Monday, March 31, 2008

Drama Residency, Act Two

So, the Children's Stage Adventures couple has returned for another week-long drama residency. This year the play will be The Princess and the Pea. Mark was totally turned off at the idea of having to do that story.

Tryouts were today, and the kids who had to stay after school for rehearsal would be calling their parents to let them know. I happened to be away from the house when Mark called, so I got a message. It said something like:

"Hi Mom this is Mark. I got a part in the play I'm the {mumblemumble}. Yeah, so can you pick me up at {mumblemumble}...and I think Kate, too, but her mom will probably call you."

So. Didn't get to hear the key points of the call, namely what time I was supposed to pick him up, and, more importantly to me, in what part he was cast!

So, having already had the time written on my planner (I *love* the drama residency), I was there on time, and saw the last couple of minutes of the rehearsal, which had Mark surrounded by several girls.

Mark is the Prince.

He got the lead. He is Prince Mackenzie McArthur McGuire. Mac for short. He goes on a quest to find a princess to marry, goes through five different princesses before he finds Miss Right. Or rather, Miss Elizabeth Wright.

Playing Miss Wright? Of all the girls in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades, it's the one girl I can't hope Mark could date, can't say "Awwwwww, what a cute couple." Can't tease him about. His cousin Kate. Dang it.

So anyway, we'll be running lines all week, because he has a LOT of lines to learn before the performances this Friday. And Friday I will attend both performances, and take pictures, and videotape it, and burn it to disc, and all will be lovely. Mama proud. mk

p.s. And for someone who supposedly wasn't very excited about the play chosen, he's pretty hyper about it now. He's loving his part, and now that he's *read* the play, he thinks it's pretty cool. He doesn't have to sing that much, either, which he likes, although he does have a couple of solo lines. Whatever. He's got enough of his mama's drama streak that he's having fun. :D

Sunday, March 30, 2008

This Took Some Nerve

OK, not even my story, but I have just got to share this one.

So, someone I am very good friends with is having a wedding, and in the course of determining desserts for the receptions has come across a really great company that makes lots of little delectables. After much back-and-forth with the company, she narrowed down her choices and requested samples.

The company realized that they didn't have a physical mailing address for my friend, and so called to get this address. My friend also owns a business, and during office hours her phone is routed to her office manager.

The office manager took the call requesting my friend's physical address, which the office manager did not know offhand. So she offered her own address for the samples to be delivered to, and said that she would then bring them to my friend. (ok, first off? get the real address. don't offer to have stuff sent to your house, when you have nothing really to do with the transaction other than you answered the phone.)

The samples arrived....and here is where it gets really outrageous. The office manager OPENED the package of samples.....AND ATE HALF.

What the HELL. This woman has some serious boundary issues. How do you even begin to deal with that if you are the bride and groom? Not to mention how you would explain that to the bakery, that you needed more samples because your office manager ate them before she gave them to you?

Anyway, wanted to share, because I was just so appalled. Really, in what twisted world do you have to live to think that this would ever be okay to do? mk

Ok, This? Is Awesomeness.

I have just discovered that Amazon has a Grocery Department.

Seriously. You can do your grocery shopping at Amazon. And it will ship for free (orders over $25). And there is even a Clearance department.

Discount food with free shipping? I am well on my way to never ever having to leave the house again.

My mother will go into convulsions of horror. She pops over to the grocery store pretty much daily, to get the fresh items she needs to whip up her little gourmet delights. [Why did she never cook like that when I was growing up?] She is constantly telling me how easy it would be for me to put together delicious meals for myself and the kids, using things like extra-virgin olive oil and fresh-ground pepper and little sprinkles of twelve different fresh-cut vegetables or something made using parchment paper (really, what the hell is parchment paper really for? I always thought it was something for writing) when we both know I'm gonna mostly be serving things with main ingredients that were frozen. Possibly covered with a bunch of spices I've had for ten years. Because replacing your spices every year is right up there in my priority list with replacing bras every six months or sneakers every 500 miles, or makeup every three months, or a new bath pouf every thirty days. As in, not gonna happen. Gonna use it till it DIES.

