Friday, March 30, 2007

the ick

We are on day 7 of sickness in my family. It has hit Maya, then Paige, who is still sick and now, as of last night, Brittani. I had a day of ickness in there, too, but I think that was wine and tequila induced.

I feel very...captive. I guess i could abandon my kids so I could get a pedicure or a facial or go shopping, all things that were on my agenda this week, but that just doesn't seem right. I hate when I am sick and I am still expected to get my own__________ (you fill in the blank). So I am here to make them tea with honey, get fresh ice water, monitor their temps, do bucket patrol and, if they are hungry, feed them. I even spent about 2 hours last night playing with paige's hair because she was feeling crappy and that makes her feel better. Like when she was 3.

Tonight my Niece and Nephew are staying the night, so hopefully they don't get sick, too. It's really going around. Wayne thinks it is this virus.

Oh, and have I mentioned how much I love DishNetwork? We have their HD-DVR, and they have such rad HD channels. Right now we are watching the pilot episode of Joan of Arcadia in hi-def. We also used to watch Dead Like Me in HD on HDNet. It is an awesome channel.

anyway. Lame, I know.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

red lory

We have a Red Lory. It is a beautiful bird, but we simply cannot keep him.

We adopted him a year ago, and it was meant to be temporary but didn't work out that way.

He is lovable, tame and has an excellent disposition. He talks but doesn't have a huge vocabulary. The potential is there, though. I accidentally taught him to say "Hey, baby," and he caught on in only a few days. He says it a lot now.

We don't really have room for him, and since we didn't expect him to be a permanent fixture in our family, it was okay. Now that it's been a year, we are (mostly) ready to have him go to a home that would be more suitable for him.

His name is Valentine, and he is probably 8 years old. These birds, as far as I know, live into their 20s and beyond. If you are at all interested in adopting Valentine-- for free-- then email me. Feel free to pass this info on if you know someone who is looking for a good companion pet.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

updated post

I updated this post, if'n you're interested.


I got my hair cut.
oooh, so healthy and shiny.

Like the crazy eyes?

I also got my Amazon order, which was my bday gift from Dale and Bill, my MIL and FIL.
Check it out:

Oddly enough, I ordered these when I was feeling OLD *and* nostalgic. That's what happens when you turn 36. So, these movies are from when I was 13, 14, 15 & 16 years old. I also have Pretty in Pink in my DVD library already.

Movie night!!!!!!


I am getting a lot of hits to my blog this past week because of Shane Wyrsch's untimely and tragic death. People are looking for information about Shane, I am sure. Unfortunately, I didn't know him other than to say hi, if I bumped into him, and that was 18+ years ago.

Paige was at her dad's this weekend, and he went to Shane's memorial service. They played football together in high school; I think football bonds guys eternally.

So when I met with Paige's dad in Auburn to pick Paige up on Sunday, he showed me the program (?) that was used for the service. It had an awesome picture of Shane with his wife and kids (his kids look so much like him!) and a tear-jerking poem about the importance of his wife and kids in his life. It sounded like a beautiful memorial, from the description Paige's dad gave.

I haven't heard anything more about the guy who caused the accident-- I know he was drunk and was driving with a suspended license. I'm kind of glad he didn't die (painfully disabled would be good, though) because then maybe he can spend the rest of his life rotting in jail; however, he'll probably end up getting something ridiculous like 14 years (or less). That will be another hit to his family-- going through a trial and sentencing. I hope they find strength during this time.

Someone commented my blog a few days ago and mentioned another Mount Si Class of 1989 death. Pete Thompson. He was our ASB president, IIRC. He had cancer. Ugh. You know, every time I hear of someone's death-- someone who I remember as young and vital-- it's like being punched in the gut. Like my friend Renae (also MSHS 1989) said, we are too young to get cancer; to have strokes; to die. It's just not right.

Anyway, I had to Google Pete, and I found not really anything but a person's Christmas letter that mentions, near the bottom, Pete's passing, which I am assuming occurred in 2006.

The death of people I went to high school with makes me very nostalgic. I go to classmates, the Mount Si Alumni site, drag out my yearbooks (much to my children's amusement). I remember the boys and girls I adored; the girls I hated. The boys who were assholes. The teachers who gave a damn and the ones who could care less (some of those are still teaching at Mount Si!). The parties. Spodies. Keggers. Football games. Dances (no one goes to high school dances anymore, you know. So sad).

