Talking to kids about money

In light of the current economic turn, have you discussed how to handle money with your children? I was thinking back to when I was younger and that topic of money and the family budget was never discussed. We just always assumed we were rich! Well, at 7 years old in the early 70’s anything over a dollar made you rich! We were never really taught to ‘save’ our money. It wasn’t until I wanted to get married that I really learned how to budget and that was because we had to pay for our own wedding. We had to come up with $18,000.00 on our own. That meant, everything we made went right into our wedding fund. So that got me thinking. Two months ago we sat down with the kids and explained our situation to them. We told that that things were going to change and that they were going to start to see the changes. That meant, no more fast food just because, that meant, no more going to the movies on the first day it opened, that meant, no expensive clothing, that meant, if we went into a store, they would not be leaving with anything other than the food we went in to go and get. It was a lot for them to take in, but they have adjusted beautifully! When we go out, I tell them, the only way they can buy something is if they buy it with their own money.

My oldest who is now 11 saves her money and really puts a lot of thought into whether or not she wants to buy something. Half the time she puts what she ‘thought’ she ‘wanted’ back because then she won’t have as much money. You can totally see the wheels turning when she realizes she won’t have as much money and it really makes me proud to see that she has started to determine a want from a need at such an early age. Perhaps if I was taught that at her age, I wouldn’t be in this situation I am currently in.

My son on the other hand is going to be 8 and he still wants things right then and there. However, he knows that he doesn’t have the money because he can’t save any money over $5.00 without spending it. I am consistent with him and I hope that he too will catch on that you can’t always get what you want when you want it and that you do have to save for things that are important to you. That he too will be able to to determine a want from a need.

My youngest amazes me too! She is going to be 5 and when we go out, she picks up things left and right, holds them through out the store and when it is time to leave, I have told her we are not getting that about 5 times and as we approach the registers she very nicely tells me that maybe Santa can get that for her, to which I reply with a simple, “maybe”.

What have been the conversations like with your children? Are you open with your family budget to a degree that they will understand? We currently have two “Family Fund” jars on our kitchen counter and what ever loose change the kids find laying around, they decide which “Fund” is more important to them and put the money in it to some day be able to go into the store and purchase exactly what they have saved up for. One fund is to redecorate their bathroom (we have a babyish looking bathroom that does need updating now that they are not babies) and they have already picked out what they want to decorate with! The other is for a dinner at our favorite restaurant, Texas Roadhouse! We love their food and it always costs us an arm and leg when we have been able to go. By saving and working as a family for two things that we ‘want’ to do, it is bringing us closer together and the kids are playing an active role in the family budget and they too have a sense of pride when we reach our goals.

Future Young Hollywood Star?

My oldest daughter wants to be a singer, actress, designer, anything that is in the entertainment or creative areas, she wants to do it. Believe me when I say, she can be whatever she wants. She walks around the house singing all the time and she does have such a beautiful voice for an eleven year old. We wrote an original song but without music it lacks something, so she was covering other singers. Check out this video and tell me honestly what you think…being her mom, I am biased. 🙂

My Little Fishy

My youngest daughter never ceases to amaze me. She learned how to ride a regular bike with no training wheels all by herself in one day at 4.5 years old and now almost 5 (two weeks to go to make that official) she is swimming on her own. She self taught herself! My other two kids took so long to ride a bike and swim that this one just blows me away. Of course, when mom is not physically in the pool she is wearing a life vest and only swims with out one when mom is there to protect her.

The paperwork; it’s overwhelming!

My daughter is entering middle school, aka for us older parents, junior high. When did it change from being called “junior high” to “middle school” is beyond me, but either way the amount of paperwork probably changed as well. Seriously, I have about 30 sheets of ‘registration’ papers to fill out and read. Half of it is so confusing that I will have to make a phone call and speak with a live person to figure out what I have to do to make sure she is enrolled this year. Does she have to take chorus? Why do I need to make out 5 separate checks when they are all made out to the same people? You provide a payment plan, but don’t put anything in the % area. Can I make up my own payment schedule? You don’t have to pay the yearbook fee right now, but it will be the only time you can order a yearbook…so in a round about way, it means, if you want a year book, this is your only chance to get one, so you better pay now or forever hold your peace. You need medical forms filled out by this day, vision forms filled out by another day, dental forms another day…can’t you just say, all doctor, vision, and dental forms must be filled out and returned to the school by this day or your child cannot attend school. We are mailing out registration forms to make it easier for you…for who? If it is like this now and she is only going into “middle school”, I can only imagine the nightmare I am going to have for High School! I feel like I am answering the same questions 30 times! People please…go easy on the forms, the paperwork…do we really need the repetitions? School starts on August 25, pictures are the 26th. No time to get situated at a new school, lets just throw in the photographer right away. Ugh, ok, I better get back to filling out this paperwork that I have buried myself in!


