Monday, May 21, 2007

Big Red Bat

My boys have already entered the "he's touching/looking at me" stage. I clearly explained the laws of the crack in the middle of the car seat - namely, don't extend any body parts beyond the middle of the seat and in our case, this includes your gazing eyes!

While gabbing with the girls tonight, I told of this stage we were entering and said that a minivan might be our salvation since I can put one boy in the center seat and one in the back to separate them.

One of the girls told a story about a Mom who kept a red plastic bat under her driver's seat. Anytime the kids in the back were misbehaving, she would pull out the bat and wildly flail it in the back seat area until things quieted down. **snicker**

Me and another Mom agreed to go in halves on enough inflatable bats for all in our group. We figure we can get them in bulk.

Price of a dozen inflatable bats: $11.95
Visual image of Mom flailing red bat: PRICELESS


Sunday, May 20, 2007

You know you are a homeschooler when...

you are already thinking about and or buying what you'll need for the next year instead of drooling over 2 1/2 months off for summer!

It was always our goal to school year round to help with retention and to avoid the back to school blahs. Last year we began around the end of July and that is the plan this year as well, but I'm so excited about what Pete will learn this next year that we may start sooner as this year is soon finishing up.

I've not totally given up on unschooling, but at Pete's request we are putting it on the back burner for now. He actually asked me when we were going to do more school? He also asked me when he would be able to get his clothes from the drawer instead of the laundry basket. I told him with perpetual laundry, it's hard to say!

So with his want for more school, (gasp) I re-interviewed him about what he wanted from school. He did not even hesitate. He wanted more art, music, gym and library. I understood the first three but was puzzled on the library thing since he whines when we go. And then he reminded me that in K, they checked out a book each week and if they brought it back on time, the librarian gave them a stamp in the book. After so many stamps, they were rewarded with a trip to the prize bucket. It's amazing that rubber erasers, hard candy and tiny plastic toys have this effect on children. I guess that's why the dentist and doctors use them. Such a simple concept that I hadn't thought of.

With this new information in my arsenal, things will be done much differently next year. I guess an order to Oriental Trading is in order. But instead of the dime candy, I think I'll buy craft kits.

Update on the boyhouse, er castle. BN has completed the build. Now I have to paint it. Pictures to follow in a few days.


Saturday, May 19, 2007

My 3yo know bigger words than your 3yo.

Repete knows words like destruction, executioner, adrenaline, impact, eradicator, thunder, stallion, crusher, tropical, carolina, virginia, american, wilderness, guardian...

Thanks to this site!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Name that Cat

I would be remiss if I did not introduce the fourth member of our family. Ain't she cute? Not really. Like most cats, she is mostly biotchy! We adopted her when she was 1 and her name was Disco. Yeah, we thought the same thing, and since we were going through a jazz period, we decided to call her Cool Cat or CC for short. She actually seemed to like this and came running when we called.

Because we always had outdoor cats and dogs when I was growing up and CC had been an outdoor cat, we left it that way. UNTIL we found her and a stray cat on our roof eating a big piece of ham from who knows where.

After CC was forced into being agreed to be an indoor cat, she started looking lonely and about that time a dark gray cat started hanging around. A LOT. CC was fixed so it wasn't that, although that didn't stop him from trying. (sheesh, men) He had a flea collar on but hung around our house so much, we decided finally to steal him make him an indoor cat too. We loved Gray Cat! He was so muscle-y and could jump from the floor to the top of the fridge or cabinets in a single leap. He was awesome and so lovable. UNTIL the punks that lived behind us asked me if I had seen a gray cat hanging around. Seems they had lost him. I told them no, but that I would keep an eye out for him. Turmoil sets in because I know he must belong to them but we wanted him. Even though the punks behind us acted like hooligans, I just couldn't keep something that wasn't mine, so I set Gray Cat out on the front porch and decided if he didn't leave, I would bring him back in. He stayed most of the afternoon and then he left and we never saw Gray Cat again. We were all sad to see him go and we always wondered his fate.

