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Thursday, March 31, 2011


We were discussing the fertile crescent, and just to be sure, I asked Leanna what fertile meant, and she promptly replied, it means the dirt has fertilizer in it! 
(Not quite, though she has the general idea) 

Little stuff that makes me happy

Tiny cute little girl socks! 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

little stuff

Even with child #5, it's still exciting to get stuff in the mail with your child's name on it.  Just neat to see the name you chose in print! 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Safety points

Just a general awareness posting, about car seat safety.  I know many people who think of car seat laws as designed to inconvenience them.  While I know that most of the time, you can take risks and get away with it, this seems to me one of those things that takes so little to prevent such an unthinkable event, so why not do it?  It's a minor inconvience for kids to not be able to sit up front, or in a booster seat (the seatbelt straps right over it?  How hard is that?  All you have to do is carry it to the car!).  I've taken some flak from people for my carseat stance-I feel regardless of what the laws say, if the child is small enough to fit comfortably in the carseat, then it's safer for them to be in the carseat!  Car accidents are so common and young children are so vulnerable! 
Here's a story of a six year old who died because his mother didn't use a booster seat for him.  An infant sibling survived because the carseat did it's job when both were ejected from the car.  And I'm posting these important points from the story:

So to clear up some confusion, these are the rules for boosters:

Your child has to be 8 years old. No matter how tall or heavy they are. This is due to the development of their hip bones and spine. Their bones have to be able to take the impact from a seatbelt, which distributes it less evenly than a 5-point harness, and in different locations.

Your child has to be 4'9" AND 8 years old. If they hit 4'9" at 6 or 7, they still need to be in a booster until they get to be 8. This is to help them at least be in the bare minimum range of the lowest average adults, since seatbelts are designed to fit adults, not children (and in Europe, according to a Safe Kids expert, smaller adults do use boosters).
If your kiddo hits their 8th birthday and is 4'9", congrats! Now all you have to do is the 5-Point Test to make sure they fit safely!

1.Can your child sit with their back flat against the back of the seat?

2.Do their legs bend comfortably past the edge of the seat?

3.Does the belt cross between the neck and shoulder?

4.Is the lap belt as low as possible, across the tops of thighs and hip bones?

5.Can the child stay seated like this the whole trip?

If the answer is no to ANY of those, your kiddo just isn't ready yet. If they won't leave the belt where it belongs, slouch, or fall asleep a lot, they are much safer AND likely to be way more comfortable in a booster. If the belt rides up on their belly, they risk damage to the internal organs, and if it ends up on their neck, it can crush their esophagus and trachea. Not good. Have you had the belt rub on your neck before? Ouch!

Shrewd calculations about cause/effect and probablities and outcomes!

Based on the title, I bet you didn't know this post is about babies and young children!  Scientist are studying the intellectual life of babies-and there's more going on than you'd think!!  Note the portion below that is bolded, it reinforces what I've been mentioning about kids needing more time to play when they're young, and less "educational experiences." 

Excerpt from the post:

"To illustrate how these little gamblers operate, Schulz and her colleagues built a complicated toy and presented it to small children at the Boston Children's Museum. The toy squeaked, lit up and played music. In some cases, adults showed children how it worked.
Other times, kids were left to figure it out on their own.
The kids who learned on their own actually played with the toy longer and discovered more functions than the kids who were "taught."
There's a moral to the story for parents and educators, Alison Gopnik, a professor of psychology at the University of California at Berkeley and the author of "The Philosophical Baby," tells the Globe.
"People on the front lines feel as if there's a tremendous pressure to make the environment for young children more and more academic -- less and less exploratory," Alison Gopnik tells the newspaper. "Even something that looks like random, exploratory play can help children to learn and, in some cases, help them to learn better."

Monday, March 28, 2011

Only here.

So if you start to wonder why the bathroom floor keeps getting wet even though you remind the kids to close all the curtains when they take a might do well to check for umbrellas.  Because you know, there are some kids who might get the bright idea to take an umbrella in the shower. 

New Sibling Pictures

Note that Jacob's hands had to be held so he wouldn't poke at the baby!

He looks so proud!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

To Lorelei, Love Justin

Justin made up a song for Lorelei.  It goes:

"One, two, three, four.  Stop, and we'll put it all together!"

The song refers to the fact that a baby's skull is not yet fused together, so he wants to put all the pieces together to kind of complete her. 

:  )

He thinks she is so beautiful.  Last night I took her with when I went out and when I walked in Justin told me that he'd missed her.  He gets mad at me for not letting him hold her more.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Just announcing that Lorelei's arrived!

March 19th, 2011 at 3:34 we were surprised with a second girl, weighing in at 8 lbs, 12 oz! and 19 1/2 inches!
So far all is well, I'm recovering, and her siblings all absolutely adore her! They couldn't be more thrilled that she's finally here, and will eagerly tell you how beautiful she is!

