mighty milners: school edition

“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”

– John Dewey

and school has kicked off! whew – I thought prepping for it was exhausting. I forgot that when it really started, I’d be up at five a.m. I have not been up that early since … well, maybe ever. strike that: student teaching. can we all agree that school starts way, way too early? thank the Lord for coffee.

the first day was a good one. we had uniforms donned, lunches ready to go, and I went in with her for the first walk-in. her teachers quickly took over, got her situated with the schedule, and she’d been off and running ever since. she loves her outside time, she’s learned a few kids’ names, and seems to have adjusted to their schedule.

this was a practice run of wearing "the uniform" - she apparently is adopting some form of "I will intimidate you to death" look here

this was a practice run of wearing “the uniform” – she apparently is adopting some form of “I will intimidate you to death” look here

personally, I did not cry. I was slightly overwhelmed with all the logistics, that I kind of didn’t have time to be sad. and then, once home, I still had to chase li’l G everywhere. by the time nap time hit, I was so exhausted, I may have joined in a needed sleep renewal, and then I was emotionally fine.

they seem to have hit the ground running. she has homework, specifically for math and counting. they’ve had music class, gym class, and she’s proud to take her lunch to the “cafe”. next week, they start the reading program, and her teachers have started the writing program this week.

she’s killing me with her awesomeness!

the kid is KILLER! please note, too, that Teddy has a headband, as well. she is ever the thoughtful & creative one

the kid is KILLER! please note, too, that Teddy has a headband, as well. she is ever the thoughtful & creative one.

the drive is a little long. for myself, it’s an hour round trip. hence, we leave at seven for her to be on time. the kiddos did not like that schedule for the first few days. she insists that the nighttime isn’t done because the sun isn’t up yet. therefore, she does not have to get up. I, of course, insists she does – considering I am not the greatest morning person, it’s important that I’ve showered already [to feel human], and already had a cup of coffee, so as our conversations don’t devolve into a shouting match.

and then I just hook up that caffeine IV, and drink it all day long. [side note: I cleaned house a couple of days ago. I’m pretty sure the only thing that saved me was the 2 cups of coffee and 5 – count ’em – 5 Diet Cokes I had throughout the day. it was disgusting].

we’re all adjusting, too, to what a real school schedule looks like. preschool was optional, and only half day. this is the real deal, there for seven hours and having to be told what to do all day. these are her words from the first day: “it was SO long, Mom – I thought I’d only be there for half an hour! and I don’t get to do what I want – the teachers are always telling me what to do!” [and then, she ate the sucker they gave her as a first-day present, and she was fine]. the li’l toddler was not pleased to get up at six on that first day, but he’s adjusted. and I’m following suit. we’ll enjoy our Labor Day weekend off, but I think we’re all the more ready for another full week of school!

Dr. M went back the same day, and the semester has gone well so far. we’ll talk more on that at another time. for now, I’m going to catch my breath and get caught up on everything else that I’ve let slide in the name of adjusting to school. because, you know, that’s been everything else. oh boy …

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rain, Kiawah, & car trouble

“I see that children fill the existential hollowness many people feel; that when we have children, we know they will need us, and maybe love us, but we don’t have a clue how hard it is going to be.”

– Anne Lamott

don’t they just kick your ass? kids, I mean. whew. they have no idea. S was a bit of a chore this week. I don’t even remember how or why, but she got herself wicked grounded [for who even knows what now], and lost television for four days. four days?!?!?! Dr. M handed down that punishment – it was rightly deserved, but definitely cut into me, especially as the days got rainier and rainier, and she got whinier and whinier about having lost it. we stayed strong, though, and she went without for four days. and I survived.

the babe is back to sleeping through the night – yea! [cue dance party!] he’s still struggling to go back to sleep on his own. boo! [cue sad face] some nights, it’s been a couple hours worth of hearing him scream/talk/rage while I keep an eye on the clock, and go back to bounce/cuddle/shush/love on him. while the crying and having to go back every 20 min is tiresome, the snuggles are not. he’s hugging back now, and initiating the snuggling. you can’t hate that.

to brag on them for a moment, though. my dang car technically broke down on Monday. I say technically, because it wouldn’t start when I wanted it to and I had to stay put until someone came to help me. I knew exactly what was wrong with it, though. that is to say, I’m an idiot. I went to clean out the car [I’m starting to drive the Civic now, as Dr. M is taking the bus]. it was disgusting. I’m pretty sure Dr. M never once washed or vacuumed it out while he was in charge of it [and he immediately owned up to it, once asked – silly boy]. point being, it took a long, long time to get it cleaned out. the whole time, I ran just the battery for our local news and music options. by the time I was done, the battery was toast. of course, I have no phone. of course, it’s wicked hot and the kids are sweating in their car seats. of course, when I ask for help at the gas station, no one has jumper cables or the ability to help. I started to panic, a little. I hadn’t broke down while in our new town, and I normally call my dad to come rescue me. unfortunately, that was not an option this time around.

the pros of this whole situation … I broke down at a freakin’ gas station. we had a bathroom, we had the ability to buy snacks & water, we had the option of borrowing their phone. it was heaven compared to some other places I’ve broken down at. I called my insurance, who gave me the Emergency Roadside number. I called them next, gave them my policy number, and a tow truck driver was there within five minutes. I didn’t have to pay out-of-pocket for anything, and I was on my way. the kids were AWESOME. no crying, no whining, they were champs with the heat, and they were cool with the disappointing news that we weren’t going to the park because I had melted and was hungry. all in all, it wasn’t awful. yea for happy kids!

we made up for all the trouble by going to the beach on Tuesday. we decided we’d go to Kiawah Island again, and hang out for a couple of hours. we went there with some friends a few weeks ago, and thought it was worth another look. it’s so nice. the water is calmer, so we can actually swim with the kids and not be in constant fear of their impending drowning. the beach itself is nice and clean, and it’s not a big one. not near as many people can fit on it, so it’s just quieter and nice for kids. they also have changing rooms, so we can wash the kids off and change them before our 30 min drive back home. it’s a little off the beaten path, but it’s worth it.

I love going to Folly for different reasons, some of them including that I can walk it. my friend and I went walking on Sunday, and quickly realized we’d done something like six miles or some craziness like that. we walked from the pier towards Morris Island – and we almost got there! we finally had to stop, see how far we’d gone, and realize we’d quickly lose the light if we didn’t head back. it was awesome.

I wish I could say we walked more this week, but alas, that would be a lie. Dr. M had different meetings and happy hours to attend; the kids weren’t the greatest to leave Dr. M with every night; the kicker was the almost-constant monsoon we’ve been encountering. since Monday, we’ve received incredible amounts of rain, causing my phone to vibrate constantly with Flash Food Watches and Warnings. downtown floods so easily, I had to keep an eye out for Dr. M to see if I needed to grab him early! it’s been nuts. I love the rain, though, so there are no complaints. it has also dropped the temperatures down about 20 degrees, for a couple days anyway,, so that’s been lovely.

overall, it’s been a good, productive week – we’re mostly ready for school, Dr. M is back in the full swing of work, and the weather has been awesome. you can’t ask for much more than that.

it’s been a sleepy week …

“the truth is that parents are not really interested in justice. they just want quiet.”

– bill cosby

ha! or smiles in pictures. but you get what you get, eh?  [credit: Tabitha Todd]

hello, lovely folks! happy Friday – happy weekend – happy whatever you need it to be to finish off this week on a high note. for me, I know it includes a night of baseball in my pajamas, and my li’l babe sleeping through the night. I really, really, really thought we’d be past this whole ‘I get up at 3:30 am and cry the whole time and never want to go back to bed’ issue.

apparently not.

it’s not his fault [those damn teeth – this time around, it’s three big fat ones, and they are taking forever to come in], and it comes with the field of parenting [especially the ‘stay-at-home’ kind]. we’ve just been having lazy days in response, full of coffee and pajamas and way too much television, and then trying to adjust with naps throughout the day so he’ll go back to bed at a normal time.

we’ve also been winding down summer, which seems like that ethos would be in opposition to the statement above about lazy days. I’d intentionally this week set out to get them up/put them down at the same time throughout the week. we were successful on Monday. it’s now Friday, and 9:30 is our “normal” in getting up.

oh boy. school will hit us like a ton of bricks. we’ve all got to be out the door at 7 am for the kiddo’s school, and that is so early.

I’ve joked around about coffee IVs. I’m no longer joking – hasn’t someone invented that yet? it could be like a permanent PIC line, and I could just hook it up in the morning when I can’t think straight to run my coffee maker. [I feel like I’ve crossed a new line of weird, but … isn’t that how innovation occurs? Steve Jobs, and all that?]

speaking of school … I have a kiddo who is old enough for KINDERGARTEN [insert sighs, heart palpitations, and increased anxiety]. I’ve realizing I’m echoing eons of parents: I can’t believe I have kids that old? I can’t believe I’m that old? What is this new reality?

yeap. she's five. and so wonderful and spectacular. kindergarten will suit her well, I believe. [credit: Tabitha Todd]

yeap. she’s five. and so wonderful and spectacular.   [credit: Tabitha Todd]

I know she and I will love it, though. school is where I always feel at home, as does Dr. M [go figure]. her uniforms came in last week, we got our notice about Kindergarten Round-Up, and we’ve figured out the best route for the school run. yea! she’s insistent that she wants to ride the bus. just one more sign of independence in an independent li’l kiddo. I’m resistant, because let’s just admit it – she’s five, and I want to take her. I love the chance to chat with her in the morning, and the recap of the day in the afternoon, a la daycare runs. there might not even be enough spots on the bus for her anyway, so we’ll see. once we go for our meet & greet, we’ll know more. but please know, it’s been a point of contention. as I imagine most of her independence-driven requests will be until she’s legal.

Dr. M is [fully] back to work. our summer was crazy busy, but I think he enjoyed most of it. our trip to KC was lovely, we saw a lot of beloved family & friends, and he had [some] time to work. not near as much as he would have liked, so he’s making up for that now. he’s been in the office most everyday, and will be through the end of the semester. we’re back to the nights of him half watching baseball, but really, he’s reading & proofing & planning hardcore. the academic schedule is a mixed blessing. almost no required time during the summer, but they make you pay for it the other ten months.

li’l G is mostly doing well, minus the horrific teething process at the moment. he is into everything, specifically the things he should not be in. [yes, yes, tis to be expected with a precocious 15 month old. but, still …] he has learned that he is a proficient climber. if you should be around him, do not leave a chair out. ever. in the five seconds it took for you to stand up, he will confiscate it, climb up like an agile monkey, and proceed to stand, hoot, holler, and dance on his newly acquired, unstable surface.

enjoy this shot for all its worth. he looks beautiful, and he will never, ever be that still again. [credit: Tabitha Todd]

enjoy this shot for all its worth. he looks beautiful, and he will never, ever be that still again. [credit: Tabitha Todd]

I might need to request blood pressure medication, the way he makes mine shoot up. or just a glance at the above photo. it’s a nice, calm one, eh?

the other things he likes to do [that he is not allowed to do, but still seems to make happen] include: playing in the toilet – throwing things in the toilet, and then playing with them in the toilet – climbing into the clothes dryer – climbing on top of our desk – climbing on top of our dining table – climbing on top of our entertainment center – pushing through the doors and running outside – climbing out of the bath tub, and wandering around buck naked – climbing into the kitchen cabinets, and playing with the dishwasher soap – pulling the oven open with the dish rags that are hanging from the handle

I’m sure there’s more he’s done. I’m even more sure there’s more he WILL do. it’s just a matter of time.

the kid is just a bulldozer of good times. once he’s a bit older, all of this hopefully won’t still be happening and I’ll have maybe a little more peace of mind. that, or it will all escalate and I will never be at peace. ever.

I am trying to sneak in some calm into my life, little bits by little bits. I’ve made a real attempt at exercise in this past week, to moderate success. I made it through an hour of yoga [which was AWESOME for my back – it’s been sore and tight and stiff for three weeks, to the point of tears], and a new friend of mine and I walked our local park for an hour or more. li’l babe’s teeth cut into a second meeting we were shooting for, but I can foresee her and I taking advantage of the James Island County Park walking trails a lot. I had book club this week, too, which was fun as always. I’m probably the youngest person there, but I’m really over that. my draw to the meetings are the titles they pick, and the two women who organize and lead. it always goes off on crazy tangents, and I like it – it’s nice walking away from our discussions, going “huh – I never would have pulled that from that book”.

I like it. I also like that I’m at a place where I’m more comfortable in my new city. that I have a book club to go to, where faces are more familiar. that we have friends that we’re trading dinner nights with, walking parks with, and enjoying the sauna that is Charleston. I’m certainly feeling more comfortable in our new digs!

love y’all – enjoy your fabulous weekends!