Friday, December 26, 2008

Year end review

So my damn cousin (love you!) writes up about her last year so I guess I might as well copy her and do my own. You can read about hers here.
Guess the best way to start this is with the kids. I will start from the oldest to the youngest. And for those of you that don't know, there are four kids now!

Kirsten - She joined the family right before the school year started and has been with us since. What started out as a temporary situation now seems to be extending out longer. We just confirmed that she will be staying with us till the end of the school year and I think we are all happy about it.
Kirsten has been a big change in my family, she gets good grades, does her homework, and reads all the time. She is a really sweet kid and I we are all happy to have her around. With Kirsten being in high school we have had to deal with the usual boy trouble and girl trouble all at the same time. I feel the influence of Kylea is starting to take affect since she has begin to let her grades slip. But at least when I call her out on it she fixes it right away. I really love how you can view the kids grades online now. With her being 15 I am going to have to start looking into driving and getting things set up with the school to ensure she is on the right path for college and what she wants to do. No more time to procrastinate. I am very proud of how she has adapted to all the changes with moving into my house, like no TV, lots of chores, and very limited computer use. But on the flip side she really enjoys playing family games with everyone, sit down dinners, and all the little things we do together.

Kylea - Well Kylea has had a lot of changes this past year. The first one being the fact that I have a boyfriend. Since I left Devin's dad she has never known I have had a boyfriend or even really dated anyone. Once or twice I had told her I was going on a date but I never told her who it was and she never meet anyone that way. But then all of the sudden there was Shawn taking up a lot of my time and coming over a lot either alone or with his daughter. She actually took to them very well. We have had a few ups and downs with all that but I think we have all found our roles and how they work together, at least for now.

Kylea's second major event was failing the 6th grade and landing her in summer school for two months so she could move onto the 7th grade. Of course she passed the summer school and started the 7th grade as expected. She is still struggling to keep organized in school and get focused. She has won all but her science teacher over. But she does that every year and that is why I think she is so lazy, if your teachers love you and do everything they can to help you why should you work harder? Guess that tactic is not going to work much longer. The older she gets the tougher the teachers are, even when she puts on all the charm. She will either learn to sharpen her skills at manipulating people or actually have to start working harder at school. Her next major event was Trent (her biological father) dieing. The way I see it, she lost the possibility of her father and not really her dad since she has only spent about 5 hours with him in the last 10 years. So it was a loss, but not as great of one as it could have been. Next up on her list is Kirsten moving in. The girls have had their fights and and make ups. I think most of the bugs have been worked out and Kylea has found her place no longer being the oldest.

Kylea is stuck between being a kid and becoming a teenager. And of course like every generation, being a teenager is never easy. I do feel that now it is harder than ever. She continues to talk to me about what is going on in her personal life and for that I am very grateful. She has made some not so smart choices and some really good ones and I have to say that she has a very good head on her shoulders when she lets it through. I really enjoy being able to hang out with her and chat about all kinds of things. I am getting excited to see the adult she will be turning into.

Devin - He has had his fair share of changes this past year as well. He now has a new baby sister that his dad had with his new wife. He loves his baby sister and really is enjoying being a big brother. This is a big change from my house, where he has gone from being the youngest to now having two older sisters and one younger one. But as much as they drive him crazy he does love them. Devin is doing very good in school still. He is a top student and loves to be in school. Homework is an issue, but that is because he has so many other things to do when he comes home that he doesn't want to stop for anything. He is still skateboarding, next up is for him to learn how to allie (sp?) but I will leave that up to Shawn and his friends for that. This weekend I am getting a mini ramp. Keep in mind that Devin's is a micro mini (2 ft high) and this new one will be 4 feet high. Need to find where to put it. It is a really good deal and will help him go to the next level and not get bored with it.

He is already starting to not want me to watch his new tricks as much and all the other things that go along with a mother son relationship, but I am ok with that. I am grateful to have Shawn around for him to go to now if he needs something I can't give him.

