Bo-Bo stole my crackers and I liked it! Okay, I know you're thinking "Who the heck is this Bo-Bo and why would you want him to steal your crackers?"
Here's the thing. Bo-Bo is incredibly adorable and I'm incredibly gullible when it comes to things like this. You see, Bo-Bo is my super cute, super persistent, lovable, huggable, one-of-a-kind grand-dog. Can you tell I like him?
Bo-Bo Stole My Crackers and I Liked It!
Yesterday, I was sitting on my bed typing away and eating some wheat crackers and I hear a scratch at the bedroom door. I opened it and in comes my cute furry grandchild. He hops on the bed and sees my box of crackers. Then, he watches me eat some with those begging, droopy, woe is me puppy dog eyes. So, I give him one cracker after he agrees to perform a trick to a command in French ( yes, our dogs know their commands in several languages ).
Well, he somehow managed to entice more of them out of me with a combination of whimpers, the droopy eye thing, and super cute tricks. Gullible. I'm so gullible, I tell ya. Not normally. But it's Bo-Bo!!!
I leave you with the track that inspired my title, but has nothing at all to do with this story because I'm random and silly like that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAp9BKosZXs
Until the next adventure!
*I originally published this on PersonaPaper (I have since removed it).
We all have those little things we love that mean something to us, big or small. One of my favorite things is the sound of rushing water. It just does something to my soul every time I hear it.
Whether it’s coming from a waterfall, a soothing shower, the pouring rain, or a wave crashing over the shore, I love hearing the sound of rushing water. It’s like music to my soul. When my album comes out (yes, I sing), don’t be surprised if one or more songs feature or mention some form of rushing water.
Rushing water can energize me, as well as relax me. From wading among waves, to standing under Niagara Falls, to running in the rain, to picnicking on the shore of a rushing creek, to falling asleep to the sounds of a thunderstorm, water is always present in my life.
Do you love the sounds of rushing water?
*I originally published this elsewhere (no longer published there).
When a Child's Pet Dies
Death is a fact of life. But it really hits hard for kids. Recently, my kids lost a family pet. It was hard but some of the things I did helped them understand and get through it. When a child's pet dies, it's never fun. But you can help the process go more smoothly by taking various actions throughout the process.
Prepare them ahead of time. Ideally, you should discuss the death before it happens. Explain to your child the average time frame his pet should be around. Also, let them know what death is and why it has to happen. In our case, we adopted a hamster when he was already an adult. Hamsters live for an average of 2-3 years. So I prepared the children in advance for this day. We knew Buddy would not be with us very long. But we rescued him anyway so that he would be happy while he was on the Earth.
Break the news gently. Don't just walk up to your child and say their pet has died. If your child is not present when their furry friend passes away, sit her down and have a talk. In Buddy's case, we were all present when he passed away, so we talked about what he meant to us and how happy we made him. Because of Buddy, my kids and I will be rescuing hamsters as often as possible whenever we have room for them. Depending on your faiths and practices, you can go into more detail about what happens to the pet after death. But do it in a gentle way that your child understands.
Have a proper burial and remembrance. A ceremony helps kids finalize the death of a pet. We created a pet cemetery for Buddy in a garden area of the yard, complete with a tombstone. As Buddy was placed each person said what he meant to them. While this may not help your kids get over their pet right away, it does help solidify the fact that the animal is no longer going to be around. That goes a long way in helping kids heal. They need to have an honest and reassuring answer.
Do something in the pet's honor. As mentioned above, we placed Buddy in a garden area of the yard. In the spring, a garden will be planted there. Also, Buddy came to us in a special way. He was abused and neglected in his previous home and was an owner surrender. He was also an adult and blind in one eye. We took Buddy in, as his chances of another doing so were slim with his special needs. It is because of Buddy that we have rescued other hamsters and plan to keep up that effort to help other animals and keep Buddy's legacy alive. Doing a special deed in honor of your child's pet can help alleviate the grief, as it shows how special that pet is to the world.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
You've seen it before. A child is running around the establishment and playing like he's at home while the parents do nothing. Perhaps that's your child or maybe you want some behavior tips to prevent it from ever happening to you. My four kids wouldn't even dream of trying this stunt. But I've witnessed it enough times in other children. While fast food restaurants are more lax than some, it doesn't mean your kids shouldn't behave themselves. As a side note, some kids have been diagnosed with mental, physical, and behavioral issues. These tips are for the average child who has knowledge and control of emotions and behaviors.
The restaurant is not a playground. On a recent visit to an area Chipotle, my kids and I were shocked at the behavior allowed by two kids. They ran past our table countless times and I was honestly afraid they were going to get hurt. Their mom only paid attention to the friend she was talking to. The scariest part was when they took their drinks along for the run. What would have happened if one of them had choked on the straw or dropped the drink and slipped on the floor? This mom should have made it clear from the beginning that the kids were to sit down. By sitting the kids down right away and intercepting when necessary, it teaches them that the table is where they belong.
Don't send mixed messages. Kids will be kids. But for a parent to not even try at all saddened me. It's probably the very reason they felt it was alright to run around. It was not until well into their time at Chipotle that this mother finally told the kids to sit down. However, the way she did it was not respectful at all. Once they ran around for at least thirty minutes, they were told to sit down and shutup. What? These poor kids were probably confused at that point. Why was there no problem with the running before? Nothing changed.
