Monday, December 3, 2018

Ear Infection

Maria had a rare ear infection last week, she had to stay home on Thursday, which was a bummer because I am home on Tuesday and Wednesday but it's super hard/impossible for me to get a sub on short notice so I had to go to work and even though it was month-end, wonderful Mike stayed home with her.  I suppose if he had to go and I had to go, she could have stayed home on her own for a few hours and I could have made a short day of it but I'd rather not do that quiet yet with her.

It wasn't until she was fell by the fever part that she even said she was sick.  She told me after we went to the clinic that she started feeling bad, actually, 'on Monday'.  Monday! She didn't want to miss gymnastics, or school, so she just waited until she absolutely had to go to the doctor.  I told her, you know, if you told me when you started feeling bad, we could have maybe not missed school, not gotten to the point where you had a fever.  She doesn't care, it's hard for her to slow down.

She made High Honor Roll her first quarter, we had a 'fun time' on Fall Break, we had a nice Thanksgiving, all is well with Maria.  She plays a lot with our neighbors, she has a lot of girls her age to be friends with, she is lucky and they all seem to get along well which is just great.

She wants - well I am trying, as ever to do: Something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read for Christmas.  So she wants a hamster or a fish or an iPad.  She needs to wear Vans, sweat pants, hoodies, pajamas.  She wants to read any graphic novel, any DRAMA, and she also wants an Xbox.  Luckily they all do so maybe they'll get one and they'll each get a game of choice, or a remote or whatever.

I learned the other day that she is 4 feet, almost 7 inches which means she's grown an inch and a half since ... many years ago, it seems.  I wonder if she'll ever be a tall or even a medium tall person, because right now she is the shortest in her class.

Here's some cute pictures, the one with the hat was from her Fifth Grade Explorer Wax Museum, where she portrayed Jean-Baptiste de Sable, the founder of Chicago.  Her teacher has them do super varied explorers, beyond the normal/problematic (Christopher Columbus, Marco Polo, Vasco de Gama).  He has them do many women (Amelia Earhart, Sacajawa, as well as many African ones, like Maria's).

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Fifth Grade Student

Maria is doing just fine.  I have been going into her Fifth Grade classroom on Tuesdays to help her teacher, who is great and Maria's first male teacher, and it's so nice to see her.  She is really turning into a great student, and she seems to be a good friend, or at least she has a lot of friends who seem to like her.  She is still kind of a slob and she refuses to ever shut her lights, as we say in Brooklyn, but overall she is doing just great. 

How lucky we are, I think all the time, that she is so wonderful.  She gets herself up most mornings and if we wake her, she pops right out of bed.  She gets dressed in her whacky outfits and leaves for the bus stop 25 minutes early so she can spend time with her neighbor and friend, who also likes to get to the bus stop super early! She is always on the go, she usually gets home and races right back out to play with friends, but I mean, in so many ways what her pediatrician used to tell me about her, that her tenacity would serve her well some day, seems to be true.  She is a great girl. 

I am taking the three girls to Brown County State Park next week, they are on Fall Break and I am not, so I am taking them from Monday Afternoon, after I get off work, until Wednesday, before I go back to work on Thursday.  Mike will stay home with them Thursday and Friday. 

Lately I've been thinking I should have her do her own laundry, and Veronica and Felicity can follow.  Maria will be in Middle School next year, and while it's true I didn't go to Middle School until seventh grade, I was FOR SURE doing housework more than my kids do.  I think I am a little bit behind on it but I'm going to start.  It's too much, I am the only one who cleans the house and that is just too uneven.  It makes me deeply, deeply, deeply DEEPLY resentful of the mess makers. 

Well here are a few pictures of our own sweet Maria Kathleen.  Speaking of Kathleen, Kathleen Ann Murray, my childhood friend for whom Maria was middle named, is dead thirteen years this month.  THIRTEEN YEARS that we have been without her.  I think of her all the time, she was so funny and such a true blue friend.  ::claps hands briskly::  okay! back to it!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Ten Years Old

Maria is ten years old, so I imagine she'll be off to college soon! Ha! Kidding! She is still very much a little kid, with all little kid fun and problems, too.  Last night she was SUPREMELY sad about how she had no friends at school, no one liked her, etc. etc.  On Sunday at her Cheer party she won the Miss Spirit Stick award! Same girl! Same girl but one no one likes but also has the most spirit on the Cheer squad.

