Toilet Seats
Friday, May 30, 2008
I've been thinking about decorating lately. OK, I think about it a lot, mainly because our TV is permanently tuned in to HGTV, but I've been pondering the philosophy this time, not just paint chips.

I've embraced a decorating technique that I used to think was absolutely nutso.

The chair in the bathroom.

Oh, I know they can be useful, even pretty. But upholstery? Next to the tub? Can you say mildew?
I can just sit on the edge of the tub. I don't need no stinkin' cushion, I used to think with hillbilly pride.

Then I started potty training my sixth child. Who will happily and cheerfully sit on the commode until it has grafted onto her legs.

And you know what? A nice, soft armchair would be nice. A cup of tea and a good book wouldn't hurt either.

Sigh. Back to the toilet.

Mama Says:
I share the above picture only because it features a chair. I actually hate the bathroom. First, they painted a small, windowless room nave blue. Even the professional photographer's lighting can't keep it from looking like a cave. Also, the artwork looks like a cancerous mole to me. A good reminder to check your skin, but not so relaxing for a bubble bath.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 5/30/2008 09:53:00 AM | Permalink | |
Feminist Daughter Betrayed
Thursday, May 29, 2008
This story is just so sad.

Alice Walker
is a prominent feminist who wrote The Color Purple. She's the "men and children are burdens" type of feminist, not the "women have the right to make choices" type.

Her daughter, Rebecca, suffered for it. When Rebecca did finally become pregnant, her mother disowned her. Alice Walker also has a famous poem which describes Rebecca as "a calamity", so she's not exactly a baby lover.

Rebecca's essay, here

Depriving children of the fathers, and then their mothers, will only bring bad things and deform society. Mothers are not unpaid, unskilled labor in charge of watering and feeding children like hot house flowers. Mothers awaken humanity. Then they give them a snack.

H/T to Kim at Starry Sky Ranch, a Traditional Catholic mom of 1o in Colorado.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 5/29/2008 08:35:00 AM | Permalink | |
WFMW: Toddler Belts
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
I shamelessly stole this idea from my sister's sister-in-law. (What does that make her? My SIL once removed?)

I've noticed that the manufacturers seem to making children's clothing wider in the waist. Miss C's pants are always falling down, but baby belts don't fit, and girl sized belts are too large.

The solution? A pretty purple leather dog collar! The ones meant for large breeds are just the right size for a slim to average toddler. They come in some great patterns and designs, too.

The kiddie leash was a flop, but this is a hit so far!

Works for Me! Head over to Shannon's for more Works for Me Wednesday tips!


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 5/28/2008 01:09:00 AM | Permalink | |
Subway, Why Ya Hatin'
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Subway doesn't like homeschoolers. Specifically,

No homeschools will be accepted.

Although, I have to say, that the copy writer could use a little more education. After all, a homeschool will not be writing any stories. A student who learns at home, might, though. In Texas, homeschooled children ARE private school students.

The contest is open to legal US residents (will they be checking for green cards as well as enrollment?) over the age of 18 with children who attend a school that serves Pre-K-6 grade. It does not specify that the author of the story must be in grade K-6. It actually seems to indicate that the adult with children should write the story.

Scratch that, it's open only to legal residents of the UNTIED States. Always read the fine print.

Contest is open only to legal residents of the Untied States who are currently over the age of 18 and have children who attend elementary, private or parochial schools that serve grades PreK-6. No home schools will be accepted.
I wonder what brainiac at Subway HQ thought it would be a good idea to discriminate against children who are being legally educated in the United States?

I wrote Subway an e-mail
I am writing concerning your "Every Sandwich Tells A Story" contest.

Why are you excluding students who learn at home? Home education is legal in all 50 states. Why is Subway insisting on such a discriminatory policy?

I understand the grand prize is physical fitness equipment for a school, but the other prizes are clearly for individuals. In addition, many home learning environments would benefit from physical fitness equipment, as well.

Are students who learn at home in private schools, as home learning environments are defined in many states, also excluded? Are students who reside at their schools, but are not taught be their parents, also excluded? How are you defining "homeschools"?

Thank you for your prompt response.
We'll see if they respond.

H/T to Musings From a Catholic Bookstore, who is running a non-discriminatory reading program this summer!

It's a writing contest for kids.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 5/27/2008 11:31:00 AM | Permalink | |
Random Ramblings on the FLDS
I haven't really posted here about the Texas raid on the FLDS town, although I've had lots to say on other sites. I've been hoping to hear that there were unpublicized complaints, and that the swift action by TX has saved children and prevented tragedies. It doesn't appear that this is the case, though.

