Tag Archives: raising children

Wordless Wednesday: Bottles of Water

Bottle 1

Bottle of water on the island, half full!

Bottle of (hall-full) water intermixed with toys!

Bottle of (hall-full) water intermixed with toys!

Bottle of water under the couch!

Bottle of water under the couch!

The list and pics of  half utilized bottles of water lurking about our home can go on and on and on.
By the way, whenever I ask any of the three children, “Whose water is this?” I consistently get the answer, “Not mines!”
I have vowed, NOT to buy anymore bottles of water. Not only will water bottles NOT litter the apartment any longer, but I’ll also do my part in preserving mother earth!
Done deal!

Happy Wordless Wednesday!

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Our Children and the HPV Vaccine

Guarding Against HPV Is A Very Big Deal For Our Daughters And Our Sons!

image photo : Couple shadow

In June 2006, the FDA approved the first HPV vaccine for girls and women. The human papillomavirus, widely known as HPV is the virus that’s associated with causing cervical cancer. It most commonly affects the genital area of males and females, in the form of warts, but it can also affect the mouth and throat areas, as well.  HPV is passed through sexual intercourse and is therefore classified as a sexual transmitted infection (STI). HPV is the most common STI in the United States. According to the CDC, at least 50% of sexual active people will contract HPV at some time in their life. HPV transmission and contraction was teetering on becoming an epidemic! The CDC wanted to cut this borderline epidemic off at the source, which is why the FDA approved a vaccination against HPV for boys and men, in 2009.

Due to the alarming statistical rates of HPV contraction, many women’s groups immediately became advocates for the vaccinations. They began pressing hard for the series of vaccinations to become mandatory and they fought to have it added to the list of required vaccines for children.  These groups believed that by making the HPV vaccine mandatory, the cancer causing virus would become isolated, cervical cancer rates will decline, thus saving a lot of lives. According to the National Cervical Cancer Coalition, more than 13,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year, and 4,000 of those women will die as a result of the disease.

Need I say, I am a proponent of the HPV vaccine. I am also a proponent of completing the entire HPV vaccine process (it’s given in three parts). Studies are finding that more parents are having their children vaccinated for HPV, but they aren’t always completing the 3-part series. Completing the entire series of vaccines ensures full protection from the virus. Missing any part of the vaccine leaves the individual vulnerable to contracting the virus, which causes so many unnecessary cancers.

image photo : Vaccination

My soon-to-be 14-year-old daughter completed the entire series last Fall, while my son 15-year-old son is just on his first dose of the vaccine. When I learned that there was a vaccine entering the market, which would protect my daughters from developing cervical cancer, there was absolutely no doubt in my mind that they were getting it. Being armed with that type of protection is priceless in my mind! To know that none of my children will ever have to be concerned with contracting HPV, and neither of my daughters will ever have to worry about the threat of cervical cancer allows me to breathe a bit easier.

Be certain to give your children the gift of forever being HPV and/or cervical cancer FREE! Contact your pediatrician today before it’s too late!

 

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Porn and Your Child

This child has not been found guilty of any pornography watching. He has yet to reach the statistical age of 11. Whew! (wipes forehead)

Does anyone find it alarming that the average age at which a child, is thought to,  view pornography for the first time is age 11?  To me, it’s startling, alarming and upsetting, particularly since I have four children of my own. On top of that, two of my four children have yet to reach the age of 11. I have one boy and one girl child left, under that statistical age, and those statistics really make me nervous. I don’t want my pre-adolescent children viewing porn, and I don’t want them thinking that it’s okay, if they do. That leads me to the reason that I wrote this post. Have my older two children, who have surpassed the previously mentioned statistical age,  ever surfed the web for pornography? Have they watched XXX movies or looked in the adult magazines?

Before talking to my children, I first decided to talk to several of my friends to get their perspective on children/teens and porn. After speaking to them, admittedly I was rather surprised at their responses. No one was as shocked and dismayed as I was. In fact, they made me feel as if I was totally overreacting and going overboard. Basically, everyone was taking it all in stride. I heard a lot of, “Their boys. What do you expect?” “It’s natural, that’s what boys do.” “Oh, girl! That’s nothing!” I seem to be the only mother/parent/person bothered by the fact that their teenage child and their friends may enjoy looking at pornographic images of women. Am I overreacting? Am I not well within my rights to be flabbergasted?

Seriously, I feel so lost. When did this become the societal norm? When did kids and porn, or teens and porn become socially acceptable? I swear, I feel so behind in the times. I completely missed the memo, in regards to this!

Back in the day, I remember the boys sneaking to look at their dad’s, uncle’s, older brother’s and cousin’s Playboy and Hustler magazines. I remember when they would cleverly watch the XXX rated video tape that was left in the VCR. Once they finished watching, they’d rewind the tape back to the exact spot where they initially found it. Point is, the kids got their hands on the porn back in the day too,  but it was accessed sneakily.

Upon speaking with my oldest boy, I nearly went into a series of convulsions, when I learned that he and his friends have adopted the same lack-a-daisy mindset, that it is normal to look at porn. They also think that it’s okay to exchange sexual images by way of their cellular phones and email accounts (which is another topic, to be discussed at a later date). They said, “Everyone does it! It’s no big deal.”

In my opinion, teens are going beyond pushing the envelope, while adults are just so carefree. I previously read an article written by another concerned mom, in regards to her teenage son watching porn on his laptop, and the comments she received were pretty nasty. She was completely villainized by the readers. For the most part, they felt like she was out of line for looking through his laptop. They said she completely embarrassed him and violated his trust. They also said that he wasn’t engaging in anything abnormally. The comments went on for days.  Although I didn’t leave a comment, I was totally on the side of the mother. I, too, feel like some things are to be reserved for adults and your adult years. I don’t think that it’s okay or acceptable for my teenage son or daughter to seek out pornographic images on the computer, their cellular phones or any other technological device. I refuse to believe that I’m the only mother/adult who feels this way. Whatever your opinion, I’d love to hear it. What’s your perspective on the matter? Have you had to deal with it? If so, how did you handle it?