Be mindful of your own attitude and behavior. If you want your kids to behave themselves, you should do the same. Don't tell your kids to act one way, while you are doing the complete opposite. The kids weren't the only ones being disrespectful. Their mother spent time loudly talking to her friend, doing the same on the phone, and also walking around all over the establishment. No wonder the kids didn't know how to act in public. No matter how many people gave her 'the look' she just kept on about her business. She practically ignored her kids until the point at which her friend left. Obviously, they were both mimicking her behavior and also trying to get her attention. At not even two years of age, it was obvious one child had already learned these tactics well. The other was entirely too old to be going along with his baby sister on this mission.
Keep the kids fed and entertained. Perhaps the most disturbing thing to me about the whole Chipotle experience was the fact that the mother did not even buy the kids anything to eat or drink. Why bring your children to a fast food restaurant if you aren't going to feed them? They only got the drink because the Chipotle workers supplied them to these kids for free. No wonder they were restless. They were probably bored, hungry, and thirsty. Kids behave best when all their basic needs are met. This means they need to have some nourishment and they need something to do. Some coloring books and crayons or a couple books or small toys could have solved this mom's issue. Oh and she could have maybe fed them too, since they were at, you know, a restaurant...
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Things I Love: Crossword Puzzles
As I was chatting with my sweetheart the other day, he reminded of something I love but hadn’t done in a while – crossword puzzles! He mentioned getting himself a crossword puzzle book to keep busy while he was away and I just had to rush and get one too – the same day.
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve enjoyed them. My mom used to do them all the time when I was a kid and it rubbed off on me way back then. I used to always have at least one book of crossword puzzles with me at all times.
Of course, I AM a natural writer and lover of words. So it makes perfect sense that I’d have fun with crosswords and other word games. I’m not sure when or why I fell out of the habit for a little while. But I’ve definitely picked it back up full swing. I’m so glad my sweetheart reminded me how much I love crossword puzzles!
Do you love crossword puzzles or another word game?
*I originallly published this elsewhere (no longer there).
Kids Belong In The Mud
It makes me sad when I hear parents telling their kids to stay looking “proper” all the time. They aren't mini-adults (though they're smarter than many of them). They're kids. Kids belong in the mud.
Let them get dirty. Let them cake it on if they want to. They might make mud pies, mud forts, and make...well, very muddy kids. But this is all a part of being creative and just being a kid.
I remember one time a few years back, my kids were all playing in the backyard in a huge pile of mud that they had made. A friend came over and saw them like this and practically acted like I was abusing them. I can tell you she wasn't amused when my response to her concern was uncontrollable laughter.
Apparently she got the point though because a few months later, she was at my house with her kids, letting them enjoy it too. The problem was never the mud. The problem was the perception of it. Of course you can't just let your kids play in any mud but if the mud is safe to the best of your knowledge, just let them be kids.
Please don't stifle their creativity by giving them your own ideals of what's proper and what isn't. Give them a stick or something and watch them have fun in the mud if they wish to
Do your kids play in the mud?
*I originally published this on another venue (no longer published there)
Kids Belong At The Beach
If you've been reading my work, you'll know that there are many places I feel kids belong in, such as outdoors and in trees. Kids also belong at the beach. It's where they can immerse themselves right in nature -- you know, beach mud, water, and the like.
From building sand castles with their mommy's used Mountain Dew bottles (yeah there's unfortunately enough to go around) to collecting shells on the shore or squishing sand in their toes from the ocean floor, my kids thoroughly enjoy beach time. Being in Denver, we haven't had any of that in a while and these are older pics. But I can't wait until our next visit to New York state -- and finally our move there in the future. They'll get some much needed beach time there, for sure. There's a man-made reservoir not far from us, where ironically these photos were taken. But it's not the same and has been getting dirtier and dirtier over time so we haven't been going there anymore, unfortunately.
Back to my point, beach time is both fun and necessary. Humans have a special bond with dirt. We like to get dirty. But that's really not the whole of it. Mud and sand is actually good for our skin -- and our soul. It has important nutrients that smooth our skin. But maybe more importantly, that feeling of squishing beach sand between the toes is irreplaceable, as is sifting the dry sand through our hands. Splashing in the water, feeling the ripples of the waves, and even feeling little fish swim between your legs is all a part of the experience as well. It's sad to think that some kids will never experience these things.
Watching boats, duck families, fish, and more from the pier is also a peaceful action that satisfies the soul. Kids these days are so stressed out and I firmly believe that it's because many of them are so immersed in television, video games, and other manufactured forms of entertainment that their brains never get a rest. Kids need nature, such as the beach in order to truly be at peace. I'm not saying they can't have a little fun with those other things -- mine do. But make sure your kids to a beach or other form of nature often. Let them get right in the thick of it, get dirty in it, meditate in it, explore in it, just have fun.
As I write this, I am at a park with my kiddos and their friends and they are relaxing out in a field of sand on some large rocks but were disappointed that the water in the small creek bed has dried up. It's a natural thing for kids to do to gravitate toward sand, water, and nature in general. Kids belong at the beach and elsewhere outdoors. When we can't get to the beach, we try to create that scene in other ways by getting out in nature the way we can. Before we had an apartment, we even built a mock beach in our backyard.
