like pulling teeth…

A little over 20 years ago I had my very first root canal. Anyone who’s had one knows it’s definitely not fun! But to be fair, once it was done, the bliss of being pain free and able to eat normally again definitely is worth all the time in that dentist chair.

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Just after Christmas I was eating something, I think it was peanuts or something else kind of hard. All of the sudden I felt something strange in that back molar, like a seed caught between my tooth and gum. I used some dental floss, then gave my teeth a good brushing. That’s when I felt it. A small, hard, stone in my mouth. Not to get too graphic, I took it out and found that it was part of my tooth. A tiny little white pebble.

Panicked now, I grabbed a flashlight and checked out that weird feeling tooth. It was cracked right in half! My old root canal had failed.

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Since there was no nerves, it didn’t hurt. I thought (silly me) that I could wait until we had some extra time and extra money to get it looked at. I also knew that it would likely need to be pulled. This meant weeks of recovery and then more money to fit a bridge. I was dreading having a huge hole where my tooth once was.

Life has a way of throwing curve balls into your plans. My tooth became abscessed. No more waiting. I had to get the deed done. After a course of antibiotics I was ready to say goodbye to this painful tooth. But even that wasn’t as straight forward as I thought.

Most tooth extractions take about 5 minutes after you’re numbed up. Basically it’s supposed to be a lot of wiggling the tooth to loosen it, then a big yank and it’s over. The healing now starts.

But this is me. I’ve never been a straight forward patient. My tooth didn’t want to come out. It actually had fused to my jaw. What was a routine procedure became surgery. Scalpels, drills, chisels, and a very patient dentist! One hour and three stitches later the deed was finally done.

It’s been a little over a week since then, and I’m healing very well. I’m still eating a soft diet, but it’s wonderful to be pain free.

But there’s a catch. Before we can fit a bridge, we discovered that the old root canal caused a cavity in the next molar. I go in a week to have that filled. I hope it’s just a straight forward procedure, but like everything else medical in my life, I’m expecting an “oh my, this isn’t normal, we’ll have to pull a hail Mary to fix this…”


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So for this week, my planner has been decorated accordingly. I’m living off of mushy food and coffee right now, another week or two at least.

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And such is my life!




Sliced bread? (365 days of writing prompts – Jan 27)

Most of us have heard the saying, “That’s the best thing since sliced bread!” What do you think is actually the best thing since sliced bread? For me, it would probably be the tecnology that makes the information highway possible on the internet.

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I live on a tiny island. It’s the size of the Canadian city I grew up in. My four older kids and most of my friends still live there, so the internet brings them closer. We chat by video conferencing or typing. We read about each other over facebook.

I also homeschool our youngest child, so when I need curriculum, I turn to the internet. Testimonials, recommendations, and even samples of curricula is available with just a few keystrokes. I can order it all with a few keystrokes, and within a few weeks it arrives on our island!

When we have trouble learning something, internet comes to the rescue. From how to explain to Peanut how to skip count from 10 – 100, or to learn a new crochet stitch, it’s all there, ready and waiting to be discovered!

And although sliced bread is nice, I tend to make our bread from scratch. Nothing beats the wonderful taste and smell!

A crazy month…

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December wasn’t a very kind month. In fact, if there was an option of a “do-over”, that reset button would have been pushed flat to the ground. It was that kind of month.

We had a huge scare. My hubby’s father was hospitalized and nearly lost his life. Acute limb ischemia, then a heart attack while on clot busters. He eventually did lose his leg from just above the knee. He was in the hospital during Christmas, so aside from the Christmas morning ritual of kids opening gifts, there was really no celebration. In fact, there were prayers to keep our loved one alive and help him get strong enough to have surgery on his leg so he could finally come home. December 30 he finally had the leg amputated, and after a short recovery, he’s now home.

Then came the news that a very dear friend from my youth went to hospital on Christmas day. He had emergency brain surgery 2 days later. His personality has now permanently changed. And he has 1-2 years left. Terminal cancer.

My anxiety disorder has flared up. Sometimes the stress seems unbearable. I know an outsider would see a calm, patient, loving woman who probably could take on the world. If they spend even an hour in my head, they would come away shaking with fear and wonder how I even make it through a day. I’m trying to learn new ways to cope.