Here's the story in a nutshell. The FLDS had created their version of Utopia in Texas. FLDS practices polygamy. An anonymous caller tipped authorities that underage girls were being married off. TX authorities stormed the compound, saw some young looking women, and took everybody's children away. Over 400 kids were put into foster care - kids who previously had not watched TV, gone to a regular public school, or even eaten most prepackaged food.

Now they are saying that the "anonymous tipster" may not be credible, but rather might be an old man with a history of making false reports.

And the women who "looked young"? Not so young after all.

Many women and children who have left polygamist towns and compounds do complain about abuse, and their accusations and allegations are routinely brushed off. Something is wrong when the victims complain, they are ignored. When some anonymous caller complains, the Texas Rangers show up.

Whatever you think about the FLDS lifestyle, I think Texas was wrong. If they can take away their children without any real probable cause, they can take ours. Do you have unpopular religious beliefs?

Do you believe God reveals Himself to people in a personal way? Do you believe that you receive Our Lord bodily in the Eucharist? Do you believe that there is an absolute right, and an absolute wrong? Are you nuts by American secular standards?

5 "They know nothing, they understand nothing.
They walk about in darkness;
all the foundations of the earth are shaken.

6 "I said, 'You are "gods";
you are all sons of the Most High.'

7 But you will die like mere men;
you will fall like every other ruler."

8 Rise up, O God, judge the earth,
for all the nations are your inheritance.

Psalm 82:508

How long before children are removed from a home where they are exposed to graphic torture victims (crucifixes) or parents lose custody because they have diligently developed the virtue of humility (and not joined the cult of self-esteem)? It could be me, next. It could be you.

And, BTW, why is the media so obsessed with telling us, in every single news story, that the women have long hair and wear prairie style dresses? So what!

Ok, rant over. Later, I'll lighten up and tell you about Mr R's birthday gift. My sister and I are trying out a new lentil recipe on the menfolk, too - Shepherd's Pie. I'll let you know how it goes.


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 5/27/2008 09:44:00 AM | Permalink | |
Nursing Moms
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Do you have this?

Mommy's Bliss Nipple Cream
Throw it out. It's been recalled. Some of the ingredients cause respiratory distress, vomiting, and diarrhea in nurslings.

Just because something's natural doesn't mean it's always safe! Poison ivy and hemlock are all natural, too.

Babies, in particular, are more susceptible to adverse reactions. What works fine on your 5 year old cannot always be given to your 5 month old.

The ingredients of the nipple cream include evening primrose oil and calendula (marigold) which can be a very efficacious remedy for eczema, but should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. It affects a woman's cycle. Evening primrose oil can cause diarrhea, occasionally.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 5/24/2008 11:07:00 AM | Permalink | |
Happy Anniversary!
Friday, May 23, 2008
Today is my 11th wedding anniversary.

Usually, our anniversary gets postponed and overlooked. We exchange cards and kisses. Life happens, and life takes priority over anniversaries. I don't mind, really. This year, we may go out, but I'm not sure. We are still waiting to get our house, and waiting to get our first paycheck.

This is a typical scenario. We haven't had many "standard" anniversaries. That suits me fine, though. I'm not an extravagant sort of girl...I'd rather have a new set of silverware, with enough salad forks for our family of nine, than a dozen roses delivered. (Not that I don't love flowers, I'm just cheap cheap cheap all the way down to my toenails.)

But you know what? You don't need flowers and wine once a year to make a great marriage. A great marriage is made by husband and wife giving 100%.

Every morning, when husband dear gets out of bed at 4:30 am to go work in the heat? That's his gift to me. When he goes to Mass, to help with the children, even though he's not Catholic and hate liturgical churches? A gift to me. Moving all of the furniture by himself (we've moved almost 20 times in 11 years. Yes, really.) so we can have a better life? A gift to me. When he eats lentils and rice, even though he's a steak kind of guy? A gift to me.

Because it's my blog, and I'll bore you if I want to, here's a rundown of our Anniversary History!

Last year, we had to move, and Baby X, 7 weeks old, had just been released from the hospital with no answers or diagnosis.

2006 - husband dear was 1800 miles away on the East coast. I had quit my job a week before. Mr R had problems at school and I pulled him out. Single mother with 6 children, including an infant and an unstable special needs kid? Not so good of an anniversary.

2005 - Newly pregnant with Miss C. Good anniversary. The temp job had turned into a full time position with benefits.

2004 - I was working two jobs (60 hours a week). Miss V was three months old. I worked as a temp from 7-1:30, drove home, nursed the baby, and then worked as a auto glass dispatcher from 2-7.

2003 - Husband dear's mother was dying in the hospital

2002 - We lived in a horrible little house in WY. I was pregnant with Mr S. We got the worst stomach flu I have ever had, and had to be hospitalized. Husband dear was so sick he couldn't move, so a friend of his brothers drove me 45 minutes to the hospital. Vomiting in a stranger's car? Not a good anniversary.

