Monday, November 19, 2007

Busy times, much confusion

I kept wanting to post all weekend, but I wasn't quite sure what to write about. I have about twenty different things I want to cover, but none of them seem to come out right, and frankly this blog is beginning to be a bit too negative even for my taste! And it's not over just yet.

I know all of you understand why I feel rather anxious, and maybe you are happy to read me anyway, but there are a few other factors going on as well. Things I seem to not quite get out.

I actually owe several of you emails, some from weeks ago, and I'm slowly answering them, please don't assume I'm ignoring you!

So, under the category of stress, not pregnancy-related:

Like my kids are generally happy about this pregnancy and life in general and I know that my post last week maybe made it sound like they were completely traumatized. Well, they aren't, they just aren't sure what to think about it all. And before you assume it's because I told them too soon, or because they are older, well, not quite. All of our families, the elderly & senile, the seemingly unfeeling relative, and the tiniest babies we are around, can sense our stress and pick it up like sponges. It affects everything, all the time. Kids know when something is up, and react just like we do, even if they don't have the words for it.

Right now, Kaz is worried about writing the SSAT and getting into this high school, and frankly, I'm not even quite sure why we're bothering to apply, I mean, why add to the stress right now? Who cares? He can apply next year, or the year after. Meanwhile, hockey started this week and he's convinced he isn't as good as he was. Poor guy, he's been off the ice for ages, so naturally he'll need a few weeks to get better. I'm going to get him into a goalie camp for Christmas break and maybe a few weekend sessions. He'll feel better when he sees some success.

Mac's teacher is driving me up a wall, because she isn't teaching the right curriculum, yet tells the principal she is. (She thinks it's too hard for the kids, and worries it will hurt their feelings if they don't get every question right, so she is dumbing it down.) He's bored out of his mind, and is acting up, and she's so focused on encouraging their self-esteem and not being too hard on the poor little dears, they are walking all over her. I know she doesn't see it this way----but for pete's sake, after all these years I think I know a little something about this. And based on everything I've read, children don't learn from false praise, they learn from being praised when they succeed. If they make mistakes, tell them how to fix it, and try again. Re-teach it if you have to, but don't just let them slide----I mean, how does that solve anything? At the same time, punishing them for acting up when they are bored to tears isn't very productive either. I can't be all wrong about this?

Renovations are taking longer than ever, because my husband doesn't even want to talk to an architect or get things going unless we have every dime we need in the bank already---stupid, since architects take time to design, and municipal housing authorities take even longer to approve this stuff. So why not work on the slow stuff while we save up the cash? Worst comes to worst, we decide not to go ahead, and we've only wasted my time and a few thousand bucks. Best case scenario, we are ready to tear down on a dime.

We can't go on vacation anywhere out of town due to Mr.Cotta's veto, and I really really wanted to go somewhere warm and sunny this winter. (We've never gone on a nice vacation, anywhere, EVER, except for cottages, which are NOT vacations as you all know.) I mean, I know we can't go to South America and explore the jungle, but somewhere first world? Like Florida, or Arizona, or a resort somewhere nice and warm? Holy mackerel, I'm sure you guys could give me great names of U.S. hospitals just in case I needed one, right? Bahamas and some of the islands in the Caribbean have great facilities, if you have the insurance. And as long as I'm in the second trimester, my Doc has no problem with me traveling. Frankly, as long as I keep taking these shots and my progesterone, why not?

Well, Mr.Cotta is extremely paranoid. He doesn't want me to do anything! Well, except domestic stuff, which is far more strenuous than sitting beside a pool, I think. Hmmm, laundry, chauffeuring children and making dinner vs. hanging out in a cabana with my feet up? Yep, staying home sounds veeerrry relaxing. *eyeroll*

The furniture debate is still alive and well, since the coffee table just left, and we need a new entertainment/stereo table as well. Shopping is much harder than I ever thought. Everything seems to be bad quality these days, even in the expensive stores. I'm still working on this one.

And last bitch of the day, I'm having problems with scheduling and confusion around the house. My calendar and contacts haven't been updated properly, and I can't seem to get any proper help organizing paper, and getting it all inputted electronically. My organizer is great with non-paper stuff, but she doesn't do paper, and I really really need to hire an office temp or something. Because right now, I'm completely lost, and I am horribly bad at doing this myself. I always say I will, and then I don't. Time to give up and ask for help.

Thank you for listening to this grumpy bitch session. Done for today, okay?


  1. Your kids are resilient and you are right about telling them. They know something is up and I always think reality is worse than fear of the unknown.

    Mac's teacher is like a lot of elementaly school teachers imo. That is why I teach highschool. I think kids learn self-esteem exactly the way you describe. I did learn in teacher's college that there are some who do need all that touchy feely stuff, it is actually important to their learning. That was perhaps the single most important thing I learned in Teacher's College - that I need to be nice. For me it was always more important that the teacher knew their stuff than knew may name but for other kids they cannot learn without that personal connection. It doesn't help your son right now because she is not a good fit for his skills and I don't even know what to say except I'm sorry, that sucks.

    I think you should head to the cabana for sure.

  2. Yes, there are a whole lot of teachers, and even whole school systems, who think that self-esteem is built by providing positive reinforcement and not challenging the kids too much. Bad idea. And very frustrating. My parents fought the school system for years to get some challenging work for my sister. Ah, the memories. The stuff that works (empirically verified and everything) is called effort-based praise, and is based on that exact idea that you praise students for working hard and you arm them with confidence to tackle harder tasks. Duh.

  3. Strange to me that I came here to comment about the school thing too and so have the 2 before me. I have a preschooler and don't know much about elementary but I do know that I won't stand for my child not being challenged. I think it's a waste. You may have to try to do more of it at home, although that's not what she's (the teacher) paid for.

  4. Well, I suppose you could go on vaca without Mr. Cotta. Or would that not be fun for you?

  5. My tip for paperwork - when you get a bill or anything in the mail, put it on the calendar and throw it out. You have all the info you need (due date and amount) and less clutter.

    We do need to get together. I was going to call you this evening, but can't open my email for some strange reason and that is where your number is. Sigh.

  6. When it rains it pours.
    So what spew away dear friend...that's what the blogosphere is for.

  7. Sigh. Just sigh. I hope at least half these things sort themselves out. It's funny how when you're stressed already, everything seems to get on top of you.


  8. Hmmm, so much to comment on here. The Fitjutsu scansnap is solving my paper problems,129085/article.html
    I'm just having to tackle paper all the way back from my twin pregnancy which is just massive. Yes, it SEEMS real expensive, but it does come with a FULL version of Adobe Acrobat. If you hunt around you can get a cheaper price and a $50 rebate. This is one of those products that I absolutely love, and would buy again on a heartbeat.

    While you are at it get a decent paper shredder. This one takes staples