Monday, February 25, 2008

I'm cramming an otter into a Pringles can.

These two statements will get me through some busy days:

"Someone once told me that homeschooling and being a full time homemaker, wife and mother is like 'cramming an otter into a Pringles can.' It's just darned near impossible. That's the way life is for me, but it's working."

"Sometimes I forget I'm in the business of raising children and not of getting things done. I have to keep checking on the children and their progress and not worry about how the house looks."

—homeschooling mother Amber Galbraith, as quoted by Connie Goff in the Maryville Daily Forum, Maryville, Mo., Feb. 20, 2008

Friday, February 22, 2008

Who needs Barney? Sparty is where it's at.

She's yelling, "There Sparty!"

If my head hasn't exploded yet, maybe it never will.

All this happened in one, 24-hour period. This is what 2-year-olds are like. Happy 2nd birthday, Dori!

First Dori shoved six toothbrushes down the bathroom sink drain before bed. The pop-up on the drain was broken, so she just saw a black hole of opportunity. This picture was taken the next night. She's showing me that she's NOT shoving her toothbrush down the drain.

After lunch I dared to take a phone call from a friend. In just a couple minutes she did this with her black marker. I told her that she's supposed to color on her paper. Her response? "I did!" Well, yeah, but ...

At night we went into the bathroom — again after only leaving her a couple minutes — to find a new $3.99 box of Q-tips all over the floor, wrapped up in three partially unravelled rolls of dental floss.
This evening she made mountains out of strawberry yogurt on the kitchen table while eating her snack. No picture. I can't stand it any longer.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Normal breastfeeding challenged again.

A mother in Florida stopped by her daughter's school so they could eat lunch together. She breastfeed her other child as they sat at the school picnic table. Can you guess where this one is going?

A teacher and the principal asked the mother to stop breastfeeding. Read the full story:

Here's the letter I e-mailed to the principal, with a copy to his secretary and superintendent.

Dear Dr. Whitney,

I read an article in the online edition of the St. Petersburg Times that disappointed me a great deal. I do hope you offer a sincere and personal apology to Alicia Norris and her children very soon if you have not done so already. If so, thank you.

I understand that a teacher complained about the mother breastfeeding her child at the school and that you and the teacher asked her to stop. While I’m thankful that the law protects the child’s right to breastfeed in public and I appreciate that the school board representative admitted you were “off base” (as reported in the article), it’s still disappointing that this happened.

I hope you realize how important it is to support children’s right to breastfeed in public for the sake of our children’s well-being, and not only for the sake of following the law. As an educator, I’m sure you do have all children’s well-being at the top of your list of priorities. Babies and young children need to eat just as older children and adults do in school cafeterias and elsewhere. Dr. Whitney, please realize that by asking the mother not to breastfeed, you were creating an annoyance for her, but the person you were really hurting was her toddler.

In the article, you said, "I asked her not to do it in front of small children." Dr. Whitney, small children probably see their younger siblings at home being breastfed all the time. If not, they should be exposed to what is biologically normal. I assume that some aspects of health and biology are part of your school’s curriculum and I’m sure that you strive to provide nutritional meals in your school lunches. Would a mother feeding her baby a bottle on your school grounds (contrary to everything science tells us about what’s normal for children’s health, biology and nutrition) have been subjected to the same scrutiny?

Dr. Whitney, I strongly encourage you to not only inform your teachers about the law, but educate them about the importance of breastfeeding (wherever a child is, whenever he needs to eat) for the healthy development of children. Breastfeeding is normal. It is not something to be relegated to bathrooms and closets. What is your plan for educating your staff?

I look forward to your response.

Thanks for
your time,

Breastfeeding mother

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Let the homeschooled kids speak.

We hear plenty from parents about what they think about homeschooling. Here are some awesome videos by homeschooled kids.

Announcing the winners of the Laurel Springs "What's Cool About Homeschool?" video contest.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

The choking-on-an-eraser freak-out.

One day after Dori suffered the mild concussion, I came real close to taking her to the ER again.

Yesterday afternoon I noticed something white in her mouth and then saw a mechanical pencil, sans eraser, lying on the floor. Rather than just tell her to spit it out, I did the stupidest possible thing. I stuck my finger in her mouth to retrieve it. I swept my finger across her tongue and managed to shove the eraser right down her throat. Seriously, I can't even believe how dumb and dangerous that was. They always say, if your child is choking and you need to sweep their mouth to remove the object, make real sure you see where it is so you don't make matters worse. Well I made matters worse.

She wasn't even choking, so I didn't need to do anything drastic at that point. At the point I saw it the eraser was still at the front of her mouth.

In a split second I tried to figure out what to do next. Should I try to stick two fat fingers in and get it out? (Don't worry, I ruled out that option.) Should I have her cough it up? Should I call 911? Should I have her swallow it down? Should I turn her upside down and shake? Have I ruined my baby?

I told her to cough and started hacking myself to show her how. She just looked at me funny and saw how scared I was, then started to cry. I figured she was breathing and then commonsense (finally!) set in and I realized that breathing is really good and that crying can't happen if the child is not breathing. The eraser was really tiny, and although they say a toddler's trachea is about the size of their pinky finger, it seemed like this would go down. I checked inside her mouth and it seemed like it must be down by now.

I tried to get her to drink water to make sure it was down and not lodged in her throat, but she was crying so hard by then she just wouldn't do it. So, again probably not the smartest move, but I was desperate, I offered her some medicine. She had been taking some for her headaches from the concussion and I knew she would be willing to swallow it. I gave her the smallest possible amount of liquid Children's Motrin just to get her to swallow something. Then she was willing to wash that down with big gulps of water.

I kept watching her all afternoon just to make sure she was OK.

I had in mind the time my friend's son swallowed a quarter. He was 5 and told his dad right away, who called the ambulance. The paramedics checked him out and said he was fine, but a couple days later he kept complaining his throat hurt and didn't even want to drink so his mom took him to the doctor. It was a good thing because the quarter had lodged in his throat. My friend showed me photos later and the coin was about the same size as his trachea. Fortunately it was in at an angle so he could still breathe. Had it tipped, who knows what would have happened? He had it surgically removed and all of us in our group were sure to hide the coins from the kids.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The concussion freak-out.

I've spent the last two weeks of my life in an out of the hospital. I'm thankful it was just a kidney stone and nothing serious, but wow it was painful. It lodged and had to be surgically removed, then I'm apparently one of the few who react to removal of a uretal stent with intense kidney and bladder spasms. Those were no picnic either. And usually they go away quickly, but not mine.

This all comes as we're preparing to move across the state next week.

Today we had another trip to the emergency room, this time for Dori, who will turn 2 in a couple weeks.

She was running in wool socks on our wood floor when she fell and hit her head (on what I don’t know as I was on my knees in the kitchen cleaning Uncle Jeff's fabulous spaghetti casserole off the floor under her highchair after lunch). Dori cried, walked into the kitchen, then as soon as I got to her she flopped down on her face on the floor. I picked her up and she started having what looked like a seizure in my arms. Scary stuff. Just then Maggie walked in the front door to help us pack, so she drove us to the ER — only after getting stuck in the 13 inches of snow that fell in the driveway last night. Maggie was able to rock the car out and we got there. Dori has a mild concussion, but is back to acting like her old self. She was even asking to play the Elmo game on the computer within a couple hours of being home.

Maybe I shouldn’t have cleaned the wood floor today. If it were sticky as usual it might have given her some traction.

Addy didn’t see what happened either because she was cleaning spaghetti casserole off the office floor. I still don’t know how that got there, just that Dori was the culprit.