Friday, July 31, 2009
Posted by Kathy B! at 6:39 AM
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Posted by Kathy B! at 3:41 AM
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
We live in Wake County, North Carolina and the schools here are so screwed up I can't even articulate the mess. Actually, I take that back. The schools themselves are fine, in fact I love the school we've attended since moving here and have nothing but glowing remarks for the teachers and administration, but the administration at the school board level sucks. Case in point: My youngest three are on a year round calendar but my eldest, who is attending middle school this fall, is now on a traditional calendar. She'll be home for the next month while her sisters are in school... And in October, when the other three are out for almost a month? She'll be in school.
There are some pros and cons to the situation, and I am nothing if not a glass-half-full kinda person... but this? Even I can't make it good.
This morning as the (three) girls were getting ready for school I had this conversation with Rachel:
Rachel: <heavy sigh> I always felt like we were a team... The Belinski girls... Like we were in stuff together.
KathyB!: You are a team, sweetie. That's the best thing about having all those sisters. It's special, and you will always be there for each other. No matter what. <gives big hug>
Rachel: Except I'm not part of the team anymore. It's kinda like I got cut. I'm separate now.
KathyB!: Oh sweetie.... <more hugs>
Rachel: It's okay, mom. I know you have to tell me that it's a good thing. But I'm old enough now.... you don't have to pretend with me like when I was little...
KathyB!: <spinning internally on so many levels. And silent...>
I expected to feel impotent as my daughter entered middle school. I expected to feel powerless and weak in the face of mean girls and peer pressure and hormones.
I did not expect that the board of education would deem that my child not go to school with the children with whom she attended elementary school. I did not expect to spend the next month scrambling to make connections so that she'll at least recognize a few faces on the first day of school. I did not expect that the school board would put her on a schedule that would be hugely incompatible with the rest of the family, or that they would deny all of my appeals. I did not expect to feel so frustrated and powerless and impotent as my children, at least most of them, headed to school this morning.
I know this sort of vitriolic spouting isn't why most of you come here. And yes, I wrote the letters, I appealed the decisions twelve ways from Sunday, I quite literally pleaded with the powers that be and I exhausted all recourse. Make no mistake, this is a very complicated situation, and I understand that it's bigger than me.
And yet, for me it's quite simple. My job is to take care of my children and foster an environment that nurtures our family, and I take that job more seriously than I usually express.
And for the first time in my life...
Posted by Kathy B! at 6:06 AM
Monday, July 27, 2009
My kids are back to school today and I'm a little sad because I wasn't quite finished with summer. In an effort to close summer break with a bang, we headed to the beach on Saturday. When we arrived, parking was a beast. We eventually got a spot, but I had to be at my sneaky best to make it happen. This was probably the first indicator that "things" were not going my way.
The second sign came after we had lubed the kids with sunscreen and sent them off to play. I sat back in my chair and breathed deeply of the salty ocean breeze. As the fragrance-laden air filled my lungs I put my arms behind my head and relaxed. I took in the crisp blue sky, the crashing waves, the myriad assortment of people around me, and let go of my thoughts.
The family next to me was setting up their spot in the sand and as I turned my head to watch them I nearly screamed. What could yank me from the cusp of relaxation? I caught sight of my underarms. Apparently I'd taken pains to ensure freshly-shaved legs, and neglected another critical area. Fabulous. In addition to driving a minivan, having stretch marks, and being 15 pounds heavier than I was in my 20's, I can now add questionable personal hygiene -- in public-- to the list of things that would never happen to me.
I quickly pressed my arms to my body and decided it was time to go play in the surf. After all, if you're up to your neck in water no one can asess the status of your armpits, right? I headed for the waves and was pleasantly surprised. Wrightsville Beach has been experiencing abnormally high surf and the waves were huge. My family played together for awhile, but I was secretly happy when they left to get some watermelon...
I must have been body surfing for half an hour when I mis-timed a wave and got my ass handed to me on a silver platter. Sometimes when you're getting rolled by a wave you literally don't know which end is up. I briefly felt my legs kicking spastically to propel me to the surface... and yet had the odd sensation that my feet were actually above the surface. Right about the time I figured out that up was really down I had two more realizations: 1) The water was pulling me insistently in warning that I was about to get slammed again, and 2) I was about to lose the bottom of my bathing suit.