2001 - We took our honeymoon, a weekend in Green Mountain Falls, CO! Yes, we had three children and it was our fourth anniversary. I am a champion procrastinator!

2000- I don't remember any catastrophes or disasters. It was most likely a good anniversary!

1999 - I was on bedrest for Mr P, and just slightly bitter that I had to miss my sister's wedding.

1998 - Labor started for Mr R, 6 weeks early. He wasn't actually born until the 26th... do the math. Not a good anniversary.

1997 - Got married at the Denver courthouse. Moved to TX the next day.

Here's what I was thinking about last year on our tenth anniversary.


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 5/23/2008 10:26:00 AM | Permalink | |
Freebie Alert! Virtual Summer Reading Program
This Old Schoolhouse is hosting a virtual summer reading program.

Summer Reading Splash has bookmark downloads, tracking sheets, and will reward kids for reading with an ebook.


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 5/23/2008 09:18:00 AM | Permalink | |
Firday Fun...until it's real.
From Illinipundit:

Application to Eat (click to enlarge)


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 5/23/2008 08:21:00 AM | Permalink | |
How's That Working Out for Ya?
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Everyone's seen the Lifelock commercial, right? The CEO, Todd Davis, is so sure his service is the best that he openly gives out his very own social security number - on flyers, on billboards, on TV.

Except - 87 times people have tried to steal his identity. One succeeded.

And he's being sued. Clients claim that he knew his service didn't fully protect them - how could it when Davis himself wasn't even fully protected?

LifeLock customers pay $10 a month to do something that is available to the public, free. Highway robbery, I tell ya.

Your best protection against identity theft? Get a shredder. It's also helpful to have a little boy who loves machines on hand. He will beg incessantly to shred everything.

You are entitled to free credit reports once a year from the major credit bureaus. Get one from Equifax, then four months later get one from Transunion. Four months later, get it from Experian. If you see faulty information, contact the bureaus in writing. They have 30 days to verify the debt or delete it from your file.

And don't brag ab0ut how great your company is at preventing theft. That's just asking for it!

Mama Says:
Glass, china, and reputation are easily cracked, and never well mended

OK, Ben Franklin actually said that. But it bears repeating!

Art from All Posters.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 5/22/2008 09:07:00 AM | Permalink | |
WFMW: Dye Free Pain Relief
Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Mr R cannot have food dyes.

He will not swallow pills.

Every children's remedy I've ever seen is inexplicably dyed neon purple, fuschia, or orange. Why? It doesn't make it taste any better.

This adds up to a perfect storm when Mr R is sick. He's miserable and whiny. How bad does he feel? Is it worth the risk of giving him Red #40 in order to bring down that fever?

Last week I broke down and gave him some Tylenol chewables. He didn't flip out, but he did regress about four years. He happily played with a toy firetruck for hours, making siren noises and running it back and forth on the carpet. He's nine.

I was bemoaning this fact to my sister, who found Dye Free Children's Motrin for me! Hallelujah!

A couple of handy sites for those with sick children:
Tylenol Children's Dosing Chart

Motrin Children's Dosing Chart

For more tips, go see Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer!

Art by Mary Evans

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 5/21/2008 09:21:00 AM | Permalink | |
Disability Accommodations - When is it too far?
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
A church has banned a parishioner from attending Mass.

He is autistic.

Read the article before jumping to conclusions. Barbara at Mommylife shared this yesterday, and I commented there. I have more to say, though.

I have been that mom at Mass struggling with an older child throwing a fit. Mr R can sometimes be thrown for a loop, especially if sensory issues are involved. At my church in Colorado, I pretty much would just throw in the towel if we ended up in the back couple of pews, where the air vents blew directly on the backs of people. Last Sunday, the incense made him a little restless and chatty, but not too bad.

If Mr R was disruptive, however, I would take him out.

I do not want to judge the parents in this situation, but my heart aches for this poor boy. He seems unable to handle the stimulation of a public Mass with many people. I don't know why they would not have the priest visit them privately or arrange for a private Mass at home.

Their poor son is not treated with dignity. They bind his hands and feet at church. They allow him to urinate on the floor (they make personal care products for incontinent people, there is no excuse for that).

All are welcome at Mass, but there is also a duty to be charitable to others. We must love our neighbor as ourself, and not put them in danger.

What say you?

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 5/20/2008 11:30:00 AM | Permalink | |
Joining the 21st Century
Monday, May 19, 2008
I'll admit it. I'm a throwback. I have a deep, dark confession to make... I do not have a cell phone.

