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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

For Mothers of Small Children
Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray my sanity to keep.
For if some peace I do not find, I'm pretty sure I'll lose my mind.
I pray I find a little quiet Far from the daily family riot
May I lie back--not have to think about what they're stuffing down the sink, or who they're with, or where they're at and what they're doing to the cat.
I pray for time all to myself (did something just fall off a shelf?)
To cuddle in my nice, soft bed (Oh no, another goldfish--dead!)
Some silent moments for goodness sake (Did I just hear a window break?)
And that I need not cook or clean-- (well heck, I've got the right to dream)
Yes now I lay me down to sleep, I pray my wits about me keep,
But as I look around I know-- I must have lost them long ago!

overcoming handicaps

Wisdom from Ann Lander's Readers: Overcoming "handicaps" Sometimes we are told our kids will never do certain things. This list says different.

Strike him down with infantile, paralysis and he becomes a Franklin D. Roosevelt, the only president to be elected to four terms.
When he is a lad of 3, burn him in a schoolhouse fire that the doctors say he will never walk again, and you have Glenn Cunningham, who set the world's record in 1934 for running a mile in 4 minutes 6.8 seconds.
Call him a slow learner "retarded" and write him off as ineducable, and you have an Albert Einstein.
Tell a young boy who loved to sketch that he has no talent, and you have a Walt Disney.
Pit her against sexual discrimination, and you have a Madame Curie.
Make him a hopeless alcoholic, and you have Bill Wilson, founder of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Punish her with poverty and prejudice and she may survive to become another Golda Meir.
Rate him as "mediocre" in chemistry, and you have a Louis Pasteur.
Tell her she's to old to paint at age 80 and you have Grandma Moses.
Label him "too stupid to learn" and you have Thomas Edison.
Afflict him with periods of depression so severe that he cut off his own ear, and you have a Vincent Van Gogh.
Blind him and you have a Ray Charles, Tom Sullivan, Stevie Wonder, and George Shearing or Alec Templeton.
Call him dull and hopeless and flunk him in the 6th grade, and you have Winston Churchill.

Monday, January 30, 2006

More Notes on Spirited Kids-more for me than you

As the book says, It is you who helps your child understand his temperament, emphasize his strengths, and provides him with the guidance he needs to express himself appropriately.
I've often wondered, Tom and I are both rather quiet people and I was always a very very patient person. But then I had kids........and I don't know what happened to my patience. It's gone. Here's a guy in the book talking about just that,
"To tell you the truth," he told me, "the 'war' frightened me. Usually I'm a low-key, quiet kind of guy. Competent-little things don't rile me. How my four-year-old could send me to the moon totally baffled me, but he could and he did. "
The book suggests that a lot of the problem is that parents assume the kids are doing things on purpose, when for them it's just their first natural reaction to things. They really aren't trying to be bad or to annoy you. "Spirited kids experience every emotion and sensation deeply and powerfully. Their hearts pound, the adrenaline flows through their bodies. There is actually a physical reaction that occurs more strongly in their bodies than in less intense individuals. They are not loud because they know it irritates people; they are loud because they really feel that much excitement, pain, or whatever the emotion or sensation might be." I think that the idea that the child is trying to be bad or stubborn or irritating on purpose probably influences our reactions as parents a lot more than I had realized.

On giving kids time to adjust to a new situation or place:
"Spirited kids honestly do shift this slowly. They are not trying to be stubborn and make life miserale for you. They need time to adjust."
That one is true for both kids at different times. If Leanna's used to the place and the people there she has no problems. But I've noticed if she's not as familiar with the people and they try to force themselves on her she gets very shy and sometimes is rude to them. With Justin he just needs time to adjust to the new environment, and if he's left alone he doesn't have a problem with the people there-even if he doesn't know them. He is extraordinarily stubborn though, if someone tries to force him to interact he will absolutely refuse. Leanna is extemely stubborn, but I think Justin tops even her!
On energy:
"It isn't that they aren't paying attention or trying to follow the rules, they simply have a need to move......For example, the six-year-old who wiggles around and jumps in and out of his chair while he completes his worksheet is a child with an active temperament. The child who pings around the room and never completes his worksheet may be experiencing ADHD. "
I think Leanna just has a need to move, more than the average child. It's not that she has trouble concentrating. The ants aren't in her pants, they're in her blood!
The book also explains that differences in temperament also fan the flames between parent and child. You can easily misunderstand your child's motivation and be hurt or angry because you see things very differently. (For example-the introspective child who comes home from school and doesn't want to talk isn't rejecting you. They just need time to process the day on their own before discussing it with others.)

Liar, liar, hair's on fire!

So.....the house is quiet, everyone is asleep but me. I'm taking a mini-break from chores and thought I'd write here. Sunday afternoon Leanna set fire to her hair. Ok, I'm being dramatic, she singed away a small section of hair. But still! I had two candles lit, both up high, and Tom was sleeping in his chair. I only went upstairs with Justin for a minute to go to the bathroom. While I was up there Leanna, for reasons known only to herself and Maree, decided to sit ontop of the roll top desk(on the part that actually rolls, not the top of the desk). Maree kept yelling at her to get off the desk before it broke and I came down because I heard them argueing. "What's that smell?!" Singed human hair is not a pleasant scent. Certainly not the one I was going for when I lit the candle. "Leanna! Get down now, now, now!!" Thank god her hair did not actually catch on fire! Or she could have knocked the candle down onto the baby sleeping in the basinet nearby, or just onto the floor causing a fire. So now I know that I have to consider not only how high the candle is placed, but also what possible damages could be, should the candle fall!
And went over with Maree, for the millionth time, to get me or Tom if she's having problems with Leanna. Not to try to play Mommy herself. I don't think she realized that Leanna's hair was in the candle though. At least Maree will have good stories to tell one day......hey! Remember that time your hair caught on fire! Good times, good times......

