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Thursday, October 30, 2008

I'm no superman, uh, woman

Gah! I just realized that I don't know where the Tiger costume is for Jacob to wear! Our whole house is such a mess, the past 6 months have just felt like one event after another. We've been rearranging stuff and halfway painting (the upper half of the kitchen is now a yellowish white, but only one coat. And it doesn't look like it will get any further for a while) and redoing the computer and having birthdays and going to doctor's (and ERS!) The entire house needs a thorough Martha Stewart type cleaning, but lord knows if she set foot in here it would send her straight to her grave, where she would promptly spin three times and then settle on her bed of faberge eggs in her artfully decorated coffin. Or whatever. I'm not really awake. Anyway, The costumes are all sewn, I just have to find Jacob's costume, get Timothy a pair of dark pants and gloves(I have 3 black gloves from 3 different sets-none entirely alike!), and spray paint Justin's boots. Tom's doing a barter with a plumber friend-the friend needs a chicken coop built and in exchange will fix it so we have heat in a few rooms that currently don't. He has to tap into the baseboard heat system. That's supposed to happen this weekend. That means I have two days to do an awful lot of cleaning in the rooms he will need to be in. I'm really hoping that it will get put off until the weekend after to give me time to clean the upstairs! As I said, the place is trashed right now from me spending free time working on costumes. I really wish I was one of those supermoms who raise large families that run like a well-oiled machine, and are better organized than most families with one kid! I am sooooo not that person.

How things work.......

Yesterday Justin asked me how stoves and water get hot. He is at such a curious stage right now. I love it! He wants to know how everything works. I really hope school doesn't squash that curiosity-it has a way of doing that, particularly for boys! Tom and I suspect that Justin may be a lot like Tom, not so good at school but mechanically inclined. Justin likes to take apart flashlights and when his father took apart one of Justin's toy drills (to see if he could fix it) Justin stood at his side, transfixed.
Make no mistake, when I say that I suspect Justin may not do as well in school, but is still intelligent, I am not being politically correct. I DO think he is intelligent, just not necesarily in the school sense. I am a firm believer that there are many types of intelligence, and that the kind that can be measured by an IQ test is not at all the best or only one!

But who knows, he may change as he gets older and do just fine in school. I try to keep my mind open, I certainly don't want to put him in a box. Especially before he's even had a chance to prove himself! And my kids have proven me wrong before!

Rise in Kidney Stones in children

To summ up the article(click on the subject line), doctors used to see a kid with this every few months, now they see at least one a week. It's mainly caused by not enough liquid combined with too much salt.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Kinda Interesting

Raising Boys and Girls: Differences in Physical Development
Last updated: August 2008

Gender identity:Children begin to identify themselves as a boy or a girl as early as 18 months. But it's between the ages of 2 and 6 that they begin to identify with others of their sex and demonstrate play and other behaviors that are characteristic of that sex. Most social scientists agree that an interplay of nature and nurture determines how these gender roles play out.

Physical growth:Between the big growth stages of infancy and adolescence, boys and girls grow in height and weight at about the same slow-but-steady rate. There aren't notable differences between the sexes until late elementary school, when girls start to grow taller faster, although boys catch up and exceed them within a few years.

Motor skills:Boys' gross motor skills (running, jumping, balancing) tend to develop slightly faster, while girls' fine motor skills (holding a pencil, writing) improve first. Often girls show an interest in art (painting, coloring, crafts) before boys for this reason.Boys are also more physically aggressive and impulsive, as revealed by studies of their brains. The pleasure center of the brain actually lights up more for boys when they take risks. That's not to say that girls aren't active and risk-taking, only that on average boys are more so.

Verbal skills:More boys than girls are late talkers, and boys use more limited vocabularies. Girls are better at reading nonverbal signs, like tone of voice and expression, which also makes them better communicators early on, as they can connect feelings and words faster.This is something you can focus on when reading books with boys: Point out characters' emotions, so boys start to notice how others are feeling.
Toilet training:Girls are potty-trained earlier than boys on average, though it's unclear whether this is due to physical differences or differences in socialization. (Mom usually does the training and may be easier for a girl to identify with.) Fewer girls wet the bed, too.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

So true!!

