Saturday, August 29, 2009

I made a whole dollar.

That's right folks. The garage sale today was not successful, as I made a whole entire dollar. My sister is rolling in the dough with a whole $6.00 and my cousin Shelley has made $2.50. In all fairness, we had a few strikes against us. Friday is not the biggest sale day, and I knew that from doing a yard sale a few times before. My sister lives on the back nine, so locale is a little out of the way and certainly not on the main drag. I mean, there is a rotating crop field right next to her house. Obviously, she isn't in the city. Finally, the weather just was not so great this morning. It poured for hours.

But one dollar. Call me ready to retire. We have plans of re-running the garage sale next weekend, too. All of us put too much work into it.

Smiles in my day:
- The first week of Kindergarten is over. We came through it relatively unscathed. K- enjoys it and looks forward to getting her first public school meal with her friends on Monday. She is so excited that she almost can't stand it.
- Getting rescued by hubs from the lightning.
- The stone soup that my sister made. I laughed and told her that I loved bringing refrigerator offerings and having her make my supper for me. :) I brought a bunch of stuff that I picked from my garden, but didn't get to use yet. I had green beans, tomatoes, a green pepper, parsley, thyme, chives and sage (the sage didn't make the pot, but everything else did.) I also brought barley, potatoes, carrots and some bouillon cubes. I came back later to all of it (with additions from my sister) cooked down with the soup stones rattling at the bottom of the pot. Since my sister moved back to the area, it has become a tradition that started with my niece, C-. Every pot has tasted absolutely delicious and no two are alike! Try it sometime! (And yes, they are real stones that they dug out of the yard, scrubbed up and use only for that purpose. They are about the size of your palm.)
- Stone soup tomorrow for lunch!

Have a great weekend! Here's to hoping that I can report more income than just one dollar to you! :)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

B-U-S-T-E-D . . .

Daddy is very BUSTED!
He helps K- "clean"
By dumping everything in a box.
He puts a cover on that box and makes it go away.

We sing a lot at home to K-. This one is for my husband.

Folks, my husband has been helping K- to clean up her toys in the basement. He has picked things up throughout the years . . . There were things that I assumed that we no longer owned.

Guess what? I found them today.

What I thought were Rubbermaid totes of Christmas decorations, baby clothes or things of value were really just several tubs of CRAP. My husband would clean something out and deposit it in a tub, he just wouldn't tell me about it.


We've been preparing for a family yard sale today and tomorrow. I've been going through the tonnage of stuff and then I kept running into miscellaneous bins of bits and pieces.

I love my husband. I love that he'll pitch in and help, but creating totes of death is not really helpful. He used to make bags of death for years. He would clear the inevitable pile of paperness from the corner of the table, deposit it into a bag and either put it in my studio (nice) or leave it on the kitchen chair.

It still needs gone through. But then, it falls into the land of "out of sight, out of mind."

So, I was out at my sisters until 10:45 PM pricing garage sale stuff. I'll be hoofing it to school with K- in the morning, walking back, tidying the house a bit (it looks like a bomb hit it since I've been scavenging for things to sell), run out to my sisters to help with the sale, come back, meet up with MIL so that we can test drive her pick up of K- at school, then run back out to my sisters house. I'm exhausted just typing that.

Props to the Hubs:
Y'all know that K- and I walk the 8 blocks to her school. Tis not a big deal, as it has started becoming routine. This morning, it was raining heavily, but no big thing. K- wore her Croc's with her dry socks and shoes in her bag. She had a rain coat and Hubs loaned me his. When we were 2 1/2 blocks from the house, there was a crack of lightning. Argh! We turned back for home and started running. Then, like a Knight in Shining Armor, I saw Hubs rolling around the corner in my car. He rescued us! Thanks Hubs!

