Category Archives: Kids

Pool Safety

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Before I dive in, I hope all my American readers had a happy and safe 4th of July holiday.  Dave, the boys and I had a great day complete with a half day at the city pool, fireworks (that were actually just smoke stacks) at home, and then a quick fireworks show in our town.  We’re all a little burnt (out) but it’s back to work/school/daycare today.

On to today’s topic…  I don’t watch the news.  I can’t stand watching all the negative reports revolving around the poor economy, murders and car accidents.  I like being a positive person, and the news is in instant downer.  As mentioned earlier, last night I took the boys to our town’s fireworks presentation which left something to be desired, so I turned on the Macy’s Fireworks Spectacular when we got home.  It’s an incredible show, and you know that must mean something when you’re watching from TV.

The boys went to bed after the show was over and the 11 o’clock news came on.  Dave was working on homework and I was playing on my Kindle and out of reach of the remote so I let the news stay on.  As is typical, it was a 1/2 hour downer, however it helped me with today’s post so I suppose I can’t be too upset.

Pool Safety

As I said, Dave, the boys and I spent half the day at the city pool yesterday.  We have a great pool, with two, 3-story waterslides, a fountain play area, a diving board, and another little pool for the babies.  The boys know where they can go, but Dave and/or I are always in the pool with them, watching out for their safety. 

With that said, last year we were in water about 4-foot deep and Dave noticed a little boy, probably not any older than 3-1/2 trying to keep his face above water.  He couldn’t touch the bottom, couldn’t swim, and was alone.  In his bouncing off the bottom to stay above the surface, he was taking himself deeper and deeper, which isn’t hard to do with all the people and the current.  I didn’t see the little boy until he was flying out of the water in Dave’s arms. 

It took us 1/2 hour with the lifeguards’ help to find his mom.

Even worse, she hadn’t even been looking for him.

Back to the news…  A three-year-old died at a nearby town’s public pool yesterday.  My prayers are with the boys friends and family, please don’t think they’re not.  However I have to question how something like this happens.  Where were the parents or caretakers?  Who wasn’t watching him?  While these pools have lifeguards, it is ultimately the PARENTS responsibility to be their child’s lifeguard(s).  Lifeguards are NOT babysitters, and are watching over HUNDREDS of swimmers on a normal day, not to mention the 4th of July. 

I’m appalled by the moms who get to the pool, get their little kids in the water and then turn their backs on them.  They bury their heads in their books, or turn away from the pool completely to sun their backs on the lawn chairs.  Parents like these make me wonder why we shouldn’t have to have licenses to have babies.

Please don’t get me wrong.  I feel horrible for any family who has lost a child due to drowning.  I can’t imagine the loss they feel.  However to all the parents who think of lifeguards as a babysitting service…  You’re absolute morons.  Get off your butt, swim with your children and keep them safe.  Please.

Little League Baseball Bull****

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It’s hard for me to believe that it’s been over fifty days since I last wrote on my blog.  I must admit that a main cause for the absence stems from the fact that my work days have been filled with…  Work!  My planner and monitor now each have a Post-It with the word “Focus” written on them.  It’s not that I wasn’t focusing before, however I was allowing the temptation of what I wanted to do overtake the need to do what I was (am) being paid to do.  Strangely, I rarely find myself counting down the minutes until leaving time, and my work day and week often fly by.

Many evenings and Saturdays in the past month-and-a-half have been filled with little league baseball.  Dave and I took on coaching roles for Thing 2’s team and the experience has been anything but dull.  In a league that is supposed to be teaching the children good-sportsmanship, the basics of baseball and an overall love and appreciation for the game, we find it amazing how other parents and coaches can become monsters in the ball-park.

Our team had a record of 1-13-1 in the regular season.  It was dis-heartening to the coaches, parents and kids that we did so poorly, especially considering how close many of the games were.  When the tournament came around, however, we won the first two games.  All of a sudden we went from the back of the field to tied for first.  The opposing teams’ coaches were pissed.  They walked onto the field planning to beat us and as soon as we got ahead became ruthless.

For example, we have  an autistic boy on our team.  He has made TREMENDOUS progress this year, and is now responsible for many runs and RBI’s.  Unfortunately he gets upset when he gets an out, and has sat out for innings after an out due to his upset state.  The board of the baseball league has been aware of the situation, and has told us since the beginning that it is our responsibility to teach him, work with him, and also watch out for the safety of all players.  And that is what we have done.

Unfortunately opposing coaches aren’t always sympathetic, especially when they are losing.  I must mention that our league is for 6-8 year olds, a far cry from the competitive high-school teams.  This is the first year a lot of these kids haven’t played tee-ball and is still parent (coach)-pitch.  So, when our special needs player is having a rough inning, it should be no-big deal to have him sit out and put the next batter in.  The other coaches want us to take an out, however.  It’s appalling to me that they can be so obsessed with the game and winning that they won’t give another team a break, as we would do for them.

