People Peeking in...

Monday, October 29, 2012

Week 11, 8th


Ok, well, after a catastrophic week, socially, emotionally, educationally and parentally, I am well ready to start again already. 

I initiated my "you screw up with the small amount of responsibility you have, there, Banker dear, watch me pile it on, no, I am not removing any responsibility, I am quadrupling it" plan.  First 15 minutes in and it's going swimmingly. 

I wrote the week's plan in the Banker's binder, the purple, 'this is what we do' binder.  I put days and dates at the top of each page and filled each with the instruction, chapter and workload for the day.  There's 5 of them in there for this week, Friday only says "coOp" so it's not so bad.  

The new moment in time this week is that I handed the binder, the paperwork, the test, the project form and told him to do it and we'll meet Thursday at 4pm.  He looked gobsmacked then I smiled and said, "I don't care what order you do this work in, when you do it or what time at night you finish, it has to be done by Thursday at 4"

If he feels like History, he can do History, if he feels like physics on Wednesday instead of today then so be it. I'm not going to supervise the schedule at all but I have asked him to check in with me when he's finished various pages (because I can't totally not peek)

I can't wait to see how this plays out.  It will either go very very well or very very badly. 

He has an appointment with a friend who is a brilliant photographer and we are going to lurk around south Lamar in Austin today, on this brilliant sunny Texas Fall day, and take pictures of the food trucks and art and buildings.  It'll be a good diversion as well as take 4 hours out of his work week... ooooooh you're going to have to really schedule tightly, Banker to get it all in. 

I haven't figured out what, if anything, will happen if we doesn't get the work done, this is more an experiment in maturity, responsibility and reducing stress and increasing the love of what it is that he's learning and doing.

We are also going to figure out a Minecraft creeper head for Halloween   We have a green box base and just have to pixel it.  We are going to hang about with friends, having a drink while the boys hand out candy then go out and then hit the trick or treat road for a bit after the little kids are done.  Hey, it's a night out ;)  I must add, I hate HATE hate what Minecraft has become to some of the Banker's friends.  Way too serious and WAY too intense and we are almost done with it if it keeps up.

I've had an epiphany that has fixed me and my committee for a while.  I was sent a message by 9 friends, who I haven't seen in 14+ years, went to lunch together.  They talked about me, I matter to them, it fixed the hole I had.  It's not, after all, what I do that matters; it's who I am.  Who I am mattered enough to people I haven't seen in so many years that they gathered and sent me video messages and there isn't anything else that could have fixed me the way that did.  I am wrapped in the original inner sanctum blanket and feel warm and safe and yummy. 

The Banker will do fine this week, I have almost total faith. 

I'm off to get us ready to head to the food trailers in Austin because, well, if you are going to take pictures in Austin, you need to start with food ;)  


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Week 10, 8th

School, it's fine.  Life?  Oh it's ridiculous.

I am in the midst of a whirlwind of drama both self imposed and beset upon.  I'm trying to find my place in the universe while fighting demons that have haunted me for my whole life and trying to determine if it matters whether I matter.  Yeah, light stuff like that.  Everyone around me seems annoyed, anxious or just angry all the time which doesn't help my precarious and infinitely fragile grasp on whatever it is I'm holding on to.

Yeah, school is fine.  The Banker is progressing through, on the whole successful and seemingly enjoying the education process we have established.  He thinks he's learning things, seems engaged and academically content.  He's being challenged and is still humming and singing through lessons, that's got to be good.

He's 13 and going through all the appropriate teen angst that boys do.  He is equally pissy, angry and needy, demanding and withdrawn, silly and weepy.  He needs as many hugs as smacks.  I don't think I've experienced quite so proficient an eye roller either.  It's delightful.  My only saving grace is the coffee chats with dear girlfriends who offer support, commiseration and one hell of a giggle. We aren't the only ones.  whew

He is not as mature as some of his friends in some areas yet he's much more mature in others, it's a precarious place, 13.  He takes games intensely but lightly and is shattered when those around him take it oh so seriously, "...I've never been more disappointed in anyone or anything in my whole entire life" isn't the sort of text one likes seeing your son receive in relation to a game.  It's a GAME!  Take your play seriously or not but don't throw that sort of drama out into the universe, and certainly don't throw it in my house. Watch me not explode, implode or hide a body.  We need to get out more and find more humans to take up more space, it'll help take the edge off some of the expectations I think, I hope, I'll make it.

