Friday, April 22, 2011

Saturday Roundup

Again, doing my roundup on Friday night. I'm going in to the office early tomorrow morning. I really don't want to have to work on Sunday. But the work has to get done before deadlines and if I don't want to take as much time during the week, that means the weekend.

This reminds me of a story. Years ago, an attorney I know through work told me about how he'd been working every weekend for months. One Saturday, he went into his boss' office and said, "I really don't want to work tomorrow." The boss said, "Neither do I....See you tomorrow." Said attorney now works at a different firm where he's the head of the practice group. Maybe next time I see him I should ask him if he now makes the young attorneys work all weekend. I bet he does. People are such workaholics.

Anyway, back to my roundup. I did exercise 5 times this week. I had one other day I could have, but I was just so tired I gave myself the day off. This morning I skipped my Wii Fit hula hooping. My back has been doing some little twinges and I didn't want to aggravate it. If I've learned one thing over the years from Mom #1, it is to be careful with Wii Fit hula hooping. It can mess with your back like nobody's business. I've actually learned many things from her, including that flip flops are perfectly acceptable footwear at formal occasions as long as they have sequins on them and the day always looks better with a pitcher of margaritas nearby.

Next week may be busier in the mornings and I don't think I'll do as well with the exercising. But busy with good things. We're taking the Girl Scouts to a vet's office for a tour. And the Cadettes are meeting one day to finish planning their carnival day they are throwing for the Brownies. Should be a fun week!

Happy Easter if you celebrate it! Hope your Passover was nice, if you celebrate that. Happy Earth Day today! And enjoy the weekend if none of the above apply to you (or even if they do, have a good weekend as well).

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

It worked!

Just had to share a homeschool success story tonight....

I've been having Violet study Latin off and on, and doing a program from The Critical Thinking Company called Word Roots, in an effort to learn vocabulary and how to figure out meanings of words with standardized tests in mind. Word Roots teaches the Latin and Greek prefixes, suffixes and roots.

This afternoon she was working on a page in the workbook that had her matching words with their definitions. There were 10 choices. She was able to match up "nomism" to "conduct based on moral law" because she could remember that the prefix "nom" means "law."

Okay, the full word association she went through is that over the summer the Food Network had a show about food trucks and one was called the NomNom truck. She liked that truck because the LOL Cats say nom, nom, nom when eating. And they say it because it is the sound Cookie Monster makes. So when we learned "nom" she said the food truck was the "law law truck."

But she remembered it and used it when needed! Shouts of joy!

I did tell her that was exactly what I'd been hoping she'd learn and that I was so happy that it worked. She hadn't gotten it before, why she needed to do that workbook. If she can just identify parts of words on standardized tests, she can deduce their meanings.

In other news, we skipped Pond Study today. I did let them know she wasn't coming. It was 37 degrees today. It had been raining for days (not today though) and everything is flooded. The wind chill lowered the temp another 10 degrees. That wasn't what I had in mind on the 65 degree day I signed her up for the class. I pictured myself lounging at a picnic table in the forest preserve reading a book while she was in the class merrily looking at life in the pond. Bundled up in a winter coat, long underwear, hat, scarf, mittens, and snow boots freezing her bippy off, wasn't what I envisioned. She would have been so miserable she wouldn't have learned anything anyway. She was all for cancelling. I hate signing up for stuff and not doing it, but this time, it seemed like the best move.

She's in a salamander class in a couple of weeks. Hopefully the weather will be more pleasant for that one.

Monday, April 18, 2011

feeling good

Just a quick note to say I've exercised the last 2 mornings and I am feeling good. Mr. I. noted that I looked like I lost weight. And I am trying to make work stay in its place and not interfere where it shouldn't. Did pretty good I think, for two days. Now to keep it up.

And completely unrelated....Does anyone have any advice on soap carving? I think Violet and Butterfly are going to try it for the Artistic Crafts IP. Ok, technically the badge suggests wood carving, but since we are all new to this, I think soap may be the better choice. The girls are 6th grade. Tools, how to, other advice, all would be welcome.

Have a good Tuesday!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Saturday Roundup

I have a pathetic report this week. I have not exercised once this week. First half of the week I was sick, the second half all hell broke loose. Well, maybe not all hell, but quite a bit of it.

