Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Happy 3rd Birthday, Tomboys!

Time sure is flying! I cannot believe the blog is three years old. From projects to funny stories to trials and tribulations, I have written about it all. Thank you to all of you for supporting me and sharing the posts that spoke to you. This blog has reached thousands of readers world wide! It was always my hope for all of us to feel supported and never alone.

I cannot wait to see what this next year brings for my family and our lives! Thank you again for making The Adventures Of Tomboys in Tiaras a success.

The top 10 posts for the past three years are:

10. Gray

9. Procastination

8. Real Family

7. We Don't Do Cold

6. Framily

5. Because I'm an A**hole

4. Thank You, Kindergarten

3. The Answer

2. Unwanted Membership

1. Tell Me Again

Sunday, July 1, 2018


Summer is in full swing! School ended, we said goodbye to kindergarten and third grade, and started summer with a bang. The girls and I took a road trip, we went our annual family cruise, and just this past weekend, the hubs and I went out of town, just the two of us.
(He had business, I had free time 😊)

During my free time, I had the pleasure of having brunch with my friend and her son. But it wasn't just any friend and he isn't just any child. This little boy is E2's biological sibling, her brother. His mom and I became Facebook friends shortly after his adoption and have had wonderful conversations and enjoyed many laughs over the phone. Our relationship was strictly via technology until recently. I had dinner with my friend last month when she was in my hometown and now I got to have brunch with her and her son in their hometown.

Our first date, just us moms, was so fun that of course I was all too excited to see her again. Then the reality of meeting her son crept into my brain. I do not process things out loud. I think about every scenario in my head, make decisions, and move on. I rarely ask for advice so when I do, I must really be struggling. So in my head (a dangerous place to be sometimes) I processed meeting a little boy that is my daughter's brother - but not really, but really.
I processed meeting a little boy that looks so similar to E2 if they were together, you'd ask if they were twins.
I processed meeting a little boy that could have been in our family, but for numerous reasons we said no (thankfully) to a third child.
I processed meeting a little boy who will one day turn into a young man and perhaps be a part of E2's life.
I processed the emotions my girls will feel when they learn about him.
I processed meeting a little boy my children know nothing about.
I processed meeting a little boy that I have watched for the last five years on Facebook and wondered if in real life, he and E2 were as alike as they seem.
Then I processed the ultimate emotion - would I feel regret for not adopting him after I met him.
And then I processed the guilt that came with even thinking I would have regrets. I know he and his mom are meant to be, but somehow meeting him, my daughter's family, was an experience that had my heart pounding.

I originally processed the last question when I first my met friend. And after that dinner I knew I had no regrets - they are the perfect duo, the perfect mother & son. I knew they were meant to be after she adopted him and we learned his name. I knew they were meant to be in every picture of him growing up and in every smile he brought to her and her family. I knew this. I know this.

But meeting him in person, this made me think about it again. Meeting a child that is your child's genetic sibling that your own child and her sibling have no idea about is pretty intense. It is a wild ride of emotions and like every 41 year old Jewish woman, I have many emotions.

Morning came and my friend and her son picked me up at the hotel and as I knew, he was the cutest little boy! And like any other five year old meeting a stranger, he did not talk to me. This made me laugh. Didn't he realize it was a big deal we were meeting? Nope. He is a kid and his mom made him have a brunch with some loud blonde lady. He had no idea our relationship and that is the way it was supposed to be.

As he walked, talked, whined, played, cried, ate, laughed, and carried on like a typical five year old boy there were many instances when I felt like I was looking into a mirror. I could see E2 in him. I could see myself in my friend. I could see what we shared. Meeting him proved to be a strong case for nature. He and E2 share struggles. They also share a smile that could melt anyone's heart.

But I was caught off guard by the case for nurture more. Yes, he and E2 share so much genetically, but what makes them cry, laugh, smile is totally different. While I loved hearing him laugh, it was not me that brought the happiness out - it was his mom. When he cried, I could not soothe him - it was his mom he needed. His favorite show, what he likes to eat, his mannerisms when he speaks: all resemble his mom. His favorite toy, his hopes and fears, what makes him unique - that I do not know. His mom does. He is her child through and through.  Just as I know E1 and E2 from head to toe, inside and outside, she knows him. Her son. Her family. Her child.

