Category: Chi


Whew, we’ve embarked upon our 7th year here at Lamp Post Academy.  It’s crazy to think that it’s been this long. I never, in my wildest imaginings, saw myself as a homeschooler. I never would have thought that I would have the patience to not only parent my children, but teacher them, too. (Teacher can be a verb, right? heh) Yet, here I am, homeschooling my kids. I now have a 10th grader and 2 5/6 graders (I’ll get to the why’s of that in a my next post).

This year was even more complicated to plan than last year. Last year was the whole, CRAP CHI’S IN HIGH SCHOOL EVERYTHING COUNTS! And figuring out what all that entailed and how that was going to impact our days differently. It turns out, that after all the initial high school planning, 9th grade didn’t really change our daily work other than receiving grades. Which is funny, because the Littles saw me grading Chi’s work and decided they, too, wanted grades. So now it’s grades for everybody! You get a grade! You get a grade! And they love it. They love the process of grading and they love when they get a perfect score (which isn’t always) but it really makes them work harder, so I’ll take it.

Back to high school. This year is 10th grade and it sees us tackling harder and harder subjects; things I don’t feel comfortable teaching almost at all. Things like literature. (Which, yuck. I love to read. I’m a very prolific reader, but I never did find a love for literature class. I HATE, with extra tall capitals, diving deep into the who’s and what’s and why’s. I just want to read and enjoy. I like the way different authors put words together. Some are much better at it, where the words create a texture, than others, but I feel like that’s completely subjective.) Anyway, I set out to a) plan the literature works Chi will read this year, and b) find a resource (that’s secular) to teach it to him. THAT was an endeavor in and of itself.

Then there’s biology. Now, I feel pretty confident in my grasp of the subject because I rocked biology in high school and college, but you know, textbooks are still needed and then I had to find a resource for the labs that will be necessary.

Oh, and did I mention World History? Yes, I have found a really cool curriculum for that since it needs to be high school level and not the hodge podge stuff I’ve put together thus far. I love history and wanted to be a history teacher at one point, so I’ve got the history stuff down, but you know college pre-reqs need to be met.

After the end of year test, which Chi did exceptionally well on, I realized that not touching grammar at all in 9th grade, did him no favors. We focused on writing and he’s good, so I thought he had a handle on grammar, but apparently not. So I found a grammar curriculum that is designed for kids in his situation: lots of grammar exposure, no grammar mastery.

After those things were done, I then realized that Chi might be doing school work from sun up to sun down with all the extra reading and writing. So I decided to change the way his school day is going to look. That took a lot of deciding what could be truncated to two or three days a week and what should be every day. And realizing that some of the subjects will only run 3/4 of the weeks planned for the school year (full weeks of 4 or 5 days only) so that I can stagger some of the subjects over the course of the year.

Thus I came up with the following curriculum list, reading list, and course schedule for 10th grade. (I’m hoping all this work makes 11th and 12th easier to plan)

10th Grade Curriculum List

English 1 credit

  • Beyond the Book Report by Analytical Grammar (a paper writing boot camp)
  • Analytical Grammar by Analytical Grammar (a grammar boot camp)
  • Perrine’s Sound and Sense: An Introduction to Poetry (poetry)
  • Vocabulit by Perfection Learning (vocab)
  • World Literature

Foreign Language 1 credit

  • Rosetta Stone Level 2

Math 1 credit

  • Math U See Pre-Algebra by Demme Learning (finishing up)
  • Math U See Algebra (should finish)
  • Math U See Geometry (finishing up)

Science 1 credit

Social Studies 1 credit

Electives 2 credits

Supplementals

  • Study Island
  • Spider Island Logic
  • Spider Island Riddles
  • Reflex Math
  • Editor-in-Chief by Critical Thinking Co. (grammar)
  • Language Mechanic by Critical Thinking Co. (more grammar)

Chi finished all of the puzzle books he’d been working on and is no longer taking spelling. I’m keeping the vocabulit because it has really increased his vocabulary. The supplementals will be for “short” school days (days when we have other things going on or school weeks that are only a couple of days long). It’s basically general practice and reinforcement.

