Mind Dump 4: The Pain of Today

Today was hard for me. I felt like every second of the day the kids demanded my attention and wouldn’t take no for an answer. So much screaming and whining and fussing. K refused everything I put in front of her for dinner. O wanted to sit on the toilet every other moment, even though I know she knows she doesn’t have to go – she just wants stickers for her sticker chart. I didn’t have a lot of patience today to begin with, so I was a grumpy, mean mommy.

Last night I completed skeletal versions of the rest of the flashcards I needed to make. My 320 words include the simple definition as provided by the GRE book. O helped me shuffle them today so I can get ready to start the actual studying/acquisition process.


Being the weird person that I am, I want an official (arbitrary) start date of August 1st so that I can measure how quickly/slowly it takes to reach a point of satisfaction. Having an extra two days really doesn’t matter in the long run, but that’s just the way I am I guess.

So tonight and tomorrow, I’ll continue the arduous task of filling in the rest of the cards that I will start studying on August 1st (the first round of 20 cards plus however many other cards I can get to between today and Tuesday). Though, the husband did say he would give me a good long break tomorrow. Maybe I’ll use that to start the math side of studying.

Or maybe I’ll relax. Not sure what that will entail. Maybe I’ll find a trail to walk on or a beach to lounge at. Hmm…

Another Escape

Another chance to escape for studying and general chilling. Today I am at the library in the next town over. I love this library. It’s beautiful and well maintained. Their story time for infants/toddlers/preschoolers is a lot of fun. Librarians are super friendly. Well done, town.

This is a wall found in their cafe area. I think it looks beautiful, so I took a photo.


Last night on twitter, I found many linguists to follow. I love that while they talk about linguistic things, there is humor and a bit of snark in their posts. I feel like a bit of fraud though with the name “linguistcoelho”. I have the interest and the most basic of knowledge, but I am certainly not a true linguist yet.

Reading their posts, seeing their knowledge, really has spurred me into action. Once I’m done with this post, I’m going to be spending my time working on flashcards and getting general vocabulary down so that if/when I need to return my GRE book, I won’t feel like I will need to check it out again (I got it from my local library). I am eager to get started on the actual studying part.

Best get started now!

Mind Dump 3

My husband had graciously given me the opportunity to escape the kids for a few hours. I brought some reading material and study material with me to Starbucks. Not really sure how I want to spend my time – productivity with studying or general unwind through news and storytelling.


Before I can get into any of it though, I need yet another mind dump.

Life has been a bit trying the last 17 days. That’s how many nights in a row K has been up past midnight. Last night we got a small reprieve in that she was asleep around 11:30 or so, but I think that’s because she’s sick and I gave her some drowsy cough medicine. She’s severely lacking in the sleep department, so it was very much needed. But she woke up at 8am, and I stayed up past 2am. Hubs and I got stuck watching the terrible Dracula 2000. It was so bad we couldn’t stop watching.

We attempted to get back into Game of Thrones – we’re about halfway through season 6. But, of course, we were interrupted multiple times by needy kids who don’t sleep. I don’t think we made it about 25 minutes into the episode before we just gave up.

I started to write a post about collective nouns a few days ago, but I haven’t mustered up the energy to continue writing and researching it. I’m hoping to get that done, along with another Dash comic, within the next few days. Kids allowing. Always the caveat. A tiring one at that.

I think I’ll read some New Yorker now.


Sleepless Nights = No Studying

Studying has ground to a near stop. I haven’t spent any time recently on flash cards or reading mostly due to children who refuse to sleep. First it was teething, now it is illness. Though I do think most of it has to do with habit as well. Up late, sleep in late, can’t seem to get myself or the kids on a better schedule. Lately K is up until 1am or later. Feeling very drained over here.

There was a small moment in which I had a few minutes to putz around on the internet last night. I follow Gretch McCulloch’s blog “All Things Linguistics“, though I really haven’t had much of a chance to thoroughly read her posts. During my brief reprieve, I started reading “#LingComm day 1“, which led me to “A Linguist Explains the Grammar of Doge. Wow.“. The latter post makes me salivate. These are the silly things that really turn my brain on.

