Friday, January 25, 2008

Am I the only one who does this?

Today I was pumping gas in the cold. (Brrrrrrrr) After I had finished, I tapped the nozzle to get out any gas still hanging on the edges. My gas pumping ritual sometimes involves some lifting of the hose along with the tapping. I never thought this was a weird thing to do, until today. A fellow pumping gas nearby looked at me like I was out of my mind. He actually shook his head at me!!! Just for the record: I'm frugal, not cheap. And I was only trying to get all the gas I paid for. So what if it was only 3 drops. It was my three drops, and I was taking them home with me, thank you very much. I always thought this was a pretty normal thing to do, but it's clear my pump-mate didn't think so. Am I a crazed, gas miser, or do other people do this?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Trip to the Dentist..Urrggg!

Today my five year old had a dentist appointment. I've come to dread these. Not because of my daughter's behavior. She's a model patient. It wasn't the behavior of my other two children that I dreaded either. No, it was the behavior of the dental hygienist that I find so disturbing. I take the kids to a pediatric practice with several dentists, and many hygienists. I LOVE the dentist we see. I'm not so fond of the hygienists, however. It starts with the questioning when they call your name. "She can't come by herself?" they ask. They always seem so perturbed that I accompany my children into the room. I really don't get this. They are children, of course they want Mommy there. And by the way, Mommy wants to be there. Especially since they seem to not want the parents around. When Livvy climbed into the chair, the hygienist questioned her. "What grade are you in?"
"Kindergarten," Olivia replied.
"Well, does your mommy stay with you all day at school?" the hygienist asked. I couldn't help but giggle to myself.
Olivia looked at her and replied, "Well, actually, I'm homeschooled." Way to go, Livvy!
"Oh." said the hygienist, clearly disappointed that her attempt at belittling my child had failed.
Olivia had the a "spot" on a molar they were watching from her last visit. I mentioned it to her. Now I'm used to the scrutiny of the pediatric hygienists. They like to talk to you like you're an idiot, and question you about your child's eating habits. Usually, I find this mildly annoying, and somewhat judgemental. In this case, I'm assuming because of her cavity, the questioning was in complete overdrive. I mentioned when she first started, that Olivia had inherited her Dad's soft teeth. She disregarded me, because of course I'm just the mommy, what do I know?
"Does she eat a lot of chewy snacks?" asked the hygienist.
"No" I replied.
"She doesn't eat fruit roll-ups?" she said incredulously.
Hmmm...didn't we just cover this, I was thinking. But I just said, "No, I don't buy them."
She continued her quest to find fault with my parenting, questioning me about every harmful food known to man.
Then came my favorite part. When they put the pink stuff on their teeth, so they can pass judgment on your brushing technique. The hygienist seemed gravely disappointed when there was no major red staining. Score one for Mommy's brushing!
"Well, does she floss?"
"I floss her teeth for her." I replied.
"That's good, she's too small to do it herself." (Thanks for the pointer, I wasn't doing because I enjoy flossing people's teeth!)
Then I was interrogated about Olivia's drinking habits. The horror! I let my child drink OJ with calcium! Apparently I'm a very neglectful parent. You would have thought I said I gave her battery acid! I commented that I was just following my pediatrician's recommendation. Olivia hates milk. Which the hygienist found shocking. Then she asked, in a very disapproving tone, "Well, does she walk around all day with a sippy cup?"
"No, she's five, not two." I stated, in my "you're really starting to annoy me" voice.
She seemed taken aback by my tone. "I'm just trying to figure out why she has a cavity."
She took it down a notch, but continued questioning me and Olivia about her eating and dental hygiene habits. Finally she came to a stunning conclusion. Perhaps it was just genetics, and Olivia inherited soft teeth. "Some people are just more cavity prone than others."
Hmmmm...where have I heard that theory before?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Ever get that scary feeling?

