Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Getting organized!

After our initial fun kick-off to summer, we have now been 'back in the routine' for a couple of weeks. I originally had many, many goals for this summer, but I have quickly realized that everyday demands are going to get too much in the way to complete everything. Add to that, Miss P is not participating in any daycamp programs, nor is there a 'granny camp' option. It is just she and me! (We do have a once a week dance class, and are starting some swim lessons at the end of July). Sheesh, we don't even have any neighbor kids for amusement, although we do have many wonderful playgroup and other friends to mix it up with.

Anywhoo, here is my modified list of goals

1) Spend time bonding and having fun with Miss P (before her exodus to Kindergarten): weekly day trips (we've done the beach and Oakland Zoo so far), the aforementioned playdates, and time alone just hangin'.

2) Help sharpen P's academic skills. She's already in pretty good shape, but as a teacher I know too much, and instead of blissfully sending her off as is (which would be fine), I can't help but make sure she goes in with all the basics firmly in place. Our school is really progressive academically, and I'm used to a lot of kids coming in with beautiful printing and counting to 100, etc. With her personality type, she will enjoy school more if she feels confident about her abilities.

3) Exercise at least 4 times a week for at least 30 minutes.

4) Clean out and organize two giant closets and a whole side of our bedroom (tons of paperwork to go through on a bookcase - yuck! want the bedroom to be a 'retreat.')

So that's the list. There are of course some other small to-do's, but these are the big main projects. Since I am not working and have just one little kiddo, who at nearly 5 should be able to be play independently for long periods of time, it seems like this list should be cake.

However, there is that whole 'daily demands' thing again. Add that to the fact that, although I'm a really hard worker, I'm not very disciplined when I'm not accountable and have lots of free time. I've made a weekly schedule (there are certain days for playdates or outings, certain days for getting things done, chunks for time for playing learning games, etc.) E thinks I'm crazy, and has not asked me to do any of this stuff, and would have no problem with me just hanging out with P and relaxing all summer, (bless him) but I would not be OK with that.

Miss P and I are having a 'Cinderella day' tomorrow, July 1st. Here's how it works: She helps me (or at leasts doesn't interrupt) for most of the day begin to tackle the bedroom (goal #4), and then in the evening we get dressed up and do something fun with our 'prince' : ). If I get way too frustrated, my back up is to do an incentive chart. She earns a sticker for a half? day of playing independently and being cooperative (letting me get my %$#@ done), and after a certain number of earned stickers, she may choose a small toy from Target.

I know most of you are not teachers, but do you have any goals for the summer? Any good strategies for attacking projects (with or w/o kids)?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Summer line at Target

So, I am finding the cutest clothes at Target! If you can get your hands on this top:
the 'Mossimo Black Draped Sleeve Tank' - get it! It runs big so get a size smaller than usual. It hides any tummy pooch, and has a feminine, flattering neckline, all for $12.99, or whatever. I would have gotten one in all possible colors but only could find it in white. It is out of stock online! Maybe you'll have better luck...

Besides this cutey top, I saw half a dozen other things I liked, and bought a passable swimsuit, a couple of dresses for P, and my mom got me the cutest pj's there for my b-day. Check it out!

Friday, June 26, 2009

"You say it's my birthday...."

I celebrated #37 at the Hotel Valencia last Saturday. I know, I am spoiled! My birthday coincides with the end of the school year, and Father's Day, so I tend to find an excuse to go away for an overnight. All I really want on my birthday is to sit on my tush in the warm sun, by a pool, with diet coke, and a juicy book.

E and I took these goofy pics as we accomplished that and more during our stay. My mom and stepdad joined us at the rooftop bar, Cielo, and our friends biked over as well for drinks and appetizers. After strolling over to dinner, we caught a movie and called it a night! The bliss continued through Father's Day. Life is good!

More Star Wars

As I know there are some Star Wars fans out there, here are more pictures of the show for your viewing pleasure....

Thursday, June 25, 2009


I'm still playing catch-up! So after the final day of school, Miss P and I were hit with major allergies, which had us down for the count. I barely pulled myself together to attend a Sunday wedding at beautiful Nestldown in Los Gatos for a colleague. Monday, I headed into school again to finish up classroom cleanup. That evening while out to an early birthday dinner with a friend, another good friend called and invited us all to accompany her to...Disneyland - the next day! Turns out they had some tickets that needed to be used by that Friday.

Never ones to let down a friend : ) , we booked rooms, packed up, and left the next day at noon for two whirlwind days at the happiest place on Earth. It was so zippy that we didn't even take many photos. Going on favorite rides was the top priority, it was not a 'stop and smell the roses,' take in the sights and smells type of trip.

We particularly loved the Toy Story ride - a big favorite of our travel companions. Part of the trip's focus was to celebrate our little friend J's 5th birthday. So our experience had a boy flavor, which was a fine change of pace. Here are Miss P and Mr. J along with E and Buzz. Mr. J is wearing his 'It's my Birthday!' button.
On J's birthday, he went shopping with his mom for some Star Wars toys in the gift shop. On your birthday, you have the option of either free admittance, or a gift card in the amount of one day's admission - works out to about $50+. Anyway, while they did that, E and I waited in line with P and S to meet some fairies, such as Tink, below.

