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Thursday, July 31, 2008


Just thinking about the post below, and wondering.......they are speculating that the increase in the hormone that helps is from being relaxed and less stressed. So if you extend that thinking, then being stressed would cause worsening of allergies and skin problems. I really do think there is a link between my stress levels and Jacob's eczema worsening. (my milk is also flooded with stress hormones that probably cause the reaction in him) That is only a guess, but I wonder if me being more relaxed would help even out his problems some as well.

Just interesting

The Kissing Cure
By Lois B. Morris
When in the throes of an allergy attack or a skin rash, it may help to pucker up. A Japanese study suggests that kissing reduces allergic responses. Among the 48 subjects, half suffered from eczema (a form of atopic dermatitis), and half had hay fever. All the volunteers kissed their lover or spouse for 30 minutes while listening to romantic music. Two weeks later, they listened to the same music and embraced their partner without kissing. Blood tests revealed that after the kissing phase only, the participants experienced a significant decrease in their levels of immunoglobulin E (IGE), an antibody that the immune system produces in response to allergens, thereby eliciting an allergic reaction. Allergist Hajime Kimata of Satou Hospital in Osaka also triggered skin rashes in people allergic to dust mites or latex and determined that after kissing, their IGE levels dropped significantly as well. Relaxation and stress relief from kissing may bring about this immune response, Kimata says.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Pregnancy and Cell Phones

A recently released study found that women who use cell phones frequently during pregnancy are more likely to have kids with behavior problems. The study also found that kids who use cell phones appear to be at risk for behavior problems.

I'll have you know that I rarely use my cell phone, so that isn't the cause in my case!

I'm reading too!!

Also I checked out Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince! Eventually I'll get caught up with the rest of the world!!

PS. I have to disagree with you Claire, I enjoyed Order of the Phoenix-I'm wondering if maybe you weren't thinking of the fourth book(the one with the long part about the Quidditch Match, and the Tri-Wizzard's tournament)? That one was a bit harder to get through, mainly because of the Quidditch stuff.

More fun at the library and smoking (or not!)

So we're back from yet another eventful trip to the library. We were done with our books early this week and had to go to the bank anyway, so it was on our way. The boys got little bug finger puppets as their reward. Oh yes-they LOVED them. Timothy immediately began bouncing his on the stroller tray singing loudly, "BUGGA! BUGGA! BUGGA-BUGGA!" Over and over and over. Jacob then made an attempt to jump to freedom. And Justin got really loudly excited about the fact that he could see the bank from the window. All at the same time!! About two minutes later we left. But we came back again after running our errands. Jacob had fallen asleep and Timothy was warned he would get no lollipop if he could not behave! I know, bribery-with sweets!!-I win the worst mother of the week award, but it was all I had left at the time. Beating your kids in public is kind of frowned on (JOKING!),putting him in a corner in the library would have been a reward, no other threat was working, and taking the bug away would cause MORE managed to grab our new books and I filled out 4 entries in some contest to win a trip to either Hershey Park, the Philly Zoo, or two other places I can't think of. The librarian said she thinks all libraries in PA are having the contest.
Now that I have vented a little, the real reason for my post-Leanna chose a book called Choices and Decisions: Smoking. She said, maybe we can read this to Daddy so he stops smoking. It looked like it might be a bit above their level, but I figured either way it couldn't hurt. I'm pretty sure that will be a battle for us, Timothy in particular is affected by Tom's smoking. Any chance he gets he will put a cigarette butt in his mouth and pretend to smoke. If he sees an empty cigarette pack in the garbage he will pull it out to play with. The boys really look up to their father so I know it will be that much more difficult to convince them that it's a habit they just don't want to begin. Even Leanna has stuck things in her mouth and said she's smoking. Timothy is the worst though, by far. I'm pretty sure Tom's not about to stop because of a book we brought home, but maybe it might help a little for the kids!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Are you a Tigger or an Eeyore?

If you haven't yet heard of Professor Randy Pausch and his "Last Lecture" you should. Laura mentioned it to me, but I didn't check it out until I ran into a post on him on Parentdish when he died. I highly recommend it-advice on achieving childhood dreams, living, dying, parenting-just how to live a good life in general. (Warning-if you are highly emotional, as I seem to be recently, it will make you cry, more than once).
For article commentary:

Left me with lots to think about.


As we checked out our library books last week, Justin asked to be held so he could see what was going on. While holding him, he began stroking my hair. In an admiring tone he informed me, "Mommy, your hair is black and white! When I grow up my hair will be black and white too."
I should add here that Justin has no volume control. I did not look around to see if anyone had overheard.
He really is such a sweet and affectionate boy.

