Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween



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!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

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!!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

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 done. Activities attended. And I am surrounded by my next task. Cleaning. The cycle that never ends! Tomorrow morning I can hear it now "GET UP! IT'S TIME TO GO TO SCHOOL..."

Sunday, October 26, 2008

old habits die hard




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!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

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 their own way, but Miss Teacher was the first to take the initiative to get him the help he clearly (to me) needs.

***

On the other side of the spectrum is C's situation. I got an e-mail from a friend who has her son in both e- language arts and e-math. She was complaining that her son has too much homework and that he is overwhelmed. While I can empathize, I am a little jealous too. My daughter remains bored. "Extra attention, extra challenge" and even the small amount of enrichment she receives isn't enough to stifle her desire for more challenge.

When she is in my care she's not bored! Since she spends 10 minutes doing homework she has plenty of time for extra-curricular activities and she is thriving! The more the better. A couple of weeks ago she wanted to add Cross Country (I thought if she WANTS to run, how great is that?!) and this week she started student council. She's not doing homework, so let her take advantage of everything else that she can!

I don't know how I will manage to keep it all straight!!! She has taekwondo 3-4 times a week, soccer 3 times a week, girl scouts every other week, violin twice a week (during school), cross country (once a week) and now student council once a week, plus she wants to see her friends.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

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 homeroom for about 5 years would turn into anything but a menace? But he didn't! Several months after reunion we still talk sometimes.

When I was pregnant I thought about the bad times I had - and various challenges that I failed to meet. It made me insecure about parenting, but by then it was too late to turn back. Sometimes I see my own past in N's struggles. "I'm not popular" he told me last week, my heart breaking. I wasn't either, and for a long time I wasn't happy. He's a boy and he's not sporty. I was a girl who wasn't pretty. I was an outsider for many years. Around the reunion I had a self-inflicted moratorium on negative memories. It was an active process - I only wanted to remember the good.

Today I had to face my past when someone "suggested a friend" to me on facebook and then followed up asking if it was great to be back in touch with him. No, I responded, I am not friend-ing someone who we can call Evil. I was never very close with Evil's friend, but we have gotten in touch online and he seems nice now. But I refuse to befriend (even if only on Facebook) Evil. Some things don't get forgotten.

I rarely think about Evil and I hadn't planned to, but now I am realizing why. It's one of my biggest fears for my kids. I don't really worry that they will be snatched off the street. But I do think about Evil and people like him. Evil's friend, Nasty Bitch, also reminds me of other threats that leave invisible scars. Another thing I can't control - Cancer - also is in the top 5 list of biggest fears.

But until today I had gone along with my life, cursing Bill Gates (yesterday's "crisis" at work)and worrying about small stuff.

The big stuff is out there. And it will rear its Evil head when we least expect it. I can't give my kids real weapons, but I can arm them. Self-confidence, trust in your parents and yourself and knowledge that they are loved. That I can give them...

... and Love always wins over Evil!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

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 stressful. The thought of Christmas, my favorite holiday, makes me want to cry- 2 weeks with my in-laws and a month with my Dad. I can barely keep it together with just us. What will I do?

Clean up and draw another bath!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

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 is fine, they thought. They said they could tell that he comes from a background where he reads and there are books in the home. T piped in with "my wife LOVES books". I beamed. :-)

The issue is specific to recall of vowels. There are also some questions about his ability to concentrate. They said they will continue to collect information throughout the school year. It was clear they had already spent quite a bit of time with him already.

That said, they couldn't tell us whether his challenges were the result of a medical issue and when we asked if we should see a physician about his concentration and memory they didn't want to commit to an answer. They did suggest things like behavior charts (we've tried them before with his thumb sucking to little avail) for helping him stay on track and organized in the morning. We'll try it, but I'm not thinking it is going to help much. In terms of concentration - we'll start with the pediatrician at his regular visit in November and go from there.

So here we are - more questions, some answers.

But I left with a lasting feeling of hope and gratitude. Hope that N is not going to fall too far behind and he has a teacher who cares.

It's a start!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

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 leave me this way".

In my head I think thoughts of the clean slate I was granted at a time in my life where things were literally falling apart. Think the economy has got you down? This was much, much worse. My brother had died, I had trouble with my friends (a teenager's nightmare) and my love life was a mess, or well, in my head it was a mess, in reality it was non-existent. Then I was given a year to make a new world for myself. I treated it as a gift - every single day was an adventure and I took it to its full advantage. Running alone, iPod on overdrive, I let my mind wander to that wonderful place and time. I promise myself that I will live the Carpe Diem existence of that fateful year, but know that I'm not very good at it these days.

