Monthly Archives: August 2008

Shall we Order McCain/Palin t-shirts?

This was the subject line in an email from my good friend, Holly, which arrived in my inbox this morning.

Perhaps it is not the most politically astute decision to be in favor of someone just because they are a mother of five, like I am, with the youngest one having Down syndrome, like ours does. But I believe it says a lot about Mrs. Palin that she knew her baby had DS and she still chose to give life to her child.

And surely there are others in the US of A who are in favor of a particular candidate because of something as non-political as what I am mentioning here.

I don’t get very involved in political discourse, although I do vote every time I have the chance. I haven’t read the cynical version of why McCain chose Palin, although I’m sure someone out there has cast aspersions on his reasoning. I don’t guess we really get to know everything — all we can do is figure things out the best we can.

I’m even going to get a yard sign. First time ever.

One Week of Homeschooling Down – 35 to Go

So, we just finished up week one yesterday and I would have to say it gets a big thumbs up. I had two extra long days with my two at-home-full-time kiddos and both days were fun, enjoyable for all of us, and stress-free. Even having Kepler toddling around was pretty easy to handle.

Seems like the difficulties last year helped me figure out what might work better this year, in terms of curriculum and scheduling. And the fact that I don’t have to drive to football, soccer, and/or basketball practice at all is making things pretty nice at home.

I was reminded of Stephen Covey’s concept of putting the “big rocks” into the schedule first and then fitting other things in as they fit. Defining what the “big rocks” are this year has gone a long way this first week to making sure they actually get covered.

Now that I have gotten a taste of being able to focus on the big stuff, I will jealously guard my schedule from fluff and important things that want to crowd out the most important stuff. Stay tuned!

iPods and Water don’t mix

In this picture, someone has cleverly created a tiny aquarium in an ipod looking thing. Yesterday at my house, someone cleverly tried to do the same thing, but that someone decided to just put my U2 ipod INTO the fish bowl on the table.

This raises many questions.

How did he get onto the table?
Was there ever as expensive a beta fish as we have now?
Did he KNOW about this iPod aquarium thing and was he trying to replicate it?
Was he just being two or was there something more to this?
Did you know that you can get water into an iPod far easier than you can get it out?
Even if you shake it?
Even if you suck the water through the headphone jack?

My advice to all of you beta-owning,fishbowl-on-the-table-positioning, two-year-old-badly-supervised-parents out there is this:

Throw away your chairs, so your child can never get on your table.

Long Conversations with ?????


I got up this morning and needed to use the phone. (Ha! I bet you thought I was going to say bathroom!). So, I padded around quietly trying to locate a phone. We have four extensions, and usually at least two are MIA. Those people who came up with phones with cords had a really brilliant idea.

I found the phone under the train table. And noticed it was off the hook. So to speak. And I noted that the current “conversation” had been going on for 532 minutes. That could be a record here.

Thankfully, we aren’t charged by the minute, so I just calmly hung up and made my call.

Partly Sunny with a Chance of School Starting


I’m trying to figure out how school is going to work this year. I have four kids I’m homeschooling. Two go to the homeschool program two days a week. The other two will be home full time. I have also chosen to have my older two kids do their math at home, and the science outside of the homeschool program. The only catch is this makes ME responsible for the whole kit and caboodle. I know, I know, I AM responsible for the whole kit and caboodle. The kit and caboodle are just a little intimidating right now. My brilliant 14-year-old son, who truly is not one iota less than brilliant, has a mind that works very differently from mine. Therefore, some of the questions I ask him are taken by him as evidence that I do not trust him. Questions like, can I see that website where the list is? He is able to make decisions on a dime and seems to have almost computer-like abilities to process information quickly. I, on the other hand, can make different types of decisions quickly, and I have my own computer abilities. The types of things we process quickly are pretty much opposite from each other. I am not frustrated or angry or disappointed with him — I see the process of working with him as a very good challenge, one that I enjoy because he DOES think so differently than I do. I’m still trying to figure out how best to frame my questions, encourage him, etc.

The current struggle is over the chemistry assignment he has to complete before the first day of class. I want him to do it well, to have the finished product show clearly his writing ability, his grasp of the material and evidence that he spent some good time researching, thinking and processing the info. I came upon him this afternoon, switching from window to window — first the info site, reading a few sentences, distilling the points, then back to the essay page, where he would insert his thoughts. To me, that seems like a lazy way to do the work. Lazy is a pejorative word — maybe efficient is a better word. Ultimately, though, I don’t see that method as requiring much of him. And with the capabilities he has, I want him to use his brain and heart and mind to do hard things well.

He has the ability to see the bigger picture, and the connections he makes are often pretty cool. But those connections come when he really cares about what he is talking about. I don’t think he really cares about this essay.

So, after he made his case for doing his way, I said ok. Go ahead. Do it the way you think you should. Two minutes later, he tells me he thinks the way I was suggesting is better and he’s planning to work on it as soon as he has some toast. Go figure.

Kids — All That Energy and So Little Time


A few years back, dearest Val accidentally removed the tile wall from the shower. Totally not her fault. But, it required a major overhaul of the bathroom. At the time, one of the greatest ideas I had was to install a laundry chute, making the process of getting the clothes to the washing machine easier than you can imagine.

