Thursday, May 30, 2013

Wordy Wednesday: On a Thursday

So, apparently yesterday I went through my whole day thinking it was Thursday.  Even my blog post was a normal Thursday post.  SMH.


For Wordy Wednesday I give you the genius that is posted over on Jen Hatmaker.  Worst End of the Year Mom EVER.

Now, I posted this on FB for all my friends to read, as I saw it in my feed posted by someone else.  I made a joke about this being one of the reasons I homeschool (because all of the requirements of GOING TO SCHOOL times FOUR...yeah, no thanks.)  It was half-joking, but based in truth.  I'm just too lazy to follow all those rules and meet all those requirements.  Now, we do fun projects and the like...but I assign them, so I get to know when they are due AND if our lives go haywire...I can postpone the due dates.  I'm just not up to snuff.  I'm having to be more diligent about this sort of thing with my older girls because they will both be college bound within 5 years time, and well...that whole changing the due date thing won't fly then.  (Or, they will simply tell their professors that they were homeschooled and their mom was a lazy heifer...I'm actually surprisingly cool with that.)  But lucky for me, the younger two are still gravy.  And we can do our required reading any time we want...poolside even.

Go read the link, and laugh.  I literally laughed out loud, and so heartily that I had tears in my eyes by the end.  I now love Jen Hatmaker.  TYVM.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Skinny Housewife

Produce Wash--a frugal wash for your fruits and veggies.

We've had an abundance of strawberries in the last couple weeks, they are in season here now and they are SO DELICIOUS.

My FAVORITE dessert of the moment (and it was this time last year too) is vanilla ice cream topped with strawberries.  I cut up the strawberries earlier in the day, and put about a tsp of sugar on them so they create a yummy syrup all on their own.  Then scoop out a sensible serving of ice cream (I use the all natural kind with 3 ingredients:  milk, sugar, vanilla) and top with strawberries.  YUM-O.

You are welcome.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Two for Tuesday: Prepare for summer!!!!

Screen free week!  I'm so excited to give this a try.  My kids are not as enthused. And we might start with one day a week of no screens and then move up.

101 Idea "I'm Bored" Jar  Genius.  Genius.  Genius.  Do. This. NOW!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wordy Wednesday: Comments Requested

Eager learners is the subject of this post.  I have one child who is so EAGER to learn, and I'm exhausted.  The Bestie and I sort of broached this subject on Monday night, and we both concluded that it's because he's the fourth child that this is an issue.  We both did "school" with our oldest children nearly non-stop, we were capable of feeding that desire full time.  Now, I feel like I have too many other pulls on my time/attention to give him what he wants.  It's totally unfair to him.

Four will be 4 years old this weekend, and truly is probably the smartest of my brood.  I've said that for awhile, and my eldest is extremely gifted (lazy as hell, but completely brilliant.)  I could see a lot of similarities, from an early time and it scared the bejeezus out of me.  Now, here we are.  He's reading the first of the Bob books (his brother is on book 6, and I'm purposefully making Four go slow as not to overtake him...,) he recognizes a dozen or so sight words, mastered counting by 10's and 5's alongside his brother... and the kicker?  Constantly asks for MORE.

I have made an outline of what I'd like to cover with him, and aside from just being super organized and getting my self together, what can I do to make this easier for me, and better for him?

This is my outcry, to YOU, my village!!  Help me, help him.

I have three other kids, a high schooler, a middle schooler, and Three finishing up Kindergarten.  I have a husband, a house to run, and myself to take care of.  As well as a new job, that requires only a couple hours of "out of the house" work, but still requires my time to learn choreography and practice.  Balance.  I needs it.  Please comment HERE or on FB and give me your tips, tricks, suggestions, advice, empathy, sympathy, or just commiserate with me.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Just another Manic Monday! :)

I wish it was Sunday.

Not really.  Monday--Zumba class for me, and the HOPE that I will be teaching a class that is MINE in the very near future.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.  :)  Came home, lunch and shower, back to bowling alley.  One and Two went home with The Bestie so that they can attend her One's ballet performance tonight.  I will be meeting them (after another Zumba class) for dinner after--tickets were hard to come by, or I'd be there too.

