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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Why do people care about them anyway?

Very interesting particularly the part where it's explained about their reversed roles. I've wondered if that doesn't have something to do with people's intense dislike of Kate. I'm not gonna get into it, all I'll say is that it's a sad situation all around.
"'Jon & Kate Plus 8' madness: Why do viewers care about the Gosselins, anyway?" - http://www.nydailynews.com/lifestyle/2009/05/28/2009-05-28_jon__kate_plus_8_madness_why_do_viewers_care_about_the_gosselins_anyway.html#ixzz0H0agOnmT&A

They don’t sing. They don’t dance. They’re not dropped off on some distant, deserted land to compete with one another for survival. So why do we love “Jon & Kate Plus 8” so much?
The show was a huge success even before the Gosselins’ marriage started to erode in the public eye, and Monday night’s season five premiere drew an audience of 9.8 million viewers -- the highest in the history of the TLC network.
“When people watch ‘Jon & Kate’ they feel better about their own lives,” says Dr. Debbie Magids, author of “All the Good Ones Are Taken” (St. Martin’s Press). “A lot of TV shows make people feel worse about their own lives since people on TV are happier and sexier and better able to work through their relationships. But with Jon and Kate, it’s what’s going on in everyone’s home. It’s not always perfect and smooth, and up to now, it was about a marriage that was making it.”
The couple’s highly publicized spats aren’t dimming our devotion to Gosselin family, Magids says, at least so far.
“With the new scandal, now there’s a wrench and it’s not working,” she says. “But affairs also happen in many homes. A lot of people are trying to get past an affair, whether it is physical or emotional cheating, because they want to work it out to keep the family together. They look at Jon and Kate and say, this is what it’s like for them and in many other households where people are struggling, too.”
Viewers can relate to the fact that the couple’s personality styles go against classical gender roles, says Dr. Paul Dobransky, director of www.womenshappiness.com.
“Kate is left brain, aggressive, outgoing and take-charge, while Jon is soft, kind and right brain,” he says. “Theoretically this should be a good match because they are opposites in nature, but the gender roles that they are fitting into don’t work for their personalities.”
Jon’s unusual role as the nurturer and Kate’s as a very powerful woman appeal to viewers, Dobransky says, and fans of the show can sympathize with the couple.
“When Kate makes fun of Jon’s hairline, it’s like making fun of a woman’s weight,” Dobransky says. “The guy has no job, no sources of feeling masculine. Cheating can help a man unconsciously try to recover a self-sense of being masculine. And Kate, meanwhile, wants to feel that she is treated like a lady and that she is very feminine. Jon is not able to do this as he is not working, and not very confident.”
K.P. Anderson, executive producer and head writer for E!'s “The Soup," says that many people follow “Jon & Kate” because they love to see how the kids are developing. “As the kids are getting older, they are taking on personalities of their own,” he says. “There are a lot of people out there who like cute kids.”
At this point, though, the couple’s potential failure of a marriage is what’s drawing in large numbers of viewers, Anderson adds.
“At first people watched it from the angle of a news story because it’s interesting to see a show where people are taking care of eight children, and all the chaos,” Anderson says. “But now, as the ball of twine has unraveled, they are watching to see if they can watch a marriage fail.”Read more: "'Jon & Kate Plus 8' madness: Why do viewers care about the Gosselins, anyway?" - http://www.nydailynews.com/lifestyle/2009/05/28/2009-05-28_jon__kate_plus_8_madness_why_do_viewers_care_about_the_gosselins_anyway.html#ixzz0H0ZpJysB&A

Friday, May 29, 2009

Just to Brighten your day!

My favorite character from Airplane! In case anyone else needs cheering up like I do-this helps!

Nails




I let Leanna pick out two bottles of nail polish, originally intending to use them on Mother's Day. But the plans for Mother's Day changed, and we were too busy visiting people to do it then. So Wednesday night we finally did it-I painted hers and she did mine. Hers are pink (except one nail that she wanted red) and mine are red. I don't think I've painted my nails for about 12-15 years!

More Forts


Here's Timothy peeking out of yet another fort, made from a tablecloth and a chair they turned upside-down, then sideways.
Another perpetual favorite is to play "camping" Justin turns of every light he can find, including the computer monitor, and they lay on blankets on the floor. Sometimes they will take a light and sit around it, standing in for a campfire.

