Communication is a beautiful thing

I had surgery almost 6 weeks ago and have given up all sorts of duties.  One of them was the grocery shopping.  Lots of people told me that pushing the grocery cart is hard and so I willingly let my Beloved handle this.  I made up the list and sent him off every Saturday morning.  Since we were having many meals brought in, it wasn’t a long list but it still took him a while.  He claimed that so much of it was because he was unfamiliar with the store.  I understood this because it’s a fairly new store.  Or so I thought.  🙂  Yesterday, we decided to go as a family with him taking certain tasks like standing at the deli counter and getting lunch meat while I went around with another child pushing the cart and got other things.  But as we pulled off our street, my Beloved started to turn the wrong way.  I asked him where he was going and he told me “to our regular grocery store.”   Ooops, umm, not any longer.  Not since the built the newer, larger one that has a much larger selection of organic food.  He’s never been to the store or maybe he’s been once before.  Anyway, since he’s been going to the old store and not the new store, it explains why he couldn’t find certain items even when I was talking to him as he stood in the store and told him to turn around and he did and it wasn’t there on the shelf where it should be.  I couldn’t believe they were out of certain products week after week.  He never saw empty spaces on the shelves and thought they just weren’t carrying the items any longer.  All of the mysteries were explained yesterday. 🙂

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A Giveaway on a Friend’s Blog

Go here and look for the Nathan Clark George DVD Giveaway: http://www.counterculturalschool.blogspot.com/ The contest ends Saturday, May 23rd and you don’t have to be a homeschooler to enter — she links to her other blog where she is posting links to all sorts of free audiobooks and there is a beautiful one of Treasure Island. Great if you a child who has a hard time getting going in a book on his/her own.

Tell me this makes me the funnest mom ever and not the worst mom of the year

Breakfast:  Donuts.  Okay, they had milk — that was good right?

Lunch:  Chicken nuggets, french fries and root beer at Chick-Fil-A.  Okay, FM#3 had fruit.  Oh, and they had a shake to end the meal, so there was some dairy in there too.

Dinner:  An assortment of hamburgers, cheeseburgers, chicken nuggets and chicken sandwiches at McDonalds.  All with fries.  All with chocolate milk except for the DP (Dear Princess) who doesn’t like chocolate milk and prefers regular.  Okay, what girl doesn’t like chocolate over regular?  I know — mine.  But do you think I should take her to the doctor?

In my defense, I needed a birth certificate for FM#2 to prove that he was indeed born when I said he was and it was due yesterday.  So yesterday, I went to the vital records file folder to pull it out so I could fax it in and voila — it wasn’t there.  All weekend long I looked for it — in other folders, in piles, in places where it might be.  I didn’t spend oodles of time but I would pray and then search when I had a moment and thought of new places.  FM#3’s and the DP’s weren’t in there either.  FM#1’s was.  Mine was.  Don’t know where my Beloved’s is but that’s not my concern. 🙂  Okay, it is my concern but he has a passport, so I’m really not that concerned because most places that need a birth certificate to prove something will take a passport.  So I’m not concerned about the dude.  Also, I can’t remember if you actually hand it over when you get a passport for the first time and if you do, I know where it is.  And it’s not in this house.  Had the social security cards.  Most of them.  Even the one of mine that I laminated which immediately invalidates it.  I mention that in case you were tempted to “preserve” yours.  Don’t.  Or at least don’t do it in that way.  But, I digress.  So this morning, after searching a few more places, I decided we would go to the main office to get a new birth certificate for FM#2.  I thought about calling my MIL and begging for mercy to have her watch the kids.  Then I found a satellite office that was somewhat near us that was open on Mondays and only Mondays.  Somewhat being defined by Houston standards.  I knew this satellite office wouldn’t take as long as the main office.  Just knew it.  Was so wrong.  Anywho, none of the kids were dressed, nor had they had breakfast and supposedly this office was only open from 9 am to 10:30 am, and it was 8:45 am.  (Watched the 2 hour “Extreme Makeover:  Home Edition” last night because I have apparently lost the ability to read the guide on TV and didn’t realize it was that long and so they went to bed late and got up late but that’s okay because we homeschool so I don’t have to be a crazy woman 5 days a week to get them on the bus or take them to school.  Okay, that’s not the reason but it’s a bonus.  A true bonus!)  Where was I?  Oh, yeah, the kids got dressed and ate breakfast in record time and cooperating fully — how did that happen?  And we were out the door a minute before 9 am.  I’m still not sure how that happened because they never do anything that fast.  Then, after a couple of wrong turns because they numbered the buildings out of order, we checked in at 9:30 am.  Still don’t know what’s up with the building numbers  but I guess if it’s a city building, you can just slap any number on the building that is somewhat in the vicinity of the numbers of buildings in the area and it’s good enough.  We got back in the car at 12:08 pm.  It was a long miserable wait for all of us except I will say the children behaved exceptionally well so it could have been way more miserable for me.  And I also got new ones for the DP and FM#3 in case we need theirs soon.  And all of the birth certificates are safely ensconced in the “vital records” file folder.

