Five things I finished this week

Monday was a holiday, but it’s been a long week nonetheless. Still, I managed to accomplish a few things. Here are five.

1) A book.

Yep, I finally finished a book, Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri. It was my first since our beach trip last summer. The shame.

lahiri (1)

Anyway, it was good. My friend Sarah was right – not one of the short stories ended “happily,” but they were all engaging. I’m referring back to your comments on my Books>TV post for my next pick.

2) The first season of Game of Thrones.

So as I’ve mentioned, more of my free time in the evening (about one hour) goes to television than reading. (The rest of it goes to, in no particular order: writing this blog, doing laundry, removing week old pieces of pineapple from under a booster seat and cleaning my child’s feces from hallway carpeting and the bottom of my shoe. I thought it was a leaf. Don’t ask.)

Anyway, holy cow, Game of Thrones. It is as good as everyone said it is. There is also a lot of blood. A lot. I’ve had to turn away a couple times. And lots of boobs, too. But I’m not turning away from those. Who doesn’t appreciate a great rack?

Anyway, I’m in major withdrawal waiting for Season 2 to become available at the library. I’m 8th on the waiting list. In the meantime, we’re keeping ourselves occupied with whatever we can scrounge from Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, Netflix and network TV (e.g. Californication, The Mindy Project and Downton Abbey).

3) Kindergarden magnet school lottery application.

I had no idea kindergarten could be so complicated. I’m starting to suspect that this is just another routine parenting duty that someone decided needed to be a thing and then it spread like a rash and suddenly the hot topic at every preschool playdate is “Do you know what you’re going to do for kindergarten yet?”

As one mom said, “When we were kids, you either went to your public school or Catholic school.” And that was pretty much it. The public school we are zoned for is supposed to be one of the best in the city (that doesn’t necessarily mean much; Durham isn’t known for an outstanding school system), but I feel like I’m being a neglectful mother if I don’t at least explore other options.

Do you know how many elementary schools – public, magnet or private – are in a 15 minute drive of our house? I just counted ten. But I’m doing myself a favor – I looked at two, our neighborhood school and one Montessori magnet school. I MAY look at the other Montessori magnet school that’s a bit further from our house, and then I’m done.

I figure we’ll default to the free public option (and may I say, I was really impressed with both of the schools I looked at), and if it doesn’t seem to work, we’ll explore those other options.

I may not be ready for Noah to start kindergarten, but he sure is. He has the Pre-K equivalent of senioritis.

Earlier this month, at his five year check-up, his pediatrician asked Noah what grade he is in. He whispered to me “Mom, how much longer until kindergarten?” I told him.

“I’ll be in kindergarten in eight months,” he told the doctor.

4)  “Listen To Your Mother” submission

A friend of mine told me about this event called “Listen to Your Mother.” It’s a series of live staged readings about motherhood that take place in 32 cities – so most of you should be able to find one close to you! Anyway, my friend Ilina, who writes about life as a mom of two boys over at Dirt and Noise, read a great piece at the Raleigh-Durham event last year. She encouraged me to submit something.

This is the type of opportunity I would normally get really worked up about and then chicken out of. Or, at best, would stress about and then wait until the very last minute to submit something.

But no. First, I decided that I had to submit something. Not doing it wasn’t an option. This event is exactly the type of thing I like to do and need to do if I’m going to establish myself as a “voice” in the “mommy blogger” community (First, I am so embarrassed by all of those words, but it’s true. So there. Second, do not ask me to what end I am trying to “establish” myself. Maybe it’s just an ego thing. I need something, people).

Second, I did not want to agonize over what I was going to submit. So I picked something that I’d already written and published here on Hot Breakfast. (Any guesses?) I tweaked it a little, so it worked more as a reading, but I didn’t change much.

Finally, I didn’t wait until the last minute. I had January 31 circled on my calendar, but then I was like “Why am I waiting?” So I decided to submit it today. I dropped it in a Word document, attached it to an awkwardly formal yet brief email and sent it.

And then. I went back tonight to make sure it was sent, and realized that SOMEHOW, two versions of the email had gone out. The first was an embarrassingly incomplete draft that I had decided against and rewritten. Shit.

Back in my employed days, an email like this would have made me frantic. You know, like when you think you’re sending your snarky comments about a client to your coworker and then you realize you just sent them to that client, and so you jump up from your desk like your chair is on fire running through the cubes yelling “Who knows how to do that ‘recall email’ thing?!?” to anyone remotely younger and/or more tech savvy than you?

Right. Me neither.

Anyway, it was nothing like that. I mean, I was embarrassed. It doesn’t exactly reflect well on me. But I’m also thinking, “I just sent them a story about pooping. What can really embarrass me at this point?”

So, if your joints allow, cross your fingers for me. Or better, why don’t you submit something, too? I know plenty of you mamas and papas are hilarious, wise, and great storytellers.

5) A Highlights magazine picture search

Yep. That’s my #5. My neighbor got it in the mail and thought my kids would like it. It took Noah and me two days. Seriously, Highlights, are you trying to give me a complex?


Hope you had a productive week, too. Happy Friday!