Saturday, October 31, 2009

Bobbing for Apples, The Pirates Wife, and More

Mom standing in the rain with no umbrella

E-man was Batman, I could not get a picture of him standing still. Abegail was Gabriel from High School Musical, and Annie was Thumbelina. My Mom and Dad came down for the occasion and suprised everyone with costumes. They went as pirates. It's the first time I've ever seen my Mom without her real hair. No one knew who she was. People kept saying to her "we haven't met before. " No worries all is back to normal today. Trick or Treating was exceptional. With every house, parts of costumes landed in my paws. E-man made new friends and allowed himself inside most houses. I hate to always rag on him, but I do have to laugh at some of the things he does, call it poor coping skills.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Abegail's Soccer Banquet

Abegail had her soccer banquet last night. Her last game is tomorrow. I have grown to love her team and their families. There is even a family on her team who are originally from Minnesota. The girls are adorable and the families supportive and wonderful. We are sad to see it end. Thankfully Abegail will be with her awesome coaches for three more weeks because SHE MADE THE ALL STAR TEAM!

E-man made a Halloween box for us to pass out candy. Obviously since he can fit in it, its a bit big but "Mommy I made holes so you can see out of it."

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

You'll Be Missed

Despite the pending federal charges, I must say the balloon boy's Dad has got me thinking. Wouldn't it be great if I could just send E-man up in a helium balloon when he had a big mad? I have actually been day dreaming about it since it happened. It would be at least a six hour break depending on how far he traveled. I probably wouldn't even mind the helicopters buzzing above or the ransacking of my house as authorities searched for my poor six year old boy that took off in a balloon.

E-man too is fascinated with the story. From the day it happened we came home and he said, "did the boy fall out of the balloon?" I said, "no he wasn't in the balloon." E-man asked, "where was he?" "He was in a box in the attic," I said. "So he didn't get to go up in the balloon?" E-man asks. "No," I said. E-man was absolutely awestruck thinking about the possibility.

Today we went to the grocery store and E-man would not leave the balloon aisle. He was there so long the manager finally came over and tried to give him a cookie. E-man did not want a cookie, he wanted a helium balloon. So she let him pick out what balloon he wanted in exchange for the promise that he would listen to me until he was 18 years old. E-man appropriately picked the balloon with the right travel logo, "you'll be missed." Annie also got a balloon. (Abegail was at school) About 18 seconds later the manager caught E-man under the shopping cart with his balloon and I was pleading with him to get out. The manager then reiterated, "I thought you made me a promise, you must listen to mom until you are 18. " I really think its so cute how people try to help, if it was just a balloon that would make the world right for E-man, but I play along, people try to be so nice.

So we got home and E-man had me take pictures of him and his balloon. I told him, if he let it go it would be gone. Inevitably, he let it go about 18 minutes after we got home. This entire time we had not talked about balloon boy, but when the balloon took off E-man yelled, "it's going to be on TV!" To which I responded, "it's not going to be on TV, and we don't need a reality show. Everywhere we go, you make us a living reality show." At which point he tried to steal Annie's balloon and promise that RIGHT NOW I would go get him another one.

I was going to send this picture out as my Christmas card saying something to the effect of "Peace, Joy, Love...blah blah blah ...and the magic of grading on a curve. When my sister came up with a better caption. She said this is the VISA commercial:
"Three clearly annoyed children."

Quotes From E-man:
E: Mommy, do you have grandparents?
M: Yes, but they all died.
E: They all died? Where are they?
M: They are in heaven.
E: What are they doing there?
M: They are playing bridge.
E: What's bridge?
M: It's a card game grandparents used to play. They liked to play cards just like you.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My Little Lawn Mower

He might not be the boy to take to a restaurant but he can mow a mean lawn. E-man loves to push things and without the grocery store full of old and disabled people to run into, the lawnmower is the next best thing. I have decided 6 is the perfect age to start manual labor.
He mowed our lawn
He mowed our neighbors lawn
Our other neighbors lawn
And our back lawn, then he was done.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pumpkin Patch Weekend

It's Columbus day weekend so that means no soccer games, no religion class and a full weekend to prepare for Halloween. For my sister, holidays are full celebrations, not a beat is missed. She is always prepared for the kids to enjoy every activity that comes with the season.
For me, holidays are another thing to try and survive, but I'm trying to have a more positive attitude.
Saturday was rainy and cold. When I say cold I mean 60's, not the 30's and snow Minnesota was experiencing (no homesickness on this day). So we postponed our trip to the pumpkin patch and just picked out a few near my sister's house. The kids and their cousins got busy carving and painting.
Sunday was beautiful and we carried out our fall tradition of heading to one of the pumpkin farms, actually more like a pumpkin amusement park. There were slides, rope swinging, baby pigs, a corn maze and stuff we didn't make it to. It was a gorgeous day so all of Virginia stopped by making it extremely crowded. Although one man we were waiting in line with said, "I've seen it much worse." I wanted to ask him if he was from Minnesota. You know when it's 20 below and true Minnesotans say, "it could be worse." But I had lost Abegail so the conversation was quickly cut off.
In a first for me, I tried to stop a Big Mad (not mine, someone else's) in a corn maze. Not so much fun. But everyone came home alive and for the most part had a great time!
Then it was back to Auntie Caroline's to make carmel apples.Quotes from our neighbor Louisa, age 6:
Louisa: Sue, do you have enough money to buy this house yet?
Sue: No, not yet.
Louisa: Well I thought of a way for you to stay in this house and get money.
Sue: Oh yea, what's that?
Louisa: We could have a bake sale and sell brownies. Annie thought we could sell juice. That would make a lot of money.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Bus Driver Appreciation Week

