Monday, August 31, 2009


Today I woke up early and refreshed.

Today I had to drag my four year old out of bed.

Today she missed breakfast because she was dawdling.

Today she threw her backpack on the ground, stomped her feet and crossed her arms, like only a teenager should do.

Today she declared "I don't want to go to school today. School is bor-ring. All we do is play".

Today I had to carry her bag to the car.

Today I had to take her by the hand up to the play yard.

Today she clung to my leg.

Today I had to hand her to her teacher.

Today she cried. "Mommy, mommy, I want mommy".

Today my heart broke.

And so starts day 4 of kindergarten.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Here's a letter I sent as a cover to some friends.

"Many of us moms sent our kids back to school this week. For some of us, the summer went by way to quick, and we weren't ready to make that transition back to school - especially with all the rain we had. For some, school got out late last June and started this week - not nearly as long as we'd like. For others of us, we couldn't wait to see our kids back to school. Either school got out early last June or our kids were getting bored. For many of us, we'll be giving up that freedom of the summer schedule - no schedule no worries. We'll be trading in our bathing suits and sunblock for soccer, dance and scouts. For football and cheerleading. Schedules will be dictated by the ringing of the school bell. Mornings which for the last 8 weeks were a leisurely wake up, with a cup of coffee and cartoons, will be a blur of breakfast and getting dressed and packing bags, to make sure we hit that bus or make it to school on time. Some of us moms have just kissed our youngest child on the forehead as they head off for kindergarten. Bittersweet, our days are now filled with silence and not in the best way. For us, it's time to turn a new page in our roles as stay at home mothers."

Wednesday, I sent Moe off to kindergarten. last week, she was going 1/2 days, this week she'll be going for full days. I have been a stay at home mom for the past 7 1/2 years, minus the first 7 months for Einey's life. For me, this is my first time without kids. Way back in time, after I started staying home, I thought I would be going back to school when my kids were in school. The goal was for me to get a degree in nursing. And it's still something I'd like to do. However, Husband is in school right now. He'll be in school for the next two years. And there is no way we can afford to send five of us to school (although technically, we're not paying for Husband to go to school, however, he's not working overtime right now). So for now, I'm going o continue subbing in the local public school district and keep my eye on any jobs that come around.

Sending Moe off to school was easier then I thought. I was a wreck when I sent my oldest. I thought for sure that I would be a little weepy as I sent Moe through the door, in her little line of friends. Instead, it was Moe who clung to me at the last moment, not quite sure that she wanted to go it. With a few extra hugs, she released her grip on me and headed on her way. She's growing fast, it's hard to believe that in a few short weeks, she'll turn five.

I'm excited for her. For me. For us. There are so many things going on and so many paths we are walking on. But they will all come together soon. Until then, we keep on walking, where ever the paths lead us.

Edit 8/31: Day 4 was not a good start.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Back to school

The girls went back to school Wednesday.

But Friday, I was sick of making lunches and laying out clothes the night before. And waking up early. Yeah, it's gonna be a long year :P

Here's what we learned this week.

Moe: She's done with kindergarten. After the first day. It's bor-ring (said complete with rolled eyes and the exasperation of an 8 year old). They didn't learn anything, all they did was play.

Meenie: School is fun, we play with playdough alot and I talk to my friends.

Einey: I love third grade. I talk to my friends, we have snack outside (and can play too) and recess is fun. Oh and we watched a movie.

Me: Wonders what the heck I'm paying for.....

Of course, with back to school comes the not so good. Three days in and Einey is already all congested, drippy and running a low temperature. Accourding to the 16 million papers I've gotten in the last three days, she's got the swine flu and needs to stay home for a long, long time. That or she caught a small cold and/or her allergies are acting up. Judging how miserable her father has been with allergies the last two weeks, I'll go with the latter.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The ABC's of Summer - 2009 edition

You can read our 2008 edition here.

is for ants. OMG the freaking ants.

B is for bee stings, ouch!

C is for colored hair. The girls really rocked their extensions this summer. It was well worth it!

