Archive for January, 2012


Doctor, Doctor!
by JAK’s guest mom blogger from Racine, Denise Predny

When my first football player, I mean son, came along, I was at ease and confident in all of my mothering skills.  I never had a question for the doctors. Everything was perfect.  SO WHAT HAPPENED?
I am now having my fourth. Yes, fourth!  And I find my doctor appointments take longer these days.  How in the world can I have more questions with already having three kids? Doesn’t it get easier?  Did I mention I have 3 boys ages, 6, 3, and 1?  See what I mean with the questions?! Read More…

So the increase in questions really started with the second child.  This is when I realized I was in trouble. One of my first memories would be when the oldest decided to pick his baby brother’s nose and make him eat it.  GAG!  There I began finding myself saying all of these crazy things I never thought I would utter. “Please stop pulling on it before you pull it off!”  I am sure you know what that one was about.  And asking my doctor a lot more questions, “Are you sure he probably won’t get sick from eating his brothers poop?”

I never seem to run out of weird, gross, and crazy questions for my doctor.  All of this coming from the mom with one perfect son who never had any questions.  HA!  My life has definitely become more interesting with each and every additional child, providing all kinds of great material if I ever do decide to write that book.  I have a stack of things that make me laugh and still make me wonder how I am still sane.

Any of you mothers out there who cloth diaper will LOVE this one.  When my middle son was 2 years old, he decided to feed his baby brother a pack of gum while mommy went potty..  Now I may have stayed in a bit too long because it was quiet, but can you blame me?  Well, gum goes straight through 1 year olds who chain swallow it.  That diaper has never been the same!

You may wonder why I want four with all the craziness.  As mad as I might be in the moment sometimes, those are usually the things that make me laugh the hardest now and I wouldn’t change it for the world!  So to any of my friends who see my Facebook status offering children for sale, just ignore it. The next time we do lunch I bet I will have some great stories!  (and perhaps some questions, too!)

In addition to being a mother to three (and of course, one on the way) Denise is also wife to Jon, President of the Board of Directors of Small World Montessori School, full-time college student , and substitute childcare and early education teacher.


Leave a comment »

Return Policy?

Take Your “SexyBack”

I am admittedly square. In one of my past commentaries, Let’s Kick Some…Buttocks I discussed the word a** and it’s nonchalant usage by the masses. Well, not me, of course.  I don’t carelessly drop the “a” bomb, and according to the poll we took on Just Add Kids back then, most of the participants, 84%, considered it cursing. So I guess, at least at the time I was in the majority, and laid out the rule in my home, that we don’t use the word a**, or sh%#, or f@?%.  I think you get the picture.

So where does the word “sexy” fall?  Great question. Read More…

“Mom, Max is calling me sexy!” rats my 9 year old daughter, on her 8 year old brother. “Hello? Come again?” That’s right, my son is casually describing his sister as “sexy”.  Yup, that does sound a bit weird, disgusting, whatever.  I really don’t think he knows exactly what he’s saying, or what it means, though I know that his intention is to pester and shock.  I don’t know, should this even shock me?  Seriously, as a child or young adult, I don’t think I’d think twice about inserting “sexy” into my vocab.  It just wouldn’t happen.  It’s not the appropriate type of language for the respectable kind of girl I was. (and of course, still am! 😉

So I question him about it, “do you understand what you are saying?”.  He just gives me that snarky, smirky look, which only confirms that he knows it’s a bit risque.  Again, at least in my house, especially coming out of the mouth of a young boy.  “Max, ‘sexy’ is just not a word we use in our house. It’s not a word that is appropriate for describing your sister, or any other young lady or girl at your school.  Got it?  It’s a mature word meant for grownups to use, if they wish”.

So flashback again to when I was young, sexy was, I guess, a “dirty” word.  Did I hear it being used? I really don’t know.  I just know I didn’t use it.  And for sure, most 8 year olds weren’t, either.

(Stepping up onto the podium I go) I am of the opinion that I feel our culture is really feeding our kids a lotta cr*p. (yeah, perhaps I think this word is a bit dirty too, at least it is for this blog).  Where could my boy be bumping into “sexy”?  Yeah, maybe the school playground or the bus, TV shows, music…

As I thought about the subject of this commentary, of course, I had to come up with a title for it, hopefully something alluring that grabs your interest.  And while I don’t listen to Justin Timberlake, I did know that he had a pretty popular song a few years back called “SexyBack”.  In fact, the first time I learned of the song, was when we went to our Catholic school’s 8th grade basketball tournament championship game.  Another school mom was sitting next to me and her phone went off.  The ringtone was a snippet of “SexyBack”, which she and the kids around us (including mine) starting sing to (I guess it’s a catchy tune?).  Seriously, that might’ve been the first and last time I heard it (and again, it was only a few seconds long).