Unfortunately, since the start of the economic downturn the Family
Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF) has seen a significant increase in the
demand for domestic violence services such as shelters, hot lines and
counseling. Experts say that now more than ever it is important for
parents to learn the tips to prevent relationship and family violence.
Thus, the RESPECT! Campaign , a non-profit
to end relationship violence and build strong, healthy families and

The campaign also honors role model dads and shares the endearing and
memorable ways our fathers teach us love and respect every day. This
Father’s Day, the RESPECT! Campaign is
offering several simple ways to thank the dads you know for the great
example they set and ways to Give Respect!

1. Blog about how your dad taught you respect or how you teach
respect to your kids and sparking conversations with your readers about
healthy relationships and setting the right example

2. Learn 10 tips every parent should know to teach children about
healthy relationships.

3. Give RESPECT! by sending a free Father’s Day e-card; for every
card sent, GBGB Geoffrey Beene Gives Back will make a donation in your
recipients’ name.

4. Pass on RESPECT! by joining us on Twitter , joining the RESPECT! Campaign
group on Facebook and/or adding an “I’m for RESPECT!” graphic on your blog

5. Tweet This!!+Send+a+free+Father’s+Day+e

6. Purchase and wear the RESPECT! wrist band, available exclusively
at Macy’s
for $5. Half of all proceeds go directly to the

7. Make a donation to the FVPF in honor of a dad you respect.


Temper tantrum galore!

A mothers worst nightmare, the temper tantrum. The ultimate worst nightmare? A child having a temper tantrum while out shopping. Yes, that is my ultimate worst nightmare and it actually came true the other day. I swear I thought I was going to have the police show up at the store for having my 4 year old disrupting the patrons of this store. It was awful! I had never been so embarrassed in all of my life! My two other children had their share of tantrums but never to this extreme. She was in consolable, a force to be reckoned with! It all started over a simple Army toy that I would not let her have. It contained a ‘fake’ knife and next to the fake guns, I simply could not allow “this” particular child to have anything that remotely resembled the real thing! So, nicely I said no, she couldn’t have it but could have the other police toy with the badge. That answer was completely unacceptable to this 4 (soon to be 5) year old. That is when it began. She screamed as if someone were killing her, pushed the shopping cart into my stomach and proceeded to drop to the floor and belt out a loud yell. I simply turned to the cashier at this point and said very calmly, “Yay, the first day of summer vacation! Woohoo!!!” and rolled my eyes right back at the woman.

I continued to ignore my child’s behavior to which aggravated her all the more. She got a hold of my ankle, wouldn’t let go and so, I had no other choice but to rip her off my leg and say firmly, “Good-bye, I am leaving”. Of course, natural instincts took over and she ran out the door chasing me all the way to the car trying to hit me in the process. Thinking this wouldn’t end nice, I had my two other children get in the van, shoved all my bags in there too and went to the other side where she was holding the door handles so I couldn’t get in. Once I pryed her hands off, I got her door opened and tried putting her in to which she put up a very good fight. After about a 5 minute struggle, I told my son to hold her while I put the child safety lock on and shoved her in. He did. Both my older daughter and my son were begging this girl to just get in the car as I saw the tears well up into their eyes. She scared them both and it was something I never thought would happen. It nearly brought me to tears. One, because I didn’t know what to do to make her stop screaming and carrying on like she was being tortured, and two, because I saw the fear and sadness in my other two children’s eyes.

With all of us finally inside the van, there she stood for another 15 minutes fighting with me to put her seat belt on. I kept telling her we couldn’t leave until she was seated and buckled, over and over and over again. I just sat there in the drivers seat thinking I was a complete failure! How come my child acted out like this? Was she tired? Did she have a long day? No, she was fine all day long and then bam! She heard the word “No” and she lost it completely! Testing her limits? Probably. Expecting mom to give in like usual? Probably. The last 4 years was I creating a spoiled child, a child that expected to get everything she wanted because she said she wanted it…probably. Have I ever set boundaries for her? Probably not. This is all new to me. I wanted to cry.

