Friday, October 29, 2010

The Talking Back Sydrome/ Getting the Chores Done

If there is anything in the world that makes me want to send one of my kids on a trip across the room, it's talking back. Just one simple request can turn into an hour long debate...which is longer than it would have taken to get the job done. And it DRIVES.ME.CRAZY!

Here is an example:

Me: Hey, Lucas, can you help me by cleaning up this room real quick? It should only take you five minutes.

Lucas: Can you just ask the other kids to do it? They were the ones that made the mess.

Me: Right, they probably were, but I asked you to clean it up.

Lucas: That's not fair. I was just sitting here. I didn't make this mess.

BLA BLA BLA excuses excuses excuses...it goes on and on and on.

I have learned to use some tricks to avoid these debates, and I gotta tell you: From 3 years old (maybe even two) all the way up to (almost) 11 years old, these tactics work far better than asking children to do something on the fly. Understand that these ideas work for me, because I have several children to split the responsibilities between - if you only have one child, well...you'll probably have less chores for them (and more chores for you).

barriere-estates.com
A Raffle

Get the basket out and write a chore down on pieces of paper. Put those pieces of paper with the chores on them into the basket and let the children "win" them, like a lottery. They each get to draw a chore. I am always surprised at how well this goes over.




A Weekly Chore Chart

conceptdraw.com
Create a weekly or daily chore chart on a white board or a large piece of paper. Display it on the fridge or somewhere where everyone will see it. Each week, I trade off who is in charge of which part of the house, that way no one gets stuck doing the same room/area over and over again.

These are the two examples that work well for me...what do you do to avoid the talking-back syndrome?

By the way, as an addendum of sorts, I wrote another blog post called Chore Chart for Large Families. It has been working for me for many months now! I think, if used in a similar way and on a smaller scale, it could work well for smaller families, too.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What Music Are Your Kids Listening To?


I'm one of those mainstream moms who likes to listen to the newest jams on the radio. I remember when I was a teenager, trying to keep the "parental discretion" lyrics playing on my little personal radio in my bedroom at a lower level so my parents couldn't hear them. A couple of times, I got caught with cassette tapes (yes, cassette tapes, remember those?) that were a big no-no in my parent's house.

jukon.net
Guns and Roses, Too Live Crew, 2PAC, and hmmm...there were definitely some others that I wasn't supposed to have in my possession. Some were confiscated and others...well, let's just say that I hid them well.

Do you actually listen to the lyrics that your children are singing along to? The other day, I was driving in the (mommy) van, listening to some beats, when an unfamiliar song started playing. I didn't get too far into the song before I started thinking, "Are you serious?"

I heard:

"I could dream of ways to see you
I could close my eyes to dream
I could fantasize about you
Tell the world what I believe
But whenever I'm not with you
It's so hard for me to see
I need to see a picture of you
A special picture just for me, yeah

So take a dirty picture for me

Take a dirty picture
Just take a dirty picture for me
Take a dirty picture
Just send the dirty picture to me
Send the dirty picture
Just send the dirty picture to me
Send the dirty picture

Snap.

Uh.

Whenever you are gone, I just wanna be wit ya

Please don't get me wrong, I just wanna see a picture

Take a dirty picture for me

Take a dirty picture
Take a dirty picture for me
Take a dirty picture

Whenever you are gone, I just wanna be wit ya

Please don't get me wrong, I just wanna see your picture

Take a dirty picture for me

Take a dirty picture
Take a dirty picture for me
Take a dirty picture

The dream of ways to see you

I could close my eyes to dream
Fantasize about this with you
But the way is never seen
"

The lyrics by Taio Cruz are repeated over and over...um, do they actually call that a song? This is playing on the same radio stations that my children - and your children - are listening to.

How about this one by Kesha:

"Maybe I need some rehab,
Or maybe just need some sleep
I've got a sick obsession,
I'm seeing it in my dreams

I'm looking down every alley,

I'm making those desperate calls
Im staying up all night hoping,
Hit my head against the walls

What you've got boy is hard to find

Think about it all about it all the time
I'm all strung up my heart is fried
I just cant get you off my mind

Because your love, your love, your love, is my drug

Your love your love your love
I said your love, your love, your love, is my drug
Your love your love your love

Won't listen to any advice, mamma's telling me to think twice

But left to my own devices i'm addicted its a crisis!

My friends think I've gone crazy, my judgment is getting kinda hazy

My status is gonna be affected if I keep it up like a love sick crackhead
"

And Katy Perry:


"You think I'm pretty
Without any make-up on
You think I'm funny
When I tell the puch line wrong
I know you get me
So I'll let my walls come down, down

Before you met me

I was a wreck
But things were kinda heavy
You brought me to life
Now every February
You'll be my valentine, valentine

Let's go all the way tonight

No regrets, just love
We can dance until we die
You and I
We'll be young forever

You make me

Feel like
I'm living a Teenage Dream
The way you turn me on
I can't sleep
Let's runaway
And don't ever look back
Don't ever look back

My heart stops

When you look at me
Just one touch
Now baby I believe
This is real
So take a chance
And don't ever look back
Don't ever look back

We drove to Cali

And got drunk on the beach
Got a motel and
Built a fort out of sheets
I finally found you
My missing puzzle piece
I'm complete

Let's go all the way tonight
" (you probably know the rest - they play this song a million times an hour)

And, these are just the songs that are played over and over and over again on the radio. There's even worse.

Jeremiah sings a birthday ballod:

"It's your birthday so I know
you want to riiide out,
Even if we only go to myyy house
Sip mo- weezy as we sit upon myyy couch
Feels good, but I know you want to
cryyy out
You say you want passion
I think you found it
Get ready for action
Don't be astounded
We switchin' positions
You feel surrounded
Just tell me where you want
your gift, girl
 

{Chorus}

Girl you know I-I-I
Girl you know I-I-I
I've been feelin'
Wake up in the late night...dreamin' about your lovin'
Girl you know I-I-I
Girl you know I-I-I
Don't need candles or cake
just need your body to make

Birthday sex
Birthday sex
"

Here's the problem...I will be driving along to some destination with the children and, of course, with six children, rides to anyplace are always hectic. All of a sudden, I will catch lyrics that my children are singing and wonder if I need to change the station. The problem is: they already know the lyrics, so how does changing the station fix anything? Of course, let me tell you, if that Taio Cruz song came on, I would definitely change the station. Not just because of the lyrics, but also because it doesn't even sound good sounds like crap.

