Lilly Kelly's. Hands down.
My advice to moms? Please let them wear what they want. It might be the last time they can come to school feeling and looking like a million bucks- and NOT be judged.
Plus, it warms the heart of the teacher. :-)
Dear Tightwad, (I mean the Blessed One…)
I thought I’d fill you in on all the fun things that have been happening here at home. While this working away from home during the week has done wonders for our, um, marriage stuff, it’s been a bit challenging doing the single parent thing. (Although my friends seem to think I’ve been doing it for years.)
First, the Golden Boy shattered the ceiling light in the stairwell that leads from the kitchen to the basement. It seems he really IS taller than the stairwell, and when he tripped towards the bottom his hand went up to catch himself and it shattered the huge bulb into a million pieces. I wasn’t home at the time, but after he realized he wasn’t hurt, he actually cleaned the mess up HIMSELF! With a SHOP-VAC! I still can’t believe it.
Second, Sassy began the week a scary, screaming, emotional wreck. I won’t go into the sordid details, but whatever you do, do NOT mention the letters PMS or look her in the eye. She’s finally back to normal and thanks to the mind-erasing machine she has built into her psyche, she doesn’t seem to remember treating us like crap all week. We’ve got about three weeks of peace until it starts again.
Third, my car died a smoky, screeching death in the center of town yesterday. Yeah, the university students are back. No, they haven’t finished the construction on the main street that goes through downtown. Standing by my car in the middle of that chaos while waiting for the tow truck was a treat. Did I mention it was raining yesterday? Did I?
Oh, and when you get home today, can you take Golden Boy aside and tell him it is NOT a good idea to try to show his mother the various places on his body where hair is growing. There are some things I DON’T need to see. Ever.
You probably won’t see me all weekend because I’m finally allowed in my classroom and will be working my *** off to put it back together. Wait, can I have your keys? I forgot - I’m vehicle-less.
Boys and girls, today at kindergarten show and tell we need to be very good listeners. Okay, Let’s get started.
Janie: This is my doll. She is my favorite and I sleep with her. I love her dress because it’s pink.
Caroline: This is my sister’s blanket. Don’t touch it though; it still has her boogers on it. (Notice the semi-colon people….are you impressed?)
Haley: This is my Barbie mermaid. I love her. I sleep with her. My mommy got her at Wal-mart.
Jack: This is my Bakogaon. It sticks to metal. I have a hundred of them at home. I got them at Wal-mart.
Jay-Han: This is my encyclopedia on Egyptology. It is extremely informative and it is my favorite thing to read. This photograph is of the Pyramids that are on the Nile River, the largest river in the world. The ancient Egyptians who constructed them used hieroglyphics to write on them. Also, if you were alive then you would NOT want to live in the pyramids, as they are extremely hot and uncomfortable. Any questions?
Me: ....Well..... thank you Professor Kim! That was amazingly informative. Next?
This is why I can't wait for school to start.
Can’t you and Sassy have a huge fight again? Can’t one of you try to strangle the other to death on the living room floor with the dogs barking and your brother crying?
Can’t you treat your brother like crap, throw something at him and make him cry like you used to?
And why don’t you scream at me and call me a f***%*# b*&@^# like the good old days? Sigh. Is that too much to ask?
When I opened your top drawer today to help you pack (I was NOT snooping) and I found that folder STUFFED FULL of all my columns, blog posts and articles? It made me cry. Again.
You do love me.
And now I have to send you off to college with that knowledge deep inside my heart.
It was MUCH easier when I thought you hated me.
My mother has been dead for 23 years. I can still see her standing in the kitchen talking to her sister on the phone. If I wait just a few seconds, I can also hear her laughing and laughing about something my Aunt Shirley said.
There are many things peppered around my house that remind me of her. I have the old hand crank coffee grinder that was found at a tag sale in Virginia; the tiny drawer at the bottom still holds that faint hint of coffee.
