Things I Won’t Write About This Year

As a parent, I see so many different methods, rules, suggestions, ways to parent it’s tough to tell who’s right and who’s wrong. It’s hard to tell which method will work and which ones won’t. Well, not until 20 years later and we look back using our perfect hindsight vision and wish would would have done, said, reacted, taught, reared, our kids differently.

Looking ahead is difficult. We don’t know exactly how our kids will react to certain rules, certain consequences, the various methods of time outs and the whole reward/punishment philosophy. Over my 9 + 5 years of parenting I’ve used my own strategies and I’ve used suggestions from others. What I have learned the most are the kind of parents I dislike the most.

Parents who allow unlimited screen time  

They explain that technology is the way of the future why should their child not embrace it. They might as well learn it now and get a head start. They seem to instinctively know how it all works anyway. Besides, when they’re on their phone/tablet/computer/game console they aren’t out running the roads getting into trouble.

Parents who are strict with screen time

These parents are almost obsessive with how much time their child spends in front of a screen playing games. They justify it by arguing that there are more important things to do than play video games. They expect their child to engage in physical play, use imagination, interact with others, and in general – learn.

Babies who are breastfed

They say repeatedly that the benefits of breastfeeding are immeasureable. Antibodies, vitamins, that it provides ample nutrition for proper growth of body and brain. It’s convenient in that the baby can be fed anywhere with no prep work. It’s almost a celebratory event when a mom’s milk comes in.

Babies who are bottle fed

Some moms just aren’t physically able to breastfeed. Perhaps they don’t produce enough milk. Perhaps they see their breasts as something sexual and feel uncomfortable breastfeeding. Perhaps the baby isn’t able to breastfeed. If they can’t latch properly, they can’t eat. If they’re lactose intolerant and power puke after feeding, then they won’t eat. 

Tiger parents, helicopter parents, free range parents, snow plow parents
Some parents push their kids to succeed, even at an extremely early age. Some parent hover over their child to make sure those who influence their child do so in a way that benefits the child. Some parents allow their child the freedom to be and do what they want. Some parents push aside all problems their child might encounter before the child even knew the problem was a possibility. 

I won’t write about any of them. They’re all right. They’re alright. I’ve written it before and I’ll write it again: So long as your child is happy, healthy, and educated, keep on keeping on. Do what is right for you, your child, and your family. Never mind what that other mom is doing to survive her children. We’re just doing the best we can with what we’re given. No one knows how it’ll all turn out in the end.

Sunday Share Week 9

Nine weeks into the new year. I guess it’s not new any more. Nine is a lucky number in this house. I was always nine in the sports I played growing up. DW was nine in her sports, too. By sheer luck, Crash was handed his baseball jersey last summer and guess what number was on the back. Nine.

I expect this to be a very lucky week.

Harsh Reality
If you’re looking for a new blog to follow this is where you should be looking…

J-Dub
To motherly instinct or not to motherly instinct…

Phickle Philly
A mysterious disappearance (underwear are involved)

True North Nomad
A long long loooooong drive…

Lutherian Liar Looks at Life
Screwing up the English language

Green Grapes
Learning to love roses

Go Ask Your Father: A Verbal Typo, Acid, Radio, and Pee Pees

Happy Friday everyone. We’ve got friends coming for a sleepover with their two little girls. We can’t to see them! (and their parents, too) So here is this week’s question and answer episode. Let’s get smarter!

1. What’s friction?
Bang was sitting on the couch working diligently at some additions problems I printed for him. He solved them with Lego bricks – make a stack of 7 then make a stack of 5 stick them together, count them up and know that 7+5 = 12. Then he asks his mother this question. She tells him it’s when things rub together. Like when you rub your hands together and they get warm, that because of friction.

“Oh. Well then what is a fraction?”

That’s a verbal typo. He said friction, but meant fraction. The difference a vowel can make! So she then explained that a fraction is piece of something, like when you cut a pizza and eat part of it.

2. What’s acid?

It’s a chemical that can be corrosive and dissolve some metals. It can also refer to fruits like citrus that can be acidic. This is what gives them their sour taste. There are acids everywhere, including in your stomach. Normally, your stomach has ph value of 1-3, or up to 4-5 after a large meal. However, for the most acidic acid, which is fluoroantimonic acid, it lands on the Hammet acidity function (kinda like ph) at -28. To give you an idea of how strong that is, a ph of 1 is acidic enough to burn skin. If it’s that strong, what can an acid that strong be contained it? A can of Coke? Nope, Coke has a ph of 2.53. It’s kept in a container made of the same stuff you fry your eggs on. Teflon.

