Tuesday, September 26, 2006

tyren's skin

so my poor baby boy has been having issues with his skin. last week i took him to the dr and they said he has eczema and to put these 3 ointments on to heal it because its infected...that's why it's so inflamed...and give him baking soda baths and slather him all over with aquaphor (a moisturizing/healing cream that's frickin' expensive!)

so i've been doing this but within a few days i ran out of the ointments and only had the aquaphor left. and i wasn't convinced it really had helped much but i did seem like it did help some.

today i took him back to the dr's office again because he is seriously sleeping like crap. last nite he woke up crying and thrashing literally every 30-60min or so and it went on most of the nite...happening about 10-15 times! i even got up and took him to rock in the living room and that just made him thrash and cry more. i was seriously feeling sleep deprived this morning. like i got hit by a truck.

so i took him back and mary graves (pediatric nurse practitioner at dr kratzer's office) said that i need to keep doing the ointment and also that the thrashing could be because he's started walking and that its normal for babies to have restless sleep for like 6weeks around a big developmental milestone like this. oh and also that his pee might be burning his rash and that might be why he's waking crying.

so tonite i bathed him in baking soda, slathered him with all the ointments and creams, put him in his new pjs and a disposable diaper and am crossing my fingers that he'll actually sleep tonite.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

ok so i'm "routine-challenged"

i've decided i'm just routine challenged. i think i'm just too ADD to consistantly keep a regular routine. doesn't mean i'm going to completely quit and not ever even try and just let our day go where the wind blows...just means that i'm going to stop beating myself up for not being able to do what my enki curriculum says that i need to do for my children.

yes, i do agree that both of my children would benefit greatly from a consistant routine. but the fact of the matter is that they have a mom that struggles so greatly with trying to maintain a routine that it constantly stresses me out and is making me so grumpy all the time. that's not healthy either. i think that might actually be worse than no consistant routine.

so i'm going to hack up my routine again and make it very loose...i mean everyone does SOME routine in their day...we all eat 3 meals and go to sleep at nite...so at the very least they can count on that...in our family we do have more than that that can be counted on too...our mornings are going pretty well...we get up, we watch a little tv to wake up (i'll eventually try to eliminate this but frankly i need it right now to entertain the kiddos so i can run around and do a few things that i see need doing and start breakfast...its much more peaceful right now if they watch a little pbs while i do that)...i change tyren's diaper (another reason i need the tv on because he nearly always pitches a fit for diaper changes and the tv can often distract him)...i read my email and start breakfast. that's pretty consistant and i can make a concerted effort to make it more consistant. say, have a specific time that the tv goes off...so like let them watch one 30min show or something and then it goes off. (otherwise maeven will sit there all morning in front of the damn thing if i let her).

after breakfast we try to tidy the kitchen a little...at the very least, clean our spaces at the breakfast table and sweep tyren's throwings. and then we get dressed, put tyren on my back, and we go for a walk. that's something new the past couple months and its going really well. especially now that its cooling off finally. yesterday maeven asked to ride her bike and that went really well so i think i'm going to encourage her to do that every day...she needs the practice and exercise. (she WHINES if i make her walk the whole short walk...usually rides in the wagon and that defeats the whole purpose of getting exercise...i mean i'm getting exercise but she needs it too...especially since she complains so much about her legs hurting if we walk just a short distance!)

after our walk we come back home and that's where i need a little work. yesterday we had a snack as soon as we got in and that worked out well...on our schedule we are supposed to have a circle time (which we haven't done yet because i haven't gotten it ready yet) and then maeven is supposed to have some creative play time while tyren and i shower...but we had such a late walk yesterday that i decided we could all use a snack right away and so we did that and i read her a couple bobbsey twin chapters during snack and that really was nice. nice and relaxed. i think i like that a lot better than coming home and splitting up right away.

and i don't think i'm going to have circle time ready for awhile still...actually, my curriculum says it might not work for some families to have a formal circle, but instead do the songs/movements throughout the day...i wanted to really try doing the circle but just haven't had time to sort through it so for now i'm going to try to just learn one new movement song and add it to our day. then once we get that down, i'll add another. that might work better for us. maeven's never enjoyed circle times anyway...although i was thinking that when its circle with just her, me and tyren she might not fight it so much. with other kids she tends to not want to participate.

