Saturday, January 29, 2000 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

Sliding, sex and a house full of kids. But not in that order.

The past two days have been filled with kids, lots of ‘em, sliding, and Ron driving me crazy.

Around here, Fridays are a half-day of school. Normally we visit other kids or sometimes, Kendra and Danny come over. Well, Sarah invited a friend, who brought someone with her, AND K & D came over. That’s seven. It’s not really as bad as it sounds. I’m a little pleased that our place is a magnet for everybody else’s kids, and they keep each other out of trouble most of the time.

The big thing was sliding in our yard. It’s not really a hill, more of a gentle slope. Ron helped it out by heaping a pile of snow at the top for a good start. They go down the hill, across the driveway, and sometimes halfway down the garden! At least 40 feet, usually more. And the trudge back up the hill isn’t deadly.

So today, two of the kids were back, plus another one. This time, Ron and I were sliding a bit too. When we got to the point where Ron & I were on the sled together, that was the end for me. I had only stepped out for a minute to take a few pictures, so I wasn’t really dressed for it. I had snow all in my sneakers, my pants were wet and ripped just like Kristen’s, and we kept falling off the sled halfway down.

I would love to show you some pictures, if I had the digital camera like I wanted, but the boss says since processing for them is still too expensive, we’ll wait. He’d like to get real prints, see, while I just want it for web stuff. *sigh* I know I could bribe him, which leads me to my next topic.

*Warning!* Really personal info ahead! If you are my mother, GO AWAY! Or skip down a little.

Hormonally speaking, my phermones are calling out to him. We are trying really hard not to give in and I’ll explain most of the urgency about it.

Nine months from now is *all* my children’s birthdays.

Yes, you heard that right. January has traditionally been a conception month for us. Now I will freak you out further by saying I went of the Pill. We aren’t really aiming, so to speak, for more children, I was having some minor problems with the Pill, now they are gone! I am more energized, more interested in s-e-x more than twice a month, not as lethargic, all things are looking up. You see my problem now?

Neither one of us wants to get fixed, and Depo-Provera was so not fun, so this leaves us with some interesting choices. I’m really predictable, so we start with the Rythm Method, continue with the Natural Family Planning method, and round off with some condoms. Why do they call that a family size pack anyway? Isn’t that what we want to prevent?

And on really peak days, especially in January, we try to stay away from one another.Yes I know we’ve been married for a while, and I thought we were past that, but ever since I stopped taking those pills, my libido has returned. The sad part is, we’re a touchy-feely couple. We normally can’t walk by one another without a hug, kiss, or quick feel. Oh, the problems that plague me!

The Coast is Clear. End of Personal Info Section.

Sarah asked me yesterday if I weighed more than 200 pounds. After my chin got back up off the floor, I said “Why, no, do I look it?”

Just a word of advice, don’t ever ask your children something like that. Of course, Meaghan took me up on it, and said with a glint in her eye, “YES!”

I’m hoping all this running around after her will wear some of the excess flab off. That and the sex.

Thursday, January 27, 2000 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

The news and the weather report.

Well, I’m sure you’re wondering what was up last time. I’ll mention it when the coast is clear, but it’s nothing to do with me & Ron.

Anway, on to the weather…
It was very cold, as I’ve mentioned, but the last couple of days it warmed up above freezing. I don’t know about you, but a twenty to thirty degree shift in the temperature is tough. They cancelled school *again* because of the threat of icy roads. It was mostly slushy and wet, and I began to wonder if I only dreamt the announcement on the radio. You see, the alarm went off, and I let it go for a while, and before my head came off the pillow, I’m pretty sure they said “school’s cancelled in Districs XX and XX!” I hollered out to Addison to go back to bed, turned off the alarm, and promptly fell back to sleep for two more hours.

Sarah thought it was horribly unfair for Addison to have a day off, while I insisted they do their work. Until I reminded her of all the extra days of she had recently when he didn’t. Then it was more than fair.
Now it is snowing again, on top of all that ice, for overnight it went back below freezing. Only -10 celcius or so, not as bad as before.

