Parenting 101

While we were in CA, my Dad told me to stop giving Lovegirl so many negative directives.  (Which, ironically enough, is a negative directive…) You know, stop saying “don’t do that,” “stop that,” etc.  That I should speak to her in a more positive manner. So instead of “stop playing around” and “stop whining” I’m now saying things like “please finish your dinner” and “I want you to use your big girl voice.”  It’s killing me y’all! I feel like I sound like a pushover, but I’m going to try it for a while and see how she responds…

A few days later my brothers told me I was too soft on Lovegirl (which really hurt my feelings – and likely validated their assertion!).  One day the kids were in the pool and my nephew went down the slide.  Lovegirl decided she was going to do the same – but when she got to the top of the slide she started crying saying she didn’t want to slide down.  I told her to get down off the slide and was planning on making her put her clothes on and missing out on the fun.  You know, punishment.  My brothers almost stroked out.  They were like “tears, schmears, you’re going down that slide!”  And they made her go.  And go she did – slinging snot all the way.

When Lovegirl was younger, I’d periodically ask my parents how we were doing with her.  I wanted to know what they thought of our parenting skills, did they see anything we needed to work on, etc., etc. They’d give me feedback and we’d press on.  Well, my brothers’ statement that I was too soft on Lovegirl really threw me for a loop – after all, I’m the “tough” parent – Smoochy is the pushover.  But they helped me to realize that just because I’m the toughest in our house, doesn’t mean I push her to overcome the way I should.  And my Dad’s suggestion has me watching and choosing my words with Lovegirl even more carefully than I have in the past.

Do you ever sit back and evaluate how you’re doing as a parent at this stage in the game – regardless of what stage you and your child(ren) are in?  What are some changes in parenting style that you’ve adopted?  Are there things you used to do that you’ve eliminated?  Do you get salty when people – and I mean loved ones, not random strangers – suggest changes in your parenting style?  What do you want for your child?  What are you doing to help them realize their full and wonderful potential?  I have no desire to be a Tiger Mom – that’s just not me, but I would like to hear what things y’all are doing/have done in the raising of your kiddos that you think have paid off.



Monday Morning Randoms

  • What up Bloglandians?  How ever have you been?  Your responses to my vlog were hilarious!!  I think I sound like a proper Southerner and am glad that I don’t sound like Snoop Dog!
  • Had a ball in California!  I may or may not have tried to eat my way through the southland.  My new favorite spot is King Taco over on Pico.  Oh em gee!  Their tacos and salsa verde are to die for!  I visited my old favorites as well – Taco Nazo and In-N-Out.  Delish!
  • Celebrity sightings: we saw R.yan Se.acrest filming (a commercial?) at the La Brea Tar Pits.  And my middle brother saw Nic.olas at a sushi joint he ducked into while the rest of us were discussing an…interesting exhibit at MOCA.
  • I thought I’d come back with  horrible tales of my sister in law, but I must confess – everything went well.  I think she thinks we’re crazy as hell, but since I can’t really disagree with her on that one…
  • My new niece is an absolute doll!  Such a sweet baby – almost makes me want another.  Almost being the operative word.
  • My Grandma was so happy and surprised to see all of us – she was at Lucky Strike bowling alley and we all strolled in and surprised her – pretty freaking awesome.
  • I’m amazed that my cousins – and one uncle – couldn’t be bothered to show up for any of the weekend birthday festivities.  Amazed.  They live 2 hours away at most (most are less than 30 minutes away) and didn’t show up.  Losers.
  • My Mom and I did try to water marble our nails – fail!  I guess it was the polishes we were using – none of them were quite right.  We did get a very pale blue/very pale gold combination to work – but not very well, so we ended up scrapping the whole project.  I may try again when I’ve got another inordinate stretch of time on my hands.
  • Smoochy decided to have the carpet cleaned while we were gone – yay!  He decided to do it on Thursday – as we were on our way home so we stepped into a house full of wet carpet and beds piled up to forever with junk – boo!
  • Since everything was piled on the beds, I seized the opportunity to throw out a bunch of stuff – yay!
  • Wanna see some of the family pics we took?  Behold:

My wonderful, blessed parents

I LOVE these dudes! Birth order: 3, 1, 4, 2

Everybody 🙂 Except Smoochy 😦

The real us 🙂























My Grandma is hilarious! After church she was like "I'mma stay dressed for about 10 minutes so y'all can take some pictures. Then this wig and these clothes are coming off. If you want pictures of that too, I don't care!"