You’ll be happy to know that Dave and I have been the cool coaches this year, both temper-wise and  fun-with-kid-wise.  I’ve worn my baseball cap inside-out with the kids in effort to turn the game around, and at yesterday’s game we wore eye-black with our team to try to intimidate the other side.  Yesterday, however, the game was babysat by league officials due the tremendously bad temper of our opposing coach.  One of our other coaches removed himself from the game before he was tempted to punch him.  Yes, it was that bad.

We entered yesterday’s game, our third in the tournament, ready to play the team who ranked #1 after the regular season.  We did NOT enjoy playing them the first time due to their jack-hole of a head coach.  Dave and I have already decided we will not let our boys play for him…  EVER.  After three innings we were miraculously ahead of them, 11-4.  (or some score like that).  It felt amazing.  With each run we earned, however, the other coach became more of a prick.  He yelled at his players, broke the rules, and targeted our autistic player claiming his batting style was illegal.  Our players became increasingly aware of the tension, became stressed, began messing up on plays they should have made, and…  We lost.  It sucked.

Our game got a lot of attention.  A lot.  Especially when parents and coaches (Dave and I excluded) began fighting.  And you know it got attention when you go out for dinner and the people at the next table (who weren’t even at our game) are talking about it.  But they weren’t talking about us.  They were talking about the prick of a coach on the opposing team and how out-of-line he was/is.

Sigh.  I feel like I’ve given this guy too much of my attention, and I’m somewhat tempted to delete this entire post.  But I won’t.  For all of my readers who are little league baseball coaches, remember what the game is about.  It’s NOT about YOU.

Emotional Fleas

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I’m itchy this morning.  Seriously.  My neck, arms, face and chest are itching, and where I’m sitting there is no appropriate way to scratch it away without looking like the the crack-head character on The Chappelle Show. (itch)

My itching isn’t skin irritation, however.  It’s not an allergic reaction, Poison Ivy or Poison Oak either.  It’s emotional fleas, I’m sure of it.  (itch)

Emotional fleas are those people in my life who crawl under my skin and do their best to be a nuisance every second of my life.  (itch) Their sole mission is to remind me that yes, they are still in my life no matter how little I want them there.  Unfortunately Dave and I both have our own BIG, individual, emotional fleas in the form of exes, and they (the fleas) both decided to raid our peaceful nest at 7am this morning. (itch)

As much as we both wish we had never met our EF’s, we have to thank God for putting them in our lives, for without them we would never have met each other.  And without mine, I wouldn’t have two wonderful sons that I love with all my heart. 

I continue to struggle, however, with holding my tongue when he sends a barrage of harassing text messages and emails.  I want so badly to tell him exactly what I’m thinking.  However, the Jesus said, “The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” ~Mark 12:31  But oh, I am human.  And ohhhh, how I struggle with this.

Daily Chore Avoidance

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Like our boys, I continue to struggle with my daily chores. 

  • Right now in the middle of the living room I know I have three overflowing baskets of CLEAN laundry to fold. 
  • My budget/check book is a month behind.
  • My dresser top has a stack of (my) CLEAN laundry on top to be put away
  • The bottom drawer of my desk is a mess of bills and paperwork that need to be filed
  • My bookshelf is a wreck, and I’m not even reading paper-based books!
  • My closet…  whoo…  I won’t even describe that mess…

And on top of my daily chores are all those one-time projects that if I could just get them done once, I would never have to look at them again. 

But for some reason, I avoid them.  I avoid my chores as though they were the black plague.  But avoidance is infectious.  It spreads around my brain and body, wreaking havoc on all it touches.  The guilt of not doing what I should be eats away at my gut, making me think about my chores while I am at work.  My brain sends out repetitive reminders of what I should have done last night, exhausting my mind.  By the end of the work day, I’m tired of thinking about what I need to do, and am more interested in relaxing…  Again. 

And the cycle begins again, as though I started a dose of antibiotics, but never finished it.  The plague lives on.

I think I need to break into my bookshelf and call upon my backup support.  The Flylady.  If you’ve never heard of The Flylady, and you are struggling with organization and keeping your house clean, I strongly urge you to check out this free website and program.  While I don’t agree with all aspects of the program (ex. wearing my shoes in the house), most of the other topics helped me tremendously when I did the program years ago. 

I must say, however, that despite MY struggles with organization and chores, Dave keeps our house clean and presentable.  Despite the laundry baskets in the middle of the living room, I would not be embarrassed if someone knocked on our door unexpectedly.  (Thank you, baby!)  I just don’t like my avoidance.  I want to go to sleep having done all I could for the day, including having time to relax with the boys and Dave.

