Mama Ellen's

A place for thoughts and ideas on everything from family to fois gras.

Friday, April 08, 2005

News of the Week

Bug gives mom some lip. He's not even 5 and he acts like he is 15. So how did the conversation go you may ask? Well..

Me "I don't want to hear you saying things like that to your sister!"

Bug " Then you shouldn't listen!"

Boo spent a lot of time in solitary confinement due to her love of "stealing" things from table and counter tops. The result of said heists have been a nearly full jar of carrot babyfood spilled on the carpet, banana rubbed into the new couch, and water nearly being poured on daddy's laptop so that Boo could "clean up". There have been other things but I just don't want to go there right now.

Blurg is being "ferberized" starting tonight. I give her credit. The girl's got lungs. First try for goinf to sleep only took 1 hour and about 20 minutes. Hopefully she will be able to go to sleep on her on by her first birthday, which is coming up next week. Yipee!!

Bogus got new glasses and they are cuuuuuute. Tomatoes

And I myself have been battling being sick for nearly 8 months now, on and off, and finally have some good news. Well maybe good is not the right word but at least reassuring news. I'm not insane!! The joint pain and swelling is real and I have the blood test to prove it! This may sound a little twisted but I was really starting to think that I was becoming a whiney hypochondriac. I'm a mother of 3, of course I should be chronically tired, have joint pain from the constant bending and lifting of my wiggly 20, 30, and 50 lb "weights", and feel like Sybil. Aren't all moms that way? Guess not.

But after multiple blood test there was one called a SED rate that came back at 56. "The sedimentation rate (sed rate) blood test measures how quickly red blood cells (erythrocytes) settle in a test tube in one hour. When inflamation is present in the body, certain proteins cause red blood cells to stick together and fall more quickly than normal to the bottom of the tube. The more red cells that fall to the bottom of a special test tube in one hour, the higher the sed rate." Normal SED range is <25.

So what does all this mean? We don't know yet. It could be caused by a lot of things but at least we know it isn't nothing. I was all ready to start looking for a little white padded room with nice soft music. Not needed. Hooray!!

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Quick Kiddie Update

Things have been very hectic and I have not blogged here or at MAWB Squad in a long LONG time. Just a few quick comments here and there have been all that I could afford to due. Why? Well it is a long story that I will get to once I have answers to a few other questions. Mysterious enough? Good.

So what is new with the kiddies. From youngest to oldest...

Blurg has started cruising but is still afraid to stand on her own. Thank heavens. I fear she will be a real terror once she can go solo. She has added a new favorite word to her vocab, "No!". She has cut 4 teeth in the past week and is working on 4 more. And she is NOT happy. And finally, she will be celebrating her 1st birthday in 9 days.

Boo Boo has crossed over into a horrible obstinate phase. She will be lucky to make it to her third birthday. On a cuter note, she has also entered the dress up phase and always wants to be in party clothes. And when she isn't she pretends. Just the other day she was running around the house wearing nothing but her pull-ups, tap-tap shoes (black mary janes) and a pink bowl on her head yelling, "I am the queen".

...........45 minutes later...............

Blurg is sick, fever shot up to 102. Most likely an ear infection but urgent care is closed so we will drug her and wait until morning. Tonight she will sleep in my arm as we rock together in the glider. Sigh. Also, Bogus was holding the little screech monkey and as soon as I went to take her she smiled, turned her head and said, "Bye Da". Drama queen.

And on to Bug. His current topics of enjoyment are spring, herb/carn/omnivores, multiplication, structures of the inner ear, and pirates. And he is still questioning the existence of God. And now that he and Boo share a bunk bed he has pointed out to her that because she is on the bottom the monsters are under her bed. Such a big brother thing to do. We are also preparing for his 5th birthday party. He turns 5 on the 27th. He andBlurg will share a Pirate Party on the 30th. There will be pirates, snakes, and buried treasure. What more could he want?

And last but certainly not least, the biggest kiddie, Bogus planted tomato seeds today. It seems we will have 33 plants this year (this is actually lower than last year).

Time is took to write this post - 1 hour 27 minutes. Less than 500 words. Ugh!

It is now 4/4 in the p.m. and wouldn't ya know that my meanderings didn't post. Let's try again.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Philosophy and the 4 Year Old

When I became a Mom I thought I would get lots of those fun and funny questions from my children. Boo is really good at these questions. Why do pickles smell like throw-up? Who just tooted? Where does poopy come from? These are fun questions. And answers can be silly.

Then there is Bug. Today we had a 20-30 minute conversation on why lies are bad. Who gets hurt? When does a person go to jail? What is jail and what is life like in jail? And on and on and on. Granted, I'm proud of him and the fact that he is trying to figure out the world. But talk about draining. Eventually he asked if going to jail is like a really long time out. I took his example and ran with it. At the end of the discussion he decided that he didn't really want to ever go to jail. Good boy!

He is also trying to wrap his brain around time travel. Since traveling takes time he figures we just have to plot the trip on a map. Any ideas on explaining the time space continuim?

And the other questions of the day; "If the left side of the brain controls the right side of the body and the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body, what controls the middle? And do the sides of the brain fight over what they control?

Last Week's Update

There is an article Odds and Ends at MAWB Squad with an update on the kiddies last week. Go on over, take a peek, and check out the other cool posts too.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Paper Dolls and Starfish

Most parenting books will tell you that kids are fragile and should be handled very carefully. And on a certain level this is true. But kids are also resilient. They can and should be taught to bounce back and toughen up. No, I do not believe the “spare the rod spoil the child” theory. Children should not be abused physically, mentally or emotionally. But all people, including adults can make mistakes or have a lack in judgement that hurt a child’s self esteem. We all try to avoid this dilemma. How the problem is corrected is what truly matters.

