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About WendyLady

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    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

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  1. I started to write it in my earlier post but the words didn't work well. My second dd was an angry kid. She was an angry toddler and an angry teen. She seems to have smoothed her ruffled feathers as she's nearing the end of college, but she still has a prickly personality. When she was little, if she accidentally hurt someone and I would say "say you're sorry" she would yell "I didn't do it on purpose!!!!!" She was an angry bear in middle school and in to high school. And especially if she did something she didn't mean to do, she would get mad, storm off and make it seem like she was the victim. I don't have a real answer to fix it. I would encourage her to have a good snack and then spend some time in her room. I helped her set up her own study area in her own space as she could not handle more family time at night. Talking to her now, I can see that she seems to need a lot of down time to recharge from dealing with people all the time. I don't really think she's an introvert, but has that same need to recharge after being out at school or work. Having space from others, including other adults could be helpful. Too many voices trying to help dd figure things out would have put her into a terrible place - anger, fighting back, mean words, no resolution... Somehow finding a way to be on the same page with the other adults to not engage may really help things. My dd is a strong personality and I encouraged her to make her own choices where ever I could to help her feel some autonomy. But I could not push her in a certain direction - that was a recipe for going the complete opposite way... Having a set of rules that didn't change helped (phone rules, car rules, time to be back home rules, etc) things that were set for all of the kids, not just her. She also needed lots of forewarning for upcoming family activities. She is not great with change, and was especially annoyed with family stuff that took her away from her own things. Anyway, anger is tougher than tears, you are right. Though sometimes my angry kid would cry out of frustration, not sadness.... (so softness there!) Anyway, just commiserating a little, though I'm sure it's not the same situation. Sorry!!
  2. Chocolate chip cookies. 8th and 9th grade were the pit of despair for all 3 of my girls. Things got so much better from there. For all of us. Later high school what a delightful skip through the tulips compared to 8th/9th. I can’t imagine going through it with 2 at once. My mantra was “if she’s not crying, you’re not trying”. Just kidding! But it did feel like I was the bad guy a lot, and there were lots of tears. Lots of emotions..... It’s like the “I do it myself” toddler stage only so much worse. Don’t engage! Find a way to cultivate your connection away from home. (Hiking, movies, ice cream, breakfast out, ceramics, anything that gets you out of the war zone and spending time not focused on the issues) I hope tomorrow is a better day.
  3. WendyLady


    I’m so sorry, regardless of the reasons, I can imagine that you are both hurting. I attend a religious tradition where not all family members are able to attend a wedding inside of the temple. A close family member was not able to attend their child’s wedding two years ago, and it it still a matter of heart ache for that family member. Tears are still shed even now over not being present. A wedding is a huge life event, and even when missing that event is the only choice, it is understandable that feelings are going to run very close to the heart, and it may take a long time to find a path past that hurt. Congratulations to your son! It sounds like your new dil may be the bridge that can bring your family even closer.
  4. What I love about charts is that the chart can be the bad guy. “I finished all of my school work, can I get on the computer?” “Hmm, I’m not sure, check the chart to see if you got it all!” “I cleaned the bathroom” “it’s looking good, but let’s check the chart...” ”I’m ready for a bedtime story!” “Did you get all of the jobs done, let’s check the chart!” Our kids are older now, but when they were little we had a “get ready for the day” chart with words and pictures spelling out all of the morning wake up stuff - we used those charts through middle school! “Are you sure you are ready? Check the chart and go brush your teeth...” We used school charts and chore charts and practice charts (music) and bedtime charts. Mostly charts remind me to remember to help them do the things I should help them to do, but would otherwise forget... i prefer smaller specific charts over one great chart to rule them all! ps - my 16 year old son (and I) could use a couple new charts....
  5. It’s not too late to celebrate! We often have a small birthday on the day of, then something a little more exciting on the weekend. Weekdays are busy, but it’s the perfect time to plan your Sunday party! You can announce that you are so excited to be celebrating your birthday on Sunday!!! Then be specific with what you need and want: “ hey kids, I need a little card from each of you for my birthday!” “Help me blow up and hang these balloons” “Hey honey, I’m buying a cake when I’m out grocery shopping, but I need to you to light the candles and lead the singing... I’m so excited to celebrate my big 47th on Sunday!” Then make it your own perfect birthday, and party it up without guilt or hurt. My dh is a little clueless, but he’s learning. I am happy to joyfully celebrate myself and invite my family to join in the fun, even if I have to buy it all myself. I dont need anything fancy, but I do need to feel loved and acknowledged! So I’ll hang up the birthday banner for myself (or get it out and ask a kid to help) and blow up a few balloons (or ask a kid to help). Then I’ll pick up a cake, and order pizza or carry out. And I’m always happy to buy myself a little something special. If you build it they will come, right? Haha! But it’s true, if I get the party going, the pressure is off, and we can all celebrate. Plus I might take myself out to breakfast, then do a little something I love - walk through an art gallery, or buy a new pair of running shoes and take ‘em for a spin on my favorite path, and give myself permission to have a really special day! Happy Birthday! Now go buy yourself a beautiful fruit bowl to go with those counters (because if your dh is anything like mine, it might be a few weeks or months before those birthday counters are actually installed!!)