Natalea - Although she is new to my family she has taken to it very well. She has come a long way in the past year. She has almost completely made it from baby/toddler to preschooler. She will now stand up for herself with Devin and will even check out the bugs around the house. I have only gotten her to hold or touch a couple but that is still a huge improvement from before. And trust me, in my house there will always be all kinds of bugs around.
My main concern with her was her neediness and sensitivity. But over the last couple months especially she has really started to change all that. She doesn't call her dad to fix everything for her and sleeps only with a very dim nightlight on at night. She still knows how to work her magic with her dad but he is aware of it now when she is doing it. She helps around the house and has become very active in order to keep up with Devin.
She started pre K this year, and to no surprise to us, she is top in her class. I must say I am glad to have her added sweetness around. It has been many years since I have had a sweet little girl around the house and the whole family loves it.

I am going to have post a different one about Shawn and I. I think this one is long enough for now.
Hope everyone has a great new year!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Almost time for thanks

We are finally in November and I'm I thinking about one of the biggest elections in US history? No, I am daydreaming about going to Big Bend National park with the kids during Thanksgiving week. This will be our third year to go.

Our first trip in 2006.

The same spot in 2007

My good friends daughter went with us last year, she is going again this year too.

This is the end of the window trail. The kids are about 10 feet from a huge drop off.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Website name

Let me know what you like better.


Leave me a comment so we can at least register the name.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Still no time

The website is on hold till I can create a 30 hour day 8 day week. I wish I didn't need so much sleep! That takes up way to much time out of my day. Even with getting the iron infusions I am still super tired all the time.

Here is a quick update of all the kids. I will start from oldest to youngest.

Kirsten - She got all A's and B's for the first 6 weeks. CPS extended her stay with us until the end of the year. She has also started to go with her mom on the weekends. She comes back with a little attitude but that is expected.

Kylea - Still struggling with school but has shown some interest in maybe getting into some sort of sports. Here is part of an email her math teacher sent me today. Sigh.....

Ok, here is how tutorials went

3:40 arrives

3:48 stops arguing about being here

3:48 leaves to tell friends that she has to stay

3:50 came back from talking to friends

3:54 left to talk to friends

3:55 back

4:00 left

4:01 back with friends to help her

4:02 finished one sheet and left

Devin - He is finally growing! I think he is pretty much going to skip size 6 and go right into a size 7. He is doing really good in school. He even helped Kylea with some math homework one night. It was just problems like -9 -8= and -5 - -3=, but still pretty good! We still have our battles since he is so hard headed, but at least he tried to dance with me at his school's sock hop.

Natalea - She is doing really good in preK. She is ahead of her class in almost everything. She is doing really good with becoming independent at my house. She still is very sensitive and cries a lot but Shawn and I are working on it. At least the best we can.

He likes to talk her out of it and calm her down to find out the issue, where I would just rather let her cry and then carry on after she is done. We will figure out something, I am not worried about it.

As for Shawn and I, we are doing just as good as always. Trying to find adult time only is impossible at the house so we take every chance we can to go out and do stuff together. Doesn't happen very often but we have a good time when we do.

I hope everyone has a good week!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Website time

I have decided that I am about done with just blogging. Life with Shawn and all the kids is just to busy and blogger is boring for me now.

Shawn said he would help me set up a website for the family. I want to have a photo gallery and blogs for all the kids to update their own stuff on it.

Please let me know any suggestions that you would like to see on this.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

you buy the food

I have decided to let the girls take turns buying the food for the week. The get the budget and I take them to the store and then they figure out what to get. Kylea went first on Sunday.
This week is easy since we do not have Devin or Shawn's daughter. She managed to buy food for all week and ended up with a dollar left.
Next week will be harder since she will have the same amount of money but will be buying for 6 people and two of them picky little kids.

That is all for now since I have ACL this weekend and will be getting ready for that.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

New Kid

Everyone knows that I am fixed and am not having any more kids. Well so is my boyfriend, works perfect right? Not exactly, seems you can have more kids without getting pregnant or adopting. And that is what I did.

