Tag Archives: teenagers

Books the Gateway to, eh, More Books

Did you see that I have a new site for my blog? Read my latest post here:

Books the Gateway to, eh, More Books

Diana Beebe's Blog, Diana Beebe, science fiction, middle grade fantasy, fantasy

Sharing favorite books with my daughter…

Don’t miss any posts. Go here http://dianabeebe.com and follow me there. Thanks!

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Something Light and Fluffy

After the super, heavy seriousness of my recent deathmatch with my dishwasher, I think we all need something light and fluffy.

So…

Pillows!

The newest generation of My LIttle Pony characters

The shirt from kindergarten outgrown too soon… It’s hard to see in this picture, but she put pretty multi-colored cording around the entire seam. It matches perfectly!

If you’ve got kiddos, there is a really good chance that he or she has a favorite shirt. One that they want to wear and wear and wear, even when it’s two sizes too small. The Armadillo loved these two My Little Pony shirts. She cried both times when they didn’t fit anymore. So I saved them.

Rainbow Dash from the last generation of ponies.

The shirt from preschool…bought too large on purpose; it wasn’t big enough to last forever.

The daughter of one of my friends loves to sew and design, so I asked if she would convert the shirts into pillows. She did a fabulous job, don’t you think? And Armadillo loves them and keeps them on her bed.

Some people collect their cherished baby and toddler clothes and make them into quilts. My friend told me that she saw one that was a pieced quilt. All the onesies and shirts were cut up into pieces, some of them even had tiny babyfood stains. Cute, right?

What about you? Do you have a favorite thing from your childhood or your children’s childhood that you’ve saved or converted into something else?

2012 in Review and Looking Forward to 2013

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for Mermaids Don’t Do Windows.

In the almost six months that I’ve been blogging, here are my top 5 posts and my theories for why they made the list:

  1. Mermaids Aren’t Real? — This War of the Worlds moment (remember the radio program that had people panicking?) had to be shared.  If they are real, they are smart enough to elude Animal Planet film crews.
  2. My Very Own My Little Pony — Ponyfest12 was a success!  I couldn’t believe that my pony won, but then again, I have awesome friends.  Look for a pony reveal soon.  In the meantime, you should check out Rebecca Enzor’s blog, because Ponyfest is hers and she’s great.
  3. Totes, Selfies, and Sharpies — Why did this one make the top 5?  Because there are people searching on teen selfies.  Not kidding! Exactly 25% of the known Google searches that linked to my blog were about selfies, and most of those were looking for teens! Ick. Parents of teens, monitor your kids’ phones and uploads.  Just sayin’.
  4. Welcome to Gattaca — Who doesn’t love that movie?
  5. We figured that one out a long time ago — I just can’t help myself when I hear of discoveries that shock scientists about the intelligence of women.

These fabulous people were my top 5 commenters. I love their blogs.  I hope you check them out:

  1. Pauline B Jones
  2. Julie Glover
  3. Ryan King
  4. Debra Kristi
  5. Jordan L. Hawk

I launched this blog at the end of June last year with a ton of support and encouragement from my WANATribe Blogging for Brand classmates and WANA founder, Kristen Lamb.

So what’s in store for Mermaids Don’t Do Windows in 2013?

  • Three posts a week.
  • Pony reveal!
  • A visit from a Norse god. Yes, Thor is coming to visit me soon!  He will get to see what Texas is all about.
  • A blog upgrade and some tweaks.
  • A posting schedule.  What?! 
  • More housework avoidance (and maybe some decluttering projects).

Happy New Year to you all!

Thanks for stopping by.  I’d love to hear what you have going on for the new year.

Twitterpated

If you’ve seen Bambi (who hasn’t?), you know that “twitterpated” is the word Friend Owl uses to tell the young animals that spring is coming and they will fall in love.

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The three friends, Bambi, Thumper, and Flower, promise never to lose their friendship sanity just because of the shininess of the first pretty girl they see of their species.

I’ve been twitterpated by the shininess Twitter (@DianaBeebeTX, if you want to follow).  Can you believe it?

