Thursday, February 28, 2008

I never read this anywhere

but I think it plenty. Homeschooling puts way too much pressure on one human being.

Homeschoolers often claim the relationship is more important than the education. At this point, I dont think my relationship with my oldest is necessarily benefitting from our proximity. Neither of us kept our tempers today. Neither of us enjoyed each other today. I mean, we enjoyed reading time. But after that things went down hill.

No one ever mentions the bad days and I think a lot of that is for fear of being told off. Because they are afraid if they ever mention the nitty gritty that it will some how prove once and for all that homeschooling is not worthwhile.

On the other hand...

I dont have to worry about my kids being exposed to this charming individual and his depraved songs.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

oh happy day

(yes, I have that on my iPod. because everyone benefits from a good gospel hit)

I just downloaded some "new" music and Im so thrilled to be able to listen to my own tunes rather than rely on the crummy radio.

I got Rod Stewart's version of "Ooh la la" (That is the one that goes "I wish that I knew what I know now, when I was younger..." It was a commercial a while back.)

and I got some fabulous Tom Petty. I'm add some Chili Peppers and Matchbox 20 too in a desperate attempt to stay current.

Old Crow Medicine Show's Wagon Wheel is fighting with Jackson Browne's The Load Out for the top slot though.

On the audio book front, I am finding Emma (Jane Austen's main character in the novel of the same name) annoying as all hell. Im having a quasi violent reaction to her. Its pretty bad when you want to physically assault a fictional character who is 2 centuries old. LOL

Do Not Want

Pinewood derby cars.

I hate the Pinewood derby. My kids' dad isnt any sort of engineering whiz and he doesnt own a drill press. So needless to say the kids do not do too well in the Derby. Now, if it were a competition to see who could disect diseased rat brains or grow spectacular mousie tumours we'd have a real leg up.

Its a loooong day and while I enjoy seeing all the mom of our den, I could actually do without most of the other people involved.

At the Blue and Gold Banquet there was an incident where I was put in my place over an (already opened!) bag of chips which I allowed several (truly starving!) kids to sample before the start of the festivities.

I know, can you imagine my audacity? Allowing kids who had been at the venue for 2 hrs setting up (actually helping!) and who had not eaten much since breakfast (due to said helping!) access to a few chips from the OPENED BAG of chips you provided?

Clearly you or your piggy family allowed yourselves access to the chips, lady. Why shouldnt the kid who were actually working (moving tables and chairs!) all day get a few crumbs?

Lady comes over, "I JUST shut that bag."

I politely said to the lady, "These kids are really hungry."

"Well, we dont want to run out. They can wait like everyone else."

We cleaned up after the banquet too. Without the chip lady's help, I might add.

We took a big box of fried chicken and about 8 opened but still fairly full bags of chips to a local shelter which accepts food.

Shazam. Take that chip lady. Like we'd ever have run out of chips.

And I'd like to know who brings OPENED chips to a pitch-in? So gauche.

*In this post I use the term lady loosely. This creature was clearly no lady. Probably she was a broad.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Child Development

Apparently 10.5 is the year when concentration becomes impossible.

By concentration I mean thinking about schoolwork.

Concentrating on favorite tv shows, video gaming, radio shows/ podcasts and eating me out of house and home seem to be no problem.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Rowdy and Painful, as Predicted

We had about 2 weeks of decent mood from the oldest child and clearly that couldn't be expected to continue. Today has been complaint after complaint and nothing much has gotten accomplished thus far.

Since this unwillingness to get to work is a new state of affairs around here (new being a relative term which in this case means less than 6 months old) I'm sort of flummoxed by it. I'm not interested in provoking meltdowns but at the same time I am definitely interested in seeing some progress made.

Writing is a huge issue here for both boys. Neither would willingly put pen to paper to so much as sketch a picture until fairly recently when the older child began drawing some sort of cartoons. I was thrilled to see he was drawing, though slightly bothered that the subject matter was typically macho- knights and weaponry and the like. Given my proclivity to over reaction, I decided to step back and examine the situation before freaking out about the gory scenes. I decided in the end not to even worry about it, despite the fact that this kid has some depression going on. He also has a passion for fantasy reading material and likely that is the source for these imaginings, not his wounded (by me) psyche.

Upstairs right now the non starter should be writing some classified ads selling things like a rocket ship, his sister or a royal crown. I could write my own classified.

