Sunday, October 19, 2014

progress on the fort...

the kids made it home from their grandparent's house
and we immediately got to work on our fort project.
we made lots of progress and the kids rocked their jobs,
though i thought the nail gun would be a lot more popular than it was.  
weirdly, the kids like measuring and delivering the wood to their dad.  

alrighty, i'm on day five of the z-pak and i still feel like crud.  
(plus, it's throwing my calcium off)
hmmmm...i probably should have gone for the kenalog shot while i had the chance.  

update in the light of day...
(ignore the unfinished landscaping)


Thursday, October 16, 2014

still coughing, still soup making...

it was a slow day filled with five batches of broccoli cheddar soup (crockpot and stovetop),
lots of laundry, organizing, couch sitting in spurts, and a bunch of coughing.
but i am feeling better tonight and nick and i tackled a couple of chores we've been needing to do -
and now we're settled down for a "date at home"...a movie, brownies and hanging out.

and then i will bag up my soup to freeze and head to bed early. 
that's such a good thought.
and i think i may just feel well enough tomorrow to get some stuff done.
that's an even better thought.

soup day...cough, hack, cough...

i spent half of yesterday at the prompt care center (which i love),
getting steroids and breathing treatments and $100 worth of scrips.  
i probably pushed this two week walnut dust cough a bit far.  
in fact, i know i did.
(and the doctor told me, firmly)
but i was letting projects and adrenaline take over.  
hand slap, my bad.  

so, after the doctor's appt.,
i spent the rest of the day on the couch, 
getting up briefly to make a triple batch of cauliflower soup.
tomorrow is broccoli chedder and luke's favorite cheeseburger soup.  
the kids have been begging me to start making and freezing soups now that the weather is turning.  
they like to be able to pull soup out at any given time
(and not have to depend on me getting up and doing it for them).
we have a lot of other favorite soups, but these freeze the best and are the kid's favorites -
and weirdly require a lot of the same ingredients.  

i should be in bed, but it is 1:30 in the morning 
and one of my new meds is giving me a bit of a energy buzz.
i should probably crack open the liquid codeine (which i detest)
to counter the high of the inhalers.  

but at least i put all of my energy to good use and headed upstairs
to get all of our schoolwork ready for next week together,
sorted nick's musical misc., sorted the last of the unpacked art supplies,
fluffed the couch, cleaned up the stations, reorganized the craft supplies...
and then nick must have rolled over and looked at the clock and yelled at me.

so i've been downstairs cleaning counters, folding laundry, taking my p.m. meds, 
cleaning out the litterbox, feeding the cat, petting the cat, folding the laundry...

i think it's time to take a shot of codeine and try to stop this runaway train.
(this is why i hate new meds)

night/morning/whatever  :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

the is grand and it is open!

when our amazing superintendent, Daniel, approached me a year ago
with the idea of helping design the library remodel -
i was thrilled at the idea!
our school is amazing and our staff deserving and it was time...
plus, the library is housed in the old white schoolhouse, which is the jewel of our campus.  

but it was a hot mess when we started -
it was working too hard and not getting enough done for both the parents and the students.
so, the parent's lounge left and our library got to spread its wings, shift and shake it all out...
and now we have such an amazing space.

so, hundreds of hours later (i wish i was kidding),
it is finally wrapping up and we gathered at the school last night to celebrate our progress.
i am so happy for our school and where we are headed.
i am so happy for my kids, our librarian, our staff, all of the other families -
we have such a bright future ahead of us.  

and now i get to go back to my previously scheduled life...
next week, i am taking my computer out to the school
and i will sit down at a spot i have in mind under those big beautiful windows
and i will go back to the rewrite on my current script -
the one that is scheduled to be done at the end of October (oops!)
i am giddy at the thought.

so, take a look at some of the pictures i took after the party wrapped up last night.
it was still a bit mussed up - but you get the idea.  ;)

Monday, October 13, 2014

hope your day is better than mine...

sniffle. sniffle. 
curse the walnut tree shaking gods.
cough, cough.

these are the moments i hate living in the middle of the "bread basket" of the world. 

now, i will go back to googling allergen detox methods. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

my mojo is off...

i go through these short-to-very-protracted spells of bad culinary mojo.
(i can't even begin to talk about the five year bad almond roca spell i am in at the moment)
sometimes it is sauces, some it is spicing soups, some marinating meat.
this week is cinnamon rolls.
man, i have messed up three pans of these.
which means i bombed on my promise to make cinnamon rolls for my kids three times.  
but i powered through and finally got my mojo back.

though, fair warning...
if you live near me, you will be getting cinnamon rolls this morning.  
the kids will only eat one, i only drink smoothies in the morning (bad medicine mojo)
and i hate to see such beautiful specimens of yeasty goodness go to waste.  

you've been warned.  

ps: recipes for rolls HERE, glaze HERE

ps2: go make that glaze and put it on everything.  seriously, the best glaze ever.

