River's Edge Urban Academy

Homeschooling 4 kids ages 9, 6, 4 and baby while working as a postpartum nurse and lactation counselor.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Well this is probably of zero interest to anyone besides me (and that's different from the rest of my blog's content how?) But I really want to record that I have worked up to doing 4 miles in 40 minutes on the elliptical cross-trainer in hill mode set at intensity level 6. I have increased the length of my workout from 25"-40" and gone from 12 minutes miles to 10 minutes miles. Now I am working on increasing the intensity every couple days.
Today I wasn't going to work out cuz we really didn't have time for it. But the kids really wanted to go and got ready super fast so I went and worked out for 35 minutes. Since I hadn't planned to work out I hadn't eaten breakfast (just wasn't hungry so kinda forgot) and it was incredible how noticeable that was.
So that's it about me. Kids are doing good. We have had fabulous weather lately and have been playing outside alot. It was like 40+ earlier this week so Ryan and I and the kids built a snowman and a snowcave and had a very fun snowball fight.
The kids and I have been to the Y everyday this week except Sunday and Monday. We are back to getting full Calvert lessons done almost everyday. It still feels like a juggling act, keeping baby happy and Zeff occupied while J and I do "school." Fortunately she has really improved at sticking to her work when I am not right next to her and Zeff is getting very into doing mazes and puzzles while she is at the table. I still don't do any formal school with him but he is definitely on track to begin preschool at home in the fall. He noticed that a bag of Twizzlers in a vending machine had a Z in it the other day and has asked me how to spell words. Joss and Malcolm will occasionally take it upon themselves to ecducate Zeff and will sit him down and teach him various facts such as 1+1 and 1+2 and how to spell yes nad no.
Keian is such a happy, sweet and ACTIVE boy. He is running and climbing EVERYTHING and I have an irrational fear that he will learn to fly. He really enjoys music and has several favorite musical toys that he will activate over and over and dance to their (obnoxious) music. Fortunately the dancing is so cute that it makes up for the music. He puts his hands up in the air and rocks from foot to foot while spinning in a circle. He also was singing along to the Muppets version of "Wild Thing" in the car today. He really liked mimicking the parts where Animal was roaring. His understanding of English is amazing. Often when I say something like "Jossy get your shoes on." He will go get her shoes for her.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Wow! I worked in the nursery last evening. We were fairly busy due to the storm. We were two nurses short and so I agreed to stay and work a double shift. I had a nice time on my night shift. I cared for a Labor and Delivery nurse and her twins. They were very sweet but very tiny and jaundiced. She is the third nurse from our department in the last two years to have twins! Another nurse also came in and had her baby.
I also got to help this very sweet mom learn to BF her first baby. A couple other moms also were really appreciative of my BFing help. It's funny because many of the nurses I work with don't really care much for assisting with breastfeeding, but it is my favorite.
There was another mom who was so anxious that she kept calling different nurses in to look at her baby cuz she was sure he was having seizures. The kid was just rooting at the breast, shaking his head back and forth looking for it! I told her that I had three kids and had helped about 1000 babies learn how to nurse and I had seen the same thing many, many times. So did all the other nurses. But she wouldn't believe any of us. That always worries me when people are that anxious in the hospital. I wonder how they'll do when they get home! We recommended to the pediatrician that her and the baby either have a home health visit or an early follow up visit.
Work stuff aside... WE HAVE SNOW!!!!!!! WOOOOHOOOOO!! Inches upon inches (the official tally is six but it really seems like more) of gorgeous fluffy white snow!!!!! I need to reset my sleep clock now that I stayed up all last night and slep till 4p today so my fam can go sledding with my cousin and her fam tomorrow. We are also considering tubing. Will let y'all know how it goes.
And on a more serious note: my friend, Kate is going through really tough times. Please pray for peace for her and her family.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Things I did today:
Math and Reading with Jossy
Pudding School with Zeffy
Helped baby do umpteen hundred somersaults
Washed, folded and put away 4 loads of laundry
Sorted through all baby's clothes, pulled out everything too small, reorganized baby's drawers
Made venison chili
Cleaned kitchen
Swept and mopped floors
Drank all the water I was supposed to (in the form of green tea)
Took my whole family to Y for swimming.


Sunday, January 16, 2005

Nice Family Evening
We had such a great time at the YMCA yesterday! We dropped baby off in the childcare and took the big kids to the climbing wall. J and Z did great, each got about ten feet off the ground. Zeff is awesome at it as he practices being spiderman all the time in many less-appropriate circumstances.
Ryan did really well, too. I (such a wuss) said I would do it next time.
Then we dropped big kids off at the kid gym. Tangent: They play this game called Ships across the ocean where the kids chant, "Ships across the ocean/Ships across the Sea/ Captain, captain you can't catch me" and then the captain says a color and kids with that color have to run past him without getting caught. Anyway, I think this is a Minneapolis game (though we were in Edina) or something because I never heard of it growing up and all the kids we have played with at the rec ctr and in the playground in the summer seem to know this one. Anyway, Jossy adores it and had so much fun running around. Tangent over.
Ryan and I went and worked out together. It was so nice to just be able to hang out together and talk w/o interruption. I was able to go more than 2 miles again and am working up to doing 2.5.
Then we went to the mall to look for replacement ballet slippers and had dinner at Arby's. Mmmmmm. I really, really, really like horsey sauce on roast beef and cheddar. It is in my top three favorite foods.
The dumb Vikings game is on today so I will be leaving the house shortly.

