Rawlins Family

Rawlins Family

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Oh, Pat. You slay me.

Just to prove that my dad really does believe in the power of a good lecture (and that I get my sense of humor from him and mom equally), I have to share the following email we got from my dad after he read my last blog.

"Chase, congratulations on your lecture complete with flow chart as seen on Anna's blog.  A couple of suggestions:  

  • Make sure you save the material.  I always used manila folders but that was before computers were in wide use so you may want to do it electronically.
  • Start a numbering system.  You can simply number them sequentially or you may want to develop categories for your lectures using alpha characters and then use numbers as you have to issue subsequent lectures within the category.  For example, S-1 could be the first lecture in the series related to behavior at school and so on.

If you are diligent, you will not have to do nearly as much preparation when Miles, Sophie and subsequent children are in need of the same lecture.

The numbering system will not only enable rapid recall of the lecture material when needed, but when one of your children requires repeated re-issues of the same lecture (as Anna did) you will eventually be able to simply ask them to reflect on the required lecture by referring to its number and save both of you a lot of time.

You are becoming a very efficient father.  That's a good thing.  Keep up the good work."

And it should be duly noted that Chase's reply to this email was, "Thanks for the "Pat" on the back."

I can't tell anymore where he ends and I begin.

Friday, September 18, 2009

My dad would be proud. Of Chase.

At Cameron's school they use the stop light system for behavior. When you're being good you're on "green." Misbehaving gets you moved to "yellow." Continue on and you're on "red." Cameron has been on green every day of his school career thus far - we're so proud. But today as I arrived to pick him up he rushed out to me with a very serious look on his face and blurted, "I'm on yellow. I had to move my clip to yellow." He was riddled with pure guilt...I just said, "uh oh" and looked to his teacher for some explanation. She said that Cam had been pretty sassy with his P.E. teacher.

After getting in the car I immediately called Chase for a consultation. Cam wasn't sharing details, claiming he "forgot" what had happened. I couldn't decide if he needed a time-out, if he needed a firm talking to or what. So Chase just said to wait and let him deal with it. Fine by me!

So I had to run out and finish up some errands this evening and I arrive home to this:

P1040201 My dad would be so proud. Chase was in full-on lecture mode. And what's a lecture without...

P1040202 yeah. a flow chart. Where you at now, Cameron? Huh? Huh?

As you can see, Cameron was talking to Tristen and the coach asked him to stop talking. Cameron didn't stop talking and missed out on getting a sticker. He was mad so he told the coach he was never coming back to P.E. and never coming back to school. The coach's "feelings were hurt" (I'm sure he's at home nursing a pint of Ben and Jerry's right now), and thus we see how Cameron landed on yellow.

Sometimes I just LOVE being married to a CPA.

Oh, good grief.

It will require a TI-82 to figure out how many times I will likely see this movie.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Stress blogging?

I have about 4.6 bajillion things on my "to-do" list right now. At the top of the list?

1. Procrastinate by blogging even though you jolly-well know better.

So. Some thoughts.

  • Cameron is now six. For his birthday he got a new bike and a rad helmet that has skulls on it. Also too (and may I interject that I'm glad this Sarah Palin phrase has continued on all the UMC blogs...because she truly deserves to be mocked into the next century for using it repeatedly), it has been raining every day since Cam's b-day. Meaning his brand-new bike is sitting in my kitchen just waiting to be used. Cam comes home from school, puts his backpack on the table and then lovingly gazes at his bike and dreams of cruising around the neighborhood. It's a bittersweet experience for me. I'm glad he has the bike, he LOVES the thing, but it breaks my heart that the tires are still clean. It deserves to be out in the sunshine.
  • And hey, speaking of school...I can't decide if I love it or hate it. I love that Cameron is having a good time. I hate that they send me notes requesting money every other day. Because my taxes aren't enough. I'm trying to figure out how they would feel about a pound of flesh being dropped in the mailbox with a note saying, "Now we're even. Sincerely, Anna."
  • Sonic burgers. They're delicious. If you don't have a Sonic near you I simultaneously feel sorry and relieved for you.
  • Smoking. My brother is quitting after smoking for nearly 20 years (I'm guessing here, but I think I'm close). He's also running and biking. So basically he's my new hero. I have a feeling he's going to kill the next Kilgore Reunion/Fanny Autrey Memorial 5K run. WOOT!
  • MTV. I know it's not family programming but wowzers bowzers. It's just disgusting. Like, make me want to toss my delicious sonic burger disgusting. There should probably be hyphens in that last sentence. But really, I tried watching the VMAs on Sunday so that I could watch the New Moon trailer (because I'm 12 like that). My SIL was tivo'ing it and thank goodness she was because we were able to fast forward through pretty much every syllable Russell Brand uttered, Lady Gaga's weird lingerie-on-men's-faces performance, and much, much more. oh and we also were able to watch the new moon trailer over and over while certain people who are not me insisted on pausing on the scene where you can see rob pattinson shirtless but like i said that wasn't me. but for five bucks i'll tell you who it was. jeni. not me. jeni but not me.
  • Kanye West. Just, yeah. (shakes head)
  • Patrick Swayze is dead. And now Baby will spend the rest of her life in the corner.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

A panther in the house of Joe...

