Sunday, September 30, 2007

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Halloween....

if only it weren't 90º!!

For some reason I wasn't really interested in making costumes for the kids this year, even though it is something I usually LOVE to do. Last year's costumes were, in my opinion, so awesome, maybe I was afraid of creating anything less than stellar. So I told the kids that they had to dig through the dress up box for costumes this year. Goodness knows we have enough. Like this. Or this. Even Dominick has pilfered from our dress up box for a costume once. But then Alex and her friend Tessa came up with the idea to be a dead bride and a headless groom. And yes, Alex gets to be the headless groom. We actually found this version at the Halloween store in Canandaigua, but it is only in adult male sizes. So I am trying to make one. Eh. I'll document my progress in case anyone is interested.

So, I can't exactly make one kid a costume and tell the other two to wing it.... so I am now making in addition to a headless groom, an alien abucting a kid for Hudson and a mummy for Ethan. I thought Ethan's would be so easy. I'd just sew strips of gauzy material to white long underwear.... well, try to find long underwear when it is 90º out. No one sells it! I ended up with an off white pair from the girls department at Target. Hopefully Ethan won't realize that the little design in the material are actually hearts!

Friday, September 21, 2007


Well, Ethan was put on yellow on Friday. In his school everyone starts on green. Your first infraction or warning for the day gets you on yellow. After that if you misbehave you move to red, then to the principle's office. I'm so disappointed, and at the same time surprised it took 11 days to happen. I guess he grabbed a kid after the kid grabbed him first. Then, to make my heart ache even more, he came home with some work that wasn't done. When I asked him why it wasn't completed (they don't have homework, so it was weird for him to bring unfinished work home) he said, "That was when I was sitting at my table crying." Doesn't that just sound pathetic?

I went to meet the teacher night on Thursday. Justin had to work so I was a "single mom." Since Hudson has a teacher that Alex had for 3rd grade, and the 3rd grade and 5th grade teachers give their "presentations" at the same time, I only sat through Alex's teacher's talk. (I did go in early and speak one on one to Hudson's teacher, saw his room, read his little note to me, etc.) Fifth grade sounds fun! They will be going on some really cool field trips (seeing the RPO perform at the Eastman Theatre, walking trips to the Mount Hope Cemetery and Corn Hill area) studying architecture and then building a house..lots of fun stuff. They also have a new Smartboard in their room, as does Hudson....but Alex also gets to use the Senteo, which is like a remote that can be used with the Smartboard for quizzes, etc. It's very cool. Our kids will be so tech savvy!

** Edited to note... Yes, they are called Smartboards...not Whiteboards. What was I thinking? Not so smart I guess :)

Friday, September 14, 2007

One Down...

The first full week of school is over. The kids are all doing well. I'm happy to report that Ethan has "stayed on green" every day so far. He has already been allowed into the "prize box" on day 5 and is looking forward to getting 2 more star stamps in order to reach 10 total and be rewarded again. (You get a star stamp on your folder when you stay on "green" in his classroom.) Ethan is still afraid to buy anything from the lunch line. I went into school and helped him buy chocolate milk on Wednesday. I told him this morning that he could buy ice cream because it is Friday. (The only day the kids are allowed to buy ice cream at school is Friday in this house. It makes it seem more like a treat, and gives them a little something to look forward to.) He said, "Are you coming in to my lunch?" When I told him no he said very grumpily, "Well, I'm not buying anything!" Well, Ok then....

This was also our first week of dance, which is a scheduling nightmare (Ethan dances on Monday, Alex on Mon, Tues and Thurs and Hudson on Mon and Wed) but the kids love it so much and have done well so far with all the activity. I'm really proud of them. Alex also starts chorus and band next week. She'll have to ride the early (high school) bus, which arrives at about 7:20. Currently she is not even out of bed at that time. We'll see how she does. (I also had to call school and request that they change the bus route so that Alex wouldn't have to cross Rt. 64. It's just too freakin' busy and the huge trucks go about 70mph past our house.) With all of their activity, I have eased off of the chores for a while... not that they really had a lot to do anyway (feed the dog, empty the dishwasher, bring down their dirty clothes, keep their room clean were on the list) but I just don't want them getting too overwhelmed. Now I have to feed the *&?! dog.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Hudson doesn't have much to say about school. I guess he is enjoying it. He comes home, does his homework and then plays with Lego's. He seems happy enough, but he never elaborates on what his school day is like. Today I went into school to eat lunch with Ethan (he was nervous about buying milk in the lunch line, so I helped him) and I was greeted by a big hug from Hudson. His class was on their way to music and his teacher let him sneak into the cafeteria and say hi to me. Then after the class went into the music room, Mrs. Raup, Hudson's teacher came up to me. She said, "If ever you want to get rid of Hudson I'll adopt him. He's such a good boy. So creative. Always first to rise his hand with the answer. He's a real shining star in my room." I nearly started to cry. I am so proud of him!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Dance Begins

The kids stared their dance classes yesterday. We have a marathon of classes on Mondays... Ethan danced from 4-5 (and Alex is a demonstrator in his class), Hudson from 5-6:30 and Alex from 6:30 to 8. Alex said that Ethan was "a little crazy in the beginning but then did good." The teacher keeps the shade shut on the window between the studio and waiting area, but I was able to peek through the crack and get a glimpse of Eefers. He looked to me like he was doing what he was supposed to be doing, and doing it well! He told his Dad that he really liked dance class. I'm really happy that he's enjoying it so far.... now I just hope he likes regular school as much. He cried this morning and told me he wasn't going. I did manage to get him on the bus tear free... we'll see what what tomorrow brings.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Through the Years

2004 Alex 6 - 2nd grade, Hudson 4 - Kindergarten

Alex 7 - 3rd grade, Hudson 5 - 1st grade

Alex 8- 4th grade, Hudson 6- 2nd grade

Alex 9 - 5th grade, Hudson 7 - 3rd grade, Ethan 5 - Kindergarten

I'll have to go through my older pictures to find Alex in Kindergarten and 1st grade.... but I thought this was a neat timeline of "First Days" and wanted to share it.

