Dingos bustling through December - Our running* thread - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-09-2011, 07:38 AM
 
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Jooj ~ enjoy the barefooting on the beach.  I like to take my shoes off and run barefoot on the field at the end of my run, but the current weather precludes that. 

 

tjsmama ~ hope DS is feeling better this morning and your day goes smoothly.

 

Real ~ too funny about J!  It's funny how children from the same family can be so different.

 

Plady ~ yay for helmets.  Glad snowboarding is going so well for you and DD.

 

bec ~ I'm envious of you running the Mini.  Sigh....

 

RR ~ still in "yeah, right" mode....

 

NRR ~ Two more types of cookies on tap for today, but first a relaxing cup of coffee with my friend.  We both need it after the week we've had.  She had to put her elderly pup to sleep and her DH is in Afghanistan.  I'm just way too busy and have tooooo much to do.  It's not helping that I keep falling asleep with DD2 at 8:30.  DH is not amused anymore.  The Open House with my neighbor is tomorrow afternoon, I have to be at the kids' school to set up for Breakfast with Santa at 7:00am, and DD2 got moved to the next level of gymnastics which is at 10:00am tomorrow.  I have to sew an elf costume for DD1's play by Tuesday and need to find her a pair of khaki pants for the church play on Saturday night.  Oy!


~~Kristina~~ Mama to DS(10/30/01), DD1(VBAC 3/28/04) and DD2(HBAC 5/21/06)
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Old 12-09-2011, 09:23 AM
 
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Plady--I'm glad you've been having fun out on the slopes!  Our town has a small ski place and I'm staring to think I should learn to ski and get the kids out there.  It seems somehow wrong to live in the same town as a ski hill and never use it.

 

Real--Eek on your DD!  My DD is the same way--perfectly comfortable wandering off and being among lots of strangers.  I don't know where her genes came from.

 

Gaye--Sorry your little guy has been sick.  I'm glad he's feeling better and hope that will be the end of the stomach flu for the year!

 

Jo--I'm thinking more and more about barefoot running, too, although it's entirely the wrong season here for it.  cold.gif  If I don't get a pair of Vibrams for Christmas, I think that I might buy myself a pair when our money gets sorted out in the New Year, or maybe with our tax return this year.

 

Things are going well here.  Thanks for talking me down about the holiday helper tree.  It's not my job to save everyone, and I don't have the resources to do so, and I really need to be at peace with that and do what I can.  I need to think about starting a dedicated fund over the course of this year to cover charity in December if this is going to affect me so profoundly.  With more planning, I will be able to help more.

 

I'm trying to stick with the running, although I feel like a slacker when I only manage to fit in three miles, which I consider my easy neighborhood loop.  I'd like to add more distance, but it's hard to squeeze in the time at this time of year, with all the need for cooking and shopping and decorating and cleaning.  This is the weekend of two Nutcrackers--the local one in which my DD is dancing tomorrow, then the Boston one on Sunday, so it is unlikely I'll run at all.  Next week I'll get with it again.

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Old 12-09-2011, 10:32 AM
 
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Lala - Which hill is it?  I've been having flashbacks all week of my experience learning to ski.  I am very appreciative of my dad because now that I'm trying to teach my kids I understand what kind of patience it takes.  But I have all these memories of great times in itsy bitsy CT and MA ski areas that had maybe 2 lifts and 5-6 runs total.  Whistler is amazing but it's really lost on beginners who can't use nearly any of it.  And I'm recalling how we'd ski in any weather because that was how it was done.  It wasn't until I came west that I met anyone who would sit out a day of skiing if it wasn't perfectly sunny!  Or if there might be a patch of ice!

Speaking of which, we called off today's hill time.  C's head still hurts and everyone is feeling pretty tired.  I'm hoping that if we all feel a little wistful about not going today we'll all be that much more psyched to try it again closer to home.

 

And, speaking of C's head hurting; I always suspect that she's being a bit of a drama queen about injury but I thought about Natasha Richardson and then I got all paranoid that I'm being too laid back about it.  She seems fine, just now and then mentions that her head still hurts.  I can't find any lump and I didn't see the crash so I don't know how she hit.  Should I amp up my concern or does it seem safe to just let her rest and hang out?

 

Jo - I think you should enjoy the barefoot running!  Might as well savor the opportunities you enjoy there! 

 

JayGee - That is a lot to do lady!  You do need a coffee break!

 

Real - I wish I could send you some elf who could do the things like cupcake making for you.  That just seems like it's getting cruel and unusual.

 

Gaye - Good luck with ds and the car!  I killed my Jeep and it's siting in the yard waiting to be towed off-island to a dealer who might be able to rebuild it.  I feel like a huge idiot, it was just a matter of needing to change the oil more frequently.  I used to do all my own oil changes myself pre-dh and then over time he took over car maintenance but I should have been paying better attention to my own beloved car.

 

Nic - How's it going?  I had a dream I visited you last night, you were living on a small farm near me with a black lab that was hoarding your chickens eggs and you were taking some kids to horseback riding lessons, in that lovely dress of course! 

 

Kerc - Safe travels!

 

Re: House cleaning mystique.  In Mexico my brother called it Magic Hamper because the maids were so quiet and the house so magically tidy all the time.  Ugh, it makes me feel so icky just thinking about it.  I may be alone in my family in this but I definitely prefer having a moderately untidy house at all times to having it taken care of for me.

 

 

 

 


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Old 12-09-2011, 11:24 AM
 
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Hi mamas.

 

Plady, magic hamper indeed (as the washer churns out the 4th load today) . I would not like help all the time but once a month...yeah, I could live with that. lol.gif

 

How am I doing? Well it was a productive, if not altogether comfortable week. I kept all my appointments. One of them revealed that I hopefully will not need the second, but the second provided a sense of security about the first. If that's not cryptic enough, check out the yahoogroup. redface.gif

 

It was also my last week with this teaching gig, which is good and bad. Bad, that I won't be getting paid anymore and I really do like the job. Good, in that the commute SUCKS for the amount I was getting paid, and now I will have time (but no excuse not) to work on my book proposal, clean my house, do a serious declutter/evaluation of winter clothing needs, etc. 

