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I might have given in, but with good reason!

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I was always “that” mother. The one who swore that her child would never, and I mean ever ever play with a cell phone. I always said that I would never be the absent minded mom who so selfishly handed my kid my phone in public just to keep him quiet. No way. That is lazy. It is basically neglect. I was never going to do that.

I even had a house-wide ban on toy cell phones. My reasoning being that Turner just has baby brains and if I don’t want him playing with my real phone, then I shouldn’t give him a toy phone because he cannot distinguish the difference and it would be confusing for him.

Well, never say never.

By the time Turner was just a couple of months old our phones had become a toy for him. Moreso Andrew’s than mine, because I pay for my phone while Andrew’s is part of his job, so if Turner broke mine, it came out of pocket, and Andrew’s, well he had other options. It isn’t like we handed him our phones one day and told him to go to town. But he begged for it, grabbed it while we weren’t looking, and was just drawn to the screen’s light. He has the perfect finger motion too. Using the pointer finger to perfectly slide icons around. He was a pro before he could walk.

I can’t say that I didn’t try, because really, I did, honest.

Well, I did the unthinkable. You know “that” mom I talked about earlier, well if she knew what I did this weekend, she would have me thrown in jail! I bought Turner, my nearly 20 month old son, his own tablet. I had no other choice.

Before you report me to the authorities, hear me out.

The last few weeks, going out to eat with Turner has been a nightmare. While the easy solution might be, don’t go out to eat, it is really hard to give it up, because it is something Andrew and I really enjoy. Plus, I am no Martha Stewart, so I am never going to pass up a chance for someone to cook for me AND clean it up afterwards.

Turner has boycotted high chairs. I am assuming it is because we have never really used one at home, because when he was 9 months old my mom got him his own table and chair and he has eaten there ever since. Then, when we went out to dinner one night, instead of putting him in the high chair, we put him in the booth with us. It was easy, it worked, and it was way better than wrestling him in the high chair. Well, then he got used to it, and now screams bloody murder at the very sight of a high chair. So he gets free reign in a booth, or even a big boy chair. He does pretty well, except he has tons of access and room to cause trouble, which he did last week.

Before I could even process what was about to happen, Turner grabbed the bread off of the table and tossed it to the table behind us. The bread landed in the lady’s lap, she was less than amused. The couple were obviously on a date. You know, the type of date where they were sitting on the same side of the table (can you say awkward?!). So as she rolled her eyes and picked her jaw up off the table, she removed the bread from her lap and brushed me away with her hand. They were obviously not kid people, which is ok, not everyone is.

So we went through dinner, Turner letting out the average amount of screams, while Andrew and I played keep away with everything in sight. Despite being mortified that Turner decided his dinner would consist of nothing but ketchup, which he so artistically spread on the walls, it got worse.

Andrew and I had removed virtually everything from the table, the waitress has even removed our dishes, and once again, before I could even blink, Turner had jacked a red crayon from the table and tossed it to the same table behind us. Not only did the crayon land directly in the lady’s salad, Turner was so proud of himself, he threw both hands up in the air and yelled, ‘TOUCHDOWN.” Speechless, I just said I was sorry, grabbed Turner up and went to the car to let Andrew handle the check.

That is just the latest example of our restaurant battles. So, I broke down and bought Turner a tablet. One of those that are specifically built for kids, so hopefully, they don’t break easily. We have yet to try it out at dinner because we are still recovering from the most recent catastrophes, but soon we will give it a go. Turner did get to play with it at home the other night. He did well. There are TV clips pre-loaded, and I can add any android apps to it. I think it could be the greatest investment we have ever made.

Don’t worry, I don’t plan to let him have it all the time. Just when we are out and he needs something to keep him occupied. I know, I know, those tech toys will rot a kids brain… well, I guess we will see.

Don’t judge me.

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Is your child in the right car seat? Probably not. Fix it now.

I am furious and heartbroken all at the same time this morning. When I logged on the Internet this morning, the first article on Yahoo.com’s main page just ruined my entire day.

This mother tragically lost her child because her child was not properly restrained in his car seat. Something so simple. Something so easy. Something so many people are not aware of could have saved this poor life. It kills me. My heart is breaking for a complete stranger this morning.

By law, at least in North Carolina, a child is required to be in a rear facing car seat until they turn one. Although that is the law in the state in which I live, other states have laws that require children to remain rear-facing for far longer because experts recommend that a child remain rear facing for as long as possible. Age does not determine if your child gets to be forward facing. A child’s weight and height does. Each car seat is different. Each car seat has different regulations on how your child should sit in the seat and if it should be rear facing or forward facing.

ONE IN FOUR CAR SEATS Are INSTALLED INCORRECTLY. Knowing that alarming statistic, that 75 percent of car seats are wrong, how could you not want to ensure yours is right?!

