Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Start school with food allergies

 Dash-1 heads off to the wild world of elementary school on Thursday as he starts Kindergarten.

{cue those angels to sing}

I'm in a bit of disbelief that I have a kiddo old enough to be in school now.  All day.  Yeah that's right I said all day.  See why I said the angels can sing? There were some parents looking a little teary eyed at orientation yesterday.  I'll miss the little darling and its certainly going to be quiet around here but it's not like I'm not going to pick him up every day so its all about perspective people. 

But it's also a little scary.  And not just cause my baby is growing up but because he has food allergies.  The severe, throat closing up, gasping for air kind.

In case you weren't aware, he's allergic to eggs and peanuts.  "No big deal that's so normal these days", I hear that a lot from parents.  And it is, but, as a parent, its still a terrifiying nightmare.

I've really noticed the difference as dash-2 starts nursery school.  For him it was just here's the registration form, here's the check, here's the kid.  Have fun! No long winded explanation, no double and triple checking food policies, where epi pens are kept, who's trained, all that kinda stuff.  For dash-1 I had a giant bag of medical stuff to take with me to orientation yesterday, medicine, forms, nebulizer parts {because like most kids with servere food allergies, he also has asthma}.

Light years simpler for the kid without the allergies.  And siginficantly less stress.

So for those of you who may have food allergy kids starting school in a year or two here are some tips.  Though I should preface this by saying I'm hardly an expert, the main thing I have going for me is 4 years experience dealing with food allergies and keeping my kid alive.


Stop by the nurses office! Stop by and give them a head up about your child's allergies.  Unless you live in a bubble of a community this wont be the first allergy they've seen.  Ask them what information they are going to need for the beginning of the year.  What forms need to be filled out, where are the epi pens stored, who is trained, what's response time, is there a special peanut free table, how is snack handled, any other questions you might have.

I stopped by before I met with our Allergist so that I would be prepared at our appointment to get all the info filled out and so that I could get her opinion as to where she wanted the epi pens stored, did they need to be in the classroom or would the nurses office do? Did he need to be at the peanut free table? It was nice to be able to get those questions answered during an appointment rather than playing phone tag.  

Talk with your AllergistGet a Food Allergy Plan IN WRITING! Most school districts will give you their own plan to be filled out, I also recommend getting one from your doctor to give to the school in conjunction to theirs.  Our Allergist's form had more info about what a reaction would look like and more information is always better.

Make sure the school has numerous ways to get a hold of you and that you have the most up to date info for emergency contacts and give them a heads up.  If epi-pens need to be used then emergency services will be called.  This means if the school can't reach you, they will be calling your emergency contact.  Being military we don't live near family, our contacts are neighbors and friends, while they knows the boys and they know her I wanted our main contact to understand about Dash-1's allergy.

Get everything together a couple weeks before school so that you have enough time to get a hold of doctors should you need something else.  I started putting medical supplies and forms in a big bag way up on top of our china cabnet where they would be out of reach but also out of the way and not used. As I got medicine filled for school I just tossed it up there.

Put the epi pens in a zip up case Not only is this for convenience sake, dash-1 needs to have 2 epi pens so this keeps them together, but it gives me a little holder to put information in

What info is in there? All of my contact information, his doctor's contact info, all of the medicine that he is currently on, all of his medical conditions, and what he is allergic too.  My thinking is that should EMS be called and I'm not there they have the information that they may need. 

Label everything.  I learned the importance last year when dash-1's epi pens were stolen from pre-k, yeah that's right I said stolen from pre-k {read the whole long story here} the stolen epi pens were first identified as dash-1's because for some random reason I decided to write his name both on the holder and the actual epi pen.  Now I label everything.

I ordered some very cute labels from here so that they would be clear and easy to read.  Life saving medicine is not where you want letters to be mis-read.The nebulizer hose that I sent in, labeled.  The inhaler? Labeled {both the medicine canister and the little puffer}  

EVERYTHING is LABELED!

Try to meet the teacher before the first day.  I had hoped to meet with him before orientation but well it just didn't happen like I had hoped.  Personally speaking I don't think orientation or meet the teacher day is the time to talk about food allergies.  "Hi nice to meet you by the way don't feed my kids peanuts you'll kill him.  Have a great year!"  A bit much.

