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Archive for the ‘ Parenting ’ Category

The number one goal of every parent is to keep their children safe. That involves identifying the potential threats that lie not only outside the confines of your home, but inside as well. The following tips will help make your home a safer place for your children:

Install a home security system

Every home should have a home security system, particularly ones with small children. Many home security providers offer around-the-clock monitoring for a pretty decent price. Check out www.homessecurity.com to see how you can take advantage of an ADT Monitored Home Security System for around $9 per week.

Keep medicines/dangerous household chemicals out of reach

More than 60,000 children visit the emergency room every year due to accidental medication poisoning. If you have young kids, you should be extra vigilant about stowing away medications and any other potentially toxic household chemicals. This includes antifreeze, paint thinner and ammonia-based cleaning products.

Instill smart safety habits

As a parent, the day will inevitably come where you won’t always be there to look over your son or daughter’s shoulder. It’s never too early to start teaching them how to recognize and respond to potentially dangerous situations. Encourage young children to always avoid talking to strangers, and set boundaries about where they can go, who they can see and what they can do. Tell them to always use the “buddy system” and to trust their instincts. These are habits that they will not only carry with them for the rest of their lives, but also pass along to their children one day.

Secure windows and blinds

Every year, approximately eight children age 5 and under die from falling out windows in the U.S., and more than 3,000 are injured, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Fortunately, such accidents can easily be prevented by installing safety netting on all your windows. It’s also a good idea to purchase window blind cord wraps, which cost no more than a few bucks at your local Wal-Mart. This way, you can safety stow blind cords – a strangulation hazard – out of the reach of curious children.

Keep the kitchen safe

The kitchen can be a minefield of hazards for young children. Make sure to use a stove guard to prevent your child from suffering scalds or burns from touching a hot stovetop. Store all electronic appliances out of reach, and make sure there are no flammable objects, such as curtains, oven mitts and towels, near the stove. Finally, never leave a young child or burning stove unattended in the kitchen.

Hide yo 10 year olds….

Seriously.

10 year olds.

I HAD NO IDEA IT ALL STARTS IN 5TH GRADE.

He likes her, but she like’s a different boy, but his friend said he heard that she told her other friend that she did like him…

UGH.

I get a text from a sweet friend, “Did you hear about the conversation the kids had today?” (kids being her super smart, driven, sweet son and my daughter)

I respond “Oh crap. NO”

She says “call me…”

IT IS HAPPENING.

He likes her as more than a friend, she likes him too but also thinks she likes someone else but doesn’t really know what it even means to “like” someone. But apparently, being appointed as Queen Hula Hooper of the girls team in their “Hula Hooping Club” is a big deal.

Ya, it makes no sense to me either. But if you try to listen to the explanation of a 10 year old, that’s about how the conversation goes.

So, after the incredibly awkward ‘who likes who’ conversation and the repeated “YOU KNOW YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO HAVE A BOYFRIEND” chat, we settle into our post school/homework and evening schedule. The kids have a bit of down time before we have to run to a meeting and they choose to play Xbox for a bit.

Well, I am guessing that being smart, cute and witty is a pretty big plus in the 10yo girl world BUT, adding Halo player just makes the boys go crazy.

C. R. A. Z. Y.

My kids (10 & 8) get on Xbox Live, (only allowed to play Live with our good friends/neighbors) and start playing with a friend. Well, that friend happened to have 3 other 10yo boys from school over.

I was listening to all the silly chatter and giggling, yes, from the boys and it was HILARIOUS. The audio was working but they couldn’t hear us, so all we were hearing was them “I can’t hear her. She’s not there. Maybe she can’t hear us. Is she there? Should we call her? Maybe she is calling us?”

After the technical difficulties were worked out…I hear the battling of questions regarding the game…

‘Why did you kill me? Who has the sword? Who is the juggernaut? No, that’s me, don’t kill me…’

After a while, the boys had to stop playing. Shortly after that, the doorbell rings. 2 of those boys wanted to ‘say hi’.

I answer the door.

