Saturday, October 26, 2013

Blog Hop Blitz Week #8

It's week #8!

Welcome to the most versatile hop around town! This is the hop where you link up your best post of the week, tailgate recipes, DIY decor, whatever you want, then go and enjoy the games.

Give a welcome to our team:
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Terri & Shawna
Easy Life and Party Planning

A Gut and a Butt

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Grilled tailgating food at it's finest! Tumbleweed Contessa gets us ready for gameday with her grilled Sausage and Pepper sandwich.

Taylor Made Ranch provided us with some sound financial sense. Just because we bring more money in, doesn't mean we have to increase our spending habits.

With Halloween right around the corner, Scarlett's Excellent Adventures gave us some excellent pre-trick or treating meal ideas. 

Alright, so after the kiddies are all tired from trick or treating, the parents can relax with this awesome martini, courtesy of Vashti Quiroz Vega.

Each of our Most Valuable Bloggers (MVBs) have been pinned to our Football Blog Hop Blitz Pinterest board. Football fan or not, check out our wide range of pins.

Be sure to share our button, letting everyone know where you're linking up this football season.

Blog Hop Blitz

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Time to get it started!

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Journey of an innie - Preparing your child for surgery

From an outie to an innie.


We recently embarked on Hummingbird's journey of having an innie navel from an outie navel. At her yearly exam this past summer, our pediatrician detected a teeny tiny hernia and recommended that she have umbilical hernia surgery. I was a bit apprehensive but upon researching the topic, the surgery would be a preventive measure, lessening future complications.

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Surgery, huh? Neither of my kids had ever had anything that was serious enough to have surgery. It was great that the surgery would be an outpatient procedure, so no overnight hospital stay. And she would be back to her normal self within a short time frame. I knew that I didn't want to freak her out with my anxiety, so to help us both, I decided to take a more calmer approach.

My approach involved the following:

Talking to her about the procedure:
  • Months before the surgery, I explained what would happen. I made sure that I pointed out that she is normal. A lot of kids may feel like something is wrong with them, so it's important to lay the foundation of them being normal. In Hummingbird's case, I explained that there would be a tiny incision/cut in order for the physician to help her belly button grow inward. You'd be amazed at what our kids actually understand! These discussions paid off in the long run, Hummingbird was soon telling everybody about her surgery. She even gave a 2 minute speech at Girl Scouts about growing up to be a "belly button doctor"! 
  • Before the consultation appointment, we went online to see a picture of the physician who would be doing the surgery. This helped Hummingbird put a face on the person who would be touching her. 
  • At the physician's recommendation, we took a before picture so that Hummingbird could compare it to the after picture. 
  • We acknowledged all of the other kids at the physician's office who were having the same procedure done. This made her feel like she was part of a secret group, she felt included instead of isolated. 
  • Discussed her missing a day of school. I am a stickler for my kids not missing days of school. So, when scheduling this procedure, I made sure to schedule during a school break. The surgery was on a Monday, school was out Monday and Tuesday. I gave her an extra day, Wednesday, just to be sure she was good. With her procedure, recovery time really depends on the kid, Now, trust me, she could have gone back on Monday evening if the school was open at that time!
Talking to her about her fears:
  • MonkeyMan and I made sure to acknowledge her feelings. Many parents mask things that a kid would otherwise understand if certain words and voice tones are used. The surgery was REAL and I didn't want to pretend that it wasn't. 
  • Hummingbird was really worried about feeling the incision being made, that she would be sore afterwards. I confirmed with here that she would be sore but it would subside. I explained that she would be asleep during the actual surgery. Why did I say that?!?!? This, of course, led to an even more terrifying topic: ANESTHESIA! 
  • Anesthesia was the hardest thing for her to accept. This kid had never had anything more terrifying other than her annual flu shot! I explained that I would be in the room with her while the doctor put a mask on her face, so that all she would have to do is breathe. 
Here's what we talked about and what happened on the day of the surgery:
  • We let her pick out what blanket or stuffed animals she wanted to bring. This is important because a kid's favorite blanket or stuffed animal can bring a sense of comfort in moments of unrest/confusion/anxiety. Even though this was an outpatient procedure, having those comfort things there in recovery made a difference. 
  • We asked what Netflix movies she wanted to watch once we got home after the surgery. Somehow, I knew she would relish the idea of being waited on! But this gave her something to look forward to, a time when she would be the center of attention. 
  • I reassured her that I would be there as she fell asleep. Now, I wish it went as sweatless as the preceding sentence sounds. Hummingbird was overtaken by anxiety as we walked into the procedure room. But I was there holding her hand. Didn't stop her from throwing a few punches at the anesthesiologist when he tried placing the mask over her face! My girl, not going down without a fight! And with one deep breath, she was O-U-T. 
  • Her dad and his family were there as well. I kept him informed, this was my effort to forge a positive co-parenting opportunity. This helped Hummingbird as well, kids like it when big folks play nice! This surgery was about her well being, not any disagreements we may have had. 
Now, here's some major parental to do's to ensure a positive experience:
  • Keep it together. Easier said than done. This is key because kids feed off of their parents. If I showed any anxiety or fear, Hummingbird would have picked up on that and reacted the same way. 
  • Understand every part of the surgery. We have rights that the hospital staff must abide by. Don't be afraid to ask questions, even if you think it's dumb. 
  • Admit our fears. I was nervous. No one wants to see their kid in pain or discomfort or anxiety ridden. I acknowledged my fears, prayed and felt peace afterwards. My prayers actually started on the day the physician first noticed the teeny tiny hernia. That day, the foundation for a successful surgery and recovery was laid. 
One week later, you would never know that Hummingbird had surgery. The innie is healing properly, follow up is in a few weeks. Funny how when she's feeling well, which means she is all over the place, I want peace and quiet. But when's she's not feeling well, I would love to hear the noise...well, maybe just a teeny tiny bit of the noise!

