Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Busy and Crazy!

A lot has been going on at Casa Mac and Cheese lately.  I neglected to post about Pumpkin's pre-school graduation which happened about a week and a half ago.  It was a little scary, seeing as the days of cutesy wootsy have come to an end, and her next school will be big, concrete, and full of big kids.  You'd have to see the set up of her preschool to get a sense of how safe and contained it is.  It is an 1800's school house on a beautiful lot, surrounded by a white picket fence.  It was pretty easy to leave her there each morning, as opposed to this upcoming September when I will only be escorting her as far as the school bus.  Somehow she is going to get off the bus at the other end, hang up her own clothes, serve herself her own snacks and lunch, and learn something.  Could happen!

We also had Pumpkin's 4th birthday party on Saturday, and I have to say, an off-site party is the way to go if you can swing it.  I was thinking of having her party at home, and it wasn't the fear of 20 kids ransacking my backyard that made me hesitate.  It was the fact that at this age, the parents would likely be staying, which takes the pre clean and food prep to a whole new level.  I'm actually phobic of entertaining, with concerns of dog hair and being judged on my cooking.  As if I'd be cooking.  Whatever.  The gym class type of party was a hit, and Pumpkin seemed to love it.  I say "seemed", because she'd never actually tell me.  I have to go by the smiles and lack of tantrums.  

In other Pumpkin news, today was her first day of camp.  I've sent her to half day camp before, and I've sent her to half day school before, but both were at the quaint little place described above, so this had an entirely different feel.  It was extremely weird for me to walk my ever lovin' first born over to a 16 year old and hand her over for the entire day.  Pumpkin didn't fuss as she shyly took the councilors hand, and walked over to her group while her over sized knapsack shuffled along behind her.  (Sniff.)  I'm anxious to pick her up in an hour from now.  

In other surreal news, this morning while I was getting Chichi dressed for the day, I heard The Huz screaming, "TAZ!  TAZ! TAZ!"  Although he freaks out about the dogs on a regular basis, this scream had a lot more urgency than is typical.  I decided to abandon my post and check out whatever drama was unfolding in the yard.  What I just missed seeing was a black squirrel with its teeth embedded in Taz's snout, as Taz tried to shake it off.  Not relishing the idea of 10 rabies shots in the abdomen, Hubby succeeded in removing the squirrel without actually touching it.  He pulled Taz's head in one direction, then quickly snapped it in the other, sending the squirrel flying as if it had been catapulted, or squirrelapulted as the case was.  It has been about a month since I dropped money at the vet's anyways, so I was due to make a deposit.

So what's new with you?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Birthday Party Advice

On Saturday, I began my day at Chuck E. Cheese's, and ended it at a performance of Riverdance. I am a woman of diverse interests, multiple complexities, and many layers. Plus we had free tickets. Back to the Chuck E. Cheese's part, the last time I was there was when I was the kid, not the parent. I remember that I was in grade 5, and that my friends were trying to chat up some boys who were following us around. We did the 11 year old's equivalent of buying them drinks, which was to give them some of our prize tickets. My friends had me be the runner, so I was the one to deliver the tickets, and find out who was interested in whom. So suave were we. It was very typical for me to have been the runner, and not one of the love interests. I'd like to say that I was just selective at such a young age, and that I preferred the boys from the roller rink, but truthfully, I just couldn't attract a lot of little league action with whatever my look was in those days. Don't feel bad for me though. I peaked in my 20's instead. Anyhow, the birthday party that brought us there this past Saturday was a different experience. It was a lot of work actually. I don't recommend this place for a party if your child requires a guardian to follow her around, explain to deaf ears why certain games are not appropriate for her, and why she can't cash her 47 tickets in for a Tinkerbell toy that requires 8000 prize tickets to purchase. "YOU WILL TAKE YOUR RUBBER SPIDER AND YOU WILL LIKE IT!!!" I prefer a party where parents get to talk amongst themselves while funneling flasks of vodka into their provided juice boxes. Just throw the kids into a bouncy castle. They'll be fine.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I'm sitting in my dining room, watching a team of tree guys cut down five of the trees in my yard. When we moved in, we had 10 tall pines, each about 50 years old. They weren't looking particularly healthy, but they added a great deal of character to the yard. A very dry summer a couple of years back did some of them in though, and I guess character lost out to safety as we've been a little shaken up by projectile branches smashing into our house during some of the crazy wind storms we've had this spring. So down they come. Despite my sadness over my slightly more barren looking yard, I can't help but smile at the memory of that scene from Fargo every time I pass by the front window and see the wood chipper in my driveway. At least there's that.

The trees in my yard were one of those things that gave me something to brag about. "Sure, my '80's, suburban house has no personality and needs work, but look at those trees!" Now I'm gonna need something else to feel superior to those urbanites who outbid us on the midtown houses that we desperately tried to buy back in the day. I guess with all that freshly opened up space, I can accommodate a massive flock of pink flamingos:
Nope. No feeling of superiority yet. I'll keep trying.

Monday, June 15, 2009

I'm Pretty Sure that we Won't be Home Schooling Over Here.

You know those moments in life when your child demonstrates what a great job you've been doing, and your heart swells with pride as others look on in awe?  I've heard about these moments, although I most certainly did not have one of them today at our junior kindergarten interview.  It was just a 15 minute assessment where the teacher talked to Pumpkin, asked her a few questions, and tried to get a sense of how often she will be banging her head on the chalk board next school year.  Just yesterday, I had a laugh with hubby about how talking to Pumpkin is sometimes like talking to someone with a concussion.  It wasn't as funny today as Pumpkin ignored the questions that she didn't like, talked about things she wasn't asked about, and showed no sign of knowing any of the letters in her name, how old she is, or any ability to draw.  Not only that, but the questions that she did answer appropriately made me look bad.  When asked what she likes to eat, she replied, "Chocolate bread!"  (Nutella).  When asked if she likes to watch TV, she totally perked up and recited all the Disney movies that she likes to watch, and wouldn't leave the topic alone.  When It's not like I haven't tried to teach her how to write her name or her numbers, but she isn't at all receptive to my efforts when I try.  She typically retreats to her own little world, where she demonstrates great imagination, but frustrates the hell out of me.  I generally believe that she knows more than she lets on, but plays dumb for whatever reason.  The alternative is that she may have learning issues, or possibly ADD inherited from my husband, which we will deal with if we have to, but I'm now feeling anxious about it.    She is very social and outgoing, which has carried her through pre-school well enough, but what happens now?  I am hoping that in class, when I'm not around, she will show her true potential.  I just don't feel confident that all is well.  (deep breath.)