Dog Dilema

About 5 minutes after telling the kids about our upcoming divorce my daughter who was 12, asked if I would then buy her a dog. My ex has severe allergies and asthma and the kids couldn’t ever let the idea of pets go. In the last year she still hasn’t let it go. And there was a big part of me that wanted to give that to them.

Everyone who knows me and I actually listen to has told me that dogs wouldn’t work for me right now. My schedule is erratic with work and they can be expensive, and I would listen… mostly. Then one day one of those same people, my best friend called to say there was a dog at the shelter who desperately needed a foster home and I would be perfect. She was a rescue from what is called the griffen mud dogs, she was neglected and left in cages along with 30-50 other dogs living in mud and poop. She was in the shelter for a year and not adopted. Her online profile says she needs a saint.

They weren’t kidding. She won’t let us within 5 feet of her. The only time we can pet her is when we get her on a car ride and she is so mesmerized by the ride we can touch her without her flinching but eventually she looks at us through baleful eyes for ruining her ride and moves out of reach again. She only eats food if we toss her a piece at a time and only if she feels like it. I let her play in a fenced yard without her leash on and it took us 3 hours to corral her back into the house because she wanted to keep sleeping in the lettuce. I’m told by my friend that she just needs time and I’m told by another that my life is too complicated for a dog especially one that won’t bring me joy. One child think we should take her back, this is the one who had to chase her down when she slipped through my legs at midnight and raced off. It’s a miracle he caught her. Two of my other kids think I’m terrible for even considering taking her back.  As of now we are her foster family, so she can go back.

Pros:

She never barks

She doesn’t have accidents in the house

She sleeps for long periods of time so isn’t as bored when I work.

She’s adorable

Cons:

Can’t pet her

She doesn’t come when I say even when she really wants to go on that walk

Won’t jump in my car, I have to load her into a crate and then into my car

Looks at me like I’m planning on cooking her for dinner

Hiking With A Gymnast

I had a lovely family reunion last week in Bear Lake Idaho. I think the final count was 26 people in a large cabin by the lake. It was the first time my entire family has been together in 6 years or so. My kids are the oldest of the grandkids and so we did a few things on our own so they could have adventure.

On the plane trip over I saw a Instagram of someone doing a yoga type move on top of a mountain at sunset and I showed my gymnast son. We both agreed it was a awesome video and that he needed something like it lol. We couldn’t get to the top of the big mountain but we did climb this one and find the perfect rock for him to do his move on. And then of course he had to do it shirtless so we could properly see the muscles it takes to do it. My kids are used to the fact i need pictures of just about everything and I enjoy when they want the picture as well.

Repurposed

I have strong feelings towards recycling objects as I frequently feel like my new life is me being recycled. I have been drawn toward the antique keys at the local fairs and began collecting them. I already had the stamp kits to make jewelry and stamp on old silverware to stick in the garden. So when my daughter asked if we could stamp some words for her on some keys she really loved it was the perfect activity. She chose to stamp “home” and “courage” on her keys. Once we started we just didn’t want to stop until we thought of all the words we could and we ran out of keys. We’ve been taking turn wearing the different ones depending on our moods. One day just for fun I posted a few on a brand new Easy shop called BoBelleCo that we started together using a blend of our names. We’ve only sold a few keys but its been such a fun thing to learn and do together.

My daughter is at girls camp this week and last week was with her dad so I feel like we haven’t had a lot of time together lately. I know it’s important to find ways to hang out with her while she has the time and interest. Lots of days she is so busy chatting with her friends by video I have a hard time getting a personal conversation in.

Facebook Love

As a mom of 3 boys and a sister to 3 brothers I have always felt a kinship when I see other moms of 3 boys. I feel it with all moms, no matter how many kids of course. But this felt like we knew something about each others lives. I always wanted us to high 5 or do a knowing super hero nod to each other.

For this purpose I started a Facebook page a few years ago Mom of boys, there are others that are really closely named lol.  I’ve only had maybe 150-200 followers and I mostly post little memes that I find, little pictures.

A few months ago a fellow mom blogger asked me to write a blog post for them and they tied to to my Facebook account, and all of a sudden in the last 5 days I went from 500 followers to 5000! It was such a fun week to watch the numbers climb higher then I ever dreamed! I believe it is slowing down but I was so amazed! I’ve been responding to all comments and posting a little more often and even creating a few memes of my own to help be interesting. I don’t know if it will last , but it feels like a cosmic pat on the back.

