Friday, April 27, 2007

Sixth Grade Boy Conversations

Ended up taking Mark and two of his classmates to the Y dance tonight (one of the other boys' parents is bringing them all home). So of course there was much chatter in the backseat on the way there. Some of the conversational topics in this fifteen minute ride included:

* The girl Eddie danced with last time who now has a boyfriend
* The roaring twenties project that they're doing in school
* Where in school was the best place to record their podcasts
* Which girls in their class liked which boys
* Teasing Mark about Cleo, and the rock star and the author (Cleo's ambition is to be a rock star and dye the ends of her hair purple)
* How awesome Mark's rock star outfit had been, and how he probably would have won that day if he hadn't already won for Pajama Day
* How unfair it was that the student judges picked their friends for winners during Spirit Week
* How cool their shirts had been for Twin Day
* Whether any of them knew what Isaiah's current event had been about that week
* Whether it would be better to vote in a woman President first or a black President (and some disparaging remarks about Hilary)
* Who they were going to dance with, and Eddie said he needed to get to Abby (whoever she is) before Evan did (Evan just laughed.)

Then as we were pulling up to the Y, Mark commented about all the cars that were already there dropping off kids. So I said, "Yeah, and I see girls!" At which point cute little Eddie about convulsed in the back saying, "Girls? Girls? Are they SEXY?" And then they giggled hysterically when I replied, "Oh yeah, WICKED." (WTH, Eddie, you're asking a MOM this?)

I love seeing them doing this, all going together and hanging out. Even if they never even talk to a girl tonight, it's a great opportunity for them to hang out together. They don't get that enough.

I wish I was the one picking them up. I'd LOVE to hear THOSE conversations. mk

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Goldilocks plays Little League

Mark had practice yesterday while he was with X, and that was when they passed out uniforms. We had parent-teacher conferences right after school, then had to fly home and Mark had to get his uniform on, I grabbed some snacky food and a couple of jackets (not warm enough, as it turned out...I always forget how cold it is the first couple of games of the season--I am fooled by sunshine). Kira and I were already waiting in the car when Mark flew out the door and jumped in, and we did the pre-game checklist (you know: Do you have your hat? Glove? Cleats? Glasses? Sport strap for your glasses? oops...go get it) and off we went.

We were running a little late, so I dropped Mark at the dugout and went to park the car. And so it was when they went out on the field to warm up that I saw for the first time the baseball pants they had given my son to wear.

They were huge.

Mark, as I have perhaps mentioned once or twice, is very tall for his age (about 5'6"). He's also *very* thin (about 105 pounds). This makes it difficult to find clothing that fits him well, and we are all very fortunate that the baggy look is in for preteen boys, because otherwise it would not be pretty.

Well, because of the height, the coach had given Mark a pair of men's size small pants. (that's what size I get him for sweats and pajama pants) This did not work out well in baseball pants. He didn't have a belt, and even with the shirt tucked in, the pants were HUGE. I mean, horribly, jokishly large. The crotch hung down to his knees and he kept hauling them up, they were literally falling off him. It was really bad (although the length was good). Between the warmup and our team's at-bat, one of the guys took off his own belt and tried that, but it made it if anything even worse, because the belt even at its tightest was too big, and it dragged the pants down. Mark hit the ball (yay Mark!) and was running to first, and was hauling at his pants the whole way.

Between the first and the second inning, someone took off one of their shoelaces and tried using *that* as a belt. Woefully inadequate.

Before we were reduced to a Jethro rope belt a la Beverly Hillbillies, we grabbed one of the extra pairs of pants, which were a youth large (all the extra-large were taken). Mark went off to the Porta-Potty to change. (oh joy) And I know that baseball pants aren't supposed to come down to your ankle or anything, but past your knee would be nice. The youth large barely covered his kneecap, and that was if he stretched it down.

Anyway. The youth large got him through this game, and the coach is supposed to pick up a pair of extra-large before the next game (Monday). Fingers crossed that XL will be juuuuuuust right.

Oh, and the boys lost. :( mk

Moan, Groan, Gripe and Complain

Why is it that when I take something for my unbelievable cramps, it works for that but then I develop a blinding headache? It's like my body is unable to be totally without pain, it needs to move somewhere else.