I can't wait to tell her I'm doing my main shopping through Amazon. mk

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I Am Not Amused

It is snowing and we have a one-hour delay at school.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Chuckles and Irony

Just a little collection of things that made me smile the last week or so.

* When my pastor made a surprise visit to me while I was in the hospital, he walked in while I was reading a novel Brenda brought me called "The Naughty Neighbor." That book sat on my hospital tray during his entire visit, practically glowing.

* The week before my surprise surgery, I had mentioned in therapy that I refused to give in to my paranoia that I was ridden with disease. I specifically mentioned that after my mom had a huge ovarian cyst removed, I was completely convinced that I had one, but I had never mentioned it to the doctor, because I figured it was like medical student syndrome, where med students believe they are suffering from many of the symptoms of whatever disease they are currently studying. Or, like as soon as you buy a new car, you see that same make and model everywhere. I think God is laughing at me now.

* The first night I was out of the hospital and staying with my parents, my mom walked me upstairs when I went to bed to make sure I was settled in well (and to carry some of the ton of crap I brought up with me, mostly pills). She left after reminding me to call them if I needed them. Shortly after that, I reappeared downstairs, to their surprise. I said, "Well, so much for that 'call me if you need me' crap. You can't hear me." After that I had my cell phone with me on the nightstand, so I could literally CALL them if I needed help.

* This company makes the best catalog ever. The descriptions are freakin' awesome. I was laughing so hard I had to grab my stomach from the pain and put the catalog away. Check out the Torture-Tested items.

[I should probably tell you that my parents consider me the next-best-thing to actually *having* a son. I am really craving some of the Duluth items, particularly the ones made out of fire-hose material. If you don't like that kind of stuff, you might not think the Duluth catalog is that funny.]

* Our Florida friends sent up two suitcases full of clothes for Kira. (STUFFED full) When the kids came to visit me on Saturday, Kira did an entire fashion show of trying on the clothes. She made an imaginary runway and everything, complete with the end pose, turn, and pause again with a spin partway back up the runway. Quite the little model. I think we've been watching ANTM too much.

* Brenda and Brian brought me a salmon-colored rose in a vase with some baby's breath and greenery the first day I was in the hospital. The rose has died. Mom refused to throw away the baby's breath and greens because they were still healthy and I ended up holding the vase all the way home yesterday. With no rose in it. But fresh water. To keep the baby's breath alive.

* Another thing that has made me smile: the cards, flowers, magazines, get-well basket, emails, and comments I have received wishing me well. I am blessed in my friends. Thank you, people! mk

Friday, March 21, 2008

St. Patty's Day surprise

So, St. Patrick's Day I had this whole great list of things I was going to do, including therapy, one of my guinea-pig appointments, grocery shopping, Easter shopping, picking up stamps so I could mail bills that were due. Yeah.

Around 8am, just after my shower, my stomach started to hurt. I mean, HURT. I had to change out of my jeans because that hurt. I couldn't lie down, stand up, sit. I was throwing up. I tried a heating pad, Xanax, Aleve (threw both of those up), peppermints, everything I could think of to relieve what were pretty much the worst cramps I'd ever felt. I'd just ended my period, though, so that wasn't it.

I cancelled therapy and called my doctor. They recommended going to the ER, and not to drive myself. I called a friend, who came right over and got me there. Where I proceeded to wait. I mean, after I got signed in and the triage nurse did my vitals and got me into an ER room, I waited over an hour without one single person even peeking in to see if I was alive. I was pretty much rolling around on the stretcher thinking incredible curse words while I waited for somebody to get the hell in there and give me some drugs.

I needed two IV doses of morphine to get the pain under control, and then (oh joy) they did a pelvic exam to see if it was anything to do with my "female parts." No luck there, the blood tests came back with no results, the urinalysis was a stumper, so they scheduled me for a CT-scan. It was a three-hour prep, I had to drink some contrast fluids (mixed with warm apple juice, holy yuk)...and two more morphine doses. Got to the CT-scan as the last person of the day, everyone was trying to get stuff wrapped up to go home, so they were very efficient and the radiologist beat me back to the ER to get the results to the on-call doctor.

