Saturday, March 28, 2009

I'm in heaven

"It's too late baby, yeah, it's too late, though we really did try to make it...." "Born to be wild...." "Bad, bad LeRoy Brown. Baddest man in the whole d--- town." OK, this new KMJ-FM is the best. All weekend they play 60's and 70's music. I know that's about a generation ahead of me, but I just love that era. I haven't been too in to listening to music these past couple of years. I don't know why. It could be that I just don't like what's popular or maybe the top-40 idea of playing the same 10 songs over and over again all day kind of grates on my nerves. Even Christian radio is like that, and while I like the music, I don't like it over and over again. Maybe I've just gotten too in to talk radio. ("Don't go breakin' my heart!...ooooh ooooh, nobody knows it! Right from the start, I gave you my heart! Whoa, I gave you my heart!") But, I'm trying to cut back on talk radio. It gets too depressing and it makes me mad and I can't do anything about it. So, this is a great alternative on the weekend. I love it. Try it! KMJ-FM 105.9.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Conversation with a three year old!

Mommy: get some pants on MissyLou, time for nap.
ML: My panties are dry
Mommy: Great! Get a shirt on!
ML: Here's some pants! (holds up brown ski pants)
Mommy: Great, get a shirt on, honey! Are your pants dry?
ML: Yes, my pants are dry. I'm wearing princess panties.
Mommy: Get a shirt on!
ML: (running into the room) here's a shirt!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

He's finally getting better

Yes, this is all for one boy. Every day he gets the regimen. Last week was a rough, rough week. We went to the dr. on Tuesday and then again on Friday, since Thursday night he was awake again with an infection in the other ear. I told Hubby I was glad he only has two ears. Now they're both infected and we're done with it. He woke up around 3:30, and then proceeded to hack and cough for another hour. Of course, I didn't sleep through that and never did fall back asleep. Friday was the worst. The doctor said he didn't even need the stethescope to hear his wheezing. It was bad. So, he had two treatments with the nebulizer there at the doctor and then another slew of prescriptions. But, over the weekend he started turning the corner. The drops began working in his ears and the nebulizer, plus two inhalers, plus Prednisone, plus Singulair, plus Allegra started working on the asthma/allergies. I hate giving my child so much medication, but it also scares me to hear him coughing and hacking so much. It's not good. He was so worn out he took 1 1/2- 2 hour naps every day last week. He's almost 6 years old. He didn't get a time-out once last week. This is the child that gets 3-4 timeouts per day. He's still napping quite a bit, but he got a couple time-outs yesterday, so he's getting back to normal. We went to the doctor this morning for a follow-up and he said there's just the slightest bit of a wheeze, but his lungs sound good. He's still coughing a little, but it's soooo much better than before. I think he's on the mend.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Allergies = ear infections + asthma

At least that's true for Bubba. Poor guy. His allergies just came upon him suddenly, too. One day he's fine, then yesterday he sounds like he's gonna cough up a lung. And generally he doesn't get spring allergies. So, the allergies triggered his asthma. OK, fine. We bump up the Q-Var, call in for a refill of Allegra and get him on the Xoponex. Then, yesterday evening after supper the kids are all outside playing with Hubby and Bubba comes in and lays down on the couch, complaining that his ear hurt. Two hours later he's writhing around in pain, that is after I'd put the pain relieving drops in his ear and given him ibuprophen. Now, of course, I'm not taking a kid to the ER for an ear ache, but I just didn't know what to do and I didn't like that he was in such pain. I gave him some warm compresses for a while, but then I got tired of heating them up every 5 minutes. I was sure he'd burst his ear drum. He did that before in the same sort of episode - ear infection comes on suddenly. Finally, at 9:30 I went in and laid down with him in his bed. He fell asleep in minutes. I don't know what that's all about, but I guess sometimes a kid needs his mother. He did sleep through the night, with occasional coughing.

This morning we got to the doctor first thing. I guess 8:00 is the time to get there. I was the first one there and sat in the waiting room by myself for ten minutes. We were in and out in 45 minutes, which was nice. When we walked out at 8:45, the waiting room was full. So, the diagnoses is - middle ear infection. Thank goodness. No systemic antiobiotics - just topical ones. The prescription - topical antibiotics, refill of Allegra and more pain drops. He's sleeping right now, poor kid. After lunch he brought his fleece blanket and pillow and a stack of books and lay down on the couch. About 15 minutes later he was asleep. I know he needs it. I hope he gets a good nap!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Quote of the Day!

"We're big boys now! We wear jeans!"
- Missy Lou informs me, while wearing her plastic high heeled shoes and pink purse.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Gratuitious violence or fighting evil with honor!

