It’s The Little Things…

Sometimes it just takes the smallest things to show someone you love them. Sometimes, it takes a Caveman SpongeBob.

My husband is one of the hardest people to shop for. He already has everything he wants/needs, and it’s hard to get a read on what might interest him that he doesn’t already own. So for Father’s Day (especially since he really spoiled me, as he always does), I’ve been kinda screwed.

I’m not very crafty-unless pinterest fails count-so while I really wanted to try a cute project with baby’s footprint on top of Ryan’s bootprint, I was turned off by the idea that paint might not wash off rubber. Or Bruce’s foot. We have an array of coffee mugs no one uses. He’s not the kind of guy to wear a baseball hat with “Dad” across the front. I was quickly running out of ideas for that perfect gift.

Tonight, my Mother, my Son, and myself went shopping and made a stop at the local Wal-Mart (so fun *eye roll*…Wal-Mart can be a pain) and as I was looking for pool toys for a friend’s child’s party this month, I found it. It’s perfect, and the timing couldn’t be better.

Caveman SpongeBob.

For the last week, my husband has been caught laughing his ass off at these “Caveman SpongeBob” memes on Facebook. (Just google it, trust me) He thinks they are utterly hilarious, and has to show me each one he finds. I’ll admit, some are pretty funny, and on spot. And just today he mentioned that his yellow truck (dubbed the Yellow Submarine) needed a Caveman SpongeBob sticker on the side.

Well, it wasn’t a sticker, but something about this little beanbag toy meant it was perfect for him.

I was too excited to keep it hidden until Father’s Day. So after Bruce went to bed, I made Ryan close his eyes and explained that this was,
A: For him, not…
B: For baby….

He was tickled! He laughed his butt off and plans to hang it from the rearview mirror.

That’s what love is about. It’s about noticing the little things that probably seem insignificant at the time, until you find a way to use them to show your admiration and appreciation for someone. My husband does this for me all the time-little notes on the refrigerator, and bringing me treats after a long day. This wasn’t much, and isn’t going to be his big Father’s day gift-but it made him happy, and that’s worth everything to me.

                                                                      I could have got him an expensive w13395008_1616891725267847_1093240473_natch he would break, another tool to lose in the abyss of tools he keeps in the truck, or a hat that will just get sweaty and stained. And that’s not to say I might still get him those things. But I seriously doubt any of that will make him as giddy as that stupid little kid’s $5 toy.


Why Bringing Your Sick Kid To The Play Date Annoys Me

Kids and germs seem to go hand-in-hand. It’s a part of life, and being a Mom. You deal with the snotty noses and fevers, coughing and headaches. You learn to deal with it, and help your child heal.
Well, I can deal with my child’s snot, anyway…

In Bruce’s (nearly) first year of life, we’ve been pretty lucky when it comes to germ over exposure and getting sick. The only time he’s ever had a legitimate cold, me being the worrisome first time mom, took him straight to the pediatrician, to discover he had actually contracted Flu-A…just two weeks before he was scheduled to receive the vaccine for it! After a week of Tamiflu, with only about three days of a runny nose, he was fine. What baffled me was the fact he not only contracted it, but I couldn’t pinpoint where it came from. It did occur during the beginning of flu season, and in this day and age, it’s nearly impossible to raise a child in a germ-free bubble. But what if it had been something worse?

Well you can’t avoid every germ in the world-your baby is going to get exposed one way or another. Maybe a quick trip to the grocery store. Maybe Grandma is a carrier and doesn’t have symptoms of her own. All you can proactively do is make sure your baby’s nutrition is good, vitamin levels are high, and has over-all as excellent health as possible.

This is what annoys me about play dates, in particular, and any other social setting where other kids, of any age, are involved: Even if you might be extra cautious about exposing your baby to germs and unnecessary bugs…that doesn’t mean everyone else is.

Too many times I have taken Bruce to family/friend visits, or play dates, and had this scenario play out: someone with a sick kid doesn’t say anything, and the first thing said kid does? Get right in my child’s face with a fever and runny nose, hands touching his chubby cheeks and wanting to give him a kiss. I am in no way offended if you cancel a play date because your child came down with something the night before. I will not be upset if you had to keep your child home from school because they were sick. But please tell me instead of thinking “Oh they’ll be fine, it’s good for the immune system.” My son shouldn’t be exposed unnecessarily, as well as myself. The last thing I should be doing is carrying back a really bad cold/flu germ to a 3,6, or 11 month old baby.

Even before I had kids, I noticed friends of mine who did, and didn’t seem to care if their kids made anyone sick. I had one of the worst flus of my 28 year life (blood running out my nose for a week with a fever that wouldn’t break), caught from an eight year old who was sent home from school, who’s mother insisted on bringing to lunch with us adults. She later admitted she knew he was sick, “But didn’t want you guys to freak out and cancel.”

Of course, again, you can’t live in a bubble. You’re going to be exposed to things. But why would you put the health of others at risk if you could prevent it?  I’m not going to touch on the topic of anti-vaccination. I’m not going to mention the more serious illnesses that young babies shouldn’t be exposed to if they haven’t received shots for it. This post is only about the common colds and flus, and those are bad enough. What if the germ that made the single/childless version of myself, had gotten to a six month old baby? I was 26 at the time and thought I was dying…what if a baby had went through the same thing?

