Friday, November 20, 2009

call me crazy

but things have been getting easier. More peaceful. I have made some changes in the day's routine that have added up to HUGE changes for the whole day. Like starting out the morning with some book time. We snuggle, we read until the kids get bored, and everyone feels calmer and more connected. I make sure the kids get at least an hour playing outside. Usually more. I make sure to snuggle my big kid as much as he lets me. At night, I read to both kids together, rather than splitting them up. It seems to calm them both down more to have this "before bedtime" settling down.

We still have no social hook ups going with homeschooling, but I am feeling relaxed that it will come in time.

I am not trying to jinx it, but finally, FINALLY, life seems to be settling down. For now.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

at least my failures are wearable....

I keep having these great ideas that turn out not so great. Knitting socks. Great idea, right? Man, finding the perfect pattern is almost impossible. I found a pattern I loved except for the horrible short row toes and heels. They are a mess. So I made a pair of socks with so many imperfections that I am not willing to give them to anyone with eyes. Or hands. Or anyone who knows anyone with eyes or hands. And since I don't know anyone fitting that description, they are now mine.

Then I was going to knit and felt some slippers for the baby. Everyone told me how easy it is to felt. Just make it big and shrink it in the washer. No problem. Finding actual directions? Ha. Make a swatch first? Double ha. Once they were done and big enough for me without being felted, I looked up some directions before felting. Oh, use bigger needles so there is room for shrinkage? huh. No way these puppies will fit her, so I just got myself a pair of unfelted slippers. Using, I might add, my new favorite sock pattern. No stinkin' short rows.

In the mix of trying to figure out if the slippers would felt down, I made a swatch. A tube, in fact. I thought I could find something fun to do with it. While it did shrink, it proved once and for all that I was going to own those slippers. But what to do with a tube of red knitting about 4 inches long and a couple inches wide? I don't know a single person to whom I can give a penis warmer, so I came up with this.

People will appreciate little candy shaped tree ornaments, right? They will never know the other uses....

PS Beebz now has little red slippers just like mine, unfelted. She is currently napping in them so I can't get a picture. Just imagine mine. Little. On the cutest little girl ever. Got it? Got it.

PSS Also Pablo now has one slipper and the second is on needles. He wants to hop around in just one and is put out that I won't let him. Poor kid.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

In sickness and in health

Last week the kids each got sick for about a day and a half. And then they were fine. I, on the other hand, am still feeling it, more than a week later. Flu symptoms, body aches, the works. I am feeling better now, except for a cough that seems intent on wintering in my lungs. Of course, all this has thrown life into a tail spin.

School? What school? House cleaning? Ha. I was even too tired to knit for a few days. That's pathetic. I am getting back into the swing of things slowly, not expecting too much. I hope. Because I have no interest in relapse.

Oh. And did I mention that apparently my computer got the flu too? Yeah, it keeps stopping windows and saying things like "back up hard drive immediately, failure imminent" and "retrying system start... retrying system start...." So I removed any recent downloads, ran my virus software, and all that. You know, silicon chicken soup. So far, it seems to be doing better, as evidenced by the fact that I was able to type this much without a shutdown. sigh.

We all seem to be back in the land of the living. or at least functional. I am glad to be back!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wanted: live-in chemist.

He wants to know what you get when you mix beryllium and magnesium or with aluminum or with silicon. (Actually he has been systematically going through the periodic table asking about each element plus each other element....) And why it would or wouldn't work. He listened patiently while I tried to explain that the likelihood of elements bonding is based on their outer shells and whether they are almost full or almost empty. I was totally flying by the seat of my pants, trying desperately to remember a subject that I haven't studied for more than 15 years (and organic chem kicked my butt so hard that I spent years TRYING to forget it!). I can't freakin' tell him why each elements reacts with some elements but not with others!

This is the down side of homeschooling. I can't shove him off on some expert and breathe a sigh of relief. Of course, if he were in school, it would be another 8 years or so before he met someone who could explain it all, so I guess that would be the downside of school. Before now, when he had these hard questions, it was no problems to find the answer on the internet. A simple, here ya go kind of answer. Not this one. With this I get intros into chemistry or things that are too far over my head to even contemplate. But nothing that answers his question.

Add to this Pablo's alarming tendency to just make up his own answers and then BELIEVE them with a will beyond reason, and I tend to panic about finding the right answer. He has no problem deciding that maybe some elements just aren't very nice so they won't bond with other elements or that if you just add enough beryllium something exciting will happen when you mix it with magnesium. He doesn't understand why he can't have a sample of every element, even the radioactive ones.

Most subjects, like geography or astronomy, he can learn basic stuff and when he wants more it is easy to find the answer. But he is missing a lot of basic science between 1st grade and chemistry, so there is so much to learn before he can intrinsically understand where chemistry starts. He wants to jump into the deep end without the basics, and with chemistry, that just doesn't work.

It is such a struggle to figure out what level to focus on. Do I take his curiosity 100% seriously, and help him find answers that are true even though he sometimes seems bored by wading through the parts he is less excited about or do I take his elaborate pretend play as a sign that he just wants to deal with element names and not actual properties? But gods forbid I say something made up when asked a question. He is NOT amused. oy. He has the brain of someone old enough to ask these hard questions, but still wants them to be simplistic, to go along with his 5 year old body.

The worst part is that I know chemistry is just the first of many topics like this. Tonight I am just overwhelmed by it. Did I mention the kids and I are sick? Not related, I am sure.