A Mother and Her Sons

The Male Gender is Heavily Weighted In Our Family

I was a baby boy making machine in my younger years and gave birth to three absolutely amazing sons. I am already a Nona to three grandchildren, two of whom are male and we are expecting Master Xander in August, which will make me a Nona to four, three of them grandsons.

You know you’re a mom of boys when:

  • You find yourself willingly holding a living wiggling worm, bug, frog, or lizard and not running around screaming like a little girl.
  • You cannot remember what you ate for breakfast, yet you can inherently transform a Transformer without instructions.
  • You spend much of your days in a fog of fart odor and some of it is proudly yours.
  • You know the pain of stepping on a Lego, Tonka Truck, or Transformer.
  • There’s a finger in your eye, your ear, or up your nose and it’s not yours.
  • You find yourself telling the boys “No, you cannot ride the dog.”
  • You make it an annual family outing to go see the Monster Trucks with the special Meet and Greet passes.
  • You are on a first name basis with your doctors and the nurses at the hospital who provide the slings, splints, and casts.
  • You cannot find a pair of jeans or pants for them that do not have grass stains or holes in the knees.
  • There’s a love you feel for your son that’s too great and sometimes too scary to fully explain or even comprehend.

Being a mom of boys can quickly change you from being a girlie girl to one that throws on a ball cap, jeans and t-shirt to face the day.  The mode of adapting to boy stuff when you were once all about girly stuff can somewhat be a challenging aspect of motherhood.  Why, you ask?  Good question, read on.

Moms Must…Accept Messiness

Messy

The Boy enjoying his 1st birthday cake. He’ll be 18 this July.  Where does the time go?

Under every circumstance you must be prepared for a mess or messy boys.  They are not conscientious about tracking mud in the house when they run through it like the Tazmanian Devil, spraying water all over the bathroom during wash-up time or how they eat their birthday smash cake.

Boys will be boys and I cannot stress enough to moms or future moms of boys, not to be surprised by what you find in the aftermath of your son.  You could find boogers smeared on the walls (I just threw up a little in my mouth), urine on the floor around the toilet (were they really aiming?), or spilling their cereal on the floor like pigs at feeding time while you were trying to ready yourself for work.  Regardless of how much training boys receive, they still find their own way of doing somethings.

…Rethink Safety

SafetyChildren Boys (I can only draw on my experience from raising boys.)  Ahem…boys have their own level of safety, and it is called NONE!  They are afraid of “nuthzink” (said with a Colonel Klink accent.)

Boys hop on stuff, climb stuff, jump over stuff and may break stuff…their stuff, like a bone or two.  Since the time of this picture, the little guy who is jumping over the chair ended up breaking one of his ankles three times.  Once by dropping off of the monkey bars while playing at daycare, once when skipping up and down the driveway when he should have been helping his mom (me) carry groceries into the house and lastly when he was in an automobile accident that almost took his life.

So moms, no matter how much you safety proof the house or prepare your children for the future, accidents will happen, so you’ll need to learn quickly how to deal with blood, scrapes, broken bones, and broken hearts.

…Enjoy Cleanliness When You Can

BathTimeBath time was always a time of play for my boys because I knew if I made bath time fun, they’d want to take their baths…it worked thank goodness because they sure required a lot of them growing up.  Be prepared for a good soaking when the splashing starts and have a plentiful stock of body wash because boys like bubbles just as much as little girls.

…Think Farts Are Funny

By the grace of God I was born with toilet humor (I also had two older brothers who helped cultivate my acceptance of such.)  My brothers conditioned me to think farts and farting were funny…thank goodness I thought they were.  Having this mindset will make life much easier and happier for everyone involved; but we must remember there is a time and place for everything, right?  Yeah, right!!!

…Understand Boys Can Cause Drama

Didn't get his way.

Didn’t get his way.

Oh no, don’t be surprised when your little man pitches a fit when he doesn’t get his way.  They can cause just as much drama as little girls, but we must remember NOT to laugh when they are squealing at the top of their lungs and we’re thinking “he’d sure give a girl a run for her money with that octave.”