D is for digging. I dug and installed a pond in the yard. Even before the landscaping was finished, it attracted frogs. Fun!

E is for exhausted girls. Hiking and swimming really wear you out!

F is for friends. Friends for picking blueberries, hiking and playing games, having water gun fights with and eating ice cream. For sleeping over at and watching concerts with. For swimming and going on rides with.

G is for giggly girls. No sound is sweeter.

H is for hiking, we logged in over 25 miles this summer! The girls did great and can now regularly endure 3-4 mile hikes.

I is for ice cream! We love ice cream. The girls figured out that the local place will give them a scoop of any flavor they want to try first. So each ice cream cone follows a spoonful. The good thing, they've tried (and lied) a bunch of new flavors!

J is for jumping rope and hula hoops. Little girls playing on the deck, rain or shine. It's also for jumping off docks! Einey was so proud to pass the swim test and to be allowed in the deep end, where she could happily jump off the docks all summer long.

K is for kicking soccer balls. We spent one week watching Meenie at soccer camps, kicking away.

L is for letterboxing. We found over 65 letterboxes, planted 18 and attended one event this summer.

M is for mulching the garden. Barefoot. See "x" below. Note to self - wear shoes when gardening!

N is for painted nails. Pink, green, blue. Sometimes alone or all at once.

O is for opening gifts at their un-birthday party.

P is for parties. We ended the summer this weekend with our third annual back to school bash.

Q is for quiet afternoons swimming at the lake. We spent many, many days up at the lake. The kids had a blast playing with the lifeguards and Einey LOVED being one of the few people allowed to swim in the deep end and jump off the docks (you need to pass a swim test first).

R is for rain. We had way more then normal this summer in New England!

S is for studying, studying, studying. Husband went back to school at work and while he's actually on a 7-3, 40 hour work week, so theoretically, should have more time at home, he doesn't. He may physically be home more, but his head is buried so far into the textbooks, a bomb could go off around him and he not notice.

T is for turtle. We enjoyed our summer with the school turtle - even if he tried to bogart my lattes - he swam in our pond while we cleaned out his cage. He's welcome back anytime he wants to visit!

U is for new umbrella's on the deck. A way to sit and relax without the rays of the sun beating down on you.

V is for veggies - fresh from the farm. There is nothing better. It's going to be a long winter!

W is for water in the basement. So. not. cool.

X is for x-rays. Four of them on my right foot. Diagnosis - Phalanx Toe (Proximal) Fracture, right foot. I also got a tetanus shot thrown in for good measure! It should be interesting, soccer starts up again this week and I am coaching my little guys again!

Y is for big yellow sunflowers, waving in the breeze.

is for zzzz which we'll need tonight. Tomorrow is our first day back to school, we'll need to be refreshed!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Lists

School starts in one week. Our summer has been great - nice and relaxing, but it's time to go back. The kids are getting antsy. And while we've enjoyed limited sunshine and warmth this summer, the heat is finally here - I actually hope it cools down before the kids start school.

All over Twitter and Facebook are posts about back to school shopping. It used to make me sad, thinking about all the clothes I wouldn't be buying my kids. But then I actually think about how much I save on not buying clothes for back to school, about not battling the kids in the morning about outfits to wear and I think I've actually made out better in this deal. When Einey started kindergarten - we took her out on a big shopping spree. We brought her all kinds of new clothes for school. That she never wore. With Meenie, we brought her a few outfits and then just replaced as needed. For Moe, I picked up a few things on Etsy. But again, my kids have Moe clothes then they need. I look at the piles needed to be folded, the full hampers and wonder how they could possibly have any more clean. We don't buy them many clothes - they get them as gifts, as hand-me-downs. They don't grow fast.

