Sunday, March 29, 2015

My daughter's first trip to the circus.

A couple of weeks ago, K called to tell me that she was given an envelope at school because she was one of the top 5 readers in her class.  In the envelope was a ticket to the Tadmor Shrine Circus.  She was so excited.  The location where it was set was smaller, so I knew that though she tends to get overwhelmed in crowds, she should be able to rock this one out to actually be able to enjoy it.  (She gets that crowd phobia from me.)

Y'all, my girl LOVED it.  Now, this was not a circus rich in animals.  There were some lions and elephants.  Oh, there was a little dog.  There were ponies for a pony ride thing during intermission.  It was just a nice, small circus.

She kept telling me how glad she was that she won the ticket and about how she was having such a good time.  It truly made my heart happy.  We've been trying to pull as much good from this 5th grade year as possible.

No lie, today was a busy beginning of the day.  She was set to acolyte.  We were having a 100th celebration of our church and we were having a dinner afterwards.  Guess who was signed up to be greeters and totally forgot?  :hand held high:  Oops!  The one lady who was sitting behind us in church said, "Hey!  You guys were the greeters for today."  :insert shocked face:  "Crap!  I forgot about that!"  I stuck out my hand to shake hers, "Welcome to - - - United Methodist Church!  We're so glad to have you with us today!"  I apologized to the secretary and I asked her to e-mail me a reminder next time.  She laughed.  My in-law's came to join us.  They wanted to see K acolyte and frankly, they were good with Palm Sunday service.  (My MIL was thrilled to get green palms!)  We had a combined service that she truly enjoyed.  They had new members presented to the church.

This is where I feel bad.

My MIL leaned over and said, "Did you do that?"  "Yes.  We didn't invite anyone.  We had no idea what to expect.  We just did it on our own."  We didn't.  We transferred our membership from our old church.  We went to about 6 weeks of classes.  We attended regularly and were involved in a Sunday School class, so what they wanted us to do we were already doing it.  Frankly, when we transferred our membership the last time, it wasn't a big deal.  We signed a paper.  They sent a letter to our previous church.  With the Methodist Church, you have a bit more of a ceremony.  Oops.

I mentioned that after church we had a potluck.  I invited my in-law's to stay on.  My MIL insisted on bringing something, but I told her that she didn't need to worry that there would definitely be plenty.  Oh, there was plenty.  We had to pull the "we have tickets to the circus in an hour" card to get through the line sooner.  People understood.

So, back to the circus.

Presenting the flag at the start of the circus.  
The lions.


What's a circus without a ring master? 

I can't even do one hula hoop let alone an entire slinky worth!

It was a fairly small venue, so every seat was a good seat! 

I'm not this talented . . .

. . . at all.  

The elephants.  PETA was outside of the venue and made sure to give K a coloring book on her way in.  Actually, it is a well done coloring book.  Props to them for handling my circus guilt in a coloring book so well.  

Taking a seat. 

My girl loving the light-up glow stick she bought.  Bless her soul.  She wanted a light-up stick more than she could see straight.  I did promise her that she could buy something from one of the vendors walking around.  Turns out that she bought the "clearance" light stick.  (She's my girl.) It was only $5.  :)

And don't forget to purchase your balloon on the way out, folks!  We skipped those doors.  

It is a fundraiser for the Shriner's and they do wonderful things for kids.  It was a fun day and not an overwhelming time.  We left there happy and not feeling like a wet rag.  That says a lot for two ladies in the house who get crowd anxiety in a horrible way.  

Thank you, Shriner's.  My daughter loved the time she had at your circus and was delighted that she got a free ticket!  

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Western Reserve District 5 District Science Day at the University of Akron

Last Saturday, K participated the next round of the Science Fair AKA Western Reserve District 5 District Science Day.  Of course, this was the ONLY weekend that I'm out of town as a buyer for work.  Hubs handled this one.  He was able to take off work.  I felt guilty.  K told me not to.  After the day was over, M said that he was glad that I didn't do the haul back and forth from Columbus like I had originally considered.  

