Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hellllloooooo There!

I'm not dead!

I've just been busy. And lazy. And feeling very unbloggy and introspective. I've spent the last month coming to terms with my life - what it is and isn't, what it can and could be - and finding out I'm pretty damned happy with it. 

I've been thinking about blogging, I really have. I've also been thinking about not blogging at all - thinking about writing a goodbye post and closing it all down. I started this blog to talk about and talk through homeschooling, and since we don't really do that any longer, it became my place to muse and vent and write stuff out. But, I wasn't real sure I wanted to blog about the stuff going on here anymore. I'm still not, actually.

But I'm also not quite ready to say goodbye. And then I got this blogging award from one of my dear web friends, and I thought I'd best resurface for a bit. Since she still cares and all. :) 

The award is “Cherry on Top” Award for “beautiful blogs with that little bit extra”. First of all, thanks, Sheri! I'm not sure it's deserved, but, I appreciate it!

The rules are that I answer a question and nominate six more bloggers. I'm not sure I have six people, but, I have a few in mind. Anyway, here it is:


1. Answer this question: If you had the chance to go back and change one thing in your life, would you, and what would it be?


Oh, man, I can only pick ONE? That's impossible. There are so many things I wish I had or hadn't done, so many things I would like a do-over on. If I had to narrow it down, I wish I would have traveled around the world and lived in a different country before I married and had a child. Now it seems so difficult to attain, and there are so many other people's desires and feelings I have to consider. Well, OK, only two people, really, but since I'm married to one and the mother of the other, they're feelings are fairly important to me. So it feels sometimes like more than two, if you know what I mean.

2. Pass the other award along to 6 of your favourite blog writers.

In no particular order:

My Foil Hat. I love this blog. Amy has home schooled four boys and has survived to tell the tale. I love her writing, her humor, and her insight on education. I live vicariously through her trips to the beach, and have a secret desire to hide out in her SUV and join them on the next trip.  But, in a totally non-creepy sort of way. Really.

ImPerceptibility. Even though she officially said goodbye to her blog a month ago, I'm not ready for it to end. Another homeschool blog, with a twist of, I don't know, a twist of SOMETHING. She's hilarious, she's out there, her posts often have me in tears. I love her blog, and I'll really, really miss it. But it's worth every minute to read all the old posts, so check her out. 

Where the FuhKaui. Vicki is living my dream life - traveling in an RV unschooling her kids and seeing America. She's not afraid to try anything new, she's someone I can count on for advice and and vicarious adventure, and she posts great videos on Facebook.

Squid Ink. She eats bear after being a vegetarian for 20 years. She goes to Hippie Camp. I want to steal her son's hair. I love checking in and seeing what she's up to. What more can I say?

Regular Mom. She's a poet, she's a homeschooler, she's sarcastic, and she's the Arbiter of Art. Again, what more can I say?


3.  Thank the person who gave you the award. 

Thank you, Sheri, at My Leftover Life. Sheri has been with me since the start of my blogging, she's always there with encouragement and support, and I swear she's my Canadian alter-ego. We just seem to get each other, and the older I get, the more and more I appreciate that connection with someone, no matter where they are. She is funny, sweet, and writes some pretty amazing poetry, which I've completely quit commenting on, because my comments were usually just something along the lines of "Oh, my gosh. That's EXACTLY how I feel!!"


So, I'm seeing a common link here with these blogs. They're all by women, they all make me laugh, make me think, or make me cry. They're all mom's. The first thing that comes to mind when I think of the blogs is either that they're hilarious, well written, or just someone I love to "visit". They all deserve the Cherry on Top award. And to any readers I have left, go check them out. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming

I'm feeling a more hopeful today. The benefit of my short attention span is that I don't stay upset for too awfully long.  I get distracted too easily by all of life's possibilities.

After wallowing in self-pity for a few days, shedding a few 'poor me' tears, and a lot of support from my friends and family, I feel better. Much better.

I'm going to go with option two - the much more affordable community college route - for nursing school. There's a wait list, so I'm having my test results sent over, I'll fill out my application packet and get it all turned in, and wait. When my turn comes up, I'll see where life is at that point and go from there. Nursing may never be my future, but I'm not ready to give it up yet.

In the meantime, I'm finishing up my associates degree this next semester, and moving on to ASU. For what, I'm not totally sure yet, but I have a semester to decide. I'm thinking of something along the lines of Organizational Behavior, which looks somewhat interesting, is on the list of degrees my employer will pay for and would be of use both as a nurse or at my current job. As much as I LOVE my history classes, I don't know that I want a degree in that field. I'll see how I feel in a month or two, when I actually have to make a decision.

Now, I'm off to fold a ton of laundry in preparation for my birthday trip with my mama Thursday and my root canal tomorrow.  :)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Post in Which I Feel Sorry for Myself

You've been warned. Feel free to move along if you want to skip this one.

I went to the financial aid meeting for the nursing school I've been accepted to, and after it was all said and done, I'd owe somewhere in the neighborhood of $80k in student loans. That's with what I've already borrowed, plus, the exorbitant cost of the school added in. This, coupled with the fact that I'm losing my insurance and the pay I currently receive (couldn't keep my current job and do this), and the fact that my husband's job isn't reliable enough to support us completely...well, all this basically made going to this particular school impossible for me.

So, my options are to change my degree and incur no further student loans, as my current employer will foot the bill (who I love, by the way, absolutely a great company, but let's just say that being a banker/customer service rep is not what I wanted to be when I grew up); go to a community college and finish nursing school at a much lower cost (still trying to make the no insurance and loss or substantial decrease in my income work); or, say fuck it, I'm tired of all this, and quit school altogether.

Right now, I'm feeling rather sorry for myself and am leaning towards option three.

I feel like MM's job situation is not going to change anytime soon. We're thankful that we're both even working right now. AZ's unemployment rate is crazy high. I'm not sure we'll ever be in a position where I can not work again, especially long enough for me to finish two more years of school.

Which leads me to my other current issues: I feel like I've lost all the things that really mattered to me when MM was laid off in Texas. I had to go back to work and lose time with BW, home schooling went out the window when I wasn't there to facilitate it, and the nursing/ultrasound tech degree I'd been working towards in Texas now looks impossible to finish.

My employer wants me to come back to work full-time in order to change departments. My only option to get out of the department I'm in right now (which, quite frankly, I'm ready to do) is to go back to full-time. If I don't quit to finish school, I feel like my options are pretty limited there unless I'm willing to work more, and since BW opted to go back to school, I might as well.

BW is happy at school, but, he is already expressing a desire to come back home. I know if I were available to make homeschooling work, he'd be all over it. And I truly believe it would be the best option for our family. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of control over even my part-time schedule, so I'm not clear on how we'd make that work.

I'm feeling like working hard for a goal isn't enough - and we're in that place where we're not making enough money to truly be comfortable, but we make too much to qualify for any help in the way of grants and aid for me to finish school.

I'm also feeling like a complete fuck up, because if I would have finished school when I was fresh outta high school, the VA and my mom would have paid for it. Since I spent five or six years drifting, and then spent another five or six years recovering from my misspent youth and getting my act together, I'm screwed now. The VA (and my mom) are no longer willing to pitch in. This is the culmination of all my previous bad life decisions, as well as the good ones. If I were a single parent and not making the salary I make, I'd have all sorts of help.

The hard part is, MM is truly relieved that I'm not going. He's upset that I'm upset, but, relieved he won't have the burden of supporting us. And I get that, but it still sucks. He's promised he'll work two jobs, do whatever it takes to get me through school - and he would if I told him I was going to finish - but then he tells me how sick he is at the thought of not being able to make it. And how much it bothers him that I'd be leaving the job I have now.

I can't do it to him. He's not totally on board, and I don't feel like I can do it without 100% of his support. Even if I were to choose the community college route, I don't think he'll ever be comfortable with me leaving the job I'm at. He's looking for a better job, so maybe there's a chance, but I'm not all that hopeful.The job he's out now he enjoys, and the pay is OK, but it's construction-y, so there aren't reliable hours.

I'm at the point now where the life I live is completely opposite from the life I dream of. I really thought nursing would be the key to making it happen, and I feel that I'm not only giving up my career aspirations, but I'm losing the life that that career would have allowed me have. I have to get past that, and figure out how to do the things I want within our current reality.

I'm sure it's possible, but I'm not feeling very hopeful right now.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I Said Good Day!

