A Mom’s 2 Cents: Swine Flu, Houston Schools And My Kids

Bear Flu?

Bear Flu?

This is an ongoing post I plan to update as thoughts run through my brain.

Update:  More schools closed in the area but not in my area.  My daughter has started to cough and sneeze more. I know for sure it is her allergies.

The school had a movie in the gym tonight but I did not want my daughter to cough and everyone start staring.  I am still not worried and nor should you parents.

My son has had a cold for the past two weeks.  My daughter is sneezing and has a runny nose.  Two students in central Houston has been diagnosed with Swine Flu which have been closed.  One student in another area high school has been diagnosed with the flu and that school has been shut down.

A flyer came home in the Tuesday folder from school advising parents to keep the kids at home.  The flyer also advised parents to advise kids to wash hands continually which is weird because I have noticed that the school does not even have the schools wash hands before lunchtime.

I really am not worried about my family. I do wonder about my neighbors who are from and have family in Mexico.  I bet they are so worried about the situation down there in the south.

My husband (the big bad other trucker) called from Illinois and told me not to send the kids to school because he heard of a school district shut down in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.  Texas TAKs tests are this week and I think that the area school officials are reluctant to shut down Houston area schools because they place a high value on the state tests.

What are parents to tell their employers in a time of downsizing and layoffs?   I am not working now (involuntarily because I need a job dude) but when I was employed I was reluctant to call my boss about missing work even when I was 4 months pregnant and in the ER the night before.

I am still processing all of this as a parent.  I do think that the biggest fear lives in our minds and in the television set.  Sometimes the news tries to add fuel to our nightmares.  We should be an informed public but what is to believed because we don’t know what everyone is getting out a crisis until it is all over.

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Katy ISD Last Day of School For Students is June 4th

education Last day of classes for students who attend Katy ISD (according to the Katy ISD. Org website) will be June 4th with early dismissal on that day.

My kids are excited about the summer.  The kids do well in school but I know they also enjoy sleeping-in and staying up late during the summer months.  I am a little sad because this may be the last summer that I might share with kids before heading back into the trenches to work once again.  I am not looking forward to 2 1/2 commutes and hurried days.   We Americans really need to get the emphasis back on families not on jobs as a measure of ones worth to society.

“The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.”

Houston/Katy Photographers’ Beautiful Portraits For The Holidays

Update:   Mention to Mr. Diaz that you saw this post about “Watch Me Grow Portrait Studio” on this website and he will provide a free sitting fee plus a 8 x 10 portrait.  Stop by his studio and take a look at all the beautiful portraits of families.  Book early before the Thanksgiving and Christmas rush.

These beautiful family portraits were taken by photographer, Martin Diaz of “Watch Me Grow Portrait Studio” in Houston.  The studio is located on the Grand Parkway next to HEB grocery store in Katy, Texas.  Here is the “Watch Me Grow Portrait Studio” contact information:

6711 South Fry Road, Katy, TX 281-574-4422.

It is not too early to start thinking about Christmas portraits for the family.

Up until last year I ran around to all of the “plain” picture taking places like Sears, Picture People and Penney’s.  Never again.  I used to make an appointment over the phone, spend two hours getting my kids all pretty, rush to the mall and wait, wait, wait………..   By the time it was my families’ turn to take our pictures the kids were grumpy and there was no way any photographer was getting a smile from the kids.

The studio is quiet and private.   Trust this photographer because he knows about what poses, props and backgrounds look best for the family.  He is very warm and friendly which comes in handy when the kids get a little inpatient.

All photography is the property of Martin Diaz.  Please contact Mr. Diaz for permissions.

School Year Calendar For Every School in Houston Area

Check out KHOU’s site where parents can find a collective list of all school calendars and holidays in the Harris County area including:

Klein

LaPorte

Katy

Humble

Stafford

Pearland

Spring

Pasadena

Houston

Tomball

Cy-Fair

Alief

 http://www.khou.com/images/0708/schoolcalendar.pdf

School Shopping For A 1st Grader

First Grade Rocks

First Grade RocksFashions For First Graders

My son will be in 1st grade this year.  You know the grade level where everything gets all serious. 

On the first day of school, he will rock (wear) the red shirt above that says “First Grade Rocks”  along with pants I constructed out of bandannas.

If you like the shirt check out Veri Meri Tees.  They do not have a store in the Houston area so that means you have to order online.  I must add that at this time the 1st grade shirt is sold out but they do have the “Kinder Rocks” and “Pre-K rocks” shirts in stock plus other designs like a dog and rocket.  I wish they had a “Fourth Grade Flies”  or something like that for my daughter.

Veri Meri  also has a design-a-t-shirt contest where kids can design t-shirt online and submit it to the site for a vote.  If your kid has the winning design, then he/she wins a shirt and becomes a designer on Project Runway (ha ha).  Not only does your sweetie win a free shirt but they also get a cut of the proceeds from the sale of their winning design.

PTA people might want to check this site out for a great fund raising idea.  The kids at the school get to design a shirt, vote and then a percent of the proceeds from the sale of the shirt go to that school.  This idea has got to be better than that Entertainment Book.

Each shirt comes with a matching tattoo with the same image as the shirt.  How about a tattoo that has my child’s name on them.

School Supply Shopping For Writing Tablets In Houston

Westside Learning Spot is a teacher supply store but a parent can find everything a student needs including many of those hard-to-find items on the school supply lists like writing tablets and construction paper. 
If convenience not price is what you need, then shop here and avoid the lines.
You will find in the store the type of stuff that teachers have in their classrooms. 
 
I buy manuscript charts and spelling charts for my kids.  The charts really help my kids when they are doing their homework.  Also, parents can purchase workbooks and hands-on math kits for your students for that extra help at home. 
Big Chief Tablet

Big Chief Tablet

If your parents had to buy one of these for you when you were in school, then you are probably my age. 

Want to know where in Houston to buy one?

Westside Learning Spot aka Southwest Teacher Supply

They are located on the Barker Cypress exit feeder road on I-10.

School Supplies

Join Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts In the Katy/Houston Area

Sign In My Dead Grass Yard

Sign In My Dead Grass Yard

BFF
BFF

Have your kids join scouting today.   Here are the websites for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in the Katy ISD/Houston area:

Boy Scouts 

September 30th, La Centerra Membership Event

Girl Scouts

Due to Katy ISD’s policy restricting fliers in the school weekly take-home folders, many parents do not know where to find out information on scouting which means enrollment has decreased in the area.  The schools will not tell you about local activities for kids in the area.  Check out Katy ISD’s Parent link for more information about after-school activities.

I am trying to find/form a pack for my 6-year-old son in the north Katy area.  If your child attends school  north of I-10 and you would like him (your family) to get involved in scouting, please leave a comment or reach me here:  plummymom1 at s b c g l o b a l (dot) n e t.