 

Got in so far 16 miles this week and feeling great with my running. I do however need to set some race goals soon. I find that if I have no end goal in sight, I tend to slack off/not do any core or strength work/run rather aimlessly. I think a half in the spring with some 10k thrown in and a marathon late summer/fall. I am entering the lottery for NYC again and if not that, maybe Hartford, since it's too damn close not to do it. I'd really love to do another destination marathon and would LOVE LOVE LOVE to do the Jerusalem Marathon or something in the midwest or west coast with some Dingos, but I don't see how it will be possible this year.

 

In other, silly news...there is a new Maccabeats video out. It's terrific (cover for Matisyahu's song Miracle) and Mayim Bialik has a cameo in it. 


 "Now bid me run, and I will strive with things impossible." (William Shakespeare -- Julius Caesar)

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Old 12-09-2011, 08:44 PM
 
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hope all is going well for kerc.

 

JayGee, I hope the coffee + friend was just what the Dr. ordered.

 

And Real, I'm with Plady. I sure hope you get some very, very serious down time over the school break. With a lot of actual sleeping.

 

RR: Ouch. Super-sore all over after my enthusiastic beach workout yesterday. Oops. Should be able to walk some of it off. LaLaLaLa, it's got me thinking about Vibrams, but I don't know how much shopping it would take to find them, and then how much money to buy them. Maybe when I am back in WI.

 

Re: housecleaning, there was a cat-astrophe in our house overnight and as always, the mess waits for me. Floors, rugs, everything is dirty. Dh is leaving for Kuwait. Dd ran a fever last night. Ds has a book report project to finish. We've got no groceries for packing lunches. Dd is supposed to have riding lessons this AM, but she is still asleep and I am a mess from being up all night with her. I am sure she will be feeling better by later today, and I can sleep in later this week, but looking around my house right now is downright depressing.

 

And when it comes to hired help, as much as I'd like the occasional help, here, I'd be adding my investment to a massive system of slavery and trafficking, a large part of the sense of darkness I have here that already makes me want to flee.

 

 

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Old 12-09-2011, 11:35 PM
 
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Well, the good news is that DS was puke-free all night and felt fine this morning, so off to school with him. The bad news? $700+ for the transmission. irked.gif This time, it was the part that controls the parts they replaced last time that went haywire. It all worked out, my last teaching presentation for clinical got done, thanks to my partner for being my chauffeur. I had to walk to school to pick DS up and walk home, which he wasn't super excited about, and then my friend was nice enough to pick us up and take us to the dealership.

I feel like I should be more happy and excited than I am, but honestly...I'm just plain tired. And still stressed. All the car stress did not help things at all. Here's hoping tomorrow is better. It would be really nice if I just knew when my interview will be so I can freaking plan my life, especially given that I ALREADY HAVE A FLIGHT HOME. GAH.

Nanny coming over tomorrow so I can go for a run. Desperately needed. Here's hoping I feel better after...

rr~Well, at least there was that 2 miles walking to and from school...better than nothing, I guess.

Gaye, single mama to Tyler (5/06) and Baxter the labradoodle
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Old 12-10-2011, 12:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by 1jooj View Post

And Real, I'm with Plady. I sure hope you get some very, very serious down time over the school break. With a lot of actual sleeping.

biglaugh.gif

And um, yeah. I realized that I nap more than I sleep these days.

Hope you get some sleep too. Sick kids + lost sleep is not fun.

tjsmama--sorry about the car repair and hope tomorrow is a well-deserved break from the stress.

Nic--I'm planning on the Steamboat Springs marathon as my destination race. You wanna come to Colorado, right? orngbiggrin.gif

Plady--if her head still hurts, call the dr. Better safe than sorry, yk?

Our school district just released the first draft of the next round of budget reductions. Among other things, it calls for essentially reducing two teachers at each elementary school, cutting all the school librarians to half time or less, and cutting instrumental music for kids in 5th and 6th grade--so no band (and for those that offer it, presumably no orchestra that starts in the later grades). If it goes through, I'm guessing next year's round of cutbacks will mean no middle school band, as they won't have any kids to matriculate to the program, and if we have yet another few years of cutbacks, then there will be no need for a high school marching band, as there won't be kids who can play instruments. And our school already lost two teachers last year, hence our two multi-grade classrooms.

crap.gifhopmad.gifrant.gifbawling.gif

I'm so scared about our music program. It would be idiotic to destroy it. It's K-6, so in theory it would be fine, but you never know. Somewhere between 35 to 50% of our students participate in strings and/or choir and the teacher does so much of what she does for free (choir and both sections of beginning strings meet before or after school; two of the four orchestra sessions take place during her lunch break/class prep time twice a week). But we have a new principal that I don't trust to defend our interests. She can't even get people to follow the rules for pick-up and drop-off in the parking lot, so that scares me even more.

Oh, and they plan to lay off almost 60 janitors. I can't wait until they ask parents to volunteer to do the janitorial work.

Someone please tell me that eventually thing will turn around and we can stop cutting. It's gotta happen, right?

Lisa  caffix.gif and her wonderful girls: R (9) violin.gif &  J (3-3/4) coolshine.gif 
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Old 12-10-2011, 08:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Realrellim View Post

Someone please tell me that eventually thing will turn around and we can stop cutting. It's gotta happen, right?

Hopefully it's just the first round, and things will look better further down the road? Gosh, I hate it that it's always cutting things that kids love (library, music) and adding layers of administration (reporting, testing...). Our district does that kind of stuff, too, and we feel so lucky to have a principal who is very no nonsense and knows what is important. Maybe your new principal is open to some parent input? I think you have a strong argument with that domino effect that cuts like those can set off.

 

 

 


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Old 12-10-2011, 01:22 PM
 
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Surviving the trip. Will be back, before two years go by again. Mom is doing alright, we have more choices now that she is old enough for soc security and Medicare. But I didn't actually talk to a social worker as it is a weekend. So.very.glad. I opted for two day trip. Manages the stress rather nicely. My sister remains a dingbat that I love dearly even when she drives me bonkers.

 

Now, back to forcing myself to grade papers.....


Kristin -- mom of Erin (11/5/02) and Leah (9/29/05)
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Old 12-10-2011, 01:46 PM
 
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Climbing Comp./Regionals today, which means all climbers from AZ, NM, UT are at our gym...

