Sunday, July 31, 2011

Stupid Milk Ads

I read this ridiculously funny blog, The Bloggess. She writes super funny posts on her blog and also a few other columns. My favorite is the one about picking your battles. But all that is an aside, to her most recent post about the Milk Campaign.

This new ad campaign is the type of thing that just really both, gets under my skin and makes me wonder at the insanity of those who approved it? Maybe they don't really care because they know people will buy milk no matter what their ads say? Who knows.

One states, "I apologize for letting you misinterpret what I was saying." Another, "I apologize for not reading between the right lines." Both have a url, ""claiming that milk can help reduce the symptoms of PMS.

I personally think these ads are incredibly tasteless and there is just so much wrong with them, on so many levels. I just won't go there, but I will say that I'm so glad they came to their sense and decided to pull the ads.

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Saturday, July 30, 2011

New York City Trip

Have I ever told you that I've always dreamed of living in New York City? I grew up in a rural area on a family farm in Oklahoma, but I've always had big city dreams. I had these huge dreams of NYU and city life. I always knew it was just a dream, but it was fun to think anyway.

After I fell in love and had a family, I still dreamed of visiting NYC. This past spring, Chance and I got to go spend some time with his best friend in NY state and while we were there I had so much fun and only wish we would have had a little more time to spend.

Right now I'm preplanning my next trip to NYC, whenever it may be. I just need to go back, it's like a siren's call. But as I was planning last night, I realized that I never actually posted any pictures or story from New York City! How dare I right?

Arch and I on the train from Albany to NYC
We started out taking a train in from Albany. That was my first train experience, and compared to a tiny little plane it was fantastic! The seats were wide and comfortable; you could get up and move around. Archer loved it. It was a 4 hour train ride, but it was fun and actually kind of relaxing. As we came into the city area we started being able to see bridges over the Hudson which was too cool. I loved seeing the skyline in the distance. It made my heart race.

Early views of the skyline from the train.

As soon as we got into the city, we went from Penn Station to the Empire State Building which was only a few blocks away. Walking up out of the train station was so neat. The sun was out and the buildings had halos. I was in love for sure.

We actually walked up to the back side of the building, which was our first mistake. We were immediately drawn in by some guy who worked there and wanted us to take his tour. He asked where we were from, "Oklahoma" we said, and he knew we were suckers. One hundred and fifty dollars later we were heading inside and waiting in line for a really dumb 3-D "ride." Archer thought it was fun, but I would never pay money to do that again. The ride was something you could do online, but even still, we got to go up to the observation deck, take pictures, and just look around. I wasn't as fascinated with it as Chance and his friend were, I think it was the builders in them, they liked seeing those massive structures towering all over. I just wanted to get on the ground again and look up.

From the Empire State Building we took a cab to Central Park. We wanted to see the carousel, the Alice in Wonderland Statues and the Hans Christian Anderson statues. We got out of the cab, he dropped us at the east entrance to the park. It was cold and cloudy and we should have known better. We got about half way there before we decided it was too cold. We trudged back out and hailed a cab to the hotel because it was freezing. We wore light jackets and my poor son's pants were riding up near his knees because he had grown like a weed and they had become high-waters nearly over night. I felt awful and he was cold and tired; so we took a cab.

I got the hotel on Priceline's name your own price feature (which I love by the way) and I got it really cheap. I had called ahead of time to tell them we needed two double beds, but of course once we got there it was a single queen, which doesn't work with three adults and a baby. We called down and they fixed us right up. It was a very simple process, but one in which we are mostly certain my child lost his hatty-hat. We didn't realize the hat was missing until a few hours later, and then we were too late to run to Children's Place in Time Square for a new one. Luckily we found an oversized one later.

We got our stuff unpacked at the hotel and tried to decide what we wanted for dinner. Because it was chilly out and we were tired from traveling we settled on a restaurant a block away called Eamon's. It was decent, but nothing I would rave about. Next time we would skip it unless we were going to have a beer or two also.

Times Square
We went back to the hotel again and warmed up before walking down to Time's Square. The lights were awesome, and it was so much warmer there than anywhere else. We headed directly for Toys r Us. Chance, Jeremiah, and Archer headed hopped on the ferris wheel while I took pictures. After the never-ending ride we wandered around the store a little and let Archer pick a toy. He chose a Buzz Lightyear with wings, because one, he loved it and two the little boy he had played with the night before had one. We also got to look at the dinosaur and the Lego figures. Archer was scared to death of the dinosaur and is still scared of it when he talks about it.

