Monkey’s first day of kindergarten.

Monkey began kindergarten today. We began our day with a nice shower and a breakfast of sticky cinnamon rolls fresh from the oven. (The sleepy parents also began with coffee, not that it helped over much.)

Monkey chose to wear the princess shirt her Nana and Papa bought her, and I gave her a little kittycat necklace for good luck. She made quick work of two cinnamon rolls and a huge glass of milk. After breakfast we donned the backpack of doom and headed outside for pictures.

We also took a few pictures of the backpack of doom. Monkey wanted to decorate her backpack so that it was the “fanciest one anyone ever saw” and it is very nice, but what impressed me was it’s size compared to her. It sticks more out behind her than she does on front of it.

Once the photofest was over we were on our way. She was all right in the car but began to get nervous the closer we got to school. We don’t live very far from the school but navigating downtown Red Bank during morning rush hour adds time to our commute. At the school Monkey was very nervous initially and held my hand from the car to the lunchroom. The children gather there in the morning with their class at a specific table and the teacher comes down and brings them to their classroom. She kept saying, “I want to go home” and looking nervously around. There was a little girl right across from us who introduced herself. Monkey smiled at her and said “I’m Monkey, I want to go home!” She invited Monkey over to sit next to her and they were gabbing and smiling away within moments. I gave her a big hug and kiss and beat feet before she could get upset. Of course, I got all weepy in the parking lot on the way to the car because my teeny baby is now in school. Real School. And she still looks far too small and babylike in my eyes to be so grown up.

After three and a half hours of freedom (it was a partial day) I returned to pick up a triumphant girl. She had raised her hand and answered a question in class, which resulted in a sticker from the teacher. Her name is Ms. Diamond and Monkey likes her a lot. I am looking forward to more school days, and happily so is Monkey.

Thanks for sharing our first day of kindergarten with us!! More about our adventures in New Jersey coming to a blog near you!

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A backyard… a bubble gun… and thou.

While in New York on a safari for the world’s largest art supply store Monkey discovered a bubble gun that cost exactly as much as her allowance. Never one to pass up the chance to spend all of her allowance at once she happily purchased the longed for bubble spewing device.


Once the device began to clog and the fun to deteriorate the ever adaptable child switched to old school bubble fun.


After experiencing many hours of backyard fun and excitment we all decided it was a good investment. Enjoy the pictures, more about our weekend tomorrow!

Red Bank Primary School

We went and visited Monkey’s school yesterday. They have a very nice principal, he was a spanish teacher in the district for a while before going to Guatamala to teach. Now he is back as the Principal. He was very interested in welcoming us. The school had a little presentation, which bored the hell out of Monkey. Then we had a tour of the school, during which Monkey ran around with another kid. Finally we all had cookies and “juice”, which was the only time Monkey was really into the experience. However, she made a new friend, a little boy named Timor, and I met several nice moms. We are feeling better about school already.

They have a computer room that the students visit once a week for instruction, a music room, art room, library, gymnasium, and outdoor recess area. They focus primarily on reading and literacy, writing, math skills, communication and social skills. However, they have five special classes and the student do one each day. Art, Performing Arts, Computers, Science and technology, and physical education. Monkey’s classroom is the only kindergarten room in the pre-school wing, but that’s actually kind of neat because the pre-school wing is decorated a lot more colorfully than the other wings. Her teacher’s name is Ms. Diamond, and her room is really nice. It is a small space, but she has set it up really well and Monkey is very excited about starting school.

It seems like a good school, they have a G&T program for 1st – 3rd grade. (The primary school only goes to 3rd grade, as the middle school is 4th through 8th.) They have the funding and capacity to handle IEP’s if the students are having any problems and the ability to provide higher level education if the students are advancing. Overall I am happy.

So wednesday of next week she will go to school for the first day, and I will come home and do…. whatever I want to. It will be odd to have so much freedom. Hopefully I will find something valuable to fill it with.

Well, I am off to start another day!

Your Denver Girl in an East Coast World.

A response from Forbes… Snakes on a plane… and life in general.

