Tuesday, September 6, 2011

School's IN for the Season

Back to school.  

It always reminds me of the Staples commercial from a couple years back, where the parents and children and shopping for supplies, and the parents are thrilled, and the kids are not.  I know you remember it:

Just. So. Funny.

It took becoming a parent to fully grasp the hilarity of this commercial.

Well, today my oldest had her first day of fourth grade.  She is really looking forward to this year- the teacher we wanted and three of her closest friends in the same class with her- this is tween perfection at its best!

Best of all, her teacher believes in COMMUNICATION- something that we have found to be lacking in my daughter's school.  We are truly hoping for the "perfect" school year- good grades, a great teacher who will work with us and not against us, and as little teeny-bopper drama as possible.

Pipe dreams, you say?  Probably.  But still, any dream is better than none at all.

It's amazing how quiet a home gets when at least one of the children are at school.  Not that I am exhilarated to be minus one child during the day, but quietness is something that has been lacking in my home as of late.

So here's to you, my beautiful daughter, wishing you the best year ever.  My best year ever was third grade (Miss Heffron, you ROCK), and that didn't really happen for you last year, so here's to hoping that your time has come, and that some of your best school memories in the future come back around to the great teacher you have for fourth grade.

But please don't hate me if I celebrate the quietness that accompanies back to school for a little while.  It doesn't mean I don't love you; just that I also like some sibling rivalry-free hours, at least sometimes.

But if you do hate me anyway, go to your room and journal about it, or write an angsty poem or something.  Better yet, read a book about a girl with parents who don't care.  Just so it is something to help develop your literacy skills, I'm not picky, really.
Good luck to all the young ones with their fresh new start in another school year.  I will wave my magic Average wand, and give you all perfect years.  At least I will in my head.  That still counts, right?  And to all you Only Average Moms out there, who are relishing the quiet, perfect years for you too.  May you have no tearful homework nights and no last minute school projects worth half your child's grades that they forgot about until 10:30 the night before its due.
Do all parents react to back to school like in the above video?  Probably not.  But us Only Average ones do...at least for a week or two.  Especially if they don't admit it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What Dreams May Come

So last night, I had a very odd dream.  

My daughter had spilled an entire container of Moon Sand on my baker's rack, and I had to clean it up.  You remember Moon Sand, don't you?

So I had to clean it up,and then sort out the sand. By color.  Because the kids would be mad if it was all mixed up.

Even in my dreams, I have to clean.  

If I ever go into psychotherapy, they will commit me for sure.

PS- I just played this video to make sure the link worked, and Becka said, "Hey, I like it!"  Hoping this dream isn't prophetic...I clean enough!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Woeful Weekend

I'm a Girl Scout leader.  I love each and every one of the girls I lead, and my co-leader is one of my closest friends.  Girl Scouts is a great program and I truly believe in it's mission and do all I can to ensure the girls have a great experience and gain the leadership skills necessary to make a difference in this world.

Being a leader is great, but there are a few drawbacks.  Sometimes, it's the girls themselves.

Saturday, my phone rang several times, and I chose not to answer it.  I knew who it was, and I didn't feel like company this weekend, and not answering seemed a bit more appealing to me than telling a ten year old girl that no, she couldn't come and stay the weekend with me (while my oldest, her friend, was out of town).  This particular girl wears on my nerves rather quickly, and pretends she wants to play with Rebecka, when in truth, she doesn't, and then everyone is upset, myself included.  

Saturday afternoon, she is DROPPED OFF at my house by her grandfather.  Grandfather did NOT wait to see that she made it in the house, but left immediately.  She came with a bag of clothes.  At dinner time.

What do you do??!!  She is only ten, and comes from an unstable home, to put it lightly.  Her father is chronically unemployed, and her mother has been in and out of jail the last few years, for shoplifting.  They have recently moved in with her father's parents, and from my point of view, it's not an ideal situation there, either.  But I freely admit that I don't have all the facts.

This child is constantly pretending to be terminally stupid ("I've never seen green beans before"), and talking about how her family has no food in the house (although I have taken her mother grocery shopping before; these people eat better that I ever have), and no money but lots of things: the child wears Justice underpants for goodness sake ("These pants cost $50").  Apparently, no one has told her that you can't pretend to be terminally poor while wearing designer jeans, bought at full retail (which is a crime in and of itself).

