When I was 9 the internet was slowly being invented and wasn’t available to the public. No YouTube, no social media, no wasting hours a day scrolling through endless memes/Facebook/Twitter/Instagram. How did we survive, right? How was I not completely bored out of my mind? What did we do for fun? Play with sticks? At least those would be some of the questions my 9-year-old would be asking me.
Now a days, I feel kids are way too dependent on being entertained via the internet. They forget there is this whole world beyond the TV or phone screen called outdoors. I also feel that technology, the internet and social media have caused kids to grow up too fast. At least that seems to be what I am experiencing right now with my 9-year-old who seems to be going on 16.
She knows more “adult” things than I did at 9. I ask her how she knows what certain things are and her answer, “I dunno.” Mind you, she is a really smart kid. Both brains smart and sass smart. She knows how to mold situations into what can benefit her best. I swear I have a future politician on my hands. She picks up on words and situations fairly easily and if she doesn’t know it at first, her little brain works quickly to figure it out.
She is monitored on what she is allowed to watch, but even the “kid friendly” channels aren’t always as “kid friendly” as you think and sometimes will slip content in that is more geared towards teenagers. For instance, she watches a YouTuber called Yammy XOX.
Now, most of Yammy’s content is child friendly. She plays Minecraft and other games, but for the past 6 months she has been playing an app game called Episodes.
This app game IS NOT for kids Em’s age. I’d say it’s more for teenagers. Once I saw that Em was watching these videos I immediately told her that it was not appropriate for her and she wasn’t allowed to watch videos like that anymore. Of course I got the sass and the never-ending question of “why” and a few times of sneaking it in only to be caught, but it has stopped. That doesn’t mean, however, that other “kid friendly” gaming channels aren’t sneaking in content that isn’t as “kid friendly” as it should be. A few years back I was able to let Em watch some videos and freely leave the room for a few moments without any worry, but now I feel I almost have to watch every single video with her.
Then we have the issue of friends…
Ben White – Unsplash
Ever notice that your child adopts the attitude of whomever they are hanging out with at the time? My daughter is a social butterfly. She gets along with most people and she doesn’t have a set group of friends she plays with everyday. She sort of flutters around from group to group. In most cases, I can tell what group of friends she has hung around at school that day by the attitude she comes home with. If she’s with the boys, she’s a little more mellow and respectful when she comes home. She a little more cooperative and her hearing is a little more in tuned to parental speak. If she is hanging out with a certain group of girls, however, it’s like an explosion of sass. We get the eye rolling, the “I don’t give a crap” attitude and a lot of back talk. Oh how I dread those girl days. Maybe I’ve blocked a lot of the “mean girl” situations out of my brain from when I was Em’s age, but I almost feel it has gotten worse. In past posts I talked about how my daughter was bullied at 4. It’s not so much bullying now, but more so the “I can do this and this and this, you need to talk to your parents so you can be like me”. Or “we all NEED to like the same things otherwise you aren’t one of us”. I’m out of my comfort zone in these situations. I was never really good with the “popular” groups or girl groups in general growing up. You can also only say, “because I told you so” so many times to your child before you want to shove your head into a pillow and scream. A lot of our arguments stem from the above situations. Her girl friends parents are a lot more lenient with them than I am with Em. I try to give her more fun opportunities than I got as a kid, but I am a little strict (although in some situations I think my husband can be stricter than me) and there are reasons for that. She hasn’t fully understood the concept of give and take, or more like respect/listening and reward. It’s an ongoing struggle where a lot of attitude and yelling take center stage.
Lastly, we have this…
Have you seen Inside Out? I feel like I am living this movie right now. I frequently interact with Disgust and Anger. Joy makes an appearance every so often, but one false move and Anger throws her against the skull, knocking her out. Oh Anger, you overly aggressive punk! At Em’s last checkup, the doctor stated that she will be starting puberty sooner than most girls. (Oh joy!) She’ll most like be the first of her friends to be going through it all, which will make her a great source of knowledge for when her friends start the dreaded “change”. So because of this, her hormones are going bonkers right now. In case you forgot what all this was like, think of it as your brain being a 3-year-old child and you have the brilliant idea of feeding that 3 year old two packages of FunDip right before nap time. The result? Complete chaos. That “chaos” is your hormones you can’t control. Because of this, I try not to fall in to the arguments that get started, but sometimes all the deep breathing in the world can’t stop the frustration. You can only say and do things so many times before you are past your limit of counting to 10 or taking deep breaths until you feel light-headed.
So, what do you do?
