People Peeking in...

Monday, May 28, 2012

Summer Schedule Week 2

I'm going to update this spot all week long rather than bore the heck out of everyone with non home school home school summertime adventures.  I'll go back to daytime when we go back to school life.

I will say that in review of the home school adventure, I did realize it took this long for the Banker to shake school off him. The rules and regulations and structure and rigidity are so deeply ingrained in these kids from the age of 4 (preschool) that it's no wonder it's taken 100+ days to undo it.  I don't think it's all the way undone and I'm sure we'll have more challenges next year regarding home vs public school process and procedure rather than information and knowledge.

I'll share more tidbits as they come to me, in the mean time;

The lion tamer door on the chicken coop is brilliant!   I made a quickie video for my mom showing it off...  I'll do a better video but this is the one so far:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yS_JL440vI 

The chickens are happy happy happy. They have all figured out how to use the door and how to get out and back in.  I love my chickens.

I love love love their run.  They have space and air and can run and leap and be happy happy chickens.

The pool is up and is being filled as I type this.

I love love love our summertime pool.  18 feet of joy filled with water that stays cool all summer long and it's in full shade so we don't need to slather ourselves up with bottles of sunscreen.  Just leap in and float.  I cannot wait for it to be filled.

I helped a friend today.  I cooked a big roast dinner because I had a hankering.  The Banker is over his sleepover.  He came home overtired and miserable yesterday, it wasn't worth it.  Today he had FriendA come by and they're giggling like lunatics upstairs.  I like this combination of children.  It warms my heart.

We have had a party weekend, FriendK and son here Saturday night then all of us out to dinner.  FriendL here Sunday and then down to friends for a play, to get Banker and I discovered one of my new favorite champagne cocktails.  Champagne and pomegranate liquor, sounds awful but it's delightful and refreshing!  We were out Sunday night for an Indian meal on the way home.  Sewing and laundry and housework and cooking today.  FriendL came by and we visited then went shopping for fabric together. It's been a whirlwind, fabulous.

I sewed.  I loved it.  I am working on "mug rugs", many are quilted but I think I prefer them just sewn together.  About 8x10 inches, they are larger than coasters, smaller than placemats and soak the dreaded water ring around everything.  I'll post a link to an album making as well as to my Etsy store which I may just reopen this week.

FriendL and FriendC are dropping by tomorrow in the morning.  I'll make biscuits and coffee and we'll chat and giggle.  The Banker can finish his math tomorrow because I'm still sort of annoyed with him about his bad choices and teenage attitude he threw my way Saturday night.

Husband worked hard on coop and mowing and pool this weekend.  It felt nice to have everyone working and playing.

I'm going to take FriendA home and come back, pop myself up in bed and stare at TV for a while, all alone.  It's going to be a long week and I need a few moments stolen away.

/Tracy

TUESDAY

Friends over for baked goods, there was no drama with the painters across the street.  EXCELLENT.  Banker is spending his time scrubbing the pool that is 3/4 full so we can loosen the dirt stuck to the bottom them vacuum it.  Ahhh, work in a pool isn't REALLY work at all.

We have no plans for the rest of the day except to lay about.  I like those sorts of plans.  I may do a pay per view movie for he and I and a couple big bowls of popcorn.

I'm going to shop and cook tomorrow for the Ladies who Lunche coming on Thursday.  I think a couple different salads, a thai peanut pasta and a grilled vegetable quinoa salad will be nice and light in anticipation of the cheesecake stuffed strawberries I'm going to tempt them with.

No schoolwork today, today we play.

SEWING LESSONS!  I love giving sewing lessons, on machines today.  I love the enthusiasm of the pre or teenagers.  I love the delight at creating something from a few scraps.  I love the discovery of getting the feel for the foot pedal.  I don't mind at all doing it for free when it's the Banker who wants the lessons and he wants his mother to be the one to teach him.  *joy*


/Tracy

THURSDAY

It's LADIES WHO LUNCH day!  I cooked and am waiting for the Ladies to arrive.  I made thai peanut noodle salad with shredded carrot, cabbage, sugar snaps and red peppers, roasted sliced chicken (I roasted it yesterday)  homemade ciabatta (I caved in last minute), micro greens with lemon vinaigrette, wine (loads of it) cheesecake stuffed strawberries and lemon curd and cream mini tarts.  I made roast tomato salsa this am and have cheese and nuts and pita for snackies.  I made hotdogs for the children with bags of chips and bowls of popcorn for them to be elsewhere while the Ladies catch up.

I love Ladies Who Lunch Day.  I miss those who can't come every time but love the time with the girls.

OOH, there's a doorbell!

/Tracy


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Summer Schedule weekend 1

Ah, weekends.  School free time.  


I have started to pack up 7th grade and make room for the summer work and new 8th grade schedule.  Slowly of course, I have loads of time.


Up at 4, playing with chickens at 6, chickens in the run, remark their heads, play with them.  Give them a corncob, wow, I'm glad I'm not a piece of corn! That was like piranhas!  Give them treaties of grapes and dry oatmeal, they love it, I think they might actually like me.


Oh and on an unrelated note I don't like being belittled, I'm just saying.  I don't like being made fun of either.  I'm not a fan of sarcasm 24/7 because it's not sarcastic then, it's just mean.  I don't like my grammar or spelling commented on, checked or corrected.  Obnoxious.  I know some obnoxious people.  


In a brief moment of stress-less, coffee drinking, chicken watching, I asked husband if he liked the chickens, he said it's been too much work... for him.  ?  He said he had to build a coop,  I didn't let that one go, "I WANTED to do it and you wouldn't LET me".   He just stared ahead. I hate weekends.


I cleaned out the coop and replaced the shavings in the gigantic apartment portion.  I think we should remove the plank that comes down from the small hole in the coop floor and close the hole.  We made them a ladder from bamboo that they actually like and that'll work just fine for them to go in and out, plus they can jump from the floor to the open door of the apartment so they don't need the hole.  It's going to be too small anyway and they already have to duck to get past the floor joist.  I'd like to just go do it. 


The Banker is still off screens.  He's going to a sleepover tonight so I'll have no control over screens at FriendM's house but until he leaves, he's off them and I think the point is being driven home.  Good choices make for a happy life.  


Husband yanked the fence/netting down from the run and is replacing it with the same 1x2 inch wire garden fencing his garden is surrounded by.  He said it's so I will stop complaining.  What the hell?  I don't say word one out of sheer fear of the fallout, it's never worth saying a word.  I hate weekends


"look what's missing? look what's missing?  a way in?!" he said


I smiled.  Tossed under a bus. I smiled and said, "yep, once we got a way in it's sweet, I couldn't reach the birds over it, could I but it works fine now...?"  I came inside.


