Mamagirl… says it all…

Just a Mama's musings…

A hike in the woods June 30, 2012

Filed under: Family,Nature — mamagirlsaysitall @ 11:17 am

MamaGirl says….

I had been promising the kids all week that on Friday we would go for a hike out by the river and then take a swim. A-Man was all for the hike, Mags was in it for the swimming – she could care less about the hiking part, that’s just what she has to do to get to the water. So after lunch, we were off.

 A-Man decided that he was going to be our photographer today and I have to say, he did pretty well. I took a few of the shots, but these are his shots. He’s starting to develop a bit of an eye and I was rather impressed with some of his subject choices. And obviously, what better subject choice for a photograph than your mom?

It’s about a mile or so down the trail to the swimming spot that we eventually settled on. There are lots of places along the trail where you can get in the water, but not that many where it’s actually deep enough to swim and swimming is what we wanted today. I could have taken my kids to a public pool, but at $3 each that’s $9 just to go swimming in other’s people’s pee. No thankyou. Besides, what is there to look at the public pool but people in way less clothing than they should really be comfortable wearing? I feel certain that you could make a page very similar to People of Walmart with People at Public Pools, but I digress. So instead of going to the pool, we went to the river and had things like this to look at….

It really is a beautiful river and most of it is shallow enough to walk across. The path is well maintained and you usually run into other people (and their unleashed dogs) all along the trail. It’s a popular area, so I feel safe out there with just me & the kids.  While you’ll probably pass a group or three of college kids lugging beer down the path, you’ll also pass middle-aged people walking dogs or runners trail-running. Personally, I don’t run unless something is chasing me, but that’s a different blog post.

Anyway, so why is any of this important at all? Well, you see, I have an eleven year old son. If any of you have an eleven year old son you probably already know what I am talking about. Eleven year old kids are not like we were at eleven. These kids know nothing of what it means when the street light comes on (that it was time to go home), they are incapable of navigating our neighborhood on their own, they think that the only fun to be had in life at all is attached to the end of a video game controller. So, anytime that I can pry my eleven year old away from the video games and get him to actually engage in something that exists in reality, especially if it something outside, I try to take advantage of that. And to my surprise and delight, he has suddenly decided that he really enjoys hiking. So guess what? Our family just became a hiking family. It is worth noting that he has also shown a sudden interest in archery, however, due to the fact that I can and usually do hurt myself at just about everything that I try to do, we will not be becoming an archery family. Sorry, A-Man.

We’ve always been a camping family, but not a hiking family. Up until a year ago, Hubbo and I were smokers (yes, yes, thank you, thank you) and there was no way in hell that we were going to haul all of our oversized, super-comfy, car-camping gear up any big-ass mountain on our backs! Ha! Yeah, that wasn’t happening. But now that we actually have some lung capacity back, we’re starting to consider an over-night hiking trip. A-Man’s all for it. Mags just wants to know if we can go swimming when we get there. Anyway, so we’ve been car camping since our kids were little and we usually do try to camp near some water. For years now, in whatever spot that we’ve been camped in, Hubbo has taken the kids to the water to build their “rock sculptures” before we depart. Over the years, as the kids have gotten older and their patience and fine motor skills have developed, the sculptures have become slightly more elaborate. However, today out at the river, the kids and I discovered a rock sculpture the likes of which we’ve never seen. I mean, would you just look at this thing? It’s several levels of river rock stacked and balanced perfectly on a stump that was sticking out of the water. It’s one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. Credits to A-Man for the photo.

So, I spent quality time with my kids, we got out of the house and enjoyed nature, we swam, we made a new friend (A-Man and a dog named Bacon really hit it off), we met an old friend along the trail (another hip mama came swimming with us), we made mud-cakes (not mud-pies, thankyou) on the river bank, we took some awesome pictures, we saw some incredible man-made rock sculptures, we got a little sun on our shoulders, and to be honest with you, I can’t think of when I’ve had a better day. I think we’ll do it again next week.

