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Posts Tagged ‘Family’

Thanks to everyone who commented! Lisa Downs is this week’s winner!

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Hey, all. Long time no blog. I’ve been crazy life-busy over the last two weeks, with work, spring break for my oldest, visits from relatives, and doing a lot of solo parenting (Mr. B has had a lot of work lately). This weekend I was supermom. Seriously. Super. Mom. Here’s a partial list of what the kids and I did:

*made banana-chocolate-chip muffins
*visited the SF Zoo
*hiked and sketched the tidepools at the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve
*rode bikes for hours
*went grocery shopping
*practiced telling time
*read tons of books
*went on a bug hunt (no bugs were harmed)
*built awesome Lego stuff
*had fun

It’s tough making all three of the kids happy, but I did my best. And I really wore them out. On both days I had them solo, they fell asleep as soon as their little heads touched their clean pillowcases (I also did 7 loads of laundry. And made homemade meatballs.). Mmm . . .  I keep saying supermom, but really I should just say crazy.

Unsurprisingly, the kids aren’t the only ones who are worn out, but mama can’t take a break because I need to edit the first book in my Connecticut contemporary series, which needs some tweaking before it goes to my agent. This tweaking will happen this week since all three kids are in school and I only have one relative visiting. See what I did there? I put it in bold so it will happen. There. I did it again.

I’ll check in with you next Monday to let you know how it all turns out.

I’m really anxious to finish up this book, not just because people are waiting for it, but because there are other things I am chomping at the bit to write, and I want to get this off my desk before I start on something new. I wonder, do most people work on lots of different projects at once, or do they work on one at a time? In life, I juggle many things and don’t mind working on tons at once, but with writing, I like just one project. Strange, huh?

Anyhow, a giveaway is in order. This week, it’s a signed copy of Rachel Gibson’s Rescue Me. Let me know what will happen for you this week in the comments and you’ll be entered to win. It’s a paperback, so US only, please. Contest ends Thursday, February 27, at 9pm Pacific.

Also, Blaze of Winter, featuring the fabulous Theo Grayson, is on sale for two weeks for 99 cents. Please pass the word along!!

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All right, so a few weeks ago, I blogged about how folks around here get psychotic (my word) about kindergarten enrollment. I promised I’d report back with an update as to what Mr. Barrett and I decided to do.

(Short version): Mr. Barrett was 30th in line and so we are assured of our desired early start time.

(Long version): A week in advance, several of the families in the neighborhood began to coordinate a plan of attack. It was decided that we would all go out early, together. Or rather, all of the fathers would all go out early, together.

Per the plan, one of our friends did a drive-by at midnight.  If the line was already long, he was planning to stay and then spread the word.  However, when he arrived, there were only about 15 people were in line.  He debated staying but decided it was worth the risk to go home and get some rest.   Following the original plan, the friend returned at 3am and Mr. B showed up a few minutes later.  A couple of people had arrived in-between and our friend let them go ahead of him so that he could be hang out with Mr. B.   There were about 30 people in line ahead of them, most of whom had camped out all night (in sleeping bags).  At 3:40am, Mr. B texted another one of our friends (who had planned to show up at 5am) to encourage him to come out sooner because the line continued to grow at a brisk pace.  Our friend came at 4:30am and by the time he showed up, there were about 60 people in line.  By the time the sun rose around 7am, Mr. B said there were about 100 disheveled, unshaven people in line, desperate for coffee.  Kind of like an Occupy encampment, except with lots of iPads and laptops and without the political signs.  Once the office opened at 8am, Mr. B said it took about a minute to process each person, so he got back to the house shortly after 8:30am.

For the 40 degree weather, Mr. B said he was dressed perfectly. He was wearing thermal longjohns, a sophisticated, multi-layered ski jacket, smartwool socks, jeans and a sweater. To be honest, he looked kind of sexy – like a  European skiier. He also had a winter hat and gloves, a stadium blanket, and a comfortable, fold-up chair to sit on. I also packed him two piping-hot mugs of tea, a tray full of home-made triple-chocolate brownies and lots of trail mix. He told me I gave him too much food, but he was able to share some of the brownies with some friends.

He said it was no big deal (ha!) and that he’d do it again. I was like, “well, you’re in luck, because we have two more kids to enroll….”

All in all, a success. I’m a bit embarassed that we had to go through this rigmarole, but I’m glad we did it and it’s over. Until next year.

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So kindergarten packets were available this week from our local elementary school. Being the dutiful mother I am, I went the day the packets were released to get one for my oldest child. I filled out the preliminary paperwork and chatted up the administrator (a lovely, older woman). Now, after this, my kid wasn’t registered. Oh, no. On January 30 at 8am, the office begins accepting registration forms, and here’s the kicker: there’s an early session and a late session and it’s first-come, first-serve. First session starts at 9am, and second session starts at 10:35am. The kids have a staggered half-day of school, with some overlap. Each group of kids gets the same length of time with the teachers, but there’s more individual attention than just having the kids all start at one time.

I should note our district is quite large, so this was what they had to do to accommodate all the kids. By 3rd grade, everyone starts “early” and there’s no staggering. I also need to note that once you are assigned an early slot or a late slot, you keep the same slot for the next three years. If you want to change it, you have to petition the school in a specialized process. Complicated, no?

For working parents, it’s seen as very desirable to get the earlier slot. After all, what are you going to do with your kid for a couple of hours in the morning if you’re supposed to be at work? But I’ve heard from friends and neighbors that the competition to get an early slot is fierce, and parents are now camping out overnight to ensure their kid gets the early start time that they want.

Before I left after picking up the packet, I turned back to the administrator.

“Tell me about the registration insanity,” I said.

She just gave me a look. “What do you want to know?” she asked warily.

I laid it on the line. “I’ve heard that parents get really psychotic about registration.”

She laughed ruefully. “Yes. They are, indeed, psychotic about it. Your word,” she quickly added. “If you don’t care about start time, don’t show up on the 30th.”

“And if I do care?”

“Show up early.”

“How early?”

“Last year, 5am would have been all right.”

I let out a long sigh. “See, I’m not a psychotic helicopter mom, but I work, and I have two other kids coming down the line and there will be overlap so when my next youngest starts school, the older one will have to be in an early slot. I feel like I’m being forced into being someone I’m not – someone who’s psychotic about this. This isn’t me. I swear.”

“I know,” she said sympathetically. “You’re not alone. Just come early.”

She made me feel a bit better, but not much.

Mr. Barrett and I haven’t quite decided what we’re going to do, but I have a sneaking suspicion that I’ll be standing outside the office wicked early on January 30th. I’ll write another post after the madness is over.

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Whew! I made it!

For a while there, I wasn’t sure I was going to. December just completely exploded on me and if I’d had the time to read my last post amidst all the craziness, I could have seen it coming.

It all started when I got back from two weeks of travel on November 30th. With no time to catch up I was hurled kicking and screaming into this month. Now, usually, it takes about a week to recover from serious travel, especially with time zone switching, three kids, a gajillion loads of laundry and just general upheaval. But in my case, I had no such luxury. Immediately, I was launched into the holiday season amidst mountains of work, writing and personal obligations. We’re talking baking dozens of cookies for teachers and friends, hosting multiple holiday gatherings, attending multiple holiday gatherings, sending out holiday cards, and of course, working and writing up the wazoo. I turned in both book proposals and even created my own chocolate crinkle cookie recipe.

So I’m going to pause to catch my breath before my crazy January begins, and count my blessings for 2011. I’m most thankful for my happy, healthy family.  Everything else is gravy, right?

Happy New Year. May your 2012 be filled with joy, peace and love.

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