Thursday, September 28, 2006

No Soup for You!

  1. Cary had almost nobody scheduled today, which is a problem all on its own. But he has lots of free time to spend with me and the kids which is nice ... until he stops getting paid. I feel terrible waiting for all the kids to get their quarterly reports (i.e. warnings) but then he will have a waiting list until Christmas!
  2. So we decided to go out to lunch. We went to a new place that I think may be based on the Seinfeld Soup Nazi character. When we arrived we found that a bowl of soup cost $8.69 and there were no high chairs. So although no one yelled at us, we did actually walk in and leave without soup, just like on the show.
  3. Henry has a mosquito bite on his right ear that is very swollen. He looks a bit like Rowan Atkinson at the moment, and tomorrow is school picture day.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Counting and Barking...

  1. I am still tired from Monday's night out with my Mom. We went to see Elf Power at Sound Lab. Unfortunately there were only about 15 people there, but we both knew someone! Anyway when I am tired, I do things wrong:
    1. I forgot to pack Henry's snack in his backpack. In my defense both kids were making noise while I was trying to make 2 lunches and the snack, and Lucy was hanging onto my knees yelling, "up up" the whole time.
    2. I tried to put on lip gloss and I sank my whole front tooth into the tube.
    3. I put the junk mail on the kitchen table and Cary's mail in the recycling.
    4. I completely forgot that I had planned on stripping the beds and washing all of the sheets and towels, which I usually do on Wednesday.
  2. Lucy continues to punctuate her sentences with barks and pants, like a dog. For example, the store clerk might say, "Do you need anything else?" I answer, "No thanks." And Lucy says, "Arf." and then pants like a dog. This worries Cary considerably but I just think it is kind of funny. I stopped at Marshalls to look for a cheap pair of sneakers for Henry for the next time decides to play in the mud. I didn't find any, but I did find I did find a book by Sandra Boynton called Doggies, A counting and barking book. I had to buy it.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

  1. I took Henry and Lucy to the playground to meet some of our friends. Instead of playing with the other children Henry decided to run around the perimeter of the playground equipment.
  2. He stepped intentionally in a mudfilled gash that was about a foot away from the edge of the play area. I couldn't see it, but I actually heard squishing. Then he got mud all over me as well. He was still wearing his new sneakers because I wasn't expecting him to go all commando on me.
  3. They went through the wash OK and are currently drying. We all had to come home and change clothes and both children required baths. I still haven't figured out how Lucy got so muddy.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

What Went Right... Again?

Oh, Brave New World... Another post that features cheers not jeers!
  1. My Other Blog is a Cadillac. My pal Jen14221 started a blog called I bought it on eBay, and I had no choice but to participate. And lo, it got a shout out from Amalah, an actual real blogger that people read not just because they are related to or friends with her.
  2. I am just about finished with my review of the new The Hold Steady CD for Amp Camp. It is the first time I've gotten my grubby little paws on a CD with a groundswell of anticipation preceeding its arrival, and it is infinitely more fun than reviewing something I suspect no one but me is ever going to listen to. Hooray!
  3. Speaking of Amp Camp, Danny, the original Amp Camper, has a new venture that may eventually lead him to post about What Went Wrong, but I hope not. He and his girlfriend Nina have turned their lives into living performance art. They have started a blog where you can vote to send them to live in one of 250 towns or cities in the US for one year. They promise to write and tell us all about it. Last time I checked, towns in Arkansas and Alabama were the early vote getters, so go to and vote to send them somewhere, anywhere else!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

What Went Right

  1. Babies! I have heard from several friends in the last week and learned that either their babies (or nephews) have arrived healthy and safe into the world.
  2. Because the Dalai Lama was visiting UB today, all classes were called off for a "day of learning." As a result my Dad called off his day of work and decided to babysit Lucy so my mom could take me to lunch. Thanks Dad and thanks Buddha!
  3. Henry finished his massive Kindergarten project with minimal disagreement and actually put forth a reasonable amount of effort, plus it's done!
  4. There was an article in yesterday's New York Times that Buffalo is ready to make a come back after 50 years of decline.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Who's Afraid of the PTA?

