Tuesday, December 23, 2008

TWO things I must clear up

"Jesus had other brothers and sisters."

Oh Luke. Im so sorry... no. Tsk tsk.

I see you are laboring under the protestant delusion that Mary was a normal wife and mother. Dear me.

This isnt a point I even care about actually, but since im a catholic Im supposed to? I guess?

Anyway just to clear that up, no. Mary is ever virgin. Brothers and sisters are actually cousins. Its that convoluted old timey extended family family stuff.



And then, the next thing I feel like I must address is this:

Texting. For Fern.

I have never. Not Once. Ever. In my whole life. Texted.

I know. Its so lame of me. But I dont have that in my plan and Im not sure my phone (which doesnt even have a camera...so lame) can text.

But if I could text you, I would text MANY snarky things. 16 hours worth of snark. near constant snark. and it would ALL be hilarious and witty. Rest assured.

Monday, December 22, 2008

LOOK AT ME

Im blogging real fast.

Not sure why.

As it turns out Im just not that into you, blogworld. I dont really read them and I apparently do not write them either!

None the less, in the interest of getting a few things off my chest, here goes.

1. I want a Havanese dog. I never knew I would like these tiny pocket sized creatures but we do. they are tiny and non shedding and they think they are real dogs. But they are 10 lbs of fluff. The children really want one called Harry who lives in OH. Its a problem.

2. Its a problem because Harry is a puppy and we are travelling at Christmas, otherwise Harry would be ours. sigh

3. 16 hrs in the car with my husband sounds like a version of Hell Dante didnt even conceive of.

4. Im so so sick. Its only been a week, so I feel as if Im a major whiner for even mentioning. My friend has been sick since September after all. She needs pity WAY more than I. But I pity me too.

5. I need to go to the grocery store. Can you even imagine what that will be like? CURSES!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

4 things, which matter to no one but me

1. My new iPod arrives Friday. My nights are so cold and lonely without my audio book.

2. My daughter is being referred to a geneticist. First the stubby fingers, second the leg length discrepancy (which possibly caused the ginormous cyst behind he knee?) and third the possible enamel issue with her teeth. My daughter and my second son are so similar, physically. Their little bodies are nearly identical: same big ribcage and narrow waist, same weird chicken bones when their arms are raised, same oddly situated legs, flat feet and same large head. Very different from my eldest, with his straight slim build and lovely legs and feet. I'm making them sound so attractive. Really, 2/3 of my kids look a little like aliens. I first noticed it with the second boy when he was an infant. He just didnt look too bright to me, to be frank. And then the girl came along and people said how pretty she was and how nice her coloring was and I thought, hmmmm. Maybe... Of course, both are lovely looking now. For aliens.

3. The football team lost tonight, ending a great season. I have never been prouder of my son. He was a real trooper. He met his goals that he set at the beginning of the season and the coach informed me he is one of the most improved players. He never missed a game or a practice. He was captain tonight and called the coin toss, too. Though I had thought we'd hear a ton of complaining about the grueling sport, in fact he loved it. He has set a goal of playing first team next year. I'm setting a goal of learning what the hell is going on out there.

4. If this election doesn't come soon Im going to need a rubber room and an IV with narcotics in it. I have a feeling I'm not alone.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Insomnia- uncured

For two years I have been relying on my iPod to banish my insomnia.

Today the iPod died.

140 dollar 30 gig refurb photo, how I long for you.
I am not yet finished with the Wordy Shipmates.
I hear Sarah Vowell calling my name in her slightly lisping nasal twang.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Uncle Ernie and the Apple Tree

Way back in the good old days, after the Prohibition era but before Vatican II, my Great Uncle Ernie and his friends used to have a little passtime which irritated their mothers. It seems that in those days of lax environmental standards, those who braved the icy waters of the Pawtuxet River could claim the reward of a nice cold beer simply by swimming up near to a beer bottling factory and drinking the swill that ran off, through a pipe, into the river. MMMMMmmmmmm.

So naturally, all the teen boys, being irish and poor and more or less naughty, found this to be the One Best Way to spend an afternoon. Who would blame them? Frankly, it sounds pretty fabulous to me, too. In a ghetto irish way.

Let's be clear- Ernie's mom, Susan, was not into ghetto fabulous. She was a little prim. She had 3 girls and only 1 horrible boy. Her daughters were well behaved to a fault. They did as they were told. They shared. (My grandmother, for instance, married her sister's ex boyfriend.) So Ernie was probably to his mother what my eldest boy is to me. You know, a real PITA. and Im not talking about bread.

So at any rate, Susan forbade this activity and Ernie disobeyed. He came home one day, inebriated, stinking of beer run off and river water and my great-grandmother decided enough was enough. And so, in his less than coherent state, she wrangled him into his sister's dress and tied him to an apple tree in the front yard. Needless to say, all the neighborhood kids walking by found it a very entertaining sight.

And that, my friends, is Time Out. Old School.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Religious Zealots for 1000, Alex

Look, God knows crazy when he sees it. If you are very wrapped up in the Old Testament's description of how to decorate your church, you may need to step outside and take a breather once in a while and realise that this is not 370 BC.

Also, the catechism of the Catholic church isnt available pocket sized and it doesnt always address your every crying need. So occassionally you are going to have to wing it. We all sin all the time so you better just accept that first and move on from there. If you are going through your daily life patting yourself on the back for your utterly perfect catholicism you should probably look up Pride in the list of the 7 Big Ones. If you have ever called someone a cafeteria catholic you need to step up to the line and grab a tray. because you are one too.

And another thing. Your 8 child family is not any holier than my 3 child family. The Holy Family itself was a small family. Mary didnt even need to consider a 15 passenger van. Or donkey. Or camel. Whatever.

Last of all, there were no good old days. The good old days were pretty crummy for blacks, women, and even catholics here in the good old USA. Let's not waste our time grieving for an age where our government didnt allow certain people to drink from the same water fountains as others. Or when as a nation, we were firmly convinced there was nothing wrong with advertising for a position and actually saying, "NO IRISH NEED APPLY." Or when women left alone by their deadbeat husbands were committed to mental "hospitals" (miserable fetid warehouses) and their children given up for adoption, which was a misnomer for being sent into white slavery. What? That didnt happen? Oh yes it did. To my maternal grandfather's family. Of the 8 children, only one was "Adopted," thank goodness. The others were parcelled out to live in various states of misery among their less than nurturing (but catholic!) family members. And that is a long story for another time.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Shouldn't a catholic church look catholic?

I think so. I like a few statues, a big gigantic crucifix with those 4 letters I-N-R-I (which baffled me as a child, and which I still can't recall the meaning of except its something latin for King of the Jews))and I really prefer the altar to have some sort of throne like structure for the priest to sit on, and I like a shiny golden Tabernacle with a glowing candle nearby.

My church has none of that. My church is large and round and plain. The Tabernacle, which is a big box where the Blessed Sacrament resides, is in the back. In fact you can't see it at all unless you really go over to the small chapel and peek in. Im not really sure I ever have done that.

I miss the visible banks of lit candles near the front. I like the really reverant old school mass of my childhood, with all boys on the altar and very formal priestly garb.

But so what.

None of that matters all that much in the long run. My preferences are relatively unimportant.

Our church serves and that matters way more. WWJD? quibble about the decor of his house or get out there and help people?

Im no bible scholar but I am guessing I know where Jesus stands on the relative importance of human trappings of the Body of Christ.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My daughter is a blessing

My daughter's birthday is next Monday. The memory of her birth day is still with me so vividly, kept alive by the sensation of her gift to me on that day- a hemmorhoid which will not be tamed.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Eagles get Rammed

The Rams took out our football team today in a 13-0 victory.

It was interesting. I have a couple issues with football- one, I don't understand a single thing that goes on out there at all. Two, I have no real desire to understand. Three, my kid plays an average about 5 plays a game and so I feel no real need to learn.

My son missed their walk thru practice on Saturday, but apparently the team has been a little over confident. So at practice the coach kicked them all off the field and said they weren't worth bothering with. And though they played hard in the first quarter, the following three they didnt play well.

In addition, the starting quarterback was ejected from the game for unsportsmanlike conduct and arguing with a ref. Im guessing he won't be starting for a game or two.

All in all I predict a weight loss of about 2-3 lbs for Al this week.

Because there is going to be an incredible amount of running happening. These coaches do not mess around. The punitive running starts at about a mile (on top of regular practice running, which is substantial) and goes up in relation to the severity of the offense.

These boys are in the best shape of any kids in the city and the coaches are the reason. I have gained a real appreciation for them over the last few months.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Nothing to see here

I thought I had til Thanksgiving to get it together with my refurbishment of core 5 but it looks more and more like I only have until Halloween. Yes, that's right. We are ahead of my imagined schedule. Terrifying!

In other news, the house is still untidy, the football team still undefeated, the soccer team fighting for every victory, the dancer still dancing and the less important members of the family are doing a lot of driving.

Speaking of which, gas hit the low low price of 2.99 today at the costco in Indy. Im going to party like its late 2007.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Yesterday I got my vote on

It was a really exciting day. My kids and I headed out to the Obama campaign headquarters at about 10 for a quick brunch and a little mixing before we walked down town to vote.

In our state we can vote early, using absentee in person voting. This is encouraged by the campaign because we feel it will help alleviate crowded venues on election day.

All early votes are sealed and counted on election day. YES THEY COUNT.

If your state has early voting, you may want to look into it. Its a matter of convenience for some people and a matter of getting to vote for others. Don't be disenfranchised! Get out and vote (unless you're a McCain supporter. if that's the case..wel, you know, if you get around to casting your vote...its not important. I wouldnt worry.)
kidding!

anyway

So we walked down to the courthouse and we stood in line and we went in and cast our (diverse) ballot. (We vote republican on a lot of state matters because the democratic party and the teachers union have a little romance going on. And we dislike where that is headed for homeschoolers.)

