Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Big 3rd Grade Shoes to Fill

Well hello there adorable people! I'm sure you must have missed me as much as I have missed you... Oh nothing really, just been all busy 'n stuff with basic things like working on an 8' tall oil painting, traveling, dating, being a super swell mom, and working full time. You know, the usj.

After a whirlwind summer involving camp, a 10 day trip to Florida to visit my folks (by herself on an airplane - I promise to do a follow up story on that. You'll want to hear.), a weekend with her dad's folks, derby practices, an uber hot summer day at Six Flags, a broken arm, and an 8th birthday party, she's ready to get back to work! Salem's first day of third grade was yesterday:

Check out these strappy boats!

She has been dreading not only going back to the grind, but she must wear a uniform to school. She is allowed to dress up and add a little flare by choosing her favorite footware - see? It isn't ALL bad. As you can clearly tell by the photo above, any improvement she has made in the weight gain department this year has been allocated to her ample pedestal. Her feet have grown so much in the past few months, enabling her to borrow my shoes! She's 8!  And I'm...ahem, so not 8!

Picking her up from school yesterday, she was less than thrilled with her experience. All her friends were placed in other classrooms, leaving Salem to fend for herself in a sea of new faces; with one exception, her arch nemesis from last year's class. In fact, much to her chagrin, this creature is seated right across from her desk with the ability to stare her down at any given moment. But, I know she'll do fine, at least this year she doesn't have to brave a whole new school like she did last year.

We have been anticipating an uphill battle this year, third grade is supposed to be an academic hurdle. That opinion was further reinforced when we picked up her first homework assignment last week at the open house. School wasn't even in session yet when her watch-out-I'ma-ball-buster teacher flipped a book report assignment into my hands as I was exiting her meet and greet. We've already negotiated a plan and Salem has chosen to ride the book reading wave beginning with the series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid. At a required 60 pages a night, she should be able to finish on Thursday, just in time to create her report, due Friday. What's next? The Georgia Pre Bar exam?

At home, I was reviewing her completed homework assignment as she read her book. It was a "get to know you'' sheet, asking basic questions about her family, what she likes to do in her spare time, what she did over the summer, etc. The last question was "What do you expect to learn during 3rd grade?" Her answer was something along these lines:

"I want to learn about peepol, and where peepol come from and why we eggsist."

Well kid, I've been through 3rd grade, high school, college and a large chunk of the reality of life as an adult. I have yet to fully grasp how some of the nuts I've met over the years seem to exist and where the hell they keep coming from. But I'll light a candle for ya, sweet kiddo, and hopefully figure it out together.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Derby Brats Featured Skater!

Salem  has been involved in the Atlanta Roller Girls 'Derby Brats' club for over a year. She has really enjoyed it, has become quite the little skater, and has really been devoted to the sport. I've been very happy her commitment and noticed this involvement has helped with building confidence and self esteem. See the article: http://www.atlantaderbybrats.com/featured-skater-dakota-frightening-7/

Featured Skater: Dakota Frightening #7


How long have you been skating?

1.5 years

What’s your favorite thing about junior roller derby?

It’s really fun when you fall down and start a chain reaction of falling with the girls. I like the bouts, I love to score!

Do you have a favorite position that you like to play or a signature move?

My favorite move is the “rock star”.

Are you involved any other sports or organizations?

I like to skateboard but it’s on my own, not with a group.

Favorite school subject?

I like science the best because I can do reports and projects at home.

Favorite song to skate to?

I just make up my own songs in my head when I skate.

What do you like to do for fun?

I love rollercoasters!

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to drill peoples teeth, so I’d like to be a dentist.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Change

I was driving Mommo and Salem to dinner last night, I had the windows down and the moon roof open. Mommo closed her window while saying, "I think it's a little too breezy for this to be open."

"That's fine" I replied. "I'm gonna keep mine open a little if you don't mind, it's seems a little warm in here and I can't justify turning on the A/C this early in the year." Mommo commented back, "Well, Ashley! You're getting wise in your old age as you probably know A/C drains your gas and that stuff ain't cheap!"

That's when Salem chimed in, "Hey mom - you're hot but mommo and I are both cold. I know! You're getting hot flashes. Those happen to you when you get old and that would explain that new gray hair you were telling Auntie Stephanie about!"

Note to self:
Never mention gray hairs, being hot or cold, or knees being sore after a workout in front of Salem. She's probably hoping she'll get to ride the motorized grocery cart the next time her mother (the old-timer) takes her shopping.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Puke Flakes, Faucets, and Flights

I've been putting off posting as I'm hella embarrassed for ignoring this platform of communication with the far reaches of the internets. The last post was dated before Christmas, I'm well aware...there is much in the update department from December to the present! Christmas, heh...you think I've ignored this blog, well I still haven't pulled my holiday photos off my camera. I know I'm super on-the-ball; you don't have to remind me.

Salem and I traveled to Maine and Vermont to spend the holidays with my brother's family. It was a great time! Cold, but great just the same. We had Christmas with my sister in-law's parents, enjoyed lovely meals of seabass and steak, and indulged in fire-side conversation while sipping oaky chardonnay. Postcard perfect, I must admit!