Archer, Chance and Jeremiah on the Ferris Wheel

The scary dinosaur.
On the way home I sent the boys ahead while I wandered over a block to Starbucks. A nice hot coffee was great and I relished the few moments alone walking the streets I had once dreamed of frequenting. Chance, of course, was all paranoid something would happen to me in that one block, it didn't.

The next morning we got up fairly early and took a cab to the Public Library. It was neat, but I didn't really get to do anything but take pictures out front because I didn't want to drag my noisy kid around in such a building. He wanted nothing more than to run free, play on the stairs, and hear his little squeals echo. From there we grabbed breakfast (muffins and donuts) from a street vendor and hopped another cab to St. Patricks' Cathedral. It was gorgeous, even under construction. We actually went on March 16 and I wished we had been able to go on the 17. Arch and I lit a candle and said a prayer for the Tsunami victims and went back out onto the streets to meet his dad who was smoking. Jeremiah stayed in the hotel and slept, the slacker.

In front of the Library.
St. Patrick
We looked into the windows of the stores and snapped a few pictures, but again, the cold and then rain kept us from doing much.

Saks 5th Avenue (I think)

We took yet another cab (which was not the plan at all, we wanted to walk, it was just too cold) back to the hotel, packed our stuff back into bags and checked out. We took a cab to the Museum of Natural History. It was really fun, but Archer was tired and restless and wasn't really interested. I realized about mid trip, that he was really too young for NYC and I regret taking him. We would have had more fun if we had waited until this summer when it was warm and he was just a little older.

Museum of Natural History

Chance and Jeremiah getting a street hot dog. 
After the museum, the plan was to grab a hotdog and take the subway to Penn Station to wait for our train. The got the hot dog, but Chance wanted to walk through Central Park again since it was a little warmer and the rain had stopped, and try to find the statues of Alice in Wonderland, because Archer loves Alice. We set the coordinates in our phone, but it was clear across the park. We got nearly there and Chance decided he was going to take a short cut through the grass. Except, if you'll remember, I said it had been raining all morning. The "grass" was hidden mud, which soaked my shoes and jeans and nearly caused me to fall on my face. The temperature was still in the low 50s so jeans and shoes/socks soaked did not make for a fun trip back to the train station. I was pissed, Chance was mad because I was mad, and it was just no fun.

Chance and Arch got to see Alice, I didn't go.

I pouted for an hour or two, instead of really enjoying my time. We got on the train and headed back to Albany. The sun was out the entire train ride, which was a weather anomaly for the trip; most of the time we had been there so far it had been cold and cloudy and just yucky.

My trip to NYC was a little disappointing, but it wasn't the city itself. It was the weather and my attitude and taking my sweet toddler before he was really old enough to enjoy it. The next time I go, will not be with child. I will enjoy myself much more without him, and then when he is older I will take him back. We will explore the park, check out all the dinosaurs in the museum, and ride the ferris wheel in TRU. He will remember it and we will make great memories. Maybe he'll even dream of living there someday like I did. I can only hope.

Here's to my next trip, and I hope it's soon!!

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Friday, July 29, 2011

Recipe: Chicken and Biscuits

I'm not very good at writing recipes, but I came up with this today and thought I would share. It was super easy, and could be modified to be even easier.

Quick and Easy Chicken and Biscuits

-1 Steamable bag of frozen veggies or a large can of vegall
-1 Microwave bag of red potatoes (pre-washed) or canned potatoes
-1 Family sized can of Cream of Chicken (I prefer the fat free which only comes in small cans)
-1 can flaky layers biscuits
-10 oz of Chicken Broth
-3 Chicken breasts roasted (Could also use canned chicken or a rotisserie chicken)

I roasted my chicken in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes, covered with foil in a baking dish sprinkled with olive oil. I heavily seasoned it with coarse salt, pepper, paprika rosemary, and garlic powder, but these are just my favorite seasonings. You could use a rotisserie chicken or canned chicken just as easily. After it cooked I reserved the juices and cut them into 1/2 in chunks.

Microwave the steam bag potatoes for 8 minutes, steam the vegetables in the bag for 3 minutes. Quarter the potatoes, they should be almost cooked but not completely so that they can absorb the soup. Mix the can of cream of chicken and broth in mixing bowl with half a can of water. Add in vegetables and chicken, as well as the juice from the chicken. The consistency should be slightly thinner than the cream of chicken (like pudding Chance says).

