Come on in!

I'm so glad you have come across my little nook in the cyber world. Here I strive to be real and inspire. I talk about my walk in faith as a Christian, motherhood, the loss of my child, and anything else that crosses my mind. Join me for a minute and relax?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Block in The Road to My Smile

I previously posted that I was going to the dentist this past Friday. I wanted to keep my friends and family updated with my blog. So, here's the latest update.

I woke Friday morning and decided to double check the Aspen Dental website to ensure that I had all needed paper work for the appointment. As I was checking this out, I noticed a Questions and Answers page that I didn't notice before I made my appointment. As I was reading over this page, I noticed that it said they didn't take my "insurance". In fact, they don't consider state benefits as insurance. I had no choice but to cancel with them.

I decided that I would call the insurance company to see what dentists took this coverage. This way it'd save me time and in the long run gas. I found out there's two in my area that accepts it. That was good news. But the young lady I spoke with wanted to go over the coverage with me. She told me that I have the lowest benefits a person could have. This means, that no matter what dentist I go to, getting my teeth done wasn't going to happen. They only pay for examinations every 6 months and basic root canals. Well, if you know my situation, this isn't what I need. I need more than that.

So, now I have to fill out a paper to send back to the assistance office to see if they can help me any further to have my teeth fixed before they kill me.

If you don't really know how bad my teeth are... let me explain...

I am not a doctor so these are only guesses... I suffer from depression and anxiety disorder. I do believe this was caused because of how I feel about my appearance when it comes to my teeth. My body hurts. I feel tired all the time. And my face just doesn't feel quite right. I am in constant pain. It doesn't stop with any over the counter pain meds. I am on a liquid diet which means soups for me. I mainly drink coffee, milk, and tea to help with the hunger. (There's only so much a person can take of soups).

So, there you have it. The wonderful update. Thanks for reading.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Cardboard Boxes and Imaginations

This is a continued blog from yesterday. I wanted to share some great memories that I have from my past. I just love how children can find the simplest things in this world to amuse themselves.

When my sister and I were younger, our dad gave us two boxes. We could do whatever we wanted with the boxes. We put our heads together and came up with the idea of making cars. She chose a Bronco and I chose a Tracker. We went to town. We used our scissors, string, and what not... and a few hours later.. we had our Lil box cars. Our dad even went to the extent of adding the final touch to both of our new projects... steering wheels made with plastic lids from ice cream buckets.

As we played, my sister's seemed to have no issues. Mine on the other hand... wasn't so great. The strings that I put on mine to place over my shoulders to hold my Tracker up....kept coming undone... then the steering wheel kept falling off...

All the while, my sister was out in the yard enjoying hers. This mad me mad. I began crying.... and that was it. I yelled that Trackers are junk and walked away.

To this day, we joke of this situation. This was one of many times my younger sister and I played together. We not only helped each other use our imaginations but we also created a memory that has lasted us a life time.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mud, Fun, And Stupidity

As humans, we love to laugh. Even if it's at the expense of others. You can't deny it.. you've laughed at someone who has done some rather stupid things. Such as trip over a flat surface, fall up the steps, snort while laughing, or jumbling up words as one spoke... I've done pretty much every one of these. I'm a klutz at heart. But there are some things that other's have done that really stick out to me... memories that will last me my life time adding a smile to my face when thinking of them.

Let me share one with you. Maybe it will add a smile to your face. Enjoy!

A few summers ago, I was living with my mom and her husband. It was a beautiful day that followed a rainy one. We lived out in a very spacious area with wooded area's all around. My step dad's best friend owned a four-wheeler. One thing came to our minds on this boring afternoon. We wanted to have some fun. My step-dad called his friend and asked if he minded if we took his four-wheeler out. He said we could. So, I went into my step brother's room, put on some of his old clothes along with his "work" boots. (I didn't have any clothing that I would want to separate with if we did find some mud holes.)

Once we were ready, we loaded up the four-wheeler in the back of the Ranger, and went out looking for some mud. My step-dad grew up in the area so he had some spots in mind. His parents lived like 5 Min's down the road and we parked in their driveway. We unloaded and took off. I came to find myself in an old mine area where there were puddles EVERYWHERE!! As we rode, my step-dad didn't take it easy on the mud spots.. but the things is... they weren't doing the job. We needed to find some mud spots where we could get dirty.

As we rounded a corner, there it was. Our spot. The place we were looking for. We were searching for about 20 to 30 mins for this one mud puddle. The puddle took up the entire pathway. All it screamed at me was... FUN!! My step-dad took a U-turn, lined up with this puddle, and hit the gas. The wind was hitting my face so hard... my eyes were tearing up. I had no control... all I did was smile... finally a boring day turned into a fun one... well that was until we hit the middle of the puddle... it turns out... it was deeper than we thought. The four-wheeler bogged out and was stuck. I climbed off to let my step-dad try to use his weight to get it out but all that did was dig the hole deeper.

