Category Archives: Parenting

February 2017 Photo Challenge: Love

 February’s Photo Challenge was:

Feb 2017 Photo Challenge - Tina B's World

What is love?

Baby don’t hurt me.. don’t hurt me.. no more. <- Admit it. That was your first thought too!

Love is many things.

Love is checking up on your friends..

Feb 2017 Photo Challenge - Tina B's World

..or stalking, whatever. My foster cats are super nosy! They are constantly staring at the neighbors and anyone who happens to pass by.

Love is cleaning off your Mom’s car when it snows..

Feb 2017 Photo Challenge - Tina B's World

..especially when you know your mom has arthritis and needs all the help she can get! This pic is super blurry because it was taken through a screen door and zoomed in. We (thankfully) didn’t have much snow this winter, but the one storm we had was pretty bad. Another note: Mini’s winter jacket used to belong to her beloved Great Grandmother, Nanny, and Mini loved wearing it :)

Love is hearts..

Feb 2017 Photo Challenge - Tina B's World

..ripped into your pants by one of your Pugs. I can’t say I’m totally mad about the rip though (rest in peace, pants!). It was pretty hilarious!

Love is a hug from one of your besties..

Feb 2017 Photo Challenge - Tina B's World

…and nothing beats a Pug Hug!

Love is ice cream on a warm day..

Feb 2017 Photo Challenge - Tina B's World

…or even a warmISH day. It was around 50 degrees. That’s warm enough for us! By the way, if you’re ever on Long Island, you have GOT to visit McNulty’s. It’s on North Country Rd in Mt Sinai. No matter where you are, it’s totally worth the hike out there!

Now for the bonus shots..

Love is a sweet kiss to help you get through your homework..

Feb 2017 Photo Challenge - Tina B's World

Love is subjecting yourself to a silly Snapchat filter because it makes your kid smile..

Feb 2017 Photo Challenge - Tina B's World

Love is letting your Senior Pug have your napping pillow..

Feb 2017 Photo Challenge - Tina B's World

Last but not least,

Love is the peaceful feeling you get from a clear beautiful sky on a gorgeous day.. 

Feb 2017 Photo Challenge - Tina B's World

I can’t wait for next month’s challenge!

If you want to link up or try the challenge next month, please go HERE.

Al Trautwig and Parent Labels

I actually kinda sympathize with Al Trautwig. Let me tell you why.

For those of you who don’t know, I’m adopted.

And we need to talk about it.

Not just my adoption, but adoption as a whole and family dynamics.

I’ll start with my story, for those of you who are new to me.

My Mother had MS. This was back in the 80′s when there weren’t very many medical advancements like today. My Father wasn’t in the picture. I was put into foster care at the age of 7 and adopted by the same people at the age of 12.

I’m now in my 30′s. When I talk about “my parents”, I’m referring to my adopted parents. My Mother is my Mother. My Father is my Father. It has always been this way for me. It was my normal.

Did I have 2 sets of “parents”? For me, the answer is yes.

Growing up, kids would ask questions about my “real” parents, as if my foster/adopted parents were fake or something. It is a concept not a lot of people really and truly understand. It’s hard to explain those things to kids. I knew my situation, but when you’re younger it’s a hard concept to wrap your head around.

Other than having to tell my friends, I had to tell my daughter. When Mini turned 7, she finally started poking into my history. She had never questioned anything before and thought it was normal to have seven grandparents. At first, she was very confused at first and had a ton of questions. She understands it all now.

When I heard the comments by Al Trautwig, I shook my head. I chuckled a bit, too. I understand what he thought he was saying. His words were not completely unique to me.

Mr. Trautwig is one of a big bunch of people who feel like they need to differentiate between biological and adopted parents.

I’m here to tell you that you don’t.

If a child has your last name, you’re their parent. It doesn’t matter if your name is on the first birth certificate or the second, you’re still their parent.

I could sit here and say things like “being a parent is more than just the name on an original birth certificate” or “if a child lives in your home and you have agreed to be responsible for them, you’re a parent”, but people know that already.

I hope that people who have already commented about this online are right and this opens up discussions.

