Tuesday, October 30, 2012


I'm sure many of you have seen this badge.
I love it. I've been thinking about it lately.  Yesterday was insanely busy, but some days no matter how much you fight it you have those days.  
I've also being thinking about the multiple blog posts that are in my head but have never been written and uploaded.  Since August they have been floating up there.
Here is the question, does any unpaid mommy blogger keep up her blog if she started it when her kids were little and at home all day with her, once she has multiple kids in school?  I just don't have the time I use to.  I'm pretty sure everyone I knew in real life who blogged regularly when all their kids were under 5, no longer blogs regularly.  
I wish I was keeping better record, because I know one day I'll forget things, but instead I want my 5 free minutes, smiling at this sweet boy.

He is our smiley baby, and everyone adores him, luckily he has lots of people to adore him, because his parents definitely don't have the time they had with the other two.
Brent was telling me about this thing he was listening to on the radio about being busy.  The lady quit everything other than work and school for a year and everyone was so happy.  I said, we have one more than that, work, school and church.  Which is the reason we aren't filled with a bunch of extracurriculars, I don't believe my children would be more happy if I was carting them all over town.  Last night I went to pick up pizza and let me tell you, everyone cried and whined that they had to get the car, and they weren't playing with their toys or on the computer.  For PIZZA! they are the ones that always ask for pizza.  So yes, I try very very hard not to be overly busy.
If you are related to me, you may remember I use to send out birthday cards to everyone.  I took a sabbatical once my husband started his MBA, because I just didn't have the time/energy anymore.  Yeah, that sabbatical turned into life, I barely get cards to grandma's and grandpa's a week late.

I was also thinking about how two or three years ago, I thought I might pull out my hair because all I ever did was stay at home ALL DAY long with these two little kids, and I wondered if I would ever leave on a regular basis.  We went grocery shopping once or twice a week, and if we were lucky in the winter I would take the to McDonalds just to get out of the house.  How I can't even fathom that anymore, I feel so bad for my baby, because he is always getting ripped in and out of the carseat, in and out of naps.  I'll be honestly thankfully I've moved on in life past being stuck in all day wondering what excuse I could have to leave, because how I desperately wanted an excuse to leave back in the day.

I'll be honest.  I have no interest in being more busy.  I know my children are thriving in school with only free play after school.  But every so often I wonder, am I ruining them, will they not succeed in life if I don't put them in sports?  Will they ever be able to catch up with their peers? I know logically I'm being paranoid, but I still worry.  Its interesting I worry, because I've always hated regularly playing team sports, and I thinking my son is the same.  He knows his friends play sports, and he never asks me to sign up for them.  Once last year he asked to do gymnastic, but that is all. My husband and daughter love riding their bikes, while I force my oldest son on his bike.  I'm pretty sure in ten years, my daughter will ask her dad to take her mountain biking, and my son will say, I'll just stay home with mom while we read on the couch. Ok, so he won't actually say all that.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Specials Night

My least favorite day of the whole school day is, the open house, the day before the first day of school.  We find out who our child's teacher is, meet the teacher and drop off about 20 lbs of school supplies per child all while the rest of the school and siblings are there the same hour.  There is no parking, and once again 20 lbs of school supplies while trying to keep track of your children in a huge crowd. Lots of families who no longer have small children use strollers, the best idea I saw was using suitcase.
My favorite day of the school year, is the specials sampler.  I'm sure soon my son's grade will be too old for the special sampler, but I'll enjoy it while it lasts.  We go in the evening and meet with his class, and go around to all his special classes, meet the teachers and they show off what they are learning.  Music the do a little song and dance, in PE they play games, in art they make a mini project with clay.  This year they mixed the colors for the color wheel.  All those little kids are all so cute, and I realize my son really doesn't have terrible fashion, almost all the rest of the kids are dressed as bizarrely as him.
They have enough xylophones for everyone in the class, and they get to play them almost every day.
 Doing a song and dance with a parent.
Color wheels
Playing catch with a pig.  We need one of those.

I have no pictures from Technology, Library, Counseling, because really what would I have taken pictures of.  He has an hour of everything every week other than Library and Counseling.  Library is half an hour, and counseling is a half an hour every other week.  I only wish he also had spanish.... Other than that, all my wildest dreams have come true.  All the teachers know the kids by name, they recognize us when we see them around town, and one even knows the little sister's name.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Post Baby Reading

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Katniss is quite the tragic hero, isn't she? My favorite line of the book was when Haymitch tells tells her this is why we don't let you make the plans. I liked this book more than the first book. Still I had an easy time putting it down, but it was entertaining while it lasted. I think I quite enjoyed it. I'm going to be disappointed if she doesn't end up with Gale in the end of the next book, then again it is dystopian lit so maybe it doesn't have a happy ending.