In other news, I discovered that I'm being stalked online.  Stalked is perhaps a bit intense, I'm being followed and then that which I share, dramatic or funny or culinary or cryptic as they may be are being copied and emailed out into cyberspace.  Creepy? Sure.  Yesterday I would have fallen apart at the supposed betrayal but really, if (I) put it out there you can't expect not to be busted on it.  I tell the Banker daily that there are no secrets and there is no privacy online.  It's there...forever.  I'm now looking at it as a cool, I'm so interesting that my thoughts, feelings and cryptic observations are being copied and sent around the world.  Does that make me famous?  More famous. I'm no victim, I'm a rock star.  

I also had my weep at not belonging where I thought I did, I had an epiphany in the wee hours last night, after a whole life of trying, I can't make people (who I thought just would like me) like me and I think it's about time I stopped.  I have allowed my own self worth to be based on the perceived opinions of other people.  As I said, it's about time I stopped.  I thought a relationship was fixed but it was so horrifyingly clear the other day it hasn't.  I think that stops too.  Look at me being all together.  It's not mental health or direction found, it's exhaustion.  I'm exhausted and can't fight any more. 

I've also been playing a game I shouldn't play.  I've been waiting for a compliment, just an out of the blue, random, you look/smell/sound nice, you did a good job, i liked that, you are good at whatever it is you do.  I was keeping track in days, now it's weeks.  Sometimes you just can't stop, I have 4 months invested and it'll be interesting to see if it ever comes to pass.  See, it all feeds into me thinking I suck and aren't good at anything.  If you have to constantly ask if it's ok and there's no support or joy coming back, it's hard as hell to not fall off the cliff.  But I digress, this isn't supposed to be about me it's about home schooling a very straight line kid when I'm, well, look at me *ugh*

We are going to go to more movies in the next couple of weeks, do more outdoor stuff.  We are going to watch movies from the couch and eat popcorn for dinner.  There will be less online games, more live people chatting.  There will be a review of the sorts of people in our lives and what role they play.  You don't have to do everything with everyone in your life, kiddo, some people you just don't want to play cards with and some you can't imagine going to the mall without.  Everyone has a place and the place isn't always everywhere. 

I'm going to call a little girl who makes me feel happy when I see her projects, crafts and read her stories and I want to tell her so.  I am going to make some bread, supervise some algebra and assign a photography project on feet.

I'm going to divide up the leftovers as dinner and eat a very large mug full of chocolate ice cream at some point in my day. 

So, how about that home schooling. 


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Week 9, 8th

Oh good grief this see saw world I'm in may be the death of me.  Just when I thought we had a solid handle on all this home school stuff, the Banker goes and makes some very unfortunate choices.  He made questionable (and I use that term loosely) choices in quality of completed work, volume of "completed" work and then decides, in a split second, to roll his eyes and mock something I'd all teenagers are wont to do at some point, however he did it directly in front of me.  Good grief, child. 

I snatched "screens" from him for a day for the mocking and until all the work was completed as required and in a much more readable and professional format than a piece of scrap paper with 3/  A,B,B,A,C,B,D,7  scratched across it... what the hell is THAT?  "Section 3".  of WHAT?  "History".  Oh I think not not not not. 

I'll admit it's probably me being lazy or that I just suck in general.  I'm peri-menopausal and am having my own issues with a complete and total lack of self worth, exhaustion, massive confidence issues and am totally convinced that I have no relevance.  I have no help, no support and am generally feeling useless and like the help.  I'm also hot all the time, think I'm too fat, wrinkled and am living in free tee shirts I've found and haven't had a hair cut in a year.  I just need some stinking clothes that fit and don't make me feel hot and gross.   Nice to have THAT tidbit of work tossed my way as "completed'.  Ugh.

