Friday, August 31, 2007
We've lost an institution

Today I was driving home during rush hour. I stopped by my grandma's house to see her new counter tops. When I ran inside, I left the car on, and it was on 96 Wave, my favorite radio station. I was inside for maybe five minutes, if that. When I came back outside, the theme song to Charles in Charge was playing. I was confused, as the station usually plays alternative/rock music. It made my stomach hurt it sucked so bad. However, TJ loved it, and threw a fit every time I tried to change it. They played it for 20 minutes straight. When I'd finally had enough, and had decided that I was willing to put up with TJ's fit to avoid the nausea that came with hearing that song again, it stopped. It was followed by an announcement that my radio station was now going to be 96.1 The Chuck, playing adult variety music. Ummmm, WHAT THE FUCK!!!!!

I called Julia in a panic. I knew it had to be some kind of joke. She said she'd read something a while back that mentioned they may change their format. I called a friend of a friend who used to work there. She knew nothing. There had been NO warning whatsoever. I listen to this station a minimum of three hours a day, as I work from my car. Most days it's much longer than that. I go in as late as possible to work every morning b/c the morning show on there is so freaking funny, and if I went in any earlier, I'd miss it (I'd be done w/my paper route before it came on). I had heard nothing.

When I got home I looked online. The website had already been changed to the new stupid station. However, their MySpace page was still 96 Wave, and it didn't say a single word about changing formats, or whatever. I searched and searched for an answer. Finally, I found it at The Charleston City Newspaper's blog. My fears were all true.

This is not a joke. I am devastated.

I grew up on 96 Wave. It's been around for 22 years now, just about as long as I've been listening to the radio and actually caring what was on. 96 Wave is as much Charleston as the city market, Rainbow Row, and hot weather are. Other radio stations have come and go, and changed directions entirely, but the Wave has always been there, a staple of the rock and roll community. In high school, they were always there with Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Cracker right on the play list, right when I needed it. Now, they've grown with me (or have I grown with them?), and they always have a little Breaking Benjamin, Deepfield (props to Lee's band!),30 Seconds to Mars, and Three Days Grace on hand to brighten up my day. It never really seemed like a question that one day my little ones would be jamming out in their hover mobiles to 96 Wave as well; it was just going to be that way.

My whole conscious life has been spent with 96 Wave. Even when I didn't live here, I listened every moment I was in town. Even when they went through a phase of SUCKING, I still switched back b/c you just can't leave your station like that. Now what am I going to do? Sure, there's 98X, but their music is a little, uhhh, harder at times than I want, and a little older sometimes, too. 95SX plays some good songs every now and then, but they unfortunately mix them up with those Top 40 songs that have all the remixes and rap crap mixed in. No thanks. I'm wondering if I'm going to go old early and just give up and listen to talk radio. I'd rather not, b/c damn if that station doesn't get me thinking just a wee bit too much; it gets me mad, and I've got enough on my plate to worry about as it is! I refuse to listen to the "Adult Variety" they will now be playing on my once favorite station. I just don't know what to do.

What I do know is that I'm glad I got myself a Zune for Mother's Day, and it looks like I'm going to be spending a lot of time downloading music now!
posted by Christi at 9:12 PM | Permalink | 2 comments
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Peer pressure...
They say peer pressure is a bad thing. I can believe that to an extent. It's not good when peer pressure motivates kids to do bad things, like smoke or drink. However, today I was pressured by my peer, and I'm glad of it!

I called Julia to see what she was up to. She was cleaning her room and getting rid of stuff she no longer uses. "Man," I thought, "I really need to do that, too. My room is a mess!" The more I talked to her, and she told me about the stuff she was getting rid of, the more I thought of the stuff I need to get rid of. So, I did it. I got up off of my lazy ass and cleaned out my closet. I got rid of two trash bags full of clothes. I finally decided to part with the "wishful thinking" clothes that are just a few sizes too small. I've kept them since I got pregnant w/TJ, thinking that one day I'll again fit into them. I haven't lost hope that one day I'll get myself smaller, but Julia and I agreed that if ever I do, I totally deserve all new clothes. It was hard, too, b/c a lot of them were still very nice, and were the types of stuff that last. Oh well.

