Posted on 2 Comments

“I can’t keep plants alive”

I’ve heard that “argument” for not having kids a few times.

I have to ask, is that a true worry or is that one of the random “excuses” people feel they are forced to come up with when they don’t want kids (by the way, the only valid excuse should be “because I don’t want to have kids.” I’m sorry, but people should never be pressured or told they are selfish if they don’t want to have kids.

This question is coming from someone who has managed to keep 2 kids alive- for 8 years almost now (8 years next month for one and 3 years for number 2) but still managed to kill cacti and other “impossible to kill” plants. It’s so much easier to keep children and pets alive than it is to keep a plant alive, at least in my book.

With kids you just have to provide food, shelter, water/milk, teach safety and make sure they aren’t in dangerous situations.

With pets, it’s the same.

With plants- make sure the soil is perfect, the temperature and lighting is perfect and give them water- but not too much. That’s not enough… no! that’s too much… you just killed it.

Inside plants are the worst when you have cats. You can’t put something by the window, if you do, the cat will perch. With the cat perching, they will likely destroy the plant, make a mess and destroy the blinds.

Outside plants are a bit easier, until it rains and you end up with mud soup. You go outside in the morning after a hard rain and watch your flowers floating around your garden. Or you see huge bite marks in your sunflowers. Or your tomatoes are ate up.

I’ve had successful gardens a few times but more than once I’ve had unwanted visitors eating my plants and over watered succulents. Every year I’ll keep trying to keep plants alive, but I will always say- it’s much easier to keep kids alive than plants.

 

 

Posted on 2 Comments

My writing has been featured

A while back I submitted a “Share your story” post about losing my Cassandra to Pickle & Poppet. They submitted the post to “ABloggingGoodTime” and they selected it as their featured post this past week.

“Reflections
Posted on Leave a comment

Three year olds say some of the funniest things

My three year old has my imagination. She is always someone different.

Yesterday, she was Doc McStuffins and I was her patient.

“You have a bleed on your cheek. When your cheek has a bleed on it, I’ll get some cheek paste for the bleed.”

She got sick one day, I’m guessing from drinking too much soy milk before her meal. She threw up in the restaurant and asked my mom “what is that? That’s not my favorite thing.”

I guess it’s good to know that throwing up isn’t her favorite.

Another time, I got glutened. We went out to eat when it kicked in (almost exactly 12 hours later) and I was sitting in the restaurant crying unable to move or sit still. She had to run over and inform the waitress mommy was sick, then she had to tell every single customer that we walked past that mommy was sick.

She has also announced to all of Walmart that “that milk is diarrhea” or “that juice is diarrhea”

She is learning and she now verifying with me if food is “diarrhea” or safe and is doing a good job avoiding “diarrhea’ foods.

 

What are some of the funnier things your young kids have said?

Posted on Leave a comment

Participation trophies and ribbons

One thing people are always screaming about are how Millennials grew up getting participation trophies, so that makes us “entitled” and that makes us think we deserve more than we do.

It makes me think of when I was in school, when we had competitions and I didn’t place, I wanted to be invisible. I hated those stupid ribbons- they were a symbol of failure not fun rewards for participation. I don’t know anyone who took pride in receiving a participation trophy- unless maybe they had physical disabilities and competed against fully able bodied children. (I can’t speak for them- so I don’t know how they felt)

It was also not our idea to give trophies to every child- we were children, not the adults leading the competitions so to blame us for being the generation given the ribbons is unfair itself. It was not our idea and we didn’t demand it. (parents likely did)

I wasn’t even that interested in the awards themselves- just to show to my parents (I do still have them somewhere but my mom saved nearly everything) but the stories about winning the field day or coming in second/third place were what I was proud of- one of my classmates got a bunch of participation ribbons and I actually traded them a second or first place for them to show their parents- the award meant nothing- I had placed they hadn’t and trading meant nothing. They were empty symbols. I have yet to meet anyone who actually took pride in those ribbons, that’s not to say no one ever has but they were meaningless at best and embarrassing at worst.

