Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween

Friday, October 28, 2005

H's New big Girl Room

Hayley's New Big Girl Room

H. is home sick today with some kind of stomach flu (fun!), but it gives me some time to update the site and add some photos.

Here is the bedroom as it looked when we moved in 6+ years ago. A good shot of the "Pandas Playing with Beach Balls."

And now, the new room. Ta da!

We still need to find some things to hang on the wall and I'm on the look out for a bulletin board, some picture frames and lampshades, but it's mostly done.

Friday, October 14, 2005

"On Their Own"

The Baltimore Sun has published a fascinating, four-part series called "On Their Own," which follows two Baltimore City high school students during their senior year. In addition to facing the challenges of attending an inner-city school, the two students are also homeless. The series is inspiring, heartbreaking, frustrating and hopeful. All of the problems that plague inner-city life are present - drugs, gangs, crime, absentee parents, etc. That these two young men could still get up and go to school every day without parents there to push or guide them is an inspiration. Neither of them would have made it without assistance from several very involved teachers as well as the principal.

As detailed and complete as the series is, it also raises more questions than it answers. What can be done to save Baltimore's schools (breaking up the overly large high schools was a step in the right direction)? What can be done for homeless teenagers who are in limbo between a foster-case system that caters to younger children and adult shelters that don't want to take in teenagers? What can be done to make students strive to envision a life beyond their own crime and drug-riddled streets, a vision that includes earning a high school diploma as the first step? It is well worth your time to read this very memorable series of articles. You won't soon forget the two young men profiled and many readers have already posted messages to the Sun's message board asking for updates on their progress.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Friday Funnies

For your enjoyment - How to Dance Properly. I like "Elaine Ripped Me Off" and "Hanging Out... Casual." Make sure you read the commentary at the bottom of the page, too. (link via groovygrrl)

I'm feeling a little more accomplished than I did last week, although I'm still majorly behind at work. (Hmm, I wonder why. Check the date and time of this post.) I've already finished my Shakespeare homework for the week and hope to do some more math tonight. And, as of right now, I'm completely on the ball with Christmas shopping. That's right, I said Christmas shopping. I went to Walmart on Wednesday and made a toy layaway for H., with a few other miscellaneous presents thrown in for K&K. H's big present this year will be the Fisher-Price Dora Dollhouse. It has a million accessories, so I thought that would a good answer whenever anyone asks me what to get her for Christmas. "Well, I got her the Dora Dollhouse, so any of the accessory sets would be great - living room, bedroom, swimming pool, etc." Nice and easy! And my mom has already bought her this for Christmas, so I put one game on layaway, but that's another good thing to be able to tell people as a present idea.

H's really into her baby dolls right now. She changes their diapers and puts them to bed and pretends that they're sick and need to be taken care of. She has lots of doll accessories, but not a decent crib, so I'm going to order her one that I saw in a catalog some time soon, so that can be another present to check off the list. Last night, I pulled my Cabbage Patch dolls out for her to play with and she loved them, maybe because they're a little bit bigger than her babies and they have hair. It made me feel really old when I saw the 1984 and 1985 dates on their bottoms.

I need to find a new hiding place for Christmas presents this year. Last year, I hid them in the dowstairs bathroom with the door shut, but now that H. is potty trained and actually uses that bathroom now, I need a new spot. Maybe somewhere down in the basement, but there's not a lot of room to manuever as it is.