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Friday, July 31, 2009

names of all types

Comedians have made jokes about Moms often calling their children by both first and middle names when they're in trouble, and when they're REALLY in trouble by all their names!! I do that too, with a notable exception. Jacob gets called JacobJingleHeimerSchmidt! When he's in trouble. LOL.

Though I do occasionally call Timothy, "Timothy ____(Middle name) SillyPants _____(Last name)!" I think I might be making up for his only having 3 names. Four names are just more satisfying to say! But then Justin's first two names seem to work perfectly for him, I don't feel the need to add anything extra for him. I do sometimes use his superhero name instead, Justinvincible! How appropriate is it that of all the kids, he got the superhero name?!

Trial run

The underwear's overtop of his diaper, but it's a start. Leanna decided to put it on him. He got a kick out of wearing it. And he looked adorable waddling around with padded underwear, lol. When asked if he wanted to be a big boy, he answered with Timothy's name. For some reason he associates underwear with Timothy (Tih-a-fee) maybe because Timothy always wears his backwards? Not a big deal at all, just seeing how he does with it. He occasionally takes his diapers off and he's definitely aware of when stuff comes out. Most likely he'll potty train between 2 1/2 and 3 like his siblings.


Out of curiosity I clicked on a link for the 30 worst foods in America. The amounts of fat and sugar in this drink is amazing and everything, but at this point not surprising. What astonished me was that this drink has 73 ingredients! Wow.

Baskin-Robbins Large Chocolate Oreo Shake
2,600 calories135 g fat (59 g saturated, 2.5 g trans)1,700 mg sodium263 g sugars
We didn’t think anything could be worse than Baskin-Robbins’ 2008 bombshell, the Heath Bar Shake. After all, it had more sugar (266 grams) than 20 bowls of Froot Loops, more calories (2,310) than 11 actual Heath Bars, and more ingredients (73) than you’ll find in most chemistry sets. Yet the folks at Baskin-Robbins have shown that when it comes to making America fat, they’re always up to the challenge. The large Chocolate Oreo Shake is soiled with more than a day’s worth of calories and 3 days’ worth of saturated fat. Worst of all, it takes less than 10 minutes to sip through a straw.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Doubts and schooling

I think I will soon be starting the formal stuff for homeschooling this fall. Can't quite bring myself to say things definitely yet because I just am not that confident in myself. Several people have expressed doubts about my ability to effectively do it. My views swing to both exremes. I've had an incredibly rough 8 month period that was difficult in abosultely every way. My self esteem has definitely taken a lot of blows. Just to be clear, it's not any doubts about homeschooling, it's doubts about my abilities. In the past I've done my best work under pressure, so I'm hoping this will be one of those situations as well. I am 98% sure I will do it, I'm just running into a fiercly thick wall of doubt and fear right now.

I ran into this quote and feel it's appropriate:

"Supposing a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?""Supposing it didn’t," said Pooh after careful thought. – The House at Pooh Corner, A.A. Milne

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Check Up time!!