Wow. I have been neglecting this blog something fierce lately. Not only have I not been writing, I've not been reading either - I just spent the last hour catching up on a month's worth of blogs I like to follow. I kinda feel like I just spent my morning drinking coffee with a couple of good friends, which was nice!

A lot has been happening this last month. We've had some personal drama here in our house with our adopted family member. I'm not going to go into it all, but, it's filled up a lot of our time.

I was in training for a month at work, so I had was doing a full-time Monday through Friday shift that had me up early each day. Between that and the gym, my days we're pretty full.

Hubby has been working out of town for the last several weeks. Usually he's home on weekends, but hasn't been able to come home the last few weeks. He's been popping in and out on the odd day on his way through town, but, needless to say, we haven't been seeing a whole lot of him. We miss him!

BW decided that he wanted to return to public school again. I'm not even sure what to say about that. He decided a week before school started. I'm completely depressed over the whole thing, but, we've always said it would be his choice, so we enrolled him. Hopefully it won't be like a repeat of last year. It's a different school, so, we'll see. He gets to join band this year, which seems to be the main reason he wants to go. I'll have my very own band geek.

BW had his braces put on this month. He's got this retainer thing on the roof of his mouth, and now he can barely talk. Which is just the tiniest bit awesome, because anything that slows down that kid's talking is a benefit, let me tell you. My ears get tired just listening to him on some days. I'll post a picture of him getting his teeth pulled, with the gas mask thingy and cotton rolls sticking out of his mouth, he looks like a little piggy.

I was asked if I wanted to go back to full-time at work and start doing mortgage origination. I'm torn, because I really don't want to work full-time right now, but if I want to learn this, part-time isn't an option. It'd give me a chance to possibly get into underwriting, which I think I'd like.

The day after I found out about the mortgage thing at work, I learned I was accepted to the nursing program I applied to. Now I have to make a decision, and I have no clue what to do. I've been working so hard towards school, but, I don't know if we can afford for me to go. I'd be losing our health insurance, and the income I bring in. And I LOVE the company I work for, I just don't love exactly what I'm doing right now, though that can change as time passes.

I kind of feel like I'd be on my own if I go back to school. Well, that's not quite accurate, it's just that my family isn't 100% supportive - they don't quite get why I'd leave a perfectly good job to go back to school. They aren't really negative about it, just not really positive either. When I thought I might not go, I got a lot of relieved sighs and "I know you're disappointed, but, this is probably for the best" type comments.

I'll be spending the next several days writing a pros/cons list, I guess. I am starting to feel that little bud of excitement about maybe being a real, live, actual nurse. I'll be sure to put that in the pro section of my list. :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

KD's Doll Shop

There's a lot going on here, but I have to take a minute to give a shout out to a friend of mine, Kristi. She makes these wonderful Waldorf inspired dolls, and I just bought one for a sweet child in my life. As you can see by the pictures, she LOVED it!

Check out Kristi's shop if you have a need for a beautiful handcrafted gift. You won't be disappointed!! The dolls are absolutely WONDERFUL!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

My Raw Experirment

Good Saturday afternoon to you!

I've been nearly raw now for about four days. I've been trying smoothies for breakfast and dinner (fruit and green leafy veggies - sounds horrible, looks gross, tastes surprisingly good!), raw fruits and veggies for snacks, and something cooked for dinner - mostly brown rice and steamed veggies.

It's been surprisingly easy and satisfying. I'm still having my coffee in the morning with a small splash of milk, and I did have popcorn two nights that I didn't have rice and veggies - air popped with some buttery spray (gross, I know).

I'm still in that 'inspired' stage of change, where I'm all gung ho and happy about it, so I harbor no illusions about this being a permanent change. Only hopes that I can incorporate it into one.

My weight has dropped a few pounds, I've still felt great energy wise, and my salt and fat intake has (obviously) dropped dramatically. I'm still making sure to add a little bit of salt and fat into my daily diet, but at a much healthier level. I'm still hitting the gym at least three days a week, and trying to swim on the other days. I'm still having a hard time with the exercise. I really don't *want* to do it, but I'm doing it. Maybe one day I'll find something I can somewhat enjoy.

I think living in Phoenix helps a lot with the eating - we have a lot of access to local produce and no harsh winters where nothing can grow. Our garden is producing, but not as well as we'd like. I'm hoping to be able to grow a lot more of my own foods next year. There are plans of a green house attached to the side of my mom's place to protect our garden from bunnies and quail, cute little thieving bastards that they are. I keep threatening to buy a pellet gun and add a juicy quail breast to my dinner, but the thought of eating it raw has ruined that little fantasy.

Nothing else is really new here. MM is enjoying his new toy, I'm still waiting to hear on the future of nursing school, and hoping all my transcripts get there in time to find out this month - I've sent three requests to Texas and have yet to receive anything from them. If I don't get them, I have to wait until August, which will piss me off. BW is enjoying the waterpark and all our outings. All is well!

I'm off to enjoy the rest of my weekend - and hopefully everyone else is, too.

Going Raw ... Again

I know I've blogged about this before, and I so wish this could be the last time, but, I know it won't. I am a food addict. I truly believe that I have an emotional and physical addiction to eating in a way that is damaging to my mental and physical health. I'm not sure how to cure it. I'm not sure where that magic switch is that I can flip to change my eating habits for good.

Until I can find it, I'll be on the eternal quest to take better care of my body, to figure out a way to eat that I can both stick to and love. I keep coming back to raw, or mostly raw as a solution. I believe that it's the kind of change I'm looking for. It's fairly simple, it's better for both my body and the environment (I've been eating such unhealthy foods, and foods produced in such unhealthy ways), and if I can get over the cravings and keep on top of the shopping for fresh produce, it should be easy to implement and live with.

It sounds good in theory, anyway. In practice, I've tried this three or four times and I've never been able to stick with it for more than a month. And the month long trial only happened once. So, yeah, here I go again.

I have been going to the gym at least a few days a week for the last couple of months. I've been doing better with my eating, but not well enough. Again, always a struggle, always a challenge. The exercise has helped, though. I've found a few muscles I didn't know existed (well, hello there! so nice to have finally met you!!), and while my knee has been hurting in different ways, the grinding while going up the stairs thing has all but quit - I can feel muscles in my legs actually working as I go up, which relieves a lot of the stress on my knee. So, success on that end. Yay, me!

As for eating, I seem to have no will power. And I don't know how to fix that. I always promise myself to do better tomorrow, to start eating healthier next week, to just get through this weekend and then I'll eat nothing but cabbage to make up for it. It's much like my misspent youth. Lots of promises to straighten my shit up, but no real change for years. Until I was just ready to change. And I did. I found that magic switch to flip.

I'm not sure I'll ever do that with eating.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Goooooooooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalll!!!!!!!!!!!!

Don't you just love the way the announcer yells that during these soccer games? It has absolutely nothing to do with this post, I just couldn't think of anything else for a title. Sorry.

There have been all sorts of happenings here lately. We've sold a car and bought a car - I promised MM a sports car for his 40th, and he found a 1999 Corvette with less than 20,000 miles on it. I posted some pictures down below from my phone.

BW went away for two weeks to camp and to his cousins' house. He had a good time, but was getting pretty homesick by the end. He doesn't feel he needs to do camp again unless it's secret agent camp or we go as one of the counselors. He was really uncomfortable not being able to call us at all (so we were), and he said it was fun, but not that exciting.

We went to the Musical Instrument Museum, which is even cooler than it sounds. We spent nearly three hours there this afternoon and still didn't get to see all of it. They really have a great set up, you learn lots, hear lots, and there's a great hands-on section that we all had fun with. If you're even in Phoenix, I highly recommend it.

We hit the new aquarium at the Arizona Mills Mall a few days ago. It was fun, but pricey. And aquariums always seem way too small for the amount of money you have to pay to get in. We did have a good time, though, and BW learned some cool new facts, so it was worth it.

We went to go see both Avatar: The Last Airbender and Prince of Persia this week. Prince of Persia was very Mummy/The Scorpian King-esque. It was entertaining and fun, but not spectacular. The Airbender movie, on the other hand, wow-ee. It was BAD. Horribly, shockingly, spectacularly bad. Did I mention it was bad? The dialogue was bad, the special effects were bad, the acting was, ok, not BAD, but not really impressive either. The only good thing was the fact that I saw it with M1 and had somebody to make fun of it with. I was so sad and embarrassed for M. Knight. I really expected more from him.

