Monday, July 29, 2013

Talk to Me – Letting Your Kids (Sort of) Be Free in Public

Let’s talk shopping/going to public places with a near two year old, shall we.

Preface: See the silliness, sweetness and innocence in this picture?!?! Well DON’T BE FOOLED!!!

Ok, Henry actually IS a very sweet boy.  Loves to snuggle, give out hugs and kisses, he always has a stuffed animal to squeeze on, wants to help around the house and do EVERY chore we do.  Seriously, a sweet boy.

However, he is also extremely ornery and full of energy and wants to get into EVERYTHING.

There is NO slowing down for this child.

And all this energy is now combined with a new sense of independence and eagerness to do everything on HIS own.

That brings me to my story.


So a week ago we went to the grocery store.  We went to put Henry in the cart and he was NOT having it.  Terry and I were trying to reason, then force, then bribe him to sit down in the cart but all was to no avail and ended with a 34 pound toddler clutching to me and screaming. 

The boy wanted to walk.

So walk it was.

I was a bit nervous at first.  I didn’t want us to be those parents with a near two year old running around the store, bumping into people, or grabbing everything off the shelf.  The visions of what could transpire scared me but as we had about a cup of milk, week old pasta, and random condiments in our fridge a shopping trip was necessary so we ventured on with a toddler “leading” the way.

We told him he HAD to hold onto the side of the cart and one of our hands and he could only take stuff off the shelf if we told him too.

And folks, he did.

Ok, ok….there was a slight distraction in the frozen food section with the rows of doors to open and all that cold stuff. AND in the cheese section where he went down the line and literally threw one of everything into the cart while Terry and I put them all mostly back.  (But it is cheese, so who can blame him.)

But overall he did REALLY well!  I mean really well...I was truly impressed and proud of him!!

And at one point, when his little legs needed a break, he asked to go in the cart.

Uh, YES you can go into the cart!!

So the last 15 minutes of the trip he was contained.  Awesome.

Now of course my fear is that he is going to want to keep doing this, being free to roam the store. 

I know, I know…..we started it. 

If both of us go it shouldn’t be an issue, but with one it just wouldn’t work as someone needs to keep their eye on and a firm grasp on that sneaky kid while the other shops.  Seriously, would NOT feel comfortable letting him roam with just me and him in a busy store.  I feel safer when he is in the cart.

And the same thing happened this weekend at the Zoo.  He was OK riding in his stroller at first and when he ate his snack, but soon the boy wanted to walk.  And honestly, we wanted him to walk…the purpose of a trip to the zoo is to get him tired for bed!  Can I get an amen, parents?!?!  

And he did pretty well.  There were only a couple times of fighting the hand holding, walking infront of someone, or asking to be picked up (which was not an option…ride or walk little dude) but overall he did well…..and fell asleep early at bedtime! Win, Win for everyone!

But now that he is exerting his independence more, it is becoming increasingly harder and more frustrating to keep him contained.  I know, we are the parents and we have the control.  But as you all know, when a kid is screaming/crying and fighting to not do something they don’t want to do that child suddenly turns into a baby hulk with extreme strength and supernatural like powers!!! 

And while we don’t give in all the time or very much, I feel like sometimes we also have to let them prove to us what they are capable and not capable of doing.  I know I am guilty of either thinking he is ready to do something when he is not or thinking he isn’t ready to do something and it turns out he is.  Three months ago, he was not capable or even willing to walk around on his own while also listening to us.  Now, he is.

The fact remains, he listened to us in both these situations.  He held our hand and thoroughly enjoyed being a “big boy” and helping us out and exploring.  Oh how he loves to help.  Had he not listened, he would be in the cart (or stroller) screaming or one of us would take him to the car.

Moving forward, I don’t know what to expect with him when we are at the store or out in a public setting.  Will he mind riding in the cart/stroller or want to walk?!  Will he be mad to be contained or mad that he has to walk?  Toddlers are totally unpredictable and just time bombs ready to go off at any moment because of any factor!!  I know that each outing could be different with different results.  The thing is I want him to be able to be independent and I also want him to learn how he is suppose to act in public, which includes learning our rules and boundaries that we have 

So let me ask you this, how do you handle your toddler in public places?  Do they always need to be contained/restrained in a cart or stroller?  Do you let them walk with you?  What are your rules? What do you do if they are fighting whatever situation you have them in?

