Thursday, October 30, 2008

My Mama Said

I’m not sure I can ever face Brother’s teacher again.

Last week, Brother came home and told me that one of the Parent Helpers at school had thrown away his napkin at lunch because he got yogurt all over it. Bid deal, right?

Well, yes. Yes, it is.

Because this wasn’t a super absorbent Bounty we’re talking about here. It was a Fabkin. In an effort to be more green this year, I spent a ridiculous amount of money on the cutest ever little cloth napkins for the kids lunch boxes. Last week, someone tossed one in the trash because it had yogurt on it.

I’ll admit that when he told me, I probably had a look of horror shock on my face. I may or may not have said, “She did what? Didn’t she realize that it was made of cloth? Didn’t she realize that I spent your college money on those napkins and they were supposed to be passed down one day to your own son? Why? WHY? WHY?”

Then, I composed myself and shrugged it off. No big deal. It’s just a napkin. JUST A NAPKIN.

I forgot all about it until he came home from school Tuesday. As I buckled him in, he said, “Oh, Mom. Mrs. B got my napkin back for you.”

“What do you mean, bud?”

“I told Mrs. B that you said she better get my napkin back out of that trash can.”

Feeling sheepish, I tried to backtrack. “Brother, I didn’t say that! It was no big deal, really.”

“Mom, YOU SAID. So, I told Mrs. B that you were mad and that you said she needed to get my napkin out of that trash can.”

Mrs. B is the sweetest lady and the best preschool teacher. I’m not just saying that because I feel like a huge jerk. She really is. I am so embarrassed that she now thinks I commanded her to dig through four days worth of trash to find a measly napkin. I’m hoping she’s forgotten all about it before we have our parent’s conference with her next week.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sick and Tired

It took longer than I thought but we have finally caught the "kids are back in school and sharing germs with a million other kids" bug. Sister and Brother started this whole thing with stuffy noses. (If they were older, I'd ground them.) Sister then progressed into a mild cough that mostly only showed up at night.

No big deal, right?

WRONG. Because, you see, I don't go to school every day and build up an immune system that rivals Fort Knox so when this bug got passed to me, it mutated and took over my entire being.

I started with the stuffy nose and that wasn't a big deal. Until last night when stuffy nose turned into body aches and a head that weighs 134 lbs. and throbs. (Props to Big Daddy who let me go to bed immediately after his special Birthday Dinner and took care of the dishes. ON HIS BIRTHDAY. What a guy.)

So, yeah. I'm sick. Normally, it's not a huge deal but I don't like to be normal. I like to do things just a little over the top. So, I decided to get sick on my husband's birthday and the night before the BIG, HUGE first kindergarten field trip which I was scheduled to chaperone. Sister was so excited about this trip. Not as much because of the destination (Pumpkin/Apple picking at a farm) but more because she was going to get to ride on a school bus for the first time. This is huge, folks. HUGE.

I woke up this morning and knew that going wasn't a good idea. First, I don't think the teacher would like it if I asked her to please help me carry my super heavy noggin while taking care of a gaggle of kindergartners. Second, I'm sure she'd love me for bringing the sick back to whence it came and let it spread through the class...Again.

Big Daddy stepped up, cleared his schedule and chaperoned the trip in my place. He promised to take plenty of pictures for me and to document the bus ride in great detail. I am feeling extremely mildly guilty about missing this but he's getting to experience it and he usually has to miss things like this so it's all good. Except that when he called to tell me they were on the road, I hung up the phone and cried like a baby.

Don't worry about me, though. Brother is here and taking good care of me. We're keeping company with Playhouse Disney and every 15 minutes, he leans over to kiss me. Then he asks, "Where's the bermomater? I need to take your fever."

Yes, friends, I am being well taken care of.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Who Me?

I think I've mentioned my love for Sharon of Mom Generations a time or twenty. I may even refer to her as my "really good friend" to my husband occasionally. Well, guess what? She loves me, too! How do I know? She gave me an award, that's how!



Thank you so much, Sharon. You are so kind. One of these days we are going to get together over coffee and laugh 'til we pee our pants. I'm sure of it.
I need to pass this on to seven of my favorite bloggers and I'm more than happy to do it. I have so many favorites that it's hard to narrow it down but these ladies are among the first I check when it's time to read blogs.
Andrea of Sgt. & Mrs Hub
The most hilarious, Maternal Mirth
Two friends in Real Life, Amy of Wake Me When It's Over and Kim of News from The Fredricks
Kat from Just A Beach Kat
Christy from After A Cup of Coffee....or Two
Crystal from My Longest Year
That was hard! I love all of you guys who read here and I try to read all of the blogs of folks who comment here. If you haven't commented before, let me know you are out there and I'll check out your blog!
Here's the rules for those I've tagged:
1) Add the logo of the award to your blog.
2) Add a link to the person who awarded it to you.
3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4) Add links to those blogs on your blog.
5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs!
Easy peasy!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

My Dad...Fashion Icon?

