The Wii is 99.00 on Black Friday at Walmart. I wonder if this the year we finally get a gaming console. Or should we look at the 199 xbox?
We had a scare where we thought Alans DSi was lost with all the games, but it turned out I'd taken it all away and forgot I did. Oddly enough he forgot also and was either playing my phones games or free online games on the PC. Since we thought it was lost, we ended up acquiring a 2nd DSi (used) and one of those 200 games in one cartridges that people concoct overseas. So now I'll have a DSi. Alan and I have joked for years I should get one. It will be black and not pink though!
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We had back to school night on Tuesday. Third grade is a big change from second. They start reading to learn (not learning to read) and dealing with teaching to the the test (NJ Ask here). Alan seems to be doing well, but he does seem to have more work to do in class and for homework.
Did anyone else find such a change?
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It was a busy weekend. On Saturday we did a craft project @ Lowes (build a monster truck - much simplier than it sounds - just nailing and put stickers on pre-cut wood pieces). We also attended a wetdown for the towns new fire truck. Apparently a wetdown is a party where other fire trucks squirt the new fire truck to break it in I guess. Alan and I got accidentally sprayed at one point - fortunately it was a HOT day! Later we had friend over - he and Alan played basketball at a local park. the local park just replace the missing backboard and hoop so now people can play full court games again. (The lines on the court will be painted shortly also).
Sunday we went to a temple rummage sale about 45 minutes away. Got Alan a sports book and a knock hockey game (the old fashioned wooden kind). And we also got DH a bicycle - a older Murry 10 speed mountain type. It didn't fit in our car, even with the seat folded - but we made it home with the trunk tied open. We will need to get a trunk mounted bike rack for the future. We came home and went out again - first to our local McDonalds which was having a big world cup viewing party for Mexico vs. Argentina (I think the owner might be Mexican). Too hot to stay and we had plans, but we got a water bottle. Then to Shoprite where we got London Broil on sale and had the store grind the meat to make burgers (it makes great burgers, not fatty).
Back home to drop off the meat and off to Alan's camp. Didn't see the new director - but did see the other part of the camp for older kids that he wasn't in last year. Got to take out a paddle boat briefly too!
After that we went to a nearby Superwalmart. I got composition books he needs for next year for .25 cents each - seemed weird buying them 2 days after school got out and the day before camp starts! This walmart is near an area with many Orthodox Jews, so it has about 1/4 aisle of Kosher/Jewish food. In that aisle we found a favorite snack of Alan's - they are these peanut butter cheese doodles made by Osem. They are quite tasty - my MIL can get them in her Shoprite, but not in ours. it was funny to get them at walmart though! (He only eats them at home, not in school).
Afterwards, we came home - Alan and I swam and then we went to a family friends place to get a folding bicycle that was not being used. It's a Danoh brand one with 3 speeds. We got it unfolded and refolded (but have no instructions) - at least this fit in my trunk to get it home. Not sure if it will be good for riding around with Alan long term, but it was free, so I'll try it out.
Anyway back to work....I'm awake now.
Oh, I forgot - I successfully fixed 2 toilets Saturday - a new flapper valve for one, a new seat for the other. Now we have 2 working bathrooms again!
Brings back memories of watching the original 3 originally and when they were re-released in 1997.
(Me, I'm more of a Trek fan, but don't mind Star Wars)
Speaking of the budget, all 3 of us went to the budget meeting which was interesting. 3 of the 4 teachers he has had were there (regular pre-k (39 year veteran), kindergarten and 1st). We had a packed house actually many of whom don't normally go to these things. The #1 concern was restoring the nurse position. Then I would say there was a split between art/basic skills. I was the only mention of the enrichment program - no one mentioned elementary Spanish. Some people complained why wasn't music cut. My theory was that it was it is easier to teach art as a teacher (projects) than music in a regular classroom. The superintendant handled the meeting pretty well - he said they'd had 12 days to deal with this fiscal issue and make the budget. It did get a little contensious with 1 person and pushing the teachers to get a wage freeze. Their contract runs out in June. I hope all can go well so we don't have a strike or other messes. It was mentioned a wage freeze would probably save 6 teachers :(
We did get hit with a huge state aid cut and I will be writing letters/e-mails - I think the governor didn't cut the right things.
