An i-WHAT????

Let me first state that I would by no means ever be up for the Mother Of The Year award.  I was far from the perfect mom.  Believe me, I tried to be a good one, but I did fall short.  Hopefully my kids forgive areas where I came up short in parenting skills.  I tried to make up for it in love.

I am not an expert in how to raise them or teach them.  I don’t even put much stock in the advise by the so-called experts.  And as for the whole “it takes a village to raise a child”  I am so unimpressed with what the village has put out that I wouldn’t let them dog sit!

One thing I do know is that we’ve raised a generation of kids who think they must be continuously entertained, and the current bottle feeders are only going to be worse.  10 year olds with smart phones, tablets, iPads, video games and most cannot count as high as the number of TV channels available to them each day.  Parents and kids out to dinner, each child with their own DVD player or tablet, zero interaction with mom and dad.  It is sad to me, as when I was growing up we had family time over our meals.  We all talked to mom and dad and each other.  It was a time of sharing, laughter and a wealth of memories were made.  More and more kids today are being raised by technology.

ipotty-boxYou can imagine, then, my reaction to seeing this little wonder.  REALLY????  Johnny and Susie cannot be potty trained without a damn iPad in front of them?  That is NOT potty training!  You aren’t teaching them to recognize the signs that their body needs to eliminate waste product.  This is a crap shoot! (no pun intended)  They spend a while sitting there playing Angry Birds or Bejeweled and then what, get an ice cream cone if they get up and there happens to be something in the potty?  Distract them from the task at hand by playing games on your iPad while they get hemorrhoids from sitting on the crapper for extended periods of time.  Gee, why don’t we come up with a little side table and junior can sit, shit and eat all from one dandy little spot!

shaking my head

iPotty? I think NOT!

Monday Quiz About Me

It’s Monday, time for the Monday Quiz About Me meme/hop.   Been a while since I did this one (was Meet Me On Monday), figured it is a good place to get my Monday morning juices flowing.

It’s the HALLOWEEN WEEK edition!

Here are FOUR QUESTIONS that everyone can answer and then you have the option to add a fifth question of your own for those who are visiting your blog to answer in the comment section, along with commenting on the four standard questions you answered!  Click the icon above to go to Acting Balanced and join up!!

And now for this weeks Questions

1. Do you consider Halloween a holiday for children or adults?
2. At what age should children stop trick or treating?
3. What are your plans for Halloween?
4. What frightens you?

Do you consider Halloween a holiday for children or adults? 

I think it is for both!  Different ages enjoy different aspects.  I still enjoy getting dressed up for a night of fun, but then I am rather in touch with my inner child still.  It keeps me young and keeps the magic in life flowing.

At what age should children stop trick or treating?

I think as long as they are respectful, and their costumes are really good (no smearing dirt on your face and calling that a costume), then I have no problem with them going all the way through high school.  Heck I did it!

What are your plans for Halloween?

Well not entirely certain to be honest.  Our first year in this house we pulled out the fire pit and sat outside like my former neighborhood (that street rocked Halloween) but we only had 14 kids.  And our neighbors over here just aren’t all that friendly.  Last year we went down to my brother’s, sat around the fire pit in the driveway, handed out candy and ate pizza.  It was a blast.  Kinda hoping for an invite back! (HINT)

What frightens  you?  

I am terrified of fire, afraid of the dark, terrified of heights, afraid of bad storms.

~*~

If You Weren’t Looking Yourself You Wouldn’t Know!

Growing up as one of 4 kids I learned a lot of good information from encounters with my siblings and mom playing referee.  Even when we were not getting into it with each other, mom always had wisdom she shared with us as we went through life thinking we were invincible.

One of my favorite sayings of my mother came usually during long trips in the car on vacation, or when we were all in various places of time out throughout the house because of some squabble that drove her to her breaking point.  Every parent that has 2 or more offspring has said it at some point, or will one day.  It starts with one child poking at another:

Child A: “MOM!!!! He touched me!”

Mom to Child B:  “Stop touching your sister.”

Child B: “MOM!!! She touched me!!”

Mom to Child A:  “Stop touching your brother.”

Child A:  “MOM!!!! He touched me again!”

Mom to Child B: “I mean it, stop touching your sister.”

Child B: “MOM!!!!! She touched me!”

Mom to Child A & B: “If I have to say it again I’m going  to be touching both of you with a paddle, now stop it!”

*crickets*

Child A: “MOM!!!!! He’s looking at me!”

Child B: “She was looking at me first!”

