Friday, April 30, 2010

Tomato Update...

Well, yesterday, I had to dig up and bring the tomatoes back into the house. Not sure if I can save them. Apparently, our weather really put some damage on the baby plants. The winds were really high and pretty hard. The sun, I thought, didn't seem that warm, but I think it put a toll them too.

I dug them up and put then into another container with soil. Hopefully, they will revive :-(. They look really, really sad and very pale. (Sorry for the mess in the background :-D)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


The kids transplanted their tomato plants yesterday. It went very well. I need to put their name tags on them so we know whose is whose. It was a simple project that I had been promsing to do with them for a very long time. I'm glad I "finally" got to it. I'm not sure a few of them will make it. They seem to be in shock, whilting a little bit. We just have to hope for the best.

I had a little boy drop in for 2 days. My fellow day care provider went on a cruise with her own family and one of her parents needed care while she was gone. Seems I get a lot of! He fit right in and transitioned very well. He is 4 years old and my older boys are both 5 years old. Then I have a 3 year old boy and another 4 year old boy. Yes, I do have a 2 year old little girl (poor thing, she's the only! She hangs in there pretty good!) and, of course, my 18 month old grandson.

The mom of this boy has just gone through a separation from her 2nd husband who was quite abusive. I feel sorry for this mom because she has a childhood of abuse. I can see in her eyes, in some respects, that she is still the age she was when the abuse occurred. She is still very much friends with this man and I am so afraid that she may return to him.

Without therapy, how do you teach someone to break that generational pattern of abuse? She has 2 teenage daughers and 1 teenage boy in addition to her 4 year old son. The chance that they are learning her behaving is pretty high. We won't know until they form their own relationships.

Situations like these bother me so much. If I were in my field as a family therapist, I'd be in a position to help more. However, being a day care provider, I am not equipped to open such a can of worms with these parents. All I can do is be an ear for them to talk to. Can only pray for them.

Positive thoughts and prayers.....for real!

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Kids

Today, we had an awesome lesson! The kids were really focused and made a lot of progress. I haven't done lesson with them in a while because I think we were both getting frustrated. I'm not a "preschool". I'm just a "day care". However, it would be nice if the kids can do something besides play most of the day.

It takes a lot of organizing and structure with such a broad range of ages. The babies really keep me going on circles, so it makes it much more difficult to set a schedule for their lesson. Today, my grandson was out most of the day with his mom and the 5 month old baby simply had a good day! It was soooo refreshing to do lesson without hussling and feeling rushed just in case a baby should throw a tantrum.

I would really like to do lesson everyday. I once mentioned, back in San Diego when I did day care, we did lessons just like a preschool. I had my toddlers/preschoolers ready for kindergarden when the time came. It was quite rewarding. Today's kindergarden requirements make my curriculum outdated. Not quite sure how to get them prepared today. By trade, I am not a teacher. Teaching preschool lesson is a lot different than teaching "school" lessons.

At any rate, it was a wonderful day! :-D

Positive thoughts and prayers!....for lots more days like today!

Thursday, April 22, 2010


One of my day care parents is quite frustrated with her teenage boy. He just doesn't seem to get it. She has tried everything from stripping his room of all electronics, to only letting him wear two outfits a week (he is a fashion nut), to not letting him go to Knotts Berry Farm for his birthday. Yet, he still doesn't get it. He has 14 "Fs" in math and a "D-" in physical ed.

I've had my share of frustrations with my 3 boys. I can relate to what she is feeling. What is a parent to do when her child just isn't getting it? People often say, discipline begins at home. That may very well be true, however, when one is doing all one can do and nothing is working, what else can be done? This mom is thinking about home schooling in order to discontinue her son's social network. I think that might be a good idea, however, what if he doesn't respect the home school teacher? What if he refuses to focus and do his work then?

How helpless she must feel....

Positive thoughts and prayers

Last Night's Scare

Last night, I was laying in bed, trying to relax before going to sleep. Lately, my feet have been randomly cramping pretty often. It happens to me from time to time. I needed to get up, I forget what for. As I sat up, my back went into a spasm. Two days ago, I went to pick up the baby and I felt it go right then and there. So, I was aware of it. Usually, I wait for the spasm to stop which is what I did this time.

