Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Funny Thing About Fear

At 5:18 a.m. this morning, I opened my eyes and instantly knew I would not doze back off again.  Rather than lie there for the next 27 minutes waiting for my alarm to go off, I rolled out of bed and stumbled downstairs to visit my best friend, Mr. Keurig.  After feeding Mr. Keurig a tiny plastic cup filled with magic, he showed me his gratitude by producing one perfectly brewed cup of sustaining life blood coffee.  By the time I returned to my bedroom, coffee in hand, it was only 5:27.  I had more than enough time to shower and dress before the kiddos emerged from their little caves and began to plunder the pantry at 6:05.

Unfortunately, I made one tiny error that led to very big drama.  I forgot to turn off my alarm clock.  Sounds like no big deal, right?  Wrong.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

To Be Seen Without

Welcome to the Wednesday Disability Blog Hop, which was started by Meriah at With A Little Moxie. I stumbled upon this hop via my friend Becca's blog, The Bates Motel, and if you haven't had the privilege of reading her work, you should stop by sometime.

Any hoo, Captain Kirk has posed this week's prompt for the Blog Hop...

...and here's what I have to say about that.

I have lived an extremely unusual life.  I can honestly say that in my 36 years of existence, I have never-- nope, not even once-- met a completely "abled" person.  Every single person I have ever met on this great planet we call Earth, has had some sort of disability or special need.  Yes, even you.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Frozen Moments

As the end of the school year rapidly approaches, and the impending summer "break" looms nearby, I find myself wondering what new and unbelievably embarrassing scenarios I have waiting for me in the near future.  You see, it is my selective memory personal experience that the summer has way more of those situations-- the ones where the occurring events are so completely mortifying that you will always and forever have every detail of it burned into your brain, like it just happened.  I refer to these situations as "frozen moments" since I can see them like the are paused on the tv screen, frozen in time.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Car Shopping 101

Image borrowed from

A car dealership is no place for children... which is exactly why Hubby and I took our angels with us car shopping yesterday.

If you have ever been on a car lot, then you know that one of a salesperson's best tactics is to make nice with your kids (if you are crazy enough to bring your kids).  You see said salesperson kissing up to being sweet with your kiddies and you are supposed to instantly trust him.  My kids seem to throw a wrench into this plan.  When they were smaller, their constant crying warded off the sales team.  These days, their crazy clothes, unkempt hair, the stuffies both girls bring that they are obviously conversing with, and Princess's willful avoidance of eye contact when spoken to by strangers (aka car salesmen), all add up to a very hassle-free car shopping experience for Hubby and me.  It probably also helped that, prior to our little visit, we let the girls play with water guns for two hours (making them very tired), loaded them up with chocolate chip cookies, and then told them we would only be staying a "few minutes" at the dealership before we went toy shopping.  I don't know for certain if this had an effect, but call it a hunch.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Hersheypark and Its Many Signs

The obligatory "we're here" photo.
After our troublesome false start last Friday, we finally made it all the way to Hershey, PA around 9:00 p.m.  Needless to say, we put Princess and Birdie straight to bed, with us to follow soon after.  The next morning, my ladies were up and at 'em only a little later than usual (a whoppin' 20 minutes of sleeping in for missing their bedtime by 2 full hours).  We were soon in the hotel's breakfast area, trying to decide which of the assorted pastries, yogurt, cereal, and "cooked" breakfast foods would give us the most stamina at the amusement park that day.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Birdie and the Child Find Committee

I know you are expecting a conclusion to the story of the girls' birthday weekend, but you will have to wait until next time.

Today I did something I never imagined I would do.  Today I submitted a referral form to the school requesting that Birdie be the subject of a Child Find Committee.  It was easier and harder to do than I could have ever guessed it would be.  It was easy to do, because in my heart of hearts I know that despite her incredibly amazing brain for knowledge, Birdie could really use some help developing her "social brain".  What made this process so damn hard was that in some ways it feels like a bit of a loss, too.  So much for me having a pseudo-normal kid... not that was ever truly a possibility.  I mean really, look at me!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Annual Birthday Trip

Birthday parties-- they aren't for everyone.  This is as wild and crazy as we like it.

For the last three years, Hubby and I have taken Princess and Birdie on a weekend excursion for their birthday.  We have several reasons we like to take a trip on the girls' birthday (not the least of which is my aversion to parties and the inevitable drama they entail).  The nightmare of a "real birthday party" is more than my girls can typically handle, what with the crowds of kids, the noisy birthday venue, having to say thank you for less-than-appreciated gifts (when the gift giver should "know I would never like that!"), being upset about friends that can't make the party, etc, etc, etc...  Not to mention the fact that a birthday party at the Rathole (aka Chuck E Cheese) or one of the other popular birthday venues is really freakin' expensive.  I remember my mom throwing me a birthday party for the cost of some paper plates, some cheap balloons, a box of cake mix, and a can of icing!  It most definitely did NOT cost $14/child.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Student Teacher

Late last week, after the final bell had rung for the day at school, Birdie found me chatting with a couple of teachers in the hall.  Birdie butted in joined the conversation and instantly began wowing Ms. H-- a third grade teacher-- with her random bits of knowledge.  Off the cuff, Ms. H said to Birdie "you should just come teach my class for me, you're so smart!  I could really use a day off."  Birdie hardly reacted at all-- she actually looked quite flummoxed by the notion of teaching third grade-- and then she moved on.  It seemed that she had dismissed the whole interaction for the haha that it had been.  My only concern was that Ms. H might not have realized Birdie really does have a sense of humor, but she might not have understood the situation.

