57 thoughts on “Friday Open Thread

  1. Really glad the snow held off and we had school so I could unload all the teacher gifts! Feeding the baby now, then heading to Dunkin donuts to get coffee and donuts to deliver to the office staff at Ds’s school. Not quite sure how I’ll manage bringing it in, since I can’t get a stroller up the steps :/

    I got his teacher a fancy pen and stationary. Everyone else I went the gift card route. $5 or $10 McDonald’s cards to Sunday school teachers, bus driver, ect. Big Pizza Hut card for the daycare staff so they can order lunch or dinner. We just moved so I didn’t get cards for the mailman or garbage man. Feel kinda bad about that. Maybe I’ll get them stuff in January.

    Got a letter from Ds’s teacher about how happy she was to teach all of our precious kids and to enjoy every moment with them. It hit me hard and I couldn’t find words to put on paper thanking her in my card. I kind of punted and let ds write it. He wrote “I love you Mrs. L.” I hope that conveys it.

    What did you get for your kids teachers? Did you write them a letter?

  2. Really glad the snow held off and we had school so I could unload all the teacher gifts! Feeding the baby now, then heading to Dunkin donuts to get coffee and donuts to deliver to the office staff at Ds’s school. Not quite sure how I’ll manage bringing it in, since I can’t get a stroller up the steps :/

    I got his teacher a fancy pen and stationary. Everyone else I went the gift card route. $5 or $10 McDonald’s cards to Sunday school teachers, bus driver, ect. Big Pizza Hut card for the daycare staff so they can order lunch or dinner. We just moved so I didn’t get cards for the mailman or garbage man. Feel kinda bad about that. Maybe I’ll get them stuff in January.

    Got a letter from Ds’s teacher about how happy she was to teach all of our precious kids and to enjoy every moment with them. It hit me hard and I couldn’t find words to put on paper thanking her in my card. I kind of punted and let ds write it. He wrote “I love you Mrs. L.” I hope that conveys it.

    What did you get for your kids teachers? Did you write them a letter?

  3. Really glad the snow held off and we had school so I could unload all the teacher gifts! Feeding the baby now, then heading to Dunkin donuts to get coffee and donuts to deliver to the office staff at Ds’s school. Not quite sure how I’ll manage bringing it in, since I can’t get a stroller up the steps :/

    I got his teacher a fancy pen and stationary. Everyone else I went the gift card route. $5 or $10 McDonald’s cards to Sunday school teachers, bus driver, ect. Big Pizza Hut card for the daycare staff so they can order lunch or dinner. We just moved so I didn’t get cards for the mailman or garbage man. Feel kinda bad about that. Maybe I’ll get them stuff in January.

    Got a letter from Ds’s teacher about how happy she was to teach all of our precious kids and to enjoy every moment with them. It hit me hard and I couldn’t find words to put on paper thanking her in my card. I kind of punted and let ds write it. He wrote “I love you Mrs. L.” I hope that conveys it.

    What did you get for your kids teachers? Did you write them a letter?

  4. OK, what’s going on here? Take two:

    Last day of school here, and in spite of the rumors and panic dd is at school, especially since she has 3 tests today. I suspect the kids (and some adults) are passing on rumors on twitter and no one knows if any real threats have been made.

    At least it’s a short day and she can start catching up on her sleep.

    • I think this is the lesson of the internet. Any rumor will be magnified and distributed when mass – broadcast, really – communication is widely made available. It’s like rumor but with a written component that gives it legitimacy.

  5. Woke up this morning and realized I have NOTHING for my sister. Of all the people to forget, she’s the worst possible one. We have a slightly complex relationship, she doesn’t give any hints about what she’d like, but I have to have something thoughtful for under $25- though she mentioned that she forgot she bought me a present last summer and ended up buying me two.

    Great.

    I need ideas. She’s a camp director, so she’s all groovy and stuff. She likes books and funky stuff she didn’t know she needed, doesn’t get my sense of humor, and loves HGTV. Suggestions?

    So…I’m doing that today. Plus cleaning house. I ended up keeping H home today ’cause I miss having one-on-one time with him and there’s nothing happening at school. He’s going to help me clean, watch the plumber change out the hot water heater (he has a deep and abiding love for all things HVAC and plumber-ish), and if we get it all done early, we’re going to go out for lunch.

    So I suppose I should get off the sofa and get to work, shouldn’t I?

  6. I have a day “off” today. A few things around the house and a meeting for my second job (not my new job, but my nighttime ‘extra’ job). Otherwise we are getting ready to go to my Mom’s for the four day weekend. These two weeks (as they bring back memories of my Dad’s passing) will be hard. We will go to my Mom this weekend (I traded Monday for Friday so I could have four days in RI) and she will come to us next week.

