BE WARNED: Does Your Child Attend This School?

Now that fall is here and school is back in session, do you know what school your family attends and what is being taught? Does your child or any member of your family attend the school mentioned below? Check out these statistics:

“As an educational institution, _______School is by far the most successful school system in the history of the world.

  • Community Involvement:  Nearly 99% of the nation’s population is enrolled in _______ School, unequalled in history. No nation has ever had so many students voluntarily enrolled in the education system.
  • Dropout Rates:  Rarely do we find those who drop out of the _______ School. No mandatory attendance laws exist.  This school does not have an attendance officer.
  • Class Times:  Classes are offered 24 hours per day, 365 days a year.  The school never closes – unparalled in history.
  • Tuition:  Hundreds of classes are taken each week free of charge, with others offered for a small monthly fee.
  • Babysitter:  For those with small children, the school provides free babysitting service.
  • Basis of School Support:  Businesses pay school officials huge sums of money, which allows them to come into the home classrooms and try to sell products to the students. Teachers (actors) are paid by these businesses. These teacher/actors are the highest paid teachers in the history of the world.
  • Time in Class:  The average American spends approximately 28 hours per week in _______ classes.
  • Class Offerings:  No school system has ever offered such a variety of classes. Students can choose from classes in music, games, drama, dancing, local news, world news, nature, religion, murder, rape, drug use, immorality, profanity, and so on.
  • Teachers Characteristics:  While there are many teachers with high moral standards, there are also many who would never be allowed to teach in public schools because of their immoral lifestyles.
  • Consequence:  When we turn on the knob, we enter a class.”

(From Power Parenting in the LDS Home by Randal A. Wright, PhD)

Any guesses?  This “school” is TV!  Surprised or does it all make sense? The American Academy of Pediatrics study shared that “by the time the average person reaches age 70, he or she will have spent the equivalent of 7 to 10 years of their lives watching television.”  Eek! Is that what you want to be doing with the precious time you have in this life? Is the TV what you want to teach your children and your family?

This post holds no judgement, only encourages reflection and hopes to inspire, uplift and change.  As a parent, the special spirits you were entrusted with are your responsibility.  Please, don’t take it lightly. Start a #digitaldetox in your home and build family relations, time well spent with an eternal impact.

Consider Sound Advice

I remember sharing a post of a pround moment when my 2-year old was riding his new, very small and very slow, Jake and the Neverland Pirates four wheeler that he received for his birthday. It was a quiet evening and we were the only people walking a track along side our son. The picture depicted the deserted, safe track with my son on his new toy. However, one of the very first comments was my sister-in-law who adamently exclaimed that “he should be wearing a helmet!”

Though I consider myself a hovering and very “wise” and “protecting” mother, I will ALWAYS humbly take the opportunity for another person, animal, nature, to teach me something I didn’t realize or didn’t know before, if it is for the betterment of me, my family, my parenting and my child. Though I had not, other moms may have experienced harm done to a loved one in the absence of a helmet or other protective gear.  Because my sister-in-law didn’t sugar coat it or privately or quietly share her knowledge, was I going to be offended, refuse to add a helmet, and expose my child to danger, or worse, lack the opportunity to teach him correct principles from the beginning, setting him up for success in life?  No, my child is more important than my pride.

What’s my point?  I see comments many times on social media outlets, or hear about situations during playdates or conversations where someone is upset that they were ‘called out’ or told how to parent, how to improve, what they needed to do better or what they were seemingly doing wrong…as a parent or simply a person participating in this crazy thing called life.  I would dare say that the majority of the time they are bugged, angry and offended and react with ‘don’t tell me how to raise my child’ or ‘who are you to tell me what to do?’

10645101_1398637843708793_4371458977494040706_nDon’t get me wrong, I don’t support judgement or rudeness in any form but I do want to encourage us to look outside our pride, which is typically the most instant reaction when we’re told we aren’t perfect, and listen to the advice, regardless of who is giving it, why they are giving it or how it is being given.  Would you rather harden and dig in your heel, refusing to improve you, especially if making a certain change can help, protect, ease or make better a situation in the short or long run?  Is it really worth it?

My thoughts: let’s take a deep breath, consider sound advice, and if it’s something that would make us better, apply the advice yelled, posted, texted or blasted our way.  Let’s advance a step further and ensure that advice we give is done in the spirit of love and caring.  Have an incredible day!

~ @VykingMommy

P.S. Put a helmet on them, early and in every situation. Teach them young, they’ll argue less as they grow.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Fall 2014 Expo Press Release

Utah’s Babies and Toddlers Deserve More Attention

Provo, Utah – August 14, 2014 – Three years ago, John & Melynda Fanene welcomed their son, Baby Rock, to the world. Like most parents, their lives drastically changed. Their entire focus was now on their newborn son. Three years later, things are still very much the same, although he has now entered the toddler stage.

“When we discovered we were expecting, so much effort was put into ensuring that we did everything possible to create a healthy body for our baby,” shares Melynda Fanene, event producer. “When he arrived, the same effort was put into setting him up for success both physically and mentally. We had such a focus shift into parenthood that we wanted to try and make that transition easier for other new parents.”

