Five Things to teach your child

There are so many things, as parents, we want our kids to know before they start school. I’ve stressed over whether or not AH knows her colors, letters, numbers, etc.

But now, being a teacher, I have a new perspective.

So I’ve come up with a list of things I want AH to know before she starts kindergarten.

Top 5 Things to teach your child before starting kindergarten:

5. Boogers are not an afternoon snack. Or breakfast. Or any other time of day snack. For the most part AH doesn’t but I have caught her on occasion taste testing. (Gag.)

4. Wash your hands…don’t wipe them on your clothes. This is obvious in terms of keeping germ spreading to a minimum. But what I didn’t think of, as a parent, is how much gets on kids’ hands while at school. Paint, glue, markers, etc. All can get on clothes and ruin them if hands are wiped instead of washed.

3. Private parts are private. This is self explanatory. However, if your kid is like mine and prefers to hang out in his/her undies all day, you might want to ensure your child knows that home is the only place they can lounge like that.

2. How to tie their own shoes. If I had a quarter for every time I tied shoelaces during day, I might double my salary. This is going to be a challenge for AH. Mainly because most of her shoes don’t even have laces.

And the number one thing to teach your child before they go to kindergarten…
*drum roll*

1. Bathroom Do’s & Don’ts – For instance: Don’t potty anywhere but the toilet (aka don’t write your name on the wall with urine). Do pull your pants up before exiting the bathroom (see number 3). And Do wipe yourself. If you don’t teach your child to take care of this on their own, trust me, they will ask teacher to do it for them. And when the teacher kindly declines, they may even ask to call you to come do it for them. True story.

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Brought to you by the letter F in the AtoZ Challenge.

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Eggs are gone…finally

It’s now nearly a week since Easter and I’ve finally put away the plastic eggs(we reuse them) and tossed the rest of the candy (AH doesn’t need it and I can’t taste it anyway). However, she did ask me where it all went. I told her we had to put it all away to get ready for next year. I think she was under the impression that her Easter loot would be a permanent fixture in our home. She wanted to hide the eggs again.

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Brought I you by the letter E in the AtoZ Challenge.

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Cheetos and Coffee

When you’re an adult and you are set to have your tonsils out, you hear all sorts of things about what to expect.

Pain.
A liquid diet.
Minimum two weeks healing time.
Pain.
Lots of sleep.
Scabby throat (Yes, this. Gross!).
Pain.
Swelling.

Oh, did I mention pain?

My recovery was awful. I mean, BAD.
I was in lots of pain (understatement), starving and the pain meds made me nauseous. I can’t think of many things worse than having an incredible urge to puke while you have massive open wounds in your throat.

I expected to be completely miserable (Note: The level of actual pain far surpasses that of the rumored pain you hear about prior to surgery).

What I didn’t expect is to lose my sense of taste.

It’s not like its completely gone, but for the most part, everything tastes really different.
There is a faint lingering taste of metal in my mouth half the time and the majority of food flavors are dulled.

After about a month of this, I did what any normal person would do. I googled it. Because that’s where you go when you want to find the most reliable and accurate medical information (sarcasm). Apparently, this loss of taste is not unusual. There have been cases where people completely and permanently lose their sense of taste (what?!!). For the most part, the consensus of what I read is that it is temporary (whew.).

There are some foods that I can taste fully, like salad, coffee, butter & Cheetos. You know, the major food groups.

Hopefully, by Thanksgiving my taste buds will be back to normal. If not, I’ll be the one bringing my own meal of coffee and Cheetos to the family feast.
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Letter C for the AtoZ Challenge

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B is for Baseball Season

Here in the coastal region of Texas, Spring is in full force.

The increasing temperatures.
The seasonal allergies.
The humidity.

But with all that, Spring time brings with it Baseball Season.

The smell of peanuts and popcorn.
The crack of a wooden bat against leather and cork.
The roar of the crowd.

And for the first time in a few years, Spring also means little league baseball. JD used to play, but its been a while, so I was excited when we signed AH up to play tee ball.

It’s adorable seeing all the little ones in their uniforms running around. AH is so tiny that a youth small jersey and a youth extra-extra small pair of pants still swallow her. Not to mention her cap that still hangs in her eyes after tightening the back all the way.

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It’s fun to watch her face light up when she hits the ball off the tee. It’s even more fun to watch her (after being told, “Run! Run!”) dart forward, across the pitcher’s mound, and run directly to second base. Who needs first base anyway?

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It’s going to be a very entertaining season.

