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Monday, March 31, 2008

The parent trap

I thought this was pretty interesting, probably mainly because I agree with almost everything she says. And it's stuff I've been saying pretty much since Leanna was born.
The only parts I disagree with: she claims that modern parents don't use playpens because they don't want to limmit their kids's exploration. I think it's because they just aren't needed as much. Kids today spend more time in cars and carseats, more kids go to daycares and preschools so less time at home, and their houses are better childproofed. For me personally I just didn't find it very useful. (With Leanna our house was too small and she didn't get into stuff the way the boys did. By the time the boys are old enough to be crawling or walking over to dangerous things they were old enough to be climbing. My kids all learned to climb rather young.) And we do have a time out Lamb (a stuffed animal with a timer on it's belly to be used for time outs) but it was a birthday present for Justin and I thought it was for the parent's convenience, not to cushion the timeout for the kid! LOL.

I've always thought that those classses for babies were really for the parents. I do like that she explains that the reason there's a market for so many of the parenting specialists though isn't because parents aren't capable or are being too capitalist, but because they often live too far away from family or because more family members (including the parents) are working more and don't have time or energy to help. I wouldn't hire any of them myself-with the exception of a doula, that sounds awesome!-but I think they could be a great help to some parents. The stuff about baby einstein just cracks me up! Especially where she says that Days of Our Lives may have actually been better for them. (For the record I don't watch soap operas, unless you count Tom's show, One Tree Hill.)
Parents are saying: "Oh my God, my child is mesmerized. He loves it!" Maybe. We don't know what is going on inside their brain. Maybe they're like Alex in "A Clockwork Orange," and they're forced to watch these images that they want nothing to do with, and yet they can't move.
That's a terrible thought!!
Anyway, she concludes with the idea that it's better for the kids to reuse, recycle, repurpose. And don't worry so much about buying the right stuff for them. Woo hoo! I'm right on track for once!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The tub video

video

First real bath in a tub





This is Jacob's first "real" bath in a tub (as opposed to in one of those little baby tubs). I think most people stop using them much sooner but I keep using them for convenience's sake. You don't have to fill a whole tub, just that little thing so it's much quicker. But really he's been too large for it for a long time now. I did have him in the tub with just Timothy before but it was just for an extremely brief washing, no playtime. So this was the first time he actually sat in it without me quickly washing him off and getting him out.
As you can see, he absolutely loved the water. He just kept splashing and splashing and splashing. I think he kept his toungue out the entire time!

After the bath



Happy to be clean!

This subject's been on my mind for a while too...

It's a short opinion piece about our nation's moral compass.

I wholeheartedly agree

This one has always bugged me. (click on the above link) Not that I expect perfection, but a certain basic proficiency should be a job requirement, don't you think??

''And so, in my State of the--my State of the Union--or state--my speech to the nation, whatever you want to call it, speech to the nation--I asked Americans to give 4,000 years--4,000 hours over the next--the rest of your life--of service to America. That's what I asked--4,000 hours.''

That pledge of Allegiance thing

3 quotes to remember

This is not my writting, I copied this from LargerFamilies.com(For obvious reasons, I like the dedication from Cheaper by the Dozen best):


The three things I most want my children to remember me as aren’t single words, but phrases and ideas...
Dorothy Canfield Fisher once said: “A mother is not a person to lean on, but a person to make leaning unnecessary.” I’d like for my children to remember me as a pillar of strength who taught them how to be strong men and women who make and stand by their good choices, self starters who can figure out how to navigate through life.
In her autobiography, Dust Tracks on a Road, Zora Neal Hurston wrote: “Mama exhorted her children at every opportunity to 'jump at de sun.' We might not land on the sun, but at least we would get off the ground.” When my kids are adults, I want them to remember me as optimistic and confident -- as someone who “jumped at the sun” and encouraged them to do the same at every opportunity.
One of my all-time favorite books as a child was Cheaper By the Dozen, the autobiographical story of the Gilbreth family, written by two of the family’s 12 kids. It wasn’t until I was much older that I could really appreciate the dedication: "To Father, who had only twelve children, and to Mother, who had twelve only children.” I’d like my children to remember me as a mother who treated each one of them as if they were the most important -- all at the same time. I don’t know that there’s one adjective to describe that (maybe one of my kids will make one up) but, whatever that word is, if they use it to describe me, I will be a very happy mom!
Lylah is a full-time editor, part-time freelance writer, and mom and stepmom to five kids. She writes about work-life balance at The 36-Hour Day and blogs about writing at Write. Edit. Repeat.
By Lylah at 03/26/2008 - 14:21
Lylah's blog
2 comments

Stubornness runs in the family.....

