Friday, January 20, 2017

What To Watch

Since there is not going to be anything worth watching on television tonight, I’m trying to decide which DVD we should put in.

Right now I’m going back and forth between Anne of Green Gables and season two of Fear the Walking Dead. You can understand my indecisiveness.

I might just let the girls pick. But before I do that, I have to reconcile myself with the fact that we’ll probably end up watching The Secret Lives of Pets.

I think I might just be okay with that.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Precious

When I got to my mom’s on Sunday to pick up Olivia, the first thing I noticed was that her eyes were a little glassy. I asked her if she was okay. She did her weird dance that tells me she’s fine but doesn’t want to actually say the words.

We hung out at my mom’s for about an hour, waiting for my brother, who seems to have no concept of time, to show up and pick up his son. Jax gets a little weepy if we leave him at Gram’s alone. Not that he minds being at Gram’s but he’s a very social creature and so when Lyss and Liv leave him, he feels so very alone. But if we leave once his dad is there, he’s fine because he knows they’ll leave soon too and all is well.

Anyway, when we got home, I started making lunch for the girls and called Olivia in to give her some medicine for the sniffles that had become apparent when we were driving home.

As she settled in at the kitchen table, Liv announced that she was cold. I got her a blanket and felt her forehead. She MIGHT have had a fever of maybe 99 degrees…maybe.

As she sat there, all sad and forlorn, trying to eat her soup, she declared that she was achy.

I told her that if she didn’t feel like she could eat her lunch, I’d make her a ‘nest’ in the corner behind the recliner. She perked up a bit at that, because, hello, who doesn’t love a nest made just for them?

I got the beanbag chair that is shaped like lips and put it in the corner. Then I got O’s sleeping bag. She grabbed her tablet because, duh she wasn’t actually going to rest, you fool.

I settled her into the nest, putting the sleeping bag over her in such a way as to trap the heat coming from the register there in the corner. She relaxed against the beanbag chair and started watching The Mommy and Gracie Show on Youtube, much to Alyssa’s disgust because she finds Mommy and Gracie to be the epitome of annoying. Kind of like how I feel when Alyssa watches Pat and Jen on Youtube. Talk about annoying!

Anyway! Yeah, Olivia has a cold.

And guess what? She’s not taking it well. The child who had strep throat every three weeks for eight months has the sniffles and she wants to know, “Why does this always happen to ME?” (That’s an actual quote from her from this weekend.)

This is her first cold of any kind since her tonsils came out back in June. I’d say that’s an excellent record.

I’d also say that she got used to being well and realizes now that not being well sucks.

Poor baby. She’s just become too precious to handle sickness.

She suggested that if I had any sort of magical powers, that I use them to take the sickies out of her and put them in her sister. When I told her that even if I did have those kinds of powers I wouldn’t make her sister sick because, hello, her sister was as much my child as she was, she changed her mind and said that I could just put the sickies in her dad’s butt.

Now there’s an option.

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Usual Suspects

The gang was all there: Tessa, Sophie, Nora, Jennifer, Gabby, Amelia and a new face, Aidan.

They were all there for Alyssa’s annual slumber party. She turned fourteen on Saturday and it was an all-out bash to celebrate.

At one point, I called all the guests (and Alyssa) into the living room so I could take a picture. Tessa started in right away, wanting to be on the end so if anyone printed the pictures, she could be cropped out.

The rest of the night, whenever a camera (phone) came out, she was covering her face, declaring she looked terrible in pictures and to not take any of her.

I remember being that girl, the one who knew she wasn’t fat but felt like she was supposed say she thought she was fat. And so I did. I said it all the way through junior high and high school until it took hold in my head and became a running mantra. “You’re fat…you’re ugly…you’re useless…”

I wanted so badly for people to assure me that of course I wasn’t fat. I wanted to hear outside voices corroborate what my inside voice was saying in the beginning.

So the next morning, when she girls were packing up, I said gently to Tessa, “You know it’s okay to like yourself, right? You know that it’s okay to know that you’re beautiful. It’s also okay to know that you’re not fat and to not ever say you are.”

I then reminded every girl there that they were so much more than their physical bodies. I told them that their friendships, their musical talent or art talent, their intellect, their kindness, all of that was so much more important than what the world said was classically beautiful.

Then I told them the group therapy session was over. They laughed but I hope they also took in at least a little bit of what I told them.

I hope I did too.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Shipping Her Off

As is our tradition, Alyssa’s 14th birthday will be celebrated with a slumber party for her and seven of her closest friends. This is not Tom’s favorite weekend of the year. He loathes having people over, especially so many, also especially for so long.

I reminded him, gently, that this is only one night a year and he can suck it up. Alyssa is a really good kid and this is something we need to do for her/let her do.

He rolled his eyes and agreed to the parameters of the party. Drop off is at 5pm tomorrow afternoon and pick up it at 11am Sunday morning.

It’ll be fine.

And best of all, my mom is kind enough to let us ship Olivia off to her house. Jaxon will be there to entertain Liv for the evening. I’ll drive her the three and a half miles to my mom’s house at 4:30 Saturday afternoon and pick her up at 11:30, or after the last party guest leaves, whichever comes first, on Sunday morning.

It would be fine if Olivia stayed home but it would also be tougher on both her and me. She’d want to be upstairs with Alyssa and her guests. Alyssa would NOT want her sister hanging out with her and so I’d have to keep coming up with ways to entertain the little beast ahem, I mean, my littlest love the entire evening until I finally managed to force her into submission by way of sleep.

