Friday, November 30, 2012

Give Me 5 for Friday: 5 Gifts NOT to buy my kids for Christmas

Give me 5 for Friday is back!  I took off last week for Thanksgiving break...but it's back.  You can all breathe a sigh of relief.

So it's the most wonderful time of the year...right?  Time to shop and spend money we really don't have.  Time to find just the right gift for family and friends.  Of course, Christmas is not all about the gifts.  It is about so much more.  But when it comes down to it, we all do buy gifts. kids will most definitely be getting gifts from family.  I could list tons of toys and unnecessary crap that my kids MUST HAVE for Christmas this year.  One being the gymnastics Dora doll.  My 4 year old wants this so badly.  But we have FOUR Dora dolls now that are rarely, if ever, receive any love and attention.  We don't need another...much less one that costs $40.

However, Dora doing back flips wouldn't even make it onto my top 5 things NOT to get my kids list.

What does make that list?  Well, continue to read and I will tell you.

Today's Give Me 5 for Friday is 5 gifts NOT to buy my kids for Christmas.

1.  The dog that poops game. 
WHAT THE EFF?  I know people that have this.  One of my best friends informed my that the stuff that comes out of that dog's rear end is not even like playdoh.  It's that slimy gak-like stuff.  Oh, and apparently it stains.  Fun times.

2.  Anything ALIVE.
As much as my adorable 4 year old wants a's a no go.  I can barely take care of the 14 year old cat we have.  She leaves me dead carcasses at the back door almost daily.  My backyard looks like Stephen King's Pet Cemetery.  Do you know what that stone cold killer would do to a precious kitten?  It wouldn't be pretty.  On the other had, my 130 pound St. Bernard would most likely love the shit out of a kitten.  She's a softie. 
Other living things also at risk of being a casualty includes, but is not limited to, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rabbits.  So let's just leave it at "Don't get a living creature for my kids for Christmas."

3.  Anything that requires extensive assembly.
We don't have the time for this and if we have to assemble it, it might just stay in the box.  My in laws are always really wonderful at assembling gifts that they give our children, so that's cool.  But if we have to spend hours doing it ourselves, it will result in an argument.  I want the holidays to be as peaceful and stress-free as possible.  No need for a domestic dispute, mmkay?

4.  Anything with liquids.
You might ask, what toy has liquids?  Well, I saw this really neato Chemistry set at one of those "learning toy stores".  ABSO-EFFING-LUTELY not.  I could not handle that.

5.  Musical Instruments.
I don't mean all musical instruments.  A keyboard or little guitar would be acceptable.  But any sort of flute, recorder, trumpet, or horn will be hidden away.  My youngest two daughters would play the crap out of those and for the mental health of all involved, I beg of you NOT to make us endure that. 

So there you have it.  5 things to steer clear of when doing Christmas shopping for my children...or ANY children for that matter.  Unless you have parental consent, it is safe to say that you should avoid gifts that are extremely messy, annoying, or alive. 

If you are really in a pickle and don't know what to get, consider the following: Gifts cards and /or cash.  I can guarantee that those will always be a hit with parents children.

Wishing you all a very merry, happy, and peaceful holiday season!

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

To Work or Stay Home: Is It Really a "Choice"?

In September of 2011 I wrote a post about being a mom and how it is hard work, period.  End of story.  Parenting is the hardest job we will ever have.  I wrote this post before the whole "mommy wars" thing (which I think is absolutely ridiculous). 

If you read the post, you will see that I think that both being a SAHM and a mom who works out of the home (I won't say "working mom", because aren't we all?) have their drawbacks.  Both are hard.  And both have good points as well.  Being a SAHM might give you a little more flexibility to get things done, run errands, or even tend to sick children.  But there is no break.  However, a mom who works out of the home must still find time to get everything done and has to line up child care and all that fun stuff.  You might get a break and adult interaction during the day, but it is not always easy.  We all just do the best we can.

This post is not about that.  I feel like moms should just back each other up.  Even if you think someone has is easier than you, you just never know.  You really don't. 