CUTEST BOYS EVER in their football gear. “Hi, is Lexi here”

Lexi: “Hi”

Boys: “Hi”

Lexi: Silence

Boys: Silence

Me: “So, you on your way to football practice?”

Boys: “ya”

Me: “awesome”

Boys: “ya, we just wanted to say hi”

Lexi: “Hi”

Silence….all around

Me: “Well, nice to see you boys, have fun at football”

Boy: “ok, bye”

As they are walking off the porch, one boy giggles to the other saying “I didn’t know what to say”

See the top right window? Can you picture the fairy tale conversations taking place at night?

Now….where should we put the 10ft tall prison style barbed wire fence?

Hide Yo 10 Year Olds!

 

Kid Night – Take 2!

Our second attempt at Kid Night was a HUGE success! Tonight Brayden chose everything from the pre-meal beverages to the dessert which included a shot of whip cream directly into mouths.

The Beverage: Pink Lemonade mixed with 7-Up
The meal: Dungeness Crab with Broccoli and a side of Clam Chowder
Dessert: Your choice – Coke Float or Banana Split each featuring whip cream

He is a 7 year old who knows what he wants. In this case, he wanted individual crabs for each of us, but I chose the more affordable route, and we each had half a crab.

The clam chowder was our only flop. Not because he messed it up, because it tasted terrible! It was out of a package…I should have known better…

Shortly after this moment he regretted his decision…but only for a few minutes. Cleaning crab is GROSS. They smell bad, they have lots of insides that we don’t eat, which means heavy cleaning. N. A. S. T. Y.

At this point he was asking if I would kindly help him with the disgusting part. I did. He’s only 7. I gagged.

Delish!

Now…the good stuff….

Whip cream is really the most important part of any meal.

My kids are super excited about this new tradition. They feel so important. I am trying to not be a complete control freak. They need this. I can’t wait for the day when I don’t have to be in the kitchen at all. I can tell that won’t be too far in the future!

Next Monday….Lexi’s back in the kitchen. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with.

New Trial: One night a week is Kid Night

I ran into a friend at the grocery store yesterday. Both of us were gathering a few items for dinner. She makes a comment about being exhausted and ready to go home and sit on the couch. She then proceeded to tell me that every week they have Family Dinner Night in which one of their children (ranging from 6th grade to 3 years old) picks WHAT they will have for dinner AND MAKES IT. The only child she has to be in the kitchen with is the 3 year old, but she did tell me that the 3 year old knows EXACTLY what ingredients go into the spaghetti and will keep her on track. She said it works so well with her three kids because they are creative. One might not be too daring in the dinner department but dessert is his specialty. She said her middle son is a fabulous baker, so he is daring and creative with the main course.

I have had my kids make their own pizza’s, meaning, I make the dough, they sprinkle their toppings on… but I have never given them the power to decide and then create the entire meal themselves. What a way to boost their knowledge in the kitchen as well as training them in sooo many ways!

I am so excited to start this tradition in my own home.

Tonight is Lexi’s night. Lexi just turned 10. She is our oldest and is in the 4th grade.

She picked Chicken Quesadilla’s served with a dollop of sour cream and for dessert she chose homemade donuts from her new donut maker with a homemade maple glaze.

SUCCESS!

Dinner and dessert was EXCELLENT. Lexi was proud.

Next week: Brayden’s night. He is so excited and can’t stop throwing his ideas around. He’s mentioned chicken, broccoli, noodles tossed with butter…but his main course….CRAB.

Oh boy….

I need an ATM in my hallway…or closet

I had to go to the store today.

Seems I am ALWAYS at the store. But this time there was absolutely NOTHING that I needed at the store. I just needed cash back.

I couldn’t just go to an ATM. Those things only spit out $20′s.

I walked up and down the aisles. I found strawberries. Everyone loves strawberries.

Then I found some wide egg noodles. Those are versatile little buggers…they can be a side dish, they can become part of a main dish…I could probably even figure out how to make them into a dessert. Versatile.