Right now my brain is turning off. It’s supposed to be nap time for the littlest one, and of course she isn’t napping. Probably because I’m trying to take some time to myself. I don’t know what I did in past lives to deserve this sort of special hell. If I had the opportunity, I would lie in bed all day long, slipping in and out of consciousness. I’d probably sleep more often than not. Perhaps my gluttonous consumption of sleep pre-kids is the main cause for the suffering I must endure now.

Going back to the idea of studying, after reading the above posted links, it confirmed my desire to pursue that Ph.D. I know I will continue to run into roadblocks that impede my progress, such as kid issues, but I’ll get over them and continue forward as planned. I do wonder if my initial plan to take the test in February will work out considering the lack of time and energy I have now. Plus a majority of the time, any plan I make tends to not work out at all as I had intended.

Wah wah wah. I’ll stop whining now and get to work. Or maybe I’ll take a nap.

Mom Guilt, form of leaving kids with Dad

I’m out to get my hair cut, but it seems so is everyone else. I just wanted to walk into a place and have it done, but I will have to wait. 

When I left the house, I intended to not be gone for very long. K is napping and O is doing whatever. I don’t know why I feel so guilty leaving the kids with the hubs. I think it’s mostly due to him not having a lot of experience handling both kids at once. K is a handful all by herself. O is manageable most of the time. When they both meltdown at the same time, pandemonium abounds. (Too lazy to look up whether I used that phrase correctly. Yes, I frequently look up words to make sure I’m using them right.)

Now I’m sitting inside the mall, listless and unsure of how to spend my time. In front of me is a woman wearing a pink shirt, stocking cupcakes into a glass case. She smiled at me when I caught her eye. Many parents are walking by with tots trailing or running ahead. I spy a young woman, perhaps a teenager, with the same Hello Kitty backpack my three year olds loves to tote around. A man whose back is toward me has a shirt that says “Stop Forrest Stop.” I wonder why anyone would buy that shirt, let alone wear it.

I still have 50 minutes before my appointment. I think I’ll find a directory to see if a bookstore exists nearby. I dont think there is one. 

I just sneezed and a man walking by said “Bless you.” I appreciate the kindness.

Drawing Rabbits

I am not a very good artist, mostly due to the fact that I never practice. With the idea of using pictures as a medium for teaching grammar, I wanted to make my own character to use on memes. Coelho means rabbit in Portuguese, so it seems only fitting that I have my character be a rabbit.

You’d think that a rabbit is pretty easy to draw. In some ways yes, in others no. Hubby says I just need to look at a lot of models to use while I teach myself to draw. And it’s true. Try to draw a bunny from memory. Do you know what their legs look like?



Clearly I have no idea what rabbit feet look like. Haha. Nor do I know what a rabbit’s nose looks like. I suppose I should follow Hubby’s advice.

I sometimes follow web comics, and it’s interesting when you don’t look at them for a while and go back to find how much better their art becomes. It’s inspiring, really. I don’t have any expectations of making comics, but you never know…

Grammar Rabbit’s name is Em Dash, or just Dash for short.

I’m also going to make a character for the linguistic side of teaching. I’m thinking a sea goat. Now that is a horrible thing to try to draw when you have very little drawing experience. My sea goat looks like a big turd. Haha.  I won’t burn your eyes out with my attempts of drawing that one.

I have a new identity

Last night, I started to play around with how I will set up a grammar curriculum for my husband’s 8th grade honors class. The idea is to create short lessons – approximately 5 minutes of instruction, 5 minutes of ‘work’, and 5 minutes of further instruction – so that by the end of the school year, the kids will be grammar experts. Or, at the very very least, capable of writing complete sentences.

I’m using Rhetorical Grammar by Martha Kolln and Loretta Gray as a baseline for my lessons. Considering I have zero background in teaching, I am also relying on my husband to give me good pointers on how to make it age appropriate (in terms of mental capability) for the kids. Even though the hubs gave me a basic rundown of what he wants them to know by the end of the year, I am going to expose them to grammar terms like “modal auxiliary.” Do I expect them to know what that means? No. But with enough drilling, they might get it stuck deep within long term memory.

Husband said, “You need to make it something fun and engaging for the kids. They like memes.” OH MEMES. And instagram stories. Yes, YES, I can do that.

So I set out to create accounts for such a thing. Hmm, what should the account be named?