In addition to the listed subjects, Chi is still taking Handwriting Without Tears. It’s just for a few minutes every day, but his handwriting is seriously terrible and I really worry about what would happen if anyone else had to try and read it.

10th Grade Reading List

Not all of these will be delved into deeper than a book report gets you, or a detailed conversation with some comprehension questions. I’ve linked the resource I’m going to use. I’ve tried to leave some of the more difficult texts until 12th grade when we’ve had more experience with this sort of thing and I’ve put some of the more difficult books for this year near the end of this list so that Chi has more experience with this whole process before we tackle Shakespeare, say.

 

Chi’s Course Schedule

We will still be using the workboxes, but things will work a little differently this year. Firstly, not every subject will happen every day, and not all of them will happen at the same time (during the same weeks). For example: Poetry will take 16 weeks and Beyond the Book Report will take 21 so we’re going to do one and then the other rather than do them simultaneously.  Similarly, World History won’t take up all the weeks and will leave enough time to finish the second half of Geometry.

5 days a week (label on his workboxes will be MTWTF)

  • Vocabulit
  • Analytical Grammar
  • Math U See Pre-Algebra/Algebra
  • Handwriting Without Tears
  • Spanish
  • Programming
  • Beyond the Book Report/Poetry

3 days a week (label on his workboxes will be MWF)

  • World History/Geometry
  • Literature (most likely this will be one or two longer lessons with one just touching base. He will be required to read every day, in order to keep up with his reading.)

2 days a week (label on his workbox will be TT)

  • Music
  • Biology

1 Day a week (label on his workbox will be F)

  • Biology lab

And that about covers it. I’m pretty confident that this will stand for the rest of the year. However, if I don’t like a resource for one of the literary works, then I will have no problem switching. Except for the books that include the work and the study work, everything is free so I can easily pick and choose what I like as we go along.

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Well, Halloween has come and gone. My kids dressed up and threatened people for sugar along with their ravenous gang of friends. They’ve entered the time of the year I like least, when the perpetual sugar high from Halloween begins. It’s a sugar high that lasts through the end of the year thanks to holiday baking and stocking candy.

I was able to complete Pynni’s Weeping Angel and I didn’t have to threaten her within an inch of her life to get her to wear it, either. I cannot express to you the rush I felt when she WANTED to wear that costume and was determined to get it on almost two hours prior to trickertreating time. That rush, of having finished. That rush of her LIKING the results of my work. That rush of seeing her traipse along the sidewalk among her friends, completely satisfied with her costume. SUCH a rush.

I’ve made things for people before; worked really hard on them, but I don’t live near a vast majority of those people. I never see them wear what I make. Oh, sure, I get thank yous and lots of great feedback, but somehow, it isn’t the same. It is a GREAT feeling to see her unabashed enjoyment. And she was SO grateful! I was worried that she wouldn’t wear it. Not because she didn’t like it, but she balked so strongly whenever I had her try parts of it on. She would get embarrassed if anyone asked her about it. She didn’t want to be seen in the various parts and stages of this costume, but boy, how she owned the role, when she donned it in its entirety.IMG_1668

So after all the hard work and random moments of drama, The Weeping Angel was finished. I was glad that I’d planned in advance for Chi to be something other than another involved costume creation because I was tweaking Pynni’s costume until about 4pm on Halloween.

Chi decided he wanted to be a Ghostbuster. He likes them an inordinate amount for a kid who doesn’t like scary or freaky things. His costume was purchased and it came with a jumpsuit and a blow-up Proton Pack and gun thingy. He was over the top excited about being a Ghostbuster.

Pieces was the 10th Doctor. I got him a pinstriped suit and a Sonic Screwdriver. He already had the Converse. He, of course, was unbelievable cute in his suit “fixing” everything with his screwdriver. He was, also, super stoked to get dressed in his costume.

I went prepared when we went trickertreating this year. I brought bottles of water and a wagon. The wagon was to hold the costume parts my kids would inevitably shed through the course of the evening. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised when my kids kept all of their costumes on almost the whole evening. The only exception was Pynni and her wings. She wore them for probably 80% of the night, but they started getting heavy and she wanted to take them off. Which, wow! My kids have not once, EVER worn their entire costumes all night.