Kids are hearing this music on the radio at friend's houses, the mall, rollerskating rinks, and anywhere else that plays music that is streamed on the radio. I remember, back when I was a teenager, you wouldn't hear anything like that on the radio. You have to buy the cassette tape to "be able" to hear the unedited version of the lyrics. Music stores sold two different copies of the album: The edited and the unedited or "uncut" (a.k.a. censored) versions and you had to be 18 to purchase the unedited version. Remember that?

There's no limit now, I guess. Are we supposed to ban our kids from listening to the radio? Even if the lyrics aren't explicit, there are underlying meanings that my children don't quite understand (yet), but it's just a matter of time before they do get the gist, and then what?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things...

spartanburgspark.com
I'm constantly checking out other blogs to see what other moms are going through, feeling, participating in...etc. etc. While doing this, I come across blogs that I absolutely LOVE! So, because the season for giving is almost upon us, I wanted to spread some love (again) and share some blogs that I think you will enjoy...

A Mother's Hood - I had to laugh when I read the "Sex in the Country" (versus "Sex in the City), as I have lived both in the city and in the country , back and forth, in several different places up and down the east coast. But, this post is not about the sex...this is a great "read" blog - I love her style of writing.

Go Long! Go Green! I like this! An environmentally friendly mom blog. :) There are such great strides being taken to become more eco-friendly, which I think is wonderful, however we've got a long way to go. People are looking for the Greenest Christmas Trees and green decorations in a big way this holiday season...she holds giveaways and spreads the news about some cool stuff, too.

The Chosen Ones, a fairly new blog, has some great posts that not only made my mouth water (Mexican Lasagna) and smile (Some of God's greatest gifts are un-answered prayers). Pay her a trip and become one of the first followers!

One of my dearest friends, Chitra, has a blog geared toward people that want to make money from home. The Chitraparna Content Creations blog has some great tips for freelance writers - I hope she keeps it up!

The Inklings of Life is a great mixture of all types of posts (like Mommy Rantings, a whole bunch of thoughts, some advice and tips and a lot more). I love the design. It's definitely a must-visit kinda blog.

If you find any other blogs that you think I might be interested in, leave me a comment or send me an email.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Formula Recall

Uh oh! I received an email yesterday that announced that Abbott, the company that makes Similac formula, has recalled FIVE MILLION containers of their formula (not the liquid forms, just the powdered).

Why? Ew! Ew! Ew! They say that there is a possibility that they were contaminated with insects and insect larvae. How utterly disgusting, let alone embarrassing!

Get this:

"FDA understands that this kind of contamination is a great concern to parents and caregivers, especially in a product they rely on to nourish their infants," FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D. stated on the FDA website. "To date, FDA has not received any consumer reports of illness associated with the recalled formula."

Are you kidding me? Parents are greatly concerned? How about highly disgusted and unbelievably angry.

I am absolutely relieved that I don't have any children on formula.

For those of you that do use formula, I thought you would want to know about this...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I'll Be Sending Out Shutterfly Holiday Cards This Year!

Friends and family, Facebook me your address! I will be mailing out Shutterfly holiday cards this year! I have yet to choose which ones that I like the best, though. I'm a bit torn between the Family Wall Red, the Many Memories and the Peppermint Pink (see the examples below), because all three have room for more than one pic...and with the size of my family, I love that flexibility!

Family Wall Red
Many Memories


Peppermint Pink


Shutterfly makes it easy to create your own Christmas cards, holiday photo cards, or religious Christmas cards. You can also create Christmas party invitations and Christmas gift tags! And, for my Hispanic family members and followers, they also have tarjetas de Feliz Navidad.

There's nothing nicer than receiving a personalized holiday card with pics of the kids (or family)!Okay, I'm lying...send me some cold, hard cash or an all-expense paid vacation - but, if you can't do that, I'd love a card with a pic of the fam.

Shutterfly has an enormous selection of products to choose from. You can add your photos to calendars, photo books and many other photo implemented items that make perfect gifts. (Especially for Grandma and Grandpa and other family members...don't forget me!) Your holiday "shopping" could start and finish on the Shutterfly site this year.

Now, because I speak my mind - this is MY blog, in case you didn't know! - I do want to mention that Shutterfly could add a little more diversity on their website when it comes to the photos that they have on there. I'd like to see children like mine on there, with their beautiful caramel skin and their naturally curly hair...the world is changing and cultures and nationalities are mixing...companies should embrace that fact and show that they cater to everyone. (That's my rant for the day).

Don't forget to email or Facebook your address! I'm not rich, so I'm only sending out a limited number this year. First come, first serve. :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Here We Go...The Beginning of the Long Stretch of Holidays!

freakyweather.com
Yes, here they come! The "dreaded" holidays that send us mothers into a tornado-effect...it starts and then runs all the way, back-to-back until...well, Mother's Day, right? We finally get recognized after eight long months of "doing for others".

Does anyone else feel the same way I do? Dread...

My head literally starts spinning (beware - I might look like the exorcist) and the days seem to move even faster, just to spite me. There's never enough time in a day anyways and then we get slapped in the face with all of the commercials that entice our children and everything else that comes along with the holiday madness. Every three seconds, little voices call out, "I want that!" and when they don't get an immediate response, I hear: "Mooooooooom! I WANT THAT!"

As if I really care...a week from now, the whole list of wants will be different. (Okay, I care. I wish I could buy them everything their little hearts desire, but like most of you, I can't.)

