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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Four years

I've been legally recognized as putting up with his butt for four years now!


Leanna went to back to school Bingo night with her Daddy the other night. I was supposed to take her but my swollen face and pain made that impossible. It turned out to be good because it gave them a rare chance to do something together and Leanna's teacher wasn't there so I didn't miss the chance to meet and talk to her. Leanna won 3 times(Ok, actually once, Tom won the other two but they counted it as her winning). Tom said it was boring and that Leanna said it was boring too-but they both came home smiling. Leanna said her favorite parts were 1.winning 2.seeing one kid she knew from kindergarten. She won a backpack with her school's name on it, two rulers-one with presidents, the other a flexible one, pencils, a pen, 3 dictionaries, 3 notebooks, a pencil sharpener, glitter, 2 free A-town fair tickets, a card for her school that gives discounts at local stores and restaurants. She was thrilled with her winnings. Not bad for a couple hours of boredom!

Got a monster problem?

This three year old is really cute-she knows what to do if there's a monster in the house.
(Inappropriate language though)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Creative Aunt

We saw my Aunt Cindy and Uncle Bob last night. She brought along these aprons she made from jeans or Jean skirts. They were for a craft fair. I wish I had a picture to show, they were really cute. She used trim to make the ties and to hold the top bib up and decorate the bottom. On some the bib was made from the leg of the jeans, on others she just used extra material she had. One had strawberries on the material for the bib and on the bottom ruffle so she added strawberry buttons. She estimated that they cost about 3 or 4 dollars each to make, with thread actually being the biggest cost(She bought the jeans from yard sales for no more than 50 cents each and the trim and material were given to her). I think she said she made 11 since the end of July. I wish I had time to be creative like that! She and her husband are both retired teachers this year, so she is able to do things like that. Although I have to say, she always found time to make things. They don't have cable and rarely watch tv and her hands are almost never idle. I admire her industry! When she comes to visit she always has a bag of knitting or crocheting along with her.
One day I would love to have free time to just make things and get really creative. I have a Loooong time until I get there though!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Dream message

So I got up today with half my face swollen-an infection-and what's bizarre was my dreams this morning. I've been having a lot of strange dreams lately. In my dream was a guy I knew in high school and haven't seen or thought of since. I wondered why the heck he popped into my dreams as we weren't close, barely knew each other and I had no reason to think of him lately or anything. Then later as I was walking to the pharmacy -Amoxcillin-it occurred to me. I remembered that this guy had wanted to be a dentist. I bet that's why he appeared in my dreams, I cannot think of any other reason. It makes sense, it's like my subconscience was trying to send me a message! Cool.
Then I wondered why this guy and not a dentist I'd seen? Maybe because I can't go back to the last dentist I had(they don't take medicaid and I'm already behind on the payment plan they use) and I didn't like the dentist I used before that. Who knows....I don't understand exactly how the subconscience works, but I bet that's why this guy was in my dreams.

Monday, August 27, 2007

6 weeks

Jacob will be 6 weeks old tomorrow, and it feels like he's been with us forever. He's such a big boy, I can't get over how huge he looks in comparison with my other babies. I don't know what he weights now, but I'm sure it's gone up. He smiles a lot. I have yet to see any sibling jealousy towards him. They still make up lullabies to sing to him. They still fight over holding him and get mad when I won't let them. When Timothy woke up and found Jacob next to him he put his arm around the baby and happily settled right back to sleep with a smile on his face (I was right next to the baby). They just adore him.

I have a new way to measure weight loss

This weekend my Dad mentioned that he's lost 40 pounds, which made me think, Wow! that's like losing Leanna in weight!
So since giving birth I've lost Timothy, plus a little! That sounds much more dramatic!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Ummm, just so you know

Just to explain the post below, I am really tired. That makes me get silly. That is all...

Parenting a teen

I'm thankfully far away from this phase yet, but my fav. blog Katie Allison Granju posted:
may i simply say… August 24, 2007
Filed under:
parenting, sundry — katie allison granju @ 9:24 am
…that parenting a teenager is truly, truly kicking my ass. I was in no way prepared for how hard this is, or how scary or stressful.
My mantra: He will be okay. We will all be okay. He will be better than okay; he will thrive and be well and happy.
I love him.

And someone replied:
I agree with the earlier posters—each and every child presents you with different challenges at different times. I also think it’s true that one’s first child has a particular path, very bound up with his parents’ paths. The challenge here more than anywhere is to differentiate. all the love and prayers.

NOTE TO MY SISTERS: See! The first child has it harder! I made the way easy for both of you! You should bow down and pay your respects!! I rule!

Little sweethearts

Anytime Jacob cries and I'm in the middle of doing something Justin and Timothy will run over to the bassinette and try to calm him. They can't really calm him of course, their little hands aren't really gentle yet but they try! It's really very sweet to see how much they love their little brother.