Experiencing this was a true blessing. He and I bonded over Snap Chat and making silly pictures together. His favorite - the dog so we could stick out our tongues at one another. I received a great big hug from him when we said good bye and knew, yet again, all was as it should be. He waved bye, holding his mom's hand and walked off proving a five year old boy has a better sense of direction than I ever will.

As I told a friend today, meeting him was like meeting any other friend's child.  The circumstances between us are extremely rare, but there was not an ounce of regret, anxiety, sadness. All I felt was a genuine joy in meeting a special little boy that made my friend a mom. A joy that can only be felt by a true friend. A joy that comes from being more than friends. A joy between "framily."

Wednesday, May 9, 2018


Koalas have chlamydia.

Why do I know this useless shit? Because my procrastinator of a daughter waited until the mother fucking very last minute to start an IN CLASS project. 

Here we are just a few weeks shy of the last day of school and my daughter forgot the home she lives in. She forgot her mom is a crazy psycho overbearing bitch. Poor daughter. She likes to to learn shit the hard way. Like mother like daughter. (Sorry mom)

4:30pm. I send an email to her teacher asking about a math review. We settle on the child coming in early. (Thank G-d because lord knows her teacher has the patience of a Saint.) Silly me thinks this is our only “issue” of the day. 

4:32pm Oh yes, two damn minutes later. My daughter tells me she hasn’t been able to do her project that is due Monday. MONDAY?!? It seems my child has experienced “technical difficulties “ and has had “NO TIME” to complete her research. I find out she’s researching Koalas. She is going to draw a picture as her “model.” Said child is telling me all the while she continues to play with her friend outside and I continue to sit on the driveway chatting with my friend & neighbor. (Remember, suburbia utopia)

Knowing full well my mini me is a procrastinating bullshit artist, I email her teacher her stupid fucking excuses just so this child can read her teacher’s response. 
One day she will learn I’m smarter than her and made all these mistakes and worse ones.
One day she will call me Yoda and treat me with the master respect I deserve. 

Back to the project: yes I, the parent, have known about this project for weeks. And yes, I’ve been patiently waiting for this moment. Yes, I let this life lesson happen forgetting it would cause my blood pressure to rise. 

Ping! Phone alert- an email from the teacher saying she can research at home (you don't say...) and a picture is unacceptable (shocking, I know) and other students have been bringing in art materials all week because the model must be made at school.  I do wonder what the actual fuck was my kid was doing when these students brought their shit in!!? My guess is reading. Stupid book worm. 

I tell my daughter I’m 30 seconds away from going full blown psycho mom on her and she responds with “I got this, Mom. Don’t worry.”

What do you actually got? An F? A lazy fucking attitude? Because you ain’t got shit. I sent her teacher a message saying feel free to fail her. And I wasn’t even kidding. I relay this to my daughter, without all the profanity because she’s only nine. 

NOW my kid is rummaging through our arts and crafts cabinet because I told her use what we have because I’m not going to any store to buy you anything. I didn’t procrastinate. I, on the other hand, am sitting in a closet breathing deeply to calm myself down which doesn't work because I smell disgusting because I was at the zoo for the kindergarten field trip. I am now annoyed my kid didn't do what she was supposed to and even more annoyed that my deep calm breathing has lead me to smell elephant shit, sweat, and kinder germs.

I am feeling like a rock star. 
I got this parenting shit down. 
I’m fucking winning today. 

Rummaging complete. She has white construction paper, black construction paper, a glue stick, and damn mini marshmallows to glue on as fur. Whatever dude. Good luck with these choices. 

And now all of a sudden she CAN physically research Koalas vs playing outside or experiencing technical difficulties.  

“You know what mom? Koalas have chlamydia. What’s chlamydia?”

Son of a bitch. 

Is it summer yet? I’m fucking done. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Works Out In The Wash

Let me start by saying I am a HUGE proponent of giving your child an extra year to grow. As a mother of two summer birthdays, both my girls started kinder at six for different reasons. Not all children are the same, not all decisions can be one size fits all, but this is a decision that requires much thinking. You can think I am nuts, crazy, and wrong. That's okay. I am confident in my own parenting decisions, just as I am confident you make the best decisions for your child. Like my entire blog, this is my opinion.