Have you ever experienced any surgeries or sicknesses with your kids? For surgeries, how did you prepare them? For when they're sick, how do you keep their spirits up? How do you take care of yourself during that time?

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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Blog Hop Blitz Week #7

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Kinda sums up our hop! Just like this post from Menopausal Mother, she makes a love/hate relationship with football list that I'm sure plenty of us are feeling as we enter week #7. 

Oh, by the way, welcome to Week #7. 

This is the hop where you link up your best post of the week, tailgate recipes, DIY decor, whatever you want, then go and enjoy the games. 

Say hello to our wonderful hosts:
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Terri & Shawna
Easy Life and Party Planning

A Gut and a Butt

Check out our versatile Most Valuable Bloggers (MVBs):
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Perfect for the fall season, yummy bread pudding nestled in a pumpkin! Courtesy of Create with Joy.

Awesome example of what it means to walk the talk! Taylor Made Ranch gives us a living example of marriage vows.

Foody Schmoody gave us a wonderful meal that could be prepared ahead of time and frozen, perfect for a weekday meal!

Each of our Most Valuable Bloggers (MVBs) have been pinned to our Football Blog Hop Blitz Pinterest board. Football fan or not, check out our wide range of pins.

Be sure to share our button, letting everyone know where you're linking up this football season.

Blog Hop Blitz

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Bloggers, start your engines...

get the InLinkz code

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

What shirt color will your child wear?

Ever heard of "redshirting"?

I had not until a few months ago.

A friend of mine has two little boys, both born in July, one four , the other two. This friend has always had concerns about the older boy, ranging from speech to immaturity.

Said four year old started Pre-K this year and this has brought up yet another issue:

Should they prolong his start of kindergarten next year?

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Wikipedia provides a clear definition of redshirting: the practice of postponing entrance into kindergarten of age eligible children in order to allow extra time for socioemotional, intellectual, or physical growth. This occurs frequently where children's birthdays are so close to the cut-off dates that they are very likely to be among the youngest in their kindergarten class.

This friend seeks my advice frequently, feeding from my mom knowledge of raising a 17 year old Yogli.

This time, though, my mom bank was empty and confused.

Yogli, too, is a July baby. Once in kindergarten, his teacher sent home a referral to the school psychologist. She insisted that Yogli had behavioral issues, I sensed that she was inferring that he had some form of ADD/ADHD. I concluded that he needed a bit more discipline from me at home. I knew that the extra discipline would require more work on my part but there was no way my kid was gonna be labeled, especially if I knew there were no real behavioral issues.

So, I got to work. This is probably how Yogli and I became so close. I would talk to him about what type of behavior I expected from him. This is when I started becoming a bit more involved in his school. These are just some of the things I did. Is Yogli perfect as a result? NO! Did I expect him to be? NO.

