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Teen Driving Safety Tips Every Parent Needs to Know

Some days, I can’t believe that I’m the mom to two teenagers. It feels like just yesterday; I was introducing you all to my toddlers. But, Bella is 15-years-old already, about to be 16 in less than a month. What they say about the days being long but the years being short, is the truest thing ever said about motherhood and childhood. It’s hard to imagine, my little girl is old enough to drive. It scares me in more ways than I expected. Aside from it making me painfully aware that she will soon be old enough to live on her own, it makes it that much easier for her to spend time away from us.

Of course for teenagers, driving is an exciting rite of passage. Getting onto the road for the first time in their own car is thrilling time for a teenager. Its independence and freedom that our kids haven’t experienced up to that point. Of course, while this is thrilling for them, it can also be terrifying for parents. We have to make sure we give them a thorough course in teen driving 101. Aside from the letting go, we know how dangerous driving can be. No matter what driving directions we’ve give them, the fact is that teen drivers are more likely to make driving mistakes in their first year on the road than for the rest of their driving career.

Tips for New Drivers


Maybe it sounds like an overreaction, especially from someone who has been driving since she was 13-years-old. But I’m me and they’re them. Take my driving directions don’t follow my driving examples, kids. Danger hits different when you’re on the mom end of things than it does when you’re the carefree teenager. Sorry, mom.

I had my days as a teenage girl, now it’s my time to worry. I’m better at that than most. As a teen, I was the one who was going places and doing things that I probably shouldn’t have been. I definitely would have given my mom a heart attack if she knew half of it. Thank God I was too stupid and naïve to realize what could have happened to me. It’s true, some things you just have to live through to believe. Being aware and prepared can help prevent unnecessary issues.

Teen Driving Safety Tips Every Parent Needs to Know that their kid might be breaking

Speeding while driving

Whether they are showing off, being careless, or are trying to have fun, speeding is a serious offense. No matter where you are or why you’re doing it. Many roads have automated cameras that can capture cars speeding and issue fines, while police will also lookout. Speeding can damage a teenager’s permanent driving record. It can make their insurance premiums go up while running the risk of losing their license if they break the rules more than once. Some insurance companies can also monitor the speed of your car to make sure that you’re not breaking the rules. Speeding can also cause a lot of car accidents.

Driving Under the influence (DUI)

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal. Road accidents happen more frequently under the influence. That’s why I always carry a personal breathalyzer in my purse and bring a designated driver. Teen drivers are more likely to take a risks, trusting themselves to be safe behind the wheel. Let’s face it, teenagers think they are invincible. Police can easily recognize drivers under the influence.

Driving Accidents

Teen drivers without much experience on the road are much more likely to cause accidents than veteran drivers. Friends, radios and telephones can easily distract new drivers. Having a major driving accident can make your teen’s premium skyrocket. If the worst were to happen to your teenager and it involved other drivers then you may need to be prepared for others to make a claim against your child. If this is the case, then they will need the very best car crash lawyer to help them navigate the situation. It’s important you teach our teens about the potential distractions and to always look out for other drivers, as well as, potential hazards on the road. An attorney will be able to help you and your child fix any issues with the claimant and could potentially get them out of any sticky situations. 

Driver’s Road Rage

Road rage is a common issue across the world and causes many accidents. People find it easier to get annoyed when driving than when walking. Teenagers tend to be more emotional than adults and get into bad situations when they engage with other drivers. You need to make sure that your teenager knows that they can’t shout, swear, or attack other drivers, especially when they’re on busy roads. Instead, they should work to simply ignore the annoyances of other drivers.

Incorrect Documentation

Teenagers aren’t generally considered the best administrators, and this means that they can easily let their documentation become void and will break the DUI law causing them a problem. This can have a negative impact on their driving career, making it difficult for them to get a new license if their current one is taken from them. It’s crucial that insurance, licenses, and things like tax are all up to date before your teenager is allowed to hit the road. In many cases, the punishment for failing to do this can be bigger than fines.

Insurance Violations

Teenagers usually care about things like fashion a lot more than older people. This can lead to extensive modifications being made to their vehicles, with many of the changes they make being superficial. Of course, though, insurance companies need to know about these changes, ensuring that the car that is being covered reflects the actual car on your driveway.

With all of this in mind, you should be feeling ready to take on the challenge of avoiding the trouble your teen driver could get into during their first year on the road. This can be a difficult time for new drivers, but you can help your teens overcome the issues with a little bit of practice, encouragement and safety reminders.

Letting go is hard. Watching our “little” girls drive away, is not easy but we can’t keep them at our sides forever so the most important thing we can do as parents is to prepare them well to take on the world. We have to trust that we’ve done our jobs as parents and if all else fails, let them know we’re always there to lift them up, support them and hold their hands when they need it. As soon as this snow melts, we’re taking Bella out for some more driving practice.

