Monday, November 14, 2011

Old Man Sam

Be positive. That’s what I’m trying to do. It’s hard sometimes… to see the good. Because there is so much bad. Everywhere. There are chained dogs with no shelter—starving & freezing to death. Pit bulls fighting each other for their lives. Puppy mills breeding dogs in deplorable conditions, while millions of others die in shelters every year due to the pet overpopulation. But today, I am trying to be positive, & here’s how I’m able to do that…
I remember the lives saved. I think about the undying hope in a wounded dog’s eyes… & watching that hope turn to joy… the joy of finally being safe, happy, & loved. I think about the amazing gift I am given each time I witness a dog being adopted by their new forever family. For many, this is the first time in their life that they have ever truly been home.
Recently I placed my long time foster Sam. Sam was a HUGE mess and EVERYONE told me I was trying to place the impossible dog, No one would want him..When I rescued Sam he was 9 years old, set in his ways, un neutered, and sporting a grapefruit size tumor that constantly oozed puss...My fabulous vet Dr James gave me a great deal on a neuter and grapefruit size tumor removal... After the surgeries and summer buzz cut Sam was quite the man! I knew Sam needed a family with land, love, and NO male dogs....Well after much prayer, lots of tears, demolished drapes, half eaten window sills, several dog fights, and a HUGE boarding bill...Sam found a family with a REAL RANCH IN ELKO NEVADA!!!! Despite some regrets and wonder if I had done the right thing by putting this little old man through SO much at 9 years old, I now know it was worth it and all he needed was someone to believe in him. He will never know how much he meant to me. He will never know that he is the one who really saved me. That I am the lucky one. It turns out, the family Sam found had no idea he was looking for them or vice versa. I can’t even describe the joy I feel when I hear about this old boy living his new life. Happy. Healthy. Loved. Adored. Cherished. It’s unlike any other feeling in the world. In my heart, I know that Sam is exactly where he was always meant to be. God just asked me to get him there.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Fostering without Failure

I spent the better part of today at a HUGE adoption event. I could dwell on the sadness and how it breaks my
heart to see 100 cages full because of human irresponsibility BUT I wont because what good will that do?
There were several adoptions and many dogs are just now getting a chance to live the life they have always
deserved. So tonight as I lay in bed surrounded by my 4 dogs and 2 fosters, Lola and Jack I start to think.
As I lay looking at Lola and Jack I anxiously anticipate the bittersweet moment when they will move on
to the next phase of their lives... going HOME to their forever family.
I'll never be able to explain in words the immense joy and overwhelming heartbreak of that moment
. It’s like my heart, while so full of happiness, is going to break just a bit.
For a short while, these foster dogs are a major part of my life, our family. I pulled them from death,
right into my heart. I teach them to trust, to play, to share. I show them compassion for the first time
in their life, and I promised to love them always...
What a gift to give… Life. Love. Happiness. The holes in my heart are repaired by the joy of a family that is
now complete because they choose to adopt a truly amazing dog.
Yes, I take them in knowing that they will leave me, but the pain of their leaving doesn’t outweigh the joy
of the time I have with them. And my gift to them is happiness, every single day, for the rest of their lives.
The moment will come when Lola and Jack will leave me for another family. I look at my rescue babies and
all of the fosters before these two, and despite the pain, my heart longs for that moment. That moment
is the reason I do this. They deserve a family that will love them forever. A place to call home.
They deserve the life that they almost never had.I remind myself that another dog deserves the chance
to be rescued by me in their place. As one dog waits by the door for me to return, another waits on
death row for me to arrive. And the dog awaiting my return already has a family and the dog still
sitting at the shelter waiting for me does not even know what a family is. So my heart
WILL handle the pain, because another’s fate depends on my strength. Driving home
from the shelter I tell my latest fosters "You are safe and everything is going to be ok
. I promise." And then the cycle starts again.

