Tuesday, May 26, 2015

new lows

Last week was the last week of school.  Jake was in England.  I was still recovering from the month of April, which I'll write about sometime soon.  I was pooped. 

Saturday night, it was 7:30 and Claire reminded me we hadn't eaten dinner yet.  I cooked some penne pasta and felt like a champ for getting some vegetables on the table.  But then, as I was taking the noodles to the table, the pan slipped and the noodles went all over the floor.  I just stood there staring.  Maybe the kids sensed I was nearing nuclear melt-down.  Maybe Claire couldn't violate the "Dinner has to be eaten before 8:00" rule.  I don't know.  But those kids said, "It's okay, Mom," and ATE OFF THE FLOOR.  As luck would have it, and before you start dry-heaving, be informed I had wiped up the floor in that spot earlier in the day.  Not that that prevented comments like, "I can't eat this one--there's something gross on it."

Monday, May 4, 2015

non-traditonal multiplication cards

One of my kids can't memorize multiplication facts the old-fashioned way.  Doesn't matter how many times we go through the flash cards, after 24 hours the facts are gone from the brain, leading to frustration all around.

We tried Right Brain Multiplication Cards from Diane Craft.  I'll give her this: it's a good idea.  I'll give you this: if your kid has this same problem, have the kid make up their own cards.  Trust me, his/her drawings will be just as good.  If he/she/you is/are an artist, they'll be much better.  Or do what we did, and don't make cards; just make up stories.

We like Harry Potter here, so I assigned every number a Harry Potter character.  For example: 7 is Ginny Weasley, 4 is Dumbledore, and 9 is Hermione.  The story that goes with 7 x 7 = 49 is this: Ginny said to herself, "Dumbledore must like Hermione more than me.  That's why he left her a book in his will.  He didn't leave me anything!"  Don't worry what morals your stories teach.  The objective is to get the facts memorized, and this works for my kid.   There.  I just saved you $35.

July 2015 update: never mind.  This idea doesn't stick much better than anything else.  I want to give up.

Friday, May 1, 2015

“For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and laugh at them in our turn?”

If you don't recognize that quote, start reading Jane Austen IMMEDIATELY.  You've yet to live.

Some years Lynsey orchestrates a home-made Christmas gift exchange among us siblings.  One year the theme was "make something that hangs from a car's rear-view mirror."  I still use and cherish the Star Trek ornament Swiss made for me.  However, the ornament you see below is falling apart and had to be thrown away.  Lex made it for Jake.  There used to be a word bubble above Jake's head that said, "What da hell?"  Lex kindly made it removable so we wouldn't have to expose the kids to cuss words if we didn't want to.

He photoshopped a wedding day pic and one of my bridal pics to create this masterpiece.  As you can see, some of my photos included close encounters with a tree.  Lex and Justin have gotten more punchlines from that photo shoot than from my Junior Miss video, and that's saying something.

nothing gold can stay

You might recall a true story at the end of this post about a little girl we'll call Becca.  Becca recently told her mom, "Some of the girls chase boys at school."

Mom: Do you do that?

Becca: No!

Mom: Do Meg and Hailey do that?

Becca, shrugging: I don't know.

Mom, concerned because last she'd heard, Becca, Meg, and Hailey were all best buds: Do you play by yourself now at recess?

Becca: Yeah.

Mom: Did Meg and Hailey start playing games you don't like?

Becca: I don't know the details so stop asking questions.

Mom emails the teacher, because she can't stand not knowing. 

Teacher writes back: Over the past month or so she has started to not play with her peers at recess. It’s not that the girls don’t want play with her. It seems Becca likes to play by herself. She won’t join a game or include herself into a game. If she is asked, she will join a game but she never pushes herself into the group. The kids (girls) like Becca so it’s not that. The boys are not mean to her either. I feel that it is the social interaction that is difficult for her. She does still go to the social group with Mrs. Mclean but it’s still pretty hard for her. I don’t think it helps that many of the girls in this grade level are powerful slightly pushy in a way ladies. I know that didn’t sound nice but hopefully you understand. Becca is not a pusher.

Mom is relieved bullying is not involved, and can relate to preferring one's own company, so she's not going to be too sad about it if Becca's not sad about it.