Monday, December 25, 2006


Bob has been working on a surprise present for me for a couple weeks now, and finally finished it Friday night. He's been working on it at his parents' house, and I truly had no idea what it was. When I opened the box this morning I was shocked to find curtains!!! He had never even used a sewing machine before this, but the curtains are absolutely beautiful. I'll post a picture as soon as someone with a camera comes over here to take one.

Beyond the beautiful curtains, Bob washed the windows when he put them up! My front room looks so much better.

Well, he recognizes the song. . .

After we sang "Angels We Have Heard on High" at Church this morning, Pauly said (loudly!) to Grandma, "The Wiggles sing that song in Yule Be Wiggling!" I noticed that he was actually singing the song, complete with the hand motions that the "angel" children used in the Wiggles video.

Friday, December 01, 2006

The "Pill" for Men: They Won't Take It

You've probably heard/seen/read the news reports about a potential contraceptive pill for men to take. This pill is still theoretical -- there have been no human trials, and I get the feeling that the developers are fishing for funding with this news report. The proposed pill will need to be taken within a certain time frame (I believe 2-5 hours) before sexual intercourse, and it will work by preventing ejaculation while still allowing orgasm. It will have no hormones in it.

Men have weighed in on this, as also can be read on various news pages, and the consensus seems to be "I won't take it." I read an interesting article here: that quoted some urologists as well as your average man.

Some things I found interesting:
"'This Pill sounds way too scary,' says Matt, a 25-year-old entertainment executive. 'I can't imagine anyone I know taking it. I know I wouldn't.'"

"'I don't think a lot of men are going to take this,' Dr. Harry Fisch, a urologist at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia in Washington Heights, says bluntly. 'I wouldn't do anything with it. Nice try.'"

"'How would it not affect your sperm count in the next three or four days?' frets Matt. 'If you took it for a week or month, how would it keep you from being sterile for a year?'"

The concerns are likely more than valid -- when you mess with the normal workings of the body, there are going to be unexpected consequences. I just find it interesting that men, and their doctors, are not willing to take the risk of the potential side effects, while women are. Doubtless the inequality derives at least somewhat from the fact that it is the woman who gets pregnant, gives birth, and is generally left with the child if dad doesn't want to be involved.

The "combined" (estrogen and progestin) oral contraceptive pill, for instance, has been classified by the World Heath Organization as carcinogenic to humans. WHO still insists that generall the benefits of the pill outbalance the risks, for most women. Besides increasing the risks of certain cancers, the pill has been shown to "raise the risk of strokes, heart attacks and potentially-fatal blood clots." (Note, my WSwhateverwhatever editor isn't working, so I'll list a whole bunch of links at the end of this post).

I find it ironic that the guy Matt, above, is concerned about a year's worth of sterility, when Depo-Provera, for instance, can reduce your chances of pregnancy and cause trouble with conceiving for 12-18 months after the last injection. The contraceptive pill has been shown to reduce the chances of conceiving for some months after stopping its use. These aren't really unexpected side effects -- the body cannot heal immediately, but they're not often mentioned as something to be aware of. These side effects all seem to be acceptable risks for women, but not for men.

The whole thing makes me think of this (phony) Breakthrough in Male Contraception that I first read about in Taking Charge of Your Fertility:

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Sara's Deli

Tomorrow (Friday) is Bob's last day at Sara's Deli. His first day of class is Monday. I am both sad and relieved to see him leave Sara's. We had thought this would be his dream job, and he really did love working there. Baking great bread is his "gift" and we had thought we had found someplace he could work it out. When he was hired he was told that he would get a significant raise when they could afford it, which never happened. The place will almost certainly close in the spring and it is better that he leaves now. It does feel a bit like we're deserting family, though.

Anywho. I'm a bit nervous and all, but Bob doesn't seem to be. I hope this all works out!

Official Wiggly Statement

Here's the official statement from the Wiggles website. And here's a video of Greg's message to his fans. He looks well.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Good News and Bad News

Greg Page is leaving the Wiggles -- due to a chronic condition called orthostatic intolerance. So he's not likely to Wiggle again, but he's not dying. Maybe he'll be able to do more solo song writing? I don't know if he'd even be well enough to record things solo.

Anyway there's the scoop.

The Rumors are Greg is Quitting

The Wiggles have scheduled a press conference for tomorrow morning to make a "major announcement relating to members of the group." See here and here.

I'm glad we got to see them while Greg was still Wiggling. Sam is not the same.

Greg at the August Wichita, KS concert.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Thank you!

I got home tonight, and in the mail was an anonymous Christmas card, with a $50 gift card to Walmart. It was mailed from Wichita. So thank you, however it is! This will be saved for January, when we will definitely need it.


On the way home from an all-day gaming party:

Me: Pauly, is your brother asleep?
Pauly: Yes!
Roger: I'm not asleep, I'm just chilling!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Last night I told Roger to go tell Daddy that it was time to eat.

R: Daddy, daddy it's time for eat!
Bob: It's time for eat? laughed
R: It's time for eating. It's time for eating.

