Sunday, October 12, 2014

It's Fall!

One of the things we were most looking forward to with our move from Texas to Virginia, was the obvious change in seasons. As I sit here typing this, I can see out to my front yard and watch the colorful leaves fall. Every morning has been brisk and requires me to find the monkeys' jackets (and my own) before we walk to school. I bought apple cider at the store yesterday and feel like it's the right time to be drinking it. In South Texas, we could buy cider in September, but it was still 90+ degrees out. It just didn't feel right. Just to round things out with this perfect weather, we picked up a pumpkin pie too.

We live near the mountains. Every time I head out to the store and can see the ridges in the distance, I think how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful place. Even the monkeys seem to be happier, though secretly they're just hoping it will snow any day now. I don't think they understand that's not likely to happen until December at the earliest. However, I've been purchasing snow pants and sleds because we're all eagerly anticipating that first snowfall. Even Dadda monkey told his boss that he wanted to take a day off of work the first time it snows.

As for now, we're the crazy former Texans who keep remarking on the beautiful weather we're experiencing in Northern Virginia. Seriously, to my new friends here, I apologize for commenting on it, EVERY SINGLE DAY. I'm sure our excitement over Autumn here will taper off soon, but just wait until the first snow!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

School Adjustment

I never thought I'd be in this position. I am the parent of the 'bad' kid in class. Monkey girl has always been outgoing, opinionated, and jubilant. I've struggled recently with how to rein in her enthusiasm, especially focusing on socially acceptable norms, but I also don't want to stifle her own unique personality. Anyways, her 1st grade teacher does the normal clothes hanger behavior monitoring chart. Kids move a clothes pin with their name on it, up and down a color coded chart according to behavior, with purple being 'great' and red being 'parent contact'. Every morning, they all start on green 'ready to learn' and progress through the day. Most kids stay on green, apparently no one's made it to blue or purple (standards of excellence), and a few go down to yellow (slow down) or even orange (warning). Since school started 22 days ago, Monkey girl has been red twice, orange once, and yellow twice.

Today was a red day. I haven't had my 'parent contact' yet, but according to Monkey girl she clapped her hands at an inappropriate time during class when the teacher had specified not to prior to whatever applaud-garnering event was going on. I'm torn because I know she's not a 'bad' kid, but know she needs to work on listening more. However, she went directly from green to red today for this one incident. She didn't bite anyone, throw a book across the room, refuse to do her school work... she clapped.

Unfortunately now it seems as though she's gotten this 'bad' rap and will be labeled as such by her teacher for the rest of the year. Of course, she has her green days which let me breathe a sigh of relief, but these red ones are terrible. I feel like they've might as well make me move my pin down to red for the horrible parenting job it appears I've done. Despite my wonderment at the extremity of these behaviors, we've instilled a punishment at home for any warm tones she might bring home. Though, I've also given her the opportunity to earn back any privileges she might lose. Apparently she's not given the same opportunity at school. For today, I'm going to be on the lookout for my 'parent contact' email and abide by the punishment we've agreed on, all the while hoping things improve beyond this first month of the school year. Otherwise, it's going to be a long one for all of us.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Two Months Later...

We made it! We're living in Northern Virginia now and loving the change. There are big green trees and beautiful lawns. I didn't realize how accustomed I'd become to living in a drought prone region. It's gorgeous here. I can even see the mountains from my house (if I walk out a few meters and crane my neck just so). The climate is slightly cooler, but much more humid. A couple of mornings have called for light jackets for the walk to school, but on warm days, like mid 80s, the humidity has made it feel a bit like south Texas 100+ degree temperatures. Sadly, the pools closed Labor Day weekend, but we haven't missed it too much.

There's so much to do here too. Every weekend, I've been combing through different calendar of events and trying to decide what the Monkey family should try next. There's still so many things to get to, but I love that there's always tons of choices. We're really looking forward to fall and, unlike many of our neighbors, snow!

Now that school has begun again, I will be back to updating the blog more often. Stay tuned for some Monkey family adventures and recommendations!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Moving Tip #1

As you may have gathered, we're moving half way across the country to the DC area. Dadda monkey is already working out there, which has left me with all the packing. We've had numerous movers come out to give us estimates, which are hard to garner online without opening yourself up to numerous phone calls and emails soliciting your business. By the way, a ball park estimate of having movers move a 4 bedroom house from South Texas to DC is about $10,000-12,000, just for sake of making things easier for other people.

We've decided to go with a u-pack service where they bring the moving truck and we're responsible for loading it. That also means we're  I'm doing all the packing. I came across this incredibly helpful tip that instead of buying expensive boxes to move larger TVs, you should scout neighbors' houses on trash day and look for any TV boxes they may have put out. Then you can use them for your own televisions. I am lucky to have an incredibly helpful group of neighbors that frequent a neighborhood forum. I put out a simple request for any one's old TV boxes and immediately got the 2 that I needed! That has quickly taken care of the TV packing (well, once I actually get someone to help me put them in the boxes).

Along the same lines, during the popular moving season (early June-July), you can look for other people moving in who might have moving boxes they wish to dispose of. Again, I'm fortunate to live in a neighborhood with a lot of military families and so there's often people moving in and out. I've already gathered multiple garment boxes and most of the boxes I'll need to pack up out stuff.

Thursday, April 24, 2014


We're going to check out Sea World's Aquatica this weekend. An update and review to come later. Looking forward to it now that temperatures are reaching the 90s.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Spring Break Is Over, Bring On Soccer

We're back to the daily grind. Now add to it two monkeys in soccer, who of course have practice twice a week on different days. So I'm at the soccer field Mon-Thurs and again on Saturday for games. I don't mind, it's just a lot to jump into at once. Apparently I'm not good at change, so drastic change is even worse. Plus sitting on the sideline is rough for someone who played from elementary school through college. Despite my normally quiet demeanor, I'm a terror of a soccer Mom. I don't mean to be overly critical of my own kids or even yell at them like a crazy person, but that is what happened the first week. Dadda monkey has claimed he doesn't know me nor why some lunatic is yelling at his child. Anyways, there's lots of personal growth and improvement to work on. I guess it's some personal spring cleaning in addition to household spring cleaning/purging (that move is still on the horizon potentially). Now off to work on dinner for one of the only two nights there's actually decent time to cook!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

It's Spring Break!

I'm possibly more excited than the kids that it's Spring Break! Kindergarten has been a big adjustment for us and I'm really grateful that Monkey girl's off for a week. She gets to spend the week relaxing, going out with her brother and I, and enjoying more family time. We're not sure if we're going to plan anything special (a hike at Enchanted Rock or a day trip to Corpus Christi have been discussed), but even if we don't it's been a great couple of days so far.