Friday, June 29, 2007

random rambles

Friday, June 29, 2007

random rambles
Current mood: calm

I'm on a blogging spree. . . compared to usual, anyway! I think I'm restless and since I don't have adults to complain/blab endlessly to, I feel the need to blab endlessly at my loyal readers instead! LOL. Part of my restlessness is my desire to know if I am carrying a girl or not. . . I feel silly, but there it is. Not long now!! I find out Tuesday (as long as baby cooperates).

The other evening when the boys were at my friend's house, my friend wondered if we had found out the baby's sex yet. So she asked Littleman if we knew whether the new baby was a boy or a girl. Littleman responded confidently, "It's a girl!". Well, hmmm. She told me when I arrived, and I told her it was news to me! There's any number of reasons why he might say that. . . but still, won't it be interesting if he's right?

Today, I finally left the stone age of internet service- I ditched the dial-up for DSL! I am enjoying the faster connection. There is a deal right now from AT&T for new customers- their basic DSL service for $10 per month. You have to have a Bellsouth/AT&T landline, and you have to sign on for a two year contract. But my internet connection is faster AND less expensive now! Hard to beat that. (If you have not had Bellsouth DSL yet, and you are interested in this deal, you can message me to find out how to get it- AT&T tries to hide it.)

I ache. My hips are SOO sore. I don't know if it's sciatica, or a too-firm (for me) mattress, or just not being used to sleeping on my side all the time. Or if it's just from the added strain as my belly grows? Anyhow it's very, very unpleasant.

But I love feeling the baby move!

I am sitting in the kitchen, listening to the "calm" playlist from my ipod. (Monks chanting, Enya, the soundtrack from Whale Rider, you get the idea). I like this playlist and it sets a good bedtime vibe on nights when the kids are wired. They are sleeping now, but they were bouncing off the walls a couple hours ago! It's finally stopped thundering and raining- we had a wonderful storm! It poured buckets. I can almost hear my veggie garden drinking it up happily now. I think I will brew some tea, and do more laundry. Maybe tomorrow I can do some organizing- there is plenty needed around this house. :)

I. . . like. . . just. . . sitting. . . here. . .

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

6 'directionally challenged' lessons learned:

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

6 'directionally challenged' lessons learned:
Current mood: frustrated

I just spent almost 2 hours driving nowhere. My own fault. Oh, well.
I was heading out (already late) to hang out with a friend in Braselton. When I got to the highway, I could see cars backing off the ramp to get away- traffic on 85 was at a dead standstill. I didn't know where the problem was, but I decided to go around it.

* Lesson number 1: Do not leave the house without the phone number of the person you are going to visit. (I don't know how I managed that one).

* Lesson number 2: Keep your trusty map handy (visible, and in reach) at all times.

* Lesson number 3: If you cannot reach anyone on the phone who can help, and you don't know where your map is, pull over. Find the map or get directions.

I did not do any of the above- I decided to fudge it. I can find my way around up here pretty well, so that might even have worked OK. However.

* Lesson number 4: Read road signs very carefully.

* Lesson number 5: If you have a nagging feeling that something isn't quite right, pull over and check out your hunch. (Again, look at a map or get directions).

I drove way too far, on the wrong road. I did finally pull over and unearth my map.

* Lesson number 6: If you decide to take an alternate, unfamiliar route, check and recheck your progress at "major" intersections.

I passed my destination again, and finally ended up at the correct exit on 85. At 9 pm. Disgruntled, with a restless Sweetcheeks in the backseat (luckily Littleman was off with Billy), I decided to give it up and go home. We pulled into our driveway nearly 2 hours after we'd left.


Oh well! Time to get Sweetcheeks to bed.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

toddler party animals

Sunday, June 24, 2007

toddler party animals
Current mood: uncomfortable

So much for schedules! LOL. Littleman and Sweetcheeks were party animals last night at my friend's house- my friend watched them (along with her son, who's 2) while Billy and I went out. My poor friend did try to get everyone to go to bed a few times, but she was outnumbered. So everyone had a night of movies, cuddling and late night cereal with milk. They were still up at 1:00 in the morning when I put them in the car to go home. Wow! But they had a good time, and I had a relaxing evening without them. My poor friend probably needs a nice break today to recover! :)

Littleman has been exhibiting his lack of sleep all day today, but I really needed to go to the grocery store, so they didn't get an early nap. In fact, they took SOOO long to clean up and get ready (it was like pulling teeth! Argh!) that we were running late all afternoon instead. Lunch dragged on and on, and finally they went down for a nap at nearly 5. It's nearly 8, and they're still asleep! I might have to wake them soon. Maybe I'll let them watch a movie- with that, and dinner, and maybe a bath, they should be ready for bed at a sort of reasonable time. Hopefully tomorrow they will feel rested.

