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Who do you trust with your children?

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Family, News, Parenting | Posted on 26-06-2011

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I keep see­ing news sto­ries about kids dying in day­care or at the hands of oth­er peo­ple to whom their par­ents have entrust­ed them, and every time there is so much shock and rage as if peo­ple can’t believe it’s hap­pen­ing. I am so tired of it. Pay atten­tion!

How many of the peo­ple in these cen­ters did the par­ents actu­al­ly meet before leav­ing their chil­dren there? Did they meet any­one? Did they spend any time there?

If you leave your chil­dren with child­care providers, how did you choose them? How well did you vet them? How often do you drop by unex­pect­ed­ly?

Would you trust every sin­gle per­son in that facil­i­ty with your car keys? Just hand them over and let any of them dri­ve your brand new ride away, no ques­tions asked?

How about your wal­let? Just give it over, tell them your ATM or cred­it card PINs, give them carte blanche?

If the answer to both of the ques­tions isn’t yes, why are you leav­ing your chil­dren with them?

Sam and Saturday

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Family, Fun, Home, Love, Parenting, Relationships | Posted on 03-05-2008

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Yes, it was anoth­er date night. Yay! (They are the high­lights of my week, with good rea­son.) The girl went out on a date, so we had the house to our­selves.

It still feels odd, at times, not to have any kids around, and not to even be wor­ried about pick­ing them up. We like the young man she’s dat­ing, so we feel fair­ly good about her being out with him, and don’t get very ner­vous. Still, there’s a cer­tain lev­el of aware­ness that nev­er seems to go away when you can’t per­son­al­ly ver­i­fy your child’s imme­di­ate well­be­ing.

In any case, it was a love­ly evening. I do love my Sam, and he nev­er does stop spoil­ing me.

News Flash: Decatur Teen Comes Home Early From Date!

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Family, Health, Parenting | Posted on 27-01-2008

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What a weirdo! I mean, you’d think these kids were being, I don’t know, respon­si­ble or some­thing! Just because she has an appoint­ment ear­ly in the morn­ing, she came home ear­ly.

Kids these days! I don’t think I ever got home an hour and a half before cur­few.

Maybe she’s smarter than I was. Hmmm.

But, real­ly, she should have giv­en us a warn­ing. She caught us pod­cast­ing!

Have any homeschooling or education thoughts?

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Blogging, College, Family, Homeschooling, Parenting | Posted on 19-01-2008

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Today’s entry, Home­school­ing High School in Col­lege?, is over at Acad­e­my Car­i­tas. I expect to update there more reg­u­lar­ly, now that we’re offi­cial­ly home­school­ing again.

Reading

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Education, Family, Home, Homeschooling, Parenting, Reading, Relationships | Posted on 21-11-2007

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So, the Crazy Hip Blog Mamas want me to talk about what read­ing means to me or my child. How about both?
Katie reading
You might have noticed that I talk, a lot, about read­ing. I think Now Read­ing shows at least four five of the books that I’m read­ing right now, and that’s a fair­ly nor­mal num­ber. I don’t include my text­books, because they’d be there too long!

Read­ing is one of the things that I can still do, most of the time, despite the fibro and oth­er crap. I can’t always man­age to read on a screen, or fol­low some­thing like a text­book. For­tu­nate­ly, though, fic­tion by some of my favorite authors — espe­cial­ly an old favorite nov­el, like Part­ners in Neces­si­ty — is eas­i­er, and is a very good way to dis­tract myself from the pain for a while.

I haven’t talked about it much, but Katie has had increas­ing health prob­lems over the last year. Her migraines are no longer man­aged, despite tak­ing high lev­els of pre­ven­tive med­ica­tions. The res­cue med­ica­tions aren’t work­ing well because she has to take them too often. She had anoth­er round of sleep stud­ies, too, and a new neu­rol­o­gist has been try­ing dif­fer­ent med­ica­tions to help her get a decent night’s sleep (which should help the migraines and oth­er prob­lems). So far, any­thing that helps her sleep despite severe rest­less leg syn­drome leaves her zomb­i­fied the rest of the time. Provig­il, even tak­en twice a day, can’t keep her awake and aware enough to func­tion in school. She’s lit­er­al­ly sleep­ing like a cat, 14 – 18 or hours a day, just nev­er deeply. Her dark cir­cles have cir­cles, now.