I asked her why she came over and she said, "I tried to call you." (True.  But she didn't actually speak with us.)  "I didn't feel like listening to my mommy and daddy fight, so I just decided to come here." ("Here" is about 20 miles away, and actually in another state)  Mike and I spoke about it, and decided that there wasn't a whole lot we could do at this point, made her a plate, and didn't make a big deal about it.

Mike had a talk with her before she left, explaining that she needs to ask before assuming she can come over and spend the night.

The weekend wasn't overall too hateful, however, Rebecka is much happier now that the extra child is gone, and my house is quiet once more.

And the $100 gift card my mother bought for me to buy school clothes for Katie is missing.


Probably not.

Will she be invited back?

...Same answer.

I have given this child many chances and done things for her family that others wouldn't do, but I think my kindness has come to its end in this case.  There comes a time when helping too much becomes hurting and enabling.  But then again, I am an Only Average Mom.

EDIT: The gift card has been canceled, and a new one issued.  So no loss on our behalf, except for bewilderment as to what kind of parenting tells kids it's ok to just show up at someone's house...

Friday, August 12, 2011

This Gives New Meaning to "Beach Toys"

(This post is probably not safe for work.  Consider yourself warned.)

As a resident of a beach community on the Eastern Shore, I realize that tourism is a huge part of our states revenue, and that without the lovely tourists, the local economy would tank even worse than it already has.  I personally have a love-hate relationship with tourists; they are noisy, add to the traffic, and make grocery shopping a hassle; but they are also provide much needed revenue for our economy, and we wouldn't have so many entertainment options to choose from without them.  I mean what other areas have multiple water parks within a 15 mile radius, really?

I live close to Ocean City, Maryland, and tend to frequent the Maryland beaches more than the Delaware beaches.  I have, however been to Rehoboth Beach's boardwalk and it was really nice.  

Rehoboth has three different beaches: a "family" beach; a "gay" beach (no judgement here); and a "nude"  beach.  None of which are marked.  It's a huge potluck and if you find the beach you are looking for, you are doing pretty good- and if you don't, you may find yourself paying for your child's future therapy sessions when she stumbles upon a scene not unlike the "chica" one in the movie, EuroTrip. 

I heard on the radio the other day about the top items found on Rehoboth Beach.  The number one item is not what you would have expected....

are you ready?


(surprisingly, it's not used condoms)

Sex Toys


I mean, grossness aside of actually FINDING somebody else's personal items (very nasty), like, sand? EW.  NOT SEXY, people.  A moonlit (or candlelit) beach might certainly be romantic, but sand in my personal area?  Seriously Not Cool.

Also, what kind of people leave that stuff on the beach?  I understand if you don't want to take it home with you because of where you live/who you live with (I mean, hey, it's your life not mine, who am I to judge), but what is wrong with trash cans?

And, hey, those things are expensive...who has that kind of money to waste, just leaving the willies all willy-nilly on the beach? 

God forbid some innocent person walking their dog stumbles upon a personal appendage and decides to use it as a chew toy. Or brings it to some kids to play "fetch" with.  

Srsly, people, be responsible and dispose of unwanted items at the beach properly.  Don't be responsible for someone else's child's therapy sessions.

I personally find this bizarrely hilarious.  The stuff that enters your head, that never gets out, I tell you.  Maybe those "super moms" are above laughing at random crazy stuff like this, but, I'm an Only Average Mom, and I can't help but giggle.

And you know that you did too.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Just Plodding Along

Warning: today's post is not humorous at all.

A few weeks ago, I went to the doctors and had some blood work done.  The results came in, and I have a couple health problems that are not life threatening at this point, but I needed to make some lifestyle changes so that they will hopefully self correct.  One of these changes is that I must exercise for at least an hour a day.  

Now, since it's summer, I do tend to swim a lot, but apparently that isn't enough to make my body decide to do what it needs to do, so I do my best to run/powerwalk each night.

A couple of nights ago, it rained during my outing, and I didn't let it stop me.  I had to just keep going, putting one foot in front of the other, to get it done.  No matter how strong the rainstorm, or what was lying dead along side the road, I can't let it stop me.  Or I could die.  Sorry to be so dramatic.

While I was jogging, it dawned on me that this is how I approach life.  I just keep getting up every day, doing what needs to be done, filling the roles that no one else wants to have, and I don't let anything stop me.  Even when it breaks my spirit, what must be done gets done.  

