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I spent the weekend in Nebraska City with the family. Chris said that she always wanted to stay at the Lied Lodge there so we took this opportunity to do it.
We arrived Thursday night and had to try out the pool and we did. It was a big underground pool 4.5 ft deep in the center. There was also a “hot pool” as Jupiter and his cousin, Ryland, referred to it and a child pool that was 1.5 ft deep. There was a sauna in a connecting room which my brother and I tried out for a few minutes on one of the following days. I might also add that there was a very nice dining hall connected to the spacious lobby of the lodge. To sum it up, all of the features of a fancy hotel were in place, which is hardly surprising for place that was awarded the “Best of MidAmerica” award in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
On Friday we went to Arbor Day Farm. We started off with some wine tasting in the gift shop. Arbor Day Farm produces a variety of wines that are all quite satisfying. I would have to say that my favorite teeters between the highly alcoholic Apple Pie and the Cherry flavor wine that Chris and I have taken home to enjoy in the past. However, I cannot say that there was any sample that I disliked.
We ventured out on the smallest trail that is mostly meant for kids, seeing as how we had four kids in tow. We enjoyed a tree house, a spiderweb, and a wooded play area which was designed with smaller children in mind. Despite the target audience of kids, I made sure to enjoy all of these things myself as did the other adults in our party.
On our way back to the hotel, I managed to get myself into a bit of a jam… or a hole as it was. There happened to be some old barns and the remains of two grain silos along the walking path between Lied Lodge and Arbor Day Farm. The first time past the cement remains of the silos, on our way to the farm, I felt compelled to jump in the 9 ft deep silo to see if I could get out. At that time I passed on the opportunity. However, as we traveled the trail back to the lodge I had a little more alcohol in my blood, as well as a little lesser judgement after a lot of walking. Therefore, in the hole I went with a newfound challenge of how I might get out.
I first tried to climb a tree. This baby tree was, to a more observant minded me, obviously not strong enough to hold my weight for any length of time. Next I found a few pieces of wood and concrete which I stacked up in hopes that it would give me enough lift to grab the side of the hole which I could then use to lift myself out. To no avail, my life saving brother, Nick, found an 18 inch tall planter that I could set along side the wall of the hole. That, along with the afore mentioned wood and concrete, was able to lift me up enough so that I could grab the ledge and have him along with my sidekick wife team up to help me out of the hole so we could continue along the path to our planned naps in our respective rooms.
On Saturday, we had hoped to go out on at least the medium trail, but due to timing with the tractor ride and our desire to check out the green houses, we ended up going again on the kid trail. We repeated the same fun we had on the previous day without a problem. This time we enjoyed a bit of wine in the 50 ft high treehouse, Morton’s Reserve to be specific. While I played on the xylophones in the Nature Explore Classroom, Ryland and Jupiter were busy building things in the builders area with trimmed up stumps and sticks in another area of the classroom. Meanwhile some of the others were visiting while watching the kids.
Saturday evening my side of the family had gone. We visited with Chris’s brother and dad over dinner and a trip to the park for a bit. The kids were both tired from the previous two days of hiking and playing, so they went to bed at what would be their regular bedtimes at home.
They seemed to get good rest that evening without much of a peep through the night from them.
The next morning we went to Lincoln for a bit. We drove around town sucking in memories of the past and then visited Chris’s aunt and cousin for a bit for a brunch/lunch sort of meal for an hour or so. Then it was off on a rather longish trip back to Kirkwood where we were, by this time, happy to be back in our regular beds.
Overall, it was a fine trip. I think that maybe Chris and I will visit Arbor Day Farm and perhaps Lied Lodge once again during another season sometime just to get a feel for the different times of the year at that farm. It is a relaxing place that I would recommend anyone from anywhere take the time to put on their bucket list for a visit. It certainly encompasses the midwest of the United States at it’s best.
Psychology Today has a great article about how overparenting can be downright abusive sometimes. It is an article I recommend reading:
As parents, we all have that innate desire to protect and provide for our kids. Yet, at some point we must ask ourselves, are we doing too much for them? When do our actions cross the line from offering security and support to embarrassing them in front of their entire basketball team? The mis-attunement in this particular mother’s actions was clear in everything from her lack of pause to the odd choice of items she brought to soothe her son, whose minor injury doubtfully rendered him either thirsty or cold. However, we are all guilty of mild and extreme acts of over-protectiveness and over-parenting that can be very damaging to a developing child.
I tend to overparent from time to time. My aim is to let my children learn from their own experiences by exploring the world, but sometimes I get caught up in my own selfish agenda. This is something that I, and I think every parent, can do well to keep an eye on and constantly evaluate how we are doing.
Parents will do anything to protect their toddler from a dirty public restroom experience and the opportunity to make it a bit easier for themselves and their child when it is time to “pee pee”.
My Pee Pee Bottle® was created was created to help parents and protect children from bacterial infections and to help reinforce good potty training habits – just some of the benefits of My Pee Pee Bottle®!
Yeah! Just what every parent needs to carry around. A bottle full of urine. You cannot just put your kids urine anywhere.
I would like to know how this is going to be in any way easier for the kid than public toilet that they are already somewhat familiar with because it is a, you know, toilet. Some people can get really anal about cleanliness and the fact that products like this exist suggest that those people are around in far too high numbers.
I also like how it comes in pink or blue so that parents can be sure to reinforce their gender roles.
(Thanks Lenore over at Free-Range Kids for posting about this wonderful product)
Perhaps one of the most important and fun holidays that our family celebrates during the year is Pi Day. Pi, as most educated folks know, is a mathematical constant that is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. It is one of the the most used and thus important constants in mathematics, science, and engineering. The transcendental number π rounded to two decimal places is 3.14 and so on March 14 we celebrate Pi Day!
