Tuesday, November 30, 2010

natural and logical consequences

One parenting "expert" I like to read is Kevin Leman. One idea that he suggests (although it is not original to him) is the use of "natural and logical consequences" for behavior--the idea that the punishment "fit the crime." Sometimes you have to think of a consequence to fit this criteria, but sometimes it happens quite naturally on its own! This was the case yesterday.

Natalie has a habit of trying to play in my pantry, particularly with the spices. I keep the pantry closed up tight when I am not cooking, but sometimes the door the doesn't latch properly, and she finds an opening. I've been working on training her out, but I may not have to try to hard any more.

She got a hold of the cloves yesterday and even managed to get the lid off of the container. Then she got a whole mouthful of cloves! I had to laugh, but she didn't much care for the experience. I think she managed to make her whole tongue numb, and you should have seen her trying to scrape the spice off of her tongue! She hasn't been back in the spices since then. Granted it's only been a day, but still...kind of funny.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving here, celebrating with my parents and grandmother. We skipped Black Friday shopping; I don't like crowds much, especially crazed crowds, and you'd have to pay me to get me out of bed at 3:00 a.m.! If you snagged a great bargain, I'm thrilled for you, but I don't need the hassle and stress. (And I saved 100% by not going out to shop!) ;)

We spent yesterday putting up Christmas decorations. The tree is up, the dish towels are out, the candles and knickknacks are on display, the mugs are ready to fill with coffee, tea, and cocoa. Nelson even bought some outdoor lights to decorate out deck. Sarah is beyond thrilled.

I am going to try to find our Advent study again; I think Sarah will be able to get more out of it this year since she is reading independently. I may see if there is a different one available--one she could do on her own more or less. We'll see, I guess. Maybe we'll do both!

Perhaps I'll try to post some pictures of our decorations...I probably owe some photos of something at some point, huh? ;)

In other news, we were all actually healthy enough to make it to church this morning! (Read: Natalie was healthy enough for us all to make it to church this morning.) Woo-hoo! Here's hoping we can stay that way for awhile!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

a pox upon you

Before I get to the actual post, I will mention that yesterday's post was the 300th here at Pancake Chronicles. How about that. Three hundred posts. I can't believe I had 300 in me! And yet, here we are at 301!

On Thursday, November 11, I took Natalie for her 18 month well child check-up. It was about six weeks late, but life's like that sometimes. She got a round of vaccines, including the chicken pox vaccine. This is a live vaccine, so any effects from it would not show up right away; they would hit 7-14 days after the vaccine.

I know a lot of people don't vaccinate for chicken pox, and I respect that. I, however,had a HORRIBLE case of chicken pox at age 17. The vaccine came out three months after that, and you can imagine my resentment of that! So, anyway, although we don't do flu shots, I have let the girls get the chicken pox vaccine.

Wednesday, November 17, Natalie awoke with a raging fever. She didn't really seem to have any other symptoms, so I thought the vaccine was rearing its ugly head. I figured the fever wouldn't last too long, and everything would be okay.

The fever kept climbing, all the way up to 103, and Motrin really didn't seem to be bringing it down all that much. It lasted through Thursday and although it was lower, it was still present on Friday. Off the the doctor we went.

The doctor found blisters on Natalie's throat and named a virus as the culprit. I'm not going to attempt to spell the virus she named. She said that it wouldn't last any longer than the weekend and that Natalie ought to start feeling better soon.

Saturday Natalie did seem to be perking up finally. She ate and drank more than she had in days. She played some, rather than clinging and fussing. I breathed a sigh of relief, thinking we were almost out of the woods.

We had no plans to take Natalie to church Sunday morning, not wanting to share her virus with the nursery. Good thing. Natalie woke up Sunday broken out on her face, belly, back, arms, and legs. Yeah, you guessed it--the bumps and spots looked just like chicken pox! Sigh...

Fortunately, the spots were already fading by yesterday, and today they look much clearer. But I'm exhausted and frustrated and definitely ready for a completely healthy child!

As a whole, Natalie has been much sicker than Sarah has ever been. Sarah has caught the normal childhood colds and such, but she was four and a half years old before she needed her first antibiotic. We had to rush her to the doctor twice for injuries--once when she burned her face and chin and around her eye, and once when the iron hit her in the head. But overall, Sarah has been healthy and whole.

Natalie, on the other hand, has had numerous colds and several ear infections. She gets wheezy and needs albuterol. We end up at the doctor a lot between check-ups. The irony is, I've probably been more interested in health and nutrition with Natalie than with Sarah. It just goes to show, I guess, how very different children are. No matter how you try to raise them, genetics play a big role, and you can't control everything.

Anyway, we're done with vaccines for awhile. Here's hoping we can be done with illness for awhile too! I think I'm going to buy the hugest bottle of elderberry extract I can find, and have Natalie start chugging it! ;) (Okay, obviously kidding there, but it is proven to boost the immune system, and I am going to see how she does with normal doses of it. No chugging...at least not yet.) ;)

Monday, November 22, 2010

If you would like to read a post...

