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Showing posts from October, 2008

Halloween

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It's going to be a great day! Perfect weather. Costumes done and tested twice. Candy bought. The front porch's decorations of pumpkins, gourds and fall candles will put tonight's visitors in the mood.

Enjoy, everyone!

Vote your conscious, vote for schools

As we make our final decisions regarding the election, here is the PTO Voter Guide. If your vote based on schools, you might want to check this out!

Happy reading!

VOTE ON TUESDAY!!!!

Snowy day

Snow caught me completely by surprise. I guess that is what happens when you go to bed at 9:30 with a book and don't watch TV at all (as I did last night).

I am still a novice a this work/life compromise. I miss being at home sometimes. Today I would have liked to have curled up in bed with a good book (or at least changed from my skirt into a pair of sweatpants). I think N has been late for school every day this year - but when I think back on it, he was late last year and in 1st grade a lot. I had no excuse then. I was thinking back on it - I yelled at C in 3rd grade one day for being so late that she went to school crying. Just like I made N cry today. "If you would go to bed earlier, you would get up easier and we would get out of the house on time." Sometimes it is hard to be Mom. Do my other friends yell so hard that they feel horrible too?

N was ill prepared for the weather too. He went to school with a sweatshirt. But he survived.

Now they are all in bed. Homework …

old habits die hard

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I spent my weekend much as I have spent every weekend since I had kids, focused on them.

Friday was about Halloween. Saturday was an all day tae kwon do event (you can hear my cheers if you listen hard to these pictures). Today was running around and then soccer. One of C's friends got hurt and was taken to the ER. I have to pretend it can't happen to us or else I couldn't take it. C's tkd instructor didn't sugarcoat it: if you are going to spar, eventually you are going to get hurt.

I did sneak in a few minutes of self-indulgent behavior tonight. It was delicious!!

A step forward

Ns wonderful Miss Teacher followed up.

It's good news (I think). Miss Teacher has a few more ideas for things to do with N and the committee recommended that N get special help one-on-one two times every 6 days (in Bridgewater schools run on a 6 day cycle).

They are also going to look at his "case" at the STAT team. From what I understand this group makes decisions regarding special needs matters. Numerous people have told me the modus operendi is to deny deny deny until forced to give help. We aren't anywhere near that kind of place, but I do have to remind myself that ultimately I have to actively advocate for N, as no one else will.

I was thrilled to get word that the committee had met within a week of our initial meeting with the Principal, ETS and Miss Teacher and decided to give him help regularly. It's a small but significant victory and a first step to teaching him to write.

I sent her a thank you note. She is N's 4th teacher. They were all great in thei…

Blast from the past

This year I spent a lot of time in the "land of nostalgia", due to our high school reunion. I thought about good times and talked for hours about the past with friends.

I became friends with girls I used to think hated me (some of who read this blog!). I got back in touch with HK. Ours was a friendship that fizzled in about 7th grade. HK was creative and beautiful back then. Now she has flourished into an amazing butterfly of a person and I value our transcontinental connection. We're friends again. Everything else is water under the bridge.

I got back in touch with long lost neighbors and have kept in touch thanks to Facebook. We shared pictures of our kids and talked about "night games" (neighbor kids getting together on hot summer nights to play Ghost in the Graveyard and Neighborhood Hide and Go Seek). Maybe these things still happen, but kids don't roam out streets they way we did then.

And who would have thought that the boy who sat next to me in homero…

The hump

I will admit it. I am in over my head. I came home from work, checked my e-mail and climbed into bed. Finding that even lying in bed wasn't relaxing enough, I took a hot bath. But 5:00 approached and my 2nd job was thrust upon me - soccer, dinner, homework supervision, etc. It's after 8pm, and I am longing for bed. But how many days can I go without doing dishes???? (And before child welfare shows up?)

The to do list mounts and my guilt weighs as heavily as ever. Plus I have done what I absolutely didn't want to do: Brought work home. Only mentally. I can't stop thinking about the issue I had with Outlook today. Many years ago one of my colleagues used to yell from his office "I HATE BILL GATES!" Today I feel the same way!

Everything I had on the list is still on it (I have a library book in the car that was due in early September!)!!! I had a few hours of fun this week and I am paying for it in guilt.

I feel quite overwhelmed. The thought of Halloween is stres…

Friday meeting

We met with the Elementary Teaching Specialist, Miss Teacher (who I am even more in love with than before!) and Mr. Principal. This was my first working encounter with Mrs. ETS and Mr. P. T and I sat down with them for about an hour and we got a lot of information but are still left with questions.

I explained that I have seen issues for years and I wish I'd pushed the system harder to get him evaluated. I also said that while I don't blame any individual teacher, that I feel this should have done before. As a background I spoke briefly about his K, 1 & 2 teachers and what had been said about his writing before. Mrs. Kindergarten teacher said the same thing we are still hearing: that his head is full of ideas but he can't get them down on paper.

Both Miss T and Mrs ETS started by testing his reading comprehension and we have learned that his reading and comprehension are where they should be. Beyond that he can create abstract thoughts based on what he read. So his IQ …

Running thoughts

I started this blog on Wednesday immediately after finishing my run. I had to drive N to soccer and prepare for Girl Scouts and was unable to finish it until today, Sunday.