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Happy blogging,
Adrian

Photo a Day August: 1, 2, 3

I’ve tried doing daily photo challenges before but didn’t have much success…until now. I’m participating in Fat Mum Slim’s Photo A Day August Challenge and I think I’ll actually be able to complete this one. The list is pretty basic so it will give some room for creativity and at the same time be easy enough to fulfill.

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It’s now day 3 of the challenge, so, yes, I’m late getting started. If you’re reading my blog for the first time, (welcome!) you should know I never start anything on time.

Day 1: Outside

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Day 2: One

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Day 3: Coin

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Happy Friday,
Adrian

Z is for Zealous Covers: Am I Mom enough? Time, please…

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Like many others who’ve seen the latest cover of Time Magazine, I got a little fired up about it.

But not for the reasons you may think.

You see, the picture isn’t what bothered me. Sure, its an awkward image (I’ve never known a mom who stands her children on chairs to nurse them) and I’m sure that poor guy is really going to catch crap about this picture once he’s in high school. But what got under my skin was the cover line, “Are You Mom Enough?”

Obviously, this, paired with a photo of a mother standing while nursing her 3 year old son (who stands on a chair to reach her breast), is meant to make you question your “enough-ness” as a mother and prompt you to buy the magazine to determine just how “enough” you are or aren’t. As though Time Magazine has the answer to what is “Mom Enough.”

This cover also brings attention to two parenting hot topics of late–breastfeeding in public (what’s more public than a photo on a major magazine cover?) and extended breastfeeding (the kid is almost 4).

To both of these topics I say, “Who cares? Aren’t there bigger issues in this world? ”

I am fine with breastfeeding in public. I’ve done it. There were a few times when I hadn’t pumped a bottle before having to leave the house. My kid got hungry, so I fed her. It’s a natural thing. There was nothing sensational about it. Nothing exposed that her head didn’t cover up. I do find it a bit ridiculous that some would suggest I feed her in the bathroom, but that’s another blog post.

And as far as extended breast feeding (nursing beyond the 1st year), technically, I’ve done that, too. This is not to say I would feel comfortable breastfeeding a 4 year old, I wouldn’t. I nursed AH until she was a little over 13 months old. She self weaned and I went with it because I felt if she was ready, I was okay with that. I might’ve continued until she was as old as 2 if she still wanted to nurse. Honestly, I’m not sure if I would’ve been comfortable beyond that; probably not, but it’s not for me to say it’s wrong for others.

The major issue with this cover, in my opinion, is the fact that it perpetuates the problem of moms being overcritical of other moms for their parenting decisions.

It’s like this cover is saying,”This is what ‘Mom Enough’ looks like.”

What about the moms who aren’t comfortable nursing an older child?
What about the moms who aren’t comfortable breastfeeding in public?
What about the moms who aren’t comfortable with breastfeeding at all?
What about breast cancer survivors or adoptive moms who may not be able to breastfeed?

This cover would suggest that those moms are less than enough because they don’t do what this woman on the cover is doing. And that, quite frankly, is complete and total crap.

As a mother you’re constantly called to question your parenting decisions and whether or not your parenting style is good enough. There are so many things up for debate on what “good parenting” is, most of which aren’t right or wrong, but rather a matter of preference or circumstance.

Breast vs. Bottle
Crib sleeping vs. Co-Sleeping
Working Mom vs. Stay at Home Mom
Pacifier vs. No Pacifier (and what age to take it away)
Spanking vs. Time Outs
Public School vs. Home School

The list goes on and on. Everyone’s got an opinion and that’s fine. But moms need to be more supportive, or at the very least, more respectful of other moms’ decisions. You don’t see dads out there saying, “Dude, your kid still has a pacifier?! You’re screwing him up, big time.”

As a mother, the decisions I make on motherhood are based on what I feel is best for my children and my family. That being said, those decisions don’t make me any better or worse of a mother, even though my methods may differ from yours. I’m not an advocate for or against Attachment Parenting or any other “parenting method.” I’m an advocate for finding what works for you as a mom and having confidence in that.

So, for every mother who unconditionally loves her children and does the very best she can to provide a loving, stable home in which they can grow to be honest, caring, confident human beings…rock on, sister.

You ARE mom enough.

Happy Mother’s Day

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This concludes the Blogging From A to Z Challenge April 2012. THANK YOU FOR READING!

Happy Blogging,

Adrian

Y is for You’ve gotta see this

A couple weeks ago, when I was trying to plan AH’s third birthday party, I wanted to get her something fun to wear for the festivities.

