Saturday, September 1, 2012

Play Date Daddy

One thing I've learned is that play dates aren't as easy as they used to be. They are actually hard! Some people don't RSVP for parties. Some people just don't call back. Others don't do what they say they are going to do.

We've been having problems with one of Mica's play dates - the Father actually. His daughter is a sweet little thing. The Dad is nice, too nice. He lets his kids run the show.

Play Date Daddy asked if Mica could hang out with his girls? 

Daddy said, "Ok, but he'll have to be home by 5 for dinner because we have plans to go shopping." Plate Date Daddy said, "I'll take them out to eat and to play miniature golf." 

Daddy agreed. We did our thing. Then at 7:30 Daddy calls and says, "Should we come pick up Mica or are you dropping him off?" 

Play Date Daddy says, "We haven't eaten anything yet. The kids wanted to play instead. Do you want me to stop off some place to grab something to eat?" 

Daddy replies, "No you can just take Mica home." 

We eat anywhere around 5:30 to 6:30. Mica got home at 8 (his bedtime) and was starving! I had dinner warmed up for him. He brushed his teeth, and had a bath and went right to bed. Did I mention that it was a school night?

Daddy didn't want to blow up at Play Date's Daddy. He felt something had to be said though. He's supposed to be the Dad, not a buddy.

I said, "Just wait and let me think of how to deal with this situation." So I thought...This is what I came up with...

Here's my made up scenario: 

If Play Dates Daddy wants Mica to come over Daddy can say, "It's your child's turn to come to our house." 

The following time after that when he asks, Daddy can say, "Sure, but Mica needs to be home at 5:30 because that is when we eat at our house." 

If Play Date Daddy says, "Oh I'll take them somewhere to feed them." 

Daddy can say, "Our boys are used to eating at 5:30 or 6. That's just when we eat."

If Play Date Daddy keeps insisting Daddy can say, "The last time Mica was with you, you mentioned that you were going to take them out to eat. That didn't happen. Mica can hang out with your girls, but not at dinner time. 

Hopefully no pissed off people. Play Date Daddy just went through a divorce and seems like he wants to be the fun parent. I don't know what all happened, but somehow he got most of the custody. I don't think our little situation here needs to add stress to anyone.

So we had a plan in store for what was to be said if Play Date Daddy asked for Mica to come over.

Daddy went to pick up Mica at school. Daddy said, "Mica you have a choice you can play on the playground for a bit, or we'll go home and watch a movie." Mica chose a movie. 

Mica ran up to Play Date Daddy and said, "I'm going home to watch a movie." 

Play Date Daddy said, "Mica you can come over to our house if you want." 

Mica said, "Nope I'm watching a movie." As he walks away he says, "Next time I come over, you should feed me dinner. That didn't happen the last time." 

Daddy doesn't think Play Date Daddy heard Mica. It would be so funny if he did! 

Sing, Sing a Song Saturday

I started doing what I call Sing, Sing a Song Saturday.  I'm going to post one song on Saturdays that the boys or I like. 

The song may be part of a movie, a kid's video or just a song we like. It may or may not include words. I'll try and include why we like it and/or the history of the song/singer.

This week I was looking up Aboriginal art and discovered the Digeridoo. I've heard the Digeridoo played before, but didn't know how it was played. I found a video that demos how to play it. It's one of the worlds oldest wind instruments.

The Didgeridoo is pretty cool I think!

David Hudson is the artist that created the above demo of the Didgeridoo. He plays the Didgeridoo well! I just can't find any great videos showing him play.

I did find a really amazing artist named Xavier Rudd that plays the Didgeridoo and many other things. He looks like a one man band when you watch him play. He's big in Australia, but I've never heard of him here.  

This video is called Bow Down

I really like this video called Follow the Sun.

You can check out Xavier Rudd's website here

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Three Books I'll Never Throw Away

There is always going to be certain things you just don't want to throw out. These three books I want to hold on to!

This one is the best book! It has some really cool, historic stories. A story about how to make paint out of berries, another one about Ben Franklin, another one about Daniel Boone and more. The copyright dates are 1895 and 1923. Yep it's super old!

This book is filled with illustrations by Howard Pyle and N.C. Wyeth. Both I teach about in my college Illustration course. They are classics. N.C.. Wyeth is interesting because he had a son Andrew Wyeth that has work in many museums and a grandson Jamie Wyeth that is a well known photographer. My mom used to read stories and nursery rhymes out of this book to me.

My mom read stories out of this book as well.

Do you have any books you hold on to?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

WW: First Grade

Mica said he wasn't excited to go back. Secretly he was.

Last year he thought first grade was going to start the Monday after Kindergarten was over. He somehow didn't get the memo that there is a summer break. He was all sad. Then when he found out that we were going to go to Chicago, a lot of play time he was super excited.
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Monday, August 27, 2012


I'd hate being in in the path of Hurricane Isaac! I feel for anyone that has had to evacuate!

 It's kind of odd hearing "Isaak's" name on the news. Even if it's spelled different.

Once upon a time I lived in Savannah, Georgia. I went to grad school there. I was told to evacuate in 1999 for Hurricane Floyd. I had NO CLUE what to expect or what to do. I was from Omaha, Nebraska. Smack dab in the middle of the US we do not have hurricanes to worry about. My friend Lisa who was from Ohio drove us to Macon, Georgia. What should have taken only a few hours, took ALL DAY to get there.

There were no exits. They were all blocked off. I had to go potty super bad and Lisa refused to pull over. Owners were letting their pets get out to go potty, but no not me. She was worried that if we pulled over, we'd get a nail in a tire, and never get anywhere. I crossed my legs and nearly peed my pants. I so wished I had one of those adult diapers on. I seriously would have peed my pants in relief. I had to go that bad!

