31 March 2009

Stellan For Hope

This is Stellan:

He's adorable, right? Sadly, Stellan also has a heart condition and is fighting for his life right now. His mother blogs over at My Charming Kids, and I've recently become emotionally involved in her blog. It's really such a heart wrenching story and  The McAwesome Family (my fake name, not their doing) needs your prayers, thoughts, and special internet jujus.

(You might have noticed my Stellan picture clicky thing to your right.... ---> )

Stellan has this amazing photo album in which (mostly) complete strangers have photographed "Stellan" in so many different places (FRANCE! ENGLAND! CRAZY DESERT PLACES!) and in different ways, it's truly amazing to look through them all, which I suggest.

Here's a taste:

I see France!

I see... Senegal, West Africa (!)...

Yesterday, I decided that whereas Montgomery, Alabama is NO France or West Africa, it's one of those Thought That Counts moments, and the boys would enjoy some fun with shaving cream.

So, we Stellan'ed our living room table:

I'm sending the last one.

Here's Conner enjoying the shaving cream.

Ok, so the picture doesn't show his joyful enthusiasm....

Chase... on the other hand... wanted NOTHING to do with getting messy. Who's kid IS THIS?

Who's ever he is, they sure are lucky :)

Go on over to My Charming Kids and send the McAwesome Family some love. They really need it right now. 

27 March 2009

Where To Keep All Things Important

One child ago, I learned the hard way that if you can't feel your cell phone, it's most likely in the toilet.

Since the days of ole, when Conner went through roughly 5 cell phones in 18 months, I've adopted several techniques for keeping cell phones dry and toilet-free.

However, none have really caught on. I started keeping it in ONE place, but that defeats the purpose of a cell phone's mobility. Not to mention the fact that I missed SOOO many phone calls.

Then, I realized I could keep it on my person. And so, I started putting it in my pocket... only I realized very quickly that 90% of my sweat pants don't have pockets and I'll be darned if I sacrifice one of The Perks of The Mom Job by wearing JEANS all day. Plus, I did have about 16 months sandwiched in their in which I was either With Child, or With Weight From Said Child. So jeans weren't options and sweat pants were practically required.

(plus, we've all experienced "Cell Phone Was in Back Pocket of Jeans, Now In Toilet", right? right.)

For both boys, I nursed. With both nursings, I used a nipple shield, which should be handed out in maternity wards like condoms in a middle school or glow sticks at a rave. I could write an entire post on how nipple shields are The Saving Grace. 

Six weeks into nursing Conner, I realized one major problem with using a device like the nipple shield: where the crap am I going to keep this thing?

I adopted the mantra of "closest is best..." and started keeping it in my nursing bra or tank top. I mean, that's where I keep my boobies, so... it seemed only natural. Since then, I've recommended this to COUNTLESS people who start to shake when I begin digging into my cleavage to show them... oh how I laugh on the inside when people become momentarily uncomfortable (I'm not just going to yank out a tit here, SWEAR!)


Then, sometime over the last 2 weeks I began merging the two ideas: need a place to keep iphone as my warranty is up and they've already replaced my phone THREE times... AND... I always keep my boobies with me... SO....

Michael and I were sitting at breakfast the other morning. He did a double take after glancing at me to finish a sentence. He barked out a laugh that would have contained milk and Frosted Flakes if better timed.

iPhone Boobie.

It's all the rage.

200th post was yesterday! 

25 March 2009

NOT a Parenting Expert

This past week was Conner's Spring Break and I learned a valuable lesson: Buy Liquor in Bulk before Summer.

Yes, it was nice outside and he could have been taking over the backyard, but he would only do it for short spurts without me, and I am suffering from the Yellow Death. ON TOP OF THAT - in case I've failed to mention it - both Chase and I came down with the ACTUAL Flu. That being different from the "Oh, I am sneezy and coughing and my body hurts just a little, so it must be the flu" ... in that we both had flu tests. I felt like I had a full body bruise (it hurt to LIE IN BED). DEAR GOD, if I EVER feel like that and have been diagnosed with ANYTHING remotely fatal, I will be going into the light.

Sorry, mom.

So, we did very, very little around here and it shows in Conner's Attitude.

