Monday, May 28, 2007

Thank You to All Who Have Served

I wanted to make sure that I posted this THANK YOU to all the men and women who have served in our country's military. Many people see Memorial Day as nothing more than a day off of work and/or school.

My father and grandfather both served in the military during war times. My grandfather was in the Navy during WWII. The ship that he was on sunk. He was one of the lucky ones who survived. My father was drafted during the Vietnam War and served in the Army. Near the end of his tour of duty he was shot by enemy fire. He did not suffer life threatening injuries, but sustained injuries that were severe enough to end his military career.

When my grandfather, who voluntarily joined the service, return from war he was seen as a hero. My father on the other hand was a draftee and was called a baby killer and worse, treated as a murdered, not accepted into veteran organization, and treated badly by much of the general population just because he did his duty and served his country when he was called upon to do so.

We may not agree with the politics behind the war, but we need to treat our military men and women with all due respect. They are doing their job. If it were not for the military we would not be living in the world that we do. Who knows how bad our lives would be. We have more freedoms than most countries and take it for granted.

Alright, I will get off of my soapbox.

Again, THANK YOU to all the men and women who have served and are serving now. We also need to remember those who have given their lives as well as the family members left behind.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Kids & Dog

I grew up with dogs as pets. Our first dog, P, we got as a puppy when I was one year old. This dog was not very nice. She was not at all good with kids. She used to bite us & break the skin. Despite this my parents kept her. I never really liked this particular animal.

I have been facing a similar situation with my own kids. We have a small wire hair terrier mix (J). We talked about getting another dog & ended up getting R, a beagle terrier mix puppy, without really thinking it through. I know that puppies are not perfect, but R decided that whenever Sissy was around that it was a good thing to bite, jump on or lick her. R most frequently would use Sissy as a chew toy. Now Sissy isn't much of a talker, but it often sounded as if she was telling R to "get". Sissy did not like to be outside playing if R was around. I decided that I could not have my baby being bit all the time and also chance that she would become afraid of dogs.

So, I made the decision to offer her free to a good home. Well I had a few responses to my ads and I was completely honest about what type of behaviors we were experiencing with her. I would rather keep her and try to change the behaviors than to send her to a new home that would not be a good place for her. Finally there was a couple who has 2 dogs already that was wanting to meet R. I took her to meet them and they wanted to think it over. They also asked lots of questions. It made me feel better that they were asking these things and that they were not rushing into their decision.

Well, they ended up wanting R, but wanted to wait until today to get her. I met up with them this morning and handed R over to them. They have assured me that they will send pics & updates via email. The only problem is that I have not told the kids that she's gone.

Jay has spent the weekend with my in-laws, so he hasn't been around to notice. When he comes home in the morning I'll have to handle his questions. Zee wanted J to come inside today. She has not seemed to notice that R was not around today. Sissy on the other hand is too little to really have a negative reaction to this change, although I'm sure she will be happy to no longer be a chew toy.

I want my kids to have a pet that they are completely comfortable with. J is really good with the girls, but she sometimes nips Jay. I can live with this, because it is just her warning to him to leave her alone. She has never gotten him hard enough to break the skin and it is always when he tries to pick her up. I hope that I made the right decision and that the kids will be ok with it.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Some Good News

I have gotten an update on my friend's mom. Although her tumor is indeed cancerous, they have determined that it is not as bad as first thought. She has had surgery and will be doing chemotherapy. They are now saying that she has 2-3 years. This is such a relief after hearing the initial prognosis.

Thank you to all who have sent positive thoughts and prayers their way!!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Sleep?? What's that????

I have a 16 month old baby who must think that she is a newborn. I cannot get more than 5 hours of sleep at a time out of Sissy. She has been going to bed between 8 & 9 and she wakes up the first time between 10:30 & 2:30 EVERY NIGHT!!!!

There are many nights that I just stay up thinking that as soon as I get comfy & fall asleep, she will wake up screaming. I have been trying to soothe her back to sleep while she is still in her bed. This only works some of the time. I have also resorted to the BIG NO NO of giving her a bottle in bed. I know that I probably should just leave her in her bed and let her cry it out, but I hate to since she shares a room with Zee. I want Sissy to learn to put herself back to sleep, but not at her sister's expense. If anyone has any suggestion, I am willing to listen to them.

Last night she woke up at about 10:30 and I was able to get her back to sleep by patting her back and giving her a bottle. She then woke again at 4:30 and decided that it was time to play. I finally got her to go back to sleep about 2 hours later, which gave me a 30 minute nap before I needed to get up. I usually get up by 7 to get Jay up and off to school. Zee was downstairs at about 7:45 so that was the end of Sissy's sleeping. Sissy is also refusing to nap more than 30 minutes a day this week.

With Sissy's behavior (In addition to not sleeping she just isn't quite herself.) I am almost thinking that I need to take her to the doctor. I wonder if her ears are bothering her. She has been poking at & pulling on them this week. I don't know if it's a boredom buster or if it's because they hurt. I guess I'll wait and see how things go tonight before I make my final decision.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Too Smart for Pre-school?????

