For The Love Of Camping…

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Every year, our family goes camping. Sounds fun right? It can be, but if your not careful it can turn into a hot mess, fast.

First off it usually takes around two hours to get there. That’s two hours locked in a car, with two excited little crazy people! You know what they say; pent up excitement, breeds irritation.

OK maybe it’s me, that says that.

It wont be long before they are ready to kill each other, and you’re only twenty minutes in.

My number one rule is always, ALWAYS, make sure everyone has used the bathroom before leaving. A no brainer right? Of course in the midst of packing everything up, my number one rule gets lost in the shuffle.

My kids are what I like to call, public restroom connoisseur’s. They love a good public restroom (or any public restroom for that matter). It’s like they intentionally hold their little bladders until just that right moment, when you’re in the middle of nowhere, not a restroom in sight.

So of course good old GPS, takes us thirty minutes in the wrong direction, to find the nearest restroom, and we end up in one that looks like a wet shaggy dog shook itself off in it.

As you delve further into the abyss of piss, (while simultaneously trying to not touch anything) you notice a lovely note on the wall from a nice girl name Sadie, who’s  looking for love in all the wrong places.

Not to mention you spent weeks preparing, only to find out once you get there, you forgot the bug spray.

Heaven forbid, you have to stay out there for four days with no OFF! I did this one year, by the end of the trip my girls and I looked like the elephant man’s wife and kids. It wasn’t pretty.

Then comes the fun part: setting up.

Now if you’re lucky, you get the tent that someone who knew what they were doing put away. If not, lord help you. You will end up spending the next three hours trying figure out why there’s no door, only to realize you were missing the pole that holds up the door to begin with.

Of course by the time you’re done setting up, the kids are all ready to go swimming!

Yay!!! Swimming!!!

Everyone loves swimming right? Except you’re in the mountains, and the water is freshly melted snow water, that’s 30 below.

Finally when your kids lips are pleasantly purple, with hands and feet that look like they’re ready to fall off, its lunchtime!

Who doesn’t love lunch?  I don’t know about you, but by this time I’m ready for everyone to shut the hell up, and go the fuck to sleep. A nap is the only thing on my mind, in this heat.

I don’t want to grill hot dogs, and hamburgers, or wait on little people. Of course, they are little people, so you’re kinda forced to make lunch.

Guess who gets to sit in the shade for a few and relax? Not you, because you have little people who need entertaining. Its time for a walk, some kickball, and who can forget sand castles?

Just when you think it’s finally time to take a load off, (hey you’ve earned it right?) it’s dinner time! If you’re lucky like I am, this is where the hubbs really shines. He’s a barbeque master! He masters that barbeque.

Once all the dishes are done, (because who wants unexpected visitors in the middle of the night) you finally get a little me time.

Wait. What’s that Lassie? The little’s want to go on a hunt for wood, to build a fire?

Of course if they want a fire, they’re probably going to want to make s’mores.  Of course if they want s’mores, you can’t go relax because their going to be near fire.

Fire is bad.

We like to take a stick and draw a huge circle around it. No one is to cross that line. EVER.

This goes on for four days and three nights.

Don’t get me wrong, the memories we make with our children, will last a life time. Each year my children get a little bit bigger, which makes things a little easier. The best part is, once a year we get four days off the grid together, without distraction. Mostly…

I must be a glutton for punishment, because I’m already excited for our annual camping trip next week. Time to go finish packing!

Kindergarten Camp: A Mothers Tale

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As a parent I have had the pleasure of escorting both my children on their first day of school. Never has there been two polar opposites quite like my thing one, and thing two.

Thing one started her first day in preschool. She was such a sweet thing even then. She looked up at me with a smile, gave me a kiss and ran off to join in on the fun with all the other little things.

Apparently I took it way harder than she did as a small tear threatened to trickle down my left cheek. On one hand I knew she would be just fine and this was one of those milestones I would never forget.

On the other I knew I would miss her greatly. School would be her main concern from here on out, until she graduated college.

God, I had no idea! First time mom syndrome was in full effect.

Fast forward four years, and one wild child later, things weren’t exactly the same. Thing two unlike thing one was not an easy-going thing to say the least. If I would have had her first she’d probably be my only thing.

On the first day of kindergarten camp for thing two her dad and I walked her to her classroom to meet her new teacher.

When we got there I could sense the fear in her, or maybe it was the iron grip she had on me. As I attempted to pry little fingers from my inner thigh while my life’s blood was slowly being cut off from the rest of my body, I started to think we might have a problem here.

Thing two was shaping up to be a stage five clinger!
While I was trying to calm thing two down, I suddenly noticed the room got very quiet.

As I looked around I could see all the parents had left. Their tiny things left sitting quietly on the ground with their legs crossed and hands folded into their laps.

All eyes were on us.

When the teacher neared us, the look of utter helplessness on my face must have betrayed me because she came right over and helped me gently pry thing two off.

