My philosophy: To Each His Own…

“To each his own” is the motto I live by…but it doesn’t mean that other people’s views and customs don’t intrigue me a dramatic degree. I hate coming across those people who feel their way is the “right” way of doing things and that everyone else’s way of thinking is wrong simply because it is different that their own. I don’t care if someone questioning my way of thinking or doing things, because we are all different people with our own characteristics and personalities. I enjoy the feedback and outlooks of other people. You can even show me a better way, you can rave about your way of doing things and I’ll listen to you, out of respect, then I will continue doing things the way I like to do them. I have been swayed a few times and had my eyes opened by other people. I am very open-minded but I hate having people’s ideals shoved down my throat to the point where I do not want to hear anymore on the subject their spitting out at me.

I mainly feel this way because I am the last person to “rock the boat”. I like to maintain harmony between friends, family and aquintances always, but have found that when pressed for my absolute opinion on something I am very liberal in most of my ways of thinking. Do not ask me to take sides in a fight or in most situations because I will always remain neutral. Why?Simply because I can clearly see ( and if not will try to) both sides of each argument. This is because there are always two sides, if not more, to every story.

When it comes to religion. To each his own. I am interested in your views, but please do not even attempt to shove your ideas down my throat or try to belittle my views. I am a God-fearing person, I attend church weekly and pray all the time, but you won’t ever see me trying to convert you.

When it comes to politics. To each his own. I understand that you think that you’re right, but if all sides were “right” then the world would be in perfect harmony. No wait, it’s the opposite, because that is happening every day in the world is people from different sides thinking their way is the “right” way and forcing their ideas onto other people. I am conservative on certain things and I am liberal on other things, it’s hard to take sides when you can see both views as having valid points.

When it comes to lifestyle choices. To each his own. As long as you’re not doing anything to harm other people than do what ever feels right to you and whatever is in your heart.

When it comes to raising your kids. To each his own. Why? They are your kids, not mine. Working-mom vs stay-at-home moms. To each his own. I have been on all angles of this subject from being opinionated on being a working mom before I had kids. To having a kid and deciding I would be a stay-at-home mom, to getting a job, working from home and still being a stay-at-home mom. My verdict is: have your opinions and don’t put down other moms for their choices because we are all people, not just mothers and have to do what is right for us and our individual families.

I could touch on a plethora of subjects but instead I will say “to each his own” and leave it at that.

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Baiting…(Just a note on something that annoys me. Category: Nonsense)

Here’s my definition of baiting: People who leave you with word cliff-hangers to draw you into their life and when you ask them about this event they simply state they don’t feel like talking about it.

Baiting on facebook looks something like this:

Status update: FML!!! The worst thing that has ever happened to me has happened to me today!

Comment: OMG, what’s wrong? Is everything ok?

Reply: I don’t really want to talk about it on FB.

GRRRRR…. My thought is always, then why the heck are you baiting me?!

I understand the occasional bait for fun and attention or support when needed, but my goodness, do some people not get that it’s annoying!!. The updates that are a guessing game of “are you prengant?”, “did you get the job?” or other happy updates, but constant baiting makes me to block you on my staus updates thread.

And the people who “bait” in real life tick me off even more. They will tell you or imply that they have a secret and then when you ask they simply say they don’t want to talk about it. Or that they are really going through some things right now and don’t want to talk about it, yet everything in their body language and vague referrals to their unspoken problem point to the fact that they want to talk about it.
I have finally figured these people out! They simply want us to push them for information because they like being the center of attention. They enjoy having us pry it out of them. I am refusing to play the game anymore.

Just a nice evening rant. ūüôā

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The Terrible Two’s Diaries: Taking away the “security blanket” and bottle in 1 week…

In the middle of an amazingly brave (and somewhat naive) parenting moment, I thought it was time to get my son off of his three bottles of milk a day fix and start giving him his milk in his sippy cup. My thinking, “this should work, right? I mean he already drinks water and juice out of his sippy-straw cups, why not milk also? I mean, it’s milk. He loves milk.” The first night without the bottle was a success and the next days nap went without a bottle as well, leaving me naively to believe that I could also rid him of his “security blanket” which is his chupon aka pacifier. In my defense, I didn’t even think that this was his security blanket, i thought it was a magical mute button sent from God to help quiet him when he whined and made bedtime a lot smoother. I thought it was equivalent to my love of chewing gum. I was very, very, wrong…

The first night without either the bottle of milk or the chupon (pacifier) went well. We had been out all day and he was exhausted by bedtime, falling asleep in my arms before I even placed him in his crib. I am a super mom! I said to myself, “I am amazing!” That was until the next day’s nap where he screamed bloody murder and I began to worry that the neighbors were going to come over and ask me what I was doing to my son.

I am an advocate of letting your child “cry it out” but my God, does this kid have lungs! He even has a new cry that I was unfamiliar with. I refused to let a 2-year-old dictate my life and I went back to my method of letting him cry for 10 minutes and then checking on him and then giving him another 20 minutes of crying and so on and so forth. After 1 hour of crying he finally fell asleep and his usually three-hour nap was only 40 minutes that day. The next day I dreaded the same scenario, so I read him two books before his nap, and sang an extra lullaby and the results were the same. The third day was a lot easier and he slept for 2-1/2 hours for his nap.

