Friday, August 31, 2007

Sanity Protection Program

I'm going into hiding. My brain is so full of other peoples junk that I can barely see straight. (why didn't I choose a DROP OFF preschool????)
I'm hoping I survie the weekend. Wish me luck.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Service v. Servant

I like school and have always been involved. Usually I really enjoy it. However, last night I had an interesting experience and I'm not quite sure how I felt about it.
Last night was "Meet your Teacher" night. It is a very informal come by and say hi kind of thing. In years past the PTA has had a table with committee sign ups and cookies. This year, the PTA was asked to put on a Hotdog dinner. Okay, fine. We did and it went well. What I thought was interesting that not one teacher offered to help. Now as a former teacher, I understand that they were getting their rooms ready before the dinner, but afterwards no one came to pitch in and help with the break down and clean up. At the school I worked at, it was just a given, help the PTA whenever possible. Sometimes it seems like our PTA's sole purpose is the give teachers money and do the grunt work. PTA should be more than that, so I guess I have my work cut out for me.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Summer wind down

This has been an interesting summer. It seemed like every week there was a new "adventure" (aka crisis) and the weeks zipped by all too fast. Next week Ben heads back to school and I have mixed feelings. Ben and Sam are easy kids. They play together, they play alone, they play with their friends. I don't mind having them around at all. Some of my friends started the back to school count down at 12:01 pm on June 17. Not me, I like the lazy days of no schedules and hanging with the kiddos. However I do love Fall.
I woke up the other morning and it smelled like Fall. You know that crispness in the air that perks up instantly. The skies also look a little different. They just seem to be more richly colored. My favorite days are those that are cool and crisp, but also sunny. I hope our sun lasts a while here. Grey and gloomy is usually what we get November to March, so here's hoping global warming has some perks. Sorry, Al.
As I did my morning stroll across blogland, I found it so interesting that many of the blogs I read have the same theme of itching for Fall. We all seem to be tired of our fading summer gardens and can't wait for pumpkins to replace petunias.
Since the age of 2, I have had a "first day of school". As a student, a teacher and a mom, September always means a fresh start. There is something so fresh about that crisp fall air and beauty of the changing leaves (yes, even in the "Evergreen State" we still get a little fall foliage) that inspires me to revamp.
On the Fall to do list:
I will continue to work on my domestic skills. September first I will once again join the ranks of "flybaby" in an attempt to keep the house under control.
I will continue my quest for finding meals my family will eat, are easy to make and will be somewhat healthy :0)
I will find the time to take care of myself. I need to move more. Our family is going to do our local Thanksgiving day "turkey trot" so I need to be ready.
So, so long summer. It's been real. See ya next year :0)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Roller Derby: Alive and Kickin'

Last night I went to my first Roller Derby match. It was very interesting. My dear friend Maura (aka Mo Matorium) was skating for the Tacoma Trampires. We had no idea what to expect, we had no idea what we were watching, but we were there to support Maura.
When Maura told me she was trying out for Roller Derby, I thought hmmmmm interesting. However, it seemed like a "very Maura" thing to do. Maura is the kind of friend/person who is always having adventures and taking the road less traveled. When she turned the big 40 she was needing something that was totally "hers". Everything in her world is focused on service, family, school, church, the list goes on. She just needed something that was all about her and the fact that she would get in shape and kick some hiney was just a bonus :0)
So last night we made our way down to the shady part of town and crowed into a tiny skate rink to watch the Trampires and the Hellbound Homewreckers battle it out. It was a close battle. Lots of torn fishnet stockings and whatnot, but in the end the Trampires won. I guess it would be a little cheesy to say I was a little choked up watching Maura push and fight her way through the pack. I was so proud of her. Not only because she did an awesome job, but that she had the courage to something a little "out there" and completely for herself.
Way to go, Mo!!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

a vacation to recover from my vacation

This is me after our lille getaway.
7 kids aged 2-9
We were a live action birth control campaign.
It's good to be home.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

On the road...

Maura: we need a girls weekend
Me: Yes, we do!
Maura: We should go camping.
Me: Sounds great.
Maura: You, me and Sarah.
Me: Can't wait.
Maura: I know a great KOA, the kids will love it.
Me: Kids????
My two very dear girlfriends (and all the kiddos) are hitting the road for a little camping at the beach. The plan is to wear the kids out so the they go to sleep early. That is when the real fun will begin.
I wish the picture of above was of my own little trailer, but it is "Clementine" from the "Cowgirl Caravan". Fans of HGTV's Country Syle might recognize her. I love these little trailers and my plan is to have one of my own someday.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

I love lists :0)

Okay, so it might be a form of "active avoidance", but I am a chronic list maker. I like my lists to be success orientated so I put things on it like "get up" and "shower". Before I can do anything I make a list, of course, I usually lose the list in the process of trying to accomplish the goal which required said list. I don't care, I still make them. I probably make 3 or 4 a day.
I also LOVE to read lists, especially checklists. I love FLYLADY and all of her checklists. (I have them printed off somewhere) Right now we are gearing up for back to school and I am trying to find a couple of lists. I have been searching for "essential back to school clothes", "healthy lunches" and of course, "well stocked pantry" (I always love to see what is in everyone else's pantry).
Anyway, I have not been very successful in my searching lately. Sometime, "Googleland" is just too huge. My girlfriend shared that she had once found a site for the "ultimate mom's lists". I'm just not having any luck. If anyone out there is reading this, and you know of a fun list site, would you please send me the link. I could use a burst of inspiration like only a checklist can provide :0)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Life experinces

