Friday, September 14, 2012

High School as a Rite of Passage

I have been talking to several fairly intelligent individuals about homeschooling in the last couple of weeks. I had to convince baby daddy man that homeschooling isn't totally stressing me out already. I honestly think he is afraid that the curriculum is too difficult for my delicate little brain. Silly rabbit, we aren't even doing real math yet! Ask me again when we get to algebra!
I also spoke to a middle aged father of 4 high school students about the trials of having children in high school. He told me a story about his daughter getting invited to a "rainbow party". A rainbow party is a festive gala in which girls are given different color tubes of lipstick to adorn their beautiful faces. When the festivities are over the boys get together and have a friendly competition to see how many different colors of lipstick they have on their dicks. Ok take a minute to digest this.

Ok now digest this: the girl invited to this party was 12 years old. 
I had never even kissed a boy when I was 12. I thought holding hands was terrifying. 
These kinds "events" are becoming the new normal. The man I was speaking with stated that "all he could do was to try to maintain an open dialogue with his children to try and make sure they are telling him the things they are getting into."  Basically he is stating that he is powerless control the situations that his teenage kids get into to. 
I have been told numerous times that at some point when raising children you just have to give up control and let them make their own choices. Even if these choices include things like rainbow parties?

How many times have you heard things like "well I survived high school but just barely," or "I hated high school but I turned out ok." I wonder why we think it is ok to put our kids through something most of us barely survived. I truly think I spent most of my early 20s trying to recover from high school. I never even got bullied, or struggled with grades. High school is HARD regardless of who you are and it seems that the pressure, drugs, and irresponsible sex is beginning younger and younger with every generation. High school is seen as a rite of passage and this makes the trials faced somehow ok.  However we are appalled when we hear about other rites of passages such as; female circumcision, breast ironing, (look it up, it is some awful shit) boys ingesting semen of the tribes elders (Mati Tribe), and the Hamar woman beating ceremony (which precedes the Hamar man cow jumping.)
Most of these rites of passages occur over less than a 24 hour period, high school is a solid 4 years of psychological ravaging and emotional depletion. It doesn't need to be this way, why are we content to lose our children to their peers the second they enter kindergarten and pray that they don't get chewed up and spit by the end of high school (or if they do, that they recover from it?) 
I for one, am not going to close my eyes and hope for the best. And maybe nothing I do will prevent my kids from suffering torture in their teen years but I can tell you I won't go down without a fight. Bring it puberty. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Raising kids is hard fucking work part 1

The last few days have been hellacious. I have been in emotional purgatory which is soooo not like me. I am stoic, I am a hard ass. I don't cry. I drown my pain in vodka. (only some of the time, really). Tonight I had chips & salsa for dinner with cake batter for dessert. Emotional eating at its finest. What is the deal, you ask, what could be causing the coolest person alive to cry while shopping for christmas presents (emotional shopping much?)
Raising 2 kids is hard shit. The last few months I have pretty much come to the stark realization that if anyone wants their life to be easy peasy squeasy then they should never have more than 1 child. This is what it looks like to have 1 child:
Every day is a day on the beach filled with sunshine and laughter and sleep. You frolic by the ocean teaching your 1 child about the origins of shells and sand. You laugh gaily with your spouse and 1 child about how amazing your life is, wouldn't it be a grand idea to add 1 more soul to this amazing family. Double the love! The more the merrier! Fast forward 18 months later and you are this:

YOU HAVE MOM JEANS ON!! WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED TO YOU?!!!!!!! I will tell you: you have 2 children. I do not know what changes when that second little human is born. Your intentions are the same, you fully expect for this little being to blend right in and make your family complete, you can't wait to frolic on the beach learning about shells and sand. 
Then shit gets real.