3. What is FM?

Radio waves, believe it or not (hint: believe it), are a form of light. Like microwaves, ultraviolet rays, x-rays, and gamma rays. Of course, it’s not within the visible light spectrum. Developed in 1895 by Guglielmo Marconi, an Italian inventor, radio was born when sent and received his first signal. In AM radio, where all the talk shows are, the AM stands for Amplitude Modification. Amplitude is the hight of the wave. So by changing the hight we can change the sound. FM, where the good stations are, stands for Frequency Modulation. Frequency is the rate at which the wave moves or how often the top (crest) of the waves pass in a second. By changing the frequency we can interpret the electromagnetic frequencies as sound. It’s all over my head, really. Even after reading about it for a half hour I’m still not sure how it works. All I know is that when I turn on the radio and hear Rag-n-Bone Man’s Human, I’m happy.

4. Do girls have pee pees?

Do they ever buddy. In our house, pee pee is a general term and can used for both the male and female genitalia. Yesterday I got to explain the differences, albiet carefully. I told Bang that his pee pee is called a penis. A girl’s pee pee, like his mother’s, is called a vagina. “Oh” he says. All the while I was explaining this I was sitting on the toilet doing my business. 

Questions I Asked My Kids

Spoiler Alert! If you watch The Voice, Gold Rush, This Is Us, Blindspot, or Grey’s Anatomy and you aren’t all caught up, skip down to the questions!

I mark the days of the week by what show is coming on after the boys are in bed. On Mondays (starting next Monday) is The Voice. I’m excited for this season’s group of judges – Adam, Gwen, Alicia, and Blake. 

On Tuesdays its Gold Rush and This Is Us. In Gold Rush I’m rooting for the Hoffman’s to get a little luck and for Parker to find himself again without his Grandpa around.  This Is Us gets me every time. From William’s story and death which  pulled powerfully at heartstrings, to the story of Jack and Rebecca to the growing up of their three kids. The writers and set designers have a done a spectacular job of recreating each time period from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and today. Of the five shows I’m highlighting, this is the one I recommend the most.

On Wednesdays it’s Blindspot. I love the drama and thrill and the “OMG! We only have 3 minutes to this or the whole world explodes!” story line. I really hope Roman turns out to be a good guy. Tonight, Thursday, it’s Grey’s Anatomy nightI’m curious to hear the rest of Karev’s story and where the writers take him. Last week’s episode when the 9 year old who died in a routine surgery hit too close to home since I have my own 9 year old. On a side note, since Izzy left the show years ago I’ve been looking for a new girlfriend. DW likes Karev. I’m okay with that.

Fridays are Fridays! It’s either time to catch up on shows we may have missed through the week or game night with friends. Win win!

Now for the questions…

1. What do you want to be when you grow up?

Crash: Police man
Bang: Heaven-man

2 What superpower do you wish you had?

Crash: To control the world with blue lightning
Bang: Cape power to appear my cape – like teleporting

3. What is something I always say?

Crash: I love you
Bang: Do your math

4. What is something mom always says?

Crash: I love you 
Bang: Room

5. What do you wish we would say more often?

Crash: Yes to the things I want and No to the things I don’t want.
Bang: You don’t have to do anything but play plasma cars

6. Where do you wish we could go during March Break?

Crash: Legoland
Bang: Horseback riding

7. What is something you learned today?

Crash: The line of symmetry in art
Bang: I don’t know… I know everything!

8. What do you NOT want for supper tonight?

Crash: Pickles
Bang: Peas

9. What three words best describe you?

Crash: Amazing, gaming, and brother-annoyer
Bang: Bad, distractive, and beautiful

10. Can you tell me a story or a dream?

Crash: I was in Minecraft and I was a slime and I had a diamond sword. I was hitting chickens and they would split into two chickens.
Bang: I had secret dreams but I’m not telling so just write “I don’t know”

Body Like A Bugatti

I’m going to show you two vehicles and I want you to decide which one you want to drive to work. You’ll certainly get the boss’s attention with either of them, but which one would earn you an invite back to work? Especially if you took your boss for a spin. 