The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes - and WhyThe Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes - and Why by Amanda Ripley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is fascinating. Its about the different human reactions to disasters.  Why we do the different things we do during tragedies, what evolutionary traits service us well, and what ones create more harm now that society has progressed.  This book infuriating me when it discussed how public works plans for disasters. I think that is the point if more people knew how organizations ridiculously plan for disasters we would all be outraged.  Officials have so little faith in the average person. They often plan complicated methods that make no sense, think the color warnings for terrorist threats.  When in actuality, simple planning which teach all people what to do and how to train are the most effective.  The average person and average group is capable of surviving almost anything as long as they have practice. The only group that actually accomplishes this is school children in fire drills.
Here are the quotes I like,
"Once we factor in emotion, then, the human risk equation is actually more sophisticated, not less.  Damasio's discoveries convinced me that the way for people to get better at judging risk is not to avoid emotion-- or wish it away-- but to capitalize upon it.  Dread, properly tapped, can save our lives." p.42
"This curious sense of aloofness, call 'dissociation,' can feel subtle. [...] At its most extreme, dissociation can take the form of an out-of-body experience That's when people describe feeling as if they were watching themselves from above. [...] Extreme dissociation seems to be the brain's last line of defense, and its particularly common among victims of childhood sexual abuse. 'It's a way to survive,' says Hanoch Yerushalmi, an Israeli psychologist.. 'People are saying, 'You have my body but you don't have my soul." p. 61
"The brain is built to focus on one thing at a time, whether in a traffic jam or during an emergency landing.  We have built technology for multitasking, but the brain has not changed." p. 75
Survival of disasters is mostly about money.  "People need roofs, roads, and health care before quibbles like personality and risk perception count for much.  ...for those who survive, money is a form of liquid resilience: it can bring treatment, stability, and recovery." p.90
Often victims have three responses. "One would laugh it off.  Another would be enraged. Still another would be emotionally traumatized."
"Resilience is a precious skill.  People who have it tend to also have three underlying advantages: a belief that they can influence life events; a tendency to find meaningful purpose in life's turmoil; and a conviction that they can learn from both positive and negative experiences. These beliefs act as a sort of buffer, cushioning the blow of any given disaster.  Dangers seems more manageable to these people, and they perform better as a result. p.91
"Contrary to popular expectations, this is what happens in a real disaster.  Civilization holds.  People move in groups whenever they can.  They are usually far more polite than they are normally.  They look out for one another, and they maintain hierarchies.  'People die the same way they live,' notes disaster sociologist Lee Clarke, 'with friends, loved ones, and colleagues in communities.'" p.110
The story "The Making of a Gunfighter, on pages 67-70 was also fascinating.
Also the book mentioned that women are more liking to report injuries in disasters.  It has nothing to do with physical strength, it has to do with poor foot wear.  Survivors of the 9-11 reported tripping on discarded high heals, left in the stairwells. When I told my husband this, he told me that he recently read something that suggested women keep an old pair of tennis shoes in their car because rarely are women wearing shoes that they could walk a few miles in.
Also it turns out even when told to leave everything and evacuated immediately humans naturally wander around trying to bring items with them, even if the items are worthless. Unless trained to do so human do not leave immediately.  They go through a period of denial. Humans also move like water when evacuating, they do not move like a simple equation.
This book made me wonder how I would react and how my husband would react.  I drew on my previous experiences, which weren't many or that traumatic.  Experiences like falling out of a car when I was 6 or 7, being lost with two other children in the forest when I was 8.  Being in a car accident, and witnessing the driver's flight or fight response, of trying to walk the last 3 miles to make it to an appointment on time.  When family members/friends were in accidents and my response.  My neighbors in college setting off the fire alarm at 2 am.  My illogical thought process while in labor before each of my children were born, all give me clues on how I would responded, at least I think. Or the fire this past summer in which we prepared to evacuate in case the fire jumped to our mountain. Also the book discussed that the secret to remaining calm is relaxed breathing, the breathing you learn in stress relief or Lamaze.

The Out-of-Sync Child: Recognizing and Coping with Sensory Processing Disorder The Out-of-Sync Child: Recognizing and Coping with Sensory Processing Disorder by Carol Stock Kranowitz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A very useful book to read considering my child has Sensory issues. It shed a lot of light on why my child does the things she does, and helped me think of ways to help her adjust to life, or maybe just help me accept her for who she is, no matter how challenging she makes life. You may wonder what sensory disorder is, that is a complicated question to answer. The way sensory disorder presents itself in one person could be completely different then another person. At first glance it may seem like almost anyone can relate to some sensory issues, but its when a person has many complications in processing what their sense are telling them, and it interferes with life. I'm sure my child's sensory disorder is genetic from me, but I think it is more sever in her, and complicates her life in ways it has never effected me. The book has a hideous cover, so don't judge the book on that. Unfortunately this book is really quite boring, and this is coming from someone who reads a fair amount of non-fiction from child development, social sciences and self help genres. I'm disappointing the book is boring, because I think there are quite a few parents who could benefit from this book, but I'm hesitant to make a referral. That being said if you can push your way through I've found it quite useful.

