Tuesday, September 29, 2009

At least they have caramel

Want to buy some popcorn? That's what boy scouts sell you know? You didn't know that? Me neither. It's not as widely discussed as the girl scout cookies. I guess the reason would be popcorn...cookies. There's really no comparison.

But popcorn is what we get, because my son is now a cub scout. A wolf scout to be exact. And my husband is now a scout leader. And I'm like "Yay an activity for the boys!" except I forgot I'm still the money manager and so I have to get Damien his handbook and his uniform and etc....

Problem is I'm a bit of a procrastinator. I waited until today, the day of his pack meeting, which in case you didn't know is kind of a big deal. Totally different thing than the "den" meeting.

So I think "no problem" I'll just go at lunch, so I did. Except they're out of his size shirt, or at least the size that will fit for awhile, and they were out of the number 7 patches....er badges.....no I think patches is correct. And he totally needs the number 7. And they were out of his size belt, but the lady informed me that he doesn't need that until he starts earning belt....badges? Something. I just took her word for it. So now I have most of his uniform, but no time to sew on his..........patches? between work, the girls' gymnastics and his meeting.

What's the boy scout motto? Always be prepared? Screwing that up already. Sorry son. But wait....he's not a "boy scout" yet, he's only a "cub scout" and I think their motto is "Always do your best" so I might slide by on a technicality there.

**To top it off, I had chinese food for lunch and my fortune said "You are the key to your own success" Yes, thank you, rub it in.

Friday, September 25, 2009

This thing we made

These are my loves. Aren't I blessed? There's no school today, so they're all at home. Without me. I have to work. No fair. You guys suck. But if you do all the laundry, I'll forgive you.
Plus I can't be too mad, because it's Friday. And you know what that means. Pizza and movie night. Pizza and movie night speaks to my very soul. There's nothing like kicking back on the couch with a giant piece of greasy, cheesy pizza, knowing that the work week is over, watching some family friendly flick....preferably a throwback from when you were young and now get to force your kids to watch it and invariably they like it. Because mostly, they like what you like.

And they smile at you, and snuggle up on your lap and try to wipe their pizza fingers in your hair, and all is content.

Face it singles, it's the Friday night of your future. Might not sound as exciting as clubbing and drinking and one night stands, but it's where we end up for a reason. And don't get me wrong, I like to go out. I like to drink and dance. But this thing, this having a family thing. Having them all together in one room, smiling, cuddling, safe and happy....and the pizza, well that's bliss.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Learning to lead

In case you never could have guessed it, life with 3 children is chaotic. Especially.....yes I'll admit it, especially when the 2 parents running that household are both in their 20's, still a little teenager-ey lazy, not quite organized or disciplined or OCD enough to run a well oiled machine.

But we're learning everyday. We're growing. We're figuring it out. Yesterday was a breakthrough of sorts. The credit goes to the husband on this one. It was his idea for a family meeting. A weekly family meeting. We had it last night at Applebees with dessert. Except me, I had a perfect mixture of coffee and alcohol, because that is dessert my friends.

We didn't have a set agenda for our first meeting, but we found it quickly. Laundry. Ohhhhh the laundry. It's relentless. Up until a couple of years ago, we didn't have our own washer and dryer. I would do laundry twice a month. 12 or 13 loads each time. It would take all day. Alllllllll day. And about thirty dollars in quarters. But it was a system.
Now, we have our own washer and dryer and it's a mixed blessing. We can do laundry whenever we want, but we don't usually want. And if we get lazy and leave the clothes in the dryer, no other tenant is going to take it out and throw it on the table in the laundry room. No one's going to come knocking on our door to demand that we please free up the washers.
The result is that we have piles of laundry. Everywhere. The laundry room has a good stack, so does my room. And there is a pile accumulating on the landing of the stairs. Along with a couple baskets of clean, yet to be put away clothes.

But, thanks to our meeting, we have a plan! We are so productive! Meetings, hooray!

Are you ready for the solution? It's genius I tell you!

Everyone...will do.....their.......own......laundry!!!! Isn't that amazing? We'll each have our own baskets in our own rooms.......ohmygod this so exciting.........and their own laundry day. Andonthatday, they take their own basket, and washdryfoldputaway. Tada!!! Except Cali of course. We're switching off helping her with hers on her day. But still, yes! And no one has to figure out who's socks are whose. And no one has to fold anyone else's underwear. And no one has to figure out if those are Cali's pants or Emily's stretch pants. And I won't have to search 12 places for one shirt ever again. I'm so proud of us. We are the smartest people I know!

Now, we just have to take care of the laundry mess we already have so we can implement our new genius system.....

