Daybook: First Day of School

Outside my window: the sky has just turned white, but the sun and the birds are still sleeping. We had a hard, middle-of-the-night storm that woke us up, so everything is wet and green.

In the kitchen: we’re having one of Sam’s mentees and his family over for dinner, so we’re planning to make Special Cake.  Of course, more workmen are scheduled to be here today to replace one of the cabinets and re-drywall in a few areas and replace a door and fix the A/C (again!), so the Special Cake will have to wait till it’s too hot in the kitchen to bake. I guess we’ll be eating outside.


In my shoes: planning a little run today.  The kids want to begin training with Kids Running America, so my run may be a few loops when they are done.

In the school room: Ninth grade, sixth grade, fifth grade and first grade.  The kids all seem excited. I ordered next week’s library books (a biography of James Beckenwourth of Sand Creek Massacre fame, a few books on women’s suffrage, Elijah of Buxton and House of Tailors) but I’m most eager to start of our kitchen time line.

In my reading basket: Teaching Your Child the Language of Social Success and The Light Heart.

Grateful for: the privilege of educating at home, a good weekend away, a mountain run for a great cause, how coming home last night actually felt like home, Owen’s insight about last year and how he wants to do things differently this year, that Phoebe’s cast is coming off today.


Praying for: AJ’s breathing, teachers everywhere, Mandy, to start our school year off (and continue) on the right foot, Clare, Judy, refugees, those serving at risk of their lives in the Ebola crisis.


An Award! Who Knew?

Ruth at Pulchra Doctrina nominated me for The Versatile Blogger Award.  What a surprise!  It was such a surprise that I totally dropped my end of the award and just remembered it last week as I was reading her blog.

So without further ado, I would like to pass the honor on to some of my favorite blogs.

The rules for accepting this award are:

  • Thank the award giver(s) and link back to them in your post
  • Share 7 things about yourself
  • Pass this award along to bloggers you read and admire
  • Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know about the award (I felt really shy about this part!)

So here are seven things you may not know about me:

  1. I prefer dark chocolate.
  2. Sometimes I talk in my sleep.
  3. When I was completely overwhelmed with graduating from college (packing up my apartment, hosting my family, saying good-bye to my friends…) I made a dress.  When I was overwhelmed planning my first trip to Haiti, I coped with it by sewing a skirt.  Do I sense a (not-so-healthy) pattern here?  And what will I sew when I have 36 hours till I fly to Thailand and don’t have anything packed?
  4. One of my favorite books is Crime and Punishment.
  5. I hate chain letters.  And some part of this award felt like a chain letter, though I was honored to receive it.
  6. I can’t do the Rubik’s Cube.
  7. I love to eat breakfast but hate to make it.

So, in no particular order, here are the blogs I nominate (ones I read, enjoy, and find very versatile!):

Go check them out.  And thanks, Pulchra Doctrina!


If you read this through Google Reader or another automatic feed, you may suddenly find 42 posts in your “unread” pile.  This seems to have happened when I converted categories to tags.  Unless I can figure out how to fix it, it may continue to happen as I add tags to very old posts for ease of finding them later.  Sorry.

Don’t forget to enter my 1000th post contest— entries close Thursday night at 11 p.m. (your time).

Random Links

Thought I’d share some of the things that make me laugh.  Not that my children aren’t funny, but eventually I tuck them screaming into their beds and have all this spare time on my hands to sit around and watch You Tube videos.

1. Parenting. With Crappy Pictures (TM): This one is a house tour.  If you’ve ever come to my house after I vacuumed (this happens about once a month) I apologize.

2. Second Semester Spanish.  I bego.  No leavo.

3. This one is the kids’ favorite: Grocery Store Wars.  I tell you, I’m trying to raise them organically.

4. And did I mention we’re Star Wars fans? Not only are we Star Wars fans, but we’re musical, too.  This is a tribute to John Williams. A capella.

