Monday, September 9, 2013

Around the Nest This Week

This week has been crazy!! Like most of the country, this has been all about Back to School! Normally this post will be on Sundays, but I was gone from 8am till 10pm yesterday, so I had no chance of sitting down to finish this post last night.

Memorial Day is generally never a day off for me...working at a museum, holidays are usually pretty busy for us. So after a busy day I came home and we had a nice family barbeque with my mother-in-law, brother-in-law and niece. She tried to teach Davin and Abby how to play Double Dutch jump rope, the kids played ont he swingset, watched Super Buddies and even got some puppy kisses from the two dogs next door. It was a nice, relaxing way to spend the last day of summer vacation.

Tuesday morning we jumped right in with both feet. The kids were excited to put on their first day of school outfits, load up their new backpacks and head to school. This week we were split between two schools. My son still attended the school they have been in since Kindergarten, but my daughter was accepted into the new Talented and Gifted program and began attending one of the other elementary schools. Davin started and ended 30 minutes before Abby did, so getting them to their schools worked out alright. I drove them both to school on the first day but since then Abby took the bus in the morning. The TAG students qualify for bussing, and her bus picked her up at Davin's school so it works out. I was a little nervous about sending her on the bus, but she pleaded with me so hard that I told her we would give it a try. The first morning, she found another girl she knows from last year and when the bus pulled up they held hands, climbed aboard together and sat down together, giggling the whole time. I knew she was going to be fine. She didn't take the bus home...even though she could, the bus didn't get back to Davin's school until at least an hour after his classes let out so it didn't make sense to wait that long. By the time my husband Andy picked Davin up, picked Abby up and headed home, he beat the bus anyway.

On Friday we got the news that Davin has now landed a spot in the TAG program as well! He was the next on the waiting list and one of the third graders just opted out, so this morning we made our first official trip to the new school so he could meet his teacher and join his new class. He was a bit nervous, but I knew he would be is only a week into school and he makes friends very easily. His teacher seems very nice and I left with a happy heart and a handful of papers that I need to get caught up on. :)

Our after school schedule has quickly filled up as well. Davin has been playing baseball and will continue with games on Tuesday and Thursdays through the end of the month. He absolutely loves it and it's been so fun to watch him improve since he first started playing in the late spring. Andy keeps holding out hope that we'll have a left-handed pitcher in the Majors. :) He wants to keep Davin going over the winter, working with a team that works indoors to develop his skills. He is close to making the leap to kid-pitch ball rather than coach-pitch and some more work on how to play the game will be a help for him. Plus it will be good to see him stay more active during the cold months. I'd love to get a swim class in there too, but I also don't want to completely overload the kids.

Abby started back to dance last week. She has been moved up to the next class level which has also opened up more class options for her. We were surprised to get a letter asking if we would consider having her try for a new Competition Jazz team. I talked to some of the other parents that were also asked, as well as the teacher and we have decided to let Abby try. She is really excited by it and some of her other dance friends are also in the class. The teacher plans to keep it an introduction to Competition, which is good...I didn't want to end up on a version of "Dance Moms"! She is hoping to use the class to work on technique, and work up to a competition. There are three competition dates that she is considering, none of which are before March. If the girls aren't ready for the first one she won't put them in, but is really hoping for the other two. So we'll see. :)

The Jazz class is part of a Combo series she does on Thursdays, along with ballet and tap classes. She did the same trio last year and it works great since they were back to back. On Tuesday we signed her up for an Acrobatics class to help with her flexibility...unfortunately she seems to have inherited my tight muscles and is definitely less flexible than most of the other girls. This will help and we'll do some work at home couldn't hurt me to work on some stretches! And finally on Wednesday she has Hip Hop. I wish Acro and Hip Hop were on the same day, but sadly, not this year. Ah well. Thankfully they are short classes so it doesn't overload's like a 45 minute play session. :)

In other news, my Mother-in-Law has been living with us since July. It's been fine, she is a very sweet woman. I think she is ready to be in her own space again though and I know she was happy that the closing date for her new house finally happened on Thursday. I think there may be continued adventures on that front though...this house was actually her third choice, but she has just found out that her first choice is back on the market. So...she may put the house immediately back on the market and attempt to get the first choice.

Andy is back to school as well. He is settling in with his students and has been excited this year because he has a full day of Algebra 2. He has been making some adjustlements to his class too. Normally, teachers discuss a topic and kids take notes and sample problems in class, and then work on problems at home for homework credit. But let's be honest...many students don't take good notes or ask questions in class. THeyn they get home and don't understand the homework problems so they don't do them. Then they might copy the problems from a classmate the next day before class. Sure, they might get the homework credit, but when the test comes they haven't actually learned the material and then do poorly on the test. This year he is trying to reverse that. He has a series of videos on each of the sections from the book. For homework, the students watch the videos and take notes for homework credit. Then in class, Andy will use the class time to work on the book problems, so if they have questions they can ask a teacher or a classmate. Hopefully this will help solidify how to do the problems so that when the test comes they have a better understanding of the questions. He's excited and the parents he talked to seem excited by this idea too, so I hope that it works out. It makes sense to me...I wasn't the strongest math student so having someone to ask and brainstorm with would have made it easier for me.

Some thoughts on the week:

  • I need to get myself back on a more reasonable sleep schedule. Going to bed at midnight is not doing me any favors.
  • I am addicted to Instagram! You can find me here.
  • I am this close to trying out Zumba. One of the moms at dance has been doing it for a year and she has lost 40 pounds! That's amazing, and 40 pounds would be great for me to lose. After my back injury, I really got away from exercising...although I am still down 10 pounds from my time with Weight Watchers, I realize I need to get moving. I am way tooo sedentary and it's one of the reasons I feel so tired and achy. I need to look at my schedule & the class schedule and pick a couple of days a week that I can go.
  • Abby is becoming very helpful around the house. She likes to help with dishes and help with her lunch for school. I've been looking at some chore charts for the kids and plan to implement them this coming week for both kids. They can help and it will be good for them to have regular tasks.
  • I need to learn more about gardening. My MIL has been a huge help getting the yard cleared of the overgrowth, but it's leaving us with a bit of an empty shell. I would love to have a cottage style garden...pretty but low maintenance. And a butterfly garden, for sure.
  • Speaking of butterflies, check this IMAX film out if you can. The cinematography is beautiful, it's very kid friendly too and you learn a lot about the Monarch butterfly migration. Turns out that Michigan is part of the migration route, so hopefully we will see a few of them as they head south. And if you have a train lover in the house, this IMAX film is a must too!
  • My internal Harry Potter nerd wants this Marauder's Map scarf by Nerd Alert Creations! I'm loving the Portal Symbols, Periodic Tables and Where the Wild Things Are scarves too. :)
  • I made this Peach Custard Pie from You Are my Fave's blog and got lots of compliments!

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