World Breastfeeding Week

Oh yeah, it’s world breastfeeding week, and I’d like to say a big THANK YOU to my Mom, who nursed my brother, and my aunt Wanda, who I saw nurse her two kids, one until he was four. 😀 That’s why when I had my own kids, I thought to myself, “Well of course I’ll nurse them, that’s what they’re for!”

Total nursing times:
Addison – 2 weeks
Sarah – 6 months
Meaghan – 18 months
Emma – 3 years, 3 or 4 months.

Total time: 5 years and around 5 months. (Wow, I never added it up like that before.) Yeah, I get a medal.

So if you had trouble nursing your first (or second) child, and are having more kids, stick with it! It’s worth it! 😎

19 Free Gifts!

For carrying that ad on the sidebar, I get my subscription and the promised 19 free gifts. The “gifts” came in the mail the other week, and big manilla envelope stuffed with mail-back cards and one mini-unit book from Lasting Lessons. (Warning: their site is full of anoying java appelets.)

About four of the offers I could complete on-line without mailing cards back – a printable table manners mini-poster (nice looking, but not quite for us), a whole grain educational kit (I wonder if customs will let it in?), two free issues to another magazine, and some audiobook files of classic books (as yet unlistened to).

There were a couple we can’t use, one $10 off coupon for a chain of stores in the US, and one for an educational video club – oh wait, apparently they did let me put in a Canadian address. Hmm.

The rest I still have to mail off with a pile of stamps stuck to them. Handy tip: use return address labels to fill in your info quickly, and it goes without saying to NOT put your phone number or credit card information on the back of a postcard.

One company’s card was extemely badly designed, as far as a form goes. I’m to return the card, but there’s nowhere for me to fill in my information so they can send me a sample lesson.

I’m not sure how many will come back, as I’m in Canada and all of these offers are American. I’ll be sure to let you know how it works out, though. I really am looking forward to reviewing each of the companies involved and their materials.

Wife Swap

I wrote another post over in thoughts about the offers being made via blogs for homeschooling moms to apply for ABC’s Wife Swap. Still have some work to do to get that all working smoothly. For now, you’ll have to comment here.

(Andrea’s edit: In Canada, we had a much better show called Trading Places, where the whole family switched.)

Wife Swap Application Synopsis

There has been an extensive discussion of the offer made to a number of homeschoolers to appear on ABC’s Wife Swap program. We have researched the program a little bit. The format has changed since the last season. As far as we can tell, this year, the visiting mother does not get to tell the host family how to spend $50,000. There is no mention of $50,000. At Spunky’s, the original offer of $10,000 has been doubled to $20,000. (see the comments) So, what happened to the $50,000?

Now, the swap lasts 2 weeks instead of 1. And the kicker is that the first week the guest wife has to ‘follow the rules’ of the host family the first week and ‘make the rules’ and the family is obligated to follow them the second week. Already, it’s sounding like it’s not quite the deal that it was made out to be in the first season.

We took the liberty of hunting down the application for the show. At first glance I felt that many of the questions on the application were too personal. After I thought it over for a while, I also realized that there were a number of questions there which weren’t relevant to the show. And that put me in mind of statistics class. One of the common methods generally used in gathering statistics is to ask a lot more questions than the ones you want the answers to. And then the answers to the extra questions help the statistician determine whether the answers to the original question(s) ought to be used in the statistical result.

Looking at the application, what I believe are the determining factors in whether the application gets accepted are the answers to the following 4 questions:

Where do you stand on politics? Race/interracial marriage, homosexuality/gay marriage, Welfare/unemployment?

Does religion play a part in your family’s life? How so?

What pushes your buttons? (Both in your family and in general)?

Is there any feuding in your immediate or extended family? If so, please elaborate.

Lori, the casting director for the show said,

If a family comes off as looking a certain way, its probably because they REALLY are that way.

So, the fact that the show’s producers have had lots of warning as to how they would look (or could be made to look), has nothing to do with how they do look after the editing staff has selected which parts of the ‘documentary’ to include in the program?

The last question on the survey that is worth mentioning, since I think its answer would be somewhat different among HSers than it has been on the applications they are used to seeing

How do you discipline your children?

In my opinion, this is actually asking, how do you control and punish your children? I would expect that most homeschoolers do relatively little to none of either. In our case, we train them (in areas where discipline might apply) by example. What I have discovered is that because HS children do not go to a place which is run via control, reward and punishment, they are much less prone to developing behaviours and attitudes which require what is considered typical parental discipline.

Any takers?


There is a very large chunk of a very large cake in our cupboard.

That’s the thing, see, when you are good neighbours to an elderly couple. When you make sure everyone in your family goes to the party, (“At least put in an appearance, PLEASE. Then you’re free to go.”) and your masses of children are the youngest there, you can be assured that later on in the evening you will get a phone call.

The tremulous voice on the other end will ask if we couldn’t use any food, especially cake, as they couldn’t possibly eat it all, oh my heavens, no, and could I just send someone over, she’ll pack it all up for us, we’d be doing her a favour, really, and wasn’t it sweet of us to show up, it just made their day, oh thank you so much, thank you dear, see you later.

So we sang happy birthday and had cake mid-afternoon. I jogged across the street and back, then we had cake after supper and before bed. Somebody has even had cake for breakfast.

It is, as I said, a Very Large cake. Without getting out a measuring tape, I’d say it was 12″ by 18″. The price tag on the side of the box was quite shocking to me. The icing was thick, very thick, along the edges that the children tackled first, and the accent color was blue – cookie monster blue – the blue that is so dense you can taste it, blue on your tongue for hours. Big blue flowers at the corners, now slightly squashed.

“I’ll let you know how long it lasts,” I told her, laughing. Another elderly neighbour was there, picking up a pie plate full of cake pieces to take back home. I resisted the urge to wipe off the speck of frosting on his cheek. We can all be kids with cake around. I told my neighbour that I bet the children would make use of the box as well.

When I brought it home and edged it onto our kitchen counter, Meaghan said, “Ooo! Cake! And hey, a cakeboard.. think we can salvage it?”

Probably, I told her, and do you think we can just spread the icing around, write “Happy Birthday Dianne,” and have it when my Mom comes back? Do you think she’d notice?