Tuesday, July 29, 2008

They're only markers!

Dear Kate Gosselin,

I realize that you have eight beautiful children and can imagine the amount of work a family of this size generates, I really can.

I understand that a family of ten will generate mountains of laundry to rival the Rockies, I get that.

However, markers? You wouldn't let your kids use markers in the Crayola Factory (where I'd be willing to bet they use the washable markers especially for little visitors)?

Come ON!

My heart was breaking watching an episode of Jon and Kate plus 8 last night. Kids in the Crayola Factory - what could be more dream worthy than that? Excited to use the many different art supplies available and actually have FUN, these kids were jumping out of themselves and pumped to get to use markers when Jon let them do it. You didn't like this though and immediately put an end to it, citing interminable laundry and not wanting kids to be seen with marker on their clothes. The kids, especially Cara and Maddy were devastated.

Washable markers are magic, they come right out in the wash - even without pre-treating the stains. If this doesn't work, Crayola.com have wonderful and plentiful tips on removing stains from their products, should you encounter these. And if all this fails, and your kids went home after having a great day at the Crayola Factory with a few marker marks on their clothes, in the scheme of things, is this the worst thing that could happen?

If you're going to take your kids on a fun day out - let them do that! Have fun.

Oh, and never underestimate the calming, relaxing effect of colouring with crayons or markers yourself. Sit down at the table with your kids - get those colouring books out - heck be reckless, breakout the dreaded MARKERS, and try it yourself. Enjoy the therapeutic benefits of doing nothing but shading in your images. Look at the delight on your children's faces when they have you all to themselves, colouring with them. I promise, you won't regret it.

Yours sincerely,

Blooming Marvelous.

Monday, July 28, 2008

What a difference a year makes!

Roughly this time last year, we were gearing up to see a bunch of specialists about Jay's teeny, tiny, little hearing issue. An issue that didn't feel so minor at times, but that only very sensitive technology can detect. Despite my gut instinct telling me he could hear just fine, that the technology was picking something up was enough to have me worrying myself sick over this.

I'm happy to say that my frame of mind, and attitude has improved a hundred fold since I wrote this in August last year. It took me a while - but eventually I let go of the worry and left it all in God's hands.

At our last Audiology appointment, the Audiologist was very pleased that everything was still stable, that Jay was obviously communicating, and she said she didn't want to see him for six months, instead of the regular three month appointments we'd been scheduling up until then. His last appointment was when he was 18 months, and he'll go again in October when he's 2. I am thrilled with this, since she had previously told me that she wouldn't stretch the appointments out until after he turned 2. The Audiologist is obviously content that he's developing fine, and for that I'm grateful.

The Audiologist did tell me that she and perhaps a speech pathologist would see him in October - and, they'd want to know how many words he uses. I've been keeping closer track of his vocabulary and am proud to say that he has over 70 words at 22 months, and is adding new ones on a daily basis. He is quite the little chatterbox. He also loves to sing and can pitch perfect, recite Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and the ABC song.

We're on the countdown now to this little fella's second birthday - something I can't quite believe. A feel sad looking back that I spent so much of his early months worrying every time I looked at him - wondering what he wasn't hearing. I know now he hears plenty - everything he needs to hear - and I trust and pray that it stays that way.

(Blogger is being a pain - and it's not letting me post my picture of Jay in his supreme cuteness - hmph!)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Back, and busy.

Well, we're baaacccckkk! And, have been back in Florida for almost three weeks now which is very hard to believe.

Ireland was great - wet, and cold, but great!

Just like last year, it was so nice to be in my other 'home'. The kids had a blast - why wouldn't they, spoiled with attention and surprises every day? I also enjoyed the constant company, a lot of it with adults, too.

Coming down from this 'high' of familial attention and companionship hasn't been easy on the kids, or myself to be honest. I've pretty much had to detox Miss E from getting her way (anything for a quiet life, you know how that goes), and have employed many more of Supernanny's techniques than I've needed to in quite a while - but it's working, and slowly we're getting back into our groove.

I recently found myself slipping back into that 'funk' I described a while back. I could feel it happening, but didn't have the energy to fight it. This wasn't helped by the fact that I got sick last week with a horrible stomach flu - great for losing a few pounds though, which is never a bad thing. I'm focusing on my treadmill again and although the muscles are objecting, I'm feeling better.

The kids were sick a lot when we were in Ireland - Jay practically wasted away before my eyes. Miss E and Jay were bombarded with heavy colds, vomiting and diarrhea, Jay had the added discomfort of a simultaneous ear and throat infection - good times eh? My little guy is just that, little. He can't afford to lose any weight - at 20 months, he's not much over 20lbs - so when he gets sick and starts dropping the weight, I get very anxious. All my family reassured me that he'd bounce back, especially hubs Grandmother who's raised sixteen (yes, 16!)children of her own - 'he'll bounce back, they all do' and she was right.

We are fighting fit now though, physically and mentally, and ready to enjoy the rest of the summer, before preschool starts and we get back to that routine. We've all had to acclimatize once more to the Florida summer though. At 9am each day Miss E has a swim class - and Jay and I sweat our butts off watching her - at 9am! How awful is it that I'm willing on the weeks so we can cool down a bit? There's nothing like wishing your life away.

My sister's wedding was amazing. She looked absolutely fabulous. Her ceremony was wonderful and the reception was a blast.

Miss E was flower girl, and she did a great job, even if she couldn't quite be coaxed into all the photographs!

The weather was horrendous, but it didn't dampen anyone's enjoyment, at all. My sister and her husband, lucky things, just got back from honeymoon in Rome and Sorrento.

I'm still catching up with all things stateside. I've been keeping a close eye on the presidential candidate coverage, and am frustrated to say the least at the less than objective reviews each candidate gets depending on which source I watch. This is where I miss Tim Russert - I'm so sad that he died. I credit this man with helping me understand the whole electoral process here, the primaries, caucuses, delegates etc. I feel bad that he isn't here to see this election pan out. He had such enthusiasm for his job, and for the whole political scene in general. My heart goes out to his wife and son.

People are still complaining about the price of gas I see - and I can understand to a point, but after seeing that Northern Irish drivers pay the equivalent of $11 a gallon, I don't feel like I have a right to complain about $4 here. I also drive a very thirsty car, and while I wish it cost less to run, it was our choice to buy this vehicle, and now we live with it. Besides, nobody, not even dealers, want to buy SUVs around here, so we're stuck with it, what's the point in complaining?

With that, I've got to run, load my kids up into my gas guzzler and head right down for this swim class - I have the oddest feeling that we're going to be late, again!

Looking forward to catching up some more, soon.