Friday, February 18, 2011


Hi y'all. Time for another friendly reminder. If you have a link to my blog please don't use our real names. There are plenty of things I'm pretty open about on this blog but I make a concerted effort to keep some things off of here. I don't want the combination of mine and my husband's name to be something anyone can google, and get to here, and don't want my kids names on here either. It's all good if you already know them, no secret----just don't want any of it on the internet.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

School Work

So, the requests for my mom's recipe did not fall on deaf ears. I just have to talk to my mom about that, and completely figure out what's in it for me, before I do anything. :)

You know, we moved across town in October. The school that the kids were in had a reputation of being one of the better schools, and my biggest issue with the school (the principal) was gone, so I was eager to see how this year panned out. Well, when we went to go switch schools after the move, I just couldn't bring myself to pull the trigger. I have a more annoying commute, have to leave home 15 minutes earlier, and the drive up there and back 2, 3, sometimes 4 times a day gets to me sometimes, but I couldn't pull the trigger for a good reason. The kids both have great teachers this year. I just couldn't bring myself to mess with that.

I could put Avee's teacher in my bag and take her home with me. I LOVE her. She's perfect for Avee, but she's also just a genuinely likable person. One of my favorite things about her is, she's funnier than me. And she's just this cute little thing, but totally sassy. I don't know why I think cute and sassy are mutually exclusive though. I do live with Avee.

Bo's teacher is new this year, to the school. She's been teaching for many years. I know she knew she came into the school with a lot of people watching her every move. That's gotta be nerve wracking. I love her. She's perfect for Bo. For no other reason than, she gets him. There are a lot of things I'd like and hope for in a teacher, but for Bo, that is the most important thing for me. He's actually been quite lucky, I think all of his teachers have "gotten" him. But, in a world where 7 year olds are very obnoxious (the world I live in right now), and funny looking, and trying so hard to figure things out---she gets all that and is kind and forgiving and understanding, and not overly punitive, but is also no nonsense when it's necessary.

One of my favorite parts about having a child in Kindergarten, is the work they bring home. I get a good chuckle or two at LEAST once or twice a week.

I've scanned in some stuff that has recently made me smile....and also prove just why I made the right choice in letting my children have these teachers this year.
This first one was Avee's homework assignment to write her teacher a letter stating what she loved best about her class. I love that this assignment opened up so many options of hilarity. And it was good writing practice.
I love love LOVE that she identified who the letter was from, right off the bat, and why she was writing--as though she thought I was making the assignment up and she wanted to make sure Mrs. D didn't think she was a weirdo writing her a letter. This was probably the longest letter Mrs. D got. I did help with spelling, but the content was totally Avee's doing.

Recently we've gotten a couple of things home from school stating her desire or love of "citins". This particular one I enjoyed. Beside the fact, this girl is an artist, it's just a funny idea to me. Avee always surprises me a little with her worldview or her grasp on things that show clear intellect where I assumed there wasn't any. I mentioned to her that "citins" grow up to be cats, so they don't stay cute babies forever. She countered, "Yes, but if they are taking the place of snow, they will stay citins forever, because snow doesn't grow, so they wouldn't." It took me two days to figure out her logic, because let's face it, she didn't state it THAT articulately. The child is brilliant. She gets it from me.

This one was on a torn sheet of paper. When I pulled it from his folder, I assumed he tore it AFTER he used it for his test. I was amused and a little disconcerted that he did not. But I love how she states her expectation simply, in a positive request (do you know how hard that can be, to try and eliminate the word "don't" when dealing with children?) doesn't make a drama of it, and even gives him a cute smiley face. I think this lack of drama over what is basically obnoxious 7 year old behavior is awesome. Plus, she totally appreciates my little white-boy, snaggle-toothed, kid's smack talk.

Mostly I just like this one because it reminds me of J. Avee's a wiley little manipulator who marches to the beat of her own drum and is me in so many ways as a result. When J comes shining through like this, I really love it. One of J's favorite quotes is from a Seinfeld episode when Jerry says something like, "My entire childhood can be summed up in one sentence, 'I want candy' " or something like that. I will extol the virtues of chocolate and the wonders it can/will do for me and everything I love and why and how and when, but Avee and J it's, "I like cake". It basically all means the same thing.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Mom's Cookies

My mom makes these cookies. They are hard to describe. They are homemade. Of that, there is no doubt. I'm pretty sure the ingredients vary batch to batch. They have oatmeal, raisins, chocolate chips, some sort of weird health-nut product like bone meal or lecithin, or both, sometimes shredded carrots, sunflower seeds, ummmmmm....there's lots of stuff. They are super healthy, super filling, and somewhat mysterious, in my opinion. They are well-loved. Personally, I'm a fan of the processed, teeth-rotting, artery clogging, simple chocolate chip cookie---but most of my family, and almost any friend who's had these cookies my mom makes, LOVES them.

When I was 14ish, I took piano lessons from a local concert pianist. My mom made a rookie mistake in assuming that a concert pianist would be a good piano teacher. He was not. But, it was still a good experience, and I still learned, so all was not lost. He was a Aside from sleeping through most of my lessons, and accusing me of being on drugs during one entire lesson, he was just different. One night he stopped at my parent's house and led himself into the kitchen and plopped down. There were bananas on the table and he voraciously ate two of them without pause. Then he spotted my mom's cookies in a bag on the table. An old bread bag, that's what she kept them in. She could freeze a batch to get us through Armageddon, if the need arose.