It was like she could read my mind (or possibly my lips, as I had said as much to my husband while amid the struggle) when she said “you guys go ahead and go I’m an expert in stage five clingers”!

As we exited the building I thought good luck with that. Thing two began to cry hysterically, and they literally had to hold her back to keep her from going after us.

Great we traumatized thing two, on her first day of school!

Within a few minutes after we left, the crying stopped! When I looked through the small window on the door, I could see thing two quietly sitting next to the teacher, as she read a story. What the hell? I guess her teacher really was an expert!

Later as I watched her quietly walk in line with her oversized backpack hanging on her tiny body, I thought to myself how lucky I was to have a brave little thing like that.

This would definitely be one of those milestones that I would never forget, and something tells me she won’t either.

The Duggers, Americas “Perfect” Family

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With everyone weighing in on the whole Dugger molestation scandal, I thought why the hell not?

First I should probably mention, I use to actually watch the show from time to time. I was just amazed at how the hell that women could possibly have that many children and not go mad.

It kinda felt like I was watching a car wreck. It almost felt wrong for watching but I couldn’t look away.

I mean who am I to judge, if year after year this women kept popping children outta her vagina like some kids (and I) pop candy into our mouth.

I think I stopped checking in so to speak after baby number 17, so it had been awhile since I caught up with the Dugger clan.

Although recently god bless them, their stupid biggot rants started slipping through my media filters on Facebook. Michelle Dugger had political views? Who’da thunk it folks?

Whenever I actually watched the show she was practically always in the kitchen and pregnant. The only thing left out of the scenario was the barefoot part (which she might of been, I don’t remember  seeing her feet much). I got the feeling at the time, she was to only be heard when it came to child rearing and nothing more.

Even more recently it has come forth the Duggers have been keeping their horrific child sexual abuse past a secret.  I was shocked to hear the oldest son Josh Dugger has openly admitted to molesting five young girls at the age of fifteen. Four of whom are his sisters. The youngest only five at the time.

Believe me I felt bad for the girls as they cried about being re-victimized even more by this scandal coming to light, and how hurt they are that anyone would bring this up after all this time.

The fact is they have no one else to blame but their parents.

Their parents who put them in the spotlight on to a platform for which the entire world was watching. It would be pure ignorance to think that this wouldn’t come out, and frankly I’m surprised it didn’t come out back 2006 when the Oprah Winfrey show first reported them to the police about it.

Watching a clip from an interview with the Dugger parents, we saw just how screwed up their thinking is when they tried to claim they did the best they could.

Jim Bob Dugger, the father was asked why they went ahead and did a reality t.v. show after it was known that the cameras might uncover Josh’s past. To which he replied that they had already taken care of that prior to the first time they appeared on t.v.

From everything I understand from these allegations, the parents had Josh talk to a state trooper who is now convicted on child porn charges, and serving a 56 year sentence. They proceeded to send him away to another pedophile family friend, who Josh would do manual labor for as punishment (seriously wtf?).

No therapy for the victims or the perpetrator. They basically swept it under the rug, yet they claim they took care of that already. The girls had to continue living with, and was made to forgive the perpetrator.

I’m not mother of the year, but I also don’t claim to be. I do know that if it was my children being abused by anyone, the police and therapy would be involved IMMEDIATELY!

The worst part is the girls it seems have been brain washed into thinking their brother is not a child predator because he was only fifteen at the time. It is of my opinion that a five year old is a baby compared to a fifteen year old. His daughter is five now.

Let’s just let that sink in for a minute.

I read in one article it was such a problem they resorted to having all the girls sleep in the living room, and allegedly it was still happening.

Jim Bob’s answer in one interview, for why they didn’t turn their son into the police and get him the help he needs: It’s not required by law to do so in the state of Arkansas.

Ughh I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. It’s also not required by law to teach our children to swim. We do so to protect them.

I’m not even going to go into the cult like religious aspect of this, although I feel that has played a major role as to why this family is so screwed up.

In summary no family is perfect, but the welfare of our children should be first and foremost the number one concern to us as parents.

The Duggers failed miserably at protecting all of their children. What makes it worse is the parents claim they did the best they could.

They didn’t even come close.

As for me, I’m right there with the crowd who started the petition and succeeded in canceling the show. Why would anyone want to take parenting advice from these people?  I just hope the victims get the therapy they need and are able to move on from this situation the best they can.

Friends Come And Go…

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As a mother of two, one of the things that’s become the most apparent in my life, is that not all friendships are meant to last forever. I don’t think thats necessarily a bad thing either. I think we are all destined to change.
We change everything, from our choice in clothes to our taste in music. Change is all we can really be sure of.
Its a constant theme in all our lives. Whether for the better or not, is really up to us.

I’m one of those people who believes in fate. I believe in fate due to several major events in my life, up until this point. So many close calls will do that to a person. Its obvious, if I’m still here there’s a reason.

