Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I'm brilliant

and Im not saying it my usual sarcastic way...I really impressed myself this time. :-)

In an attempt to make things easier, I decided to write down the kid's assignments for the week in a planner. Normally I keep them in my head, which is full of holes lately, and it hasn't worked well.

A question my kids like to ask when we are doing school work is "How much loooonnnnnnnnngeeeerrrrrrr?" (yes..just like that) In an effort to keep my aggravation levels down..I decided it would be in EVERYONE'S best interest if I make the kids a print out every day of what their assignments are.

It is almost too good to be true.
My 9yo looks at this list, and after I teach math, he goes through and works through his materials, coming to me if he needs more information or he is stuck, or to show me he is done and so I can check his work.
My 8yo likes to draw photos of a man named Bob on his list...Bob also burps a lot...
but he too..likes to see what he needs to accomplish in a day and takes great (ahem) pleasure at crossing everything off.

Another great benefit...since Im using the computer to make their lists, I am able to keep their assignments organized and not really lose-able (yes, they are even backed up on an external hard drive!) Next, I need to get a scanner so I can scan in their actual work.
Simple, not time consuming, and aggravation level lowering...Im quite proud of myself.


Funny how grief fades away only to come back and slap you across the face. Ive been going along, things going well, keeping busy because that is what helps me process best. Friday was my 2nd child's 8th birthday. He received gifts in the mail and cards. My sister and his family send him a card with a $20 bill in it, and that is when it hit, hard. I realized right then that this is the first time he will not receive a card from my mother....she always sent him cash...four $5 bills.

As if to further the wallop I realized that my birthday was coming up too...on the 29th....and that the woman who gave birth to me is not here anymore to celebrate. There will not be a happy birthday phone call, or the card that comes in the mail with a message that always has something to do with having a relationship that could be better and appreciating my uniqueness and signed off with the phrase "with unspoken understanding"

There is no more unspoken understanding. There is nothing to not speak, there is no one to understand.

She is gone.

I feel weak that Im still processing this....but I keep forgetting that it hasn't been that long. Strangely enough the thing that allowed the tears to come was when I discovered my dog had chewed a hole in my new sparkly leopard print pointy toed flats.

Monday, April 26, 2010


"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense." –– Ralph Waldo Emerson

A lofty and wonderful goal to aspire to.
Today has been one of those weirdly challenging days where you never know what will happen.
I woke up at 4:30 am to register for next quarter's classes...Im taking Classical Mythology and Philosophy, both of which Im very excited about. Since they aren't too popular and it is summer quarter each course only has 35 openings, I managed to get into both. After that I went to the gym and had a wonderful sweaty workout that left me feeling like jello...in a good way..not a gross blobby way..my muscles were completely fatigued.

Then the day just went askew.
I made breakfast for the kids, they complained about what I was making..which drives me CRAZY...at the same time while talking to them about complaining, I noticed a foul smell. I went into the laundry room and discovered my dog had some tummy problems that resulted in diarrhea fit for an elephant to have. Fed kids, cleaned up horrible dog mess...brought dog inside. I sat down on couch to read for a moment...and a spider crawled across my neck..I jumped up and freaked out a bit and killed it. My daughter then informed me the dog threw up and it smelled awful. WHile I was cleaning up his other mess, he gorged himself on the bag of dog food (gotta LOVE Labs!) and threw it all back up like he does when he eats too fast.
After that we started school work...which took very very very long today...the kids wanted to work slowly, and thoroughly and had a million questions so that went on till 4.
Right after we finished some man showed up from a heating and a/c company saying he had orders to look at our A/C..which I knew nothing of. Turned out to be a mistake on his behalf.
There was also a broken plate thanks to the cattle dog, and a bowl dropped on my big toe care of my daughter.

I find that just rolling with days like this...makes them FAR better.
Tonight, however, when they kids are in bed...I have plans to have a nice glass of wine, some dark chocolate and get lost in a novel.

