Friday, February 24, 2012

Cliff Hanger of Grossness

So when we last parted ways, I asked if anyone had any guesses about what this might be:
Well, I had one guess and that was right. Brenda thought it might be a Jimmy Dean Sausage  found in the garbage.
Good guess Brenda!
It was indeed a sausage.
Found under the couch cushions as we did a bit of light Spring Cleaning last week.If you look closely, you can even see the print from the texture in the fabric that was impressed into the sausage as we sat on it time and again as it petrified. You can also see the very tip where there is evidence of minor gnawing before it was discarded.
Well played Squalor Monkey. Well played.

In related news we are currently potty training with the Agent of Entropy. So now he can randomly pee in various clean spots all over the house.
Fun for everyone.

*edited: I originally posted the wrong guesser. I typed Debbie even though my brain knew it was Brenda. I even read it three times and my brain switched the words. I wish I could say that something like this has never happened to me but I would be lying- I do absent minded professor-y stuff all of the time. Also there was an epic foam sword battle going on about 2 feet from my ears as I was typing.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Squalor Monkey or I Can Not Believe I'm Going There

See this kid?

Do not let the cute face fool you.
He is a complete menace.
Not exactly a SLOB but maybe we can label him an Agent of Entropy.
Yes, that's it. That's what he is.
He has this aura about him- kind of like that puffy cloud around PigPen in The Peanuts. but Liam's is more of an outward cloud- a cloud of oncoming entropy that negates any cleaning a certain tired Mama gets the energy up for.

Just cleaned your window on the patio door? Proud and happy at the way the glass is shining and the view seems so crisp? Well, The Agent of Entropy can not let that go on. Nope. He will stroll through, trip over nothing and his face will slam into the glass. And he will have just eaten alot of chocolate while he has a cold. There goes your window.

Just cleaned his room? Proud that your son does indeed have a well ordered and cute little room? Go ahead and get in the shower, when you get out, he will have decided that even though playing in his room is the last thing he has wanted for 267 days running, he will now decide that he must...PLAY WITH ALL THE THINGS! And he will do so with a relish that makes Master Entropy so very proud of his littlest recruit.

Just bathed him and got him into a freshly laundered winter coat? Feeling like he is the cutest and shiniest of little boys as you attempt to load him in the car for an appointment? Wait! The Sister will neeeeeed sommmmmething and...Boom! Your clean son sort of does this standing watusi up against the car that hasn't been washed since 2007.
He will always fall into mulch. Face first.
He will never mind that rivulet of snot that is running down his face. It's like a Robert Redford film starring Brad Pitt up in here when the boy has a virus. (A River Runs Through It. Get it? Ahhh cha cha)
He will be the first human ever to consistently and always melt M&M's in his hand.
He will always drag a sleeve through ketchup.

But...see this?

This! Is his crowing glory!
Any guesses as to what it might be and where we found it?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Her Heart

A nap was in order, but you see, she never naps. Not unless she is very under the weather and then you get lucky enough that she will acquiesce to lay with you, because YOU need it, not her - that much should be clear. So you lay down and she snuggles in, curling around her Pony and you start to drift off. You make yourself stay awake a bit longer though, because if you fall asleep and she does not, she will lay there for over an hour, quiet and bored and just waiting to be released. So she thinks you are asleep, but you aren't, not really. You are awake enough to be aware of her slipping her hot, tiny little hand into yours and whispering, "I Love You!" as she finally drifts off to sleep.