My Dad is a good sport. He has four children who see to it that he remains humble and has a healthy sense of humor. In other words, we tease him relentlessly.

One of the things that we have always given Diddy a hard time about are his fashion choices. I use the term fashion very loosely.

By the way, Diddy is the way he says that I pronounce his name...I have no idea what he's talking about. Maybe his hearing is dwindling in his old age.

Back to my story. I think my ability to stay on track is dwindling in my old age.

In the past, Diddy has gone through phases in his shoe choices. When we were young, he was often in boots. These days, he's most often in tennis shoes. The period of time in between found Diddy in a particular style of shoe and he would wear them, no matter the time of year.


Boat shoes. No, he does not live or work on a boat. He doesn't even own a boat. We teased him about his boat shoes but he was not phased. He swore that these were the shoes to beat all others. They went easily from season to season. Summer time rolls around and these shoes are perfect because you don't need a sock. Winter comes and Wah-La! Just add socks and you are all set. If you are feeling the need to be less casual in the summer time, you would just add a dress sock with your boat shoes and it was still perfectly acceptable to wear shorts.

I think you can see why we tease.

This morning, the youth group led the service at our church. As I sat and listened to the thirty or so teenagers on stage leading worship with their beautiful voices and instruments, I was startled.

Over half of the kids on stage were wearing boat shoes! Apparently they are finally considered a trend among the young and hip. (Take note, Diddy. I said young. And hip. Not old and about to break a hip. I kid, I kid. My Diddy is young and hip! When compared to those in the nursing home.)

There were people wearing them with jeans, with shorts and with skirts. Most of them were girls, which I'll be sure to point out to Diddy when I tell this story.

I'm sure he'll appreciate it.

I had no idea that boat shoes were the thing now. You can add these to my list of things I never expected to make a come back.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

An Open Letter to Parents Magazine

Dear Parents Magazine,

We've been together for so long. I first met you when I was pregnant with my first child and now, almost six years later, my subscription has never lapsed. You make it so easy with your Super! Deals! that give me three years of you for an irresistible price.

I'm sorry to say that I might be breaking up with you.

Before you start trying to entice me by throwing in a free year of Family Circle, hear me out.

First, I realized recently that most of my parental paranoia has come from your "It Happened To Me" articles. (In fairness, it's either you or the What to Expect series but I'll deal with them later.) When my daughter was very young and you ran the story of the baby who got a hair wrapped around her toe and it almost had to be amputated, I didn't let my daughter on the floor for a month without vacuuming first and then running a lint brush over the carpet. This month's story about the baby's car seat not getting strapped back in after a trip to the car wash was almost too much.

I could just skip that section, of course. But, there would always be articles lurking in the shadows telling me the next big thing that will either make my child a real live Baby Einstein or send him straight to Preschool Drop-Out.

I've also noticed recently that there is an abundance of thick, several page long ads scattered throughout your magazine. I understand that you have to pay the bills, what with the SUPER! DEALS! I'm getting and all that but these things annoy me and make it difficult to flip through the magazine to find the article I need to show my pediatrician husband about how we can save our child's life through better housekeeping.

Also? This is taking things a bit too far, don't you think?




I mean, seriously. Dressing my family up like a BLT? Besides, no matter how cute clever ridiculous this costume is, I am one kid short of a BLT.

So, Parents, you're on notice. Now that my kids are older, I can stop obsessing over the "It Happened To Me" section and I can have another kid to add the tomato to my BLT but if you don't do something about the insane amount of ads in your magazine, I just might have to cut out early on my 42 year subscription.

Not Jumping Ship Yet,
Heather

Monday, October 13, 2008

Business Meeting

So, let's get some random things out there, shall we?

*I FINALLY updated my other blog. Yes, I know. I've been seriously slacking over there and I repent. I do have some new things to share in the "Going Green" department though, so head over and check it out. I promised at least three posts this week. Two already up. See, I'm repentant! If there is something you'd like to read about over there, please let me know! And, yes, I promise I'm actually doing what I wrote about today. It's not as disgusting as it sounds, I promise.

*I'm writing over at Inspired Bliss, the Christian channel of Blissfully Domestic now! If you aren't reading Blissfully Domestic, I highly recommend checking it out. It's an online magazine for women and there are some fabulous writers there telling you all about anything you may want to know. From recipes to budgets, decorating to photography...it's all there! My devotions will be posted there every Wednesday and I beg encourage you to check it out! Again, if you have a topic you'd like to read, please let me know! Click here, here and here to see the ones I've already written.