Mom. Dad. Mother. Father. Adopted. Foster. Biological. Birth.

Whatever your “label”, we’re all parents.

July 2016 Photo Challenge: Photographer’s Choice

Join this Photo Challenge HERE.

July 2016′s theme is: PHOTOGRAPHER’S CHOICE.

I’m actually happy about this because it is kinda hairy finding a good photo (or 5) in the summer when you don’t get out much (stupid asthmatic allergy to AC!), but here goes:

1. You know it’s hot when you find one of your Pugs directly in front of the fan. I don’t understand why he chose the fan in the hottest room in the house though!

July 2016 Photo Challenge: Photographer's Choice - Tina B's World

2. I will use any excuse to share a photo of my Pugs. I went with a B&W because it hid some of the mess behind them :)

July 2016 Photo Challenge: Photographer's Choice - Tina B's World

Back: Jordan and Cheyenne
Front: Jack

3. The insane block of ice we pulled from the little fridge in the den. Keep in mind, this is a small dorm fridge and this ice block is pretty much the size of the entire freezer!

July 2016 Photo Challenge: Photographer's Choice - Tina B's World

4. Mini received pretty much the COOLEST DRY ERASE BOARD EVER from my bestie. She drew some sort of Pug-man hybrid, the Gangsta Pugman. “Interesting” describes it pretty well.

July 2016 Photo Challenge: Photographer's Choice - Tina B's World

5. I’m a proud member of the PTA. I love going to these training conferences. I meet some fantastic people and learn so much. This was from a training a few weeks ago. The next morning, I sat down with a cup of coffee and reviewed the handouts and my notes.

July 2016 Photo Challenge: Photographer's Choice - Tina B's World

BONUS: Mini had a long day one day. Four hours of camp (one of those hours spent playing dodgeball) plus two hours of softball (where she pitched quite a bit) made for one very tired Mini. She took a short snooze on my shoulder as we waited for her hard-earned pizza :)

July 2016 Photo Challenge: Photographer's Choice - Tina B's World

Well that’s my admission to the photo challenge. I can’t wait to see what the others came up with!

Join us next time!

Mini Monday – Post 5 – Mother’s Day

Hey Everyone!

I tried my best to make my Mother’s Day special for Mommy. I think I did a good job!

I left this sign on the bathroom door so Mommy would see it right away. She loved it!

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Mommy gave me half a necklace. She said it was because I have a piece of her heart. The little heart is mine and the big one is hers. I love it!

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I gave her a plant we started growing in school, but half the buds are dead already. There is a reason Mommy doesn’t have many plants. She just has bad luck with them.

I filled out some questions Mommy found for me.

*Mommy Note: The first one can be found in the Mother’s Day Questionnaire post HERE at Who Arted? and the second one can be found in a Mother’s Day Printables Packet HERE at Mama’s Learning Corner.*

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*Mommy Note: “She talks for British Jack”. Jack is our newest Senior Pug. One night, he was bothering Mini and her father, so I made up this tiny British accent and started speaking for him. My “British Jack” impression is Mini’s favorite thing. She laughs hysterically when I do it!*

We had a yummy dinner of Italian chicken and garlic bread with cheese. For dessert, we had gelato and chocolate chip cookies. I thought I was being funny when I licked my finger and touched the biggest cookie on the plate. I cracked up laughing. Mommy picked up the cookie, licked the bottom and handed it to me. I was not happy. That was so gross. She thought it was hilarious.

I hope you enjoyed my Mother’s Day post and your day was fun.

See you next week!

~Mini

The Crazy Moms Club – “Donating Blood”

**Note: This is based on an actual conversation I had. It wasn’t about donating blood exactly, but it was something else for a kid’s charity. It was one of the weirdest conversations I’ve ever had. I was uncomfortable and couldn’t believe what this woman was saying. Names and locations have been changed.**

Kid’s sporting events can be boring. You sit there, stare and cheer when your kid is playing. It’s a great place to catch up with mom friends… or hear something so insane, you wish you could fold up your chair and hit the other person with it.

I’m not talking about those parents who treat t-ball like it’s Major League Baseball. They are who they are. I’m talking about catching up with someone and realizing why you hate seeing them.