Shortly after Gray Cat left us, a girl at work was giving away kittens. I immediately asked for one and she gladly agreed to have her boyfriend meet us after work with a girl kitten. She was so cute and the color of a perfect little pearl so I named her Pearl on the way home. (and she will be my pearl and I will call her pearl and she will be my pearl) CC was not happy but she mostly just avoided Pearl until Pearl was about 6 months old and became very playful and unavoidable. As Pearl got older and changed from pearl colored to tabby, we noticed something peculiar about her nether regions. Either this girl had a big puddin' or something was wrong. So at her next vet check-up, the vet confirmed that Pearl was a boy! BN was working on his black belt in Aikido at the time and had to learn a lot of Japanese so Pearl became Kubi, which is Japanese for neck. BN thought Kubi was so clever that he started calling him Little Kubi and started calling CC, Big Kubi. Poor CC now had yet another name. But since Kubi ends in that eee sounds, she came running just like before when we called her.

Unfortunately, Big Kubi never really did take a real liking to Little Kubi and because his hair was so fine, even at 3 years old, we decided to give him to a friend who had just lost her own cat. We hated giving him away, but that fine hair really irritated BN's allergies and we never could break him from spraying the house so we felt that was best. I visited Little Kubi and he really prospered in his new home. When Little Kubi left, Big Kubi didn't show the same sadness she did when Gray Cat left. So again, I felt better about letting him go to a loving friend.

Big Kubi or just Kubi (since there is no need for distinction now) will be 10 years old this November. Old girl has been through a lot with us including 3 moves and 2 rambunctious boys. She lets them dress her up and she sneaks up and sleeps on the foot of Pete's bed, and she endures their crazy kind of love. She loves her treats and those little mice with fake fur. She growls and grunts and hisses at BN when he rough houses with her, but you can tell he is her favorite because she always walks up and PLOPS down next to him to get more. She also plays hide and seek with him. Weird.

And at night, like right now, she waits for me to pull out the throw blanket and settle on the sofa so she can snuggle up beside me in her nighttime nest. I love whats-her-name.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Mete RePete

Here's a little bit about RePete that you might not know. He's 3.
  • Started gymnastics today. He, like his brother, is a natural. Actually, I am more impressed that he did EXACTLY what he was told to do by the coach. It's amazing to see your little ones under someone else's direction.

  • Can yell louder than anyone I know.

  • Is a bowling fiend.

  • Hugs like no other.

  • Has beautiful hair that I guess I have to cut so he doesn't die of heat exhaustion this summer.

  • Loves music. His shoulders start to shrug at the first note of any song.

  • He can sing all the Kid's Bop cds.

  • Loves mud puddles.

  • Mud puddles love him and his chocolate shoes.

  • Refuses to use the potty.

  • Loves going to the zoo to see the ammals.

  • Is a big cheeser and immediately wants to see all pictures taken of him. He is also a fair photographer himself.

  • Decided this year that he can talk.

  • May not be able to remember every letter name, but knows what sound they make. Thank you Leap Frog videos.

  • Is able to navigate the computer without help. He somehow got from the Thomas and Friends website to Nick Jr. I still don't know how that happened.

  • Won't read a children's book, but can be found devouring the Atlas, Menus, Magazines or anything bigger than him anytime.

  • Stops to smell all the flowers.

As much as he is RePete, he's also coming into his own very nicely. Love you buddy,


Meet Pete

For Mother's Day, I wanted to devote this weekend to my reasons for celebrating. Pete is 7.

  • Taught me how to be a Mother and is still teaching me.

  • Has a giggle that is infectious.

  • Looks exactly like he did at birth, just bigger.

  • Makes friends everywhere we go.

  • Is starting to outgrow his tics - squealing, throat noises, eye-"stretching"

  • Likes to walk on his toes.

  • Says his taste buds are changing.

  • Would rather make up a game than play video games or sports.

  • Has artistic talent.

  • Is sensitive.

  • Teaching RePete everything he knows. (hmmm.)