This is the link to my page. If you go there let me know what you think!

Let it Go

I remember the night in the hospital when I held my first child, a son. I wrote graduation speeches, practiced wedding toasts. I was a little delirious from the drugs I admit. But I don’t think I’m the only one that begins to plan their future from the first moment

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Not many of my plans worked out very well. Turns out kids come with their own personality and this spawns ideas and plans of their own. Some days I love the ride and the journey of it, they are so much more then I could have ever imagined. Some days I feel like my heart is breaking from the pain and loss, to see them go down hard paths that won’t end well. When they blame you for everything, point out all your faults in detail. Those days suck.

I find it’s important to let go. Let go of the fantasy, let go of the planning, it’s practice for letting them go. I can’t believe my son graduates from high school in 2 short weeks! I can’t wait to be done with his life in high school! School with him has been difficult. He is very smart but not at all interested in sitting in a class room.

A few weeks ago our church put together a night to celebrate all the graduates. They asked the parents to submit photos of their child growing up and prepare a small speech about their child. I didn’t know about it until 10 minutes after it ended. My ex didn’t tell me about it and he was receiving all the emails and requests. He called right after it ended to casually mention where they had been. I have been the photographer of their lives, the keeper of the scrapbooks and photo albums. I have been waiting to show anyone my kids growing up. My ex sent in a few pictures he had on his phone and Facebook. My son had half the time the other kids had. I have had a really hard time letting this one go. I called my son and cried that I hadn’t been there and that I hadn’t known. He laughed and told me he hadn’t even wanted to go and didn’t know I wasn’t invited. But this is my child who has always been sensitive to things and people around him, I know somewhere inside it was another strike on him from the divorce.

Next week he gets his yearbook. I made his senior post and chose the pictures and the really awesome Tony Hawk quote (my son is a major skateboarder lol). I have that.

Bedtime Sweets

My two youngest children who stay with me every other week and make it glorious, have begun a new night time ritual. I am sure it won’t last for obvious reasons, but I think it can easily transition.

We share a fresh mango every night before bed. We have been eating dried mangos for years and everyone loves them, so when I saw a box of very lovely looking mangos at Costco one week I brought them home and thus it began. I’m not actually very good at cutting them, but I don’t think that hurts them. I dream about the mangos I’ve read about in books the size of footballs fresh off the trees.

We stand around the counter and share more thoughts about the day or whats going on in our lives. We laugh and eat sweet slices of heaven right before disappearing into our rooms.

I am so grateful. I will need to find a new fruit perhaps? When is mango season over?

I found a lovely recipe I want to try when I can’t get fresh mango

Dairy Free Mango Lassis

3 Heaping cups frozen mango

Juice of 1 large lemon

3 cups coconut milk

1/4 cup honey

Combine in a high power blender or food processor and process until smooth and blended. Serve immediately. 

Or this recipe  and add mango. I actually helped film all the shots on this page from February on. 🙂 fun fact

 

Fresh Scones

Tonight while I was watching one son compete in the state championship for gymnastics my other son called and informed me that he and his girlfriend were craving scones.

I love making scones, I love eating them with honey butter, or nutella or dredged in sugar and cinnamon… so yummy! When I was growing up my mom would make taco meat and we would fill the hot scones with meat, cheese and lettuce and it was heaven!

Now however I can’t have the gluten and that would be torture! But I wanted so badly to go home and make them scones. I want to be there making memories with him before he leaves for college in a few short months. However I was already at one event and the kids were at their dads house for the weekend.

So I told them where the recipe was and let them know I would help however I could. They called several times;

“What is yeast and where is it.”

‘How do you know yeast is rising, we’ve been watching it of awhile.”

“What is the sugar to cinnamon ratio.”

I loved it.  No, I didn’t get to be there making memories with them. What would have happened if I had been? They would have watched a movie while I made scones. So since I wasn’t there, what happened?

They learned. My son learned a new skill! He knows how to make scones, he learned that he can go find a recipe and make food! I’m filled with pride and excitement when I see the writing on the wall.

He’s going to leave me and the nest soon.

He’s going to be ok.

And that is my job as a mom. To teach them how to leave me and survive it, no to thrive!!

