Saturday, August 29, 2009

My Life is a Comedy.....

If my life is such a comedy, where is my laugh track? I want one. That will be my book title……when I finally start writing.

Life has been pretty stressful lately with the start to school for four of us and start of college for another. But that doesn’t mean we haven’t had our funnies.

Here are some outtakes from the recent days….

Abby: Mommy, I want some slimy with my sandwich.
Mom: Slimy?
Abby: Yep.
Mom: Oh, salami.

Mom: Anna Grace, what did you eat for lunch today at school?
AG: Cake.
Mom: Only cake?
AG: Yes, I picked the same lunch choice as you but didn’t like it.
Mom: Baby, choose what you like and not what I pick!

Abby at school: Miss Anne, when you have a minute, can you please get me some more pancakes?
Yes! The child is learning!! If only her big sister would follow along.

Abby to daddy: I’m watching you. (complete with the fingers on the eyes before pointing to dad)

Anna Grace: I likedid that kind before but don’t anymore. (and the kid can READ so well!)

Abby to dad: You are too old to think. (note: daddy did not like this comment)

Abby: My big brudder makes me milkhakes. (not a typo….Abs can’t say her /s/ sound)

First grade + game night with daddy = exhaustion. Ten minutes in the car circling the neighborhood. Asleep. Perhaps not a funny but a reality!

Scenes from Friday: Pulled up after school to see Katie and Catlan in the driveway. Two little girls screaming from the car.....Katie!! Catlan!!! They were only home for the night but made two little girls happy.

There you have it. A snapshot into our lives from the past 36 hours. I need to start keeping track of our funnies more often. But when I do, I hear……

Mom is writing stuff down again. Must be for Facebook or the blog. Good grief....

Saturday, August 22, 2009

What is College?

When you are six…..

College is the place where your big sister goes to live.

College means the big sister’s room is now clean and empty.

College means having your own computer.

College is far away.

College means the teens that are always around are now gone.

But what the six year old didn’t know was that college is also school.

School? Katie is going to school?

So began the explanation of how Katie lives in an apartment with her friends and walks to another building to go to school.

Complete puzzlement on that one.

How do you explain college to a six year old?

You don’t. You have to show her in person.

Today we made the drive into Atlanta to find “college.”

Oh yes, and to see Katie too. I had warned her we’d need to come up within a week of her leaving so the little girls….and mom….could see where she lives now.

We pulled up outside her building and parked in what Katie calls the ghetto parking lot. Evidently you just put your money inside the slot marked with what parking space you chose. If you fail to do so, you may return and find your car booted.

Lovely. Welcome to Atlanta.

Since we cannot enter her secured building without her presence, we waited ever so patiently in the aforementioned ghetto lot.

And then she appeared…..much to the delight of two short people. But, they were also fascinated by the large puddle lurking nearby so didn’t show quite the excitement I had expected.

Now, to haul all the requested items into the building. Hmmm. Had she not considered the fact that we had a bunch of stuff to carry?

Where were the back-ups?

Upstairs eating.

Well, tell them to stop eating!

In a short time, Katie’s roommate, Natalie, and The Boyfriend, Catlan, arrived. Cat does not attend the same school but was there visiting as he is not that far away. I had things to deliver to him from his mom so told him he’d better still be there when we showed up!

The Beverly Hillbillies, aka the eight of us, trooped into the building with Wal-Mart bags hanging off our arms, lugging chairs and barstools, with two Chinese girls very energetically leading the way.

Yep, I’m sure we were a sight to behold.

Did you know college is a hotel? I guess it would appear that way to a six year old. But, it’s a hotel with no maid service. And no cook.

But mom is good and brought along food as well as the George Foreman grill. Perhaps they’ll eat more than spaghettios and ramen noodles for dinner now!

Food put away. Check. Chairs assembled. Check. Bounced on Katie’s bed. Check. Opened the new printer. Check.

Time for lunch!

The Hillbillies headed out the door to begin the walk to Hard Rock CafĂ©. You see, Katie’s school is located right in Atlanta. To get to class or food, you walk on the city streets. Past the lovely odors of the sewers and other such great things. Past the ever so generous people trying to give you a flower in exchange for money. Past the homeless guy asleep on a bench.

Nah. We didn’t see a homeless guy. Truly. At least not in the portion of the city we walked today.

