Thursday, October 29, 2009

Why I blog

This was supposed to be a part of Talk to me Tuesday over at the Tip Junkie. Except its Thursday, but it seemed a worthy pursuit all the same. I thought it was an awesome question, mostly because it helps to refocus my writing to ask it every once in awhile.

I blog for many different reasons, sometimes all at the same time. I suppose my main goal on this blog is to preserve our family memories. I want the kids to be able to go back in time and see the pictures of what we were doing. More than that, I want them to be able to read my thoughts about them and to know how much I love them, and how much fun we had. I used to scrapbook, and while I loved preserving the images, it lacked the story. I want to memorialize all the little quirks and stages they go through. I anticipate in the future that they will become contributors to the blog, and have blogs of their own. I found a company that will publish blogs into volumes of books, which I think would be nice for our family to have to look back on. Unlike a scrapbook, I have the option to produce more than just one volume.

The blog has allowed us to stay in touch with extended family and Brian when he is away. While the kids are young, it has been nice for relatives to read the blog and know what the kids are talking about when they speak on the phone to them. At this point, they aren't all great about telling a story in a straight line. Especially when Brian is out of town, I try to update the blog frequently so that he feels more connected to what is going on here at home.

Writing is also a creative outlet for me. It is almost a necessity. I write fiction and do writing that would be considered more on the creative side. I also used to journal on paper. But those who know me well understand that I have a problem keeping track of papers. This blog has been a great place to journal thoughts and feelings. Sometimes I just really need to write things out, and I tend to solve problems through writing. At other times my posts are just my thoughts, feelings, or musings on a subject. I had considered moving those over to another blog, but I have this theory that sometimes children only get to see one side of their parents... the more parental side. Its an opportunity for my kids in hindsight to see some of my thoughts and feelings laid out in a way that they might not otherwise.

I have been blogging for about two years now. As of now I have roughly 250 blog posts. As a stay at home mom, I found blogging to be a wonderful instrument for encouragement. Sometimes I get lost in the minutia, or frustration of the every day: the dishes that never end, cooking, cleaning the exact same room 4 times a day and then cleaning it one more time. They are small things. When I get overwhelmed by them, or start to feel as though I am making zero progress in my "job", I look back over these posts. I see children who have grown, who are happy and loved, family and friends we hold dear. I see my own personal growth and how my thoughts and opinions have changed or evolved. It is an affirmation of what we have done. It refocuses my perspective on the "bigger picture".

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Swapping spit, and other fun things.... like the H1N1 vaccine

So, we have been sick. Despite all my best efforts we have passed it around. to everyone. Just as all the children are recovering, and I am prepared to breathe a huge sigh of relief, it hits me. Hard. Like a pedestrian impacting a Mack truck.

Of course, because life likes to have a giggle at my expense, all the children had eaten their Wheaties and were chock full of energy at the exact time I decided to go bed-bound. fun times. It was so bad, I went completely hermit and made Brian stay home from work. I can't even remember the last time I was that sick.

Being a big believer in more natural forms of medicine I drank cups of echinacea tea and swilled elderberry syrup like it was going out of style. But honestly the ibuprofen was my very best friend.

All of this has me thinking, with H1N1 hitting the nation so hard, how do I feel about the vaccine? If you had asked me a few weeks ago, I would have said we were going to pass on the vaccine. But. We had a long chat with Chloe's Asthma doctor about it, he is very much in favor of the vaccine for anyone with asthma. His logic makes sense, this virus seems to hit the respiratory system the hardest in people with no problems. Having just gone through the great Asthma attacks of 2009 that were triggered by just a cold, I can't imagine what that would look like and frankly it scares me. But I hate to make any decisions based on fear.

On the other hand, I don't like what they put in vaccines, the preservatives, wierd ingredients, mercury. I don't like some of the associations to diseases like autism. I read up alot on the vaccine for HPV and wow, it seemed like everyone was talking about how safe it was, but it had real consequences for way too many girls for me to feel safe. I know this vaccine is being manufactured in a very tried and true way for the flu, but I don't know what to think. Like I said, I don't want to make a decision based on fear.

