Archive for September 2010

7 Things…I Learned From a Trip to the Zoo

September 20, 2010

I decided to start a new category called “7 Things…”  It is a direct rip-off not only of 7 Quick Takes hosted by Jen at Conversion Diary but of Simcha Fisher‘s inability to make her 7 Quick Takes random.  Our theme today is about the zoo.  Some of these things are specific to the Brookfield Zoo, others I think could pretty much apply to any zoo.

1.  Make sure that everyone goes to the bathroom before you enter the stingray exhibit…the waterfall that keeps the water circulating does not help things.

2.  Don’t plan to feed the stingrays unless you are wearing something that you don’t mind getting wet and you don’t mind smelling like dead fish all day.

3.  Don’t eat at the zoo unless A) you are rich and B) you can find some place to get away from all the bees.

4.  Eating outside is highly over-rated (see 3B).

5.  A good place to nurse the baby is in the children’s zoo while Daddy takes the rest of the kids to pet the goats.

6.  Make it very clear before entering the zoo that NO ONE will be receiving a souvenir.

7.  Leave before everyone hits the over-saturation point.

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7 Quick Takes (v. 35)

September 17, 2010

1.  Now that the two older girls each have three drawers that slide under their beds for keeping their clothes, I had two empty three-drawer carts.  I moved them both downstairs and consolidated some other storage bins.  The biggest plus is that I finally found away to implement an idea I’ve had for a year of keeping all of the kids’ socks on the main floor.  No more  sending the whining kids upstairs to seek socks as we try to get out the door to only have them come down with two that don’t match.  Yay!!

2.  I’m working on a massive purge at the moment.  I have a huge garbage bag of clothing ready.  I already dropped two large bags of maternity and 0-3 month clothing for Project Gabriel last week.  Everything must go:  clothes, toys, books, small furniture items!!!  I’m tired of my life being so cluttered.

3.  Sabrina reached the ripe old age of 3 months on Monday.  How the time flies….

4.  Katie has been voted most likely to get a tattoo upon reaching adulthood as she likes to ink her arms and legs whenever a pen becomes available.

5.  I noticed, though, that Katie always draws the same pattern repeatedly on paper, walls, and skin: two circles with a line underneath and then another circle under the line.

She calls it her “smiley face”, but I’m starting to find it creepy.  I’m just telling you this in case our family gets abducted by aliens you won’t realize too late that they were communicating through the toddler’s drawing all along.

6.  We are starting to get to the point where it will be more cost efficient to get a family pass for the zoo even if we only go once a year.  I know they base their pricing on the assumption that most families don’t have more than two kids.  Suckas!!!

7.  One word:  PANTS!!

August 2010 Reading List

September 4, 2010

1.  Better than School by Nancy Wallace:  In some ways it is hard to relate to homeschooling in the pre-internet days.  Although the internet has revolutionized resources for homeschoolers, Wallace makes it clear that many of the issues and concerns remain the same.  The Wallaces mostly did interest-led learning, but I liked the point she made about how formal work daily helped keep them in touch with their kids rather than just leaving them to their own devices every day.

2.  The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Warner:  Bailey just called this the best book she ever read.  Since I somehow missed this during my childhood, and I can understand why she likes it.  I can understand why this book is considered a classic, and I’m glad that Bailey has found a new series to enjoy.

3.  Homeschoolers’ Success Stories by Linda Dobson:  This is a nice compilation to reassure homeschooling parents that their kids aren’t doomed by their educational choice.

4.  Insatiable by Meg Cabot:  This is Meg kind of poking fun at the whole vampire romance obsession that has taken over lately.  Another fun read.

5. God Is Not One by Stephen Prothero:  Prothero makes a good point about how it is incorrect to say that the different religions are just different paths up the same mountain.  It would be more accurate to say that religions are similar paths up different mountains.  I think he oversimplifies some religious concepts to the point of making them inaccurate (his description of the Nicene Creed comes to mind), but other wise its a pretty good read.  I love that he includes radical atheism as a religion.

6.  The Joyful Homeschooler by Mary Hood:  This was a great book by a Christian homeschooler who uses a relaxed approach to homeschooling.  There were a few times I totally cracked up with her rye observations that sometimes our ideals for homeschooling don’t quite match the reality of our lives.

7 Quick Takes (v. 34)

September 3, 2010

1.  At almost 12 weeks postpartum and after two outpatient surgeries on the same day, I am finally feeling like a normal human being.  And I’m finally starting to get our routines back on track…at least as much as you can with a new baby.

2.  We went ahead and split the two oldest girls into separate rooms years ahead of schedule.  So we’ve had a hectic two weeks of rearranging the rooms upstairs.  We actually pulled their mattresses up off of the floor, and I just bought these to keep their clothes under the bed.  Let’s hope they work.

3.  I just finished watching the last episode of Dr. Who with David Tennant as the tenth doctor.  It wasn’t available for instant streaming, so I had to request the actual DVD from Netflix.  It did make me realize how much special features can add to my enjoyment of a show.  The finale was brilliant, by the way.

4.  Today I just used my brand new library card key fob today.  No more digging in my wallet while juggling four kids and a bag of books.  That’s the greatest idea since the library drive through pick-up window.

5.  We bought New Super Mario Bros. Wii the other night.  I really like how they combined some of the best elements of all the previous Mario games.  I’m not so sure about this whole Super Guide thing, though.  Within two days Bailey was to the point where she had the Super Guide essentially playing every level for her.  She has finally started all over and is trying to build up her skills by actually persevering and playing the game for herself.

6.  I borrowed this Bob books hard cover compilation from the library just to kind of see what Piper could do with it.  She was able to read most of the words in the first story on her own.  Now keep in mind that she is not yet five, and I’ve never sat her down for formal mandatory reading lessons.  She seems to be doing pretty well on her own so far.

7.  Well, I gotta go.  There are still groceries to be put away from my first Friday Aldi trip in weeks.  I’ve got to get the new drawers set up under the girls beds and transfer their clothes.  And then we’re off to Bailey’s first gymnastics class of the session.