For school clothes, I needed to pick up more uniforms. This will be the first year with two in uniforms - next year, all three will be in them. For girls, they actually have a lot of options - to mix and match. Einey is going on year three of wearing most of the same uniform we got her in first grade. We've had to replace shoes each year, some shirts and get longer pants. For Meenie, I was given some hand-me-downs, so I only had to buy a few items.
  • Plaid jumper
  • Short sleeve Peter Pan collared, button up shirt
  • Red tie
  • Blue knee hi's
  • Brown or back Dress shoes
  • Long sleeve button up shirt
  • Blue uniform shorts
  • Blue pants
  • White crew cut socks
  • Sneakers
  • Short sleeve polo
  • Long Sleeve Polo
  • Red Gym Shorts
  • Red Gym Pants
  • Red Sweater
  • Red or Blue Cardigan
Now onto the individual classroom lists.

Third Grade:
1 backpack (still using the one we got for kindergarten)
6 wooden pencils, sharpened
3 Lg. erasers
1 handheld pencil sharpener (with collection well)
1 pair Fiskars metal scissors
12 inch ruler (standard and metric)
2 ruled marbled composition notebook
2 lg. glue sticks
8 oz. bottle Elmer's school glue
2 pocket folders
2 red pens
colored pencils
1 set watercolor paints w/ brush
2 white board markers
1 old sock to use on white board
multiplication flash cards
1 plastic storage box for supplies
1 box of gallon sized Ziploc bags
3 containers of antibacterial wipes
3 boxes of tissues

First Grade:
5 pencils, sharpened
1 lg. eraser
1 pair Fiskar metal scissors
12 inch ruler (standard and metric)
2 wide ruled marbled composition notebook
2 lg. glue sticks
1 bottle Elmer's school glue
1 back pack, no wheels (still using the one we got for pre-k)
1 handheld pencil sharpener (with collection well)
1 pocket folders
colored pencils
1 set watercolor paints w/ brush
1 set fine point white board markers
1 standard blank cassette tape (Still haven't located one yet)
1 plastic storage box for supplies
1 containers of antibacterial wipes
1 boxes of tissues

and Kindergarten:
backpack (still using the one we got for pre-k)
1 plastic view two pocket folder
1 pair blunt fiskar scissors
1 pair paper edger scissors
art shirt
box of 16 crayons
box of tissues
1 set wide washable markers
1 set watercolor paints and brush
$15 for other supplies
1 pencil
1 sponge
1 elmer's glue
1 container of disinfecting wipes
4 glue sticks
1 12x12 top loading scrapbook
3 boxes of clear 300+ count glue dots
$15 of scrapbooking supplies

And then whatever else gets requested as the year rolls on. I think we're ready for school as far as clothes and supplies go.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Knock, Knock

Picture and adorable 4 almost 5 year old - you know, the type that repeatedly asks "why, why, WHY" so many times you'd like to break them in two...

Knock Knock
Who's there
Knock Knock
Who's there
Knock Knock
Who's there
Knock Knock
Could you please stop yelling at me.

Friday, August 14, 2009

I survived

After vowing never again to take my girls shoe shopping alone, I in fact did just that, and survived! I had to run to Target this morning for a few things and then my plan was to head over to Olympia for cleats (never made it) and then Famous Footwear.

Instead, we found ourselves browsing the shoe aisle at Target and the girls not only found things they liked, but things that fit. So instead of paying $30-$40 per pair of shoes, I spent $15 -$20. Each girl got a pair of sneakers and dress shoes for school. Which I hope pass the requirements because while black or brown, they have purple and pink in them. And Einey picked out skate shoes for sneakers. I may have to go get her another pair of sneakers for gym, but we'll see what they say first.

Monday, August 10, 2009

More Moe-isms

During dinner conversation, Moe asked me the other day "Mom, are you going to be dead when I'm a teenager?" When I replied that I hoped not, she said "oh, no, your just going to be really, really old. I forgot". Please keep in mind that Moe is almost 5 and I am 29. So in 8 years, I'm pretty sure I won't be that old.


We went to Mass the other night before heading over the the annual church bazaar. We arrived early and were waiting for the Mass to start. Moe turned and asks me "Where is that guy that is supposed to be up there?" Um, you mean the priest? "yeah" We're early, he'll come out in a few minutes. A few minutes later, the priest comes out. Moe turn to me and asks "Who is that guy? Where is Father L or Father J?" That's Father J., just not your Father J. "There are Two Father J's?" Yup, There is Father L, Father J and the other Father J, Father Jo and Father T.

