Band Parents

Band Parents

Friday, June 30, 2006

I've got Mommy Guilt....

Mommy Guilt. I am suffering from a bit of it today. I’ve always held a job outside the home. As a consultant I had flexibility that I was comfortable with this. When I hear my kids repeat things, I am comfortable that I Have found the right child care situations and spent enough time with them that they have the values I want them to have. It has worked for me and I don’t usually feel guilty. Except when I had to travel, but Dad was home for them.

So I have been in my current job for 6 weeks now. I am driving from my mid-sized Midwest city to a small large-sized city 50 miles away. We have been talking about moving a little bit closer to my job. But the rest of the family has a vested interest in staying where we are. Hubby works about Pause – I just mapped it with Mapquest, 4.78 miles from our home. (My drive is 49.26 miles) The boys, especially the 11 YO, are not thrilled with the idea of changing schools. They are all for moving to a bigger house. That was in the drawing board before I changed jobs. And since they attend a Parochial school, there are several school districts that run busses to their school. There is such a school district that might shave up to 12 miles off of my commute.

We have been research other schools. More so the high school, but we have looked at a couple of the grade schools too. I have no qualms about sending my kids there in terms of scholastics. The community we have set our sights on would be about 30 miles for me but would add about 20 miles for Hubby.

So why not let me bear the brunt of the drive? There are several reasons. This biggest is that Hubby is not sure how long he wants to stay at his current employer. (But that’s been waffling since they have been bending over backwards to ensure that he’s happy). He’s have an easier time finding a job in the large city than in the mid-sized one. I’d hate for both of us to be working and the kids going to school 50 miles away. I really don’t want to move again. But darn it, I am the MOM! I also have historically brought home the larger paycheck. And I miss cooking dinner for my family. The Crock-pot meal are not going over well.

So what’s mom to do?

Thursday, June 29, 2006

What part of NO....

Here's the scene. DS6 and I go to the grocery. We were out of milk and it's our turn to take snacks for after the T-Ball game. So A picks out juice boxes and then wants some sort of twisty fruit snacks. You know those fruit chews or leather that are sugar-laden and in a box? So each box holds 6. There are 12 kids on the team plus siblings. We get home and the 11 YO askes if he can have one.
"No they are for after the ballgame tomorrow"
"But Mom, you have 3 boxes"
"I said no"
"Can't I have just one"
Shrieking "I said NO! Go to your room now"
Ugh! This happens consistently. I work hard to stand my ground. There are plenty of other snacks around. I know that if a box were allowed to be opened that the contents woudl mysteriously disappear. He can have one tomorrow. Oh yeah, he probably will elect to stay home during the game. So maybe he won't get one. All the parenting advice says "Be consistent and they'll learn when my says No, the means NO. DS6 seems to have gotten the message. He has not asked for something from the ballpark concession stand since I took him home early several weeks ago. He did ask before hand if he could take $$ to get something. I told him to pack a drink and a snack.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Works for me Wednesday

Happy Wednesday.

My Works for me is a coping technique I am currently employing. I started a new job about 6 weeks ago. I am commuting about an hour each way. That is less time at home. The thing that is bothering me is the fact the most nights, with a boy having a baseball game that starts around 6:00, there is not time for me to cook dinner fo the famil. My wonderful Hubby has to do it. They are usually finishing up and getting ready to leave for the ball diamond by the time I get home. Actually, I have 2 coping techniques. I am packing lunches at 6am before I leave. The 11 YO usually buys his lunch (I grew up with a nursefor a Mom who believed a hot lunch was better than a PB&J on Wonder bread) but with the YMCA Daycamp, they need to take thier lunches. This week it is ham sandwiches. the 11 Yo said he needed more food the other day. the 6 YO said he got too much jello. But I am taking care of my family.

The second thing is that I am filling the crockpot a couple of days a week. Granted, Monday it was a Pork roast. Hubby had to figure out how to serve it and what sides to serve it with.

Which brings me to a request - Crockpot recipes. I've been through a lot of the crockpot sites on the web. The boys don't eat anything really spicy and I need recipes that can take 10 hours in the crockpot and do not require adding ingredients for the last hour. That's a difficult bill to fill. Thus the Pork roast (it was mixed with barbeque sauce and served on rolls with the ever present Mac and Cheese side dish). I have a couple of beef tip roasts that we season, cook and serve on crusty rolls ("I don't like beef sandwiches" I sometimes hear).


Monday, June 26, 2006

Weekend House hunting

Hi Everyone,
So this weekend we attended a festival at the Catholic High School we might be sending our boys too. Yes, the older one is only getting ready to start 6th grade. But with the plan of moving next Summer a bit closer to my workplace, I need to ease the family into it and get them used to the idea. So to the festival. It was nice. DS11 went on two rides that spun him around, then he got an upset stomach. He drank a some water and a coke. When we left we drove around looking at more of the surrounding area. Every trip we creep a bit further South. We saw some homes for sale and some new developments, wrote down some addresses to check out. DS was still feeeling bad. We got to talking to him. He never ate lunch. It was almost 6 PM. He got home and had some ham.

