So I'm behind again; what else is new?
There has been lots going on.
Of course, as usual, I have been driving myself crazy with the mystery shopping. I did get a new shirt out of that, though, and I've had a couple high-paying ones that were worth the incredibly boring effort.
I went and had my Quick Start training for being Sophie's Daisy Scout troop leader next year. I learned a lot and feel much more prepared to begin that endeavor, even while simultaneously beginning to homeschool the three kids. I will feel even better after I pick up my Leader guide. Kim, the trainer, gave me lots of good hints and tips for running the troop smoothly.
She (Kim) also has a very petite daughter, so when she saw Chloe Friday night at the "She and Me" pre-registration event for next year, and Chloe introduced herself as a rising Junior Girl Scout, she offered to break out her daughter's old Junior petite uniform and pass it along to me. Great! Any way to save a buck.
On the one hand, I want to save each uniform especially for the girl who wore it and earned all the patches, but on the other hand, in order to save money, I ripped all the Daisy petals off Chloe's Daisy uniform so that Sophia can wear it. From now on, now that I know the girls will have lots of patches sewn on, I won't do that anymore. But I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth; if she wants to pass on the old Junior uniform, who am I to say no?
Speaking of that She and Me event, who can resist laughing at this picture of Sophia clowning for the camera:
I dare you to try. Every time I look at it, I can't help but grin, at least!
The event was lots of fun. The girls made lotions (cherry and orange), painted a clay magnet, strung beads for bracelets and necklaces, colored pictures, made tissue paper flowers, and more. I have lots of pictures - too many to post here. As it was the beginning of Sophia's Scouting journey, of course I had to bring the camera.
Unfortunately, that meant there was no camera for Rob to take along to Jack's Cub Scout sleepover at the Sports Hall of Fame in Portsmouth. Rob and Jack spent the night there on Friday with the pack. I heard it was lots of fun. There was a scavenger hunt. That's about all I know, since Rob's iPhone battery died, and he didn't even get i-pics of the event. Suck.
Also, in case you haven't been reading the Sweet Pea Academy blog, Friday was Jack's first official day as a home-schooler! I pulled him out after, well, you can go read it for yourself if you're interested. Cute pictures there of him making pancakes, too.
So naturally, home-schooling has been at the forefront of my consciousness just about constantly lately. I'm not going to do a whole lot with the boy, aside from get him tested to gauge his baseline for right now. We'll take the rest of the year pretty easy and do fun things together with his daddy, and then start up again in August or September when the girls are ready to join us. That will take a lot of pressure of me for coming up with a last-minute curriculum, which is a huge relief.
In the meantime, I have made up Sweet Pea Academy ID cards for Rob and myself, as home educators, and for Jack, as a student. Then we can use those cards for teacher discounts at TAPS, Michaels, AC Moore, Barnes & Noble, etc. They're pretty cute, too (the cards). I like 'em.
So what else...
Oh, so the kids went to the Lowe's Build and Grow Clinic Saturday with Rob, to build a Mother's Day trellis planter. They each made one, and they all had a FANTASTIC time. It's a really cool program, if you haven't heard of it. Both Lowe's and Home Depot run these workshops for kids, teaching them all kinds of skills and making lots of projects. I've known about it for a long time, but this is the first one I actually signed them up for because I have no clue why. They can't wait to go again, though. The next one is in two weeks, and they're going to build a catapult! I don't think HD is running any this month, at least not here.
Also on Saturday, there was a big drawing at the local mall for a big package that I desperately wanted to win: a fitness package, spa package, and MAID SERVICE!!! All to one person. Oh, how I needed that. I came close, too. Chuck from the Morning Point (the radio station I often listen to) chose a paper and said, "Does anyone have a first name that starts with "M"? Do you live in Virginia Beach?" But alas, it was another M in VB.
I did win a small garden prize, though. They had a separate game, a roulette wheel-type thing, and I put my piece on Kelly Clarkson. KC came up when the wheel was spun! I didn't know what I won, but of course, I was all full of the glee and stuff. It turned out to be some nice gardening gloves and a hat, and blueberry soap. The girls were with me, and they were even more excited than I was. They took our picture, but I don't know if it's going to be on the radio's website or what; a quick search there turned up nothing. Let me know if you spot us!
