Friday, April 18, 2008

Friday Night

Another week finished.

School: Uneventful this week. We got the bare necessities done and a whole lot of reading.

Mood: Thomas's mood improved greatly over the week. Mine did not.

Other stuff: And there is other stuff. I started this blog to be an online journal of our homeschool lives. I had intended it to be only homeschool related, but the fact is that homeschool and life cross over their lines. Can't have a compartmentalized life with subdivisions -- life is a whole. So I'm going to be blogging about my health issues, too. Skip on by if need be.

Health issues: I went to my doctor today for a follow-up visit from my hospitalization. May I just say, I love my doctor. He's far from perfect, but he listens to me. I provided him with all my hospital reports. He told me I didn't just experience a massive panic attack, I experienced a massive trauma. No wonder I'm still not recovered.

He says I have generalized anxiety disorder and prescribed a new medication for that. Someone asked me today how I felt about that being in my record. I don't care. If you've got it, you've got it. It doesn't make me any less just is. I just want to FEEL better. And from the little research I've done tonight, I think that may just happen. It gives me great hope!

My doctor is tied in with my eye doctor (part of the great Mayo Clinic -- found everywhere in Minnesota) and I told him about the test that my eye doc wants me to have. I took the list of approved neurologists and he picked one out that he really liked. He then stated it would be a good six to eight weeks before I could see him, so why don't we start the ball rolling by getting an MRI and ultrasound of my head and carotid artery. Sure. That will happen Monday.

With my history of lying down and the vision in my left eye blurring, plus the headaches I always have, he thought that would be a great start to have the info for the neurologist.

So I'm really not so scared about any of this any more, I'm relieved that things are getting done and figured out.

I guess the only scary part is hoping insurance covers the majority of this. Thank goodness for insurance.

Tonight I have not cried. That's a first for this week. I'm usually very teary in the evenings. I just didn't feel down tonight, but hopeful instead. Two steps forward!

Homeschool: We're plugging away, and in the back of my mind I'm planning out next year. I cannot believe my baby will be in the 7th grade. Seventh grade is when I started to feel grown up. It will be interesting to watch how he goes through it, because he doesn't have the social pressures of peers. I hope he'll continue to play still. His choices are maturing -- he wants an iPod, loves his cell phone, he's drooling over a motorized scooter, etc. Yet, he still plays.

The plan for next year is as follows: (I'm not done planning, but so far)

World History: Glencoe Human Heritage. When I get it, I'll decide if we'll do this in one or two years.

Civics, another Glencoe text book. We started that this year, but have not finished it. Thomas *loves* it.

Science: Another Glencoe textbook. This time I won an eBay auction with the teacher's guide, tests, workbooks, etc. So we'll have a little more to go on than just the text. We used a Glencoe life science text this year and Thomas would read it for hours if I let him.

Spelling: I think we need to continue on with spelling, so we'll use Sequential Spelling again
Literature: I think we'll use Lightening Literature. I'll need to look it over before deciding what else we do. I hear the writing isn't the best, so if not we'll use...
Writing: Wordsmith
Grammar: I am leaning on using Power Basics English. Again, I need to have it in my hands to see if I've got overkill going on here or not.
Reading: I am putting together a book list for Thomas to read next year. This year I'm going to actually BUY the books so they're on hand. There's nothing worse than hitting the library and finding they don't have the book (like Anne Frank last year) or else if they have it, it's checked out. I'm spoiled in that regard.
Geography: Yet another textbook from Prentice Hall. Got the teacher's guide and tests,etc.
Foreign Language: Spanish. I have everything we need, intended to do it this year, but it was the one thing that always gave way when we didn't have time. That, plus I was painfully slow in learning vocabulary. My greatest wish is that I could find a Spanish class for Thomas to go to -- but I don't think that's going to happen.
Art, Music: Lots of art projects planned, and music appreciation, too. Toying with the idea of starting piano lessons. Thomas doesn't want to, I'm not keen on recitals at all, but I think one year of lessons would be a good thing. Still debating on that.
Computer: Need to get going on this. Thomas needs to revisit his website. I have a book on Excel. We need to explore Word together, too. Those things are just the tip of the iceberg. Need to find time to get that done this year. Plus, we need to revisit keyboarding skills.
Finally, Math, Thomas's most hated subject: We like it. Thomas didn't going back to Rod and Staff. It just worked the best for our family, but he doesn't like any math program. He learned and learned well from Rod and Staff -- and that's what counts.

