Archive | January 2017

Birthday cake and root canal

It’s been a long, hard month. I’ve been dealing with so much, I feel like my head will explode! A couple of weeks ago, to add to the craziness, my tooth that my dentist filled in October decided that it needs a root canal, not just a filling! I started the process last Wednesday. The dentist removed part of the filling she put in, cleaned out the cavity, and packed the area with antibiotics. She put in a temporary plug, and this Wednesday she began the root canal. It turns out that I need extra anesthetic, and my canals are very fine, long, and very curved. She managed to get two canals cleaned, but the others are going to have to wait for two weeks since the anesthesia was wearing off, and another double dose wouldn’t be a good idea. I’m one of those “lucky” people that is allergic to codeine, so there will be very little pain relief after the root canal, Advil and Tylenol barely take the edge off.

I don’t honestly know how much homeschooling will get done this week – Peanut’s birthday was the day before my root canal, so we took it off. Yep, birthdays merit a holiday with us! I can hardly believe my little Peanut is 6! Where has the time gone? Although it was quiet, we did have a home made chocolate cake. He even got pizza yesterday! He spent most of the day doing his favorite thing – playing Minecraft!

Last week was our scheduled week off, and we did pretty much nothing and loved it! I had plans to pull out the sewing machine and make Peanut some t shirts, then do a deep clean of the bathroom, make pickles with the huge bag of cucumbers, and even get some more work done on the spare room. As they say, man plans, God laughs. The tooth pain was overwhelming, then after my first visit with the dentist the pain in my jaw laid me up for a few days. Plus I’m a bit anemic and hungry too – living off of soft foods like ramen and kraft dinner isn’t the best of diets. 

So this week I am going to try to cram three days of school into one, possibly two days. This will take a lot of coffee, a lot of green tea, a lot of chocolate, and a lot of deep breaths! Wish us luck, we need it!

 

A lazy new year…

2017 came into being as I was sleeping. Yep, sleeping! Little Peanut was curled up beside me, and we were all cozy in our bed. In the back of my mind I heard the fireworks, but the chaos of the night left me too tired to really want to get out of my warm bed and see them. Hubby was at his sister’s house, and barely made it home in time to be with me for the clock to strike midnight. I woke up to his smile, and we sat out on the couch for a while as we chatted about everything and nothing.

Ironically, this has been the ebb and flow of the new year so far. A gentle tide of lazy days and nights, and me trying to ignore the loud chaos that seems to want to invade my life right now. Sometimes I need to let it in, but for the most part, I think I can say this new year has been calm.

We started back our schooling on January 2nd, and because of our break, Peanut was in no mood to learn. Taking a cue from him, I decided to ease up and make the first two weeks of the new year a review. I also changed our math program entirely, and we are now using Mathematical Reasoning Beginning 2, it’s a much better fit for Peanut right now. Plus it’s colorful pages are actually fun to look at and work with!

Hubby was off work for the first two weeks of the year, but after several doctor visits and a minor procedure, he’s up and running, well limping actually, again and back to work. I miss having him around all day. Retirement can’t come too soon.

I’ve been asked a few times about new year resolutions. I honestly didn’t make any. I still have past resolutions that haunt me, hahaha! Lose weight, eat better, learn new skills, give up bad habits, start up good habits, more exercise, less junk food, take up another hobby, go back to school and learn something new, and so on. I don’t need any new resolutions, I need to finally get my old resolutions off to a good start!

I do have a few goals that I’d like to start on this year though. I want to spend some time and train our dog a bit better, have him become a little more obedient and calm. I want to get our house in order, we have a spare room that could easily become a “man cave” for hubby or a bedroom for Peanut, but it needs cleaning and organizing. The house can use some paint, new curtains, and a few small renovations. I hope to clean and organize our bedroom (what I wouldn’t give for a proper bedroom closet!). I envision bookshelves with books, a toy box for Peanut’s toys, a large dresser to put all our clothes in. A wardrobe that fits all our hanging clothes. I also want a kitchen complete with countertops and cupboards. Hot water. A dishwasher! I know all this can’t be done in 1 year, but like my past resolutions, they will be ongoing and will get done when the time is right.

I think the ongoing theme for this year, continuing from the past few years, is gratefulness. I am so overwhelmingly grateful for my hubby. I can’t even begin to express what he has brought to my life. Then there are my children. 5 kids, and 3 step kids. I am blessed. I have also become closer to family and friends that I had lost touch with over the years, and I am so very grateful to have found my way back to them (or them to me).

