Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sink or Swim

I know that's a frequently used expression.  Just for the record - I'm sinking.  I have started my news
 job, and I love it, I really do.  But, like with any new job, I'm in the learning curve  I keep trying to remember back to my first year of teaching, and how I felt the same way for the first half of the year  Then, THEN, suddenly things got easier.  I'm ready for that moment.  I will say that I love my students.  Teaching adults is much different than teaching kids, and I'm such a little kid person, that I wasn't sure I could do this.  I guess sometimes you just have to try.

School is just a giant sinkhole.  Homework, tests, group projects, projects - I'm fully expecting my professors to send us out to do some road repairs and direct traffic in case we have too much free time.  I just took my first test tonight and I want to sit in my closet and hum.

I'm also sinking with all of my kids' activities.  Will had a tennis meet this week, and the night before he was telling me how carrying his tennis bag to school was ruining his life.  OK, get this:  He has to put the bag in the car, draaaaaaaaaag it into school, go alllllllll the way down the hall with it, then put the bag in Mrs. Reynold's room.  Are you exhausted after reading that?  I mean, thank goodness the kid is an athlete because I don't know who else could handle a workout like that.  Despite my snark, I told Will that I would drop his bag and shoes off in the Woodland office at 2:00, and he could grab them before getting on the team bus at 2:45.  YEA FOR NICE MOMMIES!

So, at 2:45, I'm sitting in car rider line waiting to get Emma when I get a text from Will that says:

Where is my tennis bag and shoes?

Me.  They are in the Woodland office.  Go get them.

Will:  Can you bring them to me?

At that moment I decided he had lost his mind.  He couldn't go down the hall and get his own bag and shoes?  What next - would he want me to go on the court and serve for him? 

Me.  No, you need to get your own bag.

Will:  I can't  I'm on the team bus.

Me:  What?  Get off the bus and go get your bag  NOW!

Will:  You don't understand.  The bus is moving.


Will:  I wasn't sure we had 100% confirmed the delivery.

-oh yes, he said that-

so I didn't reply for a few minutes.  Mainly because I had no words.

Will:  Mom?

Will:  Mommy?

Will:  What should I do?

Me:  Pray

Will:  No really

Me:  For real

Will:  MOM!

That's when I pulled my big ol' van out of car rider line, checked out Emma early, drove to Woodland, grabbed the stupid bag and shoes out of the office, then headed to Springdale to meet the bus.  I had Emma text Will that we would meet him at the gym.

A whole dollar!  Thanks Will - that won't even cover the Icee and Pringles I bought at a skeevee Kum and Go for Emma's snack. 

But, the little turkey wound up winning his doubles and singles, so I couldn't stay mad for too long. 

Kevin suggested that leaving the bag and shoes might have been lucky, but I shut that thought down pretty quickly.  I don't need anymore sinking - from anyone.  We all need to swim.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Purple Dawg

Will had his first meet as a high school tennis player this week, which meant that he was an incredibly big deal.  We were all allowed to live in the same house with him, fortunately, and I even had the honor of washing his sweaty clothes.  He thought they should be framed and hung on the wall, but I'll save that space for something really important, like maybe the first Spanish test he passes.  This has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with tennis, but we were in the carpool going home and Will proudly announced, "Spanish 1 is so much easier when you take it the second time!"  Oh yes, Sweet Baby, and please keep that thought to yourself.

So, the meet - Will had to ride the team bus up there.  It stopped at the junior high to pick up Will and his friend Sam.  You'd think getting on the correct bus wouldn't be a biggie, but apparently they got on the bus for the girls' softball team and didn't even know it.  I might need to worry some about Spanish - I hope it's not a threepeat for us.

Emma and I drove from Fayetteville to Rogers for the meet, and went to the wrong high school.  Before you hand over my genius medal, you should know that I had been to the correct high school before for one of Will's Cross Country meets.  El apple does not fall from el tree.  No Bueno.

We got there in time to see Will and Sam play some 6'5 guys in doubles.  It was probably better that I was driving around Rogers with my head up my rear because that was a much more pleasant sight.  However, Will came off the court happy, he thought he played well, and he wanted a Slim Jim!  He also drank about 6 bottles of water because it was only 99 degrees.  I actually said something about being hot, and Will looked at me and said, "OH REALLY!  WOULD YOU LIKE TO TELL ME WHAT THAT FEELS LIKE?"  Uh, never mind.