It's that time of year again, when parents agonize about bridging their child, repeating a grade, or simply starting them late.
It's that time of year when other parents take offense to another parent's actions or take offense to what a teacher is trying to tell them.

This is my second blog post dedicated to "holding back" your child. With my daughters' summer birthdays, it is a topic often discussed in this family. With my education background, it is something people often ask me about.

I will say I am a firm believer in holding back, bridging, starting late....The cut off date for the great state of Texas is September 1st. Years ago, this topic was not as hot as it is now. It has become more common than not to start kindergarten at 6 if your child has a summer birthday. Children with birthdays in April and May are beginning to be bridged so instead of your summer kiddo being 10 or 11 months younger than the September birthday, they are 15 months younger than the oldest child in the grade.  Does this anger many parents? Yes, hell yes. Should this be what determines your decision? No. There is much more to think about.

What should you think about?

Think past Kindergarten. Think about your 10 year old going to middle school with fourteen year olds. This coming year, school starts August 15th. If the start date had been pushed a few days earlier, which could happen in years to come, many 10 year olds would start middle school. That is something you should think about.
(Had I not started my girls late, and with the current state of when we start school, they would be 10 entering middle school - yikes.)

Think about college and the responsibility that comes with being away from home and managing money. Think about how many colleges have summer programs. Now think about a 17 year old joining a community of 20 something year olds. Think about your 17 year old who has only been driving a year, driving across the state or across the country to move into their college dorm.

Let's go back to the younger ages...let's think about the 5 year old and the 6 year old. Let's think about the formative years. Let's think about self esteem, leadership, and confidence.

Think about whether or not your child can make their own lunch, tie their shoe laces, get themselves dressed, tell you about their day in the order in which things happened, problem solve, resolve conflict, take turns, wait their turn, share, make friends....Are they a leader? Are they a follower?

Think about whether or not your child has struggled academically. Typically, children do not need tutors in kindergarten. (There are exceptions to every rule, I know this.) Is your child struggling to learn to read? If they are one of the younger ones, this is okay as reading is developmental, but it is a sign that you may want to pay attention to. Reading is the foundation for every subject, EVERY subject. If your child is getting ready to leave kindergarten and you're thinking they just need the summer to fine tune their reading, ask their teacher. If your teacher recommends your child to repeat kinder, be bridged, start late...LISTEN. Really LISTEN.
(And the few summer weeks between camps and vacations probably wont be enough to catch them up. I'm sorry to be realistic, but there are very few success stories in this area and there is a huge difference between a summer to keep abilities going and a summer to hopefully achieve grade level.)

The last thing to think about is your child. The decision to hold back your child is not about you, your parenting, your love, your attention, your financial status, your race. It is about your CHILD. It is about whether or not your child is ready academically, socially, and emotionally. A child needs all three to be successful.

For every yes, hold them back there is a don't do it - it all works out in the wash opinion. The opinion that all children eventually catch up. The opinion that all children end up on the same playing field. In my opinion, this is not true. In elementary there are kids in reading and math groups varying from high to low, there are gifted children k-12, in middle school we have Pre-AP classes and in high school, AP classes. If everything works out in the wash and all children end up on the same playing field, why are classes still leveled by academic abilities?

Am I saying that all children who start kinder at 6 are at the top of the class, hell no. I would never say that. However, the curriculum being handed down by our legislature to our teachers is much harder than the curriculum we studied as children. A more challenging curriculum requires a child to be ready to not only learn the material, but process it, and apply the knowledge. The curriculum requires a child to sit and learn for a long period of time. Do I agree with the changes in curriculum? NO, but I am not a lobbyist and that change is beyond my reach (at least for this week).

Before you make a firm YES I am holding back or NO I am not doing that, THINK. Think about everything. Talk to your teacher, visit the next grade level's classroom, think about how one seemingly tiny decision really can change the course of your child's life.

As you will hear when you ask around, no one ever regrets holding their child, but plenty spend each year wondering if they should've.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Thank You, Kindergarten

In less than thirty days our kindergarten year will be over. I say our because this has been a team effort.

We are a few weeks away from summer and E2 is almost a first grader. I could cry, actually I am crying, just typing those words. I cannot believe kindergarten is over. I cannot believe E2 not only survived kindergarten, but rocked it.