Tonight as I sat in Parent Teacher night listening to my son's kindergarten teacher there was one thing that stuck out to me:
T-shirt days.

At our elementary school there are designated "days" when you wear specific t-shirts. I think this is probably pretty commonplace. Fridays are "Spirit days" and you wear the school shirt. The first Monday of the month is "USA DAY!" and you're encouraged to wear red, white, and blue or something patriotic.

But what I'm really excited for? Like, really, really, super-duper, crazy excited for?

Every other Monday is "College Day!" Kids get to wear the school shirt where mom and dad went to school. That's right, once a month or so I'll get to advertise Pitt Pride to the world as I send little Camstar to school. Yee-haw. I mean, I practically have my own travelling Oakland Zoo in the van already, right?


Leaving the school tonight I couldn't wait to run home and pick out a new Pitt shirt for my eldest. And in so doing I faced that old rush of feelings as I typed www.pitt.edu into the browser. Oh, man. I really loved Pitt. I mean, REALLY loved Pitt. When Chase was getting ready to enter recruiting interviews in his senior year we very seriously considered Pittsburgh because I have such lovely feelings about the place. I mean, Oakland is a filthy hole, but I just can't help myself. There's just too much to love.

For instance, how could I forget the place that (most likely) gave me heart disease? Or the best breakfast ever known to man? Or those days when I sat at the bottom of the Cathedral waiting for approximately four hours to get an elevator to the 30th floor for class? Or hanging out in Heinz chapel to study (is that sacrilegious?) because it was so amazingly peaceful? Or being lost in Hillman Library because it's enormous and I want to read everything in it? Then there's that super weird date I went on  between finals one time and the guy tried to impress me by telling me that he once brought a knife to school...in kindergarten. And I faked a final and left (ooh, look at the time!). Or the fact that I could take the bus anywhere, anytime. Or the greasy vendors set up on all the corners. Or the amazing parks and botanical gardens just minutes from my urban campus. The incredible architecture. Working for this guy and figuring out just how parties/people get elected (fill the potholes, get the votes). Pittsburgh-Sara, Jeanne, Melissa, Eileen, Kiersten and the entire Oakland Ward. The South Oakland Icon. My mom interrupting my upstairs neighbor/elders quorum president in the middle of his shower to help her hang curtains in the apartment that she didn't really approve of me living in all by myself but went along with because she's supportive like that. Sodas on the sofa - heck, just the fact that every student apartment had a nasty sofa on the front porch. Lugging groceries home from Giant Eagle. Learning the proper pronunciation of the word Steelers. Living in my dorm and then moving to 221 Coltart Ave, 15213 (you have to check it out on google maps so you can actually see it...it's the one on the right side. It's special to say the least). Sitting in my first honest-to-goodness journalism class and listening as my instructor (Marylynne Pitz, who just wrote this piece) called her editor on the morning of September 11 and whispered "Do they think it was Osama Bin Laden?". Returning home that afternoon to find frantic messages from my sister who was only getting news that a plane had gone down in Pittsburgh.

So many memories.

I could go on.

But you want to know what's funny? My attendance at Pitt is something of an anomaly in my family. In fact, it's a point of ridicule with my Nittany Lion siblings. They go on and on about Joe Pa and his amazing ability to coach while in a state of cryogenic freeze; and how Penn State is so forward-thinking because they actually allow cows to enroll; and some professors come straight to class from their organic farms and blah, blah, blah. And you know, hey. That's great. Good for them.

But in that great debate of culture vs. agriculture, you know where my loyalties lie.


p.s. I should be banned from blogging. The length of my posts and my inability to edit myself in any way is getting slightly out of hand. All apologies.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Head of the Class

So here are the shots of Cam last Monday at his first day of school. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of Cameron yesterday on his first sick day from school. He was irate that I dared keep him home from his beloved kindergarten. So irate, in fact, that at lunch he glared at me coldly and said, "If you don't let me go to school tomorrow I'm going to leave and go to Nana's. SHE'LL let me go to school."

So yeah, first day.

P1040050  Getting into Daddy's car! Cam has a booster in Daddy's car and he gets to ride to school with Daddy every day. Cameron thinks this is basically the best idea ever created.

P1040051 Getting out of the car. Because it's important to catch EVERY MOMENT, right? Cameron will never again get out of daddy's car on the first day of his entire school career. I'm glad I have photographic evidence.

P1040054 Us and Cam. Cameron is obviously trying to break free of our loving, adoring grasp. "Mom! There are PEOPLE watching!!"

P1040055 The first thing you do when you arrive is head to the cafeteria and get in the line for your grade. We walked in and saw all those kids sitting there, the room humming with noise and activity. I looked down at Cam and saw his ghostly white face get even ghostlier. But he stayed strong. He walked to the back of the line and sat down. We stood to the side trying to find that balance between being close enough to make him feel safe and hovering.

P1040056 Once the bell rings a teacher comes to take the kindergarten line to their classes. Again, we walked down the hallway trying to give the kid his space. As we got closer to his classroom Cam looked around and then made a grab for daddy's hand. This is the point where I very nearly burst into tears.

P1040057 Cam showing off his sweet lunchbox (that broke on the first day).

P1040058 The last thing I saw before I walked out of the classroom and left him to the care of his (totally rad) teacher. He was so brave! And trying to act pretty cool. I think he pulled it off, don't you?