Does your child spend a lot time on their iPad? I bet they do, ours did too. We had one major rule though and that was, “don’t talk to anyone you don’t know in real life online.” Our daughter broke that rule and we took it away. What we didn’t expect were the changes we would observe over the next few weeks.
What did you just minimize?
Our daughter, like most kids her age, enjoyed playing games where her friends could interact with her online. She knew that she wasn’t supposed to talk to anyone that she didn’t know in real life. One day though her dad walked into her room and she quickly minimized something. Ummmm what did you just minimize? “Nothing”, she said. Of course her dad took the computer and found a benign conversation that our daughter admitted she didn’t know the person she was talking to. We reacted quickly and strongly because pedos don’t just start the conversation saying “hey little girl I have some bad intentions for you.”. So we needed to make our point. Computer and iPad were gone for an indefinite amount of time.
How long are we going to keep them?
Over the next few days my husband and I went back and forth about how long we were going to keep her devices. We didn’t really have a plan in place since this was kind of unexpected. After a couple days though we noticed that she hadn’t asked for it, at all, not once. So we determined that we wouldn’t do anything if she didn’t ask. Let’s just see how long we can go here.
She started playing with her little brother and sister again.
After a while we started to notice that our daughter was interacting with her younger siblings again. Especially her little sister. They started playing board games, going out on the trampoline, and other imaginative play. She still hadn’t asked for her iPad back so we were letting it go. We were noticing a lot fewer fights, a lot less yelling, and a happier daughter.
Her behavior improved.
After a couple weeks, we noticed that our mornings started to go more smoothly. She was now waking up before she needed to and getting ready without being told. I asked her if after we went to bed was she was going back on her computer before. She admitted she often did. Her mood was improving, she was more engaged with us and started asking her siblings to go outside WAY more often!
Three weeks later.
She still hasn’t asked for the iPad back and we haven’t offered it to her. Things have definitely improved around here and we are pleasantly surprised. Obviously we didn’t anticipate these changes, we hadn’t realized how much constantly being on her iPad was affecting her. Not only affecting her but the rest of us. It seems as though we are all a little happier without that iPad around.
How long has it been since you travelled without your kids? How long since you and your significant other just took a trip for just the two of you? If you are like most parents then it has been a REALLY long time. In fact, I bet many of you are waiting until the kids are grown to travel right?! Well that is a big mistake and here are the top five reasons why you need to plan a trip without the kids like yesterday.
First of all, it is Cheaper!
Ok, this is a no brainer right?! It is certainly cheaper for just two adults to travel than it is when you add in more little mouths to feed, shelter and entertain. Is this article a joke, of course it is cheaper. Cheaper is a total given. Which is also the total destroyer of your first excuse to why you CAN’T take a vacation without the kids. You need to get over the guilt of spending a little money on yourselves. I mean, you literally earned it.
Refill your relationship’s cup.
You both love those little beasts, they are your heart and soul. I also know that after day in and day out of constantly putting yourself dead last that you need to refill your cup. Well guess what, your relationship has a cup that needs filling, DESERVES filling too. You both need a chance to remember why you do all those crazy running here and there things that you do. You both need to remember why you wanted to do those things together, why you choose each other. A trip just the two of you will help remind you of that.
Non kid friendly fun is SOOO fun!
If you are reading this then it has likely been a while since you and your love did anything that didn’t involve the kids. So you probably forgot how relaxing it is to just sit on the beach for a few hours without adjusting someone’s goggles, getting a snack box out of the cooler, or walking someone to the bathroom. Maybe you also forgot how cool it is to take a tour of local landmark, museum, or check out kitchy little shop. I would wager that you even forgot how awesome it is to sit at an outdoor patio with a pitcher of margaritas and the love of your life for lunch. Then head back to the room for some afternoon delight and a nap. You forgot about that didn’t you?
Scope out kid friendly locations.
We have done a decent amount of traveling for a couple with younger children. We have traveled to places that we were glad we didn’t bring the kids. Some of them we were REALLY glad! There have also been places that we know we want to go back with the kids one day. By not having them with us it allowed us to scope things out for a lot less money and a lot more us time. We can see whether or not there are kid friendly restaurants, parks, fun activities, rainy day stuff without getting there with everyone in tow. So think of your trip as a cheap, relationship cup filling, day drinking recon mission.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Every day you spend the majority of your time making sure that someone else gets what they need from you. You make sure that everyone gets to practice, brings a sweatshirt, or remembers their lunch box. Every.Damn.Day. You both do so much for the little people in your lives that it’s easy to forget yourselves. It can also be easy to just let your relationships go into autopilot. Both your relationship with your partner and with your kids. It can be easy to take all of it for granted. By going away you actually remind yourselves exactly why you want to come home again.
