Wednesday, August 14, 2013

"Who Do You Think You Are?" a late night history lesson

I had the choice last night to watch Zooey Deschanel on "Who Do You Think You Are?" on TLC at home, or around the block at

I decided to leave the house, alone. but after I got there I called home to say I'm coming back quick to get Max. It was cool in there! I felt bad, and knew Max would really like it. But when I called I heard Mimi screaming in the background for me instead. I ran home and just got the whole family and brought them with me for the 9pm showing.

I like this show a lot. It must have been so much work before filming finding celebrities with such interesting family histories...without the celebrity knowing how interesting their family background might actually be. They had to research each candidate thoroughly just to make sure they WERE interesting. they really found some wonderful stories in the process.

Zooey Deschanel had a family history in the Lancaster area.  They talked about Zooey being brought in at 7am, and how all was kept very hush hush. The historian TLC worked with from Christiana had a funny tale. He noted that he was quite leary when they first called him (after the Amish Mafia situation)...but after much convincing- meeting him at his house,  it all worked out fine in the end. As we were all waiting for the show to begin, the Amish Mafia trailer popped on the screen behind him, and the audience all had a good laugh.

 At the showing we sat amongst other local historians who assisted the producers. Max was so shocked when I whispered to him that someone we just saw on the screen, "was in the room right now."
 I loved that this episode taught us about the Quakers and the Abolitionists, and the role they played in helping to end slavery before the Civil War. It was absolutely amazing to hear the tale of Zooey's great great great great great (5x?) grandmother, Sarah Pownell, being a true leader in the Abolitionist movement. The personal memoir that told of her grandmother sneaking former slaves out of her house the night of the Christiana Riot was amazing. And it was declared that certainly she had done this before and she was deep deep deep into the underground railroad.
Mimi enjoyed sitting with Max on a big seat, and drinking lemonade, and sneaking in and out of the room with her Dad to check out the museum. Max learned about freeing slaves, the underground railroad, and Lancaster history...thanks to TLC in a room of local historians. After a long week, getting ready for school to start, I thought bringing them to that, was pretty cool:)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Lucky Dogs

 We've had a fun time this summer watching the construction of the new Purina Benefal Dog Park. Each day as we walked up the hill to the F&M pool, we'd see the bulldozers, then the rolls of grass...

the whimsical amusement park designs, imagined by Lancaster resident Angela Bauman...

 and finally, on the final day of construction, we oohed and ahhed as the adirondeck chairs were pulled from their boxes...

 and set up under the red and yellow awning.
We probably said hello to Jason Cameron, licensed contractor and host of DIY Network's "Desperate Landscapes" without knowing it.

 As we swam in the pool next door, the yellow ball was inserted into the grass.

 It felt like my environment had turned into a  Disney movie this week...seeing dogs run happily through the park...neighbors coming together...
 and  my nieces new college serving as the backdrop...

 Our trips to the pool will be even happier now.
What a fun thing for the end of the summer. And all year too!

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Water Room

 On our way to Chicago we stopped at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh. As the museum announced it would be closing in 45 minutes, and a dark storm began to pound the building, we exited the elevator and found, The Water Room! absolutely my favorite new child space.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Social Aspects of Mothering a Child with a Growth Disorder- A Parental Perspective

How do you like my title? It is an ode to the ZILLIONS of medical journal articles I have read over the last two years.

There are three fundamental sociological factors that make mothering a child with a growth disorder unique to the parent. from my perspective...

1. The Child is Smaller than Other Children and Other Parents Respond Differently to You.

I have found that other mothers take note quickly that Mimi is way more petite than their child. They often ask me was Mimi premature, or does she have Celiac. Does she need more milk? They do not invite me to play dates, as they wonder, maybe I don't feed Mimi, or perhaps she has an illness...both might spell trouble and be too awkward.

While this is happening, I am fascinated by how LARGE your baby is. I'm thinking he or she must be heavy to carry around, and I'm also feeling sad for you and all the other parents in the room. How fast their babies are growing! Look how large all their feet are! I know that I can carry my little one so easily, she's so light! She's given me lots and lots of time, extra months of seeing that sweet immature face, and holding those dainty hands. There is nothing sweeter!

2. The Parents May Suffer from Exhaustion due to Feedings, Dr. Appts, and Questioning.

Imagine the baby first year happening over and over again. Like year after year. Imagine worrying what and how much your child eats constantly. Well maybe not constantly, but like an clock that dings every one hour and fourty five minutes. Often times children with growth disorders are hypoglycemic. They might not eat, or they might eat a lot. Each bite counts. Every Single Bite. You may know to give night time feedings or be ordered to by one of the five doctors your child sees to feed at night. Your child might need a feeding tube or there might be talk of getting a feeding tube. You'll be responsible for logging food for three days throughout the year. You'll be packing food constantly, and seeking out foods that aid in growth, that are full of protein and even fat. You'll make doctor appointments every week. You'll have to look something up every day. A symptom. A specialist. Pros and cons of a certain medication. You've taken on a part time job without realizing it. And by the way, everyone you know thinks you might be a little bit...crazy.

3. The Parents Must Become an Advocate for the Very Small Child. A New Challenge.

This week, I told off a four year old boy at the library. He was hovering over Mimi while she used the computer. She logged on. Hit OK to start her session. She selected Dora. She selected Dora ABC. She began to play. And little boy, decided that Mimi must be a baby. She must not know how to use the computer and so he decided to play her game for her. As she yelled at him using her "words", he stared at her blankly and continued to hover over her hitting the keys. I told him, "Please. Really. This is her time. Please, I SAID STOP." At that he finally went away. and I realized I no longer cared who might be watching me scold someone elses four year old. I've graduated from Parenting 101. I'm onto Parenting 108 or something. I'll say what I need to say to let Mimi do what she needs to do. And I don't care if you are four, thirty four, even eighty four, or if your mother is standing right there.