The other day, I saw something on a commercial that enticed me...and just to be like the kids, I couldn't stop myself from calling out, "Oooo! I want that! I want that! Hey, did you see that? I want that!" My kids thought that was the funniest thing they had heard in ages!

Of course, what I really want is a long vacation to this little place called Le Taha, in Tahiti. I saw this place on The Bachelorette -yes, besides Desperate Housewives (the real one, not those "real" housewives of Atlanta junk shows), the Bachelorette happens to be my fave.

Give me a break, okay? Besides being a mother, I have to have some indulgences. Back to Taha...
www.expressionsholidays.co.uk
Do you see why I would love a quiet vacation there? Oh, to step outside in the morning and see nothing but turquoise water that goes on and on and on...

Yes, All I want for Christmas is a trip out to Taha. When I make it out there, I might just throw away the return trip tickets. Oops! :)

In the meantime, back to reality. I will take a deep breath and handle as much as possible each and every day and plan to enjoy what I can of the holidays. After all, I do practice counting my blessings and being thankful for the things that I do have. In the meantime, Mother's Day will come soon enough...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Last Minute Halloween Deals

If you're the last minute Halloween costume shopper, like me, this year and you don't plan to join in on the do-it-yourself costumes that everyone is raving about, you might be interested in saving a little money...who isn't deal-conscious this year? 

http://www.letitflow.com/casino/
CurrentCodes.com  is a free website that has a great list of promotional codes and discounts for thousands of stores. There is a section on there for those of you last minute Halloween shoppers that includes Halloween costumes and decorations (for that last minute party). According to the consumer reports that are being published on the upcoming spending trends for this year, people are looking to the online shopping experience. Here's the perfect opportunity to save some money will you beat the crowds by ordering on your computer. 

Don't wait too long, though...Halloween is right around the corner and then we will be thinking about the last minute Thanksgiving savings right? Don't forget the Christmas shopping, too. You may find some great coupon codes and discounts for your Christmas decorations and gifts for this year...Happy Shopping!

 Here are some of the codes that you will find at CurrentCodes.com:
 
·        CostumeDiscounters.com- Get free shipping on $60 or more with code FREE60
·         ExtremeHalloween.com- Save 10$ off $85 or more with code SCARY10(expires 10/20/10)
·         HalloweenMart.com- Save $10 off over $75 with code 10OFF
·         DisneyStore.com- Get free shipping on entire order when you buy a costume with code TREAT (expires 9/21/10)
·         Costume Kingdom- Save 10% off with code HALLOWEEN2010 (expires 11/1/10)
·         BuyCostumes.com- Save 10% of $40 or more with code vamp10 (Expires 10/31/10)
·         CelebrateExpress.com- Save 15% off $75 or more with code celebrate4 (expires 12/31/10)

A Mother Held Hostage

Do you ever feel like you are being held hostage as a parent? I mean this in the most loving way possible - if there is such a thing.

Let's say, for instance, I need to go to the store for a quick trip. I get my shoes on, grab my purse and keys, and almost immediately, I have at least two little people tugging on my legs and fussing at me. "Can I go, too?"

In the morning, I wake up to my alarm clock...roust up four children for school and a husband for work while juggling a one year old and a three year old. Once five people are gone, it's only down to two, however the two of them are top-notch at holding me hostage. Breakfast starts the day and then on to playtime and snack time quickly follows that. There is some computer time and some television time (all kid's games and shows) and some car time and Lego time mixed in there, then lunch. The afternoon is more playing and, before I know it, there are 4 kids coming home with work from school, some of which I need to fill out. We have snack time, get the homework done. Dinner comes quickly once homework is done...

Pick out clothes for tomorrow, get ready for bed...the complete day is over, and it seems that Mom had no time for herself. Where do my days go?

Where do I squish in time for Mommy? Going to the grocery store is the exciting getaway of the week. After I tear the hands from my pant legs and wiggle out the door, children fussing at me (I've been told that they are absolutely fine once I leave, but they always pull the same "Don't leave me" routine) I get to go to the grocery store to pick out all of the food that everyone else is going to eat. (Sometimes, I give in to the pleas and take one or more children with me.) So much fun.

Oh, yes, the day will come when I miss these days...for, it seems that I'm the most popular person in the house, however, on a daily basis, it seems that the handcuffs are on and I'm being held hostage every moment of the day...no "bathroom breaks" are allowed, as there is always a little one that needs to accompany me to the bathroom. A walk to the mailbox includes fully dressing up two little people...just to get the mail?

Am I the only mother that is held hostage by her children?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

4 Easy Halloween Decorations You Can Make with Your Kids: Guest Blog


(I received a surprise in my email yesterday! A new guest blogger who is excited to share more Halloween crafts and decorations for you to make with your kids. And, it's just in time...Halloween is right around the corner. Thank you so much, Gunter Jameson, for your contribution to Mommy Rantings...)

Everyone keeps complaining about how Christmas is over-commercialized now, but what about Halloween? It used to be that every kid would make all their own costume, and families would make decorations out of construction paper for the big night. Now it seems that few children make their costumes anymore, and all the decorations are store-bought, denying kids the fun of making their own decorations with the help of their parents. Well, let’s get back to basics. If you’re hankering for the old days of making decorations by hand, here are a few easy ideas to get you started.

