Friday, March 23, 2012

Listen To Your Mother

So, I got picked to perform a written piece in this show called Listen To Your Mother.
It's a national series of live readings by local writers in celebration of Mother's Day.  There are ten shows happening and I will be in the Chicago one with 15 other local writers.  I'm pretty freaking excited!  And nervous, and questioning "what in the hell are you doing?", but I'm trying to shut that voice up. 
We had our first read through this past Sunday and I am so humbled to be a part of this performance.  The sharings are amazing.  The cast is amazing.  This whole thing is amazing.  Seriously, take a minute to check out who I'll be performing with here
Tickets went on sale to the public yesterday.  They are $20, less processing fees.  The show will take place on Sunday, May 6th at 7pm at the Biograph Theater in Chicago.  You can click here for show info and here to buy tickets, or call the box office at 773-871-3000.
Tickets are going fast.  As of noon yesterday, a mere 5 hours after on-line internet sales went live to the public, over 1/2 of the tickets were sold.  GET YOURS NOW!   
10% of the ticket proceeds will be donated to Bright Pink, which is the only national non-profit organization focusing on the prevention and early detection of ovarian and breast cancer in young women.
If you click here you can read the Tinley Park Triblocal article about the show as well.  My name is in it, so you'll want to do that ;)
Oh, and this show is PG13 for language and content - you can thank me for hitting both of those up in my piece.  See!  Don't you want to come now and hear what I have to say, totally pricked your curiosity.

*Why YES, I am a shameless self promoter!*

This Week 3/19/12 - Not a Photo Intensive Post

Those are rare here.  I usually rely heavily on the photos that I take to help show you what we have been up to.  Not this week though - ehhh....just one of those weeks. 
Monday Cody had a doctors appointment and I had to go right into work after it, bringing the boys with me.  That missing hour from his appointment set us bask a little on completing our work for the day.
Tuesday we headed out to our homeschool co-op.  I just kind of thought this was funny
I don't know, irony maybe?  Whatever.  From there the plan was to go grocery shopping because it was time to do that.  Well, that never happened (it still hasn't - it's amazing what you can concoct with mustard and green salsa that passes as edible).  Tuesday was a tough day for me.  I may blog about it late, maybe not.  Whatever.
Wednesday I had to work.  Wednesday is not a normal work day for me.  I took the shift to make up for some time I had taken off and because I thought that this week was our Spring Break Week.  Yeah, it wasn't.  It's next week.  But I didn't want to put the person whose shift I took into a messy predicament, so we cut our school day short and headed into my work.  Cody played basketball, worked out and read a book while Chris was in the Child Care center.  They had two hours to kill before Dave would be by to pick them up.  I hate, HATE, HATE! bringing them into work with me.  I'm fortunate to have that ability though. 
Thursday we had a "modified" lazy school day (you'll have to take my word on that, I have no photos).  We went to visit Dave at work, had lunch with him and Cody finished up his pinewood derby car.  Then we went to the midnight showing of the Hunger Games

Dave got the tickets for the three of us to go last week.  Chris had a blast spending the night at Dave's cousins house, likely getting really, really spoiled. 
The Hunger Games was the first book we used as a literature study when we started homeschooling.  The cool thing is that this morning we were talking about the movie and then the book series and then I was able to connect 1984 (which we are reading now) to the Hunger Games.  Cody's face lit up when he realized they had similarities.  COOL!
Today we are chilling.  My plan was to get Chris in the am and go back to sleep.  We didn't get home until 3pm from the movie last night and I didn't get to bed until 4am.  Four hours of sleep does not make for a good Steph.  But nope, that plan was foiled by the tree trimming service across the street.  I'll sleep like a baby tonight though, which is good because I have to get up at 5am for work tomorrow.
There is this though
  totally unsolicited, he did this himself.  =)  Also, very cool!
Have a great weekend. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

This Would Qualify As "Other Stuff"

I write about other stuff too...not just homeschooling.  This would be one of those posts.