Last week I took Zee for a pre-school screening at our school district. They have begun the 3 rounds of screenings to see which kids qualify to attend preschool in the fall. The kids that have the greatest deficits in age appropriate development are given preference when they begin filling the available spaces.

Well, my normally quiet & shy little girl (in new situations, NOT at home. LOL!!) talked up a storm. She participated fully in all but the gross motor activities. I believe that the 2 boys that were there also were getting a bit too rambunctious for her. The teacher asked her name about 3-5 minutes after we arrived and she didn't hesitate to answer. Then she was asked who brought her. Zee responded, "My Mommy. My Daddy's at work." She also was working a puzzle and correctly named all of the colors on it (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, white, brown, & black). In some areas she did much better than the other kids in her group. All of the other kids will be turning 5 by the end of November and Zee just turned 3 in March.

They score the kids in about 5 categories. A zero means the child meets or exceeds age appropriate development in that area. Zee scored a ONE as her total score!!!! She got that in the area of social development. They also put a note in her paperwork that she has some speech issues at this time that are not a problem. If they still exist when she is closer to 4, she will need to receive speech services which would make her eligible for the pre-school program.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Do you have peanuts????

This is a question that Zee has been asking everyone lately.

She asked my mom yesterday. Grandma told her "no" and them asked Zee if she had peanuts. Zee responded that she doesn't have peanuts, she's not a bubby (this is what she calls her brother).

You may have figured it out by now that she is referring to the boy parts. Isn't it funny what names kids come up with for things????

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Video

You know your kid isn't going to be a kid much longer when they watch The Video at school. Soon they will be even moodier and going through the change.

I had to sign a permission slip for Jay to watch The Video with the other boys and a male teacher, since it would be less awkward than having the school nurse, who is a woman, there. When I was in school they didn't have a choice. We didn't have any male teachers, so the boys had to deal with our regular classroom teacher telling them about all of the changes that occur with puberty. We had several sessions about it and no videos to watch. If we had had anything it most likely would've been a film strip, not a video. I went to a small parochial school, so in the mid 80's we did not have a VCR.

Jay was so funny when he came home today. He told me that the teacher, one from the Junior High, shook their hands and asked them to introduce themselves. He also brought home a deodorant sample of which he was very proud of. He informed me that it was the gel kind not the white kind. The teacher told the boys that he prefers the gel kind because it doesn't stick to his hair under his arm as much. He looked at me as if he wanted to know what my opinion was. I let Jay know that this was a personal preference and he'd have to ask his dad what he thought about the subject.

The funniest thing was when he said that he learned that girls don't like sweaty, smelly boys. Maybe this will be the thing that gets him to start taking showers on his own without being told to do so.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Live Today As If It Were Your Last.....

There have been several things that have happened in the last few years that have really made me fully believe in the title of this post. My husband's uncle was killed in a motorcycle accident and less than a year later his wife died unexpectedly. They left behind a grown child as well as a teenage daughter. A few years ago my mom, who is rarely sick, needed to have a hysterectomy. The doctors had told her that the problems she was having 98% of the time turned out to be cancer. She was in the lucky 2%. It really puts things in perspective when you find out that you might be loosing your mom.

This is exactly what my best friend is dealing with right now. She let me know today that the doctor has given her mom 8-10 weeks to live if she does not have surgery. They believe that the tumor she has is cancerous. If she does have surgery and goes through chemo, they are giving her 12-18 months. Her mom has said that she will not go through another surgery. I guess we will just have to wait and see what she decides to do.

Again, please, please pray that the family has the strength to get through this difficult time.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!!!!!

First of all, I hope all of the moms had a Wonderful Mother's Day!!!

Here's what my day consisted of

  • Breakfast with the in-laws
  • Car trip to the campgrounds to pick up the kids (Jay, Zee & my niece spent the weekend camping with my parents)
  • Loaded 4 kids in the van and then discovered that a tire was going flat.
  • Unloaded the kids and changed the tire (B actually did this)
  • Found a nail in the tire
  • Went to the tire shop to get the tire fixed (Luckily they were not very busy, so we were there less than an hour.)
  • Went to work
  • Ate dinner at a local Mexican restaurant (Not my first choice, but it was good.)
  • Walked around Target to kill time before dropping off my niece
  • Dropped off my niece
  • Took the kids bowling
  • Got home just to leave again
  • Went for a LONG walk
  • Gave the girls a bath
  • Took a shower
  • Went to bed

It was not the best day, but it was a good one. I shouldn't complain. My best friend did not have a very good weekend. She found on Friday out that her mom in having some serious health problems which will likely require surgery. The problem with this is that she said she will never have another surgery. She goes back to the doctor today to discuss treatment options. In addition to all of this they received a call that her mom's brother was killed in a motor vehicle accident yesterday morning.

I have a favor to ask of anyone who is reading this to please send good thoughts and/or prayers their way. I am trying to be positive, but I am also waiting for the third thing to happen. I believe that things like this happen either as an isolated single occurrence or in sets of 3.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Fear of Storms

We had a thunderstorm roll through our area this afternoon. Zee heard the thunder and would say, "Oh! What's that?" When she realized that it was a storm, she kept telling me all about how the lights when out "yesterday". (You need to understand that to Zee anything in the past happened either "yesterday" or "two weeks ago". Most recently she has begun saying things happened "last year". Young children's concept of time is so interesting.) At least today she did not run through the house screaming and saying "I'm scared" each time she heard the thunder.

