Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Showing some love

Sunshine's showing her Vermont love & support today with her UVM t shirt. 

Seven Days is  a weekly newspaper in the Burlington, VT area (my friend Diane has been on staff for years) that is a must-read for people in Chittenden County.  They have a great list of how you can help the people of Vermont.

I admit, I've been consumed by looking at imagines & videos of the devastation.  Roads I've traveled are gone.  Historic bridges have been swept away.  People are cut off,  towns have been cut in half.  Vermonters are strong people---you've got to be in order to survive a Vermont winter.  A blizzard that would cripple other states isn't cause for concern for these people.  Hardy stock aside, the flooding & devastation aren't something they're used to.  Moving 100+ inches of snow in a season?  Not a problem.

The town of Pittsfield is about an hour & a half away from where I grew up.  It's a very small town--less than 500 people.  Are they sitting around feeling sorry for themselves?  Hardly! They had a barbeque.  How awesome is that?   My friend Amanda (herself a hardy stock New England girl!) commented to me earlier in the week about Yankee ingenuity.  I think Pittsfield (and the rest of the state) truly embody this.

So while my heart is sad for my home state, deep down I'm proud of them.   Hang in there, VT!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Prayers for my beautiful Vermont

Unless you've been living under a rock you know that Hurricane, now Tropical Storm Irene has been pounding the East Coast.  I'm sure you've heard about Gov. Chris Christie's now famous line of "Get the hell off the beach.  You're done, it's 4:30, you've maximized your tan." 

Which would is possibly the greatest line.  Ever. Wouldn't you love to say that to people in real life?  I may have to adopt this as a new catch phrase.  

The devastation in Vermont is horrible.  Fortunately my family in NW VT is okay.  Mom had lots of heavy rain & wind but that was it.  My brother & nephews (about 15 mi from the Canadian border) had rain, wind & have lost power.  Last night my 14 yr old nephew texted me to let me know that no power meant no water for them as they have a well.  He was coming to grips with the idea of having to brush his teeth with a bottle.of.water.  The horror, the horror.  Oh, to be 14 again & think that is the height of indignities during a natural disaster.

Southern Vermont has been hit so very hard.  I spent part of last night looking at videos & pictures that people were posting on FB.  My heart was breaking for my beloved home state.  What didn't make the news was that this past spring the state suffered from flooding.  You saw Tennessee & other states along the banks of the Mississippi, but not Johnson, VT where a grocery store had 2-3 feet of standing water.  Not Colchester, VT (where we used to swim as children) where lake front homes were ruined.  Not St. Albans, VT where the lake waters took weeks to recede.  And not my 'hood of Burlington where the water left everything on the waterfront under 3 feet of water.   It's only VT.  It's a small state---unless it involves Ben & Jerry's or a snowboarder during the Olympics, no one pays attention.

But I do.  And those of us who love Vermont & are so fortunate to call her home do.  Please keep my beautiful home state in your prayers as the job of clean up & recovery begins.  

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The calm before the storm

No, I don't mean Irene.  I mean Book Fair.  All the prep work that can be done has been done---letter& flyer home to parents, copies of class schedule done, teacher wishlist copied.  All that's left is to get more volunteers, put the wishlist forms in the teacher's boxes, decorate & set up.  None of which can be done this week.

So this week will be my week off from volunteering for the most part.  I have a PTA Executive Board meeting today & a Room Parent meeting on Tuesday.  Hopefully that's it for the week.

My knitting mojo's coming back.  Shhhh, don't say anything or else I fear it'll go away.  I managed to finish the scarf for Sunshine's teacher, 2 dishcloths & have another on the needles.  I know, right?!  Dish Rag Tag V has started & the boxes should be on their way very soon.  I'm excited!  It's always so much fun.

We're enjoying a lazy Sunday morning today---cinnamon buns for breakfast with homemade cinnamon cream cheese icing & now Tangled on tv.  I have everything prepped for today's meeting as I was smart enough to do it on Friday after working at the Spirit Store at school & then tying up the loose ends for the AR kick off.  I need to run to the Convention Center to pick up the few things that didn't sell at the consignment sale---I did very well this year.  I think only 8 items out of 40 didn't sell, which is great.  Normally I let Just4Kidz donate what doesn't sell, but this time around I'll pick up my things & add them to the Sara Spano donations at school.  I put up the sign & bins a week ago Thursday & they're overflowing!  So awesome that we have such generous parents!!  I'll need to run by the clothing bank this week or early next with our donation.

Off to watch a little Tangled with Sunshine before I need to get ready.

Hope you're enjoying your weekend & that Irene's not being too mean to you!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Parents--1 Kids--0

We scored a big one for the Parental Team yesterday.  And I'm still giggling over it.