And in all seriousness, what are your thoughts about a child on a leash?!?!

This still cracks me up!!  

P.S. the boy can unclip the seat belt in the cart and stroller. (I can hardly do that!) so even when we get him in, he can decide when to get out. Sigh.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Talk To Me - Bicycles and Stuff

I am looking for a bike and I think I found the bike I wanted...

Uh, a "good vibrations" bike....YES PLEASE!  It got a 5 star review. Yeah, i bet it did.  Yep, this will be MY bike.  I will be working out with a big smile on my face! :-)

Now that you are either laughing, confused or uncomfortable....let's move on, shall we.


This fascinating edition of "Talk To Me..." has two parts.  First, a bike for ME (besides the one above) and second, a bike for Henry.

I want to be able to go on bike rides with Henry, plus I think it would be fun and good exercise.

So let me ask, do you have a bike?  What kind/type?

My previous was a mountain bike and I LOVED it but looking around there are SO many options.  It is overwhelming, I just want a bike. Just not this one...

How about this, do you use a bike seat for your child like this one....

or a pull behind bike trailer/seat?

Either one safer than the other?  More convenient?

And how about a bike for Henry!

We are looking at one of these, a classic radio flyer tricycle.  I mean, come one how cool is that bike?!?!

But then didn't know for his age if something like this Fisher Price Grow With Me Tricycle would be better.

What age did your kids start riding a bike?  What kind of bike did they start with?

Thank you for your feedback!

Now excuse me, I think I am going on a special bike ride...

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

News That Isn't News - Hey Kids Stop Pooping Infront Of My House

Saw this article title in the news today and it got my attention.

"Man Wants Jogger To Stop Pooping On His Property."

Yep, you read that right....but how about I repeat it for you just incase....

"Man Wants Jogger To Stop Pooping On His Property."

Article and Video HERE.

Apparently this lady takes an occasional morning jog and while she gets moving other things get moving and she needs to stop and release....with no time to actually go into a business or even wipe and wash.

Besides getting over the fact of just how incredibly disgusting this is; you can't help but laugh out of pure uncomfortableness, ridiculousness, and the thought of a person actually doing this.

In my head all I am thinking is the SNL skit called "Really, with Seth and Amy".

"Really, you decide you need to pinch one off down a dirty alley and you thought this would be a good idea?!  Come on really, you couldn't hold it until you got home or to a bathroom?!  Really?!  And even if this was an emergency and happened once we may understand (not really), but it has happened at least a half a dozen times in the SAME space.  I mean really, you couldn't have at least come prepared the 3rd or 4th times with a box of wet wipes and a plastic bag?!  Or I don't know, take a dump before you leave?!  Seriously, I mean REALLY?!?!  Apparently you really really do not like this guy...or your need depends. Really."

In all "seriousness", she could have at least brought a plastic bag :-)

This has been your daily dose of news that isn't news!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Twinkies Are Back!

 Twinkies made their comeback on Monday after about 8 months of being off the shelf.
 (back from the dead!!!)

I for one hardly noticed except for the extra space on the shelf and the excessive cries of a near 40 year old in my house that is missing his Suzie Q’s.

I admit I have never been a huge fan of Twinkies.  I do like Hostess products as a nice treat (prefer Little Debbie more), but I guess there are other sweets I would much rather have if I am going to eat sweets.  Or just skip the sweets and give me a big bag of chips and some sort of dip and I will be happy!!

But, Terry HAD to go to the store on Monday and buy a box of Twinkies.  I tried one, and I have to say that a fresh twinkie (compared to the ones that are on the shelf for months) do taste better.  Still not a huge fan, but it was tasty! 

Henry tried a bite as well….the boy feverishly signed “more” while wiping away yellow cake and cream from his face and onto his shirt.  Basically, I think he enjoys them too.

I will say that I am sort of happy they are back.  Not necessarily because I love them so much and will be running out to get them, but because it is nostalgic.

Plus, if you didn’t have Twinkie’s you couldn’t make these!!

Or say this….  

That’s a big Twinkie.

