Sunday, February 28, 2010

Homeschooler Discrimination?

This is cool and crummy all at once.

My friend and I used to play school all the time. We’d argue over who would be the teacher. We both thought we knew everything.

Now I’m a homeschooling mom. My friend teaches English as a Second Language across the street at the elementary school because she’s a hoity-toity world traveler and learned her some Spanish when she lived in Mexico.

A couple of weeks ago my 8-year-old son went across the street to help her out by reading to her students and making them feel at ease (a.k.a. peer mentoring). He was only there for half an hour and loved it. The kids loved it. Ambre said he did great.

Too bad the principal (Shawnee Mission School District in Kansas) told Ambre my son can’t come back. She thinks it may be a liability issue, but we’re STILL waiting to find out his reason. I really want to write to him and tell him how much my son loved helping out, how much Ambre liked having help and how much the kids enjoyed having him there. And tell him I’m happy to sign a release saying if my son gets hurt in his school I won’t sue. The McLoughlins are not litigious people.

Raise your hand if you think this is Homeschooler Discrimination. I guess I can see where they wouldn't want a homeschooled kid running around, making all the other kids want to be homeschooled. Why can't they just sneak him in the back door and pay off the ESL kids to keep quiet about his wonderful existence?

4/17/12 Schools are always bitching about needing money for every freaking thing under sun, so why don't they take the free help? Joel will be 11 when the next school year starts. Should I try this again or just leave them alone?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Bored Kids

I hate when kids tell me they are bored. I had a teacher in high school named Mr. Hoobing who said, “When you say you’re bored, that means you’re boring.”

So you know when a kid is crying and you go, “Do you want me to give you something to cry about?”

When kids tell me they’re bored, I SHOW them bored by lecturing to them. I tell them how I was an only child and had no siblings to argue with or annoy or punch out. And how I barely had neighbor friends because my mean old parents had us living in places where there weren’t a lot of [normal] kids.

I tell them how I had no Internet, no video games, no texting, no cell phone, no computer.

I did have MTV, though, friends. Back when MTV actually played music videos around the clock. And VH1. And good summer daytime TV like reruns of Leave it to Beaver, Who’s the Boss, One Day at a Time, I Love Lucy and tons of others I can’t even think of.

What did you do when you were bored? Besides play with your rocks and sticks? When Eva is bored she likes to help put away clean silverware from the dishwasher.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Funny Bathroom Cleaning Instructions for Little Kids

*can be done by one person or split up*

1. Put away everything that doesn’t belong in the bathroom (stuffed animals, omelets, etc.).

2. Hang up towels, put things away in drawers and closet. If towels smell bad because you left them on the floor after your bath last week, put them in the hamper and replace them with clean ones from the closet. On second thought, just walk up to the store and buy new towels. Grab my debit card from my wallet.

3. Using a wipe or washrag, wipe down counter and sink.

4. Using just the toilet brush (no Comet!), clean out the toilet. Ask Daddy if there is something else he’d like you to use to get it clean. Mommy doesn’t want you to use chemical-y stuff. Is baking soda and vinegar okay? We don’t want Daddy to freak out because the new toilet has been scratched!!!

5. Using a wipe or washrag, wipe the rest of the toilet. Try not to gag. Don’t gripe about how gross it may be because I rarely use that toilet so it’s not my fault.

6. Shake out the rugs (over the back deck).

7. If there is a lot of hair or other debris (duh-bree = dirt) on the floor (toilet paper your sister has gotten wet and then left to dry, concoctions that should have been left in the kitchen), do a quick sweep of the floor with the small brush and dustpan from garage. Then put it back!!! (the dustpan, not the debris)

8. Get the tub a little bit wet, then sprinkle some Comet around on the dirty parts. Using a washrag, scrub down the tub. To rinse off the Comet, you can use the sprayer or just let tub water run while you fill a cup and use that to rinse off the sides of the tub. Do not try to make a beach on the bathroom floor again like you did that one time when I was sitting downstairs and saw water coming through the water fixtures in the ceiling. Thank you.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Texting Contests

So we went to the Valentine’s Dance at the school across the street from us. We like to meet new people, have fun, dance, eat, get out of the house.

Anyway, there was going to be a “texting contest” … huh? I was intrigued because you ought to know by now how I feel about little kids with cell phones in the first place. The ages of kids who go there are from 5-11 … apparently they are texting aficionados. You should see them when they get out of school each day … it’s like they’re getting off work in New York City … they head for the sidewalk, backpack on back and cell phone to ear (even in large groups), making dinner reservations and texting to their moms that they are out of school for the day (duh! Shouldn’t your mom, like, KNOW that already?!).

So here's a picture from the texting contest, since I’m an awesome photojournalist as well as a wicked cool journalist-in-training. The kids just had to see who could type the written message on the posterboard the fastest. Back in my day that was called a TYPING CONTEST, and I woulda kicked butt* at that. I even interviewed a kid there. It went like this:

Me: “So how much are those phones those kids are using to text?”

Kid: “Like $100.”

