Archive for August, 2008

Down by the bay.


See you in a week.

Brilliante, but slow.

That’s what they’ll carve on my tombstone. Unless I get cremated or something. Then they’d have to carve it on some little plaque or urn or something, which could get tedious and complicated….

There I go off on a tangent again. Sorry about that.


A couple of weeks ago, Mom #1 handed me this cute little thing:

Which I thought was so sweet of her. But of course, it’s taken me forever to post this, so I guess I may be brilliante… but a little slow. Many apologies to Mom #1 for the delay in announcing this happy little web award.

But web awards, as frivolous as they may be, come with a price. And mine is to answer a little questionnaire and then pass this award on to various others that are also Brilliante. So, without further ado, here are my responses:

A. attached or single? Attached.

B. best friend? Shawna.

C. cake or pie? Cake. Preferrably chocolate. But I’ll take pretty much anything.

D. day of choice? Today.

E. essential item? Sleep.

F. favorite color? Green.

G. gummy bears or worms? Skittles.

H. hometown? We moved around so much, it’s really hard to pick one. I need RegularSis to weigh in with me on this one. What do you say, RegularSis? Princeton or Mendham?

I. favorite indulgence? Decaf Vanilla Latte.

J. January or July? July.

K. kids? They’re around here somewhere.

L. life isn’t complete without? A silent e at the end. Otherwise it would be “lif”. Which isn’t a word. (Can you tell where we’re at in our primer right now?)

M. marriage date? April 29. This is also our younger daughter’s birth date. So, eight years after we got married, at 10:35 pm, I delivered the baby and said to RegularDad “Happy Anniversary, honey. Here’s a baby. Top THAT.” Then he gave me a gorgeous diamond and sapphire and peridot ring and a beautiful wrist watch, and I learned that it’s best not to challenge RegularDad to a game of “Top That.” Because he’s a NATURAL at it.

N. number of brothers & sisters? One Supremely Awesome RegularSister. (Oh, we’ve got a half sister and a few half brothers floating around too, but they’re not REGULAR, if you know what I mean.)

O. oranges or apples? Yes, thank you. I’d love some.

P. phobias? My favorite is: “Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia”: the fear of long words. (I swear, I’m not making that up.)

Q. quotes? “If you don’t hurry up and finish that candy, I’m taking that book away from you for the rest of the day.”

R. reasons to smile? The dishes are done, the kids are asleep after a happy day, and I’m just about to make myself some popcorn.

S. season of choice? Fall.

T. tag seven peeps! Will 7 of you who haven’t done this one yet please raise your hands? I now pronounce you tagged.

U. unknown fact about me? I can’t drive stick shift cars.

V. vegetable? Salad. If I don’t eat a salad every day, I feel all weird.

W. worst habits? Neglecting my blog, and forgetting to do these little web awards. I’m pretty sure Kitten gave me one months ago, and I never did post about it or put it in my sidebar. Sorry about that Kitten. I’ll go looking for it when we get back from vacation.

X. x-ray or ultrasound? This is the best we would do for “X”? Really? Why not ask “X-Box or Playstation?” Who wrote this thing? 

Y. your favorite food? Eggs. Any time, anywhere, any way.

Z. zodiac sign? Capricorn.

Well, there it is. My alphabetical requirement to accept my Brilliante award. I tag the first seven of you who want to do this thing. Which is my lazy way of saying: Look, I’d type up everyone’s name and add all the links, but it’s late and Olympic BMX racing just came on, and I can’t type and eat popcorn at the same time.

Many thanks to Mom #1 for giving me this thing. And can I just say, for the record, how much I love visiting the Two Moms Homeschool blog? Because when I go there, I get SMOOTCHES from Mom #1. I love that. Some days, I go there just for the smootches. Sometimes, I go twice.

Fastest summer ever.

Where the hell did the summer go?

It’s like… OVER. Already.

Tomorrow, to give a final hurrah to the fun in our backyard, we’re having all those kids over again to swim in our little glorified wading pool.

Ask me why I’m up so late tonight.

It’s not because of the Olympics. It’s because one of the little girls asked if I’d make more pizza for the playdate, and how can I turn down a kid who wants my pizza? So, I’ve got dough rising right now. I know it’s almost midnight. But the kids REQUESTED my pizza. That’s a big deal for me, having been raised by a woman who refused to teach me to cook and then made fun of my inability to cook for years. All’s I’m sayin’ is: if someone requests a recipe that I made, I’ll move mountains [of laundry] to make it happen. So what if it’s almost midnight.

And well, yeah… I’m watching Olympic diving too. Or at least I was. But then they switched over to women’s beach volleyball. And I’m sorry, but… NO. I just can’t watch them in their little bikini’s. RegularDad was all “well, I’ve found MY sport!” when they aired the first preliminary matches. Which didn’t bother me at all, because I was way too busy checking out the men’s swim team to pay much attention to what he was drooling over. Besides, that’s what I look like in my bikini. The one I wear in my dreams. You know — the Hawaiian Island dreams…. What? I never told you about those?

But, I digress.

What I was meaning to post here tonight is that tomorrow is the last day we’ll have our little pool up for the summer. RegularDad’s taking it down on Friday because we’re leaving for a week down at the shore the next day. And I’d like to be able to sleep on our vacation. And if the pool’s still up and unattended for a week, I won’t sleep. Besides, it’s already getting cool in the evenings, and the water temperature is getting lower.

So, we invited our friends over for one last HURRAH in the pool. That’s tomorrow’s big plan. Then on Friday, while RegularDad’s taking down the pool and packing the van for our trip, I’m taking the kids to the park to meet a bunch of our Girl Scouting buddies. The kids’ll all play while us moms talk about the new Daisy troop we’re putting together this fall.

Yep, it’s official. I’m a Daisy Troop Leader. And the other two moms who started this thing with me quickly opted for the jobs like TREASURER and HANDLER OF ADMINISTRATIVE BULLSHIT and while I’m more than happy to pass those bucks to whoever will take them, it does sort of leave me sitting there in front of a group of kindergarteners who expect me to lead them as they develop valuable life skills. Things like CONFIDENCE. SELF-RESPECT. LEADERSHIP. SELF-RELIANCE.

Yep. They put me in charge of all that.

And they expect me to sing.

Man, I am SO screwed.

So after all that, we’ve got to rush home and pack up and head down to the shore for a week of BEING TOGETHER ON VACATION WITH NO OTHER EXTENDED FAMILY MEMBERS WITHIN A 50 MILE RADIUS. Do you have any idea how much I’m looking forward to this? (No offense, RegularSis.)

The worst thing about living so far away from the family for so long was that every vacation we took, it was sort of EXPECTED that we would either come East to see EVERYONE (which in RegularDad’s family consitutes something like one-third of the population of Passaic County, NJ, which makes seeing EVERYONE a logistical exercise in futility), or that we would invite them all out West to tour places like Yellowstone Park or fish the big waters of Montana and Utah. Nice, but really hard to pull off with all the Great Aunts in tow. I’m pretty sure the last vacation we ever took when it was JUST US was our honeymoon. And even on that one, I had to constantly pry my mother-in-law out of the trunk and tell her NO YOU CAN’T COME TO MEXICO WITH US.

So, we’ll be down the shore for a week (did ya hear my Jersey sneak in there? I said “down the shore”!) and then right when we get back— BOOM! It’s September, and the year kicks off just like that. Starting of course, with the Annual We’re Not Going Back To School So HA HA ALL OVER YOU!!!! Donut Fest, held at our local Dunkin’ Donuts, in which all the local homeschoolers gather together to stuff themselves full of donuts and coffee while watching all the public school busses go by.

Whew! Just typing all that out did me in. And still, I ask myself: where did the summer actually go? Because I swear just yesterday it was May and I was getting ready to go on my Mommy Needs A Break From The Insanity vacation in the Colorado mountains.

I’d say this was the fastest summer ever, but the problem is, I’m probably wrong. Once you turn 40, it all probably just gets faster. That’s why we stop riding roller coasters. Because with life moving this fast, who the hell needs ’em?

Am I in a mood? Or am I in a mood?

Where are we going? And whose handbasket is this?

