5 Dollars

My life as an at-home momma of 3 amazing kids...it's kind of like shoveling snow in a blizzard.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Ruby's stitches

Here's a picture of Ruby after the ER visit last night - what a sweet reward those Cheetos were! And she has her doggy pillow they gave her too.

Sleeping peacefully after a very long day.

Ruby wasn't very happy about me changing her bandaid and putting ointment on her wound this morning. The Dora bandaid was a decent pay-off though. (If you click on the picture you can see the stitches better.)

We spent last night in the ER

I was in the kitchen taking 2 pizzas out of the oven to rotate them so they'd cook evenly. I heard a really loud scream and dropped one pizza on top of the other. I quickly finish taking care of the pizza and come into the living room to see what's wrong.

Ruby is standing in the middle of the floor COVERED in blood. It's just pouring down her face everywhere. From the first look I knew we were going to the hospital. I say, "We're going to the hospital. Keithen, Kaylee, get your coats and shoes." I swoop Ruby up and take her to the bathroom and get a wet cloth to clean the blood away and see exactly what we're dealing with. A huge gash right in the middle of her beautiful forehead. I tell Keithen to go get my phone. Ruby is screaming and crying, but holding the cloth on her head. I call Matt, who is at work, and tell him I'm taking Ruby to Community East.

I grab Ruby's shoes and coat and give them to Keithen to carry. I turn off the oven and grab up Magic Bunny for Kaylee, Jojo for Ruby, a hand-held game and homework for Keithen and carry Ruby out to the car without her coat or shoes. She's still crying but she's holding her rag up there like a pro. Kaylee is afraid she will get bloody and won't touch Ruby or hold her hand or anything to comfort her on the ride to the hospital. :( She screams and crys because I even suggested that she touch her bloody sister. Traffic was bad since it was about 6:00.

On the way there, Keithen explains that he was trying to get Ruby to give him a hug and she didn't want to. I guess she was trying to get away from him and somehow she fell into the corner of the wall that divides the living room and computer room. Geez girl....give your brother a hug next time! It's much less painful!

We got to the hospital about 6:15. Matt meets us outside and takes my van to park it. I take Ruby inside and we stand and wait. NO ONE is at the desk in the ER. There are lots of people. Ruby is totally calm now. Maybe if she'd have still been screaming and crying we'd have gotten some attention faster. Matt and K&K come in but they left Keithen's homework in the car. We fill out the papers and sit and wait forever. We finally go through triage and Ruby gets a little doggie pillow to hold and a piece of gauze taped over her wound. She is fine with the nurse, no crying or anything. We go sit in the waiting room again until they can get us a spot.

FINALLY they call our name. They room they send us to has a TV in it. We turn on the TV and wait for a doctor. The kids are now realizing they haven't had dinner. Doctor Rob comes in and looks at Ruby. She screams, crys and trys to hide her face in my shoulder. He thinks they might be able to glue it back together - it's a nice, clean cut and the edges match up nicely. I say my concern is scaring because of where it is. He says then we might want stitches and he wants his supervisor to look at it. We wait again. Two docs come back and look at her. More crying and anxiety on her part. Yes, looks like maybe 3 stitches. I ask Dr. Rob if it would be OK for me to nurse her to calm her down and he's says that's fine. (I remember with Keithen when he had to be mummy'd up for stitches they didn't want him to even have water. Yeah for Dr. Rob!)

I explain to Ruby about the numbing medicine and how they will wrap her up in a sheet so she can't move while they fix her up. I tell her it won't hurt and I'll be with her the whole time. The nurse comes in and puts a topical numbing agent on it. She's afraid it will drip in her eyes. She wants me to keep her lying down. So we lay together on the bed to nurse. Matt takes K&K to find the cafeteria. Guess what...it's 8:00 now and the cafeteria closed at 7:00. They have to find vending machines. Whoo hoo...kids get Cheetos, Fritos and blueberry muffins for dinner. Ruby nurses to sleep. (She was exhausted...she hadn't taken a nap all day.)

