Women Helping Women

women.jpgHere is a fun way to help local women’s shelters.  Click on this link to donate feminine hygiene products to a shelter near you for FREE!

Hopefully the brief article below from Seventh Generation environmentally friendly products will motivate you to do even more.

Homelessness is a growing problem in all countries. It is estimated that one billion people in the world lack adequate housing, including 100 million who are completely homeless. In the United States it is estimated that, on any one night, 750,000 Americans will be without shelter and that approximately three million Americans will be homeless at some time during the year.Services provided by homeless shelters vary greatly from shelter to shelter. Some provide strictly a place to sleep at night; others offer a full range of services, including food, clothing, transportation, referrals, medical services, and legal services. If you live in a city of any size, then there is at least one shelter that helps homeless people with meals, beds, and other services. Shelters thrive on the work of volunteers and usually have a variety of programs through which you can get involved. You might:

  • prepare or distribute meals
  • work administratively in the business office
  • help organize a food drive to stock the pantry
  • collect clothes for residents of the shelter
  • deliver a “brown bag” lunch directly to the homeless

For more ideas on getting involved, visit www.justgive.org/html/guide/50wayshomeless.html


Share a Story #2

bear.jpgToday’s “Share a Story” was given by Lizanne Crocker, a stay at home mother of 3 from Houston Texas.

Gonna be a bear

In this life I’m a woman. In my next life, I’d Like to come back as a bear. When your a bear, you get to hibernate. You do nothing but sleep for six months. I could deal with that.

Before you hibernate, your suppose to eat yourself stupid. I could deal with that too.

When your a girl bear, you birth your children (who are the size of walnuts) while your sleeping and wake up to partially grown, cute, cuddly cubs. I could definatley deal with that.

If your a mama bear, everyone knows you mean business. you swat away anyone who bothers your cubs. If your cubs get out of line, you swat them too. I could deal with that.

If your a bear, your mate EXPECTS you to wake up growling. He EXPECTS that you will have hairy legs and excess body fat.

YUP, GONNA BE A BEAR


Mommy Babble Monthly Book Review-The Glass Castle

glass-castle.jpgYes I said MONTHLY book review.  I am a mom and a busy one at that so as much as I would like to read and review more books, this is as good as it gets.  I have to admit I did sit my kids in front of movie after movie and make them hunt for their own meals while reading The Glass Castle.  Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit but this book did keep my attention and made it hard for me to get my other tasks done.

I started a book club last summer with a few other girlfriends and it really was a big hit.  We started by choosing new books to read every 2 weeks but since the majority of the women are mothers of young kids this didn’t really fly.  No-one every missed book club but rarely did anyone finish the books.  These girls were not going to miss a night out of the house just on account of that though.  Who cares that it was a BOOK club!  So we revised the schedule to one book a month and it has been going really well.  We actually had 13 girls come this month! 

The Glass Castle was a fascinating, disturbing, twisted, beautiful memoir.  I think I really could use just about any adjective to describe this story.  It was written by Jeannette Walls who has an amazing memory of her childhood.  She and her family grew up in poverty not because her parents didn’t have a way to support them but because they chose not to!  Her stories range from being severely burned as a 3 year old because her parents let her cook her own food, to riding in the back of a closed U-Haul with her siblings across country, to eating popcorn for dinner for weeks at a time, all the way to getting a degree and becoming a very successful professional.  Presently Wells and her siblings are all doing well for themselves while her mother has chosen to stay homeless. This story is truely captivating and was actually one of our book club’s all time favorite picks.  Grab a copy of this book and be amazed.  Apparently Oprah interviewed  Walls on her show one day which I would love to see.  Check out this blogger’s interview with the author.

Next month’s book is The Kite Runner.  You have one month to get it read!


How Tall Will Your Kids Be?

children.jpgWe all know that kids come in every shape and size but as a parent don’t you wonder how tall your child will actually grow to be?  My husband and I are considered tall at 6’2″ and 5’9″ and we both are pretty thin so obviously we think our little girls are going to grow be tall and skinny too.  Since shortly after birth my two girls have both been in the 100 percentile for height and weight.  They aren’t just tall but they are thick too!  They are not your run of the mill skinny little toddlers.  I took my two year old to a p.j. party at a local library a couple nights ago and the 2 and 3 year olds were all so cute in their tight little sleepers and nighties.  They started “following the leader” around the room to a song and I looked over and thought, “Who is that towering beast bringing up the rear in the too tight pj pants?  Oh it’s MY sweet little girl!”