Their son, three-year old Rock, is the inspiration behind the All About Baby Expo held twice a year in Provo, Utah. The 5th semiannual show returns on October 18th at the Utah Valley Convention Center. This show will also feature the added ‘Toddler Festival’, reaching children up to the age of four.

The mission of the All About Baby Expo & Toddler Fest is to give babies and young children a voice. “We encourage parents and guardians to become informed on options for their baby’s physical, spiritual, and emotional health and happiness from pregnancy to delivery and through the tender, new years of life. With education, parents can be empowered with information, inspired to make the right decisions for their family.”

“I am definitely a baby and child advocate,” says Fanene, “We are consumed by the tragedies in the news in our own towns and around the world where babies and young children are abused, neglected, and mistreated. We feel an extra weight of responsibility with this event to give added emphasis and movement toward solutions. Their needs can’t always be verbalized but it’s our duty as their caregivers to make their early years all about them to build safety, health and confidence.”

The event is free to the public, making it accessible to all. Attendees can also pre-register for their tickets and be entered to win prizes at the event. They are also encouraged to donate their Change4Change at the door to help support a variety of causes. The fall show is donating to the Tyler Robinson Foundation (trf.org), Imagine Dragon’s organization to help support families fighting pediatric cancer.

Vendors and presenters are still being accepted. Businesses and organizations involved are also required to support the mission of All About Baby.  “We want to offer a platform for baby and toddler businesses to present their products, services, information and education to moms and dads so they can provide the very best.  With so many alternatives available, we want to place as many in one spot, in front of new parents, to help save a little time and possibly give them an option they never considered.”

Register for free tickets and view the event schedule at AllAboutBabyExpo.com.

To The Miserable Mom

If you’re a mom and have ever uttered the word ‘miserable’ when referring to yourself, either to another person or in your own mind, this post is written with you in my thoughts.

If you’ve ever struggled with postpartum depression or felt like you didn’t know this child who you were feeding and clothing and taking care of day in and day out…

If you’ve been or are being verbally or physically or mentally abused…

If you are under immense pressure from financial strain or a myriad of other stressful situations…

If you have a house full of loud, seemingly out-of-control, and chaotic humans, big or small…

If your marriage relationship is nonexistent or undergoing a trail, or stream of trials, or your spouse is being untrue…

If…

If…

If…

I know all variables cannot possibly be covered in one simple line, but if you have ever felt or are currently feeling ‘miserable’, please read on.

I apologize that I do not have all the answers. I’m not scholastically or clinically trained to assist you with your situation or heal your pain, but I do care. I care for your health and well-being, I care for your happiness and peace and though I’m not the answer, I know that it is out there.

I see you at the mall, in play groups, at church, at the park and even in the mirror. I think of you, pray for you, and care though you may feel as if not a soul does.

But why do I care? Because you have a sacred life, or many lives, who look to you for peace, happiness and comfort. If you are a mom, a mother of precious children, especially the young and helpless, my main concern is for them and their peace and well-being.

If you’ve ever, even for a moment, felt at your wits end and a simple ‘no’ or mess of toys has pushed you over the edge, you’re not alone. If those moments aren’t fleeting but your constant reality and you’re being mistreated in your own life where you aren’t feeling like you have even enough control over yourself to keep from lashing out at the young an innocent, you’re not the only one.

I don’t have your answer or solution. I only know that it is out there. Depending on your personal challenges I urge, encourage and beg you to find an escape, a way to end your misery. Trust in a friend, contact your church leaders, reach out to local organizations such as Women and Children in Crisis, meet with a counselor, or simply find a way to take a needed break, pray.

But please, do not take your misery out on your children. If you have a newborn or toddler, they are completely helpless and need you to keep them safe and offer love, support, peace so they can learn trust and grow to be strong and confident youth and adults. Refrain from lashing out in anger or frustration, physically and verbally. Reach out for help. Please, don’t make your child a victim.

I don’t know what you’re feeling now or how you feel in that heated moment, but for this reason I wish to create a reminder during those times. Those little eyes look to you. They need you, they trust you. Please, don’t hurt them or let them down. The results can be felt for a lifetime. Arm them with the tools they need to overcome their own misery they may encounter. Lead by example, for that is why you are here, as their mom, their mama, their mommy. You are loved by the most perfect and innocent. Remember that in your darkest time.

Sweet

The Most Regrettable Phrase

“Just a second.”

“Hang on.”

“In a minute.”

“Gimmie a sec.”

In a 24-hour period I might repeat these lines over a hundred times…each. It wasn’t until 1AM this morning that I realized how regrettable those words actually are.,

Let me back up a bit. Both my husband and I work for ourselves from home. We have an incredible 2-year old son who is the very reason we chose this ‘schedule’ (term used very loosely). Neither of us wanted to miss a moment of his life. My mantra has always been, every second is precious. Therefore, don’t waste a minute. To me, a 9 – 5 plus traffic away from the people that matter most, is wasted. I know that’s a bold statement and a very normal thing so please don’t be offended. It just isn’t for me or what I want. But, guess what? This glamorous work-from-home lifestyle isn’t always as glamorous as one might think.

