Category Archives: My Little Kiki

Today was definately a better day!

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Yesterday began with me cutting a lovely chunk out of the end of my thumb while I chopped onions for our breakfast.  I was trying to make scrambled eggs with onions and cheese.  Thank goodness the knife took a hunk out of my nail first; that probably slowed it down before it sliced into my thumb.  I then proceeded to smash one egg all over the counter instead of into the pan.  Then I burned the butter, burned the onion, burned the eggs.  I may not be a great cook, but I’ve never burnt eggs before!  The next lovely event was a math meltdown while we were doing school.  Good grief, how I hate math!  I’ve never been good at it, but trying to teach it to a 7th grader brings the despair to a whole new level.  So, we were doing “scale”… as in, scale models, blue prints, doll houses…. The dumb part is, I know how to do it.  I could answer the problems in my head – but, to try to explain it using the methods the book teaches?  No way.  I don’t even get what they are doing in there!  It’s making it much harder than it needs to be, in my opinion.  And when Kiki doesn’t understand something right off, she gets frustrated.  When she gets frustrated, she gets mad.  When she gets mad at school, she gets mad at me… I am the teacher, after all!  No, of course she doesn’t get mad at her classroom teacher!  We finally got thru that little bit of hell, and it was time for me to go to work.  And my car wouldn’t start.  No sir.  So I pulled out my AAA card to call for a truck, and oh wholly crap…. my membership expired 3 days ago.  Could it just get any better??  Yes indeedy, a lovely, lovely day.

This morning I barely wanted to get out of bed to face the day.  First off, I called AAA, and guess what?  They have a grace period, so I could still get service. The tow truck driver came, and he was super nice, and recommended a repair shop just 15 minutes up the road.  I was truly panicked about what was wrong and how much it was going to cost (because we are lower than broke at the moment). I was also worried about how long I would be without a car!  I hate that.  This afternoon, the mechanic called and said I could pick up my car – really?!  Then the best news of all – it was a short in the battery, which if you can believe this, was still under warranty!!  Seriously, does that ever happen?  Don’t things always go wrong the month after the warranty is over?!  This still had one month left!  Not only did he have the new battery delivered to his shop, but he replaced it completely for free!!  He didn’t charge me a dime for his time!!  Does that ever happen?  Not in my world.  At least not in the past.  My car works, and it cost me nothing but a bit of time.  (and a little stress!)  My thumb is healing, I didn’t burn the cold cereal this morning, we had no meltdowns.

Yep, today was definately a better day.

Just an explanation…

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In case you are wondering what the latest pictures are all about… There is this website called “Polyvore”.  It’s a fashion website, basically, and you can make these collages.  I started basically because my daughter is crazy about it, and she wanted me to do it, too…. and besides, then I can keep an eye on what’s she’s doing! 

It’s quite a bit of fun, actually.  Maybe a bit of a time-waster, sure, but fun.  Try it for yourself!

The good, the bad, and the ~ really cute!! Jobs and Vera Bradley handbags

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The good news is – I got a job.  The bad news is – I got a job.

See, I really need a job.  But I really don’t want a job – I mean, I have a job… it’s called a homeschooling mom, and it keeps me pretty busy.  Not to mention I am trying to learn new software for the business we are starting… Problem is, neither of those jobs pays much.  sigh

So – I have this friend who owns an upscale consignment clothing store, and she asked me if I’d like to work just a few hours per week.  She needs another employee, and she knows I need some pocket money, so I guess it works for both of us.  It’s good, because since she’s my friend she’s pretty willing to work me the hours that work for me (uh, never??) but on the downside, I’m making less per hour than I made 25 years ago…. so that’s depressing.  Besides, I am sooo not the fashion queen!  Since I quit working and got fat and old, I’m pretty much a jeans and t-shirt kinda girl.  Even, kinda worn out jeans and t-shirts. Because I hate shopping (for clothes; I love to shop for about anything else!) so I don’t generally buy something new ’til the old stuff falls apart.  Which won’t really work, ya think?  Today I bought 3 “new” shirts at the thrift shop so I can at least wear something different this week than what I wore last week (yeah, I really only had 4 shirts.  uhg).

