Me and my kiddo

Me and my kiddo

Monday, April 30, 2012

Fewer bumps!

And… this week's addition to roll in the bad luck… our credit card number was stolen!  OK, now there were lots of good things too like a temporary solution for internet that works for email (and light websites).  My kiddo also started at a local school on today and seems to have enjoyed the first day!    I'm a bit worn out, so I'm going to make this a mostly bullet point of good things to share post. 

Good things:

This cool newsreel from the 1930's of Helen Keller… makes me happy, teary:

Finished selling the Kent home... down to one mortgage!

This week's Objectivist Round Up.

Cute antics:

• when he picked underwear from the clean laundry bin, I later noticed he put on his dad's!  (No way that was an accident.)

• shrieking, "Mom!!!!!  These slug guts won't come off!"

• stating, "We need dad to have a proper meal." (Excuse to keep playing video games for two more minutes before his dad came downstairs, instead of coming to the table.) 

• pronouncing "tsunami" toosmah and insisting that was correct.

• pronouncing error with the emphasis on the second syllable and like a literal roar, "eh-ROAR".

• responding to my play whining "Cameron, Daddy's teasing me!" with "GOOD!  That builds character!"

• dictating this letter to me in response to one he got from his Kent classmates:
Dear Mrs. Kier and her scholars,

Thank you for writing the letters; I enjoyed reading them.  I've been doing homeschooling lately and it's been working well.  Basically, it's like school at home except it's much shorter and there aren't as many subjects and there isn't a lunch and recess.  There's math, writing, reading, but the way we're doing it we don't usually do reading… I read a lot in bed before I go to sleep.  I usually do history and typing too.  To do history, I listen to recordings of a teacher teaching kids over the phone.  I already finished the study of American history and just finished ancient history (Mesopotamia, Egypt, Rome) and now I've started European and I'm in the dark ages of European history.  There's also no PE, but if my mom says I'm like a couch pickle go outside, I pretend to be a general on our deck and fight round and round.  I'm usually the leader of my blue team and attacking the reds, greens and yellows.  

Not everything is going well though, a tree fell on top of our house.  Our house isn't completely crushed as you would think if a giant tree fell on top of your house.  It only made a huge dent in the roof and broke off a railing and made a few holes in the deck.  All the stuff that fell off the tree has been cleaned off, so it's safe to do my games again.  Now, I've made a bonus part of the game that once I defeat each army, I fight the leaders individually.  I've made it so that I usually attack and these guys, that only I can see, defend except the third round where they attack. My pretend battles usually take almost an hour!  Defending is with rifles (sticks that are about two feet long) and attacks are with bayonets which are the same size.  In pistol form you attack with Kentucky Flintlock Pistols and defend with regular pistols (sticks that are ten inches long).  I love pretending.

I visited the school I'm going to try out today.  So far, I don't think it's going to be a really good school, I just have a feeling.  I'm going to try it for a month and see if I think it's better than my other choices.  It might be really terrible or really good.  

I now live in the Santa Cruz mountains and once you get into Santa Cruz, it's not too hard to get there.  There's a beach and I've found a few sticks that are perfect for pretending are guns.  We also found a small lighthouse, aparently no one can go in it.  There are also a few big rocks near the ocean that you can climb on if you don't go to a low one and get a big blast of water pushed at you and be completley miserable and go back and say I want to go home to your mother while poofing water out of your nose and mouth.  I kept on the higher rocks and jumped about and that didn't happen to me.

Today, where I'm living, there are a lot of big slugs that are yellow.  They're called banana slugs.  They are huge and they are very slimy.  Their slime sticks very well.  Water doesn't wash it off.  Water with soap doesn't wash it off.  Water with soap with a small rag doesn't wash it off.  Finally, you have to pick it off with a dry paper towel and a dish rag!

I also do typing.  I'm getting good at typing.  I don't know every single letter or something like that, but I do know most of the letters.  Not many of the bottom ones, n is the only one I know on the bottom. I do know most of the top and the home row keys.  My keyboard has 108 keys on it; I counted them individually.  