Dinner...hmmm, these small people and The Punk are probably going to want to eat, huh?  Off to figure that out.  Have a great week, y'all!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sunday snapshots

Four playing in some instant mashed potato flakes.  We practiced writing letters, then moved on to shapes.

After he was all done "writing,"  I filled a measuring cup with water and gave him a medicine syringe to suck the water from the cup and squirt into the flakes (giving it a new texture.)

Thanks Pinterest, we built a "marble run" out of cardboard tubes taped to the wall.  I used a wrapping paper tube, and two toilet paper tubes.  If you were more prepared, you could use a WHOLE lot more of them and make a more elaborate course.  We used pom pom's instead of marbles.  The boys liked it.  The Punk is pictured here, with Three and Four.

Silly glasses.

I spent a blissful Saturday in downtown at Artsplosure sans children.  I bought myself this nifty ear-cuff from one of the artist booths.  I love it.  I also bought a GREAT photo graph from BigWorldPhoto.  I bought "making memories" which is a couple in an acorn boat.  <3 br="" nbsp="">

Four making a tent.

Helping me bake banana bread and brownies.  He's wearing the towel to be his "apron" so he looks like "a real chef."

Don't forget to head over to Teach Beside me and check out my guest blog post from last week:  Why Homeschool?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Flashback Friday

What a week. Monday I was under the weather, cold or allergies, I'm not certain but I know it knocked me down a few notches. I taught two Zumba classes, despite being a little less than full speed!  I woke up the next day feeling more like me. Wednesday included preschool co-op and some errands. Thursday had us out to lunch with a group of teens, shopping and art class for One. I attended another Zumba class a well. Today I woke up at around three a.m. feeling really stuffed up. The Punk let me sleep in, and then took the kids to open gym this morning. They came back, had lunch and then he told me to lie back down and take a nap, because he's just that amazing.  I took my nap ad woke up to a silent house. I'm not sure where they all are, but I have to say I am enjoying the silence immensely since my head still really hurts!  

Tomorrow I get to attend Artsplosure!  I'm super excited and really need to feel better, ASAP!  

As a bonus here's a picture of The Bestie, another good girl friend, and myself from a "glow run" we did on Saturday night. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wordy Wednesday: My Method/Style of Homeschooling

I've been a homeschooler for 13 years.  In the beginning, I homeschooled The Boy.  He was 12.  He had previously been in public school, and it was not a good experience AT ALL.  He was way behind in many areas, has ADHD, and had zero self confidence.  I researched (using the Rainbow Resource catalog) and purchased each subject individually based on what he knew, and the way he learns best.  It was time consuming, but overall, worked well for both of us.  My girls were small (1 and 2 years old) and my mom was really helpful in occupying them while I taught my nephew.  I quickly began to think he had dyslexia, and wondered how this could have been missed with all his years in a classroom (but, I do understand that he often caused trouble to divert the attention from his inabilities, and suspect that's what happened here.)  My mom took him in for some testing, and it was confirmed.  This, of course, changed some of the things we did.    I homeschooled The Boy for 2 years, then my mom took over.  Then, for awhile, I taught him math, but he did everything else independently.   When we started, I would say this was a "traditional" method, school at home.

At the time I was teaching The Boy math, I was also full-time schooling my great-niece.  She came every day for school.  For her, I used many of the same materials I had used for The Boy and had saved.  I homeschooled her for 9 months, then she tested fro her GED.  I also had another of my nephews as a "student" for a preschool year, and he did a lot of what my girls did (they were 5 and 6 then.)  Lastly,  I taught preschool to a neighbor boy for a year as well.  Again, we just did things that I had done previously with my girls.