Me: (exasperated tone) "Awwww, Timothy, are you stinky again!"
Timothy: "No!!!!!!"
Me: "Do I smell poopie?"
Timothy: "I smell peaches!"

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Sock Problems

Justin's recently begun to have issues with his socks. I had really hoped Leanna would be the only one to have that problem.

(For the record, he is rarely around when she puts on her shoes and socks now, usually he's still sleeping. And she's much improved from last year. She doesn't have to fold the socks over the top of her feet anymore. They still have to be correctly positioned, but it's a much less labor-intensive project. So I really don't think it's because of watching her. I think it truly bothers him too).

Genes



I know I mention it from time to time, but I always think it's really cool when you catch a flash of someone you know in someone else's face. You'll probably think I'm crazy, but in these two pictures I can see my father in law in Jacob's eyes and I see my sister Laura in Justin's. Stuff like that blows me away sometimes, it's just really neat to see. Sometimes you can see a relative in a body movement or an expression. Sometimes it's only for a second, occasionally much longer. Leanna recently reminded me of both my sister Claire and my cousin Karissa at the same time. I've always teased (but still been completely serious about) Claire about looking like my cousin Ronnie, but recently both Justin and Leanna have implied that I look like him also. I had no idea. Timothy lately reminds me less of his Uncle Billy and more and more of his Daddy, but also Nanny Sue. I just find it endlessly fascinating what qualities show up where in people. And not just relating to looks, but also character wise. Out of 7 kids and 16 grand kids Claire seems to be the only one to look like Mimi's father (Claire's Great-Grandfather). One little piece of DNA was triggered and he came through in only one person. It makes you wonder what traits of your own will live on in future generations.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Books & bookfair

We went to Leanna's school's bookfair at Barnes N Nobles last night-she did a scavenger hunt and we listened to the principal read Jeff Foxworthy to the kids. Yeah, the you know you're a redneck if....guy. Apparently he's written a kid's poetry book. It was cute. One Mom was like, Jeff Foxworthy? With her hands ready to cover her kid's ears! LOL. No redneck jokes though! Part of the profits during the event go to the school. We did our part we bought two books(though from the cheapest selection I could find!) and a yummy Starbuck's coffee, for charity! Yes, it was coffee for the children! I so wish we had money to spend, there are so many many great books there. I had to pull away a car book when Timothy wasn't looking, and Justin was trying to climb shelves to get books on snakes and bugs.
I overheard the principal telling one of the staff members that they don't get many students to turn up at these events, but they try to make them special for those who do. I thought that was really sweet-it's a very low income, minority school, but the staff is dedicated enough to still try to do their best. I think it would be very easy to get discouraged in a job like that, so you have to applaud the dedication it takes on their part.

Long Hair has it's uses

http://www.parentdish.com/2008/03/26/long-hair-saves-girl/#comments

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Easter Silliness





Easter fun






Easter presents




I think the boys' favorite present at Nanny Sue's was the little spinner guns. All the kids liked their Easter socks too-Cars for the boys and Ariel for Leanna (I think Maree was Belle).

Claire and Garett



Yes, that's a picture of Garrett(sp?) playing with the kids' toys. Claire really liked the power rangers, transformers, and remote controlled airplane too. As Laura said, "They match."

Easter outfits-Timothy and Justin





Trying to catch a nice Easter picture of them in their little outfits is like pulling teeth. And because of our late arrival and after dinner complications I had less time than usual to take pictures......so here's Timothy trying to wink and Justin looking so big. Justin's becoming such a little man-it's really taking me by surprise. All the sudden he's heavier and his voice seems a little huskier and he's just.....such a male presence. It's hard to explain the changes exactly, they're subtle.

Easter at Grammy's



While waiting for the Easter ham......

Easter morning




The picture and crayons wrapped in foil was my Easter present from Leanna-she made similar presents for just about everyone she knows, although they weren't all delivered. (I know everyone's dissapointed!) I thought that was really sweet of her to do though. She wasn't worrying about getting an Easter basket, she was busy making presents for others!

Easter egg decorating pictures

A tasty root beer float and some of the eggs in progress, and Leanna getting ready.......

I couldn't resist


Laura put all her eggs in one basket, silly girl!!