I headed out tonight on a late night ice cream run. It was my first chocolate indulgence of the new year. I figured 3 weeks was long enough, and I deserved a little snack. I was heading to a convenience store on a local two lane road. The speed limit is 40, but most people drive at least 50. Out of the blue, I had a scary feeling, like what would happen if someone hit black ice and hit me? Weird thought. I instictively slowed down. I was just getting to the top of a hill when I saw the first headlights I'd seen since I left my house. Two sets of them actually, and one of them was in my lane! And he was coming at me fast! I hit the brakes and jerked to the right, expecting a big jolt any second. The next thing I know, I realized I was still alive, and the car somehow did not hit me. I'm really not sure how that could have happened, but it did. Thank you, Jesus!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Confessions of a CF Husband: A Love Story

For several days, I've been following this incredible story. I found this brother in Christ's blog through a posting on a homeschool chat site. I've since become addicted, and I don't think an hour has gone by since that I haven't lifted this family up in prayer. It is truly the most amazing love story I've ever heard. A love story first for the Lord, a love for each other, and now a love for their tiny little girl, Gwyneth Rose. The CF husband is Nathan. The love of his life, next to the Lord, is his beautiful wife Tricia. Tricia has CF, cystic fibrosis. She was awaiting a double lung transplant when they discovered little Gwyneth Rose was on the way. As you can imagine, this was a very high risk pregnancy. A few days after Christmas Tricia was admitted to the hospital for treatment for her CF. They were hoping it would be a brief visit. Unfortunately Tricia's condition declined, and they had to make the difficult decision to deliver the baby by C-section on Jan. 8. I believe she was 25 weeks, at the time. Gwyneth was 1lb. 6 oz. at birth. She truly is a miracle child. Tricia is quite ill, on a vent, unable to breath on her own. But the Lord is answering the prayers of thousands around the globe. Both are making progress! Please pray for this incredible family. The baby is amazing, as you'll see from the pictures on his blog. Nathan has done a tremendous job of sharing who Tricia is, an amazing woman. She has a spark in her eye, that just makes you want to be her friend! And Nathan, what a man! His love for his wife and child are overwhelming. I really can't do justice with words. Please pray for his strengthening through this trial. They have a long road ahead. Pray Tricia will continue to improve, and be strong enough to be put back on the transplant list. Pray for continued progress for little Gwyneth Rose. And pray for those who are finding out about a God who loves through the astonishing witness of this family. Here's the blog. Be prepared to become emotionally involved! And pray, pray, pray!

Do I look like Tim LaHaye?

As I may have mentioned, I teach Sunday School to the younger teens at my church. We were just completing a very teacher-friendly curriculum, when I asked the students what they would like to study next. The overwhelming response was: "Revelation." In the words of one of the boys, "Every year we ask for Revelation, and we always end up back in Genesis." I could see his point. And I do love a challenge. I looked high and low for an appropriate youth study on Revelation. I was very excited when I found what looked like a great study. I ordered it, and anxiously awaited its arrival. When it came, I was even more excited. It had great age- appropriate activities, with plenty of life application. One problem: Each session has questions for the kids to answer in small groups relating to the chapter. But there is no answer key!! Not even a suggestion, as to how to steer the conversation. Are you kidding me? Do I look like Tim LaHaye? (No offence to Mr. LaHaye- but I'm hoping I don't look like an eighty year old man!) As I'm sure you're aware, teens ask questions, and lots of them. Nothing like the questions that came my way when I taught the toddler class. The only thing they ever asked was,"More juice?" and "Mama?" Teens ask real questions. And although I'm not afraid to say, "I don't know, I'll look into it.", I'm sure they don't want that to be the bulk of the discussion every week. So, needless to say, I'll be studying Revelation right along with them. Hopefully my Pastor doesn't get too sick of my questions. But in the end I know it will be a blessing to me. In the words of God, Himself:

Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophesy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near. Rev. 1:3

At least I know what that verse means.