(Leanna will do this also, just not as often because she's usually more involved in whatever she's doing and so the boys make it over to the bassinette much quicker.

Just noticing

I've been having to explain a lot of song lyrics to Leanna lately. She's really been starting to pay attention.

Checking back

I couldn't resist checking the comments on the Dilbert post about creative swearing again because it was up to 700 replies! (People must really love to talk about swearing) and I have to ask, Claire was this post yours??:

"So's your face!!"
Try it; it works as a reply in almost any situation... it can be derrogatory or complimentary but always sounds disgusting and mean. For instance:
"Hey! You just cut me off, you *****!""So's your face!"
"Wow! You look really handsome today!""So's your face!"
Isn't that special?
Posted by: Dilbert's Rabbi
August 24, 2007 at 07:03 AM

Claire also does the same thing with the name "Harry Potter" and sometimes the phrase "Your mother!" (which doesn't work so well since we share the same mother)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Also for me...

The comments are the interesting part......just a thread for my own personal reference. It's about boys and girls, genders, differences or the lack thereof, socially constructed or not?, basic survival skills, dangerous skills. Yeah, all that.

For me, not you

Just a reminder (and a very good point):(EDIT: NOTE: this is someone else's comment, not mine)
Oh, thank goodness I've found this forum! I've been scouring the web ever since I found out about TDBFB. The authors definitely noticed that boys have forgotten how to have unstructured fun, and they are to be commended for that. What's been neglected is that girls have NEVER really been able to engage in unstructured outdoor play - there's such a huge societal stigma against a tree-climbing little girl. This book reminds me of why I hated being a girl twenty years ago. We just didn't have the same freedom as boys.
And this continues. The girls at the PRESCHOOL where I taught a couple years ago often came wearing platform shoes, which they couldn't possibly run around in. I think a girls book should simple contain a chapter called "How to play without sitting down"
Also, tree-climbing. And using a compass.

Just my sense of humor

I just find this very funny, it's a comment someone left on a Dilbert post about making up your own curses.
"There are a series of videos on YouTube depicting a Tourette's sufferer. He yells, "Bob Saget!" using the same rhythm as "G-d Damnit!" I find it works very well and since Bob Saget is not omnipotent and has not sent out any rules regarding the use of his name there is less likelihood of damnation for taking his name in vain."

I don't know, the idea of Bob Saget's name being a curse word is just amusing.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

This is why you go to a midwife.....

Because at the after-birth checkup she gives you a nice long massage! I can't picture any doctor I've ever been to taking the time to do that! She figures your body has been through quite a bit and most women don't have anyone caring for THEM. So she does it!
We had a long conversation during the massage and that was one of the things we talked about-how a midwife looks at how every decision affects you, not just the baby/pregnancy. And also very important, how things affect your family. She truly wants to make this a great experience for you. Most doctors simply don't care. (The example she gave was that to a doctor, a C-section is often a way to avoid a chance of a lawsuit, or a way to end a labor that is taking too long for their patience. They don't consider that the woman may have a family at home that needs her to take care of them instead of having to recover from surgery. That breastfeeding is extremely difficult on top of that scar, and that c-section babies have more trouble breastfeeding to begin with. Etc. ).
Hospitals don't care what kind of birth you want, in fact, she said she's afraid to walk away from her clients-even for a little-because you can come back to find they've started interventions the client never wanted! She said things always come full circle, and right now birth is at a bad place in the cycle. Women are dying from epidurals (I forget exactly what she said, but something about an epidural raising your blood pressure and that causes other complications) which is pretty scary. I knew it could happen as a result of a c-section but I'd not heard it could happen from an epidural. That's not supposed to happen in this day and age! Not in America!

People think you're crazy for not wanting pain medication, but if anyone's interested, I can give you a nice list of reasons why.....
Anyway, we had a nice long conversation about birth in general and mine in particular and she let me borrow a book on fertility. Another nice thing about midwives-they usually have a small library of books for your use!

The best gifts

Best baby gifts

I think my favorites are generally the ones that show real thought-the handmade blanket, like the one Tom's aunt made for Justin (although she has a sewing machine that embroiders for her-that must be fun to play with!), the frame with Timothy's name and it's meaning that his Aunt Laura made for him, gifts like that.

I like the idea someone lists in the comments on the link of adding a little note saying why each gift you give had meaning. As in "this particular cup is really easy to clean and was my child's favorite to use." This works best for a new mother, but would be sweet no matter what.

