Sunday, February 24, 2013

Week in Review

I get out of bed a little before 8am, after petting the cat for awhile. I didn't get the schoolwork in Jay's binder switched to the work for this week, so I do that right away, hoping to be done before he comes down for breakfast. While Jay is eating breakfast, Dea gets started on History. After he finishes eating, we pull out our All About Volcanoes kit. Jay is angry that we aren't doing an eruption today. He reads the first 4 sections in part 1 of the book that came with the kit & examines the poster that came with the kit. He then plays until quiet reading time. I head into the kitchen to make lunch & have several issues. I was going to make spaghetti with a meat sauce. However, the meat is frozen solid - a 2lb ground beefsicle. The garlic bread refuses to come apart, & I almost bend a knife trying to pry it apart. Even after cooking for more than half the time, the bread won't come apart. I burn myself on the baking sheet while trying to pry apart the bread & decide it can just cook like that. I'm done trying to pry it apart. I make the sauce, without meat & choose noodles. My day is not off to a good start. the kids have been fighting most of the morning, the whole kitchen is against me, and I'm starting to get a headache.

After lunch the kids go out to play. Jay hurts his finger playing basketball with one of the neighborhood boys. When they come back in, Jay goes on the computer for Math games & MathTv, and Dea does Government. Next, we watch some AoPS videos and do More Word Winks & ASL. He takes a break, I check Dea's Geometry. After his break, we do Latin. We're starting chapter 14, which is numbers. Jay is thrilled! He is literally jumping for joy & considering doing the whole chapter today. Dea is really just moping around. She claims that she did Writing, but has no proof & never actually said she was working on it. Plus, she has spent most of the day on break, which really makes me questions how much work she is actually getting dome. She wants to spend the weekend with her cousin, and is pouting because I said not this weekend. She hasn't been keeping up on her schoolwork or chores, and I think she should put more effort into that before I let her spend the night somewhere. After Latin, Jay does measurement & Writing. During this break, I do my mile walk & start cooking my dinner. The kids get their own dinner.  After the break, Jay finishes school with Grammar & Spelling.

The way it looks right now, he should finish Grammar in maybe 3 weeks. He started chapter 4 in Writing today, and there are only 6 chapters. So, he will likely be done with that in the next 2 months. Spelling will take longer, lasting into the next school year. He probably won't be done with Latin when the new school year starts, either. I'm pretty sure he'll be done with Key to by the time the next school year starts. I won't be able to order school materials until next month, which is driving me nuts. I will only have a few weeks between the materials getting here and the new year starting. I hate having a time crunch like that.

It is a cold day, bitterly cold. The high is only 14 & wind chills are expected around -10. This is the kind of day when nobody wants to go outside. The dog thinks she wants to go out, but everytime she gets out there, she runs right back to the door. It is the kind of day that would be best spent curled up under blankets watching movies. We won't be doing that, though. Dea is still struggling to find & stick to a working schedule & Jay is so close to the end of the year & trying to finish stuff. Instead, I make a pot of orange ginger mint tea, so we have a nice hot drink to keep us warm. Jay does get to curl up under a blanket & watch a dvd for Science. Dea works on Geometry. After his dvd, Jay goes upstairs to play. I head into the kitchen early today. We're having meatloaf, sauteed asparagus, steamed green beans, and mashed potatoes. I am not making just one meatloaf, but two, each slightly different. They will need about 1 1/2hrs to cook. The potatoes are real, which means they need some time, as well. Plus, the veggies are fresh, which means they need some prep. So, I have to start earlier than usual.

After lunch, Jay goes on the computer for fun & Dea goes on to blog. After fun computer time, Jay does Math games & MathTv. Then, we watch AoPS videos. Today's videos are on square roots. He gets 2 wrong (he likes to pause it & try to solve before the guy gives the solution), and I have to convince him that even mathematicians make mistakes. Next, we do Logic. Jay has finished Fun With Logic, as we will now be replacing it with Mensa Whodunits. After another break, he does Grammar, measurement, and Latin. Dea does Government. We finish off Jay's school day with Writing & Spelling.