The boy needs a hammer!




The other day I caught Justin trying to hammer a nail into a piece of wood, using a battery as the hammer. Timothy watched. Do they make a set of mini tools, not plastic like most kids' tools, but ones that really work and are just smaller? If they do I think Justin would be in heaven to have his own! Just further proof that he has inherrited his Dad's mechanical mind.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Shelter and Pizza Hut

The picture was my mother's day present she made with Brownies-the frame and the picture.
Last night Leanna visited the Humane Society Shelter (with Brownies) and then they walked to Pizza Hut afterwards. She kept talking about the pizza hut part of the night-she was really impressed that they were allowed to play in the parking lot. She said they had two dance contests and she won both. She really enjoyed herself with the other girls, which makes me really happy.

There's a camping trip this weekend but she really doesn't want to go......I'm a little dissapointed because I think she'd really have a lot of fun, but I've decided we'll try next year, maybe she'll be ready then. I'm once again really pleased with her Girl Scouts experience. She's been blessed with very nice leaders and a good group of girls!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day




My Mom spent a large part of the day out in her garden, ignoring the rest of us! My Dad joked that she should be called "the constant gardener."






Tom finally planted the "Carnivorous Creations" plant that he got for the kids (but also for us because it's supposed to eat pesky bugs!) I made the kids wait to do it with him, since he got it for them. They've been waiting and waiting! Some will grow within 3-6 weeks, and others not for a year!




That's the face Jacob makes to yell at me (like when I won't let him eat nails or summersault down the steps or something).





Justin took a nap for a couple hours after he accidentally burned the upper inside of his arm on the brownie pan. He tried to reach past it for something on the table and he just curled up in a ball on the couch, telling me, "Mommy, it hurts too much!"






Memorial Day 2009




A quiet Memorial Day.......not a whole lot to report. I had lots of cleaning to do before we could even make food. Aunt Laura was a huge help with that-she mopped the kitchen floor and made deviled eggs! We actually had some left over this time, which was strange.
Tom had to go check out a roof quick, and he came home with a coffee for me. : )
I made peanut butter cup brownies for Tom but I think he only got two or three-they were really good! Ask Jacob, who attacked them when no one was looking!


And a picture of corn on the cob, just cuz it's one of my favorite foods!



















Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day!

Translation: Memorial Day is about people who were in World War II. My Mom's Grandpa was in World War II.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Parental favoritism

An interesting story, "My Second Favorite Son" makes me cringe but it's a bit funny too. The guy's honest, you have to give him credit for that.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Brownie Awards and sewing

We went to the Brownie meeting tonight because they were talking to parents about camping and there was a short awards ceremony where they gave out the Try-Its the girls earned. The Girl Scout Law, which Leanna apparently needs to be reminded of.
A bag they gave me for helping out at the fairgrounds cleanup.

Leanna just wanted her picture taken.


Justin and Timothy showing their patches! They earned a try-It from helping at the fairgrounds cleanup as well.



The Try-Its that Leanna was awarded tonight, including the blue braclet.




The girls were working on a sewing Try-It tonight, but didn't finish yet. The leader said this is one of the hardest and most time-consuming ones. They're sewing little pillows. Last week they were sewing buttons.




Wow

In Manchester a controversy was sparked by a poster of a toddler breastfeeding a doll.
"Deborah Winter, 39, who spotted the poster when she was visiting her grandson, called it `disgusting'. She said: "The picture is shocking and it isn't normal. Children copy their parents but I don't think any little girls should be breastfeeding their dolls."And Coun Jean Ashworth, who works as a healthcare assistant at the hospital, said: "The picture is highly offensive. We all know breast is best but they are going overboard."
I'm amazed that people are disgusted by that, that is considered shocking?? It is normal for children to copy their parents and it is a natural normal act, part of raising children. Our society really depresses me sometimes. I understand that many people are uncomfortable with it, but that doesn't make it wrong or unnatural or distgusting. There is nothing disgusting about the act itself and sending children the message that it's something to be ashamed of, something to be done in private, that their body's normal functions are wrong.....that is disgusting.

