Thursday, May 25, 2006

Life-changing experience coming up!

Our lives are getting ready to change drastically! The big move is coming up this weekend!

Today is the girls' last day of school, as tomorrow, the actual last day of school here, we will be at our new home getting our phone/cable/Internet hooked up.

Moving takes place on Saturday, and we'll have some help on both ends, so that's good. The settling in and getting back to our routine will be all our own job, though.

I'm looking forward to it all!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Awards day!

Today was a special day at school, one in which my daughter and pretty much everyone else in school were honored for their good grades and behavior. It was the "Good Behavior" assembly for the first graders, and my daughter earned her fourth good behavior ribbon (one for each of four nine-weeks grading periods).

For receiving four good behavior ribbons, she also got the coveted "Gold Medal" award. The school really drums this up and all the students are so very proud to receive the gold medal!

My niece, a second grader, received awards for being on the honor roll and for her excellent behavior at the school, although her time there has been very short.

Afterward I went back to class with my daughter and read a couple of my favorite books to the class, and then I had lunch with all three of my girls, my two daughters and my niece.

Once everyone arrived home we took photos of the award-winning girls and put their ribbons and medals in a safe place.

Congratulations, girls!

Monday, May 15, 2006

We give up on the bus

Our perfect bus-riding scenario is no more and it looks like bus-riding is no more. I give up!

For the majority of this school year, things just went so smoothly with the bus. My first grader caught the school bus right around the corner and my preschooler got on the van to head start about 30 seconds later. Wonderful. I was back in the house before 7:30 a.m., alone to brew coffee and get my day started.

It started falling apart when the head start reduced its enrollment back in March, and of course my child was one of the ones who had to go. We put her in the pre-kindergarten program at the local public school where her sister attends, and that went fine all except for the fact that I have to drive her to school myself and sign her in.

My morning routine was severely interrupted but I adjusted well. I get the six-year-old to the bus by 7:25 a.m. so she can eat breakfast at school and then drive the four-year-old to school by 8-8:10 a.m. before they go to breakfast at 8:15 a.m. Fine.

The whole thing was blown to bits when the time changed. I have had trouble getting up on time ever since then, and of course that makes it hard to get to the bus on time.

What we have done many mornings since then is feed my daughter and my niece — I have since acquired another child to get back and forth to school — breakfast at home and then take them all to school at the same time. We walk my first grade child to her class, then my second grade niece to her class, and then get the preschooler to the cafeteria before her classmates and teacher go to the pre-k building right before 8 a.m.

Things are a little rushed with this routine but that's still my fault since I love to lay in the bed and hit the snooze button.

I thought I had it all under control this morning. My two older girls and I walked out to the bus stop at 7:27 a.m. (the bus usually comes between 7:28-7:31 a.m.) to see absolutely no children there. The neighbor kindly informed us that the bus had already come. Rats! So we went back in the house for our new routine. The girls ate cereal and fruit for breakfast while I got the four-year-old ready for school.

I got everyone dropped off with seconds to spare and decided that with just two weeks of school left, we may as well just forget about the bus.

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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Time to start packing!

We're moving in two and a half weeks and I haven't packed a thing. It's time to get going on it! I finally have some boxes to work with, since my husband has been bringing some home from work and some friends brought a few big ones over the other night, so I no longer have any excuse to put it off.

I got some good advice from some friends last night. When I pack something up I should write on the box what room it goes in and what's in it, and when we take it to the new house we should put the box in the proper room right away. That way things are where they go right off.

That's some pretty good advice, given that when we moved into this house we had hardly anything other than some clothes and a few boxes of sentimental things. I had a few towels and dishes but that didn't take anytime to put away. It's now ten years down the road and we have accumulated quite a bit of stuff that we have to deal with now.

I better get to it, then!

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Monday, May 08, 2006

A proud moment

My four-year-old daughter was just tandem nursing her baby dolls. Now that really made me proud. It's an understatement to say I'm a breastfeeding advocate, but even I didn't tandem nurse, or breastfeed two children of different ages at the same time. I was five months pregnant with this little girl when I weaned her sister, who was two years old (24 months) at the time.

It's interesting that my daughter was just doing this. About an hour before that happened I had just discovered a website that advocates formula feeding. I was rather aghast until I located an article on the site that extolled all the benefits of breastfeeding. Even formula feeders promotes breastfeeding! That's wonderful!