My husband and I have tried to sit her down and talk about how she feels and why she feels she has to lash out like she does. The only response she gives us is that she “can’t control it”. I’ve written her doctor who referred me to the Mental Health department. Unfortunately, Em is unwilling to go and I feel forcing her could cause an even bigger issue. She says she doesn’t want to be labeled as the “Weird Kid” and begins to cry anytime it is brought up. As a parent, you try to do everything you can for your child, but if your child is unwilling to talk about anything, what do you do? This is currently where I am at.
I’m afraid of our relationship suffering because of all this. She’s a lot tougher on me than she is with my husband. Maybe it’s because she feels more comfortable with me and she feels she can say whatever mean things she wants to say to me because I am mom and I will always be there. Or maybe she has anger towards me because of her little sister and a lot of my time is spent caring towards her needs.
I’m hoping that this is just a phase and at some point we can have a day where eyes aren’t rolled or mean things aren’t said, but until then all I can do is just be there if she needs me.
It’s been over 2 years since I have written on this blog. Heck, I don’t even know if anyone even reads this anymore, but hey, if you’re still here, how’s it going? I have a lot to talk about.
photo credit: Vladislav Klapin via Unsplash
So, the last few years have been a little hectic. For starters, I gave birth to a beautiful little girl in August of 2017. It’s been over 8 years since the birth of my first daughter and in an odd way, it kind of feels like starting as a brand new parent. My memory is horrible as it is, thanks to kid number one, so trying to remember everything you did with your first child is close to non-existent. You definitely forget what those first few weeks are like with a newborn. Being 8-9 years older assists in the exhaustion. I know the true meaning of “I’m not as young as I use to be”.
Another new thing for me is being a SAHM. I worked full-time 8 weeks after Emily was born and continued to do so until I was laid off when Emily was about 3. After that, I worked part-time. This time around, things are different. My mom can no longer watch a baby full time, not only did I age, but so did she. Childcare is out of the question. Why work full time when my whole paycheck would go to the daycare or person hired to take care of my children. I understand that some families do this and that’s great for them. I’m not judging in any way, shape or form. Everyone’s situations are different. Every family is different. You do what is best for you. Me not working is what fits best for us.
Another thing I have been dealing with for almost 2 years now is anxiety. Now this isn’t something new to me. I have dealt with anxiety and panic attacks since I was 20. It’s just that after becoming pregnant with my second child, anxiety decided that it no longer wanted to take a back seat to my life. It wanted to be front and center (the greedy punk). It was a very long and difficult pregnancy mentally for me and the panic attacks didn’t stop after my daughter was born.
I’ve also learned in these past 2 years, that family doesn’t always mean forever and that sometimes you have to let go of people who no longer care about you or your own growing family. I’ve gone through anger, sadness and eventually letting go with my one and only brother. It’s one thing to hurt me, but to cause pain to my children…that’s a whole other ball game.
So, yeah, I have some stuff to write about and in a way writing is my therapy. Here’s hoping that there are still some people who check in on this blog because I will FINALLY be writing some new content.
January has been a tough month for the Hollywood/music industry.
I was greatly saddened by Mr. Bowie’s death. He was a pretty big part of my childhood and helped guide my influence on music. Besides his amazing contributions to music, I think I will always remember being a nine or ten year old girl watching him as the Goblin King in one of my favorite movies, The Labyrinth.
He always kept his private life just that…private, which I hugely respect. That’s a really tough thing to do if you are in the public eye.
He gave us such unique personas making us wonder if he was really apart of this world.
His message, however, was much greater. Be yourself, whoever that is. Find it and embrace it.
Many say that his last album, Blackstar, was a parting gift to us all.
Perhaps. Whether it was meant to be a goodbye or not, he will surely be missed by many.
This man was truly one of my favorite actors. With his deep, bassy voice, he was easily recognized in any voice role he did. It was hard to mistake it. Now, I have never read or seen ANY Harry Potter books/movies (don’t judge me), so I won’t remember him as Professor Snape as many of you will.
He always played a magnificent villain, or as he put it, “I don’t play villains. I play interesting people.” He played some interesting people indeed. I think one (although there are many) of my favorite roles he played was the voice of God in Kevin Smith’s Dogma. No one could have played that role better than Alan Rickman.
So, I just wanted to take the time to share some of my favorite roles of his. I guess you can call it a mini tribute. The world has lost a great talent.
