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Birds are Ugly

By M Davies   /     Nov 02, 2011  /     Mommyhood, Quotes  /     0 Comment

I received the following message today from Gabby's bus driver:

"Had to tell you about this…was too funny!  So, we turn by Cook's to go to the school….a bird flies up from the road in front of me….Gabby yells in the most dramatic voice….OMG!  YOU JUST RUNNED OVER THAT BUTTERFLY!  I said, no Gabby, it was a bird and it flew away before I could hit it.  She was like, oh….ok….well if it was a bird, you could have hit it, they aren't as pretty as butterflies are."

Good lord.  Gabrielle = Michelle v2.0.  This is totally something that I would say.


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My daughter, the savant (Redux)

By M Davies   /     Oct 14, 2011  /     Mommyhood  /     0 Comment

Last year, I wrote that my daughter was going to be tested for the Gifted program at her school here exactly 1 year ago.  I've been super busy with everything, and totally forgot to write what happened.  Many apologies. 

Gabby was tested for the gifted program sometime in November I believe…though I cannot remember the exact date.  The guidance counselor put her through several IQ and comprehension tests.  After the eval results came back, the guidance counselor called me to tell me that she was recommending Gabby to be transferred to the gifted program!!!!!  Her early test results showed that she was reading at approximately a 3rd grade level.

Things after that got kind of crazy.  We learned that in order for Gabby to be moved to the gifted program, she had to move to one of the other elementary schools in the district.  There are three elementary schools in the district.  The gifted teacher (there's only one) is stationed at only one of the schools.  Gabby would also be moving to 1st grade.  The guidance counselor, Gabby's KG teacher, and the  principal all seemed to agree that Gabby's boredom with the activities happening in KG were causing her to act out.  I have several funny stories about that…but they'll have to wait for another time.  It was a tough decision, because Gabby already had made several friends in KG and I felt horrible uprooting her from that.  We even had a roller skating birthday party, which all of her friends from school came to.  The decision was eventually made that Gabby would stay in KG until the last day before Winter Break.  When she returned to school after New Years, she would be a 1st grader.

Then there was the whole transportation thing.  Since the elementary school she'd be going to was farther away, she had to be afforded with special transportation.  Instead of getting a bus to school, like she was before, she would be riding a van.  I was worried that she'd get picked on by her peers…we all know the stigma of those "kids that ride the short bus".  Truth be told, I think the van worked out well for Gabby.  On the bus, Gabby would act out and get in trouble … A LOT.  Now in the van, she's strapped in and less likely to cause trouble.  She also gets along very well with the driver. 

The first month or so of 1st grade was extremely rough.  Gabby had some trouble initially adjusting to life as a 1st grader.  When she'd get in trouble, the teacher would punish her by assigning her double homework.  I can't tell you how many times she received double homework in that first month….probably twice (if not more) a week if I had to guess.

Things finally started to calm down and we got more comfortable with the routine come spring….and before we knew it, summer vacation arrived and I suddenly had a second grader on my hands.  Can you imagine?  Starting the year with a KGer and ending the year with a 2nd grader?!  It sounds absurd.

Fast forward to last week….Gabby took a reading placement test (the school usually administers them at the beginning and end of the year).  Gabby is now reading at a level equivalent to that of someone in 3rd grade 6 months into the year.  She's only supposed to be in 1st grade!!!!! 

This just goes to show my original theory of Gabby still proves true.  She's 6 going on 16.  I fully expect her to be doing my income tax returns in a few years at the rate she's progressing.

Here's a video of her reading what she want's out of the ThinkGeek Catalog:

Here's a video of her speaking Mandarin: (she's learning this in Gifted class…they have the gifted kids using Rosetta Stone)

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The morning shuffle

By M Davies   /     Oct 11, 2011  /     Mommyhood  /     0 Comment

I think I've said this before, but I'm not a morning person…by any stretch of the imagination.  The only way I'm pleasant in the morning is if I'm asleep.  Well…that or I'm still awake from the previous night.  My work shift switched from 8am-4:30pm to 3pm-11pm on August 29th and I haven't been able to fully adjust to it. 

