Friday, September 28, 2007

Gainfully employed

I heard back last night from Cargill, I start back into the world of the gainfully employed as an independent contractor on October 8th. My old client, who will now be my new client, Jeff wrote:

I'm thrilled we get to work together again. This is the most important project our business unit has taken on in a lot of years so I feel a lot better knowing you're going to be part of it.

OK now I'm nervous. Eeek - the most important project? Whoa, better bring the A game, but you know I am excited - scared - but am ready to go.

I have so much to do before the 8th, gotta get the list together to make the most of my kid free week (now that litte man is at daycare in the a.m.).

Let's see:
1) Paint basement.
2) Purge house of clutter - how can we accumulate this much crap?
3) Goodwill and library drop off - Maple Grove Library is taking donations until Oct. 6th!!!
4) Get the yard ready for winter - should I plant more bulbs?
5) Put basement back together - IKEA run may be needed.
6) Talk to school about not chairing Turkey Bingo - I think Turkeys may do me in this year.
7) Is it too early to decorate for Christmas? It would be really helpful if I could just get that out of the way considering last year it took me three bloody days to accomplish the task.
8) Get the dishwasher fixed, that is if it is still leaking. Every time I call Sears out it stops and I have to still pay the $65 for the call.
9) Have Comcast come out and fix/upgrade phones/cable.
10) Maybe play one last round of Thursday tennis with my favoritest partner Pat.
11) Read book club book.
12) Make/freeze dinners for next month, so while the home office is doing his best Michael Keaton as Mr. Mom imitation he won't have to start from scratch.
13) If there is anything I left off, please add.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Why, then the world's mine oyster

This whole school thing is opening up a whole new world for little man, he is even told us the other night at dinner he wanted to join soccer (which he has never had ANY interest in). When we inquired about the change of heart he told us: "I want to play soccer cause I am way good at tackling."

JG has also discovered running right now, he went to the Woodchuck Run (school fundraiser) on Monday and ran like a fool. My very own Forrest Gump. When I told him "run Forrest run" he informed me trees are stuck in the ground and couldn't move. I hate it when really great lines for the appropriate occasion are lost on the audience.

Last night, Dan took JG and the neighbors, MW and EW to the Crimson Run. The kids had a great time, JG took 4th in his division, EW took 8th and MW did a great job finishing the race in 26th place after taking a nasty spill, but he did it!

AE and I missed the Crimson Run and instead went to get her eyes tested and she needs glasses for school. She had a blast picking out frames, thank goodness she rethought the lilac frames after we reviewed her entire wardrobe which has not one stitch of lilac in it. Her decision to go with a neutral pair will make our morning routine so much easier, I was dreading the meltdowns because nothing would go with the "major accessory" on her face.

Kids glasses are so much cuter now than when I had to pick my first pair out. I had a choice between Lucy, Sally or Peppermint Patty. All looked the same - except for the color or brown, medium brown and tan - has anyone else noticed that they don't use tan much anymore as a color? Tan is now taupe or ecru.

Oh the good old days of bad glasses, bland color descriptions, culottes, gaucho boots, retainers and a Dorothy Hamill wedge.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Bus 101

There are unspoken rules when it comes to riding the bus to school, I unfortunately never really got to experience true bus ridership when I was a child. We lived within walking distance to Meadowbrook Elementary (actually it was .84 miles according to MapQuest) so my friends and I didn't get to enjoy all that goes with taking school transportation. We instead got to experience walking which included, but was not limited to: falling down hills, being chased by small dogs and wandering through culverts and cemeteries on our way to school.

My sister and I instead had to beg mom to let us take swimming lessons at the YMCA in downtown Rapid City so we could experience riding a bus. All we really ended up with was pneumonia (it was the winter when we took our lessons) and the knowledge of how to do the sidestroke, which I truly believe is an extinct swimming stroke.


Now that little man has started kindergarten, both of our children take the bus to/from school and my how their experiences have varied.

For AE the bus has been fun, albeit painful at times. We have had musical seats with a couple of her friends which leads to elementary angst, but overall it has been positive. Each year she moves a little farther back to big kid territory.

The 6th graders get the really cool back seats and the kindergartners must sit in the front or with a sibling. I have worried a bit about little man and the inevitability that he may actually have to sit with his sister. I was having flashbacks to my sister and I having to do anything together and my father worrying we would make completes asses out of ourselves. I too have this fear with our children - they just can't control themselves when it comes to their sibling and the opportunities for public humiliation in front of the entire neighborhood really are endless on the bus.

