Johnson & Johnson: Making My Day Better

Judas decided to get sick this weekend. Yay. As if I don’t have enough going on. School started Thursday (full-time online classes) and the homework is already insane. I was offered a calling  in church, which is a blessing, but also another responsibility. My knees keep swelling up. I’m trying to figure out how to get to Virginia for court with Druggie without breaking my pockets into little pieces. Now Judas is sick.

Judas is not a nice sick baby. He is a cranky butthead. Jesse, dear husband that he is, let me sleep in this morning and took care of cranky-butthead Jude, who decided to be sweet for Daddy. So I get up at 7:48am (yes, that is sleeping in) and go get Jude, thank Hubby for letting me sleep, and head up upstairs to do homework. I put Jude on the bed, silly me, with my notebook, pen, and schoolbook, because I had to tinkle. How dare I need to perform a bodily function!I came back out of my bathroom to find my homework being eaten and Jude drawing on himself.

He looks so mischievous lol

Did you say you need a scribe?

He was so impressed with himself.

When I finished snapping pics, I took my things away from him and he got very upset and tried to rip my face off and choke me (so of course, I took more pics).

Eventually, he got really whiny, and kept throwing himself on me. He was already fed, but feeling a little warm so I thought a nice, relaxing bath and massage would calm him down.

Johnson and Johnson has been a family favorite since I was a kid. So for bath-time in the morning, it’s my go-to baby bodywash. Most of my family, including myself, has very sensitive skin, which has been passed onto my two boys. So Johnson’s baby head-to-wash is my favorite. It’s tear-free, smells wonderful, never irritates the skin, and seems to calm Jude down enough when he’s feeling cranky in the day.

He had ink all over him.

He was a canvas.

I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to wash the ink off completely, and, of course, I wasn’t going to scrub him, but I just wiped his face with his soapy baby-cloth and it slid right off his skin like it was never there!

Washing him was a quick event because as soon as his whole body was soapy, he stole the washcloth.

Yummy?

For his massage, I use Johnson’s baby lotion. He loves the way it feels and he always lays there and lets me rub him down–but I have to start with his feet.

And I have to let him hold the lotion.

Once his massage was over and clothes were on, he was a happy boy and back to trying to torture me.

My friends tell me how yummy my baby always smells, (one of my friends actually sniffs him regularly lol). I love how Johnson’s baby wash and lotion make him so relaxed. It’s definitely mommy and baby approved.

 

 

*I purchased these products on my own. I was not asked to do a review or compensated in any way. All of the above are my honest opinions.

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Do You Have Your Kids On a Tight Leash?

The other day, Jesse and I were driving home and I saw this:

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That’s right- a lady with her kid on a leash.

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Just yesterday in church, a family that I really like walked in the same way. I obviously couldn’t snap an incognito photo of my friends son with a monkey backpack/kid-leash on, but my mind was taking all the judgment-y pics it needed.

I know, I shouldn’t judge. Sometimes I think my children are animals that need to be restrained, too. But a leash. Really?

I have a friend who warned me ahead of time that she would be putting her future kids on leashes, and I haven’t told her, but I will be setting her poor children free often. Sorry, Lauren.

Am I wrong? Is there some untold joy/benefit in parents leashing their kids that I don’t know about. Besides getting random strangers to take pics and write blogs about you?

Spanking vs. Beating: Where is the line?

Most people my age and older came from a household where spanking was allowed. For me, the two-and-a-half years in foster care and the subsequent butt-kickings from boyfriends have me completely “pro-peace.” I am almost incapable of spanking. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve tried it out on Jermahl. When I was raising him with his pothead father (who Jermahl was named for so we’ll call him ‘Druggie’ from now on), Druggie said you’re supposed to beat your kids. How else are you going to teach them? Mind you I was 15 when I got pregnant, and I thought, perhaps, there might be a difference from what I experienced and what he was talking about.

