You Are Not The Father

You are not the father!  You are not the father! I lost count of the number of times that I heard this statement while watching daytime TV today.  I know that it was more times than I heard You are the father.  I know I should have been spending my time more productively, but I just didn’t feel like it.  Do you ever have those days that you just want to do nothing?  I’ve been having quite a few lately.  


I digressed back to the show.  One lady had been on the show 14 times for a DNA test, 14 times.  Now I’m not going to sit here and pretend to be all innocent.  I’m not, and I have problems with people who can’t be real and be truthful about who they.  I’ve had a good time throughout the years, but I do wonder how a woman would not know who her baby’s daddy is.    


I watched these young ladies state they are 150% sure they know who the father is, but the DNA test proved otherwise.  Not only were they told the young man who stood accused was not the father, they endured being called out of their name by the young men.  There were young ladies who slept with brothers, fathers and sons, and some who didn’t know who they slept with because they were in a drunken stupor.  Now the party is over, and reality is hitting them hard.  Rather this show is real or not, incidents like this occur everyday.  


I decided to switch channels and found myself in a court room watching a judge determine if the men standing before them were the fathers of children being displayed on a screen.  There were more DNA tests, but there were slight differences from the other show.  Some of the people in the court room were married couples and the wife strayed.  There were men and women some who had hooked up years ago, but never married and the child was now seeking the truth about paternity.  

Between the two shows, I started thinking about all that these young ladies would have to endure as a single mother and all that they would endure through their parenting journey.  I started thinking about the young people who had gone through a part of their life not knowing the truth about who their father really was because of their mother’s poor judgement.  I also started thinking about how important DNA tests had become in today’s society to determine paternity. Have we made a wrong turn in society to the point that we need a test to determine who our children’s fathers are? 

Are we not teaching our children about birth control or waiting until they are married?  I understand women have found a new awakening, and they don’t have a problem getting their freak on. This includes young ladies who aren’t really responsible enough to take on such a huge responsibility.  I can relate to being a single parent and all the struggles as a young mother.  For this reason, I stressed the importance of protecting herself and not becoming a single parent to my daughter.  As mothers, we want support emotionally, financially, and physically, but if a man is not your husband they can’t be depended on to help provide those things for us.   


One thing that I noticed was although the young ladies had sex with these young men, nobody was calling the young men out of their names.  Some things never change, it’s the women who are looked down on.  I also understand why young men want DNA tests, it seems that young ladies give themselves so freely and they do so without thinking of the repercussions.  There’s enough blame to go around.  As a parent, I didn’t preach absenteeism to my daughter.  The chances of your child remaining a virgin until marriage are slim to none.  If you’re successful in achieving that goal, my hat is off to you.  I did preach about the struggle of being a single parent and the importance of protecting herself from disease and an unplanned pregnancy.  I stressed the importance of educating herself, traveling and achieving her goals before she took on the responsibility of parenting.  Having these conversations with you child is so important.  You can’t just have them in passing, it must be a constant so it can take hold in your child’s mind.  


Are you discussing sex with your child?  How are you approaching it or how do you plan to approach it?    


Note:  Photo courtesy of stockvault.net.  




                                                                          



Should Dads Purchase Bras?

Should single dads take their daughters to get bras or should they seek the assistance of a woman in the family? As mothers, we just take on the responsibility when the times arrives, but what about dads?  There are many situations today where moms and dads co-parent.  There are also situations where dads have primary custody of their daughters. When I was growing up, this was basically unheard of. My how times have changed. Today there are gay couples raising daughters, single dads raising daughters, widows raising daughters, grandfathers raising granddaughters, uncles raising nieces and the list goes on.  


Purchasing a bra is no longer the sole responsibility of moms.  At some point our little girls, regardless of who’s raising them, will start growing into young ladies and they will need a bra. When I look back on my childhood, I can’t imagine my father taking me to the store and purchasing a bra for me.  I was raised in a traditional home, bras and feminine products were my mother’s responsibility.  Had he been widowed, I think he would have reached out to one of my aunts or another family member.  


Decades later, I am proud to say that I have nephews who have primary custody of their children and who co-parent.  I think my dad would have been proud and very supportive of them taking on this responsibility.  He would have seen this as a demonstration of character and a demonstration of the morals and values that have been instilled in them.  He probably would wish they would have made wiser choices with the young ladies, but none the less he would have been proud.  I’ll save how this all came to fruition in another post.  