But she can still read, too. Slow­ly, some days, and going back to re-read some pages, but she gets the same com­fort from it as I do. You know she’s mine when you real­ize that she’s nev­er with­out at least one, and often two, books in her purse.

I start­ed read­ing to her dur­ing my preg­nan­cy, along with talk­ing and singing and play­ing music for her. I read out loud to her from her first week out of the womb, too, some­times while breast­feed­ing, oth­er times while just being with her. She talked at an ear­ly age, and was very clear. She learned to read quick­ly, too, and has always been very opin­ion­at­ed (where did she get that?) about her choice of read­ing mat­ter. One of her favorite things about leav­ing the pub­lic school sys­tem was being free of that damned Accel­er­at­ed Read­er pro­gram and its ridicu­lous restric­tions!

It’s no sur­prise that I hope my nephews and niece are read­ers, too — although that’s far less like­ly, since their par­ents aren’t, real­ly. My broth­er used to brag that he’d nev­er read any whole book, even those assigned for class­es. (I nev­er under­stood that being a point of pride, even if he did get good grades.) My sis­ter has nev­er read any­thing that wasn’t required. I don’t know their spous­es very well, but I’m fair­ly sure they aren’t recre­ation­al read­ers, either. At least the grand­ba­bies have our moth­er (their Nana), who got me start­ed read­ing, and will sit for hours with any child, read­ing book after book (or the same book, over and over) patient­ly.1 I’m not close to my sib­lings, geo­graph­i­cal­ly or oth­er­wise, so I don’t have many chances to influ­ence the babies. I can give them books, though, and hope to catch their fan­cy so they ask to have them read!

Being a flu­ent read­er gives one more of an advan­tage that any oth­er skill you can give your child. Read­ers can use that skill to learn absolute­ly any­thing else. They can explore math, sci­ence, crit­i­cal think­ing, his­to­ry, cur­rent events, art — you name it. If you teach them to read, get them in the habit of doing so, and teach them to judge their sources well, you’ve giv­en them an incred­i­ble start on life.


1 Mom (and I!) did read to my sib­lings, but nei­ther of them ever want­ed to sit still long.

Packaging Boyhood

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Family, Home, Parenting | Posted on 15-11-2007

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From the lat­est Dads & Daugh­ters newslet­ter:

Our friend Dr. Mark Tap­pan is co-author­ing a book, to be called “Pack­ag­ing Boy­hood” about mar­ket­ing to our sons. The book aims to “scru­ti­nize the world of boy pow­er, and the ways media and mar­keters’ stereo­types about how to be a man reach way down into the lives and enter­tain­ment of younger and younger boys.” Mark is writ­ing it along with Dr. Lyn Mikel Brown and Dr. Sharon Lamb, co-authors of the 2006 book Pack­ag­ing Girl­hood: Res­cu­ing Our Daugh­ters from Mar­keters’ Schemes.

To gath­er data for “Pack­ag­ing Boy­hood,” these pre­em­i­nent schol­ars on the role of gen­der in the emo­tion­al, psy­cho­log­i­cal and cul­tur­al devel­op­ment of our chil­dren put togeth­er a very inter­est­ing online sur­vey at www​.pack​ag​ing​boy​hood​.com. Par­tic­i­pa­tion by dads and/​or their sons will be worth­while.

Dads & Daugh­ters is a great resource for par­ents, edu­ca­tors, or any­one else who cares about chil­dren. This is the first time I’ve seen them post some­thing son-spe­cif­ic, but much of their mate­r­i­al is impor­tant regard­less of the gen­der of your child(ren). Maybe well see a Dads & Sons before long, or some­thing sim­i­lar.

