Thursday, November 1, 2018

Long Johns

Oh for the love of goodness.. what in the world will I do with Atticus?

I dropped the kids at school for their early morning club - Bagels and Board Games.

I went to school just after lunch to help out with the 3rd graders Halloween parties.

I collected Wren and went to the office to wait for Atticus at the end of the day.

He walked up carrying his backpack and wearing - no joke - his long johns and his jacket.  I laughed out loud.  I mean, what in the world was he doing?  Why was he wearing his underwear and no clothes?  Why was he wearing long johns in the first place under his clothes?  I tried explaining to him that what he was wearing was unacceptable but he totally didn't get it.  Just kept telling me that he was hot in school (no kidding dude - what were you thinking)!


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

One Apple, Two Apples, Green Apples, Red Apples

This year's apple picking expedition included friends!  Many thanks to Jen M and her awesome family for joining us for a morning in the orchard and then lunch.

This year, we went to Boston Hill Farm in North Andover.  It's a small family owned farm relatively close to us.  (It's closer than gymnastics anyways!)

Our drive over to the farm was a bit of an adventure as power was still out to much of Andover and North Andover meaning the street lights were OUT.  Not even flashing.  OUT.  As a public service announcement before I even go any further -- dude, people, we need to talk.  When you are in a car and approach a light that has no power what's the proper way to proceed?  Treat the bloody intersection like a 4 way stop!  Do not blow through the intersection thinking woo hoo -- no light for me!  Because let me just tell you that some other idiot going the other direction is thinking the same ***** thing and while I'm a firm believer in the Darwin theory, there's no need for me to witness a massive traffic accident when I'm on my way to the farm!

Backtracking a bit... WHY was there no power you ask?  Well, there was a bit of a commotion on last Thursday afternoon.  Columbia Gas starting experiencing explosions all over Andover, North Andover and Lawrence.  It was chaos.  It's still chaos.  70+ explosions all over town.  And no one knew what was causing them or how to stop them.  We were fine at our house - we have our own propane tanks, so we're not on the city's gas line.  There's now a lawsuit and so many people still don't have the gas fixed at their house.  The neighbors are all jumpy every time they think their house is going to explode!

So - in an effort to return to normalcy and still spend money at small local businesses, we decided to go ahead and meet friends at the orchard.

We now are the proud owners of a half a bushel of Courtland and MacIntosh apples.  That's a LOT of apples folks.

Unlike the orchard we went to last year in Westchester, this orchard didn't require any crazy tools to reach the apples.  It merely required Wren to climb onto Greg's shoulders a couple of times!

We got really lucky with the weather and while it was warm - it was overcast and we didn't melt!  Yay.  

It was a great morning and lunch and I hope we're able to make it a tradition with our local friends!  

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Sprinkler Woes

One of our sprinkler heads hasn't been rotating properly.  It's been on Greg's to-do list for a while -- ever since the company we had come to turn on the system and check the heads did a crappy ass job.  Ugh.  But anyway...

We ordered some new parts and Greg set off to change the head this afternoon.  He ended up digging a freaking trench trying to get to the base of the thingy.  Then water and dirt were everywhere.  Greg was using the cleaning tool from the fish tank trying to siphon (syphon?) the water out from around the thingy so we could put the new part on - and that was working about as well as you'd think.  Not at all.  So, he trudged off to Home Depot to purchase a shop vac!  I suppose on those rare occasions when something is overflowing, we'll be really really glad we own a shop vac?!?

Fun times at the Badens.

On the upside, the sprinklers are now all working and hopefully the reseeding of our lawn will take hold this time!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Knock Knock.

Funny how feeling emotional makes me want to spew everything on paper.  Or virtual paper as the case may be.

Ugh.  Some things that aren't shareable are really getting under my skin at the moment and we're working on a resolution.  Hopefully it's water under the bridge soon and not even worth a mention.

In school news, the kids have begun the 2018-2019 school year.  This is Atticus's last year in elementary school which I can hardly believe!  How is it possible I'm the parent of a 10 year old?  I mean - wow, time flies when you're adulting.

We've begun the process of getting Atticus evaluated at school to see if there are other things we can do to help his learning.  He's a smart kid, but has difficulties getting this thoughts and knowledge out of his head.  I say he's more of a slow cooker kind of kid.  Things go in -- and they just need to stew about for a while before he's ready to discuss or give you an answer.  Nothing wrong with that, it's just how his brain works.  So, we're looking at different solutions and options that may help him learn to manage his expectations.

Atticus has also decided that he'd like to play the trumpet!  Oy!  He was playing the baritone in NY, but that wasn't an option here - so I'm currently researching where to rent/buy a trumpet.  Music class for him will be on Monday mornings at 7:30AM.  Oooof.  Although I suppose this will help prepare us for the 6:30AM bus once he's up in the middle school.

Wren was not thrilled with her teach assignment for 3rd grade.  From what I hear, the parents love her and the kids not so much.  She's strict.  Personally, I'm okay with that.  It's good for the kids to have guidelines and rules and structure!