That's what I get for being the "strong one."

Moodiness aside, I am thankful that I have the opportunity to stay home with my babies, and to serve my community in the small ways that I do.  I am thankful for all my friends and that I have two healthy and beautiful daughters because things could be much, much worse for me.

So off I go now, to just plod along, hoping for something to inspire me.  Maybe an above average mom could be cheerful all the time, but I am truly an Only Average Mom.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Giraffe Tongues Really Are Black, and They Are Slimy Too

I love the State fair. 

It was like 103 degrees the night we went, but it was still totally awesome.  There was a trailer for Pampers, where they just handed out handfulls of free diapers (win!), lots of freebie raffles, and the Geico guys were total douchebags. Just sayin'.
The Crocs booth was awesome- they gave Becka a little toy that she calls "Frog" and I call "Crocman".  If I ever go back to work, I am totally stealing Crocman and putting him on my desk.  He is that awesome.

Crockman and the Ketchup Covered Baby
(Sounds kind of like a comic book from the 70's doesn't it?)

We get something to eat, and check out all the animals, and hit up the crafting tent (which is my favorite part of the fair, I love to see what-all everyone has made) and I see this:

Fight Like a Girl!

There was a whole table for Breast Cancer awareness-themed flower arrangements, but this was my favorite.  I took a picture with my camera and send it to my mom (for those of you who don't know, my mom has Stage IIA Breast Cancer.  I'll post more on that another day).

Finally we make our way back around to the front entrance again, and head over to the petting zoo/pony ride tent.  That is when I saw this:

I know the picture is dark, but it was getting late.

Oh, you know I HAD to go see him, and Becka was all "giraffe!" so we went in the tent.  It was so crowded, but we managed to get close enough to see that there was a lady selling carrots to feed the animals in the tent.  So I buy some, thinking that Becka would like to try to feed him, and yeah, NO.  Since I didn't want to wast my $1 worth of carrots, and hey, how many times in your life do you get to say that you fed a giraffe so I totally did.  Apparently, he liked me, and I was licked by a giraffe.

 See?  Black tongue.

Me, getting licked by the giraffe, after feeding him a carrot.

So all in all, the fair was pretty cool, and we didn't spend a ton of money, which was a good thing.  And hey, I got licked by a giraffe.  That doesn't happen every day. At least not to an Only Average Mom.

Friday, July 1, 2011

About Me

(Updated February 2013)

Hi, I'm Jamie.  I am a stay home mom for two wonderful girls, and newly the wife of a wonderful husband.  I am a Girl Scout leader for a large troop in rural Delaware.  I am a volunteer at two local churches.  I tried to be a PTO mom but the meetings always conflict with something else.  In other words, I'm Only Average. 

I started this blog to reach out to friends and family, and talk about my daily life, and my blog has grown, and become so much more.  

I love to shop, enjoy couponing, and love to feel beautiful.  My blog reflects these loves, as well as snippets from my average daily life.  Sometimes I'm funny on purpose.  Sometimes, I'm funny on accident.  

I love trying new things, and I am very opinionated- my big mouth gets me in more trouble than I sometimes care to admit.  I am always looking for something new to obsess about, and I love to share my thoughts on whatever the flavor of the moment is.  I will never accept money for my opinion, and will never give a positive review just because I am asked to.  All thoughts expressed on my blog are my true and honest opinions; however, if I have something negative to say, I always try to give suggestions on how to improve it!

If you are a vendor and are interested in having me review your product or would like to sponsor a give away, please feel free to contact me via email.  I would love to hear from you!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How To Tell When Your Child Is Hungry

It seems that children get hungry more frequently than adults do.  Understandable, given that they are little and actually have metabolisms that work...and an above average mom probably is psychic and can tell when the little ones want a snack.  

But I'm an Only Average Mom.

My snack-sensing superpower seems to have been lost in the mail, so I rely on my kids to tell me when they want something.  

My 8 year old is hungry when she rifles through the cupboards and fridge, and makes herself a sandwich.  Works for me.

My 19 month old is hungry when she goes to the kitchen gate and says."cookie".  Also works for me.  She is also hungry when she pretends to eat pictures of cookies in her board books...nice tactic, baby girl, and also effective.

