Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Battling Morning Sickness

I have tried every trick in the book to deal with my morning sickness.  From keeping snacks on the night stand to eating beans and upping my b12.  Nothing has worked.  I have learned that I can not drink coffee, sugar makes me gag and sleep helps.  But nothing works to relieve it.  I spend weeks 6-14 or so in bed.  Even sitting is difficult.  Its not just throwing up we are talking about here.  Its like having the flu 24/7.  I am fatigued and my head swims.  I can barely function. 

But this time I did something very smart.  I am proud of myself.  I thought ahead.  I made freezer meals before the morning sickness hit.  I had 10 lbs of cooked and seasoned chicken, 10 lbs of taco meat cooked and frozen, 10 lbs of regular ground meat cooked.  That lasted me about a month.  I was nice to not have to think about what I was making for everyone when even looking at food made me ill.  When I had no energy and needed food NOW I could just grab a some chicken, microwave it and be eating in 2 minutes. 

Not only when it came to food, but I also made sure all the kids school work was all ready for them and done before hand.  I did everything I could as soon as I found out I was pregnant, because I knew a day would come that I would do nothing.  And I was right.  Planning ahead means a win against morning sickness.  It might have kicked my butt, but I showed it whose boss. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

There has to be a better way

What do you do with all your home movies?  First we had VHS tapes.  And that was bad enough cause they are huge.  But at least they don't get scratched.  Then it was VHSC tapes.  Smaller at least but more difficult to transfer to another media.  Now its digital.  I can put it on an external harddrive, burn straight to DVD, or store on some other storage device like a san disk. 

Heres where I am running into trouble. I can't store all that video on my computer.  I can burn it straight to DVD but have found out the hard way I need to burn 2 and store 1 because 1 will inevitably get scratched and need to be replaced. You simply can not burn 1 and delete the video.  Trust me, it will be gone forever.  So then I have to store these videos somewhere the kids can't get to them and then I am storing like 100 dvds somewhere.  Not to mention thats not cheap.  I can store them on a external harddrive or 2 or 3.  We had one once.  It went corrupt.  Everything was lost including files for dhs work.  Very bad. Would also be very bad if that had our only copies of home videos.  San Disks would be ok, small to store, probably expensive in the end with all that we would need.  But most likely would never go bad. 

Here was what I am thinking, given the amount of homevideos we have.  I need a media server.  Yea just for videos and music and pictures. I don't know how many pics other families take but we have to back up my computer every 6 mos because we take so many.  Something tells me if I ask for one for Christmas I will probably get it.  What the best gift for a geek?  Asking him to work on something totally geeky for you. I am insane, a sever for home videos. 

Oh yea, technology makes things easier.  Hmmm.  It was way easier when you had pics developed and put them in a photo album.  When you stored all your home videos in VHS format under your TV.  Although I must say a 4 inch video recorder is way more portable that the contraption my mom was using in the 80s. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Where I have been

Mostly laying in bed or in the bathroom.  Thats because we are expecting #9.  Yay!  Sadly, that also means I get to experience my lovely morning sickness all day long.  Its like an extra gift.  I get a baby and to feel like I have the flu 24/7.  Then I actually got a tummy bug.  I don't know about you, but I don't think thats fair. 

The kids are very excited and all want a girl.  I think having a girl cousin really gave them the itch for a girl.  Either that or they really hate the boy name we have picked out.   I will be happy with whatever God chooses to bless me with. 

Thankfully I am nearly the end of the first trimester so I should regain some energy and be able to eat again.  Then you should see more of me. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Celebrating birthdays close together

When you have more than 1 kid you can have the possibility of close birthdays.  This happened to my brothers, my husband and his brother and to my kids.  I prefer having birthdays close together rather than all separate.  For one its much easier on family members and friends who only have to go to 1 party instead of 2 or 3.  And its easier on me who only has to plan 1 party instead of 2 or 3.  But really, we have no choice in the matter and we do what we have to do. 

But how do you do that?  How do you make it fair to both (or more) of the kids when they don't get their own party.  It saddens me to think that we have become that worldly, that materialistic that we even have to worry about it.  What is it teaching our children? 

What we have come up with is that each child gets to do one thing with daddy for their birthday.  Its with daddy, not with Mommy, because I get to be with them all the time.  Daddy never does.  I even get to be alone with them frequently but daddy never does.  This is great for bonding and for daddy who never gets to be there for anything.  And they get their special day, their one day. 

For their party; we have 1, usually between birthdays, and just celebrate both birthdays together.  In March we have 3, in May we have 2, in August we have mine and one of my kids, in September we have 2.  So that works out to only 4 parties a year instead of 8.  Much more economical..  The kids never complain that they don't get their own party, because they had their own day.  I think too, that it help deflect some of the attention.  For those that don't like being the center of attention, the kids who are shy, this allows them to have their party but not be the focus. 

This has worked very well for us the last few years. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

Do you want a big family?

I got this from Life in a Shoe and decided to ask my own kids.  I have asked them before and they always say they do, with some exceptions.

Adele (12) - I hope so, cause its nice to have kids around.

Ann (11) - Yea, cause kids are great.

James (10) - No, 1 or 2.  I don't want a lot of kids wrecking my house.

Joe (8) - Yes, Actually 3 or 4.  Cause I just do.

Liam (6) - Yea sure.  About 7.  Cause I like kids.

Ian (5) - Uh huh.  Cause I just want to.  I want a mansion with a basement.  And a dog and A cat.  5 cats.  And 2 fish is a big fish tank.  I want 10 kids.

