It doesn't matter which political party you support, this is a moment in history none of us will forget. This gives me hope, and when I tell my children they can be anything they want to be, I will believe those words.
All my confidence about the decision not to send my son to Kindergarten went out the window this morning as I watched the kids arriving at the school down the street. We also had a meet the teacher morning at our preschool and some of the parents, whose children also have summer birthdays and had just dropped their children off for Kindergarten were there. I don't expect them to agree with my decision, especially since they chose a different path, but I felt uncomfortable. It's so hard to be a parent and make tough decisions and stand by them.
I've decided not to mention his age to the other parents in his new class, unless they seem like someone who would understand. I also wanted to have a school year where I am not so awkward and perhaps make some friends. That went out the window along with my confidence at the park when my son peed on me and all over himself when he had to use the port-a-potty. We had to leave to change clothes, because I am never prepared. On the way home I was pulled over and issued a ticket for, "not stopping long enough" at the stop sign...right in front of their preschool. I didn't argue with the police officer, but he seemed a little over zealous to issue tickets this morning. I wanted to remind him that I've only had one ticket throughout my driving experience, but I doubt that would have mattered. He was young and probably hasn't had children yet to know how distracting it can be driving with urine all over your pants. So I will pay $75 for stopping, but not stopping long enough at an intersection on a deserted suburban street. Ugh.
We change and I take them out to lunch to celebrate our young one's first year of school. He spills his chocolate shake on the floor and as I am trying to clean it up, he sticks his hand in the mess and then puts a chocolate hand print on the back of my shirt. Another mom comes over with napkins and I want to grab her by the ankles and beg her to be my friend. I am not smooth and I doubt I will be able to trick the new moms I will meet this year into thinking I am. I know this is all over the place, self-doubt, tickets, and spilled milk shakes, but I was feeling down and then I read your comments from my last post and they made me feel better. Thank you. This is why I like this community; some of us are smooth, others not so much, but we are willing to reach out and try to understand each other.
My son took this photo. I love looking through his files on the computer and seeing things from his perspective.
Tomorrow is the first day of Kindergarten here, but we are not going. After much debate, we decided that it would be better for him to wait another year. I'm not 100% sure of this decision, and there will be times during the next year that I will wonder if we made a mistake, but today I feel good about it...almost giddy. I felt this way after I called the principal of our school and said, "no thank you." I felt like I stole a year back. Now I understand how home school moms must feel when school starts; freedom. Am I right?
When I make decisions like this, I rarely trust my gut, so I have to beat it to death and annoyingly ask a thousand people what they think. I asked everyone; the Dentist, teachers, friends, people in the checkout line, our Pediatrician and his Nurse, and the ER Doctor. It seemed to go 50/50, which wasn't much help. One mom said, "Of course I don't think you are doing it for this reason, but some moms keep their children out so that their children can be better than all the other kids; smarter, bigger and better at sports." I felt slapped. I'm going to go a little off topic here; aren't we all on the same team? Am I naive to what school is about today? Shouldn't we rejoice when a child, even if he is not our own succeeds? Where is the Village?
I listened to my gut in the end and that's the best I can do. I knew he wouldn't go when I sent the supply fee in late, which is something I would never do. I had to be careful that I was making this choice for him and not for me. I spent a day in a classroom and had a long conversation with the teachers and principal. They were neutral on the matter, but when they mentioned that his Kindergarten screening test put him at the "low end of average," and I watched the boys in the class squirm during the reading part of the day, I knew that one more year at home, being a kid would be good for him. Again, off topic (sort of) I was concerned about this screening test. I understand that they have to put together classrooms that mix children of all abilities, and they also help catch a child who needs help early, but ranking them? Each child in his class had a number- the lowest being a 3, the highest 89. There was even a "watch list." I know some of you are teachers, so I would like to hear what you think of this. Isn't there a possibility that when you are labeled as a 3 (not smart) that you will not be smart?
He would have done fine if he did attend this year, but I want him to like school and I was afraid that if he was pushed into reading when he wasn't ready, it would be the beginning of a long struggle through school. On top that, our school is full-time, with the option of half-day if you pick them up while the other kids are enjoying recess - I'm sure he would love that. He is a high energy child and a full day of school would be too much for him. So now we have a year to just be. Maybe we will find that we like to do our own thing and will home school, but for now we will take things one year at a time.
Be free my little one, I love you and I know you will be the best you can be.
Wee bear from a pattern in Toys to Sew. He gave me problems, so I sent him to the forest.
I made this tote bag and filled it with school supplies for a little girl's birthday, who is starting Kindergarten this year. Close up of the fabric (from Superbuzzy);
I can't seem to think of anything to say today, so I will leave you with these pictures. Everyone seems busy preparing for school and trying to soak up the last days of summer. Can you believe August is almost over?
