Saturday, January 1, 2011

A New Year, a New Project

This is my first post of the year. 1/1/11. I took a picture of my little boy just before the New Year was rung in. Both of my kids were watching movies while my husband and I were playing Dominion, a new card game that he bought. I really thought both of my children would be able to stay awake until midnight. They were on their 3rd movie at 11:15 (Ant Bully, after the first two Toy Story movies). I looked over at them around 11:49 and the little guy was sound asleep.

Anyway, my project for the year is to take at least one picture a day. I figure how hard will that be...I have my IPhone with me all the time, I have kids and dogs. There is bound to be at least one interesting shot that I can take, right? The problem that I foresee is posting everyday...but I am determined to do it (barring any major catastrophes that are sure to come up).

Go figure, the first major setback I had today was loading my pictures from my IPhone onto my NetBook. Itunes isn't installed on that laptop. I'll be darned if I spend the rest of the day installing Itunes and finding out that upon synching, it has erased apps and (WORSE OF ALL) pictures and songs that I didn't want erased. So here I am typing on my husband's security sensitive laptop, determined to start this year's blog right.

I feel like I should recap my year (2010) before I start blogging about the new year. The most significant change that I made last year was deciding to homeschool my daughter. I am amazed even now that I am doing it. It's turned out to be a turning point for me and my children; we've made so many new friends and are learning so much about each other (and ourselves). My daughter is gaining so much through the experience: she is learning Spanish, gaining more confidence in her math skills, reading more books, broadening her knowledge in the sciences and the world around her, and best of all, her comprehension for her subjects have increased. Through the workshops, she is also learning how to adapt to new and different situations. She is making fast friends and enjoys learning. As I work with her and understand her learning style, the more I realize that no matter how difficult it is on me, this is the best thing for her.

My son also started potty training. This is such a family effort. I am happy to say that he is taking to it well and I am pretty sure that he already is. The problem that we run into is the "Busy Boy Syndrome"...that is, when he is doing something really fun (like playing on the Wii for example), he ignores his need to use the restroom. I know this because when he is doing something low key (no technology, reading, playing cars, etc.) he comes to me at least once an hour because "I gotta go t'da potty!". And when he does this, he doesn't have accidents. I am hoping that when he starts school in the fall, he will into into peer pressure and go to the bathroom as needed to avoid the embarrassment of having an accident in his pants. One can only wish...

I have also rediscovered my love of cooking. In the past few weeks, I have cooked recipes with ingredients that I have never used before: parsnips, celeriac, fennel, star of anise. Most of these recipes have come from one of Ming Tsai's books, but I have found many of them from and cooking magazines like Food Networks Food magazine, and Taste of Home.

I was inspired this year by one of my homeschooling mom/friends to design activities for my daughter's 9th birthday party. I painted an alien, gathered rocks and glow-in-the-dark paint for Asteroid Painting, designed and painted a Comet game, and baked cookies which the children decorated with food gels and sprinkles.

We became members of the Discovery Museum. My daughter was able to take part in Space Camp this summer and had a BLAST! We have participated in many of their activities, and I am happy to say that my husband takes advantage of our membership to take the kids out so that I can have some free time to myself (not often enough - ha!)

We continue to spend time with our good friends in El Dorado Hills. It's weird to see both my daughter and her friend grow together. He is almost as tall as me and his mother thinks that he will be taller than me soon enough.

Well, I guess the pictures from today will have to be loaded later. For now, happy new year!

Update 1/4/11: Figured out how to upload my pictures from my IPhone. Duh.

My first (admittedly lame) picture of the year:

If it means anything, it was the first time we played Dominion. We'll see where it leads us...