Friday, May 30, 2008

Rivers Rest and Waste Matters

In loving memory of Donna Boles

By Julie Ballard and Mitzi Brabb

It was the summer of ’82 and the Boles family was headed for the woods, attempting to build on the memories of past camping trips. Once again, we were headed to River Rest Campground, hoping for more adventures of the type our family had enjoyed there in past years. River Rest was located close to the forlorn town of Washington, California, and as the name suggested, it rested along a river… though the river hardly rested. The swift current was perfect for tubing, and eventually lead to a quiet swimming hole, just right for cliff diving or lazy picnics. A short hike a few miles downstream brought us to our secret place; it was truly the heart of joy of our youth. The woodsy, tropical lagoon was nestled amongst small caverns and ferns. Surrounding the lagoon were unique rock formations that, through years of erosion, had created incredible natural water slides. Here, we would wear ourselves out, refusing to leave until we could only barely handle the wearisome trip back to camp, or until we were kicked out for trespassing on private property! Either way, we had Mom to contend with upon returning late to camp. Julie, being the eldest, was a master at working that situation. Her younger brother and sister would remain silent and let her do all the talking. Mom’s anger never lasted long. It was as if she was reminded of her own exuberant past, living vicariously through our adventures. Hoping, in fact, to be included in the next one.

Nighttime entertainment included swing dancing in the campground square, and guitar solos by the campfire, accompanied by mom singing Kumbaya unbearably off key. But the best moments from that summer vacation were the quirky little episodes, the most memorable of which is certainly the Porta-Potty debacle, starring Julie, Mom and little sis. At that time, the most convenient outhouse was located on top of a grassy hill, just up the road from camp.
Unfortunately for Mom, she happened to be making use of that particular John at a time when her children were keen on making practical jokes. It seemed like such a good idea at the time… Julie, having only recently gained possession of a drivers permit, would back our truck against the door of the facilities currently being used by Mom. Her younger sister, eager to be in on the fun, would do her best to navigate. Mom, of course, was furious. It was unpleasant enough to be stuck in there for a few seconds, but imagine her despair upon the realization that the door wouldn’t budge. From her shouts, it was clear that this joke was over. One problem. Julie, who had effortlessly backed the truck into position, couldn’t get the gears to work to move it forward. When Mom realized the seriousness of the situation, she certainly let us know! She was pinned in a potty on the side of a hill, listening to her inexperienced daughter grind the gears of her truck, never knowing when she might throw it in reverse and send the potty tumbling down the hill! She quickly made it clear, and in no uncertain terms, that we were to quit attempting to move the truck. We scrambled out and headed down the hill looking for help. Luckily good old Jim came to our rescue. He was a local man, a little slow on the uptake, but always quick with a smile. We had always been a little leery of crossing his path, but in this dire moment, with Mom in desperate need of a breath of fresh air, he swiftly got the truck in gear and freed her. We were forever grateful to him.

Mom never forgave us for that little stunt, but we did catch her laughing about it some time later. She wasn’t the type to hold a grudge. She also wasn’t the type to “take any crap” so to speak. Hopefully our children don’t yield to similar impulses during their practical joke years! Karma can be a dangerous thing. All that we can say is God bless you Mom!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Funny Mom Stories

These aren't my stories, but they could be! Have a great laugh as we wind down our appreciation of mom.

Funny Moms Stories #4: While in line at the bank one afternoon, my toddler decided to release some pent-up energy and ran amok. I was finally able to grab hold of her after receiving looks of disgust and annoyance from other patrons. I told her that if she did not start behaving "right now" she would be punished. To my horror, she looked me in the eye and said in a voice just as threatening, "If you don't let me go right now, I will tell Grandma that I saw you kissing Daddy's pee-pee last night!" The silence was deafening after this enlightening exchange. Even the tellers stopped what they were doing. I mustered up the last of my dignity and walked out of the bank with my daughter in tow. The last thing I heard as the door closed behind me, were screams of laughter.

Funny Moms Stories #5: Have you ever asked your child a question too many times? My three-year-old son had a lot of problems with potty training and I was on him constantly. One day we stopped at Taco Bell for a quick lunch in between errands. It was very busy, with a full dining room. While enjoying my taco, I smelled something funny, so of course I checked my seven-month-old daughter, and she was clean. Then I realized that Danny had not asked to go potty in a while. I asked him if he needed to go, and he said "No". I kept thinking "Oh Lord, that child has had an accident, and I don't have any clean clothes with me." Then I said, "Danny, are you SURE you didn't have an accident?" "No," he replied. I just KNEW that he must have had an accident, because the smell was getting worse. So, I asked one more time, "Danny, did you have an accident?" This time he jumped up, yanked down his pants, bent over, spread his cheeks and yelled "SEE MOM, IT'S JUST FARTS!!" While 30 people nearly choked to death on their tacos laughing, he calmly pulled up his pants and sat down. An older couple made me feel better, thanking me for the best laugh they'd ever had!

