Wednesday, December 05, 2007


A friend of mine asked me why I haven't blogged lately. Um -- baby in the house?? Is that a good excuse?

I also don't know what to blog about other than my beautiful puppy, my loving and loyal companion Jerry Lee, my gorgeous son who lights my life.

We've been going on fumes here. We have a big white board in the kitchen. The week we got Apollo, I wrote: Reading/Science, Math, Writing, History, Spelling. Those were the cores that we simply must do while we are adjusting to the puppy. I combined reading and science, which really is cheating. Thomas reads from a science text book I bought. (It's actually good, I'm not anti-text in this case.)

Today he had an experiment to perform: Put an egg in 250 ml vinegar and measure another jar and put 250 ml Karo syrup in that. He wrote out his beautiful chart, in Sharpie marker, no less, measured carefully, and dropped his egg in. The bubbles started immediately and he was excited when the egg floated. His guess is that the egg will change shape. This experiment is supposed to take 3 days. I admit I have not read the book so I don't know what the Karo syrup is for yet. I have a guess, the chapter is on osmosis.

So, we've been plowing along doing our core stuff every day. We've been listening to Joy Hakim on the Zen. Did I ever mention we bought a Zen? Ah, something to blog about tomorrow. Today I set my nap alarm for 30 minutes when we started Ms. Hakim up. When the alarm went off, Thomas was fast asleep. Yup, being a parent will exhaust you. Poor kid, I woke him up and barked orders to take your puppy potty.

It was colder than um, please forgive, this is my dad's phrase I heard all my life, it's been colder than snot here today. I don't know where that phrase originated and why I continue to use it other than habit. Dad also says, "He's worse than a fart in a skillet." That one I get and actually use in real life on rare occasion. It's still gross, though. Could those be Hoosierisms? Anyway, the cold -- poor Thomas sat at the kitchen table doing work today wearing a pair if sweatpants, a red sweatshirt, and his snow bibs. I have to get a picture of him in his snow bibs. He's had the same pair for three years running. They still fit around the middle, but now the go to about the middle of his shins. It doesn't matter because he tucks them into his boots, but it is a really bad case of high waters. Our kitchen wasn't that cold, but we're housebreaking a puppy and that means constant runs outside. So he just gave up and kept the snow gear on. Perhaps I could turn the heat down and we could save on our gas bill? Eh? (As they say in Minnesota and a nasty one I picked up and say all the time.) Eh? Eh? <--Frankie says way too often, but no one ever answers.

So school has been getting done. Cooking has been done. Grocery shopping, check. Art classes, check. After-school hang out: Nope. Thomas was going to go today but he didn't have a clean pair of jeans. We both thought it inappropriate for him to wear red sweat pants and shirt to the hang out. Fine for home, but not out and about. So he didn't get to go.

This afternoon after school, the DHL man came. He brought to me an Ex Pen. It's 3 feet tall and has eight 2-foot wide panels. It's containment for Apollo. Got that all set up in the school room. Our school room is so small that now we cannot walk in there. Worried about it being on carpet. Off we went to the local Railroad Salvage Store. At that store they sell carpeting and flooring. They used to sell furniture, too. Our living room was furnished from floor to ceiling by them. Cheap, but good enough quality.

I went up to the nice man and told him what I had, an Ex pen for a puppy, and I needed some vinyl to put under it. He asked if I was going to glue it down. OH no, I'm going to save the ugly 30-year-old carpet underneath from the puppy. OH, he got it then. He took me to the remnants. I need 4 1/2 by 4 1/2 for my 4x4 Ex Pen. I started seeing pricetags of $120, $150, and thought...well, this is a g-rated blog, so I won't tell you what I thought. It began with an S, though. Then the nice man picked up an ugly black piece of industrial vinyl. It was 5 by 6 or 7, he thought. I asked how much. FIVE BUCKS. I couldn't believe it! Five dollars? Woo-hoo, my lucky day. I didn't care that it was black. He even carried it to the car for me, what a gentleman. I think he knows me (but I don't know him) because he knows Bob. This is a small town so everyone knows of someone else by site here. I was thrilled!

Got that set up. Puppy liked it. Went in, peed all over it. Welcome to my world. Cleaned it up, and then he enjoyed it. So he can move around while we're doing school. Trouble is, we've been doing school at the kitchen table again this year. The rest of the school room is so stuffed it may just explode. So tomorrow on the agenda is to get that organized.

Right now life revolves around Reading/Science, Math, Writing, Spelling and History. When that is done, it is glorious. Now I need to step it up a notch and get the dishes done, the laundry done, and the floors scrubbed, the bills paid, etc.

Right as the DHL man was leaving, the UPS man pulled in. My Amazon order came. I bought: How to Train a New Dog Old Tricks, recommended by my breeder. Haven't had a chance to read it. Oh, yeah, and don't tell Bob: I also bought $60 worth of books on Africa. Will post more on that later, after I get everything outlined.

Here I sit, at 11 at night, when I should be in bed. Apollo slept through the night last night, and I'm ever so hopeful he'll do the same tonight. I'm ever so hopeful I'll get my house back in order again.

And I'm ever so proud of Thomas. He's doing a fantastic job with his puppy. he LOVES, LOVES, LOVES his puppy. His puppy follows him everywhere. That's the kind of thing that makes a mom's heart melt. Thomas admitted to me today that it is getting old. I asked what was getting old? ALL THE WORK, mom. I need a break. I can't even watch a TV program at night. (He rarely watches TV) I smiled and said, "Welcome to parenthood."

And just not to leave my beloved Jerry Lee out of things, here he is. Notice his horribly long nails. He hates having them done, we can't do them at home, and the vet has to muzzle him. We decided not to traumatize him by taking him to the vet to get them clipped. Little did we know he'd last so long and they've double in size since he was diagnosed. Poor guy. Also notice how large his belly is. I love that guy.

Sunday, December 02, 2007


I am going to be putting together a unit study for Thomas on Africa this week. I have found some books that look good, but thought I'd ask my friends if they have any extraordinary books on the subject.

When I get everything organized, I'll post it here and perhaps it can give someone else a jumping off point for their own Africa study.

Favorite books

Any ideas are welcome.