Friday, March 30, 2007

Yes, it's been a while!

Sorry for the long silence but we've been super busy these days.

First we had a trip to see family and had a great time. While we were there, I took Rose to a homeopathic dr. She has a constant runny nose, no matter what medications we've used, and I'm suspecting food at this point. This homeopath said it was eggs and all beef products. So we took Rose off of those two items. It's been three weeks now and she still has the runny nose. I have an appt to have her allergy tested next Thursday. Wish us luck!!

In the midst of that, we had Jade's two year birthday party. The party theme was ducks and she had a great time. She got a rocking horse, shopping cart for her baby dolls, spring clothes and a bunch of other goodies. She had a great time.

Our dishwasher broke and the repair cost just a little less than a new one so I have a new Bosch dishwasher. I have no complaints except that it's taking me a while to figure out the new loading technique as this basket is a different size than the last and it's hard to determine where bowls fit the best. ;)

We also had family come and visit this week too. So we spent a day at the zoo and a day shopping and went swimming and had some meals out - it was a mini vacation for us as well. We had a really good time together and I'm already missing them though they just left yesterday afternoon.

In other news, I hit full term last Friday. I'm 38 weeks today and hoping that baby decides to come this weekend, while my OB is on call. She rotates on call weekends with 12 other doctors, only one of whom I know (he delivered Rose). But he was on call last weekend and she is this weekend - I'm really hoping that baby either decides to make her grand entrance during the week or this weekend. ;) So send me some major labor vibes, will ya?? :) I've had lots of contractions and am at 2.5cms now so it might not take too much. lol

While we've been so busy running here and there like chickens with our heads cut off and doing Easter shopping and bday shopping and spring clothing shopping and parties and visiting with family...we have still been learning lots.

Rose practices writing her letters everyday, on her own, of course. She's sounding out words (for Daddy, of course) and is a great little counter. She could probably get to 100 by herself pretty easily.

Jade has had a burst of language finally. Or perhaps it's that the other two have gotten quiet enough for me to notice?? :) She had her two year checkup and the ped said he heard a heart murmur and wants to get an Echo on her.

Matthew has been busy working out money concepts. We started putting things in terms of Transformers. "The new dishwasher cost as much as 10 Optimus Prime's." He caught on quickly. Being a SAHM to almost 4 kids and only one income, we've been cutting back in a lot of areas this year. We don't eat out nearly as much as we used to, for example. We discuss this freely as to why we don't eat out as much and I find that Matthew is now becoming quite sensitive to money issues. I bought them an extra special treat yesterday - slushies. Matthew was worried that it cost too much and after I assured him that it was ok, he thanked me profusely for getting them a treat. This isn't where I expected (or 'wanted') our money-openness to go but it's interesting to see a 6yr old concerned about our spending habits. We went to a bookfair yesterday and he decided to put a pen back because "I'd rather Mom spend her money on something else". I'm not sure if I should encourage this or not. On the other hand, Hubby thinks it's easier to teach a money-conscious person to live a little and spend some money on themselves rather than teaching a frivolous spender to budget...and I think I'm inclined to agree. We'll see where this leads.

Matthew tends to take everything to extremes. During the year that he was 3, he had me read everything we could get our hands on about the human body. He learned all about how the body works and what can go wrong, learned about diseases and nutrition...and germs. At Jade's 2yr checkup, Matthew sat on a step stool and read a book, flipping the pages with his feet. He didn't want to touch a book in the dr's exam room that had germs all over it. I am not a germ-a-phobe but I get "that look" from people who seem to think, "What has his mother's fears done to her poor kid??" He did this all on his own. Rose is very unconcerned about germs and dirt and messes...though she does have the most dr visits in our family. ;) Though as I think back, I remember even at a very young age, Matthew never liked being messy. Didn't like food on his hands and would grunt for napkins to wipe his hands before he could even talk. I'm surprised he plays with play dough. But that's a post for another day, I suppose.

Anyway, I'll be posting baby news as soon as I can so stay tuned! :)

Friday, March 16, 2007


I woke up very early yesterday morning for a dental appt (so Hubby could watch the kids for me and he just went into work a little later than usual). The kids were still sleeping when I left. When I got home around 9am, 6yMatthew and 4yRose were standing in the kitchen, a little shocked to see me coming in the door at that time in the morning (since I'm a late sleeper during pgcy).

Matthew looks at me questioningly and says, "Mom??" Rose looks at me for a few seconds and then says, "Moooooom!! You forgot to go to sleep!" ROFL Guess she thought I was painting the town red all night! LOL

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Bloggers beware...

(This is a partial article. To read the full article, please visit

New Version of Storm Virus Infects Blogs and Other Web Postings
Beware messages including text: "Have you seen this?"

By Jon Brodkin, Network World, 02/27/07

A new version of the Storm e-mail virus is populating blogs and online bulletin boards with links directing people to a Web site that is propagating the worm, representing a new mode of attack for hackers seeking financial gain, according to a security vendor that became aware of the virus Monday night.

The Storm Worm attacks in December and January used infected e-mails to hijack personal computers and add them to “bot-nets,” networks of infected computers used by hackers to distribute spam and viruses.