Friday, November 11, 2011

After getting to know my latest foster dog, LOLA, I have spent ALOT of time thinking about the words "owner surrender". Lola is the dog who was too scared to eat, interact, or even leave her concrete cell at the animal shelter.....I had to pick up Lola in order to lead her out of the shelter....She was too scared to even venture to the front of her cage....6 weeks prior to meeting Lola, she was living in a home, part of a family! She meant something to someone. How sad is it that her life could change with just one car ride. Lovely Lola was staring death straight in the face......Our society makes it very easy to "get rid" of your pet. Honestly, it's even considered acceptable by many, which is highly disturbing. But I often wonder if this happens because people don't understand or accept the heartbreaking reality for the surrendered pet...and what it does to them.

If you've ever given up on a family pet, I think you should know what happened after you walked away. Or if you've ever considered it... then you should know the truth before you do. It's not about "how hard" it is for you. This is about them. I challenge you to care enough about them to hear their side of the story. It's your choice, of course... but it's a life-or-death decision.

I've rescued a lot of dogs. The neglected, the abused, the sick, the maimed, the elderly. In short, the walking dead. But some of the saddest cases I've ever witnessed... are the Owner Surrenders.

When a dog is taken from a horrific situation and brought into a loving environment like the K-9 Corral, it's honestly like Heaven for them. Suddenly, they have warmth and food and joy. Playtime and walks and fun. For the first time... they know love, and they love it.
But with Owner Surrenders, it's different...much different. When a dog was once in a loving home, and lived as a treasured family pet, their devastation upon abandonment is nothing short of heartbreaking. They don't understand.They can't understand. And so... they wait. I call them "the waiting."

These dogs are waiting... for their families to return. They're waiting... to go home. They're waiting... to go back to the forever they were promised.

With every day, every hour, and every minute, they're waiting for their moms and dads to come back for them. With every car, every visitor, and every walk outdoors, they're certain they're going home. With every breath, every blink, and every sigh... they're wondering where their families are. What's taking them so long?

In their eyes, there's the undying wish forhome. In their smiles, there's the unwavering hope that their wish will soon come true. And in their tiny bedtime whimpers, there's the slow realization... that they may never go home again.

In the early stages, most surrendered dogs never doubt for a second that their families will come back for them. So... they sit, they watch, and they wait. But over time... that wish becomes nothing more than a dream... and that dream becomes their worst nightmare.

It's beyond heartbreaking to watch them wait, day after day, for a family that won't be back for them. Especially when I can't help them understand... and even if I could... I couldn't bear to tell them. Obviously, some dogs don't know that they've been abandoned. But with Owner Surrenders... there's another heartbreaking group. The dogs that knowthey're being dumped. They just know. These dogs are often dragged into the animal shelter by their families... as they desperately try to resist the inevitable. Their eyes plead with their moms and dads, begging for a second chance. They'll use every ounce of energy to try and leave with a family that doesn't even want them anymore. And as that family walks away... these dogs will cry out for them: "Wait! You forgot to take me with you!!! Please don't leave me here! Please!!!"

Even though these dogs realize what's happened-- their devotion never wavers. They'll still wait, every single day, for the very family that dumped them. When anyone walks through the animal shelter, these dogs will eagerly press their faces against the cage... tails wagging... to see if their family has come back for them.

Then, the hope in their eyes is replaced with despair, as they realize that it isn't their family after all. They'll slowly walk back to the corner... the corner they now call "home" ... head hung... heart broken. And they'll repeat that same process... every single day.

In no-kill animal shelters, these dogs have all the time in the world... to wait for a family that will never return for them. But in kill shelters, Owner Surrenders are often killed immediately. Why so? Well, stray pets must be held for a certain number of days, in order to give their families time to reclaim them. But with Owner Surrenders, there's no mandatory hold time, which means they can be killed immediately. And trust me, if space is limited, Owner Surrenders will be the first to go. Check out Fort Worth Animal Care and Control or Dallas City Shelter.

Other pets may be given days or weeks... which will be spent waiting for their families. And when their time is up, they'll cry out for those families... as they are killed.