So I finally decided I would volunteer for the room mother position. Politically correct is room parent, but lets be real, only moms do this job, no slight to Dads, its just the way it is.
Yesterday there was a room parent meeting. In Minnesota, I think the room parent planned a couple parties and went to the ice-cream social. I could be wrong, I was not a room parent there but that's the feeling I got. It is VERY different here. They have a room parent coordinator who went over all the responsibilities. They got to teacher appreciation week, support staff appreciation week, and then bus driver appreciation week. At which point I burst out laughing. Now I like our bus driver as much as everyone. The kids have always come home. She always says E-man is good whether or not he is. (one of my favorite types of people, ignorance IS bliss) And at the end of the year I might even buy her a tulip to show my appreciation. But seriously..a whole week for bus driver appreciation???

By the time they got to May in the schedule they were talking about a variety show. One of the moms asked what that involved and I piped up, 'you have to sing.' The heads turned and the looks came, who's the new girl? I thought this was the appropriate time to ask if I got health benefits with this job. I don't remember submitting a resume and if I had I'm sure I would have been deemed unqualified for the job no matter what my EEOC report said.

It all comes down to the fact that the kids and I have decided everyone looks a bit more constipated here. Ten seconds late for school you're written up. There's no "oh, thanks for stopping by." Annie's ballet must have the right color leotard and tights and ballet shoes. DO NOT CALL THEM Slippers. It's kind of karma for me complaining about the other ballet drill sergeant in Minnesota. She looks like Florence Nightingale compared to this group. Everything is harder. Math seems harder, reading more advanced, and the ancient cultures more involved with projects that of course involve the room parent.
I just want to get a bullhorn and yell, "CHILL OUT!" I mean don't you people have days when you aren't sure you are going to make it? I have days I'm not sure I want to make it. I said to Abegail, "I can't really see the principal getting a pie in the face here." (remembering when the principal at her school got one) She responded with a look of horror at the thought and said, "oh no, she's way too neat."

Abegail has also remarked that the staff at school seem "kind of old." Since some of them have been there since before the computer was invented I would agree with that assessment. The parents seem older too. Not so much older than me but older than Washburn parents in Minnesota. Not that there's anything wrong with that, you just have to get used to the smell of Ben Gay at the open house. That all said, everyone is very nice and so far they haven't kicked E-man out of school so I should be glowing about them.

Today as I walked the kids to school (they walk to school, kindergartners take the bus home) I saw the Asst. Principal who we met with for our plan on how to educate E-man. He asked how E-man was doing and I told him it's been a little rough. He said, "anything we can do?" I said yes, "FIX HIM!" "He's been in school a whole month and you haven't fixed him yet." He then got the "who's the new mom" look in his eyes that I saw the day before.

It Takes a Village

When Scott left for DC last spring and I was with the kids in Minnesota I realized how awesome people were helping me with E-man. Scott works a lot here and I am usually the one with the kids at activities. I have found people just as receptive and helpful here with E-man. Especially the soccer teams. Last Saturday, Abegail was starting the second half of her game and E-man was mad at me so he thought he would get me back by planting himself on the field and not moving. The coaches, ref, everyone was yelling GET OFF THE FIELD. I stood frozen on the side lines. The thought of grabbing him had scenes of getting beaten up in front of an audience in my head. That's when one of the other Dads walked on the field picked him up and took him off. Thank you Tim. It helps to have a lot of members of the military around! My neighbor Kathy, who has a first grader, has helped me with the ins and outs of school and I can complain to her about E-man...She's from NYC, between the two of us the sarcasm is overflowing.

Quotes from E-man:

Yesterday I asked E-man about 10 times to get in the car and go to soccer. He heard me but ignored me. Finally I honked the horn and he looked over at me....
E-man: what?? (hands in the air)
Mommy: yea, I'm getting ready to go to the spa and I was wondering if you'd come with me. What do you think???? I've TOLD YOU TEN TIMES WE ARE GOING TO BE LATE FOR SOCCER. Oh Hi Andy, how was your day?
(don't you hate when the neighbors pull up at the exact time you have lost it with your kids)