Confessions of a Middleagedmom

surviving motherhood in the “middle ages”

New Strategy for Princess September 25, 2009

Filed under: 1-2-3 Magic,children,dad,discipline,family,moms,preschool,time out — middleagedmom @ 12:15 am
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Recently Princess has decided to demonstrate her independence at home and at school.

Translation: She wants to do what she wants when she wants to.

Princess has always been pretty easy to discipline. She usually complies with our rules and expectations. Then all of a sudden (over the last 2 weeks) she’s been saying “NO” to almost everything. Along with the “NO” comes the whining and the fussing.

Mr. MaD and I were like, “What the heck is going on?”

Last week when I picked her up from school I told her teacher about the change in her behavior. She said that she noticed that Princess said “NO” to her that same day. I explained that I didn’t know where all of this was coming from. Then she told me that she thinks Princess has learned it from another student in class who says, “NO” and talks back with a “potty” mouth.

My first thought was “Just great! Princess has to follow the student who has inappropriate behavior!” I guess that comes along with territory when you send your child to preschool.

In the last 2 days, Princess has decided to “step it up a notch” at school. She has decided that she does not have to sit at Circle Time. Instead, she walks around or plays around. During nap time, she doesn’t sleep. Instead, she talks, laughs, or walks around. The teacher has tried putting her on time out but Princess has decided that she doesn’t need a time out. 

When I received her daily report for the last 2 days, I was so upset and frustrated. We’ve talked to Princess about her behavior. We tell her our expectations every day before she goes to school. Mr. MaD reminds her again when he drops her off. When we asked her what she is supposed to do, she can tell us.

So last night I told Mr. MaD that whatever we (teacher and us) are doing is not working for Princess. For some reason, the time out is not working at school. I think it wasn’t the right motivation.

After rereading some of the 1-2-3 Magic book, I decided we needed to use a strategy for what is referred to as a Start behavior.

So…I decided to make Princess a goal sheet. Something very simple and focused on  the 2 areas that she is struggling with. I made it for one day just to see if it would work. I decided that her reward would be playing an online game on the computer when she gets home from school.

What a difference a day and a reward makes! Today, Princess sat nicely in Circle Time with her hands in her lap and she even participated. Then a nap time she slept. Wow! I was so proud of her. I could tell that she was proud of herself too.

She was very excited to play the Curious George game on the computer. (By the way, it’s for the PBS site.)

I sure hope this works again tomorrow! If not, I don’t know what I’ll do next.

Any suggestions?

Here’s a sample of the Goal Sheet.

goal sheet


Speaking of Bath Time September 23, 2009

Filed under: children,dad,family,moms,random thoughts — middleagedmom @ 1:25 pm
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Did you hear about this? It’s absurd.

I can’t believe that some innocent photos could lead to such disruption in a family. I know many families who have photos of their children taking a bath or playing in the bath. It’s a big deal, especially with your first child and their first bath. I mean we even have a photo of Princess getting her first “bath” in the hospital after being born.

If you’re a scrapbooker, then you know that many scrapbooking products for baby pages include a bath time item…a sticker, an embellishment, a template, etc. Why do you suppose companies make them? It’s because bath time is a milestone for most children, esp. their first bath as an infant and then later as they graduate to the big tub. It’s also usually a fun time for toddlers and children when they realize it’s just like water play.

The thing that bugs me the most about this story is that it got so out of control. First off, why did the Wal-Mart employee even report it? Secondly, why did the police even make a case out of it? Didn’t they even do a little investigation before charging the parents and taking away the children? I can’t believe the state of Arizona could even spend the time and money on this family.

Don’t they have better more important things to do…like catch some real sex offenders?

The mother got suspended from her job for a year. The children got taken away for one month! The parents are now on a sex offender registry. That is simply ridiculous! Supposedly Wal-Mart settled out of court but it’s too late. The family is scarred for life, especially the children. Frankly, no amount of money is going to give them back the life they had as they knew it.

It really upsets me when I hear stories about real sex offenders out in the community breaking the law (Jaycee Dugard kidnapping) and re-offending.

Are we getting so paranoid that we are willing to subject innocent people to such hardship? I believe in being cautious but I also believe in being rationale.


My Shower My Refuge September 22, 2009

Filed under: dad,family,middleaged,moms,women — middleagedmom @ 2:27 pm
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Update: Mr. MaD informed me that the new (2nd) showerhead actually cost $40 not $45 like I thought. Gee, we actually saved more money than I thought we did.)

As a mom, I barely have my own time. I know you understand. For me, I cherish my bath time. Why? Probably because it’s the only 10-15 minutes of my day that I have to myself. It’s my relaxation and stress relief. Besides relaxation, it’s one of the few things that helps me when I get an extreme sinus headache.

So, when that get’s disrupted…mommy gets very unhappy.

