Sunday, September 27, 2009

Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Patch Trip

Dude, our camera sucks....
...but, between the free entertainment (haystack pyramid, beautiful weather, space to run, wheelbarrow rides), a picnic lunch, a little wine, and good friends, we had a great day!

Teddy Bear Picnic

P and her teacher
Clearly, I'm smiling for both of us

Last Thursday P's class (along with mine and the other K-classes), had a Teddy Bear Picnic. I've been waiting a long time for this! The concept is based on a children's book. In the story, teddy bears all over the world sneak out every year on a special day for their very own picnic. The only way for humans to attend is to wear teddy bear 'disguises.'

P's sleepover with Corduroy

If you read my earlier whiny post, you saw that P got to bring home Corduroy (title character in the book of the same name by Don Freeman. Also stars in Corduroy Goes to School, Corduroy's Lost and Found, and other titles). P was quite excited to change him from his famous green overalls to this sleepshirt. They played 'Animal School,' and she gave him his own tiny teddy bear and a small ball to take with him on future adventures.

A peek into our mornings...

So the other day, I just had to stop and take a picture of a typical day's worth of stuff P and I carry down two flights of stairs, out the door, across the quad, and down the walk from our condo to our car.

Fortunately, Miss P has graduated to a place of carrying her own backpack and lunchbox - but what's all that other stuff? The sad red leather heap is my worn-out, overstuffed purse, the Target bag was carrying god-knows-what supplies for my classroom, the basket with Corduroy book was the visiting bear from P's classroom (with accessories), and the pink gym bag holds P's swim stuff and my workout gear for her after-school lesson.

Can you hear the tiny violin playing?? : ) I know I should pack up the night before, but I'm typically ready to drop at that time.

Positive note: We are excited about moving to our house with garage!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Diet Beware!

We enjoyed this slice of heaven at our girls' night last Friday.

Cheese Bread Recipe

1 rnd french bread
1 lb swiss cheese (also works with cheddar)
2 Tb finely chopped onion
2 tsp lemon juice
1 Tb dijon mustard
1 Tb poppy seed
1/2 lb. butter (2 sticks)

Pre-heat oven to 350ยบ
Melt butter, lemon juice, mustard and onion in pan
Cut top off loaf, then cut a checker board pattern on bread, be careful not to cut all the way through.
Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Put topless bread on it and then in all of the cracks place the cheese. Then spoon in melted ingredients.
Let bake for approx. 50 minutes or until golden brown on top.
Sprinkle poppy seeds on top...enjoy!

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Girlfriends have been on my mind lately. I am so blessed to have to have many, and they are so crucial to my life. I rank 'em up right up there with my husband almost - seriously. On Friday night, we had a gathering where we ate too much (need the awesome cheese bread recipe which apparently includes a whole stick of butter???), drank, talked and laughed so hard. I am lucky to be in a place where I am no longer (or not currently) experiencing any girlfriend drama - you know, toxic friends, or high school like antics. Just amazing support and fun, fun, fun.

However, growing up, and even into my twenties I experienced plenty of the negative above and it still is a little painful to remember. I had the jarring realization that I'm about to go through it again, as I observe P at school and all the little girl complex social interactions. A few times when I've observed her left out it just about killed me. Luckily, in the 19 days of school we've had so far, she has already made multiple friends. In my helicopter-esque mom role, I've already extended three playdate invitations to families of little girls she's connected with, and the first one occurred today. It was a huge success, and it makes me so happy to see her experiencing the awesomeness of a girlfriendship.

Someone close to my just experienced a major girlfriend letdown, and again, that makes me sad. It's also amazing - whether you are six or sixty - you have just about the same reaction when you aren't invited to the big birthday party.

I happened to read an article yesterday, in which a woman's husband was experiencing some anxiety/depression during his 30's when life was all about just work and child-rearing. His therapist's (somewhat unconventional) advice? Go out with friends - as a couple or on his own - a couple times a week, as a unique form of therapy. I got to thinking - it is hard to be stressed when you are hanging with friends. Similar to exercising x number of days a week, or sitting under a sun lamp, exposing yourself to the unique laughter and companionship of good friends frequently is life changing.

So, here's to friends - if you have great ones, cherish them. If you don't, get out there and make some! (And get your spouse to make some too! Believe me, they'll be much happier!)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A bit of a vent....

So, for some reason, I have always had the impression that as kids got older, things got easier. I am finding this not to be so true.

I have decided that 3 and 4 were the easy years. Miss P was potty-trained, verbal, and pretty cooperative. She is still all of these things. However, at age 5, this is not nearly enough!

With the advent of school, comes a whole new ball game, and list of expectations. Of course, being a K-teacher, I was quite aware of this, and did not quite have the rude awakening some have.

