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Children exist… get with the program!

Last night, Andrew and I walked into a restaurant in a neighboring town. It is the town I am from, a very small North Carolina town with little to choose from when it comes to restaurants and outings.

The parking lot was about full, but the type of food it had was exactly what we were craving, so we stopped in. It is a small place. With an outdoor covered area/patio area and a small inside dinning room with an even smaller bar.

They weren’t full, there were tables opened, both inside and outside.

We told the hostess there were two adults and one high chair, and she scurried away to make accommodations. Less than a minute later, the manager came up to us and informed us that the only two high chairs owned by the restaurants were taken. He then continued by saying that since he didn’t have a high chair for us, it would be best and easier if we sat outside at one of the larger picnic style tables because we could just put Turner on the table.
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I guess it goes without saying, we left the restaurant. Time and time again I get frustrated when public places are not accommodating to babies. Like when a bathroom doesn’t have a changing table. I mean, I don’t expect every small mom and pop to be fully-equipped to handle what a child needs, but I really think it should just be part of the basics. Kind of like handicapped accessible. There should be rules and regulations for being baby-accessible. This is not the first time I have encountered such problems. When Turner was first born we had a similar incident.

I admit, I was frustrated. I was hungry, ill, it was raining, and the nerve of such a business, to be basically one of maybe 5 options in the whole entire town, and to not have a stinking high chair?! Unacceptable.

We left and went to another restaurant. Lulu’s on Main Street, which according to reviews is not very baby friendly. Well, we found quite the opposite to be true. Although the restaurant is a bit fancier than the first we stopped into, not only did the have a stack of high chairs, they were playfully painted. The kids menu was pleasingly priced, and the food and service was divine.

So the little high chair mishap ended up taking Andrew and I to a new favorite spot, so no harm no foul.

But dang it, if it isn’t frustrating to have public places, for no seemingly good reason, just not accommodate children and families. It is just bad business!

, SiteDart Author

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We had another first yesterday!

Yesterday, I got off work a little early, went with my mom, sister, niece and Turner on a 3 hour drive to get Turner’s first hair cut. unnamed

“3 hours?” You might ask. Well, yes. See, every since I was a kid and saw the Full House episode where the twins, Nicky and Alex, got their hair cut in Joey’s uncle’s barber shop, I always said that is what I wanted for my children. You know, the seats that are monster trucks or trains, or something else fun.

The problem is, where we live, there is no such thing. I live in a very small rural town in western North Carolina, and if I wanted to get Turner’s haircut in such a place, I had to do something to make it happen, and that is just what I did. Luckily, I didn’t just drive 3 hours away for only a hair cut. But it just so happens, that there was such a shop in the town that my mom’s family lives in. So we made a day trip out of it, got Turner’s hair cut, and got to see family. A win for everyone!

I admit it, I cried a little bit. Not at first. I could handle the first few snips. But then, when his little curls started to fade away and his bangs fell to shape his face, my eyes started to swell. He looks like such a big kid! He actually has a hair style. It is not just floppy all over his head, but it has a shape and a purpose.
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It was absolutely adorable. He did awesome, too! I thought we were going to have a melt down since he fell asleep in the Jeep the short 10 min drive from my MawMaw’s to the shop. But he didn’t. I put a couple of goldfish in his hands, courtesy of Zany Cuts, and he was as content as can be.
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Zany Cuts, which is in Newnan, Ga. just south of Atlanta, is so charming. The middle of the shop has a train station set up for little boys and a whole ‘Girls Only” dress up room in the back complete with feather boas and all the dress up jewelry a girl can drive of. The Stylist’s stations have tupperware containers of goldfish, fruit loops and graham crackers, and for a job well done, a sucker at the end. Turner was strapped into a Thomas the Train seat and was glued to the cartoons on the TV.

We got the first haircut package, which comes with a ziplock bag of Tunrer’s first cut locks and a certificate with his name and date on it. It was just darling.

I took a video and Ruby took 100 pictures, all well worth it to experience a first I will never forget with my little prince!
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, SiteDart Author

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Turner’s summer photo session

As you all know, my sister is a photographer, and an awesome one at that.