But, here’s the beauty part!  She sells cute stuff, right?  And not just clothes – but hats, scarves, jewelry, and purses!!  I like accessories (you don’t have to be skinny for them!).  So last week, when I was not working, my mom and I took my daughter and one of the cousins shopping there…. they got some clothes, and I found this great Vera Bradley “peacock” bag!  I decided it will be my “summer vacation bag” because it has a strap long enough to go criss-cross over your shoulder and chest, and plenty big enough to pack around all the stuff I could possibly need. 

Vera bags were a huge deal in Virginia – everybody had one.  But I thought they were way to pricey for just fabric bags… the one I just bought originally retailed for around $60.00, which is silly, right?  But I got it for $20.00, and it looks like it’s was never used!   I was attracted to it because she’s got great, colorful fabrics. (it’s brighter than it looks in my pics)

So maybe my job won’t be all bad…..

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Parenting ~ It only gets harder (You thought the toddler years were hard?!)

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Ah, the good old days.  I remember them well… Kiki had a friend – a Best Friend – and life was good.  They generally looked even happier than these two girls! (maybe these gals don’t like their pic taken?)  If there was a problem in Kiki’s life, I could most likely fix it… with a needle and thread, glue, a band-aid, or a hug.  Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy.

Shift to current day teenage life.  There are suddenly so many problems I can’t fix – even with SuperGlue.  Problem of the week?  Friendships.  Kiki is a tender-hearted and kind soul who gives her heart easily and fully to a friend.  She prefers one “Bestie” rather than a group of friends.  Not that she doesn’t have a bunch of friends… in fact, my biggest problem this week of Spring Break is trying to co-ordinate all the picking-up and dropping-off of various friends who were clamoring to spend some time with my daughter this week.   So, what’s the big deal? 

Her “best” friend. They’ve been friends for, I don’t remember, about 4 years.  Last year, she was the friend Kiki missed most when we moved to Virginia.  She was the friend Kiki was aching to get back home to.  And the month we came back, her family moved away.  Life sucks sometimes, I know.  I just hate it when it sucks for my kid.  So we are on the 2nd year of them being apart, and being with other kids.  I knew at the outset that they probably wouldn’t remain best friends… long distance relationships just never work that well, do they?  Of course my kiddo didn’t know that… nor would she have believed it if I’d told her. This week the friend is in town visiting for Spring Break.  She has spent more time with her friend she purportedly “doesn’t like” and who her mom said was a “bad influence”; now, that makes no sense to me, but what do I know??

 The worst of it was when the “best” friend, Kiki, and one other girl were talking about a “fun” outing, and what they’d do… then the other two girls did that thing, and left my daughter out of it.  These other two even bought “best friend” necklaces…. wow.  Kinda crappy in my opinion. Now, when Kiki gently confronted her friend about it… well, she lied.  The friend said the other girl suggested  it, and she had no idea that my daughter had talked about this plan. Well.  Really?  Because I happen to remember when the idea first came up, and they were all there!  Ah, well, Kiki chose to believe her; says she doesn’t really remember when the whole idea first came up – and, that’s good.  I’m glad for her “selective” memory.  I am also glad that she is the kind of girl who spends time thinking about – well, things – and she realizes that she will just have to have fun with this friend as it comes, but no longer call her “BFF” and that honestly, it’s fine, because they have changed over the years, and just aren’t as much alike as they once were.  Which is pretty mature thinking on her part, I believe.  But you can’t tell me it doesn’t hurt.  She’s already had her kindergarten best friend move out of state, and her 1st grade best friend move to a different school…. and, therefore, different friends.  That’s life, but it’s not fun.

I can’t say I am really upset about the loss of this particular friend.  After all, if she’s the kind of person who will treat a friend that way, who needs her?  Besides, there have been other behaviors that I have found rather questionable, so I will be fine with Kiki moving on.  But.  It made me feel really bad for her.  I’ve had friends “move on” and it never feels very nice. 

I hope she deals with it well.  I hope, unlike me, she keeps on putting herself out there, making new friends, being vulnerable.  Because I sort of gave that up after too many painful “friend break-ups” and the result is that I haven’t really got any close friends.  I hope she will have a lifetime of dear, sweet friends!

Being “healthy” … I think my brain is going to explode!