  6. This reminds me that we are missing one foot from our couch! All feet from other couches and the armoire arrived just fine in the "parts" box, but the center support foot for our long leather couch is gone. We have emptied all boxes that live in the house and no couch foot. There are still about 15 boxes in the garage we have not opened (camping, hunting, garage tools) that will be opened eventually, but I can't imagine the couch foot is hiding in there. We currently have a small stack up books supporting the couch. Ahhh moving... so fun... right? PS - I cannot believe you only had 2 movers? That is terrible. Your poor furniture. But impressive progress on the garage!! The good news if you lose power, is that there will be nothing to distract from unpacking, right? PPS - chocolate!! Good choice! - coping with moving is really hard on my mental health. coping with chocolate and good bread and ice cream = why I'm up 10 pounds over the last 2 months. 🙂 I'm starting to work on that this week and feeling a little like it was too soon to give up sugar!
  7. We moved this summer as well. This move has gone surprisingly well, but the move before this one, I had a large collection of totes like you (your #'s 55-70). They were dumped into random boxes and the totes were stacked in a nice tidy stack. It was beyond frustrating and made finding things impossible. Craft items dumped in with baby memory boxes. Table cloths labeled as blankets, boxed with a couple of blankets, and all of my sewing thread. It took me a full year to get things back in order. Just in time to move again. That had never been in issue with any of our previous 8 moves.... This time I very specifically asked the movers to keep items in the totes! It worked!! I'm so so sorry about your beautiful furniture. They better figure out a way to make it right for you!!
  8. We moved almost a month ago. Moving is a killer!!! Like you, we truly loved northern VA. It was inclusive and diverse with kids who loved education and involved parents of teens! Sports there were awesome from an Olympic decathlete as my dd’s pole vault coach to awesome travel volleyball to my sons first (great!) soccer experience... we had great neighbors and great church friends. We loved our little neighborhood pool and easy access to great grocery shopping PLUS all of the cool stuff downtown. And my sister lives not too far away.... Our move after that was rough. Maybe it was me, but our next small Midwest town didn’t compare - not inclusive, zero diversity, meanie sports parents with kids who’ve known each other forever. I struggled to make real friends, though our kids really thrived, actually. Still not my favorite, and maybe it was just my bad attitude because of the NoVA shadow (no duck donuts?!?) Anyway, we just moved again and I think I’m going to love it here in our new town. Maybe I’m just glad to break away, or maybe I’m better at lonely, or maybe I can’t worry about it yet since I am dropping dd18 off at colleges this weekend and feeling too emotional about that to even think about me? But either way, so far it’s feeling good. I don’t have any advice, and I’m trying to figure out how to fit a 4 bed 3 bath house with basement into a 3 bed 2 bath NO BASEMENT house! Waaaa! But I can commiserate. Moving really is the worst. It takes at least 6 months for me to feel okay and 18 months to really feel at home. I’m so sorry you are struggling. I hope next week is better. I hope one sports parent lets you in. I hope you find the perfect spot for a walk or bike ride. Things are going to start getting busy with fall around the corner. I hope you have the best farmers market! And maybe a little crepe cafe nearby!!
  9. Mt Rushmore takes about 2 hours, if you watch the video in the visitors center, walk around under the heads, and eat ice cream. Then you’ve got the rest of your trip to enjoy the Black Hills. I’ve heard they are doing construction at MtR? The drive through Custer state park is nice. We like Sylvan Lake for a little kayaking or even swimming if the weather is still warm. There are several nice hikes around Sylvan Lake: Black Elk Peak (formerly Harney Peak) is the highest peak in the Black Hills and the hike highlight is at a historic fire tower - the hike can be challenging, but it sounds like you do that kind of hike at home. Sunday Gulch and Little Devils Tower both also start at the Sylvan Lake parking lot. You can find the “hidden” Poets Table on the way to Little Devils Tower. You can eat bison steak (and other fine dining) at any of the historic game lodges in the park. There is a fee to enter the park. Biking on the Mickleson Trail is an awesome way to really see the black hills. There’s also a nice paved bike path following Rapid Creek through Rapid City. Love!!! Spearfish Canyon is a nice drive, with easy access to some pretty waterfalls. There are not a lot of waterfalls in the black hills. That’s quite a ways north of Rapid City (about 45 min) but still in the black hills. If the leaves are turning, it can be stunning! Sturgis is on the way, and kind of fun to drive through, and maybe eat at the Loud American Roadhouse, even though the Rally is over. Devils Tower is a few hours north of the black hills but is an awe inspiring site! It feels almost holy, and is sacred to the Lakota. Might be worth the drive - when will you ever really be that close? Wall Drug is a silly tourist trap on your way to the Badlands. The badlands are beautiful and are a nice morning or afternoon drive, where you will want to stop along the way, walk a little ways out for photos, then drive on. You might see buffalo or bighorn sheep and especially prairie dogs. The outdoor campus in rapid city is a nice way to learn more about the area, and maybe try a little archery! Seeing the president statues on all the corners in downtown Rapid is actually kind of fun - we were able to leave a chalk note near the new Pres Obama statue. We just moved away from the black hills and love it so much! I think you will really enjoy your time there. As “locals” we mostly avoided all of the touristy things - bear country, the snake place, the alpine slide, etc. We would rather hike, fish, hunt, explore, hammock, etc. (but if your kids are really young and you have a train lover, the train ride in Hill City is really cute) For eating: Armadillos Ice Cream - watch for the flavor of the day or get a great malt. The Alpine Inn in Hill City is yummy if you like steak - the only thing on the menu for dinner (plus great dessert). If you are exploring the hills, the Sugar Shack is a greasy spoon diner with great burgers and fries, tucked in the Black Hills near pactola lake. Tally’s in downtown Rapid is great for brunch (the cinnamon roll French toast is amazing!) Watch the forecast - and pack a hoodie - it could be really cold in September, or hot - you never know! Afternoon thunderstorms are common through the summer and early fall... PS - we like the little Air & Soace Museum at Ellsworth AFB. You could work it in to your Badlands drive.
