Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Self Potty Training

I love when Eva takes off her diaper and brings it to me for review, like a cat brings a dead mouse or bunny or bird to its owner.

I’m like, “Just throw it in the trash! I don’t need to check it out first. What, do you want credit for it or something?”

Monday, March 29, 2010

Serotonin Deficiency Linked to SIDS

So the whole Back to Sleep campaign was a bunch of crap it seems. The most recent studies say SIDS is linked to a serotonin deficiency in babies.

Sleeping on the belly got a bad rap, even though 9 out of 10 babies surveyed prefer it. Sleeping on the back only worked a bit better to save a few babies because babies don’t like being on their back and wake up easier because they’re uncomfortable.

The Family Bed also got a bad rap, even though most parents who do it are totally responsible and not drunk or fat and actually wake up if they hear their kid having trouble breathing.

Do should we screen for serotonin deficiency at birth? If a kid is deficient, do we give them a shot of it? Interesting turn of events.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Giveaway: Whole Foods Dark Chocolate Coffee Beans (7 ounce package)

I discovered these little gems when we went on our Whole Foods tour over Spring Break. I’ve always loved chocolate-covered coffee beans (I’ll eat just about ANYTHING if it’s covered in chocolate), so I grabbed a 7-ounce package of Dark Chocolate Coffee Beans at Whole Foods and love ‘em.

The bonus is that the kids don’t like them, so I don’t have to even worry about hiding them. And I only need a few a day to almost replace my coffee habit. Forget Red Bull … these little babies give you a nice buzz! At $4 per package, it’s a steal!

So I’m sharing with 1 lucky bloggie friend! Lots of chances to win; all you have to do is:

1. Leave me a comment … if you have to be Anonymous, leave me your first name and email, please.

2. For a bonus entry, put a link on your blog telling about this giveaway and come back here to let me know you did it.

3. For another entry, sign up for an email subscription to my blog on the right-hand side of the screen.

4. For yet ANOTHER entry, become a Follower of my blog on the right-hand side of the screen.

5. For another shot at winning, follow me on Twitter (it doesn’t count if you already follow me) at mommykerrie.

IMPORTANT: Don’t forget to leave me your e-mail address so I can contact you if you win. I’d leave it in this format so you don’t get Spam: mommykerrie at yahoo dot com.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Field Trip: Whole Foods Tour

On the 19th we went on a great field trip to Whole Foods with another family from our homeschool group. I was able to leave my girls home with my mom, so it was nice to be able to just take the boys and do some grocery shopping and then do the tour and THEN some more grocery shopping!

We got some sort of horned fruit (kiwano horned melon???), Shatto chocolate milk, granola for parfaits, a block of the best smoked mozzarella I’ve ever had in my life, some Odwalla bars (easy breakfast for me) and our staple Veggie Straws and dark chocolate discs.

I chalked all these expenses up to “education” and figure a Catholic school education would be more costly than buying a few items at a grocery store. Besides, we usually shop at Aldi, which is super cheap.

At the end of the tour, the kids got to make a healthy granola, blueberry and yogurt parfait. They got a bag of goodies, including a kiwi fruit, a juice box and a sample of organic fruit snacks.

Now I really want to write an article on how to feed your kids organic, healthy foods on the cheap. I wish I could easily contact Kate Gosselin (Jon and Kate Plus Eight) because I saw her shop at a Whole Foods-type place on the cheap for 8 kids … lots of coupons and rain checks helped. Kate, if you Google Alert yourself, CAWL ME … I’d love to interview you.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Ways to Celebrate Lent

Yep, I’m one of those Crazy Roman Catholics (we call ourselves “RCs” in house; my aunt lovingly calls us “fish eaters”). I became Catholic in 1999, AFTER getting married. I went through the conversion process (9 months) and then decided I wasn’t ready; didn’t want to convert JUST because I was marrying a Catholic. I went through the process again and decided I was ready.

I get asked about how we celebrate Lent a lot, so here’s just one example.

I got an e-mail from Scooter’s Coffeehouse (there’s one right up the street where, like at Cheers, everybody knows my name). During March they have an offer where you get a Coffee Passport and sample 7 different coffees within a month from 7 different countries. Then you get a $10 gift card. Basically I’d need to spend about $35 (including tip) to get $10. Normally I’d jump at this, but during Lent I’m rethinking some things.