With a little laugh, remember that kids laugh upwards of 100 times a day. Take a minute and make time to laugh at least once. Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

From Dave's Mom

Dave has this so ingrained in his head, that he's made me crazy with it. "Don't spoil your dinner." Dave's mom told him this enough that if it's a moment after lunchtime, we can't have a snack, sliver, or morsel! I've had to remind Dave on many occasions that I'm a grown woman and can certainly decide if I'm actually hungry of not. Laughing.

Mason on the other hand, well, he will spoil his dinner. Thanks to Dave and his moms words of wisdom, Mason is on the right track! Did you hear this gem as a kid? I did, but it didn't stay with me like it did for Dave. What is the one that stayed with you? Post a comment!

Friday, May 23, 2008

About Mom - Teresa Tjaden

For my mom, it wasn't what she said but what came from her actions. Now I understand the saying, "actions speak louder than words." That was my Mother.

Her love for her family and for all of the humanity was impeccable, I don't know if that is the right word or not to describe her. I see myself doing similar things that she did and NOW I see it emanating through me. It's amazing when I hear people that knew my Mother saying to me, "It's like seeing your Mother again."

Everyone that knew my Mother loved her, she was a giver and definitely a person of service to the human race. There were three of us children and we never, never saw her treating one different than the other. I've known of parents having favorites but not my Mother, she was 100% Mother to all three of us.

I'm so grateful and feel soooooo blessed to have had a Mother like that. I could go on and on with stories about her, by now you must be getting the idea of the kind of Mother she was.

Thank you my friend for giving me the opportunity to express my gratitude about my beautiful Mother.

Peace and blessings,

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

One Day at a Time - Mitzi Brabb

The sound of little giggles abruptly caught my attention, hinting at the mischief only a mother could recognize so quickly. A wave of panic swept through me as I turned to see my little girl balancing precariously on top of a wobbly chair. My thoughts urgently sought the advice of my mental guru. Within seconds my Mother’s wisdom surfaced, providing me with a memory and an answer.

I drew a deep breath and glided toward to my daughter. With one big swoop I snatched her up, swung her around and gave her a big kiss. Then I sat her down, displaying the most concerned, guilt-driven expression I could muster, and proceeded to explain how standing on chairs was dangerous. It was a serious, heartfelt moment. She bared a big, sweet smile, crawled over to my lap and lifted up my shirt to blow on my belly.

Maybe she was a little young to fully comprehend such discipline, but she certainly knew how to give a good raspberry!

“I’ll get this mommy thing down,” I mused. “One day at a time.”

I redirected my child into more appropriate play activities and began to mull over my mother’s signature motto, “One day at a time.” Sometimes it had seemed like there was a caption bubble floating over her head that lit up with those words, following her wherever she went. To me those words became a reminder, a subtle cue to always remain calm.

I dropped into the kitchen chair, and began to sip my lukewarm coffee. I stared absently in Haley’s direction, watching her play while my thoughts drifted away to distant memories of my own childhood. I remembered being a little girl playing in our orchard. Though it was a good distance away, I could see my mother clearly through the kitchen window. Wanting to catch her attention, I climbed up a big walnut tree and began to wave. She waved back. I thought she would be even more proud of me if climbed up to the highest branch to wave to her.

Mom must have been proud, because she stopped what she was doing. She waved back with a smile and asked me to come inside for some cookies. I realize now that I’d missed the panic in her eyes, and the quiver in her tone that had sounded so calm at the time. Her brilliant plan to lure me out of the tree worked. Had she yelled, I probably would have become frightened and may have fallen and been seriously injured.

My mother’s soft, effective lecture was delivered with a glass of milk and cookies. The look of worry and concern in her eyes penetrated my soul. I promised I would never try that stunt again.

My mother’s wisdom became the teaching tool and my guidance when responding to my own child during moments of inevitable danger.