What’s your best tip for teaching your teen driving safety without stressing you both out?

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feminist, feminism, Time Magazine, Feminist movement, women's rights, equality

Feminist: A person ( a man or woman) who advocates or supports the social, political, legal and economic rights and equality of women to men.

According to Time Magazine, “Feminist” is one of the terms that may lead you to “seek out the nearest pair of chopsticks and thrust them through your own eardrums” and it should be banned from existence. The good people of Time are tired of hearing every female celebrity’s declaration of whether or not she is a feminist. (I’m tired of hearing all their backpedaling). Did I mention that the writer of the piece was a woman, Katy Steinmetz?

Poll conductor Katy Steinmetz flippantly referred to the use of feminist as this,

“You have nothing against feminism itself, but when did it become a thing that every celebrity had to state their position on whether this word applies to them, like some politician declaring a party? Let’s stick to the issues and quit throwing this label around like ticker tape at a Susan B. Anthony parade.”

The world is simply tired of hearing all these damn women complaining about being treated like second-class citizens; with making less than men for the same work, being objectified and being given the general direction of “be seen and not heard”. I’m sorry that women’s wanting to be treated as human beings is annoying you, Time Magazine. I’m sorry me wanting my daughters to know that what lies between their legs does not make them less than a man.

In case you are new here, I am a feminist.

I am a raging, in-your-face feminist that has the audacity to believe that men and women are equal in value as human beings and as such, should be treated with equal rights and respect in the world. I don’t believe that women are better than men. I don’t hate men. I don’t even want it all. I just want to live life on my terms with basic human rights.

Time could have called for a ban on the word “feminist” any time, but they did it during a year when the conversation about the meaning of the term is being seriously discussed. They did it at a time when the movement is growing when young girls are finally understanding what it means to be a feminist and craving it; realizing they deserve to be treated as human beings with dignity and respect just like their male counterparts.

We should all be feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie at TEDxEuston

“We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, ‘You can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful, otherwise you will threaten the man,’”  “Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important thing. Now, marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support, but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors, not for jobs or for accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are. Feminist: the person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.”

Basically, a feminist, contrary to popular belief, is not someone who hates men or hates being a woman and wants to be a man but we are simply women and men who believe in equal rights and treatment for all human beings. I don’t want special privileges, nor do I think my equality should diminish a man’s rights. I’m a raging feminist and I have been for decades.

I came out of the womb believing that I could do and be anything I wanted to and I am not alone in believing this. Sure, people along the way may have tried to derail that belief but you can’t keep a good woman down. If you tell me that I can’t do something, I just want to do it that much more.

My dreams are not limited by my sex. The last time I checked, having a vagina did not cause a drop in IQ, creativity or innovation. I promise, our brains are in no danger of falling out between our legs. I believe that if you are alive and kicking and willing to put in the hard work and dedication, you can achieve absolutely anything, regardless of what lies between your legs.

I believe that we should all wear lip gloss, fancy bras or no bra at all, stay home, work out of the home, get married, don’t get married, have 5 kids, or have none. We should reach for the stars and dare to be whatever we want to be. I believe that we should be afforded the respect to make that choice for ourselves. I am a feminist. I am raising feminists. And I am proud to say that I am married to a feminist man who should be the role model for all men.


What are your thoughts on removing the world Feminist from existence?

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Bossy, Sheryl Sandberg, #BanBossy, Bossy, Raising Girls, Strong girls, leaders

Of all the things I get up in arms about concerning women’s issues, being called bossy is not one of them.

In fact, I don’t find “bossy” to be derogatory.

There are so many other more important issues concerning women today than being referred to as “bossy”.  I get what Sheryl Sandberg and Anna Maria Chavez are trying to say that by calling little girls “bossy” in a negative context, we are inadvertently teaching our girls that to be a leader, to be a woman who takes charge is a bad thing because men don’t like it. We are teaching our girls to give up their dreams of being leaders because it’s not the role they were meant to fill. I call bullshit.

I grew up being called “bossy” and “stubborn”, always. I don’t take it as an insult. Maybe it’s because my dad always told me that if I had something worth saying then I should say it and not to back down. My mom taught me that where there is a will, there is always a way. For me that translated into work hard, bust your ass, embrace your bossy and be the leader. At my core, I have always believed that there is nothing that I could not do. I could be, do or achieve anything…all I needed to do was commit, work hard and make it happen. Being called bossy didn’t hurt me. Being called bossy made me feel empowered, respected and even a little feared and I thought that was awesome!

A vagina is not a handicap. For me, people underestimating me because of my sex is their fatal flaw not mine. Hell, I may have had to fight a little harder to get what I wanted but believe me once I got where I wanted, I’ve always impressed people with my leadership skills probably because they started off with such low expectations since I am just a woman.