  • Is still the messiest eater I know.

  • Finally started taking showers, as opposed to baths.

  • Loves flip-flops and soft pants.

  • Likes to eat marshmallows and cereal from a baggie.

  • Never wants to go back to "regular" school.

  • Can create anything out of rocks, sticks and dirt.

Sometimes I still wish he fit into his Buzz Lightyear costume. Love you Sweetie,


Friday, May 11, 2007

The 60 Second Toothfairy Shuffle

Last night we ate at the Mexican restaurant and Pete had his favorite Mexican dish - chicken fingers and french fries. About half way through dinner, BN looks at Pete's mouth and says where's your tooth? Pete was unaware he'd lost it, but it was definitely in there when we arrived. Pete ate his tooth! Which ultimately led to a discussion about, you guessed it, poop.

Fast forward to today. While eating pancakes this morning, Pete suddenly jumps up and yells I forgot to look for the money. I choke on my pancake as I decide what to do. You see I forgot to put money under the pillow because 2 certain someones did not fall asleep until about 11pm and I was too tired to remember the Tooth Fairy money.

The first thought that comes to mind as I hear him running up to his room is that this would be a great time to tell Pete that there is no TF. But as I hear him tearing his bed apart, I realize he wants this charade to continue a bit longer, so guilt adrenaline sets in. I run into our bedroom and raid BN's change for $2 in quarters (guilt prompts $2 instead of the usual $1) and then hightail it up to the office to get a little baggie out of my scrapbook supplies and a piece of card stock to jot down something clever from the TF. I then casually waltz into his room and pick up his pillow while ever so carefully slipping the little baggie into his pillowcase. Then as I shake the pillow, I ask if he is sure he's checked everywhere, he hears the jingle jangle of money. He gets all excited and dives into the pillow case head first.

Pete finds the baggie, immediately counts the change, then jumps up and down with glee. It was so worth the 6o seconds.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Why Robinella

Have I told you guys how I became Robinella?

A few moons ago, I was in the Navy. I worked as an Air Traffic Controller.

So, I'm in the Navy and stationed on a little island and we were a very small group. When you sit for hours couped up in the Tower or Radar trailer, you get to know one another, so naturally we talked and revealed personal stuff. We were sitting around talking about where we were from and something came over me. (All while aircraft were flying and in our care) I don't know what it was but I blurted out that my real name was Robinella. Of course, that was met with "Nahs" and "Reallys?" and I backed it up with factual information that made it conclusive. You see my sister's real name is not Doodah, it's $ella and my cousin's name is $&ella. After I mentioned their names, everyone believed me and I then became Robinella.

I let this play out for about 3 months before I told them the truth. Unfortunately, it stuck and I was Robinella until the end of my tour. ( I was also called the Porch Goddess in bootcamp and that stuck too, but that is another story) It's amazing how easily you can fool other people, which is why actors are so believable. I guess Pete gets his theatrics from me.

It's one of the reasons we thought homeschooling was better for him. He loves to make people laugh and school just doesn't have a sense of humor. He definitely keeps us rolling and it sure is good for the soul. And just today he actually made a funny that didn't involve poop or butts. His sense of humor is evolving and becoming more complicated. We were talking about mummies and how they are buried (for the zillionth time) and he says, "they must have needed a huge kitty box for that cat". He was of course referring to the Sphinx. And then he added, "It's a good thing he was built in the dessert...plenty of sand for the kitty box." Now while that wasn't har har funny, it was darn cute of him to come up with it all on his own.

Okay, so that was about poop after all. But at least there was some thought put into it. It wasn't just a random "RePete eats poop sandwiches".


Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Boys and Anatomy 101

When you birth boys, you should be given an Anatomy Pamphlet before you are allowed to leave the hospital. And no, I don't mean with a literal Anatomy Lesson. If you have birthed a baby boy, then you have had s3x and I sure hope you know enough about that body part because it's what got you in this Mother of Boys predicament in the first place.

