Saturday, April 25, 2015

A good example of the things we do for our kids.

I am glad that last night was the daddy/daughter dance, because it was the one positive thing in my brutal week.  With our schedules, SS's omnipresence, and her stealthy ability to squat in our bed; we decided to go out for a bite, alone, once a week. This week was supposed to be our first date night, and of course it almost didn't happen. I had a situation that I had gone through hundreds of times pre SS. You do your best, but in the end you end up going to court.  By the time that decision is made, you are beyond exhausted from the field work, and come to the office to settle who goes where. You manage a couple of hours of sleep, then turn around to write a court report that must be factual, compelling, and has very specific legal language.

I used to do that in rote mode... pre SS (Before S or BS doesn't feel right). This was my first court venture here, so I could not even draw on previous knowledge. Every County has their own style, and a lot has changed in the seven years I was pretending I would never do this work again. Two nights my baby went to bed without seeing me, and one morning I was out of the house by four in the morning. Sadly it needed to be done, and P had to take time off from work to get the girl to school. I felt like a heel cancelling date night Wednesday. Then it dawned on me that if I canceled our first one, chances are something will always come up.  On Thursday, P and I etched two hours to grab a bite, and do some shopping for the dance.  I will be paying my penance to SS for God knows how long. And there are many more weeks like that in her future, she just does not know that for now.

The Fridays I work are supposed to be my short days, eight hours instead of nine. Except that I needed to play catch up with my other responsibilities, neglected over the time of consuming court madness. I was out in the field all day, and actually skipped one visit because I needed to come home and at least see P and SS before they left for the dance.  I arrived with enough time to do that, and get two pics with my phone, no time to grab the good camera.  After they left I returned to the office because I really needed to get a few things, and enter some work on my laptop. After one hour and forty five minutes I said screw it. I brought the laptop home to hopefully get things done while SS sleeps.

P was a trooper because he had to pick up the slack in my absence.  He arrived tired and hungry, to shower, dress, and hit the dance floor. Pizza was provided,so he knew he'd at least get something to eat. But SS wanted to line up for the dance picture first. We were disappointed they went cheap this year. For the kinder dance they had a professional photographer. This year the principal took the pictures, and it shows. I know we are being snobs about this, by Ms. R taking the pics, they kept the admission fee low, $10, including pizza and pictures. But we would have gladly pay what it took to get good pictures. There's an advantage to having only one child to provide for (once you add costumes). 

They make an awesome 80's couple.  Notice P's shoes, more on those later. And since we have been so busy, we are lucky they got the costumes. Courtesy of P's Amazon Prime membership (yes, we ordered that late) and my rewards card.

Check out my man ROCKING the pink wristbands. This picture is going to be on my desk Monday, a framed 8x10. Someone asked M's (SS's friend) mom why her husband did not wear some pink to match her daughter. She responded that there was NO WAY her husband would wear pink. That's sad, it's just a color, and for two hours of your life. P texted me from the dance to let me know the wrist bands came in handy. It was hot as Hades in that room, and he was sweating something awful. I should have made him wear the headband.

It would have been nice to have them wear neon color sunglasses, but they both needed to see. Their prescription sunglasses came in handy.  I did worry at the thought of SS jumping all over the place and breaking her sunglasses. Especially when P took off her Croakies (holders), because there were no Croakies in the 80's. That is the down side to marrying a science guy, they are anal about accuracy. 

M's mom was a chaperone, and sent me this picture of a slow dance.

M and SS giving us a taste of what we have to look forward to when they are partying buddies.

Now this picture is just creepy, because they look like they are in whatever the version of Studio 54 was in the 80's (AREA?), and after having way too many Cosmopolitans. 

P took a few action shots that ended up looking LSD trip like.

P is not a shoe guy, he is a frugal guy. He doesn't mind getting us things, he just doesn't like spending money on himself.  Imagine my surprise when we left dinner Thursday night and he asked me if I was buying him shoes for the dance. That was indeed my plan, all white shoes for that Wham! look. I also knew he would probably not wear those shoes again. Meaning buying him a throw away pair. P said that I might as well do it right. He suggested we look at the Vans store. So behold P's first ever pair of Vans, and it was money well spent. Especially when I found out that the man never owned a pair of Vans or Chucks.  Now neither did I, but they were not popular in PR. And P has bought me two pairs of Chucks since Christmas to rectify the situation. I think I will be shopping for him in the near future.