Have a marvelous Monday!!!

“Miss Black America”

Well?  What did y’all think of our latest foray into the literary world?

Meh.  I was pretty underwhelmed by the whole book.  I think it was well written, but it wasn’t a gripping page-turner and that’s how I like my books. 

I think one of the main reasons I took issue with the book is because I didn’t feel strongly – one way or the other – about any of the characters.  The mother left, but she wasn’t terrible (well, except for when she slapped Angela) so I couldn’t “hate” her.  Teddo was just a strange bird to me.  A revolutionary magician?? And Angela.  Where to start?  Her character confused me.  Nothing about her suggested to me that she’d react to her molestation the way she did.  Just me?  The sub plots with the aunt visiting and them camping out with Muh.ammad were just strange to me.  The story did read quite “real.” Now that I’m typing this up, I realize I really didn’t like this book much at all.  I thought I was neutral about it, but obviously not…I have noticed that in my reading – and television watching for that matter – I need to root for or against someone/thing.  If the element of good v. evil is absent, my interest wanes rather quickly.

One more thing before I let go of this thing – I was surprised that Teddo would allow Angela to be around his friends as much as he did particularly at her age.  I think we’ve discussed this in blogland before – there’s no way I’d have my girl child around grown men like that – friend or not.  But when I think about it, I don’t know if Smoochy would have those same thoughts and concerns.  Maybe they’re more maternal in nature??

Anyhoo, let’s go ahead and open up the discussion.  Here are a few of the book club questions at the back of the book that you may – or may not – want to respond to: 

1.  Angela links Melanie’s abandonment with Assata Shakur’s prison break.  How are the two women similar?  How are they different?  Is there anything revolutionary about either woman’s desire and means of escaping the restraints that hold them back?

2.  Melanie talks about the legacy of women in her family.  How does her abandonment of Angela and Teddo echo her family’s history?

3.  Discuss Angela’s encounters with Edward and Sammy.  How is her reaction to each of these men shaped by her relationship with Teddo?  By the absence of Melanie?

4.  Teddo eventually finds a way to send Angela to an upstate prep school.  Is this also a form of abandonment?  A way for him to escape?  Is it a way to also free Angela?

Alright – you know what to do.  Hit it!

Operation Dress a Nerd

Hey now! 

One of my parents – okay, it was my Mom – decided that since we’ll all be home in the first time since forever, we should capture the moment.  So she’s going to have one of her photographer friends come to the house and capture us on film SD card.  We’re all wearing blue and/or white.

About that…I don’t wear a lot of  blue.  Or white.  Or blue and white for that matter.  And I don’t really want to buy anything new.  Okay, that’s not totally true.  I casually looked around for something new and blue, but nothing caught my eye.  And I’ve vowed that I’m only buying new stuff that I really, really like.  No more “this will do” buying.  So I’m going to stick with my “uniform” of cardigan, tank, and jeans.  I have two cardigans that are blue.  One’s a navy and white stripe and one is blue…ish.  Surprisingly (or not so much) both are from Target.

So, what I’m going to do is post both pictures.  And you, dear trusted reader, are hopefully going to help me out by choosing which one I should wear.  Feel free to throw in any accessory suggestions.  I was thinking yellow, but now realize yellow won’t work with the softer blue cardigan.  Okay, you’ve got your mission – get down on it.  If you don’t like either cardigan…pretend like you do ’cause they’re all I’ve got 🙂 

One more thing…I wear my cardigans open or buttoned at the middle – not all buttoned up to my gullet.  Whatever that is.

