Monday, January 28, 2008


Well, the big news which I'm sure everyone is waiting to here is that BlobbyBerm is doing just fine! S/he is growing right on schedule, measuring at 7w3d, and has the sweetest little fluttering heartbeat that you've ever seen. The official due date is September 12th, just in time for the Fall Quarter. :) Blobby's classes will include breathing, eating, cooing, and pooping... straight A's, I'm sure.

But in the here and now Cameron learned the schwa sound in Phonics, did the first half of the very last Review Exercise in his math book, and dictated a Story About Me for Grammar. After I wrote his story down, we went through and identified the personal pronoun I, the proper nouns, and the action verbs. He really enjoyed most of it, but at one point just said, "I'm done doing this," and sat back in his chair. I said, "No, you're not," and we finished. LOL. I wish all conflicts were that simple. ;)

Unfortunately, I don't have time to ramble. We are leaving to go out of town early tomorrow morning and I am supposed to be packing. I just wanted to make sure that you all got the news about Blobby's sweet little heartbeat. :)

P.S. Maria, Meesh... I may be free for a playdate sometime during the week. It depends on MIL's plans for us and Greyson's cough. I'll try to call you.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Week is over!

Phew! We made it through the week! It's amazing! LOL.

Yesterday we had a busy, busy day. We started with ballet. Oh wait, rather, we started with everyone getting sick on Tuesday/Wednesday and me wondering if anyone was going to be well enough for our big day. Luckily, they were human so we started with ballet where Cameron got a really nice compliment. He had been rambling on about his ideas on the invention of the toilet and the ideal building materials for it, lol. And then he was reading an Inside Your Body Book and was really getting into it and talking about it with me and coming to all sorts of wonderful revelations about how things work and why. Anyway, this lady asked me if he was homeschooled. (Probably because he kept asking me if we could do his schoolwork as soon as we got home. I'm sure this looked very ambitious and scholarly, lol, but of course we all know he just wants to play video games afterward!) When I said that he was, she said that he was one of the brightest young men she'd ever seen. Well, gosh, thanks!

Later was the 4-H Cooking Project that I lead for the little kids (3 - 8). I *so* did not want to do it, lol, but a commitment is a commitment. I felt like the whole thing was a disaster. I was under-prepared, disorganized, and easily frazzled. Shocker, huh? ;) BUT apparently it was a success! The oldest girl even came up to me afterward and told me what a good time she had today. I was pretty shocked because she kept asking to do things like add the milk or stir the soup and I kept asking her to let the littler kids have a turn first. I thought she would be upset, but she truly loved helping them and didn't mind going last at all! Yeah her! I also must give credit to MomS and her guitar. That woman could tame any wild banshee. And finally Greyson probably owes his life to MomL who designated herself my second pair of hands. She is one of those inhumanely patient and practically perfect in every way AP moms, and I'm telling you she was indispensable to me! She was the one who would remember to remind the kids not to touch the moving parts of the can opener and to watch out for the step stool. She held the bread for me while I helped Cassia butter it while holding Greyson on my hip, lol. Now normally, perfection annoys me but yesterday I could not have appreciated it more! After all that, I decided that we'd just call that school for the day. ;)

Today, Friday, it was pouring rain all day. I was very thankful that we didn't have anywhere to be. So we just stayed home and did laundry for the most part. Cameron did Phonics, Math, Grammar, and Spelling. Nothing too exciting there except that he did an excellent job on it all. Also of note is that he asked when we could do Science. Whoops! I guess it's been too long. I did try to get some science in by watching an old episode of Carl Sagan's Cosmos. I loved it! It was just as good as I remember it. The kids were not so enthralled. Oh well, I tried.

And now dinner is ready so I have to go. Forgive my lack of proofreading.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I'm alive, I swear!

Hello everyone! Nothing too exciting going on here. Well, Greyson has been doing some cooking...
...yes that is dog food in the pots. And yes those are steak knives in the background. But other than that, nothing too exciting.