Anyone have a favorite (or just really special) baby gift they received? (or a suggestion for one)

Business and corporations

An interesting 3 page article on how Walmart is using technology instead of people (managers) to make decisions. Because they need to save money. This is starting to catch up with the company. I don't have a fascination with Walmart, lol, it's just that they write more about Walmart.
To me this is interesting because ever since I worked at McDonalds I've been theorizing about this same subject-why do corporations not realize that treating their employees like dirt hurts the company? Particular employees can really be a value to a company but the attitude of most Corp. is that all employees are easily replaceable. They're always trying to make an extra buck in ways that hurt the customer. Yes, they're in it to make money, but they go to ridiculous lengths to acomplish this. One of the most popular (that I've seen, anyway) is to reduce the number of employees on the shifts. Not because they're not as busy, but because they want to pull more work out of already challenged employees. This hurts the employees who become tired and sometimes grouchy with the customers, and of course it hurts the customers who must wait much longer for service and as a result of overworked employees often get poorer service to boot. I know from working in the Deli that many customers, particularly the elderly ones, like to chat with the employees, during and after thier order is filled. They like to come and see the same people each time. But when you're always that busy you don't have time to talk anymore and a customer trying to talk with you often becomes an annoyance because you have too much to do and not enough time to do it.
In my experience, when they reduce employees they also start new rules regarding things like not talking. Less talking means more work, right? Especially in a stupid job where the pay and skill is low and you don't have perks, little things like the friendships you form while working are the reasons you keep employees. It makes an otherwise boring job worthwhile. Then they usually yell at you for not smiling more. (I'm gonna smile now that I can't talk to employees or customers and I have more work to do and less help doing it?)
I think I'm gonna end this post for now. I could go on quite a bit more on this subject. I'll just say that I think it pays to treat your employees and customers well. I think today corporations try to do as absolutly little as they can. They've become incredibly greedy, focusing all the wealth a company makes at the very top of the ladder (CEOs and such) and the employees doing the hard labor are the one making pennies. It says much about our society that this is perfectly accepted behavior, doesn't it?

Monday, August 20, 2007

He smiles!!

I almost forgot to add here, about 3 days ago Jacob gave his first "real" smile......a smile that directly seemed to be in reaction to me. Practically since birth he's given smiles of contentment, such as after he eats. His little belly is full and he's in my arms and all is right with the world so he smiles.
But the medical community doesn't recognize those smiles as real-they say babies don't smile until about 4-6 weeks old (before then the smiles are supposed to be caused by gas). But I dissagree! Babies DO smile before then and it's not always gas!!
Anyway, the "real" smile was caused by singing and dancing with me and it was just the most adorable little smile ever!! He's a happy little boy.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Hopefully it was an enjoyable party/birthday

Mom made Laura a homemade cake with homemade iceing.

Claire's return

Claire returned from Pittsburgh with a new piercing. Actually, it's kinda cute.
She looked very happy and healthy. Apparently she really enjoyed her stay in Pitt.
I think she enjoyed the freedom of being on her own more than anything.

A strange growth....

A strange growth attached itself to Laura's leg......

The kids

Leanna and Justin had a tender moment as the night grew late (Leanna is pretending to be a baby Justin is holding).

And here Justin models the belated birthday present from his Aunt Claire-an organic lizzard shirt from Pittsburgh. From the same store (I think) she bought an organic stuffed bunny for Jacob's birth present.

Tom told Maree' she looked like an 80s girl. He wasn't aware leggins have made a comeback.

Maree' broke out the disco moves

Maree' is not at all shy in front of the camera.

Yet another birthday party

We had a birthday party for Laura and it also doubled as a welcome home party for Claire when she arrived home from her 5 week stay in Pittsburgh.
There were balloons and streamers and those things you blow out(sometimes they make noise. These didn't). So far as I could tell, fun was had by all.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

How far we've come

Today I called my parent's house to see if my Mom could come watch the older three while I dashed to the bank. So much easier than finding everyone's shoes, making sure hair is combed and clothes are reasonably clean and dragging out the big double stroller and sling just to go for a short walk to the bank. But my Mom was out yard sale-ing and my Dad actually volunteered to come over and stay with them so I could go quickly by myself.

This sort of thing is amazing and actually really neat......MY Dad watched THREE kids, on his OWN! Just a few years ago he wouldn't have done that! He is really mellowing, and I have to say, I think it's good for him. I think it allows him to enjoy the grand kids much more. He's come a long way even since Leanna was born. I think he enjoys watching the boys play because he always wanted a boy (Justin is named for the boy they never had) and watching them reminds him of his own childhood. So that helped engage him with the kids even more.

When his own kids were little he thought that there wasn't much you could do with young kids, they weren't very interesting. He would wait until they were older and could hold conversations with him and such. He missed out on a lot of bonding that way. And we weren't as close with him as we would have been had he spent more time with us while we were young. So especially because of that, it makes me happy to watch him with my kids. I think it's really great for both of them!

Making & Breaking Parenting goals

The article isn't all the enlightening but has a few cute parts. I like this sentence I highlighted, it sounds like my kids:

Electronic babysitting.
It may be that the kids of yore played quietly on the floor with their corncob dolls while their mothers took their once-a-week bath. More likely, the kids pulled on the washtub the entire time, trying to eat the lye soap and shrieking demands for gruel. Today, we have a choice. Many a new mom has discovered that if a DVD means half an hour to shower in peace, she'll take it, no matter what sarcastic comments she may have made about Baby Mozart during pregnancy.