Scary stuff

Just another reason it's good to have your baby stay with you in the room you give birth in-by the time they take the baby for any tests, you've already spent enough time to recognize your own child. I'm glad my kids look enough like one or both of us that there are no doubts! I can't imagine having to deal with this.......

Jeerawuth Boonyoo and Orawan Chanthong, a boy and a girl who know each other at school, learned this week that they went home with the wrong families when they were born at a hospital in the coastal southern province of Trang ten years ago.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Continuing the last post......

I'm posting about what I am reading in this book for several reasons. 1. to help me understand and remember what I"m reading better 2. to possibly help other people who deal with my children to understand them better 3. as a reminder to myself of this information everytime I re-read this.
It's nice to hear that you're not alone. As she says, "Being the parent of a spirited child can be lonely. Because they are "more" much of the advice that works for parenting other children is ineffective with spirited kids.......As a result you can feel crazy, wondering what you did wrong and thinking that you are the only parent in the world with a kid who act this way."
This passage really resonates for me:
Your "awakening" might have come with the birth of a second child-one who slept through the family gatherings instead of screaming and let you dress her in a frilly dress instead of ripping at the lace. Or it could have been the birth of your sister-in-law's child, the one who could be laid down anywhere and promptly went to sleep. Your sister-in-law proudly beamed as though she had done something right, while your child continued to fume and fuss, causing all the eyes in the room to turn to you, silently accusing, "What's wrong with yours?" Your intuition has fought the stares and the indictments brought against you, knowing, believing that this child was tougher to parent, but not quite sure if you were right, and if you were, you didn't know why."

Basically the book explains that nature gives your child their temperment, nurture can't change that. Nurture can only teach your child ways to deal with that temperment-both to use it's advantages and to control the disadvantages. Very comforting to someone who has intuitively felt that she didn't cause her children's temperment! And comforting because it gives me hope that I can still do something to help. A valuable lesson even if you don't have a "spirited child."

Spirited kids

Right now I'm reading Raising your spirited child: a guide for parents whose child is more intense, sensitive, perceptive, persistent, energetic. I'd seen it when I worked at the book store, and initially it made me think of Leanna. She's so full of energy-many family members have suggested ADD/hyperactivity. But I really don't feel that is her problem. While she has a lot of energy, I don't really think drugs are the solution for her. Plus I did a tiny bit of research, just enough to check if I should be worried, and apparently if you are hyperactive you also have ADD (attention deficit disorder). That doesn't fit Leanna, as she is able to concentrate on activities, by herself or with me. She has so much energy, it's very hard to rein in!
I tend to be suspicious of any book that offers to cure all discipline problems. At this point I'm at chapter 6, but I think even if this book doesn't help in the way I had hoped, it will be worth it because I'm learning other things from it. About myself as well as the kids. Yeah, plural, kidS. Justin fits the discriptions in different ways also. Oh no, not me, I couldn't just have normal, mild kids!
A lot of it is just about looking at things differently. Calling the kid spirited instead of difficult. Realizing that those same qualities that can be so frustrating can also be used in good ways-ultimately to help them suceed in life. And the idea that you are looking for progress, not perfection. That's a lesson I need. In some areas I am a perfectionist, and when things don't go the way I think they should, I get really depressed. (this is a quality I have noticed in both my sister Claire, and my daughter). I'm really hoping this book will turn out to have some solutions for me.
So anyway, my kids definitely fit the description of "spirited kids." To paraphrase: spirited kids are MORE! More intense, persistent, sensitive, perceptive, and uncomfortable with change than other children. All children possess these characteristics, but spirited kids possess them with a depth and range not available to other children. Spirited kids are the super ball in a room full of rubber balls. The good days couldn't be better.....the dreadful days are another story."
8.first reaction-quick withdrawl from anything new

Leanna can be very intense, she is extremely persistant, she's starting to display signs of sensitivity (everything is too tight! Her shoes are too tight, even though I can fit both my hands in alongside her feet, they are too tight!)I'm not sure about perceptiveness yet, adaptability isn't too bad, she is very irregular,her energy is-well, you know. For first reaction she is a mix-sometimes she will jump right in, other times she gets very shy.
Justin is always very very very intense, he is extremely persistant, not sure about sensitivity or persistance yet, adaptability to change is somewhat slow(depends on the situation), he is very regular, he is very energetic(not in the same way as his sister though)he needs a bit of time to warm up in new situations(though he's getting better with that) and his mood goes to both extremes.