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.Henry A. Kissinger

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Our little imp wandered off

When we visited Seiple Farms last week we did have a serious incident. I didn't get a chance to post about it before. We were running late that day, and we didn't go to all the places there that we normally do. The pumpkin harvest was also not good, so it took longer to find decent pumpkins. But when we took the kids to the part where they have straw bales set up for kids to run around on-with a tiny maze in the middle-Timothy ran away. I still don't understand why. The kids were all enjoying themselves, running around, climbing. Tom was filming and I took Jacob around a little. We were both there, and all the sudden I noticed that I hadn't seen Timothy in a couple minutes. It wasn't long, and I know I seem paranoid sometimes because I want to know where they all are all the time. But this feeling wouldn't let go so I called over to Tom and he said Timothy just went into the maze. I walked around and still didn't see him but figured I was just missing him. But still that nagging mother's intuition was REALLY bothering me and I asked Tom again. He insisted he saw Timothy so I asked Leanna. I sent her into the maze to look and she couldn't find him. So I went back to Tom and asked him to look also. Then he couldn't find him and we began looking around us, besides the maze/bales. Tom watched the video he'd just shot to see if he could see Timothy going somewhere. I'm starting to get really really worried now. I'm thinking about all those Without a Trace shows Tom has watched and how they say time is really important in searching for a missing person. Tom says that the tape shows Timothy going into the maze but not coming out. I'm scanning the whole place I can see from there and Tom leaves to walk around. Timothy has a tendency to wander, but I'm worrying that either someone might take him or he might get hurt on his own. I pulled Leanna and Justin out and headed over for the DJ booth to ask him if he's seen a little boy in an Eagles sweatshirt and boots walk past and to see if he can make an announcement or something. I am so very scared at this point. Tom thinks Timothy was gone for about 15 minutes but I think it was longer. If felt like forever. But as I headed toward the DJ booth I see a woman carrying Timothy headed over there too. "Hey!" I yell, "that's my son!" I start running, pushing the stroller with the other two following me. She said she found him wandering in the parking lot-quite a distance from the hay where we were. I just kept thanking her. Timothy was completely undisturbed, the lady said he never cried or was scared. I was thinking, of course not-the little stinker wandered off on his own, he wasn't left behind! We were right there, and it's not a spread out place. You wouldn't think he'd be able to get away without us noticing. Leanna and Justin would have been very scared if they realized we weren't around. They won't let us get out of sight. Timothy isn't at all bothered by it. He wandered off on his own at the block party, and at my cousin's daughter's party. And it's never a situation where he's bored. He just heads off all the sudden. That's the scary part. I think he may have been trying to get to our van to get water (I'd told him that we left it in the car) or he may just have been trying to go on the tractors (hayride) and gotten lost. He could easily have been run over in the parking lot, he's so little. His guardian angel was with him that day!
We didn't "whip his butt" as was suggested to me. Honestly, that would never even occur to me. He's not doing it to be bad or to scare us. And He doesn't understand the possible consequences. A spanking now won't deter him months down the road-or whenever-from wandering away. I could see punishing him for willful disobedience. But that isn't what happened here. I don't think there's a real solution at his age. Just vigilance on our part. Hyper-vigilance.
For days afterward, I kept talking to him about it. Even if it had left his mind, it certainly hadn't left mine. Very very scary.

He made me a new drawer!

Well, sort of.....he made a new front for one of the kitchen drawers that always sticks. It still doesn't fit in the track right, but now it won't stick. Really we need all new cabinets, but that's not in the budget.
He doesn't often have the time for home repairs at home, but I really love it when he does. Timothy and Justin played in the basement while he worked-they love to be around Daddy when he uses tools, and I got the drawer cleaned out and some dishes and kitchen cleaning done.
We moved our mantle last night and Tom installed a new fan. The old one had to be replaced because the wiring was bad and we were worried it would start a fire.

Halloween Parade

Leanna marched in our Halloween parade today. And this year I made it in plenty of time to catch her! Although, let me tell you, I could very easily have missed her if I wasn't paying attention. There aren't as many people marching in parades anymore, and there aren't as many people coming to watch either!!
Her troop's theme was "Have a ball with Girl Scouts" and the girls all painted their t-shirts as a beach ball, basketball, or soccer ball. Leanna's the soccer ball with blond braids. (It was tough to get her picture as Tom was darting for candy in front of me and when he wasn't there was a man standing right in front of Leanna! We yelled her name and she was embarrassed and mouthed "Stop!" to us.

celebrating the season

Halloween Brownies! I bought this pan years ago, on sale in November for I think $3.00. I knew with kids I'd find uses for it.