Let the teacher know what your kids allergies are and the severity, but also what that severity means.  People who don't deal with food allergies can sometimes be confused by that.  Let them know what your expectations are but also that you are more than willing to do whatever it takes to make their job and your kids experience as easy as possible.

In our school the kindergarteners eat a group snack.  A food allergy parents nightmare.  Obviously I'll be providing dash-1 with his snack except on the days where I provide for the whole class, so if that means picking up extra days so he can eat snack more often with other people so be it.

I'm also going to supply the teacher with a couple of cookies from Divvies to keep in the classroom these come prepackaged so they have a great shelf life and are perfect for the unexpected treat from another parent.

Whether it's checking out the brand of soap {check for those almond oils!}, answering a question, or providing a snack or whatnot, let the teacher know that you are always willing to do what is needed. Trade email addresses as now days that's the easiest way to get a hold of people, especially if your school is like ours and has a phone system from hell.

If you do go to an orientation or something before hand and your kid is going to be sitting at a peanut free table away from his class ask if there are other kids who will be sitting there as well. There was one other litle boy in Dash-1's class and when I introduced them and told them they would be sitting together at a "really cool table" both boys got excited and thankfully, to my relief, hit it off right away.

If you have the time make up some allergy free goodies to take into your kids teacher.  I've noticed that when I tell people about the egg allergy and offer to make snacks I get a weird sort of "oh sweet Jesus I'm not eating some wackadoodle healthy egg free cookie or cupcake."  In fact I got that look yesterday.

So while it may seem like sucking up, I'm making up some goodeis to take into the school on the first day for the teachers and nurse to try out.  Divvies has a great cookbook with amazingly yummy recipes that taste fantastic and are egg, peanut, tree nut and milk free.  Milk free fudge that is smack your mama good. I mean it, I made a test batch and gained 5 lbs. Really.

And here is a little something for everyone else.  If you have an allergy kid in your child's class, please try to put yourself in that parent's shoes.  

Yesterday when the teacher announced that there were some food allergies in the class I did catch two parents rolling their eyes.  Trust me this is no walk in the park for us.  Making cupcakes for EVERY birthday, holiday party, whatever is not a dream for me either, but we are trying to make the safest enviroment for our kids.  Much like other issues, the best thing you can do for an allergy kid and parent is just make the effort to try to understand, that's all we ask.

And please for the love of all that is good, stop sending in treats without running it by the teachers first.  Not only does it mean that they can't give us a heads up but it annoys them.  A lot.

I think that's about everything.  I know this is a long winded post but I hope its helpful to some of you out there.  Sending off an kid to school for the first time can be scary but an allergy adds a whole new dynamic. If you have any tips that I've left out please add them! The more the merrier!

Monday, August 30, 2010

the book giveaway winner is......

I used random.org to generate random winners, really I do, I just can't for the life of me figure out how to show the image here.  Really.   I'm thinking it's got to be some sort of user error on my part but basic directions are no longer cutting it, I need someone to web-ex in and show me how but I don't think their customer support does that.

Any ways, the winners were #14 and #21.  Just so you don't have to go back and count, that would be Kamas and Elise and The Roaming Southerner.  I just need you ladies to email me your addresses so I can forward them on. 

Congrats and I hope you guys really enjoy the book.  Of course my real wish would be that everyone has peaceful doctors visits but face it, with kids, that just ain't gonna happen.  Ever. Your last prenatal appointment was your last peaceful appointment.

I'm hoping to have an actual post up here sometime soon.  The past few days have been busy with the little one getting more teeth and the older two getting ready for Kindergarten and nursery school.  Kindergarten orientation was today and the first day is the end of the week for both.

{insert the sound of angels singing here}

But I promise... an actual post to come.  No really.  I promise.  But in the meantime anyone have any ideas on what to post about?  First day pics to come OF COURSE!

Friday, August 27, 2010

don't forget to enter!



Don't forget to enter the giveaway here for a fantastically useful copy of 1001 Healthy Baby Answers - Pediatricians Answers to All the Questions You Didn't Know to Ask

I'm guessing Or Because Your Two Other Children Were Wrestling on the Hospital Floor didn't fit on the cover. 

All joking aside, there are going to be 2 lucky winners and this is a must for any parent and would make a great baby shower or new baby gift. {I'm all about winning something you can give away to someone else and save some money, can you tell?}

Go! Now! Enter! Entries are low and there are TWO lucky winners!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Whats your ideal age?