I guess all of my worrying may have been for naught. JG has completely circumvented the whole bus hierarchy thing. He has somehow weaseled his way to the back of the bus and is sitting with the 6th graders which has been unheard of, however which is now possible thanks to unassigned seating.

AE is a bit miffed that he hasn't put in his bus dues, but she will get over it. I am just waiting for the day when she gets in the back of the bus and may have to ask her "little" brother for a seat.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Civil War - 2nd Grade Style

I had lunch last week with a couple of my bestest girlfriends. We were enjoying one another's company quite a lot when one of them shared the following story:

(I promised my friend's little guy no names would be named so he will remain anonymous)

My friend's youngest son has been reading quite a few of The Magic Treehouse series and one night at dinner wanted to discuss his latest read, Civil War on Sunday.

During the conversation, my friend's son asked, "So did anyone in our family fight for the Confidant?"

My friend asked, "The what?"

"You know the Confidant. Did anyone in our family fight on the side of the Confidant?"

My friend started to smile, then began laughing when her little one said, "Or maybe they fought for the Onion."

Oh, what would our country be today if instead of the Confederacy and Union, we instead aligned ourselves with the Confidants and Onions?

It was so cute, I just had to share.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Coffee, tea or a Peanut Cornado?

Yesterday little man was playing one tiring game of Mario Baseball when he evidently worked up quite a thirst so he said in his best little Wendy Whiner from SNL voice:

"Mooooommmmyyyyy, caaaannnn yyyoooouuu ggggeeetttt meeee someeeeething to drrrrrink?"

"Like what?", I asked.

"WWWeeeelllll, how about a whaaaaattttt do theeeeeyyyy call it?"

"A what? What do they call a what?", I was not following it. All he drinks is OJ and water how did he not know those?

"Oh you knooooowwwww, that thing I drinkt (JG's version of drank) in Mexico."

"Orange pop? We don't have any orange pop."

"NNNNooooo, that other thing, you knooooowwwww let's see, aaaahhhhhaaaahhhhh. Oh yea. A Peanut Cornado."

"Never heard of it."

We then had a complete meltdown because mom couldn't make the quickfire translation of PEANUT CORNADO = PINA COLADA. The only thing that came to mind when he said Cornado was Cordoba, as in Chrysler Cordoba. Like the car my aunt drove in 1978 with this funky tapestry interior.

So at 9:34 a.m. my child wanted me to haul my cookies upstairs to make him a Pina Colada just like in Mexico with and umbrella and garnish.

Yeah, like that was going to happen.

He received a glass of water, which I served to him as "Windmill Punch". He took his punch, said thank you and I haven't heard about the Cornado since...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I am so not ready for this

Yesterday morning during the Schmidt family get ready for school routine, AE went into my bathroom and locked the door. I figured I would give her privacy even though I really needed to get into the shower, I also couldn't figure out why she would be using my bathroom when hers is completely set up for her every need.

After about five minutes she walked out, there was no flushing, water running - nothing.

I asked her, "What's going on. Are you o.k.?"

"Yeah, I'm o.k." she turned her head and walked past me down the hall.

I went downstairs to make her some eggs, while sitting down to eat I looked over and saw Tammy Faye Bakker (during her PTL heyday) sitting next to me, where my little girl used to sit.

AE decided September 19, 2007 was to be the day she tried out mom's makeup and let's just say the mascara application did not go as planned and was nowhere near to getting under mom's radar. AE already has long eyelashes you can't miss, however the mascara made her look like a doe in headlights.

We did some quick makeup removal and my little girl got on the bus looking like the 9 year old that she is.

You know, this isn't AE's first foray into the world of makeup, in fact this time was a lot more low key.

When AE was in kindergarten she was over at a friends house after school when AE, her friend and the friend's older sister decided to sample our neighbor's makeup. The girls dabbled in blush, eyeshadow and lipstick - really did it up good.

At the end of the fun they tried to remove the makeup and it wouldn't come off, so in a moment of panic the eldest sister dialed 911 because to her this was an emergency. The police came to the house and our neighbor found out about the beauty course going on in her bathroom when the police came to the door. AE learned her lesson about makeup and we hadn't touched the stuff until yesterday.

I guess I can be thankful for a few things, 1) she didn't call the police because she thought she looked really good, 2) I don't own any of the sky/peacock blue, purple orchid, pink sunrise eyeshadow of my youth that I tried out in Junior High.

