so long, 2016

There’s a little Q&A thing I usually do at the end of each year, a sort of year in review thing. What did you do this year that you’ve never done before, what were your biggest achievements/failures of the year, etc.

This year, I just don’t feel like doing it.

2016 has been so awful on so many fronts. From politics (the election, Trump) and world events (Syria, Russia) to the loss of so many cultural icons from my childhood (I’m still upset about Carrie Fisher), to seeing friends and loved ones struggle with losses and heartbreak, and feeling helpless about the best way to support them.

At the same time, by any measure, my own life is pretty great. It feels gauche to even talk about it, but I have so many things to be thankful for.

  • My kids are healthy and doing great. Catie blows my mind with the stuff she learns at school. She comes home telling me about books she’s reading, which are the same ones I read at her age and loved. Chronicles of Narnia, everything by Roald Dahl, etc. That’s been so fun to talk about with her.

    Lucy had a little bit of a rough adjustment to kindergarten (she did great at school, but she would come home exhausted every day and she was mean as a snake), but she eventually settled into her routine. She seems to be outgrowing her interest in princesses, which breaks my heart a little bit, but she’s still the same hilarious little ball of light that she’s always been. And she can read now! She reads books to me every day, and she sounds out everything. We’ll be in the car and she’ll announce the name of the street we’re on because she read it on a sign.

  • Chris is awesome, and takes care of me in ways I usually don’t even know I need. Do you have a partner who brings you bakery-fresh apple fritters and then does the dishes for you? You should. It’s pretty great. He gives backrubs too. A++, highly recommend.

  • My parents are still healthy, and since we see them at least twice a week, I feel lucky that the kids get to have a close relationship with their grandparents as they grow up.

  • Dave and I have evolved into a pretty solid co-parenting team, and I think we’re doing a good job at making sure rules are generally consistent between our households. The kids know that if they get in trouble at one parent’s house, the consequences (loss of screen time or whatever) will be enforced at the other parent’s house.

  • My siblings are both happy and doing well – and my brother got married this year, so I have a sister-in-law for the first time. She’s probably one of the most genuinely nice people I’ve ever met in my life, so I’m happy for them.

  • We had one of the best Christmases we’ve had in years. I was so stressed about it beforehand, but everything just fell into place, and it was wonderful and fun and so much easier than I thought it would be.

  • I’ve been at my job for 6 years now, and I continue to learn new things all the time, and I genuinely enjoy it. I got a raise this year, and our company’s stock price has shot through the roof, so from a personal finance angle, I’m doing way better than I could have ever expected.

So all of that is really great, but at the same time, I look at the state of the world, and I feel nothing but dread for 2017. And I suppose that’s mainly due to the political climate. I worry about the world my kids are growing up in. I have so many fears, I don’t even know how to prioritize them. Will we end up in a nuclear war with Russia or China? Will repealing climate change regulations kill us all slowly instead? Will my daughters have any autonomy over their own bodies? How do you fight back against literal Nazis taking over your country’s government?

And then the selfish angle: do I cash out my stock options and use them as a down payment on a house, or do I put them into some type of holding account so I have access to it whenever the Trump-apocalypse hits? It seems like such a minor, self-indulgent thing to worry about, especially compared to other people who are in fear for their actual lives. But as I am often reminded: our fears aren’t invalid just because other people have it worse.

So, like everyone else, I will be glad to see 2016 make its exit at midnight tonight. But I also don’t feel a lot of excitement or optimism about the coming year. I sincerely hope I’m wrong about that, for all of our sakes.

on Southern Pride

Things happen in the news sometimes, and I think “hey, I should blog about that,” because I have a lot of opinions on a particular subject and my thoughts can’t fit in a 140-character tweet. But then I never actually sit down and write it out.

(Well, ok, I did last July during the whole birth control ACA Supreme Court case. I guess political posts are something I do once a year now.)

Ok. So. The Confederate flag.

I grew up in Mississippi. The Confederate flag is one of those things that I’ve seen my whole life, in one capacity or another (bumper stickers, flying outside of people’s houses, on the damn state flag, etc). And I don’t want to write a whole long thing about whether or not the Confederate flag is racist, because it is undoubtedly, inarguably racist, and there are no less than a million books and articles you can read about it if you don’t believe me.

(Examples: What This Cruel War Was Over, which quotes the actual secessionist documents, or The Surprisingly Uncomplicated Racist History of the Confederate Flag, which focuses more on the 20th century, pro-segregation use of the flag.)