  10. One year my son was in a choir and needed black pants and shoes for the concert. I had him try on his things about two weeks before the program and everything was fine. The day of the program he put on his black pants and they were a couple inches too short and he could not cram his toes into his shoes! We ran to JCPennys on the way to the concert and found pants/shoes and somehow managed to get there on time.. That same outfit was too small a couple of months later at the Christmas concert. My experience with my son is that every special dress up occasion is a wardrobe emergency!! on my shopping list for today: dress pants for ds. He has a thing coming up this weekend...
  11. Oh, I get you! Freeway merging with a teen is more of an adrenaline rush than sky diving!! Makes you feel ALIVE! My son got his license this summer, and he’s easier to ride with now, but just yesterday he said “I can see you gripping the door - it doesn’t help!” Haha! We just moved from very small town to a much bigger city, but I think his actual driving circle will be safer here. In the small town, he had to drive on the freeway to get to school. In this bigger city, we are way out in the suburbs and his drive to school is just a couple turns on easy side roads. I actually followed him to his new school this morning (to make sure he could find it on his own without me sitting right there) and he did great. Unfortunately, the route we practiced yesterday had a detour today, but he still managed to find his way! Good luck! You can do this!!
  12. I had that experience last Christmas. I ordered something and forgot about it. It never showed up, and I didn’t follow up with amazon. It was just something small, but still.... I would think of it while driving, but never remember it when I had time at home to take care of it. When I finally remembered to contact them, it had been more than 3 months and they couldn’t (wouldn’t) do anything. No replacement, no refund, no apology. So, lesson learned! Follow up ASAP!!
  13. I’ve used a dryer sheets to remove hard water/ soap scum spots from glass shower doors. It probably won’t be able to handle the tough scaling around the fittings, but I found them to be really effective - cleaning off what tilex (my usual heavy duty bathroom cleaner) and magic eraser wouldn’t get.
  14. My 15 yo son complained about knee pain at the beginning of track season this spring, so I actually took him to the doctor (unusual for me, it usually takes a while for me to be motivated enough to go) and the doctor said that he has osgood schlatter (or something close to that) which is basically painful knees, maybe a lump below the knee, maybe ankle pain, etc. There’s not much you can do for it, and the doc said he could continue track if he felt like it. At his first track meet he finished his race and had more knee pain. I figured it was more of the osgoid schlatter thingy. He went to the trainer the next week and did some gentle exercises. He really didn’t complain about his knee at home. After about a week, I got a call from the trainer and he said I should take my son into the doctor for his knee. I mentioned that we had gone into the doctor just a couple weeks before...blah blah blah... The trainer said, this was something different and he really recommended I go to an orthopedic doctor. It took a couple weeks to see our primary care doctor, get a referral, get an mri, then get to the orthopedic doctor, where we found out that he had a “non displaced” fracture of his tibia! A stress fracture! I felt terrible that I hadn’t really been interested in his knee pain! Waaa! Bad mom award goes to me! He missed the rest of the track season, but has been able to play soccer this summer. He’s fine now, but I wonder if I would have taken his injury more seriously if we hadn’t gone to the first doctor? Anyway, it’s hard to know when knee pain is real. It’s a tricky thing!! My dd18 is a cheerleader and needed surgery on her knee this winter. She is thinking of maybe trying out next spring for college cheer, but wasn’t able to try out for this year. It’s hard to see your kids miss out, you know? Even when it’s the right thing. Dd18 was cut from the high school volleyball team at 14 when we moved to a new school - she was heartbroken! But it opened up the possibility of new things. Best wishes for your daughter’s recovery and for her adventure ahead! I’m sure she will find a new dream!! Maybe dance? Ballroom dancing? Hip hop? Could be fun to try something different!
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