Thursday, March 5, 2009

Got to haul? Please secure.

Often on the road I see pickup trucks and small trailers being used to haul unsecured items. Please take the time to secure whatever you are carrying with some bungee cords. I know people think that their items are too heavy to blow in the wind. I hope this story will change your mind.

My dad owns a business and needs to haul items ranging from a few ounces to a few hundred pounds all the time. He's owned his business for over 20 years, so you can imagine how much he has transported in that time. A few years back he needed to move a large, heavy recliner from one house to another. It must have weighed fifty pounds. He put it in the bed of his truck. He didn't bother to secure it because he figured that even if it did move, it would just slide around a bit against the walls of the truck. I'm sure you can see where the story is going. He hit 55 on the highway, the wind caught the recliner, and it went flying out of the truck like a ball tossed by a little kid. Fortunately, he lives in a rural area and the highways never have heavy traffic. There could have been a tragedy that day. Instead the recliner landed on the side of the road and busted all to pieces.

I have a second story to show how dangerous even a small item flying from a car or truck can be. When I still lived at home, my mom and I ran rescue squad. I was an EMT-Basic and she eventually made it to EMT-Cardiac Tech. The rescue squads in our area are volunteer organizations and it's common for people to drive their personal vehicles to calls that need extra help. There was a tragic car wreck one day that took the time and effort of many EMTs and firefighters. My mom was there that day doing her part.

While there she and a lot of other people noticed a truck parked on the side of the road several yards down from the crash. No one paid much attention; everyone there just assumed it belonged to someone on scene. After all the injured people were packaged and sent away in ambulances someone noticed that the truck was still sitting in place. That's when a group finally decided to investigate the truck, only to find a very sad sight. The windshield had been shattered by a piece that had flown off during the wreck, and the driver had been impaled through the chest. Amazingly, he didn't die instantly. He was able to steer his truck to the edge of the road, park, and turn it off. There's no way to know if he might have lived if anyone had known to check his truck. The point is valid either way, projectiles from moving vehicles can be very deadly. So please, secure your load when you're on the road.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Being Gentle With Kids part 1

I've never spanked my kids, not even for the common reasons given by many parents. When my kids showed interest in the electrical outlets, I would gently pull their hands away and show them that outlets were made only for plugs. We would walk around the house to see the outlets and I would show them how the only thing that was ever in them were cords. They grasped the idea immediately.

When my son at age 2 let go of my hand and started to run through a busy parking lot, I reached out and grabbed him by the shirt and pulled him back to me. I didn't spank him. Instead, I firmly held his hand as we crossed to a safe spot, then I got to his level and told him very simply that he has to always walk and hold my hand in parking lots. In nearly three years, he has not repeated his mistake. I think that parents who spank are often underestimating their child's intelligence. In both of those common cases, spanking was completely unnecessary, yet if I had spanked I probably would have given that credit for their change in behavior.

There is never any reason to hit a kid. There is always an alternative. Sometimes the parent might have to think a moment to know what it is, but it is there. Besides, most of the reason parents spank kids is because they know they can. How many of us would follow the jerk who cuts us off in traffic, causing us to slam our brakes and almost wreck, if punching him in his face were legal? Yet, it's not legal, so the vast majority of people just swallow their anger and move on. In my opinion, an adult nearly causing a collision in a car wreck is much worse than a young child drawing on the walls or accidently breaking a vase. Yet the child is much more likely to be the one physically disciplined simply because it is acceptable in our society. Well, society is made up of people, and sometimes people are wrong.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Weaning is a Hard Process

As you'd probably figure, Ja is not happy about being weaned. The first day she asked for goongoons (her word for nursing) several times each hour and was very upset most of the day. Poor little sweetheart. The second day she was quite a bit better. Today is the third day and she started off asking a lot, but hasn't mentioned them again in a few hours.

Fortunately, I've had good luck getting her to bed these last few nights. The first and second nights she fell asleep in my arms. Last night she fell asleep on the couch while watching The Batman cartoon show. I left her on the couch and dozed on the loveseat until she woke and started crying. Then I carried her up to mine and M.'s bed. To ease the weaning process I've decided that I can nurse her a bit late at night, after the medicine has worn off. It's a 12 hour maximum medicine. Last night she really didn't stay latched very long, I guess my supply is already dropping. Breastmilk supply is based on demand, and since the demand is now very low my milk is not as plentiful as it once was.