I notice, however, in my internet sleuthing, that a lot of the people who remain exactly where they were 18 years ago are, really, exactly where they were 18 years ago. It's interesting because the population of North Bend (where I lived) has changed tremendously since I left. I am sure Snoqualmie has, too (I have no idea about Fall City. I think it is probably forever the same). People with big money moved into the valley and bought humongous and expensive houses, while the long-established locals live in Riverbend or The Rim or a trailer.

I was telling Wayne the other day that it doesn't seem fair that families who have been living in the valley for generations are priced out of the really good housing. Hm. It's just an interesting dynamic in the valley. I bet the high school is freaking insane now; I bet there is a greater disparity between the haves and have-nots than when I was there. I cannot even imagine.

Anyway, enough of that. I need to get away from the nostalgia in order to be a productive person.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

almost twenty years...and more death

(UPDATED 3.27.2007)
Wayne and I were coming home on Tuesday, I think it was. The flag at the fire station up the street from our house was at half staff, which had us wondering who the heck died.

I got home and there was a bulletin from a woman I knew when I lived in the valley. It was titled simply "Shayne."

Well, Jenny was a lot younger than me, so I probably didn't know Shayne. I know I didn't know any guys who spelled their name like that.

I checked out the bulletin anyway, and holy shit. It was a guy with whom I graduated from high school. Shane Wyrsch. I never knew Shane very well. In fact, I don't think he crossed my mind since 1989 when I walked out of my graduation ceremony. I don't have anything bad to say about him. He seemed quiet. Unlike a lot of the football players at my school, he wasn't an asshole.

He was hit, in his car, head on by a drunk driver. He was a US Forest Service Law Enforcement Officer who was on his way home from a meeting. the accident occured around 10:20pm on Highway 410 near Buckley-- not far from where I live now. The accident wreckage was pretty gruesome. He was married to a woman named Zoe and has two little boys.

So sad. So unexpected, as always.

In email exchange, my friend Renae and I were adding up how many of our former classmates have died since we graduated (Mount Si High School 1989). We count four that we know of:

Derek Hastings-- I want to say that was in December 1989. Car accident. I adored Derek; his funeral was so awfully sad.

Travis Reed-- He and I moved to The Valley the same year. He dressed like Don Johnson in Miami Vice. Our lockers were right next to each other in the chaos that was sophomore hall. He was odd, funny, and like a brother to me. I heard he aquired HIV and died of AIDS, but I don't know if that is true. By the time I heard of his death, we had most definitely lost touch. I have great memories of him, though.

Jeff Roberts-- I didn't really know him at all. He was super quiet. Tall. Big. He seemed nice, but we didn't cross social circles much. He died in a car accident, too. I think another one of our classmates was driving, but I don't remember who.

And now Shane Wyrsch.

We're fortunate to have only lost 4 since 1989 (to be sure, there may be more that we're not yet aware of). The Mount Si Class of 2002 lost 4 classmates before graduation. I used to babysit one of those kids, who was actually killed in a hit and run. The driver in the hit and run? A guy I graduated with.

Our twenty year high school reunion will be in two years. Two years. How many memorial photos will we have on display by then? We only had just over a hundred people in our graduating class.

Here's a picture of Shane that is all over the media.

ADD (3.27.2007): I found an obituary for Shane online and an online guestbook that can be signed.

Mom My Ride

Yeah, I Mommed My Ride.


I thought today would be great. Maya has a bday party to go to from 2-4 right in our neighborhood. My plan? Drop her off, run to get a coffee and use one of my pedi gift certs. Ahhhh. One of the assignments for this week in our parenting class is taking time for yourself. It just seemed like a perfect plan.

Or not.

While Wayne was sleeping last night-- in preparation for his 4:30am departure-- Maya threw up massive amounts of stinky, chunky, um, chunks. Ew. So, for once, I did the clean up the puke, wash the mattress, the sheets and the kid routine by myself. Wayne offered to help, but I much prefer to be a martyr. No, he had a hard enough time getting to sleep. It was after midnight, and he needed to sleep.

She had one more bout of puking this morning, but she hit the bucket. Yea! My kid is weird; she always tries to talk while puking. Even when she was a baby and she couldn't talk, she would try to crawl away from herself while puking. It's very strange to watch.