So that's the plan at the moment. Have to figure out something a little more formal for phy ed. Swimming lessons in the summer are fine, but we need a little more. Thomas doesn't like sports, so that closes many doors. I'll figure out something.

I used to be very anti-textbook. What I have discovered is that textbooks are great. They're organized, plans are laid out so you know how much to do per day and how many days a week you need to do them. And that leaves open LOTS of room for supplementation. I think from here on out, we'll be very text-book oriented.

And that's life on a Friday night.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

One less thing...

Taxes: DONE. Whew. Took me all morning, and then the accountant zipped through them in a half hour. We had the honor of being his last client for the day. He's taking tomorrow off. We're getting a little money back, which will go straight into our special funds account. We're saving for a new roof and furnace. Cha-ching to both items.

School today? GOOD GRIEF! Thomas spent the morning hiding from his frenzied mother. I was looking for receipts, tearing the house apart, acting like a mad woman. Talk about waiting until the last minute. Thomas did tons of reading and science today. He had his art class this afternoon.

I still feel like I'm walking knee-deep in water. One less thing now, though. Now on to other pressing issues. I'm also hoping to get my house back in order sometime soon -- that would make me feel so much better. I did express to Bob tonight how frustrated I am, because everyone leaves everything for me. I've become the maid, and I don't like it one bit. He actually floored me by mentioning he'd been thinking of spring cleaning. HUH? Bob, cleaning? He wants to wash walls, windows and scrub and re-seal the floors. Cool. I hope it comes to fruition! I'm not holding my breath, though. ;-)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Late-night Monday

Just an update.

My dad is doing *really well* !!! Woo-hoo. My sister has started the search for an assisted living facility for dad. He's made huge improvements since I've last seen him. I talked to him on the phone Saturday night and thought: My dad is back, completely! This makes my heart soar! He's got his fight back -- which is what he needs.

Life in Minnesota? Um, well, um ... we're plugging. Both Thomas and I are whiny. Thomas really is letting off steam. School consists of only a few subjects a day, coupled with much moaning and groaning. I am not concentrating well to help smooth matters over. I think time will help.

I feel like I'm walking knee-deep in water. Lots of stuff I have to get done in a short amount of time. Typically, this wouldn't be a big deal, but now it is. I'm working on my taxes tonight -- my appointment is at 4 tomorrow afternoon. Talk about cutting it close!

Bob brought me a list of 15 neurologists in the area that our insurance company said I can use. Now, how do I pick by a name alone? This has me stumped. I guess I can call the eye doc back and ask who he recommends, and then my doctor's office. It certainly would be easier if there were some to choose from in our town.

I haven't read a book yet. I have been using eye drops, though. My eyes feel really good. So good that I was floored, because I didn't know my eyes didn't feel good until they started feeling good. I did sit down and read a chapter of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which is a book I've been wanting to revisit. Reading the chapter was fine except when I stopped to put eye drops in. No blurriness or fatigue...but it was only a chapter. I need to get through some of this other stuff so I can sit and read a spell.

I have definite and true signs of depression going on right now. That Thursday night I was just sobbing uncontrollably. Bob did take the afternoon off on Friday. We didn't do anything, but his presence did help. I am debating anti-depressants. I've tried them years ago, and they never seemed to help. I worry, though, because this is going to be a long-term situation, and I'm down already, so I don't know what to do. My doctor appointment is on Friday, so we'll figure something out.

