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My New Blog


As you probably noticed, I'm not posting much on LJ these days.  I decided to set up my own blog, Welcome to Katfrog's Corner, and you are all welcome to come over.


Kids and The Internet

 These days, you hear about kids, safety, and the Internet. People discuss how to limit information so that predators do not know too much about your kids People discuss the dangers of cyberbullying, and sexting. But no one has discussed whether or not the kids want to put their stories on the Internet.

Sometimes I read parenting blogs or LJ posts or Facebook posts where the parents complain about their kids or relay negative stories, such as how some three year old took their poop and smeared it all over the walls. The stories are not limited to babies and toddlers - some parents continue with these stories as the kids progress through elementary school and higher. When I read the story about how a kid cheated at school, I wonder if that kid really wants the world to know about it. Or if the kid simply has a bad day, does he or she want the Facebook community at large to share the information?

How will this sharing effect these kids in the long run? Will your teenage son or daughter want their future dates to be able to look up every dirty story from his or her childhood? What about future employers? Will a kid who screws up in elementary school still be haunted by it ten years later?

I know some of you will think I’m exaggerating, but once something is posted on the Internet, you have to assume it is out there forever. It is the only safe and sane assumption. So if an employer has a pool of qualified candidates and begins to use the Internet to learn more about each candidate, whose to say that these stories won’t affect the decision?

That doesn’t mean I don’t like parenting blogs, or cute stories of kids. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t post about your kids. I just think that we as parents need to think about what we post, and maybe ask kids for their permission before posting about them. After all, it is their life and their story to tell.

Besides, would you want your kids to tell everyone about your bad days?

What A Way to Start Summer...

  So, two weeks have passed - school's out for the summer! We had a nice, happy out of school party in the park last Thursday. Friday was a laid back day. Saturday turned out to be a wonderful day - I lunched and shopped with sunnybrowneyes . I returned home to discover my dear husband cut down the two maple trees that had been shading my front flower garden! The kids even helped out - my son learned how to split wood with a mallet and wedge, and he also used the chainsaw. My daughter used a bow saw and a hatchet. Wow!!!

But after dinner, the wonderful day fell apart. I felt ill - with increasing abdominal pain as the evening went on. After we went to bed, I had trouble sleeping. The pain increased, and then my mouth felt weird. About 4:00am, I realized that my tongue was swollen. I awoke my DH, and he said we needed go to the emergency room. I just wanted to take a Benadryl and see what happened. He insisted, and so we got ready.

We woke the eldest, and told him we were leaving. Then, we left. Even though there was almost no traffic, it felt like the longest drive in history to me. As we went through intersection after intersection, I felt my tongue slowly getting larger, and I panicked. What if we didn't get there in time? What if I couldn't breathe? I've had asthma long enough that I know how terrifying that possibility is. I've been through situations where I couldn't breathe - and I hope never to do it again.

After an eternity of driving (which in reality was maybe 10 minutes), we arrived at the Kennestone Hospital Emergency room.

My DH dropped me off at the door, and I went to speak (or not speak, as the case may be) to the Entrance Guardians. Okay, so they look like ordinary women who happen to be sitting around typing on their computers. But the Entrance Guardians are really mystical people who determine the Fate of those who arrive in the ER. The Entrance Guardians took one look at me and decided I needed immediate attention, do not pass go, do not collect $200. I went back to the front evaluation room (a place I only heard about in myths), then I was instantly given a room and a doctor. I think I saw the waiting room as we passed by, but I don’t remember much of that time.

The ER doctor tried a trio of drugs - my tongue got a bit larger. Then they tried epinephrine. My tongue stopped getting larger, but refused to get smaller. My blood pressure went bonkers - now they worried about me having a stroke. I got some shots of something for the blood pressure, and finally, finally the swelling in my tongue started to decrease. The ER doctor admitted me to the hospital for observation, and to make sure the swelling went away.

So began my 36 hours on floor 7 in the Green Tower. I had absolutely wonderful nurses and nursing assistants, an interesting room mate, and a plethora of drugs that left me loopy the entire time. Getting vertical was, well, a challenge. I felt like I had climbed Mt. Everest the first time I managed to stand up. I felt extremely exhausted all of Sunday, but I could not get any rest until Sunday night, when my tongue finally was back to its normal size. Then I slept like the dead, waking only when someone wanted something.

