Friday, July 25, 2008

Still Here!

I'm still here, just not doing much.

Wednesday we had a good school day. Cassia read extremely well in her phonics and Cameron learned about homonyms, homographs, and homophones in his. He really enjoyed the detective work of that and spent all day thinking up new ones. Grammar was reviewing abbreviations. Math was more of the same: adding for Cassia and subtracting money for Cameron. For history I read about early Rome from our history encyclopedias and then we watched the What the Ancients Knew episode on Rome. That was a really good one. Cameron was suitable impressed with all they did and was duly inspired to spend the rest of the day making Roman shields and weapons out of paper, cardboard, strapping tape, and aluminum foil. In fact, he spent the entire next day doing that too.

Thursday we didn't do any official schoolwork as I was feeling kind of under the weather but C&C spent a lot of time playing on Starfall. That site just never gets old. There was also the usual assortment of Magic Schoolbus, Zoboomafoo, and other educational type tv show (like Food Network Challenge, lol).

It's been pretty low key around here. I did have an OB appointment Wednesday morning and found out the reason I'm so stinkin' tired all the time: anemic. I should've known. I was anemic with Cameron too but I didn't even think of that this time. I thought it was just a byproduct of being on number four! I also found out that the little bugger is the wrong way around in there. His head is up by my ribs and it's getting down to the wire to convince him to turn. I'm 33 weeks today and from what I've been reading, after 34 weeks it starts getting pretty tight in there! And it looks like after 36 weeks, you're pretty much stuck with what you've got. *sigh*

The good news is that my OB said that since I have proven myself as "more than competent at vaginal births" that she would try to deliver him however he presents. She said that if it were my first, she would schedule a c-section, but there's "no reason to cut up that cute little belly if we don't have to." Phew! That is a huge relief to me. I know our old insurance would have NEVER gone for that so I am so thankful that I have found this wonderful woman who is willing to trust a woman's body to do what it is meant to do. And the more I read, the more I realize just how lucky I am to have found her. Doctors are so paranoid about lawsuits now that they take the surgery route at the first sign that things might be out of the ordinary. But from what I was reading, in the more common breech positions, delivery isn't any more complicated than a head down presentation. The hips are the same width as the head at that age and a frank breech should just slide out with nothing but some minimal hip bruising. I guess my biggest worry is if I go too far past my due date. I'm not sure if I'm more opposed to being induced before my body is ready to give up the little guy or having to have a c-section at 42 weeks because he's too big to come out butt first. At this point, I'm still hoping he'll come to his senses and turn around.

Cassia also had a check-up Wednesday morning. She's perfect, but we all knew that. ;) She's 75%ile for height and 50%ile for weight. That's been the norm for my kiddos their whole lives so it looks like they're growing pretty consistently. She also got her "Kindergarten Shots" and didn't even shed a tear. I guess after ear-piercing, that was cake. (And apparently she's psychic too because as soon as I typed that, she yelled, "Mommy! We haven't cleaned my ears yet this morning!")

Today is park day so I had better get going and actually get dressed or something. I hope everyone is well. I am very behind on my blog reading lately. Sorry - it doesn't mean that I don't love you. :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Already forgetting...

Argh! It's been almost a week since I've blogged now and I'm already forgetting what we've done! I have no recollection of Thursday whatsoever. I think we did bookwork, but I could be wrong. Let's see, we went to ballet for Cassia's first official Pre-Ballet class. (She loved the harder class, btw, and said it was much more fun.) Stopped by TJ's for a few last minute things. Baked a strawberry cake. Hmmm.... I guess I could try to match up Wednesday's blog entry with the work that we've done since and try to figure it out, but it's really not that important. (Until I do decide to go through and update my roll book/lesson planner and then it will be a nightmare, lol.)

But on to important things! Friday was Cassia's birthday party. :) We had a great turnout and a lovely time. The children are very, very spoiled and have a wonderful bunch of friends. I feel guilty for being so cheap with our gifts now (I have a $5 - $10 rule), lol, but everything was perfect. Except the cake was too small. I'm going to have to make that recipe again because it was really, really good. Maybe I'll make it for my birthday too.

That wiped me out for the entire weekend though. DH pulled a Superman and decided to steam clean the living room and dining room. I was only supposed to finish going through the gazillion boxes of clothes that have been sitting in the hallway for weeks now, but I only got through half of them. The rest of the time I just sat there watching tv. Pathetic, I know, but I really just couldn't do anything.

