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By Robin Dearing
Monday, August 20, 2007
As we walked down our street this morning, our neighbor called out, "First day of school?"
"Yep," Margaret called out.
"Awesome," he replied.
She was all ready for her first day of second grade. She had her backpack filled with school supplies and her new school clothes.
As we walked into the building Margaret was cheerfully greeted by the teachers and the staff. She waved and said hello easily. She didn't appear to be very nervous.
Bill and I walked Margart to her classroom and got her desk set up. Then it was time to leave.
As we walked home, I got a knot in my stomach. I feel completely discombobulated and out of sorts.
Are we doing the right thing sending her back to this school?
This year she's in a combined second and third grade class. There are seven second graders and 11 third graders. 18 students. That's a small class size for a district that is increasing exponentially. Where else can she be in a class that small?
She's comfortable there. She's learned so much so far. She's happy there. She loves her school.
Why would we ever consider sending her anywhere else?
Friday, August 17, 2007
It was a moment all mothers dread. My palms were sweaty and my heart was pounding. I silently prayed, “Dear God, this is in your hands. Please protect me and my only begotten son. Watch over us and keep us all safe.”
Alex and I sat in the waiting area and didn’t say much. He was a little nervous about the outcome of the test he was about to take. I was more than a little nervous, but tried my best to put on a happy face. Finally, they called his number and he stepped up talk to the lady behind the desk.
“OK”, she said. “Are you ready?”
“Yep, as ready as I’ll ever be,” Alex replied.
After the obligatory paperwork and passing of id, he picked up a pencil and walked over to the test area.
In approximately five minutes and 25 questions, he could walk away with his learner’s permit.
As he pondered the questions, I paced the waiting area. Half of me was rooting him on and the other half was thinking he is really not ready for this. Correction, I am really not ready for this.
He finished the test and took it back to be graded. You’re allowed to miss 5 and he missed 6. I had to bite my tongue to keep from cheering. I mean really! What kind of mother hopes her son will fail?
However, the good state of Colorado allows you to take the test again right on the spot, which of course Alex did.
Which of course he passed with 100%.
He whooped and carried on like, well, like some teenager who had just been handed the keys to the golden gates of freedom. He had to pry them out of my tightly clenched fist first.
I actually let him drive home. My car. For which I paid a lot of money. And I have to hand it to him, he did a good job! Little heavy on the gas and light on the brakes, but we’re working on that.
And I’m still praying the same prayer.
You should too.
By Robin Dearing
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Earlier this week I wrote an entry for my personal blog
about how Margaret has decided to go into the field of crime fighting.
Yes, siree, she wants to be a crime fighter and fight crime with a costume and tool belt full of unspecified tools and accessories.
After much deliberation, she decided she wanted to be called UnderMargaret ... which I think is pretty funny, but she takes this all very seriously.
Upon reading the earlier entry, a friend and former co-worker e-mailed and said she was reminded of the book written by Louise Fitzhugh, Harriet the Spy.
I, too, read this book as a little girl and loved it.
I remember spending one summer vacation with a pad of paper and a pencil mapping out my neighborhood and planning excursions to spy (fortunately for all involved, I was better at the planning than the execution).
Because Bill was out of town, I decided that after work I'd take Margaret to the book store to get Mar her own copy of Harriet the Spy. Then we'd read the book together each night. I couldn't wait to pick her up that day.
When she got in the car, I told her about the e-mail from our friend, about the book I loved so much and how I wanted to share it with her.
"Uh, I already have a lot of books. Maybe we should wait until I've read more of the books I already have," she suggested in a tone that seemed to be just a touch reproachful — as if my idea was too whimsical.
At first, I was a bit frustrated and disappointed, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that she just wasn't into the idea. And then I realized that trying to force her into having an experience just because I wanted it, was silly.
She was tired and wanted to go home. I was too. And we spend our evening happily ever after.
Funny how things work out sometimes.
By Robin Dearing
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
My oldest daughter started kindergarten on Monday. She marched through the school doors, weighed down by her pink backpack, ready to take on the world.
In many ways, parents of kindergarteners have as much, if not more, to learn than their children. I've witnessed an array of parent types this week:
Their goodbyes run into overtime and they are often asked to leave the building, just as they are plotting ways to spy on their child through the classroom window.