So this coming year, I guess my “word” is grateful. But as always, the theme is “a joyful chaos”. And interwoven throughout is always going to be some coffee, some chocolate, some wine,maybe a few tears, and lots and lots of laughter.

Just a little bit of this, a little bit of that…

I haven’t had the positive energy or excitement to post for a while. Maybe it’s the sadness of missing holidays of my childhood, or maybe it’s the time of year, or maybe it’s just me. I don’t know. I do know I feel a bit lost right now.

I went through the motions, trying to get into the spirit of the season, but it was no use. I baked the cookies, iced them, and Peanut probably ate 3 or 4 dozen of them!

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I also tried an old technique to make some flowers on some cookies

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and even a new technique to ‘improve’ the look

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Peanut wanted something with ‘fireworks’ for New Years, so we made these:

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They may look ugly, but Peanut loved them, and he really loved the taste. In the end, that’s what matters!

Oh, and accidents happened! :

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It was just so hot and humid, plus the icing was not as thick as I usually make it, so it spelled disaster for a few cookies! They still tasted yummy though, and that’s what Peanut will remember.

I also dyed my hair, but I wanted something different! I bought a kit called Kiss in blue, and it came with the bleach and dye. I put the bleach in my hair for the maximum 1 hour, and I expected to have either orange or yellow looking hair when it washed out. To my horror, it was still black! It seems that sometimes this bleach only helps to open the hair and prepares it for the dye. Okay, so I went ahead and slathered my hair with the electric blue dye. I had visions of wonderful blue/purple locks shining in the sun… well it was not to be! This is what I ended up with:

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Yep, only the grey hair took the color. I was a bit miffed, so I ran outside and hoped that the sunshine would show a blue purple sheen that the house lights were hiding:

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Nope, my blue/purple peacock hair is a dud! I still have 1 more box of the stuff, it was a BOGO free deal. I may wait for my silvery white roots to grow a bit and use the 2nd kit, but I need to find a place here on the island that sells Manic Panic. It seemed to be the only brand that my hair liked! In the meantime, I may put my hair back into rope braids, rock my Rasta white woman look again for a while.

Math: A quick change, hopefully for the better

I haven’t posted in a while, it’s been a few weeks full of crazy, hectic, nail biting chaos. Even homeschool has taken a back seat. We have done the basics like phonics, reading, and read alouds, but everything else was just too much to fit into our days. That will be a post for another time!

What I have been going a bit obsessive over has been Peanut’s math skills. He just hasn’t grasped the concept that there are numbers between 12-18! Why oh why can’t he count to 20? He can tell me what the numbers are when he sees them, but when he counts, it goes 11-12-18-19-20…

I have tried Math U See Primer, but that moved at a faster pace than what we were both comfortable with. It starts slow, gentle, then suddenly introduces numbers up to 100 and then 2 lessons later introduces skip counting! ARGH I wanted to bang my head against the desk! This was set aside for at least the rest of this school year. We need to focus on only the numbers from 1-2o or a bit beyond.

So I moved our focus to MCP Mathematics Kindergarten. I thought it would keep us busy for a few months, but alas, no! It focused on numbers 1-10. A great review, and great at restoring Peanut’s confidence, but 200 pages were done in 6 weeks!

So after searching, I found Kumon numbers 1-30 book, but it’s only 80 pages, and really just a suppliment. We do about 4 pages a day right now. Peanut needs more of a challenge!

Enter Mathematical Reasoning by Critical Thinking Co! I downloaded their samples from Beginning 1 (targeted to 3 and 4 year olds), Beginning 2 (for 4-5 year olds) and Level A for Kindergartners. Peanut tried the worksheets, and we found level A was too hard, Beginning 1 was too easy, and Beginning 2 was just right (why does this remind me of Goldilocks and the three bears? Bwahahaha!) So I bought Mathematical Reasoning Beginning 2, and with fingers crossed, we will hopefully see some progress in the next little while!

This book is that it’s available as a hardcopy or as an ebook, so I bought the ebook and it’s actually spitting out of our printer right now!  What attracted me to this series was the amount of stellar reviews, the ease of use (I love open and go books! Prep time can really suck with some curriculum!) and the pages are fun! It makes me happy to look at the bright, colorful pages. Take a peek at a page:

How cute is this? It actually makes bugs look cute! Not only does it work on basic math skills, but also has a few challenging puzzles that take a bit of logic and reasoning skills to do. Here is an example:

I’m really hoping Peanut enjoys this, and he does well with it. At  282 pages, it will take us the rest of the year to do, or may even spill over into next school year! Here’s hoping with fingers crossed that it’s a good fit for Peanut!