Friday, August 31, 2012

Blue Moon.. You Saw Me Standing Alone..

Tonight is the last blue moon you'll see for the next 3 years.  Make sure you take time out of your busy schedule of traveling, getting dinner made and playing with the kids to take a peek as the full moon makes it's second appearance in the same month (the definition of a blue moon).

Tonight's moon won't be blue of course, but it's suppose to be an especially brilliant white for those willing to take notice of her.  If you miss it, you'll have to wait until July 31, 2015.  So, don't miss it.  It wouldn't be prudent.

And to get you in the mood... I'll leave you with Frank Sinatra's Blue Moon.

Ahh Frank.. you get me every time.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

There's Good, and Then There's GREAT!

We went to Bug's Back To School night last Wednesday.  Ignoring the fact it was incredibly early to have a Back to School night (exactly 1 week into the new school year), we were both a bit shocked about the differences between Bug's school and Bunny's.

Let me stop here a minute and clarify that Bug's school, traditionally is a neighborhood school.  Meaning, the vast majority of the kids who attend school there, live nearby.  There are 14 neighborhood elementary schools here with two schools of choice.  A school of choice gives preference to the kids who live nearby, but the majority of the kids who attend come from outside the neighborhood via a lottery system.  Bunny goes to a school of choice.  In fact, Bunny goes to the same school that LW attended when she was in elementary school.  How's that for a circle of life?

On the very first day of school, we brought 1 box of tissues, 1 roll of paper towels, 1 container of wipes and 1 ream of printer paper to each of The Tweedles classrooms.  If you are unaware of the budget cuts across America that are effecting classrooms and schools, you've been living under a rock.  Schools are not only short the funds to properly staff their classrooms - resulting in larger and larger class sizes, but they're also losing funds for things like teacher / lunch / playground aides, supplies, playground equipment etc.  And most teachers, because they are truly awesome, are making up the differences out of their own pockets.  Yeah, you read that right.  Go hug a teacher right this second, and thank them for all they do!  We feel the least we can do is help offset some of the supply issues by donating these basics to each of the classroom.  And at least at Bunny's school, it's expected the families will help in this way.

Rewind to two years ago when Bunny was in Kindergarten.  Her teacher (WE LOVE YOU!), provided each of the kids with a supply box (which they got to decorate with their name and other glue on goodies - which she supplied I might add) that came with a box of crayons, a glue stick, pencils, and I think even scissors.  She also provided each of the kids with a blanket for "rest" time, that she called a burrito.  I don't remember why she called them a burrito, but I do remember that Bunny's was green with a ladybug on it. In fact, her burrito is sitting on her bed as I type this.  And that year, Bunny went on at least a half a dozen field trips and did a ton of outside the classroom activities that all culminated in an end of the year Luau.  The Kinder playground was well stocked with balls, sand toys, and play houses as well as the traditional playground equipment.  Her teacher had paper and supplies to make copies and outfit her classroom appropriately.  And she had a good supply of afternoon snacks and cleaning supplies on hand.  And she had a steady stream of parent volunteers to help out.

Now, most of these things came from donations, either from parents or from Donor's Choose.  If you don't know what Donor's Choose is, you should go check it out.  It's a place where teachers can set up their own grants and have people all across the country donate to it.  It's really a game changer.  She was also well supported by the PTA which fundraises to provide all the teachers with a specific classroom start up amount, a mid-year refresh amount, as well as funds for "experiential learning" which can be used to pay for a field trip bus or to have someone come to the classroom.

Now fast forward to last Wednesday.  Bug's teacher (who is amazing so far I might add - this is in no way a reflection on her!), informed us that there was no money in her budget for field trips.  NONE.  And asked for the traditional donations of wipes, tissues, paper towels, but also asked that we provide a water bottle for our Bug - she had already provided disposable water bottles for her class since the water fountain was so far from the classroom.  She asked for kick-balls and sand toys since the playground didn't have either.  She told us she's taking the kids to the bathroom every hour (all of the kids) or so, because the bathrooms are also so far away and she doesn't have any teachers aides to help her.  She has 23 kids in her class and she's all alone.  The kids all have to bring their own afternoon snack, which makes me wonder what happens when a child forgets theirs (like I'm remembering just now, we did this morning).    So in addition to the supplies we already donated, we also donated 2 kick balls this morning.  And if I had been able to find sand toys, we would have donated them too.  And now that I've remembered Bug's snack, we might donate one of those big costco sized boxes of goldfish too. I feel we might be giving a lot more this year to Bug's school, just to help bridge even some of the gap.

