am I smarter than a first grader?

I hate Mondays. I know everyone says that, but for me it’s really true. I don’t know why, but I really do believe it’s the crummiest day of the week.

I’m always relieved when Tuesday arrives, and I’m always extra happy and surprised when I do have the occasional awesome Monday.

Today, however, was not one of those days. I mean, it wasn’t horrible; it was my average annoying Monday, I’d say. To demonstrate – my first significant conversation of the morning went something like this…

Elena (eating her breakfast at the counter): Mommy, am I going to the bus stop with you today?

Ian (popping up from playing with something on the floor to immediately chime in): No, Elena, I’m not going to school today but you ARE! (In a “so take that!” friendly brother sort of way.)

Me, trying to get a word in: That’s right…Ian doesn’t have school today so no bus stop. (She loves seeing Ian get on the bus and it about makes her week when he blows kisses and waves goodbye as the bus drives off. It’s pretty cute, I must say.)

Elena: Why doesn’t Ian have school today??

Ian: Because it’s a “Budget Reduction Day.” (Ah yes, my favorite new term since becoming an elementary school parent.)

Me, again, trying to get a word in: Well, Elena, because the school district doesn’t have any money to keep school open. (I’d say it was not presented in a sarcastic tone, but then I’d be lying.)

Ian: It’s not that they don’t have ANY money…it’s that they don’t have ENOUGH money to get through the year. There’s a difference.

Ah, starting off my week being corrected by my first grader. Fabulous.

Of course I walked away with my cup of coffee thinking to myself that in my book, operating with 2% reserves – for starters – DOES qualify as not having ANY money, but I suppose that’s beside the point.

Yes indeed, it was a proper Monday.

it’s official: my neighbor is my enemy

He also happens to be my dentist.

Truth is, he didn’t used to be our neighbor. Rather, he was simply more like our dentist who Jeff and I both saw for cleanings twice a year. I liked it that way. Until about three years when he echoed my dentist from D.C. in telling me that I really needed to get a gum graft. Despite recommendations from two¬† professionals in different cities, I think it was something about mentioning the two teeth eventually falling out that finally caught my attention. So, off I went to a periodontist for oral surgery. That was fun, as you would imagine.

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happy birthday to you, happy anniversary to us

Ian's First Days - 15Ian turned 7-years-old yesterday. I’ve learned that I’ll probably say this every year that I get to celebrate his birthday, but it truly does seem like just the other day that I Jeff and I drove around the block (because I was too fat to walk) and I walked into Virginia Hospital Center to check in at reception for my scheduled c-section.

The nurse had barely gotten us into the room when I started bawling. Poor lady was trying to comfort me thinking something was actually wrong – but there I was just trying to explain to her – in-between deep breaths – that I was just a little (actually, A LOT) nervous because this was my first surgery and um, HELLO, I was coming out on the other end as a PARENT!! Like, if the rumors I heard were true, we would be taking home a real actual human being that Jeff and I would be responsible for not only keeping alive, but making sure that he/she actually made some sort of contribution to society. I still just wasn’t sure I was ready for all that. I mean, when was I going to fit the gym and shopping and drinks out with friends in with all that new responsibility??

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here’s to 2013

Like any year, 2012 had its ups and downs, but for the most part – it was a good year. I feel so fortunate in that way – that except for 2010, which stands out to me as notably tough year for our immediate family – we have been blessed with good health, shelter and general happiness each year so far. I can only pray it stays that way.

Of course, 13 happens to be one of favorite – if not my favorite – number, so no pressure 2013, but I’m expecting particularly great things. In the meantime, it’s been a lovely holiday break and a quite nice New Years Eve here in Portland. (Minus the weirdness than Ian is not here; he’s enjoying his first “sleepover.” I’m thinking a lot about how strange it is that he’s not home, though judging his level of excitement, I have no doubt he’s not given one thought back to us.)

Happy New Year to all.


school safety through “rose”-colored glasses

Our family had a nice Saturday. A work commitment I had mid-day was canceled, allowing us time to go together to the zoo to meet the new calf, Lily. It was a cold, rainy day, so few people had ventured out, which meant we had unlimited time in the indoor area watching Rose and Lily together. In the afternoon, Ian, Elena and I started on some Christmas cookies and they had a blast. Peanut butter blossoms are ready for consumption and the sugar cookie dough is ready for baking and decorating tomorrow. Jeff shared some happy news from work today, and I FINALLY got Ian’s “new” room somewhat organized so that he actually has a bedroom back after several months now. (Even HE thanked me!)

Later, I hopped on the computer and got caught up on the latest news. I saw the names, some photos and learned that all the students were first graders, just like Ian. Sadness came rushing back, and as I told Jeff, I think this the first time since 9/11 that I feel guilty for going about my happy little life when so many others are suffering right now.

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