Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Not So Simple Trip

We awoke Saturday to the rumble of thunder, flash of lightning, and sound of pouring rain. Lovely. Another rainy day. Despite the weather, I was determined to get to the library.

Armed with my back-up, we loaded the girls into the car. When we reached the library, the parking lot was packed. What gives? It’s never this crowded….especially on a rainy day. I pulled up in front, let the girls and Dave out, and parked the van.

I grabbed my library card, car keys, and started running for the front door. Bringing an umbrella is just too much trouble sometimes. A little rain never hurt anyone, right?

So I enter the front door of the library and started heading toward the children’s section when I came to a dead halt.

It was wall-to-wall people watching a show of some sort. Great. All I wanted to do was have the girls pick their four books each, check out, and continue on with our day. But no.

There was no simple way to cross over all the people to actually reach the books so we were stuck. Sit down girls, we’ll be here a while.

The show? A group of Irish dancers.

You’d think that would be fun to watch but you don’t know our history. Katie competed in the Irish dance world for six or seven years. I love the music, the dance, and the friends we made. Not so much the expense, the travel, the dresses, the shoes, the drama, and I could go on and on and on.

But as I sat there critiquing watching these girls, I started thinking about those dancing days. We traveled to many places in the US and even into Canada. Lots of friends were made here in Georgia and across the eastern seaboard during her years competing.

As I grew wistful remembering good times, I thought, in a tiny place in my mind, that maybe the little ones would enjoy Irish dance as much as Katie.

Snap out of it, mom! No way. No way at all. I will not subject myself to the torture again.

I have tons of dance pictures but very few on the computer. Here is a little taste of what Katie looked like dressed for a competition. This was taken six years ago when she was twelve. Wow….

Oh, and the guy in the picture is her dance teacher. Off the boat Irishman.

Once the dancing was done, book choosing commenced. I left the girls with my back-up daddy and went to find my own selections. I just was not into helping out anyone under four feet.

Success. We met back up in the lobby and prepared to check out. But instead of books, I was given two shirts and a pair of pants in return.

What’s up with that?

Oh, this could be the problem.

Yep, I tried to check out books using my Eddie Bauer card. Good grief.

Back out into the rain I run to get the real card.

How I got these two mixed up is beyond me. Just something I have a talent for, I guess.

Mission accomplished. New books for mommy and girls.

But what should have been a simple trip was far from it.

I’ll spare you details of our grocery shopping trip right after the library. I’ll just leave you with this image: mommy man-handling an uncooperative child Anna Grace through the store, struggling with a basket on one arm and an irritated child in the other because I was too dumb to get a cart, then realizing I needed to buy five gallons of milk.

Yep, fun day.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ponderings from Me.....

If you’ve ever wondered what crosses my mind each day, here is a sampling.

I know, you’ve just been dying to read this.

You are on the edge of your seat wondering what I’ll reveal.


I wonder…..

*how parents can let their young kids roam the neighborhood and never check on them?

*why some kids think it’s okay to peer through the windows of another house to see what is going on?

*why my son decided to eat two lunches at school several times lately? That costs money, my child!

*why kids think it’s okay to be sassy to adults who are not their parents?

*why my little ones love to pull weeds?

*why Katie’s AP Econ teacher is a slacker?

*why it’s taking so long for spring break to arrive?

*who invented Scrabble for Facebook? I’m hooked!

*why I can’t find a bathing suit I like?

*why kids think if they whine, somehow they will magically get what they want?

*what grade I’ll be teaching next year? Or will it be special ed again?

*which way do you unroll your toilet paper? From the top or bottom?

*where you sit when you blog?

*what life will be like next year without an extra driver?

*if I’ll make it through graduation?

*why the family thinks they can just stand around and watch me make and serve dinner? Help, please!

*why we are being subjected to three days of rain. Ugh…..

*when is it bedtime?

*if I could write a book?

And I could go on, and on, and on.

