Tag Archives: ramblings

Random things I learned today

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After all the craziness with the kids’ schedule over the past few weeks, it was so nice to finally have the house to myself again today. It was the first “normal” day we’ve had around here for a while.

On my normal, uneventful day I learned:

1.Honey flavored yogurt is not for me. I like yogurt and I like honey, but when I tasted them together I was not impressed. Lately I’ve been following the Greek yogurt craze. I get that one claim to fame of Greek yogurt is that it has less of the sour flavor of regular yogurt. I definitely like that. But…when you add an overwhelming honey flavor on top of the semi-sweet Greek yogurt, it was just way too sweet for me.

2. I find Thin Mints to be rather repulsive. I know…repulsive is a strong word…but they’re just not my style. I know that as one who dislikes Thin Mints that I am in the minority. However, in my house I am not. We never order Thin Mints because none of us like them….until this year when my son expressed an interest in them. So, as I sat here today and opened the box for him, I actually found myself kind of disgusted by the smell. Tommy, on the other hand, LOVES that he gets the whole box to himself.

3.If I ever had to go on a diet that involved restricting my carb intake, I would die. Ok…so death is a bit extreme, but it would really suck. Today when I was at the grocery store I was drawn to the bakery section by the smell of freshly baked bread. (Of course, it didn’t help that I skipped breakfast.) I bought some bread to go with the soup I’m making tonight, but I also bought another small baguette-like bread. When I got to the car, I put all the groceries in the back except for that baguette which I took up front, tore a chunk off and proceeded to eat it right there in the parking lot. What can I say? Carbs are my weakness!

I love that today was so utterly uneventful that I had time to notice, ponder and smile about these little things.

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Guess I’m still on my soap box

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Oh I had planned to put this to rest for a little while…I really had. But, I just can’t seem to do that yet.

It’s snowing today. I just knew that I’d see some crazy stuff when I picked the kids up from school today. When there’s snow coming down, people drive like idiots and don’t always make smart decisions about where to put their cars and how to get their children to these cars. Sadly, what I saw didn’t fall into that category.

Texting while driving…anywhere…is against the law. Cell phone usage in a school zone is against the law. Put the 2 together, and I’m sure that’s a hefty fine. What did I see? I saw a parent, on her way to pick up her child, TWD in a school zone while it was snowing.  Seriously…does anyone NOT see why that is a dumb and dangerous thing to do??

Of course, while I was parked and waiting my turn to enter the parking lot, a village snow plow  whizzed by and appeared to be going over the posted school zone speed limit. Guess maybe it’s time for a phone call to the village about that one.

School zone common sense

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Some of the parents that I encounter in the drop-off line at the children’s school seem to be lacking some common sense. Lets think about this. There are 400+ children arriving at school each day. I’d guess 300 of those children are arriving by bus and the other 100 or so are being dropped off by parents (either driving or walking). Doesn’t this seem like a place where one would want to exercise caution while driving?

I’ve been dropping Tommy off at school for 2 1/2 years now, so I’ve seen quite a bit. I know that when it rains there are more parents driving and they don’t all know the parking lot procedures. I know that when it is cold, the number of cars goes up as well. I have come to expect these things.

That being said, I’ve seen my fair share of things happen within 2 blocks of the school. Some are just annoying, others are downright dangerous.

  1. While in the drop off line, parents put their car in park, get out, hug and kiss their kid, and some even watch him/her walk to the door before getting back in the car and getting out of the way of others. This happens more often at the beginning of the school year, likely with Kindergarten parents who don’t know the system, but there are a few regulars even at this point in the year. People, if you or your child need this kind of send off, then park your car and stay out of the flow of traffic.
  2. The rules state that children are only to exit their cars on the passenger side. This is for safety reasons, and I think it is a pretty duh kind of thing. Nope…still have parents whose kids exit on the drivers side, possibly stepping right into the path of a moving vehicle. I don’t really know what is up with these parents. Do they not know the rule? Does this not seem like common sense even without a rule? Do they think that they are exempt from the rule?
  3. Once you have dropped your child off and are pulling away from the curb, you need to check behind you to see that you have clearance to do so. This should be the same as pulling out of a parallel parking space. Sadly, this is not 2nd nature to these people. I almost got hit today by someone who just pulled away without even looking over his shoulder. When people drive like this, it is even more clear why the rule in #2 is a necessity.
  4. When the parking lot gets full and the line is backed up out onto the street (as a result of car volume and made worse by #1 above), things become more difficult. It is a residential street (which is good), but traffic will back up in both directions. This becomes more dangerous because those just passing through will insist on pulling around this stopped traffic. Add to this, that some parents pulling out of the parking lot see all the stopped traffic and do not anticipate that someone might be pulling around. I’m surprised that his has not resulted in an accident yet, as I watched one nearly happen this morning. Oh…and did I mention that the entrance of the parking lot is at the edge of a curve in the road? This curve then becomes a blind curve when filled with backed up cars. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…accident waiting to happen.
  5. Another rule states that children are not to be dropped off on the street that the school is on. There are many reasons why this is the case. Nevertheless, you’ll still see parents pull up along the curb and dump kids out every now and then.
  6. Children are to cross at the crosswalk.  Another total duh kind of rule. Still…you see it from time to time. With all the traffic nonsense that I’ve already described, I don’t know how anyone in their right mind would think that letting their child run across the street in the middle of backed up traffic on a curved residential street with morning sun blazing in one direction…but still it happens. We also have parents who park their cars on the street and walk their kids across the street…and most of them do not utilize the crosswalk. I guess crosswalks are only for school children and not parents. After all…one might have to walk an extra block to the crosswalk and back.