Have your kids been to the beach lately? If you are like us and don't have one near you, what other things do you do to replicate it?
*I originally published this elsewhere (no longer published there).
Kids Belong in Boxes
by Lyn Lomasi, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
Ever bought your kid an expensive toy only to have the box be the best entertainment? Of course you have. There's a reason for that. Kids belong in boxes.
Boxes hold a treasure trove of possibilities for kids. They can use them for lemonade stands, dollhouses, playhouses, cars, circus tents, posters, and so much more. If you haven't let your kids play with boxes, they're missing out big time – and you are missing out on some long-lasting busy time for them that you can take advantage of.
About a month or so ago, a new neighbor moved into our building in the apartment complex. The kids were fascinated watching them come out with so many boxes to leave them on the patio. Since they appeared so interested, I suggested they go ask if the neighbors needed help.
Turns out they were going to take all the boxes to the dumpster. So the kids offered to do it for them. But I suggested they actually bring all of the boxes inside for some fun. Well of course they were thrilled by that and invited their friends over to build for hours on end. It was the weekend so the fun went on for a few days straight.
Even though a few rooms in our apartment were filled with cardboard box concoctions (including the living room), I let the fun go on until the boxes were pretty much unusable. Even the pets got a kick out of this and could be found lounging in a few of the playhouses.
Am I a "ghetto” mommy? Some might say so where things like this are concerned (I prefer “resourceful” or as my friends affectionately call me “Black Martha” – yes, they mean Martha Stewart). But am I a fun mommy? You bet. So give me all the labels you want. My kids (and all of the neighborhood kids) love it.
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Positive discipline consists of more than disciplining your child in a calm manner. Positive discipline for children should consist of steps that lead to the child's well-being and development, teach a lesson about the issue at hand, and not be condescending in nature. In positive discipline for children, the action taken should lead to the child understanding why his or her behavior was wrong, as well as teach that child a life lesson that will help to prevent similar incidents in the future.
First, there are a few things to remember about positive discipline for children. Every family will not follow the exact same methods, as every family is different. Also, different methods should apply to different situations. A child who has hit another child should not be getting the same form of positive discipline as a child who forgot to make his bed before breakfast.
Different misbehaviors have different consequences and the discipline should fit accordingly. Also, remember to always follow through. Any form of positive discipline for children that is discussed, yet not carried out, will be ineffective. Not following through shows a child that he or she can do certain things without consequences and that isn't a good idea because that is not how the world works.
Daily Chore Add-Ons - One good form of positive discipline for children is to add on an extra daily chore for a week. Doing this can teach a child responsibility. At the same time, it also teaches a child that there are consequences for actions.
Misbehavior Journal - Another good form of positive discipline is to have a journal for each time a child misbehaves. The child should write down what his or her feelings were during the time of the act, as well as why he or she committed the misbehavior. This should be a private journal between parent and child. None of the children should ever see each other's journals. Once the child has written down the thoughts, the parent should in turn, respond to those thoughts with understanding, as well as a way for the child to resolve that type of situation in the future.
Behavior Money Jar - I also like to keep a jar for each kid in a place easily accessible by older children, but out of reach of younger children. In each kid's jar is any money they have that isn't for savings. Each time one of the kids does something that hurts another in some way, they have to take out a pre-determined amount (depending on what they've done) and place it into the child's jar who they've hurt or offended. Each time they do something good for someone, I might place a certain amount of money into their jar, but not always. This form of positive discipline for children reflects what may happen in adult life. In adult life, if we hurt someone, we are likely going to be paying for it in the long run. Likewise, if we do good deeds, eventually they will come back around. However, it doesn't work that way every single time, which is why I only give the money sometimes.
Volunteering - Volunteer work is also a great form of positive discipline. You never want to insinuate that the volunteering is a form of punishment because that sends the wrong message. You instead want to say something like, "I noticed that you were unhappy about some of the food choices we made in the grocery store. How about we go together and donate those foods to people who don't have the same type of choices we have?” Then, go from there with the volunteer work. This will likely trigger the child's thought process and let him or her realize that they cannot always have everything they want. It hopefully will also cause them to think twice about complaining when they know there are kids out there who don't have a fraction of what they do.
Good Deeds - Similar to the volunteer work, another great method is to elect the offending child as "Favor Giver of the Day." For one day, this person has to do at least one requested good deed for each member of the household. This form of positive discipline for children is good for when the child has disrespected one or more family members. This lesson usually teaches a child that it's more fun to help others than it is to mistreat them.
Note: The author's positive parenting method has evolved into what she calls Upstream Parenting.
*I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Green parenting has definitely become a trend. But, as a parent who has been committed to living green for quite some time, I'm here to tell you it's much more than just a trend. At least that's true for our family. I started down the path of living green not because of a trend, but because of a commitment to making the Earth a great place for my kids to be in the future and for generations to come.
I don't know the exact date I started our family on this journey and don't really recall there being any sort of epiphany. It seems that I've always instilled at least some green habits. As we discover new things, I add more and more to our lifestyle. I don't base our green living habits on what so-and-so is doing or on the latest fad green products. Instead, I make conscious choices on what's good for the environment and what is not. I consider the impact each time I make a purchase or commit an action. Being a green parent is less about special products and more about minimalism and reducing waste and chemical usage.