    Looking forward to the weekend as a combo of time with DD, my mom, and all of us as a family. On Sunday, Mom and I are going to theater (just us two) to see Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris. I love David Sedaris and the production has gotten good reviews.

  7. SOOOO excited for this Christmas. We got liza a macbook andmy friend Jeremy who is a mac support guy who has been taking care of me for over a decade… just spent two hours copying over my entire itunes library, setting up email, setting up her new apple id for facetiming, installing MS office for mac, connecting her to our printer, moving over all her homework files and even putting a photo of her friends as the wallpaper, then carefully repackaging it all so when she opens it on Christmas day she can literally turn it on an GO… worth every dime I pay him not to have to do any of it!

    between that and the pointe shoes she is going to have the BEST Christmas EVER… i can’t wait… i’m so excited to see her face!

    • That sounds awesome! I’m really excited about this Christmas, too. Lucy’s getting one thing she really really wants (Easy Bake Oven) and something she’s going to be excited about but never thought to ask for (a cheapo video camera). Clara’s getting an adorable rocking horse that whinnies, which I think she’s going to love. They’re getting lots of other things, clothes, books, etc. But those are the big items and I’m hoping for a lot of Christmas morning excitement.

      Everyone’s back to school and work today after our snow day yesterday. We had such a fun time sledding yesterday that I ordered another sled last night with Amazon Prime 1 day shipping and it’ll get here on Saturday. I think I’m going to make it an early present for DH. He’s kind of a grumpy gus during winter, but he squeals like a little boy when he’s sledding with Lucy. It’s so delightful that I want to encourage it more, ya know? My parents are driving down tonight to spend the weekend with us and have early Christmas, which means I need to be cleaning the house and doing last minute Christmas stuff instead of being online.

      • I was reading “my rough life” posts at 2am and laughing about this one:

        I’m going to be late for work. I need to leave in 1/2 hour. Stupid Internet won’t let me leave, it’s too interesting.

  8. The NRA just held a press conference suggesting we should have armed guards in every school. That is the answer to the problem of too many guns: more guns! What other problem is suggested as being the solution to itself?

    I really don’t want armed anybody in our schools, let alone a volunteer force of wackos trained by the NRA. If there is one thing that would not make me feel safer it’s the idea that the NRA has trained some right wing nut to wander the hallways of my kids’ school hoping for a chance to shoot somebody up and be the hero.

    • Yeah because at a time we are laying off teachers lets put our money into armed guards. Seriously it is so freaking crazy. Who would insure the mental health of the guards? And how exactly would that have saved lives in Connecticut – there would have been two people firing weapons with children around. Brilliant. This sh#$ pisses me off. Seriously.

    • I’ve been reading that Columbine had an armed guard stationed at the school on the day of the shooting, who at one point exchanged gunshots with Eric Harris.

    • It is my fervent hope that our current laws about guns will someday be viewed as barbaric as public drawing and quartering is considered today.

      I don’t want to be a pollyanna but our country has made huge changes in the past, changes that seemed “impossible” earlier. If we were able to change the constitution to undo the mess of a compromise about slaves, we can surely do this – ie have a rational and safe legal structure to deal with guns. Something radically different from what we have now.

      It will take federal authority. I also fervently hope that Obama is not just showboating and is determined to do something substantive and real.

    • I heard one estimate that it would be $8 billion a year. That doesn’t count the hidden costs of educating our kids in an armed atmosphere.

      I seriously thought I was listening to satire when I tuned into that speech on my way in to work. Unbelievably tone deaf. So blatantly cynical and self-serving, not to mention there is zero evidence that the video games he blames everything on are correlated with gun violence.

      • I just, I can’t imagine the impact of educating children in the atmosphere of an armed fortress. I immediately wonder about elevated cortisol levels, stress, and just the explicit message that it is normal to live life at the end of a gun.

        Sheeeeit.

      • The NRA and the gun industry revealed themselves to be lunatics with the proposal of armed volunteers in public schools. They have disqualified themselves from the discussion.

        I read that the NRA has 4 million members and about $300 million that they use to influence elections. BFD in our current environment where the last presidential campaign cost close to $1Billion. Now that they tried to foist some public anger on the video game industry, money will appear there. Plus Bloomberg. He seems to be on fire to counter the gun industry money, and I think he will be effective.

