Middle School Scheduling: A Last Minute Switch

I knew when my husband came home with large protruding crazed eyes, walking ahead of Alex and saying “I’m going to let him tell you,”  it was going to be good.

But first, let me back up.

Since Alex is going into middle school next year, it is time to fill out his schedule.

We were all in agreement about what type of math and language arts he would be taking. Science and social studies are standard as well as technology and PE.

That left only only one elective.

He chose art.

Super. No homework. All in class. Free. Simple simple simple.

On the schedule paperwork you must rank your top 3 elective choices.

Alex put art first, band second, orchestra third.

There was no way he was doing theater or choir so we were fine with his choices. Not even a lengthy and impassioned speech from his dad about his joy of being a baritone in sixth grade choir could change his mind.

All set.

Not quite.

Apparently, if you put band down anywhere on your list, you must come in for an instrument test. The kids test out each instrument they are interested in to see if it’s a match for them.

This is where you insert my husband’s eyes practically leaping out from their sockets since he was with Alex.

Alex chose to try the french horn, the trombone, and the trumpet.

An area band director critiqued the student after each instrument try.

When Alex tried the french horn, “Good sound, wonderful pitch!”


When Alex tried the trombone, “Good sound, wonderful pitch!”


When Alex tried the trumpet, “Good sound, oh my, that’s the best sound that has come out of any student today. Wow you are a natural. The sound you produced was absolutely amazing. Wow. You are just a treat to listen to on this instrument.’


Or something like that.

Let me tell you when it is not going to be a treat listening to that instrument.


Yes, Alex came home glowing, wanting to play the trumpet.

“I want to switch to band. The lady said I had a great sound. She said I was the best all day.”

……deep breaths…….of course she did, that bit*h………release of air……

“Wow, what made you change your mind?”

“You realize there will be lots of practice involved?”

“Might be difficult carrying a trumpet as you ride your bike to school.”

After a few talks and days to think about it we have a new list of electives:

#1 Band

#2 Art

#3 Orchestra

I now realize this “try your instrument” is such a scam.

I’m onto you middle school.

We won’t be making that same mistake with the next kid.

Of course, I felt a little better last night when a mom texted me last night saying: James switched from theater to band! What did Alex decide?

He decided to switch from art to band – playing the trumpet. You cannot make me put on a “band mom” t-shirt. What instrument did James decide on?

The bassoon! No shirt here but we might be forced to put the decal on our car.

I laughed and suddenly felt better.


The bassoon requires private lessons.

The Piano Guys

I saw “The Piano Guys” on the Katie Couric show and thought they were so much fun.

My kids loved watching them as well so I thought you might too.

Here they are playing, “What Makes You Beautiful,” by One Direction.

 Check out more of their videos on You Tube…they’ve songs from Coldplay, Star Wars, and plenty more.

Call Me Lochte

If you’ve been on the planet anytime within the last 4 months you’ve heard Carly Rae Jepsen’s song, “Call Me Maybe.”

The USA swim team made a version of this song but I think my favorite has to be the following one.

It’s supposed to be from Ryan Lochte’s perspective with lines like, “So call me Lochte,” and “Where you think you’re swimming Mikey?”


Maybe it’s just because I was a swimmer but I love that.

And just for the record, I’m a Michael Phelps fan.

Don’t really care for Mr. Dental Grills.

Florence & Santa Barbara

Several weeks ago I flew out to California to attend the Florence and the Machines concert with my sister Kelly.

If you remember I had a slight concern about what people wear to concerts these days.

Here’s how we ended up looking…

Why, you ask, do I look like a 13 year old boy?

Because I assumed the weather channels prediction of 45 degree nights was wrong.

That’s why.

Turns out they were right.

My sleeveless sequined shirt was not going to cut it so we went to the Gap where I bought the stripped sweatshirt and then over to Nordstrom’s where I picked up these babies..

See, I knew comfy shoes would make an appearance.

I think things worked out in the end though because let’s just say my sequins would have been a little out of place.

The concert turned out to be amazing. It was held at the Santa Barbara Bowl, an outdoor amphitheater, which is nestled in the hills.

The opening act was Blood Orange – a one man synthesizing show. He was really good and has a very unique sound. I’ve been listening to him since the concert on You Tube.

And then Florence came on!

She was amazing – she sang and danced all around – a bit quirky, but lots of fun.

Seriously love every single one of her songs.

After a night of concert going what are two girls to do?

Why, go get facials at the Four Seasons, of course!

Uh huh. That’s how my sister rolls.

The Four freakin’ Seasons in Santa Barbara where Oprah lives!

And how do two girls who arrive at their appointment early and are told they do not have pool access spend the time?

At the pool of course!

This was the life I tell you.

I need to talk to my husband about getting us a second home out here:)

Thanks for a great trip Kelly!     

We’ll have to do it again.

Next  time I’ll treat you.     

