Friday, September 28, 2007

Whoops I Did it Again!

Volunteered, that is.
This time, NO ONE WAS ASKING!!
I suckered MYSELF into baking for next week's Halloween Costume/Bake Sale at Hansel's school.
Two days. Two sales.
But instead of offering to make only *two* items, I am ponying up SIX.
THREE for EACH day.
"Oh, it won't be a problem! My recipe makes three and I'm soooo used to doubling it for the holidays it won't make a bit of a difference."
(Can you say OVER-ACHIEVER?)
And I offered to bring something to Monday's PTA meeting. The first one - of hundreds, I fear - I will attend.
(Can you say SUCK UP?)
And I offered to bake at the Fall Festival in October.
(Can you say moron?)

(Yeah, I thought so.)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

It Used to Be a Mouse

Now it's just a tail and two little bones.

Oh, yeah and some bloody entrails and organs that I threw out before realizing what they were.

(Sorry for *that* missed photo opp. Bad blogger!)

Monday, September 24, 2007

War of the Gourds

Friday. September 21, 2007.

Hi WSM, I'm calling to gloat. We put our pumpkin out before yours!

The statement that started it all. A declaration of WAR.
I've unknowingly found myself in the midst of a competition with my neighbors. For the last three years I've had my Halloween pumpkin carved and lit before them.
A fact I never took note of.
Apparently they have and on Friday night Mr. Pumpkin decided to let me know that the GAME. IS. ON. and even went so far as to put BOTH of his sons (ages 4 & 5) on the phone to ask
Where's *your* pumpkin? We have a pumpkin. Do *you* have a pumpkin?
No. I did not have a pumpkin.
But all that was about to change.

Sunday. September 23, 2007

Mr. Pumpkin's first mistake was calling to gloat.
His second mistake: giving it EYES.

Eyes with which to see the pumpkin PARTAY! going on in our yard after I paid a visit to the local supermarket that was having a sale. Three GINORMOUS pumpkins for $12?!?!?
Now that's a bargain!

Neighbors' third mistake was leaving their house and their pumpkin unattended for the night.
It looks much happier over here. No?

Monday. September 24, 2007. 8:30am.

Hey give us back our pumpkin!
Their youngest yells from the back seat of their car.
Oh it's on!
Mr. Pumpkin declares as she drives away.

I have two words for my friends.

Edited to add:
They did, in fact, BRING IT.
While Mrs. Pumpkin and her kids joined us for a day of apple picking, Mr. Pumpkin upped the ante by spray painting faces on my beautiful VULNERABLE pumpkins.
I figured I would save you the trouble of carving them!
Prince Charming came to the rescue and managed to clean the defaced pumpkins (I take my pumpkin carving very seriously people! and these were practically ruined by this prank!) while I feigned fury instilling terror into the heart of Mr. Pumpkin and didn't speak to him for a week.
I might have even whipped up a special APPLE pie for him too.

Friday, September 21, 2007

It's Only a Matter of Time

One week before the start of school we get a notice in the mail from Hansel's PTA.
We're great! Get involved! Volunteer! The PTA needs YOU!
Ok. I sign up for the "Hospitality Committee" cuz I can like... bake, and stuff.
(I later find out that it's for the WHOLE SCHOOL so I could be baking for THOUSANDS.)
(Well not really thousands but more than 19 which is the average class size and what I thought I would be baking for.)

Earlier this week was Meet The Teacher night at Hansel's school.
Another form.
Volunteer for your child's class! Get involved! It will make your son/daughter H-A-P-P-Y.
Again, I gave them my John Hancock.
Yes! Please do give my name to the class parent! I'm an involved parent and I love to bake! Weeeeeeee!!!

The same day Cinderella comes home after joining the Drama Club.
Guess what she had with her?
Another Volunteer Sign-up Sheet!
This time, I offered to design and print the program for their upcoming performance.

I can't seem to stop myself.
Help me.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

In A Single Bound

There used to be a time when he was smaller than our cat.

Now, as if in a single leap, he's in Kindergarten.

Where did five years go?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Always Remember, Never Forget

"We cannot live for ourselves alone, our lives are connected, by a thousand invisible threads"

~Herman Melville

Friday, September 7, 2007

The Age of Responsibility

The following email from Maleficent appeared in Prince Charming's in-box last night. It has not been edited in any way, other than to change names to maintain anonymity. It's worth noting that Maleficent is an early childhood educator.

I am writing to you out of concern for our daughter. In innocence Cinderella expressed the fact that every other day she will be left to her own means to get on the bus and that you and WS will not be there to put her on the bus (Because WS is driving Hansel to school because she doesn't want him to go on the bus due to the children not wearing their seat belts) Whatever the reason I am extremely uncomfortable with the fact that she is left to her own devices to defend herself if there was any foul play. She told me she was outside the other day when the landscapers (lawn cutters were working on the grass). I am aware, as you are, that there is a child malester who lives right up your road and I am sure you know that there patterns are to scope out a situation and if no one is there he will figure it out.
I remember you were doing a program for the school districts about the local child malesters so I Am sure that you would be more concerned in the one who lives right down the road from our daughter.
Let me know that you have Cinderella covered for the mornings as soon as possible.
Thank you.

