30 June 2008

a nice morning and delete revisted~

The whole time I was dealing with my email thing (though nerve-wracking and time consuming, it sure is nice to have a nearly empty inbox!), I knew there had to be some way to mass delete.

I use Mozilla Thunderbird as my email client on the recommendation of our dear friend Warwick who is a computer guy (in hindsight, why did I not just call him? or my husband...which we will get to presently.) I played around with it some, but those couple of days I already had a lot on my plate, and just not a lot of time to figure it out. I hunted around the help section, and maybe my brain was just on such information overload that I completely missed it, but nevertheless, I could not figure it out. So delete, delete it was.

My husband doesn't read my blog. Part of me is glad, but part of me wishes he would so he could get a glimpse into some of those thoughts that for some reason feel easier to express in the relative anonymity of internet land. He does read the occasional post when I bug him about it, but he doesn't just look it up on his own. He's far too busy dealing with door knobs and crown moulding for snotty uh, privileged Belle Meade ladies. (Just a joke, just kidding, ha ha, most of his customers are actually very nice. Like I said. Most.)

Either way, he didn't know about my email event until Saturday morning. He uses Thunderbird as well, and he said, "Why didn't you just hold down shift and mass delete?" What?? This coming from the guy who didn't even use a computer until his business forced him into it. I'm always having to help him with stuff. He said, "You should have just called me."

Whatever. Water under the bridge. A lot of water, ur, I mean, um emails.

I'm just going to have to get to the nice morning part later, everyone is up and needing Mom :o)

Happy Monday!

27 June 2008

tell me again why i like my computer~

I. Deleted. My. Whole. Inbox.

Did you know if you click on delete really fast over and over, you get ahead of your computer and it keeps going like it has a mind of its own? Really.

So now I get to go through my trash folder and salvage all of my accidentally deleted emails.

So if you emailed me, and it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not. You're just lost in trash land.


delete, delete~

I still have over 1500 emails to delete! Do you have any idea how long it takes to delete emails individually???

On the agenda today (other than cleaning out my inbox)...

**haircuts for Moriah and Noah
**visit my grandmother
**possibly visit my sister Dyana and her new baby Addyson
(shhh...I haven't told the kids yet...we'll have to see how the day goes.
She lives all the way out in White House.)
**have ice cream night (Fridays are ice cream night)
**finish reading Adam and His Kin to the kids
**play a game after bedtime with Ethan (it's his week)
**have a nice date night with Glen, we've had a hard week together :o(

Happy Friday!

26 June 2008

all dressed up and...change of plans~

My wonderful Grandmother, who helped raise me and whom I lived next door to my entire life, turned 84 on Tuesday. She lives about an hour from here, and the plan today was to go visit her and then I was going to go do my errands (hair cuts, grocery, costco, target, whole foods with six kids....I'm tired just thinking about it).

Haven and I slept in this morning. I stayed up until 3am on the computer last night pouring over three different science "curriculums" I am trying to decide upon for this next year. (I finally decided on what had been my first choice all along, Apologia's Exploring Creation with Astronomy. You can see read about it here, or see a sample unit here. I'm very excited!)
I woke up to discover that my recent email provider "upgrade" (they tried this a few weeks ago and screwed everything up, they promised no problems this time...yeah, right.) decided to duplicate all my emails from the past year, trash folder included, and download them onto my Outlook. I have like 5000 emails to delete. Can you say trigger finger? Oh yeah, and it decided that some of the people I correspond with regularly should be directed to my spam folder. Arrhh!

So, I sit. Hitting delete, delete, delete, delete (why won't it let me choose more than one at a time???) and trying to make sure I don't delete anything I've been saving. The kids are doing their jobs and asking "When are we going to leave, already?" Poor Anna cleaned up the table probably 3 times (I can't go anywhere if the kitchen is a mess!)

Delete, delete, change diaper, delete, delete, laundry, delete, feed baby, delete, delete, change diaper, nurse Noah, delete, delete, empty dishwasher, lay Haven down for nap, delete, delete, call Grandmother (uh....we're going to be late), delete, load dishwasher, delete, delete, delete, empty little potty, delete, get Haven up, change diaper (four dirty diapers in one morning!), delete, delete, fold clothes, delete, fix dinner for tonight, delete, delete, fix sippy cups, restock diaper bag, delete, delete...kids need snack, get snack, clean kitchen again, delete, delete, check grocery list, delete, delete....

Finally I am ready to go, a good three hours after I planned to leave.

Noah is asleep on the bed.