What this post IS people who believe it's a "choice".  I don't really think it's a choice. We do what we do because of necessity.  You know, like paying bills and a mortgage?  Not having your car repossessed?  All of that pesky necessary stuff that gets in the way and sometimes makes working a must for both parents.

Sometimes there is no choice.

If there was, there are many people who would not work.  Like me, for example.  I would LOVE to stay home with my kids until they were all in school.  I would love to be able to volunteer in their classrooms.  I would love to have playdates on a weekday or run errands on days other than the weekend when Target is ALWAYS packed. 

On the other hand, if it was a choice then many SAHMs might go to work.  They might choose to work out of the home because they long for some independence.  Working might seem like a better option to them but they can't because of issues such as child care expenses or a spouse that has a job which prevents them from working.

Many people say that they "choose" to stay home because that was best for their family.  That may be true, but the bottom line is that you could live without your income.  That's what it comes down to.  Others stay home to avoid paying for child care.  That is definitely understandable.  It is super expensive. 

One mom once said that child care is not free, yet they stay home and that is what they do but they don't get paid.  I read that and thought...wait, wait, wait, WHAT?  Listen, I work out of my home and I have a home daycare.  I do get paid for that.  It is my job.  BUT...when I am home on all of the other days with only my own children, that is NOT providing child care.  That is called being a parent.  Therefore, OF COURSE you don't get paid for it.

As you can see, unless you are independently wealthy (which I will be after I win the Powerball on Wednesday), there is no perfect option.  And NO ONE will ever win the "mommy war".

It's time to wave the white flag.  Then we can all go have a glass of wine together and complain about how bad we have it...when in fact, we know we have it pretty damn good.

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

My Take on Some Children's Christmas "Classics"

Reposted from December 2011:  Still EXACTLY how I was feeling watching Frosty the Snowman and Frosty Returns the other night...

During my first few months of blogging, I discussed some children's television programs and wondered WTF was up with them.  You can check out those posts here if you want to refresh your memory (and if you want to have a laugh):

As of late, I have found myself equally as dumbfounded when watching some children's Christmas classics. 

First, let me discuss Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer...
A true classic...I will give it that.  BUT Santa is just downright mean in this one.  He is super judgemental and prejudiced against poor little Rudolph about his nose.  But when he needs something, who comes crawling and begging? Yes, good old Santa.
And Rudolph's dad is cruel too.  Why would a father think that using mud to cover something up on a child's face is a good idea.  But they are reindeer, so who knows.
The elves are also vicious.  Since when is becoming a dentist worse than working in a toy factory.  Uhhhh, that's right...NEVER.  They are all just M-E-A-N, mean!

Next is Frosty the Snowman...
This is another cute one but if you watch and pay attention, you will notice that none of the kids are wearing pants.  They have coats, hats, mittens, the works...but no pants.  Why are they not wearing pants? 
Also, the little girl hops on the freight train with Frosty. That is just a bad message to send.  Sure, go with someone that you have just met and hop on a one way train heading to god knows where.  He seems sweet enough.  Jesus! Not acceptable. 
Oh, and that magician.  His skin is so yellow.  He either has hepatitis or is in liver failure.  Terrible.

Poor Karen is so cold.  Well, maybe if she was wearing some damn pants.

Finally we have Frosty Returns...
I won't even give this the time of day.  It is like the creators/writers sat down and knocked this one out in about 30 minutes...while drinking heavily.  It is downright awful.  Couldn't they have thought of a better villain than an old man who found a way to melt massive amounts of snow using an aerosol can?  And I love John Goodman but he is the voice of the snowman in this one and I feel like he is so irritating.

Even though some of these "classics" may be a little questionable and ridiculous, I am sure my children will continue to watch and love them for years to come.  And I guess that means I will too.  I.Can't.Wait.

What about you? Are there any "classics" (I use this term loosely) that you love??? Please share.  And feel free to share your critiques as well.

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Baby Products and Other Useful Tips

I have decided to write a quick and easy blog post that contains my rankings, recommendations...whatever you want to call them (they are not exactly reviews) of the various baby/children's products that I use on a daily basis. 