Girl Scout halloween party/Claire

I hadn't finished Leanna's halloween costume by Thursday (the Girl Scout halloween party) so she wore a costume from the dress up box. She wore her Aunt Claire's old scarecrow costume, which was made by her Grammy, many years ago. I found the white peice after she left, which is missing from Leanna's but is still intact.
Our scanner's not hooked up, so I took a picture of the page in my photo album with Claire wearing the same costume, in 1994.

Perpetual calendar

I got this online from collections, all the kids like it (Jacob included). They particularly like to add their mood. Leanna is the main boss of the calendar though.
I figured, since I am sort of running my own pre-school here, why not?

Belly button curiosity

As I've said before, my most popular post ever was the one on Timothy's belly button. It gets at least one hit a day, often more. I find that so funny. Jamie sent me a link to show me that if you google outie belly buttons, Timothy is on the first page! Try it. I also clicked on the first link because I was curious what belly button surgery was for. Turns out, it's one of the fastest growing cosmetic surgeries! Wow. I don't think there's a tremendous difference between the before and after picture. I wonder how much people pay to have that done. I think I have far better things to worry about and I hope most people do too!

As more and more women wear belly shirts, low-rise jeans, and other fashions that bare the navel, the previously overlooked belly button is the new hot item on the growing list of body features that women obsess about. As more people engage in navel-gazing, those who don’t like what they see are increasingly going under the knife to convert their undesirable “outie” belly buttons to the fashionably-acceptable “innie”.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Electric bill savers

Click on the subject line for info on electric bill savers-the article itself is nothing new, but I did find some interesting info in the comments.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mother of the year

Wow, I am flabbergasted by this. Seriously, where do you even begin with a woman like that?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Little Pumpkin and the nursing patch

Isn't he adorable??! I just want to squish his little face, he's so cute! Aunt Cindy's hat was very popular yesterday.
And I included one of me feeding Jacob in the pumpkin patch. I've been doing that since the year Timothy was a baby. Tom took a picture and I thought it was pretty neat. If you catalogue all the places I've nursed, this is one of the coolest. If our camera battery wasn't dying we could have made it a prettier picture-with less clutter and more of the beautiful backdrop. We were lucky it took that one. It's kind of fitting though-Timothy sitting on me, squashing me and Jacob, with the pumkins in their bags and our camera bag to the side, Leanna and Justin running around us outside the bounds of the picture. The beauty here is from the natural act between mother and child, and we are both happily focusing on that and ignoring the rest of the clutter and noise around us.
-Note to the squeamish-the only skin in the picture is my neck, you can safely look.

Pumpkin Patch again

Pumpkin Patch again

It's hard to get a shot where everyone's looking and smiling and not CRYING!

Pumpkin Patch again

Of course the camera batteries ran out again-I charged them overnight and they weren't old batteries. I think we need a new charger. I was very dissapointed, I love taking pictures of them here.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

LOL-thanks for nothing Melissa and Doug!

I totally agree with the sentiments expressed in this!
(I think the commentors need to lighten up a little, do they not understand it was not meant to be 100% serious? But that said, for MY kids, it wouldn't be a good idea as they are already little evil geniuses who figure out locks and barriers fairly quickly on their own!)

Friday, October 17, 2008


Just playing online with Timothy. We made this.

What I did on Thursday Night......