While I was purging my closet, I started thinking about when I will actually focus more on losing weight and eating healthier. I'm pretty sure it won't be anytime soon. I know that's bad, b/c it's important to take good care of yourself. However, my priorities lie elsewhere right now. I have a LOT on my plate, and whereas I could and should make time for exercise and healthy meal planning, I have chosen about four thousand other things to do instead. I feel like once I get the ball rolling with homeschooling, and getting my brain repaired, then I might be able to start thinking about it. It will also help a LOT when the kids all get a bit older. For now, they are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO needy, I don't get a chance to think about myself enough to get past making sure I get the basics like eating, sleeping, and bathing (which, I admit, I sometimes don't even get if I have a hectic enough day!). I certainly don't have time for going that extra mile! Now that it's cooled down a degree or two, though, I have been trying to get outside a bit more, and hopefully that will lead to more physical activity. We went for a walk yesterday, and swimming today. I'm snacking on Apple Chips right now, does that count?

Anyway, for now, I've decided to accept who I am and celebrate all that's great about me. Julia and I both have noticed that, even though we think we are huge, no one else seems to think so or care. When we meet people, they don't cringe and look at us with disgust as though we are giant blobs of grossness. We both have husbands that love us, and can't seem to get enough of seeing us naked (although I've contended for years that Trey is in desperate need of strong glasses). We're both beautiful people. We make beautiful babies. We're super geniuses (TJ told me so yesterday!). I'm sure there's tons more I could celebrate, but honestly, I'm just kinda getting tired now. Anyway, as I said before, for now I'm going to be happy how I am, and stop worrying that someone's going to see me and think I'm a big fatso. Most of this weight I have now came when I started having kids, and lost the time and ability to find a way to get it off. If it came down to losing the weight, but losing time w/my kids, I'd pick time w/the kids any day!

Alright, I'll talk to you later! Have a great day!
posted by Christi at 10:57 PM | Permalink | 6 comments
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Days of late...
Taryn, day-to-day:

She's taken to dressing herself up everyday now. I don't even bother dressing her unless I have to anymore, b/c she will take it off and put on her own choice. We do have to work on the whole accessorizing thing, and at least make sure she picks matching shoes!

Cole has officially popped out six teeth now, and he eats anything he can get his little grubby hands on! Do you see them? Oh, and did I mention he is just SO CUTE, and thoughtful, of course!

TJ is addicted to video games, which I need to put the kabosh on, but for now, I just do my best to make sure they're at least learning games. He was stuck to my computer today playing at Is it just me, or does he look really big lately?

Please don't look at the mess on the desk. That's all my stacks of stuff to use for teaching the kids. Believe it or not, there is some semblance of order there. Unfortunately, I'm the only one who understands it!

Oh, and we made pizzas yesterday! We made the dough and everything. I would have more pics, but I had to be actually involved in helping the kids make it, so I didn't get too many.

TJ and Taryn made their own, and they did great. I made one for Trey and me (well, he had to roll out the dough for me!). I told him to take a pic of it, and he had to go and stage it first, so it would be a nice pic! I was a little disappointed, b/c the dough really didn't have any flavor, so next time I'll have to figure out how to spice it up! Any of you know how I might do that?

Have a great day! I'll see you soon!
posted by Christi at 11:04 PM | Permalink | 8 comments
Friday, August 24, 2007
Back on track...
Yesterday, we finally got back to our beach/ocean theme lessons. For a couple of weeks we've been a bit off, only doing stuff here and there. Between birthdays, company, trying to catch up, doctor's appts., and work, it's been hard to get anything done in any timely fashion lately. Hopefully things can slow down a little again, and we can work again on some sort of schedule and order.

