So let’s talk about Luna, shall we?

Since she was born, Luna has been my little jokester. While Dr. Jay and Soleil have birthdays on the 23rd of certain months, Luna waited until the 24th, screwing up everybody in my family as to which date is her birthday. She was born silent: breathing, looking around, checking out the place, but so silent that I freaked that she was not breathing. She would take several 10 minute catnaps and 1 long nap a day as an infant. I literally set a clock by her. She wanted to always be held and I allowed as much as I could.

She learned the power of her awesome cuteness in daycare. She could wrap anyone around her finger with her cute little smile and those eyes that just say "I am adorably cute". She only got in trouble when she bit people. And she would only scream with me and Dr. Jay.

Now, she is doing her slacker work. She is very bright. In some ways, she is far brighter than Soleil, but she has this one horrible personality trait: She doesn’t want people to know what she knows. She hides her skills from her teachers. She doesn’t try very hard because she thinks she knows it already. Her kindergarten teacher was warned, we tried…but Luna won the day. Over the summer, she told me that school was boring.

We started first grade differently. We explained to her teacher how Luna can manipulate people. How she pretends what she knows, how she is the joker. I was dissappointed in her first trimester assessment, not that she was doing poorly, but that it was clear she was not applying herself. That made me sad. We have tried and tried to impress this on her.

Her last skating competition went, poorly. Basically? She stunk and she knew it. She wasn’t smooth, she faultered and she was not confident. She ended 4th out of 4. Of course, she still got a medal, but she knew it wasn’t her best. This week, another round of reality hit her.

I was helping with her homework when I noticed her teacher had written that Luna needs to study her sight words more. I asked Luna about this and she said it was "too easy" and "we don’t need to do them everyday". Now with Soleil, we truely didn’t need to do them everyday. But now I paid attention. I had Luna read them and sure enough, she was having trouble with the words that don’t follow basic phonic rules (Where, there…). I wrote an email to her teacher discussing her lack of reading the keys and that we (the parents) would work more with her.

That’s when I found out that she’s been rolling her eyes at the teacher, and zoning out during the lessons. Is she really bored? I don’t know, but I told her that if she doesn’t show that she knows the stuff, she will get herself behind in class. And the eyerolls? "I just happened to be looking at the ceiling when she was talking to me." HA!

The best that Jay and I can determine is this: she’s terrified of failure. It’s one thing to be the class clown and fall and get a laugh. It’s another thing to try to do the right thing and fall. Jay thinks it is really the latter that is worrying her. I explained that we want Luna best. Not the best grades, not the best in the class, not better than the worse kid, HER best.

She is very upset because I have put her reading above all other things right now…she’s not happy, but if we don’t teach her the importance of TRYING, I am afriad she will simply sit back and not get anywhere…

Thoughts?

blogger’s block

I appear to have a bad case of blogger’s block. I can’t figure out what to write about.

Do I write about my readmission into the world of venom shots? 

Do I write about my feeling on the NRA blocking gun studies?

Do I write about the amount of snow covering my lawn at the moment?

Do I write more about Tiger Mothers and the kids affected by them?

Do I write about how many activities my kids wish to run to?

Do I write about how my parents worry me with their spending habits?

Do I write about the worries of Luna at school?

I just have so much I can write about, but nothing I am READY to write about…sigh. Hang in there with me.

Homework- What’s the point?

We’ve been doing homework. When I say "we", I mean, WE.

Soleil has many more projects due at school now. One of these projects was a doll dressed in Native American (Wampanougue) clothing or as a pilgrim. Being Soleil, we had to SEW a doll and SEW the clothes. UGH over achiever. I helped with the patterns and pin basting, but she sewed and stuffed the doll. I made her do about 95% of the work (okay I sewed the hair on)

Now she has a report due on a book we had to read (we meaning Luna wanted to hear it too, so I read it out loud). She needs to make a diorama, include a summary, an envelope with 10 words from the story (I want her to pick out 10 Mohawk words just to fuck with the teacher), the characters drawn and named on the side of the box and a scene from the book. To get the supplies alone is homework for me.

And really? What is she getting from this? I don’t know… I really don’t know. We studied the clothing that the Wampanague wore before designing it (she did the clothing design and beaded it herself!). We discussed the book. I really don’t get the point of these home works.

Every parent I ran into in 3rd grade complained about the doll. They had to go get supplies. The instructions were open ended, so we had to let the kids decide what type of doll to make. We have spelling words, math and other things to go over every single day. Yes, the parents are expected to go over all of the work. I look at it and say "WHY????" Why are they giving so much to these kids? WHY WHY WHY?

When Soleil has to multiply by 5s she panics. Then I say : Big hand on the 4! and she can answer 5 x 4 in a fraction of a second. She gets it, but gets afraid of the wrong answer…

I think I am becoming jaded with American education.

