Thursday, December 29, 2011

It's That Time Of Year, Again

"I'm getting excited about an extreme new way of eating." Mrs F announces while folding laundry.

"Oh My God." Kid replies.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Greatest Day Of The Year

The day after Christmas...

No traveling, no cooking, no errands, no work... Pure bliss.

Kid got a big Santa gift this year, The Calico Critters Cloverleaf Manor ... we figured this might be her last *real* year for Santa and decided to knock it out of the park. We went all out, and she is sure we would NEVER be able to afford this ;)

Kid told Baby she could be the governess and manage the nursery on the top floor. Baby misunderstood and happily accepted the role of "Govenor" and promptly emptied the entire doll house and set it up by her own specifications while Kid was eating breakfast! Thankfully, Kid is a very patient and loving big sister. Baby didn't even get a smack for that ;) Just kidding... like it or not, in our house the only toys that don't have to be shared are American Girl dolls.

Baby's big gifts were a couple of princess Barbies and some dress up dresses. She is currently tying up her barbie's feet and pretending a Calico Critter beaver is an evil doctor that is going to light her on fire. Hmm...

Now, I'm going to sit here, in my pjs all day, and think about our budget for the new year. Something I actually find fun. My mom & dad both gave us new flat screen TVs (we still have tube... believe it) and we can finally drop our TV service and just use Netflix and the digital antenna. I'm so excited! We're also dropping our house phone (only solicitors really use it)... I'm already down $125 a month! I'm also going to go down to $75/week on groceries for the next 3 months... raising our food budget has really increased both our food waste and poorer food choices... neither of which I'm happy with. While the $60 Asheville budget was difficult, we ate better and more responsibly. (And I was thinner... maybe a connection?) I'm upping it $15 because food is actually more expensive here, and I don't want to switch from Organic when we can afford it. $75 is doable, but means I will have to work with a meal plan, and carefully use what we buy. This is good on so many fronts (our health, budget, and the environment) and I feel much better about how I'm managing the house when I do it.

That's all folks.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

We Wish You A...




Wednesday, December 21, 2011


taken from here

(P.S. My favorite one)

I found that site last night, right after Mr F was fumbling around the kitchen at 3 AM (believe it... we're all kinds of crazy) trying to help me find my piping tips. It was hilariously fitting. (P.S. He was already up working... I didn't wake him up for this... just to be clear, I'm not that crazy)

I realize I didn't put my giveaway up in time for many of you to be able to enter in time. I'm sorry :( Next year I'll do better.
I just wasn't sure I'd be able to pull it off until I hit a sugar high, fueled by a massive consumption of clementines, coffee, & burned caramel corn.

Then I lost my mind and stayed up until 3:30 making these...

and these...

in the wee hours of the morning, all I could see was success...
And it was GLORIOUS. (I think I even heard some angels singing in the background)

Unfortunately, the sugar wore off some time in the night (er... later morning) and I stumbled out to the kitchen when I woke up

and all I could see was this...

and this...

and this...

And the first thing out of Baby's mouth, was "Can we make cookies today?"

And I kind of wanted to cry.

But I couldn't muster it because I had the shakes from severe sugar withdrawal.

So, I called Mr F and said "We're going out to dinner, tonight."

But, I did it!
(This year we made Iced Sugar Cookies, Gingersnaps, White Chocolate Covered Peppermint JoJos, Rolo Pretzel Turtle Bites, and of course some holiday tunes and a little cloved clementine for good measure.) Recipes HERE and HERE)

And if I hadn't had that unfortunate caramel corn incident, I probably would have been done at a more reasonable time.

At least this year I had some super eager helpers, one of whom would REALLY like you to know that she did the one on the bottom NOT the one on the top.(as if there was any question).

And The Winner Is...

Surly Rob!

Get ready for awesome.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Box Giveaway!!!!!

Leave a comment if you'd like it.

And why wouldn't you?

I want these babies in the mail ASAP.

I'll be doing my drawing TOMORROW at 2 PM EST.

