Wednesday, December 17, 2008

we interrupt this rant to bring you...

a different rant!

you know how sometimes you have your day all set up & then something stupid happens that causes it to all come crashing down around your ears? well, that was my evening.

middlest had basketball practice tonight. the original plan is for middlest & biggest to walk/ride the bus to practice - thus not forcing me to drive all over God's green earth 4 times a week (we've finally discovered the joys of having children on two different teams in the same sport. with practices on opposite days. but games on the same day. argh.) but today it was raining. and i needed to grocery shop. and hit the library. so basically, if anyone is counting, i needed to be in three places at once...cooking dinner, grocery shopping & taking middlest to the gym. oh, yes, and then later was supposed to be at a basketball meeting

1 volunteered to take middlest to the gym so that i only had to be in two places at once. and that was just fine b/c what mama isn't used to being in two places at one time? and that's when it all came crashing down. it started with this phone call. "uh, you're going to have to cancel or reschedule grocery shopping. (not so easy when there is NO FOOD IN THE HOUSE since we spent the weekend in 1-seoul or 2-traffic) my car overheated & i don't think i should drive it." see, i could take the baby to the grocery store. but i learned a couple of months ago that with a littlest like i have - houdini-esque you could say - you don't take her to the grocery store unless you have back-up. which doesn't work very well, either, as the back-up is very good at asking for everything. which means that i usually end up spending about two times as much on groceries as i normally do. so back-up is really better known as fill-up (the cart, that is). so i don't take littlest to the grocery store if i can help it. so we still have no groceries.

because shortly after the overheating phone call, i got another phone call. and this time 1 & his hot-rod were broken down, of all places, directly in front of the front gate. and he was begging for antifreeze. oh for pete's sake. at least littlest had clothes on. hair wasn't combed but at least she had clothes. race over to post, locate the antifreeze, bite the head off the guy in the gas station who was kind enough to offer to help even after having his head bitten off (yes, i apologized), drove back around post with said antifreeze, car starts. thank goodness. break the traffic rules getting out of the gate to journey down the street so the mechanic who should know us by name & have us on his christmas card list at this point can look at the hot rod & tell us that the water pump has gone out.

so we're back to being a one car family. and i've decided that, but for the exchange rate, the car is, by all rights, totalled by now. as we've spent as much, in won, on it as we spent, in dollars, to purchase it. the next thing that goes out on that bugger, the bugger itself goes. 1 loves his hot rod but, dangit, i refuse to spend anything else on it. forget it. not gonna happen.

so let's recap.
groceries gotten? nope
library trip? nope again
dinner cooked? actually, yes, but then had to be reheated & just wasn't the same
basketball meeting attended? yes, again. by the whole collette/coaxum family. that was ridiculous.

it's christmas time. i don't want to spend money on a gosh-darn car. blah. a radiator, window motor, window regulator, door lock & water pump later, let's pray this is the end of it. if not, i have a sneaking suspicion that hot rod is gonna find himself in the han river. if you see it on the news, forget you know me.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

and the rant goes on

You didn't think I'd forget, did you?

Ah, yes, breastfeeding. Nature's first food. Asshole's second target.

Somehow he managed to draw a parallel between homeschool & breastfeeding. I THINK it had something to do with mamas having issues with letting their children go, thus keeping them home for school & also encouraging extended breastfeeding. I think that's where it came from. This was the second part of his monologue so I may have been confused by all the BS the first part held.

I was (quite luckily, I might add) informed of the fact that DOCTORS (oh, very important! i better listen up!) have said that breastfeeding past 4 months is BAD for babies! And does anyone want to know the reason that doctors say this? (looks around to make sure everyone is paying very close attention) It's because of the PAIN involved to the mother due to the fact that at 4 months, most babies are teething. Yes, that's right, folks! You heard it here! Everybody put away that boob right now if your baby is more than 4 months old! Don't you know that the fact that baby MAY at this point in his life be teething &, therefore, could cause a little pain to your boobies at some point is MUCH MORE IMPORTANT than the antibodies, health benefits and generalized well-being that nursing imparts? *coughcoughbullshitcoughcough** I took a deep breath. The bar has a new owner & I'm still trying to make friends so I didn't want to make a scene. But if some jackass 40 year old with one child & no boobs thinks he's going to tell me that breastfeeding mothers are doing irreparable damage to their children by feeding them the way God intended and that I would smile & nod & agree with him, he had another think coming. The entire time he was rambling along, I had my eyes on 1. Who was biting his lip & watching me out of the corner of his eye. Possibly waiting for me to explode. He's known me too long.