Temp is 101.1, so no birthday party. No coffee for a much deserving mommy. No pedi. No "me" time. Just a sick kid who is going to spend all day being bored and wanting me to play store, school, or some weird imagination game she controls to the point that no improv on my part is tolerated. She is The Director.

I did record a couple classic films on the DVR last night.

The 7th Voyage of Sinbad which is one of those awesome movies with the mythological creatures. I remember watching it with my dad on Saturdays, when they had the Saturday afternoon movies on channel 11. I have always loved Sinbad.

The other movie, Jason and the Argonauts, was never as appealing to me because, well, Sinbad was just so awesome, but it's a perfect double feature for a sicky Saturday, don't you think?

I recorded both of those off of Monsters HD, which is a pretty cool channel.

I will blog later about week 2 of the parenting class; the guy I graduated with who died this week; my doula-ing dilemma.

Oh, and a Happy Belated Birthday to Laura.
I felt like shit yesterday (neverending fatigue), so I didn't send an email off or call. I felt so bad that I dreamed about it last night.

Monday, March 19, 2007


Okay, in this blog I am posting things I have wanted to blog about but will have to be brief.

Two weeks ago or so, I swear to god I saw one of my ex-boyfriends at my local mall. Funny because there is no way he and I should both be in that Target at the same time. He still lives in North Bend and I live, well, far away from North Bend. He is a significant ex-boyfriend (must save for another post), so it shocked me. I was on the phone with Wayne at the time. No, I didn't stop and talk to the ex. It's just so weird. And I'm just so... old. And about 35lbs overweight. Ugh.

That is the same Target where I ran into a girl I went to high school with; I dated her brother, and so our friendship did not end well. I was excited to see her, though. She seemed less than enthused. Oh well.

I want to take the kids to San Francisco. We thought we could go this past weekend but with Britt's play and my bday celeb at my parents' house, it just didn't work out. I want it to be spontaneous. We used to be so spontaneous, but not anymore.

The bible thumpers are going after my kid. Paige was approached by the youth leader for one of the bigger youth groups in our area. The kicker that has me riled up: she was approached AT SCHOOL. Someone apparently told him she needs to be saved, or maybe that is her interpretation. He just needs to leave her the hell alone. They can pray around the flagpole at school all they want, but just leave my kid alone. A lot of the kids that go to that youth group are all a bunch of freaking hypocrites anyway. Sex. Drugs. Drinking. Youth group is just another social event for them.

Brittani was in the school play Thurs and Fri. Run for the Money. It was a little strange because the director (teacher) made some script changes that totally changed the last half of the play. Brittani was awesome as Millie Floogee. I'd like to see her get more involved in dramatic arts.

Millie Floogee (L) and Lily Bastrop (R)

Lily (L) and Millie (R)

What else...

While I was out observing primate mating rituals in suburbia on Saturday, I could have been at the PBR!!!!!! I love PBR. Hey, at least it's not NASCAR. I've loved bull riding since I was younger and my parents would always take us to Omak. Damn but that was fun. There was even a time when I could not wait to get into the bar at Omak; of course, by the time I was old enough to go to the bar at the rodeo, I was not even interested in hanging out with cowboys. They do have this sexiness about them-- as long as they don't open their mouths. Well, unless it's one of the Brazilian cowboys. They can talk all they want. Anyway, I got interested in PBR again last year when TLC had their show Beyond the Bull, which focused on three riders:

JW who is a bit chauvinistic for my taste. Too Good Ol' Boy.
Brendon who is immature, stubborn and a little chauvinistic (not at all near JW's level, though). Oh and he is H-O-T. Australian, too, so he has a lovely accent. I will allow him to speak, too.
Adriano who I loved, loved, loved. Brazilian. Family man. Hot as hades.

But damn, the show didn't come back this year.

Okay, I have class tonight, and I have doula dilemmas. I will post about them later. Two more classes; new class begins in three weeks. Crazy. I have a reunion I need to get on like last week, too. Ugh. I am drowning in responsibility. I need a vaca.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

St Patrick's Day

Last night Wayne and I headed to The Big City (wasn't that a Little House book?) for a night of revelry. I even put on make-up. That, my friends, is only done for special occassions--usually weddings and funerals, but I tend to apply my face more often than ever that I am 36.

