Our first full week of school is now over, and by all accounts it has gone well. For those of you who want a summary, I'll report at the macro level, and then if anyone wants more detail, I'll also give a micro view as well. (Being married to an economist I can't help but thinking in those terms, right?)
So, first the macro level:
We had a fun, productive week. Everyone stayed "on schedule" for the most part, apart from some welcome interruptions due to the neighbor girl coming over a few times, Aunt Katie coming over, etc. And the not-so-welcome interruption of mastitis (causing me to be confined to the couch for a couple days) didn't deter the kids from learning too much. We had a fun time starting off our Exploring Countries and Cultures curriculum... lots of fun activities.
And my "geography-enthusiastic" boy jumped right in with both feet: On Tuesday the book suggested I give him a "pre-test" for the year, by giving him maps of each continent with just borders on them and asking him to label as many countries and oceans as he could. Well, he handed them back to me after identifying all the oceans, 26 countries, and 3 rivers! (including the Orange River, which he drew in, in South Africa. I didn't even know that river existed... but I checked our atlas, and it does) When I counted it all up and told him how surprised I was that he knew that many countries, he said, "Oh, I knew more -- like Costa Rica and Ethiopia -- but I didn't feel like writing them. I decided to keep those secret." And the truth is, he really doesn't like writing-- and isn't good at it at all. So he has the penmanship and spelling of a kindergartener, but his geography is better than mine. Maybe this curriculum will be good for ME anyway. :)
Now for the micro level:
Here is what our life has been like for the last few hours (for those of you who love to know the specifics. I'm looking at you, Jane!)
Pete left to go up to Virginia to spend the weekend with his "ATF" friends at lunchtime, so as a diversion this afternoon after "school" was over, the kids and I walked to our neighborhood "town center" to get the kids' hair cut. (kids haircuts? kids' hairs cut?) This, after great contemplation was determined, by me, to be the ideal week for this, in the hopes that they will look their cutest by the time they are the ring-bearer and flower girl at Aunt Katie and Uncle Graham's wedding in just over a month. (and by "kids" here I certainly am not including Colsen. He is neither in the wedding nor in need of a haircut anytime in the foreseeable future. But he did come with us)
So they got their haircuts by Mr. Tom our friendly neighborhood barber who they love, and then as we headed out the door, Strider had the "great idea" (his words) of getting Chinese food from the restaurant next door for dinner. I caved, since I didn't feel like making the omelet I had planned to make, so we went inside. The only other people there were a couple who are very involved in our neighborhood (the wife is on the town council) so I got an opportunity to suggest something I've wanted to see our neighborhood do -- have a Halloween parade. (Similar to our 4th of July bike parade -- during the daytime, so kids can see each others' costumes) The woman seemed appreciative of the idea and even looked at her calendar to see how it work out.... but she also wrote down my name and number so I have a feeling I may have just volunteered to coordinate this event.... Not exactly how I was hoping that would turn out.
Anyway, we headed home for the 3-ring circus otherwise known as dinner. And even though we had take-out, it's still quite a procedure. I still had to cook a vegetable for the 2 older kids (of course), and mash up some peas for Colsen to mix with oatmeal, defrost some avocado for him to eat as well, and make up some applesauce-and-vitamins for the older 2. Plus 2 different drinks for each kid. Plus nurse Colsen. Plus clean up the egg roll Rayna just dropped in minute pieces all over the floor before Colsen tries to eat it. Plus keep putting Colsen's bib back on. Plus find more Duck Sauce for Strider in our silverware drawer. Plus clean up the milk Rayna spilled as she tried to pour it from one cup to the other. Plus get Rayna down from her chair and discipline her with a time-out because she poured her milk a 2nd time. Plus.... well, I see this is getting too long already.
Finally I wanted to eat my now soggy and soft Chinese food in peace. So I got everyone reasonably cleaned up and down from high chairs, and got my plate and drink to the table. Just as I started to sit down -- I am not kidding you -- I had the thought "I'm glad no one is coming over tonight- - this house is a disaster".... and DING-DONG the doorbell rang. My butt had been just 1-inch from the chair.... but up I got again (reminding me of my least-favorite exercise I have to do at the physical therapist's office). Thankfully it was just my neighbor Mary... and she had a good reason for coming. She had found a butterfly just emerging from a cocoon in her mint leaves, so she brought it all over for us to watch. She often wants to turn my house into some sort of wild habitat or science experiment of some kind (this is the same woman who wanted me to raise the 2 baby bunnies at my house).
After I wolfed down my dinner with 3 little people fluttering around me asking for more bits of food, I tried to get Strider to vacuum the living room while I did the dishes. Well, this, as with most things around here, sounded much easier than it actually was. Rayna kept trying to "help" and Colsen kept trying to put his mouth all over the dirtiest parts of the vacuum. As Strider says, vacuuming has become a 2-person job: 1 to do the vacuuming and 1 to keep Colsen away. Tonight Strider said we need a Roman Guard to come keep Colsen away. I don't know what made him think of that. Since we had no Roman Guards on hand, I had to do the dishes one-handed, while Colsen tried to un-do all the back-correcting work my chiropractor has done by trying to throw himself out of my arm repeatedly.
Anyway, the kids are now all finally in bed, and this post is again way too long, so now I go off to do something quiet and calm.. probably watch a Hallmark movie.