  1. Our morning began with Henry eating a banana for breakfast at the kitchen table. This was his second attempt at eating something for breakfast. The bus was coming soon. We were rushing. Or, I was rushing him. He dropped a piece on the floor (no big deal), went to pick it up, then stepped in it -- no! -- then took a couple of steps --no!--oh no! I was able to gently persuade him to sit back down so I could clean mushed banana out of the extra deep lugs of his brand new sneakers during our last few minutes before we went out to wait for the school bus in the pouring rain.
  2. Everyday now when he gets off the bus I treat his backpack like it's a live grenade. I gingerly unzip it and carefully examine the contents. Today I learned two things:
    1. I signed him up for the "wrong" swimming class. The UB swimming class I chose is all the way down at the Main Street campus (inconvenient) on Saturday (really inconvenient). Today he got a flyer announcing the "right" UB swim class which meets at the local high school (huh, not at UB?) up the street from us on weeknights (super convenient). I think I will just sign him up for both classes since they only overlap for a few weeks. I was not happy. This was the same class that I mentioned where my dad had to bail me out because I forgot to sign the check. We are afflicted with some sort of spooky swimming curse!
    2. I also learned that next week is Henry's week to be "highlighted." So he has to bring in the Kindergarten version of a PowerPoint presentation by Monday and the teacher who is currently my least favorite person in the world for a variety of reasons decided let us know about it TODAY. She knew this was coming all along, but thought that we only needed three days for what she describes as a "fun" project. I can tell you that it isn't fun to try and get my son to sign his own name so it is sure as hell not going to be "fun" to get him to write a paragraph about himself. It isn't that I would have spent any more time on it if she had sent it home Monday but I would have had time to mentally prepare myself for the amount of manipulation that it is going to take to get Henry to comply with this amount of "fun" work. I guess this is what people meant whent they kept talking about "high expectations in Kindergarten." And sadly this was a pretty good day for the backpack.
  3. Tomorrow is the deadline for joining a PTA committee at his school. Whose afraid of the PTA? Me. I saw the Stepford Wives. At least three times, and assuming I am Katharine Ross, I don't think I'm going to show up and meet anyone even closely resembling the Paula Prentiss character. I have drafted many scenarios that would make it tolerable for me. I could pretend I am a character on the Morgan Spurlock documentary 30 Days, for example. I could pretend that it is a good place to meet other moms who like indie rock. I might just wear my Arcade Fire t-shirt and see if anyone notices. I just can't get the image of double knit polyester pants out of my head. I doubt the other mothers wear pants like that. I don't even know where one would buy pants like that but everytime I think about joining the PTA, I see artificial fibers and I stop dead in my tracks. Maybe I can wait until next year...

I caved and signed up for the yearbook committee, but I will cut and run if I detect the presence of Orlon, Dacron or any other double knit, manmade fiber ...

Friday, September 08, 2006


  1. We put Henry on the bus without his backpack. I only realized this because my neighbor who had followed her daughter to school at the daughter's insistence had been informed by said daughter, and my and Henry's new favorite person that "Henry doesn't have his backpack and he is really sad. Can't you do something about it?" Moments after she informed me the school called and inquired if I "had my son's backpack." So Lucy and I sped over to the school, where we were informed that "these things happen all the time" and actually not made to feel like we were the worst mom/sister combo in existence.
  2. Henry got off the bus wearing a different shirt than he wore to school. And it wasn't his either. Apparently he had yet another nosebleed and this shirt was salvaged from the lost and found. *This was all on the first day!*
  3. On the second day he hit a kid over the head with his lunch bag because the kid said, "my lunch is gooder than yours." Henry is NOT a fan of poor grammar. So the school sent a note home and we discussed it with him. He understands to use words instead of fists when someone mangles the English language. He did much better today, the third day, when he came home with his shirt covered merely with jelly. He reported being a good listener, that other kids were throwing rocks, and that he met a girl named Lexi in the cafeteria.
  4. This has nothing to do with Kindergarten, it's just funny. I got a call from the UB Swimming program (Thanks to Karen for the suggestion, if you are reading this!) I had mailed them a check for Henry's swim lessons and filled out the payee section and the amount but not the date, the written amount, or um, oh yeah, I didn't sign it either. My Dad works at the University, so he offered to go over and pay the debt for me and pick up the check.

