Friday, October 23, 2015

Happy Maxed-Out Minivanniversary to me!

October 22nd my blog turned one! In a year I have written 96 posts, and my blog has been visited nearly 12,000 times and my Facebook page page has 436 likes. 461 people follow me on Twitter. I have been published by Mamalode twice and featured on a few link-ups, #20 on 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion, and #11 on A GAL NEEDS and also recognized for a funny tweet I wrote #7 on Birthday Party Parade. I even had a meme I created get over 20,000 views. A big deal for me.  I realize many bloggers are much farther than I am after a year, but I need to start somewhere, and keep working and hopefully my blogging success will continue to grow. No matter what my success has or hasn't been I am very proud of my writing and my ability to stick with it. I hope for much more success in the coming year. Thank you everyone who has supported my blog and I hope you have gotten something out of it. Here is my most popular post for your reading pleasure.

Cheers to one year and to many more! 

Monday, October 19, 2015

It's Official, I'm the Mother of a Teen!

My first born child turned 13 yesterday. I don't know where the years went. I can remember bringing him home from the hospital. I can remember when he got potty trained. I can remember his first day of preschool, kindergarten, and middle school. Yet here I am with a 13 year old child! The time has passed so quickly and I fear the next 5 1/2 years until he will be graduating and moving away will go even that much quicker. It makes me sad. Proud yes, but mostly sad. I am not ready for this. I don't want to give him over to the world. I want to hold and protect him, but I fear those days are mostly gone. My job now is to prepare him for the big scary world out there.

Every other year from here on out I will be adding a teenager, then I will be saying goodbye to one or two of them every 1-3 years after that. The year my twins turn 13 is the year my oldest graduates. I will no longer be dealing with little kid issues, instead I will be dealing with big kid or adult issues.

6 years from now my life will look totally different. I wonder how I will function on a daily basis. I wonder what my responsibilities will be. Mostly, I wonder if the kids will be okay and if I will be able to deal with all the issues that arise when dealing with teenagers. I really hope that I am up for the challenge. Times, they are a-changing! We can all face this challenge together and hopefully come out triumphant on the other side.

How did you deal with the transition when your kid went from kid to teen?

Friday, October 16, 2015

My Husband is in Love With the Maid!

I have recently discovered that my husband is in love with the maid. It took some figuring out, but when I did, I could totally see why. I was not a bit bothered, actually, because she is amazing! Here is how it happened.

A few days ago I was standing in the kitchen with my husband and I asked him if he could do me a favor. He replied "I will do anything you want." I said "I just want you to hand me the greek seasoning, but since you offered I would like a new van, a maid, a chef, a personal shopper, a tutor to help with the kids homework, and a chauffeur to take the kids where they need to go." He said "Okay, I better just work 24/7 then." I told him I was kidding and that I was just making a point that he COULDN'T possibly do anything I want.

After he went into the living room he said. "That must be hard not to have those things. I have a maid, chef, personal shopper, and chauffeur and tutor for the kids-you."

WOW, I am all those things! I never thought of it like that before.

It then occurred to me how amazing that would be. When we both worked and had no kids we cleaned shopped and cooked equally. Then when I began staying home, those things became my responsibility. I also had all the childcare tasks to deal with. I never really minded, it was my "job" after all, but it sometimes becomes too much to take.

I never got to experience what it would be like to go to work and come home, and not have to worry about anything else at all. A hot meal is ready to enjoy every night. Food is always stocked if you get hungry. Daily chores are always completed. Laundry is always clean (if not folded). You never have to worry about running out of shampoo, toilet paper or soap. The water softener always has salt. The cats always have food and litter. The kids are fed, clothed, bathed and homework completed. They have been to activities. It all happens as if by magic. Poof!

Of course my husband funds it all, I just think I can't imagine the roles being reversed. Who but a mom could keep on top of it all. Day in and day out. Everything gets done.