Over the past couple of years, we have developed a routine way to celebrate Pi Day. Namely, we eat various forms of pie for all our meals.
Since breakfast is commonly some form of energizing food, or basically a glorified morning dessert, I thought that it would be fitting to eat dessert pie for breakfast on March 14. Sometimes we get a variety of dessert pie from the frozen food section and sometimes we go to a bakery or pie shop. Perhaps this year I will bake one myself.
For lunch we enjoy some form of pot pie. Chicken pot pie, beef pot pie, and vegetable pot pie are all acceptable contenders, so take your pick. This year we picked up some pot pies from Trader Joe’s to try out. They look delicious and I cannot wait to sample them.
For supper we have pizza pie. I have gotten frozen pizzas, restaurant pizzas, and even made homemade pizza in the past. This year we live in St. Louis home of a pizza restaurant called “Pi”, and we cannot think of a more fitting place to have pizza on Pi Day. Pi even has some Pi Day themed specials! I especially like the idea of a π memorization contest. Maybe we will incorporate that into our family’s π Day celebration.
Apparently the UN convention on the Rights of the Child aims to state basic rights that children are allowed by virtue of their own individual existence. However, it shall not be ratified in the United States if so called “pro-family” organizations have anything to say. They want to make sure that children are seen as property of the parents, subject to all the backwards thinking that comes with that responsibility. From the Harvard Humanist Community Project:
The text of the treaty itself covers a lot of freedoms such as freedom of thought, conscience, religion, opinion, and expression, as well as more concrete things like the rights to health care and an education. Unfortunately, objections like those at ParentalRights.org have prevented this treaty from ratification in United States (the only other nation to similarly refuse is Somalia). What could a “pro-family” parental rights group possibly have against this? Fancy that, they made a list of their objections [in their wording]:
Children would have the ability to choose their own religion while parents would only have the authority to give their children advice about religion.
According to existing interpretation, it would be illegal for a nation to spend more on national defense than it does on children’s welfare.
Children would acquire a legally enforceable right to leisure.
Christian schools that refuse to teach “alternative worldviews” and teach that Christianity is the only true religion “fly in the face of article 29″ of the treaty.
Allowing parents to opt their children out of sex education has been held to be out of compliance with the CRC.
Children would have the right to reproductive health information and services, including abortions, without parental knowledge or consent.
Parents would no longer be able to administer reasonable spankings to their children.
I was browsing around Facebook on my phone while I feed Tsunami a bottle early in the morning the other day, when I came across this thread:
This is just the sort of thing that makes it seem justifiable for women to be afraid of men. This is also an example of what makes it hard for me to be male without having women assume me guilty until proven innocent. I know that for the most part, these kind of things are said without intended harm, but this misogynist superior male attitude leads down the road to inappropriate touching and rape. As you can see above, some women are just as much to blame. And not only rape, but the kind of rape that people, like Ron Paul, try to justify:
MORGAN: Here’s the dilemma, and it’s one I put to Rick Santorum very recently. I was surprised by his answer, although I sort of understood from his belief point of view that he would come up with this.
But it’s a dilemma that I am going to put to you. You have two daughters. You have many granddaughters. If one of them was raped — and I accept it’s a very unlikely thing to happen. But if they were, would you honestly look at them in the eye and say they had to have that child if they were impregnated?
PAUL: No. If it’s an honest rape, that individual should go immediately to the emergency room. I would give them a shot of estrogen or give them —
There seems to be a rising attitude out there that sometimes a woman is “asking for it” by the attitude she conveys or the clothing she wears, otherwise it is somehow not an “honest rape” as Paul puts it above. This is absurd victim blaming. It has been said before and I will reiterate it here; ANYONE should be able to walk down the street naked without getting raped. It is shameful that our society would rather apologize for the rapist and blame the victim than call it for what it is.
I saw a tweet a few weeks ago, which I am failing to find now, but it drove home a pretty good point about victim blaming. I do not remember the exact wording, but the gist of it was this: Are banks responsible for getting robbed because of the fancy lobby and all the money they flash around?
We live near a fire station. Because of this, we get to hear the sirens of firetrucks at all hours. That is the downfall. But Jupiter loves it. He has a fascination for emergency vehicles and loves watching the firetrucks whiz by on their way to a rescue, a fire, or to get a cat out of a tree.
The other day he and our dog Bowser were glued to something that was outside our front window. Eventually I got curious as to what was so interesting. When I went to the window to see what they were looking at, I saw a firetruck parked right there in front of the house.
Jupiter asked me what it was doing out there. I looked around and did not see any smoke. I saw one firefighter talking on her radio and another one looking up at a tree. I told Jupiter that I was not sure why it was there. I posed a hypothesis or two as to what they might be doing out there. I said that maybe there was indeed a cat in a tree. I also guessed that perhaps they had found a fire hazard that needed to be addressed.
While it can be fun to make guesses as to why something is, the fact is that we do not know without some sort of evidence. In this case, the best way to find out why there was a firetruck and firefighters in front of our house was to go out there and ask one of them. So that is just what we did.
When we went out there, we made sure that we were not getting in the way of whatever it was the firefighters were doing. We also made sure they could tell that we were watching them, but waited for them to approach us before submitting our query. When a man in uniform did approach us, I stated my hypothesis about cats in trees and asked if that was correct. The man responded that this was incorrect with laughter and a smile on his face. Then he proceeded to tell us that there was a report of some out of place smoke in the area and that they had come to investigate.
Jupiter and I thanked the firefighter for answering our question and watched the firetruck drive away. We then went back inside and continued our day, Jupiter with a fresh example in his head as to how one may critically examine a situation to find out information on an unknown area of interest. There is no better educator than real world experience.