A few years ago, I was flipping channels and caught an episode of Dr. Phil. He had on guest who, as a child, had been asked to watch her little brother in the bath. She left the toddler alone in the tub and consequently the toddler was burned because he had turned on the hot water. I think she was 8 when this happened and had not be able to get over it.
Now I'm not a Dr. Phil disciple by any means, but every now then he will make sense. He told his guest that she was not to blame for the accident, because she was not old enough to have the life experience that could foresee that type of danger. Adults forget that they had to learn the stove was hot by touching it even after they were told not to. Relationships between event and consequence are mostly learned through experience.
Today Sammie had a play date with a really neat kiddo. We were watching him while his mom ran some errands. On his mom's return he wanted to show off some of his ball handing skills. Of course the mom chorus of "don't' throw the ball in the house" began and of course, it fell on deaf ears. As they were packing up to leave the little boy wanted one more "super bounce". With all his might he bounced the ball into a picture frame on the wall and it crashed to the ground and broke. I saw the immediate panic on my friends face. We have all been there, you know you have to parent your child in front of someone. Never fun or easy. You don't want to over react or under react. What do you do??? I hope I put my friend at eaze. Accidents happen. Always have, always will. I immediately thought of Dr. Phil. I wasn't mad, what good would that do? We get a new frame,no biggie. However, today is the day that Sammie and Nathan can check off the "why we don't throw balls in the house" on their little life experience checklist :0)

Monday, August 13, 2007

Dish Towel Wisdom

A few years ago Martha did a segment on vintage embroidered dish towels. She especially was fond of the days of the week kind that showed the various duties of a good homemaker. Monday was wash day. Of course Martha shared memories of Nutley, NJ and her own mother looking forward to Mondays. The house was quiet with kids off at school and she was able to do the wash in peace.
Now I have ALWAYS struggled with laundry. It always seems to be everywhere except put away. I used to dread Sundays because that I would be spent doing laundry as opposed to fun stuff with the family. It was drudgery and I hated it.
So one night I can't sleep, I'm surfing the net and I find a picture of a bed that has pillows made from vintage "chore" towels. Very cute. So I start to search for towels on ebay. Every set proclaimed Monday as washday. This reminded me of the Martha segment and I thought I would give it a shot. Well, what can I say, I'm convinced. It is so much easier to to the laundry on Mondays. The house seems more quiet and it is during the "work week", so it feels more productive than something eating up my free time. I can usually get everything done in 3-4 loads and I save bedding for Thursdays (much less overwhelming)
All in all I'm pretty happy with myself. Who knows what other days of the week chores I may adopt. It is interesting how different the chose can be. But the one day that seems to be pretty sacred it's Monday's Washday. (Of course, this is usually followed by Tuesday - Ironing, yeah right, as if) :0

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

My Peeps

Last night was the board retreat for our preschool. I have to say it was a wee bit tough to muster the "rah, rah" in me due to other events surrounding the school. However, afterwards, I felt totally recharged and ready to face the new year and all the challenges/opportunities that will come my way.
We have an amazing group of women this year and I can tell we are going to have a great year. The energy was contagious and it was exactly what I needed.
One of the continuing themes of the co-op is the concept of "village". You know the saying "it takes a village". Well, our little co-op is a living, breathing example of that. Just when you think you can't go on, there is another mom to say, I've been there and you can make it too. It is so nice to have a group of friends that you can trust your kids to and know that they trust you as well.
Even though some of the messier issues are far from being resolved, I know my "peeps" are in the trenches with me when I need them :0)

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Tuesday feels like Friday

This is how I have been feeling lately. When it rains it pours. If only I did have a big key on my back to help me recharge. How cool would that be.
The past week has made me wish I had never heard of the concept of cooperative preschool. What was I thinking??? I like being involved, but it has been crazy. I seriously thought about going back to work, so I could have an excuse to leave. Scarry. I know/ hope this feeling won't last. I guess my frustration comes from the fact that my contribution to the school (president = part time job) is on the same level as the mom who makes play doh once a month. We are not supposed to receive special treatment since we are on the board, but this seems a little out of wack. So to keep myself from wallowing in my own pity party (because, I did choose to be president) I will focus on some of the good things that have happened over the last few days.
After our not so hot service at our friends restaraunt, we went back so he could "make it right". We had great food and service. It is amazing what the manager sitting at your table can do for service.
My house has been in pretty good shape. I had a couple of unannounced visitors and an impromtu meeting and I didn't have to do the panic cleaning.
Last but not least, I was able to do all my laundry and put it away in one day. Now for those of you who always do this, you just don't get it. But for those of you with piles waiting to be washed, folded and put away, you understand how good it feels.