So are you happy Twinkies are back?  Have you had one yet?!  What are your favorite Hostess products?

My favorites are the Ho Ho’s, Cupcakes, and the donettes. 

The Hostess products a refuse to try are the Sno Balls, Zingers, and fruit pies. (ew)

As a side note, these Twinkies are apparently smaller andhave fewer calories…so you can now enjoy that much more :-)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Talk To Me….Are Blogs Becoming a Thing of The Past?!

I don’t know exactly where I am going with this post or if there is even a point.  I think I am just “talking” out loud on the blog.  Opening the door for communication.

So for the past 2 ½ years or so, blogging for me has been low.  Between work and having Henry and random life stresses, things got in the way and my ability/desire/time/creativeness to blog decreased tremendously.  Sometimes I have wanted to be away from the blogs, but more often than not I just have been too wrapped up in myself and family and work and stresses to even compile an understandable blog post to write down.  Seriously, you should read some of the drafts I have saved; they make zero sense and are nothing more than random ramblings! (That should be my new blog!)  :-) 

I know for me the battle between finding time and finding something interesting to post about are a constant struggle.  (What, you are telling me you wouldn’t get bored seeing daily pictures of my child or cats?!?!)  I look back at some of my old blog posts and I thoroughly enjoyed writing them and thought they totally reflected me at that time in my life, and let’s be honest…..were  pretty darn funny!  Maybe it was because I knew there was an audience who “got me” or perhaps I just had more time or perhaps blogging was new and the only social media in my life and I just enjoyed it more.  But, after 7 years of blogging (first post July 25, 2006!!) I just feel a bit lost when it comes to blogging.  Besides the time and energy it takes that I am just not always as willing to give I have thoughts go through my head: “have I written all this before, are you tired of hearing my rants, tired of seeing my kid, is there anything new to talk about?!?!”

But it doesn’t seem like it is just me who has slowed down (or even stopped) blogging.  It seems like the frequency to which many of us post or comment has become less over the past couple years.  Sometimes a few days go by without a blog post, where as I recall in the past barely being able to keep up with all the bloggers and their posts!!

I know sometimes I will read posts but may not comment at the time or refuse to comment from my phone (loathe typing on my phone) and then just forget to comment.  Or I see that many people are not commenting so I don’t post anything new on my blog.  I think this is common for others.  I think when posts are low and comments received become less frequent, the motivation to post more decreases because let’s be honest…..while we do post some things for just ourselves, there are other posts we are writing to share and receive feedback and acknowledgement.

And I can’t help but wonder….is it just our age and the points we are at in our lives that has caused us to turn our attention away from blogging?!  For me personally, seven years ago (at the young age of 26) I didn’t have a kid, wasn’t married yet, didn’t have a house, wasn’t trying to balance a husband in school and work with my work, there were fewer additional stresses…..really life was centered around only myself.  And that is OK!  If I wanted to come home and nap after work I did.  If I wanted to blog I did.  I was a few years out of college, had a great job, new friends and was coming out of my shell.  I had plenty to say about everything!  Now, other things/people take up much of my time.  Even if a child wasn’t in the picture, I know I would still be giving more in other areas of my life and the motivation to blog would decrease.

So is it as simple as life just got busier for us when we got into our 30’s and that is why blogging has decreased?!  Or is it something else?

Many times I also wonder if people move on to other types of social media.  Blogging does require a bit more time and now there are many more avenues out there to be a part of and allow us to socialize with others.  So has the ease and quickness of things like twitter, facebook and instagram provided us with that instant communication and gratification from social media that we desire, without having to put the time into a long blog post. A “like” or a “heart” on a status or picture still provides both parties with that curiousness, sharing, and acknowledgement that we are looking for without asking others to make too much of a fuss and without us having to spend too much time posting it.

I know for me, I have started (reluctantly) moving to easier outlets (damn you instagram), especially when things get busy or I am on the go.  

But don’t get me wrong, I love blogging.  I love having this “journal” to look back on.  I like to be wordy (obviously) and I adore the relationships I have made through these blogs the past 7 years as well as the relationships that have continued to grow through the blogs.  I love not having status updates all the time, links to things I don't care about, pictures of things I am suppose to like if I care about others, people's political views (UGH).  