Oh it's awful to be ten, right? Even if you're Maria.  She puts a lot of her self worth into what other people think of her, which is a TERRIBLE idea, which I've told her over and over.  She wants to be friends with this popular girl in her class, because a friend of hers is also friends with this popular girl.  I think she feels like she is going to lose her friend to this popular girl and she is panicking and acting panicky, and freaking out every second of the day.  Last night I told her, look - you are going to school to GO TO SCHOOL and LEARN, not to freak out over this girl who I don't actually think is all that nice! Maria said, she's not! I said well then why would you want to be friends with her?  I mean, they are in a pretty small Catholic school.  What is the point?, I wonder 90 times a day.  What is the point of sending her to Catholic school if it's going to be so nasty and backbiting? Is there any benefit once they head toward middle school? I'm beginning to think the answer is no.

She is doing so well in school, she had straight A's for two quarters this year.  And it's really hard to get an A in their school, Veronica got a 93 in something and it was a B! We have the same scale at my school where I teach, so I'm familiar with it but man, it's still harsh, right? But Maria is doing so well, she narrated the Nativity Play at Christmas and did such a good job, she loves all the books they are reading, one was about a girl in WWII who hid and saved another girl and now they are reading Sarah, Plain and Tall.  She got a instamatic camera for her birthday and she loves it.  She is also in her own room, which she is really enjoying.

So I mean, except for the fact that no one likes her, she is doing great.  Just kidding, I really hope she is feeling happier about things today.  On to the next decade!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Grade Four

Maria has started fourth grade, next year, as long as we are still at her school, she will start Middle School, how exciting! She is doing very well.  We had kind of a big mess at her school in the beginning.  Toward the end of July, most students at her school get a postcard or letter from their new teacher, this is how they know who will be teaching them.  We know some kids whose parents teach/work at our school and they all told Maria and the others who they had, so everyone was going nuts and I was happy once the cards started rolling in.

Felicity got her letter and Veronica got her letter and Maria got - no letter.  So I emailed the school and asked and I was told who her teacher was.  I told Maria and then when we went to Back to School night, Maria was listed, ALPHABETICALLY, as last on the other teachers list of students.  Maria being Maria, she was kind of freaking out about it and Mike and I were trying to get a ton of supplies dropped off and tend to Veronica and Felicity, especially Felicity, as it was KINDERGARTEN that she was starting.  Anyway, when Maria got to school two days later on Day 1, she was back with the original teacher.  EDITED//

She is doing so well, though.  She is happy and seems to like her teachers (there are two) and it's who she originally wanted so everything is fine for her, which is what matters, right?  RIGHT.  She is doing well in school, she takes tests at the beginning of the year for reading and math to see where she is and she is just fine, although she is doing better in Math than Reading, which is a surprise to me.  I mean, she is in the ninety something percent for Math and seventy something for reading so it's all good but I just - I'm always surprised when they are not exactly the same as I am, ha!

She is playing kickball and doing gymnastics and doing fine in both.  I really don't like gymnastics, I don't think it's necessarily good for her, but she really wants to do it so for right now we are doing it.  Volleyball starts in the spring and I'd love for her to do that, too, we will see.  They all went to the Fair with Mike this year, as I was already at work.  Maria is good and happy and as loud as ever, but I suppose we wouldn't have her any other way!  Here are some cute pictures.

Thursday, May 18, 2017


Spring and headed for summer! It's been so hot.  The other night at Maria's game it was BURNING hot, she was horrified that she had to wear her baseball pants.  Can't I wear SHORTS!?, she asked.  The answer was no.  She has been doing well, at first she was not batting that well but boy, she really  turned it around on Monday at her game.  They also won in the bottom of the sixth, (their last inning), it was great.  I take Veronica and Felicity to Maria's games so I can't exactly what the whole thing, but from what I saw it was good.

Maria is almost in fourth grade! Next year she gets to wear a uniform skirt instead of a jumper.  She wore her jumper the other night to a program and it looked so cute on her, she has been in pants/shorts forever, it was nice to see it again.  She has some eczema on her one shin, it drives us all crazy.  We are trying to remember to put lotion on it every night but it's a pain.  Our nights are getting so short, we barely get home from whatever we were doing and then it's right to bed.  I will be glad when school ends next week, for the first time ever! 

She has had a very successful third grade year, she really makes us proud every day. I try to remember to tell her that because she also drives us crazy every day and I for sure tell her that.  

Thursday, April 20, 2017


Maria in April.  Pretty much like Maria any other month.  Maria is what I would call UNFULFILLED.  There is very little that makes Maria happy for longer than five minutes in a row.  Is this a good quality?  Can I turn it into one, even if just in my mind?

