Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Jake is currently writing a persuasive paper about why he should take fencing lessons

Jake struggles with writing -- the idea of it, starting a paper and actually writing one.  It’s not because he’s dumb.  He’s actually quite bright but he struggles with Language Arts.  I went to a lecture sponsored by our town’s SPED PAC last year and realized I should be more proactive about his writing.  I found out that my one of my friends worked for a company (EmPOWER) that teaches writing.  She evaluated Jake’s writing for me and told me his writing is at a third grade level.  I decided to spend his college money on tutoring because if he couldn’t write he wouldn’t go to college.  So, for the past several months, once a week I drive Jake 30 minutes away to my friend Stacy’s house for tutoring.  It’s going pretty well.  I assign him twenty minutes of writing homework a day because I’d prefer not to have to do this for more than a year.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Capital E, lowercase n, lowercase d, lowercase l, lowercase e, lowercase s, lowercase s

Yesterday Will wanted me to scribe for him.  "Capital A," he said, followed by a "lowercase n, lowercase d." ... It made for slow writing.  If I knew the word, which happened frequently because he asked me to write the same song lines over and over again, I would write letter before he told me to.  Then he'd quickly grab the notebook away and inspect the words.  He erased the wrong words and occasionally, if it was beyond repair, rip the page out, crumble it up and drop it on the floor.  It was basically 45 minutes of good times.

Will is out of school this week, so I made him go for a walk with me this morning in the heat.  We both loved it.  The poor kid gets 6 make up therapy hours this week but I think it's good for him to have something to do.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The First Summer Wednesday

Did things irrevocably change between the time I was a child and now?  I never went to day camps (well, really to anything).  I read and played during the summer.  And that was pretty much it.  Today I got Will ready for school, sent him off, encouraged the kids to do their jobs and then I left to teach my two classes at the Y.  I stopped at the store for bread and milk on the way home.  Ate lunch.  Took the kids to the library to sign them up for summer reading and get some books.  I dropped Bri off at her friend’s house to hang out for a couple of hours before her piano lesson.  Then I met Will’s bus at Marcy’s house.  Will has therapy from 3:15 to 5:15; when that ends I’ll load everyone in the car, drop Lizzy off at Cat’s house because she is taking Lizzy to swim team.  I’ll pick up Bri from piano and drop her off at someone else’s house for a ride to a Young Women’s service project.  I exchange Bri for a boy I will take to scouts with Jake.

Linda says if I end the night with the four kids I started with she’ll buy me a pony!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Facebook makes my head hurt

Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who has a huge gaping hole in her memory.  I barely remember anything before kids.  It’s as if my whole psyche has sucked up all the available neutrons in my brain with the sole goal of ensuring the survival of all my children -- they take up a lot of room.

Unfortunately, that means that I remember roughly five people from high school.  Sometimes people I don’t remember send friend requests.  If we have friends in common or they went to my high school I accept.  I don’t send emails asking if I know them anymore because I think I offended someone that I didn’t remember them when we had several classes together and for all I know we ate lunch together every day for three years.

I got a friend request about a month ago from someone I didn’t know.  But we had one friend in common and she was from my hometown so I thought maybe I knew her.  Then she sent me an email asking how I was and what was going on in my life.  Her profile picture was a tomato and the only person I knew with her last name was about ten years younger than me that I used to baby sit.  Was that her?  I didn’t know.  I pretended I did and emailed back.  I probably was a little distant.

Three days ago she changed her profile picture.   Wait for it . . . she was one of my best friends in elementary school!  (I plead extenuating circumstances as she goes by a shortened version of her name now and I didn’t know her married name.)  Naturally, I sent her an email pleading dork, and admitting that I had no idea who she was before.  I was very happy to hear from her and I told her I missed her very much when she moved away.

She thought it was hilarious that I didn’t know who she was.  And five emails later I found out she never moved away and in fact her mom lives in the same house.  I think I better dig out my old yearbooks and study because Facebook is kicking my butt!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sounding like a fabulous mom is highly unlikely because this stuff just comes out of my mouth

My friend Tiffanie was hanging out with me after Lizzy’s birthday party.  One of Lizzy’s friends stayed late because her mom was working.  She called me to let me know she would be a couple of minutes late picking up her daughter.  “How was she?”  She asked.

“Great,” I responded.  “I’ve ignored them for an hour.”  Tiffanie started snickering.

“What?”  I asked when I got off the phone.

Friday, June 18, 2010

I hate feeling like I’m losing to an eight year old

But to be honest . . . sigh, I’ve been on the losing side since she was two.  Once she has made up her mind about something that is THE END.  That idea or event or whatever has been graven in stone, hauled up to the tallest mountain and is being guarded by rabid monkeys; and the only possible way for anything to change involves long-winded explanations or cajoling or apologizing. 
My dad loves hearing about Lizzy because he believes the Cosmos is giving him payback for enduring me as a child, and even when he’s sympathetic he has a tone – a tone that lets me know that to some extent he’s enjoying my agony.

However, I feel it only fair to warn him that I’ve been keeping track of my chits.  And when Lizzy’s chits begin to outweigh mine I’m shipping her to his house for a summer.
Dad, her birthday party is today.  I figure she’s good for about twenty in the next two hours alone.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Me:  "I regret taking you out for lunch."

Jacob:  “I regret you as my mom.”

Ouch, I think he won.  Then he came up to me two minutes later and hugged me.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My Mom is on a Horse!

My mom hasn't ridden a horse since she was 16 years old.  So, I'm pretty proud of her!  Of course, it probably helps that her horse, Pretty Girl, thinks she is a dog and guards her.