So if Jermahl was acting bad, I would pop him on the hand or the butt. Just once. But Druggie would slap him in the face or kick him. And God forbid I protested, I would get the same in kind. Well, one day, I was out with a friend going to the market. Jermahl just broke out into a tantrum in front the Food Lion market it was sooo embarrassing and I was getting mad. I kept telling him to be quiet and he wouldn’t so I popped his mouth. But he fell over and he bust his lip. I bawled in front of that store telling my baby how sorry I was. I probably looked like a crazy person, hugging him and crying.  I will never know if my anger made that ‘pop’ a ‘slap’ or if he just didn’t have the balance (my friend tried to convince me it was the latter), but I refused to spank or pop him for a long time after that.

When he was about 3, Chris (sperm donor #2) and I moved to Houston together. Jermahl was out of control because he had been living with Druggie who doesn’t believe in teaching, just beating. So we tried to just show him love whenever he was acting out. Eventually, it got to be too much, and we decided maybe spanking should be part of his discipline. So we sat him down one evening and told him what would constitute a spanking (screaming, hitting, not listening for the umpteenth time, things like that). Well, Chris’ father used a belt, so he thought we should, too, and I figured, as long we didn’t hit him hard, or directly on his skin, just the idea of it would be effective. The belt terrified Jermahl, though, and it wasn’t teaching him anything but to be afraid of his parents. So we used it about three times and retired it.
I had to come up with more creative ways to punish him. We made him stand in the corner, took away his favorite toys until he earned them back. It all depended on the offense. We found something appropriate for his age that he would understand. But I never spanked him again. Recently, he’s been having trouble with lying. So every time he lies, we have him hold a phonebook up for a few minutes. Depending on the severity of the lie, and how many people he could have potentially hurt, determined the size of the phonebook he was holding up. And I explained to him the reason he was holding the phonebook up instead of being spanked, is that spanking doesn’t teach you anything, it just hurts; but, even though holding up the phonebook hurts, it also builds up his muscles and makes him stronger.

At his house, his dad just gets angry and beats him, punches him, hits with random objects (don’t wory, I’m working on getting him out of there). At school, the kids tell Jermahl he’s a weakling because he doesn’t like to fight. So I told Jermahl, and I truly apologize to anyone this offends, anyone who needs to hit or use violence to get their point across is stunted and stupid, and no one taught them how to use their brain to express themselves, so instead they have to use a fist or a belt or mean words.

Jermahl, who is now seven, remembers the 3 times I used a belt when he was three years old.

I choose to discipline with love and until recently, I’ve been under the firm impression that hitting your child is not love. However, a lot of my close friends use spanking as a punishment for their kids.

One of my girlfriends said, “The corner is all fine and dandy, but my kids will stand in the corner and make fun of me because the punishment means nothing to them. Spanking actually resonates with them and they realize they’ve actually done something wrong.”

Another friend said, “You don’t just start off beating the crap out of them. For my son, when he started crawling around 7 months, that’s when I took 2 fingers to pop his hands when he touched something he shouldn’t. Now that’s he’s almost 2, I pop his butt a few times when he does something he actually knows he shouldn’t. When he’s a teenager, I’m going to punch him the chest. I’m not going to actually punch him the chest, but the sight of my fist coming towards him is  going to hurt way more than when I actually touch him.”

My sister-in-law says that with her 1.5 year-old nephew (whom she’s raising for now), when he touches something he shouldn’t, she says no, pops his hand and moves him. And she does this over and over until he gets the idea.

So what do you do? How do you discipline your children? When do you start? If you spank, how do you know you’re spanking them to discipline and not just because you are angry? Obviously, a punishment needs to happen immediately for a child, but if you are angry at the same time, is the discipline as  effective? And how do you show your child you still love them after a punishment?

I’d REALLY like to hear everyone’s opinions on this this. What is the difference TO YOU between spanking and beating? And should it happen at all?

Who Knew I’d Want You Gone So Bad…

I was originally going to write an “Over the Hump” post and then I woke up today and realized, my life feels like a never-ending hump to get over. Today was the first day of school here in Cali–for the Fort Irwin Post anyway. What a weird thing…to start school on a Thursday.
I’ve been doing a pretty good job at keeping my mind off of it. I’d been completely ignoring it. It’s like the sadness was gearing up in my sleep, waiting to crush me the moment I opened my eyes. Jermahl would have started school today. Last night, I would have given him a bath, and we would have picked out a super-cool outfit together. He would have woken up to a big waffle, bacon, and eggs breakfast (his favorite). We would pray that he has a great first day and then I would have taken him to school. I would have been super excited for him to get home and tell me all about his first day of second grade.
Instead, I woke up feeling horrible without my baby-boy, knowing he’s with his horrible monster of a father who can’t wake up from his alcohol/marijuana induced stupor long enough to pour Jermahl a bowl of cereal. I wish my baby was here so I could give him the life he deserves. It was a tough morning. Happy Fricking Thursday.

