I hope all of my lovely readers having been staying happy, moderately sane, and most of all healthy.
I am happy to announce that after battling a long term cold that went through our entire household I am back to doing what I love, giving you something to read.
Today I want to get into some guilt I’m having towards the virtual world, and how much it is influencing my house hold and life.
I’m sure I’m not the only that remembers being younger and having a parent scold you for being on a game, watching too much T.V, or being on AOL or Yahoo messenger for too long (and hogging the dial up).
While a huge part of me doesn’t want to sound like my mother, my kids are on the internet way too much and I feel guilty about it.
I have written about getting kids off of the electronics a few times, and usually it works, but my guilt is a double edged sword.
I don’t want my kids on electronics as much because with growing up I was taught of all of the negative effects of being on it for prolonged amounts of time, but at the same time it’s the only interaction that they are able to have with their peers.
I chose to do virtual schooling for my children and when they are in live meets with the “classroom” it is basically the teacher does her job and the kids listen and follow.
There is no Lunches with classmates.
There is no recess.
There is no “goofing around or being social butterflies”
There is and hour break that usually disbands the zoom meeting and comes back together after the kids eat.
This pretty much leaves my kids feeling like they have no friends and me feeling like I’m at the mercy of whatever the hottest multiplayer game is so that my kids get some kind of human interaction.
Like, are we just in a world now where it truly is age of AI?
Is this the new norm for humanity, video calls and headsets?
Or maybe the pandemic is finally getting to me.
Whatever the case maybe I simply can not wait to have my kids back in sports, going to grab ice cream with friends, or just going to the zoo or park and being able to socialize with people their own age again.
If you are a first time mom then you are going to experience so many firsts, and it’s such a huge part of your life I can almost guarantee one thing will skip your mind, the hospital stay itself.
If you are a bit more seasoned momma then you know that the hospital stay has some discomforts that are more than actually bringing your baby into the world.
You probably have heard that it is nice to have a comfy pillow from home, but it’s more than a homesick comfort item.
I dreaded the hospital bed. The one in delivery was horrible and made my bum fall asleep and if you had an epidural (I still felt this annoying pain) or if your water broke, and you’re not moving around as much, then you doing whatever you can to get some relief for your tail bone.
I would place the body pillow behind me folded up and sit on the 2 or 3 hospital pillows. This honestly made the stay so much more comfortable each time, bonus is that it gives your arm a nice prop when feeding baby.
Most hospitals will give you a cup with a straw and its a nice size and all, but having one that doesn’t have the “hospital smell” is even better.
Not only that (and maybe I’m just weird) but trying to navigate a straw to drink in between pokes, prods, and some times pushing was adding an annoyance that could have been avoided.
Easy solution is go with what you know. If you work out or just drink water on a regular basis then use what you would in the same situation. I mean this is one of the biggest “work outs” of your life (see what I did there?).
This is one that I don’t see on most lists but it is my swear by.
After you have your baby, no matter how you had them, you have a large fluid shift and when you have that fluid shift it has to go somewhere…
You will be using the bathroom a lot, and you will sweat even more.
A personal fan like the one you would put on a work desk helped with this wonders, yes they keep the hospital on the cooler end but it still only helped so much…also a breeze is well welcomed when you can see out side but can’t be outside just yet.
I know this one seems like something you wouldn’t forget but I have and my hubby has all of the brand new baby photos that I wish I had right away. Not only that but labor doesn’t always go to plan and let’s face it phone are everything. Pictures, entertainment while waiting for an induction to get things rolling, music to play while you are rolling on a ball and so much more. You’ll want your phone, so buy and pack up the extra charger.
Need I really explain this one? Nothing tight but they feel better than fishnet undies and hold the mega pads in place a bit better.
So it is the beginning of August which would mean getting school supplies, meeting teachers, and getting the kids back into the swing of waking up and going to bed earlier.
This year is a tad bit different
School supplies are still including a lot of the usual but a bit more being that this year will be at home (all distractions included) and the teacher will be wanting a glass of wine by noon.
