Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Deep Breathing.

Tonight is my first night as a cubmaster, officially, in front of wads and wads of kids. And I'm nervous. Not nervous, terrified. These parents are my friends, the kids think I'm a celebrity every time I walk by them in the school, yet, I'm all a-butterfly-ish.

I'll tell you it's mostly because the whole pack meeting is all ceremonies and patches and awards, and not really a whole lot of crazy eight-year-old fun, which I'd completely prefer. New scouts, a couple of advancements, adult recognition (Lord help me if I forgot someone!) and then a graduation ceremony. Too much to fit into one pack meeting, quite honestly, but what's a girl to do?

This girl is going to pretend like it's not all about to go down in thirty minutes, that there won't be new eager faces full of expectation and experienced faces full of hope and excitement. And parents, really hoping they can get these crazy kids in bed before it's too late.

terrified.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Worth it.

Planned and implemented campout for 80 kids and their families this weekend. Had help, lots of it, but it caused a fair amount of stress and complaining from yours truly. At the end of it all, I was exhausted and beat down.

Until. On the way home, my two children who went with me called Sarge and told him all about it. Their glowing reviews and tales of fun and games made my aggravation all go away.

Time and time again, discussions happen amongst adults who have to herd other adults in this scouting world about how much work the adults make things. If it were only kids, things would be so much more fun. And so, I remind myself, as I get closer and closer to the Big Camp coming up, that once the kids get there and I get to stop dealing with all the adults, that the fun will begin. The smiles on their faces and their memories made will make all the frustration melt away.

I am really looking forward to that.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I know, issues.

Charlie has been asking me to buy them a new tube of toothpaste. I keep forgetting. So they borrow mine.

Honestly, can they not read instructions? "Squeeze from the bottom and flatten as you go up, then replace the darn cap."

Maybe it's their ploy to get me to remember to buy them their own. YUCK.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Cheering Etiquette

I consider myself a bit of a sports-parent-cheering expert. I offer you some of my best tips. You're welcome.

1. Cheer for YOUR team and your kid. Be encouraging when a kid on your team does something well or tries hard.

2. Do not yell at your kid if they make a mistake. I don't see you out there trying to catch the baseball, I see you on the sidelines eating hot dogs and nachos and fanning yourself.

3. Don't yell at someone else's kid. Seriously, you are on the side of the field with the parents, not the coaches. Leave that to the coaches.

4. If I can hear you screaming and yelling from two fields away and STILL recoginize your voice, you have moved beyond being an adoring fan into being an annoying freak. Honestly, no one is that excited about a touchdown, I don't care who you are. You are just being obnoxious.

5. If you see a group of fans from the opposing team, please don't plunk yourself down in the middle of them. If you do decide to make that idiotic decision, don't take offense when we cheer for our boys.

6. Don't take credit on behalf of your team when our team makes a mistake. If our kid misses a handoff or a fly ball, it's not because your guys did something amazing and cause you to cheer maniacally. Our kids screwed up, thanks for cheering for that. Jerk.

So there you have it. May my kid's team always beat your kid's team. Because we are quietly that much more awesome than you. We don't have to be jerks, our kids are better than yours.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hopeless

Have we ever discussed how hopeless I am with computers? Let's start at the beginning.

My parents are computer people. Dinosaurs, but total computer people. (Hi! Love you!). Programmers, engineers, you know them, the people who the IT guys hate because they know more than they do, yet they still have to help them from time to time? We would come to my dad with a question about some computer related topic and his answer was always, "Did you read the manual? Come back after you have." Infuriating.

We had computers where you had to insert floppy disk after floppy disk just to get it started, no hard drive. I'm pretty sure that the funny program called Prodigy where you could talk to other people on other computers - Dad, were we really beta testers for the whole internet? Did you know that my sister was at the forefront of technology when she invented internet dating? Maybe not invented, but seriously! We were at the beginning of it all!

So, with high hopes, I signed up for an AP computers class my Junior year in high school. I am so old that we were programming in Pascal. It's an ancient romance language, now. Regardless, I signed up, was going to conquer the computer world. I was going to program the computer to add math problems or to type "hello" or something amazing like that. All I know was that I, um, well, wasn't very good at it.

I remember my dad saying, "It doesn't do what you WANT it to do, it does exactly what you TELL it to do." in about as shouty a voice as he ever got. In fact, when it came to our final project, I'm sure that the Green Tractor remembers the rest of the story vividly. He says I had a bad pointer. I have no idea what that means, just that when I wanted my program to run and do what it was supposed to do, that it all went blank. ALL. My program should be the one sold to people who are going to sell their computer on Craigslist, because apparently it was the one that completely wiped the computer clean of everything.

There was a lot of floppy disk inserting and some mumbling about "DNA... genetics... what went wrong...why me?" coming from the guy who had to undo my bad pointer and reformat his whole computer and then a defeated, "Try it again, Sara" and then more floppy disk inserting and more mumbling. I'm pretty sure I was missing and end parenthesis or something silly that if the computer were doing what I WANTED it to do, never would have happened.

Fast forward a couple of years and I thought that email would never take off as a form of communication and that the internet was stupid. Thank goodness I wasn't a business major. Or a stock picker.

And now, today, I tried to enter a password that was about 38 characters and I did it about 38 times and still could.not.get.it.done so the young dude who was patiently trying to help me through my issues made the password easier so that I could handle it.

Things aren't looking good for me as I get older.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Best thing I did all week

So, I have spent that last week in a book fair chairperson's haze, where you can name every book in the rolling metal carts and exactly where it goes, and even if there's an empty spot, you can name the book that once went there.