Do I think they are good for some physically or even mentally disabled children at a young age? Maybe. Especially since children with certain types of disabilities can’t compete as well with “normal abled” children. Not to say there aren’t exceptions, but kids who have trouble walking or running can’t win a race against a kid who is a naturally fast runner. I had 2 problems that both were undiagnosed. I just thought that thanks to hip dysplasia, I wasn’t flexible. I thought my joints snapping in and out were normal reactions- I didn’t know that’s what was happening (or that each snap was weakening my joints and leading to the somewhat severe, at times, OsteoArthritis I have now. I also had no idea I had asthma until one of my lungs started to collapse a few years ago and I ended up going to the ER becuase I was having trouble breathing and my chest was killing me.

None of those counted as real disabilities. I worked out daily at home, could pretty much keep up with the athletes in gym class and running was my only real weakness. I didn’t know I had Ehlers Danlos or that some of the nervous habits I had meant I was double jointed. I also had no idea the breathing problems were asthma. I was simply called lazy, a slacker and made to redo until the class was over. I still remember feeling like my lungs were on fire and the pain in my chest, but I never had major attacks.

There are children with much worse disabilities, though, and those kids may benefit from the trophies. Like I said, I don’t know. At a high school level, it may be as embarrassing to them as it is for most of us at a young age.

 

Did you ever get a participation trophy in school? Were you as embarrassed as I was or was it something you took pride in?

Posted on Leave a comment

I’m doing a challenge this month

From a woman I met on Twitter, Thoughts with N from over on Blogspot.

She came up with the “Self Care Challenge” which includes different little things to do for yourself throughout the month.

Today’s is to read, which goes perfect with one personal goal I have to read a little bit more than I have been.

 

Posted on 2 Comments

The number one piece of advice I would give anyone who hasn’t had kids yet

Men and women are pressured, maybe equally, maybe women a little more to have kids. Once college is over and a career is started, a common question seems to become “when are you getting married?” Soon after marriage, the question that seems to come is “when are you having kids?”

It’s a concern a lot of women seem to battle with, for no real reason. Now, we have the ability to choose- whether using birth control, morning after, adoption and even abortion- women have choices about when or if they become moms.

It’s not a choice to make lightly. Many people do not want to be a parent, others give in to pressure and later regret. In reality, becoming a parent is a lifelong responsibility. It extends beyond the time they leave. You will always worry, want to see them as often as possible and want to spend time with grand kids.

The early years involve a lot of late nights, potty training isn’t smooth, you will grow comfortable with every type of bodily fluid (although I still have to ask my husband to clean up if someone pukes most of the time- just the smell alone can make me join in). When I was pregnant, I had to have other people change poop diapers due to my extreme sensitive smell and how prone I was to queasiness. (once again, unless I wanted to puke)

You can deal with colic, temper tantrums over everything, there will be times they don’t want to eat anything and times they only eat one food for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks and you’ll deal with all types of bad but the good should outweigh the bad. You will feel a strong maternal bond, but not every woman feels it- even after kids. You will feel a strong love and bond and the good times will quickly outweigh the bad.

A lot of people try to justify the why behind why they want kids. To me, it sounds like they’re talking themselves into wanting instead of actually wanting to be a parent “just because.”

This is my opinion alone, I always wanted to be a mommy. I wanted to be a career mommy (career and kids) and I never had a reason. Over the years, I read a lot and all the reasons people gave for having kids sounded more like they were trying to convince people or themselves they wanted something they were unsure of.

After looking at the realities of having kids, the numbers of women living in regret, I never give advice without being asked but if I was asked, I would always tell someone if they have a reason or a list of reasons to hold off on having kids.

What are your thoughts?

Posted on Leave a comment

Christmas Traditions

Since starting a family, almost 8 years ago, I’ve been thinking about different holiday traditions.

As a young child, we got together with my mom’s side of the family a lot and not my dad’s that often.

When my grandma died (I was 13), we stopped getting together so much but I have a couple aunts we did get together with a lot- especially one who has always treated me like a daughter.

We still get together with her a lot.

Throughout the years, I have had jobs (especially 1) that had me so busy this time of the year (thank you, retail) so I barely had time to breath during the whole season. With the job change, I’m only working a few days a week so I have time to actually do stuff with my kids and it has me thinking on the lines of Christmas traditions.

I ran across my Facebook memories yesterday, after my 2 year old helped me bake cookies and found last year on the same day, she helped me bake cookies as well.

