My how time flies!

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sammy's aliens

We are on an alien-drawing kick this week.

I'm in semi-big trouble, and I need your prayers

Or ideas. Or both.

I might have mentioned before about pulling a muscle in my arm back on the crazy trip, and it not healing.

This was back in April or May. It is still not healing. And on top of that, I keep re-injuring it. My left arm. The one I would usually hold the baby with so I can do things with my dominant hand.

It has gotten bad. It hurts to move it, period. Some days, like today, it hurts even when it's still. My doctor and my LMT both told me, if I don't stop using it and let it heal (which they both estimated would take 8-12 weeks) that I will injure it permanently.

I have honestly *tried* to stop using it. But I can't. Sometimes just rolling over in my sleep pulls it again. The other night I lost my balance, fell, and had to catch myself with it.

I thought about putting it in a sling. I probably need to put it in a sling. But holding it (even with it resting) crooked hurts, while letting it hang there doesn't. Then I thought about putting a sock on my hand so I'd remember not to use it. But I can't stand having my fingers covered.

I just can't figure out how to function without using it at least a little bit. The laundry I figured out. But do you know how hard it is to put clothes from inside a top-loading washer on the right, into a front loading dryer on the left, with your right hand? Try it sometime. I can't wash dishes one-handed. Yet. This one I could probably figure out with practice. But... I can't change diapers one-handed. Have you ever tried to snap a cloth diaper on a still baby with one hand? I have tried, on several occasions, and I can't do it. Now how about a baby who's trying his mightiest to roll over and crawl away from you? I can't for the life of me figure out that one. I just don't think it can be done. What about a 20+ lb baby who can't get up and down stairs by himself. I have to pick him up and carry him with me any time I change floors.

The Beco has been helpful. If the baby needs held for more than a minute, into it (on my back) he goes. One night we went somewhere and I forgot it at home, so I put him in the ring sling. He was sitting on my left hip, and my arm wasn't involved in the sitting or holding him at all. But somehow that injured my arm worse, AND pulled my shoulder out of place, too.

AND, I'm using the other arm so much (95% of the time), that IT is starting to hurt, too...

I'm at a loss. I can't clone myself. My husband can't (or won't) pick up the slack around here of any of the things I can't do, except for carrying the baby the once or twice a week we might actually go somewhere together. Our closest family member lives 12 hours away. I have friends, but.... who I don't expect any of them could or would want to come spend all day with me to snap diapers or carry the baby behind me for the next 3 months.

I am fresh out of ideas. If you have any, please send them my way. Thanks!

On the homeschooling front...

I hardly ever post any more. Stupid Facebook! LOL!

It's not original, but it's probably new to all but 1 of you. These are excerpts from an email I wrote to a friend this morning. Just in case you care.

My big (big big big huge gigantic I totally suck at it) problem is the day-to-day and week-to-week consistency. And even worse than that is tracking/logging anything. We have not "done" school in a month, at least, although we do learn... just not with the boxes. Perhaps I should put a positive spin on it and say we are 100% unschoolers this last month or two!!! ;) But I will get there. I bought RightStart Math level B (used) for Sammy, plan to start that in Jan. I made him an addition chart 0-4s to fill in the other day and he thought it was the neatest thing he ever saw! He also loves the few math books and games we have. So I know we will be doing a good bit of Math when we get (re)started, just because he loves it so much. He hasn't touched his Hooked on Phonics in a month, but his reading has progressed, so I think when we get back to it he will breeze through a lot of it.
I've been putting a lot of thought the last few months into what programs to use. After much thinking, a little bit (not enough, I'm sure!) prayer, and some observation/analysis of my kids' learning styles, here is what I have come up with:
  • Writing: Handwriting Without Tears (currently doing. Both kids. Katie loves this!)
  • Music: MusikGarten classes once a week (been doing since Katie was a baby)
  • Social Studies/History/Geography: US map on wall, study 1-3 states per week. Supplement with state fact cards, and anything we care to look up online. When we're done with that, I have a world map. (currently doing)
  • Reading: Hooked on Phonics, followed by classic or Newberry award winners (currently doing)
  • Religion: learning basic prayers, reading Bible stories and stories about saints (currently doing)
  • Math: RightStart (starting in Jan '10)
  • Spelling: Sequential Spelling (starting in Aug '10?)
  • Science: Apologia (starting Astronomy in Aug '10? Or maybe Jan '11 if I am still as disorganized in Aug as I am now. LOL!)
  • Foreign Language: They want to learn Spanish. I need to look into the Muzzy program. When they get a little bigger I would love to pick up a Rosetta Stone Homeschool version for them. Also, we will inherit my goddaughter's Latin program, for when they are a little older.
  • Art: I suck in this department. Right now this is just free play with playdoh, paints, crayons, etc. Do you have any suggestions for something more directed?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

This IS the Droid I'm looking for, Obi-Wan!