Thursday, January 26, 2006


I haven't had a chance to post much lately. Most of my free time has been spent on the house. We rearranged things again. Tom rolled up the two carpets in the living room and we moved all the furniture and cleaned the whole floor. Plus I've been working on the upstairs some again-I can only do a little at a time, so it takes forever to get anywhere. Tom has been working on the basement. There was an awful lot of junk left down there by previous owners. And he finally put together Justin's scooter he got for Christmas. Leanna loves it. Justin likes it too, but it's hard for him to get a chance to use it because she's always on it.
Timothy and I finally caught Justin's cold. Timothy's started drooling now, so he's probably starting to teethe, oh joy. That combined with the cold is making him very cranky and I constantly have him or Justin in my arms. It really wears you out.
I got a juicer for Christmas and I tried it out last night-I love it. You get a lot more vitamin C (desperately needed right now!) from fresh juice and it's really easy to use and clean. It tastes much better than the frozen stuff I usually have to drink. I looked up the artist who painted The Accolade, (Edmund Blair Leighton) the picture Tom got me for Christmas, and I got hooked on I spent way too much time just looking at different paintings. I've always been into midevil stuff, unicorns, horses, victorian stuff,etc. and there's a lot there.
Maree's coming over this weekend and she got straight "A"s on her report card. I called korinna the other night to ask if she and Maree worked on scrapbooking. They were supposed to, that's why we didn't have her last weekend. I got Maree a bunch of scrapbooking stuff for Christmas because she's always like mine and wanted to do it herself. I bought her little kid kits for it in the past, but her mom never got her any pictures to do it. So this year I had a bunch of pictures of one of her soccer games we attended printed out for her. That way she wouldn't have to wait for her mom. But no, Korinna said that she didn't do it with Maree because Maree doesn't like to sit down for more than 10 minutes at a time. She said she didn't want to get it all out and then have Maree lose interest. Doesn't quite fit the Maree we have at our house, not that I'm saying she doesn't know her own kid-but to me that just sounds like an excuse! Then she said that she wants Maree to start out doing it with family pictures instead of soccer ones(which means waiting for her Mom to get her pictures again!). I bought her a soccer scrapbook and soccer stickers-it was a theme! And then she kept talking and talking, after about 40 minutes I made an excuse to get off the phone. It's great that she's friendly but I just wanted to ask a simple question-I had other things to do! I will be really ticked off if she doesn't let Maree use that stuff. I know she's capable of working for longer than 10 minutes because I've done things with her here. And I thought it'd be fun for her to do with her mom or me. Kids love crafts. Oh well, I can only do so much.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Another mess

And Justin grabbed a box of tea I had set on the stove and he ripped open several bags of tea. They weren't individually wrapped. So there was tea all over the kitchen floor......I could post like this every single day, several times.

love the imagination on this kid.......

Leanna ate some hard boiled eggs tonight and she likes to peel them herself. She came running in to me to happily tell me, "Mommy, a duck popped out of the middle and went into the garbage, a real duck!"
So I just said, wow, that's great Leanna. And she went back and ate the egg. Minus the middle.

names-from Dilbert blog again

Posted by: Joel Dowlath January 23, 2006 at 02:56 PM

I know I'm a little late posting, but I always laughed so hard at this guy who was listed in the phone book in Saginaw, MI as Harry Sackrider Jr. There was also a Freddy Krueger. As a side note, I had been living in Indiana for a bit before the last election for governer (like 2002 or so), when I saw an ad coming back for "Posthumous tax cuts" I am so against taxing people once they're dead, so I was like "right on!" Little did I know that the Republican candidate was one Dick Posthumous. Tehehehe.

For all comments:

Spread the word

Tom finally printed out business cards! If you know anyone doing remodeling, spread the word, he's cheap. When even his customers comment that he's cheap, you know he really is. He's too worried about losing the job if he charges too much, so he makes very little. I am proud to say that he does good work though.
It's a long story, but his uncle is screwing him, so he needs all the work he can get. Who knows, maybe in the long run it will be a good thing as it will force Tom to start working on his own. So tell everyone you know a good general contractor!


Justin's been going after the sugar lately-eating it straight. There is nothing this kid is not into!

He can be really exhausting.

Ah, memories

On Saturday I got a letter from a law firm saying that I had unclaimed money, about $180, that they could get to me within 3-5 business days, for a fee of about $56.00 Then yesterday I received two more letters about the same amount of money, one firm wanting $37.oo and the other wanting $18! It's money from a company I used to work for, Kash N Karry(owned by Food Lion who owes me the money apparently). It's under the category of wages payroll salary, which makes sense to me because that company cheated you out of pay whenever they could. I bet someone sued them. I used to work a 12 hour day for them every Sunday and never got overtime, they sometimes used to shave hours off your paycheck(I started getting a printout before I left for the day. It was a pain in the butt, but I wanted to make sure they knew I was watching my hours.) They constantly asked you to work extra, they said you weren't allowed a break unless there were 3 other people working in the department, with no warning they left me alone to train two new people all day on our busiest day-as in no one else was there but me and the new people(how do you train like that?), one time I had to keep working because my relief decided to quit and there was no one else in the department but me and it had already been a 12 hour day, and the manager used to make me do inventory and ordering supplies-his job! The manager was a joke-I remember one night when they paid him ($11/hour) to make up a party tray that he walked out of the store without paying for. We did eat good at that job though. The manager would make thick london broil sandwhiches for us(at the store's expense, not that they knew) and other sandwhiches and salads, etc. The assistant manager used to wander away for hours, one time they finally found him at the mall nearby(being paid to be hanging out at the mall!). This job was the worst, and I've had a series of sucky jobs, so I know what I'm talking about. I really hate working for corporations.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Super babies!

So I'm reading some of the comments on a babycenter article. They're always funny-you might get a few people who comment out of a genuine desire to be helpful, and a few who post with serious questions. But the vast majority seem to post out of a desire to brag or to feel better by putting others down. They often sound so rediculous that it's funny. I was reading an article today How can I give my toddler a head start on school? and it's amazing how focused we are today on raising super babies. I'm assuming this is a relatively new thing.
Especially working in the children's dept. at Barnes N Nobles, I got to observe a lot of the things parents do to help develop their children's intelligence. Books, workbooks, "smart" music, all kinds of tools so you can have a little Einstein. I really think that we are taking childhood away from kids. I'm told that to get into kindergarten today kids need to be able to write their names-didn't that used to be what kindergarten was for? I know that the cold war was when the US started pushing kids to learn earlier-out of a desire to ensure we'd be able to beat Russia. That was when they started changing the kindergarten program.
I actually read that kids who start knowing letters and reading early end up at the same level as other kids by second grade. So parents who push their kids to learn this stuff early aren't really giving them a big advantage in school. It mainly takes time away from playing and doing kid stuff. I'm not talking about kids who genuinely want to learn, there are some who are just drawn to it-in that case it's not pushing, it's developing a natural talent. There's nothing wrong with encouraging curiosity. It's when you keep going, even though the child is no longer interested-when you keep them from playing-when you stop making it fun-That's when it is about feeding the parent's ego and not helping the child.