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Child's Imagination

Saturday night was spent visiting with great friends, enjoying good food and drink, as we shared our tales of woe from the work week. The kids had given up on us and headed outside to entertain themselves. No problem. More peace and quiet for us.

Big mistake on my behalf.

I had no idea what my kids could come up with in a pinch.

I thought I’d better pretend to be a good mom and check up on the kids. After all, they kinda are my responsibility, right?

They were easy to locate….even in the dark…..while playing tag. Except for Alex.

Question: Where is Alex?

Answer: Climbing the house

Say what???

Sure enough, I look up by my front door and see Alex climbing up the brick wall.

The crevice between the front door and the bay window is where I found the boy. Did you know he was Spiderman? Me neither.

I have no pictures to prove it as I was too busy yelling at him to get down.

Katie then piped up and said that he’s done this before. Oh good grief.

Resume playing SAFELY.

I return a bit later to find that Katie has created new uses for pool toys.

Poor Catlan. Locked up by a chick. And an older one to boot.

So he got her back. Stick her in the wheelbarrow and haul her off to places unknown.

And here you were thinking this post would be about the little ones, huh?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Sweating with Mommy

So I am driving home from school this week in my trusty van, showing my school spirit,

advertising my job,

and enjoying the bright, warm day when I came to the realization that I was sweating. How can that be? I have the air conditioning on.

Oh. The air conditioning. You mean that same one that had issues last spring and summer? The one that has a leak in the system that cannot be found?

Yep, that one.

Well, darn it.

I decided I couldn’t take sweating all spring and summer. Even the best antiperspirant would be of no help. And talk about bad hair days with the only other option being rolling down the windows.

Not a pretty picture.

Off to the garage we went to drop it off for much needed doctoring.

Today was a teacher work day so the kids didn’t have school. I took Katie’s car to work after dropping her off at a neighbor’s to babysit.

Now, she has a little car. I have a van. Trying to put us in that car was like trying to squeeze ten pounds of ‘taters in a five pound bag.

Talk about being able to reach out and touch someone. Of course, all the extras did not help.

Will this child ever clean out her car? Someone please tell me.

Being home for lunch afforded me the opportunity to receive a phone call from the garage about my car.

The leak was located.


No, not good. It’s in the evaporator core. A small piece located behind the dashboard, behind the airbags, behind all kinds of stuff.

Estimating eleven hours of labor to repair it as good as new.

All for the lovely price of $1600.

Holey Toledo!

Or, I can just keep adding coolant when it runs low. About $80 each time, every few months.

Can you guess which option I am choosing?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The End of My Youth....

Or more appropriately titled, Happy Birthday Katie!!

I awoke this morning and realized…

I am the mom to an 18 year old. How can that be?

Hard to believe 18 years have already gone by since Katie was born on St. Patrick’s Day of 1991. We spent the day before walking around the St. Patrick’s Day festivities in Savannah where I conveniently went into labor. Perfect setting......I just didn’t bother to tell Dave until after we got home.

Hey, I wanted to be sure, okay?? First kid, you know.

Fast forward 18 years…..

We celebrated her birthday last night (the 16th) because she was due to be at Catlan’s baseball game today. Can’t have her miss that. She missed it last year when Cat had an exceptional game because she chose to be home with us for dinner.

So how to make today special? She already got her present from us a few weeks ago. No more presents were in the works. What to do today? After all, 18 is a big deal.

Her day began with these

When I turned 18, my parents sent a clown with a huge red heart balloon to my high school lunch room to surprise me.

Oh my. Could I do that to Katie?

I could but wasn’t sure the school would appreciate it.

The next best thing? Paint her car like she painted mine. Except it couldn’t say Hot Mom (like my car did) or even Hot Katie (uh, no). That wouldn’t do.

But I could add other things. Like a car full of balloons. Yes….I like that idea.

I spent lots of time at school blowing up balloons to place strategically in her car. I’m just too clever, huh?