I just had a conversation with my 9-year-old and I asked her about this. She said that she doesn’t take it as an insult. She said that a boss is a leader who is in control of the situation and she said she likes being that person. She said in her group in class, she is the only girl with 4 boys and every time that they work on problems, if there are 10 math problems, she does six and lets each boy do one. She said this is because she wants them done right. She says the boys call her bossy but she told them she doesn’t care and if they want to be in charge they can be but then they get to do the 6 problems and she gets to do the one and she added….and I still want my A. So if you think  you can do it, go ahead. To which the boy, quietly declined and has not called her bossy since.

I am thrilled to know that my girls are not afraid to lead. I am thrilled that they don’t get offended for being recognized as strong women but I am troubled that she is learning that to get things done right, she has to do 60% of the work while the boys each only do 10%.

I think we need to teach the world to reward our girls for being leaders and not turning a personality strength into a flaw. Don’t ban the word bossy, ban narrow mindedness.I want to raise strong minded, strong willed, strong bodied girls who have every faith in themselves that they can accomplish anything they set their mind to and most of all, I want them to NOT be afraid to lead. I want them to embrace their inner bossy.

Do you find the word bossy offensive?

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Like most of you, when I look at my children I am in awe that I have been a part of bringing such marvelous creatures into the world. I remember getting ready to leave the hospital with my oldest and having a slight panic attack. They come into the world these little tiny, wiggly, apple smelling beings of the nearest thing to perfection that I have ever seen. That’s why I believe they are sent from heaven..directly. It’s only once they get here and we get hold of them and start fucking them up that hell starts breaking lose. I jest but there is some truth to it. Don’t you agree?
One thing that I know that I worry about and I know weighs heavily on many Moms minds is nutrition.  We try to keep our kids healthy; feed them the right foods, get them involved in some recreational sports for exercise, monitor what they eat but despite our best efforts the incidence of childhood obesity is on the rise. This is of particular concern to me because I have battled with my own eating issues/disorders in the past. I am hyper aware of body issues and the toll they take on a little girls mind and body. I am fully aware that this affliction is an equal opportunity destroyer of boys and girls alike, but I think girls are just more susceptible because of the natural expectation of beauty put onto women.
I’ve said since before my girls were born that I would do whatever it took to save them from that fate. The first best step, in my mind, is to not make weight a focus of attention in their life. I have a dear friend who has a 16 year old daughter who has always been weighed backwards and has no knowledge of what she weighs. How amazing is that? A scale is just a number, its like scoring your importance in the world by how many lbs. you are and the lower the better. How asinine is that? I have been inspired to not let my girls be aware of their number on the scale.
I remember, as a child, my father who is very athletic and an avid runner taking us running with him. He would take us bike riding, to play soccer, swimming, to play basketball and tennis, and walking and it was a blast. I particularly remember a time,  around the time puberty hitting, (you know that lovely time of our lives when our whole body is mutinying on us?) my dad started making me run harder and faster. I distinctly remember him telling me, “Mija, you should run some more”. I could hear the disappointment in his voice. I’m pretty positive that was the moment that it all went down hill for me. From that point on, I was painfully aware of what I ate , how much I exercised and it made me feel that in some tiny way my worth to my dad was directly tied to my weight. As an adult and a parent now, I am sure it was not. But actions speak louder than words and the added, ” you should run more” certainly didn’t help. I can understand trying to get your child healthy and prevent them from being unhealthy but maybe a better approach would have been to not say anything and just take me running and him speed up the pace. Then, I would have had to speed up to keep up but there would have been no connotation attached to the words; no disappointment. Maybe we could have bypassed the body dysmorphia/bulimia/anorexia  episode entirely.
I’ve also tried my damnest to not focus on my own weight in front of my girls. I try to avoid the “Does this make me look fat” question at all cost within their earshot. I’m not always successful but I try to let them know that people come in all shapes and sizes and to just be the best them they can be.
I try to feed them nutritiously and get them to play outside. They are both involved in dance. But it seems that at certain times of the year, my daughter will put on a little weight and then slim right back down.I don’t know what it is but that’s how it happens every year. At these times of the year, I start going over my menu with a fine tooth comb and trying to make sure to eliminate the bad foods and focus on the healthier fare. I know it sounds slightly crazy to be so aware of this but I just don’t want her to ever start being aware of her weight to the point where it could be an issue in her mind. To look at her, obviously she is no where near overweight but I feel like , as her Mother, it is my duty to keep her healthy and happy and not to be the catalyst of an unhealthy lifestyle or allowing bad habits to start. Sounds familiar, right? Probably something very similar to what my own father was feeling/thinking.This is a major contributor to the Mommy guilt that I feel. It’s so hard when you have picky eaters and some times its all you can do just to get them to eat anything but I think this is a stand where we, as parents, need to hold vigilant. The thought of my little girl one day feeling less than adequate in her life because of the number on a scale or the size of her ass makes me cringe. Of course, we want to protect our children from any unnecessary unhappiness in their life but their nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices are something that we can put into place in their formative years. I don’t want to second guess myself and wonder if the food choices I am making for my children are bad for them. The work lies in the execution of the plan. How do you make sure your children are healthy without emphasizing weight or the negative effects of bad food? I don’t ever want my words to be the source of my children feeling anything less than fantastically comfortable in their own skin.

