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April 2014

Tips and Tricks To Make Life Easier For You and Your Teen: a guest post by my almost-13yo.

I've been  busily training for a couple of new jobs (a much needed and very appreciated couple of new jobs!) so my youngest daughter was kind enough to offer her services and guest blog for me, this week.  

Aaaaand, since I've already failed (miserably!) at posting every day for #NaBloPoMo, I took the kid up on her offer and told her to have at it :)

So, she came up with this, unedited and totally in her words:

Hope is blogging.

Hey hi hey…most of you know me as the youngest person in the thisfullhouse family. If you don’t know me then I’m Hope.  I’m turning 13 in two months. If you’re a parent and you have a teen or many teens like the mom of thisfullhouse here are some tips and tricks to make you and your teen's life a lot easier. 

Remember these are all totally true facts coming from a teen sooooo yeah.

1. Make sure they have a book to read or get into…I went a couple years thinking I hated books and here I am having 82 books/series I want to read.  This is NOT an exaggeration.

2. Make sure you have lots of tea and coffee in your house.  If your teen is upset about something tea is the best thing.  One of the best things my sister makes me is chai hot chocolate.  You make chai tea and mix in a little hot chocolate for a new world to be open in front of your very own eyes.

3. Let them listen to what ever music they want and let them dress how they want.  It doesn’t matter what they dress like or listen to, but if they start to dress a little too badinkadinky let them face the consequences.

4. Let them learn from their mistakes.  It’s the best way for them to figure out what they’re doing wrong, and fix it themselves.  It will also show you just how responsible we teens can be.  So it’s practically a win-win situation going on.

5.  On those nights where you just want to be alone with that special someone ;) schedule a sleepover at your teen’s friend’s house.  The two friends can have fun together and you can be with that special person of yours ;)  Remember at the friend’s house.  If your house you will be bothered for tis and that here and there and be bombarded with millions of questions.  And remember I am a professional.

6.  Have a certain day to hang out with them just you and your teen.  Make a movie night at your house, or go out for coffee, or go on a walk, a jog, a run, whatever you want.

7.  Whenever your teen says ‘whatever’ or ‘I don’t care’ just know that they really do care and they are just trying to cover it up or hide it from you to act “cooler”.  This especially happens around friends; don’t worry it happens to every parent you’re not doing anything wrong.

8. Lastly, GIVE THEM SPACE.  If they are having a problem or trouble with something, no matter what it be, GIVE THEM SPACE.

Try these tips and see for yourself.  Good luck!

Yep, the kid is WAY smarter than me. The only thing I would add: yes, you should also totally consider yourselves lucky...if and whenever your teen allows you to take a picture of the back of their head...YO!!!

©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.

When a teen slams a door, somewhere a local home center has just made another sale.

The funny thing about raising teens (by funny I mean less ha-ha-ha and more what-the-huh?!?) is all the stuff you thought you knew about parenting...just stop it, right now...because kids have this really innate ability of having you question almost every move you make, to be totally wrong, probably.

Personally, my inner-12-year-old would LOVE to have me forget that I am the parent, take over the situation and let's play a little verbal dodge ball, while where at it. 

This morning, it's the door slamming.

SLAM!!!!

Sets my nerves on edge and don't worry, both my husband and I will give the door slammer a second chance to try again or the door goes away. It works for us. The front door, however, is a different story.

Hope as a safety in 4th grade
4th grade: one of the last times when they remember how to close the door, quietly.

Our youngest child lost her cell phone privileges, this morning. Doesn't really matter why. She probably doesn't even remember, okay neither do I. But that's not the point I'm trying to make, here, because I really do have one.

[blows bangs out of eyes, stares out the window]

Oh yeah, right. So, my husband and I were watching the weather channel (it's how we bond in the mornings, don't judge!) when we hear our youngest coming into the room...from three rooms away...for being as small as she is...she's got a VERY HEAVY FOOT.

[stomp-stomp-stomp]

And then leave.

Garth (not his real name): Have a nice day!

[STOMP-STOMP-STOMP!]

Me: Love you!

This is the part where you would probably hear the door...SLAM!!!...if we hadn't invested in that thingie that keeps the storm door from bashing into the door jam...hang on, let me ask Mr. Google, okay it's called...a door check, years ago.

[the whooshing sound of a door...closing...very...very...slowly]

Me (to my husband): I think we handled that pretty well, you?

Long story, short: raising teens is hard, but being an emotional and moral compass is even harder... YO!

Got teens? Don't have a door check? Get one!!!

©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.

And now we're Doofus-dawg-proofing the couch.

I was pregnant with our oldest when we moved into our house...what we then referred to as our starter home...on Memorial Day weekend...21 years ago. Okay, so we're really sloooooooooooow starters.

Although my husband and I still dream about not having to share a closet (smaller than some other people's pantries) or my waking up in the middle of the night and having to go to the bathroom, all...the...way...downstairs...across the kitchen...through the living room...and waaaaay on the other side of the house...[taking a moment to catch my breath...phew...thanks!]...it's more than what a lot of other people have and, well, we've always managed to sort of make stuff work. 

It's also a lot easier now, in the sense that our kids are mostly-grown and have all pretty much child-proofed themselves, by now.

