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December 2013

November 2013

Quite possibly my best parenting advice, evuh: just do you!

Me and Heather May 2013
Her future's so bright, we gotta wear shades :)

If you were to ask me to choose the most challenging aspect of our college-search journey, besides agonizing over financial packages, my short answer would be: watching my kid agonize over EVERYTHING ELSE, including my agonizing over financial packages.

For my middle daughter, now that it's crunch time (applications for merit and presidential scholarships are due December 1st), it's having to submit a personal essay: specifically, introducing herself to the admissions officers, by sharing with them what SHE feels makes her unique.

"But you're a pretty-terrific kid."

Aaaaand, here's where Heather, along with the rest of her siblings, would typically call "BS!!!" and insist that I'm just saying that, because I am her mother, and I'm supposed to say things like that.

"I don't want to sound arrogant!"

I just stood in the middle of the kitchen and stared at her, in mid-pancake flip, because I had a funny feeling that this was going to turn into one of those self-defining moments that, if done incorrectly, could scar your child for life and...YES!!!...I tend to over think stuff, like that, ALL THE DANG TIME.

"Ummmmmmm...."

See what I mean?!?  Often times people mistake me for being a "good listener", when I'm probably just too busy trying to figure out stuff and my kids are already pretty good at answering their own questions for me, anyway.

"Because women get called-out for being over-confident quicker than men do."

Here's the thing: raising kids is hard, raising selfless teens is even harder; but raising up girls is dang near impossible, without being slapped in the head with a double-standard or twenty and this parenting thing is hard...YO!

"Can you come read this for me?"

Thankfully, my kids also know that I work well with the assistance of visual aids.

"OMG!!! You're crying, it's THAT bad?!?"

On the contrary, and I'm not just saying that because I am her mother, here's the part that moved me to tears -- shared with Heather's permission:

Continue reading "Quite possibly my best parenting advice, evuh: just do you!" »

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

Thanksgiving Soup (a.k.a. Black Friday Soup)

Homestyle Turkey Noodle Soup

I have served this yummy soup, every year on Black Friday, ever since the kids were little and I think they look forward to it more than Thanksgiving dinner...me too!  It is a very simple soup that is also super-fast to throw together, which makes it a perfect meal for anytime of the year.

Continue reading "Thanksgiving Soup (a.k.a. Black Friday Soup)" »

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

The year we gave thanks for popsicle sticks.

Happy Thanksgiving 2013

As a mom of 2 teens, 1 almost-teen (she’s 12, same thing) and a college-aged child (YIKES!) I feel it safe to say that the transition from summer to the start of a new school year is NEVER an easy one. 

Which is why I would allow my kids the chance to decompress on the playground, even if only for a few minutes, every day afterschool.  It also gave me the chance to stop, enjoy some fresh air and help us each get into the swing of their new schedules, which usually happened around November, just in time for Thanksgiving break.

I loved whenever my kids would bring their school projects home and we have certainly collected a fair amount of holiday centerpieces over the years.  My youngest was seven-years-old when she made this “Thanksgiving pretty” in class and she was very careful NOT to hand it to me.

"Wow, this is really very pretty."

[one beat, two beats]

"No it isn't!"

My daughter’s eyes filled up with tears, so I quickly tried to think of something really encouraging to say, without sounding as if I were trivializing her feelings of inadequacy and…yes…I tend to overthink stuff like this, a lot.

"Uh, yeah, it is SO pretty."

To be fair, we were in the middle of the school yard, it was the best I could do, at the time.

"But, it's not how I wanted it to be."

As the youngest of four, Hope has proved to be a walking contradiction of all the things I know (or, thought I knew) about raising kids.

[sniff]

"But, sweetie...my house, my friends, my family, the world...these are very wonderful things to be thankful for!"

The look on her face screamed...Nuh-uh!

"NUH-UH!"

See?!?  Then she placed her hands on her hips: which is a clear signal that my child is about to make a very important point.

"Because, I have lots more stuff to be thankful for."

[wipes eyes in sleeve]

“But, the teacher only gave me 4 popsicle sticks!”