Me: “Do you have one?”

Kid: “Yes.”

Me: “Why? I mean, doesn’t your mom know where you are all the time?”

Kid walks off, tired of talking to freaky nosey woman.

*FYI: I can’t use any cuss words on here anymore since I have on the side of my blog. Dangit. Oops, that might count as cussing. I guess I’m a sell-out.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Anti-Public School?

Just because we homeschool doesn’t mean we are against schools in general. I mean, if we hated all school systems, I would fight the fact that our property taxes go toward schools our kids will never attend. But that’s just not worth my time.

If we hated all schools, we wouldn’t buy trash bags and other stuff from kids who sell for fundraisers at our church’s school.

If we hated schools, we wouldn’t trot across the street to the public school to shell out big bucks for the carnival, the book fair, the dances, the ice cream social, taco night, etc.

And I wouldn’t dump off my paper recycling at the bins at the schools so they could make some money off of it. And I wouldn’t save my Best Choice labels and Box Tops for Education for them.

I’m just saying.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


We love wooden puzzles at my house! Callie never took to them, but Eva is loving them. Unfortunately for my house, Eva is the Hurricane, so the puzzle pieces end up all over the place. Maybe by the time I have grandchildren I'll have found all the pieces to the wooden puzzles! Is your kid a puzzle lover or a puzzle hater?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The World's Biggest Snowball

Since it constantly snows here in the Midwest lately, I have lots o' pix of snowy stuff ... lucky you! So here, without further adieu, is my son sitting on top of the World's Biggest* Snowball.

*This claim has not been proven.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Wallpaper Stripping While Holding a Baby

These are a couple of wallpaper stripping pictures for you ... my best work is done holding Baby Samwich.

Updated 2021: this seemed like a never-ending project!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

How to Build a Snowman

Did you think you'd see instructions here? Nah, you can head to for that kind of stuff. I'm always inside nursing babies, so I rarely get to go play in the snow. This is what Aron and the kids made one day recently, though. More proof in my case for him being an excellent father.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Toddler Eva Stripping Wallpaper

You can't ever really start a kid on wallpaper scraping fun too early. And I just keep giving birth to little wallpaper strippers, so it all works out.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Kids With Cell Phones

Yes, I know I beat this horse to death and then some. But when I go to an elementary school dance and see all the kids with phones it drives me nuts. I mean, parents, do you not have a clue? Don't you know that you are not only paying for phone calls and texts, but also (usually) for Internet service? I remember my best friend and I during school (6th grade) cackling at looking up the word "crusty" in the dictionary. Dear God, if we'd had cell phones, we would've been looking up all kinds of naked people and probably instant messaging all kinds of pedophiles.

I always thought my dad was overprotective as heck. Turns out he actually had a clue, which kept me pretty darn safe throughout my childhood and kept me molested-free. Who knew?

*Updated to acknowledge that some parents do opt out of the Internet service on their kid's cell phone.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Security for Valentine's Day

So, what are you asking for or giving for Valentine's Day?

I told Aron I'd like an external hard drive so I can store all our digital photos in our fireproof box.

Hey, security is romantic. Sue me.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

How Much Does the Tooth Fairy Pay?

Originally posted 2/13/2010

Joel is 8 1/2 and just lost his second tooth. He gets a buck from the Tooth Fairy for each tooth he loses. He knows kids who get 10 bucks for EACH TOOTH LOST. Even if there's only one child in the house, why would the Tooth Fairy make the other Tooth Fairies look so bad?

And why does a kid need that much money for a freakin' tooth? I mean, I got Jack Squat when I started my period, and I lost a lot of blood. Too much information? How much do I get when this toothpick comes out of my foot? Oh, I know: I get to go back to cleaning my house and chasing my kids. Hmmmm. Maybe I don't want this toothpick out after all.

See what a good writer I am? I correlate tooth fairies and toothpicks somehow in one post.

*Edited to add: Man, I hope my kids' friends don't read this blog or I'm in trouble. The other night Aron was out of town and I forgot that Michael had lost a tooth (he doesn't make a big deal out of things). So the next morning the Tooth Fairy did not come :-( The next night, however, somehow the Tooth Fairy snuck a buck under the pillow while he was brushing his teeth and he found the money the next morning. Slick!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Favorite 80s Movies

What are your favorite 80s movies? Mine are Xanadu, Grease and Somewhere in Time.

Or they WERE, anyway. They AFFECTED me as a child. Then when I grew up and watched them again I had different critiques and now make fun of them all.

The music still rocks from the first 2, but that Netwon-John was certainly no thespian (like I should talk). She was cool; she hyphenated before it was accepted in society.

That darn Somewhere in Time, though ... I think the last time I watched it I was pregnant with my first kid and cried until I got a headache.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

House Cleaning Services

So this is probably slander or libel or something like that ... heck, I don't know the definitions of those things. One of them is saying untrue things about someone, but this is actually true.

So I'll never hire a house cleaning service because my ex-husband used to be a manager at one of the biggest ones out there ... and he totally stole stuff.