I think everyone whether they think so or not, is on their own chosen path. Sometimes we deviate from those paths, but fate can intervene at times to push us back on track.

This has brought me to my latest epiphany; we are not meant to carry every friendship we have ever made, with us forever.

Looking back I have noticed, there are times in my life when I was closer to some people, then others. Sometimes it felt like It was meant to be, and then it wasn’t.

Other times I think we meet up with people who are at the same crossroads as us, and we unconsciously recognize this.

Its such a human quality to think everything lasts forever.The truth is nothing ever stays the same. Life moves in all different directions at once.

I have had friends I have known most of my life, who I no longer speak to. We have drifted apart, and that’s okay. I guess some people, are only supposed to be in your life for a little while.

I think we were there for each other because we were meant to be.  Maybe not forever, but for that time in that place. When you connect like that with some people, you carry it with you for the rest of your life.

Even when they are no longer a major part of your life, the memories stay.

Thinking back on it now, every person who has truly touched my life, has changed it.

Some I connected with in some of the worst times of my life. Drawn together by similar human experiences, and finding someone in whom we could relate.

Some I will never see again. Some I only speak to on occasion, but its always like no time has passed. Some I haven’t spoken to in years. Some I hang out with often.

With all of these friends I truly felt they appreciated me for me. Its a rare thing when you feel comfortable enough to be yourself completely.

Every person who has touched my life in one way or another, have helped to make me who I am today.

The saying friends come and go is so true. For me though, I am grateful for both the ones that came and the ones that went…

The day my daughter was diagnosed with A.D.D

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At eight years old my daughter was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder. That was the day I realized just how much she would have to overcome in her life to succeed.

I knew it was coming and still it hit me like a ton of bricks. She would be affected her entire school career, if not her whole life.

My first thought was how are we going to overcome this? What is my next step? I knew we could not continue like this. She had been steadily struggling in school since well, preschool.

When my daughter was four years old she liked to run EVERYWHERE. We constantly had to tell her to slow down.
One time she even slipped on the hardwood floor while running in socks, and knocked her tooth out! She knocked it out completely from root to tip. It was the first time she ever got hurt that bad and I was freaking out worse then her on the way to the hospital.

When we got there, I mentioned to the doctor how she was constantly running around.

He suggested I  take her to our physician, and have her tested for Attention Deficit Disorder. He also said that some kids are just really hyper, and over time they tend to calm down.

Of course at that age my doctors said she was too young to be tested. She also started to calm down a little more every year.

From kindergarten till third grade, every night we would sit together and work on her homework. It was a major struggle. Some nights would be filled with tears, from her and I.

The frustration I felt from not being able to help my child with some of the simplest things would get to me. As for her she never gave up. She never complained.

Every year I would meet with her teacher, a school psychologist, and the resource teacher about having her tested. Finally in third grade they agreed something needed to be done.
She had been up for retention every year since she started school.

The school as well as her doctor tested her. The results were in, she had A.D.D. (Inattentive Disorder).
She was also diagnosed with a learning disability because of this.

She would always forget things at school or on the bus. At school she had a hard time focusing on class work, and at home if I asked her to do something she would forget almost immediately.

Of course I didn’t realize that was a symptom. I felt awful all those times she got lectured about leaving her stuff at school or not doing whatever it was I asked her to do.

On our last meeting with the school, I sat there as they said that her results showed that she didn’t qualify for resource. I thought wtf? I just sat there stunned.

They went on to say her test results showed she was a low average in all areas, and that’s why she didn’t qualify. I couldn’t help it I started to cry. All those years of sitting there every night struggling to help her, and that’s it, she doesn’t qualify for the only help I thought there was.

I started to feel my anger rise. What the hell was a low average anyway? She needed help and I was going to get it.

Before I could get any further her teacher (bless that women) told me not worry there was another way for her to get the help she needed without being held back, or going to resource. That was the first time I heard of a 504 plan.

A 504 plan is for a child with a learning disability. It will give them extra accommodations all through out their school career.

Such as their school work being cut back, or quiet testing areas for when they’re taking tests. Every year I will meet with her new teacher, and we will decide what needs to be in place for that year based on how she did the previous year.

To me it was a godsend not only will she be able to continue on with her classmates, but she will also have these accommodations all the way through school. I could breath a little easier from then on.

Since then her school work was cut down and she has been able to do most of it on her own without feeling overwhelmed.

She’s got her confidence back because with a little less homework its easier to memorize all her spelling words and she’s able to ace them.

Her teacher will give her a little more work every week based on what she shows she can handle.

As for her disorder I have chose not to give her any medications at this time.
If one day she is struggling again we will cross that road when we get to it.

As for now I’m just glad we finally got it figured out.There is help out there for those who need it. Anyone who’s struggling like we did, don’t give up.

There’s a light at the end of the tunnel.
The one thing I have learned from this experience is that as a parent, I am and will continue to be my daughters champion. I will not take no for an answer when it comes to her, or her education.
She will succeed no matter what!