Ahhh, my committee immediately flashes back to joking with a friend about the run not having access into it, nice.  Right under a bus.  I cannot imagine what on earth conversation would prompt anyone to tell husband, "your wife asked what was missing from the run...a way in?"  Obviously it was shared because it's what I said, well, part of what I said. Way to flip out of context, I wasn't mean about it, I was joking, it was a very long conversation and those three words were a very small part of it.  Wow.  I'm rather obsessive about being sacrificed.  I'm a one time gal.  Mental note, future commentary will include, and will be limited to, smiling and nodding.  Wow. 


I hope hope hope he adds a gate or some EASY method for me to get inside the chicken run.  Even better I hope hope hope he makes some EASY connection system to the coop, carrying the birds one at a time into a run is a little bit ridiculous.  I wish I could say something that wouldn't result in the silent treatment and 3 days of muttering at me, stomping and sighing.  The fee is always too high.  Smile and nod.


He's gone to Home Depot.  $7,874.04 worth of lumber, board, wire, fence, hinges and rope in the garage but yet ...  there's a perpetual need to run to Home Depot.  My neighbor gave us a load of wood specifically for a gate on the fence and some additional lumber.  No?  I think it's a man thing, plus it has to be something enormous and intricate I'm sure, something that'll be hard to work and potentially stab me all the time.  I still can't get into or out of the coop without scratching myself.  There's 2 inches of folded exposed wire over the door edges for some reason.  


I poured a glass of wine and came inside. It's 10:30.  It's going to be a very long day.


I don't know what time Banker is going to the sleepover, FriendK said she will be in my side of town and offered to come get him, I hope she does.  I could use the giggly glass of wine friend time. 


There is a square dance tonight I no longer want to go to.  There is a barbecue cook-off that husband is going to "help" ??  a "friend" with that I no longer wish to attend.  I set myself up every single Friday night thinking THIS TIME I'm about to have 2 days of fun of family activity of working together and every single time I have to find somewhere to hide out and smile and nod.  I just want to crawl into a corner and wait for it to be Monday.  


/Tracy





Friday, May 25, 2012

Summer Schedule day 5

Ah, brilliant yesterday.  There was the longest list of chores I could think of to do and Banker did them all, well except one but that's ok, he'll do the math test today. 


Banker cooked, cleaned, vacuumed.  He did laundry, 4 loads.  He moved furniture, swept and dusted.  He fed chickens, put food away and emptied the dishwasher...twice.  He did it with a smile, a good spirit and delightful mood.  He was wise.


I think I may take us to the movies today.  I feel housebound even though I'm not actually housebound.  I mean, we were out both Monday and Tuesday of this week yet by Thursday night I'm feeling housebound?  I think I need to balance out my mental health.  A day and a half at the house does not a hermit make!  Truly.


We have a big weekend ahead of us, invited to a square dance and a bbq cook off and Banker is going to a sleepover which will free husband and I up to spend quality time in our separate corners, quietly.  No offense, Banker but it'll be nice.  I thought about trying to convince the man to take me out on a date or to spend time out together.  He would prefer to sit on the back porch, smoking and playing on his iPad I'm sure.


LOOK at how beautiful they are...and how big!
The Girls are getting giant.  They are 8 weeks old and as personable as they are beautiful.  We didn't have them out to play yesterday but I am planning on quality chicken watching time today. 


I started a thread on my Facebook page about talking about myself in the third person.  For some reason it completely cracks me up.  I think I'll do it when we go out today.  "Tracy thanks you" to the ticket guy perhaps?  HAHAHA  


We played all morning, we dashed out to see Men in Black 3, we wandered Walmart and stopped for a pizza.  We laughed, the Banker was a normal, fun, kid.  No angst, no eye rolling, no drama, no nothing, just a great day. 


He is sweeping, dealing with the dishwasher, while he humms, and is about to transfer his fish, Cornelius, into a bigger, better aquarium he bought with his own debit card.  He's in a delightful mood and look, no screens hasn't done a damned thing to him...except give me a happy kid.  Hmmm


/Tracy  (who thanks you for reading...)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Summer Schedule day 4

Ahh, the quiet of a husband who left on time (well, 9 which is about 2 hours after my time) and a child still sleeping.  Dogs who are wandering and sniffing and chickens who are peacefully scratching.  I like these few moments I try to steal away. 


I'm looking online to order a seed thing (from gardens alive!) that MsZan's husband, has been touting on Facebook.  I like the idea of being able to grab my own sprouts, I really like them and never buy them.  Apparently $25 will hook me up and I am almost sure I will get $25 worth of joy out of it.


I plan on a quiet day for Banker and I.  Husband is out tonight, on his weekly man-date.  I SERIOUSLY  need to book my own weekly, till the wee hours, girl-date because husband thinking he needs to get out more than me who spends 24/7 here with someone 13, well, really, get a grip dude.  Anyway, husband on a man-date night means the Banker and I play without watching a clock.  We tend to eat early, eat something fantastic that just he and I like and climb into bed to watch a movie and fall asleep.  Sounds dull, I'm sure, but we love it and look forward to it.  It's school-free time, mom/son night and that's why I paid my dollar...for times like these.


I say, 'times like these' but we have to get there first.  Remember the Banker is screen free today, totally.  I see a lot of eye rolling, sighing and periodic moaning in my day.  I think that since I'm prepared for it, I'll cope better (hahahahaha  no).  He has to do his math test from yesterday, do 10 or so grammar sheets, IN ORDER, and get back into that book.  He says he hates the book, yes, it's STILL 20,000 Leagues, but when he's reading it he runs to me with interesting tidbits and tells me how great it is.  I think he hates the idea of it but when he's inside it, he's happy.  I vow, here, not to cook and eat him when I tell him to go read and he announces back to me, "but mom, it has a screen!".  He's pulled that before when he's been screen banned, really, how do any 13 year olds become 14 year olds?  But today, there'll be no selling to gypsies today for such commentary, nope, it's mother/son night and I'm not going to let said son wreck the day so as to impede the joy I get from mother/son night.  


I'm going to make more cookies, I'm trying to perfect a recipe I made up.  I'm going to make an apple cobbler, because I can.  I will play with chickens, pat dogs and I might paint my toenails bright red.  I am going to sew a mug-rug or two and I am going to play online.  That's the full extend of my involvement in the human race today.  The banker will be working and moaning. 


Ahhh, summertime.


/Tracy

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Summer Schedule day 3

Well, it started out great.  Math day in the summer.  Banker worked through his chapter, had a couple of moments where none of it really made sense but we worked our way through and all was completed.  I think he got it ultimately as well which is a joy.  


We had the girls in their run a few times today and they and Lola got along just fine, it was a joy to see both chickens and dogs not really caring about the other's existence.  Sweet. 


