River's Edge Urban Academy

Homeschooling 4 kids ages 9, 6, 4 and baby while working as a postpartum nurse and lactation counselor.

Thursday, December 30, 2004


It's official. I am certifiably the worst mom in the world. The tooth fairy never came last night to trade money for my daughter's third lost tooth. The baby had a fever and J was kind of difficult about bedtime and Ry had gone out and I just forgot! I told her it was because it was so icy out and that she was still tired from helping Santa. She thought it was because I had talked her into putting it on her dresser instead of under her pillow. She sleeps on a top bunk. I just about broke my arm trying to exchange tooth for cash last time. Darn, guess I will have to brave that top bunk tonight. Unless Ryan does. Last time we both did. We are so bad at this!
Shoot, now she wants to put the tooth back in her mouth. ~sigh~

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Overheard after watching dinosaur movies, reading dinosaur books and visiting the Chinasaur exhibit at the Science Museum of Minnesota.
Jossy: I want to be a paleontologist when I grow up.
Zeff: I want to be T. Rex.

Monday, December 27, 2004

We had a lovely Christmas. I was lucky enough to get cancelled from work on Christmas eve day (no holiday pay for that shift anyway). We went to my mother-in-law's on Christmas evening. Ryan's sister and her husband and kids were there along with our grandma (great-grandma to the kids). Zeff's 4yo boy cousin is one of his best friends. They kiss and hug when they see each other and refer to each other as "friend" As in, "Friend, do you want to play spiderman?" "OK, friend." Very sweet. They are both madly into spiderman and also enjoy the other required preschool boy things (dinosaurs, swords, etc).
Fortunately our family was smart enough to get them pretty much all identical presents. It was a good thing, because one of the first gifts that Emmit opened was a really cool spiderman car and action figure. Zeff stood there with his little face fallen, eyes growing shiny. He was so good, he didn't cry or take the toy or anything but you could tell he wanted it more than anything in the world. We all told him it would be okay and showed him which present he should open right then. The look on his face when he got the same spiderman car was priceless. He hugged the package, jumping up and down.
However, the next day he had obviously had too much Christmas, as he opened a present with a really cool Discovery Toys tape measure. He burst into tears and said, "But I don't want a girl toy!!" We do not promote the concept of girl and boy toys and he normally he never refers to toys that way. It was so weird as his dad uses a tape measure. Joss goes through streaks of measuring everything though, so that must be where he got that idea. He actually broke down and cried really hard while I held him. He seemed to feel better after that so it must have just been a little holiday overload. Poor guy.
I had an awesome night at work on Christmas day. It was super quiet, and we only had 2 or 3 deliveries all evening (at least that came out to postpartum - there were a couple of heartbreakingly sad cases in L&D that Christmas day, but let's not think about that now) I actually had a wonderful shift as I was in the nursery and rarely had more than one baby at any time. I gave two baby baths. One was an absolutely beautiful little Somali girl baby. She had a little rosebud mouth, round pink cheeks and long eyelashes. Her head was mushed and bruised from a tough delivery but her face looked absolutely gorgeous. I washed her and then put a red and white stocking cap, swaddled her and put her in a winter theme (not Christmas exactly) stocking with a bow and a bell on it. She was just the most precious thing ever and I held her up and showed her at the nursery window whenever people walked by.
The other baby I washed was also a really pretty girl baby and it was so much fun to dress her up as well.
On the 26th I picked my folks up from the airport. While my mom was in Florida, she missed the funeral of a friend of hers from work who killed herself. She also missed hearing the news that a second friend from the same school also killed herself. This is a huge blow to their small elementary school, one woman was a teacher, the other was a custodian. Please pray for the other teachers, kids and staff at that school.
Now my parents are coming over for Christmas supper and presents. OMG. I gotta go clean.