Then our poor old Doofus-dawg goes and hurts himself, by fracturing a bone in his foot which had to be splinted in order for it to heal properly, so the vet sent us home with very strict instructions:

  • NO JUMPING
  • NO RUNNING
  • NO CLIMBING

No problem, I mean, seeing as he spends most of his days dosing on the couch, right?!?

  • AND ABSOLUTELY NO JUMPING UP ON THE FURNITURE

R'uh-oh. Seriously?!? The definition of a dog's life includes jumping on the furniture -- especially, when you're NOT looking -- and, for as big as he is, our Doofus-dawg is especially proficient in sneaking up right next to you, without you even knowing it, until it's too late.

Doofus-proofing the couch.
yes, we ARE martha stewart's worst nightmare.

So, once again, we've managed to make it work: using laundry baskets to Doofus-proof the furniture.

Doofus-proofing the chairs.
and this is where we do our best edith and archie bunker, yo!

Aaaaand, although I didn't think we would have to worry about the recliners (they rock, literally!), Doofus-dawg did in fact try and get up on the recliners, too. The cone of shame is a reminder to quit chewing and it also seems to be working.

Still, night time is proving to be difficult. Doofus is used to sleeping upstairs with us, so my husband has been sleeping downstairs with Doofus (yeah, I know, it's going to be a looooong 4 weeks), but I didn't think he'd appreciate my posting a picture of the super-ingenious way he's managed to keep Doofus off the couch.

Soooo, my oldest daughter and I re-created it for you:

There's a dork on the couch!
this is me, pretending to be my husband, doofus-proofing the couch.

Aaaaaaaand, this is the part where you begin to feel really, really good about yourself AND pretty gosh-darned happy that you do NOT have to live with me. 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!   

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.

Never trust a mother with a camera.

My two oldest girls are 2 years apart, so Holly was still in diapers when Heather was born, because potty training is hard enough, let alone bringing home a brand new baby sister, thankyouverymuch.

Holly and Heather in the pool!They spent the next 3 years together, as each other's constant playmate, before more babies came along and, well, then it became...EVERYONE IN THE POOL!!!...while other parents looked on (in horror, mostly) wondering what it was like to raise 4 children under the age of 10:  it sort of feels as if you are walking around in a drunken stupor...all day...every day.

Holly and Heather box art.

These two monkeys, however, get the credit for molding me into the mother that their siblings would grow to know, as they each continued to help keep their mother (a.k.a. me) in check.

Even today, although they don't always like each other, they share a lot of the same interests and, now that they're 20 and 18 (ZOMG!!!), they've both grown accustomed to being able to stand up for themselves...as well as each other...especially, when their mother (again, me) is being totally unreasonable about curfews, or going to concerts, that happen to be playing two entire states away and such.

Mothering adults can be quite a sobering experience. Until, realizing that I had accidentally set my cell phone on video and then this funny little gif happened:

Silly Gifs

No matter how much these two grown up monkeys insist that...you know...I knew EXACTLY what I was doing, but don't tell them...m'kay?!?

 ©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.

Will sit, or pretty much whatever else it is you want him to do, for treats.

Although we are not sure how old he is...exactly...the vet at the animal shelter, where we adopted our Doofus-Dawg in 2004, figured him to be about a year old, at the time. Either way, he's well past earning his senior citizen's badge...in dog years.

The perks of his reaching retirement age for a mostly lab are many, but more importantly: we don't chase him off of the couch. In fact, I've grown accustomed to simply covering the furniture with a couple of blankets or twenty.

The other day, he got caught up in one of those blankets when attempting to jump off of the couch and hurt his foot, but it's not unusual for him to get a "zinger" because of his arthritis, so I gave him half of a baby aspirin to help ease the ouch.

Doofus gots an ouchie!
slept right through breakfast, poor old man.

Yesterday, he started limping. This morning, he couldn't walk at all.

My husband, Garth (not his real name) took the day off to help me get Doofus to the vet, figuring that my borked-up back would keep me from being able to lift him in and out of the car and my son is also home sick since Monday, because OF COURSE!

Aaaaaand, our middle girl is still in apprenticeship, so I may or may not need an extra driver to pick her up, as well.

But NOT because Doofus does not like going to the vet. On the contrary, he LOVES going to the vet, because they give him treats.

"Sit down, that's a good boy!"

TREAT!

"Up on the scale, that's a good boy!"

TREAT!

"Let's take a look at what's going on, that's a good boy!"

I'm pretty sure that, to Doofus-dawg, the treats are neverending at the vet and it's like all he has to do is sit, to be treated to a treat, but NOT today.

Doofus Dawg is waiting for his treat!
doofus is all like"hey, i'm sitting ova heh, where's my treat?"

The poor dog was panting with exertion, working it SO HARD trying to look all cute and everything, but still...no treat...because Doofus' x-rays showed a small fracture in his foot and the vet said she may need to sedate the old guy in order to get the splint on correctly.

It could take a couple of hours.

It was SO HARD to leave Doofus-dawg behind, but we knew that he is in good hands and, well, he didn't seem to mind hanging out with the vet for a few more hours, because there may or may not be treats involved.

Long story, short: he's going to be hobbling around for a couple of weeks and, hopefully, we'll get back some better news on some other stuff the vet wants to rule out

Having a sick kid home from school stinks, but taking care of a sick pet is a whole different level of cruddy and, well, it makes my heart squish.

Either way...fear not, Doofus-dawg...mommy's got a super-special surprise for you and it may or may not involve bacon...because BACON!

©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.