Flora and I had just set up our chairs when we could hear Claire walking up. Her kid isn’t athletic at all and is always miserable during sports, but Claire insists she will get better eventually. Told you she was a gem :)

“Hi, Kap. Hi, Flo.” Claire makes a big show of setting up her chair and complaining about the weather. “It looks like it’s going to rain any second. It’s so cold. I should have dressed warmer.”

“Yeah, it is kinda cold,” Flora agrees, trying to hide her irritation at being called Flo.

I just shrug and ask Flora if she is going to the charity auction over the weekend. She’s not sure.

Claire snorts. “I don’t like charity work.”

I close my eyes briefly. “You don’t have to work. You just go and bid on a few things. It’s all for a good cause.”

“Well,” Claire opens a noisy bag of crackers, pops one in her mouth and continues. “Nobody bothers to help me when I need help, so I don’t bother helping others.”

Flora picks up her water. “You’re comparing needing a babysitter so you can get wasted at a dive bar to helping find a cure for cancer?”

I try not to laugh as Claire shrugs. “Helping is helping,” she says.

I look up at the sky. Here we go again! Flora has the patience of a saint, so she (vainly) tries to reason with Claire.

“This auction’s proceeds go to a charity to help find a cure for pediatric cancer. What would you do if it was one of your kids?”

“My kids would never get cancer,” Claire insists. “I keep them clean and I don’t let them associate with other cancer kids.”

I can’t (but also can) believe my ears. “So you think cancer is contagious, like a cold or something?”

Claire thinks for a second. “Not like a cold. Maybe like tuberculosis or something like that?”

Flora and I exchange glances. Neither of us knew how to respond. Luckily, the game started so we started cheering. When the kids took a water break, Claire started up the conversation again.

“You know, I don’t even see the point in donating blood either.”

Flora shakes her head and closes her eyes while I ask, “Why not?”

Claire shrugs. “Why bother? For all those sick people who just drain tax payer money?”

How has lightning never struck this woman? “What?” I almost didn’t want to ask because I knew the answer would be a heaping bowl of stupid.

I was right.

Claire takes a swig of water. “Yeah. These kids get to meet celebrities for receiving my blood and what do I get for giving it? A cookie? That’s not fair to me.” She gets up and walks over to her kid, telling her how much better the other kids on the team are doing.

My jaw drops. “Do you think her brain ever processes the crap she spews?”

Flora snorts. “Doubtful. Her ears are always clogged or so she says. Even her own brain doesn’t want to hear her mouth.”

I laugh. “Perhaps it’s the universe’s way of telling her to shut the hell up.”

We stifle a laugh as Claire comes back to sit down. Her kid was crying, so I guess she was done with the public berating for now.

Claire makes a show of sitting down and getting comfortable. “So no, I don’t donate blood or go to charity things.”

Flora takes the bait. “It’s for the kids.”

Claire rolls her eyes. “Do you think the kids will see any of it? No.”

I’m confused. “Any of what?”

“The money,” Claire huffs. “The money and the blood.”

“Do you think they just take the blood and keep it in banks?”

“That’s what they do with the money,” Flora snickers. I can’t help but laugh a little too.

Claire is mad. “I can’t see it being taken from me, then processed and given to a kid. I need to be able to see where my money goes.” She glances toward the field. “Ah geez. Is she picking dandelions again?” She gets up and heads for the bench as the kids come in.

I turn to Flora. “I almost can’t believe what I’m hearing.”

She raises and eyebrow and smiles. “Almost?”

“Well it IS coming from her. Do you think she actually believes what she says or does she just need attention?”

Flora shrugs. “I don’t know. I’d like to believe someone can’t possibly be that heartless.”

“But then again, it’s Claire.”

Claire comes back to hear seat, complaining about how horrible her kid is at sports. I ask her why she doesn’t bother finding her kid a hobby she will like and be good at. I wasn’t expecting her response.

“Why would I do that? You guys would miss me too much?” She cackles like a witch.

I need to start putting vodka in my water bottle.

Mini Monday – Post 3

Sorry my post is late this week! I watched the Radio Disney Music Awards on Sunday and yesterday, we were busy so we had no time to finish a post.

