Friday, September 28, 2007

Pretty close

I got the link to this personality test from Kelli. I thought it was actually pretty accurate.

You Are An INFP

The Idealist

You are creative with a great imagination, living in your own inner world.

Open minded and accepting, you strive for harmony in your important relationships.

It takes a long time for people to get to know you. You are hesitant to let people get close.

But once you care for someone, you do everything you can to help them grow and develop.

In love, you tend to have high (and often unrealistic) standards.

You are very sensitive. You tend to have intense feelings.

At work, you need to do something that expresses your personal values.

You would make an excellent writer, psychologist, or artist.

How you see yourself: Unselfish, empathetic, and spiritual

When other people don't get you, they see you as: Unrealistic, naive, and weak

Thursday, September 27, 2007

"We are not best friends"

I had a best friend. We got along so well together. We laughed and played, we taught each other things. We shared meals....well, more specifically, I offered myself for his meals and we spent every minute possible together. Things were wonderful and sweet. And then my best friend grew and changed as a person. He started yelling at me. Pinching and scratching and worst of all, biting me. He started not letting me eat a meal in peace or get a good night's sleep. And one day, he didn't even notice when I left without saying goodbye.

We are not best friends anymore.

In all seriousness, I really am about to pull my hair out about Marc-Adam. Granted, our life has sorta been turned upside down with Sweet Hubby gone so much and we haven't even been home in almost two weeks. But the last several days, Marc-Adam has been so cranky and so fussy and so clingy. In the mornings when he wakes up looking all smiley and refreshed and happy to see me, after keeping me up what seemed like all.night.long, I tell him, "We are not best friends." I seem to have some kind of vague, blurry memory of at least one of the other boys going through something like this, but I don't know for sure. I know it could be separation anxiety, but I thought we went through that phase a couple months ago. He won't let me out of his sight and now that he's mobile he follows me around screaming and yelling because I put him down to do such silly things like eat and you know, go the bathroom. He gets mad even when I put him down and then SIT RIGHT NEXT TO HIM to play. He needs to be held and I better be standing up while I do it.

Oh, but after behaving that way all day long, Papa comes home, offers some frozen goodness in the form of a popsicle and Marc-Adam's all, "Mom? Mom who?" Which isn't a terribly bad thing because then I can actually get something done without him attached to my hip. But it still irritates me...I'm not sure why.

I'm really hoping hoping hoping things can get back to some kind of normal once we get back home. I really can't take too much more of this.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

It hurts when I think this hard

I've been thinking alot about this boycott business. You know, boycotting all toys made in China. I've started looking into toys made in America and Europe and it's actually pretty easy to find some toys that are really cool. For a long time, I've avoided toys that light up, make noise, talk or race around the room. They have a name here...."battery suckers". The thing is, once the batteries run out on a toy, generally, I don't replace them. So then the toy just sits. And the kids move on to toys that don't take batteries. It's my belief that the toys (not all of them) that are free of "bells and whistles" are the best kind. Chances are, if a toy has a bell or a whistle, or any plastic whatsoever, it was probably made in China.

With Christmas just around the corner, I'm still struggling with this. I find myself justifying certain things. But here are things I struggle with:

I don't even have to look at some of the toys my kids want to see where they're made. I already know. It pains me to not get something they'd really like for Christmas/birthdays. They're so young to understand the idea of a boycott. The other day, Stephen told, "Mom, not EVERYthing is made in China!" I'm sure if he could roll his eyes, he would have.

I've had my eye on a bike for Stephen for Christmas for months....I looked on the website of the store I plan on getting it from and all it said was "imported". I really don't want to investigate further. So (wait for it, here comes the justifying) then I think, 'But it's not like he's going to be sucking on the bike!'

Boycotting toys made in China also means boycotting most toys carried by Sweet Hubby's company. It's almost like a conflict of interest. He really wants us to do as much of our Christmas shopping as possible not only with his company, but at his store.

Toys made outside of China are not cheap. And it's harder to find them in a store, which means we'll also be paying shipping.

Most toys made in China are not toys that my kids would recognize off the bat, so I worry that come Christmas morning or the birthday party, they won't be excited about their gifts. Certainly, they'll have time to get excited once they get a chance to play with a toy, but if they have no idea what it is, will they care when they open it? Will they be disappointed?

I'm not sure how to handle gifts from family and friends. I'd hate for the kids to get really excited about something only to have me tell them when we get home from the family Christmas that they can't play with it or it has to go back to the store. I know my mom is trying to seek out American made toys, but I'm not sure who else is putting any thought into it.