Just neat

At the library last week, Leanna happened to pick up this book called September Roses by Jeanette Winter. I only glanced at it and didn't realize until I later looked at it that the book is about 9/11. Or it's aftermath. It's a short sweet book, a starting off point for explaining that day to little kids. It doesn't deal with details or why it happened, it's just the story of two sisters from Africa who were flying to NY for a flower show, and donated their roses to the display of greif instead. It is a true story.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Jacob's first Birthday, presents

I think his favorite present was a little plastic shovel I found on clearance at Target. It was supposed to be a beach toy set but he seemed to enjoy it more than the toy boat or tigers (seen above in Justin and Timothy's hands, naturally). It's funny how often it works out that way, the last minute gift, the thing you just happen to grab frequently seems to be the favorite.


Belated pictures of the decorations from Jacob's first birthday party. I knew it wouldn't be a big party and he wouldn't have many presents or anything, so during the week we worked on a special birthday banner for his party. I did the lettering and then let Leanna, Justin, and Timothy paint the banner. Then I went over the lettering again afterword so you'd be able to read it. Justin and Timothy (but mainly Justin) got a little crazy with the paint. It's ripped in a couple places because they got the paper so wet that it ripped the paper. Leanna really enjoyed mixing colors together. She was just fascinated with making new colors. I am predicting that she has the artists' gene. I thought it would be sweet to look at his first birthday party pictures and see that his siblings made something special for him.

Belated Birthday Pictures

Jacob's first birthday cake-not as elaborate as last month's, but with the family reunion the day before, no help, and sheer exhaustion from the night before (Leanna couldn't fall asleep with Maree and the boys took turns waking up) I just didn't have it in me. I didn't start out with special cakes with everyone anyway, so I'm not going to feel guilty about that. The iceing was homemade at least.
It was a small party-just my parents, Laura, and Maree'. No one was in a party mood that day, and Jacob was refusing to nap. I forgot to charge the camera batteries, and when I remembered, after the party had started, they weren't in right so they didn't charge. The charger we have is particular, if the batteries aren't in just so they don't charge. I was greatly disapointed. So the pictures I have are actually from my Mom's camera.

I would never have thought of this.......

How to Make Homemade Pancake Syrup
by Samantha Asher

Hopefully you know that you can't make homemade maple syrup unless you several maple trees, the right equipment, and a lot oftime. Even then, with just a few trees, you won't make much atall. If you are still looking for a more homemade taste for yourpancake and waffle syrup, you can make the artificial stuff from scratch. This is also good if you ran out of syrup but have theother ingredients and don't feel like driving out to the store orif you want to know exactly what is going into your food and not a bunch of preservatives. First you will need a saucepan and wooden spoons as well as the following ingredients and amounts: one cup of granulated sugar,one cup of brown sugar, one cup of water, 1/4 teaspoon of vanillaextract and 1/4 teaspoon of maple extract. If you don't have anybrown sugar, you can use all granulated or white sugar, but itwon't be as dark and rich. You could even experiment with darkbrown sugar if you would like. Next, mix the water and both the sugars in the saucepan. Place iton the stove on medium high and bring it to a boil. Let it simmerfor about 10 to 15 minutes or until it is thick enough for yourliking. I prefer it to be nice and thick so that it doesn't soakinto my pancakes or French toast so easily and make it soggy. Athinner syrup will resemble more the consistency of real maplesyrup. Test it out for the best way that you like. You can either use your maple syrup immediately or store it inthe refrigerator. Use an old syrup container, jar, or squeeze topwater bottle to store your syrup. If you want thicker syrup, you can use more sugar or less water and you can double or triple the recipe if you would like. You can store the syrup in therefrigerator for weeks and if it hardens up just put it in themicrowave for a little until it's to the consistency you like.Warm syrup always tastes good, too. If you like butter-flavoredsyrup, you can also add a couple tablespoons of butter to yoursyrup, or just butter your pancakes, waffles, or French toast. Why should you make your own syrup? Some people don't like thetaste of real maple syrup, but want something that isn't full ofcorn syrup, which is what you will get in the store. It ischeaper especially considering that it's homemade. Best of all,isn't homemade always better? Find more information about how to make homemade pancake syrup,pancake recipes, tips, and tricks, and more at Pancakes are a favorite pastime,make the best pancakes and syrup possible! Article Source:

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Fake coffee for fake news?

I always try to report on coffee news, it's kind of required with a blog title like that! So this link I found off Jamie's blog, it's about Fox news using fake coffee to sit on their desks as they talk, as an advertisement for McDonalds. I love reading the comments, they're more interesting than the articles sometimes. : )

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My favorite picture from the reunion....

I didn't take this picture, I think this was Jason's. Why is this my favorite? Because he's got a little Captain in him! LOL! (If you don't get the reference, click here )

Family Reunion

Here's Timothy, going into the water by himself
Here's Justin, letting Maree' take him around in the water (by the end)
Midair, sideways
My sister Laura's favorite picture. I showed her all of our pictures on Sunday. She saw this one and exclaimed, "Spiderman!"

