Wednesday, September 5, 2012

What Goes Around, Comes Back Around...

It feels a bit surreal to be writing a blog entry. Once again, I have lapsed and been involved in daily life.   August kind of flew by for us. There was girl scout camp for Bella, illness that overtook members of our family for a week or two, my civic duty as a jury candidate, and the State Fair.
Harry- 8th grade
Bella- 5th grade
Becca- 11th grade

Now we start back on a routine, just as I was getting used to the lazy days of summer. Harry started back to school last week, which was nice, as it gave a slight glimpse into our Fall schedule, without involving the whole family. There are always kinks to be worked out at the beginning of the year. Perhaps it is missed school supplies, a necessary change in schedule, or the ever popular "this is what time I have to wake up" adjustment. It always takes a good 2-3 weeks to feel fully back in the swing of things.

This year I am still homeschooling Bella for part of the day. The plan is for her to go all day next year and assimilate in the special ed program mixed with regular lessons in the classroom. I do feel an extra pressure to "get her ready" and teach her a lot this school year, so she can be her most successful next year. In addition to the added pressure, her Montessori school has flip flopped their day for academics. In the past, they did a 3 hour study period in the morning, now it will be in the afternoon, after lunch. So Bella will go to school in the morning and come home after lunch for homeschool time. Not sure how this will go. I anticipate a lot of tired afternoons, but the plan is to do some work before she goes to school in the morning to combat this problem.

Since returning to the school routine, we have already experienced a few memorable moments. Last Thursday, Harry got in the car with some bad news. He had thrown his retainers away after lunch in a paper lunch bag. Just another reason why using paper bags is bad for the environment. To clarify, he does have a reusable lunch bag that he did not have that day because he forgot his lunch at home and I had to drive it to school. Some background knowledge for you; a set of retainers retail for about $300.00. Don't ask me why, because I am pretty sure I could construct a new set from some Shrinky Dink material (reference for kids of the 70's and 80's) and a piece of metal from a spiral notebook. Harry did offer to pay for it with his caddy money, but as I drove home from the bus stop with him, I was no where near admitting defeat. I explained to him that we would be going back to school to search for the missing retainers. He started to complain immediately, telling me that he had looked for 45 minutes in the dumpster after he realized they were missing. I have to say, I was not discouraged by his claim of having already searched without luck. There have been many times I have asked him to find something in his room, been told it was not there, and then walked up myself and saw the item in plain view. Some things I was discouraged by: the temperature was 95 degrees outside, lunch had been over for 4 hours, and I have a sensitive gag reflex.

The whole way to the school, I was criticized for my decision to return. We were let back into the school by the teacher that, funny enough, had monitored Harry's search the first time around. She said she totally understood my wanting to come back to search again, and freely admitted that she herself had been a part of "dumpster diving" missions of her own for her kids' lost retainers. So out to the dumpster we went, equipped with a chair and some disposable gloves. I wish I could accurately describe for you the smell that greeted us. All I can say is imagine the worst thing possible and add 300%. My motivation to find the retainers rapidly began to disappear about 2 minutes into the first bag of garbage I began to sort through, (gag reflex fully engaged) and $300 sounded like a super bargain. Then just as I was going to admit defeat (about 7 minutes in) it was like a choir of angels began to sing and from a place in the dumpster, a small halo of light. There was a brown bag with writing on it. I grabbed it quickly and nearly doubled over in delight as I read the name "Harry Rowe" in my own rushed handwriting. Mission not yet complete, I opened up the bag that was wet and torn, and prayed for one more miracle, that the retainers had not fallen out. I literally began to shout with joy as I spied the two pieces of plastic at the bottom of the bag!

The teacher was quite amazed that we had found them! And it took less than 10 minutes! Truly, it was a meant to be moment. Was Harry excited? No, he said he could tell by looking at them that they had gotten warped from the heat in the dumpster and they would no longer fit. I will spare you the response I gave to him.

This week we have been challenged by 25 minute morning showers. When everyone now has to get ready in the morning, this does not work. I have decided to introduce a handy egg timer to fix this. Here's hoping.

I am sure next week will be easier...
Harry and Mom at the Fair

Baby animals at Fair

Ready, set, go!

Family fun!