First round this a.m., with finals in the afternoon if you qualify. We left before learning if DD21 qualified - we assume so but will call to make sure before we go back for finals. She "flashed" the first two climbs (4 total) as did most of the girls. On climb #3, she fell and landed on her elbow such that it jammed her shoulder up. She was really thrown by that; crumpled and crying for a few. I thought she might not be able to continue, but she did, and completed #3 on the next go. Quite a few of the climbers couldnt finish #3. Then it was on to #4 which she made about 3/4 of the way but couldnt get past a certain hold. Most climbers could not do that one, so it will be a matter of comparing how far up the climb people got. of course, a few did make it. Not sure where she came in.

I get SO stressed watching her that I can feel the cortisol coursing through me and the stanky nervous sweat accumulating in my pits, and my palms get damp. lol.gif its awful

GRE Monday, first thing,speaking of stress...

mom to  dd1 (11) hearts.gif,  ds (9)bikenew.gif,  dd2 (6) dust.gif  , Daisy (4) dog2.gif
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Old 12-10-2011, 05:28 PM
 
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Sparkle, good luck to your dd!

 

Lala, hope the Nutcracker went great. We love the Nutcracker. When I was little my parents used to take us every year to the NYC Ballet to see it...I wanted to do it too but it is So. Expensive. now. Hoping to find a regional production but other things got in the way...

 

Real, when is Steamboat Springs? That sounds like a great time but I don't know about me and altitude...could get ugly! lol.gif  That totally sucks about the programs being cut. And what Mel said is right...testing, testing, testing...is expensive and so useless. But they favor it instead of real educational development programs like music and library. Sigh. It's a topsy turvy world. Boo.

 

I'm sitting here lusting over the Sundance catalogue, the Title 9 catalogue, the JJill catalogue. And so frustrated with the fact that 1) I can't afford to buy any of it anyway; and 2) I can't seem to pull together the spiffed-up hippy chick look I want to with any kind of skill. eyesroll.gif  I end up looking like an aging granola, a bag lady, or your average middle aged teacher. Not exactly what I"m going for...gah.

 

I put on an outfit this morning to go to synagogue, and it used to be one of my favorite winter Shabbat outfits. I got it at Ann Taylor Loft like 5 years ago. Pretty embroidered skirt and turtleneck sweater. WAY too big now, like totally unwearable. Which is so nice for my ego, but puts me in rather a bind as buying all new synagogue clothes is kind of spendy. I'll probably get the skirt tailored but the sweater is a lost cause. Off to the thrifts I go this week...

 

Yeah...I buy my clothes at goodwill/thrift and my running duds retail (but on sale). Ha. Priorities.


 "Now bid me run, and I will strive with things impossible." (William Shakespeare -- Julius Caesar)

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Old 12-10-2011, 09:55 PM
 
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plady~Forgot to mention yesterday...def. get her checked out if symptoms continue. Without even knowing more, I would not hesitate to say that she has a concussion. No physical activity at a minimum until symptoms subside...and no real mental activity, either. Even reading can make it worse. greensad.gif

real~I hear ya, sister. I feel very fortunate that DS is in a school where the parents really value "extras" like art and music and the PTO has raised the funds to pay for the art and music teachers (and a full time gifted teacher, too), since they might otherwise not have the $ for those positions... Oh, and I saw your DH on FB yesterday, pictures from the faculty holiday party, maybe? smile.gif


I still haven't de-stressed. Maybe because of no word yet on the interview. Maybe because my car acted up again today, the EXACT SAME THING they were supposed to fix. irked.gif Maybe because it took me approximately 6 friends to find one who could do lunch and shopping with me tomorrow. Including the one who told me yesterday that she could. rolleyes.gif

I'm watching Ironman Kona right now, and it's both totally inspirational and depressing me because I feel so far from that place right now. Not that I'll ever compete at Kona, but IM, on the other hand...

I just took my LAST TEST OF NURSING SCHOOL! joy.gif Somehow, even with having all the questions and answers (they were taken directly from our non-graded module quizzes), I still managed to miss 3, but oh well. That means I have to get an 86 on our big project to get an A, but even though it really was not my best work, I'm not too worried.

rr~I had the nanny coming over this morning so I could go for a run, but I was not feeling at all excited about it. There's still a lot of snowpack around, and I just don't enjoy running on it when it's really uneven. So, when a friend texted to see if I was up for snowshoeing, instead, I was all over it. We headed for a trail in the foothills, but decided we probably didn't need our snowshoes after all. It was a pretty good hike. We could have used the snowshoes toward the end, especially when we both slid downhill and ended up on our bums. Not as much of a workout as I needed, but at least it was something, and it was a beautiful day to be outside hiking. The one really nice thing was that the last time I hiked this particular trail, DS was on my back, and the trail was SO freaking hard. No kiddo on my back today, but it was so much easier than I remember it being! So at least I haven't lost ALL of my conditioning... rolleyes.gif

Gaye, single mama to Tyler (5/06) and Baxter the labradoodle
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Old 12-10-2011, 09:56 PM
 
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Just lost a big post. Now subbing...

 


"Guess what? It's a magical world. And when I sing, my songs are in it."
Madly in love with my 7 and 4 year old daughters

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Old 12-10-2011, 11:02 PM
 
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sparkle--good luck to your DD!

tjsmama--congrats on finishing that last test! And boo on the car.

kerc--glad the trip is going mostly well.

Nic--Steamboat Springs is June 3. And um yeah, the altitude. Apparently it's a mostly downhill race, except for some hills at the end. (Though it's Colorado, so most likely it's "rolling hills" most of the way.) I wish I could find someone's Garmin elevation profile from it, but I'm not sure how to go about doing that. Either way, that will make it harder though.

RR: 6 outside, with 3 to come on the treadmill as soon as I finish posting. Having run on the treadmill all week I forgot that it was still snowy and the trail wasn't magically clear. I did the first loop without yaktrax but decided to stop in at the house and put them on for the second loop. That helped. There would have been a third loop but I took the girls to the library before it closed instead.

NRR: I should probably clarify that due to budget cuts at the state level, we're in our I-don't-even-know-how-many-years of cuts. Jeffco (our local term for the Jefferson Cty school district) has been able to offset the cuts some by dipping into their reserves, but that only goes so far. Last year the district had to cut about $40 million, which is how my neighborhood school got closed and how R's current school lost two teachers (and thus converted two classrooms into multi-age classrooms). This year they believe they're looking at another $70 million in cuts over the next two years. The current proposal would cut $47 million this year and possibly another $23 million next year if the state continues to cut funding.