Also, I have the weirdest freakin' period. It starts out heavy with cramps, lightens up over a few days, then comes raging back on day three or four, complete with bad cramps again. It's like the body can't sustain the energy to have a full-on period, so I get two back-to-back mini periods. It's been like this since Kira was born. I read somewhere that it is part of adrenal fatigue. (which, by the way, I am certain exists, and that I have it, even though the medical community is divided in its conclusions.)

Plus, I think I might have the beginning stages of a little infection in this tiny cut I got on my hand this weekend. Grumble.


It's spring, people, and that means baseball! This year, in addition to Mark playing Little League, Kira is playing Lower Minor. That means that there are a couple of days each week where both of them need to be at different places at the same time. What fun! Tonight was originally supposed to be an example of that, with Mark playing his first game (away, of course) and Kira having practice during that time. While I have decided that for the rest of the season, my presence at Mark's away games will be sacrificed so I can get Kira where she needs to be (I can get a ride for Mark easier than I can get someone to take Kira for four hours so she doesn't miss that hour-long practice), this is his first game of the season, and I really wanted to be there for that. Fortunately, due to the snowstorm the week before vacation, parent/teacher conferences were rescheduled for tonight, so they cancelled Kira's practice because it ran during conferences. (Little League pretty much cancels for nothing.) So I get to go to the game without the stress of arranging care for Kira. (although I had already done that, but that's okay....I'll save that arrangement for later in the season.)

Tuesday was very busy. I had therapy in the morning (rescheduled from its original time of today), then Brownies in the afternoon at the school, an hour between that and Kira's first practice, which ran until 6:45. We just stayed at the school and had a picnic dinner, because it made much more sense than trying to travel home, eat, and travel back to the same place within an hour. And it was kinda fun, really. The kids enjoyed it, they got extra playground time.

Mark's got a dance at the Y tomorrow. He's been waiting for another dance, he wants to see this girl again. I hope if she's not there, he asks someone else to dance. I don't want him to feel that his options are closed based on dancing twice with a girl two months ago, y'know?

Speaking of dances and dating, I've activated a profile on I think I must be insane, doing it at the same time as baseball season, like I'm not busy enough (not to mention Brownies and school volunteer stuff--we're gearing up for Staff Appreciation Day on the 9th, quite a bash we're throwing, and I'm watching the 6th grade during the luncheon). But there have been a couple of nice-sounding men who have responded, so we'll see how it goes. This is all Ro's fault. She convinced me to do this when I was at her house over vacation (and after a few Smirnoff, it sounded like a GREAT idea. Note to self: SMACK).

Anyway. I actually have a couple of hours to myself before conferences and baseball, so I'm going to take advantage of it by doing nothing. I'm very good at that. :D mk

Monday, April 16, 2007

Damn Nor'Easter

OK, so travel this week is definitely going to be out. :( We are currently in the middle of a grand Nor'Easter, which is pretty much shutting down the Eastern seaboard above Phillie. Flights have been cancelled, there's flooding (including quite a bit of water in my basement right now...the new 6" pipe is a little over 1/2 full running water out, along with three sump pumps running. I have six more at my disposal, along with "SuperPump" (as Dad and I refer to it--it's exactly the same as the pump our local fire department has). That thing is awesome, it sucks water out of the basement like a straw. It's for use if a) the water level in the basement gets so bad that nine sump pumps and a drainage pipe can't handle it all [this has occurred] or b) the power goes out so that NONE of the nine pumps will be working and I am totally dependent on the gravity-feed drainage pipe. Which could possibly level out with the stream across the road that it empties into.

Heavy rain is a nasty, nasty thing.

So anyway, between the storm that is currently supposed to go until Tuesday, and the subsequent rush on re-scheduled flights, it is not really feasible for me to go anywhere. sigh. mk

**Tuesday storm update: well, shortly after I wrote that I turned off the pumps, and they have stayed off since. The pipe has handled it all. YAY!!!! Lost power for seven hours yesterday, but it was above freezing so that was okay. The wind was HUGE. (Mt. Washington reported gusts of 156 mph) I've lost a few shingles on my roof, I need to get up there and replace those in the next couple of days (after the storm stops), but really, that's pretty minor. Neighbor had a section of fence knock over onto my driveway. Parents had a huge tree limb come down on the barn roof (can't tell if there is any real damage yet). Altogether, I got off very very lucky. Am going now to rest since I have not gotten any real sleep the last two nights and I'm exhausted. mk

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Travel Bug

Well, I have just discovered that I am going to be without the kids for the entire April vacation, which is coming right up (14th through 22nd). And I have been hit HARD by a sudden urge, perhaps even a NEED, to travel. I want to GO somewhere. Just for a few days.

