Author Archive

The Things They Don’t Teach You…


With Liam turning 5 in July, I’ve been paying attention to things I’ve never had to before, such as school. It never really occurred to me that things have changed at all since I’ve been in elementary/middle school, but apparently they have. Some people argue that it’s for the better, and others argue that it’s all going straight down in the metaphorical handbasket.

Personally, I don’t think I have enough experience with school age kids just yet to be able to voice my opinion on what works and what doesn’t, but I do know that one thing seems to be blatantly and obviously missing:

Life skills.

I’m not talking about skills such as interacting with others, sharing, whatever. I mean like, “adulting”. Apparently these things started disappearing when I was in school because I was fairly clueless on a lot upon graduating, but now they are all but extinct. I’m talking things like how to balance a check book, how to budget appropriately, how to perform basic maintenance work on your car, cooking/shopping/nutrition, building things, how certain tools work, gardening, etc etc. I’m sure there are programs at schools out there that exist but it’s definitely not the norm. I do agree that these are things that could definitely be taught at home by parents…but when is that going to happen? School lasts longer and longer these days, then kids come home with hours of homework. Combine that with parents who work full time and when is this teaching going to happen? No, it’s not the job of schools to teach your kids how to change the oil in their cars but really, aren’t basic life skills just as important as knowing how to solve an equation or edit a sentence? All the mathematical knowledge in the world isn’t going to save you when you burn your spam because you’re broke from not budgeting and getting ripped off from paying someone to do something you could have easily done yourself.


I don’t want this to be a touchy subject because heck, not all of us have time to instill this vast HOW TO BE AN ADULT knowledge upon our kids. I barely do and to be honest, I can’t do it anyway because no one taught me. But because I know what it’s like to feel an inch tall when buying a house or going to Home Depot, it’s important to me that my kids don’t. I want them to excel in academics, yes, but I also want them to be able to take care of themselves and not rely on others. I feel like as a society, we are becoming so technology dependent that we are forgetting how to manually do things for ourselves.

Surely I’m not the only one that’s thought of this, and I definitely don’t have a plan other than just involving my kids in every daily activity instead of sending them off to watch TV when I’m changing the oil in my car. How do we raise capable kids? Is there a secret?


The Universal Battle of Motherhood.


Okay, so I know it’s pretty much a joke to have the word battle in singular form up there in the title. As if there is only one battle to motherhood. Or parenthood. Hahahahahahahahahahaha.

I wish.


For real though, there are many battles, most of them individual and situation specific. Or not. The Battle of Taking Off Shoes in the Car. The Battle of Eat Your Friggen Dinner. The Battle of Stop Spitting on the Cat. The Battle of Keeping the Bathwater in the Bath. The Battle of Don’t Drink the Bathwater, Your Brother Probably Peed in it!

I’m not talking about those. Because we all know those are hopeless and we might as well not even call them battles because they will never be won. We should just call them  Losses You Need to Accept. The cat is just destined to be damp and stiff. Whatever, they’re covered in their own spit anyway so who cares.

I’m talking about the Battle of Alone Time. It’s a universal dilemma among moms. At least among the moms I associate with. All day long you are tired. You can’t wait till you can crawl back in your bed. You also can’t wait for silence. For time to chill on the couch. To internet surf without someone asking you questions, climbing on you, or getting into something. So bedtime comes, you breathe the sigh of relief as you close the last kid’s door…then what do you do?

Behind door number one you have sleep. You can go to bed early, and enjoy the extra sleep we all crave so you can feel refreshed in the morning. If you have a baby that wakes multiple times a night, at least you can feel less zombie like. But here’s the thing: the sooner you go to sleep, the sooner the morning comes. Scary isn’t it?


Behind door number two, you have alone time. You can grab snacks, your iPad, the remote, whatever, and camp out the couch to do whatever your heart desires. Without interruptions. Herein lies the problem of alone time: it’s addictive. I always laugh when someone says if you get a few hours alone a week it helps tremendously. For me it’s like mama crack. You give me a few hours alone and I will go to desperate lengths to find a way to get it again. So when I’m camped out on the couch at 7:30pm, that quickly transpires to me at midnight surrounded by 3495872347 chocolate bar wrappers, eyes dry and huge, ten tabs open to different websites reading about stuff I will realize I do not need by the time daylight rolls around. But at midnight? Oh I totally need that.

