Friday, September 28, 2012

For Special Occasions

On the desk in my office, stacked between a wooden puzzle and a camera charger, is a mammoth, yet rarely-used package of craft foam. It sits there each day, staring down at my children, calling the kids' names and taunting them.

"Come here Natalie. Play with me. Pay no mind that I cost 100 times more than paper. I'm more fun. All the nice Mommies let their kids use craft foam. Your mother is a monster. Come over to the dark side Natalie!" 

This package came into my life about a year ago as I walked through Michael's. It had a purpose. It was for me, well kinda for me, but at the very least it would be on hand in the event that the kids would need it for school. I justified the spend (I think it was around $15) because it was for special occasions. I repeat: FOR SPECIAL OCCASIONS!

This week, Natalie was home sick one day (not a special occasion). She walked in and pointed at the package...

"Mommy, can I draw on those?

"No, just get some paper."

"But I want one of THOSE."

"They're not to color on. They're expensive."

And then she put me on the spot:

"But then what ARE they for???"

Crap. And at that moment, I felt shame and disgust with myself because I didn't actually want to reveal to my daughter, my own flesh and blood, the dirty little secret of what my craft foam was for. Because after all, it was completely moronic and what if she ever told anyone... 

Thinking quickly, I remembered that the next day was my birthday, which qualifies as a special occasion. So I showed her what the craft foam is for.

We bonded that day over making tiny little hats for a Mike Wazowski. I let her make the polka-dots. Because I'm a giver.

I also let her pick one sheet so she can play with it. I know, I'm a true humanitarian. But I swear if I ever catch her getting into my stash, I'll cut her.

Speaking of "cutting" - anyone want some "salad."

What a waste.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Just Like the Old Days

It's been a few weeks since this new school year started and it's very evident that something is missing from my life.

Last year, I'd wake Ryan, get him ready for school and then he, Brucie the Wonder Dog and I would walk four houses down to the end of the block and wait for the bus...alone. It was by far my favorite part of the day despite the fact that it was much earlier than I prefer to get up.

Mornings in our house are notoriously chaotic and Ryan's inherent lack of focus and inability to follow instructions don't help. Even though he's had the same schedule for a few years now, he still manages to walk down the stairs without shoes...almost every day. Like TODAY is going to be the day they stop making shoes required at public school. Teeth brushing is a crap shoot. I just hope for the best while I rush to make three lunches and remember who likes which snack foods. "Get your backpack. Do you have your folder? You're forgetting your lunch box. Jesus Ryan!"

But after we'd jingle Bruce's collar for him to come running to the door to escort us to the corner, the door would close behind us and things would settle down. We'd walk down the street, often holding hands (because he still doesn't think he's too cool to hold my hand) and I'd remind him of important things for school that day, discuss the day before or just chit chat. We'd sit on the neighbor's planter with our heads turned left so we could jump up when the bus came, simply talking about the birds or the neighbors or nothing at all. Just me and my first born. No brother, no sister. Just us. The bus would arrive, he'd get on and I'd stand there waving at the whole bus because I could never tell where he sat through the tinted bus windows. I waved anyway because I knew he could see me.

On the last day of school last year I realized it. It wasn't going to be the same again.

Natalie started Kindergarten last month and now there are four of us walking to the corner together. With the addition of the 4th wheel, hand-holding has been replaced by bickering. Quiet talks are now small talk with the new girl who moved in on the corner. Kay. The most annoying kid you've ever encountered at 7:15 in the morning. Kay, who finishes most words with an "A" sound. Like "park" is "parka." Drives me nuts. Yesterday I wanted to reprimand him for cutting his own hair when I noticed it on his collar as I went to kiss him goodbye, but there was Kay, glaring at me. I'm begrudgingly adding my own kid to our special time, but I'm not digging the addition of a neighbor kid. Call me selfish. 

Today Natalie was sick so it was just Ryan, Bruce and me again. It was nice. "Just like the old days, isn't it, Ryan? No Natalie...and look, even Kay isn't at the bus stop!" And today, like many previous days, he got on, I blindly waved and the bus pulled away. I started my walk home with a little empty space in my heart, happy to have had one day like it used to be.

Then Kay ran out of her house. "Wait bus!!!" And then she started crying. There were no cars in her driveway and I knew her parents were already at work. "Hold on Kay, let me go get my keys..." So Kay and I had a little quality time-a. Driving her to school is the price I'll gladly pay to have one 'good old day' back.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Things They Can’t Say: My Suitcase Full of Tricks

Today, I have the distinct pleasure of NOT being on my own blog. Let's be honest, I haven't been here much lately anyway. I miss it. 

Shell, who writes the awesome blog Things I Can't Say, was kind enough to ask me to post there while she's away doing something that very important, disciplined bloggers get to do. In the unlikely event that you don't know Shell (who doesn't?) go read what I wrote and check out some other posts. May I suggest anything with pictures of her three boys? They're really cute.

I'm not going to TELL you what my post is about. Go see for yourself. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

WTF Wednesday - The "Pinterest is Not For Spam" Edition

Hey Pinterest users. Me again. Have you seen the pin for Best Jobs in America? Of course you have! Spammers have been posting the heck out of it for over a week.

This week my Pinterest (and loads of other people's too) was hacked by spammers actually creating boards on our accounts and pinning the same pin over and over about the best jobs in America. My friend Erin mentioned it to me because she knew I'd never use Pinterest for something as lame as helping other people find a job. As if!

The offending pins look like this over on the right.

Spammers: Please leave me alone and let us keep our Pinterest boards pure with 54 DIY projects of things we can do with old dressers, how to clean jewelry and crockpot recipes our kids will never eat. 

So to voice my disapproval, I made this. So maybe I could pin it.

WTF Spammers? Stop please.

So everyone go check your Pinterest. If there's a board there that you didn't create, delete it. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Lots of Sweating and Heavy Breathing

This weekend JakeRyan and I celebrated our 12th anniversary.

We didn't commemorate it by going out to dinner or doing anything special. It was pretty much run-of-the-mill until later in the evening when we tried something "new." I'm talking about action we've never experienced before.

We even made a video. JakeRyan came up with moves I haven't seen in our entire relationship. There was heavy breathing and lots of sweating. There were multiple exclamations of "woo" and "oh yeah."

And because I have nothing to you go. This is how we keep the love alive. Back off ladies - he's ALL MINE.