Mom to Child B: “You wouldn’t know she was looking at you if you weren’t looking at her! Stop looking at her and you won’t know she is looking at you.”

Sound familiar?  It rarely ended there but you get the idea.  You would never have known your sister was looking at you if you had not bothered to look at her.

The same holds true in today’s world of social media.  And despite growing up, getting older, maturity doesn’t come with age.  Some people just have to poke and poke and poke again.  They cannot walk past a puddle without grabbing a stick and stirring it.  And we’re ALL guilty of this at one time or another.  I have a former family member that I have, on occasion, enjoyed stirring that puddle.  Sometimes I just cannot help myself.  A former friend too, we both enjoy poking at each other.  But sometimes those pokes can become direct attacks, and grow into Fatal Attraction style behavior, the stuff of bunny boilers.

I’m kind of an ‘out there’ person.  I have this blog, my spiritual journey blog, and one for my direct sales business.  In the past I posted blogs on the MySpace account I had.  I love writing.  I’m a social media addict using Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, GetGlue and others.  I have never been one of those people that was all private about their life and I certainly don’t fear the boogie man.  I rather openly share my thoughts and opinions over the Internet.  Heck I’ve even done some nude photos over the years, professional, tasteful ones, that were on a website.  Because of this very open way of life there is no aspiration of running for a political office.  Though if I did I’d just stick it all there myself before the haters could do it for me.  I don’t take the haters seriously when they have left unkind remarks, their opinions are not relevant to me whatsoever.

In the past year I’ve had to deal with being cyber stirred by several individuals.  It goes with being so open.  Most are pretty harmless, if you ignore them, they move on to someone else.  Reality, those aren’t truly stalkers, just shit stirrers.  But I’ve dealt with one individual that I am starting to question their need for mental help.  It began when I posted a video on Youtube at Christmas time, and got up one day to a really snide remark about someone in the video.  I was able to backtrack through the ID and some Google searches and discovered who it was and after asking the person targeted by the remark learned there was a love triangle issue going on there.  Said target moved on to better things, leaving the triangle.  But the commenting person could not.  They kept up a constant flow of comments on things, texts to the target, voice mails, even having friends text and leave voice mails.  Oh and they tweeted nasty things.  And yes, the target and I  launched a few return remarks.  I can be less than kind when provoked.  I know, you are shocked!

After a while it just got old, and my advice to the target was that of my mother’s, don’t look and you won’t know if you are being talked about.  For the most part this worked, though the harassing party would go through spurts and send texts or have someone else do it, and a few other things.  Thankfully the target continued to ignore the attacks and they’d fade away again.  But what do you do when they start leaving comments on your public spaces, commenting ‘at’ you on Twitter, or leaving very unkind comments on your pinboards on Pinterest?  I am of the opinion that when you are cruising life’s highway, enjoying your life and minding your own business and someone starts this sort of behavior, again, that they are stalkers.  Cyber bullies.  They need help only a professional can provide.

When someone has to go in search of you to find you and start following you, means they are not only “looking” at you but they are obsessed.  They are stalking you.  To seek you out, watch  what you pin or post, only to comment on it takes effort on their part.  They don’t just log in one day and accidentally start to follow and comment on someone’s Twitter account or Pinterest boards.  That is purposeful, deliberate and frankly does indeed make one a stalker.

The target in this case took my advice sometime back and saved everything. Every text, every email notification of a comment left (those are nice as they usually include the comment itself so you have it as evidence even once the stalker removes the comment), screen shots of the actual comments or posts whenever possible, email notifications that the stalker is now following on Twitter, or requested to be a ‘friend’ on Facebook.  Keeping these items is very important for documenting the stalker’s behavior and proving that there is indeed a case to be made should you need to file charges.  Most people are unaware there is such a thing as electronic harassment, cyber stalking etc.  It can land someone in jail.

If you think you are the victim of a stalker, document it! Keep screen shots, texts, IM’s, friend requests.  Never delete anything that might help establish a pattern that can later be used.

In my case, I know from 28 years in Corporate America that employers are getting more and more picky about what their employees do outside of the office.  They are asking to see Facebook pages, following their employees Twitter accounts etc., looking for anything that would reflect badly on not only the person they employee but the company as well.  I know of a number of folks who have been passed over for jobs, and even been fired for “behavior unbecoming”.  And I cannot imagine too many employers willing to hire someone who is proven to be a cyber stalker.  So, CYA folks – cover your ass.  Keep documentation if you think you are being targeted, and then don’t be afraid if need be to file charges.  Sometimes, it is the only thing that works.

