Sunday, December 28, 2008

Another house showing

We were notified this evening of another house showing for tomorrow evening. We had one last weekend after a very long time of no showings, so I had my work cut out for me cleaning the house from top to bottom. We managed to keep it pretty clean most of the week and then the whole thing just blew up in my face around Friday.

Everyone has been helping clean tonight, and it'll be all clean when I go to bed tonight. Tomorrow will be the tricky part, since there will be five kids here all day tomorrow. I'm thinking about getting up early and getting them up and taking everyone over to my SIL's house for the day. Of course that is much easier said than done, but if we can keep from messing up the entire house again tomorrow that would be wonderful for me.

We'll see how it goes!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Facebook nurse-in

A virtual nurse-in is being hosted at Facebook today. I'm participating!

Facebook removes breastfeeding photos, saying they are obscene.

To participate in the nurse-in, just change your profile photo to a breastfeeding one and in the bubble that says "What are you doing right now?" type in the words "Hey Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene!"

My profile photo has been changed to this sweet one taken by my older daughter when my son was just several weeks old.

If you want to participate but are not a member, just go to and sign up. If you do not have a breastfeeding picture, it looks like any photo of a mother feeding her young will do, according to the Boston Herald.

To find out more about the event, just go to this Facebook link.

I found a lot of interesting information by searching the name of the host group: Mothers International Lactation Campaign. In fact, the entire first page was filled with sites giving information about the Facebook nurse-in today.

One of the better sites I found when I searched was Motherwear's Breastfeeding Blog.

It's offensive enough that Facebook says a mother feeding her child in the way nature intended, but it's widely known that this social site allows all manner of lewd photos on their site. That is what is obscene, not a mother and child doing what they were created to do.

I joined Facebook about a month ago at the urging of a friend of mine, but I decided that it's a bit too social for me. I really don't need to know what my friends are saying to their other friends. Now with the knowledge that Facebook says photos of mothers feeding their children are obscene, I doubt I will frequent the site much at all anymore. I do hope the nurse-in moves them to change their policy and to apologize to all the users whose breastfeeding photos were removed.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Look who's talking now!

Verbal communication is finally starting to make sense to my 20-month-old son! He's been saying words for several months but many of them he doesn't utter on a regular basis. He'll just say a word all of a sudden, very clearly, and you're surprised to hear him say it.

Of course his favorite words he's been saying all along ... eat, Momma and Daddy being probably the top three. He signs for a lot of things, milk being his favorite, first, and most used sign. He first signed for milk at five months. He also signs for eat and will sign for a lot of other things as well.

For the past month or so he's learned to babble so he'll talk that way, gesturing and all.

This past week he's actually been talking and saying words regularly. He'll get the ending sound right, use any vowel, and usually leave off the beginning sound. He has never used a word for milk before, but the past few days he's been saying "ilk," "ohk" and all manner of vowel combinations with the "k" sound at the end.

His verbal communication has always been fun for us as his older sisters were very articulate and profuse with their verbiage at a very early age. At 20 months they were both speaking in perfectly understandable paragraphs. But everyone is completely different. We are all having fun as he starts to speak and are as proud of him as if he were the first child to utter speech.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Family ties

You gotta love the way kids understand family ties.

My older daughter and older niece were talking today and they mentioned the name of a little boy. We know a few kids by this name so I asked them who they were talking about. I figured it was their cousin but I asked anyway. My niece said, "Our COUSIN!"

The funny part about it is that he's related through at LEAST two marriages and he is not my niece's cousin and really isn't my children's cousin. But we don't make any difference about my children's cousins being or not being my niece's cousins, since they are always together and we are family, blood or not. My sisters are my niece's aunts and my children's cousins are their cousins; they call my parents (and grandma) the same things my children call them.

So anyway, here is how this little boy they were talking about is my niece's "cousin."

(I hope this makes sense.)

Child (my niece)
Mother (my SIL)
Brother (my DH)
Wife (me)
Sister (my sis)
Husband (my BIL)

So these two are cousins by way of child's mother's brother's wife's sister's husband's brother's child!!

But for all practical purposes they are cousins. And that's that.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

House-selling update

Things have been moving very slowly (well, not really moving at all) on selling our house. We have less than a month on our realtor contract with no offers and very few showings. It's not the realtor's fault; the market is bad for sellers right now and since we have not paid on the house very long (less than three years) we cannot go extremely low on the price.

We got a few calls for house showings back in October when we all had the stomach virus, and I had to tell them we couldn't show. We got a couple of last-minute calls in November and I again had to say we couldn't show on 15 minutes notice (with the house upside down, of course, but I left that part out). It's my fault but because of the scarce showings I haven't kept the house in tip-top shape like it should be, and wasn't able to honor those requests for quick showings.