As the spasm subsided, my thigh began to cramp! At first, I stopped moving thinking it would subside as my feet do. Well, that so wasn't the case at all! The cramp go really, really bad! I couldn't put my leg down. I couldn't straighten it out. I ended up in the very edge of the bed and I couldn't even scoot myself back onto the bed! It went from my inner thigh down to my knee. Every time I tried to move, it shifted. At one point, it tried to go down to the back of my lower leg, then through to my toes. I quickly shifted my body very slightly to stop that direction. However, my thigh was really, really bad.

I began having difficulty breathing. I'm not sure if it was due to a side effect of the cramp being that it was so very severe or if I was panicking. I remember my aunt once told me that when your foot cramps, to get to a cold floor and it would relieve the cramp. So, virtually in tears, in the mist of my panic, I called my 15 year old son and had him to get a bag of ice from downstairs. It seemed like forever! I still couldn't completely sit or stand. Just couldn't move and the pain was horrendous!

He finally made it upstairs and I put the bag of ice on my thigh. It took a few minutes...again seemed like forever, but the pain slowly began to subside. It took even longer for my breathing to settle down. While holding the ice on my thigh, my oldest son called. He mentioned some possible causes such as not enough dark green veggies, high choloresterol, etc.

I know I need to have a physical, but it is difficult to do without medical insurance. Yes, it is quite scary not having insurance. I was born and raised on Kaiser Permanente. I lost my insruance when I lost my job. In fact, I just called them last friday because I received a notice in the mail from them. I called to see if they had adjusted their rates, which they had. They increased them by almost $75 more per month.

Yes, I am quite concerned. I thought the cramps were due to the back spasms because I feel them in my hips as well. I don't want to panic. My resources are quite limited at this point. I can get a blood test at $138. They can tell a lot of things from our blood. Perhaps I will look into that.

Postive thoughts and prayers!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I need to cook today so I can take my oldest boy some food to get through his week. His budget is tight this week. I told him I'd cook him some food to safe on his grocery bill. He's done well the past few weeks. His job didn't give him many hours this past week so his pay check was fairly small.

Thing is, I will do anything for my kids. However, I do not like to! Being the youngest of 3 girls, being quite the spoiled child I was, I was the only one my mom did not make learn how to cook. I do think it is more to it than that though.

You see, when you have 4 kids that truly eat very well and quite abundantly, cooking can be a chore! I must cook in pretty large quantities only for the food to be devoured quite! That means, I must start all over again, trying to figure out what to cook that will stretch. Not to mention they eventually complain that they want me to cook something "different." There came a time, I simply stopped cooking. Yes, I bought the groceries, but they were truly on thier own. They do know how to cook. They will actually pull out cook books and create a meal. After a few years of mom not cooking, they began asking for specific meals.

This son, my oldest boy, he wasn't one to complain about mom's cooking. He, like their father, loves to eat. I think he enjoys eating for the sake of! He is very tall and lean, like their father. They both have a very high metabolism, so gaining weight is not an issue. They love flavor and the act of!

So, though I do not enjoy cooking, I take pleasure in being there for my boy :-). I'm going to bake some chicken and make some mac & cheese with some green beans or broccoli. Just turned on the oven so it can warm up. It's a little chilli this morning and looks a big gray outside. Loving the weather. A good time to bake some chicken.

Positive thoughts and prayers....:-)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Blank...

Lately, I haven't been blogging very much because I feel like I was becoming so negative. As I think about it though, isn't that what blogging is about? Isn't it about expressing what's on our hearts and minds, literally? Isn't a place where we release things that bother us?

I began blogging because I was at a point in my life where I was extremely lonely, depressed and very, very discouraged. My daughter suggested that I blog as a way of annonmously journaling. I had, still do not have, any real support system. Blogging has been so awesome for me. It is a wonderful place to express happiness, sadness, anger, fear, doubt, laughter, etc.

A lot of times, my mind goes blank and I just can't seem to get my thoughts together. I do alot intropection of myself and my life. My sister once told me that I think too much. Not sure there is such a! I think alot about the "whys" in life. Sometimes, it becomes quite overwhelming, which brings me down, sometimes makes me quite sad. I focus a great deal on how I can be a better person, improve my personality and my interaction with people.

