Dinosaur Hands and Dracula Face

Those are the names a 5th grader has decided to start calling my sweet 5 year old. Read more about it in my new post on the Cincinnati Parent Blog today.

Have YOU ever met someone with a craniofacial condition?

Maybe you know Aiden. Maybe you've seen someone on a Target run or at the local park and weren't quite sure what it was that made them "different". Perhaps you once encountered someone with a crooked smile or a misshapen face. Whatever the case may be, maybe I can help shed some light on it.

September is Craniofacial Acceptance Month and in an effort to raise awareness about the various craniofacial conditions, I put together a short video a few years ago.

Each of the kids featured in the video montage has a craniofacial condition. They have endured many surgeries. They get stared at sometimes for what they look like. They are amazing pillars of strength to all who know them - and I beg for you to take a few minutes to learn about them too.

Show the images to your children. Ask them to share their thoughts and encourage them to ask any questions they may have. Point out how the kids in the video are strong and courageous and how they are all very much like your kids in more ways than they are not.

Then take a moment to share this post so others can do the same. It'll only take a minute - but it could impact the lives of so many individuals affected by craniofacial differences for years to come.

Help me widen the circle of acceptance for kids like Aiden. I would be forever grateful.

Thanks so much!

Child-free zones on planes? Give me a break!

There have been many articles flying around the internet (pun intended) about airlines placing restrictions on - or even banning - children from certain flights.
---> See: "Families feel the squeeze as more airlines adopt kid-free zones"
As a mother of 3 kids who travels frequently for my son's medical care and to visit out of town family, I have a pretty strong opinion about this.

And here it is...

Flying is a service that is offered and frankly everyone has a right to use that service to get from here to there. As a mom who has flown countless times with all 3 of my kids, I wish my fellow passengers knew that I'm already stressed enough from carrying the extra load and maneuvering the airport with my entire family in tow - I don't want (nor do I deserve) to have others giving me the stink-eye if my kids aren't perfect angels from take-off to touch-down.

Besides - I have been on several flights where adult passengers were far more annoying than a wriggly or crying baby.

I once flew 4 hours straight next to someone who decided wearing deodorant was not necessary. This particular someone - and all those around him - would have greatly benefited from a better personal hygiene routine.

Another time I had to share the air with a grown man who spent the.entire.flight hacking up a lung.

Or how about the woman who CLIPPED HER FINGERNAILS right next to me, then proceeded to brush the clippings onto the floor.

And finally, I almost vomited as a bald man in the seat in front of me scratched and picked at small scabs on his scalp for 20 minutes straight.

When it becomes acceptable for airlines to designate seating for those with improper personal hygiene choices then maybe that's when I'll care if my noisy baby is a nuisance.

To all the grumpy elders and crabby businessmen who cringe when I sit next to them with my brood I say this: Look, I get it. On the rare occasion that I get to fly kid-free, I admit to rolling my eyes a bit at the irony of being seated next to a mom with baby. But I paid for my seat just like you. And while I am a damn good mom with generally pretty well-behaved kids, sometimes they turn into ten shades of crazy when the cabin door is pulled shut. Don't worry, I'm not saying I'm gonna let my misbehaving kids run rampant down the aisles or kick your seat with reckless abandon. I will do my absolute best to keep them - and you - happy. However if you are looking for a guaranteed quiet and relaxing atmosphere, perhaps flying isn't the best mode of transportation.

Riding the Rollercoaster of Motherhood

I'm excited to start my new gig as a featured monthly blogger over at Cincinnati Parent Magazine online. Every month I will post new content for them, which will also be published on CPM's sister sites Indy's Child and Dayton Parent Magazine.

My first post went live today and I would so love if you'd click over and give it a like or leave a comment! Just click on the image below :) Thanks!