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cancer, cervical biopsy, when cancer's on the table, waiting for biopsy results, FemiLift, vaginal lift, pap smear, cervix, xanax, miscarriage

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written in collaboration with FemiLift. However, all opinions are my own.

A couple weeks ago, I told you all about the FemiLift procedure and shared with you an interview I had with Dr. Ghozland who performs the FemiLift procedure. It was very informative but you know me, the proof is in the pudding and I wanted to speak with someone who actually experienced the procedure. Because who is going to give it to you more real than another mama?

I had a million, some very personal, questions and Jackie Jorge was a great sport and answered every single one of them.

All the questions about FemiLift you were too embarrassed to ask.

On a scale of 1-10, how painful was it?

I would say it’s a 2, if 10 was the worst pain ever. (Wow! Less painful than I expected.)

How invasive did it feel? I hated the early pregnancy ultrasound wands so how does it compare to that?

It’s way smaller than the ultrasound pregnancy wand, but there is definitely something going “in” you, so you can feel it. I think a pap is more invasive (and painful) than FemiLift treatment. (Good to know because my paps are pretty painful thanks to my extra deep cervix.)

How many treatments did you need?

Doctor recommended 3 FemiLift treatments.

What was your personal recovery time?

There is no recovery time. I was able to go about my day just as usual. The nurse said I shouldn’t have intercourse on the night of the treatment. (Definitely shorter than I expected.)

Can you tell a difference? How? Is it visible or strictly internal and a change in sensation? 

Yes! I can absolutely feel the difference. I had two major issues that I was trying to address. The first was stress incontinence and the other was dryness during intercourse. By the 3rd week of the first treatment, I noticed I wasn’t peeing when I laughed or sneezed.

By the second treatment, I had actually caught a cold and it was the first time I didn’t need a mini pad during my cold! Another great difference is when I take my daughters to the bathroom. I used to have to use the toilet first or I would pee myself! Now, I’m able to let them go first!

As far as intercourse… after the first treatment I noticed right away that I was able to “last longer” and I didn’t need to stop my husband to get the lube out!

What does your husband say? Has he noticed a difference?

I actually wasn’t expecting this… but he said last week that he thinks I’m tighter. He never complained before, but it was nice to know that he is enjoying the benefits too.

Has it improved your sex life? How?

OMG… 100% yes!!! After the second treatment, sex feels incredible!! It is a gift to be able to really enjoy and want sex at 40 (Something)… You have no inhibitions so you’re able to reach climaxes that you never knew existed (and in record time).

Has it made you more confident in bed?

Yes. See above statement 🙂 I’ve never really had confidence issues in bed, but I can say that after FemiLift, I am so much more excited to have sex!

Has it made it easier to achieve orgasm through penetration?

Yes. I am like totally blown away how much more sensation I have. It’s like FemiLift has re-awakened my vagina. It’s pretty amazing!

Would you recommend it to your friends? Sisters?


Just a side note the entire interview was in All Caps, I corrected it. I thought it was a caps lock issue however, now I realize Jackie just thinks that FemiLift is ALL CAPS AWESOME!

Hope this has been helpful to anyone who might be interested in taking action to reverse time and babies effect on your lady bits.

For more information about Femilift please check out my previous FemiLift article that goes in depth about the procedure itself.

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grandparents, Aetna, grandchildren, sandwich generation

Disclosure: This post about aging well is part of a sponsored campaign with Aetna but all opinions about the importance of grandparents expressed are my own.

What do you think the roles of grandparents are in the lives of grandchildren? Are they figureheads who buy them too much candy and spoil them rotten or are they something much more? Or are grandparents supersized parents who can teach your kids from a wealth of wisdom that you’ve not even had the opportunity to amass yet?

grandparents, Aetna, grandchildren, sandwich generation

When I was growing up, I didn’t know my grandparents very well. I knew who they were, I loved them because that’s what you’re supposed to do but I only saw them once a year and on special occasions. Mostly, I knew about them through stories, cards and photos. I always knew that I wanted more than that for my children. I wanted real connections, bonds.

Back then my parents lived in Mexico and the other set lived in Tennessee. We lived in Chicago. There were six kids so to go anywhere, we had to drive and anyone who has ever road tripped with six children know that it’s not something you want to do every other month. It’s a big, chaotic, crazy deal so we’d go spend time with our grandparents once a year. In fact, I never met my grandfather in Mexico until I was 10 and he was already in his late 80’s. I loved these four elderly people but really, they were nearly strangers to me. Strangers who I knew I was supposed to love and respect.

