Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Today was lots of dance and lots of Annie. I got an email today saying that J's group will need to rehearse 4 days a week now until Nationals (Mon - Thu). It comes out to 6 hours a week - plus 3 hours a week for the regular summer classes. We also found out today that their regular (wonderful) dance teacher will be leaving that studio to open her own - and won't be with them for any rehearsals this summer or Nationals. Then we found out that the owner is moving the whole studio to a larger space in a few weeks. Wow. So much stuff to take in! Annie rehearsal was a couple of hours - nothing new going on there.

J needs to get that dance essay done by tomorrow. I think she did a good job and hopefully she'll win the free year of tuition! J seemed pretty enthused about the essay. She thinks she needs reading glasses. I don't think so, but I'll get her checked anyway. It's been less than a year since her last eye checkup and that's when the idiot doctor put the idea of reading glasses into J's head. J actually said that she would like to start reading once she has her glasses. Hmmmm, interesting. I'll get her a $5 (no significant strength) pair from the drug store if that's all it takes to get her to read!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

I'm thinking about our summer plans. Today is K's last day of school and I want to do so much this summer. Well, J has lots of dance and both girls have Annie til August. I don't think J is going to do much workbook, reading, or online academic stuff with everyone home, but lots of outings will surely make up for that. I've been making a list of the places we want to visit and would like to try and "do the city" around 2x a week or more. Besides, I'm hoping to deprogram all the school-induced crap/attitude/backtalk/etc. from K this summer. 6th grade just sucked and hopefully now that NLBG won't be in her class next year, 7th grade will be great. We'll see.

This week we need to all veg and relax while I get this apartment in top shape. I want everything UBER-organized and cleaned so that I can actually come home and feel relaxed instead of stressed. It's supposed to rain all week anyway. Tomorrow night B is taking W to a Mets game. Friday, J is going to hang out with her hs'ed friend, G. July 4th weekend is upon us and I feel like heading over with the family to watch the Macy's fireworks from across the water. B is off Monday and Tuesday, too. I would like to go on a day trip somewhere.

I called the district office about my paperwork and the sup't assistant said everything looks great! He was surprised that I even included next year's IHIP in there and said "hey, you're fast!". Yup. He mentioned how they're are currently going over all 210 homeschoolers' paperwork. Wow, that's more than I thought there was in my district! I know I said I wasn't going to call, but I had to know if everything was ok so I don't have to think about it anymore. I'm excited because I kept everything at such a minimum and it was FINE! I expected to have to send more since I read that it's better to see what little info you can get away with and you can add to it if they ask for more. Now I can use those as a template for every time I have to send something. Woohoo! We're done with paperwork now til November!!

Monday, June 27, 2005

Went out to mom's today. They had tons of company including an old navy buddy of my dad's, his wife, and daughter who are visiting from California. Their dd is 9 and got along so great with my kids. They swam in the pool and played a bunch of games. At the end of the night they all exchanged email addresses and promised to keep in touch. They were interested in hearing about homeschooling and said they'd thought about it with their dd. She goes to a dangerous school in L.A. and talked about how she has cattiness problems with the girls there, too, like K. They also told me that Schwarzeneggar has implemented a new program where the kids evaluate the teachers! The eval is taken very seriously! - To weed out the bad ones, I guess. I thought that was a cool idea. I guess some teachers better be on their best behavior next year! LOL!

One person at mom's made an incredible peanut-butter-pie. I made him swear he would email me the recipe. I will post it when I get it.

And a huge thank you to Deanne, Southern Mom, Kathy, and J in Alberta! I was really tired and cranky last night and almost felt like maybe not blogging anymore. I have PMS this week, too, so that's probably it. :^)

Saturday, June 25, 2005

The girls had Annie rehearsal today from 10-1 and by 3pm we were upstate in Brewster at my niece's 3rd birthday party. All the kids had a great time. K hung out with 2 12-y/o friends and a 13-y/o boy she thought was "really cute". They all sat around talking and laughing. Later on they played football with some of the little kids and when it was dark a game of Manhunt started. I loved that game at her age and I was so glad to see she was not to "grown up" to be running around and playing. We got home around 10:30pm and everyone's now asleep. I'm exhausted, too, and will probably be asleep in 10 minutes.