Last week our shower head was on its last leg. I asked Mr. MaD to soak it in clorox to clean it. Little did I know that the soak would end up being the demise of my shower head. For some reason, this time the soak lasted longer than it should. I’m not sure if it was forgetfulness on the part of Mr. MaD (he is also middleaged, you know?) or if it was his intent to soak it longer (long soak = better cleaning…logical?).

When I happened to check it in the afternoon, I noticed that the water had turned black with silver pools floating on top of it. I carefully lifted up the shower head from the bucket. Yuck! The chrome on the head had started to come off and was now floating around in the bucket. All the places where the chrome was eaten away was now covered in black spots. I rinsed off the shower head thinking that it might help. Nope. All of those patches of blackness became “raw” rough patches of metal.

As it turned out, I didn’t want to shower with a shower head that had rough metal  patches on it. I thought it would be a little dangerous for Princess to handle it. So I called Mr. MaD at work and asked him to buy a new one.

He quickly went to Home Depot on the way home to look at new shower heads. He came home with a Water Pik brand shower head that cost something like $50. Can you believe a shower head can cost so much?

That night when I took a shower I couldn’t believe how weak this shower head was. Where was my massage? That water was tickling my neck and shoulders. I’m used to having my shower “pounding” on my back! As soon as I got out of the shower, I interrogated Mr. MaD about his decision to get this shower head.

Me: Is this the same brand of shower head as the old one?

Mr. MaD: Yes, it’s a Water Pik too.

Me: This shower head is so weak! Is it one of this water saving shower heads?

Mr. MaD: Yes, it saves “blah..blah…blah”

Me: I don’t care how much water it saves! It’s the pits! You need to take out the filter or whatever is in there that’s making it so weak!

Mr. MaD: Okay.

Me: Was that the only shower head that they had?

Mr. MaD: They only had 2 different ones. That one cost almost $50.

Me: I can’t believe they only have 2 different ones. Okay, I’ll try it for one more night.

So the next night I tried it again. As it turned out, Mr. MaD could not remove anything in that shower head to make it stronger. I guess it’s just designed that way. After my shower, I complained again about how I couldn’t stand that shower head. Part of my argument about saving water was that although it uses less water, I have to take a longer shower just to shampoo and condition my hair. The shower was so weak that it took longer to rinse out the shampoo and conditioner. It was frustrating. The same thing happened when I had to wash Princess’s hair. Ugh

I asked Mr. MaD if he could return the shower head. He asked me to call Home Depot to find out what the return policy was like. I did. They said we could return the shower head if we had the receipt and the original packaging. We did! Hooray! Before Mr. MaD went to Home Depot, I checked on their website to see what kind of options they had available. I quickly found a less expensive shower head (less than $50) that had 6 settings and was not a water-saving model. I told him to look for something like that.

He returned later that night with a new shower head in tow. It was a 6 setting model without the water-saving feature. And it cost less than the first one he purchased. We were both happy. I had a new stronger shower head and he spent less money.

Have I mentioned this before…”Happy wife, happy life”

My shower…my refuge. 🙂


Wordless Wednesday September 16, 2009

Filed under: random thoughts — middleagedmom @ 3:08 pm

flamingo love


Sloppy Joes My Way September 14, 2009

Filed under: children,family,food,moms,toddlers — middleagedmom @ 2:45 pm
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I was recently in the mood for sloppy joes so I searched for some easy recipes online.  Most  of the recipes contain similar ingredients. I finally settled on Rachael Ray’s Super Sloppy Joes. It had good ratings and seemed pretty easy to prepare.

Although I wanted to prepare sloppy joes, I decided that I would use a meat substitute. It’s part of my plan to feed my family some meatless meals at least 1 or 2 times per week. I also knew that I could sneak some veggies into this recipe for my super picky eaters (Princess and Baby)! I also decided to top my sloppy joes off with cheese to make it more appealing to the girls. Cheese is always welcome in my house!

sloppy joes


 Sloppy Joes My Way – Adapted from Rachael Ray


  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ bags of Morningstar Grillers Recipe Starters*
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons to 1 Tbsp steak seasoning  (I use 2 tsps. Montreal Steak Seasoning)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (I grate it for my picky eaters)
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped (I finely chop ½ and grate ½)
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 Tbsp tomato sauce
  • Whole wheat hamburger buns
  • Shredded Cheddar Jack cheese melted on top before serving

 *Original recipe calls for 1 ¼ pounds ground beef sirloin


 Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil and cook onions and red peppers until translucent and tender. Add Grillers Recipe Starters. Combine brown sugar and steak seasoning. Add sugar and spice mixture to the skillet and combine. When heated through, add red wine vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. Cook approx. 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and paste to pan. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to simmer and cook Sloppy Joe mixture 5 minutes longer. Using a large scoop or ice cream scoop, pile sloppy meat onto toasted buttered bottoms and cover with bun tops. Top with a generous serving of cheddar jack cheese.


