Sunday, August 30, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Reading published statements from Ezekiel Emanual (Obama's health care advisor) on how the deck would be stacked is chilling.
"However, other things are rarely equal—whether to save one 20-year-old, who might live another 60 years, if saved, or three 70-year-olds, who could only live for another 10 years each—is unclear." In fact, Dr. Emanuel makes a clear choice: "When implemented, the complete lives system produces a priority curve on which individuals aged roughly 15 and 40 years get the most substantial chance, whereas the youngest and oldest people get changes that are attenuated.
Dr. Emanuel concedes that his plan appears to discriminate against older people, but he explains: "Unlike allocation by sex or race, allocation by age is not invidious discrimination. . . . Treating 65 year olds differently because of stereotypes or falsehoods would be ageist; treating them differently because they have already had more life-years is not."
The youngest are also put at the back of the line: "Adolescents have received substantial education and parental care, investments that will be wasted without a complete life. Infants, by contrast, have not yet received these investments. . . . (thelancet.com, Jan. 31, 2009).
The time to fight this is now, not after the American people are subjected to the same horrors as the British have for years now. Every day another story comes out about old people not getting fed and washed while in hospitals, women giving birth in hallways for lack of beds, months long waits for cancer treatment, etc. I told the staff members how I think it is appalling that this is being pushed as a memorial to Teddy Kennedy when his own decisions were the exact opposite of what this bill pushes. He and his family made the decision to go to Duke when all the other surgeons said there was nothing that could be done. He fought to live, not go peacefully into that good night like any average 73 year old under Obamacare would be told.
For children, for the elderly, for ourselves I urge you to call and tell Congress, "No Obamacare. No rationing. I want to make medical decisions for myself and my family."
Thursday, August 27, 2009
On Sunday we inspected all the ride requirements so we knew ahead of time which ones each child could go on. My worry was the bumper cars as Maggie and Charlie were tall enough to ride with an adult, but not alone. What was I to do? Have Will or Mary sit with the 3 little ones for 10 minutes and wait while I went on the ride and then switch? But the guys let each child ride with a sibling and the same thing happened at the giant slide after I took Timmy down a few times. Timmy needed help getting on the carousel horse, but after I pointed to Julia Ellen one of the workers stood behind him in my place. Will and Mary were very generous in taking the little kids on so many rides, taking them to the potty, and independently buying bottles of cold water.
One worry homeschooling mothers have is raising children who can't function alone in public, after all they don't set off on the big yellow bus every day and have to navigate the halls of academia alone. Going to the fair and allowing a 2nd grader to ride the giant swing on the other end of the midway alone and giving a 5 year old permission to ride the bees by himself is good practice.
Yes, this non-helicopter parenting method did come back to bite me when Maggie didn't come back to the meeting spot, leaving us all searching for one short sprite in the aisles filled with flashing lights and ominous looking pierced and tattooed teens. But Will found her and we headed to the car with bags of cotton candy to munch. A few minutes after tucking the children into bed, I peeked in to see them all sound asleep and dreaming of fair rides, cotton candy, and another chance at the pig scramble next year.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
This year we decided to sign Mary up for the pig scramble, unfortunately she wasn't picked, but it was still highly entertaining. I had never seen such a thing before, 10 kids with mesh sacks chased, grabbed, and jumped on 9 squealing piglets. The children who managed to capture a pig could either take them home or sell them to the burly guys who sidled up to each contestant, "Hey, I'll buy your pig for $25." The same animals can be found for sale in Uncle Henry's for $50-75, but any parent who doesn't want to transport a pig in the back of their sedan is happy to take the cash. Will's turn for the scramble is Wednesday, hopefully he will be picked to chase pigs and recoup the cost of taking him to the fair.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
But hurricanes in Maine? Not supposed to happen. But I do know what to do:
charge Coleman lanterns- check
bring in everything outside that could blow away- check
close all barn and garage doors- check
set up generator and practice plugging in and starting- check
roll up the windows in the van - uh-oh. Someone's going to be sitting on towels on the way to Mass and hoping the wet doesn't seep through to her skirt.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
When you are expecting your sixth child you need new stuff because the other 5 kids have destroyed the baby gates, lost the breast pump parts, and turned the Boppy Pillow into a 2" high pancake. So you either suck it up and buy more stuff or resort to what people used before BabiesRUs existed.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
This is the latest is has ever taken us to get through a school year in our 6 years of homeschooling, but it is the first time that we had a baby born in the middle of the academic year. Of course we are all ready to start back up in about 2 weeks, but we will take advantage of the hot temperatures and sunny skies that have finally arrived in Maine. Today we are planning a trip to Knight's Pond, a secret spot in the middle of nowhere with a tiny beach, blueberry bushes, and a resident Bald Eagle.
In the meantime Maggie and Charlie have been clamoring to begin phonics and mathematics, so who am I to say they can't?
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Some women may like being pregnant a little too much, often driven to rapidly reproduce out of insecurity, a craving for attention, or feelings of abandonment by their own parents.
Having babies isn't addictive in the way that alcohol and narcotics can be. But bumpaholics feel compelled to procreate for many of the same reasons that substance abusers turn to booze or drugs.
