Wednesday, August 25, 2010

First day of school

Hey there!  Today was the first day of school.  Cute pics were taking of the children and they were sent off with shiny happy faces.  G started first grade this year and I was curious as to how the whole full day plus after school care would go.  When I picked them both up at 5 everyone was doing OK. (Yeah for small victories!)  On the walk to the car G began to fall apart.  I think she was holding herself together as best as she could all day and as soon as she knew the day was done the wheels fell off the wagon.  Well, they actually were kind of hurled from the wagon.  After being fashioned into a spear of some kind.  Metaphorically of course.

So, if you saw me in the parking lot today with my child standing outside the car screaming about wanting a drink of water RIGHT NOW you don't need to ask how my day went.  BUT, if you did ask, I would say it was really not a bad day overall.  Because while she was yelling and stomping and just plain being mad about being mad, I was sitting in the car.  With the air conditioning on.  Playing solitaire on my ipod.  I'm mean like that. 

Once the storm clouds passed she calmed down, apologized and we went home.  I sent her upstairs to shower, cooked dinner (breakfast for dinner!  A favorite around this house!) and my guess is we will both be asleep in about 15 minutes. 

This is the kind that won't get scrapbooked because I like to keep the illusion of the smiling-faces-all-the-time going in my albums, but I wanted to write it down.  To share it.  And to say, in the face of yelling and stomping, I kept my cool.  I didn't yell back.  I didn't hiss at her with clenched teeth.  I let her do what she needed to do, while I did what I needed to do.  Not surprisingly, after her tantrum passed,  I felt much better than I usually do at the end of these exchanges.  I guess everyone has the chance to learn something on the first day of school.

P.S. Not to short-change him in terms of blog fodder, P had a great, drama free day at school!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Confessions from the laundry room

Nothing too earth shattering here. Although I'm beginning to notice that several of my posts have something to do with laundry and/or how much time I spend doing laundry due to a variety of circumstances (mostly) beyond my control. I guess we write about what we know...

Anyway, I was washing clothes last week and I noticed my daughter's shirt still had a sticker on it from her day care. When I pulled the sticker off I realized that it left a small circle of white, which in turn made me realize that the whole shirt was supposed to be white. She had gotten so dirty playing in the sand at the park that the rest of the shirt was gray. Sad face.

Luckily I sprayed the whole thing with my little container of stain remover and once it was washed we were back in business. But before I knew that all of the dirt would come out I was thinking, "Really? Come on. This is why we can't have nice things."

And then I looked over to the rest of the laundry where I noticed the sweatshirt I had bought for my son a week earlier at a garage sale. It's a great sweatshirt, hooded, with my college's logo on it--something that normally costs $35-40. I got it for $6 and I was super excited at the time. I usually don't buy the kids sweatshirts with school logos because they are so pricey, but I knew this one was a great bargain and could be worn by my daughter once my son outgrew it.

And then, standing in the laundry room, I realized the flaw in my thinking. Something I overlooked. The thing I should have noticed if I hadn't been in the middle of my "feeding frenzy" as MD calls it when I get super focused on a bargain and miss critical details about the item I'm about to purchase. (Side note--this same feeding frenzy once influenced me to buy another great sweatshirt for myself, only to get it home and realize it said "Grandma" underneath the college logo. In my defense, "Grandma" was in pretty small letters and I was carrying a lot of other things so I couldn't really hold the shirt up with both hands to see the entire front at one time. Lesson learned: It doesn't matter how much a person "saves" on an item when they have to give it to Goodwill after wearing it zero times.)

Anyway, sorry for the tangent--back to the laundry room. I realized that I had overlooked one critical piece of information when buying this great bargain of a sweatshirt. What was the problem you ask? The sweatshirt is white. White! Good Lord I just bought a white sweatshirt for a 10 year old boy! A boy who plays tackle football during recess. A boy who rolls around in the mud. A boy who probably invented a game called "who can get the most dirty in the least amount of time" with his buddies. And I honestly thought he would pass this sweatshirt down to his sister. You know, old gray shirt. The girl who quite literally pours sand out of her shoes before she comes in the house. Clearly, mistakes were made. I was obviously blinded by the bargain. Now, does anyone know where I can buy a case of Shout Advanced Stain Remover?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Camping. And germs.

We went camping this past weekend. Well as close to camping as I care to get, we stayed in cabin type place in a state park. Mother Nature and I have a bit of an "agree to disagree" relationship. I try to stay out of her way and she helps make sure I'm not eaten by bears. (Side note, a couple of weeks ago we were on a nature hike, surrounded by tall trees in a totally gorgeous setting. Rather than simply marveling in the beauty and enjoying the moment, I actually caught myself pretending to stretch so I would look taller, just in case a mountain lion was behind me, thinking about attacking. It's totally a legitimate technique they teach when you're going into the woods, by the way. And yes, I know I need help.)

Anyway, the place we stayed had electricity but no running water. We had a camp fire and used it to cook all of our meals. We had s'mores, tried our hand at fishing and went canoeing. It really was quite lovely.

One drawback was the, ahem, facilities. There was an outhouse (shudder) nearby and further up the road there was a flush toilet. The general lack of running water was a bit of a nightmare for me the certified germaphobe. However, in my quest to not pass on my issues to my children I tried to roll with the punches. We had a water jug, I put some soap near it, encouraged the kids to wash--especially before eating, and hoped for the best.

