Friday, August 31, 2012

Tacky Day!

In an awesome break from the monotony of school uniforms, today at school was Tacky Day!

Yes, yes they are the same height now.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

All the Things She Said

"I've never had Taco Bell, but it looks DELICIOUS!"
-while watching a Taco Bell commercial

"Is somebody winning?"
-while watching a basketball game

"I've always wanted to ride in a submarine!"
-apropos of nothing

"Uh, yeah girl!"
-when told by her mother that this pizza has both chicken and bacon

"Not women TOO!?!?"
-when discovering that women only recently were granted civil rights

"Mommy, I will eat this Nutella like it's my JOB!"
-upon tasting Nutella for the first time

"Will you wax my ears?"
-when feeling some sinus pressure in her ears

"Merida, I had no idea your story would be so sad!"
-speaking to the Merida doll she brought with us when we saw Brave

"It's everything I've ever wanted!"
-while holding me by my shoulders and looking deep into my eyes, after describing the Baconator commercial in detail

"You just got SERVED! By the Serve Master!"
-after winning a game of Skip-Bo

"I don't really like British teeth."
"This guy is no Pitbull."
"Are there not any black people in England?"
"Is their queen not allowed to smile?"
"That guy is too old to be a prince!"
-while watching the opening ceremonies of the Olympics

Friday, August 17, 2012

Oops! Week Two

Did I let the whole week slip by without saying hi? That's because this is the week when it all caught up with us. I am dragging! I've let two weeks of getting up early go by without really putting myself to bed any earlier. The kids haven't had any meltdowns yet, but Chip and I have maybe not been our best selves every morning. I promise I'll make those lunches ahead of time next week! Either that or just buy ten Lunchables this weekend and call it a day. The siren song of processed, packaged food is calling me, and maybe global warming isn't so bad, right? (Kidding! Jeez, don't call child services or Al Gore or anything. I'll be strong.)

Connor has a lot of homework. A lot more than he's used to, anyway. And the problem is, he is just so slow! He'll do anything to avoid actually putting pencil to paper and answering the questions. So I think he's making it worse than it has to be. Luckily, he's not putting up any resistance yet- that will come later, I'm sure.

Chloe's teacher had strep throat to start the week, then today is out to take her kid back to college. I know those things can't be avoided, but two subs in the second week of school? Let it be noted for the record that I don't like that.

I love worrying about these minor elementary school problems, though, and look forward to many more years of it. Yesterday, the first-year students moved into the dorms at Rhodes, and today their parents will drive off, leaving their babies behind. It's too much to think about. Last night, both of my kids ended up in bed with me during the storm. I lay there while they sweated and squirmed all over me and thought about the kids spending their first night in the dorms. Did the storm scare them? Did they feel empowered, weathering it on their own? I can't even imagine what they're thinking, because I'm too far on the other side now. I could only imagine their parents, listening to that storm from their hotel rooms, patting the empty spot beside them on the mattress where their babies used to run for comfort. Did the parents feel scared? Did they feel empowered? I'm sure that when the time comes, we'll all be ready. But last night I smothered them with kisses and held on as tightly as I could. And they welcomed it.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Week One

Connor has been happy with his class, despite the lack of BFFs. (Also, he didn't have any night terrors associated with the start of school this year, last week or this week. It's been crazy!) He hasn't had much to say about his schedule or what they're doing in class yet. Maybe I'll get him talking by Labor Day. The only thing I've really heard is that the fan on their AC is bent, so it makes really loud noises all day. That's good information, son. Keep up the good work.

He does seem to love his teacher, although he (obviously) hasn't given me any specific reason why. My guess? It's because she's a thirty-something white lady. My boy loves a substitute Mom! He had one in Kindergarten and then again last year in Third Grade. At least this year he changes classes, and his other teacher is not just another "Mom." In fact, he informed me that she was "older," but then a few days later told me that meant 42. Seriously, I'll cut him if he ever again refers to that as "older."

Chloe has had a great week, of course. I would love to be Chloe for a day- to be tall, smart, funny, and generally unburdened by negative thoughts must be the greatest life ever. Her reports from school are things like, "On Friday we get ice cream with sprinkles!" and "I forgot to tell you- a girl swallowed a penny yesterday!" Plus, she loves her new after school classroom at Idlewild- downstairs with Miss Lauren and Miss Emerald! She's waited so long to be with them! When I picked her up yesterday she grabbed my hand to show me the cool stuff in the science center. Then she skipped off, singing to herself. I picture rainbows and unicorns surrounding her at all times. Surely they're there in her mind, right?

(That last sentence would have been awesome if had been talking about both kids and said "Surely they're there in their minds, right?" Because I'm a nerd. But I digress.)

