Creating a Bully-Free Zone

This is a pretty tough post to write, because it admits parenting flaws. For some reason having a special needs sister has not made Rebecca the empathetic and compassionate person we had hoped. We found out through yesterday’s debacle (read post before this) that I have a child who was being a bully……and not just this one time….it had been happening for a while.

There is a fine line when empowering girls that they do not become so “all that” that they take it out on others….and this is what had been happening. She had repeatedly been very mean to a boy in her class….so much in fact that the child was begging to be homeschooled, or transferred to another school. Yesterday I spent my morning first in stunned disbelief, that she had failed regardless of her Christian values and upbringing. Secondly that the self-esteem I have worked so hard to build and preserve in her….she was destroying in someone else. It is heartbreaking to face the reality that your child is not who you thought they were.

I am raising a mean girl, and that is unacceptable.

I spent time talking to the principal who expressed his concerns because other children were following her example so the school has decided that in-school suspension, and stripping away her student leadership team title for the rest of the year are to be her punishment from them.

When we discipline her for this there are three things I want to see happen.
1. An immediate consequence for punishment
2. A plan for character development
3. A plan for retribution and reparations

So here is what Rebecca will be enjoying for the next few months: She will have no softball season this year…tryouts were last weekend but, she has not began practices or games yet. Her social life comes to a halt: no friends over or her going anywhere for at least the month of March.

With all this spare time I have freed up for her now comes part two character development. Since she has a problem with kindness and compassion she is now our local nursing home’s newest volunteer. Here she can continually work with others who cannot help themselves.

Yesterday I spent a lot of time on the phone talking to he boy’s mother and we both agreed that not only did she have a lot to prove by showing him kindness and learning to get along….she also needs to rebuild his self-esteem and make sure that he will no longer be afraid of her. We are working on some activities in the coming weeks so that they can spend time together to repair a relationship so that our kids can get along for the next three years they will be at school together.

So there you have it….an imperfect parent trying hard to raise a better child. What would you have done?

Everbody’s Nuts Review and Giveaway

I am a snacker.

Not just now and then between meals, but I mean I would rather snack all day long than sit down and eat three big meals. Luckily I also am not a junk food fiend, and prefer to live a healthy and somewhat junk-free lifestyle. So when I can find filling snacks that meat my requirements of great taste, and good for you too, then I am really one happy camper. My personal favorites are nuts….especially pistachios.

My newest addiction though is to the South of the Border flavor by the people at Everybody’s Nuts. They sent me a package to try, and they tasted just like those cheesy triangular corn chips. with just a hint of chili and lime. I didn’t find them too spicy at all, and even when I shared them with the kids at day camp, everyone thought they were a tasty treat. the great thing about eating pistachios is that not only are they a great snack, they are also unbelievably good for you. Here are a few of the nutrition facts associated with them.
Pistachios are a good source of fiber and protein which aid in digestion. They are the lowest in calorie of the nut family at only three calories per nut. So you can eat more of them and be healthy, and feel full at the same time.

There is evidence that eating pistachios keeps your heart healthy, because they are rich in antioxidants, amino acids, phytosterols, and heart healthy fats. If you are going to snack and you are in a heart disease rich family like mine, then this is definitely the snack to choose. Each package proudly displays the heart healthy seal of approval.

Want to learn more about the nutrition found in a pistachio? Then read all the research found at

Want to try them for yourselves? Ten winners can receive one bag of their choice of Salt and Pepper flavored pistachios or South of the Border flavored. This giveaway open to United States residents only. it will close at 12:00 pm on August 2nd, 2009. If you enter Anonymously please leave your email address to get in touch with you.

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Clean Air/Allergy Quest

With cold and flu season upon us, it begins another quest to figure out what the heck is Regan’s mysterious Winter allergy. For the last two years 2-3 times each year Regan has an allergic reaction to something…..we have no idea what. her allergy manifests itself into severe swelling…usually of her face. One morning she woke up and no kidding I thought I had given birth to Eric Stolz in the movie Mask. We of course rushed her to the emergency room and all of it was epidermal thank goodness. So that even though unattractive, at least it was not internal and messing with her breathing.

The first time it happened we made notes of everything that we could recall her doing and eating….and then it didn’t happen again for a few months. When it happened again we gave her benadryl to battle it, and took notes again and in accordance with Murphy’s Law nothing matched. Spring arrived and we thought it was probably some odd anomaly and chalked it up to weird things that just happen to Regan. Last year it flared up again and John Mark seemed to think it was an allergy to cloves (we put them in hot wassail to drink on chilly days) because twice she had come into contact with it…..but we still can’t be sure.

We have since banned all cloves from the house and she still had an allergic reaction two more times over last year which leads me to believe it might be something airborne so I am researching air purifiers like those made by ecoquest International company a health and wellness company. This year I am apprehensive as we await her first unknown attack, but I am trying to research prevention strategies before hand. Let me know if any of you have similar allergies and strategies.

You had me at “Mute”

Well the girls are hopeless romantics, and begged me to tell them all about their dad’s proposal of marriage, so I thought this was a great sharing opportunity. John Mark (that good ole southern double name thing) and I have know each other since junior high and he was in the grade ahead of mine. We never dated the whole time growing up because basically (and to be honest) we both were selfishly into people who would worship us, and not that into worshipping others. In other words we had a lot of growing up to do.

We both ended up graduating colleges the same time and were home right afterwards. He was subbing as the golf pro at our country club, and I was busy interviewing with politicians anxious to get on a campaign during election year and fulfill my dream of being a DC mover and shaker (funny how life changes everything).

He asked me out and we had a fantastic first date. He went straight home and woke his mother up to tell her he had found the girl he was going to marry (true story). Our families all knew each other…because after all it is a small town, and our mothers played Bridge together. Within three weeks he had asked my father for permission to ask me to marry him, and I figured he was planning some incredibly romantic proposal….so I had my hopes up….

Friday afternoon nearly a month from our first date John Mark and I were supposed to meet his parents at the golf course and then go out to eat. I settled down in a comfy chair in his living room and watched the news while he showered and got ready for dinner. A little later he comes out and grabs the remote…puts the sound on mute, and immediately drops to his knee and asks me to marry him. Just like that. No elaborate speech, no undying declarations of love, no romantic setting….just the weatherman silently in the background.

Good thing I love this man with my whole heart! I said yes, the ring was slipped on my finger, and we joyfully went to find family members and spread the news.

My girls on the other hand are completely crushed. “That’s it?” says Rebecca. “That’s not very romantic”, pipes in Regan. They start to fuss at their father for his lack of finesse. He on the other hand looks hurt. “Oh honey”, I cry as I run up and hug him…..”you had me at mute”!

He is not amused.