We met some friends at The Crab Pot. None of us had ever been there before; it was so fun and so yummy. They boil a bunch of seafood with andouille and corn cobs and dump it right on the table, which is covered in butcher paper. You get a wooden mallet and a wooden board to smash crabs with. It was so much food,and it was so good.

Afterwards we hit Giggles-- another first for me. We saw That Guy, who is going to be on this show Tuesday and Wednesday. He was really funny. I'm not a big laugher, I guess. Wayne really enjoys comedy shows on TV and on XM, but they usually just annoy me. Ron Pearson's show was actually quite hilarious, but it may have helped that I had low expectations. I laughed til I hurt. That can't be a bad thing.

Then it was time to head back to our little suburban bubble.

Wayne wasn't ready to go home because he didn't get his drink on at the comedy club; they serve stronger drink at the ta-ta bars around here, which at least don't pretend to be alcoholic drinks.

Okay, so this was when the fun started-- back in our insulated suburban bubble at The Mexican Restaurant, which was full-on celebrating St Patrick's Day. Of course. For some reason, I forgot that it was a Big Irish Holiday and never once did it cross my mind that it would be celebrated with such gusto at the mexican restaurant lounge.

It was, by far, the most amusing night I have experienced in awhile.

There is nothing like watching the mating rituals of drunk women (mostly) and sober men (mostly). See, I noticed last night that men tend to stay a wee bit more sober than women when trying to hook up at a bar. I never realized this when I was actually one of the drunk women at the bar. Maybe it's because they are afraid that they won't get it up if they are too drunk. They may pass out and miss an opportunity to get laid. Who knows.

The women who were there all appeared to be in their early to mid-ish 20s. All of them, fat and skinny; cute and scary; drunk and drunker were into the bump and grind, and it was not done gracefully.

One girl, who I called T&A, was dancing with an off-duty employee of the restaurant (he was our drink server when my mommy friends and I went out for much needed and deserved margaritas); he kept trying to do these not-so-fancy spins with her, which made her stumble off balance. She was much better at grinding her ass into his crotch.

The guy also would dance with a blonde girl (Future PTA Mom) who just looked frigid. She was dancing with an older (like, even older than me) hispanic guy. She had "that look." You know-- you've probably given that look to someone. It's a look that is reserved for a guy who asks you to dance, but you don't want to dance and most of all, you want everyone to know that you most certainly are not interested in him and that dancing with him is just slightly more pleasant than having your toenails pulled out with pliers. But when she danced with Waiter Dude, she tried to be sexy. She definitely did not have "that look" when she danced with Waiter Dude.

It was a sort of Bump and Grind competition between the Future PTA Mom and T&A. I was totally rooting for T&A. She kind of reminded me of myself (but i didn't have the T&A she was sporting-- I was all about the stumbling, though).

All the while, there is this horrible, awful music that I think is used by hostage negotiators to flush out the bad guys. Yucky rap. Censored rap on top of that. Like, aren't we all over 21? What kind of DJ plays bleeped music? Oh, I know... a chubby white boy who tries to look all gangsta but who lives IN THE BURBS. Ugh.

The DJ had a friend and some girls with him. They were hard to look at but also very hard to look away from. One guy would get between two of the girls and "dance" (waving his arms while bending his knees), and the girls would gracefully move away from him. Like, ew. Still much bumping and grinding. This group did a very sloppy mating ritual. Their bumping and grinding seemed so...wrong. They had no rythym. I wanted to go out to the one girl and tell her to slow it down a little.

And then.
Oh, baby.

In came the P-town Posse.

I could tell right away who the Alpha Female was. She was wearing a full length dog hair coat. I so wanted to take a picture, but that might have caused a ruckus. The coat looked like maybe German Shepard. She was stylin' and profilin' with a sexy accessory that complemented her dog fur so perfectly.

With her was a guy dressed all in white, what appeared to be denim. Head to toe denim. he had a white hat, which he paired with a green bandana. Under the hat. Next him was Big Red. All red attire. He was trying to sing along to some of the songs, but it was like watching a dubbed kung-fu movie.

It was so amusing to sit back and watch all these younger people do their thing. It made me a little embarrassed about what I was doing 12 years ago. Ugh. I can't even think of it because I know I would die from humiliation.