Part of the problem is the time I get home versus the time I need to be up again in the morning.  Most "normal" people on second shift would probably sleep uninterrupted until at least until 10 the next morning.  I do not have this luxury.  Instead, I get home at 11:30ish pm and have to be back up for 5:30-6am.  Some nights I may not get home until midnight depending on whether or not SOMEONE asks me to stop somewhere and pick up soda because they were too lazy to go out and do it before I got home *ahem…this happened last night*

When I finally do get home, I'm usually too keyed up to fall right asleep.  I usually watch TV or mess around online for a little bit and then head to bed around 12:30-1ish.  This allows me 4 to 5 hours of sleep at best before I have to be up again the next morning….Er… The same morning, but later.  Now that I have 2 kids in school, I have to wake them up even earlier to get ready.

My daughter, part fish, could take a half hour in the shower if you do not watch the time.  This leaves very little time and hot water for my son to get in there.  Normally, he gets a bath at night, but some nights there is no time or he falls asleep early.  Then there's the lunch making, snack making, picking out clothes, hair brushing, shoe tying and putting on coats and bookbags.  My children are not the best when it comes to listening to instruction and then following it.  Sometimes I need to repeat myself like say, oh I don't know, 12 times before they actually do what I tell them.  If I don't keep on them about getting ready it causes everyone to be late. Thus, I can't sit for longer than 5 minutes….on 4 hours of sleep.

On Tuesdays & Thursdays this already insane situation goes from bad to worse as I need to get ready along with the kids.  I have classes at LCCC that begin at 8am, which means I need to leave immediately after the kids get on the bus in the morning. 

Ok, so we've covered the preparing to leave, lets cover the actual bus stop situation.  My children go on two separate buses picked up at two separate times.  Owen goes to KG now at the same school that Gabby was at last year.  Gabby is now in second grade in a different school.  She had to change schools because she's in the gifted program, and the gifted teacher is only located in one school in the district.  Owen gets picked up on an actual bus at closer to 7:20; Gabby gets a van right around 7:10.  For a while, after Hurricane Irene's road closures, the bus and van were picking up my kids in two separate locations.  The van would be going down my road as the bus was just pulling away.  Thankfully that mess has since been resolved, because cutting myself in half with a chain saw or cloning were starting to look like attractive options to remedy the situation.

After the kids are on their respective modes of transportation and it's not a Tuesday or Thursday, I usually head back to the house and crash on the couch.  Its sad to say, but if I do actually manage to fall asleep, I don't wake up until about 11 at which point its almost time to get up and repeat the entire cycle over again.  Did you ever feel your life was just wasting away one second at a time?  Been there, done that and got the t-shirt.

Tomorrow there's a half day at the school….I'm already only on 5 hours of sleep.  I'll probably get another 4 to 5 hours of sleep after I get home tonight.  I hope I can sleep more between the time they get picked up and dropped off (around noon) or I'm going to be part zombie come 3pm.

I just don't know how much longer I can hang in there with this madness.  I'm starting to unravel.


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20 Dollar Holla

By M Davies   /     Oct 04, 2011  /     Mommyhood, Technology Hates Me  /     0 Comment

I live in an Apple only household.  I use a Mac Book, my husband has a Mac Book Air and a Mac Pro…and we have a spare G4 tower in the basement.  We both have iPhones.  That's right.  We don't take kindly to Windows in these here parts.

When it came time to purchase a computer for my kiddos to use, the obvious choice was another Apple product.  The kids have grown up seeing both of our machines in use and are familiar with the OS.  The dilemma with this idea is that Apple products are not exactly cheap, and my children are not exactly delicate with electronics.

