Please, Come Steal My Child!

This morning while dropping the babe off at school I noticed the vehicle in front of me had stickers on the back window advertising what activity their child was in as well as their name.  From what I could tell “Harper” is in some sort of cheerleading type activity.

I don’t know about you, but seeing these types of stickers plastered across vehicles terrifies me.  To me, these stickers are an advertisement to predators.  These stickers tell people that you have children, what activities your children are in and even your children’s names.  When I see these stickers I feel you might as well slap a sticker on your bumper that says, “Please, come steal my child!”.

The stickers give child predators a leg up.  If they are watching your child from a distance, they now also know your child’s name and what kinds of activities your child likes.  They could easily use that information to try to begin building a relationship with your child.  Let’s say “Johnny” plays soccer and his parents have a sticker of a soccer ball with Johnny’s name underneath it on the family van.  Let’s say after the soccer game Johnny gathers his belongings and trudged to the family van in the parking lot while his Mother finishes up a conversation with another parent about car pooling.  A child predator sees Johnny waiting next to the van and strikes up a conversation. “Hey, Johnny!  You put forth a lot of effort in that soccer game today, good for you! I’m Ryan’s Uncle (insert a common popular kids name)  I was watching from the sidelines.”  This could be an in for the child predator to put Johnny at ease.  If this person knows this stuff about them and they are supposedly a relative or another player on Johnny’s team that person can’t be dangerous, right?

Some of you might think I’m just being paranoid, but I clearly remember an episode of Criminal Minds in which the predator uses the stickers on the family van’s window to kidnap the children.  It might not be the most likely scenario used by child predators, but it certainly makes it a little more easy for them.  I, myself, will not be taking any chances with my child by advertising their name and extracurricular activities on the family car and I hope you will reconsider too. (or at least leave their name off. . .)mORgWVJ-bjD-OWEcnxppfyQ

A Little Yoga Anyone?

I have a job where the majority of my time is spent sitting at my desk staring at a computer screen. (Yes, fun, I know.)  Throughout the day when I start to get restless, I sneak some yoga into my routine.  I love yoga because it is one exercise you can do anytime, anywhere.  Here are a few moves I do at my desk during the day to help me survive the office…

Desk Yoga

(Find the full article where I found this lovely information here: The Reality Blog: 5 Yoga Poses you can do at your desk and Other Healthy Work Habits )

Summer Storms

I live in Texas and summers can be brutal.  August is particularly horrid.  While most people are enjoying their last bit of summer, those of us who live in Texas are wishing we could find a fast forward button so we can skip the miserable heat and get on with the rest of the year.

I usually enjoy being outside, but when you start sweating inside the house just thinking about opening the door, the prospect of going outside becomes a daunting task.  Anything that needs to be done is scheduled in the early morning with all tasks completed before noon or saved for evening after 7 pm when it’s somewhat bearable to venture out the door.  Anything from noon to 7pm will be done in doors, in an air conditioned environment (unless it involves a pool, river or lake).

Yesterday on my return from work when I ventured into my car the thermometer inside read 109°.  My car was literally an oven.  Rolling down the windows does little to disperse the heat at these temperatures, the only savior is to roll all the windows down and step of the gas and hope the movement of the air is enough to keep you from passing out before the air conditioner kicks in enough to make you stop cursing under your breath.

At about the halfway mark on my ride home everything started to change.  The air ahead looked cloudy.  It took me a moment to realize it was dust blowing widly through the air from a nearby construction site.  Further down the road grey clouds blanketed the sky.  I glanced at the thermometer on my dash which was still above 100 ° and watched it started to drop.  The closer I got to the grey skies the more the tempature fell.

I drove on into the storm.  The rain started out lightly, a heaven sent gift.  The thermometer dipped into the 80°’s.  I continued on and the light rain turned violent with winds whipping around me in my little car.  Traffic slowed considerably as we battled to see a few hundred feet ahead and I braced myself as the vehment winds blew pinecones off trees and pelted my car and those around me.  A wild summer storm had developed out of no where and was now raveging my area.