Monday, October 6, 2014

general conference weekend...

a menagerie of stuffed animals covers every surface of our living room,
blankets carpet the floors, pillows are strewn,
the boys are cuddling and every time the choir sings, 
charlie looks up with a smile and says,
"it's so pretty when they sing."

conference weekend is officially over,
but the mellowness of the weekend lingers.  

if i could beg parents to do one thing and one thing only...

don't build a box for your children.
don't build it and don't put them in it. 
in this new era of parenting -
you know the one,
where parents stand around in groups talking about how amazing their kids are
while their kids are wreaking havoc behind them.
(or creepier yet, the children that have mastered their own parent's toolkit of manipulation
and wreak havoc carefully and with sinister glee behind their parent's backs)  
where parents find it easier to label or have their children labeled
rather than own up to their own faults or shortcomings.
where excuses, praise, ridicule, judgements, adoration, the whole ball of wax -
are more about mommy and daddy than about the children in their care. 
where a cute outfit and expensive toys
are more important that a clean house or a homecooked meal or a day at the park.

talk to your kids, don't talk about them. 
don't praise them for accomplishments you're not sure they've even earned.
don't build their box just big enough to fit nominal growth and a huge ego.

both of my children have strengths and weaknesses.
both my children have taken turns being better than the other at different subjects,
both of them have learned differently than their sibling.
both think nothing is impossible.
both do hard things.
my kids are just normal kids. 
what will make them exceptional is if i refuse to build them a box, a wall, a boundary.
their curiosity will know no bounds in this life. 
their education will never end.

do i worry about them?
am i overwhelmingly proud of them at times?
do i feel the full gamut of emotions that come from not only having a child,
but homeschooling a child as well?
of course.  

but i keep it to myself.  
i let their actions, reactions, seized opportunities and enthusiasm speak for themselves.  
i am too busy teaching them to be better people, to learn as they go -
then to stand around and try to convince myself and the world that they came out perfect.
we have enough perfect children.  
we don't have enough humble, open, inquisitive and joyful children.  
lets stand around and talk about that, 
lets talk about the work it takes to raise a good human being.
lets forget about the scholars, the sports stars, the perfect dancers, the child models.  
let our children be all of those things and then so much more.  

let's give our children the world,
not a fantasy, a bubble that will pop, a box that will confine, a life that will constrain.  

do you know why i read everything i can get my hands on?  
do you know why i have traveled?  speak spanish?  learn to throw pots at 36?
do you know why i stay up late talking health care policy with my husband?
why i learned to make bread?  pickles? jam? 
to write television scripts? children's books?  storylines for gaming?
why i am contemplating another master's degree?  in an entirely new medium?
why i homeschool?  garden? want to raise chickens?
why i teach cooking classes?  anatomy?  STEM?  earthquakes and landforms?
do you know why i spend hours listening to the world around me?
serving and receiving at the same time?
do you know why?

i do this because i was never put in a box.
because in the midst of the relative chaos of my childhood,
and the slow demise of my parent's marriage -
my parents did a few things right.
one of those things was the persistent message of "you can do anything"
i grew up wanting to be an aeronautical engineer for NASA and the first woman president.
all i was ever told was, "but of course you can!"

and as my family finally fell to pieces and my childhood went from bad to so much worse -
one of the greatest gifts that came from this was being raised in a state of neglect,
and from being forgotten and put aside -
was that no one was there to drop those invisible "you can't" or "you shouldn't" boundaries around me. 
sure, 13 schools was too much and left me with many disadvantages, 
as i was always struggling to keep up with each new set of peers at each school,
and countless traumatizing, dangerous and scarring experiences dotted the landscape of these years...
but no one was there to tell me that, no one gave me excuses...
there was only myself.  
so, i just showed up and made myself be awesome at whatever i did.
there was no box to hold me in, to conform me to any expectation or standard.
i dreamed big because no one was there to tell me not to.  
no one was there to channel where they wanted me to go in life,
to tell me all the things i was good at and bad at and define my parameters of ability.    

this is why i've always said i would never change a thing.  
i got to be me.

we can give our children this same world view
(minus the emotional trauma and near death experiences)...
just take a step back, stop talking, stop praising, stop shaming,
stop campaigning for what you want people to think you are, think your family is -
just stop.
and just be. 

be open to the hidden gifts your children have not discovered or shown you.
be open to the opportunities life will provide.
be willing to listen, to learn, to change.
to be malleable, to be loving, to be challenging.

be willing to be the open arms, the loving push, the infinite dreamer for your child.  


ps: in the midst of all the chaos, pain and frustration of this last year,
i lost my voice a bit.
or a lot.

i am going back to sharing my deep thoughts, 
freaking you out with my oversharing
and talking about the hard stuff.

and for those of you that hate the hard stuff,
who've told me how much my blog bugs you when i write like this -
tough squirrel nuts.
stop reading.

ps2: and for those of you who missed me this past year,
bring it on -
ask me all the tough questions no one ever asks me.  
adoption, cancer, marriage?
i'll talk about anything. 
i need to talk, to write.

it's my process.