I made reservations to go camping near San Diego for my birthday in August. I'm very excited about it. I think a few days in San Diego will do us good.

I got new glasses and ordered a box of contacts. I can see while swimming again! Yay, me!!!! I haven't worn contacts for years, so I'm happy to go back to them. At least part time, anyway. I still like my glasses for every day use, but, it's nice to use the contacts as a backup.

I've realized our dog is dumber than a box of rocks. We've lived on the third floor for months and she still stops on the second floor every single time we take her out for a walk. So, four times a day, times six months, the dog heads to our downstairs neighbor's door.  I'm not even sure what to say about it, I honestly thought dogs were a little brighter than that. I honestly thought she was a little brighter than that. I was sadly mistaken.

I'm addicted to Facebook Scrabble. It's the first thing I do when I get up and the last thing I do before going to bed. If you're my FB friend, you need to start playing with me. NOW. I'll wait while you sign up.

.....

I've been posting on FB but not blogging. I'm not sure why, I guess I've had a short attention span lately. Sorry about that.

I've applied - like officially applied, sent my transcripts, took the entrance test - for nursing school. For my BSN. I'm nervous about the whole thing. I'm hoping I get accepted, but I won't know more until mid-July. I'll let you all know when I find out. Wish me luck.

I'm still working out three days a week or so. I can really tell a difference, finally. My leg muscles are finally getting stronger, and I can feel a difference when I go up and down the stairs. Apparently my doctor wasn't kidding when he said improving my muscle tone would help.

MM's been the perfect husband lately. Affectionate, happy, in a great mood, etc. He spent much of last night telling me how much he loves me, how he wants to grow old with me, that I'm the only one for him, etc. Granted, he was a teensy bit drunk, but that was only last night. He's being supportive about me quitting my job if I get into nursing school, says he'll get a second job part-time if necessary so I can finish. He even cleaned the house today while I went out to lunch and the Musical Instrument Museum with BW, Catherine and her son. Without my even asking him to. I figure he's either cheating on me or still really grateful for the Corvette. I really think it's the 'Vette, but I'm going to keep my eye on him for a while anyway. He has been working out of town for the last several weeks....

So, that about summarizes all the happenings here in our household lately. Like I said, lots of stuff going on. It's been a flurry of activity. Lots of fun things, though, which is always good. And lots of learning, just in our every day life. I think I'm more sold then ever on some form of home schooling or unschooling for the boy - I just hope we can make it work schedule-wise. After learning that we're 49th in terms of education spending per child, I'm having a hard time justifying any reason to send him back to public school. I think we'll just focus on what we've been doing since school ended. Playing, reading, going to museums, watching interesting things on television, traveling, and being together.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Wipeout and Spermy Grooves

Wipeout is starting again on June 22nd! We just watched Wipeout: Blind Date, and laughed for two hours straight. I love that show.  I can't explain my fascination with it, other than people willingly choosing to be filmed while being knocked down over and over again delights me more than words can say. And the Big Balls! Oh my, I still laugh at the Australian episode, Big Balls: Down Under. Seriously, who thinks of this stuff? If you like watching people getting knocked off things and falling in the most spectacular ways, check it out.

Wipeout is also pretty much what I did with my eating the last two days. Weekends just kill me and I really have to get that under control. It wasn't too horribly bad, but it wasn't how I wanted things to be. I did swim for a couple of hours, though, so hopefully that made up for some of the crap that I ate.

We're going to have a couple of weeks here without BW. His aunt called and wanted to know if they could have him for a week, and the day he gets back from there, he's off to camp for a week. We asked him if he'd be OK being away from us for two weeks, and his response is, "Well, yeah, I'll miss you. But I'll get over it!" Gee, thanks. I feel bad that we can't return the favor with our nephews, but sorry, three kids in a two bedroom apartment is too much for me to handle. Waaaayyyy too much.

Last night I got to spend a couple of hours with a cousin that I never, ever see. The one that actually lives in the same state with me, too. We're averaging about an hour or so each year because we're close like that. It was nice to see her and her son, though - I like her, she's fun. I don't know why I've never really connected as an adult with the cousins on that side of the family. Not like the Texas cousins, anyway.  We've tried to rekindle our relationships through the years, but it never really seems to stick.

I'm beat and I want to finish watching Expedition Great White. One of the scientists just shouted, "Sperm in the groove, that is awesome!" while making a note on his clipboard. Right after another guy stuck his finger in the poor shark's spermy groove. Apparently, sexually violating a male Great White is scientifically noteworthy.

So yeah, big balls and shark porn - an exciting weekend at home. Don't you wish you could be me?

Thursday, June 10, 2010



Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone

Well, Hello There!

So it turns out that switching to part-time at work just leaves me feeling even guiltier - I still am too busy to get EVERYTHING done that needs doing, but no longer can use work as an excuse. WTF?

We've had all sorts of happenings this last month, as I noted in my last post. So, in no particular order, here goes:

- BW turned nine this month. NINE. We're about to enter the double digits. It was a pretty low key birthday, just cake and dinner with grandma and M1 and the kids. And year number five of MM's mother completely forgetting the day. I think at this point I'm just at a mild simmer. I've grown to accept that it's going to keep happening, and to realize that it's a little freeing - I no longer have to feel responsible for the special days of that side of the family. And it doesn't really seem to faze BW at all, so I'm trying not to be to pissed off about it. I've come a long way in five years, haven't I?

- I got MM's initial (which, ironically, really is an 'M') and a tiny heart tattooed on my ring finger. We don't wear rings any more, he's had my initials on his finger for a few years now, I decided I'd take the plunge. Now I really do have to stop and count the tattoos from head to foot to tell people how many I have.

- M1 and I spent three nights in Vegas, and it was so wonderful. Just me and her, no kids or hubbies. I've missed spending a lot of time with her, it's hard with everyone's busy schedules, but four whole days alone was like four whole days of stress-free bliss. I can't wait to do it again.

- BW and I drove to Texas to visit my other bestest friend, M2, much to her surprise. Her husband and I planned it several weeks in advance and kept it a secret. I got to let myself into her house and see her surprised face when she realized I was there. The trip was much, much too short, but, it was absolutely wonderful and I can't wait to see her again. I love her so much, and it just sucks not being able to pop around the corner to her house to see her every single day. Possibly the one and only downside of leaving Texas. Oh yeah, that, and having to go back to work. But the work thing pales in comparison to not getting my daily dose of friendship.

- We went camping with MM's brother and his family - the first time I've camped as an adult and I'm sold. I've been over zealously shopping for camping equipment on ebay. Let's just say we have a lot of campfire cookware arriving here in the next several days. And I've got at least one percolator too many.

- BW's been listening to Lady Gaga. He loves that kind of music, I downloaded it knowing he does, but without having ever really listened to the lyrics. My mistake. He asked me what a disco stick was. And proceeded to tell me he thought she meant penis. I had to google it to be sure - because I'm that cool.

- I took C out to the Melting Pot for dinner for her birthday. We haven't been there for years, and it was oh so yummy. We don't exchange gifts anymore, really, just take each other out on really fun outings or to dinner. I looooove that place, and I actually didn't eat so much this time. I wasn't completely miserable when I left! Progress!!

- I started an exercise/eating plan. I'm trying to do weight watchers again. I got an Android phone and there's a great app for tracking things. I'm going to the gym at work three nights a week with my carpool buddy - which means I actually GO three nights a week, rather than blowing it off. I'm going to start swimming with BW on my off days, so I'm aiming to average six days of activity a week. So far, so good. I'm doing pretty well with both the eating and the exercise, and I've got support to motivate me to stick with it.

- I'm going to finish nursing school. I know I keep changing my mind, but I keep coming back to it. I'm thinking about going to a private school here to get my BSN, I could actually be done in about two and a half years. I'm hoping that'll keep me motivated to keep up the exercise and eating healthy as well, because if I had to be on my feet for 12 hours a day now, I'd probably need a nurse.

- I've been promising MM a sports car for his 40th birthday since before BW was born. This morning, we took the plunge and are the proud new owners of a 1999 Corvette. With only 19,0000 miles on it, even. MM is over the moon. It is a pretty car, if you like that sort of thing. Personally, I'd rather have a Stingray. I'm thinking a month of backpacking through Europe for me in three short years. A present for graduating college and my 40th, if all goes well.....

