Friday, March 14, 2014

Things That Make You Go Hmmm

The New York Times has been suggesting I read an article all week:

Reaching My Autistic Son Through Disney

Something about the title had been putting me off.

But tonight I finally read it.

And it was a LOT more interesting than the title had led me to believe.

It offers some really fascinating insight into the mind of one autistic boy.

(and maybe many)

Definitely worth reading.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A Day In The Life (always riveting...)

I read a lot of crazy articles and blog posts today.

I thought about buying some French sneakers.

Blogs will do that to you.

But then you realize they are really just basic slip on sneakers

like you can find hanging on the big peg board shoe wall at Target.

And because you are super cheap.

You decide that if you can get them at Target...

they are already over being cutting edge

and you might as well not even buy them.

French or not.

You know?

I also read a lot about living in the Congo.

And helicopter parenting.

Why Finland is on the cutting edge of education.

(and if it really applies)

I read an article likening the educational philosophy and opportunity
(and scores) to US private schools.

I guess that does resonate with me,

having both been to private schools (and public)
and sent my children to both, as well.

I'm currently watching THIS documentary...

And I'm taken with how much Baby's charter school is pretty much
a dead ringer for the Finnish educational system.

(although admittedly I'm only 10 minutes in...)

Small class size, small school, staying with your teacher for multiple years, integrated science & art, highly trained and specialized teachers (they all have graduate degrees), teacher developed curriculum (which, yes, does meet Common Core standards).  Community focus.  The whole Finnish gamut is pretty much represented there.

I don't know about you all,
but I find educational theory to be very interesting.

And outside of the whole Finnish comparison,

I've been feeling pretty good about the school (and getting Kid in there, too)

after I realized that about 25% of the parents are education professors.

That's a pretty good vote of confidence.

Another 25% are chefs.

I'm not sure what that says.

Or why, considering that fact, I was the one who made the bread?


French sneakers

Helicopter parents

Living in the Congo

the story of Finland

Finnish education

A bathing suit I would buy... too bad it's a million dollars.  I'll go see if they have something similar at Target ;)

Geez I was online a lot today.  You know what I wasn't doing?


But I always say it's better to have an interesting mind than a clean house.

Plus, I cleaned the toilets yesterday.

So we're  good.

I did still workout, pay bills, drive 10 miles per hour during our 2 4 hours of commute due to incredibly bad roads, make breakfast, lunch, dinner & muffins.  Go to Target to buy post game snacks for the basketball team & tank tops for me ($5 sale!), do yet another load of laundry, check homework, and divert Kid's exhaustion induced breakdown into an hour long Wii sword battle... So that's something.  Right?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of

We had another Snow Day today.

I was counting on it, so I let Kid stay up pretty late watching the Bachelor finale with me

& didn't even bother setting our alarms.

You've got live on the edge like that, people.

So today I was able to read all of the Parenting Around the World posts I linked to yesterday.

Fascinating, my friends.


I was telling everyone about it at dinner and I said...

"Basically they're just about people like us, that are always thinking of moving somewhere crazy..."

"But they actually DO it." Kid interjected, sarcastically.

Yep.  That.

One of these days... you never know.

Also, when I was making lunch and talking about some hypothetical future life,

Kid interrupted to ask....

"How come your plans for the future never have Dad in them?"


It is so true.

If only because that would make my dreams

have to factor in realities like replacement jobs...

and that is a real buzz kill when you are dreaming.

But also because of his Adult ADD.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Signs of Spring

I hate the time change.  I think I've mentioned that once or twice (or 100 times) here on the blog.  I mean I HATE IT.  It is the absolute worst.  All of the adjustment of jet lag without any of the positives of international travel.

I've been barely functioning all day... feeling like I was shot with a tranquilizer dart intended for a big game animal.  I was practically falling asleep on my drive home from morning drop off.  SERIOUSLY.  So, yes, I went back to bed for a bit... but it didn't matter.  Getting up in the dark to drop my kids off at school in the dark... after a taste of the freedom of morning light?!?!  What a cruel thing to do to people.  Just make Daylight Savings Time permanent.  Stop jerking me around.

