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.  


Lets Play In The Snow

kids snow activities

Snow in Virginia Beach is a rarity, but occasionally they do get a few inches.  A few inches basically shuts the city down, and the kids get to enjoy a snow day.  This is Zarriah’s first snow, and she is enjoying herself.  She helped her daddy clean off the car, made snow angels and just basically enjoyed that cold, white stuff. 


She has grown so much since she entered this world at 2lbs. 10ozs.  She is thriving and living life.  Miss Personality is quite different from her brother, she’s sassy, has a mind of her own and doesn’t take any mess from anybody.  Time out has been implemented on many occasions.   I’ve always worried about her growth and development since she was a preemie, but I worry no more.  She has developed at an acceptable rate, eats everything and mostly importantly she’s a happy baby.

Xavier and Zarriah stopped for a photo op.  It’s rare that we can get a picture of Zarriah smiling. She hates getting her picture taken and doesn’t have a problem letting it be known.  She has become more receptive of the idea, and we’ve manage to get a few good shots in.  I love this picture of her and her brother in their parkas.  I think this will be one of my favorite pictures of them.  

Although they will have to make up their snow days, the kids had a great time.  Zarriah is helping her dad clean off the car here.  I think more snow ended up on her than on the ground, but they had a great time.  

I live about 5 hours west of my grandchildren, and we got bombarded with snow almost weekly in my area.  I’m thankful that we only received inches rather than feet, but I am so ready for spring. Hopefully, this is the last snow of the season.  How do you spend your snow days?

Kid’s Breakfast Ideas: Animal Pancakes

kids breakfast ideas

When I saw these adorable pancake molds, I couldn’t resist.  When Xavier and Zarriah are visiting, they wake up every morning looking forward to helping Mama make their favorite pancakes and waffles.  I’ve stocked up on pancake molds.  My stash includes:  barnyard animals and dinosaurs.  They love eating this fun shaped pancakes and I can count on a Happy Plate. What is a Happy Plate?  One that makes Mawmaw happy, and ensures the kids eat a healthy meal. 


Xavier enjoys helping me mix the batter and watching me pour it into the molds.   I must admit, I enjoy eating a fun shaped pancakes too.  These adorable shapes make breakfast exciting for the kids.  Who doesn’t want to devour a rooster, pig or dinosaur for breakfast.  I need to find a few girly molds for Zarriah.  Let the search begin.  

I found the molds on e-bay.  They’re easy to use as long as you spray the molds well with PAM as well as the griddle.  I allow the molds to heat up before I pour the batter into them.  This ensures they lift from the griddle easily I’ve found that a batter bottle or ketchup/mustard bottle works well in controlling the batter when pouring it into the molds.  I found mine at Bed, Bath and Beyond for $2.00.  

fun foods for kids

Make sure your kids enjoy breakfast with fun pancakes.  Add a few fresh strawberries or apple slices with the pancakes, and you’re guaranteed a happy plate too.   Bon Appetit’!

10 Benefits of Preschool

benefits of preschool



Did you place your child in preschool or do you plan to?  Have you thought about the benefits?  I believe in early childhood education, and as a result Xavier went to preschool for 3 years before he started kindergarten.  It was money well spent, he learned skills that I believe are important for creating a strong foundation for entering kindergarten and beyond.



What he learned:  


  1. Social skills
  2. Field trips with classmates on a school bus
  3. Group participation
  4. Learning to do homework
  5. Making friends outside of family
  6. Playing well with others
  7. Daily naps without a fight or protest 
  8. Eating meals in a cafeteria style setting  
  9. Enhanced athletic skills
  10. Following directions from teachers

He’s 2 in the picture above; he’s 5 in the picture below.  How time flies.  Last year we sent him to the local recreational center for the summer so we could focus on his athletic skills.  He enjoyed his summer.  He took swimming lessons, learned basic football and basketball skills, and made new friends.

preschool activities

Research has shown that early childhood development is essential for our children.  It builds a strong foundation for success in later years and I believe it.  We have seen a payoff for both preschool and time spent at the recreational center for Xavier.  He’s reading, doing times table, writing sentences and excelling in sports.  He received an award for outstanding performance in football, and his team has made it to the championship in basketball this year.  Go Tarheels!  


early childhood development



Xavier benefited so much from preschool, we put Zarriah in as well.  She’s 2 here and loves school so much she looks forward to going every day.  Sometimes she goes on the week-end, lol.  She said her friends are there and she loves her teacher, Miss Sheila.  Look at this face, it’s 8:00 am in the morning.  She’s heading out to enjoy the day at school.  She knows her ABC’s, she can count to 10 and is learning to play well with others.  She understands Time Out and loves to read.  She has learned basic manners, excuse me, thank you and please.  When she’s ready for a nap, she says “Gaga I’m ready for bed.”  Amazing.  


We love the fact that she too will have already grasped going to school and doing homework.  She will understand the group setting concept when she enters kindergarten and her social skills will be developed.  I believe in investing in children, and there are just some things you can’t teach your at home.  Your thoughts on Preschool?

When Mom’s the Bread Winner

single mothers, single parenting, money management

Are you the bread winner in your family and feeling guilty because you’re not a stay at home mom?  If you’re a single mother, your chances of being a stay at home mom are slim unless you hit the jackpot with child support payments.  I felt guilty leaving my daughter when I headed to work., but someone had to bring income into the home so bills can be paid.   