I’ve learned that as long as your children are growing in both weight AND height equally than there is no cause for being concerned about being underweight or overweight. The docs have said both my girls have a high probability of being 6 feet tall.  We are crossing our fingers for athletic scholarships.  🙂  Check out this height calculator to see how tall your child might be! 


Share a Story #1

messy-face.jpgI want to open Mommy Babble up to other mothers, grandmothers, fathers, grandfathers, aunts, uncles, or anyone else who loves children to be able to share their thoughts.  If you have written a poem or song or have been inspired by an author who has written about children or parenting, share it with me.  It could be my next post!  Today’s excerpt was submitted by Fran Long a mother of 3 and grandmother of 5.  She wants to encourage all mothers of young children to enjoy each stage of parenting.

No More Oatmeal Kisses-  written Jan.29 1969 by Erma Bombeck  revised by me in 2007

  A young mother writes:  ” I know you’ve written before about the empty-nest syndrome, that lonely period after the children are grown and gone. Right now I’m up to my eyeballs in laundry and muddy boots.  The baby is teething: the boys are fighting.  My husband just called and said to eat without him, and I fell off my diet. Lay it on me again, will you?”

  Ok.    One of these days, you’ll shout, “Why don’t you kids grow up and act your age!” And they will. Or, “You guys get outside and find yourselves something to do….and don’t slam the door!”  And they won’t.

  You’ll straighten up the boy’s bedroom neat and tidy: video games put away, comforters all smooth, toys displayed on the shelves.  Hangers in the closet.  Animals caged. And you’ll say out loud, “Now I want it to stay this way.”  And it will. 

  You’ll prepare a perfect dinner with a salad that hasn’t been picked to death and a cake with no finger traces in the icing, and you’ll say. “Now, there’s a meal for company.”  And you’ll eat it alone.

  You’ll say,  ” I want complete privacy on the phone.  No dancing around. No demolition crews.  Silence!  Do you hear?”  And you’ll have it.

  No more plastic tablecloths stained with spaghetti.  No more sippy cups found behind the sofa. No more gates to stumble over at the top of the stairs  No more playpens to arrange a room around.

  No more anxious nights hoping the sheets will stay dry.  No more magnets on the refrigerator with the latest drawing from school.  No more wet knotted shoestrings by the front door.

  Imagine.  A chapstick with no fingerprints in it. .  Not having to arrange for a baby-sitter for New Year’s Eve.  Washing only once a week.  Seeing a steak that isn’t ground.  Having your teeth cleaned without a baby on your lap.

  No PTA meetings.  No car pool.  No loud CD’s.  No one washing her hair at 11 o’clock at night.  Having your own roll of Scotch tape. 

  Think about it.  No more Christmas presents from the dollar store .  No more sloppy oatmeal kisses.  No more tooth fairy.  No giggles  in the dark.  No knees to kiss and make better. 

  Only a voice crying, “Why don’t you grow up?” and the sience echoing , ” I did.”


Precious Princess or Spoiled Brat?

hpim0675.JPG“I’m a princess!” seems to be the motto among the girls my kids run around with.  As cute as that sounds, it really has gone a little overboard.  Disney has obviously caught on to the trend by marketing everything princess.  There is a whole video line of new princess stories not to mention the old classics such as Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid, Cinderella 1-99 (actually they are only up to Cinderella III but it’s bound to happen, they have to give those interns something to do, right?).  Even Barbie is catching on with their last movie, The Twelve Dancing Princesses.

Now I am all for make believe and letting girls be girly but sometimes it is hard to draw the line between pretty little princess and bossy brat especially when our girls are the targeted market for all the pink sparkly t-shirts with quotes like “Yield to the Princess”, and “You May Bow.”  Um, I don’t think so.

My daughter’s 5th birthday party was a princess party and my girls are headed to their 3rd princess party this year this coming weekend.  The toy and movie companies obviously know what they are doing. But how about we change things up a little bit and tell our little girls WHY they are princesses.  The Bible says we are sons and daughters of God.  It also says that God is King, therefore we are sons and daughters of the King!  Our kids are princesses, they have royal blood.  This entitles them to a life of freedom and blessing not a life of bossiness and getting everything they want.  If we can help our kids figure out that difference than we are on the right track.  Instead of teaching them to “follow their hearts” let’s teach them to follow the heart of the King.  Their lives and the lives of those around them will be better for it.

