The boys are officially employed for the Summer. Yayyy!! I feel very accomplished. Add this to the lists of things Mom’s celebrate for their kids. Their first official day of work is this week and the hubbs and I will celebrate with the first quiet night/day at home by ourselves since the pandemic shut down and they both came home to stay!
It is the little things . . .
My post the other day was about all the things we Mom’s celebrate for our kids, this is another one of those. It is exciting to watch the boys out in the work force earning some money for themselves. I remember earning my first income, I remember the satisfaction of buying my own clothes and going out to eat with my friends and being able to pay for my own food. That is a little sappy but still very true. My hope for the boys is that they find that feeling of satisfaction of job well done, and let’s face it the money does not hurt.
Earning their own money. . .
It is important for the boys to have a paycheck so they can open their own IRA and start saving for their retirement. Yes, I said retirement. If you have read anything I post you know that I am a Dave Ramsey fan/follower. I do not want my kids to be in debt and I have preached Dave to them so much that neither of them have credit cards and I do not think they ever will. Thank you Dave Ramsey! Big T is majoring in business so he is all about earning and saving money and he knows about debt. Both boys save up their money for items they want to buy, bless poor Sprat he saved for almost a year to buy his own gaming computer. Sprat is trying to rebuild his savings so he will have money to spend at school this Fall.
Just another moment to Celebrate the Grad. . .
Big T’s graduation ceremony was great, I do believe it was the best I have attended. One of the teachers had created a story that included all the graduates names as characters. She told a Zombie story, which seemed fitting with the year the kiddos endured their Senior year. They surprised the kids with the gentleman that was the Principal their freshman year and who played an integral part in this STEM school getting off the ground and being so successful. These kids loved this guy and had so much respect for him and you knew it when he came on the stage. The other thing that was so cool about this graduation ceremony was they gave each graduate a framed $1 and they said they wanted to be the one to give them their first earned dollar. I am so glad that Big T did not attend a traditional high school, he would not be as prepared for college as he is if it were not for this school and these teachers.
According to my son graduation is no big deal. He is not impressed about graduation and does not see what all the fuss and muss is about. I explained to him that mothers celebrate all accomplishments. I reminded him that I celebrated the first time he went pee pee in the potty and then again when he went poo poo in the potty oh and then again when he could wipe his own backside. That grossed him out just a bit but, we did celebrate.
What else do we Mom’s celebrate???
Mom’s celebrate everything: first teeth, first time rolling over, first steps, first time sitting up right, first words, first solid food, first girlfriend or boyfriend, first date, first time they drive, all first days of school. We celebrated Kindergarten graduation, Fifth grade graduation, and Eighth grade graduation. I did think those were a little bit over the top but High School graduation is a big deal it is that first big step to independence and true adulthood. It is the spring board for that journey we call life. No, I am not going to recite Prince lyrics but really high school graduation to me is the beginning of it all.
Big T does not want to go to his graduation, he refused to go to the Community College graduation ceremony and he says he is going to his High School ceremony for me. I guess I am making him go, but deep in my heart, I believe he will regret it if he does not go. This has been an ordeal and we may all be miserable during it but we are going.
Good luck to all the parents out there, what ever battle they are facing. We all have our issues with our kids. I love mine but they know how to press my nerves so well. Love and prayers to you all.
Feeling a little old this week, not because of a birthday or anything, just because my youngest is graduating high school. I am now the mother of two college students and that makes me feel old. When the boys were both in school and i was no longer the mother of preschoolers (MOPS) I was sad. Today I am thrilled!! Big T will be joining his brother in Massachusetts this Fall.
Very Excited for Big T
Big T received an academic scholarship and will be going to Massachusetts to complete his Bachelor of Science in business management and minor in music and playing lacrosse with his brother. I am so excited for Big T, I must toot his horn just a bit. He will be receiving his high school diploma in a few weeks as well as an Associates degree in business management from the community college. He was also inducted into Phi Theta Kappa honor society at the community college. This boy has it going on!!
Travel Mama. . .