Monday, June 7, 2010

Busy Beaver

....

....

Sorry. I'm still laughing over my title. Once again, I amuse pretty much only myself. And usually Sheri. ;^)

The last three weekends I have been to Vegas, drove twelve hours to Texas to surprise M2 and the family with a weekend visit, and then went camping with my brother-in-law and his family.

In between, I have worked, gotten a new tattoo, began writing a song, celebrated Boy Wonder's 9th birthday and made at least two questionable parenting choices. Probably more, but only two stand out.

I have to get ready for work so I will write a real post later, but for now, I'll leave you with the song I'm (re)writing to honor Baskin Robbins ice cream. Please sing it to the tune of Master of Puppets:

Baskin! Baskin!
Where's the ice cream, I've been askin'?
Baskin! Baskin!
Fattenin' up my thighs...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Returning to Home Schooling

With the school year coming quickly to a close, I've been thinking a lot about what the next year of home schooling is going to look like. I'm excited about getting back into what we enjoy most, and hoping that BW's year of third grade wasn't too damaging to him. He's learned that it's not OK to get excited and ask lots of questions about things - you get in trouble for that!

The kid has almost all A's (one B) and he's constantly getting in trouble for talking, which tells me he's bored. He does have a little bit of a persecution complex, and he talks so much and so fast that what most people hear is a general buzzing - I liken it to a gnat on coke who just drank several cups of coffee and wants to discuss his REALLY GREAT IDEA, DUDE. I try to keep that in mind when he tells me about his day, but sheez, when he's excited about what he's learning and asking tons of questions and being shut down, it pisses me off.

I do get that the teacher does not have time to answer off topic questions about the subject, but, it's sad. If a kid is interested in something and wants to learn more, it bites that he's being punished for asking questions. He's been sent to another teacher's classroom, to the "trouble desk" for it. I had to bite my tongue and not ask if he had to wear a conical hat with 'dunce' written on it as well. Here's to humiliating kids as a form of discipline! And BW tells me this stuff, I have yet to get a note from the teacher or any mention of this during the parent teacher conferences. WTF?

We're both looking forward to getting him the hell out of the system. He did say he didn't want to finish the school year, but when we talked about it more, he decided he'll stick with it until it's over. I had initially told him he had to, but recently gave him the option of leaving before the end if he wanted to.

Anyway, we have a math program we've liked in the past, so I think we'll go back to that. BW wants to learn Greek. We've talked about starting with Latin, which is going to be a hoot since my only exposure to a foreign language curriculum was two semesters of high school Spanish - my only take away from that year is the all important 'Donde esta el bana?'.

Other than math and Latin, I envision lots of trips to the library and local museums, lots of reading, and lots of exploring our city. And maybe some letterboxing. I think we'd have fun with that. I'm also going to have to start meeting some Phoenix home schoolers, which makes me feel a little nervous. Not because of them - I'm sure they're very nice - but mostly because I'm shy and meeting new people fills me with trepidation. It's going to feel like my first day of work all over again.

So we'll be spending our summer recovering from the school year. I've got us season tickets to one of the local water parks, we've got a vacation to plan for the end of August, and a load of library books to read. It's going to be a beautiful summer.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My Week Has Been Filled With Poop

I've been having one of those weeks.

The child needs braces - which turn out to be extremely expensive, in case you didn't know.

The dog went from constipated to not constipated. VERY not constipated, if you know what I mean, and VERY all over my carpet.

I was woken up later that same night by the smell of it happening again. Being awakened by a smell is never, ever a good thing. Unless it's the smell of coffee and bacon and it's somewhere north of nine in the morning. This midnight smell? This midnight smell was definitely not coffee and bacon. Not even close.

After cleaning up yet more liqui-poo, a late night dog walk, and finally, FIIIINALLY falling back to sleep, I was woken up again by the child at o'dark thirty.

That was just one 24 hour period. The rest of the week was fairly similar.

And, have I mentioned the nose bleeds are continuing? Daily? And that BW is at the point that he HATES school, so he's in a foul mood every day when I pick him up? And MM is out of town for work, and, I'm ready to admit it, he does the bulk of the food shopping and cleaning? So the house has been lonely AND dirty AND I've had to figure out my own meals? (Poor, poor me. I know.)

Things are starting to look up though. MM will be home in the morning. I got a new camera from my mom - I love hand-me-downs. I was able to score MM tickets to one of the Suns playoff games for Father's Day. I'm going to Vegas in a few weeks with M1, child free, for three whole nights. I've been going to the gym at least three days a week, and have an appointment to get my "exercise prescription" from one of our personal trainers tomorrow. And The Office is on tonight.

So, even though my week has been literally and metaphorically filled with poop, it's looking up.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

I hope everyone has a lovely day with their families!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Gym and Girl Crazy Eight Year Olds

Out of the last six days, I made it to the gym FIVE TIMES. As in, almost, but, not quite, SIX. That has to be some sort of record or something. I even went in on my day off.

I'm so proud of myself, because, one, I very much do not enjoy exercise (see how I'm trying to retrain myself not to say 'I hate exercise'?) and, two, because I've started exercise plans before and have very rarely made it past day two. And day six is at least three times better than day two, no?

YAY, ME!

Now totally out of left field, I'll change topics on you - this has been more and more on my mind of late: the girl craziness. BW is nearly nine, and has been very aware of the opposite sex since sometime around his fourth birthday. He's always asked lots of questions about girls and sex and boys and bodies and penises and vaginas (which blogger has determined is spelled wrong...perhaps vagini?) and and and.....!

To date, we have discussed masturbation, erections, what a period is, why it happens, how it happens, no - the two little rocks I keep in the jar are not my periods - they are gallstones (although my uterus and gallbladder were removed just a few months apart, so I do understand the confusion), tampons, pads, douching, condoms, pregnancy, sex, sexual responsibility and a ton of other things I've quite probably blocked out in self-preservation.

After my initial shock, I've done my best to answer him truthfully and fully - meaning, I answer, and continue to answer as long as he continues to ask questions. When he's had enough, he lets me know. Usually by saying something that totally throws me off, like, 'Wow, mom. Do you think you could save all the blood in a vial?' which turns the topic of conversation to coagulation and, ew, why on earth would you want to save it in a vial??

I'm hyperventilating just a bit right now reliving some of our conversations. Because he's EIGHT. And he already has girls fawning all over him. And it freaks me out more than a little. I'm afraid my only hope is to coat him in alternating layers of latex and lambskin from head to toe and lock him in a box for the next twenty years.

On one hand, I want to answer his questions. I don't want to put him off - they aren't inappropriate, he's curious and I don't want to demonize anything. MM, spending his childhood as both a late bloomer and a total geek is no help at all when it comes to the age appropriateness of these question and answer sessions, so we just wing it. So far, BW feels totally comfortable asking me all sorts of awkward (for me) questions, and for that, I'm thankful. When he clams up, I'll panic.

What is making me think even more about this is a discussion going on amongst participants in the LIFE is Good unschooling conference group. There's all sorts of discussion about teen and tween sexual expression. It got me thinking - when does innocent curiosity become sexual experimentation? I'm afraid the time I have to prepare myself for BW's experimentation is not going to be nearly as long as I would need and like for it to be. And, what can I do to prepare BW for it? Because I harbor no illusions about a teen's (please, please, please let him at least be a teen) ability to find a time and a place for sex.

So, am I doing the right thing by being open, by answering all his questions, by repeating over and over again (in a non-judgmental way) the emotional and physical (and LEGAL) consequences and responsibilities of sex when the topic comes up?

Or should I start shopping for spray-on latex and a box?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Laundry Day, Bloody Noses and School, oh my

It's that time of week around here. Yesterday I spent much of the day at the zoo and then M1's house, which means I got absolutely nothing done. Working three days a week does have the somewhat exciting consequence of having to worry less about work clothes, but, there does come a time when there is just nothing clean left to wear, and work clothes need special attention, like line drying. Having no decent place to hang stuff up, they get ignored for as long as possible.

It's dry and windy as all get out here - I feel like I'm back in West Texas. The result? BW's started in with the bloody noses again, one last night and one this morning. Early this morning. Ugh. Time to bust out the humidifier. Or move to Florida. Somewhere humid, where the nasal passages stay nice and moist. Our method of dealing with bloody noses usually involves the shower and a wash cloth - BW's had issues with them since he was two, and trying to wrangle a two year old who is gushing blood is an ordeal - so straight to the bathtub he went. It often looked (and sounded) like I was slaughtering a goat in there, but was much easier to clean.