K had to be at the university at 7:45 AM with her project set up and ready.  She was to stand with her project until the judges released her.  

The child was with her project until 12:30 PM.  

M wasn't allowed to leave the two floors of the student union, and we were quite fine with that.  

K said that if she needed a drink or to use the loo, one of the kids beside her had to cover her.  If they walked away and the judges appeared and they weren't there, they were disqualified.  

K said that the judges came and asked her a lot of questions.  She talked with them for about 10 minutes.  I'm sure that after standing there for over 4 hours, she was nervous and there were some questions she said that she didn't understand.  She called me in tears.  She felt defeated.  

They went to the awards ceremony which M billed as "extremely tangential and long winded."  She found out that she hadn't moved on and while that was fine with all of us, by the time she hit 5 PM of the same ole thing, girlfriend had hit a wall.  That was when the tear filled call came.  It had been a LONG day and I wasn't there.  She missed me and that didn't help.

We also found out that she was the ONLY 5th grader there.  The next oldest kid was in 8th grade. 

A few days later at school, her certificate and score sheet showed up.  I thought that it was wonderful that they sent a personalized certificate and that the score sheet came along.  To have K score an Excellent made her very happy.  She didn't know what she scored on Saturday and she felt like she did a horrible job.  Turns out, baby girl did a great job and earned the equivalent of probably a B+.  Her teacher made a big deal out of it and frankly, that was kind of nice.  

She learned a lot with this experience.  It was a nice boost for her to have done well and though the journey with the green beans has ended here, there are many more scientific journeys to come.  

She opted to change the ribbon of her medal out to a U of A lanyard.  It's a nice touch.  :)

Who knew that she needed to do measurements in metric?  I laugh because it took me 2 days to figure out that the measurement that they were talking about was temperature and that she didn't list it as Celsius.  

I thought it was a nice touch that they had the back engraved with the occasion and date. 

An experience for all.  Hopefully, an experience to have again.  

Thursday, March 19, 2015

A lazy teacher and an overachieving child.

"Mom, can we go to the LRC?"

I got this text from my child yesterday.

"We can't go.  They close early tonight.  We can go tomorrow after school."

"I can't," she's texting on my MILs phone, "I have a rough draft due tomorrow."

"When was this assigned?"

"Right before the bell rang."

So I gave up and called her.  Seems as though they were discussing projects.  My heavens, I'm stunned since they've done NONE all year.  They chose people to research and then right as they were getting ready to walk out, her teacher announces that a rough draft is due the very next day.  Now, my child is a preparer.  She likes to READ the book.  Over the years, we've taught her to take her time, go back through, make notes and such things.  We've encouraged her to pick "chewy" subjects-- something that she'll learn from.  Don't take the easy way out.  This is an opportunity.

My child could choose herself, her parents or someone famous.  She chose Nikola Tesla, because doesn't every girl choose Nikola Tesla?  I mean, she could choose members of bands or singers, artists, parents, herself-- anyone.  Tesla it is.

In all honesty, I'm not surprised in the slightest.  K has had a bit of a fascination with him this year and I even purchased her a Nikola Tesla book for her for her birthday.  (It's a comic book, but nonetheless . . . )

We made a plan.  I had her put me on speaker and I asked my MIL to take her to the library.  They were driving past, so she did.  They found a few books.  My MIL also looked some things up on the computer and had K watch something and printed something things out for her.

K had health homework and math homework.  M helped with math and we hit the ground running on the Tesla report.  She was juggling 3 books and telling me what she wanted to say.  We handled as we did the science fair project-- she talked and I typed it out for her.

"It has to be handwritten, Mom."  Of course it does!  :S

Finally at 9:30 PM, I gave up.  I told her that she had what she had.  We were able to take him to the beginnings of the Tesla Electric Light & Manufacturing Company.  I told her that as a rough draft, he couldn't expect more.  I mean, the kid got home after 6 from my in-laws and we just can't work incredible miracles.