Bake the vegetable and soup mix for 15 minutes at 400. Do NOT forget this step or your biscuits will not cook and it will be nasty. However, if you do forget this step, one thing I've learned (I've clearly forgotten a time or two) is that you can pull the biscuits off, bake the mixture, and then turn the gooey biscuits upside down (cooked side down, gooey side up) and let them bake on that side until they're done.

Add biscuits. (I use two cans of biscuits which leaves about 4 extra, I put them in a smaller baking dish and bake both at once) Return to oven, bake another 15 minutes at 350 or follow the directions on the biscuit packaging.

Other than the chicken, I didn't season it at all, and it didn't need it. It was so tasty that we ate half the pan before I could get a picture! :)

This recipe is incredibly versatile. You can really adjust the ingredients anyway you want and it still turns out decent as long as the mixture isn't too wet and you remember to cook it first.

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About blogging...

I have really debated whether or not to even address this, but I feel like I need to; for no one but myself.

You see, blogging is a really personal thing. You are putting your words and thoughts out into the world for everyone to see, judge, and agree or disagree with. Does that bother me? Not really. It does make me think really hard about the things I put out there. It makes me cautious. If you know me in real life, you'll know that I have an opinion on everything, well maybe not everything, but still... I'm very open minded to the opinions of others, and I frequently ask others to share their opinion with me. That doesn't mean I will change my mind, but it frequently happens. I am persuadable. In fact, I like for someone to propose an argument that will make me change my own mind about something. Really.

I also really like discussing current events. I think it's really important to know what's happening in the world around us. I love being able to ask questions of others and find out why they think what they think. My dad is really big on this too, and sometimes I'll just call him to ask what he thinks and we'll talk forever about it. It's really neat to me because we usually have really different perspectives of the same event and analyze it with completely different sets of life experience. What I like most about it, honestly, is hearing something that makes me think of the situation in a way I hadn't before. One of those, Ah ha moments that changes my whole mindset.

As I said before, a blog is a place to put how you think and feel about things, your personal thoughts and opinions. So when someone comments negatively on your blog, it's as though they are commenting negatively on your personal thoughts and feelings. I'm a pretty laid back person, and I let things like that roll off my back most of the time. But three days ago I wrote a blog about the uproar over kids being banned from restaurants. I wrote my own personal thoughts and feelings, and I know the thoughts of others also. I figured that some people wouldn't agree and I expected at least a few someones (depending on the traffic that day) to tell me why or how I was wrong and attempt to engage in a healthy debate. I'm fine with that, as I said, I'm pretty persuadable. What I didn't expect was to be told that I shouldn't be a mother. I did not expect for my teaching license or job to be threatened. I did not expected to be told to grow up. I really didn't.

Let me assure you, I didn't cry or get my feelings hurt at these negative comments. It angers me that someone who either knows me in real life would say these things anonymously in a blog comment, someone who is my friend on facebook and did the same, or doesn't know me at all and came across my blog in some other way would say these things. The amount of actual life that gets put into this blog is minimal and definitely not enough to actually say to me that I shouldn't be a mother (based on one blog post.) The amount of life that gets shared on facebook is a little more, but still, not all that much. I use facebook as a platform to share photos and links; to chat with friends and family. I rarely discuss work and any kind of advocating I do for my students and others with special needs on facebook. In real life, I'm a pretty closed off person. The people who know me well know a lot about me, and those out the fringes know some, but I try to keep my private life private either way.

I am posting this, sharing my feelings with you to say that if you disagree with something that I post here, tell me politely (or even rudely if you have something to say other than personal attacks) and let's discuss it. I'm more than fine with that, I like it. Tell me why I'm wrong and expect me to tell you why you are. It's give and take, and I enjoy it. If you think that what I write is awful and you never again want to read it, unsubscribe. Please. Because if what I'm writing offends you to the point of leaving rude anonymous comments, we probably won't be friends. I only post my blog in a few places, so chances are unless your my facebook friend you won't see my unless you search me out.

The commenter who left their comments anonymously, left me unknowing whether they are or aren't a facebook friend or fanpage follower, so I again say to Anonymous, if you are my facebook friend or follow my page, please unfriend me or unsubscribe. I do not appreciate anonymous rude comments questioning my ability to do my job as a mother or a teacher, as chances are, you don't know me as well as you think you do. If you leave anonymous comments on any other post, I will remove them.

To everyone else, thanks for reading!! I appreciate every comment and site view. It makes me feel as though someone does like what I'm reading and that I'm doing something right!! So, from the bottom of my heart, Thanks! :)

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Link Party!

Because I love finding new blogs I've been taking part in some link parties lately. It's a ton of fun, and I've gotten a lot of traffic; plus I've found some new blogs to follow and stuff I like! Maybe even some stuff to make? We'll see if the creative bug catches me or not!!

