Sunday, August 31, 2008

School starts September 2nd or How it All Went Down

For anyone with an interest in THIS debate, here is an attempt to describe my decision and current position.

First of all, I am certain that homeschool, done right, would be the best thing for #1.  I'm not saying that it is right for everyone under every circumstance, but the way I see it nothing can beat the love, attention and opportunity to excel that a parent can give his/her child (if it can be given).  Homeschooling has become mainstream and in most places has lost the stigma attached to it of socially disabled nerds.  When I think about the argument of kids not getting proper socialization I think GREAT!  who wants their kids socialized by bullies, by succumbing into the group mentality, by drugs, sex and pressure to know the world?  Not me.  I don't think kids miss out on anything by not learning how to fight back, or how to lose their identity by wanting to be like everyone else.  So bottom line, I totally advocate homeschool.  

But everyone can't do it.  For me, I can't.  I can't be the kind of mother I want to be and be the kind of teacher I would want to be.  One of those things would fail, not just falter.  And to me, I have to choose to be able to be the best mom I can be. (I only say 'able to be', because I wouldn't dare say, 'be the best mom I can be'..... cause I know I never will). And as selfish as this sounds, that includes feeling sane because my house is clean, my laundry is up to date, and I have time to read and exercise. This has been a huge guilty hurdle for me to overcome. Knowing that I'm choosing 2nd best for #1.  

But maybe 2nd best for #1 IS best for our family?  Homeschooling moms everywhere will condemn me.  They know what I know and they have chosen to give their kids the best.  I've chosen to give my kids 2nd best. Sooooo......

After months of research, praying and waiting Spouse and I made the choice to send #1 to a public charter school about 10 minutes from our house.  The school is new, small (K-3) and is administered by a super experienced/educated team.  We've met with #1's teacher and are very impressed and happy with her.  Of all the out-of-home options we have this is the best and it is more than good enough.  I know there are opponents of charter schools out there, but I'll save that debate for another day..... but maybe to fan the flames I'll throw this out there: since when or where has the government ever done anything better than the private sector?  

So school starts September 2nd.  Thanks to Grandma J we've got a fancy (and I mean FANCY) new  Barbie back-pack.  We've got uniforms ready. Cheese sticks and juice boxes are ready for the lunch sack.  I've just got to get myself ready to say goodbye at 8:15 on Tuesday morning. 

Sunday, August 24, 2008


This isn't about me being a poser. Which I am. This is about #3 who posed in some photos for the new Cheeky and Swank website.

After checking out #3 in the baby section peruse the rest of the site..... you'll love it. I think I'm going to get Spouse and #2 matching Scottie shirts.

In full disclosure, this is my sister in law's company. She is a true artist and a woman of many talents. It was a pleasure to see #3 in some of her beautiful products.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

area of expertise

Almost verbatim:

#1: Do real race cars have real head lights?

me: I think so.  But ask your dad. He knows a lot more about race cars than I do. 

#1: Yes, Dad does know a lot more about race cars than you do.

[Thinking this would be a good teaching moment]

me: Can you think of something that I know more about than Dad?

#1:(long pause) Cleaning. And food.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

princess party

What do you do when almost all your friends are in school all day, all the summer activities have ended and your action-packed brother is in preschool four afternoons a week? Naturally, you plan a princess party.

If you can't read picto-script, the above plan details things like a pign (or a picnic), sede (or cd's), a treasure hunt and "pin the donkey on the tail." As you can see, since only the G is circled that only girls are invited.

At #1's request, all things must be pink or purple (except for the pizzas).

Don't you think that 'pin the hat on the princess' is a little more appropriate than 'pin the donkey on the tail?'

[Note: look forward to my schooling dilemma update.]

Monday, August 18, 2008

It's not everyday...

You get a free ipod touch.

And then leave it on your back bumper not 5 minutes after leaving the store.

It's not everyday that after realizing said ipod never made it into the car that you retrace your steps hoping without reason that you'll find the black box on the black road, in the dark.

And after defeatedly giving up you see it in the middle of a busy road.  Box flattened, contents spread out across the lane just as another car runs over it.

It's not everyday that you decide to go pick up the pieces, just because it's too sad to leave it like roadkill.

And you discover that somehow, despite the appearance of carnage, your ipod is intact, unscratched and works perfectly.

Except for the ear buds which are smashed.

Three cheers for Apple who makes the world's most indestructible packaging!

[That piece in the bottom left of the picture is what held the ipod. It is made out of titanium or something indestructible like that.]

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Broken Tree and Breaking Dawn

Thursday night I had the volume turned up for the final So You Think You Can Dance (RIP Twitch and Katie - it should have been one of you!) and didn't quite realize what a torrential monsoon storm was taking place outside. Sure the Dish connection was lost during the Jonas' Brother's performance, but I highly underestimate the force of the storm.

That is until Friday morning when I saw this:

And this:

My love/hate relationship with our giant Palo Verde came to an end. It was a good tree, offering shade to the front of our house and a home to many a spider. It will be missed.

