Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday, September 25, 1992

Seventeen years ago today, I went on my last, first date.

We went to dinner and then to see this movie, which was opening that week.

This is us back when we'd been dating about six months. (Can't find any earlier pictures of us already scanned in and ready, and not awake enough to try to figure out how to use our brand-spankin' new scanner...)

...and us on our most recent vacation, one month ago. Times have changed in the past seventeen years, but I'm still really, really glad I went on that last, first date!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tug, tug, tug

Will it ever stop tugging at my heartstrings to see my kid taking her leave of me?

Don't get me wrong - I am perfectly happy to let her go. Thrilled, most mornings. I couldn't wait for her to leave this morning, as she was cranky and copping a major attitude. I can confidently assure you of my heartfelt wish that the bus arrive NOW after an hour and a half of the eye rolling, selective hearing (seriously: she was looking right at me as I clearly and crisply enunciated the words "Please clear your plate right now" and all she did was continue to look at me, utterly blankly, as though my mouth had not just opened and her native language poured forth) and "Whatevering" that was tossed my way, not to mention the hands on the hips, dramatically heaved sighs coupled with mutterings under her breath and the occasional "Mo-ooom!" for that final, finishing touch to completely stomp all over my very. last. nerve. Hoo boy, was I ready for her to head off to school and leave me in the relative peace and quiet of the house.

And yet... watching those skinny, little legs poking out from under the ginormous, Princess backpack disappear up the steps and onto the bus, and then seeing the tiny, tiny hand waving goodbye and flashing the "I Love You" sign out the window, even as her face turned away and she began merrily chatting with her seatmate.... tug, tug, tug on the heartstrings once again. Gets me every time.

So, she's in first grade now. I'll be totally over the tugging at the heartstrings by middle school, right? High school? College? *sniff* I'm the tiniest bit afraid I won't be, and also the tiniest bit afraid that I will.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

What have I gotten myself into?

As a SAH mom, I consider it both my job and my privilege to be able to volunteer my time with Kiddo-related things. Thursday morning, I returned home from my first PTSA meeting at the new school, calendar bursting with dates of various things I'd volunteered to do or help with over the coming months. I had a voicemail from the woman who is the Girl Scouts coordinator for the school. You see, Kiddo really wanted to do Girl Scouts last year, but the Daisy troop for her kindergarten met much too late in the evening for her to be able to participate, so she couldn't do it. After we moved this summer, we inquired about Daisy troops at her new school and learned there was one (and it meets right after school!), so we signed Kiddo up.

Well. The woman was calling me to explain that there are too many girls for the existing troop and that there are enough girls to form a second troop for the first grade. The only thing is....

she didn't have any parent willing to step up and be the leader for this new troop. She had a few different moms who were willing to "help out" but no one who'd say "I will be the leader." Without a leader, there could be no new troop.

Now, I was in Girl Scouts for several years myself. I started as a Brownie (we didn't have Daisies back in the olden days when I was a kid) and made it up through Cadet before other extracurricular activities took up too much of my time and I gave up Scouting. (Never fear; I still was involved in my church youth group *and* the 4-H sheep club, so I retained my Nerd Credentials all the way through high school.) I loved Scouting, despite being horribly unpopular among my fellow troopmates (well, I was horribly unpopular in general, I just mean that it wasn't like the other girls in my troop and I were BFFs because we did Girl Scouts together). I liked earning badges and learning all the new things that went with them. I liked the camping each summer. I even liked selling the cookies (which were *way* cheaper back in those days, holy heck). I am pretty sure Kiddo would enjoy Girl Scouts, and she was really sad when the girls in her class last year would talk about their troop - it seemed at times that there was a clique (yes, a clique in kindergarten, ugh) made of the girls who were in the Daisy troop, and knowing that Kiddo was excluded and wanted to be included made me kinda sad. Kiddo would be at times wistful, upset or plain mad that there was fun stuff going on in the Daisies and she couldn't participate.

So, I did it. I said "Sure, I'll lead the new troop!" I've got an organizational meeting this morning and a training meeting Monday night. Kiddo is very excited that I'm going to be the Daisy Troop leader. I just need to be able to hand the troop over to someone else in a few years, when camping enters the picture............

Anyone out there a Daisy Scout Troop leader? If so, I'd welcome any resources or links you find useful that you could share! I've already picked my aunt's brain; she's been involved in Scouting for a long time and is quite high up in the leadership ranks for her region (sadly, she's down in NJ so about six hours away...) I've also asked the mom who is the leader of the current troop for any assistance she can lend me in getting this new troop up and running. Hopefully, it will be fun for the girls and for me!

