Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Poor Third Child

I realized today as I was downloading pictures from the camera of things to sell on craigslist, that I still had Finn's first day of preschool on the camera! Uh-oh.  It was such a big deal for the older boys to go to school; school supplies to buy, new clothes to purchase, orientation, and then finally THE FIRST DAY.  All of which I took pictures of, and posted to Facebook and this blog. But not Finn.  I meant to write a post about his first day, but life sort of got in the way.  So here they are, three weeks late, but here nonetheless.

The obligatory front porch photo shoot.

Um, yes, I am not really sure what to say here. Finn wanted to take pictures of me, and so this is what I did. Don't judge.

Quick stop for coffee on the way to school.

Mmmmm.... Limonata

Finally, Finn is in the big kid room. He was so excited I didn't even get a hug or a kiss goodbye.

Finally, time to head back. Okay, really the time flew by, and I was a little stunned that it was after 11, already!

And just for fun. All of my boys on their first day of preschool.

Love them.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Tough Decision

Today I had to make a tough choice. Should I take the super-crazy-energetic dog on a long walk or go sit at the coffee shop and re-group. It was a tough decision. It is sunny outside today and a walk would be good exercise for both me and the dog. On the other hand, I could drink yummy coffee, blog, and catch up on some emails.

So here I sit, eating a delicious peanut butter cookie (right before dinner) and drinking a tall cold brew.  I will try to walk off the extra pounds next week. Today I want to just sit here and enjoy my moment of peace. Oh wait, that is what I did last week too.  One of these days I promise I will take that walk, but coffee is my siren's call.

In other news I have recovered from my crying debacle of last week.  This morning I ironed some slacks, put on nice clothes, and went in for a substitute teaching interview.  IWIILLNOTCRY, IWILLNOTCRY, IWILLNOTCRY; was my mantra running through my head. I was confident, I could do this. But then, they asked their first question, and yes, it made me cry.  Only little tears, ones that could quickly be wiped away, and the interview progressed mostly-tear free.

I'm thinking maybe it's time to up my medication.  Just a thought.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Today I had my first meeting with Jack's new teacher.  New school, new teacher, I had hoped to demonstrate the mature side of me, and finally have a parent/teacher conference where I do not cry.  This was not the case.

When my older sister has meetings with teachers she becomes (in her words) a "Mother Bear".  Picture in your mind a grizzly and her cubs and you have my sister. I wish I had a fraction of that emotion in me. When I have a meeting with my child's teacher I begin, very kind and friendly, and then soon move into a sobbing mess. It is embarrassing to say the least.

Today I met with Jack's teacher, the reading specialist, and someone else who I was never really sure what her job title was.  All three said really nice things about Jack. Remarking on his sweet spirit, his sense of humor, his cheerful attitude, but then identifying areas of weakness.  I knew we were meeting to discuss his assessment scores. I knew they had had a second assessment based on his first scores. I know he struggles with sight words, pencil grip, forming letters/numbers. I felt confident I was going to be okay during this meeting.

When asked to give a history of Jack, I teared up, but nothing bad.  I joked that I always cry when talking about my son, and was handed a box of Kleenex. I took one, and handed the box back. I wasn't going to really cry, I knew why we were here.  But then they started talking, and once again, I felt my eyes fill up with tears. I felt the overwhelming sense of sadness as they talked about all the areas Jack was struggling in.

I nodded through all of it, kept saying, "I'm happy, this is good!", whenever they looked at me. Finally the teacher did say, "I'm not sure if these are happy tears or sad tears". It probably didn't help that I had added chin quivering to my crying. It wasn't just a few tears in my eyes, it was a flood. Tears down my face, on my arm, chin quivering, etc.  That poor Kleenex I took was a soggy mess; I deeply regretted handing the box back so nonchalantly.

Walking out, I knew I had to go to the office and turn in my name tag. I planned to drop it off and run, but I saw the principal in her office, and for some reason thought it sounded like a good idea to go and talk to her.  Why? I'm not so sure. I walked in said 'hi' and then proceeded to sob. Not cry, but sob.  She politely shut the door and then handed me a giant handful of Kleenex.  Finally enough to mop up the mess that was my face.

