Sunday, April 27, 2008

Kindergarten round-up

Thursday evening was Kindergarten Round-Up. It was basically an informational meeting for parents of incoming kindergarteners. The K teachers took the kids on a tour of the school and then to an Actual Classroom to do an art project while the parents filled out registration paperwork and listened to the principal and PTO president speak.

I was a little nervous about how Logan would handle things. It was a noisy room packed full of people. He refused a cookie (NOT normal) when we first arrived, but then spotted one of his friends from daycare. It turned out he was more excited than nervous. When the principal called the kids to come sit on a rug in the middle of the room, Logan zoomed right over. He loved the evening, had a cookie when he got back from his tour and babbled on and on about "kinnagarten." He's terribly disappointed he has to wait until August to ride the bus.

It was fantastic to not be a first-timer :) Soooo many parents were completely terrified of the unknowns of buses, lunches and everything else they've never experienced. (Well, for their children anyway...) One woman casually asked about the half-day option and the principal (a very nice guy) laughed at her. He went on and on about how the teachers do most of the heavy academic work in the morning, they get rest time after lunch, blah, blah, blah. He then asked the secretary who said in the 19 years of full-day kindergarten there has been ONE student who did the half-day option. The poor mom was completely blown away. Ahhhhh, so good to have been there, done that!

Now I just have to get over the fact that my baybee is almost in real school. Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

mini update

After all my good intentions, I forgot about Logan's worms. I bought potting soil but they needed peat moss and I never remembered to, ok fine, I never had the energy or desire to return to the store. Anyway, I found the worm container on Logan's bed cooking in the sun from the windows. I opened it to the delightful scent of decaying worm. Mmmmm, good thing I'm a zookeeper and smells don't really affect me! Others may have vomited... Logan and I found a patch of loose dirt and Freed the Worms. Most of them were still alive. I was glad Logan understood it was better to free them and let them live than keep them. (Phew!) He even made a point to recycle the worm container :)


Since my conference with Kaylin's teacher, she's had a couple of notes sent home as well as one F for her weekly effort grade. I think Kaylin has terrible Spring Fever and just can't wait for school to be over. I let her know she better NOT get any more notes or effort F's or she will pretty much never play with the neighbor kids again. Since the two-page, handwritten Note of Horror, I've been asking her every night if there's anything in her folder I don't want to see? This drives her NUTS! Last night we were driving home and I asked if she had any homework? Her reply? "No homework (pause, hesitation) but I do have a note and an F." I groaned and asked what the note was about? "GOTCHA!!! I don't have a note and the only thing in my folder is an A+ math paper!!!" Ahhhhh. I laughed the rest of the night. I'm still laughing. Kaylin may be a girly princess, but she's definitely my kid!

Monday, April 21, 2008

air show

We (and about 12 bajillion other people) went to the air show on Sunday. Logan loves real planes, toy planes, books about planes, pretending he's a plane... You get the picture. In past years we've gone to a park near the airport and watched a few planes while the kids played on the playground. No crowds and free seemed the way to go. This year we decided to face the crowds so Logan could get close to the planes displayed on the ground. We are brilliant! Not.

First, it took us 45 minutes to park. Approximately 5 minutes of that time we could actually see the stunt plane that was performing. We then walked a half mile to the gates where we waited another 10 minutes to get in. We already had tickets, that's just how many people were there. We then walked around for about 5 minutes before both kids decided they had to pee. We made our way to the row of Port-a-potties (EEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!) where there were AT LEAST 20 people lined up in front of each. We waited over 30 minutes in line to pee (and yes, I used one because I figured I wasn't going to wait again!!!!)

We did tour several planes and helicopters and got up close to lots of military jets. The lines were insane. I think it took more than 20 minutes just to walk through a FedEx cargo jet. We were inside the dark, windowless plane with zillions of other people that entire time because they were giving out stickers and wing pins at the exit end. It was nuts!

