Thursday, February 22, 2007
Is it Summer Yet,?
It must be spring fever. I find myself lately counting up how many school days left before summer vacation. And I think I am the only Mom around here that thinks this way. When I made the statement around some other Moms that I could not wait until school was out, they looked at me sorta like I just sprouted a new head. I can tell my kids are also getting a bit weary of the school year. Ok, they are only in kindergarten and 2nd grade and have a lot of school years ahead of them (and me) but we LOVE our time off. Am I an aberration of the species of mothers that I actually enjoy having mine around all day? I can get that part of homeschoolers. Make our own schedule, our own school hours, more field trips and vacation whenever we wanted. OK, maybe I would not be a good homeschool Mom.I doubt our school year would last 9 months. I'd be good for about 6 months/4 hours a day. But I am beginning to see the reasons why some choose this route. School now starts in early August. What's up with that? No fall break, shorter holidays. Is there more to learn now than when I was in school. I learned to read the same words and books, did the same math, the same history, the same science. Ok, we didn't have computer class, but we did have art and music and library and P.E. And every week it seems I am sending money for this program or that T Shirt or a reading fund-raiser or a field trip or PTO Friday Tattoos or Ice cream day in the lunchroom. And don't think you can just say No. All the kids are getting tattoos or ice cream, so you can't in good conscience single your child out to make a fiscal stand. Or when the teacher sends a note saying that ALL the children will be wearing the TShirt on such and such day and again you will not choose to make a stand at your child's expense. It's school supported and peer mandated extortion. Free education, what a concept. And it's not a matter of the amount of money for us but I think about the families that a dollar here and ten dollars there does make a difference. How do they feel when they can't cough up the money. What does it do to their self esteem, peer standings and how is this part of No Child Left Behind mindset?Are they the only kid without the matching T Shirt?
Maybe I am just being too critical or too focused on this lately.
I Love our school and the teachers and students and I know that compared to other schools in our area, we are getting hit less for incidental money than the others.
There is no other school I would put my kids in and they have been phenomenal with services, attention and individual help for my special son.
I think that all this is just my readiness for the end of school.
Spring Break is in a few week and a fantastic thing is happening that week.
My bestest girlfriend from New Jersey is coming to visit. She is bringing her two sons and her newly adopted daughter from China who I have not yet met. To say we are excited is an understatement. We met in Russia while we were each adopting our first sons. The bond was instant, deep and took us both by surprise. I am sure we seem the odd couple, the Rebel and the Yank. North meets South. But inside we share the same mind, soul and outlook on life. She gets me and my life like no one else. We are like twins separated somewhere in Heaven (Or Hell somedays) before being sent to earth.
This will be their first trip south. I think her kids think their visit "South" is akin to visiting a foreign country. Her son asked did we by chance have McDonald's here. I think they are worried about what kind of food they are going to have to eat down here.
She once asked me what was it with southerners and beans.
She thinks Fried Okra is some kinda fish.
And she has never met a grit.
I am thinking of ways I can freak them out while they are here. But I can understand. We visited them a few years ago in New Jersey. And it did have aspects of treading on foreign soil. So I guess my school weariness could be a combo of spring fever and anticipation of their trip. I feel very honored she is taking on an airplane flight without her dear husband along and with an 8, 6 and 1 year old in tow. That is true friendship and I do not think anyone in my life has ever gone to such lengths to spend time with me. And on top of all that it is not even their spring break, so she is taking the two oldest out of school for the occasion.
Another caveat to having a long distance friend come visit.
The Honey Do list gets done and I really have a spark in me to CLEAN HOUSE.
I mean really clean. God Forbid she sees how we really live. HA!
So only 25 days until she gets here .
And then after her visit only 60 and 1/2 days until summer vacation.
I hope I can make it.
When I break it down like that it seems like a light at the end of the tunnel.
A light that is sleeping late, trips to the park or the pool or the beach or the backyard or camping.
No plans or lots of plans.
Spur of the moment or carefully plotted.
And over all too soon.
I remember when August meant you still had 1/3rd of your summer left.
AHHH, the good ole days.
So when my kids are looking weary of school and I am all dollared out, I can honestly tell them
"I feel your Pain",
Boy, do I feel your pain.
Not that it does any good , but I feel it.
Or maybe that's just my bursitis and tendinitis acting up.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Happy Valentine's Day
So after signing, folding, taping on candy for 18 x 2 classes at school for my two little cupids, I signed on this morning to read some wonderful news. My web friend in adoption and her husband are in Russia on their second trip to adopt their beautiful new daughter. She surprised us all by announcing that this morning they had been to court and their adoption was finalized. How wonderful to have Valentine's Day as the Birthday of your family. I am so happy for her and her husband but especially for this darling little girl whose life is about to change so exponentially into love, warm hugs, constant attention and a future that she can't even imagine.
And the wonderful world of magic of being a Mommy and a Daddy that her new parents have just jumped into will be a joy to read about in the coming months.

