Better late than never?

Oh, I had such high hopes for yesterday. I had a snarky, yet charming, Dear So and So/Friday Fragments post all planned out in my head. And then I lost my brain and everything in it. If you see my brain, do let me know. It’s a gray, squishy thing, goes by the name of Harv. I don’t know why, just answers to that. Weirded me out too.

Did you see the story yesterday? The one that had cardiologists around the country picking out their boats? Yes kids, it’s Deep Fried Butter! Butter. Battered. Deep fried. Makes mozzarella sticks look like diet food. For the record, I have had a deep fried Twinkie (ohhhh, it was heavenly), and have nothing against deep fried anything. But butter?

Hey! It’s a bird, it’s a plane…it’s the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse! Sing with me now! “It’s the end of the world as we know it…” Yup, the President is addressing the nation’s kids this week and the shit is not only hitting the fan, it’s going through the air ducts, and into the water supply. Seriously? People are getting their knickers in a knot because the President of the United States, and a parent of two young kids, wants to address other kids about the importance of working hard and staying in school??? What the HELL is everyone smoking? This is a President who recognizes that children have intelligence and is addressing that intelligence…the intelligence that a lot of parents seem to be lacking. This is a President who recognizes that almost every.single.decision he makes will affect these kids; if not immediately, then as they grow into adulthood. (I’m pretty sure his decision of what to eat for breakfast won’t affect their lives, but pretty much every other one will). The last four Presidents, of both parties, ignored children. Ignored. And, for the record, No Child Left Behind ignores children. Ignores their aforementioned intelligence, ignores their well-being, and ignores how they learn. Period. The last four Presidents, of both parties, had their chances to address the nation’s children and didn’t. As a parent, I wouldn’t care if a Republican President addressed my kids. IT GIVES ME A CHANCE TO DISCUSS WITH MY CHILD WHAT HE SAID AND HOW I FEEL ABOUT IT. Gasp! Talk to kids about politics? Bet your sweet ass. How else do kids learn? As a student under Reagan and Bush I, do you know how cool it would have been to have class halt for 30 minutes to have the President recognize and address us? And then get to discuss it afterwards? We as a society are making our kids stupid by pulling out these kinds of learning opportunities because we’re afraid it’s going to be politicized. Afraid of our kids’ questions. (Dude, I am so past that fear). There’s a serious cranial-rectal inversion going on these days. I don’t know if my sons will get to see the Presidential address live. Our district has left it up to each individual teacher, aka COP OUT. Regardless of what their teachers decide, I will sit down with the boys and watch the address and talk about it. I will NOT have their education held back by the school system.

Speaking of which, looks like I’ll be supplementing A’s science education this year. I don’t know how, don’t know where I’m going to find the time, but it must be done. Why, do you ask? Because I learned at curriculum night this week that science and social studies will alternate unit by unit. So…roughly four weeks of science, then four weeks of social studies, repeat. Anyone else see the abject stupidity here? The charter school I’m helping to start up for next year? Yeah, has a math and science focus. Daily math and science through 12th grade. Hmmm…which school to keep the boys in???

Tom and I are going through dollar bills like a lonely man at a strip club. A has lost two teeth this week, and a third one is loose. Tom is freaking out that A isn’t getting enough calcium, or maybe we should call the dentist, or should we be worried? And I’m all…dude, the kid hasn’t lost any teeth in ages, he’s just catching up. If permanent teeth start dropping I’ll make a call. In the meantime, pony up the singles, I wasn’t able to pole dance this week.

I work pretty darned hard to ensure my family gets healthy food, clean water, a reasonably sanitary house without chemicals. We have 1/4 cow being delivered to the processing plant this week, and in a couple weeks we’ll have a freezer full of hormone-free, grass-fed beef, locally-raised beef. I do the same with 1/2 hog in the winter. I try to get locally grown veggies when I can, too. So when all hell broke loose last summer about BPA in water bottles, I tossed our plastics and bought SIGG bottles (no, no link. I’m not giving them anything at this point). SIGG sold a crapton of water bottles last summer because they claimed to have safe  bottles. Turned out they were lying by omission. Hypocrites. They bottles from last summer, the ones we have, have BPA in the liner, though the company claims they do not leach. Uh-huh. I’m supposed to believe and trust you now? I hadn’t decided whether I was going to go after a replacement from them or not, until I started reading the pissy emails the company was sending to those requesting replacements. Done. My bottles are history, I won’t be sending any kind of business their way, and I’m getting different bottles. I don’t have much power in this world, but if you want any of my money, don’t piss me off. Customer service means too much to me.