Project Management Parent:
Equipped with enough nervous energy to map out every detail of their child’s back to school experience, they plan out their child’s lunches and wardrobe on Excel spreadsheets.
Environmentally Conscious Parent:
While you worry about petty things like the shortage of khaki jumpers in your daughter’s size, they ponder such lofty things as whether or not the school cafeteria should enter into a co-op program with local farmers.
Family Historian Parent:
This mom or dad snaps photo after digital photo of their child, typically holding a handmade sign for posterity, and shoots enough video for a documentary.
Is She a Porn Star or Isn’t She Mama:
This suburban housewife’s high heels, short skirts, and Bratz makeup make you question whether or not she does a little work on the side.
Rah Rah Rah PTO Parent:
Future volunteer parent of the year material, with enough enthusiasm to fundraise like a Trump.
Somebody Needs a Time Out Parent:
Lacking in anger management, this mom or dad is always irate at the school administration over something.
All kidding aside, most parents have the same well intended concern over the well-being of their child. It’s our job to guide them and reassure them, even if we leave our video camera at home or don’t sell enough band booster tickets to meet quota.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
My back aches.
My knee hurts. Make that both knees.
The muscles I thought I no longer had in my shoulders are sore.
I have this funny twitch in my side under my rib cage.
You could play connect-the-dots with the bruises on my legs.
I am foggy-brained from sleeping only about three hours a night. (I know that's more than Richie is getting!)
All because I moved three blocks up the hill, and I have spent literally almost all the past four days packing, lifting, climbing, walking, shoving, pushing, dragging, all my crap up and down two flights of stairs in the car, out of the car, out of the house, into the house, blah, blah, blah.
It makes me envious of the homeless bums that usually just irritate me. They spent the weekend sleeping in the shade in the park. I’m starting to re-think my priorities.
OK, I’m done complaining. For now.
We’re moved in and now it’s mostly just the devastation in the garage that needs to be dealt with. But that is totally boy-work. So when my dear, sweet, honey Dan gets home form his six-day boondoggle I know he will be thrilled to take care of that for me. Right, honey? I’m sure Alex will be happy to help! (Since you were both on vacation while I was doing all the (literally) dirty work.) I did get lots of great help from lots of great people and I am really grateful for that.
Plenty of beer has already been drunk on the back deck, and I’m looking forward to lots more! And I gotta say, it’s nice to be in the office today where the only heavy lifting I have to do is picking up the phone!
By Richie Ann Ashcraft
Monday, August 13, 2007
Richie wrote this post the week before Jonas was born. It was supposed to be posted last week but we had a technical glitch.
I decided to post it even though she's now at the post-pregnancy state — mostly because I love the picture that Chris Tomlinson took of Richie just days before she gave birth.
Although she was tired and had a lot on her plate, Richie breezed through her pregnancy with a grace that I envy. I never heard her complain much about her aches, pains or fatigue despite working full-time and having a very active toddler at home.
What I love about this entry is her honesty and her sense of humor. And when I look at that picture of her, she looks so happy and beautiful. Even though she claims to be "generally just done" with being pregnant, you can tell that she thrives on the joys of motherhood.
It's been nine really long months. It's such a long time to wait for a little one. This time it has been a tediously long time. I'm hot, achy, tired and generally just done!
I'm down to my last few outfits that still fit. I'm breaking dress code and wearing flip-flops because none of my shoes fit. I don't really care that I've worn this pink dress twice this week or that my other outfit has been seen weekly for nine months.
Last week's Charm
page gave helpful hints to pregnant mommies about how to dress for nine months of fashion
. Most of it was pretty good advise except for the part about buying a "showstopping accessory." That part made me laugh ... it was like suggesting you just give up and try to distract people from your giant belly with a lovely bracelet. Yeah, that's not gonna work! My suggestion is buy everything WAY bigger than you think you'll ever be ... because trust me you're going to be THAT big.
But, the part that really cracked me up and made me simultaneous roll my eyes and sigh was this picture:
What is she ... two days late? As I said before
maternity clothes have come a long way but obviously our pregnant models have not. No wonder women have such distorted body images. Nobody shows it like it is and then women are horrified when they reach the ninth month. I'm pro "Pregnant is Beautiful"
but it's about time the advertisers start showing it like it is.
And this friends, THIS is how it is:
By Richie Ann Ashcraft
Friday, August 10, 2007
I shouldn't have to dig through my kids' toybox
once a week looking for the latest recalled toy. I thought we had guidelines in place to protect our children. And I guess we do but they seem to be failing somewhere.
