Month: July 2004

Meal planning

In an effort to actually serve meals at regular intervals, today I sat down and wrote out a Meal Plan. I planned breakfast, lunch, and dinner for an entire month. In theory this eliminates the two hours of “what shall we have for dinner” which seems a nightly negotiation around here. Now when I look at the clock and realize it is supper time, I can look at my calendar and know what to fix.

Before you get too impressed with my meal management prowess, you should know that pretty much every single breakfast slot is filled with the word “cereal” Lunches rotate between “Sandwich” “Hot dog” and “Mac & Cheese”. Dinners are a little more varied, but I still have Spaghetti down every Tuesday. Mondays are soups. Fridays are grill nights. You get the idea.

When I first came up with this meal plan idea I was a little worried about how repetitive it was. Howard wisely told me “It can’t possibly be any more repetitive than chicken nuggets every night.”

Life is going to happen and I know that there will be nights where I completely disregard the schedule. But having it is a good thing.


Howard’s cousin Steve and Steve’s son Tayler came to BBQ and stay the night last night.  I’d never met either one of them before and now I understand even more that some of the coolness that is Howard must be genetic because it was enormous amounts of fun. …

Perceptions of Daddy

Today both Link and Gleek made me laugh out loud. I just have to share.

We were in the car and Link spied a Volkswagen Beetle the same green color as Howard’s. He said: “A green buggy! It’s not Schlock though so it’s not Dad. It must be Dad’s friend.”

Gleek was watching a movie and then cried out with indignation and a scowl: “Dads are not with hair!”


The other night Howard pointed out that since I’ve started this live journal I’ve been online a lot more. That combined with Gleeks plea for mommy to “Stop looking at your computer!” has given me food for thought.

Live Journal has definitely altered my online habits some. But I actually think the fact that the kids are out of school for the summer has more to do with my increased online time. The unstructured nature of summertime means that while I have more “free” time, less actually gets done. If I have all day to do one thing, it probably won’t get done. If I have 10 things to do and only 2 hours, I’ll probably do them all and maybe one or two more besides. It is all a matter of focus.

In the winter I KNOW I don’t have time to run downstairs and do online stuff more than twice a day. In the summer I’m online more often than that.

I just need to make being online my reward for getting stuff done.

Reading Incentives

Kiki is a reader. The only way I could get her to stop reading would be to remove all printed matter from the house and then she’d be off at the neighbors begging for books. This is a good thing.

Link is just beginning to learn to read. His road to reading fluency is not going to be as easy as Kiki’s was. In an effort to make reading something Link wants to do, I’ve insituted a reading incentive program. In the interests of avoiding whining, I’ve included Kiki.

Link and Kiki each get to pick an Item they want to earn, a toy, or a game, basically whatever shiny thing currently has their eye. Then based on the price of the item we set up a chart with check boxes to mark off points. Each point is worth roughly 10 cents, so a $10 item is 100 points. Link gets one point for each 8 page phonics reader book he reads. Kiki gets one point for each 25 pages of a chapter book that she reads.

So far so good. My goal for both children is literacy and that can be gained by being read to, as well as by reading. Unfortunately finding time to sit down and read to Link or Kiki is very difficult. Invariably Gleek comes along and plops in the middle of the story. Then she gets bored because there are no pictures. Then she begins climbing the back of the couch and doing acrobatics over our heads. This always ends in her landing on us and somebody crying. Patches ends reading sessions even more quickly by climbing into the middle of the snuggle and then grabbing the book.

But tonight I had a brilliant idea. Tonight I turned to Kiki and told her she’d get triple points on anything that she read to Link. And I turned to Link and told him that however many points Kiki got, he’d get the same number. They both lit up and ran off to go read. It’s educational Judo! I have them teaching each other! I love it when I can manage stuff like this.

Thoughts on Lori Hacking

The disapearance of Lori Hacking which is a local event here and has made national news has been much on my mind lately.  Hard to not have it on my mind since everywhere I go people are discussing it.  The thing that bothers me most is the way that people are discussing it.  They are almost always the fearful discussions of people who find this kind of event beyond comprehension.  I read a fantastic book about a year ago which makes this kind of thing not only comprehensible, but predictable.  The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker.

I highly recommend this book to everyone.  After reading it I have been much less fearful of violence.  I feel like I know better how to predict it and what to do if it threatens.  Gavin de Becker knows his subject and explains it thoroughly.  I wish Lori Hacking had read it.  Maybe then she could have protected herself from abduction or from her own husband whichever happened to her.

No title, just rambles.

I’ve just mentally scanned my schedule for the next month and all I can say is “Eeep!” Where is the routine? There is no succession of days where I can establish regular times for getting up or meals or putting kids to bed and such. Mothers of Four thrive on routine. Autopilot is my friend.

Oh well, School starts on August 23 and it will provide plenty of routine. I just need to manage the intervening 4 weeks to get there.

The good news is that some of the stuff in the next four weeks I’m really looking forward to. In two weeks I load kids and head for Boise to a family reunion. 11 adults, 11 kids, 1 house, Whee! The kids love it and I love the time after the kids are in bed when I get to sit and visit with parents and siblings. Or play games, we do that too.

Colliding with the end of the reunion is Fandemonium. That’s when I get to escape the over-stuffed house, leaving some of the children behind to play with cousins, and head to a nice Hotel.

At the hotel will be many online friends whom I’ll get the chance to meet in person for the first time. It’ll also be my first ever Con. I also get to be on a panel at the con. And since Howard is Guest of Honor he’ll frequently be in the spotlight. I tend to stand next to him, that puts me in the spotlight too. The potential for public embarassment in front of people I want to impress is pretty high here. I hope I’m up to it.

Bad mommy.

This morning Gleek came downstairs and sat next to me on the floor with sad eyes and a very sad pout and said “Mommy, stop looking at your computer.” Even sadder is the fact that she said it three times before the words registered in my brain and I turned to look at her.

It’s just possible that I’ve spent too much time online lately.


Sometimes I wish I could be Vulcan. Then I’d have control over emotions that have no logical basis. I still seem to be able to weigh the pros and cons of a particular situation and make what seems to be the wisest choice even if it isn’t the choice I emotionally want. So far so good. But I can’t stop FEELING. If the logical conclusion is one that makes me sad or scared I can’t make the sad and scared go away. Not even if logically there is no reason for feeling that way.