Breathe a little

School is out. The awards ceremony is done, the teacher gifts were made and given, the celebratory lunch was had. I have no more 30 minutes a day in carpool line to read, knit or chat on the phone.

I have, however, developed summer-brain already, in that I've lost a day this week, scheduled a play date right through ballet lessons, lost the camera, hosted an impromptu cookout with 4 extra impromptu guests, and completely missed a conference call.

Sounds like the perfect carpool summer. Craft & kid pictures tomorrow assuming I can find the camera.


...Where she finally admits it's ok.

So it has been a whole year, and I barely even noticed. Do you remember the weeping and wailing and constant whining? The incessant pleading with people to just make this all stop? To find the monogrammed flip flops I needed to fit in? The head shaking and disbelief?

Ok, the whining and head shaking haven't exactly stopped, but I can honestly say that things are a whole lot better over here. To the point where on some days, I run out of blog material because it's so blissfully normal. (Well, Mayberry normal, which might not be normal to anyone else, if you know what I'm sayin'. But normal enough.)

So now what?

Well, I think it's time I pursue some things that give me a little joy, if you know what I mean. This whining gig is funny and all, but I'm finding the more I wrap myself up in it, the more whiny I become. And a whiny mother breeds whining children, which may just lead to a call from the funny farm. And I'm sure that's frowned upon here.

So hang with me. I promise not to loose all of the snark - there's just too much opportunity around here to poke fun. But there might just be some other topics of conversation, like the small town game of telephone, or why I can't ever, EVER, find my car at Wal-Mart. (No really, not ever.) Or even what happens when she finally admits that this move might be the best thing that ever happened.


The Final Countdown

May is almost over. Baseball, dance, quarter exams and my sister's wedding are over. Even the cool weather is over, and with it the ability to not use the air conditioning. We are down to the last 6 days of school - the final countdown has started.

So why, then, are the 5th grade teachers making me deal with "Colonial Day" tomorrow? Did they not get the memo that I am also done? And not even remotely interested in making sure that my daughter is in full colonial costume tomorrow? A colonial costume, I might add, that I learned about on Saturday night? (Talk about ruining your beach buzz, let me tell you.)

Field Day on Memorial Day? I can handle that, although it feels altogether wrong to be the only school I've ever seen not have the day off. Half days for a week instead of just being done, already? Fine, whatever y'all want. I'll milk my quiet time while I can get it.

But seriously, colonial day? I'm pretty sure the colonists would have added it to their list of reasons to revolt.



You know you're having a bit of a week (and a raging body-image issue) when your highlight of the week is this:

At the doctor's office, get on the scale, moaning inwardly at the number you expect.

Watch the nurse put the start point a full 50 pounds less than you know to be true.

Gush with outward gratitude that she thought you were 50 pounds lighter.

Don't even lose that contact high when she says "Well, I am a very bad guesser."

Note this as the best moment in a packed week, barely eclipsing your daughter's first dance recital.

I'm thinking this should not be a "Wow, I'm such a great parent/person" moment. Not even in the top 10. I'm just saying, is all.


Cross it off the list.

Birthday presents? Done.

Non-birthday gifts I actually wanted to make? Done.

Baseball? Done.

Cub Scouts? Done.

Dance Recital is tonight, class parties are next week, quarter tests have started... we're almost there.


Surprises Abound

Mother's Day is one of those days where I have low expectations. If I get to sleep in and don't have to cook dinner, I'm thrilled. (Presents are optional, although much appreciated.) With my husband out of town this year, my expectations were minimal - just please let me get to 8am and have one hour of peace. That's all I was hoping for.

Imagine my surprise, then, when my kids brought me a bowl of seriously soggy cereal and a big glass of apple juice at 8am. On my favorite Christmas tray, complete with a hand-drawn book and some beaded bracelets. I was speechless and incredibly proud. After all of the grousing the day before about the squabbling and infighting, my children worked together to surprise me, and couldn't have been any prouder of themselves. They beamed ear to ear, all talking over each other as they explained the surprise planning, the questions for Dad about where to find things, and how they knew my favorite cereal.

As I carried the dishes down the stairs, trying hard to hide the full bowl of soggy cereal, it hit me. While I cherish my children's independence, this was the first year that they pulled off a surprise without any major help from an adult. Which means, unfortunately, they're getting older. And as much as I like their ability to make their own breakfast & tie their own shoes, I think I miss those days of blinding adoration and easy decisions. When your only choices are Wiggles or Elmo, doesn't the world seem a simpler place?

I never thought I would relish those difficult days, but with middle school around the corner, I'll take 3 children under 5 arguing over the DVD of choice any day of the week.


From the Office of the Travelling Secretary

With a slogan like this, how can you vote for anyone else? Primaries are in, Miss Carpool is in a run-off this morning against, egads, a boy.

Updated to add the results, which aren't in our favor - apparently boys rule, and the girls got shut out. Bummer. But she did have the cutest shirt, and I guess that counts for something.