If you want it, you have to be able to get back to me with your address BEFORE 3 PM EST!!!

Got it?

Please only comment if you'll be able to get me your address in time.

Or I'll have a heart attack.

You could, alternately, send me your address just in case you win to my email (see comments for that).

Maybe you'll end up on my Christmas card list.

It's Happening, People

Oh, It's Happening...

Monday, December 19, 2011

Introducing Big Boy

Or as Tiger likes to call him "The Enemy"

He's all "Are you f'ing kidding me?! Would you stop coddling this majestic beast, already!"

I really can't blame him, look at the size differential there. Tiger is a good sized adult male cat... Big Boy is enormous. And stoic. He won't engage in Tiger's constant war tactics. He won't even stoop to look him in the eyes. It's driving Tiger crazy. Big Boy just sits there with an indifferent look on his face, like "oh, you are one of those cats." He was the dominant cat in an animal hoarding situation, so he's obviously used to lots of cats coming in. He's extremely tolerant. So, it's up to Tiger to just give up the battle and enjoy the new cuddle opportunities. The sooner the better, please.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

When I'm A Teenager...

"I'm going to write a Nancy Drew called The Mystery of the Magic Sharpie!!!" Baby announces.

Then adds with a deep dramatic voice...

"It fell on my nightgown, but it did not stain. It is a mystery."

Thursday, December 15, 2011

More Misheard Christmas Lyrics

"Hey, Mom! In Silent Night is it 'Holy infant so tender and wild'?" Kid asks this morning.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Oh My God, it's 12 days to Christmas!

Which reminds me, the other day Baby asked,

"What are the gifts Jesus brings me?"

To which Kid replied,

"Jesus doesn't bring you gifts; you mean Santa?"

"No, Jesus, like in that song." Baby repeats.

"Hmm, I don't know what song you mean. I don't think Jesus brings you gifts." I say.

"In the song you were playing!" Baby asserts.

"I'm sorry, I don't know that song." I return, somewhat confused.

"Yes, you do! You were playing it on the piano." Baby explains.

"You know, 'On the 1st day of Christmas Jesus gave to me...'!!" She explains.

"No, that is 'My true love gave to me'; Jesus doesn't give you those." Kid tells her laughing.

We sang the whole song with Jesus instead of My True Love, it gave a whole new meaning to Christmas.

Oh, we had a good laugh over that misheard lyric.

Anyhoo, we finally got out all of our Christmas stuff and I feel SO much better...

I'm not sure if you can tell in these pictures, but our tree is 7 feet WIDE.

For real.

You know how much fun it is to water a tree that is wider than your arm is long?!

Not fun.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Baby Is Singing A Song

With the refrain...

"this is the very worst life, this is the very worst life, woah oh"

Should I be concerned?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Things That Make You Go Hmm

"The first time I had beer I was two years old." Baby chirps up from the backseat after Kid points out a "Wine & Beer" sign.

"And all it did was make me sleepy." She adds.

Maybe her love of Pabst Blue Ribbon was real.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Good News Is

Baby wasn't having a heart attack.

The bad news is I only found that out after the doctor had me rush her in.

You know how we like to have one medical crisis, right after another, right after another around here?

Keeps me on my toes.

P.S. You know what can cause a 35 year old woman to have a heart attack? Thinking her 4 year old is having one.

Hey kids could tomorrow just be a TV day? Pretty please?

Monday, December 5, 2011

On The Mend

Whatever was going on with our gastrointestinal systems seems to have come to an end.

I wouldn't think traveling through Epcot would be rife with such horrors, but I think we had something like dysentery.

For real.

Neither Kid, nor I, feel 100% up to snuff, but I think that's to be expected when your innards have been ravaged.

We are, as of yesterday, back to eating normal foods.

In response to last weeks health disasters, I'm planning to take the week off of home school and just rest up and try to catch up on all the housework.

I would like to be decorating for Christmas, but I think we're going to have to push that back until next weekend.

