Monday, August 31, 2009

First REAL day of school

Today summer officially ended and Russ and I returned to work. It was also Aliza's first "official" day at "school." In the tradition of our family, I had actually bought her a brand new outfit to wear. (Actually, I think I bought her like six brand new outfits, but some are for fall.) But then the weather seemed like it would be a little warm so I didn't dress her in it. She looked cute though:

Here's my brand new outfit- I know, I know, I'm not wearing it. That's because I have three days of meetings and professional development before the kids arrive (although they are visiting every day!) and I'm saving the outfit for Thursday:

Back to Aliza......Here she is with me, letting me know how she is feeling about the day:

Despite her appearance here, she actually had a really great day at school. She played, she walked (with the help of the teacher), she ate, she napped, she waved bye-bye and blew kisses when it was time to go and she came home so sandy that our just-cleaned floors are gritty. I think the five days of transition last week really helped her to have a wonderful first day. Although she still cried when I dropped her off. I'm hoping that stops soon because it sets me off and frankly, I'm running low on mascara!

Friday, August 28, 2009

You've got the cutest little baby face

Aliza makes all sorts of fun faces these days.
There's this one:
That's the I want that, also known as the I want you to do something face.

Here's another, the All done! face:
Here's her hello face:

The ever popular "sniffy" face:
The sleepy face:

The I am very upset with you face:

One of my new favorites- the Ohhhh! face:

Aliza serious-pants face:

The I'm impossibly cute face:

These are just a few of my favorite faces!

Here she is practicing one of her other new tricks- first she lets us know what is in her diaper, then she practices some animal noises. She does other ones, but her daddy threw her off by asking to make an aardvark noise.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

You can call me Anal

When we send emails at school, part of the name of the sender pops up in the recipients inbox. Well, since my name is listed as Analisa, what pops up is Anal. A male colleague pointed this out to me a couple of years ago (rather gleefully I might add) and then spent the rest of the year finding examples of how I really am rather anal. He didn't have to look too far.

I'll admit, there are some things I am way more anal about than others. My classroom for example. But, then again, I don't know a single teacher that isn't a bit of a control freak about their classroom. I think I might be a touch more over the top. Of course I think that because I've been told, and teased, about it.

Now that Aliza is going to day care and suddenly I am a Parent interacting with Teachers, my anal nature is kicking into high gear. I think it is something to do with being a teacher myself. I know those parents that get talked about. The ones that don't hand in field trip permission slips so you have to call, and email, and threaten to get it. The ones who send their kid to school with Doritos every. single. day. The ones who let their kid bring in a grenade to school for show and tell. (Yes, that happened to me last year, it was empty of powder but still, who sends their kid to school with a grenade in this post-Columbine, post-9/11 day and age?!) I don't want to be THAT parent.

So far I have handed in all paperwork in a timely manner. I have been responsible about tuition and careful about signing Aliza in and out. But where I have gone over the top is her food. For some reason, sending her to "school "with breakfast, lunch and two snacks really threw me into a panic. That's a whole lot of food and all of it has to be healthy! And, because I'm me, I want most of it to be homemade. So, what did I do? Why, I'm Anal. I printed out a calender and started writing down what she'd bring each day to day care. Over the top? Perhaps. But I've already gotten a compliment on my banana pancakes from her teacher. So I'm really not THAT parent.
At least not yet.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Saturday, August 22, 2009

15 month stats and some firsts

Aliza had her 15 month check up recently. Here are her stats:
Height: 30 7/8 inches (70th percentile)
Weight: 20 lbs 15 1/4 oz (25th percentile)
Head: 46.7 inches

The doctor mentioned that most kids are walking by 15 months, which made Russ and I worry a bit. She's a fantastic crawler, and she walks hanging on to things, or people, but she hasn't actually taken those first steps on her own. Needless to say, we are walking all over the place even more than we were before the visit and encouraging all of her efforts.

The doctor also noticed that she has a breast bud developing on her right side. She said many kids outgrow it, but she wants to check in with Aliza in six weeks. I decided not to worry until I have something to worry about. All that aside, the doctor was incredibly impressed when Aliza pointed to the counter in the exam room and very clearly said "yellow". And when I started rattling off all of the other words she was saying the doctor couldn't scribble fast enough to keep up with me. I swear she learns and speaks at least one new word a day and it is astonishing.

She's also experienced several new first recently. All captured in pictures, of course!

First day going to "school" and being left there (only for a little over an hour, but still!)

Celebrating a (somewhat) successful first day of "school" with a banana milkshake. (Clearly she is her mama's daughter, it was hard to get her to share this with me!)

Using crayons for the first time! (She's going to use markers at daycare, and the doctor asked how she did manipulating crayons, so I decided that it was time she had some of her own!)

And, eating chocolate pudding for the first time! I think more of it wound up ON her than in her mouth, but she sure had fun trying it out!
Finally, a video of my chatty girl. She normally holds the phone up to her ear and says hello but, of course, because I was videotaping she didn't. But you can hear her say hello several times. And you can see her pushing the button to make the phone pager work- another one of her favorite tricks. Plus, she looks really darned cute in her messy morning hair and her I heart Daddy jammies.