When my daughter first came into this world, twenty-one months ago, I clung to the textbook standards of what to expect. Even though my own mother had had easy childbirths, I planned on having at least twenty hours of labor to prepare myself for introducing a new person into the world. When the critical hour came, I found myself alone in our secluded mountain home, unable to reach over my enormous belly to get snowshoes on my feet. I couldn’t walk further than our back porch. I stood there, in the dead of winter, with only my dog to commiserate with. My husband was at least an hour away and my neighbors were unreachable. Prayer gave me strength, but there was only one person I wanted to talk to. And right then I needed her more than I ever needed her in my life.

“I’m scared, mom!”

“Take a deep breath. Everything’s going to be okay.”

“But this doesn’t feel right. I’m in the middle of nowhere, with snow up to my knees. What if he doesn’t get here in time? What if the roads are closed?” I cried.

“Take one moment at a time… and have faith,” her voice rang in my head.

I took another deep breath and tottered back inside. My nerves began to settle as I replaced my fear with faith. “Everything’s going to be alright,” I whispered aloud.

Besides Mom, only my animals were able to calm my nerves. I fed my injured jackrabbit and thought about the pleasant days of my youth. I was just a little girl when I found an injured bird in our orchard. Mom helped me clean its wound and nurture it back to health. When the bird finally recovered it escaped from its box before we had a chance to release it outside. Mom and I never had laughed so hard as when that silly bird looped all over the house, darting at our heads before finally making its exit out the door.

That amusing experience led to a lifetime of caring for wild animals, with Mom having taught me valuable lessons about nurturing and letting go. Even if I couldn’t save an animal, I could at least make it comfortable. My mother heroically assisted me in meeting these challenges, showing me how to do the best I could, while accepting the bad with the good. With my own impending motherhood, I was embarking on a new adventure, with a wonderful being that I could keep for my very own.

“I don’t know what to do with something that doesn’t have fur,” I joked to my mother.

A familiar voice responded in my head with her favorite adage, “One day at a time.”

My husband arrived just in time to take me to the hospital. Haley was born within the hour. When I held my beautiful blond-haired, blue-eyed little girl in my arms I cried with pure joy. She looked just like Mom.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Mom's Advice

What advice did your mom give you? Or better yet, what was it she said so many times, that you now say it and catch yourself sounding just like her?

My mom always said, "Tell me what you don't have and I'll tell you how to live without it." Boy, did I hear that one over and over again! Laughing! There was so much I didn't have. It's not that I was deprived, I certainly wasn't. What I was, was imaginative. I wanted things that only I could imagine. My mom used to call me Hollywood. I would plan parties and in my mind, they were nothing short of million dollar Hollywood sets! In the true spirit of her quote, she would come up with all sorts of ways to make it as good as it could get with what we had at home.

I'm still as imaginative as ever, but I learned so much from my mom in how to make something from something else or even from nothing! I hope Mason will appreciate this time tested skill when he's all grown up. In the meantime, Dave doesn't like to hear these words as we accelerate getting on the freeway at the start of any road trip. He'll say, "I feel like I'm forgetting something." And just like my mom I automatically say, "Tell me what you think you forgot and I'll tell you how to live without it."

Friday, May 16, 2008

Lessons fom Mom - Jeannette Amick

This is a little long by blog standards, but well worth the read! This is written by my Aunt Jeannette about my Granny. I only wish I had picture I could post.

Zinaida Vladimirovna Kossenko Dakiniewicz. Isn’t that a mouthful to carry around one’s whole life? Well, she did it beautifully, my mom; but this isn’t a story of a woman with such a long name. This is simply a few pages of a daughter’s memories of times gone by. Memories of special moments that are imprinted in our memory banks to be brought out and read whenever needed.

Looking back, I don’t recall ever thinking of Mom as knowing all the answers, or solving all my problems. One morning, when I was a freshman in High School, I woke up with an awful stomach ache. The problem was caused by the math test I wasn’t prepared for. The remedy for that was simply to stay home, study for the make up test, and read my Nancy Drew novel for the rest of the day. Mom would write an excuse for me tomorrow morning. Problem solved!

The next morning she handed me the note in a sealed envelope. Why a sealed envelope? Oh well. I put it in my school bag and left. When I got to my homeroom, I handed Sister the note. She read it, smiled, and said, “Class, I would like you to listen to this note from a mother who truly cares about her daughter.” My heart did a double flip as I asked God to let me die right now! Of course He didn’t comply as Sister read in her loudest voice, “Dear Sister Maura, Jeannette has absolutely no excuse for missing school yesterday. Mrs. John Dakiniewicz.”