After voting we went back to the campaign office and volunteered! The boys ran the shredder, Brenna provided ample amusement. And I did some cutting and stuffing and the like.

Its exciting to be a part of something so big and of which yuou can be proud.

And it was exciting to see that Catholics were heavily represented among the voters and voluteers. And I thank God for our parish and our pastor, who do not mis-use the Mass as a mere opportunity to preach party politics from the pulpit.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

2 Topics, 1 Post

1. When I say you can't stubbornly disagree with church teaching what I mean is, you can't stridently argue against Catholic theology. I mean, you can't be Catholic and suggest your child have an abortion because her pregnancy doesnt suit your timing. You can't be Catholic and be pro death penalty. I don't mean you can't think to yourself that the church's position on X is out of touch. Like married priests. I dont think if you believe the church should consider allowing priests to marry that you ought to step back from the communion rail. If we had one still. No. You are entitled to your HUMBLE opinion. It's cool.

2. Now, no less controversial: Let's talk about children's literature.

Im a connoisseur. I have read a lot of kids lit and I remember a good bit of it because I was a re reader. And this is why Sonlight holds SUCH tremendous appeal to me. They seem to have distilled the elementary school experience down to my favorite books. And I am enjoying them every bit as much this time around. in fact Im learning more from them than ever.

As an 11 year old, I didnt quite grasp the level of deception involved in the white boys' plot to lay the blame on TJ in Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry. But in reading it with the kids I did. And I was able to point it out to them. We were all astonished at the audacity of it.


Anyway, the Newbery is under fire! Read more here:
http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/...CA6600688.html

and a nice and interesting rebuttal here:

http://blogs.bccls.org/carlie/index....-to-read..html

interesting stats here:

http://dymphna79.livejournal.com/39031.html


I disagree strongly with the first and third articles on one count. Charlotte's Web is no Secret of the Andes.

I hate Charlotte's Web.

but Im terrified of spiders and I think pigs really stink.

I just need to say outloud

That I have kicked off 20 pounds of flab.

TWENTY

Do you hear me, blog world?

That is 20 boxes of butter. That is 5 bags of sugar (the new generic ones at the Kroger are 4 lbs, did you notice? sugar cheaters.) That is 4 bags of flour. That is almost the weight of my 4 yo (she's 29 and gaining, we hope.)

I never ever thought it could happen for me but wa la. There it is.

Now if I can steadily trim away the last 10 I'll be a happy woman. I have sort of slowed on journalling and tracking using the wonderful Weight Watchers tools and system. But Im still losing, regardless. About 0.7 lbs a week, on average.

now, off to burn some calories by cleaning the wretched house.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

A vague sense of uneasiness





What is it? Its like I have forgotten something. Like Im about to blow it.


We have had a year of peace. That's an excessive amount of happiness. In 11.5 years of marriage we have never had a period of ease which lasted much longer than this.
Is the other shoe going to be the election results? It really matters to me. Or is it going to be the total collapse of the credit industry? We owe them a lot of money, between some consumer debt and massive student loan debt and a mortgage.

On this feast day of the Guardian Angels, I suppose I should just offer the angst up. To quote Sister Mary Martha over there in the side bar, that's catholic for let it go.






Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Can a Catholic Be Catholic and Disagree with Church Teaching?

This is a follow up to the idea that voting for a candidate who fails to live up to the Catholic ideal is a mortal sin.

I spent the first five years of my marriage completely eschewing church. I was pretty happy with my Mass-less schedule. My husband was in grad school and Sunday was the one day when I could generally rely on him being there when I woke up. Grad school is a bear. Going to mass was a really low priority. We decided when our kids came along that we would NOT baptise them and I think that was correct- we didnt baptise them because we had no intention of bringing them up Catholic.

I guess around 5 or 6 years ago a friend told me I was the most Catholic non practicing Catholic she knew. After all, I was born and raised Catholic and had happily walked away from the church. I was pretty convinced during that time that i'd never really be a Catholic again. Still, I was somewhat fascinated with Catholicism on an academic level and spent a lot of time investigating the Church's teachings- especially the ones which seemed most annoying to me.

I found a level of logic which surprised me. I gained a respect for the logic and scholarship of the Church. And I grew more comfortable with the more irritating aspects of the faith as I became aquainted with the reason behind the teachings.

Our kids were finally baptized a year or so ago, having been back in church for a number of years. Maybe 5ish years.

We don't rush things around here.

The question is, can I continue to stubbornly disagree with church teaching and still be a Catholic. The answer is no. You can't either.

However, you can submit to church teaching without agreeing wholeheartedly. You can accept the church's teaching without agreeing wholeheartedly. How?

It's pretty simple.

All you have to do is acknowledge that you are at point A while the Church is at point B.

And then realise that you, one small person, with the brain of an ant, are no match for the great theologians of the Church.

You can merely hope to gain enough understanding via educating yourself to get 1/2 way to where the Church is.

And you get the rest of the way there through prayer. Glory Be to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be. World without end, Amen.

Meanwhile, you can still love the gays, vote for Obama, and probably even watch Desperate Housewives. God can work on you during the commercials.

You may not be the perfect Catholic if you struggle to conform to the teachings of your church but the good news is those who find it easy to conform to the teachings and "rules" of the church may find it really REALLY tough to fulfill the rest of the teachings of Jesus. But everyone who tries is Catholic. Or maybe catholic. And none of them are any better than the others.

Monday, September 29, 2008

My Vote and Mortal Sin

Today I awoke to read that casting my ballot for Obama is a mortal sin.

You know, opinions are like assholes. And if yours is that voting for Obama is a mortal sin you can have an opinion but you are an asshole.

The UCCB has spoken about voting. They put out a pretty darn good document about civic duty and voting is part of that. In that document they fail to say that casting your vote for a democrat is a mortal sin and I think there is probably a reason for that. Chances are good that the reason is they know the matter isnt so clear cut.

I am pretty sure that for most Catholics abortion is a big issue and Obama is certainly not a pro life candidate by most common measures. Still, the so called pro life party has managed to effect little change despite their control of the White House for 8 years. Obama's statements on abortion are clearly not in line with Church teaching, which isnt surprising given that he isnt a Catholic. But they are not the statements of a radical pro abortion politician either.

Some of us hate abortion but also see that the presidency isnt a simple choice between more abortion and outlawing abortion, Rarely are things just that simple.

While no one issue on its own is more important than the dignity of human life, the variety of issues our country currently faces, coupled with the scant chance that McCain could end abortion in this country adds up to a clear conscience for me.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Some thoughts on my lovey

It was one of those blankets with pink, yellow and blue stripes. It had a satin edging. When I was little, at my grandma's, I got tangled in it while in a crib and my earliest memory is of my mom coming to my rescue by cutting it in half and sewing the cut edge up with a yellow zig zag stitch and giving it back.

So I had it forever and it wore away, bit by bit, til all that was left was a bit of satin edging and some knotted stringy pieces of the original blanket.

One day when C was a baby I cut off the knotty pieces and put them in my underwear drawer. So then it was just the satiny edge, which was my favorite part anyway. When we moved to NJ we first went to stay in IL and we stayed at a flea bag hotel in town called the Red Rooster. While we were out of the room a maid stripped the bed, taking MY pillow case off MY pillow (where I had stowed my blanket.)

The blanket got thrown away, we presume. We found the pillow case in the laundry. As soon as we got into our house in NJ, which was not for about 2 weeks, I got out the knotty bit of string which is all that is left of my blanket.

I have 2 other which look just like it did in its hey day but they are of no use to me.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Im not entirely stupid

but there are a few things I just can not understand. Things like how the picture gets in my TV. And what makes the radio play. And how the telephone works. Especially cell phones because Im pretty clear on the old fashioned kind being a little like the homemade telephone with the string and the cup.

I hate to fly. And yesterday as we were literally hurdling through space and bumping down from a million feet in the air i realised that not only do I not know how planes fly, I actually do not entirely believe they can and do. I was dead sure we were going to crash at the end. There were high winds in IN and we took off late. Coming down we endured a few nasty shifts where the plane dropped and my stomach stayed up and then FLOPPED down at the last minute. If motion sickness is a personal failing, I have failed it all now.

At any rate, the children seem to have survived the weekend and my Dad seemed really pretty cheerful about the whole experience.

A few things I learned this weekend:
I hate bars
I really hate smoky bars
I really REALLY hate loud smoky bars.
The sneaking suspicion that Im OLD was confirmed. Give me a couch and a beer over a bar anyday!

The wedding was nice. The weather co-operated to a large degree, if not fully.

We got to the car in the airport parking lot and had the flattest tire I have ever seen in my life.

That's the way we roll. always about a step behind.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

What I think about Sarah Palin

It is really pretty cut and dry for me.

When you have a 5 month old and you have enough money to ensure that you can be there for your baby, you should be.

And if that means turning down the veep slot, then so be it.

I left a lot of things undone to be there with my kids.

Its the one issue on which I am apparently more conservative than the conservatives. And I am sure its considered appallingly anti woman by the more liberal people I know.

Mothers of infants belong with their babies. God's design for motherhood couldn't be more apparent in our biology.

The oft heard "What if they don't want to be home with their babies?" line confuses me. Why would you want to be anywhere else? What could possibly be more enthralling than the small person you have been entrusted with?

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Sick Day

One of the problems which confounds me is what to do when I have a cold. Im not up for arguing today, and so...school will get done in a half assed lazy way which I don't care for.

