Friday, January 25, 2013

The making of a Trekkie...

It would seem I'm a lazy, lazy blogger, but I think I have firmly established that fact already.

Anyway, I have a story to tell so you get to hear it you the 3 of you that will come over from my link. Last week The Boy and I went to the National Western Stock Show, but not to the Rodeo, that shit is just too loud anymore. We went during the school day and so got to call it school, hey learning to shear a sheep is learning, not useful in his life right now but learning. Also we went with another homeschooler so hey he got socialized also. (Stepping away from that now)

While there the boys were talking about various SF shows/video games, okay my son was talking about them our friend was soaking it all in, maybe to his mother's horror, we'll see if we are invited to another outing. At one point The Boy came up to me and asked if there were any Star Trek movies, hey don't judge I'm slowly introducing him to the world starting with ST:TNG because he loves Wil Wheaton and I, well... Captain Picard... *swoon*. I told him yes there were many.

Mom friend looks at me and asks with a bit of amazement  "Are you a trekkie?" and without a moments hesitation I said "Why yes I am, second generation actually." and that got me thinking, I really am a second generation SF nerd. Some of my fondest memories as a child are of watching Star Trek reruns with my dad, the Horta, the flying fried eggs (I can't find the name of the episode who can help me), and of course Tribbles.

I can remember when I was in my 20's, you know in the dark ages, when I cared if I was called a Trekkie or a Trekker, and for the life of me I can't even remember why I cared.

Anyway all this to say I am passing Star Trek onto the next generation as my father passed it onto me. With love and joy and enthusiasm.

Live Long and Prosper my friends.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Dyslexia Sucks but my son does not....

Dyslexia is hard for me to understand. I want so much for my son to enjoy books like I do. I want him to get lost in the stories of other places, other people, other ways and come out with other thoughts, other feelings, other ideas. I want his head filled with language that he wouldn't hear on a day to day basis.

I have felt like without the ability to read he would not get to experience this. I was wrong.

We are re-reading the Kane Chronicles so we can then finish the series. He commented that a song he was listening to on his iPod was kind of Sadie Kane's theme song, something about being a classy rebel or something. I couldn't hear the lyrics nor do I know the song that well. I was just so excited to hear him make a connection like that. It means, to me, that the characters are living in his head all the time, not just when we read at night.

I was just reading a book, Kushiel's Dart, that I am giving up on. It took me awhile to figure out why I wasn't connecting and during that we had some conversations that The Boy joined in on. I talked about how while I was reading the book the world was alive for me but when I put it down there was nothing calling me back. There was no one character that stayed with me calling me back to read one more line or find out what was going to happen next. The Boy commented how the Kane's kept calling him back and wanting to continue to hear their story.

So what I need to remember is that right now I am how he is getting the stories, he doesn't want to listen to audio books, he wants me to read to him, partly because we can then have conversations about the books and partly because he really doesn't like change.

I'm pretty sure he is on the cusp of wanting to listen to audio books though because he can then take control of when he can enter the story again.

Life is good.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Whirlwind Weekend

On May 10th I received a text message from DH saying: "Full solar eclipse soon. In USA" This sent me online looking for information. Finding that it was going to be a full annular eclipse in Albuquerque, NM. This is 7 hours from our home. We thought we might be able to do this. We started looking and the 2 of us decided we wanted to do this. So we did.

I am a planner. I plan dream vacation, trips that we never take but I know how long we will stay at each location how much it will cost us to get to each place. We don't take quick trips. This time we did. 

The joy in it is we had enough time before it that my slow to warm to an idea boy had enough time to while not embracing the trip he did decide that he would rather be with us than stay with his grandparents and his dog. I let him know in no uncertain terms that we were going and we would welcome him with us but there was a safe and loving place that he could stay at if he would rather do that.  I'm so glad he came with us. 

We had a wonderful time. We started in Santa Fe, but left and ended up in Bandelier National Monument, partly because I had read that they were having a ranger talk about the eclipse. We got up there and they had sold out of all the tickets to the ranger talk, apparently weeks ago. I'm glad I didn't know because it was a beautiful place to watch and we found a community of others who had hoped to go to the ranger talk but found each other instead. 

I had bought the solar glasses from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science (I told you I'm a planner) I figured even if the rangers had some we could still have our own. There weren't any available and we shared with others around us. It made for a fun evening.  

So how about some pictures?

He was very talkative and lectured anyone who would listen.

I wish with all my heart I had thought to use the tripod we brought with us. Sigh. There is much movement but I think you can get an okay idea of what we saw. It was AMAZING!!!!!