So anyway, yesterday, we learned about whales and dolphins. TJ got a lot from it, like they are mammals, they sing, baleen is like big, long strands of finger nails, sperm whales can hold their breath for over an hour (and TJ can for ten hundred thousand hours), dolphins nod to tell their kids to stop, that kind of stuff. They also painted pictures of dolphins and whales, or so I told them:

Taryn's is the one w/the big blob, which is supposedly a turtle. TJ's has worms, and the big red spot is the whale, eating the worms.

Today, we learned about crabs and lobsters, and the general crustacean (which, to quote TJ, is like Playstation!) family. TJ now knows that they use their pincers to catch their food, they have their skeletons on the outside, they have antennae, and they crawl on the ocean floor. He even cut out the main body part of his crab he made, and I was so proud of him! His patience was wearing thin by that point, as he was frustrated that it didn't look perfect, so I took over from there. He and Taryn both glued their pieces together. Can you tell which one was Taryn's?
posted by Christi at 2:04 PM | Permalink | 3 comments
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Trey told me he had put Taryn down for a nap in the afternoon yesterday. He went to check on her after a little while, and this is how it went:

Trey: Hey, where did you get those Pringles? I didn't even know we had any.
Taryn: I don't have any.
Trey: They're right there. And you ate them all.
Taryn: I didn't.
Trey: Yes you did.
Taryn: I need a drink. I wanna party. WHOOOOOOOOOOO!

I'm not sure if that's verbatim, but I do know for a fact she said she wanted to party and WHOOOOOOOOO! That kid's nuts!

So, I have angst. Yesterday, the local children went back to school. As I was finishing up my paper route, I started to see them scattered about on various street corners, in the dark no doubt. It scared the crap out of me, b/c the first time I realized they were there, it was when I almost hit a little girl! This is not what brings me troubles, though. What's bothering me is that I'm at odds with my whole world right now.

I desperately want to home school my children. At this moment in time, I'm not quite ready. I can't get my act together so that I can insure that they get everything they need on a daily basis. That's why I'm going to try to get fixed at the psychiatrist. It's the only reason, b/c all of the other problems I have I've known about for years, and I'm fine with them. If I can just get my focus issues fixed so I can plan and execute and organize, I'll be good to go.

However, I'm the only person in my life who is behind my plan (well, except for Julia!). I am tired of people asking me when TJ will be starting school. I am tired of them saying, "When he's in school..." I am tired of saying that I plan to home school and getting a lecture on why he needs to be in school. I am so tired that I just go along anymore and try to avoid the question altogether or just answer something vague to get them to leave me alone. It's as though everyone I know has done tons of research on homeschooling, and I've done none. The fact remains that that is exactly the opposite of the truth. I have done plenty of research on the subject. I have read books, looked online, spoken with people, seen real-life examples, contacted organizations, and gone to stores focused on homeschooling curriculum. I know about different types of homeschooling, different curriculum, and different scheduling options. I know about the sacrifices that come with keeping your children at home with you during the day, and I know about what they will miss out on. I know my stuff, I'm not just some chick that woke up this morning and thought it would be fun.

It might surprise you to know, as well, that I also know about the other side of the coin. What I have that other parents that home school may not have on their side is knowledge of the inner workings of the public school arena. Lest we not forget that I was once a teacher, and saw how the education system works. I was also a student, in the best district in the state. I studied at a college level, as well, and was given the opportunity to observe and practice in many classes throughout the area, including private schools. I got to talk to many teachers about their thoughts on education, and I spoke with parents as well. I know a lot about what schools have to offer, and what they lack. I even had the chance to work with those students who benefited the very least from public education, and instead chose crime. I've been there, done that. I've weighed out my options, the choices, the benefits, the consequences and everything I can think of pertaining to the decision between homeschooling and public school.

My mom says she thinks I should send the kids to private school. Well, I can't even afford preschool right now, and that's NOTHING compared to paying for private school. So that's out, unless she would like to find me a nice, wealthy benefactor that would like to fund my children's education. You can bet, though, that they will be attending only the best, b/c if they stayed home, that's what I would be giving them!