My son isnt feeling well either. In view of the fact that he has a 2 hour football practice in 93 degree heat later I can't get really excited about drilling grammar with him when he is crying about a headache already.

But part of me knows that if we were regular schoolers he'd have to go off and do a full day in spite of his sinus pain and football practice. Maybe I'm babying him too much. Maybe Im babying ME too much.

In any case, we leave for practice in an hour and whatever didnt get done today will be there tomorrow.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

School is In

We are cruising along, in week 2 or 3 or something. School is going well enough that I begin to feel I should be doing MORE! Grammar with Easy Grammar is fabulous, Sonlight core 4 is great, singapore and teaching textbook math are wonderful. Handwriting Without Tears is fun, especially for the 5th and preK kids. Science kits from Young Scientist Club and Snap Circuits are wonderful. Singapore Science is easy but good.


The football schedule isnt too bad at all. My son loves it. He is doing better every week and getting leaner, faster and getting to know the catholic school kids.

Soccer starts soon. Ballet starts soon.

We are settling down to a good routine and I like it.

Our weekends are full of a good mix of kid and adult stuff.

Moving back to IN from NJ was the best thing we ever did for our family.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

What I know about Joe Biden

The man occassionally allows his mouth to overtake his political savvy. Possibly he'll be able to utter unspeakable truths. This can only be good. And its sure to be entertaining.

MoveOn.org is passing out free goods. I ordered my kid a sticker and a button.

I'll probably try to score a McCain one as well, but that one will just be a keepsake. The Obama one is our election day regalia.

I'm cribbing the rest of this fascinating post from some chick at Sybermoms.

1. In 1972, days before he was to be sworn in as Senator, his wife and 3 kids were in a horrific car accident. His wife and their 18 month old daughter died. His 3 and 4 yo sons survived but were seriously injured. Biden was sworn in in the hospital, and the boys' bedside.Biden's sister and BIL moved in with him to care for the kids and help Biden deal with everything. He wanted to quit the Senate.Here's a GREAT 7 minute clip from Biden's story:http://abcnews.go.com/WN/WhoIs/story?id=3770445&page=1

2. His wife (he remarried 5 years after the car crash) has her doctorate and if a professor of English at a community college in Delaware, has taught in mental institutions, and was a reading specialist in high schools.

3. Biden is either the poorest or the second poorest member of the Senate His net worth is something under $250K, which for a 66-year old man is really low, and for a Senator is striking.

4. He's ridden the Amtrak train from D.C. to Delaware nearly ever day for 36 years; it's how he commutes.

5. He was accused of plagiarism in college, got an F in the course, and repeated the course (he claims he didn't understand proper citation). In 1987 or 88 he was caught on video plagiarizing someone else's speech, though on other occasions giving the same speech, he *had* given proper attribution. The college plagiarism came out as a result of the 1988 campaign issue.

6. He refuses to invest in the stock market (like Gore when Gore was in office) because he views it as a conflict of interest.

7. He voted for the war.

8. He was one of the chief proponents of the 2005 bankruptcy bill. He receives a large amount in campaign contributions from the credit card industry. Delaware is where many ccs are incorporated.

9. He won't meet with lobbyists.

10. He's known as a bulldog and isn't afraid of a verbal debate/fight/confrontation.11. He's one of the widest-read Senators and known for it.

12. He's been a part-time professor of Constitutional Law in DE since 1991.13. He's wildly popular in Delaware and Pennsylvania.

Friday, August 22, 2008

WHEN DEVILS ATTACK! (rarely)

As seen on the Sonlight forums by the very funny Shellie:

YOU ARE NOT UNDER ATTACK FROM THE DEVIL WHEN:
Your car breaks down. Things just do, unless you define "devil" as "the law of entropy," or "sloppy engineering."

You experience financial hardship. It happens: see Adam Smith and Karl Marx for details.
You get sick. See "pathogen" and "carcinogen."

Your arthritis returns. Mama told you not to crack your knuckles... but see also, "genes."

Your church is screwed by unethical contractors. Sin, perhaps, but they are not the devil.

You are tempted to sin. See "biology", "addiction," "compulsion," and "choice."
You gain weight. See "genes."

You die. The Human Race: still an exit-toll.

You lose your hair. DHT, I think it's called.

You lose your house. Did you read the fine print...? It may be unfair. I'm sure it's inconvenient and even tragic. It's not the devil.

You are in an accident. Vehicles obey physical laws, not supernatural ones.

You levitate. The devil is not attacking you, he's levitating you, for purposes best known to himself. I personally do not lift people five feet in the air in order to deceive them, but then, I'm not infernal.

Your head spins a 360 and you projectile vomit. Well, okay, maybe now.

You have no money. This is tragic. But it is not the devil, unless you work for him and he does not pay you.
__________________


This timely post really did it for me. Probably because I recently saw a catholic refer to being under attack. And I dont even think she was a convert. Im pretty sure The Church doesnt teach the ATTACK! doctrine.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Local Mom Doesn't Care About Kids.

It was 2:30 in the afternoon on Thursday when a local 8 year old was given an assignment in his grammar book. The assignment, 2 pages long, required writing of actual words on two workbook pages. The child was to complete phrases using prepositions. No sentences were required.

"My mom doesn't care about me." The boy stated. He went on to say he "had a headache." Though his mother allegedly offered him an Advil, the child refused it. He angrily told this reporter that "That NEVER works."

"I've done enough for one day. This has taken me a whole HOUR."

The mother who doesn't care could not be reached for questioning because she was up to her elbows in dirty dishes and very busy not caring.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The First Day of School

Its 1:24

Science, Math, Grammar, Reading, Spelling and storytime are finished.

History and Writing are left to do.

We started at 10 and the pace is slow but its getting done.

Only one incident of murderous rage thus far. Hopefully they were all suitably impressed and terrified and are less likely to defy me again. *maniacal laughter*

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Good News

I can fit in my black Isaac Mizrahi (from Target, dahling) dress.

This means I will have (old) clothes on at Lucy's wedding in September. I will need shoes. And probably some sort of wrap. I hope I need a wrap. Something to hide the upper arms which are not responding thus far to our friend in the workout video. Maybe if I did it everyday like you are supposed to... It makes me sweaty though. And its hard. I wish I loved that sort of thing. instead I love baking. And eating.

Babies can really change your body. My 4th pregnancy did me in. I wonder if I will ever really like what I look like ever again. It makes me sad that I didn't appreciate my body more when I was younger.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

so this week is the beginning of the Fall from hell where dh and I go in 3 different directions 5 days a week. Which is something Im sure all of you are familiar with. esp those of you with kids older than mine.

TWTh ds has football 5-7. Th Brenna has swim 7-8. Soon Al will have Scouts on W immediately following football. So on W and Th apparently we wont be eating at all.

Fridays Cal will have scouts and Al will have karate at around 6:30 so we'll eat dinner right after lunch I guess.

Mondays we have karate and CCD at roughly the same time I fear. Im going to go ahead and clone myself and maybe I'll make 3 of me so one can be at home getting dinner on the table?I need a freaking spreadsheet for my kids activities. I thought I could avoid this overscheduled stuff. Im a foolish mortal.

At least on Saturdays we only have karate and soccer games and on Sundays we'll have only football games.

I just realised soccer practice has to fit in there somewhere, but Im not sure where yet.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Managing Core 5- catholic/ secular style

I knew core 5 would prove to be a very challenging core for me to plan. Its probably the most missionary based core in the lower grades. Im not particularly interested in missionary lore as school, though some of it is useful and interesting.

As I read through core 5 I have breathed a sigh of relief for the adventurous books it oiffers. But I have also groaned because the tweaking is unprecedented. The scope of core 5 is so huge that we could easily spend 2 years on the subject matter- The Non Western World. This core really should be repeated at the highschool level. Many of the books are suitable for young AND young adult readers.

I've already pitched a couple of books in the bin.

William Carey? blech. Mary Slessor? Less blech but anti catholic (in life, tho the book isnt anti catholic.) The Escape to the Jungle book? no thanks. Don't care about missionaries in Africa. Want to know about the actual people of Africa. There are only a gazillion cultures to get to know there. Why would I care about the protestants there to convert them?

I am DESPERATE to remember the name of a book I used in Intro to Cultural Anthropology- it was a book comprised of formerly published journal articles and would be SO USEFUL. Cant remember it, though and have no idea how to find it. Google hath failed me. And so has amazon.

I've found some great ideas of books to sub in but I'm frustrated by the lack of one clear concise "this is how to make this core more secular/ inclusive." Maybe I could make that happen here.

We'll see.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

seen at the pool

a black bikini, with a letter on each breast. On the right breast was the letter R. You'd think there would have been a letter L on the other side but no. It was an O.

Bizarre costumes out there these days.

Of course, with my seersucker stomach skin (thanks kids! stretch marks are the gift that keep on giving!) I wont be needing my own breast labelling bikini anytime soon.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

I sent out a package yesterday

I can not wait til it arrives. I hope the recipient has a sense of humour like mine- a little dark. a little twisted. I'm pretty sure she does.

More Product Review

In February or January I got all my hair cut off. I went in with hair past my shoulders and came out with it short. Not a pixie or anything but like 3 or 4 inches long, which isnt long at all.

As it turns out, with all the weight taken off my hair, I have a lot of curl. Enough that people say things to me about my pretty curls. It was news to me, I assure you. I've never seen a curl appear in my hair spontaneously ever. It would have made the late 80s much easier for me if I'd discovered this propensity to curl way back then.

So now I have this curl and Im trying hard to exploit it. I have purchased a diffuser to blow the hairs dry with. But I never have time or desire to blow dry to be frank. In my laziness I asked the Sybermoms about curl and was refered to Tigi bedhead products.