Please don’t assume because your child is one, or because your friend’s child is forward-facing, that your child should be too, because chances are, they shouldn’t. A child in a rear facing seat is 4 times safer than a child in a forward facing seat when it comes to a collision. FOUR TIMES SAFER. I have no idea that parents can know that fact and ignore it. I have no idea why any parent would want to risk their child’s safety.

I completely understand, that in a lot of cases, like the one of the mother in the article posted above, the problem is lack of education on the topic. Since becoming a mother I have become a car seat nazi. I guess you could say that I am kind of obsessed with it. But when I read articles like the one above… who can blame me? Today, a mother is without her son because she didn’t know the facts. It is that simple.

I have heard some parents say that their child is too big to be rear facing because their feet touch the back of the seat. My sister was one example. But that just simply isn’t true. It is perfectly safe and expected for your child’s feet to be rear facing with their feet touching the seat. It is going to happen and is totally ok. It will keep your child safe. Just do it.

Please educate yourself. Please know what is best for your child. Please don’t let an easy fix take your child’s life.  There are tons of resources, a great one is Safe Kids. Not only does their website have a ton of information, but they also have resources to find car seat technicians who will check your car seat for free. They are certified and can tell you what is best for your child and your vehicle. It doesn’t cost you anything to get it checked, but if you don’t, it could cost you your child’s life.

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So if we are Facebook friends, and you post a picture of your child in a car seat and it is incorrect. Chances are I am probably going to step up and say something, because the mother in this article wished someone would have done that for her.

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Not all parenting stereotypes are false.

Growing up, I always heard jokes about how parents would hide treats from their kids. Then when I got older, I would see funny cartoons about mom’s hiding out on the toilet trying to savor chocolate without their children finding out, just so they didn’t have to share.

#truth

#truth

Well, this weekend, I got to experience that. It actually hit me… that I am that stereotypical parent. That all of those cartoons were actually a “thing” and were real life. Early last week I got a small bag of potato chips at the store. I love potato chips. I would eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, if at all possible. But since a recent doctor’s visit revealed that I was clinical obese, oh yes, obese, I no longer get to enjoy my guilty pleasure.

After a two month hiatus from the gym due to lack of time, and after begin told that I was obese (I blame it on how short I am), I have returned to the gym, restricted my already twig and berries diet, and am trying my hardest to be a better me. So when I bought this bag of chips at the gas station, it was an indulgence. It was a treat. I didn’t open them right away. Even though I wanted them that very minute, just making the purchase calmed my cravings for the time being. I tucked the chips away in the back of the cabinet. A special treat for myself for a later day.

The dynamic duo!

The dynamic duo!

Well, that later day hit me this weekend. I decided to volunteer to have a sleepover at my house with my niece Madison, as well as having Turner. I never mind it. Those two play so well together, and despite the clutter of constant toys and books littering the living room, and an occasional slap for one of them not sharing, it isn’t a tough job. But in the middle of watching those two, it hit me. The uncontrollable urge, the sensation, the burning desire to devour that bag of chips to the very last crumb.

But what was I supposed to do? There was no way I could have enjoyed even a single chip without that two scavengers clawing out my eyes to get a taste. I just was not going to let that happen. I could taste the succulence of those cheddar and sour cream slices of heaven, and I was not about to share with anyone. With my eyes glued to the kitchen cabinet protecting my treasure, I debated every possible tactic I could take to get a moment alone.

My first born!

My first born!

My efforts were hopeless. No matter what scenario I came up with, I just could not see it ending well. And despite being able to literally smell the goodness from the air tight container protecting the nectar of the gods, I left the chips high up in the cabinet.

This is what my life has come to. A hungry mother so stingy and stubborn that I would rather not get even a little taste of my addiction than have to share an ounce with my son and niece. But hey, that is motherhood right?

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We have officially introduced the time out.

Turner is almost 17 months old. He is very stubborn and very strong-willed. He fully knows right from wrong. He completely understands when he isn’t supposed to be doing something, and most of the time, he does it anyway. So last night, after taking one too many swipes across the face, I put him in time out.

He hates it. He knows it is not a good place to be. I put his little nose in the corner and stand behind him while explaining what he did wrong and how he shouldn’t do it. He fights it with every ounce of his being. He tries to wiggle free and tries to reach for me with a river of tears streaming down his face. It is tough. When he is reaching for me, and just wants to nuggle his little head up against my chest, it is hard not to resist. But I know I have to. After all, he is my child, and I was hell as a child. So I know what he has in him, and I know that if karma has anything to do with it, I am in for a real treat these next few years.

My little nightly terror.

My little nightly terror.

