Hormones and Homeschool

I’m thinking this might actually be the name of a new blog, not just a single post.  It would be all about my experience as a pre-menopausal home school mom and my race to educate my children before I kill them.  Well, at least it would cover all the details of our daily trials and triumphs we have while homeschooling.  Today just may have been “the” day to prompt me to do this.

With hormones raging, I approached homeschooling today with a no nonsense attitude.  I had full expectations for my child to be focused and to to do his work diligently (especially since I have been teaching him about this godly characteristic for the past two weeks).  Instead, he whined for 20 minutes that his handwriting work was babyish, yet when I checked his work he had only completed one line and it was not worthy of even a check mark.  I then set a timer and told him that he had five minutes to complete the work and then it would become homework for him to complete after dinner.  Our phonics lesson was not that much more productive.  Lots of crying and whining.  Lots of wasted time.  And I was hosting bunco later this evening.  I did not need this to happen today.  I had a house to clean, tables to set up, and a meal to prepare for 12 women.  And have I mentioned that my hormones are raging?

Sometime during the middle of all of this, I sent him to his bedroom to cry and have a time out.  Time out for me, that is.  He finally stopped crying and came back out and said he was ready to work.  More complaining and just over all having a bad attitude.  I eventually broke down in tears as well and one of us crumpled up the handwriting paper and threw it away.  We need a do-over.  Tomorrow.  And, I promise that I won’t crumple up any more handwriting papers.

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An Eater or a Wiper, but a Picker, None the Less

Have you heard the phrase, “lesser of two evils”?  I’m sure that this will completely gross some people out, but it is one of the crazy random things that has crossed my mind today while staying at home with my beautiful children.  Even beautiful children can be gross.  I’m talking about boogers here.  I have been blessed with the opportunity to rear both a boy and a girl and there truly is a difference in genders besides you know what.  The booger thing is probably not gender specific, but I have noticed that while my beautiful, yet unmistakably boyish boy likes to eat boogers; my equally beautiful, self-proclaimed “girly girl” tends to be more of a wiper.  Which, I am quick to say that I am so glad that she chooses not to digest her boogers; however, I am none too happy to find the little crusty things everywhere from her bed sheets to the trim panel of the door which is located next to her car seat.  And, there was the time that I was walking her to her room one evening for bed and she very kindly wiped a long stringy one on the hallway wall.  I really hope they both outgrow this picking stage real soon.  The End.

Dinner Tonight

Tonight’s dinner was called Bubble Pizza. 

Comments included the following:

“What is that black stuff?”

“I’m not eating this stuff.”  (My response, “Then go clean your room and you can come out when you are ready to eat.”  He came back  30 seconds later.)

“You can make this again.”

“It really tastes like pizza.”

“Waaaaaa.” (as the 21-month old spits it out)

We will not judge this recipe based on the toddler’s review. 

Bedtime Prayers Put to Rest

I was putting my little darling daughter in bed tonight and we were enjoying a little snuggle time before final placement in the crib.  As she delicately twirled my hair in her hand as her head rested comfortably on my shoulder, I began to say our bedtime prayer.  She ever so politely lifter her little head, raised finger to lips, looked me square in the eye and said, “Sssssh.”  I gently laid her head back down and attempted again to say the prayer.  Again, I received the “Ssssssh”.  After the fourth try, I simply smiled at the antics, gave her a final squeeze goodnight and placed her in the crib.  This can’t continue every night.  My little one has to learn how to say her prayers.  But, for tonight I wanted to enjoy her little personality and leave on a quiet note.  I will pray for her tonight and every night for the rest of her life.  And, one day, she will pray for me.

The Pick-up Fairy

When my first-born was about 3 years-old his toys began to overflow into all parts of our home and he began to develop a bad habit of leaving them wherever he had last played with them.  I was so tired of asking him to pick them up and then picking them up myself after about the millionth time. 

I happened upon an article in a parenting magazine of a fellow mom who brilliantly created the Pick-up Fairy.  The Pick-up Fairy is sorta like a twist on the Tooth Fairy.  She comes when the children are sleeping and she takes something.  However, the only thing she leaves behind is a clean floor and a distraught child.

Before I even tried it, I wanted to kiss the woman who came up with this idea.  I just knew it was going to work wonderfully on my little rule-abiding, C-personality child.  The next evening as bedtime was approaching, I informed my little angel that there was something that I needed to warn him about so that he could make sure that his toys were all in safe-keeping.  I told him about the Pick-up Fairy and suggested that tonight he should be sure to pick everything up so that he wouldn’t lose his toys to her.  He did a great job!  He did a great job for about 2 weeks.

On one particular evening as I was asking him to clean up, he asked me, “Why?  Is that truck guy gonna get my toys?”.  I was a little confused.  I asked him what he was talking about and he answered, “You know.  That truck guy that takes kid’s toys if they don’t put them away at night.”  Then it dawned on me that he was talking about the “Pick-up Fairy”.  In his little mind, the Pick-up Fairy was a male and since we always call John’s truck a pick-up, he interchanged the words.  I love to hear the things he comes up with-it makes me smile!

And, two years later, he still believes in the Pick-up Fairy.  Last night he was playing with some hot wheels and I told him to just leave them on the bar because it was late and I knew he would play with them the next morning.  He turned and asked me, “Will the Pick-up Fairy get them?”  I told him no and that I would ask her not to this time.  He looked at me with such gratitude in his eyes and said, “Thank you, Mommy.  That is so nice of you.”  Yep.  So nice of me.

