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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Moment of the Week - 111: Rolling our Rs

Foreign languages are hard! Four-year-old Lilly blows raspberries while trying to roll her Rs. Hahaha, it's pretty funny, especially her face!



video




 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Preschool Pointers - 7: If You've Got Help, Use It

Problem: Your kids are taking a long, long, long, long, long time doing, well, anything. I know that my kids can make eating take two hours (and not in that enjoyable dinner party way). They can take 15 minutes to settle themselves in the car. Getting dressed or undressed takes another thirty minutes, and if it's time for bed, forget it. With the "last times" of playing alllllll the games, the sudden bursts of energy that have them running around, the gleeful hiding and giggling, not to mention the actual stuff that needs to get done, like going to the bathroom, washing up and brushing of teeth, bedtime can take more than an hour around here. It's frustrating, especially when it's 10 p.m. or later. (We go to bed late in this house.)

Solution: If you've got someone around who can help, use them! We've noticed that when my husband comes downstairs for the bedroom routine to distract the twin that isn't doing the bathroom stuff, things move along a lot more quickly and a lot more nicely. He plays with one child while I help the other one finish up, and the one doing the actual work wants to go play with daddy, so she makes it quick (read, not 45 minutes, arguing with me over whether or not she brushed her teeth...when I was standing right there. Oh, kids.) Then when they're both done, they play one quick game with him and I can say, "Hey, if you want one more game, get dressed for bed quickly." and they do. And he helps by making it a race.

Sometimes even when you have a partner, you get used to doing certain things on your own and it leads to some very slow transition time. Try double-teaming those things! Especially if you have twins.





 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Swat Heard Round the World Wasn't Heard in Texas, Apparently

So, hey. What the hell is wrong with Texas?  Not only are men spanking teenage girls, but their mothers are sorry that they complained.

Oh.

They didn't mean to embarrass their children or their school officials by "the swat heard round the world."

And they're not totally embarrassing themselves right now, am I right?

I mean, not to be a pearl clutcher, but in the parenting groups I frequent "swats on the bum" is a phrase used to distinguish discipline from abuse. From parents. Why is it okay for strangers to strike people? Ever? An adult man shouldn't hit another adult man in a bar or on the street or in his home or anywhere, and an adult man shouldn't hit an adult woman ever, and an adult woman shouldn't hit a woman or a man or a child. No one should be hitting other people.

We are not in the stone ages. We can use our words. And when words are used on us, we can consider our actions and make changes for our future.

Do school officials really need the leeway to smack their students around? I don't care if they're 15-year-old girls who are on the honor roll, or 17-year-old boys wreaking havoc. You don't hit kids.

And lest you think it's just Texas, think again.

Only thirty one states have banned corporal punishment. Florida is not one of them.

Maybe it's just me, but you think we could take another look at these policies?

I was shocked to learn that Connecticut, where I went to school, only banned physical punishment in school systems in 1989.

I had always been under the false assumption that these barbaric tools weren't being used in the United States, and hadn't been used in ages.

Wrong.

"Many states in US have banned its use in schools. It is banned in 31 states and the District of Columbia. However, in some states, school children misbehaving can be disciplined using this punishment that does not involve 'holding a student or struggling with a student'.

Some states in the U.S. have banned it by law and some by regulation. It has been found that in 2006-2007 school year, 223,190 school children in the U.S. were subjected to physical punishment. This shows an 18% drop since the early 1980s. This trend has been steadily dropping in many states.

However, there are many states which have educators and parents, still using it as the only resort of punishment."

See a table of states and stats here.  Don't get excited. It's down at the bottom. Scroll.

Anyway, here I'd been shocked and dismayed at my husband's tales of canings in South Africa (okay, so I'm still shocked and dismayed), thinking that the U.S. was totally above that.

Guess not. And the worst of it is, people don't want to change it. People are embarrassed, not for the act itself, but for drawing negative attention to it.

Well, excuse me, Texas. I'll just go back to my own business now.

Except that a child getting "swatted" or hit or spanked, choice or no, by any type of official in any public building where she is supposed to be receiving education isn't really a private matter, in my opinion.

So, sorry you're embarrassed.

But not really.

Stop hitting students. Everyone.



 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Guest Post - Specific Tips for Putting Twins to Bed

Today I'm lucky enough to have a guest post from Agnes Jimenez about bedtime...something that can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour for us, depending on the day and mood.

____


All children have different preferences when it comes to bedtime. Some like a nightlight; others may
want a glass of water, while some will fight tooth and nail to stay up. Having twins can make this even
more difficult. If you are having problems getting your kids to sleep, there are some very specific things you can do to solve the issue.

Consistency is a huge part of having a successful nighttime routine. Give both kids a five minute warning before bedtime. This will give them a chance to mentally transition and to finish up whatever they are doing. Pick a time for bed and stick to it. Vary this time by no more than an hour on the weekends. Letting children stay up late on Friday and Saturday nights will cause them to basically have jet lag on Monday morning. If getting kids to sleep on the weekends is tough, plan fun things they love to do on Saturday or Sunday morning. This will give them motivation to get up in the morning, which will help them transition to sleeping at night.

Make your evening relaxing and predictable by filling it with calming activities. Read stories, sing songs, or have cuddle time. Make sure both twins have an activity that they like. If one wants a story and the other wants to sing, make sure both have what they need. Try to make it predictable by turning it into a routine. For example, maybe the children have a bath, then get a story, and then cuddle with you before bedtime. You can change a regular bath into a bubble bath, choose a different story, and have them cuddle with daddy instead of you. But keep the main activities the same.

Take care of their physical needs ahead of time. Provide bathroom reminders, make sure they have on
comfortable pajamas, be sure each child has their favorite toy, and adjust the temperature of the room
ahead of time. Be sure they are comfortable with nice sheets and the best mattress. If there are other
preferences like a nightlight or glass of water, make those available as well. Most importantly, leave
before they are asleep and allow them to settle in themselves. It is important that children learn how to
relax on their own.

It is possible to put twins to bed! Be positive and try to make the evening relaxing and calm. Stick to a
predictable routine that varies as little as possible. You can enjoy a nice night with your twins.










 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ten Things You Should Know About Editors

Wrote about the inner workings of the book business over on the writing blog today...


I'm an editor first and a writer second. Having spent the better part of three years editing manuscripts has made me a better writer for my genre. Not because I'm smarter or better prepared word for word, but because I understand the role of the person on the other end of my manuscript. I know, without a doubt, that what I thought I wrote is probably not what I actually wrote. Therefore, if I'm going to argue with my editor, I'm going to be damn sure I'm right.

