Friday, September 30, 2011

5QF: Feeling like Fall

 Woohoo!! It's Friday and I am so glad for that for several reasons. One, we are actually getting cooler weather this weekend in this neck of the woods. I have had my fair share of HOT, muggy weather and it's time we bask in the cool, crisp mornings of fall. We are quite busy this weekend and you'd think I'd want to slow down after a long busy week. Lemme think about this for a minute.....Nah. 

I'm going shopping with my SIL and niece on Saturday with no kids!! My hubby has graciously accepted kid responsibility for a day while I go spend money. Also, with our Sea World passes we are heading to SW for their annual Spooktacular on Sunday after church. We haven't told them yet and I can't wait to see the excitement!!! 

Now onto some 5QF. I haven't participated in weeks!! W E E K S!!! I'm usually volunteering in Miss K's class on Fridays, but I'm such an overachiever and got so much done, the teacher does not need my help today. Cool for me. I can enjoy three solid hours of no children, checking my blogs, writing and emailing. Nice.

1. Do you apologize to your kids if you're wrong? Yes I do. I've actually had to do that a few times when I made a mistake and blamed the wrong child for something. Like an innocent child, they have accepted my apology with a kiss and a hug. If only adults could display such innocence in a mistake.
2. Do you have a class ring, Letterman's jacket, or similar obscenely priced high school "must have"? Yes I did have my parents pay for a class ring. I wore that thing for so many years then when I got pregnant with my daughter I put it away. It's been sitting in my jewelry box for ten years now. I haven't even looked at it anymore.
3. If you could be one age for the rest of your life, what age would you choose? I would like to be 25. It was such a carefree age for me.
4. What is your favorite (unused) baby name? I love quintessential names that my husband wrinkles his nose at. Alexander, Nathanial, Edward, Elizabeth.. Wow I am at a loss for girl names. Boy names are easy for me. I also loved the names Natalie and Aubrey. Those names were never used for my little girl. Again.. the *nose wrinkle*.
5. If you could make your child like something what would it be? For Little E~ vegetables!! If I could get that boy to eat veggies without me trying to sneak them into foods or bribe him to eat them, it would be great. He is such a picky eater and it really frustrates me. 
If I could get Miss K to like cleaning. That child is not me at all, in the sense of OCD. She might be obsessive about her trinkets and papers, but she is in NO WAY obsessive about keeping a clean room. She is definitely her father's daughter.  

Thursday, September 29, 2011

PYHO: Purity Starts at Seven

I know that I am led to see or read things in my life. I believe in fate. Maybe even a little bit of pre destiny. This morning while getting my daughter's hair ready for school, it's school picture day, she talked about the last time she was at the dentist's office. Maybe it was because we were making a big fuss with how her hair looked. She said to me " the man dentist asked me if I had a boyfriend". I looked at her like what?

"I told him noooo", Miss K answered innocently "and then he said oh, by the next time you come to get your teeth cleaned, I'm sure you will". She was looking at me with question in her eyes as if I had an explanation as to why he would say that.

Heck I don't know why! Why would he ask my eight year old daughter a question like that? I know that she is a very pretty little girl, she'll knock you down with her gorgeous eyes. I may be partial because I'm her mother, but seriously, she is beautiful.

So maybe he figured that being such a pretty little girl, she would have a boyfriend. I really don't know.

This was the opening to the moment I plan on having with her later. At the time, I didn't know it. I get a monthly newsletter from Crosswalk and it my email today, there was a parenting newsletter titled Sexual Purity Starts at Seven.

God was talking to me again. He opened my eyes this morning with Miss K's conversation and if I had not had that conversation, I probably would have never read this email. But it caught my eye because my awareness has been piqued.

I want to share this newsletter with you because sexual relations amongst preteens and teens is on the rise. I want to try my best to keep my daughter from making the same mistakes I made when I was a young teenager and the first step is awareness.

