Thursday, July 31, 2008
...has hidden a children's book because I can't bear to read it one more time?
...has gone in the laundry room to eat a snack so I don't have to choose whether to share?
...has pretented to still be asleep so I can catch a few more minutes of rest before tackling the barrage of questions thrown my way?
...has thrown my son's white shirt in the trash rather than bleach it again?
...can name every Thomas engine ever made?
...considers a day without someone crying a luxury? (Oh wait, I don't have those!)
...finds folding laundry relaxing?
...who is glad plants are not children because they would be sorely neglected?
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
For more giveaways or to enter the fun, visit the Bloggy Giveaways Carnival going on all week!
Monday, July 28, 2008
Today is Maddie's fourth birthday(even though she says she wants to stay three)! Soon she will be one of four children-- the rest of whom are boys! We're not worried about her, though. She can hold her own. We joke that Maddie received an attitude in a box on her first birthday. Up until then, she was a laid-back, calm, quiet baby--and boom!-- when she turned one, she turned fiesty, too!
Maddie has a sweet spot in her heart for all animals (including flies and spiders) and all babies. She is like a magnet to them! She says when she grows up, she wants to be a mommy and a bird watcher. Noble goals.
Friday, July 25, 2008
The Bible-- I'm currently in I John.
The Strength of His Hand by Lynn Austin-- This is the third book in her historical fiction series on King Hezekiah.
Confessions of a Medical Heretic by Robert Mendelsohn-- the same doctor who wrote How to Raise a Healthy Child...in Spite of Your Doctor
Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld-- I never found the need to try to disguise veggies in a child's food...until I had a child who would live on bread and applesauce if I would let him! Our first attempt was meatballs (with squash puree). I thought it was wonderful. He spit it out!
We are between read-alouds. We just finished The Mouse of Amherst by Elizabeth Spires about a little rodent who lives with Emily Dickinson. The kids loved it so much we finished it in two sittings. We are about to start Little Rascal by Sterling North.
Now it's your turn! Take a minute to tell me what you are reading. What are you reading in your personal Bible study? How about a Bible study at church? Or something (even a picture book) you have read recently to your child(ren). How about a magazine you faithfully read? Tell me about it. Even if you don't usually comment, could you take a minute and share with me...and all of us...your list or recommendation? I'd love to hear from you!
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
I am considering homeschooling but what concerns me is choosing a curriculum and structure that will keep [my daughter] up with her peers (and maybe even ahead). Was it easy for you to find the right thing? How did you choose it?
I have an advantage in that I was homeschooled myself from sixth grade through high school so I am already familiar with lots of homeschooling materials, books, and ideas. However, "homeschooling" begins long before time for formal instruction. Talking to your child, playing with her, reading excellent books to her, involving her in your life--those things prepare your child for more structured learning when she is ready. It's not like one day you just "start school." I've been reading to Gavin (5 1/2) since he was a few months old. By two, he could count and knew his colors. Owen (23 months) has NO interest in colors, but has learned to recognize almost every letter of the alphabet-- not because I've opened up a curriculum and taught it to him, but because he was interested in the refrigerator magnets and asked what the letters were so many times, he picked it up on his own. So much of early learning is picked up just by being together.
When your child is ready to begin math and reading and handwriting, you'll know. Gavin started Kindergarten a few months before he turned five because he was ready. I've found that my children are a bit ahead of their peers, but the beauty of homeschooling is that a child doesn't have to be on the same pace as everyone in her class but can be free to learn at her own pace. That could mean reading at four or not until age nine!
As far as actually choosing a curriculum when the time came, I didn't have a difficult time because I just went with what fit our style and needs. (I'll share later about what curriculum we plan to use in the upcoming school year.)
I know I would face a lot of criticism from friends and family, but I think it may be the best thing for her.
I do plan to homeschool my children through high school. I've had to get away from the idea of homeschooling being just "school at home" where the teacher stands up and teaches the student from her great depths of knowledge! In homeschooling, you learn together. Just because I took trigonometry in high school doesn't mean I even remember enough to even teach elementary math alone! I read through the text myself and help my children along. In high school, there are many programs (in math, science or any number of subjects) for homeschool students where the student follows the text and teaches herself (or learns along with Mom). It's not like Mom has to know it all herself before she can offer it to her children.
That being said, joining a co-operative group or network can be a great idea, too. When I was in high school, another homeschool mom taught a group of us geometry one afternoon a week. She was a high school math teacher before she began homeschooling her son and had the skills to teach us something we may have had a more difficult time learning through a textbook. There is always more than one way to go about something!
It is always hard to go against the crowd--especially if the "crowd" is people you care about! Pray about it and if you feel the Lord is leading you to homeschool, then it will all be worth it!