"Uh, guys. Um, I think we're going to have to visit Grannie tomorrow. But if you pleeeeease don't get upset, I'll let you watch some tv during naptime AND have a piece of candy!"

How's that for bribery :o)

At least this way I'll get to have my weekly "errand turn" with Ethan instead of dragging everyone all over creation, and tomorrow I'll only have to get haircuts and visit with my Grandmother :o)

I think that's worth some tv time and a piece of candy....don't you?

just another day~

Playing hard, Buddy?

Guess we wore out that pair!

We love getting new books!

Although some of us for different reasons
than others...

Why can't I have beans?

Gimme that camera!

What, you don't want a kiss?

Did I mention that I HATE the baby food stage?
Just another day...

25 June 2008

who needs an alarm clock~

Parenting Tips #1-3

Parenting Tip #1
Never set a baby too close to the table when there is
an unattended bowl of milk just waiting.

Good Morning, Mom!

Parenting Tip #2

Alarm clocks are helpful.

I just wanted to make you a picture...on the table...

it should last forever!

Parenting Tip #3

Teach your children stickers only go

on paper or clothes. As much as we love their pictures,

we do not want them permanantly stuck on the table for all posterity.

I am sooo glad it's not Monday!

birthday boys~

There's Nothing Like A
First Birthday...

(Where did my cake smashing picture go???)

Can't forget Caleb :o)

22 June 2008

moriah's birth story~

Fast forward another year :o) Again. We are in the process of building our house and Glen is gone all the time trying to get it built as quickly and inexpensively as possible. We have three little ones four and under and life is very full.

Late January, maybe three weeks after Ethan turned 1, we find out that sure enough, #4 is scheduled to arrive 11 October. My sister-in-law, Joni, had just had her fourth baby a few weeks prior and Dr. Trabue had jokingly asked if I was pregnant. My two other sister-in-laws, Lori and Elizabeth, were also expecting, causing all of us to have babies in nine months.

We had been at Abounding Grace for several years now, so I was very familiar with home birthing, and as my ob was very supportive of it and willing to be my backup doctor, we decided to go for a home birth.

We found out we were expecting another girl, and the only name for her was Moriah. The official meaning of Moriah is "taught of the Lord". It also has strong spiritual connections in other ways for us as well. We had been in a very intense season of truly "being taught of the Lord." Moriah was also the name of the mountain where God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, and later where David purchased the threshing floor in order to build the temple. The temple was built there, and there the Lord put His Presence. All these things had great meaning for us in that season of our life, and so she stands as a testimony to the Lord's faithfulness to us and His desire to teach us, lead us, and fill us with His Presence.

Glen rushed to finish our house and we moved into in June, with a little over three months to spare. We settled in, Anna started Kindergarten, and I kicked into waiting-for-baby mode.

I didn't have to wait long.

Fifteen days earlier than she was due, on Glen's birthday, I woke up during the night with contractions that were increasingly becoming evident of the real thing. We weren't at all thinking she would be born that soon, and Glen had a customer who had to get some stuff finished up so that his water could be turned back on (or something important like that). He left to run across town and take care of that, and I got out of the bathtub to get Anna ready for school.

The midwife arrived, as well as Joni (who lived down the driveway). My mother-in-law arrived and took the kids down to Joni's house, and Joni stayed with me until Glen could get back. Anna never did make it to school.

This birth was by far the easiest. I labored for awhile in the bath before calling the midwife. It was wonderful. (One of these days I would love to have a water birth.) I got out to get Anna ready for school, and was just walking around getting things done in between contractions. When the midwife arrived, she checked me and said I was a good 7cm and if I didn't want to have the baby before Glen returned, I needed to sit down. So I sat. We talked and laughed between contractions and I never realized I was in transition.

Once Glen finally arrived, I decided to let Heather check me again. She declared me ready to push, and a few minutes later, out popped Moriah. Okay, it wasn't quite that easy, but Joni says you couldn't even tell I was in labor. Now, with her I had the most prounounced "ring of fire" that is so notorious, but it was very quick.

After a couple of turkey and swiss sandwiches, I settled in to be amazed that I had another sweet baby girl that was here much sooner and more easily than I ever imagined.

noah's birth story~

One year later. Ha ha. Went away for a weekend with Glen, secretly suspecting I would probably get pregnant ;o), only to discover the day after we returned that I already was pregnant. Glen wasn't really surprised. A few weeks prior the Lord had done something really sweet in that He had pretty much told Glen we were supposed to have another baby. The Lord had given me the name Noah some months earlier, and from the beginning, this baby was going to be named Noah whether a boy or a girl.