These past 2 days, I’ve seen things that go beyond the “usual” antics. I don’t understand why people do these things. Are they really that concerned that their child might be late for school? Is it their own schedule and the possibility of being late for work? Is it a  failure to realize that they’re putting their child in danger? Sure, I want to make sure that my children aren’t late for school, but I’m not going to put their lives in danger to be sure that happens. Yesterday, for whatever reason, traffic in the neighborhood was backed up more than usual. Parents were clearly becoming impatient.

  • One parent let his/her kids out of the car while stuck in the backed up traffic. Those children then proceeded to run the remaining block or 2 to school.
  • 2 other parents pulled around the stopped traffic (on the blind curve), used driveways to turn their cars around and then let their kids out on the side of the street as well.

Today though, what I experienced really proved to me that some parents are putting their children in harms way. When I pulled up to the stop sign where the crosswalk is located, there was a minivan pulled up along the curb on the other side. It was halfway out into traffic and its back end was at least partially blocking the crosswalk. One would assume that a child was being unloaded. I came to a complete stop. I looked at the crossing guard. He did not raise his stop sign for me, but I could tell by the look on his face that he was concerned/confused about what was going on across the street. Without his signal for me to remain stopped, I looked for traffic and began to pull through the intersection. At the moment, a child (that had been dropped off where he shouldn’t have been, by a vehicle that was blocking the crosswalk) came running out from behind the minivan and across the street. The crossing guard barely had time to put up his stop sign (and FWIW the crossing guard did step out in front of my car) for me to stop before hitting this child. I was aware of the car, aware that a child was likely being unloaded, and that this was a bad situation. But I tell ya…watching the way others drive around school, I’m not so sure that others would’ve been so aware of what was going on there. So yes, I probably should’ve just stayed stopped until I knew exactly what was going on. The thought that I could’ve hit a child, in a crosswalk, right in front of my children’s school really upsets me.

The good news about all this is that I brought it to the attention of the principal yesterday and she was as concerned as I was. She called me this morning and we spoke at great length about the situation.

 

Looking a bit like Christmas around here

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Slowly but surely, we will get the Christmas decorating done this year. Free time is pretty scarce these days, so the decorating is getting done a bit at a time. There have also been a few speed bumps that have slowed our progress.

This year, we hit the ground running by putting the lights up on the garage way back on a warm Saturday in November. Since returning from Thanksgiving, decorations have been going up bit by bit both inside and outside of the house. Sure, I’d love to have them all done, but with all that we have going on these days just seeing progress is enough for me.

We got the tree up the Monday after Thanksgiving, but it stood with only its pre-attached lights, for a whole week. This past Monday night we were able to get the ornaments out and actually start decorating it. Even before putting any ornaments on, we went ahead with getting the topper situated. (Its a big tree, so the ladder almost has to go in the tree in order to reach the top, which always disturbs the ornaments.) The kids take turns and each year one of them gets to help daddy with the tree topper. He used to actually hold them on the ladder, but they’re too big for that now.  It used to look like this:

This year was Tommy’s turn:

So with a the topper in place it was time for ornaments. Oh wait…I forgot to mention one little thing. While Aaron was adjusting the topper to get it just right, I heard a disturbing crack. I looked up to see Aaron holding the snowflake, with the base of the topper still attached to the tree. My topper was now in 2 pieces.

Everything stopped.

I’m not kidding.

I literally froze in my tracks, jaw to the floor, staring at my precious tree topper. Christmas traditions are a big deal to me, and that topper has been on every tree that Aaron and I have ever had, and I was looking forward to it being on many trees to come. What’s funny is that I had always imagined its demise coming by the hands of a child, perhaps shattered to pieces on the tile floor. This was certainly not the ending I would’ve predicted.

Did I want Aaron to try to fix it? Not really, because it wouldn’t be the same. Did I want to get a new one? No.