Egg Carton Bats
http://www.allfreecrafts.com/halloween/bat.shtml
All you need is an empty egg carton, some scissors, paint, and some string and you’re set.
1)      Cut the egg carton in to four pieces, each piece containing 3 egg container sections—kind of like three-humped camels.
2)      Now, cut the two side carton pieces so they are like arches branching off the middle piece—these are the wings.
3)      Now you can paint the pieces black, or decorate them however you want.
4)      Finally, for added effect, attach a string to the top of the middle section and hang it from a doorway or the ceiling.

http://www.allfreecrafts.com/halloween/bat.shtml
5)      For more information visit: http://www.allfreecrafts.com/halloween/bat.shtml

Hanging Ghosts
Ghost are a staple of Halloween, and you can easily make some out of tissues or—for more lasting ghosts—pieces of white scrap cloth.
1)      Take a handful of tissue and wad it up into a tight ball.
2)      Place the tight ball in the middle of another tissue, or piece of white scrap cloth, and gather up the remaining ends, bunching them together with the ball trapped inside.
3)      Tie a string around the cloth or tissue to trap the ball inside then flip it over. The ball is now the head of the ghost and the cloth is the ghost’s dangly waving body.
4)      You can draw a face on the head of the ghost and hang it from the ceiling (or a tree) for maximum effect, like this:

Milk Jug Creatures
If you’re looking for something that will really let your children’s creativity go wild, gather up some old milk jugs.
1)      Turn the milk jugs up side down, with the flat side pointing toward you.
2)      Wrap construction paper or tissue paper around the jug.
3)      Use markets, pencils, glitter, and other decorations to make the scariest face you can think of on the front.
4)      You can hang the heads from trees or doorways, or simply stack them next to the pumpkins on your front porch for an eerie effect.

Paper Spider Webs
This one is like a magic trick and almost too hard to try and explain in words, but here is a great video illustrating how to make simple, cool spider webs out of paper. Once you’ve got your spider webs, you and your kids can decorate them however you want and hang them around the house.
 


Gunter Jameson writes about several topics including travel, minimalism and online classes.



Monday, October 18, 2010

Bedwetting Problems

I recently wrote a post on potty training, discussing the fact that children (or, toddlers, shall I say?) all learn and advance at their own pace when it comes to peeing on (or in?) the potty. No, I will not push my children to use the potty before they are ready...but I encourage them in a positive manner and let them learn at the rate that they are comfortable.  This has worked for me.


But, Life Is Not Perfect...

Unfortunately for us parents (and the poor kids involved), potty training goes far beyond the toddler stages...there are plenty of children that have issues with bedwetting, too. And, this can go on into teenage years...I haven't had to worry too much about this issue, even though I have 6 children. For the most part, once my kids were trained (and the potty training was absolutely not pushed or forced), bedwetting has only happened a few times in our family, and it was usually when a child was sick or it was a freak accident...(in case you were interested...)

http://www.goodnites.com/na/
If you're dealing with bedwetting issues, I can imagine that you are completely frustrated and pretty stressed out, and I don't blame you. However, staying calm, cool, and collected through the bedwetting episodes is going to help the situation out a lot. Yes, I know that you are disgusted with changing sheets and remaking the bed in the middle of the night. (I, personally, am not very good with this stuff...or blood, or anything else. Diaper changes are enough for me.)

I also can imagine that you'd like to get to the bottom of the issue and find a "fix". Getting up in the middle of the night is no fun in the first place, never mind having to console an upset child and clean up the mess. So, do you think yelling at your kid or punishing them is going to make things any better? I dare to wager a BIG "No" on that one.

My Embarrassing Story

I'll share a personal story with you: (Oh, my goodness, here I go...) I remember one night, waking up (I must have been about 10) in a very wet bed. I had just finished a dream, in which I was literally going to the bathroom. I must have thought that I was really in the bathroom, or maybe my subconscious mind knew that I needed to go. Either way, I wet my bed. I wasn't just wet...I was distraught and embarrassed. My mother was not very happy when I woke her, however she calmly (and groggily, through her sleepiness) helped me remove the wet bedsheets and my pajamas, put my bed back together and new pajamas on...nice and fresh. She told me it was okay and tucked me back in again. Okay, so now that my bedwetting story has been released for the world to read... 

http://www.goodnites.com/na/
I'm writing this post because I receive a ton of information in my email about all sorts of different offers that parents may be interested in and wanted to share this with whomever may need it. I am, in no way, getting reimbursed for this post (but, if GoodNights wants to reward me for it, I welcome it!)


GoodNights covers several different aspects of bedwetting on their website. They have bedwetting advice, facts, myths, and truths. They also offer a free sample to try out.

They also have an expert panel, including pediatricians, Dr. Wolffe Nadoolman and Dr. Jennifer Trachtenberg, that can be reached through the contact us page.

Look, it's hard enough being a parent when absolutely nothing goes wrong in life, your children are perfect and completely healthy. But, this is not the norm, as we all know. (We wouldn't have to search the Internet for answers to all of our problems if parenting was so easy, would we?)

If you are experiencing unusual bedwetting, head on over to the Goodnights website. Also, feel free to contact me...I may be able to help you find other resources to help you and your precious one through this. Whatever you are dealing with, it's more than likely more frustrating for your child than it is for you. Be patient, as hard as it may seem, give your child a hug and let them know that you will help them get through it...your loving support is half the battle.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Saying Goodbye to America's Mom: Barbara Billingsley

Anyone that visits Mommy Rantings knows that I admit that I'm not the perfect mother...However, the name "June Cleaver" and "perfect mother" seemed synonymous to anyone that watched (or was even fairly familiar with) Leave It To Beaver.

http://www.nndb.com/people/931/000022865/
Saturday morning, we said goodbye to the woman behind the perfect mother role, Barbara Billingsley, who died at the age of 94, after what People magazine states was a "long illness" (and with further investigation, I found out that it was a rheumatoid disease).  In her Santa Monica, California home, she found peace.

She left behind an amazing legacy...along with photos of her "playing" June Cleaver, that will probably forever strike our minds as the perfect mom. Cooking in the kitchen, always looking impeccable, and seeming so well-put-together.

I get a kick out of imagining what kind of a mother she would have been with six kids. Can you even fathom it? June Cleaver would have been the half-way sane mom...the barely hanging on mom...she would have been spinning around in circles in the kitchen and that hair...well, let's just say that it wouldn't have been so picture perfect all of the time.

Anyways, back to Barbara Billingsley...