Whenever I have a free weekend, I try to make it a point to help her with whatever photo shoot she has. I worked in a photo studio for 8 years, so I have a real talent for acting a fool and getting kids to laugh and pay attention to the camera. I also really love photography, and spending time with Ruby.

So this weekend Ruby has her summer strawberry mini sessions, and I had a couple of hours open, so I helped her out. Our younger sister T.J. brought my son Turner and our niece Madison to get their photos taken, and the result was just perfect.
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I know I am biased, but I think Ruby is the best photographer around, and I think Turner and Madison are two of the best little models anyone could ask for.

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My piece of advice to you: Take lots of pictures. Even for no reason, just take lots of pictures because they grow up so fast and sometimes it is easy to get caught up in everything and forget to enjoy the moment.

, SiteDart Author

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Adorable baby moment!

We had the cutest little first last night.

So Until yesterday, Turner has never been able to crawl up onto the couch. He has mastered getting down, but whenever he wants up, we have to help.

Also, in general, Turner does not like to go to bed at night on the couch being snuggled. Even when he is so tired he cannot keep his eyes open, if he is in the living room with us, he wants to play. No matter how hard we try to love and snuggle him to sleep on the couch out night, we also resort to putting him in his crib.

Well last night, Andrew was laying on the couch snoozing while I was finishing up a movie. Turner was playing and was not even showing his usual sleepy signs. Then out of no where, he went over to the couch where Andrew was laying, crawled right up on the couch all by himself, snuggled up next to his poppa and went right to sleep.

Was the cutest, sweetest, most adorable thing I have witnessed to date. Having the two best boys imaginable in my life is more than I could have ever dreamed of!

P.S. I hate there was not a video or photo to accompany this post!

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Tuesday morning rant on entitlement

I whole-heatedly believe that children today grow up with a disgusting sense of entitlement. I believe that everyone thinks that they are entitled to the same opportunities that others are afforded, and not because of hard work or actually earning it, but because if someone else has something, I deserve it too, even if I didn’t work for it.

It is truly disheartening.

Today, everyone gets a trophy. We are so afraid of hurting our children’s self-esteem that we praise them for a job well-attempted rather than a job well-done. In today’s society, everyone gets a trophy. Even if you failed miserably, don’t worry, you will still get a ribbon in the end.

That is not how I was raised, and I think I am better for it. That is also not how I plan to raise Turner. Although he will be awarded for his efforts, and know that even when you fail, the fact that you tried carries weight, I will also teach him that to be truly successful you must not only triumph and conquer your goals, but if you do fail, you must learn from your failures and better yourself.

I say all that to say this. The news was flooded today with report of a Yankees fan suing a whole gaggle of sports related businesses such as the Yankees themselves and ESPN, for broadcasting a 90 minute clip of him sleeping at a game.

Well first and foremost, the guy is a Yankees fan, so that is your biggest problem. (In case you didn’t know I am a die-hard Brave)

But second, he was attending a Yankees vs. Red-Sox fan, the known rivalry between the two teams is a given that the game would be on ESPN, and by attending the game, you are subjecting yourself to television time and attention that may take place regarding your attendance.

Third, the 26-year-old who is suing all of this businesses, is doing so under the premise that the commentary of the 90 second clip hurt his feelings. I mean seriously, the law suit is claiming that the commentators during the segment mocked him for being oblivious. But it was not really the TV appearance that hurt his feelings, but more so the comments that individuals who viewed the clip made, which ESPN nor MLB have any control of. But all-in-all, the guy got his little feelings hurt.

So, my complete frustration with this entire subject, is not only does the guy feel ENTITLED to something because he made the decision to attend a national publicized sporting event, and he made the decision to partake in actions that were less than status-quo for his environment, therefore he has no business objecting to the consequences of his actions, but more than that, by filing a very public law suit, he is subjecting himself to the very torment and trial of public opinion that he is so offended by.

So instead of the few fans who were watching the broadcast and whatever small media circulated after the April 13 incident, this guy is making headline news on all the big networks, broadcasting his experiences to the world. Seems a little hypocritical to me. If he was really offended and hurt by what happened, wouldn’t he want it to go away? Nah, who needs that, let’s scream from the mountain tops about the grossly unjust situation and deliver myself on a silver platter for the entire nation to ridicule. Seems legit.

