Wednesday, October 31, 2012

All Hallows' Eve

Yes, we celebrate Halloween. Personally, I think November 1st should be a school holiday everywhere. Not only is it a religious holiday (and All Saints Day is a holy day of obligation so we're at mass part of school anyway), but you tell me what teacher is getting up that morning and saying "it's going to be a great day, kids that stay up late gorging on sugar are always so well behaved". Ok, that's totally a whole other post.

Years ago I loved going out trick or treating with the kids. Camera in hand my first went trick or treating her first Halloween as the obligatory pumpkin. Mind you, she was only 4 months old so I had to eat all the loot. Or rather, I had to fight my husband for all the loot, except the lollipop Nana snuck her. The 2nd Halloween she was a cute bunny (which my youngest will be this year, though she calls it "Oreo", the name of our pet rabbit). Then she was Tinkerbell, every year cuter than the previous. I had no choice but to follow her snapping pictures.

It continues from there. Her sister was born and soon we were matching. Her sister's first Halloween they were Blue and Magenta. Then they were Lilo and Stitch. A third child didn't stop us. That first Halloween the baby was a frog, um, I mean toad. As in Neville's toad, since the bigger girls were Harry Potter and Hermione. They were 3 Pokemon next.

I had big plans for 4, 5, and 6 kids. Fresh beats and their mini mes? The whole Sesame Street gang? The whole cast of The Wizard of Oz. 4, 5 and 6 kids wouldn't stop me. But Tweens would stop me. Apparently a Fresh Beat is not cool to an 11 year old. And they don't make Big Bird costumes for teens.

Halloween is supposed to be scary, who knew?  Soon my kids were creating their own costumes, a Crowl?, a mad scientist, etc. Or they want to be something scary, dementors, phantoms of unknown origin, witches, bleeding Scream, and so on, the more mysterious the better. There goes matching. A 4 yr old girl thinks of nothing but princesses, and a 5 yr old boy wants nothing to do with royalty.

Now I prefer to stay home and pass out candy. I love to admire the creativity in costumes, see the most popular character that year, and admire the cute pumpkins and peapods. My husband has the same thought though. Either that or he wants to eat the Halloween candy after we go out to walk around.

So tonight you'll probably see a rabbit and a mermaid, rabbits swim, right? Scream and his skeleton bride. And 2 unknown phantoms. Me, I just get to pull the wagon that will hold their bags when they get too heavy. I'll take a couple pictures before we leave the house but my paparazzi days are in the past.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

"If you lie with dogs...", the Lenten update

Quite a title, huh?  I'm sure you are completely confused, Lent was months ago and has nothing to do with dogs. Well, my grandma had 2 sayings.  One was "if you lie with dogs your going to get fleas".  The other was what you needed to do instead, "soar with the eagles".  Not until this Lent did I realise how much this also applied to modeling for our kids.  Modeling for our kids is probably the best way to teach them what is important to you.  You know the saying, "practice what you preach".

So how did Lent teach me this applied to the influences I allow myself too?  And why am I updating about Lent now.  Well, it's been over 6 months so I've now seen the full effect of something that changed at Lent.  Every Lent we give something up but we also try to add something.  Usually the "give up" has not much to do with the church, instead it is more about sacrifice: chocolate, sweets, caffeine, (now that I think about it, it's mostly foods, hmmm, I guess that shows what's important to us, I will need to contemplate that), etc.  Then the "add" is something religious, prayer, bible study, charity, etc.

This year the "give up" became an "add".  You see, I had noticed that the country music I listened to with the kids wasn't as "clean" as I thought it was.  My impression was that if it didn't have people "pumping and grinding", didn't talk about "big buts", didn't say "so take off all your clothes", and there was never any "F bombs", it was "clean".  Therefore, country was the cleanest music I knew. For years the fact it wasn't was there.  B wanted to know what Tequila was and why it "makes your clothes fall off".  Then she wanted to know what a "4 letter word that started with S" and would cause concern was.  That progressed to one day her accidentally slipping and singing along, "...kiss my a**".  Soon my smaller kids were singing about how "rain is a good thing" because it "makes my baby feel a little frisky".  Or going for a ride on my big green tractor, my baby liking to fish, and their favorite music video was "Stuck Like Glue" (if you haven't seen it, look it up, though hilarious it isn't kid appropriate).  So we gave up "inappropriate" music for Lent, though I just told the kids I gave up "country music" for Lent. 

