My hamper floweth over

The Keith Family News

Thursday, June 29, 2006

A great website

This is a great educational website for kids
As a parent you may think it is too simple and frankly reminds you a little of your Pac Man days, but my 3 and 5 year olds have received hours of enjoyment from it.

I would like to apologize for my harshness on the last post, I in no way want to put down Christianity or Christians, I am one myself, and there have been so many wonderful people who have helped give me guidance and direction in my life (especially Presbyterians :) ), I was just venting, that's all. I have been having a rough time lately, I would love to stay off anti-anxiety meds, for financial reasons mostly, but don't know how much longer I can do so before my kids start buying them on the black market and slipping them into my Cheerios.

Anyway, check out the site for your preschoolers, and have a great day!
Keithclan, 9:18 PM | link | 1 comments |

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I just have to get this ONE MORE thing off my chest and then I swear I'll be done!

Talking about the Andrea Yates thing. I promise! I will go straight back to posting pics of the kids and making poop jokes and complaining about being tired and all the other things you can't live without.

The prosecutor is claiming that her behavior proves she does not meet the guidelines for being "insane". Who was the first person she called after all? The police! Why would she call the police if she didn't know what she did was wrong? And when they arrived at the house, she was waiting there patiently for them. She was helpful and polite. Therefore, she obviously knew what she was doing, and is obviously not insane.


Did she hide their bodies? Did she point the finger at some ficticous assailant? Yes, calling the police means that she knew what she did was ILLEGAL. However it also proves that, even if she didn't feel what she did was the RIGHT thing to do, she probably did what she felt was the ONLY thing to do. I mean what is the motif? She didn't do it so she could be with some guy, she didn't stand to make any money off it, and you can't really argue that she did it because she was tired of taking care of 5 kids. She didn't leave, jet off to Bermuda, she sat there waiting for the police to arrest her and take her to jail.

I don't think anybody is asking for a parade to be given in her honor, or for Ty to come in and send her to Disneyland while he gives her an Extreme Home Makeover, with big screen TV's in every room and a jacuzzi in the backyard. All people are saying is that she should go to an in-patient mental institution, and while I haven't actually been to one (yet), I am pretty sure it's not a vacation at the spa!

Why do so many people in America think that it is letting someone off "easy" to let them get help? What is OUR motif? That "punishment" should be horrid and extremely unpleasant? Why not have torture chambers?

See, this is why I stay away from heated topics on my blog, like politics and religion. I am actually having a hard time with religion in general right now. I don't even know if I can consider myself a Christian any more, I guess it depends on your definition of a Christian. If being a Christian means that I think God sent his only son to Earth for the sole purpose of preaching "My way or the highway (to hell)", than I probably don't fit into that category. I believe love is the most important thing in life and the hardest part of life. What do most WWJD bumper stickers mean if not "what would Jesus do that I already do but you don't because I'm better than you?" It is so much easier to judge than it is to accept people and love them, faults and all, and if I'm not mistaken, that very topic is discussed at length in the Bible (something about a splinter in your neighbor's eye when you have a big stick in yours).

Hope I didn't offend anyone or at least offended everyone equally.....
Keithclan, 4:19 PM | link | 3 comments |

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

This is where I go from having 4 readers to 2

I am about to take a very unpopular stand here.
I was watching part of the Andrea Yates re-trial yesterday, and found it very disturbing.
But not in the way you would probably think.
I don't believe "the devil made me do it" is ever a good defense. But I do believe we grossly neglect mental health in this country. I had a hard time admitting I needed a little pharmaceutical help while suffering post-partum depression after I had Pierce. Here I am, at my six week check-up, nurses cooing over the baby, when they ask "and how are you?" My answer is "Fine, except I kinda want to jump out of the car while it's driving down the highway, is that bad?" No, but really I told them I would like to discuss anti-depressants with the doctor, which was a really hard thing for me to admit.
I did, and still do to some degree, think that they are misused by SOME people. If you are depressed because your husband is beating you, Prosac probably won't help much. I feel that sometimes it's better to get rid of the problem than it is to take a pill that makes you not care about it any more. Of course when "the problem" is the baby you just gave birth to....
My doctor was great. He told my husband to make sure I took them, he told me "you are going to drive yourself crazy trying to figure out why you are sad. Don't. It won't help." But of course, I still did.
So, we have a woman who has suffered from depression and then some. She tells family members and doctors that she is having visions of a knife and her children. She is institutionalized, put on something to treat her hallucinations...And then left alone with her children while coming off of it.
I have never felt anything but disgust for women who murder their children because they would rather have some man. I guess I can have a tiny bit of sympathy for someone who feels as though they are ruining their children. There are times that most mothers I know have looked at their children and seen the bad habits and insecurities they have passed on to them, and there is a morbid devastation that goes along with that.
I am NOT saying that Andrea Yates should not be held responsible for her actions. To have those thoughts of committing such an atrocity I can barely fathom, and to act on them? To hold your struggling child under the water until this last bit life is drained from them? To chase them, frightened of YOU, their mother, through the house? Completely unimaginable. I guess I just don't feel that she is SOLELY responsible. She took a step. She asked for help. She admitted that she had these beautiful children and yet these horrible thoughts...
Her husband, for one, should take a little of the blame. He commented to the policeman who offered him a glass of water "good luck finding a clean glass." because she had not been keeping up with the housework. How about YOU HELP HER with the housework? Let's not even talk about his bright idea to have his family live in a bus, because he is not what I want to talk about.
I want to talk about our society. What happens when we see a child throwing a tantrum in the grocery store? We think "glad that's not my kid" or "what a brat" or "she needs to get a handle on that kid." What would happen instead if we remembered the troubles we have had with our own children, had some empathy, and tried to help? What if we all stopped judging to make ourselves feel better, and started realizing that none of our kids are perfect? Who hasn't felt completely isolated as a mother? Who hasn't cried in the bathroom while their baby cries in his crib? Is there a mother who hasn't regretted yelling at their child? Sometimes just an encouraging word, a pat on the shoulder "I've been there, don't give up" can make a world of difference.
The best part of my job has been seeing mothers come in at the end of their rope, and being able to offer them some support and encouragement. To see mothers who feel isolated find sanity saving friendships....
I'm not sure what my point really is, other than I feel everyone (self included) spends way to much time judging, and not near enough time offering support. We have to have community, and that's my two cents :)
Keithclan, 3:27 PM | link | 5 comments |