I did get one shocking report from Chloe Wednesday night- she didn't really play with anyone on the playground that day! I was all, Oh no! but she kind of shrugged it off. Apparently there are some established friend pairings that she's not jumping in on. I encouraged her to reach out anyway. Thursday I followed up- how did it go? She said she was still playing mostly alone. (And she was still not nearly as worried about it as I was.) I mentioned some specific girls who had been in her kindergarten class- what's the deal with them? Who do they play with? "Oh Mom," she replied, "They play Twilight! That's why I don't play with them!" So now I will remove my nose from her beeswax because clearly she has a handle on recess and doesn't need my advice. Also? I've totally raised her right.

Preview of weeks 2-36: I buy books every time they send home a Scholastic order form; homework volume picks up; homework meltdowns happen with increasing frequency; I quit ironing clothes and making lunches ahead of time; we start arriving at school late. Sound familiar? I know- I can hardly wait either. Happy new school year, folks!

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Play Ball!

This year, Connor played baseball for GSL. The folks at Idlewild mean well, but they just don't have enough volunteers to run a great program. And I'm not willing to volunteer, so I'm not judging. I just decided to find a place with other parents who are way more awesome than I am. I got Max and Ayden on board, and our city school kids infiltrated the fancy team.

We reached the age where the kids do their own pitching. Oh dear lord it was brutal. But worst of all? Connor wanted to give it a shot. The inning he pitched was the longest of my life! I think I am going to ban pitching/goalie/quarterback from the list of positions Connor is allowed to play. I can't stand the pressure!

He was actually surprisingly confident, which made it harder when he sucked. Although to be fair, almost all of them suck at pitching at this age. And many of them suck in the field, too- Connor threw a double play ball that was fielded into three runs scored. Of course, when you're nine, a hit is a hit- he wasn't interested in my talk of "E-6." Now he doesn't want to pitch anymore, although by next year, when he's on the older side of this age group, he might be better. But if he wants to go ahead and retire as a pitcher, I'm not going to complain!

In any case, it was a fun season. I feel like he learned more about baseball in two months than he did in the three previous seasons combined. They won some and lost some, and really enjoyed the experience. I'm so glad that GSL let us crash their party! Here's hoping we can sneak onto a basketball team, too!

Monday, August 06, 2012

First Day

Chloe marched into first grade like she owns the place this morning. Little girls rushed up to hug her as soon as she walked in, and she didn't look back. For a minute I was concerned because most of her friends are in a different class, but I soon realized that most of MY friends are in that other class. Chloe knew everyone in her class and wasn't worried at all. I guess it's time for ME to start making some new friends, not her!

She got the teacher I had hoped she'd get. Mrs. Holloway is rumored to be very musical and use lots of songs and things in her teaching. That's got Chloe written all over it. A lot of other parents recommended her, and Mrs. Berry (our perfect kindergarten teacher who has set the bar unreasonably high) said she felt Chloe and Mrs. Holloway would be a good match. I believe anything Mrs. Berry has to say, so there you go.

Connor started fourth grade, and I have to say- I didn't know anything about fourth grade before today. I didn't know the teachers, I didn't know how the whole multiple teacher thing would work, nothing. I just knew where fourth grade was- the same place where I did my student teaching and where I had my very first class as a brand new teacher in January 2000. And guess what? My classroom is Connor's classroom! Crazy.

(Photo by Chip on the SECOND day of school, since he totally forgot to take a picture on the first day!)

He has Mrs. Thompson for homeroom, social studies and language arts. At some point during the day, his class switches over to Mrs. Bailey for math and science. He seems pretty excited about the multiple teacher aspect of things. I can't imagine he can keep up with books/papers/assignments from one class to the next, since he can't always make it from my car to his classroom with his lunchbox. It will be good practice for him as he starts transitioning toward middle school. OMG, let's not talk about it.

Opposite of Chloe, I saw plenty of names I recognized on Connor's class list, but all he could see were the omissions. His three best buddies- A, H and W- are all in a different class. Together. How will he ever live!?!? I pointed out that he might actually be able to focus on learning if he's not goofing off all the time. He wasn't amused. But I do feel bad for him- if we lived in the neighborhood he could just bike over to these guys' houses and play whenever he wanted. But because we're out here, it's harder for him to stay in the loop when he's not in the same class. It makes me feel guilty that we're stuck in this house and I've done it all wrong. But I'll just be sure and have more sleepovers and be more aggressive in planning playdates. And maybe- just maybe- that boy will branch out and make new friends. It could happen, I swear! I'll show him by making new first grade parent friends. We can do it together, Connor!

One day down, 179 to go! Woohoo!

P.S. Happy birthday, Mom!

Thursday, August 02, 2012

In LONDON, Angland

We're watching the Olympics. They are in London, England. Chip and I are unable to stop ourselves from doing the following:

When someone on TV says "England," one of us says, "Angland?" and the other says, "Japan's sending Playstations!" or something else from the following sketch. Warning: language!

When someone on TV says, "In London. . ." one of us shouts, "IN LONDON?!?!?"

And then we laugh, EVERY TIME, because we're total dorks. And then the kids say, "What's so funny?" and we tell them they wouldn't think it's funny, and they pout because we're having fun and they aren't in on it. Just so you have the full picture there.

USA!!! USA!!! USA!!!