Friday, May 20, 2011

Seven Quick Takes Vol 1

I've never posted with Seven Quick Takes before, and haven't even read much of them as I don't normally follow Jen's blog, but I have often enjoyed reading them at testosterhome (who has a new blog design - very nice!) so I was finally inspired enough to give them a try.

1. Last week, when we were stuck home with Second Son's chicken pox (he had a mild case), I decided to try potty training Second Daughter. It did not go well. Despite bribery with her favorite candy, many cajolings and taking her to the bathroom every twenty minutes (seriously, I set a timer), she would go to the bathroom wherever she happened to be. I am not good at potty training children. My strategy has been to just wait a long time before even trying. I let First Daughter wear underwear outside one day and she trained herself after one accident. Kansas Dad encouraged me to put the diapers back on and wait. Sigh. So I did, but I think I'm going to need a few more diapers or covers or something. With Second Son and Second Daughter wearing the same size (yes, they are two years apart), I find myself running out of diapers far too often.

2. Second Son loves to destroy books. Seriously. He can't crawl yet but often manages to get where he's going by accident. He squirms to bookshelves, pulls the books off one by one and then systematically pours his almost-ten-month-old energy into destroying them. I hope this is a phase, a short phase. I simply do not have the bookshelf space to clear the bottom two shelves of books on every bookshelf in the living room. I'd have to stack the books on my bed, which would be inconvenient.

3. The irises are almost done blooming. That means they'll be ready for transplanting just about any time. Not that we have time for such things. If anyone local wants some irises, please let me know. We can arrange a trade - a bit of work transplanting some with us in exchange for some irises to take home for your garden. They are truly lovely, grow wonderfully with almost no care, and are extremely tenacious.  Here are some pictures to lure you in. The yellow ones are not available, though. I only have a few of those and I'm not ready to share them. This year, they started blooming on Easter Sunday. We've had different varieties blooming steadily since then and have at least a few more days to go.

4. Second Son is over the chicken pox! It was traumatic at first for me because another family in our parish had some tough cases recently. He was fine, though. It was a very mild case and hopefully now he won't need the vaccine. (As an aside, we vaccinate on the Range. We vaccinate on the recommended schedule. Every so often we look at all the arguments again and decide to continue on this path. Kansas Dad is a theologian who teaches ethics classes, among others, at a Catholic university. We believe this is the right decision for our family. I am not angry or upset at the particular circumstances that exposed Second Son to the chicken pox and I have every intention to continue socializing with families who do not vaccinate. The risk of infection is small compared to the joys of our friendships.)

5. My love/hate relationship with CathSwap continues. I have found a few things used on forums for our homeschool next year, some at great discounts even compared to used ones on Amazon. But all of them have been purchased with "just a few other things" the seller had available that seemed interesting or were on my "maybe if I have the money in the fall list." Only I bought them in the spring. Sigh. I have a problem.

I have also been pre-reading a few and am so excited to share these with the kids, especially The Wheel on the School. I don't know how I managed to escape childhood without reading this book; it's a tragedy, one my children will not experience. I can barely wait until fall! (Only I can, because I'm tired.)

6. We're listening to The Secret Garden in the van. The one review at Amazon is disappointing, but we've been enjoying it. The narrator does a much better job with the accents than I would! Just for fun, I played The Secret Garden (1991 Original Broadway Cast) for First Son. I've never seen the musical myself, but I like the CD. First Son adores the CD! We have been listening to it nearly every day. I'm starting to hear it in my head when I shower, when I wash dishes, when I feed the baby, when I dream. It's fun to listen to something besides Cat.Chat, though. I need to start thinking of other musicals he might enjoy. Suggestions?

7. In the next week or so, we're going to transition to our "summer lessons." We'll be doing memory work, a little math, a little handwriting and a little reading together. First Daughter has finally started her reading lessons. I think she's excited about reading, but she may just be excited to officially have "lessons."

It's raining and the children are playing some Wii Fit for Kids game, but the time is nearly up so I'm off to start my day. Read more 7 Quick Takes at Jen's Conversion Diary.


  1. Glad your kids are getting over the chicken pox! And I admire you for homeschooling. I have my own home child care business. I have six kids under 5. I do preschool with the two older ones (one of which is my Ben). If I had to teach Ben beyond preschool, I think we would have to set up a trust fund for his future therapy bills. Enjoy your wii-fit! Have a great weekend!

  2. I got to see "The Secret Garden" when I was in college. I loved it and the music. Other good musicals: "The Music Man" "The Sound of Music" "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" "Anything Goes" "Oklahoma" "Phantom of the Opera" "Les Miserables" On all of those I would have no problem letting the kids listen to the music. The last four listed I don't think I'd want them to watch until they were older.

    Anymore I am not motivated to potty train very early. The first was at 2 and 1/2, the next two at 3 and 1/2, and the fourth at almost 4. He was very resistant, as it is just easier to go in the diaper and then one day he decided he was going to wear underwear, and he hasn't looked back. So thankfully I'm down to one in diapers.

    Oh, yes, we have Anthony phases around here. Right now it's the climb repeatedly on the kitchen table phase, and the climb on a chair and turn the lights off and on phase. I feel your pain!

  3. Hi! I came to you from Conversion Diary today. I liked reading your quick takes. I'm trying to start potty-training my 2.5-year-old, but I'm afraid it may have to be a project for maternity leave in a few weeks. Have a great weekend!

  4. Finding His Heart, the thought of watching all those little ones almost sends me running in terror! Homeschooling is nothing compared to preschoolers! And don't get me wrong, I'm not committed past third grade yet.

    H of B, thanks for all the musical suggestions! We have listened to Joseph, which First Son also enjoyed.

    Michelle, good luck with the potty-training, and the maternity leave! I just clicked over to your blog and read a bit. I cannot imagine doing all you do!

  5. We love listening to "Godspell" and "Wicked." They're both a little more "rock-y" than your traditional musical but I don't have a problem with any of the lyrics.

    Glad second son is feeling better!

  6. For a musical, how about Mary Poppins? We just finished reading the book (I have to admit I actually like the movie better--she's so unrelentingly stern in the book.) We're going to watch the movie soon, and the music is so fun!

    I like your new sidebar photos, by the way!

    Oh, and if you're having to buy new diapers but are thinking about potty training, one thing you could do is get some Motherease Sandys/Toddle-ease diapers and pull-on nylon covers (like Dappi covers). That combo can be pulled up and down for trips to the potty. And the nylon covers are really cheap--2 for $5!

  7. Michelle, thanks for the recommendations. I've never listened to either of those and will have to give them a try.

    Hilary, I read Mary Poppins and really didn't like it at all myself, so I decided not to read it with the kids. They have seen the musical, though, and love it. I should see if the library has the CD.

    Our Knickernappies diapers can also be pulled up and down. She's almost too big for the older version, though, which is mostly what we have. I'm not sure our fitted diapers would work well that way or not. Maybe I'll try it. If they go up and down, the nylon covers might be perfect.


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