Monday, September 27, 2010

Never use a time lead, and other journalism advice

I'd like to take a moment and break from the snarkiness to talk about something serious. Brace yourselves...I feel some emoting coming on.
--
What will I say when someone calls me as a reference for you? That you’re a nice girl and a good writer but can’t turn something in on time to save your life?”


He made me cry in class more than any other professor. Actually, he was the only professor to make me cry in class ever. But as a journalism student, that was probably a good thing.

Dr. Mike Nolan was more than a professor that taught journalism. He was the entire department. That’s not an exaggeration. As such, the higher-ups cut the journalism program my junior year, and only the people then signed up for the minor would be able to finish it out.

As an editor, I lived much of my collegiate life in the newspaper office. Dr. Nolan was the advisor for the paper – The Augustana Observer—and I saw him more than I saw my own academic advisor. He was everywhere I was. And as such, he saw me at my best and worst.

Like any good suburban private-schooled 20-year-old, I liked to think I was special. It wasn’t really until my first year of journalism classes did I realize I was not. To the rest of the world, I may have been able to extend a deadline with a smile, but Dr. Nolan let me know in no uncertain terms that if I were to become a journalist, I had to come to terms with my reality as the bottom of a sinking totem pole. And, that lesson has served me well in my professional life.

Journalism was my minor; my fall-back. And 5 years after having nowhere else to fall, there it was. I became a small-town reporter, working beats and chatting with farmers, attending town council meetings, and picking up police reports. All of the unglamourous things Dr. Nolan had told me I may be doing. My parents may have thought I was destined to get to the New York Times for my first at-bat, but Dr. Nolan knew I’d first be writing about zoning laws and pig manure for a weekly paper.

When my first story hit the front page a week into my job, the first person I e-mailed was Dr. Nolan. And having the good grace to not point out that most of my stories would wind up on the front page since I was one of two reporters for that paper, he congratulated me and let me be proud of myself.

For as much bringing me down to earth as he did, he also found a way or two to brag about me. Seriously, I think it was only once or twice. I remember my senior year sitting in a classroom for our journalism capstone, talking about getting published. We all had been working on and submitting query letters to real publications, waiting to submit something on spec. Just moments before, I had gotten a submission acceptance…for a poem I wrote. Not anything to do with our class, just something I did on my own. He came into class and asked if anyone had heard anything. I said I was being published, but not for journalism. He said something that made me believe I was about to receive the wrath of the self-appointed journalism god. But when I clarified what was going on, he softened and had me show him the poem. He read it out loud in our class and at the end he said, “That was really good. I like it.” You could have pushed me over with a feather.

And then he asked where my assignment for the day was.

I got the news this morning that he died over the weekend. There’s a news story today about his death, and tomorrow there will be an obituary. I can’t put my finger on it, but there’s a sweet little something about all that. The journalism professor’s death is in the paper. And as my friend pointed out, there were three typos in the story. He’d probably have something smart to say about that and then challenge us to find all three.

The very first assignment he gave us was to write an obituary. Not ours, but someone famous. He said if we ever got a job with a big paper, our first written piece would be someone’s obituary. I wonder who is writing his tonight.

(Because if I knew, I'd tell that person that the one thing in the world Doc Nolan couldn't stand was a time lead. Don't use a time lead, okay kid?)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Disgusting random thought

While sweeping and swiffering today, I notice that all my floor fuzz is grey. All of it. I have a grey long-haired cat.

Am I sweeping up dust bunnies or massive amounts of Mozart fur?

Either way, it's pretty gross.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What you learn from the internet

Because this is as good of time as any.

I may or may not be a better person for knowing the following things through technology:

1.)You see that little thing next to this box...might be down aways....that has your location? I love that little tool. Except it's not always that accurate with locations.

I can click on it and see how people come to my website.

Four people now have come from Europe via blog google (or whatever it's called) for the term "his expander."

Wow.

I'm all for double entendres, but that's stretching it.
(And this is all referring to a dental appliance in my son's mouth.)

