"Hi Mom, I'm leaving the college dorm now and coming back home."

This morning, A moved in to his new freshman dorm at university. The hubby took the responsibility of moving my son in to school, allowing me to rest after a full day of cleaning yesterday.

The instructions we received were "Move in from 7 a.m. until 10 a.m." Which to us, meant "Arrive by 6:45 a.m. or else." A arrived at his dorm before his roommate, a student from his B-school with whom he mutually chose to dorm, who was still traveling from Seoul, Korea. Nobody else had arrived in the two-room, four-person dorm, either. A picked his bed, his desk, etc. and then he and the hubby went to get an espresso at the nearby hip cafe that does latte art. They returned to the dorm, and left to the next location to promptly line up to obtain A's student ID.

As the hubby prepared to leave, something curious happened. They both decided to come home.

"Excuse me? He's coming back?" I ask the hubby.
"Yeah. He wants to pick up more stuff from home and take it back to the dorm."

I started making snacks and smoothies. Less than two hours after move-in, they were back home in 30 minutes flat.

I had anticipated tissue and Tylenol to get me through the emotions of separation today - what will surely be not more than two weeks' worth of empty-nest syndrome. Instead, I wondered, "Does A not want to be there? What do I do now?" The hubby assured me that A was clearly on a mission, and that it was just to pick up more stuff from home. I, on the other hand, was now surprisingly ready to walk around the house in my underwear - or even nude, if necessary - to demonstrate my readiness to have a few days of alone time, and to nudge the bugger back out of the house.

Now at the house, A put his guitar amp in his empty duffel bag. I put a few necessary items in the bag, too. Then he called up a friend from B-school who is attending the Ivy League school in our city, and declared, "I really don't think I need to go back to my dorm today."

Me. Preparing. To. Get. Naked.

But seriously, I realized that the new roommate's absence left A, a social butterfly, a bit...bored. And maybe...uncomfortable? "Why not go back and wait for L. to arrive? I'm sure he'd appreciate you being there."

With that, I disrobed and went to bed. Then the hubby did the same.

And my college student returned to college.


Check, check and check.

List of A's move-in to-do's this weekend:

A's tuition deposit paid to university: check.
A's immunization forms sent to and approved by university: check.
A opting out of school insurance because they already accept ours: Not yet checked. We have until Sept. 15.
A's dorm linens ordered and en route to dorm: check.
A's surprise welcome kit paid for: check.
A's clothes cleaned and readied: almost check (one last batch of clothes to go).
A's storage from B-school heading to new dorm: check.
Has A RSVPd to all welcome events at school?: Yes, check.
A's shopping at IKEA for dorm room done today: check.
A's new laptop: check (he's taking the one I just bought for myself, which is fine).
A's posters for dorm all purchased: Not yet checked.

List of Thumbelina's arrival-to-the-world to-do's for around the same time that A moves out:

Baby furniture: check.
Lambskin: check.
Midwife: check.
OB/Gyn on standby: check.
Doula: check.
Birth kit: check.
Vitamin K drops: check.
Towels, bucket, plastic liner thingy, and more towels: check.
Olive oil: check.
Balsamic vinegar: just kidding, but yes, check.
Zip code that will get Thumby in French school by Kindergarten: Not yet.

That is all.


Almost Home Free...

Alex starts university in 2 1/2 weeks.

I will give birth to our daughter in about 3 1/2 weeks.

I could have been enjoying empty nest syndrome. But...no.

Let the games begin. All over again.


They're all in (well, almost)

And here they are:

1. Art School on the West Coast.
2. Big/Our Private University in NY.
3. Nonesuch Yowza University in NYC.
4. Jesuit University on the West Coast.
5. Private Big Name Liberal Arts College on the West Coast.
6. Big Name Arts School in the South.
7. Artsy-Fartsy Yoko Ono Liberal Arts College in NY.
8. Awesome Public University in Florida.


Liberal Arts College in the Midwest (please please please let him in)


Tulane (seriously?)
University of Texas (seriously? Just because the transcript arrived 7 days late? Ouch.)
USC (You guys didn't care about Steven Spielberg the three times that he applied, and we don't care about you guys, either).

So that' it. Blood Sweat and Tears Application Time has now transitioned to Blood Sweat and Tears Financial Aid Lock-Down.