Monday I was feeling a little better and determined to get back to our regular routine. We did do school on Monday - at least we did everything but History. We ran out of time before gymnastics. Phonics was a Who Did What? game where you mix up subject and predicate cards to make silly sentences. Reading through them the first time was a bit of a struggle, but Cameron did really well remembering what they said after that. Grammar was a review of all the verb types (action, being, linking, and helping). Math for Cameron was subtracting money by writing out the problem "the long way" and using borrowing. It took forEVER and that is why we had no time for history. Cassia was working on adding. They had her coloring seven vases red, blue, or green and then writing the addition problem based on what she had colored. It was really neat seeing the light bulb go off during that. "Hey! You know, no matter which way you color them, they still add up to seven!"

Gymnastics was trying, as usual. I don't know if it's just pregnancy getting the best of me or what but I just cannot deal with Grey during gymnastics anymore. Every week now, we end up sitting in the car because he starts throwing a fit. He gets SO grumpy when it's his naptime now and all these afternoon classes are right smack in the middle of it. I know that in the fall Cassia's ballet will most likely be in the afternoon too. Don't they know that my boy needs his beauty sleep?? He always falls asleep on the way home then, but by then it's so late that I have to wake him for dinner and deal with a grump then too. He's so much nicer when he can just take his nap at 2 or 3 like his body is telling him to and then wake up naturally.

Today we did not do any schoolwork. I didn't get enough sleep last night and so I was just drained of energy. I may be fighting off a cold too because Greyson had a bit of a runny nose. But whatever the reason, I spent most of my free time today playing solitaire Scrabble. But not all day!! We had an afternoon date at Mrs. Grossman's!! A friend of ours was taking some of her relatives on a factory tour and was nice enough to invite us along. We can't say no to a tour of the sticker factory!! There was a school bus there and Cameron made the observation that we were like a school and I was like their teacher taking them on a field trip! I was thinking, well duh, but he just thought that was a hilarious concept. Once we got home with our gazillions of stickers, the kids set to work creating their stickery masterpieces. They spent hours making pictures and telling stories to each other about what the stickers were doing (there were pigs and hamburgers raining from the sky at one point) and then it somehow evolved into paper sword and shield making. Cameron made the best paper and cardboard sword and shield specimens that he has ever made. He even made some for Cassia too. Something about those knight and castle stickers really got his creative juices flowing. When I tucked him into bed he said, "I hope tomorrow is just like today! That was a super fun day!!" I'd say the $3 per person spent on the tour and the $12 spent in the company store was worth it. If you're ever in town, let me know and we'll take you there too. Stickers make people happy. Even Mrs. Grossman herself said that - how can you not love your job when you are working with hearts and teddy bears and puppy dogs all day?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Big Brains and Birthdays

First off, let me just tell you that I am now the proud parent of a 5-YEAR OLD GIRL! I've been calling her "almost 5" for ages, but now it sounds really weird for her to tell people that.

For her big day, I surprised her with a trip out to get her ears pierced! She's been asking ever since her Fairy Friend got hers done for her 4th birthday. She was happy and brave and very grown up about the whole thing... until they did it. Oh my, she went from happy and excited to a puddle of tears almost instantly. These were no crocodile tears either; it really hurt. But they were quick on the draw with lollipops for everyone and that made it better pretty quickly.

Unfortunately, one of the backings fell off in her sleep last night and so the back closed up on one of them. I had to re-pierce it for her this morning and she didn't like that very much either. Luckily, as a girl of many piercings, I've had that happen many times and knew it wasn't a big deal to just pop it through again. She must really, really like her earrings for putting up with it and then not complaining when I cleaned the second ear. And then happily went for her afternoon cleaning as well. She really is a big girl now.

So that took up most of our day yesterday. We actually had to go back to the piercing place twice so that they would have two employees to do both ears at once. In the meantime, we went out for "tea" (hot chocolate or lemonade and scones) and played at the mall playground. Then we hit the grocery store and I'm sure you all know that that did me in for good. Her special birthday dinner request was for green beans and peas. We convinced her that she needed a main dish too so she chose macaroni and cheese (boxed, of course) and fruit salad. She had the BEST time helping me to prepare all that. I really should plan more time to make dinner and let her help more often.