Overall, P is doing very well in school (Thank you, Lord!) We haven't had homework yet, and are doing fine turning in the various papers, Monday folder, library bag, etc., on the appointed days and wearing the appropriate color for color day. P is loving school and is so excited. She talks about it all the time, and even wants to play school at home. It's the social thing.

P tends to be rather shy around new kids. Most of her 3 year old preschool year consisted of playing with the adults instead of the kids. (Even though outside of school, she had plenty of friends from our playgroup that she regularly ran off with.) During her four year old pre-K year, she branched out, became quite friendly, and made some good little friends (most all went to different schools).

Now that she is in K, she is making a slow foray into friendships. She initially bonded with a bunch of girls in her class. Now I'm not quite sure what is happening with that. The big obstacle seems to be those darned monkey bars. When our backs were turned, every other kid in the universe and their 3 year old sibling learned how to swing across them. Now, at recess time, P's cronies zip to the bars, and she hangs solo. She has been playing with a very nice little girl from my class, who she has had a couple of playdates with. But that little girl has other friends and is also a monkey bar fan. Darn those bars! Who would've thought they'd be such an issue. Her teacher has suggested I do an incentive chart with her, where she can earn stickers for initiating play at recess, instead of sometimes just watching. (She is the only child on the yard of 100 kids, who seems to be hanging back.)

I, being biased of course, feel like P is such a smartie, but I'm feeling a lot of responsibility with this age 5. It seems like other kids somehow just learn things on their own (like at recess, most kids just run out to the playground and start loosely playing, they don't need an invitation.) Also, thank goodness, I worked with P so much on drawing, and on letters and sounds. Teaching her to write her name was laborious; now it is paying off. It is amazing what kids come in knowing these days. P's preschool did barely anything academic. It was all 'how to listen to a story,' 'how to take turns,' ' how to follow a teacher's rules,' etc. All very appropriate preschool stuff. But so many kids come into K knowing sooo much, that it brings up the overall level of the instruction. I realized last summer that in my efforts to teach P how to write all the letters, that I had overlooked numbers. Sure enough, she could not recognize any number past 10, and had no idea how to write the numbers. Oops. There goes the responsibility thing again. I know it sounds ridiculous coming from me, a K teacher, but it was a little stressful when I was the only one teaching her anything. Unlike kids who just seem to pick things up -- if I didn't teach it, it didn't happen!

It is painful for me to see P feeling a little left out at recess sometimes. Tonight she wanted to role play what happened, with her the other girls doing the monkey bars and her sitting alone. (Do you see where she my get her melodramatic sense from? But I can see what a big deal this would be for a five year old girl). Anyway, I know that a surefire way to get her over this. (Besides working on the monkey bars!) is to have some little classmates over for playdates. I know once she plays one-on-one with someone a couple of times she will be set.

So again - 3 years old. Easy. Simple life, not much complication. Five - and the school pressure and 'girl drama' kicks in. yikes!

I know I should be counting my blessings that everything overall is going sooo well. And I am. I just wanted to get that out of my system.

Any words of wisdom????

Target Loot!

I scored these fun items at the $1 bin at this afternoon. The notepads are quite cute in person. The photo doesn't do them justice! Some cheer for Football. I say Goooo Target!


Dear (new) Ipod,
Thanks to you I kicked arse on the treadmill today.
Here's to a long and 'healthy' relationship.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Monkey-ing around

Here is Miss P and her personal trainer

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Ok, I have to gossip a bit...

Tonight was BTSN, and as I was leading the presentation in my room, E was in P's. I have to say - and this is really the meat of my message - I'm liking having an involved husband! That's one plus of working full-time, we've managed to rejigger schedules so that E picks P up on M/W/F. He's doing the 'Wednesday Ice Cream Line', and the Friday hang out on the playground. He's even scheduled some play-dates. I think the only way he could be so involved was to have me step out of the way. Now, don't get me wrong, he feels a little out of place still in this role. But I am loving it because now I think he feels 'invested' enough to share opinions about things that in the past only concerned me.

So anyway tonight at BTSN, E gave me the scoop about which moms seemed clique-ish, who was the 'know it all', (I know more than you, lady, so chill out with the superiority) and who he really liked. He shared how he felt bad that he failed to introduce someone, and his concern that P's story of going swimming only contained the word 'pool' (spelled 'pol'), while her neighbor had a whole paragraph of writing. Mind you, if I had been there, and simply relayed these experiences, it would be blown off. Now that he's 'invested' though, it's like talking to a girlfriend!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

moms rock!

Lately, I have been on the receiving end of favors from various moms. I love that we moms are motivated to help each other. That's one of the many things I cherish about my Las Madres group, and I am finding a similar caring attitude at my elementary school.