After a few minutes of him trying, it was really stuck. My step-dad had the idea to walk back to his parents house to get his truck (which was a four wheel drive) to pull it out. We went back, picked up the truck, and went back. When we got back, we realized we didn't have any ropes or anything. My step-dad decided to use a ratchet strep. He hooked it up and went to town. That didn't work. He was afraid the ratchet strap would break if he used it as a rope. All ideas we had failed, the more we tried... without realizing it.. the more the truck sunk into the mud. Once we realized it, the truck was also stuck in the mud.

We gave up trying to get the four wheeler out of the mud and our attention went to the truck. Without the truck, this meant that we had no way back home. After sitting and thinking about what we should do next, we noticed four others in the distance, on top of a hill watching us. They were probably laughing at how our luck wasn't in our favor. They came to try and help. They took the ratchet straps from the back of the truck and hooked them up to both their four-wheelers/truck.

This wasn't getting us anywhere. So, they decided to try to get the other four wheeler out. After some tugging and pulling, the four wheeler came free. Their attention went back to the truck... this time all the four wheelers were used to try to "free" the truck.

Nothing seemed to help. We had no choice but to call Mom. She had a jeep. That surely would be able to help us get the truck free. Let me remind you that the Ranger was a four wheel drive. Just thinking about our day, makes me laugh... but that's not the end of it... my mom came with her Jeep and was mad. She babied her jeep. She hated the idea of using it to pull the truck out because she didn't want anything to happen to it. Now, we had the jeep and all four-wheelers hooked up to the truck, with my step dad in the truck, trying to get it free. After a few attempts, it finally came out. Everyone was covered in mud. (Well, except for my mom. She refused to get out of her jeep.)

After all this was said and done, our fun was over. Mom told us it was time for us to go home. She was still angry. It seems like we were grounded for the remaining part of the day. My step-dad forgot to load up the ramps to put the four wheeler back into the truck. He got the bright idea to just jump the front end of the four wheeler onto the back of the truck.... I had a bad feeling as well as my mom. But he insisted that all would be fine. As the front end came down on the back of the truck, the tail gate was ripped off. (Pure stupidity which we laugh at now) Common sense would have told you that would happen. After a few minutes of thinking and fighting, we were loaded up and went home.

And Boy were we in trouble!!! Mom wouldn't let us in the house covered in mud. She made us clean off with the hose and she had the honor of doing it. She laughed at our discomfort.

But after all of this, I have a wonderful memory of how stupid we were that day.... and it was FUN!!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fun things to do while it's raining

As I was sitting this morning drinking my coffee and looking out the window, I began to think. It's been raining here for almost a week. The ground is muddy and the air is damp. Not a good mixture to go out and play in. So, I began to think of some fun things to do around my house with my daughter. Here's the list I came up with:

1.) Cuddle up on the couch and watch your child's favorite show. (This always leaves the memories warm and fuzzy when looking back at them.)

2.) Create something with various objects throughout your house. (We made butterfly's using clothespins, coffee filters, glue, and markers. Since her room is done as a garden, these added in perfectly.)

3.) Play a game. (Games are always a way to make everyone laugh, regardless of the age.)

4.) Bath the dog. (This not only is fun for a young child but the dog enjoys a clean bath too. Everyone wins here.It also teaches responsbility early.)

I still have a lot more idea's to go about doing. But seeing how it's 11 in the morning, and we already did the top four, I will have to add more to my list once we do them. All I can say is that it doesn't matter what my daughter and I do, I just enjoy spending time with her. Watching a child laugh is one of the best sounds/scenes in this world.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

It's Time

I have come to the conclusion today that I can't let this go on any longer. I have written a blog in the past about my dental problems. Today, while eating a mini pepperoni roll two of my teeth broke in half. Thus, causing me even more pain. I have been in non-stop pain for the past few days and I can't take it any more.

My daughter came up to me today after my teeth broke and I was crying in pain/disbelief. (Pasta and breads are pretty much the only solids I can eat) Now, I'm afraid I am only down to a liquid (soups) diet. She looked at me, took the roll out of my hand, and placed it on my napkin. Then, she put her hands softly on each side of my face and looked into my eyes. Next, she said, "Mommy, we need to get this fixed. I don't like you crying like this."

This is when it hit me. Not only are my teeth slowly killing me (emotionally and probably physically) but they also effect her as well. So, I have made my decision... it's time to see if I can actually get them done. I wasn't able to before because I didn't have dental coverage. Now, I have state insurance and I pray that they will help me.