So which is it? What is a mama to do? Get restful sleep so you only want to sell your children for half the day the next day? Or get some alone time but feel like a cracked out zombie the next day? Personally I like to rotate the two options; keeps me balanced. Until someone comes up with a door number three….


What you don’t know CAN hurt you. And someone else.


If you’re reading this blog, you are more than likely safety minded, and searching for ways to keep your kids and family safe. We are all busy people but do our best to keep informed and up to date.

So let me ask you this-
What do you do if your child is choking? What is the first thing you do if you find a child (or an adult!) that is unresponsive? What if they have a pulse but are not breathing? What if they are breathing but their breaths are extremely shallow or gasping? Do you do rescue breathing or chest compressions first? When you do chest compressions, how many? How deep? How long?

Is your head spinning yet?

70% of people do not know the answers to those questions.

It’s easy for me to sit here and act like the answers to those questions are easy because I perform these actions on a regular basis for my job. I’m able to be calm and methodical, and do what I need to do. But for most people, encountering this situation is their first experience with ANY of this. Combine that with it being your own child or loved one…there goes the head spinning again. So the single best thing you can do is be confident in the answers to these questions. That way if a nightmare comes true, you KNOW you are doing everything in your power.

The American Heart Association offers tons of classes for basic life support training. Yes, it’s time out of your day. It’s easy to put on the backburner. But think of it this way- if you come across your child unconscious and not breathing, would you rather fly by the seat of your pants because you didn’t have time to take a class? Or would you rather give your child the best possible chance at surviving the situation?

The survival outcome of a person receiving CPR prior to EMS arriving is more than double that of someone who did not. Do you want that resting on your shoulders?

Go here to register for a class. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Find a class at

Made ya look!


When we hear the term “distracted driving” we usually think of people texting or talking on the phone when driving. There’s been many campaigns against the two, especially texting. We all know texting while driving is stupid, so don’t do it. But what about other distractions? There is always going to be some element of distraction when you are driving; it’s just part of life. That’s why it’s so important to drive defensively, be aware of your surroundings, and keep tabs on multiple things. If you think about it, driving is full of multi-tasking. You’re always listening (is that a fire truck coming up behind me?) and watching. You should be watching multiple things. The traffic signals, your position on the road, your route, the car in front of you, and if you are turning you may be watching for oncoming traffic in one direction and potential pedestrians in another. So what happens when we add in more items to occupy our attention, maybe items that aren’t conducive to driving?

We’ve already acknowledged phone use. What about the radio? “Not Taylor Swift AGAIN!”- click. Click. Click. Still trying to find a song that doesn’t make you stabby. Your eyes are on the road. But is your brain? What about food? Are you eating? I’m guilty of this. I leave my house for work at 6am and believe me, I like to eke out every last minute of sleep. Therefore I usually end up nomming on a cereal bar while driving. Simple bars are pretty easy to mindlessly eat but I’ve seen people dipping french fries while driving. How many of you have seen women putting on make up in traffic? Am I the only one that envisions her lightly tapping the brakes and sending her eye pencil through her cornea?

Kids. For the love of everything holy, the kids. Endless talking, crying, kicking of your seat. Liam, bless his heart, screamed for the duration of every car ride from birth to 18 months. It’s seriously a miracle I didn’t drive over a bridge. For those of you with babies that are currently doing this, my heart goes out to you. I promise it does end. Stay away from bridges.

Seriously though, your kids are probably the most distracting “items” in your car. The grabbing of a dropped sippy cup or toy at a red light. Handing them snacks. Turning around to threaten them with removal of everything near and dear to them if they aren’t quiet this instant! So what can you do? Not much. Sure, you can give them busy books or play music or let them watch the evil DVD players. But I guarantee you they’re still back there, taunting you.

We can’t completely rid ourselves of distractions. It’s life. But we can take action to minimize them as much as possible. Eat before you leave your house or when you arrive to your destination. Set your GPS before you start driving, not while you are leaving your neighborhood.  Ladies, you’re beautiful the way you are without a pencil through your eyeball. Keep your car neat and clean with everything in a visible place so you aren’t rummaging at red lights to see if you remembered to bring whatever it is you need.

Think about your distractions. Think about what you can do to minimize or remove them. You’re worth it, your kids are worth it, and your friends on the road are worth it. Remember, you’re only as safe at the most distracted driver out there. If that isn’t an incentive to spread the word, I don’t know what is.