I have been a smartphone user for almost 5 years now. I got my first one, a Kyocera 7135, when I was a new mom fresh off of maternity leave. I completely forgot about a very important morning meeting with a client, two days after forgetting about our weekly staff meeting (can we say MAJOR mommy-brain!?!?), and my boss pretty much insisted that I get a PDA. I have always been a bit of an obsessive technophile, and found the thought of carrying around two devices (cell phone and PDA) reprehensible. So I got a smartphone. They were fairly uncommon back then. But from the beginning I was hooked. I think it was even more useful for organizing my personal life/home responsibilities than it was for work. (And it was very useful for work!)

Not even year later, when my device started acting squirrely, my TEC insurance replaced it with a Palm Treo 650. Apparently the 7135 was not compatible with the new 911 rules and was no longer being supported. It was a decent phone, and had much better multimedia capabilities. I was very happy. A year and a half ago, my cell phone carrier was offering the Palm Treo 755 for $99. I also had a new-every-two credit of $100 on my account, so I was able to upgrade phones for free. The 755p was old technology by the time I got it, and what I really (really, REALLY) wanted was the new Palm Treo Pro, but it was $200 and required an additional data plan of $50/month. Since I was now a stay-at-home-mom, I pretty much had to go with the free one. Yes, it was old technology, but not as old as the one I had been using. It was a little faster, a little more responsive, and I was still mostly happy.

But I knew what I was missing. I wanted a phone with GPS. I wanted a phone with a bigger screen. As big as the whole device. I wanted a phone with a fast web browser. A FULL web browser. (Yes, even though I never used it. I still *wanted* it!) I wanted a phone with voice recognition. I wanted a phone that was pretty much a mini-computer. I also wanted it to be a Palm, since I've been a happy customer of theirs for so long, but it seemed that Verizon was no longer carrying any of their products.

A few months ago I was thinking about switching to Sprint, to save a little money on my monthly bill, and if I did, I was going to get the newest Palm phone, the Palm Pre. Luckily, I had the good sense to ask my FaceBook friends who were Sprint users what they thought. About 80% of the replies I got were people who detested Sprint and got away from them (or plan to) as soon as they could. I also found out that a friend who lives in a more populated area of Louisiana than my parents, has very spotty service with Sprint. That was pretty much a deal-killer. Too bad, too. We would have saved over $50/month, even adding data plans. I guess you get what you pay for...

Just for kicks, I also went to the AT&T store and looked at the much-lauded iPhone. I probably would have been impressed with it if I had not been using a PDA phone for years. I liked the multimedia capabilities. But overall, it just didn't impress me. I think the thing that bugged me the most about it was that it didn't have a memory card slot. Also, I really didn't want to switch to AT&T after all the grief they gave my father-in-law about wanting to charge him hundreds of dollars for breaking his contract when he wanted to cancel my MIL's phone after she died.

Over the past year I'd browsed through Verizon's "smartphone" offerings - BlackBerries, more BlackBerries, HTCs... They were all decent enough phones. But nothing had everything I wanted in it. Nothing jumped out at me and said "I'm the phone to have!!!"

Until now.

The "Droid." A full-phone screen. A phone with Google's Android operating system. A phone with voice-commanded GPS. A phone that multi-tasks. A phone with a 5mp camera with a flash and image stabilization. Aside from not being a Palm product (and since Palm is apparently a dying company, I'm not sure that even matters any more) it is exactly the smartphone I've been looking for. And then some.

Too bad I'm not eligible for an upgrade discount until March.

The other night I went in to the Verizon store to see it. I thought surely it couldn't be as fast and as awesome as all the hype. I thought, if I looked at it, the schoolgirl crush I had on it would be broken, and I'd realize I could wait until March (or later) for the price to come down, and to be eligible for my discount. It was a good idea right? Only, the phone really was that fast. And really was that cool. And I still can't stop thinking about it.

So if you weren't quite sure what to get me for Christmas... well, now you know. ;)