Teenage Driver # 1

Every teenager dreams of the day they get their drivers license.  They go into it with the normal teenage mind set of” I know how to do this,” “This is easy, I’ve got this.”  And every parent has the same fears of a hurt kid and smashed up car.  It’s not as quick and easy to get a license like it was 17 years ago.

Every state has its own laws about teenage driving.  For instance a teenager can obtained their learns permit in FL at the age of 15, and in CT & PA at age 16.  In FL you can have anyone in the backseat and someone who has had a valid license for 4 years or more.  In CT the only other person that can be in the car while your teen has a permit and for the first 6 months after they get the license is someone who has held a drivers license for 4 years or more.  And for the next 6 months they can only have their siblings in the care, no friends.

Sara obtained her FL learners permit in July 2016.  My husband started teaching her the basics of driving, and as time progressed was unable to take her out anymore.  I started taking her on the road more in March 2017.

We started in the neighborhood and worked our way up to driving on the multilane roads  I would have her drive to wherever we needed to go.  Once school let out for the summer we practiced parking in the middle school parking lot.

She felt she was ready and scheduled her test for mid July.  We took the day off from work to take her.  She was excited and nervous and so were we.

The instructor had an attitude problem from the start.  Sara remained calm and polite.  She did everything the instructor asked her to do.  When the instructor had her pull into a parking space and pull out again, Sara was half way out.  The instructor told her to stop and back up straight.  This put Sara in the other lane and she failed the test.

There is a driving school in our area that also administers the test.  We were able to schedule a test with them 2 days later.  They were very pleasant and made her feel less nervous.   She passed and got her license.  Thank you so much A Treasure Coast Driving School Inc. (on twitter @ACTDSI .   We have 3 more girls to follow.

Travel Lesson Learned

We send my 17 year old to CT to visit her best friend every summer for a couple of weeks.  Money has been tight this year, and we were unable to send her.  Her best friend’s family surprised us by pooling together the money for Sara’s round trip plane tickets.

These girls have been besties since the 1st grade.  We all consider them “sisters”.  We try to get the two of them together at least once or twice a year.  So Sara went up to CT for 2 weeks.  She had lots of fun and got to drive Poppies BMW convertible that no one else is allowed to drive.

Then came the trip home.  She checked in, paid for her checked bag, and printed her ticket the night before her flight home.  She gets to the airport and goes to the counter to check her bag.  They asked her for her ID and she realizes that her wallet with her ID is sitting on the desk at her friend’s house 45 minutes away from the airport.

I  happened to check her cell phone’s GPS to see if she was at the airport on time and saw that she wasn’t.  I texted her and asked what time her flight was and due to land.  She called me back in tears.  She explained what happened.  I was furious!  I advised her that she was not going to make it back to the airport on time as it was now rush hour traffic which doubles the travel time in that area.  She grew more upset.

I called my husband who was going to pick her up when he got out of work in the morning.  He was just as mad as I was.  We now had to figure out how we were going to get her home as she was definitely not going to make it back to the airport in time to catch her flight.  That only happens in the movies.

I had Sara text me her flight information.  While I was waiting for her response I called my boss and explained why I wouldn’t be at work that day.  That’s always a fun phone call.

My next call was to the airline.  The representative I spoke with was very nice and helpful.  She also grew up in CT and know exactly what I was talking about with why my daughter wasn’t going to make it back in time.  We were able to get Sara on the next flight out to a different airport in FL.

This flight was due to land in the early afternoon.  Then the first delay of 30 minutes came.  Okay, no big deal.  That turned into an hour delay.  Then 2 hours.  Her fight finally came in around dinner time.

We had her pay us back the fee for having to switch flights.  Hopefully lesson was learned.  The important thing is that she made it home safe.

The Middle Sister

Anyone who has younger siblings things it’s hard to be the oldest.   They feel that their younger siblings get away with everything and get whatever they want.  It’s also not fair that they have to babysit them as well.

Anyone who is the youngest feels they have it the hardest.  They never get to do what their older siblings get to do.  It’s just not fair.  I too am the youngest.  I have five older siblings.  I felt that if they could do it then I should be able to as well.