Sure, you can sit back and blame the kill animal shelters all day long, but they didn't dump your pet. You did.Basically, you handed them a very heartbroken dog, and said, "Here, you deal with this." Then, you turned and walked away, convinced that your dog would find a good home. All the while, millions upon millions of pets are being killed in shelters every year. You're certain that your pet will be the exception? Are you willing to bet his life on it??But that's part of the problem here... people are allowed to ignore the truth. Every day, pet owners are carelessly making major life-or-death decisions... choices that have the potential to ruin their pet's life... or result in their death. And sadly, there were so many other options...

Maybe you "feel bad" about dumping your pet. Maybe you even said, "I'm sorry" before you left them. But your dog doesn't need to hear "I'm sorry"... they just need "I love you." Because even after you dump them... they still love you. Every minute, they'll think of you. Every day, they'll wonder if you ever think of them, too. Every night, they'll dream of you... they'll wish for you. And believe me... they'll wait for you... until their very last breath.

They'd never believe, for even a second... that you actually left them to die. But even if they knew...they'd still love you anyway. That is what breaks my heart :(

Friday, November 4, 2011

Tonight, I am just writing from my heart. I don’t have one particular topic to blog about, but it’s just been one of those days where I need to say how I feel.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that I love dogs, & all animals. I want to help them. All of them. But… I am just one person. One girl, trying to save the world. And sometimes, that wears on your heart. Your relationships suffer. Your health suffers. Your overall well-being is not that great, because you rarely put yourself first. But for me, it’s very worth it. I am incapable of not being this way. It’s what makes me… me.
I guess the frustration comes in when—day after day—you see these things happening, & you are one of few who is working to put an end to the suffering. I want to inspire people to get involved. To make a difference. In ANY way that you can. Every person is capable of making a difference in the world, but you have to ACT to make this happen.
All I ask, is that people do what they can to help. Whatever that is!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

What if you lived your entire life... without ever being special? What if you lived for years, with just one wish -- to be loved -- and it never came true? What if you waited... every single day... for a lifetime... just to matter, to someone, anyone... and you never got that chance?
Imagine how you'd feel... if you were simply waiting to die... before you ever even lived...
This is the story of each of the dogs I save. This is their reality... their truth. Abuse. Neglect. Cruelty. Torture. Hatred.

Welcome to the only world they've ever known.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Let go?

To let go does not mean to stop caring,
it means I can't do it for someone else.
To let go is not to cut myself off,
it's the realization I can't control another.
To let go is not to enable,
but allow learning from natural consequences.
To let go is to admit powerlessness, which means
the outcome is not in my hands.
To let go is not to try to change or blame another,
it's to make the most of myself.
To let go is not to care for,
but to care about.
To let go is not to fix,
but to be supportive.
To let go is not to judge,
but to allow another to be a human being.
To let go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes,
but to allow others to affect their destinies.
To let go is not to be protective,
it's to permit another to face reality.
To let go is not to deny,
but to accept.
To let go is not to nag, scold or argue,
but instead to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.
To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires,
but to take each day as it comes and cherish myself in it.
To let go is not to criticize or regulate anybody,
but to try to become what I dream I can be.
To let go is not to regret the past,
but to grow and live for the future.
To let go is to fear less and love more.
Life is short....I need to focus on being a fabulous mom and
rescuing dogs. Sometimes where you started from is where you belong.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I'd like to believe that many good-hearted, caring people exist in this world. Well, let me rephrase that: I do believe that the world is full of good people.

But being "good" shouldn't simply mean that a person doesn't do bad things. That shouldn't be enough. There should always be an active, ongoing effort to do good things... to make a difference.

I guess that's where I get frustrated sometimes. I know so many amazing people, who are capable of so much good. Yet, there's so little motivation to actually do more with their time. To do more with their lives.

The reality is this: we're all just trying to make it in this crazy world. I get that, trust me. But if everyone just gave a little of themselves, then people like me wouldn't have to carry all of the weight on our shoulders.

Why should the few people who care SO much be expected to do it all? Sure, I care more about animals than the average person. And yes, I've made the decision to dedicate my life to saving them. I certainly don't expect everyone else to do the same; it's just not realistic. So of course I carry more of the burden than others. That's my choice.

But I can't do it all on my own; I need help, just like every other person who dedicates their life to a cause also needs help. I do so much... and I do it, because I want to do it. But with more help, I could do even more. We could do more.