It's doctor day today, with three of the four kids having check-ups. I'm very glad it didn't rain in the while we were out!! Only a small rant today. In the AM we had Justin and Jacob. I was actually very pleased with the nurse, she was very friendly, very fast, and actually got Justin to cooperate!! Since his shy phase started, we've had trouble at all appointments. This lady got his height, weight, eyes, and hearing checked with no help from me!! THAT'S AMAZING!! It took a bit of persuading on her part, but he did it! It goes to show that good staff can just make such a difference. If she had been impatient, or unwilling to show him things first(for example she had him touch the hearing device that he held to his ear first, to show him it wouldn't hurt him. A tiny thing that took only a couple of seconds, but it made a big difference to him) we wouldn't have got anywhere. I tried to take him to the dentist about a month ago, but Justin refused to open his mouth. The dentist was older and foreign with a thick accent and would only order him to open his mouth. No time to adjust, no showing him things to let him calm down and see that it wasn't at all scary. Seemed very stern. Just two minutes of ordering him to open his mouth and then he was done. He said come back when he's ready to open his mouth. So I have no idea how his teeth are. Luckily when I mentioned this today, they recommended a dental van and said the staff was really good with kids and that they might even let him come in one day just to look around and see it before his appointment. Also we'll prob. have to take Justin for an eye checkup in the future. His eyes are about 20/50, so he'll probably end up with them too.
Jacob was cranky today and was unusually difficult. He got two shots. We discussed both his eczema and the lead level at length. She agreed to let us see an allergy specialist first and they'll determine if it's likely his eczema is an allergic reaction. Otherwise I'd have to make an appointment to see a dermatologist, and she said that can take 5-6 months to get in (as opposed to 6-8 weeks for an allergy specialist). As for the lead, apparently there is little coordination between departments and there is nothing in the records to show that we had the home inspections. Or that our house has unusually high amounts of lead paint. So she added the fact that a contractor has seen the home to our file. Sigh. It's a start. In October he'll be tested again.
I asked for results and an explanation of the blood count they had done. She said something about checking if the lead was attaching to the iron in his body. Apparently things looked normal except for his platelet count was a bit high. But she said they weren't concerned about that. I asked her to explain, but she didn't do a good job, so I'll ask again later. The x ray was normal.
This was a polite doctor, which was nice for a change. She was young, and did actually listen when I talked. But they still assume you don't know basic things about parenting, for example when I commented that he was a picky eater, she told me I shouldn't let him eat only chips and sweets. Really?? I had no idea that was bad!! And that he should still be in a car seat and be supervised around water. Again, duh! And she kept notes on the computer about things like what foods he likes to eat (why do they need to take notes on that?) and quizzed me on what percentage of milk fat he drinks. She says she's comfortable with Justin drinking either whole milk or 2%(the kinds we drink), since his weight is normal. She's comfortable??!! I wanted to mention to her that milk isn't the only source of calcium, nor is it the best source of calcium, and that getting enough fat in one's diet does not seem to be a problem for most children today, so I doubt we need to worry about that.......but I don't need to risk anymore calls to CPS in case someone misunderstands and thinks I'm depriving my children of calcium!!) Both the nurse and doctor were very nice today, and I appreciate that more than they know!! I've had my fill of rude professionals. But that sense of being supervised, of having my parenting being reviewed, is still there. The sense that I need their help to raise my children was definitely there. I hate that! I cannot emphasize that enough!! Oh well, end rant.
Leanna's was much easier, though we had a very long wait. Though we arrived early, we waited about an hour and 15 minutes after her appointment until we saw a doctor. Then it took only a couple minutes for her to check the usual stuff. No problems, one shot. It took quite a bit of convincing for the shot though. The nurse was very nice and pointed out to Leanna that either she could have me hug her while they did it, or they would have to get a bunch of people to hold her down. She was scared of getting a shot to begin with, but the nurse who did the check in (height, weight, vision, blood pressure, iron) didn't tell her what she was doing or give any warning she just suddenly pricked her finger and it really upset Leanna. Kind of a nasty surprise. So after that she was REALLY scared of an actual shot! Did you know you have to sign a release form to get a copy of your own child's medical records?? I'm not sure why, but I had to. So I signed to release my own child's records to myself. They'll come in the mail.

The stats:

Justin's 38.4 pounds (30Th percentile) and 42.9 inches (46Th percentile). So he's about average for height and a little on the lower end for weight, but still within a normal range.
They forgot to give me Jacob's paper, so I'm not sure of his. I think he was around 26 pounds, but I'm not positive.

Leanna's up to a whopping 57 pounds!!

It was a very long day with two separate walks downtown to the two doctor's offices! I am relieved to have it over!