Exactly what am I implying?

In my opinion, redshirting seems lazy and selfish. Parents who don't want to do the work of parenting their kid, expecting the school to do it. Selfish because they want the kid to be a better athlete, fattening future sports aspirations.

So in other words, Mrs. Gladiator, you oppose redshirting?

Yes and no.

If redshirting helps the kid gain a better academic sense, then ok, get your reshirting on! I know that kids grow at different rates, both mentally and physically. Would this then give the redshirted kid an edge over his/her peers?

Speaking of his/ the articles I've read, redshirting seems to be done mostly with boys. As if boys need one more area where they're being told they lack...

If you redshirt, wouldn't the kid get bored, it would be a replay of the same material from last year. That boredom would need an outlet and you know how kids and boredom don't mix.

What happened to being challenged, digging your heels in and get er done?

Kids are mean and they say mean things. What if the redshirted kid is much bigger than his classmates? Can't you hear the taunting now?

There have been studies done, however, most of them are not recent.

I've had some conversations with others, and the opinions are split down the middle. No one can really prove whether or not redshirting pays off in the long run or not.

Ultimately, it is the parent that makes the decision. After all, we all have to do what is right for our families.

My friend still hasn't decided what to do about her four year old.

What would you do, redshirt or not redshirt, what sayest you?

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Saturday, October 12, 2013

Blog Hop Blitz Week #6

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Check out how the NFL supports the cause, and it's not just by wearing pink gear!

Your football blurb of the week: What has happened to the New York Giants?!?!?

As these games linger on (no, Jacksonville hasn't won a game yet!), here's your perfect opportunity to link up your recipes, crafting projects or your best post of the week.

Welcome our lovely team:
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Terri & Shawna
Easy Life and Party Planning

A Gut and a Butt

Our Most Valuable Bloggers have the right idea, showcasing their blogging skills and linking up with us. They, once again, prove the versatility of our hop!
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Lovin' the fall centerpieces made by Lamanna Family Adventures! She used items, that would have otherwise been tossed away, and turned them into cute fall centerpieces. Very creative!

We all would probably throw a "hissy fit" over this dip shared by The Painted Apron. This post is awesome, these folks know how to throw a gameday party!

Pink Heart String hit a nerve with me (Tiffany) because my 2nd grader's homework is all online this year. Technology, a double edged sword!

Each of our MVBs have been pinned to our Football Blog Hop Blitz Pinterest board. Football fan or not, check out our wide range of pins.

Share our button, letting everyone know where you're linking up this football season.

Blog Hop Blitz

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Now, without further ado...

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Talkin' bout the 2nd time - 3 positive characteristics of 2nd marriages

The perfect dress (even though I had to go up a size three weeks before the wedding, was having a lil too much fun with food at that time!), a great venue, good food, family, friends. All the pieces were in place.

The biggest piece of all, having MonkeyMan standing at the other end of that altar, waiting for me.

This was the second time for both of us.

Here's the statistic:

The Marriage Foundation says that 45% of first time marriages will divorce, while only 31% of 2nd timers will end up in the same boat.

That's the only doom and gloom I will speak of in this post.

"Not like the first time, not like the first time, not like the first time, talking 'bout the second time". 

There are a gazillion articles on marriage, first time, second time, probably even third time. And they all offer tips on how to make the marriage stronger, which I agree with a lot of what the articles say. For me though, there were only three things. Yes, three. I focused on three because, I believe, everything else springs forth from those three things.

Here are my three characteristics of someone in a 2nd marriage (we need a new name for 2nd marriage, it almost implies that there will be a 3rd, 4th, 5th, or we could pull an Elizabeth Taylor!)

You're willing to grow
You have grieved the divorce, purposely going through each stage, facing it head on. You needed to because divorce feels like a piece of you, your flesh is being cut off. Yes, in a sense, it is like death. But you held on, because you grieved it, new life was able to spring forth! Weeping for your loss endured for the night but joy came in the morning.

You took the time to understand what went wrong and the part you played, you took responsibility for your part in the breakdown of that first marriage. You've learned from your mistakes, this breeds honesty, not only with yourself but with all of your close relationships.