The nurse comes back and we try to mummy her up without waking her but of course it doesn't work. Tired, hungry and scared crying from my girl. I help the nurse and talk to Ruby the whole time. We get her arms pinned with the sheet and then they tape her legs to the bed so she can't kick or buck. I help to hold her face still while they clean her up, numb her and get ready to sew her up. Dr. Rob decides NOT to use the sterile drape over her face because he wants her to be able to see me. (Another yeah! for Dr. Rob!) I'm stradling her body, holding the sides of her face and another nurse is holding her chin and the top of her head. She's crying so hard. I'm talking calmly to her, trying to get her to recite "The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything" but she's not going along with it. I try to keep my head out of Dr. Rob's way, but above her so that she can see me well. I keep telling her to look at my eyes and talk to her through the whole thing.

She ended up with four stitches. She nursed again for a bit and then they came and put ointment on it and a bandaid. All three kids were so exhausted when we finally got home around 10:00.

I need to change her bandaid and put more ointment on it here in a bit. If she'll let me, I'll take a picture of her stitches.

I was holding it together for her last night but there were several times that *I* wanted to cry for my sweet girl. I really hope it heals well and she doesn't have a big scar right in the middle of her forehead! :( Poor thing...she'll still have a nice wound on her face for her birthday next week.

(Sigh...and 7 years ago today I was at Community East in labor with Keithen...tomorrow is his birthday.)

Monday, January 30, 2006

Mom writers wanted

Check out this link.

I may answer some of the questions myself. I've already been quoted in both of Hilary Flower's books, including an essay in the tandem nursing book. It'd be cool to get published in something else!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Another lost tooth!

Keithen lost another tooth today! That's the third one since Christmas Eve! (I swear it's not from playing goalie at soccer, LOL!)

Saturday, January 28, 2006

School time and a new desk

Kaylee spent a good deal of time with Chicka Chicka Boom Boom spread out in front of her sorting through out little wooden alphabet letters the other day. She sorted them all into alphabetical order and then told me the name of each letter and what sound it makes.

Many days out house looks like a ticker-tape parade came through by the time dinner rolls around. The girls do so much cutting and making of things that I'm constantly picking up little pieces of paper everywhere. I swear one day I'm going to take a picture of the mess before I pick it up. It honestly looks like someone has been throwing confetti all over my living room most days.

In just about 5 months, Kaylee will be staring Kindergarten and she'll need a space to do homework. I've posted pictures of Keithen's desk before. We wanted to find something similar for Kaylee and Ruby to share.

It took stops at *3* stores today to find somewhere that had both the folding table and some sort of stool that was the correct hight, but finally we hit the jackpot. We even found a metal trash can with Dora, Boots and Kaylee's favorite - Diego - on the side of it. So maybe the tickertape parade will be contained? I can dream, right?!

The new desk is all set up in their room now and they have been working away on pictures at it ever since. We do still need to hang up a bulletin board above it so that they have somewhere to hang their creations. The one I bought seems to be just a couple of inches too long, so it may mean another trip back to the store to exchange it! That, or I may swap the one I have in the computer room for the one I bought the girls. We'll see what Matt thinks about how it fits when he gets home later.

Success by 6 - Imagination Library

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library is an early literacy program for children in Indianapolis/Marion County. Any child under age 5 (even newborns!) can register for the program and will receive one FREE hardcover book per month by mail. All books are age-appropriate and are of high quality. Families will be able to register children in various places throughout the community and through the website.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Remembering Challenger & Columbia

The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster occurred on the morning of January 28, 1986 - 20 years ago. Challenger appeared to explode 73 seconds into its flight. (Later investigation would determine it wasn't technically an explosion.) All seven crew members (including teacher Christa McAuliffe, the first civilian in space) were killed when the crew compartment crashed into the ocean.

I remember that day well. I was a freshman in high school. We didn't find out what had happened until that afternoon in study hall. I think someone had talked to their mom on the phone at lunch or something. We were all in shock.