I left school today at 12:45 while my kids were in Art class to commence my attack. I was worried Katie would suddenly appear although she was supposed to be in class.

I did quick painting (nothing as fancy as she did for me in January). Heck, I was worried she might magically appear. Plus, I was fighting the stinkin' balloons....oh, didn't get there yet. Sorry!

Added garland, pennants and lot of balloons that kept trying to fly out of the car. I'm sure I would have been highly amusing to watch. A 40+ mom trying to stuff fifty or more balloons into a car on a windy day. Yep, that would be me.

Mission complete.

I giggled all the way back to school.

Turns out baseball was cancelled tonight due to the soggy fields so she and Cat headed out for dinner. He got her another Vera Bradley bag to match the one he bought at Christmas, as well as flowers and a shirt he made…

Catlan is pleased to say he is dating an “older woman”, for a few months anyhow!

Happy Birthday baby girl! I can't believe the years have flown by so quickly. Graduation is upon us and you'll soon be leaving for college. Our lives will change dramatically.

You have grown into an amazing, beautiful, and wonderful young woman. I love you....

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Ah, those rainy days...

We awoke this morning to the pitter-patter of

rain drops

followed quickly by the feet of two little girls.

Another rainy day in Georgia.

Perfect day to spend inside near a fire and do nothing, right?

However, that didn’t happen. Instead our rainy day was spent:

*playing soccer with a 6-0 win!

*visiting the library for new books but also running into friends there, making a snack, and getting a balloon (always a hit)

*restocking the sad pantry

*taking a nap (one of my favorite things on a rainy day, well, any day)

*shopping for bathing suits (depressing)

Since our day was spent outdoors in the rain, dinner needed to be the same way. Yes, we are the crazy Yankees who grill year-round in the south.

As Dave would say, “I may be wet, but my martini is dry.”

I am, once again, behind on my blog reading and writing. I will try to improve my behavior. Life has been busy and, ahem, Facebook is addicting.

There I said it.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Pain...the Agony

It’s been a rough two days.

Our house has been filled with short-tempered, sullen, uncooperative, and cranky people.


We haven’t had internet service. For thirty-six hours.

I thought I was going to go through computer withdrawal. The big kids came to terms with it and moved on throughout the evening. They complained, but not as loudly as I.

No email. No blogs. No Facebook.

I didn’t think I’d be able to claw my way to the surface again.

But I survived.

Maybe I need to join Computers Anonymous……

I probably shouldn’t point out that I’m blogging this in the bathroom while the girls take a bath, huh?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Monday Madness in March

Ah, a new week is upon us. We returned to school bright-eyed tired due to the time change. But my class? They arrived all rested. How can that be? Alas, I digress…..

Let me give you a glimpse into our Monday Madness today.

Mail: Look what arrived in the mail!

The shipping is free if you’d like one of your very own. I’m willing to share mine. Just be aware she is quite busy, bossy, belligerent, and brilliant.

Musings: What inspired this amazing little girl to pitch a royal fit during lunch today?

Oh, that would be not being allowed to have more lasagna until she tasted her broccoli. Now, I am not a green veggie lover myself but if I was hungry, I’d suck it up a bit. Not Abby. She had a fit that astonished her teachers. Been there. I understand.

‘Magination: Okay, stretching it on this one. But why is it children are so enthralled with boxes? Here we have Littlest Pet Shop in a box.

Never mind the fact we have all the proper materials located in the playroom. The box wins.

Music: Mondays bring us guitar at 6:30 and soccer at 7. Good luck, huh? Well, tonight Alex’s guitar teacher is sick which I was so glad sorry to hear. Not that I want him sick or anything but it made tonight a bit easier.

Machines: Upon my arrival home, I immediately took to my favorite machine.

Well, I did do that (hee hee!) but had to hit these ones too.

Our crazy weather had it snowing one week ago. Today? It was in the seventies. Calls for last years clothes to be unearthed located from the depths of the closet and hope they fit. Yikes.

