Monday, August 23, 2010

Howler

My child is weird. In case you were unaware of that fact, here's the video to prove it:
video

She didn't know we were watching her until the end. It appears that she is a feral child. What does that say about us?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

First Day of School

Today was the first day of school for both kids. Talk about a crazy morning! Brian woke up early and just couldn't go back to sleep. He left for work at 6:00 am, leaving me to get myself and two children up and ready for school in the morning. Now, I've done this before more times than I can remember, but it's been a few months. It was a little stressful. It wasn't until after I got home from Caitlin's school that I discovered my coffee cup - still 3/4 full. It's a rare occasion that I forget about my coffee. Anyway, although Brandon has been so excited about school starting up again, he was not happy about getting up early. Nor was he happy about the slightly cold temperature of the house (it was 69 inside), which lead to many a shed tear. Caitlin was completely conked out, and didn't wake up even when her door was left wide open. This girl usually wakes up when someone breathes anywhere near her room! Luckily for me, she's the easy one in the morning. She wakes up happy, which is good because I had to scramble this morning to get everyone up and ready on time! Brandon, on the other hand, wakes up moody, and is also my cuddly, snugly boy. I get him up earlier in the morning than most of his friends get up so that so he gets all the snuggle time he needs before getting ready for school. Caitlin likes her snuggle time and all, but she can deal with it if it has to end a little earlier than normal. Brandon can't.

After many tears, getting dressed, and breakfast, we headed out. It's chaotic at the school on the first day. In many cases, entire families come the school. Moms, dads, grandparents........ Maybe this is normal everywhere, but my kids haven't done school in other places, so I don't know. Although we'd talked with his teacher for a whole 20 seconds on Monday, I still couldn't find the art door or the chair with her name on it (signaling where the kids should line up). Other parents seemed to know where to go, so I followed them. Brandon couldn't see it, and was close to tears. "What if I can't find my teacher?" Using my super-mommy powers, I managed to quell the tears and get him calmed down. The scene at the school was noisy and crowded. Mommy can deal. Brandon can't.




Finally all the second graders walked into the school building at 7:55. We were free! Caitlin and I had half an hour, so we headed back home to grab her lunch and her "All About Me" poster before heading off to her school in Boulder. It was all calm and serene this time around. The preschoolers were all so happy to be in school. With only two classrooms, there was not the mob of children we had previously experienced. Caitlin was thrilled to see all her friends in the same place again. I managed to say my goodbyes and leave her without so much as a sniffle. Such a difference! First days of school are hard, but I have a feeling Caitlin won't be as worked up as Brandon is when she isn't completely in control.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Meet The Teacher

Let me first say this - whoever thought it would be a good idea for all 600 students at Brandon's school to meet their new teacher and bring in school supplies on Monday, from 2:00-2:30, should be shot. Half an hour? All the students? Maybe I'm just crazy for assuming that I should go, but go we did.

We decided not to drive. Although we only live half a mile from the school, all the road construction in our area this summer has made walking difficult. Sidewalks and walking paths have been closed for months, and there has been no bike lane, and there are cones and pillons all over the place - so this was a big decision. Caitlin assured me that she could ride her bike up the hills. She does at home and I've witnessed it, so I believed her. She lied. Other families also not driving managed to take up the entire sidewalk, making it hard to go past. Caitlin almost took out a couple of families! One entire side of the street was closed, crowding us all on to one sidewalk. Caitlin couldn't get on her bike fast enough to be with us when it was time to cross the street, so she'd end up not crossing when we crossed........ It was so much more of a nightmare than I could have imagined. I think riding bikes to school is not in my future. At least not my immediate future.

Even with all the chaos, I'm still glad we decided not to drive, as the school and all surrounding streets were inundated with cars. The school really only has enough parking for the teachers. Maybe they assume everyone will walk. It is Colorado, after all. There are only about 50 spaces available, which makes the days we need to drive to school (like, when it's snowing, or 10 degrees below zero) very difficult. We managed to crowd into the school and find Brandon's classroom. I had labeled almost everything (just like we had to in first grade), and yet most of it was put into big bins. I guess everyone will know what I bought. Brandon's classroom had a cozy, warm ambiance to it, which was nice. One other classroom felt this way, but the other two were stark. His teacher seemed very nice, and we got to see which classmates we already knew.

I am very much looking forward to school starting. The kids are starting to go stir-crazy, and are driving me crazy in the process. Brandon starts tomorrow at 7:55, and Caitlin starts at 8:30. I'm sure I'll be busy getting everything ready tonight. Tomorrow, at 8:45 am, it will all be worth it!

Yay! School!

School starts tomorrow! I'm not sure who is more excited - me or the kids. I'm so excited to have breathing room during the week, and the ability to work on some stuff for my new MOPS group. Brandon's happy to meet his new teacher today, and excited to start the school year learning and studying cycle again. But Caitlin woke up this morning just hoping desperately that it was the first day of school. She might be the most excited. Tomorrow, honey, tomorrow.

New Church?