It goes like this, yesterday afternoon I was trying to fill out some Girl Scout papers that were due that night. I got interrupted and then Timothy was riding his scooter over them. I told him not to, he continued, I told him again, and still he continued, so I removed him from the scooter. I forget what I was doing at the time but I was right in front of Tom's chair and that was where I set Timothy down. He started throwing a temper tantrum. He's the only one of my kids who actually does the whole physical tantrum-throws his body on the floor, kicking and yelling, etc. Well yesterday he started jumping up and down and actually somehow managed to throw his body backwards, up and over the arm of the chair. It was quite a feat, and honestly looked pretty comical. All I knew was he landed on his butt and burst into tears. He was crying pretty hard but at the time I thought it was mainly out of surprise. I picked him up and held him and in a few minutes he had stopped crying. I had no idea he had hit his head. This was right before I left to pick Leanna up from school.
Fast forward a few hours. Tom's on his way home early because he has a bad headache, and Leanna has Girl Scouts that night. After he gets home I notice it looks like Timothy has gotten jelly in his hair again. I touch it and then it looks a little funny, then I see blood on my arm where I was holding him and I look closer. Part of it is just cut and part of it is actually split open and looks pretty gross. That picture I posted doesn't do it justice. He had to have hit his head on either the end table or the radiator. We're thinking we'll have to go to the ER and Tom's already mad because he has this headache and doen't feel like doing anything.
We actually didn't wait all that long to be seen, there were only about 3 people waiting there ahead of us. And sure enough, the doctor glances at it and says he need stitches. We have to take the other kids out of the room, so I decided to leave Tom with Timothy since I know I'll be able to handle Jacob better, and particularly when Tom has a headache. Also, I'm not a fan of needles. But I really wished I could be in there to comfort him. They used what the doctor called a huggie board to strap him down. Though knowing Timothy, that was unnecessary. I didn't tell the doctor that though, because they never believe me anyway. He ended up getting three stitches. We left and headed for Girl Scouts, late already for her second meeting. On the way there Timothy threw up, and ended up doing it 3 more times. On the instruction paper we were given throwing up and nausea were listed as symptoms to call or go back to the ER for, so I ran Leanna in, late, and had to announce to the circle of girl scouts and the leader that we might be a little late picking her up as we had to rush back to the ER for her brother.
The throwing up was even more worrying, as Timothy started falling asleep as soon as he finished. I kept calling his name and tapping him to keep him awake. I asked the people at the ER desk if he needed to be seen again, and the girl replied, if it will make you feel better. Well, considering the papers said to return to your provider, and the falling asleep thing, I said, "YES! It would make me feel better!" So I brought him in, covered in throw up from mouth to the bottom of his pants legs. The nurse and I cleaned him up and they got him some new clothes. After getting cleaned up Timothy seemed to wake up a bit and acted more like himself. We waited in a room for a wheelchair to take him for a cat scan. Tom had to leave when the wheel chair arrived, to pick up Leanna, he took Justin with him. The man had an extra wide wheel chair so he had me sit in it with Timothy and Jacob on my lap. He joked with the technician that we were seated like that for a family portrait. She said wow! the whole family, and I said, no this is just half of us. The cat scan part was scary for Timothy. He had to lay still on this huge noisy machine and we had to go behind a wall so he was all alone in the room. I saw his little skull on the screen and it looked so very tiny. He seemed so fragile that night. Although he's very small and has this tiny little voice I don't usually think of him as fragile at all because he's so tough. He's constantly climbing and running and jumping and being fearless.
The technician said he was the stillest 3 year old she'd ever had. Timothy tends to freeze when he's scared, that's why he does so well with haircuts and doctor visits. Justin is his exact opposite, when faced with a scary situation like that he generally goes into hysterics, crying and hanging onto me. But it look less than two minutes and then we were wheeled back to wait for results. That was the longest part, they said at night it takes a lot longer. A female doctor came in to check Timothy's eyes, ears, and general reflexes. She said that the throwing up tells them it was a concussion. The brain reacts different ways to a bump like that and nausea and throwing up is just one of the ways it can deal with it. The cat scan was to make sure there were no internal injuries or bleeding. She put up the sides of the bed he was waiting on when he tried to jump up on the bed, and she informed me that second head injuries most often happen the first week after the first injury! She was really friendly and great with Timothy. When she checked his ears she told him that he tool she was using looked like a tv, and he agreed, so she said, lets just see what program is on in your ears! What a great strategy. When she checked his eyes she said, lets play with flashlights, this'll look cool! With Timothy she didn't need to do that, but it was nice because it helped relax him. Tom came in with Leanna and Justin and we all waited there for what seemed like forever. The cat scan eventually came back negative, so they just said to wake him up every two hours at night to make sure and of course to call if anything was abnormal. As we left an ER nurse told us that the kids were very well behaved. Tom said "really?" and she said "oh yes! You would never know there were that many kids here tonight!"

He has an appt. for Monday morning to be checked and in 7 days they'll take his stitches out. We got home at 8:50 at night, it was quite an evening!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Story to follow tomorrow.....


Why should college be our national default?

PS. I was (am) the kid who didn't know what they wanted to do.......