He's grouchy. Extra mean. Pushing. Full-on fist punches, Kicking. SLAMMING DOORS (how DARE he?). All that jazz.

And by Tuesday, mind you, I was convinced that I will not survive 2.5 months of No School For The Devil Conner during the Summer months.

No, seriously.


But, anyways... that's not what this post is about.

It's about how today, after the 1.4 millionth door slam, a sobbing monster on my couch did lay. I looked at him - and did not scorn him or banish him to stick his nose in the corner for the heinous crimes he had committed - but instead: I BAAAAAA'd at him.

Like a sheep. 

And he burst out in uncontrollable laughter, as did Chase, and then myself.

So I "BAAAAAAA"d some more.

Then, I let out a "moooooooo"

Followed promptly by a "QUACK!"

And giggles continued. The crime was forgiven and the offender less pissed and more... umm... un-pissed.

He better not overstep his boundaries again or I might be forced to "OINK".

24 March 2009

Wyoming? South Dakota? Alaska? HELLO!

              Source: My Google Analytics Data Nov '08 - Present

Dear Residents of Alaska, Wyoming, and South Dakota,

   Dudes. You are all slacking.

The Mom Job

(is my writer's block showing?)

23 March 2009

Ultimate Blog Party 2-oh-oh-9

Oh... ehh..... hi there! You must be from 5MinutesforMom:

Ultimate Blog Party 2009

(and if not, you'll just be bored...)

Let me shove all this junk under a table, in a closet or into a shower with the curtain closed and I'll be riiiight with you.

Ah. There.

I'd hate to be a giant poser and make you think I'm some kind of neat freak that doesn't let her children or her family actually live in their house because I'm too obsessed with what people may think about me if I don't appear to live in a magazine....

Wait. Tangent!

My name is Amanda and my last name is hardly pronounceable. I'm 24, with a BIRTHDAY THIS  Sunday (29th), making me a quarter of a century young. Sweet. 

I'm also the mother of 2 half-breed monkey/gorilla hybrids wonderfully rowdy boys (ages 3.75 and 15 months). I blog LIVE! from the capital city of Alabama, which is Montgomery for those of you who are surprised that it is not Birmingham. I know. It should be.

I am also a graduate of The University of Alabama with a degree in Public Relations/Advertising. I minored in Getting Knocked up by my Junior year and also graduated with my MRS. That makes me special... right?

Nowadays, I enjoy all the perks of The Mom Job and choose to blog about it for several reasons - it's therapeutic, I don't have the scrapbooking gene and writing is pretty much the only gift God gave me....

Yes, I use my children's real names. Most of you know them anyways.

I have the personality of a 6'6" man trapped in a 4'10.5" body. I'm loud, sometimes bitchy, occasionally moody, disorganized yet incredibly passionate and a total goofball. My friends just think I'm odd and that's fine by me.

What you can expect from my blog: 2-4 posts a week about the Special Form of Crazy I possess, my insane children (...and their poo...), a bad word or two (nothing too 'R' rated, I keep it PG-13 around these parts), the occasional tip or trick, a recipe or two, and The Funny.

What you can find somewhere other than my blog or nowhere at all: Porn. Financial advice (although the Hubster is a Stock Broker, we are required by this tiny group of federal agencies to keep hush hush on The Internets about that... you know... crazy SEC....), my SSN, my address, stories about my poo, boring blah blah blah about the more boring parts of the Mom Job (I try and leave that out for you guys...)

Thanks for visiting and please come back soon! Feel free to check out the archives from the last several months and also the "Platinum Edition" found in the right hand toolbar OR these links:

And those are just a few. I get bored quickly with looking up links. Some call it lazy... 

OOooohhhh... and leave a comment!!! I'll stalk you back!! PROMISE!

19 March 2009

W.W.L.C.D.? **Updated**

*Question at the bottom

I wore my hair half up for Chase's doctor's appointment on Monday. I felt a little down (not knowing yet that I was catching the Flu from Chase), my hair was a wreck and my head hurt too much for a ponytail. 

I didn't care that I thought I looked like a 6th grader.

But then, I kind of thought it was cute too. 

Really on the fence about it, and I thought about taking a picture to post with this blog. THEN I realized how absolutely stupid I was for even THINKING about posting a picture of myself when I looked like DEATH.