Now this was not the first time we've been to Mass with a different priest, so I'm not sure why she thought there were only two of them. the only conclusion I can come to is she is used to Father L fro our old church and Father J because he visits school and always talks to her.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Trained bears to he rescue!

I remember when my kids were small, dreaming of the days they would be potty trained. When Moe was born, all three were in diapers. It didn't take long for that to change, but then I wished they were still in diapers. No one ever tells you that when you have a child who is potty trained, they become potty obsessed. They will demand to use EVERY. DAMN. POTTY. at EVERY. DAMN. PLACE you go. It doesn't matter if you go from Target to Lowes to Micheals to the grocery store and your 10 minutes out from home. They will have to go. Baaaaaad. I'm gonna go right now if you don't take me. So tasks that normally take 45 minutes with diaper clad wee ones now take twice as long.

And then there are the places that don't have flush toilets. You know what I'm talking about, the dreaded port-a-potties. Most people cringe at the thought of using one. Not toddlers. They love them. They're fascinated by them. And while most adults worry about the cleanliness, the germs and the smell, I have a different fear. A slight fear that one of my wee one will lock themselves in, because you know, they need their priiiiiivacyyyy. (As they get older I am less fearful of this). My biggest fear was that they'd fall in (and of course, the door would be locked). I know, you can go ahead and laugh at me now.

Last night, the kiddos school had their annual bazaar - you know, church fair in the school parking lot with carny rides and plenty of games. Husband was gracious enough to walk us to the car after dark to which he beat a hasty goodbye. Nature was calling and he hoped that he could sneak inside the school and use the bathroom. Alas, all that was available was the pitch dark port-a-potty - seriously, they need a light in there! As I drove us, I told him not to drink so much soda later. This prompted the following conversation.

Einey: Why can't daddy drink alot of soda?
Me: Because then he'll need to use the bathroom.
Meenie: And he doesn't want to use the port-a-potty?
Me: Nope, he doesn't like them.
Meenie: Just like me, I don't like them.
Me: I know sweetie, I know.
Meenie: I'm afraid that the port a potty people will come to clean them and start sucking it up while I'm in there.
Me: Is that what your afraid of? That can't happen bub, they need to open the door to suck it out, and if your in there the door will be locked. Plus I won't let them in.
Meenie: So, they have to wait.
Me: Yup.
Meenie: What if someone gets locked in?
Me: You know, I've always wondered the same thing. I guess you'd call the fire department or the police department and they'd come cut the door off.
Moe: No, that's no what happens. They use bears.
Me: Bears?
Moe: yes, bears. The bears scratch a hole in the door.
Me: So the port-a-potty people have trained bears that they bring to the potties when people are stuck so the bears can scratch a hole in them to get out?
Moe: Yup!
Me: Um...
Meenie: Phew, cause the fire department always causes problems.
Einey: Meee-nieeeeeee, the fire department doesn't make problems, they help.
Meenie: You don't like port-a-potties mom either, right?
Me: Um, if I have to go, I have to go, I don't care.
Moe: Then they tape the doors on and it's fixed.

Me recounting the story to Husband later on.
Husband: You have to blog that you know.
Me: Uh, yeah.

So have no fear, if you suddenly find yourself trapped in a port-a-potty, trained bears will come to your rescue!

Friday, August 07, 2009

The squealing tires. The screech of breaks. The silence. No crash.

Memories of the same sound from two weeks ago flashed before my eyes. Same scenario, different end. The clock on the bedside read 4:55 am.Then, the squealing tires were accompanied by the unmistakable sound of metal on metal. As Husband dashed to the window, I flew down the stairs, dialing 9-1-1 before I even saw what happened.

Me: There's been an accident, it woke us up.
9-1-1 operator: Where are you.
Me: xx some street, our town (running outside)
9-1-1 operator: How many cars?
Me: I don't know, I don't see anything.
Me: It looks like one - it's near my neighbors house.
9-1-1 operator: Hold on I'll transfer you to the State Police.

