Saturday, January 30, 2010

Syl's Wide World of Whoa

We all love the new daycare. The girls love their teachers. The Hammer is has been going potty on the toilet a few times a week. I had to bring a fruit or vegetable to Kitten's class on Friday and they made fruit salad and veggie pizza with everyone's stuff. And the kids ate it! Hammer's class was learning to match capital and lower case letters Thursday.

And I love it. Aside from the above, they surprised the parents Friday morning with muffins and apples for the ride to work. One of the directors is there every time I come and they know me and my kids. I often see them pitching in, holding the younger kids, helping round up a stray, leading a class down the hallway, etc. Everything I have observed has impressed me.

The ease with which the teachers deal with the children is amazing. Everyone in the school calls the children "friends." There is not a TV in any room, except the security monitors in the director's office. They have a security system that reads my fingerprint to unlock the door. They eat meals and snacks family style at a table and the children learn to dish up their own food and eat together.

So yeah, we're liking the new school. All of us.

Oh, and Kitten got into the kindergarten we wanted for Math, Science, and Children's Engineering. Not only did we get the program we wanted, it's free all day every day kindergarten, which will bring our weekly daycare bill back down to where it was before the move. Seven more months of the extra expense and we're back to where we were.

And when Hammer is in 1st grade, we'll be down to around $140 a week! That's downright cheap for us!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Getting better

It's been a better week for us, due to better planning and more adjustment time.

Monday: drop off went ok, Kitten started throwing a fit but we managed to pull it back and get everything moving on. Hammer didn't want to go to "school" but saw her teacher in the window and I convinced her to go in and say hi. She ran up to her in the hallway and gave her a huge hug. I was early to work and made it in time for an 8 am conference call (which was canceled). I picked her up early to go to the dentist, where she did not throw a fit, although Kitten saw us leaving from the fence and was a little concerned. Hammer even let the dentist take an x-ray of her front teeth, which were indeed pushed back. They aren't doing anything at this point, but we have to go back if they turn gray or abcess. Pick up was successful, but we were already halfway out.

Tuesday: getting dressed is a chore as i realize Kitten wants to be dressed like a toddler. I hope this regression doesn't last long. I can tell they're getting tired and the early hours are wearing on them. Drop off is good but I have to stop for gas, so I'm about 15 minutes late. Pick up is fabulous, as I am now bribing them to leave with Cheez-Its. Hammer peed twice in the potty at school, two more times than we have gotten her to go at home.

Wednesday: Near meltdown in the morning with getting dressed and Hammer throws a hissy in front of the door. I take Kitten outside and belt her in and determine that Hammer's fit stemmed from her wanting to open the door. I close it, she opens it, and we get in the car. Drop off goes well and Kitten has been drawn to a very cute black girl as her friend, which thrills me. One reason we moved was for a little more diversity. Pick up is excellent, even though Hammer is playing in the "Village" room when I get there and last time I had to drag her out kicking and screaming. I offer the Cheez-Its and she jumps into her coat.

This evening, however, I can tell the girls are getting fatigued. They are whining, arguing, picking at each other, and fighting any request we make. They don't want to go to bed. I would like to chloroform them.

I am also tired from getting up earlier each day to make them toast and yogurt before asking them to get dressed and getting moving earlier so I can get to work on time. It's making bedtime a bit tougher this week, but at least we're not throwing fits in public.

On a nicer note, the teachers told me today how adorable it is that the kids' classes overlap for outside time in the afternoon and they both squeal and run to each other like they haven't seen each other in weeks.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Week from hell

The girls started a new daycare this week.

Monday: Drop off goes better than we have a right to expect. We both take a little time off in the morning to complete paperwork, get our fingerprints in the door lock system, and get the kids adjusted, but all goes well. MIL meets us for pick up, so that also goes well, although the kids are having fun and don't want to stop.

Tuesday: Kitten has to be dragged into the car screaming. The Hammer throws a fit when I leave and I can see her screaming on the floor as I get into the car. I call on the way to work, however, and the director says she was just in there and didn't see any sign of a fit, or even tears. I am an hour late to work. Pick up goes alright, although it takes a while to get them in the car.

Wednesday: Kitten has to be dragged into the car again, but remainder of drop off is successful. The Hammer's teacher cleverly averts another fit and I am only 45 minutes late to work. I have to pick up early to take them to the doctor for check ups. The Hammer is unhappy about the wakeup call from nap and is starting to get into a fit when she is tipped off by staff that she is going to the doctor. An all out screaming panic attack ensues and lasts for over an hour, into the doctor's office and the exam room. I am kicked, punched, and scratched as I attempt to contain her. She finally calms down when it becomes clear that she doesn't have to get shots, although her sister does. The afternoon goes better for a couple of hours until, inexplicably, when we get home, neither child will get out of the car and sit there and cry until I pick them both up and take them each out of the car.