In the Making

I have an aspiring photographer in my home.  Any chance he can get, my five-year old is grabbing my camera and snapping away.  He does pretty good, too.  Mostly centered and not blurry.  I don’t absolutely love all of the candid shots that he gets of me, but one must not discourage a budding artist.  Here is a sampling of his portfolio.

Hydro

 

Yes, she is on the potty!

 

Fire in our fireplace

Apple

Something about the angle of this picture I like

 

Not so sure I like the close, close-ups

Words of Affirmation

Many of us have read the book, The Five Love Languages by Gary D. Chapman.  I have identified my top two love languages as “words of affirmation” and “gifts”.  Meaning, basically, that I like to be affirmed daily (or hourly, or a couple of times a minute), and I like giving and receiving gifts. 

As a mother, I felt that it was my duty to train my son in this as early as possible.  I wanted him to know how much I love him and I needed him to know how to love me back.  Of course, this was impossible to teach a newborn, but I was ready as soon as the occasion arose.  And, it didn’t come soon enough, if you ask me.  Tirelessly taking care of a newborn is both physically and mentally exhausting and I needed some affirmation and a gift or two. So, when my little boy was about 22 months old and demonstrated a semi-mastery of the English language (well, at least, the common bystander could understand him, not just his mommy), I felt that he was indeed ready to be taught his mommy’s love language.  Hence, the following pathetic tale ensues. 

In all of my motherly wisdom, I decided to teach my precious angel to say “mommy’s beautiful” whenever he wanted something.  Who needs to hear the words, “please” and “may I”.  In all my selfish need for affirmation, I taught my son to indulge me with this pleasantry.  Actually, I just thought it was really funny.  I did teach him to say “please” and “thank you” and all the other appropriate phrases that would elicit comments such as, “He has such good manners.” and “Wow!  What a good boy you have.”  Lord knows I needed to be affirmed by strangers, as well, that I was a good mother.  Forget about love.  Just tell me how wonderful I am and that I am doing a good job raising my child. 

I think what it really boiled down to was that I had a lot of self-doubt.  As any first time mother, I wasn’t really sure if I was doing a good job raising my son.  I had waited for motherhood for so long and I wanted to be sure that I was doing everything right.  That was my true need for affirmation, not love.  (Not that I am dissing Dr. Chapman, or anything like that.)   Thank goodness, that misplaced need for affirmation from my son and strangers has dissipated.  I am much more confident in my parenting skills now and I don’t need my children to tell me how beautiful I am.  I still like to hear that my children are perfect, though.  So, bring it on.  (I know that they are not.  BELIEVE ME, I KNOW!  I just like to pretend.)

Thinking that I need to read this one

Just One

So, this morning I am sitting at the breakfast bar area about to blog about something incredibly interesting (I’m sure) and my almost two-year old little girl climbs up in the bar stool next to me and starts pointing at the candy/candle holder that we have out for the holiday (we are so festive around here, can’t you see?).  She is excitedly saying something in her native “toddler” tongue.  As a mother, I, of course, know exactly what she is saying.  “Just one, just one.” 
 

Now before you do a front flip over how brilliant my child is in the manipulative skills of begging for candy, let me tell you that she has heard this phrase from me too many times.  She points to the candy, and I say, “Just one.”. 

 

 

So, I give in (hey, she already had a semi-healthy breakfast) and let her have one.  She happily devours the candy heart as if it were her first meal in a while.  Then she points again to the dish and says, “just one” almost as clear as day.  She is just melting my heart a little, so, I think it won’t hurt to give her one more.  I pull out a purple one.  She grabs it from me and looks at it and shakes her head “no”.  She doesn’t want the purple one.  I proceed to select a pink one for her and when I hand it to her and try to take the purple one, she stuffs them both in her mouth.  Little toot! 

Then she tries to pull the same cute little “just one” routine one more time.  It’s not going to work this time.  I’m no sucker.  At least not three times in a row.  Now, I am not sure  if my little prima dona thinks the sweet hearts are called “candy” or “just one”.  We’ll work on that later.  I have to go finish the Pioneer Woman’s book.  Which, by the way, I do think the PW would think Devri is adorable!  I’m just sayin’!

Hot-chi Mama!

I have the cutest story to tell about Sam in his early years.  Okay, okay, I know he is only five, but he is such a mature five and since he started talking full sentences at 18 months, it just seems appropriate to say that this story occurred during his “early years”. 

He was a young two-year old (meaning closer to 2 than to 3-got it? okay).  He was perched up in his high chair awaiting his morning meal.  Connoisseur of the kitchen that I am (I mean was, because I have made advances in this area of my life), I was heating up something in the microwave.  The microwave dinged and I pulled the bowl out and set it on the counter.  As every good mother should, I decided to give it a little heat test to ensure that my precious baby would not be burned when he took his first bite. So, I stuck my finger right down in the middle of it.  First thing that came out of my mouth was, “Hot-chi Mama!”.  It wasn’t a yell or anything.  Just a normal-level voice.  Sam did not even seem to notice what was going on.  I set the bowl aside for a couple of minutes to let it cool off.  I then felt the food again and decided it was at a safe temperature to feed my toddler.  He happily took the bowl, stuck his little finger down in the precise spot I had put mine and said with exuberance, “Hot-chi Sam!” 

I just love this child!  And this was the day that I decided that my toddler is a genius.

Proverbs 22:1

A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.

All Cleaned Up

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