All the animals my parents own are a little confused.  Their dog Buddy has a pet of his own -- a bunny.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Team Jeward

Lizzy and I went to a book club on Friday.  One of my friends decided to start a mother daughter book club and I want Lizzy to improve her reading so it seemed like a perfect fit.  Lizzy hasn't found her genre yet so she doesn't read much and it's like pulling teeth to get her to do it.  We decided to read the first book in the Gregor of Overlander series (my recommendation) and The Little Princess (definitely, not my recommendation as I have always disliked that book -- I don't know why because I really like the Secret Garden).  Anyway, I'm crossing my fingers that this will work and Lizzy's reading will improve.

Everything was fine at the book group until I mentioned that my book boyfriend was Hector from the Iliad. As they were not familiar with that term I had to explain it. I choose to do so in the easiest way possible.  Example sentence:  "Edward Cullen is the book boyfriend for many teenage girls."  Brianne and I are not on team Edward as we find him creepy and obsessively possessive.  And as much as I would like to have a sparkly book boyfriend, he is only 17 and I don't think Robert Patterson is attractive.  Taylor/Jacob on the other hand is very attractive but he is even younger and my internal inappropriate-o-meter goes off.  And really -- I'm not interested in having a monster book boyfriend anyway.  Thus Jacob can't be my book boyfriend.  Brianne is not interested in either of them either, though many of her friends are.  So, we started our own team -- Team Jedward.  We get all the benefits we want, with none of the disadvantages.  

Sparkly -- check.  
Washed hair -- check.

You get the idea.  But I would never leave Hector for Jedward.  We've been in a long-term relationship since 1988.

Friday, June 11, 2010

I’m choosing to interpret this statement as I’m usually pretty awesome (but, of course, I could be wrong)

My husband called me.  He had taken Jake camping with the other scouts.  “Guess what Jake said to me on the way to camp.”  He laughed.

“What.”  I asked.

“Jake said, ‘This week mom was not very patient and evil.’”  Intrigued my husband queried, “Evil?  Why was she evil?”

“She was angry because we didn’t do our jobs,” Jacob replied.

Naturally, my husband called me to laugh at me for being evil.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Lizzy’s Homework the Last Two Weeks of School is Kicking My Butt

My friend called me, “Did you see the homework for the last two weeks of school?”


“What do you think of it?”

“I think it’s two weeks without homework.”  I responded foolishly.

“Ok, you’re probably right.”  Linda said.

I WAS WRONG!  Homework is homework. 

“Mom, I need to dress up as my text-talk word.  I choose hero.  Please drive me to the store to buy a batman costume so you don’t have to sew me one.”  Lizzy said expectantly.

First of all: Like that is going to happen.  I am not the mother that says “Oh you need me to buy you something . . . is this enough money?”

Secondly:  Even if I was so inclined to do so, it’s June.  No one has batman costumes.

Thirdly:  Sew . . . Sew you a costume for text-talk day!  Apparently, you don’t realize that there only a couple of things I like to sew.  One is clothes for baby girls and two is Halloween costumes.  Halloween costumes not text-talk costumes.  At some future point in my life, when I have an extra room and I don’t have to sew on my kitchen table, I might make baby quilts.

Lizzy talked to me about what she needed for her text-talk word for three days . . . a lot.  I considered prank calling her teacher in retaliation for the homework.  Fortunately, we had a black cape from my childhood and Marcy had a black batman mask.  Lizzy turned a black tee-shirt inside out and wore black pants.  She drew a batman logo on a piece of paper and taped it to her shirt.  She wore it to her doctor appointment.  Then I dropped her off at school.  “I don’t know if they’ll let you wear that mask at school.”  I told her.

“What!  Why not?!”

“Uh, never mind.”
Miss Charters, I guess it’s your turn to take one for the team.  Have fun!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Today at Church

Will sang a song that was somewhat appropriate.  I got some smiles.  Then he laid his head down on a stranger’s lap.  She patted his head so I figured it was alright.  The kids had a lesson on the Ten Commandments during Sunday School.  They quizzed each other on the way home.  I overheard Jake asking Lizzy if she knew what adultery meant.   

I thought about interjecting.

But she responded.  “Yes . . . no . . . whatever.”

Then Jake explained to Lizzy what it meant.  “It’s when someone kills five people and then commits suicide.”

My work here is clearly done.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Summer Grind

School is not even out yet but I’m exhausted.  Granted it’s my own fault but I like to blame it on the summer anyway.  Swim team practices started on Tuesday and even though only Lizzy and Bri agreed to participate this summer it still involves three or four drives between our house and the pool.  If I can’t leave Will at home I have to find something for him to do while Lizzy is swimming.  It’s not fair to expect him to wait and watch other kids swimming.  (Besides -- the one time I tried it last year he took off his shirt and tried to jump in the pool.  I stopped him but screaming was involved.)  However, I realized (I know it only took a year –shut up) there is a lovely park with walking paths next to the pool.  I’ll take Will for a walk while we wait for Lizzy.  He’ll love that!  When I take him on walks around our neighborhood he asks for a piggyback and tries to make me carry him.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

And Yet Another Reason Why My Sister Jane Is Unbelievable

She writes weekly emails that include things like:  “Adam would have turned 16 on Thursday . . . We bought Superman colored balloons – the only yellow was a smiley face – perfect.  We had a party with pizza and cream soda at the cemetery.  David brought his guitar so we could sing Happy Birthday… and other songs.”   And she included a picture of her family at the cemetery.  I like knowing that if I feel like talking about Adam to her I can without worrying about hurting her.  Because we all miss him!
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