Back in grade school, there was a great fascination with the shuttle program. We watched every lift-off possible on TV's that had been wheeled into our classrooms. But by the time we hit high school, shuttle flights had seemed pretty routine to us. "Was that the one with the teacher on it?" was the first question on my lips.

When I got home from school that afternoon, they were still replaying the tragedy over and over on every channel on TV. President Ronald Reagan was scheduled to give the State of the Union address that evening. Instead, he memorialized the crew of the Challenger. He was, as always, so eloquent. I will always remember the end of his speech when he quoted the Poem "High Flight" by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.:

The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and "slipped the surly bonds of earth" to "touch the face of God."

Almost exactly 17 years after the loss of Challenger on liftoff, Space Shuttle Columbia exploded on reentry on February 1, 2003. The date of this tragedy is etched on my mind. I was 9 months pregnant with Ruby and it was Keithen's 4th birthday. Ruby was born exactly one week later.

Once again, the entire 7 member crew perished. In our post 9/11 world, there was initially a fear that terrorism had somehow brought down the shuttle. (The crew included Payload Specialist Ilan Ramon, a colonel in the Israeli Air Force and the first Israeli astronaut.) It was later determined that the cause of the accident was a breach in the leading edge of the left wing, caused by insulating foam shed during the launch.

President Bush addressed the nation:

The same Creator who names the stars also knows the names of the seven souls we mourn today. The crew of the shuttle Columbia did not return safely to Earth; yet we can pray that all are safely home.

On July 26, 2005 the United States returned to manned space flight with the liftoff of Space Shuttle Discovery. A similar piece of foam from a different portion of the tank was shed on Discovery's flight, but luckily the debris did not strike the Orbiter. Astronauts repaired the suspected damaged spot on an Extra Vechilear Activity (EVA). Discovery's return to Earth was then delayed for two very tense days due to adverse weather conditions, but the spacecraft finally returned safely. NASA once again grounded the shuttles again until the problem can be solved.

The next shuttle mission is scheduled for May 2006.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Meme of Four

I've been tagged with the Meme of Four by Jason.

Four jobs you’ve had in your life:
Salesperson at NRM Music
Document Coder at Integrated Information Services
Stage Manager for Dance Kaleidoscope
Equity Stage Manager at The Phoenix Theatre

Four movies you could watch over and over:
Vanilla Sky
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
The Shawshank Redemption

Four television shows you love:
West Wing (*sniff*)
History Detectives

Four Places you have lived:
Salem, Indiana
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Muncie, Indiana
Springfield, Missouri

Four places you have been on vacation:
Washington, DC
San Francisco, CA
Tahlequah, OK
Chicago, IL

Four websites you visit daily:
Indy Star
Blogging Baby

Four places you would rather be right now:
getting a massage
soaking in a hot tub
browsing through a bookstore
eating dinner at Sero's Restaurant on Washington Street

Four bloggers you are tagging:

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Indiana Sheriffs' Sex Offender Registry

Great. There are 22 registered sex offenders living or working within a 2 mile radius of my home.

Dude...go to the LIBRARY!

A Ball State student was busted in the campus bookstore on Tuesday night. The kid hid in the bookstore when it closed. He wasn't there to rip anything off though. He was trying to work on a class project due the next day and was looking up information in books.

DUDE! Right across the street from the bookstore is this HUGE building that looks like a stack of books. It's called Bracken Library. They have 5 entire floors of books there that they let you use for FREE. You can stay there until 3:00 a.m. and you don't have to post bail!

Teaching Our Children to Read

We've always valued reading to our kids so much. Even when Keithen, our oldest, was a baby we read to him. As he grew, he loved nothing more than sitting with a grown up and listening to stories. When he was 2 years old and Kaylee was born, I always kept a basket of books close to my nursing spot. Kaylee would nurse and Keithen and I would read story after story.