A new blog

I found a new blog I think I will enjoy. It's called Diary of an Angry Mom. I came across it through a post about breastfeeding and alcohol. (if you haven't heard, there's a case where they charged a woman with breastfeeding while drunk. Didn't test her, just said she appeared to be drunk. By the way, she called the cops because her boyfriend was beating her. So the"drunkenness" they observed could have been from, I don't know......her head injury??!!! Or the fact that her boyfriend had been beating her? The big offense actually seemed to be that she had the nerve to feed the infant in front of them. They have taken her child away as a result of this. The boyfriend however is in NO TROUBLE AT ALL! Mind you, there is no proof she was drunk, and very little alcohol actually gets through, but that is a post for another time). Anyway, the blog is written by is someone who became a parent and realized that there are a lot of nasty things going on in the world. One or two of you might enjoy it as well.
I'll link to a post about the huge swine flu scare. This woman is clearly more informed than most people (that I encounter anyway), but did anyone else besides me think that the whole swine flu thing was greatly eggagerated also? Even without researching it at all, it felt off. I actually did see one woman prancing around with a surgical mask on her face as she shopped at CVS. I think we've just gone drug crazy as a country, maybe a symptom of our obsession with everything happening quickly. Fast food, fast travel, grow up fast, take a pill or twenty to cure everything (headache, cold, pain, illness, whatever) take a vaccine to cure whatever the pills don't. Easier to take a pill or vaccine rather than stop a hurtful behavior or wait out an illness. Don't get me wrong, there are times when pills or vacines are a good thing, I just think we've become obsessed with them as a cure-all.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Scary and heartbreaking

Very scary story of a 17 year old who actually called home twice during an abduction but was unable to alert her parents. They found her body later. The story points out the need to have a code word to use in emergency situations.

Letters to the military

Just a reminder for any family that read this blog, you can send cousin Jonathan a letter through this website. I just did, finally. He's in Afghanistan (or was when I last heard anyway).

Monday, July 27, 2009

Wedding Video goes Viral

My Mom sent this video to me, and Laura speculated that either she or Claire should one day have a similar entrance at their wedding! Leanna was amused and tried to do the dance while walking. The video had over 8 million views, here's a short review.

About speech

Just posting this because Justin has (an adorable) lisp and often adds the wrong beginnings to words. Timothy sometimes stutters. Timothy also talks really really fast, so his words often jumble together and are difficult to understand.

Your 5-year-old now
Some children still have trouble producing certain sounds. At this age, it's still considered normal to lisp or struggle with l, r, s, z, sh, and th sounds. It's part of the learning process for speech — these sounds tend to require the most complex muscle movements. Most kids outgrow lisping by age 7 or 8.
Stuttering isn't uncommon either. It usually happens because your child's mouth can't keep up with her quick brain, causing her to repeat words and sounds. When she's excited or tired, she may even have trouble spitting out the right words. Most kids outgrow stuttering between 5 and 6.Reinforce language skills by talking with your child and reading to her often. Don't try to finish her sentences or rush her. You don't want to make her any more frustrated than she already is. Don't ridicule or mimic "cute" mispronunciations. Continue to model proper speech.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Zucchini Bread

In an attempt to eat (somewhat) healthy, I tried making some Zucchini Bread tonight. It smelled great baking, and Jacob liked the batter. Tom even sniffed around and asked what I was making (but he won't touch anything like that). I can't say it's as good as Apple Bread, but it's not bad. I only had a little piece but I'll try it again tomorrow after it's cool and when I'm hungry. Testing it when you're already full isn't the way to go!
PS. Zucchini is very juicy! Who knew?

Playing With wood scraps

Leanna asked her Dad for some of his scrap wood and designed a playground (the one on the table). Pictured are her and Justin's projects drying (they glued them with wood glue, although I doubt all the pieces will stay together). Although I look at Justin's project and see a rifle, he tells me it's an airplane. Timothy just played with his, useing them like blocks.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Summer research

Leanna has been really enjoying the Magic Tree House series. Basic premise is (from the website):

One summer day in Frog Creek, Pennsylvania, a mysterious tree house appears in the woods. Eight-year-old Jack and his seven-year-old sister, Annie, climb into the tree house and find it is filled with books! They soon discover that the tree house is magic and can take them to the places in the books. All they have to do is to point to a picture and wish to go there. Join Jack and Annie as the Magic Tree House whirls them to faraway places and long ago times!

