A predictable child becomes a bit unpredictable

We have three daughters.

Two are crazy and one is not.  Well, wasn't.

Enter hormones, body changes, getting older.  Enter 10 1/2 years old.

Our sweet nearly 5th grader has always been so gentle, kindhearted and consistent.  She still wants to say "Don't let the bed bugs bite" and blow us a kiss every night.  But, at the end of 4th grade we started to see some major changes.  And this summer it has blown up much bigger.

She sometimes just breaks out bawling at the dinner table and runs to her room.  We all look around bewildered.  She will start yelling at her younger sister seemingly out of nowhere.  Outbursts, crying, confusion and more. And she does NOT back down from her older sister anymore.  (I'm kindof proud of her on that one.)

I have comforted her many times by re-assuring her that it is not really all her fault.  She is still that sweet girl inside, her brain and personality is just being strongly affected by all the physiological changes.  I can say this calmly because her older sister was way more Crazy (with a capital C).  All things seem easier the second time around.

Hang in there sweetheart and your patience and humility will be back pretty soon (we hope!).

Generally a very happy girl.


Whoa - my daughter is going GOTH!

Okay - that was me just a few months ago.

I'm not sure the difference between Goth & Emo but we were treading some lines here with our oldest daughter.

First day of 6th grade
She was very into beauty, princesses, fairies and dress-up during her elementary years.  We know she is creative and we have always encouraged her to express it.

Enter Middle School.  The first few weeks were filled with trendy clothes, trying to fit in, requests for athletic shorts (all the kids wear them Mom!) and pleas to wear makeup.

Then a few weeks after that all color disappeared.  We were informed that she was in her "black stage" and all colored clothes were moved out of her drawers and into a storage tub she found in her closet. (Other items in that tub were relocated in a heap to the corner of her closet - Mom cringed.)
Double pierced ears
were a Christmas present.

Feeling this was a phase, we tried to ignore it.  I did more laundry since she only had a handful of all black clothing.  She started spending all her spare money on black clothing.  She went to stay with Grandma and came back with a bright red streak in her hair.  She invested in black lace gloves, black shoes, black jewelry and even adamantly demanded black underwear!

This continued for months and months and all the way to the end of the year. People started to notice. Of course she always looked polished and put together.  Most of her black clothing was x-small women's clothes.  Clothes you might wear to work.  It was like pulling teeth to get her to wear jeans and a t-shirt.

She also began to withdraw more and more - I don't have many pictures of her since she didn't join a lot of our family activities.  She wanted to be included but at the same time just wanted to be left alone. (Can't say we are out of the woods on that one yet.)

Then came summer.  School let out and she decided to take a break from it all.

Analysis:  At this point I really think the black was just an escape from the overwhelming task of deciding what to wear and how to fit in.  It was infinitely easier to choose from a single color palette. And I think it was very important for us to not make a big deal out of it.  It never became an issue for us.  I didn't understand why she was doing it but it seemed to be essential for her to cope with middle school. And now, I am beyond thrilled to see her colorful self again!

So - let your pre-teen express themselves, let them push those boundaries a bit even if it doesn't make sense to you.  Even if you've always picked out their clothes.  Even if they used to explain everything to you.  They  may not even know why they are making these choices.  They are just trying to cope with not knowing who they are yet AND the choices they are making at this age are not necessarily indicative of who they are going to be in the future.

So pretty, creative and ready for 7th grade


Don't give up - lessons from my workout

Some days workouts bring out all kinds of emotions. I pushed through Piyo Core, but not without a few tears. 
It's so tempting to give up, to call it a day when workouts, life or kids are challenging.

I get even more discouraged as I realize how trivial my "challenges" are, and why in the world can't I just choose JOY?  Right, it's just not that easy.  I drift further and further into my pity pond, and can't quite make good choices.  And it all happens so quickly it seems.  One week is super fantabulous, and then the next is horrendous.

Yesterday I completely crashed.  I got slammed in the face with my failures, insecurities and shortcomings and I wasn't prepared.  I succumbed.  I hid in my room and instructed the children to parent themselves for the afternoon.  (They responded surprisingly well to that suggestion.)

Strangely enough, it was watching an episode of What Not to Wear that lifted my spirits, combined with an hour by myself while Matt took the girls out for dinner.  I watched someone else be transformed from a frumpy assistant with no confidence into someone who saw the beauty in herself.  It encouraged me to do the same.  But, on the inside.

So, here's to a new day.  A workout completed.  A grocery list done.  A quiet house for a few more hours.  Dinner planned and an unscheduled rest of the week.  

Blessings abound!


Very Berry Wheat Muffins

Customized a recipe I found online and the reviews around here were rave! (You could make these with all white flour, just reduce the milk.)
Very Berry Wheat Muffins
1 1/2 cups white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
2/3 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1 cup strawberries, chopped
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup milk
¼ cup buttermilk (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons sugar
Preheat oven to 400.
Mix flour, sugar, and baking powder in a large bowl. Add canola oil, 1/2 cup milk, buttermilk, vanilla, and eggs, and mix until combined. If your dough is very thick, add more milk. Fold in blueberries and strawberries. Top with a sprinkling of sugar.

Bake for 12-18 minutes or until golden brown.
Makes 24 muffins