A lesson in Paper Dolls:
A few years ago I attend a parent/child class that discussed the self-esteem of children. We were each given a paper doll. As the parent educator read off phrases that parents may say to a child, we were supposed to tear of a piece of the paper doll if the comment was an esteem crusher. The size of the tear was to be based on the amount of self-esteem damage. Paper dolls were losing body parts left and right. By the end of the exercise, there were ripped torsos everywhere. I personally thought this was a really violent representation. The lesson they were trying to teach was that what we say can hurt a child so don't say anything bad, ever. Sorry folks, life doesn't always work that way.

JJ lost an Arm Today
I told my sister-in-law the paper doll story and that quickly became our shorthand for having a "bad mommy day.” She might call and say, "Well, JJ just lost an arm" at which point we would discuss what happened. Or I would call her to say Bug just lost a leg and explain my bad mommy moment. We all make mistakes. So then what?

I decided, just last night, that I prefer to think of children as starfish. Life can be cruel and no matter how hard we try, they will get hurt. And hopefully we will give them the right tools to heal. I want my children to be starfish. If they lose a limb metaphorically speaking, I want them to be able to grow it back. I want them to know that although they may be slighted they don't need to be martyrs. They don't need to walk around, detached limbs flapping in the breeze. I want them to be like starfish. I want them to be able to rearrange themselves in order to fit where they want to fit. (Starfish can be symmetrical or change shape in order to wedge themselves between rocks for protection.) I want them to become what they want to become. I don't want them to be made victims. Then I asked myself, how would I make a starfish?

What do children need to learn in order to have self-esteem, recover after attack, and go on to be decent non-self-centered humans? I think the easiest and yet most complex answer is respect. They need to respect themselves. They need to respect others. They need to understand that others have the right to their own opinion, and that the right must be respected. Note that I don't say that the opinion should be respected, it is the right to have the opinion. They need to understand that everyone makes mistakes. And to admit one's mistakes, apologize, and ask forgiveness is essential. This shows respect of others and oneself.

Children are not as fragile as everyone believes. They are extremely strong. They can be extremely resilient. And they are extremely forgiving. As parents, when we screw up and say or do something that we fear will hurt our child's self-esteem, we should apologize, ask forgiveness, and then do everything in our power to not repeat the offense. A phrase we have used with our children is, "Sorry means we are not going to do it again." And although it doesn't always work out the way we want, there is a certain level of pride when we hear our 5-year old apologize to his little sister, and to hear her say, "I forgive you." No limbs lost.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Back and Back Again

I have been trying to get out here to post something more than 2 sentences for over a week and it hasn't been possible. Either Wonder Bug has been making comments like, " A-3= 5 so A =8 right?" or "Did you know some things are fantasy and some are real and some fantasy things started out as real but were changed to be fantasy?" (I'm sitting here shaking my head.) BooBoo has been either reeking havic in her own special way or saying things like, "You are my best fwend and I love you so vewyvewy much".. Gotta love her. And Barnicle Blurg is attached to me like velcro. Dependent independence. Anyway...

Last weekend was really rough. On Friday, Bug had to go through allergy testing. This wasn't the first time but it was certainly the worst. The 35 needle pricks to the back were tough. The 13 mini-shots in his arms were awful. He screamed and jerked away so I had to help pin him down while Boo was screaming "Don't hurt my budder. I luv my budder ###". Lucy chimed in too with her glass breaking screeches. And then after all this he had to have some blood drawn. It took 3 attempts in the arm (which failed) and then finally 3 more in the back of the hand to get 1 vial of blood. And yes he has allergies. Eggs, peanuts, dogs, cats, 1 type of grass and 2 types of dust mites.

So to help him feel better and reward him for being brave, I finally got around to finishing his and Boo's bunk bed. They both love it. Unfortunately, Boo insisted on going on top. And before I could say Noooooo, she got her foot stuck on the guard rail and went over the edge. She banged her forehead and bridge of the nose on the ladder before flipping over and landing on her back. Many screams insued. She is fine albeit a little bruised. And of course, she scolded the beds. "Bad bed, how rude!"

And then there was Blurg. This weekend, she pulled herself up to stand for the first time. She also figured out climbing over and through which resulted in her getting stuck on the shelf of our coffeetable. We thought it was funny even if she didn't. And although she has no teeth, she was able to eat a piece of porkchop with mustard for dinner that night. Oh, and her favorite phrase, especially when I have left her for any period of time was and is, " Ma Maa Maaa Baaaaaaaa". Should I be concerned. Whee.

Well I am back and back again. It only took and hour to right this itty bitty post. More will come. And since I haven't mentioned it, there is a new blog, MAWB Squad, which is a collective effort of women bloggers, myself included. Check it out. Now. No I mean it, now. Why are you still reading this. Get your butt over to the MAWB. Have a great one!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Melsie...Welcome to the Blogosphere

Hey everyone, please wish a warm welcome to my bestest friend and new woman of blogs, the chick I know as Melsie Muppett. She's cool, she loves Duran Duran, and she can be found here.

Cheers to you!!

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Hello Nebraska

Hi Sue. Hi Kate. Hope all is well over in Husker land. If you are reading this message, I can assume you made it to the sight just fine. Feel free and drop me a line in the comments section. For your convenience, if you look at my other posts, Bug is our eldest's nickname. Boo Boo is our little ballerina/tornado. And Blurg is the one that can now sit up on her own and really likes porkchop sandwiches. Bye! Elle