I wonder, do they still sell those?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

This is what I have been doing with my free time, since I obviously haven't been blogging

As fate would have it the really great daycare I tried to get little man into earlier when the whole job thing was in full force finally had an opening. Barb, the daycare provider, has the perfect location, demeanor, price - pretty much the total daycare package, so I had to jump at the opportunity. Thanks again Shelly for the insider information.

So little man starts daycare next Monday and can't wait, Barb has a Golden Retriever puppy named Casey who is just adorable (his dad is in all of the Target ads), plus there is another really cute little blond - Nicole.

Now that JG will be gone pretty much the entire day I figured I should look for something more productive to do other than wandering aimlessly through Pottery Barn and Anthropologie (I think they were beginning to worry about the lady who would come in between 1:00 and 3:00 any given weekday). The Cargill thing is still in the hopper, but they are waiting for budget approval which could take who knows how long, so I decided to go to a few companies and check on temp/contract work.

I had to laugh because I went to a temp agency where I had to take Microsoft Power Point, Excel and Word tests. I put down on my information I was advanced in the products, but didn't tell them I haven't really used any of them in the past three years with the exception of sorting tennis competition and putting together a Turkey Bingo flyer. Needless to say I was a little nervous.

When the test started I tanked the first question right off the top, I found out the test didn't allow for any right mouse clicking (not very efficient - I told the girl monitoring the tests that!). Anyway, rather than get into a debate just got about my business there were some dreaded pivot table questions and icky table of content questions with field codes. Let's just say I wasn't really looking forward to my results,

In the end I found out you had to have scored an 88% on each of the tests to be considered an expert and Microsoft Certified.

I got a 92%, 95% and 95% - plus a pretty good laugh, guess I still have "it". Whatever "it" may be.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Yet another rodent video

For some reason every video JG and NB want to watch on YouTube has either a chipmunk, squirrel, hamster or guinnea pig.

This is the favorite of the day - nothing entertains 5 year olds better than a little hamster cage match between Rose and Fred...

Monday, September 17, 2007

Happy Birthday Mom!

Happy birthday mother of mine, just wanted to take the opportunity to thank you for a few little things you have done along the way and to tell you how much you are loved by all of us...

putting bells on my shoes so you could find me, taking a deep breath and counting to ten when I decided to cut windows in my brand new playhouse, letting me stay up to watch Sonny and Cher and singing along with me, throwing awesome birthday parties with homemade double decker cakes which seem to completely elude me as an adult, letting us paint on the windows, not losing it when I drew artwork on the walls right before we were supposed to move, giving us freedom to figure out things for ourselves, driving us to a bazillion activities every day of the week, singing "Good morning, good morning it's time to start the day..." every day, being the president of the PTA, being our Brownie troop leader, making paper mache puppets of the Seven Dwarfs and Snow White, sewing us beautiful little girl dresses, being ok with a fort in your living room every day after school, playing Barbra Streisand - all of the time - ok maybe it was a little too much, taking care of us when we were sick, letting us eat off of TV trays on Monday night so we wouldn't miss Little House on the Prairie, making new hair for my Hollie Hobbie doll when I realized she was really bald under the bonnet, letting us know we were special when we didn't really feel that hot, laughing so hard we cried, driving us cross country many, many times and letting us stay in really cool hotels, letting me order new things off menus even when you knew I wouldn't like it - just so I could say I tried it, being our camp counselor, teaching us really great sing along songs in the car, not really pulling the car over after saying "Don't make me pull this car over", going to Grease six times in the summer of '78, baking cookies, baking bars, baking the best blueberry pies in the world, letting me go to Japan when I was 16 and didn't have a clue, checking in on me in Japan because you knew I didn't have a clue, giving up a lot so we could do our things, getting us some interesting dogs - many neurotic pets we have had, driving me to college, sending me care packages in college, trying to understand teenage girls, letting us use the bathroom first, telling us getting another perm probably wasn't a good idea, letting me dye only my bangs blond, telling me I needed to get a job, not letting me quit my hated summer job, letting me manage my own money, bailing me out when money management went awry, pretty much planning our whole wedding, making all of my bridesmaid dresses, helping us find a house, staying with both AE and JG so they didn't have to go to daycare, making me laugh, being an awesome grandma, showing me all of your estate sale finds, being my friend, being you.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The creative well is dry my friends, much like my yard

I don't know what the deal is, but I am totally in a blog funk right now... I just can't come up with any good "material" lately.

Has anyone else gone through this?