I was doing some heavy reading today *ahem* US Weekly, serious reading folks.  Serious. 

There were some pics in there of bump watches, which I could give two shits about, but then again, in all honesty I could give two shits about everything in that magazine and no, no I can't explain why I would have wasted the money buying it.  My defense is that its fluff.  Fluff is nice sometimes.

I noticed a couple things, a. they hunt down pregnancies, the rumor of pregnancies and any sign of pregnancies like a hooker looks for a good street corner and b. they put plaster peoples ages all about. But it also had me wondering about age and pregnancy..... and what is the norm these days.

I was 24 when I had dash-1.  A mere baby myself by some people's standards.  22mths later dash-2 came along and then last year I was 3wks shy of 28 when I had what will probably be our last, dash-3. {somewhere flyboy is reading this about to administer his own vasectomy} So for now, most likely, the door closes on pregnancies for me with 30 right around the corner.

I know there are people out there who can't fathom popping out 3 kids before 30.  We wanted to have our kids while we were young.  {Flyboy is 2 years older if you must know}  Now I know your saying "but 40 isn't old!" {I saw a lot of baby bump watching of 40 yr olds} and you're right.  40 isn't old.  In fact I hear its the new 20, but see, flyboy and I want to enjoy our life after kids. 

BECAUSE THERE IS APPARENTLY LIFE AFTER KIDS! {cue the singing angels}

That means enjoying watching them grow up, watching them become adults, watching them raise their kids, travel together, making up for all this hard work and time apart.  We figured that we could spend time together before we had kids or after we had kids.... we figured we'd appreciate it more afterwards.

I had 2 tough pregnancies and 1 easy one. I couldn't imagine doing that to my body past my 30's.  Much like I couldn't imagine doing these sleepless nights and butt early mornings in my 40's.  No thanks.  In my 40's I want to be freezing my ass off watching soccer on a friday night at my kids high school. 

Everyone has their own rhyme or reason.  I'm curious what's your thinking.

When's your ideal age to have kids?  Do you want them earlier or later? Younger or older? Close together or spaced out?

another awesome giveaway

Not that I want to alert you to a really {really} cool giveaway, but I want the five extra entries... so against my better judgment, head over to Live, Laugh, Love Our Air Force Life and check out her sodastream giveaway.

However, keep in mind I'm DYING for one of these so don't enter.  K?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The baby book you MUST have - GIVEAWAY!

I'm really excited about this review and giveaway for 1001 Healthy Baby Answers - Pediatricians Answers to All the Questions You Didn't Know to Ask, by Gary Morchower, MD  First I love me a giveaway, but also, this is a really great book.

How great? I already have a ton of pages bookmarked.

I couldn't have asked for it at a better time.  Dash-1 was going in for his stomach surgery and dash-3 was having a bunch of testing done for his uti.  And for both very important doctors appointments I found myself getting home from the doctors and having a crap ton of questions.

I know I know your thinking, "how could she have questions, she has three kids and is supermom!?"  Ok so maybe not the super mom part but someone could be....

Wanna know why I have questions?  Cause I drag three kids ages 5 1/2, 3 1/2, and almost 1 to the doctors.  It's impossible to focus.... or hear.

Case in point, I thought the doctor said uti's in male infants is normal.  No no she apparently said abnormal and I only figured that out from reading the book.  See why it came in the nick of time?

This book breaks down all sorts of things from UTIs, to hernias, to baby acne, reflux, rashes, all sorts of fun things you have to look forward to when the doctor hands you your little bundle.  But so far I've used it for all three of my kids so it really does go beyond babies.

And the best part? It's broken down in very easy to understand terms.  Cause I love me easy to understand medical stuff.

Which is another plus of the book.  There is one doctor in the peds clinic on post who I can not for the life of me understand.  He talks in some form of weird medical language and even when I ask questions we just seem to be talking in two different languages.  I'm going to take this book with me next time I luck out and get him for an appointment.

The questions I had about the testing that dash-3 was going to be having done and dash-1's surgery were super clear to me. They were the exact questions I was kicking myself for not asking.  If you must know I had planned on asking them until I realized that dash-2 was eating the food that he was dropping on the floor.  And no, they didn't have a section about eating food off a hospital floor but I'm guessing what they would say about that.

