Friday, October 28, 2011

All hail the 4th grade violin recital

2 weeks ago the kids came home with permission forms for them to "rent" a violin from school for $5. Apparently you have to play the violin in 4th grade. At least the school still has a music program.

So here I am thinking "I give them a month before one smashes that thing over the other's head" and then I'm on the hook for the $300 per violin replacement charge, which means Christmas is officially cancelled.

But to my surprise, both of the boys have proven themselves to be very serious about their new musical challenge so I wasn't too worried about the *recital* that was planned so early in their musical careers.

What started off as a demonstration of their talents turned into an ear-bleeding experience that only a mother can tolerate....and it wasn't because of my kids. Some of those other kids in the class are NOT cut out for this. Yikes. It was painful but it proved to me that my kids have a great deal of natural talent when it comes to the violin so I may have to push this one along....and try not to end up the obnoxious stage mom.

So now my completely overscheduled children have a new hobby. We'll see how long this lasts past the 4th grade

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

One foot in the grave

It finally happened. I turned 40 and I don't like it AT ALL.

I don't know if it's because there's no longer a 3 involved in the number or what but I have a really hard time saying the words "I'm 40".


Before I know it, the kids will be submitting the most unflattering picture of me they can find so it can be slapped on that jar of Smucker's Jelly and Willard Scott can butcher my name. On live television. BAH.

All my facebook friends who have already turned 40 are going on and on about how it's not so bad blah blah blah......instead, this is how I feel.....

My name here

 Clearly age is simply a state of mind so I fully intend to NOT act my age. Ever. And the box of haircolor says I don't have gray hair. I listen to that.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Crabby kids, sibling rivalry, and the not-so-glorious holidays

Why is everyone in such a bad mood? The kids are yelling at each other, I'm yelling at them to stop, Richard is yelling at me to stop yelling at them to stop yelling. It's *awesome*.

For the past several years I've noticed that the time between Halloween and a week or so after New Years, we all seem to hate each other. The kids are NUTS and the more activities we jam into this time, the worse it gets.

Halloween usually kicks it off with giant bags of candy guaranteeing a sugar rush through Spring, Fall festivals, plays and recitals and other seasonal parties at school, food comas and house guests at Thanksgiving, the kids' ill-timed birthday 3 days before Christmas, Christmas Day itself, and then New Years Eve......vomit.

It's exhausting and it's no wonder the kids are completely overloaded and cranky, which means Richard and I want to scratch each others' eyes out. That's been the pattern for the past two years anyway.

This year I vowed would be different. Magic wand to make the kids mute? Maybe just inventing a way to teleport myself to Aruba for a few months, they won't miss me (until they get hungry or need money).

Still working on the master plan....suggestions welcome.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tattoo Barbie? What??

I appreciate diversity, I'm a huge fan. I think it's important to teach our children to accept people for who they are and to 'live and let live'...


I saw on the Today Show this morning that there is now a Tattoo Barbie. She of course looks slim, and perfect, and completely unrealistic as the other Barbies out there, only she's covered in tattoos.

The decision to get a tattoo, or NOT to get a tattoo, is one that by law can only be made once a person has turned 18. (Unless you're my brother and you get a fake ID just to get tattooed before turning 18.) But I know this, it's not something that girls of Barbie-playing age should concern themselves with. This is one of those times I'm glad I have boys.

They grow up too fast as it is. My kids won't even play with toys anymore because the toys don't talk back or interact with them like video games do. So is it too much to ask to leave something as timeless as Barbies ALONE?

I'm fully aware of how old and crotchety I sound with this little rant, but I really don't believe that we need to have a tattooed Barbie for young girls to "relate" to. Let the innocence prevail for a while.

Just enjoy their childhood and prepare yourself for when they do turn 18 and they come home with their current boyfriend's name tattooed on their arm.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Halloween and food allergies

Halloween is always such a fun time. You get to carve pumpkins with the kids and hope you don't find pumpkin seeds in your DVD player in November. In turn they get to drag you around the neighborhood, sometimes in the pouring rain (2009), all to see how much candy they can score in the shortest amount of time.

There's nothing better than a kid with ADHD all hopped up on Sweet Tarts late at night. And by 'better' I mean WORSE. To add to the fun, balancing 25 pound bags of Halloween candy....and kids with tree nut allergies.

It's unreasonable to expect people to hand out only candy free of allergens, or books...(2007, and like a wild pack of dogs...or a lynch mob, all the kids yelled "What is THIS crap??") so I've had to come up with ideas to keep the kids from feeling like they've been robbed of 3/4 of their hard-earned candy when they come home.

The best idea yet? I'll trade you one for one.

When we get home, the kids throw their stashes down and I get to pick through it. More often than not, items made of chocolate are also "made in a facility that also processes peanuts and tree nuts". Much to the kids' dismay. So all of that gets sorted out and dropped into a bag that Richard immediately takes ownership of. So HE can eat it.

For every piece of candy I have to put in the "no" pile (read: the "Richard" pile) I give them one piece of candy I know is safe. The most common of the safe candy brands is Willy Wonka candies. They have a great website with very specific allergen info so parents can feel confident that they won't be killing their least not this year. Just click the 'Nutrition Info' tab at the bottom of the product and you can see the label.