And it's gross. And really Europe, (excluding the fabulous Lisa N.) don't you have better things to do than to look for stuff like that?

Moving on...

2.) On Twitter today, I see that the girls and I have one common person we follow. And that is Weird Al. Props to Lydia and Kate.

3.) Clark W. Griswold has his own wikipedia page. Because he's a real person. And the W stands for Wilhelm. Didn't know that.

(PS...if you want to follow me on Twitter...(because, really, who doesn't?) click here! (And then, you know, follow all the Twitter directions.)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Watch this!

This video was made by my cousin James...and I love it! Nothing snarky at all going on here, except for his challenging of a policy.

(James is a cool guy even before this video. And today is his birthday. And he can play the bagpipes. Can your cousin James do that?)

Watch and enjoy! And then make me some pancakes.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

School: not for learning anymore!

Because I'm trying that whole "not being a bitch" thing, I have to save my complaints, rants, and tales of everyday injustices for this blog and not say them to the powers that be. And today I practiced this very thing and was amazed with my self-restraint. I'm not sure if I can do it again tomorrow, but like at AA, I'm taking this whole "be a nice person" thing day-by-day.

Larry Potter came home with school fundraiser materials.

And this was not your run-of-the-mill candle purchase or gift wrap catalog. No. This catalog had catalogs inside of it, along with flyers, order forms, change of address forms, social security card applications, and a job application.

There's also a few pages telling students what they can "win" when they sell X-amount of lame products, a page telling about the awesome party they get to go to when they sell over 10 items (there will be a Green Bay Packer there...oh boy), and a sheet trying its best to shame the parents into participation.

The actual wording:
"Our School, Our Students, Our Parents and Teachers! [highlighting and underlines their emphasis, not mine.]
Get involved! PARTICIPATE!
Be a "part of the positive"!
Can we get 100% participation?
Only if YOU decide to help!
YOUR DECISION MATTERS!
[All capitalization and grammar mistakes are theirs as well. Psychos.]
Hopefully you will visit the web site to check out
"The Green and Gold Experience"
Reward Party
Coming to our School!
wwww.greenandgoldexperience.com

See our color flyer enclosed for all the
special details...
DON'T MISS IT!
--

Ugh. And they spared no expense at Kinkos getting the full color sheet on this party.

Am I crazy? Now, this was distributed at our school, a public school, to at least the 3rd grade students (I bet Hoover comes home tomorrow with one) and at school, you are supposed to do what you are told. This sheet of paper is telling the kids not to miss the party. Which you can only go to if you sell 10 items or more. So their basically telling the kids to go out and sell 10 items. At least.

And let me tell you, LP is all jazzed about this. He even told me that he can be entered into a contest to win a trip to Disney World. This is the big time, Mom.

Here's the e-mail I sent to our loved ones. I hope they still love us after this:

Hello--


LP and Hoover's school is being a greedy little educational institution and even though they just built an addition, they apparently need $10 to buy chalk or playground balls or something. I have half a mind to call them asking why they insist on turning my sweet boys into used car salesmen so early in life, but I'm trying to not do that kind of stuff this year.


So, in the interest of being a plastic, non-opinionated PTA mom, please imagine me in my best fake voice..."Hi there! Could you please look through this catalog and see if there's anything you would like to order? It's for the boys' school, and we all know children are our future...let's teach them well and let them lead the way!"


Ugh. I tried to explain the concept of mark-up to Nate and how his school will probably make only 10% on each box of candy or roll of wrapping paper, but he just keeps telling me that if he sells enough, he gets to go to a PARTY.


The link is: http://www.cherrydale.com and please use code 76697 if you order...that's the student code to make sure my kids get credit.


If you'd like LP or Hoover to call you with a sales pitch, I can arrange that. Although, this weekend LP is working on his OWN endeavor...a lemonade stand during a town festival with lots of drive-by and walk-by traffic. Unfortunately, I can't send lemonade through the mail, but if I could, I bet LP would want to design his own website and have on-line ordering.
Thanks....and sorry.
--
Seriously, they just added on a huge addition to the school. I hate to sound like a Republican, but what's up with that? I have a big school fundraiser every January...it's called my property taxes.

