Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Good Deeds

It occurred to me, after writing yesterday's blog, that I should address my daughter's good deeds. So many people have asked, "Where do you find volunteer opportunities?" The answer? EVERYWHERE! Start with your local newspaper or online. Ask your church, your club, your school. Heck, if you want, you can organize your own! Princess, with the help of my mother, has been volunteering in many different ways since she was little. This year, she made a promise to herself that she would do at least one volunteer job every month. In January, they did a neighborhood cleanup. In February, they filled food boxes at the local food bank. Last month, she helped serve snacks & drinks after church. This month, she did two -- a SOLV-sponsored cleanup & replant at her school, and feeding the homeless at my mother's church's shelter (now open year round). Next month, she's planning on once again serving at the church. I am, however, asking YOU for suggestions for the rest of the year...

Monday, April 25, 2011

"Holiday" weekend

You can look at it however you want, but since we're not a religious family, we do not celebrate the Christian idea of "Easter". When the kids were younger, we did the baskets & colored eggs (which is more a celebration of Spring -- you can easily Google the pagan beliefs to see where I'm coming from), but the older two are "too old" for that, and the Princess isn't a big candy, or hard-boiled egg, person. These festivities will be saved for when we have grandchildren (hopefully, MANY years in the future), but in the meantime, we treat it as a normal Sunday. This time, we only had one of our three kids -- Princess spent Saturday overnight with Mimi, after her game, as they were cooking & serving food at Mimi's church's family shelter (they made lasagnas & brownies), and GamerBoy decided to stay home (at his mother's). Squeeks came over Saturday afternoon, and on Sunday, Ace took her to run some errands (one of which was picking up an amp for his new bass guitar), which left me to spend the afternoon giving myself a gel pedicure and watching HGTV for a few hours. I've seen a lot of family's celebrations on FaceBook, and love seeing all the little ones in their cute outfits, hunting eggs on lawns, and eating their chocolate bunnies. So, however YOU spent the weekend, I hope it was a good one.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

To Buy or Not To Buy...

A cell phone... for my 11yo. Ok, she's 11 1/2, but still. Remember the days when you went to a friend's house, and your parents just called over there (or yelled out the door, if your friend lived close enough) if they wanted you home? Unfortunately, this is no longer a smart thing to do. Ever since her father & stepmother abducted her, Princess has been a little slower than average at "spreading her wings"... She has "safe zones" (school, home, friend's homes, Mimi's home, church, etc); places she feels that her father either won't come to &/or can't come to. Lately, though, she has asked more & more to be left home while we run errands, wants to babysit (she even made flyers) this summer, and loves walking to the school to meet up with a couple girlfriends. Granted, these things don't happen often, but often enough that we're considering getting her a cell phone. Part of me wants to fight it; she's my "baby" after all... but the other part wants her to push her limits; heck, push OUR limits. But, to be honest, she's one of the most responsible, respectful preteens I know. In a typical school day, she gets herself up and ready for school (with only 5 minute reminders from me), does required work plus a bit of tutoring in class, comes home to grab a snack & do her homework, and gets herself ready & off to bed with no hassles. She watches less than two hours per week of t.v., and is rarely on the computer. We've already discussed phone rules -- it will have a "curfew" of 8p (off & charging), she will have a basic phone plan (text & talk; she's spoiled, not spoiled rotten), her activities on it will be monitored, etc... She's taken such good care of her MP3 player (4 years & counting), Nintendo DS (for car- & my work- use, only), books, and much more; I have faith she'll take care of a phone & respect the rules. I think having a phone will allow her, and us, to be more comfortable with her bouts of independence. Now, on to convince Ace that sooner is better...

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Soccer season officially started at the end of March, but this past Saturday was Princess' first game. This is, of course, her sixth season playing soccer, but her first time doing it in the spring (unless you count the little indoor spring classes offered by the rec clubs... then, I guess this would be her seventh season/second spring session ever). My mother is out of town, so was unable to make this game; however, my SIL and her husband came up from mid-state to watch. I also got a text around the end of the first half from Ace, asking where exactly the field was. Since he works Saturdays, I told him, then asked, "Y?" His return text? "OMW! :)" He showed up on his motorcycle, having taken a break from work. Princess was HAPPILY surprised. I'm pretty sure this is her last soccer season, though, as she's told me multiple times since last October that she's done. Her dance instructor (Miss R) has accepted our "challenge" to open a reg for another hip hop class; starting this fall. Miss R now runs a second business, so her dance school only runs a couple days per week... hence the reason I gave her plenty of notice of Princess' wishes. Hmmmm, I may have to change the name of this blog... :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Seven Year "Itch"

Last Friday (April Fool's Day), Ace & I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary. To be completely honest, we didn't actually "celebrate" it until Saturday... but whatever. And, technically, neither of us have ever had any sort of "itch", let alone the extra-marital kind associated with my blog title! But, let me backtrack... About three weeks ago, Princess, Ace, & I were sitting down to dinner when Princess pops off with, "So, today is a very important day." Of course, I had to ask, "Why's that?" She answered, "Today is Sunday, March 13th." Ace then asked her, "Why is that a special day?" She then started counting on her fingers. After a couple of seconds, she said, "19 days." At this point, I know exactly what's she's getting at, but asked, "What's in 19 days?" She goes, "April 1st...?????" Making sure to have a straight face, I then asked, "April Fool's Day?" She got irritated at me, and almost yelled, "YOUR ANNIVERSARY?!?!" Hehehee... "I know, honey. I was just fooling. Why did you bring that up, though?" She said, "I want to make you guys dinner for your anniversary." We, of course, were all over that! However, since we both worked that day (Ace works 'til almost Princess' bedtime), we asked if she was okay with doing it on Sunday. "Sure! Now, what would you like me to make?" she replied. Hmmmm, tough question. We poured over multiple cookbooks, trying to find something not too difficult, but also yummy. I even had my mom bring Princess' Rachael Ray kids cookbook to me. We finally settled on Wheaties burgers! Think: meatloaf-type recipe, substitute Wheaties for bread crumbs, make 'em into patties, broil, & done! I thought that sounded good, but far under Princess' kitchen prowess... I mean, come on; she made shrimp risotto for me last year! But, ok; I'm game. However, on Sunday, the meat was not thawed. Monday, Princess had soccer practice, and last night (Tuesday), I had a nighttime client, so that wasn't going to work either... However, today, after school, after I took Princess to see "Hop" (very cute, btw), she finished her homework, then made our burgers. Ace, of course, made sure she safely used the broiler, but otherwise, she made the whole dinner - start to finish - all by herself. I was pleasantly surprised, as this was a childhood staple of Ace's, at how good they were. Of course, I was also very happy at how enthusiastically Princess approached the whole thing.