June 26, 2015

Are Family Parking Spaces Necessary?

I am sure many of you have seen signs like these in some parking lots:


Some of you can't wait to use them, others ignore them, and some, like me, just plain hate these things.

Why do people with children feel as if they are so privileged compared to those who do not have kids? Even pregnant women get their own parking in some places!
"Having reproduced, they feel their position in society has elevated to such an extent that it feels entirely normal for grown women to admit to throwing a tantrum over not getting the parking space they feel they deserve" (source).
The only people who should and deserve (in my opinion) to get a reserved parking space are those who are disabled. Pregnancy is temporary and it is not like you have to get pushed around in a wheelchair or use a walking stick, and people with children, well that was your choice! People who are disabled did not make a choice and if they did, I am sure most would have chosen not be disabled.

Of course, this is coming from someone who does not have kids yet, but I was a kid. My parents did not get a special parking spot and they did just fine. I have seen parents with kids in parking lots walking to the store and they do just fine. So why do we need these special reserved spots for parents of small children?

Our society is moving to a new form of discrimination, discrimination towards the childless. Just because I don't have a child doesn't mean I should have to park far away to run a quick errand.

People with children are more likely to be in the store longer than me, after all, they have children to tow around, while I just have to worry about myself and the item I am grabbing. If anything, maybe people with children should take a further parking spot? It is not fair for them to hog the closer parking for a few hours when there are plenty of people who just need 15 minutes to run in and grab something.

In order to be fair for everyone, close parking should just be a first come first serve thing, unless you are disabled. A child does not suddenly disable you and having a child should not give you special privileges. People with kids are no better than people without kids.

Do these signs really accomplish anything? Think about how many families you see in the store, even if you had some reserved/special parking for families, there would not be enough for everyone. There are way more families than there are disabled people. To me, these signs aren't accomplishing anything and just creating unnecessary drama while discriminating against the childless.

UPDATE

After being pregnant and having a baby, I still believe family parking spots are unnecessary and I did not and do not need them. Only one store in my area has these reserved spots and I have yet to be able to use it as they are always taken! The hospital, however, has a whole row of spots for expecting mothers, but that makes more sense as you know, they might be in labor! I don't think a store needs these as there are way too many parents that no amount of spots will cover all of them!

Attribution: Image used in blog post photo does not belong to me and was found on MorgueFile.


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June 19, 2015

Mother's/Father's Day With Pets

With Father's Day coming up and after the craziness I witnessed on Mother's Day, I decided to write a post about celebrating Mother's and Father's day as a pet parent.

This image appeared on my Facebook timeline on Mother's Day and I was appalled by many of the inappropriate comments on the photo.

Here are some of those terrible comments (no names mentioned, source here):

Source
"It's an animal, not a child, you are NOT a mother. Pets do NOT count. Sorry."
"People making their pets out to be the same/equal to human children need to get a grip. Get your own holiday, Mother's Day is taken." 
"No. Do not compare having a pet with raising children. They are not the same thing and never will be. "
"I'm sorry, but I find it utterly ridiculous to even consider saying Happy Mother's Day to someone who only has a four legged mutt or cat. You didn't give birth to the animal, you don't deserve the honor. This day is reserved for mother's who have children. Human children."

I love how some said "sorry" in their posts when they clearly aren't sorry, otherwise, they would not have spewed such nasty things.

First, Mother's Day and Father's Day are lame holidays. You do not need a day to celebrate being a parent. Even the creator herself tried to remove Mother's Day from the calendar:

"The American incarnation of Mother’s Day was created by Anna Jarvis in 1908 and became an official U.S. holiday in 1914. Jarvis would later denounce the holiday’s commercialization and spent the latter part of her life trying to remove it from the calendar." (source)

Father's Day came after Mother's Day with a lot of hardship and one movement tried to combine both into Parent's Day, but that didn't happen (source). In the grand scheme of things you basically have a holiday for the sake of spending and wasting your money away on presents for parents. What, were birthday's not enough?

For the person who says "it's an animal, not a child," well your child is an animal too. We are all animals. Some are furrier than others, some are taller, wider, some bark, meow, cry, etc. So your point is moot.

For the person who said "you didn't give birth to the animal," well not everyone who has children gave birth to them, ever heard of adoption? Surrogacy? And what about dads? They don't give birth either. Just because you did not give birth to it, does not mean it is not your child.