I can not begin to explain how very happy I am that I will get to see my boys playing lacrosse together again. The hubby and I have plans to go see them play in person this next year if we can get around this whole COVID mess. We had a major weekend planned right when this all hit in April of last year. The plan was to go to Massachusetts to see Sprat play at his home field and then drive to Maine to watch him play. I was so excited, I have never been to Maine before and I was looking forward to watching my son play college lacrosse. Knew I would enjoy the scenery on the drive from Boston to Maine and I could not wait to try the food, the food, can I say that again the food! Have yet to try a lobster roll and I want one! My fingers are crossed that we will be able to make the trip next year for a couple of games.
Lots of work ahead of Big T. . .
Big T has his work cut out for him. He wants to major in business and minor in music. I have shared how he taught himself how to play the Ukulele during the shut down. He has also taught himself how to play the bass and the piano. I know I am the mama but he really is quite good to be self taught. He does love his heavy metal but he has learned at least one hymn on the piano that is beautiful.
Graduation Ahead. . .
The hubby and I were just talking about all the things we have to get for Big T for his dorm room this year. I posted after Sprat’s second year all the stuff we bought and did not need so I feel like I have a good grasp on what we have to pick up but it is still a lot. The school has provided him with a lap top the last four years so that is something he will have to purchase. I learned from Sprat that we will not be purchasing a printer since the college gives the kids access to printers all over campus. We will have to purchase another fridge for Big T’s dorm. He will also need a new book bag, sheets, pillows, laundry bag, shower caddy, towels, and anything else I can think of.
The oldest has been in quarantine two times since he went back to school in MA. The first time he had contact with someone that tested positive and this second time he had tested positive to COVID 19. It was killing this mama being more than fourteen hours away from my baby and him sick with this nasty virus. The only saving grace was his symptoms were very, very mild. I am even skeptical if he actually had the virus. He never ran a fever and his only symptom was a stuffy nose and a little head congestion and he did mention he could not taste his chocolate milk they gave him. A lack of taste is the only symptom that differs from North Carolina allergy symptoms and that lack of taste lasted only a day or two.
Garden Beds and dirt. . .
The hubby decided to build raised beds for our garden this year. He loved what he did with my cutting bed last year and how it turned out. The garden beds look similar but are a little deeper. Quarantine has really made my poor hubby nuts, he has not been able to actually go out and work, they have been working remote since March last year. To pass the time he has been building these beds and researching how to garden in raised beds. I should be happy, he could be surfing porn sites, instead he is surfing garden and planting sites. Oh, and he is not just surfing garden sites, he is an avid fisherman so he has been honing those skills too via the internet.
What is he planting. . .
Asparagus are a tricky veggie to plant. You plant those ugly roots and you have to let them grow for two years before you can harvest them. That two years may be difficult, I really like asparagus but I promised I would not cut any until the right time. We have onions, sweet peas, cabbage, and broccoli already in the ground. I have planted some dill, spinach, and some chives by seed on our back porch. The hubby is trying his hand at starting celery by using old celery and he has started some tomatillo’s by seed in the window sill.
The Cut Flower Bed. . .
The cut bed wintered over very well. We planted some bulbs that are already breaking ground. I cannot wait to see and smell my beautiful and fragrant flowers. Just need to keep the bunnies out of it. I have spread dryer lint and hair from my hair brush around the bed to deter those voracious little guys. Keeping my fingers crossed because the bulbs are breaking ground and prove very promising.
Stay Tuned. . .
Stay tuned for more garden updates and Mom advice. . .
A little back story; most if not all of Sprat’s friends got phones by the time they were in middle school, some even had them in elementary school. The hubby and I were of the mindset that phones are a need for adults not a toy for children. During this time I was a stay at home mom and the boys were either at school or with me. No reason for either of my boys to have a phone. There are some cases where I understand a child would need a phone to reach a parent if both parents worked and there could be transportation issues. Let us not forget how many kids went through the school system before there were phones and survived just fine. Even parents can fall in to the trap of peer pressure.
One of the main reasons my boys did not get a phone until it was a need. . .