I get the argument most often that the children need socialization. My children have NO problem socially. They make friends quite easily, and are not in the least bit shy. Equally, they know better than to talk to strangers w/o my approval first, and don't aren't quick to befriend just anyone. Sure, I know there are some things that they won't get at home that they could at school, but I don't think it will make that big of a difference in the long run. I do want to work more on getting them a set group of friends their own age. Right now, they have friends, but they are different ages, and there are times when the age gap does inhibit some activities. However, they also learn a lot from their older counterparts, and from the younger ones, so I think it's great they have friends out of their age range, which is something you don't get a lot of in school.

Anyway, I think I've gone on long enough. I had to vent. I'm just so wanting people to see that I'm not out of my gourd. I do know what I'm doing, and I know what's best for my children. I just wish that everyone else would give me that credit!

I hope you have a great day! Talk to you later!
posted by Christi at 10:57 AM | Permalink | 7 comments
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Fun in the sun...and pain to boot!
Today we celebrated my birthday by going to the beach. It was pretty cool. Trey's parents brought down KK and Mikey, and Julia's family joined us as well. We were a pretty big ol' group! The water was nice, and the waves were STRONG!

The girls spent most of their time playing in the sand, especially Taryn. The boys were all over the place! TJ learned to boogey-board, and he did an awesome job! Andrew was playing for a while, but he got sand in his eyes, I think, and ended up sitting out the end little part. Mikey, who's about a month older than Taryn, had to constantly be pulled back to the shore, b/c he was just going everywhere! He would run down the shore, and go flying into the water. He'd go right to where the waves would knock him down under the water, and wipe his face off and start again! He was definitely having a good time!

I had the privilege of having to catch my bathing suit bottom at my toes when one wave knocked me under and pulled it off! I had the top go up a few times, as well as the bottom try to fall almost every time the water hit me. Then there was the time I totally flashed a guy and his little girl! Yeah, that was nice. That was when I decided my time in the water was over. The poor people at the beach had seen enough of me for one day!

I've also decided that it's time to invest in a new bathing suit. I'm embarrassed to admit that I'm still wearing my maternity bathing suit. It used to stretch really well, and it went back to small after I'd wear it. Now, though, the stretch is pretty much lost (helped along today as Mikey got knocked over, and as he fell grabbed my bathing suit...I looked down and he was floating two feet away from me, still gripped tightly to it!), and it's just too big for me. I've finally ungrown my maternity bathing suit. I'm kinda sad, though. It's really comfy, and it's got the whole built-in skirt thing going on. Of course, now the skirt goes all the way down to my knees, which is just too much. I'm hoping I can find one on clearance somewhere pretty soon. That one just needs to go in the trash!

Oh, and I failed to mention the wonderful HELLACIOUS BURN I got, too. Yeah, that would be where the pain came in. I made sure to cover the kids from head to toe in sunscreen, as well as Trey. Then when it came to me, I decided I needed a little color. So, I sprayed my face and my shoulders, which now have nice little white spots surrounded by flaming red! My back hurts SO MUCH! I took a cold shower, and I could feel the cold water on my head. However, by the time it hit my back it was boiling hot. Yeah, I'm an idiot! I'm not sure what I was thinking, but man, did I learn a valuable lesson today!
posted by Christi at 9:11 PM | Permalink | 7 comments
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
One messed up woman!
That would be an accurate way to describe me. Today, I went to see a psychiatrist, in the hopes of finding out what exactly is wrong with me. Boy, did I get what I wanted!

So, it appears as though I didn't just stop at one disorder, but took a little taste of them all. My newest doctor told me that I am moderately bipolar, which my mom has contended for a LONG time, and now should feel justified in correctly diagnosing! As a matter of fact, perhaps she should start a psychiatric clinic of her own, and hook me up with free therapy! I also have OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder), which I've always known, just didn't think it was worth worrying about. He said it is not too extreme, but it is the disorder and not just obsessive-compulsive traits, b/c I have intrusive thoughts that I can't control and that have nothing to do with the rest of my life (that would make much more sense if I told you how he came to this conclusion, but I'd rather not). Lastly, I'm going tomorrow to get tested to find out if I have ADHD, which he thinks I do. I told him about how I've always turned into an obnoxious jerk in large groups of people, and how I'd like to be normal and seen less like a loud idiot and more like a smart person. That seemed to settle it for him.