Oh girl, you found bugs crawling in your little ones hair and you don’t know where to start, right? No worries momma, its going to be ok! I know you want these disgusting little parasites not only off your child’s precious head but out of your house, like yesterday. Here is what I have learned when dealing with head lice and the steps you need to take to get rid of the bugs once and for all.
Lice occur most frequently in younger, school aged children, and they can happen to ANYONE. Lice occurs more often in girls but that could just be because girls generally have longer hair. They are gross I know, BUT these resourceful little bastards have been around since the beginning of time. Trust me when I say that no one is more skeeved out than your kid at the thought of bugs crawling around in their hair. They know that momma is going to handle this like the bad ass boss she is.
CHECK EVERYONE thoroughly so you know how many heads we are treating here.
When your little one comes to you and says that it feels like something is crawling in their hair then you need to check, like now! Lice drop lots of eggs and fast! Go directly to a well lit room and check the base of their skull and behind their ears. These are the most common locations for the lice to lay eggs. Adult lice are easily seen with the naked eye but the nits are tiny so if anyone has reading glasses available they may come in handy here. The nits are oval shaped little blobs attached to the hair shaft very closely to the scalp. Once those puppies start hatching you are going to have a serious problem. Adults are good at hiding while you are checking hair so take your time looking around. Once you know you are dealing with lice, then you need to check EVERYONE in the house.
Most research shows that over the counter medications rarely work in eliminating head lice. Even through two rounds of treatment and with you doing everything “as directed”. If you learn nothing else, then learn from my experience. Your best bet is to call your pediatrician right away and get a prescribed treatment that kills both the lice AND the eggs. I will explain why in a minute.
Your head is itching isn’t it? Don’t panic. Just the thought of lice makes your skin crawl but make sure someone has checked your head too.
The Good Stuff
Why do you need the good stuff? You need the medication that kills the eggs too, which is only available by prescription. These little buggers, pun intended, can take up to 12 days to hatch. Then it only takes 6-9 days for them to become mature enough to start laying eggs themself. You can see how this starts to stack up against you quickly. You are going to be chasing your tail trying to find every nit in your kid’s hair for the next month or so before you can declare victory. Go to your doctor and get the good stuff. I told our pediatrician that I wanted “something that will kill everything but those two”, pointing to my beautiful head scratching daughters.
Plan of Attack
Now that you have this lice annihilator in your hot little hands you need to plot out your plan of attack. First thing to do is gather everything that your children have come into contact with for the past 48hours. Place it all into one area to be considered “the contamination zone”. Every bed in the house, clothing, coats, pillows, stuffed animals, etc.. Think of anything that may have come into contact with your child in the past 48 hours and set it aside to be laundered.
Hairbrushes and hair accessories need to be soaked in water greater than 130 degrees for at least 10 minutes. To be honest, during the first rounds using over the counter shampoos we did this. Once it was obvious that we had lice again, we just tossed them all and bought new stuff. If you can’t buy new, then boil a pot of water and throw all the grooming accessories in the pot of boiling hot water (turning off the heat first of course).
Make a Clean Zone
Now, the medicine has to sit on your child’s head for about 10 minutes, you now have time to make a “clean zone”. I then went through their stripped rooms and vacuumed their beds and floor thoroughly. I picked out PJs and set them in the bathroom for the girls. Once their heads were done stewing, they rinsed off, got into their PJs and went straight to their rooms, you know, the “clean zone”. They were told that they couldn’t go to other areas of the house without my permission (possibly this was overkill but after dealing with these parasitic bastards for a month, I.WAS.DONE.).
I then, systematically, went through each room that would need to be tidied up, vacuumed and cleaned in the order of importance to our daily lives.
As far as the laundry, it will take DAYS to wash everything. Everything should be washed on the hottest setting and dried on the hottest settings. Don’t forget to vacuum the couches, chairs, and rugs!
Lice don’t really live long without a host. If something has been in the coat closest for a week without anyone using it then you are probably ok to leave that be. Anything that can’t be washed, like my daughter’s softball helmet, needs to be sealed up in a plastic bag for three weeks to ensure that they are gone.
Remember Momma, lice have literally survived for thousands of years. Clearly they are unstoppable, until they met you that is!
Mother nature tells the tale of The Birds and the Bunnies? A lesson in nature. Ahhh spring, isn’t it a beautiful time to see the flowers blooming, the leaves seems to suddenly appear on the trees and nature is everywhere! Isn’t it grand?