For Sale- one slightly used 10 yo boy. Sturdy. Talkative. Imaginative. Excellent memory and quick recall. Willing to work in return for beef jerky and access to LOL Cats.

That willing to work part may not be accurate but what can I say? never trust a salesman.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

oh noooo, its Sunday

I have a love hate relationship with the weekend. Its like, the only time I ever can get away from the kids ever. At night its cold and dark and I cant get off the couch after dinner. So I rarely run errands then.

But the weekend comes and we have to date the damned kids. To make them feel special and all that crap.

Shouldnt they just be grateful I fed them 40 times a day all week long and none of them were locked in the closet like they deserved?

So on Saturdays I take Al to the library. He heads down to the kid section alone and learns to negotiate public places and feel comfortable outside of the house. (these are things I worry about as a homeschooler, see?) He looks things up on the computer, proving he is as tech savvy as the malkins at the public schools. He bought a coke in the teen zone yesterday. Proving he is as sneaky as he should be at 10.

Asshole library. Who the hell put coke machines in the library? Seriously? RIGHT NEXT TO the books. No wonder kids are fat. We cant even drop by the library without getting a coke now.


Sunday is like the day when i start to panic because it is the last day I can go out without the kids for a whole week and shouldnt I go someplace far away and get the items that its too hard to get with the kids? Like I want to go get fabric and make curtains!

No I dont want to make curtains. That is crazy.

I do want to go to Penzey's and get some exotic spices!

Except suddenly cooking holds no charm for me whatsoever. Probably due to 3 small kids who complain about everything I cook.

I'd LOVE to go to Trader Joes and buy food already made to put in my freezer.

NOW we're talking!

I want to fill my Sunday up with quiet and store up all that good silence for the rowdy and painful week ahead.

Friday, February 22, 2008

This describes perfectly my relationship with my message board

if you mouse over the cartoon you get a blurb which is very amusing.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The good thing about feverish children

Man is it so nice to snuggle up against a nice 101 at night. They really warm the bed.

Fear Factor

I hate birthday parties but I dont mind hosting gatherings at my home otherwise. I mostly hate the idea of entertaining children I guess. I dont like to entertain my own, let alone other people's.

At the end of March we are entertaining. Its a motley crew of people, including family, friends who are travelling from far away and possibly a sibling. No big deal really, but I am nervous and worried about it for a couple reasons. One reason is my husband will be spending the week before in Seattle at a conference. Have I mentioned my jealousy of his travels for work?

For some reason I am intimidated. I guess if I had solid plans I'd feel better.

But there are a lot of people involved and its hard to please all the people and I feel the pressure there to make sure it all goes well.

I hate feeling the pressure.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I feel so relieved

when i think only my friends read my blog. The whole idea of this makes me so uncomfortable sometimes. I hate criticism of any kind and I cant bear the idea of people making fun of me. Which serves to really illuminate some of the truly shadier sides of my personality since I have to admit there are times when I enjoy nothing more than being critical and flippant.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Is anyone out there?

Inspired by comment lust I would like to ask you all to tell me something.

If you are reading this (fern?) tell me, what is the last song you downloaded?

I'll tell you mine: This is Us Emmy Lou Harris and Mark Knopfler (Are you wondering who he is? Yeah, he sang that "I want my MTV song." Officially its called "Money for Nothing". And a bunch of other stuff. Mostly with a band called Dire Straits.)