Honestly, the whole thing was pretty tragic.  And yet, I feel like this is more the norm and Bunny's school is the exception to the rule.  It's not as if Bunny's school is filled with more affluent parents.  In fact, Bunny's school is a Title 1 school which means at least 40% of the school population are from low-income families. Just like Bug's school.  I think the biggest fundamental difference between the two schools is parent involvement.  At Bunny's school we have such a high percentage of parents/families dedicated to the school and the kids.  Willing to donate the funds and time needed despite their own financial challenges and busy schedules.  And as a school of choice, you know going in that the school is a good one, and you feel compelled to do your part to keep it that way.

That isn't to say that Bug's school isn't a good school.  But it's the difference between being good and being great.  I'm even more grateful now for everything that Bunny's school is.  Grateful for the teachers and the parents, and the leadership that makes her school great.  And very thankful that next year, Bug will be there with her.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Not Your Average Egg

I've been wanting to post The Hubs's grandmother's shortbread recipe on here but it's in a box somewhere in the depths of his man-cave.  Instead, to meet my nod to our Scottish heritage requirements, I give you, Scotch Eggs. A Scotch Egg, also know as egg devil, consists of a hard-boiled egg wrapped in sausage meat, coated in breadcrumbs and then deep-fried.  And cholesterol be damned, if you haven't tasted one, you haven't truly lived.


5 eggs
1 lb. pork sausage meat

approx 1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 oz. brown breadcrumbs
Fat or oil for deep frying


Boil four of the eggs for 12 min. until hard.
Shell and cool in cold water.
Mix flour (less 2 tbsp.), salt, and pepper and sprinkle on a cutting board.
Divide the sausage into four parts and flatten on floured board into round cakes large enough to cover eggs.
Roll the eggs in the reserved flour and then wrap the sausage cakes around each egg to completely encase them.
Flatten the end so that the eggs will stand upright.

Lightly whisk the remaining egg.
Put the breadcrumbs on a piece of foil or in a foil pie dish.
Brush the coated eggs with the whisked egg and then roll them in the bread crumbs to cover.

Heat the oil until hot.
Carefully lower the Scotch eggs into the oil and cook for about 5 min, until golden brown.
Remove and drain on paper towels.


Hot or allow to cool and keep in the refrigerator for a cold snack later.

Seriously.. Thoughts?
(This recipe, image included, was shamelessly stolen from Highland Titles - Glencoe Estates)

Milestone Achieved

Someone in my house..

not naming any names..

but his initials are Bug..

achieved a milestone this morning.

I'm not sure who is more proud, him or us.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

BoredShorts: Kid Snippets - Salesman

Wow.. Best thing I've seen in AGES!

I need to start recording The Tweedles and then having The Hubs and Tamlin or GG and LW act it out.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Mirror Mirror

When I think about the person I am, I can mostly be honest with myself.  I'm really really loud.  I talked too much in school, and that bad habit hasn't changed one bit (although, thanks to the internet, the medium has altered slightly to include blogging as another form of "verbal" mind dumping). I'm an extrovert for sure although I do much better in smaller groups than I do in large groups. I'm stubborn to a fault.  I have an extremely short temper that goes up like fireworks, but burns out just as quickly.  I'm admittedly a control freak and subsequently a planner.  Not only plan As and Bs, but I typically have a plan C and D just in case. That need to control and plan often makes me pretty bossy.  I don't mean to be, but the panic and anxiety that goes through me when things don't happen as they're planned sends me in a tailspin. I'm flighty and sometimes easily distracted.  GG and LW will gladly share with you the number of times I've asked them a question and then followed it with "I know I just asked you this, but can you repeat that? I stopped listening to you."  I wouldn't say I'm a glass half empty kind of girl, although my husband would.  I just like to anticipate the worst case scenario an plan for it, and that allows me to quietly hope for the best case scenario anyway.  I'm a drama queen.  I admit it.  Always have been, likely always will be, although it manifests itself in an all or nothing way.  Something is really amazing, or horribly tragic.  I don't have a lot of room for grey.  And, although I give my trust easily, once you lose it, it's gone. Not that I don't give a lot of chances before I give up on people, but when I do, I give up completely.

