Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Parent's Most Important Role? Child Guidance Discussion Question 1

What are some of the most important roles parents play in their children's life? The first thought that came to mind while pondering this question was, example. As a parent we are an ever-present example to our children. Whether we are a good example or a negative example is up to us.
Sometimes this role alone weighs the most on my shoulders as a mother. Most of the time it is a natural instinct to provide for our children's basic needs of food and shelter. But it is not always "natural" to be an example of kindness, love, and patience. However, it is vital that our children learn these traits in order to find peace as an adult. We, as parents, are our children's first and most consistent teachers. The role of teaching by example, and making it a good example, might just be one of the most important roles a parent plays in their child's life. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Over Before it's Begun?

If you're anti-home school or don't think I should be home schooling, you might want to stop here. 

I've been preparing lesson plans for home school for the whole summer. I've gradually gotten more and more excited about the things we'll be learning. However, I have also gotten more and more worried about what I've gotten myself into. Honestly, just maintaining a clean house, laundry, and dishes is a full time job. Add three wild boys, a busy husband, meals to plan and make, animals to care for, my school work to do, AND home schooling a first grader to the mix, I think I might be crazy!

I'm just not fun enough. I'm tired and moody much of the time... I don't think I'll be able to handle it if Jakob pitches a fit every day at 8:00 when it's time for school. But the thought of having to get Jakob ready for school, taking him to school, picking him up for school, fighting over homework that I even hate, seems equally daunting. What should I do?

I guess I'll stick with my plan and enjoy the moments as they go. That's what I need to do. If you come to my house and it looks like a tornado whipped through the place and I'm still in my pajamas, just ignore it and know that I definitely wasn't sitting around eating bon bon's all day. I might however, manage to eat plenty of chocolate. Chocolate, surely that is my answer!;)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Foto Friday: July

July was filled with a lot of sun and celebration! 
We celebrated our country's Independence day, Utah's Pioneer Day, and JJ's first birthday. Baron Grandparent's had a flood that brought the family together. Jakob finished swimming lessons and Mama finished her Summer semester of classes. Mama and Papa celebrated 8 years of marriage during July as well!

Enjoy the Photos! 

Foto Friday: August

August has been full of birthdays, sunshine, new ideas, work, and play! 
       We celebrated JJ's birthday twice. Once on his birthday in July and again when his gift arrived the first week of August. We got him a vintage Little People garage. The boys all love it! We collect Little People things and have a great time with them!
      We've managed to find a couple of weekends to run away from the heat to visit with Leif's brother and his family in the beautiful town of Alton. 
     Leif's gone on a couple of Fire calls as well as a couple of EMT calls. He's still in the middle of the EMT course and will be done mid September. 
    We had a crazy moment and we drove to Cedar City to buy a Foof Chair (giant bean bag.) When we got there we realized that it was a whole lot bigger then we had thought. But since we had driven all the way and already paid, we brought it home anyway. It takes up too much room. But it's fun. 
     The spa had a booth set up for Western Legends this year. It was a lot of hard work for everyone, but very worth it! 
     Leif and his dad let Caleb help them build a shelter for the rabbits. 
     Caleb LOVES to help with any projects that we're working on. Especially if they involve a screwdriver or hammer. 
     Jakob turned 7 years old this month. He shares a birthday with his aunt Stacy. So we got together for dinner. They surprised Jakob (and Caleb) with two kittens. Caleb especially loves playing with his new best friends. The kitties are still wondering what in the world they've gotten themselves into, that's for sure!! But overall it's fun to have them. We also got Jakob the Wii Sports Resort Game. He LOVES that!! 
     We've been trying to make more room in the house. We took a couple of wall panels off to try to use the shelf space more efficiently. JJ promptly cleared the shelf's and made himself right at home. Guess we'll have to come up with other ideas. 
     I haven't gotten pictures yet, but our mama duck hatched 9 ducklings. Unfortunately the heat got five of them. But the four we have left are sure sweet! 

Enjoy the photos!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Anemia: Not a Welcomed Guest!

If you've followed my blog lately you may have noticed that my posts have declined in frequency and enthusiasm. I have been really sick and down for several weeks now and I HATE it! Then my baby started acting just like me, and I Hate that! I was at my wits end yesterday. Really. I was pretty close to running away with my kids to MO where my parents could entertain my kids and I could try to sit back and collect myself. I still might do that. But yesterday I finally found a light at the end of my current tunnel. I took the little boys to our WIC appointment and they tested JJ's blood for his iron levels. He was two points below the average level of iron needed for a one year old. I was surprised because he's been drinking formula which is iron fortified. But I wasn't surprised because he's shown the classic Anemia symptoms and I just hadn't put two and two together. I then asked her to test my blood. I was one point below average. I had been wondering, but just hadn't payed attention. Duh!

