Thursday, August 25, 2011

school at home

Oh my. I started this post last Friday night. Then I quit. Then I started it again on Saturday and quit. And on Sunday and Monday and Tuesday and quit, quit, quit. This can mean only one thing to my readers. You are in for one boring post because if I, the writer, cannot maintain an interest in what I am saying, how in the helk will you? (Helk is the way my sister and me write hell when we are sending emails back and forth. It's one of those typos that ended up sticking.) Anyway, this started out as an end of the summer post and now is turning into a beginning of school post. Enjoy and prepare to be dazzled!

Summer is coming to a close. I brought the kids and a couple of their friends to the beach on Friday for a last hurray. Many pictures were taken but of course none of them will go on this blog because I like to keep things here as boring and visually unappetizing as I possible and also, I'm a little lazy. But trust me, we did go. It was relaxing and beautiful and the water temperature was perfect (and so were the rip currents. Seriously, who doesn't love getting pummeled by waves and gagging on salt water. I'm not kidding. You try doing it without laughing your butt off. It's impossible). Of course I didn't want to leave and come home because being home means thinking about school and chores and the end of summer vacation and then I just get the dry heaves. I'm not afraid to admit that I really only like the side of life that provides for relaxation and entertainment.

Since I've become the person in charge of educating my children, I hang onto summer for as long as I can. We live in a state that has 80 degree heat well into November, sometimes even December, and I've often thought about making our summer vacation last for eight months of the year, but I'm always afraid one of my kids will rat me out. They've somehow turned into responsible people who like learning. A couple of weeks ago they began happily inquiring about school starting back up, and lately my empty threats of printing out math work if they didn't find something productive to do have been met with, "oh, cool! Math work!"

(So here we are, several days after I originally started writing this carp ( another typo that stuck) and school has begun, which is good because now I have something to write about. )

This is our first year home schooling Anthony. (Will someone please tell me if it is homeschooling or home schooling. Public schooling is two words, so why would homeschooling be one word. I never understood this, but I was an English major so really, why would this be easy for me to figure out?) I was worried about bringing Anthony home for school ( see how I got around that), but I can declare after only three days of doing this - TOTAL SUCCESS! Okay, I may be jumping the gun and setting myself up for disaster, but things seem to be going well. Anthony is much more relaxed about participating in school. He's gotten up everyday and requested work and appears to be enjoying himself.

I'm not going to lie. He's still Anthony, which means he has created a touch of chaos to our once quiet days. He made jello on Monday and before it had totally set he dumped it on a big plate. He did this so that it could maintain as much of its jigglyness and still be somewhat molded. Then he put it back in the fridge until he could decide what to do with it. I mentioned maybe he could just eat it, as I think that's what people do with jello, but he said no, jello could be used for so much more than eating. I had no idea!

He kept taking it out of the fridge so that he could walk around with his plate if jiggly jello wowing everyone in his path. Except for not everyone was as fascinated as he was. Like me. I was not at all fascinated. Instead I was nervous. Anthony and a plate of jiggly jello couldn't possibly end well. When I pointed this out to him he said, "mom, I'm not a baby. I can walk around with this and nothing is going to happen." Except for as he was saying that the jello slid off the plate and plopped onto my kitchen floor where it splattered into every corner and then he ran out of the room.

The terrific thing was that I only had two sheets of Bounty left and I figured if I could pick up this mess with two sheets of Bounty I could finally justify my insistence on purchasing these expensive paper towels. Greg has tried, with no success, to get me to buy cheaper paper towels, but he isn't usually the one picking up poop and pee and vomit and jello, so he has no idea the power of the Bounty paper towel. And guess what? Two Bounty paper towels did the trick in this case. (Hey Bounty people - are you catching this? If you are you can fore go the dollar it's costing you to read my post and just send me a year's worth of paper towels.)

Other than the jello incident, it's been a calm week with Anthony. He spent some time talking to Maggie about Greek mythology, wherein he told her, "Now Maggie, the Greeks believed in MANY gods, but we only believe in ONE god. Okay, so don't get messed up. Don't go around telling people you believe in lots of gods, because you don't. We're CATHOLIC Maggie. Can you say that. Say your Catholic and you only believe in one God. Say it. Say it, Maggie, say you're Catholic and you only believe in one god." This went on until Maggie started crying and I had to end the Greek mythology vs. Roman Catholic theology session, but it was cute and it made me smile, which is never a bad thing when you're homeschooling your kids. As a matter of fact, it's half the battle.