I thought authors and writers might benefit from knowing a bit about the red pen on the other end of the internet.

Ten Things You Should Know About Editors:

10) They get paid nothing. Seriously. A full-time editor for a smallish shop couldn't afford a Starbucks habit with what she makes per manuscript. They don't do this for the money. They do it for you. You're the one getting paid for your good work. They're trying to make you more money while getting very little themselves.

READ MORE:






 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Girl Child? Rock It!

I am amazed to announce that yet again, I disagree with something published in Jezebel. What is this, twice in one week? Unheard of.

Still, I didn't really like the tone of the excerpt of "Woman Child" as presented in the magazine.

Before we go on, here are some images that show what we're talking about.

Zooey Deschanel
Katy Perry

Nicki Minaj







These are just a few of the celebrities mentioned in the piece about brightly colored nails, fluorescent hair extensions, and adolescent fashion. They're marked as a trend in women to keep the younger years alive. The author blames the fandoms, sweets and neon colors on the bad economy and a wish to remain childlike...as a crutch.

But what if women simply like these things?

I just hate the tone here when Deborah Schoeneman says:

"I blame the recession in part for the obsession with overextended adolescence. In the past few years, recent college graduates have been moving back home with their parents in record numbers, heading right back into their childhood bedrooms. They can't get the jobs they want to kick off grown-up careers, so they waitress, nanny or tutor for longer than expected. Instead of moping around about not having any cash to go shopping for a real Cartier love bracelet, or someone to buy it for them, they can just slip on a stack of rubber bracelets from high school, still sitting in a drawer."

Either show me some research, some science, some numbers, or get the hell out. Maybe they just like it and maybe women aren't as scared to be who they are in the current society.

Did you ever think about that?

"And it's not just young women who move back home. Women with big jobs are also more panicked about holding on to them in the current economic climate, prioritizing their careers over becoming wives and mothers. Wearing a dress with a pink bow is a lot more fun than worrying about a pink slip."

When my mother was wearing the padded power Talbot suits from the 1980s, she was doing what she had to do to be taken seriously in the corporate world. And today, yes, an armful of plastic bracelets may not scream CEO, but it doesn't not scream it either. While we still have a very long way to go, I'd say the world is becoming a lot more accepting of personal choice and style. And that's a good thing.

But let's go back to the less serious implications of the article. Women are waiting to get married and have children. This article seems to be coming from a place of condescension to them. At the end, the author smugly notes:

"It certainly seems to me — writing this from the safe distance of imminent motherhood — that it's never been easier, more fun or more acceptable to remain locked in the warm, comfy embrace of childhood. It sure beats figuring out how to afford a nanny."

Well, I've got one on you, Schoeneman...actually, I've got two. I've got two four year olds. And from my safe distance of already being a mother, wearing "adult" clothing, and having done everything on the timetable acceptable to you, personally, I would like to suggest you please to be shutting your hole.

You sound ridiculous. And offensive.

How dare you tell women who have not yet settled into the family life or maybe don't ever want to, that what they are doing is hanging on to the comfy, cozy embrace of childhood?

And is "finding a nanny" really so much harder than fighting for your very identity against blowhards like you? I think not.

If anyone needs to grow up before becoming a mother, I'd say it is, indeed, you. You've got the mommy wars coming right up, so I suggest you either become comfortable enough with your role that you don't have to lash out at those different from you, or you stockpile your weapons and start picking on someone your own size, so to speak (by which I mean someone in your own life phase.)

As for me, I have dozens of unmarried friends who post their boozy vacation photos on Facebook, and I'm begging them, keep it up! I need it. I need to see it. I love it. I love it as much as I love the wedding photos and family photos.

That's the FB deal, right? I throw up a bunch of twin baby pics for my friends to gawk over and wish they had a family (or not), and them to throw up a bunch of travel pics for me to gawk over and wish I were single (or not.)

And, you know what else? I know dozens of parents (hold on to your pearls here) who like and wear sparkly nail polish, neon hair extensions, and hot pink shoes. I know parents who flap around over My Little Pony and squee about anime or Hello Kitty.

Because they like them. Shocker.

All I know is that if Schoeneman were so sure about her stance on the woman-child, she wouldn't have to shout about it so loudly.

Why don't we just let people live? One of my good friends is a self-proclaimed woman-child, and she also wrote about this...from the point of view of a person perfectly capable of looking after herself. Check it out.

You want to be a girl child? Rock it, I say.


 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Recipe Monday - Delicious Onion Pork Chops

These come out great every time.






Ingredients

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 (4 ounce) pork loin chops, 1/2 inch thick
3 teaspoons seasoning salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 onion, cut into strips
1 cup water

Directions

Rub chops with 2 teaspoons seasoning salt and 1 teaspoon pepper, or to taste.
In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Brown pork chops on each side. Add the onions and water to the pan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Turn chops over, and add remaining salt and pepper. Cover, and cook until water evaporates and onions turn light to medium brown. Remove chops from pan, and serve with onions on top.

Caution: Watch that salt. Decrease if necessary.




 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Preschool Pointers - 5 - Re-Childproof your Childproof

Problem: Your kid broke something. Again.

Solution: Try to go easy, no matter how annoying it is. Things happen. Accidents happen. And really, it's at least half your fault. What was something breakable doing within arm's reach of your kids? For me, it was the soap dispenser, and looking back, I can't believe it lasted as long as it did.

Now, when I first fashioned the bathroom...my kids weren't using it. So, I didn't have to think about whether or not porcelain was an appropriate fit. And last year, when the girls started using the bathroom regularly, I never updated my thinking. All of the millions of times my kids used that soap, I never once thought porcelain soap container + toddlers + tile floor = disaster.

Oops.

So, go through your space periodically as your kids grow. They may now have access to things they didn't before. And those things might break. Re-Childproof your Childproof. Save yourself.







 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Let's Talk about Sex

If you know me at all, you know I bumble around a lot. Usually I emerge unscathed, but sometimes I do something completely embarrassing that forces me to take a look at myself and at all the feels I usually bury deep inside.

This is one of those times.

Not too long ago, my beautiful cousin, who is getting married to a wonderful man (well, I've not met him, but I trust her), posted this article on my Facebook feed.

