Thursday, February 28, 2008

3rd grade

I am in great turmoil over those two words. My question is do I continue home schooling? I know the pros and cons to public school and home school. We've done both. I am exhausted.

If you home school and your child doesn't like to read and doesn't like to write, what are you using? I've been reading about unschooling for a bit now. I can't quite grasp it and that is likely due to the "system" being ingrained in my brain. I feel like if I can get him interested in reading, the rest will fall in place. Pete is in second grade this year. He is reading at a second grade level at this point. But it is like pulling teeth to get him to read.

Unfortunately, books that would interest him are above his reading level and I don't know if he would want to read even if he could. And how many times can one child forget how to subtract? It's convenient, really. Amazingly, if I show him again and also gently let him know his play time is wasting away while he sits and whines, he slowly remembers what all that subtraction is about.

I'm talking motivation people. How do I get him some? What programs are just so darn fun that kids want to do them?

Friday, February 22, 2008

While I'm talking cars here...

If you haven't seen this, go to your car and look at the gas gage. I don't about everywhere else, but in the states, ours have a little gas pump picture with an arrow pointing left or right. About 2 years ago, I learned that the arrow points to which side your gas tank is located. I don't know how I never learned this tidbit in all the years I've been driving but now I know and can I just say the person who thought this up was genius, pure genius.


The first thing I noticed 12 years ago when we returned to Virginia after living on the west coast for six years was that Virginians are vain. We spent four of the six years in California and the Virginians are more vain than even the Californians. When I speak of vanity, I mean vanity plates. I actually commented to BN as we were driving through Virginia that everyone seemed to have vanity plates.

I happen to like vanity plates. I think they really caught on during our time on the west coast and I remember some really good ones that I figured out. It was like a car game when we went on long drives - trying to figure out what the driver was saying.

But I noticed that many of the plates in Virginia have only one of two themes. They are either God or bible verse related or they are just plain asinine. I don't care for the God and bible ones because I doubt He cares about vanity plates. I doubt it impresses Him one bit and frankly, there's no sport in it for me. "PRAZ HIM" isn't all that hard to figure out. Neither is "PSALM ##". (pick your poison)

What really gets my goat though, is when folks spell out things like this: "MY BMW". Well, no shit Sherlock. Who the hell else's BMW is it? And why are you driving it? Or how about "BLU FORD". Okay, unless you are providing a public service and helping the colorblind people of the world, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOUR IMAGINATION???

Okay, that's it. I'm done with cars for the week.


ps. I think I missed a blog day again. crud!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Oops! I did it again.

Will someone please take away my driver's license? I mean really.

I haven't had a ticket since I was 22 years old. I made what they deemed an illegal U-turn. To this day, I still disagree, but whatever. Fast forward 12 years and the birth of Repete. It was also at this time that I traded in my small car for a small SUV. I don't know what kind of fatal synapses thing happened in my brain that year but I now search out and destroy parked unmanned cars.

In fact last Spring right around this timeframe, I backed into a cart pusher. Not the actual kid, the little self-propelled machine that helps the kid push 400 shopping carts back to the store. I saw the cart pusher, I made a mental note not to back into it and then I stepped on the gas. Vrooom! Craash! My insurance company sent us a letter that said, "Dear Madam: Your driving sucks and we are making a fortune!"

So, this December marked three years since I acquired the first of six tickets/accident claims and it "fell off my record". We received a letter from the insurance company that said, "Well, this just stinks, but we have to lower your premiums a wee bit." I'm so glad that happened because...

This past Monday, I sought out the biggest unmanned parked SUV in the Chuck E. Cheese parking lot and rammed right into it. What the hell is wrong with me? I spent the first 17 years of my driving career, the part where I drove a sports car and thought I was so cute, without incident. Is it the kids screaming and distracting me? Has staying home these last eight years really turned me into a babbling idiot incapable of driving a vehicle? (don't answer that)

I bet I get another "Yipee, we're rich." letter from the insurance company next month. I just hope they don't cancel on us.

I may just voluntarily hand over my license.