When Chi was Mario, he took off his mustache right away and his hat about 15 minutes into trickertreating (that’s 3 Halloweens). When Chi was Harry Potter, he removed his glasses right away and took off his robes and put down his wand about 15 minutes into trickertreating. When Pieces and Chi were Minecraft Steve and Armored Minecraft Steve, I ended up carrying two heads, an axe, and a sword. Tinkerbell? Wings. Wall-e? Uh, no wait, Pieces wore that all night. He wanted to sleep in it.

Ok, so wow, this post has gotten away from me. So here they are. My kids on Halloween.

Weeping Angel as seen in the Doctor Who episode "The Time of Angels".

Weeping Angel as seen in the Doctor Who episode “The Time of Angels”.

This past holiday season, Pynni got all caught up on her Doctor Who episodes. She was enthralled by the episode The Angels Take Manhattan. As a Doctor Who fan, myself, I find that episode incredibly sad. I won’t post any spoilers here except to say that the bad guys are the Weeping Angels. Hoo-boy. Pynni loves her some Weeping Angels.

So she decides she wants to be a Weeping Angel for next Halloween, read: 2013. I say, “Sure!” Because I like making things, I’m pretty crafty, and I’D APPARENTLY LOST MY EVER-LOVING MIND.

Then, as the year progressed, Pieces says he wants to be The Doctor, but not 11. No, not the most easily identifiable one, what with the bow-tie (Bow-ties are cool!) and the occasional Fez (Fez’s are cool!). Nope, he wants to be 10. Which, let’s face it, 10 may be the best character ever to have graced the small screen, but his Doctor outfit isn’t especially… out-standing. But, whatever, man! I can do that!

Right around that time, Chi says he wants to be a Dalek.

“A Cyberman, you say?” I ask.

“No, a Dalek,” says he.

“Not the 11th Doctor with the bow-tie, which is cool?” says I.

“Ex-ter-min-ate!” he says, in the best robotic imitation.

Work space chaos.

Work space chaos.

Alright! Sure! No problem! I’m making a Weeping Angel and somehow cobbling together a 10th Doctor, in between I can definitely whip up a Dalek!

Right.

So the plan was to start making and make through the spare time I had during the summer. I look back, now and laugh. Spare time?!? HA!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

The fabric I have the most of.

The fabric I have the most of.

About a week ago I started researching the costumes, gathering pictures and ideas and organizing my thoughts on the projects, in general. I realized that the Dalek was going to be a very involved costume if I was going to get Chi to wear it and that coupled with handmaking a Weeping Angel that will please Pynni was stressing me out.

So I got together a lot of pictures of different costume ideas for Chi to peruse, in the hopes that something would strike his fancy. I lucked out and he picked something both inexpensive, and already manufactured. So there’s that.

So now I have a pile of grey fabrics that don’t match because I couldn’t find enough of any one kind of cheap fabric. I’ve researched, measured, and drawn out the yoke that makes up the top of the WA’s dress using one of Pynni’s dresses for a guide. I have a general idea of what I need to do to make the draping of the dress happen.

These WILL be angel wings when I'm done. I think.

These WILL be angel wings when I’m done. I think.

I’ve scavenged a set of luna moth-like wings from Pynni to reform and redress to be statue-like angel wings and I’m digging through the recycling for all those discarded toilet paper rolls to use as the upper spine on the wings. I’m thinking about reshaping the wires of the wings and covering them with papier mache so they won’t be too heavy, but I may just drape them in left over fabric soaked in a stiffener and pin them and allow them to dry. I’m not sure yet.

Also, a wig. Weeping Angels have statue hair. So my plan is to crochet a beanie and then glue yarn to the beanie in the shape of Weeping Angel statue hair.

I just have to keep telling myself that it doesn’t need to be over-the-top as it will probably be worn once, maybe twice, if we go to a Homeschool Halloween party like we did last year.

Speaking of. I better go work on it some.

Conversations in Target

A conversation at Target.