Here's something that's been on my mind: I get about 350 hits on this blog every week and NO ONE EVER LEAVES A COMMENT!!! (except you, Janet. Thanks) COULD YOU ALL MAYBE JUST POST A QUICK ONE FOR ME? I'D REALLY APPRECIATE IT. :)


Friday, June 24, 2005

J and I started the morning reading about a dozen Aesop's Fables online. She sat on my lap and I read some to her, she read some to me, or we listened to the narrator read it. We discussed the morals and the ones that didn't have one listed, I asked her to guess what the moral would be. W went with B to bring K to school. When he got back, he found one of the green Bob books and started reading that to me. It's the one that starts: Jig is a big pig. Then he went online to play some Kindergarten level math games, like concentration and pattern finding.

B took them both out on errands with MIL and I stayed home dissecting the living room. I filled a bag of garbage (how does so much garbage turn up everywhere??) and put away 2 tons of laundry. After B picked up K, he went in the back to barbecue while J and W went in the pool. I had a party to go to tonight and as usual only one of us can go since we have no one to babysit all 3 kids. I got home around 11:30 and everyone's asleep and I wish B could have come with me.

One of the women at the party asked me where my kids go to school. When I mentioned that I homeschool one of them, she rolled her eyes at me and lamented that it must be suuuuch a biiiiig responsibiiiiiility . I started to explain that it's not as difficult as it seems and how I have much less stress now then when J was in school and she cut me off to talk to someone else as if she couldn't care less what I had to say. Oh well. I did have fun at the party, though. My friend M and I danced all the stupid dances (macarena, hands up, electric slide, cotton-eyed-joe). We were usually the only ones up dancing but we didn't give a crap and just acted like the floor show. LOL! Life's too short to care what others think. (I gotta remember that more often).

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Another Day in the Life:

Today W woke up at 7am as usual. Dh got ready for work, K got ready for school (can't wait til she's done!). J got up around 9am. After some English muffins and Toaster Tarts, J brought me a book called "Everything You Need to Know About Geography Homework (4th-6th grades)". She loves geography and globes and maps and stuff. So she grabbed the globe and read through the beginning of the book with me. In about an hour we went over hemispheres, planets, the role of the sun, earth's axis/rotation/revolution, longitude, Prime Meridian, latitude, Equator, true and magnetic north, finding world cities using degrees and minutes, the Arctic & Antarctic Circles, the Tropics of Cancer & Capricorn, time zones, and compass points. She used the globe to put what she was learning in action. I am amazed at how well she understood it all. I never learned it and we had so much fun learning it together. She said she loves this book and wants to do the next section tomorrow.

W played with the globe, too, but then went online to play some alphabet games. He then found his Bob book and read one of the red ones called "Mat" to dh on the speakerphone, lol. After that, he wrote sentences from the book on his Magnadoodle. He wrote "Mat sat on Sam". Then erased it and wrote "Father's Day". And put it aside to show daddy later. He then started playing with a magnetic dart showing me how it makes the magnet on Spiderman's hand move. I told him that they must be the same kind of magnet so they try to stay away from each other. He went to get a fridge magnet and showed me that same thing. He asked why it sticks to the back then. I said that the front of the magnets were all "norths" and the backs were all "souths" and norths only like souths so that's why they stick. He did the whole experiment again with other magnets and seemed to really understand what I said. I was going to say "boys" and "girls" instead of "north" and "south", but I think that would have sounded odd. LOL!

They then both got their bathing suits on and went into the backyard pool for about an hour while I relaxed a bit with my book and Diet Pepsi. Then we went back upstairs and J got dressed for dance class - she had company Nationals practice at 3, tap at 4, and jazz at 5. She would live there if she could I swear! At 2:30pm I drove J to dance for her 3pm class and zipped back to pick up K from school at 3:40pm. W fell asleep somewhere in there so we came home to veg out a bit before picking J up at 6pm. MIL watched W at 5:30. Dh got home at 6:30 so she didn't have to watch him long.

