Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Kids Back to School, Mom Assigns Herself Homework, and Dad Gets New Shoes

Kids Back to School

For the first time ever, our kids didn't seem terribly excited to go back to school. Summer seemed to whiz by, and they wanted more of it.

Fortunately, they both had great days at school and now they are upbeat and positive again.Mike, for his part, was DESPERATE for them to go back. Some of you might remember this Staples commercial (which was recently revived)--that is Mike!

Kieran started first grade with a new friend, Natalie, whose parents are both English. We had tea yesterday at their house, and the kids had a great time--they both like dressing up in costume and putting on plays. I think this made the transition more fun for him. Unlike Chris, who was an early reader, Kieran has been struggling more with learning to read, and this is bothering him. Part of the problem is that he finds easy readers boring and would prefer to be read from The Hobbit or Harry Potter books. We are hoping that this year he will develop the confidence needed to take the next leap.

It can be awfully scary and intimidating for kids to go off into the unknown world alone each fall. Even if they know their school and look forward to seeing their friends, much is new and uncharted territory. My little twin nephews in Puyallup started kindergarten last week. Apparently one of them has a cough, so my sister and her husband decided they'd better keep him home (with all the flu fears out there), so the other twin had to go off to school all by himself. He did, with tears streaming down his face. Poor little thing! I feel so sorry for him.

Mom Gets Homework
I've been feeling sluggish and unproductive over the summer, so I've decided to get into the back-to-school spirit and assign myself some homework. Even though I've been out of school now for over 20 years, I still view fall as a time of new beginnings (more so than New Year's). So I'm assigning Mom Homework...due by October 6 (my 45th birthday). I will give myself a grade on each of these five homework assignments. You, readers, are my witnesses.

1. Watch what I eat and record my food and activities on fitday.com at least 75% of the time

2. Work out twice a week (I know that's not a lot, but I'm trying to set achievable goals here)

3. Clean the study so that I can see and walk around on at least half the floor space (and not trip over anything!) (this is only the first task of the great study-cleaning project, which is the first essential step to getting back into my organized life year)

4. Have Chris and Kieran each help me prepare a meal (my sister-in-law in England does this with her kids, and I've been intending to start this up...but I have yet to do so...again, I figure one meal each should be an achievable goal...)

5. Refrain from turning on the computer two nights a week (obviously, tonight is not one of them !)
Dad Gets New Shoes!
When I first met Mike, he didn't own much nice clothing. Most of what he had was years old. He didn't own any shorts, and I had to talk him into buying some for a summer trip to Hong Kong. Over the years, he's become much better dressed. (Both my sister and I have had significant influences on our husbands' wardrobes!) But we tend not to share taste in men's shoes. We took Chris shoe shopping yesterday, and Mike didn't like many of the pairs I had him try on. He's very particular about his shoes!

I have been trying to get Mike to branch out from his usual white athletic shoes. We refer to cool men's shoes as "Brad Newman shoes" (in honor of our friend Brad, whose feet are always finely attired). After choosing some shoes for Chris and Converse style shoes for Kieran (you know, got to have those if you're going to be Danny Zuko...), I persuaded Mike to try on some men's shoes. Finally, he tried on a brown pair that I thought looked very stylish...and he actually liked them. Voila! He now has very fashionable feet!

My friend Lisa is turned off if a guy shoes up on a first date in white athletic shoes. I love to tease her about how picky she is about men. Yesterday when we left the shoe store I told Mike that now Lisa would be willing to date him! :)

He went from this:

GQ, watch out!!

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