In hindsight, I should have taken the badge home with me. Instead I sat in her office and kept telling her how happy I was that Jack was getting help, all the while crying.  In the end, I calmed down, and was ready to make the walk of shame to my car, when I ran into the assistant principal.

"I need to talk to you!" He says.

I was really hoping he needed to talk to the principal. But, not it was me.

"Come in my office! We need to talk so you can start subbing!"

This is when he really looks at me, at the swollen red eyes and nose, the giant wad of Kleenex in my hand and says, "Oh, we can talk next week."

Don't worry, I told him, I can sub and not cry. Really I can!

Do you see why I wish I was a little more like my sister? Just a little, just enough to sit through a meeting and not cry. That is all I am asking.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Status Update

A quick update on how the dining room painting project is going.

Yep, I've got the walls primed. That is it. Oh, and some random swatches of color painted because I couldn't resist.  

What color is it exactly? It's a blue/gray, I think, it is the same color as the kitchen.  In my humble decorating opinion, I decided I had too much color going on in my house, and needed to simplify.  So, blue it is.  Except that immediately after buying a gallon of blue paint, I read somewhere that blue is not a good color for a dining room. Makes the food appear unappetizing. Excellent.

I have big plans to paint, bring in NEW furniture from around my house and turn the dining room into a  usable room. Not just a dumping ground for random stuff that we push to the side when it is dinner time.  Sometimes my ideas are pretty crazy, and I feel that this may be one of them.

Oh well. My mom is coming on Sunday to help me paint. She didn't believe I could do it myself.  Which is good, because instead of painting tonight when the kids are in bed, I can continue my obsession with Netflix.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

One Day Down

Only 172 more to go.  Our first day was a success, at least as far as I can tell.  These boys of mine are not big on talking about their day.  "Good", is what Jack had to say.  "I don't remember" is all I got from Micah.

Finn said, "Take a picture of me!"

What I do know is that they were ready and excited this morning. I found Jack in our bed at 6:45 when I went to wake up Brandon. For the first time in a long time, he was up and out of bed without bribes, threats, or ultimatums.  Micah was not far behind, getting himself dressed including shoes and SOCKS.  After a special breakfast of pancakes and a forced photo shoot, we were all piled in the car ready to go. On time, I thought, until we arrived at school and realized we were the LAST parents to be dropping of their kids.  Seriously. Both classes had all the students sitting at desks, quietly working, no parents in sight. Trying to be nonchalant as we took photos and kissed an already embarrassed Jack good-bye.  Once again, Jack did not want to be walked to class. As soon as we got close to school he asked if we could just drop him off. Um, no, we would like to walk you into class, thanks.  That was the only time Jack cried.  I'm not sure I will ever understand this kid.

Finn whispering in my ear, "Can we have an adventure?"

There you have it. The boys' first day of school at their new school. Fingers crossed that they will wake up tomorrow and be willing to go back!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Call Me Crazy

I'm sure you already do, but in case still thought I was perfectly sane let me tell you how I spent my Labor Day.

With two of the three boys starting a brand new school on Wednesday, you would think I would be busy getting ready for school. Or, because I was wallowing in grief that they would both be gone all day I would be spending an amazing last day with them.  Wrong.  Instead I tackled a project that has been bothering me for 4 years.  My Dining Room.

I have hated this color since we painted it the weekend before we moved in.  I have brought numerous odd pieces of furniture into this room in attempts to deflect from the overall brownness of it.  I have made curtains, hung pictures, re-arranged furniture, but nothing helped. Finally I had had enough. The brown had to go.

So, while the boys' school supplies sat piled up on the table, Brandon continued to work on the kitchen remodel, I emptied the dining room of all non-essential furniture. I took down pictures, patched holes, washed walls, and then started covering the walls with primer.

Now I have a mess in my kitchen, an unusable dining room, a living room that has become the dumping grounds, and the first day of school looming.  The best part of all of this is that I can't finish the job until next weekend. This week is spent with soccer practice, back-to-school night, and convincing Jack that he will love his new school.

And that is how I spent my Labor Day.