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

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)










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. 

Should Boys Wear Pink?




Should baby boys wear pink?  Supposedly, the color pink was designated for girls and blue designated for boys so people would be able to distinguish a baby boy from a baby girl. This theory is somewhat confusing since it’s appropriate to use “neutral” colors, mint green and yellow for both a boy and girl. If these colors are
appropriate for both, how do we distinguish the gender? We ask if we’re unsure. You know the question, I’m sure you’ve asked it a hundred times too, “Is it a boy or girl”? If asking a simple question will clarify this uncertainty, why can’t we put little boys in pink and little girls in blue and eliminate the stigma? 

Could it be that we have developed a phobia and we’re afraid that if we put little boys in pink we think they will end up Gay? Afterall, pink is seen as quiet, calm and feminine color. On many occasions, I’ve heard mothers of baby boys say, “I’m not putting my baby boy in pink”.  Blue is seen as strong and steadfast, but in today’s society it’s acceptable for a woman to have these characteristics, at least to a certain point. Which leads to more contradiction.

Did you know that prisons use pink to help diffuse violence.  Why aren’t the prison walls painted blue if it is a manly color?  Instead they’re painting the walls pink and encouraging men to get in touch with their feminine side.  A side that we teach little boys from infancy to not have.  We all know that violent criminals need more than a pink wall for rehabilitation, but many believe that the color pink helps with this endeavor. Pink is a soft, non-threatening color. That’s what we want our violent criminals to be, soft and non-threatening.  Shouldn’t we have put them in pink at infancy if this is the goal?

Lets look at this contradiction from another perspective. It’s inappropriate for baby boys to wear pink, why men wearing shades of pastels these days?  Lavender, corral, yellow, and pink. Yes, I said pink! I’ve witnessed it in corporate America with shirts and ties, and polos for golfers. I witnessed one of my doctors the other day wearing a beautiful fuchsia tie. I wonder if an NFL linebacker would strut a fuchsia tie or pink shirt?  Yep, we found Brandon Spikes, who is a linebacker for the New England Patriots, not only in a pink tie and shirt, but in pink from head to toe.  Brandon calls it his lucky suit.    


Here’s the infamous and gorgeous Brad Pitt.  What is he doing, he’s rocking a pink suit.  Who would have thought that one of Hollywood’s finest would be photographed in a pink suit. 



Here’s a picture of my family wearing pink to honor my son-in-law’s 95 year old grandma who recently passed.  His mother requested everyone to wear pink in honor of struggle with breast cancer.  I must say, my son-in-law is wearing pink well and did so with pride.  


So what has changed? I’m crediting the pink ribbon for breast cancer awareness in helping men and society as a whole become more comfortable in wearing pink and other pastel colors.  

We love to know if you would allow your little boy or grandson to wear pink?  Would you be comfortable if your husband or significant other wore pink?  Please leave us a comment and let us know your thoughts.


  

Self Improvement Tips: 10 Steps To A Better You

self improvement


I gave up on making New Year Resolutions years ago.  I decided to reach my goals by taking small steps rather than making big plans and than fail.  The first steps that I decided to take was making myself better as a whole.  I believed that I needed to start on the inside rather than focus on losing weight, exercising a hour a day etc.  I believe that being healthy is important, but I wanted to ensure that I was healthy on the inside before I moved to the outside. 


I spent the last year working on who I was as a person.  I must say for the most part I have been successful in achieving a better me.  Here are the 10 Steps that I took one at a time:  

  1. Surround yourself with positive people.
  2. Learn to say no and not feel guilty.
  3. Respect yourself and others will too.
  4. Embrace your flaws, we all have them.
  5. Know that obstacles are temporary and you  have the ability to remove them.
  6. Reach for your dreams whatever they may be.
  7. Nourish your soul by reading daily affirmations.
  8. Understand “Me Time” and take it.  
  9. Write down your goals and work toward them one at a time.
  10. Know that success takes time.  
I have found that I feel better emotionally and physically.  As a result of me feeling better physically I have been able to incorporate more exercise into my week.  This step has taken me one step closer to reaching my weight loss goal.  

I believe that we must first be fit on the inside before we tackle the outside.  They go hand and hand.  What are some of your goals for 2014 and how are you working to achieve them?

Note:  photo courtesy of stockvault.net

                                                                     

A Tour of My Hometown

I used to play in this little house when I was a child.  It had a living room, kitchen and a bedroom upstairs.  Rather than dolls, it had bears to play with.  It seems so small now, but I was able to stand up in it as a child.  I grow up in a small town in WV where everyone knew everyone and we ran around the town carefree. I wanted to share some of my fondest childhood memories with you.  So I thought we would take a tour of my hometown.  


I loved this little house.  It was open to the public on certain each week.  On the days that it wasn’t open, we looked at the bears through the window.  My fondest memory of the bears was them having a tea party.  


This stream ran behind the Little House.  We would take our shoes off and stand in the water.  It seemed so much deeper as a child.  