I did get my blood results in and they look great. In fact, they're really, really high. So high in fact, that people are starting to tease me about twins. LOL, yeah, that would be funny. Imagine what my kitchen would look like with three little chefs!

School today was Phonics (intro to 2-syllable words), Grammar/Language (learning the months of autumn), and Math (the last exercise in the 2A workbook). Again, nothing too exciting. We took the holiday yesterday. DH was home so they all basically just played video games all day. *roll eyes* We were going to do gymnastics today but C&C suddenly came down with a cold so I had to cancel.

And that's the news from Bermland. Sorry it's not too exciting. :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Christmas in January

A big box arrived on our front porch today. It was from Grandma C and Grandpa G - you know, the ones we were supposed to visit the week before Christmas and then rescheduled for the week of New Years and then rescheduled for February. Well, I guess they got tired of holding our Christmas presents for us and mailed all 33 pounds of them to us!! (Can you imagine how much that cost to ship???) So it was Christmas all over again. Cassia got a music/jewelry box with a spinning ballerina inside. She's just been staring at that little dancer for hours. She also got a set of clingy Princess paper dolls. (Clingy as in plastic clothes that hold on to the doll by static cling. Not clingy as in those Disney Princesses really need to find some self worth beyond their respective Princes.) Greyson got a remote control car (very cool!) and some foam lift-the-flap books. (Also very cool. I'd never seen those before.) I got a new super soft robe, some puzzle books (cryptogram and suduko), and this amazing looking cookbook published in 1924. I love old cookbooks. Cameron got this.

So my incentive for school today was, "You can build it as soon as your schoolwork is done!" We did Phonics (a review on all the r-changed vowels) and Grammar (learned the summer months and their abbreviations) and Math (reviewing division by 2s and 3s). Then we did, get ready for it... History! For the first time in about two weeks, we did history. Unfortunately, Cameron didn't want to do the coloring page that went with the reading and Cassia didn't want to do anything! (She was too busy playing Princesses. They were all sleeping in the drawers of her jewelry box, lol!) But we did the reading and Cameron, grudgingly, did the mapwork. Tomorrow, I have high hopes of finally wrapping our chicken mummies. That will count as History and Science.

We also started our day with a bike ride. We had to run over to the pediatrician's office to pick something up so we just decided to ride bikes/push strollers. Aside from Cassia's training wheel falling off and Cameron having some chain & gear issues that were beyond my comprehension, we had a great time. I think a morning bike ride might be a great tradition to start on those mornings when the temperature is above 60. Now I just hope that the weather holds up until Friday. I want to go to the park!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Meet BlobbyBerm

I am so sorry if I worried anyone. I've just been crazy busy. Everything is fine. We got BlobbyBerm's first portrait yesterday. Can't see much - ok, can't see anything, lol - but everything looks good. Blobby is measuring a little big, 5wk6d instead of 5wk2d, but looks fat, round, and healthy. I got my first round of bloodwork yesterday too and go back again Thursday and Monday. They said they can't give me any results on the numbers until Friday. I go back in two weeks for another u/s. Hopefully we will see a heartbeat then. It was just too early this time. The only downside is that I was prepared to tell the kids as long as this appointment went well but DH said that he doesn't want to until we hear a heartbeat. Argh! I don't know if I can keep it from them for two weeks!

I also took Greyson in for his bloodwork yesterday. He was not thrilled. Thankfully my less than militant approach to Chinese toy recalls has not had any adverse affect on his lead levels. I was actually a little worried about that, lol. They said something about his blood cells being a little small though which indicates that he may be on the verge of an iron deficiency. She said it was nothing to worry about though, just to push meat, eggs, peanut butter, and green leafy veggies. Again, it's probably due to his digestion problems that took me way too long to pick up on. Bad mommy!