Let's call this option one.


And because I'm all kinds of clever, this one shall be called option two.

Thanks in advance.  Have a marvelous weekend!

It All Boils Down To This

* It seems like there’s a whole lot of nothing and everything going on in my little world right now.
* I’ve been teaching the 2nd grade class at Vacation Bible School this week. Next year? I’m donning gloves and handing out hot dogs and chips! I kid, I kid. I’ve actually rather enjoyed working with the kiddos. But please don’t tell anyone. It’ll ruin whatever rep I have left!
* One little boy asked me how old I was. I asked him how old he thought I was. “You could be 20, you could be 60. You’ve got a lot of gray hair, so I can’t really tell.” o_O
* I didn’t pledge a thing in college. Didn’t pledge a thing grad chapter. But everytime I hear “A.tomic D.og?” I may or may not start to stroll like I pledged Que back in Spring ’90.  Just me?
* This is totally TMI, but I now fully understand why God sent one of the plagues He did to the Egyptians.  Straight misery.
* Have I mentioned lately how much I’m enjoying my new job?  In addition to working in the field of Bioethics which I’m over the moon about, my boss is awesome, I’ve already mentioned my office (yay!) and my favorite perk ever – we can wear jeans on Friday!  To quote my favorite kid, “booya!” 
* Have I also mentioned the frequency with which my old department is calling me?  I wish I were just a skosh meaner.  But, I’m trying not to completely burn heavily singed bridges!
* Thanks to KRock, my family Lovegirl is now demanding these little cheesy bits of goodness on a nightly basis.  So not happening, but they are really quick and easy and I’d definitely recommend trying them.  Added bonus:  I now have a mini muffin pan so I can bake cute little muffins, eat 6 of them and convince myself that’s not the same as eating one huge one 🙂
* Representative W.einer?  A dumbass.
* Looking forward to escaping to California’s more temperate climate and soon!  These 100 degree temps are no joke.  Thankfully we got rain last night and we’ve now cooled down to the 90’s.  Now watch – a heatwave will sweep Cali just in time for our trip.
* Lovegirl has really been lobbying hard for a DS, but I think I’m going to buy her a cheapo tablet instead – she’d be able to do so much more with it.  I’ve heard CVS has a decent one for $99.   Anybody have one that’s not an iPad?  Whaddya think?

That’s it.  I’ve got to get back to work.  Oh yeah, don’t forget we’re discussing Miss Black America on Monday.  It’s a really quick read.  I started it Monday and finished it yesterday on my lunch hour.  So get down on it if you haven’t already!  Have a great day!


So cute! So tasty! These are "overdone" according to the recipe. We couldn't tell...


Nada. That’s What I’ve Got.

So how ’bout some pics of a few of my favorite things to hold you over until I have time to post something a bit more substantive?  And by substantive, I totally mean whatever randomly pops into my head next 🙂

Here goes:

My newest and current favorite pedicure. Dark blue with silver sparkles on top. I call it "Starry Night." Oh yeah, I'm something like a genius 🙂


A door! That's right y'all - I'm no longer in cubicle land!!! I don't know how long I"ll be in this temporary office, but I'm going to enjoy it for all it's worth while it lasts!


My new lunch box. I love this thing. Picked it up for about 7 bucks at Ross. Perfect for portion control.


The inside. I bought one for Lovegirl too - she just had to have one after she saw mine. The little nerd doesn't fall far from the tree...


Speaking of Lovegirl...I almost feel guilty for spending so much time at the splashpad, using up all the free water while keeping my child entertained for hours. Almost.

In other goings on…
*Congratulations to blogland’s newest members of the mommy club – TM and Inner Diva!!! 
*Happy Birthday to sweet little Foxy (I know Babs has revealed her name, but to me, she’ll always be Foxy!)
*And don’t forget that we’re meeting up here on Monday the 13th for a lively book club discussion.  Haven’t started reading yet?  No worries, you’re in good company!  Ahem.