Hm, so on Thursday, Chloe went to her weekly therapy session. L called me in for the session, too. She wanted to talk about a picture Chlo had drawn the week before. I don't want to get too far into Chlo's psyche here, but let's just say that there were some very strong feelings about Robby, babies dying, and such. I was absolutely in tears. I felt terrible that she's having any kind of hard time with that. I guess all these years, I have been focusing on how Jack is going to grow up feeling about losing his twin, and I just haven't worried too much about any impact on Chloe for losing her baby brother. Or Sophia, for that matter. They've always been free to talk about him, but ... I don't know. It just took me a bit by surprise. I feel kind of stupid about that, now.
So there is a lot of anxiety on her part. We are supposed to make her feel as comfortable and safe as possible, and give her as much control as we can. Those anxious feelings can masquerade as ADHD, too. L was surprised when I told her we took Chlo off the med, but she didn't seem to have too much of a problem with it, like her pediatrician did. But I don't want to get into that again, right now.
Saturday night, we watched "The Business of Being Born" with the kids. That may surprise some people who think that kids that young have no business learning and seeing so much about human birth, but I honestly have zero problems with it, especially when it's done as tastefully as in that doc. It's nature, it's biology, and I am a very strong proponent of being completely honest with your kids, as long as that honesty doesn't harm them in any way. Half the time, they were bored watching it. They have had SO many questions - especially the girls - about giving birth lately, that I thought it would be helpful for them to see that, in fact, most babies are NOT cut out of their mothers' bellies and are delivered in a much less scary way. (Holy run-on.) I think it helped. Hard to say. Sophia still thinks babies all come by c-section, I think, but she also realizes that they are born vaginally, too. I don't think she quite gets it yet.
And of course, I was impacted by the movie, too. So was Rob. I feel strongly that anyone who is pregnant or thinking about it should watch this doc. I can't say for certain that things would have gone any differently for us (I had two emergency and one "emergent" c-sections), but I know that I would have started out, at least, with a midwife and a planned home birth if I knew what things were really like in the OB world. I thought I needed an OB/GYN because I wanted "someone who knew what they were doing" or something like that. Ha! I feel the fool for feeling that way about it, but what did I know. I was 24, scared and clueless.
There's little I can change about the horrible way my births went, but there is a lot I can change about the way my family eats. On my own, I also watched "Food, Inc.," a documentary about, well, the food industry in America, especially farming. I feel even more strongly than ever about changing our diets to reflect my/our concern for the environment, our health and nutrition, and the world in general. I can't wait to get that garden planted, so we can eat fresh food straight from our backyard. Whatever we can't grow ourselves, I want to supplement from the Farmer's Market (as much as possible) and the organic section of the grocery (as little as possible). I know it will cost, but hopefully the money we save on growing our own produce will offset the cost of buying non-genetically modified milk, for instance. I definitely recommend y'all watch this one, too.
And I don't plan to let my kids eat another hamburger or pork chop. Certainly not from McDonald's or, say, Sonic. No more fast food, and no more fast food mystery shops. Rob will probably balk, but I'm going to stand firm on that. I'll probably let the kids watch Food, Inc. when the disk comes in the mail from Netflix, so we can talk about exactly why I want to implement these changes in our diets; it really wasn't that grotesque or anything like that. I didn't find it to be too graphic at all, and I was watching it from their standpoint the whole time.
It makes me more eager than ever to get out of this house and get a place on a nice lot, where we can maybe have a goat and some chickens, too. Fresh eggs! Fresh milk! It would be grand, so nice. If the boat plan doesn't happen for now, I definitely want to move out of here as soon as possible. We planned on being here about five years, and it's been over seven now. I hate it!! The house is to small (it's a townhouse), our neighbors are right on top of us, and forget about the nitpicky homeowner's association that drives us crazy. I dream of living where Nikki lives, Chloe's troop leader - it's exactly the kind of place I want. A sprawling ranch with a huge yard and a garage... sigh. Maybe. Maybe.
Well, I could say a thousand more things, but I really must get this desk cleaned up.
Oh! One more thing before I forget:
I finished Luke's wool shorties for Stephanie. I started them about two weeks ago, but she commissioned me for them literally months ago, maybe even before he was born! So it's about dang time I got them done. I didn't do a drawstring, but that will be quickie-quick. I just don't know if she wants one yet, or what kind or color she'd want. But yay! Cute, right? I hope they fit, since they were custom-made to his measurements.
I guess that's it. Happy Mother's Day to all you moms and grandmas out there!
P.S. I watched Revolutionary Road, too, with Leo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. Have you seen it? It was good, but it was no Titanic! Quite the opposite, quite quite.