Boron, Silicon, and Carbon; patterning my week

Silly Putty, in case you’re wondering …“You’re never excited about ANYthing, Mom!”  His words hit me like a ton of bricks.  I don’t remember what they were a response to, it probably involved some comment I’d made sarcastically about being thrilled about some project I had to work on that related to him somehow.  I know, not a comment I should have been making in the first place, great way to make them feel like crap.
Read More

For the love of visitors ...

We’ve had family here for most of the last week, and it’s been delightful.  Cousins the same age to play together, and my sis all to myself!  Best kind of holiday/birthday present in my book.  I let my birthday slip by on Sunday with GF cayenne-chocolate cupcakes at the end of our holiday open-house, and that was all the recognition I wanted.  Breakfast in bed thanks to Douglas was a huge treat the next morning too!

The two yahoos in the pic above managed to compete each other into a frenzy of yes-no-yes-no-yes-no more times that I can count, but they do come by it honestly :).  Aside from party planning and cleaning and such, we did manage to make some forays out in the city to take a break from the massive Risk games and fort-building going on a home.

Read More

Is your holiday calendar empty enough?

Today’s crafty moment : Glass “bracelets” so we can tell whose is whose. This time of year can be utterly chaotic, with the invitations and obligations tripping over each other to make a tangled web of shoulds and coulds.  It can cause tension and drama, but I hope that’s not happening to you?  My life has changed enough in the last couple of years that it’s now easier to follow the KISS principle, mostly thanks to homeschooling.  We have a cello party this week, and our own holiday party next week, but other than that the calendar is pretty clear of obligations on our part, and has left room for family and friends to come visit which I’m really looking forward to :).
Read More

Tripping Over Strings, and you?

My nephew hard at work this summer with some of his birthday tape …Well, I finally stopped making excuses, and we started school today!  It went remarkably smoothly, thanks to some established habits from last year, and I hope the rest of the week goes as well.  I do NOT plan on waking up extra early to bake special GF scones for the next 4 days however, the lovely piles of yummy dust they ended up being.  (Note to self, do not try new recipes before you’re fully awake, and especially not before 4 growling stomachs are dragged to your table to start their day!  Spoon bread would be a better name …)  To keep the day going smoothly, I have to get my thoughts out in a mere 15 minutes so we’ll see how that goes. 
Read More

Finding a new rhythm

Backyard homeschool days … We’re about to start school up again here at home, and I’m of course not even close to ready.  I have to go through my resources this weekend, and see how they match up to the plan I’ve sketched in my head (sort-of) and need to put to paper so I don’t forget it actually finish it.  I looked at math workbooks in the dollar store today, and decided that wasn’t the way to make a decision, nor did it look like it was the right level for Douglas.  I’m not that desperate yet :). 
Read More

Almost enjoying the spin cycle this time around ...

You know those frantic days (weeks, er, months, perhaps decades??) where you’re sure the day’s tasks are multiplying in the dark, and the faster you tackle them the more there are waiting to be done?  It’s been one of those weeks around here, with all of them hinging on today.  Fynn has to be at Carnegie Hall by 12:30, so he can be on stage (very briefly) at 2, and then sit quietly until 5pm when it’s over.  Without food.  (That part is so not happening, I’m sorry but enforcing the no-food ban for a 4-year-old for 4.5 hours?!)  My purse will be full of contraband granola bars for him and his friends if I ever get off the computer and on with my list. 

Right after the performance, and a celebratory ice cream or two, I’ll hop a train and head off to the Poconos for a girl’s weekend that I’ve hardly been able to look forward to for all the getting ready bits!  Technology problems, ant invasions, client deadlines, and the usual daily tasks of housework and homeschooling.  It’s pretty much a spin cycle.  BUT I am going to get away, and that reality will kick in before the day is over :).  Not sure I’ll know what to do with myself.  Of if I’ll want to come home again.  I’ve realized that the demands of home schooling mean I HAVE to get better about getting bits of daily time alone, whether the running picks up again or I find something else to do by and for myself every day.  Getting this pent up is not a pretty thing, and we’re all suffering under it. 

I said I was almost enjoying it though, and there’s some truth in that.  Getting lots done feels good, keeping busy when I’m fighting the blues is good, and there is satisfaction in checking things off the list, despite it’s tendency to grow.  When there’s a hard and fast deadline, like a curtain time or a fixed departure time, there’s that freeing feeling of knowing that whatever doesn’t get done won’t bring the world crashing to a halt.  The world, even my little corner of it, doesn’t hand on my lists.  It’s about doing what’s in front of me and doing it well, and learning when to say no to things that will just make the schedule even crazier. 

So what are you all doing for Memorial Day weekend?  (Or just the weekend if it’s a normal one for you.)  Cleaning up from disastrous storms, visiting family, doing the BBQ thing, or nothing special and wondering how you’re going to surivive?  I hope there’s sun and joy involved no matter what, and that some random stranger does something cool for you … catch up with you all on Tuesday!



I am so done with this week

The mask is finally finished! I wished it fit me today, so I could hide behind it and just breathe heavily and growl a bit …Breaking the silence on Friday night to say this week has beaten me.  It started well enough, but I’m glad it’s Friday night and I can close the books on this week of school, and pray my mood doesn’t continue through the weekend!  The last straw today was the cats knocking the new camera onto the floor (it was lying on the washing machine this time) and cracking the casing open.  I cried into my taco meat in frustration, and gave up.  It’s been a long week.
Read More

The Inertia of Winter

Otherwise known as: How I Get Stuck in the House and Then We All Regret It

I love snow.  Playing in it, shoveling it, sledding on it, throwing it, and yes, actually driving in it.  (Mind you I haven’t done too much of that in the last few years, so call it fond memories perhaps?).  As I was saying, I love snow, but I really hate dealing with it in winter.  The layers, the wetting of gloves and faces and underpants because-he-couldn’t-make-it-home-in-time, the contrast between a cozy bed and a freezing cold porch, the amount of time it takes to dress 3 people to go out, the number of calories they consume while playing in the snow which necessitates pockets full of uncrushable snacks, and I could really go on and on.  I get tired just thinking about it. 

Read More

Whistling in the Dark, part II

I’ve been trying to write all week.  It’s not been successful, and now is a bad time to write as the boys are ready to start the day (don’t ask!), but I’ll give it a shot.  At least until they start killing each other. 

I wasn’t quite ready for the new year, but I don’t really have any other options other than continuing to go about my daily business, ready or not.  Homeschooling started off pretty well, meaning the boys were more than ready to start some work again, and are having a good time with it. 

I came up with a few new tricks which seem good to add to the arsenal. 

Read More

Eclipse Tonight ...

Image courtesy of DJMcCready via Flickr.There’s a total lunar eclipse coming tonight, and the full details for North America and the GMT time zone are here. A brief outline is below, excerpeted from the site. 

A total eclipse of the Moon occurs during the early morning hours of December 21, 2010 (for observers in western North America and Hawaii, the eclipse actually begins on the evening of December 20). The entire event is visible from North America, Greenland and Iceland. Western Europe will see the beginning stages of the eclipse before moonset while western Asia will get the later stages after moonrise. During a total lunar eclipse, the Moon’s disk can take on a dramatically colorful appearance from bright orange to blood red and more rarely dark brown to very dark gray.

If I can wake my boys up, I’m going to give it a shot.  Just a heads up, it’s not something you see every day :). 

Socializing and Homeschooling

It’s pretty funny to me that one of the most common arguments against homeschooling is the lack of socialization.  My kids get together with other groups of kids pretty regularly, make new friends at the park often, and talk to more adults than average because I make them ask their own questions when we’re out and about on our daily walks.  I had the same fears before considering homeschooling, and I get where the questioning comes from, but I really don’t think it’s an issue unless your kids never ever leave the house. 
Read More