Keithen had such a strong desire to learn to read early on. He had figured out that all those words on the page would unlock the world for him. He'd be able to read on his own and learn anything he wanted. He could read to his sisters. He could play more computer games without help. All he had to do was crack the code.

Because he was so highly motivated to learn to read, I started working with him early. By the time he was four years old, he had read the first few Bob Books. This was a huge source of pride for him. Ruby was born just a week after Keithen turned 4 years old. He had set a goal of being able to read to her when she was born. With me as his teacher, he next sped through all 5 sets of Bob Books and was beginning to read Clifford books and Dr. Seuss books on his own.

For those of you who have younger kids and haven't experienced it yet, let me just tell you how magical it is to watch your kids putting it all together and really beginning to "get" reading. It's amazing to see the light bulb go on in their heads and hear them read out loud on their own. And for me, it was incredibly rewarding to know that his love of books and ability to crack that code was something that I had helped to give him.

At night, he would lay in bed and you'd hear him back there sounding things out and trying to crack the code on his own. It was almost impossible to get him to put his books down and pretty common to go find that he had finally nodded off with his nose in a book.

By just past his 5th birthday he was already reading at about a first grade level. That summer he finished the public library's summer reading program and earned the most points possible.

In Kindergarten, I think the fall book fair was one of the highlights of his year. Eventually, the librarian arranged for him to be able to check out materials from the section of the library that was reserved for older students. He was already reading chapter books such as The Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne. By the time he finished Kindergarten he was reading at around a 3rd grade level.

Now, half-way through first grade, his most current reading assessment has put him at about 5th grade level books. At home, he's tackling The Series of Unfortunate Events books, which are about a 6th grade level book. I'm beginning to wonder how we are going to keep him in reading material that is interesting and reading level appropriate while still being age appropriate subject-wise.

Reading was such a snap for Keithen. I'm trying to build a foundation for Kaylee and Ruby now before they reach school-age. It's interesting to see how differently each child learns. Kaylee has had all the letters and their sounds for about a year now. (She'll be 5 in March.) She's just started putting some words together in the past couple of months. We are beginning to work through the first box of Bob Books together now. She's a whole year behind where Keithen was in reading at this age. Sometimes I have to remind myself that she is actually at or maybe a little above where her peers are right now.

Some of my favorite reading related links that I have used in teaching my kids to read -

Starfall - (lots of great online activities)

Accelerated Reader Quiz List - (lists by title, author and reading level)

Leveled Book Lists - (lists by grade level, title and author)

Portland Public Schools Leveled Book Lists - (includes a search engine - lists by title, author, reading recovery level and grade level)

Reading Level Assessment - (more of a focus on decoding words - talks about how to find reading levels on the back of paperback books)

Dolch Kit - (good link for working on Dolch site words)

Word Families - (37 most common phonograms and some of the 500 words they make up)

Spin & twirl ballerina girls

Kaylee had to step out of class for a couple of minutes today because she got upset about people not following in the right order when they went around the room. Ruby could care less what was wrong with Kaylee and went right along with class and paid attention. After class, Mrs. Johanna commented that Ruby was very "bright for her age." They are really enjoying being in class together. I hope it goes well in a few weeks when they move to separate classes.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

SNL - The Chronic of Narnia Rap

I rarely get to watch SNL these days. I was recently pointed to this link and wanted to share with any other Narnia fans out there. Pretty entertaining!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Well, "Why not?"

I love Hathor. It's been a while since I've had the time to catch up on her cartoons. I found this one this week and it felt really...familiar. How often do we tell our kids "no" just because? I'm going to take the time to ask myself, "why not" more often. Really...why can't she wear her ballet clothes to the grocery? Why can't they stay in their pajamas all day? Why can't she have soup for breakfast? Why can't she carry her coat instead of wearing it? Why can't we read one more story?

Well...why not?

Weekend Update

Keithen's soccer team, the Black Bandits, played their second game of the season on Saturday. They lost 4-3. They did all their scoring in the final minutes of the game though.