I adore the book fair. I adore recommending books to kids, helping parents find books and even encourage parents to let their kids read some fluff. I adore children coming back after a day or two and grinning and telling me about their book they read. I also love that we are raising not money, but books. We take all of our profit in books and all of it goes back to buying books for the classrooms, teachers, library and guided reading. It's a good thing.

By the end of the week, however, the milk in the house is expired, the bread is moldy and there is a last minute trip to WalMart at 6:45 on a Friday morning, because there is no dog food, the littlest one has a fieldtrip that day so he needs a lunchable and the oldest one needs poster board for social studies. I'm a deadline kind of girl, but I can promise you these things don't normally happen in quite such a red-alert fashion. Book fair week takes a lot of patience from the loved ones in a girl's household.

But, still not the best thing I did this week. I spent Saturday morning sewing things that needed to be sewn for my work, but didn't get done because I was running from book fair to baseball to swimming and surviving. I sewed all day today, ran to the grocery store and then came home in time for Sarge to take off to work and then to sew some more.

Part way through sewing something that needed to be sewn, Olivia asked me to come downstairs and outside to watch the storm outside. I told her I'd be a minute, that I needed to sew on these two sleeves. I sewed on one sleeve. She asked again. I told her I'd be a minute. And then? I changed my mind. I decided those sleeves could wait.

She and I sat on the front step, watched the lightning, listened to the thunder, petted the dog that sat with us and chatted about nothing of any importance at all. We sat there for about twenty minutes.

At one point she said "Mom, I'll never forget this." I knew before she said that I had made the right choice, but when she said it out loud, I knew I'd never forget it. And I told her that sitting out there was the best thing I'd done all week.

The sleeve has since been sewn on. And my daughter and I have made a wonderful memory, which will last far longer than that sleeve.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Spectating

As much as I love watching my children do what they do, I am not satisfied being a spectator of other people's lives. I want to support my family and love them and help them to do what they do better, but I REALLY don't want that to be all that life is.

As a full time mom, I realize that my job is to take care of my children and take care of my husband, but at the same time, I don't want it to be at the expense of me. I'd like to think that I have value outside of just being a helper to other people getting to live, really live, and I'm sure I go overboard the other direction. BUT. I don't think that I can ever be that mom who lives just for her kids.

Because I intend for one day my children to leave me and go be their own people who don't NEED their mama anymore, just want their mama. I want to eventually be someone that they come to for advice and to chat with for fun, but I don't want to need them beyond when they're done needing me.

So I *maybe* jump in to a few more things than I should, I jump in with both feet and attempt to add value to other lives besides the the ones that exist in my home, and at the same time find my value and my contribution to more than just those not-as-small-as-they-used-to-be people, but at the same time with their interests at the forefront of what I do.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

On being busy

I find that when I'm SUPER busy, I get a whole lot done. I make the most of every second and maximize all the waking moments in the day. I can make a business phone call while washing dishes and calling out spelling words if I have to. When I'm not busy? Things get pushed to the side and I think they can wait. So then virtually nothing gets done. Finding a happy medium might just be what I do next time I have a spare second. Because right now I'm in making the most of every second mode.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Obsession

So the current obsession of the middle child is definitely boobs. So I used it to my advantage.

She was walking around all day yesterday discussing how fat she is. This child is like a bony toothpick, seriously.

So after I'd had enough of the fat talk, I said, "Look, if you were fat, you'd have boobs. You don't have boobs, so you're not fat. Got it?"

She says, "OH! I guess I'm not fat then!"

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Whiffle Balls and Fried Eggs and Mosquito Bites

The other day, Olivia informed me that she wanted a bra.

She is nine and the skinniest thing you've ever seen - she won't need a bra at this rate for another ten years.

We discussed and that there was a possibility that when she was ten that we would purchase said item. She says, "Oh, wait, you've gotta see this!" and runs upstairs. She comes back down with two whiffle ball halves in her shirt and says, "Maybe when I get a bra I'll put these in there!"

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Putting our collective heads in the sand

A few weeks ago, for the sixth grader, there was a TALK at school. Not just a TALK but THE TALK. Because we live in Texas and because they are in the sixth grade it was a lovely scary talk about how you shouldn't have sex before you are married because if you do, your thing will fall off. You know the one - about all the terrible diseases you can get and all the lovely completely not appropriate things they are putting in my poor little geeky son's head. STOP IT.

I digress. I went to the parent education portion on Tuesday, the kid's talk was on Friday. The Friday before a long vacation, mind you, the tricksters. So about Thursday, I work up the courage to say something to the kid. Casually, in the kitchen, while he's having a snack and cannot escape.

Me: So they're going to talk about sex tomorrow at school. What do you think about that? (Why beat around the bush, right?)
Charlie: (complete silence.)
Me: I went to a meeting about it the other night. The guy was funny.
Charlie: (crinkling paper, avoiding eye contact)
Me: Come on, Mitchell's mom said that when they did the game he wasn't the guy who got the disease, all the girls did. (Nice one, mom)
Charlie: MOM. Stop. I've just decided that I'm going to avoid it. All of it. Stop already.
Me: Fine. Let me know when you've decided to stop avoiding it and want to talk.

Can we please go back to explaining easier things now? Like nuclear science?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Never Fails.

The worms crawl in
The worms crawl out
The worms play pinochle on your snout

They eat your eyes
They eat your nose
They eat the jelly between your toes

Your stomach turns a ghastly green
The pus comes out like thick whipped cream

You slap it on a piece of bread
And that's what you eat when you're dead!

That song can gross out eight year olds, gets the thirteen year olds, too.

Thanks mom!