Friday, September 30, 2011

School Conferences

This morning I had school conferences for both the kids - one right after another. And, as I did last year, I left there reveling in how awesome the kids are and how awesome our school is. I was a bit nervous going in about Miss E's. Mr. T, I knew, was fine. He's right where he's supposed to be, his teacher thinks he's the funniest kid ever, and he's doing great.

Miss E, I was a bit more worried about. You see, with her, she's kind of gotten used to everything being EASY. Reading is easy, math is easy. Last year she covered for that by spending her time learning about the mechanics of school and being social (which is not her easiest thing) but this year, she kind of has that stuff down. And while I love that she's good at school, I also don't want her to assume that she never has to TRY for anything or THINK about anything. To her credit, she's very self-motivated - yesterday on her rest time she wrote a 5 page story and did 4 worksheets on synonyms, antonyms and homonyms - and that's great but she's not really being challenged at school like I had hoped.

BUT. It's awkward to be the parent who walks into the conference and tells the teacher that her kid is super smart and that the class isn't hard enough. Part of it is because I have this fear of coming off as the "flash-card" parent - you know the type, the super-driven, kids have to stop playing at a certain time everyday to do flash cards or other structured learning -and they're 3. Because we aren't like that. I strongly value free play time for the kids, I actually delayed Miss E learning to read a little bit so she could focus on more creative play. But at this point, at this conference, I knew the time had come to push for her to be challenged more. And I was nervous.

In the end, I should have had faith in the school because it's awesome and so is her teacher. Turns out (unbeknownst to me), her kindergarten teacher put her on a TAG watch-list. But at this school they try really hard not to test kids in kindergarten for TAG because once you test, you can't re-test for 2 years and kindergarten is so young, that they end up with a lot of false negatives. So she was going to be tested at the beginning of this year. But then her teacher met her and realized that being pulled into a strange room with a strange teacher during the first month of school would not produce a good result with Miss E and is delaying the testing until January or so, when Miss E is more comfortable and such. I was thrilled. Not necessarily because of the TAG thing, I don't really care one way or the other if she qualifies and I don't think it means that much extra, but because her teacher, at this early point in the year, seems to KNOW her so well and to understand her. And the teacher seems to be on the same page about making everything more challenging. Whew. What a sigh of relief.

There is no blessing at school greater than a teacher who knows and likes your child. It's just huge.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Life in General

This is what the kids did Sunday while we watched the morning game. Made a fort on the couch and then Miss E read a bunch of books to Mr. T. 

Things have been super busy around here AND I really want to get back to doing the 365. I'm no good at this whole 'blogging events and big things", I'm better at just jotting down the day to day. I have all these written and saved up posts that I don't want to publish because they are too soapboxy and offensive about religion or gender roles (and how our mother's perceive them) and such. And really the blog is a place where I can record the day to day of my life and my children's life. So often I feel like things are flying by and I am so busy trying to keep up with it all that I'm not soaking in the moment and the NOW of life. It's so much filled with meal plans and schedules and getting everyone ready for soccer practice and remembering who has library today or who has PE and errands, that I find the weeks flying by. It doesn't help that I have over-volunteered myself at the school this year. I'm trying to scale it back as I can but the things I'm committed to, I'm committed to so I'm just going to have to make it work.

To balance the busyness, I'm trying as much as I can to keep our weekends un-scheduled. Other than soccer on Saturdays, the kids have had free reign to do whatever they want, I've been cooking yummy things and of course, Sundays are football days. And a birthday party in the case of this weekend. Starting in October I'm taking a photography class in the evenings and I think that might be a good point to start a 365 project again. For now it will be random posts. Hope you are all having a lovely September!

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Is there a support group for parents of "spirited" children? If not, there should be. No one in my life has ever made me grow, learn, step up, question myself and feel like a failure like this girl. She is full of life and spirit and difficulty and curiosity and power and adventure.