Saturday morning, armed with leather gloves and his electric trimmer, Spouse went outside to do his sad duty and remove the corpse. Spouse salvaged one lonely limb that was still intact and painstakingly tied and staked it hoping to restore the tree to a fraction of its former glory. It was a pathetic, sad branch that didn't stand a chance, but Spouse didn't have the heart to cut it off. Soon our big hearted neighbors were out there helping Spouse cut and pile the branches into our neighbor's trailer. One neighbor must not have noticed the intricate support system Spouse had built for that lonely branch and without thinking, chainsawed it right off. Aye carumba! Apparently 'save that branch' was lost in translation.

While Spouse was sweating outside to clear the broken tree, I was oblivious inside finishing Breaking Dawn.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The BEAT of Arizona

Something strange is going on with my kids, particularly #3.  They are into Hip Hop/Pop music.  How this happened, I'm not sure. All I know is that when we are in the car and everyone is going crazy, screaming, fighting, crying, uncontrollable emotions, the only thing that will create absolute peace is 92.7, The Beat.  The deep bass of Rihanna or the melodic syncopation of Mariah calms the waters the way Raffi, Susie Tallman or Sesame Street apparently can't.  Although it is empowering knowing that with the mere touch of a pre-programmed button I can bring harmony into our world, I'm a bit embarrassed and ashamed to be driving a dance club on wheels.  Spouse and I have always been on the outskirts of (and sometimes feeling superior to) the popular music scene. It humbles me every time to surrender to The Beat.

Is this a sign of things to come?  I have frightening visions of #3 wearing one of those awful, oversized trucker hats or #2 sporting a swirly tattoo.  

Trying to think positive here.  #3's got rhythm.  She can bounce with the best of them.  She is currently perfecting her signature move.  Arm raised high, fist pounding the air to the beat, (think Usher, "Yeah, Yeah").  I know, I know. She's only one.  But to have this much talent so early on... I might as well start shopping for one of those pantyhose caps, the ones with the little knot in the back.  I wonder if they make them in 24 months?

Possibly the worst thing about The Beat:  I try to resist.  I really do. But the power of The Beat is too strong, it sucks me in every time.  Thankfully #1 is more immune to the siren call and brings me back to reality, "Mom, stop dancing."

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Joys of Motherhood

Joy #1: Conversation with #1 after informing her our friends would be joining us for dinner tonight (names have been changed to protect the innocent)

#1: I was thinking that Ivana looks just like Sister Grey (her primary teacher) {They look nothing alike}

me: Oh really?

#1: Yeah. Except that Ivana is chubby like you and Sister Grey is flat. {Ivana is not chubby}

me: hmph. (suppressing laughter)

Joy #2: #3's hair is long enough for pig tails! Yay! Joy #2 1/2: Retrieving her from the front of the Spanish branch's Sacrament meeting where she had quickly run for the two seconds my back was turned.

Joy #3: Discovering that #2 has sneaked into the kiddie pool wearing his Sunday clothes while Spouse and I were enjoying after-dinner conversation with our friends. He was already soaking wet, so we just kept on talking and let him enjoy himself.

Week Four

Here it is folks, what you've all been waiting for! My summary of the fourth and final week of our stay in the promised land, aka Utah. We were hosted by the generous and patient In-Laws. The children were treated to many an indulgence such as in impromptu tea party with cousins, school shopping with Grandma, breakfast made to order, a pioneer day treasure hunt and for the ladies (#1 and #3) a Fancy Nancy party complete with boas, high heels and parfaits. The week also included: a visit to the Jensen Historical Farm, where #2 chased a goat and #1 helped churn butter; a performance at the Utah Festival Opera for #1, and I; water-skiing for #2 and I compliments of Brother BJC; a massive family reunion for Spouse's maternal grandfather's side with a rope swing, tree house and corn on the cob; and an arduous and long drive home for the whole family.

Until next summer.....

#1 with her grandfather at massive family reunion

#3 with sweet 13 year old cousin.... look out 8th grade boys!

My little pioneers at Jensen Historical Farm just after #2's shirt was nibbled on by a defensive mother goat.

In the barn just after #3 was nearly attacked by an angry turkey. #2 was on the spot and chased the possessed turkey out of the barn.

#2 and I on the lake, between skiis. How I love to ski.

****Addendum*** However I came to neglect to mention one of the shining highlights of Week Four I shall never understand. How could I forget the the excitable nausea that comes with drinking large amounts of diet coke in the middle of the night, mixed with insane laughter as the wee hours tick into the morning? The lovely ladies of my former high school days are 2 cool 2 be 4 gotten. A picture would have been a nice addition to this post.... wouldn't it Jami? But some people insist on having private blogs so there will be no linking to a beautiful digitally scrapbooked page of this joyous H.S. girls SLC getaway, as I uncharacteristically forgot my own camera. Thank you Mom-In-Law for watching my little ones AGAIN so I could par-tay like it was 1995 (minus the Dr. Martins). *****