As she gets older, and her little mind starts to work and remember and obsess about scary things, she starts to need a little light on at night. She has made it thus far by using a little star light that we, the parents go in and turn off as we are going to bed. But you find her one night sleeping- with Pony, Lambchopper and her adventure lantern turned on and perched precariously on her chest. The next day her conversation is filled with hints and meanings but you have to wait for her to mosey about to the point. If you push, if you question, she will retreat. It takes her all day to work up the courage to suggest that she might be needing a more permanent night light in her room. She says this in quiet questioning tones when her Father is out of the room, these things are between us you see. When you look her in the face and tell her that you only want her to be safe, feel safe and not afraid and that if a night light is needed, then you trust her and you will get her one, right now, tonight- her little face flushes with relief. Relief and love. And she grabs your hand and walks with you to the closet to find just the right night light. Your reward for just being there for her is for her to thank you most genuinely and climb up into your lap and sit there cuddling- not for 5 minutes or 7 but for three entire chapters of Harry Potter.


Afternoon playtime. Lunch is eaten. The Brother's nap is not yet on the horizon- so what should be done with this treasure of minutes? I'll tell you what she does. She gets the globe down and calls The Brother over to her and he goes most happily and readily because he can tell by her tone that he is not in trouble, no, this is a fun summons. And they sit in the sunlight slanting in the room and they spin the globe and giggle. They are talking and whispering, giggling and rolling about. Then, she takes her hand, stops the globe and begins searching for a certain place. you must act like you are not aware of what is going on, if they know they are being observed, they perform or request or fall victim to entropy. She finds what she is looking for and slaps her hand down on the Asian Continent- most specifically China. And in a most secret club tone of voice she says, "This! This is China. The people of China invented silk, and wheel barrows, fireworks...They built The Great Wall of China to keep out the barbarians. I was born there. You were too. We both come from there! We are from China. Me. And. You." And you become more grateful than ever that your home holds two of the greatest things to ever come from that vast country.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Time Bomb

In an effort to fully comprehend this new thing that has entered my life, I am reading a book given to me by my Aunt.
The book is called The Thyroid Solution.
I haven't even gotten to the "solution" part yet and I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders.
All of these terrible things were happening to me. I was loosing myself, little bit by little bit. And I didn't even know that I shouldn't be blaming myself.
I. Was. Blaming. Myself. For. Symptoms. From. A. Disease.
I have been very quiet about some of the things that I have been battling because I felt guilty. I have been struggling with low grade and pervasive depression for a long time now. Two years? Three? I don't even know. All I knew was that I was depressed and I just wanted to be left alone and I couldn't figure out why I felt like that because I love my kids and my husband and my life is actually pretty fantastic. But the depression was/is chronic and low grade so I could muster my strength and hide it.

I got to the point where I could remember this person that I used to be but I just couldn't reach her any more. I could be on the phone talking to a dear friend about problems in her life and I would have to struggle to pay attention. I have to force myself to get out of bed and complete the bare minimum of tasks to get through the day. I have lost interest in reading, crocheting, playing with my kids, reading them books. All I can ever think about is how tired I am and how much longer I have to fight to stay awake.
And it wasn't just this feeling of depression. It was constant, chronic, never ending, never changing exhaustion. Fatigue that drained every single thought and desire out of my body. I was encased in a cement coffin of fatigue.

I started actively looking for help from the medical community a year ago. I had to actively fight for a solid year for a Doctor to order a single blood test that has helped me.
A single little pill every morning. That's it.
I am learning that an imbalanced thyroid affects every part of your life, your mind and your body.
I think the thing that I am most grateful for is this: I can stop feeling like I am to blame somehow for these feelings of fatigue and depression.
I can look at myself in the mirror and stop hating the person I see because she is failing at every single thing.
This thing was a ticking time bomb. It had the power to eat my life. To completely change who I am. To force me away from my children and my husband.
I am already feeling better and I suspect that if I stay on top of this- I can and will get back to that person I used to be. I have always struggled with Self Esteem but from this chair, on this day, feeling the way I do? The old Michal was a really cool, fun person that had the energy to be present for her family. The old Michal was pretty ok and I want to be like her again.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hearts + Sick = February So Far

Happy Valentine's Day!
I think the annual day of sweets was a hit around here. The kids woke up (one of them extremely early- like 6am early) and found a basket of goodies for each of them. They have been ingesting chocolate and conversation hearts at an alarming rate ever since. 

