My hamper floweth over

The Keith Family News

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

One for the Jeff Foxworthy show...



Yes, I know you were wondering how the other half lived... This is a pic of us blowing up the pool that my friend Camille hooked us up with (I would link you to her blog, but she STILL doesn't have one...)
We only have a digital camera that is mostly for taking video clips. It really only works well in good sunlight. We decided to buy a good 35mm camera a few years ago, and while I still love it, it isn't ideal for blogging.

Dear Santa, I have been a very...err...kinda...well i haven't been the worst girl in the world this year! All I want for Christmas is a really good digital camera.

Your biggest fan.
The one with all the kids
Keithclan, 9:03 PM | link | 5 comments |

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I'm okay, you're okay

I wrote this a long time ago, but never posted it. I decided to in support of Karen's Post:


I breastfed my kids, pretty much on demand, all 5 of them. Though we recycle,I used disposable diapers with all 5, and should probably have a landfill named after me. I have never "sleep trained" my children. I buy as many organic and whole grain foods as possible, yet my children enjoy McDonalds, pizza, or some other fast food option about once a week. I work part time. I spank, though not as a major part of discipline....

Guess what? None of that really matters.

It all SEEMS so important when we are making these parenting decisions, we take so much time and energy deciding what is best for our children, that we become convinced that these decision are a universal absolute truth, and judge others that don't accept them as such.

Truth is, the decisions we make as parents have much more to do with what works for us than our children. And that's okay.

When you walk down the street, can you tell which people wore disposable diapers and which wore cloth? Who was breastfed and who wasn't?

These types of parenting choices really have no bearing on what types of adults our children turn out to be.

What makes a big difference? The happiness of the parents, whether or not they are well rounded individuals who live lives that are fulfilling to them.

If I stay home and find it miserable, is that really what's best for my child? Or vice versa? If breastfeeding is an unpleasant experience, isn't it better to bottle feed and enjoy it? You can't bond with your children by performing activities that you don't enjoy.

It's important to remember that we are all somebody's "that mom". You know, the "I'm glad I'm not THAT mom", we all are someone's idea of pitiful, lazy, selfish, or just plain "freakish". (I'm sure I fall into the "freakish" category).

Later, from "You know? THAT mom with all the kids."
Keithclan, 8:10 AM | link | 5 comments |

Monday, August 28, 2006

Starting fresh

I am getting excited about starting back to work. I am setting up my room to try to accomidate the needs of the children who will be entering my class. They seem so young. Why do they seem so much younger than the kids last year? Oh yeah! I didn't start working in that room until after Christmas!

My goal is to have a very organized and "purposeful" class. I want to make sure that every task the children take on is one in which they can succeed. Every area can be maintained by the children themselves, they will be able to choose from a managable amount of manipulatives, and "carpet time" will be as interactive as possible.

My concern is that I am going to be the sole teacher. Right now, I have a managable 6 children on any one given day. I will not know until the first day of school whether this is an accurate number. It could be as high as 10 or 12. Can one teacher really maintain order with 12 young 3 year olds? It is certainly not ideal, I will certainly try my hardest, but I am concerned about it. Especially since we tend to attract, let's say, "quirky" parents. Parents who drop kids off at all times of the day, and this once, a parent brought a movie in with her child and said "You are going to have to watch this today. It is the only way I could get him out of the house."


Anyone, I would love some feedback (and some advice from Amy) on how to manage parents without being offensive. I want them to have their children in class by 10:00 (a 30 minute leeway), not bring toys from home (comfort items are fine, but 3 spiderman action figures don't qualify as comfort items, in my book), and understand that, although it may seem to them that their children are "playing", that they are actually learning. I understand that these are their "babies", and I myself have been guilty of giving into a child's request to bring a favorite toy. I don't believe these are "bad" parents, and want to make sure I give them the respect they deserve. A little help?
Keithclan, 4:29 PM | link | 3 comments |

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Change of Pace

I have deleted a few of my previous posts. I really appreciate those of you who left encouiraging comments. It's just that I would rather have someone post a picture of me naked (pre-pregnancy) or picking my nose or butt,* than talk openly about my feelings. I admire people who have the courage to do that, but it isn't me.