...you need to go here. I am guest-blogging at Rooted in Love today. However, if you read my Facebook notes, you've already seen this particular item, so it's up to you whether you want a repeat. :)

If you pay attention to my blog roll, Rooted in Love is one of the blogs listed there. Jill (or Jillian, as she goes by now, although I confess to having a hard time remembering to call her that) is one of those friends I have literally grown up with. Now she is a military wife and the mother of five. Her blog is challenging, inspirational, moving, and honest. I highly recommend it.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I spent $14 at the grocery store this week...

...but don't be too impressed. We spent $87 last week.

And I still don't have dishwasher detergent. Sigh.

Furthermore, I'm out of borax, so I can't make dishwasher detergent. I think I will hit Dollar Tree when the weather is less horrible than what it is now. So we'll be up to $15 and some change for the week.

Here's some of what we're eating:

cinnamon raisin toast
cereal and milk x 2
pumpkin pie oatmeal
doughnuts or toast

leftovers or sandwiches or tortilla roll-ups

lentil and rice tacos, fruit salad with yogurt
potluck at co-op (we're bringing baked ziti and bread)
turkey, veggies, and fruit
ribs, potatoes, and veggies
supper with my parents
some sort of leftover remake (i.e. turn leftover turkey into something new and different)
possibly breakfast for supper, more leftover remake, or (if all else fails) eat out. (Sundays are rough).

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Doctor Who fan series--review

We are big fans of the BBC's Doctor Who. Even Sarah loves it, so much so that when given the opportunity to choose Natalie's middle name, she picked Rose--after one of the Doctor's companions. When we visit my parents, Sarah has been known to get the other children pretending that they are looking for the TARDIS. They have no idea what she's talking about, but they go along with it and have a good time anyway.

Some fans (mostly in the UK, I believe, although some are in the US and at least one is in Australia) have banded together to create their own Doctor Who stories. These will be audio productions only, but they have written the scripts and done all the directing and recording themselves--a true labor of love. They will be posting to the Internet as soon as they iron out a few glitches.

In the meantime, I have been asked to write up a review of the first three scripts. The fan girl in me is super excited about this. I have spent the last few days reading through the first three scripts and trying to get my thoughts together.

To kick things off, let me just say that I love the name "Little Blue Box Productions." It fits so perfectly. Although I haven't been able to listen to the entire series as yet (or even to the three stories I've read), the clips I have heard sound good. Even the actor reading the part of the Doctor sounds "Doctorish." I am looking forward to listening to the series as a whole.

I also like that there is an arc to the series, something that ties the separate stories together. The TV show does this quite well, with each season having that thread woven throughout, and I enjoyed seeing the fan series do this too. Having only read three scripts, I'm not in on what the big reveal will be, but I can see the hints being dropped, and I admit that my curiosity is piqued. Although I can enjoy the stories in and of themselves, I am drawn in, wanting to find more clues, wanting to know how it will all fit together.

Time travel is a huge part of Doctor Who, and a problem the Doctor often has is that things happen to him "in the wrong order." For example, he might run into someone who knows him but he does not know. Although the meeting has occurred already for the "stationary" acquaintance, it hasn't happened for the time-traveling Doctor yet. The fan series utilizes this well. The Doctor's companion is a young woman named Alicia. She remembers seeing the Doctor kill her father as a child. This event hasn't happened yet for the Doctor, and he is certain that there must be some mistake. He would never kill a man in view of a child! So he takes Alicia on his travels to try to prove himself to her. Now this is pure speculation, but I'm guessing somehow the series will wrap back around to the event from Alicia's childhood, and we'll learn "the rest of the story"--why the Doctor had to do what he did, or perhaps an alternate ending (another Doctor Who theme is that "time can be rewritten").

As for the three stories themselves, the first one seemed purely introductory. Titled "The Doctor, The Murderer" it sets the stage for the latter episodes. It introduces our cast of characters and our series arc. It asks questions it does not answer. As such, it is the least able to stand on its own, but I thought it set up the series well and whetted one's appetite for more.

"A Method in the Madness" brought back one of the villains from the TV series. I really would not have thought much more could have been done with these characters, but this story drew nicely from the TV episodes, while adding its own creative twist.

"A Hole in the Sky" is perhaps the most ambitious of the first three episodes. It felt a bit longer than the other two, more drawn out. I thought the concept was creative--not your run-of-the-mill villain. It jumped around some, and I found it a bit hard to follow at times, but it really was a unique, well-thought-out story.

Reading a script can be somewhat cumbersome; I really look forward to hearing the stories in their full audio form. Even the short clips I have listened to add so much. Lines that seem stilted when reading them "work" somehow when they are heard. And with music and sound effects, one can feel so much more a part of the action.

I salute the fans at Little Blue Box Productions; it's an ambitious project, but from what I've seen you've done a fine job. :)

Check out http://www.wix.com/fanaudioseries/lbbproductions if you want more information on the fan audio series. You can also find the links to some clips of the series there.