She started handwriting it.  She wrote until 10:15 (past her bedtime) and I finally told her that we'd get her up early to handle the rest of it.  The kid set her alarm for 5 AM.  I told her that was too early and told her to sleep until 6 AM, though I was awake at that point.  She wrote from 6 - 7:30 AM.  She took her time and wrote neatly.  I felt bad for her.  But, she did what was asked of her.  She complained thought.  "Mom, last year Mrs. S gave us time."  I know.  Believe me, I know.  So, what did she write?
When Nikola Tesla was born, it was a stormy night.  He was born at midnight on July 10, 1856 in Smiljan, a small town in Croatia.  As soon as he was born, his mother said to him, "Welcome home, my Nikola."   He was the fourth child in his family.  His mom's name was Djourka Tesla and his father was Milutin Tesla.  Nikola's father was a minister and his mother supervised servants, ran the farm, sewed the family's clothes, raised her children and she was a famous needlepoint designer in the region.  She also loved inventing things!  She made looms, butter churns and kitchen tools, including the mechanical eggbeater!  
When Nikola's brother, Dane, was 12, he was thrown off of the family's horse and he died a few days later from all of his injuries.  Then, when Nikola starting accomplishing stuff, it caused his family to grieve because they remembered his brother's talents and Dane's great things that he might have been able to do.  Nikola started to feel like his parents were rejecting him, especially his mother.  He grew up with very little self-confidence.  I understand how he felt.  
Nikola started doing experiments when he was little.  They didn't always go so well.  Once, he jumped off the roof of the barn.  He thought he would glide, but it failed and he had to stay in bed for 6 weeks.  When he was 5, he made a wooden wheel that spun because the water was moving the wheel.  He noticed invisible energy!  When he was 9, he built a propeller spun by flying June bugs.  The propeller whirled for hours!   
Nikola went to the village school.  He loved reading so much.  His father wouldn't let him read the books in their house.  His parents wouldn't let him read after dark because they thought it would ruin his eyesight.  Nikola stole candles, his father found out and hid the candles.  He made his own candles instead.  He would then read until the crack of dawn.   Nikola was interested in electricity from the beginning of his education.  He went to a pretty new junior high school that had a really great physics department.  The water wheel he made when he was little made him think of using Niagara Falls for power with a waterwheel underneath the falls.   
In 1882, Nikola Tesla discovered rotating magnetic field.
In 1884, he moved to America to meet Thomas Edison.  He worked for Thomas Edison.  Nikola fixed the dynamos on the ship, which weren’t working that well.  Nikola said I’ll redo your shop.  Thomas Edison said that if he redid the shop, he would pay him $50,000.  It took Nikola a year to finish it and then he went to Thomas Edison.  He asked Thomas Edison for the $50,000 and Thomas Edison said that he was sorry that it was just sarcasm.  He told Nikola that he didn’t understand American humor, but offered to pay Nikola an extra $10 per week raise.  Nikola refused it and QUIT!  He went on to his own company, The Tesla Electric Light and Manufacturing Company where they would use alternating current electricity. 
At least she chose a very interesting man.  I'm kind of excited to learn more about him.  I just wished that she had more time than, "It'll be due sometime next week."  Really?

ETA:  He didn't even bother to look at them today.  Almost all of the kids had what he asked for and he said that he didn't want to look at them because he wanted to be able to read them.  Um, really?  Throw them a bone and look at them, please!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

No soliciting means no soliciting.

I came into the kitchen to do some dishes and I saw a flock of people canvasing the neighborhood.

Can I tell you how much I hate that?  I hate it so much that I put a sign on my front door that says, "No solicitors, please."  Because the Jehovah's Witnesses didn't think that the front door sign applied to them, they decided then to start going to the side door.  I wanted to make certain that it was clear that they were included in the "No solicitors, please," that I posted one to the side door.

They are very unsuccessfully canvasing the area and I saw the one saw me in my kitchen window.  She made a beeline up the driveway.  I thought that certainly she saw both signs.  She did.  She saw the front door sign and went to the side door.

