B days: Am I too strict??

Hey there, so wanted to bounce wp-image-1046492507something off of you all. What would you consider to be too strict in a home when raising children? Every time I lay down the law in our home by making and enforcing rules I ask myself, am I too strict…

Example:

Once school started back up our son isn’t allowed on his devices during the school week, so no iPod apps, no Nintendo DS, or video game console[for the record I think it sounds pretty fair.] The reason that came about was because he’s so engrossed that nothing gets done or he rushes to get things done (i.e. chores and homework) in order to get to his device of choice. It would drive us nuts his homework was sloppy he didn’t check his work, at times he “missed” assignments, his chores were done half-assed (example of that he was supposed to fold and put away his clothes I found them all shoved under his bed-yup I saw red that day). My point is that in my head I’m doing what I think is best for him to be the best he can be without those distractions so he can stay focused…or that’s what I tell myself.

Yesterday I made an exception because it was his birthday. After he completed his homework I handed him his iPhone (just an old phone that isn’t activated but he can get and play apps-we will save phone convo for another post no time soon) but when I tell you he wouldn’t put it down he barely looked up to give the waitress his order (drives me nuts more than anything), then it died “thank God” I said to myself now he can come up for air and join us at his birthday dinner. As soon as we got to the car he charged it and was glued and when we got home somewhere between I can’t take this anymore and I have go be rigid I told him “alright night’s over you have school tomorrow turn over your device and off to bed.”

Then, I go on my iPad and an app is opened it’s one of the games he’s been begging to use my laptop to play, to play with his friends…I have no clue when it was downloaded and when he’s been sneaking on it but I’m fuming a little bit but then I wonder…is it me?..am I too strict? Are these rules unfair? Am I the Fun Police? I always thought I would be the cool mom and sometimes I am but most times I’m the enforcer. But the rules are put in place to keep him focused and because I tried the laxed approach and it just got me a kid glued to the screen, not paying attention to a damn thing, whose response to everything was “oops, I forgot”

So my readers any suggestions? What works in your home? Should I stay my course and if he doesn’t like it tough shit??? I truly don’t want to create an environment where our kids are sneaking all the time.

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Beat the Fidget Spinner 

Most parents these days, like me, scratch their head at the idea of this simple “toy” that fascinates our kids and has them asking for more and that has school banning them from the premises. After our son’s friend at school gave him a spinner at the end of the school year I started scanning the interwebs for ideas to make learning fun over the summer and came across…


Where to purchase a spinner?…they are sold at the dollar tree, 5 and below, walmart and of course, amazon. They range from $1 and can go up to around $15 (we came across specialty ones at a store in the boardwalk in Ocean City, NJ)

The math facts worksheet I snagged by googling -addition/subtraction math worksheets- scrolled through images and printed a few of the ones I like best (I sought worksheets that weren’t extremely difficult so they could work almost the same as sight words see and solve quickly.) At first u had him putting pencil to paper and once done erasing but the eraser marks were messy, then I printed several of the same but that was as waste of paper so finally I decided to cover the sheets with contact paper so he can use a dry erase marker on them, wipe clean and use again. (Sometimes I amaze myself!)

Bryce sets the spinner on the table[next to his worksheet], places his index finger in the middle of the spinner to hold in place and with his other hand gives a good spin and starts working the problems… No timer needed the spinner is the timer once it stops pencil[dry erase marker] down. Our son will work the sheet about 4-5 times each time pushing himself to beat the number before. Most times he will set the next number and I will offer encouragement so if he answers 40 math facts I’ll ask “can you get to 50?” Or he will say he is going to 45 this time.
The goal for me was to prevent the summer slide so wanted to make sure learning was happening during the summer months. The plan was to make learning fun and not something he would dread. The results, our son looked forward to using his spinner and competing against himself and we didn’t have to force him or drag him to the table to practice math facts ☆score for the parent team☆

Confession

…I loathe back to school.

Yup, the sheer thought of our son going back to school makes me cringe. When I’m asked what date he goes back to school I feel a little angry and want to say through clenched teeth wp-image--525117589 “I don’t know and don’t care” but instead I say “good question, guess I need to get that info” and their response is usually “how do you not know aren’t you excited” – NO- my excitement level is the same as our kid’s.

I don’t know if it’s the the back to school lists…meet the teacher night…having to have the same convo with our son about being awesome vs being mediocre…or is it that I can’t stand being inundated with emails, fundraisers, added calendar events, drives to school because sloth son missed the bus…I haven’t a clue but don’t like it.

Can anyone relate?

Traveling with Babe(s): Part 2 

We are doing it…we are taking the plunge and traveling as a family of 5 well technically 11 but our Rickettedly Awesome crew will be gracing the friendly skies with our presence!

WE ARE…doing DISNEY!

