Friday, September 30, 2011

Ode to the Quiet House

Well, not really, I'm not poetic and you don't want to read that drivel. I'm surprised you read the nonsense I put forth here.

It's Friday morning, Sonny Boy is off at school for the day and Igor is in preschool for the morning. Hubby has gone off to work. I should be doing about 1.5 million things including but not limited to the gym, taking a shower, cleaning up the mess that masquerades as my home. However I'm not. I'm sitting here at the dining room table looking out the window watching the trees thrash around in some pretty strong winds and being glad they are not really dropping leaves yet. I'm enjoying the quiet with only the clicking of the keyboard and the hum of the laptop fan. IT'S SOOO NICE.

Before I had children I would always have the T.V. on, or a radio going, something just to make noise. Now I crave quiet like I crave chocolate and it's harder to get. It always seems that one child or another is either talking to me, at me, or asking a question. If they are not doing that the TV is running or a video game is going or the kids are just simply playing and making noise. Quiet in my life has become such a commodity that I often stay up late into the night after everyone goes to bed just to have a little of it.

I suppose the actual physical need for silence stems from being an only child in a single parent household. Wasn't much noise there - though I can remember my mother telling me to turn down the radio a few hundred times when I was a teenager. But overall I suppose we were two quiet people. Hubby, while a natural talker with a loud voice that carries doesn't talk non-stop and we often have lots of time of just sitting together not saying anything ( I guess that means we've been married a long time)

Wisdom tells me to savor the time with the kids while they are young, I know Igor talking a blue streak will end - Sonny Boy eventually quit and he did it too. I know light saber battles, crashing cars into lego towers, and 98275402875 questions a day from Igor will end. I will try to live now and not let it get on my nerves, but I will seek the quiet and I will try to store it up in order for it to last until the next time it happens.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Cub Scout Wolf Elective 11a

I don't really remember actually sitting down and learning the words to America (aka "My Country tis of thee") somehow in someway the first verse sunk it's self into my lexicon of songs without study, the first verse of the National Anthem as well - though I do remember learning subsequent verses. I'm sure I could sing from America from memory by third grade easily as it was done daily after the Pledge of Allegiance.

Sunday was one of those days we were cooped in the house without much to do. Hubby was working on his honey-do list and the boys were climbing the walls. Sonny Boy, needs a prod to take action on things occasionally such as earning awards for Cub Scouts, he likes getting the awards but wants them just to magically happen. Anyway I decided it was a good day to tackle Wolf Elective 11a - Learn the first and last verse of America. Honestly I didn't know the last verse either, but it's a short verse similar in vein to the first. We got on Youtube and I found a video with the lyrics overlaid on majestic shots of American scenery. The video sang ALL the verses but I soon learned just where to advance to to skip the middle verses. We watched the video OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER. Sonny Boy soon started getting the song down but would still stumble and trip over lines. Worse is that he would chant it, something like have an antique English rap artist in the house. I kept instructing him to SING the song as that would make it easier to learn. We struggled, but I was proud of him for sticking with it and he finally got down with only a couple of prompts and I signed the book. This morning he could still get through it stumbling as did I on the second verse - hey I hadn't even had a cup of coffee yet.

Now what concerns me most is that while working on learning the song Sonny Boy said he'd never even heard the song, they don't sing it at school, it's not taught. I get that maybe the middle and last verses could be somewhat controversial - the song is practically a hymn - but the first verse I can't see be offensive to anyone's religion, and frankly it's a whole lot easier to sing than the Star Spangled Banner. Do we not teach even a modicum of patriotism anymore to kids? I get that some people are opposed to pledging allegiance to the flag (though what that flag represents gives the right to be opposed) I get that people don't want prayer forced upon their kids if that is not what they believe, public school is for the masses, and church is for your religion. That being said I think it's time that a few patriotic themes are taught in school. I shouldn't have to sit down and beat AMERICA into my son's brain when it's a song that anybody over the age of 25 doesn't remember even learning, that it just sunk into their brains through osmosis.

Another worrisome thing I learned is that my son has NO musical ability. I don't just mean unable to sing - I can't do that, and most kids I know can't really carry a tune well, tending to shout. I do think Sonny Boy is lacking more than most though as along with the inability to carry a tune he also has no concept of rhythm in song, speeding up and slowing down at random. He's said for a couple of years now that he does not like his music class and when asked why he tells us it's because his teacher sings in soprano and well being a kid I don't guess he realizes he can take it down an octave. I'm thinking it's a lack of being able to sing along with the other kids. I'm not sure, I may make a point of hunting down the music teacher when parent teacher conferences come along and get her take. I've always know the kid lacked rhythm, but I didn't realize it was such a severe case.

