Thursday, August 28, 2008

Overwhelming

The title sums up my feelings about Kindergarten right now.

Arriving at the school very early this morning, I was ready to take on the world. Nothing would stop me in my quest to be Room Mom again. We were the first there and I was ready to stake my claim.

Let me make a long story very short for you. Kindergarten? She ain't playing around. We're not in Preschool anymore, friends. Upon arrival, we helped Sister find her desk and get settled. By the time I made it to the table housing the sign up sheets (THERE WERE SO MANY OF THEM!), not only was the Room Mom position filled but the Assistant to the Room Mom, Assistant to the Assistant to the Room Mom and Room Mom Thrice Removed were also filled. Once I got over the initial dizziness from the sheer amount of papers before me, I was ready to play hard ball.

In my world? Hard ball = helping with lunch duty two weeks from now bringing Ziploc bags for the class to use (for what, I'm still not sure).

My contributions to this class are clearly going to be astounding.

To be honest, I really did leave there today feeling completely sad and overwhelmed. Totally unlike the other people in my family who couldn't stop talking about the new computers! Super Nice Teacher! and HUGE library, I didn't have a word to say all the way home. As a matter of fact, I've been at a loss for words all day.

Look, it's not like I didn't know this day was coming. I know that after four comes five. After Preschool comes Kindergarten. I get that. It's just that it occurred to me today that the woman standing before me (delivering a peppy power point presentation...alliteration!) is now going to be spending as much time of the day with my daughter as I am. That reality didn't sit well.

Also, people? The sheer amount of paperwork I have to do for this child to attend KINDERGARTEN is frightening.

It's a good thing Sister is so excited about this whole thing or else I'd pretend she was still four for a few more years.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Challenged

I ran into a friend last night who has older kids that go to the elementary school that Sister will be attending. We were catching up about our summer activities and the upcoming school year. I asked if she had any inside information for me as a newbie to this "Mom of an Elementary School Kid" thing.

"Oh yeah. This school has a LOT of parent involvement. Most schools can't get parents to help. This school has more than they need. If you want to be Room Mom, you need to get there early on Open House day and make a mad dash to put your name down for it. Trust me."

I hadn't even considered this. I was Room Mom last year for Sister's preschool class but it hadn't occurred to me that they would need someone to fill that duty for kindergarten.

At first, I was all, "Nah. It's cool. I don't have to do it this year. First come, first served and all that."

Three seconds later I was like, "It's on, people!"

What is wrong with me that suddenly this is a challenge and now I'm setting my clock an hour earlier to get there FIRST to get my name on that list?

You've heard my motto so you shouldn't be surprised.

I kid, I kid.

No, I don't. I'll be up with the sun tomorrow. If Big Daddy and the kids aren't ready in time, I'll gently remind them that we have two cars and I'll save them a seat.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Blah, Blah, Blah

Isn't it annoying cute when you realize that you use a phrase too much because you suddenly hear it being overused by your children?

Brother has really gotten into reading his picture Bible lately and loves to tell us what the stories mean. This would be even cuter if he wasn't calling us into his room at bed time to ask if King Saul would be in Heaven because if so, he doesn't want to go. Because, you know, King Saul was mean to David and threw a spear at him. Brother doesn't want anyone throwing spears at him in Heaven. Makes perfect sense, right?

Brother was "reading" a Bible story to me the other day and he got to a page that he hadn't memorized. He swept his chubby little finger across that page and said, "And...blah, blah, blah." Then, he turned the page and continued on with the story.

I mentioned to J. that I didn't know he learned to properly use that phrase.

The next day, I was reading Sister's acceptance to Kindergarten letter to her. Towards the end, there was a paragraph about numbers to call should you have questions. Since I was sure she wouldn't be interested in that, I continued with a "Blah, blah, blah. We look forward to having you in Kindergarten this year!"

Quite seriously, she turned to me and said, "Huh. I wonder what all that blah, blah, blah part was about?"

Mystery solved.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Organization

I try to be an organized person. Really, I do. But I have to say that I have been the most unorganized person you've ever seen this summer. If I'm being honest, it's been longer than summer.