Oh the memories of Betty’s Restaurant.  We hung out here as teens.  Betty was the owner and cook.  She made the best cheeseburgers, fries and chocolate shakes.  The restaurant is still in business.  Occasionally, I will stop by for breakfast.  They still have the same booths and bar stools, lol.  I’m squeezing in the booths now rather than sliding in, but the hometown atmosphere is still the same.  

This is where a our town newspaper was printed.  Mr. Charlie was the printer.  He was always covered in black ink as he rolled the newspaper off the printer.  We would look through the window as he was working. Mr. Charlie never allowed us to distract him from his work.  He just smiled and kept the printer rolling.  It is now a 5 star restaurant called The Press Room.

This is the Rumsey Monument. We spent hours here climbing the steps to watch trains cross the bridge behind it and cars cross the bridge on the other side of it.  This monument is dedicated to James Rumsey, who launched the first steam boat on the Potomac River in Shepherdstown, WV. According to the history books, Robert Fulton was given credit for the first launch, but residents of Shepherdstown, WV know better.  

                                                                               


This is a view from the Rumsey Monument.  Absolutely beautiful and more so in the fall.  The local Girl Scout and Brownie troops walked across the bridge shown so we could hike along the C & O Canal Towpath.  My sister was a Girl Scout and I was a Brownie.  I have to admit I crossed it, but I was scared to death.  My troop leader would allow me to walk in the road until a car came and than I had to get back on the sidewalk.  Her kindness sure helped ease my fears.  Because of it, I was able to take the hike along with the other girls.  

       
I spent many days at this little library reading or going to story hour.  I remember my mother scrubbing me until I was as shiny as a new penny and sending me off to story hour each week. Books were big in my home.  We had library cards, so my friends and I would head to the library until closing during the summer.  I also remember not returning books on time, and having to use my allowance to pay the fine.  I learned early to pay my bills on time.  

This is The Wall and my sister posing.  We spent hours sitting on this wall people watching and playing games.  Residents have been banned from sitting on The Wall on now, what a shame.  It was a great gathering place for chatting, eating an ice cream cone or just passing time away.  

We would leave the house early morning most days and just walk around town heading nowhere in particular.  Our parents never worried, they just wanted us back in time for dinner.  If we missed lunch, someone in the community would feed us and they in turn would do the same for the kids who where out of their neighboring area.  What a great era to be a kid.  We didn’t have children being kidnapped or harmed in any way, it was the least of anyone’s worries.  

We gathered pop bottles to cash in at the local store for money.  We had a red wagon that we pulled to the store to cash in our goods.  Back in those days, candy was a penny.  We would have candy for days with a quarter.  My best friend’s Uncle owned the candy store, he would always give us extra when we visited.  My favorite was the chocolate covered peanuts.  Yes, I was a chocolate addict at an early age.   

I loved my childhood.  We weren’t rich, but we had a great community.  Everyone knew what community meant, and looked out for each other.  Lend a handing hand, wasn’t a saying when I was growing up.  It actually took place.  We were raised by the community.  We trick or treated with brown paper grocery bags until midnight.  Our parents purchased sleds, Lighting Guiders, every Christmas.  Daddy gave us sand paper to sharpen the blades, and sharpen we did.  We stayed out until we damn near froze sled riding, and nobody called us in.  What are some of your favorite childhood memories?

Brother Sister Love

I love these pictures of Xavier and Zarriah. They demonstrate the love they have for one another.  I can’t say that it’s always been there, but it has grown over the years.  When Zarriah arrived at 31 weeks, and the doctor announced it was a girl my grandson immediately told the doctor to take her back.  He didn’t realize the severity of her early arrival, he just knew that he wanted a brother to play with not a sissy girl. 



We told him that we wanted to keep her, but she was really sick and we needed him to help us get her well.  Amazingly, he rose to the occasion.  Looking back at Zarriah’s fight for her life still brings me to tears.  She was one of the smallest preemies in the NICU, she weighed 2 lbs. 10 ozs., and she was there for 3 months.  I have to say, it was the longest 3 months of my life.  

My granddaughter has an attitude, and she has had it from the day she arrived.  She’s pretty independent and demonstrated her independence in the incubator.  The nurses wanted us to touch her and talk to her as much as possible.  When I tried to touch her or hold her hand she jerked away.  When her brother touched her or held her hand she would grab his finger and hold on.  I was amazed that she could make a distinction between us.  The nurses placed a step stool beside her so Xavier could reach her when he visited.  He made just about every trip to the hospital to visit her and never complained once about the length of time we spent there.  He was 4, and we all know that a 4 year old has little patience.  He spent hours coloring pictures for her.  The nurses placed the pictures around the incubator.  
                                                                                 

They are now 6 and 2.  He’s an excellent big brother, I’m so proud of him.  He loves her up, plays with her and protects when he thinks he has to.  He said he never wants her to go back to the hospital.  

Those 3 months had a major impact on all of us, but it had a major impact on him too.  He thinks about her stay, he built a hospital out of his legos.  I hope their love for each other never dies.  It does my heart good that he is happy she’s here and she’s his baby sister after wanting to return her.  Happy Valentine’s Day Xavier and Zarriah.