All perspectives are respected.

 

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You’re Grown, Huh?

It’s not to often that my biggest girl does anything shocking or anything that’ll cause my jaw to drop. For the most part, she wants to stay on my good side and off of my blog and social media rants. She treads very lightly. She knows exactly how far to go before the wrath of momma comes in and takes over. So, imagine my surprise when my “conscientious” child took it upon herself to make a decision without being totally certain that she had my 100% guaranteed approval.  Needless to say, the biggest girl has made finally made her “it’s all about you…and not in a good way” blog post debut!

Well, about a month back my soon-to-be 14 year old,  made a decision unbeknownst to me. It was a choice that left me at a complete lost for words. I was so shocked that my jaw did actually drop. I was so shocked that I’m only now able to write a post about it!

This is how the oldest gal has looked for the last two years. This is who we’re all used to seeing on a daily basis. Okay? And like this:

One night while I was sitting out at the fire pit enjoying the company of a few friends and spirits, she and the littlest boy came over to reveal that she now looks like this!

(eye bulges practically out of my head!)

Here’s another view!

Oh! And, here’s a black and white view. Yeah, she’s taking black and white photos, too! 0_O

Although cutting her hair was something that we’d briefly discussed. I was shocked that she went and did it without me. I also felt like she did it sneakily because she waited until I was outside of the house and fully engaged with friends. Then she came strutting over to the fire pit area where we were sitting with a hoodie on, let me remind you that it was 80+ degrees outside. When I questioned her about the hoodie that’s when she  revealed her “haircut”.

Smart girl, huh? To do her big reveal while I was surrounded by people who would downplay the situation and keep me calm? She had it all well planned out, if I must say so.

I guess more than anything this hair cutting situation made me realize that my biggest gal is closer to be grown up, than she is to being a baby. She’s branching out more, becoming her own person, liking her own things and using her voice…..(respectfully, of course!)

So, I am learning to loosen up and let go a little bit. I always thought I’d welcome stages like this, but I’m more sad than I am happy.

It’s not about her cutting her hair, its way bigger than that.

She’s not my little four pound, twelve ounce preemie anymore. She’s growing up.

It was bound to happen!

 

 

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Piercings and Tattoos? My Boy? NO WAY!

It’s no surprise that the oldest boy has increased the amount of pressure and stepped up his daily harassment, hoping desperately to sway me into saying, “Yes. You can go get a tattoo, son!”

See, he thinks it was his tactic of never-ending harassment  that worked in his favor several weeks ago, when I finally allowed him to get his ears pierced (after three years of nonstop asking). He hasn’t figured out that it wasn’t because of his begging, constant pleading and nagging which caused him to receive my blessing with the piercing of the ears. I only said yes because I felt that he’d put enough time and thought into “why” he really wanted his ears pierced.

I have an extremely huge problem when it comes to fads and that “going along with the crowd” mentality. I don’t participate in trends and I refuse to let my child be part of a trend. I wanted to be absolutely certain that he wasn’t doing something because it’s popular or because all of his buddies are doing it, which is why it took me several years before saying yes. For me, his reason for wanting his ears pierced had to be something that he deeply desired to do with no outside influences. He doesn’t know it, but the same thing applies to getting a tattoo. I wouldn’t care if he got tattoo after tattoo after tattoo. Heck! My mom took me to get my first tattoo when I just sixteen years old, so of course I don’t have a problem with them. My only concern was, his reason behind wanting tattoos and ear piercings.

It’s been close to the two-year mark of his just having to “have a tattoo”. He’s thought it through and through. He’s even constructed what he wants to get and he’s explained the significance behind it. I must admit that it’s quite unique and I’ve never seen anyone with anything like it before. I’m pretty proud of him. Everything that I’ve instilled in him about being different, standing out, individuality and embracing his unique identity, he’s gotten it! Through both of these incidences I finally see that all of my efforts haven’t been in vain afterall.

I think it’s safe to say, the time has come for me to grant my oldest boy my blessing yet again. Tattoo numero uno soon to come!

 

My first tattoo (it’s now 19 years old). My youngest boy took this pic. Thank him for the flash and time stamp! #dontblameme

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First Day of Summer: Graduation 2012

Tonight one of my good girlfriend’s daughter graduated from high school. She attended one of the best academic schools in the city. I was absolutely jaw-dropped  shocked at the academic excellence of the vast majority of the students.

My mommy radar immediately went up and I began to strategize just how I’m going to get my own children focused on the exact same path of academic excellence.

I want that! I want my children to be amongst the top members of their class (if asking for them to be one of the top ten is too much). I want them to be recognized for their academic brilliance. Most importantly, I want the security in knowing that they’re going to be already in this life…..in this world.

This first day of summer vacay actually turned out to better than what I could’ve ever wanted it to be. A new desire was planted in me and now I’m going to see it to fruition.

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A Day at the Park

Today was the last full day that it’ll be just the little’s and I. Tomorrow is the last of school for the big’s and it’s a half day! The little’s and I decided to party it up one last time, before we’ll have to include the big’s in on our fun. We went to the park…….

I see you!

Zay! Look! Is that?

Wooooo! I think it is!

Let’s get outta here!

Wait one quick rock, on the rockie!

Hey! Where’d Sista’ go?

I’m outta here! I said one QUICK rock! C’mon slow poke!

Ahhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!

Double Ahhhhhhh!!!!!!!

No one said anything about vulture birds lurking around the kiddie playscape! I need answers!

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