Here's what my research tells me. Nursing with no other form of supplement or food is recommended until the age of 6 months. Nursing a child provides that child with antibodies from the mother, provides them with the proper amount of calories to help them grow without becoming little fatties, creates a bond between mother & child that, in my opinion, cannot be matched, produces children with fewer (I did not say no) allergies and promotes mental & physical development. One of my mother's favorite sayings is that breastmilk builds brains, not bones. Not to mention the convenience (no stumbling to the kitchen in the middle of the night to groggily mix a bottle), the smaller amount of "stuff" that has to fit in the diaper bag, never having to worry if the milk is at the proper temperature. This list could take over my blog. Once baby food and, eventually, table food is started, supplemental nursing to one year is accepted in most pediatric circles. Should a family take a "no vaccination" or even "selective vaccination" stance, breastfeeding is recommended until the age of 2, due to the additional antibodies & health benefits imparted by mother's milk.

We are a selective vaccination (at least for littlest) family. Had I known as much about vaccines with middlest as I do now, I may well have been even more selective that I was. (middlest is allergic to pertussis vaccine and to this day does not get it). That & if I had had a more parent-supporting pediatrician at the time, that probably would have helped too. But I digress, as usual.

Littlest is still nursing. She will be 21 months 2 days after Christmas. We are down to morning, nap & night. She asks to nurse several times during the day but, for the most part, does not get it. Littlest has a wheat allergy &, as such, her diet is rather limited. Nursing does not take the place of any meals but I do feel that it supplements her nutrition enough that she is not in need of any additional vitamins or medical intervention of any sort. I am seeing signs that our nursing journey is coming to an end but am not forcing it. Apparently I have also become a member of the child-led weaning camp (or is it cult, R? hahaha!), as well. Also there is the fact that littlest has not had an ear infection in her life. Lots of children littlest's age that I know have had quite a few & several already have tubes in their ears. I'm not saying that this can definitely be attributed solely to their mothers' decisions to nurse or not. I understand that genetics play a big part in health. I'm reasonably healthy and, as such, so are my girls. But I do feel that nursing littlest this long has certainly played a big part in keeping her healthy. To date, she has had several colds, a case of the stomach flu (thanks, dad!), one case of undetermined cause of barfing all night and a case of roseola. All normal childhood issues. Nothing out of the ordinary.

R rambled on for awhile about breastfeeding & when 1 could get a word in edgewise, he spoke up. The look on that man's face when he found out that littlest is 20 months & still nursing was close to priceless. To his credit, he didn't backtrack on his views. He just continued to spew out more ridiculousness. We did our best to defend our stance but when you are dealing with an arrogant idiot of this caliber, there is no penetrating his armor. He has girded himself with stupidity for so long that he has finally managed to convince himself that he is right, be all & end all.

Next up - the breastfeeding/homeschooling cult. AKA "why I should move to California".

Oh, and Belynda? I'll fight you for first in line. Bring your easter eggs, traffic cones & forks. (how'd ya like that plug?! )

Sunday, December 7, 2008

caution...rant/tirade ahead

If someone comes up with a miracle drug to rid the world of assholes, please do let me know. I’ll be first in line to purchase.

1 & I went out for a bit Friday night. (Ok, well, I went out for a bit & came home due to mommy guilt. He stayed out for quite a bit & boy did he pay for it the next day & the next. Hungover people can be quite annoying. Nuff said). So we're sitting at the bar & some fella (R) walks in. Apparently 1 knows him. He introduces me & the first thing R says is "homeschooler, huh?" And I’m all "how did you know" which, of course, if 1 knows him, maybe that's how he knows. But I don't know how well 1 knows him so I discount that idea for the moment. The 2nd thing R says is "you've just got that ultra conservative look about you." !!! And he says it with a look on his face like he just bit into something nasty. And then the fun begins.