Everyone can do something. Every single person. But it's so disheartening when good people choose to do nothing. Each helping hand makes a huge difference... and when the help isn't there, the entire burden falls on those like me, who are already overloaded and overwhelmed. Because we are the ones who care too much to do nothing at all.

Instead of reaching out to lighten that load, a lot of people feel comforted, just knowing that people like me exist. So, when help is needed, they figure we'll take care of it, and those thoughts help them sleep at night.

It's good to be thankful for those who are out there fighting on the front-lines. But without support, here's what happens: the people who do it all... eventually reach a breaking point. It's inevitable... one person can only do so much. When that happens, everyone loses. The world loses.

This isn't my way of saying I've reached a breaking point. This is just my way of asking for help... for me, and others like me. This is my way of encouraging all of the good people out there to act. To get involved, to make a difference, and to do something amazing with your life. Allow the goodness in your heart to drive your actions.

Just do something-- anything. Make your life count. If you're a good person, prove it :)

When you die, what will others say about you? What good did you do with the time you were given? How was your life different from all the other lives?

My hope is to inspire every truly good person to have solid answers to those questions. Otherwise... why are you here?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Everything Happens For a Reason!

Sometimes, we don't know why they come into and OUT OF our lives, and sometimes we don't find out until many years later when we can look back and finally see the whole painting, instead of just a few pixels. These moments are precious and enlightening and fill you with great, profound joy, often accompanied by lots of tears. I have had some of these moements, and I am a better person for it. This phrase rings so true for me in so many moments in my life....It’s sometimes hard to let go of a relationship, or a time. Some moments or time I wish could last last forever, but maybe its not always meant to, and learning to
accept this will help my heart find peace :)

A poem to explain more:

Reason, Season, or Lifetime

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you figure out which one it is,
you will know what to do for each person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON,
it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty;
to provide you with guidance and support;
to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend, and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON,
because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;
things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person,
and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

— Unknown

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Where has the time gone? Why does it not seem so long ago that you were sitting in my arms as a baby, looking into my eyes as I fedyou, smiling at me as I sang "You are my Sunshine" and tears weld up in my eyes with happiness of the baby we had created.At 2 am I woke up for some water and decided I wouldnt want to be anywhere else but in your big boy bed with you....I grabbed my pillow and called Vinny to follow....We snuggled up with you and thanked GOD over and over for YOU....You are BEYOND AMAZING....About 9:11 am you started stirring, I quietly sang “Happy Birthday” in your ear. I thought about you -

You are practically perfect!!!!!!
Your name exemplifies EXACTLY who YOU are.....
You love your Daddy more than words can say!
You say lots of words (dog, please, memememe (cat), Ayden, Max, toot, mama, daddy, yes, no, cheese, me, boy, truck, go, love!
Your favorite book is Mama's Right Here.
Your favorite show is Mickey Mouse
Your favorite place is in my arms.
You’re not a big eater but you are a BIG BOY.
When there is conflict, you tend to laugh!
In the midst of your constant pretending, you are also constantly singing. Songs I taught you (you are

my sunshine, I love you) songs Daddy taught you (I gotta Feeling).
I LOVE the way you exude confidence as you sing and dance! You are so much fun. ****************
I will always love you and I will always be in your corner. I don’t make many promises to people but I will make this promise to you. I will ALWAYS listen to you and I will ALWAYS be someone you can count on. I will do whatever I can to make your life better for as long as there is air in my lungs and my heart still beats. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS.
Happy Birthday, Baby Scout!!! Mama LOVES you SO much!!!!

Two years ago today was the BEST day of my life!!! You are
such a perfect, beautiful, and health little baby.
I look forward to watching you
grow into a man and I hope I will
guide you on the right paths.
Daddy and I can't believe
that we really have you.
It feels like a wonderful dream.
I will always love you no matter what
and will always be here when you need
me. I promise..