You're determined
You don't want to be another statistic, so you want to get it right. None of us fully ever get it right, but we keep trying. That's the key: KEEP TRYING. Even with that, you know that it won't work unless both of you are trying. But, what other people do is none of your business. YOU keep trying. And in that trying, you may see that some things should be cut loose.

You appreciate
You respect marriage more now based on what has happened to you. You realize the importance of saying thank you, please, giving compliments, doing nice things. It has meaning for you now, you've seen the result of not doing these things.

From these three things, all sorts of things can come forth:

  • ability to share your dreams and goals, without feeling insecure
  • honesty
  • better self esteem
  • respect for one another
  • enjoying each other's similarities but secure in each other's differences

There are a ton of other things, but you get my point.

Marriage, regardless of it being the first, second or third time, can be sweet. Regardless of the number of times being married, the word WORK is the common denominator. I'm sure even Liz Taylor had to put some amount of work into the 8 unions she entered!

Any other 2nd  timers out there? What would you add to my list of positive characteristics of second marriages?

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Guest Post: The Art of Entertaining a Toddler: Doctor's Appointment/Tag Team Edition

 photo button2_zpsf6dd92f6.pngNeed a spot to get re-energized? Or how about a place to meet other busy moms like yourself? Meet Kishea from Bizzy Mommie, she's created that spot! Join her as she takes us on her journey of  maneuvering through parenthood, all the while creating a community for others doing the same thing. 


Over the past 18 months I have learned a thing or two about taking my daughter to doctor's appointments. She does really well at hers, but she acts like crazy person at mine. Why is that? Hmmm..... It may be because she doesn't like to see anyone "working" on me. She even cried when I got my eyebrows waxed a week ago. How funny is that? I would've videotaped it, but I didn't have a free hand. It was hilarious. 

Don't get me started about my teeth cleaning appointment about six months ago. She was a lot smaller then, and not as strong so I could hold her in my lap and hold her hands while the dentist cleaned my teeth. She cried and cried, but I had to get this done. My husband and I live 4-5 hours away from our parents and we don't have babysitters, so I have to take her with me to every appointment since my husband works long hours. And hey, she's my responsibility anyways.

Well, fast forward to present day when I had to go to a doctor's appointment today. Thank God my doctor had a play area in the waiting room. She was greatly entertained by this. I would also like to thank God that my husband was able to come with me, because he helped in keeping her occupied as well. The waiting room was a breeze, but when the nurse called my name, my child actually let a scream loose when I picked her up. What?! (Confession: I used to always look at people with screaming children like they were crazy until I had one little feisty one myself. Now I know that you have to do what you have to do. Life has to go on, screaming children or not). 

My husband was a tremendous help. He let Bri run around him countless times, he held her arms while she dangled inches from the floor, he blew raspberries on her cheeks, etc. I sat her on my lap and dropped her upside down (she loves doing this). I repeated this over and over until she got tired of it. When we got into the room, we let her walk around and touch cabinets (as long as she wasn't being too rough... Don't want to get kicked out, LOL!) and slide down walls onto the floor (Man do kids have a lot of energy!). I thought about bringing toys but she wouldn't have played with them. She would have been too intrigued by her new surroundings to fumble with familiar toys. 

Now for the big test! The doctor came in to examine me and my daughter did GREAT. I was so happy and relieved. If my husband had not come to tag team with me, she would have been crying when the doctor came in. Whew! Yay! Hooray! (Hey, don't judge me for being excited about a well-behaved toddler, LOL!). We made it and I can boldly say that we have a wonderful visit. I have another appointment next week and I will start preparing right now for it, ha ha.


 photo bizzymommie_zpsbfb8785d.pngThanks to Tiffany for allowing me to guest post on her amazing blog today. Her content is entertaining and well organized, and it's an honor to post for her. I have a blog as well, Bizzy Mommie. I write about everyday issues that I face as a busy mother. I would love to have you come and check me out as well. I'm always looking for other mothers to share their stories and advice. I look forward to seeing you there. Have a blessed week! P.S. Roll Tide and Go Steelers!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Blog Hop Blitz Week #5

Full speed ahead into Week #5!

How have you been spending the football season so far?

Made anything interesting?

Here's one of the things I've (Tiffany) been up to:

My husband is a HUGE fan of the Jacksonsville Jaguars (yeah, I know). In an effort to raise his spirits and send some mojo to Jacksonville, I am embarking on making a football wreath. I was inspired by Mom Paper Scissors who linked up with us on Week #3 of the Blog Hop Blitz.