So it's back to how cute my kids are (very cute), maybe a little griping about work, and some random thoughts off the top of my head. If you don't like it, don't read it (please like it, please read it).



*If you have a pre-pregnancy nude picture of me, i'll pay you for it! (after puberty, mom, pics of me in the bathtub when I was 3 don't count)
Keithclan, 7:46 PM | link | 4 comments |

Friday, August 25, 2006

Super Nanny is for suckers

I just reread the post from earlier this morning. Wow, it's got enough typos and grammatical errors to rival my boss! I would normally go back and fix them, but I will refrain today as to show the world the effects of sleep depravation. I have literally had 2 hours of sleep in the last 24.

We moved Max to a toddler bed, which is not much of a move since he has been sleeping in a pack-n-play half the night and our bed the other. I decided the big part of this move would be getting him out of our bed. I thought I'd give the ol' super nanny technique a try.

I dare that bitch to come to my house, she is no match for my youngest.

Chad and I stayed up until about midnight, at which time Max came walking into the living room. For 2 1/2 hours I picked him up and put him back in his bed. I wasn't giving in. Then he realized Pierce was asleep in the same room. This being Pierce's first week of school, I folded.

I took him in to our room, and gave him to Chad. I came back into the living room, thinking, why not wait another 30 minutes? What's the difference in going to bed at 2:30 or 3:00? (and desperatly needing a breather from the kid) When I went to bed, HE WAS STILL AWAKE!!! Singing softly, kicking Chad, it took him another 30 minutes to fall asleep. And then I couldn't sleep. I estimate I went to sleep about 4:00, was awake by 6:30, and was afaid if I took a nap today, I wouldn't wake up in time to pick up the kids.

By the way, he woke up at 7:00, and has only had a 2 hour nap (his usual amount). I am looking forward to bedtime, a little tonight, I figure he will want to go to bed early, and I am not above paybacks.
Keithclan, 3:47 PM | link | 0 comments |

Thursday, August 24, 2006

My new hero


There aren't many people who have families as large as mine, so I am always glad when a "mother of many" reaches celeb status, and makes us all look good, you know, a real role model.

Laura, from Project Runway 3, is just that woman. Kudos, Laura!

She immediately won my heart in the first episode, when she made the statement;
I always make a point to put myself together in the morning. When you have 5 kids, it's easy to end up in a downward spiral and the next thing you know you're driving a minivan and wearing sweatpants (scoff)*

Last night's episode, she won me over even more. The moms (and a few sisters) were the guest models, and Laura let it slip that she is pregnant with number 6. Then she makes this statement:
I don't think you are ever prepared to have your sixth child. But 5, 6 or 7, isn't much different. I'll just throw it on the pile with the rest of them.*
A quote that will undoubtedly be in baby books in the near future.

I gotta go throw on a fresh pair of sweatpants and pile all the kids in the mnivan. Later!

*statements are not exact quotes, but I assure the sentiment is accurately portrayed.
Keithclan, 5:18 PM | link | 1 comments |

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

EEWWWWW

Apparently, we weren't the only ones who enjoyed floating in the lake a few weekends ago. My friend Whitney felt the need to inform me of this, a fact I could have gone my whole life without knowing. We actually saw the helicopters searching 2 mornings we were there, I wasn't sure what they were doing, but I didn't think they were looking for a 2 week old body. Excuse me, I need to go shower.
Keithclan, 5:44 PM | link | 1 comments |

Monday, August 21, 2006

Fan Mail

Dear Dooce,

Being an avid reader, I can't help notice your extreme disdain for excessive exclamation mark usage. While on the one hand I can see your point, on the other hand, I think it is just another acceptable rule of "blogging grammar". OMG I am LMAO thinking about what our grandchildren will think about us when they read about blogging in their history books. They will probably think WTF?! When they see that we used random CAPITALIZATIONS of entire WORDS for EMPHASIS, or questions marks? in the middle? of sentences? Orhowwewrotewholephraseswithoutusingspacestoshowourexcitement! I can just see this conversation on some school playground in the distant future:

Dooce's grandchild: "What's wrong?"