Today was back to the grind (as if, lol) after the Official School Holiday. We started out with Science... ok, it was a dentist's appointment. The kids did great. Great teeth all around, except for me. I had a hole in one tooth where my filling needs to be replaced but she said it can wait until I'm not pregnant anymore. I really like that she doesn't pressure me into getting x-rays while pregnant. Technically, they should be fine at this point but why risk it, right?

We came home and got lunch and then put Grey down for a nap - a challenge in itself today. We started with Cassia's phonics and she started out okay but then started just guessing silly things. I got so frustrated with her that I told her that we were done and it was Cameron's turn. She cried and cried! And then she did the rest of the lesson with good effort. I wasn't even trying to trick her into doing better. I really was done - but I'll take it. Cameron struggled through his lesson, but he put in a good effort. They were hard words. For grammar they learned about linking verbs and then did another page for their poem books. They drew pictures for the month of March with daffodils blowing in the wind. Somehow, it got mentioned that Easter is sometimes in March so the daffodils are harboring a few Easter eggs too. They both complained a lot when I asked them to do it, but then both ended up spending about an hour working on it. Next was math where Cameron did some subtracting of money. He was having some trouble focusing and ended up taking forEVER to finish. I'm thinking that we need to move back to the dining room table to work instead of the couch, at least for a bit. Cassia insisted on doing her Explode the Code Primer "for math" and finished up the letter Q. She wanted to keep going and finish off the book with X but I asked her to save it for tomorrow. We finished up with history and I read about the Roman gods and a bit about their thirst for new lands and new technologies. They didn't seem as impressed as I had hoped with their invention of concrete, paved roads, and aqueducts, but I think I have an episode of What the Ancients Knew on TiVo that might help with that.

Right now they're playing Big Brain Academy on the Wii. They've been watching me play on Facebook lately and begging me to let them try (not on MY game, lol) and so I dusted off BBA today and they're happy as clams with it. They're doing pretty well too. I bet that game helps with standardized testing skills. ;) Too bad we don't take them.

Tomorrow the plan is ballet, grocery store, and then cake baking! I'm off to make dinner now.

Monday, July 14, 2008


As I was typing in the title for this, I noticed that already have a post entitled this! I guess it's a theme in my life right now! ;) I didn't sleep too terribly well last night. I have gotten in this strange habit of waking up at 4:30 to use the bathroom and then not being able to go back to sleep until 6:00. And then, of course, Greyson usually wants to get up at about 6:30 or 7:00. Luckily though, DH was home today and got up with him so I was able to sleep until about 8:30, but it wasn't a restful sleep at all.

Regardless, we got schoolwork done in the morning. I wasn't really in the mood so I was grumpy and impatient, but we got it done nonetheless. Phonics with Cameron was a nightmare. It was one of those days when I had to feed him every single word. Words like "lake" and "these." Not what I needed on a low-patience day. :( Things went better with Cassia. She did okay. I did okay. Neither of us was great but she did page one of the three-page lesson and then asked to keep going even though I suggested quitting there. I guess that means that I didn't come off as badly as I felt like I was coming across, lol.

Next was grammar and that went really well. The lesson was on using commas in a series and it even included some reading for the student to do to demonstrate the ease of reading "I have this, this, and this," as opposed to "I have this and this and this." This time, Cameron read fabulously. The words were small since they were not meant to challenge but to show a point and he read them with ease. I think the simple point that it wasn't phonics helped a lot.

For history, we began our study of the Roman Empire and read the story of Remus and Romulus. Cassia was horrified. There wasn't much story in between these cute little babies being raised by wolves, being adopted by farmers, and then killing each other. She was picturing babies killing one another! I can see how that would be a bit traumatic for her, lol. We followed that story up with the tale of the Etruscans going back and forth between Greece and Rome and bringing the culture over. I know I have at least one book on the Etruscans and several on Roman mythology so I think I'll look through those tonight and see if I can find some supplemental material without having to go to the library (where I probably owe a bunch of money).

Cameron finished off his school day by playing Timez Attack for math. He started a new game and went all the way from 2's to 5's in about a half an hour. That's pretty good considering that you have to master each level (as in answer every problem x1 through x12 right) before you can move on. Cassia didn't do any math, but I think I'll have her alternate phonics and math for a while. She does grammar and history or science every day even though I still consider those optional for her, so I'll cut her a break with only one mandatory subject each day. When Cameron was in Kindergarten, I think he did phonics and math every day and then science, art, or music once or twice a week. She's already getting a much more rigorous education even though she doesn't have to do any of it, lol.