There are a lot of boxes upstairs and in my room.  I like having my room be extremely messy and not cleaning it ever.  The toys aren't strewn everywhere; they're all packed up in boxes.  There's this spare storage room where I keep most of my legos.  My dad gave me all of his legos a few years ago and I'm starting to lose interest in them, but I've made this huge fort that even has a moving, rotatable platform and two ships (a rowing boat with a lot of controls and a really cool lifeboat) on both sides.  It also has an aircraft with about five guns, not including the gun the person in the aircraft has and the aircraft also carries a missile in the back that it can shoot at enemy aircraft to destroy them in mid-air.  Every one in the fort has a gun that was used in WWII.

I miss those games back on the playground.  I miss those talks with Mrs. Crutchfield.  I miss the good feeling and finally getting Michael in the friendship category.  Meadow Ridge is a nice school.

Thanks, looking forward to hearing from you soon,



Saturday, April 21, 2012

The latest with the bumpy move...

I'm actually getting used to passing by the drop off down the hill due to our partially destroyed deck.  The estimate for the tree damage has come in at over $25,000 dollars, but it is covered by home owners insurance except for the $1,000 deductible and the work is starting Monday.  It's hard to imagine having an ordered house as the amount of work still to be done seems overwhelming, but I am making a bit of progress at a time and (once the repairs are made) having a garage will certainly help!  Cameron finished listening to the ancient history course and is now fired up to start on the European course because… he likes battles and violence.  His typing has continued to progress and we had fun with reducing fractions this week.  Andrew has been working so hard to find an internet solution, but… no luck yet.  He just returned the MIFI option today and will likely return the $600 of signal boosting equipment that he purchased too.  He's spending so much time and effort on it and hopes that a solution with a booster on a neighbor's property might give us a solid connection within the next couple weeks.  So, I'm traveling and lugging my computer for teaching.  Cameron has enjoyed the extra video time of coming with me, but he'll likely be starting at the local school sometime in the next week.  Cameron wants to check out the local schools, so the decision about next year will be the major one that we tackle over the summer.  We've been having fun, but the last two weeks of homeschooling has been far from systematic as we are spending so much time de-boxing :)  
Other things to share:
This beautifully researched and presented course on the constitution, even though I have some disagreements.
Andrew and I got new CA driver licenses and registrations with the usual amusing wackiness that the DMV involves… actually, my guy went beyond the norm of goofiness as he stared off into space and asked if his shirt looked expensive and wanted checks / ID dropped on the counter (not handed) and insisted on showing me his dream 31 million dollar home by swiveling his computer screen.

Cute antics:
• dictating a story about people on Venus, he kept calling them venus-welans (a person from Venus sounds sort of like Venezuelan in his universe).
• after he had mastered reducing fractions, his dad commented that it got much more complex with reducing polynomials and did a quick example to which Cameron answered, "To me, that seems intense."
• giving me the compliment, "You are a good dictator!"   (Um, he meant that I take good dictation.)
• as he was catapulted in the air after sitting on his dad's legs, "This sofa seems to have springs!"
• as I joined the couch snuggling and his dad grabbed his toes, "Mom, get off!  Dad is using the toe insult!"

Friday, April 13, 2012


Early AM Facebook Status:

When the house shakes, it means a tree fell, and down will come decking, gutters and all.
I wish I were joking, but my attempt to fall back to sleep is failing. Well, we're all safe and it's already raining so I don't even need to worry about "It could be worse; it could be raining!"  This is definitely a laugh-out-loud and enjoy the positives period… I actually was laughing and wondering what next as I crawled back into bed… well rain is already checked off the list :)

Side note: After reading that, Andrew came in to snuggle and I got him laughing too.  We contemplated repulser field roofs, armor plating, and other giggle worthy items after being up since 4AM.