This time I wanted to switch midwives. Although the midwife I had used for Moriah was fine, we never really hit it off, and I had since met Susie Meeks. She is a mother of five, lives close to me, would come to my house for appointments, and has such a sweet, sweet spirit, that I instantly loved her and knew she was the midwife for me!

The year I was pregnant with Noah was my first year homeschooling Anna. She stayed home that year and we did first grade. I had a 6yr old, a 4yr old, a newly turned 3yr old, and a just turned 1yr old. I was a little tired. But I do love being pregnant. (That explains a lot, doesn't it?)

Noah was due on 15 July, but the evening of 6 July, when everyone in the family, save Moriah and myself, was violently ill from some horrible stomach thing acquired at Wave Country two days prior, baby Noah decided to be born.

All day I had been taking care of everyone that was sick, and late in the evening, as I was rocking a very, very sick Anna, I realized I was in labor. Poor Anna. Her head hurt so badly she was screaming and throwing up. Not exactly the best environment to bring a new baby into, but the Lord is gracious and there are all those fabulous immunities built into a newborn. The other kids were sick as well, although not in as much pain as Anna was, and Glen was very sick as well. Like I-can't-get-off -the-couch, sorry-I'll-see-the-baby-after-she's-born-hope-you-make-it-okay kind of sick. Great.

So I call my sister. She drives like a crazy person and makes the 1hr and 10minute trip out here in about 50 minutes. My other sister is out of town.

The sister that made it, the one who keeps my kids all the time, is my youngest sister Kristen. I'll have to write about her sometime. Anyway, she's young, and only 20. Great for hanging out and having fun, and she makes an awesome nanny (if anyone is in the market), but not exactly the support-the-laboring-mom type. I remember thinking "If she doesn't shut up I'm going to have to get rid of her." It was all great fun for her. Kind of an adventure. She got to video tape the whole thing (you know, so Glen could see it later.) She had been at Anna's birth, but she was only 12 at the time, so it was a little different. (Sorry if you're reading this, Kristen. I think you are fabulous and am so glad you got to be there. I'm sure if I have another baby I'll tape your mouth shut you will have grown in your labor support techniques :o) Seriously, though, I love you bunches!)

Anyway, Noah's birth was a lot harder for me to deal with mentally. Probably because Glen was immobile on the couch and I had three children very sick, one who was in quite a bit of pain. Not exactly conducive to a nice, calm birth. With Noah, I realized I was in transition, and panicked. I remember thinking, "What am I doing? If I ever have another baby, I am so going to the hospital and getting an epidural."

The time came for him to be born, about four hours after realizing I was in labor, and about an hour after Susie and my sister arrived. Glen managed to crawl into the bedroom and sprawl out on the bed behind me and touch my head (which I did not like at the time, poor guy) while I pushed Noah out. I didn't tear at all, and was slightly pouty a little bit amused that out of everyone in the house, I felt the best even though I had just delivered a baby. Anna woke up right as he was being born, and she and Glen fell asleep on the couch together soon after.

I ended up in the bed with my sister. For the first time. (See Haven's birth story for how I ended up in bed with my other sister after his birth. Good thing my sisters are my best friends, eh?)

This time, I was quite a bit more apprehensive about another home birth, but when the time came, there was not a question in my mind as to what I wanted to do. Home births are amazing, sweet, and although my next experience, while crazy and never in a million years would I have planned for it to happen like it did, was very good, and as everyone knows by now, I am eagerly anticipating doing it...again. If only I had an announcement ;o) That is currently under negotiations and prayer.

21 June 2008

caleb's birth story~

**I would love it if you would all share some of your birth stories,
whether by blogging or even in the comments.
I love birth stories.**

Fast forward one year since Anna's birth. (see Anna's Birth Story here.) We've sold our house in LaVergne, and bought a house in Madison closer to my family. (I grew up living next door to my grandmother, my two great-aunts, and my aunt, plus I'm very close to both my sisters, so living out in LaVergne in my first few months of motherhood and no longer working outside the home made for one depressed new mommy.)

I nursed Anna for 11 months, and then she suddenly weaned herself. I found out I was pregnant the day after she turned one. I was very excited. I knew he was a boy from day one. The big name debate was between Caleb and Christian. Glen thought Christian Rivers sounded like a church, so Caleb it was.

