Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bullying in Kindergarten

The first day of school was GREAT for my son. His only apprehension was riding the bus and by the afternoon drop off he thought the bus was very cool! The second day of school did not go so smoothly. A classmate told him to 'shut up.' He is a very sensitive child. He told me it hurt his feelings, he wanted to cry and come home. By the end of this line I wanted to cry. I applauded him for not crying and for sticking it out. The classmate also hit the little boy in the face that my son was playing with. I was quite surprised by the activities, but did my best to show my son how proud I was of him and explain the dynamics of little ones and friendship.

The third day of school and my son does not want to go. It appears that his spirit has been broken. What happened to that excited little boy who was thrilled to be going to his class. All that zeal taken away by the events of the previous day. Well Day 3 proved to be the most challenging for me, because my son came home to tell me the same child punched him in the nose. My emotions had me ready to roll up to the school and git r done. How could this happen and why? I spoke at length with my son's teacher about this issue. She has put some practical measures in place in the classroom and also gave me some recommendations to help Jalen. As a Mom you just want to protect your child from these random, unsolicited hurtful events. As if that wasn't enough, the straw that broke the camel's back happened that Friday. My son came home and told me this kid ate his lunch. He waited until that evening before bed on a Friday night to tell me this one. So I seethed over this all weekend long. Long story short, some things just can't be addressed in one fell swoop. I knew that if this child had been in middle school or even high school they would have been immediately expelled from the school. The county has a zero tolerance policy for such an offense, but this is ELEMENTARY school. I could hardly wrap my arms around it. I resisted everything that my emotions told me and tried to remain rational. It was apparent this little boy had some issues beyond just lashing out. I wanted immediate action taken. In speaking with his teacher, it was very unsettling to learn that this child had yet to spend one full day in class due to behavioral issues. I met with the principal, also enlisted the help and insight from an Aunt who is also a principal and has worked in this school system for over 20 years. Everyone was on board with a plan of action to help Jalen feel secure, to find his place and to enjoy his time at school. As parents, we did all we could to encourage, support and o bring back our son's thrill and excitement about school. We encouraged him to focus on new friendships. I started volunteering in the class weekly. After a few weeks things began to turn around. I found myself focusing some of my time there with the troubled little boy. He is a handful, but he really is a very bright and sweet child. I originally felt he should just be put in a class with all the other bullies. Just put them in a class together and let them beat each other up. I don't know if there is a diagnosis or what his home situation is, but something is amidst. He needs firm, yet affirmative interaction. He has become one of my favorite kids to see each week. Jalen is doing well. He is learning to be more assertive and is truly thriving in class. The difference a few months makes. I never imagined bullying in Kindergarten, but I suppose this type of negative behavior can rear it's ugly head regardless of age or good intention. I applaud the local and national efforts and initiatives to bring awareness to this issue. As a result it has created a unified front that bullying will not be tolerated.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Baseball Fun

The family and I, along with my Mom, went to the Squirrel's Nest to hang out with Nutzy the Squirrel. We drove down to the Diamond for a sold out ball game. We managed to maneuver pretty swiftly through the masses and settle into our seats. Within a few innings, we made our way to the snack bar for about $42 worth of food for the seven of us. Who knew about the rule within the Minor League regarding no straws and lids for soft drinks? It involves something about a saftety hazard. The food was surprising decent. The game itself was pretty uneventful until the last few innings. The Squirrels amped it up and scored two runs to win the game. There were a host of interesting events/contests for the kids to participate in throughout the game. The Sponsors also had several giveaways. Those staffers need to work on their throwing arms. We were in the Silver Deck and they could barely make it to that level. The poor people in General Admission never had a fighting chance. Nutzy, the mascot, made an appearance mere feet away from us which had my son in my lap in 0.2 seconds. He is not a fan of big dress-up characters. Chuck E. Cheese, Monkey Joe, all send him in a tail spin. After a few unsuccessful attempts, 'The Wave' finally made it all the way around the stadium and back. That was cool to see and be a part of. A few foul balls were hit in our section. One was stopped by the shin of a lady just two rows in front of us which required medical attention. I watched her sweetly seething as the ball she'd risked her life for was handed over to a 1-year-old toddler who really had no clue where she even was. There were fireworks at the conclusion of the game. They really put on a awesome display. My son was pumping his fist the entire time loving the show. My 3-year-old was in tears, but would occasionally glance over in awe of all the pretty lights in the sky. The 1-year-old was enjoying it but definitely could have done without all the loud booms. Her heart was racing. Overall it was a great time. We'll definitely plan to make it out to some of the games in the '11 season.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Loose Tooth

My son had a loose tooth. Not one but two. He woke telling me that his tooth wouldn't get out the way? Your tooth won't get out the way...hmmm. That's a new one. Well upon further inspection, he was absolutely right. To my surprise his adult tooth has been waiting to come in and had begun to present itself upright behind his little baby tooth. Yikes! Well I have been through this before, but I admit I've never seen this. I quickly called the dental office for an appointment. Our dentist explained there was no need to be alarmed. He hears from concerned parents at least once a week for this exact issue. It's completely normal. I was glad to know I wasn't overreacting. We were told the tooth should come out within a few weeks. He instructed my son to wiggle it every night to help it along.