On Wednesday, I blew off housework and cooking to enjoy the sun. After all the freedom I have had these years at home, I felt the need to catch time in the Indian summer sun.

I let my mind wander with the music. My iPod is full of memory music. Mostly from the 1980s. Most of the music I run to is sung by strong women - Beyonce starts me off:

"You must not know about me,
You must not know about me..."

Then Alanis Morissette's strong vulgarity - I wish I had her guts!

Gwen Stefanie's music takes me to the street where the Ms live. The road is a quiet, and I can even sing to myself. "If I can escape, and recreate a place that is my own world..."

Thinking about escape and "creating my own world" made me skip the next two songs to that 80's band, The Communards - "Don't leav…

When yes means no and no means yes?

Have been another round with N re: TKD. He wants to do it one minute and not another, and my dear husband is not one to part quickly with the small fortuna that this costs. But we do want N to make it to his black belt (if only to raise his low self-esteem).

Will see.

Otherwise I don't have time to blog tonight. After planning girl scouts for tomorrow night with my partner in crime, M, I realized I had to do two things: find C's cookie orders (on 3 different sheets!), then e-mail the stuff to angel A cookie-Mom! I also promised to work on a larger GS project. This is taking significantly more than the 5 minutes I allotted tonight.

My bed and my book beckon. Life of Pi. Haven't read enough to make an impression one way or another.

Not much to report. Will keep you posted about Friday's meeting at school.

Fall day

It was a beautiful afternoon in Bridgewater. I didn't have a good day at work (but since rule number 1 of blogging is never complain about your employer, I won't write any more), I just include that to emphasize how lovely it was to enjoy some of the day. Carpe Diem!

C turned down a ride home in order to walk with her friends. They found a turtle, which her Mom wouldn't let her keep. Then her friend called to invite her to ride bikes. They were out until after 6pm. That sounds like when I grew up - ride until you can't ride anymore!

N didn't believe me when I showed up to get him from school without my car. Its about 1.5 miles - and he had to WALK! It was wonderful! We talked, collected leaves, walked and spent some time alone together. He forgot to complain after a while and even ran way past me the final few blocks.

They came home, did their homework without complaining and ate all their dinners. No whining at bedtime.

While they did their homework, I brushed the co…

Tae kwon-do mommin'

Ever feel like you have jet lag, when you only traveled 25 miles?

That's how we all feel tonight.

N & C competed in "the battle of the orient", a mixed martial arts tournament. The 8 hours were grueling for them, and us.

It was stressful from the moment I woke up. When we arrived (30 minutes later than planned), the kids decided at the very last second to participate in the board break portion (unrehearsed - and it didn't go particularly well). So the stress began before we even walked into the gym.

Board breaks and weapons (which they didn't do), were followed by lunch break and a CRUSHINGLY BORING awards ceremony for the sponsors' leadership, then a cool show which took more than four hours. By the time our main events started - forms and sparring - it was after 2pm and the kids were already worn out.

The results:
N did about 1000 times better than we expected.

His forms looked relatively polished and strong - with some last minute embellishments to up an e…

Imsoniac surfs web

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In the old days when I couldn't sleep I stayed in bed with a book, these days I surf online.

I found this article about Bridgewater in the NY Times. It was in the NY Times the week my husband accepted his current job and our lives changed completely. The article contributed to our picking Bridgewater over other communities in the area. Low taxes, a tax-based largely subsidized by the mall, combined with excellent schools - or so we thought.

I also read more carefully an e-mail pushing me to vote yes on converting 25% of protected land for recreational use. There isn't much online about this - I did get this from the Courier News. I sided with the owls a few years ago when it was a hot button issue (although I didn't do anything with that opinion, like go to a Council meeting). Where are the signs on Van Holten road? Without any exposure the Mayor is going to get her way! These days my daughter does play a travel sport - but I would still rather pay the fee to use a facility…

Quickie Blog

Sometimes you only have time for a quickie. The next time I'll be home will be 12 hours from now so it's now or never.

LAL director for grade 5-8 called yesterday. C is being reevaluated for e-language arts. She doubted that she would get in. Unlike Ms. Math Supervisor, Ms. LAL Supervisor made it sound like C could be reevaluated later this year if she gets in and if Mr. Teacher isn't able to meet her needs. Mr. Teacher is giving her more math and harder books in class - and that is making a difference too. She is reading The Yearling and having problems with the language. I'll have to look at it this weekend. She said "I think it was written a long time ago, like in 1961"

N continues to work on words with T. T really has been great about plugging through the vocabulary words. Am looking forward to my meeting with Ms. ETS teacher next Friday.

Feeling the working-mom time crunch: I have to farm out the kids today, but paybacks are tomorrow. Two families are sendi…

My Daughter and My Son - Tuesday Grease songs

Part 1:

"There are worse things I could do..."

My daughter is the quintessential over-scheduled child. If I spelled out the details of today, comments would fly in from around the world about how I am doing actual harm to my 10 year old, C. "She's gonna burn out!" "Her grades will suffer!" "She is going to get run down!"