Sunday, June 25, 2006

countdown to freedom

I only have to wear my helmet for 3 more days this summer!!! YEAH!!!
Keithclan, 5:35 PM | link | 3 comments |

Friday, June 23, 2006

And the kid of the week is....MAX!

Okay, I've had my time out from Blogger and am ready to post again.

I feel that poor Max has gotten a bad rap on my blog, so I decided to make him my first kid of the week. Max is definitely a handful, and definitely the cause of at least 75% of my housework, but it is all collateral damage. He has an insatiable hunger for knowledge, and I know that the passion with which he pulls every card out of the Memory game box and pinches tiny pieces of Play-Doh out of the can until it looks like orange snow has covered the table, will be a passion that he carries with him through his life. I need to remember that every dropped object is an experiment in gravity, every smeared dinner an artist's expression. He has won the hearts of all of his siblings with his cuddly nature, and the hearts of his parents as well. I love to end my day with him lounging in my lap, sippy cup of juice in hand (his, of course) watching Animal Planet, while he points enthusiastically to every furry creature exclaiming "DOGGY!" and looks pleadingly at me for clarification of anything that doesn't fit into this category. I love you Max! Thank you for completing our family!
Keithclan, 10:50 AM | link | 5 comments |

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Blog rage

Dear Blogger:

What did I ever do to you? You know I have 5 kids, right? And very little time to sit at the computer, right? And that when I do sit at the computer, I usually have to pay for it by cleaning up a mess later, RIGHT? So why do you INSIST upon LYING to me, telling me my photos are uploading, while I sit patiently, waiting, only to see the ERROR PAGE appear, 5 minutes later, and you don't even have the courtesy to SAVE MY PICTURES!!!! So I have to find them all again, and again I get an ERROR PAGE! I love, you Blogger, but I can't go on like this. Either you start putting some serious effort into this relationship, or we are through.

Jamie Keith
Keithclan, 4:42 PM | link | 2 comments |

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Yes, I am THAT mom

My oldest left for camp today, for a week, it is her third year to attend. I have been sending her since she was 8. Aren't I brave? It is the same camp I attended from 5th grade through high school, and where I worked as a counselor the year after. My good friend Allison whom I have know for that length of time from camp,is the program director. This is the conversation we had today.

ME: Are you going to call me tonight?
ALLISON: Yes, and I'm sure every night (as a made her do for the last 2 years, for a daily update on Jordan, not seeming so brave anymore, huh?)
ME: You don't have to call me every night this year, but definitely the first night, you know in case...
ALLISON: In case aliens come and cut off all her hair and everyone makes fun of her?

Don't scoff, this particular camp has an alarmingly high occurrence of alien head shavings. Sure, they are virtually incident free in the areas of the things you may usually worry about, drownings, snake bites, lost campers, bear attacks, beaver attacks, typhoid fever, possum attacks, squirrel attacks, leeches, etc., but although not life threatening, alien head shaving can definitely ruin one's time at camp!

Yes, I realize all the other parents send their kids to camp without a nightly report, but let's face it, that doesn't mean that I worry more than them, just that they love their children less, right?*

*Please remember my policy on comments, I only care to hear your opinion if you agree with me.
Keithclan, 12:50 PM | link | 5 comments |