As I’ve watched them help raise their children, I’ve often wondered if the two who are co-parenting daughters are prepared to take the step of purchasing a bra when the time arrives.  The endeavor has been made easier for parents these days.  Young girls are now wearing bralettes.  Yes it seems that our young ladies no longer refer to their first bras as training bras, but bralettes. Bralettes, which resemble undershirts but are cropped can be purchased from Target to Macy’s. They are the rage with young ladies now, they come in a variety of colors and stretch as they develop.  


Their are several benefits to bralettes:  1)  Young ladies no longer have to be measured, 2)  Dads and daughters don’t have to endure the embarrassment of going to the store and asking for assistance or measurements.  Bralettes can purchased in sizes 4 – 6x and 7-14.    


As I thought more about it, I decided that I didn’t need to ask my nephews if they were ready for this step in parenting their daughters.  I decided if they loved their daughters enough to fight for and win joint custody, they certainly love them enough to take on the responsibility of purchasing a bralette, and yes I believe they should purchase them if they so desire


Photo courtesy of Target.  
    

15 Ways To Embarrass Your Children

Are  you embarrassing to your child?  Do you look like this when you drop your child off at school in the morning or pick them up?  Has your child asked you to drop them off a block away from their destination so they won’t have to explain to their friends that you’re their mom or dad?  If they have you may want to rethink how you’re presenting yourself in public.  

A child’s biggest fear is that you will embarrass them in front of friends and school mates. Think about it, didn’t you have the same fears growing up.  I remember looking at my mother and thinking, oh God what is she going to say or do now.  I didn’t have those kind of fears with my father.  That’s probably because he was asleep the majority of the time that he was home and when he was awake, he didn’t say much.  His biggest wish was that we would just be quiet!    


It could also be because he was more sensitive to us as children.  He understood the reality of embarrassing parents.  My mother not so much.  If it hit her mind, it came out of her mouth or she would act on it.  That could have been the stress of raising 7 children, but as a child you don’t understand stress.  You only remember the moments that you wanted to crawl under a rock and hid. Have you wondered if your child is feeling the same way?   

Here are few ways to embarrass your child for sure:    


  1. You argue with the referee and other parents at sporting events.
  2. You show up at their school wearing curlers.
  3. Your at the mall and your pants keep falling down.  Your underwear is showing, but you pretend not to notice and keep walking.   
  4. Your sweat pants are too tight.
  5. Your clothes have holes in them or they’re outdated.  
  6. Your hair looks like you just jumped out of bed, and a hairbrush hasn’t crossed your mind.     
  7. You pick up your child in a car that is backfiring and smoking.  
  8. You show up at an event with a bad make up job.  
  9. You get a gold grill, you want to be cool too.  
  10. A few of your neon green fake nails are missing and you don’t bother to replace them.
  11. You buy matching outfits for you and your teen daughter.  
  12. You show up at events drunk or high. 
  13. You use slang trying to be cool in front of their friends.  
  14. You call them by their nick names in front of friends.  
  15. You jump out the car and kiss them in front of school mates or friends.  
While writing this post I found myself laughing at quite a few of these scenarios, but you can best believe they have happened.  We feel embarrassed by our kids at times, and I just wanted to bring a few things to your attention as parents that may embarrass them.  Hopefully we won’t scar them for life, they will just look at us as another weird parent. 

What are some of the things that you parents did to embarrass you or you’ve done to embarrass your child?  We would love to add it to our list.  
Photo courtesy of www.cliparts101.com

Oral B’s Disney Timer App Review

Disney Princesses

I was contacted to review the new Oral B Disney Timer App.   If you’re unfamiliar with the App it was designed by Oral B, Disney and Crest to help children brush for 2 minutes, which is the recommended time frame by most dentists.  With a 2 and 5 year old I jumped at the chance.  I thought this App could make brushing interesting.  They may spend more time brushing rather than playing in the water.  As parents I know you can relate.  


The App features Disney and Marvel characters, which is perfect.  Zarriah loves all things Disney and Xavier loves the Marvel characters.  Another feature of the App was that it rewarded the children for brushing for 2 minutes with stars and stickers.  


Our Oral B and crest products arrived, and they were adorable.  I received age appropriate toothbrushes from Oral B (Winnie the Pooh and Cars) and Crest toothpaste featuring Disney Princesses in Bubble Gum and Cars in Fruit Burst.  We’re off to a good start.  