The article on this site — which I won't link to since I don't want my blog leading to a site supporting something I don't care for — listed the pros and cons of both breast and bottle feeding. Interestingly, the advantages for breastfeeding outweighed the disadvantages. It lists eight advantages and five disadvantages for breastfeeding. The disadvantages were trivial things like frequent feedings and limiting caffiene intake.

Also very interesting is the fact that the disadvantages of formula-feeding outweighed the advantages, right there on the bottlefeeding website. The article named four advantages for bottlefeeding — things like being able to eat what you want and leave your baby with others, which you can also do while breastfeeding but I don't particularly support much leaving of a small baby with others for extended periods of time either. The disadvantages were significant and were mostly health concerns like the lack of antibodies in artificial milk.

I am so glad that the website advances natural feeding although it is designed to support formula-feeding families.

Of course my daughters don't know all of this but I'm sure they will come to realize it. For now they remember what I did and and pay attention to all my pro-breastfeeding comments in their own little way.

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Thursday, May 04, 2006

Parenting 101

Craig Harris writes about how to come to a happy medium in raising our children in his piece on Parenting 101.

It's a lot easier said than done, that not going overboard one way or the other. Harris says we ought to be neither permissive nor authoritarian, but balanced authoritative parents. How I do try!
Now THAT'S parenthood

A New Jersey couple just gave birth to their second set of naturally-conceived triplets!

It seems that the couple were told several years ago they couldn't get pregnant. Sharon and Rich Fontana proved that wrong when they had their first set of triplets two years ago. They've added three more to the family for a total of six children — there's one little girl in the bunch — all two and under. Check the story out.

I'll just think of them when I get frustrated with my two big girls who are six and four!

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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Why God made moms

Some second graders were asked to answer the following questions about their mothers. I asked my first grade daughter the questions and put her answers in all caps. This is really cute ...

Why did God make mothers?
1. She's the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.
2. Mostly to clean the house.
3. To help us out of there when we were getting born.

How did God make mothers?
1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.
2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring
3. God made my Mom just the same like he made me. He Just used bigger parts.

What ingredients are mothers made of?
1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.
2. They had to get their start from men's bones. Then they mostly use string, I think.

Why did God give you your mother & not some other mom?
1. We're related
2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's moms like me.

What kind of little girl was your mom?
1. My mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.
2. I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
3. They say she used to be nice.

What did Mom need to know about Dad before she married him?
1. His last name.
2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer?
3. Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?

Why did your mom marry your dad?
1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my mom eats a lot.
2. She got too old to do anything else with him.
3. My grandma says that Mom didn't have her thinking cap on.

Who's the boss at your house?
1. Mom doesn't want to be boss, but she has to because dad's such a goof ball.
2. Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.
3. I guess Mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad.

What's the difference between moms & dads?
1. Moms work at work and work at home & dads just go to work at work.
2. Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.
3. Dads are taller & stronger, but moms have all the real power 'cause that's who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friend's.
4. Moms have magic, they make you feel better without medicine.

What does your mom do in her spare time?
1. Mothers don't do spare time.
2. To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long.

What would it take to make your mom perfect?
1. On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.
2. Diet. You know, her hair. I'd diet, maybe blue.

If you could change one thing about your Mom, what would it be?
1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I'd get rid of that.
2. I'd make my mom smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it and not me.
3. I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her head.
HER STYLE OF CLOTHES (giggle, giggle).

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Monday, May 01, 2006

A sobering realization

A very sobering realization just hit me. I'm a young and energetic — most of the time; tonight doesn't count — 35-year-old woman. By the time my mother was my age she had birthed eight children; two more were to come in the next seven years.

Can you believe it? A 35-year-old with EIGHT children? It's mind-boggling. I was 11 years old at the time; there were eight children born in 11 years. Oh, my word. We went on to become 10 children in 18 years; there was a considerable slowdown with the last two. I was 14 when the next one was born and was 18 and graduated from high school by the time the last one came along to my 42-year-old mother.

It just gave me a whole new perspective on 35 and boy am I happy to be living in the perspective that I am. Being 35 with EIGHT children just doesn't seem very young for some reason. Even a young 42 seems quite aged with 10 children. My dad was quite the young man himself back then, being only 11 months older than my mom.

I had something to say on this subject a while back but this age realization really hit hard. I'm sure glad I'm a young 35 with two children, that's for sure!

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