I could feel the laughter and snickers rolling around my shoulders and neck before they actually reached my ear drums. That was the only sound I heard until Sister Maura’s voice interrupted my misery. “You may think it’s funny girls, but this is the most honest note I have received in years. Do you really think we are fooled by some of your ridiculous excuses for absences?”As I looked around the class, I noticed more sheepish looks than not. I felt pretty good that day, and never had a mathematical stomach ache again.

I was fourteen when I asked her something pertaining to sex. Mom was cooking dinner and my question caught her off guard for a second. She said, “We’ll talk about this tonight.” Later on, Mom came into my room dressed in her pajamas and carrying a porcelain container that held her bobby pins. I was very surprised to see her plop on my bed and cross her legs Indian fashion. “Remember our conversation in the kitchen?”
“What conversation?”
“Oh Jeannette! You know…the question?”
“Oh yeah, that’s okay, it’s not important.” My face was hot and I wanted her to leave. Oh no! Now she was putting her hair up in pin curls.
“I was wondering when you were going ask questions about sex. I suppose this is as good a time as any to have this talk.”
“That’s okay Mommy, we don’t have to. Oh gosh, look at the time. I have lots of homework.”
“Remember the story of Adam and Eve?” She wasn’t even listening to me! “Well it wasn’t an apple that God was forbidding.” She talked and talked and pinned her hair.
I vaguely remember saying things like. “You and Daddy? That’s disgusting! How could you?”
“Do you still think the stork found you under a cabbage leaf?” she asked.
“Of course not! But, Daddy?” Well, she talked softly and steadily until my thoughts calmed down. By the time we were ready for bed, I felt very grown up and knew there would be more questions for her tomorrow.

I saw my parents struggling to make ends meet. They both worked; Dad, as a mechanic for a Chrysler dealership, and Mom as a secretary at Underwood Corporation. After the bills were paid, there wasn’t much left for anything else, but I never heard complaints about the high cost of living or fighting over the bills. Our little two bedroom home was too small to keep secrets from each other. I knew how much money we didn’t have, and how hard Mom tried to make life pleasant for us; not just the three of us, but for my sister and her family who were struggling too. Wanda, Ray and their three children lived in Elkton, Maryland. Ray was in the Army.

Being a teenager made it hard to understand completely, but years later those lessons came through when I really needed them to. Looking back, I see that I learned to live without the latest fads, and it didn’t hurt one bit. The fads came and went, and my friends never paid attention to the fact that I wasn’t wearing a poodle skirt or an angora sweater. They just thought I followed my own style. Today I still ‘follow my own style.’

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Mason's Lesson (the tough part of being a mom)

To our family and friends, it's no secret that our son Mason is a strong willed child. Yes, my mom got her wish when she wished on me, a child just like I was.

From the time Mason was just 18 months old, I started seeing indications that he was going to do things his way and sometimes his way was any way that was not my way. I put my thinking cap on because I wanted to parent him in such a way that would shape a strong sense of right and wrong with appropriate consequences but would not break his very sweet, albeit strong, spirit. Through much consultation with parents, grandparents, close friends and lots of reading, I found it would be critical that everything we do with him is clear, certain and immediate. That means that even at the very young age of 3, he had to make choices.

One brisk fall morning when it was time to get dressed, Mason took the clothes I picked out for him to my husband Dave to help him dress. Once he was naked, he decided that he didn't want to get dressed, he wanted to be naked. Dave tried insisting but that was fruitless. After listening to Dave get more and more frustrated and Mason enjoying the frustrating exchange, I calmly addressed Mason and let him know that I would be ready to leave in 15 minutes. My soft voice easily broke through their exchange. I told him that he needed to be dressed or travel through our day together naked. I also advised him that as a special favor, just this one time, I would have his clothes in a paper bag to take with us in case he changed his mind. Nope, he didn't want to get dressed.

15 minutes later, brown paper bag in hand, my purse and car keys, we were on our way. He was a little perplexed at first (as was Dave. I don't think he really believed me!) and then he was really not happy. Here is the true telling of a strong willed child. As unhappy as he was, he was still not willing to get dressed. All the way down the stairs, down the drive way, across the street and into the gravel lot where the car was parked, he still was not getting dressed. As he was climbing into his car seat, crumbs in the seat and all, he scratched his leg and began to cry with more vigor than ever. I even more quietly said, "See, if you had your pants on you wouldn't have scraped your leg. And if you had your shoes on, the rocks wouldn't have hurt your feet." After strapping him into his seat naked, he asked me to please help him dress. I agreed and we were on our way.

The really nice part of this story is that I very lovingly helped him dress, I wiped his nose, and we kissed and hugged and had a wonderful day of grocery shopping and running errands. To preserve our family history and watch the value of appreciation, we took pictures. I have no doubt that in about 13 years; these pictures will be worth more to us as parents and exponentially more to a 16 year old boy beginning to court and date girls. For now, we continue to say what we mean and mean what we say. We don’t shout and we don’t argue, we simply ask for what we want, let it be known what we expect and love and nourish every step of the way.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

I got the greatest mother's day gift any mom of a child could ask for. Friday night, Mason and I had a wonderful evening. We watered the cherry trees, pulled weeds, and played outside until the sun went down. We came in the house, had some dinner and snuggled in to watch a movie, popcorn included!

After the movie, it was time for bed. I pulled his freshly washed blanket from the dryer and tucked him in to read his bedtime story. He chose Walter the Farting Dog. After the story, we made some small talk about how soft his blanket was and I told him I wanted to sleep with it. He held it tight and we kissed goodnight.

I went back to reading on the couch when I heard the pitter-patter of his little feet coming down the hall (I love that sound!). He said, "Mama, it's Mother's Day weekend, so you can sleep with my blanket tonight." I smiled and took the blanket fully intending to put it back with him before I put myself to bed. "Thank you Mason. I love you, now go back to bed." I heard him very clearly not go back to bed.

About 15 minutes later, I got up to put him back in bed when he met me in the hallway, panicked. "Mama, I have a bead in my nose." he said.
"A what?" I replied.
"A bead, it's in my nose." he repeated.
"Why did you put a bead in your nose?" I calmly asked.
"I didn't put it there." he said looking up a me.
"Well, then, how did it get there?" I logically asked.
"It just rolled in my nose." he said weakly.

At this point, I'm walking him down the hallway to the bathroom trying my darnedest not to laugh. Mason was begging me not to hurt him, not really crying, but not sure of what mom had up her sleeve either. I sat him on the toilet seat, with tweezers in hand, I reached up his nose to extract the bead. He screamed and pushed my hand away begging me to stop. Still trying not to laugh, I went back to his little nose housing the bead. I reached in, pinched the tweezers, and pulled out a big, of I'm laughing out loud! Mason is crying and in my attempt to reach the bead, I managed to dislodge it from the small part of the nasal passage. I told him to blow, and blow he did. The little blue bead shot across the bathroom like a BB from a gun. Thank goodness we didn't have to go to the ER.

Through my teary-eyed laughter, I told him to never, ever put anything in any of his bodily openings! The gift of a classic "put something up his nose" moment is the best. Some would say, "This kind of stuff can happen only to you Kathy!" The Friday before Mother's Day, yes, only on Kathy Island! Still laughing!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Define "Mom"

How do you define who's a mom? For me, a mom is a female who loves and cares for another. Most people tend to think inside the lines of what defines relationships. We've talked about this before, but for a mom, most people think of a woman who has given birth to a child or children. I personally think that's far to narrow a scope

There are women who adopt children, women who step up and love children of the men they love (sincerely), women who love animals, and people who are of no relation to them. I was Riley's mama a year before Mason was born. Julie is Taz's (the horse), Monty's (the dog), and Bob's (the cat) mom. Lisa is that mama Mickey has wrapped around all four of his paws! Mary has friends of her biological children who she mother's as her own, and Alice is expecting a human baby but has been mothering her babies Prensa (chihuahua), and Totoro (cat) for several years. I feel confident she won't love Prensa or Totoro one ounce less once her beautiful baby joins their happy family.

When I was pregnant with Mason, I made comparisons of having a baby to having Riley. Many people told me that was a ridiculous comparison, some said,"Having animals is nothing like having a baby!" I completely disagree. I'm not going to explain this, because if you agree with me, you do, and if not, that's okay, too.

To me, being a mom is that part of a woman that loves, cares for, and nurtures. In that case, isn't every woman a mom? From the heart, I believe yes!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

About my mom and me.

I am the baby of five kids, and man am I glad I came last! My sister is eighteen years older than I am, and I have three brothers born between us. The baby always has it better, right? That's what I hear anyway!

My mom didn't have any support from my dad in terms of raising us kids, but I want to note that my dad was a career military man. I make this note because though my dad was never really plugged into our family, he took his job of providing for us very seriously.