Next Cassia and I worked on some craft samples for her birthday party on Friday. We're going to make tutu inspired hair scrunchie things and ballerina clothespin dolls. I was panicking about the clothespin dolls last night because the sample one I was making was really, really hard! There is no way that a bunch of 3 - 8 year olds were going to be able to do it so I briefly considered just making a dozen of them myself and just handing them out as party favors. That prospect was both a bit overwhelming and not nearly as much fun! Luckily though, I figured out a better way to attach the skirt so that there is no glue or extraordinary dexterity involved. Phew! For the boys, I made a little knight clothespin doll with aluminum foil, lol. He's pretty cute though probably too fragile to last even one battle. I had lots of patience with the crafts, so maybe that's something I should do more often as stress relief. (I wish I could say the same about the boys jumping on the bed Cassia and I were working on though!) I planned out the finger sandwiches that we're going to serve while I wasn't sleeping this morning, so really the only thing left to do is figure out what cake recipe I'm going to use, make a list, and go shopping. Well, that and then make everything and get it there in one piece, lol.

After that we hurried off to gymnastics. There was a little spitfire of a girl in Cassia's class today and I really pitied the coaches, especially the new one who was shadowing the class for the first time. Greyson was a handful because he was just super tired. By the time it was time for Cameron's class, he was just done and so he, Cassia, and I went out to the car and turned on a movie that happened to be in there. As I predicted, Greyson fell asleep within five minutes, lol. I got a few minutes of shut eye too, so that was nice.

Grey loves to play in my purse during gymnastics so Cameron had the great idea to make him his own wallet and money to play with. The second we got home he set to work making cardboard dollars, coins, and credit cards for him to play with. He's also in the process of making a construction paper wallet and cell phone for him too. I really hope Grey likes them because Cameron put a lot of thought and effort into the project.

Cassia is currently learning the sign language alphabet via a set of rubber stamps someone gave us. I remember when I taught myself the ASL alphabet from one of those cards that deaf people would sell in airports. Funny how that is so intriguing to kids.

That's about it for today. About this time, five years ago, I think I started getting one or two contractions that told me that the time was near. I remember we had been to Bodega Bay and picked up some fresh clams so I was making a fish stew but I had to keep sitting down. My MIL was staying with us to help out and she was freaking out that I would just sit down for a minute and then go right on cooking, lol. If she'd had her way, I would have been in the hospital with the first twinge rather than waiting until they were 5 minutes apart like the doctor recommended - which turned out to be about eighteen hours later.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


(Overheard being said to the boy in line in front of us at the sign-in table for golf camp)
Counselor #1: And what was your name?
Boy: John Doe
Counselor #1: And what level are you again, John?
Boy: Circle
(John Doe walks away to start warming up.)
Counselor #1: (with a devilish look in her eye) And who might this be?? This isn't Cameron, is it??
Me: (to Cameron) Making yourself known already?
Cameron: (sheepishly) yes...
Counselor #1: And you're Triangle level. Here's your name tag.
Counselor #2: Oh yes, we all know Cameron. He's a smart one!
Me: (curious what's coming next) Yes, I've always thought so.
Counselor #2: We asked him to eat a salty snack yesterday to help keep him hydrated and he told us that he wasn't allowed to eat salt.
Cameron: Our family doesn't eat salt.
Me: (blushing) Well, we don't eat a lot of it. Everything in moderation, you know.

OK, this conversation may not look like much but this is coming off the conversation the previous day when he refused to wear a hat to golf in because all we have are black baseball hats and they told him that a light colored one would reflect the heat better. And the one the day before when he told them all that he wasn't allowed to eat candy. I really wonder about the conversations that must be going on at snack time, lol. I just told him to make healthy choices and go for the apples (his favorite food anyway) instead of the Doritos (which he wishes could be his favorite food). He's probably laying out all these "rules" that we have. LOL, oh my. So really, who is looking like the bigger freak here - him or me?

