Thursday, August 31, 2006

Names?

It's not that we've ever come up with a definite name for a child before it emerged, but I do wonder with only about six weeks to go, if I ought to start thinking about names. We don't want the child to be two and still be going by Baby Boy or Baby Girl Adams.

The problems are as follows: there aren't a lot of boy's names out there that I really like and that meet my criteria of falling below the Top 100 names from the annual SSA list, my husband is still hoping for St. John, one of my favorite boy's names is on the top ten list for France, I've used up another favorite boy's name as my son's middle name, I've used both my favorite girl's names on my daughters, and my friends inform me that I can't possibly use Jemima even if I do promise to call her Jemma.

So I leave it to you all to make suggestions, which will all, no doubt, be roundly rejected. Of course, one must keep in mind that the name must go well with those of its siblings, sound like an Anglophile named the child, and not have a ridiculous set of initials when paired with a last name that makes every set of initials sound like some sort of organization.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Explaining Potiphar's Wife and Other Excitements

We're talking about Joseph here in school. The faith of Joseph through all the trials and all the good times, and the very human side of him, as well as the story of the long term providence of God, have always made it one of my favorites. Although The Boy already knows these tales from Sunday School, I think I may have raised more issues than I wanted to in our lesson today.

First, we had to back track and discuss Jacob and his two wives. This was certainly a bit troubling to The Boy, who wanted to know not only why Jacob could marry both Leah and Rachel, but why it wasn't really a good thing to have two wives, and why women couldn't have more than one husband.

Then we wound up chatting about why having favorites among one's children is also unwise and unfair.

Moving right along, try explaining the story of Potiphar's wife to a kid who steadfastly refuses to be interested in the birds and the bees, but wants to know why Potiphar would imprison Joseph and what Potiphar's wife wanted.

And then there is the issue of the illustrations in the book we were reading. Why is Benjamin drawn as though he is about seven when his brothers bring him to Egypt? He's almost always portrayed this way in drawings, but by my count, Joseph has to have been gone at least 19 years. Naturally, The Boy wanted to know why I was disagreeing with the book.

And although I shouldn't have done it, I did happen to mention that some people think there are better translations than "coat of many colors." Being a traditionalist, The Boy took great exception to this and objected strongly to any suggestion that any but the common translation might be correct.

I enjoy these discussions, but whew! The Boy is wearing me out.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Hurt Me

The Toddler Girl is stringing more and more words together -- saying lots of sentences and mimicking everything she hears. This can, of course, be really cute, but also dangerous. Fortunately, there aren't any bad words flying around here for her to pick up on. But that's not to say that she hasn't learned delightful things like "stupid" from her siblings.

The other days, the two bigger ones were playing and the Middle Girl said, "You hurt me!" But then she giggled. The Toddler Girl decided this must be a desireable condition. So now she runs around yelling, "Hurt me!" And just a minute ago, she crawled up in my lap for a cuddle, snuggled in close and demanded, "Mommy, hurt me!"

I suggested hugging or kissing might be better, but she insisted on "hurt." I tickled her neck with kisses until she'd giggled herself senseless and then sent her on her way.

Five Weeks

We realized this morning that yesterday marked the beginning of our fifth week of homeschooling. The Boy, who has never been mathematically inclined -- he could read well before he could count to ten, loves Saxon's Math 1. He thinks our history projects, especially building a large pyramid out of Legos and excavating the dirt pile in the backyard, have been "really cool." He loves the times he gets to illustrate his language lessons and he thinks its great that he gets to read poems out loud. I think the only thing he doesn't really like much is the copywork I make him do.

I know this honeymoon period can't last, but I really am pleased with how things are going. I wish I were fitting in more art and music, but that will come eventually.

Monday, August 28, 2006

What Happened?

Last week was hard on everyone around here. First, we had a visitor, which always takes up a lot of time. Second, despite what I said earlier, we still went out and looked at a few more houses.

And we found one -- a beautiful, hundred year old Victorian on the other side of town. It wasn't perfect, and it wasn't move in ready. However, it seemed like we could do the work to make it great and ready to move in for the amount we could make from selling our current house and using some of our savings. On Friday we had an inspection and realized there were far more issues than we had seen on our own.

I'm a bit disappointed, but not so very much as one might think. It's a lovely house with a lot more room, but I think the idea of taking on the work this one needed right before a baby arrived was probably madness anyway. We don't think the owner will accept a much lower offer than our original one, so now we can concentrate on just getting ready for Adams 4.0 and staying put here for at least a while longer.

Update:
As expected, the owner was not inclined to take less than our previous agreement, which was already well under her asking price. It will be interesting to see if there is some one out there with the money and time to buy the place at the price the owner wishes to get.

