Babies ‘n’ Books ‘n’ Homeschooling ‘n’ Harmonicas
- Fiala has started delightedly greeting every moving creature in the world by grinning, waving her left hand — palm inwards — and saying, “Hah-ah! Hah-ah!” which, translated, means, “Hi!” Not only is this just precious, it’s a relief. Having a child with autism/autistic tendencies, I have bated breath until my baby makes a connection with those around her. Not that being extroverted the the goal, but it makes my heart glad to see her establishing eye contact and greeting everyone. Plus, she’s just so darn cute.
- I did hear back from the allergist’s office yesterday. Fiala, through RAST testing, tested positive to only egg. (She was tested for milk, egg, almond, banana, and yeast.) However, I’m not putting her back on those other food items yet, except maybe yeast — I’d like to try my hand at a gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free yeast bread. And, I’m keeping her off of all nightshades as well. She definitely has a reaction to potatoes and tomatoes. And soy. I will ask the new allergist, when we see him on August 12, to lead us in testing for delayed-response to all the foods which I’ve noted a reaction in Fiala. And, to look for other foods that we’ve not yet identified, because she’s only about 40% healed. In fact, a couple of days ago, I resorted to using Protopic on her face, as it was apparent that, with the information I currently have, her skin was not going to improve beyond that 40%, and she’s still in discomfort, clawing at her face, especially when she’s tired or upset. I definitely don’t want her to be in pain, but I don’t want her so medicated that we can’t find the source(s) of her allergies! There’s gotta be a balance there.
- I did officially stop reading Wuthering Heights, and I am strangely relieved about the whole business. My friend Kathy gave me a copy of both Persuasion and Pride and Prejudice, and I think I’ll read P&P again. Next time we go to the library, though, I’m going to ask for an inter-library loan of one of Frances Burney’s three novels — Camilla, Evalina (isn’t that a beautiful name?), or Cecilia — am I missing any? Burney’s books were published in the late 1700’s, and were very influential on Jane Austen.
- Speaking of books, I have been debating whether or not to recommend a book I really, really liked. It’s called Truck: A Love Story by Michael Perry. It’s hilarious, insightful, and very interesting. In a somewhat self-serving way, I realized that one of the things I really appreciated about Perry’s style is that he tells chunks of his story, in a seemingly random fashion, then gradually ties them together. However… this book does have five or six expletives, and though Perry was raised in a very fundamental Christian environment, he’s not living in it now. In fact, towards the conclusion of the book, he spends several pages arguing for gay marriage — of which I am not a supporter. However, that’s not the point of the book. The point of it is how he restores an old truck and meets his wife. I am GREATLY looking forward to his latest, Coop: A Year of Poultry, Pigs, and Parenting, in which he and his wife have an unassisted homebirth (however, Perry is a nurse, so I don’t know if that could really be called “unassisted”!!). It’s too new for interlibrary loan, so my library agreed to order its own copy!
- I have almost all my books and supplies for the upcoming schoolyear! Since I didn’t need to order a new Sonlight Core, I was able to get everything I needed — mostly new math, English, and science curriculum — for all three boys for under $300. I saved $101.50 by buying things second-hand, and by buying older editions. As I was making purchases yesterday, I thought, “Hmmm… Maybe I should order some stuff for Audrey, too.” She only turned 3 in April, but is slowly and happily making her way through Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, and if nothing else, she just likes to participate in school. I didn’t get anything for her, but whaddya know? Late in the afternoon, my angel of a Stepdad called and said, “Hey, I’m at Costco, and there are all sorts of preschool books and workbooks. Some of these look great! If I buy some for Audrey, will you use them with her?” Um, yes. Yes, I will. Thank you very much, Joe and Jesus, for knowing not only my needs, but my wants, too!
- I think I may have posted about this before, but Home Science Tools is THE BEST science curriculum and supply company for homeschoolers. They have great prices, reasonable shipping, and a huge selection. Yesterday, I purchased a kit for all the experiments done in Apologia General Science (which Ethan and likely Grant will be doing) for $23.95, plus shipping. Additionally Home Science Tools has THE BEST e-mail newsletter. Seriously. They are infrequent (which I like), and chock-full of actually useful information, like projects, experiments, pdfs, external links, and more. You could seriously form an entire curriculum around those e-newsletters. Of course, there are links to purchase items mentioned in the newsletter, but they also never fail to suggest alternatives so that you’d be able to complete the experiments at home without purchasing new equipment. I couldn’t find a link to the most current issue, sent this morning, but here’s a link where you can sign up. They have two newsletters — one for K-4 and one for grades 5-9. Also, be sure to click on the Science Project Archive. There are literally dozens of projects in 10 different categories.
- Lastly, my husband bought a harmonica for Wesley for Christmas. It was a “Pocket Pal” and Wesley took that seriously, taking it almost everywhere he goes. He’s got some serious harmonica chops going — he can bend notes like nobody’s business! However, because I don’t always inspect pockets thoroughly, it’s been through the wash several times. The last time, the dunking ruined three of the draw reeds, which had Wesley in tears. I pride myself on NOT being an impulse buyer, but on eBay, I saw a “C” harmonica (which Wesley’s is), with free shipping, for $5.99. I clicked on it, and not only was it free shipping, it was further discounted, and was only $4.00 — that’s it. Four bucks. Wesley will be thrilled.