Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fall TV

So, in an effort to lighten the mood around here, whatcha watching on TV these days?  I've gotten hooked on Criminal Minds (Thanks A&E!) and NCIS (Thanks USA!) I like watching these shows in syndication - they are constantly running marathons (great for exercising to at the YMCA) and I almost always have a "new" show to watch.  This works out well for me, as a teacher - shows to watch and papers to grade.

I'm also thoroughly addicted to Mythbusters.  That season starts tonight! So does Criminal Minds.  So my DVD recorder is set.  NCIS is on Tuesdays, no conflicts.  I'm also enjoying Bones, thanks to TNT marathons. That season doesn't start on Fox until November 3rd.  Although I'm excited by the promos - Bones and Booth finally got together, now I'm hooked into seeing where they end up!

I also have rediscovered that I like CSI (Las Vegas!) with characters other than Grissom (shocker.)  I've been watching reruns of that and enjoyed the premiere with Ted Danson last week.

So, do you see the pattern that I see? Crime/murder shows and science/techy stuff I could use at school.

What are you watching this fall?  Anything I should try out? I've got Mondays and Fridays open, as well as Saturdays and Sundays. I don't stay up late but I can record stuff.  Gimme some ideas! Please?

Monday, September 26, 2011

#bedtime and #bedtimesucks

Those were the hashtags I used last night as I live tweeted our bedtime battle.  We all got kinda relaxed over the summer - the kids are older (10 and 8) and we let them stay up later.  It got out of control when we went to the beach.  Since returning (early August) Katy hasn't fallen asleep in her bed OR stayed in her bed for the whole night.  Once school started, I would BEG her to come in my bed so we could all get to sleep.  Let's face it, 8 year olds need more than 5 or 6 hours of sleep. (And I couldn't fight her at bedtime for hours and hours each night.)

Fast forward to Saturday.  DH came and sat in my office and I ended up venting my spleen on him. I just let it all go.  (It has been building up for quite a while.)  He acknowledged that we had some real issues that needed to be addressed.  So we planned out a family meeting. (I'll have to blog that separately. It was.... interesting.)

So the plan developed at the family meeting was this:
8:00 Showers
8:30 Nightly reading
9:00 Lights out, I sit in the hall in my comfy chair while the kids fall asleep

We moved the chair, my laptop was charged, and I downloaded some e-books just in case. And I commenced to tweet some of my hardest parenting moments to date. (I'll lead off with a few tweets from Saturday and earlier Sunday to set the mood...)

The tweets tell the tale.  We were at it for 3 hours (after the final tweet, DH and I swapped one last time - after I password locked Katy's computer. I had taken some Tylenol PM and don't remember much.)  Unbelievable! 

Thankfully, I had some great friends on Twitter sending support from all over the place - @LiberalGranola, @3catsandababy, and @CarelessCampers were wonderful. Knowing that there are other parents out there, going through similar stuff at one time or another really helped me stay strong.

I'm hoping tonight will be ever-so-much better - after all, can it really get worse?

No, wait! Don't answer that!

(You can follow the action for the next few nights by following the #bedtimesucks hashtag. It doesn't appear to be used often and really suits the situation.)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

First Day of School (a month late)

The girls' first day of school was August 25th.  Here are the pictures I took that day. (Better late than never!)

Katy, first day of 3rd grade
Erin, first day of 5th grade

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Coping. Or Not.

How do you cope with feeling like a failure? It has been hitting me hard lately. I just don't think I'm doing what needs to be done for my 8 year old, Katy. I'm missing something. She's so much like me, that might be part of it. She has this need to fight me on every. little. thing. Bedtime has always been an issue with her - since she was just a little squirt she's fought and argued and whined and complained. For years we sat with her.  Then we were able to move to sitting in the next room. Then, finally, she seemed to be over it. We had several years of pretty decent bedtimes - still a few problems here and there, but never for more than a few nights at a time.

Recently she's been terrible, horrible, no good, very bad. And I feel so guilty for saying that. But it is the worst it has EVER been. And I just can't handle it. Sometimes I just want to run screaming from the house, instead of deal with her. 5 nights a week it is just me @ bedtime.  DH works evenings - but often (even on school nights) she's still up when he comes home.  And on school days she's getting up at 6 - I just don't know how she can be awake for almost 18 hours a day.  And on nights when DH IS home - those are the worst.  No matter how calm I try to stay, he's got some comment about how I get her worked up and how I shouldn't worry about it and how I should just leave her be.  That eventually she'll get tired and go to bed earlier.

I've tried tiring her out (YMCA to swim/exercise.) Just made her more of a monster (even more over-tired.)

I've tried taking away important things (computer, Internet, TV, DS, fun family stuff.) She just cries and whines more.

I've tried (to my shame) spankings. Then she cries about her butt hurting.

I've tried the opposite - sweetness and light, loving, calm. I've even sat with her, laid with her - kept her company so she won't be "lonely." (One of her current favorite excuses for why she can't go to bed.)

I've tried music. She just waits until the cd has played through to come downstairs. (False hope, anyone?)

But she still doesn't go to bed without a fight. (Correction, she will go MAYBE once a week without a fight - no way to predict which night, so I can't ever bank on tonight being THE ONE.  Until it is and it is over.)

I'm trying so hard. All I could do tonight was lock myself in the bathroom and cry. She just stood in the hall and asked if I was crying and WHY was I so upset.

I don't know how to cope with this. But I've got to find a way. How can I not cope with this wonderful, spirited, brilliant, little girl? I love her so.