My boys are at the age where they are fascinated with guns and shooting and fighting. I still remember reading in Dobson's book, "Bringing Up Boys" that it is futile to try to keep guns away from boys. He said even if there is no guns, toy or otherwise, in the house, a boy would chew his peanut butter and jelly sandwich into the shape of a gun and shoot it. I found out just exactly how true that was a while back. Except that it was grilled cheese. So, we don't make a big deal out of guns. We don't buy them for our kids, but it's not because we don't want them to have them. We just haven't bought them. I suppose we may have to get supersoakers this summer, though.
One thing, however, I have been making a more conscious effort at doing is getting library books that have to do with fighting, in the traditional sense - a clear cut line drawn between good and evil, bravery and cowardice, honor and shame. I bought the boys a great book about Sir George and the Dragon a year ago. It's written by Trina Schart Hyman. Gorgeous illustrations. The boys really liked it, but it is a little long. They prefer the version we found in "A Children's Book of Heroes" by William Bennet. There are a lot of excellent stories in that book, actually. They loved "Daniel Boone's Great Escape" by Michael Spradlin, too. That didn't have fighting in it, but it was a story of adventure and courage. Today we went to the library and got "Excalibur" by Hudson Talbot. It's about King Arthur, and it's a great story. I do not condone violence for its own sake. Hurting, fighting, killing for its own sake is sick and wrong. However, traditional masculine traits such as courage and honor and convictions that one would risk life and limb for have been disappearing from our society. Boys are obsessed with violent video games because they have not developed a sense of courage and honor that would guide those agressive tendancies. I want my boys to have a strong sense of the male ideal - courage, honor, respect for women and compassion for the helpless. These are things they already see in their father, but I also want them to see these things in books and to fill their minds with them. So they know that the natural agression that is in them, given by God, has a purpose and is not an end in itself.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Living in two worlds...

Every time I take the kids to the doctor I feel like I'm stepping into another world. Fortunately, my kids are extremely healthy, so they only see the doctor at their physicals, but today was Duh-duh's physical so we were there. We had to wait for two hours, by the way. It just gets longer and longer. But, I digress. We have a largely hispanic population here and generally, I am the only caucasian person in the room when I take the kids in. If I don't have to wait too long, I don't really mind being there because I like to watch the people there. I see quiet people. Parents aren't interacting with their children, children are sitting and not really even interacting with their environment. It's a different culture. I guess it's a culture of poverty, but these people are all dressed for the climate, they all have obviously enough calories in their diet, although probably not the right kind of calories. They obviously have access to medical care. So, they have enough to meet their needs. But, I also see children who look like they don't get enough sleep or the correct type of stimulation. I see malnutrition, even among chubby kids. I see children 5 or 6 years old with shiny silver caps on their front teeth. So, it may not be a culture of monetary poverty, but rather poverty of the spirit. And what kind of government program can fix that?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

It's the birthday boy!

Isn't this boy just the handsomest kid you're ever seen? I still remember that day we met him for the first time. It was in the office there at Social Services and he was just a little guy, four months old. But he had the chubbiest cheeks you've ever seen. We fell in love at once!
He's always had these sparkly brown eyes and an infectious grin. People can't seem to resist him when he pours on the charm - including his mother.

It's been such a joy to watch him grow and develop. He's really matured a lot in the past month or so. We've noticed him putting away a lot of his toddler interests and enjoying more big boy activities - especially legos. He's gotten quite interested in putting them together and can entertain himself for quite a while. He still is, and probably always will be a socialite. He'd rather talk to you than do anything else and he pretty much says whatever comes to his mind. He's got a heart of gold, though. He's such a comapassionate and caring child. He shares everything he has and is genuinely concerned about the needs of others. Not only that, but he's got a great sense of humor. He's one heck of a kid!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Marxism begins in the home!