Loose Tooth

The Boy is very excited. All his Kindergarten classmates lost teeth last year and even the kids in his Sunday School class, who are younger than him, lost teeth (one as many as eight teeth in the past year), but The Boy's teeth remained firmly attached. Friday night he bit into something and started complaining that his tooth hurt.

I checked his molars and they all looked fine, but he kept complaining. So I asked which tooth hurt. Sure enough it was a front one. The tooth he grew first and for which we once called him "Fang" since for over a month it was the only tooth he had.

It keeps wiggling and soon will come out. There is some discussion as to whether the tooth fairy our family is assigned to is the kind that grants wishes (as in One Morning in Maine) or the more common money-bringing variety. The cheapskate in me prefers the wish-granting fairies, but considering that The Boy's wishes tend towards seeing a live dinosaur, I think we need to ask for a fairy who brings a dollar or two.

We've heard that with inflation teeth are paying more these days than they used to. I suppose the tooth fairy needs to go to the bank to make sure there is cash on hand when the day of tooth loss comes.



Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Very Busy

A lot is happening around Casa de Adams -- not baby related, but keeping us very busy. Posting may be light for the next few days.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Bad Influences

Some people take their kids out of public school to get them away from the bad influences. After listening to my 21 month old sing, "Holy Booty" all the way home from the outskirts of town last night, I'm beginning to wonder if I should send her to public school to get her away from the bad influence of my almost four year old.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Phonics

When I was but a wee lass, I had not only never heard my parents utter a "bad word," I had never even heard that such things existed. How they managed to keep my brother who is six years older than I am from imparting this knowledge at some point is beyond me -- but like Ramona Quimby, I probably thought the word "guts" was about as bad as it got.

Then some graffiti "artist" decided to spray paint the side of one of the school buildings with the words "F*ck You!" And being very proud of my second grade ability to read all things, I read the words out loud. My friends were shocked. Apparently, I was the only innocent in the second grade who knew not of such things.

Every once in a while, I ponder the wisdom of having taught my son to read. He reads far too well for his own good and naturally, though he knows there are words out there that one should not say, like "butt" of course, he's still a bit sheltered from the greater world.

Last night we ate dinner with a young teenaged girl who wore a shirt emblazoned with the words, "Stop Checking Me Out!" across the chest. Had I been her aunt, I don't think I would have let her leave with that on, but her actual aunt, while not approving in the slightest, did not choose to fight that battle. And thus my six year old started asking what that meant. Did she want people to stop checking her out at the library like she was a library book? he wondered. Rather at a loss, my husband told him that he (my husband) would explain it to him when he was older, but that by the time he was old enough for the explanation, none would be necessary.

We left the restaurant well aware that we have two daughters and full of hope that when the time of their teenage years arrives that the styles will trend towards baggy sacks.

Today, again my son displayed his remarkable ability to sound out and read things clearly and distinctly. I'm not talking about our discussions of the finer points of the Euplocephalus, nor of the Pharoah Menes. When he was taking a shower at the Y after his swimming lesson he apparently (my husband was with him, not me) came across the following sign, "Sexually inappropriate conduct is prohibited." Naturally, he wanted to know what that meant.

We're perfectly ready to explain the usual birds and bees, which he refuses to ask about in any detail, although I've brought up the topic on occasion. I'm not ready to move on the questions about what's inappropriate when he is apparently not ready for the appropriate as of yet.

Thus, again I ask -- why did I ever teach that child to read?



Week Three

Pretty soon we'll have a month of homeschooling under our belts. It all continues to go well.

This morning as an introduction to writing, I read the kidlets a story from The Just So Stories on "How the First Letter Got Written." If you haven't read any Kipling, you should. I love, love, love The Just So Stories. They are marvelous -- beautifully written and a joy to read.

After that we followed with some discussion of actual first writings.

The Boy told me, "School is fun!" What better recommendation can you have than that?

Friday, August 11, 2006

A Momentary Lapse of Sanity

For the past two days or so, I lost my grip on reality. I started looking at real estate for sale and dreaming of moving to a house with more bedrooms. I found a couple not too far from our house, that although more expensive than I really would like, were not completely beyond the realm of financial feasibility if our house sold for what we think it could sell for.

Last night a friend had offered to take the children and we didn't really have a date planned, so we called up an acquaintance in real estate and went to check on the two houses that interested me. One house had been over-renovated. I'm not, by any means, an old house purist. I don't care if some changes get made along the way or if the plaster has been ripped out and replaced with dry wall, but if an old house changes character completely, it just isn't as special a place and one of the houses was just that. It had been taken from a charming little bungalow to a house that felt like soulless new construction in the suburbs -- except that out there, someone would have made the owners mow the extremely tall weeds out front.