These are based on my opinion and my experience.  You may not agree...and that's cool.  Again, these lists are just based on what I know.  And I know that...
-I feed 6 kids a day, 5 days a week...some are on breast milk, formula, milk, baby food, all solids, all table food. You name it.
-I change over 2 dozen diapers a day.

I have numbered the lists, #1 being my top choice.

Here are my recommendations: 

Name brand:
1.  Huggies
2.  Pampers Baby Dry
3.  Luvs
4.  Pampers Cruisers (not worth the extra $$)

Store brand:
1.  Target
2.  Costco
3.  Parent's Choice (Walmart)
4.  Walgreens
5.  BJs

1.  Target brand- my fave because I love the soft cloth type of wipes...and they are reasonably priced!
2.  Costco- another store brand that I love.
3.  Parent's Choice (Walmart)
4.  Walgreens brand- cheap and often are buy one, get one 50% off. 
5.  Pampers- expensive and I think they leave an oily residue that weirds me out, but they get the job done.
6.  Huggies Natural Care- my last resort if I have a coupon, but I think they are too stiff.

1.  Desitin Maximum Strength- In the purple tube, 40% zinc oxide.  This works GREAT!!! Don't mess around with the regular strength...just get this one.  Store brand is also fine as long as you get the 40% zinc oxide.

2.  Triple Paste- Also works really well, but is more expensive.
3.  Boudreaux's Butt Paste-  I really like this one, too.
4.  Good old Vaseline or Aquaphor- might not work that great on a diaper rash, but it's a good barrier.
Note:  A&D Ointment is my least fave.  I don't think it really works at all.  If your child has a very red, bumpy diaper rash, try Lotrimin.  Yes, this athlete's foot medicine cures fungal/yeast related diaper rashes!!!

1.  Platex Nurser Drop-ins- I love easy to use and clean. 
2.  Dr. Brown's- Great if your child has spit up or reflux issues, like my oldest did.
3.  Tommy Tippee
4.  Nuk
Note: I think Avent bottles leak too much.  Some other brands are good but they have too many parts to clean.  Dr. Brown's bottles have a lot of parts too, but they are great for the issues I mentioned above.

1.  Playtex Insulator-  I love the ones with the straw.  They don't spill, which is great!!!
Babies R Us Exclusive  Playtex Twist 'n Click 9oz Insulator Cup with Straw - 1 pk - Playtex  - Babies"R"Us
2.  Take and Toss-  Great for older kids...and cheap so you can replace them.
The First Years Take and Toss No Spill Cups - 7-Pack 7 oz. - Learning Curve  - Babies"R"Us

3.  Platex Lil' Gripper or Gerber Graduate Nuk- very similar and also will not spill.
Nuk Spout Fun Grip - 10oz - Purple - Nuk  - Babies"R"Us

4.  Platex trainer cup- Good for younger ones just learning how to use a cup.
Playtex 2 Pack The First Sipster Trainers Pack 7 oz. (Colors/Styles May Vary) - Playtex  - Babies"R"Us

5.  Munchkin Insulated Straw Cup-  just as good as the Platex one. 
Munchkin Click Lock Insulated Straw Cup 10oz - 2pk (Boy) - Munchkin  - Babies"R"Us

1.  Similac- I always used this with all 3 of my girls.
2.  Enfamil
3.  Target brand- Yes, I switched to this with my youngest at 6 months and I really liked it!!! Cheaper and the same exact thing as name brand if you look at nutrition info.
4.  Costco brand-  Also a GREAT store brand formula.
5.  Gerber Good Start and Parent's Choice (Walmart Brand)-  I have never used this but I know people that love it.

Other hopefully useful tips:
-When it comes to baby equipment, the brighter and gaudier the better.  I made the mistake with my oldest of trying to match my decor.  NO.  Wrong.  Babies love the bright colors, lights, and sounds!