Twas the Night before Easter.....


The scanner program isn't loaded on the computer right now, so I just took a picture of the picture (Sue I have a keychain for you, it has room on the other side for a picture of Maree or Jonathan or both).

The night before Easter was extremely hectic-it was the only time Tom was home and the only chance I had to Easter shop. Timothy needed a new Easter outfit as he is too big to fit in the one his older brothers wore for their first easters. And Justin also needed something to wear (Timothy wore last year's Justin clothes and Leanna used her Christmas dress again with Easter gloves and hat). Tom needed a clean pair of pants to wear-all his are covered in paint and ripped etc. and new shoes. We got started way later than we had planned and it took an hour and a half to wait in line for the Easter Bunny, then K-Mart didn't have Tom's size so we ended up taking longer to shop, and everyone was starving at that point, plus we still had to get eggs and root beer/ice-cream. We have a traddition of having root beer floats while we decorate eggs the night before Easter! And all the kids needed baths, and of course that had to be AFTER egg decorating. But by the time we got home it was 9:30 or 10:00 and the boys were sleeping. So only Leanna got to decorate eggs! And the baths all had to be done Easter morning. After I cleaned up the egg decorating mess, I had to straighten the living room, lay out all the clothes/shoes/socks and make the baskets and clean the floor for nice-looking bunny tracks. I couldn't find the powder so this year I used flower. It didn't look quite as much like bunny tracks but it did the job.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

humidifiers

Laura, go here
Also comes in Hello Kitty, dragon, Thomas the Train, frog, etc. So cute!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Painting last night


If you look closely at Leanna's face you can see all her new paint freckles. The middle picture was her most detailed work-a picture of Daddy. I love how Justin is busy washing some dishes that were in the sink, but he's completely oblivious to the warpaint covering his own body.



The young artists were at work last night, painting up a storm. They really love painting! Well, ok, Timothy mainly likes dipping his hands in the paint, the other two actually use it.

I'm with this person.......

With great interest, I was reading an article on mcall.com about the real costs of insuring the unisured. I wasn't sure if I really wanted to read the comments people left because generally there are a lot of really really nasty total morons who comment. But I was surprised to find that there were a number of decent comments like this this one. This person put it better than I did on my mom's blog:

What the blank
Philadelphia, PA
It is often just a stroke of luck that a person has a good job and good health care benefits. Often people who don't have those jobs are better workers, better educated, and more intelligent. A lot of jobs go to the people who know the right people and that probably says a lot about the state of our economy today. Some people can get on a gravy train and stay there all their lives because they khow how to smooze the boss and/or they are sneaky enough to get over on their coworkers. I've seen it a million times.Why should our health benefits even be tied to employment. It makes us slaves of the corporation and really prevents us from living up to our full potential. We're afraid of making a move because we might lose our health benefits.I think the government should handle health insurance. We don't all need the same amount of health care but we all need some, especially as we get older. The people in this blog who complain that people are asking for a handout are really don't understand fundamental decency. They must be of the "I've got mine, who cares about you crowd." They should be ashamed but they won't be because of their sociopathic upbringings. They really don't feel the pain and they sneer at anyone who does. There is something wrong with those people, really, really wrong.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

General venting on the subject.....

Multiple posts on discipline follow this one. Mainly I am angered by the idea people have that if you don't spank your child you are not disciplining them at all. That you are just wishy-washy about correcting bad behavior or you are afraid they won't like you anymore or just afraid to parent. People seem to think spanking is the way to get results and I personally have not found this to be true at all. What works best as a deterrent for me is to sent the kids upstairs-they don't like to be removed from the action. And Leanna particularly doesn't like to be sent anywhere alone.
I was also angered by people purporting to know how we handle things when they really have no idea. I actually hate having to discipline in front of other people. I try to avoid it if I can. I always feel like I am being judged, especially by my family. Therefore my most effective discipline is never in front of other people. Then again some of my worst efforts in discipline have also been while alone with the kids also.