Let's be honest, I was not expecting E2 to rock it. Hell, if I am being real fucking honest, I figured she would be homeschooled by Halloween. The hubs and I were prepared for public school not to work out. I was petrified to send E2 to school. E2, however, was ready, willing, and excited to go to big kid school like her sister.

Being my controlling self, I met with the principal and explained all of E2's struggles and cried while she assured me there was an amazing teacher for my daughter. Our teacher letter arrived in August and the name on that letter forever changed the course of E2's life.

Meet the teacher happened and because I cannot help myself, I followed up with an email. You see, I am that mom. I am that mom every day, but for E2, I am that mom, every day, hour, minute, second, of her life. In that email I explained E2 the best I could. I was overwhelming, crazy, overbearing, and basically said "Yep. I am THAT mom and I am saying sorry for all I will do before we even have day one." While not my proudest moment, it was a necessary one. You see, when your kid has special needs there is no off button. There is no wait and see. There is no let things happen and see where we are at Halloween. There is now. And now cannot wait.

My email was received with grace and a tad confusion, but within a few days our kindergarten teacher began to see examples of the struggles I had described. Emails were exchanged and conferences were had and trust was formed. This phenomenal woman knew E2 as well as I did....some days I felt like she knew her better.

Our kindergarten teacher, yes OUR.
Sure, she spends her day teaching E2, but she has taught me so much more. It's true what the poem says- everything you need to learn, you learn in kindergarten.

I have learned that advocating for your child is necessary and if done properly, you will find a fierce advocate in your teacher. I have learned that honesty is the best policy. I have learned to appreciate the smallest of gestures. I have learned to celebrate every victory no matter how big or small. I have learned that crying in a parent teacher conference is a-o-k. The tears are not a sign of weakness, but validation of what you've been thinking all along. I have learned to listen, to truly listen to someone who has been there. I have learned to trust my instinct. I have learned that a label will never define E2, for greatness is always within arm's reach. I have learned to trust. I have learned letting E2 fall in order to teach her how to get back up is exactly what she needed. I have learned what an amazing, dedicated, hard working person our kindergarten teacher truly is.

While I cried through my Kindergarten lessons, E2 soared. She became a new version of herself. From day one to now, I have watched her go from a baby lamb trying to walk to running with grace like a cheetah in the wild. E2 has learned to make friends, share, problem solve, speak up for herself, engage with others, resolve conflict, ask for help. She has gained independence, become more generous and thoughtful, and learned how to be a part of a community. She grew. She went from little E2 to big kid. She learned what you are supposed to learn in kindergarten - E2 learned how to be successful without her mom in her corner.

And did she succeed? She did indeed. Mid way through this year we received E2's Cerebral Palsy diagnosis and with a hug our teacher let me know the only thing that changed is now we know why E2 struggles. Knowing why didn't change our expectations and it didn't change our teacher's expectations. Striving to be better is what life is all about. Being pushed (gently) to be better is how we grow as people. E2 has been pushed and pushed and pushed. And when I didn't think she could do anything more, she and our teacher proved me wrong. From mathematics to writing to learning to read, my daughter has done the impossible. E2 has become a successful student.

Our kindergarten teacher knows I think she hung the moon, but I have never really been able to express fully how she has changed our lives. Each day as summer draws near, I get a little twinge in my stomach. I know E2 is ready to move on, but when I look back on the year she has had I cannot begin to think how we will all say good bye. First grade is only a hallway over, but light years away from our comfort zone.

And just like last summer, E2 is excited and ready to go to first grade. She is ready to tackle new challenges while I sit here crying, anticipating what I will say in my "Yep. I am THAT mom" email.

To our kindergarten teacher, THANK YOU. Thank you for seeing past the toothless smile, the happy green eyes, and her big Texas bow. Thank you for seeing a clean slate and drawing the first steps in what will prove to be a bright future.


Sunday, April 8, 2018

Time Marches On

It's April?!!

How in the hell did I miss an entire month and not blog one time...where was I? What the hell have I been doing since February?? At first, I was going to say I have no idea, but that is so not true. I know where I have been, I know what I have been doing, and I know I am literally emotionally exhausted from fighting the good fight.