I decided to instead take that $35 I almost blew and put it into our Rice Bowl (a little cardboard bowl you pick up at church before Lent starts).

From the bottom of the Rice Bowl: “75% of your gifts to Operation Rice Bowl come to Catholic Relief Services to fund development projects overseas and Lenten education efforts in the U.S. 25% remains in dioceses in the U.S. to support local hunger and poverty alleviation.”

Not a major sacrifice, I know, but big for me. In keeping with the idea of helping the hungry, I could also go down to Harvester’s and help pack up food (would they let me in with a nursing sling baby?).

I welcome more ideas of how to help the hungry in more hands-on ways while keeping at least a couple of the kids with me so they can also help and learn. Leave me some info in the Comments section, please!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Messy Homeschool Bookshelf AFTER Picture

Okay, fine. Here’s the AFTER picture of my messy bookshelf. And no, smarty pants, I didn’t just move everything out of view of the camera! Here’s what I did, because I bet you have a messy bookshelf, too, especially if you homeschool:

1. I got rid of some workbooks or stored them in a homeschool tub in the basement.

2. I put the dictionary, thesaurus and writing books on my desk shelf instead.

3. I put the scrapbooking projects in my bedroom closet until I can devote a chunk of time to them.

4. I called my mother-in-law to see if she has any coloring books at her house for grandkids who come over. She actually needed some!

5. I put the tin of games in our hall closet with other games.

6. I could only part with 2 books, but moved a few to another bookshelf that had some room on it.

7. I realized some of the stuff belonged solely to the boys (Pokemon books, Zoobooks magazines) and put them on a shelf in the boys’ closet.

8. I put the worksheets I’d been storing in file folders on the bookshelf into the file cabinet (had to clear space out of that first, of course).

9. I put things I want to work on with the kids into their respective homeschool baskets and set a goal to teach those things before the end of the school year.

10. The magazines now live in my overflowing writing drawer (a project for another day).

11. The Christmas folder got moved to my computer desk since I do need it from time to time to jot down ideas for people.

I was even able to add their art kits and a box of Legos. Ah, my bookshelf can BREATHE now! And I don’t feel so overwhelmed. Now, on to the project of getting new pictures printed for those frames on the top shelf …

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sexual Compulsion as DISEASE???

Okay, so we’ve established that alcoholism is possibly a disease. So how about sexual compulsion? Is it some chemical problem in the brain or just bad behavior? Or a bad habit? Or what? I mean, overeating is a big problem, too. But I have to have food. If I stop food altogether, I will die. But if I never have sex again I will be fine. If a guy never has sex again (even with himself), he will not blow up.

Can’t wait for the opinions on this one.

By the way, there is a great program called Covenant Eyes that you can load onto your computers for accountability for someone who may have a problem with Internet porn. They have an accountability partner who sees their Internet report for the week (the sites they've gone to, what time of day, etc.). For the family members who don't have a porn problem, they just have a different login and no accountability partner.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Life Skills Versus Cursive/State Capitals

If you’re a teacher reading this, take your laptop to the toilet or put on a diaper because you’re going to crap your pants.

I think life skills are more useful to teach than cursive or state capitals.

When I went to Richie Rich Elementary School (aka Westwood View) in 6th grade there was this ONE day where we got to do some cool elective. Somehow I got into this class where they were making crepes. It was awesome to get out of the normal doldrums of class AND to make something I live for: food.

So on the Homeschool Grid for my boys, I’m crossing off Handwriting and changing that set of boxes to Life Skills. They have handwriting down pat and practice it daily in their workbooks. They play around with cursive when they feel like it. State capitals will come, but won’t be drilled into their heads so they forget as soon as summer comes.

Joel already knows how to make a microwave egg, omelets and toast, how to clean a bathroom and vacuum, how to work the VCR and DVD players. In the future we’ll do budgeting, checkbook balancing, oil changing in the van, gardening and staying out of debt.

And I’m not being judgmental of parents of kids in school here … we all know they (and the kids) are too wiped out by the end of the day (and THEN have to struggle with stupid homework … don’t get me started) to even contemplate teaching life skills.

God bless ‘em, somehow my parents taught me how to balance a checkbook, pay my own car insurance and tickets and buy 2 cars of my own before I was 18. Of course, I was an Only Child, which is a whole ‘nother story.