Is it really that big of a deal if someone with pets wants to celebrate on Mother's or Father's day? What is a mother? What is a father? They are people who love and care for their children and many people with pets treat their pets as their children. I know my pets are my babies. I feed them, brush them, play with them, clean up after them, etc, just like you would a child.

Now I won't claim that they are the same as children. Children continue to grow and learn. With a dog, you have a permanent two year old and cats are like teenagers. Just because they are different, doesn't mean I love them any less. If anything, I might love my pets more, but most of my experience with kids are ones throwing fits in the store (I work in retail).

However, there is a National Pet Parent's Day and it falls on the last Sunday in April (source). Maybe it's just me, but I don't think this Pet Parent's Day is necessary either. Whatever happened to just celebrating love every day? Why do we need a special day to show we love someone? (You can probably tell I'm not a big fan of Valentine's Day either)

In my opinion, every day should be Mother's and/or Father's Day. You should respect and love your parents every day, not just one day a year (unless you had bad parents)!

Who cares if someone with pets wants to celebrate on Mother's and/or Father's day? I think of my pets as children and feel sorry for the animals who have such mean owners that don't think of them the same, they deserve someone who actually loves them like family.

Is someone celebrating being a mom to their dog really harming you on Mother's Day or is someone celebrating being a dad to their cat on Father's Day harming you? I don't think so.

Attribution: Image used in blog post photo does not belong to me and was found on Canva.


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June 14, 2015

Sterilite® Stacking Laundry Baskets Review

I needed new laundry baskets and was eyeing up these stacking ones at The Container Store. I received a 15% off coupon in my email and decided to buy four of them a few weeks ago. They had great reviews and though we only really need two, I thought might as well get a couple more for when we do have a baby.

Now I am wishing I had gotten a few more because they are amazing! They are a bit smaller than a normal laundry basket, but not by much, and won't matter if you do one basket per person. They are also a lot more durable than I thought they would be, great quality at only $10 a basket!

Best of all, they stack! I can keep all the baskets in one spot. There is a bit of space left open when stacked so you can shove stuff in a lower basket. My husband has the top basket because he is lazy and just tosses things in, I have the basket below his and have not had trouble fitting anything in the small gap available despite some reviews claiming it is not big enough, but in their defense, I do have small hands! We ended up using the third basket for towels, so I do not have to separate them from the clothes!

You can buy these awesome laundry baskets here!

source
Below are some photos of us personally using the product. I was not paid or endorsed by The Container Store or Sterilite. This is just a product I love and wanted to share with others! Enjoy!

Love how nicely these stack!
I can fit things in lower baskets just fine. 

UPDATE

It has been two years since I wrote this review and we ended up buying four more of these laundry baskets after our daughter was born in 2016! One laundry basket was not enough for the baby as we chose to cloth diaper, and somehow she manages to fill up three of them before I get around to doing laundry! Sometimes we have all of them in use as I am not very good at washing and folding on the same day. I definitely still recommend these and glad The Container Store still carries them! 

This review is my honest opinion and I was not compensated in any way. 

June 12, 2015

My Preconception Visit

My husband and I are finally thinking about trying for a baby! After doing some research online, I decided to schedule a preconception visit. It seems to be debatable as to whether or not this is a necessary visit, but as I have not been to a doctor in years and I had some questions, I decided it was best to make an appointment. I like to play on the safe side and we won't be trying till the fall or winter, so that gives me plenty of time to get into shape if I find out I need to lose more weight, change my diet, etc.

Since I have not been to the doctor in years, I basically received a physical, which consisted of a pap test and having some blood drawn, which I actually dread more than the pap.

I was able to ask my questions like who do I see when I get pregnant, when to start taking prenatal vitamins, etc. She was very helpful and friendly, and basically told me to start trying! She did mention that I would have to get a flu shot in the fall and the only vaccine I might need is tetanus if it is not up to date, they will have to wait till they can get the records from the previous clinic I went to.

That was it! It was just a basic exam and nothing to it. She said I can schedule an appointment with her when I think I am pregnant and she can confirm it for me. At that time she will also give me recommendations to an OBGYN or midwife and we can see what places will accept our insurance.