After going on this again and again in my head it finally hit me that the pacifier was his “security blanket” and that by not having it when he went to sleep or woke in the middle of night, he would search for it and not finding it would cry for his mommy. I am glad I went through with keeping it away from him, even after his murderous cries, better now than when the new bay arrives. Did I mention I work from home? Yeah, not much work gets done when you have a baby crying in the background disturbing your train of thought.

Any more stories or tips would be helpful since I am a rookie mom after all. =)

The Terrible Two’s Diaries: I will not give in to a 2 year old

My son is 25 months old, he has been exactly 2 years old for one month. He threw his first mini-tantrum a week before his second birthday and it blindsided¬†my husband and I that we couldn’t help but laugh hysterically. The laughter came from the realization¬†that our precious, little gentleman had just publicly¬†screamed out and thrown himself¬†on the floor making his body lifeless and almost impossible to carry out of the store. We laughed because the onlookers of other parents had mixed looks of understanding, pity and smugness. We laughed because we were once on the other side of this situation and we had felt pity for the parents involved.

My son’s mini-tantrums seem to come out of nowhere, and I refuse to give in to his requests. I am American, and Americans do not negotiate with terrorists, therefore I treat the tantrum (not my son) as the terrorist. I try to calmly reason with¬†him and after one chance I put him in time-out. Time-out is an amazing tool. He has to sit against the wall in our hallway for two minutes alone and if he leaves the spot (which he hasn’t yet attempted to do) he is put back in the spot. In public, I refuse to be made a fool of, if he has a tantrum about anything I give him one chance and quickly find a tree, wall or bathroom stall to place him for two minutes until he has calmed down. It is not an easy task being a strong parent when you have a strong¬†willed two-year old, but I refuse to be controlled by a toddler. I can’t tell you how many compliments I have gotten by my fellow mothers for not giving in to his demands. I will have two children by the end of the year and am committed to having this “terrorist” tantrum under control by then.

I do not give up easily on people and it is hard to not get mad at my son, what helps is realizing it is the (terrorist) tantrum and not him that is causing all the hysteria. He¬†continues to be a¬†great helper, sleeper and playmate which makes me happy that the tantrum terrible-two toddler isn’t him 99% of the time.

The saga will continue as the months go on and I’m sure I will have some great stories to share in the coming months.

Don’t Forget Where You Came From!

Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, bothers me more than people who forget where they came from. People who leave their hometown, home state, country and start looking down on their previous homes. I understand loving your current state of living, but where you have been and who you have been around (whether good or bad) have helped to mold you into the person you are today.

If you didn’t like where you lived compared to where you live now, then good for you.¬† I grew up in Northern California near San Francisco. It is my heart, it helped¬†mold me into the adult I am today by teaching me to appreciate¬†differences in people since I was raised surrounded by so many beautiful cultures and lifestyles.

Since moving from the San Francisco Bay Area, I have lived in the mid-west and the south and now I am in Southern California. Of all the places I have lived, I can appreciate different aspects¬†of each state and city I lived with within these states. I can say that personally, I have found no better place that makes me feel at home than Northern California. I do not need to go on a long rant why it is the best place in the US because if you’re from there, then you already know what I am talking about and if you’re not, then there is no use in my trying to convince you of my heart.

I love where I live now, which is in Southern California because it suits the type of lifestyle I want to have with my young family. I appreciate the warm weather, the scenery and the people but they will never compare to my hometown.

These¬†people who seem to have forgotten where they came from usually are the same people who are easily influenced and are running away from something. Those who leave their¬†homes¬†and bash it are only denying the foundation that mae them who they are today. If you don’t like where you came from, maybe you should explore that idea a little bit more. Are you judging an entire country based on a few states you have lived in or visited? Have you had bad experiences that you are simply judging the entire country on?

These people seem to think that wherever it is that they move to that it is simply better because they are in it. They seem to have moved on passed their roots and have forgotten where they came from.

I understand that where you are now is important to appreciate, but do not forget where you came from. Do not deny yourself of who you are and then people and places that¬†helped mold you into the person you are today. Do not forget your roots. Do not let the next new shiny thing make you forget the vintage memories of your past life. Don’t let one state judge an entire country. Do not let one bad city judge an entire area or state. Do not let one bad memory make you run and hide from the place that helped mold who you are today.

Speaking as a representative of these people’s home state/country/town: If you have forgotten us, don’t worry we will¬†never forget about you because you are rooted in our ground.

My changing moods on motherhood

Being a mom is something you can’t prepare for.

What I thought about Motherhood throughout my years:

Elementary school: I thought I would have about 4 children and anything my mom said I couldn’t do I would let them do. That was about as far as my thinking went, ¬†letting my kids get away with “stuff”.

Middle School: After taking “Sex Ed” I thought perhaps I would adopt. My little sister was 9 years younger than me and by the time I was in middle school she was in kindergarten and I saw that kids needed a lot of attention. I downsized my 4 kids to having only 2 or 3.