Well, after posting the rant about that unpalatable “Don’t marry career women” article here I sent a letter to the editor. I got a response from Forbes today:

“I want to acknowledge your communication with us on the article “Don’t Marry Career Women.” Sensitive issues demand sensitive treatment. The piece that appeared on Forbes.com this past week was intended to be part academic and part humorous. Instead, it profoundly offended hard-working career women everywhere. We deeply regret having done so.
Steve Forbes
President and Editor-in-Chief”

While I am pleased with an apology instead of some sermon on the importance of presenting all sides in a debate, I was left with only one thing to say… well DUH!! Did any of the Forbes editors READ the article before it was published to determine if it was sensitively handling a sensitive issue? If they did read it, how on earth did they figure it wouldn’t profoundly offend hard-working career women everywhere? Where did they see value in the article at all? It was hardly a humorous and academic posting, it was a rant blaming a rise in divorce on working women. It is hard to accept an apology from these people when a simple read of the article would indicate it’s risk of offending hard-working career women everywhere. I am unwilling to adopt a cavalier boys will be boys attitude here. Any magazine which thinks this article is a humorous and academic look at the workplace and relationships in 2006 is a magazine that profoundly deserves a boycott by hard-working women everywhere, regardless of their career status. This article would have fit well into the culture of the 1950’s, which simply illustrates how behind the times Forbes really is.

Okay, rant over. Last night we went on saw Snakes on a Plane. While taking the bar, we had intended to go see it as a mid exam stress releiver but were prevented from doing so when we learned it wasn’t out yet. So Lee and I saw it last night. It was pretty funny, although there were many gratuitous and unnecessary scenes in it. I determined after leaving that movies such as Snakes on a Plane are created for the simple purpose of allowing new actors interesting roles to place on their resumes. For example: Man whose penis was bit by snake, Woman whose tongue was bit by snake, Man whose head was swallowed by snake, Woman whose breast was bit by snake. Interestingly, Snakes did provide a new and varied manner of filming I like to call Snake-O-Vision, a rather distorted green lit view of the soon to be bitten passengers that provided many giggles for Lee and I. All in all, it was a pretty fun movie, not very scary, but then I like snakes.

We are getting ready for Monkey’s school, which starts the 6th of September, we got her a laptop lunch box and a new backpack that we are decorating so it will be “the fanciest backpack anyone ever saw.” (Her requirement for a backpack). We found hers at Macy’s on sale, which was unexpected to say the least. Monkey is signed up to take the bus to school, but right now wants me to drive her. She is a little scared of busing to school. So we will see if and when she wants to take the bus.
We had our first well baby visit yesterday. Monkey, Lee and I all went. We are about 8 weeks along, and doing just fine. We got a lovely sonogram photo of the baby, which rather resembles a blob in a dark cave. However, we all decided it was a cute blob. We actually saw a better image on the sonogram than what got printed. We also saw the baby’s heartbeat, which was pretty cool. Monkey was very excited to see the baby, and I loved holding hands with my first baby while peeking at my second. It was a fairly magical moment.

Well, I am getting a message from said second baby, informing me to type less and eat more. We miss you all!

Rain, it happens here.

Well, we are in the market for a rain slicker for Monkey. We have had day after day of beautiful rain. It is odd because the rain is generally light and mellow, but at times gets fairly torrential. We were at the craft store the other day and while we were there we heard this thunderous pounding on the roof. It made it the noisest shopping experience of my life.

I had a cardboard box outside the house from setting up Monkey’s splash pool, and it got left out during the rain. I went out back to remove it and an entire ecosystem objected. There were frogs, teeny tiny ones, and crickets, and beetles, and worms, red bugs, black bugs, spiders, etc. I shrieked like a cheerleader and jumped out of reach, but then just watched them all. I REALLY need a pet bat, and more frogs.

We have not seen more fireflies in action, though we saw a couple on the wall but without any lightup butt action. We will have to have some hot cocoa and watch for them soon. Summer seems to be over here, which is odd. In Colorado, as you know, summer lasts until at least February, so having it over before September even hits is unusual for us. I had visions of many more hot beach days, and have had to revise them to be many more cold beach walks.