The author also wrote some research guides for the books since children had been telling her they loved learning facts about the places the characters visit in the books.
Leanna told me she wanted to start homeschooling early. I said we'll see, as I'm not exactly prepared. So she started taking notes on her own. These are some of the notes she started taking from the research guide Penguins and Antarctica. I love that she's so into it that she wants to take notes. I love that the books have inspired her so much. This also makes me feel a little more secure about homeschooling. Kids love learning on their own, learning does not need to take place in a building specifically designated for "the three Rs!"
She's a voracious reader, but the spelling and handwriting! (who does that sound like??)

Smoothie Mustaches

From a strawberry, orange juice concentrate, 1 stick celery, mint & dill smoothie.

Justin's Super Duper Best Peanut Butter Sandwich

Friday, July 24, 2009

Congrats to Laura!!!!

We can breathe a sigh of relief now that Laura has officially received news that she is hired! I don't know details, just that it's a real job, a better job, and it pays more and has benefits! Congratulations Laura!


Not recommended for teens or anyone in a non-monogamous relationship, but.....researchers were surprised to discover a contraceptive option that works about the same as condoms (but costs nothing!). Good method for couples who are commited to each other, not worried about stds, and are ok with the very small chance of pregnancy.

I had only heard of it happening.......

I have now actually washed and dried a crayon with a load of laundry. Luckily it was mostly towels, so who cares. But Leanna's coat now has little black stripes. I'm pretty sure her coat was the source of the crayon as well. I think it's clear I did not inherrit my grandmother's "white thumb."

Recent random stuff:

5 Fascinating Facts:

1. Justin knows everything. Really. He was just born knowing things. (Insert modest Justin shrug here). Ask him!
2. We checked out 27 books at the library this week (and none of them were for me).
3.Leanna has already read more than the amount of books listed for the entire summer at the library reading program. They don't have prizes for her because their list stops at 50 books.
4. People have stopped caring about Timothy's belly button. I hardly ever get any hits on the post on his outie belly button anymore.
5. People do still care about his Cinnamon rash though. That's a popular post lately.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Group Discounts as incentive?

Leanna and I were discussing her upcomming Brownie trip to a theatre and swimming afterwards. She went ice-skating last weekend and really enjoyed it. I was explaining how teh troop covers expenses and the concept of group discounts to her since she asked if it cost money to ice-skate. Her response? She looks me in the eye and says" You need to have more children!"
(I burst out laughing and she said somewhat indignantly, "well you need to have more kids and I want a sister!")

Monday, July 20, 2009

Birthday Boy & presents

Jacob had the most original response to present time! First we gave him the gifts his siblings had made for him. He gleefully grabbed them and promptly ran over to the rolltop desk and shoved them in a drawer. I have no idea why. It a drawer I use to store manuals from all the items we buy/are given.
He wasn't really into opening the presents themselves, but then he kept running around with the gifts. He was just so excited and happy. It was like he was just overflowing with energy and happiness and could not contain it, so he had to get up and run. Quite a contrast with Leanna and Justin who were just so embarrassed to open presents in front of a room full of people that they would barely look at their gifts! It was just really fun to see.
Timothy and Justin enjoyed playing with Jacob's gifts as well, the dinosaur and penguin bath toys were big hits with everyone. And a crayola thermos I picked up from Walmart on a whim was a huge hit too-Jacob kept running it over the floor as though it was a car! It's always neat to see what actually catches their fancy.

Lotsa birthday pictures

I found the bee hat at Michael's, and Jacob actually let me put it on him!

The picture with bananas was my Mom's dessert. I guess because she had a stress test and a cholesterol test coming up, she was very worried about how she hadn't been sticking to her raw diet lately. So she ate only her own stuff all weekend.

Maree' says she has to get glasses and braces. She tried on Leanna's glasses and loved them. I seriously had to wrestle them away from her because I was afraid she'd forget and go home with them still on! I think they really make her look like Stephanie from Full House.

