Friday, March 28, 2008


I had no idea I had so many people visiting my blog. And you guys are from all over the world! Sometimes I can tell how you got here (from another blog I commented on) but other times I have no clue!

So, come out and tell me who you are and how you got here! Please? I would love to know who you are! I would love to check out your blogs too.

Kids and Alcohol

I was perusing my blog favs today and followed a link from this post to this one, finding the following excerpt that just rang so true with me.

"Dr. Vaillant compared 136 men who were alcoholics with men who were not. Those who grew up in families where alcohol was forbidden at the table, but was consumed away from the home, apart from food, were seven times more likely to be alcoholics that those who came from families where wine was served with meals but drunkenness was not tolerated.

He concluded that teenagers should be taught to enjoy wine with family meals, and 25 years later Dr. Vaillant stands by his recommendation. “The theoretical position is: driving a car, shooting a rifle, using alcohol are all dangerous activities,” he told me, “and the way you teach responsibility is to let parents teach appropriate use.”

“If you are taught to drink in a ceremonial way with food, then the purpose of alcohol is taste and celebration, not inebriation,” he added. “If you are forbidden to use it until college then you drink to get drunk.”

I am pretty sure that when the time comes we will follow this approach. My parents never drank any alcoholic beverages when I was growing up other than the very rare coctail at a restaurant if we had a long wait for a table or a glass of wine or hot buttered rum at a holiday gathering. I was allowed a *sip* but never more. I remember the first Christmas after turning 21. I brought a bottle of peppermint schnapps to my Aunt's house to make peppermint cocoa or coffee and my mom was less than thrilled. It took her a few years before being comfortable with seeing me drink a beer or two or glass of wine.

But worse, I was a college (and a bit in high school too) partier. It was new, it was fun. I think I would have been less interested if I had been allowed to do some drinking (a small glass of wine, beer, hot buttered rum, etc) at times at home when I was a teenager. It would have demistified it a bit. Made it less a big deal.

Or maybe it wouldn't have. But I don't think it would have made me drink more. Less maybe, but not more. I am quite certain of that. I had more of a message of "don't drink at all" growing up than "drink responsibly and enjoy it" growing up. But I really don't fault my parents for it. My Mom grew up with alcoholic parents and as one of the oldest kids had to deal with being a pseudo parent to younger siblings. And neither of my parents really like alcoholic beverages. John and I do though, as do his parents, so I think when the time comes (maybe 16?) we will let our kids have the occassion glass of wine or microbrew at family dinners.

What are your thoughts?

Tough Kitty

I miss my Spanky kitty. He used to go for walks with us and the dogs just like Nengaku's Kitty. One of my cats Astro still does on occassion but usually she just follows from a distance.

And I totally know the kitty slap! I was laughing at kitty antics just last night. Our older cat Buster (the grey one who you'd think was about 5 instead of going on 13) was hogging the water bowl. All the pets in the house, even our 4 dogs know that Buster is the Alpha of the pack. Don't mess with Buster. He may be little but he is one tough kitty.

So our latest addition to the pack, little girl kitty Chai was trying to get a drink but Buster was having none of it. They were sitting one on each side of the bowl and every time she would lean over to try to get a drink he would slap her upside the head. Then he would just sit there for a few minutes, maybe dip a paw in and lick off the water. But mostly he was just guarding the bowl and hogging it so no one else could have any. Our older lab was laying on the floor a few feet away, watching and also patiently waiting for his turn at the communal well. He knows better than to come anywhere near the kitties though. He learned that lesson when he was just a couple of months old.

I remember it distinctly. He came running over to me when I was laying on the couch (futon) for some loves only to get a claw swipe across the nose from under the couch. I didn't see it happen but I heard a yelp and the next thing I knew he was pawing at his nose and eyes and making bloody paw prints all over the hardwood floor. Poor puppy. He learned early to watch out for Buster. To this day, Buster tortures him by calmly sitting in the middle of doorways. Tucker will just sit on the other side of the open door and whine until we make Buster move to let him through. Some time I will have to take pictures of that. Those big black dogs respect that little grey cat!