I'm also fiercely protective of my family and friends.  I would drop everything if one of them needed me.  I'm trustworthy and honest - in fact my 7th grade science teacher, Mrs. Andrews, once told me to never play poker, I show everything I feel and think on my face.  I'm harder on myself than I'll ever be on anyone else.  And for the most part, what you see is what you get with me.  I don't play stupid mind games with people.  If I'm mad at you, not only will you know I'm mad at you, but what I'm mad about.

Now having said all of that, let me tell you about Bunny.  I get mad at her when she doesn't focus on any one thing for more than five seconds. I'm constantly telling her to focus or asking her repeatedly to do the same task over and over because she's gotten distracted by something else.. again. I'm frustrated when she bursts into tears over the most trivial things and then drags it out like the best soap opera you've ever seen.  It takes all of my will power to keep my mouth shut when she asks the same question over and over but doesn't listen to the answer.  We've lamented over and over about how Bunny ever manages to keep friends when she's always bossing them around.  I'm constantly asking Bunny to be quiet.  Reminding her about her inside voice. And Lord only knows how often she's been moved since Kindergarten for talking too much in class.  Sound familiar?  She is a little mini-me.  All those things that bug me the most about her, are all the same traits I have.  And when I get mad or upset at her over those things?  Well, it's more than a little shocking having that mirror held up and knowing you're treating your beautiful, amazing daughter to the worst kind of double standard.

Thankfully, she's also heart-breakingly kind.  A parent of one of her friend's told me once how her daughter was getting physically picked on by some of the other kids, and Bunny stepped in, made them stop, then walked her all the way to the nurses office.  She goes out of her way to make sure things are fair with everyone, especially Bug.  If she gets something, she wants to be sure he'll get something too.  She's outgoing and makes friends easily.  She hasn't known a moment of shyness in her whole life.  She's smart and not just eager, but excited to learn new things.  And she loves. Man can that tiny, little 40 pound girl pack a lot of love into her heart for everyone she meets.  She doesn't even know how to hold back.  As often as she fills me with frustration, she more often than not, fills me with awe.

Sometimes this little miracle who is SO MUCH LIKE ME makes me feel so unworthy.  At the end of the day, when I know I've tripped into that area of double standard and tried to squash those traits I don't love in myself, in her.. well, it's a daily struggle.  I try every day to find more patience for all of the kids (and The Hubs). I try to remember they're just kids.  And I work really hard at making my first response one of love and kindness instead of that hot temper I'm known for.  I'm not sure if I'm learning to love Bunny better, or learning to love myself better, but I'm trying every day to give her and my family the best of me.  They deserves it.  Bunny deserves it.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Cinderella Story.. Sorta

It wasn't midnight, but it was close..

Okay, maybe "close" is an over statement, but she did race home after a long, hard first day of college, and she might have turned into a pumpkin.  Now, we'll never know.

When greeted by me and my camera had the audacity to ask "Really?"

Of course, really.  I mean honestly, does she not know me at all?  I know her well enough though.

She wouldn't be my GG if there wasn't shopping!  Are those new sunglasses I spy with my little eye??  Maybe some new aviators to replace the ones she lost jet skiing a few weekends ago?

Looks like she'll do okay with this college thing.  She even told me she made some friends already. So BAM!  Take that college!  My girl is ready for whatever you got!  Of course, I think I heard her mumble something about "stalkerazzi" but I'm probably just hearing things.  More photos to come!

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Am I A Helicopter?

Helicopter Parent - a colloquial term for a parent who pays extremely close attention to their child's or children's experiences and problems, particularly at educational institutions.