I have a new domain and web design coming. Someday. It’s become a comedy of errors. I’m hoping to have it up by my birthday in 2 1/2 weeks.

My dear friend (and confessing it here first!) and life coach, Lisa, has started a new blog with a colleague of hers. Brilliant Chaos. I am very curious to see what they do with this new venture. Intrigued even.

And if you made it this far on this lovely September Saturday, it must be raining where you are.

It’s gotten quiet upstairs. Too quiet. My MomSenses are tingling…

Not eating the frog, though it hops all over the room, like my train of thought

It’s the title of a book I’m reading: “Eat That Frog,” about procrastination. The idea is to do your biggest, baddest thing first thing in the day because it’s likely nothing else will be that big or bad and you’ll feel pretty good the rest of the day. Because you got the icky thing done first. I’m not eating the frog today, mainly because I feel that not stringing up my sons this morning was a pretty good excuse.

Late start day, the first one of the year. Start school 2 1/2 hours late, at 11:35. Do you have any idea how long 2 1/2 hours is when the kids are running around screaming and you can’t really go anywhere and you have work to do and a headache coming on? I’d rather they get out 2 1/2 hours late, at 1:00. So now I have four hours of blessed silence before they head back. At least A has all his homework done for the week and I don’t have to battle that tonight.

The fires in California are making themselves known here in Colorado. Yesterday was so smoky and hazy that I had to close up the house and crank on the a/c for the first time in a week. Sunrise yesterday was orange, and we had gray skies all day. I really feel for the folks out there; we had some bad fires here several years ago, but nothing like this.

Oh. Hey. Full moon on Friday. That explains this morning’s craziness.

I’ve decided to give up multi-tasking. It wasn’t working for me. I’ve tried for years, and I mean for years, to multi-task, in the hopes of getting more done in an increasingly shrinking day. Instead all I managed to do was increase my stress level, which has negatively impacted my health, and made me a raging shrew. So I’m now doing a 180 and working on being present in whatever I’m doing. I’ll have exceptions for listening to music while I work (big kisses, Pandora!), running the laundry or dishwasher while doing something else, or the like. If I don’t get it all done in a day, I either have too much going on, I need to find/hire someone to help me, or my family (read: the boys) have to step up and do more. We’ll see how it goes.

How do you decide when it’s time to give something up? Something you do, you enjoy, but…eh, I don’t want to say the excitement isn’t there anymore…but maybe you can’t see yourself doing it much longer. Something that would impact others if you gave it up. I know the world keeps spinning and the sun continues to rise and set, but…how and when do you make that decision?

A is starting to make noises about starting karate again. After last year’s back and forth about quitting, I’m really not all that thrilled about this turn of events. I’d rather he take up underwater basket weaving or multi-national hypersonic Nurf ping-pong lacrosse. BUT. Karate is about the best thing an ADHD kid can do, especially if that particular kid isn’t on meds. Crap.

I’m not feelin’ the love with the school this year. I’m not getting real good vibes (like my real good English) from A’s teacher, getting great vibes from J’s kindergarten teacher (she’s fantastically awesome). A’s teacher…hm…I don’t know. There was the thing with him being kept in from recess on the second day of school to finish some work, I’m hearing grumblings from other parents that the whole class is either not getting or is getting a shortened recess, homework assignments aren’t clear… But the thing that’s sticking me…sigh… At the beginning of the year A’s teacher sent home a “Parental Feedback” form for us to fill out and send back, telling her about our kid and learning styles and stuff. I didn’t fill it out right away, and finally sent it in on Monday. I had to type it up instead of handwriting it simply because my handwriting is illegible on a good day and I had so much she needed to know about him. Emailed it to her on Monday and? Not.ONE.Word.Back. Not a “thanks for sending this,” not a “yeah, you’re right, we should meet soon,” just total and complete radio silence. Did I freak her out (or put a target on his back) by admitting that he’s ADHD and not on meds? Did I get an eye-roll because I mentioned his gifted testing and hinted at accommodations? Am I looking too much into this? I suppose I should email and set up a meeting or something. Sigh…just when I had the second grade teachers up to speed. How do I balance advocating for my child with NOT being a helicopter parent? Bleh.