Alan goes on break starting tommorrow. I'll be off with him tues-friday. Hope I feel better so I can have fun. I got a cold - was going to go to doctor last night (I have asthma, all colds go to chest, bad thing) and get medicine, if not better friday will go then. Can't go tonight - dropping Alan off for a sleepover at a friends in a different town. They have friday off and then week after us. Would be so much easier if districts coordinated breaks sometimes.
I can't wait for spring and the nice weather this weekend!
Yesterday we were watching an episode where the The Chief was showing Maxwell Smart his gadget laden Sunbeam Tiger (a cool British 60's sportcar). When pushing a button, something popped out of the hood. Alan thought it was a laser canon (it was a machine gun) - guess Alan's seen too many sci-fi shows like Star Wars.
Still weird to see them smoking cigarettes as if it was perfectly normal - so much has changed since 1967.
Alan is enjoying his gifted and talented class. They are learning about the Olympics. They went on the olympic.org website. He saw this video of an olympic pole vaulter breaking the world record. I think they will have a project to invent a new olympic sport as part of their class.
Alan and I also watched Nick's game show "Brainsurge" tonight as they had 2 special celebrity episodes from 7 to 8 tonight. It's fun to watch because it relies on visual memory not facts/trivia. I think this show would really appeal to Nick's younger audience, but it's on usually at 4:30 during when neither of us are home. When I was in elementary school I used to spend my days off flipping from game show to game show through out the day. I think Alan would like that, but that isn't around anymore (I'm not sure we get the game show channel on our cable...if that channel is still around).
And now the calendar flips to December...Alan can't wait for it to snow so he can sled. I can't wait till the 23rd for vacation for all of us!
Wednesday: Alan's class international feast. Alan sang well and his cookies (the Lofthouse sugar cookies) were a hit. But a lot of the international food was enjoyed more by the parents and teachers than the kids. Alan's teacher was very smart and brought in pizza (representing Italy) - I think just about the entire class ate that!
Thursday: Thanksgiving at my cousin's. We had my cousin, his wife, their 3 children, his mom, his ex-wife, her dad and her niece and us. Although it sounds weird, everyone gets along. And even though my cousins children are much older than Alan (they are 18, 15, 12) - they have fun with him. I can't believe the youngest is getting bat mitzvahed in June. I remember the first Thanksgiving I was at my cousin's - on my own after seperating and moving out from my ex's - she was a little 3 month old sleeping in a baby car seat (bucket) in the corner! A lot has changed since then (1997)!
Friday: I got up and did my black friday shopping. I was able to get everything I really wanted with not too much hassle. One freebie at Staples was gone and Rite Aide had only 1 of the 2/1.00 Hot Wheels left when I was there. I did score the 3.00 coffee maker @ Target (cheaper than a garage sale one for camping) and the Nintendo DSI bundle for Alan (still in my car trunk). I did make the mistake of going by Toys R Us for a gift for a charitable item I am doing. The specific item apparently is an exclusive to them but wasn't on special sale. Seeing that the line was 1/2 way around the store after 9 AM, I bailed. I was also quite happy to find a pair of jeans for 10.00 at Sears that fit. So I have 2 pairs of nice jeans (from Sears and Walmart - no expen$ive ones for me) - I am glad that I figured out with stretch jeans I need to go down 1 size and get petite ones.
Also on Friday, DH's family reconnected with a long lost cousin and her family that had moved to Florida 30 years ago. My SIL googled them on Thursday and on Friday e-mail and phone calls were exchanged. I said hi, although I'd never met the person before. They had moved to Florida to get a new start because one of the sibilings was having legal trouble as a juvenile. Oddly enough this cousin is a business owner with a judge as a long term girlfiend!
Saturday: Stuck at home waiting for Verizon to fix the connection issues that I had been having. The service window was 8-5. I ended up calling 3x that day as I heard nothing. I was on the phone at 4:45 only to be told they weren't coming and had been doing stuff from the outside - anyway I did get them to send a new modem and will be continuing to complain to the higher ups - the whole process has involved long holds waiting for the "CENTRAL OFFICE" which I can not talk to directly and lots of miscommunication. Sadly, I'm not sure what alternatives we have here other than Verizon. We checked out Time Warner (my other dislike) and they didn't have any good deal and google hasn't turned anything else up for residential DSL. (Windstream looked good, but they don't service NJ). (We face the wrong way for sattlelite).
Sunday: Looked at a house FSBO by owner in our town - turned out to be too much work at the price for us to move to and not really a property that could be rented. We met with friends and their friends at the local bowling alley - the kids bowled one game, Alan got 2 strikes and scored a 99 (with bumpers, but still very good). Later we went to the park and Alan tried his Razor Scooter a little. I'm glad I got him the basic one and not the fancy Spark model (some sort of sparks appear when you use the brake).
I ended up writing a bit didn't I? I guess I've been the blogging equivalent of tounge tied lately!
He's come quite far from being in an IEP in pre-k!
Sadly, the school lunches don't start until 9/21. We get them brought in from another town as we don't have a cafeteria. I was hoping that since this was the second year of this, they'd start sooner :(
And they didn't include any aftercare information. Hopefully it's the same as last year, including cost.
After I got the letter I was trying to figure out how to contact the mom of a girl Alan has known since his daycare days. I couldn't find her number, but she ended up calling me. Alan and Amanda are in the same class again this year. Alan didn't seem all that interested in it, but I'm glad he knows someone. I think he knows many kids now in first grade anyway - from previous classes, soccer or aftercare (and he's social).
2 weeks to go.....
I vaguely remember them starting the younger children shows earlier in the summer last year but it was not an issue as he was either watching Noggin at the time or didn't really care.
Alas all of the other alternatives at 7AM I found this morning don't work (Cartoon Network - Ben 10, Disney Channel - Handy Manny, Disney XD - Even Stevens - PBS - Sesame Street). Have to see if we get Nicktoons, that would work I hope. There is on demand kids tv in a pinch, but I think the shows are less than a 1/2 hour and I'd have to set it up :(
I let Alan watch tv in the morning so I can get ready or try to. We've done it for years.
If only Cartoon network had Pokemon at 7 not 8 AM, Alan would be very happy :)
I can't believe it's been a year since Alan's kindergarten orientation (next year's class is going this afternoon). Tommorrow is his celebration (aka graduation) - although year end is the 22nd. It should be cute. We have me, my husband, my MIL and DH's uncle (Alan's great uncle) going. Nice to have someone else come for a change - the uncle used to go to many, many of his late SO's family events for her grandkids.
Alan had pink eye last week - we got called last Friday to get him just after we dropped him off. After a bit of confusion my MIL got him and took him to the doctor later in the day (after I faxed over permission and insurance) Putting the drops in wasn't fun - there was a bit of wrestling for the first few doses. then I started bribing with pokemon cards, and he cooperated much better. Still I'm glad we are done today. Too bad we can't go swiming now due to cool, wet weather. (Although he was only contaigious for 24 hours, I felt he shouldn't swim until the drops were done, better safe than sorry).
More medical stuff: I have a check up tommorrow afternoon (which probably means blood work very early Saturday AM), and Alan has dentist appointment #2 Saturday AM - 2 more fillings. Hopefully he won't bite his lip afterwards this time - it didn't look very good for a day or so. I'll make sure he waits longer to eat after the fillings this time.
Alan also got the kindergarten terra nova's back - 80th percentile in reading, 93rd in math. Not bad, although from his reading all sorts of stuff like road signs i thought he'd do higher.
Probably need to get back to work - so keeping this brief.
Life is busy these days. DH is recovering from his fall – slowly looking better. He and I (and Alan who will never admit it) seem to be having some congestion/cold these days – but that’s getting better too. I actually did get a written response from the hospital president in regard to my e-mail – it’s a form letter like “we will look into it”, but it is something.
We had two birthday parties this weekend – one for twins in Alan’s school (plus a cousin of there’s). We didn’t know anyone – Alan only knew 2 kids other than the birthday twins – I’m not sure if not a lot of classmates were invited, or they didn’t come as the party was a bit far. The other was our friend’s son – a pretty low key affair at a miniature golf course – the place just charged 25.00 for a party – the parents brought their own food/cake. Alan was the only one who hadn’t gone to school with the birthday boy (we live an hour away), but that didn’t stop him. We would have gone back to our friends house afterwards – but DH wasn’t feeling well. We did make two stops on the way home, and ended up sending a very overtired Alan to bed very early.
Tomorrow, I celebrate my birthday with lots of kindergarteners at the zoo. Can’t say I’ve done that before. Later Alan and I will see Star Trek. I wasn’t in a rush to see it, but figured we could use my borrowed free movie tickets pass from cable (it’s my MILs cable company that gives the cards). All of us do want to see Night At The Museum 2 when it comes out – and I suspect one or both of us will take Alan to Up sometime this summer – not sure what else is coming out.
I do wish my broken toe would stop being swollen. I have 2 pair of shoes I can wear (one more comfy than the other). I guess now that’s it’s almost Memorial Day; I can wear sandals/flip flops at least - but wish I could get a pedicure. I am also amazed how quickly our summer plans are filling in – spotted some freebie concerts to attend and trying to find a day for the beach (at last) and a minor league baseball game. Still need a few last things for Alan for camp – name tags;towels and one more swim suit.
Next month the camp has an open house, I really want to go up there to see it. I’d like it better if I “knew” where he was – I’ve only seen a bunch of photos. It will be weird to have him so far from home during the day – he’ll probably be 45-50 minutes from our house – he’s always been with daycare/school 5-10 minutes from our house (even if DH and I were an hour away at work). I just hope that the camp will get him IN the lake and get him swimming. (I don’t want him sitting on the side like he did at Y lessons, they were a waste). I’m not expecting him to be a Michael Phelps level swimmer – just be able to enjoy water activities safely (and let me relax a little at the condo pool).
Back to work – things due today that don’t work, so someone has to fix. (I don’t fix, I just test…sometimes that’s good, and sometimes that’s bad.)
I am slowly mending my broken toe. At least I can wear a closed toe shoe now; it was a pain hobbling around in sandals in the rain.
Even though it is the only “nice” day this week, Alan has to miss t-ball practice today as I wasn’t able to work from home to be able to take him at 6. The field (not the usual one) might be too muddy anyway. Wish I could figure out where the baseball sock I washed disappeared to. He now has 3 and not 4.
For once I am on top of work, instead of it being on top of me. This is an unusually good feeling.
We missed the Hoboken festival on Sunday. Between my bad foot and the rain, it wasn’t worth it. They also aren’t getting the quality of acts they used to – maybe it’s the economy or lack of radio station sponsorship. I don’t see “The Box Tops” (with Alex Chilton) as being a big draw as a headliner (especially without the oldies WCBS-FM to promote it). We are perusing the summer concert schedule at www.njfreesummerconcerts.com and it looks good. Even Musikfest looks good (but on the weekends). So Alan will probably go to the Y camp for 8 weeks, then 1 week of local daycare before our vacation (we thought about pulling him out due to Musikfest, but we won’t go during the week at this point). The in school aftercare amazingly will finish out the rest of June as a full day option; so we’ve got that partial week of school (thank you snow days) covered too.