Then there are those who take it a step farther: There's a book out now about a man who developed a sperm bank of genius sperm called THE GENIUS FACTORY by David Plotz.

Imagine a future in which women are inseminated with the sperm of Nobel laureates to help spawn a race of “super babies.” Sound far-fetched? The strange thing is, this weird-science scenario is real, and it’s part of our past. In The Genius Factory, award-winning Slate editor and columnist David Plotz tells the absorbing, unbelievable story of an eccentric millionaire, his highbrow sperm bank, and the surprising legacy it left behind. Back in 1980, tycoon Robert Graham believed America was facing a genetic catastrophe that only the spread of gifted thinkers’ seed would amend. That year, Plotz tells us, he opened the Repository for Germinal Choice, featuring a roster of Nobel winners, math geniuses, prodigies, and star athletes. After producing more than 200 children, the notoriously nicknamed “Nobel sperm bank” shuttered its doors in 1999, leaving a giant question mark as to the fate of its offspring.
He wanted to develop super children-either for the children's sake or for society's, depending on when you asked him. What's wrong with normal kids? It takes all kinds, and sometimes very very intelligent people can do some very very stupid things. People see things all different ways-why lose that? We need our forrest Gumps too! Having a race of mainly superintelligent people would not be as great as people think. I'm not going into as much detail here as i could(time constraints), but you get the idea.
Some posts from babycenter I thought were interesting and relevant to this topic:

Children...the last great daily miracle. I try not to look at parents boasting as a competition, I simply see them the way I feel in my own heart...proud, amazed, over joyed and awe struck by my childs every new move, word or action. I want to yell every one of my daughters accomplishments to the world not because I am proud of me...but because I am proud of her.
I think we all need to be a little gentler, kinder and tolerant of each other.

Each one of our children is the most wonderful, most incredible, and most brilliant person in the it ought to be...and they all have a different way of expressing those qualities. Cherish each moment with them...for our time with them is brief...and when they're all grown, and we're dancing at their wedding, all that will really matter is that we gave them everything we could give them...and that they always know how much they are loved and respected for who they are and not who we expect them to be...and with that I believe anything is possible...

As a former early childhood educator and years of college, you are all right. In these days, it is important to teach your child social skills and the basics for future learning. It's okay to be proud of your children, and every once in awhile BRAG.:) An important rule of thumb, children learn in this order listening, speaking, reading, writing. Remember they still have to learn the sounds, how to spell, when to use punctuation, and a whole lot of other stuff! Teach your children the best way know. The most important thing to remember is to STAY INVOLVED with their little lives. Some of my smartest students were the ones whose parents were involved with EVERY aspect of their lives. Teaching letters, numbers, colors, etc. is important, but developing an individual who is sure of him/herself by instilling a strong sense of self is of the uptmost importance. I see too many adults who always have to prove something; are they really happy? Intelligence is part nature and part nurture; some children will never be an Einstein no matter what you do while others could receive little teaching and be a genius (a genius who surpasses the highest IG score in the world is a bouncer for a living and he's smarter than his neurosurgeon partner). Ultimately, it is not what you know, but how you apply knowledge that makes you intelligent.

I'm a Medical Doctor (Neprhologist) and I started "talking" at 2 years of age; my sister, however, started talking at 12 months and never went past a high school degree. This of course, does not mean that I'm better than her, as a matter of fact she is a very happy, well-rounded individual, but parents out there, be patient, every kid takes his own time. Don't think that because other people's kids do things before your own he/she is slow. Take heart!

I am a former school teacher of 7 yrs and I have a 17 month old son. I read to him every day, talk to him, play with him, etc... He hardly speaks 5 words, yet he "talks" all the time. He is the happiest most playfyl child I have ever been around. We do so many things together and I know he will talk and use words meaningfully when his little mind begins to let him. It's not that I am not impressed by what some other toddlers can "do", but I agree with some on here that learning isn't just about counting numbers or saying colors.

Studies show that by the time 2 children get into the 2nd grade, it is impossible to tell which child came into school knowing their basic numbers and alphabet. So basically, teaching your kids these skills so early might look cute, but it probably won't help much in the long run. It probably just makes us parents feel better about our parenting skills.
I say what's the hurry... Let your baby/toddler be that. They will get it. I have a 4 year old and he loves to be read too, and he has learn things from PLAY!! FUN PLAY. :)He is as smart as his peers that their parents started flash cards and everything else at a early age. :)

I say savor the moment while they are still little, because before long they will be in school all day/every day.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

babies don't keep......

I do not have my act together yet after having Timothy. The adjustment between having 2 kids to three was much harder for me than going from one to two. A friend of mine who had 4 told me that after you have the second one there's little difference adding more, but that wasn't true for me. A lot of it is because Justin is still so needy yet, but even Leanna's been more clingy than usual lately. The past few days all 3 have been insisting on sitting on my lap at once. And Leanna and Justin don't easily co-exist in the same small space, so it's a challenge.
Tonight was nice for a change, I managed to get them to sleep, earlier than usual. Not anywhere near as early as it should be, but it's a step in the right direction. The timing worked out right for once! The baby fell asleep and stayed sleeping long enough for me to put the other two to bed, and I managed to get Justin to sleep before Leanna which gave me some time with just her! Usually the younger two act up exactly as I"m trying to put them to bed and I have two screaming boys which quickly turns into one very angry Justin(cause the baby has to come first), and Justin's crying keeps the baby from settling enough for me to put him down and calm Justin. It's a catch-22! We live with a lot of craziness and messiness right now. So tonight I had time to straighten up a little and even get a shower(yes that is exciting!)! It gives me hope that eventually I will get them back on a schedule and have a little more regularity for me too. I just have to keep reminding myself that it's ok for things to be crazy for a while, they're only young for such a short period of time...........