My use of the social media shiny is limited to a few friends, my alma mater (gotta keep up with the Frogs!), and my widening circle of writing friends.  I don’t follow any shows or celebrities, except Dr. Horrible because…well, just because.  I live in a fairly small, sheltered bubble.  I also try to think before I post. I hope I have not forsaken my sanity for the shiny that Twitter holds.

Free technology. No free lunch!

When I went to open house at my daughter’s high school, one of her teachers encouraged the students to follow his class (not him personally) on Twitter.  They could ask him questions about homework and projects.

I’m not ready for my daughter to be on Facebook.  She certainly isn’t going to be on Twitter any time soon.  (Thank goodness the Anti-Teenager is OK with that.)

So why was I surprised to hear that a student (already in trouble for drinking on campus) tweeted that she was going to attack another girl at school?  And she did attack her in a hallway.

A few days later, some students thought it would be “fun” to act up in the halls.  Rumor in the school is that it was a flash mob attempt, started on Twitter.  The school now has strict class change procedures with teachers lining the halls, one way stairwells, and extra security in the building.

Because a few young teenagers misused Twitter and acted on the misuse.  Did they get twitterpated by the shiny of tweeting–can’t see beyond their little circle of tweeps like Thumper who wondered off with the first cute girl rabbit who batted her eyelashes at him? Did they think that no one else would see that one tweet because of an @ mention to a specific person? Not a lot of thought goes into that kind of twittiness.

This was not an Arab Spring.  There was no higher purpose. There were kids misbehaving and making the school miserable for the rest of the students.  According to the school, two students were arrested (no details were given, of course).  Public tweets and videoed assaults are hard evidence though.  Students were told more trouble would follow if anything else was posted.

You would think that as tech savvy as teens are these days that they would also understand that what they post is out there.  They can’t take it back on Twitter.  Their thoughts, motivations, and pictures are there for all the world to see.  Their teachers and potential employers can see it, too.

New users on Twitter are not that different than a teenager in lurve for the first time. Now give Twitter to a teen who doesn’t realize that more people than the tweeps who follow them can see what they post, or maybe they don’t care.

I remember being twitterpated in high school. I didn’t always think through my actions when I was in lurve. *bats eyelashes* Thank goodness I didn’t have to deal with social media as a kid…

As someone fairly new to Twitter, I still wonder if something I post makes me sound like a twit. I’m not so new to being twitterpated that I hit send everytime I think of something to post. Twitty and witty are two different things.

Until Mission Impossible technology catches on, what gets tweeted is out there for the world to read.

There are companies out there that are creating “This message will self-destruct” applications.  You pick the time table–5 seconds or 6 days.  An article on NPR about a startup called Wickr that is doing this for iThings.

The technology isn’t there for everyone to use yet.  So until our emails, tweets, and Facebook posts can self-destruct, we need to teach our kids how to behave. If you know teenagers who are twitterpated with Twitter, please make sure they are using it wisely.  Heck, make sure that you’re using it wisely, too.

That’s not always easy when adults in high government positions get caught in scandals because of things they’ve posted.  They were twits twitterpated by their own perceived cyberspace bubbles. You know who they are.

If you’re a parent of teens, do you even know if your child is on Twitter?  If so, are you following him or her?  Are you monitoring phone and web activity?

O, Christmas Tree

All the left-overs are long gone, and I’m emerging from my status of missing in action for the last week or so.  I won’t bore you with the details–everyone has that list from time to time that keeps them busy with life.

The weekend after Thanksgiving is when our Christmas decorations explode across the house.

Maybe not, explode.  Two rooms and the front yard, tops.

The girls have finally gotten to the ages when they can take over putting all the decorations on the tree.  Together.  Just the two of them.  Without supervision.  Without mediation.

With some mediation and several breaks from each other.

“What were you thinking about?”

Every year, they pick two (or three) ornaments that they love.  These ornaments usually represent something they experienced or loved during the year.  For both of them, the tempation to buy the Lego Darth Vader was strong within them.  But they resisted the dark side.

Daughter 2 picked polar bears, penguins, and kittens.  There are two series of ornaments that she’s collecting.  Daughter 1 picked the puppy and horse that go with her two series.  She also picked something else.  It makes a geek mom proud.