I also get very very annoyed by people constantly offering me the same old advice and thinking they're telling me something I must not be aware of. (I think my Dad is the worst offender on this one). In the past two weeks I have had not one but two people tell me, "Having four kids is harder than having two." As though I had no idea! You don't say!!
I've also had people tell me how I need to have my kids doing work around the house-ummm......they do! People think that my house is a mess because I let the kids run amok and not take any responsiblility. Not so, I protest!! Because of their young ages, you can only expect so much. Right now the chores the boys do don't really help me as it takes more time to fix their "work" than it does save me time. But that's ok, it will pay off later. They do pick up toys, but at this stage that means having me give specific dirctions which is time and attention consuming. Even with Leanna, I still have to tell her, ok put the books in the bookcase, the barbies in the drawer, the dirty clothes go to the hamper.......a whole list of what to do. And it can't be a long list because she'll forget most of it then. I have no doubt that there are some children who are capable of following a whole list of chores, but that doesn't work for all kids, it's a specific personality thing. My point is just that I get a lot of the same advice from people over and over and at some point it makes you start to wonder......do they think I'm a moron that I don't know this???

Another thing I would like to add: my kids are stuck spending a very large portion of their time indoors. I think this greatly contributes to the problems they have getting into things and getting on each other's and my nerves. Unfortunately we do live in the city and have a tiny backyard. My yard is accessible from the street and is visible from the street behind us, therefore I don't feel safe leaving them outdoors alone. I occasionally do let them outside if I will be staying in the kitchen where I can hear them. But they really do lose out big time on sunshine and positive ways to expend energy like running jumping bike-riding, etc because of the indoor time and such a tiny space outside. We really do lose out on a lot with kids not be able to safely roam and explore their neighborhoods like they did several generations ago. I mention this because I feel it does affect their behavior and it's something most people don't take into account.

On hand slapping.....

Ok, this relates to Sue's story about when Leanna was little and kept going after something on the end table. Tom did correctly say that we don't hit our kids. At that time we had never-she was too young. And at that age I think it's really more the adults' responsibility to keep dangerous things and knick-knacks away from kids. It is the kid's job to explore the world-that is how they learn and develop their minds.

At the time I wouldn't have gone into an explanation of why we didn't hit her for it. Since that time I am more secure in my relationship with my mother-in-law and know that I can disagree with her and she won't get mad at me for it. She may argue with me and we may never feel the same, but I know she won't get mad at me for seeing things differently than she does. We can post the way we did the other day and still we spent the afternoon together yesterday and had a pleasant time together.

I read this years ago, it's just something for you to consider when you think about how you discipline a child:

SLAPPING HANDS

How tempting it is to slap those daring little hands! Many parents do it without thinking, but consider the consequences. Maria Montessori, one of the earliest opponents of slapping children's hands, believed that children's hands are tools for exploring, an extension of the child's natural curiosity. Slapping them sends a powerful negative message. Sensitive parents we have interviewed all agree that the hands should be off-limits for physical punishment. Research supports this idea. Psychologists studied a group of sixteen fourteen-month-olds playing with their mothers. When one group of toddlers tried to grab a forbidden object, they received a slap on the hand; the other group of toddlers did not receive physical punishment. In follow-up studies of these children seven months later, the punished babies were found to be less skilled at exploring their environment. Better to separate the child from the object or supervise his exploration and leave little hands unhurt.

Spanking

Ok, this does not encompass everything I have to say on the subject, but I know it would just bore everyone so I'll try to keep it as short as I can. That is hard for me. : )

I first tried spanking when I was pregnant with Justin because Leanna went through a horrible horrible phase-NOTHING worked. And guess what, spanking didn't work either. In fact, I abandoned it as a tactic well, mainly because of how bad it made me feel, but also because it seemed to increase her aggression. She started to hit-me, toys, etc. which was something she hadn't done before. It has lately crept back into the repertoire again but I am not proud to say that it has more to do with my own personal frustration with life than with it being effective. This is absolutely wrong and it is something I am working on. It is hard because it's reflexive, it you were spanked as a child than it's something you automatically think of as a way to discipline. It takes a lot more effort to remain calm, and if I'm being honest, if I spank it has more to do with relieving my own anger at the misdeeds than it has to do with teaching them how to behave. Then I"m modeling hitting as a way to relieve anger which can cause all kinds of problems. And consider that not all that long ago people used to think it was fine for a husband to "discipline" his wife as a way to control her, just as we "discipline" our children now to control them.

From Dr. Sears:
Spanking guidelines usually give the warning to never spank in anger. If this guideline were to be faithfully observed 99 percent of spanking wouldn't occur, because once the parent has calmed down he or she can come up with a more appropriate method of correction.........Spanking also devalues the role of a parent. Being an authority figure means you are trusted and respected, but not feared. Lasting authority cannot be based on fear. Parents or other caregivers who repeatedly use spanking to control children enter into a lose-lose situation. Not only does the child lose respect for the parent, but the parents also lose out because they develop a spanking mindset and have fewer alternatives to spanking. The parent has fewer preplanned, experience-tested strategies to divert potential behavior, so the child misbehaves more, which calls for more spanking. This child is not being taught to develop inner control.

