Tag Archives: Momdays

Growing up left-handed in a right-handed world

Written by Sara R.

My youngest son Christopher, who is 14, is the only member of our immediate family that is left-handed.

I started reading a few articles on left handed people and found some very interesting facts. Here are just a few (there are some negative facts out there but I prefer to focus on the positive):

  • Only 10-15% of the population in the world is left handed
  • Four out of the last seven U.S. Presidents are left handed
  • Left-handed people are more likely to pursue creative careers
  • Left-handed college grads go on to become 26% richer than right handed grads
  • August 13th is known as Left Handed Day
  • There are grants and scholarships for left-handed people

 

Christopher’s personality fits that of a left-handed person. He’s creative, artistic, independent and a quick thinker. Some famous people who are left-handed include Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi (one of Christopher’s favorite people), Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Mozart, Beethoven, Paul McCartney, Prince Charles & Prince William and Bill Gates, just to name a few.

I never gave it a second thought about how different it must be for him and how it can be quite frustrating at times. I do, however, set his place at the table with the napkin, fork and glass on the left side.

Last year for his Christmas gift we purchased a left-handed bow because he loves archery. We had a hard time finding one.

Lefties are usually better with hand-eye coordination. That explains the reason he won the archery championship in summer camp this year! ?

When I sat down to interview Christopher on what he felt was an annoyance, if any, being left-handed, I wasn’t prepared to hear what he had to say. He started off with “Well, my first grade teacher tried to get me to write with my right hand. She would make me stay in for recess, put a pencil in my right hand and have me write the alphabet. Once I was finished, I could go out for recess”.

Wait! What?! Are you kidding me? She really made you do this?? UNBELIEVABLE! “Why didn’t you ever tell me this?” I asked. He replied, “I didn’t think it was a big deal because she only had me write the alphabet once and then I was allowed go out for recess.” It seems this happened every day for half the school year! He quickly commented that when she compared his writing from the first time he did this exercise to the last that there was no improvement in his right-handed writing.

He also went on to tell me when he was in 7th grade one of his teachers would criticize him for leaving two inches to the left of his paper. Christopher did this because he said it was more comfortable to leave some space for his hand when he had to write from a spiral notebook. Writing is a bit of a challenge for Christopher because he tends to drag his writing hand across the paper which in turn smudges his letters.

He might be left handed but he is all right with me. I read somewhere left-handed people are “a special expression of God’s creativity.” I totally agree!

Foodies Beware! One Mom’s guide to culinary sophistication

Written by Tiffany

Three years ago, when Alex was in daycare, one of the other mothers commented that she believed her son’s packed lunch had been mixed up with Alex’s lunch.  As a result, each child had consumed the other’s lunch.

When I asked her why she thought the mix up involved Alex’s lunch, she quickly said, “Because I don’t feed my child things from a can.”

I rather dryly replied, “Oh…and clearly you think I do.”  I watched as she shifted uncomfortably and turned from pink to a bright red color.  Usually, I go out of my way to make sure people don’t feel uncomfortable.  However, in this case, I was okay with her discomfort.

She had no idea that I had once taken a Lunchable, removed the packaging and put the cheese, crackers and meat in separate containers to avoid violating the overpriced daycare (I mean child enrichment centers) “no Lunchables” rule.  She didn’t know that I had mentally fist pumped the air because of my cleverness at besting the school.  The idea of her commenting that I would pack a canned item for my child (clearly, I would disguise it in other packaging) was too much!

My mom did an excellent job of always making sure my older brother and I ate healthy meals.  She fed us low-fat and low sugar cereals, made sandwiches on wheat bread and had us drink two percent milk long before these items were in vogue.  She chose Jif, because hey, that’s what “choosy mom’s” chose.  Actually, Jif was about the only brand named item she purchased but that’s a story for another day (the tagline swayed her).  She always made sure dinners were balanced.  We didn’t really know what dessert was.

I do my best, but my cooking skills are somewhat limited.  It’s not that I can’t cook because, as my mom says, anyone who can read can follow a recipe and cook.  It’s just that I’ve chosen not to build my skill set in this area.

I live vicariously through cooking shows.  Alex enjoys watching them with me (Hell’s Kitchen and MasterChef are favorites – I think he likes Gordon Ramsay’s charm).

Tiffany & Alex in the KitchenAs a result, I could successfully fool you into thinking I could cook and was a “foodie.”  My “training” has taught me how to toss around expressions like “flavor profiles,” comment on the “sear” of meat, and remark on “knife work” with the best of them!

Lest my son be deprived of experiencing different foods, when we dine out we play a game called “taste test” based off of the popular “Hell’s Kitchen” challenge.  I have Alex shut his eyes and then feed him something.  He then has to guess what it is.  By playing this, I have been able to get him to try many foods that kids typically shy away from.

Once he has tried something, I’ll buy it and we’ll try cooking it at home.  Cooking together has become “our thing” and we have cool Iron Man “chefs” aprons.

A few days ago, Alex and I made perfectly seasoned and cooked Tilapia (nice crunchy crust), steamed broccoli with a light cheese sauce and a stunning rice.