at that point in the morning, i need some work...because what i have on my chart i haven't been doing...then pretty soon the morning is over and its lunch. time flies! so i think i have far too much crammed onto the schedule between bfast and lunch. i do need to find time in there for my shower and maeven's project. but tyren goes down for a nap before lunch often...so i think what i'll do is hold off on the project until tyren is asleep. maybe even hold off on lunch til then...it seems to happen that way anyway. its not unusual for us to have a fairly late lunch because it can sometimes take awhile to get tyren down. he will be cranky and obviously sleepy but he will FIGHT going to sleep! so i spend a lot of time rocking and nursing while maeven does her own thing. not a bad thing, because she needs alone play time. but it just wasn't working with the routine i had on paper because it threw everything off. so i need to work that in somehow.

after lunch the afternoon has pretty much been just falling where it goes...but we do have different things for our afternoon "adventure time" that have dictated the days...mondays we have errands/shopping, tuesdays nana/bompa time (my folks come from about 2-4 to play w/the kids so i can catch up on housework)...wednesdays are maeven's art class and baking day. we try to get the baking supplies on monday shopping day then do baking before her 3:30 class. thursdays we take a nature adventure...this week we packed up a picnic lunch and ate at woodward park and fed the ducks...and fridays we go to jen's house and maeven gets to play with the girls for the afternoon on margaret hudson's beautiful property...social time for all of us! so the afternoon adventure time has been going quite well!

maybe i'm not doing so bad afterall....LOL

i do need some work on getting dinner ready consistantly cuz evenings just sort of happen without structure...daddy's home and we just play/relax...dinner is often very late. bedtime routine for maeven is very set though...9pm starts pjs, teeth brushing, stories. adam makes sure of that.

well i'll have to get all this on paper later today because it really doesn't look all that bad now that i detailed it out. LOL

to sleep perchance to dreeeeaaaaammmmm....

will i ever get real sleep again???? *BIG SIGH* at this point it feels like no. argh.

tyren is the world's worst sleeper, i swear. i knew i was spoiled with maeven and i was destined to have a horrible sleeper the next time around, i knew it! this child doesn't just toss and turn...he cries out LOUD at least 5-8 or even 10 times a nite! and actually has a little hissy fit each time usually...like a little tantrum because something is either bothering him or he didn't like what he was dreaming about or something...he kicks and kicks and throws around his whole body...multiple times a nite, ALLLLL nite, EVERY STINKIN' NITE! he's done this off and on nearly since birth but the last couple months just seem to be getting worse. sometimes he even SCREAMS!

this week i took him to the ped to see about a rash he's had for weeks and it turns out he has eczema, and its infected...so it could be that he's been worse about this because he's itching. but he doesn't usually scratch. so i'm not really sure. he scratches his head but there's no rash on his head. he just does that with sleepiness. its mostly all over his legs right now but he doesn't scratch there. he will grab at his crotch, through his diaper and throw a fit sometimes so i will jump up and run and get a new diaper...thinking the wetness must be bothering him. and if i let him he will claw the hell outta his crotch while the diaper's off. but i try to not let him because he can do some real damage! but i can only imagine that he must be itchy and uncomfortable in his diaper area because he has been fighting a rash there as well...

i've been really really good about changing him regular because of this rash on his diaper area. i keep him in only a motherease diaper with no doubler and no cover when we're home...so that i can tell right away when he's wet and change him immediately. i even let him go diaper-less (despite the puddles) to help his rash get some much needed air. and slathering with oinment that i was told to use on his eczema...seems to be working well. but at nite i guess it would be an issue, being in a wet diaper so long.

anyway, i can't believe how badly this little boy sleeps and i'm really surprised that i'm not going insane with sleep deprivation yet! but somehow i manage and i'm surviving but man its hard! i just keep telling myself that he won't sleep like this forever.

i have even tried putting him in the cosleeper, thinking that maybe he's one of those rare babies that needs their space to sleep...but no, he FREAKS out when i'm not right next to him. *sigh*

Saturday, September 16, 2006

new friendships

i've actually been friends with jen renzi for awhile (VERY sweet, cool mama!)...we just never could find time to spend a lot of time together....so now that we found out our girls hit it off very well, we are planning on getting them together weekly...maeven (mine, 6 in nov), thea (jen's, 6 and a half, i think), and brooke (cindy's, 5 and a half)... the 3 of them had such a good time and so did we moms! we met at jen's house, which is on margaret hudson's property because she is jen's mother-in-law. margaret is a very famous local sculptor and i finally got to meet her officially on thursday! it was very exciting! and touring her gardens on her communal property was sooooo neat! the kids led us all over...it was only my 2nd time there. i had been there with maeven when maeven was a baby...but it was at nite and we only walked quickly through the garden to the barn for the drumming circle. they have drumming circle every full moon. it was way cool! the only thing was that not a single person approached me to say hi or introduce themself so i ended up feeling very unwelcomed. :( but it was such a cool thing, all those people drumming and some people even belly dancing, that i would still do it again and hope to get a better response.