Waiting Until the Wedding Night -- Getting Married the Right Way

Now, it's no secret that weddings are a teensy bit of a sore spot for me, what with my own being a ten-minute ceremony in the JP's apartment while the nurses in the maternity ward looked after our six-day-old premature twins. (In our defense, it was supposed to be a shotgun wedding proper. The girls just had other ideas.)

But, I'm a bigger person than someone who would hold someone else's wedding against them. No, I swear I am!

It wasn't that. It was the article itself.

I can't explain to you how overjoyed I am that my cousin is finally tying the knot with someone she loves and cherishes and that she has waited to give up her virginity until now. Because that's how she wanted to do it. That is what she believes in, and that is her right. I couldn't be prouder.

Apparently, though, people make fun of other people for not having sex. People look down on other people for not having sex. Having never had that issue myself (clears throat), I didn't know that.

But Mr. Steven Crowder let me know. And he let me know in a big way. And I felt bad for my cousin. I thought, "Jeez, who are these dicks who would try to cheat a person their happiness because they chose to do things a different way? That must suck. Can't we just stay out of each other's bedrooms at least."

Then I got to this line: "When people do marriage right, they don’t complain so much, and so their voices are silenced by the rabble of promiscuous charlatans, peddling their pathetic world view as “progressive.”"

I'm sorry...what?

Crowder goes on to call me a floozy, a harlot, and in another piece the "comedian" has written, a concubine.

And I'm here with my jaw on the floor, thinking, man, Steven Crowder, I didn't even know who you were, but I was happy for you and your new wife. I mean, congratulations and all. I was just over here having my sexy times...could you not call me names, though?

And I stewed. And I thought about it. And I posted the article to some close friends to get their imput.

And I self-righteously decided that I was angry with the article because it prevented me from sharing in my cousin's happiness because I couldn't like a status attached to that tripe.

Yeah, right. Good try, self.

A friend of mine then sent me this article, by Jezebel.

In Case You Haven't Barfed Today, Here's the Stupidest Fox Article of All Time

God, I love Jezebel. I want to work for Jezebel. Seriously.

As far as the article is concerned, I was mildly disappointed, because I think they could have done a much  better job responding to the article by Fox point by point. The gif parade only pretty much proves Crowder's point. (Though I totally laughed at Harry Potter picture and at the last gif where the guy is calling himself a comedian.)

I posted it. I clicked share, and I posted it.

Here's where the bumbling and introspection comes in.

Later that night, after I'd gone to sleep, I received notice on my phone that my cousin's brother (also my cousin, but that would get confusing, no?) had posted something on my wall.

Guilt consumed me. Had I angered him? Hurt him? Insulted him in some way? Did he also think I was a harlot and a floozy? Oh God.

I ran down to my laptop as soon as I could and loaded up Facebook. I couldn't find the posting. I checked my junk email where I send my notifications. I couldn't find the notifications. I checked the little world icon up there. Nothing.

He deleted it, I thought. He posted something tearing me down, thought better of it because he's actually an awesome Catholic, and took it down.

Did I deserve it? I thought and mused. Yeah, kind of, I guess.

That was an asshole thing to post, knowing that my cousins firmly believe in marriage before sex. Did they think I was judging them? Because I wasn't. I do reserve judgement for Mr. Crowder. He is a douche. And he is a detriment to the Christian cause. Because articles like that do nothing but push people who were otherwise in quiet support or on the fence away. I know that I want nothing to do with a religion that calls all my friends names for their private dealings. But it's not the religion. It's that one person. (Okay, a bunch of people. But the ones on the other side are just as bad with the name calling.)

What was needed was an article that went like this: I waited to have sex until I got married and it was totally awesome! Here's why! Not, nyah nyah nah boo boo, you are a poo poo!

Just saying.

But anyway, back to me.

I was so overcome with shame, that I wrote my older cousin a personal message, explaining my actions, and asking for forgiveness. And that was hard.

What's harder is that I'm sure he looked at his inbox like, what the heck is wrong with Darlena?

Because he had sent me a request from SchoolFeed.

Guilt, people. I have it.

And does it matter to me that I didn't "do it the right way?" Not at all. Not in the slightest. I couldn't care less because my family is strong and right and good and I love both my daughters and my husband with a fervor I have never known before.

But I found out that it mattered to me that other people might severely judge me for the way my life unfolded. People close to me. Like my extended family.

And that's a good thing to know. Because now I can work on two things. 1) I can work on having that not matter to me. Because it shouldn't. And 2) I can give those close to me the chance to not be judgmental a-holes. It is absolutely unfair of me to assume that because a person did things a certain way in their life, that they would expect me to do the same and judge me for it. I can at least give them the benefit of the doubt.

I can at least be better than Steven Crowder.




 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Daring Greatly, Brene Brown - Book Review

Daring Greatly. Do you dare greatly? Do you dare at all? This book by Brene Brown encourages us to take action in our own lives by first understanding ourselves and our motivations. It's a look inward to affect outward action, and it's important work.



This book came at a great time for me. Brene is a shame and vulnerability researcher. Scary business. Something I'd like nothing better than to scoff at.

But I can't.

Because she makes sense. And I like her. I'm not going to blather on about her book. I'm going to let her speak for herself. If any of this strikes a cord, I suggest grabbing her book. It's really been a great read for me.

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly..."  --Teddy Roosevelt

"When I look at narcissism through the vulnerability lens, I see the shame-based fear of being ordinary."

"We're afraid that our truth isn't enough--that what we have to offer isn't enough without the bells and whistles, without editing, and impressing."

"Vulnerability is about sharing our feelings and our experiences with people who have earned the right to hear them."

"You know that you are far more than a painting, an innovative idea, an effective pitch, a good sermon, or a high Amazon.com ranking. Yes, it will be disappointing and difficult if your friends or colleagues don't share your enthusiasm, or if things don't go well, but this effort is about what you do, not who you are."

"We are hard on others because we are hard on ourselves."

"We are a culture of people who have bought into the idea that if we stay busy enough, the truth of our lives will not catch up with us."

"Much of the beauty of light owes its existence to the dark."

"Using vulnerability is not the same as being vulnerable. It is the opposite."

"Cruelty is cheap, easy, and chickenshit."

"Don't try to win over the haters; you are not a jackass whisperer."

"Fitting in is one of the greatest barriers to belonging."

"Hope is a combination of setting goals, having the tenacity and perseverance to pursue them, and believing in our own abilities. Hope is plan B."

"Sometimes the bravest and most important thing you can do is just show up."