Next song brings us much closer to the present - but it raises the pace and my legs follow. I'm a survivor is the ultimate feminist song.

Strangely, as I hear this song, I think about discussions I wish I could have. The things I want to say, but don't. I remember an e-mail - how I diplomatically (well, for me) answered it, but how I really felt and what I was tempted to write.

My frustrated mind wanders and I catch myself walking! Change of song. Another sickly-sweet song. "You're it! You're the ultimate!" I remember my daughter and her friends singing and dancing to this song a few years ago. I raise my pace and smile.

My music slows as I get closer to home. Billy Joel - from the concert where my husband and I had one of our first dates - I have skip, half jog to River of Dreams. My cousin GC turned me on to Billy Joel in the late 1970s and I am forever grateful. (My favorites are still the Stranger and Glass Houses, but this is his best song from the last 20 years). T has never really grown fond of Billy Joel, but he did take me to see him again a while ago at The Garden. A token of his undying love?

"In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
Through the jungle of doubt
TO the river so deep
I know I am searching for something
Something so undefined
It can only be seen,
by the eyes of the blind
In the middle of the night"

As I get closer to home, the music gets somewhat slower and inevitably I turn to U2. My feet need a slower pace, and U2's base on "With or Without You" keeps me going. I remember my friend MK who went off to Africa. We kept in touch for 15 years, then lost touch when we both became parents and moved multiple times. One fateful day, two years ago I ran into MK in a mall. I started to think about fate. MK and I never had a chance (he liked sickeningly thin, bleach-blonds who wore leather and I am none of those things - and I think he could have gone out with smarter girls) but as friends we just clicked.

This is not the first time I have had a fateful meeting. A classmate from Clean Slate Place came up to me on a train to Rome and asked if I was me. Turns out we had the same birthday and several other things in common. I ran into someone from High School (a boy who I had a terrible Freshman girl crush on) nine years later in Europe. This summer I ran into my brother's very successful friend in New York City (I was able to introduce my friend who studied fashion to one of America's most famous designers) . So my mind wanders to the place fate has played in my life.

I slow down on the last few houses listening to the Central New Jersey-appropriate Bon Jovi. My thoughts of fateful meetings, arguments that never happened and this blog distract me so that I forgot to stretch out. The words are quite appropriate for my existence as Mom:

"I'll be there for you
These 5 words I swear to you
When you breathe I want to be the air for you
I'll be there for you
I'll live and I'd die for you
Words can't say what love can do
."

I always thought of this song in terms of lovers, but the refrain really expresses my life as Mom (minus the first part about regrets).

***

And for a completely different reason, I am forced to remember this particular run. Every time I climb stairs for two days I remember that before I sit down to blog, always stretch after a 2.5 mile run!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

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.

Monday, October 13, 2008

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 cobwebs off my Latin skills. If Mrs. Mix were alive I would have sent her this. How did Becky and I pass Latin in 1986? Ora et labora!

I love Indian Summer!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

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 easy routine. Unfortunately he didn't place - a parent from another school said that the thought the judges were favoring their own school's kids (our tkd school were guests) - although when I write it, it sounds like sour grapes. He did his best, but it wasn't quite enough for the coveted trophy. His competitors were more advanced and stylized.

Sparring went a bit better for N. Although he lost all three rounds that he fought, he got a 3rd place trophy but came in 4th (the judges made a mistake and then had to retest their group!). N worked hard, even bouncing back after a kick to the face (the opponent got a warning). In the end he was thrilled to get his first trophy.

As usual C had a better day. She came in 3rd out of 12 girls in forms, earning a trophy. Sparring was harder - she beat the first girl 2-0, but then got a real whipping by a 13 year old (C is 10) - with lots of spin kicks to the head and chest - and lost 0-2. It was enough for a giant 2nd place trophy, and lots of bruises.

N ended the day by saying he didn't want to quit TKD, and compete again at other tournaments.

The next opportunity is in 2 weeks at Rutgers. That is the one that I thought was "long and poorly organized" last year compared to this one! I am glad N wants to try again! His modus operendi has been to quit quickly after defeat.

The last thing I feel like when I finally get home from a long flight is to board another plane. That's how I feel about a 2nd competition in 2 weeks: will we really be up to another go? When I just asked N if he wanted to do it again, he gave me a thumbs up. Kids bounce back faster than parents! I am just grateful that tomorrow's plan is for a lazy Sunday!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Imsoniac surfs web


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 like soccer centers for a short period of time, rather than develop the very last of BW's open space.