Smiles in my day:
- The Principal checking with us today to see how K-'s day was. Truly, the man really cares and eventually remembers each kid in the school. Wow.
- K-'s dental thing was her virus. Hubs and I have been toting with an adult version. I had a sore in my mouth that also hooked up with my ear and made it ache. Then the huge sore on the roof of my mouth ended up making my ear ache and my throat hurt along with it. I noticed that eating on that side of my mouth is tender in the tooth, too. It makes sense. Hubs and I have had the same exact complaints. I'm glad that we didn't have to go with another root canal.
- My niece helping me to price my items. She did a good job!
- My sister shopping through the yard sale items. I told her to remember that the aim is to get rid of, not to collect more of. She told me to shush. :) (Though she knew I was right!)
- Though my house looks slightly ransacked, I seriously am so happy that I've been digging and purging.
- The walk to school is so therapeutic for K-. This morning, she shared with me about how nervous she was for her new class and how much she was going to miss me. She was a little out of sorts, but by the time we reached the school, it had worked out of her system. I think that she needs that bit of time in the morning. In fact, she was sharing with me a story about her friend and cubbie mate, Z-, having a hard time today. Z- was crying that she missed her mom. I asked K- if she hugged Z. "No." Her solution? "Mom, I made faces at her." "Huh?" "I made funny faces at her." "To get her to laugh! What a great idea!" She was able to see that she was okay, Z- would be okay and she was trying to comfort Z- about the same exact thing she was struggling with on the way to school. That walk? Gold to K-. As long as it isn't a typhoon, blizzard or sub-zero, we'll be walking.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A great end to our drama-mama day.

Oh, this is my second post of the day, but I could just not wait to tell y'all that K- has a new classroom. The Principal called at 1:15 PM to let me know that K- has been switched to Mrs. H-'s room and that we could meet with the teacher after school to check out the room, move supplies and get to know Mrs. H-.

Oh, the room is beautiful, bright and ORGANIZED! I'm sorry to say that K-'s other classroom wasn't terribly inviting, it was overly cluttered, the materials were old and it generally didn't seem to have that happy school learning feel about it. I told Mrs. H- how gorgeous her room is. I said that it feels so much bigger! Her comment, "Well, I like things organized and I'm not a fan of lots of clutter." (Apparently, she knew exactly what I was talking about.)

Y'all, a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Her new teacher is LOVELY! She has taught for 22 years, is caring, loving, but firm. (The combo that K- needs.) And for all those wondering, yes, I will be able to sleep tonight. I feel great about school now. Both my husband and I feel so much better about the move. It wasn't anticipated by any stretch, but in the end I believe that it was the best thing that we could do. Kindergarten is the foundation of school. If the foundation is rocky or unsettled, that sets a tone. We want K- to be excited about learning. We don't want her to feel uncertain about the day and who is going to greet her. A bonus to the move? She has two of her preschool friends in her classroom with her.

Thanks for the love and support. I appreciate it more than all of you know.

Works for Me Wednesday: The Kissing Hand

Folks, our one and only is going to Kindergarten today. My regular readers know that I'm having a bit of a hard time with this, but we're reading this before school:
(Don't click to look inside. It'll only make the picture bigger. Instead, click here.)

Mrs. Raccoon watched Chester scamper across a tree limb and enter school. And as the hoot owl rang in the new school year, she pressed her left hand to her cheek and smiled.

The warmth of Chester's kiss filled her heart with special words.

"Chester loves you," it sang. "Chester loves you."

Here's to hoping that I get my kissing hand! Have a great day!

Thanks to Boo Mama for sharing her dealie do of the week. Southern Living Magazine is available for $5.00/subscription for a limited time. Click on over to Boo Mama's post for the particulars. I've ordered mine (I've never read it before!) and it is due to arrive Oct/Nov.

Smiles in my day:
- My baby starts Kindergarten. Though Kleenex will be required, I'm very happy for her.
- Brainstorming display ideas with Julia. We really work well together.
- The sore in my mouth is healing nicely. Darn those cold sores!

We went to drop K- off at class, and the woman teaching is Mrs. M-. Mrs. M- informed us that Mrs. F- will be out until at least 9/11, if not longer. "Will you be taking the class over for Mrs. F-?" I asked. She said, "Well, the Board of Education doesn't tell me." Folks, she has the personality of shoe leather. My child was confused by the switch in teacher on the very first day of school. Hubs followed me to the Principal's office, who heard me and another mom, gave us papers and said that he should be able to change her class by the end of the week. I hope that there is room enough in the other classes to do so. Apparently, Mrs. F- suffers from chronic illness and was out 20% of the year last year. I hold nothing against her. I'm sorry for her illness. However, it doesn't lend continuity to class when you have 15 - 5 year olds wondering who will be sitting with them that day. Kindergarten is not child care. It is learning. To start Kindergarten off on the wrong foot with a teacher who is there only 80% of the time to me is not acceptable. We pray that this situation gets resolved by the end of the week.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Tales from the Trenches: I'll have a heart attack with a side of anxiety, please.

