Monday, July 25, 2011

Tall Tales

Me and the giant sunflower in my garden.

No lie, I thought the two-for-one dollar grow-it-yourself seeds at Home Depot wouldn't outgrow my garden. Especially because my 5-year-old son was in charge of starting it and then transferring it into our vegetable garden. Honestly, it was a craft; a project for the kids to do while my husband and I transferred our summer plants into the big garden from the starter kit. Now look at the darn thing. That sunflower is at least 10 feet tall. Ridiculous. Absoultely ridiculous.


Anyway, summer has gone on a little too long. I'm ready for the kids to go back to school. I'm pretty sure it's more my fault than theirs that I'm this fried. See, every summer I work from a self-made calendar of activities and use it to build routine into chaos. This summer I built chaos into chaos and got lots of chaos. Brilliant, Patty.

So far this summer we have:
  • Kept our morning study routine of 20 minutes reading, 20 minutes math, 20 minutes bridge to the next grade worksheets.
  • Kids kept up with their penpals (Excellent handwriting practice. Plus, they should know how to send letters via mail not just email. Worked out great!)
  • Made slime
  • Went to a movie
  • Built and raced robots with two other families
  • Big 4th of July party at my house
  • Went to Hawaii for 10 days
  • Went camping
  • Went to the beach-twice
  • Had a pizza party and experimented with dry active yeast
  • Completed the Barnes & Noble Reading Challenge for the kids
  • Went to the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles
  • Had a balloon party with 6 booths
  • Went to the library (albeit, we only renewed our card for e-reading on our ipad)
  • Went to the park a couple times (walked once and then got smart and drove the second time)
  • Made a time capsule for the yard
  • Made ice cream in Zip Loc bags
  • There were sleepovers and back yard movies
  • Went to see "The Beatles" play with the kids and neighbors
  • Did enough swimming (yep, there can be enough of that)
  • Oh, celebrated 7-11's birthday, got free Slurpees and cheap food
And that doesn't complete summer nor does it include what I've done for myself:
  • Husband finally made good on that gift certificate for Glen Ivy Hot Springs he gave me
  • Read six books: WITHER by Lauren DeStefano, BLOOD MAGIC by Tessa Gratton, REVOLUTION by Jennifer Donnelly, THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH by Carrie Ryan, TEXAS GOTHIC by Rosemary Clement-Moore, WE WERE HERE by Matt de la Pena
  • Prepared for the upcoming SCBWI conference in Los Angeles
  • Started a new journal
  • Started a new idea for the upcoming NaNoWriMo
  • Worked with a lovely Crit Group on a completed story
  • Added to a WIP
  • Went out with the ladies
  • Handed out grapes, apricots and vegetables to neighbors
  • Went on a wine tour with neighbors
  • Planned hubby's 40th bday party
  • Planned daughter's 9th bday party
  • Planned son and niece's 6th combine bday party
NONE of that includes the refereeing I had to do for the bickering, yelling, fighting, hitting, and teasing that goes on between 3 children.

NONE of that included 4 days per week of extracuricular activities (Tae Kwon Do, Piano,Voice and upcoming Reading Program)

Mainly because that's the yeah, yeah, yeah stuff. Like, yep, kids need a lot of attention during summer.

However, I wasn't AT ALL prepared for the most ridiculous of all kinds of ridiculous arguments I've ever had with my 9-year-old daughter (This too is no lie. Not at all a tall tale): My daughter's friend is apparently going to be homeschooled this year. (I have no opinion on that) I let my daughter spend the day bowling and hanging out at said girlfriend's house. Daughter came home and BEGGED me to homeschool her.

I'm thinking: What the?
I say: "No. Believe me, you don't want to be homeschooled."
Daughter says: "Yes, I do. [Said friend] is."
I say: "So?"
D says: "Why can't I?"
I say: "Sorry. It isn't going to happen. You can't even sit and do your homework for 20 minutes without complaining. You don't qualify for being homeschooled. Plus, it's not like you would get to hang out with your friend who will be schooled IN HER OWN HOME!!!!!"
D says: "I'm going to HATE fourth grade! My life SUCKS!!!!"

I'm left thinking: Sucks? That's a new one. (At this point I can't focus on her word choice. I'm too busy wondering a lot of other things.) What in the hell kind of things did her friend's mom say to make homeschooling sound THAT appealing? And what kind of kid thinks their life SUCKS because they aren't going to be pulled away from all their friends to be stuck at home with me all day everyday? This is a joke, right? Anyone? Anyone? Damn, I'm by myself and NOBODY is going to believe this conversation.

AHHHHH! I have to get out of summer. Right now!


  1. Great picture. Will you eat the seeds or give them to the birds?

  2. Wow, that's a very kid-filled summer. Not sure what else I can say but - keep hangin' in there?

    If you get a chance, check out a fellow writer's zombie story and help me make him wear an embarrassing shirt next year! Details are here:

  3. Wow, Patricia you have been a busy woman! Way to pack in the fun and education.

  4. WOW, WOW, and more WOW!

    I am EXHAUSTED just reading that. No wonder I can't get a hold of you anymore.LOL.

    That is ONE hell of a sunflower.

    Madeline's actions or response does not surprise me, not from what you've told me about her.

    How did James like Chicago? I hope you're well otherwise.

  5. It has been an action packed summer with more than enough ridiculous conversations that no onewould ever believe, lol!

  6. Speaking as a public school teacher, there is NO WAY I'd homeschool my kids. Patience for other children I have. Mine, um, well, just being their mother is enough for me. :)

    And yeah, welcome to 4th grade. Everything sucks. Mine will be in 5th this year and somehow I doubt it will get much better...

  7. And by grade nine, she'd be begging to go back to school!
    Your schedule made me tired just reading it.

  8. With a schedule like that, no wonder she wants to stay home! Sounds like a ridiculously fun summer! Even with the homework routine. Anyway, I totally believe the conversation. Kids have ridiculous requests! And can't know that it might mean completely fried moms (I know that some mom's can do it well but I need a little peace in my day)

  9. I'm tired after reading about your summer! I love the photo of the sunflower. I should take a photo of mine. Sadly, mine are only about 5 inches tall and starting to bud. I'm going to have the world's shortest sunflowers. :P

  10. Thanks for popping over and for your encouragement, Patricia.

  11. Children always seem to think that what is happening to a friend must be great and want the same... until they try it... :0)