The website for The City School is up and running now. In fact you can even see a photo of the back of Gunnar running on the home page. The FAQ page is really informative and they have a link to sign ups for interested parents. It’s purely lottery to get into the school, but they have a very progressive goal of immense diversity both racially and socio-economically. I’m most impressed in their extremely low teacher student ratio. And for their language program the choices will be languages which include Mandarin, Korean, French, etc. They are planning on having a gardening program which thrills me. It’s one the neatest parts of my kids’ elementary school and I would be so sad to see that end once they graduate. Also, for the high school they are planning on having the option of Early College. Aaron took part in this where he went to school. Starting in 11th grade you have the option of being part of a group that goes to a local college for your classes. So once you graduate you have credits, or even a year or two under your belt. They also will offer AP classes, which was more my high school experience. I’m so proud to be a part of this. If you can’t tell.
I’ve shared in the past that I’m a Founding Parent for a Charter Middle School that is hoping to open it’s doors in the westside of Los Angeles in the fall. We got the best news this afternoon, the school’s charter was submitted to LAUSD months ago, and today they ruled on it, and approved it! This is great news because now we can get a location! On to the next step.
1.they are getting longerrrr 2.lunch date with a sick kid 3.checking out baldwin hills for a potential middle school site 4.art volunteer time 5.2nd grade math 6.nightly ritual 7.looking svelte 8.walking to school 9.solo lunch date with my pellegrino 10.ballet 11.torture 12.quinoa and a green smoothie 13.1/4 of the day’s laundry load 14.comic book store 15.fraction machine 16.hawaii blurb book arrived 17.writing 18.working 19.field trip to louise’s 20.delish 21.school pickup 22.new uniforms 23.dinner 24.got my burn on 25.kids scored in clothes 26.lunch date with This American Life 27.friday cubby clean out yielded 5 water bottles and 2 sweaters 28.chillin in his cousin’s carseat 29.park time 30.swinging 31.modeling her new clothes 32.gorgeous mid century 33.view 34.she keeps me humble 35.new cut 36.trumpet practice 37.how we roll on a saturday night 38.10pm snack 39.flea market find
Wow, these are from over a month ago. Slacking. Seriously Deborah. Greta took the dress code of red for the kindergartners quite seriously. In fact, when she woke up the morning of, she walked into my bedroom and told me “mama, I don’t want to look cute today, I want to look beautiful”. Oy vey. Here we go. The kids were all great, Sawyer and Greta were my only kids performing in this concert, and Gunnar’s grade will perform in the spring concert.
Romeo was quite taken with her.
The kids’ winter celebrations for their classes began with me meticulously planning out months ago how it would all play out. I was going to have Greta’s class party handled by another parent, and then that just left me with Sawyer and Gunnar’s and I figured I would have them on separate days. Piece of cake. Wrong. It just so happened that all 3 of their celebrations fell on the exact same day per the teachers and administration’s decisions. And Greta’s party took me coordinating with the other 3 kinder classes, organizing them for a pizza lunch, and gingerbread house making. I had my mom stand in for me with Greta’s during the gingerbread houses, and then I rushed over to her as soon as I finished the other boys’ parties. In Gunnar’s class I was running a hot chocolate bar while they made snow globes and then we had a pizza party for the entire 4th grade all together. So that meant kinder and 4th grade were both having pizza parties at the exact same time. That meant me being responsible for ordering lunch for 160 children. That’s a lot of pressure. I think I gave the owner of the pizzeria a heart attack that day. I informed him that if their pizza was 1 minute late there would be consequences. He knew I was serious when that morning my calls began at 10am, and continued every 15 minutes to make sure we were on schedule for an 11:30 delivery. He was sweating for sure when his delivery guy didn’t show up until 11:45, but aha that’s all planned out because I knew the delivery guy would not be there on time, I plan for these things. So at 11:50 when all the kiddies came out for their pizza party, the pizza was there. For Sawyer’s class I knew I would be super exhausted from the morning parties so I kept it simple. We planned for muffins and hot chocolate while making snowflake cards. It was a huge success and the kids loved it, the teacher loved the simplicity of it, and it was short enough where I could still catch the end of Greta’s party. The work for these parties oddly enough is not the day of, it’s the running around for supplies that takes so much work. For Sawyer’s simple party I still had to make several dozen muffins, pick up origami paper, print out snowflake making instructions for 24 kids, and get construction paper in a multitude of colors to make the cards, thank heavens another mom offered to make the hot chocolate and another mom also made some muffins for variety. For Gunnar’s I still had to purchase all the paper goods, hot chocolate supplies, and coordinate the potluck of drinks, salads, fruits, veggies, etc. See, a lot of work. The day of was still exhausting so please don’t be surprised that I have 2 photos to show for the whole thing. <sigh> I just hope my kids have some sort of recollection of these class parties when they are grown…
Hope you all have a great weekend and some time off if that’s in the cards for you. Kids had their winter concert yesterday, celebrations today, and last day of school tomorrow. I am signing off to spend some time with them in their classrooms, and nursing Gunnar back to health. Poor kids isn’t feeling so hot, here’s hoping he makes it to his last day of school. Since December started there has only been 2 days where not one of my kids have either been home with me, been picked up early, or gone to school late. I don’t think I have looked forward to winter break so much in my life. I don’t mind kids home or kids at school, I can’t handle some kids here and others there, and figuring out how to get kids to and from school with a sick kid at home. I hate packing lunches for some and still making lunch for others. So I am looking forward to having all my babes home with me all at the same time, with nothing to pack, nowhere to be, and no germs to have to worry about making their way from other kids and classrooms into my home. I am looking forward to not sending out emails to classes and grades, volunteer reminders, and prepping art lessons. I think I am just as excited as the kids for the break from school. We plan on doing some baking, going to lots of movies, enjoying a day here and there (very minimally) of camp so mama can actually see clients, taking our annual ski/snowboard trip, hanging out with our friends, reading, staying warm because Los Angeles is freezing right now, and attempting to sleep in.