I'm trying ways to get kudos, support, or a cheering section from the inner sanctum but it's not working and I'm setting myself up for all levels of confirmation that I suck by waiting quietly for any form of recognition and when nothing comes; I feel worse.  Did I mention I'm in a funk? I am looking for enthusiasm, excitement, laughter and just a way to not be so exhausted by it all. I just don't want to have a weep today, oh wait, too late, maybe tomorrow.  Helluva think to shoot for every day.

I will say this, on the schooling front, the Banker did pull up his bootstraps and has done some beautiful work yesterday and today but c'mon, we need some consistency here.  I guess I failed miserably, what else is new, at monitoring and supervision.  I did put an immediate system in place to rectify that.  New system?  Banker isn't finished until I've reviewed the books for the day, every day.  He only has 3 subjects a day so it's not going to take hours.  He had been putting the books on my desk every day for me to review before he needed them again the following week, that descended into, "I'm going to finish something THEN put it on your desk" then to "what book? you saw it".

I'm in a gigantic funk.  I want to get away for a couple of days.

Now, he did do lovely work yesterday, as I said but then when I came outside to check on my family, (who only sit outside to watch TV) I discovered the Banker playing on his phone... um, that's a screen, dear.  So, even though he finished his work and corrected the old stuff, he did mock me and then snuck onto screens so it's another day, or two, before he'll be reunited with the Great Glowing Rectangle.

He finished the book, Divergent, that my mother brought him.  He read it voraciously, we love that.  He finished last night and is desperate for the next in the series.  Yay!  I think he's emailing my mother today asking for the next, we love that. 

I'm going to supervision lightly today, try not to let the funk overtake me and weigh me down even further.  I'm going to be delighted in the work the Banker completes, help him when he needs it and have a giggle when we stuff BBQ pulled pork into the dough that's rising to make BBQ bread pockets, that's gotta be good.  I'm going to have a very stiff drink in 3 minutes because it'll be 10:30 and my Nana always had her "elevensies" at 10:30. I'm nothing if not my grandmother's granddaughter.

I'm sure it'll be better tomorrow, it sort of has to. 



Field trip day.  Oh heck we needed this.

We went to Pease Park in Austin and hung out.  The Banker took the camera and took a bunch of really really cool pictures, visited with friends then we went to lunch.

We needed this time out.  We are both rejuvenated.

Every other Wednesday is now field trip day, bonus.


Monday, October 8, 2012

Week 8, 8th

Ah, back to the grind.

We are in physics, science and latin today.  New science, the book that he's love love loving.  New Latin, we switched to Wheelock and he's doing a perusal day and it's continue on with the system we have in place for physics.  All good.  I'm going to jump online to some Wheelock links and see if I can find work pages, not worksheets (hahaha) for him to use as practice.

I like how this year is shaping up, I like that the Banker is so into the 2001 book.  I spoke to a friend of mine this weekend and he also suggested the Rama books when we are finished this segment. I hope the Banker continues to enjoy the choices we're making.

I spoke to a local educator friend this weekend about how we're doing and she didn't send any red flags my way, you know along the 'i'm breaking him' theory.  She is going to reintroduce me to friends of hers, also educators, and we're going to see about getting a couple of science projects for the Banker to complete after this Arthur Clarke series we seem to be doing. Two of the friends are science educators here in town and work in or around the Banker's grade level so it ought to be great.  I'll keep you posted on that one.

It's Canadian thanksgiving today, I grew up there.  A friend thought thanksgiving in October sounded like a fabulous idea so she's preparing all the sides for a feast, her mother is roasting a turkey and I'm on bread and dessert.  I made ciabatta, baguettes and rolls already and just pulled a dump cake out of the oven.  All good!

He is working, I am working... I'll update later!


Monday, October 1, 2012

Week 7, 8th


Well, it finally feels like we are back to normal.  We have no company, human or otherwise and although it's lonelier, it's quieter.

Lola (BoxerX) is resting her legs and back, she's been playing a lot and is still frequently.  There's no one interesting here at the moment so she is spending time just relaxing on the couch.  I have every faith it'll help her heal up.  Nothing like a rest to let your body fix itself.