Monday, June 12, 2006

Hope for the Future

I have been having a hard time adjusting to summer. If you would have asked me last week to write an essay on "What Summer Vacation Means To Me" I would have simply put "5 kids at home + nothing much to do = fighting, bickering, whining + 1 mom in a straight jacket."
I decide to make things go more smoothly by having more of a schedule. Our school year lives are so schedule oriented that I was sure that more "planned activities" would help with the bickering and whining and help restore peace in our household. Monday: Morning walk to park, lunch, rest time, bracelet making, painting, reading time with mom for Pierce, Jordan, and Ashton, dad comes home, and all is well. Monday: clouds, thunder rain, SIGH!
I come cuddle on the couch with Max and Lillian, and hear it starting upstairs, "PPIIEERRRCCEEAAA! (for some reason, they always add an "aa" on the end of their siblings' names for enthusiasm when they are annoyed) "WE'RE SLEEPING!! GO AWAY!!" "NO YOU'RE NOT! I HEAR YOU TALKING!" All together now: "MOOOMMM!" SIGH.
They come downstairs, we eat breakfast, and I give my usual "please try to be tolerant of each other, you'll all have a much more pleasant day" speech to what I tend to assume falls on deaf ears. They all head upstairs, I load the dishwasher, hey wait! It's peaceful! I start a load of laundry, peace! I get dressed, and wince as I hear what sounds like a herd of cattle stampeding down the stairs, but wait! No tattling, no whining. I have to investigate.
Jordan and Ashton have decided to host daycamp for their younger siblings. They set up arts + crafts, blocks, a game on the computer, and even make up a cute little chant for transitioning. Jordan makes a certificate of approval for Pierce, they give Lillian and Pierce a makeover, and the sun comes out.
We walk to the park, play until it starts to rain again, we are now home for lunch. Naptime promises to be cloudy, and I have a newfound hope for the summer.
Having a large family is often trying and I sometimes doubt the job I am doing, but then the sun comes out and I see my children separately for the wonderful people that they are, and I wouldn't change my life for a thing.
I am going to start a "keith of the week" feature to highlight each one of my amazing children, you know you can't wait :)
Keithclan, 11:19 AM | link | 6 comments |

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Dodge Caliber commercial

for those of you who have tivo and miss the good commercials
Keithclan, 8:34 PM | link | 1 comments |

Friday, June 09, 2006

DA MULES Pictures of the month.

Sons who make their mothers proud...
DA MULE, 11:31 PM | link | 1 comments |

Monday, June 05, 2006

Monday ramblings

Jordan has created a new blog and she did it without any help. She says, "mom, I figured out how to post pictures" and I thought "great, that only took me a year to figure out."

Ashton has become obsessed with Uno, really obsessed. She beats us all the time, and not because we let her, but because she is already smarter than us.

This is a picture of Lillians favorite new outfit:

Great, goth at 3. Can't wait 'til she's 15. She asked me today to sing for her "Sing twinkle stars" so I obeyed. Then she says, "sing the other twinkle song, the one with the letters" it took me a while to figure out she meant the ABCs, because they have the same tune. I realized this about 5 years ago, she figured it out at 3. She also completed the monkey bars at Mesta for the first time last week.

Pierce is learning to read. He sounds out words nonstop and gets upset if I am driving to fast for him to read the signs. He is also swimming real well in the "deep pool".

Max has been building towers 10 blocks high, and then clapping for himself before he knocks them down. He is trying very hard to remember and say all his siblings' names, but as you can imagine, that is quite a challenge.

Chad played bocce ball for the first time in a tournament last night and his team finished like 4th out of over 40. I thought he would be there a few hours, but it ended up being closer to 12. he was driven to win largely by the fact that he knew his wife and 5 kids would be waiting for him at home, and playing 6 or 7 straight games of bocce ball in a row without eating in 100 degree weather was a walk in the park in comparison. Seriously, I'm glad he went and had a good time, he encourages me to get out whenever I can and never complains.

Me? I stay up 'til 1:00 last night watching a program on TLC about a woman who gave birth to triplets, one who grew OUTSIDE HER WOMB! Her fallopian tube ruptured early in her pregnancy, and instead of it killing her and the baby, the placenta reattached to her vital organs and the baby continued to grow amongst her bowels. I'm not kidding, read it for yourself!
Keithclan, 5:11 PM | link | 2 comments |

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Another two and a half hours I will never have back

Please tell me why I torture myself, Please? As most of you know and the rest of you can probably guess, I very rarely make it to the movies. My outings usually consist of: A) grocery store
B) evening walks with the midget
C) soccer games, t-ball games, etc.
D) chauffeuring kiddos to oh so important social events
E) coffee (Ahhh, coffee)
Very rarely movies. So why do I insist on those rare occasions when I see a movie that is not animated picking one based on a book that I have read and appreciated? Oh, yeah, I'm a moron!
Last 2 adult movies I have seen:
Memoirs of a Geisha. SUCKED!! I think they tried to dumb it down for us uncultured Americans. I can't even begin to tell you how much I hated this movie, it was actually painful to sit through.
Davinci Code. Just saw it tonight, although it didn't suck quite as bad as Geisha, it was still indeed the opposite of good. It was boring, and I just don't see why they changed the things they did. Very disappointing, to say the least. I just kept thinking of all the movies I could have been seeing that were undoubtedly better, like "Thank You for Smoking". If I should ask any of you in the future to join me at the theater, just take me $6.00, make me some microwave popcorn, give me some Benadryl, and when I wake up, tell me I went and it was great.
Keithclan, 1:10 AM | link | 4 comments |