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Thursday, August 24, 2006

The General Busy-ness of the American Family

Yes, the first week back at school this seems like an oddly appropriate title. I'm proud of my daughter and all of her accomplishments. I'm proud of her for trying new things, making new friends. But I worry about her being overscheduled.

My line of thinking has been as long as she enjoys it, it's OK. At the first sign of her NOT enjoying it, I pay attention and evaluate. There comes a point where you have to say this is not working for my child.

I have gone in to soccer with an open mind, but worried that she'll hate it. So far, she loves it. The day after her first practice she said, "Can we go to soccer today?" Watching her play, she shows signs of her mother's obsessive perfectionism, wanting to perfectly get the ball down the field. With carefully placed kicks, and gentle nudging, she gets there eventually. She's definitely a lot more gentle than the others, who are none too shy to kick the ball hard. She even got hit in the hand with the ball and I *know* that hurts- she didn't even cry, like she would've last year, the year before. She's tough now, brave.

However, if there comes a day when she hates going to soccer, when she gets like me and ditches practice because she'd rather chat with her best friend, I won't force her to go. She has enough activities to fill all our days, all our free time. There comes a time when you have to let children just BE children, and play. It's good to see her play, I *love* watching her play on the playground, or play with her toys. I love the little stories and games she creates. I love her artwork, watching her create something she dreamed about last night.

We recently took her out of dance. Not because she didn't enjoy it, because she certainly did, but we had to draw the line somewhere. She can't do *everything*. I was sad to take her out of dance, but we had to make room for soccer. She has to prioritize her activities, or rather, we do. I asked her what she liked better, soccer or dance, and she said, "Definitely soccer". We'll see what her answer is after a few games have been played... She wants to add on art lessons. We just don't have the time. We keep a list of her "wishes", and someday hopefully there will be time for art lessons. Just not now.

She came home last night with her first homework of the school year. A math book so large it looked like a book I carried in college. The weight of it dragged her shoulders down. A foreshadowing of the years of school ahead. I remind you she is only in third grade.

This new school schedule and activity schedule is going to take all of us a little while to get adjusted. We're all making new friends, trying new things. We're supporting her, volunteering in our community, and hopefully making a difference.

But just in case, when she becomes tired, stressed, worried- we pull back. It's all about her happiness, her well-being.

For more on what others say about children today being over-scheduled:

Let Kids Be Kids
Overscheduled Kids

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Last day of summer

Summer has come to a close.

The end of sunscreened noses, sticky popsicles, and wet puppies in the yard.

Of sizzling sand, shrieking kids, and cool movies on a hot day.

Of chlorine in the hair, lemonade stands, and juicy hot dogs.

Until next year... for now, the school bell will ring, books will be opened minty fresh. Fresh pencils, paper, backpacks, lunchboxes, and especially new teachers. Tales of summer past. Camp stories, not-for-grownup stories. Crisp new clothes, new shoes, and perhaps a little bit taller than three months ago.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

This turned into a third grader

Yes, the photo quality is horrible. It's a scan of a photo, few that I have taken of me while pregnant. This photo is taken mere days before she is born... flash forward 7.75 years, and she is beginning third grade on Monday! Wow...

Friday, August 18, 2006

Most overused business phrase

I admit I am a huge fan of Dilbert.

Mostly because Scott Adams gets it so right, laugh-out-loud funny because it's true. Scott Adams takes a lot of his material from his fans, who write in with "You won't believe what Alice did today..." Granted, I no longer am a gopher in cubicle-land, but I was, and I was a cynic even back then.

I especially enjoyed the "motivational" conference the 5,000+ person company held, where the CEO smashed a watermelon a la Gallagher, to quash the "beast of low morale".

If that's not a Dilbert moment, I don't know what is.

Along with what business folk do, it can be equally funny what they actually say.

For me? My least popular phrase is "at the end of the day". I have found people who say it, use it often. What's funny to me is there is someone out there who agrees with me:

The most overused business phrase...

Also enjoyable are the user-submitted comments for their least favorite business phrase.

Leave me a comment with your least favorite!

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Yes, that really seems to hold true for my family. I know I've written about it here before, but we just like to prove it every once in a while. This time, it was a trip to Disneyland that got scrapped, due to the child vomiting in that projectile-manner that children just love to do! Before that, we got a few days of r&r on top of the mountain, where I did my best attempt to break my leg on the trail (but, fortunately, just the pain of a sprain, which has faded into a dull discomfort).

So, it's always exciting with our family.

It's back home, back to work, and back to school- my little one is a third grader as of Monday! How did that happen so quickly? I really can't believe it.

If you're wondering how come she is starting school so early, well, it's because we're on a modified year-round calendar. We'll have a nice break in the Fall, when everyone else is still in classes. Personally, I love that, as I always need a break from driving around everywhere. This school year looks to be busier than ever!

Quick, enjoy the last days of summer... Hope you guys like the re-design. Next time I need to hire someone to do a re-design for me.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Pardon my Re-design...

Working to make this page more aesthetically pleasing... Please be patient. HTML and CSS programmers PLEASE leave me a comment if you're interested in helping me with a nicer re-design than one I can come up with on my own.

I can afford to give you cookies more than money... Thanks!

Six the hard way... belatedly

OK, OK, I know you are wondering where I've been all this time! Well, maybe you're wondering. Maybe you're saying, "I don't give a flying fig where you've been", which is perfectly fine, too.

My husband suffered through 2 weeks of pneumonia, got better, and then promptly ended up in the hospital anyway. He spent what must have been a horrible 24 hours for him in the ICU, and is now expected to come home on Friday. I'm terribly exhausted, as I haven't slept much at all in the last few days, and it's catching up to me. No amount of coffee can save me from my sleepiness- believe me, I'm trying to give Starbucks their annual profit in one week.

Before he got sick, I had a birthday. My 33rd, in fact. We had a very nice day together, and I'm glad that he waited until after my birthday to get sick (kidding! I'm kidding.) He got me a very nice set for serving sushi and Japanese tea:

Beautiful, isn't it? I couldn't believe he remembered I asked for these so many months ago, and I was genuinely surprised. I had to use them as soon as possible, so I made this:

Yes, it's heart-shaped Philadelphia Rolls! My daughter scarfed this whole plate down. We went to the Japanese market, and fortunately for us it was free sample day. We ate our way through the market, then brought home a bunch of fresh fish and Chocolate soymilk (my daughter also scarfed that down! It's all gone already). However, my first batch of sushi rice came out like rice pudding, and was just awful. I had to try again. This meant it took me 6 hours to make sushi. It was worth it in the end.

My husband also bought himself a new toy, before he went in the hospital. He got a beautiful new Jeep, which is huge and I have to learn how to drive it. Fortunately, it's an Automatic- his last car was a stick shift (yes, I should've learned how to drive it, but didn't). The ridiculous thing is his last car was so tiny and this one is so big and the car payment is almost the same and the insurance is almost the same. Gasoline- so NOT the same...

I hope you are all doing well and enjoying your summer without melting in the heat wave. Be safe and have fun out there.