Cell phones give people access to the internet and all sorts of communication. For adults cell phones are a necessary evil to be productive in their jobs. Children do not need that kind of unlimited access to the internet or their friends. Giving a child a cell phone is like inviting their bully from school into your home, the pedophile that was just released from prison or has not been caught yet into your home. Yes, I am being very serious there is so much out there that children should not have access and you cannot be there all the time to watch over that interaction. Kids are bullied every day in school, both of my boys were and you would not believe by who. If they had phones during that time those bullies would have had access to my boys at home where they should feel safe and secure.
Yes, adults/parents can fall victim to peer pressure. . .
Determined I would not fall victim to peer pressure with my boys. Sprat in fifth grade and Big T in third grade, Big T jumps in the car and reports Sally has an iPhone. I have changed the names to protect the overindulgent parents. LOL!! I simply replied Ok, and how was everyone’s day? I tried to gloss over that because I knew that would set Sprat off because all he could talk about was how he needed a phone. I always laughed and told them both a phone was not a need for a child. I have to ask why a third grader needs a phone and an iPhone to boot? It has to be peer pressure, no normal parent would say; hey, let’s spend $800 on a new phone for our special little third grader.
You would think my children were the most deprived. . .
To hear my oldest tell about his phoneless sophomore year of high school you would think we shoved bamboo shoots under his finger nails every night after dinner (liver and onions). By Sprat’s freshman year in high school all of his friends really did have phones, but many of them bought them with their own money. I have no problem with a kid that has a job buying a phone and paying for his service and phone himself . In fact, I thank that is awesome and kudos to the parents that have kids that are that industrious. Mine were not that industrious, Sprat thought his dad and I printed money in the basement.
The straw that broke the camels back . . .
When Big T was finishing up sixth grade my very sweet hubby was re-organized out of a job. Yep, two weeks shy of twenty-five years with the same company my sweet hubby was laid off. He looked for work and after six months with no luck I decided to look for something part time to help with insurance once his severance ran out. I found a great job that I could work part-time with insurance benefits. This was very exciting, but this meant that days I worked Big T would be riding the bus. The boys did not mind riding the bus, they had ridden it a couple of times before. The problem was that being part-time I could get called in at the drop of a hat. This meant that Big T’s transportation could change with very little notice.
Need to back track here just a bit, at this point Sprat has his license and yes a phone too (not an iPhone). Sprat got a flip phone not a smart phone for his first phone when he started driving. I do believe kids that are driving do need a phone for just in case. Now Big T a seventh grader is going to get a phone (not an iPhone). When Big T got a phone I broke down and Sprat did finally get a smart phone. Let all the horrible mama talk begin. . .
In Conclusion. . .
I have laid it all out here, you must in the end make the decision that best fits you and your child. Just remember once you open Pandora’s Box you cannot close it.
These are few things I wish I had done sooner. . .
I found this on Pinterest many years ago. You can find neat things to do with and for your kids on Pinterest. You write your child letters and enclose money in each letter, not a lot of money a five, a twenty, whatever you have extra. According to Pinterest you are supposed to write one letter each year and give them to your child at their high school graduation.
Did not find this one until the boys were older, so I wrote to the boys more frequently throughout the years. Sprat got his letters when we left him at school his freshman year in college. I did give him direction on opening them, he was told he could only open one a month. When he realized there was money in them I was afraid he would tear through them and not really read what I had written. My goal here was to give my child something that I had written in my own hand that told him how much he was loved when he was growing up and how I felt when we argued and that no matter what his Dad and I were very proud of him. Let’s face it, teens do test their parents to the very end.
School teachers and your kids. . .
I saw this one on Pinterest too. I did not do this one personally but I thought it was neat and had I found it when the boys were younger I would have done it. Take one of your child’s favorite books and each year have their favorite teachers write a note to them in the book. Pinterest suggested books like Dr Seuss or the Berenstain Bears. When your kids graduate high school they have a book full of positive notes from their favorite teachers throughout their school years.
A little garden stone. . .