The doctor came back in and told me that I had an "interesting" scan. (I replied that I wasn't sure I *wanted* an interesting scan.) It turned out that I had a VERY large cyst in my abdomen (they were estimating size at something like 10cm by 16cm), and it needed to come out. So they had a surgeon come in and talk to me about it, they admitted me, and Tuesday I was scheduled for surgery. The game plan was to get it out laparoscopically, but depending on what the cyst was attached to, they might need to do some additional cuts to get it out. I got a wonderful bowel-cleansing drink on Monday night (twelve billion medical advances and they can't get that stuff to taste better?), was hooked up to a self-administering morphine pump (can I have one of those for home?) and Tuesday morning they were actually able to squeeze me into surgery.

It all went very well, they ended up with the laparoscopic cut in my belly button area along with two other "stab" incisions, and they drained TWO LITERS of fluid out of the cyst before they pulled it out. Apparently somehow my left ovary got involved in the cyst and it's gone now.

I was up and around while I was in the recovery room (I had to piss like a Russian racehorse), and I've been recovering pretty well in general. The morphine was replaced with oral Percocet. (damn) They had me hooked up to these massaging leg things to keep my circulation going, and holy cow, I want some of those for home, too. (ok, they're called intermittent pneumatic compression devices...mine had a "cool comfort" option)

Wednesday morning I was able to go home. Well, I went to my parents' house (where I am now). They were flying home from their Florida vacation on Tuesday anyway, so the timing worked out great. They didn't make it back before my surgery, but it didn't really matter.

So now I'm recovering. I've got Vicodin. (what is this step-down on the drugs thing?) My stomach is flatter than it's been in a while...of course, what can you expect? I've been carrying around a water-balloon in there filled with a 2-liter bottle of soda. I'm sore, still, and all bruised, but I've got some really disgusting photos of the cyst (man! no scanner available, either...I'll upload those later). I should get the Pathology report back in about a week to confirm that the cyst was benign.

And now I think I've put off my Vicodin for as long as I can, so I'm gonna go get that. I'll update later with more fun stories as they happen. Talk to you later! mk

update: Pathology report came back: no cancer. yay!

further update: now with pictures! Not a great picture of the pictures, but you get the idea. Warning: not for the squeamish. My kids flat-out refuse to look at them. mk

A guide: the disgusting gross fish-belly colored thing is the cyst. Top left: full cyst. Bottom left: after drainage. Top right: that instrument was IN MY BODY. Bottom right: gone!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Behold, I Stand At The Door And Knock

When you go over to someone's house, a close friend's or relative's, do you knock at the door?

I come from a family of knockers. I never went into *anyone's* house without knocking, even my grandparents'. It just wasn't done. At the very least, we did the knock-and-enter, calling out to let them know that we were there. And this has really only progressed since my grandparents have declined in health and hearing, and waiting at the door for an answer would lead to discomfort or pain on my grandmother's part, or us waiting indefinitely because nobody heard the knock over the blastingly loud television. But mostly we were knock-and-wait. I still feel a twinge of discomfort every time I walk into my parents' house, the house in which I grew up, spent the first twenty-ish years of my life, without knocking. I'm not expected to knock, so I don't, but it still feels a little weird to just waltz on in. I *always* call out to let them know I have just entered.

As I got older and began going to other people's places without my parents, I've observed many other trends. The one I understand the least is the "open door" policy, where you just walk on in. This freaks me out. I can understand it if you KNOW someone is coming, if you have INVITED them, and especially if when you invite them, you say, "when you get here, just come on in." But to just have this thing where your friends feel free to wander into your house any old time, without warning? Yeah, I don't think so.

I will knock even if I just go out to my car to get something, when I am coming back in to their house, when they KNOW I am coming back in, when they are WAITING for me to come back in. Just the other day, I felt the very strong need to tell Brenda that when I came back from picking something up at the store for wedding planning, that I was going to just come back in the house without knocking. Because I wanted to give her the foreknowledge that I was going to be popping back up. I wanted her aware that she could turn around at any moment and see me. I wanted to give her the opportunity to say, "could you just tap on the door first?" if she needed to. (I didn't expect that she would say that, and she didn't, but I *had* to give her that opportunity.)