So that explains breakfast and lunch.  Dinner is explained that I’m a bit worn out and we had Scouts tonight and I had to take FM#1 to meet my husband so they could go.  It is a Court of Honor which I wasn’t really interested in going to with rest of the kids and I don’t think they wanted to go either.  To just sit.  And be quiet.  Again.

So nutritionally and financially, the day was a bust.  But am I the worst mom of the year?  Tell me.  I can take it.  I think.  Maybe not.  It’s been a long day.

Because I know trouble when I see it

Last week, on FM#3’s birthday, FM#2 woke up complaining that his ear hurt when he yawned.  Hmmm.   Strange.  I took his temperature and there was none so I dismissed it.  I thought “If it gets worse, I’ll take him to the dentist,” thinking that it must have something to do with his jaw.

Since it was Tuesday, we went about our normal Tuesday business and went to therapy for the kids.  It was an hour when FM#2 was out (not back seeing a therapist) and he stretched and yawned and quickly dissolved into tears from the pain in his ear.  Okay, now, that was alarming!  A speech therapist who was in the waiting room recommended that we dampen a paper towel, put it in a cup and in the microwave and create a miniature steamer to place over his ear.  We did this and he seemed to improve but I called the pediatrician’s office to see if we could get in when we were finished at therapy.  My regular pediatrician was out but they said we could see her partner.  Now, I’m not thrilled with her partner, who we’ve never seen before, because he missed a MAJOR diagnosis for a friend of mine’s child but I thought, “he can at least diagnose an ear infection and give us antibiotics” so in we went.

He’s actually a very funny guy and I like him more than I expected to but I don’t want him to be our regular doctor because, well, he missed a major diagnosis.  He’s not up on the latest and greatest and is a bit behind the times.  But he was funny.  Which FM#2 liked.  So, for some reason, I start talking about the time that FM#2 put something in his ear when we were living in North Carolina and it was in there for at least a month!  Btw, FM#2 still had no temperature.  The doctor looked in his ear and guess what?  There was something in there.  A little piece of foil from a Hershey’s kiss.  Hmmm, let me think, when did they last have Hershey kisses to eat?  I guess that would be during advent when they got candy every night from our advent calendar.

After they got it out, the doctor reinspected his ear and then turned to me and asked “Why did you start talking about the time in NC when he put something in his ear before I even examined him?”  A very astute observation I might add.   “Ummm, because he’s trouble and has a hard time learning his lesson,” I mouthed to the doctor.  But we do love FM#2 so much because he makes our lives so much more interesting. 😉  I also mentioned that the child has never had an ear infection in his life, had not had a cold, no runny nose and it seemed like a rather sudden onslaught of  an illness.  The doctor then told FM#2 he was free to put his shoulder or elbow in his ear but every thing else had to stay out.  FM#2 thought that was funny too.  The doctor really has a way with kids which you would expect from a pediatrician but which I don’t always see.  He has a great bedside manner.  I just wish he was a better doctor.

The long journey of homeschooling

The week between Christmas and New Year’s did not go well in our homeschool.  Many would say it was because we were actually doing school but the week before was worse because we took off and they were bored, bored, bored.  Our main problem is that we have an 11 year old in the house who thinks my rules are merely suggestions which he should take under advisement.  Of course, upon reflection, he always decides that my rules are not really good ideas and he can always think of reasons why they don’t apply.  He always wrong about why they don’t apply but he always thinks that they don’t apply in this particular situation.  Mainly because he doesn’t want them ever to apply.  Sigh.

Things are much, much better.  His attitude has changed and my attitude has changed since I have found out that so many struggle with boys at this age.  Knowing it is a stage helps me to not get so frustrated.  He still gets correction but I don’t feel like I’m banging my head against the wall so much trying to figure out how to communicate better with him.  The answer is that I can’t.   At the moment, he’s just not going to get it.  So until he does, he’ll just get lots of correction.

