Thursday, March 8, 2012

BOOKS!

As we drove to Target this morning (we needed flour, of all things, for Kutey's birthday dinner tonight!), I realized that we are listening to 2 different audio books as well as reading a third book. Kiddo also has two books of his own going, including Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Holes by Louis Sachar is our current car book. I had forgotten just how great audio books in the car are! If my kids are at all tired and bickering, and audio book can silence them. We are thoroughly enjoying Holes.

At home, we are listening to Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix. It is different from what we normally read, but so far it is good. It is part of a series, which is good and bad, so we'll see how it goes. It is for a Book Club meeting this month.

We are also reading The Candymakers by Wendy Mass, also for a book club in March. So far, three chapters in, it is good.

I have also been reading an assortment of picture books to Kutey, including a couple of St. Patrick's Day books. Lots of reading/listening happening here!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sunshine

The temperature hit the low 50s here today. Ahhhhh, Spring. I took the kids to the park. We had a dance party in the living room. It is amazing what a little sunshine and activity can do for one's perspective.

This afternoon was much better than yesterday, or even this morning, for that matter! Hopefully tomorrow will be even better!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Re-entry day

The weekend past was spent playing lots of fun games, including the newly discovered Mine Craft. Much, MUCH fun was had. But that means this morning was bumpy, at best. The kids were whiny. "I can't do it!" was uttered more than once. Both kids spent some time adjusting their attitudes away from me. I tried to lighten the mood by playing music and dancing in the kitchen! That backfired and made Kiddo grumpier because he was torn between finishing his chores and getting started on his school work and dancing. It didn't matter that I gave him permission to dance instead! When he did finally start dancing, he wanted me to do something I had been doing with Kutey, but he was too tall, back to grumpy. Then he wanted Megan to stop dancing. When I said he couldn't do that, back to grumpy. I was about done. We managed to muddle through our schoolwork, somehow. It took longer than it should have, but we did it. Now I have Kiddo logged into CurrClick's LEGO Club and Kutey is looking at the St. Patrick's Day books from the library. We have made it through "Re-entry day."

What is "Re-entry day?" When I was first homeschooling (three and a half years ago!), I referred to Mondays as "Re-entry day." They were often rough. There were sometimes tears (mine and kiddos). Sometimes very little was accomplished. I blamed it on the weekend of unstructured fun. Not that our school days have a tremendous amount of structure. In fact, there is often very little. There is more now than ever before, because I have two officially school-age kids, but still it isn't what most people would call structured. But still, the weekend is different. The kid refer to it as "Daddy's stay home days." That should give you some idea of the tone of weekends. The kids use it as a time to absorb as much Daddy time as humanly possible. It is great, but it tends to make school and Mommy boring in contrast. Re-entry into the regular week is messy and bumpy. Tomorrow will be better, Wednesday even better. Re-entry day, though, makes me look for chocolate. Lots of chocolate.

How do you handle Mondays?

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

This month, one of the homeschool book club books was Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin. Even though my kids are about the youngest in the group (I think there is one other child Kutey's age, the rest are probably 2 years older, and there are only a couple there, too!) they love the group. The coordinators are energetic and creative. This time they had 3 different activities after the book discussion was concluded. The kids got to try their hand at painting Chinese characters which they loved. Kutey mostly loved the option to paint. There was also a matching activity to match to their appearance in the book and another matching activity for Chinese characters to the animal they represented. We also got to try some bean buns (I think!). They were tasty and unusual and not something I would have thought to do on my own!

The most important thing this group gives us, however, is a group where Kiddo is not the oldest. I hadn't realized how important that might be until this fall. He loves hanging out with older kids and learns a great deal from them. This group has a number of boys in the 11 to 15 age range. They are all very kind and let Kiddo hang around them, include him when necessary, and are good role models. They are actually pretty good with Kutey, too. I am grateful to have found them, to have a fun activity to go to once a month, and to be reading great books!

Speaking for the great books, we listened to Where the Mountain Meets the Moon on cd and loved it. It was well presented, the reader was great, and it meant that we could listen on our way to and from our other activities. I think it was around 4 hours long. Kiddo loves audio books, and this one was no exception. He kept wishing we had to drive farther so he could listen longer. I loved how there were many tales woven into the storyline, and how they all came together. It was a marvelous listen.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The 3 am virus

Last week, Kiddo woke up on Wednesday morning at 3 am unable to breathe or talk. We managed to prop him up enough with pillows (horizontal apparently caused too much mucus draining) and he slept well the rest of the night, no more episodes like that, though he has been stuffed up and has a cough. Fast forward nearly a week. Kutey woke up Tuesday morning, at 3 am, complaining of her throat. Propped her up, and she went back to sleep. She woke up in the morning with absolutely no sign that she was sick. Not a sniffle, not a cough, no sore throat, nothing. Hmmm. Thought we had gotten off easy.

Until last night, when she woke up again, somewhere near 3 am (I can't say for sure when it was, I was up for what felt like forever with her). She was having a terrible time breathing, that wheezy, honking thing that is called something officially, but I don't know what. I ended up taking her outside twice (thanks to my friend N, the nurse practitioner, for that advice!). It helped so much the first time, that the second time she asked to go outside. It was less than 20 degrees out there, but it helped so much that she didn't care. The moon was beautiful, by the way, made it quite a lovely night to stand outside. I ended up sleeping sitting up holding her (at her request) for the rest of the night. In all cuteness, when I asked her about it this morning, she said she wanted to sleep in my arms because she could breathe there. The way she said it made me happy I could comfort her.

We have dubbed this the 3 am virus. Don't know what it is exactly, but it seems to be at its absolute worst at 3 am. Kutey is coughing today, but much better than last night. Let's hope the kids are the only ones who get this!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Lucky

Kiddo is ill today. He doesn't get sick often, which is great, but he has a sore throat and a honking cough that woke him in the middle of the night (2:33 am to be precise). He slept until nearly 11 am! He has mostly lounged about since then. We played LEGO Hogwarts (my favorite of the LEGO board games we own), but he hasn't done much else.

Kutey, on the other hand, was up at 8:30, snuggled with me, ate her breakfast, and dove right in to her school work. By the time Kiddo got up, she was done with what I wanted her to complete today.

She is also being a very good sister. Kiddo has but to ask and she is on it. Want crackers? She'll get them. Water? Sure! A blanket from your bed? Absolutely. My kids help each other out a lot. They are close. But seeing Kutey so willing to help her brother out, not because I am making her, but because she wants to, makes me feel so lucky. Lucky that my kids actually enjoy each other much of the time. Lucky that they get to spend so much time together. And lucky that it hasn't backfired on me and made them despise each other!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Funny Hiking Humor

Cristina over at Homespun Juggling posted today about hiking and making up puns about hiking. I was laughing as I read them. Maybe you'll find them humorous as well!