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Caution: Falling Snowflake

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In case any of you were wondering, I’m doing okay. The Blizzard of January 7th was rough on all of us, but we will rebuild. This desert-bum-transplanted-into-the-South will rise again.

Cue jokes about how the North handles the snow vs the South. Ya’ll can joke all you want about us munching on our bread and drinking our milk while a single snowflake falls from the sky but I’d like to see how you handle a tornado. Oh, you don’t get them? Exactly.

Friendly ribbing aside, it’s true that things pretty much shut down out here over snow. In fact, schools were cancelled yesterday and are cancelled again for tomorrow. We got an inch or so on Saturday that promptly melted. That’s it. We’ve had record lows, with our temps not coming above freezing, but that’ll be fixed right quick when it hits 70 by the end of the week. Out here, schools are closed or on delays because our back roads are not treated. We don’t have plows and we don’t have the brine that Charlotte uses on the streets. Even Charlotte isn’t exactly prepared- as a nurse, I was still expected to show up to work in the city this past weekend and while the streets were treated, there wasn’t a soul in sight while I slid my way through that icy-rain. It simply doesn’t make sense to put money toward something that never happens.

That being said, those of us in this position could use some safe driving tips. Those of you who drive through 30 feet of snow every day on their way to work, just humor us here and offer any tips you may have.

-Don’t drive too fast, but also don’t drive too slow. The inchworm like crawl is what leads to jampacked highways, which in turn leads to accidents and stranded drivers. Think this scene from the snow we had in 2014 here in North Carolina:

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Yeah, don’t cause that.

-If you slide, turn into it and don’t brake. Wait till you feel your wheels grip the road and regain control.

-Increase your following distance. It’s gonna take you longer to stop. Which leads to the next tip:

-Don’t stop if you can help it, and if you have to, do it slowly.

-Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Take your time.

-Watch those bridges!

-Make sure you have items in your car you may need if your car breaks down or you slide off the road. Charged phone, flashlight, warm clothing/blankets, etc.

snow3

And pretty much just stay home. Seriously. Schools are closed, a lot of offices are closed, so unless you’re essential personnel, just enjoy it. Sometimes I wonder if the jokes toward the South are slightly based on wishing for a similar “snow-cation”. Everyone needs a day to be “stuck” at home doing nothing, with an excuse for child-like excitement and staring out the windows. Although I suppose when you live where you get multiple feet of snow every winter that isn’t exactly feasible.

We are going on day 4 of “snow effects” even though there’s no snow, and I’m ready for spring. Rivalries aside, I think we can all agree that we can’t wait for warmer weather and sunshine.

 

Stay safe ya’ll. I’ve got a loaf of bread over here if you need it.

Just a friendly reminder… rare earth magnets not worth the risk they pose to children and pets

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I was reading some articles while drinking coffee this morning and I came upon a news article that made my heart sink. A previous ban on the sale of rare earth magnet toys has been overturned and they will return to the shelves.

After multiple instances of children suffering internal injuries after swallowing these neodymium magnets, the Consumer Product Safety Commission got them taken off the market. The manufacturer won an appeal, though, just in time for the holiday shopping season. 🙁

Pbuckyballs-standardlease read my previous article: When Attractions Go Bad for a full run down, but in summary these are small kitchsy “toys” meant for adults. They are extremely powerful magnets that, when swallowed by children or pets, attract together in the digestive tract, pinch it off, and cause necrosis and sepsis. You don’t know this has happened until the symptoms are severe and it’s too late.

With the holiday season upon us, we are all out looking for fun things to buy for our family and friends. Please reconsider when you notice these. They can kill a child or pet and damage a family forever. No gift is worth that.

magnet-ingestion-diagram

You’ve got me and I’ve got you.

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The way my husband talks about his Army buddies you’d think they live around the corner and he sees them every day. The truth is he hasn’t seen many of them in over 5 years, and only talks with them every few months. I haven’t questioned him about how he feels so close to them when to an average person it appears that they hardly know each other because I know that it’s just different. Going through deployments with people who literally have your back (and you have theirs!) makes bonds between people a different kind than your average friendship. Literally facing death with another person puts you at a whole different level.

That being said, while I wouldn’t dream of comparing and contrasting parenthood with a lovely deployment in Iraq, I understand the concept of needing someone when times are tough, and having your friendship shaped by those tough times.

There’s something to be said about having a best friend that is down there with you. Deep in those trenches of sleepless nights, tears, frustrations, and body fluids. They understand you, they have your back, and even though they probably don’t know what the heck the answer is either, they share in the search with you.