He was due on 1 May. That morning, I had a mother-daughter tea at my family's church. I almost won the youngest mom award, but my sweet friend Rachel beat me by a couple of months :o)

I had woken up that morning thinking my water was probably leaking. As with Anna, I had been 5cm for the past week or so. I knew if I called the doctor he would probably tell me to come into the hospital, and wanting to avoid an induction and get to experience the "I think it's time!" phenomenon, I decided to hold off on calling him. At least until after the tea. I mean, who can resist little sandwiches, fruit, and cake? I could have a baby later.

That afternoon I called the doctor. He told me to come on in and if I didn't go into labor by the following morning, I would need to be induced as my water would have been broken for over 24 hours. We got to the hospital and were met by the drill sergeant nurse. My doctor was on vacation, but the on-call came by and said he was fine with me having liquids until midnight. As soon as he left the room, she informed me she wasn't going to let me have anything. (I guess she didn't want to deal with a potentially throwing up patient. I am sooo glad I home birth now!)Not only was she a strict, by the book type, she also had just had a chemical peel, so she was the blistered drill sergeant. That was okay, we kept the lights off.

I really didn't want to be induced. My three regrets after having Anna were being induced, not getting to experience going into labor, and having an epidural. (No flames for women that have epidurals, it was just how I wanted to do things!)

Around 3am I realized (and it really was like an epiphany), "Hey! I'm having contractions that I'm noticing. I must be in labor!" I woke Glen up and told him. He went back to sleep. After a little while, they were getting more intense, so I woke up Glen and called her. She graciously got me a birthing ball that was quite nice. But alas, once again labor was hard, and not knowing how much longer it would last, I opted for the epidural.

Wouldn't you know, right after that, not thirty minutes, I was complete , and Caleb was born with a pushing stage so short I don't even remember it. He had meconium so they didn't hand him to me right away. I remember really noticing the cramping after he was born. I think one of the great benefits of being handed your baby immediately is that your focus is all on that new sweet little person and it helps you not notice the lovely afterbirth stuff.

Caleb Rivers was born around 6:20am, and Dr. Trabue (my fabulous ob that is still my backup doctor and referred me to my midwife, Susie) missed it by mere minutes.

We named our new little guy Caleb Rivers. He weighed 8#14oz. We went home a couple of days later and everything was great. Adjusting to number two was so much easier. And this time I avoided the whole well-baby check event at Vandy ;o)

ethan's birth story~

Fast forward one year. Again. Caleb had weaned himself around 11 months like Anna had, and three days after Caleb's first birthday, one early Sunday morning before church, I snuck out to the grocery story and confessed quite embarassedly (is that a word?) to Glen awhile later that yes, we were expecting baby number three, and yes, I had snuck out to the grocery store that morning. We had just started going to Abounding Grace three weeks before, and I was very excited to let all of our family know our news that morning! (In hindsight, I probably should have held off on telling Glen until after he finished bathing #1-2 and we made the food we were taking to church for the fellowship meal. But hey, I was excited. He was, too, just not able to provide much of a reaction while covered in baby bubbles.)

Ethan was due on 10 January. I had a great pregnancy and was looking forward to labor. My great sister-in-law, Elizabeth, had delivered her first son, Gray, naturally the previous January, so I was determined to have a natural birth. This was also the first thought toward home birth that I was introduced to as we had been attending Abounding Grace and home birthing was very common there. My ob, Dr. Trabue, had also jokingly asked me if I was going to ask him to deliver this baby at home. I wasn't ready for that quite yet, but I really wanted a natural birth.

Thanksgiving comes, then Christmas, and I am getting antsy. I didn't really want a January baby. I wanted a tax deduction baby (I know, I know...). I had an appointment on New Year's Eve. Just like my two prior births, I was dilated to a good 5cm and walked around like that for a week without going into labor. At my appointment that morning, Dr. Trabue asked me if I wanted to be induced. I said no, and left the office. I was getting into my car, in tears, and called Glen. I really wanted to go ahead and have the baby, but I didn't want to be induced and knew that a natural birth would be harder with an induction. And as silly as it sounds, that extra child tax credit would be really helpful to a young couple with three little ones three and under.

Glen was very supportive and said whatever I wanted to do would work out fine. If I wanted to go ahead and have the baby, that would be great. But if I wanted to wait, it would be just as fine. Not exactly the help I was looking for, but at least he was a good listener :o)

I called back up to the office and told the nurse that if they could get me in that day, I would do it. She thought it was probably too late, plus it was New Year's Eve, but she would check. She called me back and said they had an opening that afternoon. Okay. I was a jumble of emotions.

