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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Mild Superpowers

I think this is really interesting. The Dilbert guy asks people what their mild superpowers are. Apparently a lot of people can wake up seconds before their alarm goes off or can make streetlights go out.

I saw one other person(So far, there's a lot of comments) who has mine. No matter what store I am in, no matter how many items people have, whatever line I choose to stand in is ALWAYS the longest one. Even if I switch to another line because it's suddenly jumped 5 spaces, that line then becomes the longest one. Suddenly the cashier will need to call for change or they will switch cash registers or they will need an exceptionally long price check.

I think one of Tom's would be that he is very good at telling you exactly what year a song came out. It's annoying sometimes. He's also pretty good at telling you what group is playing just by the sound of the singer's voice (even if it's a song he's never heard).

Monday, January 29, 2007

Birthday Wishes

I have to wish a Happy Birthday to my father-in-law, whose birthday was yesterday. We all had fun visiting with him last night. Leanna got to give Pop-Pop the very special card she made for him. And helping my mother-in-law with her blog made me aware of some new things I can do with my own blog(stuff that has changed since I started blogging). I didn't take any pictures, but I did videotape a little. I recently realized I haven't done any videotaping for a while, and I really like to do that while the kids are so small. The amount of changes they go through is amazing. It's great to hear how little their voices sound when you go back and watch later.

A Snack for the road!

While riding his sister's scooter, Justin enjoys a snack, cookies he found hiding in the pantry!

Timothy enjoys a Strawberry Smoothie

Is your food too hot?

Leanna teaches her little brother how to cool off chicken nuggets. Just put ice-cubes on top!

Food or Lewd?

There are so many things I could say about this article that I'm just not even going to get into it!

Yoga in schools?

Some parents are claiming yoga in school would violate separation of church and state laws because of it's hindu roots. However they quote a woman who has designed a yoga program without anything spiritual or reglious.
Why do they want yoga in schools? Teachers say it helps calm students with attention-deficit disorder and may reduce childhood obesity. Researchers found a correlation between yoga and better behavior and grades, and they said young yogis were more fit than the district average from the California Physical Fitness Test.

Opponents claim: "It's pretty simple: Yoga is a religious practice in Hinduism. It's the way to reach enlightenment. To bring it to the west and bill it as a scientific practice for fitness is dishonest," said Hunt, 80.

I figure if they could force us to do country-line dancing in gym class when I was in high school, yoga certainly can't be worse! No, seriously, I think it's a good idea. Anything that can help kids to focus and improve grades, behavior, and fitness levels is great. It won't work for all kids but it would be just one more weapon in the arsenal, you know?

Top 10 foods for a Good Night's Sleep

I only knew some of these foods helped you to sleep. At the end it has a recipe for Lullabye muffins that looks tasty to me.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

I wish I had known!

January 24th was global belly laugh day.

Friday, January 26, 2007


It took four tries to get this, so I"m posting it!! In one picture it couldn't find a face!! Even when I marked the face it still couldn't find a match.

Justin's collage

Tom's collage

This is too much fun! I love, love, love that one of his is Leslie Nielson! Um, I should make clear though, that I have no physical interest in Leslie Nielson-I just like many of his movies!

Leanna's collage

I used an old picture, where she still has bangs. They actually show you 10 face matches. Almost all Leanna's were Asian!

photo collage-it does this for you:

This is fun!

Ok, this compares a photo you upload to celebrity pictures to see who you most resemble. It tells you the percentage also. You do have to sign up with my herritage to see the results though.

I uploaded a photo with me, Laura, and I"m holding Timothy. I was having trouble finding a picture of just me. So it actually scanned all three faces. It said Laura most resembled Kian Egan (? no clue who that is), I resembled Angela Merkel (? Again, no clue), and Timothy resembled Johhny Rzeznik, lead singer of the goo goo dolls.

Tried it again with a picture of me and Leanna. It said Leanna resembled Tara Reid (and she actually did with the picture they used) and I looked like Kelly Hu.


I find this absolutely moronic: "Freund argued that case law supports his contention that the school, though a public entity, is not required to protect its children."