Am I the only one who wonders about how their homeschooled kids come across next to the "regular" kids? His schooling has never been brought up in front of me, but he is not shy in sharing that fact when kids start talking about what grade they're in and what school they go to. He's proud of his homeschooled status and I'm proud of his pride in it, you know? But I still wonder sometimes. Is he coming off as a little weird because (1) he has a very outgoing and opinionated personality, (2) he's a bit younger than most of the other kids there (the camp is officially for 7 & up but they said he was close enough and they often have younger kids try it out), or (3) because he is homeschooled and not used to dealing with people in the same way that other people are used to being dealt with? I guess the real question is probably whether or not he is coming off weird at all or if it is just my fear that he will. I always feel that Cassia and Greyson are totally out of control and being inappropriate too, but I've come to realize that that's mostly because most people just don't have a lot of young kids. People who do, their kids act just like mine.

But there are a whole new set of insecurities for me now that he is obviously school age. I find that many, many people contemplate homeschooling during the preschool years and quite a few even try it out during the optional Kindergarten year, but most people chicken out by the time that magic age of 6 comes along. We stand out now as homeschoolers, wherever we are during the day in the school year. And I'm ok with that. I guess I'm just wondering now if we also stand out as homeschoolers when we are mixed in with the "normal folk." I don't know why I worry. The counselors obviously like him, even if they do find him a bit precocious. Another one of the boys even walked by and specifically said hi to him after camp while we were hanging out having a lemonade in the club house. Cam told me that a girl was going to bring him a new bottle cap from home for his collection. So he has friends and he's fitting in just fine... why should I worry? Nature of being a mother, I guess? Maybe it's that for one of the first times in his life, I'm not there to watch. I'm not there to catch all the subtle nuances in the conversations. I'm not there to guide him in the more appropriate behavior or reaction. I'm having to trust that he's going to fly simply because he's flapping his wings. Growing up is tough... on a mom.

Hmmm. I had no idea that's where that train of thought was going today. Therapy 101 for me. That what I love about blogging. :)

Nothing really remarkable in the rest of the day. Greyson and I went shopping for some pink party decorations. He is such a doll when it is just me and him. He totally charms the pants off me, lol. He doesn't get into any trouble either. He either plays quietly by himself or snuggles up with me in front of the tv. It kind of makes me suspect (duh) that his mischief is just the easiest way to get my attention when the others are around. What in the world is he going to come up with to get my attention when the New Baby comes? Yikes. Hopefully, since he really loves babies, he will go for the more constructive approach of being a big helper. Pretty please?

Once C&C were home we spent another productive day watching Food Network. I think I have them addicted to Food Network Challenge. They literally begged to watch it, lol. I managed to finish up the mountain of laundry I started yesterday, but it's still not all folded. I really should do that now. Really, I should. I should also do something about all the debris that's managed to strew itself all over the floor in every single room of the house... but that would require bending over. LOL, not gonna happen. The big problem is that by the time the kids are home from camp, it's so hot that I don't even have the energy to be Mean Mommy. Nice Mommy has a really messy house apparently. ;) But DH comes home tomorrow so I better find the inner slave driver soon. He's very grumpy when he comes home to a house that looks like this. I don't really blame him either.

OK, dinner, laundry, bed.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


Oh it was a highly educational day around here today. C&C went off to camp and Greyson and I came home and watched The Next Food Network Star. Well, we only had time to watch part of an episode before it was time to go to my OB appointment. We get there and sit down and after about five minutes the girl behind the desk (I don't really mean to be condescending, but she was young and I don't know if she's an actual nurse or just a helper monkey or what) calls me back and says that the doctor is off delivering a baby right now but why don't I go ahead and give my urine sample and then she'll take my vitals now. I figure she must be on her way back from the hospital now, right? The girl offers to put me in a room while we wait, but I say that with Greyson in tow it would be easier to be in the waiting room. So after she takes my vitals and such she starts saying, mostly to herself, that maybe she should try to call the doctor since she hasn't heard from her in a while. So now I'm thinking... what? Why would you offer to put me in an exam room when you have no clue when she is going to be back??? Babies take HOURS to deliver! I hear her leave a voicemail for the doctor and when she receives no immediate callback I just have to go ask. "So... it doesn't sound like she's on her way back yet or anything, is she?" The girl says, "Well, it sounded that way when I talked to her at 9 this morning!" It was almost 11:00 by then. I had to pick the kids up at noon. No thanks. I rescheduled. Why the heck she didn't just call me before my appointment and tell me that the doctor was in a delivery, I have no idea. I mean seriously. The office is only five minutes from my house, but there are a lot of other things I could have been doing with my time this morning than just sitting around watching tv and waiting for it to be time to go. And then once I got back home, I only had enough time to sit around watching tv until it was time to go again! I suppose I could have done something else, but it would've been much easier if I had an entire two hours to work with rather than two 30 - 45 minute stretches with a big bunch of wasted time in the middle. I bet they'll charge me for two appointments too since she took my vitals and did the urine test. Cause you know it costs several hundred dollars to stick a piece of litmus in a cup of pee. *Ugh* (Sorry, I was going to try and be reasonably civil today.)