We drove out to Annie rehearsal and I got the kids some snacky stuff to tide them over until they got home to eat. We got home around 9 and watched a DVD of another production of Annie that one of the moms lent me tonight. B's off tomorrow, so I'll use that time to finish cleaning the rest of the house.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

J and W just hung out together and played all day while I put on the gasmask and went in to clean K's room. I pulled tons of crap out from behind her dresser, desk, radiatior, bed, and bookcase. I filled 2 garbage bags and a whole huge recycle bag with junk! I have to say it looks wonderful in there now. I didn't tell her, but let her come home and be surprised. She thanked me up and down and promised to keep it that way (yeah, she better!). W read some more books to me. He's doing better and better every day. J read to him, too.

I turned on the tv in K's room and she has it set to MTV. The video I saw was absolutely disgusting and I proceeded to then block all the MTV channels, E!, BET, VH1, and any other channel that shows stuff I don't want her to see. I already had it on a ratings block - anything PG-13 and worse. She protested and cried about it later, but sorry, too bad. Now, I'm no prude, but I just cannot understand how this passes as music, let alone being specifically geared toward teens. It breaks my heart that pimps, booty, asses, "lick the lollipop", culo, and "ho"s are how this country's kids are starting their day and ending their nights. No wonder there's behavior and learning problems.

Anyhoo, J had dance at 4, I dropped W off at MIL's at 4:30, got some take out for us for dinner, picked J up at 6, dropped them off at Annie rehearsal at 6:30, got K at 8 (who did some homework), went to the store for some drinks and snacks, ran around catching lightning bugs with K, picked J up at 9:30 (she's a principal orphan and has to stay later), and got home at 10. And we get to do it all again tomorrow, too.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

We have a NYC guide book with a compass in the spine. J asked me how the compass worked, I explained how the little red arrow always turns to point North. She played with it for a long time, trying to "trick" it and figuring out where all the other directional points were. W wanted to "do workbook" with me and chose a page on counting money. One page had a nickel and 4 pennies and he had to guess the amount. And again with a dime and 2 pennies. He actually understood he had to start counting from the larger coin's amount. He tired of that when his show came on, but a little while later he read Hop on Pop to me. J and W went in the pool for a couple of hours after that.

After we picked up K, I drove J to dance class. The summer classes are set up differently. We thought the Combo class was for her age but it was all 4-year-olds. The owner said J could stay and help teach. That was cool! I convinced W to try the class since it was for his age and he reluctantly went in. He acted all goofy in front of all the girls - it was so cute! But when they started out with toe pointing and pli'es, he walked right out of there saying he doesn't like that dancing. LOL! Too bad it wasn't a Spiderman class! So since the hip-hop class was after that and the cheer dance class was after that, I left J there to pick her up a few hours later. It turned out no one showed up for the other classes so they were cancelled. J just hung out there with the older girls and made up her own dances. She goes back tomorrow with her group to practice for nationals.

Monday, June 20, 2005

For the Annie production all of the orphans have to make their own ratty pillow. J worked on hers the last 2 days. She took an old towel, sewed it up on 3 sides, stuffed it with crumpled newspaper, and sewed it shut. I have to giver her credit since she did it all on her own - didn't ask for any help - and got through it without poking her finger with the needle. I can't even do that. She was really concentrating on making it look good and probably spent over an hour on it each day. So much for her having ADD-inattentive, huh?

J found K's gold paints and painted a paper plate. She decided it was the sun and that led to the idea of making a diorama. She used an old 12-pk soda box, taping up the ripped sides. She cut out a spiky-looking sun from the paper plate and hung it from a thread inside the box. She also made a moon, a star, and a meteor to hang. The background was black construction paper dotted with white crayon so as to have an outer-space look. It came out really cute.

W has been immersed in tons of imaginative play - which he should be at his age. LOL. He's a cowboy, a superhero, a fireman, a race car driver, a baseball player, and pilot lately. I remember my girls wanting to be princesses, actresses, teachers, doctors, and singers at that age. The way he talks has such a matureness to it now, too. His behavior has been great and he's being so helpful at home and at the store. And he's so damn handsome with his new tan and killer smile. LOL. He walks around like Mr. Stud-guy all the time anyway. Like he's one of the Gotti kids. We're Italian so maybe it's just in his blood! LOL.