The "sneak attack" hungry is a little harder to recognize.  Sometimes I also want a snack, and tend to gravitate towards pretzels, or popcorn.  Once I re-emerge from the kitchen, I am suddenly attacked by what seems like 1000 little hands, grabbing at my snack, until I look woefully into my now empty bowl, and return to the kitchen, in shame. 

I suck because I didn't know my kids were apparently famished, a half hour after their last meal.

"Lazy hungry" is the one that drives me crazy.  Well, ok, crazier than I already am.  Lazy hungry is when they sit on the couch, or even lay on the floor, and whine, "I'm hungry".  This is more so the case with my 8 year old than with the baby.  When you ask the one who is Lazy hungry what they want, the answer is, unanimously, "I don't care".  My snarky size tends to sneak out at this, and reply, "If you don't care, than I guess you aren't hungry."  8 year old either agrees with me, and I tell her to pick something out of the snack cupboard, or disagrees with me, and I tell her to go find something to do, or play wii with me, or dolls with me and her sister.

Then it dawns on me.  "Hungry" is occasionally code for "I'm bored".  Perhaps feeding my kids attention instead of pretzels or peanut butter sandwiches is what they really need.

Until my amazing hunger-sensing superpowers kick in, I will have to wade through the waters of uncertainty, with the help of my little loves.  

But then again, I AM an Only Average Mom.  

And I wouldn't want it any other way.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Play Doh, Bane of My Existence

I hate Play Doh.  

I'm not even entirely sure WHY I hate the stuff, but I do.  Maybe it's the smell my hands smell after playing with it (even after you wash them), or the texture.  Maybe I hate it because it becomes neon pink super glue in the carpet, and won't come out.  Ever.  I guess it doesn't matter WHY I hate it, I don't buy it.  Not even as a gift for someone I don't like and want to annoy with obnoxious toys for their kids.  

I know it's mean to deprive my children the joys of molding stinky plastic putty, but I just hate the cleanup.  Club soda is *supposed* to get the stains out, but I don't think it works well.  But I digress.

My daughter won a barrel of Play Doh at Trunk or Treat this past Halloween at our church.  Katie was chosen because of her awesome costume and got to pick a prize.  There were tons of stuff, and she chose a barrel of Play Doh.  I think she did it just to drive me crazy.

Ok, probably not, but I still hate it just the same.  

So, she brings the barrel o' Doh home, and plays on the coffee table.  Rebecka is infatuated with it, and surprisingly enough doesn't even try to eat it.  They have fun for a while, until I declare "bedtime" and clean up commenced.

We choose to store the Play Doh barrel in Katie's room, as it is her toy, and I think nothing of it.  

Until, that is, when I go to pick up her room, and the NEW carpet in front of her book shelf is covered in neon pink, flaky, dried in Play Doh goodness.  I scrub it out, and speak with my beloved child about responsible messy toy maintenance, and how that does NOT include playing with Play Doh on the carpet, particularly NEW carpet.

Months pass.

I find, while packing for a family trip to Virginia, on her bed, under her covers, the barrel of Play Doh again.  When I ask her about it, she tells me, with a straight face, "Well, you told me not to get it on the carpet".  Apparently my discussion to her did NOT include that the stinky substance is also not appropriate for her new purple down comforter.

Well, now I think we are clear that the ONLY place to play with Doh is the dining room table...I'll let you know how that works our for us...

As we continue our vacation, I must speak briefly on the majestic quality of the mountains in this area.  ...was that brief enough? No?

It is really beautiful here, particularly the sunset and sunrise over the mountains.  If I didn't love the ocean so dearly, I would be completely tempted to pack up and live here.  

So in closing, here is a special note to the disappointed burglar that may or may not currently be staking out our quiet home: You won't find much worth your time to resell; but if you DO feel the need to break in, I didn't have time to mop the floors...do you mind helping out?  Also, feel free to take the barrel of Play Doh...

Friday, March 25, 2011

Packing Is An Art

Packing is an art form all to itself.  If we were to assess my "artistic" talents, packing would be higher on my list than drawing, but still lower than, say, crafting.  

I hate to pack.

