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Tuesday
Sep162008

Third week of school, first phone call from the school nurse.


It is the reason I keep my cell phone with me at all times: work, running errands, at yoga (silenced of course), on a walk, even at home!

Only once did I get the call when the Twofer was in preschool. M had an earache and by the time I got to the school (30 min. post phone call) she was in agony and completely melting down in her teacher's lap.

Today I got that call. Just after yoga while I was in the grocery store and had luckily turned the ringer back on.

M somehow hit her head on the monkey bars (Aren't those the things you hang down from? How exactly would you hit your head ON them?)

So yes, she's fine and still in school. Part of me felt like a cool mom in the grocery line, taking a call from the school nurse, and brushing it off like an old pro.

The other part of me had a very strong urge to visit the school and see how big the bump was and do that eye test to make sure she doesn't have a concussion....you see how easily the neurotic in me creeps up?

Update: When I picked up the Twofer from school I got 2 completely different versions of what happened.
And so it goes...
SM

Saturday
Sep132008

Save your money or find an agent and put that drama to work!


How timely. Right on the heels of talking about responsibility, The Parent Bloggers Network has a contest for those who write about when to teach kids about money (prize: an iPhone).

In addition, Capital One has launched a new online Moneywise eLearning tool
to help families learn about managing money including ways to bring their kids into the discussion.

Well, we here in the Scary household recently did just that - we talked to the Twofer about money and we came up with a way to teach them about it....we put them to work!

OK, Ok really, we assigned chores to them and started tracking on a weekly basis. It is somewhat coincidental that around this time we made the decision to pay the Twofer a weekly allowance...but they are not actually getting paid to do the chores (that's my story and I'm sticking to it).

The Twofer turned 5 this Spring and after asking around, we decided to give them each $1 per week. We actually give them $2 a week and $1 of that goes into our "charity bowl" and they get to keep the other $1. The "charity bowl" will be opened closer to Christmas and together we'll decide how to donate that money (and hopefully teach the Twofer just how lucky they are to have what they have).

Why pay?
I really do believe that kids should help out around the house not for money, but as members of the family. We also wanted them to start learning the value of money. Not how many quarters are in a dollar, but what a dollar can get you...or these days, can't get you.

In short, we wanted them to understand why they don't get an ice cream every time we're at the pool.

Lessons learned.
Now when we're out at a store and they see something they want, we say, "How much money do you have?"
They are learning that the neighborhood ice cream truck is a ripoff ($3 for a bomb pop) compared to the snack bar at the pool ($.80 for an Italian ice). And that a Hannah Montana magazine provides hours more entertainment than a necklace that breaks within 5 minutes of wearing it.

Oh don't worry. I'm not that Scary. I treat them to an ice cream sandwich now and then and of course provide them with the necessities: shoes, clothes and riding lessons (I gave in to that because we are no longer paying for school).

The fact remains: learning about money, it's value, and the importance of saving is a lesson that can't be learned too early.
Check out the Capital One tool and fingers crossed that I get one of the 3 iPhones!

Saving it for later,
ScaryMom

Friday
Sep122008

Now this got me thinking....

We've been working to teach the Twofer what it means to be responsible. Some of the things we came up with:
1) As a member of this family you have certain chores you have to do.

2) As a student, friend, and sister you are responsible for your actions. Treat others the way you would like to be treated.

3) As a family that has so much to be grateful for, we put money in a "charity bowl" every week and together we'll decide how to donate that at Christmastime.

4) As the Twofer of a neurotic mother with co-dependent tendencies...we've learned that when all is said and done, you don't have control over any other person, place or thing*. The only thing you can control is yourself. (*If you'd like to weigh in on this statement see my Poll to the right)

My Biggest Responsibility
(L & M at 6 months)

So when Mom Central gave me the opportunity to learn about the Liberty Mutual Responsibility Project and share it with others, I was thrilled.

When I got to the site an started watching the short films, I was completely wowed.

And when the Twofer watched one of the films, they told me about a saying at school: " We are Responsible, Respectful and Ready to Learn". Interesting.

This project started when Liberty Mutual ran a commercial showing "people doing things for strangers". They received thousands of emails and from that came the idea for the website and a series of short films to get people thinking and talking about responsibility.

The Films

  • Very web friendly
  • Most are 3-8 minutes long
  • Professionally produced and directed
Some, like Hot Seat, had me laughing out loud! (If you've ever worked in an office and got stuck with the bum chair you'll be chuckling too.) Watch them with your family in place of game night, or have a screening with your friends.

