Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Are you ready for some football?!!

Played a little catch with Macy and Pete in the yard today. Both kids are getting very good at throwing…. Pete likes to throw super far and hard… we do still need to work a bit more on his accuracy! How can he find every single little puddle of water or mud in the yard?! His team is 2-0 and they are playing another team this Sunday that is also 2-0. The coach has called for extra practices and the kids are all taking it very seriously. Stay tuned for the results….

….Speaking of coaches. Several years ago all the kids went to a special week long camp on football fundamentals. I was really surprised that all the kids wanted to do it. Dori was just starting middle school and Dill was not even in kindergarten yet… but the coach of this program was very motivating… and quite frankly did not take no for an answer. The kids had a great time the first day and when the practice ended the whole group had lunch together. As they were eating the coach announced that everyone was expected to be on time the next day. Anyone that arrived late would have to run a lap.

The next morning, of course, every one of my kids were running late. I did my best (by driving faster than posted speeds!) but the kids still got there about 5 minutes late. The coach was standing by the fence to the field asking the line of late arrivals why they were late. He sympathized with each athlete, then told them to run a lap around the track before joining the other players on the field. I stood listening while Dori said to her siblings (in her middle school head-bobbing way) “I am gonna tell the coach we are NOT running a lap! It is STUPID and we won’t do it!! You guys just have to agree with me. We won’t give in… he can’t do anything about it!!”

I thought about letting Dori know why that was not a good idea but they were next to talk to the coach. As they walked up to the coach, Dori barely had her mouth open to argue when the coach spoke. He looked right at Dori and said, “Since you are a girl YOU only have to run half a lap.” Dori’s jaw dropped and said, “Girl’s can do whatever boy’s can do!!” She turned to her siblings and said, “Come on, let’s do a WHOLE lap!” Off they all went and the coach gave me a quick wink before turning to the next late arrival. Did he have my girl’s number or what?!!! ☺

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Macy's Bangs

Yesterday, Macy mentioned that she thought her bangs were getting too long. Since they go down to her chin, I would have to agree. Macy has a love hate relationship with her hair. Throughout elementary school she liked to keep it very short. So short, in fact that she was often called a boy. At times, she liked that, at times she didn’t. When she started middle school she started to let her hair grow out. At this point, her hair is quite long and quite pretty.

She asked me to cut her bangs. This stunned me. I can barely cut out coupons from the Sunday paper and my 8th grade daughter wants me to cut her current pride and joy?! …. Her mane of hair. It reminded me of a story from a long time ago when my Grandmother thought my bangs were too long.

Grandma used to babysit me and told my mother that she thought my hair was getting too long. My mother just kind of ignored my grandmother. She was waiting for my hair to get long enough so that she could pull it all back into a pony tail. (Pretty much the ONLY style my mother could do, so I would wear a pony tail from kindergarten until I finally rebelled in about 4th grade)

So the next day, since my mother did not take care of the issue, Grandma decided to “help” by cutting my bangs for my mother. There were 2 problems with this plan. First, I was about three and did not feel the need to hold still for a hair cut and second, Grandma only had pinking shears. Pinking shears were never meant to cut hair. (Those are those scissors that have zigzag blades… they make sewing patterns look good and paper look great…. But bangs: yikes!!)

Apparently, Grandma kept trying to make them straight across…. Then tried again, and tried again…and again…. I basically had eyebrows and stubble when she finally gave up. When Dad got home he said Grandma might as well have used a weedwacker!!

So Macy, I will leave your bangs to the professionals. ☺

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Why I feel old today....

Pepper and I gave a lecture at our old university today. We got to speak to grad students in the same class we were in.... about 20 years ago. It was amazing how young they all looked!! Did you know that people do not sling their backpacks over one shoulder anymore?! That was the cool way to carry your books when I was in college. It is very uncool now. Everyone uses both straps. Everyone. Everyone in college also wheres flip flops. I was feeling a bit old. But I had to come home to REALLY feel decrepit.

The kids were all watching "Ripley's Believe It or Not" and a segment came on about a water skipper. A water skipper is the original water ski. So there is ancient, old, black & white footage of these guys in old fashioned bathing suits zipping around on plywood boxes with little motors attached to them... Macy asks, "Is that what you had to ride on when you were growing up?!!" Ummm..... no!! I wasn't even a twinkle in my father's eye in the 1950's!!!

By The Way.... I decided to wear two straps on my backpack while Pepper and I were hiking back to the car across campus..... I don't think it helped my cool factor much.... and I am sure my inability to get the darn thing off at the car really made me seem uncool and old!! (stupid tight straps!!) :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"Where's my girdle, Mom?!!"

As Pepper and I were leaving work today that is the call we got.... from Pete, our 11 year old son. We just never know what to expect him to say when he calls....