So, I did what any too-much-reality-television-SAHM would... I asked myself "What would Lauren Conrad Do?"

Because, see... it's all about standards. And in my mind, whether or not LC would approve is the Golden Standard for all that is fashionably acceptable. After thinking it over, I was positive that I'd seen LC wear her hair half up just as I had with the only difference being that she looked waaaay hotter.

Our standards set our expectations. 

My husband eats the partial garbage I set before him every night at dinner because it's what he expects from the standards of meal quality I've set forth over the course of our marriage. Call him a trained dog. 

Say I had started off our marriage cooking 4 course gourmet meals and just now (two kids deep) starting giving him Hamburger Helper or Chicken and Rice Casserole, see... he'd be disappointed.

(Side note: I actually can cook, but I don't have the time anymore to cook the things that take time... soo... we eat lots of Hamburger Helper and casseroles...)

Or... say hypothetically... if I'd been keeping my house spotless for YEARS and my mom came over to watch Conner while I shuffled Chase off to the pediatrician, only to come home feeling really battered for her to point out that I need to dust my clock - had she of been mislead for years to think I actually CARED, then she'd be disappointed, her expectations unmet. But, fortunately for both of us, I understand that clock-dusting is farrrr less important than another game or two of hide and seek or making sure we have clean underwear (which, until last night, we didn't... so...). (and can you believe she pointed out my dusty clock on my wall... DUDE... what GIVES?... if you care that much LET ME SHOW YOU WHERE WE HIDE THE PLEDGE)

Which brings me to my final Standard and Expectation:

Not knowing what Chase had, I was determined with the passion of a thousand white-hot suns to leave that doctor's office without a life-threatening disease we didn't enter with. So, I brought Clorox Wipes - which I feverishly shoved into an empty plastic bag even though I was already running late (because apparently, bringing in the whole container would just make me feel bad... who knew?).

Fortunately, we only spent a few minutes (like... umm.. 2 minutes) in the waiting room. I have successfully deciphered the Code of Pediatrician and now understand which appointment time is The One That Gets You In and Out the Absolute Fastest (under 1 hour, with full lab workup!!) (and sorry, I can't tell you or everyone will do it... I'm selfish like that).

The nurse came, sent us to lab and then we went back to our room. Chase shuffled for the play stairs and book bin and I began a frantic search for the Clorox wipes. 

I then took ONE wipe, starting at the top of the handrail that children in This Pediatricians Office use to get up to the table (it doubles as the Best Toy Ever because what child under 4 doesn't love little tiny Stairs Their Size??).

And then... I looked at the wipe.

On the left: an unused Clorox Wipe              and      On the Right: ONE SWIPE on the most COMMONLY touched surface by children in my pediatrician's office.

I almost threw up (no exaggeration).

I'll give the office this: this was not the first morning appointment (but it wasn't even afternoon either). 

But then, I proceeded to wipe the book bin with the SAME RESULTS. 

Now, I'm not a pediatrician, but if I were, I can ASSURE you I'd be paying someone to disinfect EVERYTHING in the room a child could potentially touch. At the very least, I'd require someone to wipe down the most commonly touched surfaces in between patients with a FREAKING CLOROX WIPE.

For those in Montgomery, I won't name the practice. I do kinda feel bad... (but if you are concerned, email me)

BUT - is this acceptable to you? Does this meet your expectations for cleanliness ANYWHERE much less a Peds practice?

(Makes me wonder if they don't CARE b/c if the child gets sick again, then they'll be back which equals more $$.... food for thought)


**Updated: A reader (Bonnie) suggested I write a letter (including pics) and send it to the pediatrician in question. What would you do?**

17 March 2009

Short Picture Update

The Flu:

A word to those I'm not facebook friends with: There is no alcohol in that sippy cup and he did not enjoy the Victoria Secret's catalog prior to passing out. Thank you.

The Tummy Bug:

Upon the arrival of his "Nonna", he proceeded to give her The Tour (which I think is hilarious). He first showed her the kitchen and informed her where his "chick-den fries" could be found. Then, he showed her his "toilet room" because "my butt has lots of poopies in it"...

