Parent abuse

It was a busy weekend here for the kids.  Pumpkin had a birthday party to go to hosted by one of the sweetest Moms I’ve ever met.  She picked him up and took the boys to an inflatable party place, like a Pump It Up!  or Jump Zone!.  Any Mom who will pick up my kid and take him to the party wins a gold star in my book.

Then Lambchop and I were off to a birthday party for one of her friends.  Turning 4 is a very exciting event and even more so when you have your party at a gymnastics studio. The kids had a great time, jumping, running bouncing and rolling I expect they’ll all sleep well tonight.

About half the kids at the party attend daycare with Lampchop and are sweet 3 and 4 year olds and then there was a little one I’d not spent too much time with before.  Lovely child during the party, I saw no problems with her  interacting with the other children appropriately.  Her behavior toward her mother on the other hand, was a bit disturbing and I expect will predict their relationship for the next 15 years or so.

Child:  “I want that leotard!”

Mother: “I’ve told you that when we sign you up for gymnastics we’ll get the leotard you need.”

Child:  Pulls leotard off of the rack, hits her mother with it and then declares “I want this one now!”

Mom stood there dumbfounded and said nothing.  I smiled and said “Those are really expensive Suzy maybe another day”

Mom scooted her out the door to the car where I witnessed the child hitting her mother at least two more times with no response from her mother. I don’t mean little girl slaps but a hit with all of the force this girl had.

Now I know about planned ignoring and trying not to pay any attention to a behavior to help extinguish it but then I think of how my parents would have responded.  Had I struck an adult as a child I would have been whacked and I don’t know anyone my age who would answer any differently.

I don’t know about any of you by my child would have been grabbed by the arm, put in her car seat and we would have been out of there immediately with additional ramifications when we got home.

What about you?  What would you do? Am I missing something here?  Have things changed so much?


Cancer and cell phones

Well hell!  Just when I’ve finally gotten attached to using a cell phone this research about brain tumors comes out.  Now I had breast cancer and while I have had people talk to me breasts they’ve never chatted on the phone.

I think I’m really worried more about my kids than anything else.  They don’t  have cell phones yet and I’m going to hold out for as long as I possibly can but they’ll surely have them by the time they go to college.  We know the brain continues developing into the 20’s and I wonder.   Continue reading

Help a stranger

If you’ve had cancer than you know this feeling.  You’re going about another regular day and then SLAM!     Cancer right in your face.  It kicks the crap out of you.

My friend Dorothy has been fighting breast cancer on and off for four years now. She was initially diagnosed and completed her treatment and then, while I was out for my surgery she was diagnosed with metastatic cancer.  She has been getting chemo for nearly two years now with Herceptin as well as some others. She has been down to every three weeks but for nearly a year she went weekly for treatment.  Her scans have been clear. Well her thyroid blood work had been going up over the last few tests but we had been hoping that it was just her chemotherapy messing with her thyroid function.  Today we learned that she will need to have radioactive iodine treatment to the thyroid and she is really worried.

Have I mentioned yet that she is 37 years old?  Her strongest wish is to be able to see her sons graduate high school, they’re in middle school now.  She works with families of children with special needs. She needs support and if possible contact from people who have had this treatment and come out victorious. She knows I’m posting this note and including her e-mail address and would welcome any advice or information you can share. She can be reached at

She is a woman of abiding faith so if you are a person who will be praying tonight please remember her in your prayers.  I’ve linked to some of your blogs directly hoping that you will pass this information on to your readers as well.  I thank you on behalf of Dorothy, her family and everyone who knows her.

Don’t breathe, we’re in China now

Do you ever feel like you’re a cross between being angry and confused? Well that is where I am now. I’ve read that members of the U.S. cycling team wore masks upon disembarking from the plane in China. Now it’s not like these folks went and bought up old gas masks to make a political statement. According to the New York Times ;

“The United States Olympic Committee had issued the specially designed masks to protect athletes from the potentially harmful air here. The U.S.O.C.’s lead exercise physiologist, Randy Wilber, had advised the athletes to wear the masks on the plane and as soon as they stepped foot here.”