Believe it or not, everyday activities, like visiting the park with the kids, can make a huge negative impact on the environment. This is especially true if they are regular activities or a parent is not thinking green at the time. Of course, no one is perfect. Even I participate in activities that are not Earth-friendly. We all do both consciously and subconsciously. But if we can be green as much as possible, this beautiful planet will stay pretty even longer. Just because we may not be around to see its demise doesn't mean we should be careless. Our kids and their kids and so on need a healthy place to grow.
Try cleaning the house with homemade solutions that are both cost-effective and better for the environment. A bonus is that the kids can also help you clean and they and your pets will be safer. Use homemade shampoos and natural haircare alternatives for the family. Kids like to be messy, so let them join in making some of these items.
Teach kids to be green with lessons that will last a lifetime. Teach them by doing, but also explain what you are doing and why. Be creative in instilling the lessons. Play games, incorporate it into the chores, and just have fun! Green parenting is important, but it certainly does not need to be boring.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Shine
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Every time I see someone share another fighting video online, all I can think is why? Why is it entertaining to watch people hurt each other? It’s one thing to stick up for someone who is standing up for their rights or yours. It’s quite another to get entertainment value out of people beating each other up.
Why is it Entertainment to Hurt People?
Perhaps I’m different. But my goal has always been to spread love, not hate. Being entertained by people hurting each other only teaches more and more people that it’s okay to solve their problems with violence – and even that it’s fun. How sad is it that this is acceptable by so many people?
Not only is there boxing and other sports where people get paid to beat each other up, but there are more and more people sharing street fights as well. Oftentimes, it is kids in these videos and adults enjoying watching them. At least the subjects of the boxing (and other professional sports) get paid for it and are willing participants.
The street fights sadden me the most because it’s usually people who are actually fighting and intentionally hurting each other. Be it in self defense, arguments, or other reasons, why do people feel it is okay to not only expose these peoples’ business, but to get entertainment from it? Why is this considered “cool” or fun?
When is Fighting Okay?
The only “fights” that I feel should be spread are those where people are standing up for someone’s rights. For instance, talk about the people who have made a difference in our country, such as Martin Luther King, Jr and Malala Yousafzai. Talk about everyday people who go out of their way to help others in need or to stand up and fight for someone’s rights. Talk about the people who die or get injured fighting to protect their countries.
That’s the type of fighting that is noteworthy. It’s not a compliment or an attractive trait to beat someone up for no reason or for frivolous reasons. It’s one thing to defend yourself when attacked when you have no other choice. It’s quite another to hurt someone without cause or due to frivolous reasons – or to view and share such acts as entertainment.
I’m not a perfect person by any means (I know I make mistakes – plenty of them), but I do try to perpetuate love in all situations, while also standing up and “fighting” when it’s warranted.
How I Fought For What Was Right
For instance, one day, the city bus I was riding broke down and I had one of my kids and two others (who had just run a 5K marathon) along for the ride. The children indicated they needed to use the restroom and the bus driver wasn’t going to let us (or anyone else) get off the bus. He was also extremely rude about it, after hearing the kids’ needs. The kids were full of water and Gatorade, since they had just run a race that was over 3 miles long. My mama bear instinct kicked in at that point.
I simply walked up to the front of the bus with the kids in tow and said to the driver “My kids need to pee. I’m getting off,” and we did. That’s an example of fighting for what’s right. It also led to a few others sticking up for themselves and either getting off to go seek another form of transportation or doing whatever else they needed to do.
The wait was going to be about an hour for the next bus and then the kids would have also had to wait the ride on that bus before using the restroom, had I taken the driver’s instructions. I did what I knew was the right thing to do for the kids. That’s an example of fighting that is warranted.
Am I a hero? I doubt it. Many other parents do exactly what I did on a regular basis. I’m not telling our story for recognition. I don’t care whether anyone spreads our little bus ride story or not. What I do hope is that people read this and think twice before getting entertainment out of people hurting each other.
Fight for what’s right, not for entertainment.
*Photo Credit: Lyn Lomasi
**I originally published this on Bubblews.com (no longer published there).
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
We all have those little things we love that mean something to us, big or small. One of my favorite things is the sound of rushing water . It just does something to my soul every time I hear it.
Whether it’s coming from a waterfall , a soothing shower , the pouring rain , or a wave crashing over the shore, I love hearing the sound of rushing water. It’s like music to my soul. When my album comes out (yes, I sing), don’t be surprised if one or more songs feature or mention some form of rushing water.
Rushing water can energize me, as well as relax me. From wading among waves, to standing under Niagara Falls, to running in the rain, to picnicking on the shore of a rushing creek, to falling asleep to the sounds of a thunderstorm , water is always present in my life.
Do you love the sound of rushing water?
*I originally published this elsewhere (no longer published there).
UPDATED: Author is no longer single and has included alternative suggestions at the end, as well as updated/added a few things throughout.
I'm single right now. But should that ever change, I will make sure that any guy lucky enough to convince me to change that status never gifts me any "real" jewelry. Update! I'm NOT single anymore and my guy wants to get me jewelry. But I still don't want it to be "real," of course. OK ladies, I heard that gasp all the way over here, regarding not accepting "real" jewelry. Just hear me out. There are several reasons I won't be adorning any diamonds, gold, or other "precious" or "semi-precious" metals or stones.