There. I said it. I use the nifty cell phone pocket on my purse to hold sunglasses or matchbox cars, depending on the time or location.

I used to have a cell phone, paid for by my work. My boss's wife called me while I was in labor with Miss C. And got mad when I didn't call her back until after I left the hospital. She was a control freak. Frankly, when I quit and there was not room in the budget for a cell phone, I was relieved. It can be a drag sometimes to be available to everybody all the time. Kind of like being a stay-at-home mom to everyone with your phone number.

However, there has been many a time when I wished I had a cell phone.

Husband dear is getting one. His work strongly suggests it. We're going with the Cricket $50 plan for him - unlimited calls, long distance, texting, and web access. Also 30 minutes of roaming, which he may need, since his friends live in the boonies out of service area.

My dilemma? I can get a home phone, or a cell phone for myself. It will cost about the same ($45 a month), except I will have to buy a cell phone. What do you do? Pros, cons?

And, anyone have a Cricket phone they recommend?

PS, I'm not doing both because our budget can't take it! We just filled out the benefits package for work and it's costing us $800 a month (and we opted out of the Vision plan), plus our new rent is 150% of our old rent. At least food is cheaper here!)

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 5/19/2008 08:53:00 AM | Permalink | |
Stupid Things I Say #2
Friday, May 16, 2008
Yesterday, I had some keys made for husband dear's toolbox.

Lowe's Clerk: What is this key used for, ma'am?

Mama: A lock.

To be fair, it was a dumb question. I should have told him I picked my teeth with them.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 5/16/2008 09:49:00 AM | Permalink | |
Hello, Mah Peeps!
Thursday, May 15, 2008
We made it to Texas!

After false starts, rewiring the trailer twice, and diarrhea emergencies (note to self: Capri Suns are a convenient road trip snack, but two year olds cannot handle a steady diet of them!)

We are staying with RCB of Leave the Lights On. You can imagine that my level of conversation has been raised significantly, and indeed we've already had discussions about Intelligent Design/Creationism/Evolution and Schrodinger's Cat.

I've been offline for a long time, so it will take a few days to catch up! If there's something I simply shouldn't miss, leave me a note in the comments.


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 5/15/2008 08:51:00 AM | Permalink | |
Still Packing
Monday, May 05, 2008
My solution to make more room in the van:

Mail the kids.

Why, yes, that is the four year old wearing a winter jacket, despite the fact that our air conditioning is still broken and it is 83 degrees in the house. She does dress herself, actually, now that you ask.

Gone to Goodwill:

12 16 bags of clothes
1 bag of toys
2 boxes of misc. household stuff
2 boxes toys
3 boxes of food and baby formula (given to Companions of Christ food ministry)

Given away Free on Craigslist:
1 queen bed, with frame
two diabetes monitors
2 bags baby girl clothes
1 bag of yarn
1 Cozy Coupe Car
1 box of dishes
1 box of toys

Things to get rid of:
Upright freezer sold!
Station Wagon sold
Extra books sold!
Air conditioner window unit

...and may I just say I'm lovin' me some Craigslist?

Picking up the moving truck tomorrow, so Goodbye.. for now! See ya next week unless we find a McD's with free wi-fi!


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 5/05/2008 05:44:00 PM | Permalink | |
Stupid Things I Say...#1
Miss V: Mommy, what is this stuff? (playing with a stevia packet)

Mama: It's sweetener. It's like sugar but it comes from a plant.

As opposed to a...bag, I suppose?


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 5/05/2008 08:02:00 AM | Permalink | |
I Had No Idea
Thursday, May 01, 2008
that Ron Paul was still in the race!

Hmmm... so it seems the Republican choices are:

John three strikes and you're out McCain -
  • censoring the peasantry campaign finance reform
  • immigration bill with Ted Kennedy
  • the global warming thing with Lieberman, which combined with the immigration package would create a job-loss perfect storm.
  • He fully supports the Real ID act - the only presidential candidate that's all for it. (Do you really want the DMV to keep copies of all of your personal documents on file where who knows who can get at them?)
Oh, wait, that's four strikes.

Really? And our other choices are Hillary misspoke again Clinton, who is so infamous I probably don't need to recount any of the bazillion reasons I don't want her in the White House.

Or, Barack kill the babies after my 12 year old has sex Obama. I realize that's a long nickname, but I just couldn't fit in my biggest objection in smaller words.

Ron Paul might be a little extreme regarding the war in Iraq and the IRS, but at least he thinks Americans should be alive and have job opportunities. Too bad he seems to be the only one running who does. He also leans towards letting us live our lives in peace, without Nannystate monitoring our every move.

I just can't believe that these are our only choices. Gag.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 5/01/2008 08:57:00 AM | Permalink | |