Okay, now that I have that off my chest...

After stumbling through my days activities, I walked into Baby's school & went to pack up her stuff in her locker and I discovered her coat & gloves & snow pants were completely SATURATED with water.  Not a little bit wet... like literally dripping wet.  What the?!  It was like my brain exploded, I could not figure out what was going on.  I was standing there thinking... "How am I even going to get her out to the car?"... when I picked up her boots... and  PEOPLE!...  they were as wet as possible... I was actually astonished that they could hold that much water.  They weighed pounds a piece. To add to the mayhem of the situation they don't wear shoes at their school (of course they don't...), just slippers.  Good grief!  I did get her to the car (in her slippers) hopping around puddles and melting icebergs... and then I drove to swimming lessons thinking about how I am going to have to come up with a serious set of rain gear to handle Spring recess at this school.  I need the equivalent of the Finnish snowsuit in Irish fisherman gear.  I was not annoyed at all (which is an interesting development regarding my acceptance of certain things outside of my control)... just unprepared and flabbergasted (turns out there was a 18" puddle)... Baby is an outdoor kid & I want her OUTDOORS.  I just need to step up our gear.  What I save in tuition I will clearly be spending on outer wear.  (Give me your links if you've got them.  I know the Swedes are known for their kids rain gear... but I just went through all that and would love a US source if possible!)

So, yeah, that was pretty much my day.

Except... when we pulled in from swimming, our neighbor who runs the daycare was outside with the kids, and Baby hasn't seen them all winter (because it has literally been too cold for her to take them out!) so even though everything she has was wet I said yes.  We ran in and got a spare coat and her rain boots (which I was planning to send to school with her tomorrow) and I reminded her that she didn't have snow pants & not to go in the snow.  20 minutes later she came in hollering for me... she had... gone in the snow... and the rain boots were completely packed up to the tops with snow.  Her legs & socks (and boots) were soaking wet and she was of course freezing cold and in pain.  That maniac, I keep trying to instill a real fear of frostbite... but it is clearly not sinking in.  Now, I'm trying to dry out two pairs of boots, two coats, snow pants & mittens before tomorrow.

So, yeah, that was pretty much my day.

That and 4 loads of laundry.

And discovering this awesome blog LINK... which I'm very much looking forward to reading... it is right up my alley. (and here is the link to the entire parenting around the world series)

Oh my god... it is already 10:30!


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Baby Shower: The Gift

Once upon a time I went to a baby shower 
where someone received a baby gift of baby clothes hung up on a little clothesline.  
And I always remembered it.

So, for my sister's shower this weekend I did my best to recreate it:
This is definitely a gift "experience" so it's perfect for a shower.
I got a plastic basket and some roping & clothespins at the dollar store:
 I tied the roping to the basket handle then strung all the clothes up on the line.
 I made a loop at the end of the line and neatly piled all the clothes back into the basket 
with the loop on top of the pile.
How cute are those little maryjane socks?!... 
they didn't have those when my girls were little!

Then I stuffed the basket with tissue paper to disguise the contents 
and tied it up in cellophane:
 Super cute.  
I would 100% do this again.
The hardest part was finding a "clothes" basket
that wasn't humongous!
(I might actually go buy a couple more of these because they are perfect!)
I also like that this is a somewhat interactive gift.
The girls had a lot of fun stretching it out for my sister at the shower.
But heads up that it gets pricey really fast.  
Baby clothes are small... so... it takes a lot to pull off a full clothesline.  
If you want to keep the price down I'd suggest interspersing
receiving blankets or burp cloths.  
The other potential negative,
is that I had to take the tags off a lot of the clothes 
(most are sold in sets or bundles) and so they can't be returned. 
I decided it was worth the risk
because I was so committed to pulling it off.

(P.S. My friend has since suggested buying baby things from a resale shop for this, since you need to cut off the tags anyway... good idea!  Plus, you can usually find tons of never worn baby items)

Here's a picture of Baby participating in the diaper changing contest:
Guess who won?

Mr F!

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