I dried my tears and we went ahead with putting ornaments on the tree. The next evening Anna and I went out in search of a new topper. Before we left, Aaron reminded me that he had always wanted an angel atop the tree. I don’t have any problem with angels on my tree...but I was still hoping to find another snowflake. As we walked out the door, Anna said “maybe we could find an angel and a snowflake together.” Cute thought from my ever optimistic little princess. Two stores and 3 phone calls later, Anna and I returned home with new topper. She was totally hooked on it, but I needed some convincing.

Here’s’ what we picked out. You can’t tell from this picture, but the angel is actually holding a snowflake in the little fiber optic light in her hand. Guess Anna knew what she was talking about.

So, the angel is on the tree and it is great to have the tree finished. Do I like the topper? Sure. Do I love the topper? Not yet. I just don’t feel any attachment yet. I’m sure she’ll grow on me over time. In the meantime, I’m glad that everyone else likes it.

The happy ending to my story…here’s our pretty tree:

(try to ignore all the junk around it.)

Deal or no deal?

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Any other time of year, I love a good deal. I get a sense of personal satisfaction from hunting down, finding, and getting a good deal. Even my kids know at the grocery store that if its not on sale, mommy won’t buy it. It just kills me to see how much some things cost. I hate paying full price.

When it comes to Christmas shopping, that rule goes out the window. Why? Because I refuse to stand in a crowded store full of rude people grabbing and fighting for that last “must have” item on the shelf, just to save 20 bucks. No, not everyone who shops holiday sales is rude, but there are just enough who are to really make it miserable for me. That type of shopping experience really kills my Christmas spirit.

So, I am happy to say that I have finished my Christmas shopping for the kids. I picked up a few things online and shopped in a grand total of 2 stores. Even then, I did my homework before leaving the house and knew exactly what I was going to buy so that I didn’t have to spend much time in the store.

While others (including many of my friends) are furiously plotting their shopping plans on Thursday and heading out in the cold in the wee morning hours of Friday to get these fantastic deals…I will be relaxing with my family. We will be enjoying that other holiday that is on Thursday that so many people seem to overlook these days. (oh…but that’s a whole other story.)

Can’t wait till the kids start school

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I know it might sound bad, but let me explain.

This summer was my first ever summer at home with my children.  Headed into it, I was actually very worried about how it would go.  Tommy is one who easily gets out of hand without structure from daily routines.  It’s summer…I didn’t really want routines.  He also does better when he knows what to expect.  I didn’t always want to tell him what I was planning because I wanted some element of surprise in it.  It took me a couple of weeks to find a good balance, but I did find it.  We did a lot of fun things (not quite everything that I had up my sleeve, but that’s OK.) and neither of them is complaining that it was their worst summer ever.  I would definitely say that’s a success.

Yes it was fun, and I’m glad that I had the opportunity to spend this time with them, but I’m glad that it’s coming to an end. I think everything seems a bit more annoying right now because this is one of the few weeks in which we have absolutely nothing scheduled.  After vacation last week and school starting next week, I thought we could just coast through this week.  Not so sure about that now, so we’ll probably have to be spontaneous to keep them from killing each other.

There are many things that I have learned (or been reminded of) about their perspective on life having been with them all summer.

-There is no such thing as personal space.

-The kids get first dibs on any and all food that comes into the house.

-Quantities of food that come into the house must be divisible by 2 and it is my job to keep track of how many items each one has consumed.

-If I want to disrupt that balance of food, I am expected to consult with them first.

-Whining and growling are considered acceptable forms of communication.

-I am supposed to be able to read their minds.

-When I say no, it doesn’t always mean no.

I’m looking forward to those few quiet days I have to myself after they start school and before I start my classes.  I miss being able to eat what I want, when I want, without having to share.  I miss being able to get in the car and just run my errands without having to explain where I’m going, why I’m going there and how long its going to take.

They smell fear

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Seriously, my kids smell fear…my fear.

When my husband is out of town, the children always seem to get the best of me. There’s 2 of them and only 1 of me. Without backup coming home in the evening, they outnumber me sun up to sun down. After a few days without my husband, I’m usually spent. By the time he returns, they’ve worn me down and I feel like I’m not in control. (If you know me, you’ll know that loss of control is a MAJOR issue.) I feel like they don’t take me seriously, like they don’t respect my authority.

So, my husband is traveling for business this week. He’s only been gone since this afternoon and the children have already messed with me. Either they’re just getting smart about this, or they sense my fear. They were total boogers on our way home from our normal Tuesday activities. They were breaking rules right and left. I’d say “stop doing that”, and they’d just find a way to modify it so that they could say they weren’t doing the same thing anymore. I know, some of that is just their age, but there’s only so much of it I can take in one night.

These are going to be 3 very long days.