Any suggestions??? (nothing international, I don't have a passport. And somewhat budget-friendly.) mk

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Who *is* this child?

Kira is old enough this year to attend overnight summer camp. Mark LOVES Fairhaven, and was trying to whip Kira into an excited frenzy about going. (she's a little nervous about it)

Mark: And every day, they open up the camp store, and there's CANDY!! And you can buy some! Whatever kind you want! They have everything....chocolate, Charleston Chews...

Kira (worriedly): But do they have FRUIT? 'Cause that other stuff isn't very healthy.

We interrupt our regularly scheduled program...

Well, Crazy Hat/Hair Day has had to take a skip, because of this:

Four to six inches, my ass. I have fourteen inches on my deck. Obviously, there was a day off from school.

Bizarrely, when I just went out to measure the snow, there were EIGHT robins hopping around on the ground around my car. And a chickadee.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Kira a Go-Go

So the dawning of the Age of Aquarius in Casa de markira was accompanied by crankypant children. Mark didn't get enough sleep last night, and Kira was bugging him, and there were meltdowns and tears and shouting. But I did manage to get pictures of my love children:

p.s. The tattoos on her arms are not part of the costume plan. That was done at her dad's house last week.

They're very cute, but don't go well with the outfit. ;)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Just. STOP.

* STOP taking my pens from my desk. I have purchased pens for you. Just because you lost them all does not make mine fair game. It drives me absolutely BONKERS to go for a pen and have NONE THERE.

* STOP messing around and just DO YOUR HOMEWORK. You whine because you have so much to do, but every time I turn around you are playing with a necklace, or blowing up a glove you brought home from science class, or sneaking a game on the computer. Just get it DONE. I know that I am an extreme hypocrite because I procrastinate like crazy, but darn it DO WHAT I SAY, NOT WHAT I DO.

* STOP leaving your dirty clothes on the floor of your room. You have a hamper. USE IT.

* STOP leaving WET towels on the floor of your room. Or the floor of the bathroom. Or the floor of the hallway. HANG THEM UP.

* STOP leaving cupboard doors open. And bureau drawers. If I wanted to look at all that stuff all the time, I would have open shelving.

* STOP leaving twenty billion eensie scraps of paper lying all over the floor from when you snuck my scissors out of the drawer and didn't return them, either.

* STOP chewing with your mouth open so that I can hear you IN ANOTHER ROOM. That is SO gross.

* STOP dropping all of your outerwear in a pile directly in the doorway. Really.

* STOP doing whatever it is that you are doing that leaves toothpaste spatters three-quarters of the way up the mirror. Every. Single. Day.

* STOP putting clothing that you have had on your body for approximately five seconds into the hamper. Also stop this with clothing that never actually made it onto your body, but you considered wearing.

* STOP leaving clothes hangers everywhere in the world except in your closet. I mean, the bottom of your desk drawer? WTF?

* STOP growing up so fast. I mean it. Just. STOP.

**[note: some of these are directed at both children. Some are at one or the other. All annoy the CRAP out of me. mk]

The Rock Star and the Scientist

Sounds like the name of a cheesy romance novel, doesn't it? Nope, just today's contribution to Spirit Week:

Mark ditched the leather pants. And the wig. But he did let me put some gel in his hair. A tiny little bit.

Kira ditched the boots. She's wearing her crocs instead. Those things sticking out of her hair are sparkly pencils. And I gave her a glow stick.

They're both having a *lot* of fun with this.

Which is more than I can say about this *%$@@! interfacing on the go-go dress. That I am avoiding. mk

Drama Update

Dang, realized I had never posted how awesome Mark's play was! He did a fabulous job, really great and appeared perfectly comfortable on the stage. He had some funny lines, one in particular, that really went over very well. I was SO proud.

We couldn't take pictures during performances, but I got a couple afterward of Mark while he was messing around with some of the props...

Spirit Week has begun!

Rah Rah Rah! And we kicked off the week with Pajama Day, always a favorite, mostly because it requires little effort. Or in our case, no effort. Well, Mark did a little. He crammed his feet back into the duck slippers (really, I'm surprised his toes didn't bust out of the duck's mouth), grabbed his stuffed monkey and he was good to go. He doesn't actually have any pajama "tops" per se, just random t-shirts that he wears with whatever flannel pj bottoms still reach close to his ankle area (I looked at him the other day and he was wearing pj pants that were CAPRI they were so short. Yup, he's still growing).