Unfortunately I don't have pictures handy of Auskar or Astro and only one (badly cropped) picture of Spanky

Happy Birthday to Me

36 - Not just a new year but a new demographic. No longer in the 25-35 category but the 36-44. *Sigh*

John is doing really well this year. First there was Valentine's Day morning. Then for maybe the first time in our 16 YEARS together I woke up to a card and gift on the kitchen table as well as a nice clean kitchen. He always does such a great job cleaning the kitchen. I just can't seem to figure out what to do with all the clutter that accumulates there. But this morning it looked great. And the gift, (although I suspect a bit last minute?) was given a lot of thought and very personal. A creme brulee chocolate bar (he knows creme brulee is my fav dessert) and some other goodies, a really nice book with photo project ideas in it, kind of a scrapbooking and beyond (I really need to find myself some time to do scrapbooking again - I still haven't finished Jaxon's 2006 book!) and an egg timer LOL. I like hard boiled eggs and so does Jaxon but I never seem to make them except at Easter. I pretty much suck at it. So this timer looks like an egg and you drop it in with the eggs and it tells you when they are done. Pretty cool. Hope it actually works. Anyone tried one before?

Oh - and the bigger part of my present was this high definition digital video camera which he got for me last month just before our trip to Disney World.

So all in all a good start to my Birthday, even if the weather didn't cooperate. Looks like we are in for some more snow today.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Whiz Kids

Saw this link when I logged onto my hotmail this morning. All I can say is wow - the things these kids have accomplished in their teens!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Torturous Tuesdays

Since Jaxon usually spends Sunday night and Monday at his grandparents, Tuesday mornings are the first day of the week that I have to wake him up early so he is usually a bit on the crankier/whinier side on Tuesdays. Yesterday however, I thought his head was going to start spinning.

It was nice out when we got home around 6:00 yesterday and I had planned to let him play outside while I got dinner ready. However, he headed down to the field almost immediately, which he knows is off-limits. We have 10 acres (fenced) and of that he has 2-3 acres right around the house which comprises his "play area". The rest is out of view and earshot so he is not allowed to go to the more remote areas without one of us with him. My request that he please come back up to the play area was stubbornly ignored. I told him I was going to count to 3 and he'd better be back up out of the field or he was going to have to come in the house. This received an indignant squack and protest that he "had to get these rocks" (our property is covered with rocks, there was nothing unique that I could see about the rocks in the field.) I started counting and hit 3 with no compliance so I proceeded to chase him down and pick him up to take him in the house. This was met with not only kicking but hitting which promptly (as he knows) earned him a time out on top of going in the house.

Now usually he will sit in the time out chair(chair in the middle of kitchen where I can see him but he can't reach stuff to play with) although he may be crying while he does it. Not last night. He was being deliberately defiant jumping back out of the chair and continuing the protest all through my making dinner. He knows that time outs last only as long as he continues to act out. All he has to do is calm down and apologize and confirm that he understands what part of his behaviour was unacceptable, what he should have done in the circumstance, and that he will not continue said behaviour next time. No dice. He was NOT going to apologize.

We finally took a break to eat with me telling him he was going back in time out after dinner. (I do not withold food as punishment although let me tell you how much I wanted to send him straight to bed at that point!) Once he sat down for dinner he seemed to calm down and be willing to act more civilized. We had our conversation after dinner and he apologized and promised to listen tomorrow.

So it finally worked out but I was worn out! I am so tired of coming home from work and having to immediately do battle with a 4 year old.