On the school front, we did the bare minimum yesterday (Phonics, Spelling, Grammar, and Math) in between appointments. Today was the monthly 4-H meeting so that and grocery shopping pretty much took up the entire day. Well, as much as the day as I was willing to participate in! LOL! A really cute thing did happen at 4-H though. It was presentation day so this adorable little girl was playing a dulcimer as her presentation. She started out by saying that it was from the Smokey Mountains. When it was Q&A time, Cassia asked, "Is Smokey Mountain a song or a volcano?" LOL. The little girl handled the question with grace though and explained that it was actually a National Park on the edge of Tennessee.

So that's the news. I feel good. That wave of nausea seems to have only lasted about a day. The exhaustion only hits in the late afternoon now, so that's helpful. Now I just need to not think about those HCG levels since they're not going to tell me anything about them until Friday at the earliest. Gotta love modern technology. *roll eyes*

Oh, and Greyson has mastered a new skill: doorknobs! The babyproofing must now expand to ALL rooms! Eeek!

Friday, January 11, 2008

The House is CLEAN!

It's amazing! I had a huge burst of energy today and decided to clean the entire house! Woo Hoo! Although I was slightly concerned with the sudden lack of exhaustion that is generally my number one pregnancy symptom in the first trimester, I am suddenly nauseated by absolutely everything in this kitchen so I guess it's all good. But Cheez-Its, my friends, are disgusting. (OK, technically, Trader Joe's Cheddar Cheese Squares, but the same idea.) I bought them specifically for between meal munching and they taste like sour milk to me. Wahhh. I am so sad. I will try again in a day or two. Hopefully it's just a temporary aversion. But there's the baby news so far. My first appointment is Monday. Did I mention that? I am very excited. Can't wait. Cross your fingers that my little 5wk 3day bean will be visible (and healthy!) then.

Other amazing news is that even after sprucing up the entire house and putting away the mountain of toys that resulted from that spruce up, we still did school! The usual (for this week) Phonics, Grammar, and Math. Nothing too exciting, but I'm just thrilled that we actually did school 4 out of 5 days this week - if I'm remembering correctly - even though I pretty much wanted to pass the time on the couch watching DOOL and eating bon bons. I'll probably do that tonight though. ;)

And finally, our "No Solicitors" sign was breached again tonight. But this time it was a Girl Scout bearing a cookie order form so I was more than happy to oblige. In fact, the sweet girl didn't want to ring our bell because of the sign but her mother talked her into it. She's one of the few neighbors we actually know and we ordered from her last year too, so she was correct in assuming that I wouldn't mind. I was a good girl and only ordered six boxes - about a third of what I really wanted to, lol. DH usually ends up buying some too. And we still never have enough. Suddenly I'm thinking that I should've ordered more than two boxes of thin mints though. Those would have tasted so good fresh out of the freezer this summer. (As if they would last that long!) Mmmmm. I guess I'd better go make some mint tea because that's the closest thing I have to thin mints around here. ;)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

No Soliciting!!!

We have a very clear "No Solicitors" sign hanging right above our doorbell. So tonight, about a half an hour after answering a phone call that started "We have some cash that we'd love to give you!" - if only that were true, someone knocked softly on our door. It was dark, our porch was dark, car in the garage, the "No Solicitors" sign firmly in place where it belongs, so I figured our dog must've gotten out or the neighbor was letting us know he was going out of town or something. Nope, it's a guy with a clipboard. I immediately say, "Didn't you notice our 'No Solicitors' sign?" to which he responds, "Oh, I'm not selling anything!" Oh really? "I'm just in the neighborhood talking to all of your neighbors about new windows! We're doing free in-" I cut in, "That would be soliciting. Go away!" And slam and lock the door in his face. I hate people like that. I should print out a page with the definition of solicitation on it to hand to these assholes who interrupt my dinner-making with their stupid "free" offers. Pardon my language. Hormones. (I've got 8 months left to use that excuse and I'm going to get all I can out of it!)