Anemia isn't something to ignore! People think that because it's a common problem, it's not a big concern. But in reality, it can become a major problem. And it doesn't just take a couple of iron pills to solve the problem. It takes time and follow through. I just feel bad that I didn't know sooner. And I wonder why JJ has Anemia. I won't worry too much about why unless he still has problems in November when I take him to be tested again (or sooner at the Dr.) My Anemia stems from my damaged intestines from Gluten Intolerance and heavy periods.

I thought I'd share our symptoms and what I use to boost our iron levels.

My Symptoms:                                                JJ's Symptoms (1 Year Old):
Fatigue                                                               Unusual ongoing fussiness
Overall lethargic feeling                                       Sudden change in napping hours (could nap for 5-6 hrs)
Depression                                                         Pale skin
Rage episodes                                                    Weak immune system (constant illness)                                     
Chest pains                                                         Lack of appetite                                             
Aching calf muscles and Achilles tendons
Muscle weakness and aches
Weak immune system (constant illness)

What can happen if we don't increase our iron?
"Most cases of anemia are mild, including those that occur as a result of chronic disease. Nevertheless, even mild anemia can reduce oxygen transport in the blood, causing fatigue and a diminished physical capacity. Because a reduction in red blood cells decreases the ability to absorb oxygen from the lungs, serious problems can occur in prolonged and severe anemia that is not treated. Anemia can lead to secondary organ dysfunction or damage, including heart arrhythmia and heart failure."

"In children, severe anemia can impair growth and motor and mental development. Children may exhibit a shortened attention span and decreased alertness. Children with severe iron-deficiency anemia may also have an increased risk for stroke." - University of Maryland 

This is what I use as an Iron supplement. It works!! 

Flora Floradix Floravital Iron and Herb

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Summer's End... Already!?

I'm amazed that we're heading into a new school year already. Time, it's such a wishy-washy thing. Never enough, sometimes too much... Crazy.

I finished up my summer semester of USU classes this week. They were well worth the money, effort, and time. I learned a lot and enjoyed being able to write out my thoughts. I will be taking a couple of classes again this semester and I think they will be very applicable to my life: Child Guidance and Stress Management. Can't get any more applicable.

I'm finally feeling better. I was really sick! But I'm back up and going for the most part and my main focus is getting home school ready to go, starting the Monday after Labor Day. It takes A LOT of my time. I prefer to have everything printed out and filed according to the month and then the week. Then we can pull out a folder and all of the choices are there for the week and we can go at it. And if for some reason I can't be right there when it's school time, Jakob can go to the folder and pull out things for him to do. I'm still organizing the system that I want. But that gives you a glimpse of what we do. This year I need to plan a little bit for Caleb too. So I have a lot to do. Thank Heavens for the Library! We are going to be reading A Lot!

The spa, Desert Springs Day Spa is going better then we ever hoped. Leif is busy working there and when he's not there he's at his EMT classes and the few hours he's not there, he's home. He feels like he's constantly juggling. But he seems to be holding up and we are too. We miss the good ol' days of working side by side with "the business." But we're making the adjustment. And his EMT classes are over mid September. We look forward to that!

Jakob seems to be looking forward to school to start. He's also really excited for the new "club" he gets to be a part of. We've signed him up for 4H. They have a good program here and I think it will be really good for him.

My sweet Caleb is finally talking so that everyone can understand him (for the most part.) He doesn't whine as much because he can tell us things and then he can understand most of our logic as well. This connection has really become clear just within the last couple of days. It's really nice. We came up with a funny way to help him "find his big boy voice." I told him that when he's whining he sounds like he has a mouse in his throat and he has to get the mouse out in order to find his big boy voice. It's works quite well.:)

And my JJ, he's ready to jump up and run! He can stand on his own and it's been said that he took a couple of steps. I didn't get to see it. My theory is that he's going to decide to walk one day and just walk right up to me in the kitchen and ask for something to eat. It will happen so fast I won't even get to see the first steps.:)

Well, that's how we're doing here. Really, I'll have pictures soon!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Parenting is like Ice Cream

