Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Our Little Wednesday Morning Project

The kids wanted to make a quick little video after talking about all of the things they have now, that weren't around when I was a kid.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

9 things you need to teach your children NOW, so they don't grow up to be jerks.

We all know, that despite the saying "Do as I say, not as I do." children learn from the example we set. Like it or not, that's the reality. Their little brains soak in every good and bad thing we do. Teaching them is by telling AND doing.

Here are 9 things you need to teach your children NOW, so they don't grow up to be jerks.

Teach them compassion. Let them see you give food to the homeless man at the intersection or offer assistance to a stranger in need.

Teach them tolerance. Religious tolerance, lifestyle tolerance etc. Tell them and show them that it's ok for people to believe in different things than you do, live differently than you do and to think differently than you do.

Teach them to give. Even if you don't have much, let your children see you give to someone who has even less. Let them be part of it. Whether it be a shirt to a friend or a large donation to a shelter.

Teach them manners. Teach them to be polite and considerate of others. Show them by example.

It's ok to be different
Teach them that it is ok to be different. It's ok to look different, act different, dress different etc. Children hear the things we say, even when they aren't directed at them. They hear us when we mock someone walking by while we're driving or we say something about the news anchor on TV. Try to set a better example.

Gestures of kindness
Teach them gestures of kindness. Let them see you pay for someones coffee, hold the door extra long for people coming through it, let them go first in line, offer to help someone carry their bags, say something nice to a stranger or shovel someones snow without them asking for help. Show them the happiness a small gesture can bring to someone. Show them how one small gesture of kindness can be a huge help in someones day.

Teach them patience. Show them that being patient pays off. Set a good example. Having patience is SO important in every day life. Can you imagine how much less frustration there would be in lines, if everyone had a little patience?

Use their voices
Teach them to use their voices. Show them it's ok to speak up. Let them see you be the voice for someone who needs it. Let them see you stand up for someone who is being bullied. Show them that sometimes people need us to be their voice.

The world does not revolve around them
Teach them the world does not revolve around them. *My* world might revolve around my children, but the world itself does not. We need to teach them that the world does not owe them, things do not happen only on their time and they are not entitled to anything.

Lets do better, so we can create better.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Things sure do change!

Years ago, even when I already had babies and toddlers, I despised plastic ornaments... You know, the plastic balls. I had all glass and taught my little ones not to touch them. We never had problems! I always thought glass just looked so much nicer. 4 years ago, Stormy (our Labrador) was a growing puppy and I quickly realized how a happy lab tail and glass ornaments on a Christmas tree didn't go together well. Over the last few years I've bought some plastic ornaments, just to cut down on the amount of glass for this reason. I bought more plastic again this year, temporarily forgetting that she no longer has a tail (amputation do to happy tail complications). When I thought about it, I said to myself "Eh, we have a lot of little ones. It's probably better to have mostly plastic anyway. Even though they know better than to play with them."

We put up our tree and decorated it as a family. I instructed the kids to use mostly the plastic ornaments that we have. The older boys did put on some glass, but I tried to keep the glass up higher. Not even 24 hours after decorating the tree, Declan fell, hit a branch and managed to fling off what was probably the only glass ornament on that part of the tree! It shattered on the hard floor OF COURSE!

My Labrador of all things, gave me an appreciation for plastic ornaments. Oh and I guess falling toddlers did too. Things sure do change!

What kind of ornaments to do you use? Antique? Glass? Plastic? Handmade?

My tree is still pretty, even with the plastic ;).

Monday, November 26, 2012

How do I love thee... Let me count the ways...

Oh little boy. You adorable 6th child of mine. You snuggly little cutie-pie. I love you and I will always love you no matter what. FOREVER. But.... I do NOT love changing your diaper. When I feel that it's almost necessary to purchase a gas mask and not even think of putting a cloth diaper on your booty, because your poo is so wretched that even the dogs hide, it's time to figure out what's going on here.

You're lucky that you are cute.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

#InappropriateElf - Fifty Shades

I believe I just busted Petunia indulging in one of this years most talked about books! Oh My!

Petunia's been a little lonely this year. She heard of this "Mommy Porn" (as they call it) and thought it was something she just had to read! But in MY bed!? Really!?