It's taken me so long to make this decision because of fear. Fear of being judged. Fear of being able to afford everything. Fear of the recovery. I pray, that if I could only have one thing done in my life, my dream to have my smile back, will be done.

I will keep writing on this process and hopefully it will have a beautiful light at the end of this very long tunnel. Then, I will be able to smile once again.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

GPS and a Redneck

While brainstorming for this blog, I decided to start with the definition for Redneck but came up short. I began googling different websites to see what came up. I even tried using the modern definition to see if anything remotely close came up. After about 20 minutes of looking around, I decided to give my own definition of a redneck.

Redneck- (noun) Person who, when under pressure, turns to what he/she knows best... cursing, yelling, and talking in a language that only another redneck can understand. They normally live in the country and like to drink beer while laughing at each other doing remotely stupid things.

Now with that said, let's place the said Redneck into the heart of a big city with lots of traffic and not a clue of how to use a GPS. I am personally a witness of this one and let me tell you... it's something I will never forget.

Let me tell you about this, maybe it just might make you laugh as it did me. I had to take my daughter to Pittsburgh's Children's Hospital in PA. I don't drive so I asked my mother and her husband to take me. My mother and I were born and raised in PA so we are a little familiar with Pittsburgh. Personally, we dislike going there because it's very confusing for someone who hardly makes that trip. My step-father was born and raised in the wonderful hills of West Virginia. Our Redneck in this story. I was excited to hear that he'd be coming along with us because his sense of direction is usually pretty good. My mom went to Map Quest and got the directions we needed for our trip. On our way, my step-dad and mom decided to try out their GPS on the cell phone.

The woman's voice on the GPS got her name, Lola. While taking this trip, my step-dad talked to "Lola" like she was really there. (Mind you this entire time all I wanted to hear the GPS say was "recalculating" because of the Mayhem commercial I have seen on TV. I just love those commericals). Anyway, our trip up was fine. We arrived at our destination without problems or getting too lost.

It was the way home that has me laughing today. We pulled out of the parking garage and the GPS was set to take us home. Well, Lola got a bit confused. I heard the word "recalculating" so many times... even I couldn't laugh at it anymore. Before we knew it, we were going up and down streets we already were on several times. I noticed it first. I mentioned the fact that I saw a building we passed already. (We passed it several times.) This is when my step-dad (the redneck) decided to take matter's into his own hand and "fire" Lola from doing the navigating. My step-dad starting looking at buildings, street signs, and other various objects around us. Taking a guess as to which direction to go into. (In the meantime, my four year old daughter kept repeating "Pappy we're lost.) It didn't take her much time to finally get bored of the same streets and fall asleep.

From the back seat, all I could hear was cursing in a low voice and my step-dad saying that eventually he'd find our way out. My mom continued to play with the GPS. She even asked.. "I wonder.... seeing how we are going in this direction... I wonder if I can confuse Lola by quickly turning around in my seat." This started the "let's make this fun instead of stressful" while we are lost.

About an hour later.. Many curse words and yelling at people later... I decided to call my fiance and see if he could get a map of Pittsburgh up on the computer. Then, we could just use his directions to find our way out. He did manage to get us back on track until we came to a red light that was at one very confusing intersection. My step-dad was sure he knew which way my fiance was talking about. So, we quieted down and began to relax. The light turned green, my step dad hit the gas, and what do you know... confusion and congestion of traffic... we went the wrong way AGAIN!!! My step dad once again began cussing and blowing off steam... the things he said (which I won't re post on here) had my mom and I rolling with laughter. He looked at road signs and saw the road we needed to be on was to our left. We were going to end up going east... when we needed to go west to get back to the interstate.

My step dad decided to follow the signs for another few miles.... until he stared seeing signs for the road that headed in the west. He followed the road signs to find out... we pretty much did a U-turn and was going back through town AGAIN!!! He remained on this very busy road because with all the other traffic... it looked helpful. (Let me remind you... my mom was still playing with the GPS, my daughter is still sleeping, and I'm laughing so hard... I'm crying.)

A few miles later, we see the tunnels (which is a sign of the right way and pretty much the way out of Pittsburgh) ... the reaction my step dad had ... was like a child in a candy store after their parent told them they could get some candy... if he could have gotten out of the car and jumped up and down... I think he would have. As we were going through the tunnels, my step dad beeped the horn over and over again because he didn't need the GPS to find his way...

Moral of the story.... when riding with a Redneck.. just let them go off of instinct... and don't mix them with technology... the equation will end in disaster... guess living out in the "boon docks" has it's perks... a great sense of direction... and Lola not getting on your nerves with the "recalculating" tad bit.

Well, that's my story. Hope you enjoyed and I will see ya tomorrow.

Friday, May 13, 2011





a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.


a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.


sexual passion or desire.