Monday, July 21, 2008
Think about it. Who would know more about getting an infant to sleep or an older baby to eat? A mother who has raised children of her own or the pediatrician who learned about it in medical school? And who knows best how to deal with toddler tantrums? A mother who has studied the Bible and applied the principles in raising her own now-grown children or the family doctor who parrots what he/she was taught in class? (Keep in mind, doctors are trained in medical issues. Their training in breastfeeding, child training, and nutrition is minimal at best.)
Titus 2 tells the older women to teach the younger women in all aspects of life, but today their knowledge is being replaced by a doctor's. This is not to say doctors don't have a place or that everything "Aunt Betty" suggests is gospel, BUT to discount the counsel of a Godly woman and run straight to the doctor is not wise.
In Doctors We Trust? Part 1
Saturday, July 19, 2008
I found this idea for making an apron out of an old dress. I though it was so cool...especially when I got thinking. There is this dress that has been sitting in my closet for years now without being worn. It is slightly out of style, but I didn't want to get rid of it because it is the dress I wore to the church the day of my wedding before putting on my wedding gown. It has too many memories.
Now I had a way to save the dress and even be able to wear it...just in an modified form. I found some coordinating (and inexpensive) ribbon at Walmart and spent an afternoon cutting, pinning and sewing. This is the final result. I would model it, but it doesn't have the same look over a 6 month pregnant belly!
Friday, July 18, 2008
I recently joined PaperBackSwap. It is so easy and an excellent place to get rid of books you don't want...and get books you do! All you do is list the books you are giving away. When another member wants your book, you pay the shipping to get it to them and you earn a Book Credit. The fun part comes next! When you find a book you want (over 2 million books are listed!!), simply request it and you pay nothing except one of your saved Book Credits.
As a result of joining this program, I've got a stack of books waiting for me to read. Also, I've gathered a few other books from the library that people have recommended in my What Are You Reading? feature each month. Add to that a list of books on birth that I want to read in the next month or so and it's a bit overwhelming because I want to read them all NOW!
Let's Do That Again! by Hiawyn Oram
Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam by Hans Wilheim
Six Dinner Sid by Inga Moore
Cassie's Sweet Berry Pie: A Civil War Story by Karen B. Winnick
Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
Thursday, July 17, 2008
On Tuesday evening, the kids were outside playing and Owen came to sit beside me on the step. I leaned over to kiss him and noticed he felt warm-- not sweaty warm, but a deep internal warm. (Lips are a fantastic thermometer as most moms know!) He seemed happy so we continued to play, but when I brought the kids in for bed, I used our temporal thermometer and took his temperature. He did indeed have a fever. I gave him an extra drink before bed and placed it by his mattress so he could replenish his fluids throught he night as needed.
When he woke up Wednesday morning, he still had a fever. I made sure he drank a lot during the day. His appetite was slightly diminished so I made sure the foods he did eat were good foods-- yogurt, fruit, cheese...
He was restless at naptime, but since rest is so important to healing, I put him to bed an hour earlier that night.
When he woke up this morning, his fever was gone and his full appetite is back!
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
The biggest thing we to do is avoid getting sick at all. I breastfeed the kids as long as possible, usually around 2 years. We also drink lots of water. The kids drink diluted juice once in the morning and milk a couple of times a week. The rest of their liquid comes from water. We also try to limit (not eliminate) sugar. We eat lots of fruits and vegetables. I am not germ-phobic, but we avoid overly germy places like the Chick-fil-A play area in winter (we go occasionally in warm weather) and the doctor's waiting room. We get fresh air and a limited amount of sun without sunscreen to soak up the natural Vitamin D. We wash hands, get adequate rest, etc.
Of course, all of that doesn't mean we never get sick. The kids have been extremely healthy, but they aren't immune to all illnesses! With colds, we try to avoid medicine. Mostly we just get lots of rest and push the fluids. Fluids help ease sore throats and keep yucky mucous moving along. I'll give a dose of Tylenol before bed if pain is interfering with sleep which is super important to getting better.
With ear infections, I don't have a firm policy. Thankfully, Gavin and Owen have only had 1 ear infection each. Maddie has had 4, I think. We have used antibiotics, but I also have used an ear drop (by Similason) designed to relieve pain while the body heals itself. It is just so hard to see a child in real pain!
For fevers, I don't do anything except push fluids and extra rest. We try to let the fever run its course and fight the infection. Again, I will use Motrin or Tylenol at night if it is interfering with sleep.
Desitin is the miracle cure for diaper rash! Just make sure you use Desitin: Original because it contains a higher percentage of zinc oxide than Creamy.
I don't like vaccines for flu, chicken pox, even measles because these are harmless diseases in the majority of cases.