Snowed under

In honor of the mounds of snow that we have at our house, I present the "Nance is snowed under life’ bullet list

  • On Saturday, we have
    • a hockey game for S at 7
    • violin for S at 8:45
    • Figure skating competition for L at 10 (arrive at 9)
    • ice skating lessons for L at 3:30
    • Me & my guy dance for both girls in the evening with Dr. Jay
  • Tomorrow is a day off of school for the kids. I am sending them to the afterschool club because I can’t can’t can’t take another day with them
  • A snow day is usually fun. A snow day with 21" of snow and a child who can’t move in said snow is not as much fun.
  • Going to Ikea with kids is only good for about 30 minutes. Luckily, we got all we needed quickly.
  • Monday is a holiday. Woot! Another Monday holiday! I haven’t been able to use Monday holidays since S was born.
  • I need to set an alarm so I can take Luna to her ice skating practice tomorrow. She needs to work on her routine.
  • Sunday is quieter than Saturday with only Temple School on the list of activities.
  • S is suddenly developing in ways I am not ready for. She’s a 12 year old in an 8 year old body. Her mind moves in ways that I can’t keep up with and when I finally feel like I have an handle, she acts 8 again.
  • L has had a sudden growth spurt as discovered when she had trouble doing a basic figure skating move. I think she’s fixed it. They are really growing.
  • Tonight, I read the chapter in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows where we learn all about Snape from Snape’s memories. It’s a tough chapter that puts it all in place.

Time to reflect

Regardless of your political leanings, it is time to stop and reflect.

A person who is mentally unstable to begin with has gone out and attacked a Congresswoman. Who is to blame? The gunman is the first person. Let’s not forget personal responsibility first and foremost. But…as a person with a mental health disease, I have to ask the obvious questions: How did this happen?

How did a man who was removed from his college because of his mental issues buy a gun?

Why did he focus on the conspiracy leanings on the Internet? David Wynn Miller argues that using different grammar, you can fight the government. Loughner, the gunman, followed this idea and the idea that the government was involved in mind control. Why we call these things crazy, the government will argue that he wasn’t insane when he killed people and shot a bullet through the brain of Ms Giffords.

Miller has already argued that he is not responsible for what happened in Tuscon. Really? By promoting fear of the government, he has a bit of responsibility. So does Sarah Palin with her "gun sights" over districts in on the map. And Rush Limbah who argues using strong and violent language.

My mind is screaming what I tell my 8-9 year old girls in my Girl Scout troop. You don’t have to like everyone, but you DO have to be respectful.

 

The applies to all political pundits: Keith and Glenn alike:

Revolutions

Two days ago, I celebrated my 40th perihelion. In April, I will celebrate my 40th revolution around our star. While most people make New Year’s Resolutions, I have not. Instead, I have reflected and decided who I want to be when I reach April.

That is tough thinking. 2010 wasn’t a bad year, but my two brushes with anaphylaxis has brought my mortality a tad bit closer to light. They were scary and I realized there are changes to be made. The first is to win the lottery so I can quit working and do what I WANT to do not what I NEED to do. Since that chance is mostly out of my hands, I will work on the things I can change.

  • Lose the weight instead of complaining about it. After 40, it gets harder and harder to lose the weight. Our metabolisms shift and we pack it on. I started on the trip to Buffalo by not stuffing myself, but stopping before I felt full and waiting about 10 minutes. If I was still hungry, I ate. If not, I didn’t. I have decided that I need to keep working on this goal so that I can feel healthier in the next 40 years.
  • Stress. Since the first bee sting in July, I have worked on stress. Most of my stress comes from work. I am a perfectionist and I hate to be wrong. However, I am going to be wrong, I have tasks on top of tasks that need to be done and I will continue to be swamped. All I can do is make a list of WHAT to do and move forward from there. In November, I realized that I was stressing to much about my office mate. He’s a great guy, but…he is still pretty clueless on what he is doing and he doesn’t throw himself at the job the way my past team members have. This has frustrated me to no end, but I have decided to let it fall. If it really bothers me, I’ll mention it to my boss, but otherwise, my paycheck is not affected by him. Of course I still see red when I realize that he is paid more than me because he once was a supervisor and you can’t downgrade a pay level once you reach it. That puts him a whole grade level above me, equivalent to a PhD. Perhaps this is the year I ask for a grade increase.
  • Stress at home. I’ve asked the girls to help with cleaning. We are doing the carrot method of offering trips to the American Girl store or Nintendo DS games. We’re doing well, but not perfect. We may hire a new cleaning person who will cost less.
  • Exercise. In addition to losing weight, I want to be stronger. I want my body to last, so one way is to have a set exercise program. I really like T-Tapp in terms of my depression, but since I have not be consistent about it, I decided to set a schedule that includes 4 T-Tapp short workouts, 1 with my trainer in the gym, and 2 days of rest. So far, so good. I think if I say "hey, today is Wednesday so I need to do T-Tapp" and I miss it, it’s not a big deal, because I have Friday scheduled too. It’s when I miss a day and then suddenly fall into the "I didn’t do it this day, so I am not going to make 3 times a week so I give up." attitude. Change this. 
  • Jay and Me Time. Jay and I need more dates. This will happen. We are talking about Berlin this summer. He has a meeting. I may come late in the meeting and join him. This would be nice. More Me Time. I signed up for monthly massages at Elements. 2 massages in and I think it is worth it. I like the time.

So, bring it on, 40. I am getting ready for my next 40 years and damn it, no bees, hornets,weight or money is going to get in my way. I will celebrate life because it is too damn fragile and too damn short.