My two and a half year old corrects his own grammar. In another year he'll be correcting mine!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

RIP Little Critter

Uncle Stephen gave Roger a gift certificate to Amazon for his 2nd birthday, and one of the things we purchased with it was this collection of Little Critter stories. Both Pauly and Roger have always liked it, and it has been read over and over in the few months that we've had it. In the last few weeks, Roger's attachment to it has grown and it has become his bedtime lovey. At nap or at bedtime, he needs Little Critter. Sometimes he looks through the pages, and sometimes he would just hold the book while he went to sleep. Last night was no different, Roger asked for his Little Critter while he was being tucked into bed. Daddy didn't know where it was, but mommy found it easily.

This morning I discovered that sometime between being tucked in last night and actually falling asleep, the boys deliberately ripped several pages of the Little Critter book apart. Mommy was not happy. They had been relatively quiet after tuck-in last night, and Bob and I had been concerned with Rosie, who is still quite sick and who was breathing very loudly and unevenly.

I managed to find all of the pages and most of the fragments this morning, and the book is now in readable condition. It has gained a few ounces from tape, though, and has lost its figure (now some pages poke out beyond the others). It's going to stay put up for a while, and I don't know what Roger will do for a lovey now.

I told Pauly that since he is the older brother he needs to tell mommy when Roger is doing something destructive. He said, "I was planning on it, but then I figured that Roger might need some help."

Monday, November 13, 2006

Huper Sero!

Roger said yesterday, "I'm a huper sero!!"
Me: "A super hero??"
Roger, very tentatively, "ye e e ss."
Me: "Are you a super hero or a huper sero?"
Roger: "A huper sero!!!"

Thursday, November 09, 2006

What should we do?

We're having to rearrange carseats and want some input. We have a '97 Chevy venture, the sport edition. This has five bucket seats in the back, three in the 2nd row and two in the 3rd row. We've had all three kids in the 2nd row, Rosie in the middle in her infant seats and the boys on the outside in the integrated child seat. Well, the seatbelt on the middle seat has never been entirely cooperative, and has now broken completely, so at least one of the kids will have to go in the back and we'll remove the middle seat. I'm not sure how we'll handle loading and unloading with this set up. When we went to the with Rosa and Lily we had Pauly in the back with a booster seat, but I had to open the rear hatch to buckle him in. We have the infant seat, a Fisher Price Safe Embrace Convertible, a Graco Ultra Cargo (or whatever) combination seat, and a Cosco low back booster. Two of the seats have integrated child safety seats. Pauly is 37lbs, Roger is 27lbs, and Rosie has to stay rearfacing regardless. Where would you put them, and why?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

So What's Up with the Wiggles?

I'm sure you have all been wondering. Unfortunately, I don't know. I don't know how the current tour is going. I don't know how Greg is doing. I don't know whether Anthony and Miki have had an ultrasound yet to find out if they're having a boy or a girl (it's about that time). I don't know anything Wiggly, because the Wiggles Message Board has been shut down. Although they have a legitimate explanation, they have just put up a new website and are still transitioning, I can't think that it is a coincidence that the shut down of the board corresponded with the first day of the new US tour.

Usually the WMB is busiest during a tour. Everyone posts their reviews of the shows, and synopses of their meet and greet, if they are able to have one. The boys and the dancers post much more often during a tour, sharing their side of things. And sometimes they let things slip -- the board found out about Miki's pregnancy the same day Anthony did (he was on tour in the US), when he mentioned it to a dad at a meet and greet, who posted it on the board.

Bob surmises they don't want speculation on Greg's condition, and they don't want someone to slip and say something that Greg is not ready to have the public know. That makes sense to me, although of course everyone is speculating anyway. And without accurate info, we're reduced to fabricating it for ourselves: I dreamed the other day that Greg was telling me that he had diabetes (not true) and Bob dreamed the same night that Greg actually was on the current USA tour (definitely not true). Without info from the horse's mouth, I'm reduced to Googling news articles.

The latest news is that Greg does not have cancer, his condition is not related to his hernia surgeries in December and March, and that he is too ill even to speak on the phone to the newspaper. This news articles quotes a statement that "Greg released for his fans." It is not a new statement, but is what he wrote back in August when he left the summer USA tour. Here is an actual brief interview with Greg. And here's one with Paul Field.

On a more positive note, here is a brief fun interview with Anthony.

I have a feeling that we got to see shows from the last two tours Greg will perform with the Wiggles. I don't know whether I should feel lucky or sad.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Office of Vital Craptistics

Well, because I'm a lazy person, I didn't have any of the kids' official birth certificates. In Kansas (I'm not sure whether this is true for other states) you have to send in a request for a birth certificate, you don't receive one automatically. Well, I've always forgotten, and whenever we've had to prove that one of the kids existed we've been able to use their Social Security Card and immunization record.

For the financial aid thing for Bob's training, however, that won't work. We did manage to find documentation that would work, but we decided to go ahead and order the birth certificates, which would have made this all much easier.

If you want to get a birth certificate from the Kansas Office of Vital Statistics, you have to jump through a few hoops. You can order easily online, if you want to pay an extra $9 per birth certificate. I wasn't willing to do that, so I got the stuff together to mail in. First you have to fill in a form, no problem, but it was a pain to do this three times. And they needed a copy of my driver's license, but that is reasonable. It costs $12 to get one certified copy. Which meant $36 all together -- and this doesn't include shipping back to you. You have to send one self addressed stamped envelope per request. If they can't find your record (which I doubt will be a problem here) then they keep the $12. Just to let you know. . .