It is tough. I don’t plan to put him in time out for everything, just things I truly think he understands he shouldn’t be doing, like hitting. I want to call adult protective services… he is the worst momma-abuser. He doesn’t just hit me. He leans back and puts force into it before he slams his five little sticky, slobbered covered fingers across my check. And he isn’t afraid to use a weapon. Before I even had time to brace for it, he full-force slammed a golf ball into my nose. I wouldn’t mind some cosmetic work, but I would prefer to avoid it being because my toddler started the process.

In addition to time out,  I think I am about to get a lot more stubborn when it comes to Turner’s sleeping… or the lack of. Last night, like most nights, he woke up shortly after 3 a.m. for his nightly romper room. It is exhausting. I am constantly tired, and grumpy, and resentful, and it is about time he gets used to sleeping all night, alone, in his own bed. While it is far easier to rescue him from his crib (if he will even sleep there to begin with) and put him in bed with mommy and daddy, I know we just can’t keep doing it. I can’t take many more nights on the couch, because that is his choice location for his slumber. It doesn’t mesh well for me.

We are about to have one disappointed toddler. But I think it is time that mommy and daddy establish who is boss!

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Catching up while just trying to keep up!

I desperately miss writing on here. I will 100% make more of an effort. Sometimes, life just gets in the way.

We just survived our first fight with pink eye. It started in Turner’s right eye, then moved to the left. It didn’t really impact him too much. I have always said that Turner is the least sick sick kid I have ever met. Nigh time was rough. When he would wake up with his eyes matted he was understandably afraid and confused, but other than that, it was business as usual.

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Turner’s eight tooth has broken through, and that caused more tears and fuss than the ear infection/pink eye. I hadn’t even realized the new tooth until he started gnawing on the coffee table, that is his go-to teething toy despite our best efforts to prevent it. It is so crazy to see all those teeth. He is 16 months now, just hit that milestone on the 30th. Just a couple of months ago when we had his 1 year pics taken he had half the teeth and looked so much younger. I just want to freeze him.

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My amazing sister, Ruby Peoples Photography, took incredible 1 year pics of Turner!

Last night when I was snuggling him to sleep, it hit me. One day, he is going to be too big for this. I dread the day that when he gets sleepy he no longer wants to crawl up on the couch with me and let me love him to sleep. It is heartbreaking. I don’t ever want that day to come. Just the thought is borderline paralyzing.

We can scratch off every item on the 12-24 developmental check list. He is such a little person. It is mind blowing at times. Sometimes I let him run around the house barefoot and in nothing but a diaper because it is the only time he still seems like my baby.

Whenever he does anything, I just want to freeze it for a second so I will never forget. Like how his face lights up when a dog or ball comes on TV. How when I walk out to the mailbox he climbs on the couch and watches me from the window. How he takes his toy golf club and swipe hopelessly at balls in the living room. How he finds his spoon and attempts to eat blueberries on his own. How he never passes an opportunity to splash in a puddle even though just a few months ago he was petrified of water. How he pulls out the drawers in the kitchen and plays in them. How he grabs both of my cheeks and plants the sweetest kiss i have ever had right on my lips. All of these things. I never want to forget them. I want to always remember them.

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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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I have a 1 year old!

It officially happened. 

Turner is officially 1 year old. 

I took Friday (his birthday) off of work to spend the say with him and it was wonderful. I got to snuggle him all day long while running around and getting all the last minute things I needed done for his birthday, which was Saturday. 

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Turner’s birthday part was wonderful. It was filled with wonderful friends and family who love Turner just as much as Andrew and I do. Turner had a blast and so did everyone else who came. The dinosaur theme was a big hit too. We asked our family and friends to consider making a donation to a local children’s shelter instead of giving Turner gifts, and although some people couldn’t resist showering Turner with presents for his birthday, we still got an awesome donation collection to take to KIDS Place later this week. 

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Andrew and I woke up bright and early Saturday morning. The part was not event supposed to start until 11:30 a.m., but that didn’t stop us from getting up before 7 a.m. We scrambled most of the morning with one thing going wrong or the other. Andrew forgot the keys to the building at home, the helium tank for the balloons was out and needed to be replaced, the bounce house couldn’t get enough power and wouldn’t fully inflate, you know the basic run of the mill problems everyone has when they want something to be perfect. 

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Despite a few hiccups and the fact that I was still scrambling with my mother at nearly noon to finish decorating, I think everything went really well. My fear of not having enough food was of course crushed when we had a ton left over. But I would much rather go home with bags of hot dog buns then experience the humiliation of not having one for someone. 

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Now if we could just reorganize Turner’s bedroom to accommodate all of his new toys and play things, we would be set! 

At 22 lbs 14 oz and 30 inches tall, with a whopping 4 teeth, Turner is a beautiful, perfect, healthily 1 year old!