Cuts are being made at every level. It's true that there's more state-mandated testing--which all of the districts are unhappy about and have literally said to the governor, "how can you ask us to do more while cutting funding for the fifth(? eighth?) straight year"--but the current budget reduction plan cuts 590 jobs district-wide, and that includes administrators.

It doesn't help that Colorado has a balance-budget law. It doesn't help that we also have a couple of other laws that while seemingly good at the time, are having a completely disastrous effect now. It REALLY doesn't help that the statewide proposition for a temporary tax increase to help education funding was voted down in November. (I'm still seething about that one, frankly.)

And while our PTA is pretty fabulous itself, they can't fund the music program single-handedly. Heck, even they are struggling. They do a direct donation fundraiser every year that pays for a number of things. The goal is $15,000 and thus far, they've only managed to raise $6000. That number also includes things like the Target Redcard program that donates money to schools, several "school night" at local restaurants that donate a percentage of the profits, and a program we have at a local grocery store that donates 5% of every $100 people spend at the store (we all have a gift card that we reload and use to buy groceries). Last year, we were able to do about twice that (not quite the full $15k, but close enough that they decided to call it good).

Regarding G&T classrooms: those are federally funded, and that should be true of the DPS public schools too. Funding comes through NCLB, iirc, because G&T is part of special education. Though, it looks like the federal Department of Education was looking at a nearly 8 percent reduction across the board, so I'm a little concerned about how that will play out. I got through last year's round of budget cuts by repeating to myself, "her classroom is federally funded and should be fine."

ETA: link to a graph showing Colorado's per-pupil K-12 funding between 1970 and 2008. It's ugly.

The only way for this to get better is either (1) the economy finally improves in a big way, or (2) someone slaps some sense into Colorado votes and they approve a good-sized tax increase for education. (Did I mention that Colorado can't raise taxes unless the voters approve it? Should I mention how incredibly problematic *that* is?) I don't have a lot of hope for either of those scenarios. And all of this is complicated by the fact that the only real way to help lessen the pain for K-12 is for the state to make deeper cuts in higher ed--which is our source of income--and I think I mentioned how my class load was cut from 3 down to 1 this fall, right? Higher ed has seen nothing but cuts in state funding for at least five years; Colorado has ranked second-to-last in the nation for years when it comes to higher-ed funding. And according to some sources, within 5 years there won't be any state money left for higher ed as it will all be eaten up by the state's obligations to Medicare/Medicaid and K-12.

It feels a bit like Dante's circles of hell.

OK, off to run and hopefully shake off some anxiety.

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Old 12-11-2011, 04:25 AM
 
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Ugh, real. It seems like CO tied its own hands pretty tightly. And its purse strings, obviously. There are so many levels of bad and scary when it comes to school cuts, including the tendency in a lot of districts to slash, for example, arts and languages before team sports. And a million other dumb things that happen. I wish I could say that a well-funded school made all the difference for my kids, though...I don't know. Their school is a for-profit private outfit run by an "education company." Now I'm looking at, and trying to push for, getting the kids into an online academy, which is basically the same model, but a virtual delivery method. Then I read something like this: http://www.thenation.com/article/164651/how-online-learning-companies-bought-americas-schools and feel like I'm contributing to the greater, giant sucking hole that's draining what life is left in public ed. And a friend recently linked to this on her FB page: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=hkPvSCq5ZXk and I think, yes. Not that every kid needs a different, new approach. But I do think my kids would do better in a different picture--especially in the greater context of our family life. And wrt the ADHD comments, I have to agree with Robinson. I know there are issues, but I wonder whether it stands to reason that at least some kids might rather be learning in other environments, rather than medicated with controlled substances, in some cases?

 

Still, it seems like we're at that great point of near-complete breakdown before a total revolution. Consider the just the discussions we've had on this thread, about behavior, varied gifts vs. delays, social cr@p, teachers that have checked out...And we are a small sampling.

 

And not everyone CAN homeschool. Lots of people's jobs preclude it. Psychology might preclude it. The gifted child might be intimidating to teach. Same with the delayed or challenged kid. But these are the system's problems, too. "Throwing more money at the problem" might not solve it, but taking money away is definitely not going to. And when does a school district finally decide they've started cutting into bone?

 

No RR today. Dd is home ill, and it's not looking good for tomorrow, considering the puking this afternoon. There is apparently no homework this week. It's all concerts and fun stuff, and a bunch of kids are already flying home for Christmas. I'm just thankful we're running through this flu now instead of on a flight to Amman. That said, if dd is still sick tomorrow, she's coming with me for an interview for the column.

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Old 12-11-2011, 05:01 AM
 
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Wise, wise words, Jooj.  Illinois is just plain broke (thanks to massive political corruption ~ hello, TWO former governors in prison now????) and can't afford anything. Our school district, considered one of the "best" in the Metro East (East of St. Louis), has no art, no librarians, no gifted programs, specials like PE and music 1x a week for 25 minutes, and an enormous "teach to the test" mentality.  When I compare the kindy experience DD1 had in Indiana with DD2's here in Illinois, I feel sick (and just a little worried).  Our town is bringing in two HUGE hospitals in the next couple of years, but granted them both TIF status, so they won't be contributing to the local taxes (ie. school funding).  When will the citizens of this country wake up and smell the reality that defunding education is destroying any hegemonic position the US once assumed in the world???  [/rant]

 

Jooj ~ I hope your DD is feeling better today.

 

Real ~ that graph is truly depressing.  I wonder what Illinois looks like?  Are there any states that do a good job of funding education?  Last I heard Wyoming was one of the few not running a deficit, but I don't know much about theire schools.

 

tjsmama ~ congrats on the last test!!!  I hope you hear about the interview really soon.  Your hike sounds lovely, and I know your fitness is still there and will return quickly.

 

Nic ~ have fun thrifting and I hope you find some great wardrobe additions.

 

sparkle ~ how did your DD do?  Did she make the finals?

 

Lala ~ hope the Nutcracker went perfectly for DD! 

 

RR ~ I need to get out today, at least for a walk, or something.  My body and brain are craving some endorphins.