Ewan (3) - Yes, Alot.  Some Alot.  I love Natalie.  (Natalie is my niece).

It should be noted that James was just fighting with his bother and sister about loosing a game so he might be jaded.  You can  tell which kid is the big talker.

My 15 year old brother told me, when I asked him, that he wanted 6.  He wasn't crazy like me and gonna have 8.

My 25 Year old brother wants a large family as well.

Now, my 27 yr old brother wants no kids, no wife, no girl friend (or boy friend).  All those things cost money you know.

As for me, I want lots of kids.  At least 8.  :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

13 Things I wish Teachers Knew

Disclaimer: I have no problem with schools.  They are a need, a necessity.  Not everyone can or should homeschool.  I have sent my kids to public school.  I have gone to private, public and was homeschooled as well.  What I have a problem with is the way that children are taught, the tying of hands of teachers, the outrageous expenses these schools shell out, etc.  

I read an article today and got steamed.  I think not reading news is probably better for my health.  The title was 13 things your Child's Teacher Won't Tell You.  Now, before I read this I am thinking its going to mention things like: The other kids don't like your kid, or I find the food you send with you kid makes me gag.  You know, stuff of that nature.  Instead the article highlighted things like #3:
3. We’re sick of standardized testing and having to “teach to the test.”
No way! I had no idea.  I have only heard about it in every article about education reform for the last decade or more.

Honestly, the one that bothered me the most was #9:
9. We take on the role of mother, father, psychologist, friend, and adviser every day. Plus, we’re watching for learning disabilities, issues at home, peer pressure, drug abuse, and bullying.
As if we didn't know that teachers were also baby sitters?   No, what actually bothers me is their attitudes towards me homeschooling.  Instead of a teacher taking on a roll of mother, I am a mother taking on the roll as teacher.  A roll that mothers know too well.  We teach them to walk, to talk, to go on the potty, to be polite, to look both ways when they cross the street.  When they show up on that first day of school it was their mother and/or father that got them there.  The kids don't show up peeing themselves, attacking other students and drawing all over the walls.  A teacher is thinking mighty highly of themselves if they think parents don't take on the roll of psychologist, chauffeur, friend, adviser, nurse, and more.

I think if I made a list of things I wished teachers knew about parents it would look like this:

1. We know our children better than you do. We spent numerous years with our children, day and night, before they showed up in your classroom.  When I say something about my kids take it seriously, I know what I am talking about.

2. Its not that we aren't interested in our children's learning, its that you rub us the wrong way.  Instead of getting into a heated argument we are avoiding you.  Yea, that's right, you aren't perfect and there are people in this world that don't like you.  Rolling your eyes at a parent is sure to make them just fall all over you in adoration. 

3. The schools policy on no brought in lunches is making my child sick and lethargic.  School food is crappy and kids don't eat well enough.  My daughter didn't loose 10 pounds because we don't feed her at home, but because school lunches are so awful she isn't eating at school.

4. Putting kids in time out during recess, the only time they have to run off their energy, is not going to help their behavior any. 

5. We actually like to spend time with our kids, but we often sacrifice that so we can make enough money to feed them.  Don't judge my absence on lack of love.

6. My kids wouldn't need a phone in school if the other kids didn't bully him or you scare him so much.

7. When my children come home with all sorts of bad behaviours I remember that it was you watching them all day.

8.  Kids are gonna get hurt or sick at school, we accept that.  We expect you to accept the same at home.  My kids aren't missing days because I am a bad parent, its because they are sick.

9.  My kids tell me all about you too. 

10.  I get paid nothing to raise the next generation of Americans.  To do what you do.

11.  We view homework the same way our kids do.  We hate it.  You have them for 8 hours and can't get done with everything?  How many hours a day do kids really need to be doing school work?  Do they get to sleep at some point?

12.  If we had a choice, we would use a private school.  

13.  We expect our children to do the best they can do, and we except them to be taught by the best.  If we settled for mediocre what would we ever have to strive for?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Its the most wonderful time of the year

Remember those commercials from Staples?  Well, homeschoolers get excited about school starting again too.  It means the return of schedules and structure, the departure of boredom and 24/7 computer games.  We are a week away from school starting and I couldn't be more excited.  I will admit to trying to find a way to start school sooner.

The kids aren't so much excited.  They know when school starts there is no lounging around in the am.  They will have to get up, eat breakfast, brush their teeth, do their chores, hopefully dress and then its school time.   Which is really quite relaxing.  Everyone is on one level for the majority of the day, I don't have to chase a baby out of 3 bathrooms, or worry about him climbing up the bunk bed everytime I turn around.  Kids are mostly quiet during this time except when they have a question.  We get to listen to music and the kids aren't running around being crazy.  Oh yes, its a great time of the year. 

Lunch is generally around noon (I start it during the 11 o'clock hour), the kids have a break where they do more chores (bwahahahah) and finish their school work or go play if they are done.  This is when I put the baby down for his nap.  I do have to do chores during this time: laundry, dishes, vacuuming, etc.  But the afternoon is for fun.  Kids enjoy crafts and reading or playing blocks. 

When dinner rolls around and the comes home the kids can get a little more crazy.  They watch tv or play on the computer.  Every year I say I am gonna find something for the kids to do during the summer so we still have that structure and so its not so crazy.  But then the heat hits and no one wants to leave the house so we never do anything.  One of these years I will figure it out.  Or we will move somewhere we can actually enjoy summer break.  Maybe I should do school all summer and have summer break over the winter months.  Maybe I have had this backwards the whole time.  Or maybe I will do year round school, that should make my kids happy!