I have the old blue glass bottles in my window, the cookie tins in my kitchen, and other various knick-knacks around my home. They provide me with a sense of comfort.
Not long ago one of my aunts sent me a package, and inside were 6 post cards that my mother had sent her mother when we lived in Nice, France. (My father was stationed there while serving in the Navy Jag office.)
For some reason I can’t stop reading them, and some days I can actually hear her voice jump off the postcards. She has come back to life- if only briefly…
Dearest Mother – I have bought six of these lovely cards today and am going to write a continuous note on all- and mail them together and let me know if they arrive together. It’ll be fun to see! I thought there were so lovely – that you must have them.
I must start sending picture cards of France home – because before too long we’ll be leaving and I’ll regret not having done so. The other day I was in St. Jean and I sat and watched Princess Grace and her children having lunch with David Niven and his wife. It was exciting and she is beautiful. I have seen David Niven many times and followed him and his car home from St. Jean. Bob gets a laugh from the wive’s excitement at seeing a star. He’d probably be so, too – if he saw Brigette Bardot!
One of the navy ships is coming into the villa tomorrow and they have said they will do any repairs for us- which is nice of them. They are going to take or dry cleaning-four to a person.
K and D are so happy in school. They go off gaily – each morning – carrying their lunch pails. D has a Mickey Mouse pail – ad K has Quick Draw McGraw. Bob will enjoy that.
I have switched B. back to Pet Milk because of the bad rash that wouldn’t go away. Since last night it has started to clear and I’m feeling better. He is so cute and smiles now. We call him “Petite Mignon” which is something like teeny weeny one! Bob will be so surprised when he sees how much he’s grown, tho.
D and K have learned so much French from their little French girl friend “Josie”. And she has really helped me, too. It’s going to be fun to see how much of it they’ll remember when we get home.
Those sisters of yours are terrible and not worth wasting one’s breath on. – Bob always said he thought they were from outer space and that’s where they belong – maybe we should volunteer them for the next orbit- but to the moon!!!
Well, this is the last card – and what fun. I hope you can decipher them when you receive all six!!
Love and Kisses!
sigh. Someone pass me a tissue.
Just a word of warning: your sister, Sassy, is waging an INCREDIBLE campaign to take over your name. Just when I thought 17 might be the perfect age, she decided to REMIND me about what 17 year-old girls are really like.
Also, I would recommend that you either start treating me like crap again, or wave goodbye to the name “Bitchy” that you earned AND wore so proudly these last four years. This lovely young woman who is ready to go back to college is SURELY an impostor.
Quick, help me hide Sassy’s car keys! She’s grounded for at LEAST a year after last night’s screaming rampage. (I promised myself not to look her in the eye. Why do I forget that?)
Love, (And I really mean it this time.)
When you FINALLY find the old family butcher shop, tucked in the middle of NOWHERE, OREGON, there are just a couple of sights that might shock you.
It won’t be the many ANIMAL HIDES hanging from various rusty nails throughout the tiny cavernous windy rooms that the store inhabits.
It won’t be the smell of freshly butchered, um, cow – I hope. I couldn’t quite tell WHAT meat it was as I peered through the somewhat cloudy and overloaded meat case.
It won’t be the HUGE fella behind the counter with a blood stained apron and what looks like a huge MEAT CLEAVER in his hands.
It won’t even be the sign on a large hunk of what appeared to be pate that said “PUDDING MEAT”. (Now THAT was appealing.)
The biggest shock? When you ask for change for a $20 and the woman reaches deeply into her UNDERWEAR to find her wad of cash.
“Um, well, never mind! NO!! I didn’t really need any.”
And don’t let the screen door hit you as you RUN from the store, holding your precious jalapeño hot dogs.
Wait, is that dueling banjos I hear????
This is why I can't wait to go back to work...
My little friend Janie has been inviting kids to her wedding for about a week now. I decided it was time to have a class discussion, as it was happening during our whole group lessons on the carpet.
