Thursday, April 17, 2014

It's a Blur

We're two weeks from the end of the semester, which means that life is a bit of a blur right now. I'm actually working from home today so I can simultaneously finish a major data analysis project, wait for the gas company to come fix our meter, and catch up the laundry. The highlights from the week...

1. I did my final observations of all of my student teachers. This is always bittersweet. They are teachers now--not students. I love watching that. It also means I say goodbye to three classroom that I will truly miss.

2. We have an orthodontic consult for Issa in a couple of weeks. She had a great check-up at the dentist, but she made the referral. The hope is early intervention will help the rest of her teeth come in straight and save her longer, more painful braces later. Here's hoping.

3. I have more stones to put on Issa's solo costume. I feel like this could be the story of my life.

4. I volunteered to write a new dance mom handbook for the studio. I'm actually very excited about it, but I have no idea when that's going to happen. It may be a June project.

5. I'm officially teaching two summer school classes. The great news is they are both first session, so I will actually be able to take some time off in July. The kids don't have camp in July, so I will get to enjoy summer break with them, and I am so, so excited about that.

Nothing extraordinary to report, but I still love my rather ordinary life.

Monday, April 14, 2014

So Many Happies

This weekend was a bit of a blur but in the best of ways. Friday, I arrived home to our first Produce Box:
 Just look at all that deliciousness from local, small farms. We set the cooler on the porch in the morning, and when we get home I get to unload all the freshness and plan menus for the week. We generally know what will be arriving, but these were a very happy surprise:
 Some of the carrots and leaks were part of a spring chicken vegetable soup I made last night, which was lovely, and tonight we are having spinach salads. Deliciousness.

Saturday, we had an all day (like 15 hours door to door) dance competition. Issa's group did the best I've seen them do, and they won second, third, and fourth over all for their jazz, tap, and hip-hop. Production took second in the overall for that group. The awards weren't the highlights, though. It was the small moments. Laughing with Issa in the dressing room. Watching a big sister watch her little sister compete a solo, dancing along in her seat and holding her breath for the tricky bits. Watching big sisters snuggle little sisters before Production:
Those are the moments I love. I love watching her dance on stage, but dance is just so much more.

Sunday was a gorgeous day, and we spent a good part of it outside. I loved watching Issa reading in the hammock, sometimes snuggled up to Evan and sometimes Daddy. I loved watching Evan defeat grass dragons with his foam sword. As one point, I looked down to see him smiling just lying in the grass:

"Buddy, this is pretty much your idea of heaven, isn't it?"

"Yep, Mama. It sure is."

Mine, too, Buddy, mine, too...

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Mom Day

Yesterday was a full mom day. I answered a lot of email, but other than that I was on mom-duty all day.

My morning started with running coolers back to the school and then making way too many copies for the PTSA. With that off my list, I set off to the Natural History Museum with Issa's class:
 It was bar none the most fun field trip I've ever been on. We've been to this museum several times, but I had the best group. Issa's teacher gave me the chatty group, and they were chatty. But...they were chatty about what we were seeing. They asked great questions, took turns reading about the exhibits, and talked to each other as much as me. They were genuinely polite, kind, fun kids. They were patient when they were finished with an exhibit but their friends were not, and when I decided it was time to move on no one complained.

I also realized--again--how incredible Issa's teacher is. These skills had been fostered in these kids, although she won't take any credit. I also had a whole conversation in English with a little boy who spoke no English in August. He told me everything he knew about lizards so confidently. He is an entirely different child, and as I listened to him participate in conversations I couldn't help but get a little teary myself. I will forever be amazed by incredible teachers.

When we got home, I shifted into dance mom mode. We have a competition this weekend, so I was doing last minute costume adjustments for that. While I had everything out, I also finished Issa's solo costume:
We are both pretty thrilled with it.

I'm glad I had that kind of day yesterday because today is a 13 hour work day packed with meetings, observations, and our senior dinner. I won't see the kids until tomorrow morning, and that just never gets easier.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

I Surrender

I'm not even going to try to keep a shirt on that this summer. When I picked him up at school yesterday, the first thing he said: "When I get home can I take my shirt off? I'm burning." And so it begins...

As a side note, I think Aikido might just be his thing. Look at that stance. As soon as he turns five, we are there!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Good Thing He is Cute

Last night was rough. R.O.U.G.H.  I don't know if it was first day after spring break or the pouring rain or voodoo, but my sweet children lost their ever loving minds. We had a serious heart to heart about a half an hour before bed, and they truly did turn it around, which is why they are still around this morning.

As I was tucking Evan into bed, he was rubbing my back while hugging me and being especially sweet:

"I'm sorry I was a punk, Mama."

"It's okay, buddy, I forgive you and tomorrow will be a better day, right?"

"Yep. And I forgive you for being so angry at me, too. You'll do better tomorrow, too."

What can you do but laugh?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Promise Fulfilled

We made a deal with Issa a while ago that as soon as she learned to type a full sentence, including proper punctuation and capitalization, she could have her own laptop. She met that goal a few months ago, including being able to start a new document, which left Daddy and I figuring out what to do. The tricky thing is the school system will be issuing her a laptop in the not so distant future, so we were trying to find a great deal on something to get her by until then. It became a little more pressing now that she is working on her science fair project and Daddy set her up with some basic design software, though. Thankfully, Daddy is a genius! 

I have a work laptop and an iPad. However, I left my personal laptop set up at home. I like to compartmentalize like that. More and more, though, I was using the other devices. So...Sunday morning we surprised Issa with her very own used laptop:
Daddy customized it complete with a Company wallpaper, her school homepage as her internet homepage, and parent controls. It lives in the kitchen, and she couldn't be more thrilled. We were both impressed by how well she navigates it, and she loved showing Evan everything on the school website. We are kicking ourselves for not thinking of it earlier, but she is one very, very happy kiddo!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Sneaky Date

Every once in a while, I have a flash of brilliance. All of my morning meetings got cancelled for today. Brad was working from home. The kids were in school or camp. Hello! Breakfast date.

Brad and I dropped the kids off and then met each other for breakfast at this great little place we had never been. We had brie topped with the awesome apple raisin chutney and granola parfaits that included blueberry quinoa. Heavenly. We chatted and enjoyed some time together without having to get a babysitter or listen to the kids beg to go out with us. Brilliant I tell you. Brilliant. I can see this become our thing...