Just a thought…

How much easier our work would be if we put forth as much effort trying to improve the quality of it as most of us do tryign to find excuses for not properly attending to it.”  ~George W. Ballenger

Things I Love Thursday, April 26, 2012

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I saw this on another blog and I had to do one myself…

Things I Love (especially this) Thursday

  • A quiet evening at home with hubby
  • Having the boys for the weekend
  • Seeing hubby learn and understand new things in school everyday
  • Posting THREE blog posts in one day!
  • Knowing tomorrow is Friday
  • Having a job I like, even if I wish I were paid more
  • Knowing God is with me, through thick and thin
  • Playing Rift with hubby after a long day
  • A glass of wine, poured by hubby (cough cough, the beer is next to me, only two sips drank out of it)
  • Staying up late with hubby, even though I’ll be tired tomorrow
  • My Kindle Fire, loaded with awesome books
  • Dave (aka hubby) caring enough about me to be interested in what I blog about
  • Sharing my blog, my heart and my soul with Dave
  • Epic Rap Battles of History on You Tube (especially Mr. T vs. Mr. Rogers)
  • Coming in 200 calories below my daily calorie recommendation on myfitnesspal.com
  • Hearing Dave laugh
  • Being happy
  • Being alive

Eating the Ugly Frog First

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After Dave and I got married, I had about a week where I thought, “Wow!  It’s strange to not be planning or up to our eyebrows in preparations!”

That time has passed.

With Dave now a full-time college student (way to go, baby!) and essentially a stay-at-home dad/housekeeper, me working full-time, both of us coaching Thing 2’s junior baseball team two days a week and Thing 1 in baseball practice another two days a week, we’re stretched thin.  Very thin.  I posted on Facebook the other day (my first post in a couple of weeks), “I wish all the running around we do for kids (and ourselves) could count as exercise and burn calories, because I’m exhausted!”

I see the benefit of all these activities, however.  First, we’ve been forced to become more organized.  Dinner has to be planned, and we all have to be ready to go when we need to go or the whole day gets set back.  Second, we’ve been forced to do tackle activities we don’t necessarily want to tackle but are for our benefit.  For example, I realized I let tasks such as balancing the budget and laundry slide over the past month and a half.  Did laundry get done?  Yes.  But it was on an as-needed basis, rather than regular up-keep. 

Now, after the boys go to bed, I’m more consious of what I do with my time.  My first awareness came when I attempted to watch a movie while Dave was doing homework.  At first his head turned, then his chair turned, and eventually, he would be turned all the way around, watching TV instead of doing his work.  As much for me as for him, I realized there are activities I need to do, and I may as well do them while he is doing his work.  He can focus on his homework done (letting us get to bed earlier), and I feel better about my massive to-do list.  Coinsidently, this revelation came at about the same time as Dave read “Eat the Ugly Frog First” in one of his assignments.  What does this mean?  Simply put, do what needs to be done before doing what you want to do.  You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment, and have one more item checked off your to-do list.

The third, and probably greatest, benefit I see, is that I see the love and support the four of us all share for each other.  We are constantly there for each other, and by “we”, I truly mean ALL of us.  Things 1 and 2 (and I!) are extremely excited that their “Best Dad” is in school, Dave and I are supportive of them in school and sports, and the three of them are all supportive of whatever I do.  This family dynamic continues to amaze me, as it’s not what I (or the boys) knew only a couple of years ago.

I can never say it enough, but THANK YOU to all of you who have been there for me/us through the years.  It’s with your love, support and encouragement that we have gotten to where we are now, and for that we are EXTREMELY grateful.

XOXOXO

Learning to Live Frugally #1

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I have a problem.  I love to spend money.  I usually have no money, however when I get it, I always buy something I shouldn’t.

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Like dinner for the four of us at Chipotle.  Mmm mmm…

I decided, in my attempt to live a frugal life, that I should point out objects I see in my everyday life that people really don’t need to spend money on.  Today’s objects come from an e-Flyer I received at work.  I won’t name the company the flyer came from, and I won’t deny that the objects are cute, however each could be made for less than half the price using craft supplies found at your local JoAnn’s or Michaels.

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These fabric thumbtacks are being sold for $7.95 for a package of 25.  $7.95?!?!?!?  How about if you buy a package of upholstery tacks on clearance and make your own?  Together with a hot glue gun (assuming you already have one), you could MAKE your own for approximately $3 per 25 and sell them for profit on Etsy!

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Like the fabric thumbtacks, I know these magnet clips are ridiculously overpriced. $11.95 for a package of 4.  All I can say is WOW that anyone would imagine paying this much.  Personally, I’d rather give my boys some paint and glue and ask them to make me some Mommy Magnets.  Unlike the paper based refridgerator art that often falls off the fridge before getting trampled on or eaten by the pets, the magnets would last a lifetime.  Think about it.