Haven't you seen the movie "Blood Diamonds"?
It's not just a movie. That's the way that industry has operated in the past and in some cases, still does. It isn't always the case since the Clean Diamond Trade Act. But I just can't bring myself to value wearing something someone may have risked their life -- or even died -- for. I'm not here to judge those who choose to wear diamonds or other mined jewels. This is my personal choice and you have the right to yours. But I just can't take the chance, not knowing where they may have originated from.
I'm a natural kind of girl.
Many people consider gold, diamonds, and other similar jewelry the "real" jewelry. Call me a hippie. Call me whatever you want. But I like my skin to stay in its natural state. If I do wear any jewelry at all, it's usually going to be something handcrafted by my kids, myself, or someone else special to me -- and will not ever involve any "precious" metals or stones. We use only recycled or natural materials for anything we create. I personally find most jewelry to be quite wasteful and unnecessary. But again, it's all a matter of opinion and perspective.
I value people more than things.
I've never been very material and don't generally get excited over possessions. For me, time would be a better gift than jewelry any day. I don't shop unless it's out of necessity. I don't admire the jewelry or or other "fancy" things on others. In fact, most of the time, I don't even notice unless someone else mentions it. It's very possible to look nice without all of that. In fact, to me, a more natural person is often more attractive.
I don't believe in jewelry for commitments.
The million dollar question people always ask me is what will I do if I get proposed to. Will I wear a ring? If there must be a ring to symbolize the relationship -- and I don't think there needs to be one -- then, most likely I'd be called a hippie because I'd like it to be something natural, such as hemp. But more importantly, it is my belief that when two people care about each other, they shouldn't need to prove it with a ring or a piece of paper -- and especially not an expensive piece of jewelry that goes against my personal morals. If it meant something to the person I desired to spend the rest of my life with, then of course I would honor the ring and the legal procedure. But it's not a requirement for me. And again, the ring could not include mined metals and stones.
"Diamonds Are Forever?" Not so much.
Did you know that the whole "diamonds are forever" thing was concocted by none other than a company who sells diamonds (DuBeers)? By the way, diamonds really aren't forever. They can wear down, just like anything else. I don't know about you, but I'd rather not have a forever that was a lie representing my relationship commitment.
Alternative options can be just as romantic.
Three of my favorite alternatives to traditional wedding and engagement rings include wood, hemp, and tattoo rings. There are independent artists on sites like Etsy.com who make beautiful handcrafted wooden engagement and wedding rings. I'd much rather support an independent artist, while also making a better choice that doesn't kill as many people. While it's true that the wood industry isn't exactly a clean one either, making wise choices with it, such as choosing fair trade wood can improve the chances that people are treated fairly in your ring's production. The same can be said in regards to hemp. Tattoo rings can be done with natural inks and are permanent. This is a more solid commitment option than the falsely "forever" diamonds. In all of these options, choosing companies that treat their employees well -- or choosing independent or lesser-known artists (make sure tattoo artists are licensed properly) makes your ring choice a much better one in terms of moral responsibility.
Jeffrey Beall via Flickr.com
tnarik via Flickr.com
Clean Diamond Trade Act
Another Side of Poverty
Blood Diamond Facts
*** I originally published this piece here: http://www.bubblews.com/news/279881
A few weekends ago, the kids had some good friends over and being a holiday (though, not one we celebrate in the most popular way), I had promised I wouldn't work too much. I never promise a whole day off because I'm a workaholic and a single mother. I also work at home so my work is readily available, but I digress. An opportunity presented itself to wing it, so I did.
Forming A Brilliant Idea
Because we had nothing better to do, I get this brilliant beyond brilliant idea to take all of my kids, both of our dogs, plus some of their friends and an extra dog to the park. I don't have a vehicle, so of course the plan was to walk on the trail that led us to the intended park. Our nature trails can take us to several parks, depending on which way we choose to go. We chose the largest park and headed that way. Yes, I am insane enough to take a walk with six kids and three dogs with only me as the sole adult. Us single parents know how to work it whatever it may be.
Learning the Many Ways To Wing It
The kids wanted to play on the way, of course. So who was going to walk the dogs? Why me, of course. Yep, winging it because I had never walked the extra dog before, nor had she been walked with our dogs and here I was about to hold all three of their leashes together. Thankfully, it worked out well. They had been introduced briefly a few times and apparently that was enough to satisfy them all. In some situations, you just have to go with the flow and let the chips fall as they may.
The restroom and drinking fountain were closed and of course the kids needed both so we made use of a nearby store for both purposes and went right back to playing. The dogs wanted to run around and the kids wanted to use the playground so I found a spot in the field that was next to the playground so I could run with the dogs while watching the kids.
Life Lessons In Winging It For Everyone
Throughout this walk and park visit, many interesting situations came up where I had to wing it. But that's life. No matter how much you plan things, sometimes you just have to wing it and in the end, you may find out that winging it is the both the best lesson and the best fun you've had in quite a long time. It's quite fine to plan things. You have to have goals. But it's also good to just let it go and let it flow.
All of these scenarios could have been stressful and some may not have gotten involved in the whole thing, to begin with. But I've quickly learned in many experiences that if you have an open mind and are aware of your surroundings (and all the many ways you can use them to your advantage), life can lead to some fun adventures.