anyway, the gardens...there were, of course, margaret's sculptures everywhere! it was soooo beautiful! and the gardens are very wild... very child friendly. i was so completely in awe of it! lots of land and lots of great play places to explore! maeven had an absolute blast! all the kids did!

and it was so sweet because jen's kids are so shy...i've known them since they were babies (well not very intimately, since i didn't see them often) and i swear i don't think i ever heard either of them talk! but when we were on their turf they were a hoot! both of them just talked up a storm and were such a delight!! it was so fun!

the only downside to the whole thing is tyren, again...poor baby...he wanted to get down and crawl everywhere and i did let him for the most part but he kept wanting to crawl into spider infested forts, slimey ponds, and other places that didn't feel safe to me...i just don't like him crawling around when there's things that can hurt him...i'd rather he walked, but he's just not quite there yet...he walks mostly at home, not so much in public yet. not when there's unfamiliar and uneven terrain. although i know i'll be chasing after him once he gets better at walking and that will be exhausting.

but we did finally settle at a little mini-ampitheater for awhile that was a great digging place for the kids...and shady and great seating for us moms. he proceeded to dig madly, throwing the sand/dirt onto his head. LOL! i finally gave up trying to get him to stop throwing and just moved him far enough away from any of us, so we were out of the line of fire. and decided that a bath would be absolutely necessary when we got home, lol! i wish i had had a camera. he had quite the dirt-filled head. LOL! but boy it was fun for him!

anyway, we are planning to return every week and i am very jazzed! my goal is for maeven to have the opportunity to really bond with some children her age...and so thea and brooke, fellow homeschoolers, seem to be a great fit! and luckily, i WAY like their mamas too! :)

oh i should also mention that i find it so incredibly fascinating (she really doesn't see the big deal, which i also think is fascinating!) that jen is the daughter of famous sculptor clement renzi...married to the son of famous local sculptor margaret hudson. she says that for a time it was very confusing to her kids that other people made sculptures too...because they'd see something and ask "did grandma make that or did grandpa?" and not get that there are other people other than their maternal grandpa and paternal grandma that are sculptors. LOL! too funny!

i'm very happy and excited to see where maeven's and my new friendships will lead! stay tuned!

ahhhhh cooler temperatures!

FINALLY relief from all the gawd-awful heat! its been 2 days now of cooler weather! YAY!!! i can't believe how much the weather affects me! well perhaps it affects everyone. but 2 days ago when the weather did a gigantic switcharoo (it was thursday, today is saturday...) we were playing outside at margaret hudson's communal garden (we're friends with her grandchildren) and halfway into our time there the clouds started forming and a very autumnal feeling breeze started blowing. suddenly, clem, 4yrs old, said something like "it feels like fall!" and he was right!

next day it was feeling cool most all day...we even went to the river (i think kings river?) and it was very pleasant, not hot! awesome!

i'm so getting in a better mood with this weather! now if only we could spend unstressful time outside...but noooooo....i have a toddler that wants to crawl around in the dirt and eat bugs and such. very hard to enjoy the outdoors. at the river he kept trying to crawl out to the middle of the river. screamed his head off when i redirected him to the shore. very very stressful and frustrating and finally i got tired of wrestling with him and we had to leave. *sigh* i hope we can ride out this phase...this is so not fun.

Friday, September 15, 2006

a-purging we will go, a-purging we will go

am i weird or what? i really like purging...i love decluttering...virtually and IRL. (that's In Real Life, for you non-internet savvy folks.) the more the merrier! unfortunately i cannot seem to ever do enough and clutter keeps piling up...

but here i am this week purging my old chat users. people that haven't logged into mommy chats chatware for 6months or more are getting a couple email reminders from me and then hasta-la-pasta! if they don't respond, i'm guessing they're not interested in chatting.

silly the little things that give me a boost...but i am so proud of myself for figuring out how to do this. i may seem super internet savvy to some...but really i'm just learning it as i go. all the stuff i know now i learned trial and error after years of experience. this latest endeavor i didn't even know was possible until fairly recently. i didn't even know i could export the user list from the chatware! then i looked in there and noticed that there was a column for "last signed on" (it downloads as a file i can open in excel)...and i was looking at HUNDREDS of users that hadn't logged on in literally YEARS! i started the site the end of 2003...didn't really pick up til 2004...i had people who hadn't logged on since 2004! so needless to say i had a lot of users that had dead emails and hadn't been back ever.

