Amaya Rain

Wife. Mother. Crazy woman.

And the award goes to…

Munchkin. She just got back from her awards things at school. She came away with twelve of them. Oh yes, you read correctly. Twelve. She got one in every subject, including penmanship and conduct… except History. Yes, you read that correctly too. She didn’t get the History award.

My heart is broken. My major, and my love, is history. I could cry.

Anyway, we’re super proud of the little one. Yay!

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May 25, 2007 Posted by | Daily Life, School | 1 Comment

Persistence

Munchkin is being rather persistent in her desire to homeschool. I thought with the last days of school, all the fun things they’re doing, that she’d change her mind. Not a chance. She’s brought up homeschooling probably 15 times this week.

I’m working on getting a curriculum together. Fun Fun! It really is; the hard part is keeping it contained enough. Then again, I told her that if we started, we had at least three years of homeschooling ahead of us – I wasn’t starting to just put her back in a year (or less) later. She agreed. So I’m working on a three-year program, essentially. Not the specifics for three years, just trying to get an idea of the types of things that we’ll cover each year, especially in the sciences, history, and geography. Math, well, she’ll lead the way in that. She really excels in math. She loves art and music. Actually, she loves just about anything she can learn about, except she doesn’t like history (because it hasn’t been taught properly to her), and she doesn’t like to read (probably the same issue). She’ll have to get over the reading thing. She’d have to get over it going to regular fourth grade as well.

Okay, back to the computer, looking for good resource material.

May 24, 2007 Posted by | Parenting, School | Leave a comment

Homeschool here we come.

It’s nearly official. Munchkin came home today and said, “okay, we’re definitely homeschooling next year.” I asked what happened at school to cause that, and she said nothing, that she’s just been thinking about it and has made her decision.

Of course, I’m not holding completely to that, because, well, you know, she’s 9. But as freaked out as I am at the idea of being completely responsible for my daughter’s education, I’m really, really pumped about being completely responsible.

But let’s get back to being freaked out. I’m thinking of starting with a Classical curriculum… which scares me! But I don’t think that most purchased curricula will work for us because once she sets her mind to something, she breezes through it, which would probably mean having to purchase more than one a year… not my idea of fun. I don’t like most of them anyway. We proved to ourselves that unschooling will not not work for us after last time, nor really will unit studies. So apparently, onto Classical we go.

Man. This will work. Really, it will.

May 21, 2007 Posted by | Daily Life, School | 1 Comment

Kickin’ butt, takin’ names.

So. My daughter’s class in school is a disciplinarian’s nightmare. No, they aren’t bringing weapons to school or trying to beat each other up or anything, but still. They’re doing typical kid things, but those kid things are being done by most of the class, and all day, every day. The teacher, who used to be one of the strictest teachers in the school, just lets them run roughshod over her. And then if there’s a substitute?

This is how the severity of the issue came to my attention. Munchkin calls me last week and says, “please come get me. I have a headache and I’m really really dizzy.” So, I bring her home, make her chew an Advil (because she suddenly can’t swallow a pill, and I’m out of liquid pain relievers), and send her to bed. THEN I find out that she’s not really sick, she’s sick and tired of the other kids in class, and she’s not going to take it anymore.

WHAT?

After I calmed down, we had a long talk. I’ve been blowing her off all year about this, telling her that kids are kids, and she just needs to learn how to deal with other people’s behavior because life just isn’t easy, that if it’s that bad she needs to talk to the teacher, etc., etc. So of course, she finally stopped telling me how bad it was. My friend, M, had been consistently speaking with the teacher about the same issue, and I just let her without jumping in myself. Yeah, well, I changed that today.

The principal was so full of it. She claimed that she was completely unaware that there was a discipline problem in the class, that was the first time it’s been brought to her attention, etc. These kids have all been together for years, and they’ve always been a discipline problem, woman. Have you noticed that the only kids who stay are the worst ones? That all your good students in that class end up leaving (M is pulling her daughter out for next year to go to a school about 30-40 minutes away, about 1/4 of the class isn’t coming back next year)? Oh wait, it wouldn’t have to do with the fact that MOST of the kids who are the worst in class just happen to be the children of large contributors to the church who sponsors the school???? Oh yeah, that’s it.