The last year has been a constant struggle to give both boys somewhat equal attention and time. At first H got all of my attention because he was nursing every 34 seconds and puking all over the place.  I felt like a terrible mom to L because I barely had the time or energy to read 1 book much less the 376 we used to read every day to expand his mind. Well now that H only nurses every 59 seconds I feel that he is getting the short stick because I am so busy attending to the needs of a 4 year old that I barely have time, you know, play with him. I am pretty sure L was speaking 3 languages by 13 months and doing complicated algebra problems. L was my little side kick, I enjoyed taking him everywhere with me and I scoffed at other moms when they left their kids at home when they went to the store? "Don't you enjoy spending time with your children." I would think to myself pushing my 1 child around in the shopping cart, buying organic vegetables to puree into baby food later. 
Now shopping alone is a vacation, I will often spend double my budget just because the longer I am in the store buying things, the longer time I get without 2 little perfect beings NEEDING ME SO DAMN MUCH. We did baby led weaning, partly because I firmly believed in nursing exclusively longer than 6 months and partly because I was too damn lazy to puree baby food again. 
Why is it, that 2 children is not double the work? It is 2,304,320 times the amount of work that 1 child is?  The word children is only 3 freaking letters more than child. That shit is deceiving!
I keep trying to tell myself that I am not setting H up to be a drug addict by the age of 12 because he is the second born child. It all balances out because he has a loving brother to play with. RIGHT?!!  I keep trying to tell myself that L won't resent H for taking the spotlight off of him at the tender age of 3 and that he will delight in being a big brother for all the rest of his days. RIGHT?!!
We all end up a little bit fucked up right? Do you know anyone that doesn't have issues? Do you know anyone that wouldn't benefit from therapy? Cause I don't. So is it just the simple act of making it through a family unit that fucks us all up? Why does life persist if we are all so damn bad at raising kids? Have I totally stressed you out? Are you looking at your 2 children in tears, wondering if you are the reason they will be in therapy later?  Well sister, grab a bottle of wine, a box of cake batter, and let's commiserate.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Kids are so much cooler than adults

We have had a great start to our week. Yesterday we went to the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History and  learned they have a great home school program that involves doing simple reports on pretty much anything you want in exchange for points that you can trade in for things like; fossils, crystals, bones, and shells. We did a scavenger hunt (and by "we" I totally mean I obsessed about finding the answers while my 4 year old looked at the cool stuff) and then L traded it in for a deer spine. Cooooooooooooll.
Then we went to Ikea where I spent my entire paycheck on things we desperately needed. Uh huh.

Today the boys and I went to a local park to enjoy the day. H fell asleep in the car so I told L I would watch him through the window while he played so his brother could sleep. He immediately found a small group of kids to play with. He is obviously completely socially inept.

Once H woke up we went to join his brother but he was way too busy playing to be bothered by his mom and bro *sob*. So I listened quietly to their play as I follow H around as he tried to break his neck on the play ground equipment. This is what I heard: Kid "I started kindergarten yesterday." L:" Oh was it fun or scary?" Kid: "It was both, do you go to school?" L:" I do homeschool, it is like school but at home." Kid: "Lucky."

Had this conversation occurred between 2 adults there would have been a thousand or more questions about "how will he be socialized, how will you teach upper level math, what about sports, band, and theater, how will he go to college if he can't learn from anyone but you, are you trying to just control everything about his upbringing, do you want him to live with you forever?!!!!???!!!"

(L in 25 years) 

Kids are so much cooler than that, the kid on the playground today didn't see anything wrong with L being schooled at home, he didn't find him lacking in any way socially, he wasn't worried about L living in my basement in 20 years. He was just living in the moment and enjoying a new friend. 
When did we start fucking everything up and making it so complicated?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

She works hard for the money...

As much as I would love to be a kept woman and laze around the house all day eating bon bons (isn't that what stay at home moms do? ;) I do have a part- time job. If you read my profile, you would already know that. Slackers.
I work from home about 15 hours a week and out of the house 10-15 hours per week. I have been asked a few times from some awesome working moms how I manage my time between homeschooling, working, and looking so fabulous. Let me tell you this: I have no organizational skills and I have a hard time completing projects and I manage to do it so you can totally do it too! I will attempt to keep my mind focused long enough to break down my routine for you. Wish me luck.

I typically do a structured school time 3 days a week. I utilize every opportunity I can to teach in context but actually sit and do lessons 3 days. I rarely do it the same day each week. The cool thing about homeschooling a preschooler is that you can do school on Saturdays and they have no clue that it is unusual. I love 4 year olds.


We do "calendar time" 1st each day. I bought a Melissa and Doug magnetic calendar at the thrift store that looks like this:
It is pretty awesome. Everyday we go over:
1. Month, day, #, and year we are on
2. All of the months
3. Yesterday and tomorrow
4. What holidays are coming up
5. The weather
6. We count all the days in the month. I swear before we started doing this he could barely count to 10, now he can count further than I can (not saying much)

After Calendar we do some sight words, currently we are working on: Who, What, You, Where, When, and Two. I just use them like flash cards and run through them a few times. 