I want people to knock. I want them to respect the physical boundary of the door, that it is a barrier to define one's personal space. I'm a private person (yeah, I have this blog and I pour it all out, but hey, I *choose* what and when you get to see into my head, right?). I have a very difficult time letting my guard all the way down, and in my own home I need to be able to do this. If there's always a chance that hello! a person is going to pop up on me, I can't relax. Again, if someone is coming over, is *expected,* than that's different, because I'm not relaxed anyway, and in fact I'm hypervigilant, watching for them, worried that they'll show up and I won't hear the knock, won't know they're here, won't be waiting at the door when they arrive.

I have one friend who never knocks. Ever. She just walks into my house. Even when I'm not home. She's known me forever, and apparently feels that longevity grants her this permission. But it drives me crazy. C-R-A-Z-Y. And I am horrible about asserting myself, and it's gone on so long without my mentioning it, that I don't know how to fix it. One time I didn't know she was coming and didn't hear her come in and she didn't call out to let me know she was there, and she came *upstairs* to find me and scared the living hell out of me. In retrospect, that would have been a PERFECT time to address the situation, and just say mildly, "you know, that really startled me. Could you please knock at the door when you drop in?" or something. But no, I didn't say a word.

I've tried passive-aggressive methods to drop the hint. Like, when I knew she was coming, I locked the door so she would *have* to knock. I did this a few times. It didn't work.

I know I need to suck it up and say something. But holy cow, that's hard. I have been raised from the cradle to be accommodating and welcoming, to just suck it up, to never, EVER be an inconvenience to someone or an imposition. Somehow this has crossed over into not wanting to inconvenience people by imposing my own personal needs in my own home. A guest is a guest, invited or not, and when a guest arrives, you put away all the strife in your own existence and smile. You don't say, "Now is not a good time for me," or "I really would prefer you don't do that."

So what do you think? What do you do? mk

Kids and Carts

Min wrote a great post today about her boy and carts in various stores.

It put me in mind of the most memorable occasion that I have regarding children and carts. I wanted to write it down, so that it will never be forgotten. (Fat chance of that, really)

When Kira was an infant, we went to WalMart and I strapped her into one of those baby seats. (I know, ewwwwwww. S'ok, she was wrapped in blankets and nothing actually touched her.) Mark was a "big boy" (about five) and he was free to wander. Which meant he was required to stay within touching distance of mom or the cart. Because he had recently discovered the fun of clothes-rack hide-and-seek and scared the living bejeezus out of his mother at Sears, but that is another story.

So anyway, I actually had the audacity to LOOK AT SOMETHING ADULT (probably shoes), and in the approximately five seconds I was doing this, still with one hand on the cart because I didn't want someone rolling away with my baby, there was this big giant CRASH and the cart was suddenly no longer under my hand.

Whipped my head around and saw that Mark had decided to scale the side of the cart (apparently to climb in the big part), and pulled the cart over sideways on top of himself. The cart in which his baby sister was strapped. So the shopping cart is on its side, smushing my son, while my baby is sideways, and I'm trying to pull the cart off Mark and get it upright and get to Mark to see if he's hurt and get to Kira to see if *she's* hurt, and the cart is NOT cooperating, it's wanting to skid sideways instead of getting its damn self upright.

The kids were absolutely fine, Mark was just a little shaken up. Kira was oblivious. Never even made a peep. *I* was in desperate need of drugs. Big horse tranquilizers. And alcohol.

And do you think this went entirely unobserved? Of course not. I had to hold it all together for the gape-jawed audience (none of whom actually tried to HELP, come to think of it). And I "casually" strolled away. mk

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wow. Just, Wow.

So this morning, Kira, who yesterday was literally SURROUNDED by shoes, for whom I purchased a plethora of new shoes, who actually POINTED AT a pair of sneakers like the ones I got her last summer before school ("hey! I have those!"), announces that she has no sneakers that fit.

No. Sneakers. That. Fit.