5 year old helps deliver baby sister

A video interview is on the link.

CBS13) ELK GROVE A five-year-old boy from Elk Grove helped deliver his baby sister and is now being called a hero. John John Barreiros woke up Thursday morning to the sound of his mom's screams. His mother, Christina Barreiros, had no time to call 911 and her husband was out of town. She laid a towel down in the bathroom and went into labor, and that's when her son came to the rescue. Although John John's baby sister Aleah was born a week and a half early, she is doing well thanks to her big brother.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Little big boy

Timothy's enjoyed sitting on the potty for quite a while now. He likes to immitate his siblings. Problem is, he just sits there and plays or flushes the toilet repeatedly. So I didn't really encourage him to do it because he just sits there forever. The whole let-them-run-around-naked-for-a-few-days method doesn't work for my kids. None of them have ever cared. But today Timothy had taken his diaper off (poopy, of course) and I was letting him air out for a while and I glanced over just in time to notice him starting to spread his legs.
"Do you have to go potty?"
"Lets go!"
And we rushed off and he did it!
Now I realize he may not do it again for another year! But I'm proud of him, and I think we're on our way to having only one in diapers! Hurray for Timothy! (Hurray for me!)

On the subject of weight........

Linked is a blurb about Supermodel Heidi Klum who stayed thin because she plays with her kids. This is the woman who was modeling a thong on the runway 6 weeks after giving birth.

I play with my kids!! Of course we don't have the giant house with the giant yard to go running around playing sports and such so I can lose the weight. That would help tremendously-having a safe space where we could run and play. Nor do we have the money to buy all healthy food or a personal chef to prepare it when I'm too tired or busy to do more than make sandwiches. Or money for a gym membership. Nor do I have the supermodel genes. Yeah, there's that too. : )

PS. On the plus side-I don't have any stretch marks either!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

little doll

His sister did this to him! He was nicely sleeping in the bassinet when she put a hat on his head, put the pillow under his head, strapped a rattle to his wrist, and added the blanket for good measure. And though he'd been sleeping, he good naturedly withstood it all.

Hands in his pockets again

Again with the pockets! I remember Justin went through a period where he was fascinated with pockets also.

Maree's new "do"

Here's Maree' from last weekend with Jacob. You can see she got pink and blonde highlights.

my little garden

I have cherry tomatoes and cucumbers

that are ready to eat now. I'm going to try to make a cucumber salad when I have enough ready.

Almost time

We got Leanna's homeroom and teacher name in the mail today-school is fast approaching. Wow.


My sister Laura was visiting my Mom today since it was her birthday-Happy Birthday Laura!! And she came with me to the eye doctor to hold Jacob. We walked there with Jacob in the sling. We were commiserating about weight loss, or the lack of it, and she pointed out to me, "Hey at least people are looking at your stomach and smiling and saying how cute! They don't do that to me." (meaning they smile at Jacob in the sling).

The weight melting off my body has stopped, actually about two weeks ago. I suspect it's all an uphill battle from here. The other day I was trying on a bunch of clothes given to me by various people. I couldn't get rid of nearly as many as I would have liked. Leanna looked at me trying on a pair of jeans and said, "Wow, you look like the girls outside!" She meant that the jeans were a modern style. And I realized that almost all the clothes I've been wearing since she was born are hand-me-downs, largely from women a generation older than me. So, as I told my husband later that night, well, the bad news is, I'm fat......the good news is-I'll have lots of jeans to wear!

the burden of being cute

At my Mom's birthday party Justin had been in the living room with his Dad, my Dad, my grandmother, and my Uncle David. He joined the rest of us still sitting at the table and said that everyone had been looking at him. When asked why he matter of factly replied, "because I'm fascinating." He didn't understand why we burst out laughing.
I didn't know he knew the word, much less how to use it correctly.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Divorce proof your marriage? Any thoughts?

8 ways to divorce-proof your marriage
Simple tips to keep your love for life.
By Kat Tancock

"Divorce-proofing is a daily, ongoing task," says Sharon Y. Ramsay, a Toronto-based marriage and family therapist. "It takes real work to make it for the long haul." But do you know what to focus on? Here are eight ways to make your marriage work for good.

1. Talk, and listen
Make sure to share your thoughts with each other, daily, if possible, and to take interest in each other's lives. "I am yet to consult with a couple who has not pointed to 'poor communication' as the source of their relationship woes," says Ramsay. Also, she adds, make sure to check in with your spouse to ensure that they're truly hearing what you're saying -- and that you're receiving and understanding right back. "This is a responsibility that both people share," Ramsay says.
2. Kiss goodbye and hello
"Hugs, kisses, quick squeezes, even holding one another's gaze are ways in which the couple can affirm their connection and commitment to one another," says Ramsay. Pausing for a hug and a kiss before you leave for work in the morning may seem like a small thing, but the warm glow it gives you is something to look back on all day.