Unfortunately, being a single mother is not easy. However, you must get over your guilt if you’re feeling any.  I missed my daughter’s first step and her first time being successful using the potty because I was working. I finally had to make peace with my situation and accept the fact that I had to provide for us.  After all,  the child support I was receiving barely paid for her child care let alone pay the other bills.  

I wondered how me working outside the home would affect her. I wondered if she would grow up thinking that moms who stayed at home or who had husbands who provided was abnormal.  I wondered if not having her dad in the home as a role model would affect her.  So many things went through my mind.  When I growing up my mother took care of the home while my father worked. You know the traditional woman versus man duties.  Mom cooks, cleans, does laundry and dad works, mows the lawn, fixes the pipes.    

I soon realized that times had changed.  The work force was full of women who had husbands and children, and still managed to run their homes.  The work force was also full of divorced or single mothers who also ran their homes, had children in school who were doing well and some had gone on to become lawyers, doctors and whatever else they choose.  I realized that the household that I grew up in was no longer the norm in society.  Women had moved up and on.  They had become multitasking moms and no longer fell into that traditional stay at home role.  

I also decided that I would never be my mother!  I love her for everything she did when I was growing up, I learned a lot.  She thought my sister and I going into the work force and becoming non-traditional mothers was strange.  Now she sees that it’s the new normal.  

As my daughter got older, we had several discussions about her father and me having to work to provide. She soon realized that she too was better off without him in her life, and stands by her decision to this day. He’s now on the outside looking in, and wishing he had a relationship with her and his grandchildren.  She understood that I wasn’t the only single mother in the world.  She had friends who had single mothers too. I continued to provide and she continued to excel because she had all the love and the necessities that she needed without a father in the home.  Here are a few lessons that she learned:

  • A mother’s love is the strongest love on this earth
  • She had a strong mother who taught her to be a strong woman and mother
  • Welfare and other public assistance is not an option when you’re able to work
  • Always work to better yourself and don’t blame others for you decisions
  • We don’t live in a perfect world
  • Break circles when you need to  
  • There are children who have fathers in the home who are drunks, drug addicts or who just don’t contribute and live off their wife or girlfriend

If you’re the bread winner and sole provider for your child or children, you’re doing your job as a mother.  You will find that it gives you a sense of purpose, and they will respect you for everything you’ve done for them.  Single mothers raised these leaders and celebrities:    

  • Judge Greg Mathis
  • President Obama
  • President Clinton
  • Mary J Blige
  • Pierce Brosnan
  • Tom Cruise
  • Al Pacino
  • Barbara Streisand
  • Mariah Carey 
  • Halle Berry
Our children may not grow up to be presidents and celebrities, but we don’t have to feel guilty as single mothers and neither do our children.  Stand proud, stay strong and earn that bread!  
 

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.


  

Only Children Syndromes: Fact or Fiction

This is my beautiful daughter who grow up an only child.  When I was raising her, I heard many women say that they would never have one child because they wouldn’t want them growing up alone or only children are spoiled and misbehaved.   My daughter turned out just fine.  She had playmates, she listened and she followed rules.  Now I must admit, I spoiled her rotten and I enjoyed every second of it.  Yes, she had more
than most children because she was an only child, but that’s not my problem.  I told parents who were bold enough to make comments that maybe they should have stopped at one too.  


She find herself a target by other kids at school at times.  When we got to the bottom of the harassment, we found that the child or children where envious of  her clothes, other possessions, and accomplishments.  She was called Little Princess by some of her classmates and if you can believe it by some adults.  Those with siblings seemed to be the ones who were green with envy.  I’m not saying that all children who had siblings were a problem, but I am saying that the children she had issues with had siblings.   Funny, she was suppose to be the one who ended up with problems.   

During that time, I often wondered why people believed that only children would be unhappy, selfish, spoiled, lonely and maladjusted.  The Only Children that I knew did not fall into any of these categories.  I’ve also wondered how America explained the behavior of children who misbehaved and who had siblings.  Most importantly, when our children end up with drug and alcohol problems or behind bars, does it really matter that they were Only Children, the Baby, the Middle Child or the Older Brother or Sister?

I did some research on Only Children and I’m happy to say that this article in  Psychology Today discusses some issues that parents encounter raising only children, however, the majority of only children turn out to be happy, well-adjusted adults.  It has also been proven that children with siblings often have self-esteem problems because they grow up thinking their siblings were favored or they were neglected because mom and dad had to divide their time, attention and money.  Oh lets not forget the middle child syndrome and the arguments and hatred spewed between siblings.  Psychologist have found that it can take a lifetime to work out problems created because children grew up believing they were treated unfairly by their parents or siblings.  In some situations they don’t speak for years if ever again over childhood issues that were never resolved.  

My daughter has stated that there were times she wished she had a sibling, but for the most part she was content with her upbringing.  She had my undivided attention, everything she needed, and the majority of the time she got everything she wanted.  By the age of 21, she had traveled to places that most people won’t see in a their lifetime.  I had no behavior problems with her growing up.  She did not hit, spit or bit other children nor did she disrespect any adults.  She excelled in school and had plenty of cousins and friends to play with.  To this day, she’s very sociable and respectful.    

For mothers who only have 1 child, don’t allow the myths of the “Only Child Syndrome” make you feel guilty about your decision. Personally, I believe people should have as many children as they want and can afford.  None of us know how our children are going to turn out.  Whether we have 1 child or 10, we just do the best that we can raising them.  I survived motherhood one day at a time, and it is still my motto.  


Do you have 1 child?  Did you grow up an only child?  I would love to hear your take on this issue.  Please leave us a comment. 

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.