In my panic to get all the invites sent, party favors made, decorations finished and plan the snacks, I completely neglected to get her an outfit.

Thankfully, my sister thought to mention it to our family friend, Rita, owner of Just Too Cute online shop.

My sister told her about the Candyland party we were having and she came up with an adorable rainbow skirt and tutu with matching bows for AH to wear. Thankfully, my sister picked up a coordinating shirt and, tah dah, a birthday outfit is born!

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Pretty adorable, right?

This is the second outfit we’ve gotten from Just Too Cute and both times I’ve been really please with not only the cuteness but the quality. These items weren’t just thrown together. Each was carefully hand crafted and/or sewn with attention to detail, right down to the tags she puts on them(Hello? There is even a tag for washing instructions!).

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And durable. Her clothes are made to look sweet and dainty but they’ll hold up to the toddler test. AH can be tough on her clothes but she has a pillowcase dress Rita made for her about a year ago and it still intact and looks great. The fabrics she uses are great quality and neither outfit has faded.

Another great thing about this online boutique is that she doesn’t just do clothes. She also does coordinating accessories and jewelry. Seriously, this chick is talented.

I have a couple favorites in addition to the outfits/bows we already have. The Jessie from Toy Story inspired ruffle bottom and pinafore are so precious and could even double as a Halloween costume. And the black and white shabby chic romper is another favorite.

Needless to say, I am a very big fan of this Etsy clothing artist. I believe in her product and her business and felt it unfair to keep this little gem to myself. Her creations definitely live up to the name, Just Too Cute and thanks to my sister and Rita, AH was exactly that.

**NOTE: All opinions expressed in this review are my own and I received no monetary compensation for writing this. .

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I’m participating in the Blogging From A to Z Challenge April 2012. Go check it out–you may find a new favorite blog!

Happy Blogging,

Adrian

X is for Xanadu

In anticipation of the post for the letter X, all week long I tried to think of something to write about. The first thing I could think of that started with X is Xanadu.

Yep, an Olivia Newton John song.
That’s all I got.

But it did get me thinking. What the heck is a Xanadu anyway?

Well, I looked it up, and apparently, Xanadu means “a place of great beauty, luxury, and contentment.”

That sounds amazing. It makes me think of sitting on a white sandy beach, watching my kids play and listening the waves crash against the shore. And I’m sure somewhere in the picture is a fruity adult beverage and a massage.

My week at work was even more insane than the last and I could have totally used a little time in the lap of luxury.

So, as it turns out, Xanadu is perfectly fitting for last week.

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I’m participating in the Blogging From A to Z Challenge April 2012. Go check it out–you may find a new favorite blog!

Happy Blogging,

Adrian

W is for Want me to What?! But I don’t do that…

Outside of praying with my kids at the dinner table or at bed time, I don’t pray out loud. At least not with other people around. Partly because my conversations with God are a very personal thing and I don’t want to call attention to myself. And partly because I feel like I sound less than adequate when I pray out loud. It’s like I imagine the people listening to me pray would be thinking, “Wow. She totally doesn’t know how to pray right,” or “Um, yeah, I’m pretty sure Jesus wouldn’t have said it like that.”

However, there are times when instead of talking to God, we hear Him speak to us. Sometimes it’s a whisper and other times it comes through loud and clear. Dont get me wrong, it’s not like suddenly the clouds part and Morgan Freeman’s voice starts echoing in your mind. It’s that voice inside you that sounds a lot like your own and tells you right from wrong.

A few weeks ago, toward the beginning of this challenge, I blogged about my Good Friday nail salon experience. What I didn’t write about was what happened after I got out of the pedicure chair.

I’ll start from the beginning. If you read “F is for Friday, Finally” then you know I almost left the nail salon when I found out about the wait. But during my 30 minute wait, I was approached by a very beautiful older lady. She was very well put together and her makeup was flawless. She was someone you would assume had it all together by looking at her; not a problem in the world.

She sat next to me as I toyed with my iPhone. She told me she accidentally left her phone at home and asked if she could use mine to call her daughter. I, of course, said yes. She didn’t reach anyone so she asked to make a second call to her husband so he wouldn’t be concerned if he couldn’t reach her on her cell. Again, I gave her my phone to use.

After her call to her husband, she asked for my advice on nail color. We talked about the party she was going to and what she was going to wear. When we were done picking her color, it was my turn to hop in the massage chair and we parted ways.

But not for long.

When my toes were drying, she approached me again and requested one more phone call. She dialed her husband, this time her face looked a little concerned as she got off the phone.