We have such a fun time as a family and The Boy LOVED seeing the pueblo dwellings in the valley at Bandelier. We are already planning our trip back down and plan to include trips to Canyon de Chelly, Mesa Verde, and Sand Dunes(no ancient people but still fun) for later this summer. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


My boy who will sit and complain that it is too hard, that he can't learn to read, over and over again while we are sitting to lessons. That boy read today and yesterday. He did not just read the material in his lesson he read something he was interested in and worked hard at it and did it.

There is this game, a fun game, an educational(kinda) game, this game is called CellCraft I may have mentioned it before. You are creating a cell, and learning about the organelles in a cell and what they do. He is reading the narration mostly by himself and figuring out 2 syllable words.

GUYS! this is HUGE!

I'm not sure how to describe my joy. It is making me think that I'm not wasting my time completely. That maybe this is something I can do. That if I put my mind to it I could do ANYTHING!!!! Oh wait this is his accomplishment isn't it. Ok, change all those I's to he's and yeah that sounds better. ;)

It was so cool to watch him jump for joy that he was reading, and recognize that he was able to decipher the words and the meaning. It helps so much that the content is something he wants to learn about. The technical terms he needed me to read but he memorized the way the words looked quickly and didn't need me to continue to help with those either.

To add to the happiness my son wrote me a birthday card, he wrote words by himself with only asking how to spell day. Look...

Proud Mama with her card.
 He has never written something this long before. I am so proud of him!

45 is definitely looking good.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

We all get older

In a week, 1 short week, I will turn 45. I have no idea how that has happened. I'm decidedly middle age and I have no idea what I want to do with my life. I'm seriously considering going back to school, but I don't know for what. Teaching? At one point I thought I'd like being a teacher Math or Science in middle school or high school. I'm pretty good at bookkeeping, and finishing my degree in accounting might work. Hmmm. I feel like I need to know what I'm going to do next. Teaching almost makes the most sense. I could get my degree while still homeschooling my boy then using the things I learned in school and to teach my so to teach others.

Anyway I'm getting old and the numbers are starting to show it more.

This wasn't suppose to be a post about that, about me getting older and not knowing what the hell I want to do with my life. It is suppose to be about how my son is getting older and growing up and becoming a loving, caring human being. So let me write that post now.

He has for almost a year now been asking me what I like and want to do, first it was claimed to be a Christmas list and then was ignored for Christmas, but as my birthday has loomed on the horizon he has started talking about the list again. I asked if he wanted my help with anything and he said no, then he said he would talk to his dad, and he did. He is bursting with excitement of what they have planned. He came up to me this morning and was bouncing around saying "We have the BEST birthday celebration planned for you!" When I said "Will you tell me?" His reply was to cover his eyes and start saying "don't look in the eyes they will make you blurt it out!"

So he is now upstairs making me a card that will go with the celebration (and avoiding doing his school work) but he is writing and drawing.

Well my 'writing time' is gone and we are off to do school work.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A vent then a bunch of things that make me happy...

I am the kind of person who wants to hear the bad news first, I eat my least favorite thing on my plate first, I like to chase yucky medicine with a spoonful of sugar. So while I am not always Pollyanna and "Oh everything is always lovely" I do like to end with positive, if I can I want to move on with some hope of sweetness after having faced the negative of bitterness. With that in mind I'm going to vent about my insurance maze and then give you links to fun YouTube goodness. Things that make me happy, and have nothing to do with health insurance.

So the insurance debacle is 6 months on and officially no closer to being done than it was when I first brought it up to them 6 months ago (6 months and 4 days ago if one were counting, not that I'm counting) I have called them 10 times in those 6 months, I'm not calling week or even every 2 weeks but I have been trying to keep in touch, get my name back in front of someone, and seeing if there was anything new to tell me. Well this week we received a bill for services that happened last year and I pulled all the paper work out and found that one of the things we received last month was actually a credit. So I had hope that the audit was done. Officially no it is not, but they did pay for services to a 3rd party from the middle of last year that we had already paid. So now I need them to give me credit for an overpayment to them and I have to contact the 3rd party and get a refund for the 'overpayment' I made to them and they are still billing me for things that happened the end of last year after we supposedly met our (very high) deductible. When I found out they paid a 3rd party I kind of lost it on the poor customer service person. I kept saying I know this is not your fault but I am VERY ANGRY and you should probably get a supervisor so I can yell at them rather than yell at you. She did get the supervisor, and that is when the supervisor told me that all these people who over the last 6 months who told me that they were escalating my audit, were actually doing nothing of the sort, they were giving me a number that they wrote a note that I had called and pointed to the audit that was started in October. She then said that she would escalate it to her oversight committee and that she would call me to let me know what was going on. I told her straight up that I didn't trust that since it is exactly what all the other people I had talked to said but I have her name and will ask to talk to her in 2 weeks when I call them back, because so not trusting that she will actually get back to me, ever. GRRRRR.

