Monday, March 28, 2011

The Countdown Is On

Less than 3 weeks until we head east! I still can't believe it's already time to hit the road again.

I'm trying to focus more on the fun of traveling and less on the thought of being on the operating table. I am not looking forward to being in the hospital but I will be so glad to get some of my problems resolved. Every time I eat, I'm reminded that my salivary gland needs to come out. Secretly I am hoping they will let me take home the rest of the stones that are in there so that I can add them to my collection.

My children are excited about our upcoming trip and seeing their family and friends. There has been a lot of whispering about what they'll get to do when they visit Granddad-With-No-Hair and I'm pretty sure they are up to something. Matthew has also been busy writing letters (that have not yet been mailed) to a bunch of his friends in Georgia to announce his impending arrival. We have plotted out our camp sites across the country and who we'll visit in each state.

Yesterday my mom even informed me that she might be retired when we come to visit. Retired!! This is a huge deal to me because, for as long as I have known my mother, her life has revolved around her job. I can't even picture her not working. I think she'll be so much happier and more relaxed and I would be willing to bet that her health improves without the stress of work. She has a government job and she isn't old enough to retire yet, but she has an option to retire early if she chooses to take it. I have my fingers crossed that she decides to do it and that it does make her happy.

I have a few final thoughts on the great car seat debate. As one commenter pointed out, there is one critical bit of information to remember. Regardless of what car seat you use or how it's installed, it's extremely important that the car seat straps are correctly tightened and that the chest clip is at armpit level for the child. As many car seat techs have said, the safest car seat is one that fits your child, fits your vehicle, and is being used correctly.

Despite what some people may think, I really believe that the people who are most passionate about car seat safety speak out because they care about children being safe. Nobody wants to see a child get hurt, especially when it's preventable. This is not about who is a better parent. It's not about selling more car seats. It really just comes down to keeping kids safe. I read a very good editorial in the Chicago Tribune that highlights the reasoning behind the new guidelines and dispels some of the myths around them. And there's a very informative video here that explains each of the recommendations.

One of the best things I've read recently was a blog post about activism. The post was written last year, but was being passed around again last week in response to the car seat discussions. There are so many parents that are quick to judge one person's choices as an attack on their own choices. I think we've all come across this at some point. I don't think most of us are making our parenting decisions based on what other people think. As I said last week, I also don't think that our choices are a reflection of condemning anyone who chooses differently. Actually, I believe that those who are outspoken about certain topics are usually the people who have struggled themselves. They just want to tell other parents what they wish someone would have told them. Whether it's car seat safety, breastfeeding, or something else, the motivation behind the activism is often the same and rarely (I believe) comes from a desire to feel superior to anyone else.

Anyway, that's enough about that. Next I'll be stirring up more trouble with some discussion about birth. Seriously. I've just read an eye-opening new book about birth in the United States and I'll get to share some of that very soon. Then I'll zip up my flame proof suit and hide under my bed.

P.S.-Military families- If you have a minute, go over to my Blog Frog community and read the post from Annette. She's a military mom and her son is about to deploy. She's having a hard time and could really use any helpful tips or advice from those of you who have experience dealing with deployments. Do any of you military moms know of a way she can connect with other mothers facing a child's deployment?
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