To My Daughter- For Her First Day of Kindergarten

I am NOT a Poet – but what the heck …

You’re off to Kindergarten, and you’re quite well prepared.
Your Tinkerbell backpack is fully packed
With classroom donations of paper and paste,
And a shiny new lunchbox to hold every snack.
The princess’ new clothes are laid out with lace socks,
New shoes and a polka-dot frock
A headband with a bow is the final touch.
Kiss your dolly goodbye; you’re out the door with no muss.

Off to Kindergarten
She’s off and running!

Kindergarten is a doorway, beyond its threshold your classroom awaits
With chunky pencils, glue sticks, safety scissors, and crayons of every shade.
You will write, your will draw, you will cut and you will paste.
There will be learning centers to explore how things work,
From lego-built forts to clock hands to shoelaces and boots.

Just a few words of advice before you bolt through that door,

Stand neatly in line; don’t push and don’t shove.
Try something new, each day
Don’t give up, ‘til you’ve mastered the task.
Share your pencils and snacks
Ask questions – your friends might just be glad that you asked.
Be daring and bold, and unafraid to fail.
Stand up for yourself, and for your friends too.
You know right from wrong, remember that too.
Solve problems; don’t start them.
Be patient. Don’t whine, some things just take time.

Don’t forget – your teacher will teach, but the learning is up to you.

The School Bus
Kindergarten – Watch Out!

12 Days of Christmas Countdown – Day 7 – An Apple for the Teacher?

With only a week til Christmas, and 5 school days, I am working my way through the Christmas list. As always, I still struggle with the gifts for the teachers. I’ll be honest, I never quite know the protocol for this. 
Depending on how you look at it, the teacher/day care provider list could be as long as some people’s family list. My pre-school daughter has two regular teachers, my 1st grader has only one teacher, but then there’s the art teacher, the gym teacher and the music teacher. He also has a bus driver and bus monitor. My children also have regular babysitters for after school care. 
So, if all teachers make the gift list, we’re looking at 10 or more people who are getting gifts. Each of these folks certainly deserves our appreciaton; they spend several hours each day molding our kids – covering everything from spelling tests, to ensuring playground time doesn’t resemble “Lord of the Flies” to reminding them to wash their hands when they use the bathroom to giving spelling tests.
I always finding myself wanting to give them each a personalized gift, that’s unique and thoughtful. After all, how many mugs embossed with “World’s Best Teacher” can one person have? Alas, I am neither creative, nor resourceful, and I’m running out of time. 
I’m fairly certain that the teachers on my list are all getting gift cards for the local coffee shop. I figure that they all probably need some caffeine to make it through most days with my children (I know I do). Here’s hoping they love a good cup of coffee as much as I do!

When a 4-Year Old Ponders Thanksgiving

I always wonder what will transpire when my children’s homework projects require them to respond to open-ended questions. This weekend, I helped my 4-year old daughter create her “Giving Thanks Tree” for school. She made a poster with a tree stump at school. We were charged with cutting out leaves from construction paper, on which she would write out the many things for which she is thankful.

Now, you never know how a 4-year old might answer these questions. Has she picked up on the “what-the-grown-ups-want-to-hear” answers, like “Mom”, “Dad”, “my family”, etc. or would she give thanks for the ring-pops leftover in the Halloween candy bowl? I tried not to coach her too much, realizing that some if the charm would lie in her undying gratitude for that lollipop.

True to form, my daughter included a nice mix of “I love my family” shout-outs, and a few less orthodox responses. I was a bit relieved to see that she is thankful for me and Dad (spelled b-a-d… oops), her grandparents, and so on. After a while, she even decided she was thankful for her big brother. From there though, we hit the things this pre-school girl really loves: baby dolls, puzzles, and her pink flower nightlight.

I really wonder though how high her teachers’ eyebrows will rise when they get to the leaf that lists the family dog: “Guinness.” Should I expect a phone call? 





Boy, I Have a Lot of Catching Up to Do!

I started out so well this year. I joined the “Post-A-Week” campaign on, and religiously posted every week, sometimes a few times a week. But sometime between July and August I fell off the wagon, the way a loose object falls off the back of a pickup truck, and then rolls and tumbles into a nearby ditch.

Well, it’s time to pick myself up out of the ditch, dust myself off, and get back to writing. After all, quite a bit has happened over the past couple of months:

  1. We had a hurricane. Her name was Irene. We lost power for 4 days, and were reminding why you should always have plenty of “D” batteries in the house.
  2. Our little boy started First Grade (a week late due to said hurricane). With that has come plenty of adjustments: nightly homework and making of lunches; a new teacher, new classmates, and a full-day school day. “First Grade is sooo long Mom!”
  3. Our daughter started Pre-K. We think she would rather teach the class. For now, she is teaching me Spanish.

    First Day of School - 2011
    First Day of School - 2011
  4. We became a Cub Scout family. Such a wonderful organization, and I am confident it will be great for my son, but so far, it’s been a bit like having a part-time job.

    Cub Scouts
    Always on the Move
  5. Our house is turning upside-down, literally. My husband’s grandfather, who had been living downstairs from us in our two-family home, decided that the time had come to move in with his daughter, my mother-in-law. It was bittersweet, watching him leave the home he’s had for nearly 60 years, but it allows us to move downstairs to the larger of the 2 units, and prepare our current apartment to be rented.  That means Renovations, Renovations, Renovations. Can we say “Sweat Equity”?.


Wallpaper Removal
The Best Wallpaper Removers, EVER!

If nothing else, I have plenty of fodder for blog posts, so I guess I should be getting to it!

iPads and pre-schoolers – confessions of a perplexed parent (via INNZ is the word)

I came across this Blog Post today, from “INNZ is the word“, and it struck me as quite relevant, and insightful, because I have a 6-yr old and a 4-yr old who learned to use my iPad as quickly as I did. We limit their time with it though. First, like others, I don’t want them to miss out on the satisfaction of curling up with a book, with real paper pages. Second, I could not afford to replace my iPad, and I have seen how quickly my kids can accidentally demolish similar items. That being said, when we share time together with an iPad (or one of our used iPod Touches), I am always amazed at the enjoyment they get from some of the educational apps (National Geographic, Jigsaw Puzzles, Matching Games). Of course we also often enjoy a game of Angry Birds!
I am envious of “INNZ” though. I am sure it will be many years before my children’s public school will acquire something similar.
It’s a great post, please read on …

iPads and pre-schoolers – confessions of a perplexed parent OK I admit it – my nearly-three-year-old daughter is more familiar with iPads than I am. It’s not hard – I think I have only just fully realised I am raising a “screen-ager”. Once they started appearing at her preschool, I should have realised that if I didn’t catch up soon, I was goi … Read More

via INNZ is the word