And They're Back...

Day One of school was pretty good. Alex and Hudson walked Ethan to his classroom, so that was nice. Ethan proudly showed me the stamp he received on his folder for "staying on green all day". Alex was happy to see all of her old friends during lunch and recess, and to become better acquainted with the kids in her classroom (girls she knows but was not very close to previously). Hudson didn't have much to say about his day, but he is excited about having his buddy Noah on the bus with him.

The most distressing thing for me was what I discovered when I unpacked Ethan's lunch box.... he hadn't eaten his sandwich or his granola bar. "Why didn't you eat your sandwich?" I asked him. He couldn't get it out of the container- it was stuck, and he couldn't open the wrapper on his granola bar. He didn't realize that he could have asked a grown-up for help. He also didn't think that there were any garbage cans in the cafeteria, so he put his half finished juice box back into the lunch pail, getting his backpack wet.

Oh well... all in all I think it was a good day... although trying to ask Ethan about his day is like talking to a monkey.

And They're Off... (Now with Pictures!)

School started today. With equal parts relief and excitement (and a bit of sadness) I sent them off on the bus. This was Ethan's very first day- he started kindergarten, so we were all a bit anxious for him. On Sunday at church, when Cory talked about the kids going back to school Ethan said, "I'm NOT going to school!!" And yesterday afternoon when I said something about getting a good night's sleep because it was a school night, Ethan asked, "Do I have to go to school tomorrow?" When I said yes, he buried his head in my shoulder and sighed. I was pretty nervous that he would have a tantrum or start crying when the bus came... but no! He gave us the thumbs up and marched right up the steps- sandwiched between his brother and sister. Ah relief!

But to really appreciate and understand why I was a bit more anxious than I had hoped I would be you'll have to know the full story.... OK- so it's night before the first day of school. Lets get a good dinner into the kids, give the boys a nice bath, read Ethan a story, lay out their clothes, etc. etc. Well, that all went to hell! We discovered at about 6:30, right when I was putting the kettle on to make myself some tea and get dinner started, that we had run out of propane! Oh great.... so pack up the kids, some PJ's, something for dinner and go to Mom's and Dad's to use their luxurious hot water and stove top. But wait! The dryer didn't dry the clothes (no propane to heat it) so let me hang the load, with Ethan's shorts he will be wearing to school, on the line. OK good... kids cleaned and fed, got to snuggle Grandma a little, we're back home, teeth are brushed, no time for a story but that's OK. Kisses goodnight. "Alex don't stay up too late." Justin needs to get up early and I am fighting a nagging cold, which has robbed me of my voice, so we go to bed early too. 9:15 Alex comes downstairs.... Mom, the toilet is overflowing. Oh Christ!! The last time this happened (last Friday) the water leaked through the ceiling on all over my bed. We are still dealing with stinky wet plaster smell from that episode. So I run upstairs, turn off the water that feeds the toilet (I learned this from the last go-around) and try to plunge... nothing. I go downstairs, get a bucket and a plastic cup, go back upstairs and fish out (gag) the floating Alex poops (gag) take that downstairs and dump it (gag) in to the other toilet. Go back upstairs to plunge some more... still nothing. Decide to tackle it in the morning. Go to bed. Wake up. Make breakfast for the kids. Get Ethan's shorts off the line... still damp. I spend 10 minutes drying them with a hair dryer. The propane man comes! He re-lights everything after he fills the tank. He is a godsend. The kids are clean, fed, lunches packed, pictures taken, Hudson has crud on his brand new shirt.... how did that happen? The bus arrives, and they are off to school.

I go to breakfast with Mom and Dad. Decide to walk home.... and get caught in a rainstorm. Good for the cold I have, I'm sure. And all the clothes on the line are soaked..... aarrgh!

Now the silver lining of this story.... yesterday Ethan had a practice bus run and got to see his class room and meet his teacher. She read to them The Kissing Hand, about a little raccoon that is apprehensive about leaving his mom and going to school. She gives him a kiss on the hand, and whenever he feels a needs a little love from his mom he should press his hand against his cheek and think, "Mom loves you." So Mrs. Wilson, Ethan's teacher, sent home a red heart sticker for me to place on Ethan's hand so that he could look at it during the day and remember that Mom loves him. I placed the sticker on his hand this morning. He went about his business, getting his sneakers and back pack on, running outside to check to see if that car in the driveway was Dad (it was- Justin came home from work to watch the kids get on the bus). The sticker came loose. Ethan came to me holding the sticker and said, "Mom, I don't need this.... why don't you wear it today?"

Thanks Ethan... I will.