Yesterday we went grocery shopping and she didn't want to go. We get to the store and she refused to get out of the car. We finally get into the store and she starts stomping her feet and making a very loud whining noise. So, I don't know about you, but I feel like 6 is too old to be throwing a tantrum in public. I'm good with it up until about 4 and then I'm not such a fan. She knows this. So I tell her that if she continues to act up at the store, we're not going to be able to go out to dinner that night just the two of us (as we had planned). Then she decides to push the cart and makes up a really cute game of deciding which groceries are "girls", which ones are "boys" and which ones are the "naughty kids". Then she places them in the cart accordingly. The rest of the trip was the game (awesome) or stomping her feet (not awesome). I told her on a scale of 1 to 10 she was a 10 for wonderful and a 10 for a pain the kazoo. And it's freakin' true. She's either driving me CRAZY or we're having the best time ever. But she's giving me gray hair while we're at it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

They say it's your birthday

Yep, it's my birthday today. I am turning 36 which, as my husband so sweetly put it, is closer to 40 than 30. Lovely, isn't he? Truth be told, getting older doesn't bother me. I don't feel like I'm close to 40 and I do feel wiser and more secure with each year that passes. This year of my life has inadvertently become the year of living without. I am giving up 2 of the things that have been crutches or addictions or coping mechanisms for me. Not forever, but for a bit just to see how it feels to live without.

The first thing is buying anything for myself- clothes, jewelry, shoes, bags. In the past I have spent way too much money on clothes, gone shopping when I was upset to cool down and other such things. Now, I don't necessarily think those things are terrible, but here was the turning point for me. In May I bought a bunch of stuff for my trip to Spain. One morning just before I left I found myself standing in front of a stuffed closet unable to find a short sleeved shirt to wear with my jeans. And jeans are pretty much the only pants I wear. That's crazy. Having a full closet and taking half an hour to find something that you want to wear or feel comfortable wearing? Crazy. Right then I decided that I wasn't going to buy anything for myself for a year to use what I have, get re-aquatinted with my closet and get rid of stuff that I have and don't wear. Of course, I didn't want this to be more about NOT having something than evaluating so I figured that if Peter got me a gift certificate or bought something for me that would be OK.

The first two months were really hard. Harder than they should have been and hard enough to convince me that I was doing the right thing. Walking through a clothing store I felt like an ex-alcoholic walking through a liquor store. The smell! I tell you, Banana Republic and Anthropologie pipe something into their stores to make them smell a certain way. Of course, I haven't done that other than when necessary but as the months have passed I have been able to walk by a store without feeling the urge to go in.

The other thing I'm giving up (just for a month) is sugar. If you know me in real life, you know that sweets are my thing. After lunch, after dinner, my taste buds cry out for something desserty. The only way I could make this successful is to allow myself to eat sugary things that I have baked at home. I made cinnamon rolls last weekend and had one of those with the kids. I'm obviously going to eat a slice of the birthday cake that Peter is making for me. But I have given up all store-bought candy, doughnuts, and ice cream.  I'm figuring on trying it for a month and seeing how I feel after.

In no way did I plan all of this, it's just as I've been getting older and thinking about my life and my habits it feels good to also see how it feels to give up somethings I never thought I could.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Morning Movie Date

Occasionally, Peter and I like to go on a date. Without the kids. Crazy, I know. Thus far though, we have been ridiculous failures at finding a babysitter. We don't know a lot of older kids in our neighborhood and my parents babysit JUST ENOUGH that it's not a true necessity. Plus, I like my girls nights and he likes to go to shows and we each do those independently. Peter often tells me that if we went to church (which we don't) we would have no problem finding a babysitter and that, to him, is the only thing we are missing out on by not being religious. Babysitters.

But I digress..... This year, there are 2 days a week when the kids are in school until at least 3. Peter has time off during the days, I only work three days a week so therefore - DATE MORNINGS.  You know who's in the theater for the Tuesday 11am showing of Contagion? Us and two other people. Add in some coffee beforehand and a trip to the grocery store after (I know...) and we has us a date!