Things were so bad at one point that I looked up our local middle school to see where he needed to be in every subject to be enrolled. 🙂  That’s when I found out that we aren’t zoned to the middle school that I thought we were zoned to.  You know, when you aren’t looking at school particulars when you move into a house, you can really be clueless about such things.  But, I digress.

Anyway, one person posted a quote on a local homeschooling loop that has become my “words to live by.”  So for those of you who may be having a dip in the road, I post it here:

“Is that your plough leaning by the tree, and is it not too heavy?”

“It is heavy,” answered the Princess,” but I love to turn the hard earth
into soft furrows and know that I am making good soil wherein my seeds
may grow. When I feel the weight too much, I try to think of the
harvest”

from “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm” by Kate Douglas Wiggin

Also, on Monday night, I went to a meeting of moms in our church who homeschool — they aren’t numerous but they are all wonderful.  We started talking about another homeschool mom who has finished her homeschooling journey and another mom said that she used to ask her how she did it and how she wasn’t intimidated and the response was this:  “I always pray ‘Lord, let it be enough.’ ”  So that is now my prayer.

Oh, and btw, one of her 3 boys has a PhD in astrophysics, another is studying to be an M.D. and the third is studying for his MDiv.  I would say that the Lord answered her prayer abundantly.

Steal second?

About a month ago, the kids sang at the beginning of our church service.  Not FM#1 of course because he’s a big boy now but all the rest were up front.  In our family, there is always the tension of getting there early so the kids can be in place and practice once or twice and not getting there so early that they are bored and start causing trouble.  😀

I thought we had timed it perfectly but I was so very wrong.  FM#3 got bored and decided to pick on a pastor’s kid.  Why pick on just any kid when you can maybe take out the child of a man of the cloth and draw even more attention to yourself?  This particular boy is the oldest boy of the RUF minister at a local university.  FM#3 decided he needed a bear hug.  The other child was not so sure he needed a bear hug but is too sweet to fight back.  The minister of music, who was tasked with running this whole endeavor which is probably the least favorite task in his job description, saw that a takedown was about to happen and had the audacity to tell FM#3 to stop and he may have even used the word “no”.  This elicited a stare of shooting darts from FM#3.  The minister of music was oblivious to the shooting darts of death coming from FM#3’s eyes but we, the parents, were not.  My Beloved, in an effort to put him in a better mood, started giving him a thumbs up and smiling at him.  FM#3 finally responded and gave us a smile and a thumbs up back.  All was right with the world.

And then he started giving us some other signals.  He pointed to the heavens and then looked up.  I’m not sure what he was trying to say.  Maybe that God was watching him?  Maybe that God was watching us?  It seemed a bit more understandable than what followed.  What followed did not make much sense.  Actually, it didn’t make any sense at all but FM#3 kept sending signals.  He went on and on and on . . .

The family sitting behind us had some family members visiting.  The visitors were in hysterics.  I heard them making comments and laughing.  And then I heard the people they were with say “It’s their son!” and turned around enough to see the wife pointing to us.

Me?  I was laughing so hard I was crying.  Others would have been mortified.  I’m WAY past that.  He’s the fourth child.  I got over being embarrassed decades ago. 🙂

When we passed the peace and greeted those around us, the visitors asked us what he was saying.  We told them we had no idea but it looked like he was telling us to steal second.  They told us that he was so cute and that he stole the show.  Yes, we know.  They told us that they hoped we weren’t too embarrassed because there is always a kid who acts up at every one of these things.  We told them that we were happy to serve the church and provide that child so that other families were spared. 😉

We’ll probably be providing this service for a few years to come.

I never knew

FM#2 and FM#3 had a science book down the other day and were studying it very seriously to see how a baby grows in his mommy’s tummy.  FM#3 later reported to my Beloved that first you’re made and you look yucky and then you grow some and you still look yucky and then you grow some more and still you look yucky and then finally you grow enough to look like a baby and you’re in your mommy’s tummy.

To me, he reported that he knew where babies came from.  I made the hmmm sound that us mothers make when we are not sure we want to hear the words that are about to come forth from our children’s mouths and he said, “You grow in your mommy’s tummy and then one day your mommy goes blech (made a throwing up sound) and you come out your mommy’s mouth.”  I said, “You don’t come out your mommy’s mouth.”  (Why, oh why, do I open my mouth?)  He responded, “Where else would you come out?” I told him that was a very good question that we would discuss later, as in years from now.  He looked at me and said “You come out the mouth” and walked off quite satisfied with his discovery of knowledge.

Now, I’m just waiting to see what other people say if he shares his wealth of knowledge with them. 🙂