A bit of back story:  Last year our next door neighbor died.  He was a nice man & we enjoyed having him & his wife as our neighbors.

Slowly Miss Aida started going downhill & it became clear that she couldn't handle living in the house by herself. A couple months ago she moved into a retirement home & has a nice one bedroom apartment.  Yesterday we were invited to go to a house warming luncheon at the facility.

A little more back story---Sunshine is a picky eater.  Has been since she turned 3.  Before then, she would eat anything.  But when Hunter deployed a month before she turned 3, the tables turned.  Combine the fact that Daddy was gone with the whole emergence of free will that comes with the 3's & we found ourselves with a picky eater.  And a stubborn one at that.

Going to functions with her can be tricky as we don't know what will be available for children.  Yesterday we found ourselves being served chicken fried steak.  I don't even eat chicken fried steak.  I mean, I did yesterday, but it's not high on my list of favorites.

Sunshine had some crackers & some jello while we were eating our salad course.  Then the entree came out. I was already planning what I'd fix for her once we got home in my mind when she was pointing to my plate.  "Would you like to try a bite?" I asked.  "Yes, please"  she said.  Yes, my daughter says please, thank you, you're welcome & excuse me.  That's one thing I drilled into her head when she was in the Terrible 3's.  People will tolerate a child that's polite far more than they will a child who's wild.  At least in my experience.

So as I'm cutting a bite of the chicken fried steak for her, she asks if the gravy is ranch dressing.

This is one time I should have lied & said yes, but I told her that it was gravy.  No points awarded to either team for this one.

She takes a bite & decides that chicken fried steak is yummy & can she have her own.

Now, I'd be remiss if I didn't admit that I never told her it was chicken fried steak.  She heard the servers say "CHICKEN blah blah blah" & ran with it.  Who was I to correct her?

So we asked for a  plate without gravy, but could she please have a side of ranch?

She ate every bite except for 2.

I couldn't stop giggling the whole meal.  And I'm still giggling when I think about it.

And I'm still patting myself on the back saying "Well played, mommy, well played!"

Monday, August 15, 2011

When Monday works

Isn't it awesome when Monday isn't this day that everyone is dreading?  Personally, I like Mondays.  I was born on a Monday.  Hunter came home from Kuwait in '02 on a Monday.  And technically from Iraq in '03 on a Monday although, if I recall correctly, it was after midnight when they were released to us.  But I digress. . .

I like Mondays because I get my house back.  I love having Hunter & Sunshine home on the weekends so we can do things together or just be lazy together.  But come Monday morning I want MY time.  My time to watch DVR'd shows that no one but me would watch, my time to clean, my time to get work done.  

Today was one of those days where everything came together.  I got Sunshine off to school, walked the dogs, convinced Hunter to call his podiatrist to see if he could switch his 3pm appointment to earlier in the day (which he did) & then to try to get in to see his regular doc on post.  I managed to get 2 loads of laundry done & ran to Target.

When I got home I checked my email & discovered that the people from the Coca Cola Space Science Center had replied to my inquiry about a school visit during our book fair next month.  Every book fair we do some sort of family night/event.  By doing so we get Scholastic "dollars" which help offset the amount we owe to Scholastic for buying books.  This year's theme is To The Book Fair And Beyond!   How could we not try to get the CCSSC involved?!  They will be coming out & setting up a dome so that families can listen to stories "under the stars"  How cool is that?!!  The best part is that because we are part of  our school district (as opposed to another county), it's free.  FREE!  The PTA Treasurer in me is beyond giddy over this!  We generally do well sales wise during Family Night events & I'm hoping this one is no different!  Of course, this does put the pressure on for our Spring '12 Book Fair Family Night. 

I also signed up for Dish Rag Tag V today.  This will be my 4th DRT & I am so excited!  Last year's team finished in the top 5 which is a big accomplishment.  The DRT is a lot of fun--you're assigned to a team, the dish rag box travels the country  & is pretty beat up by the time it gets to me.  Our mail comes before noon most days so I've been able to knit the pattern in a couple hours, get my goodies boxed up & be at the PO to mail it out in the same day.  Yes, there are other people out there who are as competitive as I am!

Speaking of knitting--tonight is Knit Night @ Panera.  I'm almost finished with my scarf for Sunshine's teacher  from last year but am thinking that I'll CO for the little Bunny Blanket Buddy (LionBrand has the pattern).  It's a quick knit so hopefully I can get it done tonight & then back to my scarf & dishcloths for the staff @ Panera.  They're a thank you for hosting us each week.  