Within the past day, a variation of this virus was found to be using infected computers to place malicious links on various Web sites, according to Secure Computing, a messaging security vendor based in San Jose, Calif.

If your computer is infected, the virus can add malicious text to any message you post to a blog or bulletin board. The text says, “Have you seen this?” and is followed by a URL containing the phrases “freepostcards” and “funvideo.”

“The new thing about this virus is the way it propagates. It’s basically filling up Web pages all over the Internet with links to the malware,” says Dmitri Alperovitch, principal research scientist for Secure Computing.

A Google search on Tuesday afternoon located 71 sites containing the link, including message boards hosted by the Salt Lake Tribune and a site about Australian pythons and snakes.

Clicking on the link causes the virus to be downloaded to the user’s computer. “It turns you into a zombie. Your computer is now under full control under the criminal that is in control of this bot-net,” Alperovitch says.

To view the full article, click on the link listed at top.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Trusting those kids love of learning...

Someone came up with some great questions in the comments section and instead of posting it there, I decided to respond here. I get asked these questions a lot and I'm sure some of you are wondering the same things. So I'll just get to it... (and thanks Mrs. Pivec!) Her original questions are indented below.

How have you learned to trust the process of unschooling? I don't mean in their younger years, because I have already seen - and your current post attests to - the natural desire of little ones to absorb and want to learn, learn, learn. But my hesitations come as they enter their teen years. I would assume they know the basics, but then, perhaps they will be distracted with other interests beyond secondary level learning.

In their early years, the proof has been in the puddin' for me and Hubby. We see the natural learning happening and we see their desire to keep learning. Hubby and I were just talking this morning about Matthew's reading skills. More and more, he's using language/words/phrases that *we* don't use. This morning, I was reminding him about something we were doing tomorrow and he said, "Oh, I thought that was the day after tomorrow. Apparently my mind isn't a steel trap mind!" Hubby and I looked at each other quizzically. Where did he pick that up? When I asked him, he ran to his room and grabbed a Wishbone book and explained how they used it in the Hunchdog of Notre Dame. lol

Most unschoolers will say that if their love of learning isn't quenched with time restraints or forced learning of things they aren't interested in, that the natural desire to learn will never dissipate. I hope that's true. But I'm a good realist, I think, and I realize that we may do everything the unschooling way and still have a kid(s) who loses the drive.

I'm curious as to what you mean when you say, "other interests beyond secondary level learning" - are you talking dating relationships or what if my son takes an interest in cars or Rose wants to spend all day painting her nails? I see these as great learning opportunities. I don't think anyone alive has "enough" relationship experience. LOL And if he gets interested in cars, he's still going to have to hone his skills in order to move on with his interest. She might end up being a beautician or painting her nails might turn into painting canvas...who knows?

I suppose unschooling is more about learning things to use as tools for your desired goal, where traditional schooling is more about learning facts that you might use one day (though I can't remember when I've needed to dissect a frog on the spot in my adult life. lol).

I am not one to be pushing or insisting my children go to college. I want them to have satisfying lives whatever that will mean for them. I think my greatest fear would be that if they did want to go to college and I had not prepared them, they would resent me - and maybe my husband would too. Basically, I wouldn't want it to be "my fault," KWIM? At the same time, I do feel that if the girls had a strong interest in something offered at the University and they had to take a basic course in order to do it, they would likely do it. Of course, then we'd all have to be paying for it! I know these are "what if's," but those are the things that get me. I know these are "what if's," but those are the things that get me. I feel like I have the boy scout motto marching around in my head, "BE PREPARED."

We do have plans for the kids to attend college. It will be their choice, of course, but we do already have college savings plans started for each of them...and are paying into them with each paycheck. So we do expect that they will want to (though if they don't, we got the kind of plan that you can gift to another family member so we're not stuck having given money we can't use). This might be a rosy picture of the future but when the kids are teens, I see us really honing in on their interests. We will have a good understanding of what they're really interested in. I suspect Matthew will be sciency and Rose is showing quite an aptitude in art and math...though I know these things will grow and change over time. But by their teen years, I suspect we'll have a good understanding of at least the wide field of interest and can go from there. At that point, we'll start talking about higher education and making plans if they want to attend college. And, as with any tool, if they need to know Calculus before getting to college in order to study their subject, we'll dive into it (and I say 'we' because I'm not sure what that even is except it has something to do with higher math. lol). Perhaps they will want to take some local community college classes before they actually attend a college - great! The point is, if they're really interested in the subject, why wouldn't they want to learn more about it?

I know there could be kinks in the plan and, as with all things regarding parenting, we'll just have to take them as they come. My big picture at this point in their lives is helping them enjoy learning and explore their interests. More than that, I can't really speak to since I haven't traveled the road yet. But hopefully this has given you a better idea of my directional hopes for them.

Thanks for the great questions!! :)

As a side note, the kids and I are going on a road trip to visit our favorite family members in one last hurrah before the new baby leaves us a little tied-down! We're leaving tomorrow and won't be back until Thursday so it might be a while before you see another post from me. But hopefully we'll have lots of tales to regale you with. LOL Have a great weekend & week!!