-If your baby is a bad sleeper, try the SwaddleMe Blanket.  I am not sure if it is a friend or foe though.  Babies sleep GREAT with this thing...but they become addicted.  You may find yourself trying to shove your 10 month old into this contraption, which is made for newborns.
Summer Infant SwaddleMe Organic- Small Dots on Ivory - Summer Infant  - Babies"R"Us
Summer Infant SwaddleMe Blanket

-When your baby is ready for snack like puffs, buy STORE BRAND!  They are cheaper and then same thing.  And don't fall for the Gerber Graduate snacks, like cheese puff.  They are two to three times the cost of regular cheese puffs..and they are the same thing!  Try Trader Joe's white cheddar cheese puffs.  Kids love them and they are not that messy.

-When you are buying baby food, NEVER buy apples.  Why?  Well, apples are the same as applesauce and you can get regular, unsweetened applesauce for much cheaper!  I would even buy organic applesauce and it is cheaper than baby apples. 

-Another good finger food for babies, when they are ready for dairy, is shredded cheese.  Easy and you will save time because you don't have to cut it up!

-You don't have to buy a bottle sanitizer.  You can sanitize your bottles by putting them in the dishwasher.  (Or if you are like me, you can sanitize them when you first buy them and then just wash with soap and warm water.)

I truly hope that you found this post to be helpful!!! I will add to it when needed;)  And if you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Give Me 5 for Friday: 5 Useful Tips When Dealing with a Crying Baby/Toddler

It's Friday, yo!!!  Do you know what time it is?

It's time for....(insert drumroll here)

GIVE ME 5 FOR FRIDAY!  (cue deafening applause)

Well, I have a home daycare and that means that I deal with babies and toddlers all the time.  I get to hold them, cuddle them,  make them coo and smile, watch them learn and grow...and listen to them cry.  Oh, and can they cry.  There is nothing like a miserable, fussy baby to make you want to hit the bottle feel a little flustered.

Have you ever dealt with this and you didn't know what to do?  Well, look no further.  I am here to help. 

For Give Me 5 for Friday, here are 5 useful tips when dealing with a crying baby or toddler. 

Disclaimer: These may case injury to yourself or may scar the children for life.  Or they might just work.  Try them at your own risk.

1.  Do the M.C. Hammer dance. 
What?  Yes, trust me.  Kids like this.  They will laugh.  And if not, you will have a little fun.  For full effect, try to play U Can't Touch This while dancing.  Most kids like this song.  Who doesn't?  By the way,  you see my 22 month old "break it down".

Here it is.  You're welcome.

2.  Sing show tunes.
Sinatra's New York, New York is always a hit.  By the time I get to the verse "These vagabond shoes...", there are always a few smiles.  And...if it doesn't work, you can always use it as a threat.  "Stop crying or I am going to sing show tunes again."

3.  Start to cry. 
Don't really cry.  Well, you can if you want to.  But for some reason, these sick little you know whats love it when other people cry.  Kids just think that's hysterical.  So when they are all crying, I sit and start to pretend to cry...and I put on a real show too.  You know what happens?  SILENCE.  They all stare.  Then when I remove my hands from my face to take a peek at them, the little brats are smiling.

4.  Play the name game.
You know, like "Let's do Katie.  Katie, Katie bo Batie, banana fana fo Fatie..."
My kids and the kids I care for LOVE this.  We could play this for hours...and hourrrrrssssssssssss.  Oh sorry, my eyes were starting to glaze over for a minute there.

5.  This is a last resort and it's for the little babies...the newbies.  Talk in the highest pitched, most annoying voice you can imagine.  They like that.  Adults will want to drop kick you in the teeth...but the little ones will enjoy it (for some unknown reason that will always remain a mystery to mankind).

So there you have it.  These tips are so money that I know they will work.  And if they don't, then you are a failure.  No, you're not...but you are horrible with kids.  Just kidding again. 

But seriously, let me know if you try any of these and if they work.  If you need additional assistance, please contact me.  I guess I could put together an instructional video of me doing the M.C. Hammer and/or singing show tunes.  I bet there would be a real market for that.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Always look on the bright side...of dieting?