Being two Mom's does have some tricky moments while raising sons. With Pete starting tackle football this year, we had all kinds of new things to learn. Trying to figure out where all the pads go inside football pants was a little tricky. Personally, I thought protecting Pete's little butt cheeks was important, but how was I supposed to know those pads went on his thighs!?? Another problem was that Pete got an extra tail pad.... where to put the other one threw me for quite awhile. Then there was the whole cup issue. How the heck did I know what size to buy?! Then they had "good" cups for $6.00, "better" for $16.00 and "best" for $32.00. Someday, I do want grandchildren but $32.00 for a molded piece of plastic with air holes?!!! I decided "better" would work just fine. Speaking of the cup.... it is sort of shaped like a triangle... so Pete asked if the triangle tip went up or down. Hmmmm..... well, we tried both ways and went with the way he thought was more comfortable! (Pete picked point down... someone tell me if that's wrong before he has to change in a locker room with the other guys!!)

By the way, a football girdle goes under the football pants and holds all the pads... which makes where the pads go a lot easier to figure out! Life is full of learning opportunities!! :)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Dreams

I do not usually remember any dreams I have. I am sure I have lots but I just don't remember them. Well, if I wake up in the middle of the night (usually to go to the bathroom) then fall back to sleep I can sometimes remember. I hate having to stumble through the bedroom and into the bathroom blindly (no sense putting on my glasses in the dark!!) so I really try hard not to NEED to get up, but my bladder is the boss!! The other night I guess I drank too many liquids before I went to sleep and had to go to the bathroom around 3 AM. When I fell back to sleep, I actually had a very vivid dream. In my dream, I was at work walking down the hall and all of a sudden my feet were tangled in a spider web. I kept walking down the hall trying to get away but the spider web kept getting bigger and would not let me go. I thought (even in my dream) that it was weird that I was all alone, since usually the halls are very busy with activity (it IS a school building!)

I am sure I was dreaming about work because I was thinking about all the things I needed to do the next day, but why the spider web? Some people would spend a lot of time analyzing this dream. Does it mean I feel trapped at work? Am I all tangled? Am I afraid of spiders or something lurking in my workplace? One more little tidbit I realized when I woke up....

While walking to the bathroom in the dark I stepped on a dryer sheet that was on the floor and it stuck to my foot the rest of the night under the covers... :)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Aunt Dorothy 2

Back in January, I wrote about my Aunt Dorothy. She had sent me a letter telling me how much she missed getting to see me and my family at the Christmas gathering this year. She sent pictures and updates about the people that were there and she wanted to know how my kids and everyone in my life were doing. I find family gatherings like that a bit stressful so I avoid them. But I wanted to see Dorothy so I had decided back in January that I was going to next year's Christmas party. I did not write a letter back to her. I did not call her. She died last night.

Yesterday, was the anniversary of her wedding. She had a nice dinner with my uncle, then went to bed and died in her sleep. She requested to be cremated and wants no funeral service. No one will get together for a final good bye. I was talking to my sister, L and we thought it was funny that she is the one person that never missed a family function and now isn't having one. The REALLY funny thing is how much I hate functions like these and how much I really wish I could go to this one.

When my father died, I wasn't there. My Mom pulled me aside and said it didn't matter that I wasn't there at the end of my Dad's life... that I had been there when it counted. I wasn't there when my Mom died either. I should have written back to Dorothy, I could have at least called.

Sometimes, I forget why I started writing this Blog in the first place. Some day, my kids will be able to look back and read these stories and maybe get to know their mother and little better than they would have without it. They may get to know the funny side and the side that was so proud of them. They will get to know what I did at work, what amused me and how lucky I feel to get to watch them grow into adults. They also get to know the imperfect, makes mistakes me. So, for today, I want to tell them that regrets suck. But everyone has them. We can only do the best we can do.

Good Bye Aunt Dorothy, rest in peace.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Super Girl

I was helping in the cafeteria at breakfast at school this morning ...which means I opened a LOT of milk cartons and help kids open those little individual serving boxes of cereal (when they do it half of the container ends up on the floor... I think they are sealed shut with super glue!) ... and I hear loud sobbing at one of the tables. I look over and see a little boy with huge tears running down his face. Since it is only the first days of school it is not unusual to hear kindergardeners cry, but this little guy sounded like someone just told him SpongeBob was cancelled! I went over to him and asked what was wrong. As he gasped for air through his sobs he points down on the floor and points to a half eaten pop tart that is lying on the floor below his little swinging feet. (Kindergartners feet can not touch the floor). I said, "Oh that's ok, we have lots of pop tarts. I will get you another one. Do you want some more juice too?" When I came back to the table with another pop-tart and an apple juice he looked at me like I was a super hero! I had this incredible urge to brush my cape back off my shoulder and stick out my chest like Superman!