When I asked LP what the school was raising funds for, he couldn't tell me. He just kept saying how Leroy Butler was going to be at their school and he could meet him if he met his quota sold enough items voluntarily.


I will only love you if you're into high-pressure sales.

I don't know if it's the whole fundraising idea that bothers me though...but rather the glitzy spare-no-expense prizes and printing they fill these kids' heads with and then home with a packet larger than the Offer to Purchase for my house. You know someone is making money on this. And the prizes? It's not a pizza dinner donated by the local pie shop....no, it's cash. How about you take that cash and give THAT to the school so I don't have to buy a 2' roll of wrapping paper for $6? Whatever happened to a bake sale?


That's $2.30 a bag. And no tissue. I can buy 4 bags for a buck at the Dollar Store.

And did I mention you could order online?  Make sure you type in LP's number 76697 so he gets credit. I know you'll get right on it.

What's next, mylocalelementary School? Sewing leather wallets for exporting? Teaching the kids how to use a screen printer?

My dad had the right idea. He wrote back to my email asking if he could just give the school a check and forgo all the useless awesome crap items. If only that would end this all...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mirror, Mirror...my eldest child

Tomorrow is Larry Potter's birthday. Not that he'd let me forget. Or anyone else. He's been counting down since February.

Here's an excerpt from a previous blog about that day. I changed the years to represent, well, that he's eight now and not six.:
--

Eight years ago right now, I was in labor in a room at Meriter Hospital in Madison. My water had broken the night before at about 8:45 p.m. in the parking lot and I went to maternity triage. I called Disgruntled Husband once I got there to tell him I was staying this time, and he got off work to come down. I remember being anxious and frustrated at the same time. I had been to the hospital three times before thinking I was in labor, and this time, I really was but the nurses had to verify my water had broken. Um, does the trail of water behind me or the soaked shorts and sandals confirm it for you? I know some women think their water has broken when they have only peed on themselves, but anyone who's been pregnant knows that the average full-term pregnant bladder only holds about a dropper-full of pee. After much conversation between nurses about "ferning," they let me stay.


I got to my room about midnight. DH went back to our apartment to get some things of his own and brought up mine when he got back. I called Stoo, my best friend who was also a labor and delivery nurse in Chicago (incidentally, the one who told me I was probably leaking fluid and should get to the hospital). She came up about noon.

It was a long labor, so I won't bore anyone with the gory details. One of the things I remember most were the windows outside my room. The nurse started pitocin (the devil) at 6 a.m. By 10, I had strong contractions. Here I was in this beautiful, state-of-the-art room with TV, DVD, CD, VHS...and I wanted silence. I stared at those windows as a focal point.
Eight years ago, I was a very excited and scared individual. A mere 29 hours later, I had a son. I was only 23. DH and I had been married six days less than a year and we had a son.

LP was born at 2:52 a.m. I couldn't sleep at all after that. After I had gotten sewn up and cleaned up, I just stared at him. Clueless but delirious. I remember those few days at the hospital very fondly.

I've had two children since then, and each very memorable and wonderful. But the first, my first, the feeling is almost unexplainable.

He was the science experiment, the test-market baby. If this went right, maybe we'd do it again.

And now, he's in third grade. Smart as a whip. Very beautiful still. It's true what I was warned: It goes by in a flash. I'm sure in a blink, he'll be graduating high school.
--
Ugh. I think the years have made me into a much more snarky individual. All I think when I read this now is how sickeningly sweet that passage is. Now don't get wrong, I love my son and still have those feelings, but sometimes the reality of the day and the individual sometimes make voicing all of those feelings feel a little laughable.

Yes, LP will be eight tomorrow. Eight. Like in 10 years, he'll be in college. I don't know whether to tie him up or mark down the days. Eight is like that. My dad once said that there's nothing worse than a 9-year-old boy...so, does that mean it's going to get even worse?