On the down side, I discovered some duplication in his Grammar work.  We use Grammar101 and it turns out kiddo did a number of the exercises three or four times.  I am going to assume it wasn't intentional, it wasn't exactly difficult work.  We had a solid conversation about how to ensure work isn't being repeated and I am relatively confident we won't have a repeat of the repeats. 


On the really really down side, we descended into online "just a minute", which is one of the few things to climb directly up my nose and into my brain where it explodes into a zillion pieces.  I will not be told, "just a minute", particularly when it involves, on any level, that stupid Xbox.  I finally marched upstairs and simply unplugged it, and him, from the universe.  I'll have to sit and think about how long to deny him screens of any kind.  Maybe a couple of days of complete screen free time will reinforce the fact that "just a minute" is never the correct reply to me, ever.


I see loads of vacuuming, dishes, laundry and dusting in the Banker's future.  I really want to march upstairs and demand he read for hours on end but I won't use reading as a punishment so I'll just let him pout.  I'll include "finish book" in tomorrows list of "since you're not allowed to look at a screen you'll have to do something ELSE" instructions.


I hate bad choices, it's messing with my groove.


/Tracy

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Summer Schedule day 2

Quickie check in; 


It's been a fun, albeit busy, day.  Errands today, running here, there and everywhere around town. 


Did check in with a home school friend and had a lovely long chat about grade 8, planning, scheduling and summer schedules.  


Took Banker to the bank to open his first account.  He has a savings, a chequing account and a Visa debit card.  He has the power!  He has arrived!  I told him we can now transfer an allowance, electronically.  Because he's a minor, I am also on the account...which is polite speak for I can also remove funds from his account directly.  So much for his power! :)


Tomorrow is school day for him, we'll see how successful the first academics of the summer schedule are.  I have reasonable faith. 


/Tracy

Monday, May 21, 2012

Summer Schedule day 1

Ah, summer summer summertime! 


Day one of our summer schedule feels fine.  We did nothing school-y and instead spent the day at Ikea with FriendC and her brood then Banker and I hit JoAnn fabric and came up empty, I was looking for some fabric to make outdoor cushions for the wicker chairs in the gazebo but nothing lit my fire.  I loaded up on the usual Ikea stuff, kitchen gadgets, tea towels, a garlic press (I've never owned one!) and new bedding for our room.  Nothing says summertime like a bright green duvet cover with bubbles!  oh husband will be delighted.


Banker says he is going to do his math and English on Wednesday this week.  One chapter in the preAlgebra and some grammar, easy indeed. 


I need to "file" all the grade 7 regular year school stuff.  I have copies of each weeks schedule and some graded work, there's not too terribly much paper to deal with, luckily.  I haven't decided what to do with the notebooks, file them or just add a new heading GRADE 8 in the books, I'll have to think about how big I want my ecological footprint to be.


I feel a little lost but have solid faith we'll find our summer groove in no time at all! 


/Tracy



Saturday, May 19, 2012

Day One hundred two and one hundred three (weekend)

Edna
I tried not to hate the weekend today.  I was successful for a little while then it got weekendy and so I left.  I went to the grocery store then met the boys at Costco and we all sort of worked together but not really and sort of got stuff done.  It was an ok day afterall.

I was surprised with a new tv today, husband likes to surprise me with things.  That meant we were suddenly very tv heavy for the house. There are 3 of us in the family and we have more televisions than normal people should have.  Banker became starry eyed at the mathematics of televisions here when he realized his bedroom was the ONLY room in the house without a cable hooked up tv.  Well, besides the studio (I don't want one in there) and the bathrooms... although cool, it'd be weird.  We do all have tv ready/worthy iPads so if you add the computer monitors that we can watch tv on plus iPads and iPhones, it's into double digits and that's so very weird.

I agreed to let Banker have a tv in his room for the summer.  It's basic cable, not the box with the HBO channels so we'll see.  I asked him, please please please, don't let me down with bad tv choices.  I have limited faith.  I don't want to be disappointed.

He does have some school to finish from the week with the playdays, I still have an expectation it'll be completed this weekend and/or week.

WalterPug is enamored with the Girls and spends lots of his time watching them through the netting.  He could bust through but doesn't realize it.  *yay*  The Girls aren't the slightest bit concerned by him and he just watches.  It's lovely to watch.  Lola, is coping.

Walter and Peck
Walter watching the Girls
We built a ladder for the girls as well as a run for them by the fence.  Unfortunately there's no way to get INto the run so we have to take them one at a time and put them in then Banker or husband has to climb the pool 'A' frame ladder over the netting to go in and get them, one at a time, and hand them out so they can be put back in their coop.  Weird but the girls love love the run area so it'll work for now.

Husband is golfing tomorrow and I'm supposed to run errands at fabric stores and such but with the new 32" in my room, I may just stay in bed and watch mindless tv, eating bonbons and drinking coffee.  Oh, yes, I like that plan!

/Tracy

Day One Hundred and One

We made it, we're done. Well, we're done formal daily school.  I didn't think we'd get here but we did. 


The Banker just completed his chapter 12 MathUSee test and scored 100, yay.  He has some work to make up from the week that was waylayed by parties, playing and company that he will complete this weekend. 


Monday starts summer schedule!  1/2 day of Math/week; 1/2 day grammar/language/week; daily reading; as much Khan as he wants and an online college (not for credit) computer science program (just for fun).


I have my list of 8th grade subjects and a general plan.  I have some details to finalize and have to meet with a friend who is writing his science curriculum.  I like being done. 


Husband is home today, sitting outside, smoking playing on his iPad, getting annoyed with Banker singing and humming.  I don't get it.  I'll never get it.


We are heading to the movies, we're seeing Avengers!  Then I hope to grab some netting to make a generic containment field for the Girls so that I can let them out to stretch and run in green when we get home.  


FriendK and son are supposed to venture our way this afternoon and have happy hour here. 


most excellent. 


/Tracy

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Day ONE HUNDRED

Wow.  What a great day yesterday we had.  We didn't do any work but I got to spend time with grown up friends while the Banker visited then entertained.  There was laughter emanating from my relatively destroyed game room for hours and hours.  I chatted and visited.  I commiserated and got some support from friends on some decisions.  I made plans for next week.  It was a grand day.  


In school related news.  


I am discontinuing Time4Learning today.  It filled a gap, gave the Banker a curriculum to leap to from jumping the public school ship.  I think it's too young for him now, it's time to move on.  I am cancelling it today.  


I am ending formal school this week.  Math and English will continue through the summer, so will reading.  He is going to have to read Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn and Uncle Tom's Cabin this summer.  Luckily, FriendA has to read them too so they can moan together.  I offered dinner and a "book club" review when they finish each book, that met with some support.  I love a plan. 