Welcome to my Award Winning Blog

Good old Fern has bestowed upon me an actual award. I can't believe it! Fern is so VERY kind to me. Here's the 411 on this lovely award:
If you are awarded the flower smeller badge, pop the flower smeller badge up at your blog and award it to 5 others by writing a post with links to the 5 blogs or websites that you choose.2. You can award this badge to a maximum of 5 people per month from now until eternity as and when you come across more flower smellers.3. Link to this post so that people can find the origin of where the award started and find their way to this community.4. Proudly display the Flower Smeller award with a link to the post that you wrote announcing your award.5. All flower smellers - be prepared to be approached to write a 500 word account of yourself to feature in our 2009 book - The Flower Smellers - that some of our founders will be featured in. As more badges are awarded we’ll start a blogroll of "Flower Smellers."
It is an illustrious award, I am sure. I hope they dont actually want me to write 500 words about anything anytime soon tho. Unless its 500 words about how tired I am of winter.
Now I get to pass on the award goodness and I have just the person for the first award:
Kate at Our Quiverfull is a real flowersmeller. For sure. What a busy woman she is, with a sick child, a newborn, a housefull of older kids with some dietary considerations, a husband who works hard at TWO jobs and a homebased business which is a true blessing to homeschooling families. Check out their great fun project kits at their business site Hands and Hearts. This blog of hers really tugs my heart strings. This blog is often heartbreaking but its also always uplifting. If Kate were catholic we'd say she has perfected the art of offering it up and praising God for the good in her life. I admire her attitude.
The next award should go to heels over at Mundane superhero She has totally slacked off on the blogging but that is ok. She is just too busy smelling the flowers. Or teaching the students. She made a huge change in her life this past fall and it seems to have agreed with her.
I will have to search up some more blogs to bestow this award on. I love The Pioneer Woman, Testosterhome and Danielle Bean but I am not sure how interested those three would be in receiving an award from some blogging novice. All three are funny, thoughtful and inspiring in their own special way. I love their wonderful senses of humour and their real posts about their children and lives. Danielle is offering some thoughtful Lenten posts just now as well. The Pioneer Woman is offerring some fattening but delicious recipes over at her food blog. And Testosterhome is offering ovary twitch inspiring pictures of her latest baby. I am not sure which of those lovely internet gifties I appreciate more. But I think probably, being me, the food is winning.
To do list: repent for sin of gluttony

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The first child

The first child is rarely left to cry for even a minute
The first child never has to wait til you change someone else's diaper
The first child is the object of your rapt attention on a playground, even if you have friends to chat with
The first child's first food is by design, not by accident
The first child's little clothing doesnt have a small stain from when his older brother ate spagetti for the first time
The first child's baby book is filled in regularly and you look for things to write down when there are none
The first child's first steps are eagerly anticipated, his first words forever memorized.
If the first child is ever accidentally bumped by an older child, your temper flashes. And mostly the first child is protected from these sorts of incidents because they are rarely set down in public places to explore their surroundings lest some tragedy occur.

But when you take the third and fourth child out to a park or indoor playplace and herds of big kids run past them and maybe knock them over accidentally (after all, the 3rd or 4th child is standing in the way, watching for children 1 and 2) you look at them and wait. And when they get back up without a fuss you shrug and think, that poor first child had a real nervous ninny for a mom.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


I totally love pink but even I was gagging.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Homeschool Co-op- socialization is SO important

Yeah, we are dropping out. I have been one time in this 6 week session. Last week was Ash Wednesday Mass, this week Brenna has a horrid cold, one week we blew it off, another we had a dentist appointment.

Also, only a homeschooler slacker like me would have trouble getting someplace by 10 am.

Our co-op is secular. I hate to say it but occassionally I miss the overtly christian aspect of the co-op we joined in NJ. There is something freeing about being able to say to someone "Pray for us that we find a new house." or "Pray that I dont dismember my kids this week." (we are doing fractions and that would be a great visual...) Of course there was also the negative aspect of being a Catholic in a fundy homeschool group. But we wont dwell on that.

Anyway I guess we are in a season of hibernation right now, with the cold weather. I just do not feel like going out. I find I can make meals with what we have in the fridge and the pantry and skip the store some weeks. I mean, sure, the meals suck and the color green isnt always visible on our plates (frozen pea pods did appear at lunch time yesterday) but I didnt have to freeze my butt off trotting groceries back and forth from store to car and car to house. And that is what matters most.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Main Problem with Nightgowns

In the morning when you get up you definitely have to actually change before taking the kid to prek. there is just no way around it.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

What the kidz like

Funny kitty pictures. Sometimes they need censoring.

We have a cat and the kids are very motivated to make their own LOL cat. So far we have pictures taken and captions argued about.

Do you ever feel like you are living in

Someone else's house?

I have always felt that way a little bit. Probably that was rational what with us renting for all but two years of our married lives.

Its awkward tho, when you buy a home you like and yet you feel like its not your own.

Its hard to know how to make it your own. We have been in here since November 11th or thereabouts and we have done some minor decorating- we painted 2 out of 3 of the kids rooms. We painted the downstairs bathroom. Twice. As it turns out the green from Cal's bedroom looked BAD in a small windowless room. A light greyish blue is better suited to the muted colors of downstairs.

