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By Richie Ann Ashcraft
Thursday, October 5, 2006
Dear Drs. Sears and Ferber:
I've tried both of your "putting baby to sleep" methods and neither one seems to be working.
Letting the baby cry makes my ears ring and pulls violently at my apron strings. One glance at that sad tear-covered, itty-bitty face will make even the hardest of hearts melt including yours, Mr. Cold-hearted Ferber.
Getting up to pat, hold and comfort isn't so bad the first night, Dr. Sears. but what bout the 10th, 15th and 20th night? What then, smarty pants, huh?
Your books should come with a free prescription for Xanax and No-Doze and a warning which states:
May cause drowsiness. Parents of infants should not operate heavy machinery, drive, work or engage in any other activities that require any kind of mental function whatsoever.
Obviously, your children sleep so could you please publish another book titled "How to get your baby to sleep before you die of exhaustion — we mean fer reals, this time" because I could really use it.
Wednesday, October 4, 2006
Son, you better hurry up or you’ll be late for school.
OK mom. I just need to put some stuff in my backpack.
Oh right! Don’t forget the Glock. And make sure you’ve got extra ammo for the Ruger. There are a lot of sick bastards out there lately shooting kids at school.
Yeah, but mom, I’ve heard you can’t really blame them. They had bad childhoods. You know, like they were fat and got picked on. Some of them even got rejected by girls. A couple had parents who ignored them.
That’s true son. They’re not to blame. It’s not their fault. Why, even al-Zaraqawi got off easy because his dad was mean to him.
Well, don’t worry mom. We had anti-bully training at school so it won’t happen here. But if anyone breaks into my school, I’ll shoot them first.
That’s a good idea son. Do it to them before they do it you.
OK mom. The bus is here.
Have a good day at school, honey. Remember to come home alive and please don’t get executed.
That conversation took place in a nightmare of mine last night. It could have just as easily been a real conversation. It doesn’t matter. How can you possibly make sense or try to explain away why anybody, regardless of their background, could walk into a school or university and assassinate children and young adults?!
Remember and pray for these victims and their families this week. May they rest in peace and God’s love.
Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, 5 murdered
Platte Canyon High School, Bailey, Colorado, 1 murdered
Weston School, Cazenovia, Wisconsin, 1 murdered
Dawson College, Montreal, Canada, 1 murdered
Red Lake High School, Red Lake, Minnesota, 7 murdered
University of Arizona College of Nursing, Tucson, Arizona, 3 murdered
Gutenberg high school, Erfurt, Germany, 18 murdered
Westside Middle School, Jonesboro, Arkansas, 5 murdered
Heath High School, West Paducah, Kentucky, 3 murdered
W.R. Myers High School in Taber, Alberta, Canada, 1 murdered
Santana High School, Santee, California, 2 murdered
Columbine High School, Littleton, Colorado, 13 murdered
... and the list goes on.
By Robin Dearing
Tuesday, October 3, 2006
I was sitting at my desk last week when I received a call from Margaret.
"Mama, I wanna get my ears pierced after school today."
I told her that I'd have to talk to her dad and we'd decide if and when she could make more holes in her wee 6-year-old body.
Bill filled me in that she had spent a good portion of the morning trying to jam an earring she received for her birthday into her holeless lobe.
I got my ears pierced (the first time) when I was in the 6th grade (my Gramma Dearing, unbeknownst to my parents, got me certificate to get them pierced for Christmas). I think 11 is an OK age to get one's ears pierced.
Six is just too young, in my opinion — but on this, I got overruled.
If I had wanted, I could have vetoed the ear piercing plan, but daddy and daughter seemed to think that now was the time. And I've learned that sometimes it's OK for Bill to make decisions on his own.
Really I assumed that she would chicken out.
Saturday morning, Bill and I woke up to a couple pointy 1st-grader knees to the chest and the proclaimation, "I'm getting my ears pierced today!"
I proceeded to tell Margaret how much it was going to hurt and how she would have to keep them clean and I threw in some infection horror stories just to plant my seed of terror. Then I got up and went to help some friends move.
Bill took Margaret to the mall. A couple hours later, I was talking to a girl with freshly pierced ears.
I was shocked. I was sure that my tales of pus and gore and the general fear she has of pain, would dissuade her.