FriendE and I were brilliant yesterday.  As we sat at the table talking about Texas education and Austin schools ... we suddenly realized Texas is 24th and has a "D" grade in education for the country, so we researched who had the best and came up with Massachusetts as the solid winner.  We searched the MA education agency and schools and found fabulous links to the books, curriculum and plans for their 8th graders.  Oh hello, yes, we'll be utilizing THAT information.  The Austin 8th grade curriculum links are password protected. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  What's so secret about what you're teaching our 8th graders??  MA's 8th grade curriculum, online books and resources provides passwords and user names.  Wow, way to support the youth of America.    I will absolutely be utilizing out of state resources, the local ones are sad, archaic and apparently so secret that parents aren't to be trusted viewing them, or WORSE, letting the children see!  


I have a really good feeling about 8th grade.  I have solid plans and solid plans to get more information from friends and online.  I think it's going to be great. 


I haven't broken the news to Banker that this is his final "formal" week of 7th grade just yet but I am telling the home school mothers around me so they have a head's up.  I'm all about the village :) 


This is our remaining work day this week, we played all day yesterday and are playing all day tomorrow.  Husband is off work and I decided to embrace it.  We are all going to a 12:30 movie then FriendK and her son are coming up for a visit.  I will throw the boys upstairs and she and I will drink wine, look at chickens and relax and visit.  I'm really really looking forward to it.  Really. 


I'm going to make bread today, make smoothies, and I am actually going to sew something!  I want to make a "mug rug" and dammit, I am going to!  We used to call them mini place mats but now they have a hip cool name.  Bigger than a coaster and smaller than a place mat, I can put my coffee and a small plate or just a pile of chips on it.  It'll soak the condensation ring from the cold drinks and just look pretty under my hot ones.    Banker and his microscope can move to the other side of the room, I am taking my studio back!  After I make a couple, I am going to invite FriendA to come and make some for her mom, her house and her life.  She needs to sew more anyway.  


Ok, there's a day, there's a plan and husband went to work and Banker is still asleep.  I am going to enjoy the complete and total silence for just a few moments. 


*seriously, how DOES he do that?*  as I was about to press "Publish" the child appeared on the stairs.  Ok, so no silence today but that's ok, we have work to do.


/Tracy

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Day Ninety Nine

Well, it's fitting that the closer we get to day 100, the weirder the days get.  On the heels of my "woe is me" moan, I suddenly have a day with 3 'gatherings' with 3 different friends in the same day.  Ok, it's not so very bad. 


I have a friend coming for breakfast, she's moving out of the area and as much as I will miss her, I am still trying to help.  Movers are coming today at 8, so I'm going to feed her early and visit. Saves her stopping for junk food or having to get up early in her new place across town to make it over here early enough. 


FriendC has invited Banker and I over for 10am for a coffee and a visit, maybe a treatie I think.  I was going to make something to take but I'm not, sometimes you just have to arrive and be delighted by friends.  I like spending time with FriendC, I'm lucky to have her in my life. 


FriendE is arriving with her homeschool boys in tow sometime after 1, most excellent.  I haven't spoken to FriendE in a while and I miss talking to her.  Our vacations, holidays, guests overlapped and I feel a real sense of something missing when I go too long without a visit and a long chat with her. 


That's our social day.  Now then, to fit school in between somewhere.  Banker worked strangely yesterday.  I can't say he worked hard although he did do a complete chapter in MathUSee, he's finished 12 now.  He was easily distracted and I found him reading old books when I checked to see what he was up to and why it was taking him to very long to complete everything.  He looked horrified when I "caught" him with a book.  We had to have the "you can ALWAYS take a break to read" conversation, again.  We had the "you can work at your own pace, it's your pace!" conversation.  We had the "sometimes you need to take a break and walk away or sometimes your brain isn't firing as fast, sure, grab a book, just give me a heads up you're taking some time" conversation.  Again.  Bless him but he still doesn't get that part of this adventure.  He snuck upstairs to take a sneak break.  Really? Banker?  C'mon.  Sneaky is NOT where it's at.  After our conversations, all was well and happy, he took many book breaks, some picture books??  I think his brain was tired.  


He did 'get' that any breaks would result in his academic day extending, he had a list of what I felt was an appropriate amount of work to complete and I'll give it to him, by around 6:00pm he had completed it all.


I think school will happen in snippets today and that's fine, we are winding down anyway.  Sometimes you have to go with the flow and enjoy "live" friends when the opportunity presents itself. 


Yay Wednesday. 


/Tracy

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Day Ninety Eight

I feel as though we are finally back in the groove.  The Banker is sitting across from me with his gigantic banana strawberry smoothie, (I love my new Ninja! blender!) he has his schedule for the week before him, headphones on, MathUSee video program running on his laptop double screen and I'm furiously trying to get my blog/s done, bread is rising and my coffee is sitting in front of me slowly going cold.  Ahhhhh, routine! Ahhhhhhh, math day.

"Chicken" (the lover of the group)
It rained AGAIN on my girls (chickens 7 weeks old tomorrow!) last night, we threw a tarp over the 'open' area of their coop in an attempt to keep them slightly dry on that side.  The shavings I put down on the weekend really helped stopping it from turning into a mud pit.  When the rain subsides, I'll muck it out and add some dry shavings.  I'll admit it, I secretly like being a farmer :-)

I let the Banker blow off, sort of, loads of time yesterday.  He was SO enjoying the Walking with Monsters series (Netflix how I love you) and ended up watching the entire series in one sitting.  Now then, look what I said, "blow off" time, really?  I need to get over the idea that doing something unconventional isn't educational.  Geesh, c'mon me.

There's got to be information in there and he shouted knowledge tidbits at me throughout the afternoon.  You have to be absorbing information when you are so happy about being given it.  I was also very proud of myself and did not have him take notes in my home school mantra of 'it's only educational and it only counts as "school" if you take copious amounts of notes'.  See, it only took me 98 days to figure that out.  I'm slow but I'm steady and I do get it, eventually.

After the documentaries, we decided to do some more microscope work, that thing rocks.  I killed a fly in the kitchen which was immediately put onto a slide to be observed close up and personal.  It was, unfortunately still twitching and freaked the Banker out.  Me too!  Later I squished another one, substantially more forcefully, pulled off a wing and legs to check out up close.  Euwww, very hairy! and who knew they had hair on their wings?!  Anyway, I put the body underneath to check out those mandibles and, oh my god, they were still twitching.  I threw it away.  No, seriously, it would have freaked the Banker out to see a fly STILL twitching after the removal of parts.  Next time, I'll make very very sure it's very very dead.  It's Science day again on Thursday this week, there'll be loads of microscope work, it's very cool.

I've been thinking about doing some sewing but still can't wrap my head around going in there to sew when he's sitting here working online.  I keep saying it'll find it's level but really, I'd like it to be sooner rather than later.

