Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Band-Aids and Black Eyes (Warning, lots of complaining ahead...)

I seem to be on a once weekly posting schedule...lots has happened in the last week though.  The biggest event was that Kiley started Kindergarten.  This was a three pronged approach to kindergarten.  Wednesday night we went for "registration."  Kiley met her teacher, saw the room, and us parents were supposed to feel a little more relaxed upon leaving.  Not so.  Thankfully, the desks/chairs were in small groups of four rather than the rows we saw when we first visited the school over the summer.  The teacher seemed nice and the room was, well, kindergarten.  I was hoping for a nice printed out schedule of what the kids would be doing each and every minute of the day.  You know, circle time, math, science, art, music, snack, such schedule greeted me.  We went home a little bit disappointed and worried about sending our first out into the the world.

The second prong was a two hour special on Friday morning which was highly disorganized.  We arrived and hung out in the foyer until someone noticed us and said "Oh, didn't you know?  You are supposed to go to the cafeteria."  We would have stood there all day because the letter didn't say anything about reporting to the cafeteria.  Once in the cafeteria, we were encouraged to eat breakfast (this was not in the schedule).  After about 45 minutes of waiting in line and eating deliciously healthy school food, the principal introduced the staff and each kindergarten teachers began calling their children to come stand in line.  This took FOR-EV-ER.  On the letter we received, it said that each teacher would be wearing a special sticker (Kiley's teacher would have a rainbow sticker) and Kiley was also sent a rainbow nametag.  This is how she was supposed to find her teacher.  Instead, we waited, and waited, and waited for her name to be called.  Meanwhile, everyone else who wasn't being called or whose child had already been called was couldn't hear a thing!  After the kids left, we were introduced to everyone again and treated to an extra-special PowerPoint on making school a success though positive parenting.  Let me tell  you, the people listening were the ones who didn't really need the lecture.  It was the groups of moms/aunts/grannies/whatevers that were talking over the presentation that needed to hear it.  Of course, no one said anything to them.  Sigh.  We finally were released and we went to the classroom to pick up Kiley.  Every other kindergarten teacher EXCEPT Kiley's had their classes lined up by bus load and waiting in the foyer.  Kiley and her classmates were still wandering around the classroom slinging book bags and forgetting forms.  We made it to the bus, and onto the bus, where the driver proceeded to tell me that Kiley was not on her list....finally her name was located and we made it home (to the baby sitter's, where Kiley will get off the bus in the afternoon).

Oh yes, there is a third prong.  The actual first day of school was Monday, August 23.  Since this was Greg's first day of school too, I graciously/stupidly offered to take Kiley in to school because no one had told us where the kids report to in the morning or what time they are allowed to get there.  Dropped the baby off, no problem, get to a parking spot at the school no problem...walk up to the school...Hmmm...where are all the teachers?  Why are there kids milling around without supervision so close to where giant yellow buses are coming and going.  I went in, clutching Kiley by the hand.  I was greeted by people wearing Happy New Year hats and blowing noisemakers.  I was not amused.  Kiley, on the other hand, was thrilled.  (Try to remember, Leah, they do these things for the kids.)  The problem, though, was that they were telling all the kids, with the exception of Pre-K to go back outside to wait.  For what?  Some child napper to snag them????? I don't think so.  I walked Kiley to her classroom where her teacher greeted her with her meal pin number (six digits, mind you) and her name was spelled wrong on the card.  The teacher then asked me if we had been practicing the six digit pin number.  Ah, no.  we have been working on the three digit bus number so the kid can make it home.  Screw the the six digit pin number, she can give them her name if she happens to get lunch.  I was beyond irritated at this point, but I left Kiley and went to the car, where I cried and contemplated quitting my job, homeschooling, and no schooling.  Then I remembered that Greg and I are sort of in the business of public education, as are numerous, the home school/no school thing probably wouldn't go over well.

I held off calling the school, the school board, the central office, a lawyer (just kidding).  I did call the sitter at 3:15 to make sure Kiley had made it there, and wonder of all wonders, she had and she wanted to chat!

