Thursday, August 25, 2011

Much Ado About Moving

Well, we're at it again. Moving, that is. The other night while trying to fall asleep, and in an incredibly stressed- out state, I tried to count how many times we've moved in our marriage. Want to guess? Come on, whoever is closest wins Dante's leftover dinner. No takers? Ok....drumroll......7 times. When I say it I hear the voice from Ferris Buehler's Day Off (I am that old, yes). Seven Times.....the Snooks have moved Seven Times. Understand we are not even a military family. Or research biologists. Or anthropologists. Or gypsies. No, we just move our entire household an average of once a year. We've been married for seven years ( or eight depending on which wedding you count from....which is another post entirely, sorry) and we've moved an average of every one of those years.


I am not going to go into the details of all the previous moves. I am going to provide a brief chronological outline of the events which led to this move because this was going to be our last move and it is kind of fun to see what derailed those plans. Here is a hint: I have horrid allergies and asthma. Also, my asthma had been completely controlled for 19 years.

Feb 2011 Moved in at 323 W Saginaw. Whole family immediately succombed to flu.

End of Feb 2011 Noticed I was using my inhaler all the time. I was up during the night wheezing. Decided that was one nasty flu virus.

March 2011 Still wheezing. Couldn't believe how long it was taking to recover from illness.

March 22 2011 Woke up to find laundry room full of water following heavy rain. Notified landlord.

April 2011 Decided I was either really out of shape or had a lung tumor since I continually couldn't breathe while running. (I've been running for 12 years ) Really missed a good run.

April/May 2011 Water continued to flood laundry room with rain. Re- notified landlord.

May 2011 More water.

June 2011 We were home more due to the end of the school year. Had a really heavy rain that flooded the laundry room again. Began having trouble making it through even a 2 mile run due to asthma symptoms. If you're a runner you know how awful this is. Started suspecting something wasn't quite right. Checked behind baseboards in laundry to reveal thick, black mold. E-mailed landlord to let him know we wouldn't be buying the house due to water problems and that I have a severe mold allergy.

July 2011 Asthma symptoms progressed to the point that I was not even going three hours between using my resuce inhaler. Unable to run.

July ( 20? ) 2011 By the time B got home, I had to either go the ER or leave the house for the weekend. I left. Began breathing normally after about 12 hours away.

July 2011 Notified landlord of severity of situation. Went to doctor who told me not to go back to the house. Landlord came that weekend and removed flooring, drywall, and insulation. I found more mold in another location in house. They bleached and painted over it. Spent $210 on prescriptions and doctor's appointments.

July 31- August 3 Went on vacation. Stopped all medications to see if I could breathe without them while away. I could.

August 3 Returned home at 7 p.m.

August 4 Woke up at 5:00 a.m. wheezing. Realized ( again ) that something was very wrong, and living in this house was not an option.

August 8-ish Informed landlord of previous and that we needed to find different housing. Landlord indicated he had a home opening up. Noticed that even with medications I had the sensation that a book was laying on my lungs. Intentionally left house as needed to relieve symptoms.

August 11-ish Symptoms worsening. Started two additional medications. Ever the mold sleuth, found more areas in laundry room. Informed landlord. Landlord indicated someone would be there to remove said areas.

August 15 Landlord's tenant supposed to move out of house that would be opening for us to move into. We had started packing.

August 16 E-mailed landlord about status of potential house. Received response that there had been a delay, was trying to figure out how long it would take, and would let me know.

August 17 Left house to relieve symptoms. No update from landlord. Drove by house with "for rent" sign. Called owner when we arrived home. Immediately solidified owner's impression of me as mentally unstable and emotionally volatile as I babbled about my concern about leaking homes and my inability to breathe. Went to look at house anyway. Liked it.

August 18 Went back to look at house. Stuck my nose in the wall of the ( damp) basement. Breathed fine.

August 19 Per owner's suggestion, went back to house after stopping my medications. They had given me a key and said I could stay for several hours to see how I breathed. Had stopped meds the night before. Felt bad by the time we were leaving our house. Felt better after sitting in potential house for two hours. Called B to tell him. Called owners to tell them we would take house. Very relieved and happy. Still no feedback from current landlord.

And that is it! Whew..... it was tiring writing it. So at this moment, I am writing away with 2 vans loaded in the driveway, a truck and trailer being delivered tomorrow to pack, and the potential of feeling normal looming in front of me. I can't even imagine what that will be like. Actually, I can. And I think I'll celebrate by going for a run.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Real Reasons We Homeschool

As of late, I have encountered many people who oppose homeschooling. Typically the conversation is one- sided (theirs) and not open to new thoughts (my thoughts). They usually dislike homeschooling based on what they have decided is homeschooling. Also, they usually don't really want to change their understanding.

Rather than have any more unpleasant and frustrating conversations, I have decided to create a list which will be my go-to script for future conversations. And here it is:

The Real Reasons We Homeschool
1. The cafeteria food. We can't be risking childhood obesity and atherosclerosis, now can we?

2. Summer Vacation. It would just be so inconvenient to have to transition back to having the kids home in the summer after the school yearr.

3. Lice. It creeps me out and I figure avoiding school limits the risk.

4. Socialization. Are you aware of how icky most people are? I mean really, all we ever do is complain about each other, so why not just avoid everyone?

5. Vaccination. I love that we are a beacon of supposed immunity in a sea of vulnerable homeschoolers. It's an ego thing and I'm totally ok with it. That's right. I flaunt our antibodies.

6.* I think teaching is a worthless profession and I don't want my children exposed to the likes of teachers. Yup, I homeschool (teach) our kids but think teachers are sub- par.*

7. Fashion/trends. We abhore them. We vastly prefer to spend our days wearing pajamas and slippers. If we feel really fiesty we might don last year's Halloween costume. ( Truly though- it is much cheaper to shop at Goodwill and hang out with other homeschoolers who don't care what we're wearing....ummm, ' cause they're dressed like a witch and a football player, too)

8. No regulations. We really like that we can keep our kids home all day, all year, and never really have to teach them anything. See, we figure if the state doesn't require we educate our children- even though we've decided to keep them with us to do so- then we don't acutually have to do it! Beautiful! We can just hang out with our kids, referee sibling squabbles, feed them all day, respond to "Mooooommmmm" constantly, and never have a moment to ourselves! Why isn't everyone doing this!?

9. Parent Teacher Conferences. I just can't rationalize spending 15 minutes 2-3 times a year doing this when I could do it over dinner every night. What a waste of time!

10. I don't have a '10'. And that is true homeschooler style.... : )

* In any seriousness, if there are any teachers reading this, please see through the cynicism. What I am saying in #6 is that our decision to homeschool our children IS NOT ABOUT YOU, your ability to teach, or whether we value you. We think you're awesome. Please keep blessing the kids in your classroom.