Saturday, May 30, 2009

I've not given a second thought to blogging lately. I think of things to write while I'm driving back and forth to school with Riley, but I never remember them when I'm at home. I think I'm inspired by background music.
We had a wonderful au pair from South Africa staying with us for two weeks. She was a great guest, entertaining, and loved the kids! With Sean being off work right now, we took advantage of the opportunity and went to places like the waterfront, the zoo, for long walks, and even to Cannon Beach. We had a busy two weeks. The weather has been sunny and near 80 which is a miracle! Last summer was 55 and raining the majority of the summer.

Leane also taught me Afrikaans which was cool enough to make me think I might be interested in learning more. I had no idea it was close to German. Once I realized the combination of languages that are its beginnings, it was easier to decipher.

Leane moved to a family in Bellevue this week. She is close by and her host family kids are the same age as mine. Hopefully we'll still see her quite often.

This week we've been at parks and even the lake beach parks which has been fabulous. After Reagan took a quick swim in the lake and Sean rescued her, she didn't go any farther than knee deep in the water. It was much easier watching the kids than I thought. Riley ran away a lot last summer and now that he's older he stays pretty close to me where I can see him. Reagan is too young to wander far.

While we were there, we ran into Sean's friends from Palm Springs via Canada. Their kids were more than happy to jump into cold water. We also ran into one of Riley's old friends from before Reagan was born and then we ran into 4 of the au pairs from the area and all of their kids. I counted 18 people we ran into yesterday at various places. I guess Seattle is becoming a small town...or maybe people have listened to my suggestions that Idylwood is a great park for days like this!

Last night I went shopping with a friend and found new flipflops for Reagan. I left them at her place at the table for her to find this morning at breakfast and Sean said she was so excited. I came in and she was wearing her purple bunny jammies and her pink superstar flipflops and was swinging them in front of me to see. Very happy indeed.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Sean is still looking for a job and as it is right now, it seems like he will take his mandatory 100 day break and go back to Microsoft at the end of June. In some ways, this is good for us because it's more likely that whatever company hires him will keep him, hopefully, for the next few years or longer at least.

In the mean time, he's met with a number of people who have made good connections for him. That's been encouraging. What's bad is that positions are frozen, disappear, and companies are on hold while they lay off people. Seattle was hit last by some of the economic issues and so we're not quite out of the woods in terms of how far down things will go.

I'm having a difficult time with Riley lately who seems to be bored with preschool and not making friends. He's getting into trouble a lot and the teacher has been exceptionally hard on him for small things. Her solution is holding him back while mine is pushing him ahead. Riley taught himself to read and loves learning to a point that it's a) draining to me and b) makes him seem like a nerd. She told me that Kindergarten teachers really don't like it when the kids learn how to read before kindergarten because they just memorize words. She stressed that they don't like it at all. Oh, so shall I unteach him to read? Or take away his books? Or stop him from sounding our words like million, billion, thousand, captain, public, and every street sign and list of rules we pass? If I want him to obey, all I need to do now is stand him in front of the rules and he'll read them himself. At the park recently he talks to adults and sometimes kids, but kids don't seem to be on his wavelength. So, holding him back to go to school with the currently 3 yr olds seems like a great way to encourage him in his interest for learning.

The teacher's response was "pray, pray pray!" That's fantastic! I also think that it's important to associate the God given ability to think through our decisions. For example, the first step is to have him tested by the Lake Washington School District for early entrance which he has a 10% chance of passing. I"ll go with what they say. If he fails, I'm not putting him through another year of preschool when he already is advanced passed the class he is apparently a year younger than. Instead, it would seem we're headed for home schooling which I do not want to do. On the other hand, I'm learning that Christian Schools are one fund raiser after another with little interest in advanced children and public school is...well...public school. Thankfully, we DO live in a very, very good district and good neighborhood. His class would be a good opportunity to make friends in this area which we have not.

