What kindergarten looks like in our house, Version Pete.2

Homeschool at ButterscotchSundae.comIn our state you have to be 5 years old by August 31st to enter kindergarten. Pete’s birthday is in November, which means he wouldn’t have been able to start kindergarten last fall if he were a public school student. Having tried to do a lot of sit-down work with him at the beginning of last year, I can see where that’s a good policy. His attention span and motor skills weren’t where they needed to be for him to do the work without major meltdowns from one or both of us, so we scaled back considerably for what we called his “Kindergarten 4” year. His attention span and motor skills have improved greatly since last fall, and I think both of us will enjoy his Kindergarten 5 year.

Here’s what he’ll be doing:
Continue reading What kindergarten looks like in our house, Version Pete.2

The new Court Yard Hounds album is perfectly pleasant

Disclaimer: Nichole received a copy of the new Court Yard Hounds album, “Amelita,” for review via a One2One Network campaign. She is eligible for incentives for her participation in the campaign, but all opinions stated are her own.

Court Yard Hounds "Amelita"Until the early ’90s, lite pop rock was the soundtrack of my summer. We’d cruise around town wailing along to “We Built this City” and “You Give Love a Bad Name,” “Time After Time” and “Hold on to the Night,” and all was well. And then Garth Brooks and his big ol’ hat released “No Fences,” the album from whence “Friends in Low Places” took over the world. Suddenly my stepmom and stepsiblings were crazy for country music, and nothing was ever the same.

That sounds pretty melodramatic, doesn’t it? Well, I was 13 and listening to Nirvana and The Smashing Pumpkins. It was a melodramatic time.

I still don’t like pop country, which may leave you asking why I’m reviewing “Amelita” by the Court Yard Hounds. Basically it’s because the duo is 2/3 of the Dixie Chicks — sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Robison; the third Chick, Natalie Maines, is now sporting a pompadour and making music with Ben Harper — and the Dixie Chicks’ version of “Landslide” usually leaves me misty-eyed. I’m a sucker for good harmonization, regardless of where the album is filed at the record store.

“Amelita” delivers on the harmonization front, and it was a nice accompaniment to the rainstorms we had last week. My favorite tracks on the album are “Aimless Upward,” which sounds like a cross between early Wilco and something you might hear at a Women of Faith conference, and “Sunshine,” a chipper and sarcastic little paean to the toxic people in one’s life.

Despite the fact that the lyrics on a lot of the songs seem pretty personal, there isn’t a whole lot of fire in the performances. I’d put it on my Pleasant & Polished But Passionless playlist (which also features Jack Johnson and Coldplay).

And I would not feel so all alone …

"ER" by Joel Dinda
Joel Dinda photo

I don’t think I would’ve believed you on Saturday morning if you told me that Rockford and the kids would be spending five hours that night sometimes-sleeping in the car in the hospital parking lot.

I wasn’t feeling especially terrific on Saturday morning, but I figured it was just because of the monthly lady cramps. Monthly lady cramps aren’t lollipops and kitten tails, but they’re also not hospitalization material. A little Aleve and a heating pad, and I’m mostly at peace with the world.

By the time 5pm rolled around, though, I was starting to think I was dealing with something more than monthly lady cramps. I tried Aleve. I tried a heating pad. I tried an ice pack. And nothing was helping. The pain was all on the lower left part of my abdomen, wrapping from front to back, and at 11pm I was crying on the bathroom floor. Just like every good Saturday night, amIright? (No, that is certainly not right, and — I say this from a place of love and friendship — if that’s the way you spend every Saturday night you might want to reevaluate some of your habits.)

And so it was that I found myself at the ER at 1 o’clock Sunday morning. Five hours; a urine analysis; a couple of blood tests; a CT scan; a bag of IV fluid; some intravenous pain medication; and a mighty bout with nausea later, I was back home with a diagnosis of a “medium-sized” kidney stone (which was what had prompted me to cry in the bathroom floor) and a “rather large” gallstone (which isn’t currently causing any trouble); a few prescriptions; and a list of things I should avoid eating.

You guys, there are so many things on that list of things not to eat. My favorite things. Cheese, chocolate, avocados, coconut. It made me sad, but writhing around in pain makes me sadder. So while the weekly menu plan might not change all that much — although I guess I will be saying farewell to lasagna and coconut curries and other such delicacies — my snacking options are going to have to change.

Monday: Mongolian beef

I’m supposed to have no more than 6 ounces of meat daily. A veggie-loaded stir-fry should make that pretty simple.

Tuesday: Pineapple-glazed salmon

We picked up some Charred Pineapple Relish at Harry & David’s over the weekend. I think it’ll be great on salmon. I’ll let you know if it works.

Wednesday: out? ordering in?

I have no idea how long this kidney stone thing is going to take, so I may have Rockford pick something up for dinner.

Thursday: Jerk pork tenderloin

I’m going to put the pineapple relish on this, too.

Friday: Pizza, maybe

We had plans for the weekend, but the kidney stone kind of has things up in the air right now. So I’m not sure about Friday yet.

In conclusion: My husband is a rock star, AND drink lots and lots and lots of water, because this has been a very unpleasant thing and I’d rather you didn’t have to experience it first-hand.

Completely off-topic, but have you entered to win my Seattle’s Best “Hot Iced” gift set? You should!