Setting: My three kids and I are at Target for the ritual roadtrip snack buying before we head out on our long road trip. They each pick two things they want in the snack bin. We’re walking down the pertinent aisles, perusing the options when Pieces declares that he wants a certain colorful cereal.

Me: “No. I’m not even sure there is any actual food in that cereal.”

Chi: “How can there not be food in food?”

Me: “It’s so highly processed as to cease being food becoming, instead. a food-like product.”

Chi: **looks thoughtful**

Me, probably giving entirely too much information to little kids as usual: “I read an article recently about how all the food dyes in that food have been banned in most other nations since they have been linked to cancer, ADHD, autism…”

Chi: “OH, I already have autism.” His tone suggesting that it was safe for him to eat such things.

IMG_0777I went on a road trip to see my parents. I took my kids, my homeschool, my yarn, some E2 Happy snacks, and a bunch of good intentions. Well, the trip was great and the kids were very well behaved. I got to see my grandmother who has been in the hospital for some time. I crocheted her a hat that looked fab on her and spent a bunch of time running errands for her. It was good to see her spunk and spark, again.

We had school during the week days and the kids were great considering that it was a modified version of our workboxes. I expected a bit of an issue with Chi, but that didn’t happen. He was very amenable to the change. That is amazing. Chi. Flexible. Chi. Chill in the face of change. CRAZY and so amazing! I’ve said it here before, but homeschooling him has been the best decision I ever made.

I spent some time before my trip looking for quilt designs for a quilt my mom is making. We usually do it like this: I pick a design, find the pattern, choose the fabrics and help cut out the pieces. Mom puts all the squares together and assembles the quilt and does the quilting. She does all the sewing. Due to all the things I was in town to accomplish, that gave me several days to actually do some of the sewing.

Triangles together with thread

Triangles together with thread

It was a sort of newsflash for me. I LOVED it! And this time, I made the quilt design based on a photo I found of a quilt I liked. I took the whole project to a whole different place when picking out the fabrics. So much so, that Mom wasn’t sold on the idea until we started piecing it all together. It’s going to be really fabulous and I’ve discovered that I don’t hate sewing at all, let alone how much I thought I hated it.

Toward the end of the week, I went to watch some basketball in the 2nd and 3rd rounds of the NCAA tournament. College ball is always great and live College Round Ball is always super fun. It’s been a thing I’ve shared with my dad since junior high. There were a couple of downsides. The main one being that Rupp Arena is old and crappy and uncomfortable, but also Dad got sick and missed a couple of games. The b-ball was fun, in the end. I’m glad I went.

Rupp Arena runs Cardinal Red.

Rupp Arena runs Cardinal Red.

So that leaves us with the good intentions. So I did okay in the first few days of the trip. I wasn’t eating entirely vegan and not even close to E2 Happy, but I was making good choices. Choosing the vegetarian option, which almost always includes cheese, and the veg where possible. Admittedly, I didn’t make any special efforts, like ordering things not on the menu and giving special dietary cooking instructions to the waitstaff.

My downfall is, and has ever been, soda. I don’t like artificial sweeteners of any stripe. They are just awful tasting to me. So when I have a soda, I go all out. For some reason, when I’m drinking soda, my inhibitions in other places, dietarily speaking, gets completely shot. It’s hard for me to resist sodas when I’m on a road trip. I don’t know why, but it probably has something to do with rationalizing wanting a caffeine boost, but not wanting coffee in the middle of the day. Perfect recipe for the drinking of sodas. And this road trip was 10-ish hours to my parents’ house one day followed by 6-ish hours to my grandmother’s house the following day. Doubled for the return trips. Lots of driving. Lots of time to convince myself I could have a soda.

So I did.

The rest of the trip/visit followed suit and my good intentions paved my way into food choice hell. But, I’m home now, and I’m recommitted. I want this to work. I want to be healthier. I don’t want to have a heart attack before 40. I don’t want to end up a diabetic because I can’t give up the damn sodas. I’m working hard to not beat myself up over the lapse, and just move forward, one food choice at a time.

Lovingly decorated by little hands.

Lovingly decorated by little hands.