So then while I’m there, we call Munchkin in so that she can tell the principal HER view of what’s happening in the classroom. Turns out, first thing the principal asks her is about a fight at recess. What? Well, apparently, this girl in class who is a really bossy, ugly, mean, nasty person, started saying bad things about Munchkin’s friend (M’s daughter). Munchkin finally, after over a year of dealing with her with nothing but love and tolerance – at least to her face – she says, “You know, we all try to be your friend, but I just can’t take it anymore. I don’t want to be your friend if you’re going to act like this. You’re wrong for being mean to [A], and you know, you don’t show anyone compassion, ever, and it’s going to just bite you one day, because no one is going to end up with any compassion for you if you keep acting like that.” Her friend called her this afternoon to tell her “thank you” for sticking up for her – especially since us calling her to the office was ill-timed… the class thought she was being sent to the principal’s office for saying it.

So, my daughter tells me last week that she’s been considering homeschooling again. Last time, first grade, it kinda sucked. I didn’t know what I was doing. I was teaching her with a goal of her getting back into a regular school the next year in a different state. I was busy trying to fill school requirements, keeping her busy, but not getting her too far advanced because the school, no matter her test scores, were not going to allow her to skip a grade, and I didn’t want her to be miserable relearning everything we’d already learned.

She ended up being prepared for second grade – very well prepared, actually – but she wasn’t happy, and neither was I. It’s been the running joke that if she does something wrong, as a punishment I’ll take her out of school and homeschool her. Then she laughs, yells oh no!, and then we move along.

And now she’s asking to be homeschooled.

So, we’re looking at doing a trial run for about a month during the summer, just to see if we can stick to it. We’re both fine with this, and getting rather excited.

Well, my mother is having a hissy fit. She had the nerve, when I mentioned the homeschooling, to shake her head over and over and over and flat out say, “oh no, not going to happen, you are NOT going to pull that child out of school.” So, I did what any logical person would do. I told her that for the most part, it was Munchkin’s decision, but it was something that would be decided between me, her and her dad. Period. It was OUR decision. She was all pissy about that.

So, Munchkin tells me this evening that when her and her grandma went for a drive this afternoon, my mother was telling her how she couldn’t homeschool, that she needed to stay at her regular school no matter what, because it would get better, but even if it didn’t, it was better that homeschooling with me. She kept bringing up 1st grade over and over, and telling her that if she thought we didn’t have time for things last time (which wasn’t the issue, but I digress), that I certainly wouldn’t have time with the twins being here.

Oh really? I’m very upset about that conversation… and it explains why, when I told my mother this evening (AFTER this ride happened) that she needed to not try to talk Munchkin out of homeschooling, that she needed to make her own decision about it, my mother gave me this “oh I’d never do that” kind of look.

When I asked Munchkin what she told her, she said, “I told her that you had made me a commitment and that you wouldn’t go back on your word that this time would be different if it’s what we decided to do.”

I love my girl. She’s one amazing little person.

May 16, 2007 Posted by | Daily Life, Other People's Children, Parenting, School | 2 Comments

MIA

I know, I’ve been missing the last several days. I’ve been working on a little project, as well as trying to keep things moving right along over here.

I’m heading out to get some sleep, as The Girl Twin has decided that a nap from 7pm to 10pm was preferable to actual sleep, and The Hubby is staying up with her. This means that when The Boy inevitably wakes up tonight, I have to get up with him – which Hubby usually will do. And The Oldest has decided she wants pancakes for breakfast, which means getting up earlier than usual, and the house is trashed, and the in-laws are going to be here in 2 weeks and we still don’t have everything moved in and…

I’m going to bed now.

April 23, 2007 Posted by | Bad Day, Daily Life | Leave a comment

Moving right along… or not.

