Archive for April, 2012

Tuesdays With Mooch & Fuss: Staying Active

Mooch was tired of feeling left out at school, so I told her that perhaps secluding herself in the library studying Greek Mythology had something to do with it. I offered that maybe she should give soccer a shot just once, and that if she made a mistake on the field, she would learn from it. She stated that she didn’t like soccer, because she wasn’t good at it, and that she wasn’t going to try this option.

Last week, I was helping with the auction project for her class, and Fuss wandered out of the project room. When I noticed her gone, I searched the field for her, and who did I spot playing soccer with a huge smile on her face? Mooch. I didn’t bother her. I just watched her play from the window. When I asked her how her day was today, she told me all about her newfound love for the sport. I pretended to be shocked. *chuckle* She said, “I’ve been playing for a week now, Mom.”


I updated Mooch’s website the other night with new videos of recent work, etc. I also designed new typography for her, but I’m still going to redesign her whole site all together. I just need a free moment to do that. Right.

Fuss has finished her dinosaur unit, and I hardly captured any of it on camera. The documenting seems to go well when we’re outside, but it’s distracting to her in the classroom. Anyway, she cut between pterodactyls on strips of paper, played matching games, experienced a dino sensory tub, acted like a dinosaur, and learned the names of several throughout the process.

She’s been taking a little dance class with me, which has allowed her to express her rhythmic ability and get out some of that energy. In the summer, I will revisit gymnastics, and see if she is a little more focused. She walks on brick walls, does little spins, and loves to swing extra high at the park, so she’ll enjoy every second of it once she can stick with the group and not be married to the trampoline.

For more about homeschooling Fuss, please click here: Teaching Fuss.

Comments off

Marital Mondays: “Ridin’ Hard and Ridin’ Dirty”

I drove Hannibal to work this morning. It was fun having extra time to chat and be silly. There may be more carpooling in our future. We have to squeeze the quality into the time we have.

Comments off


So … yeah. There probably won’t be any blogging this week. I have a gazillion projects due for and for Mooch’s school. Sorry.

Please feel free to poke around and read all of the stuff  that is already here. 🙂

Comments off

Tuesdays With Mooch & Fuss: Multiply It!

Fuss watering our roses.


Letters? Boom! Sight words? Boom! Colors? Boom! Potty trained? A very long ago boom! Not shoving random children at parks and Pottery Barn Kids? Yeah … not so much. Fuss is all of two. Not just the cute, puppy-eyed, soft-skinned, lingering traces of baby smell two. She’s tantruming two, and screaming two, and ranting about how it’s “Mine. Mine! Mine!” two. January and February were rough. I often wished I was on “Who Wants to Be a Mommy,” so I could use a lifeline and ‘phone a friend’ to have them come rescue me until she’s eighteen.

I can’t complain, though. She’s gotten a lot better. She’s more compassionate. She listens (as long as she’s well-fed, well-rested, the sun is in a specific position and the stars align correctly), and she uses her words often. When she’s frustrated, however, her attempts to get her point across can be likened to that of a customer cheated out of their money during a Macy’s transaction. We’re working on it.

Her new sleep schedule is based on a forty-eight hour slot instead of a twenty-four hour day. Don’t Google it. I made it up. I studied her behavior in conjunction with her ability to fall asleep easily at night and realized that a nap every single day was too much for her. What I do is have her nap every other day, with the daytime sleep being from 12-2pm. On days when she naps, her bedtime is 7:30pm. When she doesn’t nap, her bedtime is 6:45pm. Don’t ask me why this works. It just does. She puts herself to sleep at naptime and bedtime with ease by singing or chatting quietly with her doll.

To learn more about the homeschooling that I do with Fuss, please visit Teaching Fuss.


My eldest is reading Hugo Cabret. Actually, by the time you finish reading this blog, she will have finished all 532 pages of it. This morning she was on page five hundred. I never read books that size at her age. Even in college, I stuck to excerpts. Her patience with stories amazes me. She loves stories so much, that I found a story method to teach her the multiplication tables. I’m so excited about it, that I have to share it with you. I found it on Amazon after researching different ways to help children retain the times tables. I knew this way would work for Mooch.

Mooch learning her times tables

The book assigns a word for each number. For example, three is represented by “tree” and four is represented by “door.” Stories are then told on the left page with a corresponding picture (for memory) on the right page. The “tree” and “door” story talks about a tree with a little door in it. Inside the door lives an “elf.” At the bottom of the page, it reads, “Tree x Door = Elf,” which translates, of course, to “3×4=12.” She learned her threes through nines in one day! This book is amazing. We’re working on twelves this weekend. She already knew 1s, 2s, 5s, 10s, and 11s, because those have easy tricks. After this week, it’ll just be drilling from here on out to get them into her long-term memory. What fun!

Here is a link to the book: Multiplication in a Flash

Mooch cheesing at homeschool

Comments off

Marital Mondays: I’m From the South

Hannibal has many similarities with my father. Aside from both gentlemen having hoarding tendencies, they’re also Aquarians from the south. Hannibal’s southern origin has many fun things to offer. He still opens my car door now (it didn’t end after the first date, like it does with most guys). It typically wouldn’t be anything I would care about given my often feminist perspective, but it’s nice. I feel like royalty when he does that. It certainly wouldn’t be a deal breaker, however, if he didn’t.

Hannibal also sounds really funny when he gets upset. He sounds like he’s in the backwoods of Mississippi somewhere. All the country comes out — even though he was actually raised in the city (Memphis). His diet was wonky when I met him. Much like my father’s food choices, Hannibal was largely focused on meat and potatoes. Though he eats lots of raw spinach and sauteed broccoli now, I wouldn’t go waving a fried chicken boob in front of his face if I were you.

Anyway, one of the main things both my father and Hannibal love to do is point out the most random differences between Cali and the south (which I truly think are really their own idiosyncratic preferences) and they start each thought with “I’m from the south … ” I’ve provided you with some lovely examples below. Enjoy.

M: Hannibal, would you like non-dairy whipped cream on your pie?
H: I’m from the south. I don’t eat anything white and creamy. Somebody might’ve put some (pause) Look, I don’t eat anything white and creamy.

M: Hannibal, will you wear a tie in our wedding, please?
H: I’m from the south, and I’m a Black man. I’m tying anything around my neck. What I look like, strange fruit?

M: Hannibal, will you go on a cruise with me?
H: I’m from the south. We came on a boat across the Atlantic to get here, and how did that work out for us?

Comments off