Friday, May 31, 2013

The end of the school year post


This was my first year being the mom of a real student. Pre-K didn’t count. No offense anyone who thinks it does. It doesn’t. I’ll give ya a minute to let that sink in. Hurts? Stings a little? Sorry. But nothing about Pre-K can be compared to the work involved of being a mom to a student. Teachers are amazing and I won’t argue that. They’re stuck in a room with 20 sticky, boogery, nosey, inquisitive, know-it-all kids all day long and as far as I know no one gets smacked. Their tolerance is light years more advanced than mine will ever be. But parents are basically Teacher’s aides without a paycheck. We run the errands and buy the crap for your clever class projects and fun activities. We help with the homework, the reading lists, the projects, the bake sales, the field days and the box tops. We’re tired too!

With approximately 30 hours left of the school year (yes I did the math) the expectations of the parents should be minimal if not, non-existent. But the schools and teachers are still sending stuff home. Are you crazy? I think they hate us. 

This time of year I shouldn’t have to look in her dumb daily folder. But Kylee has decided to wait until the end of year to misbehave and act like an untrained zoo animal. She gets her folder signed more in one week than the entire academic school year! 
 
We are all at the end of our proverbial ropes just hanging on until we can throw the kids in the pool until the end of August when it starts all over again. Last week, on Sunday night Kylee tells me at 7:30pm that she needs a costume for a play she was in the next day. I look at her like this:

While simultaneously trying to remember; do I know of a play? Is there a play on my calendar? Was I told about a play? Was there something about this play in her folder but I missed because I haven’t been checking her folder for at least 3 weeks? Did I drop the ball? Crap!

In efforts to preserve my mother pride, I say to her, “Your play” Kinda like a half question half statement. This alludes that I know about her play but I need a slight reminder of the details.
To which she replies with a very annoyed demeanor, “YES MY PLAAAAAAAAY!”
Oh that play?! Right. What kind of costume do you need and why the French toast are you just now telling me this? 

She says to me, “I need a middle sized Billy goat gruff costume.” I immediately think, where’s my bottle Riesling what the hop scotch is a Billy goat gruff?  Does Target have those? Maybe Wal-Mart?? Wait! My bra is already off, it’s 7:30pm and it’s not October. No one will have costumes and I’m not leaving this house. Even if I knew about the play I was never informed there would be costumes involved so I didn’t drop the ball, Kylee did. Boom! Winning! 

Life lesson opportunity presents itself and I hate to waste those. We did not get a costume. 

Her awards day was yesterday. As she received award after award I began thinking that parents are the real heroes and should get awards too! Not trying to steal her thunder or anything but I played a significant role in the awards she received. 

Certificate of Achievement for excellent I-Station skills. This is an award for her skills on the computer. I would like to receive an award for allowing her to use our Iphones and Ipad on a non-stop basis which probably laid the foundation to her knowledge with the computer in the first place.

Math Award. She made a perfect score on the state test!! She collects money like some kids collect rocks. Every time we go to the store she asks how much she would have left if she spent this much? If you pay for half and I pay for half, it will be this much. How much longer until dinner? I have 10 minutes left in time out? How many more days until Friday? Can I have two more pieces? We are always demonstrating and talking about math. I hate math so for me this is daily torture but it has obviously paid off for her! 

Reading Award: AHEM!!! Have you ever sat with a child learning how to read? Sounding out each word, telling them that the W and E are silent. Then explaining why the W and E are silent? (No one really knows that) Try it sometime. But do it when you have a billion other things on your nightly TO DO list and haven’t started any of them. Hand over my award peeps! Ironically, when they finally know how to read without any assistance from you is when their love for X-box and Wii will hit new levels of fascination and won’t pick up anything in the form of a book. Ever. 

Golden Apple Award: I honestly don’t know the meaning of this award but I have a feeling it has to do with the amount of apples Kylee insisted we buy so that she can bring them to her teacher. Probably a peace offering for her bad behavior the day before. She has a black belt in redeeming herself and sucking up. But I bought the apples!

Homework Award: Wait, Seriously? Was it optional? I was under the impression that Homework was mandatory deal. She gets an award for completing it? I think we are teaching our children to expect medals of honor and purple hearts for doing what’s already expected of them. The other night when I told the kids to go put up their laundry that I folded they asked me what they get for doing it?! I refrained from back handing them into the 1990’s. But in efforts not to get on my soap box, I will say that my never ending nagging had a little something to do with the completion of those homework books! Oh and someone had to read the directions and supervise the cutting and gluing of farm animals to their appropriate homes. Right here… You can put that award right here in my hand, thank you!