so i sent out some emails to let them know i needed them to log on or be deleted. pretty dang silly that something so trivial could make me feel so good, but i really was so excited to discover that i can email all the registered users...i'm going to figure out some ways to make good use of this at some point, but right now i'm just purging old users. i only want people on there that are staying current and regularly using the site. or at least interested still.

so anyway...purging away again! i had started this a few months ago then got sidetracked...but now i'm back to emailing those that haven't logged on in months. i have purged up through august 2005. i am now contacting people that haven't logged on since sept, oct, nov and dec 2005. once i get them to log on and make their account current i'll start with the people from jan-mar 2006. i'm requiring the accounts to stay current. no bouncing emails and must have logged on at some point in the past 6months or out they go. hopefully this will help to keep things fresh and interesting.

and with fresh and interesting in mind...i'm also working with my new chat manager, juliet, to come up with new ideas to make the site more interesting and get people back into the chat rooms. things have died down recently and i needed someone new to come in and help me out with staying on top of things because i just don't have so much time for it these days...but i'm jazzed with juliet's enthusiasm and ideas and she is keeping me on top of things! i think we are going to come up with some really fun things! we already have a few things in the works...i just need to try to find more time!!! that's always the problem...time...never enough of it! and then there's my other site, fresno family. i have so many ideas for that too...just not enough time!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

i'm a firefighter!

that's what i am alright! i put out fires ALLLLL-DAAAAAY-LOOOOOOOONG.

i forgot how hard it was to have a child this age...tyren is wearing me out! i could actually probably handle it...or at least feel like i'm getting ahead from time to time...if both kids were older...but with one toddler tornado tearing up the house faster than i can organize and clean it... all i have the energy and the ability to do is just put out fires here and there as i can.

and he's been so cranky lately. i don't know what's going on with him...i think i need to actually hold him more. i'm feeling pretty guilty about how much i put him down and expect him to play...now that there are 2 of them, and he's tearing things up so fast, i have so much more to do and so he doesn't get as much of the holding time that maeven got. i guess that's just inevitable. still sad though.

i do wear him a lot...just in this heat and when i'm trying to work around the house, i prefer not to at home. he's HEAVY! he was 27lbs at his last dr's appt...and that was a couple months ago! it's very hard to do lots of bending and picking up of things with a nearly 30lb-er strapped to you.

anyway, i hear the little tornado screaming about something again...i better go don my firefighter's gear and go tackle some more fires!

Friday, September 08, 2006

soooooo sad!

i just received the link to this article on my local homeschool group and i find it so incredibly sad!!

see now THAT is just the sort of thing i'm going to avoid by homeschooling. its just absolutely insane what they do to little kids in school these days!!

it's all about the testing and the things they push on kindergarten and 1st graders these days. not just public school but private as well!

and it's not just the schools...it's the parents! why is it that parents just don't see what it is they are doing to their children? that article talks about the push from parents to have highly successful children... what's happening to childhood?

it's just so sad... i hear people say all the time how children now are not the same as children from their childhood...they don't play like they used to...most blame it on tv and video games and absolutely that is a big part of it...and a perceived fear of the world by the parents...maybe the world is more dangerous, maybe it's not...i don't know but i do, as a parent, worry a lot about my children's safety...from child predators and the like. so i can relate. but i think the schools are really adding to this loss of childhood.

when i substituted in our local public schools i did 3rd grade and under...and in the 4 months or so that i subbed, i remember just being so surprised that in nearly every classroom the only things that we did were revolving around reading, writing and math. no music, no science (only a couple teachers, who presumably went above and beyond, squeezed some science in), no art...no real art, that is...just crappy, developmentally INappropriate photocopied crapola.

these kids souls are seriously starving to death! i can't see how anyone can ever make it right to take away the arts and music out of any early childhood program. it's integral to a young child's whole self! i just don't get how the schools can't fathom this. and you wonder why so many children do so poorly...besides the fact that many have really crappy home lives...the schools don't properly educate them, in my mind. i know everyone has their own philosophy on education and there are so many different takes on it...but that is mine...that the classic method of education really isn't a good one.

i don't believe in testing...there's so many flaws in that...i don't believe in teaching to the test....what are you learning? nothing. its wasted energy. nothing gets internalized.

what is education anyway? is it just learning random things to be able to spew out for a test and then forget them forever? the schools seem to think this. that's what's being promoted. if they seriously think that the methods they use are supposed to be teaching children in a way that the info will stick, they are dead wrong. i can't remember much at all from my education. hell, even in college most of the stuff didn't stick. i got my degree in child development and i'll be damned if i can remember much of it. the basics, yes, but not the depth that i dove into through 4.5yrs in college. what was the point in my learning all that stuff just to forget it?

cram as much in as quick as you can and move on...that doesn't work. but that's the way most schools do things. i would rather learn something slowly and really get to digest it and chew and maybe even remember a lot of it. (oh i know you can't ever remember EVERYTHING...i'm not unrealistic...but forgetting most of the stuff isn't acceptable either).