Kid's ankle is resting. So far, so good. She hasn't had cause to get too frustrated by her infirmity as of yet, since Mr F has been home all weekend, carrying her where she needed to go, and letting her use his iPad for large scale Angry Birds.

This morning may prove to be a rude awakening, now that we have to get her around without his help.

And try to keep entertained while lying on her back with her foot raised without an iPad to help break up the monotony.

We did pick up a spare walker at my grandmother's house...

Which is as adorable as it is helpful.

We have another 5 days to go, before we'll know more conclusively if this is a sprain or a break and what her full recovery/treatment will have to be. Until then it's my goal to keep her off of it at all costs.

I'm just glad she's old enough that she can be left on the couch while I run Baby to preschool & dance down the street this week.

Okay, off to do the laundry, clean the fish tank, roast some chicken and tackle the playroom...

and pick up more Nancy Drews.

Friday, December 2, 2011

It's broken

Broken ankle during winter?

On my predisposed to moodiness, uncoordinated child?


Did I mention we live in a raised ranch?

Which means there is NO way to come or go without navigating either the steep basement stairs, or the icy outdoor walks and steps?

Merry Fucking Christmas!

Down For The Count

#1 Kid's hotel incident has continued on and off all week with the added bonus of some horrific leakage.

(guess who gets to clean it all up?)

Which brings me to....

#2 I might be dying. Whatever Kid has, I have, with the spectacular addition of blood (sorry... but it's true).

Yesterday, I said by day two of blood in my dog's stool I'd have taken him to the vet. It's day 5; I'm still sitting here.

Hopefully, I'll live through the weekend.

P.S. Kid seems to be better today, so I'm hoping I'll follow suit tomorrow (pretty please).

As soon as Kid felt better, she went sledding.

Which brings me to....


Kid sprained her ankle (or broke it... not sure yet) while sledding with Mr F last night.

Of course, she's too heavy for me to lift, even if I weren't huddled on the bathroom floor. Last night I managed to drag her around, with her grasping around my waist from behind, me hobbled over so as to help support her weight with my rump, and her pogoing behind on her good leg. Think two man horse costume arrangement... but with hopping. It took us a good half hour to get from the playroom to her bed. I wish there had been pictures. Well, needless to say, I can't do that going down the stairs to our garage to our car, and she needs to see a doctor. So, Mr F had to come home. And amazingly HE DID. If you've been following along, you know that that NEVER happens. I've actually passed out from the stomach flu, with very little kids at home, and he still hasn't come home to help. I think the blood is working in my favor ;)

On to better things...

#4 We got a Playmobil advent calendar again this year. These things (especially if you have Playmobil) are the bomb. And, this year, they come in already assembled boxes (if you've gotten these before you know what a nightmare that assembly was!).

Not exactly how I had wanted to start off the holiday season, hopefully this weekend sees a tremendous turnaround. Or at least the unpacking of our remaining trip bags and such.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Well, We're Back

We had a good, albeit completely exhausting, time.

We managed to stay on budget food-wise ($440 for all 9 days... 5 at Disney, 4 on the road).

We did Disney like we've never done it before.

The kids were really into it, in a different way than they have been before.

No rest for the weary style... but a couple of awesome apple turn-overs from the Main St Bakery to keep Mr F & I going.

Character meals, unless you have Disney Dining... are just not worth it. The end.

Our hotel did NOT have bedbugs (in case you wonder about stuff like that).

5 hours into our first day of driving Baby strongly suggested we should drive straight to the nearest airport and fly to Disney.

The 2nd day of driving was easier with the excitement of Disney looming.

How many billboards for one strip joint can there possibly be?... apparently HUNDREDS.

The weather was mostly perfect. Only one hot day, and we really maxed out the comfortable evenings.

Driving home was a lot more tedious, both days took 3-4 hours longer than they should have.

10-12 hours in the car is hard, once you step over 13 hours?... it's kind of Hell.

We we're stopped up on the highway for more than 8 major multi-car accidents (and, no, it was not snowing)... it was crazy.

Oh, I didn't mention that Kid woke up yesterday (drive day two of our return) and threw up in our hotel.