But as she told me this morning, the desire to have pretty earlobes was much bigger than the fear of a little pain.
The surprising thing is that how punching two tiny holes into our daughter has changed her.
Sunday she happily practiced her piano (normally piano practice is a tear-soaked endeavor) and Monday morning she got herself dressed and she ate her breakfast without a fuss.
Perhaps, she had some bad spirits cooped up in her ears that the piercing let out.
By Richie Ann Ashcraft
Monday, October 2, 2006
First, I just have to say that having more children is a highly personal and private decision. What is right for one family may not be for another and there are a million reasons people plan their families the way that they do. Often, I run into criticism when I say that I want more children but the fact is it is my decision to make. And thank God because if I lived in China I wouldn't have the freedom to make the most basic decision about the size of my family and I'm grateful to even have the choice.
I was raised as an only child and I'll admit it has its benefits. But, by no means did I get everything that I wanted. I was spoiled with attention not things. But, it can be lonely.
My husband on the other hand is the baby of nine. There are advantages and disadvantages to the large family too. He always has someone to talk to for just about anything but at the same time there is always a lot going on because there are just so many people.
I definitely want Soren to have at least one sibling. Just so he has someone no matter what happens. I see the bond between my husband with his sister/brothers and I know that relationship is special.
When I think of actually following through I admit that I cringe. Having not slept in 8 months the thought of another newborn ordeal seems hellish. That's because it will be. But I remind myself often that this phase of my life, with babies, is momentary in the long run. I'd consider my family and myself lucky if we were blessed with another child soon.
By Robin Dearing
Friday, September 29, 2006
Note: This is a post by Lynn.
The things that seem to slip to the bottom of the to-do list are the things you really don’t want to do anyway, like exercise. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know – it relieves stress, lowers your blood pressure, helps keep your weight down and just generally makes you a better use of space on the planet.
I recognize that all that is true, so I do my best to try to find some time to fit it in. Lately what’s been working is a brisk 0:dark-thirty bike ride with Dan. Since school started we’ve carved out a bit of a routine that mostly works.
I awake at 5:45 a.m. and stumble to the coffee pot, look outside to retrieve the paper from wherever it’s landed and try to at least scan the headlines to see what’s there that will get me riled up for the day. I squeeze into my diaper-shorts (my term for those stupid-looking padded bike pants), fill my water bottle, make Alex some breakfast to-go and throw all that in the car. Knock on Alex’s door at 6:10 and then leave the house at 6:25 to drop him at the bus stop downtown at 6:30 a.m. Let me just say here that I am extremely proud of my son for getting out the door on time every day. He is so not a morning person, but hasn’t complained a single time about facing the world while it’s still dark out.
At 6:40 I arrive at the parking lot by Blockbuster to meet Dan for the trip around the river trail. When we first started this in August, it was light out and hot and buggy. Now it’s dark, and cold and the bugs have all died. (I kind of miss them for breakfast.)
I start the ride by shouting, “Here, kitty, kitty, kitty!? This is to scare away the mountain lions that I know are lurking around the next bend. Dan laughs at me, which is good, because the lions will be attracted to him first.
When you•ve been doing this for a couple months, you start to get to know other people who are on the trail at the same time of day. Well, you don’t really get to know them, but you look for them and give them names and personalities, and you worry about them if you don’t see them.
So far, we’ve “met? Man With Two Dogs. He•s an elderly man with two small hairy dogs that look exactly alike. He only says good morning if you say it first and he’s not too smiley. Definitely not a morning person.
Then there’s Man With Oxygen Tank. He is friendly guy who pushes his oxygen tank in a little stroller in front of him. Always says good morning in a cheerful voice.
Then there’s Chinese Bad Dressing Lady. She wears things like a long flowered skirt with a striped top of different colors, and a big hat. I don’t know if she’s really Chinese or other Asian descent but it doesn’t really matter. She is always sweet and smiling.
Lastly there’s Serious Biker Dude. He’s got a thing for Lance Armstrong and yellow jerseys. But he always shouts out “On your left!? in a friendly way before he blows past you.
I wonder what our fellow trail users call us. I•m guessing Big Man on Bike With Skinny Tires and Lady With Too-Tight Diaper Shorts.