I am now the temporary guardian of an almost 15 year old. I now have one in Elementary, Middle, and High school. This should be an interesting year.

The good news is she is a good kid and so far no issues. I know I will have her at least another 5 or 6 weeks and then I am pretty sure CPS will extend my paperwork with her. No need to rush things, plus I think her mom could use the extra time to get a place for them to live.

Side note - Kirsten went to school with Kylea last year, that is how we know her.

Friday, August 22, 2008

I won!!!

Well sort of. I wasn't asking for anything so not sure if that means I win. However, Rick's petition to change the custody so he can have him full time and move to south Austin was denied by the judge!

Things stay the same.

Now onto the next battle......

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Doing better!

So on a lighter note here are some pictures.

Devin in a sack race.

Devin on his class field trip, he is starting to take after his sister.
Devin downtown, I wonder what is going to happen as he gets older.
At the greenbelt
Kylea being goofy with a friend
Kylea posing for herself
Kylea and her best friend Alex
Me with the girls
Kylea dressing our dog lady, the dog loves it.
I will try to update more.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Not so happy Father's Day

I received the call I have been waiting on for 12 years, Trent died. So for Father's Day weekend I got to tell my daughter that her father died of a drug over dose. Not exactly what I had in mind for the weekend.

Everyone that knew him was waiting and hoping that he would get his life together and be there for Kylea. But now it is to late.

I went to go see my ex in laws yesterday and it was terrible. The funeral is on Wednesday so Kylea and I will be going up there tomorrow night.

Kylea is doing ok, actually she is doing better than I am. I never thought it would hit me so hard but it is. I will be fine, it is just going to be a rough few days.

Here is a note to everyone out there, please take care of your kids.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Green Belt

I think we have found a new place to hang out at. The greenbelt. I have no idea exactly where we were at, just somewhere around 360. Kylea has a new friend that is into going outside and doing stuff like that. I am excited because it will get Kylea out more.

Kylea caught some tadpoles in her water bottle and managed to get a few minnows. We put them in the tank with her little turtle and the damn thing ate all the tadpoles and 3 of the minnows in one night. We might be going back to get more, it will give the turtle a bit of a variety to eat and give us a reason to go hang out more.

We are planning on going this weekend and actually hanging out for the day. Swimming, sun, sandwiches, it should be a good time. We will take an ice chest, and not even worry about having to leave. Shawn and his daughter are going so that will be good. Kylea will take her new friend for sure if not another one. Hmmmm, maybe I will see about taking Sue Ellen. That is something to think about.

Anyway, here are some pictures that Shawn took while we were out on Sunday. I showed Devin and he is excited to be able to go see it this weekend as well.

Here is one of me and Kylea trying to get tadpoles and minnows.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Boxing class

It is interesting alright. They keep switching the boxing teacher for Devin's class and they are all way too nice. They need someone that can keep all the kids busy the whole time. Right now Devin is doing hand stands while the teacher is showing another kid some techniques. I told the teacher he needed to keep him busy the whole time, but so far he has not taken my advice. Poor guy.

Kylea and I are in the same class. She hates it right now. But it was her idea and I signed up for three months. So she has to stick with it until that is over at least. As of right now Kylea told me that the neighbor girl is going to sign up for the classes too. I will see that when it happens. I hope she does, it will get Kylea more motivated to work out in the class and I won't be wasting my money. Please she does no other activities so I would like for her to stick with something for once.

Kylea is still struggling with school, but more because she learned how to work her teachers and get out of paying attention and doing work. She is too smart for her own good.

Devin is at the end level for 1st grade and has been there since about mid year. Not any issues with him in school. I think this school is going to be a good one for him.

Not a whole lot new with me. Work is keeping me busy, but it is interesting what we are doing and I am liking it more then I was a few months ago.

That is about all for now...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Been busy and lazy

Trying to get into a new routine but not having much luck with it. At some point I will be able to blog more again.

