My Library

I had in-service week last week and on Friday when I was chatting with other teachers they kept saying the were pretty ready for school to start and the more people who said that the more panicked I got that I was not feeling at all ready for school to start!!

Last weekend Alan helped clean up the robotics lab a bit and this weekend we went back for another marathon work session. It was great! I left this evening feeling a thousand times more ready for Tuesday. There’s still work to do, of course, and always will be, but I feel like I can do this!

Let me show you my library…

My new school. Not really new exactly, because the kids have been going here for years and I subbed here and did my student teaching here, but now it’s officially MY school too! 😄

New books are always exciting! (Those are not all the new books, just the ones that were on the shelf when I took the picture! There are lots more!!)

My first library bulletin board.

The Vermont corner. The three maps of the area came from Grandpa’s house. 💜

This year’s Dorothy Canfield Fisher nominated books.

The reading corner needs to be a little cozier. Maybe I can find a nice cozy carpet or bean bag chairs or something.

Group activity area. Elizabeth made the green cushion and the rocking chair was Grandpa’s. He was a library kind of guy!

The computer/robotics lab has been underutilized the past few years since all the classrooms have laptops now. Alan got it all tidied and organized and I hope to put it to better use this year!

Arlo is a great library dog!! Next year I’m going to get him certified to come to school with me each day. The counseling team has a dog in school and I think the library needs one too!

Belt test time again

Lex got a surprise belt test invite the day before the rest.  He was so proud that the instructors thought he was ready.  

He looked great out there!

Demonstrating his kata.

He demonstrated a weapons kata as well. I love the nunchaku in the belt!

New belt!!

This afternoon he participated in a Foam Weapons Sparring class.  He loved it!! 

Sparring

Kindle?

​Watching a very oiled up guy on an Olympics bloopers YouTube video…

“He looks like a Barbie, only a boy Barbie” says Eve. Alan says, “A Ken doll” and Eve replies with, “A Kindle? No, a boy Barbie.” – Eve, 8/23/16

A Doggie Weekend

This is a bit overdue, but I have to write it before we see the family up here tomorrow!  Hahaha.  Gotta keep things in order.  :)

Last week I took Arlo and the kids to Franklin and we had a super fun time!  Rosy was there with her two dogs and my parents have a new puppy too, so it was a puppy filled visit!  They all got along so great.  I was amazed and thrilled.

I’ll put a few pics here, but I put all of them online here.

We found an awesome playground along the way!

Bodhi had to get his share of food, despite all the big dogs!

Eddie thinks he’s a lap dog!

Lex loves his puppies.

Champagne mojitos all around!

Girls day out! Shopping, lunch, and pedicures. So fun! Eve LOVED her first pedi! :)

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Oh yea, we also celebrated Rosy getting her PhD and having a birthday!  It was a big week for Rosy.  I’m so glad we were able to be there to celebrate her!

Alan pointed out the other day that vacations in Franklin are really my most relaxing vacations because they take very little logistics.  Once we get there someone else walks my dog early in the morning (thanks Dad!) and pays attention to the kids early in the morning (thanks Mom!) and chats with me all night long (thanks Rosy!) and I can relax and just be.  It’s great.

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Fun Neighbors / Mean Mommy

Our wild and crazy neighbors hosted a backyard camp-out this evening.  They had s’mores, and popcorn, and a movie on their big outdoor screen!  They invited dozens of people to bring tents and sleeping bags and have a camp-out — a final summer fling!  (The have the most awesome backyard too!)

We were debating all afternoon about going.  I was tired and having social anxiety (I don’t know what  the hell is wrong with me these days!) and the kids really wanted the screentime they had worked for all day.  We hemmed and hawed and eventually decided to go for the movie and consider the sleepover part.  Of course, once we got there Eve was all into the sleepover!  We agreed that she and I would sleep in our sleeping bags under the big night sky.  Sounds lovely doesn’t it?