Smell the fresh lavender buds while you read the book suggestions given in my last giveaway....
Oh, stop by Auburn Doll House and wish her a happy blogoversary and enter her giveaway!
Talk Before Sleep, Elizabeth Berg
The Time Traveler's Wife
Prodigal Summer, Barbara Kingsolver
A Winter's Tale, Mark Helprin
The Last Lecture
Bright Shiny Morning, James Frey
Can't Wait to Get to Heaven, Fannie Flagg
Mister Pip, Lloyd Jones
Wind up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Mrakami
Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood
Garden Spells, Sarah Addison Allen
Year of Wonder
Emma, Jane Austen
A Boy, Nick Hornby
The Flamenco Academy, Sarah Bird
How to be a Canadian, Will & Ian Ferguson
The Mists of Avalon, Marios Zimmer Bradley
Invisible Wall, Harry Bernstein
Redeeming Love, Francine Rivers
The Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follett
Water for Elephants
Twilight, Stephanie Meyer
Kate Atkinson's books (Case Files)
Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand
Eat, Pray, Love
Bridge of Sighs, Richard Russo
She Was, Cindy Dyson
The Book of Ruth
Soon I will be Invincible, Austin Grossman
The Kite Runner
The Art of Racing in the Rain
The Handmaid's Tale
It's quite a list; thank you to those who entered the giveaway and left a book recommendation. I am always looking for something new to read and this should keep me busy for a long time. I did not provide a link or author's name in some instances because I am incredibly lazy, sorry. Please leave a comment of any other books you think should be added to the list. Enjoy your weekend!
This book arrived in the mail today; Zakka Sewing (there is a link to Amazon on my sidebar). I paged through it and took a few pictures of some of the projects I liked. The best part of this book? It's written in English.
I want to make this little linen basket. All of the projects in this book have patterns and step by step instructions.
bunny pencil case
Most of the projects are for the home; bags, place mats, and potholders. So far I like the book, especially since I can read it.
What do you make when your CSA share includes five onions? Make salsa. The onion is not my friend, but since my husband ate an ENTIRE bowl of this in one night, it must have been good. What kind of stomach do you need to be able to eat this much salsa? I don't have exact measurements, but I chopped one large onion, two large tomatoes, cilantro, and one jalapeno pepper. Another pepper or two could have been added, but the one I used was strong and enough according to the iron stomach. I've also heard of adding a clove of chopped garlic and green pepper. Do you have and other ingredients you add to salsa?
Banana split on a stick.
I found this recipe in last month's Parenting magazine.
8 Tbs strawberry topping
4 bananas peeled and halved crosswise
1-1 1/2 strawberry ice cream, softened
8 Tbs pineapple topping
1- 1 1/2 cups vanilla ice cream, softened
1/3 cup chocolate fudge topping
1-1 1/2 chocolate ice cream softened
whipped cream, chopped walnuts, and maraschino cherries (for top)
1. Divide strawberry topping among eight 6 oz. plastic or paper cups. Insert a wooden stick into each banana half; place one in each cup, stick side up. Cover and freeze one hour.
2. Divide strawberry ice cream around banana, then pineapple topping, freeze 15 minutes.
3. Spoon vanilla ice cream, fudge topping and chocolate ice cream into cups until full. Place aluminum foil over cup with a slit in the center and freeze overnight.
4. When ready peel off the cups and top with whipped cream and walnuts. (Note; getting the ice cream out of the cups was not that easy for me)
Last weekend we took the kids to Navy Pier. For those of you who don't know, we live in one of the suburbs of Chicago. For us to visit the city, it's a quick train ride away or a painful, traffic crammed drive, but we don't visit as often as we should...the suburbs are so exciting; we have two Targets! Perhaps I am biased, but Chicago is a lovely city; it's clean and quite green, and it should be on your list of places to visit. I know most of my neighbors don't want to see the Olympics here, but I think it would make the perfect place.
I used to walk across this bridge every morning to work after getting off the train, so That Girl. I hope you had a nice weekend.
Its been a long week. My friend's father died and we had to attend the wake in Southern, IL. It was a bit of a drive and we decided to take a route that met up with Route 66. The services were held in a church literally in the middle of corn fields. We had to drive down almost dirt roads through rows and rows of corn. I did not know his father, but the line around the building demonstrated how many lives he touched. He retired early to work with a group that rebuilds homes damaged from various disasters. They show up when the news teams go home, and quietly help when it is most needed. I hope I can live my life in a way that makes a difference like he did.
I am looking forward to a quiet Friday. The kids have been up late every night this week and it shows. Some pictures of Route 66: