Saturday, February 26, 2011

If you could be any animal....?

Nico started this discussion yesterday in the car. If you could be any animal in the world, which one would you want to be?

Lucas answered cheetah, because they are fast runners. Nico wanted to be an owl, because they can fly, and they are mostly awake at night, and he thinks the night is the prettiest part of the day. I answered an eagle, because they are strong, powerful birds. Nico guessed that Daddy would want to be a snake, and that he and I could eat him, because sometimes birds eat snakes. Lucas thought he could be fast enough to catch me and Nico, but we could just fly higher, so no matter how fast he ran, he couldn't reach us.

So what is the second animal you would want to be? Nico picked a monkey, so he could climb through the trees. Lucas picked an eagle, so he could fly high in the air. I picked a bear.

Third animal? Nico picked a shark, and I picked a caterpillar/butterfly. I thought it would be neat to experience the metamorphoses process. But if I had to pick a sea animal (and Nico insisted that I did), it would be a dolphin. Nico thinks dolphins are defenseless, and sharks are tougher and stronger. I argued that dolphins are smarter, and still pretty tough.

I tried to move the conversation in another direction by asking what kind of plants they might want to be. Nico said a bush, and Lucas said grass. I picked a giant sequoia tree, so I could live a long, long life and see how the world changes.

This led the conversation into a whole new realm. We started talking celestial bodies. Nico wanted to be a star, like the sun. Lucas wanted to be the whole galaxy, and I thought it would be neat to be a planet. "Imagine if you were the whole universe, and you could throw galaxies at other universes?" Nico mused.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Where do those bad habits come from?

A while ago I noticed that Nico has this annoying habit of ticking his tongue either before starting a sentence, or after pausing in the middle of a thought. I find it rather annoying, as he does it all the time! For the life of me I couldn't figure out where he picked up this habit.

Well, I was at work one day, talking with a customer and I paused to collect my thoughts. When I continued to speak there it was! The same tick of the tongue that Nico has been driving me insane with for months. In that moment I realized he picked it up from me. I have no clue how long I've been doing this, or how often it slips out. Since then, I've been trying to pay closer attention to my own speech, but it must be very subconscious since I haven't noticed it again.

Being home-schooled, my kids do not spend a whole lot of time with their peers. So, I cannot blame their bad habits on people outside the family. When things crop up, I need to stop and take a good, long, hard look at myself (and their father), to determine where the behavior originated.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Do you have a favorite child?

I know parents should love their children equally, and I unequivocally do. I would do anything for either of my children. But, can you like one more than the other? I think so.

There are a million things I like about Nico. He is strong, independent, assertive and so smart. Sometimes we have very deep and meaningful conversations with each other, well beyond what you would think a seven year old could comprehend. But those qualities make him extremely difficult to parent. I can go from calm to complete and total frustration in mere seconds when he is around. Some days he gets me so infuriated, that I literally pull my hair out. I look forward to the days where we can move our relationship past parent/child and become friends and equals.

Lucas on the other hand, is so loving and compassionate, calm and peaceful. His personality is so similar to my own, in that we both are usually gliding through life like a feather blowing in the wind. Quiet and thoughtful as we contemplate the world around us.

If I had to choose which of my children to save from a burning building, it would be save them both, or we all perish. I could not ever choose between them, as they are both special and unique in their own ways. Choosing which one to spend more time with, would depend on how the time is going to be spent. There are plenty of things I would like to do with Nico that Lucas wouldn't find interesting, and vice versa (although I rarely get the opportunity to spend one on one time with either of them).

With all that said, I prefer to spend my own free time with Lucas. Does that make him my favorite?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Bad Words

I've been trying to explain to Nico and Lucas that there is no such thing as bad words. Words are just words, after all. What makes them good or bad is the intent behind the words.

Nico didn't understand, so I told him to think about how the words make other people feel. When you speak to someone, are trying to make the other person feel good or bad? What reaction did the other person actually have? Sometimes the person you are speaking with may think you are saying something bad, when you are not trying to. Miscommunications can lead to hurt feelings and arguments.

So long as the boys are being nice and respectful, I do not care what words they choose to use.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Online Gaming

We were reluctant to let the boys take their game play online, because of obvious security concerns. Of course they have their own agenda, and have recently discovered how big the online gaming world can be. Now they are hooked, and want to play every game online.

We've had several talks with the boys about what can and can't be said online. Never talk about where you live, how old you are, or anything that could inadvertently give that information away. Nico isn't sure how he could possibly give out information with out intending to, but we assured him it is possible, so be very careful what you say. Basically, only talk about the game, and nothing else.

A great side effect from online gaming, is how much reading, writing and spelling is involved. For Nico to coordinate with other players, they must chat, and both Tim and I refuse to read things for him, forcing him to decipher things on his own. (Yes we monitor everything exchanged.) This morning I've been sitting back and watching Nico interact with another player online. He's been trying his best to decipher chat, and respond appropriately. Sometimes Lucas even reads it before Nico gets the chance. (I have the feeling Lucas can read much better than he generally lets on.)