Workwise…
I did get my catalogue finished and off to Staples. Ron is picking it up now. Since I’ll be sending out maybe 200 in the first round, I’m thinking of getting MailBoxes Etc. to lick the stamps for me. Now to re-vamp the biz website. I’m partway thru, and it is a nightmare because I’m adding some directory restructuring. Every page will have to be redone. I looked into style sheets, but I don’t think that would help. Feel free to go poke around and make suggestions.

Other miscellaneous stuff…
I missed the bookmobile today. I have about 9 books from last time, and maybe three I didn’t finish becasue they were so bad. On eI made myself read becasue I had nothing left, and I had read all of Sarah’s new Babysitter’s Club books I could find. Yes, I was that desperate to read. So imagine how agast I was when Ron reminded me at 4 p.m. that I had missed it.
My homeschool forms still haven’t been filled out yet. I’m supposed to be doing it now, but the lure of the internet has me tight in its grasp. I need to do these every single year, and for this school year, well, it’s a bit late. :-)
My to-do list is dying a slow death. I got a monthly planner with a sidebar on it so my to-do’s can last all month. I’m trying to finish them up mostly so I don’t hav eto write them over again when I flip the page to February. I am so lazy.

In dairy land news..
Catherine linked to me! This makes me do a happy Snoopy dance of joy. My entry on colors is here, although I just gave her the main page link.

And Dave Van just makes me want to ask why? If he’s done with the world of journals, why is he on Chuck’s notify list?

Sunday, January 23, 2000 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

IN WHICH Pooh and Christopher Robin run smack into reality.

I read a lot when I was a child, a lot of British books, too, since my grandparents were British and that was where I spent the bulk of my time. Winne the Pooh was a favourite. I never understood the end, not until I got older and read it again.

I cried.
I cried and cried. At least I felt like I had cried a hundred tears in the Hundred Acre Wood. But of course I’m an adult now, and we don’t do these sorts of things anymore.

In a roundabout way this gets me to what is on my mind today, which is not earth-shattering news to say the least.

People are fallible.

Laugh, roll your eyes, and scoff if you will. I have met up with this again lately. It is always disconcerting when you meet with it. It never seems to loose its impact, not after the first or tenth time.

Sometimes I let myself think that, hey, this person, friend, is the greatest thing since sliced bread. The are the sun rising in the east, the Second Coming, the first day of the state fair, the first day of school, love, light and laughter.

And then the mirror reflects back at me. For when I realize that other people make mistakes, and by golly, some of them are just like mine, it makes me want to crawl back into bed and hide under the covers until morning.

Of course this is not a dream and I am awake. Why didn’t someone tell me it would be like this? Why didn’t I see these things coming? How come I’m getting older and waxing nostalgic about events as they unfold even? My life is not near its end, not that I know of, and yet I feel so old.

The children couldn’t grow up fast enough at one time, and now they won’t slow down. Ahh, but I digress.

I don’t mean to put people on a pedestal, I really don’t. I know they are human, I do. I don’t expect their faults to leak out like I see mine. Me, I know I’m not perfect. I really don’t expect you to be perfect either, but sometimes…

Sometimes I expect you to be better than me. Better for a lot of reasons. Maybe you seem more experienced at life, older and wiser. Maybe you have gone through more events and circumstances than I have. Maybe because of your position in life I just expect too much, perhaps?

And maybe I’ll love you anyways. Maybe I’ll love you in spite of it all. Maybe there will be a faint tarnish that fades over time as you disappear.

And maybe there wil be a not-so-clean and very messy break.

And that would be a Very Bad Thing.

I am just a Bear of Very Little Brain, and sometimes don’t understand it all. Christopher Robin, my best friend, is here. Tigger and Piglet and Rabbit are here too, they’ve had their bath and are watching t.v. Later we will hurry off to bed, Christopher Robin shutting down the house and making us safe and warm for the night. And we will sleep like children, and greet the dawn once more with a smile.

Friday, January 21, 2000 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

Oh the weather outside is frightful…

Snow is falling. There’s a blizzard warning in effect, 80 km/hour winds are predicted, school is cancelled, (not that it affects the girls any) and there are cancellations all over the place. Cities are shutting down all over the Maritimes. It is 15 to 20 below, in Celcius.

And the kids want to go outside and play.