Cleaning and scrubbing can wait til tomorrow
for babies grow older I've learned to my sorrow
so quiet down cobwebs, dust, go to sleep!
I'm rocking my babies, cause babies don't keep!


Leanna and I were talking about when she will start school. I was saying that I think she'll really like it because she'll enjoy learning. To which she replied, " Well, I know that I'll really have to learn to climb big trees! Because I can only climb little ones!"

Question for moms/parents reading this

What rules did/have/do you plan to enforce regarding tv? I'm curious.....

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Note to Sue's Genes

Dear Genes of Susan L J.,

While there are many wonderful qualities you have passed on to my children; I would like to hearby, formally request that you please lay dormant for a while. Give other genes a chance! We'd like to see a little of Pop-Pop J. maybe, a bit of a great-grandmother or two, possibly a bit of Aunt or Uncle thrown in know, mix it up a bit. Obviously you are strong and hearty genes-you not only came through in both Sue's boys, but also in each of her grandchildren! But it'd be alright really, if you eased up a bit, let some other genes slide in there! That's all I'm saying! Thank you.

Your daughter-in-law,


Tom taught me how to finalize the videotapes we make last night, so I was starting to finalize a bunch of videos that have been sitting around. You have to finalize them before you are able to view them in a dvd player. I watched Christmas, memorial day and Leanna, Justin, and Tom's birthday party; I saw part of Tom's cousin's wedding reception-and that tape had a couple minutes of my sister playing with little baby Justin. Wow, I was looking at the baby-it looked so much like Timothy but I didn't think he would have been wearing that outfit at that size. I figured it must be Justin but I wasn't quite sure until I noticed that the video took place at Fountain Hill. I made Tom look at it and he agreed-they're not identical, but man do they look alike! It really surprised me because Timothy reminds me more of Leanna as a baby. Sometime I'll have to do a scrapbook page on comparisons. Like say maybe a picture of Justin along with ones of me and Tom as babies. And maybe one comparing the three kids. When I have time.........ha.
Timothy is a really smiley baby. He tries to talk now, sometimes Leanna insists that he says things to her. It took her a while, but now she really adores him. Although at this point she still says that Justin is her best friend. I love it when she sings to Timothy. She's always singing this song, my heart belongs to you, your heart belongs to me. I don't recognize the song but it's really adorable. Justin will sing Rockaby Baby to him if I ask him to. My children can be so cute!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

cleaning messes and identifying rashes

Let's see......Justin dumped a bunch of crumbs left in Tom's potato chips on Monday......then a bag of Tom's cheese curls a fruit cup and an ashtray on Tuesday.....Wednesday it was a bucket of spackel he was into(all over his face, hands, shirt, legs and the downstairs bathroom floor)............
We had late night worries Wed. night when Leanna developed a rash. She's always itchy so when she first complained it didn't seem out of the ordinary. But then she kept asking me to scratch her back, very persistantly. So I looked under her shirt at where she was itching and the skin was irritated-there were bumps and the whole area was redish from being scratched. She had it on her stomache, back, and legs. Chicken pox immediately sprung to mind, but it didn't look the way I remember them looking-there was no red mark in the center. But I'm thinking-I don't remember if maybe they start out looking like this first, and I'm thinking oh great-if it's chicken pox that would be extremely dangerous for 3 month old Timothy! First I had her go show her father and he came up and called his Mom right away. Then I called my Mom to come over and look at it since she saw me and my sisters have it when we were kids. She said it didn't look like chicken pox either. We called Korinna to check if any of Maree's friends had it(in case Maree was a carrier) but no. Tom hands me the phone-the jerk!-so I get stuck on the phone with Korinna for 20 minutes. It's sweet that she's all concerned and gives me all kinds of advice, but man, that woman can talk! As I was on the phone with her I looked up pictures of chicken pox, then shingles, rashes, and hives. It appears to be hives-a sign that the whole body is experiencing a hypersensitivity reaction.
They can be caused by classic allergic reactions in which histamine triggers an inflammatory response. It can also be caused by a number of other regulatory systems in the body in response to different types of triggers. For example, Cold urticaria – the most common of the physical causes. These hives are triggered by exposure to cold water or air. Dermatographia -- hives that appear where the skin is firmly stroked. Pressure urticaria -- hives that appear under tightly fitting clothing or jewelry. Cholinergic urticaria -- hives that occur in response to heat, exercise, or emotional stress. Aquagenic urticaria -- hives that are triggered by contact with sweat or with water. In these people, exercise itself is not a trigger, and they can drink water without a problem. Solar urticaria -- a rare disorder in which sun exposure results in hives. Sunscreen can help! We also know that some parasites can be responsible for hives (including giardia and pinworms, which are common in day care settings). We also know that bacterial infections, most notably Strep, can be the culprit. Viruses of many types can trigger hives as well.
Over 70 percent of the time no specific cause is found when children have hives. They were hypersensitive to something, but no one discovers what, and the hives go away. Doctors think that most of these unidentified cases may be from viruses, which would make them the most common cause of hives. This is particularly likely when there is a cluster of cases (although molds, animals, foods, parasites, etc. could also be responsible for clusters). They're not contageous, though the trigger of the hives might be.
Luckily, not long after our internet searches revealed the cause....her itching had stopped and the rashes had disspeared completely in some spots and were lessening in others. I did however, discover that my husband has a penchant for looking at really gross rashes on the internet. There are some pretty nasty rashes people can develop. And he's fascinated by them! Ah, the joys and discoveries of marriage!

to continue or not................