We had fun watching the movie and eating lots of popcorn.  Then all the kids played several rounds of a outdoor running game, and by that point it was 10:30 and there was no sign of settling down.  The grownups were sitting around the fire pit chatting and the kids were running around and bouncing on the trampoline in the dark.  About half the people had left by this point, but probably 25 or so adults and kids were sleeping over and therefore still there.

This is about when mean mommy reared her ugly head.  I decided that we really should be home sleeping in our beds.  We had a late night every night in Franklin (yes, I will write about that soon!) and everyone is tired.  I wasn’t excited about the kids on the tramp in the dark and I wasn’t (truthfully) excited about making small talk with people I don’t know well in the dark as midnight approached!  Alan and Lex had been planning on sleeping at home anyway, so they were easy to convince, but Eve wasn’t happy at all.  Fortunately we had fun daddy there to get her home and make her giggle, despite her anger.  I decided not to remind her that only a few hours ago she wasn’t even sure she wanted to go at all.  I love the idea, in theory, of sleeping under the stars, but I guess to be perfectly honest I’m kind of boring and also love the idea of NOT dealing with overtired kids tomorrow.  Sigh.

It reminded me of years ago when I had to drag kids away from playdates so we could get home for lunch and nap.  I knew I wasn’t the fun mommy, but I also knew that my kiddos needed naps and without them no would have fun!  I know staying there tonight would have been fun for her, but I also know that she needs sleep and that staying there would make tomorrow a mess.  Sometimes you gotta be the practical mom, even if it’s not so fun.

Alan giggled her all the way into bed and she fell asleep shortly after I got done laying with her.  I’m pretty sure all will be forgiven in the morning.  :)

Morning update: Eve slept until 9:45am!  I feel totally validated in my parenting decision! Now the neighbor kids are over here playing and everyone is happy because my kiddos are well rested.  :)

Back to work

It hit me today that I’m rapidly running out of vacation.  I’ve had the luxury of being home and “not working” since Christmas, but starting Monday I’ll be back on the job.  I’m excited, of course, and I’m sure it will be great, but I do mourn a bit for the days when everyone goes away and I get “me time.”  :)   So how am I celebrating my last day of summer vacation (not counting the weekend)?  By working!  :/  Hmmm….  We had a very busy day yesterday and the kids really wanted a “no plans day” today, which means they are doing their own thing and I’m getting work done on the computer.  I updated the library interface, updated my Scope and Sequence document, sent some coordination emails, and did a required 2hr “Mandatory Reporter” training.  Nothing like child abuse photos to help celebrate the end of vacation!  Sheesh!

I need to turn this thing off now!  Maybe I can talk Eve into running some errands with me… fabric store and pet store… both school errands!  Welcome to teaching!

Volunteering

Assembly line lunch prep!

I finally found a good place to volunteer with the kids! Unfortunately it’s a summer food program, so We only got to do it twice before summer vaca was over! I asked her to please put me on the volunteer list for next summer.  My kiddos need a little more volunteering experience.  

Oh, what a weekend!

Can I say that when it’s still Saturday?! It’s been a busy one so far. After Lex’s rock star performance on Friday afternoon we had about half hour of screen time relaxation, then it was off to the ball game! The Nighthawks are in a playoff round (or something like that) and were playing their final home game. The kids loved it so much the first time we went, that we really wanted to make it to this last game too! We all agreed that next year we’d start attending ball games a little earlier in the season. :)

It was a hot afternoon, so Eve made herself a little shady spot under the blanket.

The game was pretty long. Eve and I got a little silly.

She’s so pretty. I love that girl.

Just a wee bit silly.

It was a long game, but exciting! The Nighthawks were making a lot of errors and getting crushed for awhile, but they got it together, scored two runs in the 8th to get them the lead, then shut the game down fast in the 9th. It was awesome.

Go Nighthawks!!

Between the concert and the game, I did a whole lot of cheering and clapping and smiling on Friday!!