One of the things that I’ve noticed over the years is that my kids, from time to time, find the laundry chute entirely too difficult to use. Granted, you DO have to raise a door in order to place the clothes in the chute, and if you have a LOT of clothes, you might have to stuff them down with your foot.

I always love it when I go into the bathroom, just minding my own business, singing a little ditty, and go to get a washcloth out of the cabinet. And what do I spy? Dirty clothes sitting ON TOP of the laundry chute door. Did he/she not notice the door was closed? Was he/she too intent on getting back to the computer or tv? Does he/she feel it is not his/her job to lift the door and that should really be left to the parents who have nothing to do but clean up globs of diaper droppings?

The funny part is that I almost always know who did it because he or she was probably just asked to pick up the clothes in the family room, or do a sock search-and-rescue. I especially love it when the dirty socks are FLUNG into the cabinet, mingling their icky odors with my face washcloths.

Just another sweet family memory that we will no doubt laugh about when these children grow up and start bringing home fiancé(e)s and spouses and we sit around the table telling funny stories about the kids. Can’t wait!

How LOW can you GO?



Glycemically and hydratedly speaking, apparently too low. I found this out the hard way yesterday as I found myself looking up into a circle of concerned faces who were saying, “Siouxsie, do you know where you are?” My first answer to that was, “mmmghj.” You see, although I thought I was taking into consideration the fact that I had just worked out and was now giving blood, apparently, I put myself into a deficit situation, and after I perkily gave blood and jauntily answered the “How are you feeling?” question before I got out of the chair, my body had other ideas. As I sat at the table and tried to get some juice and cookies into me, I knew it was going to be too little too late and I croaked out, “I’m not feeling too good!” Next thing I knew, I woke up looking at this circle of faces wondering WHERE in the world I could possibly be.

Well, I’ll spare you the gory details of the whole process of getting back on my feet. Let’s just say part of it involved a bucket with a red bag in it. I would guess it took about an hour to feel good enough to leave. My blood pressure was fine, start to finish, at least when they were taking it. I suppose it must have gotten a little wonky during the fainting.

I spent the rest of the day resting and feeling pretty shaky and sleepy and weak. I abandoned the low-glycemic eating for the day because I just wanted to make sure I got to feeling better.

So, I’ll share my learning with you:

1. Do NOT workout and then go give blood.
2. Do NOT think a protein shake is a “good meal” to have before you give blood.
3. Do NOT workout, forget to drink much water afterward, and then give blood. This leads to dehydration.
4. DO drink water if you faint from dehydration — it makes you feel much better than nasty old Sierra Mist.
5. Do NOT think you can never give blood again just because you spend an hour of your afternoon on the floor of the Donation Center.
6. DO put a cold cloth on your stomach if you are nauseated — it helps the nausea settle.
7. DO make sure that if you decide to change your eating style, you still get enough to eat.

Last, but not least, I know this post has been an excellent time for me to exhort all my readers to give blood. It really is an important service and does save lives. So, if you don’t give blood currently, just re-read the list of do’s and don’t’s above, and get out there and save some lives!

Welcome to My Kitchen


In the evenings, I usually retire to my bedroom to escape from the sound of the television in the family room. I snuggle up in bed with a great book and my bottle of water and read until Kepler comes in to go to sleep, at which time I go to sleep as well. Am I a party animal or what? (Note that my accompanying photo is also a public service announcement. Am I am civic-minded gal or what?)

Well, last night, my lovely diapered son had one of THOSE diapers and the rest of my lovely family rose to the occasion, bathing him, changing the diaper, fumigating the rooms, etc. which I deeply appreciate. Truly and deeply. They are all great with taking care of Kepler.

This morning, though, as I walked through the kitchen, I noticed they had, uh, forgotten something. How to say this. There was a largish, hardened clump of something. Something that by the looks of it had escaped from that bad diaper last night. (Sorry to all you childless people for whom this is probably incomprehensible).

Don’t worry. It’s all cleaned up and disinfected now. And while we were at it, we pulled the refrigerator out from the wall. I think, maybe from the looks of what we found under there, it may have needed to be done a little sooner. But it’s done now and everything is sparkly and clean and we really enjoyed those raisins. (not really!)

Which reminds me, how is it so difficult for the eaters in this house to get the grapes they snitch from the fridge into their mouth? And the chocolate chips from the freezer into their mouth? Talk about be sure your sins will find you out. Not that either thing is a sin, cause neither is, but I always chuckle when I see the chocolate chips on the floor since I know they (kids, not chocolate chips) all try to be so sly. The darn grapes, though, roll under the fridge, which, as we have established, needs to be moved a little more often. But the grapes do make some LOVELY raisins . . .

Just to finish up here — under the fridge we found the following items: 5 different types of toys, a plethora of pencils, a myriad of markers, a 1/4 cup of chocolate chips, very and sundry bits and pieces of food, and, drumroll please, an envelope from last Christmas.

But let’s focus on the bright side, shall we?

I am a Happy Girl



I am losing weight.

I am losing weight.

I am losing weight.

I am losing weight!

There must be a million blog posts on this subject, so I’ll keep this one short. Working out and eating low-glycemic has pushed the right buttons and I am seeing a lower number on the scale every day. And I am psyched.