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer 3

I’ve been raised my whole life to believe I can do anything. Girl power to the max! But just because you CAN do it all, doesn’t mean you SHOULD. I think this is especially hard for moms to grasp. Saying yes to everything is a guaranteed fast track to burnout. And believe me, there have been plenty of times where I’ve been on the verge of burnout. So here are my 3 words that I’m focusing on this summer and what a great time to write about this since it just started!Realistically I’ll give myself a B- to a C+ on all these efforts. I know, I’m a work in progress. Trust me.

My 3 words for 2011 are FOCUS, CONTENT, and FAMILY.....I want to focus on the projects and things that really matter, from my own wellness and fitness to my family and projects that are really worth my while, and not be so scattered all over the dang place which is easy to do when you love the social media like I do and you are a tad ADHD. Time management is a big challenge for me.I want to be content. Unfortunately I am not always one to be satisfied just “being” and “enjoying” the now. I’m a go, go, go girl and while that’s a good thing, it’s all about balance. I don’t want to overlook the beauty of today while daydreaming tomorrow. I want to enjoy the here and now. I want to live in the moment!I want to enjoy my family. Time is flying by so quickly. My “baby” is now 2!!!!! My husband is truly my friend but lately we have become too overwhelmed with "stuff" remember who “we” really are, minus all the life stuff.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Some days; truthfully MOST days I have the answer to most of MY own questions, concerns and obstacles.... Being Scout's Mom has changed EVERYTHING! Personally I have NEVER understood spanking/hitting/hurting another creature in order to "teach" a lesson. My father "spanked" me once and cried more than I did. I still feel guilty for the added emotion and dramatics I included in the semi-swat that occurred at 415 Woodhurst Lane, Coppell Texas 75019 in 1988. Sorry Dad, I hope you realize that act of desperation was not well received by either of us! My mother pulled that card more often. It was generally out of frustration and lack of an alternative. Having a STRONG WILLED CHILD was foreign in the early 1980's. I get it, I don't feel I became an aggressive person because of them or their parenting. I have never been in a physical fight and I am 31 years old. However, speaking with friends, coworkers, and even my HUSBAND I am realizing despite the 10 spankings my mother gave me and ONE from my dad, its NOTHING compared with others and even some of SCOUTS friends TODAY in 2011......With all of the fabulous research, studies, personal testimony, etc... How can HITTING an innocent child for; forgetting to listen, forgetting to share, forgetting the truth, having an accident, missing the mark be OK? Who are WE to set up these expectations for our children? Aren't they a blessing? I finished reading SEVERAL STUDIES that include years of research, this was a favorite:

From the press release:

"Toddlers that are spanked more frequently at age 3 are at increased risk for being more aggressive at age 5," said Taylor, assistant professor of Community Health Sciences at Tulane and lead author of the study. "We found this to be true even after taking into account other factors that might have explained this association such as the parents' level of stress, depression, use of drugs or alcohol, and the presence of other aggression within the family."

Study authors asked nearly 2,500 mothers how often they spanked their 3-year-old child in the past month, as well as questions about their child's level of aggression, demographic features and eight identified maternal parenting risk factors. Almost half (45.6 percent) of the mothers reported no spanking in the previous month, while 27.9 percent reported spanking one or two times, and 26.5 percent reported spanking more than twice. Mothers with more parenting risk factors were more likely to spank frequently. However, even accounting for these potential confounding factors, frequent spanking at age 3 increased the odds of higher levels of aggression at age 5. Signs of aggression included behaviors such as arguing or screaming; cruelty, bullying or meanness to others; destroys things; fighting and frequently threatening others.

You can read the entire study online here

Yikes, what are WE doing???? I can safely say communication and praise are working for us. Scout is a STRONG WILLED CHILD and sometimes it takes everything I have to clearly draw the lines for him as a 21 month old baby, but it is worth it. He is an amazingly kind and compassionate soul. I am NOT saying he won't become some inhumane, selfish hillbilly who forgets to respect LIFE, but at THIS point I am proud of him and will continue to preach compassion and kindness as opposed to anger and hurt....

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Forgive or not????