Check out Beth Moore’s book for little girls, “A Parable About a King.”  Here is a brief description:

“A slightly spoiled princess decides to disobey her father, the King, and run away from home. She thinks that it might be better to be like the peasant children in the neighborhood and play stickball in the streets all day. Surely those children are having a lot more fun than she is. Or are they?

If you ever thought it might be easier to be someone else, run away for a moment with the princess and see what she learns. No matter where you live or who you are, if you’re one of God’s children, then you too, are a child of the King. Discover what it means to be a princess, or even a prince for that matter! Recommended for ages 5 and up.”


Coke vs. Water

coke.jpgRead this and tell me which drink your children will be having from now on!!

 WATER

#1. 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.
(Likely applies to half the world population.)

#2. In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak
that it is mistaken for hunger.

#3. Even MILD dehydration will slow down one’s metabolism as 3%.

#4. One glass of water will shut down midnight hunger pangs
for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a University of
Washington study.

#5. Lack of water, the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.

#6. Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of
water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain
for up to 80% of sufferers.

#7. A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term
memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on
the computer screen or on a ! printed page.

#8. Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of
colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast
cancer by 79%., and one is 50% less likely to develop
bladder cancer. Are you drinking the amount of water
you should drink every day?

COKE

#1. In many states the highway patrol carries
two gallons of Coke in the trunk to remove blood from
the highway after a car accident.

#2. You can put a T-bone steak in a bowl of Coke
and it will be gone in two days.

#3. To clean a toilet: Pour a can of Coca-Cola into the
toilet bowl and let the “real thing” sit for one hour,
then flush clean. The citric acid in Coke removes
stains from vitreous china.

#4. To remove rust spots from chrome car bumpers:
Rub the bumper with a rumpled-up piece of Reynolds
Wrap aluminum foil dipped in Coca-Cola.

#5. To clean corrosion from car battery terminals: Pour
a can of Coca-Cola over the terminals to bubble
away the corrosion.

#6. To loosen a rusted bolt: Apply a cloth soaked in Coca-Cola
to the rusted bolt for several minutes.

#7. To bake a moist ham: Empty a can of Coca-Cola into
the baking pan, wrap the ham in aluminum foil, and bake.
Thirty minutes before ham is finished, remove the foil, allowing the drippings to mix
with the Coke for a sumptuous brown gravy.

#8… To remove grease from clothes: Empty a can of Coke
into the load of greasy clothes, add detergent, and run
through a regular cycle. The Coca-Cola will help loosen
grease stains. It will also clean road haze from your
windshield.

FOR YOUR INFORMATION:

#1. the active ingredient in Coke is phosphoric acid.
It will dissolve a nail in about four days. Phosphoric
acid also leaches calcium from bones and is a major
contributor to the rising increase of osteoporosis.

#2. To carry Coca-Cola syrup! (the concentrate) the
commercial trucks must use a hazardous Material place
cards reserved for highly corrosive materials.

#3. The distributors of Coke have been using it to clean
engines of the trucks for about 20 years!

Now the question is, would you like a glass of water?

or Coke?

(Information received was gathered from a circulating email.)


A Few More Safety Tips for Parents

child-at-door.jpgI wrote a post a little while ago reminding parents of ways to keep their children safe.  Today I have a few more things to add to the list.  These are just practical ways to insure the safety of you and your family.

First, make sure your children never open the front door for people they don’t know.  In most cases visitors coming to your home are safe but not always.  Even as an adult it is best to make sure you know who is at your door before opening your home to them.  Where we live all solicitors must have an “occupational license” to sell anything door to door.  Always ask if they have this.  Most likely if they do not, they will remember not to come knocking at your home anymore.  To avoid telephone solicitation make sure you are on the Do Not Call List.

Secondly, protect your identity.  It is always a good idea to shred unread mail, prescription labels, or anything else that gives out your personal information.  Know that you NEVER have to give out your phone number OR social security number to anyone with the exception of your bank or for insurance purposes.  If you are at a retail store and they ask for this information you have the right to say no.  If you are suspicious for any reason that someone may have stolen your personal information or credit card information you can freeze your account for as long as you need.