I use suave shampoo. Always have. The most expensive hair product I ever bought before this was suave's biolage rip off. I have nice hair. It didnt mind my shockingly cheap product.

Well so I got the curls rock conditioner and the curls rock booster spray.

All I can say is my hair seems to stay wet longer, is not curlier in the problem area (the front pieces dont curl as much as the back), and Im a whole lot poorer.

All in all I'd say stick with Suave.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Singapore- Reflections on math and science

We enjoyed Singapore math up through level 4a, at which point my own math idiocy began to frustrate my confused son. At that point I hired out the math explanations to the good people at Teaching Textbooks.

I feel like I need to point out here that my early math instruction didn't sink in at all. In 7th grade I fell off the math bandwagon and eventually landed in the less advanced math prep classes in my high school. My mind could not grasp percents and algebra confounded me. Geometry puzzled, me but trig kicked my ass. William and Mary took me in spite of my low math SATs. I dont think I ever exceeded 600 on the math portion. Funny enough, when I returned to college at age 28 I took college algebra and flew through it with 100%. I also aced finite math and calculus. This didnt help me to explain factoring to the kid last year.

Anyway, having ditched Singapore math for the bigger kiddo I felt I must make it up to the company somehow and decided to look at their science materials.

You may have noted that the husband is a scientist. He is a molecular biologist who is doing toxicology studies for a major agro chem business. He is no longer in the lab, for which I'm grateful. The stench of cell culture is behind us.

So my kids have a good working knowledge of science stuff just by virtue of eating dinner with the man who never was shy about discussing a day's work, even if it was about dissecting mammary tumours or rat brains. One of the issues I have with science study is that we go through the materials more often than not and say, "well yeah, we knew that."

Singapore science is no different actually. We know a lot of what science 5 will teach us. But I'm hungering for the simplicity of the approach. Read the well done little text. Do a little easy work book page. TAKE A TEST! What? yeah, I said take a test.

Anyway, science instruction in Singapore starts at 3rd grade, so level 3 isnt for us, despite having a 3rd grader. Its very basic. We could have covered it in preschool or kindergarten. Level 5 is as good a place for us to start as any, with explanations of plant and animal reproduction (seems timely) complete with drawings of anatomy.

The series is comprised of a text, a workbook, an activity book and a test book at each level. I ordered one of each. Each paperback book is about $7 from Rainbow Resource. After each portion of text for which there is an activity you are cued to go to the activity book. I didn't notice such cues for the workbook, which surprised me. The activities look simple enough for home. They are more "on paper" in some cases than I would have liked.

In addition to Singapore science we also purchased some kits made by the Young Scientist Club. They have a website where you can subscribe to receive a kit a month, but it was cheaper and easier to order their kits (packaged in sets of three) from Rainbow Resource.

Given that I love Sonlight and their approach to almost everything, it is a little surprising that we chose a different way to tackle science. After all, aren't living books the best? Yes. Undoubtedly. But even better than books are hands on activities. And while some people enjoy TOPS, which is included in SL science, I do not. Its designed for a classroom. The directions were too confusing for the science impaired. I had to wash out milk cartons. There was dirt involved. And the possibility of stinky milk residue.

So this year we'll dissect an owl pellet on the kitchen table and grow bacteria and fungi in the dining room. Somehow this is less gross to me than the possibility of stinky milk residue.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Third Time is a Charm

The 30 Day Shred didnt kill me today.

However, if you decide to try it I suggest you do NOT try it with your children. Or at least, not with my children.

Having finished it without disgracing myself too badly today, I turned to look at the 11 yo behind me. I was dripping sweat and puffing. He grinned and said "Is that ALL? I could run a hundred miles after that."

I suggested he get going.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Evil

A fellow sybermom recently wrote about an exercise video she was thinking of purchasing. It was only 10 dollars for the dvd, which has 3 workouts. I have Amazon Prime so 2 day shipping was free.

Its a 20 minute workout with no built in rest. It has circuits of cardio, abs and strength training. 3-2-1. The abs are 1 and the cardio is 3.

You wouldn't think it would be too bad. Its only 20 minutes.

Only 20 minutes of exercise, that is. I find the recovery time is about 2 hours. Its a little embarrassing to admit, but a solid hour later I can barely walk down the stairs. Up is fine. Down not so much.

In case any of you would also like to suffer with me, this masterpiece of sadism is called Jillian Something's 30 day Shred. She is the chick from the Biggest Loser show.

I'd stop doing it immediately except I want to see if she is lying to me (which I strongly suspect) when she says after 5 or 6 days I will have increased my endurance.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

motherhood

I guess the recipe for this is

1 part constant confusion
1 part overwhelming adoration
1 part self loathing
and finally,
3 parts abject humiliation at the hands of children who can not behave.

Im not an attention seeker. I don't understand what drives my oldest child to constantly seek to shock and annoy. Tonight's irritation brought to you courtesy of eleventy hundred mentions of R rated movies, the word "sucks", and episodes of burping while visiting at the home of a very catholic coworker of the husband's.


But what will really lay me low ever single time is when the good one is bad. After a week of day camp and a night of camping out it was probably eminently predictable that my easy going kid with the competitive nature wouldnt handle a night out til 9 and a kickball game. So why WHY didnt I predict it and make sure we left on a high note? Instead, we left after a kickball game with a irate 8 yo who had nearly decapitated his brother in a white hot rage.

In other irritating news, every time I sit down the cat expects me to play with him. He shows his desire for my company by gently biting my back fat. Or leg fat. Or arm fat. Whatever he can latch onto. Any area he picks is sure to be delicious. Like KFC only without the crunch.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

embedding

I try to copy the embed stuff from youtube and you know what happens? it copies about 1/4 of the gobbledygook and then nothing!

LUKE, what should i try next?

poor Luke. He had no idea one silly comment would make me forever address all my technical issues to him.

Regardless, it wouldnt matter because the youtube video of the Free to Be skit (Boy Meets Girl) does not incude the whole skit from the CD (or, as I knew it as a child, the record.)

You will have to take my word for it. I hate them! squeak squeak squeak!

I am linking you to a blog

I know NOTHING about this blog other than that she has offered me the Holy Grail of Housecleaning- ie how to hack the swiffer!!!

http://boywunderkind.blogspot.com/

Monday, July 14, 2008

To Grandfather's House He Go(es)

My oldest son is with my Dad in the cornfields of Illinois this week. This is the first time the two of them have spent an extended time alone together. Big A will be there until Thursday when I drive to Terre Haute to fetch his sorry hide back home. He may be there a lot longer if the week turns out as peaceful as I plan. I kid! No really. I will go get him. I will. Unless...no. I WILL.

Anyway, the two of them unsupervised could possibly get into a hell of a lot of trouble. Neither likes to eat healthy food. I'm guessing the diet which I find more or less acceptable for Al- ie protein rich breakfast, carb lunch, and meat and a healthy starch for dinner, vitamin to sub for all fruits and veg- will be augmented with a) candy b) soda (Please Lord, make my child's teeth impervious to harm, I know You can do this, In Jesus name...Amen) and c) bacon.

Besides eating garbage and running amok, the two of them are going to be practicing a little riflery.

I am terrified of guns. I am! I am! I hate them, squeak squeak squeak! What? You say that's not the sound guns make? no? Oh alright. I know. Mice make that noise. Its a line from Free to Be You and Me. And if I knew how to embed video I'd do so here, because that skit is on youtube!

Anyway, so they are shooting guns into some poor farmer's cornfield. Or wheat field. It could even be soy beans. Whatever. All I know is the crop better watch out. Because Big A the mighty hunter is surely one heck of a shot. With no depth perception and vision in only one eye, he can still actually hit a target! Hope he enjoys it. Because we aren't having any of that gun crap here.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Im really neither young nor hip.

Im going to HAVE TO find a new hairdresser.

I went to the salon yesterday with my kids in tow (and they were all good, so I took them for icecream afterward, which cost a bloody fortune) and Al had his iPod.

I casually mentioned he had the new REM album on there and both the girls were like WHO is THAT? I let them have a listen and one girls said, "What type of music is that?"

They had never heard of REM! I have never felt so old and irrelevant.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Officially 10 lbs Thinner!

Sadly, I'm not sure its terribly noticeable.

It went quickly though! I started losing those ten pounds about 43 days ago. The wii counts for you so its easy to see your progress. That is a pound every 4 days.

Here's hoping the next 10 go so fast. I might be well satisified with 10 more. But if I managed to lose 20 more i'd be about a perfect size 4. Not sure if that is a goal worth having at this point. Size 8 sounds ideal.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Its been ONE WHOLE WEEK

since I bought my core 5 materials on ebay.

Im going crazy.

Media mail will be the death of me. It said 2-9 days and its definitely looking more like 9 and less like 2, despite the box being just down the road in Plainfield, IN.

Im so impatient. I have become accustomed to (SPOILED by) Amazon.com's 2 day free shipping thanks to my prime membership.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Me and Two

My oldest child and his father are off at Webelo Adventure Camp for 4 days and 3 nights of buggy fun! Its nice that the man takes time off to do these things with his boys. later this summer he is doing a week of day camp with the younger cub. Brenna gets the benefit of an experienced Dad and that is worth its weight in gold, if she doesnt get a full week of one on one as of yet.

In celebration of their absence (does that sound bad? oh dear. but that IS what I mean!) the two kids I have here and I are enjoying tailored to them fun.

So tomorrow we are doing some mini golf for Cal. And on Wednesday we are doing some pottery painting or mosaic making for Brenna. Both will be fun for me.

