Thursday, April 30, 2009

One day at a time

I'm heading to the big PTA conference in San Jose this weekend. (What happens at PTA Convention stays at PTA Convention, people...)

I have been writing out my schedule so my husband can follow it for ONE day:

6:50 a.m. wake up kids. Use all the negotiating skills you have to get them out of bed.

7:20 a.m. leave to take Jack to school. He needs lunch, water, homework and his glasses.

10 a.m. leave to take Neil to school. He needs to wear red, white and blue. He needs his homework folder. He needs to have the turtle book (make sure you read it again before you go). He needs lunch, backpack and the photos for the end-of-the-year project.

2:15 p.m. -- Both boys get out of school. If you want to walk in to pick them up, you need to park before 2 p.m. otherwise you might as well walk from home.

4:30 p.m. -- Jack has batting practice.

Dean's lucky. There's only one practice. There are no play dates. No other kids to drop off at their homes, etc.

He doesn't have to do the things I do on this day because it is my LIGHT day: laundry, clean the bathrooms, shop for groceries, prepare a team snack, work in two classrooms, handle any PTA or church commitments. Next week is Teacher Appreciation week so he gets out of that too.

Hopefully, no one gets sick ...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

You're gonna read it and you're gonna like it...

I have always been an enthusiastic reader.

In sixth grade, I remember carrying around a white box with 5 or 6 books in it. I carried it everywhere I went. I wanted to make sure I had something good to read at all times (and I wanted to have options). Clearly I was a social magnet...

In college, I would force friends to read Joan Didion. Salvador was the first journalism essay book I read. I loved it. While I don't force people to read her anymore, I still love Joan Didion.

My favorite childhood book was From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. My Dad didn't travel much when I was a kid, but when he did he would always bring me home a book. One trip he brought home this one.

It's about a brother and sister who run away from home and hide in the Metropolitan Museum of Art for weeks. They discover art, life and so many things.

I still force 9 year olds to read it. I've given away dozens of copies of the book over the years. I haven't been able to find the original one my dad gave me years ago (I didn't loan it to you did I?), but I do still have a copy in the house.

Recently, it occurred to me that I have a 9-year-old in this house.

Guess what he is reading next? What are my chances of him actually liking it?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Don't weigh me down

We are getting ready for the Little League carnival and picture day. The boys really want baseball cards this year with their photos.

I actually measured their height and weight this year instead of making it up like I did last year...

Jack jumped on the scale -- 84.4 pounds.

"Yeah!" he said with a double fist pump.

I NEVER have that reaction when I get on the scale.

"Someday I'm going to be 200 pounds," he said. Great. Some kids what to go to college, become doctors, etc. My kid wants to weigh 200 pounds.

"If I want to play professional basketball, Mom, I'm going to have to weigh at least in the hundreds..." he says.

Got to have goals.

Neil weighed in at 56.6 pounds.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Are we there yet?

Last Sunday was kite day for the Cub Scouts. We all piled into a big ol' SUV with another family. It was crowded with 4 kids, 4 parents and all the crap you could find to drag to the beach plus kites.

As with any trip involving children, part of the way there they start asking "Are we there yet?"

I think that question is self-answering... Does it look like we are there yet?

But kids will keep questioning. Why are they not this relentless about homework?

Jack asks, "Are we half way?"

"What about three-quarters of the way?" his friend Graeme asks.

Neil, the younger brother who doesn't want to be left out, pipes in, "Are we 3/dimes there yet?"

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Just get dressed

What to wear? What to wear? What to wear?

Jack started this morning by hurling his body onto the bed at 6:20 a.m. The resulting bounce woke me up. Hello.

He couldn't find jeans. Of course he couldn't, they are folded neatly in his dresser. The organization was disorienting to him.

But those jeans wouldn't do. This pair is too baggy. This pair is too tight. This pair is the wrong color blue. The skinny jeans (that cost a fair bit of money) aren't worth wearing because he might have to control his body enough to not get a hole in the knee. Why wear clothes you can't trash on the playground?