Aha! I hear Littleman going into the bathroom. I'd better get dinner going.

Saturday, June 23, 2007


Friday, June 22, 2007

Current mood: full

Happy birthday to me! Not incidentally (I believe), also to Billy! We celebrated tonight with a lovely dinner out at a local Itallian place in Suwanee. Thanks to everyone who came! Billy and I are 'plumb wore out'- let's just say I am glad I can truthfully tell you that Littleman and Sweetcheeks' behavior tonight is NOT indicative of their usual restaurant manners. Um.

I'm just waiting on my tea to brew before I head off to bed.

Nice day.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

one of those days

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

one of those days
Current mood: recumbent

You know those days, when you rather wish you could just go back to bed and start over?
That's today.

But despite it all, I've been fairly productive. OK, well I've gotten a few things done at least.

Oh, and I would like to know: why does pregnancy have to be so damn uncomfortable?

And what law of nature states that toddlers must not EVER, under any circumstances, let their mom have an uninterrupted phone converstaion?

And why are simple changes so easy to take care of with USAA, and so despicably difficult with Wachovia?

And why does the dog steal a 1/2 a brownie and get diarrhea the night before he'll be home with me all day, instead of at the studio? (Where others would have to clean the mess).

Blah, blah.

Well, I'm beginning to feel guilty. . . time to go take care of a few things downstairs before the boys wake.

Uh oh, I think Littleman is stirring.

International Space Station and shuttle Atlantis sightings!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

International Space Station and shuttle Atlantis sightings!
Current mood: uncomfortable

OK, this is pretty cool- it came to my attention through a homeschooling group:

Space Weather News for June 19, 2007

On Tuesday morning, June 19th, space shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to undock from the International Space Station. On Tuesday night, the pair will fly in tandem over many US towns and cities including Detroit, Washington DC, San Francisco and Denver. Typical flybys take place shortly after sunset, with the pair first appearing in the northwest (look for the Big Dipper) and soaring overhead from there. The space shuttle appears first, followed by the ISS. Both spacecraft are bright and easy to see with the naked eye. Double flybys continue on Wednesday night, June 20th, before Atlantis returns to Earth on Thursday, June 21st.

And here is the flyby timetable for Atlanta:


Saturday, June 16, 2007

Littleman's good morning, an idea, and ramblings

Friday, June 15, 2007

Littleman's good morning, an idea, and ramblings
Current mood: pleased

Mmmmm. Fresh peach. Juicy.

Littleman had one of his vomiting episodes yesterday. Odd. We have quite the system down pat by now, and the poor kid has really learned the drill. The good news is that by dinnertime, he was just about back to normal- and this morning, he was feeling great.

So great, as a matter of fact, that he woke up before anyone else, took off his diaper and put it away, and commenced to cleaning his room. (!) He tidied it all up, and then started on the nursery (Sweetcheeks' room). He talked to Sweetcheeks and they stayed in there quite happily for a good while before Billy and I had to get up. THEN, while Billy was getting ready Littleman looked around our room and stated, "This is a mess in here!" (He's quite right). So he picked up some clothes and reorganized my shoes. So what if his "cleaning" in my room probably just made it a bit less organized than it had been? He was genuinely trying. Of course, we thanked him and made sure to let him know what a good help he was this morning. I mean, WOW. I wasn't sure what to think.

He completed his "wow" morning by choosing to practice handwriting (on a tablet for such purpose, that he can trace the letters and numbers) and by cleaning the glass of the storm door. (what he could reach, anyway). I am sorry to say, the day went downhill from there- but with such an unusually great start, over all we had a very good day indeed. Both boys were good while we ran errands and they did a beautiful job making Father's Day cards.

I think I am going to make an illustrated poster that shows jobs Littleman can do around the house. Things like feeding the dogs, cleaning the glass doors, watering his plant, dusting and sweeping the downstairs (he has his own small broom), and putting away toys and books. If I remember to get our camera fixed soon (oh yeah, need to do that) I can take digital pics of Simon doing each job, then print the pics from my computer to attach to the poster. I'll write each job by it's picture, and put the poster where Littleman can see it each morning at breakfast. Perhaps it will remind him of constructive things he can do to be a helpful part of the family. I don't think I'll do the traditional thing of awarding stickers when he does a job- I'll see if he's interested in doing them just to be helpful. At this age, I think he really might. I'd prefer him being self-motivated in that way, rather than have him working for external "rewards". We'll see how that flies.