Lead levels, revisited

Justin and Timothy had their lead levels re-tested with a blood test. When they had the finger-stick tests, both came up with levels of 10. They want kids to be under 10, although no amount of lead in your body is considered safe. If a finger-stick test comes up with a result of 10 or over, then you have to retest with a blood test, because finger-sticks have a higher risk of contamination.
So on May 6 both boys did the blood test again. In about a month, Justin had gone from a 10 to a 5, and Timothy went from 10 to 7! What is the difference? Since the house was tested I don't let them on the third floor or basement or porch. I'm not 100% successful because they do sometimes wander down when I try to quick switch laundry into the dryer or when we leave the house Timothy will run over to climb on the porch railings. But their exposure to those three areas has been greatly reduced. Jacob's due to be re-tested again at the beginning of June, it should be interesting to see where his lead level lies. (also interesting that now that Jacob's level is at 19, he's only being tested every 3 months but when it was only at 14 they had a fit because they wanted him tested every single month!)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Timothy's perfect day


We're about to go to Timothy's Restaurant. He serves blueberry pancakes there. We also have to go to the bank and the library. And the gas station. And Mcdonalds. But I don't have to pick Leanna up from school because Timothy will. And he can buckle her up too. We're also going to see Santa Claus. And the Easter Bunny. We're going to get candy too! Did I mention that Timothy will be doing the driving? He has to get his purse and his ice-tea. His restaurant is far away, so we have to go by car. I'm looking forward to the trip!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Material People

Leanna made these dolls at my Mom's house this afternoon with scraps of material and yarn. Two are for Justin and Timothy. The little one in the middle and the one tied to a bigger doll are both babies. She came up with the idea on her own, I'm proud of her creativity!

He dressed himself


Justin and Timothy get themselves dressed every day (unless we're going somewhere). I don't really care what they wear so long as it's generally weather appropriate. They tend to go through more than one outfit a day, so some days I end up with something like the above pictured outfit. Justin's shorts (that are big on Justin), and two different boots. I asked if he wanted to change into something that fit better, but he was satisfied with his choices, so I let it go.
I'm beyond caring much what the neighbors think!

Friday, May 15, 2009

The little author's new book

Front:
Back:


Leanna's been quite creative lately. At home she often writes short stories and song lyrics. She draws pictures and does math problems. Last night I found this little book she was making with post-it notes. I thought it was so sweet I took a picture to record it. When I asked her about it she told me that the book wasn't finished and I'm not supposed to see it yet. So don't mention I posted it here!

potassium and sodium

An article about potassium and sodium's effects on our health-particularly interesting to me because I am curious about kidney function for two reasons. 1. My pre-eclampsia/toxemia during my pregnancy with Leanna(and I'm curious why I had an a-typical form of it) and 2. both my Dad and my maternal grandmother had kidney problems, and my grandmother's kidney problems began with her first pregnancy when she had preecalmpsia.
Also, I didn't know calcium was affected by your salt intake as well.
Just stringing together a few parts from the article(for the whole thing, go here)
Potassium and sodium together play a huge role in regulating blood pressure, and mounting evidence shows they are intimately involved in bone health. Molecular pumps that pull potassium into cells and push sodium out create a chemical battery that drives the transmission of signals along nerves and powers the contraction of muscles. Potassium and sodium help the kidneys work properly. They are important for energy production and fluid balance. Most of the focus on sodium and potassium centers on their effects on the kidneys, blood vessels, and heart. But these minerals affect every part of the body, including the relentless breakdown and buildup of bone. A diet high in sodium increases the amount of calcium excreted in the urine. This loss is especially prominent when calcium intake is low, as it is for so many Americans.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Observant Justin

I went out to CVS tonight and came backed soaked from the rain. Justin looked at me and said, "Awwww! You got a shower! Was it raining?" When I replied in the positive he said, quite sweetly, "Did you enjoy your nice shower?!" and patted my arm. I knew he was being sincere, which made it touching that not only was he happy for me to enjoy something I like, but he has also paid attention enough to realize that I am happy when I get to take a shower. : )

Watermelon popsicles


Just blended watermelon and froze. The only problem-I couldn't find any of those Popsicle kits for making your own Popsicles. I used to have two, I don't know what happened to them! So I had to improvise. I made Timothy's in a little cup with a plastic fork stuck in it, and some were in jello molds, and I made watermelon ice cubes too. It'll flavor some water for them, lol.

