Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Cello lessons

Portia started cello lessons about two weeks ago. At first, she was not happy that her teacher is a man. I told her if she didn't like him, then we could switch to someone else. But after the first lesson, she said she did want to go back to Richard again. We've made some slow but pretty decent progress. Here's Portia with her first small accomplishment, playing Twinkle all the way through. (She's plucking for now and hasn't really used the bow yet.)

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Still Undecided...

I need to just make up my mind already. The looming decision is tormenting me. I know I worry too much. I've been up in the middle of the night pretty regularly for several months now. It does me little good, but I just can't turn my head off. I wish I could.

My kids' education is one of my main priorities. We're moving largely due to the Alpine School District. Thankfully, Bianca tested right into the ALL (advanced learning lab) program, similar to the ALPS program she's been in since first grade, and that class is actually at our neighborhood school. It's a much better scenario than here where Bianca was about five elementary schools away from our neighborhood school and there's been a lot of driving over the last five years. Plus, a bus will come by and swallow her up every morning and spit her back out every afternoon. I love this idea.

Sometimes too many options can be harder. I've always professed that I prefer to weigh all my options to make sure I'm choosing the best route for my kids. Portia was accepted in the lottery to North Star Academy, a charter school in Bluffdale. Now some parents are cult-ishly devoted to charter schools. I don't fall into that category. I think your school is only as good as that year's teacher, whether that's in public, charter or private. That's been my experience thus far. However, numbers don't lie and North Star has a proven record that makes it hard for me to pass up. Plus, they put kids in a higher grade for certain subjects depending on the child's ability. (On the down side, though, the idea of the uniforms--boring plain pants, boring polo shirt--is almost enough to sway me.)

I've gone back and forth trying to make up my mind--one moment it's just too much driving to try to take her to a school in another county and the idea of that magnificent bus and the image of my leisurely mornings fill me with almost enough peace to get me back to sleep at 4:05 am (yes, that is the time right now). At other times, I remember the sacrifices I made for Bianca's education--the private school in South Jordan I enrolled her at so that she could get into kindergarten a year early (that October birthday was just too hard for a kid as "ready" for kindergarten as she was). Portia is probably ready for 1st grade. She's reading like a pro. I hate to be one of those moms, but I need to know what the school is going to do to encourage my child. I'm planning to meet with the principal of the Alpine school tomorrow. Please, please tell me that they have resources set up to meet the demands of children who need more. The secretary at the school suggested moving her straight into first grade, but to be honest, I don't want to do that. I thought about it for all of five seconds, right before I heard a "meow," turned around and saw my 5-year-old licking her paws and bathing like a cat (for the third time yesterday). Emotionally she's not ready. I know this. II need to make the best decision for my kids. Is it horrible that I wish she'd never gotten in? Probably. But it is what it is and I've got to make a decision. Soon.

It would be very optimistic of me to say that as soon as that decision is made, I should be able to sleep better. But let's face it, until the work on the Highland house is done and decisions on which plumbing fixtures and which tile and did-I-write-that-check are over, I'm going to have perpetual lack-of-sleep rings around my eyes.

UPDATE: Sometimes it's okay to go with simple. As I walked through the mess that is our current renovation/remodel, I wondered why we didn't just buy a house that was move-in ready. Yeah, there's good bones and potential and a lot of work. So, after talking with the principal at Westfield, I made a decision. It may have been out of exhaustion, but I made a decision and we're sticking with it. Portia's going to Westfield with her sister and riding the bus! I can't tell you what a relief it is to have the decision made.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Emotional Attachments

My little family is dealing with a lot of change right now. A lot of it is stuff we've chosen. But still, it can be hard and I've realized in the midst of all this change that I become really emotionally attached to things.

A couple weekends ago, we traded in my car. I've had it for about six years and it has been such a good car for us. I loved it--and still do--but the miles were getting up there and our warranty was over. So we traded it in. As I was clearing all my crap from the car, and there was A LOT of it, it kind of hurt my heart. Before we dropped it off, we took a couple pictures with our car.



I hate to think how difficult it's going to be for me to leave our house in Herriman. We have to move in less than two weeks. I've lived here for almost 12 years and love this house. It's stored all my memories with my little family from the very beginning. I'm trying to be strong. Sometimes I still wonder if this was the right thing to do (especially when I walk into our "new" house and see it filled with holes from the demo and air conditioning we put in). I think it is, but this transitional phase is sure hard.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Portia's Preschool Graduation

Friday was Portia's preschool graduation. Here is the little graduate:


Portia has learned so much in the last two years. Her reading has really taken off. She's counting all different kinds of ways. She's always singing or reciting a poem she's learned in preschool.


But most of all, she loves playing. She's made a lot of good friends at preschool.




They sang songs and played Twinkle on the violin. I personally think Portia could have done better at her Twinkle. This is the Tiger Mom in me coming out. But I didn't really work with her this year and it shows. I have a hard time accepting that all the other kids are better than my child.

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Well, it is what it is. Portia still has a couple more weeks of preschool, but there won't be any more worksheets and it will be mostly fun. They're learning to sew their own pillow cases, and they'll be doing some exploring as well. And it's okay about the violin. Portia will be playing the cello anyway. Her first lesson is tomorrow. I'll be hearing Twinkles for another two years.