Daycare ropes for civilian use. 
Jafta’s kindergarten has an unfortunate system where I have to park and then walk all the kids into the middle of campus to get him.   I’m not sure I can adequately explain how chaotic it is to walk my three younger kids through a small campus with 200 kindergartners running around.  All three of them run in different directions, Kembe trying to escape to the basketball hoop, India blindly following any girl with a pretty backpack, and Karis generally trying to run in any direction that is opposite of where we are going.  Once Jafta is in the mix, he doesn’t exactly help because he’s usually running off to say hi to friends.  Every day I feel like I am the crazy, frazzled mom who yells at her children from the classroom to the car.  Enter the daycare rope.

I had seen these things in action at Jafta’s former preschool, but I’m not sure why it never occurred to me that I COULD USE ONE, TOO.  I mean, since door-to-door Jehovah Witnesses strangers are constantly asking me if I run a daycare from my home, I might as well own it, right?  I bought one and hooked it to the stroller, and now all the kids have to “hold a hoop” at school pickup.  Oh, sweet mystery of life, this thing is awesome.   Does it make me look a little crazy?  Yes, it might.  But I also looked a little crazy before, so . . . c’est la vie. 

2. Scantron forms.
I mean, I guess I technically knew about these things.  I just never realized how much they could change my life.  I am a fan of the essay exam, I must admit.  The multiple choice exam will never be superior to the essay in the academic world.  But I am not a fan of grading essays.  In particular, I am not a fan of figuring out what unique and profound feedback to give each student at the end of each essay.   How many different ways can I say, “Great observations, a thorough analysis of the issues, be careful for grammatical errors, 96/100!”  This year was my seventh year of teaching psych at the graduate level, and the first time I have administered a test using the scantron form.  It is also the first semester where I haven’t been completely stressed about turning in my grades.  I could smack myself for not discovering this sooner.  Academic standards be damned.  All hail the scantron.

3. Double Dream Hands.
My friend Lauri posted this on her facebook page the other day, and an obsession was born.  I watched this thing about ten times in a row, laughing until I cried.  I can’t explain how happy this makes me.  Something about how earnest this guy is, paired with the awful 80’s choreography, coupled with the fact that a number of these moves were staples in my own high school show choir.  Sometimes I just think about this guy’s energy level during his freestyle as I’m driving or loading the dishwasher and it makes me smile.  In case you haven’t discovered this little gem, I present to you . . . Double Dream Hands.

We pretty much watch it every day now.  We are full of Double Dream Hands.

As you can see, Mark is a convert as well.  Which is good, because now we have a routine that we can do for our New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.

What new discoveries are making your life better right now?

By the way, my Weebles giveaway is still going on Mama Manifesto.  A $100 gift card, ya’ll!  Go on over there and enter.