I've been debating whether or not to continue this blog...... a few posts have caused some confusion and possibly hurt feelings. I really don't like hurting people's feelings, but most likely it will happen again. I don't have time to sit and compose a post before typing it out, my stuff is stream of consciousness and I generally have many distractions while I am typing. So I may not word something right, or something might be said that really shouldn't. I can apologize in advance, but I know that doesn't help much. I don't want to continually censor my thoughts, because that would take away from the cathartic effects of the blog for me. I decided to continue, because I really enjoy writting and because I've talked to the people that were possibly bothered by things I said, and they're ok.
I will state again that I absolutely don't think that people who think differently than I do are evil-differnent opinions make life interesting. Debating those difference can also help me to realize more clearly the reasons why I feel the way I do, so I welcome comments on everything! I don't have all the answers and someone else's suggestions may allow me to see things differently. So I'm back, and hopefully will be posting regularly again.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Instead of commenting on the last post's comment spot I thought I'd add a new entry just to make sure everyone saw it. The last post was not aimed at anyone. Honest. It was not at all meant as a dig at anyone! I heard comments about Justin from all over the place-even from people who didn't know us. If you had any idea how many people said to me, oh, he'll just cry for a few minutes after you leave and then be fine! (We tried this, do you have any idea how hard it is to cry for two hours straight? Justin does.)
I was reflecting on the situation because I had just realized that Timothy appears to have a more "normal" personality. Which is an enourmous relief for me. And as this blog is meant as both a record for my children and as a catharsis for me-that post served both purposes. I mentioned daycare and staying at home(versus working) not because I am putting down these choices but because they were used as possible reasons for Justin's behavior. I've been a working(outside the home) mom and a stay-at-home mom. Both have benefits and disavantages, like any aspect of parenting. Same goes for daycare. To be honest, I generally don't believe in daycare. I don't really think that very young children are meant to be separated from their parents for long periods of time on a regular basis. Also, it is very hard to entrust your most precious possession(S) to strangers. I've known several people who have worked for daycares and what they told be only confirmed my fears about daycare. That said, there are some people who truly can't afford to be with their children-whether for reasons financial or for their sanity. And that doesn't mean there aren't exceptions with daycares. Jaime seems to have found one. Jonathan is flourishing. I thought about trying to work at a daycare, so I know there must be other individuals who just genuinely love kids and want to work with them.
Different choices work better for different people. I've been judged enough for things I've done so I try very hard not to do that to others.
Justin was such a hard baby, and then when I took him out I was aware that I was hurting people's feelings because of his refusal to allow anyone to hold him. Then to top it off my mothering skills would be called into question. And I knew that sometimes the things people said were suggested out of loving concern. Other times(whether I was wrong or not) they seemed more like accusations. And pretty much every choice I had made as a parent came under fire as a reason for Justin's behavior. My own mother questioned me, and she's always been one of my biggest supporters. That's hard to deal with. Most of the time I felt that my instincts were right-that it was just his personality and something he would grow out of at his own hardwired schedule. But as a mother there are days when you question yourself as well. Criticism was particularly hard to take then. So if I sounded bitter, maybe this helps to explain why. I truly was only posting out of relief-any comments anyone made have been forgiven.

A sigh of relief

Timothy is starting to smile at Tom too and let him play with him a bit. This is very good news for me-in several ways. It's always great to see the kids happy with their Daddy. Plus after a baby like Justin-it would be nice to have a baby that will let their father hold them(gives me room to breathe). Also it will be so much easier on me to have a baby that lets other people hold him because it was really hard to be constantly blamed for Justin's personality. I could punch the next person who says, "Mama's boy." Aren't all babies biologically designed to be mama's babies? If he hadn't been attached to me more than anyone else I would worry. Everyone says that boys tend to cling to their mothers more in the beginning anyway, then add Justin's intense personality on top of that, and, well, it was a fun ride! I had intended to go back to work after Justin's birth but when I explain to people that I couldn't they just look at you like you're making it up. Suggestions were made that I was smothering the child(purposely not letting him bond with anyone else); that he was like that because he wasn't in daycare or because I wasn't working; or that he would magically become a normal baby if I would just let him cry more often. That last was particularly funny because man, he cried all the time! Most kids weren't in daycare when I was a kid, and they did fine-many kids' moms didn't work then either and they weren't all like Justin. And why would I want a child who only let me hold him-it's exhausting! But it was all my fault-I made him be that way!
So I'm incredibly thrilled that Timothy seems to be a bit more typical. I have enough insecurities all on my own without other people commenting! I always felt that Justin would come around in time-and he has. He adores his father. And although his father forgets, this started before Timothy was born-Trust me, I took note! I had so much at steak in this happening! He's a little flirt too- in stores saying hi loudly until the person hears him and responds. In some situations he is more outgoing than Leanna! He just had his own schedule.

I really hope that Timothy continues to let others hold him. I'm breathing a sigh of relief right now! My ego doesn't need the beating again. I wouldn't trade him for an easier child though. I believe things happen for a reason, so whatever that reason may be-he was put in our lives on purpose.