Monday morning, I felt horridly filthy, woozy, homesick, and woozy. When the nursing assistant asked me if I wanted to clean up, I almost cried. Then I made up a parody of the Barry Manilow hit, “Feelings”. Only my song was called “Cleaner”. The lyrics go:

Nothing more than
So I don’t feel like a
Stuck in a hospital gown

Wo, oh, oh
My face is much less
Now that I took a sponge bath

Wo, oh, oh
My breathe could knock out a
From Ten Paces away

But now I am much


Okay, it’s not a hit single, but I felt better singing it as I cleaned up in the tiny bathroom.

The rest of Monday was spend in a blur of medications, tests, and getting ready to leave. Finally, around 6:00pm, I took a ride in a wheelchair to the door, where my DH and kids picked me up.

Looking back, the entire visit seems quite surreal, as if it was a story someone told me, not something I lived through personally. In fact, this past week has been surreal, as the prednisone and other meds have worked their way out of my system. It seems like a crappy way to start the summer, but on the up side, it’s gotta get better from here.

Two Weeks to Go...

In two weeks, my kids will be out of school, and our summer run begins!  I know some parents dread this time - either because they (the parents) work full-time and the summer means loads of money shelled out to day care and summer camps, or because they stay at home and they feel the need to entertain the kids 24/7.

Both of my kids are doing one and only one summer camp.  We also have a week of family vacation planned in Florida, a few days planned for Kentucky and Mammoth Cave, and the kids will be visiting their grandparents for two weeks in Ohio.  But that still leaves a lot of time left.  So what are we going to do?

First off, we're doing nothing.  That's right - we are staying home, and the kids will spend hours running around the neighborhood, hanging out with friends, and generally being outdoors without me.  I know this sounds strange - kids without a supervising adult?!?  But my kids are not only old enough for this, they are responsible enough.  Or they should be, so I am treating them as such.

Next, we're doing some community service.  There is a wonderful non-profit run here called Books for Africa.  This organization collects books from people here in the States, and prepares the books to other non-profits working in Africa.  There is a distinct lack of written material over there, so every book helps.  The local warehouse needs people to show up and sort out books into their categories.  They run two hour shifts for volunteers, and we (meaning the kids and I) will go there once a week when we're here.
Third, once a week I'm taking the kids on a local field trip.  The Atlanta Botanical Gardens, the Treasury Museum, Tellus Science Museum, and the Tennessee Aquarium on currently on the list of places to see.  Why?  Because even I go stir crazy if I'm at home too long. 
Let the countdown commence!

Math Poems

My daughter wrote two poems for her third grade class this quarter.  When I first heard about this, I wondered at the assignment - I mean, math poems???   But then, she dedicated one of them to me:

Here comes Kath
Whose brilliant at math
She goes
With the flow
And she knows
All the nos.
The last "nos" is the abbreviation for "numbers" - quite clever, if I  do say so.

Marietta Police Department Open House

 This past Saturday, my kids and I went to the first Marietta Police Department Open House. I say “first” because although they do not have a second one currently planned, I’m hoping it will happen anyway. Why? Because we had so much fun!!!

Entering the police station, some lovely ladies behind a table laden with sweet stuff and t-shirts greeted us. They represented Families to Families - an organization that helps the families of everyone working in the police department. Whether it’s the birth of a new child, to the death of a family member, Families to Families provides support and comfort. These ladies explained the organization, then invited us to either go downstairs or visit the municipal court. We opted to visit the municipal court. Turns out that was a brilliant decision.

The courtroom looks like any T.V. show - stately wooden benches in rows on two sides of a wide aisle that leads up to a solid wooden fence, dividing the seating from the head of the courtroom. We stood by the two swinging doors, wanting to see the head of the courtroom but intimidated by it, when a smartly dressed woman came through a side door. Kim Novak, a probation officer, welcomed us to the head of the courtroom, then gave us a small tour of the area. We saw the special holding cells, used when transporting prisoners to court hearings. The doors were unlocked, so the kids jumped in for a photo. We saw the special elevator used for prisoners, as well as a funky, stainless steel bathroom. Ms. Novak explained that she uses the bathroom for drug testing her clients. If someone doesn’t pass the test, he goes into the holding cell, to await transportation to the jail.

When we came back into the courtroom, the court administrator demonstrated how the video recording equipment works. We watched ourselves walk around the holding cells - a complete trip! Then we took the elevator downstairs, to view the rest of the open house.

