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Oil Spill Community Service-for kids

  • June 7, 2010 7:54 pm

My daughter has taken particular interest in the Gulf Oil Spill.  She’s worried about the birds, the fish, the shrimp, the sand, and the water-all of it.  She’s worried things won’t ever be the same, and she wants to have a hand in doing something about it.  So, being the Environmental Science Nerd that I am, went online looking for ways we could help.  Most of the opportunities I found were for “real-live adults” 18 and older, so I outsourced more research on the topic.  Lucky for me, my very savvy internet researcher came up with some great options for us to pursue.

Matter of Trust is organizing donations of panty hose, animal fur and human hair for help in absorption of the oil.  Look for more information from us on a panty hose drive-don’t throw out those runners just yet. 

Here is another site with information on other ways to contribute to the relief effort including:

Collecting Items for the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary

Donating to the National Audubon Society

There are other great ideas on that site as well that allow you to capture this moment of environmental stress and show how those little small efforts might make a real difference.

Any other ideas?  Let us know.


Honey-Do List

  • April 22, 2010 8:35 pm

I’m headed out for a weekend of Girl Scout Camping tomorrow, and leaving behind a huge list of things to do.  I don’t know if it’s Spring, or baseball season, or the upcoming end-of school, but I somehow got myself behind schedule and can’t seem to find my way back to normal.  And, while I’m looking forward to a weekend of hiking, fire-starting, marshmallow-roasting, and your basic daughter-mother bonding, letting go of my to do list is really, really, REALLY hard.

So, I thought I’d leave behind a tiny, little, very subtle “honey do” list for my husband.

That’s ok, right?

Crazy Week

  • April 7, 2010 8:09 pm

I know it’s been a little boring here at “Mom’s the Word.”  I apologize, and I promise-next week I will be witty.  I will be charming.  I will be funny.  I will be insightful and wise.  Well, I will try.  Believe me, I still have lots of words, I’m just short on the time to type them all out. 

This week has been absolutely full of things to do-not just little things to do, either.  BIG HUGE things to do.  It’s like the world got together, and conspired to steal my sanity.  My brain synapses are misfiring by the minute, and I have to constantly regroup with myself to stay on task.  I’m even adding tasks to my list that aren’t necessary-planning my son’s birthday party in May-quizzing my daughter on which Battle of the Books books she’s read for the test and upcoming Battle.  I had a brief moment of calm as I talked with a friend this afternoon, and she sternly told me to FOCUS ON THIS WEEK ONLY. 

So, I am.

Well, I’m trying.  She’s a very wise friend, and just when she was telling me to take deep breaths, her world imploded.  Now I’m giving her the same advice, and thinking to myself, without friends, we would all drop our baskets-a phrase from the book The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.

If you’ve read it, you know what I mean, and if you haven’t-put it on your list of things to do.  It will highlight your friendships in a new way, and will make you appreciate those friends whom you call “home.”

Because, in these weeks of crazy, it’s good to have a home.  It’s really, really good.


  • March 23, 2010 8:37 pm

My daughter is a nightowl, or rather, she wants to be a nightowl.  I try to keep a pretty strict bedtime ritual around here, getting her settled in her room by 8:30.  After a “one more minute,” she reads on her own, but we always have to have a conversation to enforce the actual sleeping part of the evening.  My husband keeps asking me “when are we going to just let her decide when to go to sleep?”  I don’t know.  It’s not in the handbook.  I remember my mom saying the word “bedtime” through middle school (I promise!), and I see middle schoolers everyday zoned out in the halls, red-eyed from late night texting and instant messaging, so I’m thinking this will be an issue for years to come.  But, to those that have crossed this little threshold of bedtimes, when did you make the jump to let this one go?


  • February 22, 2010 9:22 pm

I was driving home from work when I learned of Jenny Ross Bizaillion’s passing, and I was stunned silent and still.  Like so many others, I’ve been following her fight and complications with Sepsis, and praying for her recovery.

While I did not have the blessing of knowing her, her story affected and changed me. Day after day, hour after hour, I read the Ross-Bizaillion Family’s updates as they worked through this experience.  Each time, giving their readers specific prayers and requests to wish for, to hope for, and each time their Faith unwavering.  I shared her story with my family and my children, and we hoped for this young mother’s recovery and for her family’s strength.

Tonight, the updates are silent, and my thoughts are with her family.  Please know and feel the support of this community, and lean on us.  Jenny touched many people in her life, including many strangers.  I know her memory will remain on my heart, and I will reflect on it often.

Jenny Ross Bizaillion

  • February 8, 2010 10:50 am

Last week, the daughter of Rick and Beverly Ross of Decatur, was admitted to the hospital with severe chest pains after a week of flu like symptoms.  Her condition worsened, and over the weekend her recovery balanced on an hourly basis.  Today, her family reports that her heart is weak, and needs to sustain her blood pressure independent of medication.  Her liver and kidneys are also not functioning on their own.

My mind and heart have been saturated with thoughts of this young mother, and I have been desperately hoping and praying for her recovery.  Please add your thoughts and prayers to the many for Jenny.