On the plus side, my memory is just balloon car (he told me to remember those, and then would ask me at random times if I did). He gave me a mood stabilizer, which in time will hopefully get me on track and help me to control my brain. Undoubtedly my days where I can't find the motivation to do anything, followed by my days where I can't stop doing stuff or calm down are depressive and manic phases. Who knew!

So what does this all mean for me? I mean, my life is pretty much alright overall, right? Mostly. What I hope it means is that I will be able to get myself better organized and actually follow through on plans and thoughts. I hope it will help me better control myself in public situations, and people will stop being shocked when they find out I'm not just a loudmouthed freak. I hope it will help me to focus my thoughts more, and make it so I can give my life structure, and successfully homeschool my children! I see lots of positive outcomes from this undertaking, if it works as he said, and as I hope!

Well, I guess I'd better be going now. Trey's waiting on me. We're going to watch Big Love, which promises to be AWESOME this week!

Oh, and one more thing that I just can't get used to. It's still freaking me out! The boy can WALK!
posted by Christi at 9:13 PM | Permalink | 9 comments
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Getting old...
So Thursday is my birthday. I'm going to be 29. Yep, one more year till I'm over the hill...

Okay, okay, I know 30 isn't over the hill, but it sure feels like it lately. Let's see: This past week my back has been killing me. I don't know if I pulled something or what. I do know that doing a paper route w/a sore back does not help. Then there's my right hand. I just found out the other day that I have carpal tunnel syndrome in it, and that it's moderate for now. What does that mean? Well, that for now I won't have to have surgery on it, but that it's coming soon enough. Speaking of paper routes, pain and numbness in your hand and arm do not help, either. I can add that to the ganglion cyst I have in my left wrist, which tends to hurt at times I'd rather it didn't. I've had a hella-bad headache on and off for hours on end for the last few weeks. Oh, did I mention that I can't drink or eat sugar free stuff anymore b/c it makes me sick to my stomach? Yeah, that cut out pretty much everything I drink besides milk and water. Just to add to the list, I'll point out that I have a cold sore on my lip right now, and a canker sore in my mouth. OUCH!

Yeah, so I'm feeling my age lately. I crave sleep, and b/t my aching back and my hurting hand (no, really it's the children more than the hand), I get nothing done during the day. If it's this bad now, imagine how it's going to be when I actually AM an old lady! Now I see why you're supposed to stop having kids while you're still young. I couldn't imagine catching little ones and trying to hold my walker all at the same time!

Another reason I'm feeling old: I seem to have lost my mind. This morning, on my paper route that I can do in my sleep (and often do!), I somehow managed to miss two entire streets! I can't imagine how that happened, but it did. I knew something was up when I finished and had lots and lots of papers left over. Unfortunately, I didn't figure out what I'd done till it was too late to correct the problem, and it cost me five complaints. Igh! Tonight, I went to Julia's, and we played UNO. She asked me about ten times if I had a draw 2 card so I didn't have to draw 2 cards, and I said no. Then, minutes later I went to use it, and realized I'd had one all along! Who'd have thought that the little 2 in the corner with the + next to it meant draw 2! Yep, it's settled, I've lost it!

Do I even dare to mention the massive amount of gray hair I have to dye, and how I have to buy the special kind for extensive gray coverage...and how even that doesn't make all of the grays turn brown?!

I suppose it would be wise for me to go ahead and plan out my funeral. Perhaps I should seriously be thinking about getting a life insurance policy before it's too late! I'm getting an ADHD test on Tuesday, and I just know they're going to tell me it's not ADHD at all, but that Alzheimer's has kicked in and I'm on the fast track to mindlessness!

Don't ya just love getting older?
posted by Christi at 10:19 PM | Permalink | 8 comments
Thursday, August 09, 2007
My Path...
Do you ever question your path in life? Do you wonder if maybe you chose one that was below what you are capable and deserving of? I usually don't, but the other day I got to thinking about just that.