We learned to ask those friends and family with kids, if anyone was sick before visiting. Same with play dates. Sure, it’s probably annoying, but I’m going to ask each and every time-because I’m tired of stressing and worrying every time your kid’s snot get’s sprayed across mine’s face. It’s unnecessary. My son even came down with something before he was of age to receive a shot for it-which wouldn’t have fully prevented it, but he probably wouldn’t have suffered as much. The point is-why would you knowingly allow your sick child around mine? What benefit is there?

Well, health experts now say that early exposure, such as through daycares, can help increase one’s immune system,and lead to lesser illnesses in the future. Even through day-to-day contact with people, they are getting exposure.(Again, that bubble analogy). But this doesn’t mean that deliberately exposing your child to germs is a good thing. And most daycares, same as schools, don’t recommend allowing infectious children to attend while sick. Why? Exposure to others!

And if I want to expose him-that’s my choice as a parent. You bringing your sick kid to touch all over mine, without telling me they are sick, isn’t. And that’s what I find so infuriating.

Allergies, I don’t mind. It’s contagious germs I worry about. It’s not that hard to say “Hey, (enter name here) is getting over a cold, he/she still has a little runny nose, but I wanted to let you know…” and allow me, as the parent of my child, to make the decision whether or not to expose them. Please… don’t do it for me.


Harambe: An Unfortunate Situation

This story has been in the media so much lately, that I had to speak on it. In case you aren’t aware, let me summarize what happened…

A 4 year old Ohio boy and his mother were visiting their local zoo. Upon viewing the Gorilla exhibit, the boy was heard by witnesses expressing desire to go into the cage with the Gorilla (of course, because what 4 year old doesn’t want to go play with wild animals? Hell, I know grown men who want to do that!). His mother was even heard telling him “No (because, of course, no 4 year old belongs in zoo exhibits playing with wild animals!), you can’t.” So at some point, she takes her focus off of him, and he is able to breach security around the enclosure, and fall into the moat surrounding the animal. Zookeepers had to make the decision to put Harambe, the 17-year old adult male silverback, down rather than tranquilizing. This was the measure taken for getting the boy out-who was being dragged and tossed around by the gorilla. These are the facts. Now, everything else is up for opinion and debate…

And the internet has been FULL of opinion and debate! Opinions on this mother’s parenting, the measures taken by the Cincinnati Zoo, the Gorilla’s intentions… there has been much speculation on exactly how long this child was “left unattended”, how he was able to break into the enclosure itself, the security itself surrounding the animals….

This tragedy has launched not only petitions to have the parents of the child charged criminally, but full on investigations by CPS and the Cincinnati Police, on the family in question. The Zoo is also reportedly under investigation by Animal Welfare Agencies to determine exactly how the security could have been broken by a 4 year old boy.

Now, at the time I am writing this post, I have read that the police have concluded their investigation and decided not to recommend charging the parents. Whether or not this is done, at this point, is anyone’s guess. But throughout all the media coverage and internet hype, all I can really think about this case, is how unfortunate it is.

It is unfortunate that the boy’s mother lost sight of him long enough, be it 5 seconds or 25 minutes, that he was able to get into the Gorilla exhibit. It is unfortunate that Harambe, (maybe trying to protect the boy, maybe simply confused) had that much interaction with the child, and didn’t just run away when the boy fell into the pit. It is unfortunate that the zookeepers had to make the difficult decision to put their beloved Gorilla down, one of a very endangered population.

It’s even more unfortunate that the parent’s are being investigated for negligence, and may even have charges pressed against them. And it’s unfortunate that the Zoo is now under the scrutiny of PETA and other Animal Welfare agencies.

But you know what would have been even more unfortunate than all that? The 4 year old boy dying. Then, the Gorilla would still have been put down, all these investigations and petitions would still be launched…but a mother would have to go through the grieving process of losing her child during everything as well.

I can be as petty as the next person, I can be as understanding as another. Opinions aside, everyone should be able to agree that this situation could have had a much more horrific turnout than it did.

Whether you think this mother is as negligent as they come, or mother of the year – the Gorilla was a gentle giant or a monster gone mad – the zookeepers stupid as hell or very educated in their field and decisions…can we all just agree on one thing?

That one thing being that, essentially, this was just a very Unfortunate Situation for everyone involved.


Potty Training From a First-Timer


Potty Training From A First Timer

Approaching time to Potty Train? Continue reading “Potty Training From a First-Timer”

The Countdown Begins…

My son turned 11 months old yesterday. And with this, our countdown begins.

He will be a year old in just one month. It feels like I only had him a month ago. Where has the time gone? Somewhere between the hundreds of diaper changes, bath times,  nursing sessions, and (the first of many) baby giggles, the time has been lost.

Just 11 months ago, my husband held our tiny newborn, and lamented on how frustrating it was that he couldn’t play with him yet. “He doesn’t really do much but look at you.”
Now they wrestle in the floor and use blankets to play peekaboo. They push their toy trucks around the floor and Dad teaches him to say “vroom”.  Baths are splash wars.

The past year has went by entirely too quick for my taste. I love watching him grow stronger, smarter, and bigger, each day. But I still wish I had my tiny baby.

This month, we will probably take more pictures than ever, cementing the “infant” time as much as we can. He will be a toddler soon, as terrifying as that is. And considering how fast this year has went by, the “terrible twos” will be here before we know it. Even though I think he started that phase months ago.

This first year, we have been lucky to have a healthy boy with no medical problems or emergency situations. And as a first time mom, I feel more confident as a parent that if I can survive this long, that I CAN do this. I’ve learned a lot-not just about babies or child-rearing-but about myself. And we still have a long journey ahead of us.