Update for the week:

Well, I'd say it's been a better week, but there's still been a hefty mix of good and bad.  We still love the woods, the stream, and the pleasant quietness of our new home.  Andrew has been tackling some thorny coding problems at work and succeeding.  I've been moving forward on home fixing / unpacking and playful parenting :)  Cameron is glad to tackle an array of monsters while racing around the deck and he's well into the second Percy Jackson novel.  As for bad news, we had some chilly nights as the upstairs furnace motor is dying (the inspector didn't even find the upstairs furnace) and the technician said it wasn't safe to run (hopefully it will get fixed today and it looks like the home warranty will cover it).  Unfortunately, we had more bad news with our most major issue… internet connection.  The high speed Internet technician said DSL is not possible for our home despite Verizon assuring us it was and selling us a plan.  Should we mention that we've discovered some floor damage, holes in the walls, and that yesterday's gutter estimator let us know the spouts are not connected to the drainage system underneath the house so that the water is currently undermining the pillars on which our house stands!  I consider it progress that I didn't cry at that pronouncement, but we're working on things one at a time and really are making progress.  I'm hoping that this will be the week we banish boxes to the storage area and garage only… hey, I can hope!

Other things to share:
• This week's Objectivist Round Up:
• a really heart warming video about a kid entrepreneur that has apparently been around for awhile, but I just saw it:
• catching up on my reading, this is a joke for any of my friends who keep up with the paleo community:
and these are some awesome videos posted by an e-friend

Cute antics:

• When not wanting to face that writing requires practice, he wanted to know why we wouldn't "just put that matter aside"

• making me a four page maze that had me winding to the conclusion through portals and lots of narrow caves :)

• hearing during his recorded history class "Julius Ceasar was the first emperor of Rome, but he wasn't.", Cameron declared "That's a paradox!" and then he went on to explain the basics of contradiction to me.  Woah!

After years of reading chapter books yet being baffled by Amelia Badelia, he finally gets her misunderstanding of idioms and laughs away :) 
This shows where the trunk took out part of the deck, but the roof damage will probably be the most expensive.  The insurance guy is here now.

Saturday, April 7, 2012


Good news and bad news.  We're in the new house!  It's gorgeous!  I have re-claimed most of the downstairs from the boxes with womanly herculean efforts.  Andrew has been incredibly efficient at moving furniture and handling so many efforts from work too while also handling work at Groupon!  Cameron has been enjoying playing around and chatting about "Percy Jackson: Lightening Thief"; he even spent hours just listening to it last night.  Unfortunately, we've also had lots of unpleasant and expensive surprises.  The washer hot water spout was broken (no laundry until the plumber came and he told us the water heater sound indicated it was on its last legs).  The upstairs furnace was not evaluated by the inspector and it turns out it has a poor motor and was incorrectly installed.  The gas stove has a broken lighter and fan.  The fridge we had delivered received two significant dents in transport (headache of dealing with the store to get a replacement door).  There was an accident on the main road to our neighborhood to which the authorities responded by blocking all left hand turns both into and out of our neighborhood (that meant we attended the local transportation committee meeting and voiced our disapproval along with the other property owners because the closure leaves us only able to turn right and needing to make u-turns to get home).  The people that the prior owners let "house sit" at the end left it absolutely filthy (adding at least a dozen hours of just cleaning over this week if not more).  However, the most significant issue has been finding us that Verizon basically lied when they sold us DSL service and assured us we could have high speed internet.  According to the technician who came out yesterday, this house has always been too far out for DSL service and Verizon knew that because they promised and could not deliver the same thing to the prior owners.  This has meant that I needed to commute to Groupon, carry my computer into a conference room, and teach my classes from there all week.  This is a huge issue for us because both of us need a quality connection for work… neither Andrew nor I can ever work from home with this situation and that was not what we were looking for in a new home.  So… we're working with neighbors and trying to find unusual solutions since the normal ones won't work.  We really love the surroundings and are hoping that week two in our new home will be much smoother!

Cute antics:
• Cameron's comment on seeing the dented fridge, "Oh, it's the new fashion."
• when I commented that someday our house wouldn't be full of boxes, he broke into singing, "Some day over the rainbow…"

Paper pushing choo choo train :)

Playing on the breakwater in Santa Cruz after the county meeting... talk about cool cement shapes!