I think she finally realized I wasn’t going to back down and she slowly, very slowly (15 minutes later) got herself seated and buckled and we were on the road again. Was my nightmare over? I told her we would talk later after her bath when I can have a little quiet one on one with her. Got home and everything was peaches and cream again. Bath time was over and talk time began. I asked why she behaved that way and she told me that she wanted the one with the thing that you can put the badge in and I didn’t let her have it. I told her it was because it had a knife in it and it wasn’t something I wanted her to play with. She matter of factly said, “Well, we could have given the lady the knife”. Now, yeah, I probably could have taken that out, but she struggled in her decision making until it was too late. I told her that if she talked to me like she is now and she did not yell at me the way she did, I could have done that for her, but she choose to get loud, scream, cry, flop on the floor like a baby seal clasping her arms around my legs and I don’t reward bad behavior so she got nothing. She said “Everyone hates me and everyone is always mean to me”. I asked “Who hates you and is mean to you?” to which she replied, you and my brother. First I heard of it! I calmly told her that I loved her and I could never hate her. I may not like what she does, but I will never ever hate her. I asked her what I had to do to show her that I loved her. She said, “Hug me”. I explained that I do try to hug her and she pushes me away all the time, so I asked if she wanted me to hug her now and she said yes. I snuggled her and she ended up falling asleep to me telling her over and over again that I loved her forever and ever and ever………..

You think it stopped there? Think again! It took an hour to leave the house today because she couldn’t decide on which outfit out of the two I had selected to wear today. Once again, screams, fighting, hitting, kicking doors, you name it, it was done…but I remained calm and cool as a cucumber and stood my ground. She was not going to bully or tantrum her way out of it. OMG, what is a mom to do with a child like this? How to I curb those outbursts? I don’t know how long this will last, but mom can’t take too many more! It was emotionally draining for me! A friend suggested that I have her tested or looked at for a possible sinus problem because it sounded like something her daughter went though and now she is on allergy medicine every day and has never had an outburst like I described since. Is this possible? Something as simple as a sinus problem? How long do I wait this out to see if there is any improvement over time? It scares me to think my child is suffering and can’t vocalize what is wrong. 😦 If anyone out there has been in a similar situation, please let me know how you handled it, what your outcome has been and your advice on getting through this. I certainly could use the input.

I just hope tomorrow is a good day!

Tip of the day…

So you think you want to have another baby, huh? My tip to you…babysit a crying baby for two hours. That will really let you know if you want to do it all over again. Could be a great form of birth control!

Want a good laugh?

Alrighty then, thought so!

So last night Scotty had a baseball game. When it was over, I piled the kids into the van, threw in the purse, the little carry cooler thing, the snack, the chair, the baseball bag and on we went.

I decided to take the kids to McDonalds for ICE CREAM (Thank you very much Trisha) so we are driving and I hear this little noise. Thinking that the noise was from out side, didn’t pay much attention to it. Then we get out of the drive thru and I hear this noise yet again only this time it is getting louder and closer to me. Yes, it was chirping noises. I go over this one lane bridge and can’t take it anymore. I am freaking out at this point. The kids are starting to freak out too because EEEWWWW a cricket in my VAN!!! EEEWWWW!!!!! I drive with my foot barely touching the ground, and the other leg is on my seat. I finally get to a spot where I can pull over and get all the kids out, and then I tell Scotty, “Go grab your baseball bag”, “Gianna get on the front seat”, “Alyssa stop being so jumpy”… We keep hearing the noise, so out comes the baseball bag, we listen, nothing….ok, I don’t want to get back into the van, that’s for sure, what if he hops on me!!! I put the baseball bag in the back of the van now. We all stare at the empty van. Some lady pulls over and asks if we are ok, I said, “Yes, we are just looking for the cricket in the van”, lol…we laugh. – She leaves, but I wanted her to stay and help me, I don’t want to drive home with a CRICKET in my van!!! I even tried to call Steve…as if he would have come to my rescue! NOT!!!

All three of us are staring into the van and Alyssa says, “What’s that?” and points down. I look, say, EWWWW, it’s a CRICKET!!! Hurry, back in the van, hurry, hurry before it hops back in!!!! The kids run to the other side of the van and pile in, I get in on the passengers side, hop over the seats and drive away!!!

It was the FUNNIEST thing that has happened in a very long time. The kids and I just laughed so hard on the way home! Happy to say that Mr. Cricket must have found his way into Scotty’s baseball bag and then found himself probably squished by my tire as I sped away!!!!!!

How to Find and Interview a Pediatrician

How to Find and Interview a Pediatrician

Choosing the right pediatrician is one of the most important decisions you make for your child. You want to find a pediatrician in a practice that makes you feel confident and comfortable. Your pediatrician should also be warm, compassionate, and open to your thoughts and feelings, and you should share similar views on child rearing. If you know the sex of your child you might want to consider choosing a pediatrician of the same gender. When children become teenagers, they often feel more comfortable with a doctor of the same sex. Another thing to think about is the age of the doctor. If you choose an older doctor, ask whether retirement is in the near future and, if so, who will take over the practice. Choose the right pediatrician, and he/she might be able to treat your child from birth through adolescence.