You can read updates on her status through this site.  Rick Ross is the preacher at the Church of Christ, and Beverly Ross is the counselor at Wise County Christian Counseling.  Their faith has been unwaivering as they have watched their daughter struggle through this illness, and as always, they are an inspiration to many.

baby stuff…

  • January 11, 2010 9:43 pm

This one has been on my mind for a while…

This past summer, one of my best friends had her first baby.  During her pregnancy, she discussed and planned how she would like to pursue a non-medicated, natural childbirth-even hiring a Doula to help her through the birthing process.  I was surprised by her adamancy on the topic, and worried she would be disappointed should something not go according to her “birth plan.”  In my own experience with childbirth, I didn’t have an actual plan for birthing other than getting the baby OUT, but then I failed to progress at all, which resulted in a c-section (times three).  Per my doctor’s orders, once a section, always a section-especially with births less than three years apart.  Also, in her experience, failure to progress was a repetitive problem.  So, labor and delivery of babies was not something I excelled at, but as my friend put it, I still won at the carnival, and got to go home with a baby (three times!).  As I went through the experience, I didn’t feel deprived of anything necessary to my life as a mother-until I got home and started reading all those parenting magazines. There, spelled out for me was every sad and lonely feeling I should be having for being limited in my “birth experience,” not only the birth of my child, but the “birth of my motherhood.”  It was then that I began freaking out, wondering why those feelings weren’t welling up inside of me, and if perhaps I should have “tried harder” for a “real birth.”  I quickly got over that freak-out moment, but there was always this nagging voice in the back of my head reminding me of that “lost experience.”

Going through the experience with my friend this summer brought all those inadequate feelings back to the surface.  Without intention, she seemed to downplay the way my babies entered the world.  She was well read in all things labor and delivery, and had vast information on labor positions, breathing techniques, side effects of pain medication, and statistics on c-sections.  I read up a little more on the topic, just to be informed and subsequently questioned every decision I had made with my pregnancies.  I felt lost in the medical system, and disappointed with my results.

And then I slapped myself.

Because, I DID win at the carnival.  No matter what struggles my body did or did not experience, I DID take my babies home.  I’m STILL a mom, and I STILL am figuring out all the things that go along with that amazing responsibility and blessing.

But, during my reading and research this summer, I found a wealth of negative reporting on c-sections, medicated births, and more positive information on non-medicated natural births.  Women who “ended up” with sections were adamant on VBACS for their second child, so their “birthing experience” would be complete.  It could have been the sources, and the types of people on both sides of that issue telling their stories in different ways, but I was a little surprised.  I began to wonder that with everything women and moms in general have on their plates, why we need lay on the guilt for HOW the babies are born?  Really? 

And I’m a fan of incense and crystals.  My friends would tell you that I would be the first to go with the filling the room with positive energy and an aura of light and happiness.  I’d like to do that right now, on my couch.  I love the women that are capable of having that birth experience; I’m so happy for them.  I just think it’s kind of a non-issue how the babies arrive.  Sure, make a birth plan-any birth plan, and then everyone celebrate the bundle of joy-and not diminish however that experience happened.

And despite my friend’s best laid plans, she delivered via c-section, too.  I was immediately concerned for her disappointment, but the happy tears in her eyes told me she didn’t care.  She’d won at the carnival too.  Sometimes, it seems, it’s the babies that do all the deciding. 

Now, let’s go get some funnel cake.

one of those other kind of days…

  • January 6, 2010 5:38 pm

Just when I’m about to pull my hair out, the kids were lovely today.  There were even some “pleases” and “thank yous” thrown in for effect.

The plum suprised me today.  Plum. Suprised.

This mom thing sure does have its ups and downs, doesn’t it?

one of those days

  • January 5, 2010 9:20 pm

I’m exhausted.  The kids plum wore me out today.  Plum. Wore. Me. Out.  It was the kind of day that made me look forward to bedtime, and question my parenting skills.  The volume in this house was crazy high this evening.  Crazy high.

Are they trying to make me break my resolutions already?

Convincing Baby the Bottle is Way Cool, too.

  • November 19, 2009 6:57 pm

I wasn’t made to survive in the wild. 

My labor/delivery/nursing stories involve phrases like “failure to progress,” c-section, and “low milk supply.”  But, my babies have survived nonetheless in this not-so-wild world, thanks to medical technology and bottles.  Yes, I bottle-fed my babies, another reason I have that Mother-of-the-Year trophy so prominently displayed on my living room shelf.  It’s not that I didn’t try to nurse, I did; it just didn’t work out for me.  As a result, I’m a wealth of information when it comes to formula and bottles, but not so much when it comes to breast milk, nursing, and pumping. 

So, when two of my best friends recently encountered problems introducing the bottle to their nursing babies, I had no wisdom to pass along to them.  They tried different kinds of bottles, different kinds of nipples, cold milk, warm milk, cuddling, no cuddling, walking, sitting…the list is endless, but still Baby squished up her face and waited (impatiently and loudly) for Mommy.  In the meantime, Baby became increasingly more hungry and agitated, making the bottle less and less appetizing as the day wore on.  It was the definition of a negative feedback loop:  baby gets hungry, baby refuses bottle, baby cries, baby gets hungrier, baby cries harder, baby hates bottle even more, baby blames bottle for all unhappiness in the world. 

It’s been a few years since my days centered around bottles, diapers, naps, and those wonderful amazing baby smiles.  But, I remember worrying over each feeding, counting ounces, and calculating how much was going IN verses how much was coming OUT.  I also remember analyzing that OUTPUT praying THAT was normal, too. I critiqued every little cry, coo, and peep.  Being responsible for a WHOLE PERSON stressed me out when I thought too much about it, so I stopped thinking so much (good or bad?).  Hey, maybe I would survive in the wild.  Isn’t that what they call instinct?  Anyway, I say this because, I can retreat right back to those baby days in a second; I can FEEL the stress on my mommy friends, and I want to help.

So, how do we convince Baby that the Bottle can be almost as good as the real thing?