I am seeing the their are growing options for school this year, in my state (if you go through public school) you can have the kids in school 2 days out of the week or going the virtual route. As you probably guessed from above, decided that going virtual was the right choice for us.
If any other parents are in the same boat and are thinking with dripping sarcasm “Well this is going to be swell!” I hear you and trying to look at this with silver lining like I get to spend more time with my babies and enrich their lives in way that I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.
The hard part now is all of the little extras that I didn’t really have to think about before. Like headphones so that they can hear their teachers and not each other, an actually space in my house that has limited distractions, note pads and pencils, and a slew of websites showing me why the hell this new math is a thing and why haven’t we all just accepted that calculators take a fraction of the time (Don’t get me wrong I know WHY we need to know how to do math, but it feels like the way it is being taught now is not only harder but takes twice the time of when I learned it in school.)
As I become a teaching assistant for a 1st, 3rd, and 6th grader full time while also trying to juggle a toddler and infant I can see my blog becoming a “How Not to Lose Your Mind” type of deal.
We all got this and will continue to grow and thrive with our ever changing world.
ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) can drive even the most patient parent up a wall, but it doesn’t have to.
My 7-year-old has taught me the beauty of deep breathing and counting to 10 on more than one occasion and in retrospect, I wouldn’t have him any other way. When he was younger his doctor told me about a range of medications to help him and I decided I would consider medication later down the line. I would like to put in here quickly that I have no problem with medications if you or your child needs them, you have to make the best choice for your family and I fully support. I also have ADHD and was treated at different times with Concerta and Adderall, both causing me to do better in school but came with side effects that I don’t want him to experience if he doesn’t have to.
A large thing that has helped my son is playing a highly active sport such as soccer this has been altered these days due to social distancing but a game of tag with his siblings seems to work just as well. There are countless other benefits of sports a large one being the release of cortisol ( the stress hormone that can only be released via tears or sweat) on a day that may be on the stressful side for him.
High Energy Pet
You may have read my Best Dogs for Kids post and saw that I own a wonderful husky, while the breed didn’t make that particular list… They are GREAT pets for someone who is high energy because they can keep up and some time out- do their loved ones. We also have a Savannah kitten who can play for hours and keeps my son entertained. (because he is cute so darn cute)
Keeping a Routine
One trick that I have noticed works for not only my son but for myself and other people I have spoken to that have ADHD is that a routine is optimal. Knowing what to expect and when just kind of makes transitioning from one task to the next easier to manage and keeping it at certain times only boosts it. A routine helps us kind of go into an “auto-pilot” on some tasks that we would usually get distracted from.
Here’s something else that I used once I hit my teens and use with my son to help him with memory in school. Associate learning materials with colors or do equations in bright colors, it seems like it would be more of a distraction but it helps focus on the material in front of you by keeping it more entertaining.
Examples of this are that I personally will do my drafts and highlight different portions in different colors. For my son we do math problems in his favorite colors.
Those are the tricks that I use to help curb my ADHD as well as for my son, of course always talk with your doctor and come up with a plan that works for you and your family.
Simple enough question, the thing to keep in mind is that each dog has its own unique personality. They have likes along with dislikes, some have a rough past that could make them more nervous around children or people in general, and some are little puppies that still need training to not playfully nip. Then you have the dogs that have grown up with a family and for some reason or another couldn’t remain with them and you never have any difficulties with.
It depends on not only the breed but the dog himself.
Another thing to consider when choosing your family pet is your child’s or children’s ages and personalities.
Are the younger and prone to being knocked over easily? Would they need a dog that is very tolerant and doesn’t mind a ton of attention? Are they very active or more interested in lounging around (We have a Husky who is great for my son with ADHD but is a bit too active for my toddler, and a bit too loud for my newborn to want much to do with).
A third consideration is what kind of space do you have?
Do you have a large yard where your new fur friend can run around freely and get as much exercise as he may need? If you don’t have a yard then maybe a smaller or more “potato-couch” dog (ever see a bulldog want to run for more than a few minutes? Me either.) is better suited for your lifestyle. Also, do you own your home and willing to make repairs if need be, or are you a renter and need to clear it with your landlord prior?