I looked at her, dumbfounded, and replied that yesterday IN THE SHOE DEPARTMENT would have been a really good time to tell me that. mk

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


I was *not* a fashionable child. I never wore the "in" clothes. Hell, most of the time I didn't even wear GIRL'S clothes. My dad, ever the practical man, reasoned that boys' clothing was more durable and less expensive than girls' clothing, and could not see why he should purchase a T-shirt and corduroys in the girls' department when it was also available in the boys' department. These things were provided for us in the colors of: dark blue, dark green, or dark brown. (gee, wonder why I am most comfortable in dark colors!) I pretty much never wore dresses or "pretty" shoes. (Easter and Christmas.) We wore boys' jackets and snowmobile boots. My parents have heard me go on ad nauseum about the negative effects all of this had on me**. When I was in middle school I went on strike and refused to wear a boy's jacket any more. I wore a jean jacket every day that fall and early winter, regardless of how frigid the weather, insisting that I wasn't cold, until I unwrapped a (relatively) girly sweater-jacket with PINK on it, at Christmas.

I discovered clothes to a certain extent in high school, although I was still fashion-backwards for the most part, but I had one or two items in my junior and senior year that were actually stylish.
In college I went berserk. I was close to a mall and I had available cash on hand, and I just loooooooved using it to buy clothes. I had lots of clothes, and sexy underwear (matching sets!) and ohmygosh shoes. Lots of shoes! I was stylish and very happy about it, and this lasted until I got married.

Suddenly available cash was nonexistent, and then I was pregnant, and for maternity clothes I ended up wearing plus-sized stuff that did not fit well, and made me look old and ugly. (There was NO affordable maternity wear anywhere to be found.) I even wore some of my dad's clothes.

Then the baby was there, and ohmygosh wasn't he adorable!!! And cute clothing poured in from everywhere and he was always dressed so adorably (in outfits! coordinated outfits!), and all growing up he looked so CUNNIN' (Maine word, means SO FREAKIN' CUTE) I could barely stand it. He was a little preppy, and my friend Tracey dubbed him the GQ boy.

And then I had ANOTHER child and oh, this one was a GIRL, and I have just had the best time with girly clothes for her. And she is not only comfortable in dresses, but she has been wearing shoes with *heels* since she was two and she can RUN IN THEM like you would not believe. She is equally comfortable in dresses, skirts, pants, whatever, the girl can wear it and she can rock it and she looks gooooooood. She has a sense of style that I do not possess and she puts outfits together that I would never think of and they turn out amazing. Really, she's just got this natural knack for it. She's eight and she's been dressing herself for YEARS, better than I could do on my own.

I have an absolute problem with overbuying clothes for both of my kids, because I am determined that for as long as I can, they will be well dressed. I will not have my children mocked, as I was, for looking stupid and dressing horribly. My kids will have the clothes, and lots of them. Kira has more shoes than any other child her age that I know.

My parents are also champion yard-sale shoppers, and provide me with absolute TONS of brand-name clothes for both kids at stunningly cheap prices. My kids have CLOTHES.

Mark, for the last couple of years, has been unconcerned with how he dresses. He still looks great in whatever he wears (he's a natural at it--Old Navy staff used to tell me I should try to get him to model for them), but he's pretty much a jeans-and-T-shirt-every-day kid. I know, it's what "all the boys" are doing, but sometimes I wish he had a little hipster going on every now and then. Instead, he just throws something on and goes. He resists any and all attempts by me to expand his fashion horizons, and if I get him something he's not into, it just sits there until he outgrows it, because he will not wear something just to humor his mom. Like, he will NOT wear sweaters. I've gotten him a sweater or two every year for the last three or four years, and they have never been worn. (well, I didn't this last year. I think I finally figured it out.) I experiment a little with his T-shirts, and that mostly works out.

I just picked him up a few T-shirts during my annual spring oversplurge. I mean, I go nuts in the spring. Especially for Kira. She's just so freakin' cute in all the different styles, and there's so MUCH out there, I can't seem to stop myself. The last two days I have gone berserk at TJMaxx and WalMart, and her closet overfloweth. She got NINE pairs of shoes today. (and as a side spaz: She's eight years old and I bought most of her shoes in the WOMEN'S department! Size six!!!!!!! Although I also got her some 3 & 3.5 in the girls' department. My own feet are only 8/8.5)

Anyway, I also picked up the few T's for Mark. He wore one to school today, and two of the girls in his class just zoomed in on him. Kate (his cousin) shrieked out in glee: "Mark! Aeropostale! You're making your first fashion statement!" (This is interesting to me because he has worn other shirts that say GAP and "Life Is Good" and stuff, but Aeropostale is apparently "popular.") Mark related this to me with a certain bemusement, but I'm wondering if it will have any effect on him. I know that the other day the girls were razzing him about his sneakers, because they have holes in them. I have been trying to get him to give them up and wear his basketball sneakers, but he insisted that they were soooooooo comfortable and just kept wearing them. But five minutes with the girls, and he's been wearing the basketball sneakers this week. So we may be entering a new era with Mark and "fashion."