So unsolicited (or in this case solicited) advice is officially welcome here. What are your plans?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pumpkin Patch 2009: Wordless Wednesday

Sweet Siblings

This sweet little girl who is reading to her brother, taking over motherly duties while her mommy nurses her sister back to health in a fog of insomnia.

and her brother, with his wooden practice sword laying beside him because his Daddy told him that it would slay any monsters he encountered. It gave him courage enough to brave dark rooms where wild things live.

His Mommy had to clarify earlier in the day that sisters will never qualify as monsters. ever. Regardless of how they mess up your video game.

This boy, his schooling strike long forgotten, informed us all the other day that nobody ever reads to him anymore; and he can't read on his own. He needs someone to help him read. Thank goodness he has a sister willing to indulge him while Mommy is busy.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sew Nerdy

I had made Chloe's dress a while back, but this past week I finished the coordinating dress for Emma.

Then, I made a "cough catcher" for Chloe. I wasn't looking to keep her from getting sick, I was looking to catch her coughs before the infected us. We aren't always the best at covering our mouths in time, or completely, so I used some extra scrap fabric from the dresses to make a little mask for her to wear. Its more stylish than the paper blue ones, and washable!

Asthma Rollercoasters

Our allergy/seasonal cold we were dealing with has spiraled downward into asthma madness for Chloe. Serious asthma madness. I don't think that we have had an incident this serious since Chloe was three.

She can't even make it for the three hours until the next nebulizer treatment. She has coughed so much that she dry heaves and her sides hurt. It is just not a good feeling to not be able to breathe. Plus all the medicines make her so jittery she gets the shakes. So she isn't sleeping much.

Of course all this happens during a very busy schedule for Brian, so I am getting like maybe two hours of sleep a night (Oh look! is that a pink Llama in the living room?) The other two kids are also on the tail end of the cold/allergy thing.

On the positive side of things, I have a new coffee buddy in the morning. Coffee is one of those home remedies for asthma, so Chloe has been having some with me in the mornings. Let's just say that these days mommy is powered by grit, tears, and a whole lot of coffee. We curl up in my bed to watch cartoons and drink our coffee. She told me, "This is good mommy, I could get used to this". Oddly enough, it doesn't make her any more hyper, I think we may have hit the glass ceiling on the jitters with all the medications. Putting her in the shower to breathe in the steam works too... so at least we are clean? even if we are hallucinating from lack of sleep?

Friday, October 16, 2009

On Girls Clothing....

This is a hot button issue for me in recent times. I don't understand the trend of provocative clothing for young girls. A friend of mine who worked for the company sent me an email from Libby Lu that referred to their target audience as "tweens, aged 4 to 12". Really? You go right from being a toddler learning to walk to being a tween? What happened to just being a child?

I want my girls to enjoy their childhood for as long as they possibly can. I have amazon girls at my house, so even though my oldest is 7 years old chronologically, she wears a size 9 in clothing. Likewise Chloe is 5 and wears a size 7. I just don't feel that short shirts that show their belly or low slung jeans are appropriate for this age group. There is so much time for that in her life, but they only get one childhood.

A year ago we spent a very frustrating week searching high and low for a pair jeans that were NOT low slung. Wow. We couldn't find any jeans that were fun and attractive, but appropriate. I couldn't believe it. That is when we re-discovered Gymboree.

I know they have a reputation for being pricey, but everything goes on sale frequently and we wind up spending about the same amount we would in a discount chain. Plus all the items in one line coordinate with each other, giving you more for your money. The clothing is appealing to my girls, they have really cute touches to each piece; but it is always appropriate. The pants are real pants that aren't meant to sit on hipbones, the shirts go below the waistline. It has been the perfect solution for our family.