One of the reasons I couldn't sleep (the other being my husband who woke me when he turned on the light at 3:30am) was that N wants to quit Taekwondo. I don't want to force him to do it. Well - yes, I want to! But I won't. Thinking that video games are NOT cardio, nor are they accepted forms of recreation, I have been racking my brain to find something for N. Turns out, the High School has video game clubs listed in their activities programs. To see if your kids' favorite waste of time is included, click here. I still thinks he needs an extra curricular activity that he loves - so we are on the lookout.

Finally, in rereading the NY Times article I wondered - how does the school district that we were considering in 2003 compare with today? I noticed the line about National Merit Scholarships. In 2002's class there were 8 finalists (of 477 graduates). In 2008, (see here for my source) with a larger population of 656, there were 7 finalists. So the kids are getting dumber or the school is getting weaker. But is it that simple? Is it the high school or the family that contributes most in making a national merit-type of kid? And are these kinds of honors truly the best way to note the quality of a school system? Clearly my kids aren't going to be national merit scholars (my better student is already not good enough for e), so should I care if others are? Is it really an accurate depiction of the school's quality?

Exerwise has a 5:45 kickboxing class in 17 minutes. I should go. I am always so proud of myself when I do stuff like that - but I am exhausted. These decisions are always so hard for me. Kickbox or coffee? Stay tuned...

I reread this blog once and now it is too late to take the class. As punishment I'll spend the time cleaning the kitchen. Maybe it will disturb my husband? I want to be mad at him, but he spent another two hours last night working with N on vocab words. That behavior needs to be rewarded, not punished. So, I'll be quiet brewing my coffee and sorting papers. And later, I will treat myself with a half hour nap!

***
Update - Saw this picture of my niece who is studying in Italy. Take me with you!!!!!!!!! (Hope it's OK MP that I nicked your pic).

Thursday, October 9, 2008

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 sending their 2 kids here - i.e. 2+2+2 = 6 kids! Should be a lot of fun (for the kids!).

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

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're the one that I want, OOh, Honey!
You're what I need, oh yes, indeed!"

The Elementary Teaching Specialist called me this morning to make an appointment to discuss N. I must say I was pretty impressed - she had already had a meeting with N's teacher and would be in the classroom to observe him before our meeting. She talked about his ability to hear dipthongs, and she used some other jargon that I will have to ask more about when I am not at work.

She also let me vent about the fact that I have been very concerned about his writing since kindergarten. Kindergarten Teacher Mrs. Fantastic thought he was bright but immature. In first grade his teacher was overwhelmed by behavioral issues in a "squeaky wheel gets oiled" atmosphere (and N laid low on the radar). I brought him in early at least once a week, but it never helped much. In 2nd grade they had so many kids with "issues" in his co-taught class that they felt that he needed help but that they couldn't send him for it. Maybe this was an issue with the principal's management? Who knows?! This year Miss Teacher caught something concrete in the first week or two of school.

Maybe my friends and neighbors are wrong? Maybe it IS possible to work WITH the school and not in tandem or completely separated from it. I can't wait to speak with Mrs. ETS on the 17th! I'm so optimistic!

Monday, October 6, 2008

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, cruise director, buddy and (unwilling) maid). So while I am thrilled and grateful that T is working so eagerly with N, I must admit to a hint of envy. But that is for another blog, things are good - so let's leave it on a happy note. H-A-P-P-Y. Not sure if it is a word wall word but if it is, N is in the process of learning it tonight. Kudos, T!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

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.

Friday, October 3, 2008

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 wonderful, so that isn't sarcasm) to go through all of her protocols - documenting what she is seeing, then passing it up to a committee who passes it back down to her with the message "try this". We've lost 3 years. So naturally I am going to bring up the "why are we having this conversation in 3rd grade?" but it doesn't change anything. I am as much to blame as the school. And Bridgewater is full of judgment for me.

On a brighter note, I am writing this after a couple of hours of pampering myself and with nails and coffee and am off to the semi-torture known as kickboxing. It's great to have a day off work!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The veep-wannabees....


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 do about our country - they are disintegrating.

But what is most disappointing of all was an e-mail I just opened from one of my most faithful liberal friends.

She simply wrote:
I changed my mind. I'm voting for "the maverick".

If my friend has been bewitched, its a good bet that half the nation has as well.

I COULD CRY!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

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 it wasn't Hertz, but HAZARDS! So we wasted precious study time looking it up on several websites before he would believe me - even then he still wanted to call it Hazards. Frequency, pitch, volume, echo... I guess that is what he will have for breakfast tomorrow!!!

T is in Vegas until Saturday. He has more patience - probably because he spends less time doing the schlepping, but maybe its his nature? It would have been great to have him here now.

Am very very glad I got the PT job and not the FT!