3. Do fun activities together
Find a shared outside activity: Ballroom dancing, jogging, foreign films and gardening are some examples Ramsay suggests. They can help you both keep learning about each other, she says. "While these hobbies can seem frivolous, they can actually serve to remind the couple of what they have in common and encourage them to relate to one another as a real people."

4. Have independent lives
Don't live life glued together. Make sure to have your own hobbies, interests and friends on top of your shared activities; you'll maintain a sense of your own individual identity and have lots to talk about with your partner to boot. "Before we ever knew our spouse existed on the planet," says Ramsay, "we had dreams, ambitions and interests that probably contributed to us making that love connection." She suggests that both partners continue to pursue at least one independent hobby or activity in order to nourish both themselves and their relationship.

5. Plan ahead
From parenting philosophies to thoughts on money to prioritizing goals and dreams, marriage means making plans together -- and the earlier, the better. Financial planning, for instance, says Ramsay, "can often be a deal-breaker in a marriage." Don't assume that your partner knows how you feel about important issues -- sit down and discuss them before they have the chance to become a problem.

6. Fight with a purpose
Handling conflict constructively is key. Ramsay recommends a three-point plan for making sure fights have a positive outcome. First, she says, acknowledge that every couple faces arguments, and that they're "not an indication that the relationship is doomed." Second, she says, "each person should examine their own contribution to the conflict and be prepared to own up to it." Finally, she adds, both partners have to be able to spell out what upset them and how they would like the problem to be resolved. "By having this level of clarity," Ramsay says, "the couple is then in a position to talk about what happened in a focused way."

7. Make time for intimacy
"Sex is really the culmination of all of the little things that are done throughout the day," Ramsay says, "a reminder of how much you enjoy your spouse." So, the more, the better, right? Well, it's not so simple. What is important is that you are meeting each other's needs for intimacy -- which means they need to be articulated, as well (see 1, above). And intimacy doesn't necessarily mean sex, per se. "The broader the couple's physical repertoire, the better," says Ramsay. This means that everything from kisses to cuddles to shared glances is game.

8. Focus on the positive
Sometimes, all it takes to brighten someone's mood is an honest compliment from someone he or she loves. One consequence of being part of a deeply committed relationship is trusting your partner's opinion, whether it's a compliment or a put-down. Don't take this power for granted. So if you think your partner looks cute in her new dress, say so -- and if you're not crazy about the shoes, keep your mouth shut. It's all about the greater good, after all.

America can no longer afford Wal-Mart!

"It is no secret that many customers are running out of money toward the end of the month."

And some of us can't even make it that far! (of course having a baby and through circumstances losing two weeks pay doesn't help either!!)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

What almost wasn't......

Sappy but a good reminder. When you think back on your life, there are so many of those moments where had you made a different choice, your life would be so very different. This post is from the Lactivist blog (linked above, if you want to leave or read comments):

At the Risk of Sounding Like one of those "Don't Almost Give" Commercials...

Sometimes I think about the people that might have been. Not so much about someone not living up to their potential...but about just how close you came to not existing period.

Emmitt wasn't planned. In fact, he was one heck of a surprise. Had it been up to our timing, it would have been another egg, another sperm and another child altogether. My mother had a miscarriage before I was born. If that pregnancy had lasted, would she have had me?

How many of you have children that weren't planned...but that you now can't imagine life without. How many have lost a child that might have been?

Now I don't usually get all touchy-feely-preachy here, but I was reading an article today about my Grandfather and his time on Iwo Jima during WWII and I was reminded of just how many times he should have stopped existing. (And since my dad was born after the war, you can follow the logic to just how close I came to not existing.)

The article touches on one story (the foxhole) but doesn't really give the details. It leaves out two other near death experiences as well.

1.) The Foxhole - Grandpa was a machine gunner on Iwo Jima. He traveled with a tiny little Filipino national who lay under the rifle and fed the string of bullets in. Grandpa said they could get off two to three bursts of fire before they had to move, because it generally only took that long for the Japanese to zero in on their location. He said the first mortar always went long or short, the second one got a little closer and the third one nailed you.

On this day, they'd gotten two rounds off and Grandpa was ready to move. His partner swore they could get one more burst off if they did it quickly. Grandpa agreed and says that as he pulled the trigger, the world just went dark.

He woke up on the ground outside the fox hole covered in blood. They never did find his loader.

2.) The Landing Craft - Grandpa went on shore on one of those landing crafts like you see in every war movie where they storm a beach. When they got to shore, the front went down and they were all supposed to run out and start making their way up the beach to the cliffs.

The problem was, no one would move. (Can you blame them? I've seen Saving Private Ryan, no way would I want to get out of that boat.) Grandpa says the officer with them ordered them to leave the boat and one moved. Finally the officer pulled out his side arm and said "you either go and risk getting shot by the Japanese, or you stay and risk getting shot by me." Folks still weren't moving and grandpa was standing pretty close to that side arm, so he climbed the side of the boat (they had open tops) and went over the side.