Even though I am the youngest child, I now know better.  After having my own children I have come to learn the truth.  It sucks being the middle child.

Being the middle child, you tend to hear things like, “your older sister never behaved this way,” and “Why can’t you be more like your older sister?”  The older child gets to do everything first.  The middle child wants to do everything the oldest child does but can’t.  Having a tantrum about it is simply not acceptable, because that is a bad influence on their younger sibling.  The younger children are always watching and learning from the older kids.  The younger sibling is more likely to get away with have a tantrum.

My 14 year old has been the middle child for eight years now.  She has always wanted to be just liker her big sister.  Sara took dance lessons and Kalli had to take the same lessons or “it’s just not fair.”  Sara plays an instrument and Kalli had to as well.  Kalli plays the flute.

Kalli feels like her eight year old sister gets away with everything.  They shared a room for the past seven years.  Kalli did not like having the responsibility of being the older sister and helping clean up her younger sisters mess.  It wasn’t fair that they had to share a bedroom.  The two rarely get along.  We acknowledge it when they do, because we like and think it’s important to recognize the good behavior that we expect them to have.

Kalli has always tried to get good grades in school just liker her older sister.  Kalli has struggled all throughout school.  Being the middle child is almost like being stuck in the shadows.

Kalli finally found something she is excellent at doing.  Something that is all hers that she does better than anyone else in our house.  She is an excellent photographer.  She is not a professional yet, but for a 14 year old who just a little of a year ago started taking pictures with her cell phone, she is excellent.  So much so that we spent extra on a much better camera for her last Christmas.

I have attached a few of her pictures below.  She also has an instagram @photos.by.kallista .

If you are or have a middle child, mom & dad don’t love you any less.  We know it’s not easy.  Like the old childhood rhyme goes, “2nd is the best.”

The Marching Band Life

My 17-year-old is in marching and.  She has played the clarinet since she was in 4th grade.  Marching band has been a part of our life for past 3 years now.

Marching band isn’t just another after school activity.  It ends up being like an extended family.  Not only do the band parents car pool, but the upper classmen who drive also help the under classmen with transportation to and from events.  Sara has had to find her own way to and from practices and events because something is always going on during my work day.

First starts out with the band meeting to discuss when band camp is during summer vacation.  How much band dues are for the year.  What fundraisers are going to be to help cover the costs of band dues and trips.

And then…this one time at band camp.  Yes, for those of you who don’t know, band camp is a real thing.  It’s more of a day camp of marching band rehearsals.  This is where the new band members learn how to march and everyone learns the upcoming football season field show.  It is really intense but a lot of fun for Sara.

Once school is back in session the after school rehersals and football games start.  We also add in the band competitions, parades and winter concert preporation.  There are more smaller band groups as well.  So band season in the south is not really a season.  It is an all year event.

Wish us luck this year! Not only is Sara the clarinet section leader, but she is also Band Captain.

Go Jags!

 

Junior Year was a Blur

My oldest teen just finished her junior year of high school.  It feels like she just started last week.  My straight A, smarty pants teenage daughter did not disappoint this year.  She was taking a mix between honors and IB classes.

I give her a lot of credit getting straight A’s and a 4.0 GPA.  On top of her studies, she also babysits her siblings and starts or makes dinner depending on what time I get out of work during the week.  With her siblings, it can be very stressful at times.

As if the end of the year studying for finals isn’t stressful enough.  Her chemistry teacher was arrested 2-3 weeks before school ended for having inappropriate relationships with 2 male students.  One of every parent’s worst fears.

Sara did really well this school year.  I am super proud of my teenage daughter.

SURPRISE!!!

You know that moment when you think that you are done having kids.  You say no more, we are all done.  And then one day you wake up and SURPRISE! there is another baby on the way.  Yeah, that was my husband and me last August.

We kept our little surprise quiet for quite some time, due to m history of complicated pregnancies.  I was considered high risk right away, and had to be followed by a team of doctors.  We waited to tell our families until just before Christmas, when I was cleared by the specialists that everything with this pregnancy was good.