Case in point, this morning, while walking in to school with Miss P, we ran into another mom and her daughter, who is another student (and a friend) in P's class. I remembered that I forgot one (of many) bags in the car, and the nice mom offered to have P stay with her and even suggested that she walk P into class along with her daughter. This was a godsend as my student teacher is not in on Wednesdays, so I play my 'in two places at once' game. Namely, I should be standing in my doorway right at 8:20 a.m. Instead, I'm dropping off P in her room, and back at my door at 8:23.

Last week, when E was late picking up Miss P, another mom took P to the ice cream line, and offered to stay with her on the playground. A third mom invited P to a playdate at her house last week, and the child then asked P for another playdate tomorrow. And yet another mom watches P after school on the playground for an hour on some Tuesdays and Thursdays when E can't make it.

To top it off, my own mom watched P tonight so I could lead my Back to School Night, and E could attend P's.

I am tired, but filled with gratitude for these wonderful moms!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Construction Update

Here's where we are...main floor

Entryway, mudroom, playroom will be to the left.
That's all folks!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

More odds and ends

So you've gained about 10 pounds? What's a girl to do? Why, Spanx of course. I've had to sport them a few days recently in order to fit into my khakis! Too bad its been about 90 degrees! Not a good combo.

In other news, my class is just lovely this year. However, I'm dealing with a certain situation that is giving me a run for my money. Wish I could discuss. I'm quite proud of myself, though. My already mad teaching skills are being sharpened by the day!
I realized the other day that I most feel like a grownup when I'm in my classroom. I think because I'm juggling so much responsibility (I have a student teacher too) and feel competent there.

Speaking of competence....this afternoon my doll of a friend, Alaina - AKA superwoman - asked to pick up P and bring her back home for a playdate with her son, little M. Fortunately for me, little M is in my class. I arrived at her (always) spotless home in time for a little mommy playdate before A had to leave to pick up her oldest for soccer practice. So, A has three kids (22 months, 5 and 8), works part-time as a teacher (worked full-time at her mom's summer daycare program during those months), and still keeps everything running, never complains, and is always cheerful. Upon my arrival, I saw a little tin of 'rustic peach tarts' that she and the kids had just whipped up. Verdict - delicious!

And so the 10 pounds will stay a little longer. Who can resist peach tarts? Ahem. Rustic peach tarts!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

School Updates

My blogging has taken a backseat to school craziness! Here are some random notes about the first week and a half in no particular order. Please *feel free* to comment!

1. So far, Miss P's backpack, and now library bag, have made it home safely and to their hooks in my 'command center.' Appropriate notices have been posted and all paperwork has been returned the next day. Yay, me!

2. However, Miss P's lunchbox has been 'lost' twice in one day (today). First, she left it out in front of her classroom (as I think many of the students do). When a kind friend/acquaintance saw it after school, and noticed my classroom was dark, she promptly turned it in to the lost and found. Meanwhile, another parent had picked up P and she was playing nearby on the structure, and I had left the classroom to go to the restroom or some such nonsense. When the parent saw me and realized this, she ran back to get it. I brought P into my classroom around this time to finish some work, and she then left it there on a desk. Oh! She is not good at remembering her belongings. Methinketh someone(s) have been 'helping' her too much.

3. With Miss P's party *&&$ last weekend, I basically had no weekend. Couldn't believe how fast Monday came!!!

4. I am basically working all the time right now. Every day and every night almost. Uncle!!!!

5. I am surviving on my starbucks mochas. I drink them decaf or half-caf. It's the comfort (and the chocolate) of the drink that I crave.

6. I'm quite bummed that I can't play the SAHM routine and volunteer in P's class all the time like I envisioned. I know I'm being ridiculous, but I feel very out of the loop with her class. I mean, her teacher tells me stories all the time about how she is doing, and I can go in there pretty much any time and see her work. I guess it is the 'unimportant' stuff - the social - that I feel a little weird about. I know two moms in the class, and they are both really nice. I think what it is, is, a lot of these moms, (including a few moms in the other classes) live right in the neighborhood and have known each other for years. Some have older siblings at the school, others don't. But anyway, they are all like family, and pick up each others kids and do dinner together a bunch, etc. It reminds me of my Las Madres group friends. Anyway, I feel kind of awkward, as I'm not used to being an 'outsider' or newbie. I have decided to plan a MNO for the moms in the class to get to know each other. I talked to the two moms I know (who I think have signed up for room parents) to see what the 'protocol' was, as I was afraid to step on anyone's toes. They pretty much said, 'go for it!' So we'll see....

7. P is constantly writing and drawing. She is not the most advanced in this area, but I am glad she enjoys it. She is very ready for kindergarten!

8. I am craving a better, more balanced routine. One that includes some exercise, family play time and a good dinner during the week. Maybe after Back to School Night next week!