Thursday, October 13, 2011

10/13/11 Barf!!

What timing...poor Katrina, tonight at dinner complaining that her tummy hurt. Sometimes she's a little dramatic, but my instinct generally is that she's not blessed with the acting gene. Tonight it seemed sincere. About 20 minutes later, it really was -- right into the toilet, poor thing.

Dave's leaving for the weekend tomorrow late morning, which means I get to stay home with a sick child in the afternoon of my 2nd week of a new job!! I think everyone will be quite understanding, especially since I'm not particularly important at work yet. At work, I'm still in shock, feeling a little like I'm in the midst of "The Truman Show," like it's all too good and perfect and squeaky-clean to be true. I keep hearing it's going to hit hard soon, and I believe it. Meantime, this week has flown by, even while last week seemed to take a full year.

Though I had grand plans to work on staking my claim tomorrow and trying to actually contribute at work, looks like I get to spend the afternoon at home with my tummy-aching little girl, who will likely be quite well and spend the whole day working on one of her little craft or writing projects, while I plow through some online classes. Then her brother will come home around 2pm (they're getting out early this week for conferences) -- Gabriel walking home after school is overall working out very well this week. This is all good!


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

10/11/2011 Teacher Time

Friday was teacher conferences. Urgh.

First, Gabriel's teacher. This time, Gabriel joined us. The teacher did most of the talking, and clearly wasn't concerned about Gabriel's ability, but did talk a lot about his transitions and planning. Indeed, Gabriel is often cramming his work into the last few minutes. Just like me -- works better under pressure.

Friday in particular was strange because the night before, I discovered that Gabriel was way, way, way behind on his week's homework, and had a report due that he'd had for 2 weeks. Thursday night was a serious struggle, with Gabriel gridlocked and refusing to do anything because he could see he couldn't get it all done and was overwhelmed. Clearly we need to keep closer tabs on his work during the week.

Julian's conference was quite different. We spent maybe 3 minutes on how he's doing in school -- not much to say about that, it's clear he's completely capable. Most of the conversation was about his behavior and keeping him focused and not disrupting the class. Ironically, since Friday, Julian has kicked into "angel" mode and he's been pretty good!

But Sunday was horrendous. Gabriel had to catch up on all that work he was behind on, and I'd let him go to Katrina's party on Saturday with the promise he'd catch up Sunday. So after breakfast and some reading, at 10am I told him to go into his room and get to work. All he did was procrastinate and complain and delay. It was a day of constant conflict. I'd written a list of the work he had to do, which at one point he tore up into tiny pieces and I had to insist he pick up all the pieces. By 6pm he hadn't done any work at all, and I'd taken away just about everything he had in the room. Finally, he overheard that Julian and Katrina were going to watch a movie if they got all the rooms picked up, and he kicked into gear. It took an hour and a half, but he pulled it off.

During this colossal struggle, I was upstairs all day myself, finishing up my closet project. I'm thrilled that I got rid of a lot of clothes! Can't tell from the photo, but these bags filled the back of my car.

Tonight I insisted Gabriel do some work on his weekly work due Friday, another major struggle. But I'm too traumatized from last Thursday night's struggle, Friday's teacher conference and Sunday's all-day-long conflict to let that go. I won, he wrote the 5 definitions I insisted on.

Dave was out to dinner tonight, I got everyone's homework done and everyone to bed, in my second week of a new job, and got all outstanding laundry done. Seems I work better under pressure too!


Sunday, October 09, 2011

10/9/2011 Jumpy party

Katrina's birthday party was on Saturday, at a nearby trampoline place. They have entire areas with trampoline "floors," plus foam pits and a dodgeball court.

One of these areas is for kids 8-and-under. A few of Katrina's friends, and Katrina herself, were hesitant at first about the jumping, but they all got over it fast.

Gabriel joined us to "help," though he spent most of the time jumping in the big-kid areas, especially since he wasn't allowed to really jump in the kids' area. He came back sweaty and exhausted, it was great! He did help, too, like taking one boy to the bathroom once, something I appreciated!

They have party tables and serve pizza (and pizza only, no outside food at all), simplifying matters quite a bit.

I really liked this place, much better than the noisy inflatable-slide place that is very popular for birthday parties here. I wasn't crazy about all the rules they had in the kids' zone -- no chasing games, no holding hands and jumping -- but we worked around it. In fact, I ended up jumping and playing with Katrina's partymates longer than she did! I feel it in my back today, but I had a great time jumping around myself. I never made it to the foam pit though.

A great kickoff to Birthday Season!