This picture isn't actually from our date - it's from back to school night - the actual picture from our date is in my phone. My new phone! Which is awesome but I am so far at a loss as to how pictures move from the phone to the computer. Someday, I'll figure it out. Until then, here's a picture of Peter on our way to back to school night. Which was kind of a date, since we didn't have kids with us. But not really since it involved sitting in teeny tiny chairs filling out volunteer forms and listening to information on reading curriculum.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

It's Over

It's done. The last of our college animals is gone. The doctor came yesterday to do it and in the end, I felt sadness and a bit of relief. The life Samson was living was not a life he would have been happy with. I am also glad that we didn't have Miss E there for the euthanasia, it would have been really hard for her and for me. That was kind of my only time too to just be sad for myself. Not worried about how anyone else was handling it, but just be sad because I was losing a kitty who had been with me for 17 years. When Miss E and Mr. T got home from school we told them both independently (they got out at different times) and it seemed to go over OK. They were both sad, but nobody was shocked as they had been prepped that this was going to happen at some point soon. The lady who did it shaved a bit of his hair to put in a little baggie for Miss E and I think she was happy to have a tangible reminder of him. We also printed out a few pictures and gave each of the kids their own picture in a frame that they could put wherever they wanted in their rooms. I left his blankets and dishes around the house, and I think Miss E and I will pick them up together this weekend. All in all, it went as good as could be expected.

As a bonus, last night while Miss E was reading in bed, our other cat jumped up to lay with her. Normally, this was Samson's thing. He laid on her bed every night, in fact, that was the last place he could jump up to this week before his back legs started hurting. But he laid on her rug instead, keeping her company. Our other cat never ventured in there. Tonight though, as she lay there reading SuperFudge, Tangerine jumped right on her bed and snuggled with her, like he's been doing it all along.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Handling a Pet Death with kids

Most days, even though I'm getting closer to 40 than 30, I don't feel like an adult. Yes, there are responsibilities but mostly they don't weigh heavy on my shoulders. When we first had the kids I spent a few years learning to be tough. To put aside my immediate needs for another. To step up and handle a problem, not because I wanted to or thought I could, but because there was no one else. But for the most part, I am now realizing, babies are not actually that hard to take care of. Physically hard to care for, yes. Otherwise? Not so much. Their problems are pretty simple as are the answers and so for the most part I have sailed through my life feeling more like a young adult than a full-fledged responsible grown up.

Every once in awhile though, things get hard and that weight settles on my shoulders. Points in our marriage a few years back where it became clear that a divorce was actually the easier thing to do. Figuring out how to handle some behavior from the kids we've been going through and now, on the eve of the death of one of our beloved cats, the weight is there again. How do we talk the kids through this? Should they be there for the euthanasia? Should we let Miss E see the body after he dies? Should we even tell them it's happening before it does?

You know what I've come up with so far? I DON'T KNOW. This cat is Miss E's special buddy. She feeds him every night, he sleeps in her room. They cuddle. She's also at the most awkward age for this where, at 6, she's too aware for us to gloss it over (as we'll most likely be able to do with Mr. T) but she's also too young to truly understand. She knows he's been sick and we've been talking about bodies shutting down as you get older. I've told her he's about as old as a cat can get. Last night though, I tried to explain euthanasia (or as the kids now call it "the shot that makes you dead") and obviously, that didn't go over well. We have someone coming to the house to do it tomorrow while they are at school. I have not told them that. We figured it would be impossible to get them out the door if they knew Sammy was going to die while they were at school. So far my plan is to pick them up after school and tell them then. That will give us the weekend to grieve and process before they have to go back to school. Is it weird to plan your pet's euthanasia around your kids school schedule? I don't know.

Miss E told me last night that if Sammy died she would have to take him off her quilt square at school. When I asked her what that was, she explained that they were putting pictures of all the super special things in their lives on their quilt squares for a class project and she put Sammy on hers. After my heart broke in a million pieces I reminded her that she could keep him on because we will always love and remember him even after he's gone. I hope that was the right answer.