When Big Daddy got back home in January, I was so thankful not to be the only one in charge that I closed my calendar and declared myself "on a break." I thought I'd take a week or two off of being on top of things and then pull it back together and all would be well. After all, if you have been through a deployment, you know that the only way to survive is to be organized within an inch of your life and I was just tired of that. I needed a break.

Two weeks came and went and my calendar started to collect dust. I totally forgot a dental appointment until the day before it was scheduled when they called to confirm. Mail started to pile up. My motto went from "I'll just take a little break" to "Eh. Who needs a schedule?"

Me, that's who. January was almost eight months ago now and I'm still on that two week break. Last week, I finally got my calendar out and updated it with all of the appointments that we have to get ready for kindergarten (!!) and preschool. I added in a list of school supplies that were needed and for good measure, a detailed grocery list. Yeah, I hadn't used one of those in a while, either.

This weekend, I bought file folders and dug out our filing cabinet. I blew the dust off of my label maker. (You don't have one? How do you survive?)

I have a plan to have my old (as in former, not aged) very well planned self back before tomorrow is done. I need organization. I thrive on it. Sure, I like to have the freedom to be spontaneous but I also hold to the mantra that everything has it's own time and place.

I think it's the end of summer that has me so excited to get myself back in gear. The beginning of the school year just seems like the right time to start fresh. For so many months while Big Daddy was gone, things just worked well. Then, he came home and I rebelled against everything that even reminded me of his deployment...even living in a dust free house with a perfectly labeled calendar and file folder by my side.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Catching Up

Is it just me or has this summer been a doozy? I feel like we have been on a roller coaster around here and after each plunge down the hill, it takes me a while to catch up.

Big Daddy's Grandaddy passed away last week and we headed out to TN for the funeral. He was an amazing man with a huge heart and while we will miss him dearly, we are so thankful that he's no longer suffering here and is now officially Home. While there, we got to spend time with Big Daddy's Grandmother and she is the most precious thing. I'm so blessed to have married someone who still had their Grandparents and to be able to get to spend several years loving them and being loved by them. They were married for 63 years. Wow. Can you even grasp that? That's longer than a lot of Americans live.

Their love was amazing and they loved to talk about it. Grandaddy loved to tell the story of how he met his wife. He saw her and knew instantly that he wanted to marry her. There was one little catch. He had to break up with his girlfriend first. Heh. Sixty three years and he loved her so much that his face still lit when he told the story. I love that.

In other news, we are under two weeks until Sister starts Kindergarten. She's totally ready. She told me today that she's so excited that she doesn't even know if she can wait that long. I'm really excited for her because she is going to rock Kindergarten.

Brother will start preschool the following week so we will have time to adjust to Sister being away all day together. I'm glad I have him and that I won't be adjusting all alone. He's such a snuggler that I have visions of coming home after dropping her off and cuddling on the couch with him until it's time to pick her up. We'll see.

I'm running low on motivation lately for most things that don't involve being outside or getting into organization mode so I may just start pulling out the old blog fill ins: recipes, links and memes. Kidding. Sort of. I do have a couple of recipes to share with you coming up soon, though. One that is totally not healthy but is so good, it would be a crime not to share. Since I try to remain a law abiding citizen, I'll pull it out soon.

By the way, I'm really thinking of checking out Google Reader since so many people say they love it. I've been using Bloglines for a little while and I like it but I'm not wowed by it. This concludes the most random post EVER.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Question

How do you read blogs? Do you have all of your favorites bookmarked and visit their sites each time you want to read? Do you use service that tracks new posts for you like Bloglines or Google Reader? Do you do both...read at Bloglines and then click over to the actual post? I'm just curious as to what ya'll do!

I've only recently started adding more sites to my Bloglines but I realize that I really miss seeing the actual pages of my favorite bloggers. I love looking at everyone's designs and seeing what things you have changed on your pages!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Prankster

My sister reminded me today that I was once the Queen of Pranks. When she said it, my first thought was, "Nuh-uh. Not me. I think your memory fails." With two words, she took me back to the days when I was indeed THE Queen of Pranks. Dead Fish.

When Big Daddy and I were dating, my roommate and I would often sneak around town at night to our friends houses and do things to remind them why they loved us so much. A couple of them were kind crazy enough to get us back and then it was WAR.

