Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Hump Day Hmm . . . January 30

This week's Hump Day Hmm over at is to write about a childhood memory that stuck with you and why. I wanted to write about something happy, so I chose a time when I was 10.

My cousin, who is exactly 5 months and 11 days younger than I am, was living with us at the time. We shared a room, and we pretty much shared everything else too. When I went to play at a friend's house, she came along. When I went to school, she came with me. I was having a hard time suddenly sharing my life, so I was really looking forward to the annual, after Christmas, trip to Granny's house. My Granny was a special person. She knew how to make anyone feel extra special.

We all piled into the two cars in which we'd caravan, and started driving. Just out of town, one of the two broke down. The mechanic stated that he could fix the car, but due to the season, it would take several days. My family had a short council, and ,much to my consternation, the decision was made for my mom and me to stay home since there would be room in one car for everyone else.

Heart broken, I watched my two sisters, brother, dad, and cousin drive away. When they had completely disappeared, I turned and trudged back into the house. My mom surprised me with, "What fun things should we do while they're gone?"

We had a ball the whole week they were gone. My mom and I rented movies, popped popcorn, played games, and most importantly had my first sewing lessons. I sewed my first pillow case and my first pair of shorts that week. I can still see my mom patiently bending over me teaching me how to unpick a seam without tearing the fabric.

Now, sewing is one of my favorite hobbies. I love sewing so much that I'm starting my own company. Thanks, Mom for making a potentially horrible time so special. I love you!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Photo and Essay contest

Next month marks the one year anniversary of this blog. It's an exciting time for me. Therefore, I'm offering a photo and essay contest. In 600 words or less, describe a favorite. It can be a moment, object, person, place or something else you really enjoy. The essay must be accompanied by a picture. You may post your photo and essay on your blog with a link to me, and put a comment about it on my blog, or if you wish, you may email the entry to You may do both if you'd like, too. The essays must be complete by February 10th, 2008. I will announce the winner on February 16, 2008, the anniversary day of my blog. This is an exciting time for me, and I hope you will all want to share with me.

The prize will be a toddler bed cap, picture soon to follow. Good luck to all.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Socialism/Communism Lite in the American society

It seems like communism is a bad word in the United States of America, and well it ought to be. Karl Marx wrote a book called The Communist Manifesto, and the idea seems really great. He got his ideas from watching how Monks in a monastery work. The idea is great. The problem is that it works differently when the people involved are working for God, whom they feel is omnipotent instead of a government. I love the idea of giving to help someone else out. I donate to my favorite charity, but I don't like the governmental ways of distributing my money. There are churches with great programs to help the poor and needy. If people would like to donate to those programs, people should be able to do so of their own free will. Those programs have local people targeting people in need, and they worked for a LONG time before this country instituted the federal welfare programs. The biggest problem with the government welfare programs is that they entice people not to work. A person can get a job, but they make more money with a lower paying job and welfare than working harder to provide for their families. Federal Welfare programs undermine the need to work for what we receive. To illustrate, a man with a family of four can make 24,000 a year and still receive food stamps and cash assistance in the state of GA. So, a beginning welder goes to work every day, brings home his check, and then applies for welfare. The state grants him about 700 dollars a month worth of food stamps and cash assistance. That's great for the first year. The next year, the employer offers the family a raise, but the raise is only 200/month. The family can't take the raise, or they'll lose the 700/month from the government. What should the family do? If the family takes the raise from working for what they get, then they lose money that comes for free.

After several years, it would really have been better for the family to take the raise for teaching because the welder gets more chances for raises and a good retirement after the initial cause. However, people who only live in the now are the type of people who will quit their jobs because they're better off tomorrow with what the government gives them.

This is where having local charities to work with is much better than the idea of federal aide. The local charities can help people through the extra hard times, and also, people believe in themselves and learn how to be self-sufficient.

Because of government run welfare, our tax dollars are taken away from us, and we can't put that money to the more effective local charities. I could go on with this rant about how the minimum wage contributes to both inflation and the ongoing welfare problems and how things will just continue to spiral unless we do a major overhaul and make welfare a short term program instead of a long term program, and I could really rant on what nation wide health care will do to our country, but instead, I'll stop now.

All that said, I do think that there are people out there who need help, but they need help becoming self-sufficient instead of help becoming dependent on the government (which has no money of its own, it has to take every cent from the people). Three cheers for local charities instead of taxation and wealth redistribution.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Sick so much

I'm really wishing for some sleep. Ben woke up with a fever Monday morning, but he wouldn't sleep unless I was holding him sitting up all Monday night, Tuesday night, and all last night. His fever was gone yesterday, but he still has all the junk in his sinuses, so he can't sleep lying down. We're doing acetaphetamine, ibuprofin, and diphenhydramine. Lots of medicine, but it makes life bearable. Jackie just woke up with it this morning. Yipee.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Working on blogging more.