Now we are struggling with whether or not we should let the kids see his body after it's done. Neither Peter nor I thinks that is a great idea but I also don't like the idea that they went to school one day and came home and he was gone. There's only so far talking about it can go really. She knows it is going to happen sometime soon and I had her make a list of all the things she loves and wants to remember about him but..... again I come back to the I DON'T KNOW. Over and over again.

At this point, it's happening to tomorrow, they aren't going to see the body and we'll tell them when they get home from school. All I can do is cross my fingers and hope and pray that we are going to navigate through this correctly and that I will somehow know how to do or say the right thing to make this easier on the kids.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Miss E's first day of First Grade

On the first day I dropped Miss E off in first grade. Her teacher had their seat assignments ready for the meet and greet last week so we knew exactly where she would be sitting and her supplies had all already been dropped off. This made walking into the classroom on day 1 much less intimidating. A few kids from kindergarten are in her class, as are a few of the girls in her girl scout troupe. Since the class is a 1/2 blend the 2nd graders are all new to her. My hope is that this year she can work up with the second graders so she won't be so bored with the academic side of school. Where that leaves us for next year, I don't know but I trust in the school so we'll see how it ends up.

She and Mr. T got their game faces on before we left. Big day here, big day. 

 A little nervous in the classroom. She is sitting in between two 2nd grade girls that she doesn't know and across from two 1st grade boys that she does know. By the time I left, most of the kids were happily coloring and 1 kid was puking in the sink from nerves. Here's what speaks volumes about this teacher. She didn't freak out about the kid puking and she had an aide get him out of the room and down the hall to the health room with such grace that none of the other kids in the class noticed he was throwing up.

When Miss E got home that day she was really excited because T, the daughter of our girl scout leader, apparently ran into a bar on the playground and ended up going to the hospital to get 6 stitches in her forehead. Then she came BACK to school and was an instant celebrity on the playground. Yep. Puking and stitches, that's a bang up first day of 1st grade!

The hard part about this start of the year is going to be adjusting to the full day schedule. The nice thing is all the first graders came from half day kindergarten so the teacher built the entire first week around getting comfortable. They had three recesses a day, quiet time in the middle of the day and she had been reading them chapters of SuperFudge. I can see at home that MIss E is tired but she is apparently holding it together well as proven by her teacher's evening phone call home telling me how great Miss E is. Half way into the second week, things are starting to even out. They have a routine and all the stuff that Miss E LOVES about school -gym class, library, music class, assemblies - are starting to happen. All in all, things are going pretty well.

The first day was also her first day of soccer practice as well. See those shoes? 4 stores later those were the only style she wanted and Peter and I ended up driving out to a store by the airport (35 minute trip one way) after we dropped the kids off that morning to get the only pair in her size left in the greater Portland area. You know why she HAD to have them? They come with 8 color cards that you can insert into them to change the color of the swoosh. Well played Nike, well played. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Mr. T's first day of Kindergarten

EAch of the kids has been in some form of preschool for 3 years now. True, when they were 2 it was 2 days a week for a few hours each time but still, some form of preschool. Each year in September they have had different first days or one or the other of them will have what I call a "no big deal" 1st day. Low anxiety, familiar teacher something like that. This year for the first time both the kids started school on the exact same day at the exact same time and these were BIG DEAL first days. I won't lie, it felt stressful navigating them both through the first day and week of school but so far (fingers crossed) everything is going great.

He was pretty excited about his first day and a little bit nervous since it was going to be a new teacher. Peter dropped him off since I was dropping off Miss E and he only took one (one!) dark picture of Mr. T in his classroom. I haven't been back in to take another one because his teacher, while totally and completely awesome in every way, does not want parents in the classroom this first month. Something about the kids being independent or some such idea....   The other morning my toe crossed the threshold as I said goodbye to him and she cheerfully and immediately directed Mr. T and I to wave goodbye to each other. Yes, I have been 86'd from a kindergarten classroom. 

