Monday, September 29, 2008

The guilt... THE GUILT!

OK, today I feel like the worst mommy in the world. M had her first big school project due today and we TOTALLY FORGOT! After all the reminders from the teacher to plan out the steps to completion, and not leave the whole thing until the last minute, Madeline was up until 9:30 last night (2 hours past regular bedtime) trying to get it done.

I have many excuses as to why this happened. Last year's teacher never assigned any homework on the weekends, bless her heart, so we are totally out of practice in even thinking about schoolwork after Friday. I was out of town last weekend, and Clark was out of town the weekend before, and we really just needed a quiet couple of days at home. She was so panicked about the whole thing and scheduling that when we did sit down with her planner, she would only plan out the rough draft stages. And on, and on... Bottom line is, I suck.

The project was to create a cereal box based on the book they read for their report. They had to make up the cereal brand, create a game for the back of the box, describe the characters on one side of the box (ingredients), give a summary on the other side, and create a 2 minute commercial advertising their product. Cute idea, and I was excited that it was something she could show her creativity on. So, I was in the cereal aisle in the grocery store yesterday afternoon, and it hit me like a ton of bricks. By the time I got home, it was less than 3 hours until bedtime, hadn't had dinner yet, and hadn't started the final project AT ALL.

I wasn't completely panicked yet, as she had done the rough drafts, and we had a pretty detailed instruction sheet to help us along, so I asked her to get out her folder so we could see where we were at. See where this is going? Yep, the folder was in her desk... at school. So now, not only are we trying to do this at the last possible minute, we don't have the rough drafts or the instructions. This was the point at which I felt like throwing up or crying or maybe both. Of course, as the parent, you can't show your child these emotions, you have to maintain control, reassure her that she can do it, and get the damn thing done already.

She did a pretty good job getting through the creation of the box, after I talked her down from her own guilt and panic at not having remembered about all this either, although I have to confess I helped with the cutting and pasting probably more than I should have. Then we moved on to the commercial. This was the part I absolutely didn't remember the instructions, but she assured me she knew what to do, and that it needed to be 1 to 1 & 1/2 minutes long, although she didn't tell me until 9:00 that it was supposed to be completely memorized. At this point, she was so exhausted, and just over it, we worked on memorization for about 30 minutes before we had to give up.

I got her up early today to work on the memorization again for awhile, and she did seem to have most of it down. I drove her to school and went down to her classroom to check the instructions and make sure there wasn't anything glaring that we had missed. What we would have done at that point if there had been, I don't know, but the only thing we were really off on was that the commercial was supposed to be 2 minutes. Well... we were happy that we had made it to a minute, so I guess she'll just have to take the grade cut on that.

I gotta say, I haven't had a parenting failure of this magnitude in awhile. It was certainly an eye opener, and a wake up call. I've been going through some real insecurities about parenting an older child, and have been unfairly judgmental of my husband, and myself I guess, about expecting perfect parenting. This has undoubtedly yanked me down off my high horse, and I am feeling humbled and sorry about that.

The more my big girl is growing up and becoming more and more complex and independent, my fears just keep growing with her. I want so badly to do everything I can to set her up for success in the world, and at the same time I am realizing that so much is out of my control. I crave the days when she was little, and even though it was a lot of work, it was my work and I was in control of what happened in her world. It is just excruciatingly difficult to let go of that control. I fear the ways in which my imperfections and inadequacies will affect her and her continued development. I know everyone at some point blames their mother for something, and I am trying to surrender to the fact that that is inevitable, but even thinking about that happening in the future feels like a knife in the heart.

All those people who say it gets easier when your kids get older don't know shit.

Monday, August 18, 2008

She Lives!

Well helloooo blogland! Apparently, I am still alive and kicking after over a year of non-posting. Who knew.

Things are going quite well here at the Krause House. The kids started school last week, M in 4th grade (!!) and Z in 1st. I don't know why, but for some reason having a 4th grader is making me feel OLD. We are dealing with all the start of the school year jitters, M more than Z, that child is change-averse in the extreme. This year she's also starting the "Enrichment" program at her school, and we're excited to see what new challenges and opportunities that brings. I have a meeting tomorrow to go over all the testing she did over the summer, and I have a sneaking suspicion they're going to tell me she's scary smart. Now if we can only help her be more secure, we'll be all set.

Z is already struggling with his first virus of the school year. He reported to me on Thursday that he was really nice and played with the little girl in his class who wasn't feeling good and had a sore throat. He's such a sweetie, but boy did I want to tell him to stay FAR AWAY from the sickies!! So, he was up that night with the sore throat, and has progressed to the runny nose and scary sounding cough. joy.

My hubby is still the hardest working man I know. Since my last post, he was promoted (to CEO! wow!), and has been dealing with more personnel crapola, political crapola, and general being the boss crapola than I care to remember. He's still travelling a lot, although it has slowed a little from those first months of being in charge. As a matter of fact, he's off to sunny Southern California for the week this week, and then will be going to Germany for 10 days in Sept. It's still hard being away from family, especially when he's travelling, but it has forced us to become a real team, and has brought us closer in so many ways.

