Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Where's My Cape?

Anna June had a pretty busy April Fool's Day, and so did we.

This morning I dragged myself up because we had to get a bunch of stuff ready before school. First up, the usual - I don't want to jinx it, but AJ has gotten up the past 2 days and gotten her own self dressed. This is a big deal. She is not a morning person. Today, she was very happy to get dressed because the high was to be 80 degrees and I told her that, finally, at last, she was allowed to wear shorts. She has been begging lately, so I was glad that the temperatures would meet my threshold. I still made her wear a cardigan in the morning, though - it was 55 degrees.

The paragraph above may or may not have been written to make AJ's Milwaukee grandparents a little jealous. It also may or may not be a plug for them all to come live in Birmingham.

The night before, parents got notes home from teachers that this week they would be "doing testing." I am not really sure what that means, but as far as AJ is concerned, when we get that note, she gets eggs for breakfast. I don't want her to have a Pop-Tart induced sugar crash when the pressure is on. Scrambled eggs and whole wheat toast with orange juice. Yes, I cooked breakfast on a weekday. Please do not faint.

Then, I had to pack AJ's lunch, as it was instrumental in her plan for April Fool's Day. I came up with the idea, and she executed it.

We added food coloring to her milk, and then put the milk in her insulated water bottle. We packed a transparent cup for her to pour into at lunch time. The plan was to get the teacher's attention and tell her that "something was wrong" with her milk. AJ did this and said, "April Fool's!" The teacher sees so many crazy things come through lunch boxes that she thought it was just a smoothie. She still had fun, though.

Then, we had to decide about a picture order. I want to warn everyone right now that the pictures for age 5 are not the best. Here's a glimpse:

The backgrounds are universally hated by the parents. I wish I had not argued at such length with AJ about wearing a headband. Clearly, it was needed. She's a beautiful girl, but this particular pose and hairstyle does not do her justice. I want to have a do-over photo session at a real photographer's studio, but time is a big factor - we shall see.

Meanwhile, I got an email that my guest post on Comeback Town got nearly three times more al.com traffic that the three other Comeback Town blog posts in the month of March. No matter what those 39 comments said about me, at least none have said that I didn't do a good job at writing.

I had to snap back in to reality. It was time to go to school.

On the way, AJ casually mentioned there was a wild turkey in our neighbor's yard. I had shown her a photo on Facebook of one that has been wandering our side of the neighborhood, and she knew what to look for. I turned around and had to see it for myself. It was not an April Fool's joke, but it would have been hilarious if AJ had just said, "Oh, there's a turkey," and made me turn to see if there wasn't. Instead, here he was. AJ mentioned that someone would probably like to have him for Thanksgiving. I hope not - he was far too pretty to eat.

I dropped AJ off at school in the nick of time. Then it was on to work. The highlight of work was clearly lunch, where I met up with my friend Meredith and we split some fries with our sandwiches.

More work, then I changed into my workout clothes and went to pick up AJ from after school care.

She, too, was in her workout clothes. We were headed to her very first "real" tennis lesson.

For the next 7 weeks, including today, she is taking lessons at Crestwood Park through the "Learning Excellence Through Tennis" program through the Birmingham Area Tennis Association. The other moms and I were really impressed by the coach, who seemed to have a good rapport with the kids and is a real tennis pro. There were about 5 kids who came today. The lesson was an hour and a half. AJ loved it. She came home talking about how much she loved tennis!

I walked the track while she played. Then I met the other moms and they promised to bring their sneakers next time to walk with me.

Then we came home and ate leftovers. AJ had a rerun of this week's Meatless Monday, where we had oven roasted asparagus, boiled carrots, and baked potatoes. Asparagus is still in season right now and it was good - even Ben said so! And my baked potatoes were fluffy enough! Hooray! AJ thought it was good enough to eat twice...I think she had a meatless day today, also. I had some leftover tandoori chicken and macaroni and cheese with a few fish sticks. Leftover night- you never know what you're going to get.

Somewhere in there I checked AJ's folder. Lo and behold - it is report card day!

I probably don't need to tell you this, but AJ got straight E's. Which is the kindergarten equivalent to all A's. She is sad she did not make perfect attendance, but we've been through strep and a stomach virus in the past 9 weeks of school, so that wasn't possible.

I bathed AJ and she read us a couple of stories. Then I read to her and put her to bed.

