… entertaining tens of people every week.  😉

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A letter to Brett

Posted by Sandra on August 7, 2008

Tomorrow you will be 15.  Fifteen years ago today I had no idea what a miracle I would be holding in a short 24 hours.  And I had no idea how much my life would be enriched.

Nor would I have any idea how fast a decade and a half would fly.

I’ve watched you learn it all – and as a teenager, you know it all.  😉  From crawling, to walking, to – in six months – DRIVING.  You are becoming a man.  My firstborn.

I love you.  I know you won’t totally grasp the depth of that love until you hold your own child.  No one can fully understand that a mother or father would throw themselves in front of a bus for their baby, until they have that baby.  And you are still my baby.  You always will be.  That embarrasses you now, but it will be a comfort some day.  I promise you that.

We’ve had a great times and our bad.  Your short stint in our Home Maximum Security Prison was hard… but we all survived.  And if you think it sucked for you to be stuck here for all those months, think of those that had to survive your moping.  Yeah, that sucked too.  🙂  But you learned, you changed, you grew. 

Yes, Dad and I still plan on practicing our duets when you bring your first girlfriend home to meet us.  It is our obligation to try to embarrass you if we can.  We are truly looking forward to it.  mwahhahahahhaaaa

And our afternoon discussions.  I wouldn’t trade that few hours for the world.  Every day you come home from school, and we talk about politics, or current events, or anything… and you can discuss them with such intelligence, common sense, and intuitiveness it gives me chills.  I am in awe of you.

I made you.  This fact still amazes me.  I made this tall, handsome, brilliant, funny, classy being that I know is going to make such an impact on this world.  Whatever you choose to do with your life, be happy.  BE HAPPY.  And always make those around you happy.

Always remember to be kind.  That’s the most important thing I want to implore you to do.  Your smile and kind words may make someone’s day.  It could change someone’s life.  And it’s so easy to do.  Don’t be rude or cruel.  Don’t be jealous, and don’t allow yourself to worry.  Those are two more wasted emotions.

Always put your family first.  We’re always going to be there – friends may not be.  There may be bumps in that road, but the bumps are what you use to hold onto while you climb.  Without those bumps, you may slip.  Your brother loves you so much, and believe me, I know it’s hard to understand that now.  When you’re 25, or 30, or 40, you’ll depend on that love to get you through rough times.  And you’ll depend on that love to be there during the good times. 

Your sisters are really going to depend on you.  They look up to you now – and I know, I know – you don’t fully “get” that either.  You are so fortunate.  We are all very blessed.

I hope you meet someone that makes you happy.  After all these years, I still want to hug Daddy so hard I end up on the other side of him, and I hope you find that too.  You deserve it.

I love you so much.  I hope you have a Happy 15th Birthday, and many, many more.

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Are the stories over?

Posted by Sandra on July 31, 2008

Okay, I think I have been told all the stories possible about their trip.  They’re still getting over jetlag, still trying to catch up to “feeling like home” again.  They’ve called all their friends, arranged all their get-togethers for the next couple of weeks until school starts again, have destroyed their previously Mom Busted Her Arse To Get Clean rooms.  Ah, life is back to normal!

Brett showed me the Google Earth images of where his dad and new (yup, #4) stepmom live – really quaint, really beautiful.  She’s an officer, I guess, so she has some good bucks to live off post, and it’s a gorgeous part of Germany they live in.  I really like Liz, I’m glad he found her – I think she’ll “young him up”… LOL!  Their Dad never wants to move back to the US, I guess…  After seeing the shops and castles and countryside on GE, I can understand why.  Incredible.  Like right out of a Cary Grant movie.  Yup, I wanna live in Europe somewhere beautiful like that.  London.  Venice.  Somewhere where the life is slower, the grass is greener, the people are nicer, on and on and on… I know it exists – I know people from lots of different countries, and they say it’s just so different there – PLEASANTLY different, I should add.  Oh well.  Maybe if we hit the lottery.  Or if Obama gets elected.  Whoops – did I say that out loud?

 Tonite is the test of Will the Boys Find Hidden Vegetables.  I’ve prepared my meatloaf (it’s yummy!) but have added a pureed mixture of green peppers, onions, carrots, and garlic.  I made it this morning so that they didn’t see me… Covert Cooking at it’s finest.


My SIL with cancer is staying at my mom’s house for the three weeks that she’s going to be receiving the radiation to reduce the tumor.  My other brother is driving in from Indianapolis tomorrow and we’re all heading over for pizza night.  I’m nervous, I just don’t know what to say to her.  I know if it were me, I’d just want everyone to get over it, laugh and love, have a good time, it is what it is.  But it doesn’t change my awkwardness or sadness at her illness, my brother’s loss of a wife of 28 years, her children’s loss of their mother, her grandchildren’s loss of a grandma that would read them stories and take them to the park.  It’s not fair.

That being said, I watched Dateline the other night about Randy Pausch, the famous professor who died of pancreatic cancer just a few days ago.  I cried for a man I don’t even know.  If you haven’t seen his lecture or read his story, please do (I’ve added it at the end of this post) – it will open your eyes to what is truly important in your world.  The man is incredible.  I need to remember his words when I hug my SIL tomorrow night.

And I also want to send prayers to all that are suffering an affliction, be it cancer, a simple cold, or a black heart.  TIme here is so short.  Live, love, and laugh – that is what is truly important.

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So my teenager…

Posted by Sandra on May 20, 2008


was emptying the dishwasher yesterday, and I told him I also needed the trash taken out…

He looked at me, with a smirk, and said, “So, I’m really just your beotch, aren’t I, Mom?”

I looked at him, shocked – he rarely curses – and told him I was horribly disappointed.





That it took him this long to figure that out.

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