"Mommy, I went to the nurse because I hurt my arm!"  Where's the lawyer's number!!!!! Okay, breathe.  "What happened?"  I asked, trying to raise my voice in alarm.  "I slid down the slide on my elbow and I have a band-aid."  Okay, stand down.  Not a big deal.  She seemed to be happy and even said she shared her snack with a kid that didn't have a snack.  That's our little girl. 

And then I pick her up.  Her left eye is red with purple speckles.  "What on earth happened to your eye???"  I said, not able to keep the panic out of my voice.  "A boy named A.J. hit me."  LAWYER!!!!!!!  SPEED DIAL!!!!  "What did he hit you with?"  I ask.  "His lunchbox."  Well, at least it wasn't his fist, I think.  She then explained that he was swinging his lunch box around while waiting for the bus and he accidentally hit her....whew.  So now I have to worry why the nurse didn't call me and I didn't get a note in the folder saying what happened. 

So many things to worry about...Seriously, all you people reading that don't have kids...just wait.  You think the pregnancy and the giving birth is bad?  And then the handing over to a babysitter?  No.  This has got to be the worst so far.  And then she'll grow up and go away to school or get married or something.  AHHHHH!  Oh, and I still have no idea what Kiley is doing in school.  I still don't have a schedule.

I'm just little Miss Sunshine today, huh?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Sorry it has been a while since the last post.  Readers will be pleased to know that we have had no more rodent invasions during the past week!  Yippee!  A couple points of interest...Marianna had her 9 month old check up and her head is in the 90th percentile.  The rest of her is in the 50th.  I blame Greg for the 90th percentile head measurement.  Maybe it means she will be uber-smart.  Or maybe she will have a big ego...or both, who knows.  The doctor mentioned that Kiley was five going on fifteen.  Yeah, tell us something we didn't already know.  Hopefully this means that she will skip the evil teen years and go straight to young adulthood....but we probably aren't that lucky. 

Greg has been reading too much Dr. Seuss.  How do I know?  I never thought you would ask....while walking the dogs over the weekend, this is what he recited:

Piercey Pie will poo
He will poo on cue
He will poo in the dew

Watch out, he might poo on you!

Put down the book, Greg, and back away slowly.   Greg keeps doing things or saying things, and now he just says, "Is that bloggable?"  Well, yes...Dr. Seuss style rhyming inspired by poo is definitely bloggable. 

Another poo note, we went out to dinner with some new friends Friday night (go us, we have friends!).  I tend to forget that the baby enjoys food now, and I forgot to ask Greg to pack her any.  We were at a Mexican restaurant, so I figured that refried beans without cheese would be okay.  She did like them.  A lot.  Greg, being so in tuned to poo proclaimed that I would be changing all the diapers for the next few days as the refried beans made their exit....well yes, I did change a whole lot of pretty gross diapers, all of which smelled like double refried beans.  Anybody wishing they had stopped reading this already???

Monday, August 9, 2010

Household Updates

No mice in a week.  Victory!!!!  Do I dare put the dishes back? 

On Saturday we braved Target for the first ever Mullins family school shopping extravaganza.  Oh boy.  First of all, I think any family who brings the father with them to do the school shopping should automatically qualify for a 50% discount.  Seriously.  There were like two dads there, and one of them was Greg. 

Silly us, we went to the regular school supplies aisle.  A more experienced mother, who happened to have a daughter named Kyleigh, directed us towards the mondo display of school/college items.  We should have just stayed in the small aisle.  Our Kiley, of course, was super-excited about an even bigger display of puppy and kitten adorned folders, so off we went.  Here is what we purchased:

1 70  page spiral notebook (pink glitter)  Brookneal Elementary needs to know that spiral notebooks come in 70 pages, 90 pages, and 120 pages, but NOT 100 pages as requested on the list

1 pack of glitter pencils (which by the way was over five bucks)

1 pink pencil case (79 cents...appropriate since the pencils will cause us to have to get a loan)

1 (hold your breath) Littlest Pet Shop lunch box.  A part of Leah died when Kiley picked that.