Christmas season is in full swing in our home. It is my most favorite holiday. Normally, I decorate the weekend after Halloween because I like to enjoy my Christmas decorations, but I don’t really start getting into the holiday spirit until after Thanksgiving. Normally, I am in total control of the whole holiday. I make the lists out based on things the kids have asked for over the course of the last few months and based on things I know they’d like to have. I do the decorating, I do the shopping, I crochet some gifts, I do the bulk of the wrapping, I make the grocery list, I do the baking, I do the cooking. You get the picture. Christmas is pretty much my show. I put it on and sit back and enjoy watching my family enjoy themselves. It is stressful. It is rewarding.

We glittered some of the ornaments today. Even with careful application, I am covered!

We glittered some of the ornaments today. Even with careful application, I am covered!

This year, I’m giving up some of that control. (I may have just passed out. Did I miss anything?)

This year my mantra is Kids’ Christmas. My kids have never decorated the tree because my tree has to be PERFECT. This year, they decorated it. Now, I put some of the ornaments up high and wound the tree with the garland, but they did all the rest. This year they helped put out the other decorations. This year the kids have a stake in Christmas. They even picked out the presents they got one another. I usually give them a pre-chosen/purchased selection from which to choose the gift they will give their siblings. This year we went shopping. I think they are happy with their choices. This year, they still did not put out the Star Wars Ornaments BECAUSE THEY ARE FRAGILE! What?

I may be in love with this thing.

I may be in love with this thing.

This year, as with last year, we are making some of our own decorations. We made a felted wool ball garland, we made borax crystal snowflakes (my kids’ interpretation of ‘snowflake’ is highly amusing). We made salt dough ornaments (probably WAY too many). We made cinnamon/applesauce ornaments which smell divine.

Next week is baking week and we will make LOTS of things that are DElishUS, but I’m fairly certain are not nutritious. Also, this year, we aren’t doing a big dinner, although I’m hoping I can still talk my brother and his family into joining us for….wait for it…. RIBS! It’s Hubs favorite and it’s easy and also DELICIOUS! And also. Not nutritious, but HEY it’ll be tasty and the company will be great and the tree will be kid decorated and then on the following morning there will presents opening.

I am SOOOOO excited!

IMG_0473 IMG_0468 IMG_0460

All in all, this whole Kids’ Christmas thing is working out pretty well. I don’t hate the tree. In fact, I love it and I was worried. The garland is my most favorite new decoration on the tree and I look forward to making more.  The borax snowflakes will probably be done again, if for no other reason than the cool factor. I don’t foresee the snowflakes looking sparkly for long, but you never know. The applesauce ornaments are super cool because they smell SO GOOD.  The salt dough ornaments have been fun, but seriously time consuming considering the number we made. AND THE GLITTER IS EVERYWHERE. It’s really pretty, but VERY messy. Maybe next year we’ll make one or two ornaments per kid. Chi had the right idea.

Chi-nese

6 months old on his Grammie quilt.

Chi started in with words very early. At 8 months he had words for Dad, Mom, Kitty, Ears, Bear, Eat. He picked up new words almost every day, it seemed. Then between 11 and 12 months he started losing language. He stopped using the words he had been accumulating. He still picked up new words and would use them for a few days, a week, two at most. Then he would stop using them. So after about 6 months, he was completely done with English. He spoke only in his own language that only he understood. He wasn’t real concerned with whether anyone understood him, and for such an intense little kid, he was completely unflappable when it came to communication.

He excelled at non-verbal communication and was able to get his intent across. There was no one way he did this and it wasn’t using ASL. He never mimicked. I could never get him to repeat after me so teaching him sign-language was a non-starter.

Blowing bubbles

I took to calling his very own language Chi-nese. (Chi is pronounced like the Greek letter Χ)(It’s my own little inside joke. A play on words. It’s something my husband and I did. We’d take words spelled with C-H-I that are normally pronounced with the /ch/ sound and use the /k/ sound of Chi’s name. So Chicago became CHI-cago. And Lake Michigan became Lake Mi-CHI-gan. You get the picture. We chuckled a little bit every time we came across a new word (Hey, you gotta take the humor where you can find it, folks.))

