Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Missing you.

I've been thinking about friendship a lot lately. I have a lot of friends that I don't get to see nearly as much as I'd like, and I miss them -- that is, you, because I know some of you read my blog. Some friends live too far to see very often, but others live in town and it seems almost as challenging to get together.

I think I've relied a lot on organized activities and readymade social groups to keep me in regular contact with my favorite people. But a lot of things have changed this year, and that's not working so well anymore. Our home improvement co-op hasn't met yet this season, and I've missed it. Several of the kids were in soccer, one dad works weekends, and Saturdays were just too booked. Our homeschooling co-op ended abruptly this summer, and I haven't managed to stay in contact with two of the moms I liked the best. Sundays it's hit or miss whether we ever see some of our church friends, mostly because of Sunday school committments and our own inconsistency. And our unschooling group hasn't gotten together at all this fall. We haven't even spent much time with our gardening friends -- and they come to our house every week!

We have gotten to know our neighbors really well. It's nice to have friends so conveniently located. And I don't know what I'd do without Knitting Night. But I feel sad about not seeing the friends who are less "convenient." It seems silly. But life just goes so fast when you have kids. Maybe I need to lower my expectations, increase my efforts to reach out, and just trust that the fact that we're not getting together as often does NOT mean we're any less friends.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Knitting Frenzy!

I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving! I ate so much that I slept all night without waking up hungry two or three times like I usually do! UberDad's mom did most of the work this year. All I did was roast some acorn squash, super easy. Instead of cooking, I spent most of the day knitting.

I've been a knitting FIEND this week!! If I could ever drag myself to the camera store to get my digital camera fixed, I could actually post some finished projects. They've all been hats so far. One each for the boys, one for a friend's preemie, one for UberDad for Christmas. I've got a few other things in the works, but some of them are secrets. ;) Carla and I are heading to the craft store today for more yarn!

Have I mentioned we have an ultrasound scheduled for January 9? So, hopefully we'll find out whether we're having a boy or a girl! Yes, I know it's exciting for it to be a surprise. Grouper was a surprise because the umbilical cord was wrapped between his legs hiding everything. But we'd really like some time to bond with and prepare for #3. We didn't even have a name picked out for Grouper, and for a few days I kept forgetting what we'd named him!

Anyhow, when Christmas is over and we, God willing, know what gender this baby is, I'm going to go crazy knitting baby stuff! I've been checking out diaper soakers (covers) and baby pants patterns on the web, and there are SO many cute ideas! I'm off to the yarn store, but you can look at my new favorite sites here:

Diaper Pages

Tiny Bird's Soaker

Little Turtle Knits

Holy Sheep Yarns

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Definition of Radical Christian Unschooling

Someone posted this fabulous definition on the Radical Christian Unschooling yahoo group I belong to, and I thought I'd share since not everyone who reads this blog is familiar with the idea.

"Radical Unschooling is the Trust that a child will seek out and learn what he needs to know, when he needs to know it, without coercion, without school or school type methods, in the freedom and safety of his family. Our role as parents is to facilitate and make available our time, space, money, and lives to helping them explore the world.

Radical Christian Unschooling is the Trust that not only will a child seek out and learn what he needs to know when he needs to know it, without coercion, without school or school type methods, in the freedom and safety of his family, but that God will direct the child's path Himself. Our role as parents is to act as guides and mentors in the learning process, and to disciple our children in our Faith through our daily example of walking out our faith before their eyes."

--Susan McGlohn

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Goodbye SuperMom, nice to see you Lazy Mom

So, I'm up bright and early this morning for some reason. Maybe it's because I relaxed yesterday afternoon instead of wearing myself out trying to be the perfect mom and housekeeper, and even went to bed on time. Yesterday I realized why I'm usually much more lazy than I was on Monday or Tuesday. Because I get GROUCHY.

My idea for this week was to try to stay more organized in my approach to parenting. Normally, I get away with ignoring the dishes until the next morning and the clutter until it's out of control, and I feed or give attention on demand instead of anticipating the boys' every need. (I've considered changing this blog's name to Lazy Mom since it might be more accurate.) I knew I'd have to increase my involvement this week to keep everyone happy, including myself. But I should have taken a break on Tuesday instead of getting so obsessive about it. I don't think I sat down between 4 and 8 p.m. except for 10 minutes to eat dinner. That might be normal for some parents, but NOT for me.

So, instead of lying in bed another hour just because I could have, I got up and made my tea so I'd be sure to finish it before I had three hungry boys to take care of. Having a few minutes of quiet first thing in the morning really does make a difference. Maybe today I won't have to lock myself in the closet.

