School Daze

3 weeks; 21 days; 504 hours; 30,240 minutes and a pair of fake eyelashes.

Heather Prom 2014
so, this happened. the girl formerly known as thing two (when i started blogging 11 years ago) looking all growed-up and beautiful for her senior prom.

To everyone else, it's just a very lovely capture of another milestone reached in the life of a teen. To me? It is one more bittersweet reminder of just how quickly the years have gone by or how they're sort of speeding up and beginning to make me feel a little like throwing up, even.

Long story, short: I've been working a lot of hours, lately. Like, if I'm not sleeping...then I'm pretty much working...and the kids have been awesome about helping out...I mean...as much as can be expected, their being kids and all.

Which means there's a lot of debating on whose turn it is to: change the dishwasher, feed the animals, switch the laundry, walk the dog, take out the garbage, mow the lawn, and forget to take something out of the freezer for dinner.

Okay, that last one was probably me, but one of the really GREAT things about raising teens is when THEY start remembering things for you.

"I'm taking Heather to get shoes for the prom, after I pick her up from work."

Then they get old enough to drive and can take their siblings to work and stuff -- that's just all sorts of awesome, right there.

"Don't forget, I get out at 12:55 today, so we could get my hair and makeup done!"

Even longer story, short: seniors are let out early on prom day, which is also all sorts of awesome, except the buses still run on a regular schedule, so I glanced down at the timestamp on the spreadsheet I happened to be working on and...DAMMIT...but spreadsheets can be evil little time suckers.

"I'm leaving now!"

My oldest daughter was working (because, you know, eventually I'm going to need to allow her to have a life, too) so I was left in charge of picking up my middle girl.

"Mom, you'll never make it."

Here's the thing. My middle girl does not drive. The vocational school she attends is 30 miles away and it does not have a driver's ed class, but since she was hoping to go to a city college, she was perfectly okay with putting off getting her driver's license for a while.

"We'll get there in time, don't worry."

20 minutes later (give or take a minute, or another 20) I pulled up to the school, she got into the car and then 3 weeks worth of stress (both hers and mine) boiled over, words were exchanged and, well, it wasn't pretty.

30 minutes later, we walked into the hair salon all puffy-eyed and emotionally spent.

To her, the last 3 weeks, of what should have been an exciting time of announcing college decisions and preparing for her senior prom, have become nothing more than 21 days, 504 hours, and 30,240 minutes of disappointment.

To me? It was yet another reminder of just how far I have come to feeling like an absolute failure at all the things...especially, not knowing how to make my kids happy...anymore.

"Mom, she forgot her eyelashes." 

I watched my daughter's eyes move from her reflection in the mirror to mine, as our hairdresser asked the make-up girl to take me to the beauty supply store, a few doors down.

My hairdresser is also a very good friend of mine and she has a teen, enough said.

"I picked these, they sort of flare out like wings, I thought these would look cool."

My daughter nodded her head.

"Yeah, I like those."

We both stared at the fake eyelashes for a few more seconds, before our eyes met and we smiled at each other, at the same time...even.

My oldest daughter got there soon after that and we both sat there together for the next 90 minutes, while folks continued to fuss over her sister, both of us content with watching her enjoy each and every minute of it.

Heather Prom Primped

And then it hit me, as these sort of parenting-type things often do, like a brick upside the forehead.

"Why don't you go home with your sister, while I settle up the bill."

Parenting teens is sort of like being strapped into a roller coaster...all day...every day...and whose success SHOULD be measured simply by our ability to walk away without a) throwing up and with b) all your body parts still attached. 

"Nah, I'll just wait and ride home with you...Momma."

Then again, we could all just throw our hands up in the air and screeeeeeaaaaaaammmmm...allllllllllllllll...the...frig...waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay...dowwwwwwwwwwwn.

Happy prom day, Heather. I love you. I'm glad it turned out to be a good day, after all. 

©2003 -2014 This Full House with a fan page on Facebook, a way for you to subscribe to receive This Full House blog post by Email and everything!   

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

Better late than never, admitting you have a problem, being late.

Like any other 15 year-old boy (at least, the teenagers I've had the pleasure of ignoring me) my son likes to sleep (a lot!) and can fall asleep, at a drop of a hat, standing up, with one arm tied behind his back and holding up a "Do not disturb!" sign with the other, if need be. He gets it from his father.

Glen and Holly hiking together, sort of.
Glen and Holly hiking together in the marshlands of NJ, sort of.

The boy is probably lagging behind or running perpetually late, for almost everything, too. Guess who he gets THAT from?!? G'head, I'll wait!!! Although his is more of a laid-back, slow and steady sort of late, while I'm frantically trying to finish up all the things...at the same time...and probably doing it wrong, too...not to mention...SQUIRREL!!!! 