I know how you guys feel about studies, but this presents not one, but : A meta-analysis of spanking studies conducted by Gershoff found 93 percent agreement among studies that spanking can lead to such problems as delinquent and anti-social behavior in childhood along with aggression, criminal and anti-social behavior and spousal or child abuse as an adult.

"I've been researching corporal punishment for 30 years and, in the course of that time, the evidence has accumulated that it doesn't work any better than non-corporal punishment but has harmful side effects. I have come to the conclusion that parents should never, ever spank because, although it does work, it's no better than non-hitting methods that don't have harmful side effects. If there was an FDA for spanking, they'd say use an alternative that doesn't have harmful side effects."

Just because you were spanked as a child and you don't feel it had any harmful or lasting effects doesn't mean that it's a method that works or should be used by everyone. Everybody knows someone who smoked, drank, and generally led a bacchanalian existence with no side-effects and live to be 103! That does not mean that this will work for everyone. And previous generation traveled without carseats or seatbelts and the majority of them managed to survive-that doesn't make it safe or something I would ever consider for my own children. Also, consider that possibly you do have side effects from it that you are not aware of. Plus something that can cause terrible scars in one child may not affect another at all.

Discipline

This passage is also from the Dr. Sears website. I believe more than any other factor that this explains why I have problems with the kids now. It does not however explain why I started having problems with Leanna when she was our only child. That is where I believe there may be some sort of genetic factor influencing things. We weren't as frazzled, we weren't in such a financially difficult situation, I wasn't as isolated and Tom wasn't up half the night & then working all day and the other half of the night. Maybe she was predisposed to certain behaviors? I don't know, I don't pretend to know the answers here. I'm just trying to do the best job I can in less than perfect circumstances. I really wish the kids would pick up on more than just my worst qualities, but that just seems to be the way it's been going.

Discipline is everything you put into children that influences how they turn out.

MODEL DISCIPLINE
A model is an example your child imitates. The mind of a growing child is a sponge, soaking up life's experiences; it's a video camera capturing everything a child hears and sees, storing these images in a mental vault for later retrieval. These stored images, especially those frequently repeated by significant persons in the child's life, become part of his personality—the child's self. So, one of your jobs as parents is to provide good material for your child to absorb.
It's the overall impression that your child receives that counts, not the occasional blunders or outbursts. If a parent is habitually angry, anger becomes part of the child's self. The child learns that this is the way people deal with life. If a parent models happiness and trust, with an occasional angry tirade, the child sees a healthier model: People are happy most of the time, but sometimes difficulties make you angry. You handle the situation and go back to being happy.
Parents, you are the first people your child knows. You are the first caregivers, authority figures, playmates, male and female. You set the standard for your child's attitude toward authority, her ability to play with peers, and her sexual identity. Part of yourself becomes part of your child. Yes, much of a child's behavior is genetic. More than one parent has been known to remark, "He came wired that way," but much is also influenced by the child's behavioral models.


Parenting can be therapeutic. It can show you where your problems are and motivate you to fix them. If your past is loaded with unresolved anger, take steps to heal yourself before you wind up harming your child. Studies have shown that children whose mothers often express anger are more likely to be difficult to discipline. Identify problems in your past that could contribute to present anger. Were you abused or harshly punished as a child? Do you have difficulty controlling your temper? Do you sense a lack of inner peace? Identify present situations that are making you angry, such as dissatisfaction with job, spouse, self, child. Remember, you mirror your emotions. If your child sees a chronically angry face and hears an angry voice, that's the person he is more likely to become.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Swings & Monkeys


Last night Tom fixed (I hope!) the baby swing. Jacob wasn't interested in it last night, but he was also tired at the time. He barely fits in it, he's so chubby! It still needs to be restarted because the swinging just stops sometimes. I'm worried that it will still fall apart because I had visions in my head of the exact scene pictured here. I had enough trouble keeping Leanna and Justin out of it when Timothy was a baby-now with three little monkeys to keep off, well, we'll just say I won't be surprised if it doesn't last long. (Yes I did pull him off right after I took a picture. Many times.)

