Monday, January 26, 2009

"U.S. School Children Need Less Work, More Play"

Really interesting article just shared on our local homeschool group. Its a very short read.

The best part is that what they are saying negates the whole socialization argument against homeschooling! LOL!

To clarify: The argument against homeschooling so often heard (ad nauseum) is that homeschoolers aren't getting enough socialization because they're not in school...So this article says:
"a growing trend of curbing free time at school may lead to unruly classrooms and rob youngsters of needed exercise and an important chance to socialize."
So they are saying that without recess and such, there's no socialization at school! HAW!

To which some would say...but for the schools that still have the freetime...there IS socialization...to which *I* would say...how positive IS that socialization, eh?? Let's see....bullying, sexual harassment, kids just being mean to each other...fights, cursing, etc etc etc...yeah...not what I want for MY kids.

Let's see how it works in a homeschooling environment...we get together in a group setting every week with other homeschoolers...first of all, smaller setting (kids are less likely to get lost in the crowd) and parents are right there to monitor. It's happened, I've seen it recently...where a child was left out and her feelings were hurt...my child was involved...and guess what happened? The mom immediately got involved. Which caused the other moms (myself included) to get involved...things were talked out, parents explained how things needed to be and helped the kids work it out...problem solved. How often do teachers on a playground get this involved? Uh, most likely never...or rarely. They don't even KNOW when things are happening, most of the time! Because there's so dang many kids! I've done playground duty when I was a sub in our public schools here. You just basically watch for physical stuff happening. Make sure kids are physically safe. You have NO idea what's being said to whom. No wonder there's so much meanness happening with kids...also teachers often view the nasties as just normal "kids will be kids" behavior. Parents usually don't. We nip it in the bud immediately. It just doesn't get much bigger because we're literally RIGHT THERE to guide them and stop things from getting really bad. I can say that from personal experience now.

So, anyway, just thought that was interesting. :)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

here's hoping it works!!

Briefing Concludes in Prop 8 Legal Challenge
Nation’s top civil rights groups and legal scholars agree: Invalidate Prop 8


my favorite part:
“Proposition 8 represents the first time that the California initiative process has been wielded to abolish a fundamental freedom for an unpopular minority group and to alter the Constitution so as to mandate governmental discrimination against that group. In this way, Proposition 8 attempts to breach some of the most elemental textual and structural promises of our state Constitution. It revokes a fundamental right that, in the words of the Constitution, is “inalienable.” It dismantles constitutional equality for a single group of Californians a group that, because of its history of oppression and stigma, is entitled to the highest level of constitutional protection against discrimination.”

all i can say is GO GO GOOOOOOOOO!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

stuck between a rock and a hard place

god i hate it when life happens like this. i get stuck in this cycle of worry and stress and feel the world is spinning. i know we'll make it through this, and probably everything will be fine eventually...but in the meantime i'm so friggin scared and stressed and it SUCKS!

my baby boy has cavities. not a surprise...he fights tooth brushings tooth and nail. we've been very lax about it til recent months. we still at least once, often more times, a week have to literally sit on him and pin his limbs to brush those teeth. *sigh* it seriously sucks. we've tried everything we can think of...this boy is really stubborn. we really have tried to make it fun...we've tried SOOOO much! but it comes down to pinning him down so often. sometimes we can distract him and sometimes he's mostly fine...never easy, but he'll open his mouth for short periods sometimes...i think he's getting better. he has to. because now he has cavities.

and the dentist wants to send him to a clinic an hour away and be put under general anesthesia and that SCARES THE CRAP OUTTA ME!!!

we took him to the dentist for the first time last week...and for some reason he tolerated the xrays (maeven had just gone before him and he was still sorta figuring out what was going on, i think)...but after watching maeven finish getting her teeth cleaned and it was his turn, he flipped out and would NOT let them touch him and started hysterical crying. darn near broke my heart.

