2013 On Monica’s Mom Musings

Image courtesy of Naypong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Naypong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This has been a good year in my personal and professional life, but I would have to say also here on my blog.  My readership has grown and I’m so happy to see all of the new readers interacting here.  Upon reflecting on this year I wanted to share with you some of my favorite posts from the last 12 months.  Let me say it’s hard to pick just one from each month so there will be a few from each month.  So please don’t mind me while I reminisce.  And please be thinking about what one of your favorite posts I have written this year is.  What got you to keep coming back?

January

I started out the year right away with my reflections on parenting in this piece about how after having four children I still can’t figure out the trick to getting kids to sleep in their own bed at night.  FYI, one year later all 4 kids are in their own beds all night long (unless they are sick).  So lesson here is it just takes time and consistency.  It will happen and I look back on that time now and think, oh that wasn’t so bad.

Then I shared the glories of raising a teenager.  This post had a list of the most obvious signs that there’s a teenager living under my roof, you know in case you didn’t know.

And of course I had to give props to my preteen too.  The second part of the How You Know series was How You Know There’s A Preteen In Your Home.

Finally in January I wrote about dispelling the negative stigma of developmental delays.  As someone who has dealt with developmental delays in all of her children in one form or another I think it’s really important that people get the help that’s needed rather than doing a “wait and see” approach.  The earlier you get help, the better.  For the record, my 2 year old who turns 3 in just over a month will be going to school starting the end of January for speech therapy and I’m so happy she’s going to get the help she needs, but also she so wants to be in school so this will be a nice taste of that.

February

February started with a birthday in our house and some reminiscing about not having a baby in the house anymore.  I wonder if her 3rd birthday will make me as sad?  I’ve already been thinking my tagline on my blog has to change because the baby is more of a preschooler than a toddler now.  Parenting preschooler to teen just doesn’t have the same ring to it as Parenting toddler to teen does though.

Then on Facebook I had an argument with someone about whether or not it’s right for people to share stillborn pictures.  It got quite heated and prompted me to start a campaign to share angel babies.  I was happy to share my friends pictures of their little ones on my Facebook wall, although I didn’t end up with a whole lot to share.  I still wish people would understand how hurtful it is when they refuse our angels and how we choose to share them.

For Valentine’s Day I had a party and shared some Valentines ideas with everyone.   I love getting my craft on, in particular, baking.

Giving my teen and preteen a little love I wrote the Top Ten Reasons I Love My Teen And Preteen.  Totally still loving all of these things about parenting a teen and preteen too.

And because there was some debate about the Yahoo CEO and how she was running the company I just had to put my 2 cents in for all they were worth.  I am a little sad that Marissa Mayer did not heed my request to go back to the original Yahoo layout though.

March

In the beginning of the month my husband and I celebrated 13 years of marriage.  I shared 13 things about us the couple.

I went on a bit of a tangent about not blaming Hollywood if our kids say or do things we don’t like.  Because ultimately it’s on us parents to make sure our kids are not watching inappropriate things on television.

And then I took a look at the use of social media in this day and age as it relates to my older children, in particular my teenager.  It’s funny how quickly things can change too.  Back in March she had no smartphone, today she has one because she actually needed it for school.  But still there are a lot of rules and I reserve the right to remove things on her Facebook.

And then there was my rant about teacher’s getting a bad rap.  I don’t envy teachers at all.  Seriously dealing with students, parents, and school administration.  They have a lot of different personalities at work there and I just expressed in this piece how I don’t think they are always the reasons our children aren’t as successful as we’d like them to be.  Go ahead and read it, it was a real good one.

April

The month of April brings a lot of birthdays around here.  So I tend to have party planning ideas.  Two very popular posts that still get hits daily are my One Direction party plan and my 1D party invitation post this month.

In April I was really hashing out plans for the upcoming year of education for my kids.  Boy was that tough and looking back at everything I said in my post titled Kindergarten, Middle School, High School, Oh My I am so happy to say that everything has worked out this year as I had hoped it would when we were making those tough choices.

My middle daughter turned 11 on the 11th and I shared 11 Things About My 11 Year Old.

April tends to be a month where we are really beginning to look ahead to the next school year and with that comes discussions with teachers and school administration.  I gave my pointers in how to properly advocate for your child’s education even under the most hostile of circumstances.  Sometimes we just have to remove ourselves and ignore the things that were done in the past in order to focus on the future.

