I Love Our ‘Hood!

27 Sep

Tonight was the Super Blood Moon Eclipse. Don’t ask me about all the technical details, but the moon was low, huge, red, and partially obscured– at least when I saw it.

I was in the house when Mike came in and asked if Michaela and I wanted to look at the moon through our neighbor’s telescope. We said yes and headed outside, only to find he’d set up his two telescopes in our front driveway. We each took a turn looking and while we were doing that, some neighbors walked by. They came over to look, too. Then some more neighbors came, and more, and more, and before I knew it, we had 24 people hanging out in our driveway, taking turns looking at the moon, chatting, and having a fun time. I can’t help but compare it to our old neighborhood, where that would never have happened. I feel so happy and lucky to live where we do!


27 Sep

“Hangry” is everywhere, thanks to social media. I’ll admit, I’m someone who gets grumpy when I’m hungry. But what I’ve realized lately, in the middle of a heat wave that has stretched for weeks, is that I also get “hangry” when I’m hot. When my body temperature overheats, so does my temper. Am I the only one?

Caught Being Good

27 Sep

Michaela’s school held back-to-school night the second week of school. It was a great chance to visit the classroom, see some of the work the kids did during the first week and a half of school, hear about their routines, and have questions answered by the teacher.

One of the routines in the class is that the kids get a hand stamp at the end of the day if they had a good day. So far, Michaela’s come home with a stamp every day, but I know that’s not the case for every kid. In fact, one day Michaela breathlessly related that one boy in class acted up just before it was time to go home, after the stamps had been applied, and the teacher made him go wash his stamp off. Drama in K1!

At back-to-school night, I asked Michaela’s teacher how she was going, and the teacher related this story:

One kid, while his stamp was still wet, pressed his hand against the door, leaving an ink mark on the door. The teacher say it and asked the class who did it. No one ‘fessed up. The teacher put out a small dish of water and a sponge and said she’s turn her back and whoever did it should go clean off the door. No one moved until Michaela said, “I didn’t do it, but I’ll clean up the door.” She got up and started scrubbing the ink off the door. Halfway through, the culprit got up to help and together, they got it all cleaned up.

I was SO PROUD. I really feel like my number one job as a parent is to raise a conscientious citizen who takes care of herself and others, and that particular story makes me think Mike and I are doing a darn good job.


Not impressed

14 Sep

I wrote before about the lunches I packed for Michaela’s first week of school. Well last night I decided to do something spectacular. We had leftover waffles from breakfast (homemade, from scratch, in our waffle iron) so I made Michaela a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on waffles! She took it for lunch today so I asked her, when I got home from work, “how was your lunch?!?!”

Her response? “It was okay.”

It was okay. Seriously? Most kids would love that sort of thing!

“Michaela,” I said, “On a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is delicious and 1 is yucky, how would you rate the sandwich?”

Her response? “A five.”

not impressed

As the kids say these days, FFS.

First Week Lunches

10 Sep

I have no idea what I ate for lunch every day in elementary school. I’m pretty sure it was a sandwich, crackers, and a cookie, plus a carton of milk. Michaela’s school lunch menus are much more ambitious. Here’s a look at her first week’s lunches:

  • Tuesday– Salami slices, crackers, string cheese, corn kernels, fruit salad (strawberries, kiwi, watermelon, nectarines)
  • Wednesday– Cheese quesadilla on corn tortilla, pineapple chunks, grapes, corn kernels
  • Thursday– Spicy grilled shrimp, lemon parsley rice, cucumber slices
  • Friday– Spinach and cheese-filled ravioli, tomato slices, kiwi slices

We also send her with a snack eaten each morning at 10:15; this week snack has generally been a fruit (banana or watermelon chunks) and Veggie Straws.

First Day of Kinder

8 Sep

Michaela was off this morning to her first day of kindergarten. She’s officially a “hound.”

The alarm went off at 6:20 a.m. — the first time Mike has set a regular alarm in 6 years. Michaela was still sleepy, but in a good mood, excited for her first day at her new school. We got up, had a special breakfast of chocolate chip pumpkin muffins with Greek yogurt (with honey and vanilla stirred in). Michaela showered, Mike brushed her hair, I helped her put on the outfit she’d picked out. Before we knew it, it was 7:30 and we needed to get on the road.

Of course we had to snap some first day of school pictures first.

2015-09-08 07.32.40

2015-09-08 07.33.08

Then we set off walking the two blocks to school.