Sending her to her Gram’s for the night is best for everyone, except, perhaps for my mom and stepdad, who will be stuck with a nine year old and a ten year old. I’ll remind them to be thankful that Jax’s little brother, C isn’t there too. C is two and a half and A LOT of work. So that gentle reminder should help them get through the night.

I’m a giver, I tell you.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

A Math Problem

The girls brought home their report cards last week.

Olivia, sweet, sweet Olivia is doing okay in most of her classes. I wish I could say she tries but honestly, I’m not sure she does. I mean, I think she gets a lot more of the material than her report card shows but I also think she finds school work boring and she’s the kind of kid who doesn’t do well when she’s bored. She’s just not motivated to do the work if it’s not interesting to her.

Alyssa, on the other hand, is motivated by A’s and the $$ that come from those A’s. And for the record, Tom and I do not pay for good grades but my mom and stepdad do, so…

But O’s math scores surprised me. She is graded in numbers from one to five. A one means she’s working way below grade level and intervention is probably needed. I am happy to say her report card had no ones on it.

A two means she needs to work a little harder. A three means she’s working at grade level. Fours mean she’s above grade level and fives mean she’s excelling.

She always gets fives in art, gym, and computers. The one that amuses me the most is the five she gets for ‘is consistently dressed appropriately for gym class.’ I mean, duh, she’s ten, her parents (mom) still pick out her clothes and tell her which shoes to wear on which day. So yeah, I feel for those kids who aren’t ‘appropriately dressed’ because that’s not their fail at this age, it’s their parent’s fail.

But about those math scores…she got a two in her comprehension of addition and subtraction. Yeah. We’re working on that.

In multiplication, a new subject this year, she got a four. FOUR! She’s mastered the times tables for 0, 1, 2, and 5.

I realize that multiplication is often all about memorization and that addition and subtraction require actually understanding the problems and doing the math.

But this was still an interesting situation. My child who is struggling with adding and subtracting even single digit numbers is excelling in multiplication.

Let’s hope we can bring up those addition and subtraction scores and maintain that multiplication score.

I guess if she continues to find memorizing the times tables interesting she’ll keep doing well. I hope I can figure out how to keep her interest going.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Putting It in Writing

Let’s just put this out there. I am NOT going to be in charge of Olivia’s class Valentine’s day party.

I’m just not.

For the past three years (Kindergarten, first grade, and second grade) one other mom and I have basically traded off being the Mom In Charge of the class parties.

This other mom, Mrs. Deck, is lovely and more than willing to do her share. I, too, am more than willing to do my share.

However, during this fourth year of class parties, we’re both over it. We’ve discussed this and we’re NOT going to be in charge of the party.

Mrs. Deck planned and ran this year’s Halloween party. I took charge of the Christmas party.

In years past at the open house (the evening before the first day of school) the teachers always had sign-up sheets for the holiday parties. These sheets were for parents to sign up to either help at the party or run it.

This year, Mrs. H didn’t have that. Instead, in early October, she sent home sheet that asked parents interested in helping at the parties to sign up with their emails and phone numbers. A couple of weeks later she sent home sheet of paper with all the parents’ (okay, moms’, let’s be real, there were only mom names on that piece of paper) names and numbers on it. Noted was, “Here is a list of everyone who signed up to help. Please call each other and plan this party.”

Yeah…okay.

For the Valentine’s day party , I am taking a snack, some drinks and a game/craft to do. It’s up to everyone else to figure out what they want to bring. Mrs. Deck and I are sick of being the only two moms with kids in that class who take initiative. I mean, seriously!

And, get this, we are both also the only two moms who work full time. Any of the other moms who work only work part time and that’s just a handful. The rest don’t work at all (outside the home…granted, they probably work really hard while at home…just saying.)

So yes, this is my rant. I am not planning, texting, calling anyone for the party that is coming up in exactly a month.

Of course, I said that before the Christmas party and look what happened. But I’m serious this time. I mean, look at all those words up there. It’s been put in writing. I am not planning this hears third grade Valentine’s day party. I’ll be there with red (or pink) on and will facilitate a game or a craft. But everyone else needs to step up and figure it out. I’m done handing out assignments.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

It Must Be Tuesday

Once upon a time there was this television show call Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I loved this show so, so much. I wanted to be strong and smart and quick with the witty comebacks like Buffy. I wanted to be loyal and kind like Willow. I even sometimes wanted to be the sort of person who simply told it like it is like Cordelia.

Anyway, in its seventh season, Buffy aired on Tuesday nights. There was this awesome episode in season seven called Once More with Feeling. It was the musical episode. I love it so much. It mixed the awesomeness of Buffy and vampires with music and that’s just too fun ignore.

There was a line on this episode that just made me giddy when Buffy first uttered it. Her little sister had been kidnapped by that episode’s ‘big bad’ and when Buffy found out, she said with resignation, “Dawn’s in trouble, it must be Tuesday.”

I often feel like that. ‘Something’ is happening and it seems to happen all the freaking time and so…it must be Tuesday.

Like today…Tuesday. School was closed due to the weather. It must be Tuesday.

UPS was late to arrive, it must be Tuesday.

Oh, there’s a meeting that requires lunch being brought in. It must be Tuesday.

I’m beginning to understand exactly how Buffy felt about Tuesdays. They just really, really suck.