I mean come on!! The school can't forsee everything that happens, but once it does, you deal with it! Maybe they couldn't have prevented the first attack, but the other three ........? As far as I'm concerned, children's safety should be the school's responsibility once they step on the bus or (if walking) enter the building. Things like this really make me wish homeschooling was an option for us!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

midwife visit

I was kind of worried about the midwife visit today. It was supposed to be at 9:40, but they called me at 8:30 to push it back til later because she was delivering a baby. I couldn't go any later though because of taking Leanna to school, so we had to go after she got out of school. The last time we were there Justin was kind of a tiny terror. Usually the kids do well when we go out somewhere, but for some reason he's been kind of rammy at the midwives' office. I was really impressed though, because today he just sat in the chair and watched. That was a big relief for me. Leanna "helped" the midwife with finding the heartbeat by cleaning the gel off my belly afterwards. Usually they let her use the doppler to actually find the heartbeat, but it's too early for that yet. At this stage finding the baby's heartbeat is all about angles. She reassured me that it is normal to be unable to tell whether your nausea is from being hungry, eating too much and being too full, or just feeling sick. She recommended I eat lots of protein because it lasts longer. She said keep eating, because it doesn't seem to be affecting me (I've only gained a pound in the last month). We discussed that we may have to use a different hospital this time because they are boycotting the one I've always used. Apparently a woman asked for an epidural and it took them 4 hours to get it to her. They pay this guy $1,000/hr. to be on call and he can't even do his job! Anyone thinking they're in the wrong field?! She said this is the third time this has happened and the hospital doesn't care. As she said, she doesn't have many who use an epidural, but if a woman wants it, she should be able to get it. Geez. I've lost a lot of respect for doctors and hospitals since I started having babies.

Mommy's little helper

Leanna changed her first diaper today (non-poopy). She's been wanting to do that for a while now, crazy kid. She and Justin are both thrilled whenever Timothy will let them pick him up or hug him or in this case, will lay down for her to change his diaper. It is really gratifying to see the affection between them.

Wishing for snow

Leanna's been so excited by the miniscule amounts of snow we've had recently. She got all giddy at the sight of snow on the sidewalk. Before she went in to school she thoughtfully placed some snow on Justin's stroller tray so he could play with it on the way home! She was very concerned about not having snow pants to wear so she can play in the snow. I might have some in a box upstairs, someone's hand-me-downs, I have to check. I really hope they get their snow to play in before this winter is over. I know I have some great memories of playing in the snow as a kid.

Bad habits vs. expectations

I found this post interesting also. It's a viewpoint you don't often hear or see. The problem I have with it though is that, like many aspects of Attachment parenting, it gets very difficult when you have children so close in age. Most people assume if you pracitice extended breastfeeding that you won't have that problem, but I can testify that it happens!!

Blog post:

"I've been checking out this "NEW DAD DIARY" written by a pediatrician/father (who happens to be the son of the famous parenting author, Dr. William Sears), and I really love what he has to say about creating "bad habits" vs. expectations. I fully agree with how he explains this (and I also parent exactly as he describes):
"Mar. 3 - Creating bad habits?Some new parents tell me in the office that they don't want to breastfeed their baby to sleep because they don't want the baby to become dependent on this. This kind of sounds reasonable. After all, everyone wants a baby that will fall asleep peacefully on their own. My wife, however, feels differently. She doesn't mind nursing Joshua to sleep. In fact, she insists on it. She likes the bonding and closeness. This is what we have done with all our kids so far. What about a year from now when he has gotten so used to it that he won't fall asleep without the breast? Well, that's ok. My wife is up for that. I guess it all has to do with what your expectations are for the future. On one hand, if, in a year from now, you want a baby that is independent at night, then you might think twice about nursing down to sleep at this point. If, on the other hand, you are okay with a prolonged nighttime attachment, then creating this closeness from day one is just fine. Our expectations are that Joshua will nurse to sleep for a couple years, then need to be rocked to sleep, then patted down to sleep. When he is four or five, we might even need to sit with him as he falls asleep. Heck, my 5 and 9 year old like me to sit in their room while they fall asleep at night. I'm fine with this. I just grab a flashlight and a good book, and enjoy a nice quiet half hour of reading. This is simply what we expected it would be like, and I am guessing it will be like this for Joshua too. So, are we creating a habit by nursing down to sleep? Yes, we probably are. Is this a BAD habit? It depends on what your expectations are. For us, the answer is no. We are just creating closeness. That's what attachment parenting is all about."

Your mileage may vary.I still enjoy getting my children to sleep most nights. Last night, lying down with my 11 year old daughter for 10 minutes before she fell asleep, we had the best time talking and snuggling and laughing over some really bad jokes. I was grateful for that time with her, not resentful. And yes, my two younger children (9 and 11) still like for me to lie down with them each night for a few minutes to ease them into sleep mode. It's a privilege.Now don't get me wrong, there were nights in those first baby/toddler years when I felt exhausted or overwhelmed. It's not all sunshine and rainbows and attachment parenting perfection. I did wean my middle child from night nursings (meaning, I would still nurse her to fall asleep, but declined to nurse her again 'til morning) when she turned 2, and my youngest quit wanting to nurse at night on his own at about that age. But in the big picture, I don't mind being an active night time parent. Overall, it's what has worked well for us. And I feel really lucky that Jon has the same approach. He's great about helping to get Elliot to sleep at night with a snuggle or a story. Elliot sometimes now prefers Jon to me for these bedtime routines.