Sexual Purity Starts at Seven

Dannah Gresh

By the time she is sixteen, a Christian girl has a 50/50 chance of surviving life without the experiences of sexual sin, eating disorders and depression. Parents who “did everything right” can’t understand how it happened when their daughter falls on the wrong side of the stats. What they don’t know is that they may have done everything right, but started too late. The foundation for building an emotionally healthy teen girl -- who stands free from the norms of an at-risk culture -- is built between the ages of 8-12.
I have to hold myself back every time a white-haired grandma leans in to her pig-tailed granddaughter and teasingly asks her, “So, do you have a boyfriend?” This, usually said with a chuckle and a batting of the eyes, is generally meant to be just silly conversation, but I know too much to consider it to be cute. It is dangerous.  Being in a dating relationship for six months or longer is a significant risk factor for early teen sexual activity. Can you see why it might not be “cute” for our 8-12 year olds to be boy crazy or to have multiple boyfriends while they are still in the fourth grade? If she develops the pattern of “needing” a guy when she is eight or nine, she’s going to be in many six-month relationships in her early teen years. That’s not wise. Let’s help her stay off the boy crazy train.
I have two sixteen-year-old girls who have not only stayed off of it, but have managed to pull a few friends off. How do you navigate through boy craziness? There are three critical things you must do to prepare your princess to be successful in her quest for purity. First, you’ll need to have the big sex talk. Don’t think for a minute that it’s too early. Experts agree that sexual value formation begins when a child is between the ages of 8-10. A healthy, age-appropriate conversation during those years is critical. Second, you need to begin to establish your family philosophy on dating and begin to explain it to your child in stages. This will begin with the first stage of teaching her to related to boys as friends, not boyfriends in fourth grade! Finally, mom, it’s time to start dreaming of her future. If you take the time now to establish a dream of purity and a white wedding dress in her heart, she will know what to aim for and will be less likely to settle for anything less.
The book of Proverbs describes a virtuous woman. It says that she does her husband good “all the days of her life.” I think that includes when she’s seven!
*Article originally posted November 2009 on

I knew that I would need to start having the "talk" with her, but I never realized that it may be sooner than later. And I'm okay with that. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

WW: Where I'm From

I am from hand sewn school dresses from two generations of grand mothers. From Koolaid stained upper lips and Saturday morning cartoons with the Gummi Bears.

I am from the "house on the hill", where every kid wanted to ride their bicycle down and the only house on the block with a swimming pool to cool off in.

I am from the azalea garden that was so overgrown that you could hide in it for hours chasing bugs or picking weeds as punishment on a weekend. And the sand spurs or stickers as some people call them, that hurt like hell when you get them stuck in bare feet.

I am from strolling through the Livestock and County Fair every year in the fall, while indulging on fried elephant ears and cotton candy: and hot tempers that flare. I am from Marie and Estus Sr.and Bastian and Bailey.

I am from playing games of Uno late on Saturday nights and birthdays celebrated with home made cakes from a box. From having relatives close enough by to be there to celebrate birthdays that weren't even milestones.
From "Two shakes of a lamb's tail" and ghosts really did visit us that night in your grandma and grandpa's house.

I am from Protestant and attempts at finding the right church, to succumbing to the demands of owning a business and letting religion go.
I’m from Florida, lineage leading to Germany, Poland, Ireland and Scotland, mom's homemade meatloaf with the sauce topping, pumpkin pie and the never ending supply of home made jarred pickles.

 From the time that when the guys(my brother, husband, father and grandfather) came home from a fishing trip early, grandpa stripped down to his t-shirt and walked through the house with no underpants like there wasn't a care in the world and pretending with my brother that we would shrink to the size of his GI Joes and wake up that way the net morning.

I am from mass amounts of containers and rubbermaid bins with old family photos, toothless school pictures and sleeves of negatives. Baby photos beautifully framed and line the bookshelves in hallways, the family Bible encased in a protective fiberglass case and a oil painting of the grandparents flank two walls in the living room.

I am from the brown haired, green eyed girl who loved on all the wayward animals that my daddy brought home, unconditionally loved the companionship of my siblings even when they found being with a girl annoying. Raised to stand up for herself and taught to fight with her fists and deal with the consequences later.

I am from good southern roots who met a boy who was born to Yankees.

This was written in response to the prompt: Where I’m From. Copy this template and fill in the blanks. Inspired by our Bloggy Boot Camp Writer’s Workshop.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Trophy Children

Grad Duckies Pictures, Images and Photos

You've heard of Trophy Wives. Have you ever heard the term Trophy Children? The term came to mind recently after reading many social network status updates and posts from friends and acquaintances of mine. I am not talking about any one person in particular when I point out or make judgments about their actions or intentions.
My opinion is that entirely, my opinion based solely on what I see and disagree with.

I don't agree with parents who outwardly convey that they love their children and when some one is watching. They loving dote on them, make sure you see that extra hug and kiss and go over board when in the presence of a large group.
I'm not saying that they don't love their children even when no one is watching, but it's not with the same passion.