Thursday: Both children get dressed and drop off goes well, again Miss Lisa stops another Hammer fit with her mad skills at daycare. I am 40 minutes late, but I'm counting it as a win. Pick up goes much worse and Hammer throws another huge fit and has to be dragged out and shoved in the car. I have become much better at carrying her with all limbs facing out so I am not in the line of fire. By the time we get home, both are crying in the car and refuse to get out. I trudge into the house and tell Pants to go get them if he wants them - I am done.

Friday: Drop off goes really well, no one has to be dragged screaming into the car, no one throws a fit at the daycare. When I leave, Kitten is writing her name on her paper with her teacher and Hammer is getting some breakfast with her class. I am only 20 minutes late. My knee is seriously flaring up, however, and I can barely walk throughout the day from the week's activities. I ask Pants to pick them up and, of course, they give him no trouble. Friday is also the day that all applications are due for Kindergarten schools and Kindergarten Extra, the all-day-every-day option that I have to pay for if Kitten does not get into one of the magnet schools. I have three envelopes to mail that must be postmarked today.

Saturday: Children are extremely tired. Kitten is running a low-grade fever and might have a mild virus. It is a crying, whiny day as the children are still exhausted from the week. We're just trying to make it until bedtime when Hammer, in some inexplicable dinner table accident that I didn't actually witness, cracks her face on the table. She has a swollen upper lip and her two front teeth are actually pushed backward. Pants and I struggle with what to do (ER? Nothing? Emergency dentistry?) when MIL comes over and gives her some ice cream. She begins feeling better and I finally find some sorta official advice on the internet that says the teeth will most likely go back into position on their own without intervention. Although they could still die and turn black.

And now it's Sunday and we're just trying to get through. MIL has offered to take them for a few hours this afternoon and I'm eternally grateful. She has also offered to take a bundle of laundry with her and return it with the children. That woman is sometimes a saint. I'm trying to decide between mad cleaning, a nap, and drinking myself into a stupor while they're gone.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New year, but the old me keeps hanging around...

Yeah, can't seem to get rid of her. Anyway...

I guess I'll start with updates since it's been crickets around here for awhile.

My grandmother passed Oct. 29 and I went out to MD for her service in December for three days (alone). My grandfather, Dr. Charles Schnetzler, was hit by a car and brought home the day after Thanksgiving to spend his final days among family and friends. He was still hanging on while I was out there and I even got an eyebrow lift when I talked with him. He passed just two days after I left and the whole family flew out to MD last week for his service.

My grandfather graduated MIT, taught for a year in Oxford, and spent his career with NASA at the Goddard Space Center in Maryland. He rewrote the book on tektites, discovered the probable crater markings for the meteor strike that killed the dinosaurs, was instrumental in building the team that mapped the topography of Mars (recently named one of the scientific advancements of the decade), and as a geologist studied the moon rocks after the 1969 moon landing, finding some element or another that was a replacement for calcium on the moon and apparently was quite important. So yeah, pretty cool.

We actually got to spend Christmas Day at home this year, which is all we ever ask out of Christmas. And we didn't even get accused of ruining Christmas.

The kids started a new daycare Monday and with my absolutely brilliant sense of timing, it was mere hours after our return from MD. The kids love it, though, and it might potty-train the young one in a few scant weeks. They seem to be engaged and learning, and they're definitely exhasted at the end of the day, so yay.

Pants and I are actively attempting to select a kindergarten for Kitten. There are 4 magnet schools in our district that allow applications and specialize in (in order of our preference) 1. Math, Science, and Children's Engineering, 2. School for the Arts, 3. World Studies, and 4. Math and Environmental Sciences. As a kicker, the first three offer all-day-every-day kindergarten for free, while every other school in the district offers only half-time with an option to pay for full time. Cost cutting, you know.

One of our fish, my big blue gourami, died. Lame. We were also unsuccessful in sustaining a healthy-looking Chia christmas tree. And we also ruined all of the extra seeds. Better luck next year, I guess.

My $50 laptop is just about dead, so I'm switching back to the Dell since Pants has moved to the desktop downstairs (better for WoW, you know). So not much Twittering going on until I get my stuff set up on this computer the way I want it.

So there it is. We're hoping for a better 2010, but I'm not sure I will be making any resolutions. I want to lose some weight because I'm in a wedding in August and I've seen the dresses. Ugh. The exercising is tough, though, since I can't run or jump or ski or, you know, stuff. I would like to keep the house cleaner, but here I am on my butt working on the computer.

Happy 2010 everyone.