Saturday, April 26, 2014

Gluttony Is A Sin

seeing as how I'm a glutton for punishment, I must be a big ol' sinner. . .

Quotes for PTOs and PTAs.

The last four years, I've found myself becoming increasingly more involved at SuperAwesome School.  When she was in Kindergarten I volunteered for a 2 hour shift at a Book Fair & for a couple days during Faculty/Staff Appreciation Week.  Oh, and I helped out in Sunshine's classroom a few times.

First grade was the year it all went down hill.  It started innocently enough with being a Room Mom.  Our teacher lost her para pro so another mom and I would go in to help out in the classroom or to make copies.

Then it came.  The phone call where I was asked to help co-chair the two remaining book fairs for the rest of the year.

I'm going to tell you a secret----once you prove yourself doing something big.  Like a Book Fair, and you do it well, people realize that you're honest (important when handling money), capable, reliable and a glutton for punishment.

And it's at that point you find yourself saying yes to a position on an executive board for your school's parent/teacher group.

So after 2 years of Treasurer (truly the hardest of all of the positions) I thought I'd slide into Secretary for the next 2 years.  It wasn't to be and I find myself finishing up my first year as President.

Honestly, President isn't nearly as bad as it seems to be.  You need to be visible.  You need to be personable.  You need to enjoy people you've never met coming up to you to introduce themselves and to ask why are you so involved at the school and did your child receive special favors as a direct result.  (Yeah, got that one earlier this year).  You need to be able to delegate and manage without micromanaging.   Having been micromanaged by a PTA President as well as an old boss, I can honestly say that it's my least favorite part about dealing with people.

The downside of being President is well, the negative stuff.  Ticked off parents.  The parents who never get involved for whatever reason but love to do nothing but criticize how things are run.   Yet if you ask them to get involved (to shut them up), they're too busy.

Because none of us on the board are ever busy.  Real life doesn't exist for us.

So this year there was a sliver of hope that I would finally slide into the low key world of PTO Secretary.  You know, take some meeting notes, prepare the monthly calendar.  Let the big decisions fall on someone else's shoulders.

Yeah, no such luck.  I'll end Sunshine's time at SuperAwesome school as PTO President.  The plus side of this is that I'll have a major say in what happens at school and will be in a position to MAKE it happen.  School district say no to the 5th grade trip?  PTO President comes to rally the parents to make phone calls to the district.  And I'll get to be at school for her last year of elementary school.

I'll continue to be one of those people who make it happen.  Glutton for punishment or not.

Friday, April 18, 2014

I Don't Even Know Where To Start

I know, I know, I've been away.


And I apologize for that but real life?  Real life is ridiculous sometimes.

With the end of the school year a month away, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel but before I'm out of that tunnel I need to:

finish proctoring the CRCTs for 5th grade next week
get BOGO Book Fair set up, run & closed up over the next 2 weeks.
help out with Faculty/Staff Appreciation Week
Have the AR Balloon Parade
Have the final House Celebration
Paint some hands to decorate the library ceiling as members of the Million Words Club (part of our AR program)---my sweet Sunshine gained membership to this exclusive club in February!
Throw a graduation party for the 5th grade class

All of this in something like 25 days.  My brain hurts thinking about it.

Our final PTO meeting for the year is next Thursday.  We'll be electing board members for next year.  I've been nominated as President again and am going back and forth between "what if I get voted out???" vs. "WOO HOO! If I don't get elected I will have SO much more free time and someone else can handle all the nonsense!"

The good of getting voted out?  I could do Book Fairs/AR/House Celebrations & "just" be a room parent.  The amount of free time & less headaches/drama would be amazing.

The bad?  My inner control freak wouldn't know what to do after 3 years on the Executive Board.

We'll see what comes next Thurs.

So, beyond PTO issues life has been life.  It's been good, it's been stressful but really, mostly good.  I'm a lucky girl & I know it.

Sunshine is doing great in school.  This year has been a learning experience (no pun intended) with the responsibility that is thrust upon 4th graders.  She's grown up a lot this year & we are so proud of her accomplishments.  She's maintained a 95 average or above so far & has read 1.3 million words.  She's currently on book 4 of the Harry Potter series, which she is loving.

The funny thing about Sunshine is that she has always been a very independent child.  I joke that once she could roll over at 4 months something changed.  If she didn't want to do something---be held, play with a certain toy, etc she wouldn't & no amount of asking, begging, cajoling would change her mind.  Some people call it "stubborn".  The truth of the matter is that the kid has always known her own mind & has always done things HER way.

This year she was comfortable reading what interested her.  We realized after the first marking period that she was on track to read a million words and started to figure out how many books she'd need to read to make that goal.

After reading through the series that had interested her (Hank the Cowdog, American Girl mysteries (but only Molly, Kit, Julie, Kaya,  Samantha & Felicity), American Chillers, Goosebumps, Who Was. . .books) her teacher and I decided she needed to challenge herself & not read at the bottom of her reading level.  So, a visit to the home of the Super Bookatarian was planned.  Kristine took her around the library & suggested SO many great books.  Ones we were sure Sunshine would love.  Do you know that my child turned up her nose at Little House on the Prairie??  Who does that??  The kid loves history.  She loves historical fiction as you can tell by her love of the AG mysteries & the fact that she's read almost all of the historical books in several dolls' collections.  Nope, no Little House in my house.

Also, no Nancy Drew.   My childhood was flashing before my eyes & was being stomped on by my stubborn 9 year old.

Harry Potter was initially snubbed which was odd as she loves the movies.

Finally one day she came home with  Book 1.  And read it.  And it was awesome.

So now, we find ourselves on Book 4.  I can't wait for her to get to the Half Blood Prince as it's my all time favorite.  The movie?  Not so much.

Hunter spent a week in VA helping out his mom & dad.  While we miss him when he does this, I'm glad he's able to go as I know it means a lot to him to be able to.  And that his dad asks him to help.  My only stipulation was that he had to be home in time to take Sunshine to the Father/Daughter Dance at school.

Yesterday he had carpal tunnel surgery.  Nothing like 7 hours at the hospital.  Actually it was 6 for me as one hour was spent running to school to get Sunshine and running back to the hospital to wait for him to be released.  I'm hoping he gets some relief from the pain he's been experiencing.  Luckily he hasn't been too man-whiney.  Let's hope it doesn't start!

We've been talking about putting our house on the market next year & moving somewhere closer to our families.  There are pluses and minuses to doing this, obviously.   I haven't lived in the same state as my family for 20 years & it's been about the same for Hunter.   Our whole experience as parents has been totally independent from our families.    Deployments, illness, even just a date night---we've had to manage on our own.  I don't know that I'd know how to deal with having family help with Sunshine.  But we're seriously considering it.

So, in my down time (ha!) I find myself on looking at houses.  This house has spoiled us in so many ways.  Our rooms are fairly large & our house is almost to where we want it to be (no carpet in the dining room & living room would be so nice!!).  My irises that I planted after we moved in have matured & spread.  Would we dig them up &  take the rhizomes with us?  The upshot of moving would mean that they would have time to mature & spread wherever we go.  We would have plenty of time to remodel, paint, whatever a new home.

We'd miss our friends here but really, I'm not a Southern girl.  I don't enjoy having Summer weather the majority of the year.  I grew up with 4 seasons & I miss having 4 seasons.  When Sunshine says she wants to live near Memere (my mom) so she can have a snowy winter I get it.  I want a snowy winter too.

So, that's where we are.

I'd write more but I need to make a phone call to a lovely retired teacher from our super awesome school who wants to work Book Fair with me.

More later

Happy Easter