Ever since I found out that Bug has a chance of moving up directly into first grade next year, I've been conflicted.  Part of me really wants to work with him on his letters, his numbers, his sight words so he'll be chosen to move up.  The other part of me thinks I should just sit back and let him be.  He only gets to be 4 and 3/4 once after all, and there's no reason to push him.

So I've done what every self-respecting control freak would do, I made a pros and cons list.

Pros of going directly to 1st grade:

  • Less chance of getting bored / in trouble in kinder
  • He'll be only 2 years behind Bunny which was the original plan before the district started shuffling around cut off dates.
  • He'll be back with his friends from Pre-K
Cons of going directly to 1st grade:
  • He'll be one of the youngest in his grade instead of one of the oldest which, as a boy, might hurt him as he gets older - he'll be smaller than the other boys etc.
  • Studies show that boys particularly do better if they start school when they're older so he might struggle keeping up later.
  • He'll miss out on Bunny's Kinder teacher who he's been looking forward to - have I mentioned how much we adore her??
Which is great as far as pro and con lists go, but I don't have any direct control over this decision.  The teacher will decide at the end of the year.  What I can effect is the extra help I give him outside of school.  And that's the hard part.  Is using the flash cards for his letters, numbers, letter sounds, counting etc. is too much?  Is it too much for TK?  If I stop, would it be not enough? Where is the line here?  Add to that my frustration that my boy, who knows most of his letters and numbers, today at school with his classmates learned the letter A.  They got to color a big letter A and the homework for today is to bring in something that starts with the letter A to share with the class.  This feels too slow.   I know all teachers do a bit of review at the beginning of the year, and they say they'll evaluate/test all of the TK kids to figure out where they are in the learning process so they don't get bored, but man, I hope the rest of the year isn't like this.

And just when I'm okay with exactly the amount I'm doing,  he does something awesome like announce to me that "2+2=4, Mama." or he'll say "C-A-R spells car, Mama." and I get all turned around and feel like I should be providing him with even more challenges.  That what I'm already doing isn't enough.  I need to be helping him with addition and spelling and introducing sight words already since he's already doing it.  

I don't want to be one of those crazy, weirdo helicopter parents, I just want to do what's right for my boy.  I want to give him every opportunity to succeed and be his very best.  I don't think having high expectations is a bad thing, but I don't want to have unrealistic expectations either.  Can I just say again, this parenting thing is hard.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

This Is: Frosh

This is: The Bag she took to school today.

This is: The Notebook she'll use in her classes.

This is: The Religious Studies Homework that isn't due today and she says she isn't going to do on the way, but we all know she will.

This is: The Coffee mug she put her instant coffee in this morning because she forgot to set the coffee maker to make real coffee.

This is: The Dress Up cowboy hat her dad tried to convince her to wear for the first day of school but she refused.

This is: Breakfast, to go with her instant coffee.

This is: Her Dad, looking a little tired and grumpy.

This is: Her Walking out the door for her first day.

This is: Her First Day of School photo - at 5:45 AM.

This is: too.

This is: Her Good Luck on Her First Day as a College Freshman Post.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

I Dream of Dryer

Yesterday, I kicked my dryer.  No really, I kicked it.  I got mad, and frustrated and generally annoyed.  It took over 3 hours to dry one load of laundry.  3. Hours. Not exactly the plan I had for yesterday.  Instead, I spent 3 hours dreaming of my new washer and dryer.

I stumbled over this dryer..

7.4 cubic inches of gas drying power.. but wait there's more.  8 cycles and 5 temperature settings.  I may have drooled a little on my keyboard.

And it comes with a powerful matching front loading washer to boot. 21 wash cycles, power wash system, allergen removal cycle, and a steam for stains option.  OH MY!

And then I got sidetracked with this and forgot all about my dryer.  Funny how the things we dream of having if we had all the money in the world, changes as we get older. It used to be fast cars, castles and maybe the prettiest princess dress around.  Now, a good washer / dryer and I'm good to go.  Oh, and don't forget the fruity cocktail.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Hiking Favorites

Do you know the best thing about Saturday morning hiking?

