Wednesday, October 31, 2007

happy halloween!

my jane-- "dogothy"-- and me, ready to set out on our halloween walk.

guess what i am?

i am M.O.M. which stands for..

M ean

O ld

M ama

hee hee! my shirt has a skull and crossbones and says, "don't mess with mommy.

i'll post pics of the kids tomorrow.

until then, have a happy, safe, fun haloween! bwah hah hah!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

separation anxiety

for the first 5 years of our daughter's life, we could have given her away. she was one of those easygoing kids who would let anyone pick her up, hug her, kiss her, anything. after having a son who wouldn't even LOOK at anyone else before he was 5, she was a novelty. babysitters? no problem. grandparents? no problem. preschool? no problem. we were flabbergasted. we could have told her that she was going to live with another family and that she'd never see us again and she would have said, "BYE!" in this scaryish world, it was a little bit freaky.

right around the time she turned 6, the whole situation began to change. toward the end of kindergarten she started worrying about playdates at friends' houses and wanting me to stay with her for the entirety. then, she wept bitterly on the last day of school for the teacher that she'd bonded with. she even slept with her picture that night and cried for her intermittently over the summer.

when t and i went to london last summer, we left the kids with a VERY familiar grandma & grandpa, just as we have done several times over the past 2 years. she was inconsolable. "BUT IF YOU LEAVE ME HERE, THEN I WILL MISS YOU!" she wailed. while we were gone, it was better than before we left, but still was an emotional struggle for both her AND my folks. not to mention t and me!

after a month with my folks, she cried about leaving them. occasionally, i find her in tears, only to discover that she misses them. i can't help at these moments to feel a little despair, like, what's next? the leaves on the trees? the daffodils? the CAR?

since school began, she has had MORE than an average amount of bad days. there are almost no more playdates or sleepovers (although she will attend girl scouts with our neighbor). she cried regularly for her daddy on his recent business trips. on sunday nights she is hysterical. "i only get two days with you and then i have to go back to school!" she hiccups. i tried giving her something to have, of mine, to console her at school. "it didn't work," she said, "it only made me cry SO HARD when i saw it!" and she LOVES school! she wants to go! she just wants me there, too. and one day a week, i am there!

i know many many of you parents out there have lived with this in some shape or form, but this is beginning to tear me up. she's the apple of my eye, and i love her so dearly, but when i find her curled up in a ball, crying, and when i ask why, she says, "it's just 'cause i love you so much!" a part of me melts, but a part is so frustrated. i keep thinking it's just a phase, but the longer it goes on, the more i'm wondering if we may need a little help.

anybody have a suggestion? the end of my rope is coming up fast, and i may still have a long way to go on this one!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

school pictures

to answer lotus' question... i am here! life has been very full lately, in the good kind of way. not much time or interest in sitting in front of the computer these days, but i'm thinking of you all and blogging in my head on a daily basis. just when it comes down to actually blogging, or reading YOUR blogs, i'm tired out! maybe things will calm down and i'll be able to catch up (again) and be here more often.

last week we got the kids' school pictures sent home. remember school picture time? when you, or your mom, would choose the perfect outfit or do your hair in just the right way. when you got to the gym or cafeteria you'd get a little black plastic comb? everyone would practice their best smiles... deciding whether or not to show teeth. one by one, your classmates would be seated on a brightly lit little white box in front of a pull-down background. the assistant would pose them, tilt their heads just so, and FLASH! it was all over. when it came your turn, all the preparation and anticipation was over in that flashy instant, leaving you wondering... was my hair right? was my smile ok?

then came the day when the packets were distributed. is that REALLY how you smiled? REALLY? the best laid plans of hair and smiles came out like THIS?! no one could WAIT until their mom said it was ok to cut them up so they could trade photos with their friends.

here's what my kids came home with. the portrait package is $45.

this is a pretty cute photo of her, but she has jutted her lower jaw out and grinned perfectly so that her "tooth-hole" shows. the shirt UNDERNEATH the coat is the one she chose to wear for pictures, but when it came right down to it, she wanted the fur collar in her photo. very, very in keeping with her personality. don't think i'll spend $45 on it. we have better snapshots of her.

poor h. he hates having his picture taken. he runs and hides. probably because when the photo isn't candid he looks like this. like he's in pain. this is not a smile, it's a grimace! although i do like his choice of shirt and the color they chose for the background. red has always been his favorite color. again, why waste $45?

the frenzy is over until next year.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

the winner is...

okay, i'm literally digging in the hat through the book giveaway entries to find a winner.

and that person is... none other than...

ML at zee's space! YAYYYYYY! congratulations ML!

thanks for entering, and i'll try this again soon, i promise.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

inherit the book!

last night, while "reading silently" alongside my daughter (who was finishing her first "junie b jones" novel) i finished "the boleyn inheritance."

i'm just a sucker for stories of british royalty, and historical fiction in general. give me a fictionalized tudor romance and i am in heaven! philippa gregory did not let me down with this one. although less sweeping and romantic than some of her other novels (the queen's fool, the contant princess), it still described a time in the tudor history that is not often written in novels.

this book follows each of the lives of 3 women in first person: anne of cleves, jane boleyn, and katherine howard.

anne of cleves came was chosen by henry viii to be his fourth wife after jane seymour died giving birth to prince edward. anne was a lonely german woman who was purportedly disgusted by the king (not knowing who he was) upon their first meeting. he marries her regardless, but then divorces her 6 months later. he allows her to live (!) and calls her "sister" from that point on.

