Archive | September, 2007

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

20 Sep

rebecca.jpg I’m going to experiment with something here on my blog and see how it goes. I recently heard from a  friend who used to be in my book club but has since moved to another state. She hasn’t been able to garner enough interest to start a book club in her area and misses having intellectual conversations about books. So for her sake (and for anyone else who would like to participate,) I’m going to post what I’m currently reading with my book club. Feel free to read along with us and post insightful comments here.  Rebecca is the read for September so if you have any thoughts on it, I’d love to hear them. (And just to give you a head’s up–The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova is the read for October.)

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Back in School and Back On Track?

17 Sep

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I can finally say with a sigh of relief that everyone is FINALLY back in school. This year, everyone except my husband and toddler are at some rung on the educational ladder. With one in preschool, one in elementary school, one in middle school, one in high school, and yours truly in college, the complication level of our lives has been raised yet another notch.

Of course, none of our schedules coordinate. Getting kids out the door in the morning is a four-hour process. Here is a typical morning for moi:

4:00 a.m. Alarm goes off

4:15 a.m. Second alarm goes off

4:45 a.m. I get up and turn on my computer, pull out my textbooks and assignments.

5:00 a.m. My 17-year-old son’s alarm goes off. I work on my homework.

5:15 a.m. I check to make sure my son is showering. I continue my studies.

6:00 a.m. My son is out the door for his early morning church class. I keep studying.

6:15 a.m. I go in to wake my 12-year-old daughter. She usually has to be roused several times. I shower and get ready for the day.

6:30 a.m-7:30 a.m. I tend to household chores and pack my daughter’s lunch.

7:30 a.m. I drive my daughter to school.

7:45 a.m. Arriving home, I wake my 8-year-old daughter and two younger boys.

7:45 a.m.-8:45 a.m. I help my younger ones dress, feed them breakfast, and pack their lunches.

8:45 a.m. I take my daughter to the bus stop.

9:00 a.m. I drive my 4-year-old son to preschool

Honestly, I don’t know how I manage to keep all the various balls in the air. Most of the time, it’s an hour by hour affair as I attempt to orchestrate all of our conflicting demands and activities. Our crazy lifestyle requires me to work in super-multitasking mode nearly 24 hours a day.

Homework has become a serious affair at our house. Weeknights, our dining room table—littered with text books, paper, and computers—becomes Homework Central. At all times of the day, from early morning to late at night, my kids see me hunched over my computer, eyes glued to the screen. This can’t be healthy (or can it?)

It sounds contradictory, but when I’m in school, I’m generally a better mom and a happier human being. That doesn’t mean I’m not overwhelmed at times or that I have all my ducks in a row. In fact, I’m snowed under nearly 99% of the time. My house is in a constant state of dishevelment. Most days are truly difficult and stress-laden. Every morning when I wake up, I honestly don’t know how I’m going to find the time to complete my homework assignments. Fear is my daily companion as I wonder if I have it in me to keep up this insane routine.

The other day I nearly reached the breaking point. “I just can’t do this anymore! It’s just not worth it! It’s too hard!” I screamed after an exhausting day of trying to manage a relentless barrage of countless details.  Sobbing, my 8-year-old daughter said, “You have to keep going, Mom! You love it! You love it! Please, don’t stop!”

And so, I push onward. Taking school one assignment at a time, I’m thankful for small miracles—the completion of each academic task and the insistent encouragement of one determined little girl.