I know I'm setting myself up for some serious pain with Kira. When she gets older and is more resistant to sale clothing and (gasp) yard-sales, she will have a rather rude awakening in the sparsity of her wardrobe. She's already got a shoe fetish going on, along with purses (yeah, like mother, like daughter there, too). I know that I'm WAY overcompensating for feelings of inadequacy in my youth. I know I'm putting focus on how she looks, and rewarding the superficiality of the entire thing. And you know what? I'm really okay with that. Because she has got a level of self-confidence that I have never had in my entire life, and if part of that is because she has never felt bad about her clothes, then I'm relieved. There is enough other stuff out there that will challenge her, and while I never intend for her to be so fashion-forward that she's out there setting trends, or looking down at someone because of what *they* wear (she hasn't done that, ever, and if I ever hear it, I will squash that so fast her adorable little head will spin). But she will go forth knowing how to wear heels, and knowing that she can kick butt in them. She and Mark both have the security of wearing what they like, and if my daughter wears boy clothes, it's because she WANTS to, not because she HAS to. And that, I think, has made all the difference. mk

Kira's shoe haul.

These are her favorites. Note the kitten heel.

I think I'm going to pick up a pair of these for myself.

**My parents give me now infinite grief because I have actually purchased boys' clothing for Kira. Namely, snow pants and boots. In my defense, she wears the snow pants and/or boots along with a BRIGHT FUCHSIA winter coat. She is NEVER in head-to-toe boygear, as I was. (except lately she has been wearing her brother's castoffs from her dad's house. I guess she likes that they were Mark's...she loves her brother.) Also, I am often forced by finance to purchase things either at end-of-season clearance for the next year, or at Goodwill. Color choices on snow pants and boots are limited in those instances. But if I ever have the choice, it's a girl color. Like, she ALSO has a pair of fuchsia Sorel boots. So there.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Fun Monday: Movie Quote Edition

Courtesy of IT guy comes this week's Fun Monday assignment:

I need YOU (yes, the wonderful YOU!) to pick 5 memorable lines from 5 different movies (if you could tell us which character said it and to whom, would be a bonus)...and tell us to WHOM (who in the people in your life) you could have said those lines.

And so, here we go.

1) I use this one quite a bit with the kids in the car. From Shrek II, exchange between Shrek and Donkey:

D: Are we there yet?
S: No.
D: Are we there yet?
S: No.
D: Are we there yet?
S: No.

D: Are we there yet?
S: No.

D: Are we there yet?
S: Yes.
D: Really?!
S: No.

2) From The Princess Bride, which I randomly quote often and apropos of nothing:

"Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

Also, from this same movie, said by Miracle Max. I say it to the kids as they head off to school:

"Have fun storming the castle!"

3) Does this one count? I do the Darth Vader breathing.

(Do I really need to link it for you? Can't you just hear it in your head? C'mon....try'll like don't know the power of the dark side...)

4) On any hot summer day: "I'm melting! I'm meeeeelllllllllttttiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnggggg!"

From The Wizard of Oz. Spoken by the Wicked Witch. Expression of dismay, said to no one in particular. Pretty much the way I use it.

5) Whenever the kids and I are getting ready to go somewhere: "Are you ready to rock and roll?"

From KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park (1978), said by Star Child (Paul Stanley).

So there you go, people. Five random movie quotes, not that I *would* use, but that I *do* use. Can't wait to see what other people have to say, in other people's words. mk

Sunday, March 09, 2008

OK, So There Goes *That* Idea

For Brenda's wedding in May, I told her that my gift was going to be their toasting glasses. I just emailed her some pictures and ideas that I had found for various personalizations and stuff, we're batting ideas around.