Can you think of some Life Skills kids that are not being taught before kids graduate into the real world?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Messy Homeschool Bookshelves

Does this bookshelf look messy to you? If so, does the excuse count that I have 5 kids? How about the excuse that I homeschool?

Yeah, you’re probably right … I need to get rid of some stuff. I mean, how many of those workbooks do we really even use? Real-life experience is so much better at teaching sometimes anyway. And how many of those books do we read over and over again? How many of them could we just get at the library if we were dying to read them? And how many coloring books does a kid need (I’ve already given away a bunch)?

What are those baskets on the middle shelf, you ask? They are Michael and Joel’s homeschooling baskets. They hold their workbooks, projects, books they’re reading, stuff they don’t want their sister to get into. Yeah, I don’t know how I’m going to someday fit FIVE baskets on those shelves, but I think it’s a good problem to have.

That tub is full of rubber stamps and markers … more stuff we don’t want The Littles to get into.

On top is my fault … my attempts to catch up on baby books and scrapbooking. Oh, and a container of magazines.

That blue folder laying down under the tub is my Christmas stuff: catalogs, ideas for the kids, Christmas letters, budgets, etc.

It’s dangerous. The other day I reached for something and a bunch of stuff fell and almost bonked Sam on the head.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Lego Monster

My kids love Legos. Eva loves destroying the creations. I hate stepping on them. This is a picture of Michael with a Lego creation he made and the instruction booklet he made to go with it. I think I need to start keeping the instruction booklets for the Lego stuff (Atlantis, Star Wars, power miners, etc.) in a binder in page protectors or something.

How do you tame the Lego monster?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bedwetting Over the Age of 5

I took Callie to the doctor for her "kindergarten" checkup and vaccines. The doctor wanted to know if she was fully potty-trained. I told him she still wets the bed some. I didn't express that it was a problem, but he suggested all kind of stuff, from bed alarms to medication.

The thing is, I know lots of people with kids who wet the bed. Some of these kids are approaching 10. I don't want to medicate her to dry up her bladder. She just sleeps heavy. I never had any problems with the boys, and I know everybody is different, so I'm not worried about it. It will stop eventually. She is dry during the day and never has accidents during the day.

Does your older kid wet the bed? Suggestions?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Disciplining Parents

The other day Eva, who is 2, says in a menacing tone to me:

"Mommy. NOW. One, two, ten."

Where did she learn that? I never COUNT as discipline!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Underdressed Kids ... Let Them be Comfortable! #LazyParentsGuideToLife

Do you care what your kids wear?

Sometimes I do, like when we go to church. I make sure they have on a decent shirt and pants (not jammie pants and not sweatpants and not even jeans).

Sometimes I do, depending on WHO I’m going to be around. Like if we’re going to be around a bunch of people who are ridiculously judgmental and would call The State on me for mal-dressed kids, I make them wear normal clothes.

Otherwise, I plead “part of why we homeschool is so we don’t have to worry about dress codes and wearing what everyone else is wearing.”

Like when we went to the first day of our parks and rec homeschool art class. I knew there would be dressed up Duggars there, but my boys are most comfy in loose-fitting pants with designs on them that closely resemble jammies. Besides, it’s ART CLASS … they’re gonna get messy!

We had a doctor appointment right after that and I had to take all 5 kids and didn’t have time for them to change clothes, so I took them to the doc in their comfy clothes, too. Normally that’s a place where I want them to look a little nicer, but that day I just didn’t have the brain power to care.

I mean, other than wearing their jammies in public (like you wish YOU could), my kids are happy, healthy, clean, well-educated, well-exercised and well-fed and are just generally good kids.

I can’t wait for Anonymous to comment about how I’m a lazy parent, to which I will pre-respond that I (literally) wrote the (e-)book on lazy parenting and am currently tweaking it, so I agree with you.

UPDATE as of April 23, 2016, still working on it .... haha!

And as of January 31, 2020, I have not had time to work on it! Moved to the country and too busy keeping up with homeschooling, a house, a pool, friends, family and fun!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

When Children Die

My friend Eva recently told me that the friend of a friend just had a baby who had meconium aspiration like my baby Sam had when he was born. This baby was in the NICU a couple of days, and then he died.

This story haunts me. I keep asking myself this impossible question that I will not know the answer to until I’m dead: “Why did my baby live and her baby died?” It’s not like I’m a better person than that baby’s mother. I’m certainly not more worthy.