K had a great day at school. Her sphinx project and oral presentation of it received a 90%. She and B did a great job papier mache'ing and painting it. They sprinkled art sand on the wet gold paint to make it look really authentic, lol. The sand was also used to create the face. Another good thing was that NLBG finally got what she deserves - everyone sees her for what she is and no one wants to be around her anymore. K has had no problems with this girl or the other kids for a record amount of time (2 weeks?) and I just hope she can get through the rest of the school year (6/28) without any. I keep telling her not to bother being one of the populars. There's way too much drama and it's so not worth it. But, that's what she's always been and she needs to just find herself on her own. Oh, and also the boy who danced with K all night at the Spring Dance asked her to be his girlfriend - she said "of course". WTF? I am not going to overreact. There are 8 days until the last day of school. She does not see any of these kids outside of school. They will most likely forget about each other all summer. I will be monitoring all emails, IMs, and phone calls (secretly, of course. Is that bad?). Being a "girlfriend" at this age only means holding hands in the school hallways. I swear I'm not being naive about it. K and I sit and have long talks about everything and there has never been a time she hasn't opened up to me. Besides I can always tell when she's lying. Say some prayers for us anyway!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

I am so excited to learn that my one of my favorite Broadway musicals is being released as a movie in the fall. RENT! I just watched the trailer . It's so great - all of the original Broadway cast members are in it (except Mimi - now played by Rosario Dawson). B and I saw Rent 3 times. My other favorite Broadway shows are Lion King, Chicago, and Beauty and the Beast. All of those are already movies. LOL.

So, HaPpY FaThEr'S DaY to all! We got B a new cell phone and fishing gear. The kids and I cannot wait to go fishing. I think B wants to. Not sure though. He was way more happy with the new cell phone. We celebrated this morning with McDonald's breakfast (B's choice). We haven't had that in a really long time. The rest of the day B and K are redoing the Sphinx project, I'm going to really get cleaning, and hopefully J and W will play nicely together. I'm still waiting for my green certified mail card to come back. I hate worrying about whether the paperwork is "acceptable" to them. It's none of their business really. I mean, do they ask private schools for quarterly reports on their students? Why should they bother us then when she's not even part of the school system anymore?

Friday, June 17, 2005

J created yet another blog for herself. She wants a clear separation from K's web stuff and I don't think she even wants K to know about it. LOL. Later on she worked on the dance essay again, fixing up a few things. I hope the school owner can tell the difference between the essays that kids wrote all on their own and the ones where the parents helped. It's really not fair because you know when it comes to free tuition that parents are going to ensure their kids win no matter what. I feel like bringing that up to her. Maybe I will.

J and W painted more today. W painted his homemade wooden helicopter with J's help and J painted some cute pictures. One was a person with the whole background done in colored spots and her other painting was of a big mug of Dr. Pepper. After we picked up K we stopped at the bodega for icees and snacks. J had a dollar and went in with K and spend her money. She bought W some chips and they split the icee in half to share. I thought that was very nice of her.

Tomorrow they have Annie rehearsal from 10-1. B's staying home to do laundry and we'll probably have a barbecue in the afternoon while the kids play in the pool. I really want to get this house cleaned before Monday.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

J, W, and I slept til about 9am. It was great. K and B leave at 8am. K brought her homemade sphinx to school and everyone laughed at it. She's trashing that one and making a new one over the weekend. She let B draw the face on it this morning when the paint was dry. I can only imagine what that looked like. K and I were laughing hysterically at the whole situation. Oh well. Thank goodness the teacher gave them more days to do it.

I found a great website today called that J just loved. She did a few fractions games. The questions were like, "3/7 of 42 cookies is how many cookies?". The answer blocks uncovered a hidden picture if you got it right. She was so quick with all of them! The other game she played was on equivalent fractions like 3/8 = 12/32. It was timed (which she hates), but I think she had fun anyway. Then she worked on her dance scholarship essay a bit. She wouldn't let me read it, but she was excited to show me that she copied and pasted the dance school logo from the website and put it at the top of her essay. I thought that was very cool and creative. While I cleaned the kitchen (yay, me) J and W painted a few pictures with the tempera paints I got for K last night and were both covered in paint. Why they always feel they have to make handprints, I'll never know. They then filled some balloons with water and one broke on the bathroom floor. So I came out of the kitchen to find black paint all over EVERYTHING (plastic tablecloth saved the wood table!) and a huge puddle and soaking wet towels on the bathroom floor. It's my own fault for taking my eyes off them for 20 minutes.