I love election years. Not because we’ll finally get a decent president (ya, like THAT will ever happen), but because things like this and this get made.

I majored in Political Science and History and college. I learned just enough to become jaded to the whole electoral process in general. The way elections happen nowadays, and then the way congress operates, it’s amazing we’re still here at all, if you ask me.

I supported Hillary for president. I voted for her in the primary. I didn’t automatically decide to love Obama the minute he clinched the race. In fact, I’m still irritated as all hell that he decided to run this time in the first place. He’s young. He could have spent more time gaining valuable experience as a senator and a statesman before jumping out for the big spot. And this country certainly wasn’t ready to decide between a black man and a woman for the presidency. I mean, seriously. I liked Hillary for the job because she has a hell of a lot more experience than Barrack does. People hate her, sure. But this ain’t no popularity contest. It’s a country falling all to shit. I don’t think Barack has any idea of what’s in store for him if/when he wins this thing. Hillary did. She got it. She’s been there.

But, after saying all that, in the end I’ll probably cast a vote for Barack anyway. Because McCain makes me nervous, and ANYTHING’S better than what we’ve got now.

But at least we get to laugh our asses off at things like what they’re up to over at the Onion while we watch the whole thing go down in flames play out on TV.

Many thanks to Katherine over at Our Report Card, for reminding me that the Onion is out there, and that they get it.

2008-09 curriculum list and plans.

August is winding down, and even though we school pretty much all year long, I do take pains to make major switches in things right around the end of the summer. Also, during the LOOOOONG process of moving back to the East, I intentionally took about a year and a half to complete first grade. I knew, somehow, that we would need those extra months when things were hectic and the house was nothing but towers of cardboard boxes. And hasty take out. Frazzled Moments With Tantrummy Children. And there were so many days like that. Too many. I can’t bear to even think about it anymore. Egads! Why am I reliving it now, in this blog post, after it’s all over with?

Whoa. Flashback.

Okay, I’m over it.

Anyway. The point is, it’s been almost 2 years since I sat down and ordered up a whole big mess of curriculum, and can I just say: Ordering Curriculum Is Fun!

Man, I’ve GOT to get out more. Can you believe what I just wrote up there?

I am SUCH a homeschooler.

Anyway. I had a lot of fun looking through all the catalogs, and I exercised a fair amount of prudence so that when it came time to haul out the ole’ Visa card, RegularDad’s hair didn’t turn completely white. And the day I filed the Affidavit, boxes began arriving, and the girls began OOOOOH-ing and AAAAAHHHH-ing as I opened each box and let them pull out the books. And my 5-year-old practically cried for joy when she saw that she’d be doing HER VERY OWN SAXON MATH K MEETING BOOK this year.

They couldn’t wait to begin, of course. So we started our school year last week, and the girls are thoroughly enjoying themselves. Me? I’m exhausted. I’m learning how to handle teaching two kids now, and we’ve added a couple of new subjects to the schedule as well. I added a writing program to match our grammar program, and my 7-year-old requested Latin, even though I was planning on waiting one more year for it. So, our days feel a lot busier, academically speaking. It seems as if a big chunk of our school year this year will be learning how to take it easy and enjoy the work. Some subjects we’ll do every day; some we won’t. At this age, it’s all about immersion in the basics, and exposure to the extras.

Last week and this week, I’m focusing more on easing our way into a daily routine. Next week, we’ve got one more vacation to take: we’re spending a week at the beach. Then it’ll be September, and back to the regular grind — not just the academics, but all the extra-curricular stuff like Girl Scouting as well. It promises to be a wild and crazy year around here. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

For those of you who are curious about the actual list of what we’re using this year, click the RegularCurriculum tab at the top of the page. I’ve listed everything there for your convenient perusal. Because I know you’ve been perched on the edge of your chair, biting your nails, waiting for this information. Yeah. I know you. Don’t try to deny it.

You are SUCH a homeschooler.

Swallowtail Blur.

Sometimes, you can’t help feeling glad that you missed the shot. That you had the wrong lens. That the picture came out blurry.

Sometimes, the screwed up shot is a gift.

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