I had extended family causing problems and stress. Work causing stress. Mr. I had stress of his own, causing stress. And the weather turned horribly cold and rainy. Plans got made, then changed at the last minute. Time set aside for work were lost, causing me to fall behind, which led to stress. There was a lot of stress this week. I could have really used a good yoga session if I'd only had 30 minutes uninterrupted.

Then, when I thought things were going to be calmer, I was woken up at 6:30 this morning with a phone call that one of Mr. I's aunts passed away last night. Mr. I was already up and in the shower getting ready for a big business showcase he was running a booth at. More stress as we figured out how to get in touch with his dad to let him know. Grandpa Incredible is in Germany for 4 weeks. Grandpa has been notified.

I am going to try to start next week off right by getting up and exercising tomorrow morning. And if I don't for some reason, I'm not going to beat myself up over it. Sometimes other things just take priority. Like rest and family.

Or like tonight: a Donald Westlake novel and a glass of merlot.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Back on my feet again

You know how after you've been sick and you start to feel better again, that's when you realize just how crummy you felt? That was me today. I had a lot more energy and my head wasn't bursting open. I definitely had been sick before and am a lot better. I'm still taking it easy, but I did get back to work today.

Thanks for all the hugs and good wishes!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Feeling crummy

I think I've overdone it again. I wish I could cut back on some activity or another and get some rest now and then, but I just don't know what can go. I'm not going to give up anything I do for Violet: homeschool, Girl Scouts or just plain being mom. I'd love to cut back at work, but that's not in the cards anytime soon. The electric company and the mortgage people are insistent about bills being paid each and every month. I barely clean the house as it is. Cooking? Well, if you call sticking the night's frozen pizza in the oven cooking... Maybe I need more fresh vegetables.


I've been feeling sick since Saturday night. I actually left the dinner with the girls early because my stomach was getting really, really upset. I've had a headache for 2 days. I can't look at the computer screen for long. I stared at it long enough this morning to determine it isn't a migraine because it doesn't throb. My throat is red.


I called in sick to work today. I was supposed to work on some stuff and be in a staff meeting. I couldn't bear the thought of even sitting on the phone for an hour listening to them hear themselves talk. (You know its what they do, it happens at every single staff meeting that takes place anywhere on the planet. Heck the staff meetings on other planets are probably the same..."did you hear Gork? I didn't think he'd ever shut up! I wanted to slap him with my tentacle!")

I think I just get overexhausted and my body forces me to take time off. I hate that. No one else does anything for me while I'm off. It just piles up.
I've got to feel better tomorrow.

Off to get some sleep.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Saturday Roundup, a little early

Well, I had another good exercise week. I exercised 5 times again. I didn't increase anything like reps or weight, but I didn't cut back either. Although there were a couple of times I wanted to!

I don't anticipate getting to exercise as much next week. It is going to be a busy week. We have family from out of state visiting the area. We'll be spending a few days with them.

Just after lunch today I answered my office phone line. It was my boss. In lieu of a greeting she said, "I want to throw up." Never a good sign. It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be, but did result in more work. I was so enjoying my break.

To clarify, I wasn't the reason for her impending vomiting.

I have to go to the office on Saturday, then I am going to dinner with the girls. Don't get me wrong, I love dinner with the girls. But I have the feeling after work tomorrow, I'd much rather just come home, shower and put on my jammies. Since "the girls" includes people I work with, who will also be going there from the office, I can't use the "I have to work card." They'll know. I'll just try to enjoy dinner and take off as soon as I can. It will be at least a 45 minute drive home after dinner.

I want my break back.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Yoga and Yogurt

A few months ago our Girl Scout service unit had an event called yoga and yogurt. It was a yoga class, followed by frozen yogurt. Violet and I thought it sounded like fun. So we asked our homeschool Girl Scout friends if they wanted to go. No one did (or in one case, weren't available). So we asked friend across the street, not available. Violet was bummed (this was right around the time the friend started distancing herself). She really didn't want to go with just boring old mom. Who can blame her? So we didn't sign up.