J updated her website again, too. I just checked it out. She added a couple of pages to it, uploaded about 5 or 6 pictures of herself, K, and W, and added another counter, and a guestbook. Don't know how she figured it all out, but it looks great! At 8 yrs old she made a better website than a lot of adults can do. I'm impressed! In the early evening K was playing around with my cell phone ringtones and the kids all took turns dancing really silly to each one. We did this for about an hour and were laughing so hard, we didn't want to stop. W was doing the jumps, splits, and turns he saw J's dance class doing. I asked him later on if he wants to take dance class like J. He looked at me like I was nuts. He said maybe, but he likes baseball better. I think he'd make a great dancer - not in a swishy kind of way - like the cool hip-hop type. Maybe one day.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


W's quote of the day: (as he's looking in the mirror with his arms up) "When I grow up I'm gonna have hairy armpits!"


New pix are up in the PHOTO ALBUM!


W's graduation was really nice. The kids sang a few songs and even counted to 100 for everybody (LOL). Each got a little certificate and there were refreshments afterwards. The teachers said they would really miss W and that he was so good and so smart. I feel a little sad since I liked those teachers, but FREE is way better than $315 a month. Besides, all the kids he liked are going into Kindergarten in September.

K had a half day today. They all went in the big blowup pool in the backyard for a few hours. At 5:30 we left for Annie rehearsal. On the way home we were hungry and tired and K reminds me she has to get paint, glitter, glue, and tape for hera model of the sphinx that's due tomorrow. Never a dull moment, I swear. Everything was closed, so we ended up getting all the supplies (paying way too much) at the supermarket. So now it's like 10:30 at night and she's painting and gluing. I'm so not in the mood to do this right now. Did I mention she had a half day? >:^(

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

I got all the paperwork mailed finally. Of course every time I go to the post office I have to ask how to send something certified mail. I don't know why I can't remember - it was my 3rd time doing it. I think I'll check in a couple of weeks to see if they received it all. I really hope everything is ok. I don't feel like doing it over.

K stayed home yesterday so as not to face her "friends". By the afternoon, she was fine about it and did go to school today. Some girls are still mad at her but she says she's over being upset over this garbage. She came out of school happy today and seems really focused on her schoolwork lately. I told my mom all the stuff that's going on with K and in a nutshell she said I'm not doing enough about it and gave me several spoken-in-anger suggestions that I'm just gonna ignore. I AM doing what I can. K said I'll embarrass her or make it worse if I interfere more. Sigh. I mentioned to my mom that I will homeschool K if this continues into next year and she flipped out on me. She said that since I have no structure with J how can I possibly think K would learn anything. I was so upset that she really doesn't trust me. She has been involved with me from the beginning and I really though she and I were on the same page. I have decided not to elaborate much on what J's doing anymore - or my thoughts and feelings about what any of my kids are doing. She has gotten a little too judgmental lately and I have to learn to not let it get to me.

Anyway, J did some math today on She played games with fractions, money, word problems, and numerations. She's also been really into Roman numerals, too. She can decipher any combination up to M. I've always liked them myself. After that, she took out the How to Draw Skeletons book and drew a few. That counts as art and science in my book! Then we read aloud together - another chapter of The Report Card. She reads aloud with such drama. It's fun listening to her. Then J and W went in the backyard pool for a couple of hours in the afternoon and then for another hour after K was home. I dropped W off at MIL's while I took the girls to "Annie" rehearsal. W was only at MIL's an hour before B got home and picked him up. Play practice let out at 8, so we stopped by the end-of-the-year choir party at my church. It was great since the kids didn't have dinner and there was tons of food there. 3 people called me today asking if I was going. I'm glad I went.

An apartment is for rent on the right of us and the people on the left of us are moving out. There are all 2-family houses on my block so new neighbors always make me nervous. It's not like when we lived in the 6-story huge apartment building where you really never knew who moved in or out. I met the guy in the basement apartment next door today. He's very nice and has a 6-y/o dd who never visits him. I felt sad about that, especially since he saw my kids all playing in the pool so happily.

My homeschool group is going through a revamp. We have new leaders and a new newsletter is being formed. We'll have a website finally and more organized get-togethers. I'm excited about that. I'd like to really try and be more involved. There's really nothing like having friends who actually "get it". LOL.