It was over 90 degrees yesterday. I suggested shorts. Apparently that was disorienting also. It's the twice-yearly adjustment to shorts or long pants (depending on the season). My kids will be the last to start wearing shorts and the last to stop wearing them.

Meanwhile, Neil is trying to get his jeans to slip down his hips enough to reveal his underwear. Great.

"Mom, that's what skaters do..."

"We don't know any skaters."


I bought Jack a new pair of shorts and both boys new t-shirts for the coming Scout Idol pack meeting (Cub Scouts will be doing Guitar Hero, playing their own instruments and I believe one den is planning a ZZTop Reunion). Target had some Woodstock options. Though Jack is hoping for a shirt with The Who on it...

Neil, who is not an official Cub Scout, has mentally prepared his outfit. He wants black jeans, black shoes, a black shirt with no sleeves ("because that's what rock stars wear, Mom. They don't have sleeves.").

"And I want something we don't have in this house," Neil adds.

"What would that be?"

"I NEED a silver thing. It hangs down."

What is he talking about?

"It's a silver thing and it goes from your pants to your pocket." Neil shows me his belt loop and then traces the route to his pocket.

Does he want a wallet on a chain? I'm seriously grimacing here.

"You'll have to show me."

Neil also wants a mohawk or longer hair because, again, that's what rock stars have.

This sparks an argument over whose hair is more rock star like. Jack wins because he can completely cover his eyes. Neil can only partially cover his eyes.

Neil is not interested in the groovy guitar shirt Mom bought. But Jack does like the black shirt with the white outlines of instruments. One out of two isn't bad and while Jack wouldn't wear the shorts to school, he did try them on.

And all I can think is how this doesn't even compare to the girl stories I have heard...

Friday, April 17, 2009

Life questions

Because I live near a NEW Target and I have a fist full of gift cards, the pressing question in my life right now is ....

Do I want Guitar Hero or Rock Band for the Wii?

Monday, April 13, 2009

One more day

The Monday after Easter should be a holiday. The kids are tired. I'm tired. I'm sure the teachers are tired...

We could use a break from Spring Break!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Under siege

Spring Break was going great until these guys invaded. They have conquered the dining room table, the stairs and the upstairs hallway...

There is no escape.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Check out the new lids

We had a big Sunday. In addition to the language lesson, we went shopping for Easter outfits. I'm old school when it comes to new clothes (Easter, Christmas and beginning of the school year are mandatory new outfit time). Though the matching years are going out of the window. Turns out, everyone has his own fashion personality and it is not Mom's.

Neil is the true fashionist in our family. You should see that 6-year-old in a dressing room mirror.

He checks his front. He checks his back (Don't want that kindergarten butt to look fat.).

He does a couple poses. He has an imaginary conversation with someone.

Only then does he decide if the outfit passes the test.

This year Neil decided that he needed a hat for his Easter outfit. We are not talking a baseball hat (which is Jack's only definition of a hat). And we are not talking the caps his Pa likes to wear.

We are talking a true, rat-pack kind of hat.

After a day of shopping, Neil has two hats. He even convinced Dean and Jack that they needed hats.

Now my boys look like they are starting a ska band...

This is Neil at Legoland. He's not taking the hat off. I'll download one of the three of them soon.

Sunday education

We went out for lunch after church on Sunday . Just the four of us. I was sitting next to Neil and we were playing games to keep busy until the food arrived.

Neil kept pushing against my side. He was pushing and pushing and finally, I snapped. "Stop shoving against my boob!" I know, I know. Nice mothering I'm doing.

Neil looked at me, furrowed his brow as he figured, and then he asked, "How do you spell 'boob'? Is it b-o-b?"

"No. How do you make the oo sound?" Why resist a teaching moment, right?

"B-o-b spells Bob," Dean piped in.

Jack was too busy giggling to himself to offer any assistance.

"It's b-o-o-b!" Neil shouted. Great, it's a teaching moment for the whole restaurant.

And thus began a big boob discussion at our table. Some members of this family are still calling each other boobs...