But there’s a weird thing I keep thinking about in this argument. The people who are in favor of the Confederate flag say it represents “heritage, not hate.” You hear that a lot. I hate that phrase, for what it’s worth. I think it’s a cop-out.

I’ve also heard people say, “I’m a Proud Southerner!”

And it got me thinking about pride in general, and the different things we take pride in.

I’m proud of my kids. I’m proud of my career. I’m proud to be a in a loving relationship with a good man. I’m proud to have built such a strong support system of friends and family in my life.

But being proud of the geographical place where I was born doesn’t make sense to me, because I had nothing to do with it. I’m proud of the things that I’ve accomplished, things where I actively made a choice that led to a good outcome – like, for example, I’m proud that I graduated from college.

Am I proud to be from Mississippi? No. Fortunate, maybe. I suppose growing up in Mississippi gave me a particular perspective on life that I might not have had in other places. I don’t think that perspective is any more or less valid than anyone else born in any other place, though.

I’m also fortunate that I was born into a good family that loves me, supports me, and has helped me to become successful in life. But really, the geography doesn’t matter at all, it’s the people themselves.

And on the subject of family and heritage: my great-great grandfather was a little boy at the time of the Civil War, too young to become a soldier. He had several older brothers who did fight for the Confederacy in the Civil War, and a few of them died in combat. (I believe there were 8 boys total, but I can’t remember how many of them fought in the war. It’s been a long time since I did that genealogy project.)

I also know, because there are African-Americans in Mississippi with the same last name as we had – which is one of those highly unusual, “Americanized spelling of a Swiss name” type of last names – that obviously at some point, my ancestors owned slaves.

But here’s the thing: it’s not hard for me to acknowledge that I love my family, and also acknowledge that my ancestors fought for the wrong side. Those two concepts are not mutually exclusive.

And to be clear, I’m not ashamed of them either. Just as I don’t take pride in anything I didn’t accomplish, I also don’t see the point in apologizing for my great-great grandfather’s brothers, who died over 100 years before I was even born. I have no control over what they did. I’m sure that at the time, they thought they were on the right side of history. And until someone invents a time machine, I can’t go back to try to enlighten them about race issues.

So, yes, I suppose the Confederate flag is part of my heritage. I’ll own that.

But just because it’s associated with my past, doesn’t mean it has to be part of either my present or my future.

haircuts and snow days

The last time I got a cut and color was close to six months ago. I’ve been long overdue for a while, and lately I’ve been really itching for a big change. I texted my hairdresser, Kim (who’s also a friend of mine), and set up an appointment.

In the past, when I’ve mentioned making major changes to my hair, Kim usually advises against it. And since she always makes my hair look great, I usually defer to her advice. This time, I was planning my argument in advance: my face has gotten less round/more oval with the weight I’ve lost, and I feel like the long hair is sort of dragging it down and making it look even longer.

Instead, as soon as I walked in, she looked at me for a minute and said, “So! How adventurous do you feel today?”

And this is why I love her: she gets me.

So. I kinda went and chopped many, many inches off my hair today.
The before and after shot.

She also re-did the color, with a few dark red panels underneath that only peek out if I’m in the sunlight. Nothing too severe or crazy, but enough that I felt like I got a major change (at least by my relatively tame standards).

I’ve gotten lots of compliments on it already, and Chris loves it. Funny story: way back when we first met, I remember that his dating profile said something about how he liked girls with short hair, and I kind of joked that if that was the case, I clearly wasn’t his type. Yesterday, I had told him that I was going to get a haircut, but I didn’t tell him how much I was taking off (I would normally just trim maybe a 1/2 inch), so this was kind of a surprise. And based on the way he couldn’t stop touching my neck last night, I’m going to venture a guess that he seems to be a big fan.

As for the kids, Catie said she liked it. Lucy gave me the backhanded non-compliment with, “Wow, Mommy, your hair sure is… different!” Um, thanks? But, you know, this is a child who says she wants “long hair like Rapunzel,” so I’m probably not taking my fashion cues from the three year-old.

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Completely unrelated topic jump!

This week has been insane, weather wise. The schools let out early on Monday because of snow in the forecast, and they’ve been closed all week because of icy road conditions.

I was kinda bummed that the kids are at their dad's on their snow day, so I didn't get to take them out to play. I'm glad he texted me these. (Catie looks like she's meditating on the ice, but she was just mad about having her picture taken.)
The girls liked the snow the first day. After that, they were just kind of over it. (JUST LIKE THE REST OF US.)