One set of our friends, a set of male roommates, were our favorite targets. One night, we went to the supermarket and bought a whole dead fish from the seafood counter. We ran twine through it's mouth and hung it on our friend's radio antenna on his car. He didn't even notice until later in the day when he and some friends were heading out to lunch. He thought it was genius but didn't suspect us.

This was often the case. We would sneak around in the dark hours and no one ever suspected that it was us. This was because we hung out with a group of people that largely consisted of twenty something males who loved this kind of thing so they often suspected each other. Not the sweet little Christian girls who were so loving, kind and helpful. No sirree. We were able to continue our fun in secret for weeks before anyone was ever wise to us. We were caught once by a friend but bought his silence by promising never to do anything to him. Boys, you are so easy.

This even carried on to the eve of my wedding. Big Daddy and all of his buddies were at his apartment having "boys time" before the Big Day. Roomie and I went over, decorated their cars and then skillfully hid our own vehicles because we knew what was to come. They found them and let me tell you that I spent the morning of my wedding at the car wash trying to get the smell and stickiness of whipped cream to just go away. I didn't mind. I guess you could say that back then, pranks were my love language.

Here's a list of pranks that we may have pulled. Of course, if you tell, I will swear that I've never done such things and I'd be appalled at the person who did. Nah, I'd own up to it and have a good laugh at old times.

* Oreos. They aren't just for dunking. Unscrew them, making sure there's some cream on both sides and stick them to the windows of the car. No damage done.

*Forks. Take plastic forks and decorate the lawn with them by sticking the prongs into the grass. Some may make designs with them but I prefer (allegedly) to just place them haphazardly.

*My favorite (allegedly). Get large black trash bags and some tape (preferably duct, of course). Use these items to seal the front door from the outside. It's a nice surprise for the folks when they are running late to work the next morning.

Now, I know I'm bound to get hate mail over this from you non-prankster types. I never harmed anyone's property and I never pranked anyone whom I didn't know beyond the shadow of a doubt would LOVE it. That's why it was mostly the boys because most of the girls I knew wouldn't have thought it was funny. Except my roommate and she rocked.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Goodbye Vacation, Goodbye Friends

Do you hear that? That faint sound of wailing in the distance? Don't worry, it's just me. I'm lamenting the end of our short vacation time and re-entry to the real world.

We came back from the beach on Tuesday and have been going non-stop ever since. My mom and aunt traveled in yesterday to celebrate my birthday with us. We had fun with them and then we headed to meet some friends for a night of bowling and birthday cake! We had fun with that and as we were leaving, I kept feeling like I wasn't ready to leave. I'm not a great bowler so it wasn't that I wanted to go another round. It was something stronger that was tugging at my heart.

One of the families that we love so much are moving to Texas. We thought this would be our last gathering with them (I think we will try to squeeze in another.) This is another of my sweet Coffee Girls moving away and I'm just not ready. I'm protesting this move. I'm throwing a simultaneous pity party and tantrum show down...wanna come? I just said goodbye to one who is almost on her way to Japan. I just don't want to do this. It's so hard saying goodbye to people that I love so dearly.

Dang it 30's, what have you done to me? I used to be so good at this. We'd say goodbye to friends when one or the other of us was moving and I'd never cry. I'm just not a sappy kind of girl. I'd keep a stiff upper lip and promise to stay in touch and remain BFF's forever all the while looking forward to our next adventure. This time is so, so different. This time I mean it. I do want to stay in touch and be BFF's forever. I don't want their kids to grow up without me there to see what amazing people they will become.

My kids are even sad about this. Two weeks ago when we were over saying goodbye to Kim, who is moving to Japan, Brother walked in to chat with one of the movers loading her furniture. He sweetly asked if he could just move her stuff to the house next to ours. That way, we could be close to her forever.

On the way from visiting with them again today, Sister saw my tears and said, "Mom, when Miss Kim left you were crying and today you are crying again. You are really going to miss your friends, right?" I couldn't even answer her. The truth is that I will miss them more than I even realize.

I love these girls. Love them. I love their kids. I even got to witness the birth of one of them. I love that my kids love them and feel loved by them. I love that all of our husbands love each other. That's a lot of love, ya'll.