If the store had the Hulk, she would have picked him.  I was surprised that she passed up Thor and Darth Vader.  I wasn’t surprised that she ignored Spider-Man (even though it crushed me on the inside).

She picked the Stay Puft Marshmellow Man from Ghostbusters.  He hangs with a Santa looking over him to keep him out of trouble.  I hope no one pushes the button on his side too often.  I can hear the theme song to the movie only so many times before I go crazy.  🙂

The girls decorated the tree.  They took breaks when the older one sensed that they might kill each other over pre-lighted bough territory.  After all, the carousel animal ornaments must hang on the same side of the tree.  Together.  In the same place.

*eye twitch*

Ahem.  The tree is beautiful, because my girls decorated it together.  I just put on the little ornaments at the top where neither can reach.

Speaking of the top, I have no tree topper.  I just can’t find one that I like.  My tree is topperless for the second year in a row.  I hate to even admit that my tree is topperless.  It is.  Do I want to replace the pitiful angel that used to be the topper?  Or, do I want a star?  There are too many choices out there. (Maybe I’m too picky or frugal or something.)

The rest of the ornaments are a mix from my husband’s childhood and things I’ve collected from trips we’ve taken.  There are also some antique, handmade ornaments that my grandmother used to hang on her tree.  It’s an ecclectic tree, but we think it’s beautiful.

When do you decorate for the holidays? Do you have any special decorations or traditions? 

For ROW80, I haven’t checked in for at least a week.  Sigh.  Here’s where I am:

  • I have a list of plot holes in my MG WIP.  I’m going to fill them in now.  I want to have the first draft finished by the first week of December.
  • The back garden is planted with carrots, spinach, kale, lettuce, and onion seeds. A few radish seeds are mixed with the carrots so I know where those rows are.
  • Get back into my size-smaller jeans. I miss them. I worked too hard to get into them in the first place.
  • I started my sweet potato slips. Only one piece is growing. I had to throw out the other pieces. More to come.
  • Catch up on blogging class!

Are You a Lumper or a Separater?

Since most people can’t afford to buy new clothes everyday, laundry is a necessary chore.  Here at Mermaids Don’t Do Windows, the clothes, sheets, and towels do have to get washed.  Until a laundry fairy starts doing ours, somebody has to do it.

The Husband rarely does laundry.  I banned him for life shortly after we got married.  His idea of washing everything in hot water didn’t sit well with the few nice things that I owned at the time.  I’m sure it was his evil master plan to get out doing of laundry altogether.

Daughter 1 does most of her own laundry, but she can’t sort colors to save her life.  She puts bright colors in the whites all the time.  “I didn’t know which basket to put those in.”  Drives me crazy.  If I’m feeling generous, I’ll throw her clothes in with the rest, but she has to put them away.  It’s not my problem if she can’t find something or her clothes are dirty.  She is 14.

Daughter 2 is too short to reach the controls.  When she’s tall enough and/or pushes me over the edge about how her clothes are done, then she’ll be assimilated, too.  For now, she helps with simple tasks.

The other day, a friend asked me to choose between my washer or dryer.  She did not just ask me to choose which child to keep, did she?

I know that the appliances aren’t children, but don’t ask me to choose.  They get sold in matching sets for a reason.  The Maytags I have now are the first matching set I’ve ever owned.  When we got them several years ago, we called them the Rolls Royce and Bentley.  They even have luxury features (the sales guy sold them to my husband with promises of wrinkle release settings).  I’m not choosing between them.

Every once in a while, someone will complain about the wrinkles.  Wrinkles?  No, those are dryer laugh lines.  I’ve tried to get shirts out when damp and warm, but the wrinkle fairies live in the dryer (and they probably eat socks when they get hungry).  Wrinkle release spray is my only hope of defeating them until the laundry fairies arrive.  I thought that the wrinkle prevent setting on the Rolls Royce and wrinkle release settings on the Bentley were supposed eliminate my wrinkle problems.

What?  Use an iron?  *scoffs*  Mermaids don’t iron.  Heck, my iron is the same one I had in college.  It has my maiden name written on the bottom in permanent marker and black electrical tape on the cord where my roommate’s illegal pet rabbit chewed the cord.