Oh yeah, boys will stop what they’re doing and throw things or walk across the room to pick up a toy so they can throw it just to demonstrate they can pitch a good dramatic hissy-fit.  Remember moms, this too shall pass (said giggling.)

…Know Their Little Boy Would Rather Be Naked

Mom’s have to be okay with their little boy running around the house in the nude because if they had their way, they would be naked more often than clothed.  Be prepared for your son to come into a room buck naked, letting it all hang out, putting it in the breeze because it will inevitably happen and probably at a time when you are entertaining guests.  Just something for you to think about.

…Remember They Grow Up In A Blink of An Eye

Yes, boys will be boys, but eventually they will grow up, graduate high school, marry their high school sweetheart, and move away.  Mom’s cherish your sons, love them, hug them, tell them bedtime stories, nurture them, and tell them you love them to the moon and back as often as you can.

GrowUp

Dave & Stacey

 

…Remember Children Are Our Gift from God

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Teach Your Boy’s Some General Guidelines/Rules

  1. Teach them to put the toilet seat down, not just the actual seat but the lid also and to not let it slam. (Speaking of slamming, you might also want to teach them to “hold” the seat up whilst pee-peeing so the seat doesn’t slam down on their tallywhacker they had resting on the toilet bowl.)
  2. Teach them to adjust, scratch, or pick at their privates in private.
  3. Teach them that it is okay to cry.  Not to pitch a hissy-fit because they didn’t get their way, but to express their genuine hurt through tears.
  4. Teach them that relationships are important and that it is okay to talk about how they are feeling or what upset them. Your future daughters-in-love will thank you and because of your willingness to teach them this behavior, they are likely to have a strong, long, and happy marriage.
  5. Teach him how to clean the house and prepare age appropriate meals/dishes.  He will thank you someday, because we all know there is nothing better than a man who can cook and doesn’t mind doing housework.
  6. Teach your sons to be obedient to God, polite and respectful of others and their property.
  7. Teach them to have a sense of clean humor, laughter truly is the best medicine.
  8. Let him express himself how he wants.  It’s his life, he’s like no other.  If he wants to play tea, have a miniature kitchen set or wear a tutu, let him.  It will either be a passing phase or he will never struggle with his identity.  (Moms, most times they grow out of it.  All three of my boys had tea sets and toy kitchens.)

TBT: Summer 1980

Summer 1980

This was a great summer when I spent a week or so with my Ft. Myers family. Although we only lived a few hours away from each other, we rarely got to spend time together, so any time together was special.  This particular summer I remember taking a bus from Tampa to Ft. Myers.  Among many other activities, my cousin Betty and I spent our days hunting coconuts (yes, coconut trees grow in Ft. Myers, FL) and after a laborious effort, were able to drink the refreshing and tasty milk from the fruit.  To this day I can/will only eat fresh coconut meat and do not like the dried stuff…ewe!

I believe it was during this trip that my cousins Steve and Scott, along with some of their friends took me with them to see the newly released Star Wars.  I LOVED that movie…classic!

Me and my favorite cousin, Summer 1980

Summer 1980

Music for the Soul, Mind, and Spirit

Growing up in a house where music was always on the radio or playing from the stereo, you could say I was exposed to a vast array of genres and therefore enjoy all types of music; especially those from the 1960s and 1970s.

Burt Bacharach

burt_bacharachThere are a lot (and I mean a lot) of songs that I grew up with that derived from one extremely talented man, Mr. Burt Bacharach.  Although you may not be aware, I am certain you have heard his songs.  Mr. Bacharach worked with many talented singers from The Carpenters and Dionne Warwick to Herb Alpert, B.J. Thomas, and Christopher Cross, all amazing artists in their own right, who brought his words to life through song.