And they're not even webbed!

Many many thanks to Laura for her backbreaking efforts this weekend! And to think she did it all with her two hands that have a normal amount of fingers!
No, seriously, thanks!!

More on baby names

You know I can't resist a link to bad baby names.......What would compel a parent to bestow a newborn with a name like “Tiny Hooker” or “Fanny Large”?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Smiles

Smiles. (the smiles were provoked by Justin)



Cutie

The colorful quilt was a Chirstmas present made by Aunt Cindy over a year ago.


Another day at the office......


Timothy told me today that he was going to work. I asked where he worked and he told me "crashing cars."

Sleeping


One day Jacob fell asleep while playing with this airplane. He's sitting up with his head tipped forward.

*The bassinette was washed before Jacob was born, but a constant flow of sibling hands on the rim leave it looking like it does. It looks worse in the picture than it does in real life.

Double Stroller

I'm resigning up under Tom's address for our local freecycle site. (We were inactive for too long and the account was deleted) I'm looking for another double stroller. I figured I should mention it here though, in case anyone knows of anything......Ours was a hand-me-down and it's now on it's last legs. Last winter the basket underneath broke-which is an important feature for me because I use it to carry groceries, diapers, etc. The bar that holds the basket up broke off on both sides, so I can't step on it to lift the stroller over curbs, etc. And now the one wheel keeps coming off over and over and over. Last week I took the kids to the Girl Scout fundfest and the wheel fell off once going there and 5 times while we were there. It was a 2 hour event. So if anyone knows of someone who might want to get rid of their old double stroller, I'd be happy to take it off their hands!

I recommend the Freecycle groups-just google Freecyle and your city-it's a way to get or get rid of things. It's a great way to "be kind to mother earth" as my Mom would say, by reusing things instead of buying new. And someone gets rid of junk and someone gets something useful!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Random recent stuff.

I cannot wait until Easter vacation!

Jacob has a tooth bud poking through on the front bottom of his mouth.

I watch Jacob when he's sitting and falls backwards. He pulls his body back into an upright position using only his muscles. I really wish I could borrow some of that strength and energy the kids have. Sit ups would do me a lot of good right about now!!

Leanna's really into magic tricks thanks to school rewards programs where they go watch a magic show at a local church. One time she was the volunteer who got to float in the air (you know the trick where they run a hoop around you to prove there's nothing holding you up).

Justin's been generally trying to be very helpful, running to bring me a diaper or whatever I need. He's also been very defiant at the same time. One good trait, one bad.

Leanna decided to try carrots at school. Since they made that big fuss over her having to take 3 items to qualify for the free lunch she's just been eating what they call "power pack" which is peanut butter & jelly and then she was just choosing chocolate milk. She almost never takes a third item anyway and no one bothers her because she doesn't have a packed lunch at the table(which makes no sense, but whatever!). Anyway she occasionally tries a third item like applesauce (didn't like theirs) and she decides to try carrots and dip! We enjoyed a breif period at home a couple years ago where she ate this but since had decided she didn't really like it. So yay! It's a vegetable and she's eating it!!

Dreams

Today Tom had another dream about having multiples-this is the second time within the last couple months. In the first dream he dreampt we were having sextuplets (6 babies) and I was so mad at him that I ripped out the bathroom sink and threw it at him! This morning he drempt we had triplets and they were really long (heightwise). I think he has babies on the brain, LOL. He's really enjoying Jacob I think.

(And because I know a post like this worries people, no I am not pregnant)

Justin & clothes

I should mention, for a month or two now Justin's been getting himself dressed-as in picking out his own clothes and putting them on. I tell him, go get dressed, and he does. I have only had to remind him about underwear a couple times, lol.
This morning he reported to me and said, "I have a shirt and underwear and pants and underwear and underwear!" Good job!
If I don't have Timothy's clothes put away yet he also gets clothes for Timothy and helps him get dressed. (If Timothy's clothes are put away they are too high for the boys to reach). This is very nice because it buys me a couple more minutes to sleep. Oh yeah, and the whole independance thing for him too! : )

Friday, March 07, 2008

Next on My List to Try

I've been trying a couple different muffin recipies lately.....this one is egg and dairy free......