OMG

Sounds like a joke, but it's from News of the Weird:

"Consensual Living" parenting, which was developed in 2006 and now has many hundreds of followers, supposes that every family member's needs are equally valid and respectworthy. Even pre-adolescents are assumed able to understand their own needs and respect those of others. When little Kiernen, 3, of Langley, British Columbia, hits another child, his mom told Toronto's Globe & Mail in March, she does not invoke authority but instead asks about his feelings and whether he'd like to express himself differently. If Kahlan, 18 months old, of Nanaimo, British Columbia, is grumpy at a time when her mother has made plans, Mom says she is obligated to consider other plans. And when Savannah, 6, insisted on wearing her Halloween cat costume every single day for several months, her mom in Burlington, Ontario, just shrugged, since she recalled how contentious the morning dressing rituals were, pre-Consensual Living. [Globe & Mail, 3-31-09]

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Spider Boy

Thanks to cheap dollar store prices, I managed to get the kids sunglasses and some new hats. Justin managed to get SpiderMan glasses and a Spiderman hat. The other day he ran to get his Spiderman pjs, and put all three on together. He said all he was missing was Spiderman shoes, LOL.

More Outdoor stuff

A cute picture of Jacob
A sweet siblings picture

This is Justin demonstrating how you swing when you get old. His words, not mine.
(I'm assuming he means because you are too heavy to fit in the swing, so naturally, you hang from the bottom because that's MUCH safer!)


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

On adults and families drawing.....

Part of a post from SouleMama:

"artist Mo Willems on NPR last night (Getting Adults to Draw). He observes that "people stop drawing when they decide they're not good at it...[but] Nobody stops playing basketball once they realize they're not going to be a professional."
Hear, Hear! Keep drawing!
He says, and I firmly believe, that in order for children to want to draw and to continue that into adulthood, they need to see the adults around them draw. They need adults to draw with them. No matter what our "skill-level" or whatever hang ups we may have about being - or not being - "an artist," if we want our children to draw/paint/knit/sew/make, we must be doing it too. And really - what a wonderful assignment for us as parents, you know? Of benefit to us all...
He talks about Family Draw, which mirrors a bit of what we do here with our Family Drawing Time (that I wrote about in
The Creative Family). Though, Mo's version of Family Draw involves a big piece of paper (or chalkboard), and a theme on which everyone draws - adults and children alike.

New interest

Justin's discovering yet another interest. I just think it's really cool how he's into so many different things. There are so many things that fascinate him! And that's how it should be, sometimes adults forget to look around with wonder at how amazing this world is. He is now getting interested in magic. And today he asked if we could get him a magic wand. So that may be a birthday idea for anyone who doesn't yet have a present for him.

Artist quote

"Every Child is an Artist. The problem is how to remain an Artist once we grow up."

Pablo Picasso

Inspired by books

I briefly went to the library (alone!) last night. Short visits can be good too though, because I end up with books I might not have chosen if I had more time to look. With more time, I might have passed them up, but when I know I have a short time til the library closes, I'll just grab the first thing that looks kinda interesting. Anyway, last night I ended up with The Creative Family by Amanda Blake Soule. I figured it could go either way.....another boring book that gives a bunch of ideas that either don't appeal to me or just aren't practical (require too many things I don't have or skills I don't have!). I was happy to find that I am creatively inspired by this book! (also found out the author has a blog I've heard of, and probably checked out a post or two from: Soulemama ). I used to just write things down, but I thought it's better to record them here because I can use the blog's search function to find them anytime I need them. And they can't get ruined or accidentally thrown away. Who knows, might inspire someone else too?


Some things from the book that inspired me:

*Keep things that inspire you-photos, the way colors blend together, textures, kids' art, cards, letters, vintage advertising, yarn, Fabric, etc.-and hang some from a wire or string, so they can be seen and inspire you whenever the moment hits. I do keep some things, but I should really keep them all in one place, and keep them visible.

*Art projects using beans, noodles, nature ( go on a nature hunt), thrift shops, dyeing
*Clothing reconstruction

*Family drawing time-limit conversation, gather inspiration, peaceful environment, have cool quality stuff to use, have inspiration on hand, use special drawing books, be flexible, and watch and be inspired by your kids.