I thought I’d get a little hip with it, and go listen to it today….Alrighty then, after that and reading along with the lyrics, I’m thinkin’  a** ain’t that bad.

Wow, you can take your “SexyBack”, Justin, way back.   And please, give my kids and the millions of other kids you’ve duped into listening to your cr*p their innocence back.

Quite frankly, as parents, I cannot believe how naive we are and how we’ve bought into what our culture is feeding our kids.  The word “sexy” is not an appropriate word for 8 year olds.  So why do we let them listen to it? Watch it? Sing along with it?

More great questions.

Comments (6) »


Electronically Addicted

I put my foot down on Sunday night about too much TV and electronics with my kids. I suggested to my 8 year old son, Max, that he go grab a book and work on his Racine Reads and Six Flags reading logs/contests.  He started a Diary of a Whimpy Kid book that he received as a birthday present and in one night, just a couple of hours, nearly finished it.  Read more…

On Monday, as we were getting in the car to go pick up his sister, he asked me if he could bring his book and then asked if he could turn the light on in the car, so that he could continuing reading…..He is hooked!  And I am excited.

Rewind back just a couple of weeks, you find my husband and I Christmas shopping on the eve of Christmas Eve at Toys R Us, racking our brains, trying to come up with something to buy Max for Christmas. The clock was ticking and the pressure was on.  This wasn’t easy.  He just had his family birthday party earlier in the month, and his friend party was scheduled at Racine Gymnastics for December 30th.  Seriously, sonny boy really doesn’t need anything, except for a bedroom makeover, pants, shirts, socks, undies, and a lifetime supply of winter gloves…not the kinda thing an 8 year old kid really wants to unwrap on Christmas.

As we linger in the electronics department weighing the possible options, we bump into his friend’s dad and exchange gift stories.  Lucky Max, upon receiving the thumbs up from our conversation, we go ahead and purchase the Nintendo DS3…something I swore I would NEVER get…”those things are going to mess kids’ eyes up” was what I said when I first learned of this newest generation of the favorite Herrmann family hand-held.  I still think so!

I had already rationalized why I wouldn’t be be getting him a new DS (as he asked for the DSi)…we still had a perfectly working first generation DS, that I bought for my now 16 year old.  Could she have been like 7 or 8 years old?  I think so.  That thing has held up INCREDIBLY well, just showing a bit of wear in the form of a few scratches, slightly rubbed off finish, and minor looseness in one hinge. (the latter was part of my reasoning as well…it’ll probably fall apart soon.)

The minute he opened the DS3, I lost my son.

Now you must know, he’s been attached to our original DS for years, like maybe since he was 2 or 3, so it’s not like I didn’t expect it.  He’s addicted to it, like I am addicted to Facebook (ah, there I said it…I am addicted to that stupid Facebook).  What was pretty bad, got worse.  He got DS deaf, DS dumb(founded) and probably is going to go blind.  And it’s all my fault.

Okay, so here’s how it is…

…in addition to Max’s obsession with the DS, he is hooked on the Wii (thank goodness he hasn’t asked for another game system…yet.), Angry Birds on my phone, and of course, the stupid TV.

…my next child, Christiane, is my lovely 9 year old daughter….the Fashion Story maven.  Didn’t know what FS was all about until a couple of months ago when she downloaded the app onto my phone, and now it doesn’t let me forget about it, as I receive text messages, yes texts, when a new shipment of sundresses arrive at her “store”.  Gladly, I’d relay the message.  In addition to FS, there’s Bakery Story and Angry Birds all caged up on my phone.  If she’s not playing on my phone, she’s on some virtual world on the kid laptop asking me to help her log in (like I can keep all of her userid’s and passwords straight…uh uh!)  Oh yes, she plays on the Wii and watches a ton of TV.

…Kaisa Kaisa Kaisa, taking after her mother and jumping onto Facebook the minute she gets home from school.  She loves music (musicals, operas, Louis Armstrong, Nate King Cole, André Rieu, the Jackson Five), not your typical 15 year old.  You’ll find her leaving Facebook only to hop on over to YouTube.  While she’s not much of a texter, she gets a lot of texts.  And when a text is received, her phone plays a sweet little song.  Finally, you guessed it….she digs Angry Birds (on my phone) and she’s a TV and movie junkie. (that she got from her dad!)