Jerry Mathers, AKA the Beaver, was quoted, "Barbara was a patient advisor and teacher. She helped me along this challenging journey through life by showing me the importance of manners and respect for others. She will be missed by all of her family, friends, fans and, most especially, by me."


Tony Dow, AKA Wally (Beaver's older brother), told CNN, "She was as happy as a lark being recognized as America's mom. She had a terrific life and had a wonderful impact on everybody she knew, and even people she didn't know."

She left her mark on the world and lived a long and prosperous life. Her photos will ring out "perfect mother" for decades to come...

December 22, 1915 – October 16, 2010 

Rest in peace, Barbara Billingsley...you'll always be known as "America's Mom".

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Type 1 Diabetes Guest Blog

I am so excited to present the first official guest blog on Mommy Rantings...and, I have a good feeling that it won't be the last! I am also truly ecstatic that this guest blog contains some extremely informative dialogue about Type 1 Diabetes. So, the floor is open to Wendy Rose (thank you so much for your contribution!).

This is my oldest daughter.
Her blog name is “Sugar”.

I went into spontaneous labor at 36 weeks.  After a healthy labor and birth, her official birth weight was 6 lbs, 14 oz.

She was a champion at the breast from the get go….and went on to nurse for 2 years!
 

She was exclusively breastfed for 6 months before starting solids…which, by the way, I made from scratch once I did begin to introduce them.
 

In the first 2 years, she wasn’t ever given juice, sugary snacks, or cookies…well, except for a piece of her birthday cake for the token pictures!
 

Water has always been her drink of choice.
 

She was only exposed to whole grains, and she does not know what a slice of white bread tastes like.
 

By the age of 2, she was involved in tumbling classes, regular playgroups, and spent a great deal of time at our local park.
 

Sugar was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 24 months. (You can read her diagnosis story HERE.)
 

We do not have a history of diabetes in our family.
 

I did not have gestational diabetes during my pregnancy.
 

She will not “grow out of it”.
 

It was not caused by lack of physical activity or poor dietary choices.
 

Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the pancreas stops producing insulin.  It usually occurs in children, but can also be diagnosed during adulthood.
 

No one knows why the pancreas stops producing insulin.  A common theory is that the pancreas is attacked by a virus, such as the common cold or a tummy bug.
 

People with Type 1 Diabetes cannot control their blood sugar using diet and exercise alone.  Nor can they take a pill to manage their diabetes.  Type 1 Diabetes requires insulin by injection (either via syringe or an insulin pump) several times a day.
 

Type 1 Diabetes is a LIFE THREATENING condition.  Both low and high blood sugars can cause seizures, coma, or death if not treated promptly.
 

Insulin is not a cure.  Without insulin, Sugar will DIE.
 

Today Sugar is 7 years old.
 

She has had her fingers poked 30,000 (yes, that’s THIRTY THOUSAND) times.
 

For the first 18 months after her diagnosis, she received insulin injections 4 – 7 times a day.  That equates to roughly 3,000 shots.
 

She must have her insulin pump site changed every 2 – 3 days.  That equates to about 700 pump site changes.
 

Every day, 40 children or adults are diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.
 

95% of them do NOT have a family history of diabetes.
 

You should contact your doctor if you notice insatiable thirst, increased urination (saturating through diapers, constant runs to the bathroom, unusual bedwetting), increased hunger with weight loss or without significant weight gain.  Blurred vision, dry skin patches, mood swings, difficulty focusing, and frequent headaches are other signs of Type 1 Diabetes. 



Wendy Rose has been a Registered Nurse for 16 years.  After spending most of her career at the bedside in the Emergency Room, the Post Anesthesia Care Unit, and Labor & Delivery, she currently works from home as a Pediatric Telephone Triage Nurse.

Wendy’s oldest daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 2005, at the age of 24 months and Celiac Disease in 2008, at the age of 5 years.  Wendy herself was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2009.

Balancing the demands of her daughter’s blood sugar management while maintaining a gluten free lifestyle; on top of her role as wife and mother; in addition to maintaining her nursing career can be a challenge at times.  She documents her family’s journey at www.CandyHeartsBlog.com.

Wendy and her husband, Jason, have been married for almost 10 years.  They have three daughters, ages 7, 4 and 3.  Wendy also has a 13 year old step-daughter who does not live in their area, but visits once a year.  The family resides in the Sonoran Desert with their rescue dog, Ivy.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Thanksgiving Crafts For Kids - Ideas To Inspire Thanks


We all think about eating on Thanksgiving, right? Yummy yummy foods, snacks, desserts...and we usually stuff ourselves so much, we can barely move for three days. Is your mouth watering yet?

http://blogs.kqed.org/bayareabites/tag/gravy/
Even the next day, the food that looked so delectable turns into leftovers that aren't as tempting...

http://marryingthenavy.blogspot.com/2009_12_01_archive.htm
But, Thanksgiving is more than just stuffing our faces, right? It's about family and blessings and being thankful. It's about teaching our children the art of being thankful (however, I firmly believe that we should teach our kids to be thankful EVERY day of the year).

Thanksgiving crafts for kids are a great way to spend time with your kids while discussing the numerous things in life that you are thankful for, and those times never grow old (or go stale, like the leftovers).
http://familyfun.go.com/thanksgiving/thanksgiving-craft-decorations/thanksgiving-turkey-crafts/a-thanksgiving-turkey-715080/
This family has an awesome idea to inspire others to think thankful thoughts. They help their son send out leaves to family members and request that the family members write something that they are thankful for. I love this, love this, love this! Look how thankful that family is!

http://familyfun.go.com/thanksgiving/thanksgiving-craft-decorations/thanksgiving-turkey-crafts/turkey-day-awards-671385/
Here's a way to celebrate each person's achievements this year. Maybe they are performing well in school, being a good big brother or sister, or did something special for someone this year. Hold a special ceremony on Thanksgiving evening and make sure that each person gets an award this year. Or, you can use this as another opportunity to thank each other with "Thank You Awards". (This works especially well for big families like ours.)