Monday, September 21, 2009

First competition

Yesterday was Emily's first gymnastics competition. We went to the park Saturday night to practice. There are a couple of bar tricks that she doesn't have yet, but she's close. She wasn't any closer by the end of our practice. So much for my career as a gymnastics coach.
After bar practice we did some backhandspring practice. I spotted her. She kicked me in the head. "Mom, you're supposed to keep your head back"
"Yeah, thanks for that"

So she was a little nervous about bars, and her beam handstand. But you know what, she did everything she could do on bars and she didn't fall off the beam, and she came in 13th....which wasn't last. Go Em!

I'm going to throw up the video of her floor routine, because that's her favorite. I'm not going to talk about her wobbling or not pointing toes or all the things she wants me to point out for her improvement.

What I want to point out is her confidence and how she didn't fall on her head during her handspring, and her smile when she walks off. She had so much fun.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Sneak peek

It's costume time again. I've already finished part of Emily's.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

3 kids, 3 schools

My baby went to school today. My little little baby....went....to....school. So weird.
She's ready for preschool though. I won't bombard you with all of her many accomplishments, just take my word for it, ok?

The morning started out.....hectic I guess would be the optimum word. Caliana is not used to waking up and going through a morning routine with the rest of us. She's used to sleeping in with Daddy and just going along at their own pace. We eventually got out the door, 20 minutes later than I had planned.

There is actually a lot of stuff to bring for the first day of preschool....

-lunchbox with lunch that can all be opened by a 3 year old, which means no gogurts or capri-suns.
-folder full of all the requisite paperwork
-2 pictures of her
-change of clothes, because with 3 year olds, you just never know
-a sweater
-a blanket and a sheet for naptime.....side note about that* When I was going through trying to find a sheet for her to bring I came upon this winnie the pooh one that Damien used for all 3 years at that school. Had to use it for Caliana, just had to.

Emily and Damien wanted to go with to drop her off. They both went to that school, and thought it was so cool and cute that Cali was going there. The teachers were excited to see them and hugged and gushed and exclaimed about how big they are. They ate it right up. They showed Cali around while I took care of the paperwork/money part, then it was time to go.

Cali got a little apprehensive at that point and asked me to stay, so I knew it was time to haul butt out of there. I'm sure she's having a great time and I can't wait to hear all about it!

Getting her nails painted

All set!

New backpack (she's recently started watching Emily's old Strawberry shortcake DVD, so yay for liking characters where I can actually find merchandise!)

Matching lunchbox

On her way in (this picture makes her look nervous, but she really wasn't)

Damien bringing her to the back (hard to believe he was ever that little)

Emily and Damien took some pictures of her playing

She doesn't love the camera

The princess and her attendants

Monday, September 14, 2009

Must be sneakier

You may have noticed I've mostly been posting pictures of Caliana. What about the other kids you say? Well I try. This is the photo I got when I pointed the camera at my son today.

Could he look more offended that I'm taking his picture?

And then this one. She photographs well....but it's the same pose and smile every time. She's too aware, and contrary to the boy, loves the camera.

But I'll keep working on them.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Very Cali-esque

In Caliana's gymnastics class, they always start by sitting in a circle and doing stretches. The teacher makes up little stories that make it fun for them, for instance making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on their legs, and being a seal arching their back and ducking from the shark. Well, one of these stretches is pretending to wash their hands. Every time the teacher says "Ok, let's wash our hands" all the children start pretending.....except Caliana.
She jumps up and says "I'll be right back, I have to go wash my hands" and runs off to the bathroom. The other parents laugh and comment on how cute and tiny she is, and sometimes other kids try and follow her, and the teacher, well, she never learns.

After class, we went to ToysRus to buy her a new lunchbox. After she sat in every one of the power wheels cars, at least 3 times each, I got her over to the lunchboxes. She grabbed a Jonas brothers one first, because it was at her eye level, but after I talked her out of that, she ended up with Strawberry shortcake. I think she was more excited though about the new cups we bought with the flip up straws. Next we had to stop by the train table to play. There was a little boy already there. He was about 4 or 5. Cali kept gently stepping right in front of him and saying "thank you, escuse me"
He was very gracious about it and just kept shifting over slightly to play at a different section of the table, until she would notice and step in front of him again. "Thank you, escuse me" I'm not sure if she just liked what he was playing with, or if she was testing him...seeing how much he would let her get away with....she craves power you see. I have a feeling it is the latter.