1 two pocket folder with a Dalmatian puppy sporting hair bows

1 two pocket folder with a fluffy kitten in a basket

1 pink striped towel for "rest time" to which Kiley stated, "I'm not taking a nap!"  Yeah, sure you aren't. 

We made it out of Target after only one meltdown.  Kiley has a perfectly good Hello Kitty bookbag, but I stupidly decided to ask her if she was sure she didn't want to get a new one.  She said, "I guess." and then turned to Greg and burst into tears.  What did I do?  What did I say?  Apparently, she really didn't want a new bookbag and was feeling a little pressured to choose a new one.  Ah, girls and their bags.  It can only get worse.  By the way, one of the school lists we saw there had "large bookbag" listed for kindergarten students.  Are they nuts????  What on earth is a kindergartner going to be carrying that he or she needs a large bookbag? 

Bottom line?  School shopping stinks.  You stand there debating whether or not to let your five year old get glitter pencils for $5.00 when the ordinary yellow ones are 59 cents.  All research shows that kids write best when they have cool stuff to write with, yet a part of you is saying, "Oh, can't we get the cheap ones?"  You are also constantly comparing yourself to all the other moms and kids that are shopping at the same time.  What does it say about you that you are looking at the cheap pencil cases?  That you choose the cheap towel over the plush one?  Why is everything such an issue!?  The whole time we were there I was thinking that homeschooling might be a good idea.  At least for kindergarten. 

Anyway, we made it through the weekend in mostly one piece.  Both girls have their first doctor's appointment here tomorrow...should be interesting.  Seems like the closer you are to a city the more forms you have to fill out.  There were five each that I had to do in preparation for tomorrow's appointment.  Who knows what they will give me when I get there.  Maybe Kiley will let me borrow one of her glitter pencils. 

A New Friend...Ummmm...Revisited

So, the Farmer's (eh hem) Community Market is great.  I have already established that, and this time around, the McClaren Mommy Squad was nowhere to be seen.  Yippee!  Here's the thing.  Last week, I went by myself (well Marianna was there, but she doesn't count in the example) and I spent $4.00.  Not bad.  I got veggies and a small treat (remember the yummy peach tart thing?) for myself.  This week, Greg and Kiley come along and we spend $17.00.  You do the math.  It is way cheaper when I go by myself.  Greg overdid it at the bakery because he couldn't decide what to get...which leads to buying all the choices.  He also decided to have FruitFest 2010.  We came home with one watermelon, one cantaloupe, one apple, and several peaches.  Hmmm...someone was in the bathroom after that expedition.  Trust me, there have been many jokes about how fruity Greg is. 

Monday, August 2, 2010

Random Thoughts from Our Weekend

Some Quotes...

"You know, mommy, Barbie is my true love."  ~Kiley

"Whatever." ~Leah, in response to the previous quote.  Greg snorted.

"How big is her finger going to get?"  ~Leah, after Marianna was stung by a wasp INSIDE our house.  Another thing we have to talk to the landlords about....bugs.  Her finger went on to resemble a VI-eeny (Vienna) sausage, but otherwise she was fine.  Thanks, Dr. Riss, for taking our emergency call. 

"Yes, I think I have a particular order in which I wash in the shower so I don't miss anything."  ~Greg, after being questioned by Leah, who does not have a particular way she washes...but maybe she needs one.

"Just put some tobacco on it."  ~Pop, giving advice about what to do with the VI-eeny sausage that used to be our youngest daughter's thumb.  He later said a teabag would do the same thing, which was good, because I wasn't going to by a pack of cigs just to extract the tobacco for a wasp sting.

"What is the fascination with hair????!!!!"  ~Leah, after removing yet another wad of hair from the baby's mouth.  Gross.

Other notes....

I almost ran into a horse and buggy this morning on my way to work.  It was the Amish type...thankfully my brakes are pretty good and the horse had enough sense to listen as the driver pulled him up before crossing the road.

I resisted a "FREE KITTENS" sign at a farm on my way to work...Greg, you would be so proud.  There is still this afternoon, though.