Most of you know that I am giving the whole Weight Watchers thing another try.  I did it last fall/winter and lost 20.2 lbs.  Then...well, let's just say that I ate and drank with reckless abandon for the remainder the 2012 calendar year.  So here I am.  Back in the saddle again.  Trying to end the year on a good note.  Plus my sister in law is getting married right after Christmas so I thought that it might be nice if I wasn't a fat ass at the wedding.

I have lost about 8 lbs.  I need to buckle down.  I do really well during the week, then one "free day" over the weekend turns into 2 "free days"...then a holiday comes along and it is basically a free for all.

I was thinking the other day that if the whole big picture goal of losing 20 lbs by Christmas doesn't work out, then maybe I could focus on the little successes along the way.  I am trying to remain positive.  You know, like a glass half full outlook.  Not a plate half full though...because that is how I got in this mess in the first place.

Here are some successes/positives I can focus on when I am feeling like a frumpy mom.

1.  I wore a pair of jeans the other day that didn't fit since last year.  I like these jeans.  So that's cool.  I like some other jeans more and would love to wear them too...but the last time they fit was 2004, so I'm not holding my breath.  But maybe.

2.  My mother in law made the DELICIOUS veggie dip the other day.  It had dill in it and I LOVE dill.  I am going to try to make it with fat free sour cream and live off veggies for lunch.  I'm kinda excited about that.  Note to self: Get that recipe ASAP.

3.  I have been running at the state park near my house and it is beautiful this time of year.  So the running thing has been pretty relaxing.

4.  I had a good hair day the other day.  Maybe if the whole weight loss thing doesn't pan out, I can focus on finding ways to style my hair to make my face look slimmer. 

5.  It's still early in the season and we haven't had any illnesses (knock on wood).  But who knows?  Maybe I can get a nasty stomach virus before the holidays to shed a few of these unwanted pounds.  Just kidding.  Or am I?

6.  I still like wine and drinking wine makes me feel more relaxed.  So I will just do that if I am not able to lose the weight.  Again, just kidding.  Or am I?

7.  They say you burn calories when you clean.  Luckily, my kids are extra messy so it's a win/win for me.  Right?  They really make a mess to help me.

8.  Shapewear can do wonders these days.  Yes, you might pay more for your shapewear than you do for your actual clothes...but you do what you gotta do.

9.  I can't be super skinny.  My grandmother would always say that you need some meat on your bones just in case you get sick or something like that.  You need a protective layer of fat, if you will.  So I am extra safe.

10.  I lost 8 lbs in 4 weeks...and I really have only been giving it 100% effort for half of that time.  If, and only if, I can crack down and get serious, I should be able to reach my goal.  So the ball is totally in my court. 

I made this ecard a few months ago.  It's true, right?

Do you have any tips for losing weight or trying to remain positive when the dieting gets old?  And I know, I shouldn't really be "dieting" should just be me making better choices to remain healthy and fit.  But damn, why do those poor choices taste so freakin' good?  WHY? 

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Sunday, November 11, 2012

No One Said It Would Be Easy

Parenthood.  No one said it would be easy, right?  But no one really said it would be so hard either.  I mean, it goes without saying that being a parent is hard.  It's not something you can really fathom until you are living it. 

When you have a child, suddenly your needs are secondary.  There are some things that are really, really difficult.  We do it anyway because we are parents.

My almost 2 year old has been having a rough time over the past few months when I leave her home with my husband or with a babysitter.  And by "rough time", I mean bouts of crying and screaming until I return home to find her covered in sweat.  Sometimes it is not the entire time I am gone.  Sometimes she is fine until she asks for me and realizes I am not here.  Then all hell breaks lose.  My heart drops when I pull up and see her or, even worse, hear her screaming.  It takes me a few minutes to calm her down and I just feel terrible.  I feel terrible that she is so sad when I am gone.  I feel terrible that I want and need a I leave and make her feel this way.  I feel terrible that I selfishly wonder when I will ever get time away without her getting so upset.  And if it's just a phase, I feel terrible that I wish the time away so she will outgrow it.