I was always taught when I was younger that true love is rare to find. When it’s actually found, it seems that your world won’t go on without that person or at least that is what it will seem like. It’s an unexplainable feeling to most. Love is exhilarating. The feelings seem to never end or die for those who actually found it. In my mind, love is so many things and so much more than what actually meets the human eye. It’s so much deeper than what human beings can actually explain.

I have been in only a few relationships where I would have believed love existed. But I think that once two people have been together for a certain amount of time, the true meaning of love becomes questionable. Do we really find love in a life time? Or is it something that only so many people in this world experience. In my experience, the beginnings of relationships are exciting. When there’s a strong physical attraction, I think this can trick the mind into believing it’s love. Then, after so long, “love” turns into an addiction to that person.

I think that people grow to what they open themselves up to in the beginningof the relationship and in the long run find themselves disappointed. Then, there are those people that actually found true love.  In reality, I’m no expert on love. But I can talk from experience. I still believe I have yet to find and experience true love. I don’t believe love is materialistic. Yes, buying flowers, jewelry, and things helps those to express love. 

But what happens when there’s really no love left but the addiction is still there? A few examples: Couples tend to go their separate ways and do their own “thing.” But the addiction is has become so strong that neither seem to realize it’s really not love anymore. Other activities in life become more important then that person.  Hobby’s tend to become the distraction at times. Examples: gaming, reading, writing, friends, family…. All these tend to over ride the need and want of a person in a relationship where love has failed to exist.  The new and exciting is gone and this is what seems to be left.

In conclusion, when in Love, I feel that the need to give those feelings attention and time is so important.  Taking the time to nourish those feelings help them to grow stronger and makes it harder for the Love to diminish.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Think before you speak....


What would you say, if I asked you what this picture meant to you? What do you think of the young lady in the photo? When I look at this photo, I see a beautiful young lady who looks confident and happy. I see someone who takes pride in herself and cares about her outer appearance. I see a young lady that is proud of who she is. I see someone out going and active.

But what if I added in another photo of this young lady

Has your opinion changed of her yet? I ask you the same questions... What do you get from this photo? I would say a young lady who seems to be lost in deep thought. Maybe. she's thinking about something that troubles her or maybe stresses her. Then, I think maybe she just made the photo look like this on purpose.

But what if I was to tell you that the young lady in the photo is myself. I'm nothing as the above stated. I suffer from depression. I suffer from anxiety. I have low self- esteem. I care about how others see me. (Even though deep inside I know what other's think shouldn't bother me). I am a perfectionist. I lack a smile in the second picture for a reason. Most of my teeth are gone. Not by the lack of taking care of them or the lack of wanting to take care of them. I have suffered from dental problems since I was a child. The dentist I saw most of my childhood assured my parents that by the time I was 25, I would need to have all my teeth extracted and dentures put into place. Well, he was right.

I am a person. I have feelings. People tend to forget this when I'm out in public. They stare. They whisper and this is after I have given them a friendly smile. A smile that one whispered as I walked by: nasty and un-needed. She should have done something about them. Who in their right mind would let their teeth get that bad?

I would like you to stop all thinking at this very moment. Take in every word from here within and feel it. Don't just read it. But actually feel it. Try to put yourself in my position: I brushed my teeth like I was supposed to as I grew. I got regular dental appointment when I could. I used mouth wash. I used floss. None of that worked. My teeth weren't too bad until I got pregnant at 18 years old. That's when things really changed for me. It all started with the chipping of my front tooth on the right. Most would call that the "fang" tooth. I was eating a candy bar when it broke in half. I called the dentist right away and asked if I could get this fixed. He replied to me that I would need my OBGYN to approve of the procedure that needed to be done. My OB said that he didn't think at that time would be the best... because I was considered high risk. I was considered a teen mom. I didn't have a choice but to wait until the arrival of my daughter. Time had passed by and more teeth had broken. Then, the time for my daughter's arrival came.

After the stay in the hospital from giving birth and finally being discharged.. I went home. I have all the hope in the world of getting the few teeth fixed that had fallen apart during my pregnancy. I called to make an appointment.

When I went in for my appointment to see what the dentist wanted to do, the secretary of the office came in and brought to my attention that I no longer had health insurance. She asked me if I was willing to pay. I took that last of the money I had to cover the appointment that far and left. I was so embarrassed. I went directly home and called the insurance company. They informed me that seeing how I was over the age of 18 and no longer pregnant, my insurance had run out and they would be picking up my daughter instead. This really bummed me. My fiance and I weren't married.. therefore, I could not be added to his health plan and the state no longer accepted me. On a low budget, I could not afford to purchase health insurance on my own.

