Saturday, July 25, 2009

I meant to write .... Really!

Life seems to have a way of getting away from me. I am fully aware that it has been 6 months since I wrote a post, but that's just the way it is lately.

Anyway, we are about to get back to schooling regularly. My plan is to do four or five weeks of school then take a week or two off. This way I won't feel better scheduling breaks. I also want to make more time for field trips. The girls are both at such great ages that I think trips will be easier and more beneficial than ever before. This will be the first time I homeschool both girls full time. I am feeling a bit nervous, but I have planned a bunch and that always calms me. Here is the plan:

Morning Message:
This will be an interactive activity that both girls can participate in. It may be from history, science, art or music.

  • Math
  • Grammar
  • Cursive writing
  • Math
  • Language arts
Special Activity:
This will be done together and will encompass all other subjects. My plan is to have a loose theme each week. We may not do every subject every week. One week we may do history and art. Another we may find time for science and music. Also, there will be a box of books and a box of resources (like worksheets and games) that support the theme. These will be available all the time.

Here is a list of the curricula I am using:
So there you have it. It seems a bit ambitious, but I think we will be doing it in bits and pieces. Also I am not going to be rigid about finishing everything.

Wish us luck!!!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

I had great parents. Not perfect parents mind you. I mean they were 17 when they got married,18 when I was born. Neither of them had good parental role models, so they were basically using trial and error to learn to parent. Still I always knew they were trying. I knew they cared. My brother and had everything we needed and even some things we wanted despite the fact we were dirt poor (at least when i was very young). There was plenty of hugging and talking.

Then I became an adult and they continued to be my parents. They made the transition so seamlessly. They became my cheerleaders and my safety net. The security I felt as a young adult knowing that someone would try to catch me if I fell was amazing. There was still lots of hugging and talking. I am well aware of how fortunate I have been.

Slowly, though, things have been changing. I am becoming my parents cheerleaders and safety net. I am the one giving encouragement when my parents feel overwhelmed. I am the one to try to relieve her insecurities. I am the one hiding my own anxieties to keep from worrying them. I know this is normal. I am the one doing the hugging and talking. I know this is how it is supposed to be. I know this is their reward for the great job they have done all these years parenting me. But sometimes, I still wish I was the kid...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Our first dance competition

Sometimes I have so much to say that it seems hard to organize into a blog post. The result ends up being a choice between a very disjointed post or no post at all. I guess I should go for the disjointed post, but I usually choose to wait until my thoughts are more organized (which seems to be never lately.) Anyway, for today I will try to stick to one topic, but my ADD brain may have trouble.

Last weekend was Curly Q's first dance competition. I have really mixed feelings about it (as does Curly Q..) It was a workshop as well as competition so the schedule was intense. She had classes from 7:30 -2:30 pm Saturday, then they competed. Sunday classes were from 8-3. It was a lot for her and the others in her company. By Sunday morning they all looked like they would rather hide than dance. Adding to the trouble was that the age group they were in went up to 10 (plus some kids were actually older). Still, the teachers were fun,and every one of them talked about the importance of having fun while dancing.

The competition was quite a learning experience. Some of these companies are SERIOUS. One in particular jumps out. In order to join their company you have to homeschool your child. This is because they practice dance 6 days a week. They also brought a make-up artist, seamstress and caterer to the competition. The biggest surprise was the massage tables and masseuse. Yep, that's right, between routines and classes the dancers from their studio got professional massages.

The problem for me isn't that they did these things. Obviously they are very committed, and it showed in their dancing. They were very good, amazing even. The problem is that by competing with them we start to feel like we should be that good. In order to be that good our girls would have to be just as dedicated, but in truth I would rather raise a well rounded daughter than a competitive dancer. It is so easy to get caught up in it though.

So there you have my initial thoughts on dance competitions. I am kind of hoping that the next one is a different experience.