*Remember my jeans dilemma? Alert the media! I found jeans that I love. If you are a girl with hips and junk in your trunk, go to Ann Taylor Loft and get their Original Bootcut jeans. You won't be sorry.

Speaking of jeans, I'm going to leave you with this little tribute to my new jeans, which are most definitely NOT mom jeans.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Funeral Procession

I grew up in the South, deep in the heart of eastern North Carolina. There were certain customs that we had there that I always assumed were practiced everywhere. When I moved out of NC and proceeded to move around the country as an adult, I realized that this wasn’t the case.

One of the things that I made an assumption about was the proper behavior when you encounter a funeral procession as you drive. Where I’m from, if you are driving along and a funeral procession is coming, you pull over to the shoulder and allow them to pass. (Even if you are on the opposite side of the road.) You do not, under any circumstance, try to drive again until the entire procession has ended. If you were of my grandparent’s generation, you may even get out of your car and stand next to it (if you were a man, removing your cap and placing it over your heart) until they passed. This shows respect for the family and friends of the person who has passed away.

Apparently, this is not common practice everywhere.

Where we currently live, I have been frustrated time and again by people just blowing right by as funeral processions are passing. Several months ago, I was sitting at a stop light, preparing to turn left. Coming from the opposite direction, the familiar police escort, headlights on and hazard lights flashing were coming to turn left in front of us. When my light turned green, the cars in front of me couldn’t turn because the funeral procession didn't have to obey the signal and continued to turn in front of us. A couple of the cars sitting at my light actually blew their horns in frustration of having to wait. I was furious. In their defense, they could have not realized what was going on and then felt like a complete jerk afterwards. I hope that was the case.

In the past two days, I’ve encountered two processions on my way to someplace where I couldn’t be late. One of those was for a fallen firefighter…I knew this because of the two fire trucks in the procession. Of course, I stopped. At the one for the fallen hero, the Jeep behind me stopped as well and actually turned on his hazard lights. The car behind him seemed furious. He continued to inch forward, trying to get the Jeep to move on. The Jeep would not be swayed by this bully. So, the bully tried to pass him. At this point, the man driving the Jeep put his hand out of his window to plead with the car to stop and show respect. He continued to try to inch around the Jeep.

Big Daddy and I were watching this happen. Seconds before this, I had gotten a little emotional as I was watching people drive as they cried for their loved one who was lost. Call me moody but I went from teary eyed to angry in a matter of seconds.

Where’s the respect, folks?

Big Daddy says that perhaps the other vehicle subscribed to the thought that you only have to wait for the family car and hearse to pass before you go. He’s much more generous than I am because I was thinking something entirely different.

How is this handled where you live? Am I nuts to expect people in today’s busy society to stop and show a little respect?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Siblings

This past weekend, we traveled to NC to visit my family. We hadn't been there since early June when my newest nephew was born and I was SO ready to see them.

I had only one goal for this trip. I wanted to be able to spend time with my siblings all together, just to catch up. On the evening that we arrived, my Brother's soon to be father in law passed away and at that point, I was pretty sure our gathering would not include my Brother since he'd want to be with his fiance. In the end, we were able to work it out and I'm so thankful that it did.

I'm the oldest of four in our family. Growing up, there was almost six years between myself and my younger sisters (they are twins). I was almost nine when my brother came along. That's a pretty large age difference to kids so I was into completely different things since I was so much older. As adults, I am the only one who doesn't live in the same town with my parents, the town where we all grew up. Again, this could make things sticky in sibling relationships but somehow, we have made it past the years and miles to be completely supportive and loving with each other.

As we sat together having coffee this weekend, I felt such contentment being with them. I studied each of their faces as we talked and I was flooded with memories. I haven't been able to spend much time with my brother for the past year and I've missed him so much. I watched him talk and laugh and the reality that he is now a man hit me. When I married, he was almost fourteen and still in middle school. I think I've tried for almost nine years to keep him there and he's now a grown man with responsibilities and facial hair.

The three people at that table with me on Sunday know me better than anyone except for Big Daddy. They have seen me at my best and at my worst. They've loved me through both. I count on them to be honest with me, even if it isn't pretty. In the past year, there have been a few times when family issues have come up and you know what? We've rallied and become one heck of a team through it. We've been through things together that could have ripped us apart as a family but instead, they made us closer. My sister said something this weekend as we left Starbucks that stuck in my heart and will be my prayer for my own children.

She said, "No matter what we were going through or how hard things got when we were growing up, I always knew it would be fine because we had each other."

I needed to hear that reminder at that moment. As adults, we have our own families, we get busy and life gets in the way but I needed to be reminded that it's worth it to make the effort to remain close. For me, that means more trips out of state (or country depending on where we live next) and more phone calls, cards and emails. It's so worth it.