But sometimes, you still want the relationship and communication with those individuals without all the fuss.  And now that relationships have been made, communication outside of social media is happening and therefore maybe it isn’t always necessary to seek advice on the blogs when I can just send an email or get together.  The thing is, you KNOW these people now.  You may see them outside the internet in the real world!! You may even care for many of them and have a vested interest in their lives and family.  You have moved past the creepy stalker stage and the courting stage and truly have formed friendships with these people.  So because of that, maybe your only communication with them isn’t just on the blog now….like perhaps it was before and therefore the desire to blog as frequently has declined.

Or maybe…..Yes, I have lots of "maybe's".... 

Maybe sometimes we all just need to step away.  Perhaps because we DO put ourselves out there so much on blogs, instagram, twitter, facebook, LinkedIn, text messages, emails, and the tons of other things we get involved with that maybe something has to give.  Maybe at some point we STOP sharing so much and take pleasure in in our privacy.  Sometimes I just have to STEP AWAY from technology and social media.  Between sitting at a desk infront of a computer for 9 hours a day and then having a stupid smart phone, both that gives me easy access to the internet, I just constantly feel CONNECTED.  Connected to everyone and everything and what is going on with everyone that I “follow” every minute of every day.  And sometimes, I want to be disconnected.  I NEED to be disconnected.  I think it is too much for my brain….my brain actually feels like mush by the end of the week that by the time the weekend comes around I just want to be disconnected from everything and everyone!!   I feel a struggle between my urge to know what people are up to and the need to ignore it and focus on just myself, even if it is just for a little bit.

Or could it even possibly be as simple as the fact that I have grown and now my blog needs to grow and evolve and reflect who I am now and since it hasn't, that is why I feel a disconnect to it.

Perhaps the lack of blogging is a combination of everything. 

Perhaps it is none of the above and nothing more than the fact that blogging is a passing fad, and like all fads and many things in today’s society, they fade away when something newer comes along.

Perhaps this entire post was me just rambling because my brain has turned into mush from all the access I have to technology and people and knowledge and random information that I just need to write it all down in an attempt to reboot and make room in the jumbled mess that is my mind!

Perhaps it means I miss this blog.  That I miss blogging.  That I miss the interaction I have with friends and sharing my thoughts….as random as they may be. (I do miss blogging.)

Perhaps it is also the realization that I need to find a balance between technology, social media, and life that I seem to be lacking.  Something has to give.  I need to find the outlets that make me happy, but I don’t need to do it all nor stay connected all the time. 

Perhaps I should ask YOU what you think!!

Do you blog regularly? Comment regularly?  Do you find you have more/less/same amount of time to blog now than when you started?  Do you prefer other social media outlets over blogging?  

Monday, July 08, 2013

Let’s Talk Feta – Recipes

I love feta.  LOVE. IT.

It is just the perfect amount of salt and tang and can be added to so many things!

I have a couple recipes that I use feta in that I feel needed to be shared.

Monday, July 01, 2013

I Am Back!! What, You Didn't Even Notice I was Gone?!

So we are back from vacation.  What, you didn't even realize I was gone?!  Hmmmmmm, I need to blog more.

I am not sure exactly how I feel about being back from vacation.  On the one hand, taking time away from work and home to spend time with family is greatly needed and so much fun!  On the other hand, when traveling with a toddler and being away from your house and routine can take a toll on everyone.

Luckily, I don't think it started taking a toll on us until the last full day of vacation.  Henry (ok, and myself) was a bit cranky towards the end of vacation.  But really he did fantastic on his first vacation and I think had a blast....I know we all did!!

Yep, looks like he had fun!

A longer blog post about vacation and a ton of pictures to come, once I get the ridiculous amount of pictures off our camera :-)  Right now we are taking a hint from Henry and resting from the time away where we were suppose to be resting.  (Seriously, how does that work....always more tired AFTER vacation!!)

This is Henry at dinner at a Mexican restaurant on the evening we returned.  
He had one too many margaritas. 

P.S.  We took family pictures before we left.  This was the first time since Henry was 3 months old.  Please note my son will be 22 months in a week.  It had been awhile.  I hope to have the pictures this week....until then here are pictures I took of the pictures on the computer.  Yep, great quality right there!!