Throughout your child’s school career they will make hand print turkeys, footprint I love you notes, and cut out hearts with their pictures for mom. Hobby Lobby and other shops of that nature sell make your own stepping or garden stones. We purchased two when we moved to our new house in 2006 and the boys created their very own stones to put in our flower bed. These stones still adorn our front flower bed today. They have their hand prints and some shards of glass and the date they were joyfully created. I wish I had done a few more at different times I could have my own garden path made with their little hands and feet.
Pinterest is a neat little library of ideas. . .
Pinterest holds a wealth of information from everything to job searches to recipe ideas. I found many little things to do with my kids to enhance their education and expand their horizons. Check out my Pinterest boards for yourself. https://www.pinterest.com/pamperedpage
I do not like people giving advice either but. . .
These are the things I wish someone had told me when I was waiting on my first bundle of joy. Here is the background on this “old ” mother. I am not really that old, I am the mother of older children. My oldest is twenty-one and the youngest getting ready to turn eighteen, so I feel like I know a few things about raising kids/boys. I had a lot of on the job training. What I am going to share with you are some of my regrets and some of what I feel are my greatest accomplishments as a mom, the later will be a short list.
Number one: You are a good mom, always remember that
This is an honest post on motherhood, this is merely my opinion and you know what everyone says about those. One of the things I did but did no do as much as I wanted, was hold my babies. Everyone says; do not run to your baby and hold them every time they cry. Let them cry themselves to sleep they need to comfort themselves. Hog wash, you hold that baby and snuggle that baby there will be plenty of time for them to learn self soothing later on. There is not one mother on this earth that will say they regret they held their baby too much. Not one, I promise. I did hold mine a lot and snuggle and one of my favorite things was to take naps with them when they were babies. There is no better sleep when you are mom than laying beside your baby and snuggling.
Christmas with your newborn and older. . .
Your little one will not remember what material things you gave them, they will not remember how you tried to make everything perfect for their holiday. They are too young, save your money and put that toward their college fund. I also started buying the boys Christmas ornaments each year. These boys will have the best decorated trees in their early lives of any boys out there. They may or may not remember those trips to see the grandparents and the visits with Santa so take lots of pictures. LOTS of pictures!! You can help them remember those experiences with your pictures. Did I say take pictures, lots of pictures. No mother has ever said, I wish I did not take as many pictures as I did of my baby or my kids. Not one, I promise.
Start saving for collegeas soon as you see those two lines. . .
When I mentioned above about “scrimping” on Christmas, I just meant on silly things that the kids will not remember or that will break. Save your money and start them a college savings fund, it does not necessarily have to be for college it could be for them to go out on their own after high school. Younger kids are happy to open a gift and play with the box they do not care what is inside the box. Save your money and put it away for them when they are older. This is one I wish I had done a little more aggressively. I had an empty water cooler jug, one of those five gallon numbers, we put our change in and started a college/savings fund for Sprat even before he was born. We joked when anyone came to see him after he was born they had to put some change in the jug. I charged for visits with the baby. My parents loved it and graciously added dollar bills to his stash. Later we opened a true college savings fund. We slacked off on our contributions and that I do regret. Start that college fund and keep up with your contributions.
Seal a time capsule. . .
This one is probably more for the parents than the kids but Sprat really enjoyed his. We sealed a time capsule on his first birthday to be opened when he turned eighteen. When we sealed that capsule, eighteen years seemed like an eternity. Those eighteen years flew by like lightening streaking through the night sky. I think Sprat was probably older than eighteen when he opened his, I let him open it after high school graduation at a family get together. Everyone in the family had contributed to it, there were things from both sets of grandparents and from older cousins. Sprat loved it, he was amazed at all of things that were included and the list of things that were going on in the world when he was born. I bought an official time capsule, I think Gerber may have made it. Big T will be getting one made out of an old popcorn tin, a little less official but still holds many memories. Big T will be opening his this year, I cannot wait to see what we put in it.
Take lots of pictures. . .