Got some bad news about a friend of the family today. The 50 lb tumour recently removed from her body was cancerous and had metastisized. Her outlook is grim and her will to fight is very weak. Please send up prayers for Cathy as she begins treatment for bone cancer.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Just how much weight can you lose with the wiifit

plus Weight Watchers?

9 lbs in about a month.

Nice, huh?

I have never had a weight problem in my life so imagine my surprise when I suddenly gained 30 pounds in less than two years. It was shocking how quickly it went on. I was also unable to shake it, largely because I was unable to focus on the problem.

I don't know what changed in me but suddenly the desire was there. Really there. The inner motivation. The desire to stuff whatever in my mouth that wasnt tied down was gone. I've never been a binge eater before in my life and I didnt really recognise that's what I was doing when I did it.

I really hope that the rest of my weight will come off as easily as this first 9. I feel pretty sure it will. I have no feeling of deprivation what so ever. Today I enjoyed both beer and chocolate!

I can't wait to wear my favorite skirts again. Maybe I'll even get in them before summer is over.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

SCOOOOOORE

Core 5- $349 on ebay.


Now, we are going to church.

its the Last Chance mass. You know, your last chance to squeeze it in or you have to go to confession.

Friday, June 27, 2008

In Keeping With The Theme

The theme being There is No Theme, I have decided to post about my weight loss.

Its slow going. But its going.

For the first time in about 9 months...maybe more, Im below a certain threshold. This is excellent news. If I try to focus on the 7 or so pounds I have lost (through Weight Watchers and wiifit) maybe I'll forget how far I have to go.

If I could drop ten pounds I'd be happy. if I could drop fifteen I'd be ecstatic. 20 would be flat out orgasmic.

I've always had a healthy relationship with food and I have never had a weight problem. So this is new territory for me. Any time I have had to lose weight before it has been due to a new baby arriving! This time its entirely due to brownies and ice cream and eating like a pig.

What is great news is I have kicked the binge habit. Depression and sloth fueled the piggy phase and now that they are both gone (thankyou Jesus, for the sunshine and warm weather!) I am having no problem whatsoever losing at the slow but steady pace of a pound or so a week.

Hopefully next winter wont mess me up.

After 3 kids I know I'll never be bikini fit again. I have stretch marks like plow furrows. But there is no reason for frumpery.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Homeschool Planning

Im going to use this place to organize my thoughts and plans for the coming year.

We are plowing ahead in our study of US History currently. We have about 9 weeks left of Sonlight's Core 4. We are roaring through the '20s and we are about to become Depressed.

Our main text for the current time frame is Joy Hakim's History of Us, which has supplanted Landmark curently because Landmark (formerly fabulous) got sort of dull. Not sure why. Lack of detail mainly. Hakim gave us a chapter on jazz, baseball, and Hubble.

Sometimes more is more.


Next year is a challenge. Core 5 as written is a protestant missionary nightmare, Im afraid. Since Im both more secular in my focus and also a catholic its got to be changed, at least a little. The first change we'll make is to drop the 100 Gateway Cities book. We'll replace that with DK's Children Just Like Me. We will add Material World. Another resource we probably wont be using is the Unreached People DVD. I find it slightly irritating that Sapporo, Japan (home to a once thriving catholic population) is featured in the film. More than that, Im not interested in conversion, especially. If that means Im a bad christian so be it. I dont pray for conversion of people to my faith. Nor will my kids.

The meat of core 5 are the wonderful readers. Of all the years, Core 5 offers the most enjoyable selection of readers. Though my son typically dislikes the SL readers I don't think he will object to core 5. The read alouds are also excellent. Very excited about them!

The spine of Core 5 is the EHE- Eastern Hemisphere Explorer used with World Book's computer encyclopedia. To get the most of this I need to buy it new AND I'd need a brand new SL IG as well- those three resources alone would run me about $150. its been redone this year and improved. But unfortunately it sounds like its still not too great. People complain about the workload but for me, its the style of the work. Read the Encyclopedia and then answer the questions in the EHE.

I don't think that sounds particularly interesting. Nor is it feasible with 2 kids.

So we are going another route. I believe I will be purchasing core 5 used, from ebay, almost complete. If I can manage to get the core for about 375ish (its around 600 new) and I add Trailguides with most of the key resources AND I add my logic and visual perception stuff AND an art card game AND a math program for Calum and Easy Grammar and a few other things, I'll still be paying less than I would for Core 5 new with the EHE. As a bonus, I have a ten percent off coupon for ebay right now. The other stuff comes from Rainbow Resource.

Next year Calum will continue with Singapore Math 3A and B. We'll see how it goes. Long division is the stumbling block I foresee. Al will do Teaching Textbooks 5 at double time- 2 lessons a day. When he finishes, we'll buy TT6. He is currently on lesson 38 and there are a total of 114 lessons in TT5. Its going well and I love the program. He says its stupid but there is actually very little objection (relatively) when it comes to him actualy doing it. If TT 4 came out I would probably buy it for Calum now. TT is NOT challenging, but its comprehensive and frankly, math between 3rd and 6th grade is all review preparing you for the eventual jump to algebra. Hopefully by 7th grade my boys will be ready for pre algebra. They should do algebra in 8th grade.

Both boys will do Easy Grammar. Calum will start Just Write and Al will continue it.

Spelling is up in the air. Im using Sequential Spelling now. I like it. It is easy and cheap. Calum used Spellingtime.com this year but I am balking at the price now. It was free the first year, 28$ last year and is up to 35 or so now. Im looking seriously at All About Spelling or Spelling Power. AAS is Orton Gillingham based which sounds good. And Spelling Power is a one time 50$ lay out.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I feel I should be posting something here...

Random Thoughts for today

Kid 1 is at camp all week. Its so easy when he is not here in some ways. However, he is a more rewarding child in many ways than his siblings because when you take him places he absorbs the information and is excited by it. He can engage on a level they can not or will not. I took kids 2 and 3 to our local living history museum yesterday and was much disappointed in the level of engagement from them. Its not about their ages, either. Because ds1 was always able to absorb and retain info from a very early age. But more than that, his level of interest in novel ideas has always been much much higher.

Kid 2 is a smart kid. Possibly smarter than kid 1. But he is simply not as interested in thinking about things or analyzing them. He is interested in pitching next year, making basketball goals, scoring in soccer and watching any sport that comes on the TV.

Kid 3 fell today. When she got up she was very shaken and not herself. She is 3 and she fell for no reason I can see. She fell on her back which is odd. When she got up she was not breathing right and her cry was not normal. She sounded terrified. A couple of times in her sleep or when waking she has done something weird where she shakes a bit. Im needlessly concerned, no doubt, but the word seizure is blinking though my brain. Unfortunately she fell out of my sight and the first I knew of the fall was hearing the very stilted, odd cry. Then picking her up she was shaking. No marks or bruises. Not her normal response to pain which is a lusty loud cry which is easily stopped. This was a trembling child, gasping.

Im thinking of calling the doctor. That's how weird it was.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Predictable

I have a friend that I see once in awhile- her kid is only 5 so our kids do not mesh well. Or at all, in fact. They hate each other.

Anyway, yesterday we went to their pool ostensibly so we could talk about a book we all read. I knew it wouldnt go well. I knew because the kids didnt want to go in the first place. I knew because whenever we see them it goes poorly. Really Im not sure why she ever invites me anywhere.

The only surprise was that instead of the Usual Suspect acting up, it was the second child. The good child. Can I get a giant WTF? Yeah.

So I left the pool after an hour or so because my middle child is screaming "I HATE YOU" and trying to drown me. I was trying to get him out of the mood he was in my tossing him in the pool- which normally kids enjoy, but apparently this one does NOT when he is already pissed off.

He was rudely demanding to leave and I had NO IDEA why.

Turns out that some older kids he had been playing ball with had made fun of him when the ball rolled into the Ladies room and he just went in and got it.

So a few things I have to say about this:

1. I hate kids. My own included, but most certainly not exclusively.

2. Im done with the humility lessons, God, let's move on to something less public. I got the message. I suck. I am not nor will I ever be Mother of the Year. OK ALREADY. JESUS! (That's an ejaculation not a swear.)

3. I HATE my children's birthdays. Every year I become depressed and irritable at their birthdays. Who knows why. Its a firm step in the right direction- just 7 and 10 more years respectively til they can move out and I can mourn their childhoods and regret all the time wasted or misspent like any proper parent would.

Monday, June 09, 2008

A few random things

Im not much of a blogger and Im ok with that.

Just a short list of things going on around here....and a random thought or two.

1. Im covered in poison ivy. Or poison something. We cant find any poison ivy. None of us are able to identify poison oak or sumac. I have a failry virulent systemic allergic reaction happening with most of the rash on my belly and thighs. Its nothing like the heinous pics you can google. Its just aggravating and itchy. I have a scrip for prednisone but dont want to go there. Apparently it can make you grumpy. My family cant take that level of irritibility.

2. My kids are really predictable. This is both a blessing and a curse. For instance, I know when they will have trouble. I know when they'll act up. BUT I also know that I can go to the pool and Brenna won't do anything weird or crazy if I look away. This post brought to you by my neighbor's child who terrified us all yesterday by leaning way over for a good look at the deep end (having managed to evade her mother and get all the way to the other side of the pool) then pooped in the baby pool.

3. I cleaned the carpet last month and it now looks grody. I mean just nasty. Apparently I need a new steam cleaner because my bissell failed to extract the water it spat onto the rug. And whatever residual chemicals are on there are attracting dirt galore.

4. I signed up for Weight watchers. between that and my wiiworkouts I have lost 4 pounds. weeee! 20 to go! No idea how I got so fat, but it is disturbing. I'd settle for losing 15 pounds if it means I can wear my skirts.