So what do you all do when time outs are refused? I hate to spank (even a light swat to the butt) but seriously, how do you break the cycle? Just ignore it? In this case I felt like I was giving in even letting him out of time out for dinner. Like he "won" that round. I guess I just need to keep off the mentality of "winning" these battles. I guess ulitmately I won, since he showed at the end that he understood, even if he didn't comply with the time out at the time. I guess I just have to realize that when he is that worked up he is not going to listen or do anything I say and just let it go until he has a chance to cool off. That deliberate, defiant disobedience is really hard to ignore though.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Negotiator

My term of endearment for my 4 year old son is "The Negotiator". I am sure he will wind up being a lawyer or some other similar profession when he grows up. The boy never takes No for an answer, although he usually finds a way to do so without being outright defiant about it. For well over a year, when asked to do something, or stop doing something, his response usually begins with "How 'bout..."

So he is taking it to a new level in the last week or so. A story from my MIL from last night illustrates Jaxon's creativity. He knows that when playing with toy cars they are not allowed on wood tables (coffee table, kitchen table, etc.) because they will scratch the wood. He is welcome to play with them on the floor, the train table, etc. So when she asked him not to run the cars on the table last night and reminded him that he knows this, he responded that his hand doesn't know that because it doesn't have eyes or ears.

So if you need to find that loophole in a contract, I have a 4 year old here ready to fight on your behalf. He doesn't give up easily and usually ends up with a decent settlement compromise...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Behind Every Man...

Is a great woman? Apparently this holds true for Obama. What a fantastic couple.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Still on the Fence?

How can you not want this man as our next president when you hear him speak so eloquently and with such conviction and common sense?


Jaxon's Grammie has a friend who makes Superman capes for her grandkids and she had one made for Jaxon for his birthday, along with some Superman underwear and pjs. Although Jaxon knows Spiderman, he wasn't yet familiar with Superman. Since Grammie was having a hard time finding the original (Christopher Reeve) movie, she checked it out from the library. He got to watch it at her house on Monday and we brought it home that night so of course he wanted to watch it again last night. This was good as it gave me leverage in our nightly negotiations of the bedtime ritual. He got ready for bed and teeth brushed with minimal herding and we settled in on the couch with blankets to watch. He of course wanted to watch the "whole fing" but being only 4 there was no way I was going to let him stay up that late to watch it so we had an agreement (under protest) to watch until after Superman came on for the first time.

Well, it has been at least 20 years since I watched this movie and didn't realize what I had agreed too as we see only Clark Kent for the first hour plus of the movie. So by the time Superman appeared it was 9:30! Ooops. And he was not happy about watching for an hour only to see Superman for 2 minutes and have to turn it off.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Quality Time

I spend time with my Jaxon but I feel like I am not spending enough truly quality time with him. Time he will remember when he is older. Sure I get him ready in the morning and we have a half hour drive in the morning. Sure we have the evening together but that is mostly spent getting him fed, bathed, ready for bed, maybe a story or two or we watch a movie together but I feel like I am not spending enough time really playing with him and shaping his childhood.

So I vow to start trying at least a few days a week and on the weekend to spend some real Jaxon level time with him. I have been wanting to start doing yoga (just at home with a DVD) again for a long time and I am guessing he would have fun doing that together once or twice a week. I want to bring out games more often to play with him, especially learning-but-fun type games as he is ready to start learning more about letters and pre-reading and counting now (he's 4 and definitely showing interest.) He loves to do craft stuff with me, like painting wood stuff. I made train name sets and growth charts for all of the new babies in the extended family and he loved it when I gave him some blocks and letters to paint too. We sat at the kitchen table and painted together for more than an hour at a stretch.

So what do you Mom's like to do one on one with your kiddos? Or as a family? Or for those of you who don't have kids yet, how about stuff you remember doing with your parents as kids?


Check out this site. The video testimonies are heartfelt and compelling from those who have actually fought in Iraq. The following is just a short excerpt from one testimony but it was so well spoken I could feel my blood boiling as I listened. I can't seem to find a written transcript of his whole testimony though.