We got to a shelter. It was busy. We were so unprepared. On the news they said to travel light. Well we did just that. Most people had blow up mattresses, blankets and more. We had suitcases full of clothes and that was pretty much it. Master students we were but we were dumb when it came to hurricanes.

A family took our sorry asses in. Me, the Queen of Allergies got to stay in a house full of cats. They were true southern folks. The cooking was all fried. Not fried in Olive Oil like I'm used to. NOPE fried in true grease. I'm used to the already cooked bacon. Even then I wipe all the extra grease with a paper towel. I don't even have that often. We had fried bacon, fried chicken, fried hush puppies...Not only was I snotting from allergies, my stomach sounded like a hurricane was forming inside.

I tried being grateful for the stay. I really did. It was so hard being so miserable and staying chipper about their hospitality.

We did have a fun night playing games.

We were in the sticks. There was no where to go other than where we were at.

Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse I sat down at the table. Their little girl was about 5 or 6. she started going on and on about how her mom had been combing bugs out of her hair.

The next day we were free to go home.

I sped. I'll admit it, I was in a hurry to get back to my apartment. I think everyone else was ready to be home to. They sped past me.

I got back. We had no power. Leaves were everywhere. The first thing I did when a store opened up, was buy lice shampoo and I proceeded to wash my hair. It was bug free!

I wrote my thank you letter to the family and we never heard from them again.

Have you ever had to evacuate? 

I Think I Can...

Warning there's a cuss word in this post. So if you are reading this in front of a child that can read, STOP and read it later.

This weekend we went to swimming lessons, per usual. The swimming program leader had me fill out an evaluation. I started marking it up. Most everything was good, not excellent, but not horrible or bad either. Then I got to the backside and it had a spot for comments.

So I wrote about:
  • How Isaak is 4 and can't move up a level until he is 6. I find it annoying that he can't move up. If he's ready, he's ready. Two years in the same class I would think would get old. It prohibits growth in something he's good at. 
  • I went on to say that I think all the kids would do better if they had the same coach for awhile; instead of switching coaches for each and every session. 
  • Then I said that Mica's right on target. 
  • I made a comment that Isaak's coach still pushes him even though he's in a lower class, which is good. 
  • I like that everyone is happy when we go there. 
  • My kids enjoy swimming lessons; for the most part.
As I'm writing the head coach comes to sit down beside me. She says, 

"I can see that you are writing a lot...can we talk about what is wrong?"

My face probably turned 3 shades of red because I was put on the spot. I simply told her what I wrote and explained that I'm a teacher, an artist and a blogger, I like to write. I said, "I have just as many good things on here as things to work on."

She mentioned, "Well we talked about how Isaak can't move up because he's only 4. Age wise he can't."

I said, "Yes we did. That doesn't make the problem go away though."

She took my evaluation and walked out of the room.

I was thinking, Hummm...did my evaluation really piss her off, or did she just have to go put the evaluations some place?

My positive, and happy mood went out the window. It was on my mind the rest of the weekend. At least I can look back at Mica's smiley face and smile myself.

This image that one of my students put up on Facebook came to mind:

My face turned red not just because I was on the spot. Memories of me being cornered all came together. At one work place I was called into the bosses office because I wrote a lot on an evaluation. He questioned if I liked my job or not. I did. I just had a lot of things happen that year. Changes both good and bad. After that I wrote as little as possible.

My thoughts are this: If you are asking for an opinion I'm going to give you one. I'm going to think of the great things and the things that need to be worked on. I'm going to say them. I want places and people to get better. Nothing is perfect. I as a person need work. I have good qualities to. Everything and everyone is like that. 

I called Daddy as soon as I was out of there; and told him what had happened. He told me that his co-worker filled out an evaluation on a dental student. She marked average on just about everything. The girl was going to get kicked out of dental school. Why? Because she was marked average and not great or perfect. She was rightfully in tears. His co-worker had to call and talk to the school. Since when did average mean bad?! Isn't the purpose of going to school, is to get trained to get better?

Then I talked with a guy at work about this. He told me that he filled out an evaluation for Toyota's service. He was annoyed because he had it in to get an oil change at 11:30. It was 12:30 and they still didn't get to it. He went out and asked about it. He said, "If you wanted me to get it in at a certain time, you should be ready to work on it then. It doesn't take that long to change oil in a car. Give me the stuff and I'll do it in 10 minutes." The maintenance guy said, "We can't do that sir. All places are like this." My co-worker said, "They don't have to be. I have to be back to work, and you haven't even gotten to my car!" So when they gave him a evaluation to fill out  he tore the time issue apart. The manager called him and said, "I thought we had this worked out sir!" My co-worker said, "We talked about it, but didn't work it out." For the record, Honda maintenance is just as bad! I always felt that way, but just didn't say anything. Maybe I should have.

Why do people have you fill out an evaluation if they only want to hear good in things? Should people's jobs, schooling be effected based on one single bad evaluation? Seems kind of silly to me!

Then I wonder if I'm the only one that writes a lot in evaluations? Maybe I'm too critical. Maybe I'm not. Maybe they just need to put on their big girl panties and big boy underwear and take the criticism for what it's worth. How do we get better if no one says anything?

For the record if I absolutely did not like something or someone; I'd remove myself from the situation or the person. I really like the Y and I like Honda. If I didn't I wouldn't continue a membership to the Y and I wouldn't own 2 Honda's. That still doesn't make them perfect. Nothing is practically perfect in every way except for Mary Poppins. If I truly got to know her, I'm sure she could have improved herself as well.


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