5. My muscles are very very weak! Im ashamed. At some point I may eschew the wii and join a gym. Don't fucking laugh. I know! I don't even own gym shoes. A girl can change!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Two Cool Aquisitions

1. As we were driving to the park last weekend we saw a punching bag for sale in a neighbor's drive way. It is the type that has a heavy base and an adjustable punching surface. I bought it for $40 and made my boys very happy.

2. Wiifit arrived yesterday. Its receiving rave reviews from all users so far. Al was awake before me this morning and I made coffee while he told me how he'd run for 30 minutes and unlocked a new balance game!

As today is grey and cloudy Im sure we will all get some use out of both today.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Should I be so tired?

After lunch we started school, as usual. UNLIKE usual, people were fairly co-operative. The boys each did
a phonics exercise
a plural word exercize
a spelling exercize
math
pattern blocks
I read to them, which is both history and lit for today

They both will read on their own at some point or else they already have done.
I am wiped out.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Fix this up

translates roughly to pass the buck

just fyi

Its taking the Aetna man a long time to read the comments

in our file.

I guess maybe he is as confused as I am at the discrepancy between "covered at 85%" and claim denied!

He has returned! Victorious? We shall see.

He claims he may get this claim "fixed up" for me. Oh Lord, I hope so. Do you suppose "fixed up" could mean PAID FOR like they SAID they would?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Diagnosis

He does not have:
ADD with or without the H
Bipolar Disorder
GAD
Aspergers
clinical depression


The dr claimed he has normal self esteem, which directly conflicts with the psychologist who knows him better. So we'll ignore that and focus for a moment on what he does have,

ODD

Lovely. But unsurprising. The articles I have read assure me that I'll feel better about this if I remember it is a disability and he isn't choosing to be like this.

Suuuuuure. That will help immensely. That and the 5 pm beer.



He also has dyslexia.

What? BUT he is a great reader! How can that be?

I'll tell you how. When you read at a 9th grade level and spell at a 2nd grade level? That is called lack of phonemic awareness.

How has he made up for the lack of phonemic awareness? Because he has an outrageous memory. He has stored thousands of words in his pea brained little head for easy recall.

This helps explain why reading is tiring for him and he prefers books on tape. (He does read, because who can wait for books like Harry Potter 7 to be available on audio?)

All in all I feel like crap about the whole thing. It was really expensive. The insurance company has already denied about 800$ worth of claims on it. And worst of all, there isn't a pill for ODD. Though I think valium may be pretty effective actually. I'll let you know if it helps me deal. *snort*

Some people hear ODD and think, eh that is just shitty parenting.

When in fact, its just a crappy personality trait (argumentative) which my kid has got to learn how to regulate. And because there is a maturity deficit in kids with ODD he'll take longer to figure out how to regulate. But the neuropsych thought he was both smart enough and open enough to the idea of his behavior being disruptive that he would benefit from counselling.

There goes the college fund.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I just sent my kids outside

to clean out my car.


This is why it is very different when you have a child of 11 than if your children are 5 and under.

Other tasks my kids do and I no longer participate in:
unloading groceries
unloading the dishwasher

occassionally the do a little bit of laundry (switching from washer to dryer.)

I can see the end of the drudgery tunnel.

However,. in many ways drudgery is easier than the tasks that come with preteens.

Our Schedule, for Fern

This should be very instructive. It should also take me out of the running for mother of the year.

8ish-get up and make coffee. stumble to computer. ignore children where ever they may be until sugar from International Delight hits bloodstream.

9ish- toss easy breakfast their way- lean pockets breakfast pockets. mmmmm

10ish- holler at children that we wont be sitting around all day damn it

11ish- start school

12ish- make lunch and consider putting head in oven with frozen pizza. Curse electric oven.

1ish- continue school. Make Brenna watch tv in hopes she'll a nap

2ish- Start counting down til 5 when I can drink a beer

3ish- send desperately evile children outside. Hope the neighbors get home and that they'll all play there. Make not of time and reassure myself that there is a beer in the fridge.

4ish- check my evile mommy site and realise I forgot to thaw meat for dinner. Contemplate the relative nutritional merits of canned soup or toaster waffles.

5ish- BEER TIME. Just one. Light. Sam Adams is preferred.

And after that the husband is home and I deflect all games of sorry, memory and all reading of books. Because I wouldnt want to deprive him of the opportunity to bond with his children.

MY day is free of all butt wiping. Well, I mean other people's butts. And fern, let that give you hope. For someday soon, you will wipe no butt but your own too.

Friday, May 09, 2008

There is nothing more refreshing than

a night out with a couple homeschooling girlfriends.

Man, I really needed that.

It helps that my friends are both hilarious and sweet.

And that there was chocolate and coffee.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

just one more week

until we find out what is wrong with my 1o year old. Im both chomping at the bit and completely avoidant, if that makes any sense.

I think the basics we are looking for/ at are ADD, anxiety/depression, Aspergers, or asshole. The thing that makes me sick to consider is childhood onset bipolar disorder. Im hoping whatever the dx is that it comes with a magical mystery pill to solve all our problems.

In other news, Im seriously considering whether or not I wish to continue homeschooling. I never wanted to do it in the first place, but unfortunately public education is so unbelievably garbagey that we fell into it. There are real draw backs to homeschooling. Unfortunately there are much greater drawbacks to school. I paraphrase some surfer guy I heard on the radio

"Some people are like, go to school! But don't let your kids swim with the fucking sharks! That's deadly! My parents were like swim with sharks! but dont let your kids go to fucking school! That is deadly."

Still, my happiness and sanity deserve some consideration. While Im certain there isnt anything in the world more worthwhile than what Im doing, after 3 moves in 4 years and living for almost 11 with someone who is so demanding and persistant, I feel like I would like to retire. To a desert island. With margaritas and daiquiris. And silence.

By 7 pm I am so tired of people speaking that I cringe when my dh opens his mouth. By 9 Im so tired of the noise and detritus of children and my dh that I am homicidal.

And by 10 Im so exhausted and sick of me that I go to bed.

And when I wake up at 7 I am no where near ready to do it again.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Here's what I learned this weekend

Baseball is NOT my favorite. Its just NOT. In fact I am not a fan. Especially not with high winds and cold temps. Soccer is more interesting and therefor it distracts from the foul weather. Baseball is a total snooze- especially when your team of midgets is competing against a steroid enhanced group of 7 yo the likes of which I have never seen.

Since they scored 22 runs the first game we had it coming, I guess. But my kid struck out at his one at bat and he was not ok with that. There were tears (for just a split second). I dont care what Tom Hanks says, there IS INDEED crying in baseball. And not just on the sidelines, where I was shivering and cursing.

That the mercy rule applies to wind battered parents- thank you Jesus.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Don't Mess With ME, weather!

Its sunny and beautiful right now.

But there is a good chance of thunderstorms tonight at baseball practice time.

And it is supposed to rain all weekend.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Take Me Out to the Ballgame...OR ELSE!

Last night, in a boneheaded move, the commissioner called the ballgames. It had rained all afternoon and they called the game at almost 5, just as the sun came out. It was 40 degrees...but we totally could have played.

And my 7 yo KNEW IT.

and he was righteously pissed off.

So first it was a meltdown with tears and then once that storm passed we had an evening of "there is nothing to do."

I'll be doing some sort of good weather dance every game day for the rest of the season. Because when "the good one" is bad everyone suffers.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Organizing Women to do Things

I just do not know how.

I tried to start a book club. I invited some people I like. I started by inviting 9 people I like to read a book and discuss it the next month. Unfortunately March was The Month From Hell and it didnt work out. April began with spring break for te schoolers but we scheduled a date late in April and I was pretty excited!

I sent out reminders last week.

and again yesterday.

And yesterday night the "oh, I cants" rolled in.

Very disappointed. I think we may manage to scrape together 4 (including me) which is less than half. And those 4 are all my friend's friends, not mine. Tho I like them and we certainly may become friends in the future.

bleh

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

EEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeK!

A MOUSE!

I bet Suburban Correspondant sent it over to pay her respects.

But the Cat has had the last laugh.

Maybe I could rent him out for pocket money.

I met the neighbor behind me

The one with 2 little girls who I have seen twice?

The one with girls, ages 4 and 6?

Yeah, she homeschools.

So why do they never go outside?

She asked me about church within the first ten seconds of conversation,.

and so I am assuming based on that that we wont be best buddies.

The word CATHOLIC has two possible affects- either it encourages them to try to convert me or it encourages them to stay away. Guess which approach I prefer?!

Monday, April 21, 2008

WRONG!

I didnt miss anyone. There simply was not time to do so. We arrived at the hotel on Friday evening after a long and tedious several hours on the Beltway. It was ghastly out there.

In other news, the husband bought the kids something for baseball practice at home. It guarrantees no broken windows because the ball is zooming along a piece of string. Its called a Zip and Hit and its quite clever. They are enjoying it!

I'm enjoying Sam Adams Summer Ale again after a loong winter.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Off to DC!

Just a quick weekend trip. Im going to see my brother in prison and spend a few hours with my friend who is just out of the psych hospital.


Does that sound like vacation?

It occured to me last night that I will actually miss the kids and the husband.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Frustration!

A month ago, I submitted about 600 dollars worth of claims to my health insurance provider. I had to self submit because my doctor was out of network. Having carefully filled out all the stupid forms and sent them off I was anxiously awaiting my payments. I called several times and each time was told NOTHING could happen before 30 days was up. At that point the claims would be reviewed.

Lies.

Those forms are not where they were supposed to be. I was concerned about that, since submitting important information like this to a PO box seems...well...futile.