You know, they are going to break your heart.  You will slump your shoulders and your chest will concave in agonizing grief and questionable quilt.  It's going to happen.  Go ahead, look at your 18 month old, that little 2 year old, your 2nd grader...they are going to grow up and make you question your ability to be a parent by the choices they make. 
Monday was tough.  Really, really tough.  Work sucked - BIG TIME.  I hadn't had a day like that since leaving 3rd shift.  So, a long time.  When I got home my lovely husband let me vent and then hit me with a bomb. 
I sat very still as he relayed what happened, what was going on.  I remember asking "what time is it" as I turned to look in the direction of the clock with a voice so determined and sad and realized it was 11:01pm.  In my mind, not too late to react.  To jump up and take the stairs two at a time with speed I do not posses.  I think I scared Dave though because he convinced me that it was too late to wake anyone up.
I think that I'm doing the right thing, that I'm raising my boys up in a manner which will exemplify the fine young men that they are, that I want them to be and then "normal teenage boy stuff" gets thrown into the mix.  I don't know "normal teenage boy stuff" - what the hell is that?!
I know what I wanted to do Monday night at 11:01pm was go upstairs and assault.  To scream my disappointment, likely smack him, likely use "fuck" as a noun, verb, and pronoun and say many things that I would later regret.   Instead I sat on the couch, my shoulders slumped forward, concave chest and my head in my hands thinking about where I had gone wrong as his mother. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

This Week 3/12/12 - It's March and 80 Out!

This week was absolutely gorgeous!  We have had temperatures in the high 70's, with sun pretty much all week. 
Monday we pretty much spent a good chunk of our day at the dentist office, doing school work and then I had to work at night.  I don't like packed days like that, I feel way too rushed and not centered.
Tuesday we trekked out to the land of Plainfield for our co-op.  The boys did their gym classes, ate lunch and then we headed home to finish up school work.
Wednesday I declared a SUN DAY and we took the day off from "formal" schooling and headed to the forest preserve to hike.  We took Slayer with us; she was a very happy puppy.

He's making sure that it's okay to go up the hill.

The boys climbed these stairs.  It's an old toboggan slide run.  The slides were pulled out, the stairs are still there and people go there to exercise.  Fricking insane, if you ask me!

Proof of a successful hike.
Chris had karate and scouts later that night.  He's been learning his kata to earn his yellow belt.  In scouts the played games.

Thursday was Dave's birthday.  We did some school work in the morning and then we met him for a picnic lunch and the boys got to play at a park near his work.  Miss Molly came over to hang out for a bit as well.  Later in the evening we went for a special Birthday Dinner.   
The cat makes a rare downstairs appearance.

Chris finishing up his Jersey Mikes

Playing at the park

Molly eating puffs.  Cody doing math.

Chris working on history.

Cody, Chris and Dave


It's dinner AND entertainment!

Friday we headed out to The Farm for some Nature Studies, Exploring and Fishing


And then Saturday we attended Cody's Basketball Banquet. 
Chris finished up a science experiment involving baking soda, water and string - crystals grew!  And we started another one with food colored water and celery.

Tomorrow I'm heading out to Oak Park for the first read through for Listen to Your Mother.  I'm very excited to meet everyone who will be int he production and hear their pieces. 
That's all I have for now.  Have a great week!

Friday, March 9, 2012

This Week 3/5/12 - I Don't Have a Clever Title, Sorry. Oh Wait - GUNS ARE COOL!

Here it is, close to 10pm on Friday evening and I'm exhausted!  We spent about 4 hours outside today shooting guns and all that fresh air tuckered me out.  That's kind of sad now that I think about it.  Something as simple as fresh air being tiring. 
This week we started off with a day off on Monday in observation of Pulaski Day.  What is Pulaski Day, you may be asking.  WELL  what I was always told was that Pulaski Road (Pulaski by where I lived, Crawford further south) was renamed such in order to drum up the Polish vote for something or another in Chicago.  I'm not sure if there is any correlation with that and the holiday, but Chicago has a large Polish population and crafty politicians so I wouldn't doubt it.    You can read more about Pulaski Day here and Pulaski Road here and here
Tuesday, well that was an interesting day.  It included a trip to our co-op, flying tomatoes and Chris explaining how his brain works.  I know, you are just dying to know all the details!  So, I make pretty healthy lunches for the boys.  On Tuesday I decided that grape tomatoes would be the vegetable of choice.  Packed them in their lunch boxes and off we trekked to Plainfield.  As we are getting ready to pack up and leave the co-op a little girl comes out of the room where the younger kids have lunch and says "It's raining tomatoes."  Now, I totally didn't put together the fact that I packed tomatoes in Chris's lunch and this little one came out of the room he was eating lunch in.  Nope!  Total oblivion there. It wasn't until about a good 15 minutes later when we were driving away that the light bulb went on and I went into interrogation mode.  He owed up to throwing the tomatoes, but didn't know why.  One of the worst things my boys can respond to a question with is "I don't know".  Oh my goodness, nails on a chalk board and I cringe.  So after re-asking the question in about three different ways and not getting an answer (and grounding him for a week at this point for throwing the tomatoes, lying, lying again and oh, who knows by that point - just to be mean) I told him that he has until we got home to tell me what happened.  The story that came forth, once we both had time to calm down, was that someone told him to smooch the tomato because it would look like blood, instead he threw them.  I know, makes total sense, right. *smacking hand to forehead*  So, I got the story - punishment stood.  One week grounded and he has to eat lunch with me next Tuesday at the co-op.  Later, because later stuff always comes out, while talking to Dave he says how he was scared I'd get mad it he told me what happened and that he really couldn't remember when happened when I was asking him in the van.  And in Chris-speak he explained that his brain is just full.  Even though Dave told him that we only use like 10% of our brains, Chris guffawed and explained that he uses like 90% and went on to dissect his brain into parts - The Pokemon Part, Simpson's Part and Math & Schoolwork Park.  It's just full!
I'll give you a minute to snicker at that.
He really believes that though! *eye roll*
Leniency was given though.  He was to exhibit good behavior and that he learned the consequences of his actions.  He is now watching Pokemon on TV - which is likely taking up more brain space as we speak.
Wednesday and Thursday were regular school days.  Chris started doing science experiments.  It's been really fun.
Friday we went out to The Farm and shot guns.  Ohmygoodness socool!!
Here are the pictures in review:
Osmosis experiment - gummy bears in water left overnight.  What will happen?

