Hi. Yeah, kind of forgot about this whole blog thing for a while. It was kind of nice, kind of like finishing school and knowing that you have no homework for the summer. With summer comes craziness. There was fourth of July fun (that I was not part of ), there was sister and family visiting from out of state (I was very much a part of that), a sisters weekend to celebrate a 40th, and the start of school for me and the boys. We have been busy and I now that we have a routine again, I remembered this used to be part of a routine and so I am back. Hello again.
July always seems so jam packed. After we get out of school, there is usually nothing going on in June...just waiting for July to show up. In July there is the 4th, my sister visits, and usually a trip to LV in there somewhere. This 4th was the second in a row that I did not travel with the family down to Fresno. I stayed home and read, watched movies, read, cleaned some closets, and read some more. I told Rich that I will say it once, and then deny this ever came out of my mouth---I was bored. It was quiet. Too quiet. Like, the world was my oyster and I could do whatever I wanted and did nothing because I didn't know what to do. Does that makes sense? I went and worked in my classroom. I mean talk about really living it up, I was almost unstoppable with all of my nothingness. The boys had the time of their life. Matthew got to work at the fireworks stand and earned some money and that basically cemented the next twenty or so years of his life. I will have to one day tell his girlfriend or wife that celebrating the 4th is not something you will ever do as a couple or family because he is a lifer now. She and I better like each other because apparently we will be off somewhere drinking and celebrating together.
My sister always comes to visit us in July. It's tradition. It is as expected as starting a new school year. This year Greg joined her, which he hasn't done in a few years, and was uncle extraordinaire for two weeks straight. I would get these texts that said, "It's Uncle Greg. What are they doing? Can I come and get them?" and five minutes later they were running out the door to do anything and everything they could. The boys had the best time and they probably brought him just to the brink of wearing him out.
The annual cousin picture in our backyard. Again, it's tradition! This picture just makes me smile.
Noelle and I were able to sneak away for Lynn's 40th birthday up in Reno. So much fun...too much fun. Did you know that chocolate martini's come in several various styles? I found this out, the fun way. We had a great time and it was nice for the two of us to get away...from the hubbies and the kiddies.
Ahhh...just us girls.
On to the new school year....
I have to admit I was apprehensive about starting this school year and at the same time, also a little excited. Matthew is now in the fifth grade and not only that, he is with me for part of the day. There is such a mixture of emotions that comes with this because I have never been in a situation where I was both a teacher and a mother at the same time in the same room. And let's not kid ourselves, it is day four...this could end ugly and if it does, I will be totally honest and tell you in great detail how I probably scarred this kid for life. But until then, things are okay so far.
I think I am kind of lucky because most parents don't get to see the "school kid". Because there is a difference. The kid who lives with you is a completely different child than the one that walks through a classroom door each day. I know this from experience. You are all familiar with Ryan, he is the six year old that lives in this house and who makes me want to drink my dinner some nights. He is a completely different kid at school and this is a blessing. I am lucky because I am getting a glimpse of both Matthew's. Do I think he will totally let me in and see the real school Matthew? No. But that is why I have Kim, my grade level partner and his homeroom teacher, to tell me everything else. I also think it is interesting for him to see me. Because there are two me's too. There is the mom me, and then there is the teacher me. He did tell me the other day that I treat the kids in class like him. I asked him what he meant by that and he said that I expect a lot of them too. Ding ding ding!!!
On Monday, you could hear a pin drop in my room as the kids who were switching to me walked in. It was like everyone wanted to know how I would act, how he would act and they were just waiting to see what we would do. As the kids stood there, I asked each of them their names and gave them seating assignments. It was just by coincidence that Matt was the last kid in. I got to him and said, "I'm sorry...your name, please?" The class started laughing and Matt just smiled. I said, "Gosh you look so familiar. It's crazy, but you almost look like the kid who was sitting across from me at breakfast this morning." He smiled again and I took a deep breath. Here we go.
It took me thirteen times of him raising his hand that day before I called on him. It was like I was trying too hard not to call on him and then I realized that he was probably like...Dude, is she ever going to call on me??? We'll get there. It will take a while, but we will get there. On Tuesday I felt like I was breathing normal again, so that was a good sign.
There is that conflict of interest that is always in the back of my mind. No other kids in my class have parents at home who have the entire fifth grade curriculum memorized and I understand and respect the fact that I can't overstep any boundaries with him this year. I tell parents that this is such an important year and the focus of independence really needs to take the front seat for this year so that they can build the work ethic, time management, and personal responsibility aspect of being a good student. Having said that, yesterday there was a difficult math lesson that I had taught and I just wanted someone to look at his work to see if he got the general concept of the lesson . Enter his father. I told Matt to have Rich take a look at the paper and if something needed to be corrected, Rich would tell him which one and then Matt could try to work it out again. So, I am sitting there correcting papers and I hear Rich read the instructions like three times in a row. I look up and say, "Which one are you looking at? Want me to explain it?" So I did, I explained what the questioned wanted and told Rich to read what Matt put and see if it was okay. And then it happened....the WORST thing that could have been said. Rich says, "Okay, I guess they want you to write this out in word form, like using words to write the numbers instead of just writing the numbers. I don't know why you need to do this, you are never going to write numbers like this when you grow up. It's pointless." Now just sit there and soak that in....how well do you think that went over??? So, yeah....we are going to have to find a back-up homework checker.
First day of school pics taken by Rich...he's fired. We have no in front of the school pics that are just of the boys. The only ones he took there was someone else in them. And he didn't get Matt in front of his classroom. By the time I caught up with him and said give me the camera, the bell rang. Again, he's fired.
This is what first and fifth grade looks like.
Ready to roll for first grade!