You know what body part I am talking about...the p3nis! Apparently, that is not the only name for it and as a mother of boys, you really need to get a p3nis dictionary and brush up on all the synonyms. That is the very pamphlet I am going to write and present to all the local hospitals. Basically it will include all the names for the p3nis and rules for avoiding saying any of them out loud in front of your boys. Here's an example of when the rules are not followed.

The other day, Pete and his friend from down the street (he's eight) were playing at our house and RePete was playing nearby and doing something silly. After 3 times, I finally told RePete not to be such a "dingdong". HELLO! That is on the list of names that shall not be said out loud in the presence of boys. Immediately the giggling started and then this. "Heh, heh, uh dingdong", "Heh heh heh she said dingdong", and "Heh (snort) heh dingdong, uh dingdong". If this dialog sounds familiar, let me entertain you, oh mothers of tubesteak owners with the originals. **Beware, this is 6:09 minutes of your life you will never get back!** (Beavis and Butthead bit removed)


Thursday, May 3, 2007

It's Testing Time

Here in the Old Dominion, we have to show proof of progress each year. Testing seems the easiest method and since this is our first year homeschooling, that's my choice. Word around town is the CAT from Seton.

There are others out there that are more strenuous and cover more subjects. I personally don't think it is necessary to put my children through this process. I am their teacher and I know what they do and do not know. Take it from a skimmer, tests do not show your child's true potential. I was famous for missing answers I knew and for guessing the ones I didn't! I did decide to give Pete a little assessment test I found online just to prepare him for test taking. Since Pete doesn't like to read, I read the test questions and the answers choices. He did very well and we discussed test taking strategies - such as elimination for answers he wasn't sure of. He caught onto this very quickly.

So great, he now knows how to be a good guesser.

In fact he made up a guessing method I hadn't heard of for a few of the easier math problems and I decided I had to curb that process. Here's an example: The picture showed 11 pencils lined up by twos. He looked at the picture for about a second, looked at the four answer choices and immediately picked 11. At first I thought wow! All that time counting by 2s on the abacus is paying off. Then I asked him how he counted the pencils so fast. His reply, "I saw a lot of pencils and 11 was the biggest number." I asked him to count by 2s and he got the same answer and he said, "see, I was right." You just can't reason with that! Especially when he did the exact same process for a similar problem and chose the correct answer.

We'll have to keep working on those all important test taking skills.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

What Dreams May Come

This is The Old Mill of Guilford.

Rowen County Court Minutes
10 January 1764

"Ordered that Daniel Dillin have licence to build a Publick Grist Mill on the Ready Fork of Haw River at the Mouth of Beavor Creek..."

Guilford County, NC was created out of Rowen County in 1771.

This is the Mill of my Dreams. Memory Bank 1977.

I was born in North Carolina. We lived there until I was about 7 or 8. We hadn't lived in Virginia long before the Mill creeped into my dreams. I never visited this mill, but we drove past it many, many times.

In my dreams, my family lived at the mill and one day our electricity, that was powered by the mill, went out. In my dreams, the wheel was inside and down a small flight of wooden steps. You then walked out onto a pier of sorts and the wheel was just across the water. You could feel the moisture in the air and see it dripping down the stone walls.

In my dreams, my Dad went to check it out and he was gone for a very long time. My Mom, my sister and I decided to check on him and when we got to the end of the pier, we saw him dead on top of the wheel. In my dreams, it panned from us on the pier to him dead on the wheel and then back to us and then back to him. I had this dream over and over for months.

And then my Dad left. It was probably 15 years later that I thought about those dreams again and realized that I dreamed my parents were divorcing. Intuition if you will. Do you believe in it? It's strong in our family. My Mom jokingly calls us witches.

This past February, my good friend Pogo and I took a girls only trip to Asheville. Interestingly, of all the paths I could have chosen, I chose the road that went past the mill - I was drawn to it. The Mill in the picture above was the second mill built and the one I remembered from childhood. The original had been across the road. I've always wondered if the wheel was inside the original mill...