and i couldn't process what they were telling me at the time...they backed off the cleaning and said he needed to be referred out anyway...because of his age and the amount of cavities (they still haven't told me how many, just that its "at least 3" because they "refer out once they hit 3") and because of his anxiety. they didn't even really try. they just immediately backed off, which i was sorta glad of but the more i think of it, i wonder if there might have been a better way to approach him. to try to gain his trust. well but my son IS stubborn and once he's worked up its hard to calm him...i don't know...

anyway so the dentist never even met him. he was busy with another patient...i got the distinct impression they just wanted to send this crying child "problem" quickly elsewhere. dentist couldn't even come meet him! he's never been particularly friendly though, so doesn't surprise me.

i took my crying son and went home and he told me over and over for the rest of the day that he didn't want to go to the dentist anymore. but the xrays showed he needs work done. *sigh*

i really hoped that we could ride out things until he was old enough to brush himself. i really hoped that we would just luck out. but we didn't. so now what?

well i'm going round and round with all kinds of options...and none feel all that great.

so i asked my friends on the apmommies list for advice and another dentist was recommended to me and i really wanted a second opinion. my husband feels like he just doesn't like the idea of having to drive an hour to a place we know nothing about...but for me i'm hoping that we don't have to do general at all...i don't know i guess i want a miracle or something.

called and made an appt with the 2nd dentist, called the first dentist to see about getting the xrays sent...was told sure, fine, get a second opinion but then don't come back. shock. disbelief. i was like, "uh, excuse me?" so basically sure you can get a second opinion but you cannot come back once the records are sent out. i told them that was screwed. they told me that was their office policy. talked to the supervisor, she went around with why i should just do this and that he won't remember anything (and i'm thinking, that's not what i'm asking), and finally says that the policy is in place to help prevent parents from doctor hopping, which will stress the kids out more. yeah bullshit. this is nuts! so now i don't want to go back anyway!

but here's the catch...they take healthy families...this new dentist doesn't. *sigh* but i took tyr there anyway, to see if he could see anything that might make things better or something, i don't know. found out that the new dentist thinks that policy is weird too...and no, they don't have a similar policy...they think parents should be able to get second opinions.

took tyr to the new dentist and tyr freaked out again and wouldn't even let the doctor look at him, much less look in his mouth. no way no how. freakazoid city. NOTHING would distract him.

so now what? well the new dentist is saying i could look into local options that take healthy families...i don't really like this option because the hospital that does it is a really icky one. its where you go if you have no insurance and they treat you like cattle there...i know because i had to go there a few times years ago when i didn't have insurance and i hated every minute of it. the place gives me the heebie jeebies. don't want to take my child there.

the other thing that gnaws in the back of my mind is why this first dentist referred us out of town...he said he doesn't like to refer to anyone local because he's not been happy with their work. great.

well this new dentist does work under general at children's hospital and i do feel more comfortable with this option. but money is a huge issue. he says it will be at least a thousand or 2...or more, who knows? they won't know til they get in there and look. which right now isn't going to happen without drugs.

well, needless to say i'm pretty freaked and have been quite unable to focus on much of anything else. i'm going to be a basketcase until this is all over.

looking into getting tyr books and videos on going to the dentist and toys to play dentist...going to work on brushing him after every meal (was only doing it at night before) to get him more used to having his mouth handled...and going to play lots of pretend dentist. start getting him less fearful. and then hopefully we can attempt another visit to this new dentist and get that second opinion that we've not gotten yet.

i keep hoping there's something that can be done to stave off worse damage while we buy some time for him to mature a little more and hopefully go into a new, less fearful phase.

until then, i'm going to be a ball of nerves...potty training is on hold for now. i can only handle one thing at a time.