Just wing it! Your life is waiting for you!
Action is the Answer
No matter where you are headed in life, what tasks need to be done, or what your latest ponder may be, action is the answer.
Trust me, I know from experience that sitting around worrying and wondering what to do, how to get started, or what may come just doesn't get results. It's also no good for your psyche.
Give those goals and dreams some better energy by taking some action. Start out small or go for the gold, your choice. Just do something. Write a list of things that could help you get to your goal, submit a proposal to a company you wish to work for, make active plans and actions toward a big move, whatever suits your fancy.
Just do something. Take some action.
What actions will you take today?
Ever since I got my steam cleaner a couple months ago, I have been using it like crazy. How did I tolerate not having one before? But am I too obsessed with it?
As soon as one of the kids or pets makes a mess, I am whipping out the carpet cleaner, instead of just spot washing the area. Hey, I may as well make sure it's out all the way, right? I mean, who cares if this happens a countless number of times daily? I have the power of a steam cleaner to get out those boo-boos.
But it doesn't stop there. Each time I vacuum (which I am also obsessed with, by the way) throughout the day, I must also follow that up with a quick steam clean as well. I mean, c'mon I have to get whatever the vacuum couldn't with the steam cleaner, right? But of course, by the time it dries, someone else has spilled something else and I am at it again. See a pattern here?
Not only am I doing the above more than once daily, but on the weekend, I feel I must go back over it all with a more thorough deep clean that takes me a few hours. I have kids with asthma and allergies, so there must be no dust and since I have the correct tools – a good carpet steam cleaner and a good vacuum – I have no excuse not to, right? Right?
So am I too obsessed with my carpet cleaner or is this normal for all parents and pet parents who own one?
There are many reasons I can't stand shopping. One of them is the fragrance salespeople ready to spray me with whatever their latest concoction may be. I have nothing against entrepreneurs, as I'm one myself. In fact, I'm not asking them to go away because they have just as much right to be there as I do. I'm just hoping they'll gain some common courtesy and compassion.
Fact: Some people do not like to wear chemicals
I am one of these people. There's a reason I am not wearing your scent. It's because I make all of my beauty products myself from nature. If it's not possible, I only choose natural beauty products. I don't want your scent. I don't care who may be wearing it already or how unique it may be. If it's a chemical, it isn't coming in contact with my skin for a reason. Don't spray me without my permission.
Fact: Some people have allergies
I am highly allergic to several things, many of which are chemicals. This includes fragrance. In fact, fragrance is one of my worst allergies. So unless you want to pay for my meds and possibly a hospital bill, don't spray me without my permission. Some people have even worse allergies than I do and may have an even worse reaction. Don't spray perfumes on people without asking first.
Fact: Some people just don't want to be bothered
Even my friends who enjoy perfume hate being bombarded with fragrances at every turn. By the end of the day, you come out smelling like you bathed in something unidentifiable and grotesque. The blends are really not very pretty. And what if they already had on a fragrance they wanted and you ruined it by covering it with yours? Again, don't spray people without asking first.
Did I mention not to spray fragrances on people without asking them?
Please? Thank you.
5 Reasons I'm Single on Purpose
“What?! Girl, you need to get out there and mingle.” This is a typical reaction from well-meaning friends and family about me being single. I mingle. I have many friends and have met many nice singles, like myself. I enjoy the company of several people that could possibly be a good match for me. Lack of available potential partners is not the problem. In fact, there is no problem – unless you call being happy a problem. There are however, some personal reasons I am choosing to stay single on purpose for now.
Where is the time?
I hardly have time in a day to get through everything on my current schedule. Imagine adding a partner to the mix. I honestly feel sorry for anyone besides my kids, pets, and job that would be in need of large amounts of attention from me right now. I can't give it anywhere else.
There's just no time between homeschooling, transporting kids to extra classes, running normal errands for myself and four kids, walking three dogs several times per day, working, housework, family fun, and everything else a single momtrepreneur has to handle.
I'm sure that I would make time if somehow in my busy schedule, I was able to connect with someone on that deeper level. But right now, being single is the most considerate option for myself, as well as any potential partner – unless I happen to connect with one who is just as busy and understands this.
Independence is huge.
I am one of those people who needs this – and lots of it. Staying single lets me keep that. I am sure there are potential partners who would as well. But at this moment in time, I am not ready to give up my independence if I end up with one who can't handle that.
Freedom to be me and handle my busy life without answering to another is very necessary for me right now. All of the important things in my life are necessary and all of them need to be done on time and without anyone else's possible objection.
Is that selfish?
If meeting my family’s needs and doing my job efficiently is selfish, then I guess so. But I doubt it. It's just life and right now, I need to be free to live it. I can't drop these things if someone else has an issue with any of them. This same independence is necessary for my children and no one else will change that.
Both in work life and home life, I am a workaholic.
If my kids need to get to a class, I will make it happen, no matter how many other things are going on that day. If I get a last-minute call to attend a business-related meeting, I'm there. If my kids and pets want to go play at the park, I will go, even if I have to do my work from there. I will always squeeze in more tasks when it comes to both work life and home life.