You probably picked the Bugatti Veyron. I sure as hell did. It’s a 2.6 million dollar vehicle. It’s oil change is $20,000. It’s set of tires is $30,000 and will need to be changed every 2500 miles. It’s a high performance machine that can reach 60 mph from a standstill in just over 2 seconds. This is a high maintenance vehicle if I ever saw one.

While that dump truck is powerfully strong, it’s certainly not high maintenance. It runs on dirty diesel fuel. It takes about 45 minutes and a downhill to reach 60 mph. It’s not a luxurious ride.

I want my body to work like a Bugatti.

Unfortunately, I’ve been driving it like a dumptruck. I’ve been fueling it with diesel instead of high octane. I haven’t gotten it up to speed, revved the engine, or treated it like the machine it could be. Sweets, and salty chips don’t make an engine or a body run well. Sitting on my butt doesn’t work either. It takes exercise and eating right to make our bodies like the well oiled machines others would be jealous to drive. 

You see, there may only be 40 bugattis in the world, but this is only body we’ve got. It’s even more rare, even more precious than a 2.6 million dollar car. The difference between our bodies and the cars is that our bodies get stronger when we run them hard. Our bodies run smoother, more efficiently. Whereas cars wear out, need oil changes, new tires and $21,000 routine maintenance to prevent them from breaking down while running hard. They don’t get strong with workouts. 

It’s time to eat right, time to exercise right, time to get this machine running better than a Bugatti.

Month in Review

First, on a slightly selfish tone, I’d like to say that I’m happy to see the tag I started happily blog hopping. It gives shout outs to new and veteran bloggers alike. However, I’ve noticed that number 100 has mysteriously disappeared. If you’ve been tagged in the “Get To Know Me” please add number 100 which links to the original “Get to Know Me” post. You can just copy and paste this as the last question (which obviously isn’t a question):

100. The original Get to Know Me post


I feel like I’ve shot myself in the foot this month.

But as the saying goes,

It is what it is…

February has been a rough month. I have had the blog on autopilot for the month. In doing so, my views have plummeted like that skydiver without a parachute, my comments have dropped like Galileo’s weights from the tower (9.1 meters/sec), and my stats in general are so low they’ve hit oil.

But these are January’s stats. Let’s look on the bright side…

Once upon a time I was getting over 2,000 views per month. That hasn’t happened since April of last year. January saw 1,325 views. This is exactly 1,325 more views, people who stopped by to read what I wrote, than if I didn’t blog at all.

There were 595 visitors. I’m kinda proud of this number because it means readers are not just coming over, but they’re staying. Kinda like the friend who stops by to deliver a box of Timbits but ends up staying and chatting for a couple hours.

I published 24 posts in January. Not too shabby. I haven’t been posting on Saturdays because that used to be my day for writing 100 word stories and I haven’t done that since my series ended.

I got 481 likes in January. I like that.

The 342 comments I received though, are my pride and joy of the blog. I know I’ve written well, written content you can relate to, when you are kind enough to leave me your own thoughts on the subject. Building community is what drives the blog. Thanks to all who have chimed in. Also, I’m far more apt to visit and share the blogs of those who comment.

January’s most popular post was Mystery Blogger Award when I was nominated by A Momma’s View. It received 47 views.

41 countries visited my little corner. The US, Canada, and Australia were three to visit most often. The UK and Netherlands were close behind.

The search terms that brought people to my blog were great. “Dad son farting stories” brought 4 people. There more farts and poop around here than a dairy farm! Also searched was “fix cassette with a pencil” (that’s old school). “Stomping feet gif”, “beach forest mountain”, and “earth compared in size to the galaxy”. I’m so happy a science search landed someone on my blog! I hope someone feels smarter.

I am currently sitting at lucky 7’s. 777 followers! My latest three followers are Sheryl, TrevnJess, and Mykynla. Thanks for following! Will you be next? It’ll be worth it. I promise.

I’m going to pass on the most comments for the time being. As February ends next week, I’ll rewrite the Month in Review for this month and I’ll include y’all in there. But I will let GrubbsnCritters know that she’s currently winning and A Momma’s View is close behind. Perhaps someone can knock these two out of the top spots? I will be giving shout outs to the top six come March first!

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Sunday Share Week 7

I could schedule this for the morning. It’s only 6 hours from now. Additionally, it’s called “Sunday Share“. Why share it on a Saturday? For those of you spending your Saturday night browsing Facebook and perusing the blogosphere, I’ll leave these here for you now. Perhaps I’ll have a little something extra for you Sunday evening.

