#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 😉

*****

 

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#64 Be Thankful MORE Than One Day Per Year

It is Thanksgiving and wow do we have a lot to be thankful for this year! I love that our nation has a day that is designed to remind us to be thankful–for friends, family, and everything else we are so blessed with. With that in mind, I want to remind you to live every day thankfully. Be thankful you are alive, be thankful your parents love you, be thankful you aren’t an NFL referee–wait, I got distracted.

As Thanksgivings come and go I hope you will use them to reflect upon all the wonderful things in your life. I also hope that you will remember there are 364 other days in a year to give thanks for as well.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.

Here is a Thanksgiving throwback from last year..since I haven’t really taken any this year yet!

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#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.

 

#31 Go Ahead and Get Angry–But Don’t Hit!

Anger is a STRONG emotion. Like many emotions it does not have only an emotional affect on us but also a physical one. When you are mad your heart may pump a little harder and faster, your blood pressure may rise, your muscles can get tense, your face can get hot, and your adrenaline can get flowing. Trust me, I’ve been mad a time or two in my life.

It is OK to be angry. As a matter of fact it is even OK to be angry with me. Anger is normal and even can be healthy. How you express your anger is very important.

I understand that as a child you will most likely, naturally, go through a phase where hitting is how you express anger and frustration. Therefore, we will probably have a lot of simple and eventually more complex discussions of this issue. I still find it important to write down why I, on a personal level, think hitting is unacceptable.

1. As previously mentioned hitting is an immature child’s reaction to anger. When you are in your teens and twenties (barring medical condition) it will not be socially acceptable for you to suck your thumb, sleep in a crib, wear a diaper, or hit people. Hitting says that you have the mind of a child and not the adult you have grown into.

2. Hitting out of anger is a mark of unintelligence. To me, hitting says “I have not learned the words or gained enough understanding to express my anger without physically victimizing someone.” It says that you have the physical capability to express your anger but not the mental one. Sad.

3. Hitting out of anger shows that you have lost control. Hitting says that you have let your emotions win the control of your body. That you would rather hurt someone else physically than take the time to control your own mind and body.

Anger is a STRONG emotion. It takes time and practice (and lots of slip-ups) to learn how to control, channel, and express it. There are a lot of inappropriate ways to express your anger. Hitting is one of them. It makes you look foolish, it physically harms other people or objects, it (99.9% of the time) does NOT solve the issue that caused you to be mad in the first place. Over the years we will have lots of talks about anger. I want you to be angry–angry at injustice, angry at cruelty, angry at yourself from time to time–but I want to help you gain the tools and ability to turn your anger into action, into peace making, into something better than a physical uncontrolled outburst.

Class dismissed.

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