Monday, September 06, 2010

we put the "labor" in labor day

Thirteen years ago, on this exact same weekend, Charlie and I moved in to our house in San Diego. I remember that I had carefully applied contact paper to all the kitchen shelves and was in the process of unpacking dishes, while listening to the radio. Immediately following the song, "Come on Eileen", I remember the breaking news that Lady Di had been killed in a car accident.

People always seem to remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when tragedy strikes. I'll always remember that I was moving in to our very first house.

Labor Day weekend.

But I know for a fact I didn't labor as much that weekend, as I've labored this weekend.

First and foremost, 13 years ago - we didn't have nearly as much stuff. When we moved in to our first house, we could barely fill the rooms of our 1,600 square foot space. Moving in to this second house, which is approximately twice the size of our California home, all of our things that had been neatly contained have EXPLODED and are now filling every crevice.

Over the past three days, it feels like all I've done is unpack boxes and organize things and when I look around, it doesn't seem possible that I've done so much and yet the house is still such a catastrophic wreck? Of course, it would probably look like I'd made a lot more progress in this operation if I didn't have four little children that were ambushing just about every single box and scattering the contents all over the house and yard. Or, as soon as I get a room organized, they come in and do their best to UNorganize it and for someone who is desperately craving order, they've been causing me great angst.

Still, for the most part, I smile. Because after living in a hotel for nearly two months, I figure the children are long overdue for rummaging through every single one of their toys and trying on 10 different outfits in a span of six hours.

As of tonight, we still haven't found the box that contains our kitchen knives, scissors or pencil sharpener. This is noteworthy because we've been making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches using a spoon - cutting open boxes using a screwdriver - and tonight, we were unable to sharpen the 72 pencils required for the children's first day of Kindergarten, tomorrow.



Twenty-four sharpened pencils, per student because that's what the school requires.

They also require parents to purchase twenty glue sticks. PER CHILD. Or sixty, if you've got three going to Kindergarten at the same exact time.

My question is: What do they do with that many glue sticks??

I really hope that the teachers don't glue their little hands together. Because I actually thought about doing that today when the kids pulled one of their "Wonder-Triplet-Activate!" maneuvers and hacked in to the box that holds all of our 1,000 piece puzzles.

Oops. Did I just admit that I wanted to glue my children's hands together?

Oh well. I'm so tired, I'll probably wake up in the morning and discover this blog post was just a dream.


  1. Mark and I were in Hawaii when Lady Di died... wow... 13 years ago... time flies!

  2. I can only imagine the sheer amount of unpacking and work facing you right now. I know you can do it though!

    Oh, and as someone living not too far from you who has had kids in public schools for years, 24 pencils and 20 glue sticks for each child is ridiculous. In time you will learn to send your child in with a reasonable number of items and then let the teacher know that you will be glad to send in more as the need arises. That quantity is just insane. I've found that there are often items on my kids' lists that never even get used (pencils and glue sticks do, however. )

  3. Just a tip from a mom who has four kids as sharpened pencils!!! You can buy sharpened pencil crayons too, if you look for them. After I got my first blister (and then had to spend an hour putting initials on all the pencil crayons and pencils with fingers that were kililng me), I decided to NEVER do that again.

    Or you might want to invest in a heavy duty electric sharpener. Buy a really good one, because as a teacher, I've seen cheap ones last for about two weeks because kids LOVE to use them. If you think about all the pencils you have in your future, spend the money and get one now!

    Cannot wait to see pics of your house! It's nice to have Labour Day as an anniversary--we have it for this house as well and it is fun every year as the kids get on the bus to think about how ____ years ago our oldest started school in this community.

    Hope the first day went well!

  4. Believe me. They will use those glue sticks. And you will want to poke your eye out with an ice pick when you receive the note that says "your child needs more glue sticks..."

    Can you find the box with the ice pick in it....?

  5. Congratulations on moving into your new home! I can't wait to see pictures!

    I hope your life will be a bit more scheduled/routine in the coming months and you'll all be very blessed on the East Coast!

    (and wth is up with that many pencils and glue sticks? I have twin boys and I'm now wondering how we'll afford school supplies!)

  6. Yikes about the pencils and glue sticks! Our school doesn't require anything at all, but I know a friend's kids in NC are like that. Good luck moving in....lots of work but worth it! I always love how uncluttered it seems at first, until all of the crap works its way back in!

  7. Duct tape is what you need for hands not glue sticks! Sorry that was not a helpful suggestion. I would come help you if we were anywhere near but Vancouver Island is a little too far away. Perhaps you could think up a job for them to do that would give them a sense of being part of the mess solution.

  8. Moving into 2 separate houses on exactly the same day, what are the odds?

    72 sharpened pencils, don't schools provide them anymore? I remember with great fondness the pencil I received on the first day of kindergarten.
    It was a big fat red oval just a perfect fit for my hand.

  9. I am so happy for your family! Here's praying this is a wonderful time for your entire family and home.

  10. Holy cow that's a lot of school supplies! Sounds like you're buying for the whole class! Anyway, I'm very glad to read that you guys have a home now and are getting settled! I just spent 2 nights in a hotel with only 1 kid (2 yrs old), and I can't IMAGINE being in the situation you guys were in -- I would have lost my mind.

  11. Oh, they WILL go through that many glue sticks. Our boys go through glue sticks like water. They do a LOT of gluing in their homework alone. I can't imagine how that would be multiplied if I had to consider their glue work at school. Which, luckily, I don't. Glue sticks are provided by the school. Phew!

  12. I wondered about the glue sticks last year when my son went....and I ended up having to send more before the end of the year?? One of life's great mysteries I guess. Happy for you that you are "sort of" moved in your new home!

  13. What do they do at school with all those glue sticks?

    Leave the caps off, that's what. ;)

    Seriously though, things seem to finally be coming together out there. I'm so glad for you!

  14. And you will blink and they will be graduating from high school... Enjoy every minute - even those that have you shaking your head!! Can't wait to come and see you, the family and the new home. It looks so picturesque...!

  15. They will use the glue sticks and you may even have to send more! Our school district sells school supplies through the just go online, place the order for the grades you need and by the first day of school their package of school supplies will be delivered to their room. No shopping, no hauling supplies to the classroom and the PTO makes lots of money, which directly benefits the kids.

    Glad you are finally in your new home and getting settled!