Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The differences between me and Ray

were easily summed up by yours truly at the bus stop the other day. Ray is very much a "don't rock the boat" kind of guy. While I am standing on the prow, waving a flag, yelling "full steam ahead".

Ray is conservative. I am liberal. Although we have had a mellowing effect on each other's politics over the years, things can get testy here around election time.

He is affectionate. I'm like a cat.

He can cook. I like sci fi. I guess those two don't go together except we each happen to hate what the other one likes in these instances.

Despite it all, we really get along. I'm a lucky lady.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Another year!

Well, I knew it had been a while since I posted but yikes-since September??

This may have been our best year at Sudbury even if at one point I was sure I would pull them out.
I know I'm supposed to trust the process but it's hard. Amazingly though, everything seems to work out so maybe if I hold the lessons of this year in my heart it will be easier from now on. (Doubt it.)

Since we don't get progress reports or parent teacher conferences I will create my own.

Amelia: She took off. Served on JC for something like 5 months. Joined the sewing club and was introduced to the trials and tribulations of business when she busted her ass making stuffed animals, creatures, to sell at the Winter Gift Sale and only sold two-to me and her grandfather. Was involved with the Playground committee and they hired this guy Rusty Keeler to help them build a natural playscape. She was right in there pushing wheelbarrows and using a drill. Started reading chapter books. She's in a rush to grow up and likes hanging out with the older kids. Also got into playing Magic. She taught me but I haven't gotten the hang of it yet.

Desmond: The changes in Des are more subtle. He's learned how to read but isn't reading books. He pretty much just hangs out with his friends all day. More interested in music but refuses any instruction. Ray and I go back and forth on this because he seems to have a genuine talent for it. He also learned to play magic.

Cady: Cady has actually shown herself to be more independent and resourceful for her age than Des and Amelia were. I think Des just got certified for the microwave this year. I'm not sure if Cady is but she has no problem asking for help with it and she managed to acquire a couple of mugs to heat her stuff up in. One thing I learned about Cady is that she would rather ask for forgiveness than permission. We've had to sit down a few times and explain our expectations and standards that have to be met whether they are the rules at Sudbury or not. Also, I have had to rescue a lot of stuff from the morgue.

Ray: Still suspicious, still thinks it wouldn't kill them to have some formal instruction. Still worries but maybe a little bit less.

Me: Was asked by Amelia to stop posting stuff on the email list because she didn't like hearing about it in SM. There are three parents responsible for about 90% of the discussion on the list. I am/was one of them. It just occurred to me that she would go bananas if she knew about the blog. Went from loving the school to hating the school to loving the school again by years end. Why? Possibly from holding it to an unrealistically high standard, especially when you consider what they are trying to accomplish. "Democracy is messy" is a common refrain at HVSS. It's also imperfect and I found myself observing two separate situations with students, who were not my kids so I won't go into details, and became increasingly frustrated as I saw SM get it wrong, in my opinion (qualifying every statement with the phrase "in my opinion" is also very common at HVSS) , over and over again. Until they got it right. So this year I learned that I need to be as patient with SM and allow them their mistakes as I am with my own kids. Because, the majority of SM are students working through their own stuff. I wish I had come to this conclusion before sending an impassioned but inappropriate and wrong headed email to staff. Oh well, as I grow older (I turned 40 in December) I find it easier to work with some aspects of my personality rather than try to completely change it.

On a completely different topic, I read quite a bit of war diaries of Field Marshal Alanbrooke. He was the commander of the British Army during WWII. I realized that lots of short posts (or entries should I ever return to paper and pen) can be as satisfying as long meandering ones.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Questions and odds and ends

That elimination diet I got bored of blogging about? I made it all the way down to water and it has completely changed my diet. I've stopped snacking and still haven't had soda. In case you were wondering. that's an odd and end.

I've become preoccupied with trying to figure out exactly what my path was down the stairs. This started when I realized that all of my bruises were on my right side. I also knocked some pictures off the wall and have a hazy memory of actually taking a step or two. Maybe. But my bruises surprised me because I had this image of being on my left. Maybe because I broke my left wrist. That falls under "questions".

Cady has started at Sudbury. She is loving it. I stopped by the other day and loved seeing her there. There are more little kids than I thought. I had this terrible image of her following/being rebuffed by D and A and their friends all day but that isn't happening. I knew it wouldn't but I like to worry. This is neither an odd, an end nor a question but this blog is supposed to be about Sudbury after all so I thought I would throw it in.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The story of me falling down the stairs

I often have trouble sleeping, I usually wake up at 3 and can't get back to sleep. This morning that happened except it was 5:30 but really dark. I hemmed and hawed and then decided to get up and get some work done (play on Facebook) before I went to work.

Normally we have a hall light on but the kids were sleeping at my MIL's. I could see the end of the hall from the faint light of the nitelite in the boys' room. I didn't turn the hall light on because our door was open and didn't want it to bother Ray. I took a step into the TV room and my foot went down. I thought "That's funny. i don't remember there being a step here." My other foot was on it's way, and my brain shrieked "oh fuck! the stairs!"