Friday, December 24, 2004

I recently had a Catholic Pro-Choice website brought to my attention. I didn't have too long to look it over, but was impressed by the level of accuracy and the sources cited. I plan to peruse it more, though I don't identify as Catholic anymore. Check it out if you are interested.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Today was wonderful. Ryan stayed home with the boys (Zeff has a moderately severe cold and baby just likes to run) while I took Joss to a nursing home to Christmas Carol with her homeschool group. After we sang, Joss handed out three Christmas cards that she had made for the residents. Before we left, one of the moms handed out the most incredible cookies I have ever had! It was a wonderful experience and I look forward to including the boys next year.
Unfortunately, not long after we got home, I had a call from my grandma that her health problem is not resolving, so we all loaded up in the van and Ryan dropped me off with grandma and took the kids shopping by himself. I went with grandma to her clinic, where, thankfully we realized her problem is not too bad, though we need to keep a close eye on things. When we returned to her house, I called Ryan and he met up with us.
We had all gotten each other an extra Christmas present, above what we were exchanging with the rest of the family, so we did our exchange right then and there. We got our grandma a new lamp post for her front yard and she got Ryan a new drill and for me: a one hour massage and facial at a REAL spa!!! I have had one facial and massage at a beauty school before, but this is the big time!!! It was way too sweet of her.
Then back out for more shopping! The kids and I picked out a nice sweater for Ryan while he was off on his own getting scooters for the big kids. The plus side of having hardly any snow is that they will be able to try them out right away.
Well, that's it for me. I work (gag puke) days tomorrow then Xmas at my m-i-l's. If I am not too tired I want to take J to midnight mass at the cathedral, but since I am working 7a-3:30pm I am not too optimistic. The Xmas day AM at home with the fam, then I work 3-11:30pm. Triple time, baby! Ryan might then take the kids to his dad's, but at this point I kind of doubt it.
Peace! Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Arts n Crafts with the Neighbors
We had such a nice day today. My neighbor's 7 yr old boy, 5 yr old girl and 2.75 yr old boy came over. The kids played great together. I actually had quite a lot of crafts planned and they went really well. I bought or had on hand: red, green and white doilies, white marabou feathers, sparkly pipe cleaners, white puffy chenille pipe cleaners, gold, silber and iridescent glitter, paint, sponge cut into a christmas tree, star, candy cane, gingerbread, circle, triangle and square. Also construction paper, glue, wooden clothespins and all our lace and yarn, etc that is always around.
We made christmas cards and angel ornaments. They were absolutely beautiful. My angel was the most beautiful though. :) The kids did a great job sticking to their projects for about 45" at a time. I had Christmas music on and the three oldest kids were singing along. It was so sweet. They also had a dance party and listened while I read Stranger in the Woods.
Nice Christmas season so far!

Monday, December 20, 2004

Wow! We have been really busy lately.
Joss was in a performance of the Nutcracker. It was such a great production! I only went to see my little girl dance, but ended up being completely caught up in the beauty of the ballet. She did wonderfully and is completely starstruck and certain she wants to be a ballerina and take ballet lessons next year instead of gymnastics as planned. :) We'll see.
She also went to a different performance by the same company with her grandma (Ryan's mom) who also took her out to eat and to the Red Balloon bookstore for stories beforehand. What a lucky girl!
I am doing much better this year at enjoying Christmas and not freaking out. We don't have any of the major things going against us this year that we have had in the past - (new baby=0$, me in nursing school=0$, me working full-time=0time). It is nice for the kids too.
We did have one minor emergency that freaked me out. Our computer apparently died, but my genius husband was able to discern that is was just the monitor and called Gateway to send us a replacement. Unfortunately they couldn't get it to us till after Xmas and I needed the puter to finish up presents so he went to Savers and bought an old HP monitor for $5! I love that man.
We are having neighbor kids over tomorrow. I got a bunch of craft supplies that I am going to let them loose on. My cousin and I are going to get together on Wednesday and do the massive Xmas cookie bake-off. That is always sooo much fun, esp since we are doing it at her house this year!
Merry Christmas, everybody! Peace to all!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Interesting Article About Legislation Change in Texas
As if Texas wasn't all ready one of the scariest states.