I think that my husband thinks that my head will implode. I'm in tears as I write this. We went to K-'s orientation and her teacher wasn't there because she was ill. Argh. So, I get to hand my child off to a woman that I've never met to have my kid hang with her for 6 hours. I know, I know. I spoke with the principal and just flat out said, "Hi! I'm a parent of one of Mrs. F-'s students and she isn't here and I'm having a heart attack." He told me that it was all good. I asked how long she has taught, how long she has been there and so forth. Turns out that she is a veteran teacher, having 23 years under her belt. She has been at this particular school for 18 years of the 23. He said that she is an excellent teacher. I told him that we appreciated her hanging back to keep illness away, but I still admit having a huge, hard time.

Folks, K- hasn't slept a night away from me EVER. Other than the day and a half in the hospital that I wasn't aware of her existence, she has been ours and I have seen her every day for all of her life. The school is old. It is due to be rebuilt in a few years. The class is tiny. There are so many things in the classroom. That is a good thing. There is a reading station, 4 computers, a station for circle time that has day/weather . . . , a station for pretend play, a sink with soap and water (important for germaphobe mommy), each child has an individual cubbie to hang coats, backpacks and lunch kits in. Of course, they have sandwiched her desk, a few chalk boards and who knows what else. My heavens, it is a festival of so much stuff. That's a good thing too, right?

I'm rambling. I'm irrational. I understand. Hubs insists that I'm crazy. I didn't sleep last night, worried about her and praying all night long. Part of that anxiety was a work thing, which for the record was all for not. I'm pleased to say that I went in with a spring in my step, God firmly in my heart and mind (thanks for that sermon, Pastor) and tackled the day with gusto. It's just when it comes to K-, I become Mama Bear. Big time Mama Bear. I don't mean it harmful. I've not let her know about any of my anxiety. I needn't cause her strife over Mommy's issues.

It's not Mrs. F-.

It's not school.

It's about me letting go.

It's about hoping that we did right by K- and sending her off to learn great and wonderful things. It's about having her not having me there to bail her out.

It's sink or swim. We've given her all the parenting we have. She's a great kid, but a little high strung (oh, my where could she have gotten that from? Hmmm . . . ) She is so caring. She just wants to be someone's friend. She loves to learn, but gets so busy about what everyone else is doing that she rushes. I want her to take her time and show her teacher what she can do. I'm so worried that the teacher won't see that. I don't want to be that parent who puts their child in a class with disclaimers.

We have to do this for her. This is her next big step in life. She is excited. She is ready. It's up to me to hold it together to let her go. I can't disappoint her. So on Wednesday morning at 8 AM, we'll be walking the 8 blocks to the school. She'll be skipping along with her backpack and lunch kit. We've made the trip several times. It's becoming familiar. We know where the sidewalk pitches back and forth because of the tree roots. We're getting to memorize the lawn ornaments. We know where the crosswalk is. We've been able to watch the city workers replace the curbs and be some of the first people to walk on them. We've played on the playground equipment. We know where the swings are. We don't need to know anything more, right? :)

I promise, I'll survive.

Smiles in my day:
- No "Monday morning chat!"
- K- wanted to play baseball after we got back. Boy, that girl can crack that ball! I spent more time digging the ball out of my flower beds!
- Hubs bought me The Cure Trilogy DVD set for my birthday. I know that he isn't too keen on The Cure, but he sat and watched part of it with me last night.
- Going to orientation tonight with Hubs and K-. She was so excited as we walked back home. She was able to meet up with some of her preschool classmates and that made her day.
- I spoke to the pediatric dentist's office that we were referred to by our neighbor. I explained K-'s dental situation to the woman on the phone, who was very caring and spoke to me for quite sometime. We have an action plan in place in the event that the pulpectomy (remaining portion of the root canal) needs to take place and we aren't successful with Dr. Rick. We will be transferring K- over to the practice regardless, as considering her dental history, we think that the pediatric dental office may be a better fit for her. I will remain going to Dr. Rick. (I love him! Why wouldn't I?!) This was a weight lifted.
- I spoke to the insurance company in regard to the pediatric dentist and though they aren't providers under our insurance plan, we have "a great traditional insurance plan" (as told to me by the lady on the phone who was stunned by our coverage) that not being a provider makes no difference. We will still have 80/20 coverage. Hubs is a county employee and as such, they tend to be provided with pretty decent insurance plans. Hoorah!
- After the orientation, I came home to drown my stresses in a chunk of DQ ice cream cake. Yes Rachael, it is my favorite, too. Oh, and my grandma's cold chocolate cake with custard frosting that my mom was able to finally duplicate this year. Grandma has been gone for 13 years and it has taken my mom that long to figure out why the icing was failing. She was using 2% instead of whole milk!

Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Many things.