…Lastly, is my oldest daughter, Gabby.  She is 16, going on 17…
“Baby its time to think. Better beware, Be canny and careful.  Baby you’re on the brink
(sorry, I just couldn’t help myself. If you have no idea of what I am talking about, hint: Sound of Music).  Yup, she loves TV too. While her texting has subsided tremendously over the last couple of years, life hasn’t been the same since she got her iTouch last year.  That’s definitely her number one electronic love.  I think she’s on Facebook most of the time if she’s not listening to her music. (I really don’t like that I have to say “think“.)  I’ve got to remind her that she’s got to get up before 6am, pretty much every night at about 10 (okay, sometimes 11pm) and it’s time to turn in the electronics.

Lord, help me…what have I done?!

Two things I can think of…
First, turning in, plugging in to charge, and holding captive the teens’ electronics (in my bedroom) is a nightly thing.   Thank goodness I can highlight a good parenting directive I’ve initiated and stuck to!
The other?  Just unplugging the kids and suggesting my son read a dang book (for goodness sakes!).

Now look what I’ve started…

Reading in the car…………………………..>>

^^^Reading on the couch^^^

Comments (1) »

2012…Bring It On. Bring It ALL On!

All For One and All Will Poop
by JAK’s guest mom blogger from Racine, Shannon Barsch

A few Sundays ago my son Kadyn was complaining that his tummy hurts and within record breaking speed he ran from the couch to the bathroom.  Seconds later, noises of puking, groaning and diarrhea creep out from behind the closed door.  Then I hear “Mommy?”… at this point I am afraid to enter, unsure of what I may find and not to mention smell. So I put on my “mommy badge”, take a deep breath,  and head on in. Read More…

Wheew!  Everything made it into the toilet and the only evidence left behind is the unforgiving smell that will linger in the air the rest of the day.

Move ahead a few days and every parent’s nightmare is unfolding without my knowledge…

Upstairs my youngest son is napping, or should I say supposed to be napping.   All of the sudden, I hear a loud THUMP!  I think to myself “Oh great, I guess he is up from his nap already.”  So I march upstairs and open his door, observe there in disbelief and tell myself I must be dreaming.  Nope, reality sets in. There, standing in front of me is my beloved son Sean, naked from the waist down, with the smell of poop permeating through the air.  Quickly. I examine the scene and find his missing diaper laying there on the floor with the poop not in the diaper, but laying next to it….YUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!  (yes, notice the number of exclamation points here!)

I scan the room and there is poop EVERYWHERE!  Even worse…it’s in his hands!  Never have I been so disgusted.   After his bath, we head back to his room with a bucket of bleach water and a garbage bag.  I start to throw away things that I just don’t feel can ever be fully clean again and douse the remainder with bleach water a few times over.  So an hour and half later, the smell of poop is replaced by bleach.

A few days later it’s my middle child’s turn…

After lunch, Ethan falls asleep on the couch, which puts me into pre-panic mode….this child hasn’t napped from the day he turned two.  But maybe, just maybe, it’s a fluke.  One can hope, right?!  Not long after, I hear him moaning as he makes his dash to the bathroom.  Again, here come those noises from earlier in the week, this time followed with “Mommy, help me”…   I walk in, only to inhale that dreaded poopy stench.  In short order, the look of panic overwhelms his face.  I know that look all too well and I quickly position his head over the toilet bowl.  There goes my poor little guy, puking everything he has ever eaten into the toilet.  Whew, potential disaster avoided and off to the couch we go for some much needed cuddling time.

Slowly the afternoon gets better…everyone seems healthy and I think we are all in the clear.  All three boys and I are watching Scooby and the youngest is sitting on my lap cuddling.  I think to myself, “Wow, this is great: everyone is relaxed, no one is screaming, fighting or chasing someone… this is the life”.  It seems that as soon as those words came to my head, from out of nowhere, there is a dreadful noise and in seconds there is puke covering me from the knees down to my slippers…  “Uh oh, Mommy” is all Sean says as he looks at me with the all the love in the world.

So this is my life…puke, poop and bleach.   Some may not understand and that’s ok, but I am glad I took the “mommy road”.  Despite all the gross stuff, each smile and call of the word Mommy makes it all worth it!

In addition to Shannon being the mother of 3 young boys, she’s married, and volunteers her time to her children’s school’s fundraising efforts and contributes to the Just Add Kids Happenings Calendar of Events.

Leave a comment »