That is when I realized my worth. Many times I feel like I am not worth anything, except I am. I am indispensable really. It is almost as if they all get to be on vacation every day (except for the little nuisance of work and school) and come on over to Hotel Mom every night. No wonder they all love me so damn much. It is because I am soooooooo amazing, as are all the other moms out there!

My husband is in love with the maid (me), and I don't blame him one little bit!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Is Five Kids a Lot of Kids?

I think it is all relative. If you look at the average number of children per family over the last 100 years, it has stayed around two. Nearly 3 (2.63) in the 1960's and almost down to one in current times (1.13). Going by this figure, the answer is a definite yes, five kids is a lot of kids.

Then if you look at how many siblings each parent has, the answer looks quite different. I had 5 siblings growing up. My husband had 4 siblings. So when we planned for four kids, that seemed a little small to me. I ended up with five because twins. Going by family history, the answer is no way. Five kids is not a lot of kids.

Most people that grew up with many siblings still go on to have just 1-3, but they don't seem to think 4 -6 kids is too many because they grew up that way.

Most people that grew up with one or no siblings look at these families and think we are cray-cray a little bit. Maybe we are.

The point is yes, by societies standards, I suppose we do have a lot of kids, but not so many that it seems ridiculous.

By my own standards, I feel like we have just a normal sized family, because we are used to it.

There are advantages and disadvantages though.


  • Built in friends
  • Minimal boredom
  • Hand-me-downs a plenty
  • Parental experience
  • Someone always available to help a sibling
  • Learning responsibility at a young age
  • Many helpers
  • Never a dull moment
  • Enough people for any game
  • Lots and lots of love


  • Food bill is ridiculous
  • Noise
  • Messes
  • Never enough time
  • Homework x 5
  • Lots of running around
  • Overlapping schedules
  • Need to drive a minivan
  • Never enough money
  • School shopping adds debt
There are many more advantages and disadvantages, but the main point is that I do not ever feel put upon by my number of children and I never feel like it is a lot until someone says I have a lot. To me they are just five little blessings!

It's all relative people. Tell me, how many kids do you define as "a lot of kids"?

Friday, October 9, 2015

6 Word Stories

Six word stories are hard to write. There needs to be enough information to evoke some kind of feeling. These stories are considered flash fiction, defined as: a style of fictional literature or fiction of extreme brevity. There is no widely accepted definition of the length of the category. Some self-described markets for flash fiction impose caps as low as three hundred words, while others consider stories as long as a thousand words to be flash fiction.

The most famous six word story is this one, although many people think Ernest Hemingway wrote it, that is up for debate.

I have a few of my own. I hope you like them, and that you will tell me one of your own.

  • My son has ADHD. It's hard.
  • My mom died. I am alone.
  • Ring: $95. Still married, 19 years.
  • Kids are miracles. I have five.
  • Homework is hard, especially for parents.
  • Dancing is nourishment for the soul.
  • My oldest is 13. Time flies.
  • Baby is 7, baby no more.
  • 40 is next, life is short.
  • I'm dieting. I am very hungry.
  • Parenthood changes you, for the better.
  • Debt feels like death, I'm dying!
  • Motherhood is lonely, all the time.
  • Daughters love daddies, sons love mommies.
  • Kids are gone, I feel empty.
  • Pop is bad, yet I drink.
  • I hate lemons, and also lemonade.
  • My van is old, about to die.
  • Writing is fun, but also hard.
  • Every day I try something new.

There you have it. Do you like my stories? Tell me one of your own! 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Do Schools Expect Too Much From Today's Parents?

Is more responsibility being placed on parents than in the past when it comes to children's homework?

Are parents being asked to do much more for school than our parents were?

Has there been a shift from child to parent when it comes to who holds the responsibility for completing work?

Is it getting quite out of hand?

I believe the answer to all of the above is a resounding yes! I do not recall my parents doing all we are asked to do when I was a student.

I was given assignments, completed them, handed them in, and got a grade. End of story. Report cards were how our parents knew how well we were doing in school. That's it.