How many stars do you think the LaQuinta gets?

Have a wonderful weekend!

Ain’t Afraid

Turning this WAY UP when it comes on the radio

Obviously I don’t play it when my kids are in the car…but I’m a big hit in the car pool line.

There just might be some wiggling, pointing, and hand dancing going on in the minivan.

After all… I ain’t afraid to show it.

What are you listening to?

Mary Poppins Hat

I’m pretty sure everyone guessed from this clue that we had a Mary Poppins 3rd birthday party.

And if you have a Mary Poppins party, you have to have a Mary Poppins hat.

1 – Go to Target and buy a $1 bin Easter hat.

2- Do nothing with the hat for days since your daughter insists on doing her best Minnie Pearl impression.

3 – Confiscate the hat when she’s not looking

4 – Deny you have any knowledge of the hats whereabouts

5 – Take off pink ribbon

6 – Spray paint it black

7 – Glue on some fake cherries and flowers from the dollar store

8 – Find the hat and present to your Mary Poppins obsessed daughter.

9 – Delight in her joy of wearing the hat and singing,”Let’s Go Fly a Kite.”

I apologize ahead of time for the fact that you will now sing this all day long 🙂

Go here to see the Mary Poppins party activities

Drop Off Dance

I just dropped my daughter off at preschool for her first day of school this year.

Excitedly I jumped into the car, turned off Mary Poppins, and switched the radio on.

I started dancing in my car immediately when this song came on.

While I may not have a girl friend who recently cheated on me and I don’t have a Zach Galifianakis tattoo, I think you can still understand that I was excited. And so were a lot of other mommies based on their smiles and the extra skip in their step.

Five whole hours to myself today. That hasn’t happened since mid May.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love my kids but the freedom is fabulous. Just imagine taking a shower without someone talking to you constantly, going to the bathroom without an audience, or running an errand without having to stop at the toy section.

Of the 168 hours in a week, I’m with my daughter for 158. So I was ready for a little break.

I danced all the way to the library return box, the post office, and then home.

Don’t tell me I don’t know how to party. NO LATE FEES BRO! That is awesome.

How will I spend my five hours?

Maybe a little Bravo TV, read another chapter in my book, cruise the internet…whatever it is I will be singing this song.

Update: Fifteen minutes after I got home the pest control guy called and said he was coming in two hours. So what did I do? I cleaned for two hours. But I made sure to clean with a little skip in my step too.

******* Make sure you entered my giveaway – it ends at 10 pm tonight (Sept 15) *******************

High School Song

Do you remember what songs you listened to when you were in high school?

One of my all time favorite songs from high school was “Beds are Burning” from Midnight Oil.

My friend Jess introduced me to the band Midnight Oil. Jess has always been musically inclined and was always up on new music. Well, I borrowed Jess’ tape of Midnight Oil and ended up losing it. I paid for a replacement copy but still to this day feel bad about losing the tape.

On the off chance this song comes on the radio, I always think of my dear friend.

And how I lost her tape.

Guilt twenty years later is just ridiculous.

Jess, this song is for you.

I’m calling us even now 🙂

Do you remember a favorite song from high school?

Piano Week

Andrew & Alex started piano lessons last week. In an attempt to add to their excitement, we had PIANO WEEK at our house.

What might you ask is Piano Week?

Well, it’s just a week of activities I thought up or found which dealt with music. This was an attempt to give a little structure to our summer days. The focus being on little.


Visited: a piano store and received a tour by a very enthusiastic employee

Created: Alex created a power point about John Williams while Andrew made a poster. I originally thought they would choose Beethoven or Mozart but once we stumbled upon John Williams there was no turning back. One morning we spent over an hour watching him conduct on You Tube.

Read Books: 1. Beethoven – A Value Tales book 2. Duke Ellington by Andrea Davis Pinkney  3. Ludwig van Beethoven by Eric Summerer  4. Keyboards by Wendy Lynch

Made: Thumb pianos – directions found here

Listened: to a Mixed Classical CD from Target in the car all week

Food: We ate SHARP cheese, ate BACHli (I’ll be honest – Derek and I are the only ones who ate the broccoli), talked about fish SCALES while we ate fish sticks, and planned to make cinnamon FLATbread but never got around to it.

We also made dessert PIANOS compliments of Alex. We used ice cream bars but white Kit Kats bars would make prefect piano keys.

Movies: We watched the movie Beethoven with Charles Grodin and Bonnie Hunt. Yes I know it has nothing to do with music but the kids loved it.

We capped off the week with a trip to eat ice cream at Braum’s (BRAHM). I wanted to finish up the week at a piano bar but Derek thought otherwise.

We had some LOWS and HIGHs during piano week but overall it was enjoyable. The boys have enthusiastically practiced piano everyday since their first lesson and can’t wait to find out what this week’s activities will focus on.

What fun things are you doing this summer?

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