Because We’ll be Grandmas Sooner Than We Think

Colorful grandmothers

“He looks like a little old man,” she laughed to her friend. It was a group of four grandmothers, looking at the newest addition to the grandma club – a plump new grandson. “We need to buy him a tiny cowboy hat,” one exclaimed excitedly. They all laughed and nodded in agreement. That baby needs a cowboy hat for sure, because it’s a unspoken law that every child in Texas owns one.

These grandmas were decked out in their coordinating gym attire, looking pretty darn awesome for being around 65-years-old. They were obviously good friends, laughing and gossiping and making plans for a lazy afternoon lunch.  One of these ladies had white hair styled in a cute shoulder-length cut and one was wearing her hair shorter and totally gray. The other two had big, puffy, blond hair.  (Again, Texas.)

I was instantly reminded of my own friends, 90% of them happen to be moms like me. We all have young kiddos, mostly under 7-years-old. Our group functions much the same. We laugh and gossip, but we make plans for a rushed lunch that has to happen before the end of the school day and after preschool drop-off. Instead of sharing pictures in person, we keep up with each through status updates, online photo albums and texts.

Watching those grandmothers, I realized something that seems impossible right now. One day, I will be one of those grandmas. I’ll be old with wrinkled hands, telltale sunspots, deep Crow’s feet and serious smile lines. My friends, who are vibrant, fit, flawless and healthy will be those grandmas too. Well, at least I won’t be alone, right?  Although even when I’m old and gray, I think I’ll see my friends as I see them today. They don’t look old to me now, so maybe they never will.

My hope would be this: When it’s my turn to be the grandma with the fluffy hair and the snazzy workout gear, and a gal in her late 30s sees me at the gym, I want her to think, “I hope I look that good when I’m really old.” I’d take that as a compliment every time.

Image: TheBerry

First dental visit

Mommy Moment: Prepping Kids for First Dentist Visit

The first visit to the dentist was going to be a breeze. I picked a wonderful new pediatric dentist office in our neighborhood. In fact, they visit elementary schools explaining the importance of good dental health to kids. I prepped my boys (3yo & 6yo) weeks prior to the visit about what would happen. “The lovely, nice dentist will look at your teeth to make sure they are healthy and white.” “Nothing to be worried about, boys.” “It’s easy-peasy stuff!”

We arrived on time and the boys were blown away by the awesome waiting area. TVs, toys, video games, a huge tree in the middle of the room, stuff animals all about. Heavenly! Again, my mommy self was totally upbeat. Not a trace of fear on my kiddos’ faces. I was almost ready to pat myself on the back when everything changed.

I heard crying off in the distance and saw a mom explaining to the woman at the check-in desk, “I can’t get her out of the car right now…” I saw that weak smile on that mom’s face and my blood pressure began to rise. Sure enough, her 6-year-old was sitting in the car – screaming – because she didn’t want to come in. Uh-oh.

Eventually the dad walked in carrying a screaming, crying, kicking little girl. My 6-year-old noticed her, but didn’t react. My 3-year-old instantly had a petrified look on his face and slowly began to hide himself behind a TV stand. I was ready to explode. I almost asked the parents to remove their child, because my children still believed dentists were “fun” and their bawling child was quickly destroying everything.

I quickly went over to my younger son and told him not to worry about the little girl. “Why is she sad, mama?” he tearfully asked me. “Because she’s very grumpy today,” I answered. “She’s fine. She’s just very very grumpy.” He seemed to understand that she was just grumpy and relaxed. “Why is she so grumpy?” he asked. “Because she wants a lollipop and her mommy said no,” I lied. My son nodded. He understood the sadness of not getting a lollipop. After coaxing from mom, dad, and two hygienists, the little girl finally left the waiting room. Evidently, she was there for a filling and didn’t want to drink the “happy juice” for sedation.

First Visit Kids Dentist

My boys ended up doing a great job. They both sat still for the hygienists and didn’t squirm too much. The hygienists were great about explaining all of the steps, so that helped a bunch. My boys didn’t like getting x-rays, but they cooperated and got the job done. They left with new toothbrushes, floss, toothpaste, stickers and a balloon. On the way out, my younger son said, “I wonder what happened to that grumpy girl, mama.” Oh, she’s taking a nap now. I think she’ll be just fine,” I said.

First Dentist Kids

How was your first experience at the pediatric dentist?


The Real Cost of Meningitis: Life & Limbs

Memphis Lafferty

Meet Memphis Lafferty, a sweet little boy who lost his arms and legs to bacterial meningitis. Are you scared? You should be. In fact, in America, meningitis is the leading infectious cause of death in early childhood. In the U.S., approximately one in 16 infants who contract meningitis will die from it, and of those who survive, as many as one in five will suffer from amputations, seizures, paralysis, hearing loss and learning disabilities.

What’s even more terrifying about meningitis is it can progress rapidly and kills someone in as little as four hours. My college roommate contracted meningitis (I’m not sure which kind) when we were in our 20s. She was in the hospital for days and fully recovered, although it left her immune system badly compromised and she was very weak and very thin. She said all she remembered about it was blinding pain in her neck, neck and shoulders. The pain was so severe, she didn’t even feel the spinal tap. So, how much do you know about it?