Hands off my kids' brains, bozos!

A woman blogs about how Hummers are trying to market to children-toddlers!-as a way to establish brand loyalty. This is a subject that's been bothering me for a while too. Yesterday I click on the msn homepage and Justin, who was walking by yells out excitedly, "Geico!" Leanna and Justin are both fascinated by the animated Gecco who is their spokesperson. As I've said before, I purposely try to keep their tv viewing as free of commercials as possible. But I lose my powers when Tom comes home and the tv goes on for the night. One of their current favorites-all three kids will stop what they are doing and watch-is the one where at the car dealership where the salespeople all sing, "So long, farewell, al......, goodbye! Adeiu, adeiu, to you and you and you!" (I don't know how to spell the missing german word, sue me) They will sing along with that commercial! It's cute, and that one is fairly harmless. But there are plenty of adds that make things like alchohol seem cool to very young kids. I like the author's idea of having a class be taught in school to help young children understand what advertising is all about and why they can't believe everything they see on tv and billboards, hear on the radio, or even see at school. Advertising is there too.

I like how one woman points out in the comments below, "The funny thing about the quote you included from the article is that it makes it sound like a bad thing for parents to "cede control to the children"! Like, if only we could go back to the good old days when parents only took their own tastes and interests into account! The Hummer is one thing, but choosing a vacation destination based on "indirect influence" (what holiday would the children enjoy/benefit from the most?) - sounds like good parenting to me."

Not that I have many male readers, but.....

This sounds like a neat idea:

by Michael Webb

If you are going to celebrate Valentine’s, I suggest you do it with a little forethought. I cringe every time I go to the grocery on February 13 or 14 and see dozens of men crowding around the greeting cards to buy their cards at the last possible moment.
Buy your card now and mail it out to Loveland, Colorado for extra special treatment. Your card will be postmarked LOVEland, Colorado and it will also be hand-stamped with a unique four line poem.
The Loveland Chamber of Commerce heads up this yearly romance project with cards going to all 50 states and over 100 foreign countries annually.
It’s simple. Just enclose your pre-addressed, pre-stamped Valentine’s card in a larger envelope and mail to: Postmaster, Attn: Valentines, Loveland CO 80537
You can also send it to postmasters of these cities too:
Valentine, Texas 79854
Valentine, Nebraska 69201
Kissimmee, Florida 32741
Loving, New Mexico 88256
Bridal Veil, Oregon 97010
Romance, Arkansas 72136

Monday, January 22, 2007

Close call

I think our guardian angels have been near and working hard lately. Our insurance was going to cancel Tom and I because our December payment (for January) was late. Unfortunately they don't give you any grace period at all. That sucks because the people who have that insurance are all low income and probably could use a few days' grace period every now and then. You'd think they'd make an exception at that time of year at least! I called the company to double check today and the first time I waited about 5 minutes, got a guy who asked me to wait, waited about 10 more minutes, and then he hung up on me! Nice! But I called back and this time got a woman who was nice enought to (all on her own) call their financial department and arrange for them to excuse the late payment and reinstate us both!! She said she could hear the stress in my voice and decided to help. I think that's the first nice thing I've EVER had happen from an insurance company!
(I will still be going on medical asst. but I still need the insurance until the application goes though!)


It cracks me up that I've caught Tom watching the kid/teen tv show, That's So Raven, starring Raven Symone (the little girl Olivia from the Cosby show). And I'm not just talking about when Leanna is there so he's being forced to watch it. When I asked him about it he said, "What! It's a good show!"

Driving ability correlates with your zodiac sign?

According to this we shouldn't let Timothy drive, and my Mom and Sister should be awesome drivers?

Good Heart Health Habbits for kids

It's funny, they mention that adds aimed at heart health are designed for adults. But I can tell you that Leanna knows that Cheerios are supposed to be heart healthy, thanks to Cheerios commericials with kids encouraging their parents or grandparents to eat cheerios for their heart.

Many Parents Doubt their Discipline Methods

I'm guessing that incidents of yelling and spanking are severly under-reported.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Baker Leanna

Baker Leanna made Blueberry muffins tonight that were so good we must have eaten half of them within 10 minutes! It looks like she may be as good at baking as she is at making messes!!