Awesome. On all counts. I wasn't sure how that was going to go down with a full day of travel.

But that girl is some kind of a soldier. She never even complained, kept trying to weakly pretend she was okay.

She just dealt with it, even though she must have felt like HELL, and the trip was over 13 hours.

As soon as we got home she admitted how sick she was and went to lay on the bathroom floor.

Okay, that's the wrap up.

I'm not feeling too hot myself...

The Take Away....

Next time we're switching back to staying on-site, with the meal plan, and we are going to FLY. If you are going to max-out Disney, and apparently my kids have reached that age, it just makes it more of a vacation IMO to have everything you need as easily as possible, without having to stress about how much everything is EVERY time you try and eat, park, etc. AND we really missed having the sit down meals, and character meals that are just cost prohibitive without the meal plan, now. As long as Disney keeps giving the meal plan away for free, next time we'll plan our trip for their deal dates and take advantage of it. For me, in the end we only saved a couple hundred dollars, and in return I had to make up the difference (personally) with work and planning, which effected my vacation enjoyment. I'd rather wait until we can afford to fly and use the meal plan, just because I'd like a vacation that's completely fun & relaxing for me, too. Which is not to say we didn't have a great time. But 4 days of car travel with kids, and trying to manage food on the cheap, was just a lot of work for a vacation. Last time we stayed off site the kids were much younger, needed more downtime, didn't eat as much, and we lived a full days drive closer! ;)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Don't Let The Princess Dress Fool You

Every day Baby begs me to paint her face, to her exact specifications, as a zombie.

She also keeps telling me I really need to listen to "Zombie Rob ... He creeps me out!"

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday, November 7, 2011


I made pork tenderloin, peas, and stuffing for dinner

Baby said...

"Thank you for Heaven."

(make a note, Mother)


I've finally gotten over myself and realized that if I want to see any recognizable weight loss I will, in fact, have to lower my calories.

One week at 1400... 2.5 pounds down

That's more like it.


6 months ago, My father came to visit and I was forced to make our guest room an actual guest room. So, we did what anyone else would do... we threw all the weird half unpacked boxes and piles of *important* paperwork, left out from doing our taxes, on the floor of our room.

My Dad came again last week... the shit is STILL all over our floor. Except now it is not even remotely stacked... it's like a carpet of important documents.

When are they going to file themselves, already?!!!


Any one time breastfeeding mother probably has a tube of Lansinoh lanolin in the back of a bathroom drawer.

You know what it is GREAT for?! Your kids' super chapped lips.

Kid really suffers with extremely chapped lips once we have our heat on... and I've tried everything... even diaper cream.

And this is the best.

Hypoallergenic, 100% natural, no preservatives or additives.

I don't know why I didn't think of it before.

Plus, it's not as disturbing as putting diaper cream... which you've actually used on someone's ass... on their mouth.

Go ahead and put it on your heels, too.


Disney, we're coming for you... in 12 days.


P.S. My Brownies co-leader... is... C-R-A-Z-Y.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick or Treat

Kid who is now OFFICIALLY 9!...

And a little foxy lady who was really feeling it tonight...

Friday, October 28, 2011

Just Found The Kids...

Lying on the kitchen floor, heckling the electrician (at work in the basement), through the heat vents.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

She Does Seem Pleased

Sometime early (early) this morning I finished...

Now I just need some face paint and a length of tulle to adorn the head piece... and I call it done.

Amazingly, everything fits... which... is impressive, if I do say so myself, since I wasn't using patterns or her measurements.

Of course, I finished just in time to sleep for 1/2 hour before Kid woke up not feeling well... and then woke up again every half hour to tell me about it... ALL NIGHT (er... morning) long.

I stumbled into Mr F in the hall around 8 and said...

"I was up all night with her."

And he said (get this!)...

"I know, me too."

Hmm... really?... because I was in her freaking room all night.

Turns out he got up ONE TIME when I had tried to go back to my bed at 7:30 AM. Yeah, not exactly ALL NIGHT.