I couldn't go from country to pop, rap, alternative, those were all steps in the wrong direction.  Kids music CDs got old fast.  Classical is nice and soothing, even the sad or angry portions of a classical composition don't seem to ramp you up.  There are 2 problems with classical.  First, when sitting in traffic you can't sing along to distract yourself.  Second, our classical station has just as much talk as music.  This wouldn't be a problem if our CD player worked in the minivan but one of the kids jammed something in it.  That leaves only one thing, Christian.  That's when our "give up" became an "add", we "added" Christian music.

By the end of Lent though I was noticing a difference.  I was calmer.  This is one of the things I didn't actually notice until I tried to go back.  After Lent I turned the radio in the baby's room back to country, to listen as I put away laundry.  I soon realised that listening to an "angry american" rubbed off a little anger.  Listening to a woman take a "...Lousville slugger to both headlights..." got me to thinking, "well he deserved it".  And if Montgomery Gentry doesn't give a damn, why should I.  Not to even mention the amount of sexual innuendos (and not so innuendo) I now noticed, after nearly 2 months of the emphasis being on how "family friendly" the Christian station is. That lasted about a day before I turned it back to Christian.

Yes, even what you listen to, or the people you surround yourself with, can effect you.  If one of the kids is having a bad day it can irritate me.  If I am irritated soon everyone is irritated.  Yes, a "smile is contagious" but so is a bad attitude.  Just as my optimism can rub off on my husband, his pessimism can rub off on me.  If you surround yourself with positive people you will slowly become more positive and optimistic.  If you are a naturally positive person, negative people can effect you.  Some of those negative people just need your influence, your ear to listen, your shoulder to cry on.  Some of those people don't want to be anything but negative and mean.  And if you lie with those dogs your bound to get fleas.

I have explained it to my kids, for years, in terms of buckets.  Everyone has a "nice" bucket and a "mean" bucket.  If someone is mean to you they fill your "mean" bucket.  You can chose to "let it go" by dumping that bucket out or you can scoop some out and give it to someone else.  Of course if you give it to someone else you are filling their bucket so they can scoop right back out and give it back again.  Which bucket would you rather fill?  If you fill other peoples "nice" buckets but dump out your "mean" bucket soon you will only be passing around the "nice" and they'll be no "mean" left.

That isn't to say that my kids "mean" buckets are empty, it's a work in progress.  Hopefully singing about the "voice of truth" will be a better influence than singing about "shaking her fist".  Besides, its much cuter when your 2 year old sings "holy, holy, holy" as opposed to "all your ever gonna be is mean".

Facebooking It

Well, I have another new post in the works and many more from the vault to post.  But today I wanted to make it easier for those that find Facebook easier than email.  Now you can follow "that" mom on Facebook.  That way you can get notifications of new posts right on your wall.  Plus you can "share" the posts with your friends.  This will not be a very active page, it will have no more than 1 post per day.  If I don't have a blogpost that day I might post a little blip about an adventure of the day but I won't post one on the same day as a blog share.  I want to make it easier, not clutter up your wall.  This also makes it easier for y'all to interact with me too.  If you have a question, want some tips, or curious about my opinion on something you can post it to my wall.  I will never use your name in my blog posts but I may use the topic.  This also allows those businesses a place to go.  There has been some interest in participating in giveaways and you can now contact me through Facebook.  Because of Facebook rules all the giveaways will still be hosted on the blog.  Businesses can also contact me through Facebook if they are looking to sponsor a review.

This will also serve as my "Wordless Wednesday", just check out the profile pic of the page on Facebook. 

Want to join us, just click here -------> I'm That Mom 

Friday, October 19, 2012

So, how many kids DO you have?

I mean, it isn't like I've ever been asked that question. So, I had other plans for today's blog post but I couldn't resist this "chart" from I thought the idea of a Nickmom was silly (for lack of a more appropriate word). But the first week it was on, as usual, Nick Jr had been left on. Hubby was out of town so not there to rush to change the channel. 10pm rolls around and the background of the TV makes me bust out laughing. I spent the next hour laughing at Nickmom. I didn't agree with everything, everyone said. i don't have to agree for it to still be funny. I wasn't sure that all "mom" humor could be maintained long term. Then I considered that I'm still being surprised by the kids, after 16 years. Maybe it can continue. If it doesn't get repetitive on topic then I think it will be a success.