Friday, January 30, 2009

One of THOSE Moms

I admit I struggle with hubris. Not for myself (although I do have a healthy amount of self confidence),but for my girls. I know that simple biology accounts for my belief that my girls are among the best. All Moms think that about their children. Still, when one of them seems to excel at some thing or even if they make some sort of advancement my heart swells. When Curly Q. started dancing I was sure she was the BEST in her class. Actually she was, but when compared with other good dancers she is average. She holds her own,and if she continues I think she will do well. She has a great memory for choreography,but she has to work to learn the steps. However,if you had asked me last year I was sure dancing was in her blood.

Now it is Bear's turn. She is in a dance class with kids a full year older than her, and she is one of the top two dancers in the class. It makes me smile as I watch her pick up steps so easily. The place I am most excited for her is gymnastics. She has mastered all the beginning skills and is being moved up to the next level. Her teacher (who is probably just very good at keeping parents happy to come back session after session) tells me he is very impressed with her. The prospect of being asked to join both dance company and gymnastics team is very real,and I have to admit it feels exciting in a strange way even though either opportunity would be a huge expense both financially and time wise. If she happens to be chosen for both she would be required to choose one which could be quite a tumultuous choice. I shouldn't be looking forward to these situations, but I am.

Even as I look back over what I have written I know it is crazy. My children are 5 and 7. There is no need for them to excel at anything other than being kids. I think I keep my feeling under wraps enough that it doesn't affect them and their choices.

BTW I know I am freak so please don't feel the need to remind me of that fact in the comments ;-)

Friday, January 16, 2009


I grew up with shopping therapy. We weren't well off when I was very little, but by the time I hit high school we were doing pretty well. Also, I started working when I was 15 and all my earnings became spending cash. So the mall became my psychiatrist's office. Didn't do well in a theater audition, try this new shirt. Broke up with my boyfriend, how about a new pair of earrings. As I got older it continued. Didn't get the job I wanted, new curtains will fix everything. Having trouble with a friend, well at least my furniture matches. This went on for a LONG time.

Of course as I have mentioned here, I am trying to be a better consumer. I try to replace things as I NEED them. I try not to buy stuff that will be obsolete within a short period of time. The problem with this is that I have no psychiatrist. So here I sit with the winter blahs, and I have to find a new fix. I know that I should try exercising. There is so much research that shows how the endorphins released during exercise can combat depression. But who feels like exercising when they are depressed. Maybe if I buy a cute new exercise outfit and some shoes... ;-)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

This year Curly Q. expressed interest in making her own resolutions. So at breakfast Friday I brought it up. I thought we could give each other suggestions as to what changes we could make for the new year. I was pleasantly surprised by how insightful they both were. We each ended up with 3 personal resolutions plus a few things we plan to work on as a family.

Bear's Resolutions:
  1. Hold her pencil correctly
  2. Talk when she is upset instead of hiding and crying
  3. Clean up after herself
Curly Q.'s Resolutions:
  1. Listen to her belly when deciding what and ow much to eat
  2. Stay out of other people's business
  3. Be more optimistic
Mom's Resolutions:
  1. Spend more time with kids doing fun stuff
  2. Talk to kids instead of just sending them to their rooms when they misbehave
  3. Do one cardio and one yoga workout each week
Family Resolutions:
  2. Give our dog more attention
  3. Use less paper
  4. Do more to take care of the environment
So there you have it. I think these are great goals. Plus I think we can actually achieve all of these.

Friday, January 2, 2009


Well it is 2009...

I am not going to make any promises to keep up with this blog. What I am going to promise is that I will post whenever I think of something I want to say. In the past when I have gone for a while without posting I find it hard to start again because I feel like I need to make a grand re-entrance. I promise to not worry about that. Of course that will make this blog all the more disjointed, but I guess that is part of its charm. Right?

Ok, now that is out of the way....

This year I am going to change my kids names on this blog. I am planning on mentioning it in several online communities I am part of. I have been trying to come up with appropriate nicknames. I want something that will define them forever, and I want it to be postive trait. So calling my oldest dancer or Miss Impatient will not do. So the oldest will be referred to as Curly Q. and the youngest will be Bear. Now I have to figure out how to change the old posts.

I do have a great post about our New Year's resolutions, but that will have to wait because I have to go do my daughterly duty. My Mom really owes me...