  9. I didn’t get any gifts for teachers this year. I know it just sounds terrible – but in my 12 years of having kids in school I have never not done it. This year some things just had to be let go and that was one. I don’t even feel that bad about it. I guess I figure the year you separate from your husband of 14 years is the year you get a hall pass for that kind of stuff. (all my kid’s teacher’s know about the separation so I bet they’ll understand) Kind of like in my kid’s first year I felt totally ok being 10 minutes late to everything. Speaking of school my daughter goes to a project based high school. Overall we are really happy, but sometimes worry some of the just basic stuff doesn’t get covered. But last night they had an amazing exhibition night that really made me feel like she is in the right place. Their physics and humanities teachers worked together on this amazing project. In groups of four they each build a “mechanism” that tied in the rise and fall of civilizations. I was proud of Aida because hers had to do with how societies often crash when the rich and the poor become too far apart. Anyways I know it is hard to picture, but she worked so hard and saw it all come together in the end. Exactly how project based learning is supposed to work.

      • We have one that is a charter. It actually started as a grant from Gates Foundation as a school within the regular high school, and became a charter to make it more sustainable and better funded by the state. People seem to like it a lot. I have been very impressed by the kids I have seen from there giving presentations. They also do a WWI “museum” every year which we have been to that is very cool. The kids team up as different countries and create a sort of living experience of what it was like for that country during WWI.

  10. Today is DS’s first ever preschool holiday show! His class will be singing the Jackson 5 version of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” A tad nervous because showtime is in the middle of his usual naptime, but looking forward to it. All kids will be wearing festive holiday pajamas :)

  11. This year the girls’ school district and its hard-boiled, former military superintendent banned gift-giving to staff by parents, citing “undue influence.” Personally I think that’s going a little far. Of course, several parents already either didn’t get the memo or wilfully ignored it, so DH has brought home some candy and an iTunes card already, and who knows what he’ll come home with this evening. He’s also gotten a cute handmade card from one of his students, which he likes better than pretty much anything else, and as far as I know is NOT affected by the ban, and nice notes from parents aren’t either, so that’s good. (As far as giving goes, we haven’t really done teacher gifts since the girls got out of elementary, because that’s when different teachers for different classes start up and it’s just too much.)

    I’m in pretty good Christmas shape–I have all the tree presents wrapped except one (and it’s a weird shape so I just have to bag it up) and three stockings wrapped and ready, with two-thirds of one left to go. I’m hoping to finish that up tonight so I can focus on cards tomorrow and mail them out on Monday. I’ve also been working on what’s ultimately going to be a 5-CD Christmas mix, with the first one done and the second and third in draft form, so I’m hoping to finish those two off on Sunday. We’ve got a little Christmas party to go to on Saturday evening, which is nice because we don’t really do anything for holidays with anyone else. I have all next week off and am looking forward to that greatly.

  12. Gloria, have a blast in Vegas. Can you drink a shot of tequila for me, babe?!

    Otherwise, all good here. Jess finished school for the year yesterday. I gave gift vouchers to a local cafe to the teachers. I know a lot of teachers live in the area, so it’s either a good destination for lunch or dinner, plus I get to support a local business that I like. Jess’s teacher is having a baby in February, so I crocheted a little cardigan and bought a board book of The Very Hungry Caterpiller. So that was us.

    Finishing the last of the family present buying today. Cards will go out but, uh, folks? The’re gonna be New Year’s cards.

    • Mine, too! They just arrived today, after taking at least 4-5 days longer to arrive than I had calculated. The perils of free shipping…

      I’m hopeful I will get them in the mail before Christmas, maybe on the 24th. : )

        • Eff! I had a comment here and it seems to have disappear. I was just celebrating because my parents and Lucy got in the assembly line with me and we got most of the cards in the mailbox at the post office today. HUZZAH!

          I still have the ones I need to hand write (MT and a few stragglers whose new addresses I’m waiting to gather) and I should be able to do those tomorrow afternoon while Clara naps and my parents are on their way home.

    • I finally managed to get the bulk of mine out on Wednesday, but I didn’t make enough, so I have a batch of round 2 cards to make. I’ll be changing the 2012 message to 2013!

        • We had professional pictures taken of us in November by one of my spring clients — she’s a wedding photographer, so we traded services! I know some folks do this every year, but we haven’t ever done it! So the card is mostly photos. I used up paper stock I had here, layered them together, and voila. Very simple this year. I’ll post photos on FB!

  13. Eff! I had a comment here and it seems to have disappeared. I was just celebrating because my parents and Lucy got in the assembly line with me and we got most of the cards in the mailbox at the post office today. HUZZAH!

    I still have the ones I need to hand write (MT and a few stragglers whose new addresses I’m waiting to gather) and I should be able to do those tomorrow afternoon while Clara naps and my parents are on their way home.

  14. Heh. I was all proud of myself for getting them to say what I wanted using the Costco blank template and the SnagIt Editor (b/c I don’t have Photoshop) and they came out resized! Those were supposed to be 36 points and 14 points! dang. Heck with it, everyone just likes the photo anyway. We even got the dog to look at the camera.

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