The same parents who make sure their child looks a certain way, joins certain sports and activities to make themselves feel better. And if that child doesn't do very well, then something is wrong with that child. That they're not good enough, and they question themselves "why isn't that child like me?"

Parents seem to forget that their child is a person too. A separate person with different interests and abilities. Their child is not an extension of them and they are not to be controlled like so. As explained in two articles I found about the term Trophy Children, this is actually a form of narcissism.

The first article I found on UAB Publications   titled Perfect Parents-Trophy Kids goes into detail about today's American culture and perfect children. Quoted by UAB Child Psychologist Vivian Friedman Ph.D says it’s at least worth some thought. “A danger of the quest for perfection is that the bar will be set too high, which will doom the child to failure. If your child happens to be Lance Armstrong, then those high expectations work just fine. But if your child is a mere mortal, it can be very damaging,” she says. “I see children who are quite high-achieving—top students from the best school systems—yet even when they do well, these kids don’t feel that they’re measuring up because the expectations are so high.”
Our job as parents is to raise, nurture and protect our children, not control them and mold them into what we want them to be.

I believe by the time those young children are young adults they are either going to explode to break free from what their parents have made them become or they will implode from all the pressure to meet the standards that their parents have set.

The second website, Word Spy authored by Paul McFedries gives a definition to the word Trophy child  with different examples of how the term is used. It also defines this term as narcissistic. In the bottom of his article, he puts a note. 
Notes: This sense of the phrase trophy child (also seen as trophy kid) was coined by psychologist Lee Hausner in her 1990 book Children of Paradise (see the earliest citations, below). It's part of a long series of phrases that use the adjective trophy to mean "something used to impress others and enhance one's status." 

I feel that our society has the set such a high standard and many people are clawing their way to achieve the highest goal. They want to be the best, have the best and bore the best. It's like the term, keeping up with the Jones'. Who are they anyways?

It doesn't matter. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Hand me a tissue, please

I hate allergy season. Hate is  strong word that I don't like to use very often, but allergies deserve a strong word. Especially since they require strong amounts of medicines to overcome them.

It has become that time of year again for us to battle against whatever is in the air. We're not really having "fall" weather here in Florida, so I'm not sure how to explain the large amounts of pollen in the air. But it's there.

Both Little E and Miss K have allergy issues and have both been on prescribed allergy medicine since they were toddlers. Miss K progressively got worse the older she got and now has to use a rescue inhaler. She is actually going to the Pediatric Allergy doctor today for more skin testing to determine what triggers her. Thankfully we have ruled out dust mites, dogs and cats. 

The poor child has to refrain from using her  Zyrtec for seven days now and I am shocked she hasn't had too many side effects. She did start coughing more this morning and I'm glad that she will be able to resume her normal dosing this evening.

Little E however, has not been fairing as well. The local news reported that ragweed pollen would be at an all time high this past weekend and I thought to myself oh great, just what I need to deal with. 

Of course Little E was already showing signs that the Zyrtec wasn't kicking it, days before the weekend. It started with a clear runny nose and by Saturday morning, the little guy had the crusty, dark yellow all over his nostrils. He was really cooperative with letting me remove it with a warm wash cloth and saline up his nose. On that morning.

Last night was another story. His nostrils were starting to block up again (it always gets worse at night, you know what I mean) so I told him we needed to rinse them again. Holy cow! I have never seen my son act like he did. Full blown tantrum. It took my husband and I took hold all his limbs, and his head still so I could try to spray the saline. Unfortunately we did not get the nose rinsed. My little man was in tears and his nose starting flowing on it's own. So after several nose blowing sessions, he was sent to bed. Of course, with a warning.

"I'm going to use the saline on your nose in the morning." I told him as I exited his room, shaking my head. Still shocked at how horribly he behaved. This being the same child who stood there just two months ago and took four shots on his four year old check up, all without tears.

I was pleasantly surprised that Little E reminded me to use the saline on his nose this morning. After taking a dose of Ibuprofen and Pedia Sure for his cough. I can see this is going to be a long week for all of us. Well, more like a LONG few months. It's only just begun.

I had to buy myself some sinus medicine yesterday. Have I said I hate allergy season?


It's NOT even October

On our way to a birthday dinner at my father in law's house toady, we had to make a quick trip in Target to pick up a few things I forgot. It should have taken less than ten minutes to get in and grab the three items I had on the list. Maybe if I had not taken the kids and the hubby in.