Oh, God, he really makes me laugh.

Monday, October 24, 2011


This weekend...

I signed the kids up for My Job Chart. And, people, miracles have been preformed since then. It's free, it's engaging, and it just might be genius. Take a moment to investigate it, while it has a heavy financial literacy bend (not terrible in it's own right)... you can (if, say, you don't actually want to give your kids a ton of $ as chore compensation) load your child's "store" up with free family activities (movie night, computer/TV time, making cookies, etc). It also has a sliding bar that allows the child to delineate how many of their points they want to put in savings, "share" (give to charity), or spend. The girls are most excited to try and earn a date with Mr F, even though an American Girl doll is up for grabs (which I listed at 12000 points, which will take roughly a year to earn). Kid said when she saw the rewards "Oh, I really would like to earn that date with Dad." very seriously. It was a heart tugging moment, and reminder that even amidst the glitz and glam, your time and attention are all they ever really want. Of course, no one was fighting over a date with me... moving on....

Mr F and I had a rare (VERY RARE) night without kids this weekend. After I spent several hours playing in Kid's virtual American Girl world earning her tons of points and filling her virtual closet with surprise outfits (dedicated parent.... or one the reasons I'm still in therapy after... oh... twenty years, is up to you)... Mr F finally came home from work and we went out to dinner and a movie. We saw The Way (thank you KB for the recommendation!) and highly recommend heading to the theater while it's showing. The gorgeous scenery makes this a theater movie rather than a Netflix one. Very moving and thought provoking. As was the theater attendant who gave us "student" priced tickets... weird... but... thanks. We couldn't tell if he made a mistake and then felt embarrassed to ask us to pay full price, if he was just being nice, or if we looked really spunky that night. Seeing as Mr F is old enough to have college aged children... hell, out-of-college aged children... and I was wearing day 2 yoga pants, I'm thinking it was scenario #1.

P.S. That movie really was very, very good. I hope my mom wants to be cremated.

Baby has decided to be Maid Marian the Disney fox version... which means I need to make both a fox costume and a Maid Marian costume... fun times. Especially when she has chosen florescent orange velour as her fox fabric. I'm committed to following her creative direction... but... the taste level is questionable. And the time and effort going into the world's tackiest fox/woman is kind of hard to rally for.

I had the worst day in the world today (thanks for asking) taking both kids with me to my doctor and then to Kid's yearly eye appointment. The bad news is I am falling apart, the good news is her eyes are doing fantastically. This is the 2nd year in a row where her prescription has changed so little getting new lenses is optional, and no further complications from her drifting, or her cataract have come up. So, despite the 3 freaking hours we spent at the eye doctor (mostly waiting)... causing us to just miss Baby's cute Halloween dance class... and my brain feeling like it was about to splatter all over the room, due to yet another migraine ... the outcome was worth it. So happy that we don't have to have any major health stress (for the kids anyway) these days. It is a real blessing when you don't have to worry about your child's actual life every time you drop them off somewhere! Been there, done that, and it takes a real toll.

I will leave you with this hilarious evening conversation:

"I'm sorry I was grumpy today, I feel like I have someone drilling into my head and someone holding a burning torch to my stomach." I explained.

"You don't know what either of those things would feel like." Kid retorts.

"I feel like I do, I'm in almost unbearable pain." I say.

"Looks like it's bearable to me." Kid returns, sarcastically.

As they say, homeschooling allows you to be your child's main role model.

In some ways that's good... In some ways that's bad.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sometimes It Does Seem That Way

"Dad got me those because he loves me... are you surprised?" Mrs F says in reference to the roses on the table.

"Yeah... Dad loves me more than he loves you." Baby says.

"Actually... he loves his cars more than he loves me or you!" Baby exclaims.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

We've Finally Found The Key To Kid's Future Celibacy

"Are they twins or do they just look exactly the same?!" Kid remarks.

"No, everyone looked like that in the 70s" Mr F explains.

"Oh, God! I'm glad I didn't live back then." Kid exclaims.