I’m just going to go ahead and get this beauty out of the way because I’m sure every “Great Dog for Kids” list has a golden retriever on it and for good reason.
This breed is EXCELLENT with children and has a gentle demeanor to them. While gentle they typically are not big fans of barking, this combo makes them a good go to even if you have smaller children at home. This paired with the fact that this breed was originally intended to retrieve birds and waterfowl while hunting, means that they can play fetch all day.
A downfall to the breed is that if you are looking for a pup that will also be protective then this is not the breed for you, they are exceptionally friendly and odds are an intruder would be welcomed with a wagging tail and the hope of a belly rub.
Another potential short coming for the breed is the health issues they may develop. Retrievers are prone to hip displacement, cancer, and heart disease. If kept healthy the average life span is about 10 to 12 years.
The pug is an adorable squish faced smiling fiend who could steal anyone’s heart. While the breed can be both stubborn and charming, one thing is for certain is that they LOVE to play. These dogs ancestors were also bread to be people persons (people dogs?) and can be seen in art dating back centuries and are said to be rooted back to 400 B.C. so the love of their families is in their blood.
Pugs do tend to live to be about 12 to 15 years old if cared for properly, however, due to their flat muzzle they are very likely to develop respiratory infections and have a loud snore. Pugs also gain weight very easily and to combat even more health problems should be kept at a normal BMI. I would like to note that these cuties also can have a bit of separation anxiety which can lead to household damage if left alone for too long.
Pit Bull Terrier
There are many versions of what is considered a “pit bull” and the name is a rather umbrella term. While this breed has a tough reputation, it is being turned around.
At one point the pit-bull was considered a “nanny dog” due to their affection towards their families, their sheer goofiness, and almost need of making their loved one happy and their high pain tolerance (so they could handle an accidental ear tug). The breed is also typically a cheery one and even tends to look as if he is smiling.
A con to the pit-bull is that they are a very muscular dog which means that they could knock over a child when running about or playing. This breed is also intelligent and needs jobs to do so that they don’t get bored and decide to eat your couch (first-hand experience). The love a pit has for his family is also very strong, so if you do not intent to second him as a guard dog then you want to be sure to socialize him with other people, cats, and dogs from an early age. The breeds life span varies from 8 to 15 years.
The boxer is known as the clown of the dog world. They live for about 10 – 12 years and are fairly playful for the duration of their lifetime. The breed is a gentle giant that has the energy to keep up with the most active children and can enjoy a movie night on the couch with them as well. Boxers also serve well as a home protector if one was needed.
Boxers are fairly high maintenance when it comes to their climate due to their short fur, crappy for cold weather, and short muzzle sucks for hot humid weather. The breed does have a hunting background so he is probably more suitable for a family with children about 12 and up and benefits from firmer training so as not to try and hunt everything. Lastly, unless you have been a fan of the recently popular slime, you will have to invest in some drool towels…a lot of them.
This breed started had its beginning in the 1980s and has been gaining popularity since. The breed is fairly sturdy against health issues due to being newer and a mix of two breeds, but are prone to blindness. They were bred to not have aggression (again I would like to make the point that all dogs are different) are joyful, playful, energetic, and eager to please. Another massive plus is that they are hypo-allergenic and great for kids with allergies if this is the case be sure to ask the breeder if your future pup is an F3 generation as an F1 (Labrador and poodle mixed) may still shed.
Due to this being a “new breed” they may be refined and quiet like their poodle side or they could be rowdy like the lab, so there really is no typical temperament unless its the similarities of the two breeds they are composed of.
There you have it the picks that other moms have raved about and their reasons why.
Again there are so many things to consider before bringing your fur baby home and each one has his or her own personality. With love, training, and a good home then you’ll have odds of an amazing dog.
“I want to get my kids off the video games for a bit and with the corona numbers rising again I feel limited. What are some summer activities you suggest that can be done mostly at home?”
