Beyond Beauty Basics

Maybe it’s the fact that when Kiddo turned 10 recently.  Maybe it’s because that I work closely with a group of young women who are in their mid-20s.  Maybe it’s because we now have an Oculorplastics specialist at my work who does cosmetic injections like Juvaderm and Botox.  Maybe I’m just a sucker for advertising and societal pressures.

But for the last few months, I’ve been paying more attention to my skincare routine.

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Pre-Teen Angst

It’s been a trying day around here. The odds were not in my favor from the start: I had to be in to work early which means the morning routine of getting Kiddo ready and to school is a bit more rushed. The commute there and to the office is a bit tighter. We were short staffed with a very full patient schedule. I survived the work day with only minor lingering aggravation.

Shortly after arriving home, Kiddo asked about downloading a game to my iPad. I reminded him that he has access to three game systems – one of which he doesn’t ‘share’ with anyone else in the family. Then I told him that (he knew) there is a two game limit on my iPad and he’d already swapped out games earlier that week.

He was not happy with my response. He huffed and pouted. He lingered by the couch and made a show of his displeasure. He eventually asked Michael if he could play on the Switch (which is Michael’s console).

We had that moment of beautiful parenting synchronicity and told him that he could use his 3DS or go entertain himself in his room.

There was stomping and a pointedly closed (but not slammed door). I let it go until I could hear him punching his pillow through the wall. If it’s loud enough for the deaf parent to hear through a wall then it warrants investigation. I grumbled to myself as I got up off the couch and went to his room. I asked if there was a problem.

His answer was that he was angry because he felt that his choices were so limited on how he could entertain himself.

I barely registered the words that flew from my lips. Full on Southern Mama sass – “Oh really? You feel limited? I can show you limited.”

….and there’s my mother tumbling right out of my mouth.

I sighed heavily, cursed myself silently, and decided it was in everyone’s best interest if I exited the conversation right then.

After dinner we had a second, more productive conversation. I reminded Kiddo of the one hour of electronics during the school week rule. I admitted that we had been slacking on enforcing it. I told him that while we all enjoy our electronics, I feel like it’s important to unplug and use your imagination. I drew parallels between the games he likes and the toys in his room.

By the end, we’d found our common ground and things were okay. I extended a peace offering of carrots instead of broccoli for dinner. It’s nearing bedtime and I can hear him singing (I think?) as he takes a shower.

I appreciate the fact that we’re able to take a break during conflict and come back whenever things are less heated. It’s not the easiest thing to do and I am humbled by the fact that Kiddo is able to attempt to hear both sides and is able to easily forgive me.

I know that someday our arguments may not be as easily settled. He won’t like my decisions and that’s to be expected. He won’t always be willing to give me a hug afterwards. But I can guarantee you that I will always tell him that I love him.

At the end of the day, that’s my mother coming out of my mouth too.

Milestones, Part I

My baby is ten years old, as of earlier this month.  For some reason this felt like a really big milestone to me.  We’ve made it a decade together – through all the little things and big life changes.  I suspect that it’s just me being sentimental over it since he didn’t seem to overwhelmed by the double digits thing.

His birthday party was a huge success, which I’m grateful for since I spent way more time and effort into this one than I ever have.  Now that he has gained a circle of friends thanks to Scouts and school, it seemed like it was time to take it up a notch.  I even tried a Pinterest suggestion and it was a WIN!

His party was held at a local gym that does NERF parties – basically, they put all the kids in a cleaned out weight room with large storage containers of NERF guns and darts.  From there, it’s just chaos, and that’s kind of the entire point.

The actual theme of the party was Legends of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.  This is the game that Kiddo and Michael have really bonded over, and I suspect is the one that will cement his love for gaming.  Continue reading

‘Tis the (Tax) Season

I’ve always held to the theory that when it comes to my tax return (the only time of year I receive a lump sum of money) that I have to do at least one responsible thing and then I get one ‘splurge.’

This year I paid off the personal loan from my mother that covered the rental car after the death of my Ford Escape last summer.  Then I also paid off my standard tax year car loan amount – if I am able to keep the timeline and payments as I want to, then the car will be paid off in 3 years.

I put away money for Kiddo’s birthday party and also for our camping trip over Spring Break.  Then, finally, I made the decision to replace my laptop.  I have been using the same Compaq Presario for roughly the last 12 years!  It was the first laptop I have ever purchased, and it has definitely survived much longer than I expected.

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E for Effort & F for Fail

February is just racing by and that means that I’m in full prep mode for Spring events – namely Kiddo’s birthday which is the first week in March.  Previously, we’ve had problems with the fact that his birthday falls right around Spring Break.  We’ve tried to do parties on the ‘bookend’ weekends but it’s too difficult with schedules.  This year I opted to move the party up to the weekend before his official birthday.

Which was working fantastically until they announced the date for the Blue & Gold Banquet for our Scout pack.  It will be the day after his party.  The Webelos 1 parents are the B&G Planning Committee.  I also was volunteered (thanks, Michael) to do centerpieces for our Den.

Kiddo and I are also going camping (just the two of us)  the last weekend of his Spring Break.  We’ll be going down to Natchitoches, LA and exploring the parks, plantations and historic district.

My schedule is starting to feel a bit full.  My planner is full of notes and lists. I don’t know how I would do this without some kind of organization system.

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Mid-Holiday Update

Winning:  I went home for Thanksgiving and had a lovely holiday with my family.  We had pictures taken and there are some really great ones.  I’m waiting to recieve a few specific shots before I post them.  There was no major conflict or issues, which was a pleasant surprise.  Mom requested that I bring Little Miss and she had a fantastic time with having a cat in the house again.  Mom ‘babysits’ my sister’s dog a few nights a week so she’s not alone all that often, really.

All of Kiddo’s Christmas gifts have been purchased and hidden away in my closet.  Yes, he knows they are there.  He knows that if he looks then he’s totally outta luck for being surprised later.  I try to keep it real,  y’all.

Failing: Holiday travel with the family is just not happening for Christmas.  I try to alternate sides of the family (between mine and the boyfriend) and then stay at home one year.  I’ve snuck in two extra days off work to just enjoy spending the time with my guys (and the kitten).

TBD:  Socializing – WTF am I doing?  Seriously.  SO MUCH socializing lately. Continue reading