The kids just haven't figured out how to run an offense - they are all clumping up and going after the ball together instead of spreading out to pass. The coaches aren't on the field with them this year, so it's hard for them to give instructions. I wish we had some practice time, but this league goes straight to games with no instruction time.

Keithen loves playing goalie and he's really pretty good at it. At the YMCA he is always goalie for part of their games. He had never been goalie at Indy Naz until this weekened. He got his first shot at it at the start of the game and then the coach actually put him back in the goal towards the end of the game. We need to find some warm days to practice at home some as he's lost a bit of his edge between the fall and winter seasons. He did a really good job though - got scored on by one of his teammates! He shouldn't have to be watching out for them!

After soccer I went out to finish shopping for Keithen's birthday presents. I have presents set aside for all three of the kids already now just waiting for their birthdays. I have to find time to start wrapping stuff. While I was gone they all spent some time in the yard kicking the ball around with Dad and playing with the neighbor's dog.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Weekend soccer game

Friday, January 20, 2006

Muncie mom fights school punishment

How many articles have you seen warning about kids carrying backpacks are too heavy? I see tons of those pop up every year when school starts. Here's just one such article - Backpack Safety for Children.

These kids at a Muncie middle school were forced to carry all their books around in a milk crate to teach them to be more organized.

"If we have one parent who is concerned healthwise, then we have to stop it because that was not the intention," Principal DiLynn Phelps said. "The intention was to help the kids be better organized. ... Once it was brought to my attention that it was a concern physically, it stopped."

Principal Phelps, have you never seen any of those articles or news stories about not letting kids carry all their books around on their backs? Making sure backpacks fit correctly to not injure them? The new popular backpacks with wheels? It never occured to her that having them carry all of their books in a milk crate is just as bad if not worse for their bodies?

Dinosaur girl and her dinosaur diorama

Kaylee and I spent the morning studying dinosaurs and doing some dinosaur math. Then we built this dinosaur diorama together. Now she's off with her toy dinosaurs exploring the Jurassic Period.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Prayers for abducted journalist Jill Carroll

Back in high school when I thought that I might end up working as a journalist. I was the editor of my school paper and attended HSJI at IU every summer that I could. I wanted to be a serious journalist, covering big issues.

When I was a Junior on a field trip with the marching band, we visited the National Cathedral where I saw a candle lit for Terry Waite. He had been taken hostage while trying to negotiate the release of a journalist who was being held by the Islamic Jihad.

I remember feeling saddened and confused that people would take their issues with other countries out on the innocent jounalists who were there simply trying to provide the world with accurate information about what was going on. How unfair it seems that journalists, who are supposed to be neutral parties, so often get swept up into these situations, taken hostage and used as pawns. They should be free to report the news without fear of becoming a target.

Jill Carroll is a freelance journalist working in Baghdad. She was on assignment for The Christian Science Monitor when she was abducted January 7, 2006. Carroll's kidnappers have threatened to kill her unless the United States releases all female Iraqi prisoners. The deadline for the demand is roughly midnight Friday.

CSM Senior Editor David has been quoted as saying, "It would be wrong to murder someone who has devoted herself unselfishly to promoting understanding of the Iraqi people."

Our thoughts and prayers are with Jill Carroll and her family.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Ruby's first ballet class

Today was the first ballet class for Kaylee and Ruby together. Kaylee has been through the class twice and has been teaching Ruby all her moves at home. Today was Ruby's first day as an official ballerina girl. She was so excited. She was the first one in the room for class. Some of the other moms said they'd have never known that today was Ruby's first class. And Kaylee got the special honors of being the line leader after their barre work and was also the front of the "magic train" when they did their leaps. Those were both firsts for her.

Book report update

Evidently it went very well. :) He actually got to do it twice. He did it for his class and his teacher said it was great and then she sent him down the hall to do it for a second grade class too! Their highest grade in his school is an "M" for "mastery." He said she gave him a "M+" on it! :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

A parent's role in a child's education

ydmama said...
Just curious, does the parent play a very important role once the kid is in school? For us who grow up in other countries, i am afraid that it is not that easy to keep up with the kids on some respect, especially in reading. And i heard that it is a complete different system to learn math here from what we were taught in China. What if we mess the kids up by helping them?