Every room in the house is decorated mostly with detritus from whatever kid game was last played in that room. The problem (?) with a large house is that I can often just avoid the mess by not going into particular rooms. Just today I accidentally glanced into the video game area of the basement while going into the laundry area. It looks like TRU exploded in a garbage dump. I was aghast and promised myself not to ever look left again while headed to the laundry room.

If I could only get control of the children's "decorating" then maybe I could get ahold of what it is I should be doing to make this house look like our home.

Or maybe the mess makes it and I should just embrace it as a style and move on. Early 21st century rat's nest. Thats how we roll.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Doing Nothing

I don't feel well so today I am doing nothing.

So far today "nothing" has included:
making breakfast
unloading dishwasher
reloading dishwasher
cleaning up broken plate
wiping counter and cabinets (white cabinets are of the debil)
called insurance company TWICE
made lunch
supervised making of lunch part 2
cleaned up the blocks in the front room
cleaned up the trash in the living room

It doesnt look like a whole lot but its more than "nothing" used to be in the dark ages before children.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Obligatory Lenten Post

If you are looking for passionate, reverant and Holy thoughts go elsewhere.

I keep my penitance on the downlow. Its between me and Him, yo.

Its Lent. That means we need to subject our children to crafts. I guess. Apparently. (Brenna and Calum are fond of that word. I assume that means I use it too often.) Here are some wacked ideas. And a few I like. So you dont think I am a cynical cow. (which I am.)

Crown of Thorns centerpiece! Keep track of your good deeds by collecting toothpicks! Everyone watch as we do good deeds and pull out a toothpick!

This one is perplexing to me. I mean, did you hear the reading yesterday? No? I hear Ash Wednesday isnt a Holy Day of Obligation everywhere. Let me give you a little bit of a Biblical lesson here (don't worry it wont become a regular thing.)

1 "(But) take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.
When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites 2 do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing,
so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

That is Matthew. I like him a lot. What do you think he'd think of this Crown of Thorns? I think he'd say, uh HELLO? Self congratulatory much? But then I can see where its good for the kids to have a tangible way to reckon up their sacrifices. Maybe I think you ought to do it during Advent with the straw for Baby Jesus instead. For one thing it is a way cuter centerpiece.

Ok here's another freaky one. Resurrection Cookies! yeah? Who dreamed this one up, is what I'd like to know. My favorite portion of the recipe is where we beat the nuts just like the Romans beat Jesus. "Sometimes children have to learn by doing" has gone too far here.

Here's a bizarre one- scroll down a bit. Clothespin Jesus. Jesus suffered enough. Now we render him in clothespins. Hanging on the cross and hanging out the laundry. I can see how she came up with that.

For non creepy ideas click here Crafty ideas are here And finally, DONT OVERDUE LENT. HAHA permission to not do any crafts at all. YAY!

Our Lenten goals are pretty simple. We are going to try and make a home altar and we will try to pray together every day. I mean really pray, not just me screaming JESUS MARY AND JOSEPH WHO MADE THIS MESS a hundred times a day.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Scratch the Bishop on Sunday!

Talk about irreverant! You can't go scratching your bishop.

I wish I had the sybermom or yahoo smilies at my disposal here. I know they are stupid and annoying yet I feel they express what I want to say better than I do with words occassionally.

Althought neither sybermoms nor yahoo has a silly cow smilie.

We ran into the sunday school RCIA for children lady at Mass today (Ash Wednesday) and she told me that the Rite of Whatever is not til 3 actually. BUT she said we dont get kicked out of the program if we miss it. (clapping smilie)

Sunday is an important day. Its the Blue and Gold Banquet. This year we will see some of his friends Cross Over (to boy scouts). (beaming face smilie)

When I asked my child what was the BEST THING about our move back to Indiana he said "I will get to Cross Over with my friends next year."

Technically I think we ought to put the Bishop and his Rites first but frankly my kid is 10 and while the cool hat impresses him, his friends matter more. And I guess I am ok with that. If it makes me a slacker catholic, too bad. ( tongue sticking out smilie)

Speaking of slacking, I ate lunch today. I am a horrible person if I do not eat. But since today is all about repentance I went ahead and had a tuna sub at Subway. (puke smilie here!!) Oh I am penitant indeed, Lord. Even the kids knew it was a bad choice. They wouldn't even sit with me while I ate. (sad smilie)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Do I sound like I have some sort of Munchausen's By Proxy or what? All I do is bitch about my kids and their bizarre medical needs.

I swear I do not have Munchausen's.