I cannot say this one enough, take lots of pictures of your babies and of you with your babies. These pictures will be your diary of their lives. They can look back to these pictures and be reminded how much they were loved and all the cool things they got to do. My kids get so tired of me taking pictures of them, yes I still take lots of pictures of my kids, my husband and sweet Basil. I have recently looked back at pictures that my parents took of us kids and I love them. The pictures I have of my mom and dad before they had me and of my grandparents who passed away before I was born are true treasures. I have a few pictures of my maternal grandmother when I was little, she passed when I was in third grade. My hope is that my kids will treasure ALL of the pictures I have taken of them over the years.
You will get a lot of unsolicited advice when you are planning your wedding, when you first get married and especially when you find out your are expecting. Listen to all of it and then pick and choose what to use. I hope you find some of what I shared useful. Remember you are a good Mom!!
Mid year last year I invested in this little gadget called a Bellaleaf. It is one of those fitness/wellness trackers(no I am not being paid for any of this post nor do I get kick backs for my posts). I detest Apple products, I always have and always will. Looked at those fit bit things many times but did not care for them. Fell is love with this Bellabeat Leaf. http://bellabeat.com you can check it out at this link. I always encourage folks to do their own research.
Started waking last year to help me cope with my stress and anxiety. I wanted a way to track my steps, that is when I found the Bellaleaf. This little device pairs with an app on your phone, it tracks: sleep cycles, steps/activity time, you can add your hydration, and it even has a meditation portion that helps you do focused meditation. Have never been one to do meditation but I will admit I tried it out and it does help with stress. Found such a release with my walking and the meditation that I was walking three miles a day at least three days a week sometimes four.
Something always seems to get in the way. . .
I suffer from plantar faciitis, which is quite painful when walking. Mine had not flared in many years. All of a sudden I had hit a grove with my walks and it flared up again. The hubbs and I decided I needed an alternative for my walks especially if it was raining so we bought a stationary bike, nothing fancy, not a Peloton. It does have a digital screen and you can choose different workout options. Have not been able to go walk in several months but I have been riding, I ride about six miles in thirty minutes, it is not as soothing as my walks were but it does help burn off stress. The hubbs has also been riding the bike and he loves riding. The bike was the one thing he could do after his knee surgery almost five years ago.
The Boys are even getting in on the fitness kick. . .
Sprat has jumped in to the weight lifting and healthy eating routine. I am so proud of him, he works out for two hours a day with weights and is in an eating routine that would rival Schwarzenegger in his Mr Universe days. My sister dated a body builder in college so we watched all of the bodybuilding movies and my Dad always had Muscle and Fitness magazines laying around. I am glad he is watching what he eats and I hope he stay with the good eating habits. Big T is even getting in on the fun, he is starting to go and lift weights with Sprat. The eating well, Big T is a lot like his Mama, he likes the sweets. I have decided if I am going to eat sweets I will just have to walk or ride a little longer. My motto, I exercise so I can eat my sweets when I want. I think I need that on a T shirt. Anybody out there do T shirts??
What is your means of survival for this year?
What are you going to do to keep your sanity this year? Will you choose something to get you healthy or will you choose something destructive? A little tidbit, not doing anything can be destructive. My husband and I laughed when all of this started, we said people will either come out of this super healthy and fit or fat as mud and miserable. Just telling it like it is. I am opting for being fit. I am working from home so that has cut out most of my fast food eating that I was guilty of. Please comment and let me know how you are coping with the stress. I am open for suggestions.
Review of our year 2020, what a doozie it was. Mom recovered, they got a new house and the boys have survived being on lock down for the pandemic.
2020, Let Us Look Back. . .
2020 was a whirl wind of ups and downs for our family. My mom recovering from hip replacement and she and Dad staying in an apartment while the basement of their home was being renovated for one level living. I say renovated I should say gutted and re-built because that is what really happened. My sister, her husband, and my brother worked tirelessly to get everything up to date and code. We moved them back home in November and we celebrated Thanksgiving in the newly renovated basement. Mom and Dad could not be happier in their house and familiar surroundings.
