Thursday, June 30, 2005

Taking Stanley to the Hospital

Our dog Stanley is about nine years old. We found a stray beagle when my husband and I bought our first house. I thought it was a sign that we were meant to have her since I always wanted a dog, and after a week in the house, little pregnant Stanley was looking for a home. So quickly she became part of our family, along with one of the six Puppies she produced.

Stanley has had seizures in the spring every year for the last five years. Last night she had one that lasted for two hours. So the minute the girls and I finished our early dinner, we rushed her to the emergency clinic. My husband was working late, so the two kids and I were on our own.

I panicked, thinking, should I send the girls over to a neighbor while I take the dog to the hospital, or should I attempt this alone with the girls? Realizing, that I really should only use the neighbors if it is the last resort, like a baby being born type of stuff, so the four of us went to the hospital with our dog that needed to be carried.

How I managed the two little kids and the dog you ask? Well, I put the baby backpack in the car so I could have my hands free to carry the dog. We couldn't survive without the backpack, but for this we ended up not using it. When we got to the hospital, I was carrying the baby, and holding my three year olds hand, and simply asked the person at the admission desk if she could go out to the Subaru, and pick up the dog.

A simple solution for my "past" fear of doing things with my kids.

So today we are scheduled to take both dogs into our veterinarian's office with both of our dogs. I'll have to let you know if we can handle this too.

Oh, and little Stanley is doing just fine. We are going to get a second opinion today about whether we should medicate her for the rest of her life, which is what the hospital recommended.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Staying Home Isn't What I Thought

I pictured being able to have a gourmet meal prepared and ready to go every evening. Oh, and it was going be prepared in a spotlessly clean house. But with two little ones in the house, it seems we can only achieve one of the two, and that is if we are lucky and don't have fun during the day. On days that we have fun, meaning a trip to the zoo, museum, or pool, then we are certain to have an evening like both parents are in the corporate world. We come home at 5:00, the kids are starving, and we don't have an idea about what to cook.

Is it always going to be like this? I don't think so. We are still working out the bugs in the system. We haven't established a routine. We are still playing catch-up from our out of control "two working parents" life.

So Now What?

I "stay at home" with my kids. Do I love it everyday? No. No I do not. Do I love it more than working in the corporate world? I think so. At least right now I do. See, I was one of those mom's that was afraid of her kids since I really didn't spend much time with them. I left the discipline to the "Professionals", our wonderful daycare employees. Why should I upset them even for a minute, if I only spent time with them on the weekends and evenings?

I thought my sister that stayed home with her kids was a hero for going to the grocery store with three kids. My husband and I always did all of our errands without them. I would get up early on Saturday and run to the grocery store before everyone was awake. I would stop at the dry cleaners while I was on my way to my customer's. So things always got done without the kids around. We would swap who watched them, while the other one did chores and errands.

Now, I do everything with the kids. I don't get nervous about the prospect of going somewhere with my two kids. It's actually fun. They really have become my best friends and co-workers.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Your Money or Your Life

In effort to pat myself on the back about my decision to stay home, I started reading '>Your Money or Your Life. One of the best things I got out of this book was that I was really working, making extra money so that we could spend more. We were able to take lavish vacations every year, buy whatever we wanted, remodel our house at the expense of daily quality of life issues. I loved my corporate job. I had the freedom to travel, make my own schedule, and work from home, a block from our daycare. So why did I quit if my life was so great?

Friday, June 24, 2005

To work or "stay home"

One day I woke up shocked that I had a a child a few months away from being a three year old. I spent the following months trying to decide whether I should quit my corporate job in effort to spend more time with my kids. I read book after book, helping to make the decision. I read such books as "Your Money or Your Life", by Joseph R. Dominguez, "Midlife Crisis at Thirty" by Lia Macko and Kerry Rubin (yes, anyone can get a book published if you know the right people). It was by far the hardest decision I've ever made (at least at the time). Now all of my friends are asking how I came to the decision, and is it the right one.

Monday, June 20, 2005

And, All Organic Milk is Not Equal....

I spend $80.00 a month on organic milk for my family, and have come to realize when I bought Horizon, since it is the cheapest, I was not buying milk where the cows are allowed to graze in pastures.

"It is our contention that you cannot milk 2000-6000 cows and offer them true access to pasture as required by the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, the law that governs all domestic organic farming and food processing."

So it is not enough to just have a label "organic" on our milk, if the cows are not getting to pasture. Consumers need to be educated about brands. Organic Valley Co-op is the only brand (to my knowledge) currently available where the cows get the needed nutrients by grazing in open pastures. Now Kroger and Walmart, the two largest grocery chains in the country, don't even carry it.

Read the full article here.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

But....Not Enough Organic Milk

Although we should be feeding nothing but organic milk to our babies, as posted yesterday, here's more to think about.

The consumer demand for organic dairy products in the U.S. now exceeds the supply by at least 15%. As an example, Organic Valley Coop, the second largest organic dairy company in the U.S., experienced a 36% growth in sales in 2004, but says it would be growing even faster if it wasn't for supply limitations. There simply are not enough organic dairy farmers. While the USDA gives out $25 billion a year in taxpayers money for crop subsidies to large farms engaged in chemical intensive agriculture and genetic engineering, family farmers wishing to make the transition to organic get nothing. Bruce Ellis, CEO of Wisconsin Organics, says the shortage of organic milk has severely limited his company's growth. If more conventional dairy farmers converted to organic, Ellis says his company could "certainly grow several hundred times."

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Organic Milk for Your Baby

Studies now confirm that we should be feeding nothing but organic milk to our babies, once breastmilk is no longer an option.

According to Dr. Alan Greene, one of the nation's leading pediatricians, kids should be drinking organic milk. Dr. Greene gives seven reasons for his strong organic dairy dietary recommendation:

1) Produced without antibiotics
2) Produced without synthetic hormones
3) Produced without harmful pesticides
4) Higher levels of calcium per glass
5) Higher levels Conjugated Linoleic Acids (good fats)
6) No harmful additives like corn syrup, aspartame or synthetic dyes.
7) More humane animal treatment.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

My husband is the best

Thanks Michael for making this possible! You are brilliant.

Our Camping Trip

In effort to do everything that a true "stay at home mom" wouldn't do, I took the kids camping to celebrate my one year old's first birthday. Her birthday fell on a Thursday, so the park was pretty vacant for what I had expected. It was a typical midwest summer day, the heat was unbearable, but we found the tall trees at our campsite made it about 10 degrees cooler. The location we picked was only about 30 minutes from our house, just incase things didn't work out as magically as planned.

The untold secret to camping with more little one's than adults, is a "pack and play." In my opinion, no kid is too old to spend a few quality minutes in the pack and play with the little ones, while the tent is being set up or dinner is being made.

Monday, June 13, 2005

T-Shirt Underwear

I found this cool recycling thing yesterday...

I know you've got them, lurking in drawers, the back of the closet, in the "giveaway" pile: those T-shirts that are, for various reasons, both unwearable and indispensable. they are too small, too big, too short, have a stain, a hole, or some other flaw, and yet you cannot bear to part with them.

Check out the site here.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

The Nanny Diaries

I just finished reading this book. I can recommend it if you need an easy read. I want to pretend these families are really fiction, but I know they exist.

I too was a nanny for a brief few months of my life. This book is a realistic view of the life of a nanny- from what I remember at least. You stick around for the love of the kids.

My First Post

I quit my corporate job to stay at home. We don't stay at home. This is what we do everyday.