WFMF-Toddler TV

July 6, 2011 at 7:11 am (Parenting, Thinking shift, Why)

I have a wonderful, inquisitive, imaginative, experimenting 4 year-old.  In many ways we have gone against what seems to be main stream parenting today.

We are raising him free-range, which means something totally different than for a chicken.  How that looks changes from week to week as he is growing.  Last year I wouldn’t have let him play outside in our backyard by himself, this year I don’t always know whether his inside or out at any given moment.  But, this year, he has proven himself trustworthy and stays in our yard.  We live in the corner of an L shaped street in a very quiet little town.

I feed him mac and cheese for breakfast because he’s not a big breakfast foods person.  Frankly, all three of us would rather have breakfast food for dinner than first thing in the morning.  The mac and cheese is a step up from the carnation instant breakfast.  From 18 months until he asked for mac and cheese that was all I could get him to do for breakfast.  I can’t tell you how much food we threw away until I figured that out.  Some days it’s not mac and cheese, it’s a hamburger.  Works for him, protein.

But the TV thing.  I know that everyone else is trying to move away from electronics for the young.  My question is, WHY?  We live in an electronic society.  We are not going to wake up tomorrow and hot have computers or cell phones or any of the other gadgets we’ve come to rely on.  Why would we not teach our children to navigate in that world?  One hundred years ago, children were taught to ride horses because that was the normal mode of transportation.  While I’m not suggesting putting a 4-year-old behind the wheel of a car, I do explain the rules of the road and why I do certain things while I’m driving.

My son has his own smart phone.  It is not connected to a phone number, but daddy puts games and movies on it at home and when we are out I give him his phone and child headset with volume limiter on it and he entertains himself for how ever long I need to do whatever it is we are doing.  Doctor appointment, car repair, chatting with a friend, shopping.  He knows how to turn it on, navigate between games and we are teaching him how to get to his movies.

Television for children seems to be another of those dividing topics.  Many limit the time with timers for the day or week.  Some banish it completely and talk of not allowing technology to babysit and we should engage our child every moment with teaching games.  I disagree, vehemently!

I do not want a child that cannot engage himself in play.  I have other things that must be done, housework, cooking. And things I need to do to maintain myself, reading my Bible, quilting, reading for enjoyment, last but not least, talking with my spouse.

Our house TV rules are pretty non-existent.  There are days the TV is on all day.  There are days it’s off all day.  We do not have cable but we do torrent downloads on the xBox and we have a roku with Netflix instant watch.  Most often The Boy asks for Mythbusters or Dirty Jobs.  He will watch the same episode all day and run around recreating what he was with his legos and hotwheels.  Not only does he recreate their experiments but he also makes up his own.  I’d say that’s educational.

As far as the Dora, Diego, Backyardagians, Land Before Time, Disney movies type of stuff, I say it’s also learning.  Dora and Diego teach counting, spelling, spanish, teamwork, and many other traits I approve of.  Backyardagians, if you haven’t seen it, is my favorite for teaching imagination.  It’s 5 cartoon animals that all live on one block and meet up in the large area where all their yards intersect.  They then negotiate what scenario they are going to imagine and play in that day, from outer space to the old west, then after the “game” is done, they all go to one house for a snack.  The music is great and the dialog and vocabulary wonderfully non-condecending.  The Boy will appropriately use words well above his age level and I will recognize that he learned it from Backyardagians.

Some days he stays in the family room watching TV and playing with his toys all day.  Now that it is summer, he usually runs in and out between the TV and his sandbox.  Yesterday he did just that, watched some Mythbusters and used his legos to build what he saw, then went out in his sandbox and did his experiments.

I think that’s wonderful.  And I know it Works For My Family.

Linked in with We Are That Family WFMW.


