Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Good News

Kid has had all smiley faces on our emotions chart all week (so far).  This despite having had 3 major review tests already.  She also has a 3.62 GPA.  (no bell curve either).  So, all in all, that's pretty great considering that she has test anxiety and doesn't understand what the hell the teacher is saying half of the time.

Not so coincidentally she has befriended the Korean exchange students (have you heard of this?  I find this kind of disturbing... and by 'kind of' I mean 'very'... Korean families send their elementary aged children to the US to go to school and live with host families.  Our school is a very popular choice for this and about 15% of the school population are Korean exchange students)  Anyway, the point is that Kid has become tight with the Korean girls partly because none of them know what the hell is going on and so they can just wander around lost together. I just think about how hard this is for us and my heartbreaks for these little kids who are away from their families and siblings many of them just learning English.

How long this respite from overwhelming school stress will last no one can guess... but for this week it's been a welcome reprieve.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Oh Goody Another Long Boring Post (You're Welcome)

There are a few specific things I miss about not having TV service... Food Network and House Hunters International!  Damn, I miss the opportunity to veg out hardcore while watching people get all riled up that their potential Berlin apartment doesn't have a kitchen in it.

Today is weirdly foggy and disturbingly warm and I have an ever worsening cold and I'm still tired from that crazy Cathe workout I did on Monday (seriously, I thought I was on the verge of cardiac arrest...SERIOUSLY) and I'd love me a long House Hunters International marathon.

Instead I'll regale you with the minutia of my ongoings:

Yesterday, after waxing poetically (or not) about Mr F's new job... he came home late.  Ha Ha!  Joke's on me!  I was irrationally pissed.  It's a long trying day in Casa Furious now that the kids are in school...  I have a tremendous amount of balls in the air at once.  (I know this confounds me, too)  I just assumed having 3 hours sans kids would equal getting MORE done not LESS.  I was wrong.  (Veteran moms are laughing everywhere)  Not only is there all the morning routine hullaballo which had me (literally) monitoring all four burners this morning (hot breakfasts and lunch... that's how I roll) while cutting up strawberries and making Mr F's coffee and packing Kid's lunch and doing Baby's hair and locating 6 plastic spoons for her to bring to school.  You get the picture.  It's an hour long after school special on the dangers of multi-tasking.  Mr F said one day he could handle it and I could sleep and I laughed and laughed and laughed.  And laughed.

Anyway, back to how I have less time.  Believe it.  While I've theoretically gained the 3 hours Baby is at school I've also lost 2 hours commuting.  Add to that the fact that we are prisoners to Kid's homework every single afternoon from the time we arrive home until we set the table for dinner (most of which involves me actively participating) and now I've lost 5 hours a day.  I try and workout in the morning and get one chore done and then it's time to pick up Baby.  We get home have lunch and either attend her extra curriculars or run errands (or most days both) and then we go back and get Kid.  Then it's homework, dinner, showers, book reading with the girls, Mr F and I usually try to watch a show, then I take a sleeping pill and go to bed.  It's glamorous.  All the books I pick up for myself at the library sit in a stack unread.  This is not what I imagined it would be like... and I tried to set really low expectations.

I'm still cooking.  I made chicken noodle soup last night.  I'm making Kid's lunches.  One day, maybe soon, I'll get back to posting all of that stuff again.  We're almost done with our CSA (praise God!) and I can go back to actually planning our meals and not throwing out 90 pounds of rotted kohlrabi and kale every week.  I've had a love hate thing going on with the CSA and as the weeks drag on it's more hate hate.  Ironically we've eaten out more than we have ever since having the CSA because more often than not I just can't face dealing with it at dinner time.  I spent way too many hot summer afternoons cutting up vegetables no one even particularly liked for 2 hours in order to make some kind of meal out of them no one really wanted to eat.  I wish I was exaggerating.  It was a grueling job and after 20 weeks I am ready to quit.  Next year?... farmer's market.  The End.