Stuffy Justin

Justin has a cold. He's had one or two before, but it's been so long I don't even remember how long ago. Last night was a fun night-Justin kept waking up because he couldn't breathe right and Tom gets really angry when Justin wakes him up. I can't get it through to Tom that yelling loudly to be quiet tends to have the opposite effect. It scares him and he gets louder and takes longer to settle. Plus it really scares Timothy when Tom yells, so then you end up with two crying boys to calm. And one cranky daddy.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Theme song

Just wondering, anybody have a theme song? A song that you feel fits you currently or just in general. Maybe one that inspires you?
I don't have one-at different times I lean more towards different ones, even different types of music. Right now I'm hearing a lot of kid music(They Might Be Giants-Here Come The ABCs). "E eats everything" and "Go, go go go for G" kind of get stuck in my head, but they're not my theme song or anything.

I can relate

Anotherblogger's post....excuse the language......I get very annoyed by stupid commercials too....

oh, please In my television watching (I assure you I am discriminating) I observed a State Farm commercial with a couple and a baby, and they were all, like, "Since we have a baby, it's important for us to save on car insurance." And I was convinced that the people who wrote and executed that ad must all be from a distant planet where there are no babies and people are hatched from pods. I'm not saying, "These are people without kids" because even people without kids (and you know I love y'all) have at least heard of or seen an infant and they understand that human beings begin life small and helpless, and that parents of a very small person don't sit around caring about their car insurance right then and now.It's more like, "Fuck, do we still have car insurance?" Or "You paid that, right?" Or "Oh, yeah. I'm totally going to pay that" and then you didn't pay it because you sort of couldn't right then because of your broke ass, or you could pay it but you just fucking forgot because you got twenty minutes of sleep and you ate some really ancient summer sausage for breakfast because you could get to it with one hand while you were holding the baby.I talk to a lot of people who have infants (the majority are strangers I accost) and they never say, "Gee, I was just thinking how important it is to save on my car insurance."I could imagine a pregnant woman looking at her premiums and saying, "Jesus Christ, I need to find some cheap fucking car insurance," or maybe she's entitled to even start freaking out about her car insurance for no apparent reason (pregnancy is strange at times, innit?), but holy shit, if I ever see another set of television parents doing something real parents couldn't possibly do, I'm going to make like the Reverend Donald Wildmon and start boycotting shit. Can you imagine the collective power of parents? Unreal. Those Mommy Wars motherfuckers really know what they're doing by keeping us apart.
Posted by Marrit at 08:06 PM

my little troublemaker(one of them anyway)

Hardly a day goes by that Justin doesn't dump food or get into something that he shouldn't. No matter what precautions I take he always manages to find something to do that he shouldn't. He finds that window of opportunity and jumps! For example, even if he can't reach anything to get into, he'll wait until his sister opens the fridge and grab the butter, and make a meal out of it. I have quite a few pictures of him with his face and body smeared with various substances. Last night it was marker-he climbed on the computer chair, from there on the computer desk, to reach on the very top and found a marker up there. The day before it was marshmellow. I had made Leanna a peanut butter and marshmellow sandwhich(sorry Jaime, you can't get away from peanuts!) and asked Leanna to put away the jars. She decided on her own to put them where she could easily reach them instead of up high and before I knew it..........Justin's covered in marshmellow. Sticky gooey marshmellow. All over him and the floor and my excersize ball! And naturally as soon as I find this mess the phone starts to ring and the baby starts to cry.......and Justin heads for the phone(covered in marshmellow) to bring it to me. Sadly, this is just a typical day in our house!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Leanna and Justin often play together which is really nice for me-it means I don't have to be holding or entertaining Justin during that time. It doesn't last long, but any break is nice. The past few days I've noticed Justin starting to play on his own-which is a good sign as well. And then there is the kids' latest obsession-sliding down the couch. They climb to the top of the back of the couch and slide down, sometimes just onto the cushions, sometimes completely off the couch. At least it's safer than when Leanna was sliding down the steps on her stomach! She would continue to do it even though she got brush-burn on her tummy!
When I was a kid(older though) we used to slide down the steps on pillows. That was really fun. Until my Mom caught us. : (

Sunday, January 08, 2006

I haven't been able to post for a's been a tiring week. Geez, just got in trouble for being here! I snuck away for 45 minutes to take a shower(!!) and then came up to the third floor just to have a little quiet time alone. I've (i? sp?)encured the wrath of my husband for this-he had things he wanted to do! You'd think he'd want me to be clean, wouldn't you?
Anyway, Timothy gave Justin several genuine smiles today. When they woke up he was happy to see Justin. That's just nice for a mother to see.
Maree was over this weekend. I don't think she has much fun here anymore....the age difference is a problem at the moment. She and Leanna have trouble playing together. We never have enough for Maree to eat, she fights with Leanna, she wants to be with her friends, and she wants to watch all the teen-themed shows and talk about boys and clothes. The more Maree stays away from Leanna-the more Leanna acts up trying to get Maree's attention. Plus Maree misses her mother real bad at nights. It seems to me that Maree would be happier to come stay here less, replacing the long visits with an hour or two spent alone with Tom. I've suggested that he do a father-daughter type date with her before, and tonight for the first time he brought the idea up. Maybe if she came over less she might not miss her friends and tv shows as much when she was here(it might make her miss her Mom more though)? And whether Tom will go through with the spending time with Maree thing (or doing it more than just once) remains to be seen.......any suggestions for how to deal with this problem?
In the same article (as the last post) it says:
"-- Countries all around the world are showing increased levels of actual engagement by fathers (ie time spent actually doing things with kids). For example, in the US, in the 1960s, fathers did about 25 per cent as much as mothers - by the late 1990s that had risen to between 55 and 70 per cent. In Canada, the increase between 1986 and 1996 was from 50 to 65 per cent. In the UK, according to EOC research, father engagement has risen by eight times in the last 30 years."
Is it just me or does anyone else think those numbers sound to high to be true? I find it hard to believe that fathers in 1960 spent 25% as much time doing things with the kids as mothers. I don't think that sounds realistic. Maybe it depends how they're defining time spent in"engagement" with their children. And I'm wondering how much of that engagement time was spent alone with the kids, maybe they were counting things like family outings-where b0th parents are present. Maybe I'd buy it if they were including family time in those numbers.