"Women who are obsessed with being pregnant are literally filling an emptiness inside of them, just as alcoholics and drug addicts use substances to fill a psychological void," says Beverly Hills psychiatrist Carole Lieberman, M.D. Every one of us at some point encounters this void, adds New York family therapist Bonnie Eaker Weil, Ph.D., author of "Financial Infidelity." "You want to have a purpose in this world. You want to feel less lonely." msn
Or some of us could be us just love babies, like our children, and are trying to follow the God's teaching. There are days like today that I feel psychotic, but that is because I have 6 children, not the other way around.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
If I hadn’t had 5 other babies who looked exactly the same I might me thinking I have a child model on my hands. Yeah she is chubby and smiles a lot, but gee, I feel like I’m back in Italy, the land full of people who love children but don’t have any of their own. Chio bella!
Monday, August 10, 2009
I am constantly counting heads when we are out, “Do we have everyone we came with? No extras?”
All is well, I gave Mary the privilege of choosing the pasta for naked spaghetti (or should I say naked macaroni?) tonight. I’m forgiven and perhaps she will take more responsibility for her own things next time we go to the pool.
Friday, August 07, 2009
The problem? Every time I lose a pound my appetite increases to the point of me thoughtlessly scarfing down half a bag of cheese popcorn or doing something else insane, sabotaging my efforts. Then it takes super-human effort for several days to see that same number on the scale. This week's stress of driving Will and Mary an hour each way to sailing lessons hasn't helped matters, a Coca-a-cola keeps me calm enough to not drive like a mad woman on the twisty back roads just to shave off a minute or two.
Thursday, August 06, 2009
1. Mad Dash
2. Clue Mysteries
4. Junior Scrabble
We usually have several jigsaw puzzles being put together and the big kids and I play Rummy after the little ones go to bed. (they bounce on the bed and mess up the cards)
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
After arriving at the church, we sat next to the door off to the side so I had a quick escape route in case of noise or bathroom emergency. A lady came over and graciously asked if the baby was a quiet one, “Oh yes, she is very good and I will cut out if she fusses.” I didn’t take offense, but put myself in the position of the musicians who have practiced and studied for weeks to learn their pieces. I certainly wouldn’t want to spoil the concert with 6 loud, unruly children. Will of course paid perfect attention to the concert while the others were much less interested. Why I folded a copy of Mother Earth News magazine (I only read it for the articles and try not to go ballistic over the enviro-wacko anti-child editiorals) into my purse I don’t know, but it is likely that it saved the evening for over a hundred people. Charlie spent an hour examining each photo within, spending most of his time on the tractor ads. All anyone heard from our pew was a little gurgle from Julia Ellen before I started nursing and a faint repeating hiccup afterwards. The first trio played pieces by Haydn for 20 minutes and the second group (a string quartet) played Mendelssohn’s #6 for 40 minutes. The wiggling and shuffling was getting more noticeable so I made an executive decision to cut our attendance short and head out during the intermission.
A good plan for both a comedian or parent is to always leave them wanting more, the audience that is. Several folks complimented the children’s behavior as we scooted through the crowd, but I knew that if we had stayed we would have ended up leaving in disgrace.
I recall a discussion a few months back on someone's blog about rewarding the children when they are praised by strangers (for their behavior, not their looks) and I felt that they certainly deserved a treat so when we were all strapped in the van I said, “Sundaes at Dysarts!” Even though it was way past their bedtime I was very impressed by their manners and consider the outing a great success.
It occurred to me while we were listening to the beautiful music that I was in a similar position to those young adults in a way. They worked and practiced every day for years to be able to play difficult scores and make it appear effortless, while I have worked, endlessly it seems, for over a decade to have children who can be trusted to sit quietly in church. All the Masses standing in the vestibule, bribing the children with doughnuts, training them in the proper behavior made it look easy. I can’t say that it will be clear sailing from here on out, but this outing would have deemed impossible only a few years ago. So, for those with only little children I give you hope that one day you will be able to listen to the beauty of Mass with few distractions, at least from your own pew.
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Charlie couldn’t make himself brave enough to walk out alone to the tents in the dark, so he nestled next to me in bed and was soon sound asleep. I wasn’t too keen on the idea of walking down myself to fetch the rest of them, and to prove my point the second after I poked my nose in the tent, I heard a coyote howl in the not so distant woods. Maggie propelled herself out of her sleeping bag and followed the other sprinting children across the grass and up the back stairs into the safe and secure house. Tim and I conference on the phone and decided that letting the 4 big kids sleep in the hay loft in the barn is a good compromise, they would be camping out, but not accessible to hungry wild animals.
Monday, August 03, 2009
Now down in suburbia land the magic trash truck comes every Wednesday morning and makes all those stinky diapers disappear, but up here in rural Maine you have to take all the trash to the dump (politely and accurately called the transfer station) yourself. Most towns even charge up to $2.50 a bag for the privilege of throwing it away and disposables take up a lot of room. I figure that washing is almost free since we have a well and septic system. Julia Ellen really likes having her nappy changed so the frequent whisking away of wet underclothes makes her smile and kick her feet.