Our search for a new church home and community is no secret here. It's been well documented in this blog. We left our church in Boulder after almost 3 years and set out this summer to find a new one. Although we like the pastor, worship, and in general think the people of CBC are friendly enough (at least with each other), we weren't connecting. I've done a small group, playgroups, get togethers, MOPS, Bible study, Sunday classes, and church, and still leave there without chatting about anything more substantial than the weather. After 3 years of striving to connect and feel like we are part of something, it's frankly just gotten old. We're suppose to want to be with God's people, aren't we? Seriously- we're not not looking for people to share our deep, dark secrets with. We just want to connect and have community. I feel like a piece of me is missing by not having this. We've tried a few churches, and didn't get excited about them. We settled on RCC, a small, local church in the hopes that the location of not only the church, but also the attendees, would be a good thing. We like the pastor. But we're now 3 months in, and nothing. No one even bothers to talk to us. It feels like we've crashed someone else's party. If I hadn't been tried to be part of 6-week women's Bible study this summer, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't know anyone's name. Honestly, for church of its size (100 to 150 people maybe?), that's unacceptable.

So, yesterday we tried a new church. Although we were going to re-evaluate our situation in the fall, something spurred us on this soon. Possibly the fact that it really looked interesting from the website, or not feeling at all connected at RCC after 3 months, or the false friendliness we encountered by someone from CBC that we see quite regularly? Is it because I'm at the three year mark in this area, and I tend to re-evaluate at three years? I tend to want to move, also, which is another post altogether. Whatever it was, it was enough to turn our hearts toward trying something new. And..........

We liked it.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We found a church online last week that looked promising. We headed 10 miles south this time, instead of the same distance north, and found the whole experience to be positive. The drive isn't bad (and you have to drive, drive, drive around here). The church is housed in a set of theatres - an older movie theatre complex in a strip mall. The sanctuary is a large theatre, with the kids stuff being housed in other, smaller theatres or some of the neighboring strip mall units. It's quite amazing what they've done with it all. Our old church in California met in the theatre of a high school, with the classes being scattered amongst the classrooms and other buildings. I felt oddly at home yesterday in the middle of the chaos, theatre-style seating and distance between the classes. I liked that fact that the church was large, with at least 300 people in the service - and we went to the second service. I liked the worship - it was wonderful! So much more to our liking and not painful or hard to sing along. Brian really liked the worship leader, which is always good, and we both liked the sermon. It left me thinking, not lacking. The kids seemed to enjoy their respective classes as well. Brandon's class had a "game room", which opens 20 minutes before class starts. I hope he doesn't like his class just because it had Mario Kart for the Wii and an enormous blow-up slide! (Both are in the game room, which is only open between services)

It's hard to gauge from one attendance how the future will look. The people seemed nice, casual, and had a wide age range. Although we're just looking for a place to attend right now, I also want to find a place where we fit in and a place to serve. I think it's important for me and important to model service for my children. I suffered from some serious service burn-out before after moving here, but feel like I'm recovering well and starting to put it all behind me.

We'll try it again next week and see what we think. We've tried a boat load of places, and haven't been this interested in returning to a place for a while. Well, really since we went to CBC three years ago. So, we'll see how it goes this time around. Brandon and Caitlin both showed more interest in their classes than they have in a long time, although Caitlin really missed her teacher at CBC (I had to convince her that she would be moving to a different class anyway this year). It could be the place we've been looking for.

Monday, August 09, 2010

On Scammers

I got my first "relay call" for a Craiglist item today. The relay service is when someone who has a hearing problem types their questions/responses to a relay operator, and that operator talks to the hearing person on the other end. I thought it was strange that he called, since anyone who is interested in my Craigslist items can just e-mail the advertisement. It was also a San Diego number - I'm in Colorado (could have been a cell phone. One never knows). The third red flag was the fact that he'd seen my "advert" on Craigslist. Advert? So I'm getting calls from a deaf British person who hasn't changed his cell phone to a local number? I mean, it is possible. I live near a university which educates students from all over the world. But, then again, no.

He was interested in my tricycle. It's a nice tricycle. Caitlin's had a great time with it for the last few years. But this guy was really interested in it. Very excited! After I gave him one of my e-mail addresses through the relay service, he send me a note. His hold on the English language was loose, at best. His e-mail was full of typos and didn't pluralize most words that needed it. For example, he lived "many state away". Hmmm..... On top of it all, he wanted to send me a cashier's check or money order and have me ship it to Massachusetts. To sweeted the deal, he'd add an extra $10, along with the shipping costs. Wow! $10. I don't sell things on Craigslist because I'm desperate for cash. I sell them because we no longer need them. The cash is nice, too.

I sold two other items on Craigslist today. Both were local moms looking for a good deal on a used toy. One had a local number, the other did not. Both set up times to stop by and pick up what I was selling. The one who e-mailed me didn't have typos in her e-mail, and seemed to have a good handle on the English language. No red flags there. This is my typical type of sale - to local who stops by to pick up the item, or I meet them in a public place. I know scammers are everywhere. You hear about them on the news or talk shows, and read about it online. I just can't figure out who would fall for one like this. Did he do a relay call so I wouldn't hear his voice? Why didn't he just e-mail me? Is he dumb? Obviously, I didn't ship the trike. I was polite in my refusal e-mail, and didn't respond further. He send me a couple more, begging me to send the trike again, but stopped after that. I'm still curious as to why he wanted to scam me using a tricycle ad? I guess scammers want my money. No from this girl. Sorry.

Overcast

Yesterday I complained silently to God that I was tired of being hot. I'm not ready for snow and ice, but ready for the high heat to subside. I was also missing foggy, overcast mornings. The sun in Colorado can be a bit much sometimes.

Today I woke up to a nice, cool, overcast mornings. Complete with sleeping children. Thank you, Lord. Thank you for reminding me that you're there, and that you do listen.