In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Great Read for Moms

(Susan is sponsoring a blog tour contest! Details below!)

I love to read--and Susan May Warren is one of my favorite authors. Susan's novels are full of humor and action and real-life characters that I miss when the story ends.

Her latest book is Chill Out, Josey!, which continues the adventures of the aforementioned Josey in Russia. And, without giving too much away, I'll just say that moms and moms-to-be will sympathize and empathize with Josey's trials and travails. Along the way, Josey learns a lot about life, herself--and her relationship with God.

Now here's something fun: Susan is having a contest to celebrate the release of Chill Out, Josey! Here's what you do: Submit your funniest/craziest/most embarrassing PREGNANCY STORY and be entered to win a Super Fabulous, Ultra Deluxe Chill Out, Mom SPA BASKET!

Here's the link to the Contest page on Susan’s website:

***This contest is exclusively for her blog tour. Chances are there will be another contest going on for her general audience. Feel free to enter both contests. By submitting your story, Susan will know which contest you are entering!)***

I'm trying to decide what funny/crazy/embarrassing pregnancy story I could share.

The one that comes to mind is from my first pregnancy. I went into labor--and it was fast and furious. My husband and I drove to the hospital and I managed to walk and Lamaze breathe my way from the parking lot to the hallway of Labor and Delivery. Boy! That was a long hallway! Suddenly, I felt sick to my stomach. I started waddling--I mean, walking faster, hoping to make it to a bathroom before getting sick. About halfway down the hall, I saw a closed door. I grabbed the handle, prayed it was a bathroom, pulled the door open--and threw up all over somebody's office carpet. It was early in the morning, and I remember thinking, "Someone's going to be surprised when they get to work today."

I did have the nurse's attention--the ones still waiting for me down at the L&D desk. I was whisked away in a wheelchair, with someone declaring, "This woman is in transition."

All I knew was I was embarrassed to death!

Anybody else care to share?

Visit other stops along Susan's blog tour: (today) (tomorrow)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Dental Woes

I'm off to see my dentist today for yet another dental adventure.
What does this have to do with late-in-life motherhood?
Nothing, really.
This is just my life.
I am a dental disaster waiting to happen.
Sometimes I think I should schedule a standing weekly appointment with my dentist. But, I don't want to hear him say, "Uh-oh!" four times a month.
Woe is me.
This newest adventure involves a simple crown replacement gone wrong. Of course, it all started when I cracked a porcelain crown. My dentist never had a patient crack a porcelain crown before. But, if someone was going to do it, it would be me.
And one thing led to another and another and another ... and now my dentist and I are seeing each other much too frequently.
Don't get me wrong. I like my dentist. Love my dentist. If I didn't trust my him, I would let my wretched teeth rot out of my head.
Looking back, my wedding vows should have been phrased to include something like: "love, honor, cherish, and pay my dental bills ... " If I took the time to tally up all the costs, we probably could have paid cash for at least one of our kid's college tuition.
Ah, well.
I'll see you on the other side of the laughing gas.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Birthday Party Confession

Christa had a belated birthday bash last Saturday. Yes, we shared cake and ice cream--and presents!--with the aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents back in Maryland on Christmas Eve. But, I promised Christa a kids' party too, once we got back to Colorado.
Call me crazy.
After you read this blog, you'll call me irresponsible.
We celebrated at a local gymnastics studio--"we" being Christa and 17 other kids. Call me crazy again. The guest list started with the 12 girls in Christa's class and then we added several other special friends ... and there you have it: 17 kids.
Rob and I drove Christa and 4 of the party-goers to the gym. It was only slight pandemonium as we gathered the kids. We separated them from the presents, preparing to go into the gym and let them jump on the trampoline, ride the zip line and slide down the shark slide.
That's when things went wrong--although I didn't realize that right away.
As our party entered the gym, another party exited the gym to go upstairs and have cake. One of Christa's friends heard, "Cake!" and decided to go upstairs and indulge. Yep, a party-crasher.
Meanwhile, Rob and I are running around the gym, trading off the camera, taking pictures, keeping an eye on our 17 minus 1 kids, who have been divided into two groups. Please tell me you can see how easy it was for me to lose track of one kid.
30 minutes later the little boy returns, stuffed with cake, goody-bag in hand--and happy. Rob asks me, "Do you realize he hasn't been here?"
And obviously, the other mother didn't realize she had an extra guest, either. We were told he was very polite--saying "Please" and "Thank you" and admitting he knew no one at the other party.
Yes, I confessed all to the boy's mother. She laughed, which allowed me to laugh--and finally breathe again. I really am too old for this (The Mommy-Come-Lately Mantra.) And now I am confessing it to anyone and everyone who reads this blog.
Anyone else care to share a birthday-party-gone-wrong story?