I really don't like baby books.  I find them confusing and all in all totally the opposite of helpful but this one really is great.  How great? This book is a MUST have for any parent and would be a great gift for new parents.

Really, its that good and its that important. 


AND TWO READERS will win a copy!!!

How fab-u-lous is that?  And if you don't have kids this is a great gift for a friend who is expecting or for someone who has kids.


So to enter.....

leave a comment - I'm curious does anyone else forget to ask the doctor questions? Surely its not just me if someone wrote a book.

for another entry- tweet about this giveaway! You can tweet daily for daily extra entries! {don't forget to @mrs_flyboy} If possible mention the title of the book and include a link to the giveaway!

for another entry- blog about it!

And please leave a SEPARATE comment for EACH entry

This giveaway will be open until Saturday August 28th. Good luck!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Because I had to share.....

It's been quiet around here.

I've had stuff to write but dash-3 was on and off sick, again, and sleeping in 2 hour blocks.  The inlaws made a quick stop off for a weekend visit, but of course, flyboy was away, so I thought blogging might be a bit rude.  Then there was a stop off to visit some family on the drive down to my parents for one last visit before school starts.

So, not much to blog about.  Nothing exciting anyways.

Until today.  Today at lunch with my parents, in a very crowded Panera's,  I turned over to my right to see little, darling, inquisitive dash-1 playing with something he found in my purse.

Because in case you don't remember, when you were five, mom's purse was like a treasure chest with all sorts of neato stuff in it.

And what did my purse have in it that was calling his little name?  Was it the gummy bears? The crayons? The little cars notepad? My blackberry? Nope. None of that.

A tampon.

Yup.  That's right.  A tampon.

Oh and one that he had unwrapped and held up for every table in a 5 table radius could see.  And professed that he was going to make something amazing out of it.

You know what I can count on?  Dash-1 to always come thru with the blog fodder.

Now if only he would keep his hands out of my purse....

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Crawl out from the rock!

It's that time around here again! Time to delurk everyone! 

Crawl out from behind the blog reading rock to leave me a comment and let me know that you're out there me.  After all, if I'm sharing my daily life "successes" with you it's only fair.

And another question.... do all the people who follow me really read me?  {I'm wondering if this is going to cause a mass exodus of followers} I really don't write for the comments, I'm just wondering if the majority of the 371 people on my sidebar are actually reading the mundane drivel I write about.

And just so fair is fair, because I want you to comment and let me know about you, I'll let you know about the fun in our house right now.

Dash-1 and dash-2 have turned the nursery into a dark campsite, however said campsite is also serving a dual purpose as a candy corn store in which dash-1 is handing out "free candy corn to all the nice little boys and girls".  Uhuh.

Dash-2, of course, has his underpants on backwards but they are at least right side out.  This is an improvement.  They are also a size too small but since they are CARS he doesn't want to throw them out so he looks like a European on the way to the beach.

Dash-3 found his way in a box and luckily I know he's in there so no one will be able to send him to Abu Dabi or anything like that.

Oh and me... I've installed a blogfrog widget and set up a little community thingy there, check it out if your so inclined. I'm not sure how it works but hey, I didn't get twitter at first either and now I'm a first class twit. Or this parenting thing and we all know how that is going....

That about sums up our day.  So now about you.....

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Get your forks ready!

It's parental crow eating time!

Speaking of crow, I'm just realizing I haven't seen or heard our rooster in a couple of days. I should look into that.... perhaps there is a trail of feathers around the farm I've been missing.

Sorry, the bird reference made me think of that. That's how my mind works.  Drives flyboy crazy, I can't imagine why.

Anyways, the post at hand.  New Girl On Post got me thinking, she did a post a day or two ago about kids and electronics. She said that she's observed kids on electronics almost everywhere and what were peoples opinions. 

A lot of commentors admitted to being without kids seemed to be the most against it.  Those of us with kids admit that we wished we didn't, but from time to time we do use it somewhat as a babysitter, grocery store, waiting room, situations like that.

We all seemed to be in agreement about absolute no zones, ie church.

This made me think about parental crow.  What is that you ask? All the things that we parents have said our kids would NEVER EVER do, eat, wear, and the list goes on and on.

