Saturday, October 11, 2014

For a Moment in Time...

It's time to update those sidebars again...The (darling) pictures I had up of the kids were between one and five years old! The latest good pictures I have of the kids are from the summer, because that's when my artist mother visited - with her camera.

Before I go changing those lists of what the children are into at this point in time, I like to preserve the last one in a blog post. So here is what Xander and Nick used to be excited about, for a moment in time:

For a moment in time, Xander loves:

  • A Child's History of the World
  • knights and castles books
  • meeting friends at the playground
  • Paddington books
  • The Wind in the Willows
  • building with any kind of blocks
  • Wizard101
  • reading by himself
  • imagining and playing adventures
  • Usborne Greek Myths
  • Life of Fred books
  • play-fighting with Nick
  • pets and stuffed animals
  • helping out with chores
  • Nature specials
  • superhero movies
  • Wild Kratts
  • music!
  • redoing Lego minifigures
  • holding and petting Sandy
  • observing birds and squirrels

Nick loves:

  • making Duplos creations
  • wooden blocks
  • his National Geographic Mummies book
  • his pirates book
  • the Sharks book from the library
  • cooking ALL THE TIME
  • playing on the playground
  • the Myths and Legends book
  • Imaginext toys
  • watching Imaginext Youtube videos
  • Xander
  • Daddy
  • chocolate milk
  • singing or humming on any occasion
  • children's songs
  • animals in the ark
  • drawing
  • the Sphinx
  • the Mona Lisa
  • playing dress-ups with Xander
  • putting on a show whenever he can see himself (mirror, computer)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Home Pleasures

I have stayed at home with my children since the oldest was born. It has been wonderful and just what I always wanted. Now I will be going out and getting a full-time job outside the home. Undeniably, both working (outside the home) mothers and stay-at-home mothers have their unique challenges to face. All types of mothers and fathers have their deep sacrifices to make. I know that working outside the home while still being a quality wife and mother sounds daunting to me and I am relying on strength outside myself to help me through.

These are some of the things I will miss not being home all day:

Letting growing children sleep in until they wake naturally.

Having plenty of time to teach life skills.

Reading from several great books per day.

To be perfectly honest, communing with my Facebook friends at different times of the day.

The extra energy I sometimes have to do extroverted things because I am home most of the time feeding my introvert.

Making most of our food from scratch. (Might still be able to do this, but it is going to get much more challenging.)

Hours of time to spend with my husband in the evenings.

Getting and giving about 15 hugs a day.

Letting my children follow their passions even if everything takes longer that way. Xander has become a history buff who is getting pretty good at taking pictures. Nick tells us long tales filled with his favorite characters every day. Math is a fun and silly subject for us, not a forbidding and avoided one. *Sigh.*

With all that said, I have a second interview for a job this afternoon and, honestly, I will be lucky and grateful if I get the job. When you need one, you need one.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

5 Ways Being a Runner Will Help You in the Zombie Apocalypse

All of you runners out there, I think you're going to have a pretty good chance when the zombie crisis arrives. Here are my top 5 reasons why:

1. Injuries

Anyone who has run for a length of time can attest to the fact that runners often continue running on minor troubles, twitches, aches, pains, ailments, and injuries. This will help them carry on when their zombie-bitten ankle has to be amputated.

2. Grossness Tolerance

Maybe the less said about this the better, but any experienced competitive runner knows that, when you're pushing your body to the limits, gross bodily things can happen. In the middle of races. And you don't stop.

You don't stare, either, when it happens to someone else. It's part of running life, in the long distances. Time is not wasted on shock or horror.

This will obviously come in handy amidst the gore and grime of a postapocalyptic society. You will remain alert while other poor sods are shell-shocked.

3. Endurance

This one falls in the "duh" category. But when the zombies show up, it will definitely come in handy to feel no fatigue after a mile or two of steady running (away). The highway traffic pile-ups and lack of gasoline won't really bother you. 40 miles to Atlanta? That's only slightly more than two days' worth of long runs.

4. The Smell

Mayhem is going to smell bad. Rotting is going to smell bad.

No big deal. Have you smelled your favorite running shoes lately? Yeah, that's a good approximation. You can even practice for the apocalypse. Put your face near your shoes (best if it's after a particularly rainy run) and breathe deeply, once a week or so.

5. Food Storage

In your pantry, you may have stocked an assortment of energy foods and drinks. Chances are, you have at least one once-upon-a-trend substance that now sits on a shelf, unused. Protein powder? Gu? Gatorade in a powder or liquid form? Whey? Chia seeds? Hey, super good news! You can use all of those up when the food runs out! They're pretty much nonperishable and they will give you zombie-outlasting energy.

If you have not taken up running yet, you might want to consider...

Friday, October 11, 2013

A Doctor's Running Advice

Here I am doing something which is most definitely NOT one of my hobbies. I decorate cakes out of necessity only; if a doctor ever told me to give up cake decorating, I would not miss a thing.

Three years ago, my son and I were in a car accident. It was raining, and a car to our left inexplicably skidded across in front of us. I couldn't think quickly enough to avoid it; in fact, in my shock, I went the absolute wrong way and we collided at about 60 mph.