Wanna link up too? Head over to Simple Home Life and add your blog post too!

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A fellow blogger commented on my two minute post yesterday about Eminem. Her statement was, "I actually think he taps into popular culture in a really interesting way" and I have to say, I totally agree. I have a little input about it too. 

Eminem came onto the rap circuit when I was just starting to become a rebellious teen, even though I wasn't that rebellious. Here was this rapper who was saying things that were totally un-PC. He was saying things that no one else would dare say, and he was making money doing it. 

I still like Em because he doesn't only rap about gang like things, making money, or some of the other things that are popular in rap lyrics. He talks about emotions. He was says things that he really means, not just what he thinks people want to hear. 

One of my all time favorite Eminem songs is Sing for the Moment. 

"These ideas are nightmares for white parents Whose worst fear is a child with dyed hair and who likes earrings Like whatever they say has no bearing Its so scary in a house that allows no swearing To see him walking around with his headphones blaring."

Doesn't that pull you in? The music hits hard and is accompanied by Aerosmith, which really only makes it better. It's the really raw emotion throughout the rest of the song that makes me see exactly what he's saying, feel like I'm part of it. In other songs like Mockingbird, a song spoken directly to his daughter, I see the humanity in him that a large part of society likes to pretend isn't there. He is real, he has a daughter and is doing what he is good at to provide for her even when doing that is taking him away from her. That's real and makes an impression on me.

He also raps about things that no one else will touch, like Michael Jackson and sex tapes. Some really ludicrous stuff, I'll admit. But it takes courage to put that kind of stuff out there and say the words that nearly everyone around you is thinking and whispering about, but no one will say. 

Mostly, I can say that popular culture, like me, likes shock value; likes hearing things that no one else is saying or doing. We like hearing wild and crazy things, the drama draws us in. We're human, right? But really for me, it's the really truthful lyrics, the raw words and emotions that create a picture in my mind, and his courage to call people out and say the things he wants to say instead of holding them in. Mostly the latter.

If you see me on a bad day, you can guess that I'll be listening to some really loud Eminem. There's a little insight about me, in case you didn't know. Music is great therapy, and listening to someone say the things I wish I could is even better for me 

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Two Minute Post

I read online yesterday about a 2 minute blog post. Basically, you give yourself two minutes to write about whatever you can come up with.

As I was reading the post, I was listening to Eminem, who is one of my favorite musicians. Surprising? Maybe. But it always chills me out and relaxes me. Even more surprising? I'm sure. But I thought I would take two minutes to share my chill music with you.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Q&A Session: How many kids?

Do you ever wonder what it would be like to have 7 children? Can you even imagine it? Do you ever wonder what it would be like to have only one and be finished?

In my desire to learn about the different perspectives of having children, I asked two of my facebook friends to share about their situations. The first person I talked to, Michele, has a daughter the same age as my son. This woman has gone through so much in her life as a mommy and I truly value her input. I was so glad she agreed to answer some questions and I just loved her answers! Hope you enjoy them, and get something from her answers as well.

1. How many children do you have?
We have 8 children, 7 living.

2. How many children did you think you would have, before you had any of them?
Haahaa...honestly, I never wanted any kids before I got pregnant with our first. Funny little story...we're catholic so we had to talk to the priest before we got know, to make sure we were compatable...haha...well, one of the questions that he was going to ask was if we both wanted kids. The priest just so happen to have to step out of his office for a moment after he asked the question...and I told Tony that I couldn't lie to a priest! He was insistent that I tell the priest that I wanted kids or else he wouldn't marry us. So, being scared about this...I told the priest I wanted lots of kids...and now look at us.

3. How many siblings do you have? Did that affect your decision in the number of children you have?..
Ahhh...Tony and I both have 6 siblings...yep...7 kids on both sides. Its funny because we always say that it was meant to be. In Tony's family, there is 6 boys and one girl. In my family, there is six girls and one boy...AND...we are both identical twins!

4. What was the biggest adjustment from child to child? (1-2, 2-3, etc)
It was very hard for me to go from none to 1 child...mainly because he was a preemie with colic...bad colic. My second child was very laid back, she was very easy. After was like old school...until Kenny and Nick (my micro preemies born at 23 weeks gestation) were born. All our energy and focus had to go to the NICU and then when Kenny came home. Balancing hospital stays, medications, medical equipment, sicknesses, seizures with 5 other kids was very hard...then to find out I was pregnant with Gina (the youngest) when I brought Kenny home from the hospital was a HUGE shock...but very welcomed. I questioned why I couldn't have my son Nick here but ended up pregnant with another child. Now I know why...Gina has helped Kenny learn to do everything. She is his little mommy, his buddy. Now...the older kids really step up and help out with the younger ones...It all just kind of fell into place.