So that's what they're for!!!

Did you ever wonder why men have nipples? Read on....................

A father's nipple is perfectly suited to soothing a crying baby until it can be fed, according to a major report published for Fathers' Day (June 19) on fatherhood across five continents, which identifies the world's best dads. FatherWorld, published by Fathers Direct, the UK national information centre on fatherhood, details a worldwide increase in active fathering. It names as “Best Dads in the World” the Aka Pygmies, a hunter-gatherer tribe from northern Congo, in central Africa. When the mother is not available, the father calms his baby by giving him a nipple to suck. Aka Pygmy men do more infant care-giving than fathers in any other known society, finds the report. On average, they hold or are within arms' reach of their infants 47 per cent of the time. They beat Swedish dads, the number ones in the Western world, who average 45 per cent of parental childcare. In typical British families, dads now average a third of the parental childcare......Aka fathers often take the child along when they go drinking palm wine. They may hold the baby close to their bodies for a couple of hours at a time, says the report which highlights findings by Barry Hewlett, an American anthropologist, who has studied the tribe for more than 20 years. The dads, rather than mums, are often the ones who settle the babies if they wake at night. Sebastian Kraemer, child psychiatrist at London's Whittington Hospital, said: “It is possible that, in prehistoric societies, this was a normal way of fathering. We should not assume from 10,000 years of history that our prevailing model is the right one.” Caroline Flint, former President of the Royal College of Midwives, said: “I have come across cases of dads doing this. It's not a case of the man saying to the baby, ‘Here you are, have my boobie,' but usually of the baby snuffling along the father's chest, finding the nipple and sucking. The men are usually very surprised, but the babies seem content. They love to snuggle up to their dads.”

For the rest of the article:

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

So I was reading the Dilbert blog-I check in every now and then-and he posted about our founding fathers' ideals, with regards to the original discussion on torture of terrorists. Reading the comments is always interesting. As someone pointed out, "keep a close eye on how the government treats foreigners, 'cos almost certainly that's how they'd treat their own citizens, too, if they thought they could get away with it."
Then I read this quote, "As was said in one of the greatest movies of all time (Dazed and Confused), "This summer, when you're being inundated with all of this bicentennial, Fourth of July brouhaha, remember what you're celebrating; that a bunch of slave-owning, aristocratic white males didn't want to pay their taxes." And it occurred to me that not much has changed, has it? The government is still owned by a bunch of slave-owning, aristocratic white males who don't want to pay their taxes. But the slaves aren't all black and they do get a paycheck. They're still slaves though.
Finally, I found this comment humorous, especially in light of people's frequent need to revere the founding fathers. They weren't perfect either:
And let's not forget the drunkeness and fist fights at the Continental Congresses! They put the BUST in Filibuster, baby!
Thus ends my political commentary for the day.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

More books....

So I finished the "It's a Boy" book, and I'm currently reading two books- "Seabiscut" and the 505 weirdest online stores. Waiting to be read are " Raising Your Spirited Child" and "The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio: How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less." After having kids I find my attention span has gotten shorter. Unless I am really really into the book. Probably out of necesity-it's rare to be allowed to read for more than several minutes in a row without interruption of some sort. I expect that as the kids get older and I reclaim a bit more free time the attention span will return. I hope.

I'll try asking again, what is everyone reading?(even if it's a magazine, comic strip, whatever....)

Genetics again

Timothy's getting so big. He smiles a lot. Poor kid, it's amazing he's not deaf, living with his brother and sister! He'll smile at Leanna now(it took a while!) I've seen him watching Justin, but there just aren't enough moments where Justin will sit still around him. He likes to pat Timothy's head or back. When he says Timothy's name it comes out sounding like "Ti-ti." Justin's always unintentionally hurting Timothy. Like right now he's trying to tickle him. 18 months olds don't have very gentle hands, especially when they're trying to tickle your face! He lays on top of Timothy to hug him. He especially likes to take the pacifier out of Timothy's mouth or sometimes to try to put it back in. His aim isn't that great yet either. : ) At least he doesn't try to hurt him on purpose.
Timothy is sleeping right now with his arms above his head, a popular sleeping position in our family. Both his brother and sister did it, and his father and grandfather! It's so strange that something like that could be passed down-who would have thought! Justin and Leanna both looked a lot like my Dad and sister Laura when they were first born. I don't see that at all with Timothy. But he does look a little like a Cabbage Patch Kid the way Leanna did. I think it's really exciting to see what traits come out in each child. I love to see what kind of people they're becoming.

Keeping kids safe-Books!

Harry Potter books keep kids out of the ER

British researchers report that they have found that the number of Muggle children visiting the emergency room in that country dropped by half on the summer weekends when new Harry Potter books were released.

(For the full story: )

Monday, January 02, 2006


Andrew Uitvlugt, candidate for mayor of Kelowna, British Columbia, proposed in November to coax drug addicts into public jobs, such as trash collection, by rewarding them with crack cocaine, on the theory that the work would be so fulfilling that they would ultimately decline the drugs. (He finished fourth out of five candidates.) [Calgary Herald, 11-11-05; Vancouver Sun, 11-20-05]