#73 Tease your sibling a little – and love them a lot!

It is now officially official Karrigan – you will be a big sister in July! I wish I could say at this point you are excited but truth is you really have no idea what’s going on and when you do figure it out you are still in the “denial” phase…you fervently assure me that I will  NOT be having a baby and you will NOT be a sister.

I hope you warm up to the role a little. I’m assuming you will.

One thing I already know about you is that you have a giant heart. You know how to give really sticky slobbery kisses that burst with love and hugs that could strangle a python. You also know how to throw a punch. I’ll be the first to admit I know absolutely nothing about being a sibling – I don’t have any. What I do hope though is that when this little one comes along and you both grow to be not so little, that you will love each other.

I want you to be siblings – that means I understand that you won’t always like each other – that there might be an argument or 30 to settle. I even know that at some point you will probably tease your younger sibling without the mercy I would like you to show. All I ask is that in return you love them. You can get mad when they break your toy, or read your private messages to friends, or borrow something of yours without asking. You can roll your eyes when they say something you think is “childish”. You can even be upset when heaven forbid they get to do something fun and you don’t. Through it all please love them.

Love your little sibling enough that when they are scared of something you comfort them. Love them that when they get picked on at school you stand up for them. Love them enough that when they beat you at something you have always been the champion at, you can tell them good job. Love them enough that you build more bridges in your relationship than walls. Love them enough when they infuriate you that you learn to truly forgive.

Know that when it feels like you have run out of love for them – you can come to me and borrow a little of mine – because I promise I have an overflowing amount of love for BOTH of you already.

Yep..it is me at 14 weeks with #2…I don’t know how to smile and take my own photo at the same time.

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*A Note*

It serves to be said that I have been rather “un-bloggy” lately. I’ve been wanting to revive my blog for some time but never knew what was missing. I’m still not sure I know. What I do know is that we recently announced we are adding a member to the family! I’m not sure how that will be reflected here but I’m sure it will. I’ve missed this blog,  I’m sure that some day my children will have wished I stopped with the advice at the last post. To Karrigan’s younger sibling – the previous posts were written with her in mind but I’m sure they apply to you too 😉

*****

 

#41 Just Say No To “Sexting”

Let me start by saying that your father and I have agreed it will be a long time before you have a phone that does much more than this..

That’s right..this little baby by Firefly has a button for calling Mom, Dad, 911, and an option for a few more numbers that mom or dad program in. No texting, no fancy camera, and definitely no internet. Go ahead and throw your fit now. It’s true your dad and I feel it is our job to protect you from yourself as long as we can.

I don’t know who decided that giving 11 and 12 year olds the internet and cameras right in their pocket is a good idea. As a marketing concept I suppose it’s great, but as a save your innocence and your self respect concept it’s HORRIBLE. Please dear daughter never let me catch you involved in the current trend of “sexting”–and I can only imagine the options available to hormone raged teenagers by the time you get to all of eleven years old. There is nothing classy about showing off parts of your body to random guys or even some boy friend you won’t be allowed to have when you’re 13.  It would be even worse if said picture some how ended up in the hands of ALL your peers when you break up with the saggy pants loser, love of your life, boy friend of the month because you guys couldn’t agree what your “song” should be.

When your father and I finally give in and get you a “real” phone, when you’re 30 sixteen or so, please use it responsibly. Use it in a way that won’t allow someone else to hold your self respect in their hands. Use it to call and talk to your best friend late into the night–not send pictures of yourself to some dude who shouldn’t see any of you unclothed ever until you’re married.

Thanks

#39 Wear Your Seat Belt

I was never afraid of driving or riding in a car until I had you. That first trip in the car on the way home from the hospital I was convinced that every crack and crevice in the road was going to startle and shake you. I don’t think we went over 15 mph the whole way home. That probably ticked some people off.