Daughter 2 helped me change the sheets on her bed last week, and she noticed the wrinkles.  “Aren’t you going to iron those sheets?”  Who taught her that?!  How does she even know what an iron is at 6 years of age?  When she’s old enough and can figure out how to unfold the ironing board, she can iron her own sheets.

While I wait for that laundry fairy to take over the washing, drying, ironing, folding, and putting away chores and to save me from my wrinkly bad habits, here are my laundry demands for Daughter 1:

  • Sort the colors into the proper baskets:  Reds (including purples and oranges), whites and most unmentionables, jeans and dark colors, towels and sheets.
  • Don’t use fabric softener with the towels.
  • Don’t wash the kitchen dish towels with the other towels (I don’t know why I have a problem with this.  Just gross.)
  • If you complain about the way the laundry gets done, do it yourself.  You have clean clothes, so be grateful.

I’m a separater.  I can’t even lump the dogs’ bath towels with the family’s bath towels.

What are your laundry habits (good or bad)?  Do you have pet peeves about cleaning clothes?  Do you make your children do their own laundry or participate for the common good of the entire family?  Are you a lumper or a separater:  Do you throw everything into one load (who cares about the colors), or separate all loads by colors and types? I’d love to hear from you.

Totes, Selfies, and Sharpies

In some regards, my high school daughter is the Anti-Teenager. She avoids trends (especially in social media) and is comfortable doing her own thing. I can’t say too much about her non-teenager habits, because she’d get mad at me for sharing. I’ve already said too much. In that regard, she is very much a teenager.

Enter The Best Friend. She is my daughter’s oldest friend and like another daughter to me. They say, “We’ve known each other since before we were born.” It’s true. We moms were pregnant together, and the girls are only three weeks apart. They did many things together: kiddie gym classes, preschool, dance, sleepovers, playdates, trips to DisneyWorld,and anything else we could come up with. They are very much like sisters.

The Daughter and The Best Friend couldn’t be more different.

Totes

The Best Friend keeps me abreast of the goings on in the world of teenagers. She’s my friend on Facebook. She tells me about stuff that I would never hear from The Daughter. She also speaks as if she’s texting—shortened words and acronyms.

“OMG, that’s totes awes.”

What? When did a tote bag get involved?

The Daughter translates for me (she doesn’t speak The Best Friend’s language, but she understands it). It means, “Oh my gosh, that is totally awesome.”

“Totes” is short for “totally.” It’s one of The Best Friend’s favorite words. It also doubles as “Yes, I wholeheartedly agree with you.”

Selfies

The Best Friend loves Instagram. We haven’t ventured there yet. (I haven’t. No one else in the fam will.) TBF told me about a her friend at school who has tens of thousands of followers on Instagram. This girl gets five thousand likes or views or hits (whatever it’s called on Instagram) on any given picture on any given day. (She doesn’t use her real name, BTW.) Most of her photos are selfies.

What?

Selfies. Self portraits, of course. I’ve been enlightened.

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My cartoon selfie

Sharpies

This ninth grader Instagram guru has very interesting hair. The Best Friend showed me one of her selfies. The brunette girl’s hair was pink. I mean pink. “Is that chalk?” I asked. After all, how are you going to get color to show up on brown hair like that?

Nope, not chalk. Sharpie.

What?

Hot pink Sharpie permanent marker. Evidently, it’s the latest way for teens to color their hair.
Who knew? I didn’t. When I was in high school, we used different colored and metallic hair mousse. Sharpies were permanent markers and were mostly just black. (And I walked to school in a hurricane uphill both ways—there’s not enough snow in Texas.)
I had so many questions. How permanent was it? Does the marker damage the hair? How do they get it out? What if they don’t like the color? The Daughter said that they probably just use another color on top. (What does she know? She’s the Anti-Teenager.)

I should have texted The Best Friend and asked her. Instead, I tried it myself. I sacrificed a lock of hair and an old towel. My brown hair is darker than Instagram Girl’s, but you can see the color.

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The things I’ll do for a picture…

I’ll be smelling that Sharpie marker all day now. Totes.

Do you have teenagers with strange, sheepish, or independent ways? Do you monitor your child’s social media use?