As he was falling toward the water, he heard this huge explosion. A mortar had landed right in the middle of the boat he'd just jumped out of.

3.) Sniper Fire - When Grandpa was on Iwo Jima, the tanks weren't as well equipped as they are now. In fact, the tank drivers really couldn't see out enough to see where they were going. That meant that someone had to walk behind the tank with a walkie talkie, telling them which way to go.

The problem was, the Japanese knew what these soldiers/marines were doing and that made them a prime target for snipers. Because of that, the average life span for one of these guys was about 10 minutes. At one point while he was on the island, Grandpa got assigned to this gig. Half an hour later, he was still alive. One of the officers, who liked grandpa saw him down there and ordered that he be switched out. Somehow, the message never made it down and 15 minutes later, he was still there. The officer saw him again and went and switched him out himself.

The next guy only lasted about 2 or 3 minutes.

Grandpa always said that he never did anything special over there. He was just a kid trying to get home to his family in one piece. Getting out alive reminded him that he needed to spend the rest of his life making an impact.

If you've ever seen Saving Private Ryan, you'll remember the scene where the old man breaks down, wondering if he'd lived a life that was "worth it" after having come home safe and sound.

When you think about it from that kind of makes you want to go out and do something to leave your mark on the world, doesn't it? What have you done lately to make sure your life has an impact? It doesn't have to be something major that will get you in the history books. Just something that has a positive impact on someone else's life.

Make it a point this week to say thanks for the simple fact that you exist...that your kids giving a little something.
Labels: Life as a Mom

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Cakes

Since my Mom asked me to post these...............................My sister Laura baked the two angel food cakes and decorated them with whipped cream and strawberries. We were trying to think of what we could do for a cake topper. The first year after her heart attack we put a toy hot dog on top because she missed eating that kind of food.
We called Claire, she's in Pittsburgh yet, to ask if she had any brilliant ideas. She was actually serious for once and was thinking of cake toppings, not toppers, though. Claire was trying to come up with something organic and maybe vegan(surprisingly sweet of her!). So we were still on our own, trying to figure out what we could put on the cake. I looked on the net for inspiration but it's hard to find cake toppers that aren't wedding cake toppers. A picture of little construction men reminded me of little army men, and inspiration struck! A-ha! You can get little army men at any dollar store and a tub is easy to do with ice-ing!
So the cake was in honnor of a comment my Mom innocently misunderstood on another blog:
Jaime had posted that army men make good bathtoys-meaning for her two year old son. My Mom read it and thought she was referring to real army men and thought, well, I don't know why Jaime's sharing that thought with us, but ok! And she wrote back, LOL yes they do! I think it took a while before my Mom realized what Jaime had actually meant!
PS. the second cake has a waterfall running down because the cake has an indentation that kind of looked like a waterfall to me and water sort of fit with the bathtub theme. Laura made the waterfall and posed the men on that cake though.

Grammy's birthday Party

Well, it was Grammy and Uncle David's party-they're a year and a day apart.
Although Grammy made barbeque and deviled eggs, Justin and Timothy opted for their favorite Chocolate Yogurt instead.
Jacob slept through it all.
I'd post a picture of the birthday girl but I think she'd yell at me.

His nurturing side

Every day (many times a day) I look over to see Timothy sitting with a baby. In this case it's Elmo, but any doll will do. Often he has a blanket wrapped around the baby. Sometimes he's just holding the baby, sometimes he feeds them(breastfeeds), and sometimes he burps them. It's really sweet. Timothy and Justin are both such affectionate boys.

Childproof! Ha!

Here's the refrigerator lock we put on a few days ago. Justin had it open within minutes. He actually opens it quicker than I can.
Timothy's the main one we want to keep out (He dips his hands right into containers of food and such) but he still gets in when one of the other two have the refrigerator door open. So much for childproof!

Timothy, sleeping

He fell asleep on the couch like this......

Friday, August 10, 2007

Good advice

This is a picture of a picture my sister Claire drew for me when she was about 6-8 years old. It's her version of an Aesop's fable. I loved it so much that I framed it and used to have it hanging in my room.
It says:
If something seems impossible to obtain, try using your brain.
Very good advice, methinks!

Still More Jacob

a little smile (and a fist)


Most of the time I think Leanna and Timothy look very much alike, but here I can see how she and Justin have similar features also.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


I was searching for something on and ran across this Susan Branch calendar/journal. My Aunt got this for me a few years back and I thought it was a great idea, especially when you can get it cheap through a used book seller (Or maybe even on ebay). I'm a big Susan Branch fan. I think her illustrations and style in general are just so cozy and home-y, I just like them. It's good for people who don't have the time or inclination to keep a full journal. It has pretty pictures and space for a few lines about what you did each day or even just to record appointments. I had it the year I was pregnant with Justin and it's interesting to go back and read it. I also use it as a reference for scrapbooking. Just thought I'd share.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Maybe it's just me

Isn't he adorable? Little scrunched up face and all!

