So, I haven’t given any indication on the blog about the latest schooling decisions, but we had some major changes. In August of last year I decided to homeschool the Chunks. Reasons: a) I’ve always wanted to and b) I felt good about the timing. Really. The timing felt good. This detail is very important in the history of my little family because well, so many things happened after that.
More on that later. I just want to focus on this girl:
So, we homeschooled from August to December. After Christmas, I decided it would be good for us if the kids went back to public school, at least for the rest of this year. The morning of the first day, this girl was up and at ’em, a clear indication that she was excited. I was glad because I mostly worried about the transition for her more than Chunk #1. She had only attended public school for kindergarten and never had a six-hour day. But her enthusiasm made me think she would be ok.
She was ok. Except for one little detail. You see, about a year ago Chunk #2 had a habit of sucking her lips so hard that the skin around them would turn red. She looked like she had lipstick on or a really strange rash. The habit stopped and I hadn’t thought about it again…..until she got home from school on January 3rd. It was back, along with a very clear light bulb. Ah, it’s a nervous habit! No doy!
So we talked. We talked about feeling safe, about being loved by mommy, about having her friends back (she was soooooo glad to see her old friend, let’s call her Guadalupe). I also made a joke – I said: “When you get nervous and start sucking your lip, think of Animal in the Muppet Movie. Just say ‘under control’ just like Animal.” This made her laugh (just go see the Muppet Movie for your reference).
The next day I picked her up and she updated me on her lip-sucking progress. “Mom, when I went to suck my lips I did what you said. I said ‘under control’ and I didn’t suck my lips.”
“Did you actually say ‘under control’ or think it?”
“I whispered it to myself” (lots of giggling).
“Did anybody hear you?” This was a casual question, really.
“No, I don’t think so,” still giggling.
This made me laugh. In my exaggerated motherly concern I imagined “the new homeschooled girl” off in a corner of the classroom whispering to herself “under control” in the voice of the most incomprehensible muppet. It was a great image. All she needed was a mouthful of paste. Aaaah the things I think about when it comes to my kids.
Oh well, she is like a Muppet. In any case, she seems to be transitioning well. She is still a little shy but has made more friends and enjoys all the perks of being a first grader (you know, P.E, Art, etc…..).
FYI, if you were wondering when the early morning enthusiasm would end, it only took about a week.
A couple weeks ago Chunk #1 came with me to get some fabric. I was going to make Princess Leia hair buns for a family treasure hunt (star wars themed, yeah, I know, Nerd Alert!). So we looked at the furry section and I wondered out loud if Minky fabric would work for my plan to swirl it into “hair.” Chunk #1 started to suggest other fabrics. His concern went something like this: “Mom, I think we should use this other one [pointing at another fabric] because I don’t want the girls to get hot. You know, like they’ll be too warm …(pause)… not like the other hot …(pause)… the one that Daddy says to you …(pause)…. like when he says ‘you are hot’, not like that hot.”
Meet Cheater 1:
And Cheater 2:
I love playing games. I usually love playing games with these two. Cheater 1 is particularly fun because he is so competitive. Cheater 2 has been my friend for about 18 years and has always made me laugh. Put these guys in a room with El Jefe and me, and any kind of game, and it’s a par-tay. Seriously. Par. Tay.
Yes. Like most nerds across America, I think there is nothing better than game night (well, that and pizza and a movie). However, these two, on this particular night, while playing games, totally cheated. That’s right. Cheated. I felt it was time to out them on my own blog.
This is all part of January Slide Show. Click here if you’re wondering what all this nonsense is about.
Somewhere in Kansas, a small family business became the very last developer of Kodachrome film. To some, this is no big deal, just another step forward in our digital world. But the end of December 2010 was also the end of an era in the world of photography. I can’t help but feel a little sad. I don’t like seeing certain photo technologies becoming obsolete. I just don’t. Keep in mind, this is coming from a girl who still wants to put a dark room in her house.
There is something about a slideshow.
Turn out the lights, gather around, and reminisce.
Others might consider sitting in the dark and looking at pictures as torture. Not to me.
So, if this is torture to you, then you won’t want to look at my blog for the next month. If you don’t mind pictures with some commentary, then please, by all means, look and join in the commentary if you like (I wish I could promise the same kind of commentary you would get at my in-laws. Really, it’s priceless).
Anywho, in honor of Kodachrome’s 75 years on this earth, I’m doing my own slide show. Yes, it’s digital, I know it’s not the exact same experience as a true slide show, but there you have it.
January slide show day #1
In the summer of 2008 we had a family reunion at Lake Tahoe. After a day at the beach with the whole clan, we stayed behind so El Jefe could take some photos. With the absence of people and remnants of food scattered about, some geese decided to come honking around. We told the kids to scare them away so Chunk #2 started honking back. She did a good job, especially since they were probably the same height as her. As you can see it was serious business.
Today I was finishing up my shift at Herbally Grounded when El Jefe called with some news that he was D-O-N-E with the kids. He was motivating the Chunks to clean their room and he had had enough. “I’m done,” he said, “I’ve yelled like Chris Farley twice.” Like Chris Farley? I hung up the phone giggling. Which Chris Farley yell was it, I wondered?
I decided it was this one:
There are a few times in my life where I’ve looked back and thought “holy crap I didn’t know I had it in me.” It started, really, at child birth (uh, not the birth of me, the birth of my children). I didn’t know I could bellow like that. Barbaric really.
It’s like this: when I became a mommy, I also birthed a beast inside me. It doesn’t come out often. I swear. But there are points in motherhood where you try to stay calm and put all your energy to stave off that screech that is so angry and gutteral that it flexes your vocal chords so hard that you say “ouch, why’d I do that?” afterwards. But it still emerges. So suddenly, too. You snap. It’s just like Chris Farley and the french fries: voice is calm, calm, calm, calm then Raaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrr!
Anyway. Was that the yell, El Jefe? Or was it the other one, the more motivational one, where they’re gonna “live in a van down by the river!”?
By the way, you are still in the “Nicest Boy in America” Club and as well as the “Greatest Dad In the Western Hemisphere” Society~ I feel that needs to be reiterated here. (Note to reader: I find it a bit of an exaggeration to say “Best dad in the world” Or “Nicest boy in the universe.” Really, how could you know that? I find my titles for El Jefe are closer to the truth and therefore more fitting)
So, my Love, please don’t beat yourself up….
The following picture represents how we all felt last night after our attempt at taking a Christmas Picture:
That’s right, I am diligently working to fulfill #21 on my Larry Bird Bucket List (click it for an explanation). But by the way my children were acting, you’d think they’d never had their picture taken before.
We promised them In’n’Out as a reward for their cooperation. We gave them three chances. I don’t think one picture turned out. When the jig was up, Chunk #1 asked why they couldn’t ever have four chances. I told him we do it like in baseball “three strikes, you’re out.” His response was, “Well that’s why I hate baseball.” I never knew.
Look me in the eye when you answer this question: How are your Christmas Cards coming?
Today we cut the grass. I walked by Chunk #2 as she was sweeping the concrete. This is what I heard:
“Dang crickets! Why you gotta mess up my grrrraaaass moppin’?”