One of my favorite friends and I were talking about forgiveness and saying it was one of the important qualities of a person. According to, forgiveness means the act of forgiving and to forgive means to grant pardon for, to grant pardon to (a person) or to cease to feel resentment against.Gandhi said it well when he said that forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. For most people, to forgive is a difficult thing to do. In fact to forgive, it takes a whole lot of courage to do it. However, why do we find it so hard to forgive someone? Is is because of the need to let the person knows that we are angry with him/her? Or is it because if we forgive that person, it means that the person wins? I feel like so many people think that to forgive is all about the other person. I think that when you forgive someone, you free yourself from anger; anger is a very strong negative feeling and it blocks you from loving. Being angry sucks and allows the person or situation to take over control of you.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Moments to Remember

I've been stressing myself out recently. I'm spending a lot of time thinking about 2011 and how its, already, a quarter of the way over, and how this should be that or that should be this, etc. Trying to be the optimist, I like looking to fill my crazy mind/world with joyous memories. Yesterday, while I was stressing about something super trivial, I am sure, I joined Scout (19 months) at his table as he colored. I grabbed a crayon and joined him.
Together, we colored backyardigans, trees, and even part of the table. We traded colors, we scribbled, we laughed. It felt good. It felt relaxed.
As Lil' Nugget and I bonded over Pablo, purples, greens and oranges, I watched his eyes focus and his head tilt. I watched his little hands manipulate crayons as he continuously looked at my hands for guidance. I watched his little 19 month old body sit in a chair, calmly, learning about the world around him.
I paused to realize that we were having a treasured momma-baby moment. That in this moment, what would look to any bystander to be a "normal" activity, was, actually, something to treasure. We were connecting more than we do during our morning snuggles or our late night snacks.. We were delighting in each other in the most simple yet amazing way.
Not wanting to break his focus, or the magic of the moment, I went back to my coloring. Realizing, of course, that this was a moment to be thankful for. Sure, we'd had first steps, first words and our first day of Mom's Day Out. Our family took a trip this year. My husband and I celebrated 4 years of existing together, more good than bad :)
All of those moments were moments to be thankful for as well. Of course.
But the moments that are uncelebrated and often missed: they're the ones to appreciate and hold onto FOREVER and EVER.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Part of the meaning of life is simply being HAPPY. I suppose it means looking at ourself as a good person? I am sure most of us have been taught that if we do something wrong, we’ll pay a price or suffer, right? Maybe we don't literally "pay" the price and just end up having to handle the consequences of our actions and words. What happens to us because of what we say or do, is up to us RIGHT ? I think it is, WE have power over what we say and do. What if you slip and you are not paying attention to what you are doing and accidentally place your palm on a hot burner; you will get burned. The burn is not a punishment; it is a natural consequence of putting your palm in the wrong place. So what about hurting others? Are we just being human?

Friday, March 4, 2011

Life in the play area today

I show up at a play area to meet up with a friend. The friend is great. The other family in the play area is not. A boy about five years old knocks over my lil' nugget. Twice. I could see that his newest sibling had just began to move. S took out his frustration on other little guys when NM began to move around and get into his stuff. Now, S was more the unwilling-to-share, not the make-them-cry-by-slamming-your-body-into-them-type but still. It happens.Both times I say: Sweetie, you need to be careful . (Thinking "little asshole")But the boy is already walking away.And his parents — both of whom are there — NEVER SAY A WORD. Even as my happy go lucky guys comes to me crying. I know that by the third time, I will have to call the parents out. Or glare at them. Or smack them up-side the head. But after visualizing the painful argument (I have done this before) with them over their son’s intentions. I follow Scout everywhere and move to keep him safe when the boy is within a few feet of him. Oh, and I glared at that family like they are animal abusers!!!! Of course, now, I can’t talk to my friend or enjoy my Route 44 HH Ice Tea. I can’t play with my son. Because I have to protect him from the boy who decided that picking on others was okay. And his parents who are too busy to care. When the spawn family finally leaves, I’m so excited that I consider throwing them a party except it would keep them in the same vicinity as us. After we leave the play area, I tell Scout that the boy was wrong for hurting him and not apologizing (he probably does not know what I am saying). And I offer an apology of my own for not knowing how to handle the situation. He could care less, he is already car seat dancing to PINK. But I’m still thinking of it a week later.Part of me hopes that mom reads my blog (she won't, my own friends don't really read it.) Because I want her to know how much she sucked that day.Part of me hopes that next time I can turn to the parents and calmly say: I need you to speak to your son or keep him away from my lil' nugget NOW!~ Most of me hopes that I never run into parents like that again.I understand that we all have bad days and ugly moments. But I’m having a hard time being okay with this. Because I don’t think that we have the right to have our bad days spill into other people’s days.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Don't mess with my little nugget Mr. and Mrs. Media!