On a fun note, Thomas, Bob and I went to Kmart last week for something and Thomas discovered the 90%-off Easter stuff. I had promised him we'd have Easter at home, but I kind of forgot about it. Thomas picked a candy-making kit for $9.99. I said no way. The clerk said, "Oh, buy it, it's only 90 cents." So I did. And we bought three egg dying kits. And we bought an Easter Gingerbread house. The house was only 90 cents, and the kits were 14 cents apiece.

So yesterday Bob prepared our Easter dinner. It was delicious. Today we dyed eggs and made candy and the gingerbread house.

Thomas got his easter after all.

(And for what it's worth, we are Christians, and even though we never attend church, on the real Easter morning, Thomas and I stopped at the hospital's chapel and had a little mini-service of our own.)

So we had a little bit of religion, and mostly secular fun to go with it.

Bob came up with an idea to extend our privacy fence with chain link so the dogs could have a big run. This was my idea, too, and even Thomas's. But when Bob thinks it's his idea, things work better. ;-) So we're waiting for the ground to warm up enough to dig post holes. We do have to get a permit from the city first, but I don't think that will be a problem. The fence will run 20 feet deep and 30? feet -- no, it must be more -- along the side of the house. It will be a great area for them. Now, I've always wanted the whole back yard to have a privacy fence, but I'll gladly compromise with an ugly chain link for our dogs' sakes.

School wise, we're finishing up a book called Mastering Essential Math Skills: 20 Minutes a Day to Success, Book 2: Middle Grades/High School . I bought CLE before we left for Colorado, but we ended up hating it. I'll post a review someday. Next year we're going back to Rod and Staff.

Thomas has almost finished reading his life science textbook. I have three new science textbooks waiting for him for next year.

We're plugging along with writing and reading. And it's time to restart the Civil War. I'd like to spend the rest of our year on that.

So we're not covering all the bases, and I usually have tons of bases that need to be covered, but we're getting back into the swing.

Now if only I could get my house cleaned to my satisfaction. Hasn't happened yet. Haven't' caught up on laundry, either. is good. It's full of ups and downs, that's just the way it is, and you have to enjoy each moment, or take each moment for what it's worth -- that's how you get through it all. Didn't someone once say, That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger? We're stronger now.

Tonight Thomas and I had a discussion, that we've lightly touched on before, but we really talked about it. We saved a life. Our actions saved Grandpa's life. Now I can feel good about that. Before, I had worried that my actions caused him harm -- but I should have known how strong my dad is, and I should have listened when he said he was happy to be alive. It makes me cry. I have my dad back. How lucky am I? Thomas has his Grandpa. How lucky is he. Grandpa has been working very hard, to the point of exhaustion. He's bound and determined to get out of hte skilled nursing facility. And he will. He's a very strong, bull headed, opinionated man -- I'm a chip off that old block.

I told Thomas tonight that he is my hero. What happened was very scary, but he stepped up to the plate. When I needed to get dad to the floor to start CPR, I couldn't because I couldn't move the chair. Thomas did. Thomas got control of the puppies when the paramedics showed up and put them in their crates. Thomas ran and made sure the doors opened so they could get into the house. Thomas was a great help in saving his grandpa's life.

Yes, Thomas is my hero. He endured daily visits to the hospital, consisting of long, exhausting, boring hours. He watched his grandpa, talked to his grandpa, and was very polite. Then he would go find a waiting room where he could wiggle around and be noisey. Then he'd come back. He never once complained. He never once acted out. He was the perfect gentleman.

Yes, Thomas, you ARE a hero.

You have my permission to be whiny right now, because it's all built up from March.

I wish I had some Harry Potter flu powder to go and visit Dad right now. I think he'd tell me to get home, get the house cleaned, my bills paid, school done, etc.

As dad was getting checked out of the hospital and getting ready to move to the western slope of Colorado, he said: Go home, I don't need you anymore. That really hurt my feelings. So the next morning, as I was packing his bag for him, I asked him, "Do you really not need me anymore?" He agreed, he didn't need me. So I smiled, a big smile, and said, "But you want me, though, right? You may not need me, but you want me?" He started laughing. That was the reaction I needed. He wants me. =)