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Twitter and Blogging

June 27, 2011 at 9:02 am (Thinking shift)

It’s official, Twitter and blogging are a major part of my life.  I dreamed about them last night.  It was a strange, I must have eaten something before bed, kind of dream.  I was staying at a luxury hotel (never done that) but when I got to my room I realized they had torn down the wall that adjoined my room with the parking garage and were using my room as an extension to the parking garage.  I went to the desk to complain and was told they were completely booked and couldn’t get me another room.  I stormed off shouting I was going to blog and twitter about this and they’d be sorry.

I didn’t have pizza last night, honest.  When I woke up this morning I got to thinking.  If someone had told me 6 years ago that technology would be this much a part of my life I would have laughed in their face.  At that time I had a basic cell phone and that was it. No computer, my TV was in a closet and only used once a week or so to watch a DVD. I had an email account that I checked maybe once a week, if I felt like it and I happened to be at my parents house or a library.  I was on eHarmony, thanks to my mother who signed me up in the middle of the night one night, but I only checked that about as often as I checked my email.

Now, I have a netbook, a laptop, a Droid X phone, a nook, we use the roku, and torrent downloads on the xBox, my 4-year-old son has an old droid loaded with his games for heaven sake!  I’m fully immersed in technology.

I try to “unplug” from time to time and re-engage with my artistic crafty self.  I am branching out with my quilting.  I’ve always wanted to do a more artistic quilt than the standard block format.  I’ve designed my own strip block quilt, based on the Fibernachi sequence, made a king size quilt and gave it to my sister-in-law for christmas.  But The Husband took a really cool picture of a storm we were having a few days ago and my first thought when I saw it was, “That would be a beautiful quilt”.  So, I’m going to give it a try.  Who knows maybe I’ll combine my artistic old school textile art with my new technological self and make enough art quilts to start my own Esty shop.

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Control Issues

April 6, 2011 at 5:25 am (Thinking shift) (, , )


So the other day, I was walking through the house, minding my own business, when Hubby decides he wants to do an experiment.  (eye roll)  So off into the living room we go.

Next thing I know, I’m being swept off my feet in a princess carry.

Then he puts me into a fireman’s carry position and claims, “You know, if needed, I think I could carry you like this and The Boy under the other arm”.

Oh lets not have any reason to test that theory!  The only legitimate reason I can think of is a house fire and I’m unconscious.  Please God NO.

However, this whole experiment brings up a whole other issue for me.  I hate to be out of control.  I am now small enough that my Hubby can just pick me up and carry me off somewhere.  I’m not real sure how I feel about that.

On the one hand, I completely trust my Hubby.  I know that he would never force me to go or do anything I wasn’t in total agreement with.

On the other hand, HE CAN PICK ME UP AND PUT ME WHERE HE WANTS ME!  That’s more than a little scary for a control freak like me.

Even in my drinking days, I never got Drunk because I didn’t want to not be in control.  Buzzed, happy juicy, but not out of control drunk.

I guess this is just another area where I need to re-evaluate my thinking.  I know I’m safe with my Hubby.  Now to get my control freak emotions to realize that….



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I was right, for once

March 30, 2011 at 8:35 am (Thinking shift)

It doesn’t happen often.

I’ve always struggled with spelling.  As I became an adult I began to recognize the symptoms that were not seen by my teachers.

I have a very mild form of dyslexia.

I’ve always known that if I’m not careful I will transpose numbers so I have learned to check and double check anytime I’m copying a phone number or item number for what ever reason.

I’ve also come to realize I can’t spell to save my life.  I managed to barely pass spelling in grade school only to have to face spelling tests once again in college. Weird, I know.  But there you have it, spelling tests in my college composition class.  After the first dismal D the teacher accused me of not trying.  I tried to tell her how I can recognize a word is misspelled, it just doesn’t look right, but the more I try to figure out how to correct it the worse the misspelling becomes. Her response? I’m just not studying hard enough.

So I propose an experiment.  For the next week spelling words I would write each word ten times, every night, then have my roommate give me a spelling test.  Every word I got wrong I would write ten more times and bring all the work with me to the next testing day and turn it in to her.  On that test I got an F.  The teacher was confused.  “But you studied so hard, how could you have done worse?”

