Thursday, November 1, 2007

Oh man, what a week! We've had painters inside and outside all week and they'll be back tomorrow. Having strange men in the house all day has really screwed up my daily routine; mostly keeping me kind of house bound. Making matters worse, they've been doing most of their work in the master suite this week so I haven't even been able to chill out in my favorite digs and everything just feels rather discombobulated. The good news now is that I've rescued my network (which was carelessly trashed by unplugging painters...), my room is nearly back to normal and I feel nearly myself.

Our budoir walls are a really gorgeous golden color; I think its called Toasted Wheat or something; I'll photograph it tomorrow. Haley's room is nearly complete---it looks amazing, which is something of a relief; I was certain it would be completely obnoxious. Kind of a robin-egg blue but with a touch more green. I'm sure you can just see it, can't you? Tomorrow they begin the behemoth room that is the kitchen/dinette/family room. It will be no fewer than 3 shades of green. Excitement, I tell you. And---my long wished for project---tiling of the wall behind the counter and cooktop---they are going to do for a mere 300 bucks in labor costs. Tomorrow I go pick out the tile. Clean, pretty walls; happy girl.

Halloween Re-cap
This year we had a Scream-thing, a Dementor and a witch. Impossibly cute, all. Rob took off at about 7:00 pm with six little girls; they stopped in about an hour later to lighten their load a bit, have a drink and then went back out for another hour. Meanwhile here at our door, I greeted about 170 children, gave out close to 500 pieces of candy. I lost count because I ran out and had to pilfer some from the kids' first round of loot. Luckily, a generous handful from each of the six bags went completely unnoticed.

It was a NUTSO day. Like every other day this week, the painters arrived at 8AM sharp. The girls had been up since about dawn celebrating the holiday---you'd have thought it was Christmas! They could not have been more ebullient. Kids off to school then I had a few more things to prepare for Haley's class party; me and Lindsay headed to the school at about noon. From then on, I remember very little except constant motion and friendly faces---me and the kids had a really great time and they loved all of my Halloween surprises---bug-laden ice cubes, all of that. I think nearly everyone spontaneously gave me huge hugs before dismissal; I just love that about fourth graders---they're starting to be big kids so they are a little more fun in some regards but they're still just little bodies full of affection. Very nice. Of course, I had hidden my camera somewhere in my room in preparation for a week of strangers in the house so I have *no* photos of my kids or the class party.

At any rate, upon arriving at home, I'd anticipated a couple of hours' lull prior to the Trick-or-Treat went down but NO---for some reason we had a steady stream of unexpected visitors. Thank god one of them was the next-door neighbor with a holiday shaker full of Appletinis for me---that helped!

Of course, this has all been a long preamble to my long-anticipated first novel writing efforts for today. Between the painters messing up my network today and yesterday's blitzkrieg, my NaNoWriMo efforts are what you see here. Pitiful. I wonder if this is how Solzenhitzsen started. Of course tomorrow, surely tomorrow, I will write and oh, how earth shattering it will be!

Domestic Interiors
I need help, crafters! I've made a few new window treatments lately but now I need some guidance. I'd like to make a set of soft-fold Roman Shades for the French doors to my craft room that open on to the foyer; also, I have in mind a design idea for a valence like treatment for my bathroom that might also work in my kitchen but I'm thinking I need to do some reading, and perhaps make a prototype or two, before I begin. So people, do any of you have a recommendation for me? What resources should I be checking out?

Daniel's sweater is rockin' along. Check it out:

What you're looking at: the back is completed as are two sleeves and one side of the front. All that's left now is the remaining side which is not really much bigger than a sleeve and shouldn't take long (if I keep up the momentum, of course). I've decided that I'll do the "D" in blue but it won't be knit in as the sleeve stripes are; instead I'll do them in duplicate stitch which is a) easier, and, b) will give a more varsity-letter kind of look by virtue of the additional texture. I don't know, guys; I'm pretty psyched about this relatively simple sweater. Its just so.... cute! And Daniel will just be so adorable wearing it. Anyway, this could easily be completed by the end of next week. We'll see.