 

NRR ~ I'm tapering off Cymbalta which I've been on since July.  My doctor had hoped that it would improve the pain in my leg, but it didn't, and it caused some side effects I was not enjoying, so now I'm tapering off it.  The headaches associated with going off this drug are awful!  I am not a headache person, but the pain in my brain woke me at 4:45 this morning and I'm trying coffee, Motrin and lots of water to try and calm the pain a little.  All of yesterday's activiteis went well.  The Breakfast with Santa at school was a huge hit (we served 138 breakfasts, made as many crafts, and our Santa was great!)  DD2 really enjoyed her higher level gymnastics class, the Open House with my neighbor was wonderful, DS won his soccer game, and DD1 sang beautifully in the church Christmas musical!  Today, all I have to do is sew and elf costume for the 2nd grade play on Tuesday.  And DD1 told me last night that she has a solo! Can't wait to hear my girl sing!

 


~~Kristina~~ Mama to DS(10/30/01), DD1(VBAC 3/28/04) and DD2(HBAC 5/21/06)
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Old 12-11-2011, 07:33 AM
 
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Good morning!

 

DD's Nutcracker went really well, thanks!  Her part was a tiny one that the choreographer made up just to allow some younger kids into the cast.  They were carolers who came in during the party scene, did their dance, and exited.  DD knew her part and seemed really comfortable out there.  The whole experience was sort of thrilling for her, too--being dropped off by herself at the theater at 11:15 and not coming home until 7:30.  I felt strange dropping her off.  She suddenly seemed so grown-up (she's only seven!), and I could imagine a time when she will be completely independent of me.  It was a big first step for both of us, I think.

 

After the show we had DH's aunt (who ran the Newport bridge run with me) and her 5-year-old granddaughter back to our house for dinner.  DS, who is also five, was thrilled to have his cousin's attention all to himself, and they ended up staying for several hours.  I really like DH's aunt a lot and enjoyed being able to talk with her for awhile.

 

Today is the big Nutcracker, at the Boston Opera House.  I'm so excited!  We went last year and it was a really nice place to see a show.

 

Right now I have to get moving and get DD up out of bed so she and I can get to church.  I'd blow it off but she has an acting part in next week's pageant, so I don't feel like I can skip today.  It will make our trip into Boston a bit of a tighter squeeze, though.  Eek.

 

And no running again today, of course.  I think maybe it's too cold, anyway.  cold.gif

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Old 12-11-2011, 07:37 AM
 
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I suppose it could not be more off-topic, but: Not a lot of winners

 

Where it becomes especially troubling is where they talk about a lot of the things that seem to be correlate with better learning, and how the cuts prevent schools from essentially doing right by students. Larger classes, less time to spend on learning, teacher quality, pre-K for disadvantaged kids, etc. Too broke to think about tomorrow is a bad thing. And I'm not even talking about the nation's position, just the positions of millions of individual kids who will someday have to rely on what they have learned. And how can they be innovative and creative and critical-thinking and entrepreneurial, and be the change, if they are taught to perform rote tasks to some baseline minimum on standardized tests?

 

soapbox.gif

 

Dd wants to go to school tomorrow, and my interview bailed and now I have to make up some shlock for the last 2 installments, and then break it to my editor that I am SO over it.

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Old 12-11-2011, 09:22 AM
 
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Jo, JayGee, real, those are some scary pictures of public education. Sigh...

 

Okay, some belated updates:

 

RR- A race report from the Jingle Bell Run 3k on December 4th: My husband came home the night before, and my 6 yo was still convinced that she would like to try the run. We decided that he would do the 7k and I would run the 3k with the 6 y.o. and 2 y.o. daughter in the stroller. I went early for sign up to avoid the kids getting cold, and dropped off our food bank donation. The race is a poker run, and each runner collects 5 cards and along with a partner make the best poker hand from their combined 10 cards. My husband was paired with a solo runner, and my daughter and I were "partners". We ran into lots of people I know: a colleague from the college, a couple of women who work for the family services agency where I volunteer, and a classmate of my daughter's who was running the 3k with her parents. As soon as we started, it was obvious that we were lucky to have found the classmate: the two girls kept each other running through much of the run, sometimes taking off down the trail ahead of us. I chatted to her parents as we wound our way through the trail and collected the playing cards, and my daughter did more running than walking until the final 500m, when she decided she was too tired and wanted to walk. We finished the run in 34 minutes (untimed, and I forgot my watch, so going off cellphone clock here), coming in two minutes ahead of my husband's 7k. He had fallen on the trail once and re-tied his shoes three times. I think he might get some new shoelaces in his stocking- I use bubble laces and am amazed by how much more often he reties when we run together.

 

NRR- I accepted the casual position in maternity at the hospital last week. I also finally heard that I did get a clinical teaching contract for 6 weeks in March-April. After my current position ends at the beginning of February, I'm hopeful that I'll be able to get enough work between the college and the hospital. Work/life has been crazy the past couple of weeks (the reason I've been a dingo MIA). I went to a conference in Victoria last week with the kids, husband came home for the holidays last weekend, and this weekend we sent the kids to grandma's for the night on Friday to have the first night alone together in a very long time. Lots of long conversations and trying to figure things out. I feel more certain about the general direction that we're going (or that we are going in the same general direction...), but there remains four more months apart and lots of ongoing conversations. I finished all of the coursework for my stats class, and just have the final exam to do on the 21st. And keep plugging away on grad school applications: drafting personal statements and research interest statements and refreshing my CV.


"Guess what? It's a magical world. And when I sing, my songs are in it."
Madly in love with my 7 and 4 year old daughters

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Old 12-11-2011, 01:11 PM
 
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JG - I find that weaning off any drug is best done at a much slower pace than is recommended. I cut by half a pill every other day for a week (whole pill, half pill, whole pill, etc.), then go to half a pill every day for a week, then half, no pill, half, no pill. So the whole process takes 3 weeks. Good luck I'm sorry about the head-aches greensad.gif

Real - Its all so overwhelming. I am certainly one of those who are contributing to the problem by taking my kids out of public ed. (well, they are in it right now, but we are looking at lots of private options for mid-high school, along with public), and I very much support raising taxes for education, but we are also able to pay more taxes. I think about all the people who cant right now. Our school, in order not to fire two teachers, and to keep p.e. is asking every parent to pay $500/year per student (so we pay a whopping $1000 - I'm being facetious in case that's not clear) to raise the $100,000 needed over budget - we were cut by $125,000 last year - and they just barely manged that, and it was with a huge contribution by one of the wealthiest families at the school. This means that many, if not most, families are not able to pay $500/year for their kids school!? I am shocked but also humbled. It's not just that we as a country are paying too much for things many of us dont support for various reasons, but that the way the economy is going precludes people from paying for things they do support. Its frightening.