I'm working on blogging at least three times a week and working up to every day Monday through Thursday and once every weekend. However, I'm not there yet. Today is hump day so, I'm going to use the Hump Day Hmm topic from Using My Words. This week's topic is "The Big Pink Elephant--Big cultural issue."

I feel that one of the biggest issues in our culture today is parenting. I feel like good parenting is under attack. Everyone has different styles of parenting. Good parenting entails setting boundaries, communicating with children, and helping kids to grow up and be good, decent members of society. There are many different roads to parenting. I have chosen attachment parenting for the most part. However, I have seen some really great parents who spank their kids. I've seen some really great parents who let their kids "cry it out." Some things that work for one child will not work for another. In some states, spanking in any form is illegal now. If in 15 years, the state of Washington has a high rise in teenage crime it will be because the state put some strong limits on how parents can discipline their children. There are some children who a spank won't phase them at all. There are other kids who one slight swat with an open hand on the bottom will mean a lot.

I'm not saying that beating or abuse is a good thing, but honestly, is it the government's job to tell me how to raise my kids? I want the government out of my house! I don't want the government telling me how to raise my kids, which lightbulbs I have to buy, or what temperature my house can be. Gee Whiz! I want the government out of my parenting and out of my personal business!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Modified Lanolin

Modified Lanolin is a wonderful product. The two brands that I know of are Lansinoh (made by Lansinoh) and Purelan 100 (made by Medela). I got fed up with Ben's diaper rash, if you want to read more about the post, view the diarreha post. Well, the Purelan 100 worked GREAT!!! Just so anybody knows. If your kid has extremely sensitive skin, and you can't find a diaper rash ointment, use modified lanolin. :):):)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Hump Day Hmmmm. . .The arts

I am truly loving blogging, and I'm working on becoming an almost every day blogger instead of an at least once a week blogger. Julie Pippert is an inspiration to me. Therefore, on Wednesdays, I'm going to start doing the Hump Day Hmmm posts that she recommends. The topic for this week is based on the arts and education. This topic is very near and dear to my heart. As a percussion education major for three and a half years, a woman who, the arts are very dear to my heart. I currently teach private music lessons. Also, I'm the woman who, as a senior in high school, decided that it was worth it to do a homestudy accounting course (which took a considerable amount of hours every day because I cannot transfer numbers in the correct order) instead of having to drop out of choir. There was one accounting class and one choir class, and I wanted to take choir although I every elective available was filled up with band, choir and drama classes.

My life in music started at the ripe young age of five with piano lessons because of a goal my mom had. She had a goal to make all her children musical. Being the youngest, my mom had learned from what helped all the other children quit music lessons, and those tricks were not to be for me. She had a rule that you could quit piano when you took up another instrument. I thought I had it all figured out. In second grade, I wanted to play the violin, and I thought I could quit piano. Wrong. Then, I ended up taking both piano and violin lessons until I was in sixth grade when I added percussion in the band. My mom suggested I play a "real" instrument instead of drums, but I told her I wanted to be a percussionist. I had always been in love with strange sounds and rhythm. Percussion was for me. My freshman year of high school, I added drama to the mix, and my sophomore year, I traded drama class for choir class, but I still tried out for all the school plays. I can't draw or paint more than just knowing how to put the brush, pen, or crayon on the paper. Knowing how to move it is a different story. However, music is an outlet for creativity for me. It has also been my way of making money since I was a freshman in high school. My mom started letting me teach my own students in her music studio. Thank you Mama!

I realize that many of my music experiences have been in the private realm, and that is an argument for many people trying to shove music education out of the public schools. However, shouldn't every child have the opportunity to have music in his or her life if he or she should want to? Fewer and fewer parents are able to afford private lessons as time passes. Therefore, only certain children would get any musical training at all. On top of that, there are things you can do in a public music setting that are close to impossible to do in a private music setting unless you have an extremely large studio. Orchestras and bands are much more likely in a public school setting than in a private studio. Without the other kids to make up the bands and orchestras, we would lose the big orchestras people value. Where would the Boston Pops or Utah Symphony be without those players first learning how to play in a band or orchestra setting?

All of my percussion skills have come from teachers paid for by the public education system. (Elemetary, high school, and a state college.)

Here is an example of some of the joy that has come into my life from public education in the arts.