Today, I just love. I love and I ache. I really believe that we will be friends with these families forever. But it still hurts to say goodbye, knowing that they are no longer a cup of coffee away.

Monday, August 4, 2008

We Wear Short Shorts

Today, while I'm away sitting on the beach sipping fruity drinks, I have asked my good friend Amy of Wake Me When It's Over fame to come over and make the place spiffy for you all. She's funny, smart and beautiful. She's also one of my favorite girls ever. EVER. So, welcome her and show her some love.


I can't even begin to tell you how excited, honored and somewhat terrified I felt when Heather asked be to guest blog here. Seriously. She has a way of pulling us all in and I wasn't sure if I could live up to that. So I almost ran off and hid. But then I figured if Heather has enough faith in me to ask me to grace her blog as a guest poster then I better darn well jump at the chance. And then I had to come up with a topic. And at first I thought I'd go on and on about how great Heather is. That she's one of those people. You know. The kind where you think back to all the people you've known in your life and she sticks out. The kind that makes you say dang I was lucky to have met her. But then I realized you already knew that. And who wants to read about something they already know?

So I guess it's a good thing we went to the mall today. I found something I just couldn't bare to keep to myself!

Today Hubs and I took Captain Crazy Pants to the mall so he could burn off a little energy. His brothers are out of town vacationing with my parents so he's been a little bored without his playmates around. So we're sitting in the play area and out of no where Hubs blurts out "How do parents let their kids leave the house dressed like that"? I'm expecting a teen in emo garb to be walking by. You know the type, all black clothes, baggy, dark and dark make up. He's a little anti emo but I think he'll get a wake up call in 10 years or so. Anyway. When I look up I'm greeted by a couple of cheeks. And even though we were in the play area they weren't Cute and Rosy. Nope instead the gaggle of teenage girls walking by all have their rears hanging out of their short shorts. And we won't even get into the barely there tops. C'mon. I spend my days teaching my boy s about decency and how certain parts of the body aren't meant for show and tell and a measly trip to the mall totally contradicts me?! These girls shorts were so short in another inch their hoo haa's would have been showing. I thought for sure it was just this one group of girls, but as we strolled the mall we realized almost every teen girl in the mall had teeny tiny super tight shorts on. Now if this was my daughter she'd be grounded for a month for walking around with her unmentionables hanging out. But apparently that is the norm now. How did this happen? How did it become acceptable for young girls to flaunt their bodies like this?

All in all it was kind of ironic. A few days ago hubs and I were talking about how good some chicken wings from Hooters sounded. But neither of us was comfortable taking the boys there. And low and behold! The local mall was just crawling with Hooter's girls wannabes.

Sometimes you just can't win.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Saturday, Saturday

This past week was the busiest and craziest we've had in a long time. We had swimming lessons every day and then VBS every night. Every night found us arriving home around 9:45 and rushing the kids to bed since it was an hour and half past bed time. Despite not having a chance to catch my breath, it was a fun week and both kids loved every second of both of the activities that kept us busy.

I've told you before that I'm a Slacker Mom so this week was an unusual one for us. We usually limit the kids to one activity at a time and we like to spend the summers relaxing and just enjoying each other. Since we were already going against the flow, we decided to add a little more fun to our week.

We've lived here for over two years and have never visited the major theme park less than 20 miles away. All of our friends have season passes and rave about it but we haven't made the time to go. Something about two preschoolers in a crowded theme park in the dead heat of summer standing in line with the unwashed masses for a chance to ride a 45 second ride just didn't appeal to me. Call me an optimist.

We decided to give it a try yesterday and it wasn't that bad. Actually, it was really fun! The kids had a blast and Sister asked if we could move even closer so we could come there every day.

Today rolled around and I'm beat. My sweet husband let me sleep in while he took the kids to an appointment that we nearly forgot about. I'm actually blogging, with a nice large cup of coffee in hand and watching my idol, Paula Deen....all alone. In a quiet house. After sleeping in two hours past my usual wake up time. Oh Saturday, you have not disappointed.

Even better, we are heading out of town tomorrow for a couple of days in my favorite place, the Outer Banks. I'm thinking the busy week was worth it.