Saturday, November 04, 2006


I asked Roger this evening if he wanted some cake, and he said "I don't want cake. I demand cake." He's not quite 2 1/2.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Now he's going to the potty, potty

So, Roger finally started using the toilet! He went potty for the first time on Monday, and went four times that day. Today he wore undies to church, and stayed dry, and then wore undies when we went out to the zoo and stayed dry then also. Yay Roger!

He'll probably have four accidents tomorrow.

The title of this post is a reference to The Potty Song from the video Once Upon a Potty. It is a very annoying song.

The Latest Rogerism

After trick-or-treating last night in my parents' neighborhood, we have a few pieces of candy at their house, then I told the kids it was time to go. Roger said, "The van is broken. The van is broken so we can't go home. We didn't get it fixed." Ah. Apparently the van broke but the grown-ups didn't notice. I guess he was hoping we'd just take his word for it and stay with Grandma and Grandpa.

Halloween Cuties!

Monday, October 30, 2006


Roger was playing with a plastic pirate hook for his Halloween costume and Bob said, "Don't pick your nose with that thing, you might get some brains!" Then Pauly said, "But he already has a brain!!"

Monday, October 23, 2006

Killed by Communion

This afternoon Roger was trying to put a quarter in Rosemarie's mouth while saying, repeatedly, "Body of Christ." Luckily, she didn't open her mouth. Can we say "choking hazard"?

I cannot believe this

I just finished reading a book by Alison Weir called The Princes in the Tower which is about Edward V and his brother Richard, Duke of York, and their murder, likely at the hands of their uncle Richard III. The whole point of the book is really that there isn't, or at least shouldn't be, any doubt that the murder was committed at the order of Richard III. I think the overall thesis is pretty solid, but the author was trying to pile up evidence upon evidence, and she took a serious mis-step at least once.

She quoted some fragments of a prayer handwritten in Richard III's Book of Hours
You have made me fron nothing, and have redeemed me by Thy most wonderful love and mercy from eternal dmanation to everlasting life. Because of this I ask You, O most gentle Jesus, to save me from all perils of body and soul and, after the course of this life, deign to bring me to You, the living and true God.

She then comments on this passage, "Richard praises Christ with heartfelt gratitude for having redeemed him from eternal damnation: what, one is tempted to wonder, had he done to merit such damnation?" One wouldn't be likely to wonder if one understoods the most basic elements of traditional Christianity. The passages she quotes from this prayer are not at all unusual in Christian prayer, especially for the time period. And yet she declares it to be "especially significant" and tries to use it to insinuate that Richard III must be guilty of something especially heinous.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Pauly the Corrector

Pauly was correcting Roger's pronunciation this afternoon at dinner:

R: Can I have some more, peese?
P: Say puh-weese, not peese.
R: Peese.
P: No, not peese, puh-weese.
R: Peese.
P: No. Puh-weese.
R. Peese.
P: Well, puh-weese is "peese" in 'Panish.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Never Mind!

You can ignore the last post. Bob is going to stay on working at Sara's through November. This will actually be better for us, as if he doesn't qualify for the grant money, we'll have time to find a way to beg/borrow/steal the money to pay for the training. Phew!

I was afraid this would happen

but Bob wasn't. Maybe I should have been more forceful in my reservations.

Anyway, we had decided that we would go ahead with this sheet metal training thing. I found out earlier this week that Bob had already given his notice at work, which made me very uncomfortable as we still hadn't officially enrolled him in the classes, etc. What if it didn't work out?

Well, yesterday Sara's hired a new employee, and Bob came home to a phonecall wanting information to enroll him for the first set of classes (through Hutchinson community college), which the lady says start Dec. 4. Ouch. He asked, "Everyone had said the orientation and tests were for the Nov. clases." Lady, "but those are already full!"

I guess this is what happens when several organizations (Hutch CC, WATC, Wichita Workforce) try to coordinate things.

So Bob might have to work somewhere else for a month, if he can't stay on at Sara's and he can't finagle his way into the Nov. classes anyway.


Yesterday morning went very badly. I was irritiable and the kids were ornery. I didn't get anything done. In retrospect, I think the problem was that I tried to do too much of my own thing -- ie. I picked up my book to read with my coffee, and tried to check my e-mail while I was rocking Rosemarie to sleep. It seems like if I focus on anything too closely, havoc ensues. Yesterday, it was the boys dumping 6 ozs of expressed milk (supposed to be Rosemarie's lunch) into their vaporizer. Mommy was a wee bit upset.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Smallest Wiggle Dolls Ever!

I did not make these of course. Besides being decidely uncrafty, I also have a limited amount of time and three very small children. These dolls would have been eaten by a toddler rather than made Wiggly. I think they're adorable, though.

No word on whether the yellow Wiggle in this picture is Sam or Greg. ;-)

Note: I have permission of the owner/creator of the dolls to post this pic.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The rumor mill says

Edited: Greg was NOT at the grand opening after all. So Sam is the Yellow Wiggle for this tour, and no one will tell us what's going on with Greg.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Oh Really? No! O'Reilly!

We just got out the highchair since Rosa will be here with Lily to watch the kids. Roger is sitting in it now. Pauly just came up and told me:

"Roger is pretending to be Lily and I am pretending to be Rosa, so I just gave Roger, who is pretending to be Lily, some Crispix."

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Quote for the Day

This is for Bob:

"Some people think iPods are good. But anything that can hold 10,000 Britney Spears songs must be evil." -- David Tench

Friday, October 13, 2006

Kids in Costumes

He rocks, doesn't he??