I am convinced it's not just my son...at least in this capacity. Many of his friends are in that same know-it-all-eye-rolling-testing-the-boundaries stage of life. It's awesome.

Now, LP has a real disadvantage to his life: DH and me. Because as my step-sister once said about her own son, "He's either got the best or worst qualities of us both, depending on your point of view." Yeah, he's mouthy and opinionated and argumentative, and I can only blame so much of that on the age. Genetics isn't on his side on this one.

(We determined after a pretty good tantrum that he's dramatic like I was/am and tries to negotiate and argue his way out of situation like DH did/does. It's actually kind of entertaining, but only if you're not his parents.)

As I documented in this post, LP definitely reminds me of another person I once knew, only less annoying. He's got a mouth, too. (By the way, these are things I'd say to him and he already knows and kinda is proud of all of this, so I don't want anyone thinking I'm picking on him. Like I said, he's pretty much like me and DH, so we're also okay with owning up to this.)

Some entertaining highlights from LP's life:
-at 2, calling the babysitter a dumb bitch - she was impressed he used it in the right context
-memorizing all the state capitals before he entered kindergarten
-started talking at 7 months old, but wouldn't walk until he was 16 months old. He wouldn't do it, but could recite a soliloquy as to why he chose not to walk.
-After learning about Martin Luther King, Jr. in school, he was convinced DH was an African American. True, he's not as pale as the rest of us, but somehow I don't think DH qualifies for a change in race. At least that's what my African American friends tell me.
-When he told us that our friends' daughter E was his girlfriend, and we said he wasn't old enough to have a girlfriend, he informed US that "You aren't in charge of my lovin'."
-Was once hosed off in the yard, naked, because he refused to sit down in the bathtub
-Stunned the talking turtle dude from Finding Nemo at Disney World when LP asked him how deep the Marianas Trench was.
-For awhile, he was obsessed with Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. He wanted us to be on it, and I told him that people have to be really sick or otherwise problemed to get the construction team here. A month or so later, DH had a terrible headache and had to have a shot with some strong drugs in it to get it to stop. The nurse rolled him out of the clinic in a wheelchair. LP, who was in the car waiting with the rest of us, saw this and started cheering and screaming because he thought that we could finally be on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
-Has told me numerous times that when he's 10, we have to move to California for a year so he can be on Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader. He's dead serious

So, happy birthday to my little man tomorrow. And, as he told me yesterday, I'd better start saving up because in another 8 years, he wants his own car for his birthday. Always thinking ahead.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Shopping 101, and a stop at the food court

On Rants today, the very funny guest writer talks about clothing choices for moms, specifically, how to not dress like your teenager. Or teenaged-dressed 8 year-old.

I find that so funny because just yesterday, Disgruntled Husband and I were doing a little shopping on our own. (We wandered Janesville, WI for six hours. Yes. Because we stayed overnight at a friend's house, they had to go somewhere in the a.m., and we were meeting my mom at some point in Janesville because she had the kids. I'm talking to you, Janesville Tourism Department, someone's been sleeping on the job. For all the beauty that Wisconsin has, all you seem to have are aging strip malls and interstate exits.)

I've always been on the...uh...plus-sized side of life. Some days more plus than others. In high school and wearing a D-cup, every homecoming dress and the like zipped to right about there (imagine me pointing to the upper third of my back, right around where a bra would go) and it was frustrating as hell.

So what do I do? Just pile on more fatty tissue so that I can shop in a different department. Makes sense.

As an adult now and seeing more and more childhood obesity-friendly stores, a part of me is like, "Whoa. This is really a problem," and the other part is like, "Hey, I wish they had this store a few years ago. Check out this plus-sized skull corset!"

In terms of the plus-sized lady, there are stages in life that correspond to where you shop. Ages 14-21, Torrid is where you belong. This is the skull corset place. I admit, I've been in the store and I've bought things. Okay, 3 things: a swimsuit, a cute and appropriately-lengthed summer dress, and a bra. And the last of those purchases was 3 years ago. Hey, I'm all for making the bigger high school girl more comfortable, but this place is pretty much for plus-sized prostitutes.

