Monday, June 7, 2010


A friend of ours once said it best, that “parenting is a lot like building a house of cards on a waterbed.” Think about it! Sooo true! You get one layer of cards down to stand steady, and then a wave of the foundation sets everything off kilter—even the smallest ripple can leave you playing 52 Pick-Up. That’s been my experience with parenting thus far. You get one age or stage down pact, and suddenly a ripple or a wave comes along and BOOM! You’re back at ground zero. We’ve now entered a new one of those stages—pet ownership. (A cat this time—yes, Miguel the Chihuahua is still alive; don’t be alarmed. But let’s face it—after 15 years, he doesn’t really cause a whole lot of waves in our lives anymore. He’s basically furniture that breathes. Sorry Migs.)

So last time I left you, I was off on a nightmare adventure to help the Hubster in his attempts to track down a wild barn-kitten for our girls. Pretty crazy! Felt like we were on a stakeout. Or in a horror movie. Maybe both. I was armed with the flashlight, holding it over the place we could see the kittens were nestled, while the Hubster was all decked out in extra thick work gloves and holding the pet taxi. Felt like we were up to something illegal! And the kittens thought so too. They HATED the flashlight, and all I could think about was what it must seem like from their perspective—some sort of alien abduction or something. You know—bright light glaring in their eyes, some giant, claw-proof/gnaw-proof hand reaching out for them. I kept laughing, thinking they must be thinking, “So help me, if I get probed—somebody’s getting their face clawed off!!!” I did feel bad for the kittens, not having a clue what was going on. But it truly was quite comical.

The procedure went something like this—Hubster would slowly, slowly reach his hand down behind the feeding trough where the kittens were hiding. One would dart out instantly, and run around back behind the barn, only to do a lap, and reappear a few minutes later back at home base. The 2nd kitten was the protector of the lot. When it saw Hubster’s hand approaching, the 3rd kitten, who appeared to be a tad slow, ducked down with those big Puss in Boots’ eyes, while 2nd kitten pounced on Hubster’s hand and chomped down with all its 6 oz. strength, hangin’ on and shakin’ Hubster’s gloved hand with all the rage its scorned kitten jaws could muster. We ended up, of course with Kitten #3. Which has ended up being a good choice thus far.

To be honest—I can’t stand cats. (Please—no offense to all my cat-loving Friends!) But I would never even have one in our house (especially our house!) if I did not have daughters. How we got to this place, I have no idea. The Hubster and I always SWORE we would never have cats in our home. The Hubster caved first. (Thanks, Babe.—Sucker.) But somewhere between, “Mommy can we plleeeaaasssee get a new kitty?” and the thought of mice (which I do not like even MORE than cats) invading our home—that’s all I know. We have a kitten. And I must admit—it’s kinda growing on me. Stupid big kitten eyes. Stupid cute little fuzzy thing. Stupid tiny purring. (Oh yeah. Tractor beam [imitates beam noise] sucked me right in.—Lloyd; Dumb and Dumber) Man!! Why they gotta be so darn cute when they’re little?! They do grow up to be cats, you know? And in my opinion, and my opinion only, if I need someone to warm up to me all lovey-dovey one minute, and the next minute be taking a massive hunk out of my arm like a scene from Zombieland or something…I’ll visit some of my menopausal relatives or something, thank you very much! …But for now…it’s a kitten. We own a kitten. And it is cute.

All of this is to say, this is what happens when I try to get organized. I began making my charts. I was creating a schedule. Our week was flowing smoothly. Life was moving forward! Progress was being made! And now we have a kitten. The house of cards has tumbled with the wave of a new responsibility being thrown into the mix. And children fighting over whose turn it is to hold said new responsibility. My day has become devoted to 5 minute increments of setting the timer for each Princess to take a turn holding kitten. Awesome! Let’s see what this week brings, my Friends. Next post, hopefully I will have good news on the progress of getting my crap together. Until then…I will be working on litter-training a kitten, potty-training a 2 ½ year-old, and slow-and-steady laying a new foundation for this house of cards again.
Keep shining, my Friends!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