Birthday Cake

That reads: Jacob 2!
not Jacob 21 (since someone asked me)
I later had to give him new eyes since the little stinker ate the M&M eyes right off his cake!
Jacob is always calling out, bird! or bee! when we're outside. An ant will be crawling by on the sidewalk and he'll run over and crouch down to watch, yelling over and over, "Bee! Bee! Bee!" All insects are bees to him. It seemed to have just the right amount of cuteness to work and since it wasn't overly complicated, a bee cake it was!
This one was actually pretty easy to make. Though I still have yet to figure out how to stop the cake from crumbling into the iceing when I spread it. The black iceing I bought, after reading numberous recommendations to do so on the interwebs. Apparently it's impossible to make black iceing with food coloring without making it get too bitter. The antenae are black liccorice and the tail is just iceing. The wings are slices of cake.

2nd Birthday party pictures

You can see they were all in high spirits that day.

Birthday Boy

Jacob looked adorable in a new outfit that was an Easter present from Aunt Karen. It worked out that he got a nap before cake and presents (which was great!). Sometimes they get too worked up with all the excitement and can't sleep. Maree' found a way to get there and the kids were all really excited to see her. It was a small but fun party.

Candy Freak

I'm about halfway through a bargain book find, Candy Freak: A Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of America by Steve Almond. I picked it up at Borders to peruse while drinking a cup of relief on Friday night. I didn't think it would be interesting enough to read the whole book, I figured I'd flip through it while there and put it back. But it is surprisingly interesting and I decided to spring for the $4.00 to make the book mine. For the record, while I enjoy candy, I am not a candy freak. And I had no idea that people like the author existed!! It's kinda neat to read people's memories of their childhood favorite candies. For the author's website: go here. An interesting review of the book and author: here

Bite Me!

An explanation of why vampires are so popular currently. (though I don't 100% agree with the author's reasoning) Interesting anyway.

Cute-Santa Convention Wedding,0,5398593.story

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Lead and Breastmilk-for the record

I'm not mad, but this suggestion that I'm poisoning my children through my milk has come up (twice for lead, a few other times for excema, etc.) so I'd like to pass along some info. Yes, it is possible, though HIGHLY unlikely for lead to pass through my milk to my children. When should a mother stop breastfeeding because of lead?
The answer is probably NEVER, unless she has severe lead poisoning.

And again, if I was the source of the lead, as I breastfed each child, more of the lead would be leaving me through the milk, and there would be less lead for each child, thereby meaning with each child their lcad level would be lower(relatively, each body absorbes lead differently) Which is not the case.
Assorted facts from various sources:

lead does not concentrate in breast milk because it does not attach to fat; indeed, levels of lead are generally higher in a mother's blood than in her milk. Several studies have found higher blood lead levels in formula-fed infants than in breast-fed infants.12 This may be a result of contaminated formula cans or formula prepared using tap water with high lead levels. Lead levels in blood and breast milk correlate closely with areas where lead is still used in gasoline, with the highest levels in areas with heavy traffic

Because breast milk is an ever changing substance, it can be difficult to measure and the literature shows a wide range of results. There has also been the problem of contaminated specimens. What has been found, is that the lead levels in breast milk are related to the lead levels in a mother's blood, but breast milk contains only 5% or less of this amount. Having your blood level checked is a simple way of estimating the risk to your baby. (If you are pregnant, ask your doctor to request a lead level with your next tests or ask your GP - this test is covered by Medicare).
Lead moves from where it is stored in a mother's skeleton, during later pregnancy and lactation, when the need for calcium increases. Maintaining your calcium intake will give the body plenty of circulating calcium in the blood which can be used easily by the body to meet the increased need of the foetus. This means there is less likelihood of the body using the skeletal calcium which might induce lead to leave the bones and enter the blood stream.
The 1994 Australian Market Basket Survey found only trace or undetectable levels of lead in breastmilk, cows milk and infant formulas including soy based formula. In the 1992 Australian Market Basket Survey, lead was below the detection limit in all breastmilk tested. Soy based infant formula had lead levels 4 times the detection limit and other infant formula had 3 times the detection limit. In Broken Hill, which is a lead rich environment, the mothers tested had levels that were one tenth of the amount considered to be a problem for breastfeeding.