Monday, January 28, 2008

News of Interest for Late-in-Life Moms January 28, 2008

News to know for mommies-come-lately:

Study touts nasal wash for kids' colds
Research suggests a saline nasal wash, used several times daily, may curb children's cold symptoms. The saline nasal wash, made from Atlantic saltwater, doesn't cure the common cold; nothing does.
The new study shows that children with colds who used the saline nasal wash had three advantages over children who didn't use the saline nasal wash: Bigger drop in cold symptoms
Less use of cold medicines
Fewer school absences

When children catch a cold, help them feel better safely
Recent concerns about the safety of over-the-counter (OTC) children's cough and cold medicines have some parents wondering how to care for their young children. Read this USA TODAY article for suggestions on how to help your child feel better without using OTC medicines.

And you thought you were the meanest mom in the world?

Jane Hambleton thinks she's the meanest mom in the world--and she even said so in an ad in her local paper.

Hambleton found alcohol in her 19-year-old son's car. She decided to sell the car and share her his mistake by placing this ad:

OLDS 1999 Intrigue. Totally uncool parents who obviously don't love teenage son, selling his car. Only driven for three weeks before snoopy mom who needs to get a life found booze under front seat. $3,700/offer. Call meanest mom on the planet.

A lot of people--including emergency medical technicians and nurses--have called to congratulate Hambleton for being such a good mom. The only one not happy? Her son, who said someone else left the alcohol in his car. His mom said it didn't matter. She gave him two rules when she bought him the car: No alcohol and always keep it locked.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Colorful versus Competitive

I hope you're enjoying the full colorful experience of that photo of Christa!

Today was "Dictionary Day" at her school. She was supposed to dress up as an adjective. You can only begin to imagine how much fun we had trying to select one word for her to wear.

First she was going to be athletic. But then someone else in her class was going to be sporty, so she didn't want to be athletic. Then she wanted to dress up like a princess like her friend, Emma, and be princess-y, but I told her that wasn't really an adjective. You wouldn't believe how many words she wanted to add a "y" to and make it an adjective.

By then my competitve juices were flowing. I really am too competitve (adjective) to be a parent. I need to just take a back seat and let my calm (adjective) husband handle a lot of the school activities. But he didn't have time to brainstorm adjectives.

So, Christa and I wandered the local party store.
Did she want to be sleepy? I was thinking pajamas and robe and slippers.
Did she want to be a color: purple or red or orange face paint and wig?
Did she want to be shimmery?
Did she want to be furry or spotty?
We finally settled on colorful.

Sparkly red/blue/purple wig. Purple star sunglasses. Shimmery rainbow boa. Face paints--flower on one side of her face, rainbow on the other. Orange eyebrows. Pink fingernails. A purple maraca with spangles. A purple turtleneck.

Christa was happy (adjective). I was happy (adjective).
Misson accomplished.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Traveling the Mommy-Come-Lately Road

My mommy-come-lately life took me to Kansas for 4 days--and my caboose kiddo stayed home! I spoke at a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers International) group in Wichita, Kansas. Mixed in was some fun with my forever-friend, Fran, so it was a good trip.

I remember talking to another mom about my surprise pregnancy. "It will be interesting to see how this keeps you connected with young moms."

And here I am, 7 years later, speaking to MOPS groups and at the MOPS Convention. Lots of young moms--thousands--and some mommies-come-lately like me too. And in March I travel to the Hearts at Home (H@H) Convention--another chance to speak to moms.

I remember being a young mom and wanting to be a good mom. Wanting to do it all right. And, of course, I didn't. I made mistakes. It was the encouragement of other moms, like my friend Fran, that got me through my mistakes.