Learn more by reading the uplifting, touching – yet alarming – story about Memphis Lafferty on Betty Confidential. Find out why, unlike at least 15 other developed countries including the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Ireland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Iceland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, the U.S. NOT vaccinate infants for the leading cause of preventable infant death.

Images: BettyConfidential

Baby Names

Bad Baby Names: Mutton, Mule, Lard & Brain

Bad Baby Names

It goes without saying, choosing a name for your child can be a difficult task. My husband and I came up with a bunch of great names for our first child, who turned out to be a boy. But when we found out we were having another boy, chaos ensued. It took us eight months to come up with a name for him. (You can read about our baby name adventure in the article, “One-of-a-Kind Baby Names” in Pregnancy Today.)

Like many parents my age, we were slightly obsessed with finding the perfect unique baby name. In our effort to be different, sometimes we make big mistakes. Well, the list of baby names below may make you feel better about yourself. Take a look at actual baby names given to real kiddos living in the United States (according to the US Census):

-Uranus Stukey
-Ghoul Nipple
-Acne Fountain
-Lust T. Castle
-Mary A. Jerk
-Ima Whore
-Mutton Bucker
-Hugh Jass
-Fanny Whiffer
-Tackle Feigenbutz
-Envy Burger
-Bum Snoddy
-Mule E. McCart
-Lard Mooney
-Good Hell
-Emma Royd
-Noble Butt
-Monday Monday
-Naught E. Bishop
-Stud Duck

I’m sure you’re thinking, “Come on, MommyQ. You can’t be serious?” Oh, but I am. And on this note, I would like to add my two cents about an awful baby name, Brain. You see, whenever I mistype the name ‘Brian’ as ‘Brain’ I have a complete laughter meltdown. I’m sure there is a kid out there somewhere who is actually named Brain. And if people ever see his name written down on a list, they always assume it’s a typo and call him ‘Brian.’

“Okay, next up is Brain.”
“Oh no, that’s not his name, That must be a typo.”
“No, it says so right here B-R-A-I-N.”
“Yes, but NOBODY is named Brain, that should be Brian.”

Omg! I have no idea why that cracks me up, but it does. Every time. So, what’s the WORST baby name you’ve ever heard? (Yes, I’m still giggling right now about the Brain thing….)

Is Educational TV Fun: You Bet Your Alphabet Soup

Educational kids shows

Before I had children, I always thought “educational” was a nice was of saying “boring.” Now that I’m the mother of two rambunctious youngsters, I’m all about educational. Bring on the stuff that makes my kids brainy. What makes an educational show great? The fact that you might forget you’re actually learning, because your too entertained to think about it.

Today, the big hit in our home is Martha Speaks. This chatty pup (who resides on PBS) began talking after she ate a bowl of alphabet soup and instead of going to her stomach, the letters went to her brain. Now she “speaks and speaks and speaks and speaks and speaks.”

In addition to the television show, the online community for Martha Speaks is incredible fun for my kids. In fact, the other day I heard them laughing and laughing. When I came in to see what all the fuss was about, I found them playing Martha games online. Oh my! They thought one game in particular, Stickerbook Mashup, was hilarious. They kept shrinking the characters and putting them in the soup bowl. If this video isn’t a great testament to educational shows, I’m not sure what is…

I’m so excited they both love this show, because it’s a great learning tool. It’s also perfect for my older son who happens to be autistic, because it really focuses on the importance of talking, expressing feelings and sharing thoughts. Now instead of encouraging him to “use his words,” I tell him to “use your words like Martha does.”  He likes that! In many ways, my son is like Martha. His language has improved so much over the years, he speaks and speaks and speaks and speaks too!

More MommyQ: You can read my posts, Top 5 Reasons Kid Shows Make Me Wince or the less snarky one I wrote for Babble, 5 Kid Shows that Won’t Annoy You. What’s your fave kid’s show?

P.S. – Anyone else notice my son’s Adrian Peterson Minnesota Vikings jersey? Can you tell my hubby is an OU fan? And he obviously dressed the kiddos that day. 😉

When it Comes to Parenting, Does Hypocrisy Rule the Little Things?

Parenting Tips

I hear myself saying things to my rambunctious children like, “Don’t leave your shoes in the middle of the floor,” and “Pick up your messes,” and often notice, I don’t do these things myself. It makes me wonder, are all parents hypocrites? When it comes to the little things, are we walking contradictions?

My hubby and I are good about the big stuff we preach to our kids, like no cussing. Once in a while we accidentally let an expletive fly in front of the kids, but it’s rare. When we tell them not to hit, scratch, bite, push or shove each other, we’re on track. We never handle situations in a physical nature. Well, I may have thrown a brush at my hubby 10 years ago, but we weren’t even engaged and certainly didn’t have children way back then. Plus, he may have deserved it. I wasn’t aiming right at him. I digress.