Next Cub Scout elective to tackle 11b - The Star Spangled Banner. Yeah, I'm a sucker for punishment, but even if he chants it at least he won't be embarressed by Jay Leno.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I almost want to coach Sonny Boys teams, then I remember I'd have to deal with their parents over inflated egos and change my mind.

As shared previously Sonny Boy is playing tackle football in the county league this fall. He's not a star but holding his own. He'd have more and better plays if the coach would just put him on the defensive line and keep him there. Sonny Boy is an aggressive tackler but lacks speed to catch anybody once they really get running. The kid is not going to be a track star. The boys have played two games now and the first game Sonny Boy played on the line and had three tackles and his hand in a few more gang tackles. The team lost by one touchdown. The second game Sonny Boy was moved off the line and was playing somewhere in the safety position ( it's 9 boy football so the positions aren't all the same). Sonny Boy had one tackle and a block that saved a touchdown run by the great little quarterback. The team won by one point which was a miracle as they were down three touchdowns in the first quarter. Sonny Boy didn't have the best of games personally and I think the coach realized as now he's back on the line again tonight for a scrimmage practice against the first team they played and he had way more tackles and was in o the play much more. Sonny Boy's personality is a good fit for football, he loves the tackling and hitting aspect of the game and it's saving poor little Igor from being his tackling dummy constantly. The good news is that he likes it enough he's drifting away from baseball (yay!) which I'm hoping we can leave by the wayside as it eats into summer so much and I'd much rather drag the camper around.

A cool thing is there is a local guy that takes sports pictures with an ultra high grade camera (his nephew is on the team) and puts them up on the Internet to purchase. The pictures are great and many look like Sports Illustrated shots. Hubby and I plan on purchasing a few and making Sonny Boy a scrapbook of the season. I'm glad he comes to the games as he gets pictures that are WAY better than I could ever get. One of the parents was speculating that he has a 4K camera set-up and I'm sure that's not far from the mark. Makes my little point and shoot look silly. I'd give the link, but sadly all kinds of identifying information is easily picked out on that website and I try to keep such information on the QT here on the blog so I can keep it public. However if you know me on FB or in real life let me know and I'll give you the link. There are so many pictures per game it's like watching in stop motion animation at times.

I do think Sonny Boy will try wrestling again this winter and possibly do a tournament or two and see how that goes. He did it on a little trial basis last winter and had a lot of fun. He didn't do any tournaments but showed some promise even against kids larger than he. Wrestling was fun to watch as it was obvious he was having a blast the entire time with a big grin plastered across his face constantly.

I feel bad for Igor as he won't get to do too many sports. Doctors have pretty much limited him to swimming. I'm going to look into what age the swimming leagues start and see about getting him some real swim lessons. Right now he's right on the cusp of real swimming without having an actual lesson so he might do quite well with it. I just hope he can see well enough without his glasses to see the blue line on the bottom of the pool.

Even with all the sports talk I don't really have big sports ambitions for either kid. Grant it a scholarship to Podunk U would be great considering the cost of a college degree, but I do think being involved in a sport is good for a kid, not just the physical aspects but the whole thing of learning to win and lose graciously and play fair.

Other than football life has been pretty calm, or as calm as it can be with all the running around we do. I can't imagine what it will be like when Igor's activities are thrown into the fray. Sonny Boy usually has one sport and Cub Scouts going at most times and then we'll end up doubling the Scouts and throwing another sport in there. Oye. That's why I'm excited when Sonny Boy proclaims he doesn't want to play baseball in spring.

School is going well for both boys. Sonny Boy is getting good reports from his teacher and his test and the like are coming home with good marks. Homework is tough, he's had enough of focusing at school and getting him to pay attention for the 10 or 15 homework problems he has plus a little reading is difficult. If I stand over him and keep him on task he can finish the work in a reasonable amount of time, if I don't it takes him forever. I try to balance my getting after him to stay on task with letting him linger and do it as his own pace as I figure he's got to learn to do it independently without mom hovering over him constantly. Igor is getting good reports from his preschool teacher. She remarks what a good kid he is. I personally think she just can't believe that he comes from the same household that produced Sonny Boy whom she taught for two years. Sonny Boy was a handful. Today Igor was assessed for physical therapy at the public school. I'm pretty sure they are going to drop him from that all together as the only thing he couldn't really do was throw a tennis ball accurately and catch it. The catching I'm pretty sure is do to his vision issues. Throwing is more from lack of practice. That's fine though as I feel he's pretty typical kid now and I don't see anything amiss in his development academically. I do feel he is a little immature emotionally but not severely so.