But aside from that, we've had a busy day! We started off the day with a check-up for Greyson. Finally, 8 months after switching insurances, lol, I found the kids a pediatrician. He checked out ok, though a little lower on the height-weight charts than he used to be. I don't think I ever blogged about this but I finally put two and two together and came up with a lactose intolerance!! Ahhhh!!! My dairy loving family has a baby who cannot tolerate milk or cheese!! Wah! Anyway, since it took me a good 9 months to figure that one out, he hasn't been growing quite as well as he had been. Kind of hard when you're not digesting much of anything. Anyway, he's been off all dairy for about two weeks and things are looking much better. I mentioned it to the doctor and she didn't seem concerned. Her sage advice was "if he reacts to it, avoid it." Simple enough, I suppose. Luckily I've just found out that he loves soy yogurt and cheese so now I don't feel like I'm depriving him anymore. Those were two of his favorite foods and now can be again.

Now for the bad news. Have I mentioned the insanely horrible diaper rash that he had a couple months ago? It was a nasty yeast and staph combination that got him put on Rx diaper cream and a mighty potent antibiotic. Well, it's been coming and going and now Cassia has it too. The little buggers spread in the wash. Grrrr. But it wasn't the yeasty beasties like I thought (and was treating with an antifungal). Oh no, it was the Staph Monster. So now we have a topical antibiotic for that and orders to come back if it's not gone by Monday. The thing that worries me is Cassia having staph. That is the thing that put her into the hospital, two years ago this week incidentally, with a bone infection. The fact that those little buggers hung onto the one diaper she wears a day (at night) and infected her makes me really nervous. The last time she had staph, it was a week in the hospital on iv antibiotics and then another three weeks on them at home. Ugh, don't want to go through that again. But that was accompanied by a crazy fever too and no one has has the slightest raise in temp. *Knock on wood.* OK, enough of that.

Here's some good news: we actually did school today!! Again, it was only Phonics, Grammar, and Math but Cameron did exceptionally well with them. He's also taken it upon himself to start learning cursive. Whenever there is writing to do in Grammar, we take it to the white board and the last couple times he has asked me to write the things in both printing and cursive. The first time he tried to copy the cursive, it was almost totally illegible, but today it was fabulous. Anyone could have walked up and read his writing. He's all proud too because I told him that he's not supposed to learn that until second grade, lol. He also played several rounds of TimezAttack, focusing on his 2s and 3s. He keeps starting new games so he won't have to move on to harder ones, lol. But that's ok. I don't want him forgetting the stuff that's actually in his math book right now!

Yesterday we didn't do any official schoolwork but we did go to the dentist. That's an oral hygiene lesson, right? Later, I read If You Give a Moose a Muffin to Cassia and then we did a word search about it. That was actually an incredibly educationally relevant thing for her to do because she was really working to match up the lower case letters in the list and the upper case letters in the puzzle. I love when you just do something for fun and it turns out to be totally appropriate, lol. We also read a recipe for Moose's Corn Muffins. It's a great little book we have. It's called Mouse Cookies & More and it's pretty much a book of unit studies on those books! There are puzzles and recipes and songs and even a cd. My dad always gives the greatest books for gifts. :)

I've felt a lot better yesterday and today. I was actually able to force myself to do a Prenatal Yoga workout last night and for the first time in a week, I had NO headache today. Yeah! I also had a lot of energy - at least enough to get us through all our errands, fold the laundry that's been piling up for days, make dinner, and actually do the dinner dishes! I do have a backache though so I think I may have overdone it a bit. Speaking of which, I think I've overdone this blog entry a bit too so I will say goodbye for now.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Still here, I swear!

There just hasn't been anything interesting going on lately. I am so tired and so incredibly COLD all the time that I just haven't really had much motivation to do anything much. That and this headache that will NOT go away. We've done Phonics, Grammar, and Math yesterday and today but that's been it.