It is a matter of fact that cars can be dangerous. I’ve already covered the basics of making sure to stop at stop signs. For the next piece of road related advice I’m going to keep it simple–Wear your seat belt. In the driver’s seat, in the passenger seat, in the back seat, anywhere inside a moving vehicle WEAR YOUR SEAT BELT! Now this is the point where someone who greatly annoys me points out an instance where someone ended up hurt or worse because they had their seat belt on in a car accident. Let me assure you that these cases are rare when taken into account with the number of lives saved by seat belts.

See the picture of the car up there? That car belonged to your me–your mom. The only thing that kept this fender bender from being a possible head injury as my body flew forward after a run-in with a semi making an illegal turn was the seat belt that locked and held me in place. I managed to walk away from this with nothing but a slightly cut and sore shoulder along the line where my seat belt had worked to hold me into place.

I don’t care what the laws say. I don’t care if you are in the back seat or the front seat. I don’t care if your friends don’t think it is cool. I don’t want you to end up ejected from a vehicle, knocked unconscious, or worse because you decided it was “just a short drive” or so “uncool” to wear your seat belt when you got into the vehicle that day.

Need some numbers? According the website for the National Organization for Youth Safety:

  • Among passenger vehicle occupants over age 4, seat belts saved an estimated 13,250 lives in 2008.  If all passenger vehicle occupants over age 4 had worn seat belts, 17,402 could have been saved.
  • In 2008, 64% of the passenger vehicle occupants ages 13 to 15 and 21 to 34 killed in traffic crashes were not using restraints.  These age groups had the highest percentage out of all age groups.
  • Research has shown that lap/shoulder seat belts, when used, reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants by 45% and the risk of moderate-to-critical injury by 50%.

Keep looking you will find them everywhere.

The day I had you, was the day driving became scary. You are my most precious gift and while I will protect you as long as I can, you will reach an age where I hope you will take this advice and protect yourself and buckle up every time.

Here you are in your new car seat. A Britax Marathon 70 in which you will be rear facing for as long as possible. The picture isn’t the best but trust me–you are always buckled in.

 

#38 Make Dessert A Priority–Sometimes

There is no hiding from it–obesity is a problem in America. That means you need to watch what you eat. I’m not saying you need to count every calorie, you are a kid for heaven’s sake. It does mean that you should eat big helpings of veggies and mix in those fruits you love so much too. It means you should run outside to play instead of run to the game console (although people are working on solving that little problem too).

That being said, sometimes it is COMPLETELY OK to put dessert first. The secret to life is moderation. It is knowing when to hold back and when to go ahead and indulge! Sometimes it is important to treat your physical body and other times its a great idea to serve your soul with a little bit of dessert.

Mostly this post is just a great excuse to post this picture of you learning about the joys of dessert…(we will be back to the “serious” stuff soon)…

OH and I can’t believe that the cute little sleeping baby at the top is the same one as the big girl below!

#37 Give The National Anthem Some Respect

I don’t agree with or understand everything our government or nation does. However, I respect my country for a lot of reasons. If I wanted to, I could write an entire post about why I hate or love any number of things–and the government wouldn’t make me take it down. I can dye my hair purple, I can wear basically whatever I want, I don’t live every day in fear of militia running into my home and ordering my family and I to do something harmful to our well being. Americans have it cushy. Do we have problems–LOTS of them, but when I think of life in some other nations I know we have it good.

This summer our family was at the State Fair and every morning the National Anthem is played. The majority of people stopped and at least looked in the general direction of the nearest flag for the next 3-4 minutes. Gentleman removed their hats, and hands went over hearts. There was a group of people who continued talking, laughing, and generally being disruptive. My heart sank a bit.

Darling, I’m not saying that you have to agree with our government or that you have to love EVERY aspect of the United States–Lord knows I don’t. I AM asking that when you are somewhere and the anthem is played–give respect for just a few minutes to the country that has provided us a home. Theh country where you will most likely go to school and where you have a right to vote for things. If nothing else, do it out of respect for the men and women who put their lives on the line every day defending this country.

