The First Tooth Comes Out

Claire officially lost her first tooth today.  That bottom-middlish tooth had been loose for almost two months but finally let go at school today during lunch.  Apparently it comes out as Claire was eating a pear in the cafeteria with her friend Harper.  Claire stared run-walking to find a teacher and almost got in trouble with the cafeteria monitor.  Claire was very proud of her missing tooth.

The tooth stayed in Claire’s school desk the first night but came home the next day where it slept under Claire’s pillow in a special tiny pillow of its own to help the Tooth Fairy could find it. ¬†When I woke Claire up the next morning, the very first thing she did was check her Tooth Fairy pillow. ¬†In it, she found her tiny little tooth had been traded for a special half-collar coin. ¬†That was a special coin from the Tooth Fairy, who will probably end up slipping a plain old dollar bill in there on later teeth. ¬†Claire was surprised it was a silver half dollar coin, thinking half dollars were normally gold. ¬†Still, she really likes her “only silver” coin.

Where Did My 3:00 to 6:00 Go?

Okay, this is one of those posts where I just gripe and moan.

I try not to complain¬†in this blog very much. ¬†But griping¬†may be more interesting than all the nice, fun stuff anyways. ¬†I adore the kids and don’t want to complain. ¬†But really, this post¬†is about me more than the kids. ¬†I want to capture this moment so I can¬†remember¬†later just how difficult¬†this period could be. ¬†But it is¬†only tough¬†in a slow, grinding, unrelenting¬†kind of way, not a “You’re pants are on fire!” kind of way.

This post covers the most horrifying part of the day: the late afternoon / early evening.  Below is my late afternoon schedule.  Notice how actual working time magically shrinks to nearly nothing before your eyes.

  • I leave¬†the house¬†to meet¬†Claire at the bus at¬†2:55 pm, no matter what was going on at work.
    • This is¬†a nice part of the day, and I always look¬†forward to it. ¬†But it is¬†tough on the¬†work schedule. ¬†I avoid 3:00 meetings and sometimes have to take them on the cell phone at the bus stop.
  • After walking back with Claire and setting her up with a snack, I return to work around¬†3:30.
    • Another great part of the day — probably¬†the best — but again tough on the¬†work schedule.
  • I re-settle into work. ¬†Usually it takes¬†about 15 minutes to really get back fully engaged in work, so now it’s¬†3:45. ¬†Wow, it’s been nearly an hour since I went to get Claire.
  • Claire needs some help focusing on¬†her homework. ¬†Some days are good, but many are not. ¬†We have to start on¬†homework¬†by¬†4:15¬†to make sure we get it done in time to pick up¬†Molly. ¬†Usually that is tight, and sometimes we run over.
  • By 5:15 or 5:30, Claire and I head off to pick up¬†Molly.
  • We are back by 6:00, thanks to the close proximity of Molly’s new school.
    • This is a major improvement over Molly’s old school, which often took nearly an hour round trip despite being only two miles away — freakin’ traffic!
  • Did you notice how much work time there was after¬†2:55 this afternoon?¬† Yes,¬†30 minutes. ¬†How did that happen again?

This leaves me behind at work, automatically, every day.  I have to make up for it at night, every night.

Just to complete the exercise, the day rounds out like this:

  • Dinner, additional¬†homework, and the kids’ bath and bedtime¬†puts us at¬†8:30 or 9:00, always a little frazzled at this point.
  • Wake up time for school is¬†6:30 am for school, so there are only a couple of hours left tonight to finish what was¬†left behind when I went to Claire’s bus stop¬†earlier this¬†afternoon.
  • This is also the time¬†to¬†go to the grocery store, handle the¬†mail, do the laundry, plan a birthday party,¬†and so on. ¬†Exercise is also a good idea, and often worth trading for some sleep.
  • The 9:00 to 11:00 “golden hour”¬†is¬†so critical that I just can’t¬†absorb¬†any bedtime problems from the kids.

We tried an after-school nanny, but she did not work out. ¬†She only showed up half the time and wasn’t very¬†engaged when she was here.

We could leave Claire in Extend-a-Care after school.  Maybe that would be fine, but she would only have about an hour a day at home, if even that, aside from going to bed or getting up.

I could let Claire walk home from the bus stop by herself and ignore her once she got here. ¬†But the bus driver made it clear that Claire should not be walking home alone. ¬†In fact, he won’t drop her off if I’m not there. ¬†Besides, I can’t just ignore Claire — sweet, funny Claire. ¬†But she can do her homework alone as far as I am concerned. ¬†ūüôā

Spring Break 2014

The girls got to visit Grammy and Grandaddy in Corpus Christi for the last few days of spring break. ¬†They visited the beach and parks, flew kites, and played with play-dough and Legos. ¬†Sounds like a great time! ¬†I mean, can you possibly top that? ¬†I’m attaching a couple pictures that Joyce texted to us.

Saying goodbye to Ross
   Saying goodbye to Ross


Fun at the "little beach"
Fun at the “little beach”

Kit had some time off for the first (and maybe last) time ever over spring break this year. ¬†Everyone she works with wants this week off for South By Southwest. ¬†This week is apparently in higher demand than Christmas. ¬†So we resolved to take advantage and see some of the music in town. ¬†We showed up a little late for a free showcase at the Four Seasons for the KUTX live broadcast starting at 7:00 am. ¬†Just in case we were in danger of resting up too much, the next morning we somehow showed up at 5:45 for a 6:00 am (“stupid early”) showcase at the W Hotel for KGSR. ¬†That night we saw Lucinda Williams at The Roost outside of town. ¬†Then we were done, wiped out. ¬†In all, we saw Lucius, Typhoon,¬†Rodney Crowell,¬†Ages and Ages,¬†Nicole Atkins,¬†Rhett Miller,¬†Jeremy Messersmith,¬†The Mowgli’s,¬†Robert Ellis,¬†G. Love,¬†Phantogram, and¬†The Hold Steady. ¬†We heard some amazing, almost free, music¬†and¬†discovered new bands. ¬†

Also, we got Kit a new car.