Don't you just look at this picture and want one of your own!

(I think I'm wired differently than most-but I hear a newborn baby cry and I want one!, I look at a cute baby picture and I want one! I adore babies, no matter how hard things are right now it doesn't change that)

What goes through their little minds?

I love watching the random gestures babies perform. Did you ever watch them? They have all kinds of facial tics and startle movements. I think in this picture it looks like he should be holding a cigar or somthing. My sister pointed out that it looks like he's making little gang signs with his hands in some pictures, lol. I never would have thought of that one!

Monday, August 06, 2007


Timothy fell and cut his face tonight.
Leanna cut her finger on a porclein doll that broke.
Justin decorated with bandaids while we put one on Leanna's finger. : )
Timothy got into my purse and ate my chapstick and half of the Burt's Bees Rhubarb lip shimmer.

Jacob, developing

I noticed this weekend that Jacob now cries not just out of hunger, but also for me to hold him. Previously if he was crying it meant, FOOD! NOW!
To me this just says that he recognizes that he likes me holding him too.

Looong day

I still don't have a routine down pat's still crazy here. Today was one of those days where the screaming started right away, nobody wanted any food that I have here (no money to buy more) and EVERY SINGLE toy one of them picks up is coveted by the others!!
I got the baby to sleep and went to catch up on dishes (I always have a counterfull of plastic stuff because it's only safe on the top rack of the dishwasher and the kids go through it like crazy). I was feeling good about cutting down on the counter clutter. Justin had started to empty the toybox but I figured that's kind of the price I pay for cleaning in one area. While I did the dishes Timothy opened a giant bag of rabbit food that's been waiting for Tom to carry it out. They spilled all over the floor. As I was cleaning that up I didn't notice Justin deciding that rabbit food is fun to play with. He was sitting there pouring more out and running shovels through it and having a grand ol time. Timothy decided to join him and after I finished cleaning it up in the kitchen I turned around only to find it all over the living room. It was everywhere. Like pushed under the closet door, under their toybox, under the desks. It was all over the pathway and made the floor very slippery! This is in addition to all the toys that had been thrown (literally, in Timothy's case) all over the floor. The kids were hungry now. The baby was of course, crying at this point, and I wasn't so far from it myself. It took all afternoon to get it cleaned up, well, I'm still waiting for Tom to get home so we can move furniture to get the rabbit food stuck underneath. He was gone before 8AM and it's now 9:35 and he's still not home. That's pretty typical. And it's not because he's doing work straight through(while that would still suck it would mean more money at least), which gets pretty frustrating. I should clarify that it's not that he's hanging out with friends or anything either. He'll have to stop by someone's house or go look at a job or he'll stop at Tony's Pizza to bring free food home and ends up doing this or that for them, etc. etc. So he ends up being gone forever without extra fun or money to show for it. Long days like this with just me and 4 small people are really hurting my sanity right now.

Birthday wishes, again

Happy Birthday MOM!!

(sorry I added this so late!)

Saturday, August 04, 2007

More Jacob

He still has a stuffed nose and sneezes. His breathing is still labored, mainly at night. But in general he's pretty good, still happy so far. He sleeps through an amazing amount of noise!!

Surfing while the baby eats........

and I came across a list of common breastfeeding misconceptions. I personally have heard the myth about women's milk "drying up" so many many times, I thought I'd post this one just to put the info out there. I think it sounds like a good excuse when you don't really understand what happened and it implies that you didn't do anything wrong(which most likely it wasn't their fault, just a case of misinformation or bad advice).
And I have much personal experience also with breastfeeding being blamed for anything that goes wrong.

(if you're curious about more myths or breastfeeding info in general, check out the link above)

Breastfeeding mothers' milk can "dry up" just like that. Not true! Or if this can occur, it must be a rare occurrence. Aside from day to day and morning to evening variations, milk production does not change suddenly. There are changes which occur which may make it seem as if milk production is suddenly much less:

An increase in the needs of the baby, the so-called growth spurt . If this is the reason for the seemingly insufficient milk, a few days of more frequent nursing will bring things back to normal. Try compressing the breast with your hand to help the baby get milk (Handout #15, Breast Compression).
A change in the baby's behaviour . At about five to six weeks of age, more or less, babies who would fall asleep at the breast when the flow of milk slowed down, tend to start pulling at the breast or crying when the milk flow slows. The milk has not dried up, but the baby has changed. Try using breast compression to help the baby get more milk. See the website for videos on how to latch a baby on, how to know the baby is getting milk, how to use compression.