This piece is a shortened version of Yellow After the Rain by Mitchell Peters.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Elimination Communication is the pits when it comes to diarrhea. Poor Ben just can't help it, so he's in full time disposable diapers (The tree hugger ones from Target). The runs are giving Ben a horrible diaper rash, and I've used a bunch of Aquaphor, but I've now misplaced it. Desitin just seems to make it worse, but this time it is NOT yeast. The rash doesn't look the same. My poor little guy! I'm hoping this present set will only last a couple of days until Ben's teeth come in.

Since writing the above paragraph, I have changed his diaper. I had an "ah ha" moment and tried the modified lanolin. Maybe it will work. If it can heal a nipple, it can heal a bottom, right? We'll see. I'll let you all know how it works.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Clogged ducts

Before reading, again, let me remind people that this is an attachment parenting and elimination communication blog. This post addresses breastfeeding issues. If you're uncomfortable with that, feel free to skip this one and come read other posts.

Breastfeeding and I don't seem to get along. With Jackie, I got a clogged duct so bad that they thought it may be a cancerous lump, so I had to go get it out, and then I had to stop nursing because kept leaking milk out of the incision. Well, with Ben, I'm on my third round of clogged ducts, and last time I got one, I got mastitis along with it. I want to wean. I have been using heating pads and a lot of massage. I've been nursing him more often, but after the the whole thrush episode, and now with round 3 of clogged ducts, I have had it. I just want to get rid of the clogs then wean. Although I agree with childled weaning as a whole, Ben seems fine with whole milk, so I think I'm finished.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The kids' room

What's with the walls? Generally, for most people, walls are either something where people look, or something where people hang things (for looking). I know why kids draw on the walls. It makes sense that if mama wants to make the walls pretty, then drawing on them makes sense. Jackie wants to make mama's walls pretty. However, what induces a child's desire to take the beautiful stuff OFF the wall? I'm talking about stuff like the paint, wall paper, or borders. Jackie removed the border from the wall in her room a while back, and we worked and worked on creating a beautiful room. I made her the cutest bed spread. To see it click here: The Incredible Toddler Bed Cap. Then, we repainted her room, and we put up another border over the chair rail and wall stickers on one wall. It turned out REALLY cute. Here are some pictures of the finished product.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Three cheers for blogging!

Elder Russel M. Ballard urged the graduating students at BYU-Hawaii to blog. For more information on his talk, click here. Questions about my church are in hyperdrive since Mitt Romney is running for President. The general authorities of the church can't answer every thing because they can't be in a million places at once. Here's my open invitation for people who have honest questions about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I'll be glad to answer them. However, I am not willing to get into arguments about theology. I'm just willing to answer questions. Everyone has a right to their own beliefs on religion. If someone has faith in a different church, that's his or her right. If the person wants to be an agnostic or athiest, that's his or her right too. However, please allow me the same courtesy. Therefore, if you have any questions, feel free to ask, but know that I'm not up for any arguments. Thanks.

Religion is a huge part of my parenting. Every choice we make is a choice either for God or against God. Therefore, I am teaching my children how to love him through their actions as well. I find that it's much easier to be patient with my children and I am a much better attachment parent when I have started out my day with a good long conversation with my Heavenly Father.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Hump Day Hmm Post

Over at Julie Pippert's blog, there is a challenge to write about someone special who urges and inspires us. I believe in that, so I'm going to participate.

This woman is amazing. She works full time and raises two beautiful, well behaved boys. Since overcoming severe trials in the early and teenage years of her life, she has blossomed into a beautiful, loving woman. She is truly on my list of heroes (or in her case heroines). She lifts people up when they're down, and she works to make others' days better. I have not known her long, but every time I have the privilege to be around her, the love of a true friend just washes over me. I feel so grateful to have her as a friend.

A truly special thanks to Danielle for being a true friend and a great woman.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Story Time

We are getting ready to go to story time at the library. Our library has an excellent story time for toddlers. The woman who runs it is absolutely excellent. She makes a point of giving the children either a craft or a treat every time after story time. She always has a theme and liberally intersperses songs and movement. Although story time is the same both Tuesdays and Thursdays every week, I try to go both days because Jackie loves it so much. Also, I'm starting to make friends there.Yippee for story time!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Happy New Year!

We had a great New Year's Eve and a wonderful New Year's Day. We went with a friend to watch their parents light fireworks. It was great fun, and Jackie sure had a lot of fun. She played with sparklers, and she also got to watch some really cool fireworks.

We also got some new furniture. Now, I am a proud owner of my own kitchen table and chairs set. Until now, we had been borrowing a set from Mom. R. and it was nice, but this set is really nice, and I'm grateful. Rob's uncle was moving out of his house into a retirement community, and he was selling his diningroom set and a beautiful hutch. Rob and I decided that we should get them. The furniture really is beautiful. Smile big all.