Col. Brandon: Sense and Sensibility
Absalom: Alice in Wonderland
Sheriff or Nottingham: Robin Hood Prince of Thieves
The Voice of God/Metatron: Dogma
Okay, so this article I had written way back in, I think May (see it’s been so long that I can’t even remember) has been delayed…and delayed…and, well…delayed some more. I feel completely guilty for not having this published sooner. Thankfully, this lady I’m about to tell you about is so amazingly sweet, gracious and understanding.
Since this article was written, there is another accomplishment I want to quickly let you guys in on. It’s Troy James: The Genevieve Goings Collection. This will be launching January 2016 according to her Facebook pages. Click on the link below to check out these snazzy bow ties, ties and more for your special little person!
I also want to quickly mention that this girl is also getting married REALLY soon! Right around my own anniversary, November 12th (that’s my anniversary, not the wedding date for Genevieve…that I know of). Best wishes to the beautiful and happy couple!
And now…without further delay…the article!!!!!
Genevieve Goings: Singer, Producer, DJ and Positive Role Model for Kids
If you’ve caught yourself singing “Let’s Take a Bath” or “Wipe Your Paws” from the short segments between Disney Junior shows, you can thank Genevieve Goings for singing those catchy little tunes that get stuck in your head. She is also half of Choo Choo Soul (which also appears between blocks on Disney Junior) and you may have caught her on Radio Disney as a DJ. Not only that, she is also the spokesperson for Disney’s “Give A Book, Get A Book” program, released her own children’s album entitled “Do You Know?” and was recently at the White House for the Easter Egg Roll where she read “Green Eggs and Ham” and turned pages for First Lady Michelle Obama as she read “Oh the Things You Can Do That Are Good For You”. She’s basically Super Woman in a conductor’s hat, or tie, depending on the day.
Genevieve has been in the music industry for 14 years. Both of her parents are musicians, she performed in the singing duo “Chemistry” in the Noble House Music Group, had an Electric-soul group called “Legato”, sang with J Boogie’s Dubtronic Science and free-styled her way through various hip-hop circuits in the Bay Area (California), which is where she grew up. It wasn’t until she was recording a voice-over for a video game that a very special opportunity would arise and have Disney take notice. “I recorded a voice-over for a video game called ‘ToeJam & Earl III, Mission to Earth,’ and became friends with the creator of the game, Greg. Greg had the idea for Choo Choo Soul and together with the audio producer, Burke, we produced what is now still playing on Disney Junior! Disney Junior was called ‘Playhouse Disney’ at the time, and was a morning-block of programming on Disney Channel. After hearing our album, a room full of Disney executives and a classroom full of five-year-olds agreed that it could make it on T.V. The response was incredible after airing the first 5 videos, and Disney continued to produce new seasons of Choo Choo Soul.” Two years ago, Choo Choo Soul re-invisioned some old Disney classics, such as “Under the Sea” (which is my daughter’s favorite), “Bare Necessities” and “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”. These songs can be found on the album Choo Choo Soul – Disney Favorites and the songs breathe a new energetic life into these classics.
Not only is she half of Choo Choo Soul, but she also has a solo children’s album out right now entitled “Do You Know?”. This album is full of high energy, thoughtful songs that involves everything a child deals with in their day to day lives. Genevieve states, “’Do You Know?’ Is a cool kid’s guide to growing up. Fundamentals like learning your phone number, sleeping in your own bed, and using your inside voice are topics that are covered in the soulful and catchy songs. I reached out to parents on Facebook and Twitter and asked what topics they would like songs about. A ‘Potty Song’ was the biggest request, so I wrote ‘Gotta Do My Business.’” These songs really speak to kids, they are relatable and fun and by reaching out to fans and parents, she really developed an album that kids can learn from as well as dance to. Also, with her wide range of musical influences; anywhere from soul and Motown to hip-hop to Broadway and anywhere in between, there is surely something for everyone on the album.
When asked why she decided to focus on children’s music, her answer was simple. “I truly
believe I was put on this planet to do this! It just clicked. I realized that there are plenty of singers out there, but this was my true calling, and where I shined the most. There was a space open for me in Children’s Entertainment and a need for me as well! The best part is the kids!! They are so precious, and so excited to learn, and sing, and imagine.” That attitude along with just pure love and compassion for her craft and the little people that listen to her music really shines through on every song she produces and sings. As a parent to a now six year old, it’s great to have my child admire someone who truly cares about what she puts out there into the universe. It’s all about finding positive role models for your child and Genevieve really encompasses that.
