Friday, October 2, 2015

Five on Friday: How and Why, Questions I Never Actually Ask Out Loud Anymore

 I actually do still ask these questions ALL THE TIME, but just in my head now. I've stopped wasting my breath on actually asking out loud because it's useless.

1. How do we completely lose a bedsheet?
2. Why are there footprints on the toilet seat?
3. How did he lodge this rock behind his dresser without me noticing?
4. Why is there a small plastic dreidel completely covered in chapstick in your bed?
5. How has the ceiling (or at very least the pot rack) not coming crashing down yet with all the banging and jumping upstairs?

Friday, September 25, 2015

Five On Friday: Full Day Kindergarten--Mommy & Me

When my oldest daughter first went to kindergarten, we got to tour the classroom and I loved the cute little wooden kitchen, so reminiscent of the one I had in my own kindergarten classroom. A few weeks in I asked her if she liked playing over there and she said, "We're too busy to play."

That's when kindergarten was still half day in our district. Three kids later we switched to full day and all of the parents wondered what the difference would be. Would our kids become super braniacs?

Nah. But full day kindergarten is still wonderful because now  there is time for:

1. Lunch, they love eating with friends.
2. Recess! Yes!!
3. Rest/Nap time: good for them and teacher.
4. More time for socializing, which really is necessary for them.
5. They still get plenty of work done but now there is time for play! The wooden play kitchen is no longer lonely! Hooray!

Likewise, for Mommy here at home not having to rush around getting errands done in 2.5 hours, there are also these same differences in my day!

1. Lunch: Now I make my own (instead of nibbling on someone else's leftovers) AND I sit down to eat. That's pretty huge.
2. Recess: I can exercise every day and not have to cut it short because I have too many other things to do before school's over.
3. Rest/Nap time: Yes.
4. More time for socializing: I have plans to hike with a friend soon! And have lunch with another friend next week! (Which is really great because I've realized the only downside to being alone all day and not seeing other parents at preschool pick up and drop off is that this social butterfly starts to get a little stir crazy)
5. I still get plenty of work done but now there is time for play! Right now the toilets are all cleaned, the clothes are on the line, the floors have been vacuumed and when I go out to get a load of dirt in the pick-truck I'll even have time to hit a few yard sales. Hooray!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Five on Friday: So That Happened

Things that happened and realizations I've had this week:

1.  After a summer hiatus, we had a productive meeting with The Meta Theatre Company on Monday night and I am so excited about the numerous projects we have lined up. I remembered once again how happy I am to be a part of a Social Justice Theatre Troupe. (Here's an article about one of the great things we're doing this fall: )

2. I went to my fifth middle school back to school night on Tuesday and realized I only have eight more to go. Yippee.

3. There was "suspicious activity" in our area on Wednesday so the schools were under lock out (where the kids operate on a normal schedule but nobody may go in or out of the building). The suspicious activity? Person jogging with a cell phone, passer by thought it was a gun and called the Police.

4. I went to my tenth grade school back to school night on Thursday and realized I only have four more to go. (I'll be running them myself soon I think. I totally have the deadpan "Famous Boy Scouts in history  . . . " speech down pat.)

5. And lastly I realized that even thought being able to run on a trail through the park and never see another soul is such a lovely luxury--when you twist your ankle really badly and nobody comes along to give you a hand it kind of sucks. (Hooray for cell phones! Good thing nobody thought mine was a gun!)

Friday, September 11, 2015

Five on Friday: The Fifth's First Week of Kindergarten

1. On her very first day of school she told me that she got sent to the Principal's office for "demply" (accidentally) hitting someone. Asked her if that was true or a story. "A story."

2. Also on the first day, she didn't bring her water bottle into the lunch room with her but "that's okay Mommy, a nice lady gave me milk!" I guess that means we already owe the cafeteria fifty cents.

3. On her second day of school I forgot to make sure she was wearing the name tag that kindergarteners are supposed to wear for the first two weeks or so with their name, bus number and classroom on it.

4. By the fourth day of school the name tag was missing, just completely gone. No idea where it is.

5. On the fifth day of school she got off the bus smiling, came to my arms and then started to sob, saying, "My body is just so 'sausted." Hang in there baby girl. You're going to get used to it!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Five On Friday: Things I Can't Wait to Do Now That They're All in Schoool

Hey, strangers that keep wanting to tell me that I’m going to really miss the kids now that they're back to school: I think I might know me a little better than you do and I can tell you that this is the first summer ever that I’ve actively wished for school to start again. I think I'm going to be all right.

I know, you’re just being kind.  You’re just trying to point out how fast they grow—and that the beginning of each school year signifies another step in the journey of them moving away from me entirely. Believe me, I get how fast they grow, my first born is going to High School this year and my last born is going to Kindergarten.  But could we just lay off the preemptive Mom guilt for, like, five minutes and humor me by letting me luxuriate in the anticipated bliss of running errands alone?

