Why Can’t My Kids Just Get Along???

So there I was, in a hospital bed, holding my brand-new baby girl, when hubbs brought our then 3-year-old son (N) in to meet his sister.  N walked right over to us and said, “where’s my sister” and was less than impressed when he realized that his baby sister (E) really was a baby and wouldn’t be up running around with him anytime soon.  I think that moment has pretty much defined the rest of their relationship…

They are now 13 and 10 and just cannot stop bickering. They don’t physically fight thank God, because E can hold her own and would probably beat the crap out of N, no matter how big he is getting. Spending time with either of them individually is great – they typically act the way they have been raised to behave. But put those two together and it’s like like Rocky and Apollo Creed, like Donald and Hillary, like Tupac and Biggie – it’s maddening. And I don’t know how to fix it.

  • I’ve tried spending more one-on-one time with each of them and having their dad do the same.
  • I try to make consequences for their actions as fair as can be (I try to keep my end goal – raise them to be good, well-rounded adults, as well as my more immediate goal – try not to breed resentment against their sibling in mind).
  • I reward N for his good grades, helping around the house, etc. (he is more on track and cleans up after himself), but I refrain from comparing them to each other.
  • I remind N (in private) that E has some diagnosed difficulties and although she can be challenging to be around sometimes, it shows what a great person he is when he accepts that and treats her right.
  • I remind E all the time about all the things that make her wonderful and why I am so lucky to be her mom. I truly do try to tell her these things all the time but especially when I can see her getting frustrated.
  • And I ALWAYS tell them when they are mad at me “I love you, even when I’m mad or you are mad at me,” because you just never know what the next moment is going to bring.

Here is an actual example of bickering from last night, while the three of us were playing Skipbo. There were 4 piles of cards lying in front of us, 3 of them had 8’s showing –

N: Wow, there’s triple 8’s

Me: Yep

E: Double 8’s

N: Triple

E: I call it double

N: It’s triple, E! Mom, tell E its triple!

Me: Does it really matter? Somebody put down a 9

E: Double 8’s

N: (throws down cards) I’m not playing anymore if E’s going to mess around

Me: (looking at N) You are not quitting. Yes it is triple. E, it is triple, you know it’s triple and are just trying to annoy your brother. Knock it off.

E: Why can’t I call it double?

And then it was my turn and I had two 9’s so we no longer had a triple (thank God). But that is just a small taste of the constant, unnecessary bickering.

Will these kids ever grow out of it or am I destined to have two bickering adult-children?



Gluten Free Dinner Ideas for Week of 8 May

We are moving in less than 2 weeks and as you can imagine, things are hectic around my house! The majority of our household goods are currently being dropped off in our new house over a thousand miles away, and we are “roughing it” here in OKC. With that said, my menu planning has been fluid, but I still wanted to share what I shopped for and plan to make some time this week:

Parmesan Chicken Tenderloins with Salad

  • This is somebody’s Weight Watchers recipe and since I’m planning on starting Weight Watchers (again…ugh) soon I thought I would try this out. I’m making it right now and really it’s similar to several other Yummly recipes I use, so I’m sure we will all like it. I substituted ground-up GF bread for the regular bread crumbs, of course and I don’t have any GF Italian Seasoning so I just used Garlic Powder, Pepper and Parsley. Smells delicious. If it turns out good I’ll post some pics.

Tuna Salad over Salad

  • Another WW recipe I wanted to try. My kids will NOT eat tuna so I plan to make them GF grilled cheese on the day I make this.

Stuffed Baked Potatoes with Little Smokies in GF BBQ Sauce

  • I HAVE to try these, they look delicious! Although I’d be happy with just the potatoes, I’m going to make some Smokies in BBQ Sauce to appease the rest of my family. My daughter will not touch anything she deems “spicy” so this is the GF BBQ we use:
  • Image result for sweet baby rays

Ranch Meatballs with Rice and corn

  • My kids love meatballs and these sound a little different so I thought we’d try them this week.

Spinach Artichoke Chicken Casserole with Salad

  • OMG I love this recipe! I am going to double the artichokes though (and hope nobody notices) because I LOVE artichokes. I also bought provolone AND Swiss cheese because last time my kids thought that it was missing something, and I’m curious to see if they still think so if I switch the cheeses.


Have a Great Week!


The Countdown is On

The last few weeks have been CRAZY, and I haven’t taken the time to update my blog. I realized this morning that this is my outlet, my me-thing, so I need to take at least a few minutes every week or so to write down what’s going on. Who knows, maybe somebody out there in cyber space is going thru the same crazy things as me and needs to read my thoughts as much as I need to put them in writing…

It’s tough being a military family. For those who aren’t in the military, I think it’s easy to forget about the sacrifices that the youngest members of the military family (our kids) make. I often hear that “kids are resilient, they bounce back quick”  when we talk about how moving affects military kids, and I’m sure my kids will be OK. In fact, I’ll be all up in their business this summer making sure that they are indeed, OK. But the fact remains that in a little over 2 weeks (holy cow, only 2 weeks) my son and daughter will be forced again to leave their friends, their home, their schools, their sports teams, and their familiar surroundings, to move YET AGAIN for the military. We are actually pretty lucky, my kids have only had to move three times, and we are hoping this is our last move. But I do worry about them.

E, my 10-year-old daughter, is typically my handful. She has Celiac Disease, alopecia, hashimoto’s thyroiditis and eye problems. She has also been diagnosed with a mild conduct disorder, anxiety, and learning disabilities (as well as a below-average IQ, but we aren’t sure just how accurate that was).  With all that, she is still the sweetest girl and would do anything for anybody and on the days I can get her to focus and listen to me, I enjoy her immensely.  It has taken a couple of years to get her the help she needs at school and I wonder if I will be starting over once we move? She thinks she has several friends but I see the way they treat her and know they get annoyed with her, so I worry about her making new friends too.

N, my 13-year-old, has Type 1 Diabetes. He also currently has a broken tendon in his finger (mallet finger) that may require surgery.  Because we are so close to moving, we can’t do anything here (see, craziness). He’s like a clumsy baby deer on his long legs. He’s a good kid, but a typical boy who loves to irritate his sister. His personality is almost a perfect mix of my hubbs’ and mine – he is sometimes outgoing (like hubbs) and sometimes introverted (like me). My concern for him is that, like me, he appreciates being alone and I don’t want him to isolate himself once we move.  An acquaintance of his committed suicide earlier this year and it was a wake-up call for us. I’ve already got him signed up for golf and we are planning fishing trips for after we move, so hopefully that helps.

It’s much easier for me to leave, although I am starting to feel a little bit sad. I’m sad not because we are leaving Oklahoma, but because this assignment turned out completely different than we thought it would. Hubbs thought it would greatly impact his career, and that he might even retire here – it didn’t and he can’t get out of here fast enough. I thought I was going to have a great civil service job and that we would settle here until the kids finished school – I had a so-so job that I left right after N’s diabetes diagnosis because I felt that my supervision wanted me to choose between my family and my job.

And now I am leaving behind the only “career” I have ever known and trying something else that allows for more flexibility for my family, since E will most likely be diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in the next few years.  I am leaving behind the basketball moms that I have come to love and will miss them, and I have one friend here that I already miss because she too is moving and her life is just as crazy as mine (another military family).

Here’s what my former “homey” house looks like now:

Living Room.jpgN Room.jpg

Did I mention that this house has been on the market over 100 days, has dropped $20K, has only had 5 showings, and has had NO OFFERS!

Like I said, military life is tough – for all of us, not just the active duty member.