Momminess: Being our Mad Monday, dinner is the way mommy likes it. Quick, simple, and usually not very healthy. Now, I do not condone unhealthful foods but on these busy nights, I’m sorry. It just wins.

Mugging: Scared you, huh? No, nothing bad happened!!To leave you with a giggle, here is a picture of my three girls mugging for the camera.

Aren’t they goof-balls??

Until next time, enjoy your March Madness!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Proof

Finally. I finally have the proof I was seeking to show the world that I can be a nice mommy.

If you ask the teens, you’d probably get a mixed response depending on the day. Did I make them clean up? Did I say to turn off the TV? Heaven forbid, I said to come home on time. None of those would indicate to a teen that I was a nice mom.

Little ones are easier to please. Usually.

Some of you have little arts and crafts tables set up where your children can come create something wonderful to hang on the fridge. If I did that, I’d have crayon on the wall, hair cuts, stuff glued that is better left unglued, etc.

Oh wait. I do have that.

Which is why I rarely let the girls do anything after school. Golly, you’ve been in school all day painting, coloring, cutting, using playdough, and making a mess. Why do you need to do it at home too? After all, mommy spent all day doing the same thing.

So their stuff is put up. They have to ask to use it.

If mom is in a nice mood, they might get crayons and paper. Or, if I’m feeling particularly jolly, they may get playdough. When I’m feeling downright hysterical, they might get to paint. But that never happens. (I still have the paint but it’s hidden….shh…)

Today was a better day at school, we got home early, chicken is thawing to be put on the grill, so I’m in a decent mood.

That means……

Yes, I let them use scissors and glue today. You’d think the world had stopped spinning.

As they busily got to work on their creations, Anna Grace said,

“You are a nice mommy.”

Awww. How sweet.

Will she still say that when I dispose of her trash treasures?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow Day Aftermath....

Snow one day, gone the next. That’s the beauty of the south.

I grew up primarily in the north (Navy kid) and had many, many storms which I loved. When I was a mom with kids, the storms weren’t quite as much fun. In fact, after one particularly bad storm when we were living in Pennsylvania, I looked at my husband and said,

“It’s time to move south again.”

And we did…….eleven years ago.

We enjoyed our four inches of white fun yesterday. The roads were slushy by the end of the day which usually means…….no school the next day. But the “official” call didn’t come until almost 9pm last night.

I know all my northern friends are giggling laughing hysterically at that statement but just remember, we don’t have snow plows to clear our roads. So there.

Yesterday’s activity involved building a Snow Family: mom, dad, two little kids, and two big kids.

Today’s activity involved playing Whack-a-Snowman. Great fun was had by two little girls who desperately wanted to spend one more day in the snow.

No more snow until next year…..the forecast is calling for seventy degree weather by Saturday. Can you believe it?

Just a note: I don’t usually let the kids play with big sticks. They were under close supervision, I promise!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A Snowy Day in the South

Snow? Really? In the south?

Yep, if we are lucky, once a year it snows. And then goes away the next day. Perfect! Only two days ago, I was wearing capris to work. Today? Boots, parka, and gloves.

We didn’t tell the little ones about the possibility of snow in case it didn’t really happen. They were happily engrossed with toys in the playroom (with the blinds shut) that they didn’t even realize it was snowing until two hours later. Very funny!

Glad they didn’t notice it earlier because for the next hour, all we heard was, “Can we go outside now??”

After lunch, rounding up of warm clothes and boots, we headed outside for some fun. Katie’s boyfriend came over to hang out; Alex took off to do stuff with friends. So I have no pictures of Alex at all but several of Catlan instead!

Here is a sampling from today:

The kids are hoping for a real snow day tomorrow......meaning school is cancelled. Would be nice but doesn't look very promising right now. Although, the roads are still wet and slushy in spots.

Freeze baby, freeze!!! Mama needs a day off from school!

Update at 9:15pm: Just got the official phone call. No school tomorrow!