around here: week 2

IMG_7487Relishing… the first big snowfall of the year. We love our local sledding hill and bonus, our besties just moved into the building at the bottom of the hill making bathroom breaks a reality. This is the first year Caleb can fully enjoy the snow. He had a blast going down in the tube with Dad and Mom. Simon is big enough this year to really sled on his own, meaning he can go down and up the hill with his blue saucer. Simon and his buddies went off on a side hill on their own, which was cute. But also, did they have to pick the path through the trees? Then I saw the teenage boys snowboarding…and at least one on a skateboard. If this is my life in 10 years, I’ll take the tree laden hill with a parent supervising.

Celebrating… our last Christmas with Grandma Val and Uncle Josh. Legos were the theme of the day.

Shopping… for a suit to wear to my interview.

Nailing… the Interview. I won’t hear back for a bit, but I felt like it went well and if I get this job I think it will be a really good one.IMG_7503Looking forward… each week to Hump Day Hot Drinks, when Pastor John sets up a free coffee and hot chocolate stand in front of our church office each Wednesday. It’s right on our walk to school and day care, and the little guys love their hot chocolate. Caleb asks most mornings, “Is it hot chocolate day?” So I drew a mug on the Wednesday’s on their calendar so he can check for himself.

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IMG_7496Enjoying… gymnastics class. I signed Simon up after being on the wait list for a space forever, then realized that Caleb is old enough too. Almost, it’s a 3-5 year class and he will be 3 in a month, so they said ok. Caleb is a little nuts, but both coaches say it’s fine. Simon loves it, so much that getting him off the floor to go home is a struggle.

Watching… Switched at Birth. Vanessa Marano was a guest on a podcast I listen too. And I realized I never watched past the fist season. It’s a good background show, except that there are scenes entirely in ASL, so I do have to be able to see the screen. There has been some rewinding since I rarely watch anything as a single activity.

 

 

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Sunday Snippets

  • Wow! It’s been a whole month since I last blogged – I don’t think I’ve ever lapsed that long. And when I came in to do these snippets I thought it had been two weeks…

    playing in a hidey hole
    playing in a hidey hole
  • We’ve been exceptionally busy. There has been some behind the scenes things (in our family, not this blog) that have resulted in a no screen time when children are awake Monday – Friday, for any of us. This means no more blogging after school while they play. But overall we are a week in and I think it is a good change.
  • Along with the rest of the world we’ve had fun with the MSQRD app. This one hasn’t been deleted from my phone yet. Lot’s were deleted in the above mentioned screen reduction. Caleb loves it.IMG_5555
  • Caleb had the flu a couple of weeks ago. Poor sad boy. But he bounced back in time for Easter.
  • We totally slacked on Easter this year. Grandmas sent some small things, so that was it. I’m giving myself grace that there are some seasons of life I will be able to go all out, and others where I just can’t.

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    • Boys in hats. That is all.IMG_5583
    • Simon is still playing chess on Fridays. We need to practice more at home. He’s struggling a bit because the teacher “asks him too many questions”. In order to understand that there is a strategy beyond knowing how to move the pieces Simon has to explain the consequences of each move. It’s mentally exhausting, but I think we’ve come to an agreement that there are questions for 20-30 minutes, then only playing. He earned a gold star. Last time the teacher told him he’d get a gold star, then at the end Simon asked for his star – only to find it was a symbolic star. So this week the teacher had brought a sheet of stars just for Simon. I thought that was sweet of him.IMG_5587
    • I have a full preliminary dissertation file. Meaning I have a file with everything that is coded so far and can start analysis. But I still need to code about 20 questions and have about seven hours of audio to transcribe. So far nothing is significant.
    • And just for fun Caleb singing. He only sings two songs. Jingle Bells and Let it Go.

    • And Simon, practicing for Pre-K graduation. Which I will miss for work travel. But this video is everything.

 

#MicroblogMondays: school age

Microblog_MondaysA long one today…

I probably won’t actually write about the insanity that is entering Kindergarten in the NYC public school system. But just know we are in the middle of it and I’m trying very hard to not get crazy, because it’s Kindergarten.

I came across this article over the weekend, and it articulates some feelings I’ve had better than I’ve been able to. Namely, that if you are able to hold your kid back, they will still likely enter Kindergarten with a bunch of kids who were not held back.

I want to take that a little further though. In conducting my dissertation research in two places, New York City and Indiana, the issue of cut-off dates for entering school has come up. Here school entry is by calendar year, meaning kids are 4.5 – 5.5 entering Kinder. And it isn’t the easiest thing to hold your kid back with the public school. In Indiana, cut off dates are much earlier – in June. So my friends son was born July 2010 and Simon July 2011 and they are both entering Kinder this year with no holding back. So there is already an 18 month difference in Kinder entry nationwide! This could get wider with “redshirting” (although realistically by only a few months).

For Kindergarten at the local level at least the whole pool is in it together. But I’m working with middle school kids, so my kids in Indiana are older than their comparison sample. Which gets me thinking about how Simon and my friends son could be college roommates. There are huge leaps in executive function that happen in late adolescence and early adulthood. And I can’t stop thinking of the potential trouble that comes from one friend turning 21 more than a year before the other. (And yes, this happens anyway in college, but I wonder/worry that the potential for trouble could be greater for reasons I can’t coherently put words to.)

But in the short term, I’m just trying to get into Kindergarten.

#MicroblogMondays – Culture Shock

Microblog_Mondays

I am currently sitting in my Aunt’s kitchen in Indiana, in the town I grew up in. I dropped the kids at my moms house (a couple hours away) and am spending the next three weeks collecting my dissertation data.

Being back here has been interesting. I have been preparing myself to drive everywhere – hello extra podcasts, and have been a bit concerned about the social isolation – but I am here to work. What I was not prepared for is how overwhelming it is to go into a superstore. They are just…SO. BIG. Usually when I visit we’ll run to Gymboree or the Gap and maybe Target (the normal sized one by moms house) and that’s it. This trip I ended up in a Super Target…Twice. And then today was in Super Wal.Mart. It was a lot. I know this has to sound funny since I live in the BIGGEST CITY, but something about the stores that have everything seems too much for my senses.

A flip side of this, when I first moved to NYC 10 years ago, I needed to buy light bulbs. I remember being at a complete loss as to where to buy them, because at home, you go to Wal.Mart for everything. If you are wondering, I was sent to the local hardware store.

It is going to be interesting being here for so long.

PS. I just remembered I wrote something similar, and when I went to link it – a #microblog post from almost exactly a year ago.

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Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

#MicroblogMondays: go build me something

Microblog_MondaysWe have a serious screen time addiction. Not just the kids, me too. But ever since Caleb came along it’s been easier to hand over the screen than actually deal with early morning whining. We’ve been cutting back. I’ve deleted apps from my phone, and no screens at late night. Simon can watch in the morning only after completing his “Morning list” and being ready for school. I know that going in to winter, screen time will increase, but Wii sports and other video games are both active and an interactive activity for Rob and both boys.

But after the Maker Faire, I accidentally came up with a new screen time rule (accidentally meaning I didn’t say it intending to keep it up). After school Simon wanted to watch (his word for the ipad, etc…) and I said “Go build me something. You can watch after you build with magnet blocks or Legos or train tracks.” This has worked out marvelously as Simon almost forgets about the screen. The building, which I thought would be 10-15 minutes and he’d tell me he was done lasts an hour or more. And toys which he forgets about because they are stored in boxes are getting used.

So as we move in to winter “First, go build me something,” is a rule that will stick. Right now he’s building mazes.