Her full name is Lorelei Elizabeth J******, middle name a decision made that day. We had two relatives with Elizabeth in their names , one from each side of our family, visiting at the hospital that day. We liked it, thought it fit, so that's the story of her middle name.

Since there was some confusion, Lorelei \l(o)-re-lei\ as a girl's name is pronounced LOR-a-lye. (the name is pronounced like it is in the song by Styx )

or if you've seen Gilmore Girls (she's not named after them, but that was where I became familiar with the name).
It means: Whispering/murmuring rock.

The origins: Lorelei is a mermaid name that belonged to the mermaid who lured unwary fisherman to their death by singing the most beautiful song they had ever heard.

It is of German origin. Place name: a rocky cliff on the Rhine river, dangerous to boat passage, has been poetically personified as the Lorelei, whose singing lures men to destruction. The name has an aura of risky allure. Writer Anita Loos used this when she created blonde bombshell Lorelei Lee in her novel "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes". Marilyn Monroe also added to its image with her portrayal of Lorelei in the 1953 film.

To me, it calls to mind a beautiful siren, and I just like the sound of the name.  And I think it fits her. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

More recent stuff

Showing off a flower tatoo from the Girl Scout Birthday Bash

And a badge from the party!

Silly boys who aren't at all tired

I'm not sure what kind of animal this is, running around in our yard.  It had such a lovely long pink tail though!


NASA Science News for March 16, 2011

On March 19th, a full Moon of rare size and beauty will rise in the east at sunset. It's a super "perigee moon"--the biggest in almost 20 years.

Friday, March 11, 2011

It's not ALL because of me

I enjoyed this post from Heart of the Matter Online.  Particularly in today's parenting climate when we think we can find the cause for every aspect of personality, of every aspect of disease or disorder; I think it's important to remember that we parents are not responsible for it ALL!  Life cannot be that tightly controlled, we cannot plan for every aspect of life and claim blame for everything that goes wrong despite our plans. 
Also, some kids are just born wild!    :  )

The Post "It's Not Because of Me" by Christine Hiester:
I was an arrogant mom when I was a mom of one. From about 6 months old, our firstborn was the picture-perfect child. He was happy, easy-going, smart, and never had a moment of the terrible twos. He held my hand when asked, ate what he was told to eat, was always happy to help, went to bed like a dream, napped well, didn’t have a fear of babysitters, or toilets, or the dark. He gave up his pacifier without a fuss, learned his alphabet at 18 months, had a killer golf swing at 2 (which thrilled my husband to no end), always responded promptly when I sang the Barney “Clean Up” song, and was basically the source of my big head for his whole only-child life.

I knew it was because of me. I was, quite simply, a great mom.

Then came his little sister. She was God’s way of humbling my sorry butt, and I can practically see Him snickering behind his hand as she tumbled down into our family. Our second born was (and still is) our whiner. She has a throw-herself-on-the-ground temper, more phobias than I’ve ever seen in a child, and an impulsive streak that drags all within earshot to the dark side (she has two little brothers who hang on her every word). She has a terrible time with math, complains every time she has to take a bite of a dinner she doesn’t like even though we’ve had the same rule since before she was born, can’t keep her room neat for 10 consecutive seconds, and often is the reason I collapse into bed at night absolutely certain that I am ruining her for life.
And so I began to wonder: Lord, is it because of me??

Of course it is! If my first child was the result of my fabulous parenting skills, isn’t she the result of my failures?

This kind of thinking haunted me for the first years of her life. I may not have verbalized it quite as bluntly, but it was there- the thought niggling at the back of my mind, causing anxiety and sleepless nights. I read book after book about parenting and disciplining the challenging child, the strong-willed child, the spirited child. I tried method after method, reward charts and consequence charts, spankings and time outs, yet there was no currency that motivated this child. I was wearing thin and wearing out, yet she and her feisty spirit wouldn’t wear down.

I thank God for that spirit. And it has been in the last few years that I have begun to see my daughter for who she is, not for what I can mold her into. She is, plainly speaking, a mold-breaker and no amount of shoving and twisting on my part will fit her into anyone else’s idea of who she should be.

This lesson came directly from the throne of God. I couldn’t have learned it with an obedient, compliant, and easy-going child such as my oldest. It horrifies me to think that I could have continued to go through life with the parental arrogance I once had, but at the same time I need to realize that I also shouldn’t beat myself up for being a parenting failure.

You see, as I have learned in my ten years of mothering, it’s not all because of me.

My son’s ability to memorize multiplication facts with ease? Not because of me.

My daughter’s daily tantrums? Not because of me.

