Monday, September 29, 2008


Time to catch up. Where to start...

With the kids, of course.

All three have settled down very nicely in their respective classes. Jack, who dreaded it the most, has been pleasantly surprised with lots of nice kids in his class. The was something funky about last year's group...all good kids, but very segmented...Jack included. The pokemon card players stuck together, the sporty kids only played with each other, etc...very strange for third grade. But this class is much more inclusive (maybe it's the teacher?). He is doing very well academically, so we've added a new activity to the mix. He'll be playing basketball this winter, with one practice day a week and one game day a week. He attended an evaluation on Saturday...and didn't suck!! In fact, he was one of the better players! Do I smell a scholarship? He's playing with a good friend and we're all looking forward to watching them play.

Our school district just completed the Fun Run for 4th graders, a one mile run around a local pond. There were no winners...everyone's a winner, dontcha know...but it was all very official. It was sponsored by a local company that provides the timing devices for international races, so all the kids were provided a number for their shirts and a computerized ankle band that recorded their running time. Over 600 kids ran (in 4 flocks of birds) was so cool to watch (and I cried...I know, I'm a loser). Anyway, here's my big kid after the race...tired and sweaty.

The girls have adjusted to a full day of school (as opposed to the half day last year). Libby needs a little time to decompress when she gets home...tends to be a little short tempered when she gets off the bus. I suspect she's very intense when she's at school. She is competitive and very driven...and my guess is she's 100% engaged in the classroom and totally focused. By the time she gets home she's exhausted and needs to figure out how to switch gears. Fortunately she loves school, does very well and can't wait to go everyday. She has now lost FIVE teeth...the last being a top front one...a regular haas beck (feel free to correct spelling). She is hoarding her tooth fairy money (I think I've mentioned before that the tooth fairy brings $5 per tooth...can you imagine? It's a wonder we aren't all wearing dentures). Here she is...showing off the gap tooth grin for Gramma and Grampa. Cute, eh?
The girls are also getting involved in activities outside of school. They started gymnastics last week...and loved it! Libby has some natural talent...and the same drive and focus that she demonstrates in the classroom. She is very eager to learn, pays attention and was able to keep up with little girls who've been at this a lot longer. Every once in a while she'd glance my way and give me a little smile...but then it's right back to business. Maggie on the other hand, totally lives in the moment...tried everything because it looked like fun, with little or no regard for her performance. I could hear her yelling "Mommmmmy" from across the gym, waving furiously to me and pointing at whatever piece of equipment she was about to mutilate. I'm not sure that I have any Olympians out there on the mat, but they are having fun and that's enough for me.

In addition to gymnastics, we've also joined Girl Scouts. I assure you that this was nothing I encouraged. In fact, quite the opposite! And for good reason. The first meeting was filled with cookie marketing techniques. They divided into teams of three and did a role playing exercise, each taking turns to be the Girl Scout, the cookie buyer...and the door. I kid you not. When that mercifully came to an end, they got to have a cookie snack. Not to enjoy the cookies, mind you, but to taste test them in order to answer customer questions. Yes. Really.

By the time we left, Libby was filled with Girl Scout spirit...can't wait to hit the ground running and sell a million boxes (stay by the phone...we'll be calling). Maggie, on the other hand, was just plain pissed off. It was boring, she said. And I have to agree.

Maggie, as I may have mentioned before, has a tendency to whine. She quickly reverts to whining whenever things aren't going her way, and can be a giant pain in the ass. But, I'm learning that she is a remarkably happy little thing. She is almost always smiling, always ready to play anything you want, and laughs easily and freely. I had lunch with her and Libby at school, and I was struck by how different they both are. Maggie sat at a table with her little friends, smiling, talking...totally focused on the social aspect of the cafeteria. I had to remind her over and over again to eat her lunch (I wonder what she does when I'm not much of her lunch does she throw away?). I split my time between the two of them, so I could see them each from a distance. Libby was studiously eating her nuggets, talking only when necessary and only when she was done. She, too, was surrounded by friends, and when the food was gone, she was totally engaged, having fun and obviously well liked.

If I haven't said it lately, having twins (and a big kid) is amazing. I'm am so damn lucky.

Back to Maggie. She has yet to lose a tooth. Poor little thing is ready to knock a few teeth out, just so she can put some money in her piggy bank. She does have a very loose bottom tooth, with the adult tooth half way out already (we call it her shark tooth) I should make sure I have some cash around in the next couple of weeks for the, eh, bill. Here she is...with a mouth full of toofers.
So that leaves the Mister and I. Same old, same old. Goose hunting has ended and bow season for whitetail is only a couple of weeks away, so he'll be spending much of his free time in the woods. Which is fine. At least when he's in the woods, we can't bicker about politics (fucking McCain).

Work is fine with me. A bit of a roller coaster, but at this stage I need to be grateful that I have a job! I'm counting down the days until Mom and Dad visit (October 21st), and starting my ritual list making and menu planning.

And that's it. I think we're all on the same page again.


winks said...

Oh, Mart, you make me yearn for those days when my kids were small and uncomplicated. The tooth fairy also used to live in Swaziland, but her price for teeth was much cheaper! And don't worry about the whining - I had a champion whinger who is just champion today! All my kids are fantastical and the bestest EVER! Keep enjoying the moment.

Bird said...

I'll be happy to buy GS cookies and donate them to the troops. That's what I do with my neighbors daughter. If one box crosses this threshold I will throw myself off the roof. I'm sewing my mouth shut. Food is not my friend.

I'm still amazed that all 3 kids are in full day school! Such beautiful children... they strongly resemeble their aunt.

Denise said...

I thought Steve's sister's had dark hair???

Oh, you meant you??? It's all about Aunt Brighid!!!! The kids are so grown up, I never thought I would get so mushy about kids growing up but it is a very surreal experience.

Justin said...

Great looking kids Martine. Katy is also doing well in school. She has figured out which kids are bringing lunch money to school and has started mugging them during recess. It's okay though! She is cutting me in for 20% of the hawl. It does my heart good to see Aunt Brighid is still living in Willy Wonka world. It's so pretty there, with all the little blue midgets and the chocolate river. She is like the sister we never new we had. Cookies are forbidden in my home as well. I now weigh as much as I did when I left the Marines. Naturally I still look like shit naked, but the neighbors are adjusting just fine and I am only chatting with the cops once a week now on average.