I don't know how well this will answer your questions, but here goes.....

As a matter or personal opinion, I think the parent's involvement in a child's education is important. I think this role often evolves as our children grow, but there is one constant truth: we are our children's first models in life. A parent's attitude about education can certainly inspire a child to be a hard-working student and show him how to take charge of his own educational journey.

Many of my friends are homeschoolers, so I'm sure that influences how I look at my children's education. My children have been homeschooled for preschool and then they will all enter public school for Kindergarten. From this point on, we try to compliment the school curriculum with learning at home. My husband and I are partners with our son's teachers. We communicate with them in order to help make sure he gets as much out of his time at school as possible. When parents and teachers work together to both support and challenge the children, I think that they are more likely to be successful in school.

From my experience with the school system so far, I would say that different families seems to have different levels of involvement with their children's school life. There are some parents who are deeply involved with PTA and are at the school so much that you're not sure if they are there to volunteer or if they are employees. There are usually a handfull of parents on each grade level who are highly involved and volunteer in the classrooms on a pretty regular basis. There are other parents who are only at school for special events like parties or school programs. And then there are the parents you never see.

When it comes to their homework, I'd say that ideally they should be able to do it on their own. Parents should be able to remind them about doing it, help them organize their workspace and their time and then check the work when it's done. There may occasionally be questions, but, especially at the grade school level, homework is mostly about reinforcing what they've been doing in class so they should already have an idea what to do and shouldn't need much help or direction in order to complete it.

When it comes to reading, my son brings home a reading level appropriate book twice a week that he is supposed to read out loud to us. We take the time to listen to him read and we spend time talking about the book.

We do need to let them know the importance of learning good study habits now while the homework isn't that complicated. Hopefully, these habits will carry over to the higher grades when their work will be harder and more time consuming.

I think that one of the most important ways that we, as parents, can show our kids the importance of a good education is to let them see that we are interested in and excited about what they are doing. Ask them questions about their work, praise them for a job well done, and give constructive criticism to help them improve their work. Encourage them to learn more about subjects that excite them. One oher key is helping them connect the things they learn at school to real life situations. (Measuring when cooking or building, talking about history and familiy traditions, looking for shapes and colors in the supermarket, etc.)

Ruby's new obsession

Ruby wants to learn to write her name. She has me make these tracing pages for her with her name on them and she spends a lot of time tracing the letters. She's not trying to make them on her own yet, but she loves tracing them!

Ready for his report

He finished his poster last night and then practiced the report 3 times before bed. We even video taped it. And he did it this morning for Daddy too. It is a little longer than they were supposed to be (3-4 minutes instead of 2 minutes) but I talked to his teacher this morning about his book being so long (13 chapters, almost 200 pages) and she didn't seem to have a problem with it. I hope he remembers to talk slowly, loudly and clearly. As long as he does that I know he's going to do great because he has really worked hard to be prepared for it.

I also talked to his teacher this morning about the fact that he's been getting bored in school lately and about our struggles with spelling homework. She's going to talk to the Dean of Students about some other things that can be done in the classroom to challenge him. And at home he'll only focus on the challenge spelling words instead of the regular ones. Mrs. Hall mentioned how keeping the kids who are ahead like Keithen challenged is just as hard as helping along the ones who are behind. She made a mention of a kid like Keithen coming along "once in 30 years" which is how long she's been teaching. :) She's going to be recommending him for the Excel program next year, which means he will end up switching schools. He has to apply/test into that program and she'll be doing some writing stuff with him to help prepare him for that this semester.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Book report

Keithen has to do an oral book report with some kind of visual aid tomorrow in class. He will be one of the first kids in the class to give one.