I wish more stores would catch on. Childhood is a precious thing, we shouldn't be in such a hurry to shove our kids into the big bad world of adult fashion.

Is bubonic plague still around?

We might have it. Well, if it includes a runny nose, itchy eyes, and an overwhelming lack of energy. Or it might be the worst case of allergies ever.

I keep trying to decide what this is, it acts like allergies, except for the energy drain. We had a couple of really bad days with it, and now it is just hanging on. It has been loafing around our house for at least a week. Making our noses run, kicking off our asthma, creating crankiness in our usually happy household. (You thought I was talking about the kids there, but really I am the guilty, grumpy party).

Our little Corgi believes that he is the kid's nurse. He has been hovering over them for the past week. Isn't he the cutest?

For myself, mental focus is not my friend. I can't remember anything, and I get lost in my own thoughts mid sentence. Which is super awesome when you homeschool and your kids look to your for their education. I keep "coming to" at the school table with two little faces looking at me curiously, unable to remember what I was saying. I have a mild headache and I am ready for bed at about 5pm. Which is a ton of fun since the kids don't go to bed until 7:30pm.

We have to get better. really. In the meantime, we have to get out of the house. I have no idea on what the social rules are for something this ambiguous? I know the rules for fevers, or for vomiting etc. But what are the social rules for something like this? any advice?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Fire Department Open House

We went to the local Fire Departments Open house and it was AWESOME! It happened to tie right in with what we were doing for scouting and for school too. Plus, we got little plastic hats, always a win.

Going down the fireman pole was a big hit. Seriously. Big. Hit. John wanted to know why we didn't have one at home.

Everyone loved the ride on the fire truck. I was pretty proud of myself for braving the heights. I think I got a little dizzy way up there.

The fire hoses were a close second to the fire pole. After John had his turn with the hose, he ran right in front of the other hose, narrowly avoiding being soaked. The firefighter manning the hose almost died laughing. They were SO sweet to us, I was so impressed. The Firemen went way out of their way to show the kids a good time.

John was asked by the fireman "How often does your mommy change the smoke detector batteries?" John says "Not Much!" Thanks for ratting me out punk.

Chloe was chosen from the crowd to test out the fire extinguisher.

We got to see the helicopter land, really really close. I managed to hang onto the balloons through that, but then lost them at the park. Ironic, no?

Renest 2009

Your eyes aren't deceiving you, those are satyr horns. Because we ARE that nerdy family, we now own multiple pairs. We may have to wear them to Thanksgiving dinner in order to get our monies worth!

Chloe wasn't afraid of anyone in a costume, John and Emma were a little more cautious. She cracked me up. After the parade, she came over and had a haul of things people had given to her, magic rocks, pins, flowers, little toys. She also nailed her regal, queenly wave.

The sturdy beggars were such a hit! They jumped in the mud through their comedy routine, John laughed out loud over it.

The Falconer was, as always, a huge hit. A new bird debuted Saturday, it was his first show ever. He was a little owl who had been found covered in fire ants, even his eyes had been bitten. Up until this year he had been blind. But his vision was restored and this was his first official flight. The girls were so moved by his story, when he took his first flight over the audience both girls jumped to their feet clapping their hands. Chloe whistled in glee for the owl. Chloe loved the birds, but she kept a pretty close eye on that hawk when we were taking the photo.

John caught Mommy and Daddy kissing, what a look!

Brian found his favorite treat, warm cinnamon almonds. The gentleman said, "Madame, I have your husband's nuts and I have put them in a sack for you". Really?

Brian bought rings for all his girls. I love my puzzle ring. The very first ring Brian ever gave me, or maybe I confiscated was a silver puzzle ring from Turkey. It had an unfortunate accident, I was so excited to see it replaced!

John played baby bird for Emma to feed him Kettle corn.

Chloe played the Pan's flute she chose as a souvenir. She is really quite good.

To start the fireworks show, they lit the field on fire, john was entranced

The fireworks were unanimously the kids favorite!