We had a very nice summer vacation. I think we found a nice balance between activity, travel, and general lazy summer days. The kids did summer camps at the beginning of June, M at the hands on science museum 'Explora', and Z at the zoo. They both did awesome and had tons of fun. After that, 2 weeks of swimming lessons, then a trip to Cedar City for 4th of July, back to Albuquerque for another 2 weeks of swimming, then Yosemite for about a week. I may post another time in more detail about the Yosemite trip, suffice to say for now, that for such small critters, mice suck BIG TIME.

I am still doing the yoga thing. Not teaching regularly, or taking classes as often as I'd like, honestly, but it continues to inform the way I live in my body every day. I'm excited to get back to class more often now that school is back in session. I went to a class last week that is a little tougher than I usually try, and it kicked my ass. hard. A wake up call to be sure.

I am also still doing the Friends of the Library thing at the kids school. I've been doing 2 book fairs per school year since we got into the new school, and have raised a pretty significant amount of money. We dealt with some overcrowding issues last year (apparently Everybody wanted to come to the pretty new school), so there was actually a 5th grade classroom in the library which was a bit of a challenge. This year they are working on completing an addition of I think 5 new classrooms, and for now all the 5th grade classes are meeting in the gym. Which sucks for them, but I don't have a 5th grader, and we have the library back, so I am not complaining.

Now that I have figured out how to get back onto Blogger, I am hoping to be more of a presence here again, it was fun, and I could use a little more connectivity to the world outside my house and the school. If I can pry myself away from playing Scramble on Facebook for that long. :D

Friday, March 09, 2007

Return to Blogland

OK, well, here we are.

I wasn't sure if I remembered how to do this.

Not sure if I should try to recap the last 4 months, or just move on from here.

Let's start with current status. Today I'm home with a sicky. Zach has a cold, and is cranky enough that he wanted to stay home and miss PJ day and the Teddy Bear picnic they had planned for today. Bummer. He feels hot to me, but the thermometer says normal. I don't think I trust it. I had the flu last weekend, so we're catching up on all the sick we missed this winter now that it's spring. Oh, and can I say, thank GOD spring is here! Like my sis, I tend to run better solar powered. I'm all inspired to do spring cleaning and get stuck back into the backyard project.

Kids are doing well. Last week we had parent teacher conference for Madeline and she got a stellar report from her teacher, as usual. She's getting better about doing homework, which was bordering on torturous there for awhile, and is riding the bus and walking to the bus stop independently. As much as I am afraid of her being on the bus, it really is nice to send her off from the front door with a kiss in the morning, and greet her there again in the afternoon. I'm not missing the fiasco that was the elementary school parking lot for drop off and pick up.

I just got her signed up for nature camp this summer. It looks like we've about got the summer planned already. Yep, in March. I was on the ball this year and got both of them into the program at the BioPark. That, plus a couple weeks of swimming lessons, preschool summer school for Z, and a trip to Yosemite should keep us pretty busy. I'm getting nervous about Zach starting kindergarten already. He's a little dude, and will be on the young side in his class (his bday is in April), and I have considered waiting, but I just don't know. I don't want him to struggle, but I also don't want him to be bored for another year in preschool, and honestly, don't really want him and his sis to be too terribly far apart in school. I think we're going to see how summer school goes, and make a final decision after that.

I have to go over to the school today and turn in all the various registration forms for both of them for next year. Good grief, how many times do I have to write out our address and phone number already!? Not to mention emergency contact numbers. You'd think this process could be streamlined, do your really need FIVE handwritten forms saying the exact same thing? (Five forms PER child) OK, done ranting, I just hate that shit.

Speaking of the school, we're officially all moved in to the new school building. It's beautiful. How neat to be in the first class in a brand new facility. The playground equipment went in a couple weeks ago, and they're still getting the kinks out of everything, but it's so nice to not be so crowded, and to be closer to our house again. I'm trying to be a good volunteer mom, and have committed to run the Book Fairs for the Friends of the Library group. I'm glad I found that group to be a part of. We like to call ourselves the slacker PTA. Perfect for me. It's just a few moms and the librarian, but we've raised enough money for some nice furniture for the 'story pit' and some fun stuff for birthdays and reading incentives. Book Fair is coming in about 5 weeks, and so far I've attended the training workshop and have everything scheduled with Scholastic. I'm excited to move forward with promoting and planning the details.

Yoga teacher training is over. At least the official, scheduled classes. I still have a few homework assignments to finish up, and need to turn in all my hours and such, but it's really nice to get back on a schedule that revolves a little more around the needs of my family, and a little less around the demands of that kind of schedule. Those last few months were brutal. Clark was insanely on the road (and continues to be, but that's another story), and I was running as fast as I could to just not fall further behind. It did take me a few extra weeks to finish up my quota of classes after the official end date in December, and man was that hard to accept. I am SUCH a perfectionist that the idea of not finishing on time, and not being able to do anything about it was excruciating. At this stage in the game, I'm assisting in a couple classes a week, a scoliosis class on Mondays and a Mom/Baby class on Fridays, and mostly focusing on enjoying being a student again. I learned SO much, and my body is doing better than ever, but it's good to be done.