Foresters group

This weekend I talked with a non-profit insurance company rep again. It's a group my parents belong to and they offer social aspects as well as insurance, financial counseling, financial products, scholarships, etc. Even without being a member the rep. talked to me about the importance of having a will-especially as a parent. In PA law, if Tom and I would die, the kids would go into foster care until the courts decided who to give them to, even if family members were willing and able to take them in immediately. That's scary.
The rep. seems genuinely into her job, which I think is important. And I love that the organization's profits go to helping children instead of just to already wealthy shareholders. They partner with the Children's Miracle Network, Barnardo's Children's Charity and the assoc. of Children's Hospices, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, etc. They do things like having kids put together Easter baskets for local orphanages. I like that event like that would help reinforce values I'm trying to teach the kids. I have her card and I will definitely call her once we are completely on our feet again! I'm also glad that my parents are wise enough to plan financially, and to try to see to it that their children do also.

Crossing my fingers!

I don't want to jinx it or anything, but it's looking like we might be able to catch up financially. Not get ahead, mind you, just to catch up with paying bills currently due. That is a giant weight off me! I'm counting on money that should be coming within the week, so it's not actually here yet. In Tom's business you learn that dates are very flexible, so you can't count on getting money when you are supposed to. But it looks very likely, which makes me very very happy. I hate having debt hanging over my head! Cross your fingers for us as well!!

Sounds all babies Make?

Heart meltingly cute

Out of nowhere Justin just told me, "Mommy, that was sweet of you to get me milk" with a giant smile on his face.

Alice In Wonderland Teapot

Awww.......they have a Betty Boop Teapot too Laura!

(I collect teapots)

Friday, January 19, 2007

the kids are still making messes

A couple days ago we had one of those days. I was feeling lousy and it was one thing after another with the kids getting into things!

Here's a picture of Timothy after he got into a container of yogurt. Apparently he couldn't wait for me to open it and dug in himself. Luckily for me he had already spilled something on his shirt so at least that wasn't covered in yogurt too.

Then later at night while I was in the shower Justin and Timothy started to paint. Tom had left the paint bucket in the kitchen, covered with a plastic bag. One of the kids had dropped something in the paint and that made the plastic bag fall into the paint. Tom had to clean the kitchen floor and both boys. Justin unfortunately was wearing a new sweater, so Tom was scrubbing away at that, trying to get the paint off. It made me feel a little better because for once Tom got to see how easily they get into stuff. One minute they're nicely playing, the next, they're decorating your house with paint!

Helping out

Last night Leanna was supposed to be cleaning her room. She brought down a penny and told me she wanted me to have it. I asked her if she took it out of her piggy bank and she said yes. But she wanted me to have it because I didn't have any money.

Little pitchers have big ears, but little pitchers can be very very sweet.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Least favorite parts of being a parent

A blog post, it links to the comments, if the original post isn't there, just click on the homepage link. Katie's pregnant with her 4th child too.

I think my least favorite parts of parenting would have to be having no time for yourself (too busy taking care of everyone else): having your body become a jungle gym for little ones (sometimes I don't mind that but when it's constant it becomes tiresome!): being exhausted but having to get up anyway (to go make food, to go put someone back to sleep, etc.); the neverending supply of messes to clean; Not being able to go up or down steps without at least one child trailing me; guilt; endless worrying about food & nutrition; not being able to enjoy my own snacks/drinks unless they are healthy (then no one wants to share!); feeling judged; feeling judged by people who really aren't qualified to judge and feeling like I am doing it all alone.

Sometime when I have a quiet house I will post on all the perks (and despite what this post may make you think, there are many).

Recipe Exchange

Jamie sent me a recipe exchange email, I thought I'd just post the recipe I sent here also.

Apple Bread -simple and good. Especially warm with butter!

Mix together:
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
3 eggs beaten
1 tsp. vanilla

Add to Mix:
3 cups flour
1 tsp. cinnamin
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt

Stir in 3 cups chopped apples

Fill loaf pans half full, use small loaf pans. Bake at 325 for 1 1/4 hour or until brown. Take immediately from pans. Wrap in foil, freeze extra at once. Makes 5 small loaves.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Leanna and Justin love to pretend that this extra mattress in the boys' room is a shower. They stand under the sheet and magically it becomes a shower. The mattress was left here from one of the many people who lived here before. We're not responsible for the stains on it!


