Showing posts from October, 2015

I Missed Halloween

I don't know how I did it, but I missed Halloween.  It's over, done with, gone. My calendar reads October 30th today, so I thought I still had time.  But I guess I was wrong. How did this happen?  I don't know.  The signs were there.  The decorations and the treats were displayed for me in August.  There were costumes in September.  Halloween was on the way.  But now!!!  Don't be late!!!! I thought I still had time.  I was wrong. It started yesterday when I decided I needed some non-food treats.  (  I was running some errands.  (Ok, I was out buying "mommy treats" aka a bottle of wine.  Mommy needs something to get her through the trick or treating!)  I thought I'd run by the local dollar store and pick up a container of spider rings or a pack of Halloween themed pencils.  A quick run in and out.  It should have been easy. But I missed Halloween.  I walked in

What Color Is Your Pumpkin?

It may seem like a silly question.  Pumpkins are orange, right?  Yet if you look around you might see some teal pumpkins.   Yes, pumpkins painted teal.  Not very "Halloween" like is it?  Well take it from a former trick or treater, Halloween can be a very scary time if you have food allergies, but the teal pumpkin is helping to make it a little less so. Started last year by the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) organization, the teal pumpkin signifies that you/your house offers treats other than candy for your visitors.  (Might I suggest  temporary tattoos, spider rings,  or Halloween themed pencils and pens?  A bonus is some of these items can be bought in bulk and are cheaper than candy!  Plus they don't go bad after the holiday and you can hand them out next year and the year after. Added bonus:  you don't end up putting on the pounds as a result of eating the left overs! ) It's a way to make ALL children feel welcome at your home.  And sa

We ALL Need an Art Club

My son is a pretty good artist.  He's no Monet (or Manet), but he's better than I'll ever be.  (That's not saying much).  Most importantly he really enjoys art.  He enjoying drawing, creating dioramas, etc.  I'll always be proud to know that he was chosen last year (as a "graduating" 4th grader) to have one of his pieces selected as one that will be hung in the elementary school in perpetuity. Now in middle school there is an art club that meets once a week after school. My son has never been much of a joiner.  However, art club is not a "formal" club in the sense of the word.  You can join at any time. I didn't want to push him into it.  Art just happened to be the first class that he had in his "cycle"  (There are 6 cycle classes in the school year:  art, technology, computers, music, health and advisory.)  Since he was having art every day, I didn't push the club issue.  From the mid-marking period comments he receiv

The Season of the Turtle(neck)

Yesterday marked a serious shift in the season.  The temperature dropped below freezing, so my morning walk was nixed and instead I did an hour inside of walk aerobics.  The heat came on in my house and the radiators hissed.  I quickly switched from pantyhose to tights. And both I and my son put on our first turtlenecks of the season. Turtlenecks have been part of my winter "uniform" for over 20 years.  (Maybe even 30!)  Once that cold weather hits the sweaters come out.  Just about every week day during the cold months (which seems to have started a little early this year) you will find me in either (a) a turtleneck with a sweater or jacket over it, or (b) a heavy sweater that is most likely a turtle check (or if not, a sweater with a t-shirt underneath).  Weekends are relegated to heavy sweatshirts.  (And sometimes a turtleneck gets thrown in for good measure.) It was so cold this morning that my son asked if he could wear his lined jeans!  I had him pass on that s

SOMWad: Quiz, Quiz, Test, Project

I'm a big believer in letting a kid be a kid.  Don't get me wrong; school/learning is important, but so is the opportunity to play outside in the fresh air and sunshine.  While I've always been a proponent of reading and keeping up with studies during school breaks,  I've also seen the creative mind of my son grow through his Lego inventions, which often incorporate artwork.  (Right now he's into making forts and castles and will create his own flags with paper and pen.) Now that he's hit middle school though, there's less time to be a kid.  Afternoons (he usually gets home around 3:30-3:45) are spent at the kitchen table doing homework.  When the younger ones from the block come by to ask him to come out to play, more and more often, we’ve had to say no. I realize that with middle school comes more work and the need to study.  But sometimes it seems a little out of control.  Next week my son has a social studies quiz, a science quiz and a math test.  I

SOMWaD: History Repeating Itself

It was not an easy Friday night in our house.  Why else would I be sitting in front of a computer at 3:30ish on a Friday night/Saturday morning unable to sleep?  (In all fairness I did sleep earlier, but my eyes snapped open around 2 and for the past hour and a half I have been tossing and up and down and wondering what I could do at this hour in the morning that might actually be somewhat productive.  Writing seemed like the only thing I could do.) Late Friday afternoon I went to pick up my son from a friend's house.  Usually after work on a Friday it's time for the family to do their weekly grocery shopping, but the weather was bad so I decided to put it off.  Good thing because just seconds after my son got into the car and got situated he told me, "I did bad on my math test" and the tears started to flow. If you’ve followed my writings at all, you already know that this transition from elementary school to middle school has been a difficult one.  The chan

SOMWaD: Portal to Hell...