After only a few short city blocks and lots of whining, we arrived at our destination.

Evidently a party of seven is hard to seat so we waited, and waited……for about five minutes. Looks like it was longer, huh?

Seated. Lunch ordered. Coloring and catching up on the news.

Both college teens are happy at school, meeting new friends, and getting into the groove of homework and sports. Both are staying out of trouble, focusing on priorities, and enjoying their new freedom.

What more can you ask?

Lunch done…headed back toward campus. Well, back to the dorm.

Being an urban campus, everything is all over the place! I love the city but living there?? Not my cup of tea….nor Cat’s!

One last look at the room (before curtains!),

at the view from her window (I-85, yippee!),

the kitchen which needs a cook,

and hugs from two of my most favorite teens….

we were gone.

But now we know all about college.

Perhaps we'll sleep better at night.....

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Just Keep Swimming.....

Remember Dory from Finding Nemo? Just keep swimming, just keep swimming? Yep, that’s me right now. Trying to keep pluggin' along....

Two weeks ago found us getting ready to start school. I returned to special ed and began the slow swim to the surface. It’s hard coming back into the program after a few years of being out….rules and routines have changed, students are unfamiliar, and demands are great. I am fortunate to have a great staff working with the kids. That makes the job so much easier.

Abby began the Pre-K4 program at her daycare and loves it. But I drop her off in the morning for breakfast before Pre-K actually begins. So, I have no pictures of her first day entering the Pre-K room or hanging with her teachers.

Hey, I wasn’t organized enough to even take pictures at home that early in the morning!

We all know how much Alex loves having his picture taken so there are none of him boarding the bus to begin his sophomore year. Yep, the bus. No more rides with Katie.

Anna Grace started first grade and was able to have Katie walk her to class.

Of course, within three days of starting school, she had already lost a behavior point because she could not stop talking and playing. Am I shocked?

One week ago found us shopping for Catlan’s graduation gift. Yes, I realize the kids graduated May 29. Yes, I realize it is now August. It takes me time to get organized. We decided to go with the “stocking of the kitchen” theme for his gift. He insisted he did not want plates and silverware like Katie and her roommates purchased. So we got him paper and plastic. Works for him! Toss in pizza pans, pizza cutter, ice cream scoop, spatula, can opener, and other such basics and you are set for dorm food. After all, how much work is pizza or a pan of taquitos?

One week ago also found us celebrating Anna Grace’s sixth birthday. Can’t believe she is already six! Time sure has flown since she came to us as a clingy yet demanding eleven month old. Her big gift this year was a new bike. Whoopee! It’s just so much fun to watch her ride it when it’s 95 degrees outside.

And now today. Today brings us buying groceries to stock a dorm kitchen. Paying the remainder of tuition after scholarships kicked in. Buying expensive textbooks. Packing the car.

The first birdie is leaving the nest.

She is excited, anxious, scared, and unsure.

We are excited, anxious, scared, and unsure.

Changes, they are a’comin’…….

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Treading Water....

Two weeks ago, we were sitting on the beach enjoying the surf and sand. The wind was either blowing through our hair or trying to kill us with whipping sand. The waves were amazing to ride yet as harsh as a cold winter. Laughter was heard more often than complaining. Great food and company abounded.

And now? Reality.

School starts in a few days. Back to schedules, lunch boxes, homework, early mornings, late days, and quick dinners. Toss in soccer practices, travels to China, moving to college, and huge changes at school.

Oh my.

Do I sink or do I swim? Right now, I’m treading water. I can go either way.

Hmmm….sinking. New job at work, lots of additional responsibilities, one leaving for college, scholarships not showing up yet on the account meaning unexpected money out of pocket, yet another teen driver, husband heading out of town for a week, early morning wake-ups, cranky girls who are tired of being together all the time, rainy days (good for us but bad for us too), moody teens, and impatient me.

Or……swimming. New job at work, one I am excited about, a teen truly ready for the challenges college can offer, scholarships credited in time (please!), teenage boy continuing to do okay as a driver (but please fix the attitude), Dave’s quick trip to Fort Stewart (much different than China for weeks….), girls who are excited about returning to school (but I anticipate tears), and overwhelmed me.

So you see….I am treading.

As Dave says, what does not kill us will make us stronger.

I will keep on treading and keeping my head above the water.

I hope……