Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Introducing, the newest member of the Brown family...

Benjamin Joseph

We have our final approval!!!!

We should be traveling in about 3 months to meet our baby boy for the first time! :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Thumthing ith mithing...

too bad Christmas is still 6 months away...

The girls are busy trying to get him to say anything with an "s" in it...



                                        .....sufferin' succothash

.....sister Suzy sittin on a thistle....this could go on all night.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Making of a Nurse

I just completed my 12 week orientation, and survived the first day on my own.

*Note, I purposefully do not write about work here, you know privacy and ethics and all that,  this is my one exception.  Jen, I promise it's nothing gross, you may proceed with confidence...

I started my day discussing a situation with one of our awesome senior nurses. (I truly never feel "alone" everyone has been so supportive, and I feel comfortable asking questions, even silly one's)  I was trying to decide whether or not to give an ordered diuretic. (yes we do question orders, I would never give a med simply because it was ordered!  And yes, Mr. Grumpy patient, I do know what I'm am listening for when I auscultate your lung and heart sounds, It's not "just for show," but I digress...)  Anyway, we agreed it was safe to give it, and while walking away she called "besides we can always resuscitate with fluids if we need to."  Great, this was going to be an interesting day...

I'm happy to report my day was uneventful, no resuscitation necessary, everyone survived.

When I started this journey of becoming a nurse 6 years ago, the only thing I knew for sure was that along with being a mother and a wife, a nurse was truly what I was meant to be.

I had no way of knowing how hard it would be to get through school or the sacrifices my family would make.  I had no idea that in the middle of everything, we would decide to homeschool our kids.  Adoption was definitely not our the radar screen, 6 yeas ago.  So much has changed for our little family.

I had no idea how much I would have to know, to be a good nurse.  I had no idea I would need to learn about gravity, pharmacokinetics, and hallucinations.  Mine was a pretty sheltered world.  I had no idea my innocence would be taken away at such a young age. ;)  Really, I have seen and heard things that most people never will.

I'm sure I still have no idea how much I still have to learn.

I had no idea how hard it would be to stay up all night, many nights in a row, be expected to function, and then come home and be "Mom" again.

I had no idea that I would want to quit, like, every other day.  This is too hard, I'm too tired, I miss my family, it's not worth it, blah, blah, blah.  It's a strange thing to love something and dread it at the same time.

I also had no idea what a privilege it would be to be present at the final moments of a life, or help a family navigate a sometimes confusing new diagnosis.

I've been racking my brain to think of a way to still be a nurse, but not take any time away from my family.  I got nothin'.  Besides, it's good for them right?  A little struggle builds character, strength, and independence.  How many kids do their own laundry and know their way around the kitchen like my kids do?  I'm thinking some day they will thank me.

I'm not sure where this will all lead, and I'm sure things will change when Ben comes home, but for now we a just taking things one day at a time.  It's crazy, possibly all wrong, but more often than not, it feels right.  At least for today...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A simple plan for optimizing your child's eating habits

I've been a fan of Dr. Sears for quite some time.  I love his common sense approach to children's health, vaccines, attachment parenting and such.  The fact that his wife is an RN tells me he must be a smart man, and the fact that they have a son with Down syndrome, endears me to the Sears clan even further. :) 

I just finished reading his book on Childhood nutrition, "The Nutrition Deficit Disorder Book."

It emphasizes the need for solid nutrition, whole foods, and smart fats to keep our kids healthy and ready to learn.  Also, the book gives great tips on how to teach your children about making healthy choices in a simple easy to understand way.  Already my kids understand some much more about how and why we make the choices that we do.

There is also a website detailing their L.E.A.N kids program here.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Some things that I needed to be reminded of today...

This top 10 list was posted on one of my yahoo groups today, these are qualities that I seek in our home, but my own selfishness along with worldly distractions often get in our way.

1) Keep everything as simple as you can. Jesus wrote with a stick in the dirt, and He was the greatest teacher that ever lived. He used no curriculum or flannel graphs or lesson plans. Homeschooling can be made far more complicated than it should be. A simpler approach is much more effective.
2) Stick to the 3 R's. They form the foundation of life-long learning in every field because they are the tools of study. There will be no need to formalize any other subject if the children are doing their best in these 3, because people who are well grounded in reading, writing and math will approach other subjects boldly, independently and confidently.
3) Let the children teach themselves as much as they are able to. This teaches them responsibility, intellectual independence, and builds confidence. It's also better for the parent/child relationship because you can focus on parenting instead of playing schoolteacher.
4) Use the most direct method available. For reading, read. For writing, write, for math, do it, and for Bible, read it. Don't fall for catchy curriculums or methods that are really just something else for you and your child to learn.
5) Don't worry about your child's age or grade. Just let him do the best he can each day. Children grow intellectually like they do physically: in spurts. Although we may have an audience of skeptical relatives, homeschooling is not a circus, and we refuse to train our children to do tricks for people.
6) Minimize distractions in the home. Watch for excessiveness in entertainments, snacking, outings, phone conversations and the like. These sorts of things can easily get out of hand and compete with the effectiveness of a homeschool and sap the family of time and energy.
7) Seek quality over quantity. A few tapes of great music, a small case of carefully chosen books, a few special play mates, and an occasional outing is better than a large, but poor quality collection.
8) If you must document your school activities, do it after the fact. This way you will not make promises you cannot keep. If you are required to make lesson plans, be as vague as permissible. Don't let transcripts, diplomas, records and tests determine your academic plans. Focus on learning and the rest will follow.
9) Put the needs of your youngest, most vulnerable children first. If an older child gets a little behind in school, I'm sure you can forgive yourself. But if something happened to the toddler while you were busy homeschooling, I don't think you would be able to say the same.
10) Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul and don't neglect to seek him early...giving him the first fruits of your day and teach your children to do the same. I know that you are tired and that there aren't enough hours in your day, but we serve a God who can make the sun stand still.