Thursday, June 27, 2013

Moms=1, Insecurities=0

I don't usually repost articles on this blog website, but this one was too special to share with only my Facebook followers. These are beautiful photographs of real moms ... insecurities and all. I'm so proud of these women for embracing what we all wish we could. Here is one example. Find the rest here.

For daily doses of Crap and other fantastic finds, Like me on Facebook.

Cinderella has Boobies

So, my 4-year-old daughter whispers in my ear last night, "I saw Cinderella's boobies."

Of course my initial thought is that Disney has gone R-rated on me. But, after probing a little more, I find out that she just meant that she saw the bumps in her clothes. 

She has been seeing Cinderella and other princesses (with boobies) for quite a while now. I have no idea why she is just now noticing their racks. She plays with Barbie dolls, too, but has never once mentioned their boobies. She also seemed a little embarrassed by it at the same time. I imagine she'll feel the same way about her own chest in about 8-10 years. 

It will probably be more like, "What's up with the bruises on my chest and why is one of them bigger than the other? If these are my boobs, I hope this is some kind of sick joke God is playing on me and when I wake up in the morning I'm going to look like C-cup Annie Krupp from my volleyball team. If not, I am going into hiding until they even out."

Ah, boobs ... after having a baby, that might be the #2 most talked about topic ... after poop, of course.

For daily doses of Crap, Like me on Facebook.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Good Day for Equality

I hope when my children learn about the Supreme Court ruling from today in their history lessons, they think, "Why in the world was that ever needed? It makes no sense that people would be discriminated against because of who they want to marry." 

Kind of like how we think of the 21st Amendment. It makes no sense to me that alcohol would have ever been banned. Were there no parents of children ages 18 and under at the time? If that happened today, I would totally LIKE "Speakeasy for Parents" on Facebook.

Photo courtesy of Sonoma County Lawyer Blog.

For daily doses of Crap, Like me on Facebook.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Lesson in Sharing

My twins learned the cutest lesson in sharing from their 6-year-old friend. This 6-year-old had a dollar bill, and was so kind to want to share it with my 4-year-old twins. So, since there are two of them, what did she do? Yep, tore it in half. I'm pretty sure those halves don't count as a half dollar in the monetary sense, but what a moment it was when all the adults standing around gasped, then smiled in adoration of that little girl.

For daily doses of crap, LIKE me on Facebook!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Doolittle Raid History Lesson

Are your kids in a summer coma yet? If so, here is a perfect chance to give a history lesson to your children. The following was sent to me in an email. I do not know who wrote it, so if this ever makes it to the author, please find me at so that I can give you proper credit. The reunion the author speaks of was just held in April of this year, and turns out it was the last reunion these brave men will have.

It's the cup of brandy that no one wants to drink.

On Tuesday, in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, the surviving Doolittle Raiders gathered publicly for the last time.

They once were among the most universally admired and revered men in the United States. There were 80 of the Raiders in April 1942, when they carried out one of the most courageous and heart-stirring military operations in this nation's history. The mere mention of their unit's name, in those years, would bring tears to the eyes of grateful Americans.
Now only four survive.

After Japan 's sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, with the United States reeling and wounded, something dramatic was needed to turn the war effort around.

Even though there were no friendly airfields close enough to Japan for the United States to launch a retaliation, a daring plan was devised. Sixteen B-25s were modified so that they could take off from the deck of an aircraft carrier. This had never before been tried--sending such big, heavy bombers from a carrier.
The 16 five-man crews, under the command of Lt. Col. James Doolittle, who himself flew the lead plane off the USS Hornet, knew that they would not be able to return to the carrier. They would have to hit Japan and then hope to make it to China for a safe landing.

But on the day of the raid, the Japanese military caught wind of the plan. The Raiders were told that they would have to take off from much farther out in the Pacific Ocean than they had counted on. They were told that because of this they would not have enough fuel to make it to safety.

And those men went anyway.