So right you are. Today she will be at extra curricular activities for about 5 hours (*THAT ISN'T THE NORM!*). I asked her what she wanted to do. She absolutely wanted to do it all! Do I tell her no and force her to choose between TKD and soccer?

And if she stayed home? She'd be watching TV after finishing her homework. She may have other options, but Project Runway is what she'd be up to. Hmm... too much exercise or sitting on the sofa watching tv and snacking.....??? (I know what I'd choose - it's a good thing my daughter isn't like me!)

***

Part 2:

"(There's) Nothin' left for me to do
You'…

Happy sounds

The lasagna is cooling, the garlic bread is heating up (gotta love Wegmans - even their frozen stuff is good!). N's scout meeting went late by 30 minutes and I had visions of fire department rescues (from smoke, not fire) but all was well and dinner was delish!

N and T are in the livingroom "studying". It sounds perfect: N trying and laughing and T saying "try again". It's good that T is in charge. When N doesn't get something I get frustrated and my tone doesn't come out right. I also get upset when N makes a joke, maybe something rhyming, followed by a "get it?" T laughs easily with him. I would think N is distracted. Is joking around conducive to studying? My brain says no, but their relaxed tone makes me wonder. On Sunday T sat with N and did spelling for nearly 2 hours. N seemed to retain the information. Clearly he is learning now too!

I want to be the Mom-of-all-trades (parent, chef, chauffeur, tutor, social attache/travel agent, cru…

Moral dilemma

Saturday morning scene chez moi:

- In PJs solving laundry crisis: soccer uniform needs to be clean by noon. Still in dryer at 11am.

- No food in house this morning to feed crew - just as I was pouring a ladle of pancake batter on the pan M shows up with fresh bagels. We ate well this morning.

- Argument with stupid XM sales woman. Call management to vent.

Dishes, straightening.

Moral question of day?

Should I blow off soccer and take the kids to see Springsteen at an Obama rally in Philadelphia???? SOOOOOOOOOOOO tempting! OH SO TEMPTING!!! Maybe if I am still tempted after the game we will have to take a road trip! Hmm... think the kids will be into it???

But I'll be a good parent and go to the game.

UPDATE:
Springsteen concert is free to PA residents. Good thing I looked it up before hitting the road. Guess growing up has its advantages.

News flash!

N got an A on his Science quiz!!!!!!!!

Why am I hearing Handel???

Study and you will succeed! Lesson learned.

signed, world's proudest mom

Friday thoughts

Balance is restored to my universe. My friend was joking yesterday and I didn't have the IQ to see through her e-mail. Sorry, M!

My friend's kid (mentioned last week who also didn't make e) got the final of final nos. Cheryl Dyer refused to meet with the Mom and gave her a no via e-mail. I am disappointed in you, CD! The line is too stringent for getting kids into harder math programs. When kids (or their Moms as their advocates) are begging for more challenge, they should let them in. Again: WHY DO YOU HAVE TO BE SO ELITIST??? Well, my daughter C and her non-e friend, N, will have more time to play. But what are they going to do during the 2 hours of review in Everyday Math every day at school?

Re: N. He demonstrated again yesterday that he really can't spell. Some words are from his kindergarten list. I am going to meet with the principal and the elementary teaching specialist. I can't afford to wait for the lovely Miss Teacher (and I *do* think she is a wonderfu…

The veep-wannabees....

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Just saw the debate. I wasn't really surprised. Of course SP would come off polished - she has been doing nothing but training for it since the second she got the call from McCain.

I was disappointed with my team. Why choose a person who is a great debater and then tell him to tone it down? Why was the conversation only about McCain? Where was the Obama sales pitch? Why do I feel like the Dems have made the same mistake that they made with Kerry - they are playing the "nice card"? It doesn't win elections! Why didn't Biden attack her on the same points that JM attacked Obama last week: inexperience, "naïveté"? Where were his balls???!!! Why not attack no child left behind beyond a mention? Why not say that there is no such thing as "clean drilling" - i.e. in the arctic ocean?

Anyone else, btw, catch that SP began with an error? "Can I call you Joe?" It's "MAY I CALL YOU JOE?!" I feel the same way about our language as I …

Challenging day

It's a big juggling act - this part time working thing. I still have the same stay-at-home responsibilities and my own expectations, but I have no time to do anything.

Last night I treated myself to a 30 minute conversation with MC. She knows a lot- having 4 kids and working as a RN at a pediatricians office helps. MC suggested that maybe N might be helped by OT. She sees some kids who have writing issues that are fine motor skill issues.

We had a shower here for an expecting mom in our girl scout troop. By the time the last people left I finally got 2 minutes to ask N about homework - at 8pm he tells me he has a science test tomorrow... ARGH. Reread that first paragraph about juggling. I never read his #$%^&*( agenda (which clearly said "Test Thursday" on Monday). Frustrated I sang to him various notes to try to teach him pitch and volume. I think that he just got more and more confused. He had to guess Hertz and Decibels (loud was 100) but first he kept telling me …