Walter (Pug) is pleased for the quiet of GuestPug going home.  Although lovely, GuestPug does follow the crowd around and seems to think Walter should be a better host.  I love GuestPug but it was a rough week for him being here with trying to train baby Alice.  He's back after Thanksgiving and I'm looking forward to it.

Alice (Pug) is adorable, painfully so.  She's smart and has settled into the family beautifully.  She's back on track, training wise, after the fun of my mom and GuestPug being here.  Back to the grind, baby Alice.  She's sleep on my foot as I write this, yeah, she fits in nicely.

Five of the 6 chickens are laying eggs regularly now.  Edna has failed to impress, so far but I have faith in her ability to perform.  I will admit that we have been unable to confirm the identity of the giant mutant double yolk egg that was laid in the coop.  We assumed it was Martini because of the consistent gigantic size of her eggs.  I'm keeping a watchful eye to see when Edna comes through.  They are still huge fans of laying in my chair outside and in fact had a line up this morning waiting to jump up and lay.  It's ridiculous and anarchy, fun!

The Banker is back on track as well.  We have a full, regular, week of school planned.  We headed out to get new tires on my car today and stopped at Half Price Books to have a look around.  We decided to switch gears in Latin and we bought him a Wheelock latin book.  We have been futzing around with a few different Latin ideas and neither of us have been delighted with any of them.  We are streamlining to the one Wheelock book and we'll see how it goes.

We also bought 2001 A Space Odyssey, he'll start reading it this week and when he's done we'll do a little project and see the movie, great plan for a science unit, I think!

I feel frantic for some reason, maybe just overtired or worried or fat or all of the above.  I'm taking some well needed and deserved "me" time tomorrow to spend time at Ikea (one of my favorite places to lurk about) with FriendC, I like her vibe and am looking forward to the spending of time.

I don't feel too much like I'm breaking the Banker this week, bonus!

We did stop on the way home and bought copious amounts of Chinese food so I don't have to cook later although I am playing around with one of my tried and true millionaire shortbread recipes, never one to rest on my laurels :)

I think it's cocktail time...



I'm going out to play today.  Here's a little something to keep you entertaining for a few moment, it's how we roll at my house now.

Sunny lays an egg:

Chicken lays an egg:

I'm leaving the Banker to his own devices this morning and heading off to Ikea with a friend.  I need the diversion and FriendC is the one to divert me.

I had a culinary crisis yesterday when the insert of my pressure cooker (Nesco Electric) took a tumble and crushed it's side.  I actually wept.  I use the pressure cooker all the time and had just done a massive meat shop, specifically for meat to cook in the pressure cooker! GASP!  I toyed briefly with just going out and buying another one.  I got mine at Walmart for $62 but they are $70 now and frankly I was afraid to spend the grocery money on one.  I called the company and they are shipping me a new insert for $25, it's going to be a long 7-10 days *whimper*  I don't cope well with waiting.

The Banker is going to be responsible for completing his "English" day work, literature, grammar and vocabulary.  He also has to finish the first chapter of his new Latin book from yesterday and I want him to finish his laundry (you BET he does his own!) and empty and refill the dishwasher so I can come home to a clean space and make dinner.  I think I'll make a meatloaf, I haven't made one forever and it'll be quick and easy when I get back.  I was going to make meatballs with the ground beef but since I discovered the pressure cooked meatball, I don't think I could go back to the oven or stove top cooked kind.  I'm a snob about my own food apparently.

I posted a couple of chicken videos for you.  There was an actual wrestling match in the chair between Sunny, who was in the throws of laying an egg and Chicken who needed the spot herself!  Sunny laid her egg on Chicken's head and left, that's why there is an egg on the chair in the video.  I have video of Sunny laying an egg and now of Chicken, very different techniques and yes, it's the kind of thing I notice.  I'm on a mission to get a video of each one of them although Peck lays in a very tiny dog crate so it'll be far less dramatic.

I'm off to do what I want to do today and leave my poor Banker to do all the work, poor Cinderella.