Everything went downhill from there. I felt over-whelmed but didn't let that bother me seeing how I have a daughter. She needed me anyway. I wanted to focus on the breast feeding so I could "master" it and try to give my daughter the best start possible.

As time went on, my teeth continued to "disappear." One day I had a major tooth ache and needed a tooth pulled. My step-dad said that it didn't matter to him how much the cost.. he would cover the cost of the visit and extraction... to get it taken care of. So, I did. This is when I found out just where I stood when it came to my teeth. I went to West Virginia's Dental School at West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV. This was one of the worst experiences in my life. The tooth they extracted turned out to be very brittle and came out in pieces.

Over time, I tried to get state medical but my condition wasn't bad enough. At the time, I resided in West Virginia where I was approved for Adult Basic- Medically Needy Only. All this means is that nothing is covered unless it's life threatening. In short terms, this wasn't and didn't help me to get my teeth fixed. Now, by this time I lived all day, every day in pain. I still do.

I have tried repeatedly to get my teeth fixed. All I got was "road blocks" each way I turned. Things happened and I move back to my home state, PA. I am to the point of where I can't really eat. When I do eat, it's mainly soups or things I very carefully eat. The decay of my teeth have caused other health problems. I now suffer from bell's palsy in the right side of my face. My eyes have gotten worse and my ear's hurt all the time. My eyes have even gotten to the point of being very sensitive to sun light. (Creating the problem of taking my daughter outside.)

I write this blog because I want other's to understand. The next time you look at some one who seems a little different to you or not up to the "standards". I ask you not to judge but offer a helping hand. Everyone has a story. Some are more difficult then others. But when it comes down to it, we are all the same. We are all humans with feelings. Remember, before you judge another... ask yourself.. what's their story.

Expert Advice on Skin Care for Moms

By ModernMom Staff on April 4, 2011

ModernMoms have to do it all, including taking care of their skin and making sure they look gorgeous! Well, maybe us mothers don't look like Natalie Portman or Halle Berry everyday (makeup and a cute outfit are definitely not necessary when I'm taking the kids to school in the morning!), but other than that, we try our best to slap on some mascara and hide the sneaky wrinkles. ModernMom had the opportunity to talk to Dr. Jody Levine, NYC-based dermatologist with Dial NutriSkin Lotions, who gave us some great tips on making your skin look as radiant as it can. Enjoy!

MM: What’s the best quality skin care line for moms on a budget?

Dr. Levine: When it comes to quality skin care, I go straight for good ingredients. You can typically find your "must haves" at the drugstore. For facial regimens, I recommend three key ingredients: an antioxidant, a broad spectrum SPF, and a retinol. Also, Dial has recently launched a line of NutriSkin lotions that are packed with healthy ingredients and offer varying levels of nutrition based on your skin type.

What’s the biggest mistake you see women commit in their skin care routine?

Constantly changing products. The more you change products, the more sensitive your skin is to the ingredients. This has contributed to the rise of rosacea in the recent years.

What skin care product should women use every day no matter what?

Put on a full spectrum SPF 30 or greater facial sun block. There is no question that the sun is number one cause of aging skin as well as skin cancer. Daily sun block should be a woman's best friend.

Which skin care products can be skipped in a busy morning routine?
I often skip eye cream since eye creams often make the eye makeup run. Stick to a great night time eye cream.

How should your skin care routine change between the seasons and depending on where you live? (summer vs. winter, dry desert vs. humid)

For the winter, people who live in regions with a cold dry winter must make sure to use facial products that are not too drying--like benzyl peroxide, for example. In the cold winter, moisturizing after a shower is essential to the face. In warmer months when the climate is less dry, there is more room for more drying acne regimens and moisturizing is not as essential.

What are the major problem areas that you see women facing in their skin?

Fine lines around the eyes and mouth are the biggest problem--they're the hardest to treat and usually require advance laser treatments. Start wearing sunglasses early to help avoid under eye wrinkles.

How do you feel about more drastic measures such as chemical peels and Botox to make skin appear younger?

I do not consider chemical peels or Botox drastic. Botox is one of the most common procedures that I do. It helps people look youthful, refreshed, healthy, and vibrant. Chemical peels are a great maintenance regimen for skin. For patients who get chemical peels, I build the strength of the peel each time they come so they do not leave with a red peeling face but with a beautiful glow.

What are some natural remedies to improve the condition of your skin?

Moisturizing is one of the most important things to do to improve the condition of skin. Healthy skin is filled with moisture. Dry skin not only looks bad, but is also more prone to infection and itching. Some people use natural moisturizers such as safflower oil and olive oil to moisturize their skin, however, I would be careful using them because of allergies to these products.

How should women combat multiple skin issues, such as acne and wrinkles, at the same time?