Let it sink in–you live in a land of many freedoms, a land with beautiful mountains and valleys, a land filled with brave people, and sometimes crazy ideas–you live in a America. Even if you don’t love it, please respect it.

#35 Always Celebrate Your Birthday!

(You will notice that YES we went from #36 to #35..because your mother can’t count)

In 6 short days you will be one year old! This weekend is your birthday party and I can’t wait to celebrate with you!

Don’t be afraid of aging. It seems the older I get the more people shy away from their birthday as if it is something bad, something they can ignore and make go away. In my opinion the fact that I was blessed enough to make it through another year alive is DEFINITELY something to celebrate at any age. I’m not saying that you have to have a huge blowout bash every year, but at least let people wish you a Happy Birthday without acting like they mentioned an assassination attempt.

If you are celebrating your birthday it means you have taken approximately 10,541,200 breaths, you have likely had somewhere in the range of 42,075,904 heart beats, and also may have eaten somewhere around 33 pounds of bananas–which by the way you currently love. When you wake up on your birthday please smile. Please know that I will always be glad to celebrate it with you. Don’t look upon another year with a frown because that is the fastest way to age UNgracefully. I am so glad to be sharing this life with you and to be watching you grow and no matter how old you get your birthday will always be a monumental day for me.

Here is daddy doing a practice run of your Birthday cake! Can’t wait to see it on the big day!

#30 Take Care Of Your Feet

Yeah I know that sounds weird. This may also be advice that I am passing on to you from your Ba-Pa. He always reminds people how important our feet are, and when you stop to think about it–he is right!

Your feet walk you around, allow you to drive, allow you to stand and balance, allow you to horseback ride, snowboard, skip, stomp in muddy rain puddles and many other great things. They also tend to be very taken for-granted.

How do you take care of your feet? Well there are a lot of ways..

– Wear sturdy shoes (when you aren’t wearing the heels I previously mentioned). You need to wear shoes that are appropriate for the activity you are involved in. When I horseback ride I wear boots, if I go running I wear supportive tennis shoes, when I snow board I even have special boots to protect my feet and ankles! Shoes are important so its OK to spend a little extra money in that area to keep your feet well prepped!

-See a chiropractor. In my personal opinion Chiropractors are great. They keep my skeletal and nervous system lined up and ready to go. They can check to make sure that all the bones in my feet and ankles are in their proper places and function at their best.

– If you hurt your foot or ankle seek medical care and follow doctor’s orders. If the doctor says rest–REST. Don’t over do it.

– Get pedicures. The massage that many pedicurists give will support proper circulation to the legs and feet and who doesn’t love pretty toe nails?

Please realize that your feet are an important and over worked part of your body. Take care of them!

#29 Appreciate, Appreciate, Appreciate

Some day long from now it will hit you how truly lucky you are. You have food when you need it, clothes on your back, a roof over your head. Realize, oh young one, that this is not a luxury that all people have. I watched a video today that while at first made me laugh, on second thought it made me a bit sad. In the video you have children who have all of their needs being met who are a bit more than upset about not getting some of their wants. I understand that a large part of this is their natural child nature. It is the only way they know how to act. I also understand you may throw a similar fit some day. However, I hope to teach you to appreciate the things you have and make you realize that every gift–no matter big or small–should be appreciated.

Please have a laugh…and never let me record you getting this upset…

Jimmy Kimmel — Terrible Present

I guess part of me laughs at this because my grandma (your great grandma) gave me a porcelain teapot for easter when I was seven–and told me not to break it. She also gave me a pack of batteries for Christmas one year. On another occasion she gave me a 4 pack roll of film which would have been thoughtful considering I love photography. However, after wrapping the gift she realized she had no film and proceeded to unwrap the gift, take out one roll of film, and then repackage and wrap the whole box. I got 3 rolls out of a 4 pack for Christmas. All in all I think I handled it pretty well because truth is, no matter what she gave me as gifts, she was my grandma and I loved her.

Maybe I should just get you Christmas lights for for your gift this year…