We went to the hospital at 2pm, and got everything going. I had an amazing nurse that knew I wanted natural childbirth. I told her if I started talking about an epidural, that she needed to talk me out of it. She was great. She let me labor without the monitor (probably the number one thing I hate about hospital births) quite a bit, let me sit on the birthing ball, and was very supportive. Glen and I hung out and watched Jurassic Park 2. Well, for awhile anyway.

Thanks to the mercy of the Father, a wonderful husband, and a very supportive nurse, I was able to labor and deliver naturally. Finally! What an accomplishment!

After only a three hour labor, Ethan Rivers was born slightly after 6pm. He weighed 9#6oz. I immediately wanted a sandwich and salad. I crave turkey and swiss sandwiches for days after every single one of my births, but the salad thing was new. I had never liked salad before in my life, but suddenly they sounded yummy. My great nurse hunted down a huge sandwich and salad for me and for Glen, and that was that.

I was strep B positive with Ethan, so we had to stay at the hospital an extra day since my labor was too quick for me to get a full dose of antibiotics, but we went home a few days later and I was amazed at how quickly my little family was growing.

The first few weeks as I sat around and nursed him I read the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. I even got some of the other books about the history of the elves and dwarfs and the history of Middle Earth. I did a lot of reading those few weeks.

Ethan was such a sweet baby. They were all sweet, but I guess I was finally settled enough in the baby thing that I was able to really enjoy him. I also remember Glen being particularly sweet toward me in the weeks after his birth. You all know I think Glen is an amazing husband and father, but this time has always stood out out to me.

And as usual, I couldn't wait to do it again :o)

20 June 2008

anna's birth story~

I haven't been the best at keeping up with the baby books. I actually did pretty well up until Noah. I'm so used to typing that writing things out by hand seems to take forever. I do keep a handwritten journal, but it's sparse compared to here, so while I'm on my blogging roll, I thought for the sake of my children and myself when I am older (and all the birth story junkies), I would write out each one's birth story. I'll begin at the beginning....

Glen and I had been married six months. We had bought our first house a couple of months before and were planning on "trying" to get pregnant in January. Well, due to a certain someone not been very diligent with her birth control pills, one mid-January morning, I received a very pleasant surprise!

My original due date was 14 September. It was later moved to 4 September after a routine ultrasound showed her measuring bigger. I had a marvelous, uneventful pregnancy.

Around six weeks before my due date, I was dilated to 2cm. I hung out there for a few weeks, and gradually, at two weeks prior to my due date, I was dilated between 5-6cm. Being young and uninformed in the ways of childbirth, I agreed to be induced. After all, it was my first baby and I had been waiting to be a mother my whole life!

The following morning I arrived at the hospital around 8am. It took awhile to get things going, but around 10am or so I was having nice, strong pitocin contractions. Out the window flew my natural childbirth intentions (I really had no idea). Everything progressed nicely, and our sweet, red-faced, black-haired baby was born a few short hours later with only a few pushes. My entire family was there. My Mom, my aunt, my sisters, and my mother-in-law. Oh, and Glen. We can't forget Glen. :o) I did have a 3rd degree tear, but all was well. (Why didn't anyone bother to inform me that after pains, stitches, and engorgement could all easily rival labor???)

Anna Rose Hutchison weighed 8# 10 1/2 oz. and was 20 inches long. We went home two days later and thus began my journey.

A few other things I want to remember~

I got to labor and birth in the secluded, very large room usually reserved for celebrities. Anna thinks this is pretty cool and it allowed for plenty of room for my family.

My great aunt and grandmother were also both in the same hospital as I was. We were each on separate floors and my other aunt kept running up and down the elevator to check on everyone. As soon as I was discharged, we walked back into the hospital (after the formalities of being wheeled out, getting in the car, the nurse making sure we had an infant carseat, and re-parking the car of course) to visit my aunt and grandmother. We had to go up the elevator, and across the verrryyy looong crosswalk, and down the hallway. Did I mention I had a lot of stitches? Again, I ask, why didn't anyone warn me? I can't hold my sweet husband responsible as at this point in time he still had no clue :o)

The following week, I took her to Vandy for a well-baby check. I had to park in the garage. Across the street. Go up the elevator and down a verrry looong hallway. Didn't think I'd need the stroller. (think young, naive, super-mom...or so I thought) Dropped the blanket in the middle of the road on my way back to the car. Had to take the stairs in the parking garage. Did I mention I had stitches? Like, a lot of them. By the time I got there, I needed the doctor more than she did. She was perfectly healthy. I, on the otherhand, couldn't walk for two weeks. We soon changed doctors.

I was a compulsive breastfeeder. Kept track of which side, for how long, watched the clock, and was obsessed with "learning" how to nurse discreetly.

