Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Blog Salad

You like how I changed that up right there? See, last time it was "Blog Soup" and this time "Blog Salad". Same lame concept, kicky new name. I know, I know. It's why you just keep coming back for more.

So many random tidbits to report.

First, Matthew Perry is back on TV and I'm more than a little excited about it. Chandler Bing is probably my all time favorite character from TV, and I have a hunch Matthew Perry is kind of like him in real life. If this is not true, please don't tell me. Last week I eagerly anticipated his new show "Mr. Sunshine" and proceeded to fall asleep about 10 minutes in. This really had nothing to do with the show, and everything to do with, you know, exhaustion. But, I'm watching right now-yep, in real time-and I can definitely see shades of Chandler. I think I'll have a few Girl Scout cookies to celebrate.

And, speaking of awesome segues, my Girl Scout cookie order was wrong. WRONG. Instead of two boxes of Thin Mints, which is an obvious part of any Girl Scout cookie order, I got two boxes of some new fangled flavor alleging itself to be "Dulce De Leche". It's sort of a tragedy. I have no idea who the random girl is I bought the cookies from and there is no way to correct the mistake. So, I'm doing what any normal person would do, and that is stalking the Kroger waiting for the Girl Scouts to show up so I can get my freaking Thin Mints. Because buying the cookies is sort of like giving to charity, right?

Drew has said some hilarious things lately. The greatest hit of this week was when he said, "So I have to sit in the family room all by MYSELF???? ALONE??" [I was in a mommy time out. On a break. It was a claustrophobic moment] "Ok fine, I guess it'll just be me and MR. NOBODY in here!" Shew. That is funny stuff.

Speaking of hilarious four year olds, I had a great moment at lunch on Monday. We were discussing different musical instruments (because one kid gave me a trumpet silly band for Valentine's Day and it launched a conversation. It's sort of how things flow in the three year old classroom...) and one boy was talking about a Triangle, which he called a ring ding, and said, "I think my dad played one of those in the 80s." IN THE 80s he said!!!! And he did not even crack a smile. Totally deadpan. I think I lost 10 lbs laughing.

Emily is a little talking machine. She said all sorts of words just today. Including, but not limited to, Swing-"ning"; Green bean-"bean bean"; flower-no idea how to write it out; and Emmy-"memmy". It. She also started saying, "R you??" when she's looking for something. And when I say, "Where is your _________?" She says, "Hmmmmmm..."

She also thinks it's hilarious to dart into the road repeatedly when we play outside. She probably wouldn't have kept doing it if I hadn't laughed that first time. Hindsight, people, hindsight.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Weekend Visitor

We had a special guest at Casa de Hull over the weekend. And please, do not judge my use of the made up spanglish. It's just what popped out. I could spend a couple hours psycho analyzing that for sure, but I'm too tired. ANYWAY.

Over the weekend Buzz Bee the bumblebee stayed at our house. Buzz Bee is the class mascot in Drew's classroom at school. For one weekend of the school year each child gets to bring Buzz Bee home. I know. Drew's teacher is pretty much the be all end all of preschool teachers. And if she wasn't so sweet and kind and didn't give me all her stuff, I'd probably be a little mad at her.

So Buzz Bee came to our house. Which is great and all, until you realize you have to write a narrative about all the things Buzz Bee and your child did over the weekend so they can read it during class on Monday. Well. I don't know if we've met but I struggle a little bit with, you know, be the teeniest bit competitive. I got right to work reading what the other kids had done with Buzz Bee. And then I had a tiny panic attack. Because we had no plans for the weekend. Zero. Drew and Emily were coming off of being sick and I was pooped. But clearly I could not write in the Buzz Bee book "Drew and Buzz Bee watched six straight hours of Nick Jr. today. In fact, Drew and his mom have watched so much Nick Jr. lately that his mom is pretty sure she knows the moves to the closing number on 'Fresh Beat Band.'" After all, I have a reputation to uphold. Thank goodness the weather cooperated.

You know, that, and I can embellish a story when I need to. I made grocery shopping at Wal-Mart sound like a big adventure. And then I felt a little bit judged by the other moms for shopping at Wal-Mart when they definitely wrote in the Buzz Bee book about their trip to Whole Foods. Look, we just want Buzz Bee to be well rounded, right?

As I scribbled out Buzz Bee's story at the last minute this morning, I wondered how many of the other moms had a little bit of mom panic over Buzz Bee. Then I realized, it's probably just me. It takes a real special brand of crazy to be put over the mental edge by a stuffed animal bee.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cabin Fever

Sunday night, Drew started coughing. I'm fairly certain the middle of the night coughing is one of those special sounds that sets off the adrenaline pumps inside a mom's body. The bad news is, there is rarely anything you can do to stop the cough, therefore all night long you sit straight up in bed like someone stabbed you with an epi-pen. So, Sunday night, Drew was coughing.

Monday morning he was not looking his best, but Drew is a trooper. He wasn't running a fever and I really needed to be at school. I thought for sure he'd be fine. MOM FAIL. I gave him some medicine just before school started and told his teacher to let me know if she thought he needed to go home. At recess time she came to let me know that he had a complete meltdown in the gym. This is not normal. I knew he needed to go home. So, we packed up, picked up Emily and settled in to recuperate. Not counting a two hour workshop on Tuesday night, and a couple of 10 minute grocery trips, we have not left the house since Monday afternoon. And while it has been nice to slow way down, rub backs, and stay in pajamas, we're all getting a little nuts! We've had to get a little creative with things to do...