Lena Baron
August 12, 2011
GRADE: 50/50
“This was one of the most original metaphors I have ever read! I loved your outline of the history of ice cream and your comparison to parenting. Well done!”
Parenting is like Ice Cream
Over the last couple of weeks, I have pondered this assignment and tried to come up with a metaphor for parenting that I could incorporate several of the different concepts taught in this unit with. My first conclusion was, Parenting is like trying to read a map that has been written in multiple languages, none of which you speak. However, I chose a metaphor that covers something in which I am far more familiar with rather than speaking bilingually, which I don’t do. The metaphor I have chosen is Parenting is like Ice Cream. We can go with the hard stuff or the cold, stick with what our parents gave us, or choose a different kind. Perhaps, the most important factor to weigh is what kind of ice cream really fits what you like and what you want. Then you have to consider what is best for your fellow ice cream eaters. Grab a bowl of your favorite ice cream, slow down for a minute, and let me tell you how Parenting is like Ice Cream.
Research Can be a Benefit
According to our text, “Historically, parenting has been viewed as a “sacred cow”, meaning that extended family members or individuals in society didn’t intervene in a parenting relationship… This assumption meant that research within the family structure wasn’t valued and there was nothing new to learn about families because everyone had all the answers. Newer more contemporary views on the family rely on education and research to improve family functioning.”(Chapter 11) The history of ice cream followed a similar pattern as parenting research. For example, up until the 1980’s the ice cream flavors consisted of the very basics, vanilla, chocolate, and the occasional strawberry. In 1983 Cookies n’ Cream came on the market and due to the new excitement and high demand it was quickly followed up with Cookie Dough Ice Cream and the list of creative ice cream concoctions has only grown since then.
To Be, or Not to Be, like Our Parents: That is the Question
The new found variety in ice cream flavors resembles that of the newly defined parenting philosophies and roles of today. Often times a person will naturally choose the same flavors of ice cream as an adult that they were given as a child. Just as a new parent often cares for their young child in the same way they were cared for as children. (Chapter 11) However, there often comes a time in a parent’s life when they have to define their roles and philosophy as a parent. Just as many people prefer hard ice cream to soft served ice cream, many parents can be defined as having a hard-core parenting style such as Authoritarian or a softer approach such as Authoritative parents.(Chapter 14)
Decisions – Decisions - Decisions
When a person chooses a particular ice cream, they have to make several decisions before they choose their ice cream. They have to decide if they want hard or soft, what base flavor they want, if they want anything else mixed with the ice cream, if they want to top their ice cream with anything else, and so on. Parents today are faced with similar decisions such as, how many children they want, how they will manage financially, what type of childcare they will use if necessary, how they will disciple their children, and what values they want to instill within their children. We read within our text that in order for parents to best make their decisions “there are a few things parents need to develop an understanding of as they think about the future of their children. The first is having a level of personal self-awareness. Parents who understand their own strengths and weaknesses have a better working knowledge of their children and what is acceptable.” (Chapter 13)
It Really Can Be So Much Fun!
Eating a bowl of ice cream is so much more enjoyable when you include a little time to play. As an ice cream enthusiast myself, I find it very enjoyable to share my favorite ice cream with friends and family as we play a game or watch a movie. Parenting, like ice cream, is a lot more enjoyable when you include a little playtime. “Adults who are trying to slow down the pace of life recognize the importance of play in the lives of their children. They value the time they get to spend with their children on the floor engaged in active play, or outside exploring new environments.”(Chapter 14)
Slow Down! Care and Observation is required.
During the 8 years that I have been married there has been more than one occasion when I open the refrigerator in the morning only to find that through carelessness and distraction the ice cream that was so enjoyable the night before is now a soupy mess. Instead of putting it back in the freezer, it was put in the fridge instead. It is important to remember that parenting, like ice cream, needs to be properly cared for. “Taking time for a deep breath can eliminate a lot of frustration and feelings of being frazzled. Deliberately thinking about the things that need to be accomplished and developing a plan, and consciously deciding not to rush, can prevent the frustration and stress from creeping in and taking over a situation. (Chapter 11)
Anyone who has a very favorite flavor of ice cream knows that it is not easy to stop at just one scoop, once a week. Parenting, like ice cream, often requires more then the minimum. “It isn’t really a matter of quantity time versus quality time. Children need both. Parents need to have special interactions with their children that focus on communication, fun, learning, and connection. They also need to have these times often. Children simply need parents, and the more they are enjoying the company of one another, the stronger the likelihood of a secure attachment.”(Chapter 11) It is a fact that a consistent amount of rich and creamy ice cream eaten in large quantities can inevitably become attached to you. In fact, just in the study done about secure attachment, a person could end up feeling like they are always carrying a baby in a snuggly. J (Chapter 11)
Exercising Patience through Quiet Availability
Once a parent has secured a healthy attachment with their child, it is not always easy to sit back and allow the child to stretch their wings and explore. Parenting, like ice cream, does require quiet availability. If a person purchases a carton of ice cream and eats the whole carton within the same day. This could be considered on the “over indulgence” side of things, just as a parent who follows their child around like a shadow, rather then stepping back when necessary and allowing the child to come to them and ask for help or feedback could establish a negative pattern. Sometimes it is necessary to allow the ice cream to sit in the freezer untouched even when you really want to dig in. (Chapter 14)
Creating Your Own Flavor
Ultimately, parents create their own flavor and flare of ice cream. By creating special times such as family rituals, traditions, and values, they swirl ribbons and chucks of candies and fruits into their own mix and through trial and error end up with their own personal “family favorite.”(Chapter 15)
And that, my friend, is how parenting, is like ice cream. 

