Monday, August 25, 2008

The First Day of School, Again...Only Worse

So today was the actual first day of kindergarten. Brace yourself, it was a doozy. This is a long post but I think it will be worth it. Once again, my children went against the norm and instead of waking up between 6:00 and 6:30, they slept until 7:15. Big Sister needs to arrive at school between 8:15 and 8:30. Any earlier than 8:15 and we have to wait in the cafeteria with a bazillion kids for dismissal. We prefer to aim for 8:20 so we can walk directly to the classroom. It's okay with the teachers if we walk them to their rooms until around October. After that, we have to cut the apron strings and let them go...oh boy. So anyway, we have exactly fifty-five minutes to feed and dress everyone before leaving the house. Sounds doable...if you have a family that operates at normal speed. However, apparently I am receiving payback for all those times in my childhood when my mother was waiting in the car with the motor running while I continued to look for my other shoe. Big Sister takes her time. Little Sister moves at a little faster pace, hence the problem. You have to catch her before you can dress her. And then there's me, the mama. I can't walk into that school (and I am walking into that school until October) looking like I normally do. These people don't know me. I am putting my firstborn's life in their hands until 2:15 p.m. I must make a good impression!

So anyway, we're well on our way to making good time and then Daddy hollers as he walks out the door, "It's raining." WHAT!?!?! Rain!? I wasn't prepared to deal with RAIN! We walk to school for crying out loud. I haven't practiced driving to school yet. How long will it take? Can I park somewhere when I get there so I can still walk her in? Where? Front of the school or back? Now, in my defense, it hasn't rained in like...forever. I haven't watched the news in like...forever. How was I supposed to know I must prepare the "rain plan" on the first day!? Let the madness begin.

After running up and down the stairs about 10 times, not drinking any of the coffee I made, and holding Little Sister down to yank her hair into a beautifully coiffed "do"...we headed out the door at 8:14. Perfect if you're walking...but if it's raining....and you're driving....and you've never done this before? Well, I was able to snap a couple of pictures before we left.
On a side note, the heinous "tote bag" is a requirement at our school for all kindergartners. It is so they can easily be identified as a kindergartner (seriously, how could you miss these things?) and so that papers don't get lost in lots of zippers and pouches. Okay, like, could you have let us know that in a letter over the summer before money was invested in a perfectly pink zippered and pouch covered princess backpack that Big Sister picked out herself and now I have to explain why she can't take it to school even though I built it up earlier like it was so perfect for kindergarten and made her look like such a big girl and now I have to make it seem like that heinous "tote bag" is awesome!?! Aaarrrghhhh! We were permitted to decorate the heinous "tote bag". Notice the ribbon around the edging and the bow. Aren't I crafty? Big Sister drew on the bag while I restrained myself from adding multiple sequined iron on transfers. Here is a closeup.

In case you couldn't tell, that thing to the right is a fish standing on top of it's fish tank. (Isn't she creative?) and the word CIDRGORDIN is the word KINDERGARTEN using ebonics...I mean phonics. I'm not sure what the squiggly yellow things are. Anyway, I praised her artistry to the high heavens and somehow managed to convince her that the "tote bag" is the way to go because it's what all the hip kindergartners are wearing this year.

So we walked out to the garage at 8:14 a.m. and I immediately realized I was in trouble. I laid my eyes on the car we've borrowed from the dealership while our minivan is being fixed and remembered that I have NO umbrellas. All three umbrellas that we own are in the minivan. Because Daddy doesn't use an umbrella (he's so manly he'd rather be wet than carry some girly umbrella I guess) and because who needs an umbrella at home? All our umbrellas ride around with us... only today, the first official day of kindergarten, we didn't have our ride.

On another side note, I dropped off the minivan LAST Monday because the ABS light was on. ABS=Anti-lock brake system. I asked them to call us before doing any work and let us know what work needed to be done and what it would cost. That was a week ago and we haven't heard a thing or had any of our calls returned. While I was happy to drive around using their gas for a few days, I've now had to put more gas in their car ($10 at a time because heaven forbid I buy gas I don't get to use for a borrowed car) and I DON'T HAVE UMBRELLAS FOR THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN AND IT'S RAINING! I mean, do they still not know what's wrong? Do I need to call them and go, "Hey guys, let me help you's the BRAKES."

So as we buckled in I began to formulate a plan for getting in the building. First, I found out that it takes waaaay longer to drive to school than it does to walk. I managed to figure out where to park and I got everyone unbuckled and ready to bolt for the door. I got soaked, which is fine, and I ripped the girls out of the car at the same time, placing one on either side, slammed the door, and yelled, "Run!"