It’s the small things that make me think I’m a hypocrite:

Pick up your mess! – I’m always trying to get my children to put away their toys and pick up the little explosions of stuff around the house. Then I find myself walking through the door with my own ‘mess’ of stuff and it all lands on the kitchen counter. And it piles up higher and higher. No, I’m not great about putting my messy things away.

Don’t leave your shoes in the floor! – I can’t stand seeing shoes scattered all over the place. Then again, I’ll leave multiple pairs of my own shoes all over the house. They rarely make it upstairs into my closet either!

Don’t eat in front of the TV! – I encourage my kids to eat their meals at the table. But sometimes I want to relax and watch TV, so I’ll eat a sandwich or a meal on the sofa like a true-blooded couch potato.

Wear a coat! – In this ridiculously cold weather, my hubby and I are always nagging the kids to put on heavy winter coats. Then, he and I only wear sweaters and walk out without coats ourselves. Sorry, I can’t stand being too hot. Besides, I know I won’t freeze.

Try new foods? Oh yeah, this is a good one. We’re always trying to encourage my kids to discover new foods. I’ve even resorting to bribing them with dessert if they at least taste  a new dish. Uhm, I’m as stubborn as a mule when it comes to trying new foods. But I’m old, I’ve had my whole life to know exactly what foods I might like and which ones I can live without. Doesn’t wisdom make me less of a hypocrite?

What do you think? Are we all hypocrites when it comes to our day-to-day parenting ways? Is it okay to be a walking contradiction as long as our intentions are good? Do tell….


8 Tips for Staying Healthy: Prevention is the Best Medicine

Acai Berry Genesis Today

As a mom, does your world come to a screeching halt when the flu or a cold hits? Mine does. Wouldn’t it be great to prevent all of the sad, sick little coughs and fevers and runny noses in 2011?

My friends at Genesis Today helped me kick off 2011 with an amazing care package  including 2 packs of Acai Chews, 2 packs of Vitamin C Chews, 1 Veggie Blast and 1 Cranberry Goji.  I must admit, my kids and I are hooked on the super chews. I have to limit how many my youngest son can have per day because he LOVES them. The flavors are seriously strong, but also very tasty. I wasn’t sure about chewy supplements, but they are actually really great. Much better than swallowing smelly horse pills! Another reason I really like Genesis Today products is you can find them at Walmart. No fancy-schmancy shops necessary.

Below you will find a video of Dr. Lindsey Duncan, the founder of Genesis Today, was interviewed on Fox and Friends, talking about the cold and flu season. Take a look!

Here are some of Dr. Duncan’s tips to help support a healthy immune system when you need it most:

Wash Your Hands – No explanation needed. Just do it. Often!

Zinc – Zinc is an important mineral that supports immune health. Zinc taken before the first signs of a cold or flu may reduce your chances of getting stuck inside with the sniffles. Pumpkin seeds are one of the richest sources of zinc, but one of the best ways to get your zinc is through a health chew that contains this mineral.

Echinacea – Echinacea purpurea may be a mouthful, but this powerful herb can help reduce your risk of catching a cold or flu when taken regularly during cold and flu season. Try taking echinacea for a few weeks then taking a week off and starting it back up again. Add vitamin C and zinc to the mix and you’ll have a triple threat against colds and flu.

Vitamin C – Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that helps your body fight free radicals and helps support a healthy immune system. Stock up on some delicious vitamin C chews. Vitamin C chews and superfruit juices that contain vitamin C are a great way to get this cold-fighting antioxidant. A nutrient-rich O.J. that’s packed with vitamin C is another great source.Goji berries are also rich in vitamin C.

B-vitamins – Boost your intake of B-complex vitamins. These vitamins not only help reduce stress which can wreak havoc on your immune system, B-vitamins actually support healthy immune function.Vitamin B1 (thiamine) enhances your body’s immune response and vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) helps your body build antibodies to fight infection. So, load up on vitamin B rich juices and supplements.

Steam – Take a steamy shower, or hold your head above a steaming pot of water to relieve congestion. Steam is soothing and helps open up blocked sinuses so you can breathe a little easier. If you want to make the steam even more therapeutic: add a little eucalyptus or tea tree oil to a boiling pot of water and breathe in every 1-2 minutes for about 10 minutes. The essential oils combined with the steam will help your body discharge all the mucous, in your nose, lungs and throat. You’ll be amazed at what comes out of you.

Garlic – The Italians may be on to something. Garlic is naturally antiviral and contains a potent compound called allicin. Garlic helps fight viruses by destroying the virus cells before it enters your body. So if you want to fight a cold or flu, load up on garlic. Raw garlic is best, but cooked garlic has less of an offensive odor if you consume a lot of it.

Oil of Oregano – Oil of oregano contains carvacrol and thymol that are active polyphenols which attack viruses like the cold and flu. Before a cold hits, or at the first onset of a cold, take a few drops of oil of oregano on your tongue and hold it in your mouth for thirty seconds – it’s strong but works well. If the taste of taking it straight on your tongue is too much for you, you can put a few drops of oil of oregano in water and drink 3 times a day which will help support your immune system and pack a powerful punch against colds and flu.

Stay healthy, friends!