Showing posts from October, 2012

"It gets more ridiculous every day"

It's hard to complain about a school when I just had such a positive meeting with several of its staff members. I'm looking forward to positive results in the weeks to come. BUT...

"I sense a blog coming on!" was my friends comment when I told her the following story:

My child needed a physical - as all kids do to participate in athletics - or, in his case, to participate in the lottery to take part in one (a school with over 1500 kids, there are about 45 slots for skiing).

My son handed the physician-completed physical form to the school nurse. She handed it back to him because it was incomplete. "Have your mom bring it back to the doctor," she told him. What was so vital?

His basic vitals... his pulse was missing from the form.

Now, I am quite sure that the first thing they teach in any nursing class is how to take a pulse. Even *I* can manage to take a semi-accurate pulse.

But our nurse, who apparently needs to be very careful about this sort of thing (o…

Oh, what to wear?

It's going to be a busy day for the Poppet Household in Lake Woebegone ("where all the kids are above average"). Or is it Stepford (my friend's name for BW)? Today we are hosting the Field Hockey Team for the final pre-game Pasta Dinner.  Pasta dinners are something I can make with one hand tied behind my back - it's the pre-arrival straightening that has me a bit worried. I need to remove all evidence that people actually live here.

Because of the dinner, I can almost guarantee I won't make the BOE meeting where one of the hot topics is implementing a dress code at the high school. (If you plan to go, remember it is at JFK school in Raritan).  The dinner ends at 7:30, so even if everyone is gone by 8pm, I promise I'll be in my pajamas, horizontal on a sofa by the time JFK is filled with community members saying the Pledge (of Allegiance).

There may be talk of the contract, which is still being deliberated by the B-REA and BOE. (In a nutshell: 0% raise fo…

It's simple

I read that (I'm paraphrasing) today on Facebook.

My baby girl loved it when I read to her. "Good night moon" (Can you find the mouse?)

As a toddler she still loved it. And on it went. "Some are red, some are blue, some are old and some are new..."

We went through many phases of fine and fun literature (and some books I'll thankfully never open again). Ooing over pictures in Angelina Ballerina and then laughing over the storylines. And sometimes discussing how bossy Angelina could be.

Then she became a school girl and we read to each other. Starting with "The Fat Cat Sat on the Mat".

Then there were the American Girl doll books - and I'd read to her for HOURS.

And then... of course... it came time. She started only reading books like Judy Blume's Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing independently. Novels and series.

And now, we share books, like the Uglies series.

I hadn't realized that she models after me: I love to read. Everyone in my fami…

Blogbreaking News

Today, Dick Bergeron's blog spilled the beans on the B-REA/BOE forthcoming contract. It looks like two contracts: a 2.9% raise for teachers for each of the next three years but 0% raise for 2011-12. Another way to interpret it is 2.1% yearly over 4 years... which is very close to cap.

How do I evaluate this? Is it a 9% (almost) raise over 3 years or over 4 years (which would lower the annual raise if divided by 4 years)?  I would have bet money on a 2.5% increase.... so I'm also a bit surprised.

I don't know the exact details: Does it mean any more in "deliverable"? Will this equate to even LARGER student : teacher ratios if it comes time to cover a potential gap? The BOE does rely on "breakage" (the cost difference salaries of seasoned teachers who retire and the new teachers who replace them) to cover budgets that spend beyond regular taxes. What if there aren't enough retiring to cover almost a 1% increase beyond the cap? This is one of those tim…


I have been a bit annoyed by the uber-focus on school lunches. It's really ridiculous when no one is forced to purchase lunches, that so many people who send their kids with brown bags (or perhaps Vera Bradley lunch bags with a matching ice pack??) have so much to say about the issue. So the US government wants to make them healthier and cut down on the crap-content?  Good for them. If you don't like what Michelle Obama is trying to do - promoting exercise and healthy eating - maybe you're not the target audience anyway!

My kids buy their lunches more often than bringing them. Neither complained about the rise in whole-grains or the smaller size. In fact, my son - hadn't noticed at all - and a 7th grader who is growing by leaps and bounds should be hungry if he isn't getting enough to eat!

I also don't buy that home-brought lunches are so much healthier (or even much cheaper if you send fresh bread and cold cuts and fruit). The staple lunch for Americans is st…


I had a chance to spend the morning in NYC.

It would have been a beautiful day to eat a croissant while walking across the Brooklyn Bridge or taking in one of a gazillion outdoor markets.

But this morning I did something even better... I watched the Bridgewater Raritan Freshman Field Hockey team beat its opponent. C played defense and while she was on the field quite a bit, the offensive players got a bigger workout.

Now my sister is coming with her kids, and we are going to enjoy an unseasonably warm and beautiful day at the Visiting Nurses Association Rummage Sale. If they consider it rummage in Far Hills, then I have a feeling it is high-end stuff in my world.

What else will the day bring? Hopefully a long run and some good food. Otherwise, sky's the limit. What we do on any given Saturday is about choices.

Today I'm choosing hanging with the family. Not a bad choice, I hope they like being outdoors, because that's where I plan on spending this beautiful Saturday. Back…

a day to myself

Today I had a special day to myself.

Or, well... part of day....

I ate pancakes.

I went for a walk.

I bought a book with a description that was so similar to my life that I think it is actually an inside joke (no, I won't tell you the title).

I knit.

Now I'm "back in the saddle" - picking up kids while at two different activities, carpooling and making dinner (doing laundry, too).

A few hours of paradise were just what I needed to restart the motor and revive my spirits after a particularly hectic week.

And now back to carpools, clean-up and laundry.

three days at a time

You're supposed to be taking one day at a time.

I feel like I'm on hyperdrive. Taking three days and cramming them into one.

The last couple of weeks I've been juggling two part time jobs, with chairing a book fair, hosting my father and all that is expected of a SAHM (I just learned this term for "Stay at Home Mom"). It's been a challenge to keep the balls in the air. Some days it is the little things: commuting. Some days we haven't had dinner. Sandwiches for dinner is unusual at the Poppet household. Last Friday I spend 3 hours folding and sorting laundry. It was literally the first chance I had gotten. On Monday I went to bed at 7:45 pm. I had to be on the road by 6:30 am.

With the economy the way it is, I can't be choosy. I'm looking for full-time work, but for the moment, splicing two part time jobs is the best I can do. The irony is that now I've stopped looking for a full time position, which is the goal from taking on new jobs. (That,…