I'm feeling a little housebound and a little friend challenged lately too.  I see FriendC loads and cyber visit with friends through Facebook and Texting briefly but really, I need some 'live' grownup girlfriend time and am sending out invitations that aren't being answered (either way) as quickly as my lonely soul would like, I'm sure it's not personal that we're all as busy as each other so I'm not getting into a funk just yet but I reserve the right to delve headlong into a thumb sucking, "Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I'm going out to the garden to eat worms..." moment in the not too distant future.  I will organize another Ladies who Lunch soon as well, hopefully before school is out although I wouldn't mind doing a couple with a couple of the public school kids in tow, I like some of them.  I'm also in a little funk for the lack of invitations anywhere.  I think it's funny that when I throw that sentence out, I get loads of replies from friends telling me how busy I always am, I guess it's the perception sometimes, plus my mom was just here for 2 weeks and we were busy every day, maybe it's partly vacation hostess letdown as well.

I think when husband gets the pool up it'll help tempt my southside living friends up north to me to hang about.  I've started making, "wow, when the pool is up it's going to be just perfect back here" noises.  We will see if he takes the bait.

Ok, there's my moan d'jour.  I feel good about the academics today and still plan on a massive review at the end of the week about wrapping this up and getting some dates set for completion.

I'm going to go blend something...Ninja style!

/Tracy





Monday, May 14, 2012

Day Ninety Seven

We lived through the weekend.  I hated Saturday, like all my weekends, but I made some of my own fun.  I went to Calahan's Country Store and bought wood chips for the girls, downstairs and in their apartment.  It immediately eliminated the mud pit.  FriendC came  by with more overgrown chard stalks, about 3 inches around! for the girls to jump on, chew on and generally play with and eat.  Yay. 


The boys did me proud on Sunday, Mother's Day.  I was spoiled with loving cards from them, lovely notes and then they surprised me with a Ninja (blender).  We all went to the grocery store to load up on fresh fruit and veggies to make smoothies and all manner of things and I'm going to be playing all week with the silly thing.  We had smoothies last night, made snow and ice cream as well last night.  This morning, husband actually ASKED me to make him a smoothie which he then ENJOYED and TOLD ME he liked it!  it was a delightful surprise.


I made banana strawberry smoothies for Banker and I to start our day while we discussed the end of the year. I've done a quick review of the lesson plans of the middle schools in the area and think we've successfully covered everything they have.  We are spending today reading and then the afternoon will be dinosaur documentaries Banker has been meaning to watch.  He pulled the, "it's science, ecology, history, astrology AND cosmology, mom!" card and I happily acquiesced.  


I'm writing his schedule now, he's excited for another day of microscope work, he thoroughly enjoyed having the time to spend on it last week.  I may move the schedule around so FriendA can come spend some science day here with the Banker, she seemed enthralled with it when she was here and Banker was excited showing off his squished ant head under massive magnification! 


I feel very close to the end of the year.  We agreed to do another review at the end of the week.  We are not going to take the summer off, Banker will do one morning per week of math, working through the prealgebra MathUSee, one chapter/week and he'll do one morning per week, formally, of English.  The English will be in the form of grammar, comprehension, dictionary hide and seek.  I expect him to read daily or close to daily.  He seemed happy with the expectation so once I determine we've completed what I wanted to complete, I'll kick him loose formally and will start work on his schedule for next year.  


I still need to get with the science gal, who is writing some of his curriculum for me and then I'll meet with MsZan and see if there's any schedule/plan overlap I can steal/use/borrow/work in tandem with Banker and FriendH at all during the next academic year. 


I'm holding off opinion on how I feel it's gone.  There have been solid ups and solid downs.  It's been more emotional (for me) than I thought and Banker has really matured during the experience.  NOT in a good way.  I don't think he'd have been nearly to challenging in public school and although it got up my nose, I think it's been the best thing for him.  The freedom and safety to take on authority, rules, expectations and see how it all plays out.  I didn't cook him or sell him to gypsies, that's a pleasant surprise to both of us.


The girls are getting gigantic, loving their coop and apartment but I still need to get them out of there to run.  I'm afraid they'll take off or try to fly away or that I won't be able to catch them.  I guess I need a moderate form of containment before I let them go.  I want them to have more freedom, the coop is already seeming crowded and once they are much taller, they'll have to duck when they are downstairs at all.


We made noises about husband putting up the pool in the not too distant future so hopefully that'll happen soon.  With my newly done back yard, I intend on spending a lot of time out there floating and generally enjoying life offline.  I hope to have loads of people here all the time to play with me and have loads of time just me.  I hope it'll be good.


At the end of the day, I think I didn't break the Banker all the way.  I think he's a good guy, he cares and even though I don't see any reason at all for me to actually LIKE 13, I peek in on him sleeping and realize I wouldn't change a thing. :) 


/Tracy

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Day Ninety Five and Ninety Six

We finished the day yesterday more successfully than we began.  Bonus.  The Banker and I reviewed the expectations to continue this home school experience.  We both have ends to hold up and I hope the talk hit the right cords with him, I have cautious faith.


It's the weekend.  I hate weekends.  Although lately, not much has been the source of great delight.  I just let the girls out of their sleeping area, they jumped off their perch! and they were so very excited to see me.  They jumped into my lap and ate the treaties I'd taken out for them.  I am going to find something today to dump in there so they can scratch it out over the mud, I slipped while straddling their stupid ramp and half twisted my ankle again.  I am not going to moan too heavily about it.  I am also going to find one portion of the porch to de-mud, baby steps because the entire project is too daunting. 


Banker has some academics to finish this weekend and we will finish moving his bedroom from one room to the other.  He slept between husband and I last night.  I woke to both their snoring faces ;)  Normally Banker would have gone back to his room after some TV watching with me and/or husband would have wandered to the guestroom bed but he didn't for some reason.  I'd like to formally thank the maker of the King Sized bed for last nights sleeping.  Everyone had room.


So, I'm going to de-mud a small portion of my newly decorated then destroyed back garden then play with my iPad a bit, then sweep 4,908 times to de-mud the back door every time anyone walks in and leaves their shoes on and stomps up the stairs grinding it in.  But I'm going to keep it to myself. 


No formal plans this weekend, maybe I should find a girlfriend and get out for a bit, oh wait, my sty eye is still swollen and red and itchy and driving me crazy...never mind. 


It's Mother's Day tomorrow, I just want a coffee and some quiet and maybe for them to clean off the porch.  Wow, I'm easy.  I hope husband doesn't spend money, I don't want anything really, just be nice to me for a whole day, say something pleasant or even more frightening, tell me I did something well.  That's what it'll take to make my day.  I bet husband dashes out later and buys a card for Banker to sign, he HATES that and always tells me that he just wants to be able to go and pick a card from him to me, I don't understand why husband won't take him out to do that... I might take him out later if it comes to that actually, there's nothing worse, when you're a kid, than not being able to get to a store or worse, having someone buy something for you to give.


I'm going to go stare at chickens until the day starts then try and duck and weave my way through to Monday.