Emma was in high stress mode because she had her first test in fourth grade, and they had a study guide and everything.  It was the total real deal!  She had her social studies book out, the study guide, and was filling in the answers with different colors of ink.  I'm not for certain, but I suspect that might have slowed her down a little.

Will had to go back on and play singles, so of course I stationed myself for pictures.

The Rogers' coach was near me and he said, "Are you Will's mother?"  I answered that I was, and then he asked Will's last name, how old he was, and a few other things that I can't remember.  At the time, I wondered why he was so interested in Will, but I figured he was trying to size up the competition.  After Will's match, Emma was on the verge of melting down, so Kevin took her home.  The Rogers' coach went after him in the parking lot and told Kevin that Will was by far the best player on the FHS team.  He said his form was great and he could tell that Will was going to be a strong player. 

Hearing that meant a lot because Will has really struggled this year with his elbow injury.  He's grown so much and gotten stronger - Kevin says he can tell Will is about to put it all together. 

We're pretty proud of this uni-lingual kid.  Maybe by next year he can call the score in Spanish!  That would totally throw his opponents off! 

*Oh, and for the record, Will totally loves his uniform.  After last year's Cross Country debacle where he not only had to wear short-shorts, but a man tank top, a t-shirt and regular shorts are much appreciated.  I still remember Will pulling his CC uniform out of the bag and saying, "Dang!  They gave me one of the girl's uniforms," and then he found out the truth.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Kansas City, the trip and pictures

I'm really trying to catch up after not blogging during finals week.  About two weeks ago, Kevin and I decided to do one more Kansas City trip before Emma's school started, so we got up at dark-thirty and hit the road early.

Now that we have the van, traveling is a lot easier  Will rides in what we call the "way-back," and we don't hear from him unless he wants food or a potty stop.  So really, we only hear from him if he's hungry because that kid has a bladder of steel. Seriously!  We should all be that lucky.  It would have saved me a lot of gross-outs in Alabama Circle K's. 

Emma, on the other hand, talks nonstop the whole.entire.trip.  We'll bring movies, the iPod, a DS, coloring books (the list goes on), but she'll say, "I just want to talk to you guys.  Want to hear me say all of my multiplication facts?  OK - I'll start with the 0's and go through the 12's." 

Sooooo, this year I saw that the American Girl Isabelle movie was coming out, and I bought it, and hid it, and pulled it out when we left the house. 

I'm so smart I scare myself sometimes.  Of course, you can see Will in the background plotting something, but I gave him a bag of beef jerky and a threat, and we didn't hear much from him after that.

We hit the aquarium first and it was great.  If you are ever in Kansas City, I highly recommend it.  Even Mr. I'msocoolIcanhardlystandit thought it was fun.


I'll bet you are thinking, "Wow!  This is picture overload!"  Well, this is nothing.  Hold on to your tabbies because I have a whole lot more. 

After the aquarium, it was time for lunch because it had been two solid hours since the teenager had eaten.  We were all a little worried he might start looking at us and seeing ham sandwiches instead.  We had heard about Fritz's Railroad Cafe and decided to give it a try.

Yeah, he was barely tolerating me.  The line was a mile long and Will though he was going to die.

Then we made it inside and everyone got a train hat!  Yippee!

Of course Emma has her hat on MC Hammer style.

And this picture is out there just to see if he actually reads my blog.  I'm sure I'll know before too long.

The food was delivered by electric trains, and it was pretty good, but the average client age was about 4 years old.  Kevin described the place as "kid hell," and then Will and Emma just about died because "Daddy said a bad word."  I'm sure Daddy thought lots of bad words during the meal because the kid behind us was having everyone's melt down over how his French Fries touched his hamburger.  The world was not right that day.

We split up after lunch.  The boys went to the WWI museum, which Will couldn't get enough of.  No pictures - go ahead and give that big relieved sigh, you're not hurting my feelings.  Much.  Emma and I went to Kaleidoscope, which is a free arts and crafts program sponsored by Hallmark for kids.  Remember how Kevin described Fritz's?  It's a good thing he didn't go to Kaleidoscope.  I totally took one for the team.

After that we took a tour of Hallmark and made bows for packages.  Yes, we had about all the Hallmark we could take.  