The mother's breasts do not seem full or are soft . It is normal after a few weeks for the mother no longer to have engorgement, or even fullness of the breasts. As long as the baby is drinking at the breast, do not be concerned (see handout 4 Is My Baby Getting Enough Milk?).
The baby breastfeeds less well . This is often due to the baby being given bottles or pacifiers and thus learning an inappropriate way of breastfeeding.
The birth control pill may decrease your milk supply. Think about stopping the pill or changing to a progesterone only pill. Or use other methods. Other drugs that can decrease milk supply are pseudoephedrine (Sudafed), some antihistamines, and perhaps diuretics. If the baby truly seems not to be getting enough, get help, but do not introduce a bottle that may only make things worse. If absolutely necessary, the baby can be supplemented, using a lactation aid that will not interfere with breastfeeding. However, lots can be done before giving supplements. Get help. Try compressing the breast with your hand to help the baby get milk (Handout #15, Breast Compression).

Breastfeeding is blamed for everything. True ! Family, health professionals, neighbours, friends and taxi drivers will blame breastfeeding if the mother is tired, nervous, weepy, sick, has pain in her knees, has difficulty sleeping, is always sleepy, feels dizzy, is anemic, has a relapse of her arthritis (migraines, or any chronic problem) complains of hair loss, change of vision, ringing in the ears or itchy skin. Breastfeeding will be blamed as the cause of marriage problems and the other children acting up. Breastfeeding is to blame when the mortgage rates go up and the economy is faltering. And whenever there is something that does not fit the "picture book" life, the mother will be advised by everyone that it will be better if she stops breastfeeding.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

2 week old checkup

At two weeks and two days old Jacob's up to 9 lbs, 7.4 oz, and 22 inches long. He's around the 90th percentile for height (Timothy's tall too) and I think the 75th for weight. The red circle around his eye is a normal bloodshot eye, a product of the fast birth (She said some Moms get them from pushing too). It'll disappear within a month and has no effect on his vision.

It's funny how many tiny little things there are with kids like that. There were a million things they thought were wrong with Leanna(birthmark on her forehead, supposed click in her hips, galactosemia, sachral dimple, etc....) Justin had a blocked tear duct, the hypospadius and for a while eczema. He had a lot of infant acne and the sachral dimple too. Timothy had jaundice and much later eczema/weird skin rash. Jacob has an extremely mild hypospadius too. We still have to take him to the urologist to get it looked at, but it might not need surgery. In fact, the pediatrician didn't mention it to me at either visit so they might not have even noticed it.
So now we're free of doctor visits until mid-September!(Jacob in September, Timothy and Justin in November)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

8 reasons not to drink soda

As a young adult, I drank a lot of soda. My Mom didn't let us have much because of all the caffeine, but I wasn't worried about that, I went to bed late anyway. Caffeine didn't bother me. So I thought nothing of all the soda I consumed. I had no idea it was so bad for you aside from the caffeine thing.

When I got pregnant with Leanna I drastically cut my intake-I either drank soda with no caffeine or water. I switched to decaf coffee. Sometimes on busy Fri. or Sat. nights at work I would treat myself to a cherry coke or Pepsi (my favorite). Cutting back on soda actually made it taste less appealing and after she was born I pretty much stopped drinking soda-substituting giant bottles of water when I was at work.
While pregnant with Jacob I started craving it again, especially Cherry Pepsi with lemon squeezed into it. I have to watch because Justin and Timothy will drink ANYTHING that I have in a cup. Just because it's Mommy's.
I know many people think it's silly to try so hard to keep the kids away from soda. People think that it'll make them become fascinated with it because it's forbidden. But I think it's especially important while they're young and their bones are forming to keep them away from it. You only have a certain window of time to store calcium in your body. At my age that time is past. Later when it's out of my control they may choose to drink it, but at least I'll have kept them away from it up until then. There are so many reasons not to drink soda! I'm trying not to make it a habit with my kids because I'm used to having it at family gatherings and such. That makes it harder not to drink for me.

Today in the WIC office as we walked into the room Justin exclaimed, "He's drinking soda!" and pointed at a little boy (had to be two or younger). I heard chuckles around the room and I had to reassure Justin that it was ok, just to get him to stop yelling that the boy had soda. I'll have to try to explain that one to him later. At least I know Justin has the idea that soda isn't for kids!

Celebrity baby names

Jenna Elfman (she was on Dharma and Greg) had a baby boy recently and named him Story. My first impulse is that it's neat-different but not bizzare sounding. But then it would be kind of bizzare to croon, Hi little story! to a baby. Still doesn't top my all time favorite celeb baby name: Pilot Inspektor! I think that one's hard to beat.

"He weighed in at 7 pounds, 2 ounces and, according to mom's publicist, is fond of "classical music, a clean diaper, mom's boobs and long naps."

Chance to win a onsie

If you blog, enter your address and write a quick post about these adorable onsies. You ccan just enter your email address too if you don't blog. The 18 month onsies say give peas a chance! With cute peas with faces pictured. Even if you don't have a baby, they'd make a nice gift for someone!