Here is Devin setting up his new board. That is concentration!

Here is Devin flying on the right.
The newest member of our family, Lady.
It is very hard to find a picture where Kylea is not puckering up her lips.
Kylea has an idea!

Finally one with no puckered lips!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Been a month

And I still do not have time to post very much. I am about to have a few days off and I will try then.

Love you guys!!!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Missing teeth

The day before he lost his second tooth.

It finally came out the next day while he was eating.
The toothless wonder right out of the bath!
The "Tooth Fairy" did not forget to take his tooth the same night like she did when he lost the first one. LOL Sometimes she falls asleep and forgets. I wonder what will happen if he loses the other bottom one at his dad's house?

At some point I will start to update more regularly. Need to get a home computer first and stop using my work one.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

It is going to be party time!!!!

At least for Kylea. I sure hope my friend comes through to DJ or I am going to have one mad (not so) little girl on my hands. She will be 12 on the 4th.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The damnits and skateboarding

It was Jamie and Dan's anniversary this past weekend so I had the boys over on Saturday night. You know what that means.......Devin, Danyn, and Dillion the three damnits! My friend Shawn brought his daughter Natalie over. She is a cute 3 year old blonde and Dillion fell in love! Even asked her to sit by him when we ate pizza.

The kids had a blast and there was a little to much rough housing, but that is to be expected from three (4 if you count Shawn) boys. But Natalie held her own with them.

Sunday was a skateboarding day. The Skate Park of Austin is closing. The 26th is going to be there last day open. This is where Devin first learned to skateboard about 3 years ago. Four of the boys that were there had been at my house the night before skating on Devin's mini ramp. Shawn also showed up. The boys all had a good time and it will be said for me when they close. I have spent many hours there watching Devin fall, cry, get mad, get hurt, and do stuff for the first time! I am hoping that Rick will let me have Devin on Saturday so I can take Devin.

On a Devin note I am starting to really not like him being gone for a week at a time. Need to work something out with Rick so I can get him in the middle of the week or something.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I think I make to many muffins

" Compare & Save" says the Jiffy box. Well that is what I have done. It seems like I am making muffins at least three times a week for breakfast. Usually I buy the MARTHA WHITE mix but then saw that the Jiffy mix was a little cheaper.

The price difference is about $0.11 between the two. However when making them the M.W. calls for 1/2 cup of milk and the Jiffy calls for 1 egg and 1/4 cup of milk. I started thinking what the real cost was making these.

1 egg - $0.12*
1/4 c milk - $0.05*
1/2 c milk - $0.11* (I am rounding and that is how I got 11 cents instead of 10)

$0.63 - Jiffy mix
$0.12 - 1 egg
$0.05 - 1/4 c milk
$0.80 - Total cost

$0.74 - Martha White mix
$0.11 - 1/2 c milk
$0.85 - Total cost

So far it looks like the Jiffy is cheaper. When you make the 6 regular muffins you cannot tell the difference. But when you make the mini muffins you only get 20 and with the M.W. you get 24.

$0.04 - cost per mini muffin for Jiffy**
$0.035 - cost per mini muffin for M.W.**

When you break it down by cost per muffin the Martha White is the better deal.

So what has this told me (other then I think to much when making these things)? That really there is not much of a difference.

I like the taste of the Martha White muffins better, plus they have chocolate chip ones, so that is the route I will take. I hope this comparison was not to boring and maybe a little helpful.

*The cost was an estimate based on my memory of the cost of the product and not the actual price.
**If my math is off a little I have several kids running around right now and driving me crazy.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Getting there.....

“Love is so short, forgetting is so long.”

-Pablo Neruda

But on another note here is what it looks like when a 6 year old is getting showed Google Earth.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ugly day

Have you even had one of those days where you wake up, look in the mirror, and think "Damn I look like ugly today"?

I have and today is that day.............

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Is the battle worth fighting?

I have just learned 8 good questions to ask yourself when you are getting into a fight with your kids. More on why this is coming up later. But for now I will list out the questions.