I am so glad I'm not a new mom anymore. Whew. Those days were hard :o)

19 June 2008

backwards thinking on fathers~

Yesterday I read a short little book on the subject of contraception vs abortifacients called Open Embrace, A Protestant Couple Rethinks Contraception. Basically it's about natural family planning as compared to artificial means of birth control. In the foreward by J. Buudziszewski, he was talking about the concept of God being the model for fathers. I know I often have to struggle to correct my thinking in how I view the Father, so I thought this quote was great...

"We need to take more seriously the teaching that God is the Father,

the uncreated Father, the model for created fathers.

We imagine that he is called Father because He is vaguely like a father;

no, fathers are called fathers because they are vaguely like Him."


Now that is something I want to hold on to.

18 June 2008

digital addiction~

**First of all, thanks to everyone who left me a comment letting me know you actually return! Mostly everyone I know, but there were a couple of surprises, and there are still some others I know read but haven't been here since I last posted, or just haven't commented. For those of you just seeing this, in my last post, I asked if those of you who read fairly often (well, as often as I get around to posting, anyway :o) would leave a comment, just so I can know. But also to let me know of what you would like to read about. Would shorter, more frequent posts on daily life be good, or do you like the novels? Some of both? I'm just curious, it's not a huge deal, but I would like to blog more often, it just seems to take me forever when I get around to it.
So if you're just reading this, I would love it if you'd leave me a comment!**


Back to the point. Digital addiction. I have this article I've been saving since last October from Focus on the Family. I saved it at the time as I wanted to blog about it, but, well, you know how that goes. I actually have an entire file folder in my desk of stuff I would like to write about. Maybe one day...you know, when I don't have any diapers to change or sandwiches to make, or laundry to do, or floors to clean, or dishes to wash, or noses to wipe, or planes to fly ( ha ha, just seeing if you were paying attention).

Anyway, I'm re-visiting the topic as it's come up again in our house. Last year, at this time, Caleb had received a game boy for his birthday. Game Boy fever quickly swept the household, complete with glazed eyes, brain fog, and rising temperatures due to fist fights disagreements over whose turn it was. Considering this Momma had just given birth and was in a bit of a brain fog herself, she I let it get a little out of hand.

Now, I'm not totally clueless. I had a whole system set up complete with color coded clothespins that they could redeem for their "turns" which were I think four 15-minute turns. A lot, I know, but again, I had a new baby and was in let's-hold-everything-together-as-long-as-everyone-gets-fed-semi-regularly-we're-doing-pretty-good mode. Well, those 15 minute turns actually looked like everyone either taking their turn, arguing and deciding who went next, watching the person taking his or her turn, and arguing over if turns had been taken before Mom got up and if the timer had truly been set when the offender began said turn. Ahhh! Game Boy Brain had consumed my children. My fun boxcar children-playing, fort-building, tree-climbing, sprinkler-loving children had been taken hostage by Mario and Luigi. I had to rescue them. span>

At first I tried limiting the turns and requiring outside playtime. I literally ended up with five children on my front porch, faces pressed against the window asking how much longer until they could come in. "There's nothing to do out here!," they cried. "It's hot, we're bored, how much longer?" Even Noah, who was almost two was consumed. Did you know two and three year-olds can master Super Mario?

This lasted maybe a month or six weeks. We finally said NO MORE GAMEBOY. Period. No video games. Nothing. I even packed up the computer. (We won't talk about the Webkinz craze that swept the Hutchison household.) Caleb sold it, was quite impressed with the $70 he made off ebay, and suddenly, my children were back.

Fast forward a few months. I received my Focus on the Family Magazine that had an article about protecting your children from video-game addiction. A ha! My suspicions confirmed. Something had taken over their brains.

I won't get into the details, but suffice it to say, that video game addiction is a real disorder. Research has shown that physiological reactions occur in the brain that are similiar to those associated with substance abuse. Just thirty minutes of video game play triggers chemicals in the brain that rival an amphetamine high. Something known as "habituation" takes over that literally rewires the brain and creates a physiological dependance similiar to cocain addiction! The Netherlands recently opened a detox center for video game addicts!

Newly armed with this knowledge, the newly determined and steadfast mom proudly proclaims "no longer will video games be allowed in this house." And the line is drawn. Then, over the following year, the line becomes somewhat fuzzy. The computer comes back out. After all, we live in a computer dependant society that only increases that dependance every day. We are google addicts. (Has anyone studied blogging addiction ...hmmmm?). We are still firmly against video games, but you know, that wii incorporates exercise. All my friends get to play! (Insert "if all your friends jumped off a cliff would you?" Snotty 8 year old says "Yes, that would be super cool!")