Today, more than 7 million grandparents live in the same house with their grandchildren. The sandwich generation is a real thing and I think in many ways it is amazing. In the Latino culture, having grandparents live in the same house as their grandchildren has always been a very common thing. It fosters a great sense of bonding and makes it possible to really get to know one another, which I think is so important.

Before we had children, the Big Guy and I traveled and moved around a lot. But the minute I gave birth, I knew we had to move back to the Midwest because having my parents and my husband’s parents be an involved part of my children’s lives was very important. It was non- negotiable so we relocated back to the Midwest and have never regretted the decision.

grandparents, Aetna, grandchildren, sandwich generation

There is a bond that forms when a child spends real day-to-day time with their grandparents that can’t happen when they only see them on special occasions. Life happens in the minutia. Not only does the help the children grow up close to their grandparents, it’s good for the grandparents. Playing with the little people you love, keeps you young and happy. The same way, having a grandparent to turn to for advice and a little extra attention is good for the soul of a child.

When you stop moving, you stop living. I’ve learned this first hand with my recent leg injury. These days less than half of grandparents are fully retired and almost 40% still work. They want to keep moving and living fully for as long as possible and feeling needed and appreciated by family members, especially adoring grandchildren is the perfect recipe for that.

The more family members talk to one another, the more you learn about one another. We know things about my parents and my husband’s parents than ever before because in our regular daily conversations, things come up that would not otherwise. We know all of our parents’ health issues, meds they take and what their plans and wishes are in case anything tragic ever happens. I never knew these things before but by being more involved in one another’s lives, these things come up in normal conversation and this is good because we won’t be left scrambling in the case of an emergency. There is a casual comfort that comes with being with loved ones every day.

All of this also does one more very important thing; it opens up conversations about genetic health issues or just health in general. My girls know that my dad has always led a predominantly healthy and active lifestyle and it shows. They also know that being Latinos, we have family members who have died from diabetes and high cholesterol and that they need to be aware of that. They know that 3 of their 4 grandparents have heart issues but they also know that with a healthy, active lifestyle they can help prevent that.

Moving so that our children could be closer to their grandparents, figuratively and literally, was one of the best decisions we ever made for our daughters, our parents and ourselves. In my opinion, family is the most important thing we can give our children.

For more information about Aetna’s open enrollment October 15, 2015- January 31, 2015 visit Grandparents.com/Aetna for more information about how you can help your parents and aging family members get the most of their health in the year ahead.

Grandparents have a wealth of wisdom to teach our children and us, let’s help keep them healthy so they can be around to do so.



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transgender students, gender inclusiveness, gender equality, Lincoln Public Schools, Rachel Terry

Dear Bigot Mom why are you so opposed to the idea of transgender students being treated equal?  I’ve never understood how adults can be mean or uncaring to children but apparently and ironically, bigotry does not discriminate. It’s an equal opportunity hater, even of small children.

Administrators in Lincoln, Nebraska have begun talking to staff about transgender issues so they can better help transgender students; all students. Some parents are worried the district is promoting an “agenda”; a political one.

“The agenda we’re promoting is to help all kids succeed,” said Brenda Leggiardo, LPS coordinator of social workers and counselors. “We have kids who come to us with a whole variety of circumstances, and we need to equitably serve all kids.”

But some people don’t see it that way, Rachel Terry, a parent in the Lincoln Public Schools District, has taken it upon herself to send emails to the other parents saying LPS is promoting a “gender inclusiveness” agenda and asking them to join her at the Oct. 14 school board meeting. HMMMMM? So, am I to assume that she is anti- gender inclusiveness? Is she really asking parents to join her at a school board meeting today to protest EQUALITY?? Bigotry much??? Life is hard enough for anyone who isn’t a healthy, heterosexual Caucasian male. Why make it harder?

“By sidelining academic teacher training and replacing it with social re-engineering, the LPS administration has placed a higher priority on social reformation than on education,” Terry says in a copy of an “introductory speech” prepared for school board members.

As a school board member myself, not in the LPS district, just let me start by saying we welcome any and all concerns to be brought up at board meetings (no matter how ridiculous they may be) so she is perfectly within her rights to present this at the meeting. However, the only agenda that I see is her fear of gender-inclusiveness. What is she afraid of? It’s not contagious?

Surely, she must realize that if a child is bullied or feels like an outcast for being different, their education will suffer. Just because gender is not an issue for her children, it is for some children. Where is her compassion for these children who need a little understanding? I wonder if she has a low threshold of tolerance for those pesky special needs children too?