Back in part 1 of Traveling with Baby we had a tender infant he ate, smiled, pooped and held tight to his favorite stuffed toy…now we have a mobile 9 almost 10 month old who enjoys putting everything in his mouth, pulling any hair he can get a hold of and flinging things as hard and as far as he can <HELP> well thank goodness it’s a straight 2 hour flight and he still loves the milk from tap. But the struggle is what to pack and I can’t lie it arouses a bit of anxiety so here is my list so far…

NECESSITIES

1. Bought a new baby carrier by Brighter Elements with a toddler seat. Now we know I love my k’tan but it doesn’t provide enough comfort for me in the neck and shoulder region so this carrier is a little more for longer wear and also anyone can connect and carry babe, so I can truly be hands-off free!(click product name to go to site)

2. Double stroller (we decided to buy a Kolcraft Cloud Double Umbrella Stroller folds up for easier handling during travel click product name to be taken to the site)

3. Since we can’t bring the highchair we have purchased a Chair Belt Baby Chair Harness– such a nifty invention that I’m sure some wonderful mom (or dad) invented spur of moment with like a shirt or fabric in order to get their little one to sit safely in a chair–well I thank them. This folds right up and fits in the bag and fits almost any chair. (Click product name to be taken to the site)

4. Car seats we have decided that since the airline doesn’t charge us to check carseat we will just bag them and bring them along instead of paying $50-$100 to rent with our rental car.

FOOD and DRINK

3. Trusty breast pump, saver bags and bottles (2)

4. Baby Bullet- everything in me is saying just go buy baby food but that feeling in my gut is saying stick to what you know and hasn’t been recalled- homemade baby food! we are cooking while down there so he will get the same.

Hmm, am I forgetting anything?? Oh yes, I’ve decided to pack a few diapers in the diaper bag and purchase a pack of diapers when we get down there that way we are cutting down on the bulk of having to pack over 60 diapers. Thus leaving more room for clothes. 

 

Why I No Longer Thank My Husband…

Being a work from home mom[YUP, I work a 40 hour week while tending to a 3 yr old and an infant–I walk on the wild side!] I spend my days doing what seems like working around the clock my jobs blend because they are in fact blending I can’t say to work I have a sick baby hold on and I can’t say to the kids I can’t feed you til I get my lunch break so everything bunches together. Well because of that sometimes I jump at going to the nail salon, getting my hair done or what used to be yoga[have to get back to that] but basically anything that let’s me be kid free for a bit. So I make sure hubs has instructions (give baby this many ounces, leftovers or nuggets for dinner), blah blah blah and out the door I go…

I enjoy my time and head home.

When I arrive at home I always ask how were they for you? I know, he’s not the babysitter but I’m curious — wanting to know were they a chaotic bunch, rowdy, bickering and baby fussing or were they charming and delightful [secretly hoping for the first scenario so he gets a dose of my daily struggle] and then I say Thank You so much- – and I wonder how many moms say Thank You to their husband or the father of their children for them getting a moment to themselves. I used to say Thank You, for the moments he tended to babe while I took a long hot shower. WHY? This is what we are supposed to do/be…relief for one another, help mates, a tag team or whatever you want to call it, but we’ve gotten away from that. I do majority of the tending and when I get away the first thing I do is show gratitude…But this isn’t something he has ever had to think of, he’s never come home and said “thank you felt so good to get out for my weekly bowling league with the guys, how were the kids?” When he runs somewhere kid-free he doesn’t come home and say Thank You. When he gets a long hot shower and time to shave without interruption he doesn’t say Thank You and the reason being is because it’s expected and because it’s not even something that crosses his mind. This isn’t a bash session this is just the way some of us are conditioned we don’t get a lot of time to ourselves so when we do we are appreciative and thankful to the person that granted us our moment of freedom. 

So yesterday I went to get my hair done, gave my usual instructions and out the door I went. Upon my arrival all kids were asleep and so was hubs. I said hello, I’m back and good night. I had time to eat, pee and pump before infant had me back to mom duty.

I say all this to say Moms we are deserving of time away from the kids[doesn’t make us a bad mom or negligent]…be it a long 20 minute shower, going for a walk, grocery shopping, spas, brunch with girlfriends, weekly fitness classes, whatever and we shouldn’t feel guilty or feel saved when the other parent takes over so we can do those things. While yes we do appreciate it we should expect it[we aren’t abandoning our family we are simply hitting pause]. We shouldn’t have to ask or beg for it, we should be a team–coordinate schedules and communicate. But one parent should never feel trapped or like they got their [pardon] papers to grab some kid-free time.