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Because you have to keep educating, even in the woods… June 29, 2012

Filed under: Family,Nature,Parenting — mamagirlsaysitall @ 10:23 am

MamaGirl says….

There’s a reason why I’m not a teacher. Namely, because I don’t really like kids all that much. Okay, so I like MY kids pretty good (don’t get me wrong, we have our days), but for the most part, I could really do without other people’s kids. Alright, alright, there are some of A-Man’s friends who I dearly love and even though they don’t know it, I think they are going to be amazing, awesome people when they get all grown up. So, okay, I like a few kids, but not very many, and that’s why I’m not a teacher.

However, when you go making the decision to have a baby (or babies, as the case may be) you inadvertently sign up for at least minimal teaching duties. And by minimal, I mean full-on, 24-hour-a-day, round-the-clock, teach-this-kid-what-he-needs-to-know-to-get-through-life, teaching duties. You would think that just that one, simple thought would be such a more effective form of birth control than it actually is, but I digress. The point is, if you’re going to have kids, you have to teach them something. Otherwise, you’re just wasting your life waiting for a couple of little dumbasses to grow up and move out. So, yeah, gotta teach them something. Got it?

Lately, we’ve been trying to actually take advantage of this wonderful little part of the country that we reside in and get outside of the safe and benign walls of our house. We live in western North Carolina and are surrounded by some of the most beautiful mountains and vistas, and some of the most numerous miles of hiking trails in the world. And although we’ve been here for about 10 years now, we have been woefully remiss in actually getting out and enjoying all that there is to be enjoyed. We’re kinda lazy like that. But you know, hey, we’re working on it.

Today, we decided to go for a hike with the kids and the dog. Our dog, Ophelia, is still a puppy and is in the process of learning to walk on a leash. Hiking in the woods is turning out to be a great way to train her to walk on-leash, because there are so many fewer distractions than walking on the street in the city. So, Hubbo & I, both kids and the dog set off for the woods.

Now, home-schoolers know that there is an educating opportunity in everything. I am not a home-schooler. And honestly, I don’t try to turn everything into a lesson for my kids. I figure that if they’re enjoying something, engaging in something, talking about something that they’re learning by proxy and there’s no reason to go telling them that they’re learning something and risk spoiling it all. I call this “practical parenting.” Actually, I just made that up, but it works, so go with it.

Okay, so making that picture work up there took me about two days and I’ve sort of lost hold of the point of this post. But I do know that it’s supposed to be about the hidden learning opportunities that can be found on a hike in the woods. But since we’ve already established that a teacher I am not, I won’t pretend that I can accomplish this task without getting distracted and side-tracked and totally going off topic.

Where was I? Learning opportunities. Hidden in the woods. Okay. So… we found some.

What did we learn? Well, A-Man learned that he enjoys a more rugged hike as opposed to a flat walk along the river. The dog learned a little more about walking on the leash. Hubbo & I learned that most people in the woods do not bother to put their dogs on a leash, which is a serious pain the ass when you’re trying to keep control of your own dog. And Mags learned that 2.5 miles is about her limit for hiking with a good attitude.

Ah, yes. There are hidden learning opportunities everywhere. But I find them to be infinitely more successful when I do not open my big mouth and point them out.

 

What is this blog about?

Filed under: Uncategorized — mamagirlsaysitall @ 12:09 am

MamaGirl says…

So, I’ve been looking at different blogs, blogs about blogs, and lists of blogs trying to get ideas about how to do things and what to write about. And I noticed that most of those other blogs are about something. For instance, my mother writes a fairly successful blog, Never Enough Thyme, about cooking. It’s a great little blog. It’s cute and wholesome, like my mother. And that got me to thinking, so what is my blog about. And at the end of the day, I don’t know what it’s about.