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

in the sleeping house

well i can't call it a napping house because its late and everyone's out for the nite...except me.

this is really actually quite cool but i do know i need to go to bed soon because tyren will probably have me awake about a zillion times again tonite and i need to get all the sleep i can while i can. but i feel like blogging, so there ya have it.

why's tyren waking me up so much, you ask? well who the hell knows but he's been doing it for what feels like weeks now. not really sure exactly how long. but he thrashes a lot. he's always done this off and on. lately he's on more than he's off.

whimpers and cries and rolls around and thrashes and kicks and kicks and nurses ALL NITE LONG! drives me bananas! but then i do know he's working on some molars. not one, not 2 but FOUR. poor baby. i think that might be at least some of it. 2 on top have already broken through...i don't think the bottom ones have...but they look close.

he's been pretty cranky at different times of the day lately too. so i just keep trying to remember that he's a baby and he's in pain. well but i don't know for sure he's in pain but he might be. i guess i should give him some medicine but i feel like i shouldn't unless i'm sure he's in pain. i can't say for sure so i don't want to medicate him if he's not needing it. then again, i'd hate for him to needlessly be in pain. this sucks. i had the same dilemma with maeven. neither of my kids manifest your typical symptoms for teething. ah well...this too shall pass.

lets see...what happened today? oh we had a trip to the grocery store and many people commented on how cute tyren is. of course he's cute. he's mine! LOL! both my kids are gorgeous! (yes, proud mama here). as my mother-in-law says... "we don't do ugly." LOL!

one lady even came up and squeezed tyren's thighs. yes they are very very chunky. he's my fat little bubba. man i never thought i'd use that word. i always detested that nickname before we had him. i thought "sissy" and "bubba" were the lamest nicknames. well i "sissy" still makes me cringe a bit...but maybe it'll grow on me... anyway i swore there's no way in HELL my kids are gonna use those nicknames for each other and you'll NEVER hear it coming out of my mouth! so what do i hear coming out of my mouth often when i am talking to tyren? "bubba", "bubbas", "bubbers"...you name it...any variation on the word, i've used it. *sigh* well i guess if you can't beat them, join 'em. :)

too many opportunities, too little time!

aaaaaaahhh! i'm having a dilemma of having too much to choose from for maeven right now! i am making it a point to get her involved in different things so she can get the socialization that all the non-homeschoolers always seem to be way more worried about than the homeschoolers, LOL! (i always see it referred to as "the dreaded S word" on homeschooling groups...its become somewhat of a joke because we all are bombarded with the question repeatedly...which we all know is just ridiculous because school isn't the only place to be socialized! but i digress...lol) anyway there are some really great opportunities coming up...

  • a spiral scouts group is forming
  • i'm organizing the beginning of an ongoing homeschool science class at the discovery center (i won't be teaching it...i'm just helping to get it started).
  • maeven's art classes will be starting up again next week (she's been doing it for nearly 3 years now and these classes are so important to her...being the extremely obsessed little artist that she is)
  • i'm forming a very small intimate playgroup for her to meet weekly with (to form intimate bonds with a few children...i feel this is very important for her and so i'm seeking out people to connect with and see how maeven and them relate to each other...if they click or not)
  • and also, maeven has been expressing a desire to start going to gymnastics again. so i'm looking into the possibility of forming a homeschool gymnastics group at gymnastics beat, a place we used to go to but stopped for awhile...otherwise we'll just maybe check out the regular classes again...though they are late in the day and i'm not sure that will work for us.
there's also:
  • kid yoga--on hold because they changed the class day and maeven hasn't been all that interested in it lately
  • regular girl scouts--i've just not tried getting her involved yet because we didn't need one more thing to do and i'm not sure i really want her to do girl scouts...not sure exactly why but now that spiral scouts is starting, i think that might be a better fit for us.
  • lots of friends her age we can set up playdates with weekly...just not enough time in the week!
anyway, there's just too many possibilities! we were really enjoying not having any weekly activity on our schedule these past few weeks and so i'm hesitant to end that. at the same time...all these activities are potentially wonderful experiences for maeven. i definitely don't want to overwhelm her though...so we're going to have to pick and choose. well, perhaps some of them won't pan out and will make the decision making easier.

