Thursday, September 21, 2006

Day 4

today i officially didn't care - TV, lunch, playground, nap (yeah!) and Disney. No outbursts, good kid, rash is better (but the butt). I even cut the lawn on my 'lunch'. I get an hour lunch so 30 min at the playground, 30 cutting the lawn. No food, but my lawn is cut.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Day 3

Better today (thank god!).

Managed to get work done and entertain a 3 year old. Ran 2 errands, skipped lunch and made dinner. Rash is better but her poor butt is still pretty bad.

Now if I can just get those SOWs out and review the support issues, I'd be better.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

2 down .. 3 to go..

So Monday was a hellish day. Erin had been sick this weekend, little fever, crabby and complaining of Bubbles in her mouth.

Monday I take her to school (no fever since Saturday early morning) and as I'm about to leave, I spot them - little spots on her hand. Not bug bites, not boo-boos... but blisters. Damn...

Off to the doctors (and a paniced daycare - like illness hasn't happened). Hand Foot and Mouth Disease (again). Last bout as in June of 2004 (I remember because it was my birthday). So that means - home with Erin while she is contagious. All week. She should be ok by Friday to go camping but I don't know. We'll see. Once the spots appear, its usually safe but because its viral, Daycare centers want to play it safe. I totally understand but my sanity is short.

I'm gonna loose it.

So the end of day 2
No Nap
2 screaming matches
Reset the 'who makes the rules' boundry (yeah, I do make them)
and its 7:18 and she's out cold.

I hope she sleeps through the night. I need some me time. I love my daughter, I really do. But Its difficult to work 8 hours, watch her and make sure she's NOT gluded to the TV.

If I were a SAHM, it would be different. I could do activities with her, play games, do stuff. Not so much when I have clients screaming that they need custom work now and support issues in limbo. Good god, can the universe survive without me for a day so I don't loose my mind?

Saturday, September 16, 2006

a note from Erin

y57tytyftyttytyfygtytgyutyyfytyryrtyfdtttfyfyzxct7yyr7er676erw747r ettee455eaaatu78r7ut11gftfdtt5rtfutifyu77uuugtutj re5frerttyr4545tt43t643et34r45353445653ewqi45765tr5rsxdsrdsrzda6 wgyddds
zxcvcvbnmasdfghjklqwertyyyyytyuioiop12312345567ye53ry46y45yt65r7r r4757r7h

dyugger3fte4r34te353twyt5drgde64re533trre5e53yr3wyhert4tftry6tgdtffr5 rwduhffu7

44wtetrstctrddtdgfdhggdgdydyehdegdfdewetwhwyrfyufuft7rt6uttu55uztvgg fftffww

hfyhgjyhyuyhuyuittuutt7590khfkttrjyrjky tifyt66788990tfjrjggtkgwj3gfgyuhkjuvgjffcxnfcdhxzzjmcnccjvvlvlfogohhohhhh hhyhj ,nhnnmlmjjupbhhknhbjlnh.jjuinnjljhmjjym.kjlcc vl gfklfltlvlhkkhhkktrrtt5ghtu6t75c7r4r45te21uuxeuyr6r6tcxdsuaqw21quwwqqq
rruuttrxtrdtetrst4e6r45re 5trdtxxeeeeeeeegfrnnnnfsggdfteeftegedtdtef4eyr
twqgtee5e5ewe55wtw6teee4qrfre3wtttfsfstwtswgeftgfrdr jiutiuyjyu5tu7yytttty hb egdftdfttr35etrereretetdtette5533232rats

That is from Erin - she wants to type like mommy. My kid86u58u rocks.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Saturday with the Clan

Saturday was a big day for the family - every late August/early September, South Buffalo holds a Feis. A feis is like, well.. a party. Here's what was there:
Irish Dancers
expo of local shops and services
lots of drinking

The point of the Feis is to rekindle the idea of "shop in your neighborhood". The shops and services all set up tables and give you free stuff (pens, balloons, chapstick, waterbottles,...).

For our family, its a time to all come together. My husband's family sees friends from the neighborhood they haven't seen a while so its kind of like a old homes day. If you gre up in South Buffalo, you go to this.

The only problem this year - it rained. alot. And my kid loved it. She didn't care. We danced in the rain my daughter and I and world watched and wondered at our insanity. I had my daughter and she had me, I didn't care.

So after 10 or so bands, 3 dance troops, 5 drinks, 4 trips to the playground, 3 rain stalls and one creepy guy who hit on Brigy's friend, we called it quits. Erin passed out at 9:30 on the ground next to her cousins. It was a pretty picture.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The New First Grade: Too Much Too Soon?

I was taking a break and saw this Newsweek article: The New First Grade: Too Much Too Soon?

This must stop!

