Thursday, June 12, 2014

First day of summer camp.

Summer did not start out well for SS. It looks like her archery teacher is not coming back, and B&G has yet to find a replacement. After the accident that damaged his trailer Coach A just could not get back into the swing of things which is a shame.  Once we are settled with our summer routine we are going to look into whether he still has his archery shop and see if SS can have classes there.  Last Saturday I got up bright and early to sign up SS for swimming classes and could tell a block away from the community center that something was wrong. No line of early risers around the building. SS swims in the last session of the day, and no one wants it, so we have some leeway getting there.  There will be no first session of swimming classes. Why? Because they have no staff. The swimming instructors graduated and moved on to college and our city administration was asleep at the wheel.  They did not see that one coming? If they can hire enough staff they will wold sign ups June 21 for the remaining sessions. We are not holding our breath on that one.  Of course that also means no family swimming at the pool. Really glad we at least have the tiny inflatable for SS.

Setbacks aside SS was excited to return to B&G yesterday for the first day of summer camp.  It was a long one, a 10 hour day, because I dropped and picked her up. We are so amazingly organized that we were out of breakfast foods, totally out. Not a problem, because crappy sausage muffins with eggs are acceptable breakfast fare around here.  So yeah, I fed my child substandard food, while assuring her that Baba will stock our kitchen while she endured playtime at B&G.  You can see how upset SS was at the inconvenience. 

And there she was, beyond excited at the summer ahead, which is only three days a week. SS is still happy because she does not know that we are signing her up for the reading/writing/math program. We are evil that way and my goal this morning is to have her scheduled starting next week.  It would be nice if the B&G gave discounts for referrals.  Their rates increased by $4 a day, and that adds up. In the past week two of my coworkers have signed up their kids. One last Friday, a 14 year old boy, and one yesterday afternoon, a 7 year old girl. Both parents started training with me last year and we work in the same office. J, the girl's dad picked my brain about B&G and how appropriate it is for a 7 year old. We feel comfortable, as long as SS does not go on field trips, she is too young at this time, plus we provide plenty for her. J then paid me a backhanded compliment.  He said he feels comfortable because "you are anal when it comes to your daughter, so if you allow her to go there it has to be OK." OUCH, excuse me for wanting my kid to be well looked after.

SS is all smiles here, but I found a hot mess when I picked her up. A happy, hot mess with hair all over the place. The girl barely said two words during the drive home, but perked up as soon as he hit the driveway.
Not very happy that I told Baba she was a mess.

Is obvious SS had a great day yesterday and burned some energy, because this is what I found this morning. She has been starting to sleep with her head towards the foot of the bed, like I do when not feeling well. Gee SS pick up all my bad habits why don't you. Baba came through for us with a nice dinner, then while SS was in the bath he did a Costco run to tide us over until we can do the big shopping trip that is a must.

Sunday is not only Father's Day but also our anniversary and we have yet to plan anything. There's a little trip we are contemplating but it will have to wait. We just do not (well, I do not) have the vacation time necessary to pull it off. But we are going to chill and spend the day together.P will come home Friday and Saturday bone tired and crash shortly after dinner. I'd be surprised if he makes it past seven on Saturday. That leaves one whole day for us to enjoy family time. Sucks big time, but at least the girl gets what she needs.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

SS celebrated the last day of school by stomping all over the dress code with our blessing.

Thursday was SS's last day of school, and it hit me unexpectedly hard. I blinked and missed first grade. I know that I should be grateful that I had so much time with my baby. That at least I got to volunteer last year in her classroom. I should be grateful that I was able to limp all over Legoland and shared SS's first big class school trip. SS's teacher made a video of the many milestones the kids experienced. The video is over and hour long and we have watched only half of it so far. I got teary eyed many times when I realized how much I missed.

There are many moms that are busy raising children as single moms, and they sure as hell do not get to be there for every milestone. Intellectually I realize that I have been luckier than most, that I have a husband who decided we would live in a two bedroom apartment for a few years, because the trade off was SS and Mama time. I know that I could have made much more than P did in his last job, but we lived frugally, the trade off being time with SS. And again back to one of my few smart decisions in my life. I chose right the second time around.

Then why am I b*tching in a public forum? Because I'm rather surprised at the battle between my heart and my brain. I am my bio mother's daughter, even Mami instilled in me that I had to get an education and not rely on a man to meet my, and my children's needs. I was going stir crazy as a stay at home mom. I missed working and feeling productive. Not that raising a child is not productive. But I was either wired this way, or had way too many working women (with husbands) around me growing up to develop a need to work outside the home. I don't regret a single second I spent with JJ and SS. But man I sure was not expecting that push me pull me thing that swirls around in my head.

I also married a man whose grandmother worked for Ma Bell, and had a set idea that wives work, his grandma, mother, and aunt M did (lady has a Ph.D. to boot). Yet he put all that aside and was really OK with working double shifts so I could devote myself to our daughter. It was cool but I know there is no way in hell I can do that again.