So suddenly this became a big political row and we were concerned about offending the Chinese. I don’t know about you but I don’t really give half a crap about offending the Chinese. I have young kids and I spent a fair amount of time within the last 12-18 months seeing the toys that they play with that were manufactured in China be recalled.

A brief list of things that were recalled included pet food that was killing animals, toothpaste, Thomas the Tank trains, Fisher Price toys and a variety of toys from Sesame Street, Elmo, Barbie, Cars the movie and more. And these toys were not recalled because there was a vague possibility that there could be a problem. They were recalled primarily because they were covered with LEAD. Toys for young children with unacceptable levels of lead. For those of you who don’t know, LEAD and young children don’t mix. Would you like to know what happens to children who ingest lead?

  • Delayed in language and motor development
  • Poor speech articulation – Poor language understanding or usage
  • Rigid, inflexible problem-solving abilities
  • Delayed general intellectual abilities
  • Learning Disabilities (reading, language, math, writing)
  • Problems controlling behavior, maintaining attention, Hyperactivity, memory problems (e.g., aggressive, impulsive)
  • Problems with fine or gross motor coordination

Now before someone chimes in with a free market argument or that you can’t blame a child’s problems on a toy let me stop you. If we are going to have a free market than I want the right to be informed. The problem with these toys is the cumulative effect of lead. The toys that are listed above are for small kids. They are things that go into mouths and hands that go into mouths.  We have a lot of disabilities in kids in this country that we don’t know the cause of (autism anyone?) So why would we allow our kids to have things when we know what the negative effects are?

The U.S. budget deficit is financed by borrowing. More and more of that money comes from China, now the United States’ second-largest lender, after Japan. According to the U.S. Treasury China now holds 502 BILLION dollars of U.S. debt. Maybe that’s why we’re afraid of offending them.

I’m old enough to remember when the biggest threat to the world according to our government was Communism but apparently communism is okay if they let us sell them stuff. And here I am back to the beginning, angry and confused.

The joys of travelling

Well I’ve been out for a while due to technical problems that will be reported in another post. But here’s the vacation portion of our program.

We left on Sunday, two hours after I wanted to leave but what are you going to do and drove from Wilmington, NC to Bowmansville, PA. Who ever invented the DVD players that you can use in the car should be made the patron saint of parents. I don’t know how my parents ever did a trip with the three of us as kids without killing one of us or each other. The trip was uneventful most of the way which is always a good thing but as we got closer to the camp ground the rain began. I wanted to leave earlier so that we could arrive during daylight but this was not to be. So in the dark and rain we arrived at Oak Grove Campground. We chose to rent a camping cabin rather than tent camp and boy am I glad we did. Trying to set up camp in the dark and rain with a 7 and 3 year old is nothing I want to imagine for more than a moment.

The cabin was absolutely great. We splurged for the two room cabin so that we didn’t have to go to bed the same time as the kids but often we were not up much later. The back room had two sets of bunk beds built in and the front had a double bed and a small table. Each room had a light and ceiling fan (what an unexpected surprise) and there was a window AC unit in the back room. There was also a plug in radiator if needed. Now I know this isn’t really camping for a lot of you but we’re rookies.

Monday we were up and out to Amish country.  The kids decorated gingerbread cookies at Kitchen Kettle Village in Intercourse, PA giving Mom a chance to do a little shopping.  The kids had a good time with play areas, petting zoos, pony rides and more.  Our 7 year old was interested in the buggies, wanting to drive one since he had driven a golf cart when he was visiting his grandparents last month.  Spent the evening cooking hot dogs over the fire and eating s’mores with the kids.