Tomorrow we all have dentist appointments at the crack of dawn. Oh joy. I'm really looking forward to having everyone dressed and out the door by 8ish when today Greyson and I slept in until 9:00! NOT! I totally feel like I'm coming down with something, but I'm probably not. I will just probably continue to be miserable for another 8 weeks or so. At least, I hope I will be. Sort of. In a way, lol. You know what I mean! Anyway, I'm hoping to get to the library after our appointments. That will probably do me in for the day, lol. Oh darn, I just remembered that we're out of milk so I guess we'll be hitting up the grocery store too.

So there is my exciting update. Aren't you glad that I bothered posting this? LOL.

Friday, January 04, 2008

School called on account of Rain

If public schools can have Snow Days, then I can take a Rain Day, right? I woke up to a windy and stormy day and it just looked like the kind of day where you just cuddle up on the couch and watch movies and drink hot chocolate... so we did! If it was nice, we would've gone to the park anyway so it's not like we missed anything really. I did make sure to read them another African folktale for bedtime to make up for it. This one was called Too Much Talk. It was pretty funny. The kids especially liked the "Aiyee!!" parts. LOL. So far, Africa wins on best folk tales. We read some Miwok ones last year and while I really enjoyed them, they didn't have that fun catchy humor that the African ones have.

Other than that, we watched Harry Potter 1 and played a little Pokemon and then I played a little Wii. Cameron had lost his Wii time for the day (not because we didn't do school, just because of something that happened yesterday) so that freed the system up for me to use for a change! There is a Wii fitness test on it, lol... my Wii player age is 47! I think I need to practice a bit more!

We also didn't do our chores today, but the laundry got finished (finally!) and the house doesn't actually look too bad. But I must admit that the couch cushions are in disarray and there's a baby in the middle of the dining room floor. LOL. OK, I must go. I have been at this computer way too long today. But that reminds me, does anyone have any advice on DIY sunroom additions? We're very seriously considering one. DH wants to do a kit rather than hire a contractor, of course. I'm ok with that as long as we know all the "don't"s before we do them!

(Rereading this I am thinking that I should save it as a future example of how NOT to write a well-structured and flowing paragraph. ;) But, thankfully, I'm pretty confident that you guys don't read for literary genius.)

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Chore chart still works!

Two days in a row and the chore chart is still working!! WooHoo!! Of course, the kids are doing about a million times better with theirs than I am with mine. I think I figured out my problem though... I don't have TIME to do chores when I'm helping the kids with all their stuff. I get all my morning and evening ones done, but two days in a row now, the only afternoon chore I've done is to check on the laundry (and that's just check on, not finish out the load, lol) and I guess I've planned dinner. But the last chore that the kids do in the morning is "start schoolwork" and that's usually at about 11:30 and takes us until about 1:00 or 1:30, depending. Then we have lunch, if we didn't have it during school, and after that we usually have some errand to run. Then I help the kids with their afternoon chores and after all that, I'm just done. Nap time.

Today, for example, after we finished schoolwork we went to the library and then had one of our infamous grocery store trips. Do your kids ever get that crazy, over-tired, super-hyper thing around dinnertime or before bedtime? Well, Cameron and Cassia had it BAD at the store. Any attempt to calm them down just resulted in them dissolving into a pool of laughter - usually in the middle of the aisle. So by the time we get home, I'm just livid (hormones already - oh, joy) and I've had this raging headache all day (again, hormones) and they just want to watch a movie. No way, José! I tell them that if they do all their afternoon chores then I will think about it. They were STILL crazy while doing their chores, but they did them. So then I turn on a movie for them (Princess Stories II from the library, lol), put Greyson down for a nap, and go fall asleep until 5:00. Then it's time to start dinner and my day is gone. Where did it go? Part of me wants to feel guilty for the nap but I'm not exactly productive when I'm yelling at everyone because I'm tired and head-achey.