Julia got me to sign up for Facebook to see what it's all about. If you're thinking about it, my advice is don't waste your time. I don't get what's so great about it. I've heard so much about MySpace, and I'm not impressed w/it, either. I do like it more than Facebook, though, b/c you don't have to be approved just to look around. Anyway, back to my story...So I joined, and was doing a search to find anyone I know. I stumbled across this guy that I went to high school with. I asked him to be my friend, or whatever it is on there.

The next day I got an email saying he'd agreed, and that he was now on my Facebook. Yippee. I went to check him out. Okay, one, he was little and cute in high school. Now, he's HOT! Two, he's some big fancy graphic something or other in California. He had pics of his fun life and whatnot. We're the same age, yet we have taken COMPLETELY different paths.

I didn't know him all that well in high school, yet I don't remember bumping into him in any of my Honors classes, so I'm guessing he was just an average Joe. I'm not bragging or anything, but I was in the top five percent of my class of over 700, up near the top (I think in the top 20). I mean, that's not a big deal or anything, but school was always easy for me, and I always just figured I'd put all of that education toward something of vast importance in the world or something. I tutored both volunteer and paid, I volunteered in a library, I volunteered other places, I won awards for writing and the like, I was active in the band, I was in other school clubs...I was an outgoing and dedicated student who seemed to be on the track to success.

In college, I wasn't quite as active in the extra-curricular stuff, but mostly that was b/c I was too busy working to support myself at three jobs, along with going to school full-time and getting good grades. The most project-filled and hardest academic semester we had, I was busy planning and carrying out my wedding. It didn't phase me. I'm tellin' ya, school has always been easy. I've never been at the absolute top, but I know it's b/c I've never put in 100%. I found out I could be pretty damn near it w/o even trying, so I took that route instead!

I just knew in my heart that when I started teaching, I would teach for a few years, then I would move up to head of Special Education, then up into Administration. I'd make things good for all of my fellow teachers and help education move forward in the world. Things were okay for the few years I did teach. I loved the actual teaching part, but the morons who'd already made it to administration positions were really ruining it for me. I guess they noticed my adversity to the way they did things, and thus asked me to be on my merry way. I couldn't have been happier.

Now it comes to this. Here I am now, a newspaper delivery carrier. Any idiot off of the street could do that job. Okay, well, that's not true. I have seen many an idiot come and go, many of which I trained myself. However, I do know a lot of idiots who do it for a living, and do a great job at it! Needless to say, if you can read and drive, then you're set. I have a monthly student loan bill that's going to pay for an education I used for all of three years, if that.

Honestly, I wondered at the time if maybe I shouldn't do something more flashy and "successful" out there in the world. I think it'd be fun to work with computers at some fun place like Google. I'd love to make movies, and be part of the team that adds all of the special effects. I'd love to be some kind of mover and shaker out there in the world. Instead, I decided to teach. I'm not saying that teaching isn't important, but honestly, it's kind of, you know, a normal job. It's one of those careers they taught you about when you were little. You could either be an astronaut, a doctor, a fireman, or a teacher. Apparently, I didn't do my research and find out just how many careers out there have nothing to do w/those categories they taught us about in school!

However, it gets worse. Now, not only am I not a teacher, I'm doing a job that any ol' guy with a car can do right off the street. No prior education needed. Look, I get that what I do IS important. I believe deep down that staying at home and raising my children myself, and hopefully homeschooling them, is of utter importance. I know that my way right now to change the world and make it better is to take the time to raise three children who will go out into the world and set the example of goodness and do great things. It's a big, and definitely the most challenging, responsibility, and I am prepared to rise to the challenge and succeed. But...sometimes I just feel like I could be doing more. I mean, there are all those parents out there that do work and send their children to daycare and school, and those kids come out just fine. I don't really want that for my children, but maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I should be getting up at 6 am instead of going to bed then, and toting my kids off to a loving daycare where they can socialize with lots of other children and Mommy can go off and spread her ideas to others who can carry on a normal, adult conversation. I just don't know.