I think I grabbed one more miscellaneous item.

That’ll do.

All I needed was a $5 bill.

I failed miserably the night before. All day today I have tried to avoid making eye contact.

These dang kids won’t stop LOSING their dang teeth.

We are absolutely without a doubt the WORST tooth fairies on the PLANET. <~ The story linked there, ya, that one was written BEFORE we actually left a ‘left-over’ Walmart gift card under a pillow….having no idea what the value was, it was all we had and neither of us were willing to drive to the gas station to get a $5 bill.

 

I ALWAYS dread when hubs goes out of town. I’m not the kinda girl who needs space or alone time.

Hubs went out of town this weekend.

Then daughter was invited to a sleep-over.

It was just me and the boy. So I decided it was DATE NIGHT. Just me and my handsome (though lacking a few teeth) 7 year old boy. We don’t do this often enough, but then again, too often would make it not as special…I don’t know what is the perfect amount here….

Anyhow, I tell him I am taking him to the movies. We are going to get popcorn, soda AND candy! He was insistent to bring his OWN money to buy his candy. So I let him! He was excited. Then I ask him where we should eat dinner before we go see our movie. He says “Mary’s Pizza Shack” which is one of MY favorite places.

That’s what kind of boy he is.

We had an amazing time. Just us. We giggled, ate, watched Dolphin Tale, and laughed…and then…he fell asleep during the movie.

The next morning we had a lot to do. I had a mini retreat, so he was going to hang out with a friend that day. I got up and jumped in the shower. When I got out I heard a noise upstairs…

He had gotten up, came downstairs, heard I was in the shower and went back upstairs and took a shower. ON HIS OWN. This may not seem like a BIG deal to you, but WHAT!?!?!?! Without arguing, forcing, begging, pleading, demanding….. totally on his own!

My heart MELTED!

Then we went to Starbucks. We giggled a lot more. We needed this alone time.

He also had a soccer game that day, that I had to miss. That breaks my heart. He scored 2 goals. He played well. But I missed it. ;o(

I heart this kid!

 

Saturday early evening rolled around and Brayden was invited to hang out with his cousins for a few hours. Then it was just me and my 9 year old girl. Guess what……DATE NIGHT!

I asked my girl what she wanted to do. Gave her a few options. She mulled around a bit with a few of the ideas….then I had a brilliant idea. I offered to rent any movie she wanted on iTunes and go to the store to make her any meal she wanted.

She squealed YES with much excitement! She loves to be home!

We jump in the car to go to the grocery store. I ask her what she wanted me to make for dinner. If you have paid much attention to my high maintenance kids, you would have guessed her answer.

“SUSHI!”

I said sure. We got all our ingredients (just for california rolls – as I have yet to find sushi grade fish here) and head home. We turned on Pandora, danced around the kitchen and made sushi!

She loved every minute of it. She even headed over to the computer every once in a while to add different stations to my Pandora shuffle that was playing! It was GREAT.

Then we rented Mars Needs Moms, sat in front of the TV and ate our sushi. I also made an Egg Drop soup to go with our sushi. It was delish.

A priceless evening that we needed.

A priceless weekend that we all needed.

 

Sunday morning we all woke up happy and refreshed. We layer around until it was time to get ready for church.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love Sundays. I like to play dress up.

That was my weekend in a nutshell.

And it was good.

Her Reaction!

My heart melted!

This is my girl. Her surprise when she got home from camp. A new room!

A Room Fit for a Princess…A SURPRISE!

My girl.

She’s my first baby. She’s 9 years old. For the majority of the last 7 years, she has shared a room with her little brother (7 years old) because we have had family members living with us.

She is a patient girl. RARELY complains.

Since we moved into this home in Northern California a year ago, we promised to eventually build a wall to split the huge bedroom that her and her brother share. The other large bedroom upstairs was used by my parents while my dad was fighting cancer.

Once my dad passed away and my mom moved back to Florida, we turned their room into our spare room/office.