Friday, January 14, 2005

An update regarding the bill in Virginia and commentary from the Well-Timed Period can be found here.
And check THIS out. It is about a proposed law in Virginia where women would be required to report any "fetal death" even a first trimester miscarriage that takes place without a physician in attendance. And apparently it's not the threat to choice that I took it for initally, as women having an abortion meet the criteria of having a physician in attendance and thus do not have to report. Still, just a shocking invasion of privacy.
I was appalled when I found out the politicians are trying to practice medicine again.
Check this out.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Email Woes
We are apparently being affected by a virus? or something? Computer wiz (or at least maintenance man) husband is on the job, but if you have emailed me in the last few days and are wondering why I'm not responding, that's why!
If you have been trying to get in touch with me either put it in the comments or call me.

Friday, January 07, 2005

New Year's Resolutions.
Well, I never wrote down my resolutions cuz they are the same as every year.
Excercise more, drink more water, don't eat junk food, read more to kids, keep house clean, etc....
So far I am doing really good at exercising.
Terrible at drinking water, not eating junk food, keeping house clean. (clarification it is messy and disorganized, not dirty as in unsanitary)
Okay at reading more. We have been doing more actual reading time and also more stories on tape which I give myself 50% credit for as far as reading to kids. It is missing that cuddling element, as well as the ability to discuss the story and answer questions as we go. It is far better, I feel, than TV or movies, though. What is working well for us is I read picture books and other "one-sitting" books. Usually during the day. We have two or three times a day when we tend to pile on the couch for stories. We have been using story tapes for chapter books, which I tend to either misplace before we are done with them, or we forget to keep reading them. So far we have done all the Little House Books up to the Shores of Silver Lake (listening to right now), (original)Mary Poppins, Hank the Cowdog, James and the Giant Peach and most recently completed Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Which they loved and did not find at all scary. Jossy has picked up a frightful British accent though and refers to herself often as Hermione Granger (say that in the thickest British accent you can and you will have approximated Jossy's pronunciation.) J has a tape player in her room which she can listen to Shores of Silver Lake whenever she wishes and after bedtime story. We have listened to most of the others in the car.
Well, that's it from me for today.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Busy Cool Day
Got up this AM and took the big kids to see Frog and Toad at the CTC. It was AWESOME! The music was great and the story was simple but engaging. The kids were good. The thing about three kids is... it makes two kids seems quite easy. So it felt very simple just to have two fairly obedient, English-speaking, potty-trained little people. (Why yes, baby is still a bit of a terror these days, why do you ask?)
Then came home and met up with cousin and nephew to hit the Science Museum. We found our house (or for sure our block) on the aerial photograph of the Mississippi River. I think I enjoy that a little more than the kids but they think it is cool, too. We spent some time in the Mississippi River national park station (I may not be right on the name). That was really cool, but had far too many awesome books. I couldn't get out of there without purchasing a coloring book of North American animals, a book on life in a dead log and a story and activity book on wolves <-more sophisticated than I realized, could be a very good middle grade unit study, so I will probably photocopy all the consumable pages and hang on to it to use again.
We then spent some time in the human body exhibit. I could have spent all day there! It was really hard keeping track of Zeff and baby (who could have cared less about the Sci. Mus.) so I am planning to go there on a date with my husband very soon, so I can check out the exhibits!.
We then had a great time in the collections area. Joss loves to dress up in the Hmong clothes and weave at the loom. They also love the Collector's corner, though they haven't brought anything in there yet. They are getting excited about it though, so I think we will be doing that soon.
We came home and Joss and I read two stories about MLK. She was astonished that anyone had ever treated anyone differently based on skin color, or any other reason. We also discussed various other reasons why it would be wrong to judge another person, such as gender, disability, and yes, sexual orientation. She was very interested in the story of MLK's life and I thought I'd hit enchanted learning and see if they have a tab book or something like that to do over the next few days or weeks.
We are busy getting ready to go stay in a cabin up north. I have been going to this cabin since I was a kid (yes, this is yet another vacation of my parent's that we are piggybacking on!) and it is so cool. You ski in to these rustic cabins that have woodstoves for heat. We haul our stuff on two large sleds, which is not as much work as you might think. They have a building nearby with running water, bathrooms and showers, but no water in the cabins. They also have a book in each cabin (there are five of them in the area) that people use as a journal of their stay and leave there. We spend our time there eating, skiing, eating, sledding, drinking wine, eating and sleeping. Which is a pretty nice way to spend a long weekend, in my opinion.
Gotta get ready, though. ick

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

I'm Not Dead..
... Just too busy living to blog about it. We got a Science Museum membership and a Y membership for Christmas and between the two are having a great time. We have been swimming 2 out of the last 3 days and have been to the Y everyday. I walked 1.5 miles on the treadmill yesterday and 2.2 today.
Tomorrow we are going to see Frog and Toad at the Children's Theatre. Should be fun. My cousin will watch baby and then we plan to take her and her son to the Science Museum in the PM.
It is an adjustment to get back into school and so far we have just reintroduced Math every day. We are doing a lot of reading and other informal learning and will begin our full lessons next week. Z has an AM preschool class that will meet twice a week and I hope to use those as catch up days.
I do have to say for the record though: Homeschooling with a newborn or small baby is a million times easier than homeschooling with a toddler. I was about ripping my hair out today as he was into things and climbing and making messes faster than I could clean them up. I was rearranging gates today, trying to keep him safe and realized they only way it would work is if I just penned him in. I guess that's the concept behind playpens. Funny, when I was a kid I always remembering there being a playpen up in the living room at my day care, but people don't use them much any more. I think if you were going to use them without the kids freaking out you would have to start using it when they were little babies. And none of us are smart enough to think of it then cuz we don't need them yet.
Note to self: put all future babies in small boxes from birth so they don't tear the house apart when they are 15 months. Yeah, right.
Peace out y'all.