During all this, I've realized that I need to pinpoint exactly what it is I'm boycotting. I know definitively that I am boycotting ALL toys that pose a health risk to my children because of the way or where they are made. Lead is harmful when ingested. So all toys that might get sucked on or chewed on can not be made in China. That cuts a lot of toys out. But how far am I willing to take this? Am I willing to buy toys that are made in China (bikes and larger toys) that the baby won't play with and I know the boys won't try to eat? Do I want to make it even broader by boycotting the companies that aren't taking the appropriate measures to keep our kids safe? Or even further than that by boycotting ALL products made in a particular region just to make a statement?

As an aside, here are a couple websites I've found with some really cool toys made in America. Willow Tree Toys...check out the page labeled "Toys Made in America and Europe". They carry toys made in other countries, but claim all the products must meet their "stringent safety standards". There are some neat dress up clothes on their site for boys and girls (I'm thinking seriously about the sword and shield). And Imagiplay has some great toys as well that also say they are environmentally safe.

I know I'm not the only putting this much thought in to all this...what are you all thinking? With Christmas coming up, are you planning your shopping (for your kids, other people's kids, or your entire shopping list) just like usual or are you hesitating, maybe coming up with alternatives? What are your thoughts?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Pullin' out the big guns

One morning last week, we were having a playdate at our house. I had told the boys a couple of times to clean up the living and play rooms of all their toys (picking up toys is an afternoon chore and I was asking them to do it in the morning). There was much whining and groaning about it--and the kids weren't happy, either. Just kidding. Kind of. Finally, Stephen actually started to clean up, but was grumbling. I told him he should be doing it with a happy heart because we were having guests. Then I said, "What if Jesus were comig over? Wouldn't you want the house to be clean and wouldn't you be happy about doing it?" He thought about it and said yes. So told him to clean like Jesus was coming.

A few minutes later from the playroom I hear, "ZACHARY!! Help me CLEAN!! Jesus is comin'!"

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Hey! LOOK!! It's new post!!

It's been a while, I know. I just haven't really been in the mood to blog. Not a whole lot to blog about, I guess. I could have posted some cute pictures, but I'm a terrible mother and let the battery run out on my camera and have yet to charge it (same with my phone the last couple of days, so it's best not to try to call me on my cell phone in the very near future).

My mind has been consumed with many other things. I'm itching to start homeschooling "for real". Stephen just seems to be so ready and asks to "do school" every day. For now, he's content to do the workbooks I've gotten him (I got a ton for a quarter a piece the other day at a garage sale), but I'm afraid he's going to get bored with that and quite frankly, I've been bored with that for a while. I just don't like workbooks. They're fine for one or two subjects in addition to other kind of learning, but as the sole form of "school", it just irritates me. And I can't believe he's actually been happy with them for as long as he has. Anyway, I got some Bob books at another garage sale a couple weeks ago. He's already read through almost one entire box (11 out of 12 books). So needless to say, I'm ready to "take it up a notch". It's just the money that's holding me back. I keep half-joking/half-warning my family that I'm going to buy a bunch of cheap tins and popcorn and wrapping paper, mark it up 150% and sell it to them as a "fundraiser". Public school kids get away with it, right? Stephen's been busy earning himself fishing poles and transformer voice changing helmets. You know, the important stuff.

On the Zachary front, I sent away his, um, samples on Monday to have it tested for gluten-intolerance. We should have the results in a couple weeks. I'm anxious to know. Just when we seem to get his eczema under control, he has a flare up. And with each flare up, there's more rash. When he flares up, his eyelids (top and bottom) are bright red, a little swollen and scaly. He looks so sickly. But he's not acting it. He's his funny, goofy, stubborn self.

Marc-Adam is growing too fast for his own good. Yesterday, somehow, he pulled up on the side of the breakfast table and pulled a whole cup of milk down onto himself. I put the cup there for that exact keep it out of his reach. I had no idea he could pull up on the table. When I peeked over from the kitchen to see what he was doing, all I saw was too tiny hands "white-knuckling" the side of the table and I knew what was coming. It was kinda funny (since I wasn't the one soaked in cold milk). And now I know we have to be more careful. He's also gotten very one-track-minded and has started to show a temper. When he wants something, he wants it NOW and gets M-A-D if anyone gets in his way. The standard "redirection" form of discipline that's supposed to be appropriate at this age doesn't really work on him. If I do get him distracted from the "no-no" it's only for about 30 seconds before he's back to it again.

Next week, we're heading back to my parents while Sweet Hubby finishes his last two weeks of his training. That should be fun. It's like a little mini vacation for me.

What else? Anything else you'd like to know that I could blog about??