My husband and I used to really "do" Valentine's Day.
Before Kids.
Flowers, Candle lite expensive restaurants, one too many glasses of the bubbly, then home to jacuzzi bubble baths and ...........well you get the picture.
AHHHHHH the memories.

Now its, how many valentines do I need to buy for school, what school snack have I been assigned to send and what can I cook for dinner so that it's not just another day at the ranch.
Yesterday my daughter brought me flowers.
She had taken her special vase outside, picked my just bloomed daffodils and some pansies. She had the yellow and orange flowers arranged on the outside and the purple pansies in the center. She had carefully and artfully made the arrangement and added just the right amount of water. I could see in her eyes, when she brought them to me with trembling hands, pride, worry about having picked my flowers and love.
OK, it made me cry.
All I saw was the love- my beautiful daughter, out of the blue, taking such time and effort to show me how much she loved me in such a simple way. I, of course, hugged and kissed and thanked her as if I had just won an Oscar and we set them in a place of honor.
I believe that was the best Valentine's Day present ever.
It's all about LOVE and in my house we feel it 365 days a year.
Feb.14 is nothing special.
Well, unless your 6 year old brings you flowers.

So tonight, we have a reservation for a family of four at a very exclusive , one table restaurant.
We won't have to get dressed up or drive.
And pets are welcome
We will have white table cloth and candles.
We will share some bubbly.
The menu will be steak and french fires and Chicken nuggets.
I think I will make some cupcakes for my children.
Something sinfully chocolate for Mommy and Daddy.
I'll even let them drink some Sprite out of my good wine glasses.

We should be finished just in time for "Deal or No Deal"

The Perfect Valentine's Celebration
Honoring Love
Love for each other
Love for our family

And loving that it did not involve shaving my legs, panty hose ,high heels or a babysitter.
It just involved LOVE.

Thursday, February 08, 2007
The More Things Change....................
On the Russian adoption web board that I participate in, a recent thread was about all the things as Mom's we could not live with out in our daily lives.
Here are some of the must haves-
Baby Wipes
Tide to Go Pen
Mr.Clean Eraser
DVD Player in the Car
Zip Lock Bags
Sippy Cups
Washable Marker's
Mother's Day Out
Pay at the Pump Gas
Matchbox Cars
Disposible Diapers
Juice Boxes
Digital Camera's
Eggo Waffles
Diet Drinks
Microwave Popcorn
Debit cards
and my favorite two that were posted a lot were
and a Cold one at the end of the day!

This got me to thinking about my Mom and How did she do it. How did any of our mother's do it?
Cloth diapers alone would have ended it for me. I threw quite a few pairs of toddler panties away rather than scrape the poop out. Occasionally I will pop popcorn on the top of the stove like we did in the old days. This totally excites my kids. They think I am some magical chef to be able to do it without a microwave. Still the microwave reigns supreme.
How did my Mom, heat baby food and bottles and leftovers?
How were we not on the bottle until age 6 without Spill Proof sippy cups and juice boxes?
And I know my two would never make it on just 3 TV channels and no remote.
My daughter cannot even wrap her brain around no DVD's or Video tapes when I was growing up. And quite frankly I would not want her (Or me ) to experience that. At age 5 she can work the DVR recorder on the satellite receiver and knows that to get a new movie from NetFlix by the weekend , you gotta mail the old one in on Monday or Tuesday.
Kids these days stare in horror when we tell them that when we rode in the car it was the radio and the window for entertainment. No DVD player, no Ipod, No Nintendo or Game Boy. There must have been a lot of crazed families emerging from those station wagons after long car trips.
We went camping every summer and fall growing up.
Propane stoves and kerosene lanterns.
Canvas Cots or just a sleeping bag on the ground.
Campfire provided heat at night.
We have carried on the tradition of camping with our kids. They still get the same things out of it that we did. It's the same, Yet different.
I call it City Camping. Oh, we go to the same campgrounds in Tennessee or Georgia. We sleep in a tent, build a campfire,makes smores,tell scary stories,use communal bathrooms. That is where the similarity ends.
We are plugged in. Literally.
Electric stove top, Toaster Oven, Coffee Maker, heater and fan, small TV w/built in DVD player and game connections, waffle iron.
We sleep on Queen Size Pillow Top Air Mattresses blown up with an electric AIr Pump and made up with pillows and sheets and blankets.
Childhood-The Same but Different.
I can't wait to see my kids as parents and telling their children about how rough they had it as a child. I can also just imagine my grandchildren's faces when I tell them about the really old days when I was a child.
Maybe I can add the walked a mile to school in the snow.
That one always works.