Gotta love Gorton’s and steam fresh veggies.  Foodies beware!

About Tiffany

Tiffany is the mother of a curly haired six year old boy who wants to be Batman when he grows up! When she is not engaged in an intense light saber battle, watching Transformers (cartoons and movies), asking her child not to jump from the top step or being told, “you’re playing action figures the wrong way, mom” she contemplates how wonderful it would be if her child were a twin or triplet.  Tiffany is the Human Resources Manager for Step2.

Wuv and Windows

Some summertime stories and a haiku…

Ok, so we had the double birthday party. One turned two and one turned five. It was our first birthday party not at Uncle Jims.  It was a bowling party and super fun!  I didn’t know this before the party but they have ramps you can put the ball down so even a two year old can bowl.  Grizz (Brady) put the ball down the ramp Bowling Partyand would exclaim, “oh yeah.” It was a perfect party for kids and adults!  July weather outside can get hairy and being inside in air conditioning with a set activity and even some one to clean up was painless and smooth.

At the close of the party, I was packing up things to take to the car. Grizz looked at me, waved, and sang, “bye Mommy.” Not a minute later the boy’s nanny says “good-bye” and Grizz proceeds to throw a temper tantrum saying, “stay here.” Ho hum.  I’m still kind of depressed by that. To add salt to the wound there were about 25 family members to hear the exchange.

 

Moving on to other summer happenings – Grizz finally pulled what I knew he would pull, something I have been waiting (and dreading) him to try. He tried to crawl out the second story window. We have original windows that are now locked all the time. I have already called Pella for a quote on new windows. If I needed an excuse I have one. Of course our first born NEVER pulled a stunt like that.

Right or wrong we bought Ryan an iPod touch for his birthday. Grizz was pretty jealous and kept saying “download it, download it.” I told them that I’m pretty sure I didn’t say the word “download” until my twenties and even then I didn’t know the difference between “download” and “upload.” Not long after that Ryan informed me that the 1980’s were the “olden days.” Olden days?  The eighties? I didn’t exactly know what to do with that information but I didn’t take it well. I am almost 4 years older than my husband so he was no help.

The best thing about this summer is that Grizz told me he loved me for the first time – he redeemed himself from the nanny debacle. He chased after me when I was leaving for work and said “I wuv,”
“I wuv.”

I thought I’d end with a haiku – a seasonal haiku.

I love summertime

The Boys like to get dirty

Summer is stinky

About Sara S.

Sara is an on the go – down to earth Momma, married to a Marine and the mother of two get dirty wild and crazy, play in the mud boys.   She loves Michael Jackson, dancing and spending time with her family. She is honored to be able to teach her little guys about the world around them, about kindness love and the human spirit. For fun, she loves to make jewelry, shop, ski and spend time outdoors getting dirty with her boys. Sara is a Sr. Product Manager at Step2.

Celebrating Milestones with Music

Written by Tena

Throughout my life my family has chosen to celebrate milestone events with music.  The technology used to serve up the music has changed through the years but I will always hold on to my tapes and CD’s that have been made with songs like, “Independent Women” and “I Hope You Dance.”

This tradition combined with my little guy’s love of music, it should be no surprise that I have made several play lists for him already.  What is surprising is the diversity in genres that we seem to come up with and how many songs I’ve heard over and over again that have so much more meaning now that I have my special boy.

I’m always looking for song ideas to inspire a slide show or a play list so I’m hopeful that by sharing my favorites, you will share some of your favorites with me.  Thanks YouTube for having all of these available!

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face – Glee Cast Version; obvious song choice but I really like this version
Amazed – Lonestar
Three Little Birds – Bob Marley
Fix You – Coldplay
We Found Love in a Hopeless Place – Rihanna; applicable to any parents out there who have spent a lot of time in the hospital with their precious baby
All of Me – Matt Hammitt
Just the Way You Are – Bruno Mars; we adjust the words to “his eyes”, “he’s so beautiful”, etc.
A Thousand Years – Christina Perri
Made for Each Other – Emilie Mover
Good Life – OneRepublic

I’m looking forward to some of your suggestions and hopefully I’ll be able to borrow a few!

About Tena

Tena and her best friend (and hubby) had their first child in July, 2011.  Their little guy has a congenital heart defect and he is one tough little cookie; don’t ever think about calling him sick though – “his plumbing is just different.” Tena is an animal loving vegetarian and is excited to teach her son about compassion and the importance of volunteer work.  She secretly hopes her son will be left handed like his momma. She is the Online Marketing Director for Step2.

Are You Sure You’re Not Having Twins?

Written by Ashley

As a woman, a positive self-image has never been one of my strong points. I’ve never been fond of anyone talking about my weight. Even a “have you lost weight?” comment makes me squirm as I feel as though people are paying too much attention to my yo-yoing appearance. So when I became pregnant, I was caught completely off guard by the slew of comments that started heading my way.

Maybe it’s my build, maybe it’s how the baby is growing, but I started looking obviously pregnant at about 8 weeks along. By 17 weeks, the “that’s going to be a 10-pounder!” and “you’re only how far along?” became repetitive in conversations. Even strangers felt the need to comment on my size.