Friday, February 15, 2008

The Birds and The Bees

A friend of ours is having another baby. This will be baby #5. I was telling BN their happy news over dinner and Pete asked why they had so many kids.
BN: They must want a big family.
Pete: Why don't you and Mom want a lot of kids.
Me: Well, we just wanted a small family. Our arms are full with the love from you and RePete.
Pete: (clever boy) How do you stop from having babies?
Me: (Quietly out of corner of mouth to BN) Your turn?
BN: You just decide not to have anymore. (sweat breaking out on forehead)
Pete: But HOW do you stop?
Me: (under my breath) Not yet, I can't do this yet. Your turn again.
BN: Well I got fixed. (Boink - me clocking him over the head in my mind)
Pete: Fixed?
BN: (always gives too much info) Well, there's this tube in your testicle that the doctor can cut to prevent you from having babies.
Me: (stuffing my mouth with food so I won't have to talk)
Pete: But shouldn't Mom have that, she has the babies.
Me: (unable to breathe, choking on food) Make it go away. He's too young for this. Besides, I don't have testes.
BN: Let's just say we decided to stop having babies and that's it for now. We'll talk more about it when you are older. (good boy!)
Pete: (looking bored now) Okay. Dad, can you play a video game with us now?
Me: Phew!

Friday, February 8, 2008


My son Pete is an entertainer. Unfortunately, while he attended public K it got him into trouble. He did things like fall out of his chair, "trip" and fall and many other things that got a big laugh out of his friends and a red mark in his teacher's book.

Apparently he has missed his audience. I took him to the gym yesterday and he and RePete were in the children's area while I worked out. When I came back to claim my kids, Pete had 4 little girls all clamoring for his attention and giggling. Pete came out and said that those girls were hanging all over him and he kept making them laugh. The Childwatch ladies all gave me knowing looks and commented on what a comedian he was. Pete was in his element.

As we climbed in the car, Pete said he missed school because the kids always thought he was funny and now he didn't have anyone who laughed at him. So I tried to explain that being laughed at in school wasn't always a good thing and reminded him of getting into trouble. In the end he understood, but still wanted his applause.

Then he asked if I ever got into to trouble at school. For the most part I was a goody goody but I, like Pete, loved to talk and make kids laugh. I explained that when I was in school, we didn't have agendas sent home everyday with green, yellow and red lights marked in them. The teachers took care of us in class. We had to write sentences and I had to write A LOT of sentences. Pete reasoned that this wasn't a bad thing because if we knew how to spell, we could just write them and be done. So I explained that the teacher usually wrote the sentence on the blackboard and even if you didn't know how to spell, you could just copy it.

He pondered this for a moment and then said, "Mom, I don't think that could have happened. I don't think they had blackboards when you were in school."

Ba-dum-bum. (cue laughbox)


Tuesday, February 5, 2008


 RePete and Pete enjoyed our jaunt to the oceanfront. The boys played on their scooters while BN and I walked hand in hand and enjoyed their antics. We have lived near Virginia Beach since '96 and I can count on two hands the number of times we've gone to the beach as a family. I've taken the boys a few more times myself. We're contemplating a move in a few years and the places we are contemplating will not be oceanfront. While we were at the beach that day, I closed my eyes and breathed deeply the salt air. I've always lived near a beach and in that moment I knew I would miss that air. I would miss seeing the waves anytime I wanted. It's funny how you don't miss things until they are gone. (or almost gone)

The boys and I visited my mom and mil on our quick get-away. They live off the Potomac, and just across the water you can catch a glimpse of Maryland.


Saturday, February 2, 2008

Techno Challenged Post #4

Okay, so BN and I are watching the spectacle that is the Celebrity Apprentice and a commercial comes on. (the highlight of the time spent watching the tube)

The commercial shows a man coming into a copy store and ordering color copies because they are on sale. The clerk looks at the black and white presentation and gently lets the man know that the copies will come out black and white and they should use the b/w copier instead. Nooo, he insists on getting color copies of his black and white presentation.

BN and I both giggle over this. Only BN giggles a little longer and louder than I do and adds,

BN - "That sounds like something you would do."

Me - I beg your pardon! I say with the glare of my eyes.

BN continues, "Him asking for color copies of something b/w and not understanding is just like you trying to use a cd as a floppy disk."

Me - "What do you mean?"

BN - laughs harder.

Me - "Whaattt?"

What a buttwad.