Yeah, I think so too.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Friday, August 24, 2012

All In The Family

Now that school is back in full swing, we've successfully completed two homework days with little to no fussing.  Bunny had school homework for the first time last night and got it done and her nightly reading done in about 40 minutes!  Bug did 4 more worksheets I found for him and he was done in less than 15 minutes.  Two more stickers on the board and we're rolling.

Since we're starting to implement new routines and rules, we're reviewing chores this weekend.  We've always insisted that Bug and Bunny pick up the enclosed front porch we use as their play room, the toys etc. from the living room and their bedrooms at least once a week.  For weekend chores they both make sure the floors in their areas are picked up so GG can vacuum and they empty all the little trash cans around the house into the big trash cans.

As they're both getting older, we're starting to introduce new chores.  Recently I've added a night-time ritual of cleaning up the bathroom.  That means putting their toothbrushes, hair brushes and clothes where they belong instead of leaving them strewn all over the place.   I've also started giving them more responsibility when it comes to the pets.  They each take turns feeding the dog and our oldest cat (who gets wet food instead of the dry food all the other cats get).

These aren't paid chores.  I do believe in allowance for kids, but I feel like these kinds of chores are just what you do when you're part of a family.  We all help out.  We all do our part.  And I want that to be instilled in our kids - all of our kids.  I've always told GG and LW that if they want all the benefits of being part of our family (taking family vacations, going to Disneyland, and all the other fun perks) that they have to be involved in the not so fun parts of being part of this family too.  You're either all in or all out.  For the older the girls, that mostly means watching the Tweedles.  They only get babysitting money if we're doing something fun like a date.  Oh don't laugh.. it could happen!  But if we're grocery shopping or doing school/work events we can't have the kids at, they don't get paid.  That's just part of helping out the family.  It also means GG has regular chores around the house just like the rest of us on top of taking care of her own laundry and bedroom.

LW is a bit of a different story.  She is, of course, always a part of our family, but she doesn't live here.  So when we need her to pick kids up or drop them off somewhere, she's almost always available if she's not in class.  I also made a deal with her to play with The Tweedles a few times a week in return for keeping her on my cell phone family deal.  Mostly this helps us out with pick-ups during the school year, but it also is intended to help build a relationship between her and the Tweedles since she isn't living with us.  There's a huge age gap there, and I want to foster whatever relationship between them I can before she's off fully living her own life away from us.  This will start to be an issue with GG in the next year or so as soon as she starts living on campus or at least closer to school, and we'll have to work out some arrangement at that point to keep her close with the Tweedles. I don't even want to think about that yet though, I can't imagine our house without her in it.  At this point I usually just stick my fingers in my ears, close my eyes and sing twinkle twinkle at the top of my lungs in denial.

What about you guys?  Do your kids have chores? Do they get paid or is it all part of being in a family? What kinds of chores do your kiddos do?

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Do You Know Jerry Nelson?

Do you know this guy?

How about this guy?

I'm certain you know this guy.

These were all beloved characters from our childhood, brought to life by this guy.

You probably don't know his name, but you remember vividly our Seseme Street and Fraggle Rock friends.

So let me introduce you to Jerry Nelson; Puppeteer and voice to many of our favorite characters. He passed away yesterday, and while many of you didn't realize it, we lost a little piece of ourselves right along with him. Goodnight Mr. Nelson.. and thank you for all the memories!

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Random Chick-ery

Chickens can have twins, but not usually.  The first obstacle is the chance that both yolks are fertilized, one or the other may be but two would be rare.  If by chance both were viable then it is a matter of space. As they develop, quarters get cramped rather quickly. Then there is the air problem. When the single chick first pips, one of the things it gets is air, nice fresh air. It has been living on the air stored in the egg between membranes. Two chicks working hard, use that small amount of air up very quick. Egg shells are porous but two chicks competing for the same air as one would normally need is another obstacle, so they must be fast and break through the two membranes and the shell at record speed.  Mostly this means that in order for a chicken to have twins, they have to be very very lucky.