5. What is the biggest challenge to having the number of children you do?
There are a few...
Keeping up with the laundry! haha.. no really!
Being crowded in a little 1100 sq. ft., 3 bdrm home...but even that...we make it work and then everyone asks us about our bills, but really, we shop thrift stores, get hand me downs from people, and use coupons. We don't have credit cards and send 5 kids to a private school...we just had to reset our priorities of life.

6. What do you think would be different if you only had one child?
Oh wow...we'd definitely have a LOT more money to be able to do things and have things like other people...but that would be boring. :)

7. What has been the most important lesson as a mommy?
That each kid has their own personality and way of doing things. That yelling does NOT work and that parenting takes a whole lot of energy and courage.

8. Any regrets or things you would change?
No regrets at all...but changing something...I wish I could have changed the fact that I delivered my twins too early only to bury one and have one with many different needs...but even has bonded Tony and I...strengthened our marriage. We cry together, work together in every way, and talk about everything. We have learned a whole new have our appreciate the little things in life. That materialistic things don't mean anything.

9. Are you absolutely finished having children?
Since Gina, we have had 3 miscarriages. To say we are done...I am leaving it open. I am getting up there in age, so whatever will be, will be.

10. Any tips for new parents?..
Oh yes...make time for each other. Tony and I went through our rough times but we worked together, understood that we were both exhausted from lack of sleep and change in lifestyle (having a child is very stressful) and we just held on for the long does get easier. You have to make time for each other...always hold hands. Oh...and make sure you have a package of wipes in the car at all times!

Isn't that just really inspirational. I myself cannot imagine having seven living children! Eek. My energetic boy is enough to make even question two on most days, but knowing that it can be done really puts a lot of other things in perspective doesn't it?

Next up is a friend from school. Nicole has been a great source of support for me in school, and knowing her family choices have also helped me...but I'll share more after!

1. How many children do you have?
One, my nine year old son Kade.

2. How many children did you think you would have, before you had any of them?
Three or four.

3. How many siblings do you have? Did that affect your decision in the number of children you have?
Two. Not really.

4. What do you think would be the biggest challenge of going from one to two or more at this point?
I'm too old and set in my ways to have an infant and a 9 year old. Also, health concerns. (For the record, Nicole is NOT old.)

5. What is the biggest challenge to having the number of children you do?
I worry about my son being alone now and in the future when tough times (like death of a parent) come along.

6. What do you think would be different if you had more than one child?
My one would get less attention (which could be good or bad). My husband would get less attention. At this point, it really would not work with our circumstances of me working and being in school. Our whole schedule would need revamping.

7. What has been the most important lesson as a mommy?
Most important lesson is to listen. Having an only child is tricky, and fun! I have learned great lessons from Kade when I take the time to listen.

8. Any regrets or things you would change?
There are plenty of regrets. I would have been less Type A about a lot of things (like potty training)...but, more than regrets I am glad that I am at a place in my life that I am able to see my son as a real gift...a blessing that is bigger than I will ever be. Sometimes I regret silly stuff like not saving certain things (:

9. Are you absolutely finished having children?
Yes. One is enough.

10. Any tips for new parents?
Whether you are a young or old parent, a new or experienced, remember that every kid is different and we need to bend with all the crazy stuff that comes along with parenting. There is nothing better than being a mom (or dad). And nothing should be taken more seriously (while being light hearted enough to have fun with your kid). See, parenting is full of contradictions, but as long as you love unconditionally, everything else should work itself out.

I love Nicole's answers too!

I mostly like to model myself after Nicole, because she has an only child, which is where I wonder if Archer will end up. We constantly try to justify our sons being only children, and Nicole told me that anytime she talks to someone who is an only child or a parent of an adult only child, she always asks questions to make sure they are doing okay.

I guess the point of the blog for me was seeing that it can be done either way. I loved hearing both sides of this, and feel free to add your own perspective in the comments or do your own Q&A session on your own blog!!

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Kid-Free Zones

I know before even posting this that I will most likely be in the majority of my parenting friends on this opinion. A current phenomena in our culture is banning children; be it from restaurants, first class, or even movie theaters.