I remember they said when we were growing up that we could be whatever we want to be when we grew up. That is so entirely untrue. If you don't have someone to point you on that right path early, then you're already behind. If you don't have the skills needed, then you're already behind. If you happen to have three small children, then the chances of doing whatever you want are slim to none. I don't regret one single second having had my three babies. If it were up to me, I'd have ten more. I love them, and they make every single day wonderful. Sometimes, just sometimes, though, I wonder if maybe I was meant to be a jet-setter. Maybe I was supposed to do something flashy, like travel the world selling expensive trinkets to companies that need them to stay in business. Who knows. I just hate feeling so unsettled.
posted by Christi at 9:04 PM | Permalink | 5 comments
Friday, August 03, 2007
Happy Birthday, my Love!
Today my lovely hubby turns 31. He is so OLD! Happy Birthday, Trey! I couldn't have asked for a better husband! You are a great dad, and good to me, too. You work soooo hard so we can have a good life. I just want you to know that we all sincerely appreciate it, more than you will ever know. I LOVE YOU!

Julia came over w/the kids today, and we made Trey a cake. I was originally going to just make the same ol' cake we always do. However, while I was looking for the little decorating squirty thing, I saw fondant. Do you know about this fondant? Oh, it's my new favorite thing, and I want to use it ALL the time now!

The kids helped me mix the batter, so they did help. However, they weren't that interested in decorating, which was fine w/us. Julia and I had SO MUCH FUN decorating Trey's cake! It was like Play-Doh made of sugar. We were completely clueless as to what to do, so Julia started messing around and made a little frog. I thought it looked cool, and there was a messed up spot on the top of the cake, so I stuck it on top of it. Somehow, that led to a lake theme. Then, we added shells and an octopus, so it became a beach theme, w/a frog! I don't care, though, b/c it's SO COOL! Yeah, sure, it's a little lopsided (neither one of us is exactly what you would call a baker!), and it basically looks like a kid made it, but like I said, it was so much fun to do! We decided we're going to go to her house on my birthday and make my cake! Trey likes it, too, so that's also a plus! The only thing we don't know yet is how it tastes. We're keeping it till tomorrow for the little cookout we're going to have for Trey's birthday. I hope it's good.

Have a great day! I'll see you later!
posted by Christi at 9:47 PM | Permalink | 7 comments
Thursday, August 02, 2007
With silver bells and cockle shells...
Well, minus the silver bells, of course!

I have to say, it was not the easiest of things to get my butt in gear and put together a theme unit for my kids. Especially since I wanted Taryn to be involved, and thus I would need to make it somewhat understandable for her. Not to mention the fact that I really do have a hard time getting my brain to do what I tell it to took a lot of effort on my part to stay focused and actually finish the plan. However, I am SO HAPPY I did! My kids are LOVING learning about the ocean so far!

Yesterday we did volcanoes and islands, and how the beach is made. We read a book to start it off, then looked at pictures of volcanoes and talked about how they work. Then they colored pictures of a volcano, which we are going to use soon to make a big ocean scene (once I get some big, blue paper to hang somewhere on the wall and find the right wall for it!). After that, we watched a video on YouTube about volcanoes, which I thought would mostly be enjoyed for the fun song, but TJ actually was very interested in the different pictures of volcanoes and how they were made up! Once we had watched that three times, yes, three times, we made volcanoes out of play-doh. It took a lot of help on my part to get them shaped right, but they did have some input in it. I have never actually made a volcano before, so I was pleasantly surprised and super pleased at how easy it was and how well it worked. We must have made them explode at least a thousand times! TJ LOVED it! Taryn thought it was cool for a bit, then decided that wondering aimlessly around the house with her blanket would be a bit more fun!

