Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Blue Or Blues Clues?

So, after a really demanding week at school and having to worry about some serious family issues that will require me to make a really difficult trip home, I've been a little frazzled (maybe a lot) and a little depressed/down lately. I know that with most things, "this too shall pass" but until it passes, sometimes Life just sucks the wind right out of you.
Time to take a deep breath, accept the things I cannot change and wish for the wisdom to know the difference (or something like that). And oh yeah, take things one day at a time.
I came home today and was enjoying some quality family time with James. Well, by quality family time, I mean that James was finishing his dinner and watching cartoons while I was cooking dinner, unloading the dishwasher and putting away groceries (you know how it goes....)
One of his favorite cartoons is the old-school-childhood-favorite BLUES CLUES!
This evening's episode was titled, "I'm so happy!" Of course, during the show, the host was "interacting" with his audience about things that make him happy. In time, he asked the boys and girls what made THEM so happy. James loudly proclaimed to the TV, "Christmas lights and Christmas presents!"
Of course, this made me smile because at least once a week since Christmas, James asks me if it's Christmas yet. (Do you think he had a good Christmas or what?)
That got me to thinking... what makes ME so happy?
Well, it tends to change from week to week. But there are some constant things that make me happy.
I won't bore you with the details of my inner heart-happiness.
But, I ask.... what makes YOU happy?
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Saturday, February 5, 2011

January was...

  • having to take Abby to the vet for emergency bladder surgery to remove three very large stones. Poor thing wore a cone for two weeks! No embarrassing photos were taken during the poor pooches recovery period, but we are glad to have a happy, healthy Abby back!
  • taking James to the annual Gasparilla Children's Parade. We had front row bleacher seats (thanks to a generous parent in my classroom) and he RACKED in the beads! About half way through the parade, we had to "de-bead" James so he could stand up straight. From then on, every time he got a single strand, he would take it off and add it to his stash. He had a great time and we enjoyed the fun, family memories!
  • partying with our friends during the Gasparilla Pirate Invasion. They have a very large, very nice boat and it's perfect for entertaining a bunch of pirates and wenches! We head out Saturday morning, follow in the invasion of pirates, partake in some adult beverages and let the beads fly! Seriously, there is so much bead-throwing from boat to boat, you never really run out of beads! It was a beautiful, sunny, warm Florida afternoon. Perfect for making memories (and loosing some brain cells in the process) with friends!
  • finally deciding where I want to send James to school for kindergarten. Yes, I know what you are thinking... he's ONLY 3 years old. But, next year starts the ever important VPK (voluntary pre-kindergarten) year and after that, Kindergarten! It shocks and amazes me to think that I will have a child in school within two years (seriously, where did the time go?) And I have been deep in thought for a while about where I want him to go. If he goes to school with me, I have the luxury of "watching" over him throughout the day and being a part of his school day. Then, there's the issue of what to do with him after school is over. His school day will be complete, but I usually have an hour or two of work to do. Let's just say that trying to get work done around James is like trying to do needlepoint with oven mitts on. Also, my school is a magnet school, which means that the students come from all over Tampa and the surrounding areas. It's not what you call a "neighborhood" school. There's also the fact that I might be considering job options elsewhere, just for a change of pace. But, that's a whole other blog conversation for another time. So, after much internal debate and after much discussion with other mommies, I've decided (I think, for now) that I want James to go to our neighborhood school. The parents who have children there now LOVE it. It's not the best of the best or the cream of the crop as far as elementary schools are concerned, but we don't live near any of those schools. The main reason why I want him at this school actually has nothing to do with academics. It's purely for social reasons. I want him to have a sense of "community." You see, we have no family here and James doesn't even know/remember his cousins. He doesn't have that built-in sense of family community. So, I want to build that with his school community. I want him to play with his friends on the weekends from the neighborhood and then see them during the day at school. He is such a social child (are you surprised?)
So, how did you (out there in bloggy land) pick your child's first school and was it a big decision? What factors were considered? Any regrets, tips or suggestions?