The dyslexia strikes again.

I told her that I have learned to adapt to my short coming.  In the time before computers and spell check, yes young’uns there was such a time, I always had a dictionary right beside me as I wrote papers. Because, while I couldn’t spell the word correctly, I was always close enough to be able to look it up in the dictionary.   I would then find one of my friends who was a good speller, or in high school my mom, to proof read all my papers.  Mom is the one who would mark a word wrong and not tell me how to spell it but tell me to “go look it up”, hence my fondness for the dictionary.

For the most part I can identify when a word is misspelled, but not always.  Which brings us to my actual point today.  I was right and my super speller husband was wrong.  On my other blog The Worship Warrior (link in sidebar), hubby said I had misspelled a particular word that was used repeatedly in the post Morning Song.  His claim, that Worshiper required two p’s.

My first inclination was to pull up the post and correct my mistake.  It didn’t occur to me that I might actually be right, I so rarely am when the subject is spelling.  However, spell check didn’t say worshiper was wrong and when I added the extra p I got the tell-tale red squiggly line.  So out came my phone and my digital dictionary.  I don’t always trust spell check and frequently turn to my old standby the dictionary.  Sure enough when I typed in worshipper, it came back with “do you mean worshiper”.

So for today, I’m right.

But I won’t let it go to my head.

I’m sure I will misspell something else.

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This Wasn’t My Choice

March 28, 2011 at 6:51 pm (Thinking shift) (, , , )

I miss my career. 

Don’t get me wrong, this is what I thought I wanted to do… someday, be a stay at home mom.  I had visions of a clean house, well-organized, with well-behaved and crafty children, diner on the table to welcome a husband home from work, myself showered and well-groomed with kids lined up to great daddy with a kiss at the door.  You know, the perfect home as a castle fantasy.

What I didn’t dream was a shoulder injury that would kick me out of my career and make housekeeping difficult leaving me depressed and lost packing on over 50 lbs before pregnancy.  A husband (whom I love dearly and wouldn’t trade for the world) who works from home.  A “busy” little boy who HATES crafts and would much rather watch Mythbusters or Ice Road Truckers while recreating the myths and Ice roads all over my house with his hot wheels that seem to procreate in the night. Difficulty in having a second child while seeing 40 loom closer and closer.  Myself hating vacuuming, laundry, dusting, organizing, cleaning bathrooms used by 2 males (for those of you with all girls, you really don’t want to know).  Gastric bypass surgery in the hopes that serious weight loss will help with the infertility.  Trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up and dear God, please let it use more of my brain than I am currently engaging.  Well, you get the idea.

So I say again, this wasn’t my choice, but it is my life, so where do I go from here?

I do miss my career.  I was a surgical technologist, and according to those I worked with, I was a damn good one.  I enjoyed the challenge of being a traveling surgical technologist, which means I moved across country every 3 months.  New hospital with all new soon to be friends and different ways of doing things, new Dr.’s to learn their little idiosyncracies, new towns to find my way around.  I LOVED it.  It was a challenge, it was adventure, it demanded my full attention.

Then I came to Upstate New York.  My parents lived in the area.  My mom’s health was rapidly deteriorating.  The hospital kept offering me a new contract every 3 months.  I kept accepting.  I stayed at that hospital as a traveler for over 4 years, 3 month contract at a time.  I met my husband.  We decided to stay in the area for my parents.  Then the accident….

It was a normal day at work, but I fell off a step stool and caught myself on my table, pulling my shoulder in the process.  For 2 years we tried physical therapy, cortisone injections, out of work, finally decided I needed surgery.  By this time I was pregnant so we had to wait.  I had shoulder surgery when T was about 9 months old.  So hard to explain to a baby why mommy can’t pick him up.  Three years I had been out of the OR and now I had an infant at home.

So, I didn’t choose this, but here I am and I’m trying to make the best of it.

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