Today, I would like to post and share some music with you. These are some songs I just LOVE right now!

I just LOVE R5 and was so happy they performed at the RDMA’s!!! Ross Lynch is my favorite!!! I have a big crush on him!!! My favorite song that R5 sings is “Let’s Not Be Along Alright”.

One Direction is one of my favorite groups! I love their song “Steal My Girl” and the video was great!! My Mommy said the old and bald guy is famous, but all I know is he is FUNNY! **Mommy Note: The director is THE DANNY DEVITO! Yes, he IS famous!**

I love the “Uptown Funk” song. I sing it all the time!!

I LOVE Fifth Harmony!! This song always makes me sing loud and dance!!

“Ghost” by Ella Henderson is always on my playlist.

Every new day is the best day of my life! That’s why I love this song so much!!

Another song I love singing is “Boom Clap”

I hope you enjoyed this post with all my favorite music right now.

See you next week!

~Mini

The Crazy Moms Club – “Cheese Sticks”

The first installment in the Moms Club series. This based on an actual conversation I had with other people about something completely different. To protect the ridiculous, actual names and identifying details have been changed. That being says, here goes…

“Cheese Sticks”

Hi. I’m Kap. No, it’s not short for anything. My parents have a weird sense of humor. I’m in my 30s, a Mom and addicted to coffee. I love all things social media, but always have a pen and notepad on me. Sometimes, my thoughts are only for me. I’m here to share my stories about navigating the interesting waters of dealing with other moms.

Anyone who knows me will tell you I am absolutely NUTS about mozzarella sticks. Seriously, I judge restaurants by how good their cheese sticks are. Everyone has their thing, I guess. If I know I will be out for a while, I might even heat up a few sticks to take with me. My daughter loves cheese sticks, but she’s not weirdly obsessed like I am.

When I volunteered for the PTA’s book fair, I knew I had to bring some sticks with me. Mama needs nourishment! I pack up an insane amount (in case anyone wants to share) and shove the container in my purse. I consider having a shot of whiskey, but I feel that would be frowned upon. Nothing like showing up to your kid’s school with whiskey on your breath!

Class after class after class streams in. Some kids buy books. Some ask a zillion questions. Some motormouth your ear off and all you can think is “your mom drinks, doesn’t she?”

When we finally have a break, the group of us joke about splitting a bottle of wine. I open up the sticks.

“What’s that?” asks Flora.

“Mozzarella cheese sticks. It’s a new brand I found. Want one?”

“Sure,” she says as she finds the paper towels and tears off a piece. She likes them.

Since no one else is interested (more for me!), Flora helps me polish off half the container . In comes another class. Then another. Then another.

When the second break comes, Claire comes in. Claire is annoying, self-centered and quite frankly, mean. Her kids are total brats, but she keeps making excuses for them. She’s such a joy to be around. That’s total sarcasm, by the way.

Flora and I exchange glances and roll our eyes. She mentions the cheese sticks and I pull out the container as we start chatting about them. Claire interrupts.

“What are you talking about?”

I take a deep breath. “Cheese sticks.” then attempt to continue my conversation with Flora. Claire is having none of it.

“MY cheese sticks?”

“What? No. I tried some new mozzarella cheese sticks and I decided to share.”

“Were they mine?”

“You weren’t even here, but you have cheese sticks?”

“No.”

I resist the urge to slap my forehead. “Then how in the hell would I have YOUR cheese sticks?”

“Well, they look like mine,” Claire snorts as she walks away.

Flora shakes her head. “Well that was completely unnecessary.”

My turn to snort. “What’s she think? That I sneak into her house, raid her freezer and jack her cheese sticks?”

Flora starts to laugh and chokes on her water. “Stop! I almost drowned in my water bottle.”

We laugh. Two more classes come in.

As the last class leaves, we count out the registers. While things are being added up, Flora and I discuss the cheese sticks again. She wants to know where I got them and I promise to take a pic of the box and send it to her when I get home.

Claire comes up again. She laughs insanely loud and says, “Are you guys talking about my cheese sticks again?”