1. Is my child's health or safety at stake?
Yes I believe arguing with your kids about jumping off a second story house might be a yes to this question.

2. Am I fighting for a deeply held value?
For me this would include lying, being hateful, or using certain words (shut up, stupid, fat, hate....)

3. Am I worried about others' opinions?
Almost all of our fights happen with no one else is around so I don't feel this really applies to me.

4. Is this a body issue? sleeping? eating? dressing?
It is good to win when it is 30 degrees outside and you kid does not want to wear a jacket.

5. Is my resistance a knee-jerk reaction?
I really need to work on this on

6. Do the benefits to my child (a sense of mastery, a new learning experience) outweigh the negatives?
I think I am pretty good about that, I let the kids try lots of new things and push there limits.

7. Is my child's behavior violating an established household rule?
I struggle with this one since my own unspoken rule is "what I say goes". Hard to keep a good balance that way.

8. Can I accommodate my child without compromising my own beliefs?
Again, hard to do this on when I think i am always right.

Question #8 came into play 2 weeks ago when Devin and I were fighting and he got mad at me for yelling at him "EVERYDAY". So I stopped and thought about it and I had been on a yelling streak so I stopped. Now I warn him before I am going to start yelling.

This post has been brought up mostly because of a situation that happened tonight.
I have been feeling sick the last couple days and my friend Shawn made me soup and brought it over for dinner. After we got done eating it was time for Devin to do his homework. He wanted to go play next door. So I told him that if he finished with enough time he could. Well being a normal kid he was taking to long so I finally told him he had run out of time. We argued back and forth about it. He was crying and yelling, storming off to his room, the whole nine yards.
Now that I think about it we were really fighting over time management. (and on top of that I am feeling sick and Devin was overtired and cranky) Not really the best way to teach a child. Maybe I should have gotten a timer out and let him have more control over the situation. But in the middle of a fight it is hard to give in. So I stood my ground like I always do and finally got Devin to get focused on his homework.

About this time Shawn was leaving and he told Devin that if he finished his homework and didn't give me a hard time he would go skateboarding (Devin's favorite thing right now) with him on Sunday. I held my composure but was a little pissed that all the fighting I had just done with Devin was under minded with one statement from my friend. Ugh!!!! In all fairness his daughter is only 3 and they have not gotten to this point in parenting yet. I stepped outside and explained my frustration with him and I think he really understood where I was coming from.

Most of you that read this have seen me around my kids and know how I am..... a hard ass to put it bluntly. But when you are outnumbered like I am I feel that is how I should be. It is just now getting to the point where I am starting to rethink a little of how I parent. Maybe the "iron fist" is not the best for all kids.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Out of the loop

Sorry to everyone that I have not called or anything lately. I have been busy and stressed. Kind of doing my own thing the last month or so. But I guess most of you guys were used to me not calling anyway. I was even 2 days late on calling my dad and telling him happy birthday. Guess I am the bad daughter again.
My friends have a new addition, new addition (I typed it twice for a reason) to there family.

Mischa and Tasha (but that might not be the correct order)

Want to have Devin be quite and still, give him a newborn baby!!!

I am actually having a low key week for once. Sick today and tomorrow. I have Jerri's kids on Wednesday, the kids get to see the above babies on Thursday and then nothing else planned. Pretty excited about not doing anything. It has been too long.

Now to find free events in Austin I can take the kids to this weekend......

Monday, January 7, 2008

The rest of Devin's birthday pictures

Click on this link for the rest of his pictures.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Going back in time

So I left off with the mini ramp being finished and skipped ahead to Kylea eating the fish eyeball. I need to fill you guys in on Devin's birthday party. I have not been able to get Kodak Gallery to work on my computer so no slide shows. Please feel free to suggest any other place I can store my pictures.

Can you find Devin in all the balloons?

Lots of horse play was going on with the older boys around.

There was also plenty of dancing going on, although most of it was bad.

Well, that is all I have time to post right now. More later!