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Archive for October, 2006

I was visiting a blog that I know many, many people find their way to, and I came across a link to an old post that really expresses a lot of what I’ve been thinking about over the past several months.  The reasons behind my desire for country living are nearly identical to those listed in Amy’s post, though I would add that growing organic food for a healthier lifestyle is one that is on my list.  Check out Amy’s Humble Musings if you haven’t already.  She’s well worth the read.

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ADHD — A Check Up

We had Bud in for a check up today.  We wanted to monitor his growth and check on a heart murmur that was recently discovered, and basically check in with his doctor about his medication to make sure everything was as it should be.  Turns out, everything looks good, weight gain surprisingly included.  The doctor wants a few more tests done to make sure the heart murmur is “innocent” in nature, but he was not concerned and neither are we.  So, overall, we have been reassured.

As an indication of the change we have seen in Bud over the past few months, let me relay a couple of incidents that have occurred this week:  First, one of his Sunday School teachers approached me after church and I didn’t cringe inside, wondering what Bud had done this time. 🙂  Actually, she told me Bud was doing so well in class now.  She said, “I only teach his class about once a month, and one month he was one way (always in trouble), and then the next month he was completely different.  It was like night and day.  We have been able to get to know him now!  Did you do something different?”   It was encouraging to hear.  It kind of balances out the time in a different church when his Sunday School teachers told me they wouldn’t take him in their class anymore ( a couple of years ago).  The second incident that occurred was just this morning while we were going to the different stops at the hospital to check out his heart.  In the doctor’s office, he played quietly with some toys for an hour while the doctor and I talked.  When he got bored, he came and sat on my lap.  (This is the same boy who, while we were being “interviewed” about his ADHD originally, was pounding his paper with the crayons and slinging a rubber lizard about the room within 10 minutes. ) Later on in the EKG room, the receptionist commented to me, “He is so well-behaved!  Most kids are running around and yelling !  What is your secret!” 

Fortunately, Bud got to “overhear” these compliments on his good behavior, which is a perfect reinforcer.   I wish I could take credit for the “change” in Bud, but we haven’t done that much differently.  It is almost entirely the benefit of the medication.  Conversely, however, a great deal of our trouble before cannot be directly charged to me either, but rather to the ADHD.  So the conclusion?  We weren’t horrible failures as parents before and we are not suddenly new and improved perfect parents now.  We just found out what we were up against, and found the right (for us, for now) tool to  combat it.

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Top “Knot-ch”

Well, Baby is now 14 months old and her hair is starting to look really wild.  I figured it was time to look into some baby ponytail holders.  Here is a picture of her with her first ever top- knot.  Isn’t she the cutest?  😉

First Ponytail

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Just a quick update for you all.  I passed my second glucose screening!  The first one must have been thrown off due to the chai I drank on the way to the appointment.  I was so relieved that I passed.  Not that I couldn’t have changed the way I eat (I should anyway), but because of the added worry for the baby, the increased chance of him or I getting Type 2 diabetes, and the potential complications during delivery from the baby’s shoulders being wider, etc.    Now I can breathe easier (well, except for the fact that he’s getting so big that I am often short of breath anyway…)

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Well, as many of you know, there was a pretty good-sized earthquake out here in Hawaii this morning.  A little after seven, Dh and I woke up thinking that four or five big burly guys were shaking our bed.   Once we were good and awake, though, we realized it was an earthquake.  We had experienced one or two small ones when we were in California, but this one was a bit bigger.  Even the aftershock shook things up a bit.   Thankfully there were no major incidents as a result.  Everyone was safe and sound, and the biggest difficulty was not having electricity.  But then, that was a welcome little surprise for me.

I have blogged a couple of times about living a more simple, less technological lifestyle.  Today we got to try it out via an act of God.  Now, if we had known ahead of time that we were going to be without power, we could have planned for meals a little better and made sure we were prepared, but as it was, we got a chance to use our brains a little to make do with what we had.  (For instance, we grilled frozen pizzas for supper tonight…)  But outside of that, I’ll tell you what I appreciated about being without power, and why I am thankful we have the power back.