So 30 days later, 600 dollars poorer, I get to re submit and wait again.


&*%^#@!!!!!!!

Monday, April 14, 2008

I have joined the cult

I bought a damned dyson.

Luckily I am too cheap to pay retail. I got one (shipped) for 250. This is about the average price of a decent vacuum so the cult followers will think I got some sort of bargain.

I still resent spending that much on something which doesnt entertain me, feed me or unburden me of a chore.

But Bush is sending me that check so i stimulate the economy... and I want to be a good citizen... and I have had my 90$ walmart special for 2 full years now.

mmmm, nothing goes better with that morning coffee than a lovely bit of rationalization!

Because I am only paying two fitty for the cult membership I'll give a real true review of this sucker when it gets here. In anticipation of its arrival I'll not vacuum this week. That should give the poor machine a real run for its money.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Oft Forgotten 11th Anniversary!

To celebrate, we decided to engage in marital recreation before church.



In 11 years we have never ever been discovered in flagrante delicto by the kids.



But in the 12th year all that changed!



Thanks Brenna! And thanks also to Pat, the former owner who installed those non locking doorknobs!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Year Round School

Looks like we will have to do it whether we want to or not.

Normally I love our Read Aloud time. Sonlight picks the best books and all 3 of us enjoy the heck out of them.

Right now we should be totally into Little Britches, which is such a fabulous book that I have read all the sequels. But for some reason its not happening here! Its like the vibe is wrong for us right now.

Here's my one complaint about our curriculum this year:

we spent all last year on the period leading up to the colonialization and the Revolutionary War. We got slightly past the Rev War. And now this year we have to cover the entire period from 1800 (roughly) to 1946!

A lot of really fascinating stuff happened and we are just touching on it. Its good, but FAST!

Today we read about two significant american innovations: standard time (aka railroad time) and standard gauge railroad tracks!

We also touched on sky scraper construction and bridge building.

You couldnt pay me enough to have been one of the men working 65 feet under water to set the bridge supports on firm ground. Its truly amazing to me what people accomplished in the 1880s.

Maybe if we were so innovative today we'd defeat the things which plague us.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

A Moment of Clarity

On Saturday Al cleaned the bathroom.

On Monday night he was doing his nasal douche (pause for giggling) over the sink he had scrubbed so well just two days before. He looked down at the tooth paste blobs and dirty streaks on the vanity and said loudly, "Didn't I just clean this thing?"

Monday, April 07, 2008

My deadly sin du jour

I cant stop thinking about my friend's garbage disposal. Everytime I ram something down into mine and listen to it grind away patiently I think about how hers whirs the water down like a freaking whirpool of disposally death.

Hers said PRO on it. Mine is lacking those three letters.

Thou shalt not covet. Thou shalt not covet. Thou shallt not covet.


I'll be writing that 97 more times in my mind.


Until I finally SNAP OUT OF IT. its a GARBAGE DISPOSAL!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

The Most Exciting News in Several Years!

I have a myspace! WHY? well, I accidentally went there and found a friend from my childhood. And when you find a friend from your childhood you MUST contact that friend! Especially if she has just announced an engagement! And in order to contact that friend you have to have a myspace. And since you are on myspace you should check and see who else you know is on there! And then you must invite them to be your friend! And then once you have invited them you wait with baited breath to see if they ACCEPT!

Oh, its so exciting!

In my head it all sounds like If You Give Mouse a Cookie. Or is it a Moose that gets the cookie? I know its the pig who gets the pancake. I'm pretty sure its the mom who needs the margarita.

in my head everything that happens is translated into 3 year old. because anymore, that is the only level on which I can communicate.

Still Alive!

But the brain aneurysm was exciting to contemplate! It had occurred to me earlier in the day too. Does that mean I'm also a hypochondriac? LOL

I had the head ache before the nasal passage cleansing and after. But when I went to go to bed, shortly after posting, I developed a stuffy nose. I was excited because to me that meant whatever was plugging me up up there had moved down to the lower regions and was plugging my nose instead.

And when I awoke this morning I felt pretty good!

So I flushed the sinus cavity again, which less sputtering and hullaballoo than last night.

And several hours later the headache is still gone.

So, in closing, all hail the sinus douche!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Sinus or migraine

sweet Jesus, it hurts whatever it is. all the pain is gathered into a knot slightly above and to the right of my right eye. I had been assuming sinus and I bought a sinus douche kit

(I'll pause so we can all giggle)

and stuck it up my nose and swirled my head out. That felt bizarre. Dizzying and scary but good!

but the pain is intense and unrelenting.

I'd love to take pseudofed but I enjoy sleep too much to sacifice it.

What say the internets? sinus or migraine?

Does He Really Exist?

No, this isnt existential pondering about God.

My husband can't find his birth certificate. Nor can he locate his social security card! For an exciting few moments he was unable to put hands on the driver's license!

This same individual keeps muttering about needing a passport.


Better him than me.

UPDATE! Proof of his birth has been established!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

How to handle sibling disputes

Im never sure how to deal with them. Both my boys claim the other never gets in trouble and that I dont care about them and my middle martyr claims the oldest could kill him and it would be all right with me.

Would there be quiet then?

I blame my mom for her lack of example in this department and probably she blames hers. If dead people blame one another for things.

So I was really glad for the useful tips on how to deal with infighting found over at here at the Suburban Correspondant's blog.

Thanks for the reassurance that reading another parenting book will not help!

Anyone who goes over there pay special attention to Jill's comment, which states that kids are perfectly capable of fighting about the potential for future fighting. I think she is probably correct and the only possible response is chocolate. Maybe with wine. And the closet looks better every day!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Our library, home of coke products and fritos

and an occassional new book.

I have been chastised for my lax parenting by our local library. It was only a matter of time what with my laissez faire style and uninvolved demeanor. I do believe less is more when it comes to interacting with my kids, as evidenced by my homeschooling and formerly AP choices.

Right before Easter we hit the library to gets some books and pay for the book which we lost (which I don't believe we lost but that is another story.) I took Brenna and headed to the cashier's desk while the boy (7 and 10!) headed to the children's room to browse.

These boys are not rotten tomatoes. They do not scream and shout and act like hoods while at the library.

They save that for me at home.

When I had finished my business with the cashier I headed down to the children's room and was accosted by a library lady with an ax to grind and she proceeded to grind it on me, informing me children under 14 can't be alone in the children's room and my children were what they called "UNATTENDED."

I was annoyed. No. actually I was PISSED OFF. mightily so.

she presented me with a written copy of the policy which I didnt read.

But I should have!

Bc according to the website:

Unattended Children
Please do not leave children unattended even in the Youth Services Department. Children up to age seven (7) must have a responsible caregiver, age sixteen (16) or older on the premises. If the child is five (5) or under, the caregiver is asked to remain with the child.


Bite me, library lady. I have a call in to the library and am awaiting some sort of clarification on the policy. I will not be chastised by some peon (probably staff, not even a real librarian) in the children's dungeon (I hate our library!) for perfectly reasonable parenting.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Excellent News!

According to Dr Sarah Benson I have won 1 millions Euros!

Woohoo!

So much better than winning 1 million dollars in this day of the weak buck.

I wonder what I have to do to claim it... Probably just email my SSN to good old Dr Sarah.

You wouldnt think you would need any sort of PhD to notify people of winning the lotto. Fraudulent lotto or otherwise.

Very odd.

Friday, March 21, 2008

If You Want Sympathetic Glances and Kindly Tolerant Smiles

Simply take your three children to Mass for the Foot Washing and etc (its a long one!) by yourself.

Leave the husband at home!

Make sure the smallest child has not napped!

I had never been to the Triduum masses before this year. I'm a cradle catholic but we were not devout I suppose. I mean, we did Holy Days of Obligation (Mom took me out of school even) but we never went to the extras. The extras tend to be the coolest parts.

Different churches handle foot washing differently. Ours has 5 stations set up around the church. Lines form. Father washes the feet of the first person at each station. After that, your feet are washed and you wash the feet of your neighbors in line.

Brenna's feet were SO FILTHY from all the outside time earlier (crocs) that she and I stayed in the pew- washing is optional, not required.

My son and his RCIA classmates washed each other's feet. There was horseplay in the line but the actual foot washing was fairly reverant.

Undoubtedly not reverant and GIRM-y enough for some, but that is another post entirely.

(GIRM is the officially prescribed order of the mass and how things should be done.)

Towels were brought to dry feet and then washed and donated to St Vincent de Paul.

guess who forgot to bring a towel?!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

There is life out there!

I just met the people who live in the house behind us.

I had no idea they had 3 kids back there! And the house next to them? 2 little girls the same age as my Brenna!

Why have I never seen these kids before?

I guess they don't play outside very much.

There is water back there because ourneighborhood is on a resevoir. The houses behind us have no fences. Its probably not a good idea to let your kids play outside alone when you live on a canal.

But we have had some beautiful days and I had literally no idea there were kids within miles of us! How sad for those kids.

Glad we have a fence.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Shame?

Is that what makes my daughter run and hide when ever I question her about her (ill advised) activities?

Neither boy has ever done anything like this. When the oldest did something wrong he made a clear logical decision to do it and when confronted he always had a "reason" for his action. It might not have been good enough for me, mind. But in his eyes something made whatever crime worthwhile and good.

The second child is a middle and who knows what he ever did or does. Poor child. He is too busy martyring himself ( "you dont caaaaare about meeeee") to do wrong.

Tonight's major faux pas- darling Brenna has applied Daddy's deodorant to her person. I am not even upset. She isnt even in trouble. But she is ashamed. She is refusing to discuss it at all. She ran away from me when I asked her about it. She ran away screaming "STOP CHASING ME!" even tho I was headed upstairs to make sure she had not spilled anything smelly and not following her circular path around the downstairs.