Spring Instrumental Concerts are to parents what cleaning toilets after mystery meat taco lunch is to janitors… 

But gotta do it…

When my son told me he wanted to play the drums I dreaded the idea, thinking he would be banging on a drum every day and it would get to the point that it seemed like he was banging on my skull. BUT…little did I know the layover to playing a drum would be much worse 》》》 xylophone. Bman has wanted to play the drums for years now and jumped at the chance when he realized he could leave Strings and Make the Band(ha, see what I did there) he’s now in Band no longer in orchestra. I enjoyed orchestra such sweet sounds! But this band gig when I tell ya I struggled…that wasn’t even the word. While he and his band of fellas, all grinning through the gateway instrument, hit their keys with precision each time it felt like a cat scratching my ear drums…coupled with some wind instruments not quite registering as music to me (perhaps that’s why the Band director plays background tracks during the performance) I don’t know but this was extremely difficult however they tackled a few threenager faves like Twinkle Twinkle and Jingle Bells and the always popular Hot Cross Buns!

As we are walking to the car my son asks the dreaded question, “Mom, what was your favorite? ” and I immediately start humming ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ citing that as my favorite song they played…my son straight face said “we didn’t play that song”…oh, well I like that rock song where it was just the percussions [he told me the name, I forgot it again, oops]. 

I know, I know I’ve got to do better if he’s going to stick with the band I’ve got to put on my big momma pants (usually leggings or jeggings) and get into it. But orchestra was so pretty their songs so whimsical and delightful to the ear –someone may say a tad boring– but most of the tunes played are on my relaxation playlist. 

So word of advice…when your kid, in elementary school says he wants to play the drum think long and hard and consider this a warning…say no to the gateway instrument or prepare to hear keys that could summon Apollo (Greek God of Music) or wake a mummy in the deepest tomb. 

Traveled with Baby pt.1

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It’s was the night before travel and all through the house last minute packing was done by both me and my spouse. Our 4 month old looked on as I kept asking… “What am I forgetting?” He smiled and coo’d and gave us a great #2 all that aside I realized… this is a fun age to travel with babe. He drinks from the tap so no bottles needed and the rest is quite simple.

  1. Diapers(necessary though we can buy anywhere if we didn’t pack enough)
  2. Wipes (keep them handy)
  3. Most important: baby wrap for baby wearing with ease K’tan is my favorite (click product name to be directed to website)
  4. Onesies, sleepers, dress outfit and crib shoes
  5. Receiving blanket and a couple cloth diapers for wiping drool, spit up and things like that.
  6. Warm blanket
  7. Couple hats
  8. Pacifier and favorite stuffed animal
  9. Snack with almonds(for me my fave nursing snack!)

Since I baby wear there is no need to bring a stroller and we decided to rent a carseat since we were getting a rental car– so those two things alone made for a nice weekend trip with no bulky items.

Now I’ve traveled with my two oldest before and aside from a trip out of the country requiring a passport I’ve never had to show anything for the infant on lap. During the night before preparation, my husband asked if I should bring DR3’s birth certificate and I said I never had to before (I’m so against a carrying the children’s important documents if I don’t need to) fast forward to the next morning, day of travel. Parked, strapped in baby, hopped on shuttle to the airport, arrive at the Southwest Air counter and the attendant asks us for a birth certificate, shot records or baby’s insurance card (naturally my husband gives me the look). I provided the baby’s health insurance card. Now the attendant explained the reason for asking is a regulation to help cut down on child trafficking/kidnapping. I appreciate the precaution and decided to pass the information along to my readers. My husband says walking away I told ya…I said no, you asked me. If you would have said to me bring it just in case or told me our friend who works for southwest stated we should bring it then I would have but the insurance card worked as well.

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We got to our gate and our baby was just as alert as he wanted to be smiling at all he encountered getting all the attention-ooohs and awws. We boarded when they announced family boarding was a fairly empty flight so we had the row to ourselves. Before flight I was required to remove baby from carrier or detach as the flight attendant stated.


I put our little guy to boob and he nursed during takeoff 20170303_093109.jpg(I do that to not only get baby to sleep but to also help with ears popping). He went fast to sleep and I put his paci in his mouth to be sure that his ears would equalize during the flight–I don’t know about you but my ears don’t only pop during takeoff and landing but often during flight as well. So since baby has no idea how to equalize we go with the swallowing method[it activates the muscles that open tube] Medical professionals advise not letting baby sleep during descent but I either breastfeed or tug on the Pacifier during descent and that causes baby to start sucking on the paci thus triggering the swallowing that helps equalize pressure and allows baby to stay asleep peacefully – makes for a nice quiet flight for baby, parents and those on board. He did fantastic. And received a lot of compliments on being a well behaved [quiet] baby traveler.
Repeat that for 2 more flights [yup, you read right] we had a layover and so we took another flight which had a stop we didn’t get off but other passengers got on so we flew the friendly skies and landed 3 times that day and our little guy was fantastic. No fuss, a bit of chatter, easy to change on the changing table in plane bathroom, a lot of smiling and oodles of sleep!

Recap: If traveling domestically with children bring either their Passport, Birth Certificate, Immunizations record or Health Insurance card.