Jill Krause over at Baby Rabies is having her 2nd Annual Inappropriate Elf Contest. I thought I'd take a stab at it! Wish me luck! (Or vote/"like" my pic on FB when voting starts... That's totally cool too.)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Here is a big problem with Society - I am on my Soap Box again

A local news station out of California posted this picture, with the caption "Breastfeeding baby doll: creepy or groundbreaking?"

Now this alone (the caption) is pretty annoying, but I know how they work, they want to spark controversy, so I can overlook it for the most part. However, many comments that followed were just ridiculous and ignorant. SO ignorant. Reading many of them had my blood boiling.

These are some of the more tame comments I read.

While reading I realized, THESE PEOPLE are the problem. They are perpetuating and spreading the negative view of breastfeeding, like a disease. 

Society has sexualized anything having to do with breasts to the point that the act of a mother feeding her baby, from her breast, which is what they are there for and something that couldn't possibly be more natural, is viewed as wrong, gross, sexual, inappropriate etc. Let that sink in.... Go on...    This is not a problem with the mother who breastfeeds, this is a problem with society. Come on people.

Do I need to even go into how absolutely ignorant and STUPID the comments about things like this doll leading to teen pregnancy are? Do I? Really? They are STUPID AND IGNORANT. There.

Many young children and toddlers who watch their mother breastfeed a younger sibling will imitate it. They will imitate it with a baby doll, a stuffed animal, a GI Joe... Anything, really. It's normal. Just like children have play kitchens, power wheels, toy lawn mowers, toy baby bottles. They like to imitate what their parents do. It's perfectly normal, imaginative play. Breastfeeding is just another perfectly normal thing to do. Naturally, children will imitate it. Imaginative play is GOOD for them. Yes, even pretending to feed a baby doll with their breast.

As far as the doll itself. It's not worth the money for it to make stupid sounds. A regular old baby doll, they can do the same thing with. But there is nothing wrong with the idea behind the doll! Almost every baby doll I've bought for my daughter came with a bottle. I know it's just far too hard for some of you closed minded weirdos to comprehend, but feeding a child from a bottle or from a breast is the same thing. It's not "exposing" themselves. We all eat in public, a breastfed baby should be afforded that same right, to eat in public. Speaking of which, they DO have that right in pretty much every state! In fact, most places have breastfeeding laws that protect mothers and give them the right to breastfeed wherever they need to.

Society needs to move away from this negative view of breastfeeding. Society needs to stop sexualizing the simple, natural act of a mother feeding her child. Society needs to stop using women's bodies as a political platform. And for goodness sake, people need to quit comparing the natural act of breastfeeding to urinating or defecating! That one REALLY makes me mad. There is a huge difference and anyone who makes that comparison when arguing about breastfeeding being inappropriate in public, immediately lost that argument and are disregarded completely by anyone with half a brain.

*takes a breathe*

Breastfeeding has been around as long as mammals have. Get over it.

Just because it's cute.. and maybe to annoy some of you weirdos who think it's nasty, just a little... (My daughter who was 2 at the time and my 4th son)

Oh the HORROR!!!! Look at that inappropriate exposure!!!
Why Yes, that IS a real life boobie.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I know I will fail miserably at posting every day for 30 days...

So... I will take the time, right here, to type out 30 things I am thankful for. I know some people think it's silly and you should be thankful all year... which of course you should be, and I am! But why not have an excuse to publicly express those things? :)

I am thankful for...
1. Each one of my children.
2. My husband.
3. My husband's career, as challenging as it may be.
4. Being fortunate enough not to be in one of the hardest hit places by Hurricane Sandy.
5. Both of my dog's love and companionship.
6. Coming out stronger on the other side of negative experiences.
7. Having the compassion that I've recently realized so many lack.
8. Veterinarians that care about your pet.
9. The beauty of Autumn in New England.
10. My children's health.
11. Old friends who understand... or at least try to, if they don't.
12. Heat in the cold season.
13. Air conditioning in the warm season.
14. Caring too much. I'd rather care too much than not enough.
15. A husband that understands me.
16. My husband having a good command on his boat.
17. Good people that make living somewhere I don't really like, better.
18. The patience I've learned to have over the years.
19. Being passionate.
20. The sturdy home to shelter my family.
21. The new glasses my husband made me buy.
22. The ability to homeschool my children.
23. Being fortunate enough to experience motherhood.
24. The fact that all of my children, so far, have been able to meet their Great Grandmother.
25. The open mind, love and tolerance I posses.
26. My husband's health.
27. Being able to breastfeed my children.
28. The food in our pantry, refrigerator and freezer.
29. The joy of watching my children grow.
30. Music and all of the other little happy things in my life.