My girls...when they were small I did "unit study" type activities.  We picked an activity and did all sorts of activities based on that for the week(s.)  A Unit Study approach.  Then, around 3rd grade we got "serious" about school.  Before that, sometimes we'd go a month without doing anything at all (gasp!)  I started using the Core Knowledge books.  I loved them, and felt like they were getting a good solid education through those books!  They go all the way up to grade 8, but we did through grade 6.  After that, we went BACK to me picking individual materials--again pulling largely from what I had originally picked for The Boy (what can I say...I really liked what I picked out that first time around!)  But now..I'm staring down the face of another preschooler and an insanely active toddler.  My time was limited, and we weren't getting the education I wanted down pat.  Something had to give?  I decided we needed to switch to something LESS hands on for ME.  I wanted the girls to have a good foundation, but I also wanted to be able to put the love and fun into the boys school stuff as I did when the girls were small.  In walks Switched On Schoolhouse.  We finally purchased it back in the fall, and I don't think we will look back.  It serves our needs as a family.

The girls are able to independently "do" school, while I can focus on Kindergarten and Preschool stuff for their little brothers.  I am here to help them when they need help, BUT they largely work by themselves.

With Three and Four, I would say we are in a "traditional" method again, as well.  We do use lapbooks quite a bit, since Three really likes them, it works effectively.

Basically, we are ever evolving.  Depending on the student, depending on where we are in our lives, just depending.  We change.  We adapt.  We work it out.

Wordy Wednesday

What the what???  Life got all lifey on me!  (A dear friend of mine uses that saying...and it's just so fitting for life in general, is it not??)

I wrote up a post on my homeschooling philosophy, you can find it here.  I'm working on learning Zumba routines left and right, and running more often as I have a big run coming up for my 37th birthday (lots of hills...ugh!)

Busy wrapping up all the kids activities.  And wrote up a guest post for Teach Beside Me.  Go check her out, and be on the look out for more from me.

A link to my guest post: Why Homeschool?  Guest Post--Shauna

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Two (I'm one short) for Tuesday

Because for the last 7 days, I've counted my son's breathing more times than I can count (pun, totally intended.)

Tomorrow we go to our regular pediatrician to discuss.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Snapshot Sunday

Ambulance trip:

Playing in the lobby, less than 24 hours after the ambulance ride!

Art project almost completed by One.

I set up a 'ninja' obstacle course on Thursday.  Here are Four, and The Bestie's Three:

The big kids got in on the action too!

First t-ball game of the season:

New shoe shopping!

And a much needed 'rita.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Flashback Friday: This week can kiss my rear!

Monday:  We had a flat tire on the way to pottery class.  It was not a great start to my week.  Luckily, we didn't have the boys with us because they were coughing and Four hadn't slept well the night before (he tends to have night terrors when he's not feeling well or over tired.)  And, it happened pretty close to our destination, so we were able to walk over to class and only be a few minutes late.  I then walked back and waited for the tow truck driver to come change my tire.  The rest of the afternoon went ok, I went to Monday night Zumba since I missed my morning class because of the tire.  Four needed a breathing treatment around 4pm on Monday afternoon.  He was running around playing and seeming normal, but something about his look (more pale, tired...I couldn't put my finger on it) made me suddenly pay attention to his breathing and sure enough, it was labored and shallow.  I thought all would be fine...this has happened before when he's gotten a cold, and 3 or 4 breathing treatments later all is good.  This was not the case this week.

Tuesday:  After being up all night doing 6 breathing treatments (spaced about 2 hours apart,) with no real success, I consulted with The Punk about the fact that we needed to do SOMETHING else.  We kicked around the idea of just heading to the ER, because from past experience I know what they are looking for and was confident that if we had gone there earlier, they would not have discharged us based on the results of the breathing treatments.  In the end, we decided I would just head to urgent care--it's just 2 miles from my house, and we've seen them before for breathing issues.  I headed there, after three more breathing treatments and a double dose of oral steroids, they couldn't get it under control either.  They were very concerned that he had been laboring this hard for nearly 20 hours, and that at some point his body (even though he is healthy in all other counts) would just "give out."  They didn't want to chance it that this might occur while I was driving him to the ER, or that his oxygen level would drop too low during the drive (we are 30 minutes from a hospital) so they requested ambulance transport.  We were taken to the pediatric ER-where we've been a half dozen times now for three out of four kids-and taken back immediately since they couldn't keep his oxygen level stabilized.  He had a nearly 2 hour breathing treatment, and still rebounded (retracting and oxygen level dip) almost immediately, that was when they made the decision about admitting him.  The doctor had mentioned that was a definite possibility almost as soon as we came in, and they've talked about admitting him every other time we've had to go the ER for this sort of issue, so I was no stranger to this sort of discussion.  He had to have his first IV, and while he cried a lot (they had to try twice, two different locations before they were successful) he was really a trooper!  Silver lining?  They wrapped his IV site with dinosaur patterned gauze tape.  He is dino crazy!  We spent the night there-one painfully long night.