Oh, and apparently the Daisies can sell cookies, so if you have a hankering for some delicious and not-at-all overpriced Girl Scout cookies later this fall, you know where to come for all your Thin Mint needs!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Prayers for Addison

Debbie, a fellow "mom blogger" whom I follow regularly (read: stalk) is sitting in a hospital waiting room right now, as her gorgeous, almost-three-year old daughter, Addison, undergoes a lengthy operation. On her brain. Her FOURTEENTH operation, by the way. I've never met Debbie in person, but I've been following her blog for a while, so I think of her as one of my blogging buddies. Again, I'm just a stalker - I don't even know for sure that she knows I exist, beyond my occasional, typically lengthy comment...

Anyhow, Debbie has asked those folks who read her blog to keep them lifted up in prayer today. I would like to ask that of anyone who reads this post and is of the praying sort as well. Please feel free to drop by Debbie's blog and read up on everything, but also to oooh and aaah over the pictures of Addison - she's one of the cutest redheads around! - and her equally adorable big brother Noah, and then please do say a prayer for them. I am so freaked out about Kiddo's upcoming eye surgery, which is such small potatoes compared to what Addison is going through right this moment, that I cannot imagine being in Debbie and her husband Shawn's shoes. They certainly can use all the prayer support they can get today. If you're not the praying sort, any good thoughts or wishes sent out on their behalf would be great, too. Thanks!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Breaking News for Harry Potter nerds like me!

Have you heard that Universal Studios theme park down in Orlando is opening a whole Harry Potter-themed section next year? Well, they are, and the details about the Harry Potter world were released today. You can read about them right here!

How cool does that sound? I totally want to go there when we're down at WDW next August! Chilling out in Hogsmeade for real? Learning about Hippogriffs from Hagrid? Going into HOGWARTS CASTLE?! Woo-hoo!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

We interrupt your regular weekend programming...

... to bring you this Extra Special Bout of Germies! Kiddo woke up an hour after bedtime last night and came back downstairs complaining of a sore throat. I dutifully checked the scene out with assistance of a flashlight and it didn't look remarkably red, bumpy, patchy, blotchy, swollen or any of those other things that one doesn't want to see when peering down one's child's esophagus. I gave her a dose of ibuprofen anyhow, as she was quite insistent that it was hurting, and waited out the night to see what morning would bring.

And morning brought it BIG, y'all. A crying kid who stumbled to the bathroom, clutching at her stomach and saying that her "throat hurt so much" that she "couldn't swallow her slobber" (eloquent, eh?) and then promptly vomited and who was sporting a forehead hot enough to fry eggs upon. A quick check of her temperature verified the egg-frying abilities of her skin, as she had a fever of 102.9. Given that she's not quite proficient in oral thermometer techniques (and that she was afraid she was going to vomit again), I was using that more as a rough estimate of her fever and guessing the actuality might've been a bit further up the scale.

Hubby prepared a "barf bucket" (we're full of the elegance 'round the Smith house) and got Kiddo settled in on the couch while I called the pediatrician. Shortly thereafter, Kiddo and I were on our way to the doctor's office to meet the on-call doc. There was one other sick kid there ahead of us, so Kiddo had to nervously clutch her barf bucket and leopard in the waiting room for a bit, then it was our turn. One rapid strep test later it was confirmed: Kiddo has a raging case of strep throat. She wound up vomiting in the exam room for good measure, and he wrote us out a prescription and sent us on our way.

Kiddo rallied briefly, playing Lego Indiana Jones on the Wii with her dad (his reward to her for cooperating at the doctor with the whole "jab the extra-long q-tip down your throat for the strep test" bit) but then she began to fade. She then spent the majority of the afternoon like this:

I woke her up around 4:00 to check her temperature. Even with a dose of ibuprofen (and antibiotic) coursing through her veins, her fever was up to 103.6. Again, with the oral thermometer, so it is quite possibly higher than that. So, now we're doubling up, doing acetaminophen in between the ibuprofen to try and bring the fever down.

The saddest part to me was how Kiddo was really, really upset that she won't be able to go to school tomorrow. She was cheered by the news that if she has no fever tomorrow, she'll be able to go back to school on Tuesday. (Though that sky-high temperature she's presently heating the house with doesn't bode well for tomorrow being fever-free...) She actually cried this morning at the thought of not going to school tomorrow. I wept a small tear myself at the notion that after only 4 days of school this year, her chance for the Perfect Attendance award is shot for another year. Who are those kids that have perfect attendance? Not elementary school kids, I'm guessing....