Soul, Mind, and Spirit

One of my most favorite songs from my younger years was “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head.”  I had no clue who wrote or even sung the song, just knew I like the catchy tune.  While researching for this post, I read somewhere that Mr. B wrote (or co-wrote) and/or composed more than 300 songs in his lifetime (hopefully he still has more in the works for us.)  What an accomplishment! (Coming from someone who cannot even begin imagining of composing just the lyrics for one song, much less the composition of the instruments.)

I have sweet sweet memories of being a barefoot kid, walking down the street with friends (Gayla and Mia) while we listened to music on our handheld transistor radio.  We heard and sang to songs like Raindrops Keep Falling, Walk on By, I Need Your Love, and I Say a Little Prayer, just to name a few.

It still amazes me at how quickly a song I hear even today transports me back to a specific time in my life. like it just happened yesterday.  I can see the scene; for instance me, Gayla and Mia, walking down a side street in Gibsonton, FL from Gayla’s house back to mine where we would talk about boys, play records and do-up each others hair.  It was summer, we were wearing sleeveless shirts and short-shorts, the pavement was hot so we tried to stay on the grass next to the road.

Even at the age of forty-eight I can hear a song and think of special times in my life, such as my first ever Yanni or Tim McGraw concert.  I distinctly remember who I was with, what we were wearing and other aspects of the day.

Music has a way of feeding our soul, making our mind recall special times, and lifting our spirits. I would just dread living in a world without the Sound of Music” (which by they way is a move that I’ve yet to see) around us and in movies, oh how boring would life be?

The Music

For a complete list of his songs, you can visit the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

According to the Washington Post, Burt’s top 10 songs of all time are:

  • 10. “Walk On By” — This was Dionne Warwick’s third Top 40 hit reaching No. 6 in May 1964. The song was ranked No. 70 on the Rolling Stone list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
  • 9. “On My Own” — Written by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager, this song was made a No. 1 hit in 1986 on the Billboard charts by Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald. It was the biggest single for both performers.
  • 8. “What the World Needs Now Is Love” — After Dionne Warwick turned it down, Kentucky-born Jackie DeShannon recorded the song and it reached No. 7 on the U.S. charts in 1965. Coldplay has performed the song. Miss DeShannon later had a bigger hit with her 1969 song “Put a Little Love in Your Heart”.
  • 7. “That’s What Friends Are For” — Carole Bayer Sager wrote the lyrics for this song, which Rod Stewart sang for the “Night Shift” soundtrack. The song is best known for the version Dionne Warwick and Friends (Elton John, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder) recorded and reached No. 1 in the U.S. in 1985 to raise funds for AIDS research.
  • 6. “This Guy’s in Love With You” — Primarily known for his trumpet playing, Herb Alpert sang the lead vocals on this excellent 1968 song and scored his first top hit. It was also the first No. 1 hit for the record label A&M that Mr. Alpert founded with Jerry Moss in 1962.
  • 5. “Anyone Who Had a Heart” —Dionne Warwick had a No. 8 hit and her first Top 10 single with this song in the U.S. in 1964. Cilla Black, a friend of the Beatles in Liverpool, scored a No. 1 hit in the U.K. with her version of the tune. Her cover became the biggest female hit of the 1960s in the U.K. Petula Clark had a No. 1 hit with the song in Spain.
  • 4. “Do You Know the Way to San Jose” — The song became one of Dionne Warwick’s biggest international hits peaking at No. 8 in the U.K., Ireland, and Canada in 1968. It reached No. 10 on the Billboard charts and Miss Warwick won her first Grammy with the song. Hal David, who wrote the lyrics, had a special interest in San Jose, Calif., having been stationed there while in the Navy.
  • 3. “I Say A Little Prayer” —Dionne Warwick had a No. 4 hit with the song in 1967. Aretha Franklin also recorded the song, reaching No. 10 in August 1968.
  • 2. “Arthur’s Theme” (The Best That You Can Do) — Performed by Christopher Cross, the song was the theme song for the Dudley Moore and Liza Minnelli film “Arthur,” for which it won an Academy Award. It reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts. The song was a collaboration between Mr. Bacharach, Mr. Cross, Carole Bayer Sager and Peter Allen.
  • 1. “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” — Ray Stevens was first offered the opportunity to record this song for the film “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford, but turned it down. B.J. Thomas recorded the song for the film and it became a No. 1 hit in 1969. The song won an Academy Award for best original song and became a No 1 hit on the Billboard charts.