Around the age of 2 and a half, he started slipping English words into his Chi-nese. I guess it’s because he didn’t use all the letter sounds in his own language, but he was impossible to understand. So when he was five, we took him to a speech pathologist and he met with her once week for more than a year. He’s very well spoken now.

So now, to me, Chi-nese is the little things Chi says that are so him. He sees things differently than most and his observations are pretty cool. A few for your enjoyment.

  • “Mom, the lightening is too loud. I can’t sleep.”
  • (tasting something new) “…It kind of, maybe, doesn’t taste very good to me.”
  • “Oh, look! The moon is reflecting the sun!” (meaning the moon is shining, obviously)
  • “Mom is being sarcastic, Pieces. That’s when she says something but she means something else. She isn’t really glad you spilled your water all over the table.” (He is forever pointing out when someone is “just joking” or “being sarcastic” and then explaining the joke or the sarcasm, even if it is only to himself.)
  • At the DQ drive thru, after I hand him a waffle cone. “A man in 1904 at a fair, ran out of dishes to serve ice cream and folded up a waffle to serve ice cream in. That’s how the waffle cones were invented.” I stare at him a moment. Then I remember that he squirrels away all the tidbits of trivia he comes across. Also? I googled it when I got home. He was right. It was the World’s Fair in St. Louis.
  • Chi is an eleven year old boy. He still wants to hug his mom whenever possible, and if there’s hugging then there’s sniffing because he loves the way I smell. I hope the desire to hug me never ends.
  • Actual conversation while Chi opened his birthday presents a day early:

Hubs: Is that a new Super Mario Bros game?

Chi: Yeah. It’s New Super Mario Bros 2. The first one came out in 2006. It’s kind of like Luigi’s Mansion. A new one is supposed to come out this year or maybe next year. The first one came out in 2001. (He could tell you the release year of every game he plays. True story.)

  • Chi is always truthful. He doesn’t do vagaries. Here is a real conversation from Saturday’s birthday festivities.

Pynni, Pieces, D and Chi heading into Frankies for birthday funtabulousness!

At Red Robin eating lunch, someone across the restaurant has the wait staff chant (read: yell) their birthday song at them.

Me to Chi: You want me to get them to yell at you some?

Chi: **shrugs** I’m kind of used to it because they did it to Brady on his birthday.

Me: So that’s a yes?

Chi: **shrugs** Yeah, I’m kinda used to it now. Yeah. (I, personally, didn’t think he’d tolerate it at all, but he seemed game.)

later Hubs to the waitress kind of to the side: It’s someone’s **gestures in Chi’s general direction** birthday today.

Waitress looking at Chi: Oh? Is it your birthday?

Chi: Well, no. My birthday is Monday, October 22. We are just having it today, though.

Waitress nods and just goes with the flow: Sure, have the fun on the weekend. How old are you?

Chi: I’m 10 now, but I’ll be eleven on Monday.

And so he is. Chi came into our lives at 3:11a eleven years ago today.  We celebrated on Saturday, opened presents on Sunday and have cancelled school for today. We will eat what he wants for lunch and dinner and we will probably launch one of the rockets he got for his birthday. I will hug on his and sniff him and he will do the same to me. Happy birthday, Chi-guy. I’m so happy you’re mine.

It’s the little things.

Chi was totally unable to self regulate and had regular meltdowns and constant stimming when he was at public school, but since we started homeschooling, not only has the stimming diminished, but the melt downs are almost COMPLETELY nonexistent.

And he has started self regulating.

I took him to Target (which has always been a top way to bring on the meltdowns (the lights are so bright AND LOUD, there are some many people and things AND THEY ARE LOUD, AHHHHHHH!) and events transpired in such a way that the kids were unable to get the items we had gone to the store to get (read: earned prizes for excellent, consistent behavior). Instead of melting down, as he would normally do, over unexpected happenings, I watched him walk very stiffly with a look of intense concentration on his face. When I asked what was going on, he said, “I can feel my body want to stop and my mouth want to squeak, but I’m making it not do that.” I was amazed.