On the upside, there is plenty of moisture and I don’t have to water. On the downside, I always feel a bit damp, and Lee is a bit grumpy without his sunlight. However, we are trying to put the best light on things, and it seems to be working. Devon came over last night with a new recipe off “Good Eats” and filled our bellies with damn good chicken fried steak. Marlena and I hit the craft store this weekend and I taught myself two new crochet stiches and am in the process of making her a back to school sweater. Monkey got a new computer game and has been holed up in her room playing it for a while.

So despite some rain, a little morning sickness, and lots of home sickness, we are doing all right. I apologize for not calling everyone back this weekend, we got pretty busy putting the house in order, I will try and call this week!!

Love you all!

(Another soapbox moment)

Don’t marry insecure, incompetent, and unintelligent men. A response to the article in Forbes.

So, I just read the article in Forbes entitled “Don’t marry career women.” Link Below.

http://agreatnotion.livejournal.com/553587.html

It is safe to say that the author of this article is one incredibly closed minded fool. He cites to several reasons for his urging against joining your life with that of a career woman, but the most precious in my mind is his examination of the “economic theory” of marriage. He says marriages are less happy when the woman is working because traditionally, men handled the necessary “Market” portion of the family economy, and women handled the “non-market” portion of the economy. He cautions that this non-market work must get done, implying that working women don’t do it, resulting in higher divorce rates. Umm… Okay…. hmmm….maybe more men should learn how to wield a broom, or wait, with your higly increased family income, hire a cleaning person!! That’s a great idea!! In a choice between keeping your 90k a year lawyer wife home with the kitchen earning no imcome, or spending a small portion of the family income on a housekeeper, I would rather have the extra 60-75k!!

Here’s an even better one!! He states that statistics show that marriage where both partners are working result in more divorces than marriage in which only one partner is working. Ok, sure, but…. why is the default, Man Works?? Why not have your career woman, marry a stay at home man!! YES! Extremely modern unthought of concept, I know! Two people working in a marriage causes the marriage to fail, maybe whoever makes more money should be the one to work. Not just the men.

My favorite, lovely comment of his: “When your spouse works outside the home, chances increase they’ll meet someone they like more than you.” Hmmm…. so men who work outside the home are more likely to meet someone they like more than their wives, but that’s okay. However, if women work, they are more likely to leave their husbands for a co-worker. This argument is based on the societal construct that a woman’s infidelity is more damaging/inappropriate than a man’s. Like a woman’s viriginity, her fidelity is more societally valued than a man’s is.

I will tell you what! If I were this man’s wife, and I had beyond a 6th grade education, I would leave him anyway. Obviously, he lacks the creativity necessary to make any worthwhile marriage work. Rather than seeking unusual or alternative solutions to the problems presented in a dual career family, he simply thinks women should go back to the kitchen (and the 1950’s) and stand by their men.

Thank you for listening to my rant.

Your highly educated, career oriented, happily married, Denver Woman.

Oh the rays of sun doth pierce the clouds…

So, after the previously mentioned reading armageddon, I felt a break from the world of ABC’s was overdue. Monkey and I spent a wee bit of time on two reading wheels I made for her, but other than that, we have left the issue alone.

Tonight, while I was cooking dinner, she picked up one of the reading wheels, and began to read it. I, rather intelligently I think, said nothing and continued to prepare dinner. She began to sound out the words, cat, hat, pat, sat, mat, rat, bat, fat. After a little while, she was reading them, over and over with increasing ease. At this point, I exitedly told her that she was reading. She paused, looked over at me, and said “Really?”. I assured her she was reading. She got sooooo excited and then all teary and proud!! We celebrated with a little plaque saying when she began to read, what she read, and how proud we are of her. It is hanging on her wall. After the celebration she sat down to practice more so she could show her daddy after he returned home from work.

It feels so good!! I think maybe the pressure is off, if I can’t just keep leaving fun little things for her to happen upon and read, then maybe she will do this again, without the drama!!

A great day of success for our house! Yay Monkey!!

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