Rich came across a listing on Ebay for an older model iMac G5 for 22 dollars.  It was selling in "as is" condition.  The seller noted that the machine would not boot up.  Before Rich got his Mac Pro tower, he had an iMac exactly like the one in the listing and did several replacements and upgrades on it.  He ended up bidding on the auction and winning for 22 dollars.  With the shipping, the total cost came to 50 something dollars.  Here's a picture of it:

We added our own keyboard and mouse to it, as well as a USB wifi adapter we had laying around.  Rich was able to replace the hard drive and format it with Mac OS X 10.something….I think he said it couldn't run Lion because it was a PowerPC processor.  The ad listed it as having 256 megs of RAM.  When he cracked it open, there was actually 768 megs of RAM.  We have since ordered more ram for it to max it out.  All and all, it only took a few hours to get it going.  I'm surprised that we won the auction for such a low cost. 

The kids love it!  They have been playing Nick Jr and some other games on it.  For 22 dollars, you can't beat that!  Total SCORE!  And an added bonus:  We are still a Windows Free household.

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Am I too paranoid, or not enough?

By M Davies   /     Aug 13, 2011  /     Annoyances, Misc/Crap, Mommyhood  /     2 Comments

At the new place I work at, I park 3 blocks from the building.  It is free parking, so I have no right to complain, but it is an unsecured lot and in the middle of the ghetto.  My car has already been side swiped in this lot once.  I came out to my car one afternoon and noticed my side mirror was pushed in toward my car.  I didn't think anything of it, until I got out of the car and pushed it back out.  There's a huge horking white line of paint missing from said mirror.  I am not a happy camper, and since the security department is more or less useless, they really couldn't do anything about it because I didn't witness it happen. 

(Um. . . .how about installing a security camera out there, for starters.)

If that wasn't bad enough, I was walking along the same path back to my car a month or so later, and a pack of teenagers were blocking the sidewalk.  I walked past them only to receive cat calls and "Hey Baby" and "Shake that thing".  Are you fucking kidding me?  Isn't it bad enough that I am not thrilled about my job, now I have to be sexually harassed on the way into/out of work as well?! 

I'm pretty sure there is a meth house directly across the street from the building, which was condemned by the city in June.

There was also a person that ripped off a nearby sub shop that lives right around the corner from where I park my car.  You can read more about that here.

I am starting a new shift in 3 weeks.  I will be working from 3pm-11pm in this same neighborhood.  I will be parking directly behind the building, so I won't have to walk through the ghetto at that hour, but it really doesn't make me feel any better about things.  I am wondering if I should invest in a can of pepper spray or something.  I have heard from some of the other people that the parking lot isn't that well light in the evening.  There are lights, but they do no illuminate the whole parking lot.

While all of that does unnerve me, here's another alarming fact:  parents in this neighborhood just let their children walk the streets.  A few weeks ago, I called security because two boys (one older, one younger….maybe 9 and 5?) were sitting on one of the back dumpsters.  Who knows what was in the dumpster?  It is a health care facility undergoing renovations.  It could have contained medical waste, or rusty nails, or paper.  Who knows?  It's not something I'd go sitting on top of.  Where the hell are these kids parents at?!  I've also seen kids riding bikes or power wheels out into the street, or on the sidewalk, but dangerously close to the street.  Holy crap, it freaks me out.  It would be one thing to let the heathen brats play outside if they were being supervised, but 9 times out of 10 when I walk by or drive by there are no parental units in sight.

Maybe I'm being an overbearing psychotic worry-wort nutbag, but there is no way in hell I'd let my kids do that.  I live in the country now, and we live on a private dirt road with minimal traffic, but still in all…if I see one of my kids nearing the border of the driveway I start freaking the hell out on them.  I cannot let my kids just play outside with no supervision.  Especially now that the neighbors have horses (read:  w/ electric fence).  Gabby has already been zapped once before with it while my in-laws were watching her.  She got too close to the fence wearing in-proper footwear and got zapped.  Am I too paranoid for watching their every move like a hawk?  Am I normal?  Is minimal parenting some kind of new trend in the city? 

Or what?

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