Oh, and I did text Dryke a very poor video of our night out. It just isn't a good late night if I don't contact Dryke and Reane while I am in some state of inebriation (4 (?) mojitos), but back in the day, I always had to call them because that was way before text messaging. Now they get a break-- just a text. i wouldn't want to get yelled at for waking Laura.

funny things they say

It's bath night for Maya, and I am here at the computer while she bathes and gets ready for bed. We have conversations during this time. Two funny things she said just within the past 15 minutes:

me: "I love your daddy" (cause he did something really nice for me just then).
funny look from Maya.
me: "aren't you glad I love your daddy?"
maya: "I never really thought about it."
me: "well, don't you think it's better than if I hated him or if we didn't live together?"
maya: "yeah, but I would like a 'dad's house'. If you guys weren't married, I would really like to have a 'dad's house'. I would."

Minutes later.

maya: "is tonight a school night?"
me: "yes."
maya: "I don't want to go to school anymore; can you email Mrs. F and tell her that I am going to be homeschooled from now on?"
me: "uh, no."
maya: "please... I really want to be homeschooooooled. Fine. I'll email her."
me: laughing
maya: "what's her email address?"

She is such a goofball.
Who is going to school tomorrow.

Friday, March 16, 2007

it's fridaaaaayyyyyy

This week has felt so damn long.

We went to Brittani's play last night; she was great! The play was a bit confusing at the end, but I was really impressed by some of the young actors. The play was Run for the Money. We will be at tonight's show, too, so maybe I'll better be able to figure out the ending.

After the play, I met some friends for drinks. It was so fun! I think we have plans to get together again, soon, and I think we each have some people we plan to invite to join us. There were 6 of us last night, two whom I don't really know; I like meeting new people, so it was great.
Wayne and I started a parenting class this week; it was good. It's based on the principles of Positive Discipline. There was a time when I would have never considered taking a parenting class. I mean, who takes parenting classes? People who are bad parents, duh. Well, as I become older (ahem) and wiser, I realize that I'm completely winging this parenting thing. I've done okay so far, and I don't think I've done irreparable damage to any of my kids, but I definitely know that there are areas where I need some serious help.

I tend to be impatient and yell a lot. I don't spank anymore, and I haven't spanked Maya very much in her life; in fact, I can't remember the last time I spanked Maya. It's been awhile. But I would like to learn better ways to communicate with all of my kids and to help them become confident and productive members of society.

The class was great (it's a series of 7 classes), and I am excited to learn more. I haven't read the book yet, but even after one class, I see a change in how Wayne and I approach challenges we have with the kids.

Oh, and to be clear, Positive Discipline is not about never saying no to a child. From what I understand, after one class, the key component of this class is respect. So many people treat children as second class citizens who don't deserve to be treated well. Have you seen this story? It makes me terribly sad. I'm not saying that a parenting class would have spared this child from her abusive parents, but I can't help but think that if people were expected to take a parenting class while expecting a baby, that lives could be changed. I know my perspective on parenting definitely changed after taking a developmental psych class in college. I was already a parent by then (Paige was 7 or so), so I had already fucked up in many ways as a parent.

It's unfortunate that parenting classes are seen as something that is sought out only in times of crisis or court order.

It's so cliche, but these kids do not come with manuals, and there are times when they stress a person the hell out. Times when we are in a parenting situation where we don't know what the hell to do. Tools, people. Tools are good.

You can go HERE to find a class/facilitator in your area. It's not the best laid out website, but they do have a list of facilitators. Our facilitator is Stacy Lappin. I will post updates on how the classes are going over the next 7 weeks.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

my birthday

It was a low-key day.

I had too much to drink last night, which resulted in oversleeping (Wayne, Maya and me). We woke at 7:25, which is an hour later than my usual wake-up time. Totally hung over because I was tired, and I am old and don't metabolize my alcohol very well anymore. Maya had to be dressed, fed, and out the door by 7:55. Amazingly, we did it!

Got Maya off to school, crawled back in bed and watched The Departed. It was a good movie, but I'd been hearing such raves about it, I feel my expectations were too high. It was an excellent flick, though, and you should watch it. Jack Nicholson never disappoints, does he.

Wayne and I volunteered in Maya's class today, which was fun. The teacher seemed thrilled to have two adults helping her.

I am responsible for 2 dozen cookies for the teachers tomorrow, so I baked 1 dozen before we went to dinner and I am baking a dozen now.

Dinner at Anthony's, which is very tasty. It was a beautiful night, too, to eat dinner on the waterfront.

