Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Parenting Paradox

Ok all you brilliant moms, sisters, friends. I have a parenting dilemma and I fully admit I'm at a loss to fix it. My beautiful 8 year old Jessi is just hitting all the wrong buttons with me lately. She has decided school is just a pain, her little brother & sisters are annoying, and her Mom is the eternal nag (yes it's me she's talking about, sob, sob). And here's the real kicker - She's mostly right.

Jessi has always hated homework but this year especially (3rd Grade) she has taken to "hiding" it from me. When I clean out her backpack or wash her coat I find 3 or 4 assignments she never finished. When I tell her she needs to complete them she says, "I don't Mom, that's already late work and my teacher doesn't care. Joey never turns in his homework and he's still going to 4th Grade next year." So what do I say to that? She's right you know - why should she do her homework when she doesn't really have to? So she'll get an "O" for outstanding instead of a "S" for satisfactory?

Next paradox - her siblings are annoying. Well so is she . . . sorry, that's not what I'm suppose to say. All Josh & Shelby want is for their older siblings to play with them. They wait all day and run to the door most of the time when they come home. And what do their loving "older" siblings do? "Why do we have to watch this baby show, I don't want to ride my bike around the block with Shelby - she's sooooo slow, Josh get out of my room!" I even made one of their daily chores to be reading a book to Josh or Shelby so at least they would spend a little time with them. Jessi had her friend Whitney over for 4 hours and they built a fort, pretended they were sailors, and watched a movie. How much of that would they let their younger siblings do? Nada. Now I'm the middle child so I was shunned by my older siblings too but I'm sick of it. You play with your younger siblings or else! That's right, buck up older kids or I'm going to make your life miserable . . . sorry, that's not what I'm suppose to say either.

Last Grr moment is that I have become "The Nag." Now they've never actually used that word (or I would get out the soap), but I can see it in Jessi's eyes. We have chore charts for all the kids and each chore is worth 20 cents. There are 5 chores a day which equals a dollar a day/$5 a week. Now Quinn loves money and almost never misses a chore. Jessi will sit at the table and say, "I don't really want money today so I'm not going to do any of my chores." GRR. Theoretically that should be ok right? Except for the fact that I'm just trying to give her allowance to be nice - the chores are not meant to be an option. So I have become the mean Mom who says exactly that, "Your chores are not an option, now get to it."

Jessi is such a bright, energetic kid when she wants to be. It's just like lately she's realizing she doesn't have to obey all the rules. I think part of it is because Quinn tries to be sooo perfect. It's almost like she's saying, "That role is full, I'm going to be the rebel."

So how do I get her to do her homework without any real consequences, how do I get her to play with her siblings without paying her, and how do I teach her a good work ethic without being a nag? Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. This mean middle child is drawing a blank.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Babes, Trucks, What more could you want?

Saturday Night was the big Monster Truck Show in the Holt Arena. Joaquin & Josh did the "male bonding" thing so Jesalee & I decided to do the same at home. Quinn & Jessi were spending the weekend with Aunt Dana to help celebrate Chelsea's 11th Birthday so it was just the little girls with us. We had dinner (mac & cheese), watched a movie (Barbie), and ended with a bath. Night life rocks!
I wanted to show this 30 sec. video of Halle chewing me out for something. They start so young . . .

And here is the final video clip of the big bad "Monster Truck Show." This was Josh's very favorite clip as the truck (it has a name but I can't remember what he told me) flips over.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Women's Conference Request

Believe it or not this post is not about my kids, shocker I know.  I was hoping to catch most of my friends.  Next Friday, April 30th I am going down to BYU for a quick 1 day, 1 night trip to Women's Conference.  Joaquin has agreed to keep all the kids for me  (he's even taking the day off NAPA - I'm guessing it's payback for all his Snowboarding this past winter) and I wanted to invite any of my friends who want to come with me!  Here's the link to their website in case you want to check it out
I'm going to leave 5:30 am on Friday, attend any classes on finding joy in motherhood, strengthening your testimony, or loving your husband more (you know the basics).  My Mom and whichever of my sisters that can come will be there also.  The conference closes with Elder Dallin H. Oaks and his wife Kristen M. Oaks, then we usually head to the BYU Bookstore to buy clothes, toys, mint brownies, or my favorite - BYU Creamery DONUTS!  My Dad always creates a fantastic candlelight dinner with a magnificent chocolate something for dessert that night, we stay up late chatting and laughing about what we learned, then after a few hours of sleep come home (Quinn has her piano recital Saturday).  
I know it's a whirlwind trip but it's one of my favorite things to do and I would love to share it with my friends.  So if any one can talk there husbands into babysitting for 24 hours or cash in on a couple favors - COME WITH ME!
P.S. It only costs $29, free lodging at my Mom's, and I'm already paying for gas.  Cheap, Cheap trip.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Now that my taxes are done . . .

It's true, my taxes are officially done!  I had Joaquin sign the papers, we paid the State of Idaho, and get some back from the Feds (only because of our 5 beautiful deductions) and I'm ready to join the blogging world again.  I just loved this picture of Halle and knew Mindi would appreciate my larger than life bow.  A big thanks to Gwen who let me borrow her "Bumbo" which I'd never heard of until recently.  It's the coolest little chair that you can set up on the counter, desk, or table.  The only thing I don't like about it is that Shelby, Josh, & even Jessi think it's cool they can sit in it (sorry Gwen, who would have thought all the kids who can sit up alone would want help?!?)
I have taken a picture of each of my girls in the dress I was blessed in just for fun.  Shelby was "helping" make her smile this morning.  I think she did great work, don't you?
This last pix I have to explain a little.  Right above Halle's changing table I hung a quilt my Mom had made for Quinn.  The picture doesn't do it justice, but it's just gorgeous with tons of bright spring colors and 4 different colored kittens that decorate each corner of the quilt (how much of her talent did she pass on to me? Zippo - I just keep telling her how much I love her quilts and hope she'll keep making them for my kids)  
Anyhoo, Halle just loves to be on her changing table because of this quilt.  She almost giggles when you lay her down and immediately her head will turn to it.  She'll smile or laugh at it and just recently has been reaching out to touch it.  I think it's so endearing that I snapped a picture to show my Mom.  So in case I haven't told you enough, Thanks for all your hours of sewing Mom - it's totally worth it!