Friday, September 10, 2010

first week of school

We survived it. Barely. Everything was going well until the stomach flu hit our house in a big way.

Let's start with Monday, no wait, how about the weekend...

Before starting school we had to say good bye to summer. The proper way to do that is with an afternoon at the beach and a delicious dinner of fire-roasted hot dogs. Unfortunately for us, many other people had that same idea. We were pit-less so I did what any self-respecting mom would do when her babies start complaining of hunger. I stabbed the dogs and walked over to the nearest pit, inhabited by Cal Poly girls. I'm only 10 years out so I didn't think it would be THAT weird, but yeah, it was awkward. "Hey guys, can I borrow your fire?" Weird looks. "Uh, yeah, sure." Then for the next five minutes I prayed those dogs would roast at lightening speed. Mission accomplished, kids feed, evening saved.

Monday morning we started off with a delicious breakfast casserole and fruit. The beauty of home schooling is that I don't have to be out the door at 7:30am fully dressed and looking effortless as I scoot my children into their classrooms. I don't have to throw on a hat and pretend that I actually PLANNED to wear a hat rather than shower that morning. Jason can sleep. The boy NEEDS his sleep. Cameron can wear her weird outfits. And we can start school at the beautiful hour of 9 o'clock...
Don't these kids look happy? An hour and a half earlier they didn't look this happy. And none of us had to sit in school traffic. Beautiful!

And so, we were off to a smooth start. Cameron sailed through her kindergarten lessons: Bible, math, reading, handwriting. She joins Jason for some history, science art and music. Jason and I discussed the plan for this year before this morning arrived. He understands that I will have to spend more time with Cams so he needs to be able to read his schedule and do the assignments that he can do on his own until I am available to help him. So far, so good. The boy is a first-born, box-checker, just like his mom, so this works.
Little Miss Hayden had some special time playing with dad while the kids and I did school. She stayed out of trouble... today.

On Tuesday school went well once again. We will be doing art lessons on Tuesdays so we started off the program by looking at art that is realistic versus artwork that takes creative twists. The kids then painted fish but added unrealistic features and colors. I'll be using ideas from Art Projects for Kids and Deep Space Sparkle.
I took Jason to AWANA Tuesday night (which he LOVES) and then something awful began in our home. I had a restless night of sleep. I was awakened with nausea and at 7am Wednesday morning the horror began. I won't go into details here. My brother is better at "getting-sick-and-living-to-blog-about-it", so you can check out his blog for nasty disease details. But let me just say, that without my parents we would not have survived!

The kids and Darren got through school Wednesday morning but by the afternoon he was down too. My parents came and picked up the kids (even packing their bags and taking them overnight). I'm not sure what happened next because we spent the next 24-36 hours in a sick-induced haze. If you're one of those people who likes to see the good in every situation then you can rejoice with me for losing 2.5 lbs. in one day! (Darren lost 5... that guy has to beat me at everything!).

On Thursday afternoon the kids returned home and we did our schoolwork for the day. They like Thursdays because we do music appreciation. They become very animated conductors and dancers when we have our classical music CD playing. I'll have to figure out how to post video of that!

Friday was a breeze. After surviving week one, I'm sure we're bound to have a very successful year.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

while others went back to school...

we went back to Legoland! This week we packed up the family and headed down south to the kids' favorite destination. The excitement in the car was a electric as we set off and soon fizzled as the kids came to understand that they'd be in the backseat for 6 hours! They were content to watch Looney Tunes for most of the drive so we only had the occasional moan of desperation/exhaustion from the backseat.

When we arrived at our hotel Cameron declared, "this is better than our house!" That kind of sentiment always warms a mom's heart :/
After a dip in the pool and dinner we settled in for the night. It was a restless, sleepless night. The folks on the floor above us were running laps around their room until after midnight and Hayden was in and out of sleep all night. Darren and I loaded up on coffee and positive thinking the next morning so that our sour moods wouldn't ruin the day.

It doesn't take long after you step on to the grounds of an amusement park for your mood to lift.

As the day wore on we explored every nook and cranny of the park and the kids bravely stepped on to every ride (except the elusive Technic roller coaster, Jason has declared that one to be too big and too fast). Cameron went on her first roller coaster and also earned her Lego driver's license. She is very proud of herself and will tell you all about it if you ask!

After about 4 hours we stepped into the new Legoland waterpark and spent some much needed time relaxing as we floated down the lazy river. At this point I didn't trust myself to take pictures and look after a water-loving, diving toddler at the same time so there are no pictures of this portion. Just know, that the waterpark was fabulously refreshing.

The park had a deal to add on a second day for only $10 per person, so we took them up on the offer and returned for a second day of fun. Our second night in the hotel was much better than the first, everyone was able to sleep well after a long day at the park. The drive home was ok, it will be much easier to travel once Hayden can communicate with words rather than grunts and screams. But in the meantime her cute face will ease the frustration of not understanding her needs.
Stay tuned as next week we start school. Jason will be a third grader, Cameron officially starts Kindergarten and Hayden begins her reign of terror as we try to school with a toddler tearing up the house. Any creative suggestions for corralling the little one would be much appreciated!