Today we slept late (yay!) then went to Alan’s company picnic. We brought Arlo along this year and I spent most of the time keeping track of him. I was a brave mommy and let the kids swim in the pool with just the lifeguards watching them! I’d like to think it was because I was ready to let go, but really it’s just because dogs aren’t allowed in the pool area, and I remembered that they go to camp and swim with friends and have survived thus far! :) It was nice to sit at the picnic tables and actually chat with Alan and his co-workers too, instead of just following kids around all day.

The kids LOVED the new splash pad!

Can you guess what we’re doing tomorrow? NOTHING! A scheduled, cherished, no plans day!

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Rock Star!

After a rocky start to “band camp” (“this one time, at band camp…”), Lex ended being a rock star!

He had been hesitant about it all summer and we frequently discussed why I had signed him up and what would happen if he didn’t like it. He agreed to go though and give it a chance. Monday morning he was less than excited and ended up in tears. We stood in the main entry to the high school (where the camp was), got him checked in (barely) and ended up in a corner with me talking him down. Ugh. Like a kindergarten drop off all over again. One of the teachers running it, who also happens to be the middle school band director and a great guy, came over and said, “This must be Lex!” Hahaha… I think he was prepped! He and another teacher were amazing with Lex though and got him on his way. She texted me mid-morning and said that he was doing great! I love it when teachers send that little update.

Lex came home Monday and said it wasn’t the best thing ever, but he’d go back again on Tuesday. Just DON’T sign him up again next year. By Thursday he was telling me about their plans for next year, and by Friday he was rocking the house! They had a concert Friday afternoon to show off the things they learned. It was so much fun. Amazing what a group of middle school kids and a few music teachers can accomplish in five short days!

He looks so little standing up there with all the big kids! He also looks angry, but really it’s his focused face.

Lex rocking the snare drum:

Eve wore her grumpy pants to the concert and spent most of it like this. That’s what happens when you eat nothing but Goldfish all day! Eventually she managed to eat her sandwich (from lunch!) and regained her sense of humor. Thankfully!

I love his dancing! He knows this song well:

Lex did a surprise solo!! I couldn’t believe it! A bunch of kids did them and the director said they were going to make up the solos on the spot. I leaned over to Alan and made a joke about Lex never doing an solo…. but he did!!

It was fantastic! I was soo proud of him. He was rocking and rolling and dancing and he got sooooo many compliments after the show! He just looked so darn happy to be there. It was amazing!!

The grand finale. Lex is in the back. You can just barely see his leg and red sneaker to the right of the directors leg. I think he was smart to chose percussion. He has lots of room to move and dance and do his thing.

They ended the week with an ice cream social and people kept coming over to him to congratulate him and compliment his performance. Even some students did! We enjoyed our ice cream then went home and crashed!

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Back to work

Have I mentioned lately that I got a job?! Yay! I’m pretty excited about it!

Today while Lex was at camp, Eve and I spent the day in the library! I met with the out-going librarian for awhile, spent some time rearranging the furniture, met with a finance guy to talk about retirement savings, and spent a lot of time discussing the fish with Eve.

My grungy new fish tank

It seems I have inherited a fish tank with six South American Cichlids. I tried to pawn them off on other teachers last week, but no one wanted them. Eve and I did some research today and learned that this breed (is that even the word for fish??) is “toothy and agressive” and doesn’t play well with others. In fact, it tends to eat other fish unfortunate enough to be placed in the same tank. We spent some time yesterday at the pet store and I mostly walked away with a confirmed feeling that fish are creepy. Eve is pretty excited about the fish tank though, so I guess we will learn.

Eve put all of the extra plants and “accessories” she could find into the tank. It’s pretty full now!

It is such a big and amazing space, and I have no grand vision for it, so I think I’m going to have to just spend time there over the next few weeks and see how it feels. We did some rearranging, created a separate drawing center and reading center (which were combined last year) and Eve was full of advice about what to do. At one point I asked, “Do the tables go here?” to which she replied, “It’s your library mom, they go wherever you want them to!” She’s awesome!