Monday, August 08, 2011

Unpublished Drafts Published

I have started several different posts, all about different thoughts and things. I haven't finished any of them. So here are the beginnings. They show the pace of life right now, Fast and Full!


I have been trying to work on my homework for the last two hours. Have you ever tried to focus on the monotony of homework while your husband is out fighting a wildfire threatening the town? Yeah, it's a first for me too.

Instead, I'll just write about the fire and my thoughts...

The fire started just outside of the main

JULY 7, 2011 WOW!

Its 2:58 AM and I haven't slept a wink.  I started to worry tonight that I might be pregnant. The only worry is the fact that I have an IUD. That is very dangerous for the baby. I'm 2 days late with my period. I had serious bladder/uterine pain for three days this week and I can't find the strings to my IUD.

When I realized that I couldn't find the strings it struck me how possible it is that I could be pregnant again. It pretty much made me sick to my stomach and I can't get my brain and body to calm down. I will force myself to sleep after I finish writing.

If I;m pregnant I really want all to be well. I've been baby hungry for a long time. The thought of not having another one was hard. JJ is too sweet and fun. They all are.

I hope all goes well. I asked Leif for a blessing tongit (pulled him from his sleep) I was told my concerns were valid and to act upon what I felt I needed to do. I was also told to hold on to my Saviors hand. I'll do that!
Follow Up: I'm Not Pregnant.

JULY 22, 2011

WOW! What week is it!? So much to tell...
Jakob finished up swimming lessons for the season and is swimming better then ever. We celebrated Independence Day with our good friends the Jensen's and had a great time!

JULY 29, 2011

I have tried to post my Foto Friday this month twice! Both times something went wrong and the hour was a total waste. It's really discouraging. That is why I am putting the whole month of July on a slide show. I have written little tid-bits each time I tried to post the Foto Friday and it got erased. So now I'm not sure what's been said and what hasn't. So, I'll just give you a short run down of a few things. The Desert Springs Day Spa is growing very well! We are thrilled. It takes adjusting to be running a business again and for Leif to be so busy. But it is a really good thing! Jakob finished swimming lessons and is swimming better then ever! Caleb is Precious, his sweet phrase of the month was "My Special!" He would get so excited about different things and in place of "My Favorite, or I Love This, or I'm Excited"! He would just repeat "My Special!" over and over again! My JJ is actually 1 year old today. I will write a post just for him of course. But ohhh how strange it feel to think that it's been a whole year since he was born. It literally feels like yesterday, and it feel like forever. Time is a crazy thing!
Well, enjoy the photos!
Follow Up: The photos still wouldn't load!

AUGUST 4, 2011

Well my updates aren't really up to par this month. I just can't seem to find the full drive I need to stay here long enough to get everything on here that I want to. Instead, I'm just going to blab tonight. I'm in a zoned mood with a lot swirling through my brain. So... Here she goes!

I'm going to upgrade my Picasa account tomorrow and that means that I'll have July Foto Friday up FINALLY!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

I Live Next Door to an Angel! - Seriously!

My precious Mother in Law took my two oldest today and I have just woken up from a five hour nap! I slept until JJ woke me up. So we Both got a five hour nap! Thank You SOOOO Much Mother Baron! I can't tell you how much that nap was needed and appreciated!

Yes, I live next door to an Angel!

Slow Down and Play

Lena Baron
August 3, 2011
GRADE: 30/30
“Fantastic insights into the importance of play!”