Now remember that this is first grade. By winter break the kids were supposed to be reading at a level 10-12 and end June at the end of the school year they are supposed to be reading at a level 20-22.

Back in September Keithen was assessed at a level 40 and the report card he brought home just last week listed him at a level 44. (So that means 4 months into 4th grade.) The book he is doing his report on is The Miserable Mill (book 4 in The Series of Unfortunate Events) by Lemony Snicket. I found it listed on the internet as a level 62.

Keithen and I have worked hard together yesterday and today to find pictures to put on his poster and to talk through the book and pick out what the most important points were. He has notecards all prepared but still needs to do some work on his poster tonight and then practice saying it all out loud. This project came at a really good time because he had said he was getting a little bored with school. This has been something that he can run off on his own with and work at his own level. I really think that he should be able to impress everyone tomorrow when he does his presentation. He's worked very hard on it and I think he's excited about doing it.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Go Colts!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Midwife charged in Edinburgh case

Indiana Midwife Jennifer Williams has been charged with practicing medicine without a license (a felony punishable by prison term of up to eight years and a maximum $10,000 fine) and with the unlicensed practice of midwifery (a lesser felony).

The charges came about due to a homebirth she attended in June where the baby didn't survive. My understanding of the case is that the baby's death was not due to any negligence on Jennifer's part. The parents stand behind her, but the state is prosecuting (or could that be persecuting?) her. The charges are not about what happened with the baby or because of anything Jennifer did or didn't do at the birth, but because the state of Indiana requires midwives to be licensed, but does not provide a way for that to happen. This midwife could go to jail for helping a family have a homebirth.

I'm going to quote Andrea because I think she said it so well, "I have no doubt that this midwife did everything she could do to save the baby, including, if there was time, get it to a hospital. The thing is, sometimes babies die. Even in hospitals. Most of the time, it's no one's fault. But anytime most homebirth midwives in Indiana have a bad outcome, even if the outcome would have been no different in a hospital, they risk their job and her very freedom."

HB 1237 could help to change that. Local midwives and homebirth advocates have been trying for years to get this kind of legislation passed in Indiana. Representative Peggy Welch has re-introduced HB 1237 which has now been refered to the House Public Health Committee. The committee chair is Tim Brown, a MD from Montgomery, Parke and Tippecanoe counties. In the Senate, the committee that needs to hear this bill is chaired by our old friend Senator Pat Miller. She has blocked this legislation any chance she has had and continues to refuse to hear it. Anything that we can do to get this bill passed will help to license and protect midwives like Jennifer who risk their own freedom in order to help families birth at home.

For now, a Legal Defense Fund is being created for the overwhelming lawyer fees that Jennifer will incur. She has already spent $2,400 in legal fees and on top of that she had to post bail today. If anyone wants to help contribute to the defense fund, go to PayPal and then go to the "Send Money" tab and use the email address birthroot1@yahoo.com to submit funds to that account.

I know that lobbying and rallys are in the works and promise to post any important updates I get on this situation.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Coming March 18, 2006 - Fireworks of Glass

The Children's Museum of Indianapolis will unveil Fireworks of Glass – a 43-foot-tall sculpture constructed of more than 2,500 pieces of blown glass – March 18. Fireworks of Glass is the largest sculpture ever created by world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly. (You may have seen him on PBS. He's fascinating to watch! As my hubby says, "you know, that one-eyed glass-blower who doesn't wear safety goggles!") We can't wait!!!!!

These photos were taken when we went to the Museum last week. The blue circle you see on the floor will eventually be a revolving platform that you can lie on underneath the sculpture. You can see the glass ceiling already in place. The enormous glass sculpture will be above that and the entire thing will be lit up. It's going to be amazing! I can't wait to lay with Kaylee on the platform and see what she draws!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Delurking week!

It's delurking week. I know you're out there. Now really, would it kill you to comment once in a while? Let me know who's out there folks!

"Mommy, red stuff on my hands!?"

"Mommy, red stuff on my hands!?" comes the call of a sweet almost-3-year old voice.