Happy Veterans Day

I will be posting more later, but I wanted to make sure I wished all the veterans and families of veterans a blessed day today and said thank you! I especially thank my cousin Jon and my friend Lauren. I thank my friend Jill and her husband Ashley. I thank my brother-in-law Nick. I thank both my uncles. I thank my friend Kristen and her husband Cliff. I thank my friend Caryn. I thank my grandfather-in-law. I thank so many more whose names and families I do not know.

Sarah and I have been working through a Veterans Day study that I found, for I wanted her to know that this day is important. I confess that it is a bit difficult to explain the concept to a six-year-old, but we have done what we can.

I know that Veterans Day is more about honoring and thanking our living veterans, whereas Memorial Day is more about honoring the memory of those who do not make it home. However, I don't know that it is easy to separate the two. So I thought I would close with this video from my college friend Autumn. She wrote this song in memory of her husband, who was killed in Iraq, as a tribute to him and to so many others. She is also the one singing in this video. Happy Veterans Day. Please remember to thank a veteran!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Natalie says

Give (as in, "Give that to me!")
Thank you
How are you?
Wanna go.
Want down.
Wanna see.
What's that?
Bobby (We have no idea who or what this refers to, but she says it quite clearly, and she says it a LOT.)
Wanna sit

Side (this is how she tells me she wants to nurse; she wants a "side")
There you go.
I see you.
I stinky
All full.
Fall (the verb, not the season)
Fork (I hope she never says this in public).
Mine (yes, she's possessive).
Hey, you
Pay (a funny story with this one, which I will share after the list)
Suck (said when she wants her pacifier)
Peep-poo (I've already blogged about this one)
Tortilla (new today!)
Cake (actually said in reference to a muffin, not actual cake)
Let go

There's probably more that I'm forgetting. :-p But I will say that Natalie combines several of these into sentences and phrases. Also of note is that "tickle," "thank you," and "there you go" sound pretty much the same the way she says them; you basically have to go by context as to which one she means.

She got a hold of my wallet awhile back and pulled out my debit card. She handed it to me and said, "Wanna pay?"

I'll try to add more if I think of them!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

cold remedies and salsa baby

Eventually (if my dad will email me pictures) I will post Halloween photos. I had two "Buzzy" girls; Sarah was Buzz Lightyear, and Natalie was a "buzzy" bumble bee. They were of course adorable. Sarah was actually really excited because she got to wear her Buzz outfit again to homeschool co-op today.

On to the title of the post, however. Nelson has been recovering from a massive cold. He thought he got over it once, then relapsed. It's been a really bad one. He's managed to give milder versions of it to Sarah and Natalie, so I thought I'd post the remedies that have helped us.

Natalie tends to get ear infections every time she gets a cold or even just bad congestion. We've been religious about using the nasal syringe on her, but frankly it usually isn't enough. She also has prescription albuterol for when her wheezing and coughing get bad, but even that doesn't keep her from getting ear infections. This time I tried garlic oil. I did end up taking her to the doctor, who said she had some clear fluid on her ear, but it was NOT infected. This is huge. I won't say that it will work in every case, but I'm pleased.

Sarah started getting sniffly on Friday. I showed her how to use my neti pot (one of my favorite things ever). She has been faithfully rinsing several times per day, and she admits that it helps. She still coughs a bit, but she has yet to reach the levels of coughing and congestion that Nelson did.

Speaking of coughing...Nelson's cough was HORRIBLE. Cough syrup didn't help. Running the humidifier didn't help. Hot tea only temporarily stopped the coughing. He couldn't sleep. He kept me and Natalie awake (Sarah could sleep through a war zone--in her bedroom). We had tried just about everything. What finally worked? A good old-fashioned hot toddy! We mixed hot tea with honey, lemon juice, and a bit of whiskey, and finally we all got some relief! (I know some of my readers have problems with the recreational use of alcohol, but this was strictly medicinal!)

Sarah is asking for chicken soup tomorrow night, so I will make that for supper. Hopefully that will make everyone feel better, and we can be done with this lousy cold!

We voted tonight, and we decided to grab supper at our favorite Mexican restaurant on the way to the polls (I was headaching, so Nelson graciously excused me from cooking). Like most Mexican restaurants, they served us chips and salsa upon arrival. Natalie wanted to try some salsa on her chip. I dabbed it on a corner--just a little bit. Apparently she really liked it. She made a grab for the bowl of salsa. It tipped and sloshed salsa all over the table. She immediately stuck her hands in it and happily started slurping salsa off her fingers!

We always order Natalie some sliced avocado to eat at this restaurant. When she was a baby, I got to finish whatever avocado she didn't eat. I enjoyed this. Sadly, Natalie is now perfectly capable of polishing off all the avocado by herself, and I get no leftovers.

In addition to the salsa, Natalie snitched a little of Nelson's chorizo this evening. This did not go over as well as the salsa; I think it was too spicy for her.

Natalie can say both "Mommy" and "Daddy" perfectly. Unfortunately, she's very confused as to who's who! She keeps calling me "Daddy." We've been trying to correct her over the last couple of days. As I sat typing this, Natalie wanted to be picked up. She called me "Daddy." I told her I was Mommy. Apparently tired of trying to keep us straight, Natalie settled for "Hey, you!"