That's why I say yes to the invitations to speak at a MOPS group in Kansas. I pray for a heart-to-heart connnection with the moms I meet. And I pray my words speak hope and encouragement to each mom in the room. I hope we share some laughs--and maybe a few tears. And I hope when all is said and done, we all feel more ready to be moms.

Because, as MOPS says, mothering matters.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

News of Interest for Late-in-Life Moms January 20, 2008

In the news:

Caffeine may increase miscarriage risk
A new study in the the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology concluded that a daily habit of drinking 200 milligrams of caffeine — the amount usually found in two cups of coffee — significantly increases the risk of miscarriage. Reseachers also said the source of caffeine — whether from coffee, tea or sodas — didn't make a difference.

Biotech firm claims to have used human cloning to create unborn child
Scientists claimed they successfully cloned a human being, according to a report in the medical journal Stem Cells. Researchers claim to have taken the skin cells from two adult males and implanted the nuclei of those cells in human egg cells. The cloned embryos were destroyed.

Pre-menopausal miseries will ease over time
Research suggests that women who experience headaches, irritability and mood swings as menopause nears will likely see these symptoms diminish as menopause progresses. Levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) increase with menopause, and the study of women age 35-47 found that both mood swings and irritability fell as FSH levels rose.

Even short-term hormones raise cancer risk
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can raise the risk of an uncommon type of breast cancer according to U.S. researchers. They found women who took combined estrogen/progestin hormone-replacement therapy for three years or more had four times the usual risk of lobular breast cancer.

Chemical in formula packaging may harm baby
House Democrats are investigating whether a chemical used to package baby formulas poses a risk to infants, despite assurances by U.S. regulators that it is safe for kids and adults.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Friday's List for Late-in-Life Moms

It's Friday--time for a list!


1. Determination
"Stick with it, regardless."

2. Honesty
"Speak and live the truth--always."

3. Responsibility
"Be dependable. Be trustworthy."

4. Thoughtfulness
"Think of others before yourself."

5. Confidentiality
"Don't tell secrets. Seal your lips."

6. Punctuality
"Be on time."

7. Self-control
"When under stress, stay calm."

8. Patience
"Fight irritability. Be willing to wait."

9. Purity
"Reject anything that lowers your standards."

10. Compassion
"When another hurts, feel it with him."

11. Diligence
"Work hard. Tough it out."

Growing Strong in the Season of Life by Charles R. Swindoll

Thursday, January 17, 2008

In the news: FDA Cold Meds Warning and U.S. Baby "Boomlet"

Two more headlines showed up in the news this week of interest to late-in-life moms. Why does this stuff always happen after my Monday news post?

FDA: Cold meds too risky for little ones
The FDA issued a public health advisory warning parents to avoid over-the-counter cough and cold medicines for children under age 2 "because serious and potentially life-threatening complications can occur." The agency still hasn't decided if the medications are safe for older children.
Drug companies last October quit selling dozens of versions targeted specifically to babies and toddlers. That same month, the FDA’s scientific advisers said the drugs don’t even work in small children and shouldn’t be used in preschoolers, either — anyone under age 6.

The U.S. is experiencing a baby "boomlet"
The United States seems to be experiencing a baby boomlet, reporting nearly 4.3 million births in 2006 --the largest number of children born in 45 years.
The births were mostly due to a bigger population, especially a growing number of Hispanics. That group accounted for nearly one-quarter of all U.S. births.
Last month, the CDC reported that America’s teen birth rate rose for the first time in 15 years.
The same report also showed births becoming more common in nearly every age and racial or ethnic group. Birth rates increased for women in their 20s, 30s and early 40s, not just teens. They rose for whites, blacks, Hispanics, American Indians and Alaska Natives. The rate for Asian women stayed about the same.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Words from the Wise: Introducing Brenda Nixon (Again)

Brenda Nixon, author of Parenting Power in the Early Years, is a writing comrade of mine. I mentioned her back in November in my post Working Towards Unemployment. In that post, I quoted Brenda's "General Parenting Philosophy":

In your daily discipline, ask yourself if your teaching also includes
lessons on self-reliance so your kids will one day be able to get on in life without you. They can be butterflies, but the cocoon has got to go.

Wise words, yes?