Monday, September 04, 2006

against the mainstream

been doing a lot of thinking about a lot of things lately (well, always). in the shower today (one of my best thinking spots, when i actually get to shower)...i started thinking about what it means to go against the mainstream and how i fit into that.

i've always been a little against the mainstream. i say a little because i really don't feel anything i believe or the way i live is so extreme. but anyway, my mom reminds me sometimes how even as a child, particularly in high school when everyone wants to fit in normally, i would buck the trends and not be interested in the prevailing clothing styles. if everyone else liked it, i tended to not like it--simply because EVERYONE else liked it. i have always detested trends. seems like a brainless way to live...following what everyone else does and likes, just because everyone else is doing it.

but at the same time i didn't go against EVERYTHING just because everyone liked it...that would sort of be doing the same thing, in a way...the mainstream would still have been choosing my likes and dislikes. so it was still pick and choose. i didn't rebel against all things mainstream. and still don't.

i do have a real distaste for letting companies and magazines and tv and movie personalities decide what is "in" and not, though. or just doing things because that's what everyone does. just seems so much like living life as a sheep. i've heard people who really get sucked into being followers like this called "sheeple"....i would agree that's a good term.

anyway back to the now...i definitely parent against the mainstream way of thinking. (the term "attachment parenting" was coined to define this style of parenting.) ...in my personal life mainstreamers are the minority. because i choose to surround myself with like minded people, where i'm able to choose.

i have very definite values on all things regarding my children. and those tend to buck the mainstream thinking. one example: my children aren't enamoured of disney. for the most part we don't do disney...with the exception of winnie the pooh and the heffalump movie. oh and mary poppins. but man, you should see the looks i get from people when i say we don't do disney. like i'm depriving my kids of their childhood or something. come on! give me a friggin break. disney does not equal a quality childhood for pete's sake! we do go to the park...i'm all for the magic kingdom...avoiding the rides that would scare my daughter...we just don't watch the movies, which i think are way too violent and i think its horrendous how disney nearly always kills off the moms...what message does that send? moms are expendable? moms are unimportant? anyway, we don't do disney, that's just something i feel strongly about. i'm not saying NO ONE should do disney. do what you want with your own kids...just please respect what i choose for my kids. my husband is with me on this one. disney films are violent and we don't want our children watching them. period. i have friends that DO do disney. i don't have a problem with that as long as its not put on when my children are there. then it gets sticky. trying to get maeven to another room so that she doesn't have to see it...without making a fuss because i don't want to make a fuss. i really don't. but i also don't want my kids watching what i don't want them watching.

this gets really sticky sometimes...because not everyone has the same values on tv watching that i do. i don't expect them to go out of their way to change their lives just because my kids are around...but at the same time it gets really hard when my kids are at someone's house where there's something on--tv or video game--that i feel is inappropriate for my children. ack! it makes me feel so many things! on the one hand i don't want to be a bitch and tell them they need to change it (i would never do that at someone else's home)...but at the same time...i REALLY feel strongly that i don't want my kids seeing whatever it is...so we work on keeping away from view and earshot as much as we can without making a stink...but it makes for some really not fun times for me and my husband trying to juggle this. argh! juggling our beliefs with wanting to be good guests. *sigh* there doesn't seem to be a good solution either. i'm probably already viewed as a pain in the ass to those that feel differently, so i certainly don't want to make things worse by confirming it, lol!

and then there's toys...i probably fall in the category of against the mainstream there too. because i just can't stand the vast majority of the crap that is popular for children these days...

i feel strongly about not having violent toys, electronic toys (for the most part), and non open-ended toys. so i try to avoid anything that is designed to emulate a weapon and would encourage violent play, most anything that requires batteries (with a couple exceptions), and anything that is designed to be used a very specific way. i feel disgusted walking the aisles of toys r us and dept store toy depts because its very hard to find toys that don't fall into these categories. the hardest thing is just finding toys that are not electronic! for pete's sake! that just really annoys me! anything and everything has to make noise these days! my kids know that "noisy toys" stay at the store. they are welcome to play with them in the cart at the store, or at friends houses...but they stay there when we leave. i hate to admit it but i usually exchange them when my kids get them as gifts. i hate to admit this because i never thought i'd be one to do that. but i feel that strongly that i want the toys my children to have to be developmentally appropriate and there's just not room in our lives or our home for what i feel is inappropriate. i am trying to create a high quality environment (key word--trying...ugh, i'm not always good at this...we still have far too much clutter...but i'm trying to change that!) to raise my children in and so that means that i need to follow my belief system and values.