Monday, January 19, 2009

choked up today



today is martin luther king, jr's birthday. so i got some books on him and his life. unfortunately only one picture book came in so far...and one longer book that is too much to sit and just read to maeve (she'd never stay interested)...hoping more of the picture books come in this week...

anyway so we're reading MLK's story today and i got all choked up! seriously, i canNOT believe that this country of mine could ever be so absolutely horrid!!! i mean, i believe it but it STILL shocks me!!! doesn't it shock you??

i was reading about MLK to my daughter...her first time hearing about him, i believe...and i was really hit hard by what he did for us! he seriously was a HERO!

and then, the comparison some people are doing with obama. i get it. sure, its not exactly the same...but perhaps we'll see some degree of similar change in the next 4 years. there's so much hope in the country right now. its really wonderful to be a part of!

and *I* can proudly tell my children that *I* helped make history happen! because *I* voted for obama! and i'm very proud of that! i'm proud to have been a tiny piece of history! it just occurred to me that that is what i did and it really makes me feel good!

oh there is so much hope in the air in this nation right now...i really think this is going to be a fantastic time to be an american!

tomorrow we get our first african american president. it was only a little more than 45 years ago that MLK made is "I have a dream" speech in washington D.C. ...isn't it just AMAZING how far our country has come in such an incredibly SHORT TIME??? a black man as our president, just 45 years after MLK's fight for equal rights for blacks!!! how unbelievable is that???

what else is going to happen? what else will i live to see? what will my kids live to see? the possibilities are just endless! this really is an amazing country! we learn from our mistakes and we move on to bigger and better things...i am really proud to be an american today. :)

oh gosh, choked up again!

lists still sorta working

well maeven and i are still using lists to stay on track with what we are doing each day. it really feels good to me, even if we don't check everything off every day.

i've decided that weekends will be to catchup (if possible) on anything we didn't get done the week before...for maeven it is primarily for housework catchup...i'm not making her do schoolwork catchup on weekends.

i continue to write my lists daily...maeven's goes into a notebook (so we have a permanent record of what she did each day) and mine goes up on the dry erase board, since it changes frequently (and i don't need a permanent record). so far this is working pretty well! my only fear is that i won't be able to keep it up.

surprisingly, maeven's not fighting me tooth and nail on it either...perhaps because she can see the end of what she has to do. that's my theory, at least.

anyway, i'm off track right now and must get back to our lists...in 10 min maeve's tv show (first episodes of the new "electric company" on today) will be over and i need to get her back to her list.

i feel good about how much she's already done today...but there's still a lot to do. must get back to work!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Tina likes to...

this is hysterical!! check it out...

Rules: Go to Google and type in quotation marks, your name and then "likes to" (e.g., "Tina likes to"). Type in the first ten things that come up and repost in your own note.

ok so here's mine:

  1. Tina likes to roll around in the dirt.
  2. Tina likes to put things in her mouth.
  3. Tina likes to enjoy life in the moment.
  4. Tina likes to dress up and make herself look as good as possible.
  5. Tina likes to...Move it!! Move it!!
  6. Tina likes to put in a good 11 hours of sleep in one fell swoop.
  7. Tina likes to say "twins separated at birth."
  8. Tina likes to help the grounds keeping crew take care of the field.
  9. Tina likes to be admired and she has a tendency to force admiration by fishing for compliments.
  10. Tina likes to fly.
And it goes on, there are some others that are cute too, like:
Tina likes to look nice and enjoys decorating her hair with sparkly clips and hair bands.
All Tina likes to eat is chocolate.

What a fun little game! I love stumbling upon these! LOL!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

potty training not going well

i'm so tired of potty training. tyren goes back and forth sooooo much its driving me INSANE. maeven wasn't like this. she was really easy in comparison. i really didn't have to do much with her, in comparison.

i finally broke down and decided to try using rewards (i'm not a big fan of reward systems). we are doing a sticker chart now and he often acts excited about it! but then later he could care less. even talking about him getting a special treat for getting a lot of stickers...doesn't matter.

