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February 26, 2015

SHINE Blog Hop Underway

It's Thursday...aka it's TIME TO SHINE! I'm thrilled for this particular edition of Jennifer's Shine Blog Hop because not only am I the last rotating co-host, but it's also my second Shine cohost gig so I know exactly what to expect- quality! I love reading each one of your posts and I'm so happy that Jennifer is letting me hoard all of your links on my site. Jennifer is one of my favorite people in the world. Not only was she my very first blog reader, but last September when my 14 year old dachshund Liebe died, Jennifer immediately reached out to and sent the most heartfelt condolences. I'll never forget her words or her kindness. She is a great friend to have like I already said, I just love that girl! So thank you Jennifer! It's so appropriate that you created the SHINE Blog Hop because you are a true gem.

Welcome to the 36th edition of the SHINE Blog Hop!

Next week the SHINE Blog Hop will be getting a whole new look as it enters into a new era. The SHINE Blog Hop has grown beyond what I would have expected. While it has been wonderful having a rotation of co-hosts, the labour involved with that has been intensive! Therefore, starting next week, the SHINE Blog Hop will have a regular co-host... Tiffany from A Touch of Grace! I hope you'll come back next week and give Tiffany a great big SHINE Blog Hop welcome!

Tifany from A Touch of Grace

Now on to this week's blog hop!

I would like to begin by extending a warm welcome to this week's co-host Rebecca-faith, from DIZMOMMY. Rebecca-faith has been a dear blogging friend for quite a while now and it seems fitting that she will be the last rotating co-host. Rebecca-faith's adventures of parenting her adorable two-year-old son has made me laugh out loud. She is a wonderful writer, a hilarious mom, and one of the most encouraging people I have ever encountered.

Please take a moment to show Rebecca-faith some blogging love and/or follow her on her social media sites.

Rebecca-faith | DIZMOMMY can be found on:
{Facebook}     {Pinterest}     {Instagram}     {Google+}     {Twitter}     {Bloglovin}

Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom can be found on:
{Facebook}     {Pinterest}     {Instagram}     {Google+}     {Twitter}     {Bloglovin}

The Deliberate Mom
<div align="center"><a href="http://thedeliberatemom.com" title="The Deliberate Mom" rel="no follow" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1086.photobucket.com/albums/j452/deliberatemom/ShineBlogHop-250.jpg" alt="The Deliberate Mom" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

So without further delay, here are the top viewed posts from last week's SHINE Blog Hop:

To Ban or Not to Ban Yoga Pants - Jenerally Informed

Gluten Free Double Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies - Raia's Recipes

The ULTIMATE Family Night: Be the Cool Parents - Wanted Hero

Congratulations to all of you! Featured posts will be shared on all of The Deliberate Mom's social media outlets! This week's randomly selected featured post is:

Bible Quotes: Let Your Gentleness Be Known - The Littlest Way

If you would like to help spread the word about the SHINE Blog Hop, we would be so grateful!

So are you ready to get this party started? We invite you to grab the beverage of your choice, take a comfortable seat, and let your best posts SHINE! It's time to bask in the glow of this amazing community of bloggers!

February 19, 2015

Scaring My Son Into Obedience

My husband calls it child abuse, my mother calls it torture. But I like to call it my go-to apparatus for rule enforcement when shit gets too real. But before I break the internet and entice pitch fork clad trolls to burn me at the stake for my questionable parenting practices, let me explain exactly how I accidentally uncovered the power to mind control my toddler. 

Dylan’s new favorite pastime is pretending to be a monster. What started as popping out of corners and shouting, “BOO!” evolved into full-blown stalking, creeping, and growling. It’s like I have my very own fun-sized demon lurking behind me at all times…and it’s pretty cute. But faking the fear got boring and I wanted to play scary too, leading to mom/son scare-offs. He’d scare me, I’d scare him, and we’d both have a good laugh. 