And in the thick of my Financial Aid Lock-Down bleeding and seating and... erm...crying, A has just informed me that he would like to take a gap-year off.

Yes, folks. A Gap. Year. Off.

Transitioning to Blood Sweat and Tears Gap Year Plan.


More college acceptance updates...

Another update. So far we have --

1. Art School on the West Coast
2. Our (Big) University, private university in NY
3. Awesome public university in Florida
4. Nonesuch Yowza University, a private university in New York City
5. Jesuit University on the West Coast with the oh-so-spectacular views (and yes, there are Buddhists, Muslims and Jewish students there :)


Progressive Liberal College in the Midwest


U Texas (seriously?)
Tulane (seriously?)


Acceptances - Updated

Another update. So far we have --

1. Art School on the West Coast
2. Our University, private university on the East Coast (OK, it's in NY)
3. Awesome public university in Florida
4. Nonesuch Yowza University, a private university in New York City.

One rejection from U Texas, because the B-school transcript and SAT scores arrived one week after the application deadline (even though A applied by the official deadline, they refused to accept supporting documents after deadline, even on appeal. Yes, they're like that).

Our University (on the East Coast, see below) e-mailed A with an acceptance. Phew! That's one official university acceptance from a school that A is really really interested in.

Plus the Art School on the West Coast, which has offered a substantial scholarship.

Another university on the West Coast also recently wrote that after viewing A's portfolio, they have submitted a strong recommendation for acceptance to their school.


bits and bits

Nappo peed on the sofa today. We have no idea why he decided to do that. He was pacing, as he usually does when he needs to go out for a Whizbang (as we call it), but not for very long, then got right up on the sofa next to me while I was reading my dreadful but oh-so-entertaining Philippa Gregory book, and Boom. Niagara Falls.

I sponged down the sofa with soap but I need that special doggy pee remover.

In other news...A has received an acceptance from an art college on the West Coast. They also are offering a nice scholarship that amounts to half of the tuition. So, that's the first acceptance. Relief. If he gets rejected everywhere else, A, at least, has somewhere to go.

After years of figuring out A's strengths (is it biology? rowing? fencing? writing? what?), we approached the college application process with the angle that his photography talent was "the talent." I never pressured A to spread himself thin. Not join every single club at school and become president of each one. Not stay on the crew team if his heart wasn't in it (he dropped out). No. Although I know parents to push their kids to try to be Great in Everything, I think that approach is stupid. Focus on what you like/love/are incredibly good at. Use that as your showpiece. If it's one thing, let it be one thing. Just make sure that one thing is all over your frikkin' resume through the entirety of your high school career, if not before. Then make room for a couple of minor things so you look more human than humanoid. For A, it's DJing at the school radio station and playing Blues guitar. [Note: Even though I told him he might like joining Model UN, he vetoed my suggestion. He chose DJing at the radio station. As for his guitar, his dorm-mates swear to me that they believe they are living with the child of Son House and Jimi Hendrix.]

Every single university and college received a copy of A's photography portfolio. Some colleges have a portfolio/audition process, like two on the East Coast and one on the West to which A has applied. Some schools weigh the application 50/50, i.e., half weighted on portfolio, half weighted on grades/academics/scores. If your child has a talent, and still wants to go to university and not art school, because maybe he'll get sick of the "talent" and will want to study biology after all, this may be one advantageous route to take. But of course, with only one acceptance, we do not yet know how advantageous it is.

This week, A received a handwritten note from a university on the East Coast:

"Hi A,

I recently had the pleasure of reviewing your final portfolio for Our University. I was impressed by the maturity of your documentary style photography, and your successful conveyance of emotion. Composition and perspective are big strengths of yours and I was pleased to see so much experimentation within the series. Our University's Art Photography program could be a great fit, so I hope you are seriously keeping OU in mind! Please let me know if you have any questions. Best, Admissions Person."

A does not have an acceptance letter (yet) from "OU." But the note was indicative that they looked at A's portfolio. They get it. So I feel good that we chose to take this route.

In other other news, I may have a little announcement next week.

Now, back to figuring out how to completely wash doggy pee off of a sofa.



A won a photography magazine's student contest and will be published in the spring. Yes, it's the type of magazine that you could buy at your local Barnes and Noble.

A German family won asylum in the U.S. for alleged "persecution" for homeschooling in Germany.