For starters, at what time of the day do you brush your teeth, your hair, get fully ready to step outside and meet society face to face? Now add many, many hours to that and you know our schedule. See, we get up (quietly, so as to keep the toddler asleep – the most productive time of the day) and rush straight into our business task list, following a quick prayer and scriptures, of course. Notice the word ‘quick’? Yeah, me too. I’m sure you’re starting to catch on that, although we both work from home, and it ROCKS and is a huge blessing to all be together, the structure of a daily schedule and work flow may be affected a bit. As of early this morning/late last night, I’ve also realized the mommy calling might be affected a bit as well.

I’ve been an entrepreneur and had my own business for 13 years, eek…when did I get that old? 2 years ago I added a child to the mix. Initially I started working for myself so that I’d be ready, when I became a mom, to be at home and be there for my child. However, owning your own business not only means that every day is a Friday but it also means that every day is a Monday morning. There’s never an actual ‘weekend’ or break or vacation. That didn’t matter a whole lot until a child came into the mix. One that needed attention beyond feeding and changing. 

The other day he asked mom to ‘come play in my room!’ In the middle of an email I replied, ‘Ok, just a second, hon!’ Minutes later, he requested the same from dad. His reply was similar. The toddler’s shoulders dropped, smile dropped, and he slowly marched into his room with, ‘Everybody’s doing something.’ Okay, that was sad, so a few minutes later at least one of us went in to play for a moment, with our phones in hand to continue our multitasking.

On another occasion while trying to play catch with mom, he said, pointing to the counter, ‘Put your phone here. Let’s play!’ He keeps reminding me and I keep having awakenings but they continue to be drowned out by the beeps and rings and alerts and notifications. Thankfully I turned off the smart phone notifications months ago to help reduce the digital distractions but when the laptop is open, they don’t stop and we turn to them just like Pavlov’s dog. So sad.

So here’s the struggle: A family needs to eat, needs a place to live and needs to provide. A business owner should work to be successful and we are doing it for the right reasons. Doesn’t the little one realize how good he has it? He’s never been without mom or dad. He doesn’t need to be passed off to sitters or miss an entire day bonding with his parents. He’s got it good. Or does he? How good is a relationship, really, if you’re there but not there? 

My son has always been a mammas boy, always wanting to spend time with me and snuggle up to me. Last night, it was daddy. He wanted to be with dad, the one who typically ran in to play while I just needed to finish up an email or check something or blah blah blah blah blah. At 1AM I took him for a walk around the house and he cuddled up to me and I promised him that, when he was awake, I would be off my phone and off my computer and we would play. Mom and Dad have always tag teamed but I realized lately that it’s been less and less interaction and more and more of the regrettable phrases. While I wasn’t looking, our relationship was losing some of it’s critical bond.

So here’s my point, whatever situation you’re in, just find the time to be there with those that matter the most to you. Regrets are painful. If you have a fulltime job to provide and care for our family, good for you. Make sure it’s for the right reasons, to provide sufficient for your needs and not the extravagants because that shouldn’t take up your precious time and replace the moments and memories you can make with loved ones. But when you do have that ‘time’, spend it, spend it wisely and spend it well. In this life, time is a commodity that is all together too scarce. The sun comes up and goes down and we probably don’t take full advantage of each, incredibly precious second. When that’s most noticed is when a small child grows. Each day is a lifetime to them. Be part of it.

My committment: I made a promise to a little boy at 1 in the morning on July 22, 2014. What is your commitment to those you love. Presence over presents. Time over things. Oh, and put down the digital and just be there. Love eachother, love your life, love you. Live an amazing day!My Life

EARLY BIRD TICKETS = FREE!!

Of course they’re always free for our moms and dads and their littles ones but get them now and be registered for giveaways that will be taking place over the next 5 months!

If you own a business that provides quality products, services, or education to moms, dads, toddlers, babies and families, come be a part of our 5th semiannual All About Baby Expo (and now) & Toddler Festival!!  Message us for info at AllAboutBabyExpo@Gmail.com or register here!  Early Bird discounts expire on May 15th!

Please spread the word. Bringing a baby into the world and bringing them up right and safe in this world is a big responsibility. We’re here to help by putting great companies in front of families. Mark your calendar, October 18, 2014 is going to be a great day!!

That Mommy in the Airport With a Baby AND a Newborn? Yeah, That’s Not Me..But She’s My Hero

Yes, the title is a bit long but it sums up my thoughts precisely.  I am personally in awe of parents who travel with a child or multiple children by themselves.  I’ve never traveled without my husband and we have one little guy yet my heart races anytime I find out we’re sitting separately on the plane and I’m left on my own to navigate the infant/toddler adventures for any amount of time.  Oh, and this is AFTER the stroller, car seat, luggage, diaper bag and carryons are all stowed for takeoff.  Okay, moms and dads, how do you do it by yourself or with multiple children?  Let’s chat, please share your greatest travel adventure stories or images in a comment below or on our Facebook post here.

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