My cousin is home now. Physically, he is doing well. Mentally, I personally believe he is in early stages of demensia or Alzhiemers disease. Whether or not it's hereditary, it occurs quite often in my family. Makes me wonder if it's something in our diets, our culture of food. We are considering both further medical appts and a referral for a psych evaluation.

Well, that's enough pondering for me for today.

Positive thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Boosting Things Up

My daughter is going into the next phase of her teaching credential program. She will be in the classroom and working back to back. We sat down last night and talked about her new schedule for the next 6 weeks, beginning on the 26th.

This will mean I will have my grandson pretty much 24/7. She was going to take him to daycare, but I suggested she pay me a discounted amont and leave him with me. Her concern was that it can be quite overwhelming having the day care plus my grandson. So, we enlisted my youngest son as a backup as well. I also thought about taking him to my fellow day care provider's house too, on an as-needed basis.

I think we have a good plan. I will just have to prepare myself mentally and emotionally since I know what to expect. My grandson being a little older now and on a bedtime schedule will help as well. We will be fine. I will have to take my rests as needed to take care of myself. My health has been pretty good for the past few weeks.

I can do this! :-D....Positive thoughts and prayers!

Friday, April 9, 2010

It's that time again...The Final Round

On the way to taking my youngest boy, 15 years old, to school this morning, we had that good old discussion about driving. In another month or so, he will be driving the Jetta aka! Yes, she is fully equipped girlie with flower ed seat covers that the boys are not allowed to change as they drive it!! Still "Mom's" car. :-D Wow! He is my last child of four! He's bound for independence at it's! The immediate benefits will be awesome. He can drive himself to school and bring himself home. He can run his own errands too! Whooohooo!

Yes, I am a mom who is pretty much ready for empty nest syndrome. After watching my first three go through to adulty hood, I pretty much have an idea of what to expect. I have come to the conclusion that they are "supposed" to have that desire to explore the world by age 18 or so. Me, I was a very content child. Even today, I'm not much on social outings. I like solitude and quietness.

I think my kids and I have that bond in the heart, wherein we will always keep in touch no matter what. I've had lots of practice with letting go. My daughter has returned home a couple of times and left out again. Actually, so has my oldest boy. My middle boy planned smart by staying home to attend school and work part time. Both my daughter (my oldest) and my middle boy (third oldest) are planning to move in together when my daughter buys her first house in the next few months.
I am really happy with how my children have progressed and built their lives. Yes, we have had our share of difficult times. Hopefully, I have been a good enough mother to have taught them how to overcome those future hurdles that will come in their lives.

I think my kids and I have a bond, in out hearts, wherein we will always keep in tough no matter what. For that, I am truly blessed and very, very appreciative.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Seasonal Change

We have truly entered into Spring. My sinuses are really feeling the transition i.e. runny/itchy nose and eyes...Grrrr! If I am not careful, I can get a sinus infection. Not ready for that...obviously.

I am happy to say, after my youngest son, 15 years old, and I had a long disagreement on monday evening, he has improved in his morning routine, drastically! What a relief, at least for! He has been ready to walk out the door on time in the morning. He has actually began moving faster. Yesterday, when I arrived at the school to pick him up, I arrived 10 mins early. Low and behold, there he was! WOW! We have been tug-o-warring over this issue, of him being out and in on time, for a very, very long time!

Yes, I praised him over and over again. I told him how proud I was of him too! He said he likes it when I "talk" to him rather than become so angry and "yell" at!

He said, what helped him was when I asked him, "What do you need to be on time?" Although I did not ask that question from the perspective of my last blog entry, apparently, his interpretation was different. I was asking what he needed in terms of gathering his track equipment, notebooks, backpack, clothes ironed and layed out, etc. so that he can have minimal things to do in the morning or even after school, to be on time.

His answer was, "I need you to help me." I actually became kinda sad when I looked into his eyes. He was on the verge of crying from frustration. Yes, this calmed me down. I asked, "What do you want Mom to do?" He said, "Help be figure it out, figure out why I'm not getting it." By this time, the cry was in his voice, his eyes were teary and red.