I'm on a friendly basis with the volunteer who plans the events. I was telling her we weren't going but had kind of wanted to. She said why don't you order the patches and do it on your own. (Well, first she said, sign up anyway, you'll know people there. Sure, I would, but Violet likely wouldn't.) She showed me the patch, and it was really, really cute. Normally I would say, if you don't go to the event, you don't get the patch, but.... The timing was such that I really hated to disappoint Violet again. Sure, disappointment is a part of life, but gosh, she was getting a lot of it at the time. Not letting your kid be disappointed all the time, is a part of a mom's job. I ordered us the patches.

Today, we finally did our yoga and yogurt day. We'd gotten a yoga DVD from the library and bought some frozen yogurt. We did the yoga routine to the best of our abilities. And enjoyed our yogurt. Tomorrow I'll sew our patches on. (We each have a canvas tote bag for our fun patches, Violet is on her third bag - what can I say, we love patches.) The patch is of a cow in the lotus position. Really cute. We won't make a habit out of getting the patches and doing our own, but once in a while bending the rules is okay.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Look at me, I got an award!

Mental gave me an award! Wasn't that stylish of her? I thought so. I'm not quite sure what a stylish blog is, but I'm sure this must be one, since it is a stylish blog award.

So, I'm supposed to tell you 7 things you don't know about me. That could be hard. I'm a pretty open book.

1. I do not like mustard or olives. Both are vile. I pick olives off my food and have perfected a means to scrape mustard off hot dogs when needed. Yes, I live not far outside Chicago and DO NOT eat mustard on my hot dogs. I've gotten some nasty looks from hot dog chefs over the years.

2. I only recently started liking dogs at all. I hated them for a over 35 years. One jumped on me "playing" when I was very young and scared the bujeebees out of me. Now I kind of want one. They are kinda cuddly and they love you no matter what. Except there's that whole having to walk them thing. And the smelly, drooly part. And why on earth must they sniff my nether regions? Okay, maybe I don't want a dog.

3. I also don't want pet birds again. Violet and Mr. I. do. They are loud and messy (pet birds that is, not Violet and Mr. I. Well, they are messy, but they aren't loud). I hate vacuuming up seed. Been there, done that. Have multiple cages in the basement to show for it.

4. Fall is my favorite season. I like it when the leaves change and the air turns cooler and you can wear your favorite sweaters again.

5. I wish I had been homeschooled, I could have actually learned something as a kid. Well, most of you are homeschool moms, I suppose that wasn't any big secret. I think most of us feel that way.

6. I eat a bowl of oatmeal almost every morning. I like it with a little brown sugar and some raisins. I've tried it with dried cranberries. It is okay, but I'm just not a huge fan.

7. I make lists. Maybe obsessively. Some days I can't do anything fun until I have all my things crossed off my to do list. Right now I have 3 to do lists, 6 book lists, and 2 shopping lists. I may need an intervention.

So, there are some new little tidbits about the woman behind the mask. Hope you have enjoyed and that my list was stylish.

Now I'm supposed to pass this along to 7 other bloggers. This is always the hard part. These awards travel fast. And I hate to leave anyone out. But here are 7 of my favorite bloggers in no particular order.

The Old Grey Mare

Mother Mayhem


Two Moms' Homeschool

Night Owl Mom

Tales of Homeschool

Homeschooling and Life in Sunny Florida

Thanks again, Mental, for my award. Have a great day everyone!

Sunday, April 3, 2011


It is amazing how much stuff you can get done on a weekend when you only work 3 hours instead of 10-16. I cleaned the house, got stuff put away, cleaned the hamster house, helped Violet make a cake, watched a movie, read my book, paid the bills, reconciled the check book, did the laundry, read with Violet, planned the school schedule for the next week, found some neat classes for Violet with the conservation district, and reviewed a Journey I think I'll offer to the Cadettes next year if they want to do it. Plus the usual cooking and dishes and that sort of thing.

About the Journey, it is called MEdia and is about putting the "me" in media. Violet was initially interested if it had stuff on advertising and print media and wasn't all movies and TV. My initial read through of the girl book (I got bored by the time I got to the leader book, so I'll read that another day - my attention span has gotten shorter and shorter over the years) is that we could definitely focus on ads and print if that's what they want. I'm thinking next winter would be a good time. I'm anxious to get outside with the girls this summer. They had a bunch of environmental and wildlife things in mind they want to do. I'd rather look at ads in February than look for wildlife frozen in the ice.