Here are the kids modeling their "costumes for Lily's party."

We need a young priest and an old priest!!

Roger was being very, very crazy this evening. He seems to be coming down with a cold and so his voice was very hoarse. You was running around yelling and saying weird thing, you should have heard him talking to a piece of pasta he dropped on his pants. I tried to get him to say "Redrum" but he wouldn't do it.

At one point in the evening, he crawled on his hands and knees into a corner by one of my MIL's plants, and started whispering to himself. Then he'd turn and look at us and yell "ARRRRGGGH." And he did it again, and again. Rosa and I wondered to whom he (thought he) was talking, and after this continued for several minutes Rosa asked him "Roger, ask him if his name is Legion." At that, Roger turned around and scream "ARRRRRRGGGGH" louder than before.

Guess his friend wasn't too happy about that question.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Well, they're boys.

Today, on the way to Nana and Papa's house I heard this discussion in the back seat:

R: Excuse me, I tooted!
P: Excuse me, I burped!
R: Excuse me, I burped!
P: Excuse me, I tooted!
R: Excuse me, I tooted!
P: Excuse me, I burped!

et cetera, et cetera, et cetera

For those who don't "get" The Wiggles

I thought this was a really good review of what is great and not-so-great about The Wiggles' music.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Yellow Wiggle Conspiracy -- Piece of Evidence #293

I received an email today annoucing the debut of the new Wiggles CD, a karaoke CD. I was shocked when listening to the karaoke songs to discover that they contain the voices of every Wiggle -- except Greg!! Obviously, this is simply an attempt on the part of the Wiggles corporation to get us used to their music without the voice of the Yellow Wiggle, while continuing to cover up his disappearance. It's not gonna work, buddies. ;-)

Monday, October 02, 2006

Christmas Lists

I was asked for Christmas lists for me and the kids some time ago, so I guess I'd better put something down.

Rosemarie: We could always use more cloth diaper stuff for her. We love the bumGenius diapers at, a gift certificate to or would be appreciated. Otherwise, she mostly just likes to stare at things, etc. I think the Go to Sleep Jeff CD would be excellent for her.

Roger: he loves The Wiggles and anything Wiggly related. Loves all kinds of music, CDs are always a hit. Also loves books, would probably like alphabet and number puzzles. Likes all the normal boy stuff: cars, trucks, dinosaurs, etc.

Pauly: He said he wants "a real gun that comes with things that can kill deer" but he's not allowed to have one yet. He'd like games for his Leapster, like Talking Words Factory and other learning games. He has the original Leapster, not the fancy new-fangled one. I'd like him to get the Leapster rechargeable battery pack. He likes Thomas the Tank Engine, and boy stuff like dinosaurs, etc. Also loves music and books.

Books are really a good choice for all the kids. I'd especially like them to have more high quality stories and more Catholic story books.

ETA: I can't believe I forgot this! The kids could use art supplies, like paints, clay etc. They've never actually used paint at all. I'm such a bad mommy.

For me: I am putting together a wish list at Amazon for books. I'd love Greg Page's solo albums. I have Taking Care of Country which is the only one Amazon imports, I'm not sure how you could get ahold of the other ones. You might have to order those from an Australian source. I would love, love, love some Tim Tams . You'd almost certainly have to get those from an importer like Everything Australian. You might look around because I think some other importer may be less expensive. I like dark better than original, but both are wonderful and I haven't tried any other flavors. You'd be my friend forever if you got me Tim Tams. Finally, I'd also appreciate gift certificates to the cloth diaper sites and

Sunday, October 01, 2006

This is just not fair.

We are all dealing with the stomach flu here, for the second time in a week. This is not cool!!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Wiggly News

Since I know you're all sitting on pins and needles.

Paul wrote: "The last two times The Wiggles have been up at Dreamworld, Greg has not been with the guys and this is why he has not been able to sign one of the shirts. Its simply a practical challenge! He'll get there one day in the future and perhaps we'll get him to sign a shirt to send up. I saw Greg today with the guys and he is still getting tests and asistance but he is still not yet "match fit" as the football coaches say.. We'll keep you all in the loop but as yet we dont know how soon it will be before he is treading the boards again."

I'm tired.

I'm tired. That's it. I really don't have anything else to say. I've been grumpy and tired all week, and I'm tired of being tired.

Oh, and I got to clean up diarrhea off the floor this morning. Fun! Apparently the kids are NOT done with the stomach bug they've had, or this is a new one. Or something.

Friday, September 22, 2006

More Wiggly Worries

Again, feel free to skip this post. What is this pic of? A display at Dream World in Australia, that has three signed Wiggles skivvies. This was posted on the WMB by an Australian member who just took this pick. She said that it looked as though a fourth signed skivvy had been there, there were dust markings as though the stand had been removed. I'm sure you can imagine the speculation. Still no new update on Greg.

More Homeschool Math!

Interesting dialogue today:

Pauly: What's two plus two?
Me: I don't know, why don't you tell me?
Pauly (without counting fingers): It's 4! What's two plus two plus two?
Me: Can you figure it out?
Pauly (again, with no pause and without counting): It's six! What's three plus three?
Me: What do you think it is?
Pauly turns around and looks at the clock to attempt to figure it out that way. P: 7?
Me: No, count again.
Pauly counts it out on his fingers: It's six! Three plus three and two plus two plus two are both six!