Aaaaanyway, I was going through some paperwork at my desk (alright, so I was filing stuff from last year, let's just pretend it was today's mail, okay?) and my son...slooooooooowly...pops his head in to let me know that he's home from school.

Although my neighbors could probably hear him barrel through our front door, anyway. This is also the kid who feels the need to identify himself when texting me...or calling me...on my phone.

"Hi mom, it's Glen, I'm home!"

See what I mean? 

"I have late dentention on Wednesday."

To be fair, my oldest ran late nearly every day when she was a freshman (and pretty much right through graduation), but go figure this would be the year the high school decides to crack down on lateness.

"But, before you say anything, I get it!"

[one beat, two beats]

"In my defense, it's dentention I owe from a while ago!"

I didn't ask if it was because he forgot that he owed detention from a while ago, because TEEN BOYS ARE ALSO SUPER-FORGETFUL and, well, I just happened to ask myself that same question...right now...because SQUIRREL!!!

©2003 -2014 This Full House with a fan page on Facebook, a way for you to subscribe to receive This Full House blog post by Email and everything!   

I'm NaBloPoMo-ing it, feel free to check out what I've NaBloPoMo-ed, thus far (PHEW!) and let me know how I'm doing (I mean, 30 posts, in 30 days, really?!?) when you have time, of course!

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

MOTY: Fughetaboutit, I'm going for Mother of Two Decades!

If you were to ask me to list the scariest words in the English language, a few years ago, it would have looked something like this:

  • Strep throat
  • It's probably viral
  • Chuck E. Cheese
  • Parent-teacher conference
  • I couldn't find any clean underwear (don't ask)

Today, although we are way out of the Chuck E. Cheese demographic (blessed be!) and conduct our parent-teacher conferences via email, the list is still pretty much the same.

Which leads me to believe that this house does IN FACT eat underwear AND regurgitates socks in the strangest places, sometimes.

Trust me, you do NOT want to know.

Unfortunately, my teens also still get sick, it IS most probably viral AND parents still send their kids sick to school, too. I know, because I am one of them.

Long story, short: my 15yo son (he's a freshman in high school, btw) has been home sick all week; on an antibiotic since Monday; but feverless for the last two days.

So, considering he's been working so hard on keeping his grades up (most especially, in his math class), I insisted he go back to school TODAY.

"But I really don't feel well."

Just so you know, Rule 1 of the Teen Handbook dictates: you should NEVER feel well enough to go to school.

"It's okay, your father will drive you." 

Not for nothing, but Rule 2 of the Teen Handbook also dictates: you should run as late as possible, the closer you live to the school.

Even longer story, short: we're using every laundry basket in the house to block Doofus-dawg from getting up on the furniture (he fractured his foot and, as of yesterday, is wearing a splint, because OF COURSE!) and, well, there just isn't any room on the couch, dagnabit!

[phone rings]

"Hi mom, it's Glen."

Fun fact: my kids still feel the need to identify themselves, most especially to me, on the phone.

"I'm in the nurses office."

Oh, and I just thought of another phrase to add to my "scariest words in the English language" list -- see above.

"I've got a 103 fever."

[eyes go wide]

Here's the part where I solidify myself as a forerunner to being awarded the Mother of the Year crown: I actually considered his messing with the thermometer, in some way.

I know, MOT..to the friggin'...D...right?!?

Until, I'm sitting in the front office and then watch...with WIDE eyes...as the nurse assists my son as they...slowly...walk...down...the...hall...to...the...front...office...in...front...of...his...Italian...teacher...and...everything.

I could NOT sink into the metal chair, deep enough.

"Hi, you Glen's mom?!?"

[one beat, two beats]

"Nope, I'm his Aunt!"

Honestly, all you other mother of the year candidates, you guys should just go home now. I GOT THIS!!!

©2003 -2014 This Full House with a fan page on Facebook, a way for you to subscribe to receive This Full House blog post by Email and everything!   

I'm NaBloPoMo-ing it, feel free to check out what I've NaBloPoMo-ed, thus far (PHEW!) and let me know how I'm doing (I mean, 30 posts, in 30 days, really?!?) when you have time, of course!

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

Parenting teens: the face infographic.

Having entered my 11th year of blogging...she said, in a Gandolf-like voice...I sometimes feel this incredible need to share a few insights, if you will, to help save other parents a few headaches -- especially, parents of younger kids.

In case you missed it: there's the little infographic to help reinforce a more realistic homework ritual and the how much should you help your child with their school project infographic.