In my practice I recommend a glycolic and salicylic acetoner to use twice a day. Salicylic acid
combats acne. Glycolic acid combats acne and has anti-aging qualities. It removes dead skin and, overtime, promotes growth of collagen.

How to Transform Your Problem Child

By Lillian Downey on January 5, 2011
Working with your child's behavior can improve your relationship.

Parenting is difficult under any circumstances, but when your child has behavioral problems, you might dread each each day and doubt your abilities as a parent. The good news is that most child behavioral problems can be dealt with and improved at home once you know what you're dealing with and how to respond appropriately. Time, patience and a commitment to changing your own behaviors as well can improve your home situation and your child's school performance and social interactions.

Step 1

Have your child evaluated for conditions like attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), learning disabilities, developmental delays and even food allergies. If your child suffers from a condition that makes it difficult for him to learn, concentrate, sit still or feel well, he's likely to respond by acting out.

Step 2

Get you and your child on a set schedule and follow it each day. A schedule will provide structure a child can come to rely on. It also helps her feel more in control and secure. Have regular meal times, homework time, bath time, bed time and wake-up time to start. Develop morning and evening routines.

Step 3

Reward good behavior more often than you discipline negative behaviors. When your child follows the schedule or displays good behavior, lavish him with praise. Praise doesn't have to include rewards. Kind words, hugs and encouragement help your child feel good about himself and make him more likely to repeat the good behavior. Use stickers, reward charts, outings and other rewards as incentives for your child to tackle tasks he usually has difficulty completing.

Step 4

Discipline your child appropriately. Explain to your child why his behavior isn't appropriate and explain what will happen if he continues it. If the child doesn't listen to your warning, follow through with an age-appropriate punishment, like one minute in time-out per year of age or a loss of special privileges. Don't show anger or frustration when you discipline. Remain calm and in control. After the punishment, talk to your child about why she was disciplined.

Step 5

Distract your child or redirect her attention elsewhere if you see the potential for a problem behavior. You won't always be able to intervene before a problem arises, but this technique also helps keep a small problem from escalating into a crisis.

Step 6

Take time for yourself. When you're well-rested and refreshed, you have more patience and energy to devote to your child. Find a caregiver you trust and enjoy a little kid-free, adult time each week. Use this time to have fun and peruse your interests, not to grocery shop or run errands.

How to Adjust to Your Child's Temperament

By Peter J. Favaro, Ph.D on January 11, 2011

In the debate over whether we are more the products of our genetic makeup or the environment around us, the best conclusion science has to offer is that we are certainly strongly influenced by both.
To be an effective parent, it is very important to your success as well as your sanity to understand that your child came into this world with something child development and child behavior experts refer to as temperament.

Temperament is the genetic contribution to behavior and can, at least in part, reflect whether your child is an easy-going, good listening, calm, flexible, attentive and happy child; or whether he or she is difficult, stubborn, oppositional and even a grumpy child.
Parents are almost always aware of what their children's temperaments are, but often do not realize that difficult behavioral traits do not always come from faulty parenting but from a child who has a challenging behavioral predisposition. Before we knew that children had temperamental qualities, it was common for people who were experts in the field of child development to attribute the cause of difficult behavior in children to "parenting mistakes." Now we know that children who are spirited, oppositional, rigid, stubborn, and even aggressive can be born with tendencies to be that way.
Does this mean that behavior that is influenced by temperament is impossible to change? No, not at all, but it might mean that many, many more repetitions or corrections might be needed to create that change, and it might mean that your "workload" as a parent might be higher than a child with a more easy-going temperament.
We don't know why yet but some parents are blessed with children who are easier to raise. It is entirely possible to have several children with very different behavioral styles.
Here are some typical behavioral traits which can be influenced by temperament:

Shyness - doesn't seem to like to meet new people, anxious, doesn't like to be singled out. Does not want to socialize with peers.
Stubbornness - hates being told what to do. Won't do what others are doing in a group. Lashes out at authorities.
Intense - emotionally reactive, grandiose, likes to be the center of attention.

People pleasing - socially aware. Motivated to please. Compliant, sense of gentility. Wants to impress.
This is not a complete list but these are descriptions of some behaviors that are influenced by temperament.
Sometimes temperament is observed as a "tendency" in a child who might be a bit left or right of average and sometimes temperamental behavior shows itself as a moderate to extreme behavior. If your child is an extremely difficult child to raise, consider speaking with your pediatrician about it, or consulting a child behavior expert.
Turning Concept Into Action:

1. If you have a spirited, difficult child - pick and chose your battles. You will exhaust and frustrate yourself if you make correcting every bothersome behavior a battle of wills.

2. Remember that it is important to always try to bring your child's focus and energy to your level. Do not "stress up" to your child's level because chances are he or she will raise the bar and escalate the situation even more.