Handwriting: Let’s just say, someone had to buy her those thousands of the sparkle covered Mead notebooks and countless Bic pens that always end up in the back of my car. Who has two thumbs and a twitching eye that always answered the “how do you spell _____ questions…. Me. That’s who! 

Academic Excellence for Sight Words: Someone had to hold the cards up for her. 

Attendance: Really? Where’s the award for the parents who spend 30 minutes trying to peel them out of bed only to be greeted with bad mood, dragon breath little people unwilling to dress themselves because they’re so tiiiired. Bravo for coming to school! Again, was that optional?  

So to all the parents who read my blog, here is your official Certificate of Achievement Award


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The poolside experience....with kids...


Its here its here its here! Summer in Texas is here! Forget about spending time at the parks, the zoo, and the outdoor anything. The Texas heat has come and laid its wrath on the metal slide and monkey bars. Outdoor activities officially require a sweat rag to wipe your dripping wet, make-up melted face with. It’s miserable and it’s only the beginning. Sarcastic cheer, Yay!!!

We took the kids to the pool this past weekend. It’s the only bearable place to go in the summer time. It was the first dip of the season so we hit the DG to get supplies.  (Dollar General – Kurt’s most favorite place on earth. The Dollar General is to Kurt what Target is to women) Goggles, noodles, diving toys and sun screen. A quick $40 later we were ready for the water activities to begin.  

When you take kids to the pool, what should happen is you arrive, find a place for your stuff, hook up the speakers to your Iphone, and kids scatter like roaches when the light comes on. Your only job should be to keep an eye on your young to make sure they aren’t drowning while simultaneously saturating yourself in Banana Boat Tanning oil. Getting in should be optional but not mandatory. But your little lovelies have a very different idea of your pool side experience. Here are a few things your children expect of you this summer. 

Green Belt Goggle Master: Goggles might as well be a rubix cube. Whoever assembles these must have a personal vendetta against parents and design them in such a way you need your masters from MIT to understand them. Forget reclining in your chair and listening to Mumford. Your kids will need you to adjust their goggles approximately 779 times in a 2 hour span. Multiply that by the number of kids in your procession. It’s complete insanity. They are always too tight, too lose or straight up missing. And rest assured, if you have different colors or styles of goggles, there will be a battle every 15 minutes over who gets to wear the green ones next. Same thing goes for noodles or floaties. Do  yourself a favor and buy everything in the same color and style.

Sunscreen – Kids have no concept of skin cancer or sun burns. Applying sunscreen to one kid can be a challenge as they wiggle and squirm away like you’re putting Icy Hot in their eyes. But putting sunscreen on multiple kids is like herding kittens. You catch one and the other two scamper away.  You get one arm covered and they’re convinced that’s enough, I’m done, let me go!  We discovered it’s much easier to apply the death cream before you leave the house. That piece of advice is free!

The Go-fer – It’s inevitable that whatever ball, Frisbee or toy you bring to throw around at the pool will eventually end up over by the fence, multiple feet away from where you’re sitting. And since you’re only relaxing everyone deems you to be their GO-FER.  And it doesn’t really matter how often you skip go to the gym to get ready for your summer body. Certain places still giggle and the last thing you want to do is expose the giggly areas to the entire pool community by running and bending over the bushes to get there friggin ball!!! Sunbathing is not recognized to children as an activity so just assume that you will be their personal retriever for the day. It blows. 

Lifeguard – At an apartment pool you have to be the lifeguard. Also at a public pool, you still have to be the lifeguard since the 16 year old kid with the whistle believes she’s getting paid $9.25 an hour to sunbathe. No matter where you choose to swim, count on yelling NO RUNNING 3 times every 5 minutes. Also count on being ignored 3 times every 5 minutes until one of them inevitably falls on their tail bone. Then you get to say those famous words every parent longs to say, “Told ya so!”

Swim Partner – Swim with me! Swim with me! Swim with me! What this means is they wanna hang on your back like a baby orangutan while you swim from one side to the other. As they crawl all over you like the fun house at McDonalds their feet will end up in your bottoms and your top will come undone and your strategically placed hair bun will get all jumbled up. Fun for them, work for you. When you get out of the pool it will look like you just got mugged by masked men in a QT wearing a bikini. Whenever you take your kids to the park, a playdate or the pool, that place should become the informal babysitter. You shouldn’t have to entertain them when there are swings, slides, jungle gyms, other kids and a body of water to jump into. Right? 