With my dad making the money, my mom did all the things that made me the pistol that I am today. She didn't hover, she let me fail, and she told me the truth when I didn't want to hear it ("Does this make me look fat? I would ask. "Well, you have other things that look really good on you." would be her way of saying yes). Then other times, she had a really hard time telling me the truth when I needed it the most. I make this point because this taught me not to take things at face value, and to trust my own instincts. I learned to question authority, and the most difficult authoritative figure at that!

On the sweet side, she made every holiday special. We decorated the house, baked cookies, did craft projects, and often included our neighbors in our festivities. My birthday is December 17, and she never combined my birthday with Christmas, never! It was not even allowed that one of my birthday gifts be wrapped in Christmas paper. When I was a teenager, she told me I could have a horse if I would earn half the money to buy it. Little did she know it would only take me three months to earn that money (remember the pistol she was raising)! She kept her word and I had a horse. More than I had a horse, we had a horse. She learned all about this new love with me, and we both have many years of fond memories with our horse, everything from breaking and training (which sent my mom to her insurance agent to buy life insurance for me!), to doctoring numerous ailments, to lazy summer days munching on sweet green grass (the horse, that is).

What I am most grateful to her for is teaching me the importance of manners and kindness. My mom was not always polished, but she knew how to present herself when it mattered most. She gave to those who had little or none, even when we were in the same boat. I can say in that respect, I like to think I am like her. I would like for people to think of me as kind and able to present myself properly when it matters most.

Monday, May 5, 2008

I am mom. I am tired.

When Dave is away I don't sleep as well as I do when he is next to me. Last night I didn't fall asleep until 3 Am and then it was not really sleep, more like toss and turn, roll and fluff. So you know I'm tired because not sleeping is all I can talk about now that it seems sleep just might be a reality.

Mason on the other hand sleeps just fine. It doesn't matter if I'm in Vietnam or Dave is in Arkansas. This tells me that he is secure and well adjusted, and that makes me happy.

Now that I've covered the tired part, here is the "I am mom" part. Today I have not been a very good mom. I have been short, snippy, and completely impatient. I have such a clear understanding of the phrase "This hurts me way more than it can ever hurt you." I love my sweet and strong-willed little boy with all my heart, and when I am short with him, and even a little mean in my intolerance, my heart just breaks. It breaks because he's only 4 and I'm 41. I should know better how to keep my cool and remain loving no matter what. Every mom I know has told me "We've all been there."

In the end I did the only thing I know how to do, I told him I was sorry I was short with him and that I love him more than anything in the whole world. He laughed and said he loved me, too. He quickly added "But mama, but mama, I love Riley (our dog) just a little bit more than I love you. Can we go get ice cream?" Okay Mason, that's A-okay!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

May is the Month for Mom!

"The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new." ~Rajneesh

The first time anyway! Mother's Day is this month so I thought we could have some fun with motherhood. We all have a mom, grandma, and great-grandma, maybe even more than one. Some of us are moms, and we all know moms. I've asked you to send me things your moms told you that you now find yourself saying, or advice she gave you that proved to be worthwhile. I got some good ones and I'll share them with you through the month.

Let's start with some interesting mom facts from (Great web site by the way!)
  • 82.5 million of moms in the U.S. - 2 Billion moms throughout the world.

  • 4.3 Babies born each second!

  • 82% of women aged 40-44 years old who are mothers. In 1976, 90% of women in that age group were mothers.

  • 25 is the average age of new moms. In 1970 it was 21.

  • 40% of all births are the mother's first.

  • 4.0 Million is the number of women who have babies each year. Of this number, about 425,000 are teens aged 15-19, and more than 100,000 are age 40 or over.

  • 2 is the average number of children that women today can expect to have in their lifetime.

  • 3 is the average number of children that women in Utah and Alaska can expect to have in their lifetime.

  • Only about 10% of women have four or more children today. In 1976, 36% of women had four or more children.

  • August is the most popular Birth Month.

  • Tuesday is the most popular day of the week in which to have a baby.

  • The odds of a woman delivering twins is 1-in-32.

  • 10 Million is the number of single mothers living with children under 18 years old. This number is up from 3 million in 1970.

  • 105 Boys are born for every 100 Girls.

This will be a fun month, and what better way to pay tribute to all moms than to share our stories and share their wisdom? If you want to be a guest for the month of May and write a tribute to your mom, let me know. All I ask is that is be something fun or happy, and hopefully you have a picture of her or the two of you you can post. E-mail me and let me know!