dreams & instincts

Sunday night I had a baby dream. It was about two boys and I'm pretty sure one of them was Justin. I don't know if the other boy was Timothy or if it was the new baby or just a random baby. So I don't know if this is my gender prediction dream or not. My dreams correctly predicted Leanna and Justin's sex. With Timothy I had only one baby dream and it didn't reveal whether it was a boy or girl.
That was a very strange dream where I was in the hospital and a male doctor( I had female midwives in real life) was telling me my baby was dead. The baby was lying on a table and I knew, I just knew the baby was fine, I just had to get everyone to listen to me! I wonder if that wasn't foretelling the whole jaundice thing.
I knew Timothy was ok and that they were making a big deal of nothing. He was never actually very yellow, every medical person commented on that (except the very rude male doctor who acted as though we were abusive parents for wanting to take our child home early). He was actually very red, and the worry would be that the red blood cells could have suddenly broken down leaving too much bilerubin in his body which would make him turn very yellow all the sudden. I did my research (I love the internet!!) and realized that jaundice is a normal condition in a breastfed baby and the best way to get rid of it is to breastfeed as often as possible. So I stopped worrying so much and focused on what I should have been focusing on all along-feeding the baby and making him feel loved. A newborn baby doesn't need a mother full of worry and concern. Once I stopped worrying so much he actually did start eating more. The lesson I took from it was that I need to trust my instincts more. All women should. Science has taken that away from us. I'm not saying there are no benefits to modern science. I think it's wonderful as a backup. And in situations where things are not working as they should. But women should trust that their bodies can do what they are meant to do, and that we know our children best. Some people seem to be born knowing instinctively what to do, and others develop instincts later unless they stop paying attention because they are sure doctors and science know better.
(an example most women can relate to-doctors told women that sugar doesn't make kids act hyper. Yet most women found it did! Now they say it's sugar without fiber that makes kids go crazy. For example a peice of fruit has sugar, but the fiber makes the sugar be distributed more slowly in the kid's system. A candy bar means a sugar rush, leaving the body to crash after the sugar, hence the wild behavior from the child. And I think some children respond more than others to sugar (or other particular foods). Who are you going to listen to-the doctor or your own experience and observations which tell you every time your child eats that they go nuts?
I'm way off from where I started here, and I know I could have explained some of this better, but my time is always limmited, so I have to make due with a stream-of conscience writting. Sorry if I'm not very clear here!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

One exception

One exception to the not craving snack-type stuff. I adore Hersheys Carmel kisses. I could sit and eat a whole bag of those, pregnant or not!

Cravings & food

Usually I'm big on snacking. I don't often eat a really big meal, I prefer smaller more frequent eating. With this pregnancy though I have to keep my belly full or I get sick. As in I feel really really nauseous. Just saying I feel nauseous doesn't really describe it though. That makes it sound like mild discomfort. This is to the point where I can't concentrate to do anything. What's strange is that I don't get hungry for things like chocolate or little snack things like I normally enjoy. When I'm hungry I want FOOD! I crave steak sandwhiches and cheeseburgers and hogies, things like that. I wonder if it actually makes me lose weight (or at least in my case not gain extra) because I'm not snacking on the junk like chocolate. All the nibbling might add up to more than the bigger more filling foods. It ought to be interesting to see how it works out. Though you have to keep in mind that no matter what I'm likely to be bigger after this baby and have more trouble losing the weight just because it is my 4th baby.

Batteries, of various sorts

The other day Justin was asking for batteries again. That's a fairly constant refrain in our house, as so many of kids' toys today require batteries. We didn't have any but I asked him what he wanted them for, since he sometimes asks for batteries when he can't get something to work. If he can't figure it out he assumes that it must need batteries.
He wanted batteries for the van. As I was telling him that the van doesn't use batteries I realized that actually Justin was correct! He must have overheard us talking about the van needing a new battery! I wanted to go out and get diapers, as much for a chance to get out of the house as to actually get the needed diapers. With the van not working I had to go walk later to get them. I guess Justin was looking forward to going out too though, as he thought he'd fix the problem on his own! (he'd just ask Mommy for batteries for the van!) He really is a sweet kid!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Poor kid!

The other night Justin told me he was hungry because he had a hard day. Then he added as explanation that he had took Leanna to school. (You know, that was his hard day. Taking Leanna to school).
Stroller rides are tough.

Career Goals

On the way home from school today Leanna announced that she wants to be just like me when she grows up. And a singer. And a dancer. And like Grammy too, but not working.
LOL, I think she's heard Grammy complain about her job a lot! The singing and dancing stuff comes from Hannah Montanna, a Disney channel show about a girl who is secretly a rock star. It stars Billy Rae Cyrus (he sang Achy Breaky Heart)'s daughter. I think he might be in the show too, I'm not sure.