I must end this now. I have things to do and children to teach and I'm sure there's a mess somewhere with Anthony's name on it. A mess only Bounty can pick up.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

What I've been up to

My summer has been filled with big, exciting, life altering changes. Here's the biggest one (and get ready, because it's huge!) - I started doing laundry at the laundromat. We had a weekend away back at the beginning of July and when we arrived home we realized it was going to take three days to catch up on the laundry situation (and any chore that requires using the word situation to decribe it has gotten out of control). I kindly offered to take the clothes to the laundromat, so as to get it done in the quickest possible way.

I came home an hour and a half later with five loads of clean, folded laundry. Then I walked around like a drill sergeant telling everyone that if they didn't put their clothes away immediately it was all going in the garbage. My children know this threat is not to be taken lightly. I've found that tossing things in the garbage is about the easiest way there is to keep a clean house. Sure, you throw things away you end up needing later on and then you go out for coffee with a friend only to have your husband call asking about the whereabouts of those things. You panic a little and decide maybe it's not the best way to keep a clean house, but then the mess piles up again and you think, no, it truly is easier dealing with an inquiring husband than it is picking up the mess and putting things back where they belong. So anyway, the kids listened to my threats and I went and took a nap because after doing five loads of laundry I deserved a snooze.

At some point the next day I happened to walk by the washing machine and noticed that the most horrifying thing had occurred. There was more laundry. The pile of clothes that had completely disappeared the day before seemed to have grown in the middle of the night while we were all asleep. It never, ever stops growing. There almost isn't a point to doing laundry as it just piles up immediately and reminds you daily how useless certain chores are.

I was coming close to despair over the whole situation (which is not hard for me to do as I come close to despair over just about everything. It's a gift.) when I suddenly began thinking about how nice and quiet and relaxing it was at the laundromat. While I was there I managed to finish a book I was reading, drink an ice cold diet coke from the store next door, call a friend, listen to my ipod and read highly out of date magazines (we're talking 2003) and also some rather dubious ones. On top of it being relaxing and entertaining, there was the very practical matter of getting five loads of laundry done in ninety minutes. So now it was obvious that the solution to my problem was to just start taking my laundry to the laundromat.

I go twice a week, no more, no less. Every Tuesday and every Friday. The rest of the week I don't even think about the laundry. And Greg doesn't either. If something is dirty and it isn't laundry day, guess what? Too bad for you. It really is a treat for me and has provided me with a kind of freedom I've come to cherish. And as much as Greg has tried to reassure me over the years that he doesn't mind doing laundry, I think he loves never having to think about it now.

Will it last? Probably not. I get sick of everything. People, places and things that I once adored and loved, and swore I would never get sick of, always end up on my list of, "never be bothered with this person, place or thing again."Oh, I kid. I hardly ever do that with people, but the places and things one I do all the time. So this time next year I will probably be repulsed by the site of the laundromat, but for now it works and I'm enjoying it. Plus, it provides me with three full hours of child-free down time a week, because no matter how many times I've asked the kids if they want to join me, no one ever takes me up on the offer.

Now onto other matters, sort of. The laundry thing is costing me many quarters a week, so I'm thinking about getting a part time job, but I do have rules. It can't be at night or during the day and it has to pay at least 20 bucks an hour and involve no physical labor and nothing that would strain my mental faculties, as I teach my children and I need to save my brain cells for them.

After I started thinking about it I realized I've set my sights high in the employment department, so I came up with another way to make money. I'm going to start charging people a dollar a post for reading this here blog. We're going on the honor system. If you just read this post you owe me a dollar. I know hundreds and hundreds of people( possibly thousands) are reading this blog and I am so excited that very soon I will be rich. On top of using my money to fund my laundromat excurions I will be using the rest to feed the hungry and promote world peace, so you see, you really can feel good knowing this is going for a worthy cause. I'm doing God's work and in essence, by giving me your money, you will be doing God's work. None of the money will be used to fund my raw cookie dough or Chuckles addiction.

Thank you for your time today. I hope it was worth your dollar. At the very least, I hope it was worth a comment - those are free.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Quickly - so I don't forget

I walked out of my bedroom to find a rather large chunk of dark hair on the living room floor. Maggie was standing close by with a pair of scissors - and her hair looked slightly changed. Some would say it had a madwoman look to it.

Me- Maggie, did you cut your own hair?

Maggie - No.

Me - I'm going to ask you again. Did you cut your own hair?

Maggie - Yes, Mama.

Me- Don't ever cut your hair again or I'll take Fuzzy(her beloved blanket) away for a long, long time and don't lie when I ask you something. I'm glad you fessed up, but you shouldn't have said no the first time. Do you understand me?

Maggie - Yes, Mama. And I accept your apology.

Hum. That didn't go as planned.