5. When I’m feeling more highbrow, I enjoy reading the Bronte sisters.

6. Wait, this might be the children’s new favorite.  Especially because we watched this video (I Can Only Eat Margarine) and then we sang “I Can Only Imagine” at church this morning.  I thought the boys were going to fall over laughing.  Thank goodness we were at someone else’s church that morning, so I never have to see that worship leader again.

A Day in the Life… in April

6:15 I wake up hearing a regular, intermittent beeping.  It takes me a few minutes to realize that it’s a smoke alarm whose battery has run down.  Outside our room, the smoke alarm at the top of the stairs dangles by its wires, and a step ladder leans against the wall.  I wonder how early Sam was trying to fix it… and why he gave up.

6:45 I come downstairs after a good, hot shower to find everyone playing.  The boys have half the living room floor covered with Pokemon, and the girls are playing house with the plastic dinosaurs.  SweetP: “You be the mom.” M: “No! I always have to be the mom!  I’m not playing with you!”  So much for that.  Time for breakfast.

7:05 After being the short order cook– bagels with cinnamon sugar, bagels with cream cheese, cereal with yogurt, cereal with milk, hot chocolate– I finally get my own bowl of oatmeal.  I hate breakfast.

7:12 After eating (you’d think all that work would keep the happy for more than 7 minutes!) everyone does their kitchen jobs and resumes playing.  M is unaccountably happy now to be the dinosaur mom.  She’s yelling at all the other dinosaurs to clean up their rooms.

7:30 I put in a load of laundry and spend half an hour answering emails and attending to prescription refills and lab results.  (Even though it’s a drag on my family time, I’m grateful our work EMR allows me now to deal with urgent issues from work in a timely fashion.  It’s a good thing for my patients.)

8:15 I take the laundry onto the porch to hang it up.  It’s supposed to be 70 today, but right now it’s cold.  I wish I’d put on my rubber gloves.  The morning is beautiful, with a blue sky.  The robins have made a nest in our crab apple tree and are chirping at me when I cross too close to their tree.

8:30 My neighbor is out trying to turn her sprinkler system back on.  The girls appear and want to “help” us.  When my neighbor and I try to figure out what’s wrong (without success), M pulls about 8 big weeds out of the rocks in front of her house.  Who knew she was such a good weeder?  Why doesn’t she spontaneously weed our rocks?

9 Sesame Street is on, and SweetP goes to watch it while M and I sit down to her piano lesson.  I encouraged the boys to begin their notebook work.  Instead, they watch Sesame Street.

9:30 M did well in her lesson and goes to watch Sesame Street as well.  I use the half hour to re-pot our seedlings, which are all much too big for their little peat pellets.

9:55  Everyone returns from Sesame Street.  SweetP “helps” me with the re-potting, and the big kids start their notebook work.  M is determined and efficient.  J is not motivated to work on his math and diddles around with his reading and journal entries.

10:10 O gets bogged down in fractions and goes from okay to tears in 60 seconds.  I tell him to go to his room. He says, “It’s because I’m still sick!”  I tell him to go to bed– if he’s well enough to play Pokemon for an hour, he’s well enough to do fractions.  He goes to bed.

10:25 M is done with the day’s work, including reading to me from Beverly Cleary’s Socks and doing 15 minutes of Rosetta Stone.  While she’s putting R.S. away, she finds O’s missing mp3 player, and suddenly it works!  (It had been on the fritz.)  She runs it upstairs to O, who– oddly– is playing legos and “isn’t sick any more.”  I tell him to come back downstairs to finish his fractions.

10:30 I hang more laundry outside.  The temptation is too great, and I grab the step stool to see what’s happening in the robins’ nest.  Mrs. Robin is not at all happy about this.  I misjudge my angle, and the step stool falls over.  I have to jump down.  The repaired knee (post-op day 6) is not happy about this, but Mrs. Robin is seen chuckling as she settles back in her nest.