(Edited to add: What happened to shaming the size 14 high-schooler in a Contempo Casuals's fitting room? Moments like this and accompanying my friends to 5-7-9 where they all tried on dresses and I tried on headbands probably kept me from gaining any weight in high school. I suppose Torrid thinks American girls have thrown in the towel. Maybe they have?)

Around the end of college, my friend Cheryl introduced me to an obsession a store I'd never been in before. Yes, Lane Bryant and I were introduced in 2000 and there was no going back. Perhaps it was having another non-size zero friend come with me, but I felt empowered walking in that place. All of my work clothes from ages 21-31 come from that place. I even worked at one. The image this place is aiming for (seriously, this is true) is for the 20-something plus-sized woman. So, all you non-20-somethings better find a new place to shop. I still shop at LB and they have most of my paychecks from the early 2000s. Some of their clothes can be a little suggestive, which is fine, but I feel like every thought their designers have is "Hey! I know! Let's de-emphasize the bigness by making it really, really low cut." Really, LB, we get it. Boobs are in.

And then there was yesterday. For the first time, I wandered into a CJ Banks. The clothes there seems pretty and classic and not slutty or boob-centered. As I was looking through the racks, Disgruntled Husband told me the item I was holding looked like what a mother-of-the-bride wore at the rehearsal dinner. I shot him dagger-eyes.

Then, as I was admiring an outfit and dreaming of me showing up to soccer practice all put-together and adult-looking, DH tells me, "This place is for old ladies!"

I gently told him that though I may not be ready for a home, I wasn't able to show the girls in daylight without comments from the other moms, plus I tend to have fashion-malfunctions.

He slinked down, took a seat near the dressing room, and waited for his old lady to show him the blouse-vest combo she just put on.

I left without buying anything, but only because a lack of monetary funds.

The last stage of plus-sized clothingness is something between Goodwill and the inserts you get with newspaper coupons...you know, the ones showing the comfortable elastic jogging pants and velcro slippers. I'm not quite to that point yet.

(And hey, just because I shop at the bigger places doesn't mean I've thrown in the towel. I'm working on the whole getting-into-normal-sizes thing. I just can't go naked while I do that.)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Bad, bad thoughts

My friend, the lovely Jen, wrote in her blog today about her bad day. Make that days. She is a spectacular mom that could out-mother me in just about every way...and she's due with #5. I have three kids and am not pregnant and I'm still a way bigger bitch not nice person than she is.

So when she called me today about a customer of hers that called her before 8 a.m. to chew her out, then later sending an even snarkier e-mail, I couldn't just let it go. Listen lady, my friend has enough tact to only think about where you should go, but I don't. I commented on Jen's blog, but it may not make it to human consumption...my thoughts to this lady are that bad.

And that got me thinking. What have you put out in the universe? Because I know that if Karma is real, I have a lot of really cruel, yet funny, yet deserving comments (and other things) coming my way.

For example, during the last election, a lady wrote our local paper (which I used to work for) the most racist and ignorant letter I've ever read. So, I did a little internet sleuthing (thanks newspaper for making everyone use their real name and city) and found this lady's address. I also found a free offer for a subscription to Vibe Magazine online. Marry the two, and this lady has a monthly dose of multi-cultural awareness coming her way. And it was a free subscription, as to not commit mail fraud.

(I know a lady who's husband was working in the lodging industry and he had a boss that thought he was God's gift to...well...humanity. He cut her husband's hours so drastically that he had zero hours left...with a wife and child to support. My friend was so mad that she may or may not have sent him a Playboy subscription. Marked "Bill Me Later." To his work. We heard he left under strange circumstances about 6-8 weeks later...)

Years ago, my own mother was screwed over not treated appropriately by a shady establishment. I was so upset, that I told my mom that I hoped he got some very painful penile infection. My conservative Christian mom was silent. Uh oh I thought. Now I've done it. And then there was laughter. Lots of it. She told her like-minded friends too. I know God wants to deal with revenge His way, but I'm sure he takes suggestions.