Brenda comes by that wisdom honestly--and through a lot of hard work. She has both an undergraduate and a Master's degree in education. She's also been a Psychiatric Chaplain, Certified Parent Educator, and an Educational Consultant for Discovery Toys. ( I love Discovery Toys!)

Brenda says every one of those experiences funnels into her work today as an author and speaker. But she insists being a parent was one of the most important ways she prepared for speaking and writing about raising kids.

Brenda's speaking topics include discipline, understanding your child's temperament, and boosting a child's school success. When discussing discipline, Brenda teaches that there are eight effective, positive ways to guide a child's behavior. These are:
  • Modifying the environment
  • Distraction
  • Time In
  • Time Out
  • Consequences
  • Compliment Appropriate Behavior
  • Telling a Child what TO DO ( directive phrasing)
  • Simple Choices (offer two acceptable choices)

Brenda also offers free Daily Discipline Tips, which come to your Inbox each Wednesday. Each tip is short and easy to read and encourages you with a new insight, skill, quote, or definition of a discipline method. This subscription-only service is available by signing up at website, Check out the website for some great articles like "How to be a Successful Parent" and "Teaching Thankfulness."

Visit the other stops along Brenda Nixon's Blog Tour:

Where she was yesterday
Portrait of a Writer ... Interrupted

Where she'll be tomorrow:
In the Dailies

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Making the Call

Some days I'd like to not be the mom.

Like, on those days when my child misbehaves with another child.

And then my child confesses.

And then I have to make the call to the other mom and say, "Hi, I'm so-and-so's mom. And your child and my child were (fill in the blank here). And I thought you might want to know about it.

I'm one of those parents who figures other parents want to know these things too.

Or maybe it's that mommy-misery loves company phenomenon.

And if you're reading this post and you're wondering--yep, this happened recently. Like as recently as yesterday.

As this was all going down, I thought, "I am too old for this." That's the danger of being a late-in-life mom. You throw the age factor into everything--and it counts against you at stressful times. Poor Christa is probably going to hear, "I'm too old for this kind of stress," far too many times throughout her life.

The mom-to-mom conversation went quite well. The parent-to-child conversation went well too. In this house, it's always better to be honest than to be on perfect behavior. And if you show me a perfectly behaved kid, I'll show you a kid who is not being honest with you.

But that's another post.

Monday, January 14, 2008

News of Interest for Late-in-Life Moms January 14, 2008

In the news:

Celebrity late-in-life moms continue to fuel the late-in-life mom trend.
Actress Courtney Thorne-Smith is a first-time mommy-come-lately at 40. Her son Jacob Emerson was born on Friday, January 11th.
Australian actress Toni Collette is a first-time mommy come-lately at 35. Her daughter Sage Florence was born January 9th.

Seven signs of serious illness in babies
Researchers compiled a checklist of seven signs mothers and healthcare workers can use to identify severe illnesses in newborn infants requiring urgent treatment in hospitals.
The article published in the Lancet said the list helps identify serious illnesses in infants under two months, bridging the gap in a previous checklist that did not cover infants in their first week of life.

The seven clinical signs are:

  • history of difficult feeding
  • history of convulsions
  • movement only when stimulated
  • breathing rate of 60 breaths per minute or more
  • severe chest indrawing
  • temperature over 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit
  • temperature under 95.9 degrees Fahrenheit

Breast is best for reducing stress
Along with helping a mother to form a close bond with her infant, new research suggests breastfeeding may also help kids be more resilient to stress. Utilizing information compiled by parents, teachers, health-care workers and midwives, researchers found that breast-fed children were significantly less anxious than children who had not been breast-fed.

Study disproves Mercury-vaccine link to autism
A new study provides more proof that childhood vaccines with mercury as a preservative -- no longer on the market -- did not cause autism.
The study involved children diagnosed with autism in California from 1995 to 2007. It found that the number of autism cases continued to rise through that period even though the preservative thimerosal was removed from most vaccines in 2001.

FDA cracks down on makers of "biodentical" hormones
The Food and Drug Administration ordered seven pharmacies to stop making "false and misleading" claims about custom-made "bioidentical" hormones for menopausal symptoms.
The FDA took action against the pharmacies, which often market their compounds online, for three main reasons:
  • claiming their mixtures could prevent or treat illnesses such as Alzheimer's disease, stroke and cancer
  • claiming the mixtures were superior to approved commercial drugs
  • and using the hormone estriol, a weak estrogen that isn't FDA-approved

Friday, January 11, 2008

Finding the Birthday Balance

It's that time again--time to plan Christa's birthday.