My mind turned a rectangular darkness of an unlit room into a descending diagonal darkness of an unlit staircase as I fell down. I know I was thinking "I'm falling. I'm falling. I'm falling down the stairs." and my face and arms were banging and banging away until I got to the bottom. It happened very quickly and very slowly. When I got to the bottom I knew I had to scream to wake Ray up but when I did scream it didn't seem loud enough but when I said "Ray I fell down the stairs!" it sounded like a scream. He was dazed but turned on the light and came rushing down. He helped me turn over and I said "Call 911". As he was on the phone I got myself up and staggered over to the couch. My left arm hurt when I moved and my head was in a world of pain. He brought me boo boo kitty for the worst bump and kept saying I would be ok. I said "You don't know that!" I couldn't believe that I might have killed myself all because I didn't turn on the light.

I broke my left wrist, I have two black eyes plus scrapes and lumps on my face and a big contusion on my right shoulder. We were back from the ER by 10 am. I am thoroughly exhausted but can't go to sleep. The kids are home, and even with three lights on I'm worried about them up in the middle of the night. I'm worried about me in the middle of the night. I'm worried that the staircase will suck one of us down and this time we won't be so lucky.

I know this isn't a typical post but I wanted to get it out of my head so I can get some sleep.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Day 5

Bye bye eggs and dairy. I drink a lot of milk. and it's tomato season so I have been eating fresh mozzarella like nobody's business. Oh well.

I noticed a couple of things today: I haven't been waking up hungry. Usually the first thing I want in the morning is too eat. I also am noting true hunger. Not the light headed crankiness that I feel and view as hunger. My hunger is a different sensation and one that is so infrequent normally, compared to my other food cues, that I almost had to stop and identify it.

I also thought about abundance today. At dinnertime, I was standing at the open fridge and saying "No,no no" to just about everything in it. I have been eating the same stuff over and over: peanut butter and carrots, peanut butter and apples, breadsticks, corn, tomatoes. I didn't want any of it. I started poking through some more and made myself a nice little salad and found some zucchini Ray had sauteed. This made me think how easy it is for us. When I'm hungry, I just grab some crackers or if I'm out a bag of crap and munch munch munch. I don't think about what I'm going to cook or eat. I can have whatever I want and I almost invariably pick the worst but easiest option. But when my choices are limited I've become more creative and stretched myself. Maybe food shouldn't be easy. Maybe I should always put the thought, time and consideration into my meals as I have the past few days.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Day 4

Meat was not a problem. Trying to eat food without additives in this culture is incredibly difficult. Especially if you find yourself out and starving. I ended up eating a half a bag of carrots with Finn.

Quitting soda is almost as hard as quitting smoking. Not the internal craving but the external cues. That shit is everywhere. Everywhere, dammit! Saying no to myself makes it easier for me to say no to the kids though. I would cave and give them garbage all the time because I wanted it myself.

This experiment is so much about small victories. I was making corn muffins for Finn this morning and took a bit of batter. A couple of moments later I realized what I had done and started down the "I already had one so one more won't hurt" path. I stood there looking at the empty batter bowl (one of the joys of my eating life is empty batter bowls, as a child my spatula wielding aunt was my sworn enemy, there was nothing worse than hanging around the kitchen as my grandmother made brownies and see all those glorious leftovers for me and my sister, we would draw a line down the middle of the bowl with a finger for fairness sake, only to have my aunt come in and ruin it with that wood handled white plastic top spatula saying "ma, look how much you're leaving") thinking, how badly do I want this? I seriously stood at the kitchen sink for a good long while, trying to decide if I should indulge in a bit of scraping. I finally decided to skip it and then make a point to see if I felt like I had missed something or felt deprived. Of course I didn't.

On the other hand, later in the day I had a screaming headache again and I did take some excedrin. It seemed better to take that than to suffer all night and feel discouraged and talk myself into taking more liberties. I think the little swipes and nibbles are more damaging in the long run because you don't think about their cumulative effect.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Day three

On the surface, today would not appear to be very successful and yet I feel wildly successful. Today I was supposed to give up refined sugars and flours. Plus, I needed to pay more attention to additives. The first problem was at breakfast because almost every single thing had additives or refined sugar or refined flour or some combo of the three. I finally ate half a bagel feeling that at least it didn't have additives or preservatives. I had meant to bring lunch with me to a friend's house. Forgot it, she had pasta so that's what I had. but a small bowl. Then I had some panzanella bread with Ray. Again i rationalized this as no additives. then I had a small bowl of ice cream (because I have to give up dairy on friday) with no additives but, oops, sugar. That's the bad news. The good news is no soda AND I didn't resort to an excedrin. I drank tons and tons of water. When I had said bowl of ice cream I picked out the bits of chocolate chip cookie dough. I felt like I was continuing to make better if not great choices.

Tomorrow I give up meat. Which is why I had a delightful, if bunless, hamburger for dinner tonight.

I also ate a bunch of watermelon and salad and tomato by the way. It wasn't just a carb struggle all day long.