Rumbles from the Recliner

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Family, Health, Home, Music, Parenting, Reading | Posted on 23-10-2007

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Not from the grave, oh no, not yet!

It’s been too long to do a real “this is all that has hap­pened in my life.” Writ­ing it would exhaust me, and read­ing it would like­ly bore you. If you want to know about some­thing in par­tic­u­lar, please ask.

I’ll be post­ing a few things short­ly that I had “ready to go” and just didn’t post, for what­ev­er rea­son.

The girl is enjoy­ing life as a teen, or as much as any teen can. I wouldn’t want to go through those ups and downs again! She’s always my most pre­cious, beau­ti­ful God­dess gift baby, even if she will be 17 this week. That’s our “big thing” right now.

She con­tin­ues to amaze me with her cre­ativ­i­ty. She’s the head pho­tog­ra­ph­er (or what­ev­er they call it there) for the year­book, which has had her run­ning around to all man­ner of events for which there must be pho­tos! Now! Yes­ter­day! Couldn’t they hold Home­com­ing in July? Come ON peo­ple! And she loves it. She com­plete­ly filled her 1GB com­pact flash card with live pho­tos from Fri­day night’s foot­ball game, then had to switch to her small­er, old­er card and be very judi­cious in her shots to fin­ish the game. She obvi­ous­ly needs a much big­ger card!

Yes, she uses her own equip­ment. Her cam­era is head and shoul­ders above the qual­i­ty of those the year­book staff owns, even the few dig­i­tals. That makes sense, con­sid­er­ing the expense of them, the time it takes to real­ly learn to use a dig­i­tal SLR prop­er­ly, etc. Most of what they have are point-and-shoot 35mm film cam­eras, which aren’t such big a deal if a stu­dent los­es or dam­ages them.

Sam is still work­ing at the same place, help­ing peo­ple with com­put­ers and net­work­ing and phones and so on — even A/​V equip­ment at times. If you can plug it in, his depart­ment is the one every­body calls first for help. I’m sur­prised jan­i­tors don’t show up with vac­u­um clean­er com­plaints some­times (and I don’t know that it hasn’t hap­pened at some time at the past).

The help­ing peo­ple part is, of course, the most impor­tant thing. He loves it, he does it well, and he finds wells of patience that must come from Some­where Else.

I’m reg­is­ter­ing for fall class­es (DeVry is on an odd sched­ule, but you may have noticed that). We’re look­ing for a place to move to, but not find­ing what we can afford where we want to live. I sup­pose that’s an eter­nal lament, isn’t it?

I’m still a gimp, and now have a (man­u­al) wheel­chair of my own. I real­ly need a ramp for the front entrance of the house, but I’ve delayed try­ing to have one put in here since we want to move.

We’re still in lim­bo with Social Secu­ri­ty. In Geor­gia, the wait to have your case heard by an admin­is­tra­tive law judge is (accord­ing to the SSA office near me) about 36 months, aver­age. That’s the lev­el I’m at now.

It’s damned frus­trat­ing not to be work­ing, not to be able to work. I don’t want to be on dis­abil­i­ty or need it! I want to find a job I can do for a decent wage!

But I’ve had yet more icky health stuff, so… Sam and Katie are more of a bless­ing than I can say, cer­tain­ly far more than I deserve.

I real­ly want music. I mean, to make it. Noth­ing else seems to be able to replace hav­ing a piano (not a lit­tle key­board) in my home. That’s when I sing the most, as I accom­pa­ny myself. (I don’t play all that well, so I don’t play in front of any­one else.) I was think­ing of tak­ing a new vocal class Elise Witt is offer­ing, but it con­flicts with a fam­i­ly com­mit­ment.

