Seven Quick Takes

— 1 —

I knew it would happen someday, but I didn’t know Kieran would get glasses at 6. My husband and I both wear glasses, as do all our siblings and parents (well, mine did until having surgery), but I think Kieran is the youngest of us to need glasses. He commented that he couldn’t see things at a distance, so I took him to the optometrist. Turns out he was seeing 20/70 without glasses and has astigmatism in both eyes. He’s pretty well adjusted to the glasses now. Isn’t he handsome? 20140104-113950.jpg

— 2 —

So a few people have recently posted about Jenny McCarthy’s son not having autism after all. Many are angry with her and blame her for people not vaccinating. I happen to know a number of people who refuse some or all vaccines for their children. Care to guess how many made their decision based on what Jenny McCarthy said? 0. None. Not one. Should she have told people absolutely not to vaccinate? No, I don’t think so. I think everyone should examine the risks and benefits and go from there. But to blame her for people not vaccinating seems disingenuous to me.

— 3 —

For a couple of weeks Leo decided that 4.30 was the perfect time to get up. To be fair, he wakes up then because he needs the toilet, so that’ great, but then he decides to just stay up. Then he crashes around 8.30-9.30, making daily Mass impossible. I technically could go to the 7.00 Mass, or maybe even an 8.00 at another parish, if the other kids were actually up and ready that early. I’ll have to work on this. We haven’t made it much this week, though.

— 4 —

I’ve seen a couple of articles about celebrities and body image of late. One criticized Jennifer Lawrence for (unintentionally) body shaming others with her comments about her own body image, and one talked about all the airbrushing on celebrity photos that have led to the image of an impossible beauty standard. The latter article really made me sad, and also reminded me that I should be talking about the images being false with my kids. I know they aren’t real, and yet it can hard to ignore; I want them to know the images are false early on.

The former article also made me sad, but in a different way. Yes, Jennifer Lawrence is beautiful (by societal standards; Melissa McCarthy is also beautiful, but society doesn’t always recognize that), but I still think her brave for speaking up about the impossible standards in Hollywood. Also, someone being beautiful doesn’t mean she has a good body image, which I think the article author forgets. Yes, some body types are derided more than others, but most people criticize at least one part of themselves due to the impossible standards. Thin people aren’t exempt, as then you’re accused of being anorexic or bulimic, and also derided for not having curves (ask me how I know). Have a larger frame and you’re told to lose weight. Everyone is reduced to their features and numbers, and not appreciated for the unique beauty she has. This is scary to me as a parent. How can I ensure Charlotte always recognizes her own beauty? How can I ensure my sons recognize their beauty and see the true beauty of the girls around them?

— 5 —

Usually we take our tree down just after Epiphany, but it’s still up. We figure we’e ok until the Baptism of the Lord on Sunday.

— 6 —

Leo is 14 months old and climbing on everything. Help! I’ve moved or blocked what I can, but I can’t remove everything he climbs – then we’d have no furniture. If anyone has a suggestion, let me know. In the meantime, pray to his guardian angel.

— 7 —

People who have lived in Florida a long time tend to think I dress my kids (and myself) in too little in “cold” weather. It’s almost funny how often I’m the recipient of comments of how we must be cold. Nope, not cold. It did actually get below freezing one night, but it’s back in the 70s today. While I don’t want the -45 some people have been experiencing, I would like an actual winter.

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New Outlook

I’ve noticed something recently. Let’s say a child is driving me crazy. I can get frustrated and let that build up until I explode at someone (usually someone completely different who has no idea why I’m irritated), or I can pray for God to bless whoever is irritating me. I sometimes managed to do the latter in the past, but all too often I was doing the former. After the most recent occurrence of this, though, I’ve decided to make a more conscious effort to simply pray for God to bless that person. I pray I have the grace to do that.

Of course, this also might entail being better at avoiding situations where I know I’ll just be annoyed. Like Facebook. Honestly, I keep thinking about getting off there altogether, but it isn’t always feasible to contact some people in other ways.

Homeschooling with Dr Seuss

I always knew I loved Dr Seuss, but I never knew just how much he’d help with homeschooling. Lately, though, when the kids ask a hard question, I’ve found explanations that help them in his books. Here are two examples.

Tornadoes. Even since reading The Wizard of Oz, Kieran has been asking questions about tornadoes. Once I assured him that a tornado isn’t going to pick up our house, he asked how tornadoes are made. So I talked about the different winds and pressure, but I did so by comparing the opposing forces to the Zax. Instead of “standing there, un budged in their tracks,” I described it as the winds trying to push past each other. Not only did the explanation help them understand it, but it relieved some of the anxiety by adding some humour. Phew.

Heaven. Kieran has been asking questions about Heaven. One such question was about bad things happening, so I responded that there are no troubles in Heaven – it’s even better than Solla Sollew!

And of course, There’s a Wocket in My Pocket provides a great lesson in rhyming words and creating new words. Dr Seuss is just a great resource for teaching at this age!

A Nice Break

I hope everyone is having a nice Christmas (yes, it’s still Christmas). As it drew nearer the holidays, I found I needed a break. There were violin concerts, decorating, wrapping, shopping, a quick trip to Disney, family visiting, etc. instead of my blog providing an outlet for me, I felt irritated at needing to write. I therefore decided if it was irritating me, it was time for a break. Unlike some introverts, I do not feel I can bare my soul online, as it feels too intrusive, so sometimes I just need a break even without opening completely up in my posts. I probably won’t post quite as much, so I can focus more on my family and my health (spiritual, physical, mental, etc).