On of my biggest parental crow offenses is the dvd in the car.  I swore my kids would never watch movies in the car, after all I had to read a book or look out the window.  {Typically look out the window because reading made me puke.}

Then I had kids.  Plural.  Cause with just one they don't have anyone to fight with.  I had kids, I did a lot of long drives, I spent a lot of time by myself with my kids and all I wanted was some quiet.  

Enter car dvd player.

<cue angels singing

Silence.  For periods of time. Delightful.  Seriously, if I could find the person who said, "Hey Bob, let's mount the dvd player IN the car.  And headphones, let's add wireless headphones!"  I would nominate them for a Nobel peace prize. {I know I've done a post in the past about how this really is deserving of one, its just how strongly I feel about it}

I get that kids need to learn to function without distractions of tv or DS or those kind of things, got it.  My kids do plenty of playing outside, digging in dirt, reading books, counting, drawing, playdough, you know the good old fashion stuff, but there comes a time, that quiet is needed.

Total, all encompassing quiet.

I have been told by one or two people without kids that they find the phrase, "once you have kids you'll understand" very offensive.  Well.... I don't know how else to put it.  We all had ideas of what we would do and some things that's held true, dammit if none of them are coming to mind short of no drinking or hookers.

I said my kids would never pee outside, well now we live on a farm and have three little boys. Make plans, God laughs. There is so much outside peeing you'd think I lived in a zoo.

I said they'd eat veggies, well they aren't so much veggie eaters but we have to buy our fruit at S*m's club to keep enough for everyone.

I said they'd never have electronic games but our friends gave Dash-1 an almost brand new DS that their daughter really didn't use anymore and its perfect for dr's appts.

I said I'd never yell at my kids.  I had to collect myself after typing that one, once we've left the cute toddler stage that one didn't last long.

Parental crow.  That's it folks.  I've eaten a lot of it and I'm only 5 1/2 years into this game.

What's your crow? Come on..... we all have some.....

Monday, August 9, 2010

Where's the technology?

We live in a great country.  We have amazing technology, things are possible that in the not so distant past couldn't have even been imagined. 

Yet at the same time I can't help but feel like we are lagging.  In specifics, why can't we have an amazingly low calorie donut that is as good as the high calorie ones?

Why can't diet soda taste like the real thing instead of some weird bizarro aftertaste that hits you like a ton of bricks?  {And I know some of you are going to write in and say how much you love the taste of diet soda, please tell me what your drinking cause diet coke taste like ass.}

Why can't they make a silent dental drill?  Shoot maybe they already do but our craptastic dental insurance doesn't cover it.  But still, man walked on the moon forty years ago surely we can make this one happen.

Why can't there be a dry shampoo that really, truly, works? 

Why can't blackberry figure out how to perfect the roller ball on my crackberry?  Really blackberry, its the only thing that isn't perfect on that sucker.  {Flyboy has the touch screen and HATES it. The roller ball/keyboard combo seems to be the way to go.  Until the roller ball goes wacky.}

Have I missed anything?

Oh and why aren't craptastic and bizarro in the spellcheck, its 2010 get with the program!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

why I do what I do

When I started blogging it was total anonymity.  Total.

Not even my husband knew I had a little slice of the web.

After a while I eventually told him I was blogging, and then ma came to find out, then a friend or two, my brother and his fiancee, then a cousin found me thru my brother and twitter and hence the blog...  you get where I'm going.

There are times that my anonymity feels like a smoke shield at best. But I still keep it up.

We all have our own take on PERSEC {personal security}.  Some people use their names, locations, show pictures of their husband in uniform with rank and unit insignias in full view.  Some blur certain things out, some put the base but use nicknames, some people don't put pics of their kids up.  Its all personal preference. 

What feels right for one doesn't feel right for another.  
I didn't want to put all our information out there, even now as more and more of you know me, I still don't. We aren't stationed at a "normal" Marine Base, but rather a small base where the number of Marines is in the low hundreds not thousands, not to mention that flyboy's MOS is quite possibly the smallest MOS at this time in the Marine Corps. 

Couple that with his coming and going, and putting his face, job, rank, everything out there didn't feel safe. Still doesn't.

Now don't get me wrong. I have loved sharing the strange little uniqueness of our family.  Right now my son is walking around with a Nemo floaty around his neck and just uttered "great googly moogly" and I have told anyone who wants to know on the world wide web that my husband has armour all-ed his shop vac and cleans the bathroom with a steam cleaner in his underwear. 