It’s time to download the App and get this party started.  The App is available on Google Play and the App Store.  I checked out the directions at the Oral B Disney Timer site and decided to download the App on both the ipad and my Android phone.  The App is quite large and takes quite a bit of storage, so it is recommended that it be downloaded using Wi-Fi only.  




I was unsuccessful downloading the App to my phone.  It looked like it was installing, but it never downloaded.  First time for this issue.  We moved to the ipad and downloaded the App successfully.  We were able to scan the products as instructed, however the App freezes before the timer starts.  We have yet to use it successfully.  The concept is great, but it needs some work.   Thankfully the kids love the new toothbrushes and toothpaste, so it wasn’t a total disappointment.    
I’m a big fan of Oral B, Crest and Disney, so I’m hoping they will work out the bugs and promote this App again.  It could a vital tool for parents in getting their kids to brush appropriately.  I think the idea is one of the best since sliced bread.  They came up a little short on this endeavor.  It’s like having an empty sandwich.  


5 Benefits of Playgrounds

early childhood development
Do you take your child to the park or playground?  I’ve often wondered if they have become obsolete and replaced by video games.  I can count on one hand the number of times that I’ve taken the children to park and there has been other children there.  Do parents know the importance of a playground and its benefit to our children.
Children are encouraged to engage in free play on playgrounds.  Free play is simply children playing, running, climbing and using their imagination.  We may not think of early childhood development while we’re at the playground, but developing our children must be considered in just about everything that we do as parents.   Although we have a swing set in the backyard for Xavier and Zarriah, we do take them to the park for exercise and interaction with other children. 

There are multiple benefits to children playing on slides, monkey bars, climbing and jumping.  Here are a few:

  • Physical benefit – All children need to exercise for good health and to fight obesity.
  • Helps develop children emotionally – Children can learn to understand and control their emotions on the playground.  They may fall and cry, they may find something funny or get angry. This is a perfect opportunity to teach them about being happy, sad or whatever they’re feeling.
  • Helps develop social skills – Children must learn to socialize to be successful as an adult. Playing on a playground allows children to join in with others, share, and learn how to be a good sport.  They may be teased, have another child cut in front of them etc., but it’s a perfect opportunity to teach them how to resolve problems they may encounter.  
  • Helps develop large motor skills – Children develop and strengthen motor skills from birth to 6 years.  This includes rolling over, walking, learning to hold a pencil or crayons, using scissors, these are fine motor skills. Large motor skills are developed by using muscles in the arms, legs etc. Climbing, jumping,  using the monkey bars etc. will help with these skills. It will also assist children with learning to keep their balance and playing in organized sports.
  • Helps develop cognitive skills –  Children need to develop their brain so they will learn how to remember, solve problems, work on perception and it assists them with their attention span. 

Research by The Shasta Children and Families First Commission (SCFFC) has shown that brain development is crucial in a child’s earliest years. It’s imperative that children develop interaction through free play in the first six years of their life, and playgrounds are an appropriate area to develop these skills.  Research also reveals that children who have poorly developed motor-skills by age five will most likely never have efficient motor-skills.  


benefits of playgrounds

The paternal grandparents purchased a play ground set similar to the one at the park for the backyard when time isn’t on our side.  Xavier is getting older now, so he’s more into organized activities like football, basketball and swimming.  We’ll be using the set for Zarriah, she’s 2 now.  I believe my grandson  is advanced in many areas, and I believe a big reason he is advanced is because we focused on all of his developmental skills. We will be using the same plan for Zarriah. Utilizing the playground to develop skills is not a new concept.  I used it for my daughter, who is shown in the pictures.  She was and still is a social butterfly, she excelled in dance and cheerleading (organized activity) and higher academics.

Early childhood development is essential for all children.  If you can’t afford a backyard set, know that it is imperative that you set time aside during the upcoming spring and summer days to work on your child’s developmental needs.  The physical, emotional, cognitive, motor and social skills in your child’s early years will affect everything they do later in their life.  Do you spend time at the park with your children?

10 Tips On How To Choose and Wear Flip Flops

flip flops

Summer’s around the corner lady.  We will be storing our hose, socks, and boots, yeah baby. I like winter simply because I love boot season, but I love summer for the cute dresses, flip flops and sandals too.

As I was thinking of warmer weather on the horizon, I also thought about some of the ladies last summer who could have used a few tips on purchasing sandals and flip flops.  Lets not leave out the pedicure.

