Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day: September 2017

While I’ve very much Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ regarding my plantings this year, thanks to the weeds and grasses overwhelming my sparse gardening schedule, I still went out on Bloom Day (with the Good Camera, no less) and documented what’s currently in bloom in my borders of benign neglect.

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Just made @SpaGoddess’s recipe for Lavender Honey Salt Scrub (from an old issue of Ready Made) & put it in a recycled blue glass jar. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

Adapted @RoniNoone’s Whole Grain Banana Pancake recipe to use up some leftover canned pumpkin and added chocolate chips at my son’s request.

Pumpkin Pancakes

Up The Down Escalator

I’ve got that running-up-the-down-escalator feeling again.

It’s mainly an issue of priorities, I think, plus a lack of physical activity (again, due to priorities and scheduling conflicts). I feel better when I can get outside and walk, or go to the Fitness Center and take a class, but the past week or so hasn’t been conducive to that. Chiropractor, salon, Weight Watchers open house, standing lunch date…

I also have stuff I want to do at home in the evenings, like process and post the photos from my son’s sixth birthday, and post my regular Dear Connor birthday blog entry (which is currently waiting on photos), and just write to get stuff out of my head, and start some sewing projects, and clean up my home office area, and — and — and.

What actually happens in the evenings, though?

  1. Get home from work. Catch up with husband for about half an hour.
  2. Hubby goes to work. Make dinner while son plays Kindle Fire or Nintendo DS.
  3. Eat dinner with son.
  4. Clean up kitchen while son eats dessert (and sometimes a snack) and watches TV.
  5. I supervise while son takes a bath, brushes teeth, and takes allergy meds.
  6. He puts on jammies, chooses a daily calendar sticker, and we read a book.
  7. Lights out.

After lights out, I stay within earshot for the next half hour until he calls me back upstairs to talk some more and massage his feet. That means no going into the back office to edit photos on my desktop computer or going into the sunroom to sew.

By the time I get back downstairs and I finally have some uninterrupted “me” time, it’s 8:30pm (or later) and I’m mentally done for the day. I’m only good for reading or playing on my phone or watching TV — I don’t have the oomph to create, only consume. I turn into a pumpkin around 9:30pm, but I’ve been much better about going upstairs and getting my own bedtime routine happening, and turning my own lights out between 10pm and 10:30.

During that hour after Connor goes to bed, though, if I’m not totally exhausted, there’s plenty I could do. I’m going to have to just prioritize it somehow: figure out what’s most important and carve out time for it. One task a night, whether I feel “up to it” or not. I’m a grown-ass woman, and I should be able to get up and do the things that need done, even when I’m tired. Even if I tell myself I’ll only do it for ten minutes, and set an alarm; or if I manage to get all the ingredients of the muffins or quickbread or whatever set out before I put my son to bed; or if I go straight across the hall to my bedroom to quietly tidy my closet while I’m waiting for Connor to request his nightly masseuse visit. Shit can get done one way or another.

Small bites of big projects. Baby steps. Specific, measurable, attainable, reasonable, timely goals — not vague ideas of Getting Something Done After My Son Goes To Bed.

Yeah, yeah, I can do that.

August 2017 Weigh-In: Dismal Backslide Continues

I almost didn’t write a weigh-in update this month. Why bother, right?

The thing is, the first part of the month was actually pretty OK. It was the last part of the month when things went to shit, and I felt like I’d lost any and all progress I’d made. Overall, with the awesomeness of the first half and the suckiness of the second half, August averaged out to be… not quite a wash… maybe an improvement with a hiccup?

Holding steady since last month

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Our First Fog Delay

My phone buzzed me awake at 5:48am. I didn’t know the number, but it was local. I declined the call and tried to get back to sleep for awhile before my real alarm would wake me up.

I figured it was Connor’s school announcing a fog delay, but I checked my voicemail to be sure (in the bathroom, so as not to wake my sleeping husband). Yep. Voicemail, text, and email all said the same thing.

I sort of drifted back to sleep before my alarm went off and the morning routine began. Connor, as usual, met me in the bathroom while I was getting ready. I explained the Extended Time program and fog delays to him as best as I could at 7am.

Once we were dressed, teeth brushed, breakfast eaten, and (in my case) coffee ready, we headed out.

Connor's first fog delay

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First Week of Kindergarten

It took some cajoling, but we finally got some details out of Connor about his first few days of Kindergarten.

On Preview Day, he got to attend with just 7 kids out of the 20-some in his full class, to start getting the hang of things. It sounds like he went to three out of his five “special” classes: Computers, Gym, and Music. He’s certainly my boy: after telling me that, in Computers, he got to use a mouse and wear headphones, he admitted that he just kinda looked around for the first minute at what everyone else was doing, to make sure he was doing the right thing.

I sent him 50ยข for milk that first day, before I put money on his charge account. It turns out that he was the only one in his Preview group who bought anything; everyone else packed and brought a juice box. (The lunch monitor helped him open his milk.) He and his new friend A really hit it off at lunch; Connor says A is as silly as he is. ๐Ÿ™‚ They even had almost identical lunches: bologna sandwich, gogurt, and applesauce, although A had cookies for dessert and a juice box, and Connor had cherry tomatoes and a chocolate milk. For the rest of the week, Connor packed lunch and bought milk (rotating through chocolate, strawberry, and plain), and bought lunch on Pizza Friday. He even got to have a slushie with his pizza!

Since we live in the future, we’ve been able to get feedback on how Connor’s adjusting to the classroom. The ClassDojo app lets us see when Connor gets credit for raising his hand or following directions quickly, and the teacher can message parents privately (and vise versa). The “points” Connor gets can spur conversations about the day, which is honestly my favorite part so far. It makes me feel less helicoptery and more able to engage him about what happened at school that day. For example, one day, he got a point for Making Smart Choices because he told on a kid who kept throwing mulch in the toilet, even after Connor told him to stop.

The school bus route has been interesting, since a.) all the buses were overcrowded at first, and b.) we live on a busy two-lane road, so the bus driver straight-up told us that he couldn’t have Connor crossing in front of the bus by himself in the afternoon. (In the morning, Connor’s the first one on the bus, on our side of the street, so no worries there.) On that first day, Dad and I crossed the street to escort Connor off the bus. On the morning of the second day, the bus driver told me he had an idea of how to adjust the route to put him on the right side of the street, but we’d have to pick him up in the yard instead of the driveway, so the bus could turn left onto the road in front of our house. That would work, as long as the yard isn’t soggy or full of snow. The third day, the bus driver told me that Connor would be riding a different bus home in the afternoon, which started a flurry of phone calls and ClassDojo messages to confirm bus number and drop-off time. Since then, Dad has reported that the afternoon bus driver started out a little flustered, but she’s since figured out her bus route and has been getting Connor home a bit earlier (nearly a half hour sooner than that first day).

Overall, Connor has been seriously loving Kindergarten so far. He’s met new friends (and even remembered some of their names), gotten used to a new schedule and routine, tried new things (like buying lunch and riding the school bus), and even had some homework (retelling a story to Dad to confirm his reading comprehension).

His only blip so far was last night. I showed him a Facebook video of his preschool teacher’s toddler taking his first steps, and that made him remember how much he missed his friends at his old school.

“I’m sure James really misses me,” he lamented while I was massaging his feet last night. (James was one of his BFFs.)

Apart from that one moment of sadness, though, he’s been bubbling over with excitement every day. Granted, it’s only been a week… but I think this is going to be a good year.