But mom got a little carried away (or a bit competitive) and without thinking too much about it, I put on my best monster face and let out my typical roar. And Dylan just about pissed himself. 

He didn’t recognize me. Dylan was convinced that I really was a monster. He screamed, cried, and resisted coming near me. But it was hysterical and I couldn’t help but laugh. I mean, he started it. I apologized for my lack of sensitivity and tried to explain that I was just a jerk but you know…reasoning, toddlers…it’s a vain endeavor. 

Hours later he was back to scaring. “Do you want mommy to scare you too?” I asked as a courtesy, but the trauma could not be undone. His smile turned into terror as he lunged into my arms and clung onto me like a teenage girl with her first smartphone, pleading, “No, no…Mommy? No? No scary?” LOL I couldn’t believe how terrified he still was by my face! I mean, how ugly can it be? But instead of wallowing in the insult, I realized I had unearthed some serious leverage. 

It was a week later when I found myself struggling with a fit pitching toddler who refused to leave the daycare sandbox to come home with me. He screamed, gave me his back, and then I remembered…the face. So I stepped into the sandbox while my brute cautioned me with a screeching “NOOOOOOOO!” I remained nonreactive, picked up a shovel, nonchalantly pushed around some sand and whispered (like a calculated psycho), “Do you want mommy to scare you?” Boyfriend dropped his pail and flung into my arms faster than a knife fight in a phone booth, adding, “No, no, up? Up with mommy?” lol 

Yes, I know scaring Dylan isn’t nice but it’s kind of a gray area. Is it cruel? Yes. Is it funny? Kind of. Does it work? EVERY TIME. I mean, trying to control a toddler’s behavior is a total waste of energy. There’s really no easy or foolproof way to do it. But somehow I’m ugly enough to encourage and discourage behavior with just one look. I’m not harming him (physically) and I don’t even have to actually make “the face” to get results. So go ahead and call me a monster because that’s kind of the point.

February 17, 2015

My Son Makes Movies With Mickey (He's Big Time)

I used to worry about exposing Dylan to too much technology, but nowadays? I ain’t worried ‘bout nothin’. I’ve come to terms with the fact that tech time is unavoidable and instead shifted my focus on using technology for educational and creative purposes. Disney Imagicademy fits the bill for both, but more importantly, it’s still FUN! Imagicademy is more than just a single free app, it ranges from Mickey’s Magical Math World to Mickey’s Magical Art World, with science and reading in between. 

When you open Disney Imagicademy, the beloved Disney characters and classic Disney stories are all there, ready to interact with Dylan through curriculum that creates a learning experience. I emphasize experience because that’s what makes learning fun and memorable. Dylan doesn’t know that the curriculum he’s operating was designed by top academics and education experts, and he can’t tell that it’s all research driven, he just knows that Mickey is interacting with everything he’s doing.

February 16, 2015

Why I Forgive My Parents for Ruining My Life

I yelled, I cried, and I told them how mean they were because when I was growing up, my parents just couldn’t get it right. They didn’t care, they didn’t try, they weren’t listening, and they didn't understand. “I can’t wait until I’m a grownup!” I’d spew in frustration, “I can’t wait to move out!” Looking back, I don’t know how I managed to keep all my teeth in this snide little mouth of mine. Somehow my parents (especially my mom, who often received the brunt of my attitude) were able to restrain themselves from knocking me out cold. I'd huff, puff, try to blow the house down, and instead of rolling heads it was my mother’s eyes, right before saying something like, “Yeah, we’ll see.”

And as life will have it, I grew up and moved out just like I said I would, causing me to learn fairly quickly that the excitement of becoming an adult is both foolish and overrated. Apparently (wah) there’s a lot more to it than hanging out with whoever and eating junk food whenever. Fast forward many more years and I’m a working mom with a 2 year old, rushing to daycare after leaving work later than I intended because a fire needed putting out. And I stayed because that’s what adults do. They do what they have to. It sucks.