You know it seems to me to be our own fault really...if we expect inexpensive products we are going to buy low quality products. Why does China use lead paint? Because it keeps the cost down and we Americans don't want to pay anymore than we have to for a Poison Me Elmo
at a big box store.
Or pay more for Pet Food
Or Vending Machine Jewelry
Or snack food
Or Human Blood Products
Or toy trains
And don't forget to throw out your lead contaminated crayons
Luckily, there aren't any of the current recalled toys in my house...but there are plenty of other toys with the Made In China embossed on the bottom right next to the "please insert 16 AA batteries for 15 minutes of play time." As a matter of a fact I'm sure there are plenty of imported products throughout my whole house that may be killing my family.
Is the cheap cost worth all this....really??? I can promise you that come this holiday season I'll be flipping over those toys to see where they are made and if it's not in the good old USA it won't be coming into my home.
By Robin Dearing
Friday, August 10, 2007
Hi everyone! Or should I say "howdy?" I'm Jamie, a working mom to two little girls from Nashville, and Richie Ann kindly asked me to fill in as a guest blogger while she is on maternity leave.
I have been blogging at www.BlondeMomBlog.com
since October 2005. My youngest daughter was 7 months old and I was attempting to work from home with her while juggling deadlines and diaper changes. I was starting to get a little stir crazy from all the Baby Einstein DVDs and breastfeeding and lack of adult conversation and I really missed writing. Plus at work they really frown upon any projects focusing on my favorite topics: poop and whine, I mean wine. My husband introduced me to the blogosphere, I Googled "mom blogs," and I was hooked.
I am constantly amazed at the blogging community and how many universal trials and tribulations, as well as joys and milestones, parents share.
My oldest daughter, Miss C, is 5 (going on 15 at times) and is my little Punky Brewster. She's starting kindergarten this year and while she's excited, I find myself weepy and wondering "what happened to my baby?!" My youngest daughter, Miss A, is 2 and is already a budding fashionista with a penchant for bling. She's obsessed with Dora the Explorer. I'm trying to persuade her that going potty is the cool thing to do. And I can't leave out our two certified mutts, Bailey and Jack. They were our first "babies."
Any way, thanks for having me! Let me know if there's anything you'd like to know about Nashville. I don't want to burst your bubble, but I don't wear rhinestones, have Dolly Parton boobs or go line dancing.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to try one of those grilled peanut butter sandwiches
Richie Ann was talking about.
By Robin Dearing
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Richie and Marty welcomed their son, Jonas Alexander, to the world on Monday, Aug. 6 at 10:40 p.m.
Jonas weighed in at 6 lbs., 5.3 oz. and was 19.5 inches long.
Both, mother and baby are doing well.
He sure is a cutie — Richie and Marty sure know how to grow some sweet little boys.
Now on to blog business, we have a winner for the baby pool
Andrea guessed Aug. 6 at 11:26 p.m. — less than an hour from Jonas' actual birth. That's close enough for us.
Andrea, e-mail me at Robin Dearing and we'll send you your prize (such as it is!).
Congrats to Andrea and much love and congratulations to Richie, Marty, Soren and new baby, Jonas!!
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
It’s very quiet at my house. Alex left Friday with his dad to visit his grandparents and other relatives in the Boston area. It’s a good time for him to be gone, because the old house and the new house are in ruins right now during the move. I’m not really even sure where Alex’s bed is right now!
I have resisted the urge to call to see what they’re up to. Not that I would get much out of him in the way of information anyway. But I miss him just the same. You know how it is - when they’re gone you just remember the good stuff.
The hardest part is realizing the whole dang summer is just about over! It happens every year - you think you have all kinds of time to plan and do stuff, and then you don’t, and you’re thinking about Labor Day weekend. I console myself by remembering that fall is my favorite time of year, and that with luck it can stay warm through the end of October. Which is good, because the first so-called “teacher work day” is at the end of October so it’ll be a perfect time to go camping with no crowds.
Oh wait! I forgot to tell you all that Alex got his learner’s permit! Wow, talk about out-of-sight out-of-mind. Ha! Those of you who know me may find it ironic, if not terrifying, to think I am teaching the next generation how to drive!
More on that whole topic in my next blog . . .