"Sept. 11, 2006 issue - Brian And Tiffany Aske of Oakland, Calif., desperately want their daughter, Ashlyn, to succeed in first grade. That's why they're moving—to Washington State. When they started Ashlyn in kindergarten last year, they had no reason to worry. A bright child with twinkling eyes, Ashlyn was eager to learn, and the neighborhood school had a great reputation. But by November, Ashlyn, then 5, wasn't measuring up. No matter how many times she was tested, she couldn't read the 130-word list her teacher gave her: words like "our," "house" and "there." She became so exhausted and distraught over homework—including a weekly essay on "my favorite animal" or "my family vacation"—that she would put her head down on the dining-room table and sob. "She would tell me, 'I can't write a story, Mama. I just can't do it'," recalls Tiffany, a stay-at-home mom. "

Wait a minute! She is how old... lets review: "But by November, Ashlyn, then 5, wasn't measuring up. " FIVE YEARS OLD!!!

"In the last decade, the earliest years of schooling have become less like a trip to "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" and more like SAT prep. Thirty years ago first grade was for learning how to read. Now, reading lessons start in kindergarten and kids who don't crack the code by the middle of the first grade get extra help. Instead of story time, finger painting, tracing letters and snack, first graders are spending hours doing math work sheets and sounding out words in reading groups. In some places, recess, music, art and even social studies are being replaced by writing exercises and spelling quizzes. Kids as young as 6 are tested, and tested again—some every 10 days or so—to ensure they're making sufficient progress. After school, there's homework, and for some, educational videos, more workbooks and tutoring, to help give them an edge. "

Now I'm all for learning how to read... the key word here is LEARNING. They are 4, 5, 6, 7 year old kids.... Give them a chance to learn. I love reading with my daughter and neices and nephews. Hearing them read aloud is great. Helping them read is even better. Sound out the word - and yeah, I will help.

"Parents are acutely aware of the pressure on their kids, but they're also creating it. Most kids learn to read sometime before the end of first grade. But many parents (and even some teachers and school administrators) believe—mistakenly—that the earlier the kids read independently, write legibly and do arithmetic, the more success they'll have all through school. Taking a cue from the success of the Baby Einstein line of videos and CDs, an entire industry has sprung up to help anxious parents give their kids a jump-start. Educate, Inc., the company that markets the learning-to-read workbooks and CDs called "Hooked on Phonics," just launched a new line of what it calls age-appropriate reading and writing workbooks aimed at 4-year-olds. In the last three years, centers that offer school-tutoring services such as Sylvan Learning Centers and Kumon have opened junior divisions. Gertie Tolentino of Darien, Ill., has been bringing her first grader, Kyle, for Kumon tutoring three times a week since he was 3 years old. "It's paying off," she says. "In kindergarten, he was the only one who could read a book at age 5." Two weeks ago Tiffani Chin, executive director of Edboost, a nonprofit tutoring center in Los Angeles, saw her first 3-year-old. His parents wanted to give him a head start, says Chin. "They had heard that kindergarten was brutal" and they wanted to give him a leg up. "

OK - Number 1 - BABY EINSTEIN SUCKS! They have proven that. Its not good for babies. No TV is good for kids. My mistake there but I'm a sucker for Seseme Street but I watch it with her and talk to her about whats going on.

Number 2 - "heard that kindergarten was brutal"... oh yeah - snack time, and nap time and story time... brutal. I want to go to school with daughter and have nap time.

I have about had it with the idea of giving the kid a leg up - a chacne to get ahead. Please! They are kids. They learn more by play and experience than by workbook. Erin is 3 1/2 years old - learning letters because she wants to write like mommy. She is counting and learning simple math (I have 3 cookies and I ate 1 - now have this many - holding up 2 fingers - I'll save the others for later). I didn't force that on her.. she wants COOKIES!! She wanted to keep a few for later.
"If you push kids too hard, they get frustrated," says Dominic Gullo, a professor of early education at Queens College in New York. "Those are the kids who are likely to act out, and who teachers can perceive as having attention-span or behavior problems." Why does this sound so familar? Do you think that so many kids are diagnoised with ADHD and the like is because of the educational system?

In this age, we should be letting Kids play - socialize, fall down, get back up, take naps, run around, learn about bugs, figure out right and wrong, learn how to cross a street. I will not let my daughter get school burn out by the time she is in the 3rd grade. NO! NO! NO!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Labor Day

We're all home today Labor Day. The plan? Laundry. Nothing fun, nothing exciting. On a free day off, we do house work.

Erin Tim and I all work up at about 6:30 am (normal time to get up) and Erin and I are chilling on the couch. Tim is trying to sleep. I already started laundry and well, suddenly became very depressed.

Labor day always meant starting school, new clothes, new paper and pens, new shoes, new bag and seeing old friends. A chance to start new and try to do it right this year. Now that I'm done with school for some 10 years now, I miss that. I have to go back to work tomorrow to same old office, same old desk, same old clothes. No chance of renewal. The slate is never wiped clean and doom is always lurking - bills, insurance, housework, clients, emails....

For adults, we are caught in this constant spiral of looking to start over and it just gets darker, like the weather. Labor day also signals the start of fall.. gloomy skies, earlier nights, last of the fall harvest. That crisp fall smell I remember is gone.

on a high note - Yankee candle is carring my favorite scent. They are calling it WICKED this year.... at least I have that to look forward too..