Actually, I'm a bit late this year. Christa's a Christmas Eve baby, but our trip out of town delayed her kids birthday party until this month. Not to worry, though. She celebrated with all her cousins on the 24th!

I promised Christa a birthday party with her friends when we got back to Colorado. Last year we did the old-fashioned, at-home birthday party with games and crafts and all the set up and clean up that involves. It was fun--and lots of work. Thank God for my two older daughters who jumped in and helped with icing cookies and painting puppy faces on the guests.

This year I'm going the easy route and we're celebrating Christa's birthday at a local gymnastics studio. We decided on the gymnastics studio after considering the craft store, the roller skating rink and a local arcade. There are lots of options for birthday parties these days! I'll let the staff handle all the planning and preparation. We'll show up, have fun--and leave the clean up behind.

Planning the invite list is always a challenge. Christa wants to invite everyone. Everyone.

I convinced her that's just not possible and we condensed her list. We decided to invite just the girls in her class. After all, she took cupcakes in for the whole class before the Christmas holidays. So, just the girls--that's 12 guests. But what about Christa's friends outside of school? Before I know it, we're up to 19 guests--and the gymnastics studio limits us to 20.

I confess: I thought about having two separate parties to accomodate all her friends. But I talked myself out of it.

So now I'm addressing invites because I promised to get them in the mail today. I've already started thinking about the goody bags for the guests. I have a love-hate relationship with goody bags. Do you buy lots of little things or just one or two things, like crayons and a cute notebook? Do you stick with a theme? I can seriously over-think goody bags. Christa has lots of fun filling those up for her friends to take home. And I figure it's a way for her to think about giving to others.

Am I the only mom who finds birthday parties challenging? I want to do it right--but not over do it. I want to celebrate my child--but not make her think the world revolves around her.
Or maybe that's okay for one day a year?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Playing My Advantage

Christa's older siblings come in handy sometimes--and I'm not talking about babysitting for me.

The day after Christa discovered that backtalking me is not a wise choice, she was visiting with Katie Beth and Amy in my kitchen.

"Hey, girls," I said, as I passed through on my way to transfer laundry from the washer to the dryer, "why don't you tell Christa why it's not a good idea to backtalk me?"

As I glanced back, I saw Christa look up at her big sisters, an "Uh-Oh" look on her face. Katie Beth and Amy stopped joking with their little sister, realizing that I was sending them an unspoken message: Help me out here. Talk to Christa. Back me up on this one.

And they did, warning Christa that they, too, had tried backtalking Mom--and experienced the unpleasant consequences, just like she had.

Yesterday, Katie Beth and Amy let me in on an interesting part of their conversation. It seems that Christa told them that my discipline wasn't "so bad." And they then told their much-younger sister that's it's never wise to tell a parent that discipline isn't a big deal.

Thanks to my two older daughters, I don't need to say anything. They handled the situation beautifully.

I'm going to keep playing my advantage as a repeater mommy-come-lately. I think moms need all the help they can get--and right now, my older kiddos are a distinct advantage to me as I raise Christa. One day she'll figure it out. One day, she may even tell them things in confidence and they won't tell me--and that will be fine. I pray that her older siblings will always be a strong influence in Christa's life.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Late-in-Life Motherhood: Do You or Don't You?

Late-in-life motherhood: Should you or shouldn't you, that is the often debated question.

Television host Nancy Grace, a first-time mommy-come-lately at 47, has some pretty strong views on being an older mom.

"Forget about it. Don't do that, everybody. Please listen to me. The health risks are incredible and I had no idea going into it. On the other hand, if I had to do it all again to get Lucy and John David, I would do it in a heartbeat," Grace said. "I'm glad I did it, but I wouldn't want to wish that on anyone else."

Grace gave birth to premature twins--a son and a daughter--on November 4th after developing pregnancy complications. A week later, she suffered a blood clot to her lung that nearly killed her.