I was sitting at my desk working when I looked out the window to see two bunnies just hanging out in our backyard. We love animals around here, so I quickly grab my camera and slowly creep outside to take a few pictures of these adorable little creatures. My husband calls them ‘nature’s snack food’ but that’s another story. I am able to get super close, like surprisingly close. To be honest, it was kind of ridiculously close. Hey, aren’t you guys prey? Shouldn’t you be running by now? It hasn’t occurred to me just WHY I am able to get so close to these mobile hawk snacks.
Enter my little darlings
“Oh my goodness…come here girls quick”, I call to my darling innocent little ones who simply love all animals and nature. They come running out to see our wild friends. A few “OMG they are adorable”, “Mommy we are so close!”. My heart beamed thinking, “aren’t I just an awesome mom for being able to show them this tender moment with mother nature and her pets?”. Shortly after all of our “oohs” and “ahhs”, we realize that there is yet another ‘couple’ in our yard. We are remarkably able to get ridiculously close to these cuties as well. It still hasn’t dawned on me what is causing the seemingly docile ignorance of our presence to these otherwise flighty critters. Although I did start to think that it was a little odd that four wild bunnies would let us get so close to them. Let’s be honest here, my daughters can’t really be described as “stealthy”.
Bunnies Getting Busy
Suddenly before I could even realize what was about to go down, one of the bunnies jumped onto the back of the other bunny! They didn’t care that we were getting so close because LOVE was in the air and they were all twitterpated! They didn’t give two shits about us being there because all they could hear was some sort of slow love bunny R&B jam in their little bunny brains!
My brain screamed “GAHHH”! “Come on girls let’s go inside!”, I chime as I quickly corral my girls away from the amorous couple towards the backdoor but alas, I wasn’t quite fast enough. As I was opening the back door and shoving my daughters into the house, my older daughter said “why did the daddy kick the mommy? She just wanted a hug! Did he do that on purpose?!”, she chirped. What was my perfect mom, brilliant response? “uhhhhh, I don’t know baby…they are animals”.
I’m currently dating my husband…or he is dating me…not sure really but we have been dating for a while now. I think things are getting pretty serious. We have been married for almost 11 years, together over 12. With the stresses of kids, two jobs, running a household, and holy shit stuff is expensive, we made a deal that we would go out together, just us, at least twice a month. We often run out of ideas and new places to go but we always go.
Why? Why do we do it?
We do it because once all the dust settles, the kids are grown moving on with their lives then it will be just the two of us. Just the two of us staring at each other across the kitchen table in the morning wondering, “Now what do we do?”. I don’t want to be sitting across from some stranger who I haven’t really seen or spent any time with in the last 18 years.
Sometimes we just meet each other for lunch while the kids are in school. Then there are other times we hire a babysitter, schedule a sleepover at mom mom’s house and go out to dinner. It is almost NEVER something that would warrant 20 selfies and appear like we are living it up way more than any of our friends. In fact, the occasional selfie is rare but once in a while we are feeling millennial and take one. Date nights are more important than just getting away from the kids. Eating your dinner at the temperature that it was meant to be served at. Date nights are a reminder of just why you have this crazy life in the first place. You fell in love. You fell in love with each other and created the mayhem that now consumes you all day every day. I doubt you could you ever imagine not having this craziness!? I know I couldn’t and remembering why I choose to create chaos of my life with him, that is why I make sure that we are still dating.
Being Human. Humanity is defined as ‘the fact or condition of being human’ according to the Oxford Dictionary. What does it mean to be human? Maybe P.T. Barnum was ahead of his time. Yes I am aware that the movie does not depict him in reality, maybe not much at all to be honest. He was far more likely in it for the buck than anything, BUT what if his story had a grander purpose, maybe beyond anything he or the movie producers ever imagined. If the movie does anything besides entertain us, it certainly causes us to pause and think about those around us, those who we associate with on a grander scale.
Exactly what does it mean to be human? It is not just enough to be human in our own right but to see the humanity of others. Aren’t we all different? Isn’t there something about each one of us that makes us feel awkward at times, weird……different…….not accepted? If there is anything that this movie reminded me is that each one of us IS weird, different, and in a way that is what makes us all exactly the same. It is a common bond that should be celebrated, and shouted from every rooftop! We are all unique…different….weird….human.
What if every restaurant you ever walked into served the same exact food, at the same exact time, and there was never any variation or variety? How boring would life be if we were all a cookie cutter version of each other? We need to embrace the comfort of diversity.
What if we lived in a world where everyone was seen and accepted for who they are because let’s be honest, isn’t that what all of us crave anyway? Acceptance.
Isn’t it up to us? Don’t we, collectively as humans and as a society, determine what is “expected”, normal even….?
I realize that this post is a series of questions but hopefully it makes you think. Remember the Golden Rule? “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”