And then there was the lady from the insurance company that was either on the worst yeast infection in history or would soon have one, if it were up to me. (Again, that Celestial Suggestion...)

So, to this lady that so wrongfully wronged Jen, I have this to say: You're lucky she won't tell me your name, address, or email. Otherwise you would have some sort of suggestion from the universe as to how you could better spend your time. Like maybe a free sample of hemorrhoid cream or an online consultation about your cleansing colonic. Just off the top of my head.

(Note: Seriously, I'd like to hear what you have said/done in a moment of personal snarky triumph. Best comment gets...uh....a truly weird free thing I can find on the internet for you! Who are all of you reading? Say hi at least!)

Ode to my pants

Along the lines of 80s clothes, jeggings, and other sorts of fashion atrocities, I'd like to take this moment to publicly thank my strecthy pants.

Oh Lands Ends Sport Knit pants, you were there for me last year when I realized I was the size of a small fleet of busses needed to pay more attention to my health. You covered my bottom half without rejection, without judgement, and most importantly, without a button.

Here it is again, weather turning cooler, and again I turn to you. Not of necessity, but out of trend. Favorite black stretchy pants, you, my good friend, are considered stylish this year.

I will wear you with pride at my kids' school, at the soccer field, and even out to lunch with friends.

Thanks for being there for me.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Appletastic

Does anyone else love apples as much as I do this time of year?

To me, it just isn't fall without an apple-scented candle burning in the kitchen and some sort of apple-based treat on the brain.

Sunday, the kids, Disgruntled Husband and I went up to Ski-Hi apple orchard to procure some treats of autumn. Except I forgot my wallet so DH had to fund the apple trip. We bought a five pound bag of yellow apples, because it was either that or Jonathans at this point in the season.

I am always disappointed that they don't have pick-your-own there. It's a cool place, but it would be that much cooler if I could get my own fruit.

Maybe it's just the suburbanite in me. I have such fond memories of apple picking from when I was a kid. I was in Indian Princesses with my dad, and it seemed like every fall they had an apple picking outing. We'd head up to Wauconda (I guess they have a lot of orchards up there, I haven't been since I was 9) and bond with our dads over ladders and bees and cider. We'd take a bushel or so home and Mom would transform our bounty into all sorts of apple goodies...specifically, I remember apple crisp, but I think there was also pie and sauce.

So when I met Disgruntled Husband and we found ourselves in the burbs during a fall break (I was in college, he was in law school), I suggested what a wonderful and romantic outing it would be to head on up to Wauconda and pick some apples.

This is the look I got:
Apparently, in Amish-town Iowa (where he's from), apple picking is not an enjoyable activity.
His quote exactly: "So, you want me to pay someone to do their CHORES??"

Uh...yes?

He told me stories about his family selling apples on the side of the road in the 70s. In the 80s and 90s, it was his chore (Note: About the only chore he had to do, as evidence by his lack of house-cleaning knowledge) to pick up the apples that had fallen on the lawn before he mowed. Well, actually, I'm not sure he actually mowed...but he had to pick up the apples. There were bees and sticky apples and ants and volcanoes, VD, and poisonous dart frogs all around them.

So, no, we did not go. I have three kids. They've never been either.

(Oddly, he doesn't have this same idea about pumpkins. Probably because he didn't have to pick up fallen pumpkins as a kid. I try and tell him it's the same concept about chores, but he chooses to ignore me.)

And, to top it all off, he doesn't particularly like apples. Which I think is weird.

I love apples so much, I wanted to incorporate apples in my wedding bouquets and center pieces. My mother, the main floral designer and full-floral funder, gave me a cockeyed look and completely ignored me.

(I got married September 22, 2001. So it's not that far off to have apples as a wedding theme. At least in my head. Wanna know what color the bridesmaids dresses were? Apple. Thanks, David's Bridal.)

I made an apple pie with most of my yellow apples and it was flipping awesome. I think. I had one piece. The kids had one piece each. And what did I find in my sink last night? An empty pie plate.

I thought he didn't like apples.

