Archive for January, 2008

School Shopping

I’ve been planning this great post about my shoes. It was going to have pictures and everything. But instead, I’m going to tell you about school shopping. Or at least tell you that I am.

It’s an interesting tidbit that the city & county I live in overlays four school districts. Also, in Colorado each school district sets its own kindergarten cut-off date. This is the date kids must be 5 to attend kindergarten in the Fall. In my district, it’s September 15. Our old house across town was in another school district with a September 30 cutoff.

E’s birthday is in September, but in the second half. If we had remained in our old house we would have had to choose whether or not to hold E back. Willingly holding your eligible child back is commonly referred to as academic redshirting or kindergarten redshirting.

I’m relieved that the decision is out of our hands. In our district there are no tests E can take, no waivers to apply for to get into kindergarten early. Someone also pointed out to me, that if I could get E into kindergarten this year I would be sending my 17 year old off to college. And that sounded so young. It allowed me to look at it in the big picture. Yeah, he’ll turn six in the first month of kindergarten. Will he be the oldest kid there? Doubtful. There’ll be all the other kids that just barely miss the cut-off and all the kids whose parents willingly held them back.

With all this back-story, WHY!? am I school shopping now for the 2009-2010 school year? Well … I’m hyper anal retentive a planner and we have lots of different sorts of schools in our district. We have charter schools, magnet schools, gifted and talented schools, regular schools and one called an “options” school. Fortunately, our neighborhood school is great. It scores well on state tests (not that I honestly care that much about that – I survived just fine without NCLB) and is home to the district’s deaf and hard of hearing program. I called the school today to ask when enrollment starts. Yes, today. But as it turns out, it’s not all uncalled for. If we want full-day kindergarten I have to register E the FIRST day available next year. The class fills the FIRST DAY. An extra cool thing about that school: we can request that E be in the class with the main-streamed deaf/hard of hearing (I started to write hearing challenged, but then realized that described most kids) kids. There’s a sign language interpretor in this class. All the other schools that we might be interested in? Hell, I don’t know – one has a wait list (added names just in case), one has a lottery. The G&T school requires an IQ test. Of course I think my kid is a genius, but does he need to hang out with similarly minded geeks smarties?

At least starting now I have plenty of time to procrastinate without it actually impacting E’s education.

Blog For Choice Day

People! Look what we missed today.


Even though it’s not a right I’ve exercised, it’s a right I believe in. I am firmly pro-do-whatever-is-right-for-you about so many things, but especially this very private decision.

Dear MGM

Congratulations, you’re having a boy! My gift to you: everything I know about raising boys – as told through witty anecdotes dribble.

When I was pregnant with E, my first, I was told how different boys and girls are. And I was all “well just because you raised your children with societal stereo-types doesn’t mean I will” – all in my head of course. My internal monologue dialogue is very active. E’s first bike was pink. And, oddly, I really struggled with whether or not to purchase it. Finally, I realized I would buy the blue for a girl, why shouldn’t my boy have pink. Already I was falling into society’s trap. I did however, love that E would take his purse with him when he rode away.

Fast forward many years, E’s little sister gets a Little Pony for her 2nd birthday. E pours over the marketing collateral in the box and chooses one he’d like for his birthday. I dutifully order it and it arrived nearly a month late. But he didn’t forget. And when Christmas rolled around and A received more ponies E was heartbroken. He really wanted one. Finally, we had cause for reward and he chose a white, glittery, pink haired flying pony. He loves her. She also has to do battle with TIE fighters.

I wouldn’t say E is “all boy.” But there is no mistaking that he is different than his sister. He’s much more physical; he must be running ALL. THE. TIME. His sister? She’s more of a saunterer. Boys are wonderful. And exhausting.

Oh yeah, some actual advice: when potty training, teach him sitting down. You’ll have less mess.

An Unexclusive Club

In the interest of not hijacking Miss Zoot’s comments, I’ll use my own damn blog. One supposes that’s why I have it and all …

Lily Allen has had a miscarriage. I don’t know who she is, or maybe I do and I don’t know it? But now I have this piece of intimate knowledge about her and I feel so … sad for her. To lose a pregnancy that you were happy about is horrible. I hate to say “lose”, it’s not like you misplaced it. You don’t wake up one morning and say, “hmmm, I wonder where I put that fetus.”

I had a miscarriage in my first pregnancy. We saw the heartbeat at 7 weeks and I assumed I was in the clear. And then the day after returning from our honeymoon I was standing in a co-workers cube when I felt a gush. And I knew. I had someone drive me to my doctors office. Crying the whole way. Praying the whole way. An ultrasound confirmed it, no heartbeat. I was just over 10 weeks pregnant.

People in our social circle didn’t have a lot to say. I heard through the grapevine that they felt bad for us but didn’t know what to do or say. So most did nothing and said nothing. Except B – she called and said, “I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what to do. But ask anything of me and I’ll do it.” Acknowledging my pain was worth so very, very much.

I was told it was for the best. That these things happen for a reason. That it’s nature’s way. I’m a smart girl, I get natural selection. But really? Not what someone that’s been planning a life with a baby wants to hear. We were choosing names. We were planning a nursery. And then we weren’t. I was told there’d be another pregnancy. That in three months we could start trying. And we did. And seemingly everyone around us got pregnant before we did. It took 13 months of trying to get E. It hurt every single day. For months, I couldn’t remember our wedding date because it was so close to the miscarriage date that I had to purposely remember which came first (and no, we didn’t get married because I was pregnant – we decided to get married, I got pregnant as a bonus).

I hope every woman that suffers a miscarriage has a support network. It’s shocking to me, that once you do volunteer the information that you’ve had a miscarriage you hear dozens of “me too” stories. You’re now a member of a not very exclusive club.