It’s a good idea to begin your search for a pediatrician during your sixth month of pregnancy. This will give you plenty of time to decide on the right pediatrician before your baby is born. Compile a list of candidates by asking friends, relatives, coworkers, neighbors, and your obstetrician for recommendations.

After you’ve compiled your list of candidates set up appointments with several pediatricians. Different doctors have different approaches to child rearing. You want to make sure you select the one that best suits your family’s needs. Arrange to meet pediatricians individually and in person. If possible, both parents should attend the first meeting. Don’t interview pediatricians over the phone. Only a face-to-face meeting will let you know whether a pediatrician has the type of personality and philosophy about child rearing that you are seeking. It is very important to feel comfortable with the pediatrician you choose.

When interviewing a prospective pediatrician never feel afraid or embarrassed to ask questions. Remember; you child is your most precious gift. Here are some specific questions you will want to ask. How long have you been in practice? Do you have any subspecialties? What are your office hours? How can I reach you in an emergency? If you can’t be reached in an emergency, what procedure should I follow? Is there an after-hours clinic and, if so, when is it open? What are your feelings regarding breastfeeding, bottle feeding, starting solid foods, circumcision, getting baby to sleep, vitamins, immunizations, taking baby out in public, traveling with baby. What child-care books do you recommend?

In addition to talking with the pediatrician, you’ll want to ask the doctor’s staff some questions. When you make your appointment, be sure to ask whether there will be a staff member available to answer questions. Here are a few pertinent questions to ask the staff. How does the office handle phone inquiries? Is there an advice nurse available to answer questions? Is there a 24-hour answering service that will connect to a doctor? How far in advance do I have to schedule appointments? If my child is sick, can I get an appointment that same day? How often are well-baby visits? Do newborns and well children have to wait in the same waiting room with sick children? When we arrive for our appointment, what is the typical waiting time before we see the doctor? What happens if we miss a scheduled visit?

After you’ve interviewed both the pediatrician and the staff ask yourself a few questions. Do you and this pediatrician share similar views on topics such as breastfeeding, circumcision, working mothers, day care, and so on? If not, is the pediatrician open to different opinions or other approaches? Does the pediatrician seem to be up on the latest medical advances? Did the doctor welcome questions and take the time to address your concerns? Did the pediatrician and office staff treat you courteously or curtly? Is the office conveniently located? Is there ample parking? Did the waiting room and the examination rooms have toys and books? Was everything clean? If you were happy with the interview and satisfied with the answers to the questions you’ve asked yourself, you’ve probably found the right pediatrician for your family.

Elaine Farber is a Newborn/Specialist/Consultant and author of Baby Lists: What to Do and What to Get to Prepare for Baby. Elaine has over thirty years experience caring for single and multiple birth babies. She has made a career of loving and nurturing babies in a variety of environments. Elaine’s love for children has prompted her to investigate and review a multitude of products in real-world conditions. Elaine has coached families through every aspect of early parenting, from selecting the right hospital to choosing the proper diapers. She knows firsthand which items are the easiest to use, and the safest for baby. Visit Elaine’s website at or contact her directly at

About the Author

Elaine Farber is a Newborn/Specialist/Consultant and author of Baby Lists: What to Do and What to Get to Prepare for Baby. Elaine has over thirty years experience caring for single and multiple birth babies. She has made a career of loving and nurturing babies in a variety of environments. Elaine’s love for children has prompted her to investigate and review a multitude of products in real-world conditions. Elaine has coached families through every aspect of early parenting, from selecting the right hospital to choosing the proper diapers. She knows firsthand which items are the easiest to use, and the safest for baby. Visit Elaine’s website at or contact her directly at

Article Source: Content for Reprint

Oh yes, we all remember and will never forget

It is amazing to me that no matter what, this day will always take me back a bit. I did not know anyone that fell victim to this day, but my thoughts and prayers are always with those who have. I can’t believe it has been 7 years already. It is really something when the daughter you took to preschool that sad day wakes up and says, “Aren’t you going to wear red, white and blue today?”, I asked a simple question of “Why?”, expecting a simple response and instead I hear, “Because 7 years ago two planes flew into the Twin Towers”. Now I am not sure what all she does know, but I know that she knows it was a tragic day in American and she wanted to wear red, white and blue as a way to show her “love” to those people who lost their families and friends.

WOW, that is powerful…coming from the mouth of a 10 year old girl in America.