The boys still weren't back from the museum (what were they doing?  Like reading every plaque on the wall or something?).   So, we went to the Crayola store.  Again, where is my medal?

I didn't even know they had Crayola Stores.

Finally the boys got done.  Emma snapped pictures of them as they were walking towards us (she's a little obsessed with my camera).  When I loaded them on my computer I noticed how Will and Kevin walk EXACTLY alike.  Their arms and legs do the same thing.  Their heads go the same way.  They truly are carbon copies of each other, down to the birthdays on the same day.

FINALLY we were done with all this craft and education silliness.  It was time to get down to business.  I mean, why else would you come to Kansas City except to go to...

Just say it with me:  AM-ER-I-CAN  G-IRL!!!  Then squeal real loud, because that's what we did,  OK, that's what one of us did.  Another member went along and was patient while Emma looked at every single thing in the story.  Two other family members bought Sour Patch Kids and went looking for a nonexistent Nike store.
She decided to get Isabelle's ears pierced.  You can't see it in the picture, but this is the end result.

I was almost as nervous about the AG doll getting her ears pierced as I was when Emma got hers done.  Maybe because that doll is not cheap.

This is when Emma was signing the paperwork.  They make a really big deal about the Mommas bringing in the babies for ear piercing.

Emma even got to high-five Isabelle, but I wasn't quick enough to catch it.  They took her in the back, and that's when Kevin and Will showed up to see what we were doing.  Will said, "You know they aren't piercing her ears with a little earring gun.  They took her behind the curtain so you don't see the Craftsman drill they are sticking in her head."  Kevin grabbed Will by the shoulder and quickly escorted him from the store, and I distracted Emma by showing her a $500 Volkswagon Beetle that her dolls would never ride in.

We finished up the day eating at Houston's.  I did manage one halfway decent picture of Kevin and Will. 

The next day we went to Schlitterbahn and I have no pictures.  You can email me thanks about that one.  I've never seen more tattoos or body piercings in unusual places before, and I plenty of time to look at them because we stood in line for hours waiting to go down water slides 


Oh, and my fear of public restrooms just quadrupled after that place.

If you are still reading, thank you.  Go get a Milk Dud - you deserve it.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Have a Coke and a Smile

I won't go into how much this bugs me.  I mean, this is a whole blog post in itself.  I never ever had a Will or a William while I was teaching.  I had 4 Michaels one year, boocoodles of Jacobs and Joshua's, but never a Will.  I thought he was getting a one in a million name.  Instead, he's one of millions.

You'd think that with my kids having the most popular names in the history of the whole world, that they could find a coke with their names.

That's Emma holding up a bottle that says "Juan."

I should have named them Vic and Andre, because those appeared to be the most common names in the bin.  No Will.  No Emma.  They were bummed.

The whole idea of having common names is being able to find doo-dads with your name on it.

Emma came up with her own solution this afternoon.

I guess she showed Coca-Cola. 

Friday, August 8, 2014


Do you remember this picture of Emma?

That's what I want to do right now because I've finished writing 4 papers, making a Prezi, and taking two finals.  There is no way I could do a cartwheel because I've consumed massive amounts of Milk Duds while doing all that work.  Yeah, it's brain food.  Want some proof?

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

That would be a 99% folks, and yes, I'm bragging.  I think I've earned it, and some serious trash TV watching   I also think I've earned eating lettuce and spending hours on the elliptical.

My next classes start in less than two weeks.  Will's school starts in a week.  I'm feeding him Milk Duds.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Before July is over

I can't let July pass without marking a special day that happened in our family.

Our favorite fuzzy boy turned 11!!!  I'm talking about Popsicle and not Will - FYI.

For an old guy, he's still pretty spunky.  His hobbies include chasing flies, barking at birds, and eating cookies.

Oh, and giving surprise "sugars" when you least expect it.

He's grown so much since Will first picked him out.  We can thank the all the dog cookies for that

And he's learned a lot in his eleven years, even if he didn't graduate from the Canine College. 

He plays soccer.

He drives.

And he's very busy guarding the flowers.  It's a rough life.

For his birthday, Will and Emma wanted to get him another "Lamby."  Popsicle had one as a puppy, but he ate it.  They thought that 11 was mature enough to handle another one.

We'll let you know how Lamby part 2 goes. 
So, Happy Birthday Popsicle!  We love you!  And no more cookies.