And then the whole thing was out of my head, gone and done...

Oh yeah!  I'm gon-na be a teeea-cher!  Gon-na teach some thirrrrrd grade!

...until last night, that is.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Princess & Birdie's Fantasy Life

Can you hear the Twilight Zone theme music emanating from this image?

There is a world that exists solely in the minds of my daughters.  No one else is invited to visit.  No one else, I believe, could truly understand this place.  It is the place where most all of Princess and Birdie's playtime is spent, and it is hard to get them to leave.  The world is called Story Show Land, and my girls are its supreme rulers.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day Reflections

The week after Mother's Day eight years ago, I had the distinct pleasure of becoming a mother myself.

Me as a brand new mom, still stoned from the awesome
delivery room drugs.  Dude, I look puffy!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Milestone in the Making

This is how Birdie's feet fit on the scooter--
 in Kindergarten!  Imagine how they look now!
This afternoon we had a major breakthrough in the land of the Crazy Train.  After Birdie concluded her performance of the first annual K Lane Big Top Circus (which I can't even describe in words, so don't ask), she and the rest of the neighborhood kids began to play in the front common yard.  Eventually the playing turned to riding, and all the kids went to retrieve their "wheels".  A couple of kids came out with their Razor scooters, several more brought their bikes (sans training wheels), and Birdie dragged out her 3-wheeled Dora the Explorer scooter.  She's had this thing since she was four-- and it shows!

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Genius Kid

Not my image-- obviously
As I have mentioned before, I work as a substitute teacher at my daughters' school.  This morning, I had the extreme pleasure of spending some time in one of our school's second grade classrooms.  My daughters are in second grade, and although I wasn't in class with either of them, several of the students I was with recognized me as Princess and Birdie's mom.  This started a small tangential discussion with the students.  During our little tangent, one boy, whom I did not recognize as ever having been a classmate of my girls before, noticed the picture of my family I keep in my school ID badge.  "Those are your kids?  Hey!  You're the mom of that genius kid?!  (He was pointing at Birdie's photo when he said this.)  Wow!"  His tone indicated something between awe and incredulity.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

When Princess Met Prince Charming

As I have mentioned before in a previous post, Princess has a *dun, dun, dunnnnn* Boyfriend.  I know-- crazy, right?  This is, after all, the child I withheld macaroni and cheese from in order to get her to interact with the boys in her class.  But for Princess, there is no need to interact with other boys because she is already friends with the most awesome boy on the planet, and his name is Charming.  *sigh*

Prince Charming and Princess at her 7th birthday "party"

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Oh the Places We Have Been... So Far

Birdie pretending to be Balto and mushing for her sister

As of yesterday, I have been at this blogging thing for exactly eleven weeks.  Also, sometime in the past 24 hours, my blog counted its 3000th pageview.  Frankly, I am shocked.  I know that 3000 pageviews is less than many blogs get in one hour, but I truly expected only my mom and my husband to read my craziness, strictly out of some kind of moral obligation that results from their relationships with me.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Teachable Moment at the Redbox

Not my photo, not an advertisement
As I rolled out of the school parking lot this afternoon to head for home, I began looking forward to a quiet evening alone (after the girls were in bed, of course).  Just me and my goofy mutt, curled up on the couch watching tv sounded like a good plan-- until I realized I had very little on the DVR to keep me entertained.  Easy enough to fix, I thought.  I turned left instead of right at the light and headed into the Giant shopping center.  The grocery has two Redbox machines inside-- surely I could find something there to keep me mentally disengaged for the evening.

I'm wondering now why I couldn't have just been happy with Netflix for a change?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Oh I Wish...

As Mother's Day rapidly approaches, I am once again being being hounded by my family for gift ideas.  Well, let me amend that statement-- my kids are starting to hound me, which is surprising-- but not a single peep from Hubby.  Not yet, anyway.  The questions from my kids started last weekend, when Princess and Birdie noticed all the Mother's Day cards at Target.

My response to their inquiries was a very eloquent "uhhhhh, I dunno?!"  This is my standard response to a question like that.  I have learned the hard way that this is not a good response.

My priceless, and very carefully selected
birthday frog
If I've learned anything in my eight years of motherhood, it's that you need to be very specific when it comes to gift requests.  Especially when your kids are asking.  Otherwise, you have to pray that you look sufficiently ecstatic about the blue rubber sand-filled stretchy frog you'll get on your birthday.  Or the woolen black dress that you are most definitely allergic to but expected to wear anyway.  Or the perfume that smells like a funeral home.  Or the, and I quote, "I don't want to give away what I got you for Christmas with my hint, but I can tell you it looks like Santa and you can drink coffee from it!"  These memories of presents past have since motivated me to issue a preemptive strike in the form of a want list.  It's a very predictable list.

Except for rare occasions, I have very little in the way of gift ideas.  I am extremely boring and easy to please, as long as you don't get too creative.  I don't like jewelry and I despise flowers.  (Hubby really dodged a bullet there, as he is happy to let other hubbies know.)  You can fuel my fiber addiction and buy me a gift card to A.C. Moore, where I will gladly stock up on loads of yarn.  You can fuel my coffee addiction or candy addiction. You can buy me kitchen gadgets and cookbooks.  You can feed me Mexican food.  Or if you are underfunded, you can orchestrate alone time for me.  Or give me a hug--  I don't really care as long as I'm remembered.  My kids don't like any of my suggestions.  "Isn't there something else you wish for?!"  Implied:  Like a rubber frog?!