Wednesday, June 22, 2016

As I Fight For One Last Prayer

     The title of this post was taken from the song Defeated by Breaking Benjamin.

     I feel almost guilty even writing this post when one of Sebastian's very best friends was diagnosed with a brain tumor in December, had surgery and is still recovering from the effects. The local news station did a feature on Ethan and his family. If you could please keep them in your thoughts and prayers I know they would greatly appreciate it. They are a wonderful family and Sebastian and Ethan have been friends since elementary school.

     Sebastian is a typical 16 year old teenage boy. He thinks he knows everything, and yet he has a heart of gold and would do anything for anyone. He helps his papaw with anything and everything that needs to be done. He routinely helps him mow his lawn, mow uncle Dale's lawn, and last week helped rip out brick at Dad's to help with the remodeling of his basement.  Tomorrow Sebastian is going to help cut his Aunt Mandaly's lawn. He rarely complains, but of course this is partially because his papaw is asking him to do this stuff and who argues with their papaw ;). If I had asked him it might be a different story. 
      Sebastian has taken mostly honors classes the last two school years and has managed to keep his GPA up. I stress the importance of education almost on a daily basis. Anyway, the second semester this past school year he took honors algebra II and during the second six weeks of it he had a D for the class. I. was. furious. I checked his grades almost daily and harped at him when he simply didn't turn homework assignments in. It was around this time that he started sleeping a lot in the afternoons. He would come home from school and fall asleep, get up to eat dinner and then head back down to his room. I finally took him to the doctor and come to find out he is pre-diabetic. WHAT?! How is my physically fit athletic son pre-diabetic? It runs in our family so I really shouldn't have been that surprised. Anyway, the doctor said it might explain why he was tired. So, we are working on diet changes and he managed to pull out a B for the semester in algebra II. 
     Sebastian also applied for Governor's School for his junior year. Governor's school allows juniors and seniors to attend classes at the local community college in the morning to focus on math, science, and technology courses, and then return to their home school for afternoon classes. Sebastian met all of the requirements, but he was put on the wait list due to the limited amount of spots available. I was actually okay with this. I knew how much he had wanted it and I knew he had worked hard, but I also saw this as a learning opportunity to show him that he can't just always skate through his classes. Tuesday we found out that our school board approved the extra funding for students that met the Governor's School requirements. Sebastian has been accepted and will be able to participate in the fall. There were a lot of mixed emotions for me. This is a wonderful opportunity for him and yet I worry he will think he can continue to do the minimum and get by. I want him to work to his full potential. I sound negative. He did work hard. He doubled up on classes when it would have been easier to take more electives. He is a smart kid and he's way more driven than I ever was at his age. I just hope he takes this seriously and goes as far as he can with it. Now he wants a car. He better get a job :).
     Tyler is changing school districts this year. She will at the same high school as Sebastian. I forced her to make this switch because I was not happy with the quality of education she was getting in our home district. She cried and cried when I put my foot down, but we did her scheduling on Tuesday and I think she is finally coming around. This will be good for her. She wasn't challenged last year at all, in fact at one point she had a 140 average in her physical science class. I shouldn't have to fight to have them challenge my child. Anyway, I'll be much happier having all of my kids in the same district.  
    I sometimes worry that I push them to much. Sebastian recently said he was going to take a year off after high school to work and earn money. My head almost exploded. There is no freaking way that is happening. I know how hard it was to go back. I know how hard it was to work, have a family and try to go to college. I often tell them the only way I made it through was from the support of Mike and my parents. There were many nights that Mike would be at work and I'd have class from 6-9. I would drop off Sebastian and Tyler at mom and dad's house and they would be sound asleep when I picked them up. I remember holding Mason, as a newborn, in the middle of the night with one arm and turning pages of a textbook with the other hand. I think sometimes they take the opportunity for college for granted. 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

But Look, I've Been Here, I've Done It

     The title of this post was taken from the song Just Like Fire by Pink.

      Can I be honest for a minute? Don't get me wrong I love summer and I love all the extra things I get to do with my kids but I suck as a stay at home mom. Being a stay at home parent is freaking hard work. I find that my time with my kids during the school year is a higher quality than it is when I'm home all the time. I cherish it more during the school year and it seems easier. During the summer I feel like I constantly have to be doing something with them and it's stressful. The age gap between the kids also makes it a little harder. For example, I want to make a ball rack out of pvc pipe to hold all of our basketballs, soccer and volleyballs. I also want to make a sprinkler for the kids. Anyway, I showed the plans to John last night and we made a trip to Lowes to get what we needed. Blake screamed the entire way there and the entire way back. I thought I was going to lose my mind. I don't know what was wrong with him but after chasing, playing, changing diapers, feeding, listening to him and Jaxon fight, picking up their toys, and a million other things, I was not in the mood for non-stop screaming. My patience reached it's max about 2 miles into the trip. I even yelled at him once. Anyway, I feel like I fail at parenting during the summer. I'm now wondering how I'm ever going to survive taking the kids to Atlanta for vacation. I'm sure John comes home from work each day and wonders just what the heck I did all day. Usually things are just as messy and cluttered when he gets home as they were when he left. I swear I pick up toys, blankets, sippy cups, video games, remotes, and shoes ALL FREAKING DAY LONG. My hat goes off to all parents, working and stay at home. Parenting is hard work. 
     Now that I've complained it really hasn't been horrible all the time. Here is proof that I love all my kids and we do have fun :)

Mason earned his orange belt in karate.

Blake enjoying ice cream after working in the yard.

Jaxon helped pull weeds at Aunt Mandaly's house.

We went to Megan's dance recital.

Tyler playing with Blake.

My friend Karma and I have been walking in the mornings before she goes to work. 
These little fellas enjoy it very much.

And we've been swimming a few times.