 The kindergarten bus brings the morning kindergarten kids home and drops them off directly at your house. The bus driver (Jase) was Miss E's bus driver from last year. He's awesome. And last year as he dropped off Miss E on the first day of school I mentally freaked out that someone I didn't know was driving my daughter around. This year Peter and I were happy to see him and chatted for a moment about how our summers had been. Mr. T was super nervous and excited about the bus. Since then it's been one of his favorite things. "It's like a car mommy but bigger and you don't have to wear seatbelts!"

After school of course there were freshly made cookies. I think this whole kindergarten thing is going to work out alright. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11

Each year, this day becomes more of a question mark for me. Remembering fills me with a deep sense of sadness, mournful that our world changed on that day. For Peter, he both likes and hates working on this day. This year he's working which means participating in 3 different September 11 memorial events. It's hard for the guys to do this every year, but they also know that it's important and are glad to do it. I think if he went to work and there were no September 11 events scheduled he would be simultaneously relieved and deeply disappointed.

As for me, my question each year becomes - do I tell the kids? I know many fire families have told their kids about this day early and often in their lives, without creating fear and instead crafting pride and respect for the fire service. I have chosen not to tell the kids yet because I don't want the thought to even cross their mind as they board their first plane flight that something bad might happen to the plane. I don't want them to hear about actual events where firefighters have died and buildings have collapsed. They know Peter's job is dangerous but right now it's in the abstract. They know there are bad people in the world but somehow this crosses the line from "bad" people.

But as Miss E gets older and is more aware of her surroundings, each year I find myself asking, is this the year? Right now I'm pretty much waiting until they ask about it - which has pretty much been our policy on most parenting things so far. We don't let them watch the news and when Miss E is obviously reading the newspaper I give it a quick scan to make sure there's nothing really bad on the page she's reading. She'll pick up on something eventually I'm sure but I'm unsure as to whether I should help that along.

10 years ago I woke up on a week-long bike ride in the middle of nowhere in Eastern Oregon. I was with my mom and my sister and Peter was at our home, working for the ambulance company and as a volunteer. There was no TV or radio where we were and as we are eating breakfast a woman on a bullhorn announced out of the blue that our country was under attack and that all national guard troops would be supplied phones to call in and assistance returning to their bases. We had no idea what had happened. As we rode our bikes that day a few folks with radios would pass along brief snippets of information. A plane flew into a building. A plane crashed into field. There are fighter jets patrolling over New York City. 20 firefighters died. At the time I thought - 20? There's no way that many could die in an incident. And then, I wonder if there were people on the plane? It wasn't until that evening at our rest stop in another location that we were able to call home. They brought in extra phones so people could call relatives on the East Coast. I finally got ahold of Peter and he told me what really happened.

At this point he had just been hired by the fire department.

So every year I wonder, is this the year? And then - should I have told them last year?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Week 1

Whew. It's been a crazy week. Miss E started 1st grade, Mr. T started kindergarten, my sister had surgery, I had a 4 day long migraine and Peter and I celebrated 9 years of marriage. Mix in some work, a few tantrums, a million errands, soccer and the start of football season and there you have it. It's been busy and hard and wonderful - just like life with 2 little kids normally is. I'm going to do individual posts about each of the kids starting school because this is such a big year for both of them but haven't had time yet. I can't wait to start another 365 because for some reason blogging one picture a day seems to come easier to me than this blogging randomly.