Farmin' on the ocean

I was reading Justin his "High Five" magazine (little kids' Highlights) and there was a page that showed a boy building with blocks. He'd made a barn for horses, a pig pen for the pigs, a fence for the sheep, and a house for the people. The page asked 3 questions, what did the boy build for the animals, what did he build for the people, and what would you build for the farm?
When I asked Justin what would he build, he sat back, smiled and whispered, "A submarine!"

Tax Calculator

Check how your taxes would change under each candidate.
The gist of it:
McCain: The average taxpayer in every income group would see a lower tax bill, but high-income taxpayers would benefit more than everyone else.
Obama: High-income taxpayers would pay more in taxes, while everyone else's tax bill would be reduced. Those who benefit the most -- in terms of reducing their taxes as a percentage of after-tax income - are in the lowest income groups.

(Wait, I just went back and read the comments on the first page. The first commentor complains about just making it on 140,000 with 2 kids, a car, and a modest house. That would be the lap of luxury for us!! I can't even imagine making that much!)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

She's getting too smart!

The other day as we walked home I made a half-hearted attempt at encouraging the kids' imagination, mainly Justin. I talked about having to hurry and get home because a giant teradactyl was flying in the sky looking for us! I've talked about dinosaurs chasing us before and Justin enjoyed it.
"Quick! He just hid behind those builings over there!" I said. Justin ignored me (as I said, I was only making a half-hearted attempt that day) and Leanna asked me, "Why would a dinosaur hide from us if he was trying to get us?!" Darn it! Sure, now she picks to pay attention to me! Sometimes tired mommies should not mix walking and thinking.

Evolution and homosexuality

I always wondered why homosexuality would still exist-you would think natural selection would kill it off. This explains that and why a certain percentage of homosexuals exist.

Idiot Dad

I would be soooo very angry if anyone bypassed my wishes and put their own name on the birth certificate. In the comments someone else says their grandmother changed her name!
Yes it takes two to make a baby, but one of those two people actually used her flesh and blood to create and grow and nurture that baby and then some type of labor to bring the child into the world. Therefore, she gets more say than he does. (My opinion)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Christopher Robin

My Mom pointed out yesterday that Justin reminds her of Christpher Robin (from Winnie the Pooh) and I thought, Yeah, he actually does. I suspect it might just be his propensity for long shirts that almost cover his shorts. That reminds me of the way boys dressed back when the real Christopher Robin was a child.

West Park again

I think fall is my favorite time of year. I would love to have our family's pictures taken outside in the fall but I can't find a reasonably priced photographer. : (
I checked out Dan's website, they work with local photographers, but it would be 300 for 75 minutes of time, and I think we would need extra time with 4 kids so young! I understand that you pay for their time and creativity and skills, but still! (Oh, and I had that idea before they did it on Jon and Kate, I swear they've been reading my mind) My camera is acting up again, sometimes it does this thing where it makes all the pictures slightly blurry and I can't find the setting to change it. But I did get a few decent pictures is spite of the camera.

Re: Timothy's birthday

Thanks to everyone who came to Timothy's birthday party. He had a very good time! We all did! For about the past month Timothy has been asking me every single day, sometimes mutiple times, if he's a big boy yet. For some reason he thought that when he turned three, he would magically become a big boy. This was also a special birthday because this year he was old enough to be aware of birthdays and what they mean. So he had a very difficult time waiting through Pop-Pop's party, Mimi's party, Leanna Justin and Tom's party, Jacob's party, Grammy's party, Aunt Laura's party, and Mommy's party! Finally it was HIS turn!!

I thought it was really cute that at first he asked permission to open each present. I guess it was hard to believe they were all for him and he could open them! He also got that Batman punching bag and when Maree' blew it up he didn't know what to do with it. The first thing he did was go over and give it a hug, awww! Let me tell you, he caught on quick once the older kids showed him what you were supposed to do though!

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Birthday Cake

As usual, I was too busy getting ready for the party to do the job I wanted to.....and Jacob would not let anyone hold him but me. As I was finishing up he was standing there screaming at my leg.

So while it doesnt match the picture I had in my head, I still think it was pretty cute. Timothy was happy.

The birthday banner that the 3 older kids made, Jacob finally fell asleep with Daddy, and well kids, Uncle Billy's a special man.........

More birthday pictures

Timothy's still lining up his cars.

Timmy's 3rd Birthday-officially a big boy!

A sweet picture of Maree' and Timothy, That would be Maree' getting sat on. And Timothy with a side of feet.