I had a birthday. I am now 36. My mother-in-law commented on the amount of gray hair that I have. I know, I know. It's hard enough for me to keep up with getting my hair cut. I'd never keep up with coloring. We took my in-law's with us to Idlewild on Saturday as an anniversary gift to them. We went as a birthday/end of summer celebration for us. We had a great time! We were able to score tickets at Giant Eagle, so we saved $50.00 on admission. That alone was reason to smile! We went to the Story Book Forest, rode the train, went through Mr. Roger's Neighborhood of Make Believe on the trolley, rode a bunch of rides that even my mother-in-law went on (I think we about did her on on the Rollo Coaster.) We stopped for a bite to eat on the way back home and didn't actually land on our doorstep until 12:45 AM on Sunday morning. That's a long day for us! We don't stay up that late.

We did make it to church on Sunday morning. We hadn't been for a few weeks because of K-'s viral funk. It was a great sermon that spoke to my heart about having God at the forefront, not being able to have 2 masters in your life and readjusting priorities. Particularly with work stress, I needed to hear that.

We went to the Cleveland Botanical Gardens for my birthday. Hubs and K- take me every year, and every year EXCEPT this one (thank you!) K- didn't break down and have a horrible fit. We went on a garden tour, were able to be there for the butterfly release, where K- got a few to handle and one flew onto Hubs' head. :)

Much to the dismay of my family unit, we were able to work on the task of getting the Christmas photo done. I drove the in-law's crazy with it the day before and Hubs and K- were slightly annoyed with me today. In the end, I believe that we may have fetched a few contenders. I know that it sounds ridiculous to work on it this early, but Hubs kind of likes a destination type photo and with no vacation this year, this was pretty much our only chance. Hubs understands my artist tendencies, so it is all good. Each one of us have our own obsessive things and the Christmas card photo is one of mine.

I've been battling a little bit of something, as whatever funk I have seems to be blossoming in sores in my mouth. The sore of earlier on in the week that actually gave me an earache went away only to have one crop up on the opposite side of my mouth. This one has part of the roof of my mouth aching with redness. I've had a sore throat today, as well as some swollen glands, but after some Advil and Advil Cold and Sinus, it seems to have calmed down a bit. Both Hubs and I have been battling the mouth sores this week, so we think that maybe K-'s viral funk hit us a little bit. I had a hazy headache for a week, but finally didn't have it today. Perhaps the lightness, but annoyingness of whatever bit of something that I had is disappearing. Hopefully it does along with that huge cold sore in my mouth. Ouch.

We're looking towards the official end of summer. We have our orientation for K- tomorrow night. Mrs. F- is her teacher, but I don't recall her at the registration presentation. I admit that it makes me nervous, as I'll be leaving my child in her care for 6 hours a day/5 days a week. I'm certain that she is well qualified and all that, but I do believe that the orientation will be helpful in my being able to lay my eyes on her, getting to speak with her, finding out a bit more about her and her angle of teaching and how tightly she runs her ship. (No, I realize that this is not a parent/teacher conference, but if I can get 1/4 of my curiosities satisfied, then maybe I'll feel better, yes?) K- will be able to check out her room (magical number 3!) and meet some of her classmates. I'm excited for her, but nervous. I figure that each school year factors in adjustment to new schedules/people and whatnot. Hopefully, K- will do well with her adjustment and be the delightful little girl that I know her to be. Nevermind me. I'll be the mommy doing the deep breathing exercises over here.

Smiles in my weekend:
- A great weekend! Thanks honey and K-!
- Ice cream cake. I know that I used to work at DQ, but I never grow tired of their cakes.
- Being able to check back on the little girl who fell and bonked her head while the kids were waiting for their trolley ride. We ran into her and her family at some games later on in the evening, we were able to confirm that she was okay, though pushed down hard by another little girl. I was able to talk with the mother, who I praised for handling the situation as well as she had. Her daughter was pushed by another child who was neither reprimanded by her mother, nor even made to go to see how the injured child was. The mother said nothing. She didn't even acknowledge the incident. K- was mortified, as she had no idea what to do when she heard the collection of parental gasps when the incident happened. She came, sat with me and she went to check on her temporary playmate. I couldn't speak in detail about the incident until later, as the offender and mom were sitting right next to us in line. It made K-'s heart happy to know that the little girl was okay, as she had brought it up a few times during the day. This way, I know that she can rest well knowing that the playmate will be a-okay.

I hope that all of you had a wonderful weekend! Still spotty this week, because of sending K- off to school. Next week I'll get back to my normal schedule. I promise!