When he meltsdown? My Chi isn’t there anymore. The Monster has taken his place and the Monster does not communicate or hear me or anything. Chi was beating that Monster. Now, MAYBE this is because he’s getting older (almost 11) but I really think the difference is that at homeschool, he isn’t staying overstimulated a majority of his time awake. As such, he is better able to read what his body is doing and learn to stop or cope with what ever reaction he is having.

See? I CAN enjoy the unexpected, and this is one of my favorites.

Clothespins and Acrylic Paint

Chore pins.

I’ve been working at getting my kids to do more around the house with more regularity. This summer I taught all three of them to sweep the floor, mop the floor (with a swiffer), dust (dry feather dusting), vacuum, empty the dishwasher, rinse off their plates, wipe the table, clean the toilets (both wipe the outside and scrub the bowl), clean the bathroom sinks, clean the bathroom vanities, change the laundry around, put away their clean clothes, and disinfect all hard surfaces like light switches and doorknobs.

They do a pretty good job, outside of not moving anything around when they wipe down a surface and using an entire bottle of toilet bowl cleaner on three toilets. In one day. They put things in odd places when they empty the dishwasher and they prefer to sweep the floor with the dustpan broom rather than use the actual broom sized broom. Whatever.

Also, Pieces is learning to wash himself and Pynni is washing her own hair, which includes the application and subsequent rinsing of, conditioner. To varying degrees of success.

These things were prompted by two things. First, my back has been all sorts of trouble for me this summer and has ruined a multitude of plans I’d made for our summer days and vacations. That being the case, I can’t really bend over to move the laundry from the washer to the dryer and pushing a mop around is just not going to happen. Somehow, I have to take the pressure off my husband from having to do his job/responsibilities plus all of mine minus the schooling. I needed to relieve the guilt and frustration from my shoulders because of my inability to keep up with any housework whatsoever.

Yes, that says “police office”. It means get your crap out of the office and put all things where they go. My kids get it.

Enter the chores. They learned and they do without complaining, but I have been having to remember what needs doing and whose turn it is to do it. I read a blog post by Marie Rippel of All About Learning Press that gave me an idea. And I totally STOLE it and RAN! Woo!

Weekly chores. One per day per kid.

I got the foam door knob hangers, but decided to hang them on the wall by the kitchen so I can monitor them easier. Also, I decided that many chores only need to be done once a week so I made a list of chores that are clipped to the green hanger. One for each kid for 6 days a week. They do one per day. Easy peasy.

They LOVE this. Probably because it’s new, but they have been staying on top of their chores. And I can walk by and see that Chi hasn’t wiped the table today and I can glance at the table and see that it needs wiping. “Chi, please come wipe the table!” Done.

So far so good and much less stress and things stay picked up and at least wiped and dusted if not completely, thoroughly clean. It’s a start.

ps. I’m going tomorrow to get a referral to a PT. Then I will be starting PT again. I HATE PT, but it worked out so well the last time, I’m not going to put it off.

Toothfairy Schmoothfairy

Chi came flying downstairs last night screaming, “MOM! MOM!” I was in the kitchen making dinner when he slid around the corner. There was blood dripping down his arm and off his chin, welling between fingers that were clamped over his mouth (okay, maybe that last part is the result of an inflamed imagination and a severe aversion to blood, especially that which is actively dripping off my kid). I’m sure my eyes were wide and my face pale.

Chi held out his fist and nestled in his palm was a little bloody tooth. I thought I was going to throw up. “I lost a molar.” He’s all bloody and matter of fact and trying to get closer to me, but I keep backing away. Chi starts looking a little freaked out and I realize that I have to change my reaction or Chi is going to lose it.

***NOTE: Teeth are their Daddy’s territory. I don’t do teeth. /shudder

So I hold it together and hand Chi a paper towel with which to clean himself and then I get him a cup of salt water and instruct him to swish and spit until there is no more blood. In between mouthfuls Chi reiterates, “I lost a molar.”

“Yeah, I see that.” –That’s me. Also, me, “Did you pull it or did it fall out?”

Chi says, “I pulled it. It was loose, but when I looked there was an adult tooth and so I took the baby one out. That’s the baby molar. I have an adult molar now.”

Yes. Chi does his own dental work.