Monday, July 8, 2013

A Sad Day

Today we had to put this little guy to sleep. Benjamin and I were a blubbery mess at the vet's office. Seems a little silly given what a grouch of a pet Nico was, but the last week he's let us hold and cuddle and pet (which was a big reason we knew something was wrong) him. We had to spoon feed him mushed up food and give him pedialyte from a syringe just to keep him going these last several days. But he was ready to go. The Vet was very kind and even pulled out a college textbook dealing with veterinary care of hedgehogs to show us that Nico had lived a long and full life and that all his symptoms were pointing to a brain tumor.  Just seeing how much he's declined in the past week and knowing that were it not for us, he would have just stopped eating and crawled into his little sleeping bag to die made me realize that it was okay for us to let go.

On a lighter side, while Benjamin was sobbing he said, "We need comfort food. We need frozen yogurt right now!"  (The kids are very into a little local froyo bar and keep trying to come up with excuses for why we need to go there.)  And so we did afterwards. We took Nico in with us, too, in his shoe box. It was too hot to leave him in the car, deceased or not. Don't tell the health inspectors...

And now Nico and his little sleeping bag are buried in the back yard amongst the ivy that he loved far too well and would try to run away and hide in every time I took him out to garden with me.

Rest In Peace, Nico. May your heaven be filled with meal worms.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

"Oh What Do You Do in the Summertime?"

The title is from a song in the Primary Children's Songbook.  It's all about going fishing, and swimming and other nature activities. And while we do enjoy those things, too, here's a glimpse at what else we've been doing:

We cleaned out the homeschool books, but Caleb wouldn't let me recycle these completely filled up work books until I agreed to take a picture of him with them so he could remember all the good times. (He seems to have forgotten all the screaming he did over those books...)

We eat lots of corn on the cob while it's fresh. Nathaniel styles it to look like famous people before eating it. This was Albert Cornstein.

We go see old movies at the BEST summer movie series EVER

We have friends over to play! Little girls even! Lilyanna is in heaven every time a little girl comes over!

We finally had our homeschool assessment and both boys passed on to the next grade!

We spend a lot of time reading, Nathaniel was very excited to finish the summer reading program first in the family!

We wear feather boas all year round of course, but this happened to be from this summer.

We act in/go to plays. Nathaniel and Caleb did drama camp and performed in a show at the end of it all. (That's Nathaniel as Dr. Watson in the middle.)

We go to summer reading programs at the library. Lilyanna is in amongst  all those princesses at the Princess Party Day at the library.

Benjamin and Nathaniel have been taking sewing classes this summer. Benjamin was not at all thrilled. Nathaniel LOVED it and has now signed up for cake decorating, too!

Many home improvement projects. We tore down our old deck and found a perfectly good (though dirty) patio beneath it.

Our annual visit with Chris Ian when the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players were in town  for their performance of H.M.S. Pinafore. 

More plays! This one at the Columbus Arts Festival. Nathaniel and Caleb were Bagheera and Mowgli (respectively) in the Jungle Book.

We walked the ducks from the courtyard at the elementary school down to the river so they could move on with their lives.

And we have spent lots and lots of time at our wonderful  zoo and aquarium.  Incidentally, I love the above picture. It looks like the kids landed in an Alice in Wonderland themed acid trip, but I love it nonetheless.

Nathaniel with one of his beloved manatees. He eat, sleeps, reads, breaths manatees lately.

So, what do YOU do in the summertime??

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

I am not good at...

...unknowns. I seem to give off a very chill attitude. And to be honest, the things that other people stress over are not the things I stress over. I am unapologetic about choosing reading over cleaning. I freely admit that I will not remember a person's name for probably the first three times I meet them.  In general I keep very calm about things. I don't like upheaval and drama that go with overreacting to stress.


I LOVE a schedule.  Schedules make me happy. They are the skeleton around which the rest of my life can jiggle and sway.  I have schedules for my activities, my kids activities, when to do chores, when to teach what in home school, when to teach piano, when to go to concerts, dates, etc.. I have schedules for what I want to accomplish in a given day/week/month/year.

My road trips have a schedule. Not an "every minute of the day is planned" schedule, but an "If I'm driving 4 young kids across the country by myself, I want to at the very least know where I'll be sleeping each night!" type of schedule. This makes Todd giggle. He isn't the one driving kids across country, though.

I mention this because I like to have my fall schedule reasonably well in place before I leave for a long summer vacation. The kids and I will be gone for nearly 4 weeks door to door. In fact, we'll miss the first day of school, a thing that I can't be bothered to get myself worked up over. My soon to be 8th grader certainly isn't sad about it. [And more uncertainty: I still don't have plane tickets for Todd and our oldest son to join us on vacation (I started trying weeks ago to buy tickets, but all price indicators say to wait. Still, I check every day.)  I don't even know what day we can actually leave for our road trip or where we'll be starting from because the Boy Scout son has a mini high adventure that I'll be picking him up from so we can head west. Wherever it might be. Maybe West Virginia. Maybe Kentucky.  (They are KILLING ME with the unknowns!!)]

There is currently uncertainty in what studio my kids will dance at for the next year LET ALONE what the schedule will be. There is uncertainty about whether one of my children will be home schooled or will attend school part time or full time, and in fact what grade he'll be in. There is uncertainty about when he'll be tested so we'll even know the answers to those questions. (And this affects my ordering curriculum for him if he is going to be home schooled.)

This lack of scheduling and increase in uncertainty is no problem of epic proportions, I realize, but I can feel it fraying at my mind. I'm not sleeping well. I'm clenching my jaw a lot. This is not to say we're not having a lovely and relaxing, yet productive summer in the mean time, it's just always there niggling in the background.

That's all. No moral to this story. I just needed to throw it out there and see if any clarity came with typeface.