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My lovely co-hosts have been busy, teaming up to host/co-host the Four Seasons Blog Hop. Week after week, these ladies are showcasing awesome recipes and blog posts. 

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And speaking of co-hosts...

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Terri & Shawna
Easy Life Meal and Party Planning

A Gut and a Butt
You think we've been busy, check out our Most Valuable Bloggers (MVBs) from Week #4:
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A Purpose Driven Wife gave us some ideas on how to create the family night atmosphere.

How about some Halloween Witch cupcakes? This Ole Mom provided a great tutorial on how to create these delightful, frightful treats!

Perseverance at it's finest! A Daily Dose of Del Signore defines perseverance in her triumph over losing and maintaining weight. 

Our own Betty @ A Gut and a Butt found some awesome pieces at the Atlanta New Earth Festival.

Check out our Football Blog Hop Blitz Pinterest board, where you'll see all four MVBs pinned.

This is exactly what this hop is about: doing/creating things we enjoy while the football season rolls on!

Remember to grab our button, showing everybody where you're linking up this football season!

Blog Hop Blitz

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Ready to bring your A game?

Friday, October 4, 2013

Guest Post: Eli from Coach Daddy passes the sports torch

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Super excited to have Eli from Coach Daddy guest post for me, sharing some of his coaching and fatherhood insight with us.

Eli and his girls, Elise particularly, shows us that it's not just a man's world when it comes to sports!

What do these things have in common?
  1. The players and philosophies of my fantasy football team
  2. The statistical and analytical breakdown of my latest U-11 soccer match
  3. What Howard Stern is up to
Answer: No one gives a rat’s caboose outside of the fantasy team owner, coaches and parents, or Howard Stern himself, for Kate Upton's sake. And they certainly don’t want to hear about them.
This post is about fantasy football – but I will not tell you more than you’ll absolutely need to know to understand the story. I promise. I won’t even tell you that Calvin Johnson is my best player, or that I picked up Terrelle Pryor and Philip Rivers to hopefully force a trade for a running back.

Oops. See? It’s hard not to do.

Thing is, I know that moms make up 92.3 percent of my readers. You’ll tell your husbands to read me if I write of something profound, like why dads come in second to moms. I hope you’ll share this one, too. We dads must know of these rites of passage.

* * *
On October 10th two seasons ago, as the hour approached midnight, my 13-year-old daughter beat me... in fantasy football.

My unbeaten team, mind you. The Sun City Skunk Kings fell to the Zacateca Z-donks 111-85. Yes, those were our teams’ names. Like father, like daughter.

Fathers with sons can point to the day their boy first beat them in a foot race. Or game of one-on-one. Or knocked them out cold with a punch.

However, fathers with daughters cannot point to these days. Not that Elise might not clean my clock one day. She’s nearly as tall as me. Not that it’s saying much.

Don’t discount this, moms. It’s like, when your daughter starts wearing your clothes, and using your makeup, and fixing her hair, just like you. Only, this is worse.

Consider this our moment. She’s learned from me. She’s the girl in school who can correct the boys when they talk about the Steelers and Ravens playing in a Super Bowl. Who can argue for Aaron Rogers against Michael Vick, or understand the fallacy of sticking with that stinkin’ Packers defense for another painful week.

On this night, the cub devoured the lion.

It’s like when Eli and Peyton Manning won the Super Bowls that their father, Archie, couldn’t even reach. Ken Griffey Jr. hitting more home runs than Ken Griffey Sr. That commercial in which racecar driver Michael Andretti details the first time he passed his legend of a dad, Mario, in a race (punctuated by the declaration, “adios, dada!”)

OK, moms, maybe it’s more than a daughter sharing your shoe collection. Maybe it’s your little girl rocking your favorite sundress better than you do. Staying a size 4 when she eats like a linebacker.
Or getting more looks in the mall than mom does. Or did, at her age.

With me now, moms? Pass the tissues. The mighty Skunk Kings have fallen.

Atta girl, Elise. Atta girl.

* * *

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When he's not trying to get the truth out of three rambunctious daughters or wrestling unruly livestock, Eli coaches and fathers those wild children, and writes about it on his blog, Coach Daddy.