Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mishaps, Mistakes, & Misadventures- Or How My Week Went

I scarred my hand.  Slightly over flipping my pumpkin rolls onto the waiting powder-sugared towel resulted in an unwelcome meeting between my skin and the cookie pan.  What was once perfectly fine skin (howbeit slightly older looking than I had realized) was instantly streaked with a 2nd degree burn.  A permanent one inch reminder of my favorite fall snack.

The next day I met a unhappy kindergartner at the door after school.  I had neglected to remind him his siblings were attending an after-school activity, making his bus ride a solitary one.  In my absentmindedness, he also walked home alone from the bus stop.  If he hadn't been upset, I can't guarantee I would have noticed he walked in alone and may have left the two other children stranded at the school.

Searching for a lunch, I pulled out left over soup.  It wasn't till I took the first bite that I calculated it had been left overlooked in the fridge a little too long.  First bite was last bite and my appetite was not left over to find an alternative meal choice.

I had a Frogger schedule for the kids on Saturday.  Hop here, move here, drop off here and then head backwards; I puzzled together a way to get two kids to birthday parties, and a couple other kids over to play with friends.  After dropping off my son at a party at the bowling alley, I found I had miswritten the ending time.  Frogger End of Game.  Unfortunately, I couldn't start over and repuzzle;  instead I begged an early drop off at the second child's party and made the 40 minute round trip in a mere 45 minutes, arriving to pick up the first with 5 minutes to spare.

Why 45 minutes?  While driving to the party, I missed the turn off the main road.  The turn to a house I go to almost twice a week.  It was the second regularly taken turn I had missed that day.  I turned into a museum parking lot to turn around, but unwittingly entered a long, one-way winding drive to reach the parking lot and exit.  As I waited to turn back onto the street, the woman in the neighboring car asked directions to a pretty main road (in fact, it was actually directions to the road that leads back to my house).  It wasn't until I myself turned that I realized the exit was on a different street than I thought.  I had sent the poor woman off perpendicularly from her desired destination.  She may have hit California by now.

I allowed my kids to cut up magazines, but accidentally handed them the pile I hadn't yet read.  I left the house three times with lip liner in place and lipstick neglected.  I grumbled all day when my daughter took my jacket to school, only to find it hanging on its hook (luckily 5 minutes before she got home).  I had to restart a Sudoku puzzle four times for silly mistakes.

I had a wonderful week.  We enjoyed a trip on a steam train and a riverboat ride.  Chili’s returned their 2 for 20 menu. I found a heavy GAP jacket in Ryan’s size at the consignment shop. And the material I needed to finish Peter’s costume was ½ off at JoAnn’s. But things were a little off.  Or perhaps I was just a little off.  Probably I was just distracted.  You see, every time I leave my house, this is what I see:

I apologize, I was about 2 days late to catch the most vivid reds.
This post is about a week two weeks past, but the pictures are from this week.
Just imagine the trees more beautiful than they appear here.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Where I Admit I Never Intended to Be the Halloween Family

Some of our family traditions are holdovers from my youth, while others were purposely introduced and tweaked to fit our family. But there are other traditions, too. Just as important are the the accidental traditions (and also the every day, barely realized traditions, but that is a whole other post).

We were once a normal family.  Well, at least we were normal as far as our Halloween celebration.  We threw something together sometime before Halloween either buying something new, making something, or recycling previous costumes.  Just like everyone else.  I even have some photo proof:

But then we unwittingly became some other type of family.  The first year past Peter's residency we I decided to have some fun with Halloween.  After all, we could finally afford it.  Star Wars was big that year, so we all dressed up as different Star Wars characters.  I didn't account that this was our first year in North Carolina, so no one had seen our more regular costuming traditions.  We were suddenly THE over the top Halloween family.  It wasn't just in the neighborhood and church.  Peter worked Halloween evening and somehow I convinced him to go in costume.  We came up to show his coworkers all our costumes.

The next year people started asking Peter and me in September what our theme would be.

