Friday, February 27, 2009

Time for Electives

M's middle school sent home the elective-choice form for 7th grade today. I wasn't expecting it quite so soon, but I guess they need to start planning for how many students will be in each class. In addition to checking whether or not they want to take a foreign language (French or Spanish, limited to first 150 registrants each), they have to number six choices from the rest of the classes. I'm impressed with the offerings--there are a lot of neat classes. I don't remember having any elective choices until 8th grade, and even then I only had two one-semester classes (I wanted Art and Home Ec, but my parents made me take Science instead of Art).

M gets to choose four semesters worth of electives (two periods a day). In addition to checking the box for French 1A, he has decided that he would like to try Video Production, Computer Graphics, Chorus, Web Design, Yearbook, or Wood Technology I. DH and I were a little surprised by the Wood Technology choice, as M did not have an easy time with that in the 6th-grade Cycle class. I guess he had fun, even though his friend had to help him finish his project!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Too Cute!

B has recently started leaving me notes on my laptop when I have late rehearsals:

However, tonight there was something else on the laptop:

When I followed the directions, here's what I found:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

It's All In the Timing

I like to cook, when I have the time, and I usually try to provide home-cooked dinners for my family several times a week. Meals with vegetables, not too much red meat over the course of the week, etc. When DH is away, I let the kids pick the meals they want, as it's a chance for them to ask for things that DH doesn't really like. So, tonight's menu is macaroni and cheese (the kind in the blue box), with added tuna and peas for M and me. Tomorrow night we don't have any activities in the evening, so we're going to have TV dinners (a treat the kids ask for whenever DH travels). Naturally, these are the two days that M has been instructed to log everything he eats for his Wellness class. They're going to think his mother doesn't know how to cook, and that he lives on junk food!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Unable to Commit

I've finally filled out the committment form for B's spring ballet performance, but I had to add several footnotes, as we don't know if we can commit to some of the things on the list! The ballet school requires students to indicate their availability to perform with either Cast A or Cast B, or both. By checking a cast, we are saying that we will be able to attend all the performances and required rehearsals for that cast.

Students are required to attend all rehearsals to perform, but they don't post the actual Saturday rehearsal times until the week before rehearsal, so we have to block out 12:00-6:00 pm on those days. B will have a spring musical performance on Saturday, May 2, but the producers don't know yet what time the performance is. So, at this point, we have agreed to attend two required activities on May 2, with no idea what time either one is actually going to happen.

Cast A (the best fit for our schedule) also comes with an outreach performance that takes place on a weekday morning, so she would have to miss a half day of school. Normally, that's not a problem. However, B's school has scheduled STAR testing that week. Naturally, the school doesn't yet know when her testing will be scheduled (a couple of tests over a two-week period), so we had to include yet another footnote on the ballet form.

Oh, and on the parent side of the form, I added a third footnote. I would like to work backstage, as I did for the Nutcracker, but I can only make the Cast A performances, and would have to leave dress rehearsal early. (I have my own performances at the same time as Cast B.)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Where Did It Go?

How did it get to be Wednesday already? Time has just flown by. Saturday was choir retreat, followed by dinner at a friend's house. The kids and DH cleaned house while I was at retreat. I started my share of the cleaning when we finally got home at 11:15 pm, and finished it up Sunday morning. A quick pickup rehearsal at my house, a playdate for B, and suddenly the weekend was over.

Monday the kids were out early, so I took them to get their annual physicals done. M is officially the same height as I am now. Both kids are continuing on their tall (75th to 95th percentile) and skinny (50th percentile) growth trajectories. On Tuesday I had a doctor's appointment, and today I got up two hours earlier than usual to take DH to the BART station (he had a morning flight to catch, and I couldn't both take him to the airport and get the kids to school on time). Tonight Voci is singing at a bookstore, so it'll be a scramble to get dressed and into Berkeley after M's piano lesson. I'm thinking McD's would be a good stop for dinner :-)

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Yesterday, M and B went to the dentist for their semi-annual checkups. In the last six months, M has acquired FOUR cavities, so we will be seeing a lot of the dentist this spring.

We also got a bill from my dentist: apparently our employer-provided dental insurance has decided that we can only have our teeth cleaned once a year, instead of the standard every-six-months schedule. Every dentist I've ever been to has scheduled cleanings twice a year, and our insurance has always paid for that in the past. Is this a new trend? I suppose this means we'll be getting a bill for M & B, too...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Test and Reset

Current mental soundtrack: Scarborough Fair

DH woke up this morning to find our little street completely jammed with traffic, and no power in the kids' bedrooms or the outlets on one wall of the kitchen. We still haven't been able to find out exactly what happened, only that there was an accident on the main road that parallels our street. We're assuming it involved a power pole, but we'll have to wait until this afternoon to take a look.

DH reset the circuit breaker for the kids' rooms, but it took us a while to figure out the kitchen outlets. The one we knew was not working (home of the coffeemaker) is labeled as a GFCI outlet, but it didn't have the little "test" and "reset" buttons. Eventually, DH noticed that all the outlets on one wall were out, and the outlet behind the mixer did have the little buttons, so all is well now. I have no idea why those were the only areas affected--the rest of our house had power, including the kitchen lights and appliances.

Update (3:04 pm):We were right, it was an accident involving a power pole. And a fire hydrant, too:

Orinda customers will have power restored by mid-afternoon after car crash
By Robert Salonga
Contra Costa Times
Posted: 02/04/2009 11:55:53 AM PST

ORINDA — An early-morning car crash knocked over a utility pole, in turn knocking out power to more than 400 customers until at least this afternoon, police said.

The crash involving an SUV was reported about 5:40 a.m. on Moraga Way at Brookside Road, said Orinda police Chief Bill French. The driver told police that she swerved to avoid a deer, and ended up striking a fire hydrant and shearing off a utility pole. She was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries.

Police shut down Moraga Way for three-and-a-half hours while PG&E crews tended to the damage. A spokeswoman for the utility said power is expected to fully restored by about 3 p.m.

Update to the update (4:30 pm):M reported that very few students made it to his first period class, and kids were still coming in during second period. The middle school and high school are on the south side of our town, just off Moraga Way, so over half of the middle school students live north of the accident site.

Update to the update to the update (February 5):The news story didn't even mention the mailbox that was completely demolished--this morning we saw the pile of mailbox pieces next to the fire hydrant.