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With the new year, I decided to begin a new way of using my daily planner. I found a website about a happiness journal. It has 365 writing prompts. Questions like “who made you smile today, and why?” “What’s your favorite meal?” they may seem kind of random and sometimes strange, but after doing this for 2 weeks, I already look forward to spending some time every day doing my “happiness” writing! I also decorate my planner every week with a new theme. I love this one with owls!

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Our homeschool curriculum is changing a bit too. I’ve noticed that the past while, Moving Beyond the Page hasn’t had much in the way of Science or phonics. It’s mainly been art (which is GREAT for Peanut’s fine motor skills), basic math (which Peanut is beyond, but we do use it as a review), and handwriting (which is too difficult for Peanut, so I’ve had to improvise). So I sat down over the Christmas break and really looked at what’s working, what isn’t, and what we need to change.

Math: we went back to Math U See Primer. Peanut was having too much trouble with McRuffy math – the writing was too much, and the games, although they’re fun, he wasn’t really ready for them yet. He has trouble understanding the rules. For instance, if we were playing snakes and ladders, if he rolled a 6, he’d go to the tile marked 6, not move his game piece forward 6. That’s fine for the first roll, but the second roll, if he rolled a 10, he’d insist on going on the 10 tile. I think we need a game like candyland to teach him how board games work.

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Math U See Primer: What a difference a year makes! He loves it! He’s counting by 10’s! He’s learning to count by 2’s. He can tell me what any number is up to 999! He can add numbers up to 20. The blocks help tremendously, but I have to make a deal with him – if he does his work, he gets 10 minutes after math to play with the blocks.

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Phonics: I’m finding that Peanut needs a bit more practice with phonics and sight words. I’m going to go back to basics. Progressive Phonics beginner phonics. We’ll do it all again, this time we’ll use the lesson plan, flash cards, word wall, activity sheets, and handwriting practice. We’ll use his letter tiles to practice spelling out the words of the day. I’ve been using Treasures grade 1 by McGraw Hill, but it’s getting too difficult for Peanut to keep up with all the new sight words. We’ll shelve it for now and come back to it in a few months.

Beginner Phonics Book 1

Science: I stumbled across Magic School Bus Science in 180 days! Oh what an amazing curriculum, and totally free! Well, free except the stuff I need to buy for the experiments. And yes, there are experiments! I’m condensing it so we end by June, but that’s easy enough. Instead of watching the episode one day, experiment the next, we’ll combine the two days to one. Easy peasy.

The Magic School Bus in 180 Days Free Lesson Plans!  Download Your Printable Copy Now!

Speaking of Easy Peasy – I have been very tempted to use the totally free curriculum called Easy Peasy Homeschool. It really looks wonderful. I appreciate how well put together it us, from preschool to high school. It’s complete. It even has foreign languages. Phys ed. Health. Computers. Thinking Skills. So why am I not using it? I really want to. I think this will have to wait for another post, dedicated to this topic. It’s a huge bag of pro’s and con’s. But I really like it. We may eventually use it, but not now.

Till next time, may your coffee be strong and your chocolate sweet.





A crazy busy month or two

Hubby has been on holidays since October. It’s wonderful having him home, and it’s a nice glimpse of what retirement will be like in a few years. Unfortunately it’s the rainy season here, so we have only managed to hit the beach three times so far.

We also had a wonderful unplanned family reunion. Hubby’s siblings all came to the island for a week! It was nice catching up with his older brother, and even with all the rain there was still a lot of great food, laughter, and late nights!

School has been fun, but a bit disrupted. We lost our computer for a month thanks to a blown fan and video card. It’s finally fixed so now we can get back to our routine.

So now that life is settling down into a rhythm again, I hope to get back to blogging a bit more. For now, I’m just trying to re-install all the lost programs on our computer thanks to it’s meltdown a month ago.



Preparing for a new me…

Hubby and I are struggling with our diet, or should I say lack of a proper diet. We eat lots of things we shouldn’t, and rarely get even a serving of fruit or vegetables a day. 