The other house -- it tempted me. Which is not to say it was perfect and I'm moving right in. It has had most of the major necessary things done to it -- new electrical work and plumbing, etc. and the kitchen was gorgeous. It has its original floor plan and woodwork downstairs. Downstairs, it just felt about perfect -- in spite of the complete lack of closets, the non-landscaping, the front porch that had been chopped into two sections (and replaced with concrete and metal columns) so that there was a carport under what had once been the prch roof. I could do something about all of those things eventually and I've always wanted to own a wardrobe.

However, the house also has the steepest, scariest spiral staircase to the upstairs that I've ever been on. It's neat looking, but to get furniture upstairs and for the safety of kids going up and down, it would need a traditional staircase (which there is room for). It also only has a window unit air conditioner for the upstairs and the upstairs has ugly new carpet and poorly done plaster. I think we'd eventually want to gut the upstairs.

I find it tempting despite the flaws, especially because the downstairs is beautiful. But it would take all our money to buy the house and we would certainly need a large chunk of change to redo the stairs and the air conditioning upstairs. Our neighborhood where we currently live, though less than 5 minutes away from this house, is nicer and probably safer and we'd have to put our house on the market and go through the hassle of selling it.

It was a good trip to look at houses. Although the one house offered the lure of more space with original floors and trimwork, I find resisting that siren song easier today than I did before I went out and looked at houses. Today, I'm pretty sure staying where we are for the moment and figuring out how to continue to improve our current place is the way to go.

We've already started drawing plans for either an attic conversion to a bedroom or a second story addition in Sketch-Up. Now we just have to see where we can go from there.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Three-quarters of the Way There

Lilypie Expecting a baby Ticker

In a few more days, I will enter my thirtieth week of pregnancy and will begin counting down the last ten or so weeks. Although ten weeks still is plenty long enough to inflict great misery upon me, in some ways it doesn't seem like nearly enough time.

This morning I had my gestational diabetes test, and because my babysitters failed me, I wound up taking my whole herd of cats along with me. I can't really complain too much. I went well prepared with books and drawing supplies, reminded the urchins ahead of time what I expected ahead of time in terms of behavior and they were perfect. Having three attendees along for an hour of waiting room sitting isn't ideal, but it wasn't really so awful.

The worst parts were finding out that I'd gained 5 pounds in the last month and feeling sick from the super sweet drink they give you. I'm a sugar fiend and even I don't like the feeling of all that sugar sitting in my stomach.

The She-Girl Boy-Haters Club

One might recall the days of Alfalfa and his "He-man Woman Haters Club," but I think my almost four year old daughter has gone further in her loathing of the opposite sex than anyone I know. When asked during Sunday School if she loved God, she replied, "No I don't! He's a boy and I don't like boys." She did allow that she loved her dad, but only despite his being male.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Bright College Days...

I keep forgetting to mention it, but a college friend of mine has a great blog over at Nasty, Brutish and Short. I don't think he had me in mind, when he said that this particular video reminded him of his friends, but I think I could agree that I knew some people like this -- NBS among them, of course.

Nekkid People

My children have had way too much fun in the past day searching out all the drawings of people without clothing in their history encyclopedia. I remember a certain innocent and shocked fascination with the same sort of things -- especially when one ran across them in National Geographic. Of course, they've also been playing "cave man" today, which involves moving every piece of furniture in the kitchen and morning room, lots of blankets and running around in their underwear.

I have no comment at this time as to whether home schooling has involved much learning today, but it has involved more nekkidness than would be generally allowable outside the house.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Dinosaur Bones




I didn't mean for the tales of The Middle Girl's vomit to stay at the top of the page for so many days, but we've been away.

We finished our first week of homeschooling off with a field trip to Atlanta to see the Fernbank Natural History Museum's dinosaur exhibit. The Boy is still in the throes of full blown dinosaur love, so we spent our first science sessions last week studying the main dinosaurs and pterosaurs we would see in Atlanta.

Studying is one thing, but seeing a 123 foot long set of dinosuar bones is quite another. It was well worth the trip and the price of a commemorative t-shirt (which has basically only left The Boy's body by force since we got it).

Much to The Boy's disappointment, we will be moving on to some other subjects besides dinosaurs this week. So you'll have to excuse me. I have some cave painting to do.




Tuesday, August 01, 2006

To My Middle Daughter

I know you like to be helpful. But throwing up before breakfast just to show me that we could make it through a day of homeschooling, holding back your hair while you puked into a bowl and sat on my lap as I was reading The Little Red Hen wasn't necessary. I already knew that I could multi-task. Afterall, I am the mother who wiped your bottom while nursing your baby sister when you were potty training.

And please don't throw up the Gatorade I let you drink. Red stuff stains so badly.

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