His Life, His Wife, His Child

Burt-AngieI may have heard before, but it did not really register with me until I was researching for this post that Burt was married to Angie Dickinson and together they had a daughter whom they named Nikki. Nikki was born three months premature in 1966, lived to the age of 41 when she took her own life.  She battle a long life of mental challenges, only for those around her to realize all too late that she was fighting Asperger’s (which is a form of autism.)

For more about Burt’s life, his career, and his music, you can read Burt’s story in his words.

American pianist and composer Burt Bacharach was to receive the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song from President Obama on Wednesday night along with his longtime lyricist, Hal David. It is named for George and Ira Gershwin. (Associated Press)

American pianist and composer Burt Bacharach was to receive the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song from President Obama on Wednesday night along with his longtime lyricist, Hal David. It is named for George and Ira Gershwin. (Associated Press)

Thanks Burt for the great music and memories.

A thing called “MeTV”

MeTV = Memorable Entertainment

As I spend countless hours tossing and turning in bed each night (Ms. Insomnia instead of Mr. Sandman has been my bed mate for quite a while now, however that is an entirely different post); many months ago I was scanning the boob-tube searching for something that would offer “white” noise and hopefully…sleep inducing .  Even with the 500+ channels to choose from, my television watching is mostly contained to the big four, NBC, ABC, CBS, and TNT.  I occasionally meander over to the Hallmark and Lifetime channels to see what movies are slated for the weekend and should one or two pique my interest, I’ll set the digital recorder for viewing at a later time.

So, on one of my channel surfing excursions, I found myself wandering in the 180 channel range and before my eyes I saw in the program guide “Family Affair”.  Quickly I hit the info button to see if it was indeed the “Family Affair” from my childhood that immediately flashed in my mind.  I was pleasantly surprised when my secret hopes were confirmed. (I always had a crush on Brian Keith.)

Some of the characters who provided much entertainment and enjoyment in my youth….and 40-some years later are displayed blow.  They are still entertaining my sleepless nights/mornings.

How many do you remember?

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A Childhood Memory

There are a few shows that have yet to resurface on MeTV; however, I am hopeful they will cycle through at some point in time since the Fall lineup of shows is a little different from what was aired earlier this year in the Spring.

Herman Munster

One show in particular that I would love, love, love to see return would be The Munsters.  Herman, his childlike antics and his laugh were so genuinely funny; he was a kid at heart.

As a kid, something that always struck me as odd were the “other characters” (actually the story line) on the show.  The story line characters thought the Munster family was a little “off“, but really never commented that they were an off-shoot of “freaks”, especially for the 1960’s.

Marilyn, far right

Then you had the niece Marilyn who was perfectly “normal” in comparison to the rest of the family.

Not that it really made any sense to me then, but their address of 1313 Mockingbird Lane fit them perfectly.

Grandpa

And then there was Grandpa…well let’s just say Grandpa could have carried the show practically on his own with all of his crazy shenanigans.

Uncle Fester

Now that I think about it, Grandpa from The Munsters and Uncle Fester from The Addams Family were each other’s counterparts, just in different shows.

Entertaining “Me” with MeTV

So, on my long nights when sleep eludes this body yet again, I am ever so grateful for the technology of digital recording and MeTV.  Not only do the shows occupy my nocturnal hours, they also let me revisit a time in my childhood where there were no cares in my world (oh yeah…and I got to watch groovy shows like these).

Birthdays!

Birthdays!.  I just had to share.  This is how I also remember my birthdays, except we also played the Hokey Pokey.  Ahhh…those WERE the days!!

Thanks cuz for jogging such wonderful memories!