Get this: Last night we went downtown w/Trey's sister and her kids, and as we were walking to a restaurant to get some dessert, Trey stopped to look at a dresser in a window covered in shells. I snapped at him to hurry up, b/c Taryn was being cranky, and I didn't want it to take any longer than necessary to get home. As we walked away, though, I thought, "Hmmm, I wonder if that store sells shells individually?" Guess what, they did! There was a whole room full of shells, little ones, big ones, all types! It was great! I ended up getting a bag of tiny ones that we are going to use to make a beach in a jar later (gotta get some sand still), and some medium sized ones to look at and learn about. TJ and Taryn were in hog heaven. Every three seconds they would grab another shell and yell, "LOOK, MOMMY!" "MOMMY, CHECK IT OUT!" TJ never wanted to leave. How great was that!

For today's lesson on shells, we read Seashells by the Seashore, then looked at the shells we bought last night. We compared them and tried to find matches in our book. Then we matched them according to size, shape, color, and all that good stuff. We picked our favorites, then moved on. Next, we read A House for Hermit Crab, and talked about the animals inside of shells, and why they leave them (like when you grow out of your clothes and shoes). We also talked about making his shell special to live in, like we decorate our own house. They colored a picture of shells, and we did a matching game with different colored paper shells, and then it was time to paint and decorate our own shells! Taryn was kinda here and there throughout the lesson, but she was all over it when it was time to paint! They did an awesome job, and all I have to say is that this is such a great motivator! I'm all on board to homeschool now! I mean, yeah, I know they won't always be this interested, and we won't always have this much fun, but still, it's a good way to start!

PS-That extra person is Katie, my neice. She wanted to do it with us, and I think she may have actually enjoyed it!

Talk to you later! Have a great day!
posted by Christi at 2:15 PM | Permalink | 5 comments
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
What have I been up to lately, you ask? Well, let me tell you...

Last week I died my hair again. This time I was going for purple highlights over my newly darkened brown hair. They started off pretty much purply-pink, but each day my shampoo lather is pink and they get lighter (which is strange, since they're supposed to be permanent). Trey, however, is not upset by this, b/c he HATES them. He makes sure to tell me at least once a day how much he hates my hair. I was trying to go for a streaky kind of look, but I put a couple too many in, and now it just looks like a light covering (mostly b/c of how frizzy my hair gets). I'm not as in love w/them as I had hoped I'd be, but I don't dislike them. I figure I'll let my hair be pinkish for a while, then I'll go back and dye it back to brown all over again. No harm done. I just wanted to try something different, and it's done. Maybe next I'll go w/green! What I get the biggest kick out of is the fact that I get treated a bit differently by people. In a few places people have acted like I'm a total idiot, even though when I speak to them I sound perfectly intelligent and am dressed rather conservatively. Yes, my hair is my science experiment in psychology!

Cole is now getting his second tooth, and MAN is he needy! If I put him down he loses it, and that's most of the day! It makes it rather hard to get much accomplished. He's also walking all over the place now, and it's just so damn cute! Last night I was watching a video on YouTube w/a cool song on it, and he was dancing like crazy. It was so adorable, b/c he seemed like he had no control, like his body just couldn't stop itself from moving to the music! He'd look at me all confused, like, "Hey, why is my body bouncing and wiggling like this?"

Oh, and my nightly affair w/Harry is coming closer to an end. I'm over half done (yes, I'm a slow reader), and that's upsetting b/c I never want it to end! Of course, I'm getting anxious to see what's going to happen, so I can't stop now!

Today is the official day that I attempt my first real themed lesson w/the kids. It's going to be about the beach and the ocean. It should last about two to three weeks, depending on how much we get done each day. I've never attempted this w/them before, and it's the most structured thing I've ever taught them. So far, I've read books about the ocean and beach to them, and we've talked about learning about it. Even Taryn's excited. Last night I let them watch The Little Mermaid, which I know isn't really the best learning tool, but we talked about all the ocean creatures we saw as we watched it, so....I'll go into more detail later about what I'm planning to do. Please wish me luck, though, b/c I know I'll need it!

Alright, talk to you later. Have a great day!
posted by Christi at 6:44 AM | Permalink | 4 comments