 Crossed (Matched, #2)Crossed by Ally Condie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I think I liked this book slightly more than the first. It was less teenage imagined drama/her thoughts and more actual plot. But honestly in the month that has pasted since I read it I can't remember much. In a way I feel like the dystopian teen fiction with the clueless girl, who has two boys in love with her is slightly over done. That being said, the book is a quiet easy read that was fairly entertaining.

 The Gifted Kids' Survival Guide: For Ages 10 & UnderThe Gifted Kids' Survival Guide: For Ages 10 & Under by Judy Galbraith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I found this book while trying to help my gifted child find non-fiction he was interested in at the library. Even though this book is written for children, I found this book very useful as a parent of a gifted child. Its designed for probably 8 or 9 year olds to read. The number one useful thing I read in the book was gifted children deserved to be told they are gifted, and how that might mean they differ from other kids. I had been purposely not telling my child he was in "gt program". After discussing the gt program, and his giftedness, I swear overnight my child relaxed and started behaving better with me. When thinking about it I realized the disservice I was doing for him, by ignoring "his giftedness." That is just one example of how useful the book was for me. It helped me understand what is going on in his brain a little better. A very useful book.

Matched (Matched, #1)Matched by Ally Condie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was a nice easy read to get me back into reading after having a baby. It wasn't really my favorite teen fiction out there, but it wasn't bad either. I thought this was on the supreme light side of Dystopian fiction. Out of all the dystopian fiction I've ever read, if I had to choose a society to live in, this would definitely be the one. Even though they match you and place you in your profession, etc etc, for the most part most of the characters carry on normal lives with families. There is still some amount of love and/or affection in society. Sure life sucked for Ky, but in normal capitalistic society life also sucks for some people. And isn't that the point of dysopian fiction to propagate the idea that capitalism is good, and we want choice and the free market? I'll be honest though I was rooting for Zander not Ky. Is that a spoiler? I don't know if I'm just defiant like that or what? Even though the author described them oppositely I pictured Zander as the actor for Gale from Hunger Games and Ky as Peeta. Although Peeta is a nice enough character in Hunger Games, I didn't like the actor they picked for him, so the character of Ky was ruined for me. Sorry. But part of the reason I liked Zander better than Ky, was because Ky was exciting and romantic for Cassia, while Zander was more safe and reliable, and so the book made me think that the newness of Ky would eventually wear off, and then what would she be left with. Zander seemed to me the person you could build a life on. Yeah, I know I let my imagination run off in a direction the book did not lead me too, since the book says Ky would have been her match if he wasn't a whatever the term was. So indeed this review does contain spoilers.

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Eat Cake: A NovelEat Cake: A Novel by Jeanne Ray
And now I'm reading Eat Cake by Jeanne Ray, who knows if I will like it or not.  It was last months book group selection.  I got an email from the library saying it my hold was ready to pick up the day after book group meeting, luckily my brother was in town that night so it didn't matter I never got the book.  I do like page 2, "Cake have gotten a bad rap.  People equate virtue with turning down dessert.  There is always one person at the table who holds up her hand when I serve the cake.  No, really, I couldn't, she says, and then gives her flat stomach a conspiratorial little pat.  Everyone who pressing a fork into that first tender layer looks at the person who declined the plate, and they all think, That person is better than I am.  That person has discipline.  But that isn't a person with discipline, that is a person who has completely lost touch with joy.  A slice of cake never made anybody fat.  You don't eat the whole cake.  You don't eat a cake every day of your life   You take the cake when it is offered because the cake is delicious.  You have a slice of cake and what it reminds you of is someplace that's safe, uncomplicated  without stress. A cake is a party, a birthday a weeding. A cake is what's served on the happiest days of your life. ...so, of course, if sides are to be taken, I will always take the side of cake."  We have lots of desserts other than cake on the happiest days of my life, but nonetheless I love cake and agree about the getting fat part.  Its like what Jess from New Girl said, "I find it fundamentally Strange that you're not a dessert person.  That's just weird and it freaks me out."
Plus I like the authors writing style so far, its been I awhile since I've read a book and thought this author writes beautifully.

Friday, October 5, 2012

New Couch

We got a new couch and got rid of the blackish/brown ones.  Hooray!  Ignore all that junk on the right side of the photo, I'm working on it just not very well.


This was my favorite 0-3 outfit on my oldest.

It doesn't fit my third baby anymore, this picture was taken a month ago, and its rotated wrong.
Ha ha, this picture makes me laugh, yes he is yelling.
He use to fit on his burp cloths.