If you’re going to wear flip flops and sandals this summer, please purchase ones that fit.   Although flip flops are cute and go nicely with casual wear, they lack support.  Here are a few tips you need when you pick a pair or two this summer and ensure you will remain injury free:


1.  Purchase shoes where your toes don’t hang over the edge.
2.  If they’re thongs, ensure the piece between the toes won’t give you blisters.

3.  Purchase as high quality as you can afford since they lack support.
4.  Make sure they bend at the ball (upper part of the flip flop).    
5.  Purchase leather instead of plastic or rubber.
6.  Do not wear flip flops if you plan to go on long walks.  You will need more support than they will provide.
7.  Do not perform yard work in flip flops.
8.  Check your flip flops from last season.  If they are worn, replace them.  Because they lack support and are thin, they should only be worn 1 season according to The American Podiatric Medical Association. 

 9.  Be sure to wear flips flops in pool areas to avoid infections and Athletes Foot.    
10.  Please get a pedicure and lotion your feet.  (This should probably be the first step that you take before purchasing or putting on a pair).

There’s nothing worst than seeing ladies with jagged toe nails that could slice bricks, chipped polish and calloused, crusty feet.  If you can’t afford to get a professional pedicure, give yourself a home pedi.  Please, do it for me.  Thank you.

What do you like about summer?  Do you have a favorite pair of flip flops or sandals, and what do you usually wear them with?

(Photo courtesy of http://webclipart.about.com)










Personalized Pacifiers As Seen On Kendra Wilkerson Show

personalized pacifiers

Looking for a great baby shower gift or a gift for your little one?  Try these adorable personalized pacifiers.  They come in an array of colors and styles and can be found at, My Pacifier.   Kendra Wilkerson and Kourtney Kardashian have used these personalized pacifiers for their sons, Hank and Mason.  They have also been featured on Today.  
Not only are they adorable, endorsed by celebrities and their babies, but they are reasonably priced.  The Designer pacifiers, shown below, are only $5.00 and the Personalized pacifiers, above, start at 3 for $15.00.  Really not a bad price for a unique gift.  I wish I had found this site when my Xavier was small.  He actually used his pacifier for 2 years, so I would have definitely gotten my money’s worth for the price.  Zarriah never used a pacifier, she was content with her fingers.  

The site offers Orthodontic pacifiers.  You can actually see what the personalized pacifier with your child’s name will look like on the site.  They have a variety of colors and symbols to choose from.  You can choose the same color or mix it up for a little variety for the personalized pacifiers.  This site is worth a visit, the pacifiers will make a great baby gift.        

5 Benefits of Teleworking/Telecommuting Jobs

teleworking


I work outside the home, and I am a telecommuting/telework mom.  Allowing employees to telework was implemented into my agency several ago.  By trade, I am an IT Specialist Supervisor.  The ability to work from home is not an option for all employees, especially those who do phone work, but for techies that can log into systems remotely and perform their duties from home it is heaven sent.  Most employees are required to report to the office at least 3 days per week for staff meetings and to sign paper work; however, we make exceptions if we need to.  We offer toll free numbers for them to call into meetings.   

I allow my staff to work from home on days that the kids are sick, deliveries are being made, medical appointments are on the agenda or they just need peace and quiet to complete a project. I take advantage of these liberties as well.

I have several requirements for my employees:  1) No kids interrupting calls, 2) No dogs barking while we’re on the call and 3) they must be signed on to their computer and get their assigned hours in for the day.  It’s a great way to be able to work in sweats and PJs in Corporate America. There are other benefits for employers and employees who implement this concept.  Here a few:


1)  Cuts down on employee’s absences.
2)  Allows employers to cut down on the expense of having a cubicle for each employee.  They can share space according to their schedules. 
3)  Cuts down on gas and parking expense for employees. 
4)  Boosts employee morale.
5)  Reduces employee stress.

For those who are interested in returning to the workforce and still being at home several days a week, this could be the perfect option for you.  Search for companies who offer this option.  You can bring home the bacon and still be a work at home mom, at least part time.