* Family bulletin board with art clips on top

*Knitting-I've been wanting to learn for forever. Partly I'm afraid that it'll be yet another thing I'll get hooked on and want to spend $ on a yarn stash! I warned Tom not to let me get involved in scrapbooking, I knew that would be an expensive hobby and I knew I would be instantly hooked. He didn't listen and insisted on getting me started.

*Trace children's art and embroider it onto something (a pillow, a blanket, a frame, etc.) I LOVE this idea! Hint hint, crafty family members, this would make an excellent present!!!!

*Find a spot a place where you find peace and inspiration, a place that calms you or brings you joy. (The kids, or at least Leanna, have one I think. "Tree World" at West Park.)

*Questing ( we could do small versions of this in the backyard even-make a treasure map, bury something and have the kids find it.)

* Make fairy houses-I've always wanted to do something like this! Note to self: At some point get book Fairy Houses by Tracy Kane

* Setting up the kids with a garden plot and letting them keep a garden journal mapping their garden, it's growth, how they think it will look when things bloom, writing down stories and observations about it, etc. But I'm not a gardener, at least not at this stage of my life. It's be awesome if Grammy or someone could do this with them!

*Keep a nature table or some type of kid-reachable display place to decorate your house as the seasons change.

*Make a fabric photo book for your children.

* Have kids make treasure boxes.

*Bedtime Bags I love this one, I think it would be adorable to make each child one. It would simplify things.

*Family toasts (you know, clinking glasses together) to celibrate family moments, good grades, good deeds, etc.

*Write love letters to each child on their birthday. This is one I've always meant to do. Actually I do have a journal that I wrote for Leanna with the story of her birth and some journal entries copies from the first few months of her life (when I still had time to keep a journal). But it's been many many many years since I've written in it.

*A birthday garland

*Make joy jars as gifts. This is a jar that is filled with little slips of paper. Each slip of paper contains a quote, a Bible verse, some friendly advice, or a word of encouragement. The Joy Jar can be a simple glass or ceramic jar with no decoration, or you can really go all out with this unique gift and use ribbons and paint to personalize.

* I wish we had our big house out in the country to have a banging wall for the kids.

*Host an art night or "bad art" night. No expectations, all about having fun and creating.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Looking out for his brother

Timothy came to me, crying that Justin had knocked over his cereal. He was most distraught (I don't know why, there was more cereal) and I was comforting him. Jacob reached over to hug Timothy too. Then he looked up and angrily reprimanded, "Justin! Share!" LOL, he may not have understood the problem correctly, but he knew who was responsible! I wasn't even aware he'd picked up on that word yet.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

A frame Leanna made me in Brownies, I can't find the picture for it, and another card from Leanna (I think she gave me 5 total)
Tom with Nanny J. at Gracedale. We had an interesting visit today. It was cute, Tom went over and said hi to her and she stood up to come visit and said, "wow are these all your children? I had no idea you had them!" And she kept counting us over and over during the visit. Though she came up with different numbers every time. I prepped the kids beforehand, but they were still reluctant to say hi and talk to her. It's hard because the kids don't understand how Alzheimer's affects a person. I explained a bit to Leanna, but the kids were a little bit afraid of her. Another elderly gentleman told Leanna he was 14 and she looked at me like, "What??!!" I'll bet the staff there overhear a lot of interesting conversations.
I'm very glad we went, especially for Tom's sake (although hours later she didn't remember we were ever there).

If you ever wondered what the dinosaurs sounded like....



video



Justin and Timothy playing outside.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Muffins for Mom Day at School

Most of the class poses for pictures (cell phone picture)

Leanna reading to me (cell phone picture)

The mother's day card she made in school

The words she wrote, with no help composing. Very cute!

It was Muffins for Mom day today and this year I was lucky enough to be able to go alone. Much easier that way! I talked to Leanna's teacher who said Leanna's a good writer and has amazing reading comprehension. Even math has really improved over the year. We're working on the social stuff and there's been some improvement there as well.

All the cool babies are eating it!




Gotta love the perennial favorite in our house, yogurt!

The world according to Timothy

Don't be fooled by appearance. This is no regular pole. Ask Timothy, it's actually a "get-downer."
And this is not a fence. It is a "climb-up". Just so you know.