Post about something OTHER THAN POOP tomorrow (you know, when I'm not DIEING). Swear.

14 March 2009

Chase On Gift Giving

Scene: Master Bathroom

Setting: Chase has run a 102 fever and it won't break even with medication. I am administering a luke cold (is that a word?) bath to get his fever down. Chase is playing with his toys. I'm sitting on a bathroom stool, half listening the news that's on in the bedroom.

Me: (acting very unmothery, with the basket labeled "Conner's Medications, Thermometers and Miscellaneous"... [note to self: need to change 'Conner' to "Baby's"..., must find sharpie although this was printed in a nice font on LABELS, where did all this free time GO??]. I'm sifting through the basket for the 3rd time in desperation for Ibuprofen as Tylenol isn't working....)

Chase: splash, splash, cough, splash

Me: (internal dialogue: Nope, no Ibuprofen. Mike pick some up, or go get?)

Chase: still playing, then throws toys

Me: looks up, checks child who still has sufficent toy count, looks at tv

Chase: throws something

Me: thud

I then look down, thinking it's going to be another toy that needs to be thrown back in. It's at my feet so I start to pick it up when I realize....

...it's a giant turd.

He was done with it, clearly.

12 March 2009

Oh Amanda, Hush.

What's wrong with instant communication?

In my case (as we all know that this blog should really be called "Amanda Likes Amanda and Talks About Amanda") it's that blogging is often a bit disconnect. I can type out, edit, miss my typos and then publish entire thoughts and THEN a select BEAUTIFUL few of you comment back with cackles of glee, wags of the finger or pats on the back.

...And I love it. It's like I get to have ENTIRE conversations and get in EVERYTHING I want to say without interruption.

I am a conversation dominator. It's fault of mine that I am both aware of and apparently steadfast in - part of my wiring one might say. 

Just today, our room mom for Conner's PreK class was holding a conversation with 4 other moms ... and by "holding" the conversation, I mean she's like a moderator. It's truly amazing to watch her do this - in the most delicate of ways she directs conversations and reflects them back to you in open-ended questions and "and how do you feel about that"s. It's a talent and she's one of the best I've seen. 

She's a listener.

I know. Right. 

When you talk to her, she engages you and talks about what YOU want to talk about, with 100% devotion even if you are discussing your preferred method of butt wiping (ok, mom's don't only talk about poop, i think...). She always asks about your experiences, your feelings, your situation with the occasional and perfectly timed tid-bits of her.

I want to be a listener. But, I'm not. I'm robotic in my conversation missions. If I don't get what I want said, I dwell on it. I ponder it for hours. I'll think about it till it rots my brain. 

You know who probably comes away with more from a conversation though? The listener. Although she's probably not gotten a single "AND THIS ONE TIME... GEEZ..." story off her chest, she's probably accumulated a million personal accounts of a billion different topics. She could probably write a book. 

Those few timed responses where she shoves a nugget of her best knowledge into your brain are so thought provoking, too. She has 3 children, all close together and her youngest is just a few months old. We were talking about how hard it was to get to and from school and accomplish daily chores and then I asked how hard it was for her to transition from 2 to 3. Her response was something like "The hardest wasn't from 1 to 2, or 2 to 3, but from none to one". I had NEVER thought about that. She's totally right. Going from NO babies to any amount of babies is most definitely the most challenging. This girl is full of the good stuff. Instead of just blabbing (like me) about how difficult this is or that is, she actually THINKS BEFORE SHE TALKS. 


There's a thought...

I'm not going to end this entry with a "so... I'm going to try to listen more and shut up", because that would be a lie. It's not that I don't hear what any of you have to say now, as a matter of fact, I hold many of you very close to my heart and enjoy our conversations more than you'll ever know. And I'm not going to stop talking/typing so much either, because it's these instant communications that are so incredibly gratifying to me.

Let's just say this: I'm hear to talk OR listen - if you ever need me.

11 March 2009

Private School Drama To Be Continued.

We are going to tour another (snotty) private school tomorrow - and this one COSTS MORE!

Won't you all stay tune for the nonsense in store?


The Yellow Death

Dear Yellow Death,

We've been enemies for years, as you probably recall.