It’s about me and my family and our ridiculous dysfunctionality (it’s a word, I made it up). It’s about trying to raise two kids and go to college full-time, while maintaining a 4.0 GPA and keeping a part-time job. It’s about being frustrated with the world and all of its politics while still being able to see what is good and worth fighting for. It’s about being in your mid-thirties and not having yet accomplished all that you hoped you would. It’s about getting those little reminders everyday, like a hug from a kid who’s “too old” to be loving on his mama, that remind you of all that you have accomplished, even if some of it isn’t societies idea of “accomplishment.” It’s about screwing up and falling down, making mistakes and trying again. It’s about learning as we go and embracing second chances. It’s about not giving up and not giving in. It’s about Truckin’ On.

It’s about love. It’s about life. It’s about me.

That’s about as figured out as I can get it right now.

 

My Life is a Good Life June 28, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — mamagirlsaysitall @ 10:02 am

MamaGirl says…

I turned 35 years old yesterday. Yes, it was angst-ridden, as all of my birthdays are. Yes, there were tears involved. Yes, I did mourn. I always mourn for my youth, misspent as it was. So yes, okay? There was a significant amount of tears and time spent in bed mourning my old, ancient ass. Don’t get the wrong idea. I didn’t spend the entire day being wretched, but I’m going to have to fess up to quite a bit of pathetic wretchedness on my part. I hate my birthday. I always have. That’s a-whole-nother post.

However, when I woke up this morning, the morning after my 35th birthday, I woke up to a pretty damn good life. Sometimes, it can be hard to remember that you have a pretty good life when you’re busy boo-hooing over wrinkles, adult-onset acne, and the southerly migration of your butt. (That reminds me, I have got to get back into a Yoga class if I want this thing to stop its race toward my ankles!)

So anyway, when I woke up this morning, I didn’t feel sad. I didn’t feel older. I didn’t feel depressed. I felt happy that the depression from yesterday had passed. I felt joy at the two sleeping pre-teens on the floor in the next room. I felt comfort when Mags crawled in my bed and snuggled up next to me. And I realized… my life is a good life.

My man is a good man. My kids are good kids. And my dog is a good dog. I mean… what else can you ask for, really?

I’m 35 years old and today, my life is a good life.

 

Back In The Saddle Again? We’ll see… June 26, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — mamagirlsaysitall @ 11:57 am

MamaGirl says…

It’s summer time. I’m out of school, the kids are out of school. We’re all bored, sitting around the house all day. So, for a couple of weeks, I’ve been thinking about maybe starting up the blog again. How much of a coincidence is it that I’m actually starting it up again on the day before my 35th birthday?? Shhh…. no need to go into all of that right now.

Where are we now?

Pretty much in the same place that we were two years ago (when I got too busy to continue this blog), except two years older.

Instead of starting preschool, Mags is going into first grade. (Kindergarten was the best ever!)

Instead of finishing up Elementary School, A-Man is going into his second year of Middle School, which he is rocking.

And instead of being at the Community College down the street, Mama is now at the University across town.

Hubbo maintains his position as Vet. Tech Extraordinaire and Professional Family-Man.

At this moment:

Mags is screaming from time-out, “I just want to get out!” No mention of the fact that she’s in time-out for slapping her brother. (I haven’t yet deduced exactly why she slapped her brother). Which, although she has matured distinctly in her arguing capabilities, really isn’t all that different from the antics that she was up to two years ago.

A-Man is in the kitchen, waiting for his pancakes and complaining only perfunctorily about being slapped. He’s really starting to mature into a teenager these days. Used to, he would have been yelling at the top of his lungs about the injustice of not being able to slap back, whereas now, he finally understands that he can’t retaliate against someone half his size (well, most of the time he understands…)

Hubbo is making brunch in the kitchen and refereeing the slap/argument/punishment while I attempt to create a sentence or two that might serve to inspire me into taking up my writing again, in an effort to do something other than parental or academic…

Yep. Not much has changed in two years, while everything is yet so different. We’ll see how it goes….

 

 
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