And really, I’m incredibly lucky because our daycare has been open a lot of the time that the schools have been closed, and even when they closed early (during the worst of the weather), my parents helped out, Chris has helped out, and Dave and I have managed to divide up the time with the kids, so we’re both able to meet our deadlines and not go crazy.

Making silly faces.
Well, ok, maybe a little crazy.

It’s been a stressful wrench thrown into our routine, but we’ve gotten through it fairly easily. I don’t know how other families with less of a support system manage when these things happen.

Really, though? I mainly want the snow to melt so I can get back to running without worrying about slipping on ice. And yes, I know that by comparison to other parts of the country, the amount of snow and ice we’ve gotten here is nothing. (Sorry, people of Massachusetts, but there’s a reason I only lived there for a year, and then moved at the first opportunity. Southern girls don’t do snow.)

And I also know that in another 3 or 4 months, I’ll be complaining about how hot it is when I run. The thing is, I don’t really mind the cold all that much, I can bundle up and still run. It’s just the ice. The cold weather can stick around as long as it wants, as long as the sidewalks and greenways are clear.

Oh well. I’ll stop whining now, go lace up my sneakers, and fire up my tablet so I can watch a movie on Netflix while I run on the treadmill. There are worse things in life, I know.

running a duck

I’ve composed about a half-dozen blog posts in my head over the last couple of weeks, but I can never seem to find the time to sit down and write anything out, or make it coherent. So here’s a bunch of random little things.

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Remember I said a while back that my goal was to be able to run 5 miles? Well, a couple of weeks ago, I finally did it. Let me repeat that: I RAN FIVE MILES. And I’ve done it a couple of times since then. Which is kind of amazing, given how terrible I was at running up until very recently.

I don’t know how many of y’all have seen the Running Drawing Tumblr, where the girl runs routes in various shapes on her GPS app, and most of the time they look like penises?

Well, a couple of Saturdays ago, while the kids were with Dave, I went for a run at a nearby park, got completely lost (there’s a lot of trails that sort of loop back on themselves, plus I have a crap sense of direction), and I realized when I got home that I… basically ran a duck.

IMG_1838

Not my intention, but I’ll take it.

I don’t know what my next goal is. I’ve started thinking about half-marathons in the back of my head, but I’m not sure if I’ll ever do it.

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Also on the whole fitness/exercise thing, have you heard of these Betty Rocker workouts? A couple of times a year, she does this 30-Day Fitness Challenge. Linda (@Sundry) does a good job of summarizing it here.

I was sold on it for a few reasons: I need to work on strength training, 3 workouts a week is totally manageable, and most importantly: it’s free, so if I decide I hate it and flake out, no big loss. I found a bunch of my Twitter friends are doing it as well, and that’s been kind of fun, to have people you can talk to about it, and commiserate with along the way.

Anyway, I just finished week 2, and I have no idea if I’ll make it the whole month, but… maybe? I’ll try. I mean, I’m halfway done, so I feel like I’m invested enough at this point to try to stick it out.

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Catie is on her fall break, and just finished up a week at science camp. She was so excited about it, and had such a great time, and the whole facility is set up really neat, and I just can’t say enough nice things about them.

Catie at science camp

They let her keep her lab coat, and now she’s saying that she wants to be a scientist for Halloween. This will be the first year since she was 2 that she hasn’t been a dinosaur for Halloween, so I’d say that’s pretty huge.

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Meanwhile, in my quest to encourage each of my kids to explore their own interests: Lucy has said several times that she wants to take ballet classes. So I thought, why not? She wants to wear tutus and be a girly-girl, then by all means, let’s embrace that, and let her be who she is.

I called around and found a dance studio that would let her try one free trial class. The class was called “Ballet, Tap, & Tumble,” and it was all 3 year-olds. That sounds completely awesome and hilarious, doesn’t it? I bought her a leotard and ballet shoes, and we borrowed tap shoes from a friend. She was so excited when I first told her about it.

Then, Saturday morning, when it was time for class, she freaked. She wouldn’t put on the leotard, she cried and cried. I figured she could go in her regular clothes, no big deal, maybe she’d decide to change when we got there and saw the other kids in their leotards.

She refused to go into the classroom. She clung to me like a baby rhesus monkey, and buried her face in my hip when the (very sweet) instructor came over to introduce herself. I couldn’t even get her off my lap to watch the class.