Sure enough, the second wave hit and the next thing I knew I was scrambling my half-naked self into a standing position. As I righted myself, I frantically scanned the surface for my bathing suit bottom. I debated whether to enlist the help of the swimmers around me. I chose to share my predicament when I contemplated making the half-naked walk of shame all the way to our beach area.
The people around me were kind enough not to ask questions, and immediately began scanning the frothy waves for my black bathing suit. Luck was on my side as one of the surfers near me spotted my suit and yelled to his friend at the top of his lungs, "Dude! Mike! Grab those pants! Those black things... Dude!! The lady lost her pants!"
Thanks for sharing. Now the entire beach knows that I've lost my pants. My humiliation is complete.Fortunately, my bathing suit bottoms were recovered. Luckily, I remained chest deep in churning ocean water through the entire ordeal and was able to re-suit myself without exposing myself.
Posted by Kathy B! at 6:39 AM
Friday, July 24, 2009
Posted by Kathy B! at 9:09 AM
Thursday, July 23, 2009
On most days I can look at my life and I can see the situations in which I find myself, and I can appreciate the humor (or stupidity). Sometimes it's cute and sometimes it's hilarious, and occasionally it's shocking.
And then other days? I don't appreciate anything... It's just. not. fun.
* I was yanked from my peaceful slumber at 4:00 AM by a daughter who had a bad dream and she scared me so badly coming down the stairs that I couldn't go back to sleep after the nearly fatal heart attack I'd just suffered. This was actually kind of funny, but I'm too busy being a grouch to tell it right.
* I sat by the pool playing lifeguard for 5 hours.
* I got eaten alive by mosquitoes (which honestly never happens).
* I was hot and sweaty and cranky from chaperoning in the pool all day and somehow I got bamboozled into having a a sleepover at my house. And I have this thing where I give my all during the day. 110%. But after 8:00? That's MOMMY TIME. Sleepovers often cause me to forgo MOMMY TIME and over-shoot my bedtime. Did I mention I was up at 4:00 AM?
* I had nothing to feed the sleeping-over-child for dinner except A LOT of watermelon (really, there was some other stuff, but mostly it was watermelon).
* And hubby is traveling. Everything is always harder when you have to go it alone.
Posted by Kathy B! at 3:09 AM
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
There were, like, 27 logs there and I stepped on the ONE that wasn't sturdy. I refuse to believe that my weight was a factor.
Apparently, my boots were enough to ward off any encounters with snakes. I was scared to death some slimy serpents might be loose in all of that water. *shudder* On the flip side, I did walk into the most ginormous-freaking-spider web I have ever seen (actually I didn't see it. If I'd seen it I would've gone around it rather than through it). And I might have screamed a little while jumping in circles and clawing at my hair. I might have been afraid there was a grapefruit-sized spider going for my throat. Rachel might have told me to "get a grip." I might have restrained myself from shoving her into the creek. Barely.Apparently, if you fall into the creek trying to save one of the boats the muddy banks will make it nearly impossible to climb out:
Hannah: Help me! I'm trapped.
KathyB!: You have to try, sweetie.
Hannah: I can't. I'm stuck.
KathyB!: Climb, Hannah...
Hannah: I can't, mom I'm really stuck.... You need to come down and get me.
KathyB!: Seriously, Hannah?! If I climb down there and I get stuck, too, then we are both going to be down there. Abby is going to have to go home and call 911 to get us out of the stupid creek. That would just be ridiculous...
KathyB!: < I was thinking we'd look stupid together, but thanks for clarifying... >
Yes, she's crying. And in her defense, that bank is close to four feet of liquid mud. There was no way to get a foothold and it was A LOT harder to climb up than it looked.
Apparently, there IS fun stuff to do on a rainy day, you just have to...
*Fall on your ass in a stream,
*Have one daughter tell you to "get a grip,"
*Have another daughter insist you strand yourself with her in a swollen stream.
Or, you could just head to Target...
and get a jump on your back to school shopping...
And call it a day.
Posted by Kathy B! at 12:12 AM
Monday, July 20, 2009
Posted by Kathy B! at 8:14 AM
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Do not give your child control of the garden hose on a hot, summer day unless you are standing close to the faucet so that you can turn the water off quickly if the hose should "accidentally" be directed at you.