Monday, January 14, 2008


As I've mentioned in previous posts, by youngest daughter receives speech therapy at the local university. She has made wonderful progress! I was getting frustrated this past semester, however, as her progress seemed to stall. She had been working on the vocalic /r/ sound. (like in four and car). She had made such great progress with all the other sounds she worked on, I was afraid we were hitting a wall in her speech. I initially thought it may have been that the other sounds were more visible and easier to teach. You can show a child how to place their tongue to make the /l/ sound, for example. The vocalic /r/ was more difficult to "see". When reading over her most recent progress report, it finally hit me. It said she tended to vowelize this sound. Wait a minute! Doesn't everyone in Rhode Island vowelize the vocalic /r/? How can we expect her to correctly say "car", when all she's ever heard is "cah". Of course she vowelizes this sound! I feel so much better! When she starts up again in a few weeks, I'm going to suggest we just move on. After all, I don't want her to be the only freak in the state that pronounces her Rs!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The 2nd and 3rd most annoying questions...

We all know the first most annoying question. If you homeschool, you've heard it 100 times. If you don't homeschool, you've probably asked it. With the holidays, I had the joy of seeing all those people in our extended circle who feel the need to pass judgement on our parenting decisions. I still remember the look of horror from one of my cousins when she first heard we were planning to educate our own children. "Why would you do such a thing?" It was as though I said we would be keeping them in a closet for the remainder of their lives. I can't imagine ever asking that of someone who chooses traditional schooling for their children. But for some reason people feel perfectly justified to question you about your choices if you homeschool. Which leads me to what I feel are next in line on the annoying scale. "But aren't you worried you won't be able to teach them everything they need to know? How can you be sure to teach them everything?" (Because as you know, the government schools are doing such a great job.) I wonder if people realize when they ask me this, that they are essentially calling me a moron. Or perhaps they are the morons. I mean come kids are in elementary school, I think I can handle it! The third question that really irritates me can, at times, be harmless curiosity. It's all in the tone of voice. Usually the question is preceded by a pat on the back. "That's great you homeschool." Then comes the question, annoying depending on the tone. "But how long do you plan on continuing? You're not going to homeschool for High School, are you?" What they're really saying is: "That's cute, but how long are you going to carry on with this foolishness?" I'm thinking that's really none of your business! You small-minded nincompoop! If it was up to my son, we'll be homeschooling for a long time. He just asked me yesterday if he could homeschool for college. I told him "No". (He doesn't know yet about online degrees, and I'd like to keep it that way for now.)
Well, that's my rant for the day. I feel better now. Off to go ruin my children's lives some more!

You know you're a homeschooler when...

Today I stopped by my local library to pick up a book. I was chatting with the librarian at the front desk, when I heard the head Librarian call from the next room: "Is that Julie?" Yes, I'm there so often that not only do all the librarians know my name, and my kid's names, they can also recognize my voice! Not only that, but they're pretty on top of what my family is currently studying, and will often recommend books without me having to ask. You gotta love living in a small town!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

My weirdness

I've been tagged my Stephanie to reveal 5 weird things about myself, so here goes:

1. When alone in the car, I crank up the tunes, and sing very loudly. (And very badly). I've been known to have trouble keeping both hands on the wheel while doing so. I also crank up the tunes and dance around my kitchen like a maniac when no one is around. Sometimes I even have a pretend microphone. I hope it sounds good to the Lord, since I know it doesn't sound so great to the human ear.

2. I've discovered that I have mixed dominance. I'm left-handed, but my right eye is dominant. In some people this can cause writing problems, or dyslexia. I have neither, but a serious left/right problem. Never trust my directions, as I'm likely to say right, when I really mean left. In college, my parents once ended up in a very bad section of Boston because they followed my directions. My husband always jokes that if we're ever in a situation driving, and he yells "Go left", in order to save our family from an accident, we'll all be meeting Jesus. That's why he does most of the driving.