On one of our walks to the flush toilet, we passed a golf ball in the parking lot. P wanted to pick it up and take it back to his dad. I said he didn't need to pick up parking lot leftovers and that I didn't think MD needed a random golf ball. P rolled his eyes and said, "If I got some tongs and washed off the tongs and the ball and my hands could I pick it up?" Hmmm. Busted.

I joked with him about then needing to sterilize the the parking lot and let it go. On the last day of our trip P slept in until 10. Not a good sign. This is a kid who is up at 7:30 everyday. Unlike his mother, this kid is a go getter, he is up and at 'em in the morning. The only time he sleeps in is when he's sick. I noticed he looked a little flush and when he declined bacon for breakfast I knew we were in trouble.

So we packed up, got him settled with some water, a pillow and a book in the car and started driving home. About 2 miles outside of the campgrounds I turned around to check on him, just in time to see him gag once, twice and then spew vomit all over the car. Not to be graphic, but I do mean ALL over. It was rather spectacular. On his sister's leg, all over the library books he had on his lap, on MD's seat, on the console, down his own legs. We pulled over, and both MD and I hopped out. MD grabbed a towel and started wiping things up, while I grabbed my stomach and tried not to add to the vomit situation. We realized that it was going to be quite a mess to deal with, so we headed back to the campsite so P could use the showers and change clothes. On the way back we tried to figure out what might have happened that could have made him sick--especially since he was the only one who was sick. Then MD said, "well, P was the only one touching the fish we caught, and I don't think he washed his hands afterwards."

Oh karma! How you like to bite people on the backside sometimes! I tried not to be too I-told-you-so when I pointed out that maybe hand washing isn't such a bad thing and perhaps you shouldn't mock your mother when she suggests it (over and over), but I don't think P heard me since I only said it in my head. Sometimes vomiting everywhere is enough of a lesson.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Oh hey, hi there

So. Is anyone still here? Yeah, probably not. Clearly I stink at this whole blog thing--sorry friends! I was thinking about it today and I realized I'm a fan of instant gratification. I like to tell stories and get the immediate reaction of a laugh and then follow that up with a friend telling me another story. This is also why I think if I work out once I should suddenly lose 10 pounds. Rather than working out once a day for a month and maybe losing 3. (You know, because in my mind I CAN have that extra something something "since I worked out today.")

So here I go, trying to to update my bloggy again...back on the horse...trying not to go 4 months without adding anything...

As always happens this time of year, the swimsuits my children started out with back in June have frayed and thinned, the elastic is shot and it's shrunk a bit while the children have grown a bit. In response to this, I took G to the local big box store for a new suit. Two problems with this plan:

1. Despite the fact that it's August and 92 degrees outside, all of the big box stores think it's October. Seriously, they have Halloween decorations out. Stop the insanity! They are also fully engaged in their "back to school mode" so all of the summer things are now squeezed into one aisle. Boo. Finding the silver lining though--it is all on clearance now, and you know how I love a bargain!

The 2nd problem with my plan is that I'm not raising a tart. Or a tramp. Or Lady Gaga. I'm raising a girl. Someday she'll be a young lady. Right now she's 6. She likes Sid the Science Kid and Arthur books. I swear I'm not trying to sound like a Duggar here, really I'm not, but I was quite surprised by the ahem, style of many of the suits. Is there a fabric shortage I didn't know about?

There were about 20 different types of suits hanging on the wall. First I eliminated the ones that didn't have a back (it hooked at the neck then was an open oval down the sides of the body and then just barely covered the bottom). The ones that had a back, but had large cutouts on each side from the ribcage to the hipbone also stayed on the rack. Goodbye to the two piece numbers that hooked at the top and then just hung down, open, in the back, and so on. Finally we found 4 (only 4!) that might work and even some of these were just awful. One had glitter all over it. One had sequence forming triangles around her (non-existent) breasts (did I mention she's 6?). Two seemed like they might be a bit low cut, but off to the dressing room we went. Despite twice a day applications of SPF 50 my girl is quite tan, which means you can roughly see what the new suit covered compared to the old suit. Or should I say what the new suit didn't cover. With every suit I could easily see an extra inch of white on the top and most were also cut much higher up her thigh.

Is this what people are buying? Am I so very old fashioned? These are swimsuits sized for girls ages 4-12. What's left for her to wear when she's 16? But I knew her current suit wouldn't last. I had her try everything on again. It was even worse the second time around. Then, inspiration struck! I called my mom. Here's how it went:

Me: Hey mom, have you been to Costco lately?
Mom: I'm at Costco right now!
Me: Great! Could you see if they have any one piece Speedo swimsuits left? (As a side note, she currently has a two piece Speedo and part of the problem is that the bottoms keep scooting down, giving her a bit of a plumber's crack situation.)
Mom: Sure hang on. I just had a yummy sample of the mango salsa with tortilla chips and now I'm walking over to the suits.
Me: OK. (Thinking to myself, as I have many times, if my parents had a blog it would be all about what they just ate.)
Mom: They have two in her size, should I get both?
Me: Yes please!

And today my mom arrived with the suits. G tried them on and delight of delights, they matched up with her existing tan lines quite nicely. And they are covered in sweet, adorable pictures of watermelons and flowers and lemons. Very appropriate for the 6 year old crowd. Best of all, not a speck of glitter in sight.