Updated weekly. Usually on Tuesdays. Unless some small person eats my blog post.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Just an Ordinary Day

Today has been an ordinary day. I know you're dying to know what goes on around here all day when I'm not eating bon-bons or watching the pool boy work, so let me tell you about it.

I woke up at 7 a.m., when my children did. However, I pretended to be asleep so DB would get up with them. He complied. I slept until 8, but it was really a wasted effort; I ended up having a terrible nightmare while I slept, so I doubt I got much more rest.

When DB came to wake me up, I had already been awake for 5 minutes, listening to children screaming.

I got up and zoned on the couch for several minutes, trying to shake off sleep. Ladybug whined about TV. StrawBee tried to follow whoever was moving and got frustrated that she couldn't keep up. The dogs playfully jumped each other. DB tried to get us all moving.

Eventually, we bargained Ladybug into stopping with the whining and getting her hair combed in exchange for going to story time at the library. Suddenly all sunshine and roses, Ladybug was ready 15 minutes before me and waiting by the door with her backpack on, ready to go. StrawBee got tired enough to go down for her morning nap. I left DB, still in his pajamas and unshaven despite how much effort he had already put out, and took Ladybug to the library.

We got stuck behind a moving roadblock (you know, when the car in the right lane is going slow and the car who's passing it on the left is only going a teeny, tiny hair faster?) and ended up missing our turning (my bad) and thus made it to story time punctually by dint of me carrying Ladybug at something only slightly slower than a sprint through the parking lot and into the library.

Ladybug did great at story time. I texted with my mom and we agreed to meet at the mall, since my kiddies needed shoes and my mom needed to get out of her house. Ladybug and I drove to the mall despite Ladybug's repeated protests of "I go HOME." I called DB while I was driving, even while swearing to myself that I would never, ever drive while talking on the cell again, and missed him a good half dozen times, never thinking to leave a voice mail.

Ladybug decided the mall wasn't so bad when she saw her stroller. She happily climbed in and, even better, was very entertained by all the free food samples in the food court. Nana arrived and we headed off to look for shoes. I showed Ladybug her shoe choices and she wanted none of them, instead settling on either the neon pink canvas shoes with rhinestones and glitter or the pink shoe shaped like a pony. She ended up with brown tennis shoes with little pink hearts and some silver glitter, and was okay with that because she got to push the stroller and ride the escalator twice. I grabbed Ladybug some sandals for church, and then strolled her off to look at frogs while Nana finished her shopping. After several minutes of following Ladybug around while she kept a tight grip on the sides of her pants to keep herself from touching the frog tanks, Nana met up with us again and we went to lunch.

We all felt like eating Chinese food, so back to the food court we went. Ladybug wanted juice, so a huge bottle of red powerade was purchased. She ate her chicken and noodles while Nana and I talked. Then Ladybug, who had been occasionally doing the potty dance but refusing to do anything while on the potty, suddenly screamed at the top of her lungs: "POTTY!! POTTY!!"

I helped her down from her chair and, after watching her waddle a few steps, scooped her up and made a mad dash for the bathroom. About halfway there my arm, the one supporting her bum, became uncomfortably warm and moist. My only comment: "Don't pee any more, baby, okay?"

She did listen. We made it to the potty and she finished her business, leaving me with a half naked child and a soaked pair of toddler-sized underwear and a useless pair of equally soaked toddler pants. Oh, and no diaper bag. It was at home. I'd even left my purse back with Nana in the food court. The phone starts ringing with DB's ringtone. I ignore it. I thank the good Lord that layering is currently in style and take off my over shirt. A minute later, Ladybug is wearing a sarong-underwear-skirt thing that's bound to be all the rage next season and parading back out of the stall to wash her hands. The automatic dryer spooks her and she refuses to dry said hands, so we head back to our table.

I sit down only to get a text message. DB. Wants me to pick up some carpet cleaner on the way home. The dogs were fighting and managed to smear poop all into the carpet. This begs the question: Our home is mostly floored with tile and hardwood. Why would they pick the one teeny room of carpet to get into a fight? Anyway, I tell DB if he wants to be on time for class I won't be able to pick up the cleaner. DB tells me that, on second look, there's already some carpet cleaner stashed under the sink. He'll have the poop gone by the time I get home.

Ladybug is ready to go. We thank Nana for lunch, pile into the car, and drive home. I only get frustrated with slow drivers once, when they almost make me miss my turning for a second time.

We arrive home with 15 minutes to spare before DB has to leave. StrawBee is waiting for us at the door, wearing a different outfit than when we left because she managed to make a disaster of the other onsie.

And we're home.

Ladybug still prancing in her makeshift bottom-covering.


Since then, I've put some real clothes on Ladybug and put both of them down for a nap. However, I hear StrawBee calling--probably she has her afternoon poopy diaper.

Just another ordinary day.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

One of these days...

Ever have a day where you find yourself brimming with motivation to actually accomplish something? And so, like a happy little busy beaver, you dive into your daily schedule, all the while telling yourself that you have a list of things you really want to do and, by golly, they'll get done!

And then, when the time comes, you say "Well, I'm so motivated I can afford to take a little break to do something inane for a bit." So you do. You enjoy it, you finish, and you say, "It's time to do those things that I really wanted to do today!"

...And then the kids wake up early from their naps.

Totally there.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Home School

I am a student by nature. Listening, reading, writing--these are all things that come to me naturally and that I enjoy. I happen to be one of the lucky few whose brains work exactly the way the public school system prefers. My study habits are almost impeccable. It took me years to learn all of that.