Here are five other things I am actually really truly looking forward to when they all go back to school (getting only a small taste of it this week with the oldest at school and the youngest four having two half days and then Monday off for Labor Day . . . must hold on a little longer . . . )

I can't wait:

1.  To not hear bickering all day long or have to turn off left-on lights, flush un-flushed poop, etc. I'm still going to be doing these things afternoons, evenings and weekends but a day time break is going to be really nice.

2. To take my runs through the park or on the trail instead of these same incessant loops around the neighborhood I've been doing in an attempt to stay close enough that I can quickly run home if they call my cell phone to tell me someone has finally succeeded in lighting the house on fire or something.

3. To get started on my growing to-do list of things I need to do (oil change, dentist), things I want to do (harvesting and saving food, landscaping) and things I'm really excited about starting (a paying job perhaps?).

4. To never again be late for preschool pick-up at 11:30 due to me trying to get way too much done in my measly 2.5 kid-free hours.

5. Lastly, and believe it or not, this ONLY just occurred to me: I could meet a friend for lunch and enjoy her company without being interrupted! Bliss!
PS I completely reserve the right to complain about packing lunches, homework and sports/clubs scheduling craziness in another week or two.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Five on Friday: Wishes for my High School Freshman

My oldest daughter started High School this week. She’s always taken a bus to school but now rides her bike. She's really enjoying the independence of getting herself to school (so far). 

High School is going to be full of many other new things that she’s longing for: new friends (“My friends are great but I’m ready to find my people”), more challenging classes, more club variety and exciting opportunities. She was literally counting down the hours until school started and when she got on her bike that first morning she pedaled faster than she ever did before. I mean . . . that girl was really TRUCKING!

As I watched her pedal furiously away I realized that might sound bad to people that don’t know us—like she couldn’t wait to get away from me. And here’s what I realized in that moment, along with some other observations and wishes for my amazing girl. My list for this week is for my daughter:

1.  I love how excited you are for High School to start. Soon enough you’ll know that big building and all of its hallways like the back of your hand. In the upcoming years you’ll find people or policies to be annoyed with but right now it’s all so fresh and full of promise. Remember how you were so excited you put your helmet on backwards? I hope you always remember how you felt that morning.

2. Don’t worry, I don’t take your pedaling away from me so fast as an insult. I know we’re good. I actually like that you did that. You shouldn’t ever be worried about me so much that you don’t go enthusiastically on to your next adventures. I’ll be here waiting for you to get back and tell me all about them.
3.  After you left, your 9-year-old brother assured me that he was “pretty sure” that you’d get home safely. I had no concerns whatsoever. I happen to think you’re pretty worldly for a country girl of your age and I trust that you can manage to get around just fine on your own. I can’t wait to see what parts of the world you get to explore—my first trip abroad was during High School and I’m hoping yours is too.

4. You were so looking forward to meeting new people and when you got home told me  about all of the ones that reached out to you and that you reached out to. You embody the notion that strangers are just friends you haven’t met yet. That is also something that is going to serve you well in your future travels and I know you're going to have friends around the world.

5. Look at you!  Not caring at all that most people in our community think that a girl's legs should be shaved and her head shouldn't be. Your bold confidence is inspiring to everyone, even if they're too shy to say it or try to mask it behind unkind words or stares. You are a shining star and my last wish is not that you're ready for high school but that IT is ready for YOU. 


Friday, August 21, 2015

Five on Friday: The Sweet, The Strange and The Silly

Summer is ending and so it felt like a good time to share a random collection of pictures from the past ten weeks. 

1. The Sweet: Our oldest is headed to High School next week and so far she still likes us.

2. The Strange: Saw this at the local lake last month. Still confused.

3. The Silly: Guess these port-a-potties are for number two only.

4. And silly  . .  . "E, if you move over just a little it will look like you're peeing a rainbow! Right on your friend!" #motheroftheyear

5. And more silly:

Friday, August 14, 2015

Five on Friday: Things to Do Before School Starts Again

We are in serious crunch mode here, people. My oldest has High School Freshman Orientation on August 26th and then her first real day the 27th. The other kids start a week later but we can't do anything *super* fun without big sister. So we basically have twelve more days to get in everything we meant to do this summer.

Well. Maybe everything is too tall of an order so I guess I'd better prioritize and get these five done at least:

1. One more trip to the Jersey Shore

2. Day trip to NYC, I've got a list of free children's museums and some groupons burning a hole in my iphone

3. Make fire starters: our stash is almost empty and while we can absolutely make our campfires without them, it's a fun project. *OH. WAIT. After I wrote this list the other day we had a slow afternoon and made the fire starters then, plus a sand candle with the excess wax:

3. So I need a new #3 and that will be . . . bowling, if it's not too late to print out some Kids Bowl Free coupons

4. Film short film or two for our annual labor day weekend short film fest in the yard with friends

5. As much as I dread this one . . . and some of my kids are literally begging me to do it . . . I suppose I must find time to go back to school shopping.