So happy Trick-or-Treating everyone! And be sure to keep all the "no" pile candy for yourself. You'll be enjoying smooshed Reece's Peanut Butter Cups through Easter, I promise.

Monday, October 10, 2011

We started the day with Top Gun

I'm not exactly sure why boys are wired the way they are. I've raised my boys almost exclusively on my own, yet they still thinks farts are funny. I didn't teach them that....

So this morning as I was getting ready for work the kids were in the other room watching Top Gun. All I could hear was the endless chatter of the kids and the roar of fighter jets...and then I hear this:

Alexander: "Clifford! It's time! It's the big battle over the sea, it's not a training exercise, I repeat, it's not a training exercise!!"

Clifford: "You mean the one with the real rocket launchers??"

Ummm, what??

I've noticed over the past few months both boys have become more and more interested in things such as fighter jets and rocket launchers. They even bring home library books to study up. But my question is....did they just come out of the box pre-wired for this stuff?? I'd personally like to re-wire the parts of their brains that have them thinking farts are funny, but that may be a losing battle.
Especially considering my 32-year-old brother still thinks farts are funny.

Kids and farts- 2, Mom- 0

Friday, October 7, 2011

For the last time....GO OUTSIDE!

I just don't get it. It's gorgeous outside. We have a day more beautiful than we've had in what seems like months and the boys want to stay in the house.


They're like indoor cats, so I basically bored them to death.

Me: I'm working so I can't be outside enjoying this amazing day, if you're in the house you can't do anything. Nothing.

Them: There's nothing to doooooo!!!

Me: Too bad.

They finally got sick of it after a couple of hours and left. Amen.

To quote the great Steve Martin in 'Parenthood'-- "My whole life is 'have to'".  Well said.

I don't usually get to do things I actually want to do anymore.
When I was a kid I would leave the house in the morning (because I wanted to) and my mother would have to come looking for me at dinner time (because she had to). I suppose with today's technology and constant entertainment it's not as exciting to go play kickball until you drop. It's a shame really.

And I ran out of wine.....bah. I don't even want to go get more.
I believe I'll be outsourcing that one to Richard. :)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I knew I would be recognized eventually

So according to The Bloggess, National Mental Illness Week is THIS week. (!!)
Now I don't want to make light of the serious mental illness that some people are so unfortunate to be plagued with, BUT I'm convinced that having almost 10-year-old twin boys could easily qualify me for a holiday, especially this week.

Megan would agree with me.

And I'm super excited that I get to work from home tomorrow (yay flexible work arrangement!) but what makes it *super* exciting is that the kids are out of school due to one of their WAY too many teacher work days so they get to be home with me ALLLL DAYYYY. Sensing my sarcasm? Hmm??

So National Mental Illness Week seems to be MY week, at least right now.

I'm almost out of wine, better go take care of that...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Why do they always smell so gross?

No matter what I do, no matter how clean they are when they leave the house, the kids always manage to come home smelling like stinky, wet dogs.

What is that??

They're just sitting in a classroom all day with a few breaks to go outside throughout the day. Hardly a reason to smell so disgusting. Maybe it's because they're boys? Who knows.

Today they have soccer practice. Can't wait to experience that one.
If you're looking for me, I'll be Febreze-ing the kids.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Comcast makes me crazy

There's no reason cable should cost THIS much. Our last bill was almost $200 and my OnDemand only works some of the time. Total madness.

Unfortunately the back patio, the only allowable location for a dish, is not Southern facing. See ya later, DirecTV. The neighborhood is not wired for Fios, so we're stuck with evil Comcast. Ugh.

Enough to make me want to spit tacks.

So today I called to see if I could "talk them down" a little using a stern voice and some crafty negotiating skills. (riiiiight). Long story short, I ended up on a call for almost 20 minutes with a personality-free Comcast representative, a call which consisted of almost nothing but silence. Weirdest thing ever.

After all that excitement, 'Personality-Free' came back with an offer to apply a $20 credit to our bill every month for 12 months.

As Megan says, "Better than nuthin". So true.

Here's a tip for y'all...agree to get a call back afterward to take the brief survey. That might improve your chances of getting someone who's willing to work with you, personality or not.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Energy is wasted on the youth

This weekend was a tough one. It turned sharply colder out, 40 degrees. And for early October in Northern Virginia that's COLD. Especially considering it was 80 about a week ago. No wonder we all get sick every change of season.

The kids unfortunately had a soccer game early Saturday morning. 
Here's the quick math:
Cold + rain + wind + crabby kids = mom wanting to run away. It was miserable. And did I mention it was cold??
Huddled like penguins only their beaks aren't as sharp
That basically set the tone for the rest of the weekend which was not pleasant...for anyone. The kids were bouncing off the walls and Richard and I were nearly dead.

What resulted was a barrage of screaming matches between the kids, feelings of cabin fever on my part, and a great desire to just move myself to an island somewhere...alone. And I wouldn't mind trading places with Demi Moore for a minute, just sayin'.

Back to my real life.....