I think I mentioned school is over for me, for the summer. I found out I have one more class to get my AA, and then it will be time to move on to the University. I'm not looking forward to it, I've found comfort at the community college level. I can handle it, easily. I know what to expect. I am happy I'm so close to actually finishing SOMETHING, though. I've heard AA degrees normally don't take 20 years to accomplish, so there is that - it's finally nearing it's end.

I've been on a reading binge to celebrate, which has been wonderful. I finished the latest from Clive Cussler, Maeve Binchey, Lee Child and Patricia Cornwell all in the last week. I started Stephen King's Tower (The Dark Tower? I can't remember...) series yesterday. Even though his ending always piss me off, I keep coming back for more. I'm a glutton for punishment, I guess. Also, I joined the gym at work. My carpool mate and I are planning on going three days a week, and, who knows, I may try to hit it every now and then on my days off. There's that goal of walking across the GG Bridge I'd like to accomplish this fall, so, time to get to walking - and not outside in the 42 bajillion degree summer heat here in Phoenix, either.

So, nothing else really exciting (ha!) to report. Have a happy week, readers near and far!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sun City ladies about to make reality TV debut | Phoenix News | Arizona News | azfamily.com | Yahoo News

Kristine Harrington reports some Arizona residents are about to make their reality television debut starring in a new show called 'Sunset Daze' described as a cross between 'Golden Girls' and 'Jersey Shore.'

Oh, my.

Sun City ladies about to make reality TV debut | Phoenix News | Arizona News | azfamily.com | Yahoo News

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Walk in Which the Cactus all Looked Like Penises

We got up early-ish this morning, and went to the skate park. While BW and MM messed around on their boards, I set my playlist to Rob Thomas and got to walking. M1 and I have decided that we will be walking across the Golden Gate Bridge this fall as part of our lose weight/start exercising more challenge, and today is finally DAY ONE of my walking plan. I've been putting it off for a week because I'm being lazy.

Unfortunately, I didn't bring my camera, because when I rounded a corner, I saw this:



An Agave in bloom.

And then I saw four more. I was surrounded by them, these towering, twenty foot tall, phallic blooms.

I was trying to find a picture here to show you, and while none really captured the true penis-like nature of the plants I saw, the picture above came close.

I also learned, while looking for pictures, that most agave plants bloom dramatically and then die.

There's a metaphor in there somewhere, I'm almost sure of it.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Eagles: Assisted Living Tour

I've kinda crapped out on the blog the last week or so - posting articles and whatnot instead of actual posts. Things I wanted to share, when I didn't really have time to write. I've never really done that before, and I'm not sure I like it. Although, I gotta say, it was easier than actually writing a post.

I've had all these things I've wanted to blog about, but now that I actually have time to do so, I've forgotten most of them. Maybe I'll remember as I continue.

The one thing I do remember I wanted to write about is last Wednesday. MM and I went to see The Eagles. I can't stop ranting and raving about how absolutely amazing it was. The Eagles have been the soundtrack to much of my life, the first music I can really remember listening to. Them and Jimmy Buffet.

I can't even describe how I felt listening to them. I actually cried during I Can't Tell You Why. Because I'm such a sap. It reminds me of my husband - "Nothing's wrong as far as I can see/We make things harder than it has to be" and "Every time I try to walk away/Something makes me turn around and stay" - and there they were. Real, live tears. Through the whole song. I swear, ever since I had BW EVERYTHING makes me cry. Sheesh. Anyway, our marriage has had so many of its ups and downs through the years, and it's a song I can really relate to. Thinking about walking away, but, being unable, unwilling to do it.



Anyway, no opening act, just three hours of them playing. A few of their individual solo hits, a smattering of the new stuff, most of the major classics, and they were INCREDIBLE. For so many of the songs, I just leaned my head back, closed my eyes, and let the music engulf me. It was magical. Yes, I'm a dork. Music does that to me, though. Especially music that has been such a big part of my entire life.

Anyway, on to other subjects.

The big upset in the home schooling 'sphere is the whole GMA unschooling thing. Ugh. On one hand, it pisses me off. Yep, being with your kids all day long, creating an open environment for them, providing them with inspiration, support, freedom to follow their passions is lazy parenting. While shipping them off to school and not being involved in their education at all isn't?

On the other hand, it's the media. They presented the story they wanted to present, they chose the parts they wanted to to support the story they were writing. It was one sided. We all know that, right?

Now don't get me wrong: there are lots and lots of brick and mortar school parents who bend over backwards to be involved in any way they can with the schools and their kids. And then there are others who don't. Others who ship the kids off to school and that's the end of their involvement. Who are so happy to have a little peace and quiet. A free babysitter.

My feelings are that no one solution is right for everyone. Some kids do great in b and m schools. Some families don't have any other options. Some kids that are home schooled would probably be better off being educated by someone other than their parents. But the nice thing about the country that we live in is that there are options. We, as parents, should always strive to do the best we can for our children. And if we feel that option is home schooling or sending our kids off to school, then we should do what we feel is best. And be an active participant in which ever choice we make.

I don't understand why this is such a dividing issue. Just because someone chooses to do something different from what you do doesn't make it wrong. Just like religion, folks. Believe what you believe, accept that others are trying to do the best they can for themselves and their families. Good fucking god, people. Why the controversy?

Personally, I plan on home schooling BW again next year. He wants it, I want to do it, and I think I can do a better job for him at home. I'm also voting to raise taxes for education. Because the schools need it. And better schools lead to better communities, and better communities lead to better cities and states and nations and so on. This doesn't have to be such a divisive issue.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Awesome Post About Unschooling

I read this today over at Swiss Army Wife - it's wonderful, and just what I've been needing to read lately.

How to Trust Children Who Stare at Gorillas

Stink Foot

I have another foot thing.

WHAT. THE. EFF.

(I'm trying not to blog like I talk in real life, because not only does my mother read this, but, zombies help her, she tells others about it, too. See, mama, I'm a good girl - I don't always talk like a sailor.)

(Kidding, mom. I don't care if you tell people.)

Anyway. Back to my foot. There is another lumpy thing about the size of a pen tip right next to where I had the last one removed. Even though they biopsied the last two little bastards (really, censorship only goes so far), the surgeon can't really tell me WHAT they are, or WHY they're there. I don't know why I didn't go to a podiatrist to start with, but that's my next step.

Oh yeah, I know why I didn't go to the podiatrist first, I thought it was a splinter. Which it apparently is not, unless the splinter had an army of friends and is slowly trying to win the war by giving me Alzheimer's. Or making me go broke with medical bills. Or making me walk unsteadily so I'll trip down the stairs. Maybe it's a three pronged approach?

Doesn't matter, the fact is, something in my foot is trying to kill me. Or drive me mad. One or the other.

I thought, hell, maybe it's plantar warts and my surgeon is an idiot. I looked them up online and while the written description sounds exactly like what I have, the pictures don't look like my foot thingies at all. My science guru, M2, says it's not warts because they would have been able to see it was a virus in the biopsy.

But...

Did you know that warts are a virus? I didn't. Did you know that plantar warts come from being infected by HPV? As in human papillomavirus? As in the sexually transmitted disease? The one that causes genital warts and cancer?

For minute there, I thought maybe I had an STD on my foot. The doctor and M2 say no, but wouldn't THAT just be amusing since it keeps coming back to haunt me and if it was plantar warts it maybe could have been cured the first time.

Since I don't really frequent gyms or public pools, the only thing I could think of was, if I did have the stink foot, I'll bet it came from one of those little pedicure places. I'll bet all that chatting back and forth in a language I don't understand wasn't just, "Dumb American and her yucky feet!" and "Has she seriously never heard of a Ped Egg? There better be a big ass tip for this.".

Now I'm thinking there may have been a little, "I can't touch these feet again. Bob! Go grab that vile of HPV. A little case of stink foot will keep her outta here!!"

Monday, April 12, 2010

Brains

So, I went back to work today and I'm now OFFICIALLY PART-TIME. I can't tell you how good that feels to say. Seriously. I hope this feeling lasts for-evah and evah! The new schedule seems like it's going to be pretty awesome, everyone was happy to see me and have me back, and my boss went and picked up lunch for everyone.