Me: "Janie, exactly what are you doing?"
Janie: "I am inviting people to my wedding to Johnny."
Me: "But, I thought you were marrying Jack."
Jack: "I decided I didn’t want to get married."
Me: "Good thinking, Jack. Now, Janie, back to the wedding, you DO know that we are not supposed to get married in kindergarten, right?"
Janie: "Well, my mom and dad got married when they were 3 and 2 years old."
Me: "I don’t think that was when the REAL wedding took place. But, you go ahead and ask them about that tonight."
Janie: "Actually, I am marrying Johnny AND Jack."
Me: Well, unless you live in Utah or Texas, I don’t think you can legally do that. "
Johnny: "HEY- Jack and I are making a run for it!"
Cassie: "And, another thing, Janie was kissing the wall…"
Sally: "She was practicing."
Me: "Listen carefully boys and girls. ONE – there are to be no weddings in kindergarten. TWO – there is no kissing in kindergarten. THREE – well, I can’t remember, but I’m sure I’ll think of a number three shortly.
Okay, now what were we learning about?"
My little Bruce wanted to go to the nurse, and when I told him that he really didn’t LOOK sick, he was adamant. So, against my better judgment, I took him.
Nurse: “So Bruce, what hurts?”
“Every time I blow my nose my ear hurts.”
“Well, how long has this been going on?” the nurse asked.
“Um, let’s see, about 52 weeks. Since 2007 at least.”
And with that, I gently took his hand, smiled at the nurse and marched him back to class.
After deciding that I HAD to do a piece on school nurses, here are some chuckles sent to me by my friends...
“My ear hurts when I burp.”
“My lips are tired.”
“I’m leaking plasma.”
“I have a hernia in my knee.”
“I think my sister has the weasels.”
“My right eye is blinking.”
“Somebody Fwode up and it made me sick.”
“I had a crustacean on my eye.”
“I had to see the eye optimist.”
“My sister has mice in her hair.”
Then, my little John had gone to the nurse complaining of being "gassy".
The nurse asked him when his last bowel movement was. He said "Umm, when I was about 3.”
I can't wait to get back to work......
Sniff. Sniff. Can you smell it? You know what I mean. That smell is here; the smell of new pencils, new books, new crayons and markers, the smell of new shoes, new clothes, and a new backpack and you know what that means. School is in the air! Perhaps the biggest sign that school is right around the corner is the buzz that is flying around the pool, in the supermarket and at your local fall sporting practices. Who will get the Best Teacher of All? Who will be the lucky kids to get in the Best Teacher of All’s class?
Remember on Mary Poppins, when Jane and Michael wrote a letter and asked for the perfect nanny? The father was stunned when Mary Poppins handed him the list that he had thrown into the fire. It went something like this:
(Start humming…) “If you want this choice position, have a cheery disposition; rosy cheeks, no warts; play games, all sorts. You must be kind, you must be witty, very sweet and very pretty; take us on outings, give us treats, sing songs, bring sweets.”
That’s what keeps going through my mind at this time of year. That super duper wish list. The wish list each parent and child has. Here’s what I think the wish list is for the perfect teacher. Wanted: teacher; must be sweet, even-tempered, hip, funny, pretty, smart, young, experienced and energetic. Must never yell, get mad, throw things or lose her temper. Must be very patient, wear stylish clothes, have a lovely laugh and smell like fresh baked cookies.
So, basically, that would count me out. (And, perhaps, everyone I know.)
While we teachers may not all be young or hip or very tall, there are some things we have in common. We are committed to our jobs and to your kids. These are some of the things we can promise you. We will get to know your child inside and out; we will learn about his pets, his siblings, his likes and dislikes and will always notice when he gets a hair cut. We will push him to be independent, self-sufficient, confident and responsible. We will help guide him when things don’t go his way and will laugh with him (and applaud) when they do. We will push him until he reaches the potential that we know he has, and we will be there when he falls, to pick him back up, dust him off and start him back up that hill. That’s our job, and that’s what we love to do.
