School at Home: Week 1

We completed our first week of what I'm calling "School at Home" with Alex. I can't bring myself to call it "homeschooling" so this feels better for me. I figured if I documented it all here then I have to actually follow through. Here was our week in summary:

It was Space Week. We started by checking out many, many books at the library on space and planets. We read all of them and talked about the planets and rockets. A few of the books I checked out were super easy ones that I thought he could read, and he did!

We worked on identifying "space words" like: space, rocket, planet, star, moon, etc. Alex asked to do an estimating project one day so I counted this as our math lesson for the day. We used star, moon and heart stickers and practiced estimating how many were in each bag. Anna played too.

Our big project was making a solar system. We spent most of the morning painting and putting it together. (See picture). Alex LOVED this. I was surprised in a matter of hours how quickly he'd learned the order of the planets and was ready to recite it to anyone.

We read about the first lunar landing and then watched some of a DVD from Netflix with footage. He couldn't believe that it was actually real and he was able to see it. Thursday we took a trip downtown to the Air and Space Museum and that was just a wonderful trip for us. I couldn't believe how much information he had retained during just three days.

The real kicker was I let him round out the week on Sunday by watching Star Wars--a movie he's been begging to watch once he turned five. I figured with his birthday on Saturday it was nice way to end the week and celebrate.

This week is Spring Week. So far so good! Lots of fun thigns planned.



Our household is filled with stress these days. The only good thing helping with this is our house has been decluttered and all our CRAP is in POD somewhere in Loudon County. So the upside to everything is our house is clean! (Ok, minus the basement which is now filled with piles of paperwork for the house.)

Here's the update. The owners of the house accepted our offer so in about a month we should be moving into our new home in Vienna! I'm super excited.

Now we have to rent our house....quickly. I guess that's not as stressful as selling, but still it means getting it rented to someone who will take care of our investment.

The most stressful thing has been preschool. I have decided to pull Alex out of school after the bead incident. I feel it's best for him since I have doubts about the current situation there. I'm keeping Anna in because I totally love her teachers. While in my mind I know keeping him out of school for the eight remaining weeks is really the best thing, and I do believe I'm making the best decision, it is inconvenient for me. It means I will have to find constructive things for he and I to do together and get a little "homeschooling" in while he's out of school. He's already more than ready for kindergarten (yesterday he read his first book!) but it means me readjusting my expectations for the days ahead. The move makes this even more difficult.


Bead up his nose?

The phone rang and the caller ID showed the school calling. Crap. I panicked immediately. The last time I saw this number Alex broke his finger and we endured three weeks of a cast.

I picked up the phone. “Hi Linda. It’s[the director] from preschool.” I’m trying to make niceties and then I hear it. The crying in the background. “Alex has a beam up his nose.” A what? A what?” A beam. Is that like a beam up his nose and into his brain. OMG. I freak out like I never have before. “What do you mean he has a beam up his nose? How did that happen?”

She responds, “They were playing with beams and one went up, and we can’t get it out.” I stop. Wait a minute. Did she say bean? Bean. OK, bean up the nose is more realistic. Don’t panic. Hang up and drive. Call doctor on the way and explain situation and ask what’s the best course of action. Fifteen minutes? Yes, we can do that. Drive.

Fortunately, we had just finished looking at a house (which we actually put an offer on today) and hubby was with me, and my parents were in the car behind. We pulled up at school, and I darted. Outside my boy was sitting on the pavement with all the other kids for car line sobbing. I grabbed him and got the 5- second scoop and took off to the doctors. Admittedly, I panicked and probably overreacted. But this was the second incident in a month.

We raced to the doctor’s office and once my husband got him settled, he managed to get him to blow out the bead.

I’m considering pulling him from school . . .


Apparently, I'm Crazy

So things have picked up in our household lately . . . the no blogging is the result. Trip to Dallas to see the grandparents. Who knew when I planned this a time change was involved. Down with Daylight Savings Time in March! Today I'm preparing for a job interview and a move. I did manage to get it together enough to go out and buy a suit while in Dallas for the potential interview (which is now this week). And if that's not stressful enough, we're packing up all our excess crap (OK, that's a lot) and moving it into storage since we're listing our house next week. Yikes!

Did I mention we're busy?


How Did I Do This Everyday?

I will talk about my days in Sweden—as brief as it was—until your eyes gloss over and mine fill with tears. Yes, I really loved it that much! And while the summer and spring were amazing the winter we spent there was one of the worst--four months of snow-covered ground. I shoveled and scraped regularly. Everyone was outfitted in snow boots, snow suits, hats and mittens most of the day, everyday.

Yesterday morning we welcomed 6-8 inches of beautiful snow. I mean the most spectacular kind of snow only Mother Nature can create. Beautiful. I love snow. There is nothing more perfect than walking outside on snowy day when the snow is still falling—because only those who truly love the snow come out then—and listening to the quiet. For me this is the perfect kind of quiet. It’s even better than the kids-just-went-to-bed quiet.

I won’t get into the whole nonsense of my kids today who I TRIED to make appreciate my love of the snow. Alex just eats it, and Anna only whines about how cold it is. At least I have one cold weather enthusiast. Snow days for me (real snow days that is) are like Christmas. I brought out all our old Swedish gear—snow suits, boots, sleds, hats, mittens, snowball maker. Ok, well only a few of these are actually from Sweden, but living there made me appreciate having all the appropriate gear. Everything came out of the closets, bins and drawers, and I set to work dressing both kids. It’s like dad taking his son to a baseball game or mom showing her daughter the museum. This was my moment to show my kids how much I love this miracle.

Whine. Cry. Fuss. Moan. Groan.

No one wanted to be part of my game this morning, except me. But I worked to outfit both kids in everything they need. We shimmied on his snowsuit and then hers, pushed on the boots, pushed some more, stuck on hats, wriggled on mittens and made our way outside. Every time out someone had some kind of an issue—water, pee, hurting finger, cold hands, wet gloves. Something. We came back in, de-suited and re-suited.

As I’m getting Anna into her snowsuit—the same one Alex wore in Sweden—I couldn’t help wonder how I managed this regime everyday. Every time we left the house for school, the store, play, playdate everything went on and then we came home everything came off again. Then it was washed and dried because sure enough we’d need it again really soon. My foyer was always a giant pool of water and my car always smelled a bit like stale water.

The only thing I could think of was that we do what we have to in order to survive the situation. Four months of snow meant four months of snow gear. And even that left me still loving the snow. Today, however, not so much. I think I liked it better when no one had an opinion about the cold. At least I grabbed a few minutes for myself to enjoy it all. Good snow like this doesn't come this way often.


Really? More School Issues

Are you tired of me talking about schools yet? I'm over at DC Metro Moms talking about it some more. Should I really be this concerned?