Knock-knock-knock.

Really?

She caught me in a bit of a mood.  I opened the door a few inches and said, "No solicitors," and proceeded to close the door.  I did see the look on her face.  She was in shock.  Well, I could see her face just on the other side of the No Solicitors, please sign.

She made her way down the driveway.  I'm thinking that she may not stop again.

The drop offs come through our neighborhood on a quarterly basis.  This past spring/summer, I was outside and again, there was a man knocking on doors.  He saw me, made a beeline down my driveway and I said nothing.  I walked to the backyard.  I closed the gate and latched it.  He picked up on the hint.

I was out gardening and on the phone.  Again, I had another woman not care to uphold my wishes.  She interrupted the phone conversation because she wanted to convert me to her religion.  I kept the person on the phone, spoke with her a moment and said I wasn't interested.  She was strong in trying to give a defense for her religion.  I'm not telling her what way to believe.  I wasn't attacking.  I just didn't want her on my property.  She finally left.

So for those who are solicitors coming to my door:

1.  Jesus is our man.  We have religion covered.
2.  We have the cookies.  We don't need more.  If we do, we have a dealer.
3.  We like our phone service.
4.  We don't need your cable.
5.  We don't want your chemicals on our yard, even if you insist that we're "the only ones in the neighborhood without" because, well, that's a flat lie. Organic is the new green, after all.
6.  Our child may not come to your house for Backyard Bible Club.  We don't know you.
7.  We have a child in school and have fundraisers.  I'm not being cheap, but understand that we have to buy from her first even if you don't agree.  (I had a child argue with me.)

Stop coming to my door.  If I know you, come on in.  If I don't, please stay on the sidewalk.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Tara and the amazing Deva Cut.

I have curly hair.  I have thick hair, meaning lots of it, but it is kind of on the fine end of actual individual hair thickness.

I had an appointment to see the Amazing Tara for a cut.  It is at this point that I admit that it's been probably 2 years.  I get into mama mode and frankly, I put my kid first.  Time or sometimes financial thoughts keep me away.

Back to the Deva Cut.  It's best explained here.

Deva cuts are for anyone with curly hair.  If you have curly hair, then you know that just because people know how to cut hair doesn't mean that everyone can cut curly hair.

Believe me, I've had my fair share of bad cuts.  Just yesterday, I was talking with my mom about Tara and her mad skills with some scissors.  "Well, Andrea could cut your hair!  She can do a great job because she does have curly hair."

"Mom, Andrea sucked."

"What do you mean?"

"I had to fire Andrea.  I gave her a good 4 tries.  Every time she cut my hair, she did a worse job.  Her hair is far curlier than mine, but the final straw was when she really didn't listen to me at all, decided to do what she wanted and gave me a lesbian haircut."  (No offense to my lesbian friends out there.)

"Oh."

"She was supposed to give me long bangs in the front and a wedge kind of thing up the back that would be funky and that I could spike up.  She got the back right, but the front was so short that M's hair was longer than mine and I couldn't even keep a bobby pin in it, because it was so short."

"Oh.  I understand."

So back to the Deva cut.  Y'all, I went in looking like the Lion King after a big fight in the most horrendous humidity known to man.  The hairs were all out.  They were all long.  They were-- unruly.  Oh, I apologized.  I said that I knew that I was coming to her and that I would just let her wrangle my hair into shape.  I had been losing bobbie pins in my hair, making my thin haired friend extremely jealous.  It was taking a few days to find them all.  My hair was getting sucked out of the car window.  My hair was catching on door handles getting into the house.  I was losing my iPod ear buds in there!

I sat in the chair, gave Tara an idea of what I was looking for.  Really, I wanted to keep my hair long, but I left it to her discretion on how much needed to come off.  She showed me, I told her to have at it and she did.  She cut it dry.  She washed it, she then went back in and trimmed up a little more.  She had a diffuser that looked like a bunch of green bananas in the shape of a hand.

I want one.

You can get to the roots, but not get to the hair a ton to make it all frizz out.