With Henry starting school I have been so preoccupied that I have been barely able to accomplish simple tasks like posting to this blog, or paying bills. It's so hard to function without him around because not only am I worried about how is day is going, and feeling sad about this big change in our lives, but I keep expecting him to be here, needing some juice or his lunch or something. It is so difficult to accept that he is actually old enough to be gone from the house for half a day and ride the bus and come home merely covered in his own blood on a hard day, or on a good day, its just jelly.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Why we only take two-day long vacations

  1. I forgot to pack a sippy cup for Lucy. She does OK with straws, but I also forgot that they aren't allowed at Zoos, and we were at the Toronto Zoo on Friday. We were managing pretty well with a plastic cup of milk until Cary said, "Hey, Lucy" and tried to snap a picture. Then the milk was all over both of us. Fortunately it was her last allotment, and there wasn't much in the cup at the time. I was just trying to avoid her having to wear smelly clothes the rest of the day since we weren't going to the hotel until later.
  2. We managed to locate an Indian restaurant where Cary had fond memories of eating Chicken Curry when he was about Henry's age. About halfway through dinner Lucy began the familiar shriek of: "diaper, diaper!" We were in the middle of Toronto's Indian neighborhood, and the restaurant we were in was very casual. Not the kind of place with fold down changing tables in the restrooms. So Lucy and I wandered out and decided to try the Public library we had seen on our way in. It was closed, but its side yard was secluded. Lucy marched over, said, "grass, lay down." And I changed her right there. Hooray for the peaceful haven of the public library!
  3. Then there was the sleeping. Or the not sleeping. Lucy has never slept in a bed before this trip. She wouldn't even look at the Pack-N-Play. She slept in one bed with Cary, and Henry and I slept in the other. I am sure every family sharing a hotel room works it a bit differently but in our family lights out was at 8:30. Which totally sucked for me. I don't think anyone slept much. Henry was too wound up. Lucy was too weirded out. Cary and I were both dealing with the uncomfortable surroundings and the constant interruptions. The second night of sleeping for Lucy was much better than the first, so maybe we are making slow gains in that direction.
  4. Then there was the rain. Everything we had planned to do was supposed to be outside. I was not about to go lugging a two year old around a bunch of museums, so when it rained we went the only place we could go that was inside, free, and offered a second stroller to put Henry into: the Mall. It was the Eaton Centre, but it is just a big mall. We spent Saturday walking around inside after particularly terrible hotel breakfast. We didn't even really shop. Although I did find fun size Coffee Crisp at Shoppers drugmart. (For the non-WNY audience, Coffee Crisp is the candy Holy Grail) Thanks for the heads up, Jen14221! Then we took the kids to the hotel pool, play room, had an abysmal pizza dinner, then it was back to the Eaton Centre food court in search of ice cream.
  5. Today was our last day and since it was still raining we abandoned all of our plans and came straight home. Straight is a bit of misnomer since we waited about one and a half hours to cross the border. The kids were very patient, and generally well-behaved. But I can't help feeling like we just bought the world's longest and most expensive Toronto zoo passes.
In all seriousness I would love to know how other people with kids do it? How do you travel? How do you actually get on a plane? When do you have fun? How do you sleep? This was only two days, and was planned deliberately to be "easy," and it still really stressed me and Cary out. I know it wasn't a complete waste because it was fun for the kids, particularly for Henry who knows what a hotel is, and was aware we were away etc.