The nightmare came about 10 to 20 seconds after impact. It took that long to figure out what had happened. Then I called my son's name. Those seconds between deciding to call his name and hearing his answer were the nightmare.

Luckily, he was fine. We got checked out at the hospital and he was fine other than a couple scratches. I had something along the lines of bleeding rug burn across my chest and a swelling knee, but was otherwise okay.

That was all great, except for the minor driving phobia I acquired. I almost couldn't stand it when I had to drive my children to school in the rain. Gradually, I got over the phobia part, but I still slow way down in the rain and try not to drive in bad weather unless it's absolutely necessary. Actually, I also try to avoid heavy hours of traffic. I have the luxury of being able to do so, for the most part, because we homeschool.

As kind of a sidenote, I went to a doctor to get my knee checked out. It hurt sometimes, and had a small swollen place underneath. She advised me to stop running until I didn't feel pain at all.

For various reasons, I stopped running for about a year. Whenever I tried slowly starting back up again, I would feel my knee, and I would stop. After a while, I gave up her advice as useless and ran when I could. Other family obligations came first, though, so I didn't get into really good shape.

Now I am ramping up my mileage, slowly. I'm definitely challenging myself more than I have in many, many years. Guess what feels stronger? My knee.

By the way, in the heavily researched Lore of Running, Dr. Tim Noakes says runners should always go to a doctor who runs himself or herself.

Each injury is or can be different from each other injury, and many factors play into its healing and the advice a doctor would give. If something different had happened to my knee, I might have had a different outcome. The jury is still not out. Maybe, in future, I will regret running on it again.

But I doubt it.

(Do I have to do the disclaimer? I'm not a doctor. Don't take my advice. :) )

Thursday, October 10, 2013

How Much?

back when I wasn't running again, yet, because there really is only so much you can do well

Is it possible for one person to run, I mean as in training hard, and keep house and make meals, and homeschool, and be a good parent, and delve into scholarly study herself, and be a good spouse, and get enough rest? This is the question I'm thinking about these days.

I'm not thinking about in an emergency way or a beating-myself-up way. Just thinking. And trying.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


I'm changing up the look of the blog again. What can I say, I get bored.

I noticed that I have on the sidebar lists of things the boys love "at this moment in time." "This moment in time" was about two years ago. Before I erase things like that, I preserve them. I want to remember "this moment in time!"

These lists need to be updated, but a remarkable chunk of both is still relevant.

So here's Xander's old one and then Nick's below:

For a moment in time, Xander loves:

  • his cousin Bailey
  • talking, especially describing Legos
  • inviting classmates over for playdates
  • Mrs. Griffin
  • Lego sets and more Lego sets
  • poring over Lego brochures
  • Lego videos and computer games
  • reading by himself
  • imagining and playing adventures
  • his Mythology book
  • saying he is starving TO DEATH, Mom!
  • play-fighting with Nick
  • pets and stuffed animals
  • learning, baking, doing activities
  • Nature specials, esp. dinosaur ones
  • singing, especially with Nick at the dinner table
  • reciting what he's learned at school
  • Cedarmont Kids' songs
  • doing "what he's supposed to" at school
  • holding and petting Sandy
  • school

Nick loves:

  • riding the tricycle
  • his new wagon
  • Teddy Bear and Pooh
  • touching my hair when it's down
  • being tickled or touching foreheads
  • talking on the phone
  • running "super fast"
  • reading ocean-related books to himself for hours a day
  • puppets - he's not scared anymore
  • balloons!
  • Xander
  • Daddy
  • Cheetos and Jello, unfortunately
  • singing or humming on any occasion
  • children's songs
  • animals in the ark
  • drawing
  • throwing balls
  • playing figures during playtime
  • loudly singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star"
  • putting on a show whenever he can see himself (mirror, computer)

Monday, October 7, 2013

School Today...

School today:

Up, read magazines together on the couch. (The kids wake up too early, probably because I am up to go running.)

Breakfast. I help make some of it, the kids make some of their own food.

They watch an Adventures in Virtue video about honesty.

Morning tasks with Children's Miracle Music.

I recite the Pledge of Allegiance and the Texas state pledge. At least Nick was listening.

I play songs from our special Quiet Time playlist. It includes some of the kids' favorites, some of my favorite soothing songs, a few math songs, and some folk songs we like.

Kids do some chores.

I have leftover lasagna and salad for lunch. The kids have homemade gingerbread and milk and homemade crusty bread. Salad for snack, I promise.

Kids play Legos and Duplos together...for hours. We put on the Surprises According to Humphrey audiobook. The series of books about Humphrey, the classroom hamster, is fluff to me, but the kids adore every bit of it. I let them listen to audiobooks during lunchtime.

Meanwhile, I further my own education by participating in a couple of Facebook book/course discussions.

I also put together more formalized collections of our homeschool curricula and plans.

Nick has a snack of homemade yogurt (I've finally figured out a homemade yogurt recipe that even the kids like!), homemade refried beans, and, yes, salad.

Later, we will go grocery shopping and read aloud the pile of books I had planned to read to them today.

Yesterday included family time, bike riding time, and grammar/spelling/writing time in a couple of activity books the boys were excited about.

Off topic: Nick looks so much older to me as of yesterday!!