Now imagine the Chariots of Fire music and us running for the door in slow motion. Me in the middle, Little Sister on one side trying to break free from me and go her own way, Big Sister on the other side carrying her cool "tote bag". As we reach the median and are almost home free, Little Sister hits it first (because she's trying to get away from me), I cross the median next, and as I easily jump and clear the small river forming against the median...Big Sister trips (or I pulled her down but...whatever) and she sprawls out half on the median and half on the road directly into the mud. I yank her arm up in the air in an attempt to keep her from hitting the ground and all I manage to do is save the "tote bag". Her left hand firmly plants in the mud and her left leg goes all the way down from hip to toe into the muddy river. Yep. I dragged my child through the mud on her first day of kindergarten. We're all so shocked that she doesn't even cry at first and I don't even wonder if she's hurt herself. I look at her wide eyes and say, "Let's just get inside the building and then we'll figure out what to do."

When we got inside I checked her for injuries. Physically she was fine but here's the worst part. She looked at me with a giant tear rolling down her cheek and said, "I just wanted to look nice for my first day of kindergarten." Okay, I'm not the emotional type. I've been cool with this whole new chapter of life for the most part but I almost lost it. It was all I could do to keep from bawling hysterically. Then we heard the announcement that all children need to get to their classrooms so they won't be counted tardy. Tardy! We can't be tardy on the first day! So I took her to her class, washed off her hands, wiped off her leg with paper towels as best I could, and sent her in the door. Her teacher was somewhat sympathetic, somewhat annoyed, and suggested I leave her there and go home to get another pair of pants and bring them back to the office. She missed the pledge of allegiance and everyone was staring at her, the girl with the muddy pants on the first day of school. Without thinking, I dragged Little Sister back out to the car, rushed home, got another pair of pants, shoes and socks, and rushed back. And of course, it was no longer raining while I was doing any of this. The ladies in the office were somewhat sympathetic, somewhat annoyed, and were at least gracious enough to let me take the clothes to her room. I quickly changed her and snapped her picture again.

She seemed fine and I think she was starting to think the whole thing was kind of funny. I still wanted to cry. But I didn't. I'm just not that emotional I guess. Besides, I was beginning to think about how I couldn't wait to blog about this first day fiasco.

When I picked her up she went on and on about the strawberry milk, eating in the cafeteria and learning about how to "live above the line". She also went to music today so that was big. Nothing about "the incident". It was like it didn't even happen. When I asked her on video what happened that morning and why she had on different pants she kind of looked at me like she didn't know what I was talking about. THANK GOD! I guess in the end it was a raging success. She loved her first day.

I guess tonight I'll watch the weather forecast...right after I head to Walmart to buy three umbrellas...just in case.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Good Ole Days

Okay, I have been staying up waaaaaay too late watching the Olympics. So in my effort to drink coffee in peace this weekend before dealing with perky little princesses, I turned on the TV in search of some entertaining Saturday morning fun only to find...there's nothing on.

What happened to those good ole days of waking up EARLY, letting your parents sleep, and perching in front of the TV for the long awaited Saturday morning lineup? Now, some of you may not be old enough to remember the same shows I used to watch but these were some of my favorites.

The Smurfs

I'm guessing that even if you aren't old enough to have seen them on Saturday mornings, you know the smurfs. That jolly band of mythical blue creatures that live in the forest? There was only one girl smurf that I know of and since she was the only one, she was simply referred to as Smurfette. Makes me wonder if a woman created this world. Maybe there were more and I just don't remember. Anyway, who didn't love to hate Gargamel and his cat Azrael? We had some smurf Christmas ornaments (I think we still do actually) and my sister and I bought my dad a smurf keychain that he carried until all that was left was a head.

The Harlem Globetrotters

Somehow the creators turned this basketball team into crime solving villains with a few super powers thrown in and we bought it. But doggone it, who doesn't love crazy basketball stunts from cartoon heroes with huge afros?

Scooby Doo

Now, I'm talking about the old Scooby Doo. Remeber the ones where the ghosts were really just people dressed up. Nowadays, the sleuthing team is dealing with the "real" thing. I liked it much better when it ended with them ripping off the mask and the nasty crook saying, "And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for you meddling kids!"

The Jetsons

Now, I don't know anyone who didn't love the Jetsons. I still have moments to this day where I wish I could stand on a little conveyor belt and ride along while being showered, styled, dressed and made up...all in less than 30 seconds. Who wouldn't want to be able to push a button and have a 5 course meal pop out of a slot? Not to mention, trips to Mars and flying cars. Luckily, I can occasionally catch this one with On Demand in the Kids section under Boomerang. I've gotten my kids hooked on this one too.

The Flintstones

Basically, the Jetsons, only in the Stone Age. ("Flintstones. Meet the Flintstones. They're the modern stone age family") Again, you can sometimes see it on Boomerang. Yabba Dabba Do!