Contrary to what my kindergarteners recommended to our student intern, we will not be teaching kickboxing, having cinema time every day; they cannot ride mechanical bulls in class, skateboard off the roof (with kneepads, of course) and we will not buy them happy meals for lunch once a week. (I gotta give them credit for trying, however.)
As a mom, I’ve learned that often the teachers who work with my child every day know more about what is a good match for him than I do. I have learned that it is important for me to keep my mouth shut on some occasions and it is equally important to voice my concerns at others. I have learned that a teacher that was not the best match for Mrs. Jones’ son (that darned Mrs. Jones—always so hard to keep up with), was the perfect teacher for my son.
Yeah, we teachers don’t all look alike. Some of us are tall, short, skinny, chunky, old, young, and black and white. However, we all love kids and want what is best for these young souls. So please; trust us, respect us and join us in making this the Best Year Ever for your child. One more thing - beware the buzz at the pool. Sometimes that bee will come right back and sting ya.
(This was something I did last summer. Hope you enjoyed it...and here's the Crystal Light update- Bitchy is kicking my ***)
I am home from my trip, and have been searching high and low for any signs of questionable activity from the girls.
I have found none.
However, I remember when MY parents left my sister and ME alone for a weekend.
We had a huge party.
With a band.
In the living room.
Yeah. I’m gonna continue this search. I KNOW the apples don’t fall far from the tree.
(Crystal Light update...)
Please excuse me for a minute while I catch my breath, my heart seems to have stopped working. I guess I wasn’t prepared for what my heart would feel when I watched you laugh and pose for your senior portraits.
Do you know what I saw?
I saw the young girl who kept her naked Barbies in the fridge.
I saw the girl who for two weeks went to preschool looking like a smurff after her sister colored her from head to toe with a blue permanent marker.
I saw the girl who rolled and flipped and rolled down a huge flight of steps in our old house, and then popped up and ran outside to join the boys playing in the mud in the yard.
I saw the girl who jumped off her top bunk, ripped her knee wide open and ended up with a huge smiley face stitched under her kneecap.
I see the girl who held her sister down in a chokehold after seeing her wearing your pants not TOO long ago.
But you know what the camera saw?
A beautiful young woman about to embark on the greatest adventure of all: her life.
May the angels travel with you; I know my heart will.
(My Crystal Light Water update...I am driving Bitchy insane...)
Things I learned at the BlogHer conference; in no particular order. (Ahem, is that a semi-colon?)
1. You can NEVER have enough business cards. You will be passing them out on the plane, in the lobby of the hotel, the elevator, bathroom, lunchroom, at the sessions, exhibits and parties. The cards are of various shapes and sizes, and have avatars on them, pictures, and others are tied to packages of candy kisses or stationary. They are very clever and cool at the same time! (Pssst, you can get free business cards at Vista.com .)
2. You will meet far too many people to remember everyone. I tried to go through my cards each evening to try to imprint images on my brain.
3. When someone else pays for your conference AND your room, you are more likely to force yourself to go to every session and stay involved in as many activities as possible. You will not allow yourself to waste one minute of the day
4. When attending sessions, make sure you arrive at least 15 minutes before the session begins, or you will have to stand in the corner or sit on someone’s lap. If you have a question, don’t hesitate to stand up and say your name AND the name of your blog. When the audience erupts in applause and cheers, it just might be one of the HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR LIFE. I still get chills thinking about it.
5. After you find out that you DO have a ticket to the conference, find out when and where all the parties are. Then, SIGN UP RIGHT AWAY. Apparently, many of the parties will only allow you in if you are on the “guest” list. AND, when Stiletto Mom invites you to a PRIVATE PARTY on a rooftop in Chicago, don’t HESITATE to go. You might just meet several FAMOUS authors and bloggers and one very cool (and CUTE) dude who sings. His name might be Chris Mann.