I would have loved to sit down and enjoy our new cable television. Yes, after many years, we finally decided to switch, but only to a very tiny package. But instead, I was in the kitchen, cursing myself for agreeing to bring muffins to the parent breakfast at school tomorrow. I made these. I hope they are delicious. I'm staying up to post while they cool enough to put into my cupcake holder to transport to school.

Days like these I feel like Supermom. AJ is happy and healthy. She's making good grades and enjoying athletic extracurricular activities. Work is fine and I'm still able to squeeze in some baking and the occasional load of dishes or laundry, and -this is key- time for myself! Ben is almost done with school and his work is fine as well. Everyone, including the fish, was adequately fed today. Where is my cape, people?

But the truth is that AJ was tired. She got disobedient at the end of the night, and flopped around and I had to physically remove her clothes and bathe her myself. I didn't make her read for the full required 20 minutes. I was trying to eat so I didn't assist when Radar was throwing up. Ben tried to converse with me about this article, but I could only speak in one-word sentences with my mouth full of dry chicken and my eyes on my own phone, reading something stupid. The dishes are clean but not put away. The laundry still needs to be moved to the dryer. I have no clue what to wear tomorrow. The recycling needs to go out. There is flour on the floor that needs to be swept, and a table full of junk I had to move in order to be able to bake anything in the first place. Ben fell asleep watching a show that was probably interesting but I wasn't available to watch or form an opinion.

And the truth is that most days are not like this at all. Home cooked meal? Yeah, right. Exercise? In your dreams. And my well-documented fatigue: If I make it through reading AJ a story it's usually a miracle.

But I am choosing to admit that today was, overall, a good day.


Anonymous said...

1) wE GRAB ONTO THE 'GOOD ' DAYS, AND NOT LET GO ! (2) GREAT report card!!! (3) The muffins look delish! (4)Yes , I wish I lived down there. Last night we went to sleep with a winter storm watch in effect!!NOT FAIR!!!!!!! (5)The weather is not the real reason I WOULD CONSIDER MOVING. I AM NOT A HOT WEATHER person.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (6) I.m so glad AJ made a good start at tennis!! (7)Let us set the record straight : 'Turkey' and 'pretty' do not belong in the same sentence----a contradiction in terms , if there ever was one. They ARE ugles and ungainly and inelegant and look like gOD MADE THEM OUT OF SURPLUS PARTS' (8) The school pictures were way too small to see anything. I thought I saw a background that looked like a Kansas sky before a tornado, tho . ( ? ) I'm sure that they are not all that bad tho--- AJ doesn't take bad pics!!! HOWEVER-I LOVE THE IDEA OF A PROFESSIONAL SHOOT! I WAS GOING TO ASK ABOUT THAT IN CONJUNCTION W/ HE R 6TH b-day. WE will have to discuss! (9) Now. You know I went to the site of your guest post and I read those comments. Some of them were from visionless people. MEAN People who couldn't walk the talk if they HAD to. I wondered if you felt badly about that. You shouldn't. Have faith in your convictions. And there will ALWAYS BE HATERS. Let them collapse under the weight of their own errors. And your writing was very professional. I thought!

Laura Gallitz said...

Interestingly enough, the number of comments on my post on al.com has gone from 39 to 33. I guess they removed some that weren't useful. Oh well - "To each his own," as my grandmother used to say. My boss pointed out weathering the comments was a "character building experience." He is right.

We're going with the school pictures as her official 6th birthday one. AJ is still beautiful, and, well, this is how she looked around her 6th birthday. The backgrounds were ludicrous - our PTA group on facebook has had a field day. The stormy sky backdrop was a special target of ridicule. We may have Erica do our family photos when we visit this summer, but everything with that trip (and the other trips we will make) is very tentative at this point. The Sears and JCPenney (both locations) we have used are now closed - I have friends who are photographers but they don't really have studios and I hate to choose one over the other. Ruth is great, but she is busy with her own kids now.

I would not want you to move here if you can't handle the weather. It is miserable many months of the year, but it is very pretty. I hope your snow ends soon.

I still like turkeys.

AJ still likes tennis, though she had to miss her second lesson due to illness. Perhaps she will be well enough for the makeup session tomorrow.

AJ's getting a little complacent about her report cards. We went to Chuck E. Cheese to celebrate (and spend the gift card - thanks Granny and Aunt Nonny!) and she was like, "of course, I got straight A's." I am worried that she isn't working hard enough, but I probably didn't either in Kindergarten.