3. I have hazel eyes, but as a child I had a pie-shaped wedge in one eye that was green. It still appears every now and then. Even weirder, I have a niece, also named Julie, that has the same pie-shaped wedge thing going on.

4. I homeschool my children, and attend a Baptist church. I don't think this is weird, but a lot of other people apparently think so. (I live in RI, after all, and I'm the only person in my family that is not Catholic.)

5. I not so secretly wish I was born in a different century. I envy Ma Ingalls, and daydream about being a pioneer woman. My husband doesn't think I'd last a day, but I think he underestimates me.

So there it is: my weirdness. I'm tagging Kysha, and Brooke Lorren. So let's hear it, how weird are you?

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Don't try this at home...

Speaking of bikinis...I did a very foolish thing today. I was cleaning out a drawer and came across a bikini I bought for my honeymoon, many moons ago. I had a momentary lapse in judgement and decided to try it on. Big mistake! The top, when I finally managed to get it partially clasped, looked downright obscene. The bottom...well, have you ever seen a pregnant woman in a bikini and thought: "That's just too much information." That was me, except of course, I'm not actually pregnant. Perhaps the bikini could serve as a weight loss motivation. Not that I'd ever actually go out in public in one. I'm far too conservative for that. Not to mention too old. The good news is that I've managed to remain Snickers-free so far in 2008! And although I haven't lost any weight, I didn't gain back the 2 pounds I lost from the stomach flu. Maybe there is hope after all.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Bikini, anyone?

This afternoon we set out for the homeschool theater group my girls are involved in. It's free, if you don't count the gas. It's about a 35 minute drive, which by RI standards is very, very far. I was about 20 minutes into the drive when my cell phone rang. It was the teen who runs the group calling to tell me there was no theater today. Okay, there's $5.00 in gas I'll never get back. I decided to make the best of the situation and try to get a little shopping done. During the last snowstorm I realized Rachel desperately needed new boots. It seems she doesn't like having to scrunch up her toes to fit into her old ones. I knew it might be a little late to find these, but I didn't realize how late. I knew we were in trouble when the first thing I saw when we walked into Target was bikinis. Okay, it's 10 degrees out, who in their right mind is going to buy a bathing suit this time of year? As we walked through the store I saw rack after rack of shorts and summer clothes. Have I entered a time-warp? I thought it was January, but maybe I'm mistaken. When we got to the shoe department, I noticed a lovely assortment of sandals and flip-flops. It wasn't looking good. Then I spotted the row that said, "Family Boots." I got a little excited. That didn't last long. The racks were empty, except 7 pairs of boots. (yes, I counted) 5 were Men's, and 2 were in toddler sizes. Bummer! I know I should have bought them earlier, but with Disney and Christmas, I just kept putting it off. I guess I learned my lesson. Next year I'll be better prepared, and buy them in July.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Year!

This year I decided to make a New Year's Resolution. I've avoided these in the past. They always seem to lead to guilt, anyway. So why bother? But this year I have the big 4-0 coming up. I decided it was time to lose the baby fat now, or it's probably never going to happen. My oldest is hitting double digits this year, and the baby is learning to read, so I'm running out of excuses for the belly I've been carrying around. I have a fool proof plan. Cut out the Snickers, (or at least cut back), and start exercising. I can do this! Well, yesterday, the first day of 2008, I failed miserably. Although I didn't run out to the store for a Snickers, I also didn't do anything that can be called exercise. I don't think turning the pages of a book really count. And yet, I managed to lose 2 pounds already! How you ask? The old-fashioned way. I awoke at 1:30am with a strange, yet familiar feeling. Yep, the stomach flu! Only 13 pounds to go! See how God can use all things for good? Even vomiting. Maybe I'll start exercising tomorrow, if a miracle happens and the kids aren't up all night sick. Now I'm off to nibble on some Saltines and Ginger-Ale. Hope your New Year is off to a better start!