*sigh*

We are warm in here, anyway. Ron must be coming down with something again. He keeps laying down “just for a minute”. I am surprisingly in the mood for working, and am tweaking the details on my catalogue.

The kids have been in and out, to warm up and thaw out, or to dig out their face masks for swimming. The blowing snow gets in their eyes. What a sight.
The dog doesn’t know what to think of it. The chickens aren’t impressed either, as demonstrated by the continuing lack of eggs. I think there were only three eggs today, at the most. One of them was just about frozen.

The funny thing is, people keep complaining. I mean, come ON, this is January! In Canada! Not to feed into the sterotype or anything, but we’re certainly not in Florida! Sheesh.

Next thing you know, I’ll be hearing how hot it is in July. Excuse my while I leave to practise my best discreet rolling-of-the-eyes.

P.S. We wandered onto this IQ test site, and I scored 150, while Ron scored 156. I love those things. Please, go do it, and tell me if we’re all geniuses.

Wednesday, January 19, 2000 in homeschooling

Home and School.

Recently, someone on a homeschool mailing list asked me the following, so I thought after I answered, that you all may want to know too. Besides, saves thinking up something else to write about. :-)

>What made you decide to put your oldest in public school?
>Was it his decision?
>Has there been adjustment for either of you?
>Did your public school make you jump through any hoops?

We take our schooling one year at a time. When we started, Addison was part way thru grade one. I always said I didn’t want to do it forever, just until they had a hold of the “basics”. The local school taught whole-language reading with no phonic work at all. I’m a real phonics believer, and wanted the kids to learn that way.

It was a family decision, and there were some adjustments for all of us. Partly, he was at an age where it was getting difficult to teach him at home for various reasons. One was a personality conflict with his father (since resolved). No, no big huge fights or anything, but it was frustrating. Whenever my hubby would explain something to him, he acted like he was “in trouble” and it became a lecture that he would tune out. When asked a question, he would try and answer what he thought we wanted to hear, instead of thinking for himself, which was what we were trying to do.
Addison had gone to a private Christian school for the first year and a half, and they were very high-pressure at that time. I think he was really caught up in the “have to get 100%” attitude, and really has a hard time, even to this day, if he gets a lower mark than he wants. And he’s a really smart kid.

When we enrolled him, we didn’t have to jump thru any hoops at all. Actually I went to the school at the end of the previous year, and they were at a loss as to what to do. It was too early to enroll him for the fall, send him up the first day of school, they said. And that was it. No tests, no nothing. The school board in these here parts are pretty much at a loss with what to do with homeschoolers.

The biggest adjustment for him was learning to get along with bullies, unfortunately (being teased and picked on). Not that he didn’t have to deal with people he didn’t want to at home, but those contacts were easily minimized, and more closely monitored. Part of what he (and I) had to learn was Mommy and Daddy can’t fix everything for you, either. There is a certain amount of stuff you have to put up with from others, unfortunately, and you have to learn how to handle it without someone fixing it for you all the time. We did have a couple of serious incidents, and my hubby marched right up to the school and gave them an earful. This year is so much better.

Addison is in a split 7/8 class, whch means he gets a lot of 8th grade work. They also have a new program for gifted kids (called the autonomous learners – the program had a lot of self-directed learning and developing critical thinking skills. sounded like homeschooling to me!) which he has one day a week with other students in the middle school level, all in one class. His teachers are constantly giving him extra work because he finishes homework in class. They have also used him as a role-model for other kids in the class, which didn’t go over well with those kids who are the regular teasers/bullies, but he can deal with them now. Yeah, he’s a little geeky. :-)

In a couple of years, he will go to the high school in town, a thirty minute drive away, which is longer on the bus, with much bigger kids. There were a few incidences there of bomb threats, death threats on bathroom walls, etc, but they turned out to be hoaxes. Even still, we are aprehensive of sending him there. He says he wants to go, so we will probably give it a semester when it gets here and see how it goes. He knows he can come home anytime.

Some people ask which did he like better. He always says the same thing. “I like them both, one is not better than the other. They’re just different.”

So if you’ve read this far, and are new to me and all, a big HI, and thanks to pamie for letting us all post our journal links.
Not that I needed any more to read…..

Sunday, January 16, 2000 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

Near misses.