Lately, I've been working on Thursday nights because I am busy with kids stuff Monday Tuesday and Wednesdays.  I need to work so I have money to do all this damned stuff with them, but they all get mad when I work.  I think they'd like it best if I worked midnights, that way I could be available to them all the time, and still make money so they could do everything they want.  Of course, I would never sleep, but this isn't something that bothers them.  Anyway, if I work on Thursday nights, Mike has to take all four kids to Anthony's swim lesson.  To make this happen, I have to get ready for work before I go get Anthony, and then meet Mike at the girls' school so I can switch kids and race to work.  Mike then takes them all, they all have iPads to entertain them, and then he takes them to TWO different places for dinner.

Everybody hates it.  This morning the first thing I heard when Mike went in to get Maria up was her crying and moaning.  I asked her when she came out, what's wrong? She said she didn't want to go to swimming because she didn't want to take the car, she didn't want to be SQUOOSHED in the CAR!  I said, Daddy said you can take the van, and she dried up immediately and said OKAY!, and swooshed downstairs.  And I think, do other people's kids complain this much? Sometimes I feel like I have to put my head down on the nearest table, just to rest from all the complains that are thrown at me all day.  They are the most unsatisfied people I've ever met.

But, there are good things to being Maria too.  She is as smart as ever, she has friends and is friendly.  She is very good in church, one year after her first communion.  She has moments of being kind to Felicity and Anthony.  She is doing VERY well in baseball, here's a picture of her at her first game, scoring the first run.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


Sheesh! October and then February! I know it's boring to start every post by saying how long it's been but man, I am terrible at this.

Maria is having a good February.  She is getting ready at school to take her iStep (our standardized tests in IN) for the first time.  I had kind of a run in with a teacher at her school.  Her teacher, the other third grade teacher, sent an email saying that they were getting ready for iStep and they were going to be SUPER busy, with every minute accounted for.  She said they were trying to make it a fun and challenging time and not get them too nervous about it.  This all seemed good to me until I got to the part where if they misbehaved, they would get a warning and then they would get extra homework.  (Screech like when the record stops playing).  I said what? We are supposed to support all this extra work they are doing and make it seem fun and challenging but if they step out of line they get ... more work?  It seemed backwards to me and I said it.  I got a lot of supportive emails from a lot of parents in our class and one back from the teacher, not answering my question about how it made sense to give more homework at a time when they have more homework than ever, because of course there is no answer for that foolishness, but just reiterating her position.  And you should have seen the homework! One hundred multiplication tables which Maria could do it her sleep, by the way, on a bright gold color paper!  Why not just put a big B for BAD on their chest?  Anyway I said that whatever her reasons were, I disagreed and Maria would not be doing any extra homework and we wouldn't be signing it.  I said that I am always supportive of my kids' teachers but I have to be supportive of them first and foremost.  It hasn't come up again, I don't know if they're doing it anymore or not but whatevs! It's taken care of.

Here's Maria at her Valentine's Day party, so cute.

In January, Maria turned nine.  She feels older and younger than that to me, time being what it is.  I feel like I remember her babyhood the best, because it was just the two of them and Anthony was 2.5.  When I had Veronica, Anthony was older and it was a loonier time and Maria was only 16 months old and by the time I had Felicity I think we can just safely blame old age.  Ha!  Anyway, her birthdays are always so crazy, she had 16 or 17 girls over, including my three, and they had a fun time, eating pizza and cupcakes.  She is a good life of the party.  Here she is on MLK day, we went out to breakfast because Mike was sick and we were trying to get out of the house.  

and here she is at her party, with the cutout of her that our friend Joe made.  

Who can remember?  This is why I should update more often! Maria got a tablet for Christmas, and a Hatchimal.  We had a fun break, I only had one week in common with them and then Mike stayed home the second week.  I took the three girls downtown again and we stayed overnight.  It was fun, they love swimming in that hotel pool.  Here's something I'd like to say after staying in the Hilton Garden Inn downtown two years in a row:  both years I have used Miles from my Chase credit card associated with United airlines and two years in a row the people who work at the hotel have been really crappy to me, as if I am somehow taking money out of their pockets.  But otherwise it was fun, we saw Moana (which we liked a lot, although Maria kept saying, THIS IS INTENSE!), had dinner with Laura, went to the circle and the big Christmas "tree", and to a fun candy store called Rocket Fizz.  

Here's a cute picture of the three girls at the mall,