Forty Something Parents

The Ins & Outs of Parenting

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Friends and Home Schooling

~ An Impromptu Birthday Party on a Budget ~ 

A day in the life of a seven year-old may not seem like super excitement to some, but yesterday, to my Nixi, was a blast!  Yes, the day might’ve started out quite mellow — me singing her Happy Birthday when she awoke — but by day’s end, at the Joe’s Crab Shack restaurant playground, the running, playing, jumping, and laughter was oh-so abundant.

It was  a last minute plan that sort of just hit me the day before Nixi’s big 0 7 day.  And contrary to what a lot of folks believe — that homeschool kids are introverts who have trouble making friends — my Nixi makes friends where ever we may go.  She has a few kids she has bonded with and calls best friends.  I knew I had to invite them, and I was delighted to hear they could make it.  Nixi didn’t know, and I could hardly wait to surprise her.

So…the day moved on (tick-tock), and I created party favors on a shoe-string budget…while still trying to keep it all secret from my very observant young’n.  I skirted around the truth when she quizzed me on what the jars were for, that I was painting outside.  She wanted to come help, and it was hard to not let her.  But the chemicals I had to use for the project weren’t safe for her to be around.

Needless to say, I finished the party favor jars (made from recycled/reused Starbuck’s Frappuccino bottles), Nico picked up a few balloons and the cake, and we were off to destinations unknown to Nixi.  The party was a HUGE success, even though a few friends couldn’t make it, and I knew our daughter would remember this birthday for years and years to come.  –Perhaps a lifetime.

*Here’s to impromptu gatherings!  And making friends, no matter what your circumstances.*

— Home School Birthday Party Fun at Joe’s Crab Shack on Seawall —


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Pleasure Pier on Galveston Island — The Good…The Bad…and the Grumpy

*A Day at The Pier with Baby*

Finally…we took the plunge and went to Pleasure Pier here on Galveston Island.  The day had been packed full with early morning shopping at Galveston’s Farmers Market; where I shopped for a client as well as myself.  Then we stopped in at Taco Cabana for a bit of brunch.  That’s when the bad behavior started with Baby.  She suddenly developed a bad attitude…with me!  Not Daddy, but only with me.

Cooling Off Beneath the Water Ride

Cooling Off Beneath the Water Ride

I’m still not sure what I did or didn’t do to make her feel indifferent towards me.  I guess when you’re together every minute of every day, you tend to get on each others’ nerves at times.  Being a homeschooling Mom isn’t so easy!  It takes a LOT out of this forty-something mom.  So…a bit of fun was the solution we figured might cure the problem.  It did…for a little bit (not very long…I might add), then it stared again: the whining, pulling away, not being happy over anything at all that we tried.

Seahorse Carousel at Pleasure Pier

Seahorse Carousel at Pleasure Pier

Perusing Pleasure Pier with Baby

Perusing Pleasure Pier with Baby

That’s when we said “Enough is enough!”   After 2 hours of sweating in 110 index temperatures and too much struggling with our preschooler, not to mention we were forced to pay $3.50 for a bottled water (there are NO WATER FOUNTAINS at PLEASURE PIER), we headed for the exit.  Of course, this didn’t make her any happier, and we heard it all the way to the van.  Instead of going home, we decided to head to East Beach and check out the tide pools that seemed to have flooded the beach the night before.  I had been wanting to get a special sea life shot to submit to a local mag, and we needed to hear the ocean waves and feel the cool breeze of Mother Ocean.  In short– we needed a hug!

Pirate Discovery -- A Bucket O' Clams...and Seashells too.

Pirate Discovery — A Bucket O’ Clams…and Seashells too.

So there we were, at the beach.  Still, Baby was fussy.  I was at my end with her, and Nico was just passing it off as best he could; reading her stories inside the van.  Soon after, it seemed we might have some peace and quiet…at last!  That was until we decided to head for home.  We went around the Seawall until we were well past Pleasure Pier; since she wanted to go back and ride some more.  I was barely getting around by then; with my previous injury still not fully healed.  My knee was feeling a sharp pain going right through it.  I was definitely not up for any more walking!

Riding along in Peniki, the backseat was quiet and the day was much cooler as evening closed in.  It seemed all would be better for the rest of the day.  Then we stopped off at the store for some last-minute grocery items, and much-needed libations.  Lo-and-behold, as soon as Nico got out of the van to go into the store, Baby started screaming to go with him, and he was going to let her too…until he realized he’d need to visit the restroom while inside the store.  So…again begins the tantrum.