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I rarely even get to see my best friend. She lives 10 hours away and we have 6 kids between the two of us. But when we do get to see each other, it melds seamlessly into laughter and butt wiping like there hasn’t been any time passing at all. She’s my person. We always joke that we’d be happiest living in a commune being sister wives and just throwing all our kids together and forgetting about who belongs to who. We’ve gotten so good at reading each other that I can tell when she’s irritated purely by the way her punctuation is in her text messages. She just had her 4th baby, sweet little Colin, and I just came back from trying to help her get last minute things together before adding another pup to the pack. Everyone else sees the fun baby stuff, the cute newborn, the perfect Facebook pictures. But we know better. We know the nitty gritty of each other’s lives. We know that just before the nice picture, someone pooped on the driveway. That one of us was crying the night before. That our appliances are all breaking down at once and we’re going broke. That work is killing one of us. That we both have huge wishes and dreams but only a miniscule of a moment and pennies to try to achieve them. We know the real deal. And not only do we love each other in spite of them, we love each other because of them.

bff

Every parent needs a person. I think sometimes that person doesn’t show up when you think they will, but this whole parenting gig is so much more emotionally stable when you have a person. And for every person out there who doesn’t have that friend, there’s probably also someone out there who doesn’t and is looking. I bet if someone up and made a “I’m 4 Cups of Coffee Deep, My Kid Just Bit Me and Peed on the Cat, I’m Exactly 203 Minutes Late for A Dentist Appointment, and I Just Wish I Had Someone to Commiserate With!” website, similar to a dating platform, they’d totally be on to something. Make yourself a profile and find your match. Find your similarities, and what differences balance each other. Christine and I are like the Yin and Yang of vomit. She hates it, and it totally doesn’t bother me. Perfect balance!! I’ll take the puke, she can take early mornings. Done!

So there is never any question from my husband about how a person I am lucky to see once a year is the topic of so many of my conversations, a big voice in my decisions, and a familiar person to my kids. Sometimes when someone is so entwined in your life, even if in spirit, there isn’t a question. It just is. We’re both fighting the same battle, having each other’s backs, and trying to get everyone out in one piece.

Tell us about your person. Who are they to you, and what makes them a part of you? Is there someone you know that you think could use a person? Maybe it could be you. Reach out!

Happy Haunting!

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It’s almost Halloween! And nothing says Halloween like a post reminding you of all the things that could go wrong on Halloween and how to avoid them. I don’t think that’s very festive though, and I’d like to think most of you folks out there know not to throw your kid in front of a moving car when they’re wearing all black at night, and that you shouldn’t let your toddler crack open a glowstick and drink it.

You know what else says Halloween? Late night snacking. That’s right. You know you do it. After the kids go to bed from now until Chistmas you will be raiding their candy. I’d also like to bow to whoever invented the Switch Witch. Pure genius I tell you. I can just picture it now, because it was definitely a mom, sitting in her living room, yelling “It’s mine! All mine!!” while scooping up candy. And all she has to do is make a trip to Target (yeah, real big punishment there) for a toy. Bonus points if you live in a neighborhood that hands out good candy. You know, quality stuff like Twix and Kit-kats. The candy that says, “hey, I’m a great neighbor that enjoys Halloween”. Tootsie rolls? “I forgot to buy candy till 3pm Halloween day”. Bit-O-Honey? “I hate you and Halloween”. No offense to the fans of Bit-O-Honeys. I still think you’re crazy but I do respect you for your…classic taste. Please don’t smash my pumpkins.

Last year's haul. Kids totally thought I wouldn't sit on the couch and pig out on their candy. Jokes on them! Crispy the cat was the only witness and he never tells.

Last year’s haul. Kids totally thought I wouldn’t sit on the couch and pig out on their candy. Joke’s on them! Crispy the cat was the only witness and he never tells.

They’re not kidding when they say Halloween is a time for the Underworld. Apparently everyone is trying to send you there with the blinding masks so big that you walk into a mailbox, and  the princess skirts that are so haphazardly hemmed that every little girl must faceplant at least once while trick-or-treating. Don’t forget all the elderly folks still insisting on baking cookies (of death?) to hand out even though every single mother out there makes their kid throw them away. And pennies. What’s with the pennies? You telling me to choke to death or wither away in poverty? Not sure of the subtle message of that. Granted, I was ecstatic to get pennies as a kid so I guess my Scrooge is showing. My kids love pennies too so heck with it, bring it on!

 

"Hey Declan, I'll trade you my Bit O Honey for your Twix" "Nope."

“Hey Declan, I’ll trade you my Bit O Honey for your Twix”
“Nope.”

In all seriousness though, Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday. I love the whole month of October, the excitement of choosing a costume, the pumpkins, the festivals, the beautiful days. Just when I thought it was getting a little weird for me to be so Halloween obsessed, I had kids and an excuse to continue my crazy. So Happy Halloween to every single one of you! Be safe, have fun, don’t throw your kid in front of cars, watch out for mailboxes and fallen princesses, and don’t feel guilty about eating the Twix and saving the Bit-O-Honey’s for your little honey. You gave them life after all.

Basically sums up my kids in one picture.

Basically sums up my kids in one picture.