OK, I guess returning to blogland wasn't so hard after all. I have been keeping up with reading about all y'all, even if I haven't been commenting much. Next time maybe pictures! Maybe!

Friday, October 06, 2006


I cruised over to blogthings today to check out the quiz Ly posted, and this one caught my eye. So, what kind of soul are you?

p.s. don't forget to check out my new pics below if you haven't already. ;)

You Are a Visionary Soul

You are a curious person, always in a state of awareness.
Connected to all things spiritual, you are very connected to your soul.
You are wise and bright: able to reason and be reasonable.
Occasionally, you get quite depressed and have dark feelings.

You have great vision and can be very insightful.
In fact, you are often profound in a way that surprises yourself.
Visionary souls like you can be the best type of friend.
You are intuitive, understanding, sympathetic, and a good healer.

Souls you are most compatible with: Old Soul and Peacemaker Soul

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Pics: yard project update and happy haircut day

The kids on one of their favorite features, the path. Don't worry, Madeline has had her bangs trimmed since this picture, she can see where she's going now. Posted by Picasa

Highly technical garden hose design technique. Posted by Picasa

The concrete border guys, with their nifty concrete border extruding device. Posted by Picasa

TA DA! Let there be lawn! Posted by Picasa

I love laying sod, instant gratification. Posted by Picasa

Before... Posted by Picasa

...After! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 24, 2006

A quickie

Overheard this morning from Zach, while eating his breakfast:

"My spoon of power will DEFEAT you, cereal!"

Big news of the day:

Madeline broke her arm yesterday. Talk about drama. It's just a little break, but she'll be in a cast for 4 weeks, and it's her right arm, so apparently she can't do ANYTHING. I'm hoping she'll adjust and become more ambidextrous soon.

My neck is cranky from too much Down Dog last night at yoga, so I'm gonna go ice.

Ta ta for now.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Broke pools suck ass

The pool is officially GONE! GONE GONE GONE!!! Thank god.

When last I posted, we were getting ready to start cutting the concrete. Since then we cut, pried, smashed, and generally busted up all the concrete; moved most of that concrete to create a nice little faux flagstone type patio; dug up all the dirt around what was left of the pool; and destroyed Vic's reciprocal saw cutting out enough of the walls of the pool for it to effectively vanish underneath whatever I end up putting in back there. It was SO much work! I feel like I owe Vic my firstborn child or something for the amount of heavy labor he's put in in my yard over the last 3 weeks. Personally, I've NEVER worked that hard or for nearly that long on something that physical. I've been exhausted beyond belief at night, and sleeping like a rock. The kids have been really good at kicking it in the house while mommy is out doing loud and dangerous (the sides of the pool were metal, which had to be cut, which left sharp scary edges which I only gouged myself on once) things in the backyard, but I think they're relieved that at least the noisy part is done. There's still a lot to do back there, but at this point, we're headed in the direction of putting things back together, instead of ripping them apart.

I was all ready to document the whole process, but ended up having battery issues with my digital camera, and missed a big chunk of the process in the middle. Here's what I have.

BEFORE: Well, mostly before, we had all the landscaping rock dug out in this pic, but you get the idea.

Vic with the concrete saw, SUCH a stud!

All busted up

Prying the concrete out. We actually ended up bending that huge pry-bar on a particularly massive bit of concrete.

And... DONE! With the concrete busting anyways.

THIS is what we did with all that busted concrete. Recycling! This is where we have a gap in the documentation, so you don't get to see how we did it, but those pieces were HEAVY, and it wasn't easy to get them all so level. Again, Vic is THE MAN.

Cutting out the sides of the pool. (I dug out all that dirt my own self. Aren't you impressed?)

TA DA!! No more pool! WOO HOO!!!

Obviously, there is SO much more left to do, but I think we are over the biggest hurdle. I'm pretty sure everyone thinks I'm crazy for even attempting it, but trust me, working around it was not an option. Next steps include staining the concrete so that it looks more like stone, buying some crushed granite or something to fill in the cracks around the concrete slabs, deciding exactly where the lawn is going to be and digging the dirt down to the right size and level for said lawn, calling in the guys who do concrete borders for around the lawn, calling in the other guys to put in the sprinkler system, and then laying the sod. I'd like to get all this done on my current budget. If there's anything left over, we may get in a tree or two. The rest of the plants will have to wait until we can afford them, and a drip irrigation system to keep them alive. Future plans include a possible sandbox, and cover of some kind for the patio, cause you really can't have enough shade in Albuquerque. And that, my dears, concludes your tour of the Krause House backyard. Hope you enjoyed it.