Posts tagged school

Summer Hiatus and the Big K

You’ve probably noticed that I took a summer hiatus from blogging.  There was no particular reason for it.  It’s just hard to stay loyal to something when you’re living with basically no schedule at all and every day is filled with spontaneity.  I’m not complaining at all.  We had a fantastic summer filled with so many fun trips and adventures.  We traveled, took day trips, visited friends, went to parks and ate way too much ice cream.  We were living the life.  I know, you’re jealous!

Now it’s back to the grind.  And honestly, I’m not complaining about this lifestyle either.  Things do seem to operate with more ease when there is routine.  Especially with an almost five year old and a two year old running around the house.  Our daily scheules will be filled with playgroup, dance classes, gymnastics, soccer and a little thing called Kindergarten.

Brinley’s first day was last week and she had been counting down the days for almost a month.  She absolutely loves school and could not wait for the first day to arrive.  I knew she’d do fine in school and that she’d be happy and make friends.  My issue was with the bus.  It just felt so wrong to be sending this little person off on a big yellow bus with no car seat or seat belt driven by a man who I had never before met.  When the bus pulled up that first day I had a huge pit in my stomach and seriously felt like I was going to throw up.  But I stayed strong and didn’t let her see my fear.  When the bus stopped she marched right up the stairs, walked to a seat and sat down never once looking back to us.  As they pulled away I felt my throat get tight as my husband signed “Oh man”.  That may have been the hardest thing I’ve had to do to date.

Today is her third day of school and everything is going perfect.  Though it’s hard to pry out of her what she does all day, I know she’s enjoying it.  When she wakes up in the morning she wants to get dressed right away and has a very hard time waiting for the bus to come.  Since she’s in afternoon kindergarten, the bus doesn’t come until almost noon.  It’s going to be hard to distract her in the morning until she switches in January.

So that’s basically what’s been going on with us.  I’m going to try to get back on track with the blog as I know there are many who enjoy reading about our lives.   What’s new with you?  Any big changes for your family this year?

How the tables have turned.

In my former life, as a teacher, I hated this time of year.  It meant going into school to set up my classroom, memorizing students’ names, digging out the school year wardrobe and saying goodbye to the summer.  It meant commuting and packing my lunch and setting the alarm clock.  The lazy days of summer were over.  Even though I worked in some capacity over every summer, I was still always outside and having fun.

Now I’m looking forward, in some ways, to the end of summer.  It’s been very hot and humid and that’s getting old.  I prefer the cool, crisp mornings of the fall.  And I look forward to the changing leaves, apple picking and cider donuts.  I’m also looking forward to more routine in our days.  Summer is lots of fun and it means many spontaneous outings and vacations, but it can get a bit chaotic.  By the time the end of summer rolls around there’s a sense of boredom and redundancy in our days.  We’re all ready for a change.  New clothes to wear, new meals to make, new places to go.  And most importantly, time to head back to school!

Brinley is entering her second year of preschool this year.  She’ll be going three mornings each week.  I’m not sure who is more excited about it – me or her.  She really misses school and all of the fun things that she does there.  She loves being around her friends and doing all sorts of activities.  She’s been asking for a few weeks when she will be going back.  For me, it’s a mixed blessing.  I’ll miss her company and the lax attitude of summer.  I’ll miss being able to take our time getting out the door in the morning and sitting around in our PJs just a bit too long.  But at the same time, we’ll have more routine once school is back in session.  Three mornings a week we’ll get up, get dress and head off to school.  Once Brinley is there Nora and I will have some one-on-one time together to do some of the fun things that Brinley and I used to do.  I’m really looking forward to that. I used to dread this time of year but now I’m welcoming it with open arms!

Coach Bags and Good Grades

Today I bring you another guest post (sorry, I know you miss me!) from another awesome friend who doesn’t currently write her own blog.  Kelli and I met freshman year in college.  We were in the same English class.  We didn’t become friends then though.  It wasn’t until the following year when I was looking to move out of my triple (which was the size of a jail cell) and into another dorm or apartment on campus that Kelli and I crossed paths again.  We were both looking to do a room/roommate swap and ended up trying to swap with each other.  However, she didn’t want to live in my triple and I didn’t like the sound of her roommate so it didn’t work out.  BUT, the following year, after I had landed a sweet single room in a campus apartment, I asked Kelli to move in with me.  She became one of my roommates and so began our kick ass friendship.  I only wish I could somehow get her to move back to the Bay State, she is a Sox and Pats fan after all.

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Coach Bags and Good Grades

So, when Kristin (one of my bestest friends in the world and who taught me just about everything I know about Mommyhood, the Red Sox, and the Patriots) asked if I would be interested in doing a guest appearance on her famous blog, I jumped at the opportunity. However, what would I blog about? I mean her blogs are so hilarious and so captivating and perhaps genius. How would I ever compare? Well, I immediately starting thinking about what to blog about—maybe being a new mom, no, wait, how about a working, new mom? Nah, that is boring. What about being a working, new mom who used to go out all of time in college and dance on bars and now just craves a really good night sleep and a delicious cup of Dunkin Donuts blueberry coffee? Well, that sounds pretty good, but I think many moms are in my shoes and might not find that blog entry captivating or genius. So, I started to feel deflated.