After school, I was helping to get the kids all loaded on their buses.... a little girl was standing near me and she reached up and tugged on my shirt tail. I knelt down and said, "Hi! What's up, sweetheart?!" She put her arms around my neck and said, "I really like you... you are so-o-o pretty!" What ego boosts these kids are!! I think I am really gonna like working with them!! By the way... in Baby Mohammed's class they send out colored notes at the end of the day (a green note means and excellent day, yellow means some behavior concerns and a red note means not a good day at all) Baby M waved his green note at me when he saw me... he made it through the whole day without any behavior issues!! Oh Happy Day!!! :)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Beware of Kindergardener!

My job for the last three years included dealing with special needs students that were fast, big and often needed physical handling just to comply with simple tasks. For example, one student was fast and did not like to wear clothes. So I spent a lot of effort and energy chasing him down the hall at a full speed run then trying to wrestle his shirt, shoes, pants etc. back on him. (Shirts and shoes are required in school!) If you know me…. my age…. (which has a ‘4’ in it!!) and my size (definitely not little or athletic!!) you would know that this is quite funny… for everyone watching--- not me!!

So the thought of moving to a building with almost all kindergarteners seemed like a much less physically demanding position. (read: easier) For the first few days the principal asked me and other non-classroom teachers to be in the classrooms just to help the kids get the hang of what school is all about. (Things like walking in a line, pushing in their chairs, opening milk cartons at lunch, tying shoes… you know, easy stuff. ) This job, I would soon learn, is about as easy as herding butterflies!!

I also had baby Mohammed Ali in my class. He was just fine until his mother walked out of the room. I had been warned that some kids cry or get upset when they are left at school on the first day…. But baby M was just plain ol’ P.O’ed!! As soon as his mother was out of sight, he suddenly dropped to the floor, flipped over the whole wall of cubbies, knocked over two bookshelves, threw a bunch of papers, ripped posters off the wall and TRIED to throw a stapler! This little 3 footer also suddenly developed the mouth of a sailor. He looked so adorable as he screamed, “I want my Mommy you dumb b-----!” On a professional note as a speech therapist…. The entire phrase was articulated perfectly…. He will not qualify as speech impaired!! Wish me luck... round two with Baby Mohammed starts Monday morning. :)

Monday, September 7, 2009

School's starting again!

Overall It was a great summer! This is Pete and Dill after a great day on the lake. Lots of camping, spending time with family and friends. Terrific weather. Time to go back to school! Kids are already in bed, Pepper and I are trying to get on an earlier-to-bed schedule too. Going to start a new job (same district... different building) in a different school. Excited and anxious... and ready to get started.... :)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Plaques

At my grandparents house there was a plaque in the kitchen that read, “All of our visitors bring us joy, some by coming, others by leaving” If you knew my family, you would understand the sentiment! As people came into my Grandparents house I would often try to figure out if they were people that my Grandparents were happier to see come in or go out… the plaque actually made quite an impact on me.

When we were decorating the RV I decided that I wanted plaques to be part of the decor. I wanted plaques that sent positive messages to my kids. You know the cheesy ones like “Live, Love, Laugh” and “Family makes a house a home” I really do love those! We spend quite a bit of time in our RV throughout the summer so decorating it with cute sayings as well as pictures of family and friends makes it very homey.

I have always remembered the plaque my Dad had in his bar… probably one of the main reasons I wanted to expose my kids to more positive expressions. I have brain cells that will never forget this saying… “I found the perfect woman, I could not ask for more, she is deaf and dumb and oversexed and owns a liquor store” How the hell can I remember THAT all these years and can’t remember to buy eggs and toilet paper at the grocery store when that is what I went there for?!!! :)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Harvey has a home

We have a new family member. His name is Harvey. Isn't it cute? Yeah... that is because you do not feed, water and clean up after the little bugger!!! I am amazed at the amount this little guy can input... and OUTput!! He was actually J's niece's rabbit. She had two and thought this one was mean and too active for the other one. So, while we were camping she decided to 'let it free'. Well, Harvey had no idea what to do.... he and probably many, many of his ancestors had been born in captivity. So, he spent hours just hopping around all of our campsites, although he did look quite content. After awhile every time I saw him hop by, he simply looked like future road kill or a easy meal for something lurking in the woods. The kids did not have to work very hard to convince me to bring him home with us.

On our way out of the camp, some guy peeked to see what the kids were holding and told him that rabbits love banana's. I did not know this... but we are actually going to try it tonight. Hmmm, hopefully it does not make Harvey have any stomach issues...

One other story about Harvey.... Pepper made a very nice salad the other night. She diced up lots of carrots and celery and put the scrapes in a little bowl and told Dill to give it to Harvey. Does Dill take the scrapes? Nope!! He took all the nicely diced veggies! Pepper was none too happy about where all her hard work went!! Oh well, he is a cutie though! :)