We're now in the holiday season and we expected the requests for house showings to be just like last year this time -- no requests. We actually got a call a little while ago for a showing early tomorrow afternoon.

Of course every room in the house needs a lot of attention so we're going to try to have the kids all spend the night elsewhere so I can focus on cleaning up and getting the place ready to show.

Beyond that we are in the process of filling out financial paperwork while we decide what to do and explore our options. There aren't many options left for us, and our financial situation will not allow us to continue to make payments on the house.

We'll just look on the bright side, knowing that someone will be looking at the house tomorrow. There will be an open house in the next few weeks with the possibility of a potential homeowner or two looking at it then.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I'm impressed!

My 10-year-old niece has once again impressed me. She normally impresses me with her head full of common sense, her practicality, helpfulness, dependability, her sweet nature, and the list goes on and on but this time it is with her academic skill and ability to work quickly.

I'm not just proud of her because I've been taking care of her since she was born. This child is just full of wonderful qualities and she REALLY helps me out on a daily basis with her good ideas, common sense, and trustworthiness. She has a few faults, just like anyone, but they are very predictable and I can usually head off most situations in her case. One of them is that she puts things off until the VERY LAST minute and that was one of the things she did in this situation but she totally redeemed herself.

She wrote a school report while laying in the bed two nights ago and then typed both of them up pretty quickly last night. It was due today and she had to write six paragraphs about a historical person and then six more paragraphs telling the history from that person's point of view. I didn't read the report before she typed it out and I was kind of afraid I was going to end up having to do the actual typing since she put it off to the very end. But I worried for NOTHING! The writing is EXCELLENT and the typing was also OUTSTANDING! When she finished typing it she came to me and said she was finished and pointed out that the only things underlined were her first name and a person in the report's last name.

I read over it and printed it out last night after she finished it. There were literally FOUR things I corrected: I took out a lot of spaces between the paragraphs to make each report fit on one page; I changed an "O" to an "I," I changed a "weather" to a "whether," I changed a "Martin Luther King Jr." to "Martin Luther" (didn't even notice that one until it was printed out) and this last one was so cute. The lady rebelled against her husband by not using his last name but instead of "surname" my niece typed "username." It was so cute. It was just a typo but "username" is a buzz word in Internet culture and among young people of course.

After I had it all printed out I was amazed at how good it looked and sounded with only those few corrections. She did all that herself. Then I had a flashback to the fifth grade of a big mess we had because of my teacher saying an adult had done some of my work. So I pointed out to my niece each thing I corrected so she would know in case her teacher asked. It's for her advanced class plus her teacher knows what she is capable of so I hope she isn't called into question. If she is she won't get upset (she can handle herself very well) but will be able to explain.

That's my brag for today!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Allergy medicine for the babes

I hate medicine ... I hate medicine ... Oh, maybe it's not so bad!!

My son has terrible allergies, to what I'm not sure but he'll be tested around his second birthday. Whatever it is, he's allergic to the same things his big sister is allergic to, only worse.

His ped said give him Benadryl. He loves the chewable tablets and thinks they're candy but that's about all it is for him, just candy. It does no good. It does his big sister no good either.

So I told them the Benadryl doesn't work and they prescribed Claritin, or loratadine, the generic medicine. It's available OTC but we thought that since we have ARKids 1st (state funded Medicaid) it would be cheaper with a prescription. They gave him a 5mg syrup. (That's just great, he spits liquid meds right back in my face and dribbles them down his chin.)

Finally I got the prescription filled, and literally the day before he figured out how to use a sippy cup (no joke) so I decided to put 3-4 oz. of juice in the cup and his teaspoon of medicine in with it and give it to him. I was skeptical that he would even drink it and more skeptical that it would even work.

To my amazement, he drank it, and further to my amazement, IT WORKED!

His eyes are no longer red and itchy, his nose isn't running as much, and his cheeks and chin aren't red anymore. AND he's sleeping a bit better at night!

*happy dance*

I want to try this medicine with his sister too, since it has worked so well for my son. She has not ever been diagnosed with specific allergies, but it looks like she needs to be tested and treated as well.

I'd rather treat allergies without medicine but these kids really have us stumped. My daughter had eczema when she was a young child and she did not respond to the hydrocortizone that was prescribed for her. We just slogged through her first few years trying one thing after another until she finally grew out of it. My son did respond to the hydrocortizone at first but after a while it wasn't really doing anything, so now he is using something stronger for his eczema.

Now we have allergies to deal with in two kids, but I'm open to medicine if it makes their lives (and mine) easier.