Thursday, July 27, 2006

Snowball fight

My friend Gregory suggested that I freeze some snow balls last winter and save them for summer. I've always wanted to do that, but never had. So today we finally pulled a few of them out of the freezer and let them melt all over us outside which inevitably ended in a very short, but wet snow ball shower. We discovered that if you pretend to throw the snow ball once it has begun to melt it sprays your target quite effectively. Thanks Gregory for the fun idea...I'm saving one for you if you ever make it back to Baltimore ;)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

School Supplies

I love school supplies. I especially love brand new school supplies, the smell of freshly sharpened pencils, the crispness of pristine composition books, and the sound of a just opened box of crayons. My orders for books, curricula, and other supplies have just been submitted to Rainbow Resource Center and There is a twinge of excitement knowing that in a few weeks packages will be arriving in the mail. This year we are psyched to be studying Medieval times - Renaissance, and Geology and Space. What could be more fun for little boys to study than knights and castles and planets and galaxies? Because we only just finished reading tonight about the fall of the Roman empire, I have decided to begin school the first week of August. I'm hoping that an early start will take some of the pressure off later in the year when we feel the need for an extended holiday.

Last year was a difficult one, homeschooling only added to the difficulty and stress, but this (academic) year is "brand new with no mistakes in it". I feel free to focus my attentions on more complex tasks and even have the capacity to plan ahead once again. The divorce created a foggy haze over time so that, in the beginning I could see only one day at a time. Eventually, as it lifted, I could look a week or two into the future and schedule things, but more than a month ahead was just inconceivable. Now I'm thinking through the school year, scheming my next birthday party and even anticipating next summer's family reunion and beach vacation (Lord willing). I can hardly comprehend that a year has passed since my trip to Japan, that my baby daughter is now finally potty-trained, that my seven year old son can draw better than some of my former 7th grade students ever could, and that my 5 year old son is writing me letters to tell me about his feelings! So even though I felt like in many ways I didn't accomplish all I had hoped to over the past year, under the circumstances, we did quite well.

While we won't have all the fresh workbooks, colored pencils and crisp texts yet to begin next week, we do have plenty to keep us busy until all the packages arrive.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Twister casualty

Today while shopping I decided to buy a new game for our family. K has been getting into board games and asks daily, if not hourly if I'll play monopoly with him (which I'm already tiring of). So I bought Twister. It's something somewhat active, reinforces cooridination, balance, and skills like color and right and left identification. It's an educational but fun game, and one of my favorites. They were excited to get started as soon as they came back from M's tonight and so, while the oven was heating up for me to put in dinner, we played a quick game. This game ended suddenly when I fell knee first right onto the tip of my left middle finger. Those cartoon depictions of what happens when a finger gets smashed is no exaggeration. Somehow I managed to hold in all the nasty things I wanted to blurt out while clutching my wounded digit in agony. I think all that the kids heard me say was, "Owwwwwwwwwwwwwww owww owwwwowww". I can't type with that finger which is making for beaucoup typos, sorry if I don't catch all of them. The whole underside of the tip is black and blue, but since I just painted my finger nails red the other day, I'm not sure how the nailbed is. I'm sure it's gonna get real purty.
The kids continued to play several more games, and I got the job as "Spinner". Six hours and 2 naprosin later and it's still throbbing.

***Update: After looking up some info on the net and talking to some friends who are experienced with broken fingers, I have concluded that I probably sustained a stable fracture. I don't want to pay $300 for an xray and expert opinion when really the only treatment is to splint it and immobilize it for about 4 weeks. The splint was about $3 at'll be just fine, eventually. And this is my first broken bone EVER.

Monday, July 10, 2006

In stitches

You'd think that since I'm a seamstress, seeing my 7 year old son's knee being stitched together after a bad fall wouldn't faze me. I thought I had a tough constitution when it came to these kinds of things... In high school biology the other girls in my lab group wouldn't do any disecting of the critters. They left all the gorey cutting and removing of organs to me. I found it completely fascinating and wondered on occasion if I had what it takes to be a nurse or doctor or even a veterinarian... So, when Dr. Bala started to poke around in K's knee to determine if it was numb enough to be sutured (it wasn't, by the way and required more anesthetic) ewwww, I started to feel a little queezy. I watched him sew and admired his technique, but as soon as he tied off the fourth and last stitch and snipped the blue thread, I felt the room swooshing. I nearly fainted, which is highly unusual for me.

On top of all that drama, I couldn't find the insurance card, forgot my cell phone, forgot my wallet, forgot my checkbook... I did have my purse with me, which was full of useless junk. I happened to take out my wallet at home to check for the insurance card and forgot to put it back in. My phone had been charging but was finished, and my checkbook usually resides in my bag, but for some reason it had taken a brief vacation. Several years ago, all this unpreparedness might have sent me into a mild panic attack, but I guess I've learned somewhere along the line that it isn't the end of the world when you forget those important things, it's just a complete nuisance.

K was a soldier through it all (after the initial high-pitched screams resulting from his painful fall and the sight of his own blood). I think he enjoyed (and is still enjoying) all the special attention.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Memorial Gardens

On Saturday I went to the grave site of my late sister. I hadn’t been there in at least 10 or 12 years. It was a tough visit, but I got to tell her some things that were on my mind lately, and just cry and sit a while. It’s a beautiful place. I’m still glad I chose the plot near the pond, not that it matters to her very much, but for me and others to visit it’s really peaceful and lovely. This month marks the 17th anniversary of her death. While there, I realized that I have now lived more of my life without her, than with her. I still miss her.