By the middle of the year, we're planning to move to Northshore School District which is the best school district in the area. I don't anticipate moving to Issaquah or Redmond Ridge, but I suppose it's possible.

I'm just frustrated with and for Riley. I'm frustrated about the job situation, but it will work itself out.

I've been studying for the LSAT. I was doing great until I found out is also considered an IQ test and there's no way of really studying for it. WIth the pressure on, I started missing more questions. It seems that my IQ is high and I've always thought the LSAT would be a breeze if I don't clam up. You really only have one shot at it and I have to decide today if I'm taking it in June or on my birthday in September. That's it though. May seems so quick, but it would be good to have it over with and September seems too far away. If I do mediocre on it, I'll end up at Seattle U if I get accepted and if I do well on it I might have a shot at the UW which seems a lofty goal. Sean encouraged me to try even if I fail because he'd rather I try than not try at all. I suppose he's right, but I don't want to have "failed at getting into law school" on my list of accomplishments. I feel like backing down all together.

The other option we would have is to wait another year until Sean finishes school and move to a place where getting into law school with a lower LSAT is a possibility, but I would be disappointed in my IQ if I make a lower score. Even on the practice test, it shows I'm close to a 132 and I always tested closer to a 139. That's first shot on the practice test just opening the book. Maybe that's not bad. It means I would make close to a 159-165 on the LSAT if I don't panic. I need a 159 to even consider the U.

Obama made a 171 on the LSAT which is equivalent to a 148 IQ.

While I'm worried about hypothetical scores, I have not completed my expense report or sent out my newsletter for May. I guess I should go and get something accomplished.


Saturday, May 2, 2009

Greek Honey Yogurt

I don't like not knowing things. From an intellectual standpoint I have insatiable curiosity. There's a part of me that would rather learn new things than capitalize on the things I already know and refine them. Unfortunately, this leads to being a jack of all trades and master of none. The list of things I'd like to learn more about are endless - German, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Latin, Classical Piano, Photography, Chemistry, Diffy Q, Biology, and O Chem. Then I will be happy.

This evening I was at the library checking out books for all of us while Sean rallied the kids to the car. There was some young teenage girl that kept commenting on how many books I had...and she wouldn't stop. I had 32 books, thank you. From parenting to cooking and chemistry to Latin American history, I'm covered for three weeks. For Riley, we picked up new chapter books because my 4 year old is just like me. It's hard to remember he's 4.

Oh, and speaking of - those parenting books were for him because he's digressed emotionally which his preschool teacher thinks is an indication of his immaturity. I, having lived with him, see at as a manipulative strike against us for putting too much pressure on him at home. The gifted books say it's like having a little lawyer. Oh, is that so? I thought it was payback for my own obnoxious childhood.

Thank God for Reagan our animated nearly two year old who prefers to scream and hit and picks out dresses and matching shoes and won't go outside without head adornment of some type whether it be hats or bows. Tonight we fed her Tamarindo Candies from Mexico and she tried it, made the strangest face and chomped down on the chili powder filled candy. Then she gave it back and asked for more by signing and also shouting, "Moh Pease!" I swear southern accents are inherited. She also has a two fists in the air cheer and then holds her hand out and motions "give me more!"It's no wonder Riley's on strike. He feels out done by her now that she's talking and he has to share air space. And she's a cute girl.

I love Greek Yogurt. If you've ever tried it, you'd know the difference. I don't like yogurt unless the fruit is at the bottom and I can leave the fruit. I don't like plain yogurt because it's - well - plain. I hate mixed yogurts, they're too sweet. I recently discovered Trader Joe's has Greek Yogurt and it's the best. It's like Germany's yogurt. Trader Joe's makes me happy and while I was there I picked up a Cab Merlot blend to cap off the evening of listening to Reagan and Riley cheer for chili powder candy and argue philisophically with each other since Riley will argue with anyone strapped in next to him in the jogger stroller regardless of whether or not they can argue back. All this means is that he's training the little one to be just like him.


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