Logan loved the planes on the ground and in the air. We bought him a toy Blue Angels plane and he entertained the people around us flying it around doing all kinds of stunts. He LOVED the actual Blue Angels demonstration and wanted us to buy him five more toy planes. No. Watching him play with his toy planes at home and watching the hilarious stunts he made up almost made the whole dreadful experience worthwhile. Almost.

Kaylin hated pretty much the entire thing. The planes were too loud, the (incredibly stupid) jet-powered truck was too smelly, there were WAY too many people waiting in yet another line to tour yet another boring plane. It wasn't fun. She was a REALLY good sport about it. I was impressed.

Somehow, we got lucky and it only took about 10 minutes to leave. The Blue Angels were the grand finale so EVERYONE left at the same time. Other than more Port-a-potties, I don't know how they could make this event better. I mean, except for stupid Jet Truck the acts were fantastic. It was just the HUGE number of people in a small area, all fighting to do the same things at the same time that made it miserable. Perhaps if parking hadn't been such a pain, the crazy lines right after entering wouldn't have bothered us so much.

Friday, April 18, 2008


Yesterday my dad took Logan out for a Day of Adventure (cue the Indiana Jones music!) Logan was thrilled because he got to MISS SCHOOL to have a fun day with PawPaw. He was up and dressed and ready to go at 6:30am. I don't know how he made it through the next hour.

Anyway, Logan and Grandpa had a fabulous day playing and fishing and shooting BB guns and having lunch with Uncle Andy. I happened to be driving right behind them on my way home from work. My dad was dropping Logan off at Kaylin's school so Gene could take both kids to karate. I followed them into Kaylin's school parking lot to see how their day went.

Logan excitedly jumped out of Grandpa's car, eager to show me the Hotwheels racecars Grandpa bought him. My dad was checking around his car and getting ready to leave when Logan suddenly remembered "I forgot my worms!!!!!" I of course assumed he had some gummy worms, but my dad said "Oh, I thought I'd take them back to my house." Logan about FREAKED. He REALLY wanted those worms. My dad once again tried to convince him that he'd take them home. Logan INSISTED he wanted the worms!!! At this point I was thinking "Sheesh, Dad, stop at the gas station and buy yourself some more. It's just candy!!!" Logan jumped back into the car and retrieved a container of nightcrawlers. Um...

He carefully opened the container and showed me the WORMS. I picked one up, thinking only of the different zoo animals that would enjoy these worms. I then made some heartless comment about how he probably should send them home with PawPaw or I was just gonna take them to the zoo for the salamanders or chicks. The boy was now Ticked. Off. These worms were NOT going home with PawPaw and they were MOST CERTAINLY NOT going to the zoo!!! They were HIS worms and they would be going home with him to live at his house thankyouverymuch!!!!!!!! Oh-kaaaaaaay.

When they got home from karate, Logan spent the rest of the evening staring into the little butter dish of worms, occasionally touching one when he worked up the nerve. He was also trying hard to make his sister jealous of his new pets. Kaylin's reaction was pretty lame- she wasn't at all afraid or grossed-out by the worms, nor was she interested in them in any way. I guess I'll find out how to care for worms and try to provide them with a somewhat better home. How long can they live??? Probably years, LOL.

Monday, April 14, 2008

good old dog

Brady is starting to look old. He's been gray around the muzzle for a while, but now his eyes are getting a little cloudy and he seems, I dunno, droopier. He sleeps a lot more and has started barking a LOT more. Oh, and he's chasing his tail again. (He was obsessive about tail-chasing as a pup.) I think he's starting to slip into doggy dementia. I stopped exercising with him last fall because he couldn't keep up anymore. Sigh.

Brady had many health issues as a pup. Right after I adopted him from the shelter he had Parvo-virus and then was diagnosed with panosteitis (some bone/joint thing that made him lame) and then hip dysplasia. At age 3 he blew out one of his knees and had to have major surgery. Now at age almost 12 his hips and knees are in surprisingly good shape, though he did have a hard time getting in and out of the car today.