There is something that I love about this holiday and it's not really about the chocolates (well it is, but that's not all) or the forced feeling of romance- for me it's about taking time to brighten up what is usually a very dull and gray month. It's about getting to decorate using sweet little hearts and the colors red and pink all mashed up together. 
It's about taking an opportunity to spoil the heck out of my kids. 

Lissa and Brev and The Grandparents jumped in on the action and sent a box full of goodies too. That arrived a few days ago- on a day when both kids were feeling very low and sickly and it was just the thing to cheer them up.

The kids are on the tail end of a very nasty little bug that Papa brought home. The Doctor was reluctant to say, "Pneumonia",  but I feel certain that is where they were or where they were headed -quickly. After three days of antibiotics- they were both still running high fevers. And the coughing- oh the coughing. They almost ended up with a late night run to the ER but my nurse head kicked in and told my Mama's heart to wait until morning. We waited, and they both woke up fever free and almost back to normal. 

Mama is on the front end of the same bug and feeling very sorry for herself indeed. I did dose myself up with some high powered cold medicine and essentially lost 24 hours to a drugged haze but when I emerged- the nasty cold was still here. Oh joy.  So you know. You can fight for a solid year to get yourself diagnosed with a thyroid issue, start taking your meds, feel good for about 47.5 hours and then get hit with a cold from hell that wipes you out. I told you that I was feeling sorry for myself. I warned you. I did.  
Oh! Plus I had the bonus of being "hormonal" and thus used energy I didn't really have to fight with Les and that meant that I ended up exhausted from crying, a cold headache, a migraine and both nostrils completely plugged with snot and swelling. That was fun. Les thought so too. I could tell. He loves when I loose all rationality and attack him out of the blue while cleaning out the refrigerator. It's almost his favorite thing in life. Also I looked really hawt. 

cough cough

Where was I? Oh yes. The adorableness of my kids. Valentine's Day. Candy. 
I am heading back to my hovel on the couch to mouth breathe, play Ragdoll Blaster and eat the occasional chocolate. Ok. You've got me- probably more than an occasional chocolate but there is no one here to count it and if I cleverly disguise the wrappers in the trash...the calories won't even count. Did you know that? Now you do. You are very welcome.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Buzz Buzz Buzz

My brain is buzzing today. Maybe it's because I have lain about in a fog for days on end and finally my brain is waking up a bit. Maybe it's because I have been mostly awake since 2:40 am thanks to my sister's stray text waking the sleeping giant next to me in a way that has kept me bemused for hours. Maybe it's because even a broke clock is right twice a day. I don't know.
You know what's coming right?
Yes, lucky reader, you get a preview.

  • Facebook. That torturous thing we can't seem to look away from. I have gone on a recent string of commenting- ok three comments in total- on these posts that are anti-Obama. This has resulted in me realizing that not all people view fb in the way that I do. And I have once again been reminded that people really don't want to discuss politics- they just want to state what they believe and then be left alone. I was thinking that silence was acceptance because that's how the real world works, but on fb- silence is dissent? Yes, that must be it. So I will go back to my silently dissenting ways.
  • Snot Jockeys. Both kids are sick. Nothing major,  just your run of the mill seasonal colds but man, I hate it. Mostly I hate to see them sick and wan, but I also see my doom before me. 
  • Liam. This child and his speech. I love him to death and I would never, ever do anything different than bring him home and love him until he was silly but I had no idea how very delayed his speech would be and what that would mean for our daily lives. I thought I knew. But I didn't really. And it's not for me that I fret, it's for him. he will have another surgery this summer to lengthen his palate and I am already sick at the thought of what this little boy will go through.
  • Time. Les and I were talking the other night about what we want to/need to get done. Let us just say that our year is planned. A year. In the blink of an eye. And my children are growing way, way too fast. 
  • Self awareness. I prefer my 20's to my 30's. In my 20's I was figuring out who I was, how I wanted to be and live. In my 30's I am realizing how I have been wrong about most things in life. This is not a good feeling. I really just want to go back to thinking I was right about everything- it was much easier to sleep back then. Plus my body hadn't betrayed me yet.
There's more. Much more. But there is also school to be done, lunches to be made and then listlessly shoved away after two bites, laundry to do and Valentine's Day surprises to plan. And the cat will need to be let in and then back out again in 35.7 seconds, about 900 times today. And I may even consider getting out of the fleece that is polar sometime in the next 6 hours.                            