I've been wondering lately, though, how long it will take me to lose it.

I'm surrounded by people in school right now. 4 of my 5 siblings (plus some spouses, thrown in for good measure) are in school, my husband is in school, my best friend teaches school (and she's about to return for a master's), and ... I miss it.

I find myself eying DB's pile of projects and notes with envy. I read Facebook updates about final projects and exams and wonder how I would do taking those same tests.

For a short while, I toyed with the idea of returning to school myself this fall, or possibly the spring after. I soon discarded the idea as selfish since (for the moment) all it would do is put an additional strain on our time and finances without any appreciable improvement of our lives.

And then it occurred to me: Why do I have to be in school, anyway?

Now, it is a fact of life that American children often leave school under the impression that "real learning" can only happen in school. They are not taught to learn on their own; in fact, they learn that learning is a chore to be avoided unless it's going to get your a tangible "something" (think pay raise) in return. We feel as though here's something magical about classrooms and we won't be able to "really learn" under any other circumstances.

This is true, to a certain extent. A community of learners guided by a leader with more experience provides opportunity for growth that doesn't occur in any other way.

But why should that always have to happen in a classroom?

For that matter, why shouldn't I be able to learn without that ideal setting?

I almost believed what I had accidentally learned in school. I almost didn't think beyond the possibility of guided learning. I almost told myself that I would just have to wait to learn until DB was established and we could really afford to send me back to school.

But then it occurred to me: There's nothing wrong with my brain. I have access to several libraries, both physical and virtual. Failing that, there's always Amazon.com for books. Why shouldn't my learning outside of the classroom be just as valid, even if there wasn't a shiny piece of paper waiting at the end?

I was studying to be a teacher, anyway, so why shouldn't I teach myself?

Of course, the hardest thing about this project will be the discipline required. That's where I might trip and fall. My motivation at school was always out-doing others in order to impress my teachers (I know: Pathetic, right?). I never missed a deadline. I never failed a test (okay, except that one spelling test in fifth grade--I swear, Ms. Cohn, it'll never happen again!). What will I do without someone else's schedule and criteria to meet?

Short answer: I have no idea.

But I have a thirst to learn that I don't plan on waiting to sate. Now is as good a time as any. Starting May 1st, school will be in. My first two courses will be biology and music history. At the same time, I plan to have an ongoing literature study, finishing at least one book every month or six weeks and producing at least a short, slightly thoughtful paper on it. And hey, any suggestions for good books, fiction or non, to go with literature, biology, or music history are more than welcome! And you are more than welcome to join me in my little experiment--find a subject. Buy a book. Learn something.

Do it for yourself, not for the grade.

Learning didn't end with school. School is just a springboard--a place to acquire skills to help guide your learning for the rest of your life. Graduation wasn't finishing; it was moving on to the next level. And I'm ready to keep on going.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Brag and Blog Friday!

This week, I'm gonna go ahead and toot my own horn. I've been pretty harsh with myself lately, and I realized this week that criticizing myself was so not even remotely productive. So, I decided to just go ahead and start DOING something (no duh, right?)

And, for once, I actually did.

The last couple days have been very productive, and I'm glad. I feel better about my life (and myself) when I do more than sit and stare at my kids. Being the age my children are, they like Mama to be right where they are at every moment, so finding projects and having the patience to keep stopping and starting when I get interrupted is hard. Fortunately, I have a very supportive husband and Someone with patience to share.

Go us.

What do you have to brag about this week?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I live!

After a (longer than I'd like) hiatus, I'm back. For some reason, blogger decided it didn't want me posting. Possibly because it felt I had nothing important to say. And I didn't. I still don't. But I just wanted to put this out there:

Why oh why does my two-year-old daughter suddenly want to be a baby?

Okay, okay--don't tell me. I've heard it all before. "She's jealous." "It's a stage." "Perfectly normal." Yes, yes. I know.

That doesn't relieve the frustration, and it also doesn't help me solve the problem.

Actually, what I'm seriously considering is telling her that if she wants to be a baby, she can be one. Meaning diapers, two naps a day, no cows milk, no sugar treats, no gymnastics class, no bike riding, etc. I really don't think she'd be able to stand it.

The problem is, neither would I.

I suppose it all depends on how desperate I get. After she came crawling up to me and babbled at me for several minutes straight, refusing to use her hard-earned words, I admit I'm pretty mystified. We've tried giving her extra attention. We've tried giving her less. We've tried correcting. We've tried ignoring. We've tried bribing. We've tried reasoning. Nothing seems to work for more than a day or two.

Maybe the problem is we're not consistent enough. Which then makes me wonder: Where on earth did Ladybug learn to be so consistent if I can't seem to manage it?

Or possibly, now that the issue seems to have reached its peak, it really will blow over.

...Wow, totally deja vu. I've dreamed writing this post before. Now that I think of it, I remember waking up that day and telling DB how I had such a strange dream that Ladybug was acting like an infant even though she was a toddler.

Too bad I can't remember how the dream ended. Maybe the Lord will share that part of it with me again when I sleep tonight. Maybe a little angel will come down and ding the child on the head, like the one that used to visit Bill Cosby when he was home sick as a kid.

Oops, well, I'm out of time. StrawBee has found the bookshelves and one of my favorite books. Till next time!
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.Creative Commons License
This work by Carolynn Dyer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.