Maybe if I keep typing my office will clean itself, and my big ugly frog of the day will eat itself. Not likely. Suppose I should have some lunch, that might make the frog easier to slide down my gullet.

Persistence pays off

A is about the most persistent child I have ever known…on his own terms. He is the living, breathing definition of “intrinsic motivation.” Outside motivation will get him moving for a little while, but not for long. Internal motivation and persistence…holy crap, hold on. Once he decides to do something, nothing will hold him back. It will serve him well in life.

He decided last week that he was going to request a song on XM Kids’ morning show, Kenny Curtis and the Animal Farm. Note that this is a national radio show on XM and a hundred gazillion kids (plus or minus a few gazillion) listen and/or call in every day. He was determined to call in and request Crazy Frog.

Every day last week he was up at 6 am and calling in, either listening to the beepbeepbeep of a busy signal, or walking around the house with the handset on speaker, listening to the “on hold” music. Before I had coffee. There was no WAY he was getting through, and in the meantime he’s not getting ready for school or eating breakfast and just generally screwing up my morning schedule. I mean, the chances of him getting on the air are slim to none, and for God’s sake hang up the phone and eat!

Mom, you’re a dumbass.

Sigh.

Guess who got through this morning? Guess who requested Crazy Frog, only to learn it had been played before he called in? Guess who requested his backup, Hamster Dance? Guess who had a full-on conversation with Kenny Curtis?

So if you happened to be listening to XM Kids this morning around 7 am mountain time, you heard a very happy little boy request a song for himself and his brother. But what you didn’t see was the look of immense pride on his face as he learned that persistence really does pay off. Only his dad and I were privy to that. And it was a lesson we’re so glad he learned.

Intrinsically.

Mulligan, please!

I’m sure you’ve had the kind of day where, from moments after awaking, you wanted to start all over. The kind of day where even staying in bed and being waited on hand and foot would still be a bad day. The kind of day where…you get the idea.

This is that kind of day.

Those kinds of days begin the night before, as we moms know. Oh, do we know. Last night A woke himself up puking in his bed. For those with a scorecard, this is two pukes in a week. Luckily, I’m reasonably ok with a vomitfest, it’s the loose teeth that get me. So I’m pretty sure that these random pukes are not related to any traveling virus, but with his ongoing digestive issues. Tomorrow morning I’m going slightly insane on our fantastic pediatrician in the hopes that he can pull a few strings and get A into the GI specialist before his September 22nd appointment. Dr. Google and I have been chatting today and I have a few leads into his pooper, but I’m sure I’m missing something. I am seriously pissed that this has been going on for so long, and my MomRadar is blaring full-on klaxon horn.

J crawled into bed with us early to snuggle. I love to snuggle with him, but I’d been up late with the puke-a-rama and a small child who is physically unable to lie still while snuggling was not terribly welcome.

Somehow, doing something, I borked up my back. Upper back, not neck for a change. I canNOT take a deep breath, so I’m fighting the sensation of suffocating. Ibuprofin isn’t touching it. I’m spending today on the couch with my laptop, attempting to get caught up and ahead on a few things. Unfortunately the things that require the most attention are downstairs in my office and can’t be done lying down. If I have shingles, have bail ready for I may strangle my husband.

Someone seriously pissed in Mother Nature’s cornflakes, ’cause there’s all kinds of October out there today. Ooh! It’s up to a steamy 66 degrees now! So it’s Cuban pork roast (low and slow, baby), peach pie (Colorado peaches are in season and we have most of a 20 pound box on the counter…sinful), and all sorts of other oven adventures while it’s cool. For awhile there I had on a sweatshirt and was wrapped up in a blanket.

The Broncos play the Chicago Bears tonight. My Chicago friends are talking smack. Uh-huh…Cutler is coming back to a stadium he dissed loudly and angrily, just mere months after doing so. It’ll be a good game; I suspect a hockey game may break out.