Upon getting to work this morning, I realized that my pants looked a little streaked, like parts of them had been bleached.  That is what happens when you get dressed in semi-darkness.  Thankfully they are khaki, so it is kind of hard to notice unless you are really looking, and honestly, who is going to really look at my pants?

Marianna has a tooth!  Yippee!  However, this might make breastfeeding a little more difficult. 

Yesterday we realized that we had no fruit baby food for Marianna's breakfast.  What to bananas, no apples, no peaches in the house either.  But, we did have apple butter!  The ingredient list wasn't too bad, all natural stuff, no high fructose corn I mixed it with her cereal.  YUM!  She might not want to go back to fruit!

A New Friend?

I think it would be great to have a garden, but I'm busy, and a little bit lazy, so it probably wouldn't work out for me.  I also don't like to be hot, and since most gardening happens in the summer, well, you get the idea.  Enter:  Farmer's Market.  Or in the case of Lynchburg, the Community Market.  Lynchburg's Community Market is reportedly the oldest operating market in the U.S.  I decided to go on Saturday.  Fresh veggies sounded good, and there is something great about buying produce that was grown pretty close to where you live, and you know the only truck it has been on is one with Farm Use tags.  I had also looked them up online and found a bakery that operated out of the permanent indoor market....need I say more?   

I circled the streets and parking lots for several minutes before finally finding somewhere to park.  Thankfully, Marianna was asleep, so this just helped her "get her nap out" as certain members of my family say :).  Kiley had opted for a morning of shopping with her dad.  He was taking a kid to get school clothes thanks to donations.  I saw lots of people coming out with loaves of bread, bags of vegetables, and fresh flowers.  I parked, unloaded the baby, unloaded the stroller, loaded the baby, nearly forgot my reusable shopping bag (that would have been a major faux pas), and started towards the outdoor part of the market. 

I was a little worried that Marianna would want to be held instead of wanting to stay in the stroller, but I found that she was completely captivated by all the people.  I think she almost forgot who was pushing her around...almost. 

I bought some potatoes from one stall (not as good as Pappa's), some grape tomatoes and a giant purple onion (with what I would have called a tail, but Greg called an "onion wiener" see what I'm dealing with here?) from another stall, and some zucchini and a yellow squash from another.  I'm an equal opportunity shopper, you know?  Then I went inside to the bakery...YUM!!!! Fresh everything.  challa, chocolate brioche, tarts, pies, multigrain bread, baguettes shaped like giant fish...I really wanted the apple tart but the nice lady in front of me bought both of them.  The peach tart looked great too, so I bought one.  Sorry Marianna, you haven't graduated to peach tarts yet.  Soon enough....It will go straight to your thighs anyway...

I took Marianna and my peach tart to a table back outside right in front of the giant fountain which had a huge-lipped fish spewing water from its tail.   Kiley would be so jealous.  Nearby, there was a group of women who must have met earlier with their kids to partake in the market.  This is what I learned from sitting a few feet away from them.

1.  You must own and use a McClaren stroller to go the market.
2.  You must have a minimum of two blond, exceptionally dressed, blissful children.
3.  The clothes you wear shall be designer, but casual.  Preferably a dress.
4.  Makeup is NOT optional.
5.  Husbands are allowed, but they must be appropriately dressed (khaki shorts and a polo), willing to one-up each other while keeping one eye on the well-dressed kids so they don't end up in the fountain with the fish.
6.  You must bring healthy snacks for your children...preferably carrot sticks and water.
7.  Even if you have five (yes, five) stair-step children, your body and your mental capacity should not have changed so significantly that it is noticeable to bystanders. 

Okay, so the market was great.  I'll go back.  However, I will steer my unapproved stroller, my non one-upping husband, and my not so designer-dressed kids to another spot in order to enjoy my peach (or hopefully apple) tart.  Maybe I need to just plant a garden.

Act V (And Hopefully There Won't Be a Sequel)

It appears that we have gotten Mr. Mousey, Mrs. Mousey, and Mousey Jr.  While it was a little troubling to empty the small contents of the trap (Mousey Jr.), I remember that he pooped just as much as his parents.  I hope that they are the only ones....we'll see.