Well….a couple of weeks ago, hubs had a brilliant idea. Why not turn that huge room into her princess suite. She totally deserves it. We can then eventually split the other room into son’s room and the office/spare room. It’s a win/win.

So, we shipped our baby girl off to Mt Meadows Summer Bible Camp for 5 days and we are working like mad to create this ‘room fit for a princess’.

I’M

SOOOOO

EXCITED!!!!!!!

Another view of my mad flower skillz…..

At approximately 11:30am, she will be home from camp. We will make up some excuse for her to go up to her room. She will see she no longer has a bed the room she normally sleeps in. We will have a camera set up in her new room to catch the reaction. She’s not a wildly emotional girl, so I don’t expect a big outward ‘freak out’…but I’m sure what we get will be amazing and totally worth it!

I love my Lexi-bug and I just know she is going to love her new diggs!

I can’t wait!!

HUGE THANK YOU to Aaron Picton and Nicolle Larkin for spending EVERY night here for the last week helping us. You two made this project happen!!

 

 

Mom’s, Puppies & Lemonade….

They gave me Mother’s Day. The newbie blogger. *I secretly think they are trying to sabotage me.* BUT WAIT….MAYBE, just maybe, they were being really smart because most people are doing special spoily kinda stuff on Mother’s Day like getting pedicures and going to brunch…not sitting in front of a computer reading stuff…. Right?…don’t all mom’s go to brunch on Mother’s Day? So, maybe Christine & Nadia were the brilliant gals who thought…”hmmm…let’s give the new girl the day where everyone is busy….” *Maybe they are NOT actually trying to sabotage me!!*

Well then, now that I feel much less pressure…let’s move on! This post is about puppies. Not really, but my son, whom just turned 7 informed me that ALL GIRLS like puppies! And I figure mostly girls are going to read this.

There! (I have no idea about protocol from stealing pics from the internet, so click here for the link to where I found this pic) I probably shouldn’t be allowed to have my own website. I am bound to break a law or 12.

It’s ok, you can click the back button and go back to something more interesting. I don’t blame you.

I almost forgot!

Happy Mother’s Day!

I didn’t want kids. For YEARS. Ask Jenny on The Spot, she’ll tell ya! Kids scared the EVERYTHING out of me! They are little and leaky as babies and then they start talking back and running away from you.

I thought I would be fine with a cat. But that honeymoon period only lasted a bit, and then it started to gross me out. So I threw her away.

Guess one kid couldn’t hurt. Ok, 2 kids, but THAT’S it. He wanted a bakers dozen.

Not from me dude. Find yourself a sister-wife or something if you want any more than 2.

I wanted a girl kid REALLY bad. I was into dance & gymnastics as a kid, so I wanted a girl to live vicariously through her…. just kidding…. (gosh, tough crowd)

I got my girl! She was born on Christmas Eve in 2001.

And then….a couple years later, this happened.

One girl, one boy. Done! Perfect!

I was done for a few different reasons.

  • I only have 2 hands. Figure 1 kid on each hand, if I had a 3rd kid….how in the heck would I hold his/her’s hand in a parking lot?
  • Twins are EVERYWHERE in my family and hubs family. Wasn’t risking going from 2 to 4….
  • In reality, I actually already had 3 kids at this point…cuz let’s face it, the husband is just another kid, albeit taller and the bacon bringer home’r

Those were/are my reasons…so don’t think I’m all judgy about people who have more kids! Those people are UH-MAZING, I just couldn’t do it!

Shortly after having these kids, I realized just how much POWER I have!

I also realized as a mom I was pretty strict. My kids will eat what we eat at all meals, they will be kind and respectful and fun. I say NO a lot. I might not even let them finish their sentence and I have already said NO. I know….I am a MEAN mom. Jerk. Its ok, I am. But, I am really trying to get better. I still don’t allow play-doh, but thats what hubby is for, they do all those things that I say NO to when I’m not around!

Lexi is 9 and a half and Brayden just turned 7. They ROCK my world.

Lexi is ridiculously smart and FUNNY…..SO FUNNY, she has this dry quick witted humor that often leaves my jaw-dropped.