A few weeks later at gymnastics class I met a woman who told me she had 4 kids, but one had passed away only 8 months earlier. And she’s pregnant again. Her son was 3 ½ when he wandered into their pool … a pool that normally had all gates locked and an alarm system. I didn’t get all the details because I didn’t want to pry too much on our first meeting. I didn’t want to say the wrong thing, so I told her I was sorry and that she’s amazing and congratulations on the new baby. I savored a little book of photos she had of her son.

They’re in the process of tearing up the pool. She came upon Hell and couldn’t go around it. She had to go through it. She is amazing because she came out the other side. She’s trying to live a normal life, taking her kids to gymnastics (among other things), when I’m sure she would much rather crawl into her bed and stay there all day, every day.

She mentioned getting together sometime. I gave her my “mommy card” (my business card with email, phone and web site). She told me she’s writing a book about her experience of the first year after a child dies. I believe there is a reason for everything. For sure these days I’m seeing my kids differently, taking them less for granted. What if today is the last day of life for one of my kids? Accidents happen all the time.

I still look at Sam and wonder what I would have done if he had died. We never know how we’ll respond to something like that. Divorce often ensues. Relationships with the other children are damaged. It’s hard to comprehend that the dead one is most likely better off than we are; happier, at peace, looking down on us or hanging out among us wanting us to live life to the fullest and probably not wanting us to let the death envelop us.

Thank you to that mom for sharing her story with me. And now I’m sharing it with you. Maybe you want to share it with a mom you know. Or maybe you want to go eat a pint of ice cream. Now go hug your kids.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Google Pictures of My Freaking House

Aron just left a message to close the front shades because the Google van is driving around taking pictures and I probably don’t want them getting a photo of me breastfeeding in my own home. I hate that they take pictures of houses. How dumb. I called him back and told him, “Thanks for my next blog post because that is too funny!”

I already have pictures they took of my house, by the way. My dad found it when he was messing around one day looking for pictures of where I was born and where we lived in Germany in 1970 and 1971. Anyway, on both photos they have the wrong address typed on the top, so I don’t know how anybody finds what they’re looking for anyway!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Back to Sleep Campaign

Okay, so if you're a GOOD PARENT you put your baby on his/her back to sleep, right? I mean, if you don't want your baby to DIE of SIDS, you put your baby on his/her back. RIGHT?

Or did you?

In my vast experience, babies seem to want to sleep on their stomachs. They feel all cozy, snuggled up to the mattress. If you lay them on their back they do that funny thing where their arms splay out to their sides and they often wake up.

Feel free to post as Anonymous on this one. No judgments from me since we have had a family bed for over 8 years (and nobody has ever even come close to suffocating or dying). I'm just curious about what you're actually doing. People don't talk about it much because they don't want to be perceived as "bad parents" if their kid sleeps on the belly.

And yes, the post is coming up on SIDS being linked to a serotonin deficiency. Be patient.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Women and Financial Responsibility

Recently on one of my favorite shows that my mom tapes for me, The Real Housewives of Orange County, Lynne was mad at her husband that she and her family got evicted from their $10,000 a month home they had just moved into. She was mad at her husband that he didn't tell her that he didn't have the money to pay the $10,000 deposit and so he simply hid it from her.

Here's the thing ...

I know what's going on with the bills in my house, and we aren't talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars.

And ... I think that if Lynne knew they were having financial problems, she would have held off on her (unnecessary) facelift and the nose job for her 19-year-old daughter. I think she is a reasonable woman that way.

I think a husband who tries to give his wife EVERYTHING even when he can't afford it is a D.A. (remember how I can't cuss on here anymore b/c I've sold out to Coupons.com, a family-friendly advertising venue?).

What do you think? Do you watch this show? Do you think I am shallow for watching this show? Do you think I really care what you think about my TV habits? Do you know what's going on with the bills in your house? Are you on something right now? Do you want to be?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Yoo Hoo and Friends

Eva calls these little stuffed animals (that make different noises when you squeeze the belly) “Fens” because she can't say "Friends."

Joel discovered his first one in Branson when we were on vacation and got 2 more from my dad and stepmom for Christmas. Dad and Nancy, being awesome, also got one for each of the other kids. So now they have a club. Little do they know, my aunt Ginny found 4 more, and that's what the Easter bunny is bringing.