I'm sure I could sit here and add so many more to this. I'm also thankful for YOU, the people who read my ramblings on my blog. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I love Fall in New England!

We went to Bluff Point State Park again a week and a half ago, before the hurricane, to enjoy the cool fall weather outside. Of course I took that time to get some photos of the kids! This is one huge perk of homeschooling. We were able to go during the school day and enjoy a peaceful walk without many people!

Friday, October 19, 2012

It's a pretty big day in everyone's life....

Here is a conversation tonight with my almost 8 year old son.

Cameron: "Mom. There is something wrong with my memory." 
Me: "Why?" 
Cameron: "I can't remember my birth. That's a pretty big day in everyone's life and I can't remember it!"  
Me: "No one can remember being born. I'm sure it's traumatic enough that we wouldn't want to anyway."  

I can't even stop giggling to myself. My kids are a riot.

Monday, October 15, 2012

We laughed... because WE do it!

This afternoon while making our way back out of the Apple Orchard after picking apples, we walked by a couple with 2 young children. They had their kids sitting on the ground in front of the trees, trying to take a nice picture of them. The parents were being silly, making noises and the mom even stood up and was dancing, to make them smile for the pictures. My husband and I both got a little giggle from it and then we looked at each other and laughed because WE DO THE SAME THINGS! We try not to be too obvious in public, but sometimes we just want that picture and don't care!

It made me think about the silly things most of us do as parents just to get a smile or laugh out of our children. I guess we channel our inner child for them!

If you happen to be those parents reading. You're awesome.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Homemade Apple Crisp!

We went apple picking today and I needed an easy recipe that was mostly safe (I have to alter it more to be completely allergy free) for my 7 year old's allergies. Homemade Apple Crisp did the trick! It is super easy to make and came out absolutely delicious! It's clearly not a healthy recipe, but it's a great indulgence!

Homemade Apple Crisp

- 9-ish small - medium apples
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup uncooked oats
- 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Spread

- Preheat oven to 375
- Grease 13x9 glass baking dish
- Peel, Core and Cut apples into thin slices
- Mix all dry ingredients together
- Cut cold butter into small pieces and mix it together with dry ingredients until it crumbles. (I like to kneed and squish it by hand to get it mixed well.)
- Sprinkle mixture over apples
- Bake for approximately 35 minutes until browned
- Serve with vanilla ice cream (Vanilla Coconut Ice Cream is good too.)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

What's a mom to do on a cold Saturday duty day!?

Torture the kids of course... My husband has duty (basically working for 2 days without coming home, for the non-Navy folks out there) and I decided I wanted to torture the kids with the camera! Bwahahaha! I wanted to try something out and while it wasn't as successful as I was hoping, I am learning for later.

It's not pro quality, but it's cute!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

It's that time again! Our Fall Tradition!

Those of you have been reading a while, know that every fall, we go to a Pumpkin Patch wherever we may be stationed that year. It's a big deal for us because the kids REALLY love that time as a family. This year as well as last year, we went to Buttonwood Farm. It's nice and convenient because you don't have to take a hay ride out to the pumpkins. The parking area is right next to everything. With having so many kids, we like that! Now if my husband can only get enough time away from work for us to go Apple Picking! We've never done that! I'm so glad to have him here this fall, even if he's at work most of the time. Last year he was away except for a couple of days RIGHT before Halloween where we were able to get to the pumpkin patch. Fall in New England is my favorite.

These are the times I really love.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Mothers Guilt and realizing it will be ok

Some nights, I lay there thinking about my day. Sometimes I'll feel guilty over how I handled a situation with the kids or that I didn't spend as much time with one of them as I think I should have that day. I imagine I'm not the only mother who does this from time to time.

