iWill or iWon’t? {part one}

A parenting cross road. Cell phone or no cell phone?

I recently sent the below email to a couple of girlfriends to take a survey as to my mom-making decision abilities as of lately.

Dear Wise Moms,

I have a mom question for you two.

Britton needed a phone for her Mini Mu meet (competitive math meet) last weekend. It was a County Middle school with 400 kids- scary for me, not necessarily her. I asked Mike to get her a disposable phone on his way home from work, and- finding the “best deal” like he loves to do, he came home with a new iPhone for her. We told her it was a third family phone for her to use when she needs it (swimming practice, taking the bus home, etc) she will get it for that period of time, but then it is to be stowed with me. Anyway, after thinking about it some more we decided that she doesn’t talk enough to warrant the $40 month service fee. Heck, she probably won’t take 40 minutes a month. So we returned it.  She is less than thrilled , obviously.

Do the 4th grade kids over there have cell phones? B is telling me most of the kids in her class do- and our rule has always been when she gets in middle school we will discuss her getting a phone.

Am I the lone mean mom, or are you kiddos also phone less?

Desperately Seeking Garrett

She continues to “research phones” in hopes to find a more affordable option for her parents. I found this while cleaning her room this afternoon.

Nine years old is an interesting, scary and strange age. She wants to be old, but she is still a little girl. Case in point, her fairy box. She pulled an old shoe box from the recycle bin and created a Fairy Hotel in hopes the fairies will fly in and stay while she is asleep at night. She checks for fairy dust each morning- and she might have just found some a time or two.

Old. Young.
Wise. Naive.


The Fairy Hotel

She asks to wear lip gloss but still writes letters to Santa each year.
She has posters in her room of One Direction (a boy band) next to a poster of a Yorkshire Terrier puppy.
Pre-teen. Little girl.

We are torn as to what we should do regarding giving her this independence in the form of a telephone. Sticking to our guns for obvious reason makes a lot of sense on many levels, as does equipping her with what we also know is a safety feature from a parent’s perspective.

As many books as she can cram onto her shelves- along with Pez and a Magic 8 Ball.

Parenting comes without a hand book which means we have to make up the rules as we go. Blazing our little path with our first born keeps us ever thinking, questioning our decisions, praying and hoping we are making the best choices for our little people that hold our hearts.

To be continued……


Little Piggy

We are slowly but steadily making our way back into our home. There’s work still to be done and we seem to be easily distracted with Zac Brown, Fast Car and Mason Jar parties, after school activities and the such.

Raynes has a new game where he makes a high pitch squeal like a pig headed to the slaughter. It is the equivalent to finger nails running down a chalk board and I think he knows it drives me crazy. Which is precisely why he continues to make this horrific noise. In the car, in his high chair, anywhere really. It’s fun, let me tell you.

For the past  four days it has rained non stop. The good news is we now have a lake in our back yard. Mike and I have always wanted to live on a lake.

I attempted another DIY project last night (in the midst of a kitchen mess)- priming and painting our kitchen island. I spent much time researching the perfect grey blue paint color before heading up to my nearest Sherwin Williams store about a month ago. When I went to paint it at 9:00 pm last night, it seemed rather dark. Choosing to trust my initial judgement I painted on. Six doors and 3 drawers later, I painted the very last corner piece, of the very last side when suddenly the blue grey color was about 7 shades lighter. The darn paint wasn’t mixed enough.

Guess what I will be doing tonight.

Home Away From Home

As we near the two week mark of living with Meme, Aunt Dee Dee and Uncle Karl we have been enjoying the fringe benefits that come with being misplaced from our home.

Enjoying Dee Dee’s Meyes Lemon Trees…..

Taking advantage of having two school teachers in the house to assist with homework….

Dee Dee gets help with the housework.

Free (and the best!) grooming for Poochie…

Raynes has unlimited access to visit his great grandmother, Meme.

Although she may not categorize that as a benefit necessarily.

 Meme is so quick to take something away from Raynes that her hands blur.

Aunt Britty can kill two birds with one stone- visiting Meme and cousin playtime.

The crew here showed extra hospitality by welcoming our three children and two dogs (it will be two weeks tomorrow).

Who have clearly made themselves at home as well.

Michael Raynes | 16 months

Happy 16 month birthday lil’ Ginger! These monthly posts seem to come closer and closer together as the months pass. Here we are at 16 months or 69 weeks.

Activities: wrestling, sweeping or touching everything in a room.

Demeanor: Still happy. You have also recently found how to pout with your lower lip and few crocodile tears for good measure. You have a wild sense of adventure and love it when you find ways to make your sisters laugh at you.

Bottle: Your Mama still gives you a bottle 2-3 times a day and I don’t care because you’re my last baby and you love it.