So Sunday after Church, my Mom sweetly offered to let the kids come play at my brother's house where she was keeping my Neice and nephews. So we went back to one of the areas we saw the night before. It was a new housing development. We talked to one of the builders and toured a few models. Dh was pretty excited. I was too. That morning I had doen some Googling. We saw some houses that the prices were way out of our range. But this one particular area, they were not. The school systems was ranked by the state as being "Effective". So this Community has moved to the top of our target list.

DH would love to build. I cringe at the thought. But I've recieved several emails from him this AM. He's talked to a coworker who has built houses who gave him some advice and Dh has decided maybe we are not in a good position to build. Good. No I am off to research another Parochial school in the area. The paperwork ont he community listed 2 schools. The one we have looked at. We have even bveen there for a couple of soccer games. This other must be pretty new since it is named "Mother Theresa".

Friday, June 23, 2006

Fidgeting and Focusing- An ADHD Post

This is an ADHD-related post. I started to read a new book. It’s Titled Fidget to Focus : Outwit Your Boredom: Sensory Strategies for Living with ADD. I figured it would be helpful to me as well as my Hyper-tween or HT. He’s my 11 year-old son who was diagnosed with ADHD at the tender age of 4.

Anyways this book talks about how some people do better at listening to long lectures, books on tape, etc while they are doing something else. The anecdotes include a grad student who had her textbooks on tapes and found she was able to listen to them and retain more of the information when she played her Nintendo (with the sound off) at the same time.

I guess I used those strategies myself. In college lectures I’d write epic letters to my friend in Texas (of course not all of them got sent). Last year I took a Professional Certification exam (I am now a Project Management Professional). I mostly studied for it while I was working out. I had a packet of condensed notes (a study aid introduced to me by my 7th and 8th grade History teacher more than 25 years ago). I studied this while on the treadmill or the stationary bike. I memorized things while pacing. I was always able to study for exams in front of the TV.

I’ve been trying to teach HT some of this stuff. But he hyper focuses in front of the TV. The rest of the world fades away. I’ve tried to allow him to write his spelling words (3 x each) while watching TV. It does not work for him.

In his IEP sessions, teachers have discussed letting him have “Fidgets”, like a foam squeeze toy. Then they came to the agreement that he’d tear the foam apart and make a mess. A teacher a year ago practically begged me not to buy his pens that clicked. He makes them into toys and constantly clicks them, annoying the entire class.

But in the world of ADHD, the brain adapts quickly and new techniques must be developed and rotated into practice. So I go on trying to find ways to help my “Do I want to hug him or duct tape him to the wall today” HT.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Episcopalians elect a Female bishop

I’ve been exploring an awful lot of Blogs lately. The past couple of days they have been Catholic Blogs. Many of them are talking about the Episcopalians electing a female bishop. Most of the blog writers are negative towards this. I am struggling.

I am glad to be living in the era that I do. As a female I can have a choice as to how I lead my life. I am fortunate enough to be able to have everything I want. I have a career I thoroughly enjoy. I have a family. I have a wonderful husband who picks up the parenting slack I leave behind as I go to work.

The Church views Motherhood as sacred. The Mother nurtures and teaches the children. (yes, but a Father can do this too!). A mother traditionally “keeps the home fires burning” so to speak. They have traditionally managed the home while the father goes off and earns the living/food, etc. Ok Fine. My husband is almost as good at this as I am. Since I started my job with the long commute, he has done a good job of making sure the boys are fed and gotten to their baseball games. He has even kept the kitchen clean.

Tradition. The Catholic Church bases their doctrine on the Bible as well as Tradition. Is there a difference between tradition and culture? The ancient Hebrew culture, life was hard. The division of duties between the male (work in the fields, catch the fish, fight the wars) and female (bear, feed, teach and nurture the children, manage the household, provide the husband with nourishment) was efficient since the climate was so harsh and “work” was back-breaking. Now-a-days there are office jobs where an expectant Mom can work and not endanger her pregnancy.

Don’t get me wrong. I think the world needs Stay at home Moms. I think Mom’s who work outside the home do some important jobs. I don’t think I’d make a very good stay at home Mom in the 21st century. I would be busy keeping myself occupied that I’d lose track of time and ignore my kids. Since I am away from home, I can dedicate time to spending with my boys.

I understand that the Catholic Church bases their policy that Women are not ordained based on the Tradition of the Church. Women have never been priests. Are we sure of that? Were there not some stories about women priest in the early church? Are there documents that were excluded from the body of faith because they did support the goals of the Church? I believe so. I don’t believe it was malicious; it just best met the culture. I mean something must have been done right because of the phenomenal growth of the Church.

I find it interesting that Women tend to be the business managers of most parishes these days. How many pastoral associates are Women? My parish has two.