See you sometime in the next couple weeks!
bring it on november. we are ready for you. i closed out October throwing two kids their class fall celebrations, three back to back teacher conferences, and one second grader who is almost finished with his first official book report. and we’re talking all this in the course of 3 days. throw in there a foot ball game for gunnar and a field day for the two littles and a successful trip to the flea market, and there you have our weekend.
this fall project for sawyer’s class was a huge hit. parents were oohing and aahing over their kids’ awesome artwork and this is definitely a frame worthy project. and super cheap and easy to do. i didn’t have time to take photos during the art project because I was leading, but basically it’s easy peasy.
That’s it. You start with a half a spoonful of the black watercolor. I poured it in bowls and had spoons for the kids to use. One half spoonful was plenty. Pour it near the bottom of the page in a tiny puddle. Then use the straws to blow the watercolor upward and outward. This creates the trunk and the branches. Once you are satisfied with your tree, follow with white glue and leaves. You can make the leaves on the branches, falling from the tree, gathered on the ground near the base of the tree, etc. It’s really cool and kids can get really creative. Here’s Sawyer’s fall tree.
We had a delicious feast picnic style outside. Fall dishes that were a huge hit: apple cider, pumpkin muffins, zucchini bread, pumpkin cookies, sliced melon. We decided to do it as eco friendly as possible. We used melamine plates instead of paper goods, and toothpicks and finger foods instead of forks. It was very fun and the kids loved it.
Greta’s fall celebration thankfully was on a different day because there is no way I could do both in the same day. For Greta’s class, another mom led the craft which was very sweet. They painted wooden picture frames with leaves in seasonal colors. Then they came outside to enjoy a similar picnic style feast. Another mom snapped this photo because I was busy prepping the food table, but how happy does my girl look? Boy does she love school. And she sure looked forward to this class party all month long.
Hits of the day were the carrots with pea eye balls on top. Guacamole with homemade tortilla chips in the shapes of pumpkins, pumpkin bread, more apple cider, and apple slices dipped in caramel.
We are into the second week of school and I feel that we have a rhythm going. I wasn’t dreading the start of school like I did last year. I think that came with the familiarity of the teachers we were assigned. We’ve had each teacher in the past so I felt prepared and confident knowing what to expect. If you can imagine I felt prepared to send the littlest off to kindergarten. I think all my anxieties and stress subsided once I found out she was going to be in my boys’ kindergarten teacher’s class. It would be home for her. In fact the moment I told her that Ms Brown was her teacher, she looked at me and asked me ‘how many minutes til the first day of school?’
And sure enough my littlest was ready as can be. In fact I did my first pre first day of school ironing for her. She insisted her shirt not be wrinkly for school. Which is funny because if I could get the boys just to wear CLEAN shirts I would be thrilled. She definitely is the tiniest of the class, but I expected that. I shed only a few tears and there was no sobbing, no sunglasses needed. I was strong and I’m proud of that. I miss her for sure, but I still miss my boys. All day is a long time to be gone from them, but each day I get to pick them up, I see their smiles and listen to them talk over one another to tell me all about their day. I love to hear who was a good listener and who wasn’t. Who got their name on the board and who was caught being good. Two days already my Soso was caught being good and came home with prizes. You can’t help but love that boy and his teacher once again has fallen for his sweet ways. I love to hear who is ahead on table points and who shared their lunch with who.