If some child did have the audacity to blast you, point-blank, with a hose full of cold water do not run around shrieking like a banshee, as the child might confuse your running and shrieking as playing along. Even though you're fully clothed. Even though you are demanding she STOP.
Posted by Kathy B! at 3:06 AM
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
By show of hands - how many people are sick of hearing about my critter invasion?
That's what I thought. I swear, it's starting to feel like Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom around here. So despite the fact that I have a hilarious story about a recent encounter between myself and a black snake in the swimming pool... plus another good squirrel story... I'll give it a rest.
Right after I finish this post.
I'm sad to say that the birds gobbled up all the baby frogs. Really, it's been like a frog buffet around here. I know the whole circle of life thing, but it's still kinda sad. We actually went looking for them today and the bad news is we couldn't find a single one. The good news is their
good for nothin free loading parents who can't be bothered to use the stream behind the house like they're supposed to adult counterparts were swimming happily in our pool. As usual.
Trust me when I say it's better to get them out when they're alive than it is to scoop them out dead. Blech.
Posted by Kathy B! at 3:44 AM
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
A Ground-flipping-hog is gobbling up what's left of my garden. Apparently yesterday, when I told Mother Nature to bite me, she decided she needed to go beyond the veggies and get the flowers, too. Hit me where it hurts.
I may be a soccer mom, but even I know a throw-down when I see one. This was war. I started plotting to remove the screens from my windows so that I could throw things from the kitchen when the critters came to graze. I had my melon-baller lined up and ready to sacrifice as the first casualty since I don't really use it much. It makes nice little fruit circles and all, but I never know what to do with the melon that's too close to the rind for balling... Stupid melon baller deserved to go.
I guess the thought of KathyB! throwing kitchen implements out the window at Bambi and Thumper made Mother Nature pause. Because instead of more hungry critters?
Mother Nature sent me these. Hundreds of them. Literally.
The world's tiniest little frogs.
Posted by Kathy B! at 4:09 AM
Monday, July 13, 2009
I really try.
I recycle. I turn the water off when I brush my teeth. I use those stupid, curly, compact-fluorescent light bulbs that turn the colors of my home a strange off-shade of normal. I freeze in the winter and roast in the summer in the name of energy conservation. I'm pretty sure I do other things, too, but I'm too cranky right now to brainstorm. I don't really enjoy any of these things, but I do them because it's the right thing to do. So you'd think Mother Nature would want to reward me. You know, throw me a bone.
All because this guy:
came and ate all of the green berries before they got to turn blue
I struggled through the grief from the loss of my precious blueberry crop by focusing on the 67 luscious peaches ripening on my peach trees. Yes, I counted them. No, I didn't name them. I'm not a total nut case. Unfortunately, when I got home from Colorado last week I discovered
all of the peaches were gone.
Thanks, Mother Nature. I'm glad you didn't put yourself out on my account. I'll keep doin' what I'm doin' because I'm all about doing the right thing. I'm defective like that.
But Mother Nature? You and I are not talking.
Not until I get some fruit.
Posted by Kathy B! at 3:56 AM
Friday, July 10, 2009
Being the kind person that I am, I only zinged him a little.
My brother-in-law let his wife finish the Snowmass IQ.
I've often thought consumption of alcoholic beverages might be the link to effective parenting, but I think I can finally appreciate the nuance of this theory. Not just any old alcoholic beverage will do. It's gotta be the Snowmass IQ.
The Snowmass IQ would have helped me solve the zipper problem in record time by giving me the intellect of a 6 year old.
And if it didn't actually solve the problem I'm sure I would've felt a lot... happier. Regardless of the outcome.
Posted by Kathy B! at 10:07 AM
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Have you ever lost control of your child?
Have you ever tried to put your child in time-out only to have them leave their spot the minute you turn your back?
Have you ever wished for
a couple of freaking minutes of quiet! I mean, is it really that much to ask?! a few precious moments of peace?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then I have just the thing for you!
Posted by Kathy B! at 9:48 AM
Monday, July 6, 2009
Posted by Kathy B! at 12:19 PM
Friday, July 3, 2009
Posted by Kathy B! at 10:55 AM