They bloat!

Tinley Park getting ready for the Irish Parade this Sunday

Next experiment - baking soda in water with a cotton string.  What will happen?


Chris shooting a BB Gun

Cody shooting a semi automatic air gun

Cody working on him Improv for Open Mic Night at the Teen Center

Chris math
We will be traveling to Texas in May and will be gone for 16 days.  We are pretty excited about it because we get to stop at neat places on our way down and back up as well as visit some awesome stuff in Texas.  We have no itinerary yet.  I'm thinking that if we find one place per week leading up to our trip we should be set. 
Well, that's all I have for this week.  Off to bed for me, I have to get up with the sun tomorrow for work.  Have a good one.

Friday, March 2, 2012

This Week 2/27/12 - Yipee!

The beginning of the week was filled with some excitement.  I went into the city to audition for Listen To Your Mother on Sunday
This I can handle, the whole driving into the city thing...

This though, this is what freaked the shit out of me - parking in the city.  Particularly in an area that I am not familiar with.

This is where I got to audition!  The audition didn't freak me out - parking did.
The cast list was published today and I MADE IT!  I fricking made the cut.  I'm not going to publish what I auditioned with on here yet...I'm still contemplating it.  But you can always come out to the performance on Sunday, May 6th and hear it!  Either way, click here to find out more about this awesome national series that celebrates motherhood with live readings, just in time for Mother's Day! 
Sunday was also the day I started the "guess how many expressways I've been on this week" counter.  (It's 9 by the way).
Our Monday was not a typical Monday for us.  Dave stayed home because he wasn't feeling well.  Our day started later than normal (not a bad thing at all) and Chris got to hang out with dad all day while I ran Cody to an orthodontist appointment and I went off to work.
Of course I'm on an expressway!

Cody doing reading while we are on the road

How do you dress when you're going to the grocery store?
Tuesday we went to our co-op where the boys did gym play and got to hang out with some friends.
Oh, don't be surprised by this photo...

or this one, they are simply to illustrate the point that this is not a home based school

This is where we meet

Cody doing math while snuggling with the cat
Wednesday was GORE-JOE-OUS!  So, we decided the best way to spend the afternoon as at the park.  We also ran to the library to get some more books, Chris had karate practice while Cody was at the teen center and we ended our day with a Cub Scout Den Meeting. 
It was 60 and sunny...come on, how can you NOT go out.

They were loving this whole "homeschool" thing today

"MOM - Take a picture!"

It was kind of windy that day...

Chris hitting the bag

The Den Leaders MIL was sharing her experiences growing up in Lithuania during WWII and taught the boys how to say some words in Lithuanian. 
Thursday we took a field trip to Dave's work for the boys to work on their Pinewood Derby cars.
Drawing the design on the wood block

Getting ready to cut the wood

I can't share the final design photos as they don't want them leaked.

Friday we made our way out to the farm for a fun day.  The boys got to build a "fling a ma-jig" and learned out planting seeds.
Cody reading

Oh look, an on ramp

Chris reading

Oh look, I'm merging onto ANOTHER expressway...

and another

Learning about starting seeds and planting a garden

Chris's fling a ma-jig

Cody's fling a ma-jig

Working on their flig a ma-jigs
So, as you can see we had a busy week.  I'm ready for a nap!
Cody has to head out to Indiana tomorrow for a University of Scouting course on being a Den Chief. We are heading into a 3-day weekend, which is nice.  We have Monday off in observation of Pulaski Day (it's a Chicago thing).  Well, that's all I have for this week.  Have a great one!