"Daring greatly is not about winning or losing. It's about courage."


Reading this book really helped me put a lot of my own life into perspective, and not just my present and future in terms of parenting, but also my past in terms of who I am as a person and why I've gone the path I've chosen. I wholly recommend it. Want to hear more? Take part in the discussion over at BlogHer.
____

This review is paid for by BlogHer, but it is my own opinion expressed, good or bad.





 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Oh, Hey! There's a Person Under Here!

Preschool has been a shiny wonder of amazement in many ways. I'm only going to concentrate on one, and while it is connected to that incredible three-hour stretch of "free" time (ie: time I get to clean the house and work on my projects), it is not wholly that. I mean, having those three childless hours is a given euphoria.

No, what has surprised me the most about my gap of child-filled minutes is...me.

I'm here.

And you wouldn't think this would be a big deal to someone like me. Someone who continually screams to the universe about how important they are and how much they matter.

But it is.

Because I forgot. Even while telling everyone that I didn't forget. I forgot.

I forgot how to interact with people without deferring to my kids. I forgot how to look someone in the eye when they talk because I'm usually making sure no one is running into traffic. I forgot how to listen to all the words the other person is saying because I'm expecting an arm tug and an "excuse me, mama."

Moms wonder about why they have trouble making friends after they have kids, and while I'm sure it's all the other things we all say it is, maybe it's also because we can no longer make meaningful conversation with anyone in real time.

The other day at Starbucks, a woman said to me randomly, "How are you today? Nice day, isn't it?"

It took me a minute to respond. When was the last time someone in public said that to me? Probably four years and three months ago, to be honest. Because when you have kids, the conversation starters are: "Are they twins?" (in my case). "How old are they?" "They're so cute!" "What are they're names?"

The kids become mini us-delegates. And not that I mind being represented by a couple of four year olds, but now that I get to represent myself for a few hours a day, I realize, actually, I kind of do. Because they don't paint an accurate picture of me. And the frustration I feel due to that incomplete glance that someone else gets into my life prohibits me from trying to show them more. Because why bother? It will only end in "excuse me, mama" or worse, tears.

I forgot what being in public was like, when people are looking at you, and not your kids. In a way, having the kids as a buffer is great. No one sees you (mostly), so you don't have to act (if you're the acting sort). They only see your kids.

And there's no resentment there. I didn't even know it had happened until it stopped. It just is. Anytime I have gone out in the last four years, I have not existed. I mean, I was there, and I spoke, and I listened and I nodded, and they nodded. But I wasn't there.

The kids overshadowed me completely. I didn't mind, as I keep saying. It's quite odd now, to not have their little shadows to cling to. It had been kind of nice to deflect any attention we might get onto them. Because while people might judge adults, mostly the kids (if they're being good), garner only oohs and ahhs. I can live with that.

I have to add, getting out once every few weeks for an hour by myself didn't count. I still wasn't me. I may have been by myself, but my mind was on the kids. Missing them, wondering what they were doing, if they needed me, etc. I didn't see anyone else. If I was spoken to, it was just as if the kids were there because they were taking up space in my mind. The space they would have been taking up had they been physically present.

It's so amazing to think that I used to just walk around as a person all the time. As a me. Just, la la la, here I am, with no one to deflect attention onto, just doing my thing, like a me does. La la.

I'm happy to get a little bit of that back.

And you know what?

I'm equally happy not to have to do it all the time.

I'm getting to a good balance of mom and me, and four is a wonderful age.




 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Guest Post - Recipes for Busy Parents

Today I'm lucky enough to have a guest post from Nancy, helping in the kitchen, which after last week, you all know I truly need. Hope these recipes strike your fancy!


Life is going so fast these days the last thing most of us want to do is stay in the kitchen all night creating meals. Most of us save the cooking all day for Thanksgiving or Christmas holidays. I’ve been trying to find recipes for my family that they will enjoy but that don’t keep me chained to the kitchen. I’m going to share some of the recipes I’ve found with you. We need to stick together in this parenting business so that we can find more time to spend relaxing with our families.

  1. Chicken Enchiladas with Green Chili Sour Cream Sauce (http://joyful-mommas-kitchen.blogspot.com/2011/09/white-chicken-enchiladas.html) – It sounds complex from the title but it’s really very easy. For those of you who are concerned about the green chili’s the woman who posted this recipe assures us that there is no concern needed as they are not hot and both of her children like them. It’s a very simple recipe using soft taco shells and chicken topped with a creamy sauce. It sounds delicious and like something my family will love. If your family enjoys enchiladas then you’ve found an easy recipe in this one.

  1. Chicken Enchilada Puffs (http://tidymom.net/2011/chicken-enchilada-puffs-recipe/) – Here’s another kind of enchilada dish. Not your traditional enchiladas but sounds like a fun recipe. Its crescent rolls filled with chicken, cream cheese, Mexican blend cheese, taco seasonings, and enchilada sauce. They are baked with a little more cheese on top. For those of us who love crescent rolls I think this one is worth a try. It seems like everything tastes better with crescent rolls.

  1. Moist Cheddar-Garlic Oven Fried Chicken Breast (http://www.food.com/recipe/kittencals-moist-cheddar-garlic-oven-fried-chicken-breast-82102) – This is one of my personal favorites. Unless you are one of the rare people that don’t like cheese or garlic this recipe is a must try. I’ve made this one a couple of times already. I’m not a big chicken breast fan because they seem to always come out dry… it could be my cooking, but we won’t go there. This one has cheddar and parmesan cheese, with bread crumbs, and dipped in garlic butter. Then you bake it. Only one word to describe – YUM. Add some mashed potatoes and a veggie on the side and you are good to go.

  1. Jen’s Incredible Baked Meatballs (http://cookwithhoney.blogspot.ca/2012/04/jens-incredible-baked-meatballs.html) – I know at my house spaghetti is always welcome. Most kids I know love it and meatballs are such a treat. These meatballs are baked, not fried. Sort of like mini meatloaf. Full of flavor from the addition of parmesan, garlic, onion, bread crumbs, and spices these won’t fail to please the meat eaters in the family. We have to watch my son so that we all get some meatballs; he’s been known to eat several before they hit the table.

  1. Hamburger Steak with Creamy Onion Gravy (http://www.deepsouthdish.com/2009/02/hamburger-steak-with-creamy-onion-gravy.html) – The name pretty much says it all. Make patties out of ground chuck or whatever grade of meat you like, coat in a little flour and then brown them, sauté some onion, thicken it into gravy and simmer your patties for a little while. Served with rice or mashed potatoes and mmm, a nice comfort meal. It’s quick and tasty.