Slow Down and Play
As a mother of three very active little boys, I feel like I’m “playing” all of the time. In reality, I’m just the referee. I found that in order for me to really play and have fun at the same time, it took some planning. This was not a new discovery for me. Thankfully, this assignment encouraged me to make the time to play with my boys and have fun.
What did you do to "play"? 
My first episode of playing was with my 6 year old son. We played a couple of rounds of the card game RACKO. We woke up to an overcast and drizzly day. So it was the perfect setting to play a game of cards. I put the little boys down for nap and pulled out the box. My son’s eyes lit up in surprise and anticipation. We sat together and re-learned how to play the game. As we sat together, the rain pounded the roof above us with a downpour and the storm threatened the power, making the game all the more enjoyable and out of the ordinary. My son came up with a fun way to mix things up a bit during our second round of cards. He decided we would switch cards in the middle of the game. It was fun to let loose a bit and pretend shock and dismay at the sight of my cards after he had played them for a while. As if my game plan was all unraveled. Yet, in reality, my real plan went off without a hitch. Our episode of play could not have been more enjoyable.
My second episode of playing was a simple game of Wii Bowling with my two oldest boys. I had planned ahead as far as establishing this particular day as my “play” day. However, I had forgotten this “plan” and it was almost time to prepare for dinner. That is, until I recognized my prime opportunity to “play”. My boys had set up the game to play together and my 3 year old was struggling to figure out how to play. To my oldest son’s surprise and delight I offered to take the time to help my younger son with his turn and then to go on and play the winner a couple of games of bowling, oh the joy in my boys’ eyes! My oldest son won the game and I was able to play against him. I even won a silver medal! However, the real warm fuzzy moment came when my husband walked in from work and saw us playing together. He came to me and with a hug and a kiss thanked me for taking the time to play with the kids. It really meant a lot to him because he understands the sacrifice that I was making as well as the benefits of what I was offering to my children, my time and my love.
How did it meet some of the definitions of play including: pleasurable and enjoyable, no extrinsic goals, spontaneous and voluntary, active engagement, and make-believe?  
            My episodes of play fit within the categories of Pleasurable and Enjoyable, Voluntary, and Active Engagement. With the game of RACKO I did have an extrinsic goal of helping my son practice his math skills and that episode was not spontaneous. However, the Wii game could be considered spontaneous. As you may note, I do not have Make Believe listed during my play episodes. This is because I lack the skill of pretending and “make-believe.” Really, it is a lack of ability. Thankfully, this is my husband’s forte.

Looking into the future, how can activities such as this help you stay balanced as a parent with your children, or children around you?
            My husband came home last night after a long day and informed me that he concluded after a session of introspection that he literally feels as if he is in a constant state of juggling. At this point, all of the balls are staying up in the air. But it takes a lot of concentration and balancing to keep them going. He has his family, a new business, and EMT classes that he is juggling. After pondering his comment and reflecting on my episodes of play, I have decided that it would be helpful for my husband as well as the whole family if I were to consciously make the time that my husband is home moments of Active Engagement with our children. I will set my things aside and just “play.” I know that this will fill my husbands love bucket, not to mention everyone’s love bucket. It will also elevate stress as we focus on what really matters in our home during our few moments together in the day. 

Monday, August 01, 2011

Forgive Me As I Complain

I have been sick for going on two weeks. I am so sick of being sick! If it's not one thing, it's another. Right now my nose is running a river and my head is so congested my eyes just might pop out. Lovely picture, I know.

August is here. We all know school starts in August. Uhhh, excuse me, WHAT HAPPEN TO MY SUMMER FUN!!!!??? This has been the most boring, movie-filled, summer that I can remember in years! Yuck! Yuck! Yuck!

Jakob said the most profound and terrible thing to me tonight. I had just put Caleb in time-out for the 100th time today for deliberately disobeying me and I must have had steam coming out of my ears. Because Jakob said, in a very adult voice, "I just don't know how you put up with all of this! You look like you just don't want to be here any more." I thought, "uhh, yeah, you got that right!" However, he went on to say "You know because heaven is so much fun and so peaceful..." I just stared at him in shock. My jaw just may have dropped open. I did manage to get over the choking sensation in my throat and explain to him that though a nice little outing out of the house for a while sounded delightful, I had no desire to die and leave all of my family behind. My poor little boy... He did offer to create Disney Land inside my living room. I assured him that I was fine and what I really needed was my boys to obey me the first time I asked them to do something. He agreed and  was very helpful the rest of the night. Caleb was agreeable as well. But, Uugg! The thought that my son thought I would be happier away from them. That is really disturbing to me.

I'm just bummed tonight. Here I am sick as a dog, and you know what I've been craving ALL DAY LONG!? Peanut Butter Panic Ice Cream. Seriously!? Can't I just go for an orange juice and some chicken broth? I wish I could get my brain to value my health as much as my heart does. Stupid!

Well, I managed to pass the two tests that I just finished up tonight. And I got a new book in the mail that I've been looking forward to. The boys are Finally asleep. And I really need to wrap up this session of Woe is Me! All will be well in the morning. Well, at least for the next hour or so for sure. G-Night!
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