As she handed me the phone back, she said, “Oh, I think I woke him from his nap…he’s going through chemo right now.”

And then I heard Him.
“Pray,” He said.

I thought, “Yes. right, pray for them. Got it.”
So I asked her his name so I could pray for him and she told me his name. To which I said, “I will be praying for y’all.” She thanked me and walked away to her manicure station.

And then it went like this…

God: “No. Don’t pray for her. Pray with her.”

Me: “Wait, what?! Ohhh, no, I can’t do that. I don’t pray out loud. With people–strangers–In the middle of nail salons.”

God: “Pray with her.”

In my arrogance, I found myself negotiating with God, giving myself a way out of it, as if there’s any bossing the Maker of the Universe.

Me: “Ok, If she’s still here when I’m done. Then I’ll pray with her,” (she was still there).
Then it was, ” Ok, if we make eye contact when I’m leaving. Then I’ll pray with her,” (we didn’t).

Whew, I thought I was off the hook. But then there was a line at the register, so I waited. Then the credit card machine froze up, and I waited.

I thought, “Fine. I’ll do it.”

I told the lady at the cash register I’d be right back and walked over, kneeled down, and said, “You’re probably going to think I’m nuts, but can I pray with you?”

She smiled and welcomed the idea. So, I prayed with her. I don’t remember exactly the words I used; they didn’t seem like mine.

I thanked her for allowing me to pray with her, she thanked me in return and we said goodbye.

And when I walked back up to the cash register, my receipt and a pen were sitting on the counter waiting for me as if to say, “There. Now you can go.”

I went back and forth over whether or not I should publish this post. If there’s anything I want you to get from reading this, it isn’t that I prayed with a stranger in public. Because it isn’t about me. I hope reading this reminds you that even people who seem like they have it all together still need prayers. I hope this post encourages you to pray with/for a stranger who needs it and, most of all, I hope it encourages you to listen to God’s voice. It’s always there, we just have to listen.

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I’m participating in the Blogging From A to Z Challenge April 2012. Go check it out–you may find a new favorite blog!

Happy Blogging,

Adrian

V is for Voila! Pacifier be gone!

Ever since she was an infant, when AH wasn’t eating, she was either sucking her thumb or a pacifier. I was never surprised by this because we had ultrasound pictures of her sucking her thumb. She preferred her thumb to a pacifier, hands down, so eventually we encouraged the pacifier anytime she would suck her thumb. We figured it would be easier to take a pacifier away than it would be to remove her thumbs.

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Our encouragement worked and by the time she was a year old she no longer sucked her thumb. However, it was obvious that getting the pacifier away from her was going to be a challenge.

AH genuinely loved her “bibi” and so did we. Without it, she wouldn’t sleep through the night so who were we to argue with a full night’s sleep?

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When AH was a little less than two, we stopped letting her have a pacifier all day and she only got it when she slept. I didn’t really mind her having it, but i was worried that the longer we waited to take it away, the harder it would be. The Husband insisted she “was still a baby” and was less insistent on her giving it up.

He and I agreed that on her third birthday, we would take it away. So I tried to think of ways to have her give it up on her own and be happy about it. There were a few things I considered; giving it to Santa, leaving it for The Bibi Fairy, sending it to new babies who need them. I chose to have her put it inside a “Bibi Bear.” Months prior to her birthday, we began talking to her about turning three and how that meant she would trade her pacifier for a Bibi Bear.

Well…yesterday, my little baby, AH, turned three years old.
And so the time had come.

On Sunday, LD and I took AH to Build-A-Bear Workshop to pick out her Bibi bear. I was a little worried about how this would go. I thought, for sure, that AH would suddenly change her mind. And there I’d be, in the middle of Build-a-Bear, forced to buy a bear that she wouldn’t put her pacifier in.

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LD helped to keep AH excited and took her around the store showing her all the animals and outfits.
To my surprise, it went off without a hitch.

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That is, until bedtime.

Once it was time to go to sleep, she cried and cried for her pacifier and ended up in bed with The Husband and me. Night number two, same thing, but not quite as many tears. I began to question why we even took it away in the first place.

Thankfully, tonight (night number three), was a breeze. Our bedtime routine went smoothly and I put her in her bed. She put herself to sleep after singing a song or two and talking to Daisy, her Rabbit that holds her pacifiers in its tummy.

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I’m participating in the Blogging From A to Z Challenge April 2012. Go check it out–you may find a new favorite blog!

Happy Blogging,

Adrian