Family Reunion

Janae (sp?) ready to be thrown

Jason, impressively high in the air
Tristan, also pretty high. He's so little his body is twisting in the air......I like that picture.
Timothy finally "persuaded" into the water with his father. Maree' kept begging all the kids to let her take them around in the pool but all steadfastly refused. She would have tried to force it but I wouldn't let her-I know my kids and it's better to let them get used to things in their own time. Forcing it might scare them away from the water for longer than just that day. At first the boys wouldn't even put their legs in the pool. But by the end of the day Justin was floating, alone, and Timothy was going up and down the pool steps up to his shoulders by himself. I should note that none of the kids can swim-Timothy's never been in a pool. Justin hasn't been in one since he was Jacob's age, and Leanna hasn't been in one for 3 years. I can tell they'll all be little fish, eventually.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Family Reunion

Rebecca, with a team of men
Justin, floating by himself
Emily, Jenn's daughter
Jason, midair

Family Reunion

Maree' and Jacob
Jason(on top) Billy underneath, and Tom on the side

Family Reunion

Baby Jack and cousin Jenn

Tom, I don't know what he's doing

Maree' and Billy

Leanna and Maree'

Family Reunion

Tom, someone I don't know, Jacob, cousin Jenn, cousin Jason, and Jenn's son Tristan

And he wonders why his neck hurts!
Leanna and Olivia in the pool
Maree' and Emily, chicken-fighting

And where do I sign up?

In April, England's University of East Anglia advertised for subjects for a study of whether a natural compound found in cocoa could cut the risk of heart disease among diabetic women; the participants must be willing to eat chocolates every day for a year. [CNN, 4-28-08]

Kid power!

A teeter-totter being used to make energy-what a great idea! See, I knew there was a reason to have more kids! They can power our house, lol!

"By using children to create energy, the environment can look forward to a less damaging way to light up a school, operate a water pump or power a digital camera. And maybe kids can look forward to more recess."

In case anyone's interested, the blog I found this article on.

Win a quilt!

You can win an amazing quilt over at Old Red Barn Co.! Or you could win it for me! I won't mind. It's gorgeous! Go check it out! The contest ends Wednesday though so hurry.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Do I need to point out that I'm the Oldest?

Does your older sister think she’s cleverer than you? Well, she’s probably right. According to new research due to be published this week in the journal Intelligence, the oldest children in families are likely to have the highest IQs, and the youngest the lowest.
In ya face, Laura! Claire!
This is old news, but I ran across this and thought some of the info it contained was interesting. I don't agree with everything they speculate on, particularly as a parent of 4. I also thought it was very interesting that they say asthma and Execema rates decrease with each child because in my family it's the opposite. With my kids, Jacob is the youngest and he has it the worst, by far. Also I have no allergies, Laura has some , and Claire has them fairly bad plus some mild excema. (hers is ab0ut like Justin's I think, we didn't even realize she'd had it until Justin was diagnosed.)
I fit many of the stereotypes for an oldest sibling, but not all. I think you have to take it all with a grain of salt-there are so many factors that influence this stuff and they are just speculating on much of it. It does make for interesting reading and I do keep the info in mind as a parent.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


From Overheard in NY:
At Some Point, You Get to Eat and Drink What You Like
Old man: I drink three Cokes a day!
Lady: Three Cokes! You're in bad shape!
Old man: *I'm* in bad shape? I am 90 years old!
Lady: But Coke is bad for you! It's full of chemicals that will mess up your biology!
Old man: Are you a biologist?
Lady: (after a long pause) Yes.
Old man: Okay then. Bye.

--23rd St & 8th Ave
Overheard by: Bemused

Too good not to take a picture of

Ok, first, he did this too himself, I did not dress him. I suggested that maybe he was the birthday fairy and he got very offended. Birthday fairy indeed! He's JustinVincible!

*I always hesitate to post something like this for fear that older generations may read more into it than is really there. All kids love to dress up, and we don't really have any masculine costumes here. We were given a box full of my cousins's old dress up clothes and shoes, and all the kids love putting them on. It's just fun to dress up, period.

