Thursday, March 31, 2011

Why Having A Toddler is Like Living in Poltergeist

Why Having A Toddler is Like Living in Poltergeist

Taken from Suburban I take no credit for this, but it made me laugh!

If Poltergeist isn't one of your all-time family classics, well, your family is probably a little more balanced than mine. But really, who doesn't enjoy possessed trees, evil clowns, and angry, decomposing Native Americans? That's got quality time written all over it.

10. Items reappear out of place mere seconds after you've put them away.
9. In the dark, you sense an unwelcome presence in your room.
8. You frequently resist the urge to run screaming from your own home.
7. You're never really alone.
6. You can't escape the voices calling your name.
5. You could have sworn you just turned that light off.
4. The TV has more power over your child than you do.
3. You're often terrified by what you find under the bed.
2. A very small person keeps telling you what to do, and strangely, you keep listening.
1. You know that the only way you'll get any peace is a hotel room clear across town.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Instead of Blogging....

Ten things I did over the last 5 days instead of blogging:

  • Took my family to the airport and sent them off to California for 5 days.

  • Went to bed when I was tired. Didn't wake up until I'd had enough sleep.

  • Slept in the middle of the bed.

  • Had a long and argumentative conversation with God. Asked Him to show me a few things I had questions on. Still waiting for confirmation.

  • Came to an complete understanding of what other mothers meant when they talked about spring break and summer and how hard of a transition it was having the kids home. Several years ago, when I was a stay-at-home mom of young children, I had no context for these discussions. At that time, everyday was just about the same, except the weekends or holidays when daddy was home. Now I get it. It's different to have time with family, time with kids, time alone during the week, and complete and utter time to yourself for a few days. All are needed. All are necessary.

  • Washed, folded and put away only my own laundry.

  • Stained our coffee table. Messed up. Wiped it all off. Stained it again. Coated it with a protective coating. Thought I messed up again, but took a deep breath (without getting light headed) and let it dry overnight. Much to my surprise, it all worked out. You can still see the places where the veneer was scraped off, but they're less noticeable, almost the same color as the table, and not divots anymore.

  • Cleaned the house. Marveled at the fact it remained clean for 5 days.

  • Had a long lunch with a good friend who's in a rough spot.

  • Painted the fire place grate from gold to black. Now I only have one gold light fixture and a bunch of gold doorknobs to replace.

    Oh wait.... one more....

  • Did I mention that I went to bed when I felt like it, and didn't get up in the morning until I'd gotten enough sleep?

I'm now about to head out to the airport to retrieve the family members. Tomorrow and the next day I will attempt to get back on track with the schedule imposed on me by society. But I'm grateful for the rest, relaxation and alone time I just had. I'm also grateful that my family is coming back into town. Our house is too big and quiet for just me.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Winter That Never Was

The wind is shaking the house. I'm not sure what the wind speed is, but the weather reporter on the morning news said we should expect 50-60 MPH gusts for most of the day and night. Although the windows are shaking and rattling, I don't wonder if they're going to blow out until the wind gets up to 75 MPH. Here in the front range of Colorado, that's not uncommon. You don't hear much about windows blowing out, but the crazy wind is the reason there's a lot of fence and tree damage in our neighborhood. Maybe also the reason there aren't a lot of natural trees on the flat lands. Last week the winds were so high and at just the right trajectory that I was worried our bedroom windows might blow, or at least crack. The winds woke me up at 4:00 am that morning, heralding in yet another sleepy day. Sleep was again elusive last night as the winds woke me up on a constant basis. I'm getting use to not having enough energy to get through the day.

It's now officially spring as of yesterday. It's as if the lilac bush outside got the memo, because this morning it had already started to sprout little green leaves. With our complete lack of any moisture this winter, I'm not sure where the bush is getting any nourishment to start the process. I'm calling this last winter of 2010-2011 "the winter that never was". "The winter that never was" got about a foot of snow. That's it. Winter snow in Colorado is dry. We get almost no moisture from it at all. When it snows just a little you can blow it away. It's like a down comforter exploded and the feathers are the snow. But just a foot of snow all winter? Combine that with our one, maybe two thunderstorms over the summer, and we've gotten no rain or snow since last April. Can you say "drought"?

"The winter that never was" has also been very warm. Except for a few weeks here and there of cold or extremely cold weather (below zero), it's been balmy. I bought a new coat in September - one I could wear in public without embarrassment - and haven't worn it all that much. I'm not even tired of it yet, and by the end of winter here I usually hate all the clothing that weighs me down! I did buy a couple of sweatshirts, as it's been cold enough to warrant the wearing of them. The high country has been buried in snow, which I'm sure is great for our water tables and tourism. Skiers everywhere are rejoicing about the great powder in the Colorado mountains! But we've gotten none of it down here. I sweep or vacuum more than normal because of all the dry grass and tanbark from the dry school playground that is tracked into our house daily. Most of the Coloradoans marvel at the warm temperatures. I'm just sad about it. I'm trying not to complain, but it's hard. One of the great things about winter is that it makes me look forward to summer. I hadn't looked forward to summer in years before we moved here. I practically dreaded it. While I'm not currently dreading the upcoming summer, I haven't had one iota of desire for it to start. Except for the greenery. I love, love, love all the blooming trees, flowers, and the greening of the grass of late spring. Summer's one of the few pretty, green seasons here. Without snow, the winter landscape just looks dead and barren.