Pause - shit, I need to go put pants on.

State Police: Hello?
Me: There's been an accident in front of my neighbors house.
S.P: How many cars.
Me: Looks like one.
S.P: Is anybody hurt?
Me: I don't know, I'm putting pants on.
S.P: Is anybody hurt?
Me: I don't think so.
S.P: how many people?
Me: One and he's walking away.
S.P: He's walking away?
Me: Yes.
S.P: What away?
Me: Towards xyz.
S.P: What's he wearing.
Me: A black shirt and tan short.
S.P: Is he intoxicated?
Me: I don't know.
S.P: Is he intoxicated?
Me: Yeah, I think so.

The guy lost control coming around the corner, came across my neighbors lawn, narrowly missing their SUV. It took out their metal garbage can and pushed it into the driveway next door. The car hit a stone wall and bounced off. The driver, got out and said to neighbors "you think the cops will notice?" Neighbors replied, "um yeah, they on their way already". The guy then just walked off saying "I don't care, they'll find me". Two neighbors followed them, one returned a few minutes later with a 1/2 bottle of booze in his hand the guy tried to ditch. The other followed him and signaled to police where he went. The vehicle, was unscathed except for a broken tail light.

Last night...

The bedside clock read 3:21 am. We were out of bed before the squealing stopped, Husband at the window, me running for the window in the girls room. I saw nothing. He was the car swerving down the road, out of control. It stopped in front of our home. It stayed on the road. Stopping short of our giant oak tree.

Meenie: Mom what are you doing in here.
Me: Just looking out your window, go back to sleep honey.
Meenie: DO the neighbors ever turn off their lights? It bothers me (I wonder if this is the cause of her insomnia and crankiness during the day).
Moe: I heard the car. Did it crash again?
Me: I don't think so. Go back to sleep.

After that, I crawled back into bed. But my stomach was clenched and my heart was pounding. Sleep eluded me as I imagined the car hitting the oak tree. The oak tree that stands 10 feet from my daughters bedroom. 12 feet from her window where her bed lies. So close.

I'm thinking our art project this week should involved large pieces of plywood and reflective paint. We can stencil the words "Slow Down Assholes" and nail them to our tree. Maybe we'll pick up some cement and install some speed bumps as well.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Unbirthdays and kids quotes

Last week, we celebrated the girls (and a friend's) un-birthdays with some friends who will not be around for their birthdays this year. We had a cookout and there were many, many games and prizes for the kids.

A few days later, I was talking to Moe about her upcoming birthday and trying to get some ideas for a theme from her.

Moe: You mean my six birthday?
Me: No, your fifth birthday. Your going to be five this year.
Moe: I'm already five.
Me: no, your only four. Your birthday is in September, remember?
Moe: But I had my birthday the other day with Auntie.
Me: You celebrated your un-birthday, it wasn't your actual birthday. You didn't turn five.
Moe: But I got pre-sents!
Me: Still not your birthday, your only four.
Moe: No I'm not.
Me: yes you are and I'm not arguing with you.

Then last night.

Moe: I am whee. I'm going to be four soon.
Me: No, you are four, your going to be five.
Moe: But I had an un-birthday, remember? I was four, not I'm whee.
Me: Ughh, not again.


Quote of the week - Einey.

"I know I can play, it doesn't have any bad words, you know, not like the words dad says".



Quote of the week - Meenie.

"I don't know what the he's saying, I don't speak turtle"


Quote of the week - Moe.

"Momma, you should try that"

By that, it was a super trim your belly in 20 days and lose a ton of weight informerial. Gee thanks kid... It may also have been Meenie that uttered those words, am trying to erase it :)


And my moment of the day came last week when the girls were at VBS. I had stopped and gotten myself a nice large Latte and was happily sipping it while playing FaceBook getting work done. I heard behind me, the unmistakable sound of the turtle bumping the glass. This happens when he gets excited. So I found myself giving the turtle the stink eye because he wanted my coffee.