 

**Sorry for no pics. You definitely don’t want to see me today.**

An amazing insight into the life of a family very close to me.

A *Verbal Soul*

A few days ago, I received a text message from an individual that I consider to be like a mother to me. She asked me where were me and the kids and if I had gotten married. I replied back to her…

“Me, the kids, and my Fiancée live in Norfolk, I did get married to a guy in the military but we aren’t together. We did it for the benefits. I have a girlfriend which is now my Fiancée… me and her have been together for 2 years.”

 

The text message that she sent back to me gave me the motivation to write-up this blog. She replied back…

“Sweetie, well you know mom is not happy about the living arrangements. What is that teaching the children? Can you call me tomorrow so we can talk? Love you! Mom”

What is that teaching the children??? That one question rang…

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Midnight Ruminations

Feed me to the wolves

Let them feast upon my flesh

Innards mangled, throat exposed

Let me gurgle my last breath

Hang up my skins

Upon your gates

Make an example of my love

To feed the hate

Violate my every orifice

Leave my eyes for last

Let me see the world around me

Turn to crimson from alabast

The Days After

Last Saturday, I announced I started my journey to quitting smoking. It has been interesting to say the least. I also did not stop smoking. I would make it to the end of the day, and then I would have a cigarette because…it was just too much. Jesse would get off work and come home all hot and irritated. I’d be irritated because I just spent the day with a crazy baby who likes to seize on people, so I’m watching him like a hawk. I’m stressed the heck out don’t judge me for smoking at the end of the day!! Sorry. It’s the lack of nicotine. It makes me cranky. Well, yesterday, I just knew that I was not completing my goal and it had almost been a week and I was still smoking. What to do…What to do…I know. I went to the store to pick up some things for Jess, but I lost the car keys, had a panic attack in the PX (I decided to forgo my Klonopin like a genius), and almost wound up walking home in 100 degree weather. Luckily, I found the keys. New plan: Occupy myself with the neighbors. My friend Emily has 3 adorable kids and she rocks so I figure I’d hang out with her all day. Well, her kids came over and played Kinect.

I don’t have permission to post pics of her yet.

 

She is a professional hair dresser, so she gave me a rocking new ‘do.

and my rocking ‘do

Unfortunately, Jesse didn’t like the new ‘do. So, if anyone would like to donate some baseball caps…let me know.

This is my unhappy face.

Anyway, he and I got in a huge argument, and some precious things were destroyed, my simmering self-esteem just one of the casualties. And I skipped the Klonopin that day, so there was no hippie to calm me down. Somehow, though, I managed to not smoke. Unfortunately, that sent me into some serious crying fits. Crying is not something I do. It was Thursday. It was also something I do Fridays, too.

I wasn’t really crying in this pic. I was just being dramatic. circa, like, 2 years ago.

Well, Friday, I took my meds. I managed to go the whole day without smoking, but I got really tired of crying, so I smoked a half a cigarette, stopped crying, and went about my day. Seriously, though, who knew quitting turned you into a cry baby. Today, I have a horrible migraine but Jesse has the day off, so I’ll be occupying myself with family time, if I can get him to wake up.

he’s still hot.

Happy Saturday, everyone!!!

Thinking about it?

It is about the Day to Day thoughts we receive that can be accompanied with actions. I believe that the Holy Ghost doesn't only prompt us in big decision making but also in the very small ones. As we begin to note down the small daily prompting we receive, we begin to notice clearly what spiritual promptings are like and how they can be recognized in the huge decision processes. It is a learning process. One must understand the techniques of little addition and subtractions before understanding that of algebraic equations. My goal is to expressly apply the small daily inspirations I receive from the scriptures and or spontaneous inspirations into actions that can benefit me and others to becoming better children of a Heavenly Father. First think about it and act upon the will of God.

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