First of all, I enjoyed the quiet.  I heard so many things today that I wouldn’t have had the power been on.  The rain was gentle and quiet.  The birds outside were busy chattering.  I could hear the neighbors talking and kids outside playing.  I could even hear the wind blowing.  I didn’t realize how much I was missing with the constant hum of the air conditioners, the electrical buzz of the tv and computer, and the general noise of all the various machines that we use throughout the day.

Secondly, I enjoyed the sense of community.  Since there was no tv or internet to inform us on what was going on, people headed outside or over to their neighbor’s house to find out what they knew.  Kids with no video games to play or tv to watch went outside during the lulls in the rain to play.  Everybody seemed to feel a little bit closer with their windows open, sharing a common “hardship.”  Overall, our “neighborhood” felt a lot more neighborly.

Third, I enjoyed the need to use ingenuity.  We had to solve little problems, such as how to boil water for hot tea (on the grill, of course!) and how best to use up the food in the refrigerator/freezer and other minor “inconveniences” such as that.  It felt good to be able to say, “See, I can do it.  Even if I don’t have electricity, I am still gonna have a cup of tea!”

And finally, I enjoyed the family time.  With no tv or video games or internet and the rain keeping us mostly indoors, we enjoyed an afternoon of games and reading.  In fact, I was looking forward to an evening of candlelight and Dh playing his guitar.  But…the power came back on just as it was starting to get dark.

Which brings me to my second point.  I am thankful for electricity.  Hot water, readily available, is one perk.  A working phone system is another.  The actual light that we take for granted (I can’t count the number of times I thoughtlessly flipped a light switch today, even though I knew the power was out) is also something I am thankful for.  The house just seemed dim to me.  Of course it was cloudy, so that could be why it seemed dark.  But that was also why it was cool enough in the house.  If it had been hot out today, I would have been longing for the a/c or at least the ceiling fans.

So I guess my conclusion is, I don’t want to give up electricity; I just want to reserve it for a few things that are basic needs.  Warm water, cool air, light, etc.  If I could leave behind some of the other things, I’d be glad to.   It was a fun little mini-experiment today.  I’m glad God gave us the opportunity.  And I am thankful that everyone that was here remained safe throughout the day’s events.

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Sugarfree?

After breezing through the pregnancies with my other three children, I was kind of counting on not having any trouble with this one, though there is always something to worry about.  This fourth little guy, though, may have different plans.  

(more…)

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I didn’t get around to that post I promised a few days ago.  I’m at the beginning of my third trimester, and starting to slow down I think.  Sleeping all the way through the night is a memory now as I trek to the bathroom every couple of hours.  The lack of sleep, I think, is starting to affect my energy levels. 

Today, however, was a productive one.  DH and I spent the majority of our time de-cluttering.  I was starting to feel as if the house and our many things were beginning to take over.  I threw away a lot of stuff and tried to negotiate the sale/donation of some larger unnecessary items with my husband (though I admit with little success).  I have long felt the need to throw off some of the worldly weight that seems to steal time and space from me, but the inspiration I needed to act has come from that book I mentioned before, Better Off.  Reading this “experiment” of a young couple living a life of minimal technology and no electricity has given definition to a feeling of dissatisfaction that has grown in me over the past couple of years.   I have long felt “robbed” by the technology of computers and television (who hasn’t lamented the time “wasted” on these devices?), but I never stopped to consider how thoughtlessly I have accepted, used, depended on many other devices that have in turn taken more from me in the way of community, time, sense of purpose, mental agility, and physical strength than they could ever make up for in their attempt to “save labor”.  

Now, granted, de-cluttering is hardly a leap toward simple living.  It is more like an inching, a mere baby step toward controlling these “things” that I have unthinkly allowed to take control in my life.  Perhaps a bigger step could have been take, but I am not the only one whose sensibilities need be considered.   My husband’s help today was an act of pure sacrificial love on his part.  He would rather not part with anything if he can help it.  So for him, it was a stretching.   It is good that we balance each other.  I am libel to throw out too much and then regret it, and he is apt to keep everything until we can’t find eachother or the children amid the mess.   I am sure our path to a simpler way of life will have to be carefully navigated if we are both to come out as winners.   For now, all I’m asking is for some clean countertop space. 

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