/Tracy

Friday, May 11, 2012

Day Ninety Four

I am sick of mud.  Mud everywhere, inside, outside, on the floors, carpets, walls, dogs, family, beds, stairs, furniture, chickens, I'm seriously sick of it. 


The poor chickens haven't had a day without rain, torrential rain, thunder and lightening, rain since they went into their coop.  It's stinky and mucky and I'm sick of it for them.  Ok, it's pretty dry under the house portion, the part of their coop they run and hide under there and no one can reach them, I can't rake or clean it out, it's going to turn into a giant pile of chicken shit that'll stink to high heaven, NICE design plan. I still don't know what was wrong with a little shed, chickens in the bottom, shelf on top for food buckets and a run.  I know I keep harping on it but I just don't understand this version. They have to duck walking up the ramp to get inside, already, and then have to jump up 6inches or so to get inside.  They don't like to do the jump because it's dark, even with doors open and they can't see where they're going to land.  I just wanted easy.  


Anyway, I did put a tarp over the 'open' portion, it's only a couple of square feet to just enough for me to turn around in, but the ramp runs in the middle of where you're supposed to try to stand so the only way to be in there is to straddle it and i keep slipping in the mud trying to straddle it.  It's wet and mucky in there from the sides and run off from the copious amounts of water.  They are annoyed and are spending today perched on the edge of their coop looking down at the yuck.  I want to get them out of there but have no net to make a fence and don't want them to have the run of the yard when it's half under water and half slipNslide mud.  I can hardly keep a footing walking across the flat parts out there!  I just wanted them to be able to have some running around space that didn't require me to stand there the whole time.


I woke up with my eye swollen shut from a sty that's about making me ready to scratch my eye out of my head.


The Banker is screwing around, he's in "how little can I do to get credit for doing it" mode and I'm sick of it.  I threatened him the local scary, bad, low performing, thug, gangster, school district schools today.  I think my last nerve is beyond shredded and has been all week.  I'm still frantic and now I'm mad about it.


We are going to have a very silent and stoic rest of the day.  I am having Banker redo the work he's already done, to do more of it and more thoroughly.  I'm going to finish laundry and try not to explode at every little thing, then I am going to watch a Netflix documentary on bees because I like bees and I think it'll be interesting.  I may make Banker watch it with me later, if it's done his English.


Husband is on call all weekend, some new system is implementing at work which means he'll be a bear all weekend probably.  I plan on hiding to a certain extent.  We had to call friends and tell them we can't go away to Disney with them after all next month, money and time and schedules and dogs and chickens and all that just preclude is from happening this year.  I'm disappointed of course but at the same time, a trip like that almost feels like work.  Too much to do too many places to be and see and experience.  I think I'd like to find a quiet hotel or rental condo this summer and just get away for a few days where my only decision is what to have for breakfast, then go lay by on a beach or by a pool with my Nook until I want to nap then get ready and go eat something.  I want some silence, some freedom from decision making, some dog and chicken free time, I need to think about how to make that happen.


In the mean time, I've decided I'm staying in my jammies today.  I need potatoes but I don't want to go out with my wonky eye that's making me crazy and I would need to stop for gas and just don't have the energy.  I think it might be wine time anyway, luckily I don't have to change for that.  I'm watching the Banker write in his journal, then it's back to the academic grind. 


I think this counts as yet another day in a row I am not a happy camper and tomorrow is the weekend *dread* I hate weekends.

/Tracy


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Day Ninety Three

We survived the day, barely.  It started badly, got worse then got better. 


Banker worked hard, I made cookies and ate them.  He and I sat and went over some math he was getting annoyed by then he started and finished a chapter in MathUSee and was only 1/2 pt away from perfect on his chapter test.  Sweet.


I'm still tired and frantic today.  We are doing science today.  I have a cool unit for his new microscope today.  We got slides and droppers, it's going to be fun.  I think he'll like it. 


We have friends coming in this afternoon to hang out so school will have to be long done by then.  I'm looking forward to the diversion.  The Banker has some work to do to continue the bedroom move, geesh he has a lot of stuff.  Slow and steady wins the race here, though.  I don't want us moving armfuls of junk, one piece at a time will be a fabulous exercise for both of us. 


Guest Pug will be here today for a two week stint, I really like him.  The dogs like him.  Banker likes him.  It's always great to have him here and I can't wait to see how he likes the girls!  They are growing by the day now and when I look out to the coop, it's chickens I see not my little babies.  They are oozing with personality still and think they will continue to do so.  We play with them every day and that'll continue.  The coop is too small for me to go in comfortably and there's no way I can rake/clean out underneath it.  I'll never know what was wrong with a small shed for them to sleep in and a bigger run for them all day.  I don't know why they need a basement.  I can never ask of course.  I think it may quickly be too small for the girls, they already have to duck to get through the hole in the floor to go up and then make a leap into the air to make to the landing..  I have to figure out a run system for them to be able to leave their dark, damp area every day, I want happy birds and this isn't happy, all the rain hasn't helped of course.  


Then some creature tried to get into the coop last night, a section of the wrinkly fencing that doesn't lay flat on the sides is ripped up, probably the same thing that is leaving me poop on my dresser out there every morning.  Happily "it" didn't get into where the girls sleep but still...  no good.  


So that just adds to yet another day that I feel like a failure, hopefully it'll pass soon, it's exhausting.


/Tracy

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Day Ninety Two

We hardly did any school yesterday, I was way overtired and felt frantic all day.  Banker decided he wanted to move into the guest room, the smaller bedroom he shares a bathroom with.  He said a smaller room is easier to keep clean and organized and I couldn't argue that logic.  We spent time time moving some of his things from one room to the other.  I think it'll ultimately make it easier to clean his room because we'll touch everything going into the smaller room and it'll either fit or go out.  I have friends coming this summer and again in the fall so it'll be nice for them to have a big guest room.  Anyway, it'll be a great way to purge. 


Today it's back to the grind. 


I redid the schedule for this week, moving days around and putting the most important stuff on it, math, science, English, and leaving some, typing, grammar games, brain pop type sites, etc., for next week.  It's math day. He has to spend time doing review of the final chapter in T4L then one chapter, lesson and systematic review then test in MathUSee.  OH, then he's going to wash my floor, and I'm going to watch him do it, with a coffee or better yet with a glass of wine and a cocktail.  


How does floor washing go with math you may ask?  Oh, The Banker made another bad bad choice last night.  I am trying to decide if I'm in a snit about the actual infraction, the potential for damaging a very expensive piece of technology or the sneaky factor?  Thank God he didn't lie about it though, I'd have truly exploded for that.  I am so past getting angry about it, it's upset him more that I'm not moaning at him but rather just shook my head but did tell him how terribly disappointed I am.  


