Thursday, August 18, 2011

Off to High School!

My oldest started high school today. He has been oriented as a freshman, and today he had his first academic classes. He is at a large all-boys Jesuit college prep, quite different from his very small independent co-ed elementary school. After one day, he seems to be making the transition beautifully.
Gone are the uniforms, the days of white polos and navy shorts. Don't be fooled though. He only has to look this nice (see photo) a few days of the year. The rest of the time, he will be in athletic shorts, t-shirts and flipflops. All boys? Only for classes. Today when I picked him up there were plenty of girls in impossibly short plaid uniform skirts hanging around and giving out hugs.

He has his first teacher with an S.J. after his name. That teacher also happens to be a cross-country coach. Oh and practice starts tomorrow, the second day of classes, and continues for SIX days a week. I have already received instructions for understanding the team sport and how it is scored, how to follow the sport online, the diet he should follow, how much sleep he needs and what he should do or not do in his free time. 

Geesh, I wish I had these kind of instructions when he was born!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Eleven Suprises

My youngest son is eleven and I'm discovering it's an age of surprises. You might think I know all about eleven year olds, having just had two other boys travel through this age recently, but it's just another reminder that every kid is different.

This summer it has taken him two months to read half of one book. Then today he read an entire novel in four and a half hours.

I discovered that he does not let a language barrier inhibit him in any way from talking to people.

When he was away at camp, he missed my cooking more than anything. And true to his promise, he is devouring anything and everything I make. With compliments.

He recently went to a Catholic mass and learned about the symbolism behind the Eucharist. Today while grocery shopping with me he saw some thin little cookies and asked me if those were the "body" cookies. I didn't understand what he meant at first, but he was right, they looked very similar.

At camp his cabin won the Golden Sponge award. I did not know he was capable of being so clean and organized.

The other morning he did a load of laundry, his own clothes, by himself, without being asked.

He really likes Santa Cruz and hasn't been there much this summer. The other day, we visited briefly. He stood in the sun, breathing deeply and looking around, then said wistfully, and with a real tone of sincerity "Ahhh, Santa Cruz; the sweet smell of ganja, the ice cream trucks, and the crusty old RVs." I really don't know any other eleven year old who could describe the sights and smells so accurately.

While getting a trim, he tried to persuade the stylist to give him a mohawk. OK, that one didn't surprise me.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Long Blond Hair

My middle son is growing his hair out. Or maybe I should say it is grown out. In the process of growing it out he went through the "hair flick" stage which was either irritating, or humorous, or sexy depending on who you are (parent, sibling, friend, teenage girl walking by).

The good part about the current hairstyle is that he is taking a shower every morning without being reminded. He has to get rid of the pillow-head look immediately upon arising. The bad part is that he fusses and smoothes it and now it is starting to look like Achilles wings on the sides.

I've told him he should enjoy his golden blond long hair. If you look at my dad, my father in law, or even my husband, it doesn't take a genius to see that he will one day have much less on the top of his head and much more on the rest of his body including his eyebrows.

But it is time for a cut. So the baseball coach is colluding.
"You have one week to get a haircut." 
"But coach, I don't want to get a cut, the girls really like it." 
"The GIRLS don't write the line-up card."

To ease the trauma, I am taking him to Magen instead of letting my husband give him a buzz cut. Magen will give him a killer scalp massage, and a cut that will not completely scare those Justin Beiber-loving girls.

Three Boys, A Snapshot. Actually, A Movie. A Very Short One.

Family Portrait

Updated boy photos on my banner! They were taken by Jessie Salas. She got some great shots, got the boys to smile naturally (no grimaces) and the whole sitting took 10 minutes. No joke. Ideal for reluctant boys who don't like to sit still.
We finally have an updated family portrait. Photo by
Jessie who is awesome! Check out her website at