(Note: So if anyone wants to get me some apples off your personal orchard, I will gladly take them off your hands. And then make you something apple-y. Promise.)

Monday, September 6, 2010

First days!

Well, it's Labor Day.

I thanked my husband for working so hard for our family. After I got to sleep in until 10:30 this morning. Yeah, he's feeling a little snarky himself today.

Also with Labor Day comes the update you all have no doubt been waiting for. My voicemail filled up, my server crashed with all the inquiries of how the first days of school went.

The boys first day was Wednesday, and they looked ready for the new year.
(Darn safety reflective patches. Don't you know you are messing with my pictures?!)

Larry Potter got tie shoes the color of bleach - so we can't look directly at them without a special oatmeal-box viewer. And, he can't tie them. When we got them, I told him he had to learn to tie them by the time school started. Unfortunately, I was not quick enough to find a threat logical enough to make this a priority. (I could almost see it in his eyes: "What are you going to do, Mom? Take away my shoes and make me go to school in holey crocs? Keep me from going into 3rd grade? There's a reason our back-to-school shopping ended at the liquor store.") And now, his laces are his Achilles heel. I hope some teacher shames him or me enough this year to have him learn.

Hoover was all ready to to go kindergarten. At back to school night, his teacher asked if he would have any separation problems the first day of school. Does this look like a kid that wants to stay home with Mom?
Don't you have a glass of wine to get to, Mom? You're cramping my style.

He did everything he was supposed to do, as asked by his teacher. And, when I started feeling misty, he said to me "Don't worry, Mom. I'll be home later." (Note: I am not one to get teary-eyed about school. I just can't believe he's already in kindergarten.)

The day went well for both of them, or so they said. Hoover said he made friends but can't remember their names. LP said he spent most of the day talking to Sam, who's been in every class of his -minus last year- since pre-school.

A day later, I get a few more stories out of LP.

Me: Did you see Hoover at all during the day?
LP: Yeah, I saw him outside while he was lining up to go back in from recess.
Me: Did you say hi?
LP: He didn't see me.
Me: How do you know that?
LP: Well, I was in my classroom looking out the window. Then my teacher told me to sit down.

And...

LP: Mom, I sang a special song for my class on the first day of school, but they all booed me.
Me: [disgusted and shocked look on my face] You did what? When?
LP: During art class.
Me: [shaking my head and thinking this could be a long year for him] Don't sing in school unless you're in music class.
LP: But Grandma [DH's mother] told me I could sing whenever I want to!

This explains a lot about my husband.

Mini-me also started school last week.

A few things I'd like to point out about this picture. First of all, doesn't my front porch look awesome. Yeah, I think Better Homes and Gardens are on their way out for an intervention.

Check out MM's outfit. The too-small pink hoodie...because she refused to leave the house without it, even though it was 81 degrees out. The black Mary Janes on the wrong feet and without socks. Again, the battles one picks. And of course, the hood had to be UP and ZIPPED, therefore not being able to get any pictures of her adorable jumper. It's like she's 13 already.

She cried when I left, but I was told at pick-up, she did great. She's ready to go again tomorrow.

And what did I do while she was pre-school, thus leaving me alone in the house?

(blink)

(blink)

Yeah, I couldn't figure it out either.

I didn't know what to do with myself. I wandered the house for about an hour, then got up the courage to go work out. When I got home from that, I fixed myself up and headed to Starbucks. I wrestled with the idea of given the camera to the barista to take MY picture on that eventful day, but eventually chickened out. Here's an artist's rendering for you.
That's me with a coffee in one hand and my Blackberry in the other. For those 15 minutes, I was officially THAT mom. Also with me was my current copy of American Poetry Review, which pretty much made me re-evaluate my life and what I could have accomplished. Yeah, I could have given up all of this to be a starving poet. And then, in the ultimate form of irony (already, it was ironic I was reading APR in an "establishment" coffee house), I wrote a poem on my Blackberry.

Then I went to pick up MM from pre-school. I can't wait to see what I do tomorrow with my time.