Like a moth to a flame, I am drawn outdoors at this time each year for its beautiful rays to wipe away the cold winter crust from my eyes. I enjoy the sunlight and the laughter of my children running half-naked through the grass (don't know why they are half-naked, however). 

Oh yes, Spring is here and I have awaken from my Winter's nap. I do hibernate, in case you didn't know. Amanda doesn't do cold.

It's after a day or two of consistent mild 70-ish weather, nice breezes and a slight tan line that wonderful ideas come flooding into my brain:
I could plant a garden.
The boys and I could have a picnic.
We should all go for a long walk as a family.
Let's take up recreational activities PLENTY!

Then, I am reminded why it is I have never planted a garden and can't recall the last Spring picnic - I am a swollen-faced, sneezing on repeat and a watery-eyed MESS.

Chase is sneezing too.

And the pollen hasn't even really begun.

After checking weather.com, I noticed that the tree pollen count is high, but weeds and grass are still at none. In translation to all you normal people, this means I'm doomed. As I am allergic to EVERY SINGLE tree in the continental U.S., 4 types of grass and most weeds (per an allergy prick test a long time ago... ouch!).

So to you, Yellow Death, curse thee! I'm wishing for a barren spring full of twiggy trees, brown grass and lifeless flowers, but lovely weather...

The Sneezing One Hyped Up On Prescription Allergy Medication and Found Under the Humidifier in Her Bubble

09 March 2009

Next Time Won't You Poop With Me?

Conner's on the toilet, singing "his" ABCs - 'A-K' are just fine, but 'LMNOP' is still one letter. 'Q-S' don't exist, and he finishes with his favorite: "dubba-u, x, y an T"

Then, he decides that toilet alphabet songs need tweeking:
"Now I know my ABCs, next time won't you Poop with meeeeee"

There Are No Words for Too Many Non-Words

I'm in such a mood.

Wish I had something insightful or thoughtful or entertaining to post, but alas, I feel like absolute poo.

On Friday, I had A Break Down of the DEARHEAVENS Variety. Conner has been swinging from my last nerve like a gorilla in a jungle full of crack-cocaine for a solid week. He is, at this moment, so not my favorite preschooler.

If it's not the violence towards his brother in the passive aggressive variety ("Oops. I didn't mean to walk right through you at full speed even though I totally saw you standing there") it's violence towards me in the "I'm mad you took my light saber away and threw it in the garbage when I wasn't looking", so I am now going to slam the door on your foot" fashion.

He is also on repeat. REPEAT. REPEAT! REPEAT!! 

Every single thing that comes out of his mouth -whether it be a word, a non-word, a phrase or a stinking PARAGRAPH - must be repeated with exact precision by you or the listening party in its entirety. If he believes you  A) Mispronounced what he said to you B)Misunderstood his non-word words or C) Don't care to recite all 1,500 things he just sputtered out then you, dear friend, should prepare for The Hellashish Meltdown of Lava and Firey Brain-filled Fireworks ala Conner.

Heaven help us.

I'm getting his hearing checked. He constantly says things that are just mumbled garbage and I can't understand him AT ALL. And you have 2 choices. First being to mumbled some stuff together and spurt it out really fast back at him and pray that he finds it adequate enough ... or, say what you think he's trying to say, and risk being right and him moving on or suffer through aforementioned Hellish Meltdown of Lava and Brains.

As I was loosing my mind, my marbles, my sanity and every single shred of mothery-ness, I found myself sitting on a children's stool in the kitchen floor at 6:30 on Friday night with only a small light on over the sink, texting Staci as to whether locking Conner in his room for the rest of the weekend night was cruel.  She conferred that it was not. I replied "Sweet. Now to take the knob off and turn the lock around. I'm looking for the screwdriver now."

Honestly, I was.

But, then I realized that it'd take me an hour to do this (I've done it before, middle school - replaced my own doorknob on my bedroom with a deadbolt I found in our garage - great way to piss off your parents, btw. All I wanted was for my sister to leave my stuff alone...).


Then on Saturday, Ali and I spent 2.5 hours in Target acting like children with NO CHILDREN, and suddenly the weight of Conner's Volcano was lightened (note: NOT LIFTED). I re-centered and now I am able to be around him all day without wanting to place him on Craigslist. For cheap. 