I am, however, quietly sitting here trying to figure out how to fix the ongoing choice problem.  My gut reaction says freedom, he's got too much freedom.  That's easy to fix.  I am going to re-add the parental controls on everything he touches and we'll go from there.  I take some, not ALL, the blame.  I think only children are sometimes expected to make the kid-person leap and I think I'm guilty sometimes.  I have no other children here to compare any actions of maturity or immaturity to so I just expect him to be older.  When he makes ridiculous childish choices, I'm shocked when really, I shouldn't be.  I legitimately thought he was over it after our last blow up of last week?!?!  


I am shocked at some of his "I can do whatever I want" choices and attitudes lately.  He did just turn 13 and I think I'd hoped he'd be spared some of the stupidness and idiot ideas of what's ok to do.  He sighs now, my husband sighs all the time, if they both sigh at me at the same time...I will move the hell out.


I will say I think I might be lucky he's doing it in the house, with traceable electronic devices as opposed to roaming the streets with hoodlums.  I may be having guilt about his occasional solitude of home school rather than blowing out steam with his buddies at school, he does it here, online, to stay in touch?  I don't know.  I'm not going to "blame" home school for every infraction.  I think I still have angst from my mother being here.  Even though she wasn't "watching", I think I felt watched, that's on me not her. 


I guess rather than going crazy, I'll merely tighten reigns yet again and watch and learn. In the scheme of things, there's worse but that doesn't give me any comfort.


I will say I think I am having an easier time than some of my friends with teenage boys.  I think, at the end of it, the ride will be a pretty easy one BUT right now, when I'm in it...I am not a happy camper.


I hated 12 and I think I'm going to hate 13.  I'm trying not to make a judgement on a whole year, it's only been 6 days but truly, I'm not a fan of the age already. The other age I hated was 7, they go from little kids to kids at 7 and I hated that attitude adjustment.  I guess I've had a few year of not hating an age but it feels like seriously disliking 12 has lasted way longer than a year and the prospect of another year of it just makes my head hurt.


For today, I'm torn between sitting beside him all day checking every key stroke and pencil stroke and laying on the couch with coffee, until it's wine time, leaving him to impress me with his hard, unsupervised, work. 


I wasn't having a great day yesterday, today surely isn't any nicer.  


/Tracy


To add to my general mope, the girls seem relatively happy in their coop although it's raining steadily (IN TEXAS?!?!) since they've been living out there so it's damp, muddy and stinky.  The porch and gazebos are mud pits, the clay weighs down your shoes trying to even go out there.  So, I'm moaning about inside AND outside, bonus.


I'm going to make cookies, and then I am going to eat them all.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Day Ninety One

The Banker read yesterday while we were out running errands and eating extravagant lunches.  I told him it's back to the grind today although I haven't done his weekly schedule yet.  


I'm up at 5 making travel sandwiches, some schnitzel and colemans and some tomato and cheese.  I made the buns yesterday.  Ya, it's traveling day, Mum leaves today.  I'm sad to see her go, we had a time.  We ate too much, drank too much, spent too much money but I think it was a great time had by all.  


Today?  Oh I'm coming back to the house after dropping her at the airport and going to bed.  I fretted and tossed and turned all night and haven't actually slept yet. FriendC came over to play and giggle and say good bye to mum.  We had such a great, fun, evening.  I climbed into bed well after midnight and stared at the ceiling until the alarm went off at 5, it was a jolt!  The Banker is coming to the airport with us, to haul luggage and I may just give a list of things to review when we get back, then he can be done.  There is nothing at all wrong with starting hard and fast again...tomorrow.  zzzzzzzzzzzz


/Tracy

Monday, May 7, 2012

Day Ninety

What a crazy weekend.  We worked hard outside, all of us.  Husband let Banker use a DRILL!  I was flabbergasted and the Banker was almost vibrating with excitement, inside of course, he's too cool to actually act excited :)

We moved the girls into their coop
 

 

They are happy happy happy girls.  They come when they're called, call me when they need me and start to scream blue bloody murder exactly at 8pm every night to go to bed.  I love these girls. 

We reclaimed the Gazebo for people, removed the top screens and started to pretty it up.  I got more wicker chairs and a table for in there... it's significantly cooler in there without the screens, the wind can move through easier for some ridiculous reason.  We've spent a lot of time in there since, trying it out.  Now I just need to add the pretty elements.  Nice.  Can't wait for more parties! 
 

 

It's also going to make a killer classroom, play room, iPad movie watching room, chicken watching room, pool watching room and general I'm just sitting in the shade space.  

We took mum to a State BBQ cookoff, fantastic!  Hot and crazy busy and exactly like I hoped and she dreamed it'd be.  Not something she'd do in Canada for SURE! The Banker found a lounger, he was happy.
  
 

We did Mexican restaurants, found Mariachi bands, played, drank, visited and had an absolutely rockin weekend.  I cooked, we hung around, worked with a friend and got to experience ground shaking when the methane tanks messed up at the dump, it was like aliens landing...all day! 

We are doing school "light" today, it's all going to be review.  I need him to take stock of where we are and what we've done so far.  We are not starting until after we come back from the airport from dropping mum off tomorrow.

Mum and I are sneaking out to Pappadeux for a mom daughter good bye lunch then back and friends are popping by to have a drink and hug her good bye.

It's been a crazy two weeks, where the time has gone I do not know.  I still feel lost, with school, but it'll come back tomorrow no doubt.  Next time, we just take the time off or I plan it better.  I feel like an academic failure but know it's not the end of the world. :) 

/Tracy

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Day Eighty Eight and Eighty Nine (weekend)

Ahh, the weekend.  Oh wait, weekends are no different than any other day except there's more people around.


I was a rock star mom yesterday, the Banker got to stay home with his new electronic toys while mum, friendC and I went to lunch at the lake then wander to a coffee shop for coffee and treats.  Lovely, simply lovely.  We came back to find him in the gazebo playing with the girls, fabulous!  Way to not just stare at screens when we're gone, dear!!  That counts in the 'good choice' column.


Speaking of good choices, I finally told Banker my master plan for moving him, his computer and system up stairs to the game room.  There's a big old wooden teachers desk up there that I could comfortably add on to the side for him to have an "L" shape for both monitors and a flat spot to work.  He was delighted!  I also told him I'd had the plan for a year but that I kept moving the 'do it' date because of his bad choices online, his peaking and checking into Minecraft when he was supposed to be working.  I think he was shocked it was on the table as a consideration, we'll see if the incentive of him knowing I'm thinking about it helps with some of his decisions at all.  


I've been having a great time with my mum here.  No fuss, no muss, just playing and eating! WOW, I've never been to so many restaurants in a row, some days TWO a day!!  I would have preferred to cook but really, we can get things in local restaurants, like the deep fried, stuffed, avocado and the whole fried fish, that I just wouldn't make and she'd never get up North.