I think things will start getting better in the next few days. This really was a bad time for me to go on medicine, since Ja is teaching herself to use the potty right now, too. Lots of changes for such a little princess. Even so, I'm optimistic that she'll move on in the next few days.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Monday Morning Write Up 4

Hello, online world! This week's featured Etsy seller is Crochet Maggie. Maggie sells crocheted items including face cloths, dish cloths, and baby hats. Selling online allows her to stay at home with her five kids, including a sweet newborn girl. Her items are soft and well made. I bought a face cloth from her to go with some soap I bought from a different Etsy vendor.

My favorite item in Maggie's store right now is her Candy Corn beanie. It looks just like classic candy corn made into an infant's hat. She's going to add new items soon, so keep Crochet Maggie in mind when you need to shop for crocheted bath and beauty items. Chances are good, she'll have what you need.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Even the Best Things Must End

Last night was my daughter's first time going to bed without being nursed to sleep. In her short little life she has snuggled in my arms and against my chest several times a day and night. Now that closeness is gone forever, torn abruptly from us when my doctor's nurse let me know that I had to choose between my medication and and nursing. As much as it hurts me, I had to choose to keep taking my medicine rather than continue nursing my sweet girl.

The medicine is for ADHD, which I long suspected I have but never sought treatment for until recently. The psychiatrist confirmed it and started me on medicine that has had astounding results. I've gone from having an extremely short attention span, no focus, a very limited ability to stay on task, and a very hard time with time management to well, the complete opposite. My brain has gone from feeling like ideas written on note cards that someone has tossed willy-nilly in the air to ideas written on note cards that are carefully ordered in a neat little pile. That is something I am not willing to give up.

I'll always miss our nursing relationship. For nearly two and a half years I held her in my arms, our bare tummies touching, and her little mouth sucking hungrily at my breast. Tonight, I also held her in my arms, but this time my shirt was down and I was completely covered. She snuggled under a blanket and I watched her eyelids grow heavy as she watched The Batman. She fell asleep cradled in my arms, and then I gently laid her in bed. I'm looking forward to many, many nights holding my princess while she drifts to sleep.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Monday Morning Write Up 3

Good Monday morning, everyone! This week's Etsy seller is Teton Cocoa Company. I bought a gift tin of their caramel hot cocoa during the holidays to give as a gift, but ended up keeping it instead. I'm so glad I did, because it was delicious. It was smooth, sweet, rich, and creamy. The balance of caramel to cocoa was simply perfect. The hot cocoa from Teton was superior to any cocoa I've recently bought locally. Every sip was a delight to our tastebuds. Our entire family was able to enjoy several nights of warm goodness.

I'm looking forward to buying from Teton Cocoa Company again. The next product we plan to try is the Hazelnut Hot Cocoa. I'm sure it's going to be delectable: rich cocoa combined with classy, sophisticated taste of hazelnut. I think this is one treat everyone will enjoy. If you love rich, creamy cocoa, then Teton is for you.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

They're Doing Quite Well

I've never mentioned it on this blog, but my husband and I are both opposed to punitive punishments. We use gentle discipline methods with our children and have never spanked either of them. Sometimes people ask us if we're sure we can raise responsible, considerate, (fill in the positive adjective here) kids without raising our hands against them. The answer is, we are positive that we can. Two short situations happened independently of each other last night that illustrates this fact.

Both kids really love Annies Homegrown Bunnies. They're little crackers or cookies and come in many flavors. We usually buy cheddar or chocolate. Last night, Ja was crying because she'd spilled her share of bunnies. Without me asking him to share, or even saying a word, Toe wordlessly gave her a bunny. After she ate that one he gave her his entire share, saying "Here you go, Ja!" as he dropped the baggie into her lap.

The second situation happened during dinner. Toe knocked over his cup and spilled his cocoa. Ja pushed away from the table, slid down from her booster seat, ran to the towel drawer and brought Toe a kitchen towel so he could clean his mess. "Heah, Toe!" she said in her little two year old voice. "Thank you, Ja!" Toe replied and wiped up his mess.

Yes, I have no doubts that we're raising fantastic kids without resorting to spankings or time-outs, or other punitive punishments.