What's a Mom to do? The computer definitely has some benefits. It's pretty much at the point where computers are a necessary life skill (anyone have any opinions on learning handwriting skills vs typing?). So for this summer anyway, they can have two "fun" computer turns a day of 15 minute each (but that is one of the first privileges to go around here) and for now I'm letting Anna and Caleb write on their blogs as much as they want. For now.

Ugh. Maybe by the time I have my millionth baby I will have navigated these parenting waters. Of course by then people will look at laptops and laugh because we'll all have computers implanted in our brains.

Time for bed. Gotta make sure I'm up in time to make sure there are no computer-time infringers :o)

17 June 2008

we're famous!~

So I mentioned earlier that my sister was taking the kids to the Bicentennial Mall today to play in the sprinklers. Well, Fox 17 News was there talking about fun things to do and they interviewed my sister and Anna. I think they filmed all of them, though. Not sure. They said they were going to air it tonight on the 9 o'clock news. Probably 9, but maybe 10. Anyway, I thought it was pretty cool :o)

summer happenings & questions~

I know, I know. I've not been the best blogger lately. Actually, I've never really been a very regular blogger, but, you know....I do have a few other priorities around here :o) In all honesty, it's nice to know I'm missed.

I always think summer is going to be a time to slow down and relax and do nothing, but it never quite works out like that.

The Monday after New Song was finished, Anna woke up during the night in severe pain. She had been coughing for about a week, nothing serious, but as soon as I saw her that night, I strongly suspected she had pneumonia. She looked and acted just like I did last year when I got it. One of the hardest things for me is seeing my children in pain that I feel helpless to fix. I am definitely a "fixer," and when I can't "fix" it is really hard for me. She was crying, gasping for breath saying "I don't know what to do Mommy, I don't know what to do." Thankfully, my sister was spending the night, so I didn't have to worry about childcare and Glen's work (although he would have stayed home if he needed to), and was able to go straight to the hospital. We are not really hospital/doctor people. But she was in a lot of pain and couldn't breathe. Glen had to carry her out to the car. Anyway, they got her started on meds immediately, and she was feeling much, much better a few hours later when we came back home. Needless to say, the rest of that week was spent taking care of Anna and fending off "that's not fair" cries from other little people around here when she got pretty much unlimited reading/computer/tv time. And no jobs!! How unfair :o) We all got to practice serving that week!

Pneumonia recovered. Next up, grammar and study skills camp. I know, sounds boring. Anna actually had a lot of fun getting to see some friends and have four "fun" school days. Made for a lot of driving, but she got a good review.

Wednesdays are swim days. My good friend Elizabeth has a huge heart for women's ministry and moms and opens her home on Wednesdays for whatever moms and kids want to come over to hang out and swim. It's neat to see how different women connect and how the Lord uses them to speak into each other's lives. It is a lot of work for me, though, to pack lunches and swim stuff for six kids all alone, not to mention watching a very mobile baby and fearless 2yr old, so we're taking a break from that for this week.

Last week was spent planning and getting ready for a two night anniversary trip Glen and I left for last Thursday. It was our 11th anniversary. We have always really enjoyed water parks, so the plan was to go to Holiday World in Indiana (they have three gluten/allergen free places to eat there!). We drove 5 hours to a very, very nice hotel for the evening and went to Holiday World on Friday morning. When we arrived (before we bought tickets, thankfully) it started pouring down rain, so we scrapped that idea and drove back to Nashville. For someone that hates driving, this would be pretty disappointing, but I love "the trip" just as much as the event, plus we had a good book on tape, so it didn't bother me in the least. The trip took us right by my grandparents' house, so we stopped in and visited for a little while. That was really nice since we usually have all our kids and the whole family there when we got up. It was just us and my Nanny and Papaw, and I really enjoyed it. We won't talk about how much we spent in gas, though. We stayed at Opryland Friday night. My sister works for Gaylord, so we were able to get a room overlooking the cascades for $50 - whoo hoo! Not being the type who willing pays $16 just to park your car in the parking lot (self parking, not even valet), we parked at Opry Mills and got in a little exercise. We also went over to some old friends' house Friday for several hours and had a great time.