I thought it was very interesting that he got 2+2+2 without even thinking about it, but had to count out 3+3.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

More on the Pope and Islam

I just read a very interesting article commenting on the Pope's speech, that took a tack I hadn't actually considered before. It insisted that the Pope and the Vatican, in general, are not idiots, and that he very likely knew exactly what he was doing in the speech. That is, the speech was meant to be offensive, and was meant to take a stand against Islamic violence and extremism. It was meant to challenge Islamic leaders to examine themselves and determine whether they are going to choose to be rational or not.

ETA: found it here.

In this vein, this is an interesting blog entry about a statement supporting the Pope, when his speech is view in the light of a challenge to Islam to be rational.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Pauly's School

I still hadn't planned on doing much schoolwork with Pauly, but I went ahead and put the first Bob Books on hold at the library. We picked them up today, and he caught right on! The first book used words only containing the letters m, a, t and s. It went something like "Mat." under a picture of the character "Mat." Then "Sam." under a picture of Sam. Then: Mat sat. Sam sat. etc. It also included one "sight word" "on." I think that "on" is only considered a "sight word" because they had not officially introduced the sounds of 'o' and 'n' yet. Pauly, apparently, already knew this word and did not have to sound it out.

After reading book one, Pauly read book two. It added the sounds of 'b' and 'd'. With the Bob Books, you are supposed to introduce the sounds as you go through the books, but Pauly already knows most of the letter sounds from Starfall. It was slow going through both books, but he was definitely catching on. After that, we did spelling using the letters used in the first two books. I cut out squares of poster board, about 1 1/2 inch by 1 1/2 inch, and wrote one letter on each square. Then I put all those in front of Pauly. I said a word, and he sounded it out and formed it with the letter tiles. He did really well with this, and I'm very glad that I got the idea and tried it out.

Anyway, that's what we did for school today!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

For Talking Like a Pirate day. . .

You are The Cabin Boy/Galley Wench

You, me lad, are an activist! You will not only change the world, you will make a dyed-in-the-wool Pirate dream of you in a sheep costume. You are the embodiment of the love that dare not hoist its sail! Ahoy thar! You could make a two-patch Pirate turn his head - but then he would lose sleep over it and what good would that do anyone? An innovator, you are WAY ahead of your time - and everyone else's. You are sensitive and artsy-fartsy. You say things like, "artsy-fartsy" but there is always a slight giggle in your voice when you say it - like Paul Lynde on Hollywood Squares delivering a staggering punch line. Speaking of "punching" the only "punching" you would do is punching up that outfit with some accessories - say, a little bandana and some glass beads. You're not the Pirate we want in a fight, but we want you there for the crying game that follows! You go, girl.

What's Yer Inner Pirate?
brought to you by The Official Talk Like A Pirate Web Site. Arrrrr!

I cut over 18 inches off my hair

And it is still below shoulder length!

I'm donating the hair to Locks of Love. I'm glad to be rid of it!

Wiggly Cover-Up

Well yes, I suppose this IS a post about the Wiggles, so now you all can stop reading. A few days ago a member on the WMB posted this article about Greg Wiggle. According to whomever they spoke to at The Wiggles' office, Greg is just fine and is only suffering from exhaustion. Specifically, "We want to assure everyone that Greg is quite all right and it's nothing that a good period of rest and recuperation can't fix." I just don't buy it. That's what they've been saying from the beginning, but that is not what the The Wiggles themselves have said.

Greg himself has said "
Tests in the US hospital DID reveal something, however, I am not going to confirm anything until further testing is done, and when I am ready to. Hopefully, there was an error, and further tests will disprove what was shown."

Earlier last week, a WMB member spoke to Anthony at one of the shows, and he said that they still don't know what is wrong with Greg. The Wiggles themselves are certainly not saying "Oh, it is just exhaustion" although perhaps we can still hope that it is. Surprisingly, though, many members of the WMB reacted to the article above with relief. Oh, now we know that it's nothing! I can't understand this reaction. The "oh, it's exhaustion" has been what has been reported in the media from the get-go, yet we know that it is not entirely true. Another article stating the same old thing doesn't tell us anything, we still likely know a bit more than that reporter. Which means we're still waiting for the Wiggles themselves to give us the real scoop.

The Pope and Islam

I don't have much to say on this, most has already been said. Here's the text of the speech, here's a comment by a cardinal, and here's a good commentary by an American priest.

Some commentaries have said that perhaps the Pope somehow didn't realize that the quoted statement of Emperor Manuel II Paleologus seemed offensive. I don't think that's the case at all, according to the text of the whole document that is why he used it: "he addresses his interlocutor with a startling brusqueness, a brusqueness which leaves us astounded" and "after having expressed himself so forcefully. . ." The Pope realized that this statement was incredibly harsh, which is why it stood out to him in his reading, and why he used it to launch these reflections. I think that what the Pope did not realize is that this statement, a quotation from a medieval dialogue, would be broadcast in the media as though it were his statement, instead of being read and presented in its context.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Not a preschooler?

Today I was saying to the kids that I had three babies, when Pauly protested.

P: But Roger and I aren't baby babies.
Me: No, you're my babies that have grown up. Now Roger is a toddler and you are a preschooler.
P: No I'm not. I'm a homeschooler.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

That's too bad. . .