About the cake. It is a chocolate chip cake and is a recipe I got years ago from a former co-worker. It is delicious and I hadn't made it in ages. Violet has never had it and I knew she'd like it. Here it is for your baking enjoyment:

Chocolate Chip Cake

1/2 cup margarine
1 cup sugar
1 t vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
2 cups flour
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
12 oz chocolate chips

Cream margarine and sugar well. Add all other ingredients except chocolate chips. Mix well. Stir in 9 or 10 oz. of chocolate chips. Pour into a floured and greased tube pan (I bake mine in an angel food cake pan). Sprinkle remaining chips on top. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Delicious. Notice I didn't say good for you. Seriously, you want good for you, eat a carrot. You want an easy to make, tasty cake, give this a try.

Tomorrow is Cadette day. They are working on making carnival games for the Brownies for an upcoming carnival day. I'm not mentioning the Journey just yet. There are enough badges/projects in the works for now.

Looks like storms might be rolling in, so after I post this I think I'll shut down and unplug my computer for the night.

Hope you all had as good and relaxing a weekend as I did.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Saturday Roundup

I'm still searching for a name for this new feature. We've been reading the Ralph Moody, Little Britches series, so "roundup" has been on my mind. Not sure if that will stick.

Anyway, I exercised 6 times this week! One day I had a lot of work to do and had promised Violet we'd go to the thrift store. Deciding to miss exercising over the thrift store was an easy decision. We brought back quite a haul from the store!

In addition, I upped my hula hoop time from 3 minutes to 6 minutes. I noticed for the first time this morning that it was starting to get a little easier. I also upped my arm weights from 1 pound to 1.5 pounds. I used to do 1.5 all the time, but then when I quit for such a long period I couldn't keep it up.

In other news, we had a good week. It was busy, but things are calming down again. I finished work for this weekend by 1:30 this afternoon. Not the noon I had been hoping for, but still a full day and a half off in a row is very welcomed!

I signed Violet up for a fun sounding class today. It is Pond Exploration for homeschoolers aged 8-12, sponsored by our county conservation district. I was expecting there to be about 10 or 12 kids max, but when I called to sign her up I found out she was number 21, out of a max of 24! That's bigger than Violet usually cares for. But hopefully they'll have more than one instructor and will break the group up. The description reads, "Search for signs of aquatic food chains and food webs, and seek out examples of life cycles." They are supposed to wear sturdy shoes and come dressed for mud. How can you go wrong with that? Please don't tell me.

Next week we've got a couple of events, and next Saturday I'm back to the office, followed by dinner with the ladies directly afterward.

Tomorrow is Tangled and Chinese take out. Do I know how to live it up or what?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Too bad

Violet has had a best friend since they were both 4. The friend goes to public school, but since she lives right across the street, they'd play together on weekends, summers, school breaks. Until this year. The last year or two they'd gotten together less because the friend was always busy with homework during the school year. But she'd still be available during breaks.

This year Violet has gotten together with her once all school year. And that was when her mom and I arranged for her to come with us to a Girl Scout fall fest event. The friend belongs to a public school troop. Violet called her several times since, including a few times over Christmas break. The friend was free long enough to come over to our house with a Christmas present for Violet but couldn't stay. She didn't call back when Violet left messages. Today was the last day of spring break and Violet never heard a word from her.

Violet didn't call her this week. I left it up to her. Because frankly, after being told no so many times or not having calls returned, you really stop wanting to put yourself out there.

Mr. Incredible and I can only guess that the friend feels she's too grown up for Violet. They are both in 6th grade, but let's face it, public school middle school is a lot different than homeschool. Violet is young for 6th grade when compared to public school students, and that is one of our favorite things about homeschooling. She has no problem getting along with another homeschool girl who is also 6th grade age.

I wish I saw the friend's mom more. But she works long hours and when she's home she's busy with the kids' activities and school. I'd like to casually ask if there is a problem. In the north, you don't see your neighbors all winter long. Maybe this spring I'll see her out and see if she says anything.

Meanwhile, I've been trying to get Violet more involved with other activities and meeting new kids. It has been working. Violet's Girl Scout friends all seem to really like her and she gets along well at her new book club. But still it is too bad about her old friend.