We're now finally settling into a routine now that there are no set plans or anything we have to do on the horizon. I plan to go up to my grandparents' farm in Kentucky a couple of times to pick green beans and corn, and then again in August to pick up our cow once it's butchered. The kids are really looking forward to going up to work in the garden, but I don't think they really have any idea what it will be like :o) My good friend, Sarah, who lives in Florida, is coming to Chattanooga in July and I am planning on going down there to spend a day with her. VBS at my aunt's church is also in July, so that month is looking to be busy as well. That's mostly evening or weekend stuff, though, so I'm hoping to keep the week days nice and calm.

I've had this routine for a few years where I do all my grocery shopping and errands on Saturdays. Every week, a different child gets a turn to go out with me. We spend the day together and they get to choose where to eat lunch. This has been really nice and they all look forward to their turn. The only downside is that Glen and I are apart on the one day we really have to just spend together. He's home on Sundays, but once we get home from church, eat, and take a nap, there's not much day left. This summer we're trying a modified routine in that he is coming home early one day a week and I'm doing my stuff in the evening. I'm still doing the turns with the kids. So far it's been really nice. Glen recently moved his office to our basement, so he's able to work down there and the kids can play, or nap, or whatever.

We school year round, and the plan had been to continue on seamlessly. That didn't really happen. We're still deciding on the plan for fall (although it's looking like everyone is just going to be home full time), so I decided to take June and decide what I want to focus on summer-only, and what I want to plan for last year. I've really wanted to spend a lot more focused time studying and reading the Bible, so I'm deciding what that's going to look like. I'm trying out something I heard of through my MOMYS group right now that I can do part of with everyone, and then a little more with the older three. So far, everyone is enjoying it quite a bit. We spend an hour or so in the morning doing it. The Lord had been talking to me about the principle of seeking first His Kingdom and trusting him that all other things would be added and the need incorporate this more heavily into our home school, so I am excited to see how it's going to go.

Today the kids are with my sister visiting the sprinklers at Bicentennial Mall and going to Centennial Park, so my plan is to get a HUGE box of school stuff organized and the next few weeks planned out. Haven and I both had bad allergy attacks during the night, so now that's he's napping, I need to get started. I also killed a very scary caterpillar in my bathroom. It was probably two inches long with long, black stinging spikes. I sprayed him and then dropped a heavy box on him (that's my default bug killing plan). Glen can deal with him later (super husband to the rescue!). I spent a little time online trying to figure out what it was and I'm pretty sure it is a buckmoth caterpillar. They can actually sting really badly, and Haven was sitting right next to it! Thank you, Jesus, for protecting him :o)

I also have a new favorite thing. Any guesses? It's mowing! I've never mowed in my entire life, due to a pretty bad (or so I thought) grass allergy. (Turns out that it's more of a contact allergy. I can't touch it or I break out and itch for days, but it affects my asthma minimally and as long as I carry my inhaler I'm good to go. I'm hoping the mowing will have the same effect as allergy shots would.) We have one of those huge, super fast zero turn mowers and Glen has been telling me for a couple of years that I should try it, that I'd probably like it. I finally decided to take him up on it, and he was right! I love it. It takes three hours to do all our mowing. I strap on my ipod and away I go. I already love driving and the down time that it gives me to just sit and think, so it turns out that I love mowing as well. It's also a pretty good way to get a nice tan. I listen to either teaching stuff, or just worship music. It's great. I've even been mowing our neighbor's lawn. Getting paid to do something I enjoy - it doesn't get much better than that. It also feeds the ocd side of me in that I get to create these fabulous, parallel lines in my grass :o) I do have to battle the urge to re-do the ones that just don't feel right, though. Funny, eh?

I also have a couple of questions. One is really a request. Only a few people that I know of actually read this. That's fine with me as it's really my way of keeping a record of what are life is like so when I'm old and can't remember those baby years I can go back and remember. I do see, though, from my little sitemeter thing, that there are quite a few people who at least stumble through every day, but I have no idea who they are or if they come back. So, if you are a regular reader, I would love it if you would leave me a comment...just so I can know.

My other actual question is to find out what other people would like to see in this blog. Like I mentioned earlier, it's kind of my way of journaling for my personal benefit and that of my family, but I always do these looong posts that take forever, and then it's a couple of weeks usually before I get around to it again. Do those of you that read this like that? Would you prefer to hear something more frequently, but shorter? More of a "today this is what we did, this is what I'm thinking about, this is what our life is like" kind of blog, or do you like the "this is my novel for the month" kind of blog? No promises, but I would like to blog more frequently, I just tend to let things build up. Just curious.

Hope everyone is having a great summer!

"How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about arithmetic, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No; a woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness." ~GK Chesterton

2012 November

2012 November