Maybe it's the guilt that is the hardest part.  The guilt you feel as a parent can be overwhelming.  Like...did I cause this when I stopped teaching and chose to have a home daycare?  She has never been with another caregiver on a regular basis.  Did I do a disservice to her by being her primary caregiver morning, noon, and night...all day, everyday?  But I did it with my 4 year old and she is just fine.  I don't know. 

Then if I go back to teaching next year, as I am planning on doing, will that be even worse?  Will she hate preschool?  Should I wait another year or just go for it and stop putting off the inevitable?  Financially it makes sense for me to go back to teaching next year.  But not much makes perfect sense when you are a parent.  There is always the doubt or the worry that you might not be making the best decision.  It's the guilt again. 

You just want to do right by your children...and you have to hope that you are.

People say that time flies and that I will miss all of this when my children are older.  And you know what?  I am sure that I will.  I really believe that.  But I will remember that it was hard.  It's so worth it...but it is the hardest job that I will ever have.  Knowing that another person's little life is in your hands and it's up to you to not screw it up...yep, that is a tough job.  But again, we are parents so we do it. 

We are parents so we count down the seconds until bedtime because we need a break, and then when the kids are sleeping we sit and watch them.  We listen to them breath.  We touch their warm little cheeks and can't believe how much we could love these little people.

We are parents so we wish and hope and pray for the best for our children.

We are parents so we worry every single day about our children.  We have fears that we have never had before...fears that we could not imagine. 

We are parents so we know what it is like to love instantly and unconditionally.

This parenting thing is some hard, hard work.

But no one said it would be easy.

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Friday, November 9, 2012

Give Me 5 for Friday: I Am So Very Thankful

It's November, the month to give thanks.  So on this cold, crisp, sunny Friday...I am going to share 5 things for which I am eternally grateful...every single day.

Here is Give Me 5 for Friday!

I am thankful for:

1.  Health
This will always be number one!  I am so thankful that my girls, my husband, our families and friends, and myself are all healthy.  Without this...there is nothing.

2.  My Girls
I am so thankful for my 3 funny, crazy, caring, beautiful, precious girls!  Words can't adequately express how grateful I am to have them and how blessed I feel.  So I'll just leave it at that.

3.  My husband
Last night I went for a run.  I had put a roast in the crock pot earlier in the afternoon and when I returned from the run, my husband had started making the rest of dinner.  Then I cleaned up after dinner and he emptied the dishwasher for me...which I hate doing.  He also helped with baths and read with the two oldest in bed so I could shower.  I am so thankful to have him and on most days, I truly feel like we are a team :)

4.  Living close to family
I live in Delaware...was born and raised here.  During Hurricane Sandy, it was comforting to know that we were so close to family.  Our power didn't go out and we didn't have any major damage.  But I knew that if it did, we always had somewhere to go.  And we were also able to have my brother in law and sister in law come over with their kids when their power did, in fact, go out.  It's so nice to have family around and for that I am thankful! 

5.  My friends
Last week, two of my very close friends celebrated their birthdays.  I have known these girls for about 27 years.  27 years.
They are two of my oldest and dearest friends and I honestly do not know what I would do without them.  We can vent and complain and be annoying and there is no judgement.  We can laugh and laugh.  We can cry.  Everyone needs friends like that.
It is my hope that my daughters grow up to have a few or even many good, true friends.  I have a handful of friends like that...that I have had since childhood.  We have been through so much times, sad times, graduations, jobs, deaths, and births.  And here we are.

I LOVE this song and it reminds me of my friends...

By the way, I am SO grateful for all of you that read my blog!  I really am and I still can't believe that you take time out of your day to read what I write.  SO thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

To Each His Own

Have you ever heard that saying?  I'm guessing you have.  This is so true.  "To Each His Own".  Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, has the right to their own opinions.  My opinion does not have to be the same as your opinion.  I don't have to agree with you and you don't have to agree with me.  AND...we can say that.  It is the beauty of being an American.

Many things have baffled me this election season.  Why can't people just agree to disagree?  And I don't give a flying f*&k who you voted for or why.  And you shouldn't care about who I voted for this year.  It's doesn't matter.