Since Wren has also been complaining of being bored at school for the past year, we've opted to enroll her in a local after school program called Russian School of Math.  She claims to not enjoy math, but she's good at it and this will ensure that for at least 2 hours a week, she's not "bored" and "not learning anything".  The results from the students as they age is impressive.  Is it weird that I wish I'd had Russian Math as a kid?  I mean, I took math classes for easy A's at the University of Texas!  Math is awesome.

The after school programs are also starting back up with a vengeance.  Track, gymnastics, ninja classes, Hebrew School, chess -- and we're just getting started.  :)

Here's to another trip around the sun...

Here's to consistency and knowing that we're not changing schools...

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Emotional Weekend

For me, parenting is not particularly enjoyable.  I know there are highs and lows - blah blah - and while it's not really acceptable to say out loud, it's been a tough journey for me.  I love my children to the moon and back, but at the end of the day, I still don't enjoy parenting.  I see all the Facebook posts about how someone's child was the bestest and most amazing thing that ever happened in their lives and I think, hmmm.... that's just not me.  I love my children, but I'm not all googly eyed when discussing being a mom.

But - I still am ferociously protective and want nothing but the best for my kids.  It's weird.  I should probably see a therapist to discuss further...

So, I found out that Atticus was purposefully NOT invited to one of his "friends" birthday parties last Friday night.  My heart was crushed.  Atticus considers this boy to be a friend.  Atticus would never think to not invite him to our parties!  The silver lining is that we were in Boston and couldn't have gone anyways -- but just knowing that he wasn't invited was a blow to the chest.  I may not enjoy parenting, but I still want to shield him from the cruelty of the world and mean kids.  I know we can't always invite everyone to our parties, it's not practical, it's not the real world, it's not always financially optional -- but to exclude someone on purpose hurts.  It hurts when you're 9.  It hurts when you're 40+.

But the weekend continued...

We drove back to NY so that Atticus could race on the 12th in a qualifier race.  To qualify, Atticus needed to be in the top 30 finishers (out of 107 runners) or his team needed to be in the top 5.  Neither of those things happened.  Atticus had a good time of 15:51 in his 3k which put him in 77th place out of the 107 runners.  Tailwind B Team of 9-10y Boys came in 10th overall.  Tailwind did absolutely amazing as a whole.  45 out of the 49 athletes competing on the 12th qualified for the meet this weekend in Rhode Island.  Which meant that 4 kids didn't make it.  How absolutely gut wrenching.  This travel meet in Rhode Island was going to be Atticus's last hoorah with Tailwind.  He was looking forward to the camaraderie much more than the actual race -- but we just assumed that Atticus would qualify!   And then he didn't.

News came today that one of the other 9-10y boys can't make it this weekend to the race which has opened up a spot for Atticus.  He's going to be over the moon excited when I tell him after school.  I don't really have the time to be jetting off to Rhode Island at the moment - but it would have been crushing to not go.  Atticus is looking forward to swimming in a crappy hotel pool.  To having a team dinner.  To sleeping at a hotel.  To racing with his friends...

So, here's a toast to being a good parent -- and to Rhode Island.  I've never been to Rhode Island.  I suppose we can check that off the bucket list now...

Thursday, November 2, 2017

The Treat Fairy

They're seriously still falling for this stunt?  

The night of Halloween, the kids leave a bag of candy out for the "treat fairy".  The naughty fairy visits overnight, eats the candy often leaving a huge mess... and then she feels terrible and gives the children a gift in exchange for the candy she's eaten.  

This year, the treat fairy left Atticus the Toilet Trouble game.  A horrid game where you spin the roll of toilet paper, and then flush the handle and hope you don't get sprayed in the face with water.  

While I wasn't looking, Atticus decided to build the game all on his own.  Somewhere along this process the flusher stopped flushing.  Not that I was going to complain, but since I'd just spent $18 on the thing at Target -- I kind of wanted it to work!

So, after trying two different sets of new batteries, I figured the thing was defective and off to Target I went this morning to exchange the game.

Now that I'm over getting yelled at by the random angry dude on Boston Post Rd -- I'm going to try and set up the new game before continuing on with my day!  

Here's to a working toilet.  Oy vey.

Road Rage

Wow.  I was just on the receiving end of my first bout of road rage.  I was returning home from Target where I had just exchanged our Toilet Trouble game (more on that later).  A fire truck was backing up and doing something in the middle of the road - and the firemen stopped me and another car so that the truck could do whatever it was doing.  During this time, the light for me turned red and then turned green for the oncoming traffic.  A man, I won't call him a gentleman, drove up within inches of my car, rolled down his window, began screaming at me and waving his arms.  I smiled and pointed at the firetruck blocking my way.  This did not amuse him and he continued screaming and laying on his horn.  I smiled.  I waited for the firetruck to move and I kept heading home, singing to the radio...

I hope someone pays him a random act of kindness because goodness knows he could use it.

Perspective people.