After grabbing the last item and summoning my herd to follow me to the front of the store, Little E asked if we could go see the spooky stuff. I knew he meant the Halloween decorations. He wasn't going to get it out of his mind.

Thanks to the Target marketing agents, they already have the hanging decorations in plain view when you enter the doors. So my two Halloween holiday lovers were screeching "booo! boo!" through the isles.

I figured what the heck, why not. I need to get ideas for their costumes anyways.

We managed to get to the isles, which they have also strategically placed near the toy department and electronics not before my husband stopped at two end caps to browse through movies and stereo equipment.  The two places I try to avoid when having my husband and children with me.

As soon as the kids and I were strolling down the costume isle, my husband disappeared again into the electronics black hole. After several passes through the costumes we made our way over to the decorations. I LOVE fall decorations. Cute pumpkins, not so spooky ghosts, yellow and orange fall leaves and not so spooky witches.

My husband had joined us again by the time I had found the cutest pumpkins and table decorations. I was hoping to find more isles to rummage through and asked my hubby to go one isle over. He came back chuckling and told me, "nope. Can you believe they already have Christmas decorations over there?" Seriously?

Summer isn't really over, not in this part of the country. We're still hitting the 90's here. They can't even wait until October 1st! So I'll actually bet that maybe they'll put their Halloween stuff on clearance sooner so they can move in the mass quantities of Christmas displays, decorations and holiday cheer into those isles. We'll soon see.

I did discover what I'm dressing the kids as. I'll bet you want to know. You soon shall see. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

PYHO: I have a Secret

Recently I was told some information about some one that I wish I didn't know. Secrets bother me. They bother me when I know that the secret could destroy some one. Actually it could destroy more than one person. I didn't ask to be told, it just happened.

I went out with some friends this weekend and shortly before meeting up with the gang, I was told some shocking news. One of the couples that I have known for quite some time, have separated. I was shocked and not surprised. If that makes any sense.

Shocked because I would have thought that they would actually separate. Their relationship had been rocky for a little while, but all relationships have valleys and mountains to overcome.

Not so surprised because even on the outside they might have seemed okay, but you could tell that it wasn't going so well. There were lots of issues going on. It was only a matter of time.

I came home after an enjoyable evening with friends with my mind swimming. I shared the news with my husband. His reaction was parallel to mine. We talked about some of the friendships we have and their marriages.

Then he dropped the bomb. He shared with me a secret that I wish he had not. The news he had, was told to him several weeks ago. Maybe he wanted to get it off his chest. It was probably eating him alive, like a virus. Sharing it with me was his way of letting it go.

But it's stuck with me.

I can't do anything with it. If I told anyone else that knows the people involved, they could accidentally let it slip. I don't need to have my name tied to it in any way. Then the parties involved would know that my husband told me. You see where I'm going with this?

The other part of it is that what I know, really burns me. I am infuriated with this person. It's not my place to judge, because I know that one day they will have to answer to a higher power and explain themselves. And even if they tried to lie, HE will know their heart.

HE knows the truth.

I feel a little better now, knowing that I sort of got this off my chest and that I am going to give this to God. I'm going to let him sort it out, because as much as I love the person that this could hurt, I love them too much to say anything.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Weight Watchers Fresh Meals Review

Not your everyday brown bag lunch. Grab a Weight Watchers Fresh Meal.
Leave the brown bag behind.

I like to watch what I eat for lunch. I take care to check the calories and fat intake. I usually purchase frozen meals that I can have on hand to quickly cook as a fast meal for a mom on the go. I was recently contacted about trying some Weight Watchers Fresh Meals. I was excited to try some new meals and thought they would be like the WW frozen meals that you usually see in the store.

I was surprised to come home and find a large cooler box with several different choices to try. The best part, that the meals were fresh an NOT frozen. I was given more meals than I would use in one week and they have an expiration date on them, so I went ahead and froze some of them. They actually turned out amazing even with being frozen for a week.

When choosing a meal to take with me to work, I would place the meal in the refrigerator and let it thaw for a few hours. Then following the cooking directions and not adding an extra time the meal came out perfect!

I will be honest, I was tentative to try the Turkey and Stuffing meal, because I have tried other prepackaged meals and was disappointed with their flavor. But I was pleasantly surprised with the taste of the turkey and gravy. My favorite dish was the Three Cheese Macaroni and it was the first I tried which I paired with some steamed broccoli.

Having pre-portioned meals with nutritional information and PointsPlus information right on the package is a perfect solution for someone who is constantly trying to watch what she eats.

