Here's a little 'day-in-the-life' post - probably more for me than for you, but I love reading these on other blogs and I think it's a fun way to capture the day-to-day (the "ordinary extraordinary!") around here.
I slept in just a bit this morning, but still managed to get everyone up, dressed, fed, and headed to school on time this morning - actually, just a tad bit ahead of schedule! Even though I didn't pack lunches the night before. Even though I grabbed my own breakfast, which I normally skip - a banana in the car counts, right? J did about 1/2 of the preparation of his own breakfast - currently he's loving grits with a little butter and cheddar cheese. M ate dry cereal, one of her most frequent breakfast selections (Although on Sunday she managed a collaborative effort for some pb toast with banana- she got an assist from her brother on some toast, sliced her own banana, and when I came downstairs she asked me to help with the peanut butter so she could put it all together. A little more complicated, but still a success!) ((OK - all of these food-prep accomplishments make me realize that my kids have grown up A LOT over the summer!)) But I digress - into the car, drive to school (including a reminder about our plan for the afternoon), park and walk in.... J asked me to walk him to his class today (he asked to do it solo on the first day, and we typically do drive-through drop-off unless it's my volunteer day)!
The kids' school requires volunteer hours as a condition of enrollment - one hour per week per child. My two hours are on Monday, and usually include some combination of copying, grading, cutting things out, or filing/organization. I've been doing this for one hour/week for the same teacher for 3 years now. We 'get' each other, so it's easy to figure out how she'd like something done - especially if it's a busy morning and she's just left me a few sketchy notes about what she needs. It's not really a guessing game for me. My second hour of the week has changed each year, and this year I'm working the same type of classroom assistant 'job' for another teacher. I'm not sure she was expecting me there today, as she didn't have anything set aside for me. But she did have a project I could start working on - organizing the two puzzle/game closets that she shares with another teacher. I forgot to mention that when I got up this morning, I put on a dress. A short, summery dress. Not exactly closet-cleaning attire. However, I manged to go through all but one shelf and had a lovely, Southern 'glow' to show for it. I will still get to spend plenty of time making sure games have the right pieces, repairing boxes, and eliminating games/puzzles that are beyond repair. Next time, I'll dress for the job!
Afterwards, lunch with a friend! I have a standing lunch date with a close friend - we try to have lunch at least every other week during the school year. Believe it or not, we had lunch on Friday and again today - we are catching up on what happened over the summer! We do go to church together, and sure we can email or connect on Facebook, but there's just nothing quit like a girls' lunch out!
A quick trip to the bank, the grocery store, and a stop by the house were next. I checked email, worked out some scheduling issues (wow, is our fall getting busy already), got the mail, and then it was time to go pick up my two kiddos from school!
We had some interesting conversation on the way home. M told me a story about how her friend from Texas sat at her table during lunch today. When I asked if maybe she meant another friend, she said no - her friend from TX had decided to get a new house so she could go to school here, because they were *best* friends. I love her imagination! But some days, it's harder to figure out what part of her accounting of the day is most accurate. :) J had another good day (with another story about math!) and ate lunch with a new classmate. It's interesting to think that there are kids in his class that I know (from my volunteer time in other pods besides the one he was in the last couple of years) and that he doesn't, when you consider that I'm there way fewer hours per week than he is in school. It's also exciting for me, though, because it means he's meeting new people - something that can be a struggle for him sometimes. He is certainly like me in that respect.
Today was the first day of homework for 2nd graders, and also the first day of daily homework. Ks and 1s get a homework packet on Monday to be turned in on Thursday - and you can complete it at your leisure. J was not as excited about homework, but I was hoping it wouldn't be too much of a challenge since he was told during Open House that homework should only take 30-45 minutes (and that includes 15 minutes of reading). Let's just say that when writing is involved, we typically spend a little more time on it than average - and Mondays are writing days. In the end, though, J used 10 spelling words in 8 sentences which ended up being a pretty good little story about Cub Scouts. I was really proud of him, and I think he surprised himself with how well it all turned out. There was also some math in there, which he finished in a flash, and a math/logic game that we played several times while we talked about strategy.
M has been a little disappointed to not have homework these past few days, and was disappointed when she realized that J had homework and she did not. A few days ago, I made a math worksheet for her to complete, but today she occupied herself with coloring while J and I were concerned with his homework. I do hope she is still as excited about homework when she has some assigned by the teacher!
If all of that wasn't great enough, I still had to figure out what to cook for dinner. I did not do so well at planning ahead for the evening! However, I did have some shredded beef in the fridge (which was supposed to become taquitos, until my second pack of tortillas would not cooperate) and those darn, too-thick tortillas. Plan B = tostadas! We almost always have black beans in the pantry, and had plenty of lettuce and tomatoes from this weekend's fruit and veggie co-op. I have had plenty of limes and avocados around lately, too (I love guacamole just a little too much). Although J told me he didn't really like the smell of the tortillas frying, that little stinker ate two tostadas! M even ate one - with beef and beans! - and seemed to enjoy it. We had fruit on the side, which was also a huge hit with M. Afterwards, I surprised the kiddos with dessert - vanilla ice cream I'd just made this afternoon, topped with bananas and chocolate syrup. For a throw-together meal, it seemed to be a hit - and 'how much my family enjoyed the meal' is a bigger measure of success for me than how well I planned or how fancy/complicated the preparation. I think I got an A+!
Getting the kids to bed is always the toughest part of my day. They want to play games or play with toys and just have fun - and who can blame them? Instead, it's time for stuff like brushing teeth and picking out tomorrow's clothes. We have started reading at bedtime again - we sort of fall off of the wagon over the summer - and the kids are excited about that. I switched up the routine a bit tonight from pjs, teeth, read to pjs, read, teeth - and nobody fussed about brushing teeth tonight. Dilly-dallied, yes, but not the same kind of reluctance we usually see. Hmmm - food for thought. Another way the evening routine is just a bit different is that, instead of reading one book to both kids, I am reading to M while J reads silently. After I tuck her in, I go into his room to talk about what he's read and then tuck him in. The plan is he will pick out a chapter book that he wants to read, I will read it first, and then he will read it (while I work on his next selection). That way, we can discuss the book - which is hard to do for a book you've never read! We will probably work through some beginner chapter books in this fashion starting next week. I'm hoping he will get excited about this plan and really be motivated to read for comprehension and not simply accuracy. I think (hope) I'm going to be doing a LOT of reading!
Now that the kids are asleep, and this post is nearly complete, I think I may head off to bed with my Girl Scout Leader training materials and my laptop in case I can squeeze in the online training tonight. After I do one last sweep through the kitchen - I think the dishwasher just finished its load.
How have the first few days of school gone for you and your kids? If it's still summer for you, how are you wrapping up the summer and preparing for the 'new year'?