We refilled Pauly's allergy medicine today, and Bob read him part of the insert:

Bob: Alcoholic beverages can increase the drowsiness caused by this medication.
Pauly: Oh, man!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Gregroni and Gloria

Yesterday while I was making macaroni and cheese for lunch, Roger looked at the box and said "Gregroni!" (Greg Wiggle wears a yellow skivvy, and mac and cheese is yellow) Then he told me, "I want Murrayroni and cheese!" I'm not sure if he meant red pasta or red sauce. Later on during lunch I said something about macaroni, and he corrected me: "No! Gregroni!"

A few weeks ago I thought he didn't actually know his color names, since he refers to colors by their corresponding Wiggle. This can be a bit disconcerting when he asks for a Murray flavored popsicle. I had been correcting him like this, "Yes, red is Murray's color" etc. I was talking with a Parents as Teacher parent educator, and she suggested that I use this form instead: "Yes, that is red. Murray wears red" so that we end the statement with what we want him to remember. The first time I corrected him like this he had referred to some clothes that Rosemarie (or RoseMurray as he calls her) was wearing as "Greg." I said, "Yes, they're yellow. Greg wears yellow." and he responded, "Murray wears red. Jeff wears purple. Anthony wears blue." I guess he just prefers Wiggly terminology.

As I was typing this, Roger was singing,

For you alone are the Holy One,

you alone are the Lord,

you alone are the Most High,
Jesus Christ,

with the Holy Spirit,

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Dinner Math

Last night Pauly was setting the table. I asked him how many plates he needed, and he told me "four" and I got them out for him. I told him "I already have a glass. How many glasses do we need." "Three!" he said. Then he went on:

P: Is one plus three, four?
Me: Yes
P: But two plus two is four!
Me: Yes, one plus three AND two plus two are both four.
P: So what is two plus three, then?
Me: You tell me.
P(after counting it out): It's five! And three plus three is six!

Now, if he could only hold a crayon correctly.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Saturday, September 09, 2006


Today we were all watching a movie at my parents' house. I was sitting on the couch holding Rosemarie, and Roger was messing around on the couch next to me. In just a split second, he climbed up on the couch behind me and jumped on to Rosemarie's head!! The poor baby screamed like she was being murdered! It seemed like she screamed a very long time, but I think it was only five minutes or so. I was seriously thinking that we might have to take her to the emergency room, since I couldn't get her to calm down in the usual ways (nursing, pacifier, holding) and she sounded like she was in pain. I'm not sure what to do about Roger. He's not being especially disobedient, he's just a whirlwind. Lately these destructive forces have been attracted to his baby sister like a tornado to a mobile home park. As this episode demonstrates, it's escalating. I can't even get dressed in the morning unless one or the other of them is shut away in a bedroom. And breaking that DVD this morning did not earn Roger extra points with me.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Now I'm Jumpy

I just got a creepy phone call. Phone rang about 20 minutes ago (just after 9pm) and when I answered the phone, some guy said, "Baby, I can't wait to get you alone." Um, OK. Didn't sound like Bob, but it did sound like something Bob would say. So I said, "What? Who is this? Is this Bob?" The caller responded, "Yeah, this is Bob. (pause) Yeah. (pause) Yeah (pause). Yeah, this is Bob. (pause) Yeah." I don't think he was sure whether he was Bob or not.

At this point, I was sure it wasn't Bob, and was some other creep. So I hung up. The guy didn't sound too coherent, I figure he was not entirely sober and got the wrong number. I called Bob at game night anyway, and double-checked the lock on the door.

But I jumped anyway when my dad called about 5 minutes later. Sigh.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I guess they don't quite get it

This morning, after pretending to pass out communion, Roger declared "I'm Jesus!" Pauly got into the pretend play and said "He's going to die in a minute." Then Pauly pretended to shoot Roger, and said "I'm Mary, and I killed him because he wouldn't listen to what I said."

Um, OK.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Mass at St. Michael's

This morning we attended mass at St. Michael's. Bob was very, very happy about it, and I was a bit less so. I do appreciate the little things that are done at St. Michael's, like the use of the patens, that make the parish seem more traditional. I also appreciate the bigger things, like not changing words in the mass and kneeling. That was quite a change from what is done at St. Mary's, where we don't currently kneel at all. At St. Michael's they don't just kneel at the required and customary time, but everyone also kneels after mass and remains kneeling until the altar servers come back in to extinguish the candles. And they have, gasp, statues!

I missed our parish, though. Not the building, not the pastor, but the people. St. Mary's people really feel like family. The people at St. Michael's are very nice, and we had people come up and introduce themselves to us, but they're not my family, at least not yet. I don't think we're ready to say that we're changing our membership to St. Michael's, likely we'll end up involved in both parishes at least for a while. Bob has obligations with the Knights, with regard to cooking parish breakfasts, etc.

One of the things that makes me think that St. Michael's would be a better fit is the school situation. Most active parishioners at St. Mary's have their children in the parish school. It is not a bad school, it is actually quite a good school, but it is an institutional school. Choosing homeschooling, as we are planning on doing, over the parish school would definitely put us somewhat "on the outside" and I have a feeling that some would view it as a rejection of the parish school.

St. Michael's doesn't have a parish school, although some parishioners will send their children to St. Mary's. It does have a strong homeschooling population, and I already know some of the homeschooling moms (they're all lots older than me!). Most of the families use more traditional curriculums like Seton, while I see us using something that relies less on workbooks, either classical or Charlotte Mason-ish.