Or free.

And now I'll stop blogging about being grumpy. (PS - I hate you Day Light Savings)

06 March 2009

As Promised: Private School Drama Part 2

I really appreciate all your comments on the post On Being Judged. I did, however, notice a lack of posts from people FROM Montgomery, and I find that very interesting seeing as Montgomery has my second largest readership by city according to Google Analytics. With that said, I'd love to hear from you guys (even if you've never commented before, ESPECIALLY if you've never commented before, or email me: agzaremba {at} gmail {dot} com ). I realize that many of you don't comment, especially when I'm talking smack about your home city, but everyone is entitled to an opinion - this blog being mine. I am very open to listening to other's thoughts/concerns/comments and even their judgements of me. In other words: Bring it.

One of the more interesting points brought to our attention by the Lady Who Judged was that we could hold Conner back. Oh, but let me use her words verbatim "For academic, social or ATHLETIC reasons" we can choose to hold our son back.

Oh, yes. You read that correctly.

She admitted that this concept was "unique" to Montgomery... see... SHE SAID IT, NOT ME! And she laughed! She giggled about how it wouldn't be even remotely acceptable to do this in other school systems, but how since this was private school and a small town, they allowed it as a common practice. COMMON PRACTICE.

COMMON! PRACTICE! to hold children back although they pass a mandatory academic evaluation and are cleared (by the administration and teacher) to be socially ready to take on Big Kid School, BOYS are held back if they are smaller. 

Now, I won't say that Michael wasn't BEAMING when he heard this: the opportunity for his boys to be bigger, faster and stronger in their athletic field of choice (read: chess?) simply because they were older after being held back. I must note that he did have his reservations about it though. He said he'd never consider it if both academic and social evaluations cleared him to advance grade levels.

In some defense to the shear Craziness of this idea, Conner is, and will probably always be, the youngest and therefore smallest in his class. I don't care to disclose Conner's "issues" on The Internets (at least not yet), but for the most part  it's this: 6 months younger than many of his classmates makes a huge difference. He is "less mature" and it takes time to learn "people skills" (i.e. - sitting in a chair, standing in line, raising your hand, asking to pee, etc). He didn't speak a single word aloud to his teacher till January, and continues to lack in the "being able to talk to anyone other than his family" arena. Conner's caught up a bit now, but he is still "behind" compared to his other classmates. 

This learning curve will shorten, but he'd still graduate as a 17-year-old and enter college barely 18.

So, for  social reasons we might just do 2 years of Kindergarten (1 at Frazer and 1 at Overly Priced Private Institution of Our Choosing) - although, academically he shines at school.

But back to my previous point - I emailed a friend in the Jefferson County School District and, without overstating it, she was APPALLED. This would never be acceptable. Being held back because they are clearly not to a certain academic level, are not socially ready to take on certain aspects of school, or even simply - the parents and educators feel the child is unable to handle the emotional strain - all reasons to hold back a child between Pre3 and 1st/2nd grade. 



For my out-of-state/other school districts/those with opinions and no children readers... do you find this bizarre? They hold BOYS back for this, not girls. Did I mention that? If it's the "norm", would you consider it? Can you EVEN BELIEVE IT'S THE NORM?

I want opinions people, comment!

04 March 2009

Get Out Your Party Hats

I might have mentioned that March 2nd was my Blogaversary! I can't believe I've been doing this for 2 years... Here's some amazing cupcakes to celebrate from me to you:

Found this yummy thing here.

On Monday, I began a whole celebration post with lots of interesting factoids (interesting to me at least) and some of my data from google analytics (which doesn't sound like fun here, but dudes, people google some really funny stuff...).

BUT, then I posted two posts in a row... and then Michael's work required him to work late on both Monday and today, meaning that I had Lots of Crap to Finish so, I thought I would finish it today.... BUT THEN - I saw this:

Ultimate Blog Party 2009

And I had a thought: what if I celebrated my Blogaversary WITH 5MinutesforMom at the end of this month (which would be right around my own bday, the 29th... woot)?

I personally think it's a marvelous idea!

It'd be like a whole Birthday Month, which I have... so start sending me gifts whenever you get a minute. I won't tell anyone if you send me daily e-cards either. My shoe size is 6.

