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Preview: Mommy Goes Bananas

Mommy Goes Bananas



The Real Life Adventures of a single african-american adoptive parent, trying to parent four unique, wonderful children.



Updated: 2016-09-08T00:33:27.810-04:00

 



Guess Who's Back

2013-01-14T16:22:16.002-05:00

Remember those old commercials for Nationwide Insurance...the Life Comes At You Fast series ?

Well I have learned that not only does life come at you fast, it also is Unmerciful. Unforgiving. And Unkind.

Especially, when you are the parent of teens.

Everyone is growing up in some way, shape or form.
'Cole is now 18 and in her final year of high school.
Pickles is 17. And well...hopefully one day he'll end up with a GED. Right now I'd just like for all his legal troubles (long , long story) to be over.
Daisy and Pinky are 14. Everyday is filled with 14-year old girl drama. They are a walking soap opera.

And me ?
Well, I'm still hanging in there. But I tell you...it's been hell.
But somewhere along the way I've began to learn about myself. And I've learned the things that once made me happy, no longer fulfill me. I've learned that there's no such thing as a perfect parent (especially in the eyes of a teenager) And I'm learning to be OK with that.






Maybe It's Me

2011-11-03T08:10:22.869-04:00


(image) Maybe I'm not doing this right. Maybe everything I thought about parenting is wrong,
Maybe I don't know what the heck I'm doing.

I'm starting to feel like I don't know what the heck I'm doing.
I wonder if it's because all these kids are now teenagers ? lol

After a HUGE blowup yesterday between 'Cole and the twins, I feel like my home is full of chaos.

Here's the problem(s)
'Cole thinks that the twins get away with too much. They don't respect her. She thinks I don't discipline them enough. When they do something she perceives as disrespect she's ready to bash their heads in. Literally.

The twins think that 'Cole is the "favorite" child and gets EVERYTHING she wants. They don't listen to her because...well they don't respect her.


Huge fight occurred yesterday while I was at the grocery store. Ended with the twins fleeing the house for their lives.
Safely plan has been in place since the last BIG blowup...about a year ago.

'Cole struggles to control her anger.  Once she gets to her breaking point you can't pull her back. It's best to give her a lot of space and let her cool down. When she's in that state of mind you can't reason with her or talk to her. All she sees is what she perceives as an attack on her person.

The twins on the other hand are mouthy 13 years olds. They really don't know when to quit. Really. They think they're pretty tough. They talk a lot of trash.

Unfortunately, 'Cole isn't amused at their bravado.

And to think this whole situation started over the chore list.



Family Life

2011-11-03T08:08:30.836-04:00



Time marches on. This weekend we spent the morning picking apples and pumpkins at our favorite farm. Lynd's Fruit Farm.  The apples there are sooooo sweet. I can't wait to make something with them.  My mother used to make fried apple pies. That sounds so good right now.  I live for these family moments. They bring light into my life. I don't have many memories of my cousins growing up. I can't recall going on any family outings. (image)





13

2011-10-10T20:04:56.716-04:00



Today my two youngest daughters turn 13.
They are good girls (mostly) lol
They love roller skating, cheerleading, facebook and music.

The have wishes and hopes and dreams.
They are beautiful and kind.

They are emotional and silly.
They wear their hearts on their sleeves.
They make me happy when skies are gray.
Quick to anger, but even quicker to forgive.

They've been my daughters since they were 4 years old.
I can't believe how quickly time has flew by.

Happy Birthday.  I love you both.




Broken Hearts and Broken Windows

2011-09-18T10:58:59.440-04:00

I tried.

Pickles had court on Wednesday. The first charge was for truancy (from last school year), the second charge was theft. He tried to shoplift over $300 worth of merchandise from Sears.

The judge was ready to put him in jail. I should have let him. Maybe that's what he needs to see. Maybe that'll be what it takes for him to understand.

He's been going to school. Trying to make an effort.

But I guess when he saw he wasn't going to jail, he lost his little goofy mind.

