Thursday, September 17, 2015

Draw into Fall

I would love to art this year again for E, but there is just not enough hours in the day or enough money. Swim team really threw me for a loop with cost, not to mention it's two nights a week. Basically, it took the slot art class was in. However, E LOVED his art class- "The Art Experience" at the Drawing Room in Midland Park. And the stuff he did there blew both my husband and I away. We could see we were paying for a "real" art class. Not just an extension of school arts & crafts. I've sent numerous people and their kids there and everyone has been happy. Don't be daunted by a two hour class. E thrived in it.

If you do a search on my blog, you'll see my many posts with his awesome art work. He looked forward to that class every week. I'll do it again eventually. Just too many commitments right now. Definitely check it out if you still are looking for a great extracurricular activity for you or your child!

Their new semester starts Sept 21.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Reluctant Farewell

G and E on one of our last beach days
Reluctant farewell to summer....

If you noticed, I was barely writing all summer. Well, not typical writing. I was more "tragedy writing" for friends in need. If you hadn't noticed my little personal writing vacay, carry on. We were busy. BUSY. Having fun. While no one wants a drought, we were extremely thankful to have great weather on every Sunday (our only family day off) from June through the beginning of September and still going strong. I feel like the summer went by in the blink of an eye. I feel like I saw a total of ten people, where it was an actual planned thing, throughout. Three of those weekends we didn't even do our Cheesecake Factory dinner on Saturday nights because my generous cousin gave us use of her and her husband's condo down the shore while they were away. It was actually like having three mini vacations. B and E even got to take in a Yankee game once at the end of August.

One of the days we were there alone.
E and I also got our money's worth out of the town pool. We were there pretty much every single day after camp. Also every Saturday. Oddly, we were there a lot without other people there. Some people were staples there like us, but not many of E's friends or even mine. Or if they were there, they must have been in the kiddie pool. I graduated from there and there is just no way I'm turning back. I didn't even think to look in there most days.

Thanks to all that pool time, E tried out for a local swim team and made it as a "Novice". That was fine for me because that's also the most inexpensive of all the levels. Who knew swimming was so expensive? Here I'm like, well, there isn't any expensive equipment....HAHAHA. Over a thousand dollars to be on the team. It's fine- it's a life skill and he LOVES it. I just had a little sticker shock. Being at his first practice brought back memories of college and that same shvitz feel of watching meets at the Rider pool. Looks like I will be in a parka on the outside for the extreme winter we're supposed to get, according to the Farmer's Almanac and almost naked underneath for inside the pool areas.

I remember getting to college and not even knowing people could get a scholarship for swimming or that it was a college sport. Listen, I never played sports except Princess League softball (barely) in middle school. I don't watch the Olympics, with the exception of some gymnastics and figure skating. It never occurred to me that these athletes probably swam competitively in elementary school on up. We certainly didn't have swimming as a sport for my high school. I had some vague memories of people on swim teams at our local swim club but I never thought about it because I'm not a swimmer. I *can* swim but I'm not great at it and I prefer to float and tan.

If memory serves, a lot of the swimmers in college were more from South Jersey and the Philly areas. It was like that with field hockey too actually. I never heard of field hockey until college. So I'm just wondering what makes these more regional things. Maybe because up in north Jersey the majority of the high schools aren't regional, so they're smaller and don't have pools? That sounds like a valid possibility. I can only think of five regional high schools out of seventy municipalities. There could be more- I just can't think of them because most of the towns I know have their own high school. Every town definitely doesn't have their own YMCA or JCC, which are other places I know of with swim teams.

So we're doing swim. I know nothing about it, clearly, as referenced above, but I have a feeling I will be chock full of knowledge by the end of April. He's also doing hip hop, gymnastics, and acting. I was proactive this school year and put EVERYTHING in the Google calendar app I share with B. School, doctor's appointments, and all extracurricular activities. It now looks like a Connect Four game board. There is nothing more E loves than being busy so I should show him the calendar. It will give him immense pleasure.

I thought once the school year started things would slow down some and I'd get into a groove, but I just don't see that happening. I also thought I might get away with less laundry since we were done with the beach and town pool but now that E will be swimming two days a week through the spring, I should probably just stock up on Tide.

Birthday dinner at Bahr's Landing
Don't think I'm complaining. E and I *thrive* on structure and repetition. Seeing all those dots on the calendar is actually soothing to a degree. I love having stuff to look forward to and he loves all his activities. I'm sad to see summer go and I will cry real tears at the first snow. We had a fantastic summer. We tried new places to eat, I saw more of Ann than I have since high school, and I have a fabulous tan. However, I see many fun adventures and accomplishments ahead. Including E & I trying to now binge-watch three months worth of GH that we never got to because of all the beautiful sunny weather.

Happy back to school to all - now that I think we're all officially back in session across the country! First grade has started very well- E is loving his teacher. That, right there, makes going back to "the grind" not too shabby.

If anyone is looking for activities/extracurriculars in Bergen-

Dancetc (Fair Lawn) -

Actors Technique (still in NYC but now offering classes in Glen Rock, NJ) -

Elite Gymnastics (Hawthorne, NJ)-

We had to skip art this year because I just had no more time. Or money. But E had an amazing experience at the Drawing Room in Midland Park.