Welcome! Join me as I share my experiences as a wife, mom, and kindergarten teacher, and my reflections on them all. Come along as I share my crazy journey!

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Day 11 - The Power of the Flashlight

March 11, 2020

We used a powerful new tool for reading this week...

A Flashlight!

Our March is Reading Month theme at school is "Reading is a Bright Idea!" When we kicked off the month of March we had a read in where the whole school gathered in the gym with a good book, we turned off the lights and the kids read by flashlight.

My kids loved it so much I decided to try it in the classroom. It was our best day of independent reading all year! They were quiet, they read the whole time, and no one asked to get drinks or use the bathroom.

Guess what we are going to do more often? FLASHLIGHT READING! :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Day 10 - It's Happening

March 10, 2020

It's happening.

My son has taken driver's training, both sessions. He has passed the driving test. He has passed the written test. He has turned 16 and, maybe most importantly, he has earned his license.

It's happening.

He has been added to our insurance as an occasional driver. He's a good driver and we trust him.

It's happening.

Now, he has joined the school golf team. This means he has to be at practice before my husband and I get out of work. To clarify, practice is at the golf course, about 10 minutes away from school. He gets out of school later than the rest of the team because he is in a career center program for half of the day and has a slightly different schedule than the rest of the team. No worries. Except for getting to practice.

It's happening.

We have hit the point where we have to have a third vehicle in order to survive without bumming rides from grandparents and aunts. That just doesn't work in the long term. So, I guess...

it's happening.

My baby boy is all grown up.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Day 9 - An Exciting Day!

March 9, 2020

Today was a big day in our house! Two packages arrived today that upped the ante on the level of excitement for spring break.

First, I received a blue bag that contained all the things. Our travel planner is absolutely amazing!! She put together a folder of information that is next level amazing! Every detail we might ever need to know for our trip is included. There are laminated items and brochures and directions and everything else. She even included Harry Potter treats (Chocolate Frogs and Every Flavor Beans) because we are going to see Harry Potter stuff at Universal. She included a Mickey Mouse picture frame for one of our photos from Disney. She’s incredible!

The second package we received was from Disney! Our magic bands arrived today! They are colorful and labeled with our names. They also sent us luggage tags for our suitcases.

It’s happening! Spring break is coming and we are so excited! It will be the kids first flight, first Disney/Universal trip, their first visit to the ocean...so many firsts to be had! I can’t wait to see this trip through the eyes of my kiddos. Bring on Mickey Mouse!

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Day 8 - It’s a Barbie World

March 8, 2020

I live in Michigan where Spring might show up on a random day here or there but it doesn’t really arrive until late April. That said, it was 60 degrees today! The sun was shining, the sky was blue, and it was beautiful outside.

My girls took total advantage of this day by pulling the toys out of the basement Barbie World and relocating to the deck. They spread a blanket, carried up the treasures they needed for today’s play fest and they played outside for 4 hours.

The Barbies has wild adventures from climbing trees to hiding in bushes to dangling from branches. They watched wildlife in the yard (I can only imagine the wiener dogs must have looked like enormous dinosaurs to the Barbies!) and they drove their SUVs around the deck from vacation spot to vacation spot. It was quite the day for them.

My girls got some much needed fresh air and I got some much needed quiet time. That is what we call a win-win situation around here!

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Day 7 - Little Pink Dress

March 7, 2020

I went to see my mom today. I had previously asked if I could borrow her suitcases for our upcoming spring break trip, so she had one of them ready for me. The other one was larger and still downstairs. As I was going down to get it, she came to the top of the steps.

“While you’re down there, look through that pile on the table,” she told me.

For the next five minutes I was caught up in a moment in history. She had placed a carefully laid out pile of baby clothes. As I lifted each little dress by its plastic baby hanger (some being older than me, I realized), she told me it’s story.

“That one your Grandma made for me out of feed sacks.”
“That blue one with the pink flowers was from Hawaii. My friend sent it for your sister.”
“Your Grandma Irma bought that yellow one for you. She told me I could put you in it every time you came to visit because she thought you looked so nice in that color.”
“Oh, I made that one for you girls. The yellow one with the sailor collar. It was so cute!”