Just outside the elevator, they had a table with Krispy Kreme donuts set up. I laughed at the joke - cops with donuts! But before we could walk all the way outside, my kids spotted the firearms training simulator. Inside a darkened room, a police officer coached participants through simulated situations. The participants held fake guns, and pretended to shoot bad guys on a screen. My kids patiently waited their turn, then enthusiastically shot the bad guys.

Outside, we hit the SWAT team van first. Officer Davis answered all of our questions before explaining the various equipment on display, including a futuristic looking robot they use to view situations in houses and other buildings before entering the premises. Officer Davis even let my son use the robot a few minutes.

After that, we saw one of the K-9 units, the crime scene unit van - a veritable lab on wheels! - the drug unit, and the Police Explorer van. One of the Police Explorers, Kelsey, demystified the group to me. Explorers is a group for kids between 14 and 22 who want to be police officers. They get a snazzy uniform, and every Thursday night learn from the officers of the Marietta Police department. They train with SWAT and K-9 units, work festivals, and participate in traffic stops. I already know I’ll be driving my son here in a few years.

Spirit Day

Originally posted by neo_prodigy at Spirit Day

It’s been decided. On October 20th, 2010, we will wear purple in honor of the 6 gay boys who committed suicide in recent weeks/months due to homophobic abuse in their homes at at their schools. Purple represents Spirit on the LGBTQ flag and that’s exactly what we’d like all of you to have with you: spirit. Please know that times will get better and that you will meet people who will love you and respect you for who you are, no matter your sexuality. Please wear purple on October 20th. Tell your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and schools.

RIP Tyler Clementi, Seth Walsh (top)
RIP Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase (middle)
RIP Asher Brown and Billy Lucas. (bottom)

REBLOG to spread a message of love, unity and peace.

Scouting, Scouting, Everywhere!

Last week, Terry officially joined Boy Scout Troop #795.  Woohoo!  Now he is working on achieving his Boy Scout rank, getting to know the other boys in his patrol, and looking forward to camping.

Why camping?  Because his first camping trip will be in two weeks!  Then his second camping trip is in May, with his third camping trip in June (with a white water rafting trip), which explains why Terry picked this particular troop in the first place. 

Last night was the Parent Informational Meeting for the Boy Scout troop.  For two hours, we sat and learned about the First Year Scout program (put together by the troop itself, not BSA), summer camp, what camping gear we need to buy, how to contain our panic when our sons learn to use a pocket knife, a bow saw, an axe, and matches, and how the boys run the troop.  My head is still swimming a bit at all of the information.  :-)

As for Girl Scouts, my term as the Murdock school troop organizer begins soon.  I am trying to meet with the resigning troop organizer to pick her brain and get a better idea of what I am going to be doing.  I am also trying to re-register my troop.  So far, I know of two girls who will not be joining next year.  But I think the other 8 will return - yeah!  

Seriously, folks, scouting really is ancient Latin for "paperwork".

Menopause, the Musical!!

Tonight, I am having a Ladies' Night Out with a friend.  We're going out to dinner, and then off to the show, "Menopause, the Musical!"  I am *so* looking forward to this, that not even losing phone service tonight can damper my mood.


Paperback Book Exchange

I joined PaperbackSwap.com yesterday!!!   Huzzah!!!

How did I accomplish such a feat?  First, I went through the standard Create-Your-Free-Account webpages.  After creating the account and a small chipmunk sacrifice, PaperbackSwap (PBS) asked that I list 10 books that I am willing to part with.

Oh, the anguish!!  How was I to choose which books to post?  What would the neighbors think, watching me wantonly dispose of books through the mail???

I spent some time sorting through the hundreds of books in our bedroom (and yes, I honest have hundreds on books there, just ask twelveoaks ) I found 10 books covered in dust, but not yet munched on by dust bunnies.   So I entered the ISBNs of these books, first with the wrong number for each, then with the correct number.  (Curse you, light green background color!)

Then I sat back, watched my book credits number go from 0 to 2, and gloated at my audacity.

Four minutes later, four of the books I posted were requested.  By this morning, the total reached seven!!!

Now, I face the task of wrapping all seven books in their printed wrappers, and mailing them out.  Will I prevail?  Or will the clear, mailing tape defeat me? (And yes, I do view clear, mailing tape as my enemy.  We have a history.)

Only time will tell...