Hubby and I are trucking along. Hubby is enjoying his job and is thinking of taking on some speaking stuff at conventions. Pretty amazing for him as that's a huge step for him - speaking in public. I'm proud of him for pushing himself to do something that I know gives him more just butterflies.

Well I'm so busy being Mom I can't turn around. Shuttling kids, housework, volunteer work - both Cub Scouts and at the school and just the junk of everyday life has me hopping.

Life is Good

Friday, September 16, 2011

Random Rants, Because REALLY?!?

It's possibly I'm just grouchier than normal, I don't know but a few things are really getting under my skin lately.

Snack at school. Yeah, it seems pretty innocent but is it really necessary to feed kids two hours after their breakfast and one hour before their lunch. Has anybody not noticed that the average rear end in this country has expanded greatly in the last 15 years. Don't you think teaching kids that they need to eat every hour on the hour contributes to this? I also don't like the way it is done in Sonny Boy's classroom. You see I am a sucker volunteer and I am now a teacher's helper for one hour a week while Sonny Boy's teacher teaches math. My job is to hover around the back of the classroom, and redirect the daydreaming kids, make sure they have their books out, following directions, have the right page etc. All this is going on while the kids are nibbling on crackers, fruit snacks, granola bars, juice boxes, and assorted matter of "snack foods" - not one REAL piece of fruit did I see. The kids are trying to drag stuff out of their lift top desk while working hard not to dump a water bottle or baggie of crackers all over. How they really expect 2nd graders to pay attention to a math lesson while trying to see what goodie Cindy across the room has brought with her is beyond me. Honestly, I can't imagine what a mess it makes as I had to help one kid mop up a water spill off of his desk. REALLY, it's not necessary to feed them in the a.m. I know this does not make me popular with Sonny Boy who wants to carry his own snack that I oppose. He has breakfast, he has lunch, he has an after school snack and a dinner that I hope we all get to sit down to. I fix him a plate he must eat all of (a reasonable serving) then he can go back for seconds on whatever is there or have some yogurt or whatever treat is going around the house. Constant eating is not good. Now before everyone gets themselves in a tizzy, I understand that their are kids who have some REAL MEDICAL REASON to eat a snack and of course those children should have something, however I'm sure they are few and far between and the 27 kids in my son's class are not likely to suffer from such medical condition.

Even more worrisome is this problem coming up in kindergarten with Igor. He's such a poor eater at most meals, snacks are VERY small and very limited with him. 10 goldfish crackers is enough to keep him from eating a decent lunch. Hopefully things will change in his food behaviors in the next year as I see a battle coming on concerning him and a snack in kindergarten.

To continue on my ranting tirade.....

FACEBOOK. I like FB, it's fun. But really it's not your place to impose your religious views or political views, rant about your children's father/mother, or other people. If that's what you want to do start a blog, it's free, look in the right hand corner of this page. In the last few weeks I've seen a person rant about the "corporate establishment" the very same one that earns him a comfortable paycheck weekly, another has blasted "Christian" young women for their immodest dress (really I'm sure somebody thinks the fact she wears make-up, cuts her hair, and wears pants is immodest too). I've seen another rant about having to pay child support - really their YOUR children, take care of them. Several post terrible remarks about exes they have children with - honestly you shouldn't talk about your children's mother/father like that on a public forum even if they are total buttheads.

Things I do think are OK to post. Good news, new jobs, new babies, new house, new car, heck even a new pair of shoes if your excited about them. Maybe no so good news, Aunt Jane passed away the funeral is Tues at 4:00, I lost my job, I'm now looking. Funny things your kids do or say, kids' accomplishments. The Aww Geez I'm tired of life, stuff everybody else deals with too, like having to mop the kitchen floor two hours after you just mopped because kid spilled juice. Really people THINK before you post.

What I'd like to hear from you dear readers, should I put snarky comments up when people are ranting about something that probably should not be on FB? To the person complaining about child support say "well you had 'em, you pay for 'em" the one proclaiming that people dress immodestly quote bible verse that it is obvious they don't follow. What do you do? So far I've stayed out of the discussion/fray and kept to myself but oooo how my fingers itch to type out a snarky remark.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


If this running around to activity after activity, and forcing homework down a tired 2nd grader's throat is what I'm up against for the next 12 years or so I'm going to call it quits.

SOOOOO tired.