This Saturday, my hubby starts his vacation. This is the perfect time to begin to truly take care of ourselves. We’ll be trying out an actual meal plan that’s packed with fruit, veggies, healthy protein, and minimal starches. No sugar. I’m even going to be using Splenda in my coffee instead. I’m not sure how to get around my chocolate necessity though. Maybe a sugar free bar every now and then…

Tomorrow I’ll be finalizing our menu for next week, and putting together a grocery list. Probably on Sunday we’ll get to the grocery store, and hopefully not fall over from sticker shock! I know eating healthy can be expensive, but I’m hoping that we can get a lot at the market as well. Monday we’ll begin eating right, drinking more water, and starting to exercise, beginning with a daily 30 minute walk. Peanut will love the chance to scamper around if we go walking at the savannah.

I’m hoping to stay on a 1200 calorie, high protein diet, but will go to 1500 calories if it gets too rough. Hubby will be on a 2000 calorie diet. Wish us luck!


Homeschooling sometimes means we still learn even if we’re sick with pneumonia…

On the last Friday of our week off Peanut was sick. It wasn’t a good week to begin with. We had started it by attending his Godmother’s funeral. She was only 38 years old. Leukemia sucks.

Somewhere in that day, probably in church, Peanut came in contact with the nasty virus that’s going around. By Wednesday he was sneezing and coughing. By late Friday night (or early Saturday morning) we were in the hospital emergency. After getting a couple of masks for his asthma, we went to X-Ray for a chest film. Poor little guy had the start of pneumonia. We caught it before it got serious, but we still had to take it easy for a week or so.

Now our dilemma. Do we take another week off? Do we continue with our lessons? Do we just do bare minimum? Plus I started to feel sick too! Rather than lose a week, we chose to do bare minimum. 

Our book was “We’re going on a Leaf Hunt”. We sorted and counted leaves that we made from construction paper since a nature walk was out of the question. We planted some seeds to watch them grow. We watched an episode of magic school bus to see how trees help the ecosystem. We made a map of the places the kids in the book went to, ending with a stinky skunk! We didn’t do many arts or crafts, but we can do them in our unit on apple trees later this year. We also did some math, handwriting practice, and learned the sight word “go”. Not too bad for a sick week. 
By Saturday Peanut was feeling much better. His mama, not so much. I could barely get out of bed. Advil cold and sinus finally kicked in by Sunday, and I’m also feeling a lot better.

This week is all about insects – but that post is coming this weekend, or maybe even early next week.

Till then…


What do you do with a week like this…

This past week was very weird. Small things began to annoy me, and as the week went on, things began to build. It was as if a dark cloud was ready to start pouring down on me, then by a week ago Saturday life took on a real weirdness that even though I don’t want to explain here, come the night of July 29th, my emotions were all over the place. Just to tell how much of a basket case I was, Hubby and I and Peanut went for a drive that night and bought dinner and ice cream. Hubby wasn’t feeling good, so instead of a nice long drive, we came home early. Good thing. In my addled state, I forgot I had put the kettle on because Peanut wanted some hot chocolate. It was happily burning away on the stove 90 minutes later when we got home. Saying I was distracted is an understatement. Now I have one black kettle to show for it. Nothing a bit of elbow grease won’t fix, but it was just another reminder of how my emotional state was upside down.

On July 30, I was preparing Peanut’s lessons for the upcoming week, only to discover that our game based math curriculum was missing the crucial parts – the GAME BOARDS!!!! Not one single game board was included! Okay, could my week get any worse? Hopefully this was the end of it.

Last Monday I contacted both Rainbow Resources (the company I purchased the Math curriculum from) and McRuffy. McRuffy replied quickly, they sent me a pdf of the first two game boards, and assured me they would mail me them all ASAP, but it would probably take 3-4 weeks to arrive. Phew, my bad luck/bad streak was ending, or so I thought…

Tuesday after Hubby got home from work we received an awful phone call. Peanut’s Godmother passed away. She was only 38! She was estranged from the family since she and my brother in law were divorced a few months ago, but still, she was Peanut’s Godmother and would always be a part of his life. She went into hospital about a month ago, and died of acute aggressive leukemia. Way too young…

So even through all this, we carried on. We did our lessons (we missed Friday, but will make up for it this week). We had fun, laughted, and learned. Still, this past week has really made me treasure all the little things. All the small moments we take for granted. Give your loved ones your time. Put down the darned tablet and smart phone, and wrap your arms around those you love. People should always come before things…