Her email to other parents included three handouts she said had been provided to LPS staff, including one titled “12 easy steps on the way to gender inclusiveness” that, among other things, advised avoiding “gendered” expressions such as “boys and girls.”

The handout suggests opting for more specific terms such as “calling all readers” or “hey, campers.”

Okay, I am not the parent of a transgendered, gay, bisexual or lesbian child (well, not that I know of, my girls are only 7 and 9 so who knows who they might become and no matter who they choose to love I will love them and want them to be treated equal to every other human being) so I’m not sure how parents of these children feel about using gender non-specific terms? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject. I suppose we could all just be called humans or by our own names and that would work.

I do however have a problem with having the terms boys and girls stricken from my vocabulary because to me it feels like taking shit too far. Just like not being able to say Merry Christmas or God bless you when someone sneezes. I feel like I don’t get offended if someone says Happy Kwanza or Happy Hanukkah. I take it as a term of celebration and good will and I am thankful. I get the underlying “meaning” of it. It’s not something I take so literally that it keeps me up at night pondering my existence or my relationship with my own faith. If someone blesses me, I am not offended. I am thankful because, let’s be honest, someone wishing you well is always better than telling you to go somewhere and die or just not giving a damn at all.

I can’t pretend to know how children who are transgendered feel about being called boy or girl. My personal thought would be that, on the inside, they feel like either a boy or a girl because that’s always been the choices we’ve had. I don’t think the problem is with the terms, I think it’s with the labeling. Why not use “boys and girls” when talking to a group and let the child decide which one applies to them without making a fuss about it.

Student Services Director Russ Uhing said the goal of the administrative session was to help school leaders better understand the issues facing students so they can be welcoming to all students and make them feel comfortable. The handouts, provided by a staff member on a district equity team, were meant only for teachers, not for students or parents. Which leads me to believe that there is a bigot mole on the inside because how else did Mrs. Terry get herands on the handouts to use them against LPS?

These were not meant as rules staff had to follow, but guidelines for how teachers could make students feel more comfortable. It also stresses the impact words can have on others which is particularly important for gay, lesbian and transgender students who are at a higher risk of being bullied, having mental health issues and committing suicide.

I think that LPS is doing a great job trying to change the focus of the conversation. They are trying to be the change they want to see in the world. I commend them. I don’t agree with the stop usage of the terms” boys” and “girls” but I think their hearts are in the right place. As for Rachel Terry, why not try being part of the solution instead of part of the problem. Ponder this, like I teach my children, on the inside we are all the same; humans. Why should a label, a color,  whatever our outside looks like define us? Shouldn’t we be commending these children for having the bravery to tell the world who they are? They are living out loud and happy with who they are. Isn’t that enough?

In her email and draft speech, Terry said using taxpayer dollars to promote “the deconstruction of fundamental family and religious values” is a serious breach of trust. Wow! I never understand how a true Christian can speak of religious values out one side of their face and spew hatred and bigotry out of the other side. What happened to tolerance and love? Does Westboro Baptist have a school? Maybe Rachel Terry would feel more comfortable enrolling her children there.

What do you think of Rachel Terry’s opinion that transgender students don’t need equality and that gender-inclusiveness is a waste of taxpayer money?

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election 2012, Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, Vote, Presidency

election 2012, Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, Vote, Presidency

Election 2012 is closer than I’d ever like any election to be, exciting, intense and with a chance of chaos ensuing. Election 2012 is too close for my comfort. Today is election day and I am terrified. God, I love this country because we have choices. I was pretty proud of myself yesterday. It was one of those mommy moments where you feel like you actually did something right.

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Ways to grow closer to your spouse, ways to grow stronger as a family

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

It’s a little frightening how many people I know my age have gotten divorced recently. I’m sure the pandemic didn’t help. You really get to know someone when you’re trapped in a house with them for 16 months. CoVid was a marital stress of epic proportions. I’m sure even the healthiest couples thought about it at least once during the past few months.

This is why I am constantly trying to think of ways to grow closer to my spouse and ways to grow stronger as a family.

Some of the couples I thought were perfect for one another, called it quits quietly. Divorce is, unfortunately, pretty prevalent these days with about 39% of all marriages ending in an uncoupling. Let’s be honest, no one gets married to get divorced but no one gets married to be unhappy either. Honestly, if the marriage isn’t working out, there are only 3 ways it can go 1) work together to grow together and hope it’s enough 2) do nothing and stay in a miserable marriage (this shouldn’t even be an option) 3) divorce and move on with your life.

The thing is sometimes there is someone to blame, sometimes people just fall out of love and sometimes people grow apart. It’s not a crime but it’s not exactly the happily ever after any of us dreamed of. People are busier than ever before; kids are overscheduled, parents are overworked, overwhelmed and exhausted and no one has time to just be present anymore. This is where things can start to slowly fall through the cracks and no one even notice it.