Here's a picture or two to make all of that reading worthwhile...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

More On School

I hope you all realize that I was using the title "Academy of Excellence" as a tongue in cheek sort of thing. I was making fun of myself.
I did mean to write about the more harsh realities of homeschooling and then I talked about the good stuff- so I get it now. I guess, as home-schoolers, we get excited sometimes and since we don't have many opportunities to really tell folks what our kids are learning, we get a little nutty. ( that's what happened to me ok?)

I wanted to check in and tell you that since both kids are coming down with their Papa's cold from last week, today's school is essentially Jeff Corwin and Nova.
Netflix. A home-schoolers wing man.
And we are all in our pj's.
And Ev has been snarky.
And I yelled during Math.
And Liam has rolled about on the floor sniffling and sneezing and listlessly playing with a toy car.

And I started that whole blog post the other day to really confess that since I have been struggling with my own health- school has been very hit or miss.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Academy of Excellence

Homeschooling is a mixed bag. Of course I love it. How could I not? I get to make sure that my kids are learning what I want, in a way that makes sense to us as a family. It's great to have the kids at home, to get to spend all of this time with them. 
On the flipside- the kids are always home with me. Ahhh cha cha.
I do think however that it is really hard to read about someone's homeschooling and get a clear picture of THE REALITY. It's one of those things that people only want to mention the good stuff. Because you know we are always being judged-gasp! And what if a state educator reads that you actually skipped a day because the kids were acting like flaming turds?!?- swoon!

At this academy that stuff does happen. Your kid can get absolutely and irrevocably in a state of mind that would drive the Dalai Lama to drink. At least mine can. I can wake up in the morning with good intentions and then get caught in an Internet Timesuck and realize at about oh...1pm that I should actually you know, educate.

I would say that time regulation is the absolute hardest bit of the schooling at home. I will freely admit that 90% of our schooling attire happens to be pajamas. I will admit that somedays I would rather gouge my eyes out with a spoon than fight with Ev over Math- again. 

But it's also wonderful this homeschooling gig. We can change the schedule to meet what is happening in our life. We can choose to go off on a tangent in History. We can choose to spend Science Days looking through the telescope at things we gathered on a walk. Ev can do her reading assignments in a tent, in her bedroom with her favorite music softly playing. We can take the things we love in life and translate them into really cool things to do as we educate our children.

I just realized the other day that I have this 7 year old that is actively discussing Beowulf, Peter Pan, Harry Potter and the different writing styles in each. I have this 7 year old that would rather read than watch a movie. I have a 3 year old that grabs his little preschool workbook and follows me around with it waiting until it is his turn to be taught. 

So that's what it's like. You have some good, you have some bad and you have some pretty cool stuff that comes out of this endeavor. I have folks tell me all of the time, "Oh I just don't think I could do that",  and I tell them, if you are a mother or a father, you already understand enough to know how to do this. It is doable. It can be amazing. It just won't be amazing all of the time. 

You would be amazed to find out what counts as "school". Puzzles, board games, gymnastics, walks along the beach, walks along the marshes, walks around the neighborhood, reading of amy kind, legos, building blocks, arts and crafts, museums, science museums, art history programs, music, playing music, learning about different music types. There is an opportunity to teach your children around every corner. That is the best thing about homeschooling! It doesn't just happen at a desk or in "the classroom"- it happens with life. And once you start teaching your kids in this way? You can't stop. Cooking, cracking geodes, building volcanoes- it's all good.