Prysner: "When I first joined the army we were told that racism no longer existed in the military. A legacy of inequality and discrimination was suddenly washed away by something called the ‘Equal Opportunity Program. We would sit through mandatory classes and every unit had this EO representative to ensure that no elements of racism could resurface. The Army seemed firmly dedicated to smashing any hint of racism. And then September 11th happened and I began to hear new words like ‘towel head’ and ‘camel jockey’ and the most disturbing: ’sand nigger.’ And these words did not initially come from my fellow soldiers but from my superiors: my platoon sergeant, my company first sergeant, battalion commander. All the way up the chain of command these terms, these viciously racist terms were suddenly acceptable. […]

We were told we were fighting terrorists, but the real terrorist was me and the real terrorism is this occupation. Racism within the military has long been an important tool to justify the destruction and occupation of another country. It has long been used to justify the killing, subjugation, and torture of another people. Racism is a vital weapon deployed by this government. It is a more important weapon than a rifle, a tank, a bomber or a battleship. It is more destructive than an artillery shell, or a bunker buster, or a tomahawk missile. While all of those weapons are created and owned by this government, they are harmless without people willing to use them.

Those who send us to war do not have to pull a trigger or lob a mortar round. They do not have to fight the war. They merely have to sell the war. They need a public who is willing to send their soldiers into harm’s way and they need soldiers who are willing to kill or be killed without question. They can spend millions on a single bomb, but that bomb only becomes a weapon when the ranks in the military are willing to follow orders to use it. They can send every last soldier anywhere on earth, but there will only be a war if soldiers are willing to fight, and the ruling class: the billionaires who profit from human suffering care only about expanding their wealth, controlling the world economy, understand that their power lies only in their ability to convince us that war, oppression, and exploitation is in our interests. They understand that their wealth is dependent on their ability to convince the working class to die to control the market of another country. And convincing us to kill and die is based on their ability to make us think that we are somehow superior. Soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen, have nothing to gain from this occupation.

The vast majority of people living in the US have nothing to gain from this occupation. In fact, not only do we have nothing to gain, but we suffer more because of it. We lose limbs, endure trauma, and give our lives. Our families have to watch flag draped coffins lowered into the earth. Millions in this country without healthcare, jobs, or access to education must watch this government squander over $450 million a day on this occupation. Poor and working people in this country are sent to kill poor and working people in another country to make the rich richer, and without racism soldiers would realize that they have more in common with the Iraqi people than they do with the billionaires who send us to war."

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day

So I sent Jaxon off to his grandparents last night with his kelly green sweater but woke up this morning and totally spaced that it was St. Pat's Day. Yeah, I am wearing khaki and black, not a hint of green on me.

But I'm still celebrating the Irish wearing black and tan right? ;p

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

New Funny

Stumbled on this blog while reading another favorite Bend blogger. Pretty funny stuff. Check them both out.

Dinosaur Dig Pit

So one of the things Jaxon loved at Disney World was the Bone Yard dig pit at Animal Kingdom. It was a great place to let him have some time to himself to just play. He loved unearthing the bones so much we thought we might try to build one for him at home. Problem is, I have searched and searched the internet and cannot find any sort of dinosaur bones or skeleton molds (under $900) other than this one which is kind of lame.

Anyone have any ideas?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Jaxon's 4th Birthday

We had a birthday party at Pappy's Pizza in Bend for Jaxon on Saturday. He had lots of fun but when it came time for everyone to sing Happy Birthday to him he wasn't going to have it. Here's the video. It captures his personality of late pretty well. A streak of stubborn, the need to direct everyone on just how the event should go down, and a good loud objection and pout if it doesn't!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Bossy's Coming to Visit Us!

So it looks like Bossy is making us a stop on Bossy's Excellent Road Trip in April! Woo-hoo! We get to meet Bossy and hang out!

Back to the Old Grind

So we're back. Can't believe how fast that week flew. We had a blast though and can't wait to do it again. I'll try to post some recaps of our days once we get a chance to go through our pictures.