I have jumped in and interpreted a few things, such as LOL and brb. Nico was able to figure out plz meant please completely on his own, but that's an easy one. In his responses, he's been sounding out and spelling words completely on his own. He's not always correct, but he's usually really close, i.e. swich for switch. I can forgive him for not hearing the t.

I'm not yet ready to give him free range of the interwebs, but so long as he is supervised, I see no reason to disallow him online game play. Especially since he is learning so much from it.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Lazy Days

Between me being tired (work and school are wearing me out), and Lucas getting sick, we haven't really been doing much these past two weeks. Mostly just hanging out at home.

We did go out and ride some go-carts one day. Nico and Lucas each got to drive the kiddie carts. Lucas seemed to be the better driver.

Some things we've discussed this week; How many nipples dogs have, and why; How do people become billionaires.

A couple days ago Nico found a dead fish on the edge of the lake. He wanted to collect the bones, but it was still covered in flesh. So today he looked again, and the flesh was gone. We pulled the bones out of the water, and they are now drying in the sun. I may take him to the craft store tomorrow to buy some glue, and a backboard. I'm going to try and help him preserve the bones, for study. Tim is really grossed out by the whole thing, but this is how hands on science works.

Mostly the boys have just been playing video games. They have discovered the thrills of online gaming, and love it. We generally don't let them play online, but now it's going to be hard stopping them. We would like to get them their own gaming computer, since neither mine nor Tim's computer is capable of supporting online game play. Nico has been asking to play FreeRealms for months, but my computer crashes every time we try. For now they have to settle with playing PlayStation online.

We have some pretty awesome fieldtrips and co-ops planned with our home-school group in the next couple months. Hopefully I will be able to summon up the motivation to get the boys there. But for now, we are just relaxing and enjoying our lazy days at home.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

First trip to the Emergency Room

Yesterday started off with Lucas coughing, again. He's been having these coughing fits, off and on for several months. Always accompanied by a runny nose. Usually the cough lasts 3-4 days, and then subsides for a week or two. But things were different yesterday. His cough was nonstop for two hours straight.

I took him in the morning to see a RN at the Minute Clinic, to see if there was anything I could do to help alleviate his cough, and let him get some rest. She said it most likely was an allergy related cough. Allergies causing his nose to run, and drip into his throat, which was causing the cough. She recommended starting him on a daily allergy regimen, and also prescribed an Albuterol inhaler to help open his airways. At the time his oxygen stats were normal, and she said she heard a small amount of wheezing, but nothing to be too concerned over.

So I start him on the allergy meds, and attempt to get him to use the inhaler. Problems come up because they did not give us a spacer for the inhaler, and he just is not getting how to use it properly. As the day goes on, he gets progressively worse and worse. The coughing subsides some, but his breathing is becoming faster and shorter. He finally falls asleep, but I really don't like the way he sounds. Around midnight, I go in to listen to his breathing, and he is taking 4-5 short rapid breaths for every 1 of mine, and I can hear the wheezing with each breath.

I did the worst thing I could have possibly done, and started looking on the internet. Needless to say, I totally freaked myself out. Nico was still awake, so we all headed off to the ER together. (Our first trip ever to the ER.) Since it involved difficulty breathing, we were seen immediately, and given a bed. The first thing Lucas said to me when I laid him down was, "I don't have any brain damage, Mommy." I said "I know you don't sweetie, we're here because of your breathing."

Then he anxiously looks up at the heart monitor and asks if they will be turning it on. I told him I wasn't sure, but they might. Then he asked the question no parent wants to answer, "Am I going to die?" (Let me tell you my heart broke right there that he would even think of that.) "I said no, honey we wont let that happen." He looked back up at the monitor and said "but if they turn that on, and the line goes straight, that means I'm dead." Can you tell he watches too much t.v.? I said, "Yes that's true, but there are lots of doctors and nurses here, who wont let that happen."

Soon after the respiratory nurse came in with a breathing treatment for him. When that was done we walked down the hall to do some chest x-rays. He really liked the x-rays, because they take pictures of your bones and stuff, and that's really cool. The rest of our visit was mostly just waiting. He was given a steroid, and the x-rays came back clear (no pneumonia), yay! On the way out the ER nurse pulled up Lucas's x-ray on her computer (upon his request) so he could see what they looked like.

He is now taking antibiotics (first time ever) for the next several days, along with a steroid and his allergy medication. We were given a spacer for his inhaler, so hopefully it will be more effective from now on. As far as trips to the ER go, this was actually a not bad experience. We didn't wait forever, and he received excellent care. Even so, I'm not eager to return anytime soon.