Successes. Failures. Triumphs. Weaknesses. Not because of me.
Now, lest you think that I am giving up all responsibility for my children’s education and character, let me say emphatically that I believe in intentional parenting. I take my role seriously, and seek to guide my children with the strength and grace provided me by God each and every day.
But I believe that God’s intentions, far more than mine, will prevail. And many of those I’m not always privy to. We cannot know the purposes that God has in store for our little ones. And their personalities, strengths and weaknesses, as well as their genetic predispositions, are all formed, and intimately known, by God.
So while I cherish my role, and still long for that perfect parenting strategy and educational method (who doesn’t!), I have released my children to the Lord, and released myself to His leading.
Many are the plans in a man’s (mom’s!) heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
Proverbs 19:21

Christine Hiester is a Christian, homeschooling mom to three boys and a girl, ranging in age from 10 to 3 years old. She is a musician by trade, eclectic in homeschool style, and continues to grow and learn along with her children in this journey of life and discipleship at home. Visit her blog at Fruit in Season.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

How to prevent peanut allergies?

From Parentdish, an article I can relate to, one about how confusing advice about allergies can be

Young children shouldn't eat peanuts. Young children should eat peanuts. Maybe eat them, maybe not. Experts don't know how to prevent the dreaded peanut allergy. Even though rates of peanut allergies have risen steadily over the last decade, prevention is still a mystery.

Hot-to-trot ponies? Dolls that wax? Toys get tarted up

I've been saying this for a while: toys marketed to young girls, even toddlers, are really sexualized.  It's about time people are starting to notice and comment on it.  Here's an article commenting on characters such as Tinker Bell, Trollz, Strawberry Shortcake, and more. 

An excerpt:
"Peter Pan may never have grown up, but Tinker Bell and her fairy friends definitely have. The Disney Fairies boast hourglass figures, coy glances and barely-there mini dresses. In short, these girls aren’t your mama’s pixies.
Even trolls have come of age. Those formerly stout, pug-nosed kewpies, have reemerged in a new slim, thigh-baring line called Trollz. Rainbow Brite and Strawberry Shortcake have become tweens and shed their baby fat. And et tu, Holly Hobbie? She’s traded her prairie dresses for a saucy wardrobe and lightened locks."

Monday, March 07, 2011

Self-directed projects

Leanna's of a religious bent lately, writing down Bible verses and making little displays like in the above picture. Shown are two black hearts full of sin, Jesus' blood, and Nehemiah. There was no reason for her to do this, she just wanted to. She's also tried to do Sunday school lessons with her brothers, but they have little patience for that.

*I always find it interesting to see when a child does some type of learning or reinforcing activity all on their own. It proves that people really are self-motivated to learn, it doesn't need to be forced all the time.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Recipie for motherhood

I liked this article about how an imperfect mother can be the best kind of all.  Particularly in the current climate of absolute perfectionism in parenting, hearing this message can be quite a relief! 
(I can already hear some of the comments my kids may one day be making!)

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Recent funny stuff

Stuff too good not to record for posterity

*After  I came home from the hospital, Leanna heard us talking about why I'd been sent home and heard us taking about me being 2 cm dialated.  She later was telling Aunt Laura on the phone about me being "dialed up" and didn't understand why this sent her Aunt into spasms of laughter.

*Leanna found a pile of her Dad's old pay stubs from the 1990s.  She wanted to use them as report cards for her dolls.  First she was shocked that her Dad once worked at a restaurant, and then I was explaining to her that the year it would be from would be on the paper.  She searched, muttering aloud, 2000.......and I said, no, it would start with a 19!  That's from the 1990s.  Leanna was stunned.  "Daddy was alive in the 19s!" she exclaimed rather loudly!  She just could not get over that fact.  It was absolutely inconceivable that he could have been around back then!       :  )

*The kids were talking about St. Patrick's Day and I commented that hopefully the baby would be out by then. Jacob said, "And I can hold the baby!"  I reassured him that he would be allowed to.  Then  Jacob smiled at me and lovingly told me, "Then the baby can ride my bike."  Awwwww, such a sweet generous boy. 

*Justin's been very helpful lately, gladly offering to pick things up off the floor for me (so I don't have to bend over as it's very very difficult right now), getting things for me or offering to clean small messes.  One day as he rushed to do something for me he very seriously commented, "It's tough having five babies!  I know! I know!"  

(no recent entries from Timothy, he's been on a defiant streak lately, which can be amusing to watch, but not something I'd want to record)

He's a wealthy boy, .50 richer!

His first lost tooth!! 

My oldest boy!  And he is such a boy!  I can't believe how old he looks sometimes. 
He finally lost that tooth this week, though he did pull it out himself.  He did not care for Tom's suggestion to go get the pliers!  With a little coaching from Leanna, he pulled his own tooth. 
The one warm afternoon this week he was out riding his bike with the dog. 
It doesn't work out so well as the dog tends to run away and stand in the middle of the street.  And generally Curly just wants to sleep.  But Justin's just happy when he manages to hold the dog and play with it for a while.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Beautiful Commercial

The history of the Shamrock Shake

One of my favorites, the Shamrock Shake, is officially here (though I know they've had it in Whitehall for a few weeks already).  I look forward to its arrival each year, although I don't always get the chance to have one!  Apparently I am not alone in this