He had a ride to get back to school after court, so I let him go. He didn't go back to school. Didn't come home. He didn't go to school Thursday. Didn't come home Thursday.

Late Friday morning the school called and told me he arrived late.  I didn't pay too much attention to it. I was just glad he had dragged himself to school.

Friday afternoon 'Cole texted me and said someone had broken the window of her bedroom and taken some money out of her bank. When I got home I noticed some clothes on the basement stairs. Pickles shirt... the one he had wore to court. That's when I knew who had been in my house.
I checked all the other windows, made sure nothing else was stolen. Filed a police report. I asked 'Cole how much money she was missing. She said a dollar and some change.

He swears he didn't break the window. He even had his alibi ready. He was on another side of town with my friend's son all afternoon. He couldn't have done it.

 But I know the truth.

He didn't do this in the afternoon. He did this Friday morning. After everyone left for work and school. He took the money for bus fare so he could get to school. That's why he got to school late.

My good boy. The one I never imagined would be this way.
My heart doesn't even have time to mend itself, before he does something else. Something worse.

There are things in my head that I never imagined I think about one of my children.
A dislike that grows with every incident. A coldness that fills me when I look at him.
Now...I'm just tired.



Parenting Redux

2011-08-21T21:15:31.287-04:00

Over this summer, I have learned alot about the type of parent I want to be. I see the mistakes I made with my son, and I have an almost profound understanding of what happened.

Lives have to have meaning. Definition.

I allowed him to meander through his life without purpose and now I see the error of that. His life was full of school stuff and home stuff. There was nothing else (well, except for vacations and outings and such) But there was nothing there to motivate him, feed his mind.
Now I'm dealing with the results of a starved mind. A mind that needed purpose.
I didn't know.

In learning this about him, I also learned it about myself.

When I became a parent I stopped doing the things I loved.. Drawing, painting, writing. My own mind became starved.
And I didn't even know.

He wants piano lessons. I will sign him up for piano lessons.


It's never to late to change. (hopefully)
I promise to do better.








And So I Pray....

2011-07-09T16:50:08.703-04:00

Why didn't anybody TELL me that being the parent of teenagers was going to be so hard. Why ? Why ? Why ?

I know Pickles could be much, much worse. I know that he is trying to figure out who he is and where he's going. I know all that stuff.

All I'm asking for is a little common sense.

And I still have to look forward to the twins becoming teenagers.
My head hurts just thinking about it.



In Other News

2011-06-04T07:11:04.712-04:00

(image) We need a new roof. Every time it storms the wind blows shingles off. I've got a few estimates and the insurance company agreed we needed a new roof... so they're paying for it.

Hopefully the work starts this week and it can stop raining in my house.


Our dog Java gave birth to 10 puppies. One died at birth. So for a while we had nine adorable balls of fluff running around. As soon as they were old enough I started giving away puppies. We only have one left, and he belongs to my sister and brother-in-law. He's a cutie pie, but I don't want anymore dogs.



Almost Summer

2011-05-30T18:15:44.039-04:00

I never seem to have time to blog anymore , but this is probably the time I need it the most.
This school year is slowly coming to an end... and I will be the first one to admit I'm happy to see it go.
Pickles has school attendance issues almost this entire school year. Somewhere along the way he's decided that he knows EVERYTHING he needs to know and doesn't see the point in an education. He told me he "has bigger dreams than what a high school diploma can give him" and that he " isn't going to work a 9 to 5 job, because he's going to be famous."

Tomorrow we have to go to Truancy Court, where he'll have to explain why he doesn't seem to be able to make it to school.

I am physically and emotionally drained. I have done everything I could short of quiting my job and walking him to school everyday. He hates school. Period. Always has. Before he became my son (age 8- third grade) He had been in seven different schools. His early life was about survival...not education.
He's blamed everyone and everything for his school issues, but in reality it's all him. The school has offered tutoring, the teachers offer extra help, I've sat down and tried to help him. Family members have tried to help him. People I work with have tried to guide him. He just sees it all as absolutely pointless.