I did call the 3rd party and they had already found that my account shows an overpayment and they have issued a request for payment and I should see the refund in a month, or so. You know whenever they have enough payments to run a check run.

So now doing research on how to get a hold of the state insurance commission and file a complaint. They are messed up and while I can see the change over of billing software caused this problem in the first place 6 months to work it out is unacceptable.

Ok, happy things now.....

Have you seen all the cool shows on YouTube? They started doing a bunch of original content shows and I have found some that we LOVE!

First up Geek & Sundry  it is produced by Felicia Day & Kim Evey the duo who brought us The Guild. So far our 2 favorite shows are The Flog, Felicia's video blog she does different things she want to try like blacksmithing, and Table Top a show hosted by Wil Wheaton where he plays a board game with some friends and the video it. Good times. There is probably language and innuendo that you may not want your younger kids to see, but since I'm clueless we let the boy watch them with us, and he LOVES them.

Next is The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, which is apparently a retelling of Pride & Prejudice and I only figured that out because there is a character called Darcy in it and oh yeah I kind of remember hearing about that name and some 19th century book. yeah, not a book I've read but I'm really enjoying this. So go, look, enjoy.

Now for Crash Course! I just found this in the last 2 days and we love it. One is biology and the other is world history. This one even I get the fact that there are references that some people do not want their kids to see so preview before you let your kiddos watch, that said the boy spent an hour yesterday watching the biology videos.

Then for pure girly fun I am really enjoying Fawn where there are makeup tutorials and a travel show and well other fun things. Michelle Phan is one of the people who started it and I love her makeup tutorials. I feel like I can put on makeup without looking like a clown because of what she has shown me, and so what if she is 20 years younger than me. ;)

And here is a bunch more I love CGPGrey's Channel, The Spangler Effect, Vi Hart, and Simon's Cat 

There, happiness spread. Go enjoy and stuff.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I am so bad at this parenting thing

Oh I am a bad mother, a bad teacher and overall a bad woman. Or at least that was how I was feeling this morning.

I posted this to FB this morning:
Because let me tell you, yesterday SUCKED. I was ready to send the child to the nearest military school, I was certain he was NEVER going to learn to read, or at least never learn to read from me, and I said out loud that I didn't think I was a very good teacher for him. Which with my child is the same as saying I no longer wanted to be his Mommy, or at least that is how he heard it, with a little bit of if he was just a better child I would still love him. (I am of course guessing all this because while the child will never, ever, ever shut up he will also never, ever, ever talk about his feelings.)

Today I started it with that wish, sadly a bloody mary did not appear and we tried to do school again, and ended up in the same damn argument we have in some form or another. I say do A he says can't I do X? I say no we are doing A. He says well there was that one time you let me do X before doing A why can't we do that now. I say because you then melted down when we had to do A we are not doing X first, then there is crying, usually on both parts. I love that argument, I tried to get my BF to tell me I would miss this argument in 10 years (her boy is 10 years older than mine) She laughed and said, sure, of course you will, then laughed some more, then offered to go get  a pedicure with me (hooray something to look forward to), but not go to LA for the weekend (boo).

We get past that argument and then we have the.same.damn.argument but this time I say write X here, but you may look at what you wrote previously, he says can't I write it below what I wrote previously? I say no and start to lose my shit because damn it I have already had this fucking argument with you once today and I am so.........

breathe ami.........

Oh wait, it is totally fine if you write there, it saves paper, gives you more confidence and yes, you may, but of course it does not come out like that, instead it comes out like "Fine" "Write it there" and the boy, thinking we are still in the middle of our normal fight starts to shut down.

I then get us both to breathe and I explain to him that I am the kind of person that likes things done according to the rules, if you tell me where to write I will write there and nowhere else. He is the kind of person who will look at what you tell him and he will look right back at you and say, but what about (insert a million different options or just one that is completely at odds with what was just said)..... and I went on to explain that this is a good thing, this is something that is going to be important as he grows up. I want him questioning why someone tells him to do something. I want him to look at someone and say "Why the hell do you want me to try that drug/drink/donkey" I am raising a boy to become a man in a world where it is all too easy to follow the leader and the leader isn't always right.

So we breathed and we made it through the day without the help of bloody mary or any of her friends, although her cousin beer is calling my name right now. And I think maybe I'm not the worst mother, teacher, woman on the face of the planet. Breathing.

And as a footnote to this, later in the day I was looking at FB and there was one of those side ads for something called Hot Shots and he read it. He read it out loud with no hesitation and with utter confidence. You guys this is HUGE!!!!! he is starting to read, I am helping him learn to fucking read! OMG!!!!!!!! Now, of course he will one day be able to read over my shoulder and I will have to be careful about when I post but for right now HE IS STARTING TO READ!!!!!!!!!