Life in photos

Scholar Leia wanting to learn about Remus and Romulus. While the kids were doing their school work, Leia jumped up on an empty chair, sat down, and nudged the Story of the World book with her nose. :-)
This morning I discovered that Bob..renamed Calm Bob due to personality...is a rooster. I opened their door to let them out, and he crowed at me.
I built this garden bed a few days ago...there are two now..and I have about four more to build. The kids helped and it really is an easy project to do. Now they want me to build them a sand box.
Gwen holding Tiger

Gwen holding Bob the hen, as she will now be known.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I'm tired

..............and that about sums it up.

Motherhood..can be....interesting.
Having three lively, headstrong, independent, free spirited not-so small anymore, people to raise is at once a blessing and an incredible challenge.
Every day though, I am amazed by how they learn and grow in leaps and bounds.
Just a few more years and I will be at the midpoint of this journey, when Gwen turns 9...it will be halfway over
That makes me quite sad. So many things to accomplish with them, to show them, to teach them, books to read that are so magical before a certain age.
I know that even if I had all the time in the world I would never be able to do it all...but I can do as much as I can.
I need to slow down again, and live life at a slower pace...enjoy them more...try to stay in the moment and not keep leaping hours and days ahead in my mind...just...slow down...enjoy them as people...breathe again.....

Thursday, April 15, 2010

School and food

This quarter I am taking an Anthropology course on pre civilization. It's going well...a mix of interesting and not so interesting. I have also learned the challenge of doing a class like this with kids. After each chapter there is a multiple choice quiz and a true or false quiz. A question was "Did early humans look like apes with large brains" Gwen was talking to me, I was distracted, and clicked True. Now Im just embarrassed...it is the only question on any test that I have gotten wrong. At least I had a good laugh over it.

Today is the third month since my mother died. It seems like it has been much longer. Two of my friends parents died last week...one lost her father, the other her mother..and both to cancer. To say that my neurosis about the food we eat, the products we use on our bodies, cleaning solutions has tripled would be an understatement. Im at the point now where I wander around the grocery store and wonder what the hell this stuff is on the shelves? I saw some healthy choice foods...with meat...on a shelf..not frozen..and it looked like dog food.

We have formed a few rules...several inspired by Michael Pollan
- plants are the mainstay of our diet, lots of fruits and veggies
- we have to look at a food and be able to imagine where it came from and what form it was in before it went into the food
- dairy is whole fat, pastured, with no antibiotics or hormones administered, not homogenized, lightly pasteurized...and cheeses can be raw.
- no high fructose corn syrup
- meats are used occasionally but it must be pastured, with no antibiotics or hormones.

In an effort to cut costs I am baking our own bread again, mostly using the Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day cookbook. because the only bread that meats our standards costs around $5 a loaf..and for me to bake it it is MUCH less.

I also find that when we eat this way, we all eat less because we are satisfied...instant money saver. :-)
In a few months we should be getting a lot out of our garden..I hope! and then our hens will be laying.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Chicken photos

I admit, Im fascinated by these creatures. Here they are at weeks 3.5 and the Bobs are 1.5 months old.

Bob 2 in the tulips

Fairy (the black one)
Tiger and Sweetie..I don't know who is who anymore!
Bob 1
Butterscotch...who is turning white.


Last night I was putting the chicks back into their coop...which is in the potting shed. The roof is low, and I am tall and have a tendency to not pay attention to things, so I walked right into a beam. It turned out to be a good thing that I did, despite the pain and managing to mess up my neck, because while rubbing my head I felt something. Something that is not normally on my head..and didnt want to come off. It was a tick. A tick embedded into my head. I got it off and managed not to faint.

I hate ticks...more than anything, I hate ticks.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I have a problem....

Im addicted to hair dye.

For a couple of months I was happily wearing hair that was dark brown...but then I started to feel boring and drab. At the kids gym class a woman that I know brought her daughter whose hair is the most brilliantly gorgeous peacock blue. The woman who was sitting next to me said "You are missing that arent you" I looked at her and said "YES!" I asked the kids what they thought about going back to pink..they said they wish I would because it is too hard to find me in a crowd anymore. I texted my husband..he responded with "PLEASE!!!!!!!!"

Obviously, my hair is a family affair.

Anyway..it is back to a pinkish red. And I feel a world better.