Captain Caveman

Does anyone remember this one? He was a goofball "superhero" who would flip out, turn his club into any number of things and pull whatever else was needed out of his fur. Who comes up with this stuff? I don't care, I loved it.

Bugs Bunny

Okay, now how could I leave out such a classic? And it's not just Bugs, but Daffy, Roadrunner, Sylvester and Tweety, and all the other lovable Looney Toons. Whenever we can catch it on TV (never on Saturday morning mind you) the girls love it as much as we did.

Land of the Lost

I'm really going to show my age here. Is anyone out there old enough to remember this one? It was LOST for kiddos. I'm telling you, I've been saying that the current primetime hit, LOST, was about people lost in time for the last couple of years. I got this idea from my childhood memories of Land of the Lost. It was a show about two kids and their dad (I think) who go on a camping trip and while canoing, end up going over a waterfall only to find themselves in Land of the Lost. There are dinosaurs, apemen, and the scary sleestacks.

So, there you have it. I really could go on and on but this is way too much energy already devoted to something so random. But please, share your favorite cartoons from your Saturday mornings as a kid. Which ones do you miss?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Wanna See Something Scary?

Me and Big Sister - Both at the age of 4

Daddy and Little Sister - Both at the age of 2

Scary, isn't it?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The First Day

Sort of. Monday was Big Sister's first day of kindergarten...sort of. She only went for a couple of hours. She basically was just given some testing and more orientation with the building. And she doesn't get to go back until next Monday. Then another week of waiting. We're just telling ourselves that the 25th is really the first day. So that's when we'll take pictures and all. But here's how it went.

We walked to school (how awesome is that?) and waited in the cafeteria for the bell. She showed no hesitation whatsoever but I have to admit, I was a little nervous seeing her in the mix with all those "big kids". Finally, 8:15 came and one of the teachers did a little clapping thing to get everyone quiet. She asked the kindergartners to line up by the front windows. Big Sister was oblivious. "Great," I thought, "if I wasn't here would she just sit here all day?" I explained what she was supposed to do and she promptly and confidently walked over and lined up...with the 5th graders. I seriously think she could have wandered all day and not known the difference. I finally got her to her classroom and she walked right in and said, "Bye mom!"

I didn't get teary. It was too chaotic. It all happened so fast. Both girls slept in for the first time in months leaving very little time to get breakfast and get dressed. At the last minute I decided Little Sister was dressed too warmly and changed her clothes. Five minutes before we walked out the door, Big Sister started whining that her shirt was "itching" her. I calmly explained that she was in kindergarten now so she had to act like a big girl and kindergartners don't whine. (How many times will I use that one this year?) But as I walked home with Little Sister in tow I have to admit I had that feeling that this was a big moment...and then...I got over it.

I really did have a great time with Little Sister. It's so rare that it's just the two of us. She was really confused and kept asking where Big Sister was but for the most part I think she didn't mind being on her own with Mama.

When we went to pick Big Sister up, she didn't see me at first so I just watched her for a minute. She looked pretty much the same. (Whew) I'm happy to report that when she finally saw me she yelled out, "Mommy!" with a big grin on her face. When I asked her about her day, the first thing she told me about was the lunch. (She is her mama's girl after all) "Guess what I had for lunch Mama?...Pizza and baked beans and a special surprise!" "Oh yeah, what's that?" I asked on cue. "Strawberry milk!" "Oh wow," I exclaimed. "Oh gross," I thought.

But I did have another moment as we walked home. I asked her what her favorite thing about the day was. Her reply? "Well, I had lots of favorite things. My first favorite thing was strawberry milk...aaaand my next favorite thing was seeing the gym (I guess she's her daddy's girl too)...aaaaaand my other favorite thing was...when I saw you walking towards me just now to come pick me up." Does it get any better than that? Now that's a moment I'll probably never get over.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Great Deal!

Check out these cute outfits I got at Target. If you have girls sizes 5T or smaller, Target had these for $4.00 per piece. $8.00 for an entire outfit and it's cute. Notice the detailed applique. I don't think I could do that well at the consignment sales. (Sorry about the sideways pics)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

My Claim to Fame

Well, not really my claim to fame. Many of you are now familiar with my sister-in-law Montee. She has a blog, she reads your blogs, and she frequently comments. What you may not know is that Montee is the wife of a well known minor league baseball manager for the Braves organization. Sometime last year, her husband was featured on SportsCenter for the following incident. I hope Montee doesn't mind me sharing this. I'm sharing it at the request of a couple of you who have heard the story. It is hilarious and although it doesn't come across on the video, he had legitimate reasons for such a tirade. Maybe Montee will comment on it sometime. I love it and I love him so enjoy!