Last night it snowed again. When we woke up the sky was brilliant blue and the sun was shining. Drew desperately wanted to go play in the snow. I did not desperately want to play in the snow, but like almost always I was so glad I listened to him. We did not have a no-holds barred superhero snowball fight, but we did take a walk. We talked about how the snow looked like glitter because of the sun. We talked about the animal tracks and the people tracks and how they show where someone-or something-is headed. We made letters in the snow with sticks. Even Emmy let me put her down for a minute or two and made tiny footprints in the snow. I am learning, slowly, slowly, to be in the moment. To savor, even when it's crazy.

I have great memories of eating icicles when I was little. It was probably a little less toxic back then. But I couldn't resist plucking this one off the mailbox and telling Drew he could eat it.

And now, would you mind terribly if I spill a little heart out?

I have always seen lessons in nature. Creation is one of the ways the Creator speaks to me. Yesterday the forecast loomed large. More snow. More time inside. More cold. More sickness. But. Before the clouds rolled back in. Before the snow finally started to fall...the sun. It came pouring through the windows, just for a moment, and I stood and basked. I thought of the green buds Drew discovered in the flower bed. How he said, "Momma, I have a surprise for you!" Those buds are now covered over with snow. But they are there. Reminding, like the sun, this season won't last always. Spring is growing, deep, down in the darkness. And in the Creator's time, it will burst forth. I hope He will give me the grace to wait.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

True Confessions of a Preschool Teacher

My hermit crabs are dead. All three of my hermit crabs have moved on to greener...well, sandier, pastures. The first one bit it before Christmas. I wasn't too surprised. He was looking a bit "off" from the beginning. The other two were victims of the snow events. And the fact that I refused to drive out in the snow to water some hermit crabs. It might make me mean, but I have the lives of my children to consider. Well, that and the very hard decision to get out of my pajamas.

So, the guys are gone and the kids in my class have NO IDEA. Why? Because I have left all the shells in the tank. In case you were unaware, when a hermit crab dies, they come out of their shell. I don't know the reason behind this, except maybe it's their last payback for all that non-watering. It's a freaky thing to see a hermit crab skeleton staring you down. And smelling like, well, like dead crab. Anyway. I'm just not at a place in my life where I can answer 101 three year old questions about the dead hermit crabs. So. I'm pretending like they are still alive. Maybe not actively pretending they are alive. More like passively not mentioning they are dead. My crabs were never a rowdy bunch to begin with and usually spent most of the daylight hours hiding under a big seashell. So, it's not overly suspicious that they aren't moving around too much. Do I feel a *little* bad when the kids yell, "Ms. Kelly, I think the crab is getting ready to move"? Yeah. A little. But it's not really a motivating kind of pain...

I felt much better when the teacher across the hall confessed she was doing the same thing. She confessed after another teacher closed up her room for her one day and said, "And I put your crab up and gave him some water." And then the hysterical laughter ensued until she could spit out that he was dead.

It's like one big giant preschool scam.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Bizarro WalMart

You know I have a blatant hate/hate relationship with Wal-Mart, right? I'm pretty sure I've covered that topic one or twenty-six times around here. You need to know, that *i think* I might have found some sort of weird Wal-Mart utopia. We all know that when it comes to getting things for the best price you can't beat Wal-Mart. We also know that if you need say, groceries, and Valentine's cards, and brown craft pom-poms, the one-stop shopping can be alluring.

Well. Several weeks ago I started taking a new route home from Katy's in the afternoon because my commute (*snort*) was wearing me out. And since I've decided to work around anything in my life that raises my blood pressure, I decided to avoid large sections of interstate. (Uncle Jon actually hooked me up since he drives in my direction every day...) As I was driving on aforementioned new route, I noticed what looked like a brand new Wal-Mart up on a lonely hill. I asked my sister about it and she said I should give it a try that it was actually nice. So I did. And ya'll? I had quite the delightful experience. It was not crowded, it was clean, the workers were NICE, AND there were adequate lanes open. I know. Yes, I double checked to make sure I was really at Wal-Mart. I'm telling you. It's Wal-Mart in an alternate universe.

Because I'm so in love with the new place I did my grocery shopping there tonight. With two kids fresh off a long day. I had to work today-first aid and cpr training you know- and when we got to Wal-Mart it was raining. A lot. Like a middle of summer drencher, only it's the dead of winter (or haven't I mentioned that yet?) So, we bunched up under the umbrella and headed into Wal-Mart like a pack of refugees. It took me an hour to shop. AN HOUR. And, I have to tell you, my kids were awesome. I feel comfortable bragging on them in times like these, because you know I'm not one to sugar coat. But an hour of grocery shopping for anyone is misery and we actually had, dare I say it, fun!

We got to the check-out lanes and they even did great there. This in itself is amazing because this is where the wheels usually fall off. In truth, I'm the one who nearly threw a tantrum at the check-out. Can I just tell you that the rotating table of plastic bag madness at Wal-Mart It's like load up your cart roulette. This process is not made any more pleasant when the checker, who clearly has not ever been at the check-out lane with children to attend to, acts put out when you don't grab fast enough. Seriously. The pressure. And I was already annoyed with this girl because she was putting 1-2 items in every bag. Good grief. My buggy looked like I had shopped for 6 families instead of one and it was all bag!

It was finally time to head back to the car and, naturally, the rain had picked up. So, I did what I do...improvise. Imagine if you will-Emily in the cart seat, Drew hanging onto the handle wedged between me and Emily trying with all his might to wield an enormous umbrella, and me pushing the cart trying to frantically remember where I parked. By the time everyone was loaded up and all 7,000 plastic bags were in the back, my pants were soaked from about the knee down along with my canvas Converse. All of sudden I had a flashback to the time I worked at Six Flags and spent the whole summer with wet shoes. *Shudder*.

I won't even mention we had THREE more stops after that. My kids win the total trooper award this week. I think they are doing penance for all the mayhem last week. And when the power almost went out last night? Well, I just started begging Jesus out loud to please, please not let it happen!