As a parent, I'm supposed to be outraged at this, I think. I'm supposed to be angry that my child, and possibly myself, is being discriminated against. But, truth is, I'm not. Parents and children should be allowed anywhere, right? We have a right to be anywhere without being discriminated against, and if that means a nice restaurant or a movie, then so be it. But I just really don't think that way. I think that if I want to go to a nice restaurant on a date with my husband, I don't want my kid to be there. And I don't really want anyone else's kid bothering me while I'm there. Does that make me sound like a totally unsympathetic person? I'm sure. But really, if I'm going out to somewhere nice, I'm probably sending my kid to my mother who is paying the toll herself, or I'm paying a babysitter: and if I'm paying a babysitter, I most definitely don't want some one else's child screaming and tantrum-ing near by.

Does this mean I think all restaurants should be allowed to ban children? Not at all. I just do not think it's a big deal if some choose to do so. This choice, by the way is 100% legal. Any privately owned business can choose to discriminate against anyone for any reason. Not only is it legal, it's a common marketing practice. It's all about making money in the capitalistic society, and if banning children and drawing in parents with babysitters and DINKs (Double Income, No Kids) makes them money, more power to them. If I'm without a babysitter, I'll go elsewhere or we'll eat in. I really do not have an issue with some restaurants choosing to not allow children of a certain age.

In addition to restaurants banning children, lots of other places are jumping on the bandwagon. An airline recently banned children from first class and is tossing around the idea of creating family only and adult only flights. While I can imagine people with enough money to fly first class might care about this, I do not have this much money so it's not even a blip on my radar. I do actually like the idea of adult only flights and family only flights too. As a parent, I know that my child is going to get restless on a flight much longer than an hour or two, and I would love to be able to fly without worrying that his busy self is going to bother the person in front or behind us. I tried my hardest to keep him as quiet as possible and to keep him from kicking the seat in front of us, but I can't tie him down to the seat and sometimes it just happens. Having a family only flight would really relieve some of that pressure, and not just because I think that people without kids are jerks who have no sympathy for parents and thus will get angry about anything that happens. I know for a fact that this isn't always the case as on my last flight they mixed up our tickets and a man gave up his aisle seat and took a middle seat so that Archer and I could sit together. I personally know that my child can't sit still for two hours without being loud or kicking something, and I hate that he acts that way in public. But I also know it's unavoidable, so like I said, I'm for the family flights.

Theaters also have specific hours for families to come and watch. One I read about online had days and hours for families with children under six. I haven't seen any local theaters do this, but I also don't see this as much of an issue. I don't really take my kid to non-G/PG movies, so I'm not sure if this law (and I mean this in the figurative since, not an actual legal fact) applies to them also or not. If so, that's really dumb and most likely losing them money. I have been in movies with crying children who should not be in said movie. We watched New Moon on opening weekend and it was filled with children and babies, some of whom were crying. That, to me is totally unacceptable. Get a baby sitter. It's not a child friendly movie and babies aren't necessary. I'm really sorry to the moms who can't get a baby sitter or who can't leave their kids for reasons like breast feeding. I really am. But I paid a ton of money to watch that movie, and I don't think that it's fair for someone else to bring their kid to cry through it. Like I said, I have sympathy, I really do. But when I was breast feeding, I didn't go out. It was easier for me to stay at home and be available to feed my child. The few times we did (and could afford to) go out, it was very near home with a babysitter at my house so that I could come straight home and feed him.

And that's where I hop off the child banning bandwagon. While I am willing to accept that I do not have the "right" to be where ever I want in public with my child, I am not on board with banning children from being in the public. Who said that? I found this blog article discussing recent trending topics on twitter, one of which being "places young children should be banned from." Some of the places were ludicrous, like condo-courtyards. Other people were commenting on them and suggesting that people with children actually don't bring them out in public until they are older. Others suggested that the be shipped via Fed-Ex while parents fly in planes or that they wear leashes and muzzles in public. That's really just taking it too far and I truly hope they were being facetious.

My other complaint with this bandwagon is the mass idea that so many parents these days just don't discipline their kids. I honestly don't think that's the problem. Consider, if my child has a tantrum a few times in a store (ever by the way, he's usually very well behaved in public, and we always get compliments on how polite and quiet he is) and your child has thrown a tantrum in a store, then chances are people are really just seeing a lot of the same tantrums and they aren't so wide-spread, just an occasional thing. Does that makes sense? My point is, I think that even a handful of kids having the occasional tantrum, all over the country seems like a ton of mis-behaving kids when it's really not that many kids or tantrums.