And my gifts from Wayne and the Girls (aside from being the absolute wonderful people that they are):

I saw this painting at Aaron Brothers, and I needed it for my family room. It looks awesome! I have it hanging over the couch, now all I need to do is paint my damn walls. It goes well with the colors I have in the room.

Buddha, Buddha, Buddha, how I have longed for you... For some reason, I have really wanted a Buddha for some time now, and Wayne picked a gorgeous Buddha. Paige had to tell me to quit rubbing his nipples. They are very...prominent. So, I took down my infinite reflections, which I was kind of tired of, and I put Buddha on the mantle. He looks...divine.

It's funny because I also have a fascination with Mary and rosary beads, but Wayne never feels inclined to indulge me when it comes to those things. How would I display rosary beads, anyway? I digress. As usual.

I also received a gift certificate to a nail place, so I can get "guilt-free" pedis (it will pay for at least 3 or 4 pedis), and a gift certificate to St. Arbucks for "guilt-free" coffee. My favorites!

I am gleeful!

Monday, March 12, 2007

dirty sex

Did I get your attention with the subject?
Really what I meant is THIRTY SIX. Dirty Sex is so much more interesting, though.

Tomorrow, well, in two hours or so, I will be 36. Years. Old.

Thirty six, as in 18 twice over.
12 thrice.
nein 4 times.
6 x 6.


There are definitely some things about 36that are unappealing to me.
I'm fatter.
My skin looks like hell.
Gray hair.

But I think there are more things about being 36 that I actually like. Really, some of the unappealing aspects of 36 have not so much to do with my age as they have to do with the crap I put in my mouth and my sedentariness. Is sedentariness actually a word? If it isn't, it should be.

Sometimes I miss my younger, wilder days-- drinking a lot, partying often, lots of different guys to hang out with. I never had difficulty with socialization. I find I have a harder time socializing now than I did back then, but I think that's mostly because of, well, life.

I am a SAHM who is horrible at networking with other moms, even though I absolutley love hanging out with my friends wehn I get the chance. It's so easy to, you know, put your family and husband/partner ahead of everything else, which is fine and well, but sometimes a girl needs to cut loose (drink lemon drops or other frilly type of martini) with other girls! I just don't get that anymore, like I used to.

My girls, all three of them (6, 14 & 16), all are so connected to their girlfriends. They may drop a friend and make new friends, but they are very much about being with the girls. When did I stop hanging with my girlfriends? kids, marriage, life... girlfriends are hard to fit in, and when there is time, it's hard to get everyone on the same schedule. And sometimes I feel guilty for being out when Wayne is home. Poor guy; all he does is work, it seems. As bad as I am with girlfriends, he's even worse with his guy friends. He never hangs with the guys anymore.

Funny enough, I got an email tonight, after I was done teaching class, that some friends were getting together for drinks at a local Mexican restaurant. I wanted to go soooooo bad, but it was already 10pm. On a school night. On the night before my 36th birthday.


Yes, I'm back to that again.

Am I the only woman who hates getting older? Every other woman I talk to is so okay with being older, and so I feel like a freak for wanting to CRY over turning another year older. Dammit.

What do I have to look forward to now that I am 36? Menopause? Facial hair. That one hair that grows off the chin... you know the one I'm talking about. Vaginal dryness. Yeah, I said it. Why the hell do you think there are KY commercials all over the freaking place anymore?

I guess that brings me full circle back to the subject line: dirty sex. The connection? vaginal dryness and KY jelly.

Do I sound completely whacked?

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Box Top Breakfast

My daughter goes to public school, but within her public school is another "school" that is part of, but separate on many levels, from the "general population." It is The Co-Op, and we are part of it. We are so fortunate to be part of it because it is an awesome model for education, but it can be filled with some snobby people. Not us, though. We're normal.

Last year was a huge stress because it was an application/lottery system to get in. We, along with a friend from preschool, won the lottery and made it into the Kindergarten co-op. It has been the most wonderful experience-- parent involvement is a requirement, which is awesome. We have to have 90 hours of volunteer time at the end of the year-- 30 hours per trimester. I work once a week, go on every field trip, bake cookies, pies and other food for the teachers and just generally act like the PTA moms I once made fun of. Okay, I still make fun of some of them.