Gaye - broc1.gif Woot!!!

NRR: so Im taking to heart the recommendation to NOT study the day before the test. I just baked cookies for 4 hours and have about 2 more to go. Whew. Sitting in one spot taking a test actually sounds kind of good right now.

DD did fine. I say that as a neurotic/competitive parent who always wants her to do better than she does bag.gif (of course I NEVER say anything like that to her!!!) so she probably did "great!" She made the finals - the top 8 (? ... or 10) made it and she was 3rd. So she was among the last 3 to go in the finals. They had to sit in "isolation" (or "iso") before they climb (a room separated from the climbing area and all other people besides other competitors), and as the finals started at 3:30, but her category didnt start until 5:30, she had to sit in a Iso for 2 hours!!

Anyway, they had 3 climbs to try, each supposedly progressively harder, but that's not necessarily how it goes, Ive found. She didnt complete any of them, but none of the other climbers did either. So then it was a matter of comparing who got higher. The first climb was a wash for all b/c the gym messed up on setting the climb (literally, they were like "oh s***", but by then 2 competitors had tried it so they had to let everyone try it even though they knew it was messed up. It was heartbreaking to watch the girls work so hard and not be able to tell them) so none of them could get anywhere on it. She did well on the second, but I thought she could have got one more hold higher than she did (she kept falling at the same spot and there was a foot-hold I thought would have helped - but no one is allowed to say anything while they are climbing but "good-job" etc) Oh, they are also not allowed to even look at the climbs before their turn; they are brought out of Iso when its their turn, and then they sit in a chair with their backs to the wall - and not talking to anyone - until it is their turn to make their attempt. I think they have 3 minutes per climb - then they go back to the chair with their back to the wall and wait for their turn on the next climb.

She did AMAZING on the last climb; seriously we and people around us were gasping at the moves she made, so that was very cool. I was sweating buckets lol.gif She ended up getting third overall, by one point. Girl #1 got 27, girl #2; 23, and DD1 got 22. But its like that. Just like someone can win a running race by a second.

This means that she got invited to divisionals which are in Tuscon in Jan.


Ok, Dh is taking the kids for a hike, and I am studying.....


mom to  dd1 (11) hearts.gif,  ds (9)bikenew.gif,  dd2 (6) dust.gif  , Daisy (4) dog2.gif
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Old 12-11-2011, 03:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Realrellim View Post


It doesn't help that Colorado has a balance-budget law. It doesn't help that we also have a couple of other laws that while seemingly good at the time, are having a completely disastrous effect now. It REALLY doesn't help that the statewide proposition for a temporary tax increase to help education funding was voted down in November. (I'm still seething about that one, frankly.)


Yeah, the same thing happened here.  Apparently a few years before we got here there was some initiative passed that limited gas tax monies to being used for highways only.  That sounds reasonable except that it disregarded how the ferries serve as highways for people out on the islands.  Now the ferry system is falling apart because there isn't enough funding to keep the fleet in decent shape and it gets more expensive all the time to go to the mainland.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by JayGee View Post
NRR ~ I'm tapering off Cymbalta which I've been on since July.    The headaches associated with going off this drug are awful! 


 

goodvibes.gifFor going slow and steady off the meds.  Dh tried to quit paxil in a week once and had such terrible side effects we thought he might be having strokes.  No fun.  Sparkle's idea seems sensible.

 

MelW - Sounds like a good family race.  I love that dd had a friend, that does make everything better!

 

Gaye - Congrats on being done!  Sorry about the car!

 

Wendy - Saw you on Huff Po!  So cool!

 

Sparkle - Congrats to your dd!  That sounds super intense! 

 

Jo - Sounds like dd is feeling better then?  I hope so.  Do whatever you gotta do to make things better for yourself.

 

Lala - That Nutcracker experience sounds terrific!  How lucky to get that opportunity! 

 

Nic - May the thrifting Force be with you!

 

We're just settling back into home life.  The local lighthouse is giving tours of the upstairs today so we're off to see that (and maybe some whales???) and then later Santa is coming in on the lighted boat parade so we'll head over for that too.  And we're doing loads of laundry and uploading photos.  Of course we left our camera's battery charger in Whistler, what are the chances we get that back I wonder?

 


A little bit grasshopper a little bit ant   energy.gifom.gif

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Old 12-11-2011, 04:51 PM
 
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Good evening!

 

Plady--I forgot to respond to your question about our local hill.  It's Nashoba Valley and, looking online, I see that it isn't actually in our town.  It must be just over the border into the next town.  I think there are a few small ski runs, and there's also a hill for tubing.  As a complete non-skier myself, I'm a bit reluctant to get my kids into the sport, even while thinking I should be taking advantage of the resource.

 

The school stuff is interesting and a bit devastating.  We are lucky to be in Massachusetts and in a school district where we haven't seen these cuts.  My kids have a different special subject every day of the week, so their elementary school still has music, art, library, gym, and computers.  We do a few fundraisers, but it seems as though our school system is in decent shape.  Their school is just a K-2, though, and I haven't explored further yet to see if that continues to be true through the upper elementary, middle, and high schools.  My kids so far have shown themselves to be smart but not gifted, so it is likely they will be adequately serviced by the regular classroom teacher and the regular school curriculum.  I'll hope so, anyway.

 

The Boston Nutcracker was really great.  The kids weren't asking every five seconds if it was over yet, so that was a nice change from last year.  I'll be so happy if they end up loving the theater as much as DH and I do.

 

Tomorrow I hope to run if the weather cooperates.  In a few days when our credit card statement goes into a new month, I can start shopping again.

 

Enjoy the week!

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Old 12-11-2011, 05:51 PM
 
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And Jo apparently your dd shared with my dd1?   Erin just threw up. Really a bummer since her class is making gingerbread houses at school tomorrow. But instead she'll hang with me. It isn't an awfu day for that, especially since she is old enough to hang in my office for an hour during the thing I have at noon.