I get up about 8am (after having been woken several times by the kids, starting around 5 or 5:30). Almost immediately after breakfast, Jay starts arguing. He argues about having to get his dirty laundry together so it can be washed. He argues with his sister about whether or not she has permission to use her netbook. Mostly, he argues about not wanting to do his Geography work. He wants to just play geography games on the computer & not have to do anything else for the subject, at all. He is angry because the work we've been doing the past few weeks for Geography has been "cutting into my playing time!" I then remind him that that playing time is only allowed if he gets his work done early, because technically, we set aside 2 hours for Geography (though we almost never use that whole time). So, it is not cutting into his playing time, it is simply taking more of the allotted time than many of his other assignments. My only real problem with his argument is that he is yelling it at me & throwing a fit, instead of speaking calmly & rationally. When he is irrational, it makes it impossible to get through to him with a logical response. So, I send him to his room so he can calm down. He does manage to get some Geography done before reading time, though not much. Dea gets some school work done (I'm really not sure what) before coming into the kitchen to help me. While I make spaghetti & meatballs, she works on Swedish meatballs for tomorrow's lunch.

Dea isn't great at Swedish meatballs. This is partly due to the recipe she used & partly due to her lack of following the recipe. I can't find the really awesome Swedish meatball recipe I had. So, I search for an authentic recipe. I find 2 that we can work from & print them off. We'll see what we can do with them next time. The meatballs she made this time are in the slow cooker cooking. We'll see how she did tomorrow. Jay does math games & MathTv. We then watch videos from AoPS. Today's videos are on angles (the videos for chapter 10 of their Pre-Algebra). Dea does some Geometry & takes a break. Jay & I do Logic (he's requested doing Mensa Whodunits every day that he doesn't have other Logic to do) & ASL. After a break, Jay does Writing, Latin, Grammar. He is complaining of a headache, so I think I'll let him skip school for the rest of the day. Dea might actually get some school done today, though last I knew she was checking out the site for the Synagogue she is considering attending.

Today starts on a crappy note! The kids start fighting first thing. They are yelling at each other about everything. I drag myself out of bed to take a shower, hoping that the hot water helps my headache. It doesn't. Jay pounds on the door moments after my shower starts, because I can't even take a shower without interruption.

Dea spends some time on Geometry. Jay reads a book on pirates & spends a little time on the computer for History. We have Swedish meatballs for lunch, the ones Dea made yesterday. They are ok. the taste is a little too sweet, & they are not meatball shaped. They spent some time in the slow cooker & basically cooked into one giant meatball that I have to break up for us to eat.

After the lunch break, Jay spends some time on Khan Academy & watches videos on MathTv. We watch some videos from AoPS, half of the videos for chapter 11 of their Pre-Algebra (area & perimeter). We then do a puzzle from Mensa Whodunits and ASL. During the break, I do a 2 mile walk with ankle weights, as well as the hand weights, and my legs have turned to jelly. Jay decides to start the next school session with Writing, but then throws a fit & gets sent to his room to calm down. He is hungry because he chose not to eat lunch (claimed he didn't like it because it wasn't as good as my Swedish meatballs). We are out of snack food, because they ate it all, so he didn't get a snack, either. So, now he thinks he gets to blame me for his hunger. On top of that, he is angry at me for telling him he needs to write the answers to the questions in this part of his Writing assignment. Yes, he is mad at me for making him write for Writing. He is starting the major writing assignment for this chapter. These always start with pre-writing. Often, the pre-writing involves questions that will help determine what to write. He does not want to have to write the answers down, but instead wants to type them. The problem with that is it would be a page of random statements that make so actual sense. Whereas, if he writes the answers down on the page that has the questions, he can refer back to it over the next few days as he finishes planning the assignment & writes the first draft, and he'll be able to make sense of the answers because they will be right there with the questions. All he sees, though is mom making him write, despite knowing that he hates to write. Therefore, mom is mean & making his life miserable. When he is done with his attitude, he comes down & does Writing, Spelling, and Measurement. My headache gets worse. We eat dinner. Jay does Grammar & Latin to finish his school day. Dea reads from The Lovely Bones.

I stay in bed until quarter to 8am. The kids & I are out the door by 8am to do the grocery shopping. We pick up frozen pizza & garlic bread for lunch. It's not the healthiest, but it is quick & easy. After lunch, Jay goes on the computer for fun & Dea just kind of hangs out. Jay does Math games & MathTv. Then, we watch some AoPS videos (the other half from chapter 11). Dea works on Geometry. We then do another puzzle from Mensa Whodunits and ASL. We have decided to stop with the free online ASL that we've been using. They do the signs too fast for Jay, and many of the videos are done from the side, which makes it hard to make out some of the signs. Also, there is no consistency in the videos. There are multiple people in the videos & they all have their own way of doing signs. So, you watch the vocab video to learn the sign & see it done one way, but might see it done differently in a conversation video or one of the exercises where you are supposed to pick out the signs. I understand that not all people who use ASL use it in the exact same way, but when teaching it, there should be some consistency between what you show the student initially & what you expect them to recognize in practice. I had been planning to just use this to finish out this year & start The Joy of Signing in 4th grade. I think we'll start The Joy of Signing next week, though.

Honestly, I have no idea what Dea has done most of today. She says she's going to work on something, but is then doing something else within 10 minutes.

 Shortly after we get up, we head out to run some errands. We go to the store to pick up some household things. We stop at Toys'R' Us so I can pick up card for 1 month memberships to Moshi Monsters for the kids (birthday presents). We stop & eat lunch, because I won't have time to cook lunch when we get home. We head home to get the library books & head to the library. The library is hosting  Star Wars event & my hubby & Jay are going. Dea & I hang out at the library for a while, but leave when creepy library stalker dude creeps us out too much. Creepy library stalker dude is a guy who seems to follow us around at the library for the last few weeks. We see him in the kids' section, though he never has a kid with him. We've seen him in the YA section, where adults are not supposed to be allowed. When we go upstairs, so does he. If we head to the 3rd floor, he goes to the 2nd floor, then comes up to the 3rd floor 2 minutes (or less) later. Also, just so you don't think I am overreacting or ridiculously conceited, he has approached us multiple times.

So, we check out our stacks of books & leave. We wander around downtown for close to an hour. By this point, there is nothing left to look at, so we head back tot he library to warm up. We head tot he 3rd floor. As soon as we get off the elevator, creepy library stalker dude is just standing there staring us. He then turns and walks away. This is especially creepy since, with where he was standing, he could not have actually been doing anything. He wasn't standing in front of the elevators & didn't get on the elevator or go down the stairs, so he wasn't waiting for the elevator. He wasn't at a desk, table, or computer. He wasn't standing near bookshelves. He was just standing in an open space, staring. Since creepy library stalker dude is still at the library, we don't stay long. We go to check on the boys. They are ready to leave the event. We go to Home Depot to get new window shades. While there, Dea starts feeling nauseated & dizzy. She has a headache & is hungry. We're pretty sure it's all related & she just needs to eat. Since she is obviously in need of food now, not in an hour & a half when we have had time to drive home & cook, we stop at IHOP (because she wants pancakes & IHOP is close). By the time we finish eating, she is feeling much better, though still not 100%. Not long after we get home, Jay is feeling ill. His stomach hurts. He ends up vomiting several times. With him feeling like this, we let him sleep in our room, since it is connected to the bathroom. We're pretty sure he isn't actually sick, just having a reaction to something he ate. I am really hoping that he is feeling better in the morning, as we have plans for tomorrow that none of us want to cancel.

Well, he's not feeling better. We have to take him to the ER because he can't even keep down water. This ends up being a rather lazy day. nobody slept well last night. We spend the entire morning at the ER. On the way home, we stop at the store to pick soup, saltines, broth, and juice. Aside from making lunch & dinner, I don't do too much. I spend much of the day taking care of Jay. The chores can wait. Getting him feeling better is the number one priority. He is rather disappointed that we have to cancel our plans today. We had planned to go to a lecture today, at a local museum. Instead, we hang out around the house, just resting.