Tomorrow is back to the volunteer grind---making 500 some odd copies of the Book Fair letter, copies of the teacher's classroom request form & the teacher's classroom sign up sheets for Book Fair.   The Ricoh copier & I have a very close relationship.  

Happy Monday---I hope yours was as good as mine!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Blah blah blah, ramblings, blah blah blah

The first week of school went well--for both Sunshine & for me.   She's enjoying her new teacher & friends and I'm slowly learning my new responsibilities in the PTA.  And how to budget my time in regard to those responsibilities.  Next week we're kicking off the new school year & AR reading challenge, which should be very cool.  Our principal has agreed to let our top readers have a chance to dunk him in a dunking booth!  I can't wait to see & hear the reactions when he tells everyone this!  

Hunter starts classes next week so I'll have two in school again (ha ha).   And the house will be mine again during the day!  No rolling of eyes during the morning watching of DVR'd shows!   The downside is if I go grocery shopping during the week I won't have a helper to help me unload the car.  Note to self--grocery shop on weekends, only.   This semester is a heavy course load for him--Anatomy & Physiology, Epidemiology,  working with the aged, etc.    I know I've said it before, but I am really proud of him for going back to school, especially with his major & classes.   I joke that I spent 4 years reading & writing papers in college as I had a double teaching major of English & History---both subjects that interest me to this day.  A & P?  Noooo thank you!   Rock on, sweetie!!  You CAN do it!

I hate to jinx us, but I think our weather is starting to change.  The evenings have been a little cooler & our backyard is tolerable around dinnertime.  I know, shhhh, they'll hear you, but it's true!  Maybe this will inspire me to get out there & do some weeding in the hedge line.  I'm really NOT a green thumb & do not enjoy yard work of any sort.  Well, I do enjoy watering.  It ends there.   We've decided we'd like to put a patio in the back yard so we can have a little table & chairs & enjoy the yard more than we do.  Granted it's miserable out there in the summer months, but we definitely do like to be out there when the weather is tolerable.  And if we do put in a patio (maybe with a little path from the door) I'd be more inclined to weed & such.  I do have some cute little gloves. . .

Monday, August 8, 2011

2nd Grade

I knew when Sunshine started Kindergarten that it was the beginning of Big-Kidhood.  Please, I knew when she started preschool at 2 1/2 that while there is a magical quality about the first day of school, that I'd forever be reduced to an anxious mess on each first day.  So, Big-Kidhood + First Day of School = crazed mommy! 

I love pictures of the two of them walking!  I have one from Christmas '08 & it is one of my all time favorites!

Sunshine in the 2nd grade hallway.  She had some first day jitters.  I'm sure I don't know where that comes from!

Sunshine with some friends from 1st grade.  There are 5 of them from her 1st grade class in this particular class.  And she made a new friend today, which is always good.  Then again, Sunshine always makes new friends on the first day!

Tomorrow I'm back to volunteering---the Spirit Shop  in the morning before school, PTA Treasurer duties & then spending some time with the wonderful Kristine in the library.  Hard to believe but our Book Fair starts one month from tomorrow.  No rest for the wicked, as they say.  Or PTA volunteers!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Oh, I am such a bad wife!

I didn't blog on Hunter's birthday!  Bad Laurie!  

Since his birthday fell on Verification Day for school & I was working from 8-1 at the PTA booth, I arranged for Sunshine to take him out to breakfast.  She was so cute--she had the money in her wallet & told Hunter that she'd pay for breakfast, but he had to drive!  So they went out for "scrambledy eggs" & then came up to school so she could meet her teacher.  But, more on that in another post.

I'm really proud of Hunter---the past few years haven't been easy for him but he carries on & is such an awesome husband & daddy.  He's going back to school & is doing really well.  Remember when you went to college at 18?  Imagine doing it all over again at 42.   It really drove the point home when my brother (a VP at a big East Coast university) commented on how HE was impressed with Hunter's endeavor & how he was proud of him.  

I'm all about extending birthday celebrations.  I say it's the "Week of Laurie" for my birthday as cards start arriving a couple days prior (my mother is NEVER late with cards/gifts.  I usually take after her.  Usually.) so Hunter's & Sunshine's birthdays are no different in our house.  We went out for dinner the night before his b-day, he woke up on Thursday to Sunshine singing a special Happy Birthday song that she came up with as she was singing,  breakfast with Sunshine & then dinner out again last night.  We're going for a sweet treat tomorrow night so it will be the Long Weekend of Hunter.

Happy Birthday, Sweetie!  I love you, am so very proud of you & cannot imagine my life without you.  Nor do I want to.

Even if Jon Hamm & George Clooney were to start texting or calling me.