Finally the storm lightened and I reached my homeward destination only to find the power out.  80° inside the house.  It’s been a long while since we’ve been through a power outage that lasted more than a few hours.  You forget how it feels. Luckily for us, my husband is somewhat of a genius and hooked up a battery to his industrial work fan so we could at least sleep under a breeze.  Sleep didn’t come easy with sticky air swirling around us.

About 3:30am I was awakened to a chorus of barking dogs, the usually unwelcome sound was music to my ears as I knew by the growl of our dog at the front window meant relief was on it’s way.

Rain

Things to know if you’re the Mother of a Toddler Boy

Little boys will be little boys. They are wild creatures that create messes out of thin air. Dirt, bugs, and small creatures are all new and exciting things to be explored and conquered. You are now the mother of a little explorer and you too will become an adventurer during your journey together. To get through the toddler years here are a few tips.

You need to have a good pair of sneaker and a pair of mud boots

Boys like to play outside which means you will also be playing outside. I highly recommend investing in a good pair of sneakers so you are adequately equipped to keep up with your child. Toddlers acquire the amazing ability of speed overnight and sneakers are a necessity when you must climb after them after they get themselves in a pickle on the highest piece of playground equipment at the park. If you fail to remember the sneakers you will curse yourself and your normal attire of heels or flip flops just. Your newly acquired taste in footwear doesn’t stop there, though. Rain boots will become another must-have accessory at this stage in your little one’s development.  Boys don’t understand why they can’t go outside when it’s raining, and after trying to keep them inside during a week of rainy days sometimes making the journey outside in the rain is better for the both of you. (Our sanity does have limitations.) He will want to splash in all the puddles and when he falls down face first in the middle of the biggest puddle in the immediate vicinity you will want to have your mud boots on so you can easily retrieve him.

You must show no fear in the face of bugs.

While inside you might be screaming (like the little girl that still lives inside you) on the outside you must show a calm steady exterior as you explore nature and bugs with your little boy and he places a wriggling worm in the palm of your hand. You don’t want your child to be afraid of bugs in general (he is a boy after all) so you must make a pointed effort to yourself be fearless in the face of bugs. At the same time, you do want to teach your child the bugs that will “hurt you,” so they do not try to pick up those particular bugs. “Ant’s bite you and Bee’s sting you” are recited almost daily in our household during our many treks through the backyard. Teaching the kiddo’s about bugs does pay off. . .in our house squishing bugs is fine, and once the babe learned this trick he is more than happy to help me “squish em”. I have high hopes I can pass off all bug squashing duties to him and his father in the near future.

Always check their pants pockets before you do the laundry

A boyfriends’ mom once gave me the following handy piece of advice when telling tales of her own adventurer. “Always, always, check the pockets,” she said.  She failed to do this once and ended up washing a reptile friend her explorer was planning on keeping (yet failed to mention to her).  Other things you might want to watch out for are bugs, sticks, rocks, cars, and anything else small enough to fit in the pockets of a small boy the might wreak havoc on your washer.

All meaningful breakables should be put out of reach

How do little people cause so much destruction?  It never ceases to amaze me what kinds of things my child will break.  Fatalities have included dishes, ceramic keepsakes, child proofing latches and hooks, and books.  My husband had (notice I use the past tense) a quarter scale, upright base from his band days that had since turned into a decorative piece nestled in a corner of our home. Our little one crashed into it at just the right angle and smashed it into several pieces. My husband was upset.  I was upset. It’s a hard lesson to learn that neglecting to keep things out of the reach of curious little toddler hands can lead to casualties’ of meaningful keepsakes.  I knew that this would probably just be one of many catastrophes to come, so since then if it’s breakable and meaningful it’s either packed up and put away or on a high shelf where inquisitive little fingers cannot wrap themselves around it.