Kristin -- mom of Erin (11/5/02) and Leah (9/29/05)
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Old 12-11-2011, 08:32 PM
 
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sparkle~Good luck tomorrow! goodvibes.gif

Long, busy, fun day here. We started off with sampling Wheaties at the Jingle Bell 5k. They had a great kids race before the 5k that DS ran...it was perfect...free, no registration, chase the snowman down a block and back, and then they got a goodie bag with an awesomely huge lollipop from a local candymaker, a pencil, snowflake eraser, a couple of hershey's kisses, some sillybandz, and a little toy. Very cool, especially for a free race! After that, we handed out 2000ish boxes of Wheaties! DS had a great time, he was the official coupon hander-outer. orngbiggrin.gif

After that, we ran home for a quick lunch, and then off to the mall to meet a couple of classmates/friends for suit shopping. I am SO glad they came with me, I desperately needed the help! And I have to say, I did pretty darn well. Tons of sales today! So I used gift cards for a pair of trouser jeans, a cute top for under the suit jacket, and a pair of spanx bag.gif. And then 40% off at the Limited + %15 off for opening a credit card (which will most likely get closed as soon as I pay it off) = a skirt and jacket, two sweaters, a top, and a pair of tights. The suit alone would have normally been $200. And the jacket is cute...non-traditional, with a belt around the waist, so I can totally wear it with jeans, too. DS was pretty darn good the whole time we were shopping, and my friends were great about helping me keep an eye on him and entertain him.

After THAT, the four of us went out for sushi to use a groupon that I had that was going to expire on the 31st. eat.gif

Tomorrow...final clinical eval, and that's it, we're officially done (except for graduation itself)! And then breakfast out to celebrate. And then there are rumors of dinner/drinks to celebrate some more. orngbiggrin.gif

Gaye, single mama to Tyler (5/06) and Baxter the labradoodle
surf.gif bikenew.gif jog.gif Wait...I signed up to DO an Ironman??? I thought I was signing up to go SEE Ironman! nut.gif

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Old 12-11-2011, 11:51 PM
 
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MelW--congrats on the maternity position and the short contract for teaching. Good luck with keeping everything else together.

JayGee--a friend of mine tweeted this the other day, and as a former Illinois resident, I was cracking up:
Quote:
I live in Illinois, where bipartisanship means one governor of each party in prison.

sparkle--glad she did so well with the climbs, and good luck on the GRE.

Plady--a lighthouse tour sounds fun. Hope you saw some whales.

La4--glad they enjoyed the Nutcracker.

kerc--hope Erin is feeling better soon.

tjsmama--sounds like a cute suit. We want pictures.

Lisa  caffix.gif and her wonderful girls: R (9) violin.gif &  J (3-3/4) coolshine.gif 
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Old 12-12-2011, 04:57 AM
 
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Gaye, LOVE that jacket. You'll get a lot of non-interview use out of it, I think. Super cute.

 

kerc, sorry. I should have told her to back away from the laptop. Hope you got a one-puke wonder.

 

MelW, I'm glad you have some reliable work stability ahead. Hope things are going a positive way with your husband, and that your future is bright, whatever that looks like to your family. thumb.gif fwiw, you're inspiring to be standing up for your needs, priorities and personal beliefs.

 

Dd stayed home today and is not doing awesome, but I took her (briefly) shopping for a pretty (overpriced) dress and shrug to wear for the holidays concert. I can't allow her to be totally shredded socially here, which she would be if she were to wear anything else she owns--Lands' End play dresses are not "holiday best," I guess. I told her it's also a birthday present. She likes it, and looks sweet in it. It's a kimono-inspired dress and a shimmery silver shrug, and she'll wear with black maryjanes. Her silver shoes are long worn out. We've been relying heavily on school uniforms and swimwear. Thank goodness there's just this one event. Poor thing is not looking like she will make it, though. I'm a little miffed the doc didn't test for influenza, since I brought her in early, and she could have got on tamiflu or similar if it is indeed flu. Instead, we alternate between ibuprofen and paracetamol and watch her fever go up and down, and try not to feed her anything challenging.

 

Hoping ds's khakis still fit. So not interested in more shopping for one school event.

 

That said, I did a little Amazon shopping today for delivery back home for the special nieces who have birthdays and Christmas coming. Shipping to my mom's, and she will wrap and place under the tree for me. I had a sister handle a birthday before, and apparently Mom was not pleased. This is my gesture to her.

 

Obviously, no RR today. On the bright side, dinner tonight (spaghetti) includes eggplants grown in our own tiny front garden. And I got my second-to-last column sent in. One more, ideally by week's end. If dd does go to school tomorrow, I could possibly work out in the afternoon. I did walking lunges last time, and could really feel that in my weak hips/low back. Need more of that.

 

Also, back on education, dd filled in half of a multiplication table this AM. I want to push the rote stuff with her so the rest is easier. I totally let ds down in that regard over the years. And dd has expressed and demonstrated a clear interest in learning French and Spanish, so I think I am going to start working with her on those--and if there are language extracurriculars next semester, that's where she'll be.

 

La, Nutcracker sounds so traditional and lovely. I am in a sentimental and nostalgic phase, so I of course envisioned a perfect evening. I am sure you are making gorgeous family memories.

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Old 12-12-2011, 06:31 AM
 
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sparkle ~ sending you lots of GRE vibes goodvibes.gif today!  Can I just say how awesome I think it is that you're following your dream orngbiggrin.gif.

 

Gaye ~ your interview suit is awesome.  Great jacket, and totally useful too.

 

Real ~ lol.gif funny stuff!  Gotta love Illinois eyesroll.gif.

 

MelW ~ congratulations on the maternity job! 

 

Lala ~ do you live close to Nashoba Brooks School?  My SIL went there for K-8.  I learned to ski at a little hill like that when I was about 7 or 8.  Literally, one lift and 3 trails!  Then we "graduated" to the Middlebury College Snow Bowl in VT which is awesome, uncrowded and relatively cheap (as skiing goes).

 

Plady ~ speaking of skiing, I love your pictures from Whistler.  Looks like you all had a great time.

 

kerc ~ hope your DD feels better and the bug is a 24 hour deal.

 

Jooj ~ I hope your DD feels better quickly too.  If if makes you feel any better, Tamiflu doesn't really work too well.  I took it last year when I tested positive for Flu A and still felt craptacular for a week.  Not much you can do for that bug, I'm afraid.

 

RR ~ took an hour walk yesterday to decompress.  It worked wonders for my mood and my headache thumb.gif.