Then I came to the tiny little pink dress with pretty little birds stitched on the front. This one I remembered all on my own. This story I knew by heart. “This one was mine,” I smiled.

“Your dad left the hospital and went out and bought you 4 or 5 dresses that style when you were born. But that one he insisted was for you to wear home from the hospital.

I smiled as I thought of it. It made complete sense to me! My dad is also the one who insisted my name would be Robin if I was a girl. It only fit that I’d come home in a dress he bought me with little birds on the front.

The specialness of the moment did not escape me today as I stood there looking at the little pink dress. Today is my dad’s birthday.  He would have been 77. He’s been gone for 13 years but sometimes it feels like yesterday.  I miss him and think of him every day.

Today was the perfect day to hold that little dress in my hands, touch those little birds, and smile.

Friday, March 6, 2020

Day 6 - oh no!

March 6, 2020

My positive thinking tank is apparently pretty low right now. You know how I realized this?

I saw this today and I immediately cringed. I immediately started thinking that I’d like to just skip out of next week.

You see, my class this year is hard. It’s harder than normal. It’s a collection of kids with baggage of various sorts. It’s a group that is harder than it “should” be on the best of days.

So today this slice is short because I’m already tired from next week and it’s all I have left in the tank today.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Day 5 - Math Hoops

March 5, 2020

I had the pleasure of accompanying my daughter’s school team to the Math Hoops competition today. Our school district sent 10 teams of students to compete.

Out of 60 teams, our kids did great! We had three teams make it into the second round. Our little school district represented 3 of the 8 teams in round two! My daughters team being one of them, although they lost in the second round.

Two of our teams made it to the final round and ended up playing each other for the championship!

The kids got to meet and play some basketball with a couple players from the Detroit Pistons basketball team and had the opportunity to shoot hoops on their new, state of the art practice court.

It was an awesome opportunity and an experience they won’t soon forget.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Day 4 - Shocked

March 4, 2020

I’m still feeling shocked and more than a little sad.

One of my young five year old kindergarten kiddos said some things today that are cringe-worthy.

He was talking to his math interventionist while they were working today in my classroom. He stopped his work to share a story with a big smile on his face, obviously feeling proud of what he was about to say.

“My dad said I should be a good boy at school and a bad boy at home.” He said this last part while wiggling his eyebrows up and down.

Miss J handled it pretty well. Better than I did...standing there with my jaw hanging open. She said she thought he should be a good boy at school AND at home. He scowled a bit and thought about that quietly for a few minutes.

And that’s when the real shock hit.

“Miss J,” he said. “I can’t wait until I’m a grown up.”

“Why?” she asked.

“Because I will be able to have a girlfriend and I can hold her boobs! My dad told me.”

Um, what?

This boy is 5. He’s an immature 5 year old even. This leaves me feeling sad and wondering so many things.

Why would they have been having this conversation in the first place? Why would a grown man tell his 5 year old child something like that? If he is talking this way as a 5 year old, what is going to happen when he’s 10 or 15?

Now, I realize I am all out judging this father right now, but what kind of shady dude do you have to be to do this? Then I realize that this boy lives with his dad because he’s the “better” parent in this situation.

Say what?

To top it off, I also had:
* a child steal a toy from another staff member and lie about it
* a child screaming and crying for 10 minutes because he didn’t like what he had to do
* a child refuse to do her work during math time and missed recess to complete her work
* a child pat a staff member on the behind as he walked by her

What is happening in their worlds to create situations where these things are all happening on a regular basis? This is just a typical Wednesday.

I’m just...sad.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Day 3 - What is happening?

March 3, 2020

As I picked up my kindergarten students from gym class today, the gym teacher said he thought my kids were about ready for middle school. I was confused by this, of course,  and asked him to explain.

He said each time he gives a student a reminder, such as please don’t put your feet on the wall, three other students will hear the exchange and put their feet up...like a middle school student who likes to test boundaries.

I started thinking about this statement. It’s so true of this group of students. It literally happens Every. Single. Time. This crew is also very dramatic. There’s a lot of tattling, mother hen-ing (I think I just made that word up), and being bossy.

The question is why? Why does this group struggle so much more with these things than a typical kindergarten group?