Today Wayne and I worked the Box Top breakfast, which is where kids bring in General Mills Box Tops, and then they get a free breakfast of sugary cereals and Costco muffins with apple juice. The woman who was running the show told me, because I was collecting the Box Tops, that I only allow kids with Box Tops to have breakfast.

I really didn't want the job, but no one else stepped up. So I was the Box Top Bouncer.

How do you tell kids, who are wet (it was raining) and hungry that they can't eat breakfast? You don't. Well, I don't anyway.

The thing is, kids bring in Box Tops all the freaking time to their teachers. There were kids today who brought in hundreds of Box Tops. Some were smart and doled out their many Box Tops to their friends, so they all could eat because they only needed to have ONE Box Top to eat breakfast. But some were just sad. There were kids who stood on the fringes and stared at the cereal and muffins longingly. There were kids who tried to psyche me out and pretended to put a Box Top in my collection box, just so they could get a muffin and cereal.


I told the three kids who tried to psyche me out that they do not need to try to play me like that. I am not stupid, and I can see that you are not actually putting a Box Top in the box. Just let me know, and I will be fine. Don't lie. The way the Box Top breakfast is run, though, it kind of makes a kid have to lie if s/he wants some food.

One girl, a 4th grader, came up to me and said that she didn't have a Box Top, but she didn't get breakfast this morning and her tummy hurt. Go, eat, now! Please! She came up to me afterwards and was chatting with me; she thanked me for letting her eat because now her tummy doesn't hurt.

I could've cried (you know how emotional I am this week).

On top of wanting me to keep kids from food because they didn't have a 10-cent Box Top (I had kids offer to pay me for the food-- just go eat...don't pay me!), the Lady-in-Charge, who is a co-op mom (most of the volunteers there this morning were co-op parents, and the majority were from my daughter's class) actually started decreasing the amount of cereal served to the kids. She was afraid we would run out.

In the end, we had a TON of cereal and muffins left. The muffins went to the teachers' lounge (totally cool), and the cereal went to...wait for it...

The Co-Op Teachers to give to the Co-Op Kids for snacks.

Maybe this was a co-op sponsored event; I'm not sure. If it was, I can see giving the cereal to the Co-Op teachers; the Co-Op has their own funds that is separate from the PTA funds. But if it was PTA funds that were used and only the Co-Op classes got left-over cereal, it just seems a tad sketchy to me.

It just seems so weird to me that many of the people who are in the co-op are so damn elitist.

I said to the woman who was in charge, "Some of the older kids..." "are so RUDE," she interrupted. Um, no, sneaky was the word I was going for.

I just really feel that there is such an elitist attitude from many of the parents in the co-op-- especially from those who have been part of the co-op for awhile. The lady in charge really seemed disgusted by some of the kids that came in for breakfast; it was really disgraceful. The school is part of her community, and she should be less critical and exclusive when it comes to those kids.

Regardless of the parents in the program, I really hope we get in next year! I turned in our app this week, and I have some hours to catch up on in order to be considered for application. I should be fine, though. Chances are slim that we'll win the lottery again this year; there are only a few openings, and kids who have an older sib in the co-op have pretty much a guaranteed slot. However, if we get in for next year, we are good through 6th grade!

My friend, Stacy, and I are going to be stressing over this damn co-op lottery for the next month. Ugh.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007


I mentioned in my last post that I am slightly emotional this week. This week actually includes last week.
Movies made me cry. Books made me cry. Laundry soap all over the laundry room made me cry.
Today was the worst, though. Normally if I feel like busting out some stress relieving tears, I am in my own home away from the stares of other people. Today was different.

A senior citizen came into Maya's class while I was volunteering, and she read a story to the kids. It seemed like a harmless tale of an old Jewish widow who befriends a little boy who is African-American. It was such a sad story-- a wonderful story that weaves together the lives of this lonely old woman and the lively little boy-- but it's a heart-tugger.

So, this old woman is reading the story, and by the time she gets to the end, I am tearing up. In front of 2o kids and a teacher. I was in the back of the room, so I popped into the little kindy bathroom to compose myself before I was busted for crying.

I think we'll be adding Mrs. Katz and Tush to Maya's library. Only $6.99 at Amazon!

Saturday, March 3, 2007

another fuckin' saturday

and I am so happy it's almost over.