Pregnancy at any age is risky, but there is no getting around the fact that risks increase as a woman ages. An older woman faces an increased chance of miscarriage, chromosonal abnormalities like Down syndrome, as well as the chance of developing high blood pressure or diabetes.

Despite these risks, late-in-life motherhood is still the biggest trend on the maternity front in the last 10-12 years, and it shows no sign of abating. Why? Just reread Grace's quote. She starts off saying Don't do it and then almost immediately says I'd do it all again and I'm glad I did it.

With so many mommy-come-latelys, both first-timers and repeaters, women must agree with Grace that late-in-life motherhood is worth the risks.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Preschool: Yea or Nay?

Christa is the only Vogt kiddo to attend preschool. Her older siblings all started school with first grade. And Josh didn't attend "real" school until third grade because I homeschooled him through second grade.

I have friends whose children attend public shool. Others attend charter school. Some attend private school. Still others are homeschooled--sometimes all the way through high school.
Education is a hotly debated topic: What's the best choice--which sometimes seems to boil down to is my choice better than your choice?

Now an article in Newsweek touts the vital importance of preschool. Preschool isn't just about academics anymore, according to author David Kirp, who wrote The Sandbox Investment: The Preschool Movement and Kids-First Politics. Kirp says long-term research shows that a child who attends preschool:

  • will have a higher income
  • are less likely to be involved in crime
  • more likely to graduate from college
  • have happier lives

Don't we all want that for our children? My question is: Can they only get those things--success, happiness--if they attend preschool?

Kirp describes the ideal preschool as having a "well-educated, well-trained, responsive teacher." He also says classes should be small, with appropriate activities for a child's cognitive, social, physical and emotional development.

I've seen this kind of environment within homeschooling families, as well as within "regular" classroom situations. I've also seen lazy homeschoolers and lazy "regular" teachers.

Preschool was the right decision for Christa, just as I stand by my earlier decision to not put her brother and sisters in preschool. Josh, Katie Beth and Amy are enjoying happiness and success--although the girls sometimes grumble about their college classes. Josh is a college graduate and loves working in publishing, although living in NYC plays havoc with his income.

My bottom line: Education is a choice. Nowadays, there's a lot to choose from. No matter what you choose--homeschool, public, private, or a mix thereof--a parent has to be involved with their child's education. It don't come easy.

Monday, January 07, 2008

News of Interest for Late-in-Life Moms January 7, 2008

Childhood pneumonia can be treated at home
The World Health Organization (WHO) said treating severe pneumonia in children at home with antiobiotics works just as well as treating them with IV antiobiotics in a hospital.
Researchers studied more than 2,000 Pakistani children ages 3 to 5 and recommended that their findings change how WHO treats severe childhood pneumonia. Pneumonia is one of the world's leading child killers, particularly in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

Lack of sleep tied to childhood obesity
Research published in the journal Sleep indicates that children who don't get enough sleep may be more prone to obesity.

Menopausel hot flashes worse for heavier women
The higher a woman's percentage of body fat at menopause, the more likely she is to experience symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats, a new study shows. Researchers studied 1,776 women going through menopause. Based on their findings, they believe weight loss -- especially loss of fat -- may help women going through menopause to reduce hot flashes and night sweats.

High dairy consumption in childhood linked with cancer risk
Children who consume high levels of diary products may have a greater risk of developing colorectal cancer in adulthood, study findings suggest. The study involved nearly 5,000 individuals who were followed for an average of 65 years. Participants who grew up in families reporting the highest levels of dairy consumption--almost 2 cups per day--had close to three-times the risk of colorectal cancer compared with those from families reporting the lowest intake, researchers reported.
The level of milk consumption in the high-diary group was similar to the estimated average daily intake of children in the United States.

Panel OKs alternative to getting tubes tied
An advisory panel to the Food and Drug Administration recommended the approval of a new method for sterilizing women, providing them another option to tubal ligation. About 700,000 women in the U.S. elect to have their tubes tied each year.
The alternative procedure recommended takes about 15 minutes to complete and involves using radio signals to create a lesion inside the fallopian tube. A catheter delivers a soft material smaller than a grain of rice into the tube. Healthy tissue then grows on and around the material to create a permanent blockage. Patients are typically able to return to work within a day.