Sources of lead (but this list is not all-inclusive, other things can have lead in them)

Common Sources of lead:
Lead-Based Paint
Lead Dust

Unlike the persistent organic pollutants (POPs), metals do not accumulate in fat, and so do not usually achieve higher concentrations in breast milk than in blood. As a result, infants are likely to be exposed to higher levels before birth than during breastfeeding.

All of these contaminants are more likely to affect bottle-fed infants because they are water contaminants and are often found at higher concentrations in infant formula as compared with breast milk.

Breast Milk Overview
In general, the metals found in breast milk are usually at lower levels than are found in maternal blood.
4 Thus, breast milk is not the primary pathway of exposure for infants; prenatal trans-placental exposure is a much greater concern. That said, instances of high exposure through breast milk do occur, and are often important indicators of an infant's total exposure. One study found that longer duration of breastfeeding was associated with poorer infant growth in children whose mothers had higher levels of mercury in their bodies. Generally, infants fed formula made with tap water are at the highest risk from metals contaminating the water supply.

This is me-Sajmom-talking here. Essentially what you can take from all this is that it's possible, but only in a case where the mother has had a significant lead exposure herself. Adults process lead quicker than children, and adults wash their hands more (removing the lead before it's ingested) and are less likely to put their hands in their mouths to begin with. So it's very unlikely that I have large amounts of lead in my body. Levels of lead aren't very high in a mother's milk to begin with and only 5% of the mother's level will pass through to the child. So the mother's lead level would have to be very high in order to significantly affect the child. In our case our house has more than enough lead to explain the children's high levels. And the health department agrees.

Friday, July 17, 2009

More Lead fun!

I forgot to mention, Jacob had a lead level test done on Tuesday. I got the results today: 17. Which is down two more points. They weren't happy about it though, instead they were all in a panic, deciding instead that Jacob must have swallowed a lead object so he must be seen immediately for an X-Ray and some sort of blood count as well. I explained to them that we'd had our house tested and it was essentially bathed in lead, and that that is what the health dept. thinks is the source. She said, "Yeah" and continued talking. Didn't bother to listen to a word I said. I'm guessing they didn't read his history and take that into consideration. Unless they think all four kids were swallowing lead toys, since each one has had a high lead level. Not to mention that his first lead test was at nine months old, so he would have had to have swallowed the lead object shouldn't the level remain steady until he eliminates the object? And if he had swallowed the object at nine months, why the frantic need to X-Ray today!! Especially since the lead level is on it's way down? They called my house twice in an hour, and called my husband (who was up on a roof). They left a message on the phone saying, you need to call us back TODAY!!
So I rushed in and we did the blood test which terrified Jacob. On Tuesday they couldn't find his vein and stabbed him repeatedly before doing the other arm. He clearly remembered the ordeal and started crying as soon as we got into the room. Today they had no problem finding the vein though, a relief since he was worked up enough just over the memory! We did the X-ray right after and she said a doctor would have to look at it to be certain, but she saw (surprise!) nothing at all. This was not how I wanted him to spend his birthday and it wasn't how I had planned to spend the afternoon either!!
I know some people probably wonder why I make such a big deal out of this stuff. It's hard to put it into words exactly. I'm bothered by the attitudes that I encounter. I'm just very tired of it being assumed that if there is any differentiation from the norm that it's because I'm a negligent parent. I'm tired of people not listening to me-hospital personel of various sorts, the school, the teacher, the caseworker, pediatric nurses and doctors and staff members, the landlord, the lead contractor, and various people involved the insurance and lead levels. All people I've encountered that either ignore me, treat me like I'm a moron, or a lazy parent, or worse still, an uncaring parent(except the school-there I think I'm seen as overinvolved). It's a relatively recent thing,,,,,although to be fair, I've had contact with a lot more people in those positions in the past year probably, than in the entire time I've had kids. I'm just tired of being treated like some low-life negligent parent who couldn't possibly know and observe her own children. Heck, I'm tired. Period. My stomach's been twisted in knots all day. I can't wait until all this stuff's over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LOL Timothy