And then on April 22nd my oldest turned 14 and I wrote 14 Things About My 14 Year Old.

May

I lived on $1.50 of food and drink a day for 5 days with my oldest daughter.  This was my 2nd year doing it and it’s always very eye opening.  Here was the recap of my Living Below The Line this year.

Hey, everyone with school aged children should know how to treat head lice.  Here were my pointers after I dealt with a terrible case of it a few years ago.

A tribute to my mother for Mother’s Day.

So I tackled some of my views on abortion in this month.  Mostly that I don’t think that pregnancy crisis centers are such a bad thing, but I think the way abortion is done in America does need to change.  You might be shocked by what I think needs to be changed about it.

Breast is best, but how long do those benefits of breastfeeding truly benefit a child?  This was a post I had a lot of fun writing since after having four children I have fed each of them so very different, but to look at my kids you wouldn’t be able to tell which one had no breastmilk and which one had nothing but.

June

I wrote a letter to my daughter’s classmates who think her skin is too white.  It’s not easy being fair skinned, it takes a lot of hard work to maintain that ivory skin.

Here was a list of ways that I know that I’m parenting right.  Parenting is tough so it’s good to know when something is going right.

And the controversial topics just kept coming.  Plan B was approved to be sold over the counter with no age restrictions and lets just say it wasn’t something I was happy with.  Still am not, but unplanned pregnancy is not something I have yet had to be concerned about either.

I reflected on what it was like to have more children after experiencing a loss.  Having another child just does not erase that loss, ever.

And another popular post was my Crayon Wreath Tutorial.  This was also a huge hit with my son’s teacher.  I might be making more of these in the future.

July

I shared my husband’s fears of having a teenage daughter.  Boys!  Luckily she’s not dating, but it probably isn’t too far off and realizing that boys are noticing your little girl can be hard.

I had some pretty strong views on school uniforms which I shared.

And my teenage daughter said her goodbyes to a young girl who was her age and lost a very long and very hard battle with Cancer.

August

Here’s a post I didn’t think needed to be written.  Parenting is hard.  Who didn’t know that?  Well, I guess it’s better to be said than just assume that everyone knows it.

We moved in August.  Okay it was just down two flights of stairs, but it was a move none the less and it definitely caused us stress.

I shared some lessons I learned in my 14 years of being a mom.

September

For childhood Cancer awareness month I announced that I was shaving my head for St. Baldrick’s.

A post about making that all important decision about getting your child a cell phone.  One thing I will say is never say never because things always change.

It’s always good to see a plan fall into place the right way.  So the kids all started out school with high expectations and it was a true test to see how everyone would do.  For the record everything is still working out great.

Here’s an important one for just about everyone because we probably all know someone who has experienced a loss.  Ten Things Not To Say To A Grieving Mother.  Seriously, go read that one, it’s a good one.

October

I love Halloween time.  So once October hit I was very excited to get my decorations up and that included the new addition of this Louie The Spider Wreath.  I’m very proud of this DIY tutorial.

This is another popular post that gets hits daily.  Five Birthday Party Ideas For Little Boys.  I love planning a party and even though my son had a Chuck E. Cheese party this year stuff like this is always floating around in my head.  You never know when a friend is going to ask for a party idea after all.

I called MANA (Midwife Alliance of North America) out on not releasing their homebirth death rates by the end of the year as promised.

November

I blogged every day for the month of November so there might be a lot of posts for this month.  To start with there was the 6 Fun Facts About My 6 Year Old.  I love that kid and he starts out November right with his birthday.

And then his birthday is quickly followed by my birthday where I shaved my head for St. Baldrick’s this year.  That was amazing by the way and I’m so beyond thrilled to have raised over $1000 for childhood Cancer.

I made a Tie Dye birthday cake for my son’s birthday party.  Everyone was asking how I did it, so I wrote up a tutorial for it.

What better thing to have right before the holidays than a holiday shopping guide?  I wrote up a list of ten items that make great gifts for the impossible to shop for.

December

And for the final month of the year I started out with an update of what I look like one month after shaving my head for childhood Cancer.

And I gave my thoughts on children and an allowance.

I did some reflection on what it’s like living 5 years without a piece of my heart.

Not to toot my own horn, but  this past year produced some good writing.  I am looking forward to what this year brings.  I’m hoping for lots of big changes on the horizon in my family and in business.  Maybe even some changes on this blog.  I look forward to seeing what the new year brings for us all.

So tell me, what was your favorite blog post of mine from 2013?

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