Made me smile

Leanna told me that there is a boy named Anthony at school, just like Anthony from the Wiggles. I asked her if he looks like Anthony too. She replied, "No. He never wears a blue shirt."

over/under- parenting

Another link, I know. It's a little one though. A short article by a woman who thinks parents have been underparenting their babies and then overparenting their kids/teenagers. My kids are still little, but it seems about right from what I've observed.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Insurance & pregnancy

The insurance program finally figured out that I'm pregnant and called to enroll me in their pregnancy program. So I asked about the pregnancy throwing me into medicaid (which it will) and she assured me that this time it won't kick me off insurance simply for becoming pregnant.

I'm in the Adultbasic program, and the first time I had enrolled, when I became pregnant with Justin they said I had to switch to medicaid because there are lower income requirements when you are pregnant. Then after I had the baby I was left with no insurance because once you're no longer pregnant, the income requirements for medicaid are higher. I was supposed to go back on my insurance afterwards, but for whatever reason it didn't work that way and I was put on the waiting list to get back on the insurance. The irony of it was that they kicked me off the adult basic program right before I was about to give birth, so the insurance lasted until the day after my due date. Medicaid started a month before I gave birth. So the adult basic program ended up paying for the birth anyway. The only thing medicaid paid for was my 6 week after birth checkup! And for that I lost my insurance!

So anyway, going on medicaid is actually a good thing for me. It means for the duration of the pregnancy I will have vision and dental, which I currently do not have. Right now I use Tom's contact supply because I"m out of mine and we don't have the money to replace them. They're a bit weak for me, but they work well enough. So this is really helpful for me to have. I can get eyeglasses with two ear peices! LOL, but really I'm looking forward to that.
It'll take a bit til I get the paperwork, fill it out, and it gets processed. But this time around the lady assured me I won't lose my insurance. The lady at county assistance knew nothing about holding my spot in adult basic, but I'll talk to the insurance about it again.

Lead levels

Lots of phone calls today! I found out that Justin's lead level is finally about where it should be! We had to recently re-test him because his last test came up an 11, and they want a child his age to be under 10 (He's now at 10).
Timothy, unfortunately is at 18. So in three months we have to re-test him to make sure the levels are going down. When the nurse told me I said, "That's high!" and she said, "yes, but at least it's not a 40 or more." I think Justin's levels were first tested at nine months I he was at a 19 and I remember the nurse being very concerned about it being that high. They sent a letter to the landlords about it and everything. Justin is at a different hospital/pediatrician than the other two though. Makes you wonder about what they must regularly see at Sacred Heart if a lead level that warrants concern at one hospital is nothing to them.

Everything comes down to Poo

This is from an upcoming episode of Scrubs, I enjoyed it.

life is weird

Mannequins are getting bigger boobs since so many women are having theirs augmented.

Frozen embryo

A couple's frozen embryos that were rescued from thawing during hurricane Katrina are set to be the first birth from them. That kid will have an interesting baby book to read!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


We found out that suddenly no store sells colored tiles, or at least nothing beyond the staple white, beige, black stuff. They used to! I should know, as a contractor's wife I've spent more time than I care to in Home Depot and Lowe's. So Tom decided to try to dye the grout, with what we had onhand, kool-aide. So yup, that's pink lemonaide kool-aide grout. Looks like it won't work though because it cracked after it dried.

And the winner is......

And the winner for the most annoying Christmas present is.........Salt, Pepper, and Paprika (from Blue's Clues) who sing, "Healthy Snacks! Healthy Snacks! We love to eat those healthy snacks!" That song gets stuck in your head!

Anyone else ever get a really annoying gift (for them or their children)?


An interesting post about a bad day with a two year old, and the comments people left are just as interesting if not more.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The year of T-shirts

Go Aunt Laura!!

Aunt Laura had a banner year-some of the kids' favorite presents came from her!

Justin liked the tool bench so much that he stopped opening presents for most of the day just to play with it!

Cute gift-Leanna

Ignore the outfit, it's way too small for her. She found it and put it on. The tights were a Christmas present from Nanny Sue and Pop-Pop. I think they're really cute and apparently Leanna did too because she put them on herself. You have to realize that she doesn't usually like wearing tights (she doesn't like anything that clings too tightly to her body) so for her to put them on herself means she really likes them!!
PS. I don't know what's up with the poses she does lately. I think it's from watching too much Hannah Montanna.

Just like Daddy

Justin measuring stuff, or "taping" as he calls it. He cannot leave Daddy's tools alone!!

You can also see the partial work done on the tile backsplash. Hopefully that will be finished before the week is up!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Cute gift

This is Timothy in one of the outfits he got for Christmas-I think from Nanny Sue and Pop-Pop? I think he looks adorable in it, especially with the hat. Although the hat is a little big- big enough that it fits my head!

Warm Winter Drinks

Too bad it isn't cooler out to really feel like winter. I feel like the kids are getting gyped, with there being no snow yet!!