http://www.c4k555.org/thanksgiving.html


Crafters for Kids, a non-profit organization, has some easy, economical and adorable Thanksgiving crafting ideas like the hand print turkey above for the crafting-challenged parents who would love to craft with their children, but have no idea where to start. Stop by the site...there are about a dozen cute projects just like this geared toward children for Thanksgiving (and many more for other holidays).

http://www.amazingmoms.com/htm/thanksgiving_crafts.htm
Isn't this just the cutest little stuffed turkey? Take a trip to Amazing Moms to see the other ideas they have for Thanksgiving crafts for kids.

http://happyheartsmom.typepad.com/sweetness_and_light/2007/11/our-week-of-tha.html
A Thankful Tree is a beautiful way to celebrate blessings. Cut out leaves with your child and help them think about all of the things that they are thankful for. Write one thought on each leaf and hang it on the tree. Why don't we do this more often?

Remember that the food might be a fabulously delicious part of Thanksgiving, but the family time spent making crafts and reminding kids to be thankful and count their blessings is irreplaceable. I hope everyone has a blessed holiday season this year. Even though times are rough, look around...there's sure to be a blessing or two in your life to be thankful for.

People Magazine: Teen Suicide Tragedies-Deadly Bullying

People.com
Late at night at the supermarket (when it's quiet, the kids are in bed, and the check out lines are quick), People Magazine's headline called out to me: Teen Suicide Tragedies-Deadly Bullying. Pictures of youth plastered all over the front page of the magazine. These were children who killed themselves after being bullied. My heart and my stomach both dropped at the same time.

If you're living under a rock (like me sometimes) and you haven't heard the stories, one of the stories that the media is all over like some flies on - poop? - is the Rutgers University student whose very private encounter in the bedroom was streamed on the Internet. What makes it media worthy? The college dorm room encounter was with another guy.



Bullied to death?

How about humiliated to death? Can you imagine?

I mean, what if that happened to you? Somebody video taped you and posted it up on the 'net for people to watch? And, your encounters are probably not as news-worthy! Well, okay, they might be (who am I to know?), but I think you know what I mean. I'm trying to keep this P.G. rated.

Three days later, he plunges himself into the Hudson River

Then, there are others...Asher Brown, 13 years old, puts a bullet in his own head. Seth Walsh, another 13 year old, hangs himself. All three were within one month.All three are sudden deaths that occurred after ongoing bullying and badgering. And, all three were gay. But, does that really make any difference?

It's about time we address these issues and put a stop to this disgusting bullying. Whatever happened to "treating people the way that you want to be treated" and "being tolerant of other people's differences"? We've lost touch...tremendously! Our youth is out of control. This Millennium generation - the lost and confused and misguided generation - dishes out some of the most hurtful bullying that we've ever seen. Hurtful and hateful.

Bullying is worse now than it has ever been...kids are using cell phones to mistreat each other, social media platforms, email, audio files, video devices. And there were others...

Phoebe Prince, at the beginning of the year, took her own life.

The tragedies go on and on...

And on and on.

It makes me sick. How cruel people can be to each other. Especially children - youth - that are supposed to have manners and treat others politely and be taught to have compassion and love for others.

Tragedy.

Law are being made, enforced, and people are getting charged now by the cops for bullying incidents. Phoebe Prince might just receive some justice, as nine students are facing charges now. Isn't it sad that it has to come down to this?

Children bully and torment other children to the point of suicide and essentially the government now has to take over and start setting an example for society now that says, "Enough is enough"...

Great job, parents! Way to go. Your kids were so mean and nasty to other children that they made them want to die. Even worse, your children made those children not only WANT TO DIE, they made them kill themselves.

Reality check.

My heart goes out to the families that are struggling with these tragedies. It could be any of us...

And, we have the nerve to arrest the father that stood up for his bullied daughter...how twisted is that?

Aren't we sending a mixed message here? Bullying is wrong and that's the bottom line! You better believe, if your kids mess with mine, you'll be dealing with the same protective parents.

The bully was SCARED? Oh, you poor little heartless kid. What about the little girl that you were picking on? Don't you think she was scared? What if she killed herself? How scared would you be then?

It's not the end of this topic for me. I'm riled up!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Should Moms Blog About Their Children?

Okay, what gives? People write about their marital affairs, children of celebrities are plastered all over magazines, and then we have people like Octo-Mom and the whole Jon & Kate Plus 8 mess. And, I haven't even touched the tip of the iceberg with these examples...

http://www.askrobinwalker.com/blog
Now, bloggers (mommy bloggers, for the most part) are getting slammed for blogging about their children? Okay, I understand that we have a responsibility to protect our children. We need to keep them safe from the dangers that prowl on the Internet, as well as out in the real world.

We do. There is no doubt about that.

I also understand that there are kids (mostly in the teenager age group) that have an issue with their parents posting embarrassing stories about them on the Internet. Yes, I can see that posing a problem. We were all teenagers once...let's step into their already difficult (and often troubled) lives and then think about how it would affect them if we posted embarrassing stories about them on the Internet for all of their friends (and foes) to make fun of them about.

Not cool.

How-eh-ver...the whole world posts their children's pictures up on Facebook, except maybe a small percentage of very out-of-the-loop people who are social media challenged. Every type of news story possible about children is spread like a virus on the Internet and throughout the media, many times with photos attached.

Who doesn't talk about their children? Look, I will be honest and tell you that I don't run every blog post by my children prior to posting it on Mommy Rantings, nor will I. On the upside, my children are honored when I write about them on my blog (the ones that understand that I'm even writing, anyway).

They constantly ask if I wrote about them today. They're proud of my blog and our family and the things that we do and they laugh about the stories that might-not-be-so-worthy-of-pride. They're proud of their mother and the fact that she has a pretty blog that is focused on being a mother which, ultimately, stems from the fact that they are my children. This all may change when they become teenagers, but I figure as long as I respect them, just like I expect them to respect me, Mommy Rantings will stay alive and kicking.