The best thing we can do as couples is spending quality time together; one-on-one facetime, listening and touching. Hugs, holding hands, kissing and saying I love you may seem trivial because you assume the other person just knows but they don’t. Words and actions matter. It never hurts to speak it into existence. Take the time, say it and do it. It can mean the difference between 2 months and 20 years. This applies to building relationships with your children too.

9 ways to grow closer to your spouse and ways to grow stronger as a family

Eat Together

Every day, everyone is in a hurry to get to work or school. Usually, breakfast is hurried, lunch is spent at work or school so make dinner count. This is something my parents do and something, the Big Guy and I have made a point of doing. Dinner every night at 5, unless there is an extracurricular, in which case, we all wait until we’re all there. Sharing meals is one of the best ways to come together as a family and check in with one another.

Whenever you share a meal, stay focused by implementing a no phone and no television rule. Instead, be present and talk to one another.  

Do the boring stuff together

Chores and errands often feel like a lot of work and no fun. Obviously, kids (and adults alike) would rather spend their days with friends, relaxing, watching movies or doing anything else other than the menial stuff. Everyone who lives in the house should be responsible for doing their part of the chores and if you do it right (we add loud Latin music, lots of dancing and laughing and a definite start and end time) it can be a great way to bond as a family. Have a list of tasks ready and assign them accordingly; you can perform them together at a set time during the week or weekend when you all can do them together.

Doing chores together fosters teamwork; if one experiences a difficult time, those who complete their tasks first can help and that tiny act shows love. If your kids have demanding schedules, give them deadlines to complete their chores. They’ll soon learn that performing duties together makes it more fun and fast than doing them alone. To make it more rewarding, have something to look forward to afterward, like enjoying a special meal or going out to the movies.

One-on-one time

Spending time as a family is great, but don’t forget to have one-on-ones with each other. It’s about quality not quantity. You can spend half an hour with each of your family members on different days. It’s as simple as asking what they’d like to do. Having one-on-ones with parents is crucial for kids; you get to discover what’s going on in their life away from home and their needs or troubles. One-on-ones with your partner is what feeds the intimacy that will get you through the hard times. Give your partner your full attention when there are no distractions; you can discuss issues to do with family and individual hopes, dreams, and aspirations.

Laugh together

Laughter is said to be food for the soul; it makes a bad day better and helps you bond as a family. Laughing stimulates your immune system and reduces stress; it has been proven to actually add to one’s life. Enjoy every moment you get to share in laughter, whether your husband ripped his pants showing off his killer dance moves at an impromptu kitchen dance party or you’re watching funny TikToks with your family (something we do often as an after-dinner activity). Whenever possible, create time to share stories, play games, or just cut up and laugh together. It relieves tensions and models to not take yourself too seriously to your children.

Attitude of gratitude

Family members do a lot for each other without expecting anything in return; saying thank you after a good deed can go a long way in making someone feel valued. Be appreciative by taking the time to surprise a family member with a gift, note of gratitude, or simply say “thank you” when one does something for you. It teaches respect and instills an attitude of gratitude.

Create family traditions

Family traditions and rituals enable you to create time for each other and memories; they shouldn’t just be for the holidays. Create routines like family movie nights, carving out pumpkins, game nights and baking days, weekly or monthly. Suppose there is an activity that you all enjoy doing, such as playing soccer, attending festivals, or picking strawberries during summer, do them together. These traditions ensure that even when the kids move away, they’ll want to make time to attend and be together with the rest of the family because of the fond memories they have of doing them in the past.

Family vacations

For us, travel is top of the list of things to do to ensure our family grows together. Going away on regular trips gives you quality time as a family, away from busy schedules and school. It allows you the space and time to be present with one another while making new memories together. Include everyone in the planning so that no one feels left out, including the kids. If going away on vacation sounds like fun, start planning, say a month earlier. Include it in the family calendar and inform everyone. Weekend getaways with your spouse can really reignite the fires of romance too and it doesn’t have to be far, just a local hotel will do where you can be man and woman and not just mom and dad.

Exercise as a family

Exercise is personal and I love my time alone, if I’m being honest but other times, I love long walks with my husband, bike rides as a family or a fun HIIT dance workout with my teen girls. If your family is into fitness, working up a sweat together is a healthy and fun way to spend time and bond with each other. Exercising together doesn’t require you to sign up for a boot camp, though that’s also a viable idea. Find simple ways to stay active while outdoors or indoors. When it’s warm, take a walk, run or bike around the block or to the park, create an indoor gym or plan workouts and do them together. If you have a furry friend, take him out for a walk together. It’s not about what you do, it’s about moving and being together.

