Meet The Nat Pack!

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The Nat Pack: The super fashionable, super mod, super hip family consisting of Nat, Pete, Jakob, Brock, Troy, and Ivy. Like The Rat Pack, only younger, cuter, and not as rich or famous.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Ramble, Ramble, Back to School, Ramble, Ramble

Well, now that school is back in session, I'm almost back into the swing of things...almost.  Here's the rundown on how things have gone thus far:

On back to school night, we took Jakob’s school supplies to his class and got a chance to meet his teacher.  She seems really nice.  There’s a girl in his class that he’s buddies with.  She is just a little doll and a half.  She came up to him and said, “Hey, Jakob! Are we going to play at recess?"  Jakob, with a shy little smile, replied, "Yes." She said, "What are we going to play? ....Zombies?!?!?"  And Jake got a huge grin on his face and said, "You KNOW it!"  It was just so cute.  I'm glad he has some friends in his class.

I think he’s doing...okay so far.  He wants to be able to do everything right the very first time he tries something, and if he can’t then he gets frustrated.  We talked about it, and I told him that if he already knew everything, there would be no reason for him to go to school at all.  He really is a smartie pants, though.  He hasn’t had homework so far, which has been nice (for me).

I got to meet Brock’s teacher the week before school started.  She called parents and had them come in individually with the student and school supplies.  She’s a thinker, that one.  She is also very much on top of things-she didn’t miss a beat in asking me if I could come in to help in the classroom.  I told her I would try-my only hiccup is how Ivy is doing when she is with me.  Sometimes, when I’ve gone to help at the school, Ivy has been great-she just sits there quietly and plays.  Other times, she’s wanting to run up and down the halls.  So we’ll see how this year goes.

The first day of school, Brock lost his lunch box.  I swear it went to the Phantom Zone for a while, and this is why: he forgot to put his lunch box in his room’s basket.  At the end of the day he realized that, and so they went to the lunchroom and found his box, and sent him on his way with it on the bus.  But then his box was exactly like a girl’s box that rides the same bus, only she’s in 3rd grade, and somehow he had her box.  So he came home and was in tears because he lost the box.  We went to the school, to his classroom, to the lunchroom, and called the bus, all to no avail.  The next day, voila!-the lunch box appeared…in Jakob’s class’s basket.  Hm.  Very random.  But we got it back.
Brock loves school.  His homework has taken the most time so far, because he wants to color everything meticulously.  Grr.  I’m like, just scribble, child!  But he is a SUPER artist, and wants everything to look right, so I have to hold my tongue.  He’s getting better and better at reading, but still wants to guess at words.  If I stop him, though, and point at the word that he guessed, he’ll read it the right way.  I think he’s just trying to go fast or something.

Troy is just so cute.  He’s a dawdler, so I worried about him being on time in the morning to catch the bus.  But he’s done great so far.  The first day of school we were walking in to the front doors with a bunch of bigger kids.  Troy’s eyes got wider and wider.  But once we got to the classroom I think he was okay.  There are a few kids in his class that he knows from church, so I think that helps.  And he plays with his neighbor friend at recess that’s in the other kindergarten class.

This week for homework we had the Mom Scrapbook Project, as I like to call it.  Each of my kids has had this: it’s a packet that asks questions about your child, like their favorite color, a cool trip they have been on, what they are scared of, etc.  (Incidentally, Troy said his favorite trip was “when we went to Wyoming”.  He doesn’t say when we went to Lexi’s wedding, but that’s the only time we’ve been in Wyoming.  So random.)  So you answer the questions, and then you have to find things to show the answers, like pictures, and stickers, and dye cuts, and on and on.  When I did it with Jakob, I think I put a lot more time and effort into doing lots of different…mediums?  Like, stickers, and yarn, and I had him color a whole bunch.  This year, I did almost all pictures, because it’s just that much easier.  We got a few stickers, too, but that’s about it.  Oh, and I had Troy draw a couple of pictures.