Opinions Are Like... (Fill in the rest yourself)

Melissa Clouthier, in her article Should Mom’s Blog About Their Kids? … No–UPDATED, says: "I just don’t know if it’s a good thing for children to read their mother’s psychological regurgitation about them. How does it help their children?" If you scroll down to the comment after the article, you will read someone's opinion which announces that posting your children's pictures and telling their stories online exposes their photos to the possibility of pedophiles...I'm not even stepping one foot further with that issue. 

I write about my kids. I tell stories about them. I post pictures of them on my blog (they are also on Facebook, mostly for family's sake). I post parts of their otherwise very private life right here on Mommy Rantings. I also post crafts and my opinions and reviews on products and a little bit of advice...

People may carry the perception that I degrade my children by posting their adorable pictures and telling their stories. If that's your opinion, go read someone else's blog. I'll blog about my children until they tell me that they no longer want me to. And, just judging from the amount of joy that they get out of Mommy Rantings, I highly doubt that they will feel that way for a long time...

In the meantime, for those people that think moms shouldn't blog about their kids, I have "a little bit of advice" for you...go find someone else to complain about.

Brotherly PayBack

My devilish youngest two boys are now about the same weight. Amazingly, Dakoda (17 months) has rapidly caught up - and seems like he is slightly bypassing - skinny, little 3 year old Dylan.

This also means that the little punks are starting to fight like cats and dogs. It's not the easiest position in the world for Dakoda - coming in at boy #5. He has to be rough & tough and stand up for himself. And, believe me, he does just that!

So far, this morning, he has popped Dylan in the face, thrown Legos around the playroom, turned the television off while Dylan was playing the Wii, sat on top of Dylan, pulled his hair, and otherwise tortured his older brother. And I can't say I blame him! Dylan used to think it was funny to take Dakoda's toys away from him and do other brotherly mean-type things to him not too long ago.

So, what do I do when they start to tangle? I giggle and observe the two of them duking it out, that's what I do. What am I supposed to do? Get in the middle and chance getting decked myself? No way, I'm not stepping in the middle of the brotherly payback! (giggle giggle)

It's not unusual to hear Dylan calling out, "Help! Get Da-Ko-Da Off. Of. Me!"

Other times, I have to chastise Dylan for the brotherly payback that he doles out, which is always followed by, "But Koda hit me first!"

And, I remind him, "Well, you taught him how to hit." He never seems to have much to say about that. 

Right this moment, as I type this, though, the two of them are happily jumping on a bed together - yes, safe play is a priority - and giggling with each other, only about 30 minutes after the torture session. Dakoda (A.K.A. Kodi-Bodi, Kodi-Bear, Kodi-Monster) is playing scream-at-the-top-of-your-lungs...but it's just a matter of time...

I often think to myself: Isn't brotherly love wonderful? I love observing my children interact with each other, during the good behaviors and the bad...but I mostly love the fact that no matter how rough they are with each other, no matter how mean they can get, no matter how mad they get at each other, way deep down beyond the fighting and the torturing, they love each other.


Dylan shows me that quite often. He knows that he was rough with "the baby" and he also knows that Dakoda is his little l brother...no matter what Dakoda does, not matter how upset Dylan is with him, no matter how annoying Dakoda can be, sweet little (devilish) Dylan will still tell Dakoda how much he loves him shortly after the battle...sharing his cupcakes and cookies with him...and giving him hugs and kisses.

It's always one extreme or the other...brotherly payback or brotherly love. Regardless of which end of the spectrum they are on at any point in time, I'm definitely not getting in between the two of them.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Bowdabra Update

My daughter stood me up.

www.pinksuitcases.co.uk


Last Friday afternoon, right after school, Veronica came home and asked if she could go play at one of her friend's houses. I took my immediate cop-out, "Ask your Dad when he gets home." (I do that all the time when I really don't want to deal with something.)

Would you believe that, not more than 15 minutes later, the phone rings. Here's some weird irony for you: it was the mom of the girl whom Veronica wanted to go over and play with. She wanted to know if Veronica could come over for the night.

Ummm...was I missing something? I must have been out of the loop. (Which is never out of the norm, considering I can't seem to keep up with who's going where.) I asked her if they had planned something that I didn't know about, because Veronica had asked AS SOON AS she returned home from school if she could go over there.

They hadn't. Completely unplanned. Weird weird.

Well, how could I say NO? So, I told Veronica to pack up an overnight bag and get ready to go. The mom would be over in about a half hour to pick her up...

Rewind for a moment...

Remember, we had planned to make some hair bows last weekend? I was really looking forward to it. Really.

Fast forward...

Do you know that my daughter did not come back home until 8pm Sunday night? Of course, the mother and I were in contact all weekend long, however the two girls became inseparable and the sleep over snowballed into a weekend get away for Veronica.

exclusives.lc.com
But, that meant no Bowdabra fun for us girls (and possibly even the boys). I reminded her about our plans when she got home. "I thought we were going to make hair bows this weekend?"

"Why didn't you remind me?" she asked me. Like I had time to remind her before she left for the entire weekend? Like I was going to call her up and say, "Hey, remember our hair bow date?" LOL


So, needless to say, our "Bowdabra date" is pushed off until this coming weekend...unless she decides to escape the craziness again. Honestly, I don't blame her. In a house full of boys, I'm sure it's nice once in a while to pack up the bags and flee from the Bustling Boydom in the house. Maybe next time, I'll figure out a way to sneak myself into her bag and take off on a weekend getaway, too! :)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Guest Boggers Welcome

I'm opening the Mommy Rantings forum to guest bloggers for the holiday season, which means two things:

1) Cool, new subjects for visitors (especially if you're getting tired of my "rantings"
2) An open (global) floor for guest bloggers to come here and spread the word about their causes, thoughts, ideas, crafts, or just Mommyhood, in general. And, you don't have to be a blogger or a "Mommy blogger" to come and share...the sky's the limit.

http://www.touchofclass.com/


Just email me at cousinsbethany@hotmail.com and let me know that you are interested, the general topic that you want to write about, and when you will be writing the blog post. Although I do not mind controversial topics, I do like to keep it fairly clean.