Thursday, December 09, 2004

Awesome moment:
We are home sick today with our cousin, Malcolm who is also sick. It has been a challenge keeping the kids in resting mode. We have only watched one Magic Schoolbus video and one educational TV show. The big kids also did a lesson apiece in Math and Reading. I got Malcolm's work off this website www.learningpage.com it is an awesome resource, once you sign up for membership (free). I spent most of the AM cleaning while the kids amused themselves.
We just finished our lunch (leftover Vennie Veggie soup - yum!) and now the kids are listening to and acting out a jug band version of Peter and the Wolf. It is great, Malcolm is assigning parts scene by scene, Joss is acting and dancing with gusto. Zeff sits to the side in his wolf hat, lauging at the big kids and awaiting his one part - the wolf! Ooooh, now it is Zeff's part, they are so funny! The big kids are the bird and cat who are up a tree (the couch) and he is circling below them. Oooh now they are hunters, this is awesome!
Well, I actually feel decent now, thanks to one tylenol 3, 32 oz of mothers milk tea and three hilarious kids. Oh yeah, and the napping baby is nice too.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Wow! We have been really busy lately. Saturday evening I took Joss and her friend, Maggie (daughter of good friend, Kate http://katesandwiched.blogspot.com/)
to see the Christmas Carol, presented by Theatrix. It was alot of fun. The girls sat on a carpet up front so they could see the actors, including one of Jossy's friends, very close-up. The play was put on entirely by homeschooled kids, including kids doing make-up and running the lights and sound.
Sunday, I went and visited my grandma (actually Ryan's grandma, but we always just say we are grandmother and granddaughter). It is probably the first time I have ever taken the time to go visit her all by myself. Ryan watched the kids and she and I had cookies and tea and talked about lots of things. She is an amazing woman with such an interesting, impressive life. She has such a great outlook on everything and is such an inspiration to me. She hasn't been feeling well though and was quite worried about one symptom in particular.
When I got home, Ry, the kids and I all curled up on the couch to watch the first 1/2 of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Awesome, but I was glad we were all cuddled together for the scary parts.
I spent Monday (today) morning and afternoon with Jossy and grandma at the hospital going to grandma's doctor and for tests. We did her math work in the CT scan waiting room and did reading at grandma's house after we had lunch. She listened to the last 1/4 of Hank the Cowdog while we drove around, which is great by the way.
Grandma turned out to be okay for the most part, so in the end it was kind of fun to be hanging out together.
When I got home we had supper, then finished HP. I just love the books and the movies are actually pretty good, too.
Conversation between J and I.
Me: Do you want to go sign Christmas Carols at a nursing home?
Jossy: Is that a place where wise people live who can't take care of themselves? (Background: my mom told her it is not nice to call people old so she calls them wise)
M: Yes.
J: So I would go there with my playgroup friends and joy them up?
M: Yes.
J: Hooray!!

Zeff also tells jokes now, like putting his plate on his head and pretending to be sad because he doesn't have a plate. I also cut his hair and now he looks so cute that I am driving him crazy feeling his fuzzy head.

Keian is becoming a major house-wrecker! He is into EVERYTHING and we are re-instituting gates, even though I HATE them. He is also saying a lot of words and mimicking our speech patterns and hand gestures. He is so bright, if I do say so myself!

Also, I am trying not to hate Christmas. I am trying to plan and be really calm and take a couple steps a day to get some things done so that I won't go insane and stay up till 3am on December 23rd. So far, so good.

Friday, December 03, 2004

#1 I had a pt last night with pretty severe hemmorrhoids. If you have never seen hemmorrhoids they look like little flesh colored grapes or balloons. She had two rather large flesh bubbles about 3-4cm. I told her they weren't the worst I had ever seen (Yeah, cuz they were the second worst!) and gave her some Tucks pads. When I stopped back into her room she told me she had looked at them. I asked her how she was doing, because it can be pretty upsetting to see something like that, and she said, "they look like Fat Albert's lips are coming out of my rectum!"
It was all I could do not to fall on the floor screaming with laughter right then and there! That has to be the funniest thing a patient ever told me. I stopped in her room tonight and got her permission to post that. Hey-hey-hey! <-read that in a Fat Albert voice.
#2 My good friend called me today to tell me this one. She is still nursing her 26 month old daughter and while getting dressed, her little girl noticed her own nipples and tried to reach her mouth down to nurse on them! I just about peed my pants. I think I have mentioned that my 3.5yr old boy loves to wear his Spiderman costume with the extremely padded muscles, including puffy pectorals will frequently breastfeed both his Wolfie and his baby owl.
Also, I just want the world (or at least the three people who read this) to know that I am very talented at shooting thermometer probe covers in the wastebasket. I take no less than 10 temperatures per shift, so that is like 10,000 per year and I am pretty darn good at shooting them in. I get easy shots all the time, and probably 85% of the tough shots. My suggestion to those who strive for my level of skill is to not move your body any closer to the wastebasket, but really to work on your aim by always trying to hit the trash from wherever you are doing the assessment. Occasionally, some pts will give you a weird look, but it's just that they don't understand how important a skill this is to cultivate. (Not.)
Okay, I will go to bed now before I reveal any more of what a nerd I am.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Highlights of today:
J reading Green Eggs and Ham to Z. I never even suggested it, she just did it because she wanted to.
Taking a walk in the bright, shiny, crisp, cold day. We went to the local garden store to smell their Christmas trees and were given small branches to take home. Sang Christmas Carols on the way home. I do not know any of the words to any carols past the first verse. Will have to (gag) listen to the Christmas song station more often. Still, not bad for a mom fighting SAD, who hates Christmas!
Regarding Seasonal Affective Disorder. I do think I get this each year at a very sub-clinical level, but wonder if everybody does. Isn't it a fairly natural response to more darkness and harsher weather? Maybe even adaptive in caveman days - no desire to go out and burn calories at a time of year where calories may have been hard to come by?
Whatever, I actually got the whole living room clean and vacuumed, and the kitchen cleaned and swept this morning so I am doing okay!