This week? I'm laid up with a kidney stone-type pain (they ARE the devil!) and, once again, my husband used his super-power of being able to assess EXACTLY how badly I feel with 8 simple little words: do you need to go to the hospital?!?

You know, I could never figure out those pain scales...either...which inspired me to create an infographic to help other parents decipher their child's facial expression(s), based on the top 5 faces I get from my teens.

The Face Infographic Framed

**passes bottle of [insert favorite brand of pain reliever, here]**

You're welcome.

©2003 -2014 This Full House with a fan page on Facebook, a way for you to subscribe to receive This Full House blog post by Email and everything! 

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

Parenting teens: the school project infographic.

So, last week, I created a little infographic to help reinforce a more realistic homework ritual to help save other parents (especially, those with younger kids) a few headaches.

This week? I was inspired by my friend Beth (a.k.a. Life in the BAT Cave) to create an infographic to help your child complete school projects -- which, at second glance, could pretty much be used as another homework infographic -- because I am also really good at multi-tasking, for you, like that. 

School Project Infographic Edited

**passes bottle of [insert favorite brand of wine or beverage of choice, because I'm easy, here]**

You're welcome.

©2003 -2014 This Full House with a fan page on Facebook, a way for you to subscribe to receive This Full House blog post by Email and everything! 

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

Parenting teens: the homework infographic.

NO! I am NOT and have NEVER claimed to be an expert, at anything -- other than my insanely awesome ability of leaping tall piles of laundry in a single bound, while listening to 4 different conversations, at once.

However, I can't help but sometimes feel this incredible need to share a few insights on raising kids.

For example:  parenting under the influence of teenagers can make even the smartest of people...sound stoopid...most especially, to teenagers.

So, to save other parents (especially, those with younger kids) a few headaches, I have created this little infographic to help you reinforce a more realistic homework ritual:

Deciphering Teenagese

**passes bottle of [insert favorite brand of pain reliever, here]**

You're welcome.

©2003 -2014 This Full House with a fan page on Facebook, a way for you to subscribe to receive This Full House blog post by Email and everything! 

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

Sure, I like snow: just not so wet, cold and snowy.

As a family of Jersey girls and boys -- my husband, Garth (not his real name), the kids and I were ALL born and raised here -- we've grown accustomed to snow.  It's the wintertime.  We live on the East coast.  It snows on the East coast, especially in wintertime, sometimes it even snows A LOT.

Holly not digging #Janus
Our oldest was not digging, helping me dig out of #Janus.

Yesterday was no exception, although when the forecast called for "a major snow event" we immediately split into two camps: there is team "I hope we get dumped on!" and the other half of us are all...I HOPE [enter name of next major snow storm, here] BLOWS OUT OVER THE FRIGGIN' OCEAN, THE JERK.

Guess which one I'm on?!? G'head, I'll wait.

We've had winter storms that start off with a BANG (or BAH-TAH-BING, if you're from Jersey) and then sort of just fizzle out, but then OTHER times they really do turn into major snow events, THE JERKS.

Winter storm Janus (rhymes with hanus, I know it's really spelled heinous, just not as funny) turned out to be a BIG FAT JERK!

To save on snow days (our kids get out in late June, when the rest of the nation's summer vacation is almost already over, as it is) our schools decided to call an early dismissal.  Which is GREAT!  Unless your kid attends a school that is 25 miles away from home (approx. 30 mins. on the Parkway, on a good day, if you're from Jersey), like one of mine does. 

School bus #Janus
This dude, right here, deserves a nice hot cup of coffee (or cawfee, if you're from Jersey) and then maybe even a medal.

It took Heather's bus driver 2 hours to get home and I spent almost ALL of those TWO HOURS staring out our front door (it's okay, the neighbors who live directly across the street from us weren't home and they don't really like us, anyway) giving the stink eye to the cars who whizzed on by...not realizing (or caring) that...you know...IT'S SNOWING...SIDEWAYS...SO SLOW DOWN, YOU JERK!!!

Don't even get me started on having kids old enough to drive in the snow...their ownselves...UGH!!!

I mean, I used to like the snow.  Especially, when my kids were little-er, but a little more willing to, you know, actually go outside AND walk in it.  

So, after lamenting how I would like snow EVEN MORE if it wasn't so wet, cold and snowy, my friend Beth was kind enough to help me to realize that perhaps I just wish it resembled beach sand...a little more...okay, A LOT!

She also happens to be a Jersey girl, YO!

©2003 -2013 This Full House with a fan page on Facebook, a way for you to subscribe to receive This Full House blog post by Email and everything! 

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.