We learn our fun topic of the day, right now it is spiders, last week it was space. I let him pick so we do a lot of weather related stuff and animals. This varies, some days we read about it, some days we watch a video, or talk about it. 

Writing follows (his least favorite). I have tried to make this fun, really I have. We have tried writing in shaving cream, with chalk, upside down, and with his pee (joking) but the kid just doesn't love writing. So we do your basic worksheet and just try to get it done. I found all my workbooks at the Dollar Store, he seems to hate them just as much as the expensive ones. Some people don't agree with me using worksheets, they might say I am stifling him, or reining in his spirit or some shit. Really, I am just lazy and learning to write is hard without a ton of practice. So we practice. He will probably be in therapy for years because of it.

Math follows writing. Right now we are learning about money which has been super fun. We play store often and sometimes we play gambling go-fish.  I know I know, I setting him up to be this guy:

A gambling addict that is in therapy with repressed memories of being forced to write "Gs" over and over and over while his mother chain smoked and guzzled wine in the background.

I digress

Often times in math we practice simple addition and subtraction, 1:1 correspondence, patterns or sequence. 

We do science experiments often or a craft (usually some glitter and glue is involved, I suck at crafts) or just make some sort of mess to end circle time.
We rock out to different styles of music daily and discuss art. We read simple books together at nap time. He has worked his way through 12 books so far nearly by himself. The pride he feels when he reads a page by himself makes me feel all warm inside. 

The entire "circle time" takes about 1/2 and hour. 
I know it will take longer as he gets older but I feel confident that I will be able to stumble blindly through it. As far as the social aspect that everyone is so worried about he is enrolled in dance class, and swimming class. Sometimes I even take him to the store to see what other people look like. ;) I feel confident he will be out of my basement by the time he is 35. 

I would love to hear what your routine looks like.

I just have to add that his brother spends most of his time destroying the preschool room or nursing. He is learning a lot too.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Why 2012 kicks ass

Shit I already suck at this blog writing business. In typical Raegan form I got all gung ho about having the best blog in the world, wrote 11 entries in 9 days (cause I have soooooooo much important shit to say) and then forgot all about it. Well my loyal followers, do not fret, I'm baaaacckkk.

Everyone complains about the present, saying it is too technological, too out of touch, too perverse...blah blah blah. But I think it pretty much rules. Here is why:
Today L and I went to the Clintonville Farmers Market to get the veggies and fruit that I don't grow in the garden. Walking around the throng of folks I felt a rush of pride in the diversity surrounding me. In the space of 20 minutes I saw such a variety of people. I truly feel our sense of community is growing these days. Public venues where like minded (or maybe not) people gather are growing rapidly. Although technology can be a curse if it becomes more important or a substitute for social interaction, it is also an amazing tool to bring people together.  I even saw a support group online for adult lactation fetishes. I am not kidding.

Also, we have a black president. 40 years ago the thought was laughable. Gay people are getting married and having children with other gay people! Amazing! Who would have thought. Of course if Mitt Romney gets elected, black people and gays probably won't even be allowed to vote. Along with women that have abortions. Or maybe just women in general.

Being an attachment parent can leave a lady feeling pretty isolated. Having your boob in a babies mouth all day can make it difficult to find time for play dates after all. Luckily I have found an AMAZING community of women through They all have babes the same age as H and I am pretty much in love with all of them. Having a community of women that share my parenting philosophies, my general adoration for all things tie dye, and utter distaste for exercise has been so crucial this first year of having 2 children. How on earth did moms do it before the internet? Who did they talk to at 3AM when up nursing AGAIN? Who could they confess desires to get pregnant 23 days after giving birth? I love my internet friends, I only wish I could get totally drunk with them like I do with my IRL friends. (For those that are not as cool as me, that means: In Real Life.)

My last super awesome 2012 thing is pictures. Dude I take sooooo many pictures with my camera phone it is re-dick. Everyone told me that I wouldn't take as many pictures of my 2nd baby but I think I take more of H then I did of L simply because I have a better camera! Check out the cuteness I captured:
Are you just peeing yourself with warm fuzzies?  Chuckling heartily at my funny kid?  Say thanks to my knock-off Iphone.

