Anger Management

I never knew the dimensions of my anger before having children. I didn't know how QUICKLY and THOROUGHLY angry I could become in far less time than it takes me to tell you about it. Much of my anger comes from my own frustration of not knowing what the H-E-DOUBLE HOCKEY STICKS I am doing. I was used to being the Master of my time and could arrange my life to avoid that which annoyed me. NOW, however, that which annoys me is with me constantly... Not just the children, but my own changeable mood swings... Some days, we're like marbles in a small bag, rubbing each other the wrong way, taking everything personally, all of us falling apart emotionally. Other days, we're like marbles in a small bag, with lots of hugs and kisses and family games and general good feelings.

I love those days. I think we're seeing more of those days as we join our hearts and minds into a cohesive and working family. I have not raised my voice in several days, partly due to book I'm reading, and partly because it just wasn't working for us. My son yells at me. I'm told not to take it personally by several books. I have remained calm while Habtamu's emotions come out of frustration and turn to anger and yelling. I'm not saying he SHOULD yell at me, but while he's in the yelling state, my yelling at him telling him not to yell... well, surely you can see why that wouldn't work. There has been some improvement since I started this... he is quicker to get over his anger and quicker to genuinely apologize. When we talk later after he is calm, our talks are at least productive and I can tell him how his yelling makes me feel and how anger should not be his first response to every. little. thing.

So. Things are plugging along here at Chez Gardner. We're planning to homeschool next year. We have our reasons, and all of them have to do with what we feel is best for them and us. I know homeschool vs. public school can be a powder keg subject, but I don't think it needs to be. I think we can all agree that if the child in question continues to learn and desires to learn throughout life, then hurrah! I won't fully address the "socialization" that people say we are denying them, but when I see my children interacting with people of all ages, colors, creeds, I'm not worried that they are missing anything. Anyhoo, if anyone has something pressing to say about homeschool, etc, leave a kind comment... one that doesn't indicate that I have not been an adequate (or "exceeds expections") teacher for them this past year. :)

That's all I've got for now... I'll try to get birthday pics up soon. I have to say, as lousy as this weather has been for July, it has been phenominally overcast for pictures. Oh! How wonderful not to have direct sunlight. In truth, I prefer this temperature to the normal "I'm meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelting!" weather in which I decide daily if shorts are really an option for me anymore. My thighs say "NON!" (They are French, you see.)


The Circus

This circus was so small, that this performer also sold us tickets. Also, there was no net. Yikes.


Flying through the Hoop.

Coolest picture I've ever taken, maybe.


Starved Rock


Dryish riverbed... will we find a waterfall?

Playing in the waterfall.

Good day for this boy. Another child got grumpy, but it wasn't any of mine! :)

Reading by the waterfall.


One teeny tiny frog... there were hundreds... thousands?


Madison Zoo

I'll most likely kill you in the morning.

Black and White Rhino: so cool.

I'd like to nibble your toes, but I can't move away from this heat lamp.

Yordi and the Torti.

Grumpy Boy reluctantly poses.


Water Park

We've really been busy this summer. I don't feel like blogging at night... too tired. Here are some pics from yesterday at the Water Park.