Sometimes Joel gets made fun of for carrying 3 of them around in his shirt like they are his babies. He’s an 8-year-old boy and is expected to act a certain way, you know. But I think it’s sweet that he can shoot a huge Nerf gun while toting his babies around. He’s gonna snag a cool wife, I’m thinking.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Nosey Nursing NICU Baby

Since Sam had to stay in the NICU for a week after he was born (and I had an infection as well), and my milk didn’t come in for a while, I was worried I wouldn’t be able to nurse him as I had my other kids. I was ready to actually buy my first-ever can of formula (all the other cans over the years had been free samples) and let other people feed him most of the time. I have to admit it was nice to have a break every now and then from trying to nurse nonstop and to have his brothers or sisters or another family member or friend give him a bottle of formula.

But then days went by when he wouldn’t get a bottle, and now it’s been weeks. I have to time my outings carefully or else take him with me when I go places (like to see the movie “Up in the Air” or go grocery shopping). And it’s just fine.

Now he’s almost 5 months old and if I nurse him to get him to sleep because *I* have something to do (homeschool, relax, etc.), he doesn’t always cooperate. Often he would rather wiggle around and stare at the world and see what he can come up with in his hand when he does a quick grab at the air.

I still marvel daily at the fact that he is even alive.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Swimwear & Summer Attire

I got a quasi-request ("I can't wait until we talk about swimwear") from Jen ...

Okay, Jen, let’s talk swimwear and summer attire. You’ve been wanting this post for a while. It says a lot about our society that instead of giving you a call, I’m giving you a shout out on the Internet!

Let me start the conversation by saying that some swimwear is so bad (and I know this is not a NEW thing) that my husband takes his glasses off the minute he gets to the pool. This is why I don’t like for him to take the kids to the pool without me … I’m afraid his blind butt will miss one of our kids drowning. I do respect him for not oogling trampy women, though.

Still, what are people THINKING? What annoys me more ... older women trying to look like teenagers or teens and tweens trying to look like they're 28?

Take it away, readers, while I go dig out my totally unflattering nursing swimsuit for use in a few months.

*By the way, this photo is NOT of me.

Friday, March 5, 2010

I'm Just a Boob in Jeans

You know on “Tom and Jerry” cartoons when sometimes one of the characters will see another character as a pork chop or a hot dog?

I think when Sam looks at me he sees a giant boob full of milk.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The "Disease" of Alcoholism

Let’s stir (not shake) things up a bit, hopefully.

Do you think alcoholism is a DISEASE?

I don’t.

Cancer is a disease. You can’t quit cancer. You can quit drinking. If you are locked in a room with no alcohol for the rest of your life, you will probably have some physical symptoms of withdrawal, but you will be okay. If you are locked in a room with cancer and given no treatment you will just die.

I think alcoholism is an ADDICTION. Like I’m addicted to food … my brain has repeatedly felt better when I eat, so now I think I have to have certain nasty foods to feel not depressed, to feel happy, to feel in control mostly.

Alcoholism is poor choices. It's checking out of life. It's not taking responsibility for your own crap.

So what do YOU think?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

How to Pack a Baby in a Suitcase

I know some of you won't believe me, but Aron is always sad when he has to travel for work. The last time he left for Phoenix I pretended to pack Sam in his suitcase. A perfect fit (although probably highly illegal)!

Monday, March 1, 2010

How to Make Homeschooling Friends

I have found a new homeschooling friend again and BOY am I excited. She’s normal. Her kids are normal. She’s nice.

She doesn’t ask me inappropriate questions like, “So, why do you write? Is it because you are not fulfilled as a mother?”

She doesn’t quiz me about my religion, hoping to convert me to hers or to find holes in my logic.

She doesn’t run around her house like a Homeschooling Nazi, making sure her kids are doing work way above their grade level WHILE we are having a playdate.

I will add her in my mind to my growing list of great friends, homeschooling or otherwise.

In case you’re wondering, I went to the web site for one of my homeschool groups and searched the members’ addresses. Then I put together a play date with a couple of moms who live close. Sure, I’d rather stay home and write and hang out with my kids than meet new people, but once we met a few times I was glad I got out of the house. I initially did it for my kids so they’d have a social opportunity before 3:15 p.m., but I’ve made a friend or two in the process!

Do you find it hard sometimes to make friends now that you have kids?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...