Reading through this post, I realize that it is incredibly ADD. Sorry.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tomorrow I will be on my way to looking like a super model

I am lying in bed nursing Harrison like I do 1000 times a day. Really, 1000. I counted.  This is pretty much what we look 456 of those times.....

What does this have to do with being skinny by the end of this week? Well, plenty. See in those 10 minutes every couple of hours I lay there and think about how incredibly thin I will be soon because tomorrow I am starting a real diet. A skinny by the end of the week diet....
 Oh shit (I think to myself) we are going out to El Portal for lunch (my favorite Mexican restaurant) how am I ever going to diet there?
 It's ok I can just eat 1 enchilada and split my beans with Harrison. That is practically diet food right there. I can feel the pounds melting away. Soon, I will look like this:

Shit, wrong picture, this is how I feel when I have 3 glasses of wine instead of the 2 I usually consume on a Saturday night. I literally see this face when I look in the mirror.

I will look like this:

   Einstein shirt and all..........

After a light lunch I will enjoy a refreshing salad for dinner and finish it off with a slice of watermelon. I will do this every day for the rest of my life and never struggle to button my jeans again. I will never poke my muffin top and then try to tuck it INTO the top of my jeans again. I will be skinny and it will all start tomorrow when I make good choices at El Portal. "1 enchilada and share the beans, 1 enchilada and share the beans" I repeat to myself over and over as I fall asleep.

The morning arrives (after being woken up 6000 times, seriously with all the night nursing I do I should be 100 pounds) and as I drink my coffee I repeat my mantra "1 enchilada and share the beans..." I confidently walk into El Portal, sit down with my fam and BAM. I black out...............

When I come to this is in front me:

7 empty plates of deep-friend mexican food. Damn it. My diet is ruined, I will never lose 13 pounds in one day after eating all that crap! My waistband is tight, I am feeling nauseous. I just want to lie down and take a nap. Wait.......
 I can totally eat those brownies at home. I will sooooo start my diet tomorrow.  I will be skinny by Friday. Everything is going to be ok!!!!

Shit, we are going out for sushi. It's ok I will just eat one roll, that is super healthy it is practically diet food. I got this!!!  String bikini here I come!!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Space shit

Get my hilarious play on words? Space ship= space shit. I know I know, you are jealous of my wit and creativity.
It is space week in this house, now I am not exactly an expert on all these space. Neither is Chels, she just found out that Pluto is now just a lonely little planetoid and I have no real clue what a planetoid is. So...... who better to teach our 4 year old about space?! We can learn together!! I will be a planet expert by Friday!! More coffee! This is where I go totally spastic and come with 1000 different ideas to teach L about every Planet, moon, and Planetoid...... I have pretty much decided I am going to make a child sized plantetarium in his room. It is going to be epic. Think gallons of paper mache and glitter..........
When searching "glitter planetarium" I found..wait for it......... glitter porn..................are you ready for this?
Ruth Swansons Glitter Bomb
Turned on yet?

I digress

Space....Here are few cool crafts I found to try out this week.


Here's how you make it...
1. From your construction paper cut different sized circles to trace. 
2. Place a circle on top of your black paper and trace the circle with chalk. 
3. Smudge the chalk outwards and repeat with different sized circles and different colors of chalk.
If you want to put little stars in your solar system try brushing on glitter glue or stick on little star stickers.

If you doing this craft with young children it may be easier to trace if you secure the circles with masking tape and then remove them after they have smeared the chalk. 

Easy peasy squeezy. Even I can't screw this one up.  Although I am thinking of just doing it outside on our sidewalk. 

How about this little diddy.......

A nylon sock or a foot from tights or a stocking.
Grass seed
Sawdust                                                      Grow A Grass Head Monster Craft 
Elastic band
Old yogurt pot
Googly eyes
Paper, buttons, ribbon etc to decorate

Click here for printables, patterns and Templates 

Fill the toe of your sock with grass seed. Top up with sawdust until you have a ball shape. Fasten tightly with the elastic band.

Decorate the yogurt pot as the body using, paper, ribbon, and whatever else you can find in your craft box!

Stand the stocking ball in the pot with the grass seed at the top. Add some eyes and any other decorative bits you like.

Keep the yogurt pot topped up with water. After a few weeks your head should grow hair!

This craft reprinted courtesy of

Tell me this isn't super cute? Maybe a little creepy but still super cute.

Annnnnnd..... just to leave you with something good.....

glitter bottle