Friday, January 04, 2008

The First List for 2008

Remember those Lists to Live By books I delved into occasionally in 2007?
I thought it was time to highlight another one. And so, to start off the new year, how about:

Top 10 Free Toys For Children

1. Cape made from a bath towel

2. Empty sqeeze bottles for tub toys

3. Arm sling made from dish towel

4. Pretend grocery store stocked with empty food packages (canned goods, cereal boxes, spices, etc.)

5. Binoculars made from empty toilet paper tubes taped together (add plastic food wrap lenses for professional effect)

6.Puppets made from stray socks piling up in the laundry room (I always have plenty of these!)

7. Sewing cards made from styrofoam meat trays and old shoelaces

8. Pretend post office stocked with junk mail

9.Tent made from sheets and blanket (Christa's favorite!)

10. Empty cardboard box

Honorary mention: Own library card

~Compiled by Crystal Kirgiss, mother of three boys,

columnist for the Detroit Lakes Tribune

Thursday, January 03, 2008

The Repititious Life of a Repeater Late-in-Life Mom

Here I go again.

Seems like when problems crop up with my caboose kiddo, I think, "I've seen this before."

Some of those problems are showing up a bit earlier with Christa. I think that's because she's spent alot of time with older siblings--and picked up some of their habits before they changed their ways.

Yesterday, Christa backtalked me.

I told her what I wanted her to do. Repeatedly.

She "But, Mom-ed" me over and over again.

Even the evil eye--and I've got a killer one, just ask my older children--didn't stop Christa from backtalking.

And, of course, this all happened in front of a friend. A very understanding friend, who averted her eyes and waited for me to do the right thing. Step up and be the mom.

And so I did.

Because I do not believe that disciplining a child means embarrassing a child, I took Christa to another room. And then we had quite an in-her-face tete-a-tete. I told her I loved her too much to let her sass me.

Christa has a tender heart, and she shed a few tears. I comforted Christa by letting her know that her three older siblings tried the backtalking thing with me too. And it failed. And I disciplined them too. I didn't want her to feel alone in her misery.

A few minutes later, she looked over at me and smiled.

"We back on track now?" I asked.

She gave a thumbs-up.

"I love you, Sugarplum."

And then we high-fived and got back to normal.

Which does not include backtalking.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The (Early) Ups and Downs of Late-in-Life Motherhood

My just-turned 7-year-old daughter brought her own distinct personality into our family.

One character quality I'm still learning to adjust to?

Christa is a light-sleeper--and thus, she is an early riser.

When Rob gets up early in the morning to workout, Christa hears him, no matter how stealthy his steps down the stairs. Her smiling face will appear around the corner while he's sweating on the elliptical machine as if to say, "Aren't you glad to see me?"

This morning I managed to pull myself away from my warm covers and pillows--after a late-night read-a-thon--and came downstairs to blog. Rob warned me: Christa was already awake.

It was just past 6 a.m.

As a baby, Christa was my one child who did not take naps. Never ever. She also didn't sleep in the car, the place where all babies are lulled into la-la land. I would look in my rearview mirror and see her little blue eyes peering back at me, as if to say, "Yep, still here. Still awake. Don't want to miss anything."

After 7 years, I shouldn't be surprised that Christa can pop out of bed as early as 5:30 a.m. I should be thankful she's so cheerful at that time in the morning.

Now if only I could be a little more cheerful that early in the day too.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The Word for 2008

Anybody make New Year's Resolutions?

Not me.

I gave that up a few years ago.

Now I pick a word to focus on for the year. Concentrating on one particular word is a much more attainable goal than trying to accomplish a list of wills and won'ts. Truth is, I usually misplace my list of resolutions by the end of January.

My word for 2006 was gratitude. That year I kept an (almost) daily list of things I was thankful for. My word for 2007 was simplify. My extended illness made life incredibly simple--so many oh-so-necessary things became not so. Life was about recovery and--once again--being thankful for family and friends.

My word for 2008?

Content--as in, being satisfied or experiencing a sense of well-being.

I chose the word content after I saw a hand-lettered sign that read, "Be happy with what you have." Those six words brought me to a standstill. Too often I want more stuff, more things. I get caught up with window-shopping--and don't appreciate what I have.

So, for 2008, I'm focusing on one word: content.

Amybody else want to crumple up that list of resolutions and pick a word instead?

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