I have even put pictures up of my absolutely adorably fantastic kiddos.  Flyboy is slightly less then thrilled about that.  But in the almost three years this blog has been up, not one picture of him has graced these pages. 

Not one.

Not one utterance of his rank, not one picture of his blues or his flight suit.  Not one wordless Wednesday picture of his rack that I'm oh so proud of.  {And by rack I mean his ribbons and when he hit his sixth row it was hard not to snap a pic of that}

Nothing too identifiable to trace back to him.  It's just not safe. 

For a while I thought I was being melodramatic about this all.  Then there was a plot to blow up his base, more specifically, to blow up the military airplanes, ie. his ride, coming into and out of the airport. 

Just a reminder of the state of the world we live in. 

Not to mention that my husband would prefer for this blog not to become a must read around the squadron and I'll agree with him on that one. {The kids aren't around his work ever so I don't worry about someone seeing one of their pics and putting two and two together}

I think some might think that bloggers who don't put their face and name out there are somehow not quite as authentic.  I can see how they might think that, but I am or at least I try to be.  My views are mine and mine alone.  I'll tell you what I think and how I'm feeling, I'll share my honest thoughts and opinions, I'll answer any questions asked of me, I'll share a lot, good, bad, ugly, funny, you name it it's be published here, by me, under my little cloak of anonymity.

Any questions?

Friday, August 6, 2010

and the winner is....

Ashely from Daddy's Duty!

Congrats and just email me {or DM} your information to me and I'll pass it along to the KIDStrong folks. Thanks to everyone who entered and I have another great giveaway/review coming up for a fantastic book later this week.  And a fun giveaway later in the month.....

Thursday, August 5, 2010

How my mind works I'll never know

Flyboy told me once {actually he says it a lot} that he wishes he could worry about the mindless stuff that I worry about.  You see I have a problem.  I obsess over minuet little things that really, in the grand scheme {ok even the not so grand scheme} have little to no real importance.

Case in point today? What to put on the back of dash-1's bookbag.  As he takes his first steps towards becoming an astronaut, aka kindergarten, he's picked out this doozy {the blue/green one}, isn't he going to be so cute walking into school with it?! I've heard L.L. Bean bookbags hold up fantastically well and they really are reasonably priced. 

But.

What to monogram on it?

Do I put his name? Then his name will be emblazend on there for all to see.  Of course on the other hand, every one at school is already going to know his name and I'm pretty sure everyone in a three country area already knows his name because they have heard me yell it at Target, Walmart, McDonalds, the commissary, PX, need I go on?

Do I put his intials?  I used to see initials on bookbags all the time.

Sidenote: I always wanted an LL Bean bookbag with my initials but ma wouldn't get one for me.  Maybe that's why I'm getting one for my kids. Hmmmm... interesting

But intials for a Kindergartener, is that a little formal?  And since his name is already shortenable to a three letter name will his intials be confusing? Oh and not to mention that they don't have a monogramming option for intials that I like.  They all seem so stuffy.

I could go with just one letter.  But then do I go with his first name letter or last name letter?  I'm thinking first.....

See.  See this is what has been occupying my mind ALL morning. Really. 

I worry about other stuff too. 

worry about household finances, making money go as far as it can on one income, I worry about the stuff my kids are eating, I worry about their health, how dash-1's belly is healing since today it looks a little bloated, I worry about dash-3's kidney health and how his VCUG study will go on monday, I worry about dash-2's speech since I've been hearing a little stuttering lately. 

I worry about what kind of young men they will grow up to be, I worry about our parenting and not screwing them up, I worry about them getting hit by a car in a parking lot.

I worry about flyboy's stress level.  I worry about him going back to combat, I worry EVERY SINGLE time he gets in his airplane, I worry about God knows what he's been exposed to in his time in the Marines.

I worry I wont be around long enough to watch my kids grow up.  I worry about a lot.  I really do.

But I'm also really really worried about picking the wrong thing to put on my kids bookbag.

Incidentally we wont have this issue with dash-2.  His initials are the same as his first name.  I'm not going to lie, we did that on purpose and I'm now wishing we had done that with all of them. 

So, intials, name, single letter, nothing.... what's your take.  And do you obsess and worry about minor things or can you just let things go and pull the trigger on a decision?  If you can I'm jealous.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My parents made me play by myself

Sometimes modern parenting can suck it.

