I’m not ashamed to admit that I am a bibliophile. I love books. I’d like to say I’ve never met a book I didn’t like, but I had to read The Jungle by Upton Sinclair when I was in middle school. To be fair, maybe I would enjoy it now… but my vague recollections of the book make me think probably not. I don’t have nearly as much time to read books these days, at least not books without pictures. Having spent a decent amount of time with children’s books, I thought I would give my 2 cents on my favorite children’s books of late. – several of which have come via Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. If you aren’t familiar with this program and have children between 0 and 5 years of age, please look it up and see if it is available in your area (availability is only in Australia, Canada, United Kingdoms and the United States of America). Each month they send your child a new age appropriate book, free of charge. My girls get excited when their monthly book comes in (ok, Mom gets excited too). I’m actually going to be a little sad when they end up aging out of the program. But back to the books…
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So many years ago I started having trouble with loss of muscle tone in my face. Kind of like a Bells Palsy. It would last for 10 mins or so and then resolve. I thought nothing of it – or maybe I was afraid to think anything of it. Eventually it progressed to involuntary arm movements and then to one very scary pseudo seizure. I call it pseudo because I was fully conscious so it wasn’t a real seizure. Back then I saw several doctors – some thought I was making it up – finally I received a diagnosis – Essential Myoclonus. I was put on medication that seemed to mostly keep it under control and things were ok. Eventually though I decided I wanted to ween myself off the drugs – at that time I was taking Neurontin (Gabapentin), Klonopin (Clonazepam) and Ativan (Lorazepam). I was getting married and I knew we wanted children, so in my mind if I could come off of all the medications I should. And I successfully did – one at a time. The Neurontin was the easiest. I ended up joining Benzo Buddies which was an online group to help come off the Klonopin and Ativan as they are both Benzodiazepines. I was super careful, using the titration taper plan. Finally I was off everything. And for the most part I was fine…
I came home from a meeting tonight… hmm… the house smells like essential oils. I diffuse it in the girls bedroom at night so that must be it. I go down to the basement to talk to my husband… uhoh, he doesn’t look very happy. Turns out the girls got into our bedroom (we try to lock the door because two four-year-olds can really do some damage). And since mommy has been rubbing oil on their feet before bedtime lately, they decided they would do it. Except that I used the roller applicator with the diluted lavender. Apparently they just grabbed the bottles and were rubbing them directly on the bottoms of their feet. On the plus side, lavender and frankincense are fairly benign. On the downside, frankincense isn’t exactly cheap. And as my husband said, “that’s why the house smells like a whorehouse.” Admittedly I have never been to a whorehouse, but I imagine they smell more flowery… but perhaps not. So the oils have now been moved to a safer location. Lesson learned.
It seems like every age is hard when you are in the middle of it. Right now my girls are four years old and it’s hard sometimes. I love my girls dearly and I try to enjoy the moments… most of them at any rate. To be honest, they aren’t all enjoyable – sometimes they just downright suck! Those are the moments when you think to yourself, “just get me to the other side.” When the kids are screaming, not listening, throwing tantrums, not listening, being careless, did I mention not listening? And I know, they are four… these behaviors are normal and just part of learning how to interact with their environment and others in it. But sometimes normal four year old behavior is hard to handle. And don’t even get me started on when they are sick! As a mom I feel helpless during these times – am I doing the right thing? Maybe I should be more strict? Maybe I should be more lenient? I should definitely rein in my language – seriously, I rarely cussed before I had kids. The strongest sense of helplessness I’ve felt (lately) is during night terrors. I don’t know if they are officially night terrors, but they definitely have some of the characteristics of them. One night, maybe 90 minutes after going to bed, Heather started screaming in her room so I went to check on her. I tried to console her, even though she wasn’t awake (because it makes me feel like I’m doing something). Then she started crying, asking “Where are you mommy?” over and over again. I kept telling her I was right there even though I knew she wasn’t aware of me. And it was painful. A kind of pain that I had never felt before I had children – that I wouldn’t have believed was possible before children. I wanted to protect her and be there for her… and I couldn’t do a darn thing. Eventually it passed and she calmed back down into sleep. But that… that was hard. But in the hardness, in the moments of our greatest effort, we find our own strength. We find that we can make it through the tough times- maybe not in the way that we would have liked – but we can make it through them and learn. We learn about ourselves… we learn about our children… and we learn that hard is not a word to be feared. It’s just another four letter word.
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These are the Somasix refrigerator magnets. I received this product at a heavily discounted price in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion. They are brightly colored and a nice size at 1.75″. The magnets pretty light due to being plastic and only having a small magnet on the back. The magnet is strong enough to keep it on the refrigerator, but weak enough that you don’t have to pry it off. The set comes with 62 magnets – one of each letter in both lower and upper case as well as the numbers 0 through 9. My girls enjoy playing with them both on and off of the refrigerator. My only concerns are they seem like they would break if accidentally stepped on (which is probably true for most alphabet magnets) and the back is not enclosed so if the magnets were to somehow come out they would be a swallowing hazard. I would definitely follow the ages 3+ guideline. Otherwise, they work well and are great for helping children with letter recognition and distinguishing between upper and lower case letters.
Do you sometimes you feel like you get distracted by every pretty butterfly? So I started out looking into product reviews, then it turned into looking at things to do with a blog, then in the process of looking at a blog came the big question. What is my passion in life? What can I not do? And the answer is… I don’t freakin’ know! No clue. Are there things I enjoy doing? Sure! But do I jump back and forth between things I enjoy doing? All the time! For example, I went through a cleaning phase. I was going to get the house cleaned and organized. I was really motivated. And then, I wasn’t. I don’t remember what I moved on to… typically for me my focuses tend to fall into the following categories: 1) Bettering myself or my house (cleaning, organizing, decluttering, working on personal issues, finding what I want to do with my life); 2) research (genealogy mostly, but also stuff I need to buy or places I’m interested in… or anything I’m interested in) 3) gaming (LOTRO, D&D). But I bounce between them… every few days. When I’m into something, I’m all in… hours and hours and hours of being involved in it. And then the switch turns off and I move back to something else. But… I don’t really consider any of them passions. How do you know what is an interest and what is a passion? Maybe I just don’t know what passion is. The dictionary (M-W online) has a few definitions – the applicable ones being