This moving in thing is going so ridiculously slow. Even when the hubby is home, or my mom comes to “help”, I still just don’t get enough time to do what needs to be done. Some things – the biggest things, the most important-to-me things – can’t be done in a 10-15 minute chunk. And I get overwhelmed. Then everything starts sliding. And I can’t understand why nobody – including myself, but oh so definitely EXcluding my oh-so-perfect mother – knows where the damn garbage can is.

I need a vacation. Or for someone to take the babies away from the house for longer than a walk. I need to just *do*.

Hubby is out of town tomorrow. When he gets back, I’m going to cut the grass and see if that makes me feel better. It’s been a while since I’ve done it, but I actually like it. There’s an immediate result. I turn the machine on. I walk and push. I turn around, and there’s a swath of cleanliness and organization behind me.

Why can’t everything be that easy?

April 15, 2007 Posted by | Bad Day, Daily Life, Moving, Perfectionism | Leave a comment

Mail scares me.

Seriously, mail scares me. For some reason, through my entire life, mail has gotten lost coming to me or going from me. You know those people who always say “but it must be lost in the mail,” and you think they’re total losers giving lame excuses? Yeah, that’s me. Only, it’s true. My mail is always getting lost. I even had mail in a mail truck that caught on fire after an accident many years ago – I didn’t realize it until I was getting creditor phone calls from the two checks that didn’t make it to their destinations (in their defense, I had waited until the calls were about to come anyway to make the payments, but still).

So today, I did my taxes online. I love doing that. Unfortunately, last year, we didn’t have the money to pay our taxes, and the babies’ social security numbers were taking their sweet time getting to us, so I filed for an extension and didn’t pay. That has to be rectified… and it will be – especially now that I know that this year’s refund will cover last year’s amount owed. In fact, I’m putting a call into TurboTax tomorrow to verify which version we’ll need for the Husband’s occupation in 2005. I did the taxes myself, but I’m not confident in them, and I’d much rather have verification that I’m doing them right rather than have even more penalties down the road.

Anyway, so because we didn’t file last year, I didn’t have some number off of the return, which means we couldn’t sign it electronically. And for anyone who’s done e-file, you know that when that happens, you have to print off a signature page and mail it. So I carefully printed. I double and triple checked the address and our return address. I even asked my husband if I was putting the stamp in the right place.

Because you see, mail scares me so much, that I don’t ever send it. My husband loves mail, still corresponds via snail mail with a number of people, and all that good stuff. So I leave mail to him. I do bills, but I do them electronically.

So, I carefully placed the stamp, then had a bit of an anxiety attack as to how it should be mailed. Does mail run on Good Friday? If I put it in the mailbox in front of the house will it get picked up? Should I drive down to the local post office and put it in their box? What if some brat in the neighborhood steals my mail, especially since I so OCD’ly checked and rechecked that the red flag was up?

Red Flag! Red Flag! Doesn’t this bother anyone else? I mean, there’s a sign of danger on the mailbox itself! Shouldn’t that tell you something?!?!

Okay. I’ve taken deep breaths. I’ve had a celebratory glass of chocolate milk. And I think my husband is ready to get some rest.

If I can sleep, worried desperately about the poor little letter that has to be mailed to the IRS within one business day of my filing.

April 5, 2007 Posted by | Daily Life, Musings | Leave a comment

It’s a sad day.

I did not win the Dyson. No, stop. Don’t feel bad for me. Really. I mean, I love sweeping and resweeping and resweeping and resweeping and still finding Cheerios and homemade crackers 2 weeks after the fact. It’s okay. I knew the world wasn’t fair. I just… I didn’t know it could be so cruel.

Moving along…

I made some chicken tikka masala tonight, and some flat bread that I intended to be phulka but then played with. I’m actually proud of myself. I went by a recipe, but then looked at a bazillion other recipes, and then just started playing. I tossed in some things that are found in various versions of garam masala, I tossed yogurt and garlic powder into the phulka… yeah, I played. And it was so insanely spicy. But it was wonderful. Even though I cut the pepper called for in the original recipe down by at least half, it’s gonna go down some more, as is the cumin. I’d like to be able to taste the other spices a bit more, let them have their own millisecond in the sun, so to speak. But I’d never marinated chicken in yogurt before… and I have to say, it’s a definite do-over.