  1. Parmesan Chicken Bake (http://www.mykitchenescapades.com/2012/07/parmesan-chicken-bake.html) – This one is fast and easy. Six chicken breasts covered with either light mayo or Greek yogurt and fresh parmesan cheese, add to this a little garlic, salt, and pepper and pop it into the oven to bake. The recipe cautions to make sure you cover all exposed chicken with the sauce to keep it from drying out. The blog that this recipe came from said that it’s even good the next day. Many times I’ve used the frozen chicken breasts for dishes like these. They are good to have on hand, just defrost and you are ready to throw this meal together.

  1. Million Dollar Spaghetti  (http://ashleykaitlin.blogspot.com/2011/01/million-dollar-spaghetti.html) – This is super easy and is along the same lines as very easy lasagna. Cook your hamburger and add the spaghetti sauce while cooking your pasta. Mix together your cream cheese, sour cream, and cottage cheese. I have made this recipe and it calls for an entire stick of butter which I did not use. I did coat the bottom of my baking dish with butter. I was glad I did not use it as it is already very rich and it would end up swimming in butter. You layer the spaghetti, meat sauce, and then the cheese mixture, then the spaghetti and meat sauce again. Top it with sharp cheddar or the cheese of your choosing and bake. It really is very tasty.

  1. Hawaiian Baked Ham and Swiss Sandwiches (http://www.navywifecook.com/2011/11/hawaiian-baked-ham-and-swiss-sandwiches.html) – When I saw a picture of these I knew I had to make them. If you’ve never had King’s Hawaiian Rolls then you don’t know what you’re missing. One of these heated with butter…*sigh*. Anyway… these just look delicious. From time to time it’s nice to have something out of the ordinary for a meal. These are ham and Swiss sandwiches on special rolls with what sounds like a wonderful sauce. A sauce consisting of butter, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, onion, and poppy seeds. It says to put some on bottom of baking dish before you put in the rolls and then pour over the top and bake. If this doesn’t sound good to you I think you need to go to the blog and look at the picture. That may just convince you, it did me!

  1. Broccoli, Grape, and Pasta Salad (http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/broccoli-grape-pasta-salad-50400000115388/) – I thought I’d offer up a nice pasta, veggie, and fruity salad for you as well. This one is just too good to pass up. It does have pecans so if you have any nut allergies at home you may want to leave them out or pass this one by. It has red grapes, red onion, and bow tie pastas; it’s a very pretty salad. A nice sweet/tart dressing tops it off. There are many broccoli salads out there on Pinterest, I think what drew me to this one was the pecans. (Or it could have been the picture; I’m a very visual person, especially when it comes to food!)

  1. Bacon Egg Breakfast Casserole (http://www.grouprecipes.com/1462/bacon-egg-breakfast-casserole.html) – Here’s a breakfast idea for you, something you can make the night before and toss into the oven in the morning. It starts with sliced bread on the bottom then it’s covered with pound of two different cheeses and a pound of bacon! Sound good so far? It’s not for the faint of heart. Then you mix together your eggs, milk, salt, and pepper and pour it over the top. It says you can freeze it or put it in the fridge over night. It bakes for 45 to 50 minutes. This would be nice to have when you have guests and don’t feel like flipping pancakes or scrambling eggs the next morning. I’m a terrible breakfast cooker… everyone’s starving and everything has to be done at the same time. Is anyone else like me? By the time I sit down everyone else is done. This sounds much better to me!

  1. Delicious Raspberry Oatmeal Cookie Bars (http://allrecipes.com/recipe/delicious-raspberry-oatmeal-cookie-bars/detail.aspx) – I wanted to share a couple of quick dessert recipes that looked good since this is my favorite part of the meal. These sound almost healthy with the oatmeal and the raspberry filling. All there is to it is brown sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, oats, and butter mixed to make the crust and topping. Press two cups ofthis mixture down on the bottom of the baking dish, spread with seedless raspberry jam, and top with the remaining crumb mixture. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes and let it cool before slicing it into bars.

  1. Cherry Cheese Delight (http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Cherry-Cheese-Delight#.UBBtGL-pLNY.pinterest) – I love cheese cake and cherries and this recipe looks like a close cousin. The crust has pecans in it which makes it a selling point for me. You need to bake the crust for 20 minutes and then you just mix up the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and whipped topping and pour on top of cooled crust. Add two cans of cherry pie filling on top and refrigerate for two hours. It’s very simple to put together and if you put it together before your evening meal it will be ready for dessert and coffee time later.


I hope some of these recipes will work well for you and be a good fit for your family. It’s always nice to have a simple yet delicious dinner or dessert idea on hand.

Author Bio
Nancy Parker was a professional nanny and she loves to write about wide range of subjects like health, Parenting, Child Care, Babysitting, nanny, www.enannysource.com/ etc. You can reach her @ nancy.parker015 @ gmail.com




 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Recipe Monday - Best Crock Pot Pork

Photobucket
Seriously, my husband would eat this every day. Even though it looks...less than appetizing.


Ingredients:
• 5 to 6 pork chops (I used a roast this time. Usually I use the chops.)
• 1/4 c. brown sugar
• 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
• 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
• 1 can (8 ounces) can tomato sauce
• 1 large can (approx. 29 ounces) can cling peaches (halves), drained, syrup reserved
• 1/4 c. vinegar
• Salt and pepper

Preparation:
Brown chops lightly on both sides in a heavy skillet. (I never do this. I just put it all in the pot.) In a bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, cloves, tomato sauce, 1/4 cup syrup from peaches and vinegar; set aside. Season the browned pork chops and arrange in slow cooker. Arrange drained peach halves over the pork chops. Pour tomato mixture over all. Cover and cook pork chops on low for 7 to 9 hours.

Photobucket

I serve it over rice or mashed potatoes.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Preschool Pointers - 8: Praise

Problem: Your kids only behave some of the time, and you want to increase that to all of the time, but reprimanding them doesn't seem to do much good, or curb the blowouts, especially when they're already underway.