i am thinking i might go buy some m&ms and see if that helps motivate him. or maybe hershey kisses. give him a kiss every time he goes potty. he does like his chocolate! i just need to get him in the habit...its not going to be something that i have to do forever...just to get him in the habit! because he's fully capable, physically...he just chooses not to do it. *sigh*

i have been trying to take him potty every hour. works ok the first half of the day, second half he won't have it. i think he gets tired of it. absolutely refuses to even just sit and try when i ask. *sigh*

half the time he makes it to the potty fine, half the time he just pees wherever he is. *sigh* its really hit or miss.

pullups are a waste of time. they are just diapers to him. he doesn't care that they can be pulled down to pee. same thing for undies and even pants. he just pees in them. and where he used to make it to the potty great if he was nakey...not anymore. he often will sit and watch himself pee.

this shouldn't really surprise me...he's oppositional about every other thing in his life. he absolutely has to do the opposite of what i want...most every time!!

right now i'm biding my time for this potty watch that i ordered to come in. he is really excited about it...i hope it works!! maybe it will get him to have the control and be more excited about it...because then its HIS watch that tells him to go potty, not ME!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

civil union does NOT equal the same thing as marriage!

i can't remember what led me to google this...i had meant to do this ages ago, back in the middle of the whole prop 8 fiasco...finally did.

just as i thought...its NOT the same thing!

Civil Unions vs. Gay Marriage

Civil Unions vs. Civil Marriage

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

i definitely agree with this blog



http://momsformodesty.blogspot.com

here's the comment i left:

definitely! i think its absolutely RIDICULOUS the style of clothes they market to even little girls like my 8yr old!!

i'm not christian, but even i find it inappropriate for little ones to dress in things like crop tops and hip hugger pants...why in the WORLD would it be important for a CHILD to show off parts of their bodies in a sexual way like that?

(i forgot to add also that i find it so maddening that i have to really search to find shorts for my daughter that are not "daisy dukes", short-shorts...i can't believe how SHORT they make them for CHILDREN! it enrages me, i tell ya!!!)

its getting to the point now that i have to seriously search to find anything to put on my daughter that still makes her look like the little girl she is, and not a teenager-in-training!!

Monday, January 05, 2009

would you let your wife out like this??



well MINE DID!! HA!

i put maeven's halloween cat ears on at some point today when i was cleaning...and forgot i had them on when i went out tonite to return movies at blockbuster and get some food at trader joe's.

first i went to blockbuster for a good 20min or more. then i went to trader joe's...about halfway through my 20 or 30 min there a really sweet older couple said to me, as i was passing them in the aisle... "we really like your ears"...i was aghast! i was like "oh my! i totally forgot i had those on!" and ripped them off. they said "oh no!! don't take them off!!! they are so cute!!!" and they sincerely meant it! (they were very sweet) so i put them back on and mumbled something about how i must look ready to go to a club, LOL!! got to the end of the aisle and sereptitiously ripped them off again.

got home and said "thanks HON for letting me know i still had these things on!!!" to which my ever kind hubby proceeded to laugh his ass off. great. very nice.

LOL! it WAS funny though! i had a friend years ago that taught preschool with me that once went to the bank with a yarn pony tail on...now i guess i've joined her silly ranks. LOL!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

i ROCK!

adam had like 10 days off in a row...from xmas on...and we planned on getting a ton of stuff done. well it hasn't really worked out that way...but *I* have gotten a lot done!! not as much as i had hoped, but i'm still quite proud of myself!!

i have had junk piled up in the hallway for weeks, maybe months...and i'm almost done getting it all put away! including a huge tub of assorted junk that was thrown into the tub to get the living room cleaned up for tyren's bday...in JULY!!! that one i whizzed through yesterday...and i got the basket by the front door, which is always overflowing with mail and assorted junk that needs to be put away...ALL CLEANED OUT!! woohoo!!! i rock!