If music wasn’t enough for this talented lady, she is also a spokesperson for Disney’s “Give a Book, Get a Book” program which is a partnership between Disney Junior and First Book. “GABGAB donates a book to a child in need when a code is entered into the website. The code can be found on specially marked Disney products. Once you enter the code and choose where your book donation will go, you will get a free digital download to share with your family!” For more information on this wonderful program you can go to the link here (http://www.giveabookgetabook.com) and check it out. It’s a great way to give back to others.
Does your child listen to Radio Disney? Well, you may have heard Genevieve’s voice on there as well. She has recently become a DJ on the radio station. “I have always wanted to work in radio,” Genevieve states, “and I am so excited about this! On the free app, fans can listen to the radio any time. I host a continuous stream that loops and we update the stream regularly. We play music from Disney Junior, Classic Disney, and various Children’s artists, as well as have a story time. It’s a blast!”
So, with so many accomplishments so far in her life, what does she see for herself in the future? “I want to continue producing great Children’s Entertainment, whether it be me starring in it, or writing the content for other kids or actors to deliver. I want to produce a film as well as create a web series or other short-form production as well. I also will keep producing music for years to come!! I hope that my children inspire me even further (once I have them, that is!!).”
Genevieve Goings is such a largely talented individual and an amazing role model for kids! Like I said before, this girl is Super Woman!
If you would like more information on Genevieve, upcoming tour dates, or just to check out what she is up to next, check out these websites below.
I LOVE movies! I love watching them. I love watching behind the scenes. The entire process, from conception to final product, makes the creative side of my brain dance.
Once upon a time, I wrote a script, auditioned local actors, filmed it, made a trailer for it…then it all went by the wayside when family situations took precedence over creative life. Unfortunately, when life seemed to cool for a moment and I headed back to editing, it no longer held the same magic it once did. I was unhappy with a lot of things. The sound was horrible, my make-shift store looked something like a kindergartner would put together at playtime and one of my cameramen (whom I worked with at the time) didn’t line up shots like I wanted. It also doesn’t help that I can be a total perfectionist. The only thing that was great was the acting. So, after taking some time to consider my options, the best thing to do was just scrap the project. Inside, it killed me. It was my first BIG leap towards what I wanted to do for the rest of my life and there I was, throwing it all down the drain.
After that, it took a long while to get my brain back into writing another script. Now that my daughter is six and before another is on the way (if that happens), I was, surprisingly, struck with inspiration that I couldn’t ignore. That passion was back and it felt AMAZING! It was like visiting an old friend that I hadn’t seen in YEARS! What was surprising was that it was just as easy to sit down and write as it was when I was in my early 20’s. I thought mommy brain had taken all clear, steady concentration, but apparently I was wrong.
The script is mainly finished. Actually, it’s in its 3rd phase of revisions. I am truly happy with it. It’s adapted from an App game that I had been playing since July 2015. The game and the stories are addicting and it occurred to me that any of the stories would make a great movie! So, I started adapting my favorite story. Of course I am changing things here and there, making it my own, but keeping the main story-line. What’s funny is that I started imagining who I would want to play the main character and there was only one person that came to mind. After that, in a way, I started writing for that actor. In a lot of ways this actor’s intensity parallels that of the main character. During it’s revisions, the script has taken off onto it’s own path. If only I could get the script into his hands. Hmm…
So, where does it go from here? That’s a good question. I’m not entirely sure. I can tell you where I would LIKE it to go, but is that truly possible? One can dream. That’s why there are bright stars at night to wish on.
Unfortunately, a lot of places do not take unsolicited scripts (writing without representation) and to get an agent isn’t easy. I still have to do more research and see what I can do. Any advice from my blogger friends out there? I’ll take anything I can get.
For now, I will continue with my revisions until it is absolutely perfect in my mind. A little bit of faith and courage in myself wouldn’t hurt either.
So, it’s been a while since I’ve written. Yeah, I know, not that long ago I said I was back and I had stuff to write about, but…ya know.
I was invited by Coach Daddy to write my 6 Words for the month of September. September is Self Improvement Month. I was asked in 6 Words what would I like to upgrade about myself. Now, I could have definitely gone with physical traits, slimmer figure anyone? But I settled upon this:
To Find More Faith in Myself
After writing this, I felt it warranted some explanation.
I’m not a very confident person. I second guess (well actually let’s make that third, fourth and fifth guess) myself A LOT. There are very few people that I am completely open with and being the true Pisces that I am, there is a million and one things racing through my brain at ALL moments of the day. And sometimes those thoughts slip off into an alternate reality where I feel more relaxed and calmer in my own skin. Creativity of the mind can sometimes be a dangerous thing.