We've done a few things to try and make our life a bit more bearable during the school week.  Most of them are food related.  On Mondays you will find us at Red Brick Kitchen & Bar making the most of both 1/2 price appetizers and free kids meals.  If you ever want to run into us, you know where to find us.  6 PM.  The food is great (really good) and the kids meals are huge and top notch.  We always end up taking half of everyone's dinner home for lunch the next day (win-win... and combined with the free kids meals makes this an affordable choice).  Mondays are usually rough with a lot of homework and this gives us something to look forward to.  Plus it's nice to have the concentrated family dinner conversation time that just doesn't always happen at home when there are dishes and such to get started on.  We also like to cap off the week with a Friday night family date to Culver's.  Culver's is the bomb.  We don't even eat the ice cream.  Pot Roast sandwich... I'm coming for you.... Friday 6 PM.  Again you know where to find us.  They have amazing root beer.  The point of this is that I only have 3 nights I have to juggle homework and dinner at the same time.  This is the most we've ever gone out to eat in YEARS, but life is a challenge right now and dinner doesn't have to be ;)

Okay, Jillian I'm coming for you...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Things That Are Going Down

A) Mr F's new job is 100 billion times better.  People are actually qualified and passionate about their jobs = refreshing change.  Added bonus: all of the people Mr F works with directly have kids.  This is a life changer.  He's been home at dinner time every single day.  Now I know how the other half lives and let me tell you it's a lot better.  It boggles the mind that he had to work 2x as many hours with a bigger department at the other place.  WTF?  I'm so glad we got out of there before it gave us both heart attacks. Also, if I had to go through all of this school stress with Mr F working his old hours (aka never home... ever.... ever) I wouldn't have been able to handle it.

B) Mr F and I are working our way through Breaking Bad on Netflix.  I don't love it.  It's fine... I think it's incredibly slow moving and it doesn't have that pull that other series have had (Lost, FNL, Justified) where Mr F and I can't stop watching the episodes back to back.  We need another one like that, any suggestions (must be dvd or Netflix as we have no TV service).

C) I was making great strides (Ha!) working out in the AM after the kids went to school.  Then last week the school stress just got unbearable and I started going to back to sleep after sending them off for another hour or two.  I don't know what it is but extreme stress shuts me down and I am INCREDIBLY sleepy.  I used to be like that during finals in college.  Also, I was just burning it at both ends.  I have to get up a couple of hours earlier to get everyone ready for school and then I don't actually go to bed a couple of hours earlier.  Plus I'm driving so many hours a day... it's really mentally fatiguing (seriously it is).  Well, anyway, now we have mice in the basement and I can't workout until Mr F secures the perimeter.  I'm am going to try and do ye olde Cathe in the living room.  If I get motivated... hopefully soon.

D) We found mice in the basement.  WTF, cats?!

Get your lazy asses up and get on that shit.

E) Kid has 4 tests this week.  Pray for us.  I am now keeping a daily emotions calendar and charting how she feels about school before, after, and during homework.  I'm hoping sometime before the next tuition payment is due we'll have a clear pattern we can go off of.  She said if she could choose again she'd choose to homeschool, but now that she is there it's very hard for her to quit.  I get it.  I'm hoping that by charting it, I'll be able to make the best decision possible for her.  If after 60 days the negative feelings dominate then I think we should pull her out.

F) Despite living in the safest area we've ever lived in, we just installed a home security system.  For those of you that already have one this will seem like no big deal, I'm sure.  For us, this is ground breaking!  We've always kind of felt like if someone was going to break-in they were going to break-in and you might as well leave your door unlocked than have them smash out the glass of your antique door.  You know?  But then we were hit by the tornado and I have a very different feeling about how much stress and trauma I want to live through and feel much more comfortable being proactive.  There has been a huge increase in break-ins in our county and even extending into our little village... the beauty of our house is that it is set way back on a heavily foliaged acre lot... which is also the negative in this circumstance.  Better safe than sorry.  We've got this baby rigged up tight!  It seems a little overboard, but as I said, I'd much rather be in that situation than the other.  One of Mr F's coworkers, at his old job, had their house ransacked while she was at work... when he saw how devastating and traumatizing it was he was on board lickety split.  We got our system from SimpliSafe and I have to say, I'm loving it.  It was very easy to install and use and I love having the key fob... really does make it as easy to use as a car alarm.

E) The weather decided to abruptly match the change in season.  We've had the heat on the past two days (and trust me I really try to prolong that as much as possible since I'm crazy about our heating bill) and we're back to hot coffee.  This kind of weather really makes me miss Asheville.  I loved the sound and smell of the heat coming off of the radiators in the morning... I had the perfect spot to drink my coffee right next to a big radiator and my windows looking out at our gorgeous maple tree lined street.  Fall was definitely the best season there.  Of course, now we have THIS at the end of our street... so I'm not complaining ;)
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