If it isn’t truly stalking, just keep in mind, unless the stuff is being posted on your ‘spaces’, if you don’t look, you won’t know what they think or are saying about you, and it won’t matter. They only make themselves look bad.

Featured Friend Friday – For The Love Of Fathers

Featured Friend

Friday


Welcome to Featured Friend Friday!

The following blog was submitted anonymously.  Well okay, I know the author, but you do not.  However what she wrote about hit me hard, it needs to be read and shared.  I hope  folks walk away with the idea that there are two sides to every story, especially divorces, and never be too quick to judge based on one side of the story, coming from an emotionally charged up ex or soon to be ex spouse.   Remember that their words are biased and should be taken with a grain of salt.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~


With Father’s Day coming up soon, I have been thinking about the fathers I have known in my life.  My own dad, my brother, the father of my child and many friends.   Some married for many years, some co-parenting with the mothers of their children.  I can honestly say most are good or great fathers.  I don’t think I have ever known someone who fit the definition of a “deadbeat” dad.  I hear many people say women who are divorced with children are “single moms.”  The most common description of a single mom is a woman who has been left by the father of her child to raise their child(ren) alone.  That definition evokes much sympathy and compassion towards the woman who chooses to tell people that she is a single mom.  So those women who choose to use this term to garner sympathy when there is an active, willing and supportive father in the picture are disrecptful to other divorced mothers and fathers who are alone in raising their child(ren).

I know one such father who is co-parenting with the mother of his children.  From the beginning of the end of their relationship, he has insisted on shared parenting (or having his children 50% of the time).  He has never faltered on this request and continues to fight for shared parenting.  He has provided financial support beyond what was ever required or would have been ordered by any court.  His children are in his thoughts from his first waking breath in the morning to the last moment before he sleeps at night.  Raising their children has not been easy for either one, but so many things have been said in social circles about him being a father that does nothing for his children.  I can say with confidence that this father does not deserve the things being said about him.  He has spent hours helping his son keep his car running, sacrificing his hands and body all the time.  He has shed tears and spent countless time worrying about his daughter’s happiness.  He sits at the table and helps with homework, flashcards and reading.  He has dropped what he is doing  to pick one of them up when they need a ride.  He worries about what his children eat and drink and insists on dinner around the table each night.  Not fast food, not dinner on the run, not eating in the kitchen, but sitting his family down together for conversation and bonding.  He wants to help them pursue their interests and guide them even when they don’t want to be guided.  His love for his children can be seen in his face when he speaks about them.  His proudest moments are when they achieve or excel in one of their goals.  They are happy and safe when they are with him.

Now here is when you are expecting me to say this father deserves a gold star or some special recognition.  No.  He is simply doing what a father should do.  What I am saying is that anyone who spreads gossip or untruths about this man should stop.  You have no right to judge what you don’t know.   You do not live his life or spend any time with him and his children when they are together.  You have never asked his side of the story (yes, there are two sides to every story).  He is a good father and provider and anyone who says anything contrary is simply lying.

I feel lucky to have so many great dads in my life.

Happy Father’s Day to the dad’s out there.

Day 06 → Something I Hope I Never Have To Do

30 Days Of Truth

Day 06 → Something you hope you never have to do

Without hesitation the one thing that I hope I never have to do is bury one of my children.  To me that by far would have to be the worst kind of pain any parent could endure.

Being pregnant was one of the most wonderful experiences I have ever known.   Feeling them moving inside of me and knowing that I was carrying about within me a life, fully dependent on me for survival, was beyond words.  I knew the personalities of each child before they were born.  I knew Michael was laid back and easy going like me, almost boardering on sheer laziness.  I knew Liesl was going to be like her daddy, unable to sit still and full of energy.  I was very in tune to their movements and activities.  Michael was a night owl in the womb, most active when I was sleeping…well trying too.  Liesl was far more active when I was  active, and seemed to be more restful when I was asleep.  That is how they are even now, he is 3rd shift and prefers to be up at night, she is a sleeper at night and all energy all day like her father.

I knew them before anyone else, as they grew and developed before birth, and no one knows them like their parents do as kids grow up.  They are our pride and joy, pain and heart ache, and nothing can ever replace them.

Kids are supposed to grow up, get married or not, have kids of their own or not, but they are supposed to live long and healthy lives and it is us that depart first, at least as it should be.   I’ve seen friends bury their children and cannot begin to imagine their pain.

To me, losing a child at any age, would by far be the one thing I hope I never have to do.

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