MALEFICENT (yes she always signs her name in ALL CAPS, anyone know handwriting analysis?)

1) Foul play? Hmm... those landscapers are a tricky bunch, for sure!

2) It's spelled M-O-L-E-S-T-E-R. And it's called S-P-E-L-L-C-H-E-C-K. Just look for the little button with "ABC" and/or a "check mark" on it. (I won't even go near the punctuation/capitalization/grammatical errors.)

3) Cinderella is ELEVEN and perfectly capable of waiting IN her home for 15 minutes before her bus picks her up IN FRONT of the house.

4) If this woman spent 1/2 as much time focusing on working with us and not against us, as she has focusing on the details of the HOWs and WHYs of Hansel's transportation, we'd be in much better shape. (I sent her an email to this effect. She replied. Not to me but to Prince Charming, Hey, it's a start.)

Now, with all that being said, I remember having way more responsibilities at a younger age than Cinderella. Walking to/from school at SEVEN. Being home alone for several hours. Running to the corner deli to buy milk, bread (and cigarettes).
15 minutes here and there seems like nothing. Or is it?
We struggle with how much is too much responsibility for Cinderella. She eleven, but still very young in so many ways. But she has to grow up some time. And she will never grow up if she continues to be babied and coddled.
The pedophile 5 houses up the road is a constant concern. Cinderella and Hansel have been told about him, know what he looks like (Santa! Of course, he'd have to look like Santa.), where he lives, what kind of car he drives and what to do if he ever comes within 2 feet of our home. I hate that we have to worry about him, but it's better to KNOW than to NOT KNOW.
Keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer, right?
We do not like leaving Cinderella alone. At all. Some mornings, it will be unavoidable. Some mornings. Not EVERY morning. Hansel's school starts at 8:25am. Cinderella's bus picks her up at 8:30. (I could drive her as well but she likes taking the bus; enjoys the time with her friends and playing the role of a middle schooler.)
I'm trying not to dismiss Maleficent concerns simply because they are coming from her. I'm trying to remain objective.
We're doing the right thing, aren't we?

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Growing Up

Two Weeks Ago
"Maybe we should call your cousin and find out what Kindergarten is like. You know, she was just in Kindergarten two years ago so she knows all about it."

Mo-om! I can find out about Kindergarten when I
start Kindergarten, ya know!


This Morning
I SET MY ALARM. For 6am!
Why? To shower so I would look presentable and not like a dead Mommy when I drove my five year old to school for his 1st day of Kindergarten.
AND! I made a frittata!
Not for breakfast but for a baby shower that I had to go to at 8:45 this morning (I know! Don't get me started on THAT!) but WHO CARES! I was cooking AFTER getting showered AND dressed ALL BEFORE 7am!
Hansel awoke at 7am and was like... NO. BIG. DEAL. Oh, except for the fact that he woke up cheerful. And cooperative.
No arguments about getting dressed. Or brushing his teeth. Or making his bed. Or eating breakfast.
(Well, 3 out of 4 ain't so bad.)
The first day of school was going so smoothly and productively!
Yet somehow I managed to zone out at the end resulting in the last minute dash out the door because OHMYGOD we're going to be late on your FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!
But! There's always time for pictures.

And because it's all about the backpack...

The next two hours were a blur because after finding a parking space at the school (because No, You can't park here so get back into your car and move it, lady!) and navigating through herds of clueless children and parents with Hansel in hand and Gretel on hip and finally dropping Hansel off with his teacher I sped off to the aforementioned baby shower for which I was now late.
I don't know what happened after I arrived. I stood in the kitchen in front of the delectable goodies brought by my girlfriends and stuffed my face while Gretel ran amok playing with her tot friends. There was some conversation about due dates (yeah, there are THREE preggos in our group), constipation, saggy belly skin and all the other glamorous topics of conversation that come up when you get a group of 8 Moms together.
Before I knew it, it was time to leave and pick Hansel up for his 11:15am early dismissal.
Once again, I sped off but this time with an empty gas tank and a full bladder from the coffee I drank because did I mention that I was up at 6am??
Parking space: found. Yeah, it was the one I was told to move out of this morning wannamakesumthinofit I'm toting a toddler on my hip!
Hansel: found. Sitting at a huge table in a huge cafeteria. His backpack strapped to his shoulders and his lunch box in hand. Looking bored as ever waiting for me to show up.
"How was your first day of Kindergarten?"
"What'd you do today?"
Umm... I can't remember.

Can someone tell me why I was worried?

Cinderella started Middle School today. She needed no supervision or intervention AT ALL.
And she had to be left alone to wait for her bus while I drove Hansel to Kindergarten.
In the house.
By herself!
We've got another 2 hours to go before she gets home.

Our kids are growing up. I'm just growing old.