"Oh, great!" I think...they've been in the markers again.

I look over to see two little paws held up in the air for my inspection...covered in blood. I can't tell where it's coming from. I scoop up the injured party and calmly rush her into the bathroom to clean up the mess and figure out where the bright red blood is coming from.

Kaylee produces a toy car covered in blood. Ruby mutters something about scissors. We never did find a pair of scissors with blood on them...they were all where they were supposed to be with no evidence of anything being wrong. Evidently the girls were playing in the window seat in their room when they noticed Ruby's bloody hands. After running some water on her hands, it turned out to be just a small cut on the tip of one of her fingers.

One piece of ice wrapped in a wash cloth and one jungle animal bandaid later, all is well. We still have no idea how it happened though.

Easy as 1...2...3...

Kaylee is finally counting to 10 without help! For the longest time she always got stuck at 5 or 6. Next we'll have to work on getting to 20. Hopefully she'll be able to master that before Kindergarten starts in July.

She's read the first 3 Bob Books now. She has the patience to work on one or two of these short books in a session. Until recently, she only really wanted to work on word families. Now she's showing more of an interest in working on simple books like these.

She's going to enter Kindergarten at a very different place than Keithen did. Their interests and learning styles are so different! She is so focused on fine motor skills and on making and creating stuff. Her artwork is going to blow her teachers away once she starts school. Keithen has always been more academically focused, excelling in math and reading before he ever started school.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Indoor soccer season is here!

Keithen started indoor soccer again this past weekend. He has the same coach as last year. Their team is the "Black Bandits" this season. Last year they made it to the finals and came in second in their division. They have some of the same team members again this year, so hopefully they'll do well again.

This will teach him to be kind to animals!

Mouse Thrown Into Fire Sets Home Ablaze

By Associated Press
Sun Jan 8, 11:51 PM


FORT SUMNER, N.M. - A mouse got its revenge against a homeowner who tried to dispose of it in a pile of burning leaves. The blazing creature ran back to the man's house and set it on fire.

Luciano Mares, 81, of Fort Sumner said he caught the mouse inside his house and wanted to get rid of it.

"I had some leaves burning outside, so I threw it in the fire, and the mouse was on fire and ran back at the house," Mares said from a motel room Saturday.

Village Fire Chief Juan Chavez said the burning mouse ran to just beneath a window, and the flames spread up from there and throughout the house.

No was hurt inside, but the home and everything in it was destroyed.
Unseasonably dry and windy conditions have charred more than 53,000 acres and destroyed 10 homes in southeastern New Mexico in recent weeks.

"I've seen numerous house fires," village Fire Department Capt. Jim Lyssy said, "but nothing as unique as this one."

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

What a lucky kid!

So, I posted a picture earlier today of how Keithen looked after losing a tooth during Christmas Eve dinner. Christmas Eve was actually the first day of his winter break. Today was the last day of winter break. And guess what...??? He lost another tooth tonight during dinner! So the Tooth Fairy will have visited our house twice during his vacation...the first and last days of his break!

The Children's Museum

We went to the Children's Museum to see The Velveteen Rabbit on Wednesday. Kaylee brought Magic Bunny along with her, of course. It was very sweet to see her introduce her bunny to the cast after the play was over. It's so obvious that Magic Bunny has been loved just as much as the Velveteen Rabbit so she should most certainly be real too!

After the play we visited Dinosphere for a while and then went to ride the carousel. If anyone saw us at the carousel, I appologize for the kid's behaviour. For some reason, Keithen and Kaylee were at their worst when we got in line for our ride. Maybe it was just the fact that it was so crowded, but it certainly brought about a quick end to our visit.

And then...Nanny and Pappy came!

No, Christmas isn't quite over here yet! Nanny and Pappy came on January 2nd to celebrate with us. I cooked a big dinner and we visited for most of the day. The girls are always especially excited to see Pappy. Their gifts included some new pink PJ's that the girls are modeling here.