I also hate hearing how it's the parents fault. I'm not going to sit here and say it isn't. Parenting is the leading cause of children's behavior, positive and negative. If you reinforce bad behaviors, they will happen again. If you reinforce (or don't reinforce) good behaviors, they won't happen as much. BUT, like my previous paragraph, I don't think it's this global epidemic of horrible parents. I think that I'm a good parent, I really do. I always strive to have a well behaved child, and probably have expectations a little too high in that department (especially considering his genetics haha), but I am the first to admit there are days that I just say "Whatever, if it makes you shut up, then do it!!" I know that's awful, but if you're sitting there judging me and you have kids, shame on you. You've been there, I know it. We all have. We all give in and let our kids do things that they shouldn't be doing because sometimes we need the easy way out. And sometimes it's ok, just not every day. If you're sitting there judging me and you don't have kids, double shame on you because you have no idea what I'm talking about and I know, because I've been there and done that and I was wrong.

If you see my kid throwing a tantrum in public, please know that it's not his typical behavior. He's a little busy and a little loud, but he is not a brat and I am the only one allowed to call him that. I put a lot of hard work into teaching him not to throw fits, not to act ugly, how to act polite, the nice things to say, etc; and it doesn't always work. He is a human, not a programmed robot, and he has free will. Sometimes he doesn't act the way he's been raised, but I don't think that's a reflection of me. I think there are a variety of reasons, and some of them are probably me and my parenting, but he has learned a better way. And those days are probably the days I should have more patience and teach him even more. But I don't. So I don't. And there just isn't much I can do about it. If you have an issue with that and own a business, ban us.

Like I said, I'm sure many parents won't agree with the majority of this post. I do think that we as parents should stand up for the rights of our children, but I don't think that going to any restaurant we as parents want to drag them to is a right, in fact, I know it isn't. But I do think that there are many rights we should stand up for, and I try my very hardest to do so.

My big guy acting sweet out to eat at Texas Roadhouse.

Here are the links used as a reference and inspiration for this post.
No Kids Allowed Movement is Spreading
Stop Discriminating Against My Kid

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Monday, July 25, 2011

I'm flawed, how about you?

What's your biggest flaw? Mine? I'm a procrastinator (have no self discipline). Really.

I put things off until the very last possible second, and then I do something halfway just to get it done. I know that I'm not giving it my all, but I just don't have enough self-discipline to make myself do it without that monumental amount of pressure. I guess that might just make my biggest flaw self-discipline then, huh? Oh well, either one, just know I'm flawed.

Because of my lack of self-discipline, I do lots of things I know I shouldn't. At work, I put myself behind on tasks I should have finished days (sometimes weeks) before. I know they need to be done, but I just keep putting them off. My homework is the worst. I know that I really need to do an assignment, but I end up doing everything but homework. Usually, that's when I pick up on blogging, or I spend too much time on facebook. I get so stressed out that I do everything but what I should be doing. I also eat things I know I shouldn't. I drink way more soda than is healthy for anyone.

I know these things are bad, unhealthy (mentally and physically), and just awful for me and they affect my family too. But I still do them.

I really am flawed. In case you were wondering. In case you thought you were alone.

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Link Party!

We're having a link party at I <3 Naptime!! Just go over to her blog and post a link back to your blog of something you created yourself!! It's tons of fun and a great way to (1) learn new DIY projects and fun stuff and (2) get some new blogs to read and (3) get some extra traffic to your blog! You can't lose!!

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Marriage Advice from a Novice

Two of my bloggy friends posted blogs today about marriage advice. First, let me say, I like theme blog topics because I love seeing others post their very personal (some times very different) thoughts on the same topics.

After you read Rikki's blog and Nikki's blog, you will see that mine is set up very differently. Not because I want to be different, but because I've learned my lessons in very different ways. So here's what not to do:

First, do not just expect your spouse to know what you are thinking. I am guilty of this marriage sin, but I truly have tried so hard to either tell him what's bothering me or what I need him to do, or just keep it to myself and deal with it on my own. Not like, secret keeping, but if it bugs me that he didn't do something I asked him to do, I just walk away and decide it's not important. He'll either remember or he won't and if he doesn't, I'll politely ask him to do it. (I will admit here, that I do lose my patience with him when he won't take the trash out or leave a bag in it, but its not so much that I get angry and we fight...anymore.) This is especially important when it comes to having a new baby. I know it's really hard, but people do not know what you need or don't need, especially the new dad who is freaking out at this monumental change more than he is letting on. If you need to sleep, tell him. If he's a truly loving and caring husband/father, he will let you, if that means calling your mom to come babysit so you can both nap, or just taking care of the baby alone. So, quick review, No one can read your mind, not even your spouse. Tell them how you feel, what you need, and what you want. Otherwise, no complaining when your expectations aren't met.