I am not saying that victims should be silent. But this is not a case of a victim speaking out and seeking justice against a bully. The bullies in this case are the people who hide behind the keys of a message board, not the people named in the law suit.

And they are just words, really. When I was growing up, bullies were a part of life. I was bullied terribly. I would hide in the bathroom between classes in fear of bigger kids who didn’t like me beating me up. But it was a fact of life. Today, if you scream bully and point a finger, you basically have scenes from the Salem Witch Trails with everyone out for blood.

As a society we need to toughen our skin back up. We need to teach our children that bullies are a fact of life and hurtful things will inevitably be said. But it is not those comments that define us as people, but instead, it is how we react and prevail that makes us who we are. Those lessons need to be taught.

We also need to teach our children that you are not entitled to anything. This guy thinks because of a decision he made, he is entitled to the opportunity to sue innocent bystanders. It just blows my mind.

You shouldn’t get a trophy for just showing up. You shouldn’t be given something just because someone else has it. You shouldn’t cower to bullies or opinions of others. Instead, you should earn your accolades. You should work diligently to achieve and earn what is obtained in your life. And you should learn to disregard the opinions and actions of people who do not matter.

Ugh, thanks for tuning into my Tuesday morning rant!

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Celebrating a firework-less Fourth!

Turner’s second Fourth of July is officially on the books and it was incredible.

Although our small town has one of the biggest, if not THE biggest, firework show in our region, Andrew and I decided to skip the hustle and bustle of the tourist trap this year and head for the lake with friends.

We went to Lake Lure, a beautiful little lake town less than 2 hours from home with my bff Mary, her boyfriend and his kids. IMG_9277 It was relaxing, enjoyable, and just what we needed. It was actually mine and Andrew’s first kid-friendly adult get-together, weird as that might seem. IMG_9256

We spend the day out on the lake’s beach, which was great because although Turner was not a fan of the ocean’s beach and sand, he loved the lake. He loved the sand, the water didn’t scare him one bit, and he even dunked himself under a few times! He didn’t shed a single tear… which is far different than our Florida beach experience. IMG_9216

We didn’t see any fireworks, probably for the first time in my life, but I am ok with that. I am sure they would have scared Turner anyway, and he was basically down before dark. Once you have seen one firework, you have just about seen them all.

It was also adorable to see Turner play with the other kids. He just loved them. I think he definitely found an older love interest too. IMG_9278

, SiteDart Author

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Summer Vacation Series Part III: Rear vs. Forward Facing car seat for a long drive

So for our first vacation as a family, well at least the first that counts (we took Turner on work trips with Andrew when he was a couple of weeks old), we decided since we were driving from North Carolina to Destin, Florida, it would be a treat for Turner, and easier for us, if we turned his car seat forward facing.

The first couple of minutes were awesome. We got to see him, and every time we turned around and looked at him he would giggle and he just loved it. It was easier… at first.

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We thought it would be easier. Especially since his car seat presses up against my seat, and if I wanted to lay it back, or not be hugging the dashboard for the entire drive, he would have to be in the middle instead of behind my seat.

When Turner got tired, and we just happened to be stuck in traffic due to a wreck, it was hell. He could not get comfortable in the more upright position the car seat was in. He wanted me to be turned and talking to him or giving him attention every second, which made me car sick. He was livid, and there was nothing we could do because we were stuck in traffic, on the side of the highway, with no end in sight.

We drive halfway the first night, just to make it easier on Turner. Which ended up being miserable for us. But we were so tired, we just decided to leave the car seat forward facing the next morning. It was only 4 hours, and although it was a little harder, it was just so cute to be able to look back and see him. It really was a treat for us. Well, we soon regretted that decision as well.

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Since he could see us, he wanted to us to play and talk to him the whole time. I just couldn’t do it. Well, needless to say, for the non-stop 8 hour trip home, we left his seat rear-facing. And although I could not even begin to straighten my legs, Turner slept and was content the whole way home!

So lesson learned. If you think a forward-facing seat is easier and better for your little one on a long car ride… think again. Leave it rear-facing for as long as possible!