Many partners cannot handle this aspect of my life. I am not going to change it. My work always comes first, be it managing my household or managing my career. Both are my job and I do my job well – and twenty-four hours per day. If my family or my job needs me, I am there. I cannot choose the time of day someone might get sick or or otherwise need me. I am at work all the time.
Being single is the best way for me to ensure this stays exactly how it is. This is my life. I love it and will always be a workaholic. Of course, should there ever be time for a partner, you can bet I'd be a workaholic at making that work too.
I am too open-minded.
When it comes to relationships, and life in general, my ideas are a bit too free for some to handle. I am one of those people who respects others whether our beliefs and actions align or not. You'd think this wouldn't be a problem because it means in a relationship with me, both people are free to be who they are and do as they please. But some people cannot handle this kind of thing at all – because if they are “free” then so am I.
You want an open relationship? Cool. Just let me know. If we mesh, let's make that happen. Do you like to collect something strange and disperse it all over your house? Fine with me. I'll probably ask you to explain the history behind some or all of your items. Even if we end up living in the same house and I hate your taste in collectibles, you can put them where you want them, even with some of my prized possessions if you wish.
Sound good to you? Awesome. Does it sound just as good if you have to give me the same rights? In my experience, most say no with their actions and that’s where the problem lies. Our family life could be considered a bit eclectic. I “allow” my kids to be loud, as long as it's a happy loud. In fact, I join right in most of the time. We are a silly, fun, and zany family.
My son goes in public in his clown outfit often and sometimes I join him. Sometimes we all dress up in costumes when it's not Halloween. The welcome sign on our door says “Welcome to the jungle. Enter if u dare.” It has a jungle scene painted on top with the first sentence and a Halloween-esque scene on the bottom half with the second sentence. Trust me, to handle our lifestyle, you need an open mind.
Single and misery are not synonymous.
Neither are relationships and happiness. Life is always what you make it. A person can be happy and single. You don't see me moping around the house, crying to my friends that I need a life partner. No way! Why not? I'm happy. I will always be happy, no matter my relationship status.
If I do get in a relationship, it won't be to create happiness. It will be because I have found someone that I bond with. We will both be a good accent to the other, but we will not be responsible for each other's happiness. If we are truly happy, then happiness together will come naturally.
I have no objection to having a partner. I am simply not willing to settle for just anyone to say I'm in a relationship. I'd rather be happy myself unless and until I truly connect with someone. The word “single” is not an evil word.
“She's so cute! (pause) Oh...that's a boy (strange look that quickly turns into an awkward smile).” This is a typical reaction some people give when I take my son (who is an aspiring clown) into public with one of his clown outfits on. Dressing like a clown is a perfectly normal activity, especially for a kid who is developing his own clown show. This makes most people smile. But some are confused and others are rude. It was baffling to me why some people have such a hard time understanding a boy dressing as a clown. Many clowns are boys. Following are the common questions and sources of confusion, along with my thoughts and feelings.
It's not Halloween or a birthday party
I can somewhat understand some people being confused by my son dressing as a clown for seemingly no reason. I mean, I do let him go out in public that way if he chooses to do so – and not just on “appropriate” occasions, such as Halloween.
Sometimes we are out and about doing filming for various music videos and his web show. But sometimes, he just wants to wear one of his clown outfits. Before whispering snide remarks, it might be wise (and possibly educational and fun) to ask us about it. Most people are cheered up by my son's clown outfit and some are anxiously awaiting his next performance.
But some are just plain intolerant. Even if my son were not planning on doing this as a profession, he's a kid – 8 years old to be exact. Let him have fun and dress as he wants. Childhood is one of the best times for that.
Why is a boy wearing makeup?
Makeup is not just for girls. While girls may dominate media portrayal of a typical makeup customer, boys often wear makeup too. This can be especially true in show business. However, boys use makeup for many other reasons as well. Clowning is one of them.
My son is very secure in who he is and he would be whether he wore clown makeup or not. How do I know this? I teach my kids to always be themselves and command respect for the person they are, not another person's vision of who they should be. Besides, who wrote the book of rules on who can and can't wear makeup?
If a boy wants makeup on, for whatever reason, he should be able to put it on. If you're wondering (not that t matters), my son only wears makeup for his clowning.
Aren't you making him gay?
This is one of the worst questions I have received about my son dressing as a clown. Stereotyping is not OK in any form or fashion and is often incorrect anyhow. Sure, you can find gay clowns – just as you can find straight clowns, bisexual clowns, transgender clowns, and more.
My son is not gay. However, if he was, I would still love him. A person's sexual orientation has nothing to do with who that person is as a whole and has no bearing on whether I should love that person or not. That said, dressing as a clown and being gay are not synonymous. This is no better than the stereotype that all male dancers or cheerleaders are gay.
I am also offended by that question in general because it says that person believes I am trying to make my son something he is not. Yes, I encourage his clowning, but not because it's what I want – and certainly not because I want him to be gay (stifling a laugh here, sorry). I encourage and support him because when he dresses as a clown and puts on his acts, he is doing what he loves.
Yes, my son dresses as a clown. Yes, I am proud of him for doing what he loves. Yes, I will continue to “allow” this for as long as it makes my son happy. Have issues with that? Looks like those are your issues, not ours.