As confident as I am about the choices my husband and I have made for our family, I still get twinges of worry now and then. I worry about the "what ifs", "should haves" and "maybes". When it is all said and done, what I want is children who grew into wonderful, happy, caring, successful adults. I don't define success by the balance of your bank account or social status. I just want them to be successful in whatever path they choose. Whether it's one of them choosing the path that I have, raising children or one of them becoming a famous musician. I just want to set the foundation for them to flourish.

I generally ignore the criticism. I know the choices we have made are right for us and I take comfort in that. But now and then, I am stopped with a mild sense of doubt.

In those moments of doubt, I look down at my 15 month old snuggled up against me asleep just like he did as a newborn or I think about my daughter kissing her baby dolls and laying them down for a nap. I look over to see my older boys reading a book to the younger children, all on their own or I watch my kids all interact kindly and fairly with the other children at the park. Those moments are when I realize it will be ok. I'm doing ok.

I'll make mistakes and have to make changes. I wont always do everything right and I accept that. But I'll also do some things great and will always put my family first. I'm doing the best I can and I am happy with that.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

There was a Wedding today!

Today, my nephew Zac, who's diapers I changed as a baby.... got married! Talk about making me feel old.

I couldn't be happier for him and his new wife. They have a little 1 month old baby boy together and my nephew is in the Navy. His wife is such a sweet girl. I wish for them to have a long happy life together!

Zac missed the birth of their first child in July because he was away with the Navy. He met him for the first time last week. They have been in quite the whirlwind! But they are so happy!

They were married at the Roger Williams Park in RI and then I took a few photos of them in the zoo :).  The two of them met in an agricultural highschool, so an outdoor wedding and being at the zoo, was so fitting for them! I am SO GLAD that we're stationed close enough to make the drive to the wedding!

Here are a few of my favorite photos I took!

Here are the kids waiting before the wedding :).

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Hey, greedy, bratty military wife who thinks she is entitled! Yeah YOU!

It's that time of year again. The time of year that Sears opens up their Sears Heroes At Home Registry, so that military families can register to receive gift cards during the holidays (from money donated by Sears customers) as a Thank You from Sears and those who donate to it.

What this really means is, a load of ungrateful, greedy, bratty women who think they are entitled because they are Military spouses, will come out in droves, via the internet. Sears is bombarded on their facebook page and I imagine twitter and any other social media outlet they can be found on, by wives complaining that they can't sign up. But not everyone is just giving Sears a "heads up" that the site isn't running smoothly, many of them are being rude, hateful and just plain greedy. Much of what I have seen posted on their facebook page over the past 5 years that Sears has been doing this, just screams "I'm entitled!!!". It's obnoxious and frustrating to see. Most of all it's incredibly disheartening and sad.

Listen up ladies, the type of junk you all are posting is making us all look bad. The small number of you greedy little girls with entitlement issues are giving people from the outside a terrible view of what a military wife is, with posting things like you are. It's terrible. You need to just stop. It's down right rude and ungrateful.

I took this right off the Sears facebook page...
"You should really get your act together! Some of us are relying on this to get our kids Christmas gifts! I can't believe that after 5 years you can't get it right! Fix your site!"
I can't even muster up anything nice to say about that one. I sincerely hope that was just someone trying to stir the pot.

Not all of us are like this. In fact, most of us are not. The majority of us are very grateful for any thank you that we receive for the sacrifices we make as military families. The Heroes At Home program is such a wonderful thing that Sears does and it's so tarnished each year by sheer greed. I feel ashamed and embarrassed for each of those women each time I read another bratty post on the Sears facebook page. You, the greedy wife over there. YOU should be ashamed and embarrassed by what you're posting. This behavior is shameful.

Thank You Sears and Thank You to everyone who does donate to this program.

Friday, August 24, 2012

I've been a Mom, for a decade!

My oldest son Alexander is 10 years old today. A whole decade! At 6am on my birthday, my water broke. I had him at 5:24pm and he was 6lbs 7ozs. It's all history from there!

You're growing into a wonderful, loving and brilliant young man, Alex! Happy 10th Birthday! I love you!

10 years ago. Newborn Alex, passed out with one tired new Mommy. (I HATED this photo, but I have so few of him as a baby that I love having this one now.)

Now, 10 years old.

He even used to be a porker!

He also used to have red hair! lol