That’s it for now. Surely the kids have more plans for me this summer at the pool. What is your summer experience like poolside with kids?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The pee doesn't fall far


Now I know the content of this post has probably been written before by other mommy bloggers. Truth be told, probably written better than this one. But it wouldn’t be write (pun intended) to write about the everyday dealings of being a mom without openly discussing the public enemy to all mothers.

Public Restrooms… DAH-DAH-DAAAAAAH!

It’s bound to happen. Sometimes kids have to pee and poo when you aren’t at home. Partly because children have a super heightened spidey sense on when the perfectly WRONG time to have to use the bathroom is.  You can insist they use the restroom before you leave, sure. But in the comfort and sanitized confines of your home their tiny bladders appear to be the size of an igloo cooler and can house not only the 3 Capri Suns they chugged down fraternity style but also some of your Route 44 Cherry Limeade. Chances are you have been herding cats for the last hour and are just thankful they actually have their shoes on after asking them 3 times. Instead of being 10 minutes late you’re only 5 minutes late and so when they maintain their stance that they don’t have to pee you cowardly choose to believe them.  Knowing if you press the issue and MAKE them go your 5 minute tardiness will surely turn into 10 minutes. 

In the deepest parts of your soul you know your kid is going to have to go the second you get on the highway or as soon as they see a gas station. But you shrug it off as a learning opportunity for the kids and fail to remember that over half of kid’s learning opportunities will directly inconvenience YOU! 

The problem with public restrooms is that they are open to the disgusting public to defecate on.  Also, kids don’t tend to care about, worry about or even acknowledge the existence of germs. I would personally like to dress myself and kids in a chemical hazmat suit before entering any public restroom but since that’s not a logical option I go with the standard mother freak out strategy. This usually consists of me irrationally yelling DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING! WAIT! Then I begin to sanitize as many surfaces as possible before my kids unmindfully begin to caress them all. They drop their pants to the floor, essentially sweeping the pee splattered ground with their Garanimal ensemble. Then in the most care free fashion they climb onto the toilet maintaining their balance by placing both hands fully on the seat where approximately 927 others have sat their bare-ass that week. I shiver at the filth they are embracing and instruct them to please keep their hands in their laps. Insisting that they will fall in if they don’t hold onto something they try to maintain their balance by griping the toilet paper dispenser and handicap railing. In my mind, everything within the borders of a public stall is covered in microscopic doo doo bugs. When they are finished they inch their way off the seat, all the while scraping every germ imaginable off the seat and onto their butt-cheeks. 

Boys and girls are different in a restroom. Even though boys can stand up and effectively discard their urine without touching anything, little boys haven’t discovered the value of a clean weiner yet. Since Logan isn’t tall enough to use a standard size toilet standing up but is adamant about his “big boy” status he refuses to sit down and do it. What usually ends up happening is he rises to his tippy toes as high as he can and disgustingly places, uh, himself on the middle rim section of the seat. That 2 ½ inch section is probably the filthiest place in the entire world. Where all the left over droplets of pee land.  I cringe. If anyone is in the restroom with us this is typically what they hear: Hold it buddy. Don't lay it down. Lift it up. Don't touch that. Hurry.

I’m still don't understand why women's restrooms have a diaper changing station but no teeny tiny urinals for the mothers with teeny tiny boys. That would improve my hatred for public restrooms a little bit.

To top it all off, when the kids are done lathering themselves in fecal matter they joyfully skip out of the restroom completely passing up my favorite part of the entire experience, WASHING YOUR HANDS! Then I carry on with the second half of the mother freak out strategy which consists of me dousing them in Purell. 



Monday, May 13, 2013

My Mother's day


Yesterday was Mother’s day. It’s such a special day because the world is obligated to recognize your efforts, sacrifices, and stresses. It goes without saying that recognition is not to be expected on a daily basis. If the dishes get done, laundry ends up in drawers, food is cooked, folders are signed, project supplies are bought; generally these things are not noticed by anyone in the household. We look forward to Mother’s day probably more than Valentine’s day. Or at least I know I do. So with that being said, I hope everyone received the recognition they deserve everyday because being a mom is some tricky stuff. It’s not easy, it’s not always fun, it’s an uphill battle, and it’s not often someone says, “thank you for all you do” or “thank you for wiping me” or “thank you for remembering everything I forgot” or just “thank you!” To all the mommy readers, THANK YOU for sacrificing your sanity, your privacy in the bathroom, your shoulder muscles, your manis and pedis, your free time, your down time and your in between time to raise your children. You simply rock! 

