Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Readers, where have you gone?

As I've been reading some of my older posts, I've noticed that I've lost a lot of readers. Why is this I wonder?

*Is it because I complain too much?

*Is it because I'm too negative?

*Is it because I'm not as funny as I used to be?

*Is it because my posting schedule is erratic and therefore difficult to follow/predict?

*Is it because I announced that I was going to take a break from blogging a few months ago?

*Are my bible swears too offensive?

Among the readers I have lost there are multiple friends which are very dear to me, a brother (who is one of three total, but the only one that read my blog), a handful of sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, a fair amount of cousins, a couple of Aunts, and a partridge in a pear tree (yeah, the humor quotient has really gone down, hasn't it?).

Hm. I wonder. Well, if you are still out there readers, please know that you are loved and missed.

*Please note, these questions are not necessarily rhetorical, if you know why--do tell!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Drafts + Commentary Part Dos (that's Spanish for "two")

This one is a little heated--beware!!

Educational Reform

Our educational system is so completely screwed up, and I can't believe that I'm the only person who thinks so.
First and foremost, I have no damn idea what my son does all day long. Excuse me for being an "involved parent" but I'd like to know what the child I'm responsible for is doing all day long. There should be a day where parents come and participate in whatever is going on, and there needs to be more communication between parents and teachers. Most of the crap that Gabe comes home with, I have no idea how to interpret, and I'm not an idiot (no comments from the peanut gallery please).
Second of all, there is too much homework. Today for example: Gabe comes home from school at 4:05 ish, and he takes about 20 minutes to get settled at home (snack, putting stuff away, getting yelled at for giving me attitude etc) so at roughly 4:25, we start homework. Today he had a math packet that he was supposed to "do what he can each night" on which I interpreted to mean one page a night, and then he was to read with me for 15 minutes in a designated book. After that, we were supposed to go over a sight reading sheet and fill out a little slip that looked like this:
____________ has read this sight reading sheet ___________ times. signed ___________
___________ has read independently for at least 15 minutes on these days: M T W Th F S
Could this possibly be any more vague? No where in Gabe's homework list from the teacher did it say how many times he was supposed to go over this sight reading sheet, so we went over it once. Then, at the bottom of the sight reading page it said that "the child should be reading independently for 15 minutes every day." So, being the non-idiot that I am, I gather that to mean that my son is also being asked to read an additional 15 minutes each day for a total of 30 minutes of reading. He's in first grade. He's six. HE JUST STARTED LEARNING TO READ! I don't even read that much in a day. So that's where I drew the line and on his little "slip" I filled out:
____Gabe_____ has read his sight reading sheet ____one____ times.
signed _____(me)_______
And I left the rest blank because by that time, it was 5:30, my three year old was destroying the house and enjoying the fact that my undivided attention was on Gabe's cursed homework, my baby was crying, I still hadn't started dinner, and I had already had enough of nagging Gabe to do the first HOUR of homework so there was no way in hell that I was going to force him to read for another 15 minutes.
On days like these (which, lets face it, are everyday) I find myself pondering the need for homework in our kids lives. I mean, isn't that what they spend all day long at school for? By the time Gabe is finished with his homework, it's dinner and then an hour until bedtime leaving very little time for family stuff and friends and unstructured play and being a kid.
Lastly, I think that summer is completely outdated. Why on Earth are our kids spending three months out of the year doing absolutely nothing? What purpose does this serve? Doesn't it make more sense from a learning stand point to keep kids in school for the whole year? Balance people, balance. I mean who is the idiot that said, double the work for part of the year when they won't be able to play at all and then the rest of the year they'll sit on their thumbs and do nothing. This isn't a new problem, just look at how many summer programs there are out there.
I'm so fed up with having to conform to a failing system that is nowhere near capable of reforming to the amount that needs to be reformed at any time soon. And the thing is, I don't think I'm a beleiver of Home Schooling either, at least not for me because I'm nowhere nearly qualified to teach

--Firstly, I feel as though I should apologize profusely for my bible swears. I know there are plenty of people who think that those words are unacceptable, and for their ears I am truly sorry. But hey--I was mad. Really mad. Generally when I'm angry I tend to exaggerate (ha ha haaaa haaa!!), but this was not one of those times. Seriously. Gabe really did have that much homework last year, and I still laugh at the fact that he has so much less this year! Also, It should be noted that he had a really hard year last year. We all did. And my feelings for summer have not changed in the slightest. Honestly, it's the largest oversight of the last century. Basically, I still totally feel that our educational system is just one huge ugly mess. Oh how I wish I could find a private or charter school to send my kids to where they spent more time out of desks than in them, and where there was much less testing. Ah well. At least this year we have a teacher that doesn't belittle our child and then send him home with hours of homework to do, right? Baby steps...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Drafts + Commentary

Sometimes, when I get the urge to blog, I start a post and then save it as a draft. Some of these drafts were never finished and published, but as I was looking through them the other day, I thought it might be interesting to publish what I had written--you know--just for funsies. Here they are in chronological order along with an update/commentary:

Weighty Matters and Monday Stuff

Good morning!