Warm and Wonderful Winter Drinks
Share the science and social rewards of a soothing winter drink.Ellen Booth Church

Nothing is more comforting than sipping a steamy hot drink on a cold winter day, whether you’re snuggled up watching the snow fall or reading a good book. And when you and your child cook up the drink together, you double the reward by engaging in a wonderful learning experience.
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Transforming a cool liquid into a warm one can provide a basic lesson in science. As you create these simple recipes, help her notice the changes a cool liquid goes through as it heats up. Simply using the words liquid and solid is a good place to start. Here are some other questions to consider:
What tools do we need to make something hot?
What special precautions do we need to take when working with warm liquids?
How do the different ingredients (milk, sugar, lemon juice, honey) change when they are heated? Do they look different? Do they smell different?
Picnicking in the SnowOnce you’ve created a warm winter drink, continue the learning by planning an outdoor winter picnic. Brainstorm with your child about the basic ingredients you will need — not only for drinking and eating, but to keep warm. You will be asking him to use important critical thinking, deductive reasoning, and planning skills. Then pour the drinks into thermal or insulated cups; put on the snowsuits, hats and mittens; and head out in the snow. Your child might even like to create a snow house or fort, ahead of time, as the perfect place to picnic. While sipping in the snow, encourage your child to notice how the steam from his warm drink is similar to the steam of his breath.
The beauty of these recipes is that they don’t take long to make, allowing more time for you and your child to sit and sip together. And since you can’t gulp down a hot drink too quickly, you are guaranteed a leisurely conversation, whether you choose to set up your tea party indoors or out.

Vanilla Steamers
Think of this as a yummy latte sans café. One recipe serves 4.
What you need:
4 cups low-fat milk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of ground cinnamon, optional
What to do:
Combine milk and sugar in a medium saucepan over high heat. Stir frequently until sugar dissolves and milk begins to simmer, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Remove from heat, add vanilla, and let stand for 2 minutes.
Whisk vigorously to form a thick layer of foam on top of the milk. Divide into 4 servings, topped with a dollop of the foam.
Sprinkle with a pinch of ground cinnamon if desired.

Pomegranate Chamomile Tea

The antioxidant power of pomegranate, combined with chamomile’s calming effect, make this one healthy drink.
What you need:
3 chamomile tea bags
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup pomegranate or cranberry juice
What to do:
Place tea bags in a microwave-safe bowl, add water, and heat for 3 minutes on full power in the microwave.
Remove bowl from microwave and allow tea to steep for 2 minutes.
Remove tea bags, stir in pomegranate juice and divide into 4 servings.

Warm Honey Lemonade
With the right tool (a wooden or electric juicer), your child will enjoy seeing just how much juice comes from a lone lemon.
What you need:
1 cup lemon juice (6–8 large lemons)
1 cup orange juice (4 large oranges)
2 1/2 cups water
6 tbsp. honey
Thin slices of orange or lemon, optional
What to do:
Juice lemons and oranges and strain out seeds.
Combine juice and water in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat in microwave for 3 minutes at full power.
Remove from microwave, stir in honey and divide into 4 servings.
Garnish with lemon or orange slices if desired.

Mulled Apple Cider
Who knew that cider could be improved upon? This winter wonder makes 4 delicious servings!
What you need:
4 cups apple cider (or unfiltered apple juice)
1 tbsp. light brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
8 whole cloves
6 allspice berries
4 cardamom pods
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice (1/2 lemon)
What to do:
Combine apple cider, sugar, and spices in a medium sized saucepan.
Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium and gently simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow to steep, and to cool slightly, for 15 minutes.
Strain out spices, stir in lemon juice, and serve.
From: Parent & Child

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Little MC

When the kids line up to be picked up from kindergarten, an aide or teacher stands there calling out the child's name. A parent either raises their hand to indicate it's their child, and if the parent isn't there yet the child goes to the end of the line. Today Justin was having a ball, calling out the children's name (Elijah! Come up Elijah!) from his stroller seat and in a few cases calling goodbye to them as they left with their parents. Sometimes he is such a little charmer. He calls out to other kids waiting for their siblings, occasionally flirting with their parents. It can be hard to believe this is my child sometimes.


Consumer reports tested infant car seats with some scary results. I have to go check what brands all our car seats are now!!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

There's a few more

There are two other posts of pictures from Nanny Sue & Pop-Pops below. I had saved them as drafts because blogger was loading the pictures so slowly. So when you finally post them they appear with the posts from that day, not today. Hopefully that made sense. Anyway, look below for a few more pictures.

Sweet pictures

Trying to catch them all

Try to catch 4 kids all smiling at the same time, just try!