At 31 weeks, it hasn’t stopped and I doubt it will until a couple months post-birth. At my doctor’s appointment last week, my doctor even said to me, “Wow! You’re looking big. Are you sure there aren’t twins in there?” I said, “You tell me!”

I just don’t understand how it’s suddenly okay to comment on someone’s weight just because they are pregnant. It’s such a touchy subject for many and when a woman has as many hormones rushing through her body as she does during those 9 months, it’s not a good idea to approach her with those types of comments.

I recently found an article listing the top 10 comebacks to “stupid pregnancy comments” that made me chuckle.

My favorites are:

You look like you’re about to explode! Really? I had no idea. I was feeling quite svelte today. Thanks for the earth shattering observation.

Are you sure you don’t have twins in there? Yes, I’m pretty sure I would be aware if I were carrying two babies. But, thanks for checking.

You can’t possibly have X months left! Wow! You know so much about this! I should just quit going to my OB and come straight to you!

I doubt I would ever use any of these, unless someone flat out said “you’re fat.

About Ashley

Ashley is expecting her first child in early September 2012 with her high-school sweetheart turned husband 3 years ago. Together they have a lab named Peak whom they adopted during a ski trip in Denver. She loves all things fashion and has already filled her baby girl’s closet with enough clothes and accessories to outfit her until she’s 2. She is the Social Media Manager at Step2 and you may have recently communicated with her if you’ve chatted with Step2 on Facebook or Twitter.

Unintended Consequences: How one mom’s quest to teach backfired

Written by Tiffany

As my parents guided my brother and I toward adulthood, one of the lessons they taught us was the power of decision making.  They taught us the importance of weighing the choices, considering the consequences and making the best decision possible given the available facts.  The understanding was that once the choice was made, my brother and I were responsible for dealing with the consequences.  There would be no drama or the decision making power we had been granted would be revoked.

This is a lesson I am trying to teach my six year old Alex.   I gave him the option of deciding if he wanted to play outside with his friends before his homework or to do his homework first and play.

We talked through the options.  He decided to play first.  I gently suggested that maybe he should do his homework first so that he didn’t have to worry about it.  He told me that he wanted to play and would do his homework afterward.

I firmly reminded him that I wanted no argument when it was time for homework.  He smiled and agreed.  Choice made.

Homework time arrived and Alex came in from play.  His assignment was to take the week’s spelling words and write each of them in a sentence.  The words were bucket, milk and problem.

We reviewed the assignment and I began dinner preparations .  I looked over and saw Alex staring at his paper.  His jaw firmly set.

“What’s up?”  I asked casually.

“I can’t think of anything!”  he remarked.

“How about writing that you like chocolate milk?”  I asked.  He looked at me like I had four heads. “ I don’t know how to spell chocolate” he panicked.  Translation – chocolate is too long of a word and I don’t want to write it.  I felt my eyebrow inch upward.

Pressing on I said, “How about writing there’s a hole in my bucket?”  Yes, I did mutter “Dear Liza, Dear Liza” after saying this.

“I don’t like that!”  Alex stated his voice rising into what I refer to as the “whiny octave.”  “I can’t think of anything!”  he pouted.  My eyebrow inched further upward.

“Look, buddy” I stated “You agreed to do homework with no drama tonight.  Are you going to freak out about this assignment and throw a fit?”

“Well, yes!”  He yelled “I am!”

Eyebrow firmly arched, I debated my options.  We were entering the “danger zone.”   I could make him sit there and do the homework or I could send him to his room.

I pointed toward his room.  This gesture means go to your room and don’t even think about coming out until you have given yourself an attitude adjustment.

Alex glared at me for a moment and then stalked away stomping upstairs.  I was in the middle of shouting “And don’t even think about . . .”  When boom the door slammed.  “Slamming the door!” I finished.

I followed him upstairs, chastised him for slamming the door (I might have said something about doors being a privilege and how I could remove it from the hinges) , told him to never look at me that way again (I might have asked him if he had any clue what his Grandma and Papa would have done if I had dared given them that look) and reminded him to stay in his room until he could act properly.

Several minutes later he came downstairs contritely and sat quietly at the table.  He began writing.  I wandered over to look at his paper and saw that he had written a sentence for the word “problem.”  The sentence read, “I had a problem with my mom.”

It was written beautifully.  The letters were formed perfectly and there were no spelling errors.

He looked at me (I think rather smugly) with a sly smile.

“Well, buddy”  I replied.  “I guess you did.”

And we laughed and all was right again.

I guess I hadn’t planned on his sentence to be my consequence for my decision to send him to his room!

About Tiffany

Tiffany is the mother of a curly haired six year old boy who wants to be Batman when he grows up! When she is not engaged in an intense light saber battle, watching Transformers (cartoons and movies), asking her child not to jump from the top step or being told, “you’re playing action figures the wrong way, mom” she contemplates how wonderful it would be if her child were a twin or triplet.  Tiffany is the Human Resources Manager for Step2.