and the beat goes on …

fall mantle

We are already three days into the Fall season, the daily beat of our lives rolls one day into the next. Leaves are beginning to turn and our annual Indian summer weather is at its peak.

Our girls have been back into their school routine for a month now.  It is hard to believe our summer break has already been over that long. Our oldest daughter is now a 4th grader and our youngest a 2nd grader.

There have been some fits and starts to this school year. Homework from the first day of school proved to create anger and frustration for our youngest.  The class was working on the story Chrysanthemum the young mouse learning about her name.  What could the anger be towards such a sweet story?  Well our youngest wasn’t sure she wanted to share her story about how she got her name.  You see her birth mom, my husband and I all worked together in naming her and she didn’t want to share her whole story.  We talked about what she was angry and frustrated about this homework assignment. She shared she didn’t want to tell her whole story she didn’t want everyone to know our family story.  We assured her that was ok.  We reminded her how we all came up with her name sharing the name definitions that helped us to choose the names she has. This seemed to make her brighten knowing the whole story but also there was a part she could share that was appropriate for her class mates.

As our younger daughter seemed to struggle with who and what to share about our family story this year, our older daughter was struggling with a bully in her classroom and for a second year being in a classroom without any of her friends.  The bullying began during summer on swim team and just our luck this girl was part of this years’ class.  As the school year started up, a new student at school started to harass our daughter and now she had to deal with two who were in her class day in and day out.  We tried to give her the tools to find her strength to walk away, say stop or whatever was needed as an incident occurred.  At the same time, I was in contact with the school principal and her teacher.  The principal didn’t seem to understand the enormity of this trifecta, being alone and isolated, and 2 bullies in her classroom.  Her teacher shared that she wouldn’t allow bullying but you know what? it isn’t always going to be in her classroom for her to stop.  What is the emotional toll day in and day out for my daughter to be in this class?  We are here to support our daughter, I am at the school helping in the classroom, and we have given her an emotional safe place to talk about what’s going on.  I see her sadness and it breaks my heart. I am still working on correcting this with the district and school principal.  I’ve been through this too and survived it alone and I can share this with her and hope together we can find her strength to make her way through.

I never knew the full extent of how our parenting would have an effect on our girls.  What I am sure about, is my being a stay-at-home mom is helping to know what’s going on at school for our girls and be aware of their daily lives.

With the start-up of school was the return of Fall soccer, Girl Scouts and our continued dance in ballet.  Our schedules after school are full and tight.  Friday is the only day without a practice or dance class.  We have managed to find our new balance for our activities so far but the tipping point could be the start-up of Sunday rehearsals for the Christmas ballet that both of our girls will be performing in this year.

While our girls have returned to school, I have signed on to work at our school as a substitute (as needed) lunch & yard duty person.  Right after I submitted my paperwork to the district our school needed me so M-F from 11:30-1:30 PM you will find me at school fulfilling my role.  My end date right now is in mid-October.  The extra bit of cash will be nice and I like that the job is not always 5 days every week.

Now the days are shorter with dark coming before 8 pm, our schedules are full with homework, soccer, dance, girl scouts and we are full swing into Fall.  It is at our nightly dinners we talk about our day.

How is your Fall starting?

We live in Pleasantville

Does this blog post title give you a vision in your head?  It does me, I see 1950s style neighborhoods in suburbia in black and white.  Neat rows of houses and kids playing outside together.

There are days as I sit inside our house I hear the kids in our neighborhood outside and playing together.  It’s such a great sound and one I enjoy knowing my girls are out there too!

I think of our neighborhood as Pleasantville like a throwback to the 50s and 60s when you did play outside in your neighborhood with your neighborhood friends!

When we first moved to our home we had no idea what our neighborhood was like other than we knew the schools would be good and we liked the look of the older ranch style homes and all the trees!

Within the first day of living in our home we found that we were one of many families with kids our kids ages.   A mix of girls and boys (mostly girls) who were around the same ages and most of them were going to the school our girls would be enrolled in.

Today I sat here,  and I listened to our girls surrounded by friends jumping, yelling and laughing in the piles of leaves they all helped rake together. First the two sisters from across the way came by to have fun and then after hearing all the fun and laughter another two sisters from a few houses down came over.  Yep that’s right it was not a planned play date, it just happened!

girl fun in the leaves 11-15-14

This is like a throwback to the neighborhood I grew up in the 60s where you always played in the neighborhood with your friends and always outside as the weather permitted.  When all is said and done all the organized after school activities are just that, the spontaneity of playing with friends where you live that is childhood!  I am so happy we moved to a place where our girls will get to have this fun neighborhood experience!

And that is how we are spending our Saturday afternoon!

This is day 15 for National Blog Posting Month, to read many of the other bloggers click #NaBloPoMo and Enjoy!

My most favorite time of the year

au·tumn ˈôdəm/noun

the third season of the year, when crops and fruits are gathered and leaves fall, in the northern hemisphere from September to November and in the southern hemisphere from March to May.

“the countryside is ablaze with color in autumn”

fall out front 2014

This is what we see right now as we exit our home and it doesn’t even show all the color of the trees that surround us!  When we moved a little over a year ago we moved from a newer development with few trees and fewer trees that changed color in autumn.  Now we are in a neighborhood in a town that is known as the city of trees and our neighborhood is bursting with the colors of fall!

In our brief ride to school today both of my girls were excitedly calling out all the colors they could see that surround us.  They each shared how much they like to see these color changes.  What’s more they are excited to rake and jump into piles of leaves!  Something they experienced for the first time last year!

girls raking 11-9-13

This conversation with my girls and my own thoughts of the season were so connected!  This is my favorite time of year, I have memories of Fall growing up on the East Coast.  My commute from Long Island to New York City on the train elevated at times cruising over tree tops in beautiful colors of red, orange yellow and more this time of year.

The air gets crisp and has a certain smell that I recognize as fall.  We get to wear coats and sweaters, and closed toe shoes like boots!  I cook differently in the fall, the house is not already hot from the summer heat so I can roast, bake and more.  This then adds to the sense of smell for this time of year with pumpkin bread, chicken roasting, and cookies and treats!

Let’s be honest this is also my favorite time of year as my birthday is in the fall, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  All family driven holidays which make them all that much more for me and my family!  I love having family and friends together to eat and spend time together at the holidays (but that’s another post for another day). As I mentioned in my coffee date? post , I enjoy the flavors of the season in my coffee!

The conversation today with my girls was the best way to start our friday, and am looking forward to our weekend ahead with raking and jumping into piles of leaves!

This my my 14th post for National Blog Posting Month, please click #NaBloPoMo to read the many other bloggers’ stories as part of this event, Enjoy!