Well after about three and a half weeks of wiggling, that tooth was still holding on. I could see it was just hanging on by a thread. I got some floss and flossed around the tooth and it popped right out. A warm salt water mixture helped to sooth the area and stop the little bleeding that occurred. My son was excited, but also upset because he believed he 'looked foolish' with his tooth gone. Little did he realized that most kids lose a tooth and that space remains empty for quite some time. He already had a tooth ready and waiting to take up residence in that very place. I reminded him how super handsome he is. That's my job...butter up the situation. I also did my best to help him understand how everyone had to go through this process.

Our next state of business was getting that tooth under the pillow for a special visit that he'd been hearing about since he started going to the Dentist. We'd recently switched to a Pediatric Dental practice closer to us. Our previous Dentist had a Tooth Fairy Line that you called when you lost a tooth. The children got to listen to a really cool message from the Tooth Fairy about her upcoming visit. I polled a few friends on Facebook on the going rate for a lost tooth? I was amazed by some of the responses. $5 was a common number I heard. What?! 5 bucks...I've got 3 little ones. That's a lot of mula. So I let Daddy handle it and my son was very excited to tell me that he received 3 quarters under his pillow. Okay, so I would have given him a dollar, but we can work towards that. His second baby tooth is very loose and you guessed it, the adult tooth has crowned and is in position to take it's place. 18 more to go...times 3.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Back to School

2011 is a momentous academic year for us. We have a Senior and the eldest of my little people is starting Kindergarten. I've had moments of elation. I'm excited for them both. I've also had moments of serious weeping. The thought of how quickly my little guy is growing up and the realization that my firstborn will be off to college next year is emotionally overwhelming.

We survived Kindergarten Orientation. All the parents were corralled in the auditorium and pumped with tons of information. We were also given lots of forms to complete. The children were taken to their classrooms to explore their new world and spend time with their teacher. At the conclusion of the parent session, a really heartwarming poem was shared. My eyelids rimmed with tears, but I managed to hold it together. My son was very excited but also very nervous. His teacher seems like a super lady. Her vivacious personality could hold the attention of most anyone. She genuinely appeared to love kids and her profession. Witnessing that made me very happy and even more excited for him.

We're still setting up lunch accounts, processing fees and finalizing Senior Portraits. 7 more days and their off. One on a school bus, and the other driving. I'm not sure what this year will bring? There will be a lot of firsts for my little guy and lasts for my big girl. I'm going to sit back and relive all the firsts with him because it's been quite awhile for me. I also plan to cherish this final year of school and activities for my daughter. Bitter and sweet!

Beach Trip(s)

We took a family trip near the end of May to the beach. It was a great time. The weather was actually great for several of the days. We enjoyed the beach. We enjoyed the hot tub. The kids thought it was their personal heated pool. We sure wish the indoor pool had 'heated' anything. It was frigid the entire time. Of course the kids still wanted to swim. We were fresh off the swim lessons and it was a lot of fun. Cruising the boardwalk, late night jaunts on the strip, people watching, ice cream runs, visiting the carnival or arcade. We attended the Grand Opening of a new play area for children with special needs. We enjoyed being a part of the festivities and seeing all the smiles on the faces of the children. We ate at all our favorite spots, even tried out a new place that was awesome.

We decided to take a second beach trip this summer to Topsail Island. My son renamed it Africa Beach, because they have some really cool trees that actually look like the trees found in Africa. Topsail is more low key than some of our other beach spots, but it was so relaxing and fun. Great beach, several really good local restaurants. We enjoyed just kicking back, setting up the Bolton camp and hanging out. We also took a little road trip to Wilmington for the day. We didn't want our time there to end, but we're back and now on a mission to get ready for SCHOOL. All good things must come to an end. Can't wait to plan next year's beach trip.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


All my life I've been a writer. Always had a pen and paper in hand, capturing my thoughts. I started journaling as a teenager. Writing is an outlet that allows you to freely and openly express yourself. Your worries and fears, your hopes and dreams, your frustrations and your happiness. There are no rules. There is nothing better than a pen, a blank piece of paper and your thoughts. While in college, my English professor was a huge fan of my writing style. He strongly suggested I keep writing. I've never forgotten the conversations we had or the feedback I received from him. I enjoy blogging. I need to find time and discipline myself to do it more often. I also do some freelance writing. My husband is a awesome writer too. I love his writing style. When we were dating we often talked about the prospect of us writing a book or two. We all have a story to tell and an inspiration to share. I'm in the process of penning a few projects. I can't wait to actually complete them and see where the next level of writing takes me.