Another highlight was the Jedi training. J, like many boys his age, loves Star Wars (has not seen the movie, but you know). We thought it would be super cool to get a front row seat for the Jedi performance, and even cooler to get him in the show. At the last minute though, he thought he'd rather just watch than try out unknown tricks in front of a whole crowd. Miss P, who didn't know enough about Star Wars to be nervous, went up instead. She ended up right next to the Jedi Master.

We got home at about 2:00 a.m. Friday morning, and haven't stopped!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Good-bye 2008-09 School Year!

The last day of school was Friday, June 12th. Already, it feels like forever ago. The final week of school was busy as always, and it hasn't let up since, which is why I'm just now talking about it. I thought about just skipping this post and leaping right into summer, but I decided to do just one quick entry.

I felt more organized this year than normal, but still was up until late the night before wrapping and organizing various gifts for volunteers and P's teachers. P had 6 different people (!) to buy for between the morning and afternoon staff, and the director. We did stationary from Target for her peeps. My job share partner is moving to full-time in first grade, so she got the appropriately titled, Off to First Grade book.
My volunteer families received the above gift.
After movie day, game day, end of the year concert day, and many evenings of end of year administrative stuff, the final day arrived. As always, I enjoyed handing out K-graduation certificates and sharing prideful comments, I was sad to say goodbye to my students, but then more than ready to celebrate at the end-of-year luncheon.
Goodbye 60% schedule, job-share partner, 2009 students and Ponderosa Preschool!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Pre-K Graduation!

Last Friday, exactly four years after she was baptized, Miss P graduated from Pre-K.
Daddy took the day off to join Miss P (outfitted in the American Girl dress Grandma R purchased for $3 from Ebay) and I at the ceremony.
The stars and moons were aligned, so in addition to E and I, Grandma B (my mom), was able to join us for the event, which included lunch afterward at CPK (that's California Pizza Kitchen, for the non-locals).

Grandma B excused herself after the mall CPK lunch to do some shopping, while E and I indulged the graduate in her first trip ever to Build-a-Bear.

There were many squeals as our shopper selected Hello Kitty, and perused the clothes and accessories.

Afterward, E treated himself, I mean Miss P to a pair of pink Chuck Taylors. Perfect for daddy/daughter dates! He has already requested she not wear them to preschool, lest the white soles get 'dirty.' (Anyone who knows him will get a big laugh out of this!) Afterward, we saw 'Up'. What a movie! We laughed, we cried (me). All in all, a great day!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Paige's restaurant *preferences*

Last night we let know Paige know that we'd be heading out to eat for the umpteenth time. End of the school year = little cooking. At least last night was Saturday night! Anyway, Paige has become quite the discrminating diner and knows want she wants in a restaurant.

To be a 4 star restaurant in Paige's opinion, you must be able to answer "yes" to the following questions she will undoubtedly ask:

1) Is there a kids menu?
2) Do they serve bread?
3) Will they have crayons?
4) May I have juice?

Our plan was to go to Frankie, Johnnie and Luigi's, so the answer was 'yes, yes, yes and yes.'
To be a five star restaurant, you must include a dessert with the kids meal!

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Lest it appear that I am 'all party,' let me share the news....
I will be working full-time next school year!

I have been part-time and loving it since Miss P was born. The first two years I was 80%, and then once she hit two and became really fun, I downshifted to 60%. It has been 'the life,' let me tell you. Three days of teaching, and then two days of fun with P and our playgroup friends, then two days of weekend.

There have been challenges. I had a different partner almost every year, as some people used me as a stepping stone to full-time, while others had more children and needed to stop working. I had two people (two years in a row) leave on maternity leave, and I spent a lot of time training each person. All in all, I did more than my percentage would suggest.

But having the time home with P was/is so worth it. And the older she got the more delightful it became. I often felt a little guilty because our days were so much fun. Here's a sample: hit the gym in the a.m. before E leaves for work, shower, do breakfast with Paige. Clean up a bit. Check in with girlfriends. Pack picnic lunch, grab P and meet girlfriends and their children at the park (with Starbucks). Play with kids, have lunch. Maybe hit the library/bookstore on the way home. Perhaps read stories or play dolls. Make dinner. Done! Although I occasionally use half of one day for cleaning (and do like a clean house), I've always felt that the point of staying home with kids was to focus most of your time on building your relationship with them. I figure people who work full-time find other times to clean, do errands, etc. so I rarely make my time at home all about that. It's always been playdates, museums, parks, libraries and zoos.

Anyway, I digress! I have had the same partner two years in a row, and was happy to stay part-time indefinitely, even though Miss P begins full-time kindergarten in the Fall. My plan had been to spend half a day (Thurs?) once a week volunteering, and the rest of that day planning/prepping ahead for my own classroom, and the other day (Fri?) in a 'homemaker' role. However, when someone announced retirement recently, my teaching partner decided she needed to grab the plum spot to ensure a place for her at 100% in the future. I knew immediately I would also go 100% in my kindergarten position. No more partners!

After some time to process, I feel really good about it. My one major concern was that I wanted to be able to still volunteer in Miss P's class next year. I've figured it out! I will take two half days off a month off (using same sub each time, I already have plans ready), and use that time to participate in P's class. I figure twice a month is respectable!

E and I are very excited about the 'raise,' and are already plotting and planning how to use the money. First on our list next year: housekeeper!