So yeah, watching SS's year made me sad. I already told P that I expect him to get his purple badge (red badge means one can only be around the kids with supervision, purple badge allows us to have the kids on our own) and we will both volunteer in SS's classroom. Jackie Kennedy said "If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do matters very much." I read that quote at an early age, when children were not even a thought, I was just a child. But that quote has stayed with me, and I don't know why. For the record, I don't think I have done a remarkable job as a mother, maybe that is why that quote taunts me.  

Apropos of my bad parenting choices let's get back to Thursday. Last week P and I went shopping for summer shoes for SS. Even though JJ is home SS will be at B&G Club three days a week. It's pricey but SS needs to socialize and we are OK with cutting back on other things so SS can have the opportunity to go to summer camp. It goes back to that choice I made in a parent for SS. P could easily say hell no, she stays home with JJ. Choices... We bought two pairs of shoes, because Kohls has expensive shoes but when they are on sale they have great prices. We got SS an orange pair and a blue pair with sharks. SS could not wait to wear her sharks shoes, because her Baba has taught her that sharks are cool and need our love. She asked every day to wear them to school, and I could not allow her. Why? Because her school has a strict policy that kids are to wear closed toe, closed back shoes and socks.  

My husband the rule breaker thought I was being to damn prissy about the dress code. This is the same man who has insisted on SS wearing her Halloween costumes with a (gasp) mask, totally against school rules. He does not care and he makes no apologies for his rule breaking. I took the middle ground and told SS that I would allow her to break the rules on her last day of school. Unlike P I had a plan. What were they going to do? Suspend her? I told P that if he got a phone call from the school (he is now the main contact since it is easier for him to leave his work than me) to tell them I would bring a change of clothes and shoes at 2:00 p.m.  School is out at 1:45 p.m. 

SS was happy when I set out her clothes Thursday morning. Spaghetti strap tank top, check. Short shorts, check. Shoes with open back and no socks, check. We knowingly sent SS to school as a rebel, and did not feel an ounce of guilt.  It wasn't until P pulled away from the house that I realized SS was wearing a pair of $26 shorts and what could go wrong as in staining them permanently. Oh well, we live we learn.

SS was so excited about her last day of school outfit.

Grandpa, you have spoiled our children forever. JJ and SS want to turn our tiny backyard into a Tiki paradise. They won't shut up about our last two trips to Maui, and although JJ is old enough to know better he acts as though it is his birth right. Their last brilliant idea was to get Tiki torches, and here is P indulging their delusions.

A weird thing about me is that I do not care for characters and gimmicks on kids shoes. When we bought SS's sandals I had no idea they were the light up kind. SS has never had light up shoes, and had I noticed that, I'm ashamed to say I would not have bought them. Why? I have no idea, but shoe gimmicks disgust me.  SS is thrilled however, and thinks she has the best pair of shoes ever. Because her Mama was asleep on the job.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

It's small, but it'll do for now.

Next Thursday is SS's last day of school, we can't believe it's over, and now we start the summer routine. A great change as far as SS is concerned is that she won't be in tutoring all summer in two languages like last year.  Mrs. S is confident that if SS reads and writes on her journal daily there will be no problems when she starts second grade in August. We can't believe SS is about to complete first grade, that went by so darn fast. Our goal this school year was for SS to be at grade level, since she missed kinder by all practical purposes. SS met that goal, next year we will work on helping her exceed her grade goals.  That will take work because SS is lazier at seven than her brother ever was as a teenager. Forget that stereotype that all Asians are driven, our girl is not going to be the one asking for more homework, let alone any educational challenges. It's going to be up to us to motivate her lazy a$$. That should be fun. However, if she slacks off on her reading and writing, then off to tutoring she goes.

SS is looking forward to Boys and Girls club and swimming classes. It's funny because last summer she swore she did not want swimming classes. The trip to Maui did help SS realize that swimming has its advantages. She now calls her snorkeling mask her SCUBA diving mask, and practices in her little pool. Our unemployed daughter confidently states that she is visiting Maui next year, and she's going to SCUBA dive.  SNUBA maybe, SS will be old enough, but she's three years away from a SCUBA certification. And I would not put it passed P to sign her up.

SS is having fun with her little pool and enjoys diving for her sticks.  She does quite well considering that she has only three feet of water to work with. It does not bother her one bit, she is a fish, and loves to be in water. P bought a solar cover for the pool and we are surprised at how well it works. The first day that water was freaking freezing. Now it's nice and warm, perfect for a dip after work to cool off.  Although SS said the surface water is too hot for her.  SS can easily spend 30-40 minutes diving to get her sticks. That translates into a tired SS who crashes by 8 (sometimes before) and saves us the I'm not tired why do I have to go to bed whinefest. We all win.

Since P has been holding down the dinner fort around here (work has been beyond stressful) I decided it was time to get back in the kitchen. I made chicken piccata for dinner as a thank you to P. Not only did SS clean her plate, but she requested and liked capers!