Still, it looks cool when you crack open an egg for breakfast and find two yolks.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

The Homework Blues

Last year, homework was... well, there's just no nice way to say it.  Homework was a pain in my backside.  And Bunny's backside and often The Hub's and GG's backside. Bunny didn't want to do her homework.  Plain and simple.  And with our schedules, we were finding it difficult to manage our time and her time effectively.  This meant that homework was almost always done last minute with all of us pulling out our hair.

This year, we're trying a different approach.  The first thing we're instituting is a homework first policy.  No TV and no playing until homework is done.  Last year, we had them play or watch tv until one of us was able to help with homework.  This year, since I've altered my work schedule to be done when school is out, we'll be focusing on homework right off the bat.  And if that wasn't enough of an incentive, we started a rewards program!  I feel like such a game show host - But wait, there's more!

If each of my kids gets their homework done before 6pm (and that includes Bunny's half hour of reading) without arguing, then they earn a sticker.  8 stickers (so two weeks because we only have homework m-th for the most part) earns them a trip to the 99 cent store to get one item of their choice.  Hopefully, homework won't take until 6pm.  We're counting on the idea of the faster they get it done, the sooner they can play but we're giving them until 6pm in case they have an off day or a lot of homework one night. And on the days they don't have homework (like last night), I will come up with work sheets and projects for them to do so they still have a chance to earn a sticker and stay in the habit of doing homework right after school. We're tracking each of them on their own calendar.  They got to not only pick out the calendar picture, but put on the stickers too.

Last night, Bug worked on writing his name and the letters of the alphabet.

He knows all of his letters, but his penmanship leaves a lot to be desired. So that's one thing we've decided to work on with him this year.  This is of course, one of those fine motor skills.  We'll work on this with work sheets, but also stringing beads, gluing beans, and cutting out shapes with scissors.  This is something his Pre-K teacher said he needed to work on so we'll continue with it at home.  We also read a book together.  On each page I had him find a letter and tell me what sound it made.

Bunny did some math and spelling review worksheets from a first grade level.

We'll work into the harder things, but I think first, since they're working on the states, we'll get her a states puzzle - you remember these old wooden kinds).  I could probably use a refresher myself.  I'm ashamed to admit all those middle states confuse me.

We also, of course, read a few pages from her The Little Princess book.  This text is a much higher level than 2nd grade, so we only get through about 2 pages a night, but her reading proficiency is improving in leaps and bounds!

The goal here, is to get them to want to get their homework done each night, and to not have it drag out all night long.  We hope the combination of delaying tv/playing and the rewards of stickers and prizes will encourage them.  Wouldn't it be awesome if by 6pm we were done with homework and dinner giving them a little bit of tv and play time  and us some relaxation before bed at 7:30?

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

End of the First Day

I think today was harder on me, than it was on either of The Tweedles.  Home without them.  Whatever is a mom to do until it's time to go pick them up??  Thankfully, my job provided a much needed distraction and the end of the school day came up pretty fast.  My boy?  For a TK, he sure did rule the school.

He says he had a great first day.  He loves his new teacher just as much as his old teacher, and he even made friends with his new best bud Daniel.  He tells me he can't remember what he did all day, but he does remember having tons of fun.

And about an hour later, my girl finished her first day of second grade.  Her hair didn't make it through the day, but she loved having all her friends back together again and in second grade, that's way more important than hair.  She loves her teacher and is off to a great start. She says they did a lot of geography and learned about states and she was sad there wasn't more math.  Are we sure this is my kid??

Bring it on second grade, my girl is ready!

YAY for first days and for kids who love school!

Seriously.. Thoughts?

First Day

Today is the first day of school for The Tweedles.  And Bug's first day of all day school.  He's attending a new program called Transitional Kindergarten.  In our school district, they're moving the cut off date to be age five to correspond with the first day of school.  Originally, up until this year, it was Dec. 1st but this year they moved it to Nov. 1st, and Bug just misses the cut off.  For all those kids that would have made the cut off if they had not moved it, they set up TK.  Unfortunately, they only have four TK classes in the district, so Bug and Bunny are at different schools again this year.  Fortuantely, it's all day like Kinder, with a modified curriculum.  The plan is to attend one year of TK and then go on to regular Kinder next year.  Although, I did just find out that the TK teacher can recommend that a child be moved right up into first grade if they're ready.  Interesting to know, but we'll see how it all shakes out.  I won't be disappointed either way.  If he goes onto Kinder, he'll move to Bunny's school and get her old Kinder teacher (who we LOVE!), and if they bump him up to first grade, he'll be back with a lot of his friends from Pre-K, so that works too.