On that note, I don't think my friend's ex was simply overwhelmed by his role as a daytime parent. Apparently he spent much of the day sleeping while his grandfather or brother watched his son. He had a history of self-centered decision-making, which was why their marriage ended in the first place.

The two full-time, at-home dads I know very well are FABULOUS in their roles. There is nothing in their genetic make-up that prevents that possibility.

Well, my boys are up, and sippy cups must be found. After all, Lazy Mom didn't finish the kitchen last night. But she IS in a good mood. :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Dr. StrangeLove and the Disappearing Dad

Could someone explain to me how my 4.5 and 3 year-old children, who haven't seen their doctor in two years, could have suddenly invented the all-too-familar "Doctor" game completely on their own?? They've been chasing each other around the living room saying, "I need to check on your penis! I'm the doctor!" since dinner.

Hmm, maybe taking them with me to my ob appointment last week wasn't such a great idea after all...

On a completely different note, I'm watching my friend's son all week since her ex-husband, who watched their son during the day while my friend worked, decided to leave town indefinitely with no notice. Dropped some toys on her doorstep after bedtime on Sunday with a goodbye note for their three-year-old. Seems that after less than a year of caring for his son for 40 hours a week, it was time to do something for himself. But don't worry, he wrote his son, Jesus will take care of you and your Mommy.

EXCUSE ME??? Is that what he considers Christian ethics?? Go do whatever the heck you want, leave your son with no notice after he's been used to spending all day with you, and call it FAITH?? Oh, well, your son has been baptised now and has godparents, I guess your work is done. Yes, Jesus WILL take care of my friend and her son, with the help of her friends and family, and her own faith and hard work. And the COURT will be terminating your parental rights since you think so little of your paternal responsibilities.

AARGH. Please pray for my friend and her son, that getting full custody and child support goes smoothly, and that the trauma for this small boy is somehow lessoned as much as possible. So far things have gone well at my house, but it's only been two days.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

A little local lactivism

Dear Medical Group Prenatal Orientation Co-ordinator,

I attended the 4 p.m. orientation you led on Wednesday, Nov. 2, as I am 11 weeks pregnant with my third child. I am a patient of Dr. D--, and am happy to have found a doctor with as much respect for natural childbirth as he has. I was very glad to hear about your full-range doula care service. I hope the praise and admiration for doulas that you expressed convinced some of the parents to make doula care a priority. I was also excited to see that the group offers prenatal massage. I plan to use that service myself as much as possible.

I know the Medical Group is interested in promoting the best health for mothers and babies. So I was quite concerned with the wide use of formula and formula company-sponsored items during orientation as incentives for the mothers in your care. I'm sure you know that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusively breastfeeding for the first six months of baby's life. Breastfeeding is not just one option mothers can choose for feeding their infants -- it is exactly what all babies need and want.

Giving free formula to mothers so early in their pregnancies sends a dangerous message that could damage their baby's health. Nearly all the women who attend these orientations should have no problem producing enough milk to breastfeed exclusively with the right support. But many babies cannot digest formula at all, and their mothers find out too late -- after their milk supply has been weakened by supplementing. These mothers cannot use the coupons or free samples, but must spend their own money on specialized formula to replace their lost milk. Given proper information about breastfeeding in advance, they could instead make the perfect food for free.

Perhaps as mothers fill out medical history and diabetic risk forms, you could remind them that NOT breastfeeding increases their risk of developing breast cancer. You could add a box on the diabetes risk list for women who were formula fed, since feeding a baby formula instead of breastmilk increases his or her susceptibility to diabetes, among numerous other diseases.

You could also hold a drawing for free breastfeeding class coupons, and offer diaper bags sponsored by companies that make nursing pads or breast pumps as incentives. Personally, I was disappointed that I could not participate in the drawing for the gift basket because I would have to add my name to a Similac mailing list.

Assuming that all expectant parents are interested in free formula samples sends the wrong message about what method of infant feeding is normal, healthy and best for baby and mother. Breastfeeding is the gold standard. No formula, however advanced, can fully replace it.


Crunchy Christian Mom

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

UberDad's got morning sickness.

So, here it is 11 p.m. already -- the first time in nearly two months that I've been up past 10. And I haven't blogged yet. It's a wonder anybody still checks this thing.

But YES! I am nearing the end of the first trimester, and I actually have energy again! I'm not nauseated 24 hours of the day! Only one or so, which isn't that bad.

Unfortunately, my poor hubby can't say the same. He's been sick for two days. Thinks he's developed an alcohol sensitivity, probably related to yeast overgrowth. He just picked up a few cases of wine that his mom gave him from his father's collection. Now he can't even look at it.

So, we're back to attempting the sugar-free diet. The boys aren't doing that one so well. Maybe if I could bring myself to finally throw away the Halloween candy...
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