"I remain just one thing, and one thing only, and that is a clown. It places me on a far higher plane than any politician." ~Charlie Chaplin
QUICK UPDATE 10/20/2016: Yes, my son still dresses as a clown at 12 years old and so does my 13 year old daughter. They are still working hard at producing their clown web show and sometimes I dress up and participate. Have a problem with that? STILL not our problem.
Moving Again? What?!
You're moving again? Seriously? Yes friends, I am packing up the kids and moving across the country once again.
This move may be my biggest one yet. Those who know me well know that I have lived in Denver since I was a small child. So about six years ago, my then husband (now ex) and I made a bold move and hauled the kids all the way to Houston. But of course, Denver called us back -- a whim decision made on a vacation. That was a couple years ago.
Things have been awesome. However, another place is calling me. In fact, it's been calling me since I left as a child. So, once again, I am going to be packing up the kids and pets and headed across country -- we are moving to the New York City area. Yes, the big one. Yikes! Well, that's what some are saying. I'm saying "Yippee" and every other excited word -- shouting them off the rooftops. Unfortunately for my neighbors, I am doing that literally by blasting my favorite songs that make me think of it -- and singing to them in my loudest voice too, of course. It's a good thing I have great -- and equally loud -- neighbors.
No, I am not from the NYC area. I was born in a small town in upstate NY. So why NYC then? I want to try something new that seems like me, while also getting back to my home state. I miss the water, for one thing. We are so deprived of that scene here in Denver. Colorado is awesome, actually. But it's not New York -- and its not me. I need lots of culture, art, yummy food, theatre, and so much more -- things Colorado has, but at a much smaller scale. have you ever tasted the cheese back East? The Italian food? Even the chocolate tastes better in New York.
I really can't even begin to describe all of my reasons. But my heart has been in New York since the day I was born and I need to bring it back where it belongs. Yonkers is our first choice. But suggestions for areas no more than an hour from NYC are welcome in the comments section. Stay tuned for updates.
What this means for you, my faithful friends and readers: Well, I hope you really, really like to read what I have to say. As I save to make my dream a reality over this next year, I will be writing and publishing more often than ever on just about every venue available to me. So expect more here, the rest of my sites, and mostly everywhere else I publish.
Ideas? As always, they are welcome at my Ask Lyn page.
Previous post: Don't be Afraid to Let Good Things Happen
UPDATE 3/13/2017: This move didn't end up happening, due to life being everchanging. A bunch of other things did, though. Who knows? Maybe someday it will. But right now, it's just not in the cards. To keep up with our recent antics, follow all of our blogs here, but especially RV'ing Successfully, The Nova Skye Story, Kymani's Travels, and of course Momtrepreneur Moments.
In the past year or so, I have had many changes going on in my life. So naturally, I've been doing some reflecting and I hope it helps someone else too. I've been hurt in the past many times by many people. That caused me to put up walls in many areas of my life. I wasn't open to changing anything or letting anything new in. I let many good things pass me by because instead of seeing opportunities, I saw chances for getting hurt or disappointed.
Thank goodness I changed that attitude or I wouldn't be where I am now. You have to let people and opportunities in to be able to experience certain things. You have to knock down your walls to see what's right in front of you that you may be blocking. It's OK to let go of your safety net sometimes -- in fact, it can be far more than OK if you are willing to let it be.
Is there a person or opportunity trying to present itself in your life right now? Are you afraid of what will happen if you take the next step? Yes, you might get hurt. But what if it would have been the best thing that ever happened to you and you didn't let it in when you should have?
If you have general good feelings toward something, don't let it go.
Don't be afraid to fall and let something good catch you.
Ever pay attention to how excited little kids get over the smallest things?
You can too!
Yes you can!
Life has many disappointments and the older we get the more we have experienced. Sometimes that causes us to lose excitement over the smaller accomplishments and life events.
While you may have bills bigger than your wages due this month, there is still something you can find to be excited about. Did your dog learn a new trick? Did your child just make a fantastic dunk in the home basketball net? Did you find the favorite pen that you lost last week?
Some of those things may happen every day. But when you can find excitement in ordinary everyday things, it will help set the mood and attitude needed to bring excitement into more and more of your life.
What are you excited about right now - big or teeny tiny?
D is for Determination
Back in 2007, I was your average web user with a mom blog trying to find something I could do at home with my kids to make money.
I went on a hunt for writing jobs but it mostly uncovered work at home scams - people trying to get me to pay them for work. Little did they know, I am not that gullible. I kept at the search, determined to find the right company.
Writing jobs had to be out there, especially taking into consideration that writing is everywhere. One day I came upon a web site promising to pay writers both upfronts and page views. Having been through so many scams I honestly thought it might be one too. But something told me to join and try it out.
Fast forward a few years and I was one of the most prolific there -- out of hundreds of thousands of users. But I didn't stop there. I was determined to help others achieve the same. Fast forward to 2009 and I became staff at that same site. I started as a Community Advocate, working my way up to Community Manager.
At the same time, I was also building my own (very different) network of sites. While that Yahoo site I was Community Manager for no longer exists, I am still the owner and Community Manager of my own site, continuing to freelance on the side. It's all done on my own time, while I homeschool and adventure with my family.
Determination can take you a long way.
What are you determined to achieve? Keep at it. You never know where it will take you.
*Last updated 3/12/2017