We were ridiculous last night, all sat on the porch with various electronic gadgets on our laps playing games with each other, remotely.  It was very funny.  Mum doesn't usually play with any of her toys, netbook/ipod touch etc., so we're hooking her into games, free texting plans and she is learning how to play with these silly things here so when she goes home she'll know how to use them.  We are all addicted to Draw Something on iPads, and played until 9;30 last night... just.one.more.game.  HAHA  It was very fun.  The Banker sat with her and helped, giving direction, instruction and assistance when needed.  I liked the hanging around time, it was really nice.


Although it's all been fun, I am feeling some stress and can't figure out why.  The visit is going great with my mom, Banker is fine and husband is the way he always is.  My committee isn't settled.  I don't know if it's work or school or life or what it is but it's here with me in the front of my head.  I'm having a fun fun fun time but I feel distracted.  I'm fighting it :)  I also got up at 4:45 rather than try to roll over and go to back to sleep.  It's going to feel a very long day.


The Banker, mum and I are heading to Marble Falls to a BBQ cook off today.  Texas tourism at it's finest!  Husband is going to finish the coop so the girls can move outside.  I hope he just does a straight finish so they can get out there rather than some more involved stuff that will end up keeping them in their garage box longer than they need.  I have small concerns the 'floor' space for them is much too small as well as the hole from their night box down the ramp, much too small for what they will become.  I need to remember they aren't going to be in this thing 24/7 of course, that'd just be cruel.  When he said they would have a second story, I sort of envisioned more than a crawl space.  I won't be able to get under to clean/rake it at all.  I just thought this thing would be a shed type that I could get into and out of.  I'm not allowed to comment of course and it'll end up being fine so long as I can let them out of it.  I will need to figure some system to release them to a garden space to peck about that's more open for them for a few hours a day, the coop, although beautiful, is on pure dirt (they need green/grass) and in full shade (good for cooling, bad for chicks who love, and certainly need, sunlight).  I have a triangle garden at the back of the yard then a long area that runs against the fence that meets up with our sad little no sun no water garden.  I'll fence along the rail road ties so they can walk around, get light and bugs and greenery.  I don't want them to live in drudgery, dark and dirt, that's not a happy life.  Of course they won't but it's all part of the fretting I'm doing about everything at the moment.


They are 5 weeks now and apparently sleeping through the night ??  in the dark and there's minimal chaos in their box in the am since I pulled food...  they're just sleeping.  The manager at the feed store and I had a long conversation about baby chickens and whether they need food and/or water in at night when they sleep.  I agreed with his summary that they wouldn't perish without food for 10 hours, there's be significantly less waste without them picking and kicking and pooping in food all night and that so long as they had water, nothing horrible would happen to them before I could get them out in the morning.  Well, they are sleeping and growing! WOW!  My babies are becoming little ladies and I swear they grow during the day while you watch them!  They start yelling loudly around 8 to go to bed and rush into the dog crate in the gazebo to be brought in and put to bed.  Adorable.  I think they know who I am, look for me and they certainly react to me when they see/hear me which, whether they really do or not, makes me happy.  I get them up around 7, or whenever they start to move around and call me to start the day.  


I've had my quiet coffee, my quiet 'net time and some solitude in my head this am so I'm hoping for a fabulous day with less fretting about unknown concerns.  I'm going to go relax and enjoy the day with my mum and The Banker, getting to know each other, that's the most important, joyful and most excellent part. 


/Tracy







Friday, May 4, 2012

Day Eighty Seven

And now we are a teenager.


Banker had a lovely birthday, family, a good friend, loads of playing and loads of new techno toys, he was in heaven.  I made him his special birthday dinner and we relaxed until husband came home at 10:30.  We gave the Banker his present from us which resulted in a semi catatonic state, he couldn't believe it, and then there was set up and app purchasing and game playing.  We got him an iPad2 and even had it engraved for him.  He was, well, I can't even think of a word to describe how shocked he was...*joy*


When he finally went to bed, I went into say good night, well past midnight, and he burst into tears and threw his arms around me tightly.  Half squeaking out his thanks, through tears of sheer joy and being so overwhelmed; he thanks me for the best day, best gift, best life and best birthday ever.  *sniff*  Sometimes I don't want to sell him to gypsies ;) 


We are taking today off!!  He is going to load all the academic subjects, programs and apps we use for school onto his own iPad today so we can hit the ground running on Tuesday.  Yes, we're taking Monday off as well.  It will be great we can both use/refer to the iPads during school and do more work together with them.  I see school getting very very high tech around here.  


We were going to go to San Antonio today but that's been poo-pooh'd and we are going to hang out on the river in Austin, one of my favorite places called The Hula Hut.  We will get a patio table, sit and watch ducks and boats.  We will cocktail, snack and giggle.  FriendC is coming with us, way fun, and I don't know if Banker is coming as well, he might want to just stay here and clutch his iPad and stare at his second computer monitor.  Mum got him a way way cool gigantic remote control helium fish that I need to find helium for and he also got a very cool book on making your own 3d illusions, we'll get into that when mum goes back and life settles down, science class!!  


This is his new work/play set up: 



He couldn't believe his eyes when he opened his iPad.  I think we'll be seeing nothing but the top of his head for a while :)  I'm so happy he was so surprised and so excited.  Not at all the blase "oh, that old thing?" I was afraid of... delight, glee, a little happy dance and a squeal.  You know it's good when you get the squeal!



So, it's a Friday of playing, no work, life...memories...joy... I like this plan.  Oh and I'm really enjoying that he plays DrawSomething with me!!  HAHAHA  


Happy First Day of Being 13 all day long, Banker!!  xoxoxox 


/Tracy

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Day EIGHTY SIX


The Banker turns 13 today.  Wow.  I simply can't believe it ...  


Wasn't it just yesterday I brought him home from the hospital?  Didn't he just sit up? stand up? take his first tentative steps?  Didn't he just say mama? fall asleep in my arms, run to me in a storm or snuggle under my arm when he didn't feel well?  


Didn't we just spend time sitting on the kitchen floor while I tried to teach him to suck through a straw, collapsing in giggles.  Wasn't it yesterday we read Mama Loves You, Hop on Pop or Velveteen Rabbit while I cried? Didn't I just stroke his hair while he slept the first night in his big boy bed.  


Hasn't it only been moments since his first tantrum? his first decision, first opinion and dire worried concern about the world.  Where has the time gone and who is the lovely young man emerging before me? 


Hasn't it only been an evening since a stroppy stomp upstairs, hands on hips convinced I'm stupid with the dramatic and eye roll?  Oh wait, yes it has ;)  Nevermind.


Happy Birthday to my brand new teenager, Happy Birthday Banker, oh how I love you so.  We bought him an iPad.  He went mad!  


Oh and school's out for a few days, let's play.


/Tracy