Anyway, my point - and I did have one - is that I think I need to revamp my schedule a bit. Obviously, the afternoon is not a good time for me to schedule the bulk of my cleaning. Or maybe I just need to schedule a nap in there too so that I know that once I get X done I can go take my nap. Of course naps all depend on Grey and scheduling him doesn't work very well, lol. He didn't fall asleep today until after 3:00 and he usually naps around 12 or 1. The good news though is that my house is immensely cleaner. Just having both kids responsible in a check-it-off-the-list way has really made a difference in the toy debris around here. And we have clean windows! Cameron loves that chore. And Cassia even made her bed this morning!! She is always going on about how she is "too little" or "not old enough" to do it by herself, but the little dry erase dot on her chart sure is a big motivator!

So that is my brain dump for the day. But what is this blog supposed to be about? Oh yeah, homeschooling! Yeah, we did that too. Cameron did a short phonics lesson (on words like work, word, and worm), the entire week's worth of stuff on Spelling Time, one exercise in math on dividing by two, and one grammar/language lesson on memorizing the months of the year in order. Cassia didn't do anything today. She didn't even participate in the grammar recitations which she usually loves to do. We didn't do any history or science today either, but last night we read several African folk tales before bed. Their favorite one was Zomo the Rabbit. We read that one twice and Cameron even said, "When we're all done with History, we can even read this one for fun!"

OK, off to do my night time chores and hopefully have enough time leftover for yoga... or maybe just sleep. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Right on Schedule!

Well, maybe not right *on* schedule but we're getting there. I printed, "laminated" in page protectors, passed out, and hung up our new Chore Charts today. The kids have had a great time doing their little chores to be able to put a check mark in the right spot. Theirs say:

  • Get dressed
  • Make bed
  • Brush teeth
  • Do one other chore
  • Do schoolwork

  • Pick up toys
  • Pick up dishes & laundry around the house
  • Fix couch cushions
  • Do one other chore

  • Pick up dinner dishes/clear table
  • Pick up toys
  • Brush teeth

  • Change sheets
  • Straighten bedroom

And the "one other chore"s that they can choose from are things like wiping down cabinets, cleaning doorknobs, dusting the blinds... all the little stuff that they can easily do but just never gets done around here.

My schedule is rather FlyLadyish... and I'm not doing as well as they are as keeping up on it, lol. I'm going to blame that on the fact that I've had to walk them through theirs. But anyway, here it is:

  • Get showered, dressed & ready for the day
  • Make bed (I am so bad at that, lol)
  • Shine master bathroom
  • Start a load of laundry
  • Shine kitchen

  • Clean a "Hot Spot"
  • Check laundry
  • Clean in one room (for about 15 minutes)
  • Plan dinner

  • Clean & sweep kitchen
  • Clean a "Hot Spot"
  • Shine kids' bathroom
  • Find some "me" time

  • Change sheets
  • Vacuum

We all got through our morning chores all right (though I don't know that I ever actually got the kitchen "shiny" lol) but it's already 4:30 and no one has started on their afternoon chores yet. That is mostly due to the fact that we didn't get school started until 12:30 or 1:00 and then we went to the store and have only been home about a half hour or so, but still...

School was the usual - one phonics lesson, one math practice page (the last one before we start the "division by 2's and 3's" chapter), two pages of spelling, and one grammar lesson (Aesop fable of the Crow and the Pitcher) for Cameron and one more line of the Consonant Rhyme and a couple pages of Go for the Code for Cassia.

OK, we have to get some of these "afternoon" chores done before the sun sets and it looks like I'm running out of time. ;) Thanks for all the well wishes in the last post, everyone. :) It means a lot to me.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!!

I hope 2008 is a prosperous and happy year for everyone. My New Year's Resolution is to start some chore charts around the house. I have such horrible follow-through with such things. I'm hoping that will give us all some accountability and pride in our housework and other duties.

Santa has left me a nice little gift this year. Take a closer look at this page to find out what it is. ;)

Back to our regularly scheduled school year tomorrow. I hope. LOL. All other attempts at getting things started during these holiday weeks have failed miserably. But now that the tree is down, DH is going back to work, and there are no more distractions in the near future, we should be able to get back into our routine. Our new routine plus chore charts, that is!

Happy New Year to all!