The Germ Share Program

There's a program for everything. I've dubbed mine, well ours the germ share program. That's right the germs start with one child and undoubtedly will rotate through each child before it's over with. Sometimes it would just be better if everyone were sick and quarantined at the same time. It's so hard to keep everyone out of each others face, when all they want to do is love, hug and kiss one another, or your Kindergartner brings home the latest virus from school. One day it's a rash, the next a fever. Or perhaps it's a fever with no other accompanying symptoms. My children are the ones who seem to have a high tolerance for pain. They end up with a significant cough so we go in, only to find we have strept, double ear infections and bronchitis. It's classic and has happened more time than I care to recall. So we brace ourselves and pray that it will not move down the line. The copays and prescriptions alone can break the bank. And Lord forbid one of us get it. There is nothing worse than a house full of sick little ones and a sick stay@home Mom. Help! When that happens, my husband takes GREAT care of us. There was one time we were all down for the count. We tag teamed as best we could and just limped along until it was over. We rejoice over the weeks when everyone is well, but we understand there are a lot of instances where hand washing, Lysol, humidifiers and open windows just can't combat the madness.

Swagger Wagon

I never thought I'd say this, but I own a mini-van. No offense to those who always wanted one, couldn't wait to have that second child to justify getting one, but I swore I would never drive a mini-van. I wanted no part of it. So when that last little one was on the way, we knew we had to look at other options. Mini-vans are practical for larger families, but I love my SUV. Realistically we 'can' all fit in the SUV, but it's just the way you have to access the back seating area that is the challenge. I dug my heels in all the way to the dealership. We went in to 'look', got a incredible deal, and walked out owners. Yes, my kids play soccer and I'm their Mom, but I don't like the implication that I 'could' drive the entire team around. I do enjoy the storage and automatic doors, but it's still a mini-van. Thanks to Toyota, we've dubbed ours the Swagger Wagon. Those You Tube videos do add a certain amount of sexy to it. However, when I'm flying solo I jump in the SUV. Instantly my street cred increases. Well, at least in my head.


The show "Moonlighting' helped launch the careers of Cybil Shepard and Bruce Willis. A little Moonlighting is allowing me to supplement the our income and the little ones to do a variety of activities and lessons. I've taken on a contract as a consultant for a local media company. I handle all distribution, circulation, billing and payables for their corporate based accounts. Production hours are typically from 2am up until 7am or later, seven days a week. That's right, I'm hustling every day. There are days I may have the chance to get a hour of so of rest before starting the day with the rest of the crew. Being up for 19-20 hours a day is no joke and has been a major adjustment. It would be difficult for me to find something part-time to really work with our life schedule, school schedule and personal schedules. This would require having a sitter or placing the girls in a program. It defeats the purpose. My husband and I work together to make this work. Sometimes it feels like "Tag your it", but overall it works out. I continue to pray and ask the Lord to give me the capacity to do all that I need to do. And he does.. I'm looking to put some things in place that hopefully will give me a break, yet still allow me to manage this workload. Until then I keep pressing. This is not a forever solution. It is basically a means to an end.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


My son's breathing started sounding like Darth Vadar while he slept at night. We had been dealing with this on and off for quite some time. It was usually as a result of a sinus infection. They were becoming increasingly more present. Our pediatrician told us his adenoids were very large and would likely need to be removed. Recently we've witnessed a few episodes of sleep apnea and immediately took him to a specialist to determine what our next steps should be. Who knew while at that visit he had strep throat and his tonsils were such a mess that he only had a sliver of a opening visible. This infection ultimately landed him in the hospital for several days with a antibiotic and steroid needing to be administered intraveneously. Our attempts to schedule his surgery were thwarted even further due to another infection and round of medication.

Last Friday my little guy had his tonsils and his adenoids removed. The procedure has changed considerably over the years. The surgery takes about 5-10 minutes and the recovery varies from 30 minutes to an hour. My son has had a few unpleasant experiences and this was a major ordeal. I was very concerned about how he would do. I prayed about it and knew everything would be ok. When we arrived his assigned anesthetist came in. His approach was very light and comical. Just want I needed. Our Dr. came in and went over everything with us and just as he was leaving he asked if he could pray with/for my son. I was so touched and had great peace after that. My son did great. He is such a trooper. Who knew anesthesia could make kids so combative. I wasn't prepared for that, but he recovered beautifully. Nothing like all the popsicles and ice cream you want. Darth Vadar has left the premises and all is well.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