I will offer: author credit, a bio, and even a pic. Your post will be up for two days (for now)...If I get more requests than I can handle, I will lower it to one day.

So, send me a message and I will give you a spot!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Morning Coffee, Please

Good morning, Monday! Not!

www.cafepress.com

I woke up this morning at about 9 a.m.with a laundry list to do (it's Monday morning, for goodness sake...can I at least sleep in?). My first call of the morning began before I even had my first cup of coffee (which, by the way, was hand-delivered by my sweet and thoughtful husband).

mambo-about-masonry.blogspot.com


I sluggishly added the sugar and milk (yes, milk) myself and then punched in the numbers on the phone.


Talk About Cheery

I'm just not a morning person (okay, I'm a BEAR in the morning - see picture), but apparently the mother on the other end of the phone was...her chipper voice called out "I'm one of those morning mamas that you love to hate".

cheezburger.com
 We discussed business and then started talking about motherhood (surprise, surprise!) and the conversation was actually more enlightening than my morning cup of coffee. (And, she admitted that she was a bright-and-early morning person, which automatically registered her in my mind as "one of those people").

www.cafepress.com


I'm usually a bit offended by these type of moms. The rise-and-shine, chipper, happy-go-lucky get-up-and-go-before-the-rooster-cries-out types. ESPECIALLY when I'm still in that hazy part of my morning when the coffee has yet to reach my veins. But, this morning person was different. Ironically enough, her name was Sparkle.

(Hold on while I swig another sip of my coffee...)

www.cafepress.com


Okay, so we talked about being/not being morning people, motherhood, ages of our children, stories about our children...stories about other people's children...

And, for a moment, it was like talking to an old friend. But, she was at work and I still had the rest of my laundry list to tackle...so, we ended the conversation with her reading off my confirmation number and...well, another sip of my coffee.

Isn't it ironic that, once two moms get together, no matter what their backgrounds are - even if one is NOT a morning person and the other is a bubbly morning momma who drives the not-the-morning-momma crazy - if they start a conversation about motherhood or their children, everything else goes out the door. You're not that grumpy morning person or tired momma...you're a proud, exhausted, or ambitious momma sharing stories and morals and values and tips and advice and...whatever else the conversation brings you to. (You can substitute the word momma for daddy, grandma, nana, auntie, uncle, grandpa, sister...)

The phone call made my day...maybe because it's been such a rainy, gloomy, stay-in-bed kinda week, but I hung up the phone with a smile on my face.

Which kind of mom are you? The bouncy, annoying "Good Morning, World!" mom that drives me crazy? Or are you the drag-yourself-out-of-bed, ponder-the-idea-of-climbing-back-in, and suck-down-coffee-until-you're-ready-to-face-the-world-kind-of-mom?

If you're a morning person, could you pass the coffee, please?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Have You Heard About CSN Stores?

I love a deal...Don't you?

So, I had to share my excitement with you about CSN Stores. They have over 200 online stores and whether you're looking for a new, gorgeous platform bed, convenient convertible cribs, some exciting toys and games for your kids, or brand new cookware to make working in the kitchen fun, you’ll find fabulous deals on it all. I spent hours looking through the items throughout the sites and was surprised at not only the quality of the items that they offer, but also the economical prices!

www.csnstores,com


As a mother of 6, I’ll tell you that shopping (for necessities) is not my favorite thing in the world. I either have to wait until my husband is home to get the shopping done or drag all of my kids with me. Online shopping saves me so much trouble! Can it get any easier than clicking on the items that you want and checking out? With CSN Stores (even though they have over 200 stores) there’s only one “shopping cart” for anything that you buy from them at one time and there are a ton of items marked Free Shipping. (And even if you have to pay shipping, it’s never more than $5-10. Anything $69 and up automatically qualifies for free shipping.) They also offer a 30 day return policy.

One more thing...I've price compared a bunch of items on the CSN Stores websites and can honestly say that I've found better prices than many of the stores that I currently frequent. Bathroom items, kitchen items, home decor...you're going to find a deal on the things that you love to buy.
  
So, I’ve done my research, as you can see. But, I’m going to do even more research for you! I’m actually going to pop on CSN Stores and order something and let you know how it goes. Sheesh! I can’t figure out what to get…I guess you’ll just have to wait for the next post when I receive…well, whatever I pick.

Happy Shopping!

My Children Think I'm MEAN

Last night, my 3 year old Dylan, with his new-found fascination with the gaming world was extremely mad at me. He has formed a habit of getting frustrated and screaming about the games or getting mad at whoever is playing with him for "beating him" or "pushing him" (or pushing his "guy").
He Says I'm Mean
By 8 p.m., I had had enough.

Me: Dylan, time to turn the games off.

Dylan: You're mean!

Me: If all you can do is scream and cry, apparently the game is not fun anymore. Time to turn it off.

Dylan: You're a big meanie, mom.

Me: Yep, I'm mean. Turn the game off.

Dylan: Youuuuuuuuuuuuuu MEAN! (now screaming) Meanie!

That wasn't the end of it. He pulled his little 3 year old screaming fit, reminding me over and over again how mean I really am.

Up walks little Dakoda, my youngest at 1 1/2 years old. He looks at me and says, "Mee-mee."
He Thinks I'm Mean, Too

Did he? He did. He says about 4 words, including Mom, Dad, peeeese (please), and now "Meanie".

Well, it's no secret that I'm a "Mean Mom". I'm mean because I expect my kids to behave, help clean the house and get along with each other. I'm mean because I have expectations, period. I'm mean because I don't say yes to everything...and I'm mean because I turn the games off.

I'm okay with being a Mean Mom. Am I the only Mean Mother in this world?
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