Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Screw Thankfulness

I'm sick... Not like dying sick, but regular old, "I feel like crap," sick.  Pretty much everyone in my family is sick, but for some reason the germs seem to be bent on making me just a bit more miserable.  I shouldn't complain because compared to most people I get sick very infrequently, but this week I feel like hell.  This has led to me feeling VERY CRABBY.  I started a thankfulness post the other day to try and remind myself all the reasons to feel blessed.  My heart just wasn't in it... So, although it goes against my new found philosophy, I think I need a bitch post.  Maybe if I get all the reasons for my crabbiness out I will feel better.  So here goes...

  1. I HATE the taste of cough medicine.
  2. I HATE that my head feels as though the top of it could seriously blow off every time I cough.
  3. I HATE that my cat keeps waking me up at 6 am.
  4. I HATE the smell of bananas (which Bear seems to eat ALL the time).
  5. I HATE that my husband is out of town.
  6. I HATE that I felt like crap during out homeschool conference, and so I missed out on the fun I had been looking forward to.
  7. I HATE that some people keep taking my ideas and passing them off as their own.
  8. I HATE that when my brother's family is in town there is always drama.
  9. I HATE putting away laundry.
  10. I HATE that my youngest daughter has no concept of what "clean" means in reference to her room.
  11. I HATE March.
  12. I HATE trying to figure out how to get my kids to their activities on my own.
  13. I HATE that I always feel like the bad guys compared to other parents because I try to keep to some sort of schedule.
  14. I HATE trying to keep a straight face when someone is saying something preposterous.
  15. I HATE shopping for bras.
  16. I HATE the taste of any artificial sweetener.
  17. I HATE that my husband gets to eat yummy food when he is on a business trip, and I ate ramen for dinner last night.
  18. I HATE that we still haven't found the garage door remote, and so someone has to get out of the new van and open the garage door by hand every time we get home.
  19. I HATE that even though I have been working on decluttering my house there are still TONS of spot full of crap.
  20. I HATE that I broke my camera at the conference this past weekend.
  21. I HATE that my brother's family has no plan whatsoever when they come into town, and so I feel like I am in limbo waiting to see when we can get together with them.
  22. I HATE that #21 is true even though I promised myself I wouldn't worry about it.
  23. I HATE that Claire missed being the state champion by .2 points.
  24. I HATE that Kali is thinking about giving up dance altogether.
  25. I HATE that I have to plant 30+ trees this week
  26. I HATE that I chewed off 2 of my fingernails that I have been working so hard to grow.
  27. I HATE that I have to have me house cleaned by tomorrow afternoon because my in-laws are spending the night.
  28. I HATE that my brain is always fighting with itself about how much structure vs. freedom I should give my kids.
  29. I HATE spiders.
Ok, so there you are.  I am hoping that will help me get back on track.  I know that focusing on the positive is better, but sometimes I just need to let it out.  Hopefully I can finish the thankfulness post soon.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Gymnastics Obsession

Bear had her state meet for gymnastics last night. As it turns out, she peaked at exactly the right time. She came very close to taking the all around crown for her age group, but even without it she did SO well. As I reflect on her season I am so happy for the experience for her. It was also a fun season for the st of our family. We made some great new friends, and I learned a lot about the sport and the politics surrounding the sport.

Still, I was ready to take a break from it. I cannot explain how consuming it felt for the past couple months. I have never been a person to watch sports, and so I am not sure if everyone feels the rush of adrenaline I felt during every meet. It was a combination of fear and excitement I can only compare to a roller coaster. The funny thing is that I really didn't care that much about the awards. I mean obviously getting medals and trophies is nice, but watching how the girls improved each meet was so exciting. So imagine spending four hours on a roller coaster every weekend for the past two months. I am exhausted!!!

I also feel like I allowed my gymnastics obsession to interfere with other aspects of my life. My house is a mess. Curly Q feels neglected. I am sure all my other friends are sick of hearing about gymnastics from me. In short, I feel like I am recovering from an addiction. So now I have to put my life back together. I also have to figure out how to not get so caught up in in next year because Bear wants to continue. Of course by then I will have met all my goals for this year, and I will be the picture of serenity.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Decluttering Project From Last Week

I need to get some more decluttering done this week, but I thought first I would post pictures from last week.  My bedroom is always the last thing I clean.  We don't spend a lot of time in there, and when we do the lights are usually off.  Still I usually get a bug up my butt every few months and clean it.  I did that last week, and I guess that counts as a project.