Though there are some opponents. I can't count myself among them because I don't think my kids should be up watching TV at 10pm. But ask me again the next time I'm sitting up at 2am trying to distract a toddler who's cranky and too congested to sleep.

Anyway, back to the graph. Totally cute but I question if it was a collaboration. I mean, did a mom of each of these categories write it together? I say that because I've been in many of these categories. I think 1 child is pretty harsh, they couldn't have done something "cutesy" like "Congratulations, your in the "club"". Or they could have gone with the question most parents of only children get, "when are you going to have another?". Because, obviously, kids are potato chips and you can't have just one. I think the "2 boys" or "2 girls" should read "2 or 3" because, at least in my area, it's still acceptable to "try for a boy" if you have 3 girls. By "acceptable" I mean you don't fall into the "freak" category yet. 6 should really be 5. I mean, there are minivans that seat 8 but have you actually tried to seat 8 in them. They can only really fit 4 or 5 carseats and no one over 5' tall. So all 6 kids would have to be under 12, but not all in carseats. If we're moving 6 to 5, that clears 6 for "is it a blended family?". I think you need to be at least "Just the 10 of us" size to get a TV show. So let's bump 7 up to 8. That leaves 7 clear for "what religion are you?". In other words (because I've been asked it both ways), are you Catholic or Mormon?.

What part of the chart do you fall in? How right do you think it is? Or did they leave you off completely?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

And the winner is...

The winner of the doll pouch and matching bag from Sew Attached is ...
True Random Number Generator2

Julia Mangan, check your facebook messages

The winner of the gameday cake pops from Sweets by Sarah is....
True Random Number Generator6

Stacy Szehner, I will get your information to Sarah

The winner of the shirt or onesie from Cee.Jay.Elle is ....
True Random Number Generator2

Leslie, I will get your information to Ami.

Thanks so much for playing.  Congratulations to all the winners.  Though I will be down to only occasional wearing next year, I will still do a Babywearing Week series.

Last minute surprises

Last night we got another giveaway added. Cee.jay.elle has graciously offered a baby/toddler size t shirt or onesie that will have the design

You know the drill, like Cee.jay.elle on Facebook and up to 3 extra entries by sharing this post at the places you frequent. Don't forget to comment below to let us know what you've done. Last chance to enter Tuesday's, yesterday's and today's giveaways until 8pm tonight. Drawing with will be tonight just after 8 pm (or whenever I can get all my kids in bed).

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A sweet end

Tomorrow is the last day of International Babywearing Week. Since babywearing has such a sweet spot in my heart we wanted to do a sweet pre celebration. Sweets by Sarah has kindly agreed to help with that. She is donating a set of "gameday" cake pops in your favorite team to the winner. The "celebration" will be tomorrow when we announce the winners of this and Tuesday's giveaway. You still have time to enter Tuesday's if you haven't. The same routine for entering today's. All you have to do is "like" the sponsor on Facebook, Sweets by Sarah then comment below that you have. You can earn up to 3 extra entries by sharing this post on your Facebook, Twitter, Google +, message board, blog, or group then share the link below.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

International Babywearing Week=giveaways (yes, plural)

As y'all know, babywearing holds a soft spot in my heart.  That's why I kicked off my return by kicking off Babywearing Week.  Well, today I said, why not kick it off with a bang.  I'm a little too accident prone to actually use anything that goes "bang" so instead we'll do the next best thing, giveaways.  And yes, I did mean to make that plural.  We will do them all week, with the finale being the drawing by

We will start off with one from Sew Attached, in other words, me.  Yep, in case you hadn't heard, I opened up a Facebook store in my abundant spare time (you know, with #5 going off to 4K and all).  This giveaway is for a knit doll pouch with matching cross body bag for your toddler.  It is in a nice unisex "sky" color and will fit up to about age 5.  The bag will fit a cute little board book (or in our case, the Kindle Fire) and will fit even longer than that.

The above picture are the actual items being given away, I couldn't take action shots because my children were in the middle of making messes so couldn't come anywhere near them.  Below is an action shot in another color.  If you prefer the one below, that color is discontinued, but you can bid to win that set in the upcoming weeks at TBW Benefit Auction.