So where do I stand? I support the Church’s current stand because I believe that the Church needs to convince some cultures that women are not possessions. The Church needs to maintain world-wide appeal. And I pray for the wisdom and understanding to accept the stance joyfully instead of sadly or for the Holy Spirit to inspire a change.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Works For me Wednesday

Hi Everyone,

I was inspired to create my new blog based on the wonderful blogs I have been reading. I started with Jen’s Frugal upstate blog and have enjoyed the WFMW and decided that I wanted to chronicle my adventures. I used to have a diary on a parenting site, but that was mostly to write about my adventures of raising an ADHD son. So now I can write about many of the things on my mind. So Welcome!

As to my WFWM Tip, last week, the Family CEO wrote about buying beach towels as souvenirs. I use beach towels in the car a lot. We take a lot of car trips, 5 hours to visit my Father in Law, 9 hours to visit my parents. We usually leave at 6:30 AM. I put a beach towel in the van for each boy. It makes a light weight blanket for when they are cold (this happens frequently), or cleans up sills or can catch car sickness. Fortunately we’ve never encountered that one. We have also taken them to ball games. They can tame a hot seat, provide cover when you feel like you’ve had too much sun or provide just enough warmth when the sun goes down and you get a little chilly. Works for me.

Ed: To add the banner.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Ok, One of my ADHD traits that has followed me into adulthood is impulsivity. Fortunately I am well aware of it and take steps to combat it. On the other hand, In order to keep from being paralyzed when making a decision, I tend to try to narrow down my choices to a few and agonize between them. But that applies to decisions that will not have a long term effect on my life, like choosing a meal at a restaurant.

Hubby and I are planning on moving next summer. Last year at this time, we thought we’d simply find a little bit bigger house. Our kids go a parochial school and there are 4 school districts that bus to their school. But then I switched jobs last month and I am now driving 50 miles one way to my job in the next city. Now the one hour trip each way is not bothering me too much, but being away from home and not being able to fix dinner for my family IS bothering me. I am going to make an attempt to set up the crockpot 3 days a week. I may even spring for a model that has the timer where it will cook for so many hours and then keep the food warm.

So back to moving: We can move to a community that is closer to the Interstate I need to take and it could shave 20 to 30 minutes off my trip. It may add 20 minutes to Hubby’s 6 minute drive. So I have been researching: The Parochial High school, the various k-8 schools available, the various communities.

I have not heard a lot of solid facts about the High School, but I have heard only positive things. So I saw on their website that the festival is next weekend. We are going to go to it. The boys love to go to such festivals. It should be a nice family outing, with money going to a reasonably good cause and we get to see how we fit in with the community.

I embrace change and see it as a new adventure. Hubby has a difficult time with change. He has willingly gone the past 2 Sunday’s with me driving around our areas. Yesterday I did a search on house for sale that met out price and size criteria and we drove to them, mostly to look at the neighborhoods. Hubby found himself nitpicking each house. Then he started driving all around a particular community that we talked about avoiding because the income tax was pretty high. But he liked the area. I wanted to steer him outside the city limits and to the township.

After we got home he admitted that it was going to take him more time to get used to the idea of moving. He likes the community because he likes the baseball league he has been coaching in, and the YMCA where he has been coaching soccer. I guess I also know this instinctively and why I have him driving around looking at neighborhoods even though it will be a year before we plan to move.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

And now for my introduction. My Name is Maggie, I am a wife, Mom to 2 lovely boys and I work outside the home with the Email systems for a University. We live in SW Ohio.

My boys are 11 and 6. We send them to a Catholic school as hubby and I both grew up going to mostly Catholic schools. B is the 11 year old. He was diagnosed with ADHD at the tender age of three. He is currently on medication. I hope someday he has developed enough coping strategies to stop taking medication. A is the 6 year old. He’s very energetic, but he does not have any of the focus an impulsivity issues his brother has. The boys, while they love each other and look out for each other, love to bicker and push each other’s buttons. This drives me bananas. I am unable to shut it out when I am driving.

S is my husband. We will celebrate our 14th anniversary at the end of the year. He recently completed his bachelor’s degree in Engineering.

I changed jobs about a month ago and I am driving 3 times as far and using 3 times the gas as I did before. We are researching the possibility of moving a bit closer to my workplace. We are less than 10 minutes from where S works. It would entail having the kids change schools. We have looked at the possibilities. The Catholic HS is our target area just built an brand new facility. It is georgous. The Grade school moved into the HS site. Weekend after next the HS is having their annual festival. We plan to attend and get a "feel" of the people who support the HS. My Mom has already said she was never found of that area. It was a lot of farmland, between 2 mid-sized cities. I guess a good descriptive word would be "unsophisticated". And this is a concern because my Mom believes it is a parent's job to give their children the best education you can. I agree with that, so that's why I have done so much research on the HS. I have asked everyone I know if they know anything about it. I have an Uncle who is a teacher, I have asked the coach of the wrestling team at one of the local Catholic HS and people who live in the area. I have not heard anything negative so far. -It's not like this is that far away. There are 3 Catholic schools in the city where we live. The city where I work has about 10. This school is the one between the cities.

So that's what's been on my mind lately.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Inaugral Post

Hi Everyone, I'm looking for a place to post my thoughts om motherhood, ADHD, frugal living and other important aspects of my life. Stay tuned.