Monday, November 26, 2007

Fall's Last Hurrah

chris made this video of jonathan a while back, but it's taken me this long to figure out the video feature. i'm pretty sure that poaching a neighbor's wireless connection helps, since this weekend i learned that the same program that downloaded for over 4 hours on our dialup connection (and was still unsuccessful) took all of 2 minutes with my parents' highspeed. oh, how we love the dark ages...

anyway, enjoy:

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

To Light, or Not to Light

in the spirit of raising issues with high emotional value, i thought i'd throw another one into the ring: when to turn on the christmas lights. knowing how deep this issue goes, it may be the most controversial one yet.

my husband loves to hang christmas lights, and he is great at it. our usual rule is that christmas things don't come out until *after* thanksgiving, unlike most major retailers and just about everyone in the world, apparently. last weekend (at my request, mind you) he hung out our outside lights because we knew we would be travelling, and we wanted to turn them on right after thanksgiving. however, now that the lights were up, the temptation was too great--hangs head in shame--we turned the lights on this week.

so, i ask you, where do you fall on the great christmas light debate?
a.) never before thanksgiving! never! never!
b.) i like to put them up whenever the mood strikes, although i save most things til after.
c.) the sooner the better! i'm a christmas maniac!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Stirrin' Up a Little Controversy

so, can we talk parenting books for a sec? i know that many of you parents out there have books that you love, and books that you love to hate. at least, those of you who approach life like i do, which is to read any and all material i can get on a subject before making the "big dive in". i did this before getting married, when thinking about starting a family, and of course, once the babies came there were all manner of things to research and think about. i affectionately refer to it as my "obsession phase", the phase directly before i make major life decisions.

anyway, in the process of doing this in the parenting realm, i came to realize just how controversial some of these books can be. who knew, right? i mean, before i got pregnant, i had *no idea* that there was this world of polarized opinions, and every parent has them. i guess it makes sense....parenthood is such a high-stakes endeavor, and everyone is just trying to do their best...but critiquing one book's message can very well offend those who thought those ideas were just right for their family.

all this to say, that no offense is meant to anyone reading who happens to think that the books i'm about to talk about are either a) the best thing that ever happened to their family, a lifesaver, something that should be read by every man, woman and child, or b) the worst, most dangerous batch of misinformed rubbish to ever be hoodwinked over the unsuspecting populace. apparently, there is no middle ground.

i have embroiled myself in the midst of this maelstrom once again, and willingly. our church offers a parenting sunday school class, and like many churches, the curriculum they chose was written by Gary Ezzo. many of the parents out there are familiar with him on some level, as he wrote the wildly popular book "Babywise." (and its many incarnations....seriously, there are about three hundred.) the books are very user friendly, so it's very easy to plug them in to a sunday school curriculum.

however, the books outline a parenting style fairly diametrically opposed to mine, as well as carrying a fair bit of hyperbole about any style that contradicts theirs. there is actually quite a cloud of controversy which i won't bore you with, (if you are interested, you can look here for one side of the debate). but more than that, i wanted to have our church be able to help parents dialogue about this and the many options available, rather than just present one side through this curriculum. as a young mom, i always felt like these books were some kind of moral imperative, but they were *so* far from my understanding of God and my role as a parent that i felt really discouraged and alone. i don't want other young families to feel this way because our church only offers one side of things.

so, i am in the midst of creating an alternative for our church. ideally, this would be a packet of discussion materials that present excerpts from at least two styles of parenting, and possibly more if i can find them. they would be grouped by subject (i.e. sleep, feeding, discipline, etc) and give a starting point for group discussion as well as resources for future research, should the parents want to pursue more information. i don't know if we will keep the ezzo materials because of their inflammatory style, but i would like to find other options that may present a similar parenting style to his so that it is still represtented in the discussion.

which is where you come in. i'm sure there are some reading who really love ezzo's books, and i respect that--in fact, i need your help. do you have any other resources that have helped you, that are similar but not "his"? or, if not, what are the most compelling parts of his system, and the ones that really "clicked"? for those who don't love them, what alternates did you find helpful? and for all...what subjects would be most important to you as far as an overview goes? also, is anyone aware of a meyers-briggs type test that could help parents discern their own parenting style?

and for those of you who aren't parents, feel free to weigh in. we are an equal-opportunity blog. thank you.

The Friendly Cudgel

well, it has been a while, hasn't it. a big thank you to my loyal readers (all 2 of them), who have mocked me back to the drawing board. apparently, i needed a little kick in the bootay....don't we all. :)

what have i been doing? well, who can say, really. its all the little things of life i suppose... driving back and forth (and back and forth) to kinder and preschool, making halloween happen (the costumes! the pumpkins!), and plotting christmas craftiness. nothing too exciting, and yet they are all the stuff of life, aren't they?

lets see if i can come up with something more interesting....