If we just all thought about the saying "To each his own", I think it would help.

For example, have you ever been to a wedding where you just knew that the couple was not the right fit?  You just knew that they might not make it?  Well, did you stand up and say something or did you just sit there and keep your big mouth shut (as you should)?  Because you know what...people marry the wrong people all of the time.   So who are we to say who marries who?  You see where I am going here (without actually going there)?  To each his own.

Have you ever heard someone say something that was so hypocritical that you just wanted to call them out on it?  Or have you ever thought that someone was making the wrong decision based on not knowing all of the facts?  I have.  And you know what I thought?  To each his own.

Have you ever thought that someone was making a wrong choice with their life but then you realize that you HAVE NO CLUE what it is like to walk in their you really should just stay out of it?  You should actually thank your lucky stars that you never had to make a tough decision like that.  And maybe if you were in their position, you would make a different choice that was right for YOU...but that doesn't mean it's right for them.  To each his own.

I'm NOT confrontational AT ALL.  This little trait has helped me so much in my life...and even more this election season.  I tend to just keep on a lid on it.  That is hard for me at times though.  And it was hard for the past few months...because if I am being honest with you, I don't vote strictly down party lines.  I have strong values that are in line with one party...and other strong values that are in line with another.  You know how you make those lists of pros and cons when you want to make a decision?  That's kinda what I do mentally.  And that's what I did this year.  Then I hoped for the best. 

Until there is a candidate that stands for EVERYTHING that I stand for...I guess I will continue this little tactic.

Was the outcome what I wanted or hoped for?  You will never know because I won't say who I voted for here.  But it is what it is.  And I am an American so I think it's time to get to work and be proud of our country.  End of story. 

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Friday, November 2, 2012

Give Me 5 for Friday: 5 Things I've Learned about Halloween as a Parent

It's that time of the week when we are all ready for quitting time, especially after this week.  This week was chock full o' Mother Nature's wrath followed by the wrath of tired children on a sugar high. 

They are high, they are low, they crash, they still beg for more candy...

Today's Give Me 5 for Friday is all about things that I have learned about this wonderful, joyous holiday called Halloween since I have become a parent.

Here we go:

1.  Halloween is a pain in the ass...and the wallet.
Why?  Well, I have learned that parents definitely stress over their childrens' costumes more than the kids do.  The kids have no idea what we go through. 

Child:  I want to be Taylor Swift.
Mom:  Really?  UGH, how are you going to do that?
Child:  Well, that's all I really want to be!  PLEAAAASSSSSEEE?

Parent feverishly searches Internet to find a "pop star" dress, wig, microphone, guitar...$60 later.  Then the kid doesn't want to wear half of the stuff while trick or treating.

Child:  The wig is itchy.  I don't want to carry the guitar.

Well, I want a damn refund.

2.  It's just uncomfortable.
I don't know about you, but I don't really enjoy sending my kids knocking on the doors of complete strangers to get their hands on a piece of free candy.  It's awkward.

3.  It's not the same as it was "back in the day".
Back when I was a kid, you just made a costume out of stuff around the house.  I think I was a "hobo" 3 different years.  Or a witch or clown.  And if you were really lucky, you could get one of those plastic costumes and masks.  They were sweet.

Then you could eat as much candy as you wanted until you puked in the street.  Right?  Did that ever happen to you?  Just eat it much as your little heart desired.  There was no judgement from other parents or no "just one piece tonight" rules.  The "just one piece a day" rule will make the candy last about 2 months.  NO THANKS!

4.  The kids love it.
As much of a pain in the ass as it may be, the kids just LOVE it.  This leads me to #5...

5.  You will do it all again next year.
Since the kids love it so, you will do the whole song and dance again year after year...for as many years as your kids will allow you to be a part of this holiday with them  Because one day the kids won't want to go trick or treating with their parents...then they won't want to go at all.  They won't dress up and believe that they do, in fact, look just like Taylor Swift or a princess or a real cowgirl.  They will be too big for all of this nonsense and you might just wish that you could take your little ones around for Halloween just one more time. 

So until next year...

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