Anyway, thems my thoughts this morning.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Greg Wiggle

I'm a complete and total dork, and I'm a bit ashamed of posting this but it's very upsetting to me. And I'm a bit ashamed that I'm so upset. Greg Wiggle passed out before a show a couple weeks ago, then again the next day. Media reports at the time said that the doctors found nothing wrong, but that he was going home to rest. Well, it looks like it's quite a bit more serious than we'd all hoped:

"I am still undergoing tests here in Australia, and the passing out episodes have continued (however, I now know when it is about to happen, so I can get myself sitting down before hand).

Tests in the US hospital DID reveal something, however, I am not going to confirm anything until further testing is done, and when I am ready to. Hopefully, there was an error, and further tests will disprove what was shown. The result of that test weighed very heavily on my decision to come home from the tour and seek further medical advice and treatment where I can be at home."

So it sounds serious. And of course I'm thinking the worst, like a brain tumor or something. And I'm very very upset by this. Isn't that silly? I feel like I know Greg, and of course I don't. The Wiggles feel like part of the family, and of course they're not.

Anyway, Greg wrote that he was appreciative of any prayers and good wishes, so keep him in your thoughts.

Artistic Prodigy?

I recently read about a "child prodigy" who is becoming increasingly famous, Marla Olmstead. Her paintings are selling for $15K+, one video clip on her website states that one painting sold for $24K. She has made a big splash, and has had several art shows including one overseas in Germany. And she's not even in kindergarten yet. You can see her website and view some of her "work" here.

I'll admit that I may not be the best person to write about this, as I know relatively little about art, and don't have a particularly high opinion of modern abstract art. According to the book in which I first read about Marla, Hothouse Kids: The Dilemma of the Gifted Child by Alissa Quart, "Marla's aesthetic style is clearly superior to that of the average four-year-old--critics have noted its abstraction, consistency, color sense, formal balance and maturity." Her paintings still look like finger paintings to my uneducated eye. Yes, they may be better than average finger paintings, they have distinct line and colors, rather than being a mottled gray-brown from mixing all colors together into a mess like many children would. I wonder how much of that has to do with the fact that she is using far superior materials to what most children would use to paint. The fact that the paintings cover the entire canvas and appear "finished" is significant as well. There were a couple paintings on her site that I wouldn't mind having on my wall, Dory is one.

Or maybe the artistic quality of her work has something to do with the fact that it isn't all her independent work, as can be seen here in the second clip on this page (scroll down) from 60 minutes. And here's a link to the transcript of the show. First the canvas was primed by her father, which explains the lack of white space left in her paintings. Then she was coached by her father to keep painting, even when she said she was done, and he offered suggestions on where she ought to paint. The child developmental specialist 60 Minutes interviewed noted that this finished painting looked much less polished than the other work, the creation of which has not been captured on film. The parents' explanation for this does actually make some sense. If they felt pressured to capture Marla's performance, then they would likely pressure her. It would significantly change their behavior.

So why do I care about this? I just find it fascinating that anyone could pay so much money for a piece of artwork done by a four or five year old, and it seems to me that her "success" is due to her young age and some major pushing of her work by her parents and agent.

Or maybe I'm just jealous because my four-year-old isn't earning me thousands of dollars. I'll better figure out what he's good at.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Things have been going well

Things are going well lately. That's all. Not too exciting to write about, but it was kind of exciting to think about today. I haven't turned into psycho-banshee-mommy much at all recently, I can't recall the last time. I'm feeling better and more in control of everything, and the kids seem to be somewhat happier. And even when they do burst into tears (because they're sensitive guys) it doesn't bother me.

I think one thing that has helped a lot is Roger's increased ability to engage in imaginative play. He can play with Pauly, and they keep playing together for longer periods of time. More importantly, I think I've had a better attitude. I've borrowed a couple positive discipline books from the library, and I really notice the change in myself after I read them, even if I don't agree with all their suggestions. And the kids behave better when I have a better attitude.

Although I'd still like to know how to get them to pick up their room.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

New Baking Chocolate

There's a new baking chocolate coming out, and you can earn free chocolate (by basically doing their advertising for them) :

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Structured vs. Unstructured

I've been thinking alot lately about how we're going to proceed with homeschooling next year. I suppose because it is the beginning of school for so many people, and because next year Pauly will be five years old and thus kindergarten age, so I'll be able to be "officially" homeschooling. Right now I guess we're just wasting time. . .

The big issue in homeschooling seems to be structured vs. unstructured learning, and I can't quite decide which side I come down on. Both sides have good arguments and I tend to agree with whatever I'm reading at the moment, but both sides often say things that annoy me about the other side.

For instance, I've seen unstructured arguments that say that they don't believe that children's minds are empty buckets, that need to be filled with a certain number of facts to be educated. Well, that makes sense, but it implies that certain groups (like classical homeschoolers or core curriculum homeschoolers) believe that children are empty buckets. If you look at what those who advocate classical or core curriculums actually say, you see that they believe that children should be exposed to classical myths, fairy tales, fables, and a great deal of history so that they will have the background knowledge necessary when they encounter allusions and references to these things in all kinds of literature. They don't simply believe that having these things memorized is good in itself, but that having been exposed to it is a kind of foundation or scaffold of knowledge, so other information is more easily learned and so the individual can better participate in intellectual or political conversation. Likewise, Classical proponents don't necessarily believe that it is important for a child to have such-and-such a poem memorized, but they do believe that gaining the skill of memorization and recitation is a good thing.