Brian was working on the final touches on the invitation design. Their names are going to be printed inside a ribbon (at the bottom of an rope oval containing the invitation text), so they have to swirl along it, and basically that meant putting only one or two letters at a time in separate text boxes so they could be manipulated individually to look right. Pain in the ass, but it's looking really good and as soon as that's done, it's just a matter of printing and assembling. I brought the envelopes home along with a (disposable, how cool) fountain pen, so as soon as they email the address database, I can start addressing envelopes. We need to get the invitations finished up in the next week or so. (hey Brenda, when you just read that, did you hyperventilate?)

We went to a Bridal Expo today at the Samoset. Her fiance went with us, but I don't think his heart was really in it, he seemed definitely not as excited as Brenda and I were to see the various offerings and talk to the vendors. To his credit, there wasn't a heck of a lot of stuff there that was particularly groom-oriented, although there were a couple of games (aiming and shooting a garter at a pair of linked golden, I wish I had tried that one...Brenda did, she said it took her several tries to make it) and a few grooms-only drawings, including golf for four, and a bachelor party for twelve (he didn't win any of the groom drawings, probably because he didn't sign up for any of them. Afterwards he teased that he thought I was taking care of that for him.) I *did* take care of canvassing half of the show for Brenda while she was doing another part and watching at least some of the fashion show. We arrived late, so we had to divide and conquer to even have a hope of hitting all the vendors. I had taken a tip from a couple of web sites I had seen and printed up some labels with Brenda & Brian's names, address, phone # and wedding date. That way, to sign up for something, just peel-and-stick. Saved near-certain hand cramping otherwise, 'cause there was TONS of stuff to sign up for. (And giveaway goodies, and chocolate tastings, and cake samples, and pens and magnets by the cartloads)

Brenda actually won a drawing from the booth hosted by the bank we had worked for when we met. [side note: Brian was very surprised that a bank was at the expo. I don't think he realized that a lot of people actually take out loans for their weddings, insane as that seems to us.] They were having a guess based on a big jar full of glass stones, each of which represented a dollar, and the total was the average cost spent on a wedding dress in Maine. I filled out a form with her name and put my own guess (650) and then she filled one out with *my* name and *her* guess (550, I think). As the expo was wrapping up, one of the bank people told Brenda to stop back by their booth because she had won! Her name had the closest guess to the average cost of a wedding dress...something like 791 or some wacked-out number like that. And nobody had guessed closer than (mine)/hers!

And her prize.....a pair of toasting glasses.

Well, I TOLD her I'd get them for her! mk

Friday, March 07, 2008

My daughter the Ice Queen

Kira's doing a play in class today called "Sun and Ice." She is Ice. It's not a play that they are performing for the school or for parents (bummer), just for the rest of her class.

Kira made the mistake of telling me about the play.

I LOVE plays, and drama (I was in drama club in high school--techie, mostly), and my inner costume mistress took over. I was trying to help Kira find a great outfit to represent Ice. I even thought about her wearing her silver Tooth Fairy costume (I'd just remove the teeth). She very firmly reined me in.

So, we compromised. She's wearing a light blue sweater, white leggings under a short white skirt, and she has silver ribbons in two ponytails. She looks adorable. And (sigh) very appropriate for a play that is going to take about five minutes of her school day.

I did run her lines with her several times this week, including twice this morning. She has it down cold. (hee hee)

Now if she had only let me make the icicle

Thursday, March 06, 2008


I've been censored.

That's right. My freedom of speech has been attacked, my Constitutionally guaranteed First Amendment rights have been blatantly trampled upon.

My son has forbidden me from writing about him and girls anymore.

Technically I'm not even supposed to be writing *this,* but dammit, people, I couldn't just leave you with silence, unexplained. I can't be that cruel!

Apparently Mark is more than a little embarrassed by references that people have made to his sudden interest in girls. Some of these comments have been mine (and you know, he's just going to have to live with those...I'm his mother, I'm required to give him a certain amount of grief, it's in the manual), others have been his grandparents' (and my dad teases HARD), his sister, and a friend of mine who also happens to work at the school my children attend (really, Ro, did you mention Nicole to him in front of the entire class???? dang, woman, that was cold.)

And so, respecting his privacy has become a condition for him to continue to confide in me. As much as I would love to continue to regale the world with these awesome, memorable moments in my boy's journey to manhood, I need to honor his request. It's much more important to me that he feel that he can talk to me, than that I have good blog fodder.