I agree with Miss Zoot that our society doesn’t know how to mourn this sort of loss. There’s no funeral. There’s no announcement. There are a lot of hushed acknowledgments not to ask about the pregnancy any more. I didn’t want to be pitied when I had my only (and I thank my lucky stars for that) miscarriage. People acting as though nothing had changed, or trying to justify the miscarriage didn’t make me feel better. It’s not like not acknowledging what had happened was going to make me forget. Having the loss acknowledged helped. Hearing “I’m sorry” helped.

Dear Diary

E: look at all the squares Mommy made with the K’Nex
me: I wanted to know which color rod was the hypotenuse
Peter: I didn’t know you knew that word
me: I don’t know whether to be offended or flattered
Peter: … stammer … stammer …
me: You married me for my good looks and not my brain
Peter: … stammer … stammer …
me: if only I had a diary to write this down in, oh – wait … Dear Internets, today Peter told me I was pretty!

Republicans Are FUNNY – Who Knew?

“Representative Paul, the next question is about electability. DO YOU HAVE ANY?”

OMG – that is good stuff there.
If I had known the Republican Debates are stand-up comedy I might actually have tuned in have flipped by more purposely. Nah. Who are we kidding … Hillary is my girl, sadly she may not be our president, but for now – she’s my girl.

He’s Got My Number

I love my son. I really, really do. He’s my first born. And he’s becoming a lot of fun. But it wasn’t, and isn’t, always rainbows and puppy dog tails. J’s post eloquently and elegantly (as usual) reminded me that we too have our tough times. I’m not always the best mommy to E. There are days that I am positive that he’s pushing my buttons merely because he can. That he’s not listening because, well … because he’s being a pain in the butt. But he’s not. He’s four. I have to remember that he’s only four. He’s a great four-year old. He’s empathetic. He’s nice to his little sister. He tells me he likes my shoes. He also complains. And whines. And sometimes whiningly complains. And sometimes I think I won’t survive one more second of it. And sometimes … sometimes he sits on my lap and tells me that he loves me. Without me asking. In a moment of quiet, I can see that I have it pretty good. And I need to savor that. Find a way to bank it for later. I think I’ll need it in the teenage years.

The one where I detail that SharePoint is NOT my BFF

I started a new job on Monday. For those keeping score at home, that would be 4 corporate jobs in 16 months. And, I stayed home with kids for 6 of those months. Anyhoo … we use Sharepoint, which is according to Microsoft is used

to facilitate collaboration, provide content management features, implement business processes, and supply access to information that is essential to organizational goals and processes.

You can quickly create SharePoint sites that support specific content publishing, content management, records management, or business intelligence needs. You can also conduct effective searches for people, documents, and data, participate in forms-driven business processes, and access and analyze large amounts of business data.

Today I wanted to use its wiki functionality. And I was sad. So sad. It doesn’t behave like a wiki at all. I asked the Googles if maybe I didn’t know the tips and tricks and was told by Lawrence Lui from Microsoft on his SharePoint powered blog

the wiki functionality in WSS 3.0 was not designed to compete directly with best-of-breed wiki products like SocialText, but rather, it’s the integration of a plethora of collaboration and community features that make WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007 best of breed as a whole.

The key competitive advantage of SharePoint has always been and will continue to be in the foreseeable future the breadth of integrated collaborative and community-based applications that are provided out of the box or can easily be developed with SharePoint rich platform services. I believe that the built-in wiki functionality is sufficient for a very large percentage of our customer base, and many customers have indeed standardized on the SharePoint wiki as part of their overall standardization on SharePoint as the enterprise collaborative application platform.

Microsoft purposely, knowingly created and released a product that does not do what the marketing collateral claims. It does not support collaboration. It’s little more than a very pretty file storage system. And when you do make wiki pages, it’s not pretty. All the pages you create show up in the document list. Even child pages. Doesn’t make it very clear which document is the one you care about and which are merely supporting pages. Also, it cannot make a TOC list or support headings. Wikis are meant to be easy to use. It’s extremely limited functionality is not sufficient for creating robust documentation. If I can have a blog I should be able to write wiki pages without wanting to shove hot pokers in my eyes. Don’t get me started on trying to add a png to a page. I considered loading the diagram into flickr and linking it back; it actually crossed my mind as a reasonable alternative to the hoops I’ll need to jump through.

Catsup

Alternatively titled: What I’ve Been Up To and Not Blogging. I know, I know – you’ve been missing sleep worrying about this. I’m here to help. Favorite brother-in-law came in for New Year’s. We were so excited we spread our merriment over two nights. TWO. We really whooped it up. I think I was in bed by 11pm on 12/30 and 12/31.

We went and saw the Baby Jesus on the steps of the City & County building. I too would think that it’s a violation of the separation of church and state. But maybe since they have Santa and snowmen too it evens out?

We took a carriage ride pulled by a horse named “Tiger.” That totally threw A for a loop. It’s a HORSE. No, it’s Tiger. Yeah – that hilarity never ended.

And then on NYE we watched STAR WARS. Because we know how to PAR-TAY. And, because E told me he thinks about it all the time. How one thinks about something they know nothing about, I don’t know. It must be very different than talking about something one knows nothing about though, because I witness that a fair amount.

Good thing Uncle Joshua was here to identify all the different ships and such. A is prepared for the movie to be scary, as evidenced by TWO green kitties.

And then, for posterity’s sake, we took some more pictures.

Go to bed now. You’ve been waiting days for this information. You’re exhausted.

PS: Happy belated New Year to YOU!

I Can Caucus, Can You?

Thanks to the Internets, I finally understand the Iowa Caucus process. And hooboy, it’s a doozy.