The Blog
Here you'll find great topics about responsibility to generate a lively discussion with your kids, co-workers, students, bookclub, in-laws and anyone else you care to engage.

What's Your Policy?
We are asked, "What's your idea of a responsible _____" and the blank can be filled in with things like friend, athlete, celebrity, parent, school principal, and currently the most discussed - chef.
Really? Yes!
Apparently people feel very strongly about giving their opinion on how to be a responsible chef! (My theory? Everyone has done their "time" in a restaurant and we know you NEVER send food back. Not if you plan to eat it again!)
Once you give your opinion, people can agree with you, or you can agree with someone else's statement.


Check it out www.responsibilityproject.com and feel free to vote in my Responsibility Poll on whether we are responsible for other people's feelings.

Here's big Twofer Thumbs Up to Liberty Mutual for recognizing the need to continue the dialogue that started with their commercial, and for developing a fun, entertaining way to do just that.

Responsibly yours,
ScaryMom

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Tuesday
Sep092008

Twincident #144...they try to burn the house down

Full disclosure:
1) I have not really kept track of every Twincident. I started this blog way too late in their lives and I had to start somewhere. (I like the number 4 and I know there have been more than 100 over the past 5 years and so I'm starting here with #144. Some day I'll count back to 1 and list all the other twincidents.)

2) In case you haven't noticed, I can be a little dramatic...they weren't actually trying to burn the house down. But that doesn't mean they couldn't have done it!

It all started with 2 brand new matching Penguin Webkinz, given to them by a friend of mine (who is also very understanding and will not at all mind finding out about her gift by reading it in this blog).

The Twofer wanted to warm up one of their chilly little friends and decided the top of the light in their room would be just great! So there Fluffy sat...for what I can only guess is at least 2 hours. When they remembered he was on there and pulled him off, a little patch of fur stuck to the bulb and Fluffy felt like a loaf a bread just out of the oven!

Fluffy and the lightbulb

Thankfully Fluffy wasn't left long enough to ignite, and after a real ScaryMom moment in which my voice shrilled high enough to attract the neighborhood dogs, we all learned a lesson. I will remember to do a quick walk-through the house before leaving for the day to turn all lights off. And the Twofer will not experiment with anything they even think might be hot, or electrical.

This Twincident is dedicated to GrandpaScary who is also our Guardian Angel and has saved the Twofer and our family from certain disaster over the years. It is also dedicated to Great-GrandmaScary who insisted I learn how to sew and thus is responsible for Fluffy's repair job that I will perform later in the week.

Peace,
SM

Tuesday
Sep092008

Send in the Clowns!


It is a fact, that no matter what your age, the circus will bring out cheers of amazement, and sighs of wonder.

This year we could no longer ignore the whining, the begging, and the pleading...of my mother.
She hadn't been since I was young and didn't want to miss out when the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus came to our town.

And so we treated her to near front-row seats, and she treated us to cotton candy (that came with a hat)! The clowns made the Twofer giggle. The acrobats gave us chills. And the husband and wife team getting shot out of the cannon left our eyes wide and our jaws slack! (Now that's a marriage.)

For those lucky enough to live in the following cities, you can now save 20% on Ringling Bros. tickets by using the code MCC from our friends at Mom Central. Simply plug in your zip code and when you go to purchase the tickets be sure to reference the code: MCC.

Valid cities:
Indianapolis, IN - Sept. 4-7, 2008
Kansas City, MO - Sept. 10-14, 2008
Grand Rapids, MI - Sept. 18-21, 2008
Denver, CO - Oct. 2-13, 2008
Boston, MA – Oct 8-13, 2008
Cleveland, OH - Oct. 24 - Nov. 2
Chicago, IL - Nov. 6 - 30, 2008
St. Louis, MO - Nov. 6-9, 2008
Auburn Hills, MI - Nov. 12 - 16, 2008
Highland Heights, KY - Feb 27 - Mar. 1, 2009
Cincinnati, OH - Mar. 4 - 8, 2008

Plus, the Baby’s First Circus program allows babies to receive a free ticket voucher that can be exchanged for a free ticket to any Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey performance, anytime, anywhere. No expiration date.

For me, the circus was an opportunity to make new memories for me, my children, and even my mom. Three generations enjoying something together. Throw in the fact that Mr. Scary was enjoying himself and we have quite a success story!

Now if I could just get him to commit to a Hannah Montana concert...

ScaryMom

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