Solution: Take an active approach at all times, so that you're not only talking to them about expectations when they're not reaching them. When they do something good or responsible, at any time, praise them. Let them know that you expect that kind of behavior and how happy and proud you are that they are doing it. If you practice this type of praise, you'll notice you'll be talking to them a lot, several times an hour, about how wonderful they're doing. Many times the correct behaviors go by unnoticed, not only by the adults, but by the kids, and by the time you've straightened out bad behavior for the fifth time that day, you've forgotten the 20 good times. But the more a child hears how nice and well-behaved they are, the more they want to hear it. They start to believe that it's easy to be good, and that is what we want. If we spend most of our time correcting bad behavior without the corresponding praise, their self-image changes so that they feel it's just too hard to live up to expectations and they don't try. Everyone likes to be appreciated, adult or child.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Bikini Bottom

So, I think this is cute.


There, I said it.

I see absolutely nothing wrong with this child or her outfit.

She is four months old, and she's adorable. There's nothing sexy about her. She's a baby. Most babies wear even less than that in summer. Because her mom is a celebrity this is unacceptable? I think Toddlers in Tiaras and Dance Mom might have a word to say about that.

I mean, it's not like Jessica paraded the child around and did a mock strip tease. She's a baby who is wearing some clothes. End.

There is none of this:

"It is to be hoped that parents will understand that 'baby bikinis' are totally inappropriate, and that they contribute to the sexualization and commercialization of childhood. We should not be compromising the sanctity of our children’s early years."

Claude Knight, you may be out of your mind. Where do you get sexualization and commercialization of childhood from this photo? Why is any sanctity being compromised?

And if you see sex in that picture, I would guess the problem is with you.

"Celebrity choices carry great influence, as can be seen by the manner in which their accessories and behaviors are copied widely."

Oh God, oh God, not naked babies! Anything but almost naked babies! Oh wait.

"It is very disturbing to see a young baby presented to the world wearing a bikini."

Why, Charles? Why is it disturbing? Your comments have not answered that question for me. So far you have said because it makes the baby sexy (not true), it commercializes childhood (I'd argue that childhood is already commercialized and Jessica Simpson had nothing to do with it), and that other people might start imitating Jessica and dressing their own babies in bikinis (first, unlikely. Give the public some credit. And second, if that were to happen, I'm just not seeing the abject horror and disgust here. Who cares?)

So, please, give me some reasons I can hang onto as to why this baby in a bikini is the worst thing ever. Because your hand-wringing isn't doing it for me.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Body Combat RELEASED!

Body Combat



Body Combat has been released!

This blog post
gives the first section of the first chapter if you want to read it!

And this is where you can get it, if you want to, you know, support my bad writing habit.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Guest Post - Electronic Addiction

Today I have a guest post about protecting kids from electronic addiction. We don't yet have to ward against this problem, since the girls don't have access to any electronics yet. But I'm sure they will, and sooner rather than later.

 ___

Some people are not as fully aware of the problem as others. Some are adults fully immersed in an electronic addiction of their own, with iPods and smart phones. Many think that with society in the age of electronic media, it may be better to allow kids to acclimate to an electronic, internet driven society. Like most addictions, however, electronic addiction sneaks up on you. Symptoms are similar to any psychological addiction. They include lack of socialization, lack of a desire to take care of your own needs, and of course huge amounts of time in front of the video screen.

Society Has Changed and There is no Going Back

"I can't ask anyone for a phone number anymore and actually get it," says Bill of Sy's Plumbing. "No one remembers them anymore." That is just one telling sign of the times. Add that to the diminishing size of the yellow pages, the lost art of using a map book, and of course the rarity of seeing a phone booth. All signs of what we are losing to our mobile electronic society. Replaced by search engine mobile apps, push button GPS and, of course, your cell phone. These are all improvements and our society will be better for them. But along for the ride came all of the life consuming video games, Facebook, and You-tube programs that everyone has taken to, yet many are slow to see the full impact.

The Free Babysitter Comes With a Steeper Price Than Money

Hopefully, you are now a little concerned with the time kids spend in front of the TV and video games. You should also be worried about what they see and how they interact online with others. Today's game systems allow kids to get together online and play games together. Kids are often conversing with people from across the country, or the world, people that they will never really know or meet. On any given day, your child can be exposed to language you would never allow in your home from a regular person. Kids are learning that they can say almost anything without repercussion, whereas in person, there would be consequences.

Steps to Take to Get Your Kids Away From the Video Screen

For the most part, anything you do to limit your child's time in front of a screen is a good thing. Life is fun without electronics; so help yourself in your battle by finding fun replacement activities. Point out what your kids are deficient in by spending to much time in front of a screen. As a parent already knows, be patient.You are going to get resistance.


____
BIO: This article is written by a team of authors at HappyHealth.Net. Protect your families by investing in a home security system today.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Recipe Monday - Feta Shrimp

This is an easy and tasty dish!







  • 2 to 16 ounces peeled and deveined medium shrimp
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons dried crumbled oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups fresh spinach leaves, stems removed
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Preparation:

Place shrimp in a bowl. Combine lemon juice, oregano, salt, and pepper; pour over shrimp. Cover and refrigerate for 45 minutes (yeah right). Drain, reserving marinade. Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet. Add shrimp and saute for 2 minutes. Remove shrimp with slotted spoon; set aside. Pour reserved marinade into the pan then add the spinach. Cover and cook for 2 minutes. Return shrimp to pan and crumble feta over top; cover and cook 2 minutes longer, until shrimp is cooked through.

I served it mixed with pasta, obviously!



 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Preschool Pointers - 5: Cycle the Toys

Problem:

Over the past however many years you've acquired a metric ton of children's toys, more than half of which your kids don't even touch.

Solution:

Periodically go through these items and quietly discard / give away toys that are no longer age appropriate. During these times (usually nap or school time) put half of the stuff you have in storage. Don't say anything about it, just do it. If they ask for a specific toy, go get it for them, but you'll be amazed at how rarely that happens. Then, the next time you go through the stuff, switch the toys out. No fanfare. Just put some of the stored toys in with the toys that are out, and put some of the toys that are out in storage. It's like Christmas! Suddenly, toys your kids never would have deigned to play with are new again, and so, so cool. This gets maximum use out of all the objects in your home.



 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Getting Things Done - The Specifics

Everyone has their own system to get things done that work for them. Here are some things I've found that help me along.

1) Determine the goals of your to-do list. If you are the type of person who will only feel accomplished if you complete every task on the list, you will need fewer items or smaller items than I use per day. My list is not a black-and-white, must-get-this-done-now list. My list is made up of helpful suggestions and guidelines that get me through my day with variety and the illusion of choice.