Troy is just so eager to learn - he wants to know everything, and how things work.  He’s constantly asking about what words start with what letters, that kind of thing.  The other day he asked Pete to explain how waterfalls work, and ate up every word.
I thought about trying to do a little group school thing for Ivy this year.  And then I remembered how much I hated doing the neighborhood preschool for Troy when he was three, so I quickly changed my mind.  So far, she mostly just wants to play with toys while “da brudders” (translation: “the brothers”, which is what she collectively calls Jakob, Brock, and Troy) are at school.  Sometimes she wants to be with me, so she’s at my mercy-she helped me do laundry, and put away dishes, that kind of thing.

Twice a week my mom and I are walking - outside right now while it’s still nice, and then we’ll start mall walking when it gets cold.  So Ivy rides in a stroller with a blanket over her.  She thinks it’s the best thing ever.  Which takes us to…
Have I been productive? Yes.  Am I busy? YES.  But do I have down time?  Yes. 
During the summer we slept in, and kind of took our time doing things during the day.  It’s amazing how much more one can get done when one gets up and gets moving.  After I get the boys out the door, I’ve been exercising for the first time in YEARS, either walking with my mom like I mentioned, or doing yoga.  I bought this DVD of 20 minute yoga, and so far I really like it.  The dude on it talks about how people go to bed too late, and then get up with a huge to-do list and rush through the day.  His philosophy is to go to bed earlier, and then start the day right with down time, to set the mood for your whole day and get you in a peaceful mindset.
My other morning routine is reading my scriptures.  This has been a wonderful way to start my day.  We read together as a family at night, but it’s just one page.  Reading on my own has been hit and miss, but now it’s part of what I do, and it’s been great.  It does the same thing as the yoga - it gets me in a peaceful mindset to start off my day.
Another great thing about school is the lunches.  I came up with a rotation of sorts for school lunches that I send with the kids.  It’s not fancy, but it helps break up the monotony of a PB&J every day.  I’ve been trying to include healthier sides, like carrots and celery, or little fruit cups.  So, when Troy gets home, I make the same lunch for him, me, and Ivy that I did for the other two.  So I’ve been eating a little better as well.  The other day I was like, Ooooh, celery!  I don’t normally chop up celery for my own eating, but since I had already cut a bunch of sticks it was easy to grab and eat.
After school, I teach piano.  I have 14 students this year.  Every year, before I start teaching, I get really nervous - about if I’m teaching well, if I’ll have enough time to get everything done, that kind of thing.  Last week was my first week, and it went really great.  Well, at least it went great for me – I hope it’s the same story when my students get home.  I really love teaching, and all my students are awesome.
And then at night, of course, I clean at my dad’s office.  Luckily, I’ve been doing that for a couple of months, so that’s really second nature now.  I’m glad things have been adding on little by little or week by week so I didn’t get inundated all at once.
So, weekdays, doing okay.  Weekends, however, are a different ball game, especially Saturdays.  On Saturday, I just want to sleep in, and relax.  But what I NEED to do is grocery shopping, and cleaning at my dad’s, and cleaning my own house with my kids.  I wish my kids were old enough that I could just set them to it, but I know we’d end up at the hospital with bleach in a kid’s eye or something.  So I help them out, which takes longer than if I were to just do it, but they need to learn at some point. 
This last Saturday we were cleaning after dinner and clear up till bedtime, but at least it got done.  So that’s something I need to think about.  I could try fitting one chore into every day of the week (like Monday is dusting day, Tuesday is windexing day, something like that), but I don’t know if that would be better or worse than what I have going on now.  My other thought, and I REALLY need to do this, is go grocery shopping on a different day other than Saturday.  It would be less crowded on a different day, that’s for sure.
Well, I think this post is long enough now, so I’ll be off.  But don’t worry-I’ll be back to ramble another day!


Steph @ Crafting in the Rain said...

Hello dear--
Glad things are rolling along nicely for you! M is my dawdler for sure. We can ask her to brush her teeth, and 10 minutes later go in there and she's just barely putting toothpaste on the thing :)

Automobile Birdsinger said...

What yoga video do you use? I have the hardest time finding decent yoga videos. All the ones I have claim to be for beginners but really r for super yoga people, which is just not me...yet!:)

Blaire said...

I shop on mondays or tuesdays and there are a lot less people at the store. The only down side is that you have to plan enough food to get you through making lunches on Monday and sometimes I forget :)