Wednesday, January 8, 2014

So 2013 happened...

And I apparently didn't write a blog post the entire year.  Oh well.  Life is busy.

I went back through and read some of my old posts today, and I realized I'd forgotten some of the memories I'd written about my girls.  Which is what prompted me here, to write more.  I'm making no promises about posting after today, mainly because I'm tired of feeling guilty about not posting.  And really, a mother has enough guilt without heaping more on top that can be avoided.  But I am hoping to put a little more up there.

So what's new?

Annabella is 5 now, and she'll start kindergarten in the fall.  Choosing a kindergarten here is nothing like what it was for me or Jas growing up.  Then, we went to the kindergarten that was closest, case closed.  Maybe some parents would pony up some coin to send their kids to the private Catholic school if it was close enough to where they lived, but besides that, it was whatever was closest.  Bells, on the other hand, has a default base school (which is not the closest elementary school to us), a couple other calendar option schools (traditional vs year-round), a list of 10 or so magnet school options, not to mention the charter school options on top of that.  And those are just the public options.

In my brain, when I try to reason logically, I can tell myself that choosing a kindergarten for her is not this life-defining choice.  It's just kindergarten, and she can change schools later if she doesn't like it.  Plus, most of our options are really very good options.  I know this in my brain.  Or at least I try to.  But that doesn't stop the panic I feel whenever I start thinking about it again.

Warning, the following paragraph is probably mind-numbingly boring.  But here's the deal with the school stuff:
Kindergarten is your best shot of getting into some of these non-default schools, as they are application based and space-limited.  So switching from default to magnet/charter later on might prove challenging.  But the magnets/charters are farther away from us.  You have to provide transportation to and from the charters, whereas the magnets will bus.  I think the transportation issue is enough to kill the option of charter schools for our family, as both Jason and I work about 25 minutes from home.  A lot of families car pool to ease the burden, and if pushed, we could probably make that work.  But I haven't heard much about the charters, and have no real reason to believe they would be better for us.  Which leaves us with magnets and the default option.  The magnets are all quite a bit farther away from us than the default options, but I'm not certain that equals longer on the bus due to express busing options.  Most of the magnets are in not so great locations, ie poorer neighborhoods with higher crime rates and such.  And while the bus ride might not be longer, a magnet location would be much more difficult for Jason or I to get to, which would make doctor appointments/field trips/parental involvement that much harder.  We went to a magnet school fair, and a couple of the schools really did make good impressions on us, but nothing stood out so much to make us think, oh yes, we need to send Bells there.  So really, we're probably going to end up sending Bells to the default year-round school, which is also the closest to our house.  It's a great school, and I've heard great things about it from a couple moms in my neighborhood (although, virtually every family I've asked sends their kids to different schools, so I could probably say the same about any of the other options.)  And I think it's probably the best choice for our family as a whole.  I just wish I had more confidence that it was the best choice for Bells personally.

Besides the nightmare that is choosing a kindergarten in Wake County, we've been traveling a bunch for the holidays.  We went up to Ohio to visit family for the week surrounding Christmas, came home for about 10 hours, and took off to Myrtle Beach to spend a few days with Mom and Dad for New Years.  Soon we're heading up to Virginia for a couple days to meet our newest niece and celebrate another niece's 3rd birthday.  I think after we finish this next round of traveling, we're going to stay put for awhile.  All of this travel is fun but exhausting.

Annabella and Genevieve are awesome.  They've really played well with each other for a long time now, but recently it's gotten even better.  They play all sorts of imagination games.  They take turns being Mommy/Daddy/teacher/student/Captain Hook/Jake (of the Neverland Pirates)/etc.  They've been building trains out of their MagnaTiles, and using their princess dolls as passengers.  They are both learning more and more about letters/words/numbers.  They both ask a million questions a day, especially Bella.  They still fight like cats and dogs sometimes, but you've got to expect that.

Jas and I are doing well too.  He's been playing an online video game thing with his friends at night for awhile, and seems to really like that.  I go through phases of what interests me, and right now I'm into (don't laugh, it's awesome) Legos and other models.  I don't know how long this phase will last, but I'm really digging it right now.  (Sometimes I'm into painting, sometimes I'm super into photography, sometimes I read for hours and hours a week, sometimes I watch more TV/movies.  A few months of something and I seem to just switch gears.)