Sunday, June 12, 2005

J's dance recital was awesome! There was a great dedication page to just the 22 company members - 8 members of J's team (8-10 y/o), 8 members of the 11-12 y/o team and 6 members of the 16-24 y/o team. There's also over 100 mainstream dancers at the school. Everything went off without a hitch. I will try and post some new pictures in the photo album tomorrow. I have so many but can't find the USB cord to connect the digital camera to the computer. I'll find it.

J did some reading, math, and geography yesterday on a new site she found called She only played with the sample pages because you have to join for like $20 a year to get the better stuff. I'm thinking about that. She liked it a lot and I like the way the learning games are set up.

Tomorrow I'm mailing all the paperwork. I redid the quarterly. I had a table that looked like a report card with "grades" and stuff, but it looked dumb. My new one says:

J.. is progressing at a satisfactory level or above in all subject matter.

We have had instruction in all the following areas, as per Section 100.10 of the Regulations of the New York State Commissioner of Education and J..’s Individualized Home Instruction Plan (IHIP): Reading, Writing, Spelling, Language Arts, Arithmetic, U.S. History, Geography, Science, Health, Physical Education, Music, and Visual Arts.

We have covered at least 80% of the planned material for this quarter.

J.. had no absences from instruction this quarter, and has exceeded the required hours of instruction (225).

THAT'S IT. Last quarter's was much more detailed but I keep reading that they don't need more than this. We'll see if they give me a hard time about it. I hope not, this is so easy.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

The doctor yesterday said everything looks great with the surgery site. A little swelling still left, but that should go away soon. After that we went to get J new tap shoes and exchange a ripped dance bag. It kills me to spend $71 on tap shoes she may not even need next year. Anyway, then we stopped at the bank and went to pick up K. She came out of school crying again - yes, because of Crazy Nutjob Girl (who has now been promoted to Nasty Little Bitch Girl - NLBG). It seems she is telling everyone that K lied about so-and-so which is not true but they all think it is so now all of her "friends" turned against her, yada yada yada. Same old story again. There's not much I can do here. Can't wait til school's out!

So K sulked all afternoon while J was at dance class. MIL was not feeling well, so all the kids had to come with me. They ran the finale a few times and the Friday number. I think we're ready. At home, K had a long phone conversation with NLBG and came out of it happy and dancing around the room. I don't know.

All of J's paperwork is ready and about to be mailed - the 4th quarterly report, annual assessment, and the LOI and IHIP for 4th grade. B keeps forgetting to sign it and it's due the 15th. I hate doing this last minute.

I found something online called "lapbooks". Those look like so much fun and something J might want to make. I'm thinking that with her huge interest in geography, that she can make a fun lapbook out of the things she's learned or would like to learn. Since it's a lot of arts and craft, I think she may go for it. Of course in an unschooling, just-a-suggestion kind of way ;D

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Dang, I ran around a lot today. I'm exhausted and tomorrow I foresee much running around too. K's party was good. They had water fights and thankfully cooled off in this hot weather. J's dance class ran long because of last minute touch ups to the recital finale, so we were late getting to play practice. I kept W awake all day and finally on the way to rehearsal he just said, "Mom, can I go to sleep now?". We went to the park where the sprinklers were on and he got soaked, but dried fast cause it was so hot. He really was dead-tired by 7:30. He slept while the girls were at rehearsal. I got to read and relax until 10pm.

J did some blog stuff today and helped put W's new Matchbox car garage together with me. I finally got to Toys R Us to spend his birthday gift card. I also bought a large inflatable pool (and cover) for the backyard. I asked K about homeschooling again. She said she really doesn't like that idea. I don't think she understands what it's all about. She sees J doing her own thing and feels she's not learning anything. It's hard for me to fully explain about unschooling and deschooling to her. Eventually she'll get it and hopefully would want to join us. We'll see.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

J played with the video camera again today. She got it onto the tripod, too. After she dropped it for the second time, it said "DEW" in the window. Don't know what that means, but now it's not working right. Later on she and W played Legos together. W's preschool graduation is next Wednesday. I'm so glad he's done with school next week. I owe them full tuition for June ($230) even though it's only half a month. Grrrrr. It's so ridiculous. Definitely not worth the money. Preschool is such a joke.