The trip up however, was one hell of a ride. First, our flight was delayed. Nothing says "Murphy's Law will rain on your head" quite like booking a connecting flight during the holidays. Flying into Portland, Maine is tricky, costly, and as I've come to realize, a pain in the ass. First, our flight to the lovely rust encrusted city of Baltimore was delayed for over an hour. I asked the ticket counter gal if we were in danger of missing our connection to ME. She assured me that we were "all good" as nearly all flights were running behind. When we finally got on the plane and in-flight, Salem looked at me and whispered "Mom, I don't feel too bad, but I know my dinner is going to come out of my mouth!" She filled up the only air-sickness bag we could scrounge up in coach, and forged on by blasting the backs of the upright tray tables, arm rests and both of our shirts. When she came up for air, we scurried to the restroom where she finished spraying down the sink and mirror. Let's just say the tiny faucet may no longer work and the drain is in bad need of Liquid Plumber.  Sorry folks, but you may see a rise in delta airline tickets to cover the mess we made on that plane.

When we finally touched down in Baltimore at 10:45pm, I was shocked to find our connecting flight had left without us. I mean, I took comfort with the report I had gotten in Atlanta -  that all flights were delayed and we wouldn't miss this flight. What was I thinking?! I looked down at Salem all covered in puke then took a deep breath before asking the man at the ticket counter when we should expect the next flight out. He paused and said 9:00. He coughed, blinked a little, then wrinkled his brow before delivering the news that the next flight was at 9:00 p.m. the NEXT NIGHT! Salem started to cry, my mouth fell on the floor and a flake of dry vomit flew off my sleeve and onto the counter. I gagged and my eyes started to water. Then Salem yelled out like an orphan from a Charles Dickens novel, "We're going to have to spend CHRISTMAS in a MOTEL?!?!" It was like we were in a scene from blockbuster Christmas movie. The ticket guy looked at us in pity as we were a crying hot-mess, covered in puke with nowhere to go. I made the quick decision to skip Maine and catch the 6:00am flight to Boston the next morning. When we got to our hotel, cleaned up, and into our beds it was 1:00am. We had to be up and running at 4:00am to assure our arrival into bean town. We were exhausted but so happy and grateful my brother could drive down from Maine to our rescue. The rest of the trip was fantastic!

Lesson for the airlines: Install garbage disposals in airplane lavatory sinks and make it a priority to check inventory on air-sickness bags before all flights. You're welcome.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Most Improved!

Ashford Park Elementary 2nd Grader MOST IMPROVED!
Salem got the "Most Improved" award yesterday at her school. She accepted the award at an assembly that the entire student body attended, she was so proud. I am so proud too, as school has been something of a struggle for her. It's a relief to see she IS trying to focus and IS making a difference with her studies. This little award is just what she needed to maintain her path, make her feel good about herself, and proves to her that her efforts aren't unnoticed.

Yay Salem!

Now, Mommy just needs to remember to have her remove the yellow gum from her mouth before I shoot her photo. I swear to you, her bicuspids are not solid butter.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Situation with the Elves

Adding to the complication with DNA and Santa's elves ...

Along with a few typical items a kid would ask Santa for Christmas, she has come up with a couple that can not be found in a store, on Etsy, Ebay, or even by massive searches using multiple key phrases within our all encompassing mother: google. It's going to take a little creativity on Santa's part to fulfill her item specifications.

I asked her to sit down and make a list for Santa, I gave her a catalog of toys and pulled up a few stores on the interwebs to browse then indicate choices on the hello kitty notebook paper she had prepared for the task. She bulleted a few from the Toys R Us catalog but then she stopped short.
me: "Yes? How's your list coming?"
her: "Well, I have a problem. I think that Santa might get confused by one of the presents I want."
me: "How so?"
her: "I want a guinea pig that is motorized. You know, that has wheels and moves around on the floor. But, I'm worried that Santa will think I want a ZuZu pet!"
me: "Well, find it online and we'll print it. Then we can put it with the letter!"
her: "It's not online mom. It's something the elves will have to make for me in their workshop!"

*Great. Of course my kid wants toys that have to be built to spec.

her: "And I want a Coraline with a raincoat, but I don't want the button eyes, I want the regular eyes. She needs to not be a tiny plastic statue that you have to keep on a shelf, She needs to be big and not have a cloth face!"

*After she went to bed, I searched and searched for said Coraline. I found the figurines she was talking about not wanting. I found some homemade dolls folks have posted in their Etsy stores. Some were cool, but I'm not willing to spend $70.00! Not to mention they had fabric faces. Usually I'd find a way to make a doll, but I gotta tell ya, I just don't have the strength this year. I can see it now, molding a Coraline face out of some kind of resin - and ending up with something that looks more like hap-hazard combination of Elijah Wood and the Dutch Boy.

My solution was to have the 'elves' draw a portrait of Coraline. They even signed it "North Pole". On the back, Santa made sure to address it himself. In hind-sight, I find it hard to picture Santa penning anything in glitter, ooops. I guess I'll rely on the old adage of  "it's the effort and thought that counts"....right?

"Coraline in her raincoat" for: Salem    From: The Elves of the North Pole

Santa goes a little nuts with the glitter pen.

Friday, December 2, 2011

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