On a side note: This evening, Miss E threw a huge tantrum. She is tired and still adjust to full day school and we have had some....behavior. Anyhoo, there was a huge tantrum with yelling and telling me she hated me and on and on and on. About an hour after this kind of ridiculous tantrum her teacher called us at home just to tell me that Miss E was an "angel" and how glad she was that she was going to get to be her teacher for 2 years. She went on about how smart Miss E is, what a great attitude she had and how "whatever we're doing at home must be working". I swear, not 45 minutes earlier the girl had kicked at me and told me I was the dumbest mommy ever. Ahh...motherhood. In the midst of the negative there shines a light of pride and positiveness. I'm so proud of my kiddo, I know this a huge adjustment for her and she's doing the best she can to make it work.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Beach - Part 2

Seeing as we started school today, I should probably post the rest of last weeks beach pictures already. I can't say enough how lovely this trip was. Yes, there were a few tantrums and a few "moments" and Mr. T did wake up at 6:15 and immediately started calling for Miss E to wake up but overall, it was one of the best mini-vacations we've ever had.

 The second day was much more cloudy and overcast than the first - still warm but not sunny. We also had a crazy high tide that came up and over that little bridge leading down from the hotel. Mr. T and Miss E played and played in the sand though and this picture it the only photographic evidence we have of Mr. T's guy that he "catapulted and then buried" in the sand. He was not recovered.

 Miss E was thrilled with the water coming in so far. Normally I wouldn't let her stand on a drift log with the tide coming up around it but we were so far back from the actual surf that it was OK. That bridge was swamped over the bottom step on the highest waves. Our hotel room was on the bottom, second one in from the right. It worked great for quick clothing changes, bathroom breaks and snack re-fills.

Peter and Mr. T built a huge mountain of sand and then Mr. T had a great time throwing his body into it to knock it down. Boys.

 Sunset walk on the beach after the tide had receded.

 Miss E and I playing Bananagrams in the condo.

 On the last day we'd had enough lazing around so we went sightseeing on the way home. When we made our list at the beginning of the summer of all the things we wanted to do this summer, Miss E put "lighthouse" on it so we stopped at this one.

 She climbed all the way up with me. At the top they wouldn't let you go outside or into the light area so it was a little anti-climatic but she was happy anyway.

Last stop was the aquarium. Touch tanks, sharks, snakes and sea birds. Then home again home again jiggity jig.

Overall it was a great summer. The completed tasks on our list included:

Booby traps,
Sleep in a tent (I know, this is pretty much the same as camping but the kids were in charge of what went on the list)
Berry picking
Festival or carnival
Go to a farm
Go to the beach
Ride bikes
Play outside
Get pool out
Make berry desserts
Eat outside.

Done all around and that's a wrap on the summer.

(although truly, we are having our hottest weather of the year now, for the first week of school)

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Beach - Part 1

Earlier this week we spent 3 days at the beach as a family just enjoying the last trip of summer. I had planned this trip on my own and it was a surprise for Peter and the kids. They knew we were going somewhere but they didn't know where.  I intended for the trip to be easy, fun and relaxing (i.e., not camping or far distance or busy travel). I also have this thing about going to the beach (must be done at least once a year) and ever since we've had kids I insist on oceanfront accommodations, I think because for the past 6 years we've spent a good part of the time in the hotel room with a napping/early to bed kid and really, if you're at the beach you have to see the ocean. 

We tried out a new beach and a new place to stay and it was beautiful. The best beach area for kids we've been to and the weather was gorgeous. I split this into 2 posts because it's so picture heavy but I couldn't resist. It was so lovely all around. 

 First stop, lunch. Clam chowder at Mo's and Peter and Mr. T wanted their picture taken in front of this FDNY sign. (Side note - I have not told my kids about September 11 yet. I just can't bring myself to do it. It's so horrific and with Peter being a firefighter, I just can't. Last year I actually started to - in an age-appropriate way- and couldn't finish. Maybe this year.)

 Second stop, beach. Well check into condo and then beach. This right here is why this beach is so perfect. The actual surf is a bit farther out but these rivers and pools fill each high tide. The kids could play in this water to their hearts content without the danger that the Oregon surf poses.

 I'm reading a book ON THE BEACH with my kids. First time ever. Normally near the ocean we are hyper-vigilant and near the kids. I've lived in Oregon my entire life and have a healthy respect for our ocean. Sneaker waves are for real people. With this place, we were set so far back the kids were able to play a bit more and I was able to relax (a little).