I’m re-read­ing Madeleine L’Engle’s Cross­wicks Jour­nals and poet­ry as I mourn her pass­ing. Yes, there will be a sep­a­rate post about that, but for now, I’ll leave you with a tiny quote from her:

I learn my lessons slow­ly, sel­dom once for all. Con­tin­u­al­ly they have to be learned and re-learned, not with solem­ni­ty, but with awe and laugh­ter and joy.

Namaste,
Cyn

Who would you want to cuddle with or look like?

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Parenting, Size Acceptance | Posted on 27-11-2006

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It’s a no-brain­er for me! I’d rather be or hug the gal on the left any day!
Two women, same bathing suit - which should be a model? A model what?

Some­how, though, the Make Me a Super­mod­el judges found the waif on the right more wor­thy of praise than Jen Hunter, the hot babe on the left who actu­al­ly won, thanks to input from fans.

The skin­ny gal, Mar­i­anne Berglund, looks like a kid play­ing dress-up to me. An under­fed, sick, awk­ward kid who hasn’t quite hit puber­ty. Putting her next to Ms. Hunter is just cru­el.

Which one would I rather have my daugh­ter emu­late? That’s not hard, either. If I ever see Katie look­ing like Ms. Berglund, she will be on the way to the hos­pi­tal in a trice.

Thanks for the link, Alice_​Bunnie!

Midnight? Already?

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Parenting, Relationships, RPGs | Posted on 29-10-2006

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Wow.

It’s been almost as fun lis­ten­ing to the kids (Katie’s gang, here for her birth­day par­ty) game as it would be to be part of a game myself. Maybe I will play Vam­pire some day. I sup­pose I’d trust Sam to run just about any­thing.

They’re watch­ing some­thing now — Mir­ror­mask, it sounds like. I couldn’t believe that her Wolfie hadn’t seen it, as it’s so very much her kind of movie.

The house is clean­er than it’s been in a coon’s age. I’ll mark that up to being large­ly (not quite) done with the semes­ter and to mak­ing prepa­ra­tions for the par­ty. Sam and Katie were both mar­velous about clean­ing up.

The girl has been so exhaust­ed that she missed dance yes­ter­day, so I was a bit wor­ried about her. She’s still going strong, though. She slept well past noon today! With her health con­cerns, she’s always run­ning at the edge of her ener­gy, even with catch­ing naps where she can, so I sup­pose her fatigue is to be expect­ed after she stayed out ’til (mum­ble­ty-mum­ble) Tues­day night/​Wednesday morn­ing.

Yes, on a school night. The one thing she real­ly want­ed for her birth­day was to go to the Dres­den Dolls con­cert, and the only night they were in town was a Tues­day. She man­aged a TMBG show on a week night last year with­out a stum­ble, so we final­ly gave in.

Some­where between the time I bought tick­ets online for an “all ages” show (back in August) and the time I picked up tick­ets on Sun­day, it changed to an “Adults only” show! Well, that was a sur­prise. I asked around a bit, and we decid­ed that we were still cool with her attend­ing. For­tu­nate­ly, she and her friends had no trou­ble get­ting in. The rea­son for the rat­ing was a bur­lesque show in the open­ing act. God­dess for­bid that teens see boo­bies in pasties!

I still remem­ber when birth­day par­ties were all-girl affairs with lots of pink­ness, games and bal­loons and crafts and squeal­ing. They weren’t bet­ter than this, by any means, but time does fly.

Sam is try­ing to lure me back onto Sec­ond Life now. Dread­ful man. I sup­pose we might as well go be even nerdier at this point.

Happy Birthday Katie!

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Parenting | Posted on 26-10-2006

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Katie at about 2 months of age
16 years ago today, I held Katie in my arms for the first time.

You’re still the most mar­velous sur­prise in the world, angel. If I could have spe­cial-ordered a child, she would have been you. Thank you for being part of my life.Katie at a photo shoot

I love the unique per­son you’ve become every bit as much as I loved that tiny baby in my arms, and I’m very proud of you. I look for­ward to many more years of see­ing what you choose!