Totally sucks. I had some REALLY great stuff to talk about, too. sigh.

I am allowed to talk about him, as long as it is absolutely nothing that concerns girls.

Yeah, that's not leaving much these days. mk

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Unsolicited Review

Felt inspired to give my unsolicited and unpaid opinion about a random product that nobody really cares that I'm trying. Exciting, huh?

Today it's Bacardi Silver Pomegranate Mojito. I have a friend from high school currently living in D.C. who is very fond of mojitos, and I've been meaning to try a mojito for quite some time. I'm not quite sure about the idea of mixing lime and mint, but he's really quite enthusiastic about them, so...

When I was doing the grocery shopping on Monday, I passed a display of Mojitos and Pomegranate Mojitos. I was in the mood for some Smirnoff Ice, but figured what the heck, I'd give these a try. Still not sure about the lime-mint mix, so I grabbed the pomegranate. I do like pomegranate. ($8 a six-pack, btw)

Wednesday night, kids are gone, perfect night to try them out. If they're really, really good, me & a six-pack, yes, could be quite fun.

Yeah. Not so much.

Quite a crisp feel to it, but although I couldn't taste the mint while I was actually drinking it, as soon as I swallowed there was an overwhelming flavor of mint. I almost felt like exhaling loudly like a mouthwash commercial.

Got through the bottle, but I've got five more of those things and I really am not that excited about going to grab another one. Hint for next time: until you know if you like something, get ONE.

I think I'll stick to my Smirnoff Ice, thanks. (which, dammit, I did not pick up, in favor of these)

And there you have it. My unsolicited, random opinion. Your mileage may vary. mk

You have GOT to be kidding me


The kids will now be getting out on June 23rd. One more day and they'll miss my parents' anniversary.

This is INSANE.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Well, at least it's Saturday

Another snowstorm. We've got a good, oh, I dunno, nine inches or so built up right now and it's supposed to continue snowing until at least midnight. It's a wet snow, which is perfect for snowballs and snowmen.

We've had quite a snowy season. According to the National Weather Service, Caribou has seen 144.5 inches of snow so far, as of Wednesday morning. The all-time record for snowiest season in Caribou, Maine is 181.1 inches. (not sure what year) That could happen this season...we've still got March and April left, and May snow is not unheard of. [I'm about 4 hours from Caribou, and we don't get quite as much here, although we get *considerably* more than Portland, which has a total of 90.1 inches, since coastal cities get less snow, and is also more southern]

I've mentioned several times in the past different snow days that we've had. Northern states build a certain number of potential snow days into their calendars. They set a final day of school based on if all of those snow days are used. If they aren't, school gets out for the summer earlier. If more snow days are needed, that extends the school year. Our original last day of school was June 18th. Right now we have used all five snow days that would have made that work out, and an additional 2, so we are at a release day of June 20th. Our school has already changed a workshop day (which was going to be a full day off for the kids) to a half-day, and changed a scheduled half-day to a full day.

Every snow day from school that we have from here out just extends it further. This is the latest my kids have ever been in school. Mark's birthday is the 19th of June, and he has never been in school on his birthday before. I'll be sending in cupcakes.

The kids aren't quite getting that every day they get "off" from school means one more day that they *won't* be spending the day swimming this summer.

I remember when I was a kid, we had a half-day of school on Saturday to make up some of the snow days. It was a totally weird feeling. I remember that not all the kids showed up. Not all the staff was there, either. Oh, the teachers were all there, of course, but they were missing some of the people who weren't needed for just a half-day of school. The school felt odd, off, bigger and echo-y.

I could get behind a half-day of school on Saturday to make up some of this, rather than lose any more of summer vacation. I say that, of course, but I wonder how much work would actually get done in class that day, how much learning would really take place. I don't much like days that the kids are just killing time in the building to meet a quota. I recognize that there are a lot of days where it's near impossible to get kids (and sometimes teachers) to settle down to business, most notably the day before a vacation, and pretty much the whole last week of school anyway, although they try. But still. I wish the kids wouldn't have to be sitting at their desks while a gorgeous Maine summer day passes them by.

Chime in, people. Tell me what you think. mk