I am WAY too consumed with my own issues to imagine my children's issues.

I feel this HUGE sense of relief

I booked my son an appointment with a doctor who I think I can trust to properly diagnose and treat what ever is going on with him. I think he is dealing with depression.

What I dont understand is why he is upset now. We have moved back to an area he never wanted to leave! Adjusting to life with his old friends should be easier that this, I would have thought.

In other news, this weekend we go to Lafayette to meet the Bishop and my son will have some sort of ceremony (Rite) with the Bishop at the Cathedral. I am very nervous about the whole thing because I have no idea what we are doing, where we are going or why.

Being born into the church has its advantages. We should have dipped this kid even though we were not practicing Catholics. It would have saved a hell of a lot of trouble.

Oops, was that irreverent?

Monday, February 04, 2008

Another Wonderful Day!

Awoke at 7:30 to Brenna crying. She was complaining, even in her sleep!

Showered after pooping as I prefer to do but had to flush due to... well... you know. Flushing compromises quality of shower in this house.

Got Brenna ready for school and drove her there in the dense fog. No one was at school. Odd. Came home and checked computer to get the 411. Schools on 2 hour delay for dense fog. No school for Brenna (her whole school day is only 2.5 hours.)

Put 10 year old in time out for hitting and name calling. Wanted to put 7 year old in time out for tattling but have not yet made no tattling a rule punishable by time out. What have I been thinking?

Went ballistic when ten yoear old rationalized hitting and namecalling (because his brother is so annoying.)

Sent kids to rooms and took away their radios. Slung school bags after them and slammed doors.

Another auspicious start to a fabulous week!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

What a load of scrap

I was out last night scrapping with the girls. My friend runs the thing and we sit around in her church and fill our scrap books and chit chat. Its weird as hell for me because I am Catholic and we don't ever sit around in our Sanctuary and do anything like scrapbooking bc Jesus is there and we can't make jokes about our husbands and stiff necks from raucous married sex. I am sure Jesus is in the Protestant church too but what with not having a Tabernacle holding His body it seems less of an issue.

Two women I do not know well were there last night. One from Texas and one from Alabama. We had a bit of an argument. I mean, as much of an argument as generally decent people who scrapbook can have.

Both apparently southern women discussed how they felt Indiana was difficult to get used to. I moved here from Cincinnati in 04, moved away to NJ in 06 and moved back last fall so I thought I had a unique perspective on this. The women insisted people here were rude! I argued its really not that bad and suggested they move to the east coast for some perspective.

They again put forth the notion that Southerners are all friendly and charming.

I said "Yeah, but its all FAKE."

"No its not!" "You aren't from the south!"

"I was born and raised in Virginia."

"That's not the south."


Virginia? Home state of the capital of the Confederate States of America is now NOT the SOUTH?



I loathe the notion that people in the south are somehow friendlier, more loving, more deeply caring about their neighbor than people of other regions. What a bunch of malarkey that is.

I give you exhibit A

I lived in that town for awhile in the late 80s. That poor man's body was a spectacle all the older people remembered well. They didnt save the body for his family. Those people were too cheap to give him a decent burial. They called him Spaghetti because he was EYE talian and they were all scotts irish and deeply suspicious of catholics and Eye talians.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Animal House

If I struggle with any particular horrible personality trait its probably arrogance. I can tell because I dont think I suffer from a lot of personality problems which I probably also have. Isnt that arrogant of me?

Somewhere in blogland I read that children are made available to us as a way to drum out our own sins and if my sin is arrogance then my children are doing God's work exceptionally well. I am humbled by their ability to make me look bad and feel incompetant!

I don't know what is up with my oldest child. I have had suggestions made to me along the lines of "not enough early beatings" and the more modern take on things- "ADD, ADHD, ODD, Sensory Integration Disorder" (that laundry list came from one person, his public school kindergarten teacher. i thought she was INSANE. Now of course I think maybe she should have not only diagnosed him but probably parented him) and just about anything else you can imagine. I have bumbled along assuming I could handle whatever it was and we'd work it out in the end. Homeschooling alleviated some issues but with life in a constant state of upheaval in the past few years, stress levels are high and issues are plentiful.

I am tired of my family telling me its my fault he behaves like this. And equally tired of the husband's family saying "He is just like his father. That is just how it is."

Irritable, depressed, anxious and aggressive is no way to go through life, son. Fat, drunk, and stupid- but HAPPY would be preferable.