Its interesting to me that I have produced two such very different beings in 10 years.

oh right. 3.

I forgot about that one kid in the middle.







(I adore the one in the middle in all reality.)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

I dont have anything in particular to say

Dh left town this week for Seattle. He called to let me know Westin upgraded him to a sweet room with a bird's eye view of the Space Needle.

I'm here in Indiana with a bird's eye view of the computer, 3 kids with dirty hair and a laundry pile as tall as me.

We have a heavy duty church schedule over the next few days and I'm looking forward to annoying our priest this week (but more about that later!) so in my absence you should go read this blog which I found thanks to the evile mommy site and Super Nanny.

http://kadiprescott.blogspot.com/2008/03/thou-shalt-not-weavest-thy-tangled-web.html

That particular post made me laugh so hard I nearly pee'ed. I didnt catch the family on Super Nanny. I could write a whole post about how I dont care for Super Nanny but instead let me link you to someone who wrote something better than anything I ever could. And he has credentials too.

http://www.alfiekohn.org/articles.htm#null
Select the one entitled "Atrocious Advice from Super Nanny"

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Sixty Two Degrees

Its not new to me that my moods are tied to the weather. This winter has been a real beaut, with few sunny days and an excess of cold windy ones. Cabin fever has long since set in and I cant tell you how many days we avoid going out or even getting dressed in real clothing.

If I could figure out where to live to maximize my sun exposure and minimize housing expenditures I'd head there tomorrow.

Today's math is going to be multiplication squares, aka magic squares. These are probably sort of like Suduku, which I hate. I hate it because I'm terrible at it. But magic squares are simple and do-able even for me, the math dunce. No, I dont talk like that in front of the kids. And actually I'm not all that duncy having pulled out an A in finite math a couple yrs ago when I went back to college part time (but still didnt finish.)

We are heading into magic squares armed with new information gleaned from a book by the Human Calculator, Scott Flansburg- Math Magic For Your Kids. Here's the dirt:
when multiplying by 4 you say "double double" and that is what you do

300x4= 300 doubled, or 600. and 600 doubles to 1200.

300x8= 300 double double double- so 300, 600, 1200, 2400.

division is as easy- by 4? halve it. and halve it again. by 8? halve halve halve.

There is a neat trick with 6 too but it eludes me this morning.


Also, in other news, today I eschew the apostrophe.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Today's agenda

Heading outside again for the better part of the day (must devise some manly job for kids to do.)

Heavy duty fraction studies using hershey chocolate bars.

"Finishing our work" shouldnt be a problem today.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

St Anthony 101

In case you didnt understand the google reference.

SisterMaryMartha gives the best explanations.

We never said the casual (probably irreverant) prayer. I'd never heard it before. But invoking St Anthony when you cant find something is absolutely in your best interest, both while googling and in real life.

Monday, March 10, 2008

What's on tap for math this week

So far I have:

4 way count down
I hate Mathmatics!
The Phanton Tollbooth (very appropriate since the main character shares an attitude problem with my ds.) From amazon:


""It seems to me that almost everything is a waste of time," Milo laments. "[T]here's nothing for me to do, nowhere I'd care to go, and hardly anything worth seeing." This bored, bored young protagonist who can't see the point to anything is knocked out of his glum humdrum by the sudden and curious appearance of a tollbooth in his bedroom. Since Milo has absolutely nothing better to do, he dusts off his toy car, pays the toll, and drives through. What ensues is a journey of mythic proportions, during which Milo encounters countless odd characters who are anything but dull."

We are also playing multiplication war and Vroot and Vroom (singapore maths 3 and 4 cd rom game.)

I figured out that from 4th - 6th grade we arent covering anything we have not already touched upon. We have plenty of time to master it and we have enough time to do so without a workbook for a bit.

Special thanks to the friend who linked me to Living Math!

I'm going to glean (read: STEAL) ideas from that site and see what works.

Catholicism du Jour

Do you suppose the patron Saint of google is St Anthony?

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Sing with me

Im dreaming of a new math curriculum
nothing like the one Im using now
With more real life math skills
and less need for chill pills

something somehing
daydreams in the snowwwwww.

One problem with having been a very successful school kid is that I get sort of wrapped up in typical school methods. I have utterly embraced some of the concepts of Charlotte Mason and my kids thrive on being read to and discussing what they hear. But math has always been a "here's your workbook, get down to it" subject.

I want it to stay like that frankly, bc otherwise my voice will give out and I'll never do the dishes. You would think they could do something school like without me sitting on the couch with them like we do history and lit.

But given the trouble we've been having lately with someone's defeatist attitude I'm torn between my two personalities- one says sit down, shut up and do it!

the other says ehhhh let it go awhile.

The practical approach would be to find a way to make math meaningful and encourage the mental approach in real life. IE unschool the math a while. Strew the multiplication opportunities and allow him to gravitate towards them and do it in a real life way.

oh help.

unschooling. done well, the scariest and most teacher intensive homeschooling style of them all.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Its all about the cat

So we got this cat in Nov and the whole family really enjoys him. Calum is particularly obsessed tho. Practically everytime we see a cat which is black or white or some combination of the two he exclaims, "Hey, that cat looks like Garrison."


He's also taken it further by announcing any black and white animal looks like Garrison. Gigantic furry dog? if its in any part black or white, it looks like Garrison! Skunk? Oh it looks EXACTLY like Garrison!


So last night Al's white with black stripe karate belt was lying around and dh goes, "Hey, that belt looks like Garrison!" and of course I cracked up bc its all we hear. hey! that looks like Garrison!


Later that evening Al opened our fridge and announced it has "that new fridge smell" to which Calum, holding the cat, replied "Hey, Garrison has that new cat smell."

I ask if anyone wants a cheese sandwich and Cal replies, "I'll have a cat sandwich."

I say go put the trash out and Cal says, "I'll go put the cat out!"

I say go wash your hands! Calum replies, "I'll go wash the cat!"

Who knew this one 10 pound furball would provide the 7 yo such endless enjoyment?

Please pray that the poor tolerant cat will survive all Cal's affections and attentions for many years.

Monday, March 03, 2008

How did we get here from there?

Its never been smooth sailing since this kid first pinged onto the radar. In the 18th or 19th week of my pregnancy I began experiencing lovely regular and measurable contractions which sent me to the hospital several times. The upshot of that was that i spent about 8 or 9 weeks in the hospital on mag sulfate and brethine (terbutaline) constantly. New iv every 3 days to prevent infection. My hands looked like pin cushions.

He arrived around 38 weeks and ever after I have felt both cheated and annoyed by the apparently fraudulent preterm labor.

When he was 3 weeks old we moved far away from everyone we knew to Cincinnati and dh started his PhD program.

As an infant he seemed fine to me. No one else could really hold him or satisfy him but that seemed right. He liked me best. Who could blame him? He nursed around the clock. Why not? He was inconsolable if left to cry. You shouldnt let them cry anyway!

As a toddler he was quick and caught on to all sorts of things. He was flinging insults by age three, telling the child advocate who did his Denver assessment (a developmental screeening tool through Parents as Teachers) that she bored him. he started prek at 3, right after his brother was born. His preschool teachers told me he was the angriest kid they had ever seen- the sibling issues rolled in upon the birth of his brother. The next year's teacher seemed to not noticeanything amiss and he thrived with her. At 6 he went to kindergarten at a local public montessori in Cincinnati where the fun truly began. At our first conference his teacher assured me he was one of the smartest little kids she'd ever seen and then told me he had ADD, ODD, SID and had possibly been molested (he peed in the trashcan in the boy's bathroom on a dare- an obvious sign of sexual abuse???)

In first grade he was identified as behind academically (montessori doesnt transition smoothly to standard curriculum). he was given title one 1:1 reading services and caught up in about 5 months. Behavior wise he was apparently behind. Things like chewing on strings from his clothing or his sleeves or neck of shirts were constantly causing him to "pull cards." Stubborness was another issue in the classroom. His teacher seemed to feel he was of average (and possibly below) intelligence. I asked for testing and accomodations for his dx'ed motor issues and told them he was a very smart kid. The principle looked me in the eye and said, "We have had the focus (gifted) testing. We'll see just how smart he is."

And that was the end of our school career.

In the past while he has been difficult- typically he is mouthy and argumentative- he has never been as defiant and angry as he has in the past year. Whether hormones have reared up and cursed us or whether its just all the moves (3 in 4 years now) and instability I do not know.

Perhaps its just shitty parenting. I can see my husband and I making some mistakes as we deal with this poor first (experimental) child.

I just pray we make it through the next few years because if this is rough I can not imagine what it will be like with a 16 year old.

This is the day

This is the day
That the Lord has made
That the Lord has made
Let us rejoice
Let us rejoice
and be glad in it
and be glad in it.

I have that little ditty stuck in my head. From out of nowhere comes this 2nd grade Sunday school earworm to invade my brain. It could be worse.

This is the day my son goes to see a psychologist. How on earth did people make it through childhood without therapy? How on earth did parents make it through parenthood without therapy?

It makes me really nervous. Let's face it. You never know what these kids will say.

I did find out that the neuropsychiatrist who does the assessments for things like syndromes and mood disorders and etc is an in network provider, so the insurance navigation should go better there, one hopes.

I'm in the hole to this psychologist 600$ after today. For that kind of money you could probably get a new kid and start all over again (messing him up from scratch.)


Psychologist visit- $175
full neuro-psychiatric evaluation- $180
the possibility of life without a screaming, frustrated, inflexible, tantruming 10 yo- priceless