The time has come for me to get serious about weight loss, as you may have read, I have two kids the youngest of which is 4 months old. Consequently I have much weight to be lost. I am currently a size ** (yes I am admitting this, I feel comfort in the ability to be candid) which happens to be the biggest I have ever been, and I did it all because of and for my children. This is ironic because I never thought that my sacrifice for my children would be my body--I always thought it would be the time I spent caring for them etc. Well, lets be honest, I've sacrificed just about everything from the beginning. But I have been surprised to discover that the sacrifice that has been the most trying for me has been my body. I am also surprised to realize how much I really did like my body before all of this happened. When I think about all the wasted time I spent thinking my body wasn't good enough it makes me crazy. It's true though, I really have given every square inch of my body to my children, and part of that I can live with. (by the way, I should warn you that I am prone to run on sentances and comma splicing. It's part of who I am and if you are going to read this blog you'll just have to deal with it.) The point I am desperately trying to make is that I hate being a size **, it's just unacceptable. Interestingly enough, I have learned that I have a small bone frame and should weigh about 135-140 which puts me at roughly a size 8 and this is what I am shooting for. A little background information on bone frames for those of you that are misinformed: Tall and "big-boned" are not the same thing. You can be tall and have a small bone frame or you can be short and have a large bone frame etc. I myself have been accused of being big boned just because I am tall, and that infuriated me. Here is the method for determining your bone structure size. Measure your wrist

**size omitted for personal reasons. I am happy to report that after nearly 3 years, I have been able to lose that weight and become a size 8. I am planning on doing a post about this though just as soon as I get off my lazy behind and take an "after" pic. Stay tuned. For those of you who are dying to know more about body frames after that little cliffhanger of mine, visit this website and have some fun. Also, it should be stated that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being "big-boned," I was just tired of it being used as an excuse by others for my weight. I knew I was carrying too much weight for my frame, and now I am able to prove it. Please never use the term "big-boned" as a euphemism for fat, all it does is cause confusion. Look at Gabby Reece for crying out loud, she has a large bone frame and she is gorgeous. Being "big-boned" is not a bad thing, it just doesn't always go with being tall. That's all I'm trying to say.

Recurring Nightmare

Last night I had a dream that I dream quite frequently. I dreamed that I was back in High School, and that I had missed a series of days of Math and Biology and a few other classes and it put me seriously behind in my studies. I had missed several homework assignments and I had an insane amount of make up work to do. It was looking like I wasn't going to graduate. I am always panicked during this dream, because it was never like me to miss so many classes and not do my work. I can't begin to tell you the relief I feel when I wake up and realize I am not in High School anymore because I have in fact graduated.

What does this mean? I hate recurring dreams because I start to wonder if there is some unresolved issue in my life that continues to bring on this dream. This morning I woke up wondering if this dream meant that I need to finish my college education...

...and I'm doing that very thing right now. I've tried to justify this for some time now, trying to figure out wether it was worth the time and money etc., and I finally just had to have an honest talk with myself which went a little something like this: "Ali, what do you really want?" "Well, self, really, I just want a degree. I just want it, and I want it from BYU and I don't care what subject it's in or whether or not it will be 'useful' in the present or future." After that talk I was finally able to set some serious goals and stop flirting around with other options.

My Jon

--when I've done something totally crazy and embarrassing, he not only tells me it wasn't crazy and that I shouldn't be embarrassed, he spends the next 30 mins telling me just how perfectly sane and reasonable my actions were.

--he acts as though my body hasn't gone through major change caused by childbearing (and child rearing for that matter).

--he put "buy Ali a new book" on his list of things to do because I had finished a favorite series and was out of things to read even though I know he doesn't love how all consumed I get when I read a good book.

--he actually bought and wore a surgical mask when he came down with strep throat just so he could spare me and the kids from getting sick. And he wore it in public too.

--he loses his ability to reason when anyone has wronged any of his kids.

Despite the fact that I generally hate "I love my spouse so much" blog posts*, I felt inclined to write this one day and tell you all about the little things my husband does that I find absolutely wonderful. One that is missing is taking out the trash. No really, I find myself constantly noticing that Jon has taken time out of his day to empty the diaper pail into the larger trash cans, and this touches me in a very profound way every time (I swear I am not being facetious). Profound, I think, because it is such a seemingly small act, but really it means that he is willing to deal with the most disgusting and foul thing on this planet in order to save me from having to. And he never even mentions it or complains. *sigh* I have the best husband ever--he so totally gets me.

*this doesn't in any way mean that I don't love my husband, nor does it mean that I'm not thankful that everyone else loves their spouse, I just think that these things are expressed in a public manner FAR TOO OFTEN.


Fast as:
A mom running with a potty-bound toddler

Have you ever seen that version of A Christmas Carol with George C. Scott as Scrooge? It's my very favorite version, and one of my favorite parts is when they play the game "similes." Anyway, I decided to come up with a list of my own new similes, but as you can see, this is all I've been able to come up with since 09/04/08. Lame? Yeah, kinda.

Alright, that concludes part one of Drafts + Commentary because the next one is reeeaaally long, and I've taken advantage of your time enough already for one post.