6. If you DO manage to sign up for a couple of parties, make sure you are one of the FIRST ones there so that you can get the good “swag” bags. (Apparently some people received Kodak video cameras. I can’t even think about it.)
7. There IS such a thing as too much swag.
8. Even if some amazing blog followers take up a collection and give you money to spend at the conference, you will still swipe Sweet and Low, honey and jelly packets from the coffee shops in the lobby, the Chicago Airport and the Oregon Airport.
9. Inevitably, if some amazing blog followers take up a collection and give you money to spend at the conference, when you get home your washing machine will die a HORRIBLE death, and you will spend what’s left of that money on a new one. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Remember on Sunday when we were in the kitchen, and you made me laugh so hard when I was seriously trying to learn the top ten tricks anorexics use to lose weight?
You took out a shot glass and were going to give me a shot of hot sauce…remember how we both laughed so hard we almost peed our pants? Each time we looked at each other we laughed and laughed and laughed.
That brief shining moment reminded me of what an incredible gift you are. And even when you scream at me at the top of your lungs, and SAY you hate me more than anything else in the world, I know deep down in my heart… that you don’t.
Thanks for the reminder.
(I am spending time with my kids at the Smithfield County Fair; no internet, and lots of colorful folks. )
A while ago I received an award from my good friend the Captain. (And when I say a while ago, I mean a WHILE ago...) I was supposed to list things I’ve learned about boys, tag people who have boys or something along those lines. Okay, here we go:
1. Boys stink. (P.U.) I am NOT kidding you. I don’t care how many showers they take, how much Old Spice Spray they spray on (Me: “Golden Boy, you’re supposed to spray that UNDER your arms, not on your neck and behind your ears. Do NOT listen to your sisters…” ) or how much Axe they use; by the end of the day they still STINK. Do not open the door to my boy's bedroom unless you are wearing a gas mask.
2. Boys break all your *&@$. Golden Boy breaks everything he gets his hands on. That’s all I can say. And, as I sat here typing this, he broke a candleholder that was on top of the television and it shattered on the floor into a MILLION pieces. He’s shop-vacing it up as we speak.
3. Boys like to take things apart. Every *@&@ toy GB has ever owned has been taken apart. He’s taken apart his race cars, remote-controlled toys, his bikes, his skateboard, our toilet, his sister's cd player and my life-sized snowman. When he turned 8, he was able to put some of them back together. Luckily I put most of these items into Ziploc baggies in the hopes that SOMEDAY he might want to do that. (I'm not usually so brilliant. I must have been tipsy.)
4. Boys EAT ALL THE TIME. (He's grown an INCH AND A HALF since January. Is that normal? He just turned ELEVEN and is 5'3" and 140 pounds...) I simply cannot afford to feed him AND the boys from the trailer park down the road that show up to play in our backyard. Oh, all right, but just because they are so darn cute.
5. Boys are LOUD. cheeze-us. (I get just as annoyed as his teacher, except I'M allowed to tell him to shut up.)
6. Boys CANNOT keep their hands to themselves. They are constantly tapping, drumming, knocking on something, bouncing something, tackling someone and basically DRIVING their mothers, teachers and sisters MAD. (Dad's don't give a crap. I wonder why that is.)
I am tagging anyone who has boys.
So, here's what you need to do:
1. Holla at your boy...... (I've been waiting to say that since Project Runway ended...)
2. March their butts into the bathroom and show them how to put up the seat. And oh my God, have them wipe it off, first.
3. Find ONE shirt that doesn't have a stain on it.
4. Have them locate their shoes, take them to the laundry room and SOAK them in some kind of strong crap that will take out that smell.
5. Hug them very, very tightly, because THAT is the child that will never call you a f*@&*ing b*&@$.