Lucy's reaction to her first ballet class. She was NOT HAVING IT.

We eventually gave up and left.

I suppose 3 is awfully young to start ballet, maybe she could try it next year and have fun with it. Or maybe she’ll never want to take dance classes, and that’s ok too.

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October seems to be a month that’s dedicated to raising awareness for a lot of various causes, and it’s a hard month for a lot of people. Like:

  • October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.
    My mom had breast cancer, but she’s been cancer-free for 6 years now, so we no longer worry about recurrence. I had my first mammogram last year (a baseline before I had surgery), and it was normal. I know I’m very lucky.
  • October is also Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.
    I know far too many people who’ve suffered that loss. Again, I know I’m very lucky. I’ve had a grand total of two pregnancies in my entire life, and both of them resulted in healthy babies. I cannot imagine that pain.
  • October is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
    Yet another instance where I know I’ve been lucky. I’ve never been in a relationship where I felt unsafe or threatened, and no man has ever hit me. And it’s another cause where I know too many people who have dealt with the issue. And I use the word people intentionally, because of course men can be victims of domestic violence too, and it’s something that isn’t talked about as much because it’s considered emasculating. I can honestly say that the man I love knows more about being on the receiving end of domestic violence than I ever will, and I hate that for his sake.

    (To clarify: not from me, obviously. I think the last time I hit someone, it was my brother, when we were in middle school.)

Point being: if any of those things apply to you, and it makes October a difficult month for you, I am very sorry, and I wish you peace.

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Just so I don’t end this post on a complete down-note: in case Lucy’s sad, pouty face up there is too heartbreaking, allow me to show you what happened a few hours later, when I wasn’t paying attention and she found my Burt’s Bees tinted chapstick on the bathroom counter.

Lucy & my lipstick

She said, “I so beautiful now! I can give you a kiss?” Then left a big ol’ purple mark on my cheek. Thanks, kiddo.

So, there. Purple chapstick’ed kisses for everyone.

Ice Bucket’ed

Like pretty much everyone else on the Internet, I’ve seen about a million of the videos where people dump a bucket of ice water on their heads to raise money for ALS. My feelings about it were largely indifferent – hey, they raised a lot of money for a really terrible disease, and that’s awesome – and that’s about as far as I thought about it. I wasn’t gung ho about it or one of the people who complained about it.

Then my cousin nominated me for it, and he mentioned that he was also making a donation to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in memory of our cousin Teresa, who died of CF ten years ago this month.

And dammit, if there’s one way to get me to jump on a bandwagon, it’s to bring in a cause that’s near and dear to my heart.

I think my dad enjoyed pouring ice water on my head a little too much.

I had shown the kids a couple of ice bucket videos, but they didn’t really get what was going on. Catie was kind of upset about it (“Why are you doing this? What if someone nominates ME? Am I going to have to do it too? I don’t want ice water on my head!”), but I reassured her that it was all fine, it’s just for fun, and nobody was going to make her do it. You can see that when the water is going on my head, she’s in the back covering her ears because I was screaming.

Lucy thought it was all pretty funny. “Pop-Pop put water on you head! Dat’s so silly!” Who knows what she’ll repeat to her daycare teacher today.

Anyway, I made matching donations for both ALS and Cystic Fibrosis, and it turns out my employer matches charitable donations, so that doubles my efforts.

Temporary discomfort for a good cause? Sure, why not.

And now I can’t wait to see what my sister and brother-in-law do for their ice bucket challenge…

when birth control isn’t for birth control

WARNING: This post is long and rambly, and there is discussion of lady parts and sex and birth control ahead. Dad, you should just go ahead and click that little red X in the top-right corner now.

(I’m kidding. My dad knows my blog exists, but he’s read it a grand total of once, when I wrote Catie’s birth story. He said, “That was more than I wanted to know.” And he hasn’t read it since. Fair enough, Pop.)

I don’t normally talk about politics here, but my blog is my place where I sort of dump out the stuff that’s rattling around in my brain, and I admit that this whole Supreme Court Hobby Lobby thing has been taking up a lot of my brain space lately.

So, here’s my take on it, and I’m sorry this includes personal anecdotes and backstory.

After Lucy was born, my cycles were a mess. My understanding is that this is common after you have a baby, especially a second (or third or fourth) baby. I had debilitating cramps, my mood swings were crazy to the point of borderline-psychotic, and my period lasted for well over a week. It was awful.