Jacob & feedings

I have discovered that Jacob prefers to eat without utensils. I started him much earlier than my other kids on cheerios and those little freeze dried fruits that disolve easily because he clearly prefered to feed himself. He will turn his head away and refuse to eat a food on a spoon. For anyone who is not aware, today they do not recommend you ever force a child to eat. That's how they learn to self-regulate. (in other words, they know when they are hungry and when they're not. Just because you want them to finish the last two spoonfuls doesn't mean they're hungry for it).
That presented a problem for me though when I knew Jacob was hungry and I knew he liked the food but he just wouldn't eat it. I didn't want to force it, yet I knew he was hungry and would be grouchier and wake more often without eating. You'd think with him being my 4th child I would have all this stuff down pat. But there are new lessons to be learned with each kid! I have recently found if I put that same food that he refused in a pile on the tray he will gladly scoop it up with his hand and eat it, no problem. Messier, but he eats, and I don't feel like a bad Mom for shoving or tricking food into his mouth!

Growing up early

Leanna of late has a new interest that I'm not thrilled with. Not that it's horrible, but I wish she weren't so fascinated with the subject.....She talks about weddings and marriage and even suggested that we could use more romance (Out of nowhere, one day she says that the parents on the tv show, That's So Raven turned down the lights and put on some music when they were alone and had a sexy moment-her words, not mine! She suggested that maybe me and her Daddy should try that too) LOL.

One Year Old!!

Happy 1st Birthday Jacob!!!!!
We couldn't imagine life without him now!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A new hobby

So we've been introduced to the world of Webkinz today. For anyone who doesn't know, they are stuffed animals that come with a code to log into a virtual world. You see an online version of your pet and you care for them. They get hungry and sick and happy. You have to watch those levels to take care of your pets. Leanna got three of them from my Mom for her birthday. We finally set up an account today. She named her poodle Sage, her pig Pigrs, and her frog Giggles.

I had no idea-there's a whole online world for those things! Wow. You name them and they tell you the pets' basic personality traits. You can walk them around, decorate their rooms, send them to school, buy clothes, furniture, and knicknacks for them. You can even buy extra rooms for their house! In fact, that's what Leanna is trying to earn money for-to buy a backyard for her house. You can answer quiz questions to earn money or you can even work a job. I like that-it introduces the idea that you can't just buy whatever you want, you have to earn it. But I don't like how easy it would be to just spend hours online playing in this virtual world.

Scary dream

Leanna crawled into bed with me last night because of a scary dream. She said a scary M&M was cleaning our house.

Library trip again

We actually had a decent time at the library today, but that was largely because I had Timothy stay with my Dad while we went. He kept having temper tantrums this morning-he's reached that stage. For my kids it isn't the terrible twos, it starts at about 2 3/4. So he's right on schedule. So I asked if he could stay with my Dad while we went to the library. Justin and Leanna are much more able to control themselves. Reminders are generally all they need. Leanna got a t-shirt and a coupon for a free doughnut from Dunkin Doughnuts as her reward from the library program, so she was pretty happy.

Justin's at a neat age now-I can read him all kinds of books, even ones above his level of understanding, and he listens. He won't understand all that's said, but he tries, or sometimes he just gets the gist of it. It's cute to hear him come out with these things he's learned, out of nowhere. And I'm learning a lot from his interests too. He is definitely expanding my universe of knowledge!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Dream home defined by when you were born

I think this list actually has more to do with what stage in life you're at (rather than when you were born) but the article lists some reasons why generations put more emphasis on certain things.
Dreams by Generation
The elements of a dream home vary by generation:Generation Y (born 1978-present)
1. Whirlpool bath
2. Swimming pool
3. Game/ billiard room
3. (tie) Large walk-in closet
5. Fireplace
6. State-of-the-art kitchen
7. Sauna/ steam room
7. (tie) Gym/ fitness room
9. High-tech entertainment center
10. Patios, porches and decks

Generation X (born 1965-1977)
1. State-of-the-art kitchen
2. Large walk-in closets
2. (tie) Fireplace
4. Whirlpool bath
5. Swimming pool
6. Patios, porches and decks
7. Game/ billiard room
8. Garden
9. Gym/ fitness room
10. Workshop/ hobby studio

Boomer(born 1946-1964)
1. State-of-the-art kitchen
2. Large walk-in closets
3. Whirlpool bath
4. Fireplace
5. Swimming pool
6. Workshop/ hobby studio
7. Patios, porches and decks
7. (tie) Garden9. Game/ billiard room
9. (tie) High-tech entertainment centerSource: GFK ROPER

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

LOL-love the picture on top of this

It's a blog, but trust me, just follow the link and check out the picture on top.

Only a few of you will know why this is so funny


I love that everything is on the internet now!
EDIT: the link is fixed

Monday, July 07, 2008

Breastfeeding chair

A great idea, I think. It's pretty, comfortable, and gives enough privacy to make a new mom more comfortable breastfeeding in public. That's important because really, it's more about the baby's right to eat than the mom's right to breastfeed.

Weekend Artwork

Saturday afternoon fun. We traced their outlines (roughly, very roughly) and then they painted them. Justin particularly enjoyed fingerpainting.

Saturday, July 05, 2008