The universe snuck into the boys’ rooms last night and filled them full of piss and vinegar and stubbornness and conflict and OH MY GOD PLEASE STOP DOING THAT AND MAKING THAT SOUND AND JESUS FREAKING CHRIST GO DOWNSTAIRS BEFORE I START DRINKING IT’S 9:30 IN THE MORNING!

(For the love of all things holy, what was that crash from the basement?)

For the last several weeks I’ve been working to reframe my thoughts and put a more positive spin on things. Today? Nope.

Pass the ibuprofin and ice pack. Today will end shortly.

Friday Fragments: August 28, 2009

Friday Fragments?

My brain hurts. My fragments have fragments. Perhaps I should seek medical attention, but…eh…

  • Contrary to all proof on this site, I am actually not dead, kidnapped, or have run off to “hike the Appalachian trail.” I am simply busy. I am also taking better care of myself. My acupuncturist and I have a working theory about the exhaustion that descends upon me with little to no warning. I’ve had mono twice. We suspect the Epstein-Barr virus hangs out in my system and, when triggered, flares up. Not into full-fledged mono, but knock-down, drag-out, please shoot me exhaustion. The trigger? Stress. Perhaps wheat. Fun to be me! This summer, with the boys out of school and A’s ongoing digestive issues/ADHD and several trips, probably triggered it a bit and that may be why I’ve been dragging. With the boys back in school I’m feeling a lot better. So to keep it at bay (and this is a lifestyle change, because this will likely dog me my whole life), I really need to focus on a healthy lifestyle. Eat well, get enough sleep, reduce my commitments, manage my stress better, exercise, and see my acupuncturist. Nothing outrageous there, just hard to make some changes, most notably the “reduce my commitments” part. I’ve dropped a few things and will continue to drop what doesn’t serve me well.
  • I’m getting a sore throat. Please just be fall allergies or dehydration. I’ve been taking my Cold Nip, which I can’t recommend highly enough to scare off colds. I take it and I don’t get sick. The only time it didn’t work was last spring when I got the flu AND strep at the same time. It just couldn’t compete. The stuff is strong, but it really works. Get some.
  • Mama got her iPhone. Mama is a happy, happy camper. Mama couldn’t wait any longer.
  • That said, MAMA IS GOING TO KILL OUTLOOK. I had to go back to Outlook so I could sync emails/contacts/calendar with the iPhone (and so help me, if you tell me I didn’t have to go back to that POS program I will start drinking heavily). Setting up the iPhone took the better part of last week, through no fault of the iPhone. It works great and makes me extremely happy. My PC is just pissed at the new intruder and knows that it is the inferior piece of technology. YOUR DAYS ARE NUMBERED, PC!!!
  • Have I mentioned today how much I pink puffy heart Pandora? In fact, I love it so much that I hit my monthly limit this week. Yeah, a monthly limit. So I sucked it up and paid for a year. Thirty-six bucks for a year of whatEVER I feel like listening to. For this musician, music to my ears.
  • So. School. We’re only a week in, so I’m keeping my mouth shut and my eyes and ears wide open. But. A was kept in at recess on the second day of school to finish some work. Talking to other parents, they’ve been losing recess this week because of being loud in the halls. Then. Got a little info sheet on what 3rd grade is doing math-wise this unit (a week? a month? doesn’t say) and it’s all stuff A did last year, if not the year before. I know the kids need review after a summer of brain rust, but OMFG. We worked on his math homework earlier this week and it about effing killed me. TWO HOURS of arguing and roadblocks and frustration to do FIVE math problems…math problems of “rearrange these numbers, then draw a circle around which one is greatest and a square around which one is least.” TWO HOURS. Oh, this was because there was some concern that using the words “biggest” and “smallest” was confusing: 75 and 57 are the same size because they have the same numbers and are both double digits. So the kids have to learn “greatest” and “least.” Are.You.Effing.Kidding.Me????? So two hours of misery and then…and here’s the eye-opener…the “bonus” question: What do you notice about the numbers you marked as “greatest” and “least?” And, no shit, A took one look at that, glanced at the problems, shouted out “THEY’RE BACKWARDS!!!!!,” and scrawled out the answer in under thirty seconds. And right there, my friends, is the challenge of giftedness. Too easy and he shuts down. Make him use his brain and watch out. Hm. Just realized I never posted about his testing at the GDC. Might want to do that, get my thoughts down, so as the school year goes on I can remember how I felt.
  • I’d like some more summer, but I suspect fall is going to come sooner rather than later. I’m actually driving with my seat heater on. It’s August.