They bombed Tokyo, and then flew as far as they could. Four planes crash-landed; 11 more crews bailed out, and three of the Raiders died. Eight more were captured ; three were executed. Another died of starvation in a Japanese prison camp. One crew made it to Russia .

The Doolittle Raid sent a message from the United States to its enemies, and to the rest of the world: We will fight. And, no matter what it takes, we will win.

Of the 80 Raiders, 62 survived the war. They were celebrated as national heroes, models of bravery. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer produced a motion picture based on the raid ; "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo," starring Spencer Tracy and Van Johnson, was a patriotic and emotional box-office hit, and the phrase became part of the national lexicon. In the movie-theater previews for the film, MGM proclaimed that it was presenting the story "with supreme pride."

Beginning in 1946, the surviving Raiders have held a reunion each April, to commemorate the mission. The reunion is in a different city each year. In 1959, the city of Tucson , Arizona , as a gesture of respect and gratitude, presented the Doolittle Raiders with a set of 80 silver goblets. Each goblet was engraved with the name of a Raider.

Every year, a wooden display case bearing all 80 goblets is transported to the reunion city. Each time a Raider passes away, his goblet is turned upside down in the case at the next reunion, as his old friends bear solemn witness.
Also in the wooden case is a bottle of 1896 Hennessy Very Special cognac. The year is not happenstance: 1896 was when Jimmy Doolittle was born.

There has always been a plan: When there are only two surviving Raiders, they would open the bottle, at last drink from it, and toast their comrades who preceded them in death.
As 2013 began, there were five living Raiders; then, in February, Tom Griffin passed away at age 96.

What a man he was. After bailing out of his plane over a mountainous Chinese forest after the Tokyo raid, he became ill with malaria, and almost died. When he recovered, he was sent to Europe to fly more combat missions. He was shot down, captured, and spent 22 months in a German prisoner of war camp.
The selflessness of these men, the sheer guts ... there was a passage in the Cincinnati Enquirer obituary for Mr. Griffin that, on the surface, had nothing to do with the war, but that emblematizes the depth of his sense of duty and devotion:

   "When his wife became ill and needed to go into a nursing home, he visited her every day. He walked from his house to the nursing home, fed his wife and at the end of the day brought home her clothes. At night, he washed and ironed her clothes. Then he walked them up to her room the next morning. He did that for three years until her death in 2005."
So now, out of the original 80, only four Raiders remain: Dick Cole (Doolittle's co-pilot on the Tokyo raid), Robert Hite, Edward Saylor and David Thatcher. All are in their 90s. They have decided that there are too few of them for the public reunions to continue.
The events in Fort Walton Beach this week will mark the end. It has come full circle ; Florida 's nearby Eglin Field was where the Raiders trained in secrecy for the Tokyo mission. The town is planning to do all it can to honor the men: a six-day celebration of their valor, including luncheons, a dinner and a parade.
Do the men ever wonder if those of us for whom they helped save the country have tended to it in a way that is worthy of their sacrifice? They don't talk about that, at least not around other people. But if you find yourself near Fort Walton Beach this week, and if you should encounter any of the Raiders, you might want to offer them a word of thanks. I can tell you from firsthand observation that they appreciate hearing that they are remembered.
The men have decided that after this final public reunion they will wait until a later date -- sometime this year -- to get together once more, informally and in absolute privacy. That is when they will open the bottle of brandy. The years are flowing by too swiftly now; they are not going to wait until there are only two of them.
They will fill the four remaining upturned goblets. And raise them in a toast to those who are gone.

For a recap of the reunion, click here.

For daily doses of Crap, like me on Facebook!

Flipping Out at Five

Is there a stage at almost 5-years-old that I need to be warned about?