I took him down to Galena Marina for the first time this year. The marina has two of his favorite things- water and sticks. He was like a puppy again, begging me to throw sticks into the water so he could swim out and fetch them. We explored a little into the woods but the river was so high most of the wooded area was flooded. Brady had a fabulous time. For me it was bitter-sweet. It was painful to think this might be one of the last times we played in the water. (Yeah, I don't actually get in the nasty river water. Yuck!) He's totally exhausted and crashed in his bed but it was definitely worth it :) Good old Brady-dog.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

sweet tea

Hello, my name is Susy and I am a Diet Pepsi addict. I also enjoy Diet Dr Pepper and the occasional Diet Coke for variety. I've been yo-yoing for years, trying to quit, cutting back, only one caffeinated in the morning, the rest decaf, you get the idea. I also drink lots of water. For years, I have only had beverages that contain no calories. Oh, maybe an occasional iced tea at a restaurant, but otherwise that's what I've had.

Then McDonald's introduced sweet tea. Their commercials and billboards didn't affect me at all. I had no more desire to try sweet tea than I did to try a double-decker Fillet O' Fish. Ewwww! Until one of my friends brought me one when she picked me up... WOW!!!!! Dee.Lish.Us.Ness!!! I've had about 200 sweet teas since and that was a little over a month ago. (Not REALLY 200, but several :) If you haven't tried the stuff, DON'T. It is unbelievably good. Now I'm avoiding finding out the "stats" on sweet tea. I really don't want to know how many calories and how much sugar is in one giant cup. I could totally give up all diet cola for this stuff!

Yeah, it's been an incredibly unexciting week. I have nothing interesting to write about. Oooh, we got a new dryer so I don't have to go to the laundromat this weekend. That's exciting to me after two weekends of laundromat drying. Otherwise, nothing exciting with the kids, pets or work. I'm up to running 3 1/2 miles on the treadmill so I switched to running on the track two days a week now. I'm still terrible at pacing myself on the track, but can go 2 miles, walk 1/4 mile and then run another straight mile. I try to get in 4 miles between running and walking. Whoop-dee-doo.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Calgon, take me away!

I went to Kaylin's April parent-teacher conference on Friday. It wasn't as painful as the November conference nor was it lollipops and rainbows. The teacher managed to refrain from wide-eyed drama this time around, which was a plus. I managed to refrain from laughing- other than when Mrs. G told me Kaylin colored her entire desk gray with a pencil- but that was laughter of utter disbelief, so not really inappropriate or offensive.

Kaylin's effort grade (this year they give a letter grade for both conduct and effort) has been a B all year. I'm really surprised her teacher is being so generous. Mrs. G went on and on about how capable Kaylin is. She's well above the expected average at reading, writing and math. She knows and understands all the material. She just puts forth no effort. Mrs. G had a stack of papers with every grade from A to F. Basically ALL the wrong answers were silly things like questions she carelessly skipped over or obvious wrong answers she failed to recheck. There was absolutely nothing she missed because she didn't understand a concept. Two of Kaylin's report card A's fell to B's this grading period because of silly mistakes.

I'm confused and torn... I mean, I couldn't care less about B's on her 2nd grade report card. Especially when I KNOW she understands all the material. Part of me wants to do nothing and wait and see if she improves on her own as the work gets harder and she actually has to think about it. Another part of me wonders if I need to do something to help her improve her organization skills. It seems like too much effort on my part will backfire and cause problems that currently don't exist.

I know that Kaylin's problem is that she likes to do what she likes to do and doesn't like to do what she doesn't like. Duh. She'll obviously learn on her own that everyone has to do things they don't like. I recently had to do a written presentation about chinchillas for the zoo. I had no desire to do it, it bored me and I put it off until the last day. But I DID do it and turn it in on time. I hated everything about it, but I finished it because it was part of my job and I had to do it. Kaylin will figure this out on her own. Nagging and checking and accusing will waste my time and energy and will ultimately be a losing battle. Screaming and punishing isn't going to turn her into an organized, straight-A model of perfection. That's just not who she is!

For now, I think I'll go to WalMart and buy her the toughest, most indestructable homework folder on the market. Maybe that will at least help her tote her homework to and from school without the usual wadding and tearing. Or not.