High School: After seeing many girls I had gone to school with in middle school actually get pregnant in highschool, it made me realize that babies were no joke and I swore I wouldn’t have any kids until I was at least 25 years old.

20 Years old: When I first got married, I was 20 years old. I was very independent, headstrong and financially stable. My husband is about¬†8 years older than me and I saw more and more the differences between men and women as far as the maturing process. I have always considered myself to be about the same age, if not older in some instances, than my husband. Not even a year into our marriage, he was offered a job in Kansas and we moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to Kansas. Only then, in a moment of weakness, did I bring up us having kids. The thought clearly terrified my new husband because the subject quickly shifted to animals and the fact that I had been raised with cats and should try a dog. A few days later we bought my first dog, a small male Maltese¬†and I never brought up the idea of kids to my husband the rest of the time we lived in Kansas. Having that puppy, and never having had a puppy, gave me my first insight of parenthood. The puppy whined¬†and whimpered, pooped¬†and peed throughout the apartment and didn’t listen to my commands. He did, however, always give me the comfort and affection I sometimes needed being in a new place not knowing anyone.

25-27 Years old: When I was about 23-24 years old and we had been married for over¬†3-4 years, my husband took a promotion in Atlanta, Ga. I went reluctantly and ended up enrolling in a private art school. This school offered BA’s in 3 years time with one catch- you had little to no breaks in between quarters. As soon as one 10 week quarter ended you had 1-2 weeks of a break before you had to start back up again. Being in school again at this stage in my life made me almost completely forget kids. I would meet women in some of my classes that were moms and they seemed bizarre to me. Not in a negative way, but more so in a mesmerizing¬† way. How was it possible that they could juggle being a mom, wife and also a full-time design student?

My last year at school was a struggle on many levels. One reason was that the course work got heavier but also because my heart was starting to fall some place else. I was ready. My clock was ticking. I didn’t obsess over babies. I didn’t mention much to my husband, but I listened and watched his reactions to other people’s children and I saw that he too, was softening up to the idea. I mentioned it to him a few times and his response was very rational, ” Yes, I would love us to have a baby, but we should wait a few years until after you’ve been out of school and have worked in your field. We should also wait until we’ve paid off your student loans and are living back in California.” I agreed with him to save face, but my heart was somewhere else.

When I mentioned the thought of kids to my friends, most of them were excited about the prospect of me getting fat from pregnancy. Funny ladies… they were supportive. I remember having long talks about how we would be as mothers. I felt my clock ticking very loudly…

27 years old: I finished my B.A. in 2008 a month before turning 27 and I thought I would bring up the idea of kids to my husband once more. We were already in the process of moving back to California and had a lot of money saved that we could use to help pay off my student loans, so I thought it would be the right time.

A month after turning 27, I had a positive pregnancy test. The fantisizing of motherhood had begun! I thought about how precious my baby would be and how I would be the perfectly calm and rational mother. I would have a boy first and then a girl. I would work semi-full time and have a nanny or daycare for my baby because the thought of being a stay-at-home-mom made my insides hurt. I just couldn’t imagine myself domesticated and happy. I rarely cooked for my husband and he and I split all of the household chores. I was a bit spoiled and didn’t quite¬†fit into the stereotypical “wife” role.

The following year, I became a mother and my views drastically changed.

27/28 years old:¬†I had my first¬† child, a boy, and my life instantly changed forever. I have never been so happy, scared, worried, tired in my entire life and you know what? I wouldn’t trade my current life with my old life even on my worst day! I cannot even remember my life before having my son, and not in a sad way, but in a way that I never truly knew true happiness and bliss before being blessed with him.

¬†The first major change was my attitude on being a stay-at-home mother. I couldn’t imagine the thought of someone else “raising” my child and since we had just moved for my husband’s job promotion, I decided to stay at home with my son. It was an easy decision¬† but a hard reality. I took care of my son from morning to night with no help from family or friends since I now lived in a new city¬†6 hours away from loved ones. I had the need to do it all myself and refused to ask for help from my husband. This all changed around the 6th month my ideas shifted and my husband took care of my son 100% from 10pm until morning, allowing me to get 8 hours of sleep and more if I needed it.

We couldn’t imagine having another child for fear that the new child would somehow take Gabriel’s place and make him feel less special. This all changed when my son was about 18 months and we realized he was starting to play alone and was a people person. We just got that “feeling” when you know you’re ready for a big change.

29 years old:¬†I am now 29 years old and pregnant with our second child, a baby girl this time. I have changed my views again on the whole stay at home mom thing. First of all, as long as we are financially able to, I will be with my children at home until they are in pre-school. However, the major change is that I have a job now working from home and see that I can have my cake and eat it to. It’s the best of both worlds and I couldn’t be happier. To each his own, is my motto, and I do not judge one person’s decisions against my own because we are all different people, as are our families.

What I am faced with now, is that I have no idea how to handle two children at once, but know that it will all come to me somehow, almost instinctively, as it did with my son. We do not plan on having any more children, but I never set things in stone since I am an ever evolving person.