Wednesday:  Late Wednesday afternoon we were discharged, I came home, had dinner and crashed having not slept in nearly three days (because of 1.  night terrors, 2.  up all night with a sick baby, 3. at the hospital-where no one sleeps, ever.)

Thursday:  Get up, make a trip to the grocery store because The Bestie's kids are on their way over.  The Bestie and her Hubs have been on a cruise and we were slated to keep her three kids for 2 nights.  Being the best Bestie evah, she is coming home a day early to take her kids back because even though I SAID it would be fine...she knows I'm exhausted and this week has been hell.  I love her.  The Bestie's kids arrive, and they were all super well behaved all day.  The only issue was Four being violent (hitting his brother with a chair, and biting him.)  But that actually blew over way faster than I expected.  I did have Three read one of his Bob as to not totally lose forward motion.  I also put up "lasers" in the hallway for the kids. They laughed and giggled and climbed....and then tore them all down.  It was a disappointment to me...but I'll get over it.

Friday:  I'm hoping to get a run in this morning, hopeful that it will give me an energy boost.  Then I'm leading the last kindergarten co-op of the year, and Three has his first T-ball game of the season!  I'm still tired, but I'll make it through, certainly.  :)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Counting Blessings


This is what it looks like when you tame a Jabberwocky.  If I never see it again, I'm fine with that.  My baby was hospitalized on Tuesday due to a severe asthma attack triggered by a virus.  A virus that coincidentally his brother ALSO had, but was able to fight off in three days without incident.  While at the hospital, I had so many thoughts I wanted to put down for posterity, so I'm going to share those with you all today.

My fourth baby.  Oh, how I love him.  I LOVE all of my children (please, don't get me wrong about that) but right from the beginning there is something different about this one.  He's been stressing me out since before he lived outside of me.  The only one of my children who sent me to the hospital prior to a scheduled induction, and not just once, three times.  Born with a true knot in his umbilical cord-but THANKFULLY screaming and pink-causing me to have a panic attack in the middle of the night.  His blood sugar wouldn't come up in the first few hours after birth, and he had to be taken to the nursery to be monitored, another first (none of the others had ever left my room after their births.)  He was a HORRIBLE newborn.  Cried ALL THE TIME and sent me to the brink of a nervous breakdown, quite literally.  I weaned him at 4 months old, which was a surprisingly difficult choice for me considering I had nursed all of the others for over a year.  After weaning, he became a whole new baby (thank heavens, because honestly I wanted to return him at that point.)  He has multiple food and environmental allergies, and has been to urgent care and the emergency room multiple times because of them.  He tests every limit I set, and is the culmination of every trait that makes me crazy in all of his siblings.  He possesses every recessive trait he could have pulled from the gene pool.  He is MORE of everything:  intense, sensitive, intelligent, energetic 

And yet...he pulls on my heart in a way that no one else does.  

Hearing alarm creep into the voice of the medical staff that is assisting your child is terrifying.  No parent should ever have to deal with that.  In the middle of the night, in a quiet hospital room (while my baby was sleeping, and with full knowledge that his attack was under control, and we would be going home the following day,) I thought of all the parents (and relatives) I know of who have dealt with things so much more long term than an exceptionally bad asthma attack.  Parents who have been told their child has cancer, or diabetes, or a heart condition.  Parents who don't get to bring their child home from the hospital.  Parents who lose the ability to hold, hug and comfort their child.  Perspective. 

Count your blessings.  Hold them close.  Things can change more quickly than you imagined.