I've discovered it.  Well maybe not discovered.  I was shown the portal.  Well, actually, I've known about the portal for a couple of years, but now it has evolved into the portal to hell. What is this portal that I speak of?  It's the Parent Portal!  Now that I've discovered its new properties, I'm obsessed with it.  It is my portal to hell! Back when my son was in elementary school, the portal was dull.  I logged in four times a year when report cards came out.  It was the ONLY way to view his grades. Hard copies had been abolished, which was fine by me.  Why waste more paper?  Save the planet, right?  The only problem I saw with it was that unless you knew exactly WHEN the report cards were coming out, you might forget about it.  Which I did several times in 2nd grade.  At that point, there was no reminder from the school and unlike the paper copies, which you had to sign and return to school, there was no way to track if a parent had seen the grades or

Socks and Shoes

I've extolled the virtues of autumn in many a post.  I do love the season.  It's cool in the morning and evening and warm (most times) during the day.  Foliage explodes with color; every day brings a new pallet.  Pumpkin spice is in the air (and in my coffee).  It's the perfect time to snuggle up in comfy clothes.  (Pull out those oversized sweatshirts and lounge pants.) But the one thing I don't like about the season is putting away my sandals and pulling out the socks and shoes.  I LOVE going barefoot and the first chance/warm day I have my sandals out.  There is barely a day in the summer that I am NOT wearing opened toe shoes.  I even having sandals that are designed for serious walking.  What can be better than wiggling your toes in the warm sand? I am loathe to put shoes back in come fall.  And the first day I had to put pantyhose on; well I nearly cried.  (Ladies, you know what a pain in the tush they are anyway.)  My lovely pedicured toes had to be shov

When Did 5th Grade Get So Hard?

I know it's been a LONG time since I was in 5th grade. (Gulp:  over 30 years!)  My memories of 5th grade may be dim, but mostly what I recall is a wonderful teacher (Miss DiPietro) who was full of energy and excitement.  (She also favored larger hoop earrings, which to my 5th grade mind was very exotic.)  I can't remember what I specifically learned in 5th grade, although I do know that she started us on a little Spanish (this was way back before languages were taught in elementary school, or at least our elementary school.)  Although I don't have any specific memories of the grade, when I do think back on my final year in elementary school, my memories are generally positive. Now in our town 5th grade is part of middle school.  So perhaps I should compare the 5th grade experience my son is having to my 6th grade experience.  My 6th grade classes were held in the same middle school "annex" (although it is now the "old" annex as opposed to the new ad

Fears of the Past

It's October again.  I love the month for its colors and coolness.  I love it for its decorations and its flavors.  (To be honest I'm all about the pumpkin spice and candy corn.)  But as the month begins I have a sense of dread.  My stress level and nervousness have a name:  Joaquin. Before 2012 news of a hurricane would be just a blip on my radar.  I'd lived through them before.  So had all my family.  We'd been through many at the Jersey Shore (whether we were still renting a house or in the one my mother bought in 1994).  It was not that big a deal.  When Hurricane Irene came and Governor Christie told us to get off the beach; we got off the beach.  The storm veered and the shore did not get hit badly at all (although the same cannot be said of central NJ).  We dealt with hurricanes, we did not fear them. All that changed with Sandy.  It not only destroyed the shore, it shattered lives.  It changed everything. Things have slowly started to get back to &q

Stop means STOP

  Although I could  be talking about a lot of different things here, the above graphic should give you a clue.   I'm an early morning walker; as many of you who read my posts know.  As the warm weather fades away (and it's going faster than I would like...this morning was a grim reminder of what is to come), I'll eventually and reluctantly move my walking indoors.  While I may not like getting up or out of my cozy bed in the mornings, I DO like my early morning walks.  Even in the dim light there is always something new to notice. (Like the extra large skunk on the playing field this morning!) The most obvious thing I've noticed is how dark it is in the morning.  During the height of the summer the sky was lightening even before 4:30 in the morning.  Now as I head home around 6 (or sometimes even a little later), it is still quite dark out.  (It's barely light when my son's alarm goes off at 6:30).  I don't mind the dark, but it does make the walking