Jay walked the two blocks home from school just as the rain started. Once he was inside he came to me, just about in tears, and asked if I had seen anything on the news about tornadoes. I assured him that we were not expecting a tornado out of this storm, just rain. He was relieved, but not totally at ease. He then went to his room to begin his homework. A short time later he came and asked if I wanted the dogs brought inside. About 10 minutes later he came to me and said the lights in the bathroom and his room kept flickering and he thought we were going to lose power. Thankfully Sissy napped through it all.

We lost power about 2 weeks ago (Yes, actually 2 weeks, not Zee's 2 weeks) when we had some pretty strong thunderstorms in our area. I believe that a transformer was struck by lightning. About 500 residences and businesses were without power for about 3 hours. During that outage the kids kept talking about the storm that we had had last summer that left us without power for 5 days. Luckily we have family close by, so we were able to stay with them.

I cannot believe how scared my kids are of thunderstorms. I have never made a big deal about or shown any fear of storms. Living in the Midwest we are prone to lots of thunderstorms and occasional tornadoes. Right now were are dealing with flooding as well. I bet that as soon as Jay sees that on TV he'll be worried about our house getting flooded. We are close to the Mississippi River, but not so near that we would get flooded.

It seems unreasonable for them to be so afraid of storms. It's not like we have experienced any devastating storms in our area or had any injuries due to storms. I had a elderly neighbor when I was a teenager who would ask me to come over and sit with her when we were having any thunderstorms and she was home alone. I would gladly agree, because she had a legitimate fear of storms. When she was a very young child her mother was struck by lightning and died as a result. My kids' worst storm experience was last summer when we had massive wind storms, which caused LOTS of trees to fall and the major power outages. I hope they grow out of it!!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Welcome to My World

For as long as I can remember the two things I wanted to be when I grew up was a teacher and a mom. I used to be and will probably again be a preschool teacher. I am the mother of 3 children, well 4 if you count my husband.

I became a stay at home mom after my second child was born. It just was not economically feasible for me to go back to work. After all of my expenses I would've been making about $40 a month, that is if I got all of my scheduled hours. Working in child care there are times that when numbers go down you go home early (plus child care does not pay that well either) or if the baby's sick you have to stay home. With those two scenarios I could've potentially been in debt each month. I found a few part time jobs to help compensate for a portion of the income that I had once contributed to the family. It has been wonderful being able to be at home with the kids. I have been able to be home when the oldest gets out of school and we can start right away on homework. I was also able to breastfeed the youngest 2 until they were about 9-10 mos old.

Our son, Jay, is 11 and says he likes school, but hates homework. Our daughters are 3 years old and almost 16 months. Zee is not the typical middle child. Sissy loves to do what her big sister does. She is quite the follower, but she will not be bullied.

Jay has only child syndrome in many respects. He was the one and only for so long. He was the first grandchild on both sides as well as still being the only grandson on both sides. He was also the first great-grandchild on my dad's side and the 2nd on my mom's. Anyway he is still quite spoiled by the grandparents. He loves to spend the weekends with them. Two weekends ago he was spending the night with my in-laws and Zee decided that she wanted to stay too. This was her first by choice sleep over. (Her first real sleep over was by necessity when I was in the hospital having Sissy) Anyway, Jay was NOT happy that his sister was invading his territory.

I had always thought that Jay would be my problem child, but Zee, AKA Miss Attitude, will probably be my biggest challenge. She wants things done her way or no way. She is very stubborn. I wonder where she got that from?????? (My MIL says that my husband and I are the two most stubborn people she has ever met.) She is such a bossy butt at times. It's hard to believe that a young 3 year old can have such a strong personality already.

Sissy I thought was going to be my calm, quiet child. Boy was I wrong!!! She has been picking us on her sister's attitude lately. She will be 16 months soon and still does not talk. She says momma & dadda, but that's about it. I'm told that it's because we meet her needs too quickly. It's funny how people can say this. How can meeting my child's needs in a quick manner be a bad thing?
Anyway, I have talk to the Dr, whom I trust completely, and she is not concerned at this point. Sissy learned how to grunt at a very young age and that is still her preferred method of communication. I have been asked if I think she has a hearing problem. To this I say a big NO. She will be playing in the other room and hear a song on the TV or radio and come running so she can dance to it. In the vehicle she gets mad when I change the radio station if she liked the song that was playing. She seems to understand normal conversation. She will respond to simple commands/requests, such as "go get you're shoes" or "If you want a drink you need to bring me your cup". She will also answer yes & no questions appropriately by shaking or nodding her head. I guess she'll talk when she's ready.

There are times that it feels as if I have another child, no not my husband. I have a little girl who is almost 4 that I've been babysitting for 3 years now. She pretty much is one of the family.

I hope you have enjoyed the introduction to my life. I will be adding more later