J and K had play practice again tonight. K got someone's email address and IM name (yay!). Speaking of friends, K is going to a birthday party tomorrow (public school is off). This is a girl she met at summer day camp several years ago and they talk on the phone all the time - and she's a good kid with a nice family. Gotta find more of those for K, LOL. So, we got home around 9:15pm and I asked J if she wanted to read with me. She said YES and we read our own books together for almost an hour! She chose "Finding Nemo" which is way below her level, but I'm beyond caring about that anymore. I just love seeing her read (I'm still on Teach Your Own). K spent that time adding stuff to her website, like blinkies, "dolls", and photos. It looks great so far. K has to do an Egypt project so she chose to make a model of the Sphinx. Another trip to Michael's Craft Store will be on the agenda for tomorrow. I hope I don't go crazy in there - because you know I just want everything!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

J worked more on her blog and new website today. Then she watched "Magic Schoolbus" about the food chain. We talked about it a little after the show and from what I can tell, she understands it all. The girls had play rehearsal tonight, but K wanted to skip it and finish her homework. I'm already getting annoyed with the show. They changed the rehearsal time from 7pm to 6pm for next week and the schedule is showing 3-4 day per week rehearsals (including Saturday mornings). Everyone has to buy at least 10 tickets. And they want the kids to be in a parade for 30 minutes and buy a $50 ad in the program. WTF?

But J is having such a great time. She made a couple of friends already and looked so happy being there. This is how she was in school, too. She loved and thrived on the social part of it. K has a good time, too. I really want her to form some good friendships there so she can realize there's more out there than just the kids at school (who I can't stand, BTW). I'm glad it's going to be a fun, busy summer!

Monday, June 06, 2005

J found one of her workbooks this morning - Grade 4 Spelling by McGraw Hill Spectrum. There are several different activities on each page and it looks like fun, puzzle-y activities. She did the first 2 chapters - long a and long e sounding words (brain, freight, paste, etc). In each chapter there was a page on proofreading and it really sparked an interest. J did a great job with it and wanted me to find more pages online for her to proofread. I found a website with many proofreading symbols and printed it out for her. She used the symbols with the workbook activities and the proofreading worksheets I found online for her to do. She asked me why the 4th grade book was so easy. I knew it was when I saw she re-wrote a whole page worth of "wrong" sentences. She knew the correct spelling, capitalization, wording, and punctuation of every sentence. Some of them looked hard or tricky but she got them all. I guess it surprises me because she really hasn't done much reading or writing in the past few months. I love letting her take the lead in learning!

K is hating her life lately. She hates her teacher. She hates her friends. She comes home with an attitude and throws a tantrum like a 2-year-old. I don't know what to do for her anymore. I keep telling her that homeschooling is always an option, but she's not going for that idea. I will just do what I did with J and give it until December of 7th grade. If things do not improve by then, I'll break out the big guns in convincing her to homeschool. I can make her see my POV if I really try.

I'm excited to watch a new show tonight called The Scholar. It's a reality show where 10 financially-strapped kids compete for a college scholarship. I am rooting for the homeschooled kid (who has never been to school in his life and yet has a 4.0 GPA. Hmm, how do they know that if he's never been to school?). I'm also going to root for the girl from Queens! She's from a town called Fresh Meadows where several of my friends live! I'll see who has the better personality. LOL.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

We got home from mom's around 12. I went to my singing engagement and B and the kids played in the backyard. He put on the sprinklers and they cooled off in the 85 (heat index 95!) degree weather. He also made a nice bbq dinner. I came home briefly around 4:30 and got changed to go to the new priest's reception at 6:30. It was more like a wedding with a cocktail hour, buffet dinner with servers, and a DJ. I got home at 10:30 and all the kids were asleep.