Part of it is his personality. He's so laid-back and easy going, he has no ambition. None. He doesn't want to do ANYTHING he has to work hard for. He's not a bad kid. He's not disrespectful, he doesn't mess with drugs or alcohol. he just wants to do what he wants to do. (Hang out with his friends, shoot hoops, play video games)

Lately it seems like all my time and energy is spent dealing with him. I feel sooo bad for my daughters, they probably feels like they doesn't have a parent. I'm thinking about sending him to summer camp, we ALL just need a break for his drama.

I know I said it once, but I'll say it again....I'm tired.



Happy 17th !!

2011-04-21T19:52:59.603-04:00

(image)




Always so proud of this beautiful girl. I know she feels unappreciated. I know I need to do better. Lately, I've been so involved in drama with Pickles, I've forgotten how happy this kid makes me.
She turned 17 years old on April 16th. One of her gifts from me was a trip to the Jersey Shore. She invited her best friend along and they had tons of fun. Ocean City, Atlantic City and everywhere in between. She gathered giant seashells from a beach, they shopped for cool stuff on the boardwalk, they walked along the beach and danced in the water. (It was way too cold for swimming.)

I'm happy and sad at the same time to see her grow up.
I feel like my house is full of so much drama, that the good kids and the ones who are trying just get pushed aside.
It makes my heart hurt.

But this weekend was stress-free. We had fun. The other kids were at home with the babysitter.
I felt soooo carefree and relaxed. I miss feeling like that.

'Cole...I love you. I hope you know it.



In Other News...

2011-03-23T19:35:27.143-04:00

'Cole has been accepted into the Medical Assisting Program at the career center. Very hard program to get into, I'm very proud of her.

The twins are doing well in school. I'm exploring summer camp options for them. They absolutely need to stay busy during the summer.



Hear that sound ??

2011-03-23T21:43:18.205-04:00

That's the sound of the "poo" hitting the fan.
I've been having a feeling something was going on at my house, while I'm at work. So Monday I pulled a "mom maneuver" I got dressed like I was going to work, left at my regular time, stayed gone for an hour and came back.
I leave at 6. Kids are supposed to be gone at 6:30.
As I approach my house, my dog meets me on the sidewalk.
I opened the front door (which was unlocked) and just stood there for a moment. I could hear water running in the bathroom upstairs.

Pickles heard the dog and peeked his head around the corner and saw me. His jaw HIT the floor.
I asked him what he was doing. he started stammering and stuttering about how he was waiting for his friend to bring him some jeans and how he really was going to school.
I told him I really wasn't in the mood for excuses and it would be best if he finished getting dressed and go on to school. He tossed on some shoes and basketball shorts and left.

After he left I went upstairs to change out of my uniform. I unlocked my bedroom door and lo and behold, the boy had jimmied the lock, and made himself at home on my computer (the only computer in the house that wasn't password protected). He had even been enjoying a bowl of cereal when I interrupted him.

Needless to say, he did not go to school. I think he hung out at the library all day. (or at someones house) I did not go look for him.
He sent me a facebook message around noon, talking about how he hated school, how I've been so good to him and that I wouldn't have to worry about him anymore.
We did find him later that day, playing basketball at the park. My brother-in-law went and talked to him and we all returned home.
I had a long talk with him. We're exploring school options for next school year.

This kid is tiring me out.



Drama

2011-02-21T14:12:59.357-05:00

Friday I got a call from the high school. The bio-dad of Pickles was there trying to sign him out for the day. For once the school did exactly what it's supposed to do and did NOT release my son to this man.

Things would've been so different if he had contacted me first. If the kids were open to seeing him, I would have been more than happy to arrange a visit. It all reeks of sneakiness. He doesn't want to contact me because he sees me as the babysitter.

He has NO respect for their current lives. They've moved forward and he's stuck in the past. He hasn't seen them since the twins were 4 and Pickles was 8. That's a lifetime to a child.

I'm glad that the kids and I have always been able to have open, honest dialogue. They told me immediately when he first contacted them and everytime he's ever tried to contact them.

I mentioned the school incident Pickles, he had no idea. The office didn't tell him his dad was there.

Now I have some decisions to make.



Finding Value

2011-01-30T23:52:26.698-05:00

The conversation on the way home from a Parent-Teacher Conference this morning.

Me: "People see something of value in you. Your teachers could have wrote you off. They could have said oh well, this kid doesn't want to learn. Heck with him. But instead they try to work with you, encourage you and support you. They see something of value in you."

Pickles: "How come all of you see it and I don't ?"

Me: " Perhaps you don't know what to look for."

He won't even give himself a chance. How do I teach him or help him to discover what he is capable of if he won't even give himself a chance ?
He loves being successful as long as he doesn't have to work at it.

I like him. He's a good kid. He's fun to talk to. He's calm, even-keeled, and loving. He's charming and charismatic. He CAN be successful. He could become anything he wants.

Why can't he see himself the way other people see him ?



New Years Day 2011

2011-02-04T22:32:22.799-05:00

(image)











lol.... I have soooo many posts in my head. Just no time to write.
Happy New Year !!!
This year we decided to try out a new family tradition. We took all the kids snow tubing at Mad River Mountain Ski Resort. They had entirely too much fun. lol
(image)











I took pics and watched. I was not trying to get injured in any way shape or form.







Surviving Christmas

2011-01-30T23:33:56.982-05:00

Hooooo-weeeee...

I'm just glad its over.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.

Right now the kids are downstairs playing Just Dance 2 for the Wii. They've been playing it all weekend.
December 19th we had our family Christmas party. My nephew A-2 did a magic show, it was wonderful. Then nephews a1, a2, a3 and Daisy and Pinky danced/mined to 'I Heard it through the Grapevine' it was too cute.

Christmas Eve was filled with the usual drama. Daisy provoking everyone to craziness and 'Cole punching her in the face. I had to jump in the middle of the fight, to do damage control. Every Christmas season there's always some drama.

Christmas Day was pretty nice, much calmer than I expected. The kids got clothes and shoes and I limited their electronics to one item per person. No point in buying a bunch of stuff to get destroyed. (wish that would have occured to me when they were younger. lol)



November

2010-11-20T15:39:30.481-05:00

34 days till Christmas. I've been busy trying get get myself prepared for the holidays. The kids are always stressed out this time of year. They've been fighting amongst themselves more than usual. Everybody is tense and on edge.

Pickles has been grounded for all his bad grades + getting suspended...TWICE !
But he seems to be heading around a corner. We just had parent-teacher conferences this week and he's doing better. He actually has a B in geometry. Yes, folks you heard me correctly a "B". I'm proud of him, but I know he struggles with keeping up with his grades. He's getting a lot of help at school and that is working wonders for him.

The twins are doing pretty good in their first year of middle school. They love to talk and that is creating some issues for them. Overall they are doing well.

'Cole is also doing pretty good. She loses her focus every so often, but she knows what she has to do to pull her grades up.

As for me...
I'm just plowing along. lol Holidays are stressful for me because there always seems like there's too much to do and no time to do it. I'm a planner so it helps me to plan out everything. I've been spending so time rediscovering myself. I've been Mommy for so long, I've almost forgotten who Kathy is. I'm enjoying getting to know myself again.

That's all for now. Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving !



Pinky and Daisy's 12th Birthday Spectacular !!

2011-06-04T07:10:13.716-04:00

Pre-teen girls at a hotel. I'm just glad I didn't have to clean up. lol



They all had alot of fun. We were joined by the kids' maternal bio-cousin. She seemed pretty nice. We talked about things. The kids really didn't react too much to her. They said hi and reluctantly gave her a hug.

They played at the waterpark. They played in the pool. They watched movies and ate themselves silly in the hotel room.





Bad Pickles

2010-10-07T20:38:30.172-04:00

(image)
Pickles is having a rough school year so far. He's a bright child that thinks he can get by on his looks and sense of humor. He goes to school and sits in class. He doesn't do ANY work. He likes to wander the hallways of the school. Not getting in trouble.... just not being where he's supposed to be.


The one thing he used to have going for him is that he's charming and adults usually like him.

When I went to open house a few weeks ago I found out he doesn't even have that anymore.


His social study teacher looked at him with a look I can only describe as malice. He looked like he wanted desperately to wrap his hands around my son's throat.


Pickles has been my son for many years. Seven or eight I think. I have never seen him blatantly act disrespectful towards an adult. He was awful. I couldn't believe THIS was my child. Rolling his eyes, making smart comments under his breath.


I was totally stunned.


He is now grounded. I am in constant contact with the teachers. I wish they would have contacted me before things got sooo bad. His grades are in the toilet. He is in credit recovery so that hopefully he'll get enough credits to graduate. HE doesn't seem the least bit bothered by this. At all.



Back to School 2010

2010-08-29T22:04:23.282-04:00

(image)
(image)

Well, so far it's everything is going good. The kids are back at school and we are trying to settle into a routine.
Pickles and 'Cole are in the 10th grade and Pinky and Daisy are in the 6th grade.
This will be the first time I don't have kids in elementary school. I'm a little sad... Excited that everyone is growing up, but just a little sad.
I remember the girls' first day of Kindergarten. They were so small, so nervous. I walked Pinky to her class first because she was in tears. I stayed for a minute then walked around to Daisy's room. Daisy waved, happy to see me and I waved back. Then I left.
I miss my little kids. Life seemed simpler then. (funny how you get nostalgic, when the trying times are just a distant memory)






The Most Wonderful Time of The Year

2010-08-22T10:08:25.282-04:00

Not Christmas, silly....
I'm talking about Back-To-School. Yay!!
I love summer, but all good things must come to an end.
The kids have had a great summer, with a few exceptions.
The school supplies have been bought, the shoes, the clothes are done. Kids have their schedules.

I'll have two 6th graders and two 10 graders. I'm hoping this turns out to be a great school year.



A New Day

2010-08-19T19:50:35.548-04:00

Today I feel better. I think I'm coming to a place of understanding, thanks to the wisdom of my co-worker. I actually feel like I can breathe today and that is a good thing.

I started writing a letter to the bio dad and now I feel like I can do it with love in my heart. I know what my focus is and it has never changed. I love these silly, goofy kids and would give them the world.

Maybe there were things I needed to hear, so my heart would be in the right place. I think I'm there now. ..or at least closer to being there.



I am soooo not the Babysitter

2010-08-18T22:53:38.549-04:00

But apparently that's what the kids' bio father thinks I am.
He told Pickles he would have him "tattooed up" before the end of the year.
He also corrected what they call themselves, referring to them by their birth names.
Promised the girls every expensive electronic device under the sun.

My brain is tired. My heart is heavy.



Bio Family found the kids on Facebook

2010-08-15T22:06:29.863-04:00

I got a facebook freind request from the bio cousin of my youngest kids this morning. By tonight their father sent my son a friend request.
I'm absolutely in shock. I knew it would be possible for them to find them... I guess I just don't know.
I added their cousin as a friend.

I'm just stunned. My son was ok with adding his dad, but doesn't want anything to do with the cousin.



Been Caught Stealing....

2010-08-07T09:45:34.705-04:00

Again!
Our babysitter took the twins and two of their friends to the local waterpark. While the sitter and Pinky were in the changing area changing clothes Daisy wandered over to the gift shop and took a necklace and bracelet. She was caught by security.
Because of her age they did not press charges. If she had been twelve, they would have called the police.

Her punishment from me is that she is banned from the waterpark for a year, and she is banned from going into any store until the end of this year AND if she has to go into a store she cannot walk around by herself and she has to keep both hands on the shopping cart at all times.

I thought we had worked through this. There hadn't been any stealing incidents (that I knew of) since last year. She had money earlier this week. I lowered her allowance because she refuses to her chores and when she does do them I have to ask her five times just to get her moving.

She didn't even seem phased by the whole situation. No fear. No remorse. No regret.

What am I going to do with this kid ??