With our new found food restrictions, she and I can’t partake in events like cookie exchanges like my mom, cousins and aunts did one year- she couldn’t eat anything with butter or milk and I couldn’t eat anything with flour and certain other ingredients.

My mom and I were talking about both of us wanting to do our trees primarily in home made decorations and with a very few exceptions, mine is this year (we have a few football team ornaments and a few the girls really like but other than that, everything else was bought off Etsy or made by us)

We have the main celebration with my family on Christmas eve, his on Christmas day and ours Christmas morning with a few gifts on Christmas eve.

Over the years, I’ve slowly started incorporating some Yule rituals either privately or with my kids included and we’ll do that at home instead of celebrating Christmas in our home- since a lot of Yule traditions overlap with Christmas.

What types of traditions do you have with your kids?

Posted on Leave a comment

I tried Hello Fresh

So, I heard quite a bit about the company and read several paid reviews. I also read it’s overrated but I got ahold of a 25.00 off 2 week so I decided to give it a try.

My first issue was that nothing specifically stated “gluten or dairy” either free or in the ingredients, so I had to guess.

My second issue was that I couldn’t find much without actually setting up an account and ended up paying before I saw much of what was offered.

I selected 2 meals a week for a family of four. It came out to 37 for the week with the coupon.

Aside from those issues, I selected the Spanish chicken.

The recipe was fast, easy to follow and came well packaged in a ice packed box.

It was a bit spicy for my kids, and I left several ingredients out. I also didnt use most of the garlic (my husband cant take garlic) but outside of that, I really liked it and my kids seemed to like it.

My husband hasnt ate it yet.

I’ll be fixing the cranberry pork chops tomorrow and I’ll see how they like them.

But for the price, it’s pretty good. For the non-sale price, I dont think 2 meals a week are worth it honestly.

*note- this is NOT paid, this is simply me trying and posting about the meal delivery company*

Posted on Leave a comment

How I get my kids to eat- a step by step guide

  1. I start early and fix a nice, balanced meal
  2. I sit the girls down at the table
  3. I clean up and scold the two year old for throwing the food when she decides it’s “icky”
  4. I fix a slightly less healthy meal
  5. I sit them back at the table
  6. I clean the next mess up as the two year old (who has ate a few bites from each meal) makes yet another mess
  7. I cave in and feed them what they want- despite it being what I deem as healthy
  8. I clean the last mess up and finally release them from the table
  9. I bang my head against the wall repeatedly while doing the fourth or fifth load of dishes of the day and silently scream because I don’t understand how I ended up with such picky and light eaters.
Posted on Leave a comment

How to Raise A Life Long Learner

Fostering a strong love of reading and learning starts before you even give birth. It’s known that baby can hear you talk before they’re even born, so reading to them while you’re still pregnant gives them the comfort of hearing your voice and their first stories. As children reach toddlerhood, it will get more challenging. As a baby, you’re able to sit them down on your lap and read full books. When they get older, they start to flip pages and yank the book out of your hand. It’s important to continue reading to them

From day one, babies are fascinated by life in general. Everything they see is brand new. It may seem mundane to us, since we see those objects all the time, but to an infant, it’s all brand new and needs to be explored. From the youngest age, infants start exploring by putting objects in their mouths. As they get older, the way they learn changes and as they learn to talk they will start asking questions about everything. The best way to encourage them to learn is to answer their questions, encourage exploration, take them out to show them different things and find fun ways to teach them about every day life. Silly songs, fun games, nursery rhymes and even good educational TV shows are all good ways to get your child interested. As they get older, there will be topics they are more interested in than others- make sure to take notice and gently push them towards gaining as much knowledge as they can on those 1-2 subjects. At a very young age, their brains are sponges. It’s the best time to teach them second (and even third) languages. Teach them multiple languages for basic words. Learning is great and it goes further than a classroom. Take young nature lovers on hikes, trails, to the park and to local landmarks. Take them on tours of various caves, caverns and other “field trips.” Make sure they know that life is an adventure, it’s a constant learning experience.