I went to my OB/GYN to talk about my options. She said the best solution for the problems I was experiencing would be to get on one of the hormonal methods of birth control, because that generally alleviates all of these symptoms. It didn’t matter that my marriage had just broken up a couple months prior, and I was in no way even remotely sexually active, nor did I have any need whatsoever for contraceptives. Birth control was the best solution.

After going through the list, she suggested the Mirena IUD. There’s a long list of reasons why (I have digestive issues that rule out taking an oral birth control pill, I’m allergic to the adhesive in the patch, etc.), and honestly, I had a Mirena IUD between Catie and Lucy, and I liked it. So that seemed like an easy pick.

Three years later, I still don’t need my IUD as a method of contraception. I’m in a committed relationship with a man who’s had a vasectomy. I have no need for birth control, per se. And yet, I love my Mirena IUD. My cycles are super-light (I spot for a couple of days, that’s it), I have no cramps, and I might be slightly more irritable, but it’s miles better than it used to be.

And this is where the Hobby Lobby thing gets me. They don’t want to cover the IUD because they say it’s an abortifacent. And I say bullshit. Yes, in theory, it can keep a fertilized egg from implanting. But there are also women who use it for the same reason that I do, for their basic general health. Either way, it’s not my employer’s business why I have an IUD. My doctor shouldn’t need to clear it with my boss to treat me.

And really, we can argue all day whether or not “keeping a fertilized egg from implanting” counts as abortion, since that’s also the same thing that Plan B does (aka the morning-after pill, the OTHER thing Hobby Lobby now won’t cover for their employees). Personally, I say that until it has a heartbeat, it’s just a cluster of cells, not a human life. A cluster of cells with potential, sure, but it’s not the same as an actual fetus. (Also, people who confuse Plan B with RU-486/the “abortion pill” – please do your research, those are two very different things.)

Aside on Plan B: back in the 90s, a friend of mine was raped, and the next day we went to a clinic and got Plan B for her. Maybe there was a fertilized egg there, maybe there wasn’t, but in the wake of a really horrific trauma, it was reassuring for her to know that at least she didn’t have to worry about an unwanted pregnancy on top of all of the other emotional repercussions she had been dealt. I’m really glad that it exists for situations like that.

Back to the point about “birth control when it’s not a contraceptive” (man, I have a lot of thoughts on this one), my situation isn’t unique. There are a couple of million women in the U.S. who use hormonal birth control for reasons completely unrelated to contraception.

Over the last couple of days, I’ve heard a few recurring statements from the people who support the Hobby Lobby decision.

1. The female employees can pay for their birth control themselves.

The average IUD costs $900-1000. For most people who work in retail – even at a company like Hobby Lobby, which tends to pay their employees higher than minimum wage – that’s still a pretty sizable chunk of change. I’m not sure many people can afford that.

2. Small businesses should be able to do what they want without government interference.

To a point, I agree. But if government never interfered in private businesses, lunch counters in my home state of Mississippi would still be segregated. Government regulation is sometimes necessary in our society. It’s just a fact of life.

(If you happen to be one of the people who think the Civil Rights Act was a mistake, just… look, we’re never going to see eye to eye on anything, so don’t bother.)

3. If the employees don’t like it, they can just go work somewhere else.

Well, ok, I guess that’s legit. But this case sets a precedent for the 50 or so other pending lawsuits from corporations who don’t want to provide contraceptives to their female employees. What if you work in a specialized field, and the only place you can find employment is with a company that’s run by Catholics who object to covering all contraceptives? The Supreme Court basically just made that scenario possible.

It’s interesting to me that the people who see this as a victory for freedom of religion are the same people who would decry this decision if it went in favor of any religion other than Christianity. Say, for example, there was a company run by Muslims and they say that all of their female employees must wear a hijab. I mean, they’re just exercising their freedom of religion and if the female employees don’t like it, they’re free to go work somewhere else, right?

But if that were the case, do you think Sean Hannity and those people would be cheering this as a win for freedom of religion in this country? I find that pretty doubtful.

And look, I know I’m pretty far left politically, so this decision was bound to piss me off. And I’ve been talking about this issue with some of my friends who agree with the decision, and I’m proud of us for staying polite in our discussion on this, even when we completely disagree.

I guess what it comes down to, for me, is that I’m more pro-choice now than I was before I had kids. I’ve experienced firsthand how hard being a parent is, and I realize that not everyone might be cut out for it. It’s extraordinarily hard to be a good parent, and it’s all too easy to be a shitty one.