This morning, Bug rolled out of his room half asleep as usual around 6:30 am.  I got a groggy hug and kiss and he went to sit down.  When I asked him if he was ready for his first day of school he perked right up and practically yelled "YES!"  Once we got him all fed and dressed, he looked right at me, smiled and said, "I'm going to have a GREAT day at school Mommy!"  And then my heart melted and I became a little puddle at his feet.  That boy has me wrapped.

We always take pictures out in front of this tree.  If we ever move, we'll have to transplant the tree to go with us!  So here's the boy, with his bumble bee backpack and his Toy Story lunch box all ready for his first day.

His new school has a uniform policy.  So in a rare show of solidarity, Bunny wore an outfit as close to a uniform as her school gets.

This is her "attitude" pose, she insisted on for her first photo.  I don't know where she gets this stuff!  Although, I don't know how "gangsta" you can really be with a Barbie backpack and a Disney Princesses lunch box.  She sure tries to pull it off though!

Ahh, there, now that's more like it.  I admit to getting a little misty when I dropped the kids off this morning.  I wish I could go back to when they were both still my little babies and let them grow up all over again.  Now I have Cher's "If I Could Turn Back Time" in my head.

And now so do you. Your welcome.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Power of Science

Remember back when I talked about 3D Printing and I was all about its potential uses on the International Space Station?  Yeah, I think this is a better use, much closer to home.

Meet Emma.  This little girl was born with a condition that made her arms basically useless.  There are prosthetics that would allow her to use her arms, but they are too big, too heavy and too bulky for a little girl like Emma.  Instead of waiting for her to grow into them, her parents and a team of doctors decided to use a 3D printer to make a customized, light-weight version just for Emma.  And now she has her magic arms.  And the best part?  As she grows, it's a matter of going back to the computer, making the size adjustments and printing out a new set.  No need to wait.

I am constantly surprised, amazed and awed by the power of science and the applications we haven't even thought of yet.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Don't Grow Up - It's a Trap!

Last night, was Bunny's Back to School Fair.  This event happens every year a few days before school starts.  I took the day off from work so I could spend the day helping to set up tables and pop-ups and the afternoon manning a table and generally helping out where they needed me most.  My shifts ended at 6pm, 2 hours into the event, when I finally got to wander down - family in tow - to find Bunny's new class room.  To find out which of her friends are in her new class and meet her new second grade teacher.  Second grade. Wow.  When did that happen??  Just yesterday she was my little baby girl off to her first day of Pre-K..

with her long, beautiful ponytails which she immediately cut off the afternoon she got back from her first day!

Then we had her first day of Kinder. She was so proud to be at a big kid school.  So eager and so ready.

First grade was even better, because she was no longer relegated to the kinder playground.  She got to go play on the big kid play ground and man, was that an achievement!

And, here we are on the eve of her first day of second grade, and even meeting her teacher and seeing her new classroom just wasn't as exciting as playing with her friends.  You know, the ones she hadn't seen all summer?  She's growing up so fast.  She won't even hold my hand any more.  And mostly I'm "mom" instead of "mommy".  Part of me is heart broken.  Part of me wants to grab her and stuff her into a box and never let her get a single day older than she is now.  Part of me wants to keep her my baby girl forever.  But most of me is so proud of the beautiful little girl she's becoming.  Proud of how far she's come, what she's learned and excited about what this new year will bring.

And thankfully, I still have this little guy to be my baby, to call me mommy and to hold my hand.

At least for another year.  Today we go to see his new school, meet his new Transitional Kindergarten teacher and watch him start all-day school like she did 2 years ago.

I changed my mind.  I don't think I'll ever let this one grow up.

Seriously.. Thoughts?