March was a month dedicated to E2. Just ask her big sister - she will let you know how she was ignored and then she will let you know I told her to build a bridge and get over it. Funny how the month leading to Autism Awareness was all about E2 and getting her the proper help. I fought for E2 all of March. Different fights, different people, different days, but I had my fierce lion mom hat on for way too many days.

March literally marched across my face and caused me to learn more lessons of being a special needs mama- the first being fight until you've made the difference you need to make.

April is Autism Awareness month and while E2 does not have Autism, she does qualify as a special needs child therefore making me a special needs mama. This month is dedicated to the children, the parents, the village of therapists helping these children. This month you can read a tremendous amount of positive blog posts about how their special needs kiddo adds so much to their life and they really wouldn't a change a thing. You will find less heart wrenching, truths about the daily life of being a special needs parent. I have watched a few vlogs and cried because those truths, that honesty, that rawness of real life is what speaks to me. Autistic or not, I share many of the same hopes, dreams, and reality.

While I agree that E2 is a beautiful gift from G-d and her ability to overcome any obstacle is inspiring, the daily ins and outs of parenting a special needs child is not filled with sunshine and rainbows. The daily is filled with anxiety, frustration, and a fierce love that keeps you fighting for a child that cannot fight for themselves.

Daily thoughts that cross my special needs parent brain:

Will my daughter be able to live alone?
Will she continue to have friends or will they tire of her?
At what grade will it all come crashing down because there is no doubting it will.
Will we have to send her to a special school?
If we cannot afford a special school, is home school the answer?
How long will she need speech therapy?
How long will she need occupational therapy?
When will the children in her class notice she is different?
Will she get invited to the slumber parties?
Would she able to handle herself if she got lost?
Does she know what to do in an emergency?
How do I explain to people what motor planning is?
Will we always spend a ridiculous amount of money on therapies?
Why am I still fighting insurance companies?
Why is that people don't like to discuss the struggles?
How come everyone thinks because she is so cute, it will all be alright? Pretty don't pay the rent.
Will she go to college?
Will her rate of progression continue at this pace leaving her a little behind or will the rate of progression slow down causing a further delay?
Will everything be a struggle?
Will she ever get tired of fighting for the simplest of lessons?
For how long will my oldest resent the attention she gets?
Will my daughters ever truly be close or will the disability stand in their way?
How many more times do I have to explain that she is in fact a special needs kid?
Is it wrong to wish she was typical? (No. It's human nature)
How many more stares will we get when she melts down in public because she spilled something?
How many more head tilts and so sorry will we get when people find out she has CP?
How many more times will I hear I played alone?
How many more times will I struggle to hear about her day because of her language delay?
How often will I truly know the realness of her day?
When will I, as her parent, let go of my fears and let her navigate her own life?
Will I always run interference?
Will I always have to fight?
Will I constantly live a life waiting for the next shoe to drop?
Will I always being holding my breath?
Will I always have to call or email teachers and/or coaches to prepare them?
Will she always be immature and seem younger than she really is?
When will people stop thinking I am special for doing what's necessary?
When will people understand that raising a neuro-typical child cannot be compared to a child that is not?
Who will fight for her when I am gone?

Will her smile continue to melt my heart and forget all these worries even for just a moment?

No one likes to hear the above questions, but that is the damn reality. Just this morning E2 spilled a drink and cried like she broke her arm. She froze in her wetness and cleaning up her own mess was a struggle. While the tears and snot poured down her face, E1 rolled her eyes and walked out of the room mumbling.  That is our daily life. People say I don't know how you do it and while I understand the rhetorical question, the reality is I don't have a choice. She is my daughter and I would do anything for her (and for her sister).

Our daily life is balancing tough love and understanding for both girls while simultaneously teaching E1 that they will never be parented the same. And that different parenting is not favoritism, it is necessary.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Tell Me Again

Tell me again how you want to know if your kid is a bully. Tell me again how you want to know if your kid is not sharing, not being kind, not being generous. Tell me again how you want to know if your child is not showing true character and I will say, bull shit.

You actually do not want to know. How do I know this? Because you've been told and your answers have been:

My kid did not meant it.
My kid was joking.
It's not bullying, it is teasing.
My kid is misunderstood.
My kid is second (or third, or fourth) child so he/she can handle more.
My kid was not really involved.
My kid said he/she did not do it.