Linguistcoelho. Yepuhhhh. That’s what I aim to be, and that’s what I will be, and I will embrace it and make it me.

Later I thought that maybe I should have been a little bit more creative in the naming. Something like “Fricative Rabbit”. Alas, I think Linguist Coelho is a fitting description for what my plans are.


When I began this blog, I was having an identity crisis. Three years of nothing but being a mom was messing with my sense of self. While I love being a mom (most of the time), I didn’t want that to be the only thing that defined me. I called myself a “writer”, and although I do write, I have no published material.

I am so ready to embrace this new identity. I still plan to be a creative writer, and I hope to one day publish the novel I’ve been working on for forever, but right now I will envelope myself in language, linguistics, and grammar. In doing so, I will probably become an even better writer. At least that’s the hope and plan.

Linguist Coelho needs a logo. I think I will draw something up right now.  😀

Therapeutic Writing

I’m taking a time out from the kiddos to hide in my bedroom.

I was able to finish flashcard group 81-100 yesterday. I really had to make myself do it, but I’m glad I got it done. 220+ to go. I will probably get started on 101-120 later today.

After I got home yesterday, I was trying to figure out what it is that helps me relax. I pondered what I used to do, pre-kids, when I just wanted to tune out and just be. I realized that I spent a lot of time on social media, which honestly is not my cup of tea right now. I also took a lot of time to just lie on the bed, thinking. And I wrote. A lot.

When I was in junior high and high school, I spent a lot of time playing around with making websites and writing stories. Deadjournal, greatestjournal, My Dear Diary, and Xanga all became, at different times, a way to vent or talk about my life. While I had friends, I didn’t connect to them very closely. Writing was a haven. It helped me cope with depression.

Up until a few months before O was born, I wrote often. More creatively than nonfiction ramblings about life, but it was writing. I got ideas out of my head and down onto “paper”. I haven’t had that release in quite a long time, and I think it has contributed to my depression. I spend too much time in my head, unable to find release. Medication has helped, but it certainly isn’t therapeutic like writing is.

I suspect I’ll be posting here more often. Mostly as a way to unwind. I don’t really expect to gain a readership, I never have. Mostly I write for me, but having an audience is also something I require for some reason. I’ve always wanted to be internet famous, but I am not an interesting enough person to get any attention. Plus modern internet fame is different than what it used to be, I think. I really don’t know anymore. My definition of what “internet cool” means is antiquated.

I have forgotten how to relax

I finally have some time to myself, outside of the house and away from the kids. I brought my GRE study materials to a local Starbucks so I could work on some flashcards, but man I just don’t feel it right now. Which is too bad because I feel like I could get a lot done if I just could get the willpower to trudge through.

I still feel highly motivated to achieve my current life goal, but I just don’t have the mental capacity to buckle down and do it. My ‘me’ time is a rare thing to make time for right now, and I feel like I should be doing something more relaxing so I can recharge more fully. The problem that arises is that I don’t even know what is relaxing anymore. I feel like everything I do has some sort of element of urgency to it. I don’t know if urgency is the right word. Maybe just that it is to benefit someone else. The GRE studying obviously benefits me, but that’s a task, a chore. I have some crochet blankets I’m working on, one for the family and one for a friend. Again, those just feel like a chore right now.

I’ve never been one to wander stores and window shop. If I do go into a store my intention is to buy something, and I can’t really afford to buy much of anything right now. I’m not really into manicures and pedicures, not because I don’t like them – I’m sure I would love them – but more that I would rather spend what little money I do have in a different way.

Maybe I should just take a drive and blare music. I should have brought a novel or something to read, but my tired brain feels like it might require more engagement than I really want to extend.


I’m on group 81-100 on my flashcards, and I have 320 total to make. That’s just for GRE high frequency words. As I’m making the flashcards I’m adding synonyms and antonyms, and I try to incorporate words that I’m not familiar with within those lists so I can make another set of flashcards for those words.

20170715_152818 (Do you know what “pusillanimous” means and how to use it with the correct connotation? It’s quite an interesting word.)

Many of these words I’m already familiar with. I’m also running into words that I thought I knew but the definition is not at all what I thought the word meant.  I like learning the words, but I think it’s just too much right now.

Alright, I think I’ll get through this round on cards and just call it.

What do you like to do to relax?