So then I go and get the kids and come back home to find that it is suddenly way too hot to function. It was about 105 outside and 85 inside. The good news is that our solar attic fan is making a difference since it used to be only about 10 degrees cooler inside than out until about 3 or 4 pm when it suddenly got hotter inside than outside. Now it stays a solid 20 degrees cooler inside and doesn't get hotter inside than out until about 6 or 7 pm when the sun is no longer activating the fan. But by then the breeze has usually kicked up outside so I just need to open a few windows to make it tolerable again. Anyway, 85 is still too hot for me, lol, so I just melted onto the couch in front of more Food TV. I watched the rest of The Next Food Network Star marathon that I had TiVo'ed. The kids decided that it was too hot to do anything too so they all ended up on the couch with me. We moved on to the Food Network Challenge of Disney-Pixar cakes and then the one on Disney villains. It had cooled down a bit by then and the winning villain cake inspired C&C to go play Peter Pan. I finally found some strength to go finish up some laundry and then make dinner.

The good thing about being lazy all day and watching the Food Network is that it inspires me to be a little more creative with my food choices, lol. Dinner wasn't anything spectacular - sun-dried tomato sausages, mashed sweet potatoes, and green salad - but for breakfast I made English muffins topped with smoked Gouda and an over-easy egg. Yum. That one was definitely inspired by the (disastrous, lol) brunches served on a train from the Next FN Star that I watched yesterday. Who says tv is evil? So let's all think cooler thoughts for tomorrow, OK? I really need to do some birthday party planning. A little schoolwork might be nice too. ;)

Monday, July 07, 2008

Heat sucks

Blech. I remember, back in the day, when I felt that it wasn't truly summer unless it hit 100+ degrees outside. I craved the heat. I would feel chilled in 80 degree weather, lol. Oh, the good old days. So NOT true anymore. We've got a heat wave of a week here and I am in super-bitch mode because of it. I am hot, I am grumpy, and I feel like crap - don't mess with me. Please. Even the stupid woman in the grocery store who was standing there chatting with her friend in between two checkout lines - not putting her stuff down on either - who gave me attitude like I stole her spot when I got in line (she claimed that she didn't realize there were separate lines for the two registers???) has annoyed me all day. It was such a non-issue and I totally took the high road and let her go in front of me with a smile, yet it's bugged me all day. I'm just in that kind of mood. Like I said, the heat sucks... but I'll try to limit my bitching about it as much as I can.

So let's see, where were we? Thursday... what did we do Thursday? I know we didn't do any history of the 4th of July stuff because the printer ran out of ink and I couldn't print out the cool little activity books from Enchanted Learning. I also realized that the video clip on The History Channel would not be interesting at all. (The Halloween one was way better.) I'm thinking that we didn't do much of anything. The heat was already starting to crank up at that point and it was all I could do to get the laundry done. The good news was that I was able to save a lot of energy by drying most of it outside on the line. When it's hot here, it only takes about an hour. If I alternate drying one load on the line and the next in the dryer, I can double my laundry productivity too. You may find that trivial, but I already do a heck of a lot of laundry around here. I'm really going to need to utilize all efficiency plans once we have four kids.

Friday was the Fourth and we drove out to see some relatives in central California. ALWAYS a good time there. AuntP just finished out her final year of teaching so she passed on another box of school supplies. She taught the GATE classes so she had some really cool stuff. Now I have some really cool stuff, lol. We spent a very enjoyable and relaxing weekend there (despite the 50 barking dogs and the children who would stay up until 10 or 11 and then get up at dawn *yawn*). They have air conditioning AND a pool so the heat was not an issue at all. Until the drive home. Oh man. I was doing ok until we stopped at a rest stop about halfway home. The heat hit me like a brick to the head and I spent the rest of the drive home in total misery. I laid down as soon as we got home and instantly fell asleep for about an hour. I was just wiped.