My biggest concern is that the last time she had strep, it developed into pneumonia. I don't want that happening again. Here's hoping the antibiotic (a new one to us - Cefdinir, which sound for all the world to me like a character in the Lord of the Rings movies) works well and she is much improved by tomorrow morning...
Oh, and the icing on the cake of the Super Sick Kid Sunday? The cat wanted in on the barfing action and proceeded to gack up hairballs and cat food (too hastily gulped down, methinks) in three separate places on the kitchen floor. I tell ya, if Hubby barfs, he's on his own.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Oh no she didn't! Take Two

After managing to shower and dress in actual clothing for two whole consecutive days, this morning I succumbed and reverted back to my true form. Yes, I did it. I walked Kiddo to the bus in my jammies and flip flops.

My rationalizations for reverting to type follow:

- The bus picks her up at the end of our driveway. It isn't like I was up at the corner with a bunch of other parents (ahem, like last year...)

- I brushed my hair so I wasn't utterly disheveled as per my typical morning look

- I put a fleece vest on over my (15 year old, Ithaca Festival) t-shirt and had on yoga pants, so I wasn't exactly indecent, just a bit.........rumpled around the edges

- We didn't walk outside until the bus was turning onto our street, so I wasn't parading my nighties for the world to see for more than 45 seconds

Anyhow, I'd be willing to bet I am jammified more often than not when the bus picks Kiddo up, so they might as well get used to it. Actually, I'd be willing to bet that within a month or two, I'll no longer escort her all the way to the end of the driveway, but remain on the porch and wave as she makes that brief walk to the street all by herself.

Now, I'll just collect my Mother of the Year award and be on my way...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sorta Wordless Wednesday: First day of first grade

Kiddo went off to school yesterday, the first day of first grade. No big whoop in terms of the "full day with lunch in the cafeteria" bit, as she went to full day kindergarten last year (and longtime readers might remember my minor freak outs about that last summer around this time), but big whoop in terms of it being a new school in a new district with a new aide and therefore a lot of unknowns. We really, really like her aide thus far; she strikes us as a very competent, very serene, very sweet person. Same thing for her teacher. I do have some concerns but I'm holding them in to give things a chance to settle in, as it has only been two days, after all, and also because I want to hear what they have to say at Curriculum Night which is tomorrow. So, I've got my concerns simmering on a back burner on low for now, as best I can anyhow. Thus far, Kiddo loves her class, loves her teachers, loves her aide and seems to be making friends already in her class - just this afternoon she was taking forever to get off the bus because she was talking to a girl from her class with whom she sat on the ride home. Even as the bus pulled away (while I was dragging her out of the road), she was still calling out goodbyes to her new friend. I've made a note to myself to make a point of introducing myself to her parents at Curriculum Night, in case playdates turn out to be in our future...

In the meantime, here's my first grader all set for her first day! In honor of the big day, I not only got a new dress (a steal on sale at the outlet mall) but I dug out that funny, spade-shaped contraption from the back of the top shelf of the laundry room closet, plugged it into the wall and ran it repeatedly over the dress, thereby rendering it mostly wrinkle-free. I can't recall the name of that contraption, as it has been so long since I've used it, but I did almost burn myself on it twice, which could be the reason I've ignored it for so long - it's dangerous! Yeah, that's the ticket.....

The girls from next door, who are in 4th and 5th grade and therefore take the later bus (40 minutes later than Kiddo's), opted to take the early bus with her for her first day to keep her company. Kiddo was thrilled and felt like quite the big deal having two Really Big Kids ride the bus with her. It was a bit of a letdown for her this morning when they opted to sleep in a bit more and take their regular, later bus. I can't say that I blame them...

And off she went, onto the bus and away for a new year of adventures! The bus stop is the end of our driveway, which is mighty nice, I must admit. It will be especially nice in the inclement weather period, which typically lasts anywhere from mid-late October right on through May. We can stand on the covered porch and then she can walk up juuuust as the bus is pulling up. Excellent! She does have to cross the street both in the morning and afternoon, but our road is very quiet so I'm not terribly concerned about that, *knock wood* .

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: We're baaaaack!

Sadly, our excursion to Walt Disney World has ended and we are now home (as of around midnight Monday night/Tuesday morning). I've clawed my way through a mountain of laundry and jumped in to pre-start of school stuff with both feet. In between playing catch up and getting back into the swing of things, I've been uploading and sorting through the approximately 1,000 (I kid you not) pictures taken by either someone in our family or a Disney photographer. Here, therefore, is a first batch for your kinda-sorta Wordless Wednesday viewing pleasure...

More to come once I've finished the sorting and editing......... perhaps by Photo Phiesta Phriday!