Kylee is learning to read and write. She speaks faster than her brain can keep up. She has so many thoughts and ideas running around in her brain that she often tries to make books out of them. She can’t fully read and write on her own yet so there’s a lot of “moooom how do you spell _____?” So with the help of her daddy and her mimi, she made me a book for mother’s day. I’m not sure how long a dead lady bug will last taped to a decaying leaf, but I have every intention of finding out. 

Here is Kylee’s book:
A Story About Kaitlin:
By: Kylee & Logan & Daddy & Mimi

This is a Lady bug on a leaf


There once was a ladybug named Kaitlin, she was walking on the concrete at Mimi’s house when Kylee picked her up and taped her to a journal.

Kaitlin was a fast ladybug. She was almost too fast. But luckily Kylee was blessed with her athleticism and speed and was not too fast for Kylee to catch.

Kaitlin’s mommy was sad when Kaitlin didn’t come home that night. She looked at the school but Kaitlin wasn’t there. She looked at the park but she wasn’t there either. She called all her friends but Kaitlin could not be found.

Kaitlin was a crazy bug. She flew into walls and windows. She was like a Jakob bug. Kaitlin and Kylee were best friends.

The End

Editor’s note: In an adult’s mind this is a scary story about the abduction and murder of an innocent lady bug taking a walk at the wrong place and the wrong time. But in the mind of a creative 6 year old this is a compelling story about her best friend. Kaitlin. The dead Ladybug. That she killed. By taping it to a leaf. Jakob is her uncle, not to be confused with the June bug she purposely stepped on last week. Equally disturbing, I admit. We in no way condone the abduction, murder or torture of ladybugs or any other bugs besides spiders. And roaches. And centipedes. And June bugs, actually. But we love rolly pollys. And kittens. Please don’t call PETA!

Happy Mother’s day! Next year I’m asking for perfume.

Friday, May 3, 2013

The wedding planning side tracked me from the other post I was writing about.... So here's this one instead.


It’s been about a week since my last entry. I started this other entry about something completely different but I haven’t finished it yet. I got side tracked with wedding stuff. Lately that’s all I am distracted with. I get started on one thing completely un-related to holy matrimony and out of nowhere BAM! Did you order this yet? Did that arrive yet? Have you reserved those yet? No, No, No… better do that! Drop everything and do it now! 

Did you know that life doesn’t stop, yield or even give a crap if you’re trying to organize and plan a function for 170 people? Life just keeps on doing what life does. What does that even mean?
 
Kylee’s softball season is winding down with only a couple games left. I’m semi-thrilled about this because it means no more rushing to practice right after work and quick, completely non-nutritious meals on the fly twice a week. This was her first season and I am so excited about her natural ability to catch, throw and use a bat. Skill sets I lack in the greatest capacity. Thank goodness Kurt has a green thumb for sports and can practice with her. Green thumb for sports? Wha? That makes sense, I’m leaving it in. 

Logan was the unlucky recipient of strep throat recently. Compliments of his big sister. Note to self: Next time one of the kids has a contagious virus, don’t tell them they can’t kiss or share drinks. Telling them not to do something only increases their desire to defy me by smooching each other non-stop and sharing everything. After a week of antibiotics the sharing and kissing will cease and squabbles will commence as usual. 

Something about having a sick kids causes laundry to multiple like New York City sewer rats. And you can’t really catch up. We keep wearing clothes everyday (it’s a law). But if you aren’t washing, drying, folding or putting away the same amount that you’re wearing, there will always be a laundry deficit. 

I had to take my wedding dress in for alterations. Apparently ordering a dress to your specific measurements doesn’t guarantee that you won’t need to snip and tuck a few areas here and there. Silly me for thinking the term “tailor made” meant specifically to my measurements when it clearly meant, kinda fits your shape.
My dieting and shrinking bridesmaids have not bought their dresses yet and the groomsmen have not rented their suits. Our bridal party is gonna show up in blue jean overalls and squirts. 

Planning a wedding makes me overly sensitive to everything. I’m on the edge of an emotional cliff and the weirdest things send me over. (like bridal parties not ordering their crap!) Poor Kurt doesn’t know if I’m coming or going. He just knows to clear the path for me and to be there waiting after my episodes to hold me and say It’s okay babe, you’re doing great!  

We have 50 days (and counting) until we are married. Merging two lives, two homes, two schedules, two incomes, two bank accounts, two insurance policies and three kids has its obstacles. There are phone calls to be made, faxes to be sent, deposits to be paid and documents to be signed. It’s a lot of work. I almost don’t know what I will do with myself after June 22. Enjoy my husband and our kids probably with a big glass of wine.
 
I kinda understand the idea of eloping now.