I have no answer, but I’d love to hear your thoughts!!

Monday, March 2, 2020

Day 2 - 24 Hours

March 2, 2020

I think we have all heard the saying about how we all have the same 24 hours in a day. While it is true that everyone has a 24 hour day. That is, after all, the definition of a day.  However, I have a problem with this statement. I disagree very much with the idea that we all have the same 24 hours. We absolutely do not.

Does the widow who goes home to an empty house at the end of the day have the same 24 hours? No, she doesn't. She still has the same laundry to do, same household chores to do, same cooking, same things to do as a married couple. The problem is, she doesn't have someone to help. She doesn't have someone to help call the repair man, unload the dishwasher, or take out the trash. She doesn't have someone to split the chores with her so she has to squeeze in all the same household work in her 24 hours as a married couple.

Does the single parent have the same 24 hours as the married parent? No. Again, the single parent has all the same homework, cooking dinner, making lunches, doing the laundry, transporting the kids, etc. as a family with two parents. The single parent has to do everything alone, while the two parents can share the load.

Does the young college student have the same 24 hours as the elderly man in the nursing home? No. The college student attends classes, works a part time job, is only responsible for caring for himself. His responsibilities are relatively few and he has the time and ability to go have fun with his friends. He can fill his free time however he wishes by simply going and doing as he pleases. His days pass quickly but his years ahead are long. The elderly man is a little different. He also has few responsibilities at this stage, doesn't work, and is only responsible for himself. The difference is he is also reliant on others to help him with this care. He is reliant on someone else's schedule for meeting his needs. If he wants to see his friends, he is reliant on them coming to him or someone helping to make a visit happen. His days are long but his years ahead are short. They do not have the same 24 hours.

I realize it's just a saying. However, the saying rubs me the wrong way. Yes, we all have 24 hours in a day. But, no...we do not all have the same 24 hours. I dare say we all have very different days. I'm relatively sure my 24 hours looks different than yours and visa versa.

Why is this important? Maybe we need to consider this idea when we judge people for not having something done we think they should. Maybe we need to consider this when the single mom doesn't return a note to school on time. Maybe we need to consider this when a co-worker seems frazzled. We might not know what their 24 hours looks like. We only know our own. Be kind.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Day 1 - A Failure in the Photo Department

March 1, 2020

I feel like a failure in the photo department.

I used to be so good at scrap booking. I wanted to make my kids scrap books that doubled as baby books and then followed them through to graduation. I was really good at getting pictures printed with my first kiddo. His book has the first two years of his life completed.

About that time, my second kiddo came along. At this point I was slightly slower in getting pictures printed but it still happened; less often and in bigger chunks. I have her book started and done well into her first year.

(Side Note: I should mention they are now 16 and 14. Sigh.)

But then, life with two kids took over and my photo department failure grew.

I would still take all the pictures and every few months my husband would ask if I had printed any recently and so I would sit down and make it happen. I have boxes with pictures from this time period all neatly separated into three categories: child 1, child 2, family. This way they were ready for the scrap books or the family photo album just as soon as I found the time to work on it.

Baby three and four came along next and sealed my photo failure fate.  I am great at taking pictures of my babes and the things we do as a family. I am horrible at printing them. I feel like a failure every time my the younger two ask to look at the pictures of when they were babies. 

We quickly became the chaotic family we had always hoped for with kids running here and there to school and sports and scouts and everything in between. I love every minute of it! I take all kinds of pictures, I share them on social media and send them to family members. Do I print them? Hardly ever. It makes me sad.

(Side Note 2: The younger two kiddos are 11 and 8.)

Last summer I tried to rectify this situation. I printed all the pictures from our phones. I printed some of the pictures from my computer. But, I still have more to print.  I even went as far as to buy a photo album for each child and one for the family.  I did not, however, get them sorted yet. There are still orange boxes of pictures sitting on my desk just waiting for their day in the sun.

And still I feel like a failure in the photo department. 

Someday, scrap books. Someday.

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I'm excited to start this new Slice of Life Challenge! Last year I didn't make it through the whole month of writing, which after several years of doing so was a big disappointment to me. So, here we are! Back again for another go around! Bring on the writing!