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First let me say I made a really yum treat for Kiki and I this afternoon, when she got home from her ITBS testing.  (That would be the “Iowa Test of Basic Skills” which is sort of the nation-wide testing standard to see how students across the country measure up to their peers… yeah, the one she scored in the 95th percentile the year we didn’t do any school… which made me wonder – are they even teaching anything in public schools??!) 

 So, the treat – I bought some tahini and then was like “what the heck am I going to do with this stuff?”   Well, it’s the main ingredient in Halvah, which I love; that gave me the idea… so, I put some tahini in a pan with butter, xylitol, cocoa,

 chopped almonds

 and chunked Granny Smith apples,

 and basically sauteed it all.  OMiGosh!!  It was so stinkin’ good!  I told Kiki it was a middle-eastern treat before she tasted it because I knew that’d earn points with her… and she loved it!  Even my mom and dad liked it, so I guess that recipe is a keeper.  I didn’t take a picture of it because to be honest, it didn’t look that great… now, my dad thought it looked like beef and potatoes –  corned beef hash, maybe – but I thought of its appearance more along the lines of something the dog ate and then – uh – “unswallowed”, if you will.  Yeah.  Mmm.  But it tasted amazing.

To the point of this post though – I am so sick of all the conflicting theories about what to eat, and when to eat it, and how to eat it, and why… the list goes on and on but I think you get what I mean.  It’s annoying!  One group says “this” and another says “this” and then you have those friends who are “Oh, I’m doing the HCG diet” because she has that whopping 5 pounds to lose oh, the fat cow! – and somehow that seems like a bad idea to me anyway…. yeah, whatev

Because the …group… that I am currently going to for health issues is so over the edge in my opinion… for instance:  They think I should go have my dental fillings removed and replaced because they have heavy metals in them.  You know, the shiny silver fillings we old folks got before they started using the white stuff?  Yeah, so, I am not signing up for that particular event.  I don’t really enjoy the dentist that much, so when I happen to be in there and he tells me “these are cracked and we should replace them” then, fine, I will do it… but not before then.  Or how about your deodorant?  “They” say you should never use the kind with aluminum in it (which is pretty much all of them) because that will give you Alzheimer’s…. now, I haven’t got an issue with that – I can use the natural mineral salt stuff and I don’t stink, but my poor teenager!  She uses the ‘evil death deodorant’ or she’d stink to high heaven.  My sister (okay, and don’t even get me started on this girl because I’m about fed up) but she won’t even use regular toothpaste because the flouride will be the death of us all.  Well, ho-lee-crap.  I might as well just curl up and die right now, huh?!?! 

I am not afraid to be dead. I believe in Heaven, so I’m cool with going there.  However, the process of death can be rather uninviting. I have been thinking of the older people I know, and which ones are healthy and happy, and which ones ate heathy or not, and they don’t always match up.  So there is more to it all.

So, that is why my head hurts.  My normal reaction would be to go out and chomp down some cookies, but that wouldn’t help, now would it? 

I think I’ll go out drinking instead.

Stuff you never want to hear about yourself ~ but probably will if you have kids

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Even though I was a Southern California girl, and adored hanging out at the beach, I did not have one of those mega-bronze tans.  Oh, sure, I got a tan; after all, it was in the ‘olden days’, before they decided any sun at all would give us skin cancer.  So I was careful, getting tanned slowly, and using sun screen.  Except when I wasn’t actually at the beach.    Yeah… somehow I forgot that the sun was still hot when I was somewhere besides the beach.  I’m kinda dumb like that.  So over the course of my lifetime I got quite a few sunburns, mostly on my face and the part of my neck and chest my tshirts didn’t cover…and I got sunburned mostly at horseshows. 

So now I am… well, older… and I have a few wrinkles.  Alright, more than a few.  Way more than I would like to have, that’s for sure.  I wish I’d been more careful.  Or at least more aware!   

Last night I was getting Kiki into bed… prayers and a good night song… when she started playing with the skin on my chest.  I told her “Stop that; don’t play with my wrinkly old skin!”  To which she replied “But it’s cooool!  It’s like… elephant skin!”

Sigh.  As if it isn’t bad enough getting old and wrinkled, we’ve got our kids right there to make sure we never forget it.