 Building a sand castle.

 Miss E spent her own money on a mood ring this trip. It was the most adorable thing ever. She believes in their power to tell her mood so all weekend she would look at it and then tell me how she was feeling. It was just the sweetest thing to see her so excited about the power of the mood ring.

  After dinner tide-pooling. The first night we had a crazy negative tide (the next day would prove to be a crazy high tide) and so we were able to see rocks that weren't normally exposed. Miss E collected all kinds of shells and crab claws/legs she found on the beach and commenced to call that orange bucket her  "bucket of body parts". As in "Hey Mr. T, do you want to see my bucket of body parts?". We even brought it home with us after I lost the argument that it would stink up the van.

Mussels and barnacles.

A conversation

Me: Mr. T, because we're having dinner guests tonight, I need you to pick up your Toy Story toys and magnetic blocks off of the living room rug in the next 20 minutes.

Miss E: And pants - he should put pants on too.

Me: Umm.. yes, put pants on as well.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


I've always been a bit socially awkward. Meeting new people, small talk with strangers, shallow acquaintances - none of those are really my thing. I'm not great at it but I'm also not bad. As I have aged, I have learned to own this part of my personality, to do the things I need to with grace and not just manage, but enjoy these niceties with people. Most of the time.

This morning, was the school "Meet and Greet" for the kids. This is where you go to school, meet your teacher and class mates and drop off your school supplies. I went with Mr. T and Peter was with Miss E. She was flipping out at the house a bit so they left early, Mr. T's stomach hurt (side note - the kid has not pooped in 2 years without crying and yes we've seen doctors but it SUCKS all around) and we ended up being late. Which was fine. I did this last year with Miss E, I know it's more of a social hour and there's no set agenda so it didn't matter that we were 15 minutes late.

However. All last year and this summer we have been talking about how Mr. T is going to be in Ms. Nguyen's class next year. She was Miss E's teacher last year and the only half day kindergarten teacher at the school. We know her, Mr. T knows her and at the end of the school year when I asked her if she would be back she said "yes, that's the plan". OK. Great. Ms. Nguyen it is. Mr. T is all ready to see her again as am I.

Then we arrive at the school, late, tired from getting home late from vacation yesterday, stressed (me) about Mr. T's medical issues and as we are walking in a smiling aide asks us if we are headed for the kindergartens and I say "yes, he's in Ms. Nguyen's class" and I am met with a "Oh, it's not Ms. Nguyen this year, there's a new teacher." OK, I think. I knew they did away with the afternoon kindergarten but I also knew that part time teaching positions are almost unheard of and was wondering what kind of shuffle happened.

Long story short, I am trying to be excited for Mr. T, we drop off his school supplies, head out on the playground and he introduces himself to his teacher then scampers off to play. I stand there like an idiot and as she greets me the FIRST THING I blurt out is "what happened to Ms. Nguyen?" and she very smiley and nicely explained that she moved to another elementary school to which I respond with "is this your first year teaching and what are you doing with your afternoon time"? SO RUDE. What I meant was, how long had she been teaching kindergarten and is she doing some sort of after care program or was the morning class her only class. Oh, and by the way WELCOME TO THE SCHOOL, WE'RE SO GLAD YOU'RE HERE. She continued to smile and be super charming and answered all my questions and I walked away feeling like an ass.

Sigh. First impressions are not my strong suit for sure, especially when I am tired and stressed and distracted. However she was just as nice and cute as a kindergarten teacher should be and she was not new and Mr. T loved her despite his belly hurting. Afterward I got to go down the hall to Miss E's classroom and meet her teacher who is the perfect mix of warm and calm and serious for Miss E. All in all it went great, I'm just going to have to do a little damage control with Mr. T's new teacher.

And he started soccer practice today which is a WHOLE other post but oh my the cuteness.