Summer is definitely different this year, but that just gives us a bit more reasons to get creative.
You never indicated the ages of your children and that can make or break ideas, I mean you’d have to be doing some interesting stuff to get a teenager off of Fortnite. As a matter of fact my sister and her boyfriend took their kids shooting and taught them gun safety ( I’m not suggesting that but their kids were outside).
For my younger children I like to break out the puffy paint.
It’s so easy to put together just add some food coloring to shaving cream for shades that can be just a tint, pastel, or vibrant. I also give my children paper and paint brush ( we all just wind up using our fingers).
This does engage the youngest kids the most but my 7 & 8 year old sons have played with the paint as well ( mostly throwing it at each other but again it got them outside)
Be sure that it is a mild or hypo-allergenic shaving cream and keep a close eye on little ones so that don’t try and eat it or possibly get it in their eyes.
Home Made Ice Cream
You Scream..I Scream…We All Scream (from the news broadcasts) FOR ICE CREAM!
There are so many different ways you can make homemade Ice cream. With my teenager a cold plate seems the most ideal and we have as much fun doing the set up as we do making the ice cream.
For the cold plate you can get an electric one that looks like a hot plate or griddle but larger or you can do what we do and make one yourself!
The setup for the DIY cold plate is
1 Large baking pan ( large sheet cake pan)
5 lbs Dry Ice*
Vodka* (This isn’t going into the Ice Cream)
Cast Iron Skillet or a Cookie Sheet
*The Dry Ice and Vodka combo is optimal however if need be you can sub it for Ice and Salt.
Place the first towel on your table to help protect your table for any potential frost damage. Then you will want to place the cake pan on top of the towel and place your dry ice inside of it. At this time you will want to place your second towel over the dry ice (and tuck it underneath like your putting a fitted sheet on it but with a towel) wet the towel that is covering the dry ice with the vodka to make it extra cold.
*If you are using regular Ice then fill the baking pan with the ice and add the salt then cover with the second towel if you wish.
At this point you want to place your cast iron skillet or cookie sheet atop the baking sheet filled with dry ice and there you have your DIY cold plate.
Now all you need to do is place some heavy cream and condensed milk mixed at a 1:1 ratio onto your cold plate and add your favorite ingredients (mine is strawberries and dark chocolate bits) and use two spatulas to mix everything in as it freezes.
This has pretty much been our staple this year.
Get some water balloons, squirt guns, maybe a small pool and just have at it. You’ll stay cool and there will be many laughs from the kids. If you start to lose then grab the garden hose and get to spraying.
Play with Fire
Fireworks are just not happening this year, but depending on your state (check your local laws) and common sense (don’t be the family that shoots roman candles into a tree) you could still have fun with some and put on a fairly impressive (Even if its just making patterns and writing your name with sparklers). Grab some sparklers, roman candles, bottle rockets and fire crackers and give the kids an at home show.
If fireworks aren’t your thing then maybe a fire pit. You could do the traditional hot dogs then make yummy s’mores or tell stories (my favorite are the “back in my day ones”).
There are so many more things you can do.
Different forms of art
Fun Exercises (My kids can’t get enough of hoping on the trampoline)
Cooking new foods (We learned how to make Onigiri and I see it becoming a staple dinner)
Hopefully some of these ideas are helpful and hopefully you and yours stay safe, happy, and healthy.
Bubs had his first (well second if you count when he was born) round of shots, two shots in the right leg and one in the left. Poor guy also had an oral vaccine that he was not very happy about at all.
The thing about Bubs is that he is the quietest of my babies so far, I think I’ve heard him cry only a handful of times and that is usually after a few warning whines from him, so hearing him cry during the injections and after is utterly heart wrenching. As a mom you don’t like having your baby in pain and not too much you can do about it, then there is the guilt ( Yes I know a little needle is better than him getting Polio or some other crap card) of knowing I’m the one who took him to see the good doctor and the cause of the pain indirectly.
So what to do with my horribly upset tiny human?