SOOOO... in the tradition of Amanda The Procrastinator - I'm putting off my ultra long, yet super cool Blogaversary because A) I can and B) Because I'd LURVE to have such a post associated with the Ultimate Blog Party.

*Insert Fireworks, Glitter, Sprinkles and Cupcake Rivers Here*

02 March 2009

Unasked Prayers

It's funny how God works. Normally, I am practically starring at the clock, begging the minutes to please march instead of c-r-a-w-l, then an internal conflict always arises as to whether putting the boys down 10,15 or 20 (hum.. 45?) minutes early would be ok ("Ok, so Chase did stir last night for a few minutes, then woke at 5, and wasn't really sleeping till 5:45, and was kinda up by 7... oh, and I know I heard Conner up at 12:30 and since it was Sunday, I'm sure a good cartoon was on so Michael didn't turn the tv off till late, which probably kept him up a bit longer... and..."). 

I am totally convinced that some days that clock hits 12, then giggles and throws itself back to 11:45 and Twitters about it to all his little clock friends, and BAM! There I am, stuck in a time/space warp without the possibility of it reaching The Time of The Nap (1:45 - give or take my sanity).

Then, this morning I got in a fight with my mother. Which, wouldn't be bloggable or blogworthy if it weren't for the fact that my mom and I don't fight. When I have an issue, no matter how annoying I might sound or wrong she is, I just say it and there it is - we either work it out, agree or disagree and that's it. But, what came out of my mouth today was not only warranted, but building like plaque in my arteries for months and needed to be said. Mary, The B.F.F., told me she was actually happy I finally talked about it to my mom, and that it was a time sensitive issue, so that I let 'x' time pass was a good thing - and now the deed is done.

I went about my Show and Dance daily routine with the boys - wake Chase from morning nap, make him lunch, start Conner's lunch, make my lunch, put Conner's lunch in front of him and beg him to eat, start the dishes, prep dinner, wipe someone's butt, find pants for said butt, etc etc

And then, Chase decided he wanted to play in the playroom alone (which he does, he's a very independent child and obviously unrelated to Conner) and Conner decided to sit and play a game for awhile, then color, then play with some cars... and I found myself reading a magazine standing in the kitchen, finishing off my salad. Then, I wandered through the living room and into the bathroom, grabbed my electric razor and sat over the side of the tub shaving my legs... then I decided it was time to chip off my old nail polish... and then I heard Pinky Dinky Doo...

But wait? Pinky Dinky Doo? That doesn't come on till... it's 2!!!

I grabbed Chase, changed him, put Conner in his room, kissed him goodnight, strolled Chase for all of 2 minutes, put him in his room, and THAT WAS IT. No extra kisses (not that I am in opposition). No getting up. No whispered "I need go pee-pee...". No strolling around my living room for 25 minutes. Easy as pie.

Um. Whoa.

The whole time the boys were being content, I was in my head (yet still listening out for my children, thank you DHR) thinking about this fight with my mom. I was going over the things I said and reaffirming the statements because I didn't say them to hurt my mom, I said them because they needed to be said. And then Mary text me the above statement in the middle of The Thinking, right as I heard the theme song to Pinky Dinky Doo and I realized that God had given me exactly what I needed... Space.

He had granted me a couple of hours to still take care of my children, but without TheFreakingOutOverNothings or the DearHeavensDon'tShoveYourBrothers or the ChaseStoleMyGAMEs. All of it - none of it - existed.

I don't know how many times I've either thought or yelled out "God PLEASE! I JUST NEED XYZ!" and really meant that HEAVENS LORD, a minute?!? PLEASE?!!? But, during those moments, God knew what I really needed was Mommy BootCamp and thus, he let me drudge through them and come out alive, even though I doubted I could.

All I needed was some thinking room...

I've heard before to thank God for the unanswered prayers, but today I'd like to thank Him for the ones that go unasked. 

01 March 2009

On Being Judged *

*I went on a bit of a rant in the comments section, if I were you I'd already be there... Well, you do need to read the post first, but after that... I'D GO THERE.

We arrived a whole 20 minutes early for The Judging, too bad they won't take off a percentage of the $10,000 per year for every minute early... 