11:00 We all pull out clay and play dough and our read-alouds.  I am especially eager to read, as it’s the first day we’ve had together since my voice is back.  We read some of The World of Christopher Columbus and Sons, On the Shores of Silver Lake, and And Then There Were Five.  Oh, I’ve missed this– even all the interruptions to show me the clay x-wing fighter and the play dough carrot cookies.  Especially that.

11:55 I throw some spaghetti sauce and cheese on English muffins for lunch.  The kids are excited to try “the comparison game” from And Then There Were Five.  (One person tries to guess the identity of a person agreed upon by the others by asking comparison questions: “What vegetable is he/she most like?”)  It was great.  This person was the most fun– she was described as most like J in our family, the color purple, a beach, and a Newfoundland.  See, you knew it was Grandma Judy!

1:00 We do our kitchen jobs.  I read SweetP a Beatrix Potter story, and everyone goes up for rest time.  SweetP doesn’t WANT to take a nap, or even go into her room.  TANTRUM!

1:20 Instead of doing my knee PT, I categorize several months of old blog posts.  Do we even care?

1:30 The babysitter calls and CAN sit tonight (see how far ahead I plan?)  Excellent.  I google to directions to where I’m going and call her back– can I pick her up twenty minutes earlier?

2:00 The elephants descend.  There is much fun: more pokemon battles, chair ballet (and yes, she’s still in her pajamas), digging in the hole in the backyard, mud everywhere…

3:00 WordGirl comes on.  I let folks watch while I finally do my PT.  (Yeah, I should’ve done it earlier and used this time productively, but…)  Then I read a little and call two of my patients about referrals.

3:30  They: “Can we watch Wild Kratts?”  Mommy:  “If your work is done.”  But J’s work is NOT done, and he wastes another 15 minutes pouting about Wild Kratts and trying to bargain to use “today’s” computer time tomorrow if he doesn’t have time to use it today because of not getting his geometry done.  The answer is No.  He finally sits down to do it.

4:00 Legos, reading, bathroom chores, putting laundry away.  More geometry– or maybe it was only geometry tantrums?

4:45 Mommy: “In five minutes we’re going to pick up the babysitter.”  J: “Wait!  My geometry isn’t done.”  Very wordy discussion about making wise choices, and how I don’t feel bad for him that he chose to use his time today watching WordGirl and part of Sesame Street instead of doing geometry when the time was ripe.  Big, fat lower lip sticking out.

5:15 I’m in the car, driving across town for a Soup-tasting fundraiser.  We are guests of one of Sam’s colleagues, and I am his doting wife.  I spend most of the evening trying to think of something to say other than, “Well, you’re the one who chose to watch Sesame Street…”

9:00 We’re home.  I take the sitter home and come back to ice my knee.  Heading upstairs with my ice pack, I see Sam on the step stool, trying to figure out how to fix the smoke alarm.  It’s going to be a long night.

A Little Blog Housekeeping

Since it’s so much easier than painting the house blue, I changed my theme.

If you haven’t noticed, I’ve tried to eliminate some of the barriers to your comments.  (For example, the CAPTCHA code thingummy is gone.)  So if you were afraid to comment, be afeared no more.  I love your comments!

I’m working on getting a widget for RSS feed, in case you prefer to have it emailed to you, or to read it through google.

Thanks for stopping by!

Picture Book Recommendations

We’ve stumbled across a few delightful children’s books recently, and I wanted to share them.

Product DetailsThis book is about a pencil who gets creative… and what ensues.  We all enjoyed this one.

Another Day in the Milky Way is a whimsical, goofy book my children ask for again and again.  Another Day in the Milky WayIt’s not great literature, but who can beat a mom with three heads who tells you to eat your liver flakes and drink your fish?

Mr Willoughby’s Christmas Tree is one of the kids’ favorites.  Just silly fun. Product Details

And my new favorite Christmas book, Product Detailswhich apparently is also a movie.  We’ve not seen the movie, but the book is lovely.

What are your new favorites?