"Why, you don't think men that look like shaggy hairy women are attractive?" Mrs F surmises.

"No! I'd totally be single.... and I wouldn't even mind." Kid returns.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Compliments To The Chef

"Fucking Delicious!" Baby exclaims at dinner.

"What?!" Mrs F asks.

"That means I like it." Baby explains.

"It is a real word." She adds a little nervously.

Yes, I know.

Friday, October 14, 2011

12:38 AM

"Why are you so hyper?" Mr F asks.

"Because I need to cut my hair... right now." I say.

"Don't you want to help me cut it?" I ask.

"No." He replies.

"Why not?!" I cry.

"Because... I don't want to be responsible for it looking bad." He explains.

"But I don't care. It can't look worse. I look like I have a Russian fur hat strapped to the back of my neck. Don't you think you can cut a straight line?" I urge.

"It's curly so you can't really mess it up... you won't be able to tell." I beg

"I guess." He grumbles.

"Okay, just come with me and I'll show you... it's going to be easy." I tell him.

15 minutes later.... buh bye mullet

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Ye Olde Lost and Found

"Okay, If I go in there and I see it right away, you'll be regretting it." Mrs F warns.

"It's not in here." Kid pleads as she shows Mrs F the room.

"Oh... I forgot... I left it outside." Mrs F remembers.

"Then I shan't be regretting it." Kid returns sassily.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


These are fast fading, something I'd like to remember...

ointmeal is made of oints of course. (She stands by this... those are OINTS not oats!)

So are "canola" bars.

Apple cinnamon oatmeal = apple corn ointmeal (for obvious reasons)

noodlecorns = unicorns.

She actually used to say that right until we got a unicorn figurine with a curly horn and she realized those aren't horns they are fusili... so they've been noodlecorns ever since.

leprechaun = apricots.

"Can I have some of those leprechaun things?"

It took me a long time to realize what she wanted the first time she asked for that. It was probably just bad timing that I brought home a bag of dried apricots around St. Patricks Day.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

We're Going To Disney!!!

I'm so excited! We are going for Thanksgiving. Which kills two birds with one stone (vacation for us... avoiding interpersonal conflict at the family get together for me)

We've been debating this trip for the past year... Mr F's work schedule is so deadline intensive that managing a full week when he can be out of the office.... has been impossible. I think the girls had kind of given up hope at this point. But, they are the perfect ages... Baby still believes in the characters but is finally tall enough to ride the real rides, and Kid is old enough to enjoy the roller coasters but is still willing to go on the little kid rides and wait in line for autographs. So going now will mean we don't have to split up and spend our family vacation in two separate ride lines the whole time! Plus, (serious bonus) Baby is still small enough to pass for a 3 year old... so... guess who doesn't need a park admissions?! (I think God will forgive us) That shaves $300 off our trip... and next year... I don't think we'd be able to pull that off.

I just booked our hotel... and we're... (gulp)... going to drive. Mr F's work benefit is the free car & gas, so we just couldn't get around it when trying to make this trip affordable. Driving for two straight days there and back?! Yeah, I'm not really looking forward to it, but at this point, there is no denying we are a long haul driving kind of family and the kids are used to it. So, we'll make it through. Plus, it saves us the $1200+++ to fly.

We're going back to the same off-site hotel we stayed at a couple years back. It's an all suites hotel, with free parking, really nice pools (including kiddie pool, water slide, and life guard), and it's close to WDW. In fact we found we got to the parks faster driving then we did staying on-site and taking Disney transportation. We're staying at the Caribe Royale, and we totally recommend it. The rooms are massive compared to on-site, and I'd say it's at least as nice as the deluxe level Disney resorts, yet, you can get a one bedroom suite for less than $100/night. We got a corporate deal, but you can easily find reduced rates for this resort, just keep your eyes open. We were shocked at how nice it was, and what you could get for the price, compared with the Disney resorts... however... you need a car to make staying here worthwhile.