Cinnamon Applesauce Muffins
These are so quick to make! Kids can help stir the batter, and spoon it into muffin tins. These muffins are egg- and dairy-free, and you can easily double the recipe.1/4 cup oil1/2 cup molasses (for increased sweetness use half molasses and half honey)1 cup applesauce1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour1/2 tsp. baking soda1 1/2 tsp. baking powder1/2 tsp. salt1 tsp. cinnamon 1/8 tsp. cloves 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin. Mix the oil molasses, and applesauce. Mix together the dry ingredients. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Stir in the raisins. Drop into muffin cups and bake 18-20 min. Makes about 12 muffins.

(I don't feel like fixing the formatting here, just go here to print.

I think I like Jenny McCarthy a little more

I know this makes most people think she's crazier than ever, but I think I like her more. First the realistic pregnancy books, and now she's advocating for a change in diet as a way to control problems affecting your kids.

Mom, you'll like this post and most of the comments. For example:

SKL said...
My cousin is autistic, and I was aware of recommended diet adjustments since I was eight years old. Since then, I have read some very compelling articles on this subject.It's not that a certain diet cures autism, but that a certain diet aggravates it.Personally I believe that this is also true of other behavioral issues such as ADHD, but every time I mention it, someone slams me. This is probably a reason why diet isn't one of the first things people work on with autistic kids. There are some really "effective" drugs out there, and there's no money in advocating non-pharmaceutical treatments, so people advocating a comprehensive dietary approach are seen as being "on the fringe." Personally, I would always try diet, exercise, and behavioral therapy first and then use meds only if and to the extent that these non-invasive approaches couldn't help.

ATTN: THERE IS MORE THAN ONE ANNONYMOUS

Apparently I incorrectly identified the long-winded annonymous poster as Claire, because she posted after a call was made to identify the commentor. BUT THAT WAS NOT CLAIRE. I repeat, CLAIRE DID NOT WRITE THE LONG POST COMMENTING ON ANGELINA AND HER SELF-MEDICATING. SO SHE IS NOT "RAMBLING LIKE HER MOTHER, LOL. "

Thursday, March 06, 2008

RE: Bread Machines

It looks like you can find a bread machine on ebay for $20.oo typically and I saw one for $3.00 (but shipping was $18.95) I did find a loaf slicing guide for about $15.00. I know the slices would still be big, but we tend to waste a lot of the sandwhich getting the crusts off, especially when we're in a hurry, so that wouldn't be horrible. Realistically I doubt we'd use it in place of regular sandwhich bread forever. But it might be nice for times when money's especialy tight or when they're in a sandwhich phase (like now). Like I said, we love homemade bread. My Mom has a bread machine and she used to make some whole wheat bread that I loved! I think my sister has one also, so I could probably borrow one to give it a test run before buying one myself. It'd probably be fun to play around with every now and then.

Isn't it funny what things prompt people to comment on? It's almost never the posts I'd expect to generate interest!

Maree and Aaron, sitting in a tree........


I almost forgot-when Maree was here last weekend I was teasing her about Aaron Carter, as I always do. It's a running joke between us. Years ago she had a huge crush on him which she has since transferred to Jesse McCartney and Chris Brown. She vehemently denies any feelings for poor Aaron now.
I asked Maree if she'd heard that her husband Aaron had been arrested recently. She exclaimed,"What! He didn't mention that on his blog!" Hmmmm.....someone with no interest in Aaron Carter still reads his blog?? Funny, she had no reply to that, LOL.

ok, I lied

Ok, I will make a small comment about the self-medicating motherhood thing, can't help it:

From the article:
Having babies can sometimes keep personal problems at bay.
"[It] keeps you busy — if not through adoption, than in pregnancy, you get the oxytocin [often called the 'hormone of love'] bursts," said Honos-Webb. "You get attention from other people and you define your own role — all those things manage depression."


That sounds good, all official and everything. Definitely not true for everyone though (in fact very very few, I would speculate). But personally I can say that I HATE pregnancy. Love the end result, but hate pregnancy. I do not feel great, no bursts of love hormone. No extra attention, unless it's for my Mom to yell at me to eat healthier cause I'm pregnant. But really she does that when I'm not pregnant too. In fact that's been for my whole life! The first pregnancy was the only one where I got any extra attention and it really wasn't all that much, mainly focusing on how to get around problems my pregnancy caused (my being too tired to handle a long shift on the 6th workday, my needing help climbing on the counter tops to put up signs, needing someone else to use oven cleaner on the ovens, etc. and Look how swollen she is!! ). And after the 2nd pregnancy I've always got a lot of negative attention, so really for me pregnancy would be a possible cause of depression, not a reprieve from it!