There was only one, teeny tiny problem.

We have these dry erase boards at our desks. People use them for notes, messages, drawings, whatever. I was walking to my desk, and my cubie - who's new-ish to the team, keeps to herself, and has a plethora of religious paraphernalia all over her desk - had something written on her board:

"HE HAS RISEN."

Which I can only assume is a left over Easter reference. The problem I'm having with it is that it's written in bright red, and it's all scribbly. This does not in any way look like some sort of loving devotion to Christ. It looks scary. Vaguely threatening. And a little like someone dipped their finger in blood and drew it on the board.

Every time I walk by, I check the area for zombies. Because somebody has risen. And judging by the handwriting, he's pissed.

When Less is More: The Case for Teaching Less Math in Schools | Psychology Today

An interesting theory.

When Less is More: The Case for Teaching Less Math in Schools | Psychology Today

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday

Today is my last day off from the broken arm. Tomorrow I go back to work, but switch to the part time schedule. Yay! I'm so hoping this is the key to having everything else click into place. I'm so stressed out with school and work and trying to be 'present' wife and mother.

To commemorate my last Sunday, and to get back in the world after far too many days in my recliner, BW and I met M1 and her kids at the theater to see How To Train Your Dragon - totally awesome, by the way. We did lunch, went to the park, and then I took BW to a tattoo shop to have his ears pierced again.

He's been wanting to re-do them for a while, but I wanted him to have it done by someone who knew a little more about piercing than the 16 year old working at Claire's. He's thrilled with the whole experience, and he handled it really well. Even after he saw the gigantic needles they use. ;) Now, not only does he have his ears pierced again, but we can easily switch out the balls on the barbells for little skulls like he's been wanting. My sweet little monkey, he's so punk rock.

The only other interesting thing going on is that my husband and I have a bet going on right now - who can go the longest without a snarky comment or pissy attitude. We've got ten bucks riding on it, and I have to admit it's really hard. I did it because I he's been such a crab lately (more so than usual, I mean), but the funny thing is, I've caught myself biting back some scathing comment at least a handful of times. Just since last night. So, yeah, something for me to work on - as it turns out, I've been a bit of a crab lately, too.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Pinch of This, A Touch of That

I've been home for nearly a month now, between my foot surgery and broken arm. I'm getting bored.

BW's at school all day, so nothing to do there. I haven't felt good enough to really do anything but lay around and read or watch tv. And surf the web, which fills my mind with all sorts of crazy ideas.

Like what, you ask?

Well, I really, really want to live aboard a catamaran and sail around the world now. Which is kind of amusing in a few different ways: I get motion sick very, very easily - sometimes playing video games does it to me - and then there are my somewhat unnecessary but still very real fears of sharks and pirates. Unnecessary because I live in Arizona so it's sort of a waste of time as far as fears go. Real, because, well, it actually makes me a little nervous to think about sharks and pirates. Go figure.

Today MM got off work early, so we went to Jason's Deli for lunch. Since I'm trying to eat healthier and track those dadgum calories, I did not get the Plain Jane Potato. Over 2000 calories for a potato. Holy cow, y'all. I got my favorite, Jason's vegetarian vegetable soup and the salad bar. I actually feel like I get what I pay for at that salad bar. It's one of the few where I would actually pay more to buy those things and prepare a salad at home then I spend going out. A rarity when eating out, isn't it?

BW is starting tennis lessons next week. He's been wanting to do something, ANYTHING lately, and tennis interested him. It's a little less than two months of lessons, and I'm hoping he enjoys it. And it looks like we are definitely going back to home schooling this year. He is complaining more and more about school, which I find amusing because grade wise, he's doing better and better.

He's not liking all the 'just because we do it this way' rules that don't make sense, and there's been some bullying. Nothing huge, but enough that it's made an impact. We've had a lot of good conversations about it, and I hope it makes an impact on his treatment of others - you know, the now that you know how it feels, hopefully you won't ever call other people mean names impact.

Since it looks like this is most certainly what BW wants to go back to, MM and I had THE TALK. MM was totally on board when we started home schooling, but has become more and more disillusioned as we've progressed. Part of it is the 'it's not natural to be with your kids so much' mentality, which he realizes is more of a personal opinion based on his own feelings then a core belief. The rest is that he thinks we do nothing but play all day, and how can that possibly benefit our child - childhood isn't supposed to be all fun and games, by GOD. OK, he hasn't said those exact words, per se, but I can see it in his eyes that he wants to. And it amuses me to no end, because it's such a husband thing to feel. It was nice to see The New Unschooler post something very similar about her husband's feelings on this, at least I'm not alone there. :)

I'm going to tell you something today that I don't think I've talked about before. Ready?

My husband is a grouch.

It drives me crazy, I've tried like hell to change him, but it's been pointless. He's nearly always irritated about something. I swear, it's sometimes like he's the little old man in Up. Now, to be fair, he gets over his little pissy moods quickly, but he's still a grouch a good part of the time. And if he thinks other people are having too much fun, it irritates him. This the basic problem with our version of home schooling. It looks too much like fun and not enough like SCHOOLING.

Between not being able to see things being done on a daily basis (think worksheets and spelling tests and book reports and the like) and the appearance that we're doing nothing but goofing off all day long, he's not digging the home schooling. Listening to History of the World audio books is NOT the same as MEMORIZING all the IMPORTANT DATES, being TESTED on SAID DATES, and CREATING A SHOEBOX PANORAMA DEPICTING YOUR FAVORITE EUROPEAN DICTATOR, WIFE.

The fact that BW went back to school without a hitch did give me some validation for how we've spent the last two years, but MM's still thinking that it was ONLY THIRD GRADE, what about FOURTH GRADE, OR SEVENTH GRADE, OR HIGH SCHOOL. Just because it worked for THIRD grade DOES NOT MEAN it will work for the rest of his education. (That's how MM talks when he's irritated. All in CAPS.)

Anyway, today we had THE TALK. I have been recently told that I'm a little too critical, which is not entirely untrue. I began THE TALK with a little mental preparation. I asked myself the question I am using to try to become less naggy and critical - are you trying to launch a respectful, two way conversation, or are you just being a bitch? I decided I wasn't being a bitch (yay, me!), so I continued by asking what his latest thoughts were on home schooling.

He gave me the 'it's not normal for anyone to be around anyone 24 hours a day' crap. (Oooh, a little bitchy there, this is obviously a work in progress.) I gently pointed out that there's really nothing wrong with it, brought to his attention all the things BW does with people other than us, and that HE doesn't have to be around us all day since he's working, so if I'M ok with it, perhaps he could get over that hurdle. He agreed with me there, so progress was made.

Then, I asked him if he trusted me enough to home school - did he believe that education in general, and our son's education specifically, was of high importance to me? Yes, he said, he believes that. Does he trust that I wouldn't want to set my child up for failure by raising him in a way that would leave him unprepared to function in our society? Yes, he said, he trusts that I wouldn't want that. Does he think I'm smart enough, dedicated enough, passionate enough, patient enough to home school our child? Yes, he does. Well, then, can we start there, with that basic understanding and trust, and do this again? Yes, we can.

I have two goals with all of this: the first, is to be more respectful of MM's opinions, and try to incorporate things into our home schooling that are measurable to make him a little more at ease. Hello spelling tests and work sheets! Second, is that his grouchiness is more of an internal personality issue, rather than a personal reflection of me - and I really need to try to not let it irritate me. I react to his bad attitude with one of my own, and then it all gets blown out of proportion. I can change my part of that, and I'm going to work on it. Which is really all anyone can do.

Whew! I've been mentioning a little here and there about going back to home schooling, but I think today is the first day I realized that we are going to be home schoolers for real again, rather than just in spirit.

And, whew, what a long ass post. :) Feels good to get it all out of my mind and onto the blog. And as of today I can almost type like a regular person - albeit a much slower than average regular person who is in a moderate amount of pain!

Anyway, my point is, I feel like I'm home again. Things are starting to feel better, look better, my attitude is back in a happier place. I'm feeling hopeful again.

To celebrate, I think I'll price a few catamarans.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Post Easter Hangover and Chatter

Too. Much. Chocolate.

I feel like absolute crap today. I cannot resist a Reese's Peanut Butter Egg, and yesterday I had meat for the first time in about three or four weeks. The combination did NOT go over real well with my tummy. Back to eating healthier today!