For what seemed like an eternity, I waited for him to come out to the van while Nixi cried…screamed…kicked me from her seat (I was sitting in the back with her)…told me to go away…said she was leaving to go with Daddy, you name it, she said it.  I was about to break; or so I felt, when the tears began streaming down my face.  I was completely beat by the day–exhaustion was setting in on so many levels.  Still she cried and screamed at me to stop crying.  I didn’t want to swat her, because it never seems to help much.  So I cried….and cried…and cried some more.

Deciding to call Nico and see what was taking him sooo loooong, he answered to say he was on his way out of the store.  Hurraaaay!  He could see my state when he got out to the van.  He knew I’d reached my limit with the little’n for the day.  Reaching over to show his support, he told me to just take some time for myself when we get home and he’d handle Baby.  I didn’t argue.  In fact, I was too tired to even answer.  I felt quite numb by then.

So, we got home…the fits continued, and he took over, for a little while, but not for long.  It’s funny how Dads, as great as they are, are not always equipped to patiently handle young attitudes.  I was back on the job a very short time later.  I finally got her to talk to me, and it seemed she just wanted what she wanted, and that was that.  Her wristband from Pleasure Pier had been cut off her wrist…by Daddy, and she was completely heart-broken over it.  So…what else is a mom to do?  Tape it back together, and pray for peace.

By day’s end, when Baby finally fell asleep after I struggled with her in the shower, I had a sip or two of wine and fell in; glad the day was over and all was quiet…at last!  Which just goes to show–Life is fun when it’s fun, but we all gotta pay the piper.  My ‘piper’ just happens to be four!

Blessings & .V.. to All


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Staycationing In Galveston

 

Father's Day Weekend -- Rain Forest Cafe' Jungle Water Ride

Father’s Day Weekend — Rain Forest Cafe’ Jungle Water Ride

 

Last Saturday was the usual work-day for Nico.  But for me and Baby?  It was Mother & Daughter fun in the sun day!  We spent all day, from around 10 a.m. ’til around 6 p.m., walking the Seawall (stinky seaweed and all), enjoying snow-cones and food truck Mexican food (was quite good!) along the shores of our new hometown — Galveston Island.

Then, when I was feeling quite heated and not so great, we ducked down to the beach and stayed ’til it was almost time for Hubby to get off work.  Baby met some new little friends from Ethiopia, who were visiting family in Houston.  The nice lady I talked with–the mother of Nixi’s playmate–was enjoying her trip to G-Town from her home in Washington D.C.  It was nice talking with her, and even better than that…Baby had someone to play with; since she’d been quite cranky for most of the day.  I think boredom sometimes gets the best of us all.

So we waded through the seaweed, attempting to enjoy the cool waters of the Gulf.  I have to admit, even though seaweed is great for the garden, it’s not so fun to feel brushing up all over you.  It’s a bit of a creep-out factor.  :  /  Needless to say, we’d had a very full day by the time we got home and Nico arrived.  But…we weren’t done yet!

Being-as it was Father’s Day weekend, we decided to shower (which actually did wake me up), and head out to eat at a local place on the seawall that I had been wanting to try….for years!  Tortuga’s Mexican Kitchen, dining beneath the palm thatched palapas…seeing the goings-on (crazy…at best) along the seawall, the margarita (no doubt) was a very enjoyable experience.  The service was very friendly, the food oh-so-tasty, and the cool ocean breeze and ‘entertainment’ (episodes of honking horns and road rage on Seawall Blvd, and drunk tourists on trolley bikes) was just what I needed to end a very packed day.

Still, we didn’t head for home.  Instead, Nico wanted to take Baby to Rainforest Cafe’…just a short distance down Seawall; so off we went to the place we’d been when Baby was too young to even remember.  Nico wanted to buy her a little toy, since the last time we’d passed by there, Baby had spotted the toy carney, and threw a great fit when we didn’t stop to win her one.  What she didn’t know, and couldn’t understand at her age, is that we had no money…at all.  That was why we had opted to go for a stroll along the ocean, just to break the monotony of being broke in a town with so much (things that cost….more than we had) to do.

Either way, Daddy made it up to Baby…and then some.  We even got to go on the Rainforest Jungle Water Ride (not sure if that’s the correct name for it?), which was so much fun!  We want to go again…as soon as we possibly can.  All in all, staying home for vacation isn’t so bad after all.  And, when the fun is all done, we can come home to our cozy little caravan abode.

Blessings to All, that you have a wonderful vacation…or staycation this year; wherever you may be.

.V..

GVR