Lately, both of my 4-year-olds, who will turn 5 in August, have been acting ridiculously hormonal. They will be happy and having a great time, then with a flip of the switch, they are in full on Ross Rage mode (for you “Friends” lovers out there). It’s reminiscent of the rage I saw in my son at 3. But, at least at 3, he had a reason for his tantrums. Like the time he didn’t want to leave the park, so I acted like I was leaving him, then he finally came … with poop in his pants (wearing underwear). He was pretty mad, but not into rage mode until I put him in his car seat with the poop in his pants and drove home.

But now, it will take such a small thing to set them off. At dinner tonight (yes, we have breakfast for dinner when I’ve waited too long to plan anything, or haven’t been to the grocery store), the following came out of my son’s mouth within about 10 minutes.

(Big sigh) followed by me asking him if he was finally full after 10 pancakes? “No, I’m just disausted.”
I laugh, because it was cute. He gives me a dirty look—eyebrows down so far I almost can’t see his eyes and lips pursed so they are almost white—then said, “You make me twice times madder.”

A minute later, he pours more syrup with the spout that looks like a face, and said while laughing, “Watch the syrup throw up.” Okay … happy again.

Two minutes later, he hears his sister and dad having fun in the family room and said, “You’re annoring (annoying) me.”

My daughter, who has been pretty much an angel since birth, has started grunting and stiffening her arms with her fists to the ground when she doesn’t get her way or gets upset about something. Sometimes, she will even hit me … never full strength … almost in a joking way, but not really. I’m torn with whether to laugh at her or go apeshit on her.

And the lying … oh, the lying. They are little lies at this point, like when they tell me they brushed their teeth, but I know damn well they didn’t. I call them out for lying, which usually leads to my daughter hitting me again and saying, “How do you ALWAYS know?” I do wonder how long she will believe that Mommies and Daddies have a special magic computer chip in us that scans the brain of their children and tells us when they are lying.

Anyway, I guess this is sort of a cry for help or at least a way to see if anyone else went through this when their kids were this age. I’d love to hear your stories and your advice.

For daily doses of Crap, like me on Facebook!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Book is Worth a Thousand Snuggles

It occurred to me recently that I may not be the only one who questioned my ability as a parent because my children refused to sit through a bedtime story the first two years of their lives.

I blogged yesterday about bed time routines and shared the fact that part of my routine with my baby is singing to him. Many people choose to read a book instead of, or in addition to, singing. But, I found with this baby and with my other two that their attention span before bed was pretty low, regardless of their level of sleepiness, and a book just made them restless. Reading before bed turned into a battle. I found myself practically tying them down just so they would listen to a damn story. That’s when I realized they might start to hate books if I was forcing this. It wasn’t until about 2-years-old that I started reading a story to my twins before bed.

The fact is, we all want our children to love books, but we are brainwashed into thinking that they HAVE to have a book before bed or we are bad parents. There was a time I thought my kids were going to be less intelligent because I wasn’t reading to them before bed. Sheesh! Now that the twins are older, story time before bed is so special. And one of my 4-year-olds is reading short stories, so I don’t think their lack of bedtime stories when they were one did any harm.

All of my kids love books, and our book time is much more productive and enjoyable during the day when they are alert, especially the first two years of life. The baby will get stuck on one book each day, and we may end up reading it 12 times in a row. He will do sign language for “more,” and now even mutters, “Mo?” especially with books that force me to make silly and sometimes embarrassing noises. Anyone read Sandra Boynton’s “Doggies” 12 times in a row? If you know this book, you can sympathize.

My point is, please do not stress if you can’t implement stories into your bedtime routine. That will not define their intelligence or their love of books. As long as they are exposed to books during the day, they will love them. But, please expose them to books and read to your children. I read a terrifying article recently that I almost didn’t believe. There are actually children entering Kindergarten classrooms without the recognition of what a book is or how to turn its pages. This is sad to me on so many levels.

So, sit down with a book and your child—even if there are no words and you have to bark like 10 different dogs and meow like a cat.

For daily doses of Crap, like me on Facebook!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite

I will never claim to be an expert in child rearing. However, every once in a while I like to share advice on things that have worked for me, or—more often than not—things that have NOT worked for me. No better way to learn sometimes than from mistakes.