There is uber great shampoo and after much consideration, I decided that if M can buy Muscle Milk to work out, I should be able to buy some shampoo that isn't going to make me look like I haven't washed my hair in a month of Sundays.  Thanks to the wonders of Amazon Prime, it was $10 less for the combo pack I purchased and all hail the 2 day ship.  The shampoo will be here tomorrow.  I don't have to wash my hair every day and I don't.  It's still nice to have the proper stuff on hand to do it with.

So hooray!  When I leave my hair down, it doesn't look like it was cut that much.  When I pull it up in a pony tail, you can tell that she thinned the heck out of it.

Curly hair.  Someone who can cut it.  Tara walks on water.

Of course I don't have photos.  That would have taken forethought and obviously, all of the excessive hair got in the way.  Trust me.  It's all good.  :)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Juan Pablo and his European adventures.

The fairy that visited us was a lovely gentlefairy by the name of Juan Pablo.  I told K that we employ the Fairy Union that is an equal opportunity employer.  We have males.  We have females.  I explained to her that she is one of the few children that are given foreign coin.

Foreign coin?

Well, you see, our Tooth Fairy Union members travel internationally.  They've got a lot of ground to cover, so they must be of most excellent flying skills.

Juan Pablo had dropped 5 different Lira and a coin from Spain.  I explained to K that though Juan Pablo knew that the Lira no longer held a monetary value in Italy, that he thought that she could appreciate it and enjoy it as foreign coin.  JP bounced through Europe on this way through to K.  He wanted to leave her something special because he knew that she just had 6 teeth yanked all at once.

Can I tell you how much she enjoys getting the foreign coins from the fairies?

Her tooth fairy haul overall?  5 Lira, 1 Spanish coin and $6 American dollars.  (1 for each tooth.)

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The tooth fairy will be dancing through tonight.

My kiddo hasn't lost teeth since she was at the end of 2nd grade.  I should add that she only started losing teeth a couple of months into 2nd grade.  I didn't realize it had been that long, but her x-rays agree with her.  She had a backlog of teeth causing a bit of a jam.  In fact, they were starting to impact.  :eek!:  The orthodontist said it was time.  It was time to shed those teeth with a bit of help from Dr. Rick.

We saw Dr. Rick last month.  He had the images in hand from the orthodontist.  He made a plan.  We'd do two teeth today.  We'd do the remaining 4 on March 26.

I picked K up from school, ran home and made a quick batch of homemade macaroni and cheese, threw some cooked sausages on top and sailed off to the dentist.  I gave her the option and she chose to go back on her own.  She knew that I was there if she needed me, but the orthodontist has the parents stay in the waiting room (you can go back if you want) and since they put her in charge of her care, she just pressed on and continued with the same.

Dr. Rick came out, said he had her numb and that she opted to roll with all 6 teeth to get them done and over with.

Alright then.

He pulled her teeth, came out and told me what an incredibly tough kid she is.  She took her iPod, so she listened to music while she had him working.

The roots.  I won't gross you out with photos, but hello long roots!  Everything was just dammed up by these long roots.  To take the pressure off of all of the teeth just being jammed in, he said that he expects new teeth to emerge within two weeks.  He did say one gave him a bit of a hard time.  "Let me guess, the bottom right."  He laughed and told that I was right. "I saw the x-rays.  I figured that would be the toughest one."

She is now home.  She is liquored up on Advil.  She has eaten macaroni and cheese, even though she originally thought she didn't want it.

Dr. Rick also prescribed ice cream.

Hubs is out now, getting ice cream, yogurt and a major tooth pulling prize.  The tooth fairy will be stopping by the house tonight, but she's going to leave a note that her teeth won't be left behind for him/her.  (We have many international tooth fairies fly by and we've never specified our gender preference, so we get both.)  They will still leave her international loot (because they are international travelers, of course) and a dollar per tooth.  (The first tooth was $5.)

Those fairies that give $20/tooth?  Geeze, Louise!  That'll break a tooth fairy's bank in a heartbeat!