I hear things evolve over time, I can only assume this goes for parenting as well.  Shoot back in the caveman days caveman moms probably carried their kids by the scruff of their necks with their teeth.  I haven't passed anyone in Target doing that. 

Our parent's were kicked out of the house at oh dark thirty, allowed to wonder the streets of wherever-ville, and reported back for dinner.  Or whenever mom leaned her head out of the house and screamed your name loud enough to cover a solid 5 mile radius.

Not so much anymore.

Parenting has evolved to the point where I feel every minute of my day must be spent with my kids.

And I'm not even touching on the "the world is scarier our kids can't play outside alone" feeling.

This is just straight up helicopter parenting, a kind of constant, obnoxious, hoovering over kids these days.There is a fine line between spending time with your kids and running 24/7 to keep them entertained and amused.  Honestly, I gave you life, amuse yourself.

But in all seriousness, this is just one more way that we are making our kids more and more dependent on us.  We are shorting them on the ability to entertain and occupy themselves.  And taking away the great lessons in failure and success.

Now I'm not saying I want my kids to run around with sharp scissors poking their eyes out or anything, but then again, doing something every now and again in the playroom without mom stepping in might have some learning potential in it.

I was talking to my mom about this and told her that I don't have a lot of memories of her "playing" with us.  I was kinda worried she would take this as some smack down on her parenting skills, she was an amazing mom.  I remember her baking us lots of cookies, taking us all over creation for whatever sport, volunteering for anything and everything, but not so much playing with us.

She didn't miss a beat when I told her this, "That's because I didn't.".  Oh well than.  That would explain that.

I've talked with a fair number of other moms about this and most all seem to agree with me.  Modern parenting seems to have this strange requirements that parent's now feel like they need to "be with" their kids 24/7.  Why do I feel guilty when I'm doing housework and the kids are playing upstairs in the playroom with each other?

I won't even get into the guilt if everyone seems to be quiet and I decide to pick up a book or my laptop.

Even flyboy has been brainwashed by this.  The other weekend I was eating my breakfast downstairs in peace after making and feeding everyone else.  I was reading the paper and actually enjoying 5 quiet minutes.  He came into the room and wanted to know why I was hiding and wasn't upstairs with the boys.  Ummmm?  Because I'm watching all the exits and can see if they escape?

I know I'm not alone in this.  Why? Because I've noticed something interseting.  When I drive up to the park I'll notice the other mom at the park just sitting, the SECOND she spies another parent coming into the park {that would be me} she hops up and starts sliding down the slide with junior, or suddenly has great interest in the rock wall.

And I've seen this time and time again.  Shoot, I like being the only one at the park so I can sit back and relax and watch my kids play.  When the other parents are there the expectation up a notch.  And why?  Your hardly a bad parent if you don't play with your kids the entire time. Geez kids I brought you to the park so you could play outside!

{Side note, being that douchbag at the park who is smoking a cig and reading a mag while your kid is begging another parent to push them on the slide will probably result in getting your car keyed by said other parent. Don't ignore your kid just help them figure out how to play by themselves.}

Bottom line, good kids really can play by themselves and be by themselves some.  Our parents turned out just fine.  We turned out just fine, shoot and we were riding around sharing seat belts in cars {without booster seats might I add} and eating raw cookie dough.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Military Wife Life

I'll never forget a couple years ago when a mom at the park told me that she was a religious view of Army Wives so she understood what I faced as a military wife.  I must admit, I was actually speechless.

A rather rare occurence.

Maybe Army Wives does give insight to outsiders about what our lives are like.  But watching and feeling are very different things.

I think sometimes people wonder why miltiary wives hold tight to that description and yet at the same time so many hate to be known only as that, after all I'm many things, I'm a daughter, a wife, a mother, which is by far the title that I hold closest to my heart, but at the end of the day, I am also a military wife.

As a military wife I have had to hold my little boys while they cry for their daddy.

I have explained to my then two year old that daddy does not indeed live in the telephone.

I have often times been the only parent there without their spouse in the audience at school parades or plays.

I have been a stand in when daddy can't show up for "someone you love day". {Though I'm not a bad sub if I may say so.}

I have watched my boys take their first steps, say their first words, get their first scrapes and wonder if I should tell or just let their "first" happen again when daddy comes back into town.