 

NRR ~ our adopted cat vomitted worms this morning (guh-ross!), so I need to get him to the vet.  Easier said than done though, because he spends all day outside, catting around the woods (where he likely picked up his lovely parasite).  I am going to have to just keep him inside if he visits during the day and just bring him when I have him.  I'm so glad this weekend is done!  Now all we have is DD1's 2nd grade play on Tuesday, and I'm teaching a class about Degas for "Get Smart with Art" on Friday.  Now to think of a way to make ballerina paintings interesting for 2nd graders....  Ideas????

 

Re: tapering off Cymbalta ~ unfortunately, it's a capsule, so I can't cut it.  I was on 60mg, now taking 30mg, and then down to 20mg next week, then off.  It's got a really short 1/2 life (12 hours, I think), so you can't skip days without having withdrawl symptoms.  I do NOT recommend this drug, if anyone is considering it.  Tapering off it is difficult and it's got unfortunate (ahem... sexual) side effects.


~~Kristina~~ Mama to DS(10/30/01), DD1(VBAC 3/28/04) and DD2(HBAC 5/21/06)
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Old 12-12-2011, 08:05 AM
 
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Jaygee, that cat thing is disgusting. Sorry. EUW.

 

Jo, hope dd is feeling better and you are feeling more peaceful. It's a tough time. Thinking of and praying for things to come together for you. 

 

Sparkle, good luck on the GRE!!!

 

Mel, congrats on the job offers. Awesome. (Can you send me some happy vibes for the same thing?!)

 

Gaye, congrats on your last test of nursing school! Woot!

 

Lala, the Nutcracker events sound fab. LOVE love love the Nutcracker.

 

Zub, if you're reading, we're thinking of you. grouphug.gif

 

Kerc, hope your dd feels better.

 

If I forgot anyone, I humbly apologize

Just put a pot of lentil soup up to cook in the crockpot. Hoping it works out better than last week's epic fail black bean/corn tamale pie crockpot recipe. That was nasty. I guess we'll see! I also took an hour and totally cleaned out dd1's huge box of crap that has been moving around with us for a few years. She is such a hoarder. She likes to do random crafts with thrown out tissue boxes, paper towel and toilet paper rolls, and whatnot. Which in and of itself is not a bad thing but you know, after a while the stuff starts to pile up. One can have too many tissue box doll houses, you know. eyesroll.gif Seeing as the box was closed and has been for months I figured it was safe to do a cleanout. I put the good crafting stuff in a rubbermaid box and toted the rest straight to the recycle center (so she can't find it). I may burn in hell but it will not be old tissue paper lighting the fires.

 

Sigh.

 

Last night we did gingerbread men which was so fun and I wish I could eat them. Bummer. 

Now, off to the thrift store...the funniest part is there is a pajama and toy drive at the library. I have to go to Target to buy new things for that, but for ourselves I go thrifting! Ha.


 "Now bid me run, and I will strive with things impossible." (William Shakespeare -- Julius Caesar)

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Old 12-12-2011, 08:27 AM
 
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I love reading the Nutcracker stories. Our kids danced in an amazing production of it when they were younger and it was incredible. Exhausting, but incredible. We had about three years where they put the Nutcracker music on every night after supper and danced together - and no, I am not exaggerating. If I ever get around to scanning all of the photos for that period of our life and making a slide show, the music from the Nutcracker will have to me the background music. We wore out a few CD's before they outgrew it. I have to say I preferred Tchaikovsky to the current Taylor Swift love the girls have going on. redface.gif

 

We are very fortunate with schools where we are. The arts could always use better funding but we live in a very artsy community so there are a lot of great opportunities for the kids to make up for what the schools can't do. All of my kids are in publicly funded schools and have had a pretty good experience. They are in French Immersion which means smaller class sizes and because we are in a rural area it isn't as if the English classes are huge either. Dd1 is in grade 8 and there are 11 students in her class. Dd2 is in grade 6 and has 14 in her class. Ds is in high school and there are 18 - 20 students in his French classes and 23 - 25 in his English classes. 

 

 I hope all of the sick dingo-kids feel better fast. Mine are old enough now that when they get sick they just crawl into bed and stay there until they feel better - and they don't get sick nearly as often any more, thank goodness.

 

Gaye - way to go!!! That is great to have your last test behind you.

 

 

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Old 12-12-2011, 09:16 AM
 
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JayGee--I googled it, and apparently we are sort of close to Nashoba Brooks School.  We're two towns away from Concord.  Nashoba Valley is a weird categorization for an entire area here.  It's not a town itself, or a county, but several towns are part of it.  Actually, it might have something to do with high school sports leagues.  I know my high school was in the Merrimack Valley League, which was a similar conglomeration of towns.

 

The Nutcracker weekend was good.  The Boston production is really neat, and they went on and on about this being the last year with the old costumes.  Next year I think everything will be updated.  DS is five and didn't really care about it in general and just told me to let him know when the tree was going to grow.  He's a cuddler, though, and was perfectly happy to sit on my lap or DH's lap and suck his thumb and ignore everything going on.  DD is seven and now that she's been dancing for a bit she's at the point where she can actually appreciate the amazing stuff that's happening on stage.  And plot her future trajectory, I'm sure.  

 

DH's dad has what I consider a very sad life right now.  He's alone, lost his job, and is in pretty poor health.  He lives on coffee and cigarettes, has probably never cooked a meal ever, doesn't sleep normal hours, and has thus far had three diagnosed heart attacks and some major surgery.  We don't expect he will live a very long life, and, in fact, we consider him lucky to even be alive now.  When he was in the midst of his most recent heart attack, his first plan was just to ride it out, go to bed and see if he woke up or not.  Then the pain got worse so he drove himself over to the hospital.

 

Anyway, all that is to say that he loves the theater and so the past two years we've invited him to come with us into Boston.  This year he caught both shows with us, and it feels really nice to have a tradition with him that we will be able to refer to when he is gone.  I'd like to give the kids a really solid happy memory and connect The Nutcracker in their minds with their grandfather.

 

No running today after all; I forgot until I looked at my calendar this morning that I was expected in DS's class this morning.  It was fun but tiring, and now I have permanently blue fingers from the stamping craft with which I was helping, and not nearly enough time to change and run before DS gets off the bus in an hour.  Looks like tomorrow will be the day.

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