I have an outline due for one of my classes today that I must finish, and I just can't get started. Part of it is the one handed typing thing. Although, you'll note, it doesn't keep me from blogging, it just triples the time it takes me to do it. :P I've already pushed back my due dates, and I really need to get motivated. For some reason, writing the outlines for papers is the hardest part for me. I hate having to come up with thesis statements. I like to just let things evolve as I type. Although, once I get the damn statements written, it's pretty easy from then on, so there is some benefit to it.

BW is over the whole brick and mortar school thing. He used to tell me he couldn't wait to get back to school, he loved it, he had so much fun, and the like. Now, he's done with it. He wants to go back to homeschooling, he isn't having fun, when will it be over, and so on.

I wouldn't mind pulling him out, but his father sure would. We told him when he decided he wanted to try it that he would need to complete the whole year, and then he could go back to home schooling if he wanted to. There's less than two months left. In the interest of not completely irritating my husband, he's just going to have to ride it out. And it's not like he's miserable - just bored. His grades are good, but he's through with the whole outside validation of getting a good grade. And he's discovered that school isn't about having fun with your friends all day. Summer cannot come soon enough.

I'm switching our dog to a raw food diet tomorrow. Why? A few reasons. My husband cheaps out on the dog food, she refuses to eat it or eats it and about gasses us out of our home, and the raw food is cheaper than the really good kibble that it kills my husband to spring for.

I found a raw dog food co-op here, so we're going to give that a go. I was able to get her food and treats for a month for just under $60. She's about 70 pounds, so that's pretty close to what we spend on dry food each month. I'm going to see how she does, and then switch the cats over if she does well. The food is already ground and frozen into ten pound bags, so it should be pretty convenient and easy to serve. I'm pretty sure she won't be complaining about the change, but, she's goofy so who knows. I hope it works out. It seems to me that raw meat is a lot closer to what a dog should be eating than god knows what kind of garbage-y meat with rice, corn and wheat fillers, so I'm hopeful.

OK, I've procrastinated enough, so on to my school stuff. Hope everyone's Easter was made of wonderful!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Increasing Number Of Parents Opting To Have Children School-Homed | The Onion - America's Finest News Source

This was posted on The Expanding Life's blog, and I just had to post it here. Hilarious!!!!


Increasing Number Of Parents Opting To Have Children School-Homed | The Onion - America's Finest News Source

WASHINGTON—According to a report released Monday by the U.S. Department of Education, an increasing number of American parents are choosing to have their children raised at school rather than at home.

Deputy Education Secretary Anthony W. Miller said that many parents who school-home find U.S. households to be frightening, overwhelming environments for their children, and feel that they are just not conducive to producing well-rounded members of society.

Thousands of mothers and fathers polled in the study also believe that those running American homes cannot be trusted to keep their kids safe.

"Every year more parents are finding that their homes are not equipped to instill the right values in their children," Miller said. "When it comes to important life skills such as proper nutrition, safe sex, and even basic socialization, a growing number of mothers and fathers think it's better to rely on educators to guide and nurture their kids."

"And really, who can blame them?" Miller continued. "American homes have let down our nation's youth time and again in almost every imaginable respect."

According to the report, children raised at home were less likely to receive individual adult attention, and were often subjected to ineffective and wildly inconsistent disciplinary measures. The study also found that many parents expressed concerns that, when at home, their children were being teased and bullied by those older than themselves.

In addition to providing better supervision and overall direction, school-homing has become popular among mothers and fathers who just want to be less involved in the day-to-day lives of their children.

"Parents are finding creative ways to make this increasingly common child-rearing track work," Miller said. "Whether it's over-relying on after-school programs and extracurricular activities, or simply gross neglect,† school-homing is becoming a widely accepted method of bringing children up."

Despite the trend's growing popularity, Miller said that school programs are often jeopardized or terminated because shortsighted individuals vote against tax increases intended to boost educational spending.

"The terrifying reality we're facing is that the worst-equipped people you could possibly imagine may actually be forced to take care of their children," Miller said.

Parents who have decided to school-home their children have echoed many of Miller's concerns. Most said that an alarming number of legal guardians such as themselves lack the most basic common sense required to give children the type of instruction they need during crucial developmental years.

"It's really a matter of who has more experience in dealing with my child," Cincinnati- resident Kevin Dufrense said of his decision to have his 10-year-old son Jake, who suffers from ADHD and dyslexia, school-homed. "These teachers are dealing with upwards of 40 students in their classrooms at a time, so obviously they know a lot more about children than someone like me, who only has one son and doesn't know where he is half the time anyway."

"Simply put, it's not the job of parents to raise these kids," Dufrense added.

Though school-homing has proven to be an ideal solution for millions of uninvolved parents, increasingly overburdened public schools have recently led to a steady upswing in the number of students being prison-homed.

The Upside of Earning Less

I finally qualify for a Pell Grant!!! I did my FAFSA for the '10/'11 school year, and lo and behold, earning less has finally paid off. I also took time to apply for some scholarships, so maybe that'll result in some money, as well. It'd be nice.

I'm also trying to get back into the mindset of finding free things for us to do for entertainment and education. Home schoolers are notoriously good at finding free and cheap resources, but, I'm out of practice. We live in such a big area, there are all sorts of opportunities. I just haven't taken advantage of it since I've been spending so damn much time at work and school. Since BW will be off in a few short months, I'm trying to find fun things for us to do. Things that don't involve being outside when it's 42,000 degrees out.

A quick update for y'all on my arm, because I know you're DYING to know about it. It's still broke. (Are you surprised?) Still hurts like a sonofamonkey, but it's improving. I'm in the sling/splint only as needed. I'm bruised from head to toe. I'm off work for another few days, maybe another week, depending on how I feel and when I can type with both hands without crying. But the pain is decreasing, so I expect that to be soon.

In the meantime, I'll continue to watch 16 and Pregnant on MTV .

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Canadian Health Care

So, Canadian friend(s?), tell us about your health care system. Right now, many Americans are freaking out, saying that the waiting list to get care in Canada is months. Basically, Canadians are dying of cancer waiting for an appointment for treatment, all because of how "horrible" your health care system is.

I'm curious. Please, weigh in. Give me a first person account. How does your socialized (or, according to my fellow countrymen, ran by communists and/or the devil) system work?

I'm trying to be better prepared for when we immigrate.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Not Back to Work Day

So my job rejected my bid to go back to work today. I can't go back until I'm fully functional with the left arm.

Son of a bitch.

Thank goodness for short term disability. Even though the forms all say I'm applying for STD, and I'm not sure I want that. And since when is there an application process for that? As if you'll be declined.

So I guess I'll relax, watch my head to toe bruises turn yellow, and watch some more Nitro Circus. Staring at Travis Pastrana helps the healing process.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Back to the Basics

Have I mentioned that we're staying in our apartment for another year? I'm sure I have. Anyway, rather than being disappointed about all the things I CAN'T do, I'm figuring to ways to get back the things that I enjoyed and that were important to me.

Recycling: I'm sad to say that I've quit completely. Laziness, lack of space, lack of time, lack of energy, lack of spousal support - all have gotten to me, and I've just quit. I'm going to start up again, and my lovely friend Cathe has made it easier for me by allowing me to just bring it to her house and dump it in her city bin. I won't even have to sort. I'm starting back up again immediately.

Gardening: I have little room for it. The only good place is the balcony the cats have currently taken over. So, we decided to do raised beds over at my mom's house. She's excited about it, willing to foot the bill for half, and I've been doing the research on getting started here in the desert for the last few months. We're finally about ready to go. Well, we have the stuff, anyway. I'm out of commission, so I'll just be directing which is really more up my alley, so hey, it's win win.

Home schooling: BW is convinced he wants to go back to it. MM's less than thrilled, but I'm all for it. I'm switching to part time next month and I'll only go in three days a week, so we're going to try it again. BW will finish out the school year, and then we'll go back to some sort of year round version of education at home. This time around I'll focus a bit more on the basic, measurable things like math and spelling so MM will be more comfortable with it. Last time we did some, but I mostly believe in the learn it when you need it theory. It seemed to work, BW went back to school with out any issues, but I do get that theory is not within MM's comfort zone, so I'll try to do home education in a way that's good for all of us.