Make time for family meetings

Meeting as a family is essential for you to check in with each other, discuss plans, or air grievances. We do this daily at dinner time. Family meetings also create an excellent time to discuss upcoming events like chores to perform during the weekend, day trips, or vacations. Schedule meetings on your calendar or check in with everyone to know their availability if it’s impromptu. Let everyone send in their items or issues for the agenda so that all grievances are discussed. To make these meetings effective, establish some guidelines.

Family is the most important thing in life, couples, siblings and parents are all a vital role in it. It takes a lot of time and effort to keep everyone together and thriving. We intentionally set an example early on so that our girls would grow up placing a high value on family. The bottom line is that family is everything so enjoy and cherish your family in all the ways. Never lose sight of the fact that marriage and parenting take effort and don’t just happen. Remember to not take one another for granted and tell people how you feel, happy or sad, before things go left unsaid and unheard for too long.

These are just a few of the ways, I work on my family and my marriage every day. It’s not the only way but it is the way that works for us. What are your best tips for ways to grow closer to your family and ways to grow stronger as a family?

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#YesAllWomen, marriage, misogyny, abuse, The Washington Post, women's issues

Oh look, the Washington Post thinks that for women to protect themselves from being victims of violence and rape we should all get married or live with our biological fathers because hey, if we’d all just stop being such cock-teasing whores for one minute and stopped taking lovers and made honest women of ourselves, we’d never have to worry about feeling threatened and “uncomfortable” and all of this #YesAllWomen business could just go away. Coincidentally, once again placing blame on the women for being abused. I mean come on, if the b*tch wasn’t drunk and half-naked, the least she could have done was gotten married and stopped trying to be such an independent woman. That’s how she got herself abused and if she hasn’t gotten herself abused, the dumb broad probably got her kids abused because she decided to date again after leaving the crack-headed, wife beating, meth head she was married to.

It was written by two academics by the names of W. Bradford Wilcox and Robin Fretwell Wilson, whose names aren’t the only thing out of the 19th century: the article looks at a bunch of statistics in regard to violence against women and children, and concludes that “the data show that #yesallwomen would be safer hitched to their baby daddies.” 

Basically, once again, the world (more precisely the Washington Post) has lumped us all into 2 categories; whores and virgins and there is no room for gray, only black and white. The bottom line is that the Washington Post has at least two misogynistic writers who blame all women for being treated like second class citizens. Hell, maybe there’s even a secret woman haters club at the Washington Post that meets once a week and is lobbying for the acceptance of drowning baby girls because really, what the hell’s the point? Because apparently, some people think that men can procreate without women and our pesky uteri. Apart from cooking and cleaning in all of our bare footed glory, women serve no real purpose in the world other than to look pretty and be quiet, right? News flash, women are people too.

Yes, misogyny is alive and well at the Washington Post.

Men are allowed to do as they will and women are supposed to suck it up and just accept their fate. I mean WHY would any woman think that she has the right to happiness after divorce or at all, for that matter? It doesn’t matter whether the man was an abusive jerk who beat her on the regular and had started molesting their children, she is his property and she needs to just accept that and be alone and in fear for the rest of her life. If not, it’s going to be her fault when something bad happens and it will because women are like magnets for bad shit to happen so prepare your daughters.

#YesAllWomen, marriage, misogyny, abuse, The Washington Post, women's issues

Eff it, happiness is overrated anyways plus I hear only men can truly experience happiness, it has something to do with the happiness receptors being located right under the tip of their penis or wait, maybe it has something to do with being an asshole. I can’t remember. What do you expect, I was just some kid whose mother stayed with her husband and I was raised by my biological father but we all still got to experience our fair share of abuse. I guess we were just lucky.

When I was about 8, I begged my mom to leave because even at that young age, I knew that it was wrong. I knew that there had to be something more out there than just accepting your situation. I KNEW that she deserved better. That we all deserved better. But none of us got it. We all got to suffer in silence. Do I think that my life is better because of her sacrifice? NO! Do I think she is happier because of her sacrifice? NO! Did it save her from abuse, pain and humiliation? NO! This is the oldest story in the book. This is fear-mongering and it is about time we stop letting fear keep us quiet. It’s time to get mad; downright pissed off and to stand up against the misogynistic world we live in It all starts with one person willing to say no; to be the change. I’m saying no for all the women who couldn’t or haven’t. NO!

#YesAllWomen, marriage, misogyny, abuse, The Washington Post, women's issues, child abuse

Maybe life would have been better had my mom not been brainwashed into staying in her abusive marriage by a society that taught her that it was better to be miserable and have a husband, better to be abused and let your children get abused than to be alone. Thank God for a society who looks out so deeply for its women folk. No thanks, I’ll take my chances and try to decide for myself what’s best for me and my children. Unless you are living in the same dire situation that some women face every day by being abused and raped by their partners, you have no right to insist that she take it on the chin and just accept it.

Hey Washington Post until you’ve lived in the world with a vagina, why not stop skewing statistics to fit your agenda?

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