and i've been working on getting various other big jobs done...dishes and laundry, for 2...i've been tackling those daily. and the cat's bathroom...i've been maintaining clean litter boxes (after a big original clean up job)...and i even have wiped down the nasty floor around the trash cans (always is a mess of unknown spilled substances, blech) and even the trash cans themselves!! (outside, not inside, *shudder*)

let's see, what else? i've even wiped part of the kitchen floor...though my goal is to get it completely washed, but for now, wiping the worst spots really makes a difference....cleaned the stove off completely (and wiped! this is a big deal around here!)

vacuumed in the living room several times (it needs it daily!) ...put away nearly all the xmas decorations, including the tree (still need to figure out where i'm going to store it...i'd like to not stick it back in the big room because i'd like to see that get more cleared out in anticipation of more work getting done...positive thinking...)

got a whole bunch of stuff i've been wanting to sell, sold...hanna andersson dress/pants/socks for one...went on ebay before xmas...a bunch of my disney videos (still have a few, but not much left!) and got rid of some of my disney ornaments (got more to sell...will work on that this week too).

OH! yesterday tyren wanted to watch a specific movie and i was looking for it in the video cupboard (aka the bottom of our hutch) and ended up sorting and purging a bunch of videos/dvds! i still have like 20 videos to check and see what they are and throw out/give away...but its mostly done!!

yesterday i FINALLY went through all the floppy disks that i had been meaning to go through for awhile...i had borrowed a plug-in floppy drive from my dad months ago and never got around to doing it...went through the ENTIRE box yesterday, saved the files i wanted to save, and threw out every one of those damn disks! (broke them in half even!)

today i'm attacking some closets...we have more purging to do, to make room for some of the random stuff that floats around the house and needs a home....so i'm off to get back to work! i'm so jazzed! things are coming along very nicely!!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

i have a dream



(by the way, i couldn't find this song on youtube with the original scene from the movie, mama mia, so i found one that was super cute instead! its the same song, and i just discovered someone that i didn't even know exists! what a cutie!! apparently she won "britain's got talent" at like age 6 or 7, i think? wowee! amazing child!)

i have a dream...i always have a dream going on...but this one i've had for some time. i just started thinking about it again...

i dream of our family owning a chunk of property in nature somewhere...foothills maybe...i'd prefer above the rattlesnake line, but really i might not be able to be so choosey.

tonite i was just thinking about it again...not sure what set me off but i was driving by myself (not a common occurance!) in my husband's car which has no stereo so i had time to think (i was getting dinner for us). anyway...my dream...

i don't know how many acres i want, but enough to be able to have a chunk of land to build a little on (or better yet, some existing structures we could tweak to our needs) and a lot of land to be able to take hikes and not hit freeway or other houses for awhile. preferably a creek, but i don't know how easy that would be to find. seasonal would be better than no creek.

my dad has had this dream to have a retreat center for as long as i can remember...i'd like to make his dream come true at the same time as mine. i want to use the same property for his retreat center as for my outdoor school. he could have groups up for retreats and i could run trails and have groups of kids and families for outdoor ed.

i'd like to run something similar to SCICON, but smaller. not as large-scale. something simpler but same kind of concept. i'd love to hire former SCICON interns to help me!

i would love to have it be a residential outdoor school like SCICON, where the kids stay for a week...but if that's not possible, just enable fresno area kids to have a great location for a day trip/field trips would be fantastic! something not too far out of town, so it can still be a day trip. and i don't want to be too far out of civilization.

but oh, how wonderful that would be! i would LOVE it! it would be a lot of work, but i really feel like it could be a very successful business! if we were able to purchase some sort of property that did a camp or church or something that already had some stuff already set up, would be great! an old summer camp, like a sleep-away camp, would be perfect! but oh! how often do things like that go up for sale? and how would i EVER in a million years be able to afford it?

i have a dream....that we would sell our house and my parents would sell their house and maybe some other family members would go in on it...like my brother or someone in adam's family...and we'd be able to make it work. and adam could make instructional videos for people somehow...not sure on that idea yet, but there has to be a way he could make money too so we'd all be able to do well financially. in my dream, it all works out somehow. in the law of attraction, that's how you get things to happen...to believe it can and will happen. i really believe it can and will....someday....somehow...it might not end up exactly how i've got it all mapped out now...it might change a lot...but it could somehow, someday, happen for us all. and oh how wonderful it would be!

