face the rear

The AAP updated their guidelines for car seats today. They now suggest that children rear face (look out the back of a car instead of the windshield) until they are 2 years old.

I posted a link to the Chicago Tribune article on Facebook last night. I was shocked at the immediate strong negative reactions. Why are so many moms against safety? People commented that their legs looked smushed and that their kid would have hated it.

Our parents didn't wear seat belts when they were kids. They survived. Is this evidence that seat belts don't work? Should we all demand that the government is crazy for recommending them?

Children's joints are different than adults'. How many times have you seen a kid sleeping in a way that looks completely awkward and uncomfortable? They like small spaces. Their legs will not be broken. (I've heard that there has never been a documented case of a child breaking a leg because they were rear facing. I can't find any proof of this right now though.) Besides, you can fix a broken leg. You can not fix a broken spine.

Just because you survived or your older children survived does not matter.
What should matter is if you were ever in a car accident rear facing keeps your child safer. 5 times safer. While you might be proving a point by switching your child forward facing at a year and 20 pounds, is that really a point worth making? Is the potential of that choice being responsible for killing your child worth it? No one is trying to control you or your child. They're trying to keep your baby safe. In a way that requires no extra money or effort.

Parenting is full of making your kids unhappy. Of not doing the "fun" thing. I think my mom told me when I was about 16 that it was her job to make me unhappy. Her job was to make me safe and unhappy.

Each parent has the right to make their own choice.
Just make it an informed choice.



In case you couldn't tell, we're really excited for spring weather to be here.
Even if it is just for a day.


embrace the camera: march 17

I love that Emily asks us to take a picture with our kids each week. Bear is quite the self centered little kid, and he loves having his picture taken. I love how he's all decked out in his St Patrick's Day gear. I made his shirt, and my mom sent him the green visor. Just Momma and Bear hanging out while Monkey takes his nap.


coming home

When Hubby and I chose to get married, we both knew he was in the military. We both knew that our life together would involve long absences and hard good byes. We were both willing participants in this adventure of being a military family.

Bear and Monkey never got that choice. They never had the option to say "yes it's worth it" or "no I don't think I'm up for the emotional roller coaster". We signed them up. Their life is just as rough as mine is. And, they have no idea about the reasons why Daddy disappears or any real concept of how long he'll be gone.

I worry sometimes about the things we put the boys through. I want someone else to take on that burden for a while. Can't it be someone else's turn for their Daddy to leave?

Lifetime has started a new TV show called Coming Home. You need to watch it. Please spend 15 minutes to see what life is like for these kids. I'm not asking you to send your Hubby away for months; I'm asking for 15 minutes to see what these military kids go through.


best thing

I teach Sunday School for third and fourth graders at our church. This Sunday's lesson was on Matthew 17 and the transfiguration. In the story, God says "This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 17:5 KJV).

The kids all made signs for the best thing they could hear God say about them. We talked about how God really feels that way about each one of us, and we all have the potential for those signs to be true.

We are the kindest people.
We always try our best.
We are good.
We are loved.

God's compliment was one of the best I've ever heard though. I want to be wanted and loved and make God happy.

What's the best thing anyone could every say about you?


2011: month 2

Two months have gone by since we all made big lists of how our 2011s were going to go. I thought it was time to check in to hold myself accountable and to see how everyone else is doing.

My goals were:
*Read 30 books. I've read 9 so far which makes me 30% of the way there. I'm really hoping to exceed my goal. I go in stages where I devour books and then nothing happens. Well honestly, Facebook and TV happen, but nothing productive happens. I'm glad I've stayed on track so far.

*Be serious with the budget. We went on our huge vacation in February. I've been cutting back and trying to only buy what we need (or really, really want). It's a slow lifestyle change, and that's the kind that's going to stick.

*52 dates. Fail. The only real date we've gone on was on vacation when we ate dinner by ourselves. We do have one scheduled for next Saturday. This is something that I really need to make an effort to improve.

*Be patient. Despite yesterday's huge failure, I feel like I'm making strides to be the mom I want to be. Finding me time and time for my faith have really helped me grow. There will be the screw ups, but that's also a time to show Bear and Monkey that Momma isn't perfect and how to handle the times when you need to say "I'm sorry."

How are you doing in 2011? You still have 10 months to make it happen.


in order to get the best view

sometimes you have to do a little work


Yesterday was a rough day. More honestly, 11 am until 11:15 was an excruciating 15 minutes. The kind of 15 minutes that can ruin an entire day.

Bear had gone to a friend's house to play while I had taken Monkey to his tumble class.

Monkey and I went in to get him. He refused to leave. Like no joke bones turned to jello, laying on the floor and screaming.

I tried to be patient with him. I finally got his shoes and coat on and grabbed Monkey. We've just stepped outside when Bear loses it again.

Screaming at me.
In the middle of the street.
In the pouring rain.

I can't just walk away. He's in the middle of the street.
I can't pick him up and carry him. I holding a squirmy Monkey and Bear is thrashing about.

A car starts coming down the street.

So I screamed at Bear. As loud and as harshly as I could.
I told him to get in the car. I told him to stop embarrassing me. I told him he was being hateful and I was done putting up with it.

I strapped them in their car seats and climbed in. And, then I cried. I made my 3 year old cry. I had lost control of him and myself. I was showing it was okay to scream and be hurtful when you're upset.

I had failed.

A few hugs, two apologies and a few hours later, we were back to normal. We're learning this 3 year old thing together. This is my first time parenting a 3 year old boy and it's his first time being one. We're going to have some mistakes along the way. We're going to have some hurt feelings. That's how it goes. It's my job to raise him up. I remind myself it's a process that takes years. God has chosen me to be his momma. And as long as we have love and forgiveness, we'll be just fine in the end.