I rejoined Flylady and plan on getting more organized around here. I want to set up my bookscases like the libraries do with several books standing alone by themselves so J can see what we have and be drawn to them. She's been doing a lot of things that are going right in my daily log. I am seeing a lot of self direction and motivation lately. Also, June is a great month to DO stuff around the city so I plan on getting out a lot more.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Been at my mom's since last night. B stayed home cuz he had a gig tonight in downtown Manhattan somewhere (I forget where). Yesterday, J and I read together again. I have to keep reminding her that you don't have to stop reading just because the chapter ends. But that's what she's used to (I blame this on school). Anyway, the dance school's owner sent and email about scholarships. Students can get a year's worth of free tuition if they write a 300 word essay on What Dance Means to Me. J was excited and started on hers right away. She wrote a lot and I am trying to stay out of it (even thought it's hard to keep my type-A self out of it). Her writing is very scattered with no "flow" to it. I'm hoping that if she can eventually start to like reading that that will help her understand how writing works. She had intense writing workshops in school and it did nothing for her, so she definitely needs to find her way on her own with this.

Today we all went out fo breakfast and then to the mall. Mom went crazy again, spending about $300 on my kids. She even bought K $75 sneakers. I had a talk with K about taking advantage of her grandmother but she started crying and mom yelled at me. Sigh. W was a royal whining pain today and I was about to lose it when mom said she'd take the kids and I could go into the bookstore for a while (my favorite place!). After an hour I found them again and we went back to mom's house - after a quick stop at the Lego store to buy W some stuff. We're leaving around 11am tomorrow so I can do that singing thing at 2.

I bought myself 2 shirts at Lane Bryant today. It is the first time I have ever shopped there. For a long time I just refused to even set foot in a "large woman's" store, but today I decided to accept that I'm overweight and that these shirts will probably fit a whole lot better than the ones I've been wearing. And they did. I got the smallest size in the store - a 14/16. Acceptance is the first step, right? This week I want to join a gym near me and try to get there at least 3x a week. I have had it. I'm ready to be a new me.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

I'm reading 2 books now: Teach Your Own (Holt) and Unconditional Parenting (Kohn). These will probably last me through the summer. I used to be able to finish a book pretty quickly, but I don't seem to have the time to read as much anymore. They are both such good books so far. I definitely prefer non-fiction, but the new Harry Potter book will be in my hands in the very near future!

J and I read together this morning from The Report Card. Interestingly enough it's about a gifted 10 y/o girl who hides her giftedness from everyone and purposely gets low grades. J likes it. I'm just glad she's reading. I saw her pick up a workbook today, too. I didn't see which one it was, though. She did that for about 15 minutes. She had dance at 4:45 for 2 hrs so K and I went shopping for a few more accessories for the school dance tomorrow. The boy she likes (G) asked her to go with him. For an 11-year-old that means I'll-meet-you-there-and-if-I'm-not-too-shy-we'll-maybe-dance-once-or-twice-together. This whole dance thing burns my buttons but means the world to her so I'm not going to argue about it. Anyway, after J's dance class today they had their first "Annie" rehearsal. It was more of a "get to know you" rehearsal and I'm glad they had fun with new friends.

Here's what's happening in my town this month . And the best thing of all is that every event is within 20 minutes of my house. It's a cool website that focuses just on NYC. It's mainly for visitors, but since there's always a ton of stuff going on in this town, it's incredibly helpful to me.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

K stayed home today mainly because she couldn't find her red shoes she just had to wear. Ah middle school. Aint it grand? I don't care too much that she takes a day off now and then. Her grades have been exceptional lately and socially it seems things are going well. The spring dance is this Friday so we went shopping and got her a new outfit. She got a denim mini-skirt and white halter top. The surprise at the register was that both were marked half off. I think I spent $20 altogether. Tomorrow while J is at dance, we'll go to Old Navy so she can spend her Christmas gift card on a cute pair of shoes to go with it. We all had lunch at Boston Market and I was so tired that we just went home after that.

The kids painted with watercolors this afternoon. K painted flowers and bunnies. J painted the new bird. And W mixed colors, asking what makes what and trying it out. J then moved on to the video camera. She's enjoying making her own movies lately and handles the camera pretty well. The buttons on those things are so small and confusing to me. She likes to take some video, rewind it, and watch it on the camera. She uses the "special effects" button sometimes and zooms in and out a lot.

I'm part of a 5-voice ensemble and we had rehearsal tonight. We're singing on Sunday for the ordination of a new priest in our parish. We were invited to his big reception afterward, too. I thought that was nice of him. Other than that, I felt crappy all day. My jaw is sore and swollen and I've had a headache above my right eye since this afternoon. I keep waking up at 4am and can't go back to sleep. I should probably take some vitamins or something.