Sadly, I am not going to my 25th reunion college reunion at WPI. Because of Alan’s kindergarten party, we can’t go up on Friday. And going up on Saturday and back Sunday isn’t as nice, especially since we wanted to visit a family friend at the same time. There was someone going I hadn’t seen in 25 years though --- maybe meet up another time
Not sure what we are doing for Mother’s day. I wanted to hike but my toe says that isn’t a good idea. Trying to get my SIL to come by us, but as usual she won’t, I am tired of going by her (long story). Saturday we have a pizza and movie with the group that we go to Ithaca with. Most of the group lives in central jersey (we met them through a former co-worker of my husband’s). The party host lives off exit 12 on Route 78, a hike for us. Fortunately the weather looks ok and I have a GPS!
I was surfing around www.fanfiction.net last night. I found the site through the title of a message board post where some people were discussing twilight fan fiction. (I still have to read that series!). I am amazed at the diversity of fan fiction – I saw fan fiction for things such as Mash, Green Acres, Get Smart, Avenue Q, and Icarly! (I forgot to look for Bakugan fan fiction – it’s probably there!). I didn’t read the stories, just viewed the summaries. I’m not into gay themed slash but do appreciate imaginative writing.
Are there any other diverse archives out there?
The other night I went to see someone’s new house. It was a McMansion, very nice and new. After seeing the house she has for sale, I expected the new house to be of this type and wasn’t surprised Although I’d love a slightly bigger place with 1 more bedroom, McMansions don’t appeal to me – I’d be happy with a 3 bedroom townhouse. I guess I just have modest (or practical) tastes in houses. I would manage to be content where we are until Alan goes to high school – I’d move for a better high school for him, if he doesn’t go to the county schools – I still don’t care for the high school our town goes into (Ridgefield Park).
Back to work – more to test and break.
Ours are done. I have to clear up something with NY state due to making an amendment to 2007 while doing 2008 taxes - glad I'm waiting till Friday to call them. Oddly enough DH and I are working from home Friday. I have a conference call with India at 8:30, he's got some vendors to contact later in the AM.
I have tracked down our elusive Little League and will call later to find out what team Alan is on and if/when he has practice since Opening Day is Saturday. At least I have cleats for him (2nd hand) but I suspect I'll eventually have to get him a glove. (He's a lefty, there's always a zillion righty gloves but not enough lefties at softball/baseball/t-ball games in my experience).
Last night I attended the PTA meeting to go over the budget/meet the school board candidates. I took 6 candidates for 3 seats to mean something is going on. That wasn't the case, it was just that some people were interested. Alas, none seem to be interested in looking into another HS for our district (I don't like the one we go to since our district is just pre-k-8.) I did submit a question "Would you consider alternatives to Ridgefield Park HS" - it got replaced by the similar but not the same "Do you consider Ridgefield Park and Bergen Tech HS" safe for our kids"? Considering that 32.5% of the budget goes to tuition for HS - including Ridgefield Park/Vo Tech/special needs - it was a valid question. I did find one of the few audience members to agree with me, if only we could get a critical mass someday (I have discussed this before and gotten some agreement). It's hard to change when most of the board people are long time residents and/or attended the HS themselves.
I'm not ready to run or be more agressive yet - lack of time to do so right now. I'll lurk and wait.
I need to blog about our trip to NC later on when I get the photos off the camera.
Anyway he's been toothless in front forever - although he's now at an age where it looks less weird. The dentist said his teeth would be coming in by age 7 as they would take longer without the old teeth pushing through in the front. I could see the adult teeth on his last x-ray this fall but it still didn't look like much was happening.
This morning Alan showed me that one bottom tooth broke through the gum - he's got a tooth on the way now! I feel like the mom of a little baby who got his first tooth - it's been so long since he had them!