You can find the WW Fresh Meals at your local grocer and if you can't, The Weight Watchers site gives you a link to print out a product request form that you can give to your grocery store of choice. Many grocery stores would be happy to special order items for you. I know if you live in the Southeast and have a Publix Supermarket, they will special order for you.

Disclosure: I was given the meals from Weight Watchers to try but was not compensated or required to review. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Beach Bums

This is the second trip to the beach we have taken in less than a month. For my birthday we stayed on the east coast only and hour away from home. We spent most of our time playing in the pool while we were there.
This time we made plans to head over the west coast and play in the Gulf. The ocean is usually calmer on this side. Usually.
This weekend it's not. The waves are actually about 3-4 foot tall and pretty rough. The riptide current is a little strong. We can thank one of those tropical storms for it.
When we arrived yesterday in the late afternoon, the sun was shining. The weather was breezy and comfortable. We let the kids play in the ocean until almost seven o'clock. Sadly, the pool has been off limits since yesterday early evening. I won't go into too much detail, but some one obviously didn't put a swim diaper on their child. You can pretty much figure out the rest.
The pool guy came this morning to rectify the problem and has shocked the pool. We should be able to use it later this afternoon. Hopefully I don't get green hair from all that chlorine!
The hubs bought children fishing poles for Miss K and Little E. It's the cutest thing to watch them throw their lines in the ocean water.
There are too many people in the ocean, so we left off the hooks from their lines and used some small weights. Little E has been having a blast trying to be like his daddy.
Now I'm off to go get my book and camera that I left in our room. I'll update later with photos!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Writer's Workshop: Valium needed

It was one of those hot summer days, where it's so humid that it was almost pointless to get up and take a shower.  And going through the trouble of rinsing the sweat from the day before makes no sense. I wanted to stay inside all day and enjoy my central air conditioning. It was an August Sunday afternoon, so both my husband and I were home. The hubs was planning on doing some yard work. 

Keeping Miss K in the house was nearly impossible. She loved the outdoors and if daddy was going to be outside so was she. She had not been outside very long when her little friend Dee came over from two houses down. She was having a birthday party and invited Miss K over. Her parents had rented a bounce house, slide and set up a kiddie pool for the celebration. 

I wasn't so sure about letting her go. Both girls had been playing together for quite some time, we were cordial with her parents but didn't really know them. Miss K begged. She gave us the sad, puppy dog face that usually melted my heart. It was tough living in "the sticks" with not many friends to play with. 

I agreed to let her go. I told her to stay in the front yard where the party was and not to go in the house. She promised. The hubs said he would keep an eye on her from our front yard while he was busy clipping bushes and washing his truck.

An hour later the hubs came in the house to get himself a drink. He told me Miss K was still outside playing and having a good time. I stepped outside to take a peek and make sure I could see what she was up to. I watched her jumping in the bounce house. I can only assume, but I'm sure she had a big smile on her face.

After several hours at the party, I figured Miss K would be tired of playing outside in the heat. The hubs went down to retrieve her from the bounce house. Most of the other children had gone home, but being a neighbor has it's advantages of being able to stay longer after the party is over. 

I knew something was wrong when my husband looked back at me from their yard. Miss K wasn't in the bounce house. She wasn't in the yard. Her friend Dee was still outside with one of her cousins and few adults were standing around chatting. My husband went asked Dee's father, MJ if Miss K was in the house. He shook his head no. He told my husband that she told him she was going home and had left about 15 minutes earlier.

But she wasn't home. 

It was like a fatherly bond amongst the men was formed. They stopped drinking their cups and started searching for my baby girl. My first born. You could hear them calling her name. Shouting her name as they looked in the woods.

I was knocked into shock at the thought that she was gone. Did she head to the train tracks? Was she in the woods? Did another party goer take her home??

I couldn't believe this was happening to me. I should have never let her go. But it was just two houses over. She was within eyesight. 

Then all of a sudden our other neighbor, Ed,  across the street from Dee's house came outside. He said she was on the side of his house playing with his cat's kittens. My husband ran to her and grabbed her. The emotions of being angry, sad, and happy all rushed within me. She was safe. 

We showered her with kisses at first. Then she was scolded for wandering away. That experience taught me a lesson too. I realized that my child was still a bit young to go alone. I was grateful and spared that day. It could have been much worse.
  Prompt #3 Your first panic attack.

This is true story that happened when Miss K was five years old. I had pushed the memory back and when I saw this prompt, it was the first one I could recall that caused a panic.