Monday, August 17, 2009


I have about ten different posts waiting to be written. I am not even exaggerating here....there's the one about all of the various funny faces Aliza makes, with pictures to match that are guaranteed to make you smile and feel all warm and fuzzy inside even if you don't know me personally. Then there is the post about all of Aliza's words and how amazing it is to watch her learn new things. Then there is the post about our trip to the zoo which was just so ridiculously fun, again, with pictures to match. Then there is the post about how we are starting to transition Aliza into daycare and OH MY GOD I'm a little nervous about it and my teacher side and my mommy side are at war. Then there is the post about how school is starting and somehow I've managed to do nothing to prepare, and I do mean nothing. Then there is the post about my law class and all the things I've learned like how I could have TOTALLY sued a prior parent for libel and how teachers really are pretend parents, even the courts call us that-legally and all! Then there's the post about the zip line adventure we went on, that's right I went zip lining with my dad, sister and brother and it was fun and scary and exhilerating and amusing. Then there's the post---well, I think you are getting the point so I'll move on.

This post isn't about any of that. This post is about me. Actually, this post is about my birthday, which is today. That's right, today I turned thirty three.

I'm not one to set much store by age. I mean, what does it even mean anymore when someone says "you don't look ____ (fill in an age here). OK, I'll admit, some ages have bothered me a bit. Thirty-one for example. For some reason, I was fine with thirty, but when thirty-one hit, it hit hard. Thirty-three doesn't much bother me.


Except it seems kinda, I don't know, mature.

Do you ever have those moments? Those moments where you look around and think, "How did I get here?"

The other day I was walking with Aliza. Thinking about the amazing summer we have had together. How fun it is to watch her, talk to her,, play with her, be with her. How cool it is that she is so much in my world now and I can't imagine living without her. How much I love that I can picture her so clearly in my mind when I am away from her. What a lucky parent I am to have this amazing little miracle in my life. And I started thinking about our house, and my husband, and my daughter and my job.

And I realized- this is IT.

This is MY life. I've arrived. I'm at adulthood. I'm a homeowner with a mortgage and it doesn't matter that I have no idea how to make my flowers grow in my yard without killing them, or what to do about the peeling paint on our deck, or how to sand and refinish all of our old, old doors. It's OUR home now, so we have to figure that out. Just like our parents did. And I'm a parent. And it doesn't matter that sometimes I get so scared for Aliza that I want to wrap her in my arms and hang on tight and not let the world in to hurt her. It doesn't matter that there is no manual, no right way, to raise a kid. She's OUR daughter, so we have to figure it out as we go. Just like our parents did. And I'm a teacher-soon-to-be-administrator. It doesn't matter that I feel like it was just yesterday that it was my first year and I was, and still am sometimes, scared and overwhelmed and concerned that I am not doing enough. It's MY job. So I have to figure it out. Just like my parents did. This. This is MY life.

And this life? Well, it doesn't seem to get any better than this.

I'll take thirty three. With open arms and a smile on my face. With my heart full to bursting with the blessings I have in my husband, my daughter, my parents- both set, my siblings- both sets, a roof over my head, a job I love and days filled with sunshine and discovery.

I'll take thirty three. Gladly.

Sunday, August 09, 2009


I ran to the grocery store today while Aliza was napping. Usually when I go to the grocery store I have a list. I have a list and very specific meals in mind and I buy just what I need and then I leave. Well, I'm on summer vacation still so there was no list. Which meant I was dashing through the store, trying to hurry home before Aliza woke up, and grabbing everything I could remember. Including the random things that I knew we needed. Like toothpaste (which I remembered). And butter (also remembered). And Bisquick (also remembered....and as an aside, there is a recipe on the back of the Bisquick box for chicken fingers. If you are so inclined you should try them, Aliza loves them. Come to think of it, so does Russ). And bleach (which I forgot....ah well...).
So I was rushing.
Then I picked a checkout where there was a bagger, but, of course, as soon as I get there, the bagger leaves. The check out girl was nice. And chatty. And I chatted and bagged and looked at the clock wondering if Aliza was awake or not.....
And I rushed out the door.
Once I got to my car I realized something.
The eggs.
The eggs were sitting on the top part of the cart. The part where Aliza normally sits when she comes with me. And on top of the eggs was my purse. Hiding the eggs.
I didn't pay for the eggs.
For half a second, I thought, "I have to get home, Aliza must be awake by now, I didn't tell Russ what to give her for lunch, they are probably both freaking's just eggs, who cares, no one even knows......"
And then I realized- that would be stealing. Eggs or something pricier. Known or not. Still stealing. I've never stolen anything in my whole life and I sure was not about to start now. Not as an (almost) thirty-three year old mother. What kind of example would that be setting for my daughter? OK, OK, she wasn't with me and even if she was, she wouldn't understand but still. Still. When she's older and she asks me "Mom, did you ever steal?" I can tell her this story and end it with a definitive "No, I never did."
So, I parked my carriage and headed back into my local Stop and Shop. Pondering weighty questions, like "Do I go to the same check out and explain the situation? Do I go to a different one? Will the check out girl even care that I came back inside? Who will notice me walking into a store carrying the eggs? Should I have brought my receipt in? If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one to hear it, does it still make a sound? Which came first- the chicken or the egg?"
As I contemplated, I strolled in and saw that the nearest check out- a self-checkout-was completely empty. I brought my eggs over, scanned, bagged, paid and walked out.
No one was the wiser.
But I knew.
I knew that I am not a thief.
And, in this story at least, the eggs came first.