So now "The winter that never was" is over. It's like we had an extended fall. It's weird. It falls into the whole weird weather in Colorado category that Coloradoans are so proud of. The saying is if you don't like the weather in Colorado, wait 10 minutes and it'll change. It's true that it can change quickly, but I doubt I'm going to get any rain in 10 minutes. Maybe this summer. Maybe.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Even Though....

Yesterday at Brandon's school, I got called crazy. Not the exact word, but still - crazy. The reason? I put my son in school even though his birthday is near the Colorado school grade cut-off date of September 30th. Even though he was going to be the youngest in his class. Even though.... it's a theme around these here parts.

Caitlin was playing with two little boys in the school playground. They were getting along well, and I asked the woman in charge how old they were. We only know a couple of kids going into kindergarten at the same time as Caitlin next year, so I guess I'm always scouting around to see who might be in her class next year. Anyway, both boys are 4 1/2, and both had birthdays in September. The woman said that one boy, the one who wasn't hers, was going into kindergarten next year, even though his birthday was September 22nd (emphasis hers), because his mother believed that was the right thing to do. The other boy, who was hers, also had a September birthday, was not going until the following year. I mentioned that my son was a September birthday, and that he was young in school. She, the mom, pointed out with (again) added emphasis that she did not believe in putting a child into school if the child's birthday was after May. They just can't, she concluded, keep up with their classmates at such a young age. She was worried about the second child because of this.

She obviously doesn't know my son.

Brandon does really well in school. He reads a grade level ahead of where he should be at for second grade. He excels in math and science. We're pretty sure his teacher gives him extra math homework, and we know she gives him math challenges in class. Yes, his handwriting is messy, and he usually only wants to do his math homework. Really, though, does any kid want to do homework? After I got home from school yesterday, I had an e-mail from his teacher saying that he had just tested into the TAG program (Talented and Gifted) at his school, and that we would look at the options after spring break. I had inquired about the TAG program early last year, but decided not to do it because Brandon often doesn't want to tell you about or interpret what he's read. Brandon's teacher encouraged us to test him because she said it would put him on the right track for math. We were all for that, so he tested last week and passed. He got a 99% and 97% in the non-verbal categories (math is part of that), and 89% in the verbal (interpretation is part of that). Kids need to score 95% or higher in 2 of the 3 categories to qualify. Yeah, Brandon!

So, back to being the crazy mom. The other mother said that she didn't think younger children could keep up with their classmates. Brandon disproves that theory! We thought about this decision a lot. It was not made lightly. The conclusion has always been that he was ready for school. No doubt.

The biggest thing I've noticed with this trend of holding back kids (or, "redshirting" as it's now called), is that many kids are bored in class. Many are a lot bigger than the other kids. Some are mean. I wonder if it's hard for the teachers to teach a class of kids with up to an 18 month difference in ages instead of a 12 month difference? That alone can be huge. Yes, there are children who aren't ready for school. They aren't ready socially, emotionally, or academically - or a combination of all of those! If their parents don't think they are ready to go, so be it. I'm all for looking at each child on a child-by-child basis and making those decisions as they apply to each child. But not enrolling your child in school when they are eligible and ready doesn't make a lot of sense to me when there's no good reason. I'm not sure what these parents are hoping to gain by not putting their kids in school during the child's eligible year. Do they presume that it'll give their child an edge on maturity? Are they trying to prolong childhood and delay adulthood? Will the child be bigger? Is this all about sports? I know for some people it is, but our lives are not all about sports. Will these kids wonder why they are the oldest one in the graduating class? Will they wonder why their parents made these decisions? I just don't now. All I know is that Brandon was ready. We knew it early on in his life. Of course, when we made this decision his birthday was 3 months from the school cut-off. It was only when we moved states that we were faced with this even though decision that has been repeatedly tossed into my face in the past few years.

So, lady who will have the older kids in the class, please don't call me crazy because my child is a younger student. I don't understand your reasoning, and I didn't call you crazy with my tone of voice and choice of words. My child was more than ready to go to school when the time came. He's also doing just fine! I'm not worried about his academic future. Things may happen. Things may change. But right now he's right where he should be, and doing well!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Meet the Finklestones

Tonight Caitlin requested to watch "The Finklestones". Having absolutely *no idea* what she was talking about, I gave her a blank stare. Brandon then said, "Do you mean 'The Flintstones'?"


It's amazing how she managed to change the entire show in my mind with one little mistake.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Dark Vader

Caitlin is currently upstairs fighting an unknown enemy with a lightsaber. Despite all my attempts to correct her, she keeps yelling "I'm Dark Vader!"

Friday, March 04, 2011

The Toothless Wonder

The toothless wonder strikes again!

It's been almost a year since he lost his first and second tooth (tooths?). Now, in 2011, we're on to #3, and on to the top teeth. He was very proud that it came out at school (when he bit into his PB and honey sandwich). I guess it's some sort of badge of honor for the second grade set. For the kid who got 6 teeth in 6 weeks, starting at 6 months old, he's pretty slow at having them come out. And, once again, the adult tooth is already poking through.