That man is apparently against EVERYTHING I am "for". Or, as will be revealed, have been "for" at some time in my life. I was treated to an oral dissertation on how homeschooling beyond 6th grade is a grave disservice to children, that breastfeeding beyond 4 months is NOT recommended by doctors, that it is "interesting" that middlest's bio-asshole (see! another one!) is black & that homeschoolers who breastfeed past 4 months are a cult. Oh, yeah, and that I should move to California because I’d fit in well there. There may have been more but by that point, I had decided it was either tune out or get out & it was way too cold to venture back out yet.

This man is 40 years old, has one daughter the same age as middlest & apparently thinks he owns the world & all the information in it. Thus, anyone who disagrees with his narrow-minded &, at times, incorrect & backed up by research incorrect views must be beat about the head with said views until they fall down on the floor & acquiesce to his larger brain, thus assuaging his super ego which was the whole point of the treatise to begin with. I could not believe his audacity.

First he attacked our decision to homeschool. I’ve had to defend it before so that was no big deal. Sometimes I attack our decision to homeschool after a particularly miserable week, or day, or hour. I’m ok with that. Practice makes perfect. He had all kinds of reasons for why homeschool is a poor decision. Let’s see if I can recall...

1-the socialization myth. Good try. Biggest & middlest have all kinds of buddies on post. They don't see them every day (see: miserable day) but do see them at least every weekend, if not more. With basketball season starting up, they'll see them even more. I don't keep my kids isolated in my home. If we were in the states there would be even more of an exposure to other people. Alas, homeschool co-ops here = nonexistent in this area so we make do with what we've got. Neither one of these children is lacking in social skills. Cleaning skills? Listening skills? Acting like a decent human being rather than a teenager skills? Yes! Social skills? No!
2-socialization myth spin-off. Something along the lines of if my children were in public school, they would ALREADY KNOW ALL ABOUT SEX & SEXUALITY & therefore wouldn’t have any curiosity about it. Part of his "research" to substantiate this pig-headed opinion was that a "friend" of his homeschooled & sent her 2 children off to college in other states. One of them came home pregnant 8 months later. (don’t people always have friends of the same race, color, creed or mentality of the people they are currently de-
meaning?) That’s plain out & out stupid. My children don’t NEED to be exposed to garbage to make them “normal”. Again, they are not completely sheltered in our home. Their father & I allow them freedoms based on their age & our estimation of their maturity level. This does not include movies based on gratuitous sexuality, pornography or video games with sexuality or great amounts of profanity. I know that they have both seen & heard & played these things before since, try as I might, I cannot control the world, other people’s children, other children’s parents or bio-idiots. But they don’t get that garbage in my home. They’ll be out there in that big, bad world soon enough. My job is to give them enough of a moral background to stand on to support themselves in all manners - social, moral, intellectual, logical - the list could go on. Should they choose to take a different road than the one I set them on, I can only hope & pray that they find their way home again quickly. I feel that garbage in = garbage out (as they have proven to me in the past). I refuse to feed the landfill.
3-And I can’t forget the blurb where told me something about “if your daughter goes off to college with her virginity intact…blah, blah, blah”. I had tuned out the sex talk at that point. I really wonder what he will do the first time he walks in on his daughter in bed with her boyfriend. Break out the champagne?

I think I’ve pretty much covered the gist of his stance on homeschooling. Are you disgusted yet? I was. I haven’t figured out why I stayed around for my ears to be further abused. I’ll have to plea the BELOW FREEZING weather outside. We hadn’t been there for that long & I really wasn’t ready to brave it yet again. And since this post is threatening to turn into a massive book, I think I’ll continue it further next post. Stay tuned!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Globetrotters!

we had the privilege of seeing the Harlem Globetrotters tonight. they came to the next base up so we made the trip, along with 5 kids - 2 of whom aren't even ours but we all know teenagers travel in packs, right? - and 2 cars, and spent 2 1/2 hours watching some hilarious basketball.

excuse the shakiness of some of these videos. i had a 20 month old on my lap who thought that poking the camera was a good past time. and the video quality isn't that great, anyway, as it was my still camera that i was using to shoot.

first up - the beginning warm up. or parts of it, at least.

video

second up - more warm up. or "holy tits, that dude is TALL"

video

third - middlest helping out with the YMCA. what a cool kid. (she's the one in the orange shirt)

video

and last but not least - just more of what those guys do so well!

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