We are extremely excited to be going back. We are so happy that Mr F could take the time off, and that we'll have 9 days together just relaxing (well Disney's not exactly relaxing...) and having fun. I can't remember the last time (ever?!) that Mr F took this long of a vacation with us. I think it'll be a great time for the kids.

FYI, So far the trip is running us about $1650 (hotel, WDW parking at parks, WDW admission for 6 days w/ park hopper). Food and motels for our drive & food at the park is not included... I can't remember what we spent last time, but I think we did our food for $400 the whole trip... I'll keep our receipts and let you know. In comparison our WDW hotel quotes had us (even at a moderate resort ... which sucks compared to where we'll be) at around $3000 for this length of stay.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

This Doesn't Happen Very Often Anymore

Things around here have been FULL.

Everything is going surprisingly well, but we are definitely walking the edge of "how busy is too busy?".

Homeschooling, of course, takes a pretty big chunk of my day... and at different times either requires my computer or my actual presence... so... there goes blogging.

I really miss it, and would like to find a way to get the time back in the morning when I usually have the right frame of mind for writing.

Unfortunately, for me, that is also when Kid has theoright frame of mind for math... and she does that on my computer. So that takes precedence. (But I may be really hoping Santa brings her a really cheap computer of her own... if Santa could get over everything having to be a Mac... since Santa cannot afford another Mac...)


The schooling is going EXTREMELY well. I'm super organized and we definitely have a strong "school" day this year, without it being extremely regimented. Which means, I have a schedule with all the days lessons and assignments and we work through them and check them off... the order and the time we do them is flexible. Which is good because 2 days a week Baby has preschool and that requires picking up and dropping off, one day she has dance, one day she has library storytime, one day Kid has Brownies, and one day she has horseback riding, and another day she's gone all day at her electives program. Plus, we seem to have a field trip or special class 2-3 times a month (and this month an extraordinary amount of doctor's visits). Our school day takes about 4 solid hours, sometimes we can get that all done before our afternoon activities (my preference), but other times it has to be worked around we might have a subject or two to finish before dinner. And I'm trying not to be too rigid about the lesson plans... Kid has had a couple of freak-outs during handwriting and journaling, and we've been able to use those as good therapeutic exercises. We're trying to work through the frustration she can have (the OCD perfection drive), take a time-out, speak up about it before it's too late, and walk away.... not lose control scribble so hard all over your work that you rip through the pages and ruin your finished work from last week. So we're working on recognizing the feeling and acting on that, putting the assignment away and coming back to it (today or another day) when she feels she can finish it. Not feeling badly about herself if something is triggering her, just accepting it in a non-judgemental way, setting the work aside and coming back to it later. We've had 3 weeks of handwriting assignments that went perfectly, then this week one letter just pushed her over the edge... I just erased the handwriting lesson plans I had scheduled and we kept working a little (very little) bit at a time on the one hard letter and until 3 days later she'd finished it. I'm trying to teach her that it is OK to say "I can't handle this right now" as long as we don't give up, and keep trying until we can finish it. This is hard work for her (and me), but it is the work we need to do. Some things are harder for her, but they are not impossible. It's been extremely rewarding for her, it has helped remove the guilt and shameful feelings she'd have when she'd ruin a project or feel that something was just too hard for her. She's learning that she has some harder days and that she can still succeed if she works around them... not necessarily through them.

Having said how well things are going, it is no surprise that I am contemplating changing them! We've decided to try and get both kids into a charter school next Fall. I think that will be best for Baby at this point, and it is K-8 so if she gets in Kid will have an in for the next opening at her grade level. (There are not a lot of openings since there is only one class per grade... and it's a lottery) If we get in next Fall I think we'll try it. If it works for both... great. If not, we'll know (and more importantly Kid will know) exactly what we're choosing with the homeschooling, and we'll feel like we have exhausted our free options. If Baby gets in and there are not any spots for Kid, we'll keep homeschooling Kid until one opens up for her (extremely likely in the next couple of years). If neither kid gets in?... shoot... Kid will homeschool next year and I'm not sure what I'll do with Baby. Then we'll just keep applying until we get in.