Excuses. Fucking excuses. All of them. And I barely scratched the surface of the excuses floating around for why kids these days are little shits and get away with it.

We do not honor and respect other children or adults. Students these days tell their teachers no and tell their parents no. Students these days don't get punished for disrespect. They get excuses. Teachers' hands are tied. They cannot take recess because the child may or may not have ADHD and needs the movement. Teachers can not require students to come in early because the parents work and cannot get them there. Teachers can not make children have silent lunch because the parent will scream and yell that their kid was singled out and embarrassed. When another student is picked on, teased on, bullied, we talk about emotions and how the students feel. But we sure as hell don't punish, take away recess, take a field trip, or make a bold statement that all the other kids can see and learn from. We discuss emotions. We do not take action.

I get it, mental health is an issue but it is not an excuse. E1 has anxiety. Major anxiety. I don't talk about it a lot because this is her demon to fight, but it causes many issues. HOWEVER, we are dealing with it. Professionally and personally. And when her anxiety gets the best of her and her emotions spiral out of control, she gets PUNISHED. We DO NOT make excuses for her. We DO NOT say, your anxiety got the best of you so all those hurtful words and actions are excused. We do not say oh you were adopted, you have a reason to behave like this. FUCK NO. We take her iPad, play date, a friend's birthday party, whatever it takes to STOP THE DISRESPECT. Punishments work. Does she sometimes say she hates us? Yes. But you can be damn sure, E1 is learning respect and honorable behavior.

How do I know this? Because at school and in public, she is generous and kind and helping the underdog. I know my kid is not a bully. I know because the teachers tell me how great of a person she is.
If your teachers are not telling you that your child helps others and they only talk about grades, ASK ABOUT THEIR CHARACTER. ASK ABOUT WHAT MATTERS. Grades do not dictate their future, their heart does. Their work ethic does. Their character does. As proud as you are that your child makes straight As, maybe you should wonder what they do when they see another child crying. Maybe you should ask what they do when another child trips and falls. Maybe you should ask who they played with at recess and sat with at lunch. Maybe you should look at the class roster and ask why they don't play with certain children - their answers will astonish you.

Do we have a gun problem? Yes. Do I have a solution? No.

Do we have a respect problem? A parenting problem? Yes.
Do I have a solution? Yes.

Parents make their child's life difficult with rules that demand respect and honesty. Parents are the adults and should know better than the child. Parents should realize no matter how "sweet" and "kind" your kid is at home, they have the POTENTIAL to be a shit at school and make another child's life a living hell. Every child has the POTENTIAL to be a bully. EVERY CHILD.

What separates the children with emotional problems that are handled and those that are ignored: PARENTS.

It is 2018, why is therapy frowned upon? Why is getting your child help looked down upon? Why is it seen as a weakness? We are in an era of knowledge and yet, parents will not seek help. They will not get their child looked at for attention problems, emotional problems, or academic problems.
WHY? Because "NOT MY KID."

In 2018, we blame teachers and schools. We blame a lack of communication, a lack of responding to emails quickly, a lack of seasoned teachers. We blame education vs blaming ourselves. If your child is not doing well in school, it is NOT the teacher's fault or another student's fault. It is actually YOUR CHILD's fault and YOURS. Yes, you, the parent. It is your job to teach them how to study, how to time manage, how to do honest, respectful, independent work. It is your job to create a culture where teachers are held to a higher standard. It is your job to create an environment in which your child knows their character is the most important thing in the world. It is your job to teach generosity, honesty, respect, and how to be a good person.

If an educator tells you your child has an issue, it is the truth and that teacher thought long and hard about how to tell you. If another parent tells you your child did something to their kid, it is the truth. Adults are not trying to sabotage your child. The grown ups are not going after your child. We all say it takes a village but no one is listening to the village!!

If you say you want to be told when and if your kid has done something, then you better be damn prepared to listen and do something.

No more excuses.

No more saying "not my kid."


WAKE UP. GET YOUR CHILD HELP. Swallow your pride and know NOT getting your child help is worse than being honest about your child needing help.



Let us take advantage of all the cliches. If it takes a village and you want to know and you say character is important and you say not everyone deserves a trophy and you say be a graceful winner and not a sore loser and if you say you want to make a difference, then DO IT.

ACCOUNTABILITY does not come with thoughts and prayers.