Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Coming to terms with the Christmas Flu

We are suffering from a nasty case of the Christmas Flu. And while there is no vomiting involved, it is equally as trying for Mom and Dad to deal with their children being striken by it.

The Christmas Flu refers to the nasty behavior, insane energy, and general I-forgot-how-life-at-this-house-actually-works mentality that tends to appear just before Christmas and lasts...hopefully not much longer. The flu is caused by too much candy, too many relatives, too many visits, too many new things, and basic overstimulation on every level of life you can imagine.

Are there any fortunate souls out there whose children haven't fallen victim to the Christmas Flu this year? My guess is that it hits everyone at some level. It doesn't matter if you're a spend 5K family or a second hander Christmas family. I just think the electricity that's in the air at some point glitches in the kids and makes them insane. Unfortunately, I think the only cure is time.

Last year I had a hard time with this. I remember sitting on the floor in the laundry room crying (maybe a bit of Christmas flu myself?) because the kids were being absolute deaf animals. My husband came in and sat on the floor with me and said "It's Christmas. They're kids." I was probably over reacting to their behavior...I'm sure they weren't all as uncivilized as I was making them out to be, but they were certainly different.

This year, I approached it differently. Not that the fact its Christmas gives them license to be completely out of control, but accepting that things will be different helps me to deal with it. Things are a little more insane, ears are a little deafer, and I do a bit more love and logic-ing than I normally have to do. But its not going to last forever. It's just the Christmas Flu. This too shall pass...Life will get back to normal. And then we can joyously await the arrival of the Birthday Bug. :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A little green, anyone?

Here's a little gem to make you giggle:

Yesterday morning the boys were endlessly creating MORE Christmas decorations for our home. Iggy was sure to point out to me that he was "recycling" by drawing on the backs of paper that had already been used for the computer. Then Iggy says to me, "Mom I have a great idea how we can help the environment."

I said, "Really, what is that?"

He said, "We can cut up all this paper into streamers and paint it green. Then we can let it go outside so it can blow around."

Me, totally confused, asked him (rather politely) " is that going to help the environment?"

Iggy says "Mom, it would be green."

He's been hearing everyone talking about being "green" lately...and figured they meant putting green stuff outside. When I explained to him that being "green" meant doing good things for the earth, and then reminded him of examples...and said it didn't necessarily mean putting green things outside, the kid looked at me like I had six heads.

"Mom," he said. "I just don't get it. Why do they call it being green? Why don't they just say helping the environment? That's stupid." And then he huffed off.

I agree my darling. Its a good thing you learned early that everything in America has to have a creative title or worthy buzzword. Even as a writer, I don't understand it myself.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Social groups, ASL, and decorating

December is a wicked busy month, isn't it? This is apparently why I know a whole host of homeschoolers who take the month of December "off".

December has brought with it an opportunity to join another homeschooling group in our area. We've been with them a few times this month and had a blast! Besides the "learning activities" we do (like building gingerbread houses and making Christmas candy),

its also great socially for the boys. Playing is important, but I think its equally as important for the boys to learn that just because we are in a group of kids, that is not license to immediately assign everyone a Star Wars character name and run around together defeating the Sith. Its been an interesting transition to watch. Not that I'm trying to squash any natural creativity or anything like would just be nice to be able to walk into a room of people and know the kids can sit for longer than 30 seconds without exploding into a Transformer.

We've been working hard on our sign language. I can't believe all the signs the boys have learned...and actually remember. We are to the point now we can have short conversations without speaking. I found a cool place online to look up signs that uses a video to show you the sign. I learn better from seeing someone actually do the sign instead of trying to figure it out from a book, so this place has been a big help.

Other than that, there's been a lot of art and decorating going on. Since we moved here, we haven't been able to get to our Christmas box (bottom of the pile in storage) so we didn't have ornaments or decorations. The boys have taken care of that, however. Our tree is full of homemade ornaments (including an angel tree topper created by Iggy) and the walls are plastered with other such lovelies that they spontaneously create. I am pretty sure I have the most beautiful Christmasy house on the block!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Hibernation fun

Hibernation is the theme here for awhile...and we've been having fun with it.

Bunk beds make cave building and hibernating brilliantly simple...

This was a great sciencey type thing we did: You cut several bear patterns out of newspaper, crumple them up (individually), and throw some into cold water and some into hot water. The cold water bears will continue to stay crumpled up (therefore still hibernating)...

The bears in the pan of warm water will open up...they are done hibernating. It is spring. When I remember where I found this experiment, I will post a link to it.

Last but not least, we had to make polar bears for a sugary snack. (I know they don't hibernate, and Iggy was quick to point that out to me. "Its already cold where they live mom...why would they have to hibernate.") Anyhow, these are white fudge covered oreos, marshmallows (ears) and chocolate chips (eyes and nose). We used peanut butter to make them stick.