When I finally pulled my car into the daycare driveway thirty minutes later than usual, the reality of just how tough it is to be everything you want to be, all the time, permeated. That’s when I had my full circle moment, seeing myself in my mom, who fervently worked to meet the challenges of adulthood while juggling the responsibilities of parenthood. And with five daughters, we each made sure she didn’t catch a break, calling Mom on everything we didn’t fancy like five immediate supervisors breathing down her neck.

Now I understand the struggle. Perception is everything and my mom was right when she said, “Yeah, we’ll see.” Because today, I’m ready to see things from the eyes of a parent and forgive them from a child's view. Forgive them for: 

Running late.  It’s the easiest thing to lose track of time, get held up by your boss, get stuck in traffic, or simply get your carpool days mixed up. Parents are humans, I get that now.

Not going to every award ceremony.  Seeing all the other parents clapping in the audience for their kid of the month made me wonder why my own parents couldn't show up. Now I understand what the word logistics means and how complicated it must have been with 5 kids. I mean, there was always a baby. And I got way too many of those awards (just sayin’).

Not getting me a Power Wheels Jeep for Christmas...or any other ridiculously high-priced toy that I “had to have.” I had to negotiate for, contribute to, and work towards the big "things" I wanted and whoa! Desires require effort; I appreciate not having developed a false sense of that fact. 

Sandwiches for dinner.  "Sandwiches are for lunch!!!" I'd yell. But every once in a while I had to eat one for dinner. I considered it torture. In hindsight, there are a million real life reasons why you didn't get around to cooking the typical delicious dinners I was accustomed to. In hindsight, I was spoiled, not reasonable. 

Making me take the bus.  All of my friends' parents drove them to school and I had to wake up extra early so I could catch the bus. "But we're the first stop, it's not fair!" I'd complain, not realizing the work required to get 5 kids to 3 different schools by 8 a.m.

Not letting me spend the night.  Slumber parties were out of the question. What were you so afraid of? I'm glad I didn't know at the time because it was too scary for me to handle. Thank you for putting up with my resistance, it kept me safe.

Ruining my life.  You wouldn't let me hang out with or go to so-and-so, you wouldn't let me stay out until blah and blah. And you definitely didn't give me whatever. I must've accused you of ruining my life a trillion times by the time I was "finally" able to ruin it myself. But once again you were right. (Does that ever get old?) Nothing good takes place at 2am, Shanda's mom isn't really "cool" as much as she is troubled, bad company really does bring bad luck, and though you didn't know exactly what I was up to- you knew enough to prevent me from screwing up big time.

I forgive my parents for all of it; the rules, the control, the structure and the boundaries. Because now that I have a child of my own whom I love more than life itself, all I want to do is protect him, guide him, and do the best I can, too.  So Mom and Dad, thank you. Thank you for ruining my life so that I couldn't ruin it myself, and helping me see that running late to the daycare pickup is an offense I can easily forgive myself for.

And when the time comes, I hope that I ruin my son's life too.

February 13, 2015

The Art of Pitching

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ChangingPrepaid #CollectiveBias 
Because I'm married, I have to convince my husband of things ALL THE TIME. Things like cellphones. For years I've wanted to switch carriers to lower our cellphone bill or at least figure out a way to stop paying $200 a month. But my husband? He resists change and opts to just keep moving forward. In order to switch things up, I have to sell him on it. 

So when T-Mobile introduced their game changing Simply Prepaid™  plan back in January that includes unlimited talk/text on 4G LTE network for a mere $40 bucks a month, I knew this was my shot. It's time to open my husband's eyes, take him to Walmart, and make my move. And as long as my pitch is logical, he’ll go for it. He’s a logic man that can’t resist the cold hard facts. My only concern is that after so many years of resisting a cellphone switch, a conversation won’t cut it. I linked him to this video...but he never responded.

So Dylan and I got together and created this pitch:


Well? Is my pitch convincing? Will my husband switch to T-Mobile Simply Prepaid™?