Ok, it's not packing that I hate.  It's the cleaning that goes with it.  See, I can't go away with a messy house.  Actually, its not the leaving a messy house that drives me nuts; it's the returning to a messy house that makes me want to go all Jerry Springer. If I could leave my house messy, I would be ok, if I knew that the cleaning fairy was going to come over and magically make the messes dissappear.  But, sadly, I have yet to see evidence that the cleaning fairy exists.  Maybe if I left the house messy, and a burglar broke in (to steal what, exactly, I am not sure), they would feel sorry for me, clean up and leave empty handed.  I know, I know, pipe dreams.

So as my family is preparing to embark on a journey for the weekend, dog in tow (seriously), I have the fun job of making sure that everyone has what they need for the duration of the trip.  And cleaning the house as I go along, so I don't have a major mental meltdown when I get home.

She can pretty much fend for herself in the packing world...she only needs to be double checked.  She set her things out on the table last night, and today I looked them over.  What my lovable 8 year old seems to think she needs is 2 pairs of jeans, pajamas, and a long sleeve t shirt.  Also a hairbrush and her deodorant.  Good thing Mom is here to double check! So I go to her room and pick out some underthings, socks, and another shirt...and notice that there is a TUB OF PLAYDOH on her bed.  Not just like a little container, but a barrel of Play Doh and accessories.  I was all, WTF? I'll have to ask about that one.  

Meanwhile Rebecka is running around, screaming like a banshee, because she wants me to blow bubbles for her. Except when I blow bubbles, the dog goes insane and won't stop barking and jumping. So I blow a few and then pretend like the bubble container is empty and predictably, she throws a temper tantrum.  I move on in my packing/cleaning frenzy.

Becka is the easiest person in the house to back for, well except maybe the dog.  Becka will wear whatever I want her to, and not complain.  Unless it's pants.  She only likes dresses right now, but it's been chilly so she just has to deal.  I get all of her clean clothes put away, and pack her stuff in the suitcase with Katie's.

Mike, my fiance, is unique in many ways.  Like, this morning, instead of actually packing for himself, he made me a LIST of what he wants packed.  Srsly. It would have taken less time to actually pack his stuff than to make a list.  But that is what a man does.  I suppose.  His list is very descriptive, including items such as "razor from the little bathroom, and brush from same".  Ok, I have lived with this man for 5 1/2 years...I think I know what razor he uses, and which hairbrush.  But it's cute that he spells it out for me.  

All that is left is for me to pack for myself.  By this time in the morning, Rebecka is off her breakfast high, has torn out every. single. toy. in the house, and is ready for a nap. So ready, that she must throw another tantrum to show me exactly how tired she is, and how badly she wants to watch Sid the Science Kid and not take a nap. And silly me, trying to be a more "natural" mom, still co-sleeps and has a child that WILL NOT go to sleep without playing with my hair, so I have to take a break from packing and watch Sid with the munchkin.  A challenge, I know, but looking around at the jungle of baby toys that is my living room and dining room, I am slowly going mad.

I now sit on my love seat, watching Sid, with a baby that refuses to sleep, and writing on my new blog.  Life is fun.  Forget everything else that needs to be done.  I am in the here and now, with my sweet little girl.  This is what really counts, that I am here with her and she is having fun.

Hopefully I will get everything done AND remember to pick the girls up from school.  And remember to NOT eat meat today because it's lent and I want to be a good little Methodist.  

The kicker is that I gave up caffeine for lent, and could really really use a jolt right about now...God would understand...right?

Me? A Blogger??

Friday, March 25, 2011

Ok, so I've decided to start a blog.  Yeah, I know, it's a little late in the game to do it, but it's still cool.  Something tells me that this will be addicting, and will almost certainly get me in a lot of trouble.
My name is Jamie, and I'm just your average mom.  I stay home, raise my 2 kids (Kathryn and Rebecka), and attempt to keep the laundry mountain at bay. I am also a Girl Scout leader, run a children's program for my church, and work a little from home. I've worn Wynona Ryder's underpants, too, but that's another story.  

Ok, so maybe I'm NOT just your average mom.  But it's cool.

So...today, I am supposed to be packing for a trip to Virginia, to visit my boyfriend's cousin.  Instead, I am playing Farmville, dancing around my living room in my underpants with my youngest and goofing off on blogger.  Yeah, this is going to turn out well.  I guess so long as I remember to pick up my oldest daughter and her friend (who both happen to have the same first AND middle name) from school, it's all good.

I hope you enjoy my crazy life (I swear to God, everything I write will be true), and hopefully I will make you laugh once in a while.