Today, after a long night's rest, we started Camp Week! We got up bright and early and took Cameron to golf camp. Then we drove to the other side of town and dropped Cassia off at ballet camp. Thankfully, her brand new ballet slippers that have been missing for two weeks were there. One of her friends from her old class was there too, T4. They were really happy to see each other but apparently got separated during the instructional part of the day because Cassia has moved up a level and T4 is still in the old class. T4 was so upset that she apparently refused to participate! Of course, she's always been a bit of a free spirit in class anyway, marching to her own drummer rather than following those pesky directions.

But during all this, Greyson and I hit the grocery store and then came home to some laundry and some quality tv time. I have this big wish list of things that I'd like to get done this week while I'm down two children, but honestly, they're only gone from 9 - 12 and I'll probably have a more productive use of my time just resting up so that I can deal with the rest of the day! Sounds pathetic, I know, but at this point I just don't care. I wasn't going to mention this, but the heat has been giving me contractions and I just don't want to risk those going anywhere. I'm 95% sure they're "nothing" because I can always pinpoint the stressor that starts them and they not any sort of regular or progressive - just annoying and exhausting - but I'm not going to risk it either. If my body says lay on the couch sipping cranberry juice and seltzer water all day, then that's what I'm going to do.

Then we go to pick Cassie up. She was disappointed that ballet camp was so much like ballet class. I'm not sure what she expected. The did a class, then snack, story, and crafts, and then more dancing. I guess she wanted more crafts and less work. I think the parents would be up in arms though paying that much for ballet camp if there wasn't a lot of ballet involved. At least I would be. We're not doing camp for daycare purposes. We're doing it for fun and learning. Cameron LOVED golf camp. In fact, he insanely loved golf camp. The first thing he said to me was, "Next year I have to do full day camp instead of half day." The full day campers get to hang out and play 9 holes in the afternoon.

We came home and had lunch then and contemplated doing schoolwork, especially since Greyson had actually fallen asleep in between picking up Cassia and Cameron and stayed asleep when I transferred him from the car to his bed. Wahoo! But we didn't do it. The kids seemed really in need of some downtime after camp and we still had to go to gymnastics! Cameron wasn't convinced he wanted to go, but I kind of made them. That was a big mistake though because there is no a/c in the gym and it was absolutely sweltering. Ugh. Kill me. The good thing though was that most people did decide to skip it so there were only two kids in Cassia's class and only three boys in Cameron's! They practically had private lessons, lol. But that really did me in for the day and I succumbed to Food Network and Link's Crossbow Training for the rest of the day. (Thank you Meesh for the recommendation!)

It's supposed to be in the 100s all week so I don't know what, if anything, will get done but we don't have much else on the agenda for the rest of the week. I have an OB appointment tomorrow during camp time and then we have Favorite Park Day on Friday, but I think that's it for commitments. Hopefully I can manage to squeeze a day or two of school in too. Think cool thoughts for me. Maybe I'll set up the pool tomorrow. Usually that's the fastest way to get the weather to cool down, lol. Blow up the pool one day and enjoy the unseasonably cool weather the rest of the week. ;)

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

So much to blog, so little time

Sorry, I've been too sleepy to blog most nights this week!! I'll try to remember what we did though...

Monday we did schoolwork nice and early so that we could get ready for a little campout with some friends. Cameron did an excellent job with phonics. Cassia did too. She's really impressing me with how she is picking it up. I think she might be more of a sight reader though because she tends to either know a word or get totally frustrated by it, so we'll see how that all works out. Math was next. Cam did some more money adding. Cassia did adding with pictures. There was one page where they had six rows of six dotted vases and you were supposed to trace some number of them and then write an accompanying addition problem. For example, if you traced one vase then you wrote 1 + 5 = 6. I remember really having to walk Cameron through that one, but she didn't even need the slightest bit of help. She can just sit down and whiz through this stuff when she wants to. Unfortunately though, that tends to mean that I expect her to do that most of the time and I can be a little short with her wanting the one-on-one attention. I've been trying to get one of them to work independently while the other gets the one-on-one but it is so hard!! And I can't really separate them either because if only one is doing schoolwork then the other is trying to play with them! For Grammar we reviewed sentence types. For History we read the Native American myth called Rabbit Shoots the Sun. It was a fun story and they seemed to enjoy it while I was reading, but the second I was done I was met with, "Are we done now?" *roll eyes* Not quite the response I was looking for. But to tell you the truth, that's pretty much the attitude I had with school for the day too. I wanted to get it over with so we could pack up our stuff for the trip!