I think only one of you may get this reference, but yesterday we were heavy duty cleaning the kids' bedrooms, and I like to listen to music while I clean. "Crazy Train" by Ozzy Ozbourne came on the radio. It starts off with laughter, and much to my surprise, Timothy started doing the crazy laughter along with the voice on the song. It's the sort of thing you'd have to be there to hear, but it was hysterical and bizzare to see this tiny little boy doing this laugh along with a song that I didn't even know he'd ever heard before. I'm guessing he remembers it because the song starts out with Ozzy calling out, "All Aboard!" which would catch Timothy's attention.

Happy 2nd Birthday Jacob!!

My adorable, happy, scratchy, sweet, lovable, Jacob. The little boy who adores his siblings, particularly Justin. The little boy who looked back at me with a worried expression on his face when a baby started crying in the waiting room today (he's developed empathy). The little boy who excitedly calls out people's names as they enter our house. (My favorite is when Laura comes in, he says, La! La! in this floaty little voice. It's really cute) The little boy who thinks all the animals in the world are either a doggie, babbit (rabbit), a bird, or a bee. And he gets really excited to see any of them! Such a little sweetheart, we're all so happy he's part of our family!

Belated Video Birthday Wishes

I meant to post this video yesterday, but things got hectic and I forgot. We did call and wish Nanny Sue a Happy Birthday yesterday though! Timothy was actually quite upset that he didn't get to talk to her more!! (Justin and Leanna hogged the phone) Hers is easy to remember since it's the day before Jacob's!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Reading Really does make you smarter.......

A couple quotes from an article by Martha Brockenbrough (linked below):

In a paper called What Reading Does for the Mind, Anne E. Cunningham, associate professor of cognition and development at the University of California, Berkeley, makes the case that reading:
*increases vocabulary more than talking or direct teaching;
*substantially boosts general knowledge while decreasing the likelihood that misinformation will be absorbed; and
*helps keep our memory and reasoning abilities intact as we age.

"Still, it's eye-opening--especially for a parent of a new reader--to grasp how big a difference reading can make, and how important it is for a child to have early success and positive feelings about reading. Cunningham also showed those had a direct impact on a person's likelihood of becoming a bookworm.
"An early start in reading is important in predicting a lifetime of literary experience," Cunningham writes. "It means that students who get off to a fast start in reading are more likely to read over the years, and, furthermore, this very act of reading can help children compensate for modest levels of cognitive ability by building their vocabulary and general knowledge.""

For the whole article (it's not a long one): What Effect Reading Has on Our Minds
by Martha Brockenbrough

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Harry Potter Cakes

A few Harry Potter cakes from Cake Wrecks. I like the end of the post where he says that not everyone will like the books, but it's hard to argue with results like this:

(such young children reading 800 page books)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Two pictures I like

Two headbands really make the look!

Some of our presents, cards, and crafts

Extra Timmy artwork
Laura crocheting, Justin's clothespin doll, Laura's very pretty clothespin doll, A tent I made for Timothy, but he helped draw some of the parts (door and flag top and base)

Justin's dinosaur for Jacob

Timothy's airplane for Jacob

Leanna's heart for Jacob

I had Leanna sew 3 pieces of felt together. I later glued some velcro on the backs of the wood pieces so they can be attached to the felt and moved about.

Another try.......

I think he sat here for about 10 minutes.
Jacob, very focused on trying to decorate the container of blueberries.

On Sunday we had a craft day. I had the kids make little birthday gifts for Jacob. The night before I bought little wooden shapes from AC Moore for just that purpose! They're 4/$1.00. It wasn't too bad this time. We didn't use paint, just markers. And lots of glue. We cut some ribbons, and they made cards as well.
A lot of my time was spent just monitoring Jacob, keeping him out of trouble. Timothy came down, ready to craft, in the princess dress from his sister's dress up box. (We don't have any boy dress up clothes) He makes a very pretty princess, does he not?