i've taught my daughter (tyren's too young still) to be thankful of gifts, though...say thankyou and value that someone loved you enough to give it to you. that not everyone gets gifts...not all children have toys...we talk about not hurting feelings if she receives something she doesn't like or she knows mommy and daddy won't like (luckily she agrees for the most part with us so far). so she's getting that it IS the thought that counts. i don't want her to think otherwise. and i don't FEEL otherwise. it's the thought behind the gift, and i do appreciate that. but i also won't keep things that i feel won't be good for my children.

i know people who don't see things the way i do scratch their heads at me. i know they don't get it. and i don't know how to help them get it. its not my job to help them get it. i'm not here to convert anyone. i'm not about proselytizing and making people see my way... this is just who i am and how my husband and i have chosen to raise our kids. all i want is respect. i try not to be judgemental of other people's choices (again, key word is "try"...because this is a constant struggle in my life, being judgemental and i hate that. i really really really am trying to change that aspect of myself. because i find it so very ugly.) and i would like the same in return.

its so frustrating to have to deal with knowing that i'm being judged. i want to be able to have relationships with people that are mainstream and not have to feel the differences so strongly all the time. i'm still learning how to do that. why is it such a big deal that i do things against the mainstream? why does that make me a "hippie"? LOL! i'm actually take that as a compliment when someone calls me a hippie...because i am so not a hippie. though i would love it if i was. anyone that calls me and my husband hippies has never actually met a real hippie, lol! i'm not strong enough in my environmentalist beliefs to be categorized as a hippie...plus i'm a carnivore! LOL!

ok, out of curiosity i looked up a couple terms:

mainstream: the principal or dominant course, tendency, or trend.

hippie: a person, esp. of the late 1960s, who rejected established institutions and values and sought spontaneity, direct personal relations expressing love, and expanded consciousness, often expressed externally in the wearing of casual, folksy clothing and of beads, headbands, used garments, etc.--ok that one doesn't fit me...

but here's another for hippie: A person who opposes and rejects many of the conventional standards and customs of society, especially one who advocates extreme liberalism in sociopolitical attitudes and lifestyles.--i guess that one does sort of fit me. although i don't get into politics so i don't really know if i'm an extreme liberal or not. i'm definitely liberal, just don't know how extreme, lol.

my definition of a hippie in the 2000s would be a vegetarian or vegan that dresses organic and eats organic and is strong in their convictions against war and animal and human rights violations...living their beliefs by protesting when able and teaching their children...also living with very little of the mainstream trappings...especially little or no tv...that would be my view of what a hippie is and i have friends that are in this realm. so when someone calls ME a hippie i just laugh. because i am very far from that. i'm away from the mainstream but i'm not THAT far. i wish i was! i think that you have to be a very strong person to be that far from the mainstream. i'm not there.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

"prayer works" horseshit

i was just going through some old emails and stumbled upon a response i made to a yahoogroup i'm on... one for those that have suffered the loss of our precious babies...

and i was rereading what i wrote and i felt it was very poignant so i wanted to post it here, to keep for posterity:

"your post made me think, for some reason, of that stupid phrase "prayer works", which i hear thrown around all the time and absolutely INFURIATES me.

i don't believe prayer works in the way they imply with that ridiculous phrase. like miraculous things happen if you only pray hard enough. or you have enough people praying.

if it worked, then my baby would be alive. and nothing anyone can say to me will convince me otherwise. i think that saying is a load of crap because believe me, every one of us was praying our pants off during those minutes right after my precious little baby boy was out of me and not showing signs of breathing. and i refuse to believe that god is a cruel, vicious god that requires a certain number of faithful followers praying together in order to answer a prayer. why does one baby live and another doesn't? certainly not because the survivor's parents prayed harder, or were more faithful! no way anyone can convince me of that. i refuse to believe god would be so heartless.

the answer, in my mind, is that there just isn't an answer. sometimes people live, and sometimes people die. that's just life. don't get me wrong...i still believe in god and i do pray, even though i don't consider myself a religious person, nor a christian...but i personally wholeheartedly believe in god and praying feels good so i continue to do so. but every time i hear someone spouting off that crap about "prayer works" i want to strangle them.

sorry...don't know where that came from but this seemed the appropriate place to say it."