Hmm, come to think of it I might make a smaller poster that shows Sweetcheeks picking up toys, and dusting or some such. Nothing like copycat activity and a little sibling rivalry to make something look even more fun. ;) Plus, there's no harm in starting good habits early, right?

Good grief. 45 views of my blog in the past week, with only one new post from me? Y'all make me feel so loved!! :)

Went to the kids consignment store today. Struck out on good-fitting shoes (as always) but scored two pairs of shorts and several darling shirts for the boys, all in perfect condition, most of it name brand. Grand total? Less than $25! I love consignment shops.

The pregnancy is progressing nicely so far. I have had at least one contraction already, but it was isolated. I think that's within the realm of normal, though for me it's bad news. Luckily I haven't felt any further activity. I HAVE felt baby moving, though. Too cool. I am trying very hard to stay well-hydrated, and have done pretty well with that so far. (It helps prevent contractions and is all-around good for Mom and baby). I am feeling pretty good actually, though my hips and legs are already aching (especially first thing in the morning). I am really looking forward to July 3rd, when we have the ultrasound appointment and hope to learn the baby's sex. Think pink for us! (LOL). Anyhow that's all going well.

Well I think I have rambled enough. . . I need to go to bed! 'Night!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

a must-read site

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

a must-read site
Current mood: optimistic

I was exploring some preschool homeschooling resources online today, and came across a most amazing little site. Please check it out, and read some of the articles. I've hardly begun reading everything there, yet I am very impressed. It's a beautiful site, for all parents especially.

That's all for tonight. Enjoy.

Friday, June 8, 2007

thoughts on teaching and time management

Friday, June 08, 2007

thoughts on teaching and time management
Current mood: groggy

Today I was organizing some materials that are useful to me in our homeschooling endeavors- some great books and a montessori materials catalogue, which I have ordered from before and which is also an excellent source of ideas for materials I can make myself. In my subsequent search for hanging file folders, I came across some files of student teaching materials that I'd squirrelled away (gawd, can it be??) 8 years ago or so. There were progress reports and critiques of me as I progressed in my student teaching, lesson plans and artworks, and essays which I wrote for some of my education classes. I ended up reviewing them, and it was sure interesting to revisit some of the practical and theoretical focus of my attention at that time.

One thing that stood out to me (other than how well I was doing, if I may pat myself on the back a bit) was how very much I was having to concentrate on time management. At the elementary school level, it was my primary goal for improvement. Over and over again it came up in my critiques and my own objectives. Reading them now, I do recall what a struggle it was to manage my time effectively when I was teaching the elementary classes. Out of necessity, I was really focusing a lot of my thought and energy on working within the schedule for the greatest possible success. Just about everything else took a back seat- partly because some things came naturally to me, and partly from sheer absolute necessity. The schedule was everything, because to mismanage what precious time you had was suicide. It was already impossible to do everything you were required to do, let alone to do what you would like to do with your students. Every second counted.

Now, I freely admit that time management has never been one of my stronger points. It's still not (and I am still working on that). But even if it were, working within the constraints of such a strict schedule are simply not beneficial to the greater goal of learning and understanding. Reading these things, I was thinking about what a shame it is that teachers must focus so much energy on managing their time, rather than being able to let their lessons grow and blossom organically. Perhaps I am being an impractical, naive idealist- such a curiosity-driven, student-centered approach may be impossible in a classroom setting with so many different children to assist. But still, I think it would be awfully nice if teachers had more flexibility in where, when and what they could teach their students.

The more I think about it, the more I think it is impossible in a classroom setting. How would teachers coordinate with each other for their students' time? That and other details would become a scheduling nightmare. The only ways I can see it working are with a student-driven approach, where it is the student's responsibility to manage his or her time in order to get everything in (it is a rare public school student who would do this well, and of course most young children would find it near impossible), or if a teacher is responsible for the full scope of subjects for a very small number of students (as in a homeschooling situation). Both of these scenarios are central to homeschooling, so once again my musings on the shortcomings of our education system have led me right back to homeschooling as an excellent solution.

Funny how almost all my public school teaching experiences only served to reinforce my then-budding admiration of homeschooling, even when (as was the case with my elementary placement) my student teaching experience was a very positive one.