Lastly and most importantly of the three tips today, set up a “Secret Code” with your children.  Let your children and spouse know a password that they are not allowed to tell anyone.  Teach them that they cannot ever go with any adult who doesn’t know this secret word.  Change it every few months and constantly go over it with your children so they remember it.  Also, make sure your children learn their full names, telephone number, and address in case they get lost.

Hope those help!


“Mouthy” Puppy

mouthy-pup.jpgI know this is the Mommy Babble site but I have another puppy post.  Puppies really are a lot like babies especially when it comes to potty training, teething, and learning correct behavior.  I’m starting to think that puppies are a little harder than infants except for the fact that I can stick him in the laundry room and close the door when I need a break!

I have heard that it happens quite a bit that Mom or Dad start to get “baby fever” but are not sure if they want to commit to another child so end up with a puppy instead.  This is sort of what happened to us although the puppy has not cured my hubby’s baby fever!  Actually I think the title to his dilemma is “baby BOY fever.”  🙂

So now we have this 3 month old puppy who in the past 3 weeks has grown almost to the size of my 2 year old.  Needless to say this is going to be a big dog.  Since it is my first experience training a pup I am really trying to do it right.  I’ve researched online, checked out books at the library, bought a few books on Ebay, and talked with other dog owners on how to raise a lovable family dog.  Things are going well but my problem is that he is so “mouthy“!  I know he is just a puppy but he goes through our house claiming everything as his chew toys including my children.

I’ve tried everything from ignoring him, distracting him with a bone, squirt bottles, and even time out’s in the laundry room all with no improvement.  We love our doggie but this biting problem is making it very hard to play with him!

So I’m asking all dog owners, how can I get this problem to stop?  Please leave me a comment!


The 10 Biggest Safety Mistakes Parents Make

safety.jpgWe had two police officers come to our M.O.P.S. group last night to discuss safety.  I learned so much!  They presented us with lots of information on how to keep ourselves and our kids safe.  Here is a list they gave us with the top 10 safety mistakes that parents make:

  1. Failure to buckle up your child.  Let your friends and family now that no matter how harmless the car ride seems to them or inconvenient your insistence is, you will not risk your child’s safety by putting them in a car without a car seat and neither should they.  Motor vehicle crashes are the number one killer of kids.
  2. Ignoring car seat manufacturer recommendations.  90% of carseats are not installed properly!  To find out if your carseat is installed correctly go to SeatCheck
  3. Not exercising enough caution when walking or strolling in parking lots and streets.  Always be alert and only cross at crosswalks.  Don’t think that just because you see a vehicle that the driver of the car sees you.
  4. Not teaching your child to swim.  Did you know that children can drown in as little as one inch of water?  Some tips to avoid this are to use a fence with a locking gate to keep children away from your pool, empy and turn over water containers, teach children to swim when they are ready which is usually 4 or older, and never let your children swim alone.  Go to Club Swim to find an swim instructor near you.
  5. Neglecting to change the batteries in you smoke detectors and/or not having smoke detectors place correctly.  Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and test them each month to make sure they are working.  Change your battery twice a year and replace your detectors with new ones every ten years.  Practice family fire drills once or twice a year so your children know what to do in case of an emergency.
  6. Allowing children to play with toys that are dangerous or inappropriate for their age.  Make sure you select toys to suit the child’s age and abilities.  Look for sturdy construction without sharp edges or points.  Check periodically to make sure your children’s toys haven’t been recalled.
  7. Giving your child foods that can cause choking.  The top 10 choking foods for children under 4 are apples, carrots, celery, grapes, hot dogs, hard candy, peanut butter, nuts, popcorn, and raisins.
  8. Leaving a child unattended on a bed, at a table, and near stairs.  Use bed rails, always make sure child is strapped into high chairs, swings, changing tables, and strollers, keep furniture away from windows, don’t leave baby alone on high surfaces, and use safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs.
  9. Allowing your child access to poisonous substances.  Lock up poisons and medicines or put them out of children’s reach.  Make sure to find out which household products and plants are poisonous.
  10. Not making yourself and your child aware of local natural dangers.  Accessive heat, dogs and other animals, and excessive cold are just a few examples of things you need to teach your child about that could be potentially dangerous.

I hope this list is a helpful reminder!