2015-09-08 07.35.52

We snapped a few more pix when we got to school, including this one outside Michaela’s classroom.

2015-09-08 07.58.05

We all lined up on the blacktop and eventually walked with our kinders into their classroom. The kids all sat on the rug waiting for instructions. Michaela’s friend from preschool sat next to her, which was very sweet.

2015-09-08 08.00.37

The teacher had all the kids’ names written on cards. When she pulled a card and the kid recognized his/her name, he/she was to get up from the rug, say goodbye to the parents, and then go sit on the rug again. Most importantly, the parents were to leave. (So really, this was an activity to get rid of us grown ups.)

Would you believe that Michaela’s was the first name called? She got up, made her way over to Mike and gave him a hug. Then she gave me a hug. I had been doing really well up until that point, but when she looked up at me with a “I’m on the verge of tears” expression on her face, I cried a bit. I had my sunglasses on, so I think it was okay. At any rate, I said goodbye, she walked back over to the rug, and next thing I knew, Mike and I were standing outside the classroom, holding a sheet titled “Tips for the Beginning of the Year.”

I joined some other moms for bagels and Mike headed home. Now the countdown is on until 2:15, when we pick her up and hear all about Michaela’s first day of kindergarten!

First Day Photos

7 Sep

Tomorrow is Michaela’s first day of kindergarten. We’ve done our back-to-school shopping, practiced walking to school, attended almost a full day of kinder stuff, and more. This afternoon, I got out our white board and wrote “First Day of Kindergarten” and the date, so Michaela can hold it up for our traditional first day of school photo. You know, the one that every yuppie parent takes and posts on Facebook and Instagram? The one that now seems almost like an expectation, at least among certain people (like my peers)?

That got me thinking. I don’t think my parents took a picture of me on the first day of school… EVER. I’m not sure if it’s always been something people do and my parents just didn’t do it (which wouldn’t be out of the question) or if it is a new, social media phenomenon. I guess it doesn’t matter, but it’s kind of an interesting question. Did you parents take first day of school pictures of you?

“Clean-As-You-Go” for the Win

5 Sep

Mike and I hosted two families for dinner tonight. Each family was two adults and two kids, so we had a total of 11 people. I made chicken and spinach enchiladas, homemade salsa, and spinach salad with from-scratch lemon poppyseed dressing; Mike made homemade guacamole; our friends brought rice, beans, and dessert. It was delicious — one of the kids said it was “a Mexican feast!” — and we had a really nice time.

That being said, I started cleaning the house and prepping the food at 10:30 a.m. for their 5:30 p.m. arrival. It was a long day and a lot of effort! I have a habit of cleaning up as I cook. Use a dish. rinse it out, put it in the dishwasher, wipe down the counter. Repeat again and again. I ran several loads of dishes before our friends arrived, then another two loads once dinner was over. I have to say, though, that by 9:30, the counters were all clean, the dishes were all washed and put away, and you couldn’t tell anyone had been over. It was fabulous.

This compares to when Mike cooks. He cleans when he’s done. Except our rule is that if one cooks, the other one cleans. So typically, Mike cooks and I clean up. He’s got it good, because when I cook, I clean up. Of course, I’ve got it good, too, because he does the vast majority of our cooking.

Day o’ Kinder

4 Sep

Today was full of kindergarten activities. We had a new student party at the park, followed by orientation at the school, followed by the PTA ice cream social. It was kind of a lot of school activities considering Michaela isn’t even in school yet! That being said, there are at least five other kids from her preschool who will be at her new school, including two others who will be in her class. And the other parents we met were lovely. I’m really looking forward to this next big adventure!


4 Sep

My dad’s 68th birthday was on Wednesday. Sixty-eight!

Michaela helped me make a pineapple upside down cake. When we were at the store getting the ingredients, she saw number candles, so we bought a “6” and an “8” to go on top of the cake. We took it to my parents’ house, where Michaela, my mom, and I all serenaded the birthday boy. When it was time to blow out the candles, Michaela said she wanted to help and my dad said sure, then lifted her up and they each blew out one of the candles. I didn’t have my phone so there are no pictures, but the image is burned into my memory.

My dad is not someone prone to expressing emotions through words (deeds, yes). But when I see him with Michaela, I know that he loves her so, so much. And it fills my heart with joy.

Happy birthday, Daddy. Here’s to many more.

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