To all my Crazy Readers out there, I just want to shout out a big fat Thank You for your patience with me as my blog takes shape. Just like giving birth to anything, it’s a process and it takes time—thanks for bearing with me as I get my writing muscles back in shape. (Lately, I’ve seriously felt like I need a Jillian Michaels for writers to come kick my groove back on!) You all are awesome, and this summer’s gonna be almost as awesome, I just know it! …If I survive that is….
Whoever wrote Ella Fitzgerald’s line, “Summertime and the livin’ is easy…” obviously never had children. Crazy fun? Yes!! Easy? Heck No!! As parents, I think we build up this utopia fairytale of summer all school year long, thinking—Man! I can’t wait ‘til summer when we don’t have to rush 3 or 4 (or more!) people all out the door at the same time! When summer comes we can breeeeaaathe! It will be so niiiiice to just let the kids play…read that book you’ve been dying to get to all school year--the one that you eventually bit the bullet and bought because the library wouldn’t let you renew it for 6 mos. at a time. Even as a homeschooling mom—I COULD NOT WAIT for summer to come this year!! Until last week.

Oldest Princess: “Mom! B’s copying me!”
Youngest Princess: “Mom! B’s copying me!”
OP: “Mom!”
YP: “Mom!”
Me: Girls!! Separate! Now!!
OP: Come on, Sis. Let’s play in the dollhouse.
(YP crosses arms and stomps off.)
OP: (in tears) "Mom!! She won’t play with me!!"
Me: Sweetheart, she’s 2. She has a short attention span. Use your great imagination!
OP: (Bursts into tears)
And thus, the first day of our summer began. Ummmm…can we do year-round school?

Being Real, I was quite burnt out this past school year, just from the massive amount of Crazy on my plate—trying to run a household, raise a toddler, keep things flowing for my hubster while he’s in school, homeschool, babysit, oh…yesss—and then add on my brilliant idea of online graduate studies—yeah…burnt out. So, the latter half of May, quite honestly, we’d already been easing ourselves into summer. Lots of library books. Lots of math games. Field trips. And anything fun/easy that I could turn educational to count toward our required days—we were on it! But as we finished up first grade for Oldest Princess last week, and celebrated with friends at Casa Bonita (it’s like a Mexican Chuck E. Cheese on a really bad acid trip),

I realized summertime this year needed a plan. And fast!

You see, last year, we were babysitting all summer, so our days were pretty laid out for us. We transitioned into summer with minimal casualties, as it looked drastically different from our school year. This year, however, we are not babysitting (praise the Lord!) But I did decide to take a couple online classes.
(Thanks all my readers and friends who gave me a sympathetic ear in my dilemma—I think it’s gonna be good. FYI—as a side note, I’m taking summer classes in Early Childhood Education, as they seemed helpful/interesting, but I’m switching to pursue my MFA in Creative Writing for Children in the spring! Whoo-hoo! –I know you were all hanging on to the seat of your pants there, right? ;))
Sooo… I figured somebody ought to start benefiting from my crapload of learning… So, I’ve decided I’m actually going to apply some of my own experiences as a preschool teacher (6 years, baby!) and all these classes to my home-life this summer. The days as a teacher where you just have to wing it are always the worst. I REFUSE to live life as the substitute who got called in to referee a classroom at 6AM the morning of…and the teacher left no lesson plans! I am officially dubbing this: Shiny’s Summer of Organization (or as I am fondly referring to it, The Summer I Get My Crap Together :D) So for the next few posts, I thought I’d share some things I’m going to be applying this summer, and I hope you’ll share some of your ideas with all of us as well! So stay tuned and enjoy the ride! I’m hoping you’ll either have fun trying out some cool ideas with your family as well…or at least be mildly entertained watching me try to get organized. –Like in a watching-Kate-Gosselin-on-Dancing-with-the-Stars kind of way, where you’re all “What the...?”

Innnn the meantime…the hubster is currently outside in our barn at 10 o’clock at night trying to snag a wild barn kitten to become a pet for the girls and needs my help Wish us luck!! And don't forget to shine! …What the heck is wrong with us???