But rather than abortions – which, honestly, nobody wants, even the most pro-choice among us – what would be ideal is if all women had access to all of the family planning tools that they needed. The easier we as a society make it for women to get contraception, the lower the abortion rate gets. And wouldn’t it be nice to live in a world where every pregnancy was wanted?

As for Hobby Lobby, here, go watch John Oliver sum this up. He’s a lot funnier than I am.

snow days

So, the snow day thing.

Ok, let me say this: I understand that there was an incident here in NC in 2005 that was similar to what’s going on in Atlanta now, where basically nobody was prepared for the snow and there was gridlock and people were stranded on freeways for hours and hours and it was a huge mess. (I asked Chris about it and he said, “yeah, that was the day my commute took over 8 hours.” Which: WHOA.) I get it. Better to err on the side of caution and all that, right?

They canceled school on Tuesday “in anticipation” of snow. Only it turned out that the snowstorm was moving much more slowly than anyone expected. So it didn’t actually start snowing until sometime after 6 p.m. Which means the kids could have gone to school and gotten safely home LONG before the snow started. But whatever, they made a judgment call.

Then school was closed on Wednesday and Thursday (today), due to legitimate, real snow and ice on the ground. And hey, that’s fine. It sucks for my work productivity because it’s really hard to focus when the kids are here, but I get it and I’m fortunate to have a job that allows me to have the flexibility to work from home when I need to be here with the girls.

And yesterday had its moments of being fun. The girls wanted to go play outside and they were both singing, “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” from Frozen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1lDcPm-KRw
(That last verse always makes me cry, btw.)

It all sounded very fun and exciting… until we got outside. My kids are delicate Southern flowers, so they were game to play in the snow for about, oh, 20 minutes maybe. Then they wanted to head back inside and drink hot chocolate. Which is sort of how I feel too, so I understand that.

Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

After we came back in, I turned on a movie for the girls (Beauty & the Beast), and Lucy promptly passed out on the couch in her long johns.

I cleared off the end of my desk for Catie, and I set her up to do some of her homework from school, so she wouldn’t get too far behind. I had this nice mental image of working away while she quietly did her math problems, which… hahaha. Yeah. No. There was whining, and “I don’t wanna do homework,” or “You have to help me with this part,” whatever. There was no concentrating on my work happening at all.

When she finished, she asked if she could do an art project, and this is why I’m grateful I stash away this stuff whenever I can. I got out some little plaster figurines that come with a set of paints to decorate them, gave her one of my old paint-stained t-shirts to keep her clothes safe, and let her go to town.

She had a blast. She’s way better at art-type stuff than I ever was.

The problem is, I kind of used up all of my “creative ways to keep the kids entertained at home” ideas. I admit, I’m more of a “let’s go out and do stuff” mom. We go to the playground, we go to one of the museums, we go walk around the mall, whatever. But when the roads are icy and it isn’t safe to drive, all of my normal “let’s go out” options are gone.

Today, thankfully, even though the schools are closed, the girls’ daycare is open, so I was able to drop them both off there, and they were so happy to get a chance to play with other kids. And I’ve been able to catch up on some work, which has been great.

My main complaint about the snow days? Apparently I didn’t read the fine print when I opted to put Catie in a year-round school. Because I just learned that year-round school doesn’t have “emergency days” built into its calendar, so when the kids have a snow day? It means they make it up on a Saturday. And after this week, it means they’ll have 3 different Saturday make-up days.

The first make-up day is supposed to be this Saturday (as in the day after tomorrow), when my sister is flying in from Texas for the weekend. And you know what? No. I’m sorry, but I am not sending my kid to school on a Saturday. Not this Saturday, not any Saturday.

I understand that scheduling is difficult, and it’s hard to manage the calendar for a year-round curriculum, but no. Nope, no way, not gonna happen, nuh-uh. And I’m not even going to make up an excuse and say that she’s sick. If I have to send in a note, I’ll write, “It’s Saturday. We have plans.” That’s it.

Because, when it comes down to it? I work full-time all week, and that weekend time that I get with my girls is precious. And it’s FIRST GRADE, so I’m pretty sure that if she misses a few days here and there, it’s not going to prevent her from getting into a good college later.

SorryNotSorry

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fortunately, it looks like most of the ice has melted today, so we should be back to normal tomorrow. Fingers crossed, anyway.

(For the record, I still mostly love the year-round calendar and I really like Catie’s school in particular. This is just one beef that I have with the county school system’s administration.)