jane boleyn was the sister-in-law to anne boleyn. she was married to anne's brother george and gave testimony that sent the both of them to be beheaded on the tower green. she is a lady-in-waiting to both anne of cleves and katherine howard, and her scheming in these courts just may be her downfall.

katherine howard, cousin to anne boleyn, was a maid in waiting to anne of cleves when she caught the eye of the king. at only age 15, she was made the 5th queen of henry viii shortly after his divorce from anne. she is portrayed as young, vain and fickle.

i'm giving this book away to anyone, anywhere that wants it. if you'd like to throw your name into the hat, just leave a comment on this post. i'll pick a winner from the comments next sunday.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

kinz craze!

i can only imagine that a few of you parents out there are shaking your heads sadly at the title of this post. you know, all too well, the fury that is webkinz. it's the phenomenon sweeping the nation, selling out stores, and causing a frenzy in the elementary-school set, much the way that beanie babies did in the last decade.

here's the deal: you buy the small plush animal for an exorbitant price. regular sized webkinz are not much larger than a beanie baby and cost between $12 and $15. their smaller cousins, the little kinz, cost $11- $13. OH! that is unless it's a hard-to-find kinz, then you'll pay out the nose for it on ebay.

next, you find the code on the tag secured to the webkinz' leg. you enter the code at the webkinz website and "adopt" your pet into the webkinz world. then, and only then, can you be a part of the webkinz mystique.

once into the online webkinz world, your adopted and named pet gets his or her own room to decorate. for this you need kinzcash, and there are several different ways to earn kinzcash on the site. the easiest way is to play arcade games or answer trivia questions. other ways include gem hunting or "caring" for your pet by clicking a button that proclaims you care.

you can also dress your pet, make it do specific movements, garden, bathe, and take your pet to the doctor. there are chat rooms decked out to look like pool halls and playgrounds where you can "chat" using a set number of pre-approved phrases. you can find your friends' pets, and invite them to your house, or challenge them to a tournament.

my kids, as well as all the other kids on the bus, are simply gaga over webkinz. it takes my kids almost a month to save up the allowance to buy a new one, and they patiently bide their time until they have the cold, hard cash in hand. then we go on a hunt to find the little critters. the dilemma then is WHICH ONE TO CHOOSE? and WHAT TO NAME IT? it's so engrossing and important to these kids. and they must go on the website every day to care for their virtual pets. they've even worked out petsitting deals with kids who will be out-of-town.

it's craziness, the likes of which i remember from the cabbage patch frenzy i experienced as a kid. i keep thinking, "this too shall pass," but i'm afraid it will be around a whole lot longer before it passes. i'll keep you updated!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

message in a bottle

just a quick post...

my parents' neighbors were walking along the beach, picking up garbage one day recently when they found a sealed bottle with a note inside. they opened the bottle and found wedding vows and a wedding date from a couple in wisconsin.

the eerie thing was that they had been married on the same date 28 years earlier! they got in contact, and are going to be on the cbs early show this morning. for the full version read here

isn't that cool? haven't you always wanted to find a message in a bottle?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

the tooth fairy strikes again!

yesterday afternoon, s an i were sitting in the dance studio, waiting for h to be done with his class. she was talking, and i could see that her lower tooth was sticking out just a little bit.

"hey, do you have a loose tooth?" i asked her. she wiggled at a couple, asking, "this one?" "this one?" and i said "no, THIS one," and wiggled at the tooth. sure enough, it was just a little loose.

what a novelty to her! her first loose tooth! she got this deep belly chuckle, and she wiggled and giggled. the laughter was contagious, and a few people started laughing too, and encouraging her. the laugh got deeper and deeper as the attention and excitement mounted and then, *POP*! the tooth snapped forward and almost fell out. although it was bleeding a little bit, she just couldn't stop laughing.

we went to get pizza before we went home, and she got a little whiny because that tooth made it hard to eat. she managed well enough with little nibbles. when we got home, she raced out to the studio to show her daddy the loose tooth.

we all sat down to do homework, and as she was working, she was also wiggling, wiggling. i was helping h with a math problem when she started shrieking. "I LOST IT! I LOST IT!" we raced back to the studio to show daddy, and made plans for the tooth fairy. so much excitement we almost forgot about homework!

she called grandma and told her the story. she added that she was a bit "cantankerous" (her word, not mine) that she wouldn't have a tooth to wiggle anymore. heck, i think the cantankerousness will vanish as soon as she sees that green under her pillow. all the more money to buy webkinz!

Monday, October 01, 2007

the war

has anyone been watching the war? it's a pbs documentary series about wwII made by ken burns.

it's been on for about a week now, but since we had planned on buying the dvd set, we hadn't been watching. while flipping channels last night, we got hooked and drawn in by the most recent episode. it is so personal and sensitive, gripping and terrifying. t and i were unable to tear ourselves away, and wept openly at the images, footage, and reminiscences.

after recently listening to an acquaintance bitch, whine, moan and complain about her terrible life (that is really quite blessed) and how no anti-depressants will work for her, i thought to myself... perhaps therapists should start prescribing "the war." this documentary really takes you out of yourself and your own problems and into the difficulties faced by these people in that time of world war. nothing in my life, or the lives of anyone i know at the moment, could even compare.

it made me grateful to the soldiers for securing the world in which we now live. it made me thankful for every single last person, thing and minute i have in this life. and that was only part of one episode.

kids, it's that good.