Accidental traditions are often born this way.  Something done on a whim finds a comfortable fit and becomes a permanent fixture in a family's fabric.  It turns out Peter and I enjoy dressing up.  Even the kids like going with a theme.  They start coming up with ideas in November.  By August we've decided on a theme and in September final individual costumes are decided.  Then I think, shop, sew, glue, tape, paint, and google.

I was worried Elise might be getting a little old to think dressing in a family theme was cool.  I  was wrong.  This year she has convinced several friends to dress up and come to the elementary Halloween festival with their younger siblings. 

Anyway, this is why I disappeared from the cybersphere this week.  I knew what everyone was going to be and had bought most of the supplies, but hadn't started putting everything together yet.  Monday I realized the school party was Saturday and it took a solid 5 days to make the costumes.  I finished this afternoon (a whole day early!) and will have pictures tomorrow.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Can You Just Forget You Know That?

I know in my last post I talked about how wonderful it is to have more independent children, but there are some things I would rather they hadn’t learned:

  • Chicken nuggets at fast food places can come with sauces.
  • Fast food places also offer children’s meals and they come with toys.
  • We have unlimited text and, despite their lack of cell phone ownership, they can use mine.
  • IPhones have game apps.
  • I’m a sucker for math oriented games and books. When asked for, they’ll usually get them.
  • Our CD player has a repeat song feature.
  • Chances are high I won’t notice if they wear the same shirt twice. Definitely won’t notice underwear.
  • As long as they’re being quiet, they can stay up late. I won’t check until I’m going to bed.
  • I won’t wake up if someone sneaks into my bed.
  • When I'm in the middle of a book (or blog post) I'm not really paying close attention to what they're doing. 
  • Forgiveness is easier to obtain than permission (especially in the kitchen).
  • I can’t tell if they throw something in their packed school lunch away or eat it.
  • They can DVR shows. Press record twice and get the entire season.
  • The existence of the Disney Channel, Full House re-runs, and What Not to Wear.

Do you have knowledge you wish your kids would just forget?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I Will Not Be Adopting Monkeys Anytime Soon

Sometimes I wonder if I'm normal.  OK, honestly I have no delusions of being normal, but I wonder just how odd I am.  The other day I watched a show called "My Monkey Baby."  It was about people who adopt monkeys and treat them as their children.  One of the reasons given was how much they missed feeling needed in the way only small baby or toddler needs.  The hunger for absolute dependency. 

Granted, my ideas of normal shouldn't be formed by people who get angry when their monkeys are referred to as monkeys, but, still, I have heard that sentiment before.  I wonder if I am alone in feeling relief as my children grow independent: when I put up my crib for the last time I was excited, I smile as I give away clothes finally too small for me to keep as hand-me-downs, I love sending my children to school and watching them perform tasks for themselves I once had to do.  As each stage ends I leave it behind without remorse, regret or longing.  Not that I didn't find joy in my toddlers, just that I am completely okay with being finished with that stage.  Granted, I have been dealing with the terrible twos for a dozen years, so I may be suffering from over kill.

Last week I had book club at my house and decided to attempt balancing out my fireplace with some pots.  It wasn't till after everything was in place that I realized I had reached yet another milestone.  The pots were on the floor.  After years of keeping everything higher than a toddler can reach (with or without a chair), I can finally use my floor space again.  It was a happy thought.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

We Finally Remember to Visit a Corn Maze

A couple weeks ago we decided to get lost. And we decided to take some friends with us. After years of remembering I wanted to go to a corn maze only after they had all closed for the season, I actually dragged the family out at the beginning of corn maze season.

We learned a lot. Important things like no matter how fast you're going, if the other group has a navy sub navigator with them, they will beat you out of the maze. Also, giving 11 year old boys control over navigation will lead to dead ends not shown on the map (Peter learned this, not me). Also, a large black pipe is all children really need to be happy. And I will forget to get any photos in the maze, only playing outside it.

Lastly, it looks like fall is arriving in New England. Be still my heart.