Even though BW's still in school, I've signed him up for park membership and he'll start a few fun classes next month. We're looking at three. One is archeology for kids - a one day workshop; one is ceramics - a one day a week month long program; and third is tennis, a one day a week six week program. The ceramics one is a little far from our house, so we may skip that it. I think between things like that and joining up with our local hs community, we'll be able to meet his social/entertainment needs. I'm looking forward to starting up again.

In addition to this, I'm attempting to not buy anything new until the end of the year. Used, yes, new no. At least for myself. MM and BW are exempt. I am bending the rule at socks and underwear. We'll see how this goes, but, I figure between the lowered income of working part-time, the desire to get rid of the clutter, and just trying to back off on all the STUFF I own, this should help.

So, that's all that's new. And now that it's taken me forever to type this one-handed, I bid you all farewell.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Update

Good Afternoon!

I went to the doc yesterday and was told the bone had a minor fracture. It doesn't even warrant a cast. I can't even break my arm effectively nowadays, sheesh!

I g0t a half cast and a sling and instructions not to move it much. I was told to stay home from work for another seven days, but I just can't. I'm too bored. And my husband is freaking out that I'm home so much. And in today's world, it's a little scary to miss so much work. So I'll go back for half days starting Monday and take it from there. I go back for follow up next week, and will get to ditch the sling and half cast and start moving it more again.

So, that's it for now. Next, I'm sure my gas pedal will stick on my Prius, and I'll be unable to stop the car while driving it one-handed. It's the next logical step in my accident prone life.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Klutz

I'm wounded again, can you believe it?!

Two weeks from the day of my surgery, I was walking down our stairs and I missed one - the third one from the bottom. I face-planted into the concrete and broke my arm. I wish I had it on video, because I imagine it was spectacular.

This happened just one day after returning to work from the foot surgery.

Son of a bitch.

I can barely type, and I'm in a Vicodin induced fog so please excuse any typos and misspellings. I'll keep y'all updated with my recovery.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

My Texas Peeps

We have three sets of people in, or coming in, this week from Texas. I'm so excited!

First, is my cousin. Here for some training, and was totally unexpected - he called when he got here, we had no idea he was coming. Yes, I understand that no idea he was coming IS actually the definition of unexpected. Sorry - I have a bad habit of overexplaining things. Bygones.

I haven't seen him for years. We had a nice lunch with him yesterday, and him and MM are going to be spending some quality time together this week. Which is nice. MM has met him several times, but they've never really spent time together. They're gonna go do guy things, which apparently involves off-track betting, scary movies and video games. Not strip clubs, because they both subscribe to the 'that's what the internet is for, and that's free' theory.

Second, is our family friend/extended family member, J. He's moving back in with us. He had moved from Arizona to Texas to stay with us, but he stayed when we left. He didn't really have any attachment to West Texas other than us. He's estranged from the remaining family that he had back east, so he's adopted us. Or we've adopted him. Something. Anyway, he's going to be in tonight, and we fully expect to have him with us until he dies. Or we have to check him into a home. For the long haul, basically.

He's great with BW, he helps out where he can, and we all seem to get along pretty well. Of course, ask me that after our lease is up - after a year in an apartment. We have decidedly less space than we did in Texas. We're going into this knowing that there will be a bigger space in our future, so we'll do our best to not annoy each other in the meantime.

Third, and with no offense intended to first and second, are my personal favorites, M2 and her family. I really need to find better nicknames for people, I know. They are here for the week, and BW and I are sooooooo excited. MM, not so much. M2 and the fam are more BW's and my people, rather than his. Which is fine, because we don't have to share them. Unfortunately, I am still working with limited mobility, so most of our visit will involve my ass and a chair. Which sounds so wrong on so very many levels, but I'm sticking with it anyway.

I can't wait for them to get here. It's too bad I won't be mobile enough to do much more than a meal out and a lot of sitting around with my foot elevated, but I'm still going to love the visit.

Now, if I can only I can talk them into moving here.....

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Good Morning!

I've been away so long! I'm not even keeping up with my friends' blogs anymore, it's terrible.

My bloggy friend updated me with her new place, so I thought I'd repay her by returning from the land of the lost. You're welcome, Sheri. ;)

So. What's new . . . . In no particular order:

I'm switching to part-time in April. MM's working somewhat (cough) steadily - it's construction-ish, so you know how that is - and we're taking the plunge so I can be home more with BW. We're hoping the money he makes in the good times will get us through the not so good ones. We'll see. I'm excited, but nervous. As usual. You know, worried that this is the wrong choice, but really wanting to be home more. I'll be working three days a week. There's a possibility of maybe working from home those days, too, which would be lovely.

While I'm worried about being able to afford it, my hubby is doing his best to let me know that this is the right decision. For instance:

BW comes home from school wearing nothing but shorts and a short sleeved shirt. When we had a high 50 degrees and rain all day. I, having had surgery that morning, (more on that next) was not there to see him off to school. When I question this clothing choice to MM, his response is "Well, I told him it was going to be cold today!". Oh, well, as long as you TRIED to prevent him from freezing, it's all good. It's a good thing we don't live in Alaska.

WTF? MM tries, he really does, but basics like clothing and regular meals escape him. He does the same type of thing for dinner.

BW: I'm hungry. I didn't eat dinner and now I'm STARVING.
MM: I asked him if he wanted anything, and he said no.
Me: But he didn't eat anything but snacky stuff and now it's 9:30 and I'm trying to put him in bed, and he's starving.
MM: But he said he wasn't hungry when I asked. I ASKED!!
Me: Arghhhh!!!!

So, me getting home at 9:30 at night is just not working. My new schedule will have me home by 7:30, still able to take BW to school every morning, and home two of five school days. I'm not sure if we'll be able to get back to homeschooling next year with this schedule, but I'm determined to try. We're going to see how the summer goes and decide from there. Cross your fingers. BW wants it, I want it, we'll just have to see if it'll work out.

Now for the surgery. Did I mention I'm growing pearls in my feet? I think I talked about this foot surgery before - I had it last August. I had that splintery thing in my foot. No one could figure out what it was. It turned out to be some sort of calcium deposit in my heel. Oddly enough, it came back, in a slightly different area, bigger and ouchier than last time. I had the surgery again to have it removed yesterday. This time, I'll follow up with an appointment with a podiatrist and hopefully they can tell me what the hell it is and how to prevent it, because this is starting to suck.

This time, I'm taking time off work to care for it. Last time, I rushed back to work, didn't use the crutches or keep it elevated like I was supposed to, and walked around way too much way too soon. I don't know that that had anything to do with it coming back, but I'm not risking it this time. Luckily at work they're being very supportive. Of course, I'm sure they'll be somewhat less so if I miss work for this again, so my foot better cooperate. This is becoming inconvenient.

So, other than that, nothing new going on. I'm still trying to finish my semester of school - only about a month left. I'm still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. We're still trying to figure out what we're going to do house-wise. We did decide to stay in the apartment another year or so, we'll have to see how the money thing play out for us with me working p/t.
I'm going to start a garden at my mom's place to make myself feel better about it.

We're all just sort of hunkering down to see what happens next. Which is always kind of exciting around here.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Plague

I've got the plague. The sneezing, the drainage, the drippiness, the weak, ineffectual cough, the tired muscles. And I really, really don't want to go to work today.

But I'm supposed to get my annual review today, and I can hardly resist a whole hour of my boss telling me how wonderful I am. I love feeling validated, what can I say?

Actually, I don't know that the review will be wonderful, but I think it will. I jokingly asked him if my review was at least decent, and his reply was that it was better than decent. I think I can live with that. Especially when there's a raise involved. Raises are good. Especially in today's world.

OK, off to lie around and rest before dragging my ass off to work. Hopefully I'll make it through the day.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Netflix Has Been Smoking Dope

I logged into Netflix today, checking out the recommended documentaries, since I've been on a docu-roll lately.

The first suggested . . .

Flow: For Love of Water (2008) - From both local and global perspectives, this documentary examines the harsh realities behind the mounting water crisis. Learn how politics, pollution and human rights are intertwined in this important issue that affects every being on Earth. With water drying up around the world and the future of human lives at stake, the film urges a call to arms before more of our most precious natural resource evaporates.

Why is This Recommended?

(Yes, Netflix, do tell.)

Harold and Maude
4.0 Stars

Apparently, because I gave Harold and Maude four stars.

Also recommended were Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, and Born Into Brothels.

I can only conclude that Netflix is stoned again. However, if anyone sees some connection I'm missing, please, for the love of Pete, share it with me.