It may not be the most elaborate of centerpieces, but this particular school project reminded me that (as parents) we sometimes have a hard time not seeing the pretty for the popsicle sticks.

"Aaaaaaand, I think it's perfect!"

Have a Prettiful Thanksgiving, everyone :)

©2003 -2013 This Full House with a fan page on Facebook and everything!

I'm NaBloPoMo-ing it, feel free to check out what I've NaBloPoMo-ed, so 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.

If I have to eat my words, let it be "dessert"!

Good morning NOTI'm guessing it isn't a morning bird.

We're on the downside of a Nor'easter that came knocking on our house in the middle of the night (because, of course!) and, with a full plate of stuff that needs to get done before the kids get home from school (it's a half-day, enough said!) I am super-thankful to be awake, with electricity and everything.

It's still raining cats and dogs and a couple of squirrels (seriously, I think it's their mating season, or something) so my husband, Garth (not his real name) is all, like, "You're driving Hope to the bus stop, right?!?" early this morning.

Yeah...he's a REAL good dad like that... AND he already took 2 other kids to school, even earlier.

Fiiiiiiiiine, so I holler down the hallway, "You better hurry up, because I am SO NOT driving you to school!"

I, on the other hand, do not react well with mornings...no matter what the weather...yo.

"ARE YOU FLIPPING KIDDING ME?!?"

I've been driving kids to and from school for the last 14 years and experienced many "ARE YOU FLIPPING KIDDING ME?!?" moments, but NEVER something like this.

"I am SO NOT fighting for a parking space...at the school bus stop!!!"

So, once again, I'm eating my words and driving a kid to school: on the bright side, the middle school parking lot was empty, making the ride totally stress-free.

"But, the doors don't open for another 11 minutes."

[eyes go wide]

"Aaaaaaand, good thing my coat has a hood, right?!?"

Yeah...we grow real smart kids like that...AND aren't you glad I didn't Facebook this, earlier this morning?!?

[sound of circkets, chirping]

Stupid rain, dumbass #NaBloPoMo.

©2003 -2013 This Full House with a fan page on Facebook and everything!

I'm NaBloPoMo-ing it, feel free to check out what I've NaBloPoMo-ed, so 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.

Decking the halls, like there's no tomorrow.

We've hosted Thanksgiving for more than a dozen years and, for all my talk of going on killer dust bunny hunts and finding new places to hide the laundry, I really do enjoy having family over for the holidays -- YES, on purpose!

Decking the halls with kids 2013

Aaaaaand, now that my kids are older (me too, dammit!) I don't worry as much about:

  • The table setting -- nope, it doesn't match, but I hear that's a thing now
  • The food preparation -- yes, some of it comes out of a can
  • Cleaning and organizing the flow of the house -- seriously, I've got teens

I don't bother with shopping lists (having forgotten them at home, most likely) or worry whether I've managed to hunt down each and every dust bunny, because they're sort of like pets and we've even named a few of the bigger ones.

Decking the halls 2013 snowman

You see, no matter how my husband, Garth (not his real name) and I try, we've come to accept the simple fact that, with a family as big as ours, some things just don't go right and, before you can say, "Pass the potatoes," someone's puking all over your nice, clean and shiny floors.

Decking the halls 2013

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Eve, we've got a Nor'easter banging on our front door and, well, I did what any self-respecting lifestyle-type blogger would do:  I decked the halls (okay, mostly the dining room) like there was no tomorrow, literally.

Honestly, with our luck, I'll be super-thankful to have electricity on Thursday, because I am also super-easy to please, like that :)

©2003 -2013 This Full House with a fan page on Facebook and everything!

I'm NaBloPoMo-ing it, feel free to check out what I've NaBloPoMo-ed, so 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.

Stupid migraines, dumbass'ologists.

Helping grandma trim her Christmas tree 2013

I blogged about helping my in-laws with a few chores around the house and shared this picture on Facebook, of my kids helping their grandparents put up their Christmas tree, when I noticed that one of my kids was missing...just like last time.

Helping grandma trim her Christmas tree 2011

It's funny to see how each of them have grown and changed in such a short time -- seriously, Glen is nearly 6' 2" tall -- realizing that our middle girl was once again sidelined by a migraine...not so much.