After lunch we played a round of her ABC fishing game. I pulled out a lowercase E, and asked her what it is. She threw it right back at me, even though she knows. "what is it mom?"
I say "Hmm, I'm not sure, is it an "O"?
She looked at me like "Give me a break mom" and says "Noooooo, you stinker"

Ha, indeed. Must be where she got it.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

When books come alive

When I was little, 2nd, 3rd grade, one of my favorite books was James and the Giant Peach. I read it so many times. When Tim Burton did the movie some years back, I was SO very excited. Excited and then a little disappointed. I didn't appreciate Tim Burton then as I do now. Sometimes when a movie is made from a book, it's like magic. They pull the story out of your head and put it in front of your eyes. It's a beautiful thing.
Sometimes though, it's just a stunted, crippled version of all that you love. Sometimes they get it all wrong. Sometimes they pervert it, warp it, render it almost unrecognizable. But there's really no way to know until you see it.

There are 3 book movies coming out in the next 3 months, and I am excited for all 3.

This month is Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs. We have this book. My kids know it. I remember doing a mural based on this book in 2nd grade. It's a family favorite. The movie looks fun and funny and the kids and I are anxious.

Next month is Where the Wild Things Are. I read this book when I was young. I wasn't particularly attached to it, but Damien was. He wanted this story over and over. And then Cali. They're both a little wild and could probably identify. The movie LOOKS amazing. I really hope it is.

In November.............you know.............right...............don't make me say it............I'd say I was going just because Emily is dying to see it, but that would be a lie. I'm not a fanatic, I don't have any merchandise or t-shirts or anything, but I am going to the midnight showing of New Moon. I just.....yeah.......whatever.......I'm not the only one.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

School stuff


Forgot her clarinet for the second Tuesday in a row.

I said to her "So, are they going to kick you out of advanced band now?"

Her reply: "WHAT? No way, if I thought they were, I wouldn't go to school today. They can't kick me out if I'm not there."


I got an email from his teacher again today. There was an altercation last Friday where Damien may or may not have called another kid a loser, other kid hit him, they fought. Today they both had to miss a recess for it. Something is bugging my boy and I'm going to get to the bottom of it. I will scrape out some of my miniscule spare time for him, with no sisters involved. Just some time to talk and help him get a grip on his emotions. I have to.


We went for a preschool visit this morning. It was the same preschool that Emily and Damien went to, so I was very familiar with it, and they with me. I chatted with the director while Caliana scoped out the place. The director was both Emily and Damien's pre-k teacher and asked about them.
I totally had diarrhea of the mouth. I was a braggert, I could hear it coming out, but not until it was too late, a product I'm sure of my past insecurities as a mother. These people knew me when life was a lot harder, when I made more mistakes, when the state paid for my childcare, when I was unmarried, when my 4 year old would not stop having accidents at school, when I didn't know that I didn't need to have all the answers. So now, today, I was so..... icky.
During our half an hour there, I told her.....

-Emily gets straight A's, is in advanced band and competing in gymnastics
-Damien is doing so well in school (didn't mention his behavior) and is such a good brother to Cali
-Caliana knows all her ABC's and colors, is potty trained and is more than ready for school
-I only have one more car payment till my car is paid off, and we'll probably, you know, buy another one in a few months
-I got a promotion since last time I was there, which is why I, ahem, am paying for childcare on my own now
-We have a 3 bedroom now

As we walked out of there, I wanted to smack myself. Why did I just say all of that? What is the matter with me? I am not usually such an approval seeker. Bleh, I need a shower now.
The good news is, Caliana really liked it, and will be attending 2 days a week starting next Tuesday.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A little late

I'm a little late getting Caliana's 3 year pictures taken. It's been almost 2 months since her birthday. But we squeezed it in this morning, just after gymnastics. I never would have done that years ago. Pictures after gymnastics. No. I would have done the child's hair just before we left, and probably covered their clothes with an additional shirt or sweater or something.....just in case. But now, eh, I curled her hair, but if it got a little messed up in gymnastics, big deal. That's what she looks like. And she did great. And the pictures are adorable.

Wanna see?

You know you do.

Well, if not, just go away.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Damn, suspended

Damien got sent home from school today. Patrick said the office was a little vague on the details. Something about an incident in line.
So I emailed his teacher. The response I got indicated he was supended for continuous disruption.


A- rough housed with a boy in line - got a warning
B- continued rough housing at PE - was removed from PE
C- during the pledge he faced the class, gave the peace sign and nodded his head

So then he was taken to the office, where they decided on suspension.

She also mentioned he

-had an incident on the bus Monday (paperwork just says student must sit with feet and body facing forward)

-was playing roughly this week while they had a substitute

-has been disrupting the bus line

This totally sucks. I'm not sure how to get him to follow rules when I'm not around. We talk about it and talk about it and talk about it, he's punished at home....but somehow that doesn't translate to behave at school.

Part of me, the mom part, wants to be like...he's 7, he's a good kid, a smart kid, he just wants attention, he just wants to know that he's liked, he's just insecure.

But the other part of me, the responsible parent part, knows this needs to be nipped in the bud before he's a delinquent teen getting in fights and flipping off his teachers.