So then we ran to the grocery store and then came home and packed up our stuff. Quite a lot of stuff actually considering that we were only going for one night and we were actually camping in a friend's backyard! They had a 12-man tent and there were going to be eleven of us in there: 4 moms, 4 girls aged 4 - 6, and 3 boys aged 2 - 6. The host girl's brother and father were out of town camping themselves so they thought it would be fun to have a girl's campout. Of course, there were some big and little brothers that had to come too but we tried to keep them from being too overwhelmed by girliness. There were a couple instances of "boys can't play this" and "stop following us!" but all in all, they behaved themselves. I'm glad that Cameron did have L4 to play with though. They kept to themselves on the Pirate Ship most of the time while the girls did crafts, played dress up and doctor, and started the Greyson Fan Club. The night ended with a flashlight hike down the wooded street and a quick dip in the hot tub. OK, it was more like a rowdy splash in the hot tub, but they were happy and clean afterward. The absolute girliest scene ever erupted just after dawn as they woke up one by one and all gravitated over to one air mattress and began a huge whispering, giggling, tickle fight. They were even tickling their stuffed animals, lol. We were all up too late and then up too early. Tuesday we had all sorts of plans for adventures, but everyone was way too tired and cranky so we just cut it short with a quick stumble down to a dry creek bed and then home around noon. We were all too tired to do anything but nap, do some laundry, and watch some tv after that, lol. Everyone slept really, really, really well in our own beds that night.

Today we all slept in. Even Greyson slept until 7:30, which is a very pleasant rarity. He didn't even have his normal 5am trip into my room to wake me up and leave me sleepless from 5 - 6 before he gets up at 6:30 or 7. He just came into my room around 1am - or was it 3am - crawled in bed and went right back to sleep. Thankfully, so did I.

We managed to get all the usual stuff done for school today. Phonics was a bit pained (funny how we seem to have every other day good and bad for phonics, but if we don't do it every day there are many more bad days than good) for Cameron and Cassia didn't even want to do it. She did do a couple pages in her "cow book" (Go For the Code) on the letter Q though. There's only one more letter left in it and then she'll be done with that whole series. She liked it but I'm not sure how truly valuable it was. A lot of it seemed to be coloring for the sake of following directions. Most of the stuff that really did seem important to me, like write the letter whose sound begins this picture, she always wanted to skip. She did like the pages where you would see a line of similar shapes and have to pick out the different ones - like find the "m"s in - n n m n m m m n m n m n n m n n n. Anyway, we did Cameron's phonics first while she did Go For the Code, and then Cameron started math (subtracting money) but then she needed some individual instruction on her phonics... it was all very back and forth and confusing. I really need to find a better way. I finally got them synchronized again for grammar/language where we reviewed the poem Monday's Child and then practiced writing dates. Wait, I take that back. They weren't synchronized at all because while I was reading FLL to them and Cassia was writing down her birthday, Cameron was busy writing math problems for me to do. LOL, he is such a nut. He kept writing down problems for me and then when I would pass them he would reward me with a higher level of problems. The final level was things like $2,000,000,000 - $100,000,000. Luckily, I passed. ;) Anyway, he would take time out of his important work of making me worksheets to do what I was asking of him. The kids also made the second pages for their Year books, drawing a picture for February and copying the second stanza of the poem, The Year. The pictures were much less involved than January's. You can barely tell what Cassia's is, but she did draw what the stanza was describing. Cameron's has nothing at all to do with February and is just a picture of him and his friend R11 playing Zelda on a big green hill. He said it just shows how lucky we are that in California February isn't rainy like it said in the poem. I think he's training to be a politician. We finished off with Science and read about ways to conserve water. We have officially finished all the reading in the MPH 4A text book. There is one or two more activities that I would like to do in the activity book and Cameron always likes to do all the stuff in the workbook, so I'm guessing we'll be done with that next week. I should really glance at the 4B book to see where that is going so maybe I can be a little prepared. LOL, as if.

Tomorrow the plan is to study the history of the 4th of July. I told them I'd find some really fun things to do for that so I had better get busy and do it. Hopefully I'll blog again tomorrow, but if not it's because I procrastinated too long, lost track of the day, and had to rush all afternoon and evening trying to finish laundry and pack for our trip out of town this weekend. So, I may "see" you tomorrow or it may not be until Monday.