I turn to the “5 S’s”
The S’s that are documented and that I LOVE are
Side or Stomach
The 5 S’s were published in the Journal of Pediatrics to help sooth a baby following injections and the hope is that the five methods alone or used in combination will help the tiny ones have comfort and reduce anxiety.
For Swaddling it seems simple enough, go ahead and get baby in a tight bind so that you are mimicking being in the womb, what better feeling for them than being cozy and warm with a nice side of mumzie smell?
SIDE or STOMACH
Side or stomach holding is another high comfort hold (please for obvious reasons don’t swaddle and have baby on his stomach or side). Something I wish I had known with my oldest kiddo is that babies who experience colic episodes even benefit from this hold.
Now I would like to assume that any sound that your little one may like would work, my 3 month old happens to like clicking sounds (and this is half of the sounds I use because it works and it gives the neighbors another reason to think I am 100% mental). The idea behind the “shush” is that it mimics the sounds from when he was on the inside listening to the rhythm of your heart.
Swinging once again brings the comforts of the first home that the tiny human has ever had, if he enjoys being in a infant swing of sorts then by all means hook him up, if he rather having some cuddles the method I prefer is the side hold while doing my shushing and clicking.
Hand, Thumb, Bottle, Breast, or Pacifier.
It doesn’t really matter much, babies sucking reflex is incredibly calming to them and studies have proven that the action lowers blood pressure, heart rate, and stress levels very quickly.
Those are my go to’s for when my little ones have vaccinations and if you have a fever that comes about then give a ring to your child’s doctor to see if maybe she will suggest Tylenol (which also helps with the pain).
I don’t know why but Fathers Day has always been a big deal for me, and I’m not even the dad.
When I was little it was great getting up and making my dad breakfast in bed and then spending the day watching “The Terminator” and then “Lord of the Rings” when that came out (we love Master Baggins). To be followed by helping my mom make what ever he chose for dinner. Another plus was that we would have cake and ice cream (his birthday is June 19th so it was fathers day B-day combo. NICE). I still love cooking my dad a birthday/ fathers day dinner to this day.
Now I get to do the same for my husband! Except now of course I’m the mom and have the kiddos helping me and we’re playing video games instead of movies (Mario Racing rocks!) There is something about seeing my kids light up and wanting everything just right like I did as a kid.
Whether it’s a yummy meal, a special outing, gifts, or time well spent together it’s great memories made that will last a life time.
My 13 year old has recently told me that she does not like boys, and that when she thinks about being married it’s to another girl. At first I thought it was a stage but I don’t want her to think I’m being closed minded. How do I navigate having a possibly gay child?
First things first: Congratulations!
You are a very lucky mom to have your child feel comfortable enough to talk to you about this as she is feeling it, there are so many kids that are uncomfortable talking about needing anything (much less questioning who they ideally would like to spend the rest of their lives with.)
LEARN, LISTEN, LOVE.
Learn: I can not stress this enough because not only is she a teenager and going through changes, but she is very well will be going them differently than you did (due to asking the question I assume youre straight). Join a parents group on facebook, read up some, network with parents on what they had done and their outcomes good or bad, if you have any friends who may also be apart of the LBGQT+ community ask them what their parents did or could have done.
Listen: You’re even more of an example now so as much as she may want to talk, listen. Listen to what she tells you even if it seems trivial so that way she knows that she always had her mom in her corner and always will. Even though there may be a screaming match or two in her teen years (She’s gay not immune to hormones) she will eventually grow into a woman who should be with someone who loves and listens to her as much as her mom.
Love:This feels like a given but just in case LOVE HER TO BITS. I know at 13 they are closer to wanting their independence than anything. Being a kid is hard enough, being a kid that may feel different then everyone else is down right scary.
This month I am launching my Mom to Mom series which is taking questions asked by moms and answered by either myself or mom that have the experience to answer the questions submitted.
I would like to add that this will be more like girlfriends talking together over a glass of wine (or tequila if that’s your thing). Whatever may be written is nothing more than personal experiences and outcome and in no way replicate or replace someone such as a counselor. Here’s to moms helping moms.