Hatemailer's grandchild: "You know how we are doing research for our ancestry project? Well, I just found out my grandma had one of those blog things, and...(sob, sob)...she used...(sob, sob)....Excessive exclamation marks!"

Dooce's grandchild: "That's nothing! My grandma had one, too, and she posted countless pictures of her dog with different things on its head, cursed like a sailor, and this one time? She took a picture of a corndog stick that came out of her dog's butt!"
Keithclan, 8:36 AM | link | 1 comments |

Sunday, August 20, 2006

In case you were wondering....

There are consignment sales in Hell. One every weekend. And you have to consign at least 50 items, in addition to your housework/work/getting kids ready for first day of school/cooking.... You have to wash, iron, hang, and tag all your clothes, only to have some demon in an apron say "We can't possibly accept this. Do you see that stain? Well of couse you can't with the naked eye! But when I use this microscope? And this florescent lighting? It's clearly there, and frankly? I can't believe you would put this utter crap on your own children, let alone try to pawn it off on someone else's!" But when you go to shop at the sale, it is amazingly full of crap, with giant stains and holes, that no one used a microscope to look at.

HAPPY CONSIGNMENT SEASON!!!
Keithclan, 6:59 PM | link | 2 comments |

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Happy Birthday dear everyone......

We have a little electronic keyboard that has pre-programmed songs. Pierce and Lillian's favorite new game is to shout a name at the keyboard, press the button that plays "Happy Birthday", and then laugh hysterically when the keyboard "says" that name. HOW DOES IT KNOW?!? Confused? They sing the song in their head, of course saying the name they just shouted, so to them it sounds like the keyboard is singing "guinea pig" or "Maxwell", or any other of the names they say, when it is actually their little brains that is saying it. I need to get a video, it's very funny!
Keithclan, 10:39 AM | link | 0 comments |

Monday, August 14, 2006

A "Grand" time

We had a really great time at the lake, even poor Lillian. I bought her a few special things before we left, including a Disney Princess matching game, that helped appease her. It was a nice change to have the only traffic sounds belong to waverunners and boats. The kids spent most of the weekend jumping off the dock and "exploring" along the shore. It was a much needed break in routine for all.







This week: The theme is school readiness with an emphasis on sleep patterns. Bed time this summer has been....Well, let's just say Ginny would not approve :) We have to get back on track if any of us are going to make it to school/work on time. I will be shooting for an 8:30 bed time for the kids with a 10:30 bed time for myself, and a rising time of 6:30. Last year the mornings were so chaotic, I'd like for everyone to start their days much calmer. Wish me luck.
Keithclan, 3:46 PM | link | 3 comments |

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Good Clean Fun

I am posting some Pics of our neighborhood night out/ice cream social/homemade monsoon.

The event started at 6:00 p.m. on a day when the high was something like 150 degrees, alright, maybe I inverted the 0 and 5, but when it's that hot, does it really matter?

Anyway, I am proud to be a part of a very ingenious neighborhood, that found a fun way to beat the heat and even create its own rainbow.




Keithclan, 10:59 AM | link | 1 comments |

Monday, August 07, 2006

Momma always says, "Boring is as boring does"

"I'm bored" in my house is usually followed by me (aka "mommy dearest") saying something like "great! The dishwasher needs emptying, there's laundry to fold and put away, I've got tons of things you can do!"

Actually, in my own defense, I usually try to give a few more reasonable options first; play a game with a sibling, read a book, draw a picture...

I hate the word "boring" coming out of my kids mouths almost as much as I hate the word "hate", especially when describing an object or activity such as "this is a boring game" or "I hate this show".

I think my kids sometimes think it's "cool" to act bored, to be above thinking some things are fun.

Unfortunately, they have friends and dreaded television to feed this.

Most of the time, they are pretty good about entertaining themselves. They are inventive and creative and I try to be patient with mess-making activities, but this summer....