By the end of the conversation, we came up with writing down things he needs to remember and having him come home in his track clothes to save time (I have to pick him up inbetween parents coming to pick up their kids. I only have a short window of time). We also thought about buying him a watch, rather than him using his cell phone, so he can keep better track of the time when he is on the track field.

So far, the past few days have been really changed...:-D. Communication is awesome!

A Changed Way of Thinking

These days, I'm trying to change the way I view the tougher situations in my life. Rather than allowing my emotions to lead me in a negative way by getting upset or irritated, I try to slow down my thoughts to a better understanding of the situation...this is very effective with the kids! Kids will be kids. They are going to make messes, mistakes, etc. It is much more difficult with adults!!

For example. In my daily routine of running the daycare, with 8 kids!, conflicts happen, toys spill, kids are naturally loud & active, kids cry, etc. All of this is just part of being a kid. Nonetheless, I begin to feel overwhelmed and anxious. You can't stop a kid from being a kid so, I have to "rethink" my avenue of handling my anxiety. I stop, think and break down the situation from the "child's" perspective, NOT mine. This provides for a better understanding of what/how things happened. Then I take a deep breath, calm myself down and proceed to take action. It takes practice, but it is totally effective!!

I'm also applying this technique to the bills, house cleaning, communication with my kids, etc. The thing is, when dealing with young adults or adults, a lot of the time we/they are just not thinking about the effects of their actions on other people. We tend to only think about ourselves. By nature, I think we are selfish. So, rather than "go off" on my own kids, who are 22, 20, 18 and 15 years old, I stop, think and ask them a question. Usually, once I hear "their" reasoning via explanation, my emotions deflate and I calm down immediately. Then I am able to "talk" to my kids rather than scold and yell at them. Communication is far better! What's even better is, by my calming down and asking a question, my kids express more and they too calm down. Now don't misunderstand me, young adults can do some really "stupid" things. There are times where a parent is required to get upset!!

Interesting how one individual can affect so many others just by changing ones own behavior or response to any given situation. All that negative emotion is not necessary. It only makes the one doing the expressing more agitated and transfers that to the next person.

Just think what kind of world it would be if we all stopped to think about how we respond to other people....hmmm...interesting.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Settling Down

Things have been going pretty well the past few weeks. I haven't had a migraine in a good week now. I know some of it was related to the red river (for those who know what I'm talking bout lol). I'm still thinking some of it is also related to allergies. I haven't had chicken thighs, my favorite, in two weeks. I did have about a half of chicken breast, baked, yesterday. I'm doing fine with no symptoms of migraine....yaaayyyy! :-D
I am still on track with taking better care of myself. I've been sleeping pretty good. I truly think I need a new, more firm mattress. I'm thinking about purchasing one of those memory foam mattresses to put on top of my mattress. Supposedly, the ones you put on top of your mattress are as good as the whole one. I plan to talk to a representative about it when I am financially closer to that goal. I think they cost about $250 or so.

Well, I sent in some info to the Board of Behavioral Science regarding reinstating my internship. The next step was to get another background check. I believe this is the last step, then they will issue me another intern number and I can start volunteering in the agencies again.

Yes, I am excited, but nervous and a little worried at the same time. Before, I lost my job twice while doing my internship. Both experiences were extremely devastating. Each time, as a fresh hire, I thought, "Now I have a fresh start to something new. We're gonna be alright." All the while, supervisors are smiling in my face, telling me how good of a job I'm doing as an intern. Then suddenly, no warning...BAM! "So sorry Lori, but we gotta let you go. It's nothing 'personal', just something the agency has to do." To have four kids as a single parent, almost loosing my home TWICE, is not something I want to experience again. Each time, I'd find out later, loosing my job had nothing to do with me, at all. I don't like being at the mercy of someone else's judgement. At the same time, I need benefits, retirement, to think about my future.

Before all that though, I have to consider my already tight schedule when adding volunteer work on the weekends. I'm really not feeling that! At the same time, I'm not sure that I have any other options towards my future.

So, you see, this is quite a bitter sweet opportunity. When I see an office like the one in this picture, I love the thought of being a Marriage & Family Therapist. My own therapist is encouraging me to have my own private practice. That sounds REAL exciting. So we are exploring the various avenues to achieve such a quest! :-D
Positive thoughts & prayers!