So how do you win?  First, like the donor, Sew Attached on Facebook.  Then comment below.  That's it, no need to follow the blog (though you'll probably want to so you don't miss the rest of this weeks giveaways).  You can get extra entries by sharing this post on Facebook, Twitter, your blog, a message board or group (where it isn't against the rules, don't go breaking rules and blaming it on me), etc and commenting with the link.  You get one extra entry for each place you share but there is a limit of 3 extra entries to make it fair for everyone.

Good Luck, and check back all week for more Babywearing Week posts and giveaways as well as Sunday to see who won.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Welcome back

It has been 6 months since I posted. I know everyone has been waiting. I know I failed miserably at my goal to post a whole year. For weeks I've been meaning to get back at it. Every week I read my Aunt's blog posts and am reminded I need to post. Every week I get too busy, or put it off for a "special day".

As we welcome another year of International Babywearing Week I've had several things happen that just seemed to come together for a good blog post on Babywearing. Therefore I decided the first day of IBW would, not only welcome IBW, but would welcome me back to Blogger.

Last year I posted about what Babywearing was, what it meant to me, and my history. This year I want to talk about how uniting and universal it is.

As you see me on any given weekday it is pretty obvious I am a stay at home mom, from my (very) casual dress to the kid (or more) in tow. That's probably where the obvious ends (unless you see my van). I have 1 or 2 kids with me, neither are still nursing age. And I am a pretty average mom age (well unless I don't dye all my grays). Would you be able to guess I was once a young mom? Would you be able to guess my religion? Could you tell my socioeconomic class? That I have 6 kids? That I have a child with special needs? My hobbies? My political affiliation? I bet you can't.

Even when I have 6 kids in tow you really don't know anything your assuming. Your first guess? Hmm, maybe that I'm on welfare (not sure if that would be because of my kids or my dress), would be wrong. I'm not and I never have been. But does that really matter? In this economy especially, people with 2 kids have just as great a chance to need help. 2nd guess, more than one father, again wrong. Again, does it matter? If the children are being taken care of, what does it matter? Lastly you start assuming religion or hippiness or whatever else would possess a seemingly same person to have 6 kids. Society's value given to children has really influenced the way people view them in all aspects.

I've posted about the mommy wars before. Stay at home vs working, breast vs bottle, etc. But can you tell those things by the cover of every "book"? The great thing about Babywearing is it blends right in there. Everyone is doing it. The reasoning behind everyone's choice to babywear is so different. That makes the people who do it cover such a vast array. Working moms do it, some even at work. Stay at home moms do it, even when they aren't home. Breast and bottle feeding. Those in Europe and those in the Americas. The ones that don't wonder how they can. The ones past that age wish they had.

Everyone mom, dad, grandparent and caregiver can use an extra hand. Even when you don't need an extra hand it's well worth the strain it saves on your back.

I walked through the corn maze this weekend and saw a mom of only 2 wearing her baby. I alternately wore my 2 and 4 year olds. I didn't bring a stroller. I had thought of a stroller but thought the inconvenience would outweigh the handiness. I saw people parking and leaving their strollers. I saw someone with the same nice one I would have brought, struggling through the sand, no stroller does sand well. I saw another mom that really would have loved a carrier. I can't imagine what her arms and back felt like when I saw her still carrying her baby (no stroller in sight) over an hour later.

I see the same thing in the mall or the store. A mom trying to juggle baby and a stroller or cart. A mom trying to calm baby without carrying them, so as to avoid the juggle. It happens to moms of 1 or moms of 10. It doesn't matter if you have a $15 stroller or a $400 stroller (trust me, I have both), its still not fun to push and carry (if you don't have a sling).

Babywearing isn't new, every single country has its own history of Babywearing. If your lucky enough to live in a country where it's still passed down, you already know. Other lucky people have a friend or Lamaze teacher (who first told us) share it. Some find the info in a book. Some frazzled moms stop a mom in the store who is more than willing to rave about her "3rd hand".

Once you have it, you have something in common with people of all walks of life, people from all over the world. The mom of 6 can compare to the mom of 2. The mom with the $200 wrap can commiserate with the mom with the sheet out of the linen closet. A baby in Africa is worn the same as a baby in Asia or America. When it comes to Babywearing there is no question, it is the best solution for moms convenience and baby's security. In that one little thing, there is no war.