My Blanken World

My world of boys, textiles and moving.

Girl gifts November 14, 2015

Filed under: Family,Random thoughts — blankenmom @ 7:55 pm
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Christmas presents piled underneath a christmas tree.

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I started my Christmas shopping tonight.  I started making several gifts months ago, but not everyone digs hand-made’s and I’m down with that.  I know what to buy all the non-handmade gifts people on my list.

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Except for my oldest niece.  I’ve got nothing!

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We all have those two or three, or ten people who can either buy whatever they want, so you’re sort of useless, unless you can buy those few things they can’t afford.  Or they just don’t like anything.  Or you are so polar opposite of them, that anything you buy will be galaxies away from anything they would ever want.

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We have a few of each on our list.  Gift cards for coffee are usually what they get.  Or, like my father-in-law, a golf shirt.  Every year.  *sigh*  I’d really like to branch out, but sometimes you just go with what you know works!

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Last year, I totally scored with my two younger nieces.  I mean, how can you go wrong with rub-on glitter tattoo’s, and hair chalk!  C’mon – I rocked that one!  Yes, they’re both under 10.  And sometimes… majority of the time, so is my brain, so I totally nailed it!

Speaking of nails… I thought “13-year-old girls like to do their nails, right?”, so I bought my oldest niece a full nail kit.  It had everything a girl would need to do her nails!  She is after all the girly girl of the three, so I thought I was being pretty darn awesome!

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15-worst-gifts-title-1

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Yeah, not so much.  The kit shows up one day before we have to leave to meet with the whole family, and upon opening the package for wrapping, I realize that this is NOT what was pictured!  First, glitter was *everywhere*, which for me is a bonus, but I hear most people think of it as some sort of problem.  Herpes of the craft world?  And “the finger”.  The boys loved this!  This bent, pale index finger.  There may, or may not have been some chasing going on with said “finger” before it made it to its wrapping.

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So, one crooked finger on a stand, to supposedly practice your “nail art”.  Along with several packages of false nails, glitter to add to the paint, jewels, files, those little foam toe thingies to keep your toes behaving, those pokey sticks and a few other nail items that I have no idea what they do.

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It sounds way better here than what showed up, I swear.

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I packed my sad little gift into the nicest container I could find, hoping it would somehow magically make it look amazing, or at least like it did from the website.

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When it comes time for her to open it, I spied around the bodies between us.  If it were possible for crickets to have chirped on Christmas morning… they would have chirped their last and then shot themselves.

Quietly she pulls “the finger out” and quietly places it back in the packaging.  She begins to look around as though there had to be a hidden camera.  I have to applaud her here, this normally very loud, very opinionated 13-year-old could have shouted out, somewhat rightfully, “This is what you got me?”.  Silence.  She tucked it away and later very politely said thank you for her gift.

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*FAIL*

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I refuse to have that happen this year!

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I have been searching website after website looking for what 14-year-old sporty, girly girls like?  Most websites either tout uber expensive items that no kid really needs and is WAY over my budget, or infantile “learning games” that a kid that age would think were completely lame.  And I’m not buying her clothes from stores that sell thongs to 10 year old’s!

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“Gift card?”

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NO!  I refuse to give yet another gift card!  I should know my nieces well enough to know what they want!  Right?  Oy!

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So here I sit, several hours later, with everyone else’s gift found in the process of finding her’s.

My list is now finished, except the person’s I started out looking for.

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Think she’d want a bra?

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bra

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KIDDING!

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Driving me crazy! November 7, 2015

Filed under: Boys,Family,Homeschooling,Hubby,What's happening — blankenmom @ 11:38 pm
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teen-driver

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I’ve already stated that I now have the middle two children in drivers-ed/teaching them to drive.  And I realize when I say this, that this statement doesn’t sound all that threatening.  However, when you put two hormonal children behind the wheel of not just a little car, but a big ‘ol mini-van, things get a bit interesting.