Foods: chicken sausage, cheerios, pizza, strawberries, ice cream, peas, Annies macaroni and cheese and water.

 Mobility: Ha, still toddling all over the place. Sometimes I look at you and think how funny it is that for such a little guy you are able to toddle with a swagger.

Physical Development: Ginger with some blond coming through. You have cut several bottom molars, poor little fellow. You have 10 teeth now. We are doing our part to drive up the price of Tylenol stock. You wear a size 2T in footed PJ’s and are about to graduate into a size 18 months pants, if we can shrink the waist. Your feet, in contrast, are big ol’ square boxes sporting a size 7!

Playtime: You have discovered building blocks and Legos (thanks to your Great Aunt Dee Dee). Lindsey is helping you to cultivate your inner artist when she sent home your first Crayola masterpiece this month.


Love: You love waiting for your friends at the door, while we have been staying in our temporary home. These little hand prints on the window make my heart swell. I know that I will blink and they will be the next pane up, until they disappear altogether.

You have inherited your Mom’s sweet tooth I’m afraid.

You continue to bring excitement, energy, awareness and a gigantic helping of love to our lives each day little Snap!

Valentine Hearts

On Valentine’s morning, I had originally written the below post.

“I could post pictures of cute, handmade valentines with handwritten notes and clever themes. Or, I could tell you that we were late to school today, forgetting tiny red flowers for teachers, store bought class valentines,  while toting a sick baby boy hot with fever.  Britton was quick to point out that she is tired of living three school zones away and thought surely the front office would excuse our tardiness. Sweet girl, I think not. Oh, and Britton insisted on wearing her lime green leopard athletic shorts for her school’s Technology Walk-A-Thon today in the 45 degree wet weather. Raynes has an appointment with his pediatrician Auntie Anna tomorrow, guess I should go ahead and make one for B because she will be next. Whew, now that I have unloaded my dump truck of complaints I feel better.”

I had hoped it would end with some cute photos from the girl’s class Valentine parties.  As fate would have it, the story didn’t quite end as I had hoped.

Shortly after, Raynes took a four hour nap (red flag number 2) at my Mom’s house while I quickly drove 2 miles back to my ‘temporary house’ to brush my teeth and grab the tiny pink cupcakes and juiceboxes for the first grade class party. It’s possible that I may, or may not have, realized at this point that I have been wearing the same bra for 10 days. I had promised Kenley weeks earlier, that I would be at her class party. As I am heading back to Mom’s she calls my cell phone to tell me that Raynes had awoken with burning fever, screaming and wheezing and to please hurry back.

I was nearing her house when I a garden truck hit me, luckily nobody was hurt, except for my new car. We quickly exchanged contact information so I could rush towards my sick baby. I made the dreaded phone call to the husband to tell him what happened, when the tears started rolling and then it was about then that all hell broke loose. I got into the good ol’ ugly cry- can’t breathe- can’t think – sobbing cry. I called Auntie Anna and two sentences into me trying to explain what was happening to Raynes the sobbing starts again.

What about the damn cupcakes? Should we take Raynes first? Who is going to pick up the girls from the bus stop? Should I call the insurance company about my un-driveable car now or later? Should I giev Raynes motrin now or wait until the doctor takes his temperature? Where will the girls go after school? Where we go first?

Blank. Lights are on but nobody is home.
At this point, I may, or may not, borrowed half a xanex from a friend.

Mom steps into the decision making role and decides we will quickly run valentines goodies to the school, while she waits patiently in the school parking out while I drop off my goodies and we then quickly head to the pediatrician because I am now convinced something ‘is really wrong’ with my 15 month old that is sitting lethargically and quietly with a temperature of 103.5 in his hand-me-down leopard Britax.

In the examanition room he falls asleep in my arms, and we leave with a diagnosis strep, which is a Robinson family frequent visitor, and also treated with steroids. By midnight, my half a Xanex has worn off when Raynes awakens with blood curling screaming and a crazy look in his eyes. Steroids made him, well.. crazy. It last over an hour and it was uncontroable. Rocking, bottles, medicine, singing, sitting, standing– none of it worked. He wakes up just about everyone in the house- except for maybe Meme who is asleep downstairs. He screamed and screamed until he could scream no more.

The good news is, tomorrow is always a new day and so far- each tomorrow has been slightly better. I know these are all small things but when toppled upon me at the same time– house, renter problems, car accident, two sick children- I had to go and have myself a good little break down and feel much better now. Everything needs a good break down every now and then.

So there you have it. There are no cute Pinterest-made valentine pictures to post but that’s okay because Mike, the kids, and the dogs are all healthy and happy today, less a car and a house.