That was 4 days ago, and it still looks pretty good.  Maybe THIS time I can keep it that way...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

More Reasons to be Thankful

In light of my recent mood I think I need to do a post about all the things homeschooling makes me thankful for.  That way I can remind myself why it is the right decision for our family.

1. I am thankful that I get to spend as much time as I want with each of my kids.  I watch them grow every day, and I know that at some point they will need to go out on their own to discover who they are as people.  I think the time we spend together now will stick with them when they are on their own, and they will remember they can always come home.

2. I am thankful that my kids get to spend lots of time together.  Their time together sometimes seems to be a roller coaster.  They swing from love to loathing every few minutes, but I know they are learning so much about love from their relationship.  I truly believe that when they are adults they will be each others' cheering section whenever needed.

3. I am thankful that my kids aren't being conditioned to blindly follow.  School, by design, creates sheep.  The teachers want all the kids to do the same things at the same time because it is much easier to control them that way.  Their peer group does not respect individuality.  It breeds an us vs. them mentality.  Either you are like us or you are an outcast.  I am so glad that my kids are able to see how boring it would be if we were all just alike.  I am glad that they are still able to bravely stck to their own ideas, beliefs, style choices, etc.

4.  I am thankful that my kid can follow their passions though after school activities without being burnt out.  Both of my kids like to join activities, but if they were rushing to get off the school bus, choke down some diner, and then get carted off to their activities I am not sure I would allow it.  Our schedule is flexible so fitting in their activities and enough free time is much easier.

5.   I am thankful that we can go to museums, shows, parks, etc. when there is no one there.  I hate crowds, and Bear is even worse than me.  So the fact that we can go to the zoo and only share it with a handful of other people is wonderful.

6. I am thankful that my kids have a wide social circle.  I find it funny that opponents of homeschooling complain about a lack of socialization.  My kids have friends from all their activities as well as our homeschool group.  In addition they don't see adults as inaccessible to them.  They feel as comfortable having a conversation with an 8 year old as they do a 50 year old.

7.  I am thankful that my kids take responsibility for their own education.  Most kids are told what to learn.  The adults in their life control all aspects of their learning.  We make joint decisions in that regard.  Their educational plan is a combination of their wants and my wants.  In fact there are very few instances where I insist they learn something when I say.

8.  I am thankful my kids are becoming self sufficient.  I watch them every day becoming more able to meet their own needs, and this is a direct result of the freedom that homeschooling allows. 

9.  I am thankful that when the weather is bad we can choose to just stay home.  This winter was pretty bad, and some days we just said forget it and hid under a blanket.

10.  I am thankful that my kids have the most dedicated teacher possible.  This is not a bash on teachers.  I used to be a teacher, but no matter how much a teacher cares for her students, it is divided between 20+ students.  I have 2 students, and their development is the most important thing in the world to me.  So even though I am not perfect I know for a fact that I will do everything in my power to help them grow into the best people they can be.  Public school is designed to create good citizens.  The aim of our homeschool is self-actualization.  These are very different goals!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lacking Confidence...

I started a post about how I am feeling unsure about our homeschooling decision this month.  I had things to say about whining, and tears, and chaos.  Of course as always happens I had to stop writing, and then forgot to come back to it it right away.  In the meantime I read some other blogs, and also as usual, they gave me perspective on my own journey.  This one in particular resonated with me today.


It was actually written as a Homeschooing 101 for non-homeschoolers, but it served as a nice reminder.  It's nice  to see that our struggles are not unique to our family.  Some times I need to be hit upside the head to remember that even though homeschooling can be a messy, upsetting, emotional journey it is still the right choice for us.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

First Decluttering Projects

Even though we are very busy I have managed to clean out three spots in my kitchen.

The top of the microwave is always a breeding ground for clutter.  It got bad enough that I added an old shoe box to hold all the extra junk.  As it turns out most everything in that box was either trash or already had a better home somewhere else.

Next, my kitchen drawers are very shallow and very narrow.  Keeping this in mind I need to organize them much better.  I am still thinking that I may invest in some drawer organizers, but at least now I know what each drawer should be used for.  Once again there were many things in these drawers that belonged somewhere else such as craft supplies and electronic chargers.

So far so good, but next week I am going to tackle one of my bigger projects!