On the first day my sweet Grets ran up to hold the hand of a little girl who was crying. Yes, she was the one doing the comforting. Her dad’s heart melted and he came over to thank me for having such a kind girl. Gunnar is in 4th grade now so he lines up in a different section just for 4th and 5th graders. THAT was hard to get used to. Seeing my boy with the oldest kids of the school. His lunch is now with 5th graders. Hold me. I’ve already been in his class once to organize some books for the teacher and I love getting to overhear him in language arts. I love listening to the idioms he comes up with and I even like listening to when he gets busted for writing a note to his friend. Somehow his teacher hasn’t realized that you can’t let these kids choose their own seats. I wonder how long that will last before he is banished to another table for his chattiness.
My life has been at the school quite a bit these last few days, but I don’t mind. It’s where all my kids are, it’s where I want to be too. Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed the peace and quiet, I have enjoyed having laundry done before they get home, I have enjoyed even cleaning, but I don’t mind being at the school if a teacher needs an hour’s worth of copying done, or if one teacher needs their entire reading library organized into genres and color coded in bins. Or if the kindergarten yard needs some love and attention. In fact my whole schedule and routine has changed since this first day of school. Before, Aaron used to be in charge of the boys, and I was in charge of Greta. Except for Tuesdays when I had all 3. That included Aaron making their lunches, getting them fed breakfast and taking them to school. And me doing the same for Greta. But now that all 3 are going to the same place, all 5 of us spend our mornings together. We all wake up together, we eat an actual breakfast now, you want eggs? you get eggs. you want toast with egg in a whole? that’s what you get. we still do cereal and milk once in awhile, but we actually have a real family breakfast. We pack the lunches altogether, and get this: both Aaron and I take them to school together. I didn’t know how much the kids would love that until now. They absolutely adore having BOTH mom and dad there to see them off.
We hang around at the school together and make sure everyone is where they need to be. There’s no dropping them off in a hurry to get another one to a different school. And it’s good for Aaron and I. I know it probably is more practical for just one of us to take them and then the other one can get stuff done, but it’s so nice to do it together. So far it’s been every day and I hope it continues as long as we can make it happen. But with this new routine has me heading to bed like a granny! I cannot keep my eyes open past 10:30. I mean I have tried to stay up til 11pm, but I’m pretty delirious at that point. The kids too have a new routine and lights are out at 7:30. Yep, 7:30. For all 3. And they sleep hard let me tell you. They don’t stir until the next morning, where the 3 of them wake up anywhere between 6:50-7:20. And I can’t remember the last time I was out the door fully dressed with mascara on and a bra in a long time. I don’t have to come home after I take the kids to school but I usually do. But it’s great to be ready to go if I have to that early in the morning.
Now, for some photos of their first day of school all together.
It has been SO long since I’ve been able to do any style posts or wish lists. But I assure you, my head is not in the clouds. I am just barely having enough time to shower these days. Between swim dates and bike rides, painting and crafting with the kids, who has time to shop. There are a few things I definitely have kept my eye out for lately. One are these Vintage Camp Blankets by Beacon and Esmond Mills. Pretty much you pay through the nose if you find them vintage (used). But Three Potato Four got their hands on a lot of them. Well, not there’s like one left. But they are selling them for almost $400. Grandparents, friends of grandparents, great aunts and uncles, can you check your linen stash for these. I’m dying to get my hands on a few of them. You can find them on ebay and Etsy ranging from $50-300, but it’d be cool to have one passed down from someone you know. These are definitely going on my flea market list for future trips.
The next thing that has recently caught my eye is a bread box. We bake bread several times a week over here, and zip lock baggies are just not pretty. But they are practical. Until I came across Nigella Lawson’s line. Check out her beautiful bread box. The lid doubles as a cutting board. I love the stream lined look, and no zip locks needed! It’s not cheap so I will be adding this to my anniversary wish list for sure.
In other news, Greta is officially enrolled for Kindergarten and this morning I was the one trying to calm the nerves of the other kindergarten parents at orientation. Yeah! Me! Trying to be calm and reassuring. However I did notify them not to talk to me next Wednesday as I will be bawling and not helpful at all to ease their anxieties. Next Wednesday is looming ever closer, but I think I’m prepared. Or that’s what I’m telling myself. I think she is totally ready and will love it. I think I will adjust to a quiet house. And I think I will be extremely excited to pick them up each day. I look forward to carving out time for each of them to have some one on one time with me. Daily I don’t think is practical, but definitely more often than it’s been in the past. I think it has helped that everyone and their mother has already started school this year, and we are the last. I feel like I’ve had an extra present having these last few weeks with them all to myself.