No matter how crazy an interest seems to you, or how mundane, build it up. If they are interested in the strange, paranormal or mystical help them make a collage to show different mythical beasts. There are books about cryptozoology creatures (some of whom have been proven to have actually existed). Take them on a hike through the woods. Take pictures of some of the bugs, reptiles, animals and plants- then go home and print the pictures. Look up any you don’t recognize and create a collage or a small book and have older kids write the names and descriptions. You could even let your child make a presentation on the solar system if they’re interested in space. Remember, the skies the limit with what they can do and the more you encourage, the more interest they will build with exploring and the more they can start to think creatively.

 

I have spent the last 30 years fascinated by life. If I could, I would happily live in school. I love everything about it. From the time I was four, I started reading. By first grade, I was reading at an advanced reading level and was reading everything I could get my hands on. I was that child getting in trouble for reading during class and reading ahead of the class. My friends and I did more than play “house.” We played ghost hunters, we set “traps” to catch evidence of animals (I remember setting up some string, dirt and a carrot to “catch” a rabbit), we played investigators- there was never a dull moment when my friends and I got together. Even now, I write all the time. As a child, I had a huge folder filled with poetry and now I have a whole virtual folder with fantasy drafts. My mom fostered a true love of learning in me and I developed the creative side of my brain naturally. I see it in both my kids now. My seven year old loves reading, books and nature. My two year old is already a story teller with a very strong imagination. We take them to the library weekly- last year, my seven year old won a giant stuffed Macie Mouse with a book.

Tips to Instill a Constant Love of Learning and Natural Curiosity

  • By far, the worst thing you can do is silence your child. By silencing your child when they ask (what may seem like endless) questions, you are teaching them to blindly accept and not look further. You need to be able to explain to best of your knowledge (and to their developmental ability).
  • If you don’t know, give them the resources to look the answer up themselves. If they ask you “why” and you don’t know why, look it up with them. Don’t just dismiss their questioning.
  • Make sure they have an endless supply of books- all different topics to read at any point and never get mad at them for wanting to read. If you don’t have the budget to buy every book, take them to the library regularly and let them research all interesting topics on Google.
  • Begin very early by reading daily to your child- even when your toddler grabs the book out of your hand, try to finish by making up the rest of the story.
  • Take them out on nature hikes, through the woods, to playgrounds and parks and just out in the back yard
  • Take up small hobbies to teach them about the world around them- making up little stories or songs, photography, even researching can be a fulfilling hobby.
  • Teach them to craft- there are sewing machines made specifically for children, teach them to knit or crochet, make jewelry, teach them to cook or bake then help them make up their own recipes- there are tons of options to inspire creativity and the more they find enjoyable, the more they will love to learn.
  • In good weather, take lots of pictures then look up everything you took pictures of and read as much as you can about everything.
  • The best way to teach them, is by example. Let them see you studying, researching, writing or doing other hobbies or crafts. Let them help you in the kitchen. Show them how much fun learning and creating is.
  • Start them young by reading and singing to them daily and as they get older, have them join in and have them to read to you or make games out of making up the silliest song.
  • Make sure they go to school on time and have all the supplies they need. Even though school is only one way of learning, it is still vital- they are there most of the day during the school year.

Teenagers are a bit trickier. They are often pushed for perfection- perfect grades, athletic abilities or test scores. By high school, school starts to feel like work. The best way you can keep encouraging is by not putting a lot of pressure on them for perfect grades. If their test scores aren’t 100s, don’t stress them same with athletics- if they don’t make the winning shot for their team, don’t get mad. Remember, life is a teaching experience. They are most likely on a sports team because they love the sport, in musical theater because they love performing- not because they are trying to be perfect and seeking perfection is the number one way to burn out.

What Can I Do Today?

One of the first things you can do, is turn off all electronics for a set time daily and go out and play. Even your own electronics- go and play pretend with your toddler, go on a hike with your elementary aged child. Collect costumes and create a costume closet so when your kids play pretend, they can ake believe in costume as well. It doesn’t matter how small or how big it is, get out and start encouraging your child. Show them new ways of doing things (if you can’t think of anything, research it first).

 

Sit down tonight and write your kids’ names out. Under their names, write what they’re good at, their strengths and weaknesses and what their interests are. Then look at all the interests and list five different ways to encourage those interests, build up the strengths and either strengthen or hide the weaknesses. After you have those figured out, start introducing those to your kids in fun ways. Above all, remember to make learning an adventure and life fun.