Today was a very "boring" day. I allowed them to watch one Disney channel sitcom, which I've decided one a week is MORE than enough. There was great wailing and gnashing of teeth,as well as sighing and eye rolling, when I turned the tube off. They laid on the couch. They were "BORED-A". I prepared myself for battle.

Ashton perked up. "ya want me to beat you at Skip-Bo?" (being my favorite card game, it's an offer I rarely refuse, even though she really usually beats me.) One down.

Midway through our game, Jordan flopped off the couch, and headed into the office.

After beating Ashton (mom 1, Ashton 952), I came in to check on Jordan. She had invented her own board game, using a magic eight ball, some dice, some Monopoly pieces, and some domino stairs.

Sometimes, people, sometimes, WHAT YOU SAY MAY ACTUALLY GET THROUGH!! It's not all deflected by the all powerful eye rolling!! THERE IS HOPE!!

Gotta go now, blogging is so "boring-a"
Keithclan, 3:56 PM | link | 6 comments |

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Will Blog For Food

I have some startling confessions I would like to make about myself:


---My kids wear hand-me-downs. Not only hand-me-downs, but clothes that often came to my house via thrift stores, consignment sales, and other kids' hand-me-downs. And then? They are worn by their siblings.


---My husband and I both drive fairly old cars. They have cloth seats (JK ASHLI), we actually have to pull the doors closed, they are not in perfect condition by any means, and this summer? We have had to watch our gas usage even in town to stay in budget.



---Here is where the gasps start. We have seven people in a 3 bedroom house. Our couch was purchased at a thrift store for under $100, and it took weeks and bottles of Febreeze to get the dog smell out. It also has several patches. The rest of our furniture is mostly hand-me-down, and Oh yeah, we RENT (gasp, you know you want to)


---My biggest confession? My children are on state health insurance. (pause for gasps and sighs) My husband works for a small company that can't yet offer affordable (for us) insurance, and because I have real children who have normal health issues like ear infections, tubes, allergies, enlarged adnoids, etc. we can also not afford private insurance.


I know there are people who think we had no right to have the number of children that we did. I know there are those who pity them, and think they have second class lives. What keeps me from crying buckets daily for my sad life? From leaving them at an orphanage or in front of Rosie O'Donnel's house? Why do I not feel sorry for myself?

Because although we are poor with a capital P according to American standards,we are rich if you think in worldly terms.

Yes, our children wear second hand clothes, they are always clean, (at the start of the day, at least) and well dressed. EUC, in Ebay terms.

Our cars are old, but in fairly good shape and we have NO CAR PAYMENT! Although we weren't able to afford a "real" vacation this year, we have been able to take several small trips, and my kids (except Lillian) have been swimming every week, and then some. The girls attended some really neat day camps, Jordan went to real camp, we have been to the zoo, parks, etc.

We rent a house. A house with central H/A, a dishwasher, 1&1/2 bathrooms, 2 living areas, a dining room...The girls room is big enough to accommodate all 3 of them, etc.


I have moments of self pity. Our generation is a generation of over extended credit. "Buy it now, worry about it later" We have channels like HGTV and TLC that tell us 24 hours a day we need nicer house, furniture, decorations, yards.....

But let us not forget while we worry about what we don't have these people exist People who deal with REAL issues, like this, and this, and this, that make any of the problems in my life seem shallow and insignificant. How can I be ashamed of a life that would be cherished by so many? My children don't have a clue we are poor, because we lead rich lives.

And that's my (rather lengthy) 2 cents.
Keithclan, 4:02 PM | link | 4 comments |

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Those Wacky Methodists

Pierce and Lillian are attending an art camp at a Methodist church this week. Today, at lunch, he starts singing this song:

"The more we get together,
together, together,
The more we get together,
The sooner God will come.'

Me: "Pierce, where did you learn that song? Did you sing it at camp today, or maybe make it up?"

Pierce: (smiling) "I don't know, maybe from camp?"

Me: "well tomorrow, don't drink the Koolaid!"
Keithclan, 12:28 PM | link | 2 comments |