I don't really use herbs or homeopathic things too much because I haven't done enough research on the topic. I try to let the body work and heal itself in most cases. We have used a homeopathic tablet for teething-- Hyland's Teething Tablets. I have also used Rhino pops a few times. (They are shaped like lollipops and contain zinc. It's a natural cough drop for kids.)
I hope this explains our basic philosophy. Just ask if you have more questions! If I have enough questions, I'll do a new post to answer them.
Monday, July 14, 2008
I practice extended breastfeeding so nursing continues into toddlerhood. It definitely takes a backseat to table food, though. Everyone is expected to sit with the family at meal times. No getting out of your seat when you're done. That is hard to enforce with 18-month-olds (ours have all rejected the highchair not long after their first birthdays), but it is necessary for good long-term habits.
I'm not saying my ways are the only ways. That's just the way we have chosen--the way that works for us. Happy eating!
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Having had numerous thoughtless comments directed my way, I try to be careful that what I say not be perceived as negative towards a pregnant woman or a woman with small children.
What good does it do to make a negative comment anyway? If a woman is happy with her situation, a less than happy response is disappointing and discouraging to her. And if a woman is unhappy or scared about her situation, a negative response will not be of any help. She needs encouragement, not more fuel for her emotional fire.
If we truly believe children are blessings, we need to believe it in all situations. They are blessings if they come as a first child or tenth child, to a married woman or an unmarried one.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
"Mama, cook potty!"
On close inspection, I noticed the end of the screwdriver was wet...yuck!
Monday, July 7, 2008
Sunday, July 6, 2008
With this being the fourth baby, we don't have many supplies to gather. We've learned to eliminate lots of baby clutter because it just isn't used. The bouncy seat, floor activity mats, etc. left our house long ago but we held onto a small fold-up swing so we'll get that out and dust it off soon. I need to wash my slings, too, because that is my prefered method of baby carrying. We did splurge and buy a Moses basket off of ebay last month so I'll set that up.
Brian will get the big box of baby boy clothes out of the attic at his mom's house. He also has to add a shelf in the boys' armoire to hold the tiny garments.
Nursing eliminates the need for bottles, but we do try to stock up on diapers. I was hoping to go cloth this time, but we've settled on disposables and we'll stash away an extra packs any week we have extra money in the budget.
In my dreams, I will cook a few meals to put in the freezer for postpartum. I have big plans but I rarely get more than a batch or two of bread and maybe a casserole set aside. Instead, we'll set aside a few dollars for take-out!
We're concentrating on getting the older kids ready for a new person in the house. I'm teaching them to do a few chores independently. Maddie has learned to dress and undress with no help. Still working on getting the shed clothes put into the hamper or drawer, though! Owen has finally moved into his mattress beside our bed and stays there all night (no crawling up beside Mama at 2 am!). Naps are easier now, too, as I can put him down on a floor pillow in the living room and he will drift off with me nearby. He has mostly weaned, although I didn't push the issue. I have tandem nursed before, but he decided recently he didn't want to nurse anymore.
I'll make a list of items to pack for the hospital. I used to pack ahead of time, but I put it off with Owen and then he came early and we had nothing ready! It kept me busy in the early stages of labor getting a suitcase packed so I will probably do the same this time. A list is necessary, though, when my brain is a bit foggy.
Fifteen weeks to go...
Thursday, July 3, 2008
It is so important to read and be informed!
Obstetricians are trained as specialists and surgeons and are therefore taught to look for problems and what to do in emergencies. But what about a woman who is a week overdue? Is that an emergency needing induction? How about a woman in labor but who is progressing slower than average? Is there a problem with her body? And why is it necessary for every woman to have an IV when she is eating and drinking to keep up her energy (which is safe despite outdated policies)?
It is so important to read and be informed! Then you are equipped to make responsible decisions and not blindly trust what one doctor believes.
Brian and I recently watched a documentary on homebirth called The Business of Being Born. It talks about the medical aspect of birth and how it often works against women. So many people believe homebirth is not safe, but that is simply not true. Statistically, homebirth is actually safer than hospital birth! Women are more comfortable at home and are allowed to labor longer without fear of interventions that hinder or slow the birth process (epidurals, continuous fetal monitoring, etc.).
Most women decide against homebirth for various reasons. Personally, I have chosen a hospital birth because Brian feels more comfortable with that option AND a homebirth would not be covered by my insurance AND the fact that the closest homebirth midwife is 90 minutes away . (I already have to travel an hour to see my midwife who practices in a hospital.) But it is so important to be informed and know your options wherever you choose to birth, not just assume what you hear in the media or even from your doctor is true.
What do you think? I'd love to hear more opinions!
In Doctors We Trust? Part 1