He sat upright suddenly and pointed at the bag, "are those your mom's bars, trail mix, that what I think it is in that bag?"

I said that it was. He frantically reached in his pocket and threw four dollar bills on the table. Now, keep in mind, this was around 1990, so this was like he threw six dollars and forty cents on the table! "I'll give you all the money in my pocket for just one of those cookies!" I burst out laughing. Then quickly squelched it because he was my teacher and he wasn't trying to be funny. I thought it odd that the bananas didn't even get acknowledged as they were wolfed down, but the cookies were paid for, in cash.

That's how awesome my mom's cookies are.

Bo can't stop talking about them. He was introduced to them probably two years ago. Sometimes when we visit, Grandma gives Bo his own little cottage cheese container of cookies. He doesn't share, and he gobbles them up in no time. He canNOT stop talking about them. He knows they are good for him because even Grandma's "candy bars are actually just health bars" and she doesn't cook with white sugar and she would never give him that much of something that wasn't good for him. But it's "just so crazy, because they taste sooooo good too!"

I don't share Bo's sentiments. Or Mr. Piano Teacher's. But I hope my mom writes down "the" recipe before she kicks the cottage cheese container. Because some things need to live forever.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Groundhog's Day Forever!

I was being cavalier about bedtime because it was a snow day and tomorrow is another. At 8:30 Avee came and asked if it could be bedtime yet. I do not know this child. Well, I know her, because she's always been my little sleeper, but I do not know where she came from. Certainly not me. I was always afraid of whatever party I might miss out on if I had to sleep. Bo's the same way. When I told Avee it could be bedtime right now and she passed the word on to him, he said, "I'll go when it's Mom's idea, not yours." See, I get that.

We got a lot of snow. It's so beautiful. Of course, I didn't have to spend nearly an hour and a half digging the driveway and road out to drive somewhere, so I still think it's beautiful.

I got some kind of stomach bug. I never get the stomach bug. Ever. It's been relatively mild, but it sure came at a perfect time for me to milk it. My classes were canceled because of the weather yesterday and J couldn't really even get out to go to work today, so I took the opportunity to lay in bed and complain.

This evening while I was laying in bed, Daniel came up to me very closely and said, "What's on your mind, Monkeybutt?" I am constantly asking my kids "where did you hear/learn/see that" when they say or do things because I just don't get how they come up with some of it. Like tonight when Bo finished something he was proud of and vainly shouted, "Wouldja look at that!? You just can't teach that!!" Of course, my kids claim sole proprietorship over all these clever, funny, amusing things they say and do. They may be liars, but they're funny!

I started compiling my blog posts into a book. I've only gotten six months into 5 years of blogging and I'm totally overwhelmed. The main reason I'm even doing this is because every other conversation I have with my mom, she asks me if I have a hard copy of my posts. When I say no, she goes into cardiac arrest. Then she takes a puff of her inhaler and comes through. But really, I should just stop cutting it so close with her. I'm trying, but it's a hard job when you are as wordy as me, cheap, and have ADD. Bad combination for making a blog book.

My dad celebrated his 77th birthday a couple of weeks ago. I bought him this hilarious card a couple of years ago and always forgot to send it, so this year I was determined to remember. It has three older men walking along the beach and one says, "It sure is windy" and another says, "No, it's Thursday" and the third says, "Me too, let's go get a drink!" and then says something about spending his day with people who understand him. Every person in my family has had a conversation like that with my dad, only, with him saying all the parts incorrectly. I used to particularly enjoy, as a young teenager, being scoffed at by my mostly deaf father, "What do you mean the refrigerator is having an affair on Joe? That doesn't even make any sense!!!" Um, yes, yes, you got that part right, it doesn't make any sense, Dad.

Anyway, Bo included a card, after a couple of weeks of watching a Jackie Chan cartoon regularly. It said on the outside, "Have a terrible birthday" and on the inside it said, "It's oposite day, Hate: Bo" Then there was some sort of swirly circle (most certainly some symbol of Chinese magic) on the other side with the promise that "you and only you can put your finger in the center to unlock the power..." or something to that effect. The power to have a great birthday, I believe.

As I folded it inside of my card and dropped it into the mailbox, I hesitated slightly. I thought of calling my dad to sort of brace him. I just don't know how well received Bo's little seven year old "humor" and "creativity" would be. I could see my dad getting a big kick out of it, and I could see my dad being truly concerned for Bo's troubled little soul.

I never heard anything, so I figured it wasn't a big deal. Yesterday Grandma called for Bo. "Bo, I can't get Grandpa to stop laughing." Bo says, "What do you want me to do about that?" He was asking sincerely. She said when Grandpa first saw the card he was a little shocked and disconcerted, and since opening it, he hasn't stopped laughing. Bo suggested she tell him a joke so he laughs so hard he can't laugh anymore, or tell him a sad story, to get him to stop laughing. Grandma said no, she wasn't that interested.

I love how my mom talks to my kids. It's like how she used to talk to me as a child, but without the threats.