On the other side of the fence, some structured homeschool proponents have gone so far as to say that unschooling should not qualify as homeschooling at all, because the parents aren't doing anything. This just shows that they misunderstand the unschooling idea, because a parent would be active, in fact very active, helping the child learn by providing information, resources and yes teaching when that child was interested in a topic. In some ways, I think that unschooling may be harder on the parent (probably depends on the personality of said parent) because you'd have to be reacting to the child's interests and following his lead, instead of having a plan to follow. Or some structured programs will advertise an education without "gaps in knowledge." This is simply an impossibility. I don't know everything, so I can't expect my kids to learn everything. There's going to be many, many things that they won't learn about many, many subjects.

I think that really the answer (for me at least) is not as clear cut as one or the other. I like much of what unstructured homeschoolers write about the learning lifestyle, but honestly this can occur even if some structured learning occurs during the day also. As a child attending institutional schools, I still did quite a bit of pursuing topics on my own time. I read everything I could get my hands on, basically. But would some small amount of structure offer any benefit? I feel that it would, but I'm not completely sure why I feel that. I think that it could help build self discipline, ie. we can't always do just what we want, but I think that you could learn that through a learning lifestyle that includes chores, etc. as part of basic family life as well. I think that it could help meet goals, and give kids the basic skills they need (like reading) to learn more about what they are interested in. And I think that it could be helpful for me so that I don't get too lazy, and don't follow the kids' interests, and end up not teaching them anything.

I'm stopping now. There's no real point to this post, just me working out my thoughts.

Jokey Song

Here is a "jokey song" that Pauly sang today:

Hey diddle diddle, the bunny and the fiddle.
The cow jumped over the bunny.
The little rabbit laughed to see such sport,
and the bunny ran away with the rabbit!

For some reason, this cracked both of them up.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Church Issue Again

So Bob is talking about going down to St. Michael's for church, again. I don't know what I think. A couple weeks ago he talked to Fr. W about Fr.'s changing words in the opening greeting and final blessing of the mass, which besides being annoyingly nonsensical indicates an underlying theology in which the ordained priest is no different than the laity. Needless to say, the talk did not go well. Basically, Fr. doesn't want to be viewed as different than the laity, except when they question him. And then last week Fr. read that awful poem in his homily:


He was old, tired and sweaty pushing His homemade cart down the alley, Stopping now and then to poke around insomebody’s garbage. I wanted to tell him about Eucharist But the look in his eyes, the despair on his face, The hopelessness of somebody else’s life in his cart, told me to forget it. So I smiled, said “Hi” – and gave him Eucharist.

She was cute, nice build, a little too much paint,Wobbly on her feet as she slid from her barstool, and on the make.
“No thanks, not tonight”, - and I gave her Eucharist.

She lived alone, her husband dead, her familygone, and she talked at you, not to you, words, endless words, spewed out.So I listened – and gave her Eucharist.

Downtown is nice, lights change from red togreen and back again, flashing blues, pinks and oranges, I gulped them in, Said “Thank You Father”, and made them Eucharist.

I laughed at myself, and told myself “You with all your sin and all your selfishness, I forgive you, I accept you, I love you” It’s nice, and so necessary to give yourself Eucharist.

My Father, when will we learn – You cannot talk Eucharist – you cannot philosophize about it. You do it. You don’t dogmatize Eucharist. Sometimes you laugh it, sometimes you cry it, often you sing it. Sometimes it’s wild peace, then crying hurt, often humiliating, never deserved.

You see Eucharist in another’s eyes, give it inanother’s hand held tight, squeeze it in an embrace. You pause Eucharist in the middle of a busyday, speak it in another’s ear, listen to it from a person who wants to talk.

For Eucharist is as simple as being on time and as profound as sympathy, I give you my supper, I give you my sustenance,I give you my life, I give you me. I give you EUCHARIST.

BY: R. Voigt

R. Voigt is not a Catholic, by the way, according to this.

So now we have to decide whether to go down to St. Michael's. I still feel that the people of our parish are family, and I'm not really comfortable leaving. You don't abandon your family just because you don't agree with some of them. But I agree with Bob that Fr. is not going to change. I'm just not sure how this hurts us, since we know better. It may not be getting better, but I also don't think that it is getting any worse. It is so nice to go to St. Michael's, though. I'll bet we don't hear any wacky poems there.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Yellow Rose

Isn't she cute? She'd seem a lot cuter to me if she were sleeping at the moment. Here she is showing off in yellow, the color of her favorite Wiggle. She's wearing a yellow bumGenius diaper from Cotton Babies as well. And yes, I actually think of it as her Yellow Wiggle diaper. We have a blue one as well, but so far there's no purple or read bumGenius available to fill out her Wiggly wardrobe. Yes, I'm a freak.

Oh, and if anyone is thinking of buying me or Rosemarie a present, we'd love more bumGenius diapers. We have seven (since I borrowed one my SIL left at my in-law's house) but I'd love more.

My first post

I just started a blog to post about my family. Is this a good idea? I'm not sure whether it is or not. I don't really have much to say most of the time, except about the Wiggles. And stuff.

Here's a pic of my family.