2) Give yourself variety and choice. Like I've said, my list each day consists of 16 items. Eight are writing goals, eight are cleaning goals. So that if I just can't bring myself to write a chapter of a book I'm working on, I could instead do some laundry. If I don't want to do the laundry, I could write a blog. If I'm not feeling creative enough for a blog, I could clean the counters. Etc. As long as I'm doing something, it doesn't matter what it is. And I get to choose what feels like the lesser of all the evils at any given time.

3) Only focus on one thing at a time. While you are completing a task, do not fall into the trap of organizing the rest of your day, chore by chore. That's self-defeating. It will always seem like you have way more to do than you can possibly get done. Just get that one thing completed first. And when you've finished it, then you think about the next one thing.

4) Give yourself breaks and rewards. After every task, take a small break. Have a coffee, watch a show, take a shower, whatever you want or need. Give yourself ten minutes or a half hour to re-center yourself. You are you. You are not your to-do list. Toward the end of that time, decide which one thing you want to do next. Then attack it with new zeal.

5) Split big chores into smaller ones, then list them all. I have a variety of chore sizes in my list. For instance, cleaning the bathroom is cleaning the bathroom. I don't split that one up, and it's always a big job. However, I almost never clean the whole kitchen as one task. The counters are one task to be marked off. The floor another. The cabinets a third. Sure, it takes me two days to deep clean my kitchen, but I know if I left the whole task on my list without splitting it up, I'd never do it. It would sit on the list for weeks. But cleaning a stovetop or a microwave? Even I can handle that. And eventually, the whole kitchen gets clean.

6) Put things that you don't like doing on the list, but also put things that take up time on the list. Outings with my kids go on the list. Going to the gym goes on the list. Baking cookies goes on the list. I love doing all of these things. But they all take at least an hour, and sometimes three. Therefore, even though I like them, completing them accomplishes something, and deserves to be marked off.

By doing this, each of my days are different and each is productive in it's own unique way. It's the best way I've found to survive the humdrum that stay-at-home-momdom could be for me.





 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Getting Things Done - An Introduction

Let me paint a picture for you.

It's eight o'clock on a Monday night. My husband has just gotten home from work, my kids are bopping around being crazy. Everybody is hungry, it's time for dinner.

But I'm in the final round of an online writing competition and I can't tear myself away from the poll.

Dice onions, refresh page, cut up peppers, refresh page, start cooking sausages, talk to friends about the poll, oh shit! I'm burning the sausages! Flip them, refresh page.

All was going swimmingly (if too slowly for my hungry family's liking), when I came across a jar of olives that I could not open.

Conundrum. To go upstairs and have my husband open it for me would require at least two minutes away from the poll! I tried to go quick. Sprinting up the stairs with jar in hand, I twisted my ankle for the first time in ten years.

Ouch!

Also, I lost by two votes. And you know what? I would have lost by two votes whether or not I saw the updated poll every ten seconds or not.

On the flip side, dinner was freaking delicious.

Moral of the story is: Don't try to do too many things at once. You will hurt yourself.


This isn't just for physical injuries and it isn't just about superfluous things that don't really matter. It goes deeper than that. How many times do we do nothing because we have so much to do? If I think about everything I have to do in one day, I paralyze myself. It is too much.

If I think about the task I must complete after the task I'm currently undertaking, I lose steam. I get caught up in the to-do, and never appreciate what it is I'm getting done.

Relax. One thing at a time, two things max. More than that and you're courting disaster. Let go of the things that don't matter. Prioritize, but really think about your priorities. Try to see them from outside yourself. Sometimes our priorities are wrong, and we don't even know it. We give way too much importance to one thing, and not nearly enough to another. Learn from these mistakes.

Accept what you can get done and leave the rest for the next day. Then do the same thing tomorrow.

I give myself a list of 16 things to do every day. I've been doing this for two years. I have never gotten all 16 done. Not once. At first that was totally defeating. But getting everything done on the list isn't the point. Having somethign concrete that allows me to organize my day while still feeling like i have a choice is what the list is for.

I'll talk more about it tomorrow, when I actually talk about the mechanics of getting things done.






 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Guest Post - Raising Toddlers in Love

Today I have a guest post that draws attention to some simple parenting knowledge that sometimes gets overlooked.

_____

 I have raised two children that have passed the toddler stage, but I remember it well. I have several cousins
who are just now going through this stage with their children. I have been doing my best to dole out advice;
this is not from books or from my vast knowledge. This advice comes from trial and error, things that
worked and things I found out absolutely did not work. I want to share some of these with you because
I know how very difficult things can be when you have very young children. Hopefully I can pass on
something that will help.

I had two very different children, a girl who was as close to the perfect child as you can get, and a boy
who had to touch everything, demanded all your attention, and wouldn’t take no for an answer. I don’t
understand the reasons why; what makes one child so different from another when they are raised
identically? I suppose it’s because they are individuals…hmmm. We sometimes don’t think of our children
as individuals, we think they are an extension of ourselves.

I could tell my daughter that something was not to be touched and she would not touch it. If you told my
son it was hot and would burn him, he had to see, every time. I imagine it is a different learning style, one
is a verbal child and one is a hands-on kind of guy. The first thing you need to do is figure out what type
of child you have. Study them a little, see if they listen and learn, see and learn, or have to experience
something full blown. If you have the latter it’s a greater challenge but it can be done, I know.

There are several things to keep in mind when dealing with toddlers from about age eighteen months
until around about four or so. They are learning everything from scratch, everything is new and they are
picking up large amounts of information. Imagine yourself in a foreign country and you have a little over
two years to learn the culture, language, ideas, and concepts of that country, how would you do? A little
frustrating perhaps? You might find yourself throwing a tantrum or two. On top of that they are learning
independence, how to go out on their own. They need to learn this a little at a time as they grow up so they
can function as adults someday. We, as parents, need to help them to do this without letting them harm
themselves. Also during this time we need to teach them obedience, it starts with us. How can they obey
the law, respect their teachers, or work under a boss if we do not teach them at home?

They are undergoing so many changes, including major motor skills, intellectual skills, social skills, and
emotional changes. They are going through all this plus they are having difficulties getting around as
quickly as they’d like. They also lack the communication skills they need to get across their feelings.
I don’t know about you but I would be having a melt down too. We as parents need to keep all these
things in mind as we raise our little ones. Take all these aspects into consideration and love them through
it.The problem usually arises when we are trying to do something we want to do and they do not want to
cooperate. These may be the years when we have to give up a lot of what we would like to do. Unless of
course you have grandma and grandpa babysit or someone come in to sub for you.