Pretty soon it will be too dark in the morning to ride. I’ll miss it, and I wish my fellow trail users all the best!
By Richie Ann Ashcraft
Thursday, September 28, 2006
I just stumbed across a press release for a LiveWell walk sponsored by the Grand Valley Active Moms. This walk will take place at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Western Colorado Botanical Gardens. The butterfly house and gardens are free that day. It sounds like a great opportunity for moms and children to make new friends.
RSVP for the walk here
I'd love to hear more about this group if anyone is able to attend and report back to us! I unfortunately have plans at that time.
By Robin Dearing
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
It's Richie's birthday today!!
She's (mumble, mumble) years old!
Join me in wishing her many happy returns.
By Robin Dearing
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
In addition to working full-time and being a full-time mom, I teach a night class at Mesa State College.
I've been teaching this class for 5 years now and I really enjoy it. But sometimes, it just seems like one more thing on my plate.
Last night I dragged my sick and tired self up to the school, glad that I was giving an exam and only had to lecture for a short time.
As I was preparing to give the test, I noticed something out of place on top of the projector that sits next to the computer at the front of the class room.
There on top of the projector sat two tiny origami birds.
These little birds might be something that you would expect to find on someone's desk or on a shelf at home, but not perched on top of a projector in a class room.
It's possible that they were simply left behind from another lecture on art, but I'd like to think that whomever put them there did so just as a random act of kindness.
By Robin Dearing
Monday, September 25, 2006
A couple weeks into the school year, Margaret brought home a note from school. It was written on that little-kid paper with the giant lines that include a dotted one down the middle that kids use to practice writing.
The first line was in the unmistakable first-grade handwriting and it said something like, "I was playing with Jada."
The next few lines were written in pen, by an adult ... more specifically, her teacher.
Those few sentences said basically that Margaret was horsing around instead of paying attention and could we please talk to her about behaving herself.
We did — thoroughly. And I suggested that she make sure she not bring anymore notes home from school like that one.
Just to be clear (in case, she stopped bringing home any notes from school), I said that I only wanted good notes.
Well, bless her little first-grade heart because last week she brought home this note:
"I am having a grate day!" it reads.
She really knows how to make her mom have a "grate" day.
By Richie Ann Ashcraft
Friday, September 22, 2006
At one of the many baby showers I’ve attended recently, I was asked by the new mom “What things can’t you live without??
My first answer was the Boppy
. Whoever marketed this little miracle pillow was a genius. It seriously is the perfect pillow. It raised my baby up to breast level when he was newborn, saved my tired arms after he grew larger, and was the perfect back support when he was learning to sit up. Every new mother should have one.
Other things all new moms should have are:
1. The baby scrub brush•&cradle cap doesn’t stand a chance with a little olive oil and a good scrubbing.
2. Pajama bags…sticking newborn feet into onesies is unnecessary and impossible. All newborn clothes should be shaped like sleeping bags in my opinion.
3. The all over body wash…one bottle gets it all done. And, I’d suggest spending the extra dollar on a good bottle of lotion. I like Aveeno
. Newborn skin can be really sensitive and dry.
4. My diaper service is indispensable. They are dependable, friendly and economical. Plus, my money goes where my mouth is when speaking of the environment and supporting local small business. I’ve eliminated the need for extra cream because there is never any diaper rash. I pay $15 bucks a week. Check them out at ABC Diaper Service
5. Baby Cubes
. These little plastic trays have made preserving my own baby food a snap. Another really great must-have.
6. I love my Baby Einstein exersaucer
. Not only is it a learning toy, but a really convenient place to put the baby if I have to pull the trash from the curb or move a car from the driveway.
7. The swing.
8. The child first-aid kit including the thermometer, (I keep buying thermometers and have noticed that more expensive isn’t necessary any better. I like the underarm one.) nail clippers, and the nasal aspirator.
9. Infant Tylenol.
10. My Medela breast pump
. Any new mom serious about committing to breastfeeding needs to spend the money on a really great pump. Mine is a champ and without it I think I would have quit.
There are literally thousands of baby products out there. Some I really thought I needed prior to delivery and now I find they weren’t necessary. Like changing tables and baby shoes.
I’d love to hear about other products out there. Drop us a comment about your favorite baby products.