i guess i won't ever get anything to happen, though, if i don't keep watching local real estate. because if that summer camp or something similar, goes up for sale somewhere in our area...i need to be watching for it! :) guess i know what i'll be doing tonite now! :)

goodness i LOVE dreaming! its SOOO exciting! :)

Friday, January 02, 2009

i love rainy days

so funny...today i was driving in the greyness of today (which eventually started raining)...and was thinking how i really wanted to blog about it. :)

i love wet days...not when there are tons in a row (but we don't get much of that happening in the central valley)...but here and there...i LOVE them!

today i was driving my kids around and it was grey and gloomy and i just loved it because it started to get wetter and started raining...in fact i was listening to the radio (something i don't usually get to do with maeven in the car, she insists on specific cds...but this was after i dropped her off to play at a friend's house) and the perfect grey day song came on for me..."sunglasses at night" by corey hart. i LOVE corey hart! i was a HUGE fan in the 80s.
this was my FAVORITE album, back in the day! (this is "boy in the box", and didn't have "sunglasses at night" on it...but this was my FAVORITE!)

oh my, i love youtube! here's the song:



so funny cuz that's the first time i've ever seen that video.

oh lookie, he has a website! WOW, he still looks good! :)

anyway, so that song came on...and i was immediately in an even better mood...the greyness was nice, but corey hart ROCKS! LOL!

then it started to rain...i'm stuck in traffic but i don't care! cuz guess what came on next? U2!!!



just gorgeous! i ADORE U2 too! :) this band always makes me remember an old boyfriend (high school days) who was really into them...but i just adore them for the tingly good feeling from all the intense emotions their songs evoke and all the good stuff that i know that band has done.

bono and corey on a rainy day...could it get any better??

wow and then i drove past shaw and blackstone where there was a protest going on against israel? something about israeli acts of terrorism in gaza? i still don't know anything about this but there was a LOT of people out there on the corners...with signs and banners and peace flags and a lot looked of middle easter decent and had some strong emotions on their faces...it really touched me to see people standing in the rain on a cold day, nearly dark (and after dark when i went by them again later)....to feel so strongly about something to do that...it was really intense for me...i choked up and my eyes filled with tears. that's not something that happens often to me. i now need to do a little research and learn what it was they were protesting because i haven't a clue.

but wow, what a day. great music, great weather, great emotions. i'm feeling really high on it all.

and then i got home and told adam about it and it got me to reminiscing about when i lived in new jersey...because it rains a LOT there. but it rains more during warmer weather...all summer long, in fact. it almost never rains here when its warm. in jersey we could go out and play in the rain...and enjoy killer thunderstorms. and i remember how the wet asphalt from the street would smell SOOOO good when it rained...and the way the electric lights reflected off the wet streets. oh there was no feeling like that! its difficult to put into words.

i remember i used to love driving around in my little '64 bug in the rain with the windows down to smell that wonderful rain smell and hear all the nighttime rain sounds of the town i lived in. there was this one intersection in particular that i just ADORED. it was a busy intersection with gas stations on every corner...and i used to keep doing circles to come back to that intersection over and over sometimes cuz i just LOVED the way all those electric lights were just a rainbow of beautiful colors bouncing off the wet streets right there...and the sounds of the cars and people and just the smell and it was sooooo uplifting to me. it was like a life high. i get highs off of lots of things about life, LOL...i'm just funny that way.

certain songs...certain smells...certain commercials or tv show scenes...of course my kids and my husband...i often get a tickly tummy about a loved one from loving them so much for something cute or funny or (in my hubby's case, sexy) fun that they do or say...there's a lot in life that excites me and gives me a high. its so cool! i LOVE it! :) who needs drugs?? LOL!

anyway, it was a good day. :)