Oh, and I used a Foreman grill for the first time too (holdover from AJ’s bachelor days). That was fun. Well, once I found a tupperware lid that fit under the thing since I couldn’t find the grease catcher!

Neighbor Lady (the Honduran one) brought over a small bowl of refried beans with cheese the other day. I felt awful, because I don’t eat beans, but I took them anyway. And since one should never return a plate empty, I dished her up some tikka. She liked it! (Which is way more than I can say for my loving husband, who tried very hard.) She ended up giving me a ziplock baggie of boondi – I’m pretty sure that’s what they’re called. Yeah, as I google, that is it. Anyway, they’re crisp little round balls of yum and heat. She said if I liked the spicy curries that I’d like that… her “lady friend, a doctor”, gave them to her. Yay. They’re yummy!

The house is coming along. We brought over a load of stuff a couple of days ago (yesterday?????), and things are gradually finding homes. I’d like the home for everything to be the garbage can some days, but it will all work out in the end.

Oh! How’s this for organizational prowress? I set up a lot of the kitchen before we moved in. Some things I put in some places, knowing they’d be moved after we lived in the kitchen for a while. Yesterday, I got overwhelmed trying to figure out where things were going to go, where I was going to fit all the “new” appliances that came out of storage (Foreman grill, anyone?). Well…

I’d left a cabinet completely empty. I mean completely empty. All for the purposes of moving things around after we’d been here a bit. I feel like such a complete and utter dork. To make matters worse, the babies, who were looking over the gate at me, laughed. I mean, they laughed a lot. They laughed like I was over there tickling them. It made me sad.

So, anyway, I guess I’ll head back into babyland, put their little baby butts to bed, and munch on some boondi. After all, I need something to distract from the evil that exists in a world that wouldn’t let me win a Dyson.

April 4, 2007 Posted by | Cooking, Daily Life | Leave a comment

If there is any fairness in the world…

 … I will win this! Five Minutes for Mom is doing a giveaway of a Dyson Slim. Oh, the beauty. Oh, the functionality. Oh, the disappearance of the mystery Cheerios if I just had this Dyson in my hands! To never again fight with cracker crumbs. To easily remove the fuzz from my green shag carpet (yes, installing in the 60’s, thank you very much, and in much better shape than the beige plush that they installed about 5 years ago). To… to… rule world with a Dyson!!

I shall have many fantasies of winning this contest until Wednesday, when I fear my heart may be broken. But alas – maybe it will be a glorious day!!

That said, we’re cleaning, unpacking, and generally going insane. A real update is forthcoming, hopefully tonight.

ETA: Oops!! I forgot the link to the contest itself! It’s right here. I’d say good luck, but, I WANT IT!

April 2, 2007 Posted by | Perfectionism | 1 Comment

Just a hello.

I figured I’d pop my head in, just to write. I haven’t had much time to read lately. The move is taking quite a bit out of me, even though we haven’t moved anything new in the last week. We have to still empty the old place, and get things out of storage – and then I get to work on stuff that’s been at mom’s in “storage” for years.

There’s a busy weekend ahead. My best friend came into town tonight and visited, and the babies were up late with us. Then the oldest is having a party tomorrow, and then The Man has to go out of town on Sunday. Doesn’t sound like much, but with twins, *everything* seems to be a big deal. I know this isn’t true for everyone with twins – oh, twin mommies LOVE to sound like they are just super-duper moms  – but it’s true for a bunch of us.

The house is looking, eh, vaguely normal. I need to get better about keeping the kitchen and dining area neater (and remembering to get the crumbs off the floor from baby self-feeding adventures!). I still have things to do in the bedroom, but really, we need the rest of our furniture here.

Okay, I’m done rambling. I’ll chat about our electrical fun once it’s solved. Hope everyone is doing well.

March 17, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments