Thursday, August 27, 2009

"First Grade Just Isn't What I Thought It Was Going To Be"

First Day of First Grade

It's been a really hard first week of school for Adam.

He woke up this morning, dragging. I let Mike and Grace sleep in, and he and I had a long talk over breakfast.

I asked him what was wrong, and he looked at me with a sad face and said, "First grade just isn't what I thought it was going to be."

In short, first grade is hard.

He spent kindergarten in near-perfection, behavior-wise. His kindergarten teacher told me that she had never had a more responsible, compassionate, mature student. He only got in trouble once, and it was because of some behavior of other students in his group.

In first grade? He's been in trouble twice. In two days. For talking. When he shamefully told me this, I smiled. I was secretly thrilled that he had broken the rules; that my shy boy is emerging and is beginning to not stress out on being perfect and is getting sent back to the classroom for talking.

I told him that I wasn't mad at all; I don't expect a 6-year-old to not talk in class ever.

Who does?

(I mean, besides his teacher. Apparently.)

I just want him to do his best.

But he cried, because he was so embarrassed at getting in trouble.

First grade has higher expectations. More schoolwork and homework. Less time for fun and recess. More desk time and tests. Less time for creativity and talking with friends.

And it's 7 hours instead of 3.

I know he will adjust. He will get used to the new schedule, the longer hours, and the new rules.

He's a great kid, and I know he loves school and learning.

For now, though, it's been a tough week.

And I think a night of us playing hooky on the homework and having some non-school play is in order.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


It's not been the greatest summer around our house, pet-wise.

First Henry, then Snow Knight.

Last night we came home to find JoJo, our little fancy mouse, not doing very well. It was kind of crazy, actually, because he was completely fine yesterday morning, and when we came home he was missing chunks of fur, bleeding, and shaking.

It's so weird. We have no clue what happened.

Anyways, Adam occasionally reads this blog, so I'm not going to write any details about what really happened next. But, Mike and I thought it would be cruel for both the kids (and JoJo), to have to watch him suffer for days until he died, and there was no way a vet could save him (even if we had the money).

The kids had so much fun playing with our little mouse and he will be missed.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Why I Was Up So Late Last Night

(This actually is from a week ago... I keep hitting "save" instead of "publish." Whoops!)

Adam, unfortunately, has the sleep patterns of his mother. He is a night owl who loves to stay up late.

And then get up early.

I keep telling him that eventually his body will backfire on him, and that by the time he hits 24, not only will he not be able to do the all-nighter thing on regular basis, but that not getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night will make him unbearably cranky.
He doesn't care, though.

So, when I went to bed on Sunday night (after midnight), he was still awake in his bed, reading an encyclopedia.

He loves encyclopedias.

Remember his math in the bath, right? ;)

At 5:00 in the morning the next day, he graced me with his presence, asking for breakfast.

I rolled over, closed my eyes, and told him to go play with his Legos.

Last night after scripture reading and prayer, Adam's allergies were bothering him pretty bad, so I asked if he wanted some medicine.

He replied, "No, I think it's just that Lego."

Adam likes to experiment. And apparently somewhere between playing with his Legos and reading about the human nose in his encyclopedia early that morning, he decided to see what would happen if he put a Lego up his nose.

And then not tell anyone about it all day.

So, that's why at 11:00 at night, we were still up trying to figure out how to get a small, circular Lego out of Adam's nose.

Night or day, it's never really boring 'round here.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

My Little Foodie

Grace is our little food connoisseur.

She loves food.

She doesn't eat a lot of food, mind you, she rarely finishes anything. But she loves her food.

Every morning she wakes up and asks me the menu for the day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And she always gets SO excited when she hears what we're having.

Jumping-up-and-down-and-screaming excited.

She will try anything once, and really isn't too picky about what she eats.

She loves cooking with me, smelling our spices, browsing through my cookbooks and showing me the things that look good, finding new cookbooks at the library, and planning our weekly menus.

And during meals, you have never heard happier sounds than what we get to hear every day.

Her comments on my spaghetti pretty much make me feel like I'm Emeril Lagasse.

A few months ago, Mike brought home a buffet box that one of his associates had given him, half of which consisted of shrimp.

Grace tried it.

And fell in love.


Today, our grocery store had a birthday party, with lots of free samples.

Including shrimp.

And everyone in the greater Las Vegas valley heard the happy squeals that were made (much to the enjoyment of the crowd), of a little blond 2-year-old savoring her (plus mine and Adam's) beloved shrimp samples.

She's a very happy little foodie today.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Glad I Only Have One

I don't know if it's just because Adam goes to a charter school (with less funding than public) or if this is just the norm now, but we went school supply shopping tonight and we had to get a lot of stuff.

This is the list of items Adam is required to bring on the first day of school:

2 boxes pencils
1 box Crayola crayons
1 box colored pencil
2 erasers
1 plastic 12” ruler
2 liquid gel glue (no glue sticks)
3 plastic, pronged folders
3 package wet wipes
3 bottles of hand sanitizer
3 intermediate composition notebooks (no spiral)
2 primary composition notebook (no spiral)
1 box thick markers
3 box tissues
1 box Ziploc sandwich baggies
1 box Ziploc quart size baggies
2 box Ziploc gallon size baggies
2 rolls paper towels

I'm just seriously glad that I only have one in school right now.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Snow Knight

One of our two brand-spankin' new fish passed away on yesterday. Exactly 7 days after we purchased it.

And as luck would have it, it was Adam's fish.

(Not that I wanted Grace's to die, but she wouldn't have taken it as hard).

I was cleaning up after lunch when I noticed Dorothy eating something at the top of the tank. Thinking Grace had dumped in her leftovers, I went over to investigate and saw Dorothy eating Adam's beloved Snow Knight.

I let Adam know, and we decided that we needed to have the flush then before Mike got home from work, because seeing a fish eating another fish all day long was going to gross me out.

We stood around the toilet and said our good-byes. Adam began to cry, and then he stopped and yelled:

"Her fish was eating my fish!
Isn't it an abomination for a fish to eat another fish?"

I agreed that it was.

Better keep him away from those PBS animal shows that depict a mother lion eating her young... he's probably not ready for that yet. :)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Some July Summer Fun

I can not believe it's August already! Where did this summer go? Here's some fun we had in July.

- Camping out on the floor

- Playing at the new splash park

- Gathering sticks for cicada (locust) shell hunting

Gathering huge sticks to knock the shells out of the trees is one of Adam's favorite things to do.

Finding piles of the shells in random places is not one of mine.

- Barbecuing

- Learning time

Unfortunately, by the end of July, we were more into sleeping in than learning.

I'm determined to be better this month. :)

- Completing the summer reading program at the library and earning medals

Adam was SO excited because it was his first "medal made from metal."

Grace was disappointed because it didn't have chocolate on the inside.

- Swimming and eating at the swim party Enrichment night (with our youngest RS sister, who is always invited when Mike has to work :) )

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Grace's Fave Place to Sleep

Even though I'm still very much in denial about the "b" (or trying to be, at least), I have done/thought about doing a few things to prepare for his coming.

I mean, nothing really of consequence, like finding a place to live.

But, I did find a carseat.

Yay, me!

And, it's already being put to good use.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Back to School Countdown

I like countdowns. And I especially like not having to figure out "how many days are left until ___". Because countdowns take care of that.

And they are fun.

Last night for FHE, we bought new fish. And then we made a list of all the things we wanted to do during our last month of summer. And then we negotiated and crossed off things like, "Move to Phoenix," and "scuba dive."

I'm still not sure what our lesson was exactly, really. When Adam asked what our lesson was about, I said something like, "Appreciating the time we have together." Something like that. :) We had a good time.

Today the kids and I looked at our calendar for August and then combined our end of summer to do list with a back-to-school countdown (one activity for every day until school starts) and made a paper chain link. They are so excited for the fun stuff we're going to do!

Our End of Summer To Dos:

- finish Adam's kindergarten craft book (will post this soon)
- make homemade ice cream
- play at the swim park
- game night
- picnic at the park (supposed to be 90 degrees... wahoo!)
- barbecue and sparklers
- go swimming
- service project (of some kind)
- make popsicles
- buy school supplies
- movie night
- visit the temple
- go miniature golfing (or bowling... depending on prices)
- go swimming (again)
- make a fun summer craft
- go to an arcade
- see a movie at the dollar theatre
- special dinner and back-to-school blessings
- back-to-school party

It's going to be a fun month!

Good-bye, Henry Bluey (aka Dorothy)

Not the greatest picture, but the new fish were not cooperative photo subjects.

On Saturday, our fish died.

I had been expecting it for a while. Lately, he's become really lazy. And, truthfully, he's lived over a year at our house, and the fact that he's survived so many pokes, being fed strange food, and toys being dropped on him amazes me.

Unfortunately, Adam took it really, really hard.

Adam has such a tender little heart. And when he found out he cried and cried. I hugged and held him. And Grace patted him on the back, and told him, "We flush Dorothy*. It's okay. We flush her."

Which made him cry harder.

Grace and I weren't really helping him, so I did what any good mom does: handed him the cell phone and let him call Mike, family members, and friends who consoled him.

Thanks again everyone!

That night, when Mike got home, we held a little funeral for Henry/Dorothy. Adam cried buckets during the entire thing, read a poem he wrote, and made me videotape the entire thing (I will spare you having to watch a crying 6-year-old read poetry to his dead fish. Believe me, it was very sad.) Adam then took the camera, and snapped picture after picture of the actual flush. (I will spare you the pictures of the dead fish going down the toilet. Believe me, they are gross.) As he was being flushed, Adam thought he saw a fin move and began screaming, and then Grace began screaming, and I'm surprised our neighbors didn't call the police for what probably sounded like a murder happening next door.

It was a long night.

On Sunday, the kids were still both very sad. However, Mike used it as a good teaching opportunity to talk about the resurrection, and how our spirits/bodies separate when we die, and what will happen when we are resurrected someday. And I think that they both felt better, and I'm grateful for the opportunity we had to talk to them about it.

They recovered enough that on Monday, they asked for new fish. So, for FHE we went and picked out 2 new little guys: Dorothy (orange) and White Knight (white).

They are so excited for the new fish!

And I hope that they never, ever, ever die.

Which isn't likely with .27 cent fish. :)

*He was orignally named Henry Bluey, however, Grace re-named him Dorothy (like Elmo's fish) several months ago. So, he went by both names.