All was well, really, until about 4pm. Earlier this morning I took Brittani & Maya to the bookstore to get some books. We love the bookstore. well, Maya and I do; I'm not sure about Brittani. Then we went to Home Depot to (try to) pick out paint for the girls' bathroom. Task incomplete. We took a bunch of color brochures home to show Paige, who would have an absolute cow if Brittani chose an unsatisfactory color (Paige chose to stay home).

Heidi came over to play with Maya, and Maya was being a total playdate dictator. twenty minutes into the playdate, and Heidi was asking to call her mom, so she could go home. I talked them down, but Maya was a freaking Castro all day.

While playing in the laundry room, Maya slipped on what she thought was a bunch of water. She freaked out and alerted me to a water leak in the leaundry room, which wasn't a water leak at all. I think a water leak might have been better. I'm not sure.

I just opened a big huge Costco-sized container of liquid laundry detergent this week, and somehow it fell off the shelf where it is stored. It splashed all over two walls and the washer and dryer, and then landed on the floor where it continued to spill out all night until about two-thirds of the contents were on the floor. The tiled floor that Wayne and I laid (layed?) in November. I was so afraid of what the detergent did to the floor.

Paige and I took dry towels and mopped up most of the soap, and then she had to get ready to get Brittani from play practice and to get her dinner for the night.

Later, Paige was sprawled out on the kitchen counter, and Maya was whining about not being able to sprawl out on the counter. I calmly told her to stop whining, and she smacked me on the arm as I walked past her. Totally out of the blue and HARD. She left red finger marks on my arm, and it made such a loud SLAP.

I lost it.

I sent Maya to her room and then I just started to lose it. I could hardly hold back my tears. I don't know why I was crying, but I knew I had to get out of the kitchen. Paige was cooking dinner, and I didn't want to start bawling like a freaking basket case in front of her and Brittani.

I went upstairs and called Wayne, who is at work. It went to voicemail, of course. He is so hard to reach when he works. It frustrates me to no end-- at least when I really need him. I paged him 911, which I never do. Still voicemail.

He calls me back, and I'm crying, which I am sure is freaking him out. I don't usually call him crying, you know.

I think my emotional breakdown is due to a combination of factors (in no particular order):
  • the laundry soap incident. these things only happen when wayne is at his other gig.
  • Maya acting up, which occurs damn near every weekend that Wayne is working.
  • My period.
  • I hate that Wayne is working so much. Hate. It.
  • I resent that Wayne works so much. Resent it to my core.
  • My period.
Thank god for Paige today. She was so sweet, and she is usually my "I HATE YOU SO MUCH, MOM" kid. She can be mean. But she was so helpful and I never had to ask her to help with anything today. It made me happy. She made me feel better. She says that she feels bad when I am alone.

So the day is done now, and tomorrow is a new one. I'm not even drinking wine tonight, even though i should be, but I did have some Girl Scout Thin Mints. Not at all a good substitute for pinot noir.

I put our family on a budget. We've never budgeted, and I think everyone is hopeful that I will have no follow through, which is usually the case. My philosophy is that Wayne works so much because we spend so much; therefore, we spend less, and Wayne will work less, which will equate to a saner Shannon. Hopefully.

Things I enjoyed but am cutting out of my life:

  • eating out whenever I want, which is frequently.
  • coffees. the expensive, sweet and fattening kind.
  • Pedis. This is going to kill me. I am so attached to my pedis-- I need one now, as a matter of fact. It'll be cheaper to buy myself a good self-pedi kit. I'll cry a little every time I use it.
  • Spontaneous shopping for the house and for Maya.
I think that's it for now. Oh, and the kids are not going to be given cash hand over fist anymore, either. Chores will be done for an allowance. Paige will get $16/week, Brittani will get $14/week and Maya will get $6/week. I probably give the older two anywhere between $20-$80/week in cash. Each.

It's crazy.

We're getting a new Quicken (ours is so old!), and I am going to use it diligently. I don't understand why we are always so broke when our income level is where it is. We shouldn't be broke.

Great movies I watched this week:

The Last Kiss

Tissues needed for all. But then, I am emotional this week, apparently.

Oh, and Maya and I finished reading Bridge to Terabithia tonight. Thursday through tonight were "choke me up" chapters. I even choked up reading Maya the book dedication. If you've never read it, do so now. Maya liked it. I read it to my older two, too, when they were Maya's age. Lots and lots o' tissues for that one.