Angelina Jolie and addictive motherhood

I certainly didn't think I'd ever find myself feeling sympathetic towards Angelina Jolie but........here is a link to a short blog post contemplating the idea that she is self-medicating with motherhood (she's pregnant with her fifth child-three adopted, two biological). There is an awful lot I could say on this subject but I'm too busy self-medicating right now!

Does this clutter make my butt look fat?

It sounds kind of strange, but when you read about it it does kind of make sense. Here's a quote, check out the write up on the book(linked above) for more:

The reality is that we worship large. Our cars are the biggest and the fattest—we drive vehicles that consume a gallon of gas every ten miles. Our houses are huge—the average home size is steadily increasing while the average family size is decreasing. Our homes are overflowing with the fat of the things we consume—we spend more time shopping than any other people on earth. Our meals are gargantuan—portion sizes have tripled in the United States over the last twenty-five years. Boeing has increased the assumed weight for each passenger by more than twenty pounds. Office chairs are being made larger to accommodate our bigger butts. Even Disneyland, the happiest—but obviously not the thinnest—place on earth, is redesigning some of its costumes and uniforms to accommodate ever-increasing waist sizes. You'll be happy to know that even if you have a fifty-eight-inch waist and want to work at Disneyland, they have a pair of pants for you! Everywhere we see the effects of an increasingly heavy population—from office chairs to bra sizes, everything is getting bigger. And, most noticeable of all, our pants no longer fit most of us—no surprise since the average waist size has grown four inches in less than ten years. With two-thirds of Americans overweight or obese, it's impossible to deny that we love, love, love fat. As a nation we are reveling in an orgy of consumption and it shows no sign of letting up. We can't get enough of anything. The American mantra has become "more is better" and we are applying that motto with gusto to almost every aspect of our lives. If consuming is good, then consuming more is better.

Bread machines

Does anyone know if bread machines are cheaper or more expensive than buying loaves from a grocery store? I'm looking for ways to cut costs.

(Currently we can just about go through a loaf a day. No comments Mom)

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Retorts

Yesterday when we came home from school, a neighbor from down the street was also headed home. As they passed us the little boy, probably in 2nd or 3rd grade, said to me,"I can't believe you have four kids!" And the Dad said, without missing a beat, "I can't believe what a big mouth you have!" to the kid. LOL. I don't mind something like that from a kid. But if an adult said it rudely, I would love to say something like that in return. :)

Jacob, development

I was videotaping a couple moments of the kids yesterday. I tried to get Jacob to say I love you, and naturally he was only interested in trying to grab and eat the videocamera. I put it aways and walked back over to him. Then he starts screeching it out, naturally. I didn't bother to go get the camera again because I know how that one would go!



Jacob can crawl backwards but not forewards. I saw him hold his arms out to be picked up for the first time this weekend. Justin was holding him and Maree was standing in front of them. Jacob held his arms up for Maree to pick him up. That's one of those little milestones I always look for, it's just cute when they start holding out their arms to be picked up (or in this case, rescued) (Not that he doesn't like Justin-Justin just didn't have a secure enough hold on Jacob). Tom always likes when they find their feet, that's one of his favorite baby milestones.

Creative Cutting

Justin has an obsession with scissors. Tonight he cut out a perfect square and said it was for Nanny Sue. He said it was a doggy door. I guess he was listening to Daddy talk about the doggy door problems.
Then he cut another square and told me it was Patches (the dog).

Book Review

The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler

Not everyone's cup of tea, but I enjoyed it. I wouldn't recommend it if you haven't read Jane Austen though. An excerpt I found amusing, here they are talking about a riot at a school for wayward girls:
"It was blamed on violent lesbians." "Ah," Allegra said, "of course," when Sylvia could see no of course about it. How many riots blamed on violent lesbians had Allegra heard about?
Or maybe that had been an impressed "of course." Maybe Allegra felt a sneaking admiration for toilet-hurling lesbians."

The last sentence is my favorite-it's not just an admiration, it's a sneaking admiration!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Fleeting Moment

It was just a fleeting moment, but the kind you carry in your heart for a while.
I carried sleeping Justin upstairs tonight. I stopped to make sure he was still sleeping, that I didn't wake him when I picked him up. As I looked down at him he just smiled in his sleep and looked so snug and content in my arms, as though my presence alone was what made him content. I don't know how to explain it exactly, but it just filled my heart up.