Overall, it wasn't too bad. As a matter of fact, I kinda enjoyed myself. 

There's just something about school that makes me all sparkles and rainbows and glitter on the inside. The lockers - you remember how OVER THE MOON you were about lockers? The science lab - how frickin awesome was it to reproduce fake rain clouds or watch a penny get eaten by stomach acid? LUNCH - I know this sounds crazy, but my high school had THE BEST FOOD. The stromboli, the cinnamon toast, the FRIES with GOOEY CHEESE... just the sheer selection of it all, man I wish I could have that many options everyday for lunch now, but alas, we are broke.

At this school, the lunches are catered by a company called Sage, which looks way too yummy.

Well, let's not make this post about food.

The very first thing the admittance counselor spoke of was the curriculum, which is a good place to start, right? And... she started with Bible. Don't get me wrong, I do like the fact that because it's a private Christian school, Bible will be a part of the curriculum and prayer and worship is not only encouraged, but group led with weekly Chapel. However, she was on a 10 minute rant about how Bible was part of the daily lesson structure throughout the 12 years, and that they wouldn't test till after 3rd grade, and once they started testing it would initially only be on the Books of the Bible, the Kings of the OT, the major stories, etc... and then they would move on to memorization of Psalms and key scripture and versus ... and then finally Michael spoke up....

"We fully support Conner's education being in a Christian environment, and we agree that teaching the Word of God is very important, but the bottom line is this: knowing scripture instead of how to write an essay isn't going to get you into a good college..."


I mean, I'm not shelling out The Big Monies for my child[ren] to learn about God and Jesus and Noah but be unable to write an advanced, well-researched and well-constructed essay or not know how to solve a logarithmic differentiation. (totally remembered hating on logarithms but did google the correct term...)

She seemed unfazed and almost relieved that Michael wanted to know about the core curriculum required for college admissions.... almost like it was a test...

So we spoke of class size (small.... check), curriculum for each year, academic standards, athletic opportunities (3A... boooo...), foreign language class requirements (must have 3 years in high school of the same language, yay! They also begin Spanish in 1st grade.), and various other aspects of the school's identity.

We toured the "campus", asked a few more questions and overall, were very pleased with the facility, it's staff and the curriculum opportunities. In case I haven't mentioned it already (please don't roll your eyes), Michael and I both determined that this is, unfortunately, still nothing more than everything the boys would have access to in Birmingham without the price tag (Jefferson/Shelby County school systems, Hoover, Mountain Brook, Trussville, etc).  The only thing we've found different is that lunch is included in the price. How nice of them...

Our biggest areas of concern:
  1. It's located directly across the street from an apartment complex. Now, I'm not saying there is anything wrong with an apartment complex or it's occupants, but they do typically attract single men, young crazy college kids and others. This is me trying to be sensitive to those who currently live in an apartment... is it working?
  2. For a price tag of aforementioned CRAZY MONIES, one would assume that this facility would be sparkly and flashy, right? Eh. No. On the outside, it appears that it was built circa 1960 and never updated. The kindergarten uses a 4 teacher and 1 floating teacher set-up (which I love because the students become accustomed to the "sub" and ergo don't have a "day off" because the "cat's away"), but they are housed in TRAILERS! When I was in 5th grade (circa 1995), Jefferson County school systems ABOLISHED trailers (ok, so they ended having to bring back a few, but that's not the point - THAT was "free"). I can't believe they are even allowed these days and I find it completely unacceptable for a school shoveling in 10 grand per year per child to be unable to nix portable trailers!!
  3. On the note of totally unacceptable for an institution that will be raping my bank account: there are only 2-3 computers per classroom. Does this bother anyone else? My son can work Mickeymouse.com better than I can, and then there's that commercial where the 7-year-old girl takes pictures, uploads and emails them - yet this school is unable to allow access to a personal computer for my child for some sort of allotment each day? WHAT?!

On the note of the totally adorable: 3rd graders and under are allowed the option of no shoes while indoors. Isn't that adorable? It apparently makes them more comfortable (which I can totally see). I was also thinking this - wouldn't that cut down on tracked-in germs?
For sho'.

And now, this post is foreva' long, so there shall be a Part Deux.

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