And that is apparently all I can dribble out today. My fragments are apparently even more fragmented than I realized. I’m sure I have glue around here somewhere…

A day eight years in coming

Not even going to try to do a Wordless Wednesday on these photos. I couldn’t. See? Already written too many words. I’m doomed.

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IT’S THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!!!!!

No, I’m not excited.

It’s a day eight years in coming. For eight years I have been a stay at home mom with kids on top of me nearly every day. Summer camps and some part time work and preschool kept the insanity demons at bay, but today…today is the day that all comes to a close.

My sons are in school now.

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I strongly believe, that for me, my sons and I should not be together all day every day. Homeschooling isn’t an option for that reason. I deeply admire those who homeschool, but I know that I just can’t do it. It’s hard enough being the boys’ parent without being their school teacher too. I’m a much better parent with my boys gone for chunks of the day, every day. I recognize that about myself and I’ve made my peace with it.

It’s going to be a great year, for them and for me. Back to School is sorta my New Year, always has been. New pencils, new backpacks, a change of season right on the horizon (and with our psycho weather this summer, today is fall-ish for sure), a change in routine…it’s all good.

A was rarin’ to go this morning. I haven’t seen him this prepped for school in a long time. I think the long summer break was wearing on him too. I could barely get a picture of him before he was in the door, then he dropped his stuff in his cubby and was at his desk before I finished wishing his teacher a good morning. It’ll be an interesting few days for him. See, he’s still off his ADHD meds. We’re playing it by ear right now. He’ll go back on meds (though a different one that won’t kill his appetite) only if the ADHD is noticeably affecting his ability to learn. He’s eating, his blood sugar is more stable lately (so he’s not having as many meltdowns…hi! cause, meet effect!), and with a few noticeable exceptions, his behavior really isn’t any more outrageous than any other eight year old. We’ll see, but I’m feeling really good about this right now.

J was excited because A was excited. Then we dropped him off at his room and suddenly…it wasn’t all that exciting anymore. A new school, new classroom, new teacher, new kids…Shy Boy flared up. And then, hallelujah, in came his best friend from preschool who also had the Shy Boy Deer in Headlights look. They grabbed each other, went off to play, and all was well. He’s going to love kindergarten, especially full-day, since he’ll get to do art and music and PE and computers.

It’ll be interesting to see how our lives change now with two kids in school. I’ll have more time to function without distraction, they’ll start to have lives outside our walls (exhilarating and terrifying at the same time), and I think (hope/pray) that things will just be a little smoother.

Don’t burst my bubble, it’s the first day. I didn’t cry at drop off, let me dream a little about how wonderful this is.

A new stage in our lives has begun.

And I can’t wait to see how it plays out.

Must get research dollars for this…

Hey! You! The one sitting there reading with a glass of wine/cup of coffee in your hand!

Do you suffer from Prepping For A Solo Tripitis?

Symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • sudden realization of eleventy billion things that must be accomplished before leaving on the trip, or the world will end
  • a neon, yet invisible, sign to indicate that, yes!, you can go to the grocery store at 10pm after a meeting to get food to sustain the family while you are gone
  • at least one critical electronics malfunction or worrisome blinking light on the dashboard
  • two or more trips to the credit union, because you didn’t remember to get cash to pay the mother’s helper watching the cherubs the first time you went and got cash
  • and, finally, complete scheduling of the entire day prior to the trip to fully ensure that you will not drop into bed until nearly midnight, regardless of the time of your flight

If you, too, suffer from Prepping For A Solo Tripitis, you are not alone! Studies* have shown that 99.9999% of women who leave on a solo trip will suffer some form of this condition, from a mild “oops, gotta set the DVR for my favorite show!” to “holy crap, if I don’t get this bathroom painted before my flight leaves in an hour I will not be able to enjoy that flight!

There is no cure at this time. The best treatment is to just suffer through it, get on a plane, and have margaritas immediately after arriving at the destination. The favorite show can be watched later on Hulu, the bathroom walls will just get peed on, and the mother’s helper can damned well take a check.

Back Sunday.

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*studies may or may not have actually occurred, and may or may not have been random small talk over drinks with people not seen again.

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