Parents Need a Playgroup Rulebook September 10, 2009

I am sure that I’m not the only mother out there who has experienced “inappropriate” behavior of children and parents while in a playgroup or class.

Some might say I’m overprotective (that’s already confirmed), others may say that it’s because I’m a middleaged mother (not as laid back).

Whatever the reason, I still believe there should be a rulebook for parents and children at every playgroup and class. Maybe it should be given to every parent as soon as they give birth to their child. Then again, you would think that most things are common sense.

So why all the ranting?

Earlier this week, Baby and I were at her music and movement class. The class happened to be blowing bubbles to music. She was standing right in front of me and attempting to blow bubbles. A few seconds into it, a little boy comes right up to us and snatches her bubble wand right out of her hand. Baby was really good about it. She didn’t fuss or cry. I, on the other hand, was a little peeved about it since his mother was sitting on the side chatting with another mother while this happened. I gently removed the bubble wand out of his hand and said, “I’m sorry, she’s using that bubble wand.” Then his mother walks up and tells him, “Don’t take other people’s things. Use your own.” Nice try, mom, but a little too late!

I don’t really want to be the one to “correct” other people’s children. I think their own parents should do it.

In another class that Baby is attending there’s a little girl who constantly pushes other children. She’ll nudge her way in between a child and a toy then push the child away. Last week, Baby happened to be playing by a rocking toy. She was rocking it back and forth with her hands rather than sit on it. The little girl came up to Baby and pushed her hand off the toy. Baby just stared at her. At first I stood by and watched to see what would happen. Then the little girl did it again. This time she did it harder! So I went up to her and said, “Sorry, but she’s playing with it right now.” So, what was her mother doing? Nothing! She was standing right there watching the whole thing and letting her daughter push my daughter, TWICE! What’s wrong with that picture?

Okay, it’s not only the child’s behavior but the parent’s behavior (or lack of) that is so bewildering.  It even happens with grandparents.

At the same music and movement class, Baby was getting ready to put away her bubble blower when the teacher started collecting them. She went up to give it back but the teacher walked away in the opposite direction so Baby came back to me. I told her to wait patiently and go back up. Just then a grandmother comes right up to us and grabs the bubble blower out of Baby’s hand. She didn’t say a word…she just grabbed it. I quickly grabbed her arm and nicely said, “Oh, she can put it away by herself.” So she smiled and gave it back to Baby. OH MY GOSH! All the other children are putting the bubble blowers away by themselves. Why would she grab Baby’s and do it for her? She has her OWN grandchild to worry about, why does she need to worry about my child? I know that some of you are thinking that she was just trying to help. If that’s the case, why didn’t see ask first?

Another time in a class, the teacher happened to be reading a story to the children and using the flannel board. She gave all the children an animal to put up on the flannel board when their animal came up in the story. During the story, a little girl went up to a couple of the children and took the animals right out of their hands. They never had a turn to go up to the board because the little girl wanted to do it for them! Her mother didn’t stand up to stop her. She did tell her not to do it and even told her to give it back to the other children. Did she listen? NO! That’s it…nothing else from the mother.

 As a parent, I try very hard to be considerate of other children and parents. Usually, I don’t touch any child without asking first. Once when we were playing with the parachute a little boy was sitting in a dangerous place, so before I moved him I asked his mom is she wanted me to move him. She gave me permission to do so. Or if Baby happens to want to play with something that someone else is already using, I tell her that she needs to find something else to use until it’s her turn. She has been really good about not taking things away from other children, except her sister.

So, I’m proposing a universal rule book for every child and parent. Well, maybe it should just be for parents.

Let’s start with…

Rule #1 – Please oversee your child at all times! (Don’t sit on the side chatting with our friend while your child steals something from someone else!)

Rule #2 – Please discipline your child when he/she uses inappropriate physical behavior, like pushing and shoving!

Rule #3 – Assist another child (that’s not your own relative) if you’re asked to assist or given permission, unless safety is an issue.

How’s that for starters? I could go on and on with more examples and rules.

What about you? What would you add to the Rulebook?


Small Talk Six – Dream Jobs September 5, 2009

Filed under: blogging,Small Talk Six — middleagedmom @ 10:24 am
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Today’s topic is “6 jobs you think would be a blast to have.” You can answer this with a list of 6 words, 6 phrases, 6 sentences, 6 paragraphs, 6 photos, 6 videos, etc . . .

Want to join in?  Go here to learn how and  to view the weekly list Small Talk Six topics for 2009.



Here’s my list (in random order):

1. A restaurant reviewer (Can you say “delicious” with your mouth full?).

2. An animal shelter owner.

3. A travel editor with a huge budget.

4. A matchmaker.

5. A toy buyer or a toy tester.