Kira resisted all of my efforts to enhance the cute factor of her in pj's. She wouldn't let me put her hair in pigtails. Or curlers. She wouldn't wear one of her sleep masks as a headband. She went sans animal, without blankets or bathrobes, just her pj's and a zip-up sweatshirt. Now I tell you, what fun is there in having an adorable little child if I can't dress her up? C'mon, it used to be like having one of my own giant Barbies, and now she's all miss do-her-own-thing. sigh.

Mark actually won a prize today in his age group (grades 6-8). In his last-minute, throw-together stuff, he was considered one of the two best in the category. Mark said that a lot of kids in the seventh and eighth grades didn't even participate at all. Are you kidding? It is PAJAMA DAY, PEOPLE! This is the easiest day of Spirit Week! This requires NO. WORK. AT. ALL. You have to put in more effort to NOT participate! You get to wear your PJ's to SCHOOL. And be all COMFY. When you are an adult and slogging off to work every day you would KILL for this opportunity! KILL, I TELL YOU! (yeah, listen to me. Like spending the day in pajamas is something I rarely get the opportunity to do. I could pretty much wear my pj's for a week at a time and nobody would notice.)

So now we head into the rest of the week, for which my assistance has been required. Tomorrow is Career Day. Kira is going as a SCIENTIST. Go, girl! She's wearing a "lab coat" (which is actually a supermarket deli coat that I wore one day in high school when I was doing food demos at work, and nobody ever collected it from me. Makes a great lab coat.) and I found a pair of heavy-rimmed glasses at Goodwill and knocked out the lenses. (blue frames, actually...for the "cool geek" look). Under the lab coat she's wearing her Museum of Science shirt (I LOVE this shirt, it's got pictures of women scientists on it), and I'm twisting her hair all up and putting pencils in like hair sticks. I've also made a sticker label/name tag for her lab coat that says "Dr. Kira /Scientist" on it. She is VERY excited about this costume. She dressed all up in it and was playing scientist tonight, and having a blast. And apparently she has invented a whole lot of things (or at least is claiming that she invented them--hello, Al Gore). Like earrings. I think she may still be a little fuzzy as to what constitutes a scientific discovery and what's, um, crafts. :D And she has also paired with her outfit, high-heeled knee-high black boots. And the boots combined with the power rush of being a major inventor is bringing on some rather dominatrix-ish behavior. So, have fun with THAT tomorrow, first grade!

Mark, after much deliberation (and a VERY generous offering from Ro's husband Bill to let Mark use his harness racing jockey uniform), has decided to go tomorrow as a rock star. He's re-using much of the outfit he wore two Halloweens ago, when he was a zombie rock star. This includes leather pants. (I know you're thinking it, but I really do NOT shop at S&M Kidz R Us. Or Goth Baby. And oh my gosh, I just googled and found that there really is a Baby Goth shop.) And I also made him an earring (clip-on). And he's got a shiny pleather jacket. And he bought himself a little "electric" guitar. (sorry, Ro. I have TOLD him that he is absolutely not to play it at all during class. But I'm betting now that you will have to take it away from him at some point.)

So tomorrow, there will be pictures.

Tomorrow also I will be finishing Kira's dress for Wednesday, which is 60s/70s day. I have the main part of the dress completed, I'm just for some reason stuck on figuring out the instructions for the interfacing. And getting very tempted to skip the whole interfacing and not get bogged down in acting like this is a dress she's going to wear all the time or something. But she's got the go-go dress, another pair of knee-high black boots, I've made her a pair of clip-on yin-yang earrings, she's got the funky sunglasses. Oh, I've still got to make the matching headband.

Mark will be wearing a tie-dye shirt that he already happens to have, and is borrowing this multicolored woven belt-type-thing to tie around his head. Easy peasy.

OK, I just looked at the clock and realized that there is an actual reason why I don't feel I can put together a coherent sentence (or apparently spell it correctly--thank goodness for spellcheck). It's late, I'm exhausted, and I've got a full day tomorrow. Finish dress, register car (which really should have been done in March), Mark's got baseball, I'm behind yet *again* on laundry...yeah. Time for bed. mk