August 2007


This has been a strange week. Most of the kids are back in school. Joelle isn’t. Her school starts back the Tuesday after labor day. I feel like we live in a ghost town or a hurricane evacuated city. Well, at least the school age children are evacuated. At the MAC, when I picked Joelle up from the kid zone, the ladies asked me why she wasn’t at school. I feel like this outlaw mom who doesn’t believe in school.

Joelle has been particularly antsy to start back to school, I think because of the last minute call from Wilchester saying that a spot was open if she wanted to attend pre-K there.  I went ahead and told Joelle about the call because she’s heard so much about the drama with Wilchester’s registration this year.  (They have 2 pre-k classes with 22 kids.  All spots were saved by parents who had another sibling at the school.  Turns out, 8 decided at the last minute to not utilize this spot they had saved.)  We were called the day school started.  Joelle made sure I called the lady back to say, “no go.”  Even then, I think she was suspicious that I would pull a fast one on her and she’d somehow wind up there.  (Do I do this?)

In keeping with the hurricane evacuation theme, I think the best line Chris had was, “yeah, no, Joelle isn’t going to Wilchester the day after school started.  She’d feel like a hurricane katrina evacuee.  Ok, class, this is Joelle, she’s a new student…” What a way to start school!  I know kids are adaptable, but what an unfair deal.  Everyone knows I love Spring Branch, so I can’t end without saying that she did have another option in Spring Branch.  They have an entire school dedicated to pre-K that she could have gone to without question.  They even split the classes by the elementary that they are zoned to.  I just didn’t want Joelle hopping from MDUMC to Wildcat Way to Wilchester.  (She’s already moved once from Children of the Woodlands.)

After our orientation last night at MDUMC, my heart is at peace.  She is in the right place for our family.  It’s funny that everyone gets so passionate about where their kids go to pre-K.  (I’m embarrassed to admit that I can now include myself in those ranks).  Obviously, there is no one right answer.  Otherwise, wouldn’t there only be one option?

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Joelle has a term for tangy food.  “oooh, it’s sprite.”  She heard Nana and I discussing how she likes to call tangy things “sprite.”  She quickly modified her terminology after hearing us comment on it and now calls it tangy, like us. 

Anyway, Elise continues her quest to try and enjoy every possible morsel she can get into her mouth.  She had some sprite jello tonight (Joelle insisted everyone try some and Nana said it tasted like, “lemon meringue pie.”)  When I gave Elise her first bite, she had her concerned brow creased look.  Her second bite actually caused her tiny little body to shudder (I assume from the sour flavor).  Her third, fourth… twentieth bite was fast and furious.  I think she had her first sugar high on the way home – it sounded like she was giggling.

Chris has always had a talent to make me laugh.  I adore getting his short one-liner emails that give me a smile.  In case anyone else has any doubts about the source of humor in our family, here are some recent snippets from e-mails to each other:

Chris forwarded me a typical e-mail from the constable outlining crime going on in the area.  I wrote:  “yikes. crime is back. we seemed to have a lull for awhile – the rain.”  He wrote back, “that was like a haiku:

yikes. crime is now back
we had a lull for a while
due to the big rain”

Yesterday, I dragged Chris out to lunch with us because I had an extra kid with me.  Joelle’s little friend, Claire, was with because they are in art camp this week and Claire’s mom and I are carpooling.  Truthfully, I did want help (try three kids at McDonald’s rush hour), but I also thought he might enjoy seeing Jojo with her bud.  So, I wrote this e-mail in the afternoon, “Thanks for joining us for lunch, baby.  I hope you got a little kick out of seeing Joelle communicate with her bud.  I think it’s a whole new realm when you start seeing these little people interact.”  Chris wrote, “Yeah, it was fun to see.  I’m almost always available for a “surprise” lunch.  Elise didn’t seem all that shocked to see me.”  I said, “I like that Elise is growing up with lots of folks twirling about her all the time.”  Chris said, “It seems like lots of folks twirling about her, it’s really just Joelle on a sugar high.”

I’m so grateful Chris has this knack for keeping it light.  We’re gonna need that talent with a house full of all these girls!

It’s so frustrating.   Three weeks ago, I was jubilant about losing 7 pounds.  I felt great and loved it when people asked if I’d lost weight.  Fast forward to today, I feel awful.  I’m the exact same weight that I was three weeks ago, but the effect has worn off.  Losing weight is addictive.  I want another hit.  So far, the wanting to lose more weight hasn’t overcome the desire to eat.  🙂

Saw this when we we were looking at restaurants in the park for our next Disney trip:

Make a culinary discovery of your own right in the bustling heart of Innoventions. Choose from cheeseburgers, deli-style sandwiches and scrumptious salads. Spice things up at our fixin’s bar.”

Ooh – discover a cheeseburger!

Learning to read is just so cool. I’m in awe of how all the pieces are clicking in Joelle’s head. It’s also teaching us that we can no longer spell to “say” things to each other without Joelle knowing what we are saying. We were invited to a party at Monkey Bizness and it happens to be the site of a tragic incident where a local mom got a burn from a slide and later died from a staph infection. When we got the invite, I said to Chris, “oh, this is where the Wilchester mom D-I-E-D.” Joelle immediately picked up on the spelling and tried to decipher the code. Quickly, I laughed and said the first phrase that started with “D” and sounded like “dee-eye-ee-dee”. Oddly, it was “duty free.” We all laughed… Note to self, come up with something funny to just change the subject! It worked.

Not to make light, of course, of the mommie who passed away. I must admit that I was in a bit of a funk that day after reading that e-mail with the news of her tragedy. What if it had been me? I was clearly trying to protect my baby from this story when I conjured up “duty free.”

Joelle will play with ANYTHING. It’s magical and sweet. I love her blossoming imagination (and that she will now play by herself). She was eating string cheese one night for dinner and then suddenly started playing with the last three pieces of string cheese. It was a mommie, a daddy and a baby. In different voices, I heard her orchestrate dialogue from the remaining two cheese pieces, “Mommy’s gone.” “I ATE her.”

In another unrelated food incident, I asked Joelle if she had eaten Elise’s puffs that were on my placemat. She said, “why do you ask?” I said, “Well, there were puffs here and now they are gone. just wondering.” She said, “I just took the puffs and ran. I wasn’t sure if I could have them.”

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