We've had a difficult weekend around here. We have two kids with birthdays in March - Missy Lou's is on the 4th and Duh-duh's is on the 8th. So, last week was filled with parties and presents for two of our three kids. Saturday night was the big party with the grandparents, celebrating both kids' birthdays. Duh-duh got two lego sets and was pretty thrilled. Bubba received a couple of lego sets for Christmas, but as any 5 year old, was not careful with them and lost a lot of them. So, in the spirit of "sharing" he was ready to comandeer Duh-duh's birthday presents. It has been very difficult because Bubba is incredibly jealous of what Duh-duh got and wants them so bad he can hardly stand it. But, we have remained firm and if Duh-duh wants to share, he can but he sets the ground rules. This morning I went in to their room and Bubba was getting ready to combine his small stash of legos he had left with Duh-duh's so they could "share" them all. Move over Karl Marx, here comes Bubba. Now, I know he's just a child, but his idea of sharing the wealth is really him taking the wealth. (Is this a microcosm of the Democratic mentality?) This I would not permit. Bubba has always had a very strong sense of "If I want it, I should be able to have it!" This is very common among toddlers, but he's almost six years old and his "me first, to heck with everyone else" attitude seems to be getting worse. We've tried to teach him otherwise, but it is hard, and we're still not sure what to do. There have been many tears and much frustration, but I feel strongly about this, that he needs to learn to let other people have their things, and enjoy their special day. I told him that everyone has a birthday, and his is coming up in May. He will have his cake, and his special day and his presents, too.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

My baby is three years old today!

I can't believe it! Missy Lou is three today. I still remember like it was yesterday that phone call I received at nearly noon that blustery Monday in early March. It was a social worker saying they had a baby girl available for adoption and could we pick her up that afternoon from the hospital? Well, after the smelling salts took effect, and I'd let hubby know the news, I called her back and told her "of course we want her! What do you think?" I took the boys to Grandpa and Grandmas, picked up some diapers and formula from Walmart and off we went to pick up our baby girl. She was so beautiful laying there in that little bassinet and they let us hold her and feed her right there in the hospital. And then, they actually let us bring her home. She has been such a precious gift from God.

She's got such a sunny disposition and her brown eyes just sparkle when they look at you. My favorite time of the day is when I hold her on my lap, all cuddly in her jammies and clean from her bath, and read to her. She's a natural snuggle-bug. I pray for her every day, and even though I cherish these days of toddlerhood, I'm also excited to see the girl and then woman she will become and look forward to that lifelong relationship I will have with my daughter.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

People I admire... part 4

The first three posts about people I admire have been about my contemporaries, women who are in my generation. This post is about a woman I admire who is not in my generation and was more of an informal type of mentor to me. This woman is Mrs. Shirley Blick.

I met Shirley in the summer of 1994 when I interviewed for a teaching postion at Immanuel Jr. High. Shirley was the principal there. I was fresh out of college for my teaching credential, and like most 20-something college graduates, I knew everything. I was completely full of myself and was quite confident that I would be able to share my vast knowledge with all I came in contact with. What made it even worse, is that I got my credential in the height of the "Whole Language" movement and my college was on the forefront of that movement. Mrs. Blick was a very old fashioned teacher. The curriculum we used at Immanuel was A Beka, well known for it's traditional approach to education. Needless to say, I just eschewed the curriculum and went my own way. I'm not proud at all of my attitude and behaviour those first couple years of teaching. I had quite a few nasty lessons to learn, and I took my medicine. After two years of teaching there, I left Immanuel to teach at a Christian school in Sao Paulo, Brasil for two years and then spent three years in the Bay Area at another Christian school. In 2000 I decided to move back to Fresno and without going into too much detail was hired on at Immanuel again. Shirley actually wanted me back.

It was my second go at Immanuel that really made me appreciate Shirley Blick. I think it was because I had a little more maturity and some years of teaching under my belt that caused me to really see her as she was and the wisdom and grace that truly permeated her life. I'm glad God woke me up and gave me three more good years with her so I could learn from her because I just soaked it up. One of the things I admire so much about Shirley is she is a woman with convictions. She stands firm with what she believes in - whether it is her Christian convictions, her educational convictions or her patriotic convictions. There is no wishy-washiness with Shirley.

Another thing I admire about Shirley is her loyalty, and especially how she showed her loyalty to me, even though I didn't in any way deserve it. I remember one day, my first year teaching, I was particularly nervous about a parent conference after school. She knew I was nervous, so we made a little plan. The conference was at 3:30. She would poke her head in my door at 3:40 and ask, "Kristen, do you have play practice today?" If I said, "yes" then that would be her signal to stay and help me out. If I said, "no" then she would know that things were going well.

Which leads me to mention another thing I admire greatly is her ability to handle irate parents. She was truly phenomenal. I remember seeing a couple walk into her classroom for a conference and they were just fuming. About an hour later, they all three walk out, Shirley has her arm around the mother, the mother is wiping her eyes and the father is totally calmed down. It was amazing. And Shirley could get to the bottom of any dispute with students. She could bring two big, tough, fighting mad 8th grade boys to tears by just talking and praying with them.

I could go on and on with stories about Shirley Blick and how she has impacted my life, but I will quit here. I'm just thankful that God opened my eyes before it was too late to see what kind of person she is and allow me to learn all I did from her.