Note:  Photo courtesy of stockvault.net

Turning Wedding Gowns Into Angel Gowns: NICU Helping Hands

preemies, NICU

I wanted to share a story with you that touched my heart in so many ways.  These beautiful gowns that you see on the left were made for babies who never make it home from the hospital.  They are made from donated wedding gowns, so the mothers can use them to send their precious babies home to be with the Lord.
As many of you know, my Zarriah was a preemie.  She entered the world at 31 weeks weighing 2lbs. 10ozs, and fought for her life for 3 months in the NICU at Sentara Princess Anne Hospital in Norfolk, VA.  I’m proud to say that she is still fighting and gets time out quite often, lol.  I must also say those were 3 of the most heart wrenching months of my life.  I will always be grateful for the nurses in the NICU for their skills and the love they show the babies and parents. I am most grateful that my Zarriah survived, but my heart still bleeds for those precious babies who do not.

A lady by the name of Lisa Grubbs, founder of Angel Gowns at NICU Helping Hands, came up with the idea of turning wedding gowns into Angel Gowns to help grieving mothers in 2013.  Her husband is a specialist for premature babies.  The gowns are provided free of charge to families and hospitals across the country.  The tears are flowing as I write this post, because I can’t imagine any loss greater than the loss of a child.  I understand the fight, and I cry for those who loss their precious baby.  I also cry for those who fought the fight and won.  I understand the confusion, the despair, the desperation, sleepless nights and the many prayers.

I also know that a mother and father would be grateful to have a picture of their angel in one of these beautiful gowns as a memory, and to be able to send them on to their Heavenly Father in one will certainly help ease the pain if only for a moment.  

I’m always amazed at other’s creativity and their thoughtfulness of others.  I’m hoping that my daughter will donate her wedding gown, as she too understands the fight.  The organization is able to make approximately 12 “Angel Gowns” from one wedding dress, and all work is done by volunteers.  They are shipped across the country to hospitals for families who request them.  
I will continue to pray for families who are fighting the fight.  May each and every one be blessed in their despair or victory.    


Note:  Photo courtesy of NICU Helping Hands.  

You Call This A Prom Dress



It’s getting close to prom.  Going shopping for a prom gown/dress was always big deal in house.  My daughter and I would set aside a day and go from shop to shop to looking for that special dress and accessories.  We would muster enough strength afterwards to have dinner at a favorite restaurant and have a little girl talk. Those were special times for us.  It was an opportunity for us to bond, which is important in the teenage years, and share the latest gossip.

I still check out the latest fashion for girls since my granddaughter is a little fashionista now.  Yep at 2. She likes to pick out her own clothes and shoes, and I have so much fun looking for a bargain and shopping for her. I ran across an article promoting the latest styles in Prom dresses and I almost fell off my chair.  It’s a wonderful time in a young lady’s life when she’s asked to the Prom or makes plans to go with her friends.  She will always have the memory of shopping for her dress and all the festivities that occur on Prom night.  

Now I don’t have a problem with showing a little skin, but this dress is ridiculous.  I find it hard to believe that some designer thought it was appropriate for a teenage girl to walk into a school dance half naked.  In my opinion, this is something that you would see a celebrity wear on the red carpet, not someone’s teenage daughter.  I often wonder what goes through people’s mind.
 at times.
 

  



This one left me speechless too.  Has everyone forgotten what it’s like to be a teen?  This is just as ridiculous as the one above, but for a different reason.  Would this dress not make a teen look like they’re 50 or 60. Why does tulip keep going through my head, lol?  This would be appropriate for the bride who is fearful that her bridesmaids may look better than her on her wedding day, so she picks out a hideous dress for them to ensure they don’t upstage her.  

Short Strapless Sweetheart Prom Dress

I was happy to see one that was half-decent in the bunch.  At least it’s appropriate for a teen.  It covers her, but allows her to give off a little shoulder.  The colors are fun and the accessories minimal but catchy.  


When I shopped with my daughter I always told her that she could be sexy and beautiful without revealing her blessings to the world.  Today’s teens believe less is more, but in the wrong context. I think it’s important that we teach our daughters to respect themselves during this stage in their life.  They must learn that if they respect themselves young men will respect them as well.  I think it’s important for them to know that the boys may focus on the young lady who walks in wearing number 1, but he will never take her home to mommy.  Oh no, mommy will be able to read her from a mile away and will eventually read her the riot act.    

If you have a teen heading to the prom be sure to set aside a day and make it special.  They will always remember spending the day with you as well as Prom night itself.  Years later, my daughter still talks about our mother/daughter outings.

Photos courtesy of  www.promgirl.com, www.jjshouse.com and www.jovani.com.