So if you have a house cleaning service and you notice things missing, NAIL THEIR BUTTS TO THE WALL ABOUT IT! You probably aren't experiencing Alzheimer's symptoms; you are probably being stolen from.

These are the things I think about while I'm vacuuming with a baby in my arms!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Debate: Retirement or College?

Are you saving for your retirement or for your kids' college? Or are you trying to do both?

You know my general take on this issue: put your own oxygen mask on first. Your kids are young and can start saving now and get jobs and loans and grants and financial aid.

That being said, we are saving for our own retirement while our kids have savings accounts. We hope to be able to help with SOME college, which is better than none. Yet I also believe things are more appreciated when they are bought for oneself.

What's your take? Will you do it how your parents did it, or did they subject you to child abuse by not paying for your college, and now you plan to pay 100% of YOUR kids'???

Monday, February 8, 2010

Our Remodeled Bathroom

It used to have teal carpet, flowered wallpaper and a beige BathFitter thing in the shower. Thanks to Aron and his twin brother and his dad, it now looks like this!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Happy 5th Birthday, Callie!!!

Happy 5th Birthday to my firstborn daughter, Callie! We had some rough times with tantrums, but lately she is becoming more happy and cooperative and says she enjoys helping cook, pick up, etc. She loves writing her name and coloring and watching movies. She loves helping me stir cake batter. She's helpful with Baby Sam. I like spending time with her and listening to her little girl dreams. I like listening to her sing and love watching her dance. I can't wait to see what she will become and am savoring my time with her while she is so young and innocent.

I love you, Callie!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Debate: Rich or Famous?

Would you rather be rich or famous, like if someone told you you HAD to be one or the other?

I'm thinking rich. They'd both stink in some respects, but famous brings on stalkers and other weirdos and lots of scrutiny. Rich could lead to doing lots of good things for the world, if you were so inclined

Friday, February 5, 2010

Hyland's Products: Bedwetting Tablets

I don't know if you can call this a product review since I haven't actually used these yet, but I'm gonna try them and let you know. You don't just give them before bed; you give them at meals, etc. They are tiny, homeopathic tablets that taste like nothing. I'm hoping my almost-5-year-old will stop peeing in her size 6 diaper every night. I hear lots of females have problems with bedwetting ... I've known many.

I've heard that making them pee before bed, making sure they stop drinking after 7 p.m. and trying out a bedwetting alarm don't necessarily work.

What's your experience with kids wetting the bed when they are potty-trained perfectly during the day?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hyland's Products: Teething Tablets

I don't know how these work, but they somehow do. Sure, sometimes it takes half the bottle to get your kid to stop hurting, but they are awesome. It's like an attitude adjustment in a bottle for your teething toddler.

As of December 2009 I'm supposed to let you know if I'm getting paid or being given free products to endorse when I write about them. I have NOT gotten a thing from Hyland's. I just love this crap, that's all.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Dairy Products and Mucus: Chocolate Silk from Whole Foods

You hear all the time about the correlation between dairy products and being all snotty. Not snotty in attitude, but in mucus. Since Sam has been congested since birth and is almost 4 months old now, and since I seem to have all kinds of drainage going on (sorry to gross you out), I have been cutting down on dairy, and it seems to be helping. Maybe it's wishful thinking. Maybe it's true.

Either way, I tried out Chocolate Silk (soy milk) and we all loved it. I just wish I could afford the 3 bucks a half gallon 10 times a week, because we would all just suck this drink down. Do you ever picture tiny soybeans with boobs being milked? And how about little grains of rice being milked for Rice Milk? No? Must just be me. Huh.

Did you know you can do a tour at Whole Foods grocery stores? You get to try out stuff to see if you like it before you commit to buying a full-size version of it. I'm gonna set up that field trip for my homeschool group (most of whom probably already shop there cuz a bunch of them are crunchy). I may have to take up stripping to pay for more healthy food for my family, but we all have trade-offs, right?

Just kidding, Dad.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Meal Plan for When My Guy is Out of Town

As evidenced by the popularity of, people really seem to dig saving money and knowing what other people eat. In honor of, I am sharing with you my ultra-healthy, no-processed-foods (yeah, right) meal plan for the week Aron was out of town recently. Keep in mind this sort of meal plan saves me from hitting the fast food drive through like a crack pipe, therefore saving me money.

breakfast: pancakes and sausage
lunch: ravioli in a can for the kids with garlic bread; Smart Ones and a salad for me
dinner: Tuna Helper

breakfast: cereal
lunch: fish sticks and mandarin oranges
dinner: Pizza Hut (2 free small ones from Book-It program)

breakfast: cream of wheat
lunch: pizza leftovers and fruit
dinner: Hamburger Helper

breakfast: ham and cheese quiche
lunch: corn dogs, apples, oranges
dinner: clam chowder, carrots

breakfast: cereal
lunch: grilled cheese with lunchmeat
dinner: cheese hot dogs wrapped in crescent rolls, fruit

string cheese
chocolate graham crackers
granola bars


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