Lately, I’ve been finding myself catering to those creative needs of mine. I finished my children’s book, published the larger version (still working on the smaller, more affordable one) and now I’m venturing on to one of my true passions, script writing. It’s been a LONG time since I’ve written a script. I forgot how much I LOVE it! I think the last time I wrote a script was over 10 years ago. That one I actually filmed. I had the support of some really great, talented actors and friends and after completing production, I never edited it together. I have a trailer for it, but that’s all. During post-production of the film, my Nanie became ill with cancer. My time was focused on her until she passed, that and I was planning my own wedding. When my Nanie did eventually pass, it took a long time for me to even want to take that time to sit in front of a computer and edit. By the time I was up to it, the whole project had changed for me. It felt entirely different and it just didn’t hold that same “magic” that it once did. I was no longer happy with what was done and I scrapped the project. I know it wasn’t fair to those individuals who took their time to bring this project to life, but I couldn’t put something out that I was no longer visually proud of.
So now, for me to be excited to sit down and write like this again, well, it’s a BIG deal to me. (I have to give some major props to Midnight Cinderella and Ikemen Cybird for a great story app, which is what my script is based off of.) And this is where my 6 Words ties in. Getting the confidence in myself to send something out for complete strangers to read and judge. Just the thought of it clenches at my heart and makes my stomach turn into an atrium full of butterflies. Rejection terrifies me. It always has. I’ve always worried too much of what other people have thought of me, more so of my writing because my writing is essentially an extension of my soul. It’s where I can be honest, open, creative…myself. So putting something I’ve written out there is the same to me as walking the streets naked, which no one wants to see (trust me). It’s frightening as hell! This is probably the reason why I’ve been shuffling me feet at making the more affordable version of my book available. I do want it out there, but at the same time it’s terrifying.
So what do you do about?
Time for me to grow some cojones!
I’m 35, it’s time for me to open myself up a little more and put myself out there. I deserve to have my dreams taken seriously too and the only way to do that is to grow a thicker layer of skin and jump out into that scary unknown. (deep breaths, right?) I always tell my daughter that she can be whatever she wants when she grows up, as long as she is willing to work for it. Why am I not listening to my own advice? Well, it’s a heck of a lot easier to dish it out than actually follow it, am I right? But what example does that set for my daughter? If she sees me not willing to put myself out there and go for it, will she do the same when she is older? If writing is my true passion and it’s something that makes me truly happy, why deny myself that?
So here we go. Asking for those encouraging, good vibes. Time for this 35 year old to grow up and follow her dreams.
After hearing from the pediatric anesthesiologist last week and talking with him for 20 minutes, we have decided to go through with the MRI. Like I said before, it’s not the MRI that worries me it’s the anesthesia. That stuff can be potentially dangerous.
As the date approaches closer, July 13th, I can feel my heart dropping into the pit of my stomach and I catch myself tearing up every so often. If I’m alone, I start to cry.
Then why do it if I’m still so very nervous? Well, if my daughter does have a tethered spine, which is what they expect, the repercussions of not waiting until she doesn’t have to be put under are as follows:
1. Leg weakness
2. Loss of bladder control
3. Muscle weakness
4. Back pain
If any of these happen while we are waiting until she is a little older, it is irreversible. They would still be able to snip the thickened filum, which is what causes the tethered spine, but any “side effects” that happen cannot be undone. Like I told a friend, it’s a double edged sword.
On the one hand (decision #1), if we wait until she is 10 to have the MRI completed, meaning no general anesthesia, there is a possibility of the list above happening to her. Then, on the other hand (decision #2), there are the risks of putting your child under. I am constantly reminded of the little 13 year old girl that went in to Children’s Hospital in Oakland (which is about 15 minutes from where I live) for a tonsillectomy. She has been a in coma ever since and this was about a year or two ago. So, as a parent, which do you choose? Option #1 or Option #2?
As the day approaches, the worse I will be getting. The most difficult thing is hiding your emotions from your child. The last thing you want her to see if the fear and worry you have for her. I asked the pediatric anesthesiologist if they could mix me up a Versed cocktail to get me through the hour or so she will be out. He just laughed at me. I don’t think he took me seriously. No, really dude, I’m gonna be needing one of those cocktails! It doesn’t have to be Versed. Just give me what you got! Too bad we don’t have bars in the lobby like some hospitals in England.
Even though the guy helped ease my nerves a little bit about general anesthesia, nothing will really ever make me feel “ok” with this whole situation. She’s my baby, I’m suppose to protect, but all of this is just out of my hands. I have absolutely no control and that terrifies me.