Maybe it is because my little muse has left me for the big wide world of kindergarten...

Little man did tell me the other day that the kiss I gave him reminded him of "dog vomit" cause it was too "slobbery". Hope he brushes up on the sweet talk before he meets his first girlfriend otherwise it may be his last.

BTW the picture above is not our yard, just wanted to make sure no one thought it was that bad. I mean the home office did turn off the sprinkler system because he no longer wanted to mow, but I will figure out how to run the #*($@& home office installed system if it gets to this point.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Hit me baby one more time...

My sister and I have always swapped clothes, sometimes fought over them as well - I recall the peach Benetton sweatshirt incident - wait that is for another day. Anyway, we have since passed this little clothes swapping tradition to our children - we have passed kids clothes on to one another, Shelly, Lori, Kim, Jody and so on and so on and so on...

Amy sent up another bag of things ZE had outgrown which I finally had a chance to go through this weekend and had to laugh, among the clothes was a black concert t-shirt from 2001, before Britney became the trainwreck she is today. I don't know what is funnier - the shirt or the fact that yes, my sister really did go to this concert.

Wondering if we should put the keepsake on eBay and let it ride...

Monday, September 10, 2007

Block Party

We had our 8th (or was it 9th annual?) neighborhood block party this past weekend. We normally have it the 1st week of the summer, however this year proved to be too challenging with graduations (so many of the kids are getting older - yikes) and summer kick off in general. So we moved it to the 1st weekend after school started which worked out great, lots of folks were in town and everyone seemed to have a blast.

Our kids ran non-stop for five hours, they rode the firetruck, bounced, played hockey, football and soccer, got their faces painted and ate a bit.

I helped coordinate it with a few of our new neighbors, Kim, Julie and Jen. I think they had the opportunity to meet many new neighbors which really is the reason for these get togethers anyway, right?

Hey Karen - I know you love our neighborhood, so when you get tired of Alabama there is a house for sale down the street with your name on it!!!!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Anyone for a little squirrel?

Here is the bedtime conversation for this evening:

JG: Mom, do you know how to cook a squirrel?
Mom: Where'd that come from? We don't want to eat squirrel.
JG: Yeah, we need to find a respee (recipe) for when Mia finally catches the squirrel in the back yard.
Mom: Let's hope Mia doesn't catch the squirrel.
JG: Well if she does let's go to the Intertent (Internet) just in case, I bet there is lots of squirrel respees, we can surprise Mia with a special dinner.

Let's hope he forgets we ever had this conversation in the morning. Also must make mental note to make sure he does not watch any more episodes of Top Chef - cause you never know what they will have on there. A few weeks ago little man was fascinated people actually ate the ostrich and sea urchin.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The best part of kindergarten is...

having your own bathroom in your classroom. Way cool.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

School days

Well they are all off to school - sigh. Little man made it to kindergarten and AE is a big fourth grader. All went well, the only item left on the checklist is "JG returns home on the bus". I told AE she has to throw a stink if her brother and buddies are not on the bus.

We have had a full day already, we got AE on the bus, went for a "short-cut" as JG calls it, ran errands, went to a Kindergarten luncheon hosted by JG's friend KL. Then off to the bus - JG got on without looking back. All of the parents raced up to the school to make sure their child made the 1.2 mile trip to the school. I could not believe how many parents were at the school - it was the Kinderazzi. Crazy.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Close call

My father woke up on Sunday morning, went downstairs to make coffee and read the paper just like every other Sunday morning. However, this Sunday, while drinking his second cup of coffee he found that he couldn't breathe and felt as if he was drowning. He managed to call 911 and he was transported to Kanabec County hospital about 18 miles away. By the time he arrived the nurses said he was blue and not doing well at all, they were in the process of scheduling an airlift to the Cities when they got him stabilized.

After many tests it has been determined he has blood clots in his lungs (which caused the congestive heart failure), pneumonia and his Lyme's Disease he thought he kicked ten years ago has flared up. Not good.

I spoke with him and he is in good spirits. He is miffed because the clicker for the TV requires you go through the entire 60 channel rotation before you can get back to where you started, also he can't stand the food and has a lovely view of the hospital's ventilation system. Other than that he says he is fine. He is going to be staying for another three days in ICU so they can try to break up with clots with Coumadin.

My dad (and my family) have had a pretty good scare, let's hope they can get this cleared up. In the meantime dad is being his curmudgeonly self, giving whoever enters his room a really bad time and wanting to just go home.

Saturday, September 01, 2007