My Husband the Weirdo

Originally uploaded by Adam&Tina.
OMG what a nut. about a week ago we were all playing in the big rrom (our playroom/garage conversion) and we were all dancing w/ribbon sticks to fun music and being really silly. this is my nut husband--he captioned this pic: "I was holding the ribbon-sticks for Maeven when I sat on a thumbtack, ok?"


academics in toddlerhood????

oh my goodness! i just stumbled upon a children's class detailed on a website (i won't say where or who it is) that just really had me aghast. their toddler class...1-2yr olds...tyren qualifies age-wise but he's not walking yet and that is one of the requirements i think...but he's very very close to walking now...been stumbling around lately a LOT...so basically this would be tyren's age class. they have in their description for their 1-2yr old class that they have a "letter of the week" and have activities that revolve around the letter of the week! WHY??? why would a toddler, probably most of them can't even talk, or not more than a couple words or signs (some more, some less)...why would they need to be even introduced to letters yet, much less working with them on it?

OH-MY-GOD!! what is wrong with people these days? why is there such a hurry to cram information into their children? why can't you just let them enjoy being children? lordy lordy!! i don't care if this is very low-key letter introduction, i DON'T think its appropriate...at all! they're still working on animal sounds at this age, for pete's sake!

i just don't see why people don't get how inappropriate pushing this stuff so young is! i have to say that this particular program, though, it doesn't surprise me because i took maeven there awhile back and was completely unimpressed. they had all really crappy activities...lots of photocopied garbage...and it was all way too contrived. i heard one of the teachers talking about the curriculum...it was a boxed set that in my opinion was basically garbage. very developmentally IN-appropriate. but then, there are many who like it. parents who don't understand child development and think this is quality. they've obviously never been to one of my classes...makes me want to do my classes again just to have an alternative out there for the parents who do realize that photocopied "art" projects is not art! and the activities that are pushing concepts to kids in a very forced way is just not truly helping them learn. and again, what's the hurry? we're talking about preschool aged children!

now granted...our public school system is so screwed up, pushing way too many concepts at kindergartners these days...they're learning things in kindergarten now, that back in my childhood wasn't introduced til 1st or 2nd grade! and they wonder why the children aren't fully retaining all this info??? its because they're too young for it and there's too much! not to mention the butt-boring way they introduce it! there's just SOOO many fun ways to learn out there that are not even touched upon by most public school teachers. (NOT all, mind you...i KNOW there are some excellent teachers out there and its not really the teachers' faults anyway...the system itself is messed up). so in order to be "ready" for kindergarten...yes, i suppose you would have to put your child into one of these preschools that push all these ridiculous concepts to children that are too young to hold onto the info. because they have to at least try to get them ready.

thank god i don't have to deal with that. i thank my lucky stars every day that i discovered the joys of homeschooling.

now i don't have a problem with introducing letters and concepts surrounding them...for fun...in the preschool years...what i'm venting here today is introducing them to TODDLERS! please! what the heck are they thinking?

anyway, there is a time and a way that is developmentally appropriate to introduce academic topics to children...it seems like its so hard these days to find anyone that has even a clue as to how to do this, appropriately. then again...so much of it is so subjective. i mean, if you go by enki philosophy you could actually be damaging your children by starting too soon....i don't know if i personally would go so far as to suggest that...but i do agree that in early childhood (through kindergarten and even beyond), creative play is THE most important thing for them. and photocopied worksheets and pre-cut art projects is NOT the way to introduce anything to any child. BLECH.

i've done work with maeven that would be considered academic...i was teaching her how to read (just got sidetracked...and now that i have the enki curriculum i've stopped because its not on the agenda for now) but i've never really pushed it...i just follow her lead. she wanted to learn to read, so i got a book to help me teach her. she loved it, so we did it. when it wasn't fun, we stopped. (then we both forgot about it, lol) and maeven has been identifying letters and their sounds for years now...she's always been interested in that sort of stuff...so i don't see the harm if she's initiating...i know enki and waldorf philosophy would differ...but you gotta take what you like and leave the rest in any curriculum. i choose to not stress over the things that she feels drawn to and are right FOR HER. i'll follow the curriculum and philosophy for most all of it, but just not worry about the things that don't worry me.

i don't even know where i was going with this train of thought anymore...i just am still aghast that someone would even THINK that it might be appropriate to write a curriculum for TODDLERS (1 and 2yr olds!) that including introducing them to letter concepts! come on!!! how about reading up on some child development! sheesh!