Which brings me to marriage no-no number two. Do not set unrealistic expectations for yourself or your spouse. No one is a perfect wife. No one has their house immaculately clean every day, with the kids perfect and waiting patiently in their rooms when dad gets home from work. No one, not every day. Not that any of those things are bad. If you have the time, energy and desire to run your household that way, by all means. But just because some live that way, does not mean that everyone should. Relationship roles and expectations need to be known before you actually get married. That's important. If you're husband expects you to have a meal cooke before he's home, and you get off work after him, that's really not going to work.

Next: Always expect these expectations to change. If your life situations, jobs, kids, etc change, the things you expect of your spouse, and they you, also must change. When I was in college and working, it was expected that I would take care of the house. I knew this, and I was always on top of it. Once I started working full time, we started sharing duties. When I was pregnant, things shifted dramatically and I was tired and nauseous (and still working full time) so Chance took over a lot of the duties of the house. When I stayed at home after Archer was born I took care of the entire house, the kid, and my husband. I struggled. A lot. We didn't have set expectations of each other (and I expected him to read my mind) so we fought a lot.

Wanna know what causes most fights? A lack of communication, which is the next marriage sin. If you aren't communicating, in any way, you aren't being fair to each other. Nikki said in her blog that she and her husband wrote letters and emails to each other, which I love. Instead of saying they didn't like to talk it out so they avoided talking about issues, they use a format that works for them. Chance and I usually text in fights. I know that sounds dumb, but not being face to face cuts down on so much of the emotion and intensity of the situation. But we also have moments where we sit down and just talk everything out. You have to talk, and you have to talk about stupid not important things that don't even matter and also the serious things that keep your relationship going.

And last but not least, like each other. And show it. I tease Chance because I'll say, I love you so much, I just don't like you very much. ( A BIG lie ) But liking each other, I mean doing things that they enjoy, showing them that you enjoy spending time with them, no matter how. Know what your spouse likes to do, and share in that with them. Be nice to them, be respectful of them, and genuinely like each other.

We've been married for five years, and dated five years before that. I'm not an expert, marriage is a daily lesson of many disciplines. Every day you learn new patience, new love, new friendship, new anger and frustration. Marriage is not always sunshine and roses. It's not always perfect, in fact, it's never perfect. But it should always be something you invest your all in.

Ten Years Ago

Five Years Ago

This Year

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

To Do List

Due on Wednesday:
-Group assignment
-12 page paper

Due on Thursday
-School Guidance Plan

Due on Friday
-3 page reaction paper

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Archer's Typings

kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkiiuyrreeeeeeeewwwwjmmm fwwwzj/
kfbn/x, qaaaaaaaaaaaaakuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaadfmmmmmmmmmmmmmm/////////////////kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkdddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggrrffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff3333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333ccbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbsaeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

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Are you serious?

I'm really so over all this drama. Really. Over. It. I've dealt with it for far too long and now I refuse. I'm not surprised, I've already lost that ability but that doesn't mean I have to keep caring. When you're ready to change, then you can come to me; otherwise, I'm completely done.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Dear Archer

To my sweet sweet son:

This is possibly my favorite age for you so far. You are a little wild and crazy, but you are also so thoughtful. We talk all the time. You tell me the funniest stories, and you always remember the details of the stories I tell you. You will come running up to me the next day asking about something we've talked about already. You are obsessed with chocolate milk and wake up daily asking for it. You love watching movies and tv, begging for Wow Wow Wubbzy or Toy Story. You still remember the tall buildings from NYC and riding in the taxi. You actually asked to take a taxi home while we were still in New York state, that made me laugh. Since your third birthday is coming up, we've been talking about that a lot. You wanted Race Cars (Disney Cars) for your party theme, but I really wanted to do Toy Story since it's been your obsession all year. You love building castles by stacking things up and you love anything super hero related, especially capes. Since it's summer time you have been swimming so much at Gigi's pool. You want to do it without arm floats and think you can swim under water like the big kids. You've just recently started flipping when you go down the slide which is so scary to me, but at the same time I love seeing you learn new things. You are so brave. I'm sure whenever you read this, you will be just as brave as you are now. Hopefully, you will eventually learn how to balance the bravery with safety.

I love you a bushel and a peck. :) I'll keep you forever.

Love Mommy

I saw a post on LMM that was a letter to her son, and I felt the need to share my feelings with mine.

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