I think homeschooling is an excellent option, better in many regards, but the bottom line is that Kid really likes school, being around kids, and having an easier time socialzing (her shyness and anxiety can make it very hard for her to make friends when she doesn't see them everyday)... and there is value in that experience. If we can find a school that can work for her academically and provide her with a positive social experience, we're all for it. If not, we'll move forward with homeschooling (which has many positive attributes that school can't provide). At this time we feel we need to exhaust our options before we commit to this as a permanent solution. A small school that Baby & Kid both attend, would be awesome.

Of course, then I'd have to get a job...

But that is part of it too, for us. We aren't living off a ton of income, things are doable, but they take careful planning. The curriculum and extra curriculars we're doing cost us several thousand dollars a year... and the kids are just 4 & 8. I feel they are imperative to round out the homeschooling experience, and would likely only get more expensive as they got older. Mr F is already in his mid-forties and we're not expecting him to make that much more money in the future.... such is the lot of his industry. So, living off one income wasn't ever our long term plan. And it's not a plan I just want to blindly sign up for... it really needs to be a necessity, in order for us to try and swing it.


I'm still working out like a fiend. I keep forgetting at the right week & day to take the progress picture... I'll try to do it next week. I'm starting to get back to food journalling this week... I would like to speed up the weight loss at this point. While I am in much better shape, I'm not dropping pounds the way I'd hoped, through the exercise alone. Time to step it up.


I'm totally back into a stocked pantry & freezer and the meals are mostly planned. I may get back to posting that soon. Feeling really good and in control on that front.


Migraines are back full force. Two this week.


Getting Meek's Cutoff in the mail today from Netflix... SO EXCITED. I mean... SO FREAKING EXCITED.


Organizing the kids activities so that we have no evening activities (except Brownies every two weeks), has made my life so much better. I have time to prepare and sit down to eat a good dinner every night again, and I also have time to workout at night again. It also just makes our family life less stressful, allows Mr F to spend more time with the kids, and overall just feels better. Bedtime is less stressful and rushed, dinner time is less stressful and rushed, and I have time for myself. This is what went wrong last year, and while it makes my days a bit more hectic, it's manageable and being done at 5 is worth it.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Let's Just Say We Won't Be Going Back...

"Girls with ears?! Okay, you are a huge dork... but... a man... A MAN... a man with a tail?! I want to bludgeon you with your lance." Mr F recaps.

"I thought this was a Robin Hood festival, but really it was a pirate festival." Baby recaps.

It was basically like a Furry convention exploded into a Dungeons and Dragons convention which exploded into a casting call for a bad (really bad) pirate movie.

It was terrible, and that doesn't even count that it was cold and raining and that we actually PAID to go.

There was nothing Renaissance about it. I'm actually pretty pissed that they have schools come up for a learning experience.

None of it... none of it... not the pirates, the elfs, the fairies, OR THE FACT THAT IT WAS SET IN THE WRONG TIME PERIOD AND PLACE... had anything to do with the Renaissance.

And while it's true, we aren't really dressing up people, I can totally get into and respect some decent reenactment stuff.

This was just some people taking themselves a little too seriously at a bad Halloween party.

The fact that they had it ALL WRONG... and yet still had an annoying over the top smugness about them... made it all the more embarrassing to behold.

As I was trying to check out if this is just a bad Renaissance Festival or par for the course, I stumbled on this article...

"Will The Real Renaissance Please Stand Up"

and laughed my ass off through it. It was like he had attended the same fair (minus all the cool stuff he saw in the last paragraph of his article). So apparently, our experience was just par for the course.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

1st Day of School... Baby Edition

Remember THIS...

Well, time flies. Here we are three years later and it's Baby's turn to head out into the big world (without me... sniff, sniff)...

(bonus cute factor... she's wearing the same outfit Kid wore for her 1st day of preschool)
(waiting for the door to open!)

(trying to sneak a peek)

(getting down to business)

(unfortunately, she was supposed to go to circle time... listening... as they'll soon find out... is not her strong suit)
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