Heather has missed a lot of school days over the years, but her migraines have become debilitating and I once again received the dreaded "I've got Heather here in my office, ready to puke her brains out, again" phone call from the school nurse, last week.

Long story, short: her migraines are becoming more frequent and she has a headache almost every single day, so we've made an appointment with a neurologist at the end of December.

I really hate it whenever my kids are hurting, but it seems Heather has drawn the short straw, especially when it comes to dealing with physical ailments that require visiting doctors specializing in anything ending in "ologist".

She is also smack-dab in the middle of the college applications rush, so it's NOT like the girl needs ONE MORE THING to worry about.

Having to wait an entire month to see the neurologist doesn't help, but we're hoping for some positive news and...more importantly...much needed relief from her migraines.

Heather's text
Aaaaaand, then she sends me this text, her first day back at school.

I mean, the poor kid's got enough on her plate, as it is...especially with me being her mother and our having to share a brain and everything...right?!?

[blank stare]

Stupid migraines, dumbass 'ologists.

©2003 -2013 This Full House with a fan page on Facebook and everything!

I'm NaBloPoMo-ing it, feel free to check out what I've NaBloPoMo-ed, so 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.

I am not superstitious, but I am a little stitious.

Delinquent Cat
He's drinking out of the dog's water bowl, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?!?

I remember the first time I got "my cards read," I was my youngest girl's age (12 going on 42) and it freaked me out, big time.

Her name was Charlotte, she was a friend of my Aunt Theresa's and she practiced cartomancy, which sounds an awful lot like gastromancy, but has nothing to do with being romantically involved with someone who works for the gas company -- although, considering today's economy, it certainly would be a perk.

"You will marry a man, with 5 letters in his name and you will have 4 children."

You See?!?  Garth (not his real name) has five letters in his name, for real too!

"Your brother will have a career in the Army and marry the Colonel's daughter."

BINGO!!! Although, I'm not exactly sure what rank my SIL's father was.  Still, close enough, right?!?

"You and your children will live a long and happy life."

Still working on that one...[knocks on wood until knuckles bleed]...because the Hungarian in me wants to believe in divination and my "old world" upbringing dictates that we are indeed each blessed with certain gifts, but living with perhaps the BIGGEST skeptic on Earth has tempered all that.

Aaaaaand then I just remind my husband, Garth (not his real name) about the time I fed him chicken on New Year's Day (=) a REAL BIG "Oh no you did'int" and precursor for some REAL BAD juju for the coming year, according to Hungarian folklore.

It was also the year when things started to go bad, and kept getting worse:

  • My husband suffered from one health issue after another
  • Heather was diagnosed with severe colic
  • I endured months of sleep deprivation, while dealing with PPD
  • While our two-year-old contracted a viral infection
  • That would last for the next three years

Call it bad luck, whatever, I've served ham every New Year's Day since then, just in case.

"I got my cards read, for the first time, the other day."

My MIL is still recovering from breaking her ankle (in three places, UGH!) over the summer, so we ran over to their place today to help her get a few chores done around the house.

"It was really cool, Grandma!"

I was out in the den watching the football game with my FIL (YES! It's a chore!) and headed back into their bedroom to check on my MIL.

"The woman was very specific and detailed about stuff."

I made a mental note to reacquaint our oldest daughter with my "Quit talking, about whatever it is you are talking about!" face, not quite knowing what my MIL thought about psychics, one way or the other and, well, she's still sort of getting used to having me as a DIL and stuff.

"I know it sounds weird, but it was sort of cool, too."

I watched as my MIL's eyes went REAL WIDE and prepared myself for the "THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT-type" accusations, that would never come.

"Well, I was four-years-old when I told your great-grandmother I would marry someone from Massachusetts."

Good thing Thanksgiving is another 4 days away, because it's going to take me THAT long to scrape my husband's chin from off of the floor!

©2003 -2013 This Full House with a fan page on Facebook and everything!

I'm NaBloPoMo-ing it, feel free to check out what I've NaBloPoMo-ed, so 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.