 

Mothering boys

Frequently as a mom I soar up into the stratosphere of knowing all and then I plummet into knowing nothing at all about parenting boys.

I was telling a friend about my oldest son who is 20 and has gone off and made many decisions over the past year or two that I didn’t see coming. Now my 18 year old is experimenting with sapphire blue hair. Meanwhile the 16 year old is doing his darndest to be the best version of himself he can be. I explained to my friend that some of the choices the older boys were making were not how I raised them to be. Her response was “didn’t you?’

“Umm no. I raised them to make other choices, more straight laced looking choices.”

She still disagrees. She explained that I have raised my boys to be who they want to be, I’ve raised them with courage to be different. With artistic gifts that I praised that allows them to branch out and explore their creativity.

It’s my feeling that hair is just hair. Mostly I have always cut my boys hair in a classic boy cut, a style that looks good on them. Ok except for the year or two I thought I could cut hair and those weren’t very classic, and contrary to my oldest sons memory I did not knick his ear with hair scissors once. But once when my oldest was in the last week of 7th grade he really wanted a faux hawk and I let him. It wasn’t my first choice, but it was the last week of school and it’s hair. It grows back. My other son loves his long blue hair. I personally think it looks a little like a My Little Pony mane and I want to braid it.  I know eventually it will fade, turn green and we can have it changed back to blonde.

My 3rd son is a level 10 gymnast at the age of 16. Some boys on his team quit a few years ago because they were teased for being gymnast. This has never bothered my son, I don’t know why. But he is strong and talented and has his own level of courage to be himself.

Isn’t this one of the most important things we can teach our boys? To be true to themselves. In a world that wants to change the way they act with drugs, shaming and fear. Hug your boys and let them spread their wings. There isn’t a one mold fits all in life. We need the doctors, soldiers, artists, dentists, garbage men, we need all of them. So love them, I wish I could go back and love mine more, to be less afraid of what teachers thought or strangers in grocery stores. I don’t remember teaching them to express themselves with tattoos, earnings or blue hair. And I hope some of that is temporary expressions of self, but I love them. Just as they are.

Upcyled

Upcyle is one of my new favorite words to follow on hashtags. I love seeing what people do with their trash and used items. I’m so impressed with the ideas I find.

Several years ago when my kids were young it seemed like I was buying new glassware on a regular basis. They were either broken or lost so constantly I felt like the glasses were a disposable item. I stopped buying nice glasses and bought IKEA glassware.

I began to notice how cute the jars were in my fridge. The artichoke heart jar, the jalapeño jar and my new set of glasses came to life. I admit it has become a bit of a problem. I have such a hard time throwing away jars now. I really don’t need another Paul Newman spaghetti jar but it seems such a waste to recycle it in the regular recycle  bins. I have even bought some food items just for the jars, Whole Foods sells the cutest little yogurt in a tiny glass jar that is adorable for juice or when I need to drink my shot of apple cider vinegar in the morning! The Bonne Maman preserves costs a bit more then the Smuckers but the jar opening is larger making a much better cup! Plus it’s almost my name on the glass which is another bonus lol.

Another upside of my jar addiction are the adorable vases they make!! My daughter has taken a few that she loved and painted the inside of them for makeup brush holders and it warms my heart to see the upcyling continuing on.

Late Night Snacks and Giggles

This is the last night of the 2nd successful week of my kids staying with me full time during the school year. I was very nervous about it and I’m not sure they wanted to try it, but their dad was ready for it which made it happen like it or not. And I’ve loved it. So wonderful to have so much time with them again. I love cuddling my daughter and giggling under the blankets, for a few minutes she forgets she is a teenager and too cool for it.

Tonight she had her makeup off, in bed and comfy, when she realized she was hungry. This is great news, she has been so sick all week and not eating enough. So we had a lovely time warming up tomato soup which she loves with some blue cheese crumbles on top and I pan toasted some gluten free bread since I don’t have a toaster or bread with gluten in it lol. Its the small moments that are so wonderful and I hug them close to my heart.

I’ve tried several tomato soup recipes and this one I really enjoyed. It has a bunch of chopped carrots and whole tomatoes which makes me really feel like we are getting all our veggies in the soup and not just a can of V8. I got this off the Pioneer Woman blog and I love her pictures and casual explanations.