Now it is a whole different story. Honestly, I have more homework as a parent than I ever did as a student. Yes, there are 5 kids, which may have something to do with it, but still, it should be less than I had as a kid.

I think this shifting of responsibility is going to produce irresponsible adults.

Lower elementary grades: K-2 Kids bring home spelling they need dictated, a reader that they need to read silently, be read to them, and read out loud to a parent, and a math packet they need to complete and bring back. I am completely fine with spelling and reading at this age. What I am not okay with is the math packet. It needs to be done together with a parent. The parent needs to check that it is correct, then sigh the front. This is taking things a little too far. Check and sign it? Won't they find out if they did it wrong when the teacher checks it?

Upper elementary grades 3-5; Kids bring home spelling they need dictated, a reader they need to read silently, be read to them, and read out loud to a parent. Then they need to discuss the story together, and complete a comprehension sheet with the parent. They also have a math packet that needs to be checked and signed. They also bring home assignments that need corrections done with a parent and signed by a parent. The parent also needs to look at the child's planner daily, write done on assignments that say do, and sign the planner. NO, JUST NO. NONE of this can't be done independently.

Middle school grades 6-8; Mostly independent work. They do bring home an awful lot of things to sign regarding assignments, book choices, classroom rules, class syllabus, etc. Here's the kicker. I get e-mails telling me to check parent portal weekly to make sure my child isn't missing assignments, and remind them to turn the missing ones in or ask for a new one and from which teacher if they lost it. WHAT???? Did I miss something? Isn't it the student's responsibility to keep track of assignments and turn them in on time and if they miss one, tough beans, zero on that assignment?? When did this become something the parent has to do? Am I going to be going with them to college so I can continue checking up on every little thing they need to be doing? I think not!

That's not all. There is also a million e-mails about working for xyz fundraiser, baking for the holiday bake sale, working at the garage sale at school, working at the book fair, and don't forget planning donating or chairing each class party, and also field trip volunteers.

I do not even know how it works in high school grades, but I have a feeling it is going to be bad.

I am starting to feel like this whole school thing is a full time job. Let's set our kids up to fail in adulthood by coddling them through school, and keeping track of all their shit for them. I can barely keep track of my own shit. Many nights we are not even home so when are these parent/child assignments supposed to be done? If there wasn't parent involvement, my kids could do the work while I am gone with one kid each night Mon-Wed at dance. Nope, instead, lets start at 7 and work until 9. Sounds like a great fun way to spent Mon-Wed night.

Guess what my mom did when I was a kid? After dinner she said "Do you have any homework?" and I would reply either "no" or "I got it done." "Good girl" she said. That was the extent of parental involvement, as it should be. It is called teaching kids to be responsible and self driven. There was no whining about how it's too hard or I need help or you need to sign this etc. Let's take it back a few decades to simpler times, shall we? Dial down the parent involvement. Who is with me on this?

What is your take? Is the amount of parental involvement expected just too much?

Friday, October 2, 2015

11 Ways My 11 Year Old Daughter Is A Better Mom To My Kids Than I Am

  1. She makes food the kids like. Mine, not so much.
  2. She plays with the girls. I prefer to talk to them or watch them play.
  3. She is willing to help the girls pick out cute outfits for school and style their hair.
      I have them wear whatever is clean, and tell them to just brush their hair.
  4. She lets the girls wear make-up, I do not.
  5. She can get them to clean somehow. For me it's like pulling teeth.
  6. She is nicer, and doesn't yell. Yelling is my go-to strategy.
  7. When she babysits, she has them to bed on time. Me-never!
  8. She reads with expression. Me- in monotone.
  9. She enjoys helping the girls with homework and does projects with them.
      I would rather claw my own eyes out.
10. She helps the girls use the computer. I tell them to figure it out.
11. She helps the girls make up dance routines. I just watch.

This little lady is amazing! She is creative, fun, responsible, imaginative and patient. I really hit the jackpot with this one! I am looking forward to seeing how well she turns out. There is no doubt in my mind, this chic is going places!

Do you have an extra amazing child? Tell me about it!