I am more used to sleeping by myself then with someone else.

I understand that Uncle Sam doesn't care who's birthday it is or what age they are celebrating.  I also understand that he will not send a stand in to take gifts out of the box and put them together and I should buy accordingly.

I have sat in the waiting room and waited during test and procedures alone.

I have carried my phone everywhere with me for fear of missing a call. I have stared at it and willed it to ring.  I have answered it, heard his voice, and cried.  And then have had nothing to say.

I have seen things and thought they would be fun to do only to realize he'll be away. Again.

I have teared up at the sight of an American Flag flying in the wind because I know what sacrifice has gone into those colors.

I have kissed my husband and watched him turn and walk off.... to war.

Watching those things on tv might give someone an idea of what our lives are life, but its a far cry from living it.  All that being said, how could being a military wife not be a description of me seeing as how its shaped me?


What have you done, felt, learned as a military wife that you don't think you quite get from Army Wives?

Monday, August 2, 2010

the thing about dreams

I was watching Wife Swap friday night and as usual they had some fascinating families. 

Really where do they find these people? {My cousin informed me that she has seen people "recruiting" in Hollywood Studios, note to self avoid that part of Disney world}

They always pick such diametrically opposing families and this episode was no exception, but it did make me wonder something. I'll spit it out and fill in the rest later....when is it a parents role to push their children to achieve their dreams and when is it as irresponsible as flushing gold coins down the toilet?

Side note: since I know first hand that elmo underpants do indeed flush down a regular toilet I'm guessing that gold coins would also go down without much fuss.

One of the families last friday was guilty, in my opinion, of flushing down gold coins.  They had so far spend 20k on their sons rap career.  I think its also worth mentioning that he was something like 10 or 12 and sucked at rapping.  But they shoveled a ton of money into it, hired him a body guard {so five year old girls wouldn't rip off his necklaces} and COVERED their car with his face.

And so back to my question? Should you really push your kids to do something that has NOOOOOOO chance of ever panning out?

Are the parents hoping their kids hit some pay dirt?  Are they blinded by love to the fact that their kid has no real talent?  Are they living their dreams thru their kids?
Whats the deal?!

Parents are here to do a couple of things, give love, some guidance, impart some manners and morals {double check the morals part, the world could use less Madoffs and other assorted douchebags} somewhere in guidance and love is also inspiring them to pursue their dreams.  

Clearly some common sense is also needed in parenting. Too bad it always seems to be in short supply. 

I don't even need to ask dash-1 what he wants to be when he grows up, it hasn't changed in three years, his life goal is to be an astronaut.  Although he is willing to concede that should he not make it up to space he'd settle for mission control.  

I just asked Dash-2 and today he wants to be a cowboy. He is also now running around in his underpants and a cowboy hat screaming "giddy up".  I don't know much about cowboys is there more to it then that? I think he has the idea.

So am I going to take out a giant ass loan and send one kid to a ranch and one to space camp?  
 
Well actually I think space camp could be a worthwhile endeavour, really, push your kid to be an astronaut and whats the worst that happens?  He accidentally ends up with an advanced degree in something?  

And ranching is a worthy life as well.  Well shoot my kids have good taste.  But here's the thing, if they don't have any real talent I'm not spending an arm and a leg, even if they love it.  I want to encourage them and I want them to have dreams and something that they work towards, but at the end of the day, not everyone is meant to do everything. 

What bothered me about the family in Wife Swap, they had other kids {four I think} and they were completely ignoring the other kids to funnel all their energy and money into only one of their kids dream.  They even made the other kids "work" for the rapper.  At what point is it a parents responsibility to point out that a dream just might be that.... a dream?

I know we like to say that if you work hard you can be anything,  well, that just isn't so true.  Dash-2 likes horses, but given his body type and his genes, I could spend 20k and he's never going to be a jockey.  EVER. 

Its probably more realistic that he'd go into space first. Or turn into a horse.

That family has spend 20k and they have a mediocre rapper with an inflated ego and no real discernible talent and they have ignored their other kids.  I'm thinking that money might have been better spent in a 401K or shoot, space camp or buying some cattle and turning him into a cowboy.    


So what's your take on it? And what does your kid want to be?  Any other cowboys out there? We could start a ranch.....