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I was also explaining to a friend the other day how I was a bit thrown off by the fact that I’m not constantly fielding raging text messages from people stealing from me, scheduling repairs, and court dates.  Something that consumed over 3 years of our lives, in various forms.  24/7.  I know, very Pavlovian of me that every time a text message comes in my stomach sinks, we’re working on it!  The fact that I’m not being “yelled” at several times an hour has left a strange void.  Albeit a nice void, but oddly you get used to even stupid things.  And I’m finding that I’m not sure what to do with myself.  No worries, my dentist man has made sure I’m kept busy with renovation tasks to “help”.  This same friend, making sure she was fulfilling her duties, was nice enough to begin insulting me so I didn’t feel unloved.  Good to know I can count on her when the chips are down – but in the absence of true disdain –

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Enter my children.

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I now remember, not just my first-born learning, but also myself.  That nervousness of having really no clue what you’re doing and wielding tonnage, with what seems like no help from your co-pilot.

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*Insert dirty looks*

“Well telling me after wasn’t very helpful now was it?”

“That’s just a stupid rule!”

“I know mom!”

“Could you just not, please!”

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You laugh, but if you think back, you know you did the same thing.

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So literally (and I mean literally) every time I go somewhere that my children can go with me, they are there.  Driving.  And cursing my name in their best 15 and 17-year-old, homeschooled profanities.

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Gosh boys – thank you for filling that void in my life!  I was wondering what I’d do without being told I suck on a daily basis.  And yes, you’re welcome for paying for lessons, and/or teaching you how to drive.  Yes I could have had the one in drivers-ed pay for it, but since they can’t get jobs in this area, that seemed pretty cruel.  Please no messages about that part.  Well, heck, never mind.  I have enough people poo-pooing me, go for it!  

Plus, this almost guarantee’s they’ll be able to leave my house once they turn 18!

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I would like to state however that my best curse word to fly yet has been fricking!  I know, you’re impressed with that kind of language!  Between turning left at 20 mph (about 32 kph google says), and nearly hitting the curb with my just-put-on snow tires, I wasn’t messing around!  This also happened to be the first time my dentist man has driven with one of these two.  After his mini-me was somewhat safely delivered to his drivers-ed class, I asked him how he did in the back seat and he only had to close his eyes a few times.  Not too bad there third-born!

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To add to this awesome experience, they’re each going through their own phases of hormonal changes.  (For mom’s of girls out there scratching their heads at this comment – yes boys still go through hormonal changes.  A lot less screaming and crying, a lot more “chest thumping” with a wee bit of anger rolled in, but not before the flighty-as-a-bird stage that I’m pretty sure girls do to?  Maybe?  I hope so – I would hate for you to miss out on this experience!)

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While the fourth-born completely hit the flighty stage at 13 – nice of him to stay on schedule, the third-born, I thought, was going to miss it, but ohp – nope!  He turned 15 and it totally hit!  Right as we start to teach him how to drive!  Maybe he could do me the favor of skipping over the angry phase then?  And the 17-year-old, as I’ve already experienced with the first-born, knows all, and doesn’t need his parents for anything.  He’s already a man and insert chest thumping is ready for the real world!  Bahaha… oh.  Ahem…

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Yes we’ve already gone through this.  You just sort of back up and wait.  They turn 18 and amazingly they need you again… or at least your money.  And then… your advice.  Especially when they realize that you really *have* done this already and maybe… possibly… might know what you’re talking about… slightly.

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Between the two, I have one that can’t remember to head check, turn their blinker on, and which pedal is which.  And another who thinks he should be able to bi-pass this whole process and just get his license already, in spite the fact that I keep hearing “I’ve never seen that before, that’s just not normal!” and “Why didn’t you tell me that faster!”.

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This too shall pass.  *Insert zen pose here*  It’s because we love our children so much that we go through all this craziness, and if I survive their driving, I know I’ll survive just about anything.  But in the mean time, they’re driving me straight to crazy, leaving me on the curb, to wait for their younger brother to send me right over the cliff.

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~Serenity ~

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