Brayden is sweet, smart and athletic. I am told by every mom who works in the class (I’m the bad mom who rarely EVER helps in the class) that Brayden is the most thoughtful boy they have ever met! That makes my heart melt.

These kids deserve a way better mom! So, for them, I am trying to be better! The fun mom who sometimes actually says yes.

So, the other day, they asked a HUGE question. I said YES and I WISH I could have gotten a picture of their faces, to be honest, Lexi already started her rebuttal before she realized I actually said YES.

I let them set up a lemonade stand at the end of the driveway.

It….was…..a…..HUGE………..SUCCESS!!!!!

In many ways, they had TONS of customers (they made $20 and sold each cup for a quarter…so ya, figure that out!)

That day, they thought I was the ABSOLUTE BEST MOM ON THE PLANET!!

I totally won that day!

I wish this post had some deep rooted point, but it really doesn’t. I always tell people I don’t really do ‘mommy blogging’ because I don’t think I’m a great mom. First of all, I am certainly NOT old enough to be a mom (I’m still 25, right?) & I certainly don’t feel even remotely mature enough to be a mom (just ask ANY of my nieces or nephews…) BUT, I have amazing kids. Like I said earlier, they deserve better. And since I am not willing to give them away, I better do what I can to be that better mom!

So, Happy Mother’s Day to all the AMAZING moms out there and ALSO to all the moms like me who are just trying to keep their kids fed and dressed and even occasionally brush their hair before they get on the school bus (OH MY GOSH, is that why some of you moms homeschool?). Anyhooo….we deserve props too!

******

I was approached last month to be a part of the May Mom Blog Hop put together by Christine & Nadia. Thank you ladies for this invite, I was incredibly excited and overwhelmed….and will TOTALLY understand if you cross me off your list for next time! ;o)

Each day a new blog post is written, see the previous posts below:
Moments of Motherhood by Nadia
Respect, Appreciation and Love by Christine
May Mom Blog by Crystal
Motherhood: Includes… by Dana
An Ode to Angelina Jean by Wendy
No One Ever Told Me by Kimberly
The Sisterhood by Corinne

Tomorrow’s post will be from Jana at The Bees Knees so make sure you check it out!

Pig Quiz – How I am defined by a PIG!

I am at a work retreat. In Salt Lake City. Our company is spread all over the US, so we try to get together once a year to learn what everyone in the company is working on and what their specific job entails. We have a few “trainers”. They are AMAZING! They teach, train and CHANGE the world in the corrections industry.

One of the trainers stood up today and said “Get a blank piece of paper, a pen and draw a pig”.  That was our only instruction.

Ooooh, fun! Well, it was until she says “ok, are you done?” after about 36 seconds.

Ya….I had PLENTY of time to draw a pig made of AWESOME.       NOT.

Here is what we got with my VERY limited time.

Well….APPARENTLY this little drawing completely defines me.  Normally I would totally argue that thought…. IRONIC…..

Here is what this says about me:

I drew him at the TOP of the paper therefore I am POSITIVE & OPTIMISTIC.
I drew him in the MIDDLE of the paper therefore I am a REALIST.
I drew him FACING LEFT therefore I am DIRECT, ENJOY PLAYING THE DEVILS ADVOCATE & NEVER FEAR OR AVOID DISCUSSIONS.
I drew him with DETAILS therefore I am ANALYTICAL, CAUTIOUS & DISTRUSTFUL.
I drew him with 4 LEGS showing therefore I am SECURE, STUBBORN & STICK TO MY IDEAS.
The size of his EARS indicates I am a GOOD LISTENER.
The size of the tail indicates something a bit more PERSONAL (…..quality of my sex life……)

So, turns out I can’t argue too much with that little exercise.  It was BRILLIANT.

The reason behind this exercise that applies in our field of work is called responsivity, which is the treatment of people based on their characteristics, not always based on their crime.

I think that ABSOLUTELY applies to my entire life in general, but ESPECIALLY in parenting!