Now that I am kicking major butt again (TOOT, TOOT MY OWN HORN!!!!) and on my second full month at the gym, I am reading books I have collected over the past year or two. My latest victory was Consuming Kids: Protecting Our Children from the Onslaught of Marketing & Advertsing by Susan Linn and I’m so glad I actually read it!!!!It basically highlights the insanity of corporate marketing to children and just how pervasive it is in our country. It is shocking to learn that the U.S. is one of only a handful of countries in the world that does NOT have laws against direct advertising to children. Thanks to the Federal Communications Commission who deregulated childrens TV in 1984 and basically gave advertisers the green light to barrage our children to buy, buy, and buy MORE!Linn makes a strong case in the book that marketing and advertising to children is NEVER be in their best interest. She makes her case that children are conditioned to be consumers from the time they are infants and every brand is competing for our kids to be the life-time customer they want. Linn shares over and over how marketing to children is only in the interest of the marketing agencies and corporations that directly profit from this 15 billion dollar industry. It is NEVER in the best interest of children. NEVER.Many people will say it’s the parents job to counter the affect of ads on kids and that parents must be involved in preventing the exploitation of children through ads. People complain that if we parents weren’t just so indulgent our children would have a sense of responsibility as consumers. Yet, time and time again, Linn argues that we parents are up against media and marketing 24/7 and an industry that spends more advertising to children than it does adults. In the chapter discussing the “Nag Factor” and other devious plans advertisers use to get children to undermine our parental authority….our children are actually taught whining skills to us to buy the products and help secure for brands for that “cradle to grave brand loyalty”. This is so terrible but has become so effective, ugh....The book explains really well how children are marketed to EVERYWHERE–from at home, to school, sports fields, magazines, the Internet, playgrounds, on the street....The book does include many recommendations of what YOU can do to make changes. I appreciated how Linn broke this section down into practical recommendations for people like me!After reading this book and a few others, I’m on board and ready to do my part. It will become part of my social mission to protect my little nugget from this :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Oh, this do I really know?

Ok, I admit it. I haven’t been one to really jump on board with daily affirmations and I’m not sure why. I’ve tried them over the years and really believe in their power to transform and create your intention…. but…. I always seem to fall off with them after a few days. I know it does take about a month or two (for me) to create a habit that will stick but sometimes it’s a challenge to stay committed to a new practice when life gets in the way. Now this is where I intend to change. Life is what I make it…this I know, so how could things be getting in the way? I let them. I allow myself to choose to let “life” get in the way of doing the things I intend for myself. I am working through why that is and has been while simultaneously working to make sure I create the life through my choices and being aware that everything I think, say, and do matters. So today I have committed to myself to start creating my own affirmations each day to make my daily intention known to myself and to the Universe. I am writing these in my funky journal after I finish my daily writing and intend to visit them at the end of my day once again. I am moving towards a daily practice, cross my fingers:) There are so many great websites for creating affirmations and amazing books to learn the process. For me, my affirmations must be statements I truly can believe, envision, and look in the mirror to say. All of my affirmations begin with “I am” and when I say them out loud, I feel empowered. I found most of the following online but they will be my firsts :)

  1. I will be enthusiastic and full of energy.
  2. I will find something I can do today to bring me closer to me
  3. I will keep my dream alive, no matter what. I will not let anyone discourage me.
  4. I will accept what I cannot change.
  5. I will make someone smile unexpectedly today.
  6. I will make myself smile today.
  7. I will give everything I do my best effort.
  8. I will trust my instincts and follow my heart.
  9. I will live what I love.