Tuesday we were off to Sesame Place. If you are anywhere near Langhorne, PA outside of Philadelphia and have kids under 8 or 9 go to Sesame Place.  What a blast!  This is Disney World but with Sesame Street as a setting instead.  Parades and shows, rides and water attractions that are all designed for young kids. One warning.  If you are going get thorough directions.  If you have ever driven in Atlanta it seems that every other street is named Peachtree.  Well in Langhorne it feels like every other street is named Oxford in some way and the one you are looking for is Oxford Valley.  The park is tucked behind a shopping mall so if you don’t have thorough directions you  may drive a round a bit like we did. Tickets are about $50 per person and you have to pay for parking (note to Sesame Place, that’s stupid!!).   Staff are all professional and attentive and I’d like to give special thanks to the woman working guest services who gave us wonderful directions back to camp. I am really not sure who had a better time, the kids or me.  I mean really, I got high fived by Big Bird for crying out loud!  Our one mistake?  There is an area that looks like the buildings from Sesame Street and I should have taken loads of pictures of the family there.  Oh well.

Wednesday we went up to Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster.  Had we done things in reverse I think I would have liked Dutch Wonderland more but after Sesame Place it couldn’t compare.  Not their fault and the kids still had a good time.  It was also a day that there were groups from day camp there so the mood was different than the day before with families.  Tickets were about $30 per person, parking was free and we didn’t get lost on the way so those are all a good thing.

Thursday we were off to Syracuse, NY to see my darling husband’s family.  We stayed with his wonderful aunt and uncle and had a wonderful time.  The kids had a great time meeting cousins and playing.  One problem, we left North Carolina with the assumption that it might actually be cooler 700 miles north.  I even packed long pants and light jackets for everyone.  It was hot as hell!!!  Highs in the 90’s the entire time we were there.  Thankfully we weren’t blamed.  Also, I would like to thank each an every member of the family who did not spend family reunion telling me “You look so good”  I was truly worried about that.

Pleasant surprise that we were actually able to work out getting together with Paul and Ben while we were up.  As always you both look WONDERFUL!  By the way, one of the females in the family was heard saying “That Ben is hunky!”  Thought you’d appreciate darlings.

We landed in a pile when we got home but that’s another post.  Thanks to everyone, we really did have a great time.

My hero of the day: Livia Ionce

Many of you have already read about Livia Ionce, the Canadian woman who has given birth to her 18th child.  In doing some further research I have found this interesting tidbit;  she has had no multiples.  Now think about that.  She is 44 years old and had 18 individual pregnancies. Now assuming that her pregnancies were full term (that may means she has spent 13 and a half years pregnant.  Now try this one.  With the exception of one child they were all vaginal deliveries. 

I have two children that I love but some days getting out of the house (on time, LOL) is a major accomplishment. Now I don’t know about anyone else out there but I also remember pregnancy, sleep deprivation, breast feeding and the effects that they have on both body and mind. 

So here’s to you Livia for doing something that I and millions of others could never imagine.

VIA Huffington Post

ABBOTSFORD, British Columbia – A Romanian immigrant has given birth to her 18th child in British Columbia, making her the province’s most prolific mother in 20 years. Proud dad Alexandru Ionce said Saturday that his 44-year-old wife, Livia, gave birth on Tuesday. Their daughter Abigail weighed in at seven pounds, 12 ounces.

“We never planned how many children to have. We just let God guide our lives, you know, because we strongly believe life comes from God and that’s the reason we did not stop the life,” said Alexandru Ionce.

The couple immigrated to Canada from Romania in 1990 and now live in Abbotsford, British Columbia. Their 17 other children range in age from 20 months to 23 years old. Ionce said he did not know if the couple would have more children. The family now has 10 girls and eight boys. “We would have liked a boy to be even,” he said. “We thank God all of them are healthy and happy.”

kids haircuts

I can’t seem to figure out how to put these pictures up but they’re funny as hell.  The name on the link will give you a clue. Take a look.