Sprat Came Home. . .
Sprat came home from College in Massachusetts early and his lacrosse season was cut short. A strong finish for the Sophomore year with Academic All Conference award. He continued his College courses from home remotely. He is heading back to Massachusetts in a week to start his Spring semester and fingers are crossed for a lacrosse season.
Family pictures over the Christmas break, this will be Sprat’s Jr year of College picture. Such a handsome devil.
Big T had a Banner Year . . .
Big T had his Junior year lacrosse cut short by the pandemic and he completed his Junior year of school from home. This Senior year has also been a remote year for Big T. We found out that if he completes his course work that he is on track to complete that he will not only have his high school diploma in May but he will also have an Associates degree in business administration from our Community College. We are very proud of him for this huge accomplishment. This is not only big for him but big for us, this will be a savings on his Bachelor’s degree and if he chooses to go for a Masters it will not take as long.
Big T, this will be his Senior portrait since I hated the ones that the school took. How hard is it really to get a decent picture of a kid???
Apparently it is harder than I thought to get that good picture I was hoping for.
The Hubby and I Survived. . .
Finally, the hubbs and I survived being shelter in place for the better part of 2020, with two boys teen and twenty, due to the fact the hubbs company sent him home and my office sent me home and we kept the kids home. Sprat was more angry about being at home than Big T, Big T is of course the hypochondriac of our group and was thrilled to learn he could complete school at home. Sprat was not so happy, he wanted to visit with his friends once he had returned home. We kept them on lock down to start with and then we gradually let them start going out with masks and only to certain places.
Love these goofy boys to the moon and back!!
Would not Have Survived without this Guy. .
Love this guy too! Do not know what I would do without this one.
This guy has been our rock through all of this mess. He has done the shopping, the cooking and even some of the cleaning. He cooks for me when I am working and cannot go up stairs to grab a bite and he brings it to me sometimes with a little special treat. (chocolate) Always making sure I have plenty of caffeine cold in the fridge and will even go out in the worst of weather if I need some.
Trying to stay positive in all the drama. We planted the cut flower bed a few weeks ago and now it is so hot and dry that my flowers just look pitiful. My hope is that later everything will be established and be able to weather the Sahara of Arcadia. It could be pouring rain all over the County and in our neighborhood it will dry as the desert. Hence my comment on the Sahara.
Updates on everything. . .
Updates on everything: the hubbs and I are still working from home, the garden is feeding us very well, and the boys are doing their thing too. I am so proud of myself, I have made and frozen three pots of cabbage enchilada soup and two loaves of chocolate chip zucchini bread and a pot of potato soup and I do not want to forget the mountain stew. Last night I made a lemon zucchini pasta that was to die for. I will share that recipe later in the post. If it were just the hubbs and I we could live out of our garden, sadly the boys want meat and I cannot grow that in our garden. I am not a vegetarian or a vegan or anything like that I just do not have to eat meat. In fact, I prefer not to eat meat just because I do not like the texture.
I am dazzled. . .
I am dazzled by my hubby’s green thumb. Our garden is going like gangbusters this year and I know it is because we are blessed. Our peas did not do as well as we expected but I did enjoy those fresh little pearls of sweetness. I have high hopes for cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon this season. Our cucumbers and zucchini are just starting to mature. My goal, is a full freezer by Winter.
Recipe for lemon Zucchini pasta:
2 medium Zucchini thinly sliced
1 onion thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic pressed
2 peppers sliced (jalapeno, banana, green, red what ever you like)
fresh basil leaves
fresh oregano leaves
fresh lemon thyme
1 lemon juiced
whole wheat pasta
Saute onion, peppers and garlic in olive oil then add Zucchini and a splash of white wine. While that is cooking, cook your pasta. I like the whole wheat angel hair pasta personally. After your Zucchini is soft add your fresh herb leaves and your lemon juice and cover and let simmer, if it seems dry add a little more white wine. Once your pasta is done top with your Zucchini mixture and a little fresh Parmesan.
Stay tuned I will share my enchilada cabbage soup recipe next time.