3. Try not to punish a child for what he cannot control. It is better to help your child improve behavior by rewarding effort.

How to Raise a Polite Child

While scanning Modern Mom's website I found an article that I think comes in handy for all parents at one time or another. So, I decided to pass it on. Below is the full article along with the link.

How to Raise a Polite Child
By Melissa Leonard on December 10, 2010

Have you ever wished your little one hadn’t blurted out that naughty word to his oh-so proper grandparents -- an expletive he evidently learned when you accidentally slammed your finger in the door last week? Have you ever watched your child eat and, in horror, had to ask yourself, “Did he just watch Animal Planet before this meal?” Has your child ever done something so embarrassing that the only thing you can do is smile politely, apologize and glance around you with the I-want-to-crawl-in-a-hole-right-now look? Welcome to the club!

Two women, both of whom have four-year-old daughters, recently described such an incident that left one red in the face and one gleaming with pride. While at their weekly mall-walking excursion, the moms decided to treat the girls to an ice cream cone. One of the girls decided she didn’t want a cone and flung it onto the floor in a fit of toddler angst, while the other took her cone, said “thank you” and began quietly licking away. If we could only press rewind and start again. Unfortunately, we can’t, but fortunately, there are some easy tactics you can use to help raise a more polite child. After all, a more polite child makes mommy and daddy less stressed. And who couldn’t use a little less stress in their day?
Our children live in a very busy world, where playdates, soccer practice and television shows come before some of the more crucial life lessons: Manners.

Our children will be the future politicians, businessmen and women, entrepreneurs, parents and key figures in society. Their success in life is directly related to what we instill in them now. It may be something as simple as knowing how to shake hands, how to introduce themselves to grownups or, as complicated as how to discreetly answer a question or accept a compliment. Giving a child this knowledge and confidence is one of greatest gifts you can give.

TIP #1 - Practice What You Preach
Our children are like parrots: They repeat what they hear. And let’s not forget that they are smarter than we often give them credit for. Although this is a wonderful thing (the parroting, that is), sometimes it can wildly backfire. It’s as if their minds are little tape recorders, saving our indiscretions for that oh-so-perfect-time to press play and embarrass you. And typically, it is usually in front of someone with whom we want to make a good impression.

Parents must follow the standard we expect for our children -- and this means all the time, not just when it is convenient. Reminding children to say please and thank you is great in theory, but if you yourself are not using the words at home, they will pick up on this.

On the other hand, if they hear you use foul language when you feel frustrated, don’t be surprised if that word slips from their mouth when they, too, are aggravated. How can we really get angry at a child when they have learned certain behavior from our own wrong actions? By keeping the standards up at home and instilling proper speech, you won’t have to worry about them in public or when they are not with you.
Tip #2 - Help Your Child Write Thank You Notes
Children are always receiving gifts for birthdays, holidays, from grandparents and relatives, etc. Whatever the gift may be, whether it is an item, a kindness shown or an unexpected favor, an acknowledgement is in order. There are no if’s or but’s about it. Gratitude for a gift is imperative. Showing thanks is done immediately (if possible), not many, many weeks or months later. The sooner the better. When someone has taken the time and energy to do something for you, it seems only natural that a show of gratitude is in order. This may be common sense, but it is far from common practice. And this means writing a thank you note (and not a pre-fab, fill-in-the-blank thank you!)

Helping your children to structure a thank you note is priceless. If they cannot yet write, you do the writing, while they draw a picture on it or decorate the card with stickers. Once they can write their names, they can sign their John Hancock on the card. Soon enough, they will be writing notes by themselves, in a timely fashion.
Raising a gracious child is worth every bit of the time and energy it takes to teach them. Then, hopefully, in 15 or so years (when your hard work of raising a child is over), you won’t get a call asking how to write a thank you for a job interview.

Tip #3 - No Means No
Most parents can relate to the five acts of Hamlet that they must go through after telling their toddler ‘No!’ Many parents tell their toddler that she can’t do or have something by saying “No”. They then ask her to stop, then they plead, then they deal with the ensuing tantrum or cry-fest and give up altogether and give in! Why did they bother saying ‘No’ in the first place?

Teaching your child to understand that ‘No’ means no, is not as hard as it may seem. As soon as your child can sit up and crawl, you can begin to teach him. If he goes near an electrical cord or touch something he should not, firmly tell him, “No!” Next, physically remove him from the object or situation. Of course, no one expects a 6-month old to understand and obey, but eventually he will learn that when Mommy says no, it is best to do as he is told. As your child begins to walk, it is helpful to get down to their level, have them look you in the eyes and firmly tell them ‘No’ when they are misbehaving.