Al talks about some near misses and it made me think of our own. Ours is a family *full* of near-misses and could-have-been-worse.
It seems like most of them happen to Addison. He is a boy, after all, and it just seems that boys are the more frequent visitors to the Emergency Room.
The earliest, other than being born which was difficult enough, was like Al’s son Eric, an incident with a plug socket.
My mother had renovated her porch off the kitchen. We were sitting around the table, drinking tea, catching up and Addison had crawled out to explore. “Oh there’s nothing out there to hurt him.” Famous last words. Not two minutes later, there’s a very loud C R R R A A A C C K K, a cry, and a distinct smell. We rush in to discover he had put his finger into the side of a plug socket with no switchplate. His finger and thumb were black and sooty, but no visible burns or anything, and he was crying *very* heartily.

The next near miss of his was when he was three, “helping” Ron work on the back of the house. Ron was working high up on the ladder, building some staging to work on the siding. He told Addison, quite sternly, to play off to the side while he went up the ladder with a 2×6 about 10 feet long. He says he kept an eye on him every few steps he went up the ladder, and he was always in the same place.
Until Ron is almost at the top.
Until he loses his balance, which rarely happens.
Until he drops the board.
He told me he looked down, and all he could see was Addison’s bright red t-shirt directly under the ladder. The very edge of the board glances off Ad’s head, catches his t-shirt, and scrapes down his back.
It turns out that there is no sign of the board actually hitting his head, a large hole in his shirt, and a small flap of skin right over his backbone that 7 stitches fixed up just fine. It could have been so much worse.

Another time, when he was 5 or 6, he fell off his bike and wound up cutting the inside of his mouth. He had some whirlygig on the handle bars, and when he fell forward, his mouth was open and it went right in. It left a nasty bruise and a little cut on the roof of his mouth, and it looked a lot worse than it was.
One time he got a very large splinter in his index finger, right on the inside lined up with the wrinkle of one of the joints. We had erected a temporary railing to go up the front steps. He figured he could slide down it with mittens on to prevent splinters. Man, that thing was big! It looked to me like part of a toothpick, it was that thick. I couldn’t get it out, and his finger swelled. So, a day or so later, wehn it showed no signs of going anywhere, we settled in at the Emergency Room. A very overworked doctor had a look, explained it probably wasn’t half as big as I thought it was (note: don’t ever tell me I’m exaggerating a medical problem when it comes to my children), and explored the hole half-heartedly. He couldn’t find anything.
A week later, after draining the pus from it every day, I let it build up some. One little pop, and this large splinter popped out. I almost drove to the hospital to hunt down the doctor and wave it in his face. But at least Ad still has his finger.

And most recently, only a couple of years ago, he was playing with a brand new chisel, practising scraping with it. He had been expressly told not to. Well, of course it slipped. He has a two or three inch scar on the pad of his right hand. A very nice lady doctor sewed it up, explaining what she was doing while she did it. Addison watched, facinated the whole time.
It hasn’t always been him, his sisters are known for weird accidents as well.
When Sarah was almost two, she stuck her finger in a pencil sharpener, sideways into the cutters. The cover was off because Addison wanted to see how it worked. It really freaked me out because it was right in front of me, too fast to stop. And it bled and bled.
A panicked drive up to the medical clinic (closer than the Emergency), and the silly doctor said the star-shaped cut was too tiny to stich, even though it could have used it. Besides, we had waited too long.
Hmmph. Maybe if he had been in the office when we got there, we would have seen him sooner, ya think?
When I hold her hand sometimes, I sneak a look at the purple scar. I scrape my fingernail on it, and she doesn’t feel a thing.

And Meaghan the daredevil, who always climbed high things and just this morning was standing on her bookshelf. Meaghan fell seven feet off the stair landing. Foolishly, we had left a box of newspapers on the landing, in front of the window. She stood on the box to look outside, turned to get off, and slipped.
The stairs are the split-level type, and she had landed on the bottom set. We didn’t see it, but heard it. It sounded like she had rolled down the first short flight, so I didn’t hurry. When we got to where she was, she was standing up, limping. She wound up with a large bruise on her thigh and on her chest. Nothing broken.

She’s never looked out that window since.