SS danced her non existent butt off. I so wish I could have been there. But even if I was not at work, the dance is not open to spectators. It really bummed me out, especially with this song. I used to dance to this song with both JJ and SS when they were wee ones. 

Check out how SS and M are dancing, then take a look at the little girl on SS's left.  She is doing the unfortunate slide side to side thing. Oh wait, so is her dad.

Yup, she IS excited. I got a good laugh when I noticed the guy in the background. And that is why I love these dances. The dude is obviously not into dancing, or has no clue or rhythm.  But he is there for his little girl. Because by the time they graduate from elementary school, these girls are going to be too cool to go to a daddy/daughter dance. And part of my selfish self is sad that I won't get the chance to experience a mommy/son dance.

PS. Way to go Bruce Jenner! I can't imagine living a lie for so long, nor the courage it would take to do what you did last night. May the love and support of your kids be your reward for putting them first.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Today SS reached a very special milestone.

When I registered SS for kindergarten I unknowingly made a serious mistake. I identified myself as bilingual, not knowing the label would be indiscriminately passed on to SS.  That made her an "English learner," and SS has been pulled from her classroom to get extra help learning a language she is doing very well mastering. Also kind of dumb, aren't all school age kids English learners? It is something that bothered us, and no matter how hard we tried she could not shake off that damn label.  And you better believe that if there is another child for us, I will shamelessly claim to be monolingual. 

Last year we let it go after SS's amazing teacher explained to us that it would help us when we asked for a speech evaluation (lots of monolingual kids need speech services too).  We dropped it then, until we got speech help for Sula.  This year we approached SS's teacher, who although nice, is very doom and gloom. Whenever we ask for tips on helping SS go beyond what she is learning, Mrs. R always points out how three quarters of the kids in the classroom have yet to master the skill we want to improve upon.  It's been rather frustrating, because while we do feel bad for those kids, our job is to focus on our child.  We do not want SS to just get by, we want her to perform to the best of her abilities.

It was no surprise when the teacher poo pooed on our desire to have SS rid of that ridiculous, unwarranted label.  She explained that children are tested quarterly and must achieve a score of 5 to be considered English proficient. Mrs. R added that she had yet to see a kid test out, it is a difficult test, and when kids complete fifth grade the label no longer applies; the kids simply age out. WTF? We have been very frustrated with the bureaucratic idiocy.

Today is my so called flex day off (I have been running around since I woke up at five), and I had the privilege to take SS to school, and pick her up in the afternoon.  SS is usually one of the last kids out, because girlfriend takes her time walking.  Mrs. H, the resource teacher, recognized me and asked me to go to the office after Sula came out because I needed to sign some documents. OK, color me clueless on that one.  Mrs. H excitedly told me that SS tested out of ELD. HUH? We thought it was a six year sentence? She picked up on my confusion and informed me that she has never had a kid test out, let alone a second grader.  Mrs. H has been an SS fan since kinder, and she was very excited for our little girl. Documents signed I drove off to get SS a much deserved treat.

I tested out, OH YEAH!

I had planned to take SS for a frozen lemonade but this development made the treat much more important.  Funny because I was thinking about posting on SS's language development.  The funny thing is that reading super hero stories vs. Disney crap has been to her advantage.  The language in comic books is just at a higher level than that found in one day my prince will come stories. In first grade SS was able to read the word commissioner. That word is not usually found in first grade reading, but is a staple of Batman stories. Another reason to be thankful for SS's super hero obsession.

Last week we were in the van in the morning , listening to music while waiting for the school gate to open. SS excitedly told me something rather funny.  There is a van just like ours, same year, model and color. The difference is that the other van has an advertisement for the owner's day care business on the back window.  SS told me, "Mama, I saw a van just like ours. Then I thought, IMPOSTOR!" And the girl meant it, her delivery was hilarious. 

We dropped by Baba's work to bring him a frozen lemonade and for SS to collect her kiss. Right now I'm really curious about that freaking test. I'd love to get my hands on a copy to see why it is such a juggernaut. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Maybe she's a little spoiled.

Yeah, we know the answer to that, and she is. What other perfectly healthy eight year old gets pushed around amusement parks in a stroller? Then again, her stroller serves as mobile locker for us.On our last Disney outing on Easter we had a change of shoes for all four (sandals for water rides, sneakers for walking), change of clothes for SS, a towel,  8 frozen water bottles, and a bunch of snacks we hid under her seat. So SS's laziness is mutually beneficial.

It's obvious SS is going through a sticking out her tongue stage, and we can't wait for it to pass.  But to the point of this post.  Yesterday SS's donned her first pair of prescription sunglasses.  Two weeks ago I watched SS squint through yet another soccer game, and I went to our vision center, where SS had already tried the sunglasses and I paid for them. I did not even tell P, because, oh well, I'm working, my treat. P has them, I have them, it's not SS's fault that she needs eyeglasses and lives in sunny Southern California. Then there's amusement parks days, water park days, just being out and about days.

Check out our baby's Ray Ban's sport shades.  SS had been coveting them for a while and she deserves the treat.  I'm hoping not to jinx things, but SS has yet to lose her glasses (P and I did that, but found her second pair a week later), and has not broken them either.  That is quite the feat with a child who loses and breaks everything.  The picture above was taken in the lobby of my work. I had SS's soccer ball in the van and she needed it for practice. I gave her a two minute tour of my office.  Now P can stop complaining that SS has not seen where I work. He fails to understand that my job is not show and tell oriented.  The last thing I want to do is explain to my very young child what I really do, and why are there kids in rooms visiting. Or worse, have her watch one of my coworkers come in with crying kids just removed from their home. Rant over...

Crud, I just realized I forgot to take a picture of SS at my desk.  She is not coming to Bring Your Daughter to Work Day (what P wants), so that would have been a nice consolation souvenir.  I can always take her in the future.  One last picture of our way too cool SS.

Now, we spoil the girl but we are not stupid. I paid a lot for those sunglasses, SS won't be taking them to school or B&G Club. She can wear a hat on those occasions.  

Saturday, April 11, 2015

I was only hoping to film her kicking the ball.

SS's soccer games are on Saturdays, and P works Saturdays. Her practices are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30-6:30. I'm technically off work at 5:30, but that is a joke when you do what I do. In short, P goes to practices, and I attend the games. We have joked that we must come across as divorced parents with such acrimony we can't be in the same place at the same time. Until last week, the games were held at a B&G Club 20 miles from our home. Last week we started the last three games and those are held at SS's clubhouse. P is taking personal time to make it to at least one game, since they sometimes play two games back to back.

SS ran to her Baba very happy to have him at the second game this morning. I was annoyed with myself because SS hustled and got amid much bigger kids to kick the ball in the first game. It was such a cool moment, and my camera and phone were on my chair.  I try to be close to SS when she plays, because with all the shouting and different instructions coming at her, it can become very overwhelming.

Not only did P get an exciting greeting, SS walked him to the viewing area, proud to have her Baba in attendance.  Because her mama is lame and misses the milestones that should be recorded for posterity.  SS played the entire first game, and was benched at the beginning of the second game.  And I felt even worse for not capturing that kick for P.  When SS was called to play defense not only did I spring to my feet, I made sure to bring my camera.

Defense is tough when SS is so much smaller than the other kids.  I do worry about her getting run over and hurt. Her coach has been teaching the kids to use their heads and chest, and SS has been practicing.  Having a ball thrown at your head by the nice coach, who realizes how small you are; or by your teammates, who also realize you are tiny is not a problem. The real problem is when the ball comes at you at greater speed.

I was filming, hoping to get SS at least walking towards the ball, even if she didn't kick it. Best case scenario, SS kicked the ball, P sees it, and I film it for her viewing pleasure. Instead, this is what I got.

Not my best parenting moment, because she was not OK.  I dropped the camera, P ran to the field, the referee stopped the game, and SS was in tears. The parents and teammates were amazing, very supportive. The adults were concerned, they are cognizant of her fragility, but that did not stopped everyone from cheering and applauding SS's move.  We were really worried, and chances are that her glasses increased the impact.  Then there's shock, we know SS had every intention of using the top of her head, not her forehead. So she is caught off guard, it really hurt, and she was most likely embarrassed to boot. Thankfully the glasses held up, because we ordered SS prescription sunglasses first.  We now have to hurry and get her a spare set.

But at least she had both Mama and Baba present to offer her support. SS buried her head on my neck and cried for a while. Since P being there was the novelty, I asked her if she wanted to cuddle with her Baba. She immediately shook her head no, much to the amusement of the parents there.

Not a very happy camper, but gladly accepted the juice one parent brought to her. 

SS really earned the Sponge Bob Squarepants popsicle she chose after the game. The ice cream man is smart, and parks his van in the parking lot.  I'm sure he makes good coin during games.

It's been almost five hours since SS's unfortunate headbunt, and I'm starting to feel less anxious. She has not complained since we got home, and is milking her misfortune to get extra time on her iPad.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Today SS earned her big girl street cred.

Her first big girl ride was Grizzly River Run and she handled it like a pro. It's always a good idea to increase SS's confidence by getting her wet. Even better if she gets soaked, which she did in Bug's Land while P and JJ went on the Tower of Terror.

The we somehow talked her into going in The Haunted Mansion. I was really apprehensive about scaring SS and blowing future big girl rides. But between the three of us we were able to ease SS's naturally scariness.

Then our last ride was Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Who knew our girth would come in handy. Safely cushioned between us SS did not experience the usual slide around, rocked around from fast roller coasters. SS declared it her favorite. But our girl is fickle and next time she will find new favorites. We had a great time introducing SS to new experiences. Splash Mountain had a 75 minute wait and fast passes were out. We know better than to push our luck with SS, so we'll start our next visit with Splash Mountain.

Last ride of the day.

All good things must come to and end, and the girl and I need to get some rest. SS returns to school tomorrow after a week off on Spring Break. Waking her up tomorrow is going to be a beast.

Friday was my flex day off and I started running errands at 7:00 a.m. And got home late in the afternoon. Yesterday SS had soccer pictures and a game. Then I had a few more errands. I got home at 4:30, we cooked dinner and got some cuddle time with SS.

Today I was up at 2:30 a.m., getting SS's Easter basket ready; and getting us ready to leave home at 6:30. I'm a bit tired and looking forward to a nice bath and hopefully sleep.

She liked it!

SS got scared a few times, it was to be expected. Yet when the most uncomfortable part happened, getting wet with very cold water (it was only 70 degrees), she came alive and laughed it off. It pays off to have a water creature. That and quick dry clothes.

SS is getting ready to brave the Grizzly River Run.

Let's hope she likes it because P has Splash Mountain on our itinerary.

SS's kind of Easter.

This is why Sula was bright eyed and bushy tailed at 5:30 a.m. Well, and the loot the Easter Bunny (Baba went all out with the Bionicles) brought her.

SS is not a morning person, unless loot is involved.

Happy Easter

This is the year SS learned she is no longer considered a little girl. She went up to the Easter Bunny to sit on his lap, and the attendant flipped out and told her NO.  SS could only sit next to him.  Now she looks like she is part of that creepy cult family with 19 kids, and even though menopause is here to stay still counting.  They only give side hugs, and that is what poor SS looks like.

We even got in on the picture this year, we just love The Beagle and were feeling guilty about our Disney indiscretion. And this is why we love Knott's.  SS walked up to the "line" where only two kids were ahead of her for these pictures.

To our knowledge SS has not seen Saturday Night Fever, but darn she's got that iconic move down.

When I saw the Bionicle (last 3 letters are c l e, don't know why showing as d e) box that Grandpa sent SS for her birthday I was so relieved that P is the one who does that stuff with SS. The ages on the box are 9-16, way beyond my scope of knowledge. I got home from work and P proudly told me that SS wanted to assemble the toy herself and succeeded. No joking here people, our tiny girl put that puppy together.  P had to help her with the wheel and helmet, only because SS is not strong enough to push the pieces in until they snap securely.  We are so proud of our little creator.