Happy Reading!

Dream Big, Dream Often
Let him know what you want him to share and he’ll share it!

Dramatic Momologue
Anyone with more than one kid knows…

Old House in the Shires
That glass of wine waiting downstairs…

Ethan and Evelyn
Being firm with threenagers…

Kippers and Curtains
#KidsExploringTheWorld

Just in case you missed my two posts this week, you can read Time and the latest instalment of Go Ask Your Father. It was a pretty poopy post.

saturday-night-drinking-quotes-04

 

Go Ask Your Father: Hemroids, Sphincters, Constipation, and Seat Belts

It’s been steady going around here. In the last two weeks there should have been 10 days of school. There were only 3. Six of the seven missed days were because of snow. The seventh (today) was because there was a province wide teacher walk out strike. Thousands (I heard 20+ thousand) gathered outside of the Province House (where provincal legislation takes place). According to news reports the demonstrators (teachers and those who support them) were so loud that those inside the building couldn’t hear each other at times. 

#TeacherStrong to make the classrooms better for the students.

Plus all the snow, which was good snowman snow…

Notice the pine needle hair?

What are hemorrhoids?

Simply put, they’re a pain in the arse. According to Google they are a swollen vein or group of veins in the region of the anus. They’re similar to varicose veins. They are often caused by an increase in pressure during pregnancy (or labor) or from a strenuous bowel movement. Sometimes that can feel like labor, too. If they’re inside your rectum (I love that word because it sounds like wrecked ’em) they’re called internal hemorrhoids. If they develop under the skin around your stink eye/one eye’d pirate/starfish they are external hemorrhoids. Most times they are just uncomfortable and cause itching, discomfort and bleeding. Other times a clot forms which will need to be lanced and drained. I apologize if you are eating while reading this. I suggest you put your fork down until this post is over…

What makes our poop come out?

Simply put, muscles, but not the kind you can flex and admire in the full length gym mirror. In more specific terms it’s your digestive system. A series of tubes that connect your mouth to your anus move food along until there is nothing left but waste. The movement within the tubes (esophogus, stomach, and intestine) is called peristalsis. It looks like a wave moving through the muscle. The waves narrow the tube propelling it’s contents closer to the light at the end of the tunnel. Your colon collects the shit waste that wasn’t absorbed by the intestine. After a day or so a good bowel movement expells it for a hole in one. 

Why won’t my poop come out?

Constipation. Kinda like writers block. When your poop become hard and dry you’ll have a rough go trying to pass it. It may feel like it’s the size of a bus. In the words of Bang, “No wonder it hurt. It was HUGE!” It could have been from eating too much fatty, sugary, or starchy food. A little more fiber (fruits and veggies and whole grains) should soften it right up. Perhaps it was from not enough exercise. The extra movements help move food through your system. I doubt it was from that, though. The culprit may be a lack of fluid. But with the rate at which I’m buying milk, I’m pretty sure that wasn’t it either. Stress can cause backups, too. With recent events, that’s definitely a posibility.  Could it be IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)? He has complained of belly pains before. IBS can cause diarrhea sometimes and constipation at other times. It also causes pains and farts. “Do I rot?” is a common question…

How do seat belts work?

One of these questions ins’t like the others. You can continue eating now. The shit’s over. 

The first thing is the buckle. Click it or ticket as we tell the kids. Buckle up for safety. When you put the buckle into the clasp, the hole in the buckle catches on a tab. Pressing the release button releases the tab and out pops the buckle. Inside the belt system is a retractor mechanism. This spool winds and unwinds any loose webbing (the seat belt). Inside the retrator is a spring that applies rotational force, or torque, to the belt. This is why when you pull gently to buckle up the belt unrolls smoothy. The locking mechanism inside the spool locks the belt and keeps it from extending when a sudden motion is applied. The webbing of the belt is specifically engineered to help you survive an accident. It can stretch which slows your forward momenum gradually instead of instantly like the dashboard or windshield would. It’s estimated that seat belts save 13,000 lives in the US each year. That’s why I never put it in drive before I hear all the clicks. 

Time

The past is just a memory. The future is unforseeable. All we have is right here, right now. 

This very moment. 

I’m hearing stories of my father-in-law. 