The Traveler's Stocking sits untouched for the last week or so. I have been doing some sock work every once in a while but mostly I've been playing with patterns from Cat Bordhi's new Pathways book. Fun!

Friend Update
Voldie finished her half-marathon quite well and will add another year to the books tomorrow. Dave is too busy (or perhaps depressed) to call or email me so I have no idea. I think I will soon have to begin official recruitment for additional friends. I'll begin working on a position description just to make sure nobody is surprised by the scope of the ain't easy but the benefits are excellent.

Question for Educators
My fourth grade daughter, Haley, is in an accelerated math class with fifth graders. When pushed, Haley has consistently scored far, far above grade level in verbal and math assessments. Interestingly, she doesn't always attempt the higher grade level stuff when it is optional in the standardized tests. Then again, it is often very apparent that she is NOT challenged by her same-grade material and disengages. So this year, we approved moving her up to the higher level math. She can do it, but she struggles.

To be clear, I am not at this time thinking about Haley's college applications. I don't need for her to have straight A's. I do see in Haley a tendency to retreat from situations that aren't completely familiar and that with a bit of guidance, really, just a bit, she totally can make big steps. So here's the thing: yesterday at school I checked in with her math teacher. She told me that she thought the fifth grade material was a "good fit" for Haley although its clear that she has to work hard each and every day in class. She also said she thought Haley would probably get a "C" in this first marking period. It is the teacher's opinion that this is fine and that such a grade is really only a problem for parents in this situation.

So, I've already established that I'm a live-and-let-live kind of Mommy, right? But still, I'm a little uneasy with C's. Honestly? I never got a C in anything. So what should the balance be here? Should we allow Haley to continue in a situation where maybe she's not mastering the material well enough? I'm not really happy about the notion that we'd move her back to 4th grade math just to make sure she gets a better grade...

So I'm hoping for some opinions from professional educators here. What should we do? Even Haley kind of drew a deep breath when I told her about the C...

Now playing: Bootsy Collins - Bootzilla
via FoxyTunes


Melissa said...

Hello from Indianapolis!

A freshly painted house! How Exciting! You have other friends who love you (and have little babies for you to play with). Just give a call :)

Anonymous said...

I'll be your BFF, I know the perks. I struggled with one C a report card with Lyman probably from the 4th or 5th grade through high school. I got the same talk from the teachers. Grades in accelerated classes are weighted and a C is like a B. It still hurts a Mother's feelings. Lyman would bring the C up to an A on the next report card, yeah. Then he would get a C in something else. I realized early on that Lyman's issue was how much effort he was willing to give to school work and accepted it as that's the way he is. So just see what suits Haley best and let it go at a C if she needs to be in the accelerated class. LYFE Nonna March

Special K said...

I think a C is a not bad starting point, especially for challenging material - I agree with Nanna March above that it will probably motivate her to bring it up in the next semester. If you both manage to keep your cool (and it sounds like you are) she'll (and you'll) realize a C isn't the end of the world and it's easy to bounce back from.
-sort of a professional educator

Indeterminacy said...

Sounds like you had a fun halloween. It's not done as much in Germany, though a few years ago it became in all of a sudden, mostly for the real young kids. My son, 10, wasn't interested at all in going trick or treating.

I finally answered your comment you made at my post about creativity. I'm sorry that I've fallen so behind, but the accident has really disruped everything. My wife is nearly back to normal, and the main thing is she's home, and all of this is turning into a dim memory. I'm back to blogging now, we'll see how slow or fast I become.

Kathy said...

Nice to see you back, Indie. Still sending good get-things-back-to-normal wishes your way.

I lived in Spain from the ages of 9 to about 14...Halloween was like...nada. I didn't really miss it and by the time we moved back to the States, I was beyond the Trick-or-Treating and there weren't so many parties, etc back then. I seem to have grown up fine without it...perhaps ;-)