So is a preconception visit necessary? I don't think one should go out their way to schedule one (my doctor basically made me realize I was overthinking and worrying too much, having a baby is completely natural and the only people who really have to worry are those with known health problems), but if you have any questions or concerns, ask at your regular check-up, unless you are like me and have not been to the doctor since you were in high school, then I would go ahead and schedule a regular check-up and mention that you are planning on trying for a baby, that way they will give you a longer appointment so you have time to ask questions.

Here are some questions you might want to ask your doctor before trying to have a baby. I put answers I got from my doctor in parentheses:

  • Am I healthy? Do I need to lose weight?
  • What exercise is safe? 
    • (Running is okay!)
  • If on birth control, ask how long it might take before your cycle is normal.
  • If you're not tracking your period/cycle or have an irregular period, ask for tips on how to know when you are ovulating and start keeping track.
  • What OBGYN/Birth Center do you recommend?
  • What medications are okay/not okay? 
    • (Can't take ibuprofen, have to take Tylenol for pain)
  • When to start taking prenatal vitamins?
    • (She said I could start now, so basically whenever you plan on trying start taking them!)
  • Do you recommend a prenatal vitamin? 
    • (Mine said any of them is fine so it may seem like a stupid question, but if you have allergies or other issues, might be good to ask anyway)
  • What about Folic Acid?
    • (Folic acid is already in prenatal vitamins and any many foods we eat, such as cereal, so it is not necessary to take a supplement, your doctor might say differently depending on your diet.) 
Attribution: Image used in blog post photo does not belong to me and was found on MorgueFile.

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June 5, 2015

Why Are Kids Obese?

This "lovely" image popped up on my Facebook the other day and I am amazed how many people agree with this because it is way off in my opinion.

Source
I do not know where you can get a bottle of coke for 99 cents. At all the stores I have gone to, it costs over a $1. This is still a dumb comparison because water is free if you drink from the tap or a water fountain. If you want a bottle, buy a water bottle and reuse it! Bottled water tastes no different than tap water. You can even buy 1-gallon jugs of store brand water at the store for 99 cents! If you want filtered water, then invest in a Britta.

I am sure where you can get a 99 cent burger either, McDonald's does have a dollar menu, so maybe that is what they meant in this image? However, a salad does not have to cost $4.99 if you make it yourself! Grow your own veggies or go to the store and get a head of lettuce for $1, that is enough for four to five salads!

Eating healthy is not as expensive as everyone thinks, it is just a matter of convenience and time. People are lazy to take the time to grow a garden or cook healthy meals. They turn to macaroni, ramen, frozen dinners and other easy to make processed foods.

It has nothing do with cost, but everything to do with time. I love to cook, but even I have those long, busy days where all I want to is pop a frozen pizza in the oven. The problem is when you eat these unhealthy meals every day, rather than just once a week. We need to teach kids to eat healthily and we need parents of those kids to be willing to take the time to prepare healthy foods rather than resulting to a box of macaroni.

Next time you go shopping compare the costs of vegetables to your processed packaged foods, maybe that head of lettuce, spinach, and carrots cost more than that box of hamburger helper, but remember those veggies usually come in bulk and make more than just one meal unlike the box of helper. In my opinion, the costs even out, and money is just an excuse for the lazy.

So why are children overweight? Here is what WebMD has to say:
Children become overweight and obese for a variety of reasons. The most common causes are genetic factors, lack of physical activity, unhealthy eating patterns, or a combination of these factors. Only in rare cases is being overweight caused by a medical condition such as a hormonal problem. (source)
So it is not just eating healthy, it can be due to not enough exercise. In today's world, everyone is on their phone, their computer, or watching TV. Children play video games instead of going outside and running around.

I wanted to lose weight without changing my diet too much so I started running, already I have lost ten pounds. I am not willing to give up chocolate or cake, I believe in enjoying foods every now and then and pity those who won't even allow themselves a cupcake on their birthday. A slice of cake is not going to instantly add on five pounds. There is a difference between having a treat every now and then versus eating cake every day.

There are a lot of factors and the only way to prevent obesity is through education and good parenting. Parents need to provide healthy options for their kids and also limit screen time so they get out and get exercise. Schools also need to encourage kids to choose healthy foods by providing healthier lunches, and to exercise on a daily base, especially since parents can't always be trusted.

Here is a great Ted Talk about the need for educating children about food:


Attribution: Image used in blog post photo does not belong to me and was found on  Canva.


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