About 7 days ago I decided to re-up the sand in the kids sandbox. This required me to carry and maneuver a 50lb bag of sand to the backyard. This was going very well until I reached the gate. We have a gate that automatically closes via a spring mechanism. Well I cleared the gate, but as it shut full force, one of the barbs ripped the side of my foot open. Ouch! After several stitches and a tetanus shot, I've had the joy of spending the last week hobbling along on crutches. It really has been no fun trying to rangle 3 kids with a crutch in hand. There are days the kids are great and sympathetic to what ails Mommy, but other days I think they know I couldn't keep up with them if I tried. So I'm counting down the days to ditching the crutches and ridding myself of this major inconvenience. Some times it's easy to take for granted the use and mobility of all functioning limbs and body parts. Another week or so and I can get these stitches out. I can't wait. My coping skills have been dwindling, so I'm hoping my sanity will remain intact until then.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Houston We Have a Walker

Makinley is walking. It has been very exciting watching her confidence increase to take those first few stops solo. There have been a lot of ups and literally downs as she works to master this new skill. She has her eye on the prize. Picking up the pace and trying to keep up with her brother and sister. Just think in a few short weeks she'll have the stride down pat. She'll be moving right along and gearing up for running. For now it's 3, 2, 1 and she's off!

Summer Plans

Summer is one of my favorite times of the year. The beach, the pool, cookouts, family, friends and just lazy days. The kids have been out of school for about three weeks now. We've scheduled swim lessons, play dates, family visits and just days where we do nothing if we want to. We enjoy daily activities from finger painting, play dough, dance parties, catching fire flies @ night or just enjoying a evening walk together. We're converting to our 'summer' hours. Later nights and awesome mornings of sleeping in until 8 or later. I have vivid memories of our summers as kids. There were many road trips, train rides, cookouts, pig pickins, and visits to our relatives. As a kid, I loved fun childhood games, going to my book club, skating, swimming, movies, sleepovers, and a variety of sporting activities. I want to extend those same things and more to my children. I love seeing the them explore and enjoy new things. It's also great that a fun day could just be playing in the sandbox or adding to their stick collection in the front yard. The simplicity of chasing bubbles in the driveway or licking the juice from the melting popsicle in their little hands. Nothing beats enjoying days like this and creating awesome memories for years to come.


Sometimes you have to revisit situations and make amends.
Make amends with situations, circumstances, people, pasts
and hurts. It may require you to look @ yourself and determine
what things you contributed or perhaps that you should have. Time
heals all wounds and hurts, but sometimes a simple apology
can go a very long way. Owning my part and moving forward.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Makinley turns 1

Our last '1st Birthday" was simplicity @ it's best....cupcakes, candles (well 1) and lots of joy and kisses. My two toddlers (Jalen & Mireya) grabbed their guitars and rocked out a tune they had been finessing all week. I've dubbed them my 'mosh pit' babies. They love all things heavy metal. Don't ask?! The song was definitely an original. A mix of celebration, Star Wars and all things princess. The lyrics will have to be ironed out, but Kinley enjoyed it immensely. It was very hype. She was pretty close to jumping off the ground from the kneeled position and clapping her hands wildly. Watch out folks we may soon have a trio...JM&M.

She's Given Up the Boob

Say it isn't so. My fourth and final little one started exhibiting signs of giving up breastfeeding and just like that she has. I've nursed them all about a year or more. It's time to pack up the girls and move forward in freedom. Hmm a freedom that is bittersweet. Breastfeeding creates such a indescribable bond and connection. I'm definitely going to miss it. Not to mention all the mula we've saved in being the primary source of nourishment. Now it's time to be free to plan outings without fear of remaining on task with a feeding schedule. I'm a pretty open person but I can count on my two hands the number of times I broke the boob out in public. For me it was necessary to feed my children on schedule, but I often ensured it was when I would have the opportunity to do it privately at my own discretion. Don't get me wrong their were days I was caught out there, but quickly opted for a fitting room, family nursing spot or as a last resort the backseat of my mini-van.

It's likely I'll have withdrawals from this awesome experience, but in the end I feel good about the opportunity for that level of closeness and all the good, bad and funny experiences nursing has provided. Trust me they are countless. From what in the world was I thinking to purchase a single 'manual' pump to purchasing the very costly but couldn't live without big kahuna. Then there was latching problems to cloggled ducts to the dreaded and painful mastitis....ugh. Or I'm out in a store and hear a baby cry...oh my. Or I'm so full is anyone's child hungry...I know perish the thought...but in the moment that's how you feel. My children were all very easy to get acclaimated to breastfeeding and I'm grateful. So what's next? The Mom Job I've been hearing about? Can you imagine what nursing 4 kids for over a year can do to the twins? They may eventually need some work or at least a tune up =)

where have you been?

MIA...and with so many things to share. Gotta get back on my writing and blogging grind. Lots of great things have been going on that I want to share....stay tuned.