Of how he grew up with a twin sister and they were the second youngest of 17 kids. 

Of how his first job working at gas station, he made $25 a week and would give most of it away to kids for new shoes, or to go to the circus, or for fries and drink, or to go to the movies. 

Of how much he loved kids, particularly his grandkids. He would walk for hours to get a granddaughter to sleep when her father just couldn’t do it. He always had a joke or would act a clown to make them laugh. He would pass them his spare change. He always had a treat for them.

Of how he knew so many people and touched so many lives in big ways and small. Whether through an act of kindness, the giving of a nickname, or just talking their ears off, he was an influence far and wide. 

Of his use of the English language. There were no swear words in his vocabulary, though he swore enough to make a sailor blush. To him they were just verbs, adverbs, and adjectives. 

Of his days working as a welder.  I’m told that whatever job he was on he was always one of the best. Though that doesn’t surprise me because he always took pride in his work. 

Of how he loved company. He truly believed the more the merrier. He’d invite friends and tell them to bring their friends. It wasn’t uncommon for friends to arrive with their friend’s friends. Then he would start up the BBQ and feed you. 

Of how some animals liked his home better than their owners’ home so they’d come live with him instead. He adopted stray cats. He adopted a bearded dragon that couldn’t travel with his granddaughter. 

Of how he would bail kids out of trouble. He would give them a place to sleep when they were tired. He would feed them when they were hungry. 

Of how much he gave. His money. His time. His tools. His Jeep. A listening ear or an earful. His home. 

He gave me his greatest treasure… His daughter and his family. For that I’m forever grateful. 

His memorial service was Saturday. There was food and a few swear words, the place was packed, memories shared and laughter rang through the tears. 

Go Ask Your Father: Fat Lips, Vision, AEDs, and Undertows

Happy Thursday night or whatever time of the week it happens to be for you when you’re reading this. I’m settling in getting ready for yet another snow storm. School was cancelled Monday because of snow. It was cancelled Wednesday because of ice. It’s likely the kids will be home to drive me nuts again tomorrow because of more snow and ice. I’m putting them work if they’re home tomorrow!

Why do we get fat lips?

chapped-lips2You can tell a lot about a person by looking at their lips. You can tell if they’re wearing lipstick, for instance. You tell how big their labial tubercle (that bump in the middle of the upper lip) is. And women, did you know the bigger your labial tubercle the easier it is for you to achieve orgasm? You can also tell if they’ve been in a fight. When the soft tissue of the lips is damaged it becomes inflamed and swollen. This creates what we all know as a fat lip. Bet you never look at lips the same way again.

Beside getting a taste of a knuckle sandwich, fat lips can also be caused by dehydration, an allergic reaction, from a food allergy, or sunburn.

How do eye glasses work?

DW and I are nearsighted (myopia). She wears her glasses all the time. I have a tendency to lose mine. One pair is at the bottom of a river. Being farsighted simply means that our eyes do not have adequate focusing power. In other words, the focus point falls behind the retina instead of on it. Farsightedness (hyperopia) is exactly opposite – it forms a focus point in front of the retina. So eye glasses and contact lenses redirect the light so that it focuses the image on your retina so you see a clear picture.

sight

The top image shows how light focuses on the retina.

What’s an AED?

While ice skating yesterday, Bang noticed an odd looking box attached the wall outside of the ice rink. Naturally curious he wanted to know what it was. It was an AED or Automated External Defibrillator. Automated because all a user needs to do is follow audio commands connect adhesive electrodes to the patient and from there the computer takes over to check for a pulse and heart rhythm. It will only deliver a shock if it detects a heart that is in ventricular fibrillation (Vfib), when the heart beats with rapid, erratic electrical impulses. This causes pumping chambers in your heart (the ventricles) to quiver uselessly, instead of pumping blood. The shock momentarily stuns the heart and gives it the chance to resume beating effectively. Essentially, it turns it off and turns it back on it again to restart it.

What’s an undertow?

Not to be confused with rip currents, an undertow occurs in all bodies of water where waves crash on shore. It’s strongest in surf zones where the waves are larger. After the wave rolls onto shore gravity pulls back toward the ocean and the water rushes back out collecting in the next wave. This outward rush of water and the inward rush of a wave creates an undertow. They are only dangerous to those who can’t stand against the backwash (outward rush of water) like children as the undertow only goes out to next incoming wave.

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