I continued to wok until I was five months pregnant.  Not long after I put in for my early maternity leave at work, my husband received a transfer letter from his job.  We had two weeks to pack up our house, get the kids school and medical records, and find new doctors in Florida.  None of which is easy when you are in your third trimester.  We sold one of our cars, and some of our other bulky furniture.  We gave our parts car to a friend of ours.  My car is sitting in our friends back yard until we have the money to tow or ship it down to Florida, and all of our other belongings are in a storage unit, that I have no clue as to where anything is or how its packed because I couldn’t help pack it.  We loaded up our minivan and m husbands car with clothes, the kids school things, a few toys, and the dogs things.  My nephew took vacation time to drive the minivan down while my husband drove his own car.

We get to Florida and get the girls all set up in their new schools.  The transition was hard for my oldest daughter, her gpa dropped some.  She mad a few friends and seems well adjusted now.  My next daughter who is also now a teen adjusted well.  She is getting lazy with her schooling though.  My seven year old adjusted the best.

Our little surprise was due April 14th.  Due to m previous complications, I was scheduled for a c-section at 37 weeks.   Our baby had other plans.  She came at 36 weeks.  We got to see her for a quick minute before the nurses whisked her away to the NICU.  Our beautiful Melanie Grace spent ten days in the NICU.  When she was a day old, she ran into more complications.  Her lung collapsed, causing her to have to have a chest tube placed, and there was talks about sending her to Miami.  Thank god they didn’t have to.  She was able to stay where she was, and quickly recovered.  She was able to come home on Easter Sunday.

So here I am, not just a mom of three girls, but now four.  It loos like I will be Mom of a Teenage Girl for a long time.

 

Pay Attention Grandparents!

Do your parents or in-laws ignore your kids, their grandchildren?  It is frustrating as a mother to watch my girls constantly get disappointed when it comes to my father-in-law.

We are not talking about the occasional, “oh, I didn’t hear you.”  We are talking about not even acknowledging them.  He was forced by my sister-in-law to come to the hospital the day that the twins were born, and that was only because one of them was not going to make it.  After that, he never came back to the hospital, never visited when we brought her home.  We still lived in the same state as him at the time.

When Amberly was 3 years old, we got her a Nabi Tablet for her birthday.  She was so excited and couldn’t wait until we went to CT to visit him for Christmas so she could show him and tell him all about her new toy.  He completely ignored her, didn’t even acknowledge her, and every time she would start talking to him, he would either start talking to someone else or get up and walk away.

The next year, my sister-in-law had her son over the summer.  My father-in-law visited with his new grandchild every day. Even purchased most of the baby’s necessities before he was born.  When we went to visit for Christmas, we figured that he would at least be happy to see our girls.  Boy was I wrong.  Once again, Amberly was completely ignored.  My oldest daughter, who was at the age of puberty at the time, had a purse with her.  All of our purses and coats were placed in my father-in-law’s bedroom.  Well his new wife hollered at my oldest daughter for going in there to get her purse.  My oldest daughter was also hollered at for gently touching her new cousin’s hand.  After dinner was over, my husband went outside with his father to have the after dinner smoke.  I immediately put the girls coats, hats, gloves on and packed up Amberly’s toys she had been playing with.  As soon as my husband walked back in the house, I said we are leaving right now, and the girls and I walked out to the car while my husband said his goodbyes to his family.  I was so furious!

This year I don’t think we are going there.  Amberly graduated Kindergarten this past spring.  I had messaged my father-in-law in facebook messenger, “Dad, we wanted to let you know that Amberly’s Kindergarten graduation is on Thursday, June 11 at 1:30.  She would love for you to come.”  I got no response, so a few days later my husband messaged him via text message.  He told my husband he had to work.  (Now, when you send an invite like that to someone who is married, it is an invite to their spouse as well, why send 2 invites to a couple, right?  Apparently wrong.)  We found out later, by another family member that he did NOT have to work, he didn’t come because his new wife did not get a separate invite.  Amberly was once again left disappointed.

All over his facebook page are photos like this one…

grandson

Nothing at all about granddaughters.

It is really sad that he behaves in this manner.  He is missing out on getting to know 3 incredible, wonderful granddaughters.