In this case, it is something that has worked for me. This topic is on sleep habits; specifically, getting a baby/toddler to go to sleep. Today, I broke one of my own rules, mainly because I saw a selfish opportunity to hold onto a baby moment while I still can. And, after 18 months, I feel comfortable that this one day will not ruin all my work leading up to this moment.

While none of my three kids really slept through the night until they were one (meaning, 10-12 hours straight), I have always had tremendous luck in getting them to go to sleep. I attribute that to two practices. One, I do my best to maintain a consistent schedule every single day, which includes a nap time and bed time that will get my child into his bed before he is too tired (this is a real thing!). And, two, the routine leading up to sleep time is the same every day.
Nap time is always the same and bed time is always the same every day. Over time, you learn how much sleep your baby requires in a 24-hour period. You also learn at what time they really get sleepy. Once you learn this, make sleep time about 30 minutes before that. Putting your baby in his crib before he is asleep or before he gets too tired is a great habit to start at an early age.

This leads me to my rule breaking today. We had an active morning with music class, followed by Kid Zone play at the gym while I exercised. Baby was tired, so by the time I got to singing and rocking him, his eyelashes all of a sudden seemed to weigh 10 pounds. I just sat there and kept humming until he was asleep. (Sigh. My heart melts.) All parents love this moment, but IMHO, it’s a tough habit to break, making it that much harder for your child to ever fall asleep on his own or in the care of someone else. And, the earlier you start teaching your child to fall asleep on his own, the easier it is on everyone.

After baby is used to this, naptime and bedtime will result in very little fussing or crying—this assuming your baby is healthy and that infants with colic have grown out of that. You will hear this from many different people, and I believe in it 100 percent … “Kids not only need a routine, they want a routine.” This applies to rules, too. This reminds me, I’ll have to share our rules in a future blog.

Of course there are days when the baby might be forced to sleep in a stroller or in the car, or we may get home late from being at a friend or relatives house. He has two older siblings, making it impossible to be home for nap time every single day. But, because he is well-rested from consistencies on most other days, I find it is easier to get him to sleep if he isn’t in his own bed. Then, if it is a short nap, it’s just one day, so it doesn’t disrupt his life too much.

Also, having a few things you do leading up to naptime will make it easier if you are in a situation where your little one can’t sleep in his own bed. Even if you are able to do one or two of those things, it can send the message that it’s time to go to bed. It doesn’t have to be much. At naptime, I give him milk, change his diaper, and sing him a song while I rock him for a couple minutes. Then, I lay him down with his pacifier and lovie bear. At night, he gets a bath, milk, teeth brushing, massage with lotion, clean jammies, a song, a pacifier, and his lovie bear. If I can carry out a few of these before bed in a strange place, he recognizes it’s part of bed time.

Another trick that has worked is teaching sign language for “sleep.” You can have the strictest schedule, but some days, your little one might feel tired prior to his scheduled nap time. If I know my little guy is well-fed, well-hydrated, and getting the attention he wants, but still acts fussy, I will ask him if he wants to go night-night and do the sign for sleep. If that’s it, he will do the sign back and run to the steps waiting for me to take him up. He won’t always sleep, but sometimes I think he just needs a little alone time. I know how he feels! His siblings are a lot to take at times. (BTW, I started teaching sign language to my children right away, but their use of signs to communicate with me didn’t start until about 9 months to a year. My point is, don’t worry if you’ve been signing with your baby for 6 months and nothing is happening. One day it will just click and be so rewarding for both of you.)

One more bit of advice in getting your child to sleep, especially when they know what bugs are. Do NOT use the phrase, “Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bit.” I repeat, do NOT use that phrase, unless you want to change sheets, vacuum the floor around his bed, and sleep with him that night. See, now you can learn from one of my mistakes! Sweet dreams!

For daily doses of Crap, like me on Facebook!