Arts and crafts ~ handpainted Narnia purse, Reepicheep the mouse

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This is a canvas bag I handpainted for my daughter, the Narnia fan.  The cute little guy (although he’d be quite offended if he knew I was calling him that!) is Reepicheep, leader of the Talking Mice of Narnia.  Noble, brave, and maybe a little full of himself!  I painted this with fabric paints, then added some glitter, as my girl and I are all about the sparkle, lol.  On the back of the purse I wrote with permanent marker a quote from C.S. Lewis’s book The Last Battle, which is the final book from the ‘Chronicles of Narnia’ series.  Reepicheep is calling the others to come into “Aslan’s Country”, which is Heaven.  Reepicheep entered Aslan’s Country without experiencing death at the end of Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

Wednesday, Wednesday

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So, it’s late and I haven’t really got anything to say.  I thought of all sorts of information earlier today; all sorts of great ideas and topics… but it was a busy, busy day, and now I am just plain tired.  Today I had to get up extra early as Alan had a plane to catch, and tomorrow is a classroom day for Kiki so we can’t sleep in.  We need to research a science project idea, and get some stuff to do a history project… I was going to moan about, oh, I don’t know, something… but I think I’ll save it for another day!  I will just leave you with a picture…

How cute is my dog?!

Monday Munchies ~ In honor of Valentines Day, even if I think it’s a dumb holiday

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I think Valentines Day is dumb.  Mostly because it’s a slap-in-the-face holiday to anyone who is… well, not in a relationship, or in a bad relationship, or in any other way shortchanged in the gooey love department.  Seriously, I think the merchandisers came up with this one simply to make money.   I didn’t mind it as a kid – being the crafty sort, I enjoyed taking construction paper and doilies and making pretty hearts out of them… but since that point, I haven’t enjoyed it much.  Even as a married woman, well, some of my most painful memories are V-Day related.. so I would just as soon skip this dumb day.  Yet, it keeps on coming, in all it’s flowery, chocolatey glory. 

I have tried to at least do a little ‘cutesy’ decorating for the sake of my daughter, because, as I mentioned, I don’t mind the kid-part of the holiday.  Funny, though… she just turned 13, and she is a very introspective kind of child – she says to me the other day “you know, mama, I think Valentines Day is kind of mean… because if you don’t have someone who loves you, it’s just a day to remind you that you don’t.”  Yeah.  That about sums it up. 

I made her day, though, because my gift to her today was a huge poster of the actor she has a crush on (and no, it’s not a Bieber or a vampire of any kind!)

All that being said, I still wanted to honor the day in some way so my family would know I love them, so I made pink, heart-shaped pancakes.  It would have been waaay easier if I could have made normal, real pancakes…. instead I had to use coconut oil, coconut flour and xylitol… and they bake up kind of strange… but they were enjoyed and apprecitated by my husband and my daughter. 

The dogs, however, were miffed at me.  Pancake lovers that they are, they could not believe I threw the 2 extras away rather than let them eat ’em…. but I’ve heard xylitol is poisonous to dogs, so I couldn’t risk it.  Try explaining that to the sad brown-eyes looking up at you! 

Pink pancake batter:

I swear I’ve had better luck at shaped pancakes before –

Oh!  The perfect heart!

Kiki sliced some strawberries –

I stacked mine up with butter, berries and xylitol –

Kiki added a touch of sour cream

Iced latte… it’s not horrid, but it’s not a mocha!

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 Well, I haven’t caved yet.  Still eating “ultra healthy”… at least in one group’s opinion.  Does this bother you as much as it bothers me?  You know, how “they” tell you that something is what you should eat, only to have “them” tell you a year later that you should never eat that??   Geez, how are we supposed to know?!  I really wonder if my current deal is really the right deal… time will tell, I guess….

Anyway, Kiki and I went out shopping today, just for fun.  We really, really wanted someting yummy to eat while we were out and about, but we behaved ourselves.    What we did get were iced lattes.  Generally, I am a mocha kind of girl.  Or at least a flavored latte… oooh, like almond!   But any form of sugar is out (and no, ‘sugar-free’ syrup has never been an option for me… I can’t stand that chemical stuff.)  So plain old lattes it was.  It wasn’t bad… when you’ve had no sugar at all, the sugar in the milk is kind of alright… No.  Actually, I’d really, really have rather had a mocha.

Is there a light at the end of this tunnel??