At this point, I’m super irritated. “Seriously? This has nothing to do with YOUR cheese sticks.”

Claire laughs again. “Just checking,” she says as she grabs her purse and leaves.

She doesn’t leave. She is waiting on the stairwell for Flora and I. She thinks we should get together soon. I tell her I’m really busy. Flora says her kids might be sick. Claire doesn’t even realize we’re screwing with her. She says she’ll text us both as she walks to her car.

“Please don’t,” I say, only loud enough for Flora to hear. We share a laugh then get into our cars. I’m so excited to do this all over again tomorrow! No really, I am. It’s just rough dealing with Claire. You’ll see.

Mini Monday – Post 2

Hi, everyone! It’s Mini again!

I really enjoyed doing my post last week! I am excited to post again!

Today, I would like to show you the decorations on my bedroom wall. My Mommy and Daddy like to surprise me with things they know I will like. I always love what they put on my wall!

They find posters with characters I like or Mommy will scrapbook some things together. I love everything! *Mommy Note: all of the frames are from Ikea, in case you were wondering :) *

These are some stickers Mommy found that matched the colors of my room and I love it because I am a rock star!

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The next two are because I LOVE Disney Infinity characters! The flowers are from Dollar Tree.

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The next one is from the movie “Frozen”. We made a card with stickers for one of my friends then Mommy took the rest of the stickers and printed out the characters’ names.

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Next is the “LEGO Movie” posters. I had a big cardboard display but I had no more room for it. Mommy had some extra frames and said she could put my favorite characters on my wall.

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That’s all I have on my walls as posters. These are my curtains.. They are furry at the top and I think they are cool, even though they’re pink. I don’t like pink (it is barf-mouth), but hot pink is very rock star.

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Last are my sheets. I just got new Star Wars sheets and I am very excited to sleep in them! My pillow has “Star Wars” on one side and characters on the other. My sheets have all the same characters too. Yes, I know all the characters. I LOVE STAR WARS!!

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I hope you enjoyed this post about my room.

See you next week!

Bye!

~Mini

The Crazy Moms Club – An Introduction

I have decided to start “Fiction Friday” posts. Here is an introduction as to what I will be doing in these posts..

Some of you reading this are moms.

Others of you know moms.

I’ve known moms all my life (besides my own) and I have seen some crazy stuff. I’ve come into contact with a lot of moms since my Mini started school a few years ago. When I relay stories to my friends, the ones without kids can’t believe their ears, but the ones with kids just sigh and shake their heads.

They know. They understand.

I started to jot down conversations and situations.

Some of my stories in this series actually happened. Others are fictional accounts based on the personalities of women I’ve come in contact with. If you recognize yourself in any of these posts, laugh. These are meant to be funny.

Being that I have known so many people, I decided not to base any character on a specific person. You have no idea the amount of crazy I have encountered. Some people are just plain nuts.

Consider this introduction and the stories ahead a peek into the ridiculousness of what I’ve seen. The first post will be posted next Friday, so be on the lookout for it.. ENJOY!

Book Review: “Momma Don’t You Worry”

“Momma Don’t You Worry” by Louie Lawent is an absolutely beautiful book with a great lesson. It has great illustrations and a brilliant rhyming scheme that is pretty catchy. Halfway through the story, my Mini started singing the words. :)

The story opens with an irritated 6-yo who thinks his mother’s insisting he hold her hand “cramps his style” and it “just ain’t cool”.

He goes shopping with his mother and wanders off.

He panics. Things happen. I don’t want to give away the story!

He learns the extremely important, valuable lesson that your mom isn’t being annoying (as my Mini put it) when she tells you to hold her hand. She is worried about you, wants you to be safe and most of all, SHE LOVES YOU.

I highly recommend this book as an “anytime” story because it is short, sweet and to the point. It is also a great opening for a discussion about what to do if your child is separated from you at some point. You can delve into the topic based on your child’s age and following questions.

The book is recommended for children up to age 8, but I think it could serve as a gentle reminder to older kids to stay close to their parents (or their friend group, if they go out).

Click HERE to get your copy of “Momma Don’t You Worry”. You’ll love it! *No that is not my affiliate link*