Let me take a commercial break. I am a high school mathematics teacher. I am responsible for teaching over one hundred teenagers each year the wonderful world of either Algebra I or Algebra II (and next year, College Calculus!). I also teach at the same high school that both my husband and I graduated from. We are also moving to this school district in the next few months. So, yesterday I was grading a test that I gave my first period students. They performed terribly. I immediately started questioning my teaching and how I prepared them for the test. I did a good job. No, I did a great job. The students did not complete the review packet. The students did not stay after school for extra help. The students finished the test too quickly. It is their fault. I asked my husband—who is also a high school mathematics teacher at the same school—what his opinion was on the situation. He said, “kids these days just do not care about school.” Other veteran teachers said the same thing—“students just do not care. They are apathetic. Their parents give them everything and that is all that matters to them.” So, I started to think about my daughter. Mackenzie is going to be nine months next week (seriously? When did this happen?!) Then I started to think about my blog entry again. This problem is what I blog about…..kids and school!

And so, will Mackenzie be apathetic towards school? Not if I have anything to do with it. Why would “today’s parents” not encourage their kids to do well in school? Why give cell phones, iPods, new Coach bags, new cars if they are not doing well in school? It seriously bothers me—especially now that I am a parent—that parents do not support their children in school. For at least 12 years, school is the only job that children need to have. Of course, they may have after-school jobs for making extra money or to even help out with the bills at home or they may participate in athletics or extra-curricular activities. But, the primary focus should be academics. Let me tell you, Mackenzie will be focused on academics. She might not end up being the smartest kid in the class—and that is okay—but she will try her best in all of her endeavors. Why can’t today’s students be encouraged by their parents to succeed in school?

Three and a half going on 15.

My alarm went off at 7:15 this morning.  It’s a school day for Brinley which means no slugging around in our pajamas until 10:30.  So Scott goes up to get Nora as she’s happily babbling away in her crib and then he walks in to see Brinley.  Usually she sees him and wakes right up and starts running her high pitched mouth immediately (which wakes everyone else who was still half asleep right up as well).

Anyway, today Scott goes into her room.  She gives him one look then rolls over and pulls the covers up over her head!!  I manage to drag myself out of bed and go in to her room to see if she’ll wake up for me and she just continues to lay there with her eyes closed refusing to get out of bed.  Umm, Hello!! when did you turn into a teenager??

Brinley has always been an awesome sleeper.  She started sleeping through the night at six weeks old and has never strayed.  She usually sleeps until around 8am but occasionally sleeps later.  Like one day last week she slept until almost 10:30!!  That was crazy.  I thought it was a fluke thing until she slept until almost 9:30 the following morning.  Maybe I need to start putting her to bed earlier, but she’s already in bed (usually) by 8pm and putting her to bed any earlier would mean that she would see even less of Scott at night.  And really, she doesn’t seem tired enough to put her to bed any earlier.  Oh and if you’re wondering, she stopped napping about a year ago, so I don’t think that is a solution.

If this is any indication of things to come, she is going to be impossible to get out of bed for school when she’s a teenager!

The Pajama Problem

Kids come up with some weird ideas.  I’m not sure how this all started but a few months ago, Brinley decided that she would no longer wear matching pajamas.  She probably has at least a dozen pairs of PJs in her drawer.  Cute little matching sets – from flowers to monkeys to princesses to elephants.  However, she flat out refuses to wear the pants and shirt that are supposed to belong together.  So let’s say she picks out the monkey shirt from her pajama drawer.  Then the she can not and will not wear the monkey shirt that matches.  She’ll choose something completely silly to go with them, like the princess shirt.  Like I said, I have no idea how this all came about (though I’m sure it’s my husbands doing as I am shut out of their secret bedtime routine) but I see no end in sight.

A typical pajama selection - elephant top with milk & cookies pants

This is one of those battles that I chose not to fight.  I mean, who really cares what she wears to bed anyway as long as she’s warm and comfortable, right?  No one other than Scott and I is going to see her.  Well, it became a small issue when her preschool sent home a notice that they would be having a Pajama Day at school.  I told Brinley about it and she was soo excited that she’s be able to keep her PJs on all day. I, on the other hand, was not thrilled because it meant one of two things:  send her to school in non-matching pajamas or fight with her to wear a matching set.  I didn’t want to do either.  So, I told her a bit of a white lie.  I told her that the notice said that the pajamas that she wore to school had to match.  And what did she do?  She cried.  “But I don’t want to wear matching pajamas.  It’s not what I do!”  Apparently she is defined by her non-matching-ness.  I brought this up with her a few days in advance so that I had time to convince her to wear a matching set.  Who won the battle?  I did, thankfully.  It was probably silly for me to even care about it, but I take pride in making my kids look presentable in public – even if they are in their pajamas!

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