There are a few ways that I have learned that will help during these years. One of which is to not give them
too many choices. It is a good idea to give them choices because they need to make decisions, just limit it
to two choices at first. I don’t have a food example to give you but I can give you another example of too
many choices that occurred when my daughter was two. And she was not easily shaken! It was her second
Christmas and we sat her down in the middle of the living room. We started placing her gifts around her so
that she could open them; there were probably eight or ten from different family members. Well, needless
to say she went absolutely berserk! We had to take all the gifts out of the area to another room and it wasn’t
long before she settled down. Way too many choices!! They cannot cope; the sweet little darlings go into
overload.

They also need limitations and schedules, they will thrive on structure. You need to give them boundaries,
for example, only allowing them to play with their toys in their bedrooms and perhaps the family room.
They don’t need to string them out all over the house. They should not be allowed to climb on the furniture
or the cabinets. My point is, just set rules and stick to them. Your child will enjoy his or her life a whole lot
more if they are not allowed to run amuck. They need the security this provides.

Keeping them on a schedule is very important. There are times that everyone has to deviate in life because
it is, after all, life. But there should be consistency in their lives. Naps are extremely important if you want
to help your child (and keep your sanity). I was reading an article that stated that they need a total of 13
hours sleep a day, consisting of a two hour nap and eleven hours of sleep per night. The naps need to be at
approximately the same time every day and bed times need to be set. If you have a child like my son this
will be a challenge. I had to sit beside him and rub and pat him to get his little body settled down.

I took some advice from another woman when my kids were small who explained to me the importance
of down time for you and the children. As your children get old enough to play on their own there should
be an hour a day of quiet play. If you have more than one child each child goes to their room (unless they
are too young of course) and spends an hour playing, no television or computers, just playing or reading
quietly. Her philosophy was that everyone needs to learn to entertain themselves and not have to be
entertained, it is important that they have this life skill. I thought it was a brilliant idea. My daughter loved
it because she was a reader, even at two she would sit and read the books I read to her over and over, she
had them memorized and “read” to herself. My son would not read but loved blocks and trucks and could
play with those for at least twenty minutes. I had to do a little more work with him, but it was worth it to
have quiet in the house not only at nap time but a sort of time out for everyone.

Do your best not just to say no to your children but to give them options on other things they can do. My
mother was the queen of distraction. If a child was determined to do something and it looked like a fit was
brewing she would offer another, better opportunity to them. At this age they can be easily distracted and
if it keeps tantrums at bay then I’m all for it! I remember my daughter at this age, she was the master of
distraction too. It worried me a little because I didn’t want her to become manipulative so I did keep it in
check. She was three and my nephew was two. He invariably wanted the toy she was playing with, so she
gave it to him. She then proceeded to pick up another toy and become “fascinated” with it which would
make him really want that toy and drop hers. Problem solved. If you can get them interested in something
else before the situation escalates it is always a better solution. Pick your battles before you go into battle
mode. Determine if it is something that they can understand, something that is important to their growth,
and make sure you are not so fatigued that it turns into something else. This is when it is time for “the quiet
hour”.

I hope some of this experience and information will help. I was very thankful to have a supportive family
around when my children were small. There are times when you just have to cry out for a little support
and a night out. Make it easy on yourself and the children and don’t put yourself in high stress situations.
You may have to stop eating out except at Micky D’s for awhile. You may have to pass the baton to your
husband while you go to the grocery store. It’s important to remember not to go to battle with your toddler
but to do everything in love for their good. Take a breath, step back and think about what is important.
Make a schedule and stick to it, stay structured for their good and yours. Don’t try to have too many social
engagements or outings for the children. They need the security of home. God bless you and your children
and have fun with your babies.

______

Author Bio:
Paul and his wife Julie both spend quite a bit of time coming up with ideas, blogging, and
researching all things related to childcare. They take care of all the necessary information related
to “babysittingjobs.com”. He personally thinks his blog will help finding information on all things related
to a babysitter.



 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

1, 2, 3...wtf?

Like a good parent, I am reading 1, 2, 3 Magic to try to get my kids under control introduce a new, helpful discipline into the household, and I've got a few bones to pick.

 It's working pretty well, all stated. I don't have to yell. The kids take their time outs well and come out just as the book says, calm and ready to move on.

The main point, for those that don't know, is that when your child is driving you nuts, you count them to get them to stop whatever it is. You say one, and if it doesn't stop or they start whining at you or doing something else equally or more annoying, you say two. At three, you take them to time out for four minutes (for us, since they're four.)

The book says after a few times of this, the kids will stop at one.

And...right there is where it loses me.

HAHAHAHA, I say to the book. You have obviously not met my twins.

The book says kids don't like time out, even if they say they do. If they had wanted to be in their rooms, it says, they would already be in there.

Makes sense on paper. I think I even nodded when I read that.

But it's not true. My kids like time out. I'm serious.

They will never stop at one or two (at least it seems that way.) They go straight on until three every time, so that the three count usually always comes within a few minutes of the one count. Then when they get it, they quieten and go to their rooms, laughing all the way. They chill in there quietly for four minutes, then come out.

No big deal, except for that I'm sick of taking them to their rooms.

Also, aren't punishments supposed to be deterrents?

I mean, sure, this gets the main job done, which is stop doing the annoying thing you are doing. But it certainly doesn't curb the behavior from the root. At least in my case.

In fact, I once had to deal with a tantrum about why one twin "got to go to time out" but the other didn't.

So, 1, 2, 3 Magic, I'm asking, what do you do in that situation?

Another mildly annoying problem is that they love this new punishment so much, they turn it into a game. "No, I'm bringing you to your room!" they'll say. Not in a mean or defiant way, either, in a laughing, this-is-so-much-fun way. I am a good book-follower and don't engage (the whole point is to take all the emotion out of discipline) but damn, seriously?

Or they'll count back, again, laughing and happy, which is addressed as another counting offense in the book, so they go to their room again.

In essence, I guess I would say it's working? I don't know. My kids are odd. What do you think?




 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Recipe Monday: Easy Cheesy Chicken

This is a super easy recipe that gets five stars around here.



Chicken Breasts
Salt
Pepper
Garlic
Parmesan Cheese
Parmesan Dressing

Put chicken in casserole dish and put all other ingredients on top of it. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.

That's it. Seriously.



 

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