Toddlers are much smarter than we often give them credit for being. If you say no and then give in, you are teaching them that crying and whining is the way to get what they want. Be consistent and in the long run, your hard work and effort will pay off. You will have a child that listens the first time. Children who listen are often more polite and will be looked upon favorably by other adults in their life.

Tip #4 - Extend that Paw!
A child who shakes hands is a rare sight these days, but it shouldn’t be this way. Learning to shake hands not only gives your child more confidence to interact with adults, but shows respect. You can start teaching your child to shake hands as early as one year of age. Cheerfully tell her to ‘shake hands and say hello’ and put her hand in the other person’s hand. This will instill the principle and make it second nature.

As she approaches the age of two, you should begin teaching her some basic handshaking rules. First, extend the right hand. Of course, there will be many, many times when you will have to say, “wrong hand.” Second, have her make eye contact with the person. How many times have you said hello to a child and he stares down at his feet? Making eye contact is something children struggle with, so gently lift your little one’s chin if necessary.

Third, teach her to squeeze the hand and say “Hi, nice to see you”. By age three, she will have it down pat and you can have your child add the name of the person they are shaking hands with. Have your child shake hands when they arrive and when they leave. Teaching your children to shake hands is a lesson that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. There is nothing worse than a fishy or pathetic handshake from a grown adult. It shows a lack of confidence and authority so teach them while they are young!

Tip #5 - One for You, One for Me!
When children don’t share, we tend to solve the problem by taking the toy or item away and giving it to the other child, without explanation. A simple, “SHARE” is usually uttered in a loud decibel and we go about our business of tending to our house or chores.

Taking the time to explain why it is important to share will ingrain the principle in their little noggins. We will not always be in the next room to break up the argument between children whenever sharing becomes an issue. Thus, we must teach our children to stand on their own and do the right thing. By instilling the sharing principle over and over, we won’t have to worry about them when we aren’t around. People remember a kind and generous child, while a rude and snatchy one isn’t usually invited back as often.

Tip #6 - Don’t Just ‘Let It Go’
How many times over the course of a day are we too busy or hassled to take care of something we deem impolite or inappropriate? It seems, if my case, that my children are apt to misbehave when I am chatting on a much-needed call with a friend. Rather than apologizing to the caller and getting off the phone to take care of the situation, we tend to wave the kids away, yell a quick “YOU BETTER STOP THAT,” (sometimes we press mute, sometimes we help to add to the deafness of the friend) and return to our call -- only to forget to deal with it after we are done.

Don’t just let things go! Rather, you will find instant results if you take care of the situation then and there. Quick enforcement of rules will make more of an impact than waiting to handle it when it happens again. Putting our children first will help instill those positive behaviors we so desperately want them to have when in public, at play-dates or at school
Tip #7 - Respecting Others Differences
People come in all shapes, sizes, colors and personalities. Polite children are respectful children. They respect and accept that everyone is not just like them.

Helping a child to understand that it is not nice to make fun or judge others for these differences will be a lesson they will remember forever. Kids can be mean, especially when they are testing their independence and voice. Yes, we cannot always be with our children to filter what comes out of the mouths, but we can give them the tools to know the difference between talking and being indiscreet and cruel.

When your child tells you something mean he heard, take the time to explain why it is not nice to say things such as this. Getting kids to think further on this is a wonderful way for them to truly understand the principle of thinking before they speak.

Tip #8 - Eating like Little Ladies & Gentlemen
If there is one lesson you have probably learned as a parent, it is to expect that the most embarrassing moments to occur at the most inappropriate times! Many of these mishaps seem to happen at the table. So, when your toddler says or does something that makes you and your husband appear as if you have absolutely no idea what table manners are, say to yourself, ”Don’t worry, it’s my rite of passage as a parent” (and of course, such toddler faux pas make for great dinner party conversation).

With that in mind, I am a firm believer that your child is never too young to begin learning the basics. The dining table will be the setting for many important happenings in your child’s life. It may, one day, be the setting for meeting his girlfriend’s parents for the first time, a lunch with a potential employer or a dinner with upper management at the office holiday party. No matter what the occasion, knowing how to navigate his way through a meal will tremendously benefit your child. Most children will master these dining skills by age five, but you should start teaching them around the age of two. Of course, there will be some exceptions to this, but as your toddler grows and matures, the more difficult dining skills can be taught and mastered.

Thus, these are only a few ways to help raise a more polite, thoughtful and generous child.
If we want to give them the gift of politeness, we must truly ask ourselves if we are taking the time and making the effort to help them acquire these skills.

So, the next time at the supermarket, when our child is flailing away, knocking down cereal boxes, and shooting dirty looks to other shoppers, we must ask ourselves, “Am I doing everything I can to help teach my child to do what is right and be polite?”
And remember, being polite is something that will make them stand out and stand apart -- in a good way!