My favorite Christmas Eve Picture

At the first glance, I thought Maree's shoe had fallen off and her foot was at a really strange angle. Then I realized that it was darker than the other foot. And had a strange braclet. Then I realized it was really John's hand. Doh!

I like the last one......

How to explain the new baby to your toddler:

• "When a man and a woman love each other very much..."
• "One day a stork comes flying by..."
• "When God decides that the world needs another angel..."
• "Daddy is a bad, bad man."

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Goths grow up to be........

Behind the black hair dye and white make-up goths are simply art lovers, who aspire to middle-class values, says a new study. Is that right? Goths are likely to grow up to be doctors, lawyers or architects, the study by Sussex University says.

Interesting......I've been to goth clubs and such (not recently!!) and I'd say that there's a pretty wide range of people. That most goths are art lovers and sensitive souls I'll agree with.....not big on drugs, anti-social behavior or sex without love, um, I don't know about that part.


The medical name for the part of the brain associated with teenage sulking is " superior temporal sulcus." Adolescents do not put the part of the brain that considers others' feelings to full use, scientists have found. No really!!

I think I got a preview of the teenage years today. While taking Leanna to school today she yelled at me because the wind was blowing her hair in her face. How exactly is that my fault??

Ah, so that's who I can blame!!

Scientists have worked out which parent to blame if you are unhappy with your weight or height.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Opening Presents

Christmas Eve

Christmas mess

So when my Aunt called the day after Christmas and talked about wanting to come over I panicked. I tried to explain to her that you literally couldn't walk through the downstairs but she thought I was exaggerating. Ha!

You have to understand we got home late Christmas Eve loaded down with presents that we just unloaded in one end of the living room. Then Christmas morning we opened all our family presents at the other end of the living room and didn't have time to pick them or the wrapping paper up before dashing next door to catch some breakfast and open more gifts. Then later that afternoon we unloaded all the presents from Grammy's house into our living room and rushed off to visit Mimi and Nanny Sue again later on. By the time we finally got home I wasn't cleaning anything!! So the place was trashed!! This picture only shows one small part of the living room.

Justin's growing up

I've noticed a big jump in Justin's craving Daddy time lately. He really misses him and really wants to spend time with him as much as possible. He seems to enjoy male companionship in general.

I look at Justin and he seems so tall! I don't have to translate as often for him either, his speech is getting clearer.

New painting crew

Tom let Justin and Leanna paint a little rocking chair that keeps breaking.

They loved it!!!! Later on after everyone left he let them paint a cabinet that he's going to throw out. They ran out of paint and a large amount of it ended up on their bodies (much worse than in these pictures). I had to give them a late night bath.

Painting party

So we decided late Saturday night to have a painting party on Sunday. We have tons of white paint in our basement-stuff that was left here when we moved in and leftover paint from Tom's jobs. Someone had also left a tube of lavender tint so Tom decided to play with it. Since it seemed the right amount to do the kitchen, and I hate the color the kitchen was painted, we decided, why not? Laura offered her services for Sunday so Tom agreed to do it. I was shocked! I didn't expect to have the kitchen painted for years! Tom ran to Home Depot and used a generous gift card he'd received as a present to buy a few supplies. And he also bought a new heater for the back porch room and a new thermostat. So we have heat back there again! Tom hasn't done work to our house in a while! Late Christmas present for me!

So I know, Lavender isn't a typical kitchen color. And every man who hears it's lavender makes a face or a smirk, but I think it's a big improvement. It really lightens up the room. It goes well with the green blinds that were already in there. So right now it's a huge mess-furniture is all out of place and stuff that was moved is stacked around. Tom keeps debating how he's doing the trim around the two doors and if he's putting up chair-rail, and if he'll paint the trim around the windows or leave it.

laundry & sickness

You know, a family of five makes an awful lot of laundry on a normal week. But man, add in two sick children and boy does it multiply! Leanna was sick for about half a day on Saturday. She woke me up saying she had to throw up. So we spent the morning